Federal Register Vol. 81, No.105,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 105 (June 1, 2016)

Page Range34859-35268
FR Document

81_FR_105
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 35023 - Government in the Sunshine Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 34859 - Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2016PDF
81 FR 35014 - Sunshine Act NoticePDF
81 FR 35090 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 35063 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 35069 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 34969 - Information Collection; Role of Communities in Stewardship Contracting ProjectsPDF
81 FR 35039 - Notice of Proposed Supplementary Rules for Guffey Gorge in Park County, ColoradoPDF
81 FR 35043 - Notice of Intent To Prepare a Resource Management Plan for Basin and Range National Monument, Nevada, and an Associated Environmental Impact StatementPDF
81 FR 35121 - Survey of Foreign Ownership of U.S. Securities as of June 30, 2016PDF
81 FR 34895 - Special Local Regulation; Annual Marine Events on the Colorado River, Between Davis Dam (Bullhead City, Arizona) and Headgate Dam (Parker, Arizona) Within the San Diego Captain of the Port ZonePDF
81 FR 34932 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJPDF
81 FR 34916 - Programmable Logic Computers in Nuclear Power Plant Control SystemsPDF
81 FR 35069 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures; Cancellation of the June 8, 2016, ACRS Subcommittee MeetingPDF
81 FR 35066 - Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Southern Nuclear Operating Company; Reclassification of Tier 2* Information on Fire Area FiguresPDF
81 FR 35064 - Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3; South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, South Carolina Public Service Authority; Compressed and Instrument Air System High Pressure Air Subsystem ChangesPDF
81 FR 35067 - Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3; South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, South Carolina Public Service Authority, Addition of Instruments to Design Reliability Assurance ProgramPDF
81 FR 34974 - Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) ReviewPDF
81 FR 34931 - Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Second MeetingPDF
81 FR 35003 - Privacy Act of 1974; Computer Matching Program Between the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans AffairsPDF
81 FR 35005 - Notice of Meeting on DOE Wind Energy Environmental Research StrategyPDF
81 FR 35016 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
81 FR 35025 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Program Standardized Data CollectionPDF
81 FR 35042 - Notice of Public Meeting, BLM Alaska Resource Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 35038 - Notice of Public Meeting for the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 35038 - Utah Resource Advisory Council Meeting/Conference CallPDF
81 FR 35042 - Utah Resource Advisory Council Subcommittee Meetings/Conference CallsPDF
81 FR 34976 - National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Data Integrity Building BlockPDF
81 FR 35028 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; MEKINISTPDF
81 FR 35001 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Intent To Renew Collection 3038-0067, Part 162 Subpart C-Identify Theft Red FlagsPDF
81 FR 35037 - Receipt of Incidental Take Permit Applications for Participation in the Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan for the American Burying Beetle in OklahomaPDF
81 FR 35003 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 35039 - Notice of Public Meeting: Northern California Resource Advisory Council Resource Management Plan Subcommittee; PostponedPDF
81 FR 34908 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program-Stage 3 and Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 Through 2017; Corrections and Correcting AmendmentPDF
81 FR 34973 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 34947 - Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Commercial Sablefish Fishing Regulations and Electronic Fish TicketsPDF
81 FR 34944 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 25PDF
81 FR 35007 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
81 FR 35007 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 34975 - Meeting of the United States Manufacturing CouncilPDF
81 FR 34909 - Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016; CorrectionsPDF
81 FR 35120 - Illinois-Service Federal Savings and Loan Association, Chicago, Illinois; Approval of Conversion ApplicationPDF
81 FR 35015 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 35014 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 35023 - Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings; Green Building Advisory Committee; Notification of Upcoming TeleconferencesPDF
81 FR 35118 - Notice of Buy America WaiverPDF
81 FR 35118 - U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Board of Visitors MeetingPDF
81 FR 35010 - Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Notice of Surrender of Preliminary PermitPDF
81 FR 35006 - Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Notice of Surrender of Preliminary PermitPDF
81 FR 35013 - Notice of Open Meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank)PDF
81 FR 35029 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; OTEZLAPDF
81 FR 35032 - Food and Drug Administration Categorization of Investigational Device Exemption Devices To Assist the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services With Coverage Decisions; Draft Guidance for Sponsors, Clinical Investigators, Industry, Institutional Review Boards, and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 35013 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 35031 - OpenFDA Public WorkshopPDF
81 FR 34978 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous FishPDF
81 FR 35012 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 35026 - Determination of Regulatory Review Period for Purposes of Patent Extension; OSPHENAPDF
81 FR 35025 - Assessing Adhesion With Transdermal Delivery Systems and Topical Patches for Abbreviated New Drug Applications; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 35063 - Hawaii State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health; Operational Status Agreement RevisionsPDF
81 FR 34915 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
81 FR 34984 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Boost-Backs and Landings of Rockets at Vandenberg Air Force BasePDF
81 FR 34994 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird Monitoring and Research in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, 2016PDF
81 FR 34978 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research Activities in Central California, 2016-2017PDF
81 FR 35055 - Ammonium Sulfate From China; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty; Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase InvestigationsPDF
81 FR 35058 - Certain Stainless Steel Products, Certain Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same, and Certain Products Containing Same Commission's Final Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Order; Termination of the InvestigationPDF
81 FR 34973 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Hawai'i State Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 34972 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona State Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 34972 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Alaska State Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 35035 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
81 FR 35000 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Saltwater Sport Fishing Economic SurveyPDF
81 FR 35024 - Final Notice of Reallotment of FY 2014 Funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)PDF
81 FR 34940 - Air Plan Approval; Tennessee; Revision and Removal of Stage I and II Gasoline Vapor Recovery ProgramPDF
81 FR 34935 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Colorado; Second Ten-Year PM10PDF
81 FR 35012 - Clean Air Act Advisory Committee: Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 35051 - Notice of June 16, 2016, Meeting of the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 35036 - Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas, NE and SD; Withdrawal of Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Land Protection PlanPDF
81 FR 34971 - Information Collection; Request for Comment; Objections to New Land Management Plans, Plan Amendments, and Plan RevisionsPDF
81 FR 34969 - Information Collection; Application for Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or OrderPDF
81 FR 35122 - Notice of Open Public HearingPDF
81 FR 35079 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Amend Rule 6.67(c) by Revising the Clearing Member Requirements for Entering an Order Into the Electronic Order Capture SystemPDF
81 FR 35094 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Related to PIXL PricingPDF
81 FR 35079 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of FeesPDF
81 FR 35075 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.7, Opening ProcessPDF
81 FR 35099 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.7, Opening ProcessPDF
81 FR 35111 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Consisting of Proposed Amendments to MSRB Rule G-12, on Uniform Practice, Regarding Close-Out Procedures for Municipal SecuritiesPDF
81 FR 35090 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 930NY Regarding Definition of Floor BrokerPDF
81 FR 35092 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No.1 Thereto, To Amend the Eighth Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of the ExchangePDF
81 FR 35086 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 2, To List and Trade Shares of the AdvisorShares Cornerstone Small Cap ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
81 FR 35116 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BYX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.23, Opening ProcessPDF
81 FR 35078 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BYX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to FeesPDF
81 FR 35072 - Joint Industry Plan; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Amendment No. 3 to the National Market System Plan Governing the Process of Selecting a Plan Processor and Developing a Plan for the Consolidated Audit Trail by BATS Exchange, Inc., BATS-Y Exchange, Inc., BOX Options Exchange LLC, C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., EDGA Exchange, Inc., EDGX Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., International Securities Exchange, LLC, ISE Gemini, LLC, Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, National Stock Exchange, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE MKT LLC, and NYSE Arca, Inc.PDF
81 FR 35074 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules 900.1, 910, and 921PDF
81 FR 35069 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.24, Opening Process for Non-BZX-Listed SecuritiesPDF
81 FR 35106 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Provide a Process for an Expedited Suspension Proceeding and Adopt a Rule To Prohibit Disruptive Quoting and Trading ActivityPDF
81 FR 35081 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Provide a Process for an Expedited Suspension Proceeding and Adopt a Rule To Prohibit Disruptive Quoting and Trading ActivityPDF
81 FR 35105 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 6.64 With Respect to Opening Trading in an Options SeriesPDF
81 FR 35115 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 952NY With Respect to Opening Trading in an Options SeriesPDF
81 FR 35098 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Amend Rule 955NY(c) by Revising the Clearing Member Requirements for Entering an Order Into the Electronic Order Capture SystemPDF
81 FR 35101 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 3 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 3, to List and Trade of Shares of the JPMorgan Diversified Alternative ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
81 FR 35009 - Americhoice Energy OH, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 35006 - Eastern Shore Solar LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 35011 - Beacon Solar 4, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 35006 - ArcelorMittal Cleveland LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 35010 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 35005 - Americhoice Energy PA, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request For Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 35012 - Americhoice Energy IL, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 35009 - PacifiCorp Energy; Notice of Availability of Final Environmental AssessmentPDF
81 FR 35009 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 35011 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 35008 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 35062 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Report of Theft or Loss of ExplosivesPDF
81 FR 35014 - Notice of Public Availability of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service FY2015 Service Contract Analysis and InventoryPDF
81 FR 35034 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 35051 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, AZPDF
81 FR 35050 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, AZPDF
81 FR 35044 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, AZPDF
81 FR 35047 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Wupatki National Monument, Flagstaff, AZPDF
81 FR 35048 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, AZPDF
81 FR 35033 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 35118 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 34895 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Rockaway Inlet, Queens, NYPDF
81 FR 35064 - Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 35004 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Federal Perkins Loan Program RegulationsPDF
81 FR 35120 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 34902 - Aldicarb, Alternaria destruens, Ampelomyces quisqualis, Azinphos-methyl, Etridiazole, Fenarimol, et al.; Tolerance and Tolerance Exemption ActionsPDF
81 FR 34896 - Fluensulfone; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
81 FR 34861 - Technical Amendments and CorrectionsPDF
81 FR 34913 - Revision to the Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency ManagementPDF
81 FR 34879 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Taos, NMPDF
81 FR 34880 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following South Dakota Towns; Belle Fourche, SD; Madison, SD; Mobrigde, SD; and Vermillion, SDPDF
81 FR 34927 - Airworthiness Directives; RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH AirplanesPDF
81 FR 34876 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.)PDF
81 FR 34929 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 34882 - Certification Program for Access to the Death Master FilePDF
81 FR 35242 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Portable Air ConditionersPDF
81 FR 34867 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 35055 - Granular Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin From Italy; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
81 FR 35052 - Paper Clips From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
81 FR 35059 - Cased Pencils From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
81 FR 34864 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 34871 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
81 FR 34919 - Updates to Rulemaking and Waiver Procedures and Expansion of the Equivalent Level of Safety OptionPDF
81 FR 35186 - Proposal To Reissue and Modify Nationwide PermitsPDF
81 FR 35124 - Net Stable Funding Ratio: Liquidity Risk Measurement Standards and Disclosure RequirementsPDF

Issue

81 105 Wednesday, June 1, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Report of Theft or Loss of Explosives, 35062 2016-12758 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Stage 3 and Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 through 2017; Corrections and Correcting Amendment, 34908-34909 2016-12853 Medicare Program: Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016; Corrections, 34909-34913 2016-12841 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Final Notice of Reallotment of FY 2014 Funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, 35024-35025 2016-12806 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Alaska State Advisory Committee, 34972 2016-12810 Arizona State Advisory Committee, 34972-34973 2016-12811 Hawai'i State Advisory Committee, 34973 2016-12812 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Rockaway Inlet, Queens, NY, 34895-34896 2016-12740 Special Local Regulations: Annual Marine Events on the Colorado River, between Davis Dam (Bullhead City, AZ) and Headgate Dam (Parker, AZ) within the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone, 34895 2016-12936 PROPOSED RULES Drawbridge Operations: Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ, 34932-34935 2016-12929 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Technical Information Service

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34973-34974 2016-12851
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Identify Theft Red Flags, 35001-35003 2016-12858 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Program, 35025 2016-12866 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency PROPOSED RULES Net Stable Funding Ratio: Liquidity Risk Measurement Standards and Disclosure Requirements, 35124-35183 2016-11505 NOTICES Conversion Applications; Approvals: Illinois-Service Federal Savings and Loan Assn., Chicago, IL, 35120 2016-12839 Defense Department Defense Department See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35003 2016-12855
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35004-35005 2016-12735 Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 35003-35004 2016-12880 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Portable Air Conditioners, 35242-35268 2016-12446
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Meetings: Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, 35005 2016-12870 Engineers Engineers Corps PROPOSED RULES Proposal to Reissue and Modify Nationwide Permits, 35186-35240 2016-12083 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Pesticide Tolerances: Fluensulfone, 34896-34902 2016-12722 Tolerances and Tolerance Exemption Actions: Aldicarb, Alternaria destruens, Ampelomyces quisqualis, Azinphos-methyl, Etridiazole, Fenarimol, et al., 34902-34907 2016-12723 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: State of Colorado; Second Ten-Year PM10 Maintenance Plan for Lamar, 34935-34940 2016-12804 Tennessee; Revision and Removal of Stage I and II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Program, 34940-34944 2016-12805 NOTICES Meetings: Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, 35012 2016-12803 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35012-35014 2016-12824 2016-12827 Meetings: Advisory Committee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, 35013 2016-12830 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.), 34876-34879 2016-12594 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 34864-34876 2016-12329 2016-12331 2016-12443 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Belle Fourche, SD; Madison, SD; Mobrigde, SD; and Vermillion, SD, 34880-34882 2016-12638 Taos, NM, 34879-34880 2016-12639 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 34929-34931 2016-12521 RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH Airplanes, 34927-34929 2016-12609 Updates to Rulemaking and Waiver Procedures and Expansion of the Equivalent Level of Safety Option, 34919-34926 2016-12129 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation PROPOSED RULES Net Stable Funding Ratio: Liquidity Risk Measurement Standards and Disclosure Requirements, 35124-35183 2016-11505 Federal Election Federal Election Commission RULES Technical Amendments and Corrections, 34861-34864 2016-12661 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 35007-35011 2016-12759 2016-12760 2016-12765 2016-12844 2016-12845 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: PacifiCorp Energy, 35009 2016-12762 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Americhoice Energy IL, LLC, 35012 2016-12763 Americhoice Energy OH, LLC, 35009 2016-12769 Americhoice Energy PA, LLC, 35005-35006 2016-12764 ArcelorMittal Cleveland, LLC, 35006 2016-12766 Beacon Solar 4, LLC, 35011-35012 2016-12767 Eastern Shore Solar, LLC, 35006 2016-12768 Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report Filings: Filings Instituting Proceedings, 35009-35010 2016-12761 Preliminary Permit Surrender: Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, 35010 2016-12832 Preliminary Permits: Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Surrender, 35006-35007 2016-12831 Federal Mediation Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service NOTICES FY2015 Service Contract Analysis and Inventory, 35014 2016-12757 Federal Mine Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 35014 2016-12966 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Net Stable Funding Ratio: Liquidity Risk Measurement Standards and Disclosure Requirements, 35124-35183 2016-11505 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35015-35023 2016-12838 2016-12867 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 35014 2016-12837 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 35023 2016-13004 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc. and Land Protection Plans: Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas, NE and SD; Withdrawal, 35036-35037 2016-12799 Incidental Take Permit Applications: Participation in the Amended Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan for the American Burying Beetle in Oklahoma, 35037-35038 2016-12856 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Assessing Adhesion with Transdermal Delivery Systems and Topical Patches for Abbreviated New Drug Applications, 35025-35026 2016-12822 Food and Drug Administration Categorization of Investigational Device Exemption Devices to Assist the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with Coverage Decisions, 35032-35033 2016-12828 Meetings: OpenFDA Public Workshop, 35031 2016-12826 Regulatory Review Periods for Purposes of Patent Extensions: MEKINIST, 35028-35029 2016-12859 OSPHENA, 35026-35028 2016-12823 OTEZLA, 35029-35031 2016-12829 Foreign Claims Foreign Claims Settlement Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 35063 2016-12943 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order, 34969-34971 2016-12796 Objections to New Land Management Plans, Plan Amendments, and Plan Revisions, 34971-34972 2016-12797 Role of Communities in Stewardship Contracting Projects, 34969 2016-12940 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Green Building Advisory Committee, 35023-35024 2016-12836 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35033-35034 2016-12745 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Review, 34974-34975 2016-12905 Meetings: United States Manufacturing Council, 34975-34976 2016-12843 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Ammonium Sulfate from China, 35055 2016-12815 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Cased Pencils from China, 35059-35062 2016-12433 Certain Stainless Steel Products, Certain Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same, and Certain Products Containing Same, 35058-35059 2016-12814 Granular Polytetrafluoroethylene Resin from Italy, 35055-35058 2016-12435 Paper Clips from China; Institution of a Five-Year Review, 35052-35054 2016-12434 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

See

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission

Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Resource Management Plan for Basin and Range National Monument, NV, 35043-35044 2016-12938 Meetings: Alaska Resource Advisory Council, 35042-35043 2016-12865 Northern California Resource Advisory Council Resource Management Plan Subcommittee; Postponement, 35039 2016-12854 San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee, 35038-35039 2016-12864 Utah Resource Advisory Council, 35038 2016-12863 Utah Resource Advisory Council Subcommittee, 35042 2016-12862 Proposed Supplementary Rules for Guffey Gorge in Park County, CO, 35039-35041 2016-12939 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Board of Visitors, 35118 2016-12833 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Buy American Waivers, 35118-35120 2016-12834 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Data Integrity Building Block, 34976-34978 2016-12860 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 35034-35035 2016-12755 2016-12756 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 34915 2016-12819 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Snapper-Grouper Fishery off the Southern Atlantic States, 34944-34947 2016-12846 Fisheries off West Coast States: Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Commercial Sablefish Fishing Regulations and Electronic Fish Tickets, 34947-34968 2016-12848 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Alaska Saltwater Sport Fishing Economic Survey, 35000-35001 2016-12808 Endangered and Threatened Species: Takes of Anadromous Fish, 34978 2016-12825 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Boost-Backs and Landings of Rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base, 34984-34994 2016-12818 Seabird and Pinniped Research Activities in Central California, 34978-34984 2016-12816 Seabird Monitoring and Research in Glacier Bay National Park, AK, 34994-35000 2016-12817 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc. and Land Protection Plans: Niobrara Confluence and Ponca Bluffs Conservation Areas, NE and SD; Withdrawal, 35036-35037 2016-12799 Inventory Completions: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, AZ, 35044-35052 2016-12746 2016-12748 2016-12749 2016-12750 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Wupatki National Monument, Flagstaff, AZ, 35047-35048 2016-12747 Meetings: Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Advisory Council, 35051 2016-12801 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee, 35064 2016-12736 National Technical National Technical Information Service RULES Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File, 34882-34895 2016-12479 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration RULES Revision to the Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management, 34913-34914 2016-12640 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Programmable Logic Computers in Nuclear Power Plant Control Systems, 34916-34919 2016-12926 NOTICES Exemptions and Combined License Amendments: Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3 South Carolina Electric and Gas Co., South Carolina Public Service Authority, Compressed and Instrument Air System High Pressure Air Subsystem Changes, 35064-35065 2016-12916 Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3; South Carolina Electric and Gas Co., South Carolina Public Service Authority, Addition of Instruments to Design Reliability Assurance Program, 35067-35068 2016-12915 Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Southern Nuclear Operating Co.; Reclassification of Tier 2 Information on Fire Area Figures, 35066-35067 2016-12918 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, Subcommittee on Planning and Procedures; Cancellation, 35069 2016-12920 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 35069 2016-12941 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Hawaii State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health; Operational Status Agreement Revisions, 35063-35064 2016-12821 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day (Proc. 9454), 34859-34860 2016-13003 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Joint Industry Plans, 35072-35074 2016-12779 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 35090 2016-12948 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BYX Exchange, Inc., 35078-35079, 35116-35118 2016-12780 2016-12781 Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 35069-35071 2016-12777 Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc., 35075-35078 2016-12791 Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., 35099-35101 2016-12790 International Securities Exchange, LLC, 35079-35081 2016-12792 Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 35111-35115 2016-12789 NASDAQ BX, Inc., 35106-35111 2016-12776 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 35074-35075, 35094-35098 2016-12778 2016-12793 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 35081-35086 2016-12775 NYSE Arca, Inc., 35079, 35086-35090, 35101-35106 2016-12770 2016-12774 2016-12782 2016-12794 NYSE MKT, LLC, 35090-35094, 35098, 35115-35116 2016-12772 2016-12773 2016-12787 2016-12788 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35118 2016-12741 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards to Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 35035-35036 2016-12809 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PROPOSED RULES Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Second Meeting, 34931-34932 2016-12882
Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 35120-35121 2016-12730 Survey of Foreign Ownership of U.S. Securities as of June 30, 2016, 35121 2016-12937
U.S. China U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission NOTICES Meetings: U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 35122 2016-12795 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 35124-35183 2016-11505 Federal Reserve System, 35124-35183 2016-11505 Treasury Department, Comptroller of the Currency, 35124-35183 2016-11505 Part III Defense Department, Engineers Corps, 35186-35240 2016-12083 Part IV Energy Department, 35242-35268 2016-12446 Reader Aids

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

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81 105 Wednesday, June 1, 2016 Rules and Regulations FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION 11 CFR Parts 4, 100, 104, 106, 109, 110, 113, 114, 9004, and 9034 [Notice 2016-03] Technical Amendments and Corrections AGENCY:

Federal Election Commission.

ACTION:

Correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

The Commission is making technical corrections to various sections of its regulations.

DATES:

Effective June 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Eugene Lynch, Paralegal, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694-1650 or (800) 424-9530.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The existing rules that are the subject of these corrections are part of the continuing series of regulations that the Commission has promulgated to implement the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act, 26 U.S.C. 9001-13, and the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act, 26 U.S.C. 9031-42 (collectively, the “Funding Acts”), and the Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101-46 (“FECA”). The Commission is promulgating these corrections without advance notice or an opportunity for comment because they fall under the “good cause” exemption of the Administrative Procedure Act. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). The Commission finds that notice and comment are unnecessary here because these corrections are merely typographical and technical; they effect no substantive changes to any rule. For the same reason, these corrections fall within the “good cause” exception to the delayed effective date provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Congressional Review Act. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), 808(2).

Moreover, because these corrections are exempt from the notice and comment procedure of the Administrative Procedure Act under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the Commission is not required to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis under 5 U.S.C. 603 or 604. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2), 604(a). Nor is the Commission required to submit these revisions for congressional review under FECA or the Funding Acts. See 52 U.S.C. 30111(d)(1), (4) (providing for congressional review when Commission “prescribe[s]” a “rule of law”); 26 U.S.C. 9009(c)(1), (4), 9039(c)(1), (4) (same). Accordingly, these corrections are effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Corrections to FECA and Funding Act Rules in Chapter I of Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations A. Correction to 11 CFR 4.8

The Commission is updating paragraph (a) of this section regarding when a person may appeal the Commission's failure to respond to a document inspection or production request filed under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. 552. Paragraph (a) currently provides that a person may appeal the Commission's failure to respond if the person has received no response within ten working days after the Commission received the FOIA request. When originally promulgated, this ten-day time period accurately reflected the time the Commission had to respond to a FOIA request. See 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i) (1979); Public Records and Freedom of Information Act, 44 FR 33368 (June 8, 1979) (promulgating section 4.7(c), giving Commission ten working days to respond to FOIA request, and section 4.8(a), allowing FOIA requestors who did not receive response within ten working days to file appeals). Subsequently, however, Congress amended FOIA to allow agencies 20 days in which to respond to FOIA requests, and the Commission revised its own response period in 11 CFR 4.7(c) accordingly. See Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments, 65 FR 9201 (Feb. 24, 2000). The Commission did not, however, make the necessary corresponding change to the regulation governing the time for filing an appeal. Accordingly, to conform the time period for appealing the Commission's failure to respond with the time that the Commission has to respond, the Commission is revising paragraph (a) by removing the word “ten” and replacing it with “twenty.”

B. Correction to 11 CFR 100.54

The Commission is correcting two erroneous citations in the introductory paragraph of this section. This paragraph erroneously refers to 11 CFR 100.74 and 100.75 in discussing the exemption of certain legal and accounting services from the definition of “contribution.” That exemption is set forth in sections 100.85 and 100.86, not in sections 100.74 and 100.75 (which address volunteer services and the use of a volunteer's real or personal property). Accordingly, the Commission is removing the citations to 11 CFR 100.74 and 100.75 and replacing them with 11 CFR 100.85 and 100.86, respectively.

C. Corrections to 11 CFR 104.4

The Commission is amending paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section to remove an ambiguity regarding the reporting requirements for political committees making independent expenditures in a calendar year. These paragraphs require political committees to report all independent expenditures aggregating less than $10,000 (paragraph (b)(1)) or $10,000 or more (paragraph (b)(2)) with respect to a given election made “at any time during the calendar year up to and including the 20th day before an election.” Some reporting entities have expressed uncertainty as to whether this language signifies that reporting is not required in a calendar year other than an election year. As the Commission noted in promulgating this section, the reporting requirement applies to independent expenditures made by a political committee “at any time” and “at any point in the campaign,” up to and including 20 days before an election. 52 U.S.C. 30104(g)(2); Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 Reporting, 68 FR 404, 406 (Jan. 3, 2003). To clarify that a political committee must report independent expenditures aggregating less than $10,000, or $10,000 or more, with respect to a given election made in any calendar year, the Commission is amending portions of the text in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2).

D. Corrections to 11 CFR 104.18

The Commission is revising paragraphs (b) and (g) of this section to reflect the availability and use of internet-based forms to file reports electronically with the Commission. The Commission has made a number of these forms available for use by filers on its Web site, at www.fec.gov. Paragraph (b) provides that a political committee or other person not required to file reports electronically with the Commission may nonetheless choose to file reports in an electronic format that meets the requirements of this section, and a person who chooses to file reports electronically is generally required to continue to file electronically for the rest of that calendar year. The Commission is adding a reference to internet-based forms to paragraph (b), as an example of an electronic format that meets the requirements of this section.

Paragraph (g) requires the treasurer of a political committee and other persons responsible for filing reports with the Commission to verify the reports in specific ways. The Commission is revising paragraph (g) to clarify that a signed certification on a Commission internet form meets the verification requirement.

The Commission is also correcting a typographical error in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(A) of this section by replacing the phrase “nets debts” with the phrase “net debts.”

E. Correction to 11 CFR 106.6

The Commission is correcting an erroneous citation in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. Paragraph (d)(1) requires a political committee that collects both federal and nonfederal funds through a joint activity to allocate its direct costs of fundraising “as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section” in a certain manner. Paragraph (a)(2) of this section, however, does not exist. Instead, the direct costs of fundraising are described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Thus, the Commission is replacing the reference to paragraph (a)(2) in paragraph (d)(1) with a reference to paragraph (b)(1).

F. Correction to 11 CFR 106.7

The Commission is correcting an erroneous citation in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section. Paragraph (d)(1)(ii) requires state, district, and local party committees to use only federal funds to pay the salaries, wages, and fringe benefits of employees who spend more than 25% of their compensated time on federal election activities or activities in connection with a federal election, and cites to 11 CFR 300.33(d)(1). Paragraph (d)(1) of § 300.33, however, concerns employees who spend 25% or less of their compensated time on federal election activities or activities in connection with a federal election. Paragraph (d)(2) of § 300.33, on the other hand, relates to the payment of employees spending more than 25% of their compensated time on such activities. Accordingly, the Commission is replacing the reference to 11 CFR 300.33(d)(1) in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) with 11 CFR 300.33(d)(2).

G. Correction to 11 CFR 109.10

The Commission is amending paragraph (c) of this section to remove an ambiguity regarding the reporting requirements for persons who are not political committees and make $10,000 or more in independent expenditures in a calendar year. For the reasons explained above regarding the amendments to section 104.4, the Commission is amending portions of the text in paragraph (c).

H. Correction to 11 CFR 110.1

The Commission is correcting a typographical error in paragraph (b)(6) of this section. This Commission is replacing the reference to 11 CFR 110.1(1)(4) with a reference to 11 CFR 110.1(l)(4) (lowercase letter L).

I. Correction to 11 CFR 110.2

The Commission is correcting a typographical error in paragraph (b)(6) of this section. The Commission is replacing the reference to 11 CFR 110.1(1)(4) with a reference to 11 CFR 110.1(l)(4) (lowercase letter L).

J. Correction to 11 CFR 113.1

The Commission is correcting an erroneous citation in paragraph (g)(1)(i)(I) of this section. The last sentence of paragraph (g)(1)(i)(I) prohibits “[a] Federal officeholder, as defined in 11 CFR 100.5(f)(1),” from receiving salary payments from campaign funds as a candidate. Paragraph (f)(1) of § 100.5, however, defines “authorized committee,” not “Federal officeholder.” Paragraph (c) of § 113.1, on the other hand, defines “Federal officeholder.” As such, in the last sentence of paragraph (g)(1)(i)(I), the Commission is replacing “11 CFR 100.5(f)(1)” with “paragraph (c) of this section.”

K. Corrections to 11 CFR 114.2

The Commission is making a conforming change to the note to paragraph (b) of this section. In the note, the word “non-connected” appears twice. The Commission is replacing both references to “non-connected” with “nonconnected” to conform the word to how it appears in the rest of 11 CFR chapter 1.

L. Corrections to 11 CFR 114.10

For the reasons noted above regarding the correction to § 114.2, the Commission is replacing both references to “non-connected” in the note to § 114.10(a) with “nonconnected.”

M. Correction to 11 CFR 9004.6

The Commission is correcting a typographical error in paragraph (c) of this section. The Commission is removing the misspelled word “Deducation” and replacing it with the word “Deduction.”

N. Correction to 11 CFR 9034.2

The Commission is correcting an erroneous citation in paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section. This paragraph addresses the reattribution of contributions among joint tenants of a checking account, and requires the documentation “described in 11 CFR 110.1(1), (3), (5), and (6)” to accompany the reattributed contribution. The citation to 11 CFR 110.1(1), (3), (5), and (6) is incorrect, however, because those paragraphs do not exist. Instead, the documentation requirements for reattributed contributions appear in paragraph (l) (lowercase letter L) of section 110.1. Accordingly, the Commission is replacing the reference to 11 CFR 110.1(1), (3), (5), and (6) in § 9034.2 with 11 CFR 110.1(l)(3), (5), and (6).

List of Subjects 11 CFR Part 4

Freedom of information.

11 CFR Part 100

Elections.

11 CFR Part 104

Campaign funds, Political committees and parties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

11 CFR Part 106

Campaign funds, Political committees and parties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

11 CFR 109

Coordinated and independent expenditures.

11 CFR 110

Campaign funds, Political committees and parties.

11 CFR Part 113

Campaign funds, Political candidates.

11 CFR Part 114

Business and industry, Elections, Labor.

11 CFR Part 9004

Campaign funds.

11 CFR Part 9034

Campaign funds, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Federal Election Commission amends 11 CFR chapter I, as follows:

PART 4—PUBLIC RECORDS AND THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 552, as amended.

§ 4.8 [Amended]
2. Amend paragraph (a) of § 4.8 by removing “ten” and adding in its place “twenty”. PART 100—SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS (52 U.S.C. 30101) 3. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

52 U.S.C. 30101, 30104, 30111(a)(8), and 30114(c).

§ 100.54 [Amended]
4. Amend the introductory text of § 100.54 by removing “11 CFR 100.74 and 100.75” and adding in its place “11 CFR 100.85 and 100.86”. PART 104—REPORTS BY POLITICAL COMMITTEES AND OTHER PERSONS (52 U.S.C. 30104) 5. The authority citation for part 104 continues to read as follows: Authority:

52 U.S.C. 30101(1), 30101(8), 30101(9), 30102(i), 30104, 30111(a)(8) and (b), 30114, 30116, 36 U.S.C. 510.

6. In § 104.4, revise paragraph (b)(1) and remove the first sentence in paragraph (b)(2) and add two sentences in its place.

The revision and additions read as follows:

§ 104.4 Independent expenditures by political committees (52 U.S.C. 30104(b), (d), and (g)).

(b) * * *

(1) Independent expenditures aggregating less than $10,000 in a calendar year. For each election in which a political committee makes independent expenditures, the political committee shall aggregate its independent expenditures made in each calendar year to determine its reporting obligation. When a committee makes independent expenditures aggregating less than $10,000 for an election in any calendar year, up to and including the 20th day before an election, the committee must report those independent expenditures on Schedule E of FEC Form 3X, at the time of its regular reports in accordance with 11 CFR 104.3, 104.5, and 104.9.

(2) * * * For each election in which a political committee makes independent expenditures, the political committee shall aggregate its independent expenditures made in each calendar year to determine its reporting obligation. When a committee makes independent expenditures aggregating $10,000 or more for an election in any calendar year, up to and including the 20th day before an election, it must report those independent expenditures on Schedule E of FEC Form 3X. * * *

§ 104.18 [Amended]
7. In § 104.18: a. Amend paragraph (a)(3)(i)(A) by removing “nets debts” and adding in its place “net debts”. b. Amend paragraph (b), first sentence, by adding “(internet forms included)” after “the requirements of this section”. c. Amend paragraph (g), first sentence, by adding “; or by submitting a signed certification on a Commission internet form” after “in the electronic submission”. PART 106—ALLOCATIONS OF CANDIDATE AND COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES 8. The authority citation for part 106 continues to read as follows: Authority:

52 U.S.C. 30111(a)(8), 30116(b), 30116(g).

§ 106.6 [Amended]
9. Amend the first sentence of paragraph (d)(1) of § 106.6 by removing “as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section” and adding in its place “as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section”.
§ 106.7 [Amended]
10. Amend paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of § 106.7 by removing “11 CFR 300.33(d)(1)” and adding in its place “11 CFR 300.33(d)(2)”. PART 109—COORDINATED AND INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES (52 U.S.C. 30101(17), 30116(A) AND (D), AND PUB. L. 107-155 SEC. 214(C)) 11. The authority citation for part 109 continues to read as follows: Authority:

52 U.S.C. 30101(17), 30104(c), 30111(a)(8), 30116, 30120; Sec. 214(c), Pub. L. 107-155, 116 Stat. 81.

12. Amend paragraph (c) of § 109.10 by removing the first sentence and adding two sentences in its place to read as follows:
§ 109.10 [Amended]

(c) * * * For each election in which a person who is not a political committee makes independent expenditures, the person shall aggregate its independent expenditures made in each calendar year to determine its reporting obligation. When such a person makes independent expenditures aggregating $10,000 or more for an election in any calendar year, up to and including the 20th day before an election, the person must report the independent expenditures on FEC Form 5, or by signed statement if the person is not otherwise required to file electronically under 11 CFR 104.18.

PART 110—CONTRIBUTION AND EXPENDITURE LIMITATIONS AND PROHIBITIONS 13. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as follows: Authority:

52 U.S.C. 30101(8), 30101(9), 30102(c)(2), 30104(i)(3), 30111(a)(8), 30116, 30118, 30120, 30121, 30122, 30123, 30124, and 36 U.S.C. 510.

§ 110.1 [Amended]
14. Amend paragraph (b)(6) by removing “11 CFR 110.1(1)(4)” and adding in its place “11 CFR 110.1(l)(4)”.
§ 110.2 [Amended]
15. Amend paragraph (b)(6) by removing “11 CFR 110.1(1)(4)” and adding in its place “11 CFR 110.1(l)(4)”. PART 113—PERMITTED AND PROHIBITED USES OF CAMPAIGN ACCOUNTS 16. The authority citation for part 113 continues to read as follows: Authority:

52 U.S.C. 30102(h), 30111(a)(8), 30114, and 30116.

§ 113.1 [Amended]
17. Amend the last sentence of paragraph (g)(1)(i)(I) of § 104.4 by removing “11 CFR 100.5(f)(1)” and adding in its place “paragraph (c) of this section”. PART 114—CORPORATE AND LABOR ORGANIZATION ACTIVITY 18. The authority citation for part 114 continues to read as follows: Authority:

52 U.S.C. 30101(8), 30101(9), 30102, 30104, 30107(a)(8), 30111(a)(8), 30118.

§ 114.2 [Amended]
19. Amend the note to paragraph (b) of § 114.2 by removing all references to “non-connected” and adding in their place “nonconnected”.
§ 114.10 [Amended]
20. Amend the note to paragraph (a) of § 114.10 by removing all references to “non-connected” and adding in their place “nonconnected”. PART 9004—ENTITLEMENT OF ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES TO PAYMENTS; USE OF PAYMENTS 21. The authority citation for part 9004 continues to read as follows: Authority:

26 U.S.C. 9004 and 9009(b).

§ 9004.6 [Amended]
22. Amend the subject heading to paragraph (c) introductory text of § 9004.6 by removing “Deducation” and adding in its place “Deduction”. PART 9034—ENTITLEMENTS 23. The authority citation for part 9034 continues to read as follows: Authority:

26 U.S.C. 9034 and 9039(b).

§ 9034.2 [Amended]
24. Amend paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of § 9034.2 by removing “11 CFR 110.1 (1), (3), (5), and (6)” and adding in its place “11 CFR 110.1(l)(3), (5), and (6)”.

On behalf of the Commission,

Dated: May 23, 2016. Matthew S. Petersen, Chairman, Federal Election Commission.
[FR Doc. 2016-12661 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0496; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-101-AD; Amendment 39-18533; AD 2016-11-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2005-18-18 for certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. AD 2005-18-18 required inspections of certain wire bundles in the left and right engine-to-wing aft fairings for discrepancies; installation of back-to-back p-clamps between the wire and hydraulic supply tube at the aft end of the right-hand strut only; and associated re-routing of the wire bundles, if necessary. This new AD also requires an installation of spiral cable wrap on fuel shutoff valve (FSV) wires at the aft end of the strut, for both left and right engines, and related investigative and corrective actions. This AD was prompted by a determination that the service information referenced in AD 2005-18-18 did not adequately address FSV wires at the aft end of the struts. We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing between the wire bundle and the structure of the aft fairing, which could result in electrical arcing and subsequent ignition of flammable vapors and a possible uncontrollable fire.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 6, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 6, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this AD as of October 14, 2005 (70 FR 53554, September 9, 2005).

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057. 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-2015-0496.

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-2015-0496; 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 (phone: 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:

William Bond, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5253; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2005-18-18, Amendment 39-14258 (70 FR 53554, September 9, 2005) (“AD 2005-18-18”). AD 2005-18-18 applied to certain The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200PF, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16318) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report that the service information referenced in AD 2005-18-18 did not adequately address FSV wires at the aft end of the strut, for both left and right engine struts. The NPRM proposed to continue to require inspections of certain wire bundles in the left and right engine-to-wing aft fairings for discrepancies; installation of back-to-back p-clamps between the wire and hydraulic supply tube at the aft end of the right-hand strut only; and associated re-routing of the wire bundles, if necessary. The NPRM also proposed to require installation of tetrafluoroethylene spiral cable wrap on the FSV wires at the aft end of the strut that would provide additional wiring protection. We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing between the wire bundle and the structure of the aft fairing, which could result in electrical arcing and subsequent ignition of flammable vapors and a possible uncontrollable fire.

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 Clarify Certain Requirements

Boeing requested clarification of the actions required by paragraph (g) of the proposed AD. Boeing suggested that paragraph (g) of the proposed AD be revised to add a statement to clarify that no further work would be required if the requirements of AD 2005-18-18 have already been accomplished.

We agree to provide clarification. In paragraph (g) of this AD, we restated the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2005-18-18. Paragraph (f) of this AD states, “Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.” If operators have already done the actions required by paragraph (f) of AD 2005-18-18, they have already done the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD. If operators have not already done the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD before the effective date of the AD, then they must use the most recent revision of the service information. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Clarify Certain Compliance Time Requirements

Boeing requested clarification of the compliance times stated in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD. Boeing stated that there is confusion between “Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD . . . ,” as stated in the first sentence of the paragraph for the spiral cable wrap installation, and “. . . before further flight,” as stated in the second sentence for the related investigative and corrective actions. Boeing suggested that the second sentence be deleted from paragraph (h) of the proposed AD.

We do not agree to revise paragraph (h) of this AD. The installation of the spiral cable wrap includes related investigative and corrective actions, i.e., doing inspections for damaged wire bundles, repairing damaged wires, and testing certain fuel shutoff wires. These related investigative and corrective actions must be done before further flight after damage is found. We have not changed the AD in this regard.

Request To Provide Credit for Required Service Information

FedEx requested that the proposed AD be revised to add a paragraph granting credit for accomplishing Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28A0073 or 757-28A0074, both Revision 2, both dated June 4, 2009, before the effective date of the AD. FedEx stated that they had already accomplished the requirements on airplanes in their fleet.

We agree to clarify. The intent of paragraph (f) of this AD is to provide relief for accomplishing the requirements of this AD before the effective date of this AD. Therefore, this AD already includes the credit requested by the commenter. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Allow Credit for Previous AMOC Approvals

United Airlines (UAL) requested that a paragraph be added to the proposed AD to allow credit for all previously approved AMOC letters that affect Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28A0073 or 757-28A0074.

We do not agree to add a new paragraph to this AD. Credit is already provided in paragraph (i)(4) of this AD, which specifies that AMOCs approved for AD 2005-18-18 are also acceptable as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraph (g) of this AD. (Paragraph (g) of this AD restates the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2005-18-18.) Paragraph (h) of this AD is a new requirement and AMOCs cannot be approved for that paragraph until this AD is published. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Provide Relief for Model 757-300 Airplanes Similar to Relief Provided to Model 757-200 Airplanes

UAL requested relief for Model 757-300 airplanes that is similar to that provided to the Model 757-200 airplanes in FAA AMOC letter 757-28A0073-AMOC-01.

We agree. The issue that the AMOC letter addresses (for Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009) also exists in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009. We have revised paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD to include a statement that where Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009, states “SWPM 20-10-11, Table IX,” this AD instead requires “SWPM 20-10-11, `Minimum Clearance' Table.”

Request To Incorporate Proposed AD Requirements Into the Maintenance Planning Data (MPD) Document

UAL requested that the proposed AD be revised to require incorporation of a required repetitive inspection of the modification into the MPD requirements for Model 757 Heavy Check intervals, preferably at intervals of 3,000 flight cycles or 20 months. UAL suggested that this addition to the MPD could ensure the long-term integrity of the modification.

We do not agree to require a revision to the MPD. We infer that the term “modification” used by UAL is intended to refer to the corrective actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, and the cable wrap installation and related investigative and corrective actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD. These actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD are considered to provide long-term integrity of the “modification” and maintain an acceptable level of safety. However, we encourage operators to proactively revise their maintenance programs in accordance with FAA regulations to address problems or issues as they arise. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) stated that the installation of winglets per Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01518SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/312bc296830a925c86257c85006d1b1f/$FILE/ST01518SE.pdf) does not affect accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions.

We agree with the commenter that STC ST01518SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/312bc296830a925c86257c85006d1b1f/$FILE/ST01518SE.pdf) does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions. Therefore, the installation of STC ST01518SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Change Made to the Format of Paragraph (g) of This AD

We have revised the format of paragraph (g) of this AD by converting Table 1 to paragraph (g)(1) to text in paragraph (g). This change to the format does not affect the requirements of paragraphs (g), (g)(1), or (g)(2) of this AD.

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.

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 Boeing Alert Service Bulletins 757-28A0073 and 757-28A0074, both Revision 2, both dated June 4, 2009. The service information describes procedures for inspecting certain wire bundles in the left and right engine-to-wing aft fairings for discrepancies; installing back-to-back p-clamps between the wire and hydraulic supply tube at the aft end of the right-hand strut only; associated re-routing of the wire bundles, if necessary; and installing spiral cable wrap on FSV wires on the aft ends of the left and right engine struts, and related investigative 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 346 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection of certain wire bundles, and p-clamp installation [retained actions from AD 2005-18-18] Between 16 and 44 work-hours × $85 per hour = Between $1,360 and $3,740 $600 Between $1,960 and $4,340 Between $678,160 and $1,501,640 Installation of spiral cable wrap [new action] 10 work-hours × $85 per hour = $850 $10 $860 $297,560
    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 have 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 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) 2005-18-18, Amendment 39-14258 (70 FR 53554, September 9, 2005), and adding the following new AD: 2016-11-06 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18533; Docket No. FAA-2015-0496; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-101-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 6, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2005-18-18, Amendment 39-14258 (70 FR 53554, September 9, 2005) (“AD 2005-18-18”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200PF, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes; certificated in any category; equipped with Rolls-Royce engines; as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletins 757-28A0073 and 757-28A0074, both Revision 2, both dated June 4, 2009.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that the service information referenced in AD 2005-18-18, did not adequately address fuel shutoff valve (FSV) wires at the aft end of the strut, for both left and right engine struts. We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing between the wire bundle and the structure of the aft fairing, which could result in electrical arcing and subsequent ignition of flammable vapors and a possible uncontrollable fire.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained One-Time Inspections/Related Investigative and Corrective Actions, With New Service Information and an Exception to Certain Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2005-18-18, with new service information and an exception to certain service information. Within 60 months after October 14, 2005 (the effective date of AD 2005-18-18), do the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD. Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009, states “SWPM 20-10-11, Table IX,” the correct phrase is “SWPM 20-10-11, `Minimum Clearance' Table.”

    (1) Accomplish the detailed inspections for discrepancies of the wire bundles in the left and right engine-to-wing aft fairings, and applicable and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary, as applicable, by doing all the actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletins listed in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (g)(1)(ii) of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, use only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073 or 757-28A0074, both Revision 2, both dated June 4, 2009, as applicable. Accomplish any related investigative and corrective actions before further flight, in accordance with the applicable service bulletin. For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is: “An intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning and elaborate procedures may be required.”

    (i) For Boeing Model 757-200, -200CB, and -200PF series airplanes, use the service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i)(A), (g)(1)(i)(B), and (g)(1)(i)(C) of this AD.

    (A) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, dated November 20, 2003;

    (B) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2005.

    (C) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009.

    (ii) For Boeing Model 757-300 series airplanes, use the service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1)(ii)(A), (g)(1)(ii)(B), and (g)(1)(ii)(C) of this AD.

    (A) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, dated November 20, 2003.

    (B) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2005.

    (C) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009.

    (2) Install back-to-back p-clamps between the wire and hydraulic supply tube at the aft end of the right-hand strut only; and re-route the wire bundles, if necessary; by doing all the applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) through (g)(2)(iv) of this AD. As of the effective date of this AD, use only the service information identified in paragraphs (g)(2)(ii) and (g)(2)(iv) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2005.

    (ii) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009.

    (iii) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2005.

    (iv) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009.

    (h) New Spiral Cable Wrap Installation

    Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, install spiral cable wrap on FSV wires at the aft end of the strut, for both left and right engines, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073 (for Model 757-200, -200CB, and -200PF series airplanes) or 757-28A0074 (for Model 757-300 series airplanes), both Revision 2, both dated June 4, 2009. Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009, states “SWPM 20-10-11, Table IX,” the correct phrase is “SWPM 20-10-11, `Minimum Clearance' Table.” Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) AMOCs approved for AD 2005-18-18 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact William Bond, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles ACO, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5253; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    (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 the AD specifies otherwise.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on July 6, 2016.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009.

    (ii) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 2, dated June 4, 2009.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 14, 2005 (70 FR 53554, September 9, 2005).

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, dated November 20, 2003.

    (ii) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0073, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2005.

    (iii) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, dated November 20, 2003.

    (iv) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-28A0074, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2005.

    (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (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 17, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12331 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1273; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-194-AD; Amendment 39-18530; AD 2016-11-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of unreliable performance of the fuel scavenge system. This AD requires changing the main fuel tank water scavenge system, center fuel tank fuel scavenge system, and certain electrical panels; doing related investigative actions; doing corrective actions if necessary; and, for certain airplanes, changing the fuel scavenge system to give redundant control of the center override/jettison fuel pumps and main jettison fuel pumps. We are issuing this AD to prevent fuel exhaustion and subsequent power loss of all engines due to loss of capability to scavenge fuel in the center fuel tank.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective July 6, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    For Boeing service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    For GE Aviation service information identified in this final rule, contact GE Aviation Fleet Support, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; telephone 513-552-3272; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.geaviation.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-2015-1273.

    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-2015-1273; 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 (phone: 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:

    Sue Lucier, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6438; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    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 The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 14, 2015 (80 FR 27601) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of unreliable performance of the fuel scavenge system. The NPRM proposed to require changing the main fuel tank water scavenge system, center fuel tank fuel scavenge system, and certain electrical panels; related investigative actions; and doing corrective actions if necessary; and, for certain airplanes, changing the fuel scavenge system to give redundant control of the center override/jettison fuel pumps and main jettison fuel pumps. We are issuing this AD to prevent fuel exhaustion and subsequent power loss of all engines due to loss of capability to scavenge fuel in the center fuel tank.

    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 Withdraw the NPRM

    Lufthansa Cargo AG stated that the unsafe condition addressed in the NPRM is not a safety concern and that mandating Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, dated September 4, 2014, is not justified. Lufthansa Cargo AG stated that the main fuel tanks must be fully loaded with fuel when a mission flight requires fuel in the center tank. Lufthansa Cargo AG explained that if the fuel scavenge system fails to scavenge the remaining fuel in the center tank, the fuel in the main tanks is still available, and therefore there is no safety concern.

    We infer that the commenter requests we withdraw the NPRM. We do not agree with the commenter's request. The failure of fuel scavenging means that up to 2,700 pounds of fuel that is required by mission planning would not be available if needed. The actions required by this AD are necessary in order to prevent fuel exhaustion and subsequent power loss of all engines due to loss of capability to scavenge fuel in the center fuel tank. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Requests To Remove Modification Requirement

    Boeing, Aerologic GmbH, and British Airways (BAC) requested that we remove the modification required by paragraph (g) of the proposed AD, but instead mandate installation of airplane information management system (AIMS) 2 software V14 or later to address the unsafe condition. Aerologic GmbH and BAC stated that the unsafe condition can be mitigated by incorporation of AIMS 2 software Vl4 or later, which provides an engine indicating and crew alerting system (EICAS) advisory message to alert the flightcrew of the status of the scavenge system and the possibility of unusable trapped fuel. Boeing stated that the trapped fuel quantity is well below reserve fuel requirements and that the flightcrew can take appropriate actions to avoid a fuel exhaustion condition.

    We do not agree with the commenters' request. We worked with Boeing extensively on this issue in order to define a reliable automated solution, appropriate to address the severity of this safety issue. While Boeing may disagree, we have determined that relying solely on AIMS 2 software V14 or later is not sufficient to address the identified unsafe condition under all flight conditions. The approach in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015, yields a higher confidence of fully mitigating the safety issue since a robust automated software solution (i.e., installing electrical load management system 2 (ELMS 2) software) removes the potential for human error to undermine the safety mitigation. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Delay AD Issuance

    Boeing requested that we delay issuance of the final rule until the modified scavenge system is certified on Model 777 airplanes equipped with an auxiliary fuel tank. Boeing stated that this will allow this final rule to require the accomplishment of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0078 on all applicable airplanes and avoid the need for multiple ADs on the same subject.

    We infer the commenter is requesting that we delay issuance of the final rule until a revision of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0078 is available for reference in the final rule. We do not agree with the commenter's request. We do not have a definitive date when the modified scavenge system will be certified on Model 777 airplanes equipped with an auxiliary fuel tank and the related service bulletin revision will be available. To delay this action would be inappropriate, since we have determined that an unsafe condition exists. We have also determined that it is not warranted to delay this final rule in order to avoid issuance of multiple ADs on the same subject. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Requests To Incorporate New Service Information and Provide Credit

    Boeing, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Delta Airlines (DAL), Emirates Airline, FedEx Express, and United Airlines (UAL) requested that we revise the NPRM to incorporate Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015. Boeing requested that we provide credit for prior actions done using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, dated September 4, 2014.

    We agree with the commenters' requests. Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015, provides revised instructions and top-kits to accomplish the modification. No new work is required by this revision. We have revised paragraphs (c), (g), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (i) of this AD to refer to Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015. We have added new paragraph (j)(2) of this AD to provide credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this final rule using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, dated September 4, 2014. We have redesignated paragraph (j) of the proposed AD as paragraph (j)(1) in this AD.

    Request To Revise Compliance Time

    Boeing requested that we remove the wording “prior to” in paragraph (h)(2) of the proposed AD, which would require actions to be done concurrently with the actions specified in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD.

    We agree with the commenter's request. Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015, specifies concurrent, not prior, accomplishment of the service information specified in paragraph (h) of this AD. We have revised paragraph (h) of this AD accordingly, which does not expand the requirements of this AD.

    Requests To Incorporate Boeing Information Notice (IN) for New Service Bulletin, for Part Substitution, and for Error Resolution

    ANA, DAL, Emirates Airline, FedEx, and UAL requested that we include in the NPRM the information specified in Boeing IN 777-28-0078 IN 02. FedEx also requested that we include in the NPRM the information specified in Boeing IN 777-28-0078 IN 03. ANA and Emirates Airline requested that a new Boeing Service Bulletin (Revision 2 of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0078) be mandated if possible.

    The commenters stated that Boeing IN 777-28-0078 IN 02 clarifies the instructions in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, and also indicates that Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078 will be revised to incorporate those clarifications.

    ANA requested that a cable assembly with a different lock wire length (part number BACC13AT3K()) be allowed for use in place of part number BACCI3AT3Kl2 for the actions specified in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD. ANA also identified an error in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, dated September 4, 2014, regarding the position of the connector D11007P.

    We do not agree with the commenters' requests. We have determined that Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015, is adequate to correct the identified unsafe condition, and the errors will not affect compliance with this AD. The information notices (IN) are issued to provide clarity and are not required to accomplish the required actions. We are working with Boeing to include the IN information and part number substitution and other corrections in Revision 2 of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0078. Under the provisions of paragraph (k) of this AD, once Revision 2 of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0078 is issued, we will consider requests to approve it as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) with this AD. In addition, AMOCs for part number substitutions can also be requested through the provisions of paragraph (k) of this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Address an Integer Overflow Error

    An anonymous commenter stated that Model 777 airplanes have an integer overflow error when being operated over a certain number of days. The commenter stated that we should require the computer to be reset before any of the overflow errors happen during flight.

    We do not agree with the commenter's request. This issue does not appear related to the identified unsafe condition that is the subject of this final rule. However, we will investigate this situation to make sure that the issue stated by the commenter does not exist or is addressed in a proper manner. We have not changed this final rule in 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:

    • Αre 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

    Boeing has issued the following service information.

    • Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28A0047, Revision 5, dated September 20, 2010. This service information describes procedures for installing new P301 and P302 panels, changing the wiring, and performing bonding resistance measurements.

    • Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28A0047, Revision 6, dated July 11, 2013. This service information describes procedures for installing new P301 and P302 panels, changing the wiring, and performing bonding resistance measurements.

    • Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015. This service information describes procedures for doing mechanical changes to the main fuel tank water scavenge system and center fuel tank fuel scavenge system; doing wiring changes between the P105, P110 and P301 panels, and between the P200, P205, P210 and P302 panels; doing wiring changes in the P105 panel; installing new electrical load management system 2 (ELMS2) software; and doing functional testing.

    GE Aviation has issued the following service information.

    • GE Aviation Service Bulletin 5000ELM-28-075, Revision 1, dated August 5, 2014. This service information describes procedures for doing wiring changes in the P110 panel.

    • GE Aviation Service Bulletin 6000ELM-28-076, Revision 1, dated August 5, 2014. This service information describes procedures for doing wiring changes in the P210 panel.

    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 55 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Fuel system modification 200 work-hours × $85 per hour = $17,000 $68,535 $85,535 $4,704,425 P110 and P210 panel modification 2 work-hours × $85 per hour =$170 0 170 9,350

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

    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 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

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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): 2016-11-03 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18530; Docket No. FAA-2015-1273; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-194-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 6, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and -777F series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of unreliable performance of the fuel scavenge system. We are issuing this AD to prevent fuel exhaustion and subsequent power loss of all engines due to loss of capability to scavenge fuel in the center fuel tank.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Fuel Scavenge System Changes, Wiring Changes, and Software Changes

    For airplanes identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015, except for Group 10 airplanes on which the actions specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0060; or Work Package 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0062, have not been accomplished: Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(6) of this AD; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

    (1) Do applicable mechanical changes to the main fuel tank water scavenge system and center fuel tank fuel scavenge system.

    (2) Install relays and related equipment on the P301 and P302 panels in the main equipment center.

    (3) Do applicable wiring changes between the P105, P110, and P301 panels, and between the P200, P205, P210, and P302 panels.

    (4) Do wiring changes in the P105 panel.

    (5) Install new electrical load management system 2 (ELMS2) software.

    (6) Do a functional test consisting of operational tests, a leak test, system tests, and a fuel scavenge system functional test. If any of the tests fail, before further flight accomplish corrective actions and repeat the test and applicable corrective actions until the test is passed.

    (h) Concurrent Actions

    (1) For Groups 13 through 16 airplanes, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015, concurrently with accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, install a new P301 panel on the left side of the airplane, install a new P302 panel on the right side of the airplane, and change the wiring; or perform bonding resistance measurements and rework the airplane installations; as applicable; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28A0047, Revision 5, dated September 20, 2010; or Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28A0047, Revision 6, dated July 11, 2013.

    (2) For airplanes identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015, except for Group 10 airplanes on which the actions described in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0060; or Work Package 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28-0062, have not been accomplished: Concurrently with accomplishing the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, do wiring changes in the P110 and P210 panels, in accordance with the applicable Accomplishment Instructions of GE Aviation Service bulletin 5000ELM-28-075, Revision 1, dated August 5, 2014; and GE Aviation Service Bulletin 6000ELM-28-076, Revision 1, dated August 5, 2014.

    (i) Parts Installation Prohibition

    For Group 10 airplanes, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015, after completion of the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no person may install an auxiliary fuel tank on any Group 10 airplane.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before May 26, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-09-05, Amendment 39-16667 (77 FR 22305, April 21, 2011)), using a service bulletin identified in paragraph (j)(1)(i) or (j)(1)(ii) of this AD, which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (i) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28A0047, Revision 3, dated June 11, 2009.

    (ii) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28A0047, Revision 4, dated May 20, 2010.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, dated September 4, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (k)(4)(i) and (k)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled 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 RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Sue Lucier, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6438; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) Boeing service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(3) and (m)(5) 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 the AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28A0047, Revision 5, dated September 20, 2010.

    (ii) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-28A0047, Revision 6, dated July 11, 2013.

    (iii) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-28-0078, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2015.

    (iv) GE Aviation Service Bulletin 5000ELM-28-075, Revision 1, dated August 5, 2014.

    (v) GE Aviation Service Bulletin 6000ELM-28-076, Revision 1, dated August 5, 2014.

    (3) For Boeing service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (4) For GE Aviation service information identified in this AD, contact GE Aviation Fleet Support, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; telephone 513-552-3272; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.geaviation.com.

    (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 18, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12443 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-5812; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-077-AD; Amendment 39-18531; AD 2016-11-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-23-05 for all The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. AD 2011-23-05 required repetitive inspections for cracking of the 1.04-inch nominal diameter wire penetration hole, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions. This new AD adds new inspection areas, a modification that terminates certain inspections, post-modification inspections, and repair if necessary. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that indicates the fuselage frames and frame reinforcements are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the fuselage frames and frame reinforcements that could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective July 6, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 6, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of November 16, 2011 (76 FR 67343, November 1, 2011).

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-5812.

    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-2015-5812; 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 (phone: 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:

    Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5324; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2011-23-05, Amendment 39-16856 (76 FR 67343, November 1, 2011) (“AD 2011-23-05”). AD 2011-23-05 applied to certain Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 27, 2015 (80 FR 74047) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH that indicates the fuselage frames and frame reinforcements are subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections for cracking of the 1.04-inch nominal diameter wire penetration hole, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions. The NPRM also proposed to add new inspection areas, a modification that terminates certain inspections, post-modification inspections, and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the fuselage frames and frame reinforcements that could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    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.

    Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

    Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing the supplemental type certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect the actions specified in the NPRM.

    We agree with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the proposed AD as paragraph (c)(1) and added a new paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

    Request To Revise Applicability

    Boeing requested that we change the applicability to “all” airplanes instead of airplanes referenced in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Boeing stated that Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, specifies the effectivity as “all” airplanes.

    We agree with the commenter's request. In the NPRM we referred to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, which specifies an effectivity of all Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. For clarity, we have revised the SUMMARY section and paragraph (c)(1) of this AD to specify “all” airplanes.

    Request To Revise Compliance Time

    Southwest Airlines (SWA) requested that we revise paragraph (t) of the proposed AD to clearly state all inspections required by paragraph (n) of the proposed AD will be due at the later of 30,000 total flight cycles or 4,500 flight cycles from the effective date of the AD. SWA stated that, for airplanes which have previously accomplished the inspections specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, paragraph (n) of the proposed AD and table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, currently requires inspections 4,500 flight cycles from the last inspection and do not specifically take into account those airplanes already doing the repetitive inspections.

    We do not agree with the commenter's request. AD 2011-23-05 required inspections on airplanes with less than 40,000 total flight cycles to begin prior to 30,000 total flight cycles or within 90 days from November 16, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-23-05), whichever occurs later. The repetitive inspection intervals of 4,500 flight cycles are not changed. The new WFD requirement lowers the initial airplane applicability total flight cycles from 40,000 to 30,000. Paragraph (n) of this AD addresses airplanes with more than 30,000 total flight cycles as of the effective date of the AD, and all airplanes that have already accomplished the initial inspection or a repetitive inspection. These airplanes are to continue the repetitive inspections at intervals not to exceed 4,500 flight cycles from the last inspection. The commenter's requested change would reset the time to the next inspection from the effective date of this AD instead of from the last inspection. This would result in a one-time increase in the repetitive interval, which would not meet the WFD requirements. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request To Clarify Inspections in Paragraphs (m) and (n) of the Proposed AD

    Boeing requested that we clarify the inspections required in paragraph (m) and (n) of the proposed AD. Boeing stated that the words “an inspection” is not specific enough to ensure the required inspections will be accomplished.

    We agree with the commenter's request. The wording “an inspection” could be interpreted incorrectly, and the Part 2 or Part 4 inspections specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, may not be accomplished prior to installation of the preventive modification.

    We have revised paragraph (m) of this AD to state in part, “before further flight after accomplishing the Part 2 or Part 4 inspections specified in this paragraph, and no cracking was found, do “Part 5—Preventative Modification” as specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015.”

    We have revised paragraph (n) of this AD to state in part, “before further flight after accomplishing the Part 4 inspection specified in this paragraph, and no cracking was found, do “Part 5—Preventative Modification” as specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015.”

    Request To Remove a Certain Low Frequency Eddy Current (LFEC) Inspection

    Boeing requested that we remove the LFEC inspection in paragraph (s) of the proposed AD. Boeing stated that paragraph (s) of the proposed AD is applicable to Groups 4 through 6 as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, and that LFEC inspections are not required for Groups 4 through 6.

    We agree with the commenter's request. We have revised paragraph (s) of this AD by removing the LFEC inspection requirement.

    Request To Clarify Service Information Description

    Boeing requested that we include “0.50 inch diameter holes” in the first bullet under the Related Service Information Under 1 CFR part 51 section. Boeing stated that the 0.50 inch hole was one of the main updates of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015.

    We agree with commenter's request and have revised this final rule accordingly.

    Request To Revise Responsible FAA ACO

    Boeing requested that we revise paragraph (u)(3) of the proposed AD to reference the Los Angeles ACO instead of the Seattle ACO.

    We agree with the commenter's request. In July 2014, the Los Angeles ACO assumed responsibility for the out-of-production Model 737 airplanes. We have revised paragraph (u)(3) of this AD and the engineer contact information accordingly.

    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.

    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 Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. The service information describes procedures for the following actions.

    • Inspections of wire penetration holes, 0.50 inch diameter holes, standoff/tooling holes, and the production fastener holes for cracking in the forward cargo compartment frames and frame reinforcements, between stringer (S) S-19 and S-22, on both left and right sides of the airplane.

    • A preventive modification of frames between S-19 and S-22.

    • Post-modification inspections.

    • Repairs.

    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 605 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections [retained actions from AD 2011-23-05] 16 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,360 per inspection cycle $0 $1,360 per inspection cycle $822,800 per inspection cycle. Inspections [new action] 32 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,720 per inspection cycle 0 $2,720 per inspection cycle $1,645,600 per inspection cycle. Modification [new action] 32 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,720 0 $2,720 $1,645,600

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repairs that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these repairs:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair 18 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,530 $0 $1,530
    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 have 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 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) 2011-23-05, Amendment 39-16856 (76 FR 67343, November 1, 2011), and adding the following new AD: 2016-11-04 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18531; Docket No. FAA-2015-5812; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-077-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 6, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2011-23-05, Amendment 39-16856 (76 FR 67343, November 1, 2011) (“AD 2011-23-05”).

    (c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes; certificated in any category.

    (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that indicates the fuselage frames and frame reinforcements are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the fuselage frames and frame reinforcements, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspection, With References to Terminating Actions

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2011-23-05, with references to terminating actions. At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, except as required by paragraphs (k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(4) of this AD: Do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) surface or HFEC hole/edge inspection for any cracking of the 1.04-inch nominal diameter wire penetration hole in the frame and frame reinforcement between stringer (S) S-20 and S-21, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011. Accomplishment of the applicable inspections required by paragraphs (m) and (n) of this AD terminates the inspections required by this paragraph. Accomplishment of the modification required by paragraph (p) of this AD terminates the inspections required by this paragraph for the modified area only.

    (h) Retained Repetitive Inspections, With References to Terminating Actions

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2011-23-05, with references to terminating actions. Within 4,500 flight cycles after accomplishment of the most recent inspection specified in Part 2 or Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, or within 90 days after November 16, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-23-05), whichever occurs later: Do an HFEC hole/edge inspection for cracking of the 1.04-inch nominal diameter wire penetration hole in the frame and frame reinforcement between S-20 and S-21, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,500 flight cycles. Accomplishment of the applicable inspections required by paragraphs (m) and (n) of this AD, terminates the inspections required by this paragraph. Accomplishment of the modification specified in paragraph (j) or (p) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph for the modified area only. Accomplishment of the repair specified in paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph for the repaired area only.

    (i) Retained Repair, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2011-23-05, with no changes. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD: Before further flight, repair the crack including doing all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, except as required by paragraph (k)(3) of this AD. All applicable related investigative and corrective actions must be done before further flight. Accomplishment of the requirements of this paragraph terminates the repetitive inspection requirements of paragraph (h) of this AD for the repaired location of that frame.

    (j) Retained Optional Terminating Action, With New Limitation

    This paragraph restates the optional action provided in paragraph (j) of AD 2011-23-05, with a new limitation. Accomplishment of the preventive modification before the effective date of this AD, including doing all related investigative and applicable corrective actions, specified in Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, except as required by paragraph (k)(3) of this AD, terminates the repetitive inspection requirements of paragraph (h) of this AD for the modified location of that frame, provided the modification is done before further flight after an inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD has been done, and no cracking was found on that frame location during that inspection.

    (k) Retained Exceptions to Service Information Specifications, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (k) of AD 2011-23-05, with no changes. The following exceptions apply as specified in paragraphs (g), (i), and (j) of this AD.

    (1) Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, refers to a compliance time “from date on Revision 1 of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after November 16, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-23-05).

    (2) For airplanes meeting all of the criteria specified in paragraphs (k)(2)(i), (k)(2)(ii), and (k)(2)(iii) of this AD: The compliance time for the initial inspection specified in Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, and required by paragraph (g) of this AD, may be extended to 90 days after November 16, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-23-05).

    (i) Model 737-300 series airplanes in Group 1, line numbers 1001 through 2565 inclusive;

    (ii) Airplanes that have accumulated 40,000 or more total flight cycles as of November 16, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-23-05); and

    (iii) Airplanes on which the modification specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1273, dated September 20, 2006; Revision 1, dated December 21, 2006; Revision 2, dated June 4, 2007; Revision 3, dated December 7, 2009; or Revision 4, dated July 23, 2010; has been done, including any configuration or deviation that has been approved as an AMOC during accomplishment of these service bulletins, by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) or Los Angeles ACO to make those findings.

    (3) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate repair instructions: Before further flight, repair the crack using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (u) of this AD.

    (4) The “Condition” column of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, refers to total flight cycles “at the date of/on this service bulletin.” However, this AD applies to the airplanes with the specified total flight cycles as of November 16, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-23-05).

    (l) Retained Credit for Previous Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (l) of AD 2011-23-05, with no changes. Actions done in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, dated December 18, 2007, before November 16, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-23-05), are acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), (i), and (j) of this AD.

    (m) New Requirement of This AD: Inspections of Frames and Frame Reinforcements Between S-19 and S-22 for Certain Airplanes on Which Certain Inspections Have Not Been Accomplished

    For airplanes identified as Groups 1 through 6, Configuration 3, in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, with 30,000 total flight cycles or fewer as of the effective date of this AD, on which any inspections specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011, have not been accomplished: Except as required by paragraphs (t)(1) and (t)(2) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, or within 4,500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, do inspections for cracking at certain locations in the frames and frame reinforcements in accordance with “Part 2—Initial Detail and HFEC Inspection” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Repeat the inspections for cracking at certain locations in the frames and frame reinforcements as specified in “Part 4—Repeat Detail and HFEC Inspections” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, thereafter at the applicable interval specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015; or, before further flight after accomplishing the Part 2 or Part 4 inspections specified in this paragraph, and no cracking was found, do “Part 5—Preventative Modification” as specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Accomplishment of the preventive modification specified in this paragraph terminates the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph for the modified area only. Do all actions specified in this paragraph in accordance with Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015.

    (n) New Requirement of This AD: Inspections of Frames and Frame Reinforcements Between S-19 and S-22 for Groups 1-6, Configuration 3, Airplanes

    For airplanes identified as Groups 1 through 6, Configuration 3, in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, with more than 30,000 total flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD, or that have been inspected as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011: Except as required by paragraphs (t)(1) and (t)(2) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, do inspections for cracking at certain locations of the frames and frame reinforcements in accordance with “Part 4—Repeat Detail and HFEC Inspections” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable interval specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015; or, before further flight after accomplishing the Part 4 inspection specified in this paragraph, and no cracking was found, do “Part 5—Preventative Modification” as specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Accomplishment of the preventive modification specified in this paragraph terminates the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph for the modified area only.

    (o) New Requirement of This AD: Repairs

    If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (m) or (n) of this AD: Before further flight, repair, in accordance with “Part 3—Repair” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, except where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, specifies to contact Boeing for damage removal and repair instructions, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (u) of this AD. Accomplishing a repair terminates the inspections required by paragraphs (m) and (n) of this AD in the repaired area only. Accomplishment of a repair terminates the modification required by paragraph (p) of this AD at the repaired location only.

    (p) New Requirement of This AD: Preventative Modification of the Frames Between S-19 and S-22

    For airplanes identified as Groups 1 through 6, Configuration 3, in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015: Except as required by paragraphs (t)(1) and (t)(2) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, do the preventive modification of the frames between S-19 and S-22, in accordance with “Part 5—Preventative Modification” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Accomplishment of the modification required by this paragraph terminates the requirements of paragraphs (g), (h), (m), and (n) of this AD for the modified location only.

    (q) New Requirement of This AD: Inspections of Preventive Modification for Groups 1-3, Configuration 1, Airplanes

    For airplanes identified as Groups 1 through 3, Configuration 1, in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015: Except as required by paragraph (t)(1) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 3 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, do HFEC, LFEC, and detailed inspections for cracking in accordance with “Part 7—INSPECTION OF PREVENTATIVE MODIFICATION” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable interval specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (u) of this AD.

    (r) New Requirement of This AD: Inspections of Preventive Modification for Groups 1-6, Configuration 2, Airplanes

    For airplanes identified as Groups 1 through 6, Configuration 2, in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015: Except as required by paragraph (t)(1) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in table 4 or table 6 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, do HFEC, LFEC, and detailed inspections for cracking in accordance with “Part 8—INSPECTION OF PREVENTATIVE MODIFICATION” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable interval specified in table 4 or table 6 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (u) of this AD.

    (s) New Requirement of This AD: Inspections of Preventive Modification for Groups 4-6, Configuration 1, Airplanes

    For airplanes identified as Groups 4 through 6, Configuration 1, in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015: At the applicable time specified in table 5 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, except as required by paragraph (t)(1) of this AD: Do HFEC and detailed inspections for cracking in accordance with “Part 7—INSPECTION OF PREVENTATIVE MODIFICATION” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (u) of this AD.

    (t) New Requirement of This AD: Exceptions to Service Bulletin Specifications

    (1) Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, refers to a compliance time “after the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) The “Condition” column in table 1 and table 2 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015, refers to total flight cycles “at the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin.” However, this AD applies to the airplanes with the specified total flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD.

    (u) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (v)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes ODA that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) AMOCs approved for the ADs in paragraphs (u)(4)(i) through (u)(4)(iii) of this AD are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (i) AD 2009-02-06, Amendment 39-15796 (74 FR 10469, March 11, 2009).

    (ii) AD 2009-02-06 R1, Amendment 39-16015 (74 FR 45979, September 8, 2009).

    (iii) AD 2011-23-05.

    (v) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles ACO, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5324; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

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

    (w) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on July 6, 2016.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 2, dated April 21, 2015.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on November 16, 2011 (76 FR 67343, November 1, 2011).

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1279, Revision 1, dated September 2, 2011.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) For Boeing service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (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 18, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12329 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-8465; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-239-AD; Amendment 39-18535; AD 2016-11-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2001-12-18 for certain CASA Model CN-235 series airplanes. AD 2001-12-18 required modification of the rigging of the engine control cable assembly and replacement of either the entire engine control cable assembly or a segment of the control cables. This new AD would retain the requirements of AD 2001-12-18. This new AD also requires repetitive replacements of each power lever and condition lever Teleflex cable with a new or serviceable part, and removes airplanes from the applicability. This AD was prompted by reports of new occurrences of cable disruption on a certain part number; the disruption is caused by microcracks along the cable surface. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue of the engine control cables, leading to breakage of the cables, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective July 6, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 6, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of July 25, 2001 (66 FR 33014, June 20, 2001).

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact EADS-CASA, Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD), Integrated Customer Services (ICS), Technical Services, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 55 05; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.eads.net. 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-2015-8465.

    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-2015-8465; 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:

    Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2001-12-18, Amendment 39-12274 (66 FR 33014, June 20, 2001) (“AD 2001-12-18”). AD 2001-12-18 applied to certain CASA Model CN-235 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2016 (81 FR 2783) (“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 2014-0262, dated December 5, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235-100 and -200 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Three occurrences of cable disruption were reported in 1999. The failed parts, having a part number (P/N) 7-44728-20, were part of the engine control system assembly P/N 7-44728-12. Two cables were connected to the Power Lever and one cable to the Condition Lever control. Service records of the affected parts showed that each cable accumulated more than 14,000 flight cycles (FC).

    The subsequent investigation determined that the disruption was attributed to fatigue related crack.

    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to failure of the engine control system resulting in a loss of the affected engine control.

    Prompted by this unsafe condition, DGAC [Dirección General de Aviación Civil] Spain issued AD 03/00 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2001-12-18] to require rigging of the throttle stops, and one-time replacement of the affected engine control cable assembly (P/N 7-44728-12), or the affected cable (P/N 7-44728-20) before exceeding 12,000 FC.

    After that [DGAC Spain] AD was issued, a new occurrence of cable (P/N 72830-20) disruption was reported. In that case, the affected cable was part of the Condition Lever control and had accumulated 8,497 flight hours (FH) and 8,858 FC. Fractographic analysis of the affected cable identified that the fatigue nucleation seemed to have been induced by microcracks along the cable surface. Additionally, another case of control cable (P/N 72830-20) failure was reported, where the affected part accumulated 9,936 FH and 10,552 FC and was part of the Power Lever control. Investigation of the latter case identified again a fatigue nucleation to be the cause of the cable failure.

    To address this potentially unsafe condition, Airbus Military issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) AOT-CN235-76-0001 to provide a repetitive replacement interval and instructions.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of DGAC Spain AD No. 03/00, which is superseded, but requires repetitive replacement [at reduced thresholds] of the affected Teleflex cables.

    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-2015-8465. 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.

    Clarification of Applicability

    We have clarified the Applicability in paragraph (c) of this AD. For Model CN-235 airplanes, the affected serial numbers (S/N) are C-001 through C-015 inclusive. We have removed S/N C-074 for Model CN-235 airplanes because there are no Model CN-235 airplanes with that serial number.

    For Model CN-235-100 and -200 airplanes, the affected serial numbers are C-016 through C-073 inclusive. We have removed S/Ns C-001 through C-015 inclusive and C-074 for CN-235-100 and -200 airplanes because there are no Model CN-235-100 and -200 with those serial numbers.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data 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.

    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

    Airbus Defense and Space S.A. has issued Airbus Military Alert Operators Transmission AOT-CN235-76-0001, dated May 27, 2014. This service information describes repetitive replacements of each power lever and condition lever Teleflex cable having a certain part number with a new or serviceable part. This service information also provides a new life limit of 5,000 flight cycles. 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 3 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The rigging required by AD 2001-12-18, and retained in this AD takes about 8 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the rigging that was required by AD 2001-12-18 is $680 per product.

    The replacement required by AD 2001-12-18, and retained in this AD takes about 47 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $1,444 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the replacement that was required by AD 2001-12-18 is $5,439 per product.

    We also estimate that it would take about 47 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 $6,480 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $31,425, or $10,475 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this 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) 2001-12-18, Amendment 39-12274 (66 FR 33014, June 20, 2001), and adding the following new AD: 2016-11-08 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (formerly known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.): Amendment 39-18535; Docket No. FAA-2015-8465; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-239-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 6, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2001-12-18, Amendment 39-12274 (66 FR 33014, June 20, 2001) (“AD 2001-12-18”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (formerly known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Model CN-235 airplanes, serial numbers C-001 through C-015 inclusive; and Model CN-235-100 and -200 airplanes, serial numbers C-016 through C-073 inclusive; certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 76, Engine Controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of new occurrences of cable disruption on a certain part number; the disruption is caused by microcracks along the cable surface. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue of the engine control cables, leading to breakage of the cables, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Action for the Power Lever and Condition Lever Control Stops, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (a) of AD 2001-12-18. Within 15 days after July 25, 2001 (the effective date of AD 2001-12-18): Rig the power lever and condition lever control stops, in accordance with CASA COM 235-140, Revision 01, dated March 21, 2000.

    (h) New Requirement of This AD: Replacement

    At the applicable compliance times specified in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD: Replace each power lever and condition lever Teleflex cable having part number (P/N) 72830-20 with a new or serviceable part, in accordance with Airbus Military Alert Operators Transmission AOT-CN235-76-0001, dated May 27, 2014. Repeat the replacement thereafter at intervals not to exceed an accumulation of 5,000 total flight cycles on each Teleflex cable having P/N 72830-20.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (h) of This AD—Replacement Compliance Time Total flight cycles accumulated on the Teleflex cable having P/N 72830-20 (since first installation on an airplane) as of the effective date of this AD Compliance time Fewer than 4,700 total flight cycles Before accumulating 5,000 total flight cycles. Equal to or more than 4,700 total flight cycles, but fewer than 6,000 total flight cycles Within 300 flight cycles or 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first. Equal to or more than 6,000 total flight cycles, but fewer than 7,000 total flight cycles Within 200 flight cycles or 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first. Equal to or more than 7,000 total flight cycles Within 100 flight cycles or 3 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first. (i) Parts Installation Limitations

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any airplane, a Teleflex cable having P/N 72830-20, unless the cable has accumulated fewer than 5,000 total flight cycles since its first installation on an airplane.

    (j) 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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or EADS CASA's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0262, dated December 5, 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-2015-8465.

    (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.

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on July 6, 2016.

    (i) Airbus Military Alert Operators Transmission AOT-CN235-76-0001, dated May 27, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on July 25, 2001 (66 FR 33014, June 20, 2001).

    (i) CASA COM 235-140, Revision 01, dated March 21, 2000.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact EADS-CASA, Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD), Integrated Customer Services (ICS), Technical Services, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 55 05; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.eads.net.

    (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 20, 2016. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12594 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0526; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-3] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Taos, NM AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM. Decommissioning of non-directional radio beacon (NDB) and cancellation of the NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at Taos Regional Airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, January 5, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM.

    History

    On March 7, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM (81 FR 11695). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One comment was received from Mr. Robert Pigott, Aeronautical Information Services, requesting clarification of the overlapping 1,200 foot airspace to the west of Taos Regional Airport. This airspace existed prior to the proposed amendment and was not changed by the amendment. The 1,200 foot airspace exists to protect the departures and climb out requirements to the west due to high terrain east of the airport and allows departing aircraft to reach controlled airspace, and was developed in accordance with FAA Joint Order 7400.2K, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters. The FAA found no reason to change the 1,200 foot airspace at this time.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Taos Regional Airport, Taos, NM. After review, the FAA found that with the decommissioning of NDBs, removal of NDB approaches, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) instrument approaches the extension to the northwest from the 6.5-mile radius to 9.4 miles of the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface was no longer requires in accordance with airspace requirements specified in FAA Joint Order 7400.2K.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5.a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for Part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth ASW NM E5 Taos, NM [Amended] Taos Regional Airport, NM (Lat. 36°27′29″ N., long. 105°40′21″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Taos Regional Airport; and that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface beginning at lat. 36°07′00″ N., long. 105°47′42″ W., thence via the 21.3-mile arc of Taos Regional Airport clockwise to lat. 36°48′00″ N., long. 105°47′35″ W., thence to lat. 36°30′00″ N., long. 105°30′02″ W., thence to the point of beginning.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 18, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12639 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0525; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-1] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following South Dakota Towns; Belle Fourche, SD; Madison, SD; Mobrigde, SD; and Vermillion, SD AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Belle Fourche Municipal Airport, Belle Fourche, SD; Madison Municipal Airport, Madison, SD; Mobridge Municipal Airport, Mobridge, SD; and Harold Davidson Field, Vermillion, SD. The decommissioning of non-directional radio beacons (NDB) and/or cancellation of NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the above airports.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, September 15, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX, 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends Class E airspace at Belle Fourche Municipal Airport, Belle Fourche, SD; Madison Municipal Airport, Madison, SD; Mobridge Municipal Airport, Mobridge, SD; and Harold Davidson Field, Vermillion, SD.

    History

    On February 17, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Belle Fourche Municipal Airport, Belle Fourche, SD; Madison Municipal Airport, Madison, SD; Mobridge Municipal Airport, Mobridge, SD; and Harold Davidson Field, Vermillion, SD (81 FR 8029). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Belle Fourche Municipal Airport, Belle Fourche, SD; Madison Municipal Airport, Madison, SD; Mobridge Municipal Airport, Mobridge, SD; and Harold Davidson Field, Vermillion, SD. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of NDBs and/or the cancellation of the NDB approach at each airport. As a result of advances in GPS capabilities, controlled airspace is redesigned for the safety and management of the standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airports.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5.a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Adoption of the Amendment:

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for Part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward from 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth AGL SD E5 Belle Fourche, SD [Amended] Belle Fourche Municipal Airport, SD (Lat. 44°44′04″ N., long. 103°51′43″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 6.4-mile radius of Belle Fourche Municipal Airport, and within 1 mile each side of the 142° bearing from Belle Fourche Municipal Airport extending from the 6.4 mile radius to 7 miles southeast of the airport.

    AGL SD E5 Madison, SD [Amended] Madison Municipal Airport, SD (Lat. 44°00′59″ N., long. 97°05′08″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Madison Municipal Airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 334° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 10.5 miles northwest of the airport.

    AGL SD E5 Mobridge, SD [Amended] Mobridge Municipal Airport, SD (Lat. 45°32′47″ N., long. 100°24′23″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Mobridge Municipal Airport.

    AGL SD E5 Vermillion, SD [Amended] Harold Davidson Field, SD (Lat. 42°45′55″ N., long. 96°56′03″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Harold Davidson Field.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 18, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12638 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Technical Information Service 15 CFR Part 1110 [Docket Number: 160511004-4999-04] RIN 0692-AA21 Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File AGENCY:

    National Technical Information Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) issues this final rule establishing a program through which persons may become eligible to obtain access to Death Master File (DMF) information about an individual within three years of that individual's death. This final rule supersedes and replaces the interim final rule that NTIS promulgated following passage of Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 to provide immediate and ongoing access to persons who qualified for temporary certification. The program established under this final rule contains some changes from the proposed rule published by NTIS.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective November 28, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Lieberman, Senior Counsel for NTIS, at [email protected], or by telephone at 703-605-6404. Information about the DMF made available to the public by NTIS may be found at https://dmf.ntis.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This final rule is promulgated under Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, Public Law 113-67 (Act), passed into law on December 26, 2013. The Act prohibits the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) from disclosing DMF information during the three-calendar-year period following an individual's death (referred to as the “Limited Access DMF,” or “LADMF”), unless the person requesting the information has been certified to access that information pursuant to certain criteria in a program that the Secretary establishes. The Act further requires the Secretary to establish a fee-based program to certify Persons for access to LADMF. In addition, it provides for penalties for Persons who receive or distribute LADMF without being certified or otherwise satisfying the requirements of the Act. The Secretary has delegated the authority to carry out Section 203 to the Director of NTIS.

    The Act mandated that no person could receive LADMF without certification after March 26, 2014 (i.e., 90 days from enactment of the Act). NTIS acted promptly to ensure that a suitable certification program was in place by that date, and to avoid interruption of access by legitimate users of the data. On March 3, 2014, NTIS published a Request for Information (RFI) and Advance Notice of Public Meeting on the Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File (79 FR 11735). NTIS held the public meeting, with webcast, on March 4, 2014. Written comments received in response to the RFI, and a transcription of oral comments submitted at the public meeting, may be viewed at https://dmf.nist.gov.

    On March 26, 2014, NTIS published an interim final rule, “Temporary Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File” (interim final rule) (79 FR 16668). That rule codified an interim approach to implementing the Act's provisions pertaining to the certification program and the penalties for violating the Act, and set out an interim fee schedule for the program. NTIS published the interim final rule in order to provide a mechanism for Persons to access LADMF immediately on the effective date prescribed in the Act. Written comments received in response to the Interim Final Rule may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov.

    The preambles for both the RFI and the interim final rule set out the specific provisions of the Act, and also noted that several Members of Congress described their understanding of the purpose and meaning of Section 203 during Congressional debate on the Joint Resolution which became the Act. Citations to those Member statements were provided in the RFI, which also provided background on the component of the DMF, which originates from the Social Security Administration, covered by Section 203. The interim final rule was established to provide immediate access to the LADMF to those users who demonstrated a legitimate fraud prevention interest, or a legitimate business purpose for the information, and to otherwise delay the release of the LADMF to all other users, thereby reducing opportunities for identity theft and restricting information sources used to file fraudulent tax returns.

    In addition, in December, 2014, NTIS issued an initial public draft of “Limited Access Death Master File (Limited Access DMF) Certification Program Publication 100,” (Publication 100), available at https://dmf.ntis.gov. Publication 100 is the NTIS security guideline document for persons certified under this final rule. Publication 100 sets forth suggested security controls, standards and protocols for the protection of LADMF in the possession of Certified Persons.

    On December 30, 2014, NTIS published the proposed rule (79 FR 78314). The proposed rule introduced changes, clarifications and additions to the interim final rule, based in part upon comments received. For example, the proposed rule introduced a “safe harbor” provision, § 1110.103, which would exempt a Certified Person from penalty for disclosure of LADMF to another Certified Person. The proposed rule set forth a provision for review, assessment, audit and attestation of a Person's information and information security controls by independent, third party conformity assessment bodies. Section 1110.201 of the proposed rule would permit Certified Persons to provide the attestation of an “Accredited Certification Body” (as defined in § 1110.2) concerning the adequacy of the Certified Person's “systems, facilities and procedures in place to safeguard DMF information.”

    NTIS requested that all written comments on the proposed rule be submitted to Regulations.gov by January 31, 2015. The agency, however, received requests to extend the public comment period. In response, on January 28, 2015, NTIS published a notice extending the comment period until March 30, 2015 (80 FR 4519). Written comments received in response to the proposed rule may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments in Response to the Proposed Rule

    In response to the proposed rule, NTIS received 62 written comments. The commenters included one foreign government, twenty industry and trade associations, five service providers, three financial services companies, two insurance companies, four health care and medical research organizations and five service providers. The remainder of the commenters were primarily individuals, including a number identifying themselves as genealogists.

    In preparing this final rule, NTIS has carefully considered all comments received in response to the proposed rule. Many commenters requested that NTIS provide unrestricted access to LADMF. However, NTIS cannot revise the rule to accommodate such comments, since access to and use of LADMF is governed by the statutory provisions set forth in Section 203 of the Act. A number of commenters requested changes to the composition of the DMF itself; however, the composition of the DMF is explicitly defined in Section 203(d) of the Act as consisting of “the name, social security account number, date of birth and date of death of deceased individuals maintained by the Commissioner of Social Security.” NTIS, therefore, has no discretion to alter the composition of the DMF. Some commenters suggested that NTIS should enhance search capabilities available to DMF subscribers. NTIS has no present plans to alter database search capabilities, but may consider doing so in the future. However, NTIS's database search capabilities are not an element of this final rule. NTIS also received multiple comments to the effect that the proposed subscription cost of the LADMF should be reduced; however, Section 203(b)(3) mandates the charge of fees sufficient to cover costs associated with the certification program. The certification fee that NTIS charges covers the costs of receiving and processing applications, including authenticating the statements made in the application, and ensuring access to the Limited Access DMF.

    A number of comments were received asserting that some Certified Persons need to provide LADMF date of death information in the ordinary course of their business, for example, to retirement plans and others who have a legal obligation to provide death benefits payments to beneficiaries or for other legitimate purposes, and some suggested that the rule should specifically provide for the disclosure of date of death information alone as an exception to requirement for certification. However, as noted above, “date of death” is one of the four elements (the others being name, social security number, and date of birth) expressly set forth in the statutory definition of the term “Death Master File” under the Act, and NTIS is without discretion to categorically exclude it through rulemaking. NTIS notes that it received no comments suggesting that retirement plans and others having a legal obligation to provide death benefits would be unable to demonstrate one or more of a legitimate fraud prevention interest, business purpose, or fiduciary duty, to qualify for certification or, if not certified, that they would be unable to demonstrate, first, that they meet the requirements for LADMF access (i.e., the legitimate fraud prevention or business purpose and security requirements of § 1110.102(a)(1), (2), and (3)), and, second, that they would not misuse or further disclose LADMF to a person who would either wrongfully use LADMF or could not comply with the security requirements set forth in § 1110.200(a)(1)(ii) or (iii) respectively. NTIS points out that “fact of death,” i.e., the fact that a person is no longer living, confirmation of which was identified by some commenters as important for legitimate business purposes, is not an element of the statutory definition of the term “Death Master File,” and will not be considered by NTIS to be equivalent to “date of death” under the final rule.

    NTIS also notes that the proposed rule would revise the definition of “Limited Access DMF” to provide that an individual element of information (name, social security number, date of birth, or date of death) in the possession of a Person, whether or not certified, but obtained by such Person through a source independent of the Limited Access DMF, would not be considered “DMF information.” That revision is retained in the final rule, and has been further clarified in response to comments. Specifically, NTIS has replaced the term “Certified Person” in the last sentence of the LADMF definition with “Person” to make clear that any Person, whether or not certified, who obtains an individual element of information independently is not considered to possess “Limited Access DMF.”

    Comments were received suggesting that, for clarity and simplicity, the final rule should refer to the defined term “Limited Access DMF” to the extent possible. NTIS has incorporated these comments into the final rule, including §§ 1110.102(a)(4) and 1110.200(a)(1).

    NTIS received comments supporting the provision of the proposed rule that would amend § 1110.102(a)(2) and (3) to clarify that, to be certified to obtain access to the Limited Access DMF, a Person must certify both that the Person has systems, facilities, and procedures in place to safeguard the accessed information, and experience in maintaining the confidentiality, security, and appropriate use of accessed information, pursuant to requirements similar to the requirements of section 6103(p)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and that the Person “agrees to satisfy such similar requirements.”

    This standard differs from the requirement of Section 203 of the Act, because that Section contains contradictory statements about the types of systems to safeguard information that a Certified Person must have in place. In Section 203(b)(2)(B), the Act states that in order to receive Limited Access DMF, a Person must agree to comply with requirements “similar to” Section 6103(p)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Section 6103(p)(4) of the IRC is directed to Federal government agencies, and as such the “similar to” statement makes sense for non-government actors which are the subject of the Act. However, Section 203(b)(2)(C) requires a Certified Person to also “satisfy the requirements of such section 6103(p)(4) as if such section applied to such person.” It is unclear how or why a Certified Person could or should satisfy safeguarding requirements “similar to” section 6103(p)(4) of the IRC, while also satisfying section 6103(p)(4) of the IRC. In addition, commenters pointed out that some of the provisions of section 6103(p)(4) could not reasonably be imposed on non-government actors, because, for example, in contrast to Federal Tax Information, Limited Access DMF under Section 203 is not subject to restriction when beyond the three-calendar-year period following the date of death.

    To resolve this ambiguity and address these comments, NTIS interprets Section 203(b) of the Act as requiring Persons to certify that they have systems, facilities, and procedures in place that are “reasonably similar to” those required by section 6103(p)(4) of the IRC in order to become Certified Persons. This interpretation allows NTIS to meet the interest of protecting personal data generally and deterring fraud, while also allowing NTIS to set the data integrity standards appropriate to safeguard Limited Access DMF specifically. The final rule amends § 1110.102(a)(2) and (3) accordingly.

    A number of commenters suggested that the final rule should expressly classify certain categories of activities or enterprises, such as health care research and insurance investigation, as “a legitimate fraud prevention interest” or “a legitimate business purpose.” Other commenters suggested that the final rule should specifically provide that when an applicant or Certified Person is subject to other laws governing the use of personal information, the applicant or Certified Person should for that reason be deemed to have a “legitimate fraud prevention interest” or “legitimate business purpose.” It was urged that codification of such categories would further the purpose of the Act and benefit businesses and other entities reliant upon the LADMF by eliminating the threat of interrupted access. NTIS has carefully considered these suggestions, and observes that each Person applying for certification must certify to NTIS that such Person satisfies each of three requirements specified under Section 203(b)(2) of the Act, and that NTIS will evaluate each application individually to ensure that an individual applicant is properly certified. NTIS does acknowledge that it received numerous comments to the effect that awardees of federal research grants and others conducting extramural and intramural research under federal programs should be eligible for certification, provided that they otherwise satisfy the requirements of the final rule. NTIS notes that, while it appreciates the commenters' position, such Persons must, like any applicants, demonstrate that they satisfy the requirements for LADMF access.

    A commenter observed that use of the term “Accredited Certification Body” in the proposed rule could create confusion, particularly since the concept of “certification” appears and is used separately in the rule. Accordingly, the final rule uses the term “Accredited Conformity Assessment Body” rather than “Accredited Certification Body,” and NTIS uses the former term in the preamble as well.

    A number of commenters urged that particular activities and enterprises, such as direct marketing and life insurance companies, should not be subject to DMF-related audits or required to obtain a written third party attestation, where such activities and enterprises are independently subject to regulatory scrutiny and must comply with the privacy security requirements of other laws, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). While NTIS will decline to exclude Persons from the requirement for attestation as part of the certification process under the final rule, and will decline to exclude Certified Persons from being subject to audit, NTIS emphasizes that it is NTIS's intent under this final rule that applicants and Certified Persons should not incur the burden or expense of a DMF-specific audit when they have already had, or will have, an appropriate independent assessment or audit performed for other purposes, including but not limited to those noted above. To this end, § 1110.503(c) of the final rule explicitly contemplates reliance upon a review or assessment or audit by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body that was not conducted specifically or solely for the purpose of submission to NTIS. NTIS intends that when a review, assessment or audit has been or can be performed in the course of satisfying other Federal, state, tribal, or local government laws or regulations, such as those mentioned by commenters, or other regulatory or fiduciary requirements flowing from such laws or regulations, a Person or Certified Person will be able to rely upon that review, assessment or audit, to the extent that the requirements of the final rule are satisfied. In these circumstances, NTIS intends that it will accept an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's attestation regarding a non-DMF audit, which attestation includes an explanation of the nature of that non-DMF audit and represents that, based on its review, the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body is satisfied that the LADMF security and safeguard requirements are met.

    NTIS will not at this time accept the suggestion of some commenters to permit “self-assessments” or “a self-certified written attestation” in lieu of a written attestation from an independent Accredited Conformity Assessment Body. With respect to state and local government departments and agencies, which are included within the definition of Persons in the final rule, NTIS notes some commenters' concerns that the proposed rule could burden such departments and agencies given state-established information security and safeguarding procedures, and agrees with the recommendation of a commenter that it should accept written attestation from an independent state or local government Inspector General or Auditor General office.

    Accordingly, provided that a state or local government Inspector General or Auditor General satisfies the requirements of the final rule for Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies, new § 1110.501(a)(2) of the final rule provides that a state or local government office of Inspector General or Auditor General and a Person or Certified Person that is a department or agency of the same state or local government, respectively, are not considered to be owned by a common “parent” entity under § 1110.501(a)(1)(ii) for the purpose of determining independence, and attestation by the Inspector General or Auditor General will be possible.

    With respect to comments urging that provision should be made for self-assessments and attestations by organizations having the capacity to perform assessments and audits, NTIS recognizes that some organizations have such capacity, and are able in exercising it to address safeguarding and security requirements under other laws and regulations. Accordingly, new § 1110.502 of the final rule provides that, in addition to “independent” Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies, a Person or Certified Person may engage a “firewalled” Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, as defined in the final rule and with the approval of NTIS, under conditions, as defined in the rule, which ensure that concerns about independence and actual or apparent conflicts of interest or undue influence are satisfactorily addressed.

    Under new § 1110.502(a), a third party conformity assessment body must apply to NTIS for firewalled status if it is owned, managed, or controlled by a Person or Certified Person that is the subject of attestation or audit by the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, applying the characteristics set forth under § 1110.501(a)(1) for independence. Under new § 1110.502(b), NTIS will accept an application for firewalled status when it finds that: (1) Acceptance of the third party conformity assessment body for firewalled status would provide equal or greater assurance that the Person or Certified Person has information security systems, facilities, and procedures in place to protect the security of the Limited Access DMF than would the Person's or Certified Person's use of an independent third party third party conformity assessment body; and (2) the third party conformity assessment body has established procedures to ensure that: (1) Its attestations and audits are protected from undue influence by the Person or Certified Person that is the subject of attestation or audit by the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, or by any other interested party; (2) NTIS is notified promptly of any attempt by the Person or Certified Person that is the subject of attestation or audit by the third party conformity assessment body, or by any other interested party, to hide or exert undue influence over an attestation, assessment or audit; and (3) allegations of undue influence may be reported confidentially to NTIS. To the extent permitted by Federal law, NTIS will undertake to protect the confidentiality of witnesses reporting allegations of undue influence. Under new § 1110.502(c), NTIS will review each application and may contact the third party conformity assessment body with questions or to request submission of missing information, and will communicate its decision on each application in writing to the applicant.

    Some commenters expressed concern that in attesting to its credentials under § 1110.503(a), an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must indicate that it is accredited to a nationally or internationally recognized standard such as the ISO/IEC Standard 27006-2011 or any other similar recognized standard for bodies providing audit and certification for information security management systems, pointing to other potentially applicable standards, such as the American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA) Service Organization Control Report (SOC) Type 2 Audit Report. NTIS wishes to emphasize that it is not NTIS's intent, in reciting ISO/IEC 27006-2011, to exclude from consideration AICPA SOC2 or other appropriate accreditation standards. The regulation identifies the ISO/IEC standard as one example of an acceptable national or international accreditation standard. NTIS selected the ISO/IEC standard, as noted in the original discussion of the proposed rule, to serve “as a baseline for accreditation,” because it was prepared by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Committee on conformity assessment (79 FR at 78316). Moreover, NTIS emphasized that it is “is aware that standards other than ISO/IEC 27006-2001 exist that may be equally appropriate for the purposes of accreditation under the Act, and that additional standards may be developed in the future . . . an [Accredited Conformity Assessment Body] may attest, subject to the conditions of verification in [final rule] Section 1110.503, that it is accredited to a nationally or internationally recognized standard for management systems other than ISO/IEC Standard 27006-2011.” NTIS further observes that the burden rests with the Person or Certified Person to identify and submit an attestation by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body certified or credentialed by an appropriate accrediting body. Accordingly, NTIS concludes that § 1110.503(a) provides appropriate guidance as to the accreditation standard for Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies.

    A few commenters suggested that NTIS should directly accredit Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies to conduct assessments and audits or provide a list of acceptable accreditations for Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies. NTIS does not intend to do so. Recognized professional accreditation organizations with well-established, rigorous accreditation processes already exist in the private sector. Such organizations have either adopted or established nationally and internationally accepted standards for entities which may serve as Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies under the final rule. In considering how to establish a permanent certification program as required under Section 203, NTIS carefully considered developing, within the agency, the capacity to evaluate the information systems, facilities and procedures of Persons to safeguard Limited Access DMF, as well as to conduct audits of Certified Persons and to itself accredit conformity assessment bodies. NTIS has consulted with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which has expertise in testing, standard setting, certification and conformity assessment. Based on NIST recommendations, NTIS believes it appropriate for private sector, third party, Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies to attest to a Person's information security safeguards under § 1110.102(a)(2) of the rule, for NTIS to rely upon such attestation in certifying a Person under the final rule, and for NTIS to rely as well upon third party, private sector accreditation of Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies, while reserving to itself the ability to perform assessments and audits itself, in its discretion.

    A number of commenters expressed concerns regarding the identification, in § 1110.502(b) of the proposed rule, of the “Limited Access Death Master File Publication 100” (Publication 100) as a source of guidance to which an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body could refer in its attestation as to the adequacy of an applicant's or Certified Person's safeguards for Limited Access DMF. These commenters stated that, even though Publication 100 is intended to set forth recommended guidelines, procedures and best practices, reference to that publication in the proposed rule implied a limitation to those safeguarding approaches set forth in Publication 100. These commenters offered other sources of security requirements for personal information they thought were pertinent and should be expressly included in the rule, such as the security standards for the GLBA.

    NTIS notes, however, that the language of the rule makes clear that Publication 100 merely offers an example of security controls and protocols that an applicant or Certified Person may use, and is not intended to be prescriptive (79 FR at 78316). Moreover, NTIS recognizes that “a number of different approaches exist to safeguarding information.” Id. In the December 2014 Draft Version of Publication 100, NTIS stated:

    “These information security guidelines are derived from NIST SP800-53 Revision 4, Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations. Only NIST SP 800-53 controls believed to be essential to the protection of Limited Access DMF information are included in this publication as a baseline. Applicability was determined by selecting controls relevant to protecting the confidentiality of Limited Access DMF information. The NIST controls [discussed here] are intended by NTIS to be illustrative, not exclusive. Other controls that can be assessed and used as guidelines include the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity v1.0. The Framework Core provides a common set of activities for managing risks, and associated controls. The references provided in the Framework Core represent a diverse set of information security guidelines including: International Organization for Standardization ISO 27001; International Society for Automation ISA/IEC 62443; Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology COBIT; Council on Cybersecurity Critical Security Controls CCS CSC2; and NIST 800-53 rev. 4. Again, these references are illustrative.”

    Nevertheless, in response to commenters' concerns, NTIS has removed reference to Publication 100 from § 1110.503(b) of the final rule. Given the continuously evolving nature of information technology security and safeguard guidelines, procedures and best practices, NTIS intends that Publication 100 will be a living document. NTIS has invited comments on Publication 100 from the public on an ongoing basis, and contemplates interactive public dialog regarding its contents.

    The proposed rule introduced a “safe harbor” provision in § 1110.200(c) that would exempt from penalty a first Certified Person who discloses LADMF to a second Certified Person, where the first Certified Person's liability rests solely on the fact that the second Certified Person has been determined to be subject to penalty. The provision was specifically drafted to apply to each disclosure and to limit the presumption of compliance to the first Certified Person, while the second Certified Person (i.e., the recipient of the LADMF) remained subject to penalty for violations of the Act (79 FR at 78317.) NTIS invited comments as to whether the “safe harbor” provision should be extended to circumstances where the recipient is believed to be certified but, in fact, is not. NTIS did not receive comment on this point. A Certified Person desiring to rely upon the “safe harbor” provision as set forth in this final rule will bear responsibility for ensuring that a recipient of LADMF is, in fact, a Certified Person at the time of disclosure. NTIS notes that it maintains and publishes a list of Certified Persons, available at https://dmf.ntis.gov.

    NTIS received many comments suggesting that it should promulgate a broader “safe harbor” for a Certified Person who discloses LADMF to Persons whom the Certified Person knows are not certified (“uncertified Persons”). Many commenters urged that, unless the final rule made further allowance for Certified Persons to share LADMF with uncertified Persons, the commenters' businesses would suffer and their clients or other users would be deprived of data they need for critical purposes including fraud prevention, record-keeping and meeting legal and regulatory obligations. Many of these commenters also urged the extension of the “safe harbor” to Certified and uncertified Persons under certain circumstances, such as where an uncertified Person attests in writing that it meets the requirements for certification and to disclose the LADMF only to other uncertified Persons who could also meet the requirements, or where private contractual obligations were incurred. Some commenters contended that it would be unreasonable and unrealistic for NTIS to require their clients or other users to become certified and thus be subject to the rule's security and auditing requirements.

    NTIS will not extend the “safe harbor” provision of § 1110.102(c) in this manner. However, NTIS emphasizes that Certified Person status has not been and is not required in order for a Certified Person to disclose LADMF to another Person. A Certified Person may, without penalty under § 1110.200 (but without “safe harbor” protection), disclose LADMF to another Person who, although not certified, meets the requirements of § 1110.102(a)(1) through (3), and who does not misuse or further disclose the LADMF in violation of § 1110.200(a)(1)(ii) or (iii). Indeed, many of the comments described above reflect the types of procedures that Certified Persons have successfully adopted under the Temporary Certification Program, and might be expected to adopt successfully in disclosing LADMF to uncertified Persons under the final rule. However, under such circumstances not involving a certified recipient, NTIS will not apply a “safe harbor” such as is applied under the final rule to a Certified Person who discloses Limited Access DMF to another who is also a Certified Person.

    A few commenters were critical of the appeals process set forth in § 1110.300. One commenter opined that entities facing potential liability through “unscheduled audits” and “substantial financial penalties” needed “well-developed procedural rights” such as the right of appeal to an administrative law judge and federal court. NTIS has carefully considered these comments, but concludes that the process and procedures set forth in § 1110.300 are legally sufficient. NTIS has provided an appropriate administrative and appeal process in § 1110.300. Pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (Pub. L. 79-404, 60 Stat. 237), any Person or Certified Person can seek review of any adverse action or decision by the Director of NTIS in federal district court.

    A comment was received suggesting that the exclusion of Executive departments or agencies of the United States Government from the definition of “Persons,” noted initially under the interim final rule and continued in the proposed rule, should be extended as well to the governments of foreign countries. NTIS has carefully considered this comment, but will not adopt such a categorical exclusion. NTIS will continue to consider applications by foreign governments on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with general principles of comity and consistent with the purposes of Section 203 and the requirements of the final rule.

    The Final Rule

    This final rule amends subparts A, B, C, D, and adds a new subpart E to the DMF Certification Program in part 1110 of title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The following describes specific provisions being amended.

    Under § 1110.2, “Definitions,” NTIS is revising the definition of “Person” to recite “state and local government departments and agencies,” so that “Person” will be defined as including corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, joint stock companies, and other private organizations, and state and local government departments and agencies, as well as individuals. However, Executive departments or agencies of the United States Government will not be considered “Persons” for the purposes of this rule. Accordingly, Executive departments or agencies will not have to complete the Certification Form as set forth in the rule, and will be able to access Limited Access DMF under a subscription or license agreement with NTIS, describing the purpose(s) for which Limited Access DMF is collected, used, maintained and shared. Those working on behalf of and authorized by Executive departments or agencies may access the Limited Access DMF from their sponsoring Executive department or agency, which will be responsible for ensuring that such access is solely for the authorized purposes described by the agency. Unauthorized secondary use of Limited Access DMF by Executive departments or agencies or those working for them or on their behalf is prohibited. If an Executive department or agency wishes those working on its behalf to access the Limited Access DMF directly from NTIS, then those working on behalf of that Executive department or agency will be required to complete and submit the Certification Form as set forth in the rule and enter into a subscription agreement with NTIS in order to directly access the Limited Access DMF. Under this final rule, a Certified Person will be eligible to access the Limited Access DMF made available by NTIS through subscription or license.

    The final rule adds a requirement that, in order to become certified, a Person must submit a written attestation from an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, as defined in the final rule, that such Person has information security systems, facilities, and procedures in place to protect the security of the Limited Access DMF, as required under § 1110.102(a)(2) of the rule. NTIS has consulted with NIST, which has expertise in testing, standard-setting, and certification of various systems. Based on NIST recommendations, the final rule provides for private sector, third party, Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies to attest to a Person's information security safeguards under § 1110.102(a)(2) of the rule, and NTIS will rely upon such attestation in certifying a Person under the final rule. The final rule also provides for Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies to conduct periodic scheduled and unscheduled audits of Certified Persons on behalf of NTIS.

    Under the final rule, an “Accredited Conformity Assessment Body” is defined as an independent third party conformity assessment body that is not owned, managed, or controlled by a Person or Certified Person which is the subject of attestation or audit, and that is accredited by an accreditation body under nationally or internationally recognized criteria such as, but not limited to, ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) publication ISO/IEC 27006-2011, “Information technology—Security techniques—Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems,” to attest that a Person or Certified Person has information technology systems, facilities and procedures in place to safeguard Limited Access DMF. Based on NIST recommendations, NTIS believes it is appropriate to reference the ISO/IEC 27006-2001 as an exemplary baseline for accreditation under the final certification program. The ISO Committee on conformity assessment (CASCO) prepared ISO/IEC 27006-2001, and reference to the ISO/IEC standard will help ensure that attestations and audits under the final certification program operate in a manner consistent with national and international practices. Accreditation is a third-party attestation that a conformity assessment body operates in accordance with national and international standards. Accreditation is used nationally and internationally in many sectors where there is a need, through certification, for safety, health or security requirements to be met by products or services. Accreditation ensures that a conformity assessment body is technically competent in the subject matter (in this case, the information safeguarding and security requirements as set forth in the rule) and has a management system in place to ensure competency and acceptable certification program operations on a continuing basis. Accreditation requires that Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies be re-accredited on a periodic basis.

    However, NTIS also acknowledges that standards other than ISO/IEC 27006-2001 exist that are equally appropriate for the purposes of accreditation under the Act, and that additional appropriate standards may be developed in the future. The final rule provides that an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body may attest, subject to the conditions of verification in § 1110.503 of the final rule, that it is accredited to a nationally or internationally recognized standard for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems other than ISO/IEC Standard 27006-2011. In addition, the rule provides that an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must also attest that the scope of its accreditation encompasses the information safeguarding and security requirements as set forth in the rule.

    NTIS is aware that security and safeguarding of information and information systems is of great concern in many fields of endeavor other than with respect to Limited Access DMF. NTIS has consulted with subject matter experts from NIST, which in 2014 published the “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” 1 (Framework), in response to President Obama's Executive Order 13636, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,” which established that “[i]t is the Policy of the United States to enhance the security and resilience of the Nation's critical infrastructure and to maintain a cyber environment that encourages efficiency, innovation, and economic prosperity while promoting safety, security, business confidentiality, privacy, and civil liberties.” In articulating this policy, the Executive Order calls for the development of a voluntary risk-based Cybersecurity Framework—a set of industry standards and best practices to help organizations manage cybersecurity risks. The resulting Framework, created by NIST through collaboration between government and the private sector, uses a common language to address and manage cybersecurity risks in a cost-effective way based on business needs without placing additional regulatory requirements on businesses. The Framework enables organizations—regardless of size, degree of cybersecurity risk, or cybersecurity sophistication—to apply the principles and best practices of risk management to improving the security and resilience of critical infrastructure. The Framework provides organization and structure to today's multiple approaches to cybersecurity by assembling standards, guidelines, and practices that are working effectively in industry today. Accordingly, in addressing the requirements of Section 203 for “systems, facilities, and procedures” to safeguard Limited Access DMF, NTIS contemplates that Persons, as well as Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies, may look to the Framework and to the Framework's Informative References. The Framework is referenced by NTIS in Publication 100. As set forth in Publication 100, as well as in the Framework's Informative References, a number of different approaches exist to safeguarding information. These include ISO/IEC, Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT), International Society of Automation (ISA), and NIST's 800 series publications. Others include the Service Organization Controls (SOC) of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

    1 This document can be found at: http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/upload/cybersecurity-framework-021214.pdf.

    NTIS is aware that security and safeguarding assessments such as those contemplated under this final rule are routinely carried out in the private sector, including by entities which may satisfy the requirements for Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies under the rule. Provided that such a routine assessment or audit of a Person would permit an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body to attest that such Person has systems, facilities, and procedures in place to safeguard Limited Access DMF as required under § 1110.102(a)(2) of the final rule, albeit carried out for a purpose other than certification under the rule, NTIS will accept an attestation in support of a Person's certification with respect to the requirements under § 1110.102(a)(2) of the rule, as well as in support of the renewal of a Certified Person's certification. The final rule provides that any attestation, whether for a Person seeking certification or for a Certified Person seeking renewal, must be based on the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's review or assessment conducted no more than three years prior to the date of submission of the Person's completed certification statement or of the Certified Person's completed renewal certification statement. As noted, an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's review or assessment need not have been conducted specifically or solely for the purpose of submission of an attestation under the final rule. From NTIS's consultations with NIST subject matter experts, NTIS believes that the limitation of three years is appropriate as to frequency for assessments for the security and safeguarding of information and information systems, and that permitting Persons and Certified Persons to rely on attestations based on such assessments conducted for purposes other than solely for the rule is reasonable and cost-effective.

    Persons previously certified under the interim final rule will need to become certified in accordance with the requirements of this final rule, when it becomes effective. Certification under this final rule will include an updated certification form (NTIS FM161), discussed under the heading, “Paperwork Reduction Act,” collecting additional information that will improve NTIS's ability to determine whether a Person meets, to the satisfaction of NTIS, the requirements of Section 203 of the Act.

    Under § 1110.103 of the final rule, a Certified Person may disclose Limited Access DMF to another Certified Person, and will be deemed to satisfy the disclosing Certified Person's obligation to ensure compliance with final § 1110.102(a)(4)(i)-(iii) for the purposes of certification. Similarly, under § 1110.200(c), NTIS will not impose a penalty, under § 1110.200(a)(1)(i)-(iii) of the final rule, on a first Certified Person who discloses Limited Access DMF to a second Certified Person, where the first Certified Person's liability rests solely on the fact that the second Certified Person has been determined to be subject to penalty. While the final rule does not restrict disclosure of Limited Access DMF to Certified Persons, these provisions create an appropriately limited “safe harbor” for Certified Persons to disclose Limited Access DMF to other Certified Persons. However, note that any Person, including any Certified Person, who receives Limited Access DMF from a Certified Person, is still subject to penalty under § 1110.200(a)(2), for violations of the Act. The safe harbor provision applies to each disclosure individually, and only the Certified Person disclosing the information, not the Certified Person recipient, receives the benefit of the presumed compliance with § 1110.102(a)(4)(i)-(iii).

    Under § 1110.201 of the final rule, NTIS may conduct, or may request that an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body conduct, at the Certified Person's expense, periodic scheduled and unscheduled audits of the systems, facilities, and procedures of any Certified Person relating to such Certified Person's access to, and use and distribution of, the Limited Access DMF. NTIS contemplates that many, if not most, audits of Certified Persons will be scheduled, but NTIS may also conduct, or request an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body conduct, unscheduled audits—for example, where a prior scheduled audit may have identified the need for adjustment to a Certified Person's systems, facilities, or procedures. Audits conducted by NTIS or by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body may take place at a Certified Person's place of business (i.e., field audits), or may be conducted remotely (i.e., desk audits). The final rule provides that all Certified Persons be audited with respect to the requirements of § 1110.102(a)(2) no less frequently than every three years under the program, and this requirement may be satisfied by a Certified Person based on an audit or assessment conducted for a purpose other than solely for the purpose of this program. The final rule does not require that Certified Persons undergo routine scheduled audits on the attestation regarding § 1110.102(a)(1), but does provide that unscheduled audits of this and other aspects of the requirements for certification may be conducted at NTIS's discretion. Under the final rule, NTIS' costs for conducting audits will be recoverable from the audited Person. Failure to submit to an audit, to cooperate fully with NTIS in its conduct of an audit or an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body conducting an audit on NTIS's request, or to pay an audit fee owed to NTIS, are grounds for revocation of certification under the final rule. NTIS intends that a Person or Certified Person will be directly responsible to an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body for any charges by that Accredited Conformity Assessment Body related to requirements under this final rule, as it would be responsible for NTIS' auditing costs under the Act.

    Section 1110.200(a)(2) and (b) of the final rule set out the penalties for unauthorized disclosures or uses of the Limited Access DMF. Each individual unauthorized disclosure is punishable by a fine of $1,000, payable to the United States Treasury. However, the total amount of the penalty imposed under this part on any Person for any calendar year shall not exceed $250,000, unless such Person's disclosure or use is determined to be willful or intentional. A disclosure or use is considered willful when it is a “voluntary, intentional violation of a known legal duty.” See U.S. v. Pomponio, 429 US 10 (1976) (holding that for purposes of interpreting the criminal tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, the term “willful” means a voluntary, intentional violation of a known legal duty).

    The final rule's § 1110.300 establishes the procedures to appeal a denial or revocation of certification, or the imposition of penalties for violating the Act. An administrative appeal must be filed, in writing, within 30 days (or such longer period as the Director of NTIS may, for good cause shown in writing, establish in any case) after receiving a notice of denial, revocation or imposition of penalties. Appeals are to be directed to the Director of NTIS. Any such appeal must set forth the following: The name, street address, email address and telephone number of the Person seeking review; a copy of the notice of denial or revocation of certification, or the imposition of penalty, from which appeal is taken; a statement of arguments, together with any supporting facts or information, concerning the basis upon which the denial or revocation of certification, or the imposition of penalty, should be reversed; and a request for hearing of oral argument before a representative of the Director, if desired.

    Section 1110.300(a)-(d) sets forth the procedures for an administrative appeal. Under § 1110.300(c), a Person may, but need not, retain an attorney to represent such Person in an appeal. A Person must designate an attorney by submitting to the Director of NTIS a written power of attorney. If a hearing is requested, the Person (or the Person's designated attorney) and a representative of NTIS familiar with the notice from which appeal has been taken will present oral arguments which, unless otherwise ordered before the hearing begins, will be limited to thirty minutes for each side. A Person need not retain an attorney or request an oral hearing to secure full consideration of the facts and the Person's arguments. Where no hearing is requested, the Director shall review the case and issue a decision, as set out below.

    Under § 1110.300(e), the Director of NTIS shall issue a decision on the matter within 120 days after a hearing, or, if no hearing was requested, within 90 days of receiving the letter of appeal. In making decisions on appeal, the Director shall consider the arguments and statements of fact and information in the Person's appeal, and made at the oral argument hearing, if such was requested, but the Director at his or her discretion and with due respect for the rights and convenience of the Person and the agency, may call for further statements on specific questions of fact, or may request additional evidence in the form of affidavits on specific facts in dispute. An appellant may seek reconsideration of the decision, but must do so in writing, and the request for reconsideration must be received within 30 days of the Director's decision or within such an extension of time thereof as may be set by the Director of NTIS before the original period expires. A decision shall become final either after the 30-day period for requesting reconsideration expires and no request has been submitted, or on the date of final disposition of a decision on a petition for reconsideration.

    Under § 1110.500 of the final rule, an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must be independent of the Person or Certified Person seeking certification, unless it is a third party conformity assessment body which a Certified Person has qualified for “firewalled” status pursuant to § 1110.502, and must itself be accredited by a recognized accreditation body. The requirement for independence from the Person seeking certification, or from the Certified Person seeking renewal or subject to audit, is important to ensure integrity of any assessment and attestation or audit. The final rule provides that an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must be an independent third party conformity assessment body that is not owned, managed, or controlled by a Person or Certified Person that is the subject of attestation or audit by the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, except where the third party conformity assessment body qualifies for “firewalled” status under § 1110.502.

    Accordingly, under the final rule, a Person or Certified Person is considered to own, manage, or control a third party conformity assessment body if the Person or Certified Person holds a 10 percent or greater ownership interest, whether direct or indirect, in the third party conformity assessment body; if the third party conformity assessment body and the Person or Certified Person are owned by a common “parent” entity; if the Person or Certified Person has the ability to appoint a majority of the third party conformity assessment body's senior internal governing body, the ability to appoint the presiding official of the third party conformity assessment body's senior internal governing body, and/or the ability to hire, dismiss, or set the compensation level for third party conformity assessment body personnel; or if the third party conformity assessment body is under a contract to the Person or Certified Person that explicitly limits the services the third party conformity assessment body may perform for other customers and/or explicitly limits which or how many other entities may also be customers of the third party conformity assessment body.

    In order for NTIS to accept an attestation as to, or audit of, a Person or Certified Person submitted to NTIS under the final rule, the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must attest that it is independent of that Person or Certified Person. The Accredited Conformity Assessment Body also must attest that it has read, understood, and agrees to the regulations as set forth in the final rule. The Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must also attest that it is accredited to ISO/IEC Standard 27006-2011 “Information technology—Security techniques—Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems,” or to another nationally or internationally recognized standard for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems. The Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must also attest that the scope of its accreditation encompasses the safeguarding and security requirements as set forth in the final rule.

    Where review or assessment or audit by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body was not conducted specifically or solely for the purpose of submission under this part, the final rule requires that the written attestation or assessment report (if an audit) describe the nature of that review or assessment or audit, and that the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body attest that on the basis of such review or assessment or audit, the Person or Certified Person has systems, facilities, and procedures in place to safeguard Limited Access DMF as required under § 1110.102(a)(2).

    While NTIS will normally accept written attestations and assessment reports from an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body that attests, to the satisfaction of NTIS, as provided in § 1110.503 of the final rule, the final rule also provides that NTIS may decline to accept written attestations or assessment reports from an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, whether or not it has attested as provided in § 1110.503, for any of the following reasons: when NTIS determines that doing so is in the public interest under Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, and notwithstanding any other provision of these regulations; submission of false or misleading information concerning a material fact(s) in an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's attestation under § 1110.503; knowing submission of false or misleading information concerning a material fact(s) in an attestation or assessment report by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body of a Person or Certified Person; failure of an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body to cooperate (as defined in this section) in response to a request from NTIS to verify the accuracy, veracity, and/or completeness of information received in connection with an attestation under § 1110.503 or an attestation or assessment report by that Body of a Person or Certified Person; or where NTIS is unable for any reason to verify the accuracy of the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's attestation.

    In addition, with respect to audits under the final rule, NTIS may in its discretion decline to accept an attestation or assessment report conducted for other purposes, and may conduct or require that an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body conduct a review solely for the purpose of the final rule.

    Executive Order 12866

    This final rule has been determined to be significant as that term is defined in Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 13132

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on States or localities. NTIS has analyzed this rule under that Order and has determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

    Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended, (RFA), requires agencies to analyze impacts of regulatory actions on small entities (businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments), and to consider alternatives that minimize such impacts while achieving regulatory objectives. Agencies must first conduct a threshold analysis to determine whether regulatory actions are expected to have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If the threshold analysis indicates a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis must be produced and made available for public review and comment along with the proposed regulatory action. A final regulatory flexibility analysis that considers public comments must then be produced and made publicly available with the final regulatory action.

    An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis (“IRFA”) was incorporated into the NTIS proposed rule. NTIS sought written public comment on the proposed rule, including comment on the IRFA. This Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis (“FRFA”) conforms to the RFA, and incorporates the IRFA pursuant to Section 603 and comments received, to analyze the impact that this final rule will have on small entities.

    Description of the Reasons Why Action Is Being Considered

    The policy reasons for issuing this rule are discussed in the preamble of this document, and not repeated here.

    Statement of the Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, the Rule; Identification of All Relevant Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Rule

    The legal basis for this rule is Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, Pub. L. 113-67, codified at 42 U.S.C. 1306c (the Act). The rule, which replaces NTIS' interim final rule, implements the Act, which requires the Secretary of Commerce to create a program to certify that persons given access to the Limited Access DMF satisfy the statutory requirements for accessing that information. Accordingly, this rule creates a permanent program for certifying persons eligible to access Limited Access DMF. It requires that Certified Persons annually re-certify as eligible to access the Limited Access DMF, and that they agree to be subject to scheduled and unscheduled audits. The rule also sets out the penalties for violating the Act's disclosure provisions, establishes a process to appeal penalties or revocations of certification, and adopts a fee program for the certification program, audits, and appeals.

    When this final rule becomes effective, it will replace the interim final rule promulgated by NTIS to establish a Temporary Certification Program, in order to avoid the complete loss of access to the Limited Access DMF when the Act became effective. No other rules duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule.

    Number and Description of Small Entities Regulated by the Action

    The final rule applies to all persons seeking to become certified to obtain the Limited Access DMF from NTIS. The entities affected by this rule could include banks and other financial institutions, pension plans, health research institutes or companies, state and local governments, information companies, and similar research services, and others not identified. Many of the impacted entities likely are considered “large” entities under the applicable United States Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards. The SBA defines a “small business” (or “small entity”) as one with annual revenue that meets or is below an established size standard. The SBA “small business” size standard is $550 million in annual revenue for Commercial Banking, Savings Institutions, Credit Unions, and Credit Card Issuing (North American Industry Code (NAICS) 522110, 522120, 522130, and 522210). The size standard is $38.5 million for Consumer Lending and Trust, Fiduciary and Custody Activities, and Direct Health and Medical Insurance Carriers (NAICS 52291, 523991, and 524114), $7.5 million for Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers, and Insurance Agencies and Brokerages (NAICS 522310, and 524210), and $32.5 million for Third Party Administration of Insurance and Pension Funds (NAICS 524292). NTIS anticipates that this rule will have an impact on various small entities.

    Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements of the Rule

    Under this final rule, a “Limited Access Death Master File (LADMF) Systems Safeguards Attestation Form” would require Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies to attest that a Person seeking to be certified to access Limited Access DMF has systems, facilities, and procedures in place as required under § 1110.102(a)(ii) of the rule. NTIS estimates that the type of professional skills necessary for the preparation of an attestation will be those of a senior auditor at an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, to conduct an assessment under the rule.

    Steps NTIS Has Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    NTIS carefully considered a number of alternatives to ensure compliance with the safeguarding requirements of Section 203 of the Act. These alternatives included requiring all Persons desiring to become certified to comply with the same requirements as those set forth in Section 6103(p)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code; Section 203(b)(2)(C) of the Act recites that a Certified Person “satisfy the requirements of such section 6103(p)(4) as if such section applied to such person.” Such a requirement would have had a very significant impact on small entities. As pointed out in some comments on the proposed rule, some of the provisions of section 6103(p)(4) would have been extremely burdensome, because, for example, in contrast to Federal Tax Information, Limited Access DMF under Section 203 is not subject to restriction when beyond the three-calendar-year period following the date of death.

    Accordingly, NTIS rejected this burdensome alternative, and the final rule instead requires Persons to certify that they have systems, facilities, and procedures in place that are “reasonably similar to” those required by section 6103(p)(4) of the IRC in order to become Certified Persons. This interpretation allows NTIS to meet the interest of protecting personal data generally and deterring fraud, while also allowing NTIS to set the data integrity standards appropriate to safeguard Limited Access DMF specifically, and lessens the burden on small entities which, as noted by a number of commenters, tend not to have in place some more advanced information system controls.

    NTIS carefully considered, but rejected, the alternative of requiring Certified Persons to undergo audits annually for the purpose of re-certification. This alternative would have necessitated that a Certified Person bear the expense of assessment for the purpose of attestation by a third party Accredited Conformity Assessment Body each year as part of the annual re-certification process under the rule. Based on consultations with NIST subject matter experts, NTIS concluded instead that a limitation of three years is appropriate as to frequency for assessments for the security and safeguarding of information and information systems, thus lessening the economic impact on small entities under the rule.

    NTIS carefully considered, but rejected, the suggestion by a commenter that NTIS itself should accredit third party Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies. This would have required that NTIS independently develop government-specific accreditation expertise and capacity. Because the Act requires NTIS to obtain full cost recovery, the cost of such an effort would have to be borne by Certified Persons, including small entities. This would have been inefficient as well as burdensome. Instead, the final rule provides that an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body attest that it is accredited to a nationally or internationally recognized standard for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems, and that the scope of its accreditation encompasses the information safeguarding and security requirements as set forth in the rule.

    NTIS carefully considered, and rejected, a proposed requirement that Persons desiring to become certified under the rule be limited to program-specific assessments and audits carried out by third party Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies. This requirement would have necessitated that any Person, including a Person otherwise subject to periodic audit and assessment in the normal course of such Person's business, bear the burden of an additional program-specific audit or assessment for the purposes of the rule. NTIS, however, in consultation with NIST subject matter experts, considered and adopted a less burdensome approach: Provided that a routine assessment or audit of a Person would permit an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body to attest that such Person has systems, facilities, and procedures in place to safeguard Limited Access DMF as required under § 1110.102(a)(2) of the final rule, albeit carried out for a purpose other than certification under the rule, NTIS will accept an attestation in support of a Person's certification with respect to the requirements under § 1110.102(a)(ii) of the rule, as well as in support of the renewal of a Certified Person's certification. Thus, under the final rule, an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's review or assessment need not have been conducted specifically or solely for the purpose of submission of an attestation under the rule, reducing the economic impact that the rejected alternative would have been imposed on small entities.

    NTIS carefully considered, but rejected, the alternative of requiring that a first Certified Person who discloses Limited Access DMF to a second Certified Person be subject to penalty under the rule where, through no fault of the first Certified Person, the second Certified Person is determined to be subject to penalty under the rule. This alternative would have exposed to penalty under the rule a first Certified Person, who disclosed Limited Access DMF to another Person certified by NTIS, even absent any violation by the first Certified Person. Instead, the Final Rule provides for a “safe harbor” that exempts from penalty a first Certified Person who discloses LADMF to a second Certified Person, where the first Certified Person's liability rests solely on the fact that the second Certified Person has been determined to be subject to penalty. The less burdensome approach chosen by NTIS will reduce the potential economic impact on Certified Persons, including those that are small entities, under such circumstances.

    Based on its analysis, NTIS estimates that the rule reflects alternatives placing the least economic impact on small entities, and that the rule will not disproportionately impact small entities as opposed to large ones.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to comply with, and neither shall any 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 currently valid OMB Control Number.

    This final rule contains collection of information requirements subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Approval from OMB will be obtained prior to the final rule becoming effective and prior to the collection of such information, except that NTIS will continue to collect information already approved by OMB under OMB Control No. 0692-0013.

    List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 1110

    Administrative appeal, Certification program, Fees, Imposition of penalty.

    Dated: May 23, 2016. Bruce Borzino, Director.

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, the National Technical Information Service amends 15 CFR part 1110 as follows:

    PART 1110—CERTIFICATION PROGRAM FOR ACCESS TO THE DEATH MASTER FILE 1. The authority for part 1110 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Pub. L. 113-67, Sec. 203.

    2. Amend § 1110.2 by: a. Adding, in alphabetical order, the definition, “Accredited Conformity Assessment Body;” and b. Revising the definitions of “Limited Access DMF” and “Person”.

    The addition and revision read as follows:

    § 1110.2 Definitions used in this part.

    Accredited Conformity Assessment Body. A third party conformity assessment body that is accredited by an accreditation body under nationally or internationally recognized criteria such as, but not limited to, International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 27006-2011, “Information technology—Security techniques—Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems,” to attest that a Person or Certified Person has systems, facilities and procedures in place to safeguard Limited Access DMF.

    Limited Access DMF. The DMF product made available by NTIS which includes DMF with respect to any deceased individual at any time during the three-calendar-year period beginning on the date of the individual's death. As used in this part, Limited Access DMF does not include an individual element of information (name, social security number, date of birth, or date of death) in the possession of a Person, whether or not certified, but obtained by such Person through a source independent of the Limited Access DMF. If a Person obtains, or a third party subsequently provides to such Person, death information (i.e., the name, social security account number, date of birth, or date of death) independently, such information in the possession of such Person is not part of the Limited Access DMF or subject to this part.

    Person. Includes corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, joint stock companies, and other private organizations, and state and local government departments and agencies, as well as individuals.

    3. Revise the section heading of § 1110.100 to read as follows:
    § 1110.100 Scope; term.
    4. Revise § 1110.101 to read as follows:
    § 1110.101 Submission of certification; attestation.

    (a) In order to become certified under the certification program established under this part, a Person must submit a completed certification statement and any required documentation, using the most current version of the Limited Access Death Master File Subscriber Certification Form, and its accompanying instructions at https://dmf.ntis.gov, together with the required fee.

    (b) In addition to the requirements under paragraph (a) of this section, in order to become certified, a Person must submit a written attestation from an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body that such Person has systems, facilities, and procedures in place as required under § 1110.102(a)(2). Such attestation must be based on the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's review or assessment conducted no more than three years prior to the date of submission of the Person's completed certification statement, but such review or assessment need not have been conducted specifically or solely for the purpose of submission under this part.

    5. Amend § 1110.102 by revising paragraphs (a)(2), (3), and (4) to read as follows:
    § 1110.102 Certification.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Such Person has systems, facilities, and procedures in place to safeguard the accessed information, and experience in maintaining the confidentiality, security, and appropriate use of accessed information, pursuant to requirements reasonably similar to the requirements of section 6103(p)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

    (3) Such Person agrees to satisfy such similar requirements; and

    (4) Such Person shall not, with respect to Limited Access DMF of any deceased individual:

    (i) Disclose such deceased individual's Limited Access DMF to any person other than a person who meets the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section;

    (ii) Disclose such deceased individual's Limited Access DMF to any person who uses the information for any purpose other than a legitimate fraud prevention interest or a legitimate business purpose pursuant to a law, governmental rule, regulation, or fiduciary duty;

    (iii) Disclose such deceased individual's Limited Access DMF to any person who further discloses the information to any person other than a person who meets the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section; or

    (iv) Use any such deceased individual's Limited Access DMF for any purpose other than a legitimate fraud prevention interest or a legitimate business purpose pursuant to a law, governmental rule, regulation, or fiduciary duty.

    6. In subpart B of part 1110, add §§ 1110.103, 1110.104, and 1110.105 to read as follows:
    § 1110.103 Disclosure to a certified person.

    Disclosure by a Person certified under this part of Limited Access DMF to another Person certified under this part shall be deemed to satisfy the disclosing Person's obligation to ensure compliance with § 1110.102(a)(4)(i) through (iii).

    § 1110.104 Revocation of certification.

    False certification as to any element of § 1110.102(a)(1) through (4) shall be grounds for revocation of certification, in addition to any other penalties at law. A Person properly certified who thereafter becomes aware that the Person no longer satisfies one or more elements of § 1110.102(a) shall promptly inform NTIS thereof in writing.

    § 1110.105 Renewal of certification.

    (a) A Certified Person may renew its certification status by submitting, on or before the date of expiration of the term of its certification, a completed certification statement in accordance with § 1110.101, together with the required fee, indicating on the form NTIS FM161 that it is a renewal, and also indicating whether or not there has been any change in any basis previously relied upon for certification.

    (b) Except as may otherwise be required by NTIS, where a Certified Person seeking certification status renewal has, within a three-year period preceding submission under paragraph (a) of this section, previously submitted a written attestation under § 1110.101(b), or has within such period been subject to a satisfactory audit under § 1110.201, such Certified Person shall so indicate on the form NTIS FM161, and shall not be required to submit a written attestation under § 1110.101(b).

    (c) A Certified Person who submits a certification statement, attestation (if required) and fee pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall continue in Certified Person status pending notification of renewal or non-renewal from NTIS.

    (d) A Person who is a Certified Person before November 28, 2016 shall be considered a Certified Person under this part, and shall continue in Certified Person status until the date which is one year from the date of acceptance of such Person's certification by NTIS under the Temporary Certification Program, provided that if such expiration date falls on a weekend or a federal holiday, the term of certification shall be considered to extend to the next business day.

    7. Revise § 1110.200 to read as follows:
    § 1110.200 Imposition of penalty.

    (a) General. (1) Any Person certified under this part who receives Limited Access DMF, and who:

    (i) Discloses Limited Access DMF to any person other than a person who meets the requirements of § 1110.102(a)(1) through (3);

    (ii) Discloses Limited Access DMF to any person who uses the Limited Access DMF for any purpose other than a legitimate fraud prevention interest or a legitimate business purpose pursuant to a law, governmental rule, regulation, or fiduciary duty;

    (iii) Discloses Limited Access DMF to any person who further discloses the Limited Access DMF to any person other than a person who meets the requirements of § 1110.102(a)(1) through (3); or

    (iv) Uses any such Limited Access DMF for any purpose other than a legitimate fraud prevention interest or a legitimate business purpose pursuant to a law, governmental rule, regulation, or fiduciary duty; and

    (2) Any Person to whom such Limited Access DMF is disclosed, whether or not such Person is certified under this part, who further discloses or uses such Limited Access DMF as described in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section, shall pay to the General Fund of the United States Department of the Treasury a penalty of $1,000 for each such disclosure or use, and, if such Person is certified, shall be subject to having such Person's certification revoked.

    (b) Limitation on penalty. The total amount of the penalty imposed under this part on any Person for any calendar year shall not exceed $250,000, unless such Person's disclosure or use is determined to be willful or intentional. For the purposes of this part, a disclosure or use is willful when it is a “voluntary, intentional violation of a known legal duty.”

    (c) Disclosure to a Certified Person. No penalty shall be imposed under paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section on a first Certified Person who discloses, to a second Certified Person, Limited Access DMF, where the sole basis for imposition of penalty on such first Certified Person is that such second Certified Person has been determined to be subject to penalty under this part.

    8. Revise § 1110.201 to read as follows:
    § 1110.201 Audits.

    Any Person certified under this part shall, as a condition of certification, agree to be subject to audit by NTIS, or, at the request of NTIS, by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, to determine the compliance by such Person with the requirements of this part. NTIS may conduct, or request that an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body conduct, periodic scheduled and unscheduled audits of the systems, facilities, and procedures of any Certified Person relating to such Certified Person's access to, and use and distribution of, the Limited Access DMF. NTIS may conduct, or request that an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body conduct, field audits (during regular business hours) or desk audits of a Certified Person. Failure of a Certified Person to submit to or cooperate fully with NTIS, or with an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body acting pursuant to this section, in its conduct of an audit, or to pay an audit fee to NTIS, will be grounds for revocation of certification.

    Subpart E—[Redesignated as Subpart E]
    9. Redesignate subpart D as subpart E. 10. Add new subpart D to read as follows: Subpart D—Administrative Appeal Sec. 1110.3000 Appeal. Subpart D—Administrative Appeal
    § 1110.300 Appeal.

    (a) General. Any Person adversely affected or aggrieved by reason of NTIS denying or revoking such Person's certification under this part, or imposing upon such Person under this part a penalty, may obtain review by filing, within 30 days (or such longer period as the Director of NTIS may, for good cause shown in writing, fix in any case) after receiving notice of such denial, revocation or imposition, an administrative appeal to the Director of NTIS.

    (b) Form of appeal. An appeal shall be submitted in writing to Director, National Technical Information Service, at NTIS's current mailing address as found on its Web site: www.ntis.gov., ATTENTION DMF APPEAL, and shall include the following:

    (1) The name, street address, email address and telephone number of the Person seeking review;

    (2) A copy of the notice of denial or revocation of certification, or the imposition of penalty, from which appeal is taken;

    (3) A statement of arguments, together with any supporting facts or information, concerning the basis upon which the denial or revocation of certification, or the imposition of penalty, should be reversed;

    (4) A request for hearing of oral argument before the Director, if desired.

    (c) Power of attorney. A Person may, but need not, retain an attorney to represent such Person in an appeal. A Person shall designate any such attorney by submitting to the Director of NTIS a written power of attorney.

    (d) Hearing. If requested in the appeal, a date will be set for hearing of oral argument before a representative of the Director of NTIS, by the Person or the Person's designated attorney, and a representative of NTIS familiar with the notice from which appeal has been taken. Unless it shall be otherwise ordered before the hearing begins, oral argument will be limited to thirty minutes for each side. A Person need not retain an attorney or request an oral hearing to secure full consideration of the facts and the Person's arguments.

    (e) Decision. After a hearing on the appeal, if a hearing was requested, the Director of NTIS shall issue a decision on the matter within 120 days, or, if no hearing was requested, within 90 days of receiving the appeal. The decision of the Director of NTIS shall be made after consideration of the arguments and statements of fact and information in the Person's appeal, and the hearing of oral argument if a hearing was requested, but the Director of NTIS at his or her discretion and with due respect for the rights and convenience of the Person and the agency, may call for further statements on specific questions of fact or may request additional evidence in the form of affidavits on specific facts in dispute. After the original decision is issued, an appellant shall have 30 days (or a date as may be set by the Director of NTIS before the original period expires) from the date of the decision to request a reconsideration of the matter. The Director's decision becomes final 30 days after being issued, if no request for reconsideration is filed, or on the date of final disposition of a decision on a petition for reconsideration.

    11. Revise newly redesignated subpart E to read as follows: Subpart E—Fees Sec. 1110.400 Fees. Subpart E—Fees
    § 1110.400 Fees.

    Fees sufficient to cover (but not to exceed) all costs to NTIS associated with evaluating Certification Forms and auditing, inspecting, and monitoring certified persons under the certification program established under this part, as well as appeals, will be published (as periodically reevaluated and updated by NTIS) and available at https://dmf.ntis.gov. NTIS will not set fees for attestations or audits by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body.

    12. Add subpart F to read as follows: Subpart F—Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies Sec. 1110.500 Accredited conformity assessment bodies. 1110.501 Independent. 1110.502 Firewalled. 1110.503 Attestation by accredited conformity assessment body. 1110.504 Acceptance of accredited conformity assessment bodies. Subpart F—Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies
    § 1110.500 Accredited conformity assessment bodies.

    This subpart describes Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies and their accreditation for third party attestation and auditing of the information safeguarding requirement for certification of Persons under this part. NTIS will accept an attestation or audit of a Person or Certified Person from an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body that is:

    (a) Independent of that Person or Certified Person; or

    (b) Is firewalled from that Person or Certified Person, and that in either instance is itself accredited by a nationally or internationally recognized accreditation body.

    § 1110.501 Independent.

    (a) An Accredited Conformity Assessment Body that is an independent third party conformity assessment body is one that is not owned, managed, or controlled by a Person or Certified Person that is the subject of attestation or audit by the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body.

    (1) A Person or Certified Person is considered to own, manage, or control a third party conformity assessment body if any one of the following characteristics applies:

    (i) The Person or Certified Person holds a 10 percent or greater ownership interest, whether direct or indirect, in the third party conformity assessment body. Indirect ownership interest is calculated by successive multiplication of the ownership percentages for each link in the ownership chain;

    (ii) The third party conformity assessment body and the Person or Certified Person are owned by a common “parent” entity;

    (iii) The Person or Certified Person has the ability to appoint a majority of the third party conformity assessment body's senior internal governing body (such as, but not limited to, a board of directors), the ability to appoint the presiding official (such as, but not limited to, the chair or president) of the third party conformity assessment body's senior internal governing body, and/or the ability to hire, dismiss, or set the compensation level for third party conformity assessment body personnel; or

    (iv) The third party conformity assessment body is under a contract to the Person or Certified Person that explicitly limits the services the third party conformity assessment body may perform for other customers and/or explicitly limits which or how many other entities may also be customers of the third party conformity assessment body.

    (2) A state or local government office of Inspector General or Auditor General and a Person or Certified Person that is a department or agency of the same state or local government, respectively, are not considered to be owned by a common “parent” entity under paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section.

    (b) [Reserved]

    § 1110.502 Firewalled.

    (a) A third party conformity assessment body must apply to NTIS for firewalled status if it is owned, managed, or controlled by a Person or Certified Person that is the subject of attestation or audit by the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, applying the characteristics set forth under § 1110.501(a)(1).

    (b) The application for firewalled status of a third party conformity assessment body under paragraph (a) of this section will be accepted by NTIS where NTIS finds that:

    (1) Acceptance of the third party conformity assessment body for firewalled status would provide equal or greater assurance that the Person or Certified Person has information security systems, facilities, and procedures in place to protect the security of the Limited Access DMF than would the Person's or Certified Person's use of an independent third party third party conformity assessment body; and

    (2) The third party conformity assessment body has established procedures to ensure that:

    (i) Its attestations and audits are protected from undue influence by the Person or Certified Person that is the subject of attestation or audit by the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, or by any other interested party;

    (ii) NTIS is notified promptly of any attempt by the Person or Certified Person that is the subject of attestation or audit by the third party conformity assessment body, or by any other interested party, to hide or exert undue influence over an attestation, assessment or audit; and

    (iii) Allegations of undue influence may be reported confidentially to NTIS. To the extent permitted by Federal law, NTIS will undertake to protect the confidentiality of witnesses reporting allegations of undue influence.

    (c) NTIS will review each application and may contact the third party conformity assessment body with questions or to request submission of missing information, and will communicate its decision on each application in writing to the applicant, which may be by electronic mail.

    § 1110.503 Attestation by accredited conformity assessment body.

    (a) In any attestation or audit of a Person or Certified Person that will be submitted to NTIS under this part, an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must attest that it is independent of that Person or Certified Person. The Accredited Conformity Assessment Body also must attest that it has read, understood, and agrees to the regulations in this part. The Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must also attest that it is accredited to a nationally or internationally recognized standard such as the ISO/IEC Standard 27006-2011 “Information technology—Security techniques—Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems,” or any other similar nationally or internationally recognized standard for bodies providing audit and certification of information security management systems. The Accredited Conformity Assessment Body must also attest that the scope of its accreditation encompasses the safeguarding and security requirements as set forth in this part.

    (b) Where a Person seeks certification, or where a Certified Person seeks renewal of certification or is audited under this part, an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body may provide written attestation that such Person or Certified Person has systems, facilities, and procedures in place as required under § 1110.102(a)(2). Such attestation must be based on the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's review or assessment conducted no more than three years prior to the date of submission of the Person's or Certified Person's completed certification statement, and, if an audit of a Certified Person by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body is required by NTIS, no more than three years prior to the date upon which NTIS notifies the Certified Person of NTIS's requirement for audit, but such review or assessment or audit need not have been conducted specifically or solely for the purpose of submission under this part.

    (c) Where review or assessment or audit by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body was not conducted specifically or solely for the purpose of submission under this part, the written attestation or assessment report (if an audit) shall describe the nature of that review or assessment or audit, and the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body shall attest that on the basis of such review or assessment or audit, the Person or Certified Person has systems, facilities, and procedures in place as required under § 1110.102(a)(2).

    (d) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section, NTIS may, in its sole discretion, require that review or assessment or audit by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body be conducted specifically or solely for the purpose of submission under this part.

    § 1110.504 Acceptance of accredited conformity assessment bodies.

    (a) NTIS will accept written attestations and assessment reports from an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body that attests, to the satisfaction of NTIS, as provided in § 1110.503.

    (b) NTIS may decline to accept written attestations or assessment reports from an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body, whether or not it has attested as provided in § 1110.503, for any of the following reasons:

    (1) When it is in the public interest under Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, and notwithstanding any other provision of this part;

    (2) Submission of false or misleading information concerning a material fact(s) in an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's attestation under § 1110.503;

    (3) Knowing submission of false or misleading information concerning a material fact(s) in an attestation or assessment report by an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body of a Person or Certified Person;

    (4) Failure of an Accredited Conformity Assessment Body to cooperate in response to a request from NTIS to verify the accuracy, veracity, and/or completeness of information received in connection with an attestation under § 1110.503 or an attestation or assessment report by that Body of a Person or Certified Person. An Accredited Conformity Assessment Body “fails to cooperate” when it does not respond to NTIS inquiries or requests, or it responds in a manner that is unresponsive, evasive, deceptive, or substantially incomplete; or

    (5) Where NTIS is unable for any reason to verify the accuracy of the Accredited Conformity Assessment Body's attestation.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12479 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0359] Special Local Regulation; Annual Marine Events on the Colorado River, Between Davis Dam (Bullhead City, Arizona) and Headgate Dam (Parker, Arizona) Within the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the Great Western Tube Float marine event and associated waterway special local regulations from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. on June 11, 2016. This annual marine event occurs in the navigable waters of the Colorado River in Parker, Arizona, covering eight miles of the waterway from the La Paz County Park to the Headgate Dam. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of the participants, crew, spectators, safety vessels, and general users of the waterway. During the enforcement period, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within this regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 100.1102, Table 1, Item 9 will be enforced from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. on June 11, 2016, for Item 9 in Table 1 of § 100.1102.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this publication, call or email Petty Officer Randolph Pahilanga, Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego, CA; telephone 619-278-7656, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the regulations in 33 CFR 100.1102 for a special local regulation for the annual Great Western Tube Float in 33 CFR 100.1102, Table 1, Item 9 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 11, 2016.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 100.1102, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within this regulated area of the Colorado River unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 100.1102 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this document in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with extensive advance notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners and local advertising by the event sponsor.

    If the Captain of the Port Sector San Diego or his designated representative determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated on this document, he or she may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners or other communications coordinated with the event sponsor to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: May 13, 2016. E.M. Cooper, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port San Diego.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12936 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0421] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Rockaway Inlet, Queens, NY 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 Marine Parkway Bridge across the Rockaway Inlet, mile 3.0, at Queens, New York. This deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to facilitate asbestos abatement in the machinery room at the bridge.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on June 6, 2016 to 5 p.m. on June 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0421] 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 Judy Leung-Yee, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4330, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Marine Parkway Bridge, mile 3.0, across the Rockaway Inlet, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 55 feet at mean high water and 59 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.795(a).

    The waterway is transited by commercial oil barge traffic of various sizes.

    The bridge owner, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate asbestos abatement in the machinery room at the bridge.

    Under this temporary deviation, the Marine Parkway Bridge shall remain in the closed position from 7 a.m. on June 6, 2016 to 5 p.m. June 17, 2016.

    Vessels able to pass under 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 to pass.

    The Coast Guard will inform the users of the waterways through our Local Notice and Broadcast to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operations can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation. The Coast Guard notified various companies of the commercial oil and barge vessels and they have no objections to 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 25, 2016. C.J. Bisignano Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12740 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0569; FRL-9946-07] Fluensulfone; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of fluensulfone in or on multiple commodities which are identified and discussed later in this document. Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) and Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc (d/b/a ADAMA) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is June 1, 2016. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before August 1, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0569, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0569 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or August 1, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0569, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

    II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of October 21, 2015 (80 FR 63731) (FRL-9935-29), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 5E8384) by IR-4, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W., Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing a tolerance for residues of fluensulfone equivalents (i.e., the sum of thiazole sulfonic acid (TSA) and butene sulfonic acid (BSA) expressed as total fluensulfone equivalents) in or on the raw agricultural commodity vegetable, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C at 0.6 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. A comment was received on the notice of filing, however it related to the chemical propenicol, not fluensulfone.

    In the Federal Register of March 16, 2016 (81 FR 14030) (FRL-9942-86), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 5F8351) by Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc. (d/b/a ADAMA), 3120 Highwoods Blvd., Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27604. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 180 be amended by establishing a tolerance for residues of nematicide fluensulfone, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G at 0.30 ppm; head and stem Brassica subgroup 5A at 1.3 ppm; leafy Brassica greens subgroup 5B at 13 ppm; leafy vegetables, group 4, except Brassica vegetables at 2.6 ppm; leaves of root and tuber vegetables, group 2 at 20 ppm; radish, oriental at 0.50 ppm; and root vegetables, subgroup 1B, except sugar beet and oriental radish at 3.3 ppm. In addition, the petition requested to amend 40 CFR 180.680 to revise the existing tolerance expression in the introductory paragraph (a) to read “Tolerances are established for residues of the nematicide fluensulfone, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only 3,4,4-trifluoro-but-3-ene-1-sulfonic acid.” That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., the registrant, which is available in the docket, EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0478 at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were received on the notice of filing. EPA's response to these comments is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has modified the levels at which tolerances are being established for most commodities. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.D.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue . . . .”

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for fluensulfone including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with fluensulfone follows.

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

    The residue of concern for dietary assessment is the parent compound, fluensulfone. Residues of the metabolites butene sulfonic acid (BSA) and thiazole sulfonic acid (TSA) occur at levels significantly greater than fluensulfone; however, these metabolites are considered non-toxic at levels that may occur from the use of fluensulfone. Based on the available data addressing toxicity of the BSA and TSA metabolites, the Agency has determined that they are not of toxicological concern.

    Exposure to fluensulfone results in effects on the hematopoietic system (decreased platelets, increased white blood cells, hematocrit, and reticulocytes), kidneys, and lungs. Body weight and clinical chemistry changes were observed across multiple studies and species. Evidence of qualitative increased susceptibility of infants and children to the effects of fluensulfone was observed in the 2-generation reproduction study in rats, wherein pup death was observed at a dose that resulted in body weight effects in the dams. There was no evidence of either qualitative or quantitative susceptibility in developmental toxicity studies in rats or rabbits.

    The most sensitive endpoints for assessing safety of aggregate exposures to fluensulfone under the FFDCA are the increased pup-loss effects for acute dietary exposure; and body weight, hematological and clinical chemistry changes for chronic dietary as well as short/intermediate term dermal exposures.

    Decreased locomotor activity in females, and decreased spontaneous activity, decreased rearing, and impaired righting response in both sexes were observed in the acute neurotoxicity study at the lowest dose tested. No other evidence for neurotoxicity was observed in the other studies in the toxicity database, including a subchronic neurotoxicity study. The doses and endpoints chosen for risk assessment are all protective of the effects seen in the acute neurotoxicity study. A developmental neurotoxicity study is not required.

    Although the mouse carcinogenicity study showed an association with alveolar/bronchiolar adenomas and carcinomas in the female, EPA has determined that quantification of risk using the chronic reference dose (RfD) will account for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity, that could result from exposure to fluensulfone and its metabolites. That conclusion is based on the following considerations:

    1. The tumors occurred in only one sex in one species.

    2. No carcinogenic response was seen in either sex in the rat.

    3. The tumors in the mouse study were observed at a dose that is almost 13 times higher than the dose chosen for risk assessment.

    4. Fluensulfone and its metabolites are not mutagenic.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by fluensulfone as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in the document titled “Fluensulfone—Aggregate Human Health Risk Assessment Addressing Label Amendments, Changes to the Residue Definition, and New Uses on Multiple Crops” on page 43 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0569.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which no adverse effects are observed (the NOAEL) and the lowest dose at which adverse effects of concern are identified (the LOAEL). Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/assessing-human-health-risk-pesticides.

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for fluensulfone used for human risk assessment is shown in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Fluensulfone for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure
  • and uncertainty/
  • safety factors
  • RfD, PAD,
  • LOC for
  • risk assessment
  • Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (All populations, including infants and children and females 13-49 years of age) NOAEL = 16.2 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 0.16 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 0.16 mg/kg/day
  • 2-generation reproduction—rat offspring.
  • LOAEL = 122.0 mg/kg/day based on an increase in pup loss between PND 1 and 4 in the F1 and F2 offspring with the majority of deaths occurring on day 2.
  • Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL= 9.6 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.10 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.10 mg/kg/day
  • 2-year toxicity/carcinogenicity-rat.
  • LOAEL = 57.7 mg/kg/day based on decreased body weight in males, and hematology changes, clinical chemistry changes and histopathological effects in the lung and esophagus of both sexes.
  • Incidental oral short-term (1 to 30 days) NOAEL= 9.6 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • LOC for MOE = 100 2-year toxicity/carcinogenicity-rat.
  • LOAEL = 57.7 mg/kg/day based on decreased body weight in males, and hematology changes, clinical chemistry changes and histopathological effects in the lung and esophagus of both sexes.
  • Dermal short-term (1 to 30 days) Oral study NOAEL = 9.6 mg/kg/day (dermal absorption factor = 9.5%)
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • LOC for MOE = 100 2-year toxicity/carcinogenicity-rat.
  • LOAEL = 57.7 mg/kg/day based on decreased body weight in males, and hematology changes, clinical chemistry changes and histopathological effects in the lung and esophagus of both sexes.
  • Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) EPA has determined that quantification of risk using the chronic RfD will adequately account for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity. FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to fluensulfone, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing fluensulfone tolerances in 40 CFR 180.680. Parent fluensulfone occurs at residue levels well below those of the BSA metabolite, the residue defined for the enforcement of tolerances. As previously noted, the BSA metabolite is not of toxicological concern. Since tolerances do not include fluensulfone itself, EPA has used the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) maximum residue limit (MRL) calculation procedures to derive tolerance-equivalent residue levels for fluensulfone. For foods where the level of fluensulfone is expected to be below the limit of quantification (LOQ), 0.01 ppm, the Agency has assumed that residues occur at the LOQ. For foods with quantifiable levels of fluensulfone, EPA has assumed that residues occur at the tolerance-equivalent level. EPA assessed dietary exposures from fluensulfone in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure.

    Such effects were identified for fluensulfone. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used 2003-2008 food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). As to residue levels in food, the acute dietary risk assumed tolerance-equivalent residues and 100 percent crop treated (PCT).

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used 2003-2008 food consumption information from the USDA's NHANES/WWEIA. As to residue levels in food, the chronic dietary risk assumed tolerance-equivalent residues and 100 PCT.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that a nonlinear RfD approach is appropriate for assessing cancer risk to fluensulfone. Cancer risk was assessed using the same exposure estimates as discussed in Unit III.C.1.ii.

    iv. Anticipated residue and PCT information. EPA did not use anticipated residue or PCT information in the dietary assessment for fluensulfone. Tolerance-equivalent level residues and 100 PCT were assumed for all food commodities.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for fluensulfone in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of fluensulfone. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/about-water-exposure-models-used-pesticide.

    Based on the Pesticide Root Zone Model/Exposure Analysis Modeling System (PRZM/EXAMS) and Pesticide Root Zone Model Ground Water (PRZM GW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) for acute exposures are estimated to be 11.8 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 77.6 ppb for ground water and for chronic exposures are estimated to be 0.173 ppb for surface water and 52.5 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For the acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 77.6 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water. For the chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 52.5 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets). Fluensulfone is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Turf/lawns. EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: For residential handlers, a quantitative exposure/risk assessment was not developed because the product is not intended to be applied by homeowners. For adult residential post-application exposure, the Agency evaluated dermal post-application exposure only to outdoor turf/lawn applications (high contact activities). The Agency also evaluated residential post-application exposure for children via dermal and hand-to-mouth routes of exposure, resulting from treated outdoor turf/lawn applications (high contact activities).

    Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/standard-operating-procedures-residential-pesticide.

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

    EPA has not found fluensulfone to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and fluensulfone does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that fluensulfone does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/cumulative-assessment-risk-pesticides.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the FQPA Safety Factor (SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. No evidence of quantitative or qualitative susceptibility was seen in developmental toxicity studies in rats and rabbits. Fetal effects in those studies occurred in the presence of maternal toxicity and were not considered more severe than the maternal effects. However, there was evidence of increased qualitative, but not quantitative, susceptibility of pups in the 2-generation reproduction study in rats. Maternal effects observed in that study were decreased body weight and body weight gain; at the same dose, effects in offspring were decreased pup weights, decreased spleen weight, and increased pup loss (PND 1-4).

    Although there is evidence of increased qualitative susceptibility in the 2-generation reproduction study in rats, there are no residual uncertainties with regard to pre- and post-natal toxicity following in utero exposure to rats or rabbits and pre- and post-natal exposures to rats. Considering the overall toxicity profile, the clear NOAEL for the pup effects observed in the 2-generation reproduction study, and that the doses selected for risk assessment are protective of all effects in the toxicity database including the offspring effects, the degree of concern for the susceptibility is low.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1x. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for fluensulfone is complete.

    ii. Evidence of potential neurotoxicity was only seen following acute exposure to fluensulfone and the current PODs chosen for risk assessment are protective of the effects observed. There is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study or additional UFs to account for neurotoxicity.

    iii. There is no indication of quantitative susceptibility in the developmental and reproductive toxicity studies, and there are no residual uncertainties concerning pre- or post-natal toxicity. In addition, the endpoints and doses chosen for risk assessment are protective of the qualitative susceptibility observed in the 2-generation reproduction study.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance equivalent-level residues. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to fluensulfone in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by fluensulfone.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to fluensulfone will occupy 9.3% of the aPAD for all infants less than 1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to fluensulfone from food and water will utilize 3.9% of the cPAD for all infants less than 1 year old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3., regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of fluensulfone is not expected.

    3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

    Fluensulfone is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to fluensulfone.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 5,700 for adults and 3,000 for children 1-2 years old. Because EPA's level of concern for fluensulfone is a MOE of 100 or below, these MOEs are not of concern.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

    An intermediate-term adverse effect was identified; however, fluensulfone is not registered for any use patterns that would result in intermediate-term residential exposure. Intermediate-term risk is assessed based on intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic dietary exposure. Because there is no intermediate-term residential exposure and chronic dietary exposure has already been assessed under the appropriately protective cPAD (which is at least as protective as the POD used to assess intermediate-term risk), no further assessment of intermediate-term risk is necessary, and EPA relies on the chronic dietary risk assessment for evaluating intermediate-term risk for fluensulfone.

    5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. EPA assessed cancer risk using a non-linear approach (i.e., RfD) since it adequately accounts for all chronic toxicity, including carcinogenicity, that could result from exposure to fluensulfone. As the chronic dietary endpoint and dose are protective of potential cancer effects, fluensulfone is not expected to pose an aggregate cancer risk.

    6. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to fluensulfone residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology (acetonitrile/water (1:1, v/v) extraction and analysis by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS)) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

    The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established any MRLs for fluensulfone for the commodities covered by this document.

    C. Response to Comments

    Three comments were submitted in response to the March 16, 2016 Notice of Filing. Two of them opposed the petition generally due to there being too many toxic chemicals being used in America without citing any specific human health concerns about fluensulfone itself. The Agency understands the commenters' concerns and recognizes that some individuals believe that pesticides should be banned on agricultural crops. However, the existing legal framework provided by section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) states that tolerances may be set when persons seeking such tolerances or exemptions have demonstrated that the pesticide meets the safety standard imposed by that statute. The comment appears to be directed at the underlying statute and not EPA's implementation of it; the citizen has made no contention that EPA has acted in violation of the statutory framework.

    The second comment was from the Center for Food Safety and primarily concerned about Agency compliance with any relevant obligations under the Endangered Species Act. This comment is not relevant to the Agency's evaluation of safety of the fluensulfone tolerances; section 408 of the FFDCA focuses on potential harms to human health and does not permit consideration of effects on the environment.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    Most of the petitioned-for tolerance levels differ from those being established by the Agency. In the cases of the tolerances proposed by ADAMA, it is not clear to the Agency how the tolerance levels proposed in the March 16, 2016 Notice of Filing (Federal Register 2016-05952) were derived. EPA's tolerance levels are based on residues of BSA only, without any conversion to fluensulfone equivalents. The Agency used the OECD MRL procedures to derive the levels being established in today's action. For crop groups, and per EPA's current policy, tolerance levels for each representative commodity were calculated separately, and then the maximum value within each crop group was selected as the tolerance level. For root vegetables except sugar beet (Subgroup 1B), the tolerance level is based on data from radish root (including Oriental radish root). Although a separate listing for Oriental radish was requested, EPA is not establishing a separate tolerance level since that crop is a member of crop subgroup 1B. For leaves of root and tuber vegetables (Crop Group 2), EPA is establishing a tolerance for residues in/on the leaves of root and tuber vegetable, except sugar beet because the petitioned-for uses do not include a use on sugar beet; the tolerance is based on data from radish tops (including Oriental radish tops). The tolerance for residues in/on leafy vegetables except Brassica vegetables (Group 4) is based on data from leaf lettuce and spinach, assessed separately. For head and stem Brassica (Subgroup 5A), the tolerance is based on data from cabbage. For Brassica leafy greens (Subgroup 5B), data from mustard greens, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), and mizuna (Japanese mustard) were combined to derive the tolerance level. All of EPA's tolerance levels are expressed to provide sufficient precision for enforcement purposes, and this may include the addition of trailing zeros (e.g., 0.30 ppm rather than 0.3 ppm).

    In the case of the tolerance proposed by IR-4, the petitioned-for tolerance is based on the sum of residues of BSA and TSA, expressed as fluensulfone, rather than on residues of BSA only, which is how the tolerance expression currently describes measurement of residues for compliance purposes. Basing enforcement on BSA alone provides a suitable marker of use, simplifies residue analysis, and avoids enforcement complications that may result from the potential for TSA to carry over in treated soil from one year to the next. Furthermore, IR-4 did not propose tolerances for residues of fluensulfone in processed potato commodities. The submitted potato processing study indicates that during processing, residues of BSA in chips and in granules/flakes are likely to concentrate to levels greater than in tubers. Therefore, EPA is establishing separate tolerances to cover residues in those commodities.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of fluensulfone in or on berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G at 0.30 ppm; Brassica, head and stem, subgroup 5A at 1.50 ppm; Brassica, leafy greens, subgroup 5B at 9.0 ppm; potato, chips at 0.60 ppm; potato, granules/flakes at 0.80 ppm; vegetables, leafy, except Brassica, group 4 at 2.0 ppm; vegetable, leaves of root and tuber, group 2, except sugar beet at 30 ppm; vegetables, root, except sugar beet, subgroup 1B at 3.0 ppm; and vegetables, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C at 0.50 ppm. Also, the time-limited Section 18 tolerance for “carrot” is removed since it is now covered by the permanent tolerance for “vegetables, root, except sugar beet, subgroup 1B.” And lastly, the tolerance expression is changed as requested by the petitioner.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Daniel J. Rosenblatt, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. Section 180.680 is revised to read as follows:
    § 180.680 Fluensulfone; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of the nematicide fluensulfone, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only 3,4,4-trifluoro-but-3-ene-1-sulfonic acid.

    Commodity Parts per million Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G 0.30 Brassica, head and stem, subgroup 5A 1.50 Brassica, leafy greens, subgroup 5B 9.0 Potato, chips 0.60 Potato, granules/flakes 0.80 Tomato, paste 1.0 Vegetables, cucurbits, group 9 0.50 Vegetables, fruiting, group 8-10 0.50 Vegetables, leafy, except Brassica, group 4 2.0 Vegetables, leaves of root and tuber, group 2, except sugar beet 30 Vegetables, root, except sugar beet, subgroup 1B 3.0 Vegetables, tuberous and corm, subgroup 1C 0.50

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. [Reserved]

    (c) Tolerances with regional registrations. [Reserved]

    (d) Indirect or inadvertant residues. [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2016-12722 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0212; FRL-9943-73] Aldicarb, Alternaria destruens, Ampelomyces quisqualis, Azinphos-methyl, Etridiazole, Fenarimol, et al.; Tolerance and Tolerance Exemption Actions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is revoking certain tolerances in follow-up to canceled product registrations or uses for acephate, aldicarb, azinphos-methyl, etridiazole, fenarimol, imazamethabenz-methyl, tepraloxydim, thiazopyr, and tralkoxydim, and is revoking tolerance exemptions for certain pesticide active ingredients. However, EPA will not revoke the thiacloprid tolerances at this time that had been previously proposed for revocation. Also, EPA is making minor revisions to the section heading and introductory text for Pythium oligandrum DV 74. In addition, in accordance with current Agency practice, EPA is making revisions to the tolerance expression for imazamethabenz-methyl, and removing expired tolerances and tolerance exemptions for certain pesticide active ingredients.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective November 28, 2016. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before August 1, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0212, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Nevola, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8037; email address: [email protected]

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

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

    Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a(g), any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0212 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before August 1, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0212, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

    II. Background A. What action is the Agency taking?

    In the Federal Register of July 22, 2015 (80 FR 43373) (FRL-9929-12), EPA issued a proposed rule to revoke certain tolerances for acephate, aldicarb, azinphos-methyl, etridiazole, fenarimol, imazamethabenz-methyl, tepraloxydim, thiacloprid, thiazopyr, and tralkoxydim, and tolerance exemptions for certain pesticide active ingredients, in follow-up to canceled product registrations or uses. Also, EPA proposed to make minor revisions to the section heading and introductory text for Pythium oligandrum DV 74. In addition, in accordance with current Agency practice, EPA proposed to make minor revisions to the tolerance expression for imazamethabenz-methyl, and remove expired tolerances and tolerance exemptions for certain pesticide active ingredients. The proposal provided a 60-day comment period.

    Since the proposed rule of July 22, 2015, amendments for the last two acephate labels with succulent bean use (revising succulent bean to a non-food use) were approved by EPA, as anticipated and discussed in the proposed rule. Therefore, EPA is revoking the acephate tolerances in 40 CFR 180.108(a)(1) and (a)(3) on bean, succulent.

    In this final rule EPA is revoking certain tolerances and/or tolerance exemptions because either they are no longer needed or are associated with food uses that are no longer registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in the United States. Those instances where registrations were canceled were because the registrant failed to pay the required maintenance fee and/or the registrant voluntarily requested cancellation of one or more registered uses of the pesticide active ingredient. The tolerances revoked by this final rule are no longer necessary to cover residues of the relevant pesticides in or on domestically treated commodities or commodities treated outside but imported into the United States. It is EPA's general practice to issue a final rule revoking those tolerances and tolerance exemptions for residues of pesticide active ingredients on crop uses for which there are no active registrations under FIFRA, unless any person comments on the proposal indicating a need for the tolerance or tolerance exemption to cover residues in or on imported commodities or legally treated domestic commodities.

    EPA has historically been concerned that retention of tolerances that are not necessary to cover residues in or on legally treated foods may encourage misuse of pesticides within the United States.

    Generally, EPA will proceed with the revocation of these tolerances on the grounds discussed in Unit II.A. if one of the following conditions applies:

    1. Prior to EPA's issuance of a FFDCA section 408(f) order requesting additional data or issuance of a FFDCA section 408(d) or (e) order revoking the tolerances on other grounds, commenters retract the comment identifying a need for the tolerance to be retained.

    2. EPA independently verifies that the tolerance is no longer needed.

    3. The tolerance is not supported by data that demonstrate that the tolerance meets the requirements under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).

    Among the comments received by EPA are the following:

    1. Aldicarb.—Comment by Ag Logic Chemical LLC (Ag Logic). The commenter requested that the aldicarb tolerances on sorghum be retained for possible future actions. Ag Logic stated that another registrant requested the voluntary cancellation of its aldicarb products for use on sorghum and now Ag Logic is the sole registrant for aldicarb. Also, Ag Logic stated it is reevaluating all current and potential agricultural uses for aldicarb and if it decides to apply for registration on sorghum it would be extremely beneficial to both Ag Logic and the Agency if the sorghum tolerances remained in place.

    Agency response. The use of aldicarb on sorghum was officially canceled in 2009 (see details in the proposed rule of July 22, 2015) under section 6(f)(1) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. 136(d)(f)(1), under which a registrant of a pesticide product may request that the product registration be canceled or amended to terminate one or more uses. Because EPA canceled the sorghum use in response to a registrant's voluntary request, and no other aldicarb products include a use on sorghum, there is currently no legal use of aldicarb on sorghum. EPA will not retain the tolerance based on the possibility that someone may apply for a new use on sorghum in the future. Tolerances are generally maintained for current uses. In addition, no comment specific to the need for retaining tolerances for aldicarb residues of concern on sorghum for import purposes was received by the Agency during the 60-day comment period. Therefore, EPA is revoking the tolerances for aldicarb in 40 CFR 180.269(a) on sorghum, grain, bran; sorghum, grain, grain; and sorghum, grain, stover.

    2. Thiacloprid.—Comments by Bayer CropScience (BCS), BCS in Mexico, Power Farms Inc., the Ontario Apple Growers (OAG), and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association (OFVGA). The commenters requested that all the current tolerances for thiacloprid be retained for import purposes with the exception of the OFVGA, which asked that only the specific thiacloprid tolerances on pome fruit and wet apple pomace be maintained for import purposes. Also, BCS stated its intention to provide supporting data where necessary for all of the current thiacloprid tolerances.

    Agency response. In comments to the proposed rule, persons expressed a need for retention of the thiacloprid tolerances for import purposes. Therefore, EPA will not revoke the thiacloprid tolerances in 40 CFR 180.594 at this time. However, because there are no longer any active food-use registrations in the United States and no comments were received by EPA which expressed a need for more time to exhaust existing stocks for domestic use, EPA is not changing its previous determination (as stated in the proposed rule of July 22, 2015) that existing stocks in the United States will be exhausted by February 8, 2017. EPA is noting in 40 CFR 180.594 that the tolerances for thiacloprid have no U.S. registrations as of August 6, 2014. Also, retaining these tolerances may require submission of data to demonstrate their safety. For example, domestic U.S. residue data may not be representative of growing conditions and use patterns in other countries. EPA published guidance on pesticide import tolerances and residue data for imported food in the Federal Register notices of April 5, 2006 (71 FR 17099) (FRL-7772-1) and June 1, 2000 (65 FR 35069) (FRL-6559-3).

    With the exception of aldicarb and thiacloprid, the Agency did not receive any specific comments in the docket, during the 60-day comment period, concerning proposed tolerance actions associated with pesticide active ingredients, as described in the Federal Register of July 22, 2015. Therefore, with the exception of thiacloprid, EPA is finalizing revocations and amendments in the proposed rule of July 22, 2015. For a detailed discussion of the Agency's rationale for the finalized tolerance actions, refer to the proposed rule of July 22, 2015.

    B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    EPA may issue a regulation establishing, modifying, or revoking a tolerance under FFDCA section 408(e). In this final rule, EPA is revoking tolerances and tolerance exemptions as follow-up on canceled uses of pesticides.

    C. When do these actions become effective?

    As stated in the DATES section, this regulation is effective November 28, 2016. EPA is delaying the effective date of these finalized actions to allow a reasonable interval for producers in exporting members of the World Trade Organization's Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement to adapt to the requirements of a final rule. With the exception of fenarimol, imazamethabenz-methyl, and thiacloprid, EPA believes that existing stocks of the canceled or amended pesticide products labeled for the uses associated with the revoked tolerances have been completely exhausted and that treated commodities have had sufficient time for passage through the channels of trade. EPA is revoking certain tolerances for fenarimol, imazamethabenz-methyl, and tepraloxydim with expiration/revocation dates. EPA believes that these revocation dates allow users to exhaust stocks and allow sufficient time for passage of treated commodities through the channels of trade.

    Any commodities listed in the regulatory text of this document that are treated with the pesticides subject to this final rule, and that are in the channels of trade following the tolerance revocations, shall be subject to FFDCA section 408(1)(5), as established by FQPA. Under this unit, any residues of these pesticides in or on such food shall not render the food adulterated so long as it is shown to the satisfaction of the Food and Drug Administration that:

    1. The residue is present as the result of an application or use of the pesticide at a time and in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA.

    2. The residue does not exceed the level that was authorized at the time of the application or use to be present on the food under a tolerance or exemption from tolerance. Evidence to show that food was lawfully treated may include records that verify the dates that the pesticide was applied to such food.

    III. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established a MRL for etridiazole, imazamethabenz-methyl, tepraloxydim, thiazopyr, and tralkoxydim.

    The Codex has established MRLs for acephate, in or on various commodities, including beans, except broad bean and soya bean at 5 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg). The beans, except broad bean and soya bean MRL is different than the tolerance established for acephate on succulent bean in the United States, which EPA is revoking in this final rule.

    The Codex has established MRLs for aldicarb, in or on various commodities, including sorghum at 0.1 mg/kg, which is covered by a current U.S. tolerance at a higher level than the MRL, and sorghum straw and fodder, dry at 0.5 mg/kg, which is the same as the U.S. tolerance. The sorghum MRL is different than the tolerance established for aldicarb in the United States. In this final rule EPA is revoking the tolerances for aldicarb on sorghum, grain, bran; sorghum, grain, grain; and sorghum, grain, stover.

    The Codex has established MRLs for azinphos-methyl in or on various commodities, including almond hulls and blueberries at 5 mg/kg, cherries, peach, and plums (including prunes) at 2 mg/kg, and walnuts at 0.3 mg/kg. These MRLs are the same as the tolerances established for azinphos-methyl in the United States. In this final rule EPA is revoking the tolerances for azinphos-methyl on almond, hulls; blueberry; cherry; peach; plum, prune; and walnut.

    The Codex has established MRLs for azinphos-methyl, in or on various commodities, including almonds and apple at 0.05 mg/kg (which are covered by current U.S. tolerances at a higher level than the MRLs), and pear at 2 mg/kg. These MRLs are different than the tolerances established for azinphos-methyl in the United States. In this final rule EPA is revoking the tolerances for azinphos-methyl on almond; apple; and pear.

    The Codex has established MRLs for fenarimol in or on various commodities, including cattle, liver at 0.05 mg/kg, cherries at 1 mg/kg, hops, dry at 5 mg/kg, and pecan at 0.02 mg/kg. These MRLs are the same as the tolerances established for fenarimol in the United States. In this final rule EPA is revoking the tolerances for fenarimol residues in or on cattle, meat byproducts, except kidney; cherry, sweet; cherry, tart; hop, dried cones; and pecan; each with an expiration/revocation date.

    The Codex has established MRLs for fenarimol, in or on various commodities, including cattle kidney and cattle meat at 0.02 mg/kg; and grapes at 0.3 mg/kg. These MRLs are different than the tolerances established for fenarimol in the United States. In this final rule EPA is revoking the tolerances for fenarimol residues in or on cattle, kidney; cattle, meat; and grape; each with an expiration/revocation date.

    The Codex has established MRLs for thiacloprid in or on various commodities, including cotton seed at 0.02 mg/kg, peppers, sweet at 1 mg/kg, and stone fruits at 0.5 mg/kg (for U.S. tolerances on cherry subgroup and peach subgroup). These MRLs are the same as the tolerances established for thiacloprid in the United States.

    The Codex has established MRLs for thiacloprid, in or on various commodities, including milks at 0.05 mg/kg; pome fruits at 0.7 mg/kg, and stone fruits at 0.5 mg/kg (for U.S. tolerance on plum subgroup). These MRLs are different than the tolerances established for thiacloprid in the United States because of differences in use patterns and/or agricultural practices.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    In this final rule, EPA revokes specific tolerances established under FFDCA section 408. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this type of action (e.g., a tolerance revocation for which extraordinary circumstances do not exist) from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866 due to its lack of significance, this rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This final rule does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), or impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.). Nor does it require any special considerations as required by Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994); or OMB review or any other Agency action under Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note). Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Agency previously assessed whether revocations of tolerances might significantly impact a substantial number of small entities and concluded that, as a general matter, these actions do not impose a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This analysis was published in the Federal Register of December 17, 1997 (62 FR 66020) (FRL-5753-1), and was provided to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. Taking into account this analysis and available information concerning the pesticides listed in this rule, the Agency hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In a memorandum dated May 25, 2001, EPA determined that eight conditions must all be satisfied in order for an import tolerance or tolerance exemption revocation to adversely affect a significant number of small entity importers, and that there is a negligible joint probability of all eight conditions holding simultaneously with respect to any particular revocation. (This Agency document is available in the docket of the proposed rule.) Furthermore, for the pesticides named in this final rule, the Agency knows of no extraordinary circumstances that exist as to the present revocations that would change EPA's previous analysis. In addition, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). Executive Order 13132 requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.” This final rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States. This action does not alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). For these same reasons, the Agency has determined that this rule does not have any “tribal implications” as described in Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). Executive Order 13175, requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” “Policies that have tribal implications” is defined in the Executive order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.” This rule will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, 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, as specified in Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    V. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Jack E. Housenger, Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    § 180.108 [Amended]
    2. In § 180.108, remove the entries for “Bean, succulent” from the tables in paragraphs (a)(1) and (3).
    §§ 180.121, 180.154, 180.232, 180.257, and 180.263 [Removed]
    3. Remove §§ 180.121, 180.154, 180.232, 180.257, and 180.263.
    § 180.269 [Amended]
    4. In § 180.269, remove the entries for “Sorghum, grain, bran,” “Sorghum, grain, grain,” and “Sorghum, grain, stover,” from the table in paragraph (a).
    §§ 180.311 and 180.315 [Removed]
    5. Remove §§ 180.311 and 180.315. 6. In § 180.370, revise the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.370 5-Ethoxy-3-(trichloromethyl)-1,2,4-thiadiazole; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Cotton, gin byproducts 0.1 Cotton, undelinted seed 0.1 Tomato 0.15
    7. In § 180.421, revise the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.421 Fenarimol; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Apple 0.3 7/31/16 Apple, wet pomace 0.3 7/31/16 Banana 1 0.25 None Cattle, fat 0.01 7/31/16 Cattle, kidney 0.01 7/31/16 Cattle, meat 0.01 7/31/16 Cattle, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.05 7/31/16 Cherry, sweet 1.0 7/31/16 Cherry, tart 1.0 7/31/16 Goat, fat 0.01 7/31/16 Goat, kidney 0.01 7/31/16 Goat, meat 0.01 7/31/16 Goat, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.05 7/31/16 Grape 0.1 7/31/16 Hazelnut 0.02 7/31/16 Hop, dried cones 5.0 7/31/16 Horse, fat 0.01 7/31/16 Horse, kidney 0.01 7/31/16 Horse, meat 0.01 7/31/16 Horse, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.05 7/31/16 Pear 0.1 7/31/16 Pecan 0.02 7/31/16 Sheep, fat 0.01 7/31/16 Sheep, kidney 0.01 7/31/16 Sheep, meat 0.01 7/31/16 Sheep, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.05 7/31/16 Vegetable, cucurbit, group 9 2 0.20 None 1 There are no U.S. registrations for bananas as of April 26, 1995. 2 There are no U.S. registrations for cucurbit vegetable group 9 as of August 27, 2010.
    § 180.422 [Removed]
    8. Remove § 180.422. 9. Revise § 180.437 to read as follows:
    § 180.437 Imazamethabenz-methyl; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of the herbicide imazamethabenz-methyl, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table in this paragraph. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified in this paragraph is to be determined by measuring only imazamethabenz-methyl (methyl 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-4-methylbenzoate) or (methyl 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-5-methylbenzoate), as the sum of its para- and meta-isomers in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Barley, grain 0.10 12/31/16 Barley, straw 2.00 12/31/16 Sunflower, seed 0.10 12/31/16 Wheat, grain 0.10 12/31/16 Wheat, straw 2.00 12/31/16

    (b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. [Reserved]

    (c) Tolerances with regional registrations. [Reserved]

    (d) Indirect or inadvertent residues. [Reserved]

    §§ 180.496, 180.497, 180.530, and 180.548 [Removed]
    10. Remove §§ 180.496, 180.497, 180.530, and 180.548. 11. In § 180.573, revise the table in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (c) to read as follows:
    § 180.573 Tepraloxydim; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Cotton, undelinted seed 0.2 12/31/18 Cotton, gin byproducts 3.0 12/31/18 Flax, seed 0.10 12/31/18 Grain, aspirated fraction 1200.0 12/31/18 Pea and bean, dried shelled, except soybean, subgroup 6C 1 0.10 12/31/18 Soybean, seed 6.0 12/31/18 Soybean, hulls 8.0 12/31/18 Sunflower subgroup 20B 1 0.20 12/31/18 1 There are no U.S. registrations for commodities in this subgroup.

    (2) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Cattle, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Cattle, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Cattle, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Cattle, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18 Egg 0.20 12/31/18 Goat, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Goat, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Goat, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Goat, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18 Hog, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Hog, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Hog, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Hog, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18 Horse, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Horse, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Horse, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Horse, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18 Milk 0.10 12/31/18 Poultry, fat 0.30 12/31/18 Poultry, liver 1.00 12/31/18 Poultry, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Poultry, meat byproducts, except liver 0.20 12/31/18 Sheep, fat 0.15 12/31/18 Sheep, kidney 0.50 12/31/18 Sheep, meat 0.20 12/31/18 Sheep, meat byproducts, except kidney 0.20 12/31/18

    (c) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Expiration/
  • revocation
  • date
  • Canola, seed 0.50 12/31/18
    12. In § 180.594, revise the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.594 Thiacloprid; tolerances for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per million Apple, wet pomace 1 0.60 Cattle, fat 1 0.020 Cattle, kidney 1 0.050 Cattle, liver 1 0.15 Cattle, meat 1 0.030 Cattle, meat byproducts 1 0.050 Cherry subgroup 12-12A 1 0.5 Cotton, gin byproducts 1 11.0 Cotton, undelinted seed 1 0.020 Fruit, pome, group 11 1 0.30 Goat, fat 1 0.020 Goat, kidney 1 0.050 Goat, liver 1 0.15 Goat, meat 1 0.030 Goat, meat byproducts 1 0.050 Horse, fat 1 0.020 Horse, kidney 1 0.050 Horse, liver 1 0.15 Horse, meat 1 0.030 Horse, meat byproducts 1 0.050 Milk 1 0.030 Peach subgroup 12-12B 1 0.5 Peach subgroup 12-12C 1 0.05 Pepper 1 1.0 Sheep, fat 1 0.020 Sheep, kidney 1 0.050 Sheep, liver 1 0.15 Sheep, meat 1 0.030 Sheep, meat byproducts 1 0.050 1 There are no U.S. registrations for the commodity since August 6, 2014.
    §§ 180.630, 180.642, 180.1107, 180.1108, 180.1113, 180.1131, 180.1144, and 180.1154 [Removed]
    13. Remove §§ 180.630, 180.642, 180.1107, 180.1108, 180.1113, 180.1131, 180.1144, and 180.1154. 14. Revise § 180.1180 to read as follows:
    § 180.1180 Kaolin; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    Kaolin is exempted from the requirement of a tolerance for residues when used on or in food commodities to aid in the control of insects, fungi, and bacteria (food/feed use).

    §§ 180.1200, 180.1201, 180.1221, 180.1241, and 180.1256 [Removed]
    15. Remove §§ 180.1200, 180.1201, 180.1221, 180.1241, and 180.1256. 16. Revise § 180.1275 to read as follows:
    § 180.1275 Pythium oligandrum DV 74; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

    An exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is established on all food/feed commodities for residues of Pythium oligandrum DV 74 when the pesticide is used on food crops.

    § 180.1279 [Removed]
    17. Remove § 180.1279.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12723 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Parts 412 and 495 [CMS-3310 & 3311-F3] RINs 0938-AS26 and AS58 Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program—Stage 3 and Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 Through 2017; Corrections and Correcting Amendment AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; corrections and correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects certain technical and typographical errors that appeared in the October 16, 2015 final rule with comment period titled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program—Stage 3 and Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 through 2017.”

    DATES:

    This document is effective on June 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth S. Holland (410) 786-1309.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2015-25595 of October 16, 2015 (80 FR 62762), in the final rule with comment period titled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program—Stage 3 and Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 through 2017” (hereafter referred to as the 2015 EHR Incentive Programs final rule with comment period) there were a number of technical errors that were identified and corrected in FR Doc. 2016-04785 of March 4, 2016 (81 FR 11447), titled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program—Stage 3 and Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 Through 2017; Corrections and Correcting Amendment” .1 This document corrects additional technical and typographical errors that appeared in the 2015 EHR Incentive Programs final rule with comment period. The provisions in this correcting amendment are treated as if they had been included in the 2015 EHR Incentive Programs final rule with comment period.

    1 We note that the name of the program was stated incorrectly in the title of the March 4, 2016 Corrections and Correcting Amendment (81 FR 11447).

    II. Summary of Errors A. Summary of Errors in the Preamble

    We specified in the October 16, 2015 final rule (80 FR 62903-62905) that the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) (Pub. L. 114-10) amended section 1848(a)(7)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act) to sunset the meaningful use payment adjustment for eligible professionals (EPs) at the end of calendar year (CY) 2018 and added section 1848(q) of the Act requiring the establishment of a Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which would incorporate certain existing provisions and processes related to meaningful use. However, on the following pages, we made erroneous statements concerning a meaningful use payment adjustment for EPs under section 1848(a)(7)(A) of the Act in 2019:

    • Page 62905, in our response to a public comment on the EHR reporting period for a payment adjustment year for EPs, we erroneously added a phrase stating that the 90-day EHR reporting period in 2017 for Stage 3 would also apply for the purposes of avoiding the payment adjustment in 2019.

    • Page 62906, in TABLE 18—EHR REPORTING PERIODS AND RELATED PAYMENT ADJUSTMENT YEARS FOR EPs, we incorrectly stated that, in 2017, the EHR reporting period for a payment adjustment year for Medicaid EP returning participants demonstrating Stage 3 is any continuous 90-day period in CY 2017 and applies to avoid a payment adjustment in CY 2019 if they successfully attest by February 28, 2018.

    On page 62920, in TABLE 21—BURDEN ESTIMATES STAGE 3, we inadvertently included text that was proposed but not finalized which stated that, the EP, eligible hospital or CAH incorporates into the patient's record an electronic summary of care document “from a source other than the provider's EHR system”. We are correcting this technical error to ensure that the language in the table is consistent with the language in the preamble and regulations text.

    B. Summary of Errors in the Regulations Text

    On page 62942, in paragraph (1)(ii)(C)(2) of the definition of “EHR reporting period for a payment adjustment year” at § 495.4, we incorrectly established an EHR reporting period in CY 2017 for a payment adjustment year identified as the “FY 2019 payment adjustment year.” As noted previously, the MACRA amended section 1848(a)(7)(A) of the Act to sunset the meaningful use payment adjustment for EPs at the end of CY 2018. Therefore, we are amending the definition of “EHR reporting period for a payment adjustment year” by removing and reserving paragraph (1)(ii)(C)(2) to correct this error.

    On page 62952, in § 495.24(d)(7)(ii)(B)(2) (Stage 3 meaningful use objectives and measures for EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs for 2018 and subsequent years); we inadvertently included language for the eligible hospital or CAH measure that we did not include in the EP measure. We are correcting this technical error by revising the language to ensure that the regulations text for the eligible hospital or CAH measure is consistent with the regulations text for the EP measure.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking, 60-Day Comment Period, and Delay in Effective Date

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the agency is required to publish a notice of the proposed rule in the Federal Register before the provisions of a rule take effect. Similarly, section 1871(b)(1) of the Act requires the Secretary to provide for notice of the proposed rule in the Federal Register and provide a period of not less than 60 days for public comment. In addition, section 553(d) of the APA, and section 1871(e)(1)(B)(i) of the Act mandate a 30-day delay in effective date after issuance or publication of a rule. Sections 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3) of the APA provide for exceptions from the notice and comment and delay in effective date APA requirements; in cases in which these exceptions apply, sections 1871(b)(2)(C) and 1871(e)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act provide exceptions from the notice and 60-day comment period and delay in effective date requirements of the Act as well. Section 553(b)(B) of the APA and section 1871(b)(2)(C) of the Act authorize an agency to dispense with normal rulemaking requirements for good cause if the agency makes a finding that the notice and comment process are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. In addition, both section 553(d)(3) of the APA and section 1871(e)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act allow the agency to avoid the 30-day delay in effective date where such delay is contrary to the public interest and an agency includes a statement of support.

    We believe that this correcting amendment does not constitute a rulemaking that would be subject to these requirements. This correcting amendment corrects technical and typographic errors in the preamble and regulation text included in the 2015 EHR Incentive Programs final rule with comment period. The corrections contained in this document are consistent with, and do not make substantive changes to, the policies that were adopted subject to notice and comment procedures in the final rule with comment period. As a result, the corrections made through this correcting amendment are intended to ensure that the 2015 EHR Incentive Programs final rule with comment period accurately reflects the policies adopted in that rule. In addition, even if this were a rulemaking to which the notice and comment procedures and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the final rule with comment period or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest for EPs, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals to be advised, in a timely manner, of the meaningful use criteria and EHR reporting periods that they must meet in order to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive payments and avoid payment reductions under Medicare, and to ensure that the final rule with comment period accurately reflects our policies as of the date they take effect and are applicable. Furthermore, such procedures would be unnecessary due to the changes in the law made by the MACRA, under which the meaningful use payment adjustment for EPs under section 1848(a)(7)(A) of the Act will sunset at the end of CY 2018. The statements identified above in the preamble and the regulations text concerning a payment adjustment in 2019 are moot as a result of those changes in the law. In addition, such procedures would be unnecessary, as we are not altering our policies; rather, we are simply implementing correctly the policies that we previously proposed, received comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correcting document is intended solely to ensure that the 2015 EHR Incentive Programs final rule with comment period accurately reflects these policies. Therefore, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements.

    IV. Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2015-25595 of October 16, 2015 (80 FR 62762), we are making the following corrections:

    1. On page 62905, first column, first partial paragraph, lines 7 through 10, the phrase “the payment adjustment in 2019 for returning participants and for the payment adjustment in 2018 for new participants” is corrected to read “the payment adjustment in 2018 for new participants”.

    2. On page 62906, in TABLE 18—EHR REPORTING PERIODS AND RELATED PAYMENT ADJUSTMENT YEARS FOR EPs, the entry for 2017 is corrected to read as follows:

    2017 EHR reporting period for a payment adjustment year Applies to avoid a payment
  • adjustment in CY 2018
  • Applies to avoid a payment adjustment in CY 2019
    EP new participants (including those demonstrating Stage 3 under Medicare or Medicaid) Any continuous 90-day period in CY 2017 Yes, if EP successfully attests by October 1, 2017 N/A. EP returning participants N/A N/A N/A.

    3. On page 62920, TABLE 21 —BURDEN ESTIMATES STAGE 3, third column, third full paragraph (Measure 2), lines 8 and 10, the phrase “an electronic summary of care document from a source other than the provider's EHR system.” is corrected to read “an electronic summary of care document.”.

    List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 495

    Administrative practice and procedure, Electronic health records, Health facilities, Health professions, Health maintenance organizations (HMO), Medicaid, Medicare, Penalties, Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    As noted in section II.B. of this correcting amendment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is making the following correcting amendments to 42 CFR part 495:

    PART 495—STANDARDS FOR THE ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD TECHNOLOGY INCENTIVE PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for part 495 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 1102 and 1871 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302 and 1395hh).

    § 495.4 [Amended]
    2. In § 495.4, paragraph (1)(ii)(C)(2) of the definition of “EHR reporting period for a payment adjustment year” is removed and reserved.
    § 495.24 [Amended]
    3. In § 495.24, paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(B)(2) is amended by removing the phrase “an electronic summary of care document from a source other than the provider's EHR system.” and adding in its place the phrase “an electronic summary of care document.”.
    Dated: May 25, 2016. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12853 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 414 [CMS-1631-F3] RIN 0938-AS40 Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016; Corrections AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical and typographical errors that appeared in the final rule with comment period published in the November 16, 2015 Federal Register (80 FR 70886 through 71386) entitled “Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016.” The effective date for the rule was January 1, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This correcting document is effective May 31, 2016.

    Applicability Date: The corrections indicated in this document are applicable beginning January 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Peterman (410) 786-2591.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2015-28005 (80 FR 70886 through 71386), the final rule entitled “Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016” (hereinafter referred to as the CY 2016 PFS final rule with comment period), there were a number of technical and typographical errors that are identified and corrected in section IV., the Correction of Errors. These corrections are applicable as of January 1, 2016.

    II. Summary of Errors A. Summary of Errors in the Preamble

    On page 71138, due to typographical errors, the QualityNet Help Desk email address, the qualified clinical data registry (QCDR) data validation execution report delivery date, and the email subject are incorrect.

    On page 71139, due to typographical errors, the QualityNet Help Desk email address, the qualified registry data validation execution report delivery date, and the email subject are incorrect.

    On pages 71141 and 71145, we incorrectly stated the Measure Application Validation (MAV) process utilized to determine the reporting of Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) cross-cutting resources.

    On page 71147, we inadvertently omitted language restating the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) requirements that apply to groups of 100 or more eligible professionals (EPs) that register to participate in the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) regardless of reporting mechanism.

    On pages 71148 through 71150, we inadvertently omitted language restating the CAHPS requirement for the QCDR reporting option in Table 28—Summary of Requirements for the 2018 PQRS Payment Adjustment: Group Practice Reporting Criteria for Satisfactory Reporting of Quality Measures Data via the GPRO.

    B. Summary of Errors in Regulation Text

    On page 71380 of the CY 2016 PFS final rule with comment period, we inadvertently omitted language in § 414.90(k)(5)(i). In this paragraph, we inadvertently omitted language restating the CAHPS requirements that apply to groups of 100 or more EPs that register to participate in the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) regardless of reporting mechanism.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the agency is required to publish a notice of the proposed rule in the Federal Register before the provisions of a rule take effect. Similarly, section 1871(b)(1) of the Act requires the Secretary to provide for notice of the proposed rule in the Federal Register and provide a period of not less than 60 days for public comment. In addition, section 553(d) of the APA, and section 1871(e)(1)(B)(i) of the Act mandate a 30-day delay in effective date after issuance or publication of a rule. Sections 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3) of the APA provide for exceptions from the APA notice and comment, and delay in effective date requirements; similarly, sections 1871(b)(2)(C) and 1871(e)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act provide exceptions from the notice and comment, and delay in effective date requirements of the Act. Section 553(b)(B) of the APA and section 1871(b)(2)(C) of the Act authorize an agency to dispense with normal notice and comment rulemaking procedures for good cause if the agency makes a finding that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest; and includes a statement of the finding and the reasons for it in the notice. In addition, both section 553(d)(3) of the APA and section 1871(e)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act allow the agency to avoid the 30-day delay in effective date where such delay is contrary to the public interest and the agency includes in the rule a statement of the finding and the reasons for it.

    In our view, this correcting document does not constitute a rulemaking that would be subject to these requirements. This document merely corrects typographical and technical errors in the CY 2016 PFS final rule with comment period. The corrections contained in this document are consistent with, and do not make substantive changes to, the policies and payment methodologies that were adopted subject to notice and comment procedures in the CY 2016 PFS final rule with comment period. As a result, the corrections made through this correcting document are intended to ensure that the CY 2016 PFS final rule with comment period accurately reflects the policies adopted in that rule.

    Even if this were a rulemaking to which the notice and comment and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the CY 2016 PFS final rule with comment period or delaying the effective date of the corrections would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public interest to ensure that the CY 2016 PFS final rule with comment period accurately reflects our final policies as soon as possible following the date they take effect. Further, such procedures would be unnecessary, because we are not altering the payment methodologies or policies, but rather, we are simply correcting the Federal Register document to reflect the policies that we previously proposed, received comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correcting document is intended solely to ensure that the CY 2016 PFS final rule with comment period accurately reflects these policies. For these reasons, we believe there is good cause to waive the requirements for notice and comment and delay in effective date.

    IV. Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2015-28005 of November 16, 2015 (80 FR 70886), make the following corrections:

    A. Correction of Errors in the Preamble

    1. On page 71138, second column, second paragraph, lines 8 through 12, the phrase and sentence “Desk at [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. e.s.t. on June 30, 2016. The email subject should be “PY2015 Qualified Registry Data Validation Execution Report.” ” are corrected to read “Desk at [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. e.s.t. on June 30, 2017. The email subject should be “PY2016 Qualified Registry Data Validation Execution Report.” ”.

    2. On page 71139, third column, fifth full paragraph, lines 8 through 14, the phrase and sentence “Desk at [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 30 of the year in which the reporting period occurs (that is, June 30, 2016 for reporting periods occurring in 2016). The email subject should be “PY2015 Qualified Registry Data Validation Execution Report.” ” are corrected to read “Desk at [email protected]hcqis.org by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 30 following the year in which the reporting period occurs (that is, June 30, 2017 for the reporting periods occurring in 2016). The email subject should be “PY2016 Qualified Registry Data Validation Execution Report.” ”.

    3. On page 71141, first column, first partial paragraph, lines 5 through 9, the sentence “In addition, the MAV process will also allow us to determine whether an EP should have reported on any of the PQRS cross-cutting measures.” is corrected to read “Please note, the MAV process is not utilized to determine whether an EP should have reported on any of the PQRS cross-cutting measures. This analysis occurs prior to the EP being subject to MAV.”.

    4. On page 71145, third column, first partial paragraph, lines 4 through 8, the sentence “However, please note that the MAV process for the 2018 PQRS payment adjustment will now allow us to determine whether a group practice should have reported on at least 1 cross-cutting measure.” is corrected to read “Please note, the MAV process is not utilized to determine whether an EP should have reported on any of the PQRS cross-cutting measures. This analysis occurs prior to the EP being subject to MAV.”.

    5. On page 71147, the third column is corrected by adding the following paragraph after the first partial paragraph:

    “For group practices of 100 or more EPs registered to participate in the GPRO via QCDR for the 2018 PQRS payment adjustment: The administration of the CAHPS for PQRS survey is REQUIRED. Therefore, if reporting via QCDR, these group practices must meet the following criterion for satisfactory reporting for the 2018 PQRS payment adjustment: For the 12-month reporting period for the 2018 PQRS payment adjustment, report all CAHPS for PQRS survey measures via a certified survey vendor, and report at least 6 measures available for reporting under a QCDR covering at least 2 of the NQS domains, AND report each measure for at least 50 percent of the group practice's patients. Of the non-CAHPS for PQRS measures, the group practice would report on at least 2 outcome measures, OR, if 2 outcomes measures are not available, report on at least 1 outcome measures and at least 1 of the following types of measures—resource use, patient experience of care, efficiency/appropriate use, or patient safety.”

    6. On page 71148 through 71150, Table 28—Summary of Requirements for the 2018 PQRS Payment Adjustment: Group Practice Reporting Criteria for Satisfactory Reporting of Quality Measures Data via the GPRO is corrected to read as follows:

    Reporting
  • period
  • Group practice size Measure type Reporting mechanism Satisfactory reporting criteria
    12-month (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2016) 25-99 EPs;
  • 100+ EPs (if CAHPS for PQRS does not apply)
  • Individual GPRO Measures in the Web Interface Web Interface Report on all measures included in the web interface; AND populate data fields for the first 248 consecutively ranked and assigned beneficiaries in the order in which they appear in the group's sample for each module or preventive care measure. If the pool of eligible assigned beneficiaries is less than 248, then the group practice must report on 100 percent of assigned beneficiaries. In other words, we understand that, in some instances, the sampling methodology we provide will not be able to assign at least 248 patients on which a group practice may report, particularly those group practices on the smaller end of the range of 25-99 EPs. If the group practice is assigned less than 248 Medicare beneficiaries, then the group practice must report on 100 percent of its assigned beneficiaries. A group practice must report on at least 1 measure for which there is Medicare patient data.
    12-month (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2016) 25-99 EPs that elect CAHPS for PQRS;
  • 100+ EPs (if CAHPS for PQRS applies)
  • Individual GPRO Measures in the Web Interface + CAHPS for PQRS Web Interface + CMS-Certified Survey Vendor The group practice must have all CAHPS for PQRS survey measures reported on its behalf via a CMS-certified survey vendor. In addition, the group practice must report on all measures included in the Web Interface; AND populate data fields for the first 248 consecutively ranked and assigned beneficiaries in the order in which they appear in the group's sample for each module or preventive care measure. If the pool of eligible assigned beneficiaries is less than 248, then the group practice must report on 100 percent of assigned beneficiaries. A group practice will be required to report on at least 1 measure for which there is Medicare patient data.
  • Please note that, if the CAHPS for PQRS survey is applicable to a group practice who reports quality measures via the Web Interface, the group practice must administer the CAHPS for PQRS survey in addition to reporting the Web Interface measures.
  • 12-month (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2016) 2-99 EPs;
  • 100+ EPs (if CAHPS for PQRS does not apply)
  • Individual Measures Qualified Registry Report at least 9 measures, covering at least 3 of the NQS domains. Of these measures, if a group practice sees at least 1 Medicare patient in a face-to-face encounter, the group practice would report on at least 1 measure in the PQRS cross-cutting measure set. If less than 9 measures covering at least 3 NQS domains apply to the group practice, the group practice would report on each measure that is applicable to the group practice, AND report each measure for at least 50 percent of the group's Medicare Part B FFS patients seen during the reporting period to which the measure applies. Measures with a 0 percent performance rate would not be counted.
    12-month (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2016) 2-99 EPs that elect CAHPS for PQRS;
  • 100+ EPs (if CAHPS for PQRS applies)
  • Individual Measures + CAHPS for PQRS Qualified Registry + CMS-Certified Survey Vendor The group practice must have all CAHPS for PQRS survey measures reported on its behalf via a CMS-certified survey vendor, and report at least 6 additional measures, outside of the CAHPS for PQRS survey, covering at least 2 of the NQS domains using the qualified registry. If less than 6 measures apply to the group practice, the group practice must report on each measure that is applicable to the group practice. Of the additional measures that must be reported in conjunction with reporting the CAHPS for PQRS survey measures, if any EP in the group practice sees at least 1 Medicare patient in a face-to-face encounter, the group practice must report on at least 1 measure in the PQRS cross-cutting measure set.
    12-month (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2016) 2-99 EPs;
  • 100+ EPs (if CAHPS for PQRS does not apply)
  • Individual Measures Direct EHR Product or EHR Data Submission Vendor Product Report 9 measures covering at least 3 domains. If the group practice's direct EHR product or EHR data submission vendor product does not contain patient data for at least 9 measures covering at least 3 domains, then the group practice must report all of the measures for which there is Medicare patient data. A group practice must report on at least 1 measure for which there is Medicare patient data.
    12-month (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2016) 2-99 EPs that elect CAHPS for PQRS;
  • 100+ EPs (if CAHPS for PQRS applies)
  • Individual Measures + CAHPS for PQRS Direct EHR Product or EHR Data Submission Vendor Product + CMS-Certified Survey Vendor The group practice must have all CAHPS for PQRS survey measures reported on its behalf via a CMS-certified survey vendor, and report at least 6 additional measures, outside of CAHPS for PQRS, covering at least 2 of the NQS domains using the direct EHR product or EHR data submission vendor product. If less than 6 measures apply to the group practice, the group practice must report all of the measures for which there is Medicare patient data. Of the additional 6 measures that must be reported in conjunction with reporting the CAHPS for PQRS survey measures, a group practice would be required to report on at least 1 measure for which there is Medicare patient data.
    12-month (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2016) 2-99 EPs;
  • 100+ EPs (if CAHPS for PQRS does not apply)
  • Individual PQRS measures and/or non-PQRS measures reportable via a QCDR Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) Report at least 9 measures available for reporting under a QCDR covering at least 3 of the NQS domains, AND report each measure for at least 50 percent of the group practice's patients. Of these measures, the group practice would report on at least 2 outcome measures, OR, if 2 outcomes measures are not available, report on at least 1 outcome measures and at least 1 of the following types of measures—resource use, patient experience of care, efficiency/appropriate use, or patient safety.
    12-month (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2016) 2-99 EPs that elect CAHPS for PQRS;
  • 100+ EPs (if CAHPS for PQRS applies)
  • Individual PQRS measures and/or non-PQRS measures reportable via a QCDR + CAHPS for PQRS Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) + CMS-Certified Survey Vendor The group practice must have all CAHPS for PQRS survey measures reported on its behalf via a CMS-certified survey vendor, and report at least 6 additional measures, outside of the CAHPS for PQRS survey, covering at least 2 of the NQS domains using the QCDR AND report each measure for at least 50 percent of the group practice's patients. Of these non-CAHPS measures, the group practice would report on at least 2 outcome measures, OR, if 2 outcomes measures are not available, report on at least 1 outcome measures and at least 1 of the following types of measures—resource use, patient experience of care, efficiency/appropriate use, or patient safety.
    List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 414

    Administrative practices and procedure, Health facilities, Health professions, Kidney diseases, Medicare, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, 42 CFR chapter IV is corrected by making the following correcting amendments to part 414:

    PART 414—PAYMENT FOR PART B MEDICAL AND OTHER HEALTH SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 414 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 1102, 1871, and 1881(b)(l) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302, 1395hh, and 1395rr(b)(l)).

    2. Section 414.90 is amended by revising paragraph (k)(5)(i) to read as follows:
    § 414.90 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

    (k) * * *

    (5) * * *

    (i) If a group practice does not report the CAHPS for PQRS survey measures, report at least 9 measures available for reporting under a QCDR covering at least 3 of the NQS domains, and report each measure for at least 50 percent of the eligible professional's patients. Of these measures, report on at least 3 outcome measures, or, if 3 outcomes measures are not available, report on at least 2 outcome measures and at least 1 of the following types of measures—resource use, patient experience of care, efficiency/appropriate use, or patient safety. If a group practice reports the CAHPS for PQRS survey measures, apply reduced criteria as follows: 6 QCDR measures covering 2 NQS domains; and, of the non-CAHPS for PQRS measures, 2 outcome measures or 1 outcome and 1 other specified type of measure, as applicable.

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12841 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration 47 CFR Part 300 [Docket Number: 160523450-6450-01] RIN 0660-AA32 Revision to the Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is making certain changes to its regulations relating to the public availability of the Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management (NTIA Manual). Specifically, NTIA is releasing an update to the current edition of the NTIA Manual, with which federal agencies must comply when requesting use of radio frequency spectrum. NTIA is also making changes to the regulatory text to comply with the Incorporation by Reference formatting structure.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective on June 1, 2016. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of June 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    A reference copy of the NTIA Manual, including all revisions in effect, is available in the Office of Spectrum Management, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 1087, Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Mitchell, Office of Spectrum Management, at (202) 482-8124 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    NTIA authorizes the U.S. Government's use of radio frequency spectrum. 47 U.S.C. 902(b)(2)(A). As part of this authority, NTIA developed the NTIA Manual to provide further guidance to applicable federal agencies on the use of the radio frequency spectrum for radio transmissions for telecommunications or for other purposes. The NTIA Manual is the compilation of policies and procedures that govern the use of the radio frequency spectrum by the U.S. Government. Federal government agencies are required to follow these policies and procedures in their use of spectrum.

    Part 300 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations provides information about the process by which NTIA regularly revises the NTIA Manual and makes public this document and all revisions. Federal agencies are required to comply with the specifications in the NTIA Manual when requesting frequency assignments. See 47 U.S.C. 901 et seq., Executive Order 12046 (March 27, 1978), 43 FR 13349, 3 CFR 1978 Comp. at 158.

    This rule updates § 300.1(b) of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations to specify the edition of the NTIA Manual with which federal agencies must comply when requesting frequency assignments. In particular, this rule amends § 300.1(b) by replacing “2013 Edition of the NTIA Manual, dated May 2014” with “2013 Edition of the NTIA Manual, as revised through September 2015.” See Revision to the Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management, 79 FR 73486, 73486-87 (Dec. 11, 2014). (revising the Manual through May 2014). Upon the effective date of this rule, federal agencies must comply with the requirements set forth in the 2013 edition of the NTIA Manual, as revised through September 2015.

    The NTIA Manual is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, by referring to Catalog Number 903-008-00000-8. A reference copy of the NTIA Manual, including all revisions in effect, is available in the Office of Spectrum Management, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 1087, Washington, DC 20230, by calling William Mitchell on (202) 482-8124, and available online at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/redbook/redbook.html.

    This rule also amends the regulatory text in section 300.1(b) of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations to comply with the Incorporation by Reference formatting structure.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not contain collection of information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NTIA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) to waive prior notice and opportunity for public comment as it is unnecessary. This action amends the regulations to include the date of the most current edition of the NTIA Manual. These changes do not impact the rights or obligations to the public. The NTIA Manual applies only to federal agencies. Because these changes impact only federal agencies, NTIA finds it unnecessary to provide for the notice and comment requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553. NTIA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness for the reasons provided above. Because notice and opportunity for comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and has not been prepared.

    Congressional Review Act

    The NTIA Manual provides for policies and procedures for federal agencies' use of spectrum. The NTIA Manual and the changes thereto do not substantially affect the rights or obligations of the public. As a result, this notice is not a “rule” as defined by the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(C).

    Executive Order 13132

    This rule does not contain policies having federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    Regulatory Text List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 300

    Communications, Incorporation by reference, Radio.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, NTIA amends 47 CFR part 300 as follows:

    PART 300—MANUAL OF REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES FOR FEDERAL RADIO FREQUENCY MANAGEMENT 1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 901 et seq., Executive Order 12046 (March 27, 1978), 43 FR 13349, 3 CFR 1978 Comp., p. 158.

    2. Amend § 300.1 by revising paragraph (b) and removing paragraph (c).

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 300.1 Incorporation by reference of the Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management.

    (b) The Federal agencies shall comply with the requirements set forth in the 2013 edition of the NTIA Manual, as revised through September 2015, which is incorporated by reference with approval of the Director, Office of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. The NTIA Manual is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, by referring to Catalog Number 903-008-00000-8. A reference copy of the NTIA Manual, including all revision in effect, is available in the Office of Spectrum Management, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 1087, Washington, DC 20230, or call William Mitchell at (202) 482-8124. The NTIA Manual is available online at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/redbook/redbook.html.

    Dated: May 24, 2016. Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12640 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150916863-6211-02] RIN 0648-XE647 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Kamchatka flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2016 Kamchatka flounder initial total allowable catch (ITAC) in the BSAI.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), May 26, 2016, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

    The 2016 Kamchatka flounder ITAC in the BSAI is 4,250 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2016 Kamchatka flounder ITAC in the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 2,000 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 2,250 mt as incidental catch. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Kamchatka flounder in the BSAI.

    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of Kamchatka flounder to directed fishing in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of May 24, 2016.

    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12819 Filed 5-26-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 105 Wednesday, June 1, 2016 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. PRM-73-17; NRC-2013-0214] Programmable Logic Computers in Nuclear Power Plant Control Systems AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for rulemaking; denial.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is denying a petition for rulemaking (PRM), filed by Mr. Alan Morris (petitioner) on March 14, 2013, as supplemented most recently on December 19, 2013. The petition was docketed by the NRC on February 7, 2014, and was assigned Docket No. PRM-73-17. The petitioner requested that the NRC require that his “new-design programmable logic computers [PLCs]” be installed in the control systems of nuclear power plants to block malware attacks on the industrial control systems of those facilities. In addition, the petitioner requested that nuclear power plant staff be trained “in the programming and handling of the non-rewriteable memories” for nuclear power plants. The NRC is denying the petition because the petitioner did not present any significant new information or arguments that would support the requested changes, nor has he demonstrated that a need exists for a new regulation requiring the installation of his new-design PLCs in the control systems of NRC-licensed nuclear power plants.

    DATES:

    The docket for the petition for rulemaking PRM-73-17 is closed on June 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0214 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this petition. You may obtain publicly-available documents related to the petition using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0214. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. In addition, for the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession numbers are provided in a table in the section of this document entitled, Availability of Documents.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Natreon Jordan, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-7410, email: [email protected], U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. The Petition

    Section 2.802 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), “Petition for rulemaking,” provides an opportunity for any interested person to petition the Commission to issue, amend, or rescind any regulation. A § 2.802 petition was filed by the petitioner on March 14, 2013, and was supplemented several times through December 19, 2013. (ADAMS Accession No. ML14016A458). On February 7, 2014 (79 FR 7406), the NRC published a notice of receipt of PRM-73-17. The petitioner requested that the NRC amend its regulations that protect digital computer and communication systems and networks. The petitioner requested that the NRC specifically require that “new-design programmable logic computers,” with his patented write-once, read-many (WORM) media, be installed in the control systems of nuclear power plants in order to “block malware attacks on the industrial control systems of those facilities.” The petitioner also requested that nuclear power plant staff “be trained to maintain and secure records of all memory programming,” and recommended “maintenance in secure storage of programmed memories, as specified in this petition, which may be again employed, as the control systems of critical facilities are essentially steady-state.” The petitioner stated that the proposed action would “[r]educe impact on quality of the natural and social environments by stopping disastrous events at critical facilities.”

    The NRC staff sent a letter to the petitioner on June 12, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14120A006), asking the petitioner to provide additional information. Staff specifically asked the petitioner:

    • To indicate the inadequacies that he identified in the NRC's current regulatory approach (i.e., performance-based, programmatic) and framework (i.e., NRC's cyber security rule at § 73.54 and Regulatory Guide (RG) 5.71, “Cyber Security Programs for Nuclear Facilities”) that would be remedied by the proposed rulemaking. Specifically, what cyber threat or vulnerability is not addressed by the current NRC regulations and guidance?

    • If one of the PLCs with his patented WORM media has been installed in any operating facility (nuclear or non-nuclear)? Are these PLCs alone sufficient to protect against cyber threats? What other cyber controls may be required at nuclear power plants if a PLC with his patented WORM media is installed?

    The petitioner responded to the NRC letter in a series of emails dated June 18, 2014, and June 19, 2014. (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML14181B296, ML14181B276, ML14181B286, and ML14181B270).

    Based on the petition and the petitioner's responses to requests for additional information, the NRC staff identified three issues raised by the petitioner:

    Issue 1: PLCs currently installed in U.S. nuclear power plants are vulnerable to malware attacks that could negatively affect or challenge plant safety and control systems. The petitioner stated that malware can “maliciously reprogram the re-writeable memories of the present programmable logic computers” in the control systems of nuclear power plants.

    Issue 2: By using the petitioner's patented PLC design, nuclear power plant safety and control systems would be safe from malware attacks.

    Issue 3: Nuclear power plant staff should be trained to maintain and secure records of all memory programming, and recommends maintenance in secure storage of programmed memories that may be again employed, as “the control systems of critical facilities are essentially steady-state.”

    The NRC staff decided not to seek public comment on PRM-73-17 because no additional information was needed for the NRC staff's evaluation of the petitioner's claim.

    II. Reasons for Denial

    The NRC is denying the petition because the petitioner did not present any significant new information or arguments that would support the requested changes, nor has he demonstrated a need for a new requirement for his new-design of PLCs in nuclear power plant control systems. This section provides detailed responses to the issues raised in the petition.

    Issue 1: PLCs that are currently installed in nuclear power plant control systems are vulnerable to malware attacks that could negatively affect or challenge plant safety and control systems.

    NRC Response: The NRC disagrees with Issue 1 because the petitioner does not take into account the comprehensive NRC cyber security program requirements for nuclear power plants in § 73.54. Section 73.54, “Protection of digital computer and communication systems and networks,” which is known as the NRC's “cyber security rule,” requires licensees to protect digital systems in nuclear power plants from cyber attacks. The cyber security rule presumes that any digital system (including PLC designs) is vulnerable to various cyber attacks. The regulations in § 73.54 establish a series of performance-based requirements to ensure that the functions of digital computers, communication systems, and networks are protected from cyber attack. In particular, § 73.54(a)(1) requires nuclear power plant licensees to protect digital computers, communications systems, and networks associated with the following:

    • Safety-related and important-to-safety functions;

    • security functions;

    • emergency preparedness functions, including offsite communications; and

    • support systems and equipment which, if compromised, would adversely impact safety, security, or emergency preparedness (SSEP) functions.

    As required by §§ 73.54(b)(2) and 73.55(b)(8), a nuclear power plant licensee must establish, implement, and maintain a cyber security program that protects any digital system, network, or communication system associated with SSEP functions. Licensees are required to submit their cyber security plans to NRC for review and approval. Once approved, these plans become part of the licensee's licensing basis, and compliance with the plans is evaluated by the NRC during periodic inspections. Civil penalties may be imposed in the event that licensees are found in violation of their approved cyber security plans. The NRC-approved cyber security plans, which are implemented through the licensee's cyber security programs, significantly reduce the possibility that a PLC installed at a nuclear power plant would be vulnerable to a malware attack that would negatively impact or challenge the plant's safety and control systems. The NRC inspects the implementation of the licensee's cyber security programs, at specified intervals, to confirm that they are being implemented in accordance with the NRC-approved cyber security plans.

    To properly understand the petitioner's concerns, the NRC staff asked the petitioner to indicate the inadequacies he had identified in the NRC's current regulatory approach and framework that would be remedied by the NRC's undertaking of his proposed action. The NRC staff asked, specifically, “What cyber threat or vulnerability is not addressed by the current NRC regulations and guidance?” The petitioner stated “the inadequacies in the NRC's current regulatory approach are that the regulations do not address correction for the vulnerability to corruption of the rewriteable PLC memories.” The NRC staff disagrees with the petitioner's assertion because the cyber security rule does, in fact, require licensees to have the capability to detect, prevent, respond to, mitigate, and recover from cyber attacks under § 73.54(c)(2). To comply with this requirement, nuclear power plant licensees must implement an overall site defensive strategy to protect critical digital assets (CDAs) from cyber attacks, as well as implementing operational and management security controls.

    Issue 2: By using the petitioner's patented PLC design, nuclear power plant safety and control systems would be safe from malware attacks.

    NRC Response: The NRC staff disagrees with Issue 2 because the proposed vulnerability to malware attacks described in the petition is already addressed in the current NRC regulations. In addition, the “new-design” PLCs recommended in the petition have not been proven to offer protection from cyber attacks.

    The approach recommended in the petition presumes that a “one size fits all” solution would be adequate for the wide variety of industrial control systems and safety systems used in nuclear power plants. However, it does not take into account other attacks that could be made (e.g., man-in-the-middle attacks where an attacker inserts malicious commands between the PLC and the controlled devices). The objective of the petitioner's PLC design, which was to correct a proposed vulnerability (i.e., to “block malware attacks on the industrial control systems of those facilities”), is already accomplished by the defense-in-depth strategy in the current regulatory framework. As required by § 73.54(c)(2), nuclear power plant licensees must design their cyber security programs to apply and maintain an integrated defense-in-depth protective strategy to ensure that licensees have the capability to detect, prevent, respond to, mitigate, and recover from cyber attacks. The approach used by nuclear power plant licensees may vary in that NRC regulations are generally not prescriptive, and allow licensees and applicants to propose different methods for meeting the requirements. To comply with the requirements in § 73.54(c)(2), licensees must implement an overall site defensive strategy to protect CDAs from cyber attacks as well as implementing operational and management security controls.

    Defense-in-depth strategies are a documented collection of complementary and redundant security controls that establish multiple layers of protection to safeguard CDAs. Under a defense-in-depth strategy, the failure of a single protective strategy would not result in the compromise of an SSEP function. One example of a defense-in-depth strategy involves setting up multiple security boundaries to protect CDAs and networks from cyber attack. In this way, multiple protection levels must fail for a cyber attack to progress and impact a critical system or network. Even if a failure occurred (e.g., such as through a violation of policy), or if a protection mechanism was bypassed (e.g., by a new virus that is not yet identified as a cyber attack), other mechanisms would still be in place to detect and respond to a cyber attack on a CDA, to mitigate the impacts of the cyber attack, and to recover normal operations of the CDA and its system before an adverse impact could happen.

    In addition to the fact that a need has not been justified for use of the petitioner's new-design PLCs, the approach recommended in the petition has not been proven by the petitioner to be effective in preventing cyber attacks. Based on email correspondence, the petitioner states that the proposed “new-design programmable logic computers” currently are not used in any facility (nuclear or otherwise). As such, the petitioner was unable to present any evidence that his PLCs would be effective in preventing cyber attacks. Furthermore, no information was provided by the petitioner as to how the “new-design programmable logic computers” would comply with the requirements in § 73.54 for use in the safety systems and control systems of a nuclear power plant.

    Issue 3: Nuclear power plant licensee staff should be trained to maintain and secure records of all memory programming, and recommends maintenance in secure storage of programmed memories that may be again employed, as “the control systems of critical facilities are essentially steady-state.”

    NRC Response: The NRC staff disagrees with Issue 3 because the petition does not take into account the awareness and training requirements each nuclear power plant licensee must perform as part of their comprehensive cyber security program as required in § 73.54.

    Under § 73.54(d)(1), each licensee is required to ensure, as part of its cyber security program, that appropriate facility personnel, including contractors, are aware of the cyber security requirements and receive the necessary training to perform their assigned duties and responsibilities. As an example, licensees may comply with the awareness and training requirements by performing the following actions:

    • Develop, disseminate, and periodically review and update the site cyber security training and awareness plan. This plan defines the purpose, scope, roles, responsibilities, and management commitment to provide high assurance that individuals have received training to properly perform their job functions;

    • Perform gap analyses in areas where additional training is needed in cyber security;

    • Establish measures to determine whether cyber security policies and procedures are being followed, and if not, determine whether a training or awareness issue is the cause and develop measures to be taken to correct the deficiency;

    • Develop, disseminate, and periodically review and update procedures that are used to facilitate and maintain the cyber security training and awareness program; and

    • Implement training and awareness security controls.

    In addition, § 73.54(d)(3) requires each nuclear power plant licensee, as part of its cyber security program, to evaluate all modifications to assets identified in § 73.54(a)(1) (i.e. systems with SSEP functions) before their implementation. This ensures that the cyber security performance objectives are maintained. As stated above, the NRC inspects licensee cyber security programs, at specified intervals, to confirm that the programs are being implemented in accordance with the NRC-approved cyber security plans.

    III. Conclusion

    The NRC has reviewed the petition and appreciates the concerns raised by the petitioner. For the reasons described in Section II, “Reasons for Denial,” of this document, the NRC is denying the petition under § 2.802. The petitioner did not present any significant new information or arguments, as part of this petition, that would support the requested changes, nor has the petitioner demonstrated that a need exists for a new provision requiring use of the petitioner's new-design PLCs.

    IV. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons as indicated. For more information on accessing ADAMS, see the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Date Document ADAMS
  • Accession
  • number/
  • Federal
  • Register
  • citation
  • January 2010 Regulatory Guide 5.71; “Cyber Security Programs for Nuclear Facilities” ML090340159 March 14, 2013, as supplemented through December 19, 2013 Petition for Rulemaking from Mr. Alan Morris Regarding Programmable Logic Computers in Nuclear Power Plant Control Systems ML14016A458 January 27, 2014 Letter to Petitioner Enclosing Federal Register Notice—Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking ML13308A385 February 7, 2014 Federal Register Notice—Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking 79 FR 7406 June 12, 2014 Letter to Petitioner; “PRM-73-17 Cyber Malware Attacks on Programmable Logic Computers” ML14120A006 June 18, 2014 E-mail from Petitioner; “PRM-73-17” ML14181B296 June 18, 2014 E-mail from Petitioner; “RE: PRM-73-17” ML14181B276 June 18, 2014 E-mail from Petitioner; “RE: PRM-73-17” ML14181B286 June 19, 2014 E-mail from Petitioner; “RE: PRM-73-17” ML14181B270
    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25th day of May, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12926 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 11, 404, 405, 420, 431, 435, 437, 460 [Docket No.: FAA-2016-6761; Notice No. 16-03] RIN 2120-AK76 Updates to Rulemaking and Waiver Procedures and Expansion of the Equivalent Level of Safety Option AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action would streamline and improve commercial space transportation regulations' general rulemaking and petition procedures by reflecting current practice; reorganizing the regulations for clarity and flow; and allowing petitioners to file their petitions to the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation electronically. Further, it would expand the option to satisfy commercial space transportation requirements by demonstrating an equivalent level of safety. These changes are necessary to ensure the regulations are current, accurate, and are not unnecessarily burdensome. The intended effect of these changes is to improve the clarity of the regulations and reduce burden on the industry and on the FAA.

    DATES:

    Send comments on or before August 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2016-6761 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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

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

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions concerning this proposed rule, contact Shirley McBride, AST-300, Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-7470; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984, as amended and re-codified at 51 U.S.C. 50901-50923 (the Act), authorizes the Department of Transportation and thus the FAA, through delegations, to oversee, license, and regulate commercial launch and reentry activities, and the operation of launch and reentry sites as carried out by U.S. citizens or within the United States. 51 U.S.C. 50904, 50905. The Act directs the FAA to exercise this responsibility consistent with public health and safety, safety of property, and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. 51 U.S.C. 50905. The Act directs the FAA to regulate only to the extent necessary to protect the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. 51 U.S.C. 50901(a)(7). The FAA is also responsible for encouraging, facilitating, and promoting commercial space launches by the private sector. 51 U.S.C. 50903.

    I. Background

    The Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) was established under the Act as part of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation within the Department of Transportation. In 1988, the general rulemaking and petition procedures, under the authority of the Act, were codified in 14 CFR, chapter III, part 404.

    In November 1995, AST was transferred to the FAA as the agency's only space-related line of business. The FAA's general rulemaking and petition procedures, for which the agency follows public rulemaking procedures under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553, reside in 14 CFR chapter I, part 11. When AST became part of the FAA, the general rulemaking and petition procedures in part 404 were not conformed to those in part 11 to remove duplicate and outdated information, or to clarify those provisions that apply specifically to the FAA's commercial space transportation regulations. The proposed rule would update parts 404 and 11 to remove duplicate information from part 404 and add appropriate cross references between part 11 and part 404. In addition, the proposal would update part 404 to reflect current practice, clarify the requirements, and add an option to submit petitions to AST electronically.

    Currently, the option to satisfy a commercial space transportation regulation by demonstrating an “equivalent level of safety” is limited to part 417 1 and to some specific sections of chapter III. This restricts the FAA's flexibility in approving launch and reentry related activities where the operator can convincingly demonstrate that an alternative approach to the requirements of chapter III provides an equivalent level of safety. This proposal would expand the equivalent level of safety option so that it applies more broadly to chapter III requirements for both launch and reentry activities.

    1See § 417.1(g): Equivalent level of safety. The requirements of this part apply to a launch operator and the launch operator's launch unless the launch operator clearly and convincingly demonstrates that an alternative approach provides an equivalent level of safety.

    The current title of part 405 is “Investigations and Enforcement.” However, part 405 does not relate to investigations. To avoid confusion, the FAA proposes to revise the title of part 405 to a title more descriptive of its contents, namely, “Compliance and Enforcement.”

    II. Discussion of the Proposal 1. General Rulemaking Procedures (Part 11)

    The general rulemaking and petition procedures for commercial space transportation regulations, 14 CFR chapter III, part 404, are not aligned with the FAA's general rulemaking and petition procedures located in 14 CFR chapter I, part 11. This has caused some confusion about how the two parts relate to each other and what requirements apply specifically to commercial space transportation regulations. Additionally, there is no option to file petitions electronically under chapter III.

    The FAA proposes minor changes to part 11 to clarify that this part applies to all FAA regulations, including commercial space transportation regulations, except as otherwise noted. Also, the FAA proposes to correct an outdated Internet link in part 11.

    § 11.15—What is a petition for exemption?

    The FAA proposes to amend § 11.15 to cross reference part 404 for commercial space transportation waivers. Authority for the FAA's aviation safety oversight falls under Title 49 U.S.C., while the agency's authority for commercial space transportation oversight falls under 51 U.S.C. 50901-50923. Title 49 allows for “exemptions” as requests for relief from a regulatory requirement, whereas Title 51 allows the Secretary to “waive” regulatory requirements. To retain the distinction of terms under both statutes, the FAA proposes to revise § 11.15 to cross reference part 404, which describes the agency's delegated authority to issue commercial space transportation waivers.

    § 11.27—Are there other ways FAA collects specific rulemaking recommendations before we issue an NPRM?

    The FAA proposes to add the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) as an example of an advisory committee the FAA uses to review and provide advice on various issues. While the FAA uses the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) for aviation-specific issues, it uses COMSTAC for commercial space transportation issues. ARAC is comprised of representatives from the aviation industry. COMSTAC includes representatives from the commercial space industry.

    § 11.63—How and to whom do I submit my petition for rulemaking or petition for exemption?

    The proposal would amend this section to remove an outdated Internet address in § 11.63(a)(1), “http://www.faa.gov/regulations,” where petitioners are directed to find additional instructions on filing their petitions, and replace it with a description of where it could be found. This is because an Internet address may be subject to change, and a description would be more flexible while still providing adequate instruction.

    2. Petitions for Waiver and Rulemaking (Part 404)

    Currently, part 404, subpart A is organized such that requirements for filing and processing a petition for waiver and a petition for rulemaking are combined in the same sections, §§ 404.3 and 404.5. This causes confusion because while some requirements apply to both petition for waiver and petition for rulemaking, certain others apply only to one or to the other. Having requirements for both types of petitions in the same sections make it difficult to determine which requirement applies to which type of petition. The agency proposes to establish separate sections for requirements applicable to both petitions for waiver and petitions for rulemaking (proposed §§ 404.1 and 404.3), requirements applicable only to petitions for waiver (proposed §§ 404.5 and 404.7), and those applicable only to petitions for rulemaking (proposed §§ 404.9 and 404.11).

    Current subpart B of part 404 includes general rulemaking procedures that duplicate those in chapter I, part 11. The FAA proposes to reorganize subpart B to remove the duplicate information and add relevant cross references to part 11.

    The FAA also proposes to remove the subpart titles in part 404 because the other organizational changes to part 404 would remove the need to use subpart titles as guides.

    Additionally, and as indicated in the “Proposed Reorganization—Part 404” table below, in order to accommodate the reorganization of part 404, the current part title, some section titles, and some section numbers would change. Also, new sections would be added.

    EP01JN16.010

    Further, the proposal would update part 404 to reflect current practice. For example, part 404 does not include the option for petitioners to file their petitions electronically.

    A discussion of the specific, proposed changes for part 404 follows.

    Proposed § 404.1—Scope

    The FAA proposes to revise § 404.1 to clarify the scope of part 404. Currently § 404.1 states that part 404 “establishes procedures for issuing regulations to implement 51 U.S.C. Subtitle V, chapter 509, and for eliminating or waiving requirements for licensing or permitting of commercial space transportation activities under that statute.” The FAA would revise § 404.1 to state that part 404 establishes procedures for issuing regulations and for filing a petition for waiver or a petition for rulemaking to the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation.

    Proposed § 404.3—General

    The FAA proposes to change the title of this section from “Filing of petitions to the Associate Administrator” to “General” to reflect the reorganization of the part.

    The reorganized section would include information applicable to both petitions for waiver and petitions for rulemaking. This information would include the physical address to which petitioners should send their petitions, as well as the option to file petitions to AST electronically by using the specified FAA email address.

    Current § 404.3(d), which explains a petitioner's rights, provided by Congress in 51 U.S.C. 50916, to request the agency withhold certain sensitive information or data from the public, subject to certain conditions, would be moved to proposed § 404.3(b). Also, proposed § 404.3(a)(3) would reference the waiver exception described in proposed § 404.7(b). Further, the provision about public hearings in current § 404.5(a) would be moved to proposed § 404.3(g).

    Current § 404.3 requires petitioners to send two copies of their petition to either AST's physical address or to the docket's physical address. The FAA proposes to require all petitions be sent to AST to ensure timely consideration. The FAA also proposes to remove the requirement to submit duplicate copies so that petitioners need only send one copy of the petition to AST.

    The proposal would remove from § 404.3 the requirement that a petition for rulemaking contain a summary that the FAA may cause to be published in the Federal Register because part 11 does not require such a summary and the FAA does not seek public comment on petitions for rulemaking.

    The proposal also would move the provisions in current §§ 404.5(d) and 404.5(e) to §§ 404.3(e) and 404.3(f), respectively, because notification and reconsideration of the Associate Administrator's decision applies to both petitions for waiver and petitions for rulemaking.

    Proposed § 404.5—Filing a Petition for Waiver

    The proposal would change the section title from “Action on petitions” to “Filing a Petition for Waiver.” Also, it would move the waiver procedures from current § 404.3 to proposed § 404.5. Proposed § 404.5 would clarify the requirements for filing a waiver request and, as noted in the discussion of proposed § 404.3, would move the information in current § 404.5(a) about public hearings related to petitions to proposed § 404.3(g).

    Current § 404.3 states that the petition must “set forth the text or substance of the regulation . . . to be waived.” Proposed § 404.5 would clarify that the petition must reference the specific section or sections of 14 CFR chapter III from which relief is sought. Further, to help ensure petitions are complete and meet the requirements of the Act, 51 U.S.C. 50905(b)(3), proposed § 404.5 would clarify that the petition must state the reasons why granting the request for relief is in the public interest and will not jeopardize the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.

    Proposed § 404.7—Action on a Petition for Waiver

    The requirements in current § 404.5 that describe the FAA's actions on petitions for waiver would be moved to proposed § 404.7. Proposed § 404.7 would clarify that under 51 U.S.C. 50905(b)(3), the FAA is not authorized to grant a waiver that would permit the launch or reentry of a launch vehicle or a reentry vehicle without a license or permit if a human being would be on board.

    Proposed § 404.9—Filing a Petition for Rulemaking

    As noted, the current requirements for filing a petition for rulemaking reside in § 404.3. This proposal would remove those requirements and, instead, new § 404.9 would require a petitioner to follow § 11.71 for filing a petition for rulemaking. This proposed change would align the procedures for filing a petition for rulemaking under part 404 with the procedures for filing all other petitions for rulemaking made to the agency.

    There are no substantive differences in the process for filing a petition for rulemaking with the FAA under part 404 or under § 11.71 of part 11. Therefore, the FAA does not foresee any issues with using part 11 procedures for commercial space petitions for rulemaking.

    Proposed § 404.11—Action on a Petition for Rulemaking

    The requirements in current § 404.5 that describe the FAA's actions on petitions for rulemaking would be removed, and new § 404.11 would cross reference § 11.73, which includes the FAA's actions on petitions for rulemaking. This change would align the actions of the FAA on petitions for rulemaking under part 404 with its actions regarding all other petitions for rulemaking made to the agency.

    Proposed § 404.13—Rulemaking

    Since the FAA's general rulemaking procedures, which apply to all FAA regulations, including commercial space transportation regulations, reside in 14 CFR chapter I, part 11, the agency proposes to remove the general rulemaking procedures in current §§ 404.11, 404.13, and 404.15 and, instead, add a cross reference in proposed § 404.13(a) to part 11's general rulemaking procedures. Also, current § 404.17 (Additional rulemaking proceedings) and § 404.19 (Hearings) of subpart B would be retained as is. As a result, proposed § 404.13(b) states that in addition to the procedures referenced in § 404.13(a), the provisions in §§ 404.17 and 404.19 also apply.

    Proposed § 404.15—Removed and Reserved

    As discussed under proposed § 404.13, the proposal would remove the current, specified contents of subpart B, including § 404.15, and add a cross reference to part 11. In addition, it would reserve § 404.15 to prevent gaps in the CFR numbering for part 404.

    3. Investigations and Enforcement (Part 405)

    The agency proposes to change the title of part 405 to better reflect the part's requirements. Part 405 has not substantially changed since 1988. Although its current title is “Investigations and Enforcement,” the part does not apply to investigations. Instead, requirements for investigations reside in part 406, entitled “Investigations, Enforcement, and Administrative Review.”

    What part 405 actually contains is requirements for FAA monitoring of licensed and permitted activities; the agency's authority to modify, suspend or revoke a license or permit; and the FAA's authority to issue emergency orders to terminate, prohibit, or suspend a licensed or permitted launch or reentry activity. To avoid confusion, the FAA proposes to revise the title of part 405 to “Compliance and Enforcement,” to better reflect the content of the part.

    4. Equivalent Level of Safety

    Currently, the option to satisfy the requirements of 14 CFR, chapter III by demonstrating an “equivalent level of safety” is limited to part 417 (safety of expendable launch vehicles) and to specific sections of parts 420 (operation of a launch site), 437 (experimental permits), and 460 (human space flight). The option does not apply to parts 431 and 435, which govern reentry of reusable launch vehicles and other reentry vehicles. The FAA addresses this limitation through the waiver process, which places an unnecessary burden on the industry and on the FAA. Thus, the agency proposes to expand the availability of its equivalent level of safety option.

    Currently, in parts 420 and 437, the equivalent level of safety option only applies to §§ 420.23(a)(3), (b)(4), and (c)(2); 420.25(a); and, 437.65(b). The FAA proposes to expand the availability of the option so that it applies not just to these specific sections but to parts 420 and 437 in their entirety. Therefore, this proposal would remove the equivalent level of safety provision in these specific sections and replace them with proposed §§ 420.1(b) and 437.1(b). The proposed change to § 420.23 would remove current § 420.23(c)(2), move current § 420.23(c)(3) to proposed § 420.23(c)(2) to prevent a gap in paragraph numbering, and remove current § 420.23(c)(3) to prevent identical language from appearing in both § 420.23(c)(2) and (c)(3). These proposed sections would require that each requirement of the part would apply unless an applicant or licensee under part 420, or a permittee under part 437, clearly and convincingly demonstrates that an alternative provides an equivalent level of safety to the requirement of the part.

    Current parts 431 and 435 have no equivalent level of safety option. Therefore, the FAA proposes to add this option to the “General” sections of parts 431 and 435 (§§ 431.1 and 435.1, respectively) so that the option would apply to these parts in their entirety.

    The agency further proposes to expand the equivalent level of safety provision now in § 460.5. That provision, which includes qualification requirements for a pilot and a remote operator, currently only extends the equivalent level of safety option (see § 460.5(d)) to a remote operator but not to a pilot. The FAA proposes amending § 460.5(d) to allow an applicant, licensee, or permittee to satisfy pilot qualification requirements by demonstrating an equivalent level of safety.

    IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of the economic impacts of this proposed rule.

    Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect and the basis for it to be included in the preamble if a full regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this proposed rule. The reasoning for this determination follows.

    This rule proposes to streamline and improve commercial space transportation regulations' general rulemaking and petition procedures. It proposes to do this by updating the rule language to reflect current practice; reorganizing it for clarity and flow; and allowing petitioners to file their petitions to the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation electronically. In addition, this rule proposes to expand the option to satisfy commercial space transportation requirements by demonstrating an equivalent level of safety. These changes are necessary to ensure the regulations are current, accurate, and not unnecessarily burdensome.

    The intended effect of these proposed changes is to improve the clarity of the regulations and reduce burden on the industry and on the FAA. Increased clarity could result in fewer requests for more information and, therefore, in cost savings. Expanding the equivalent level of safety option provides more choice to operators and lowers the number of waiver requests the FAA must process, resulting in reduced FAA burden. Allowing petitioners the option to submit electronically could result in small cost savings, from reduced mail expense.

    Since the expected outcome of this proposal is increased regulatory clarity with the potential of a minimal cost impact, a regulatory evaluation was not prepared. The FAA requests comments with supporting justification about the FAA determination of minimal impact.

    FAA has, therefore, determined that this proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and is not “significant” as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) establishes “as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation.” To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration.” The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.

    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear.

    This proposal is expected to have an effect on States, local governments, large entities such as Boeing and a significant number of small entities such as Scaled Composites, LLC, Masten Space Systems, XCOR Aerospace, Escape Dynamics, and Space Information Laboratories.

    As this proposed rule would streamline and clarify FAA rulemaking procedures, codify current practice and expand options to demonstrate an equivalent level of safety, the expected outcome would have only minimal costs to minor cost savings impact on any small entity affected by this rulemaking action.

    If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the head of the agency may so certify under section 605(b) of the RFA. Therefore, as provided in section 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this proposed rule and determined that it would impose the same costs on domestic and international entities and thus has a neutral trade impact.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $155 million in lieu of $100 million.

    This proposed rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act do not apply.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that there would be no new requirement for information collection associated with this proposed rule.

    F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    (1) In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has determined that there are no ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices that correspond to these proposed regulations.

    (2) Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and to reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA has analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and has determined that this action would have no effect on international regulatory cooperation.

    G. Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312f and involves no extraordinary circumstances.

    V. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this proposed rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency has determined that this action would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, therefore, would not have Federalism implications.

    B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    The FAA analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it would not be a “significant energy action” under the executive order and would not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    VI. Additional Information A. Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The agency may change this proposal in light of the comments it receives.

    B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by—

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

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

    3. Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/.

    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this rulemaking.

    All documents the FAA considered in developing this proposed rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced in item (1) above.

    List of Subjects 14 CFR Part 11

    Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    14 CFR Part 404

    Administrative practice and procedure, Space transportation and exploration.

    14 CFR Part 405

    Investigations, Penalties, Space transportation and exploration.

    14 CFR Part 420

    Environmental protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Space transportation and exploration.

    14 CFR Part 431

    Aviation safety, Environmental protection, Investigations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Space transportation and exploration.

    14 CFR Part 435

    Aviation safety, Environmental protection, Investigations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Space transportation and exploration.

    14 CFR Part 437

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Space transportation and exploration.

    14 CFR Part 460

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Space transportation and exploration.

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend chapters I and III of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 11—GENERAL RULEMAKING PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 11 is amended to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40101, 40103, 40105, 40109, 40113, 44110, 44502, 44701-44702, 44711, 46102, and 51 U.S.C. 50901-50923.

    2. Revise § 11.15 to read as follows:
    § 11.15 What is a petition for exemption?

    A petition for exemption is a request to the FAA by an individual or entity asking for relief from the requirements of a current regulation. For petitions for waiver of commercial space transportation regulations, see part 404 of this title.

    3. Revise § 11.27 to read as follows:
    § 11.27 Are there other ways FAA collects specific rulemaking recommendations before we issue an NPRM?

    Yes, the FAA obtains advice and recommendations from advisory committees, including the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) for aviation issues and the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) for commercial space transportation issues. These advisory committees are formal standing committees comprised of representatives of industry, consumer groups, and interested individuals. In conducting their activities, ARAC and COMSTAC comply with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and the direction of FAA. We task these advisory committees with providing us with recommended rulemaking actions dealing with specific areas and problems. If we accept their recommendation to change an FAA rule, we ordinarily publish an NPRM using the procedures in this part. The FAA may establish other rulemaking advisory committees for a limited period of time as needed to focus on aviation-specific issues.

    4. Amend § 11.63 by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:
    § 11.63 How and to whom do I submit my petition for rulemaking or petition for exemption?

    (a) * * *

    (1) By electronic submission, submit your petition for rulemaking or exemption to the FAA through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal Docket Management System Web site. For additional instructions, you may visit http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/, and navigate to the Rulemaking home page.

    PART 404—PETITION AND RULEMAKING PROCEDURES 5. The authority citation for part 404 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 50901-50923.

    6. The heading of part 404 is revised to read as set forth above. 7. Remove the headings of subparts A and B. 8. Revise § 404.1 to read as follows:
    § 404.1 Scope.

    This part establishes procedures for issuing regulations and for filing a petition for waiver or petition for rulemaking to the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation.

    9. Amend § 404.3 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a)(3), (b), (c), (d), and adding new paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) to read as follows:
    § 404.3 General.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Waive the requirement for a license, except as provided in § 404.7(b) of this part.

    (b) A petition filed under this section may request, under § 413.9 of this chapter, that the Associate Administrator withhold certain trade secrets or proprietary commercial or financial data from public disclosure.

    (c) Each petitioner filing under this section must:

    (1) For electronic submission, send one copy of the petition by email to the Office of Commercial Space Transportation at [email protected]; or

    (2) For paper submission, send the petition to the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Room 331, Washington, DC 20591.

    (d) Each petition filed under this section must include the petitioner's name, mailing address, telephone number and any other contact information, such as an email address or a fax number.

    (e) Notification. When the Associate Administrator determines that a petition should be granted or denied, the Associate Administrator notifies the petitioner of the Associate Administrator's action and the reasons supporting the action.

    (f) Reconsideration. Any person may petition the FAA to reconsider a denial of a petition the person filed. The petitioner must send a request for reconsideration within 60 days after being notified of the denial to the same address to which the original petition was filed. For the FAA to accept the reconsideration request, the petitioner must show—

    (1) There is a significant additional fact and the reason it was not included in the original petition;

    (2) The FAA made an important factual error in its denial of the original petition; or

    (3) The denial is not in accordance with the applicable law and regulations.

    (g) Public hearing. No public hearing, argument or other proceeding is held on a petition before its disposition under this section.

    10. Revise § 404.5 to read as follows:
    § 404.5 Filing a petition for waiver.

    A petition for waiver must be submitted at least 60 days before the proposed effective date of the waiver unless the petitioner shows good cause for later submission in the petition, and the petition for waiver must—

    (a) Include the specific section or sections of 14 CFR chapter III from which the petitioner seeks relief;

    (b) Include the extent of the relief sought and the reason the relief is being sought;

    (c) Include any facts, views, and data available to the petitioner to support the waiver request; and

    (d) Show why granting the request for relief is in the public interest and will not jeopardize the public health and safety, safety of property, and national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.

    11. Add new § 404.7 to read as follows:
    § 404.7 Action on a petition for waiver.

    (a) Grant of waiver. The Associate Administrator may grant a waiver, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, if the Associate Administrator determines that the waiver is in the public interest and will not jeopardize public health and safety, the safety or property, or any national security or foreign policy interest of the United States.

    (b) The FAA may not grant a waiver that would permit the launch or reentry of a launch vehicle or a reentry vehicle without a license or permit if a human being will be on board.

    (c) Denial of waiver. If the Associate Administrator determines that the petition does not justify granting a waiver, the Associate Administrator denies the petition.

    12. Add new § 404.9 to read as follows:
    § 404.9 Filing a petition for rulemaking.

    A petition for rulemaking filed under this part must be made in accordance with 14 CFR 11.71.

    13. Revise § 404.11 to read as follows:
    § 404.11 Action on a petition for rulemaking.

    The FAA will process petitions for rulemaking under this part in accordance with 14 CFR 11.73.

    14. Revise § 404.13 to read as follows:
    § 404.13 Rulemaking.

    (a) The FAA's rulemaking procedures are located in subpart A chapter I, part 11 under the General, Written Comments, and Public Meetings and Other Proceedings headings.

    (b) In addition to the rulemaking procedures referenced in paragraph (a) of this section, the provisions of §§ 404.17 and 404.19 of this subpart also apply.

    § 404.15 [Removed and Reserved]
    15. Remove and reserve § 404.15. PART 405—COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT 16. The authority citation for part 405 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 50901-50923.

    17. Amend part 405 by revising the part heading to read as set forth above. PART 420—LICENSE TO OPERATE A LAUNCH SITE 18. The authority citation for part 420 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 50901-50923.

    19. Revise § 420.1 to read as follows:
    § 420.1 General.

    (a) Scope. This part prescribes the information and demonstrations that must be provided to the FAA as part of a license application, the bases for license approval, license terms and conditions, and post-licensing requirements with which a licensee shall comply to remain licensed. Requirements for preparing a license application are contained in part 413 of this subchapter.

    (b) Equivalent level of safety. Each requirement of this part applies unless the applicant or licensee clearly and convincingly demonstrates that an alternative approach provides an equivalent level of safety to the requirement of this part.

    20. Amend § 420.23 by revising paragraphs (a)(3), (b)(4), and (c)(2), and removing paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:
    § 420.23 Launch site location review—flight corridor.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Uses one of the methodologies provided in appendix A or B of this part.

    (b) * * *

    (4) Uses one of the methodologies provided in appendices A or B to this part.

    (c) * * *

    (2) An applicant shall base its analysis on an unguided suborbital launch vehicle whose final launch vehicle stage apogee represents the intended use of the launch point.

    21. Amend § 420.25 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 420.25 Launch site location review—risk analysis.

    (a) If a flight corridor or impact dispersion area defined by § 420.23 contains a populated area, the applicant shall estimate the casualty expectation associated with the flight corridor or impact dispersion area. An applicant shall use the methodology provided in appendix C to this part for guided orbital or suborbital expendable launch vehicles and appendix D for unguided suborbital launch vehicles.

    PART 431—LAUNCH AND REENTRY OF A REUSABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE (RLV) 22. The authority citation for part 431 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 50901-50923.

    23. Revise § 431.1 to read as follows:
    § 431.1 General.

    (a) Scope. This part prescribes requirements for obtaining a reusable launch vehicle (RLV) mission license and post-licensing requirements with which a licensee must comply to remain licensed. Requirements for preparing a license application are contained in part 413 of this subchapter.

    (b) Equivalent level of safety. Each requirement of this part applies unless the applicant or licensee clearly and convincingly demonstrates that an alternative approach provides an equivalent level of safety to the requirement of this part.

    PART 435—REENTRY OF A REENTRY VEHICLE OTHER THAN A REUSABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE (RLV) 24. The authority citation for part 435 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 50901-50923.

    25. Revise § 435.1 to read as follows:
    § 435.1 General.

    (a) Scope. This part prescribes requirements for obtaining a license to reenter a reentry vehicle other than a reusable launch vehicle (RLV), and post-licensing requirements with which a licensee must comply to remain licensed. Requirements for preparing a license application are contained in part 413 of this subchapter.

    (b) Equivalent level of safety. Each requirement of this part applies unless the applicant or licensee clearly and convincingly demonstrates that an alternative approach provides an equivalent level of safety to the requirement of this part.

    PART 437—EXPERIMENTAL PERMITS 26. The authority citation for part 437 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 50901-50923.

    27. Revise § 437.1 to read as follows:
    § 437.1 Scope and organization of this part.

    (a) Scope. This part prescribes requirements for obtaining an experimental permit. It also prescribes post-permitting requirements with which a permittee must comply to maintain its permit. Part 413 of this subchapter contains procedures for applying for an experimental permit.

    (b) Equivalent level of safety. Each requirement of this part applies unless the applicant or permittee clearly and convincingly demonstrates that an alternative approach provides an equivalent level of safety to the requirement of this part.

    (c) Organization of this part. Subpart A contains general information about an experimental permit. Subpart B contains requirements to obtain an experimental permit. Subpart C contains the safety requirements with which a permittee must comply while conducting permitted activities. Subpart D contains terms and conditions of an experimental permit.

    28. Amend § 437.65 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 437.65 Collision avoidance analysis.

    (b) The collision avoidance analysis must establish each period during which a permittee may not initiate flight to ensure that a permitted vehicle and any jettisoned components do not pass closer than 200 kilometers to a manned or mannable orbital object.

    PART 460—HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT REQUIREMENTS 29. The authority citation for part 460 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 50901-50923.

    30. Amend § 460.5 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 460.5 Crew qualifications and training.

    (d) A pilot or a remote operator may demonstrate an equivalent level of safety to paragraph (c)(1) of this section through the license or permit process.

    Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f) and (g), 44701(a), 44703 and 51 U.S.C. 50901-50923 in Washington, DC, on May 16, 2016. George Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12129 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6983; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-012-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH Models 228-100, 228-101, 228-200, 228-201, 228-202, and 228-212 airplanes that would supersede AD 2009-13-04. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as excessive wear on the guide pin of the power lever or condition lever which could cause functional loss of the flight idle stop. We are issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: (202) 493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH, Dornier 228 Customer Support, P.O. Box 1253, 82231 Wessling, Federal Republic of Germany, telephone: +49 (0) 8153-30-2280; fax: +49 (0) 8153-30-3030; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.ruag.com/. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    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-2016-6983; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4123; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected]

    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-2016-6983; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-012-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://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

    On June 10, 2009, we issued AD 2009-13-04, Amendment 39-15943 (74 FR 29116; June 19, 2009) (“AD 2009-13-04”). AD 2009-13-04 required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH Models 228-100, 228-101, 228-200, 228-201, 228-202, and 228-212 airplanes and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country.

    Since we issued AD 2009-13-04, further analysis has determined that the inspection interval in cases of no pin replacement can be extended.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD No.: 2009-0031R1, dated March 29, 2016 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    Excessive wear on a guide pin of a power lever was detected during inspections. The failure of a power lever or condition lever guide pin could cause functional loss of the flight idle stop. This condition, if not corrected, could lead to inadvertent activation of the beta mode in flight, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane.

    Prompted by this finding, RUAG issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) ASB-228-279 to provide inspection instructions. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2009-0031 to require repetitive detailed inspections of the guide pins of the power levers and condition levers, and replacement of any pin that exceeds the allowable wear-limits.

    Since that AD was issued, further analysis has determined that the inspection interval, in case of no pin replacement, can be extended and RUAG published Revision 1 of ASB-228-279, which also included landings (expressed in this AD as flight cycles—FC) as a determining factor.

    For the reason described above, this AD revises EASA AD 2009-0031, amending the compliance times without changing the technical requirements, and also introducing some editorial changes for standardization.

    You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-6983. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH has issued Dornier 228 Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB-228-279, revision 1, dated September 22, 2015. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections of the guide pins of the power and condition levers and replacement of those pins if necessary. 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 of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of the 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 this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 18 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 20 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $10 per product.

    Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $30,780, or $1,710 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-15943 (74 FR 29116; June 19, 2009), and adding the following new AD: RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH: Docket No. FAA-2016-6983; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-012-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 18, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces 2009-13-04, Amendment 39-15943 (74 FR 29116; June 19, 2009) (“AD 2009-13-04”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH Models 228-100, 228-101, 228-200, 228-201, 228-202, and 228-212 airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 76: Engine Controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as excessive wear on the guide pin of the power lever or condition lever which could cause functional loss of the flight idle stop. The total loss of the pin could cause loss of the flight idle stop and lead to inadvertent activation of the beta mode in flight, resulting in possible loss of control. We are issuing this proposed AD to amend the compliance times of the guide pin inspections.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the following actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(4) of this AD based on a compliance time of hours time-in-service (TIS) or flight cycles, whichever occurs first:

    (1) For throttle box assemblies with less than 9,600 hours TIS or 9,600 flight cycles since installed: Inspect the guide pins of the power and condition levers for excessive wear following the Accomplishment Instructions in paragraph 2 of Dornier 228 Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB-228-279, revision 1, dated September 22, 2015, at the following times:

    (i) Initially unless already done within the last 1,200 hours TIS or 1,200 flight cycles as of July 24, 2009 (the effective date retained from AD 2009-13-04), upon accumulating 9,600 hours TIS or 9,600 flight cycles, or within the next 100 hours TIS or 100 flight cycles after July 24, 2009 (the effective date retained from AD 2009-13-04), whichever occurs later, inspect the guide pins of the power and condition levers for excessive wear; and

    (ii) Repetitively thereafter within 4,800 hours TIS or 4,800 flight cycles since any previous inspection in which the power and condition levers guide pins were not replaced or within 9,600 hours TIS or 9,600 flight cycles, whichever occurs first since the previous inspection in which the power and condition levers guide pins were replaced.

    (2) For throttle box assemblies with 9,600 hours TIS or 9,600 flight cycles or more but less than 13,200 hours TIS or 13,200 flight cycles since installed: Inspect the guide pins of the power and condition levers for excessive wear within the next 1,200 hours TIS or 1,200 flight cycles after July 24, 2009 (the effective date retained from AD 2009-13-04) following the Accomplishment Instructions in paragraph 2 of Dornier 228 Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB-228-279, revision 1, dated September 22, 2015; and

    (i) Repetitively inspect the guide pins of the power and condition levers for excessive wear thereafter within 4,800 hours TIS or 4,800 flight cycles since any previous inspection in which the power and condition levers guide pins were not replaced; or

    (ii) Repetitively inspect the guide pins of the power and condition levers for excessive wear within 9,600 hours TIS or 9,600 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, since the previous inspection in which the power and condition levers guide pins were replaced.

    (3) For throttle box assemblies with 13,200 hours TIS or 13,200 flight cycles or more since installed: Within 100 hours TIS or flight cycles after July 24, 2009 (the effective date retained from AD 2009-13-04) inspect the guide pins of the power and condition levers for excessive wear following the Accomplishment Instructions in paragraph 2 of Dornier 228 Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB-228-279, revision 1, dated September 22, 2015, at the following times:

    (i) Initially within the next 100 hours TIS or 100 flight cycles after July 24, 2009 (the effective date retained from AD 2009-13-04); and

    (ii) Repetitively thereafter within 4,800 hours TIS or 4,800 flight cycles since any previous inspection in which the power and condition levers guide pins were not replaced or within 9,600 hours TIS or 9,600 flight cycles since the previous inspection in which the power and condition levers guide pins were replaced.

    (4) For all throttle box assemblies: Before further flight after any inspection required in paragraph (f)(1), (f)(2), or (f)(3) of this AD, replace any guide pin that exceeds the acceptable wear-limits as defined in paragraph 4.1 of Dornier 228 Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB-228-279, revision 1, dated September 22, 2015.

    Note 1 to paragraph (f)(1), (f)(2) and (f)(3) of this AD: If the flight cycles or hours TIS of the throttle box assembly is unknown, use the hours TIS of the airplane to determine the compliance time for the inspection.

    (g) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4123; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

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

    (3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, 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.

    (h) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No.: 2009-0031R1, dated March 29, 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-2016-6983. For service information related to this AD, contact RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH, Dornier 228 Customer Support, P.O. Box 1253, 82231 Wessling, Federal Republic of Germany, telephone: +49 (0) 8153-30-2280; fax: +49 (0) 8153-30-3030; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.ruag.com/. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 20, 2016. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12609 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6895; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-068-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. 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 Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 airplanes. This proposed AD prompted by reports indicating that the main landing gear (MLG) could not be extended and locked down during approach. This proposed AD would require a detailed inspection of the restrictor check valve filter screens to detect any degraded or failed filter screens, and installation of serviceable parts. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct any degraded or failed filter screens. This condition, if not corrected, could prevent MLG extension and lock-down and result in an emergency landing with consequent injury to occupants and damage to the airplane.

    DATES:

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

    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-2016-6895; 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:

    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: 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-2016-6895; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-068-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 2015-0077, dated May 6, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Two occurrences were reported concerning two different aeroplanes, where during approach, after selecting landing gear down, one of the main landing gears (MLG) could not be extended and locked down. In both cases, subsequent investigation revealed that the filter screen of the corresponding restrictor check valve (integrated in a hydraulic hose assembly) was broken, and debris inside the restrictor check valve was blocking the return flow from the affected MLG actuator. Additional inspection of the fleet of the operator involved revealed more damaged or failed filter screens.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could prevent MLG extension and lock-down, possibly resulting in an emergency landing with consequent damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants.

    To address this unsafe condition, Fokker Services published SBF28-32-164 and SBF100-32-166 to provide instructions for removal of the affected hydraulic hoses (including the restrictor check valve) to be inspected in-shop, and for installation of serviceable parts. Fokker Services also published Component SB CSB-32-026 to provide those in-shop inspection instructions to detect any damaged filter screen.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a onetime removal of the landing gear hydraulic hoses for the purpose of an in-shop inspection of the affected restrictor check valves filter screens and, depending on findings, re-installation, or replacement of the affected hose(s) with a serviceable part.

    This [EASA] AD is considered to be an interim action to detect any degraded or failed filter screens and remove them from service and to collect additional data; further [EASA] AD action may follow. More information on this subject can be found in Fokker Services All Operators Messages AOF28.041 and AOF100.189#02.

    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-2016-6895.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Fokker Services B.V. has issued the following service information, which describe procedures for the replacement of hydraulic hose assemblies.

    • Fokker Service Bulletin SBF28-32-164, dated January 14, 2015.

    • Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-166, dated January 14, 2015.

    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 design.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 8 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, and 1 work-hour per product for reporting. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $3,100 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $26,160, or $3,270 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 proposed AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed 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 proposed 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 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): Fokker Services B.V.: Docket No. FAA-2016-6895; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-068-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 18, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Fokker Services B.V. airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in paragraphs (c)(l) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model F.28 Mark 0070 and Mark 0100 airplanes, all serial numbers (S/Ns).

    (2) Model F.28 Mark 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 airplanes, S/Ns 11003 through 11110 inclusive and S/N 11992, modified in service as specified in Fokker Service Bulletin SBF28-32-123; and S/Ns 11111 through 11241 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports indicating that the main landing gear (MLG) could not be extended and locked down during approach. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct any degraded or failed filter screens. This condition, if not corrected, could prevent MLG extension and lock-down and result in an emergency landing with consequent injury to occupants and damage to the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection of the restrictor check valve filter screens to detect any degraded or failed filter screens including dents and missing wire, and install serviceable parts (hydraulic hose assemblies), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF28-32-164, dated January 14, 2015 (for Model F.28 Mark 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 airplanes); or SBF100-32-166, dated January 14, 2015 (for Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes); as applicable. Any affected hydraulic hose assembly must be replaced before further flight after the inspection.

    (h) Serviceable Part

    For the purpose of this AD, a serviceable part is a part number (P/N) 97867-1 or P/N 97867-3 hydraulic hose assembly (including the restrictor check valve) that has not previously been installed on an airplane, or a P/N 97867-1 or P/N 97867-3 hydraulic hose assembly (including the restrictor check valve) that has passed an inspection as specified in Fokker Services Component Service Bulletin CSB-32-026.

    (i) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a replacement P/N 97867-1 or P/N 97867-3 hydraulic hose assembly on an airplane, unless the hydraulic hose assembly is a serviceable part as defined in paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (j) Reporting Requirements

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph (j)(l) or (j)(2) of this AD, submit a report of the results (including no findings) of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD. Send the report to Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services, Service Engineering, P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, email [email protected]. The report must include the type of damage found and airplane flight cycles and also any no findings.

    (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.

    (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: 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. 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 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.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive 2015-0077, dated May 6, 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-2016-6895.

    (2) 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. 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. 2016-12521 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary 14 CFR Part 382 [Docket No. DOT-OST-2015-0246] RIN 2105-AE12 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Second Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of second public meeting of advisory committee.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the second meeting of the Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee).

    DATES:

    The second meeting of the ACCESS Advisory Committee will be held on June 14 and 15, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th Street NW., Washington DC 20036, in the Congressional Room. Attendance is open to the public up to the room's capacity of 150 attendees. Since space is limited, any member of the general public who plans to attend this meeting must notify the registration contact identified below no later than June 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To register to attend the meeting, please contact Alyssa Battle ([email protected]; 703-442-4575 extension 127) or Kyle Illgenfritz ([email protected]; 703-442-4575 extension 128). For other information, please contact Livaughn Chapman or Vinh Nguyen, Office of the Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, U.S. Department of Transportation, by email at [email protected] or [email protected] or by telephone at 202-366-9342.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Second Public Meeting of the ACCESS Committee

    The second meeting of the ACCESS Advisory Committee will be held on June 14 and 15, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. The meeting will be held at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th Street NW., Washington DC 20036, in the Congressional Room. At the meeting, the ACCESS Advisory Committee will continue to address whether to require accessible inflight entertainment (IFE) and strengthen accessibility requirements for other in-flight communications, whether to require an accessible lavatory on new single-aisle aircraft over a certain size, and whether to amend the definition of “service animals” that may accompany passengers with a disability on a flight. This meeting will include reports from working groups formed to address the three issues listed above. Prior to the meeting, the agenda will be available on the ACCESS Advisory Committee's Web site, www.transportation.gov/access-advisory-committee. The agenda will also be posted to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMC), Docket Number DOT-OST-2015-0246. Information on how to access advisory committee documents via the FDMC is contained in Section III, below.

    The meeting will be open to the public. Attendance will be limited by the size of the meeting room (maximum 150 attendees). Because space is limited, we ask that any member of the public who plans to attend the meeting notify the registration contact, Alyssa Battle ([email protected]; 703-442-4575 extension 127) or Kyle Illgenfritz ([email protected]; 703-442-4575 extension 128) at Linkvisum, no later than June 7, 2016. At the discretion of the facilitator and the Committee and time permitting, members of the public are invited to contribute to the discussion and provide oral comments.

    II. Submitting Written Comments

    Members of the public may submit written comments on the topics to be considered during the meeting by June 7, 2016, to FDMC, Docket Number DOT-OST-2015-0246. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. DOT recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that DOT can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, put the docket number, DOT-OST-2015-0246, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” When the new screen appears, click on the “Comment Now!” button and type your comment into the text box on the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing.

    III. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments and any documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov. Enter the docket number, DOT-OST-2015-0246, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” Next, click the link to “Open Docket Folder” and choose the document to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    IV. ACCESS Advisory Committee Charter

    The ACCESS Advisory Committee is established by charter in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx approved the ACCESS Advisory Committee charter on April 6, 2016. The committee's charter sets forth policies for the operation of the advisory committee and is available on the Department's Web site at www.transportation.gov/office-general-counsel/negotiated-regulations/charter.

    V. Privacy Act

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    VI. Future Committee Meetings

    DOT anticipates that the ACCESS Advisory Committee will have four additional two-day meetings in Washington DC The meetings are tentatively scheduled for following dates: third meeting, July 11-12; fourth meeting, August 16-17; fifth meeting, September 22-23, and the sixth and final meeting, October 13-14. Notices of all future meetings will be published in the Federal Register at least 15 calendar days prior to each meeting.

    Notice of this meeting is being provided in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the General Services Administration regulations covering management of Federal advisory committees. See 41 CFR part 102-3.

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.27(n).

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Judith S. Kaleta, Acting General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12882 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0173] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to temporarily modify the operating schedule that governs the Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge across the Hackensack River, mile 2.0, Jersey City, New Jersey. The bridge owner, New Jersey Department of Transportation, submitted a request to restrict bridge openings during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods to alleviate traffic congestion resulting from area roadway closures. It is expected that this change to the regulations would provide relief to vehicular traffic while continuing to meet the reasonable needs of navigation.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0173 using Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the Supplementary Information section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Joe M. Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4336, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking SNPRM Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

    The Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge at mile 2.0, across the Hackensack River between Kearny and Jersey City, New Jersey, has a vertical clearance of 40 feet at mean high water and 45 feet at mean low water. The waterway users include recreational and commercial vessels.

    The owner of the bridge, New Jersey Department of Transportation, submitted a request to the Coast Guard to temporarily change the drawbridge operating regulations.

    The purpose of this temporary rule is to help provide relief from vehicular traffic congestion during the morning and afternoon vehicular rush hour periods due to local construction detours. Vehicular traffic on the bridge has increased due to additional traffic detoured from the adjacent Pulaski Skyway Bridge, which is currently under construction to replace its deck. Construction on the Pulaski Skyway Bridge is expected to continue through September 2017.

    The existing regulations require the bridge to open on signal at all times. Under this proposed temporary rule the Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge would open on signal, except that the draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

    Tide dependent deep draft vessels may request bridge openings during the rush hour closure periods provided that at least a twelve hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge, which is (973) 589-5143.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes to change the drawbridge operation regulations at 33 CFR 117.723 by adding paragraph (k). This change will facilitate additional vehicular traffic detoured from the Pulaski Skyway Bridge which is expected to be under construction through September 30, 2017.

    The Coast Guard believes it is reasonable to allow the Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge to remain in the closed position during the morning and afternoon rush hours to accommodate the anticipated 40,000 vehicles, daily, detoured from the Pulaski Skyway Bridge. Given the additional detoured vehicular traffic, if the Route 1 & 9 Bridge opened frequently for vessel traffic during the morning and afternoon rush hours, it would likely result in significant vehicular traffic delays and could negatively impact the ability of emergency vehicles to respond.

    Review of the bridge logs in the last three years shows that the bridge openings average 25 per month.

    Tide dependent deep draft vessels may request bridge openings between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. provided that at least a twelve hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge. The twelve hour advance notice requirement for bridge openings during the rush hour periods gives tide dependent deep draft vessels ample time to plan and optimize their transits through the waterway, and also gives the bridge owner the opportunity to alert commuters of any expected delays caused by pending bridge openings.

    Other vessels can still transit the bridge outside the rush hours. It is our opinion that this temporary rule meets the reasonable needs of marine and vehicular traffic.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive Orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on 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 NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the ability that tide dependent deep draft vessels can still transit the bridge given advanced notice and vessels that are not tide dependant can still transit outside the closure hours. We believe that the proposal to change the drawbridge operation regulations at 33 CFR 117.723 to allow the bridge owner to keep the Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge in the closed position during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods as stated in Section III above, will meet the reasonable needs of navigation.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

    The Bridge provides 40 feet of vertical clearance at mean high water that should accommodate all the present vessel traffic except deep draft vessels. The bridge will continue to open on signal for commercial deep draft vessel traffic provided at least a twelve hour advance notice is given. While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A., above, this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

    Also, this proposed temporary rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed temporary rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

    Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are not required for this rule. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this notice and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

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

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

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

    2. Through September 30, 2017, in § 117.723, add paragraph (k) to read as follows:
    § 117.723 Hackensack River.

    (k) The draw of the Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge, mile 2.0, between Kearny and Jersey City, shall open on signal, except that the draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

    Tide dependent deep draft vessels may request bridge openings between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. provided that at least a twelve hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

    Dated: May 18, 2016. K.C. Kiefer, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12929 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0042; FRL-9947-09-Region 8] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Colorado; Second Ten-Year PM10 Maintenance Plan for Lamar AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Colorado. On May 13, 2013, the Governor of Colorado's designee submitted to the EPA a revised maintenance plan for the Lamar area for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 10 microns (PM10). EPA is proposing to approve the revised maintenance plan with the exception of one aspect of the plan's contingency measures.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0042 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from regulations.gov. 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, 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:

    James Hou, Air Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Mailcode 8P-AR, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, (303) 312-6210, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. General Information II. Background III. What was the State's process? IV. EPA's Evaluation of the Revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. General Information What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting Confidential Business Information (CBI). Do not submit CBI to EPA through http://www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information on a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    • Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register volume, date, and page number);

    • Follow directions and organize your comments;

    • Explain why you agree or disagree;

    • Suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes;

    • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used;

    • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced;

    • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives;

    • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats; and,

    • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. Background

    The Lamar area was designated nonattainment for PM10 and classified as moderate by operation of law upon enactment of the CAA Amendments of 1990. See 56 FR 56694, 56705, 56736 (November 6, 1991). EPA approved Colorado's nonattainment area SIP for the Lamar PM10 nonattainment area on June 9, 1994 (59 FR 29732).

    On July 31, 2002, the Governor of Colorado submitted a request to EPA to redesignate the Lamar moderate PM10 nonattainment area to attainment for the 1987 PM10 NAAQS. Along with this request, the State submitted a maintenance plan, which demonstrated that the area was expected to remain in attainment of the PM10 NAAQS through 2015. EPA approved the Lamar maintenance plan and redesignation to attainment on October 25, 2005 (70 FR 61563).

    Eight years after an area is redesignated to attainment, the CAA section 175A(b) requires the state to submit a subsequent maintenance plan to the EPA, covering a second 10-year period.1 This second 10-year maintenance plan must demonstrate continued maintenance of the applicable NAAQS during this second 10-year period. To fulfill this requirement of the Act, the Governor of Colorado's designee submitted the second 10-year update of the PM10 maintenance plan to the EPA on May 13, 2013 (hereafter, “revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan”).

    1 In this case, the initial maintenance period described in CAA section 175A(a) was required to extend for at least 10 years after the redesignation to attainment, which was effective on November 25, 2005. See 70 FR 61563. Therefore, the first maintenance plan was required to show maintenance through 2015. CAA section 175A(b) requires that the second 10-year maintenance plan maintain the NAAQS for “10 years after the expiration of the 10-year period referred to in [section 175A(a)].” Thus, for the Lamar area, the second 10-year period ends in 2025.

    As described in 40 CFR 50.6, the level of the national primary and secondary 24-hour ambient air quality standards for PM10 is 150 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). An area attains the 24-hour PM10 standard when the expected number of days per calendar year with a 24-hour concentration in excess of the standard (referred to herein as “exceedance”), as determined in accordance with 40 CFR part 50, appendix K, is equal to or less than one, averaged over a three-year period.2 See 40 CFR 50.6 and 40 CFR part 50, appendix K.

    2 An exceedance is defined as a daily value that is above the level of the 24-hour standard, 150 μg/m3, after rounding to the nearest 10 μg/m3 (i.e., values ending in five or greater are to be rounded up). Thus, a recorded value of 154 μg/m3 would not be an exceedance since it would be rounded to 150 μg/m3; whereas, a recorded value of 155 μg/m3 would be an exceedance since it would be rounded to 160 μg/m3. See 40 CFR part 50, appendix K, section 1.0.

    Table 1 below shows the maximum monitored 24-hour PM10 values for the Lamar PM10 maintenance area for 2001 through 2015, excluding 34 values the State flagged as being caused by exceptional events. The table reflects that most of the values for the Lamar area were below the PM10 NAAQS of 150 μg/m3. In 2008 the area experienced an exceedance measured at 367 μg/m3; in 2009 exceedances measured at 233 μg/m3 and 171 μg/m3; and in 2015 an exceedance measured at 423μg/m3. Notably, the 2015 exceedance was flagged as an exceptional event due to natural high winds, but concurrence was not requested by Colorado at the time of this proposal. This exceedance did not cause a violation of the PM10 NAAQS.

    Table 1—Lamar PM10 Maximum 24-Hour Values [Based on data from power plant and municipal complex sites, AQS identification number 08-099-0001 and 08-099-0002] Year Maximum
  • concentration
  • (μg/m3)
  • 2nd maximum concentration
  • (μg/m3)
  • Monitoring site
    2001 133 111 Power Plant. 2002 141 125 Power Plant. 2003 132 120 Power Plant. 2004 93 82 Municipal Complex. 2005 116 110 Power Plant. 2006 136 127 Power Plant 2007 93 82 Power Plant. 2008 367 123 Power Plant. 2009 233 171 Power Plant. 2010 136 131 Power Plant. 2011 122 115 Municipal Complex. 2012 147 133 Power Plant. 2013 147 141 Municipal Complex. 2014 129 102 Municipal Complex. 2015 423 94 Municipal Complex.

    40 CFR 50.1(j) defines an exceptional event as an event which affects air quality, is not reasonably controllable or preventable, is an event caused by human activity that is unlikely to recur at a particular location or a natural event, and is determined by the Administrator in accordance with 40 CFR 50.14 to be an exceptional event. Exceptional events do not include stagnation of air masses or meteorological inversions, meteorological events involving high temperatures or lack of precipitation, or air pollution relating to source noncompliance. 40 CFR 50.14(b) states that the EPA shall exclude data from use in determinations of exceedances and NAAQS violations where a state demonstrates to the EPA's satisfaction that an exceptional event caused a specific air pollution concentration in excess of one or more NAAQS at a particular air quality monitoring location and otherwise satisfies the requirements of section 50.14.

    Throughout the years 2001 to 2014, the Lamar area monitors have recorded several exceedances of the PM10 NAAQS that have resulted from natural high wind exceptional events. The Colorado Air Pollution Control Division (APCD) flagged a total of 55 exceedances as exceptional events in the EPA's Air Quality System, which is the EPA's repository for ambient air quality data. Of these 55 flagged exceedances, the EPA has concurred on 34. Table 2 summarizes the exceptional events exceedances that the EPA has concurred on, due to the State's successful demonstrations that the exceedances were caused by natural high wind exceptional events. Thus, we are proposing to exclude 34 flagged exceedances from use in determining that Lamar continues to attain the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. See 40 CFR 50.14(b) and (c)(2)(ii).

    Table 2—Lamar PM10 EPA Approved Exceptional Events [Based on data from power plant and municipal complex sites, AQS identification number 08-099-0001 and 08-099-0002] Event date Monitoring site 24-hr PM10 Value
  • (μg/m3)
  • Data flag
    02/09/02 Power Plant 246 High Wind. 03/07/02 Power Plant 246 High Wind. 05/21/02 Power Plant 196 High Wind. 05/21/02 Municipal 183 High Wind. 06/20/02 Power Plant 181 High Wind. 06/20/02 Municipal 162 High Wind. 04/05/05 Power Plant 203 High Wind. 04/05/05 Municipal 164 High Wind. 05/22/08 Power Plant 227 High Wind. 01/19/09 Power Plant 174 High Wind. 01/19/09 Municipal 173 High Wind. 04/03/11 Power Plant 169 High Wind. 11/05/11 Power Plant 192 High Wind. 03/18/12 Municipal 242 High Wind. 04/2/12 Municipal 163 High Wind. 02/08/13 Municipal 159 High Wind. 04/09/13 Municipal 1220 High Wind. 05/01/13 Municipal 207 High Wind. 05/24/13 Municipal 406 High Wind. 05/25/13 Municipal 168 High Wind. 05/28/13 Municipal 201 High Wind. 12/24/13 Municipal 168 High Wind. 02/16/14 Municipal 153 High Wind. 03/11/14 Municipal 387 High Wind. 03/15/14 Municipal 173 High Wind. 03/18/14 Municipal 299 High Wind. 03/29/14 Municipal 263 High Wind. 03/30/14 Municipal 264 High Wind. 03/31/14 Municipal 223 High Wind. 04/23/14 Municipal 350 High Wind. 04/29/14 Municipal 321 High Wind. 11/10/14 Municipal 298 High Wind. 04/01/15 Municipal 253 High Wind. 04/02/15 Municipal 419 High Wind.

    Table 3 below shows the estimated number of exceedances for the Lamar PM10 maintenance area for the three-year periods of 2001 through 2003, 2002 through 2004, 2003 through 2005, 2004 through 2006, 2005 through 2007, 2006 through 2008, 2007 through 2009, 2008 through 2010, 2009 through 2011, 2010 through 2012, 2010 through 2013, 2012 through 2014, and 2013 through 2015. To attain the standard, the three-year average number of expected exceedances (values greater than 150 μg/m3) must be less than or equal to one. The table reflects continuous attainment of the PM10 NAAQS.

    Table 3—Lamar PM10 Estimated Exceedances [Based on data from power plant and municipal complex sites, AQS identification number 08-099-0001 and 08-099-0002] Design value period 3-Year estimated number of exceedances at power plant monitor 3-Year estimated number of exceedances at municipal complex monitor 2001-2003 0 0 2002-2004 0 0 2003-2005 0 0 2004-2006 0 0 2005-2007 0 0 2006-2008 0.3 0 2007-2009 1 0 2008-2010 1 0 2009-2011 0.7 0 2010-2012 0 0 2011-2013 3 NA 0 2012-2014 3 NA 0 2013-2015 3 NA 0.4 III. What was the State's process?

    Section 110(a)(2) of the CAA requires that a state provide reasonable notice and public hearing before adopting a SIP revision and submitting it to the EPA.

    3 On November 21, 2011, the State of Colorado requested the removal of the Power Plant monitor due to poor citing conditions, as well as serving as a redundant monitor to the Lamar Municipal PM10 monitoring site, which is located 0.5 miles to the southeast. On August 28, 2012 the EPA concurred with the request for removal of the Lamar Power Plant PM10 SLAMS site/sampler AQS ID:08-099-0001.

    The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) held a public hearing for the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan on December 20, 2012. The AQCC approved and adopted the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan during this hearing. The Governor's designee submitted the revised plan to the EPA on May 13, 2013.

    We have evaluated the revised maintenance plan and have determined that the State met the requirements for reasonable public notice and public hearing under section 110(a)(2) of the CAA. On November 13, 2013, by operation of law under CAA section 110(k)(1)(B), the revised maintenance plan was deemed to have met the minimum “completeness” criteria found in 40 CFR part 51, appendix V.

    IV. EPA's Evaluation of the Revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan

    The following are the key elements of a maintenance plan for PM10: Emission Inventory, Maintenance Demonstration, Monitoring Network/Verification of Continued Attainment, Contingency Plan, and Transportation Conformity Requirements/Motor Vehicle Emission Budget for PM10. Below, we describe our evaluation of these elements as they pertain to the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan.

    A. Emission Inventory

    The revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan includes three inventories of daily PM10 emissions for the Lamar area, one for 2010 as the base year, one interim inventory for 2020, and one inventory for 2025 as the maintenance year. The APCD developed these emission inventories using the EPA-approved emissions modeling methods and updated transportation and demographics data. Each emission inventory lists estimated PM10 emissions for individual source categories within the Lamar PM10 maintenance area. A more detailed description of the 2010, 2020 and 2025 inventories and information on model assumptions and parameters for each source category are contained in the State's PM10 maintenance plan Technical Support Document (TSD). The inventories include the following source categories: Helicopters, construction, fuel combustion, railroads, structure fires, wood burning, paved road dust, unpaved road dust, non-road commercial equipment, non-road construction and mining equipment, non-road industrial equipment, non-road lawn and garden equipment (commercial), non-road lawn and garden equipment (residential), non-road railroad equipment, and highway vehicles. We find that Colorado has prepared adequate emission inventories for the area.

    B. Maintenance Demonstration

    The revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan uses emissions roll-forward modeling to demonstrate maintenance of the 24-hour PM10 NAAQS through 2025. Using assumptions about the inventory source categories, the State applied the percent change in emissions for the relevant inventory source categories between 2010 and 2025 to “roll-forward” the baseline PM10 concentration. For example, the State determined that the projected growth of the emissions inventory from 2010 to 2025 is 4.8%. The growth factor was applied to the baseline design day PM10 concentration, less the background PM10 concentration, to obtain a projected PM10 concentration for the maintenance year. Using 2009 to 2011 data from the Power Plant Monitor and the Municipal Complex Monitor, the calculated PM10 maintenance concentration in the year 2025 are 140.2 μg/m3 and 125.6 μg/m3, respectively.

    To account for new data acquired since the submission of the State's Plan, we evaluated the 2012-2014 data in AQS to determine whether maintenance would be demonstrated using a more recent design value as a starting point. Excluding the exceedances in 2012, 2013 and 2014 that were caused by high wind exceptional events, the EPA employed an upper tail data distribution curve fit method 4 and determined the 2012-2014 design value to be 137.7 μg/m3. As noted, the State's emissions inventories contain emissions estimates for 2010, 2020, and 2025. An examination of these inventories reveals that total emissions in 2020 represent a point on a line of near linear growth from 2015 to 2025.

    4 The PM10 SIP Development Guideline indicates that the table look-up method only provides an estimation of the PM10 design value, and that more accurate design values can be obtained through the upper tail data distribution curve fit method. Further information regarding the determination of the 2012-2014 design value can be found in the March 25, 2016 memo from Richard M. Payton to the Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan Approval Docket.

    Acknowledging that the State's analysis is complete, we used a roll-forward analysis in order to estimate emissions growth from 2014 to 2025 and ensure that growth in emissions would result in PM10 remaining below the NAAQS. We did this to evaluate future maintenance in light of the somewhat higher 2012-2014 design value, compared to the 2009-2011 design value Colorado evaluated. Following the same approach as Colorado, we first removed the 21 μg/m3 background concentration from the 137.7 μg/m3 design value, which left 116.7 μg/m3. Next, relying on the linear growth in emissions, we estimated 2014 emissions would grow 3.5 percent by 2025.5 Using this factor, we projected the 116.7 μg/m3 from 2014 forward to 2025 to arrive at a concentration of 120.8 μg/m3. We then added the 21 μg/m3 of background to this value to predict a total concentration in 2025 of 141.8 μg/m3. This value is below the PM10 NAAQS of 150 μg/m3 and, thus, is consistent with maintenance.

    5 Total emissions in 2010 were 248.0 tons/year, while total emissions were projected to be 253.7 tons/year in 2020 and 259.9 tons/year in 2025; these values are nearly collinear. Updating the roll forward for growth from a 2014 monitored value to 2025 requires a projection of the growth in emissions from 2014 to 2025. Linear emissions growth from 2010 to 2014 is (259.9 tons/year−248.0 tons/year)*(2014-2010)/(2025-2010), or 3.2 tons/year, bringing 2014 emissions to (248.0 + 3.2) = 251.2 tons/year. Growth from 2014 to 2025, therefore, is (259.9 tons/year−251.2 tons/year)/251.2 tons/year * 100% = 3.5%.

    C. Monitoring Network/Verification of Continued Attainment

    In the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan, the State commits to continue to operate an air quality monitoring network in accordance with 40 CFR part 58 and the EPA-approved Colorado Monitoring SIP Element to verify continued attainment of the PM10 NAAQS. This includes the continued operation of a PM10 monitor in the Lamar area, which the State will rely on to track PM10 emissions in the maintenance area. At the time of the State's submittal, the EPA had not approved the November 21, 2011 request for removal of the Lamar Power Plant monitoring site. On August 28, 2012, EPA approved this request, and the Lamar Power Plant monitoring site ceased operations on December 31, 2012. We are proposing to approve the State's commitment as satisfying the relevant requirements.

    D. Contingency Plan

    Section 175A(d) of the CAA requires that a maintenance plan include contingency provisions to promptly correct any violation of the NAAQS that occurs after redesignation of an area. To meet this requirement the State has identified contingency measures along with a schedule for the development and implementation of such measures. The revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan indicates that, upon notification of an exceedance of the PM10 NAAQS, the APCD and local government staff in the Lamar area will develop appropriate contingency measures intended to prevent or correct a violation of the PM10 standard. Upon a violation, a public hearing process at the State and local level will begin. The AQCC may endorse or approve local measures, or it may adopt State enforceable measures. The revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan states that contingency measures will be adopted and fully implemented within one year of a violation.

    The State identifies the following as potential contingency measures in the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan: (1) Increased street sweeping requirements; (2) additional road paving requirements; (3) more stringent street sand specifications; (4) wood burning restrictions; (5) expanded use of alternative de-icers; (6) re-establishing new source review permitting requirements for stationary sources; (7) controls at existing stationary sources; (8) transportation control measures designed to reduce vehicle miles traveled; and (9) other emission control measures appropriate for the area based on the following considerations: Cost effectiveness, PM10 emission reduction potential, economic and social concerns, and/or other factors.

    We find that the contingency measures provided in the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan are sufficient and meet the requirements of section 175A(d) of the CAA.

    E. Transportation Conformity Requirements: Motor Vehicle Emission Budget for PM10

    Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the CAA. EPA's conformity rule at 40 CFR part 93 requires that transportation plans, programs, and projects conform to SIPs and establishes the criteria and procedures for determining whether or not they conform. Conformity to a SIP means that transportation activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the NAAQS. To effectuate its purpose, the conformity rule requires a demonstration that emissions from the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) are consistent with the motor vehicle emissions budget(s) (MVEB(s)) contained in a control strategy SIP revision or maintenance plan (40 CFR 93.101, 93.118, and 93.124). An MVEB is defined as the level of mobile source emissions of a pollutant relied upon in the attainment or maintenance demonstration to attain or maintain compliance with the NAAQS in the nonattainment or maintenance area. Further information concerning the EPA's interpretations regarding MVEBs can be found in the preamble to the EPA's November 24, 1993, transportation conformity rule (see 58 FR 62193-62196).

    The revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan contains a single MVEB of 764 lbs/day of PM10 for the year 2025, the maintenance year. Once the State submitted the revised plan with the 2025 MVEB to the EPA for approval, 40 CFR 93.118 required that the EPA determine whether the MVEB was adequate.

    Our criteria for determining whether a SIP's MVEB is adequate for conformity purposes are outlined in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4), which was promulgated August 15, 1997 (see 62 FR 43780). Our process for determining adequacy is described in our July 1, 2004 Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments (see 69 FR 40004) and in relevant guidance.6 We used these resources in making our adequacy determination described below.

    6 “Companion Guidance for the July 1, 2004 Final Transportation Conformity Rule, Conformity Implementation in Multi-Jurisdictional Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas for Existing and New Air Quality Standards” (EPA420-B-04-012 July, 2004).

    On November 15, 2013 EPA announced the availability of the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan, and the PM10 MVEB, on the EPA's transportation conformity adequacy Web site. The EPA solicited public comment on the MVEB, and the public comment period closed on December 16, 2013. We did not receive any comments. This information is available at the EPA's conformity Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/currsips.htm#lamar-co.

    By letter to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment dated January 23, 2014, the EPA found that the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan and the 2025 PM10 MVEB were adequate for transportation conformity purposes.7

    7 In a Federal Register notice dated October 3, 2014, we notified the public of our finding (see 79 FR 59767). This adequacy determination became effective on October 20, 2014.

    According to 40 CFR 93.118(e)(1), the EPA-approved 2015 PM10 MVEB must continue to be used for analysis years 2015 through 2024 (as long as such years are within the timeframe of the transportation plan), unless the State elects to submit a SIP revision to revise the 2015 PM10 MVEB and the EPA approves the SIP revision. The revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan did not revise the previously-approved 2015 PM10 MVEB nor establish a new MVEB for 2015. Accordingly, the MVEB “. . . for the most recent prior year . . .” (i.e., 2015) from the original maintenance plan must continue to be used (see 40 CFR 93.118(b)(1)(ii) and (b)(2)(iv)).

    We note that there is a considerable difference between the 2025 and 2015 budgets—764 lbs/day versus 7,534 lbs/day. This is largely an artifact of changes in the methods, models, and emission factors used to estimate mobile source emissions. The 2025 MVEB is consistent with the State's 2025 emissions inventory for vehicle exhaust and road dust, and, thus, is consistent with the State's maintenance demonstration for 2025.

    The discrepancy between the 2015 and 2025 MVEBs is not a significant issue for several reasons. As a practical matter, the 2025 MVEB of 764 lbs/day of PM10 would be controlling for any conformity determination involving the relevant years because conformity would have to be shown to both the 2015 MVEB and the 2025 MVEB. Also, for any maintenance plan like the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan that only establishes a MVEB for the last year of the maintenance plan, 40 CFR 93.118(b)(2)(i) requires that the demonstration of consistency with the budget be accompanied by a qualitative finding that there are no factors that would cause or contribute to a new violation or exacerbate an existing violation in the years before the last year of the maintenance plan. Therefore, when a conformity determination is prepared which assesses conformity for the years before 2025, the 2025 MVEB and the underlying assumptions supporting it would have to be considered. Finally, 40 CFR 93.110 requires the use of the latest planning assumptions in conformity determinations. Thus, the most current motor vehicle and road dust emission factors would need to be used, and we expect the analysis would show greatly reduced PM10 motor vehicle and road dust emissions from those calculated in the first maintenance plan. In view of the above, the EPA is proposing to approve the 2025 PM10 MVEB of 764 lbs/day.

    V. Proposed Action

    We are proposing to approve the revised Lamar PM10 Maintenance Plan that was submitted to us on May 13, 2013, with one exception. We are not acting on the submitted update to the Natural Events Action Plan (NEAP), as the NEAP is not part of the SIP. We are proposing to approve the remainder of the revised maintenance plan because it demonstrates maintenance through 2025 as required by CAA section 175A(b), retains the control measures from the initial PM10 maintenance plan that EPA approved on October 25, 2005, and meets other CAA requirements for a section 175A maintenance plan. We are proposing to exclude from use in determining that Lamar continues to attain the PM10 NAAQS, exceedances of the PM10 NAAQS that were recorded at the Lamar Power Plant PM10 monitor on February 9, 2002; March 7, 2002; May 21, 2002; June 20, 2002; April 5, 2002; May 22, 2008; Jan 19, 2009; April 3, 2011; and November 5, 2011 because the exceedances meet the criteria for exceptional events caused by high wind natural events. Additionally, the EPA is proposing to exclude from use in determining that Lamar continues to attain the PM10 NAAQS, exceedances of the PM10 NAAQS that were recorded at the Municipal Complex PM10 monitor on May 21, 2002; June 20, 2002; April 5, 2005; January 19, 2009; February 8, 2013; March 18, 2012; April 2, 2012; April 9, 2013; May 1, 2013; May 24, 2013; May 25, 2013; May 28, 2013; December 24, 2013; February 16, 2014; March 11, 2014; March 15, 2014; March 18, 2014; March 29, 2014; March 30, 2014; March 31, 2014; April 23, 2014; April 29, 2014; November 10, 2014; April 1, 2015; and April 2, 2015 because the exceedances meet the criteria for exceptional events caused by high wind natural events. We are also proposing to approve the revised maintenance plan's 2025 transportation conformity MVEB for PM10 of 764 lbs/day.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • does not provide 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).

    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 s ubstantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile Organic Compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Shaun L. McGrath, Regional Administrator, Region 8.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12804 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0011; FRL-9947-18-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Tennessee; Revision and Removal of Stage I and II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve changes to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of Tennessee through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) on February 8, 2016, for parallel processing. This draft SIP revision seeks to lower applicability thresholds for certain sources subject to Federal Stage I requirements, remove the Stage II vapor control requirements, and add requirements for decommissioning gasoline dispensing facilities, as well as requirements for new and upgraded gasoline dispensing facilities in the Nashville, Tennessee Area (hereinafter also known as the “Middle Tennessee Area”). EPA has preliminarily determined that Tennessee's February 8, 2016, draft SIP revision is approvable because it is consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0011 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Sheckler, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Sheckler's phone number is (404) 562-9222. She can also be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. What is parallel processing?

    Consistent with EPA regulations found at 40 CFR part 51, Appendix V, section 2.3.1, for purposes of expediting review of a SIP submittal, parallel processing allows a state to submit a plan to EPA prior to actual adoption by the state. Generally, the state submits a copy of the proposed regulation or other revisions to EPA before conducting its public hearing. EPA reviews this proposed state action and prepares a notice of proposed rulemaking. EPA's notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register during the same time frame that the state is holding its public process. The state and EPA then provide for concurrent public comment periods on both the state action and federal action.

    If the revision that is finally adopted and submitted by the state is changed in aspects other than those identified in the proposed rulemaking on the parallel process submission, EPA will evaluate those changes and if necessary and appropriate, issue another notice of proposed rulemaking. The final rulemaking action by EPA will occur only after the SIP revision has been adopted by the state and submitted formally to EPA for incorporation into the SIP.

    On February 8, 2016, the State of Tennessee, through TDEC, submitted a formal letter request for parallel processing of a draft SIP revision that the State was already taking through public comment. TDEC requested parallel processing so that EPA could begin to take action on its draft SIP revision in advance of the State's submission of the final SIP revision. As stated above, the final rulemaking action by EPA will occur only after the SIP revision has been: (1) Adopted by Tennessee; (2) submitted formally to EPA for incorporation into the SIP; and (3) evaluated by EPA, including any changes made by the State after the February 8, 2016, draft was submitted to EPA.

    II. Background for Federal Stage I and II Requirements

    Stage I vapor recovery is a type of emission control system that captures gasoline vapors that are released when gasoline is delivered to a storage tank. The vapors are returned to the tank truck as the storage tank is being filled with fuel, rather than released to the ambient air. Stage II and onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) are two types of emission control systems that capture fuel vapors from vehicle gas tanks during refueling. Stage II systems are specifically installed at gasoline dispensing facilities and capture the refueling fuel vapors at the gasoline pump nozzle. The system carries the vapors back to the underground storage tank at the gasoline dispensing facility to prevent the vapors from escaping to the atmosphere. ORVR systems are carbon canisters installed directly on automobiles to capture the fuel vapors evacuated from the gasoline tank before they reach the nozzle. The fuel vapors captured in the carbon canisters are then combusted in the engine when the automobile is in operation.

    Under section 182(b)(3) of the CAA, each state was required to submit a SIP revision to implement Stage II for all ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate, serious, severe, or extreme, primarily for the control of volatile organic compounds (VOC)—a precursor to ozone formation.1 However, section 202(a)(6) of the CAA states that the section 182(b)(3) Stage II requirements for moderate ozone nonattainment areas shall not apply after the promulgation of ORVR standards.2 ORVR standards were promulgated by EPA on April 6, 1994. See 59 FR 16262 and 40 CFR parts 86, 88 and 600. As a result, the CAA no longer requires moderate areas to impose Stage II controls under section 182(b)(3), and such areas were able to submit SIP revisions, in compliance with section 110(l) of the CAA, to remove Stage II requirements from their SIPs. EPA's policy memoranda related to ORVR, dated March 9, 1993, and June 23, 1993, provide further guidance on removing Stage II requirements from certain areas. The policy memorandum dated March 9, 1993, states that “[w]hen onboard rules are promulgated, a State may withdraw its Stage II rules for moderate areas from the SIP (or from consideration as a SIP revision) consistent with its obligations under sections 182(b)(3) and 202(a)(6), so long as withdrawal will not interfere with any other applicable requirement of the Act.” 3

    1 Section 182(b)(3) states that each State in which all or part of an ozone nonattainment area classified as moderate or above shall, with respect to that area, submit a SIP revision requiring owners or operators of gasoline dispensing systems to install and operate vapor recovery equipment at their facilities. Specifically, the CAA specifies that the Stage II requirements must apply to any facility that dispenses more than 10,000 gallons of gasoline per month or, in the case of an independent small business marketer (ISBM), as defined in section 324 of the CAA, any facility that dispenses more than 50,000 gallons of gasoline per month. Additionally, the CAA specifies the deadlines by which certain facilities must comply with the Stage II requirements. For facilities that are not owned or operated by an ISBM, these deadlines, calculated from the time of State adoption of the Stage II requirements, are: (1) 6 months for facilities for which construction began after November 15, 1990, (2) 1 year for facilities that dispense greater than 100,000 gallons of gasoline per month, and (3) by November 15, 1994, for all other facilities. For ISBMs, section 324(a) of the CAA provides the following three-year phase-in period: (1) 33 percent of the facilities owned by an ISBM by the end of the first year after the regulations take effect; (2) 66 percent of such facilities by the end of the second year; and (3) 100 percent of such facilities after the third year.

    2 ORVR is a system employed on gasoline-powered highway motor vehicles to capture gasoline vapors displaced from a vehicle fuel tank during refueling events. These systems are required under section 202(a)(6) of the CAA and implementation of these requirements began in the 1998 model year. Currently they are used on all gasoline-powered passenger cars, light trucks and complete heavy trucks of less than 14,000 pounds GVWR. ORVR systems typically employ a liquid file neck seal to block vapor escape to the atmosphere and otherwise share many components with the vehicles' evaporative emission control system including the onboard diagnostic system sensors.

    3 Memorandum from John S. Seitz, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, to EPA Regional Air Directors, Impact of the Recent Onboard Decision on Stage II Requirements in Moderate Areas (March 9, 1993), available at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/aqmguide/collection/cp2/19930309_seitz_onboard_impact_stage2_.pdf.

    CAA section 202(a)(6) also provides discretionary authority to the EPA Administrator to, by rule, revise or waive the section 182(b)(3) Stage II requirement for serious, severe, and extreme ozone nonattainment areas after the Administrator determines that ORVR is in widespread use throughout the motor vehicle fleet. On May 16, 2012, in a rulemaking entitled “Air Quality: Widespread Use for Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery and Stage II Waiver,” EPA determined that ORVR technology is in widespread use throughout the motor vehicle fleet for purposes of controlling motor vehicle refueling emissions. See 77 FR 28772. By that action, EPA waived the requirement for states to implement Stage II gasoline vapor recovery systems at gasoline dispensing facilities in nonattainment areas classified as serious and above for the ozone NAAQS. Effective May 16, 2012, states implementing mandatory Stage II programs under section 182(b)(3) of the CAA were allowed to submit SIP revisions to remove this program. See 40 CFR 51.126(b).4 On April 7, 2012, EPA released the guidance entitled “Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures” for states to consider in preparing their SIP revisions to remove existing Stage II programs from state implementation plans.5

    4 As noted above, EPA found, pursuant to CAA section 202(a)(6), that ORVR systems are in widespread use in the motor vehicle fleet and waived the CAA section 182(b)(3) Stage II vapor recovery requirement for serious and higher ozone nonattainment areas on May 16, 2012. Thus, in its implementation rule for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, EPA removed the section 182(b)(3) Stage II requirement from the list of applicable requirements in 40 CFR 51.1100(o). See 80 FR 12264 for additional information.

    5 This guidance document is available at: http://www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone/pdfs/20120807guidance.pdf.

    III. Tennessee's Stage I and II Vapor Recovery Requirements for the Middle Tennessee Area

    On November 6, 1991, EPA designated and classified the Nashville Area (Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties) as a moderate ozone nonattainment area for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. See 56 FR 56694, 56829. As mentioned above, the “moderate” classification triggered various statutory requirements for this Area, including the requirement pursuant to section 182(b)(3) of the CAA for the Area to require all owners and operators of gasoline dispensing systems to install and operate a system for gasoline vapor recovery of emissions from the fueling of motor vehicles known as “Stage II.” 6 On November 5, 1992, May 18, 1993, and July 6, 1993, the State of Tennessee submitted SIP revisions to EPA for Stage I and II vapor recovery in the Nashville Area.7

    6 As discussed above, Stage II is a system designed to capture displaced vapors that emerge from inside a vehicle's fuel tank when gasoline is dispensed into the tank. There are two basic types of Stage II systems, the balance type and the vacuum assist type.

    7 “Gasoline Dispensing Facility, Stage 1” under Section 7-13, covering Nashville/Davidson County was first submitted on February 16, 1990 for EPA approval into the SIP and was approved March 11, 1991. See 56 FR 10171. The last revision for regulations related to Nashville/Davidson County was submitted on July 3, 1991, and later approved by EPA on June 26, 1992. See 57 FR 28625.

    On February 9, 1995, EPA approved Tennessee's November 5, 1992, May 18, 1993, and July 6, 1993, SIP revision containing Tennessee Air Pollution Control Regulations (TAPCR) rule 1200-03-18-.24, Gasoline Dispensing Facilities, Stage I and Stage II Vapor Recovery which regulates the emissions of VOCs from petroleum product storage and distribution network. 60 FR 7713.8 TAPCR 1200-03-18-.24 includes requirements for control of VOC emissions from filling of certain gasoline storage tanks in several Tennessee counties using Stage I vapor recovery systems. Subsequently, on January 10, 2008, EPA promulgated similar requirements for Stage I vapor recovery as 40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC. 73 FR 1945.

    8 Revisions to this rule were subsequently approved by EPA on April 14, 1997, and August 26, 2005.

    On November 14, 1994, TDEC submitted to EPA a request (later supplemented on August 9, 1995, and January 19, 1996) to redesignate the Middle Tennessee Area to attainment for the 1-hour ozone standard and an associated maintenance plan. The maintenance plan, as required under section 175A of the CAA, showed that nitrogen oxides and VOC emissions in the Area would remain below the 1994 “attainment year” levels through the greater than ten-year period from 1994-2006. In making these projections, TDEC factored in the emissions benefit of the Area's Stage II program, thereby maintaining this program as an active part of its 1-hour ozone SIP. The redesignation request and maintenance plan was approved by EPA, effective October 30, 1996. See 61 FR 55903. Subsequently, the maintenance plan was extended by TDEC to 2016, and this extension was approved by EPA, effective January 3, 2006. See 70 FR 65838.

    IV. Analysis of the State's Submittal

    On February 8, 2016, Tennessee submitted a draft SIP revision to EPA seeking modifications of the Stage II and Stage I requirements in the State. First, in relation to Stage II, TDEC seeks the removal of the Stage II vapor recovery requirements from TAPCR 1200-03-18-.24 through the addition of requirements for decommissioning, and the phase out of the Stage II vapor recovery systems over a 3-year period from January 1, 2016, to January 1, 2019, in Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson Counties. Second, TDEC seeks to amend the Stage I requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities by adopting by reference the Federal requirements of 40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC and removing most of the State-specific language for Stage I vapor recovery.9 Below are additional details regarding EPA's rationale for the actions proposed in today's rulemaking in relation to Tennessee's requested changes.

    9 However, any gasoline dispensing facility with a monthly throughput of 10,000 gallons or more of gasoline that is located in Anderson, Blount, Carter, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Fayette, Hamilton, Hawkins, Haywood, Jefferson, Knox Loudon, Marion, Meigs, Montgomery, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Sevier, Shelby, Sullivan, Sumner, Tipton, Unicoi, Union, Washington, Williamson, or Wilson Counties will be subject to expanded requirements under subpart CCCCCC.

    A. Analysis of Changes to Tennessee's Stage II Requirements for Middle Tennessee

    EPA's primary consideration in determining the approvability of Tennessee's request regarding removal of the Stage II program in the Middle Tennessee Area is whether this requested action complies with section 110(l) of the CAA.10 Section 110(l) requires that a revision to the SIP not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of the Act. EPA evaluates each section 110(l) noninterference demonstration on a case-by-case basis, considering the circumstances of each SIP revision. EPA interprets 110(l) as applying to all NAAQS that are in effect, including those that have been promulgated but for which the EPA has not yet made designations. The degree of analysis focused on any particular NAAQS in a noninterference demonstration varies depending on the nature of the emissions associated with the proposed SIP revision. EPA's analysis of Tennessee's February 8, 2016, SIP revision pursuant to section 110(l) is provided below.

    10 CAA section 193 is not relevant because Tennessee's Stage II rule was not included in the SIP before the 1990 CAA amendments.

    In its February 8, 2016, draft SIP revision, TDEC used EPA's guidance entitled “Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures” to conduct a series of calculations to determine the potential impact on air quality of removing the Stage II program.11 Tennessee's analysis focused on VOC emissions because, as mentioned above, Stage II requirements affect VOC emissions and because VOCs are a precursor for ozone formation.12 The results of TDEC's analysis are provided in the table below.

    11 EPA, Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures, EPA-457/B-12-001 (Aug. 7, 2012), available at: https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/ozone-stage-two-vapor-recovery-rule-and-guidance. This guidance document notes that “the potential emission control losses from removing Stage II VRS are transitional and relatively small. ORVR-equipped vehicles will continue to phase in to the fleet over the coming years and will exceed 80 percent of all highway gasoline vehicles and 85 percent of all gasoline dispensed during 2015. As the number of these ORVR-equipped vehicles increase, the control attributed to Stage II VRS will decrease even further, and the potential foregone Stage II VOC emission reductions are generally expected to be no more than one percent of the VOC inventory in the area.”

    12 Several counties in Middle Tennessee are currently designated nonattainment for the 1997 Annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standard. While VOC is one of the precursors for particulate matter (NAAQS) formation, studies have indicated that, in the southeast, emissions of direct PM2.5 and the precursor sulfur oxides are more significant to ambient summertime PM2.5 concentrations than emissions of nitrogen oxides and anthropogenic VOC. See, e.g., Quantifying the sources of ozone, fine particulate matter, and regional haze in the Southeastern United States, Journal of Environmental Engineering (June 24, 2009), available at: https://www.deepdyve.com/lp/elsevier/quantifying-the-sources-of-ozone-fine-particulate-matter-and-regional-yYzp0F1KBu.

    Table 1—VOC Emissions per Ozone Season From Stage II Controls Year VOC emissions
  • reduction
  • (tons per year)
  • 2010 510.60 2011 397.39 2012 281.97 2013 188.45 2014 107.28 2015 38.62 2016 −20.50 2017 −67.19 2018 −106.81 2019 −137.24 2020 −154.83

    The removal of Stage II vapor recovery systems in the five-county Middle Tennessee area starting in 2016 will result in a VOC emission decrease, with emission reduction benefits increasing over time. Conversely, as Table 1 shows, if Stage II requirements are kept in place, an increase in VOC emissions will occur beyond 2015, and it will become detrimental to air quality in the five-county Middle Tennessee area to keep Stage II systems in operation.13

    13 The emissions-reduction disbenefit associated with continued implementation of Stage II requirements is due to the incompatibility of some Stage II and ORVR systems. Compatibility problems can result in an increase in emissions from the underground storage tank (UST) vent pipe and other system fugitive emissions related to the refueling of ORVR vehicles with some types of vacuum assist-type Stage II systems. This occurs during refueling an ORVR vehicle when the vacuum assist system draws fresh air into the UST rather than an air vapor mixture from the vehicle fuel tank. Vapor flow from the vehicle fuel tank is blocked by the liquid seal in the fill pipe which forms at a level deeper in the fill pipe than can be reached by the end of the nozzle spout. The fresh air drawn into the UST enhances gasoline evaporation in the UST which increases pressure in the UST. Unless it is lost as a fugitive emission, any tank pressure in excess of the rating of the pressure/vacuum valve is vented to the atmosphere over the course of a day. See EPA, Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures, EPA-457/B-12-001 (Aug. 7, 2012), available at: https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/ozone-stage-two-vapor-recovery-rule-and-guidance. Thus, as ORVR technology is phased in, the amount of emission control that is gained through Stage II systems decreases.

    The affected sources covered by Tennessee's Stage II vapor recovery requirements are sources of VOCs. Other criteria pollutants (carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and lead) are not emitted by gasoline dispensing facilities and will not be affected by the removal of Stage II controls.

    The proposed revisions to TAPCR 1200-03-18-.24 include that gasoline dispensing facilities located in Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties shall decommission and remove the systems no later than 3 years from the effective date of this rule. Tennessee noted in its submission that procedures to decommission and remove systems will be conducted in accordance with Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) guidance, “Recommended Practices for Installation and Testing of Vapor Recovery Systems at Vehicle Refueling Sites,” PEI/RP300-09.

    EPA is proposing to determine that TDEC's technical analysis is consistent with EPA's guidance on removing Stage II requirements from a SIP, including those provisions related to the decommissioning and phasing out of the Stage II requirements for the Middle Tennessee Area. EPA is also making the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP revision is consistent with the CAA and with EPA's regulations related to removal of Stage II requirements from the SIP and that these changes will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or any other applicable requirement of the CAA, and therefore satisfy section 110(l).

    B. Analysis of Changes to Tennessee's Stage I Requirements

    Tennessee's Stage I requirements are in TAPCR 1200-03-18-.24, and provide for the control of VOC emissions from filling stations of certain gasoline storage tanks in Blount, Carter, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickinson, Fayette, Hamilton, Hawkins, Haywood, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Marion, Meigs, Montgomery, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Sullivan, Sumner, Tipton, Unicoi, Union, Washington, Williamson, and Wilson Counties. EPA promulgated similar requirements for Stage I vapor recovery at 40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC. To eliminate overlap of State and Federal requirements, Tennessee proposes to adopt by reference 40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC and remove the Stage I SIP requirements of TAPCR 1200-03-18-.24. Tennessee provided a section 110(l) demonstration that includes a comparison demonstrating the equivalence of State and Federal Stage I requirements, i.e., showing that the State requirements will be as stringent as or more stringent than the comparable Federal requirements. Tennessee's submittal proposes to lower the applicability threshold of the Federal requirements to apply to smaller facilities based on monthly throughput, rather than the equivalent Federal requirements for the subject counties listed above. Thus the State rule (1200-03-18-.24(1)) is more stringent than the Federal Rule.

    EPA has preliminarily determined that these changes to Tennessee's Stage I requirements will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment or any other applicable requirement of the CAA, and therefore satisfy section 110(l), because they remove obsolete language due, in part, to superseding Federal requirements in 40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference TDEC Regulation TAPCR 1200-03-18-.24, Gasoline Dispensing Facilities. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 4 office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's February 8, 2016, draft SIP revision that changes Tennessee Gasoline Dispensing Facilities, Stage I and II Vapor Recovery, TAPCR rule 1200-03-18-.24. to: (1) Allow for the removal of the Stage II requirement and the orderly decommissioning of Stage II equipment; and (2) incorporate by reference Federal rule 40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC, and remove certain non-state-specific requirements for the Stage I. EPA is proposing this approval because the Agency has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's February 8, 2016, draft SIP revision related to the State's Stage I and II rule is consistent with the CAA and with EPA's regulations and guidance.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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 as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: May 19, 2106. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12805 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 160225143-6143-01] RIN 0648-BF61 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 25 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 25 for the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Regulatory Amendment 25) as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). If implemented, this proposed rule would revise the commercial and recreational annual catch limits (ACLs), the commercial trip limit, and the recreational bag limit for blueline tilefish. Additionally, this proposed rule would revise the black sea bass recreational bag limit and the the commercial and recreational fishing years for yellowtail snapper. The purpose of this proposed rule for blueline tilefish is to increase the optimum yield (OY) and ACLs based on a revised acceptable biological catch (ABC) recommendation from the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The purpose of this proposed rule is also to achieve OY for black sea bass and adjust the fishing year for yellowtail snapper to better protect the species while allowing for economic benefits to fishers.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2016-0042” 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-2016-0042, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Rick DeVictor, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Electronic copies of Regulatory Amendment 25, which includes an environmental assessment, a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, regulatory impact review, and fishery impact statement, may be obtained from www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/s_atl/sg/2015/reg_am25/index.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick DeVictor, NMFS, SERO, telephone: 727-551-5720 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic Region is managed under the FMP and includes blueline tilefish, black sea bass, and yellowtail snapper. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing basis, OY from federally managed fish stocks. These mandates are intended to ensure that fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational opportunities, while also protecting marine ecosystems.

    Stock Status

    In 2013, the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) assessment (SEDAR 32) for blueline tilefish found the stock to be undergoing overfishing, based on data through 2011. In 2015, the Council specified a blueline tilefish ACL in Amendment 32 to the FMP, based on the results of SEDAR 32 and an ABC recommendation from the Council's SSC, and on March 30, 2015, NMFS issued a final rule to implement Amendment 32 (80 FR 16583). In Regulatory Amendment 25, the Council is revising the blueline tilefish ACL based on a new ABC recommendation from the Council's SSC, and an increase in the buffer between ABC and ACL to account for management uncertainty.

    In 2013, the SEDAR 25 Update determined that the black sea bass stock in the South Atlantic is neither overfished nor undergoing overfishing, and that the stock is rebuilt. The final rule to implement Regulatory Amendment 19 established increases in the total ACL and commercial and recreational ACLs for black sea bass (78 FR 58249, September 23, 2013).

    The state of Florida completed a stock assessment for yellowtail snapper in May 2012. The assessment determined that the stock, in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters (state and Federal waters) combined, is neither overfished nor undergoing overfishing. The final rule to implement Regulatory Amendment 15 to the FMP implemented the current ACLs for this stock in the South Atlantic (78 FR 49183, August 13, 2013).

    Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would revise the commercial and recreational ACLs, commercial trip limit, and recreational bag limit for blueline tilefish; revise the recreational bag limit for black sea bass; and revise the fishing year for the yellowtail snapper commercial and recreational sectors. All ABC and ACL weights in this proposed rule are expressed in round weight.

    Blueline Tilefish ACLs

    This proposed rule would revise the commercial and recreational ACLs for blueline tilefish. The current commercial ACLs are 26,766 lb (12,141 kg) for 2016, 35,785 lb (16,232 kg) for 2017, and 44,048 lb (19,980 kg) for 2018, and subsequent fishing years. The current recreational ACLs are 26,691 lb (12,107 kg) for 2016, 35,685 lb (16,186 kg) for 2017, and 43,925 lb (19,924 kg) for 2018, and subsequent fishing years. These ACLs were implemented through Amendment 32 to the FMP (80 FR 16583, March 30, 2015). This proposed rule would increase both the commercial and recreational ACLs for blueline tilefish in the South Atlantic. The commercial ACL would be set at 87,521 lb (39,699 kg) and the recreational ACL would be set at 87,277 lb (39,588 kg).

    In Regulatory Amendment 25, the Council is revising the blueline tilefish ACL based on a new ABC recommendation from the Council's SSC. Following the SEDAR 32 assessment, the SSC provided an ABC recommendation to the Council based on the ABC projections developed after SEDAR 32. In September 2015, the SSC raised concerns about the utility of projections from SEDAR 32 in specifying the ABC and concluded that the ABC projections do not represent the best scientific information available and are not adequate to support blueline tilefish fishing level recommendations for either current or future years. Based on that determination, the SSC revised their blueline tilefish ABC recommendation to set the ABC at the equilibrium yield at 75 percent of the fishing mortality that produces the maximum sustainable yield (224,100 lb (101,650 kg)). The Council accepted the SSC's recommendations and determined that this revised ABC is sufficient to prevent the overfishing of blueline tilefish.

    The Council is also revising the ACL to increase the buffer between the ABC and ACL from 2 percent to 22 percent. The increase in the buffer is to account for management uncertainty, such as increased landings north of the Council's area of jurisdiction. In Amendment 32 to the FMP, the Council set the total ACL (combined commercial and recreational ACL) for the South Atlantic at 98 percent of the recommended ABC for the entire Atlantic region to account for management uncertainty, since the stock assessment was coast-wide and the Council was aware that some landings of blueline tilefish occurred north of North Carolina. In Regulatory Amendment 25, the Council has determined to set the total ACL at 78 percent of the ABC. This decision is based on a comparison of the landings between the South Atlantic and Greater Atlantic Regions (Maine through Virginia) which indicate that 22 percent of the landings from 2011-2014 are from the Greater Atlantic Region.

    Blueline Tilefish Commercial Trip Limit

    The current commercial trip limit for blueline tilefish is 100 lb (45 kg), gutted weight; 112 lb (51 kg), round weight, and was implemented in Amendment 32. The Council selected that trip limit as a way to slow the commercial harvest of blueline tilefish, potentially lengthen the commercial fishing season, and reduce the risk of the commercial ACL being exceeded. This proposed rule would increase the blueline tilefish commercial trip limit to 300 lb (136 kg) gutted weight; 336 lb (152 kg), round weight. The Council decided that an appropriate response to the increase in ABC and proposed increase in total ACL is to increase the commercial trip limit. The increase in the commercial trip limit would reduce adverse socioeconomic effects to commercial fishermen. In addition, the increase in the commercial trip limit is not expected to result in an in-season closure of blueline tilefish.

    Blueline Tilefish and Black Sea Bass Recreational Bag Limits

    This proposed rule would revise the recreational bag limits for both blueline tilefish and black sea bass. The current blueline tilefish bag limit is one fish per vessel per day for the months of May through August and is part of the aggregate bag limit for grouper and tilefish. There is no recreational retention of blueline tilefish during the rest of the fishing year. This bag limit was implemented in Amendment 32 to the FMP. In conjunction with the proposed increase in the recreational ACL in Regulatory Amendment 25, this proposed rule would increase the recreational bag limit to three fish per person per day for the months of May through August and remain as part of the aggregate bag limit for grouper and tilefish. There would continue to be no recreational retention of blueline tilefish during the months of January through April and September through December, each year.

    The current bag limit for black sea bass in 5 fish per person per day and was implemented through the final rule for Regulatory Amendment 9 to the FMP (76 FR 34892, June 15, 2011). The proposed rule would increase the recreational bag limit for black sea bass to 7 fish per person per day. The Council decided to increase the bag limit to help achieve OY, since the recreational ACL has not been met in recent years. Additionally, increasing the bag limit to 7 fish is not expected to result in exceeding the recreational ACL or requiring an in-season closure of the recreational sector.

    Yellowtail Snapper Fishing Year

    The current fishing fishing year for the yellowtail snapper commercial and recreational sectors in the South Atlantic is January 1 through December 31. The in-season accountability measure for the commercial sector is to close yellowtail snapper when the commercial ACL is met or projected to be met. Recently, commercial harvest of yellowtail snapper in the South Atlantic waters was closed from October 31, 2015, through December 31, 2015, because the commercial ACL was met (80 FR 65970, October 28, 2015).

    This proposed rule would revise the fishing year for both the commercial and recreational sectors to be August 1 through July 31, each year. Changing the start of the fishing year to August 1 would benefit both sectors because it would ensure that harvest is open during the winter months when yellowtail snapper obtain a higher price per pound commercially and during peak tourist season in south Florida, where the majority of yellowtail snapper harvest takes place. Additionally, if an in-season closure for the commercial sector were to occur as a result of the ACL being met, it is likely that such a closure would occur later in the fishing year. With a fishing year start date of August 1, then it is more likely that any such closure would coincide with the yellowtail snapper peak spawning period of May through June, thereby possibly providing some additional biological benefits to the stock.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Regulatory Amendment 25, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this certification is as follows.

    The proposed rule would directly apply to anglers that harvest blueline tilefish, black sea bass, and yellowtail snapper in the South Atlantic exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Anglers are not considered small entities as that term is defined in 5 U.S.C. 601(6), whether fishing from for-hire fishing (charter vessel or headboat), private or leased vessels. Consequently, any impacts of the proposed rule on anglers are not considered in this analysis.

    The proposed rule would directly apply to finfish commercial fishing businesses that harvest blueline tilefish and yellowtail snapper in the South Atlantic EEZ. An annual average of 123 vessels harvested blueline tilefish and an annual average of 256 vessels harvested yellowtail snapper in the South Atlantic EEZ from 2010 through 2014.

    The Small Business Administration established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the U.S., including finfish fishing. A business involved in finfish fishing is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and its combined annual receipts are not in excess of $20.5 million (NAICS code 114111) for all of its affiliated operations worldwide. The average annual dockside revenue of a vessel that lands blueline tilefish is estimated to be $74,907 (2014 dollars), and the average annual dockside revenue of a vessel that lands yellowtail snapper is estimated to be $39,300 (2014 dollars). NMFS estimates that the 123 vessels that harvest blueline tilefish and 256 vessels that harvest yellowtail snapper are operated by 107 and 223 businesses, respectively, and NMFS concludes that all of these businesses are small.

    The proposed rule would increase the commercial ACL of blueline tilefish, which would allow for increases in average annual landings of up to 48,582 lb (22,036 kg) and average annual dockside revenues of up to $107,366 (2014 dollars). Those increases divided across the 107 small businesses that harvest blueline tilefish would yield an average annual benefit from increased dockside revenue of $1,003 per business.

    The proposed rule would increase the commercial trip limit for blueline tilefish from 100 lb (45.4 kg) to 300 lb (136 kg), gutted weight. Prior to 2015, there was no commercial trip limit and from 2010 through 2014, an annual average of 82 vessels operated by an estimated 71 small businesses landed less than 100 lb (45 kg) per trip and an annual average of 41 vessels operated by an estimated 36 small businesses landed more than 100 lb (45 kg) per trip. The trip limit increase is expected to benefit the 36 small businesses that had landings greater than 100 lb (45 kg), and their combined annual dockside revenues are expected to increase from $66,200 to $78,489 (2014 dollars). The increases in annual dockside revenues would not be equal. Eleven of the 36 small businesses would have an average annual increase from $7 to $729, six would have an average annual increase from $736 to $1,458, and 19 would have an average annual increase of $3,249.

    The proposed rule would revise the commercial fishing year for yellowtail snapper from January 1 through December 31 to August 1 through July 31. From 2012 through 2014, the commercial fishing year remained open for all 12 months; however, in 2015, the commercial season closed in October when landings reached the commercial ACL. This analysis presumes the 2015 rate of commercial landings is indicative of future annual landings and, therefore, concludes that future 12-month seasons will close by the end of the 10th month. The proposed action to revise the commercial fishing year would change the two months when the season is expected to be closed: From November and December to June and July. From 2010 to 2014, dockside prices of yellowtail snapper were, on average, lowest from May through July and higher in November and December. That suggests that the proposed rule could benefit the 223 small businesses that harvest yellowtail snapper because the 2 months of the season that are expected to be closed (June and July) would have lower dockside prices than November and December.

    The proposed rule would also adjust the recreational bag limit for blueline tilefish, increase the recreational bag limit for black sea bass, and modify the recreational fishing year for yellowtail snapper. Those actions are not relevant to this analysis because they directly affect anglers and anglers are not small entities as explained earlier. Because this proposed rule would not have a significant direct adverse economic effect on a substantial number of small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Black sea bass, Blueline tilefish, Commercial, Fisheries, Fishing, Recreational, South Atlantic, Yellowtail snapper.

    Dated: May 19, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.7, add paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 622.7 Fishing years.

    (f) South Atlantic yellowtail snapper—August 1 through July 31 .

    3. In § 622.187: a. Revise paragraph (b)(2)(iii); b. Remove and reserve paragraph (b)(2)(iv); and c. Revise paragraph (b)(7).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 622.187 Bag and possession limits.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) No more than one fish may be a golden tilefish; and

    (7) Black sea bass—7.

    4. In § 622.191, revise paragraph (a)(10) to read as follows:
    § 622.191 Commercial trip limits.

    (a) * * *

    (10) Blueline tilefish. Until the ACL specified in § 622.193(z)(1)(i) is reached or projected to be reached, 300 lb (136 kg), gutted weight; 336 lb (152 kg), round weight. See § 622.193(z)(1)(i) for the limitations regarding blueline tilefish after the commercial ACL is reached.

    5. In § 622.193, revise paragraph (z) to read as follows:
    § 622.193 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs).

    (z) Blueline tilefish—(1) Commercial sector. (i) If commercial landings for blueline tilefish, as estimated by the SRD, reach or are projected to reach the commercial ACL of 87,521 lb (39,699 kg), round weight, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to close the commercial sector for the remainder of the fishing year. On and after the effective date of such a notification, all sale or purchase of blueline tilefish is prohibited and harvest or possession of blueline tilefish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ is limited to the bag and possession limits. These bag and possession limits apply in the South Atlantic on board a vessel for which a valid Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in state or Federal waters.

    (ii) If commercial landings exceed the ACL, and the combined commercial and recreational ACL (total ACL) specified in paragraph (z)(3) of this section, is exceeded, and blueline tilefish is overfished, based on the most recent Status of U.S. Fisheries Report to Congress, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register, at or near the beginning of the following fishing year to reduce the commercial ACL for that following year by the amount of the commercial ACL overage in the prior fishing year.

    (2) Recreational sector. (i) If recreational landings for blueline tilefish, as estimated by the SRD, are projected to reach the recreational ACL of 87,277 lb (39,588 kg), round weight, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to close the recreational sector for the remainder of the fishing year, unless the RA determines that no closure is necessary based on the best scientific information available. On and after the effective date of such a notification, the bag and possession limits are zero.

    (ii) If recreational landings for blueline tilefish, exceed the applicable recreational ACL, and the combined commercial and recreational ACL (total ACL) specified in paragraph (z)(3) of this section is exceeded, and blueline tilefish is overfished, based on the most recent Status of U.S. Fisheries Report to Congress, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register, to reduce the length of the recreational fishing season in the following fishing year to ensure recreational landings do not exceed the recreational ACL the following fishing year. When NMFS reduces the length of the following recreational fishing season and closes the recreational sector, the following closure provisions apply: The bag and possession limits for blueline tilefish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ are zero. Additionally, the recreational ACL will be reduced by the amount of the recreational ACL overage in the prior fishing year. The fishing season and recreational ACL will not be reduced if the RA determines, using the best scientific information available, that no reduction is necessary.

    (3) The combined commercial and recreational sector ACL (total ACL) is 174,798 lb (79,287 kg), round weight.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12846 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 140905757-6404-01] RIN 0648-BE42 Fisheries off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan; Commercial Sablefish Fishing Regulations and Electronic Fish Tickets AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would revise fishery monitoring and equipment requirements for all commercial groundfish fisheries, including a requirement for submitting electronic fish tickets in the limited entry fixed gear fisheries and open access fisheries. This proposed rule would revise administrative procedures for limited entry permits, providing greater flexibility and efficiencies for limited entry groundfish fishery participants. This proposed rule also would require vessels registered to Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) to make an initial VMS declaration. This proposed rule also would make administrative changes and clarifying edits to improve consistency of the regulations with past Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) actions and with the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This action is needed to improve monitoring and administration of the limited entry sablefish primary fishery and address unforeseen issues arising out of the evolution of commercial sablefish fisheries and subsequent regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed rule must be received by July 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0032, 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-2016-0032, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-0070; Attn: Gretchen Hanshew.

    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).

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to William W. Stelle Jr., Regional Administrator, West Coast Region NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-0070 and to OMB by email to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-7285.

    Electronic copies of the environmental assessment (EA) for this action may be obtained from http://www.regulations.gov or from West Coast Region's Groundfish Web site: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/groundfish/index.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gretchen Hanshew, 206-526-6147, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of Proposed Rule and Summary of Major Actions Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    The purpose of this proposed rule is to improve the timeliness and accuracy of sablefish catch reporting in the limited entry fixed gear fisheries and open access fisheries, to provide more flexibility and efficiencies for harvesters in the Shorebased Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program and limited entry fixed gear fisheries, and to implement several administrative and clarifying changes to monitoring and permitting provisions of regulations for all of the limited entry and open access commercial groundfish fisheries on the West Coast.

    Major Actions

    This proposed rule contains eight major actions, along with related minor clarifications and non-substantive changes. The first action is a new requirement for electronic fish tickets to be submitted for all commercial landings of sablefish delivered to Washington, Oregon and California fish buyers. The second action would provide qualified vessel owners an opportunity to apply for an exemption to the ownership limitation of three permits in the limited entry sablefish primary fishery. The third action would allow a single vessel to be simultaneously (jointly) registered to multiple limited entry permits, one of which may have a trawl gear endorsement. The fourth action prohibits vessels that have been granted an at-sea processing exemption for sablefish in the limited entry fixed gear fishery from processing sablefish at sea when that vessel is participating in the Shorebased IFQ Program. The fifth action would clarify that, consistent with FMP Amendment 6, sablefish catch in incidental open access fisheries is counted against the open access allocation, and is not deducted from the commercial harvest guideline. The sixth action would require any vessel that has a VMS registered with NMFS Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) to make a declaration with OLE. The seventh action would update and simplify equipment requirements for electronic fish tickets. The eighth action makes clear that prohibitions governing groundfish species taken in the limited entry fixed gear fishery should not prohibit taking more than the allowable quota, but rather, should prohibit taking and retaining. In addition, the action includes housekeeping changes that are intended to better align the regulations with defined terms, and to provide clarity and consistency between paragraphs.

    Background Authorities

    The groundfish fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the west coast of the United States are managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 (Pub. L. 108-199, section 801). Regulations implementing provisions of the FMP are located at 50 CFR part 660, subparts C through G.

    Commercial Sablefish Fisheries

    This proposed rule includes several actions that would revise regulations for commercial fisheries that harvest sablefish. Proposed regulatory changes would apply to the Shorebased IFQ Program, the limited entry fixed gear fishery, which includes the limited entry sablefish primary fishery and the daily trip limit (DTL) fishery, and the open access fishery.

    The Shorebased IFQ Program off the west coast operates from the northern border between the United States and Canada to Morro Bay, California. Each vessel that participates in this sector must have a federal limited entry groundfish permit with a trawl endorsement. Active management of the sector began in the early 1980's with the establishment of harvest guidelines and trip limits for several species, including sablefish. Sablefish is managed as an IFQ species in the Shorebased IFQ Program, and may be harvested by vessels registered to a trawl-endorsed limited entry permit. Vessels may fish their IFQ with trawl gear, or may fish with fixed gear under the program's gear switching provisions. Few changes to the Shorebased IFQ Program regulations are proposed through this rulemaking.

    A federal limited entry groundfish permit is also required to participate in the limited entry fixed gear fishery. All limited entry fixed gear permits have at least one gear endorsement for longline gear and/or pot/trap gear. Permits may have multiple gear endorsements. In addition, limited entry fixed gear permits may have an endorsement to fish sablefish in the sablefish primary fishery.

    Each sablefish-endorsed permit is associated with an annual share of the sablefish allocation to the limited entry fixed gear fishery. Sablefish-endorsed permits are assigned to Tier 1, 2, or 3. Each Tier 1 permit receives 1.4 percent, each Tier 2 permit receives 0.64 percent and each Tier 3 permit receives 0.36 percent of the sablefish allocation. Each year, these shares are translated into cumulative limits (in pounds), or tier limits, which can be caught anytime during the sablefish primary season.

    Regulations allow for up to three sablefish-endorsed permits to be stacked on a single vessel. Permit stacking was implemented through FMP Amendment 14 in 2002 to increase the economic efficiency of the fleet and promote fleet capacity reduction. Stacking more than one sablefish-endorsed permit on a vessel allows the vessel to land sablefish up to the sum of the associated tier limits. However, permit stacking does not increase cumulative limits for any other species; cumulative limits for non-sablefish species apply on a per-vessel basis.

    Fishing in the sablefish primary season takes place over a seven-month period from April 1 to October 31. Vessels may land their tier limits at any time during the seven-month season. However, once the primary season opens, all sablefish landed by a vessel fishing in the limited entry fixed gear fishery and registered to a sablefish-endorsed permit is counted toward attainment of its tier limit(s). Vessels registered to a sablefish-endorsed permit can fish in the limited entry fixed gear DTL fishery (e.g. under weekly and bi-monthly trip limits) from January 1 through March 31 and after the primary fishery. The sablefish primary fishery for a vessel closes once their tier limit(s) is caught or when the primary season closes October 31.

    Groundfish may be taken and retained by vessels that are not registered to limited entry permits. These vessels are considered to be fishing in the open access fishery. Some vessels fishing in the open access fishery may be targeting groundfish species (e.g. open access sablefish DTL fishery). Other vessels may be targeting other species and retaining incidentally caught groundfish. Because there is no federal license limitation program for the open access fishery, the total number of participants in the open access fishery varies widely from year to year. Open access vessels can use a variety of fixed gears, including hook-and-line or pot/trap gear, longline, fishing pole, and vertical longline. Vessels that participate in the open access fishery and use non-groundfish trawl (e.g. shrimp trawl) gear may also retain groundfish species in limited amounts.

    Need for These Actions

    Since FMP Amendments 6 and 14, the Council has recommended and NMFS has implemented over a dozen rulemakings and several FMP amendments directly and indirectly affecting commercial fisheries that harvest sablefish. These actions often did not revise all federal groundfish regulations, but were sector or fishery specific, species specific, or related to setting harvest levels or routine management measures for ongoing fisheries. Changes to regulations, evolution of both state and federal recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and unforeseen complications for vessels that participate in other fisheries in addition to the groundfish fishery, created a need for a variety of comprehensive updates, changes, and clarifications to federal groundfish regulations. The proposed action implements several changes that the Council recommended at different times and for a variety of reasons. The proposed action also includes several regulatory changes that are consistent with past Council recommendations and that add clarity and consistency both within the regulations and between the regulations and the FMP.

    1. Electronic Fish Ticket Requirement for Sablefish Landings General

    NMFS is proposing a federal electronic fish ticket submittal requirement for all commercial groundfish landings that include sablefish. An electronic fish ticket is a web-based form used to send groundfish landing data to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC). Electronic fish tickets are used to collect information similar to the information required in state fish receiving tickets or landing receipts (henceforth referred to as paper tickets), but do not replace or change any state requirements. This requirement would improve timeliness and accuracy of catch data for monitoring harvest relative to applicable tier limits in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery and trip limits in the limited entry fixed gear and open access DTL fisheries.

    Once submitted, electronic fish tickets would immediately become part of a centralized database administered by the PSMFC, and landing data becomes available instantly to authorized users. Also, new electronic fish ticket requirements would include mandatory reporting of limited entry permit numbers for all limited entry fixed gear landings, allowing harvest of tier limits to be distinguishable on a per-permit basis. Depending on the state requirements, paper tickets may be mailed by fish dealers to the state agencies, transcribed into a database, reviewed and then submitted to the PSMFC for sector-specific catch summary reports. Limited entry permit numbers are not required to be reported on the paper tickets, so a variety of catch accounting business rules are followed. In some cases, it can take months for paper ticket harvest data to become available.

    Since the start of the Shorebased IFQ Program in 2011, electronic fish tickets have been required for landing IFQ species. Electronic fish tickets have allowed vessel owners/operators, buyers and dealers, and fishery managers timely access to catch information for IFQ species. Many of the amendments in this proposed rule expand the required use of electronic fish tickets to the limited entry fixed gear and open access fisheries and are similar to those currently in place for the Shorebased IFQ Program. Electronic fish ticket requirements for the Shorebased IFQ Program are described in detail in proposed rules (75 FR 32994, June 10, 2010; 75 FR 53380, August 31, 2010) and in final rules (75 FR 60868, October 1, 2010; 75 FR 78344, December 15, 2010) for that program.

    New Requirements for Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Fisheries

    In September 2013, the Council initiated the sablefish permit stacking program review, which included consideration of improvements to catch accounting against the tier limits associated with limited entry fixed gear sablefish permits. At its June 2014 meeting, the Council recommended that limited entry fixed gear sablefish permit numbers be required on fish tickets in order to improve catch accounting against sablefish primary fishery tier limits. In addition, the Council also recommended that an electronic fish ticket be required by federal regulation for all commercial sablefish deliveries, including sablefish landings in both the limited entry fixed gear and open access fisheries. The purpose of these new requirements would be to improve the accuracy and timeliness of commercial groundfish landings data for all groundfish species, particularly sablefish. This proposed rule would require electronic fish tickets, with limited entry permit numbers recorded for limited entry fixed gear landings, to be submitted for groundfish deliveries that include any amount of sablefish. Per the Council's recommendation, the requirement to submit electronic fish tickets for sablefish landings would apply to first receivers of fish from limited entry fixed gear and open access vessels.

    As in the Shorebased IFQ Program, this proposed rule makes the first receiver the person responsible for submitting the electronic fish ticket for a groundfish landing that includes sablefish. A first receiver is the person who receives, purchases, or takes custody, control, or possession of catch onshore directly from a vessel. The Shorebased IFQ Program uses the term “IFQ first receiver,” and IFQ landings can only occur at IFQ first receivers that have been certified by NMFS with an IFQ first receiver site license. This proposed rule uses the more broadly defined term “first receiver,” referring to any person, fish buyer or dealer that is receiving, purchasing, taking custody, control, or possession of a groundfish landing, and would not require first receivers to have a first receiver site license unless they also receive IFQ landings.

    The proposed rule would require first receivers to maintain hardware, software, and internet service such that electronic fish tickets can be submitted in a timely fashion via web-based forms. These equipment requirements for submitting groundfish electronic fish tickets are described in the preamble below, under the heading, “7. Equipment Requirements for Electronic Fish Tickets.”

    The proposed rule uses terms that have specific meanings when used in other regulatory provisions governing electronic fish tickets. “Recorded” refers to any form of documentation of information that will later be required for submittal of the electronic fish ticket. “Submitted” refers to the act of sending the completed, final electronic fish ticket form via the web-based platform. When a ticket has been submitted, it cannot be withdrawn, but it can be revised, as needed. The proposed rule defines a “sablefish landing” as an offload that includes any amount of sablefish harvested in either the limited entry fixed gear or open access fishery.

    The proposed rule includes electronic fish ticket requirements in order to facilitate complete, accurate and timely reporting. The proposed rule would prohibit transporting any groundfish from a sablefish landing away from the point of landing before the information that is required on the electronic fish ticket is recorded, and would prohibit processing, selling, or discarding any groundfish received from a sablefish landing that has not been accounted for on an electronic fish ticket. In addition, the electronic fish ticket must include a vessel identification number and a single limited entry permit number that the catch will be attributed to. Although the landing of sablefish is what would trigger the requirement to submit an electronic fish ticket, all groundfish landed, including sablefish and non-sablefish groundfish species, must be recorded on an electronic fish ticket.

    The proposed rule includes recordkeeping and reporting requirements for participants and first receivers in the limited entry fixed gear fishery (new language in 50 CFR 660.213) and in the open access fishery (new language in 50 CFR 660.313). The participants and first receivers must submit accurate information, must not submit false information, and must retain and make available any reporting records.

    Information reported on an electronic fish ticket as envisioned in this proposed rule would be similar to that recorded on state-mandated paper fish ticket. However, these new requirements for first receivers of sablefish caught in limited entry fixed gear and open access fisheries are not intended to supersede or change any state requirements relative to recording, submitting or retaining paper fish tickets. Similar to current requirements for IFQ first receivers, this proposed rule includes a requirement that first receivers record the limited entry permit number if the vessel is landing sablefish in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery or the limited entry fixed gear DTL fishery.

    With the new electronic fish tickets required in the proposed rule, vessel operators would have more timely and accurate landing information available to them by accessing electronic fish ticket data via their first receiver. First receivers would be able to view summaries of electronic fish ticket data that they have submitted for a vessel and provide those summaries to the vessel operator or other authorized personnel. Under this proposed rule, first receivers would be obligated, per proposed regulations at 50 CFR 660.213, to obtain the signature of the vessel operator or owner on board when recording and submitting electronic fish ticket information and they are required to make that information available per proposed regulations at 50 CFR 660.212(d).

    First receivers would have the ability to provide the vessel operator (or other authorized personnel) a summary of sablefish landings to date either on a vessel-specific basis or on a limited entry permit-specific basis. This same information is available to users with confidentiality agreements on file with PSFMC (e.g. OLE and fishery managers). Confidential electronic fish ticket data would not be publically available.

    Discussion of additional, applicable requirements for information to be supplied in electronic fish tickets and confidentiality requirements for electronic fish ticket data is also included under the following heading, “New Requirements for the Limited Entry Fixed Gear Sablefish Primary Fishery.”

    New Requirements for the Limited Entry Fixed Gear Sablefish Primary Fishery

    A vessel may stack up to three limited entry fixed gear sablefish permits. Each permit has an associated annual sablefish quota, or tier limit that may be harvested during the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery, which lasts from April 1 through October 31, or when an individual vessel's tier limit(s) is (are) harvested.

    The Council recommended electronic fish tickets for non-IFQ fisheries, in part, to improve catch monitoring of sablefish landed and counted against tier limits, and to make this catch information available to vessel operators, law enforcement, and fishery managers. As previously explained, electronic fish tickets would require reporting the limited entry permit number that authorizes the sablefish landing. For vessels fishing in the sablefish primary fishery, the limited entry permit number of only one sablefish-endorsed permit would be reported per ticket, even if the vessel has multiple sablefish-endorsed permits registered to it. Rather than relying solely on their own recordkeeping, or incomplete/delayed paper ticket summaries, as under current fish ticket systems, vessel operators would have immediate access to accurate, summarized landings data. This would improve confidence in the accuracy of annual landings estimates and ensure that vessel owners, first receivers, OLE, and fishery managers all have access to the same summarized harvest data. The electronic fish tickets would allow immediate availability of accurate summary data that can be organized to show total landings of sablefish to date against the annual tier limit(s) associated with that vessel. Timely and accurate data provided by electronic fish tickets would allow fishers to appropriately craft their fishing strategies, provide timely alerts that allow law enforcement officials to investigate potential tier limit overages, and give fishery managers the ability to track and react to the current catch of sablefish relative to annual fishery allocations. Thus, this proposed rule's provision requiring electronic fish tickets for the sablefish primary fishery would directly improve catch accounting against tier limits, and would make that information available to industry, enforcement and fishery managers in a timely manner.

    The Council discussed the possibility of using the vessel accounts system in place for the Shorebased IFQ Program as a model for creating accounts for vessels fishing in the sablefish primary fishery. However, the Council did not include a vessel or permit account system as part of its proposed action. Vessels fishing in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery are only monitoring one species and two sources of quota “currency:” the annual tier limit associated with the limited entry sablefish permits registered to the vessel, and debits against that tier limit from proposed electronic fish tickets. This monitoring is not as complex as what is required for the Shorebased IFQ Program. Based on this, vessels fishing in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery would not have vessel accounts as vessels fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program do. Instead, vessels would estimate their tier limit balances with information coming directly from the electronic fish ticket system, provided to them by first receivers. This process is anticipated to meet the catch accounting needs of industry, and to meet the monitoring and catch accounting needs of the Council, fishery managers, and enforcement.

    Current regulations and catch accounting procedures do not allow vessel operators to choose which sablefish permit's tier limit to which their catch is applied. Under the provisions of this proposed rule, electronic fish tickets would allow vessel operators to assign portions of their sablefish landing among the sablefish permits registered to their vessel, as desired. To achieve this, multiple electronic fish tickets would be submitted for a single sablefish landing. When a vessel registered to multiple sablefish endorsed permits makes a sablefish landing, all catch must be recorded and submitted on electronic fish tickets, as described above, under the heading, “New Requirements for Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Fisheries.”

    In this proposed rule, a landing of sablefish caught in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery may be reported across multiple electronic fish tickets, with one of the limited entry sablefish permit numbers reported on each ticket. Following is an example of two available options in the case of a vessel, which is registered to two sablefish endorsed permits (Permits 1 and Permit 2) and which makes a sablefish landing of 4,500 pounds:

    Option A: The vessel operator may choose to attribute all of those pounds to Permit 1 by recording that permit number on one electronic fish ticket, resulting in a single electronic fish ticket counting 4,500 pounds towards the annual tier limit associated with Permit 1. Option B: The vessel operator may choose to apportion the sablefish landed between two permits, as long as the annual tier limits are not exceeded. Using two fish tickets, the first electronic fish ticket could record 3,000 pounds to Permit 1 and the 3,000 pounds would count toward the annual tier limit associated with Permit 1, while the second electronic fish ticket could record 1,500 pounds to Permit 2 and the 1,500 pounds would count towards the annual tier limit associated with Permit 2.

    Regardless of the number of electronic tickets submitted, the sum total of annual sablefish landings must not to exceed the annual tier limits associated with the limited entry permits registered to that vessel, as currently established in regulations. It would be a violation of the provisions of this proposed rule to submit an electronic fish ticket for a sablefish landing in the sablefish primary fishery without recording the sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit number.

    The improvements to catch monitoring associated with this proposed rule's electronic fish ticket requirement would allow the removal of the current 24-hour rule of separation of primary and DTL landings. (The regulatory text of this proposed rule removes this current requirement at 50 CFR 660.232(a)(3) and revises text for that section.) A vessel would be allowed to apportion a landing against the remainder of its tiers (thereby closing the sablefish primary fishery for that vessel, per 50 CFR 660.231(b)), and the rest of the sablefish landed may be submitted on a separate electronic fish ticket and would count against applicable limited entry fixed gear DTL trip limits. This allows vessels to count sablefish landed in excess of their tier limits as DTL landings. Thus, this proposed rule would alter the process for concluding a vessel's primary season and transitioning to the DTL fishery. This would allow vessels to harvest the entirety of their tier limits, but would not allow for a double-dipping effect, as the vessel would still be subject to the same sablefish DTL cumulative limits as they would have been under the 24-hour separation of primary and DTL landings. In addition, the proposed rule would also replace the current 300-pound threshold, beyond which the Pacific Fisheries Information Network (PacFIN) considered any additional sablefish landed as counting against applicable DTL limits. That threshold effectively stranded up to 300 pounds of unharvested sablefish in the vessel's transition from primary to DTL sablefish fisheries.

    The proposed reporting requirements for electronic fish tickets would include a signature from the owner on board of either a printed copy of the electronic fish ticket or the dock tickets for any landing of sablefish in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery, unless exempted from owner-on-board requirements (50 CFR 660.231(b)(4)).

    2. Exemption to Limited Entry Sablefish Permit Ownership Limitation

    Current regulations (50 CFR 660.25(b)(3)(iv)(C)) state that no individual person, partnership, or corporation in combination may have ownership interest in or hold more than three permits with sablefish endorsements either simultaneously or cumulatively over the primary season (hereby referred to as “ownership limitation”). This ownership limitation was intended to prevent concentration of harvest privileges. However, this restriction has led to unforeseen complications because many persons, partnerships and corporations have harvest privileges in both the Alaska IFQ sablefish fishery and the Pacific coast sablefish fishery.

    The Alaska sablefish IFQ fishery regulations require that a sablefish quota owner must have at least part ownership in the vessel that will fish their quota. Some of these vessels also participate in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery off the Pacific coast. In such situations, any sablefish permit registered to that vessel would count toward the three-permit ownership limitation of the person, corporation, or partnership with part ownership of the vessel.

    In September 2013, the Council initiated the sablefish permit stacking program review, which included consideration of the current three-permit ownership limitation (also referred to by the Council as an own/hold rule or own/hold control limit) and explored a regulatory amendment to provide relief to industry members who were limited because of participation in the Alaska sablefish IFQ fishery. At its June 2014 meeting, the Council recommended a process by which vessel owners who meet certain qualifying criteria may petition NMFS for a limited exemption to the ownership limitation.

    The Council recommended this exemption to allow owners of a vessel registered to limited entry fixed gear sablefish permits, who are also part-owners of a vessel fishing sablefish IFQ in Alaska, to seek an ownership limitation exemption. The exemption, if granted, would mean that limited entry sablefish permits registered to a vessel (in which they have an ownership interest) would not count toward their ownership limit of three permits.

    In this action, NMFS proposes new language at 50 CFR 660.25(b)(3)(iv)(D) to provide for such a process for issuance of an exemption to the ownership limitation. The proposed language includes qualifying criteria, the application process, and a description of the circumstances under which the exemption would become null and void. The application process would include submission of a new form, which would be developed by NMFS and would collect the ownership interest information needed to confirm that the vessel owner meets the exemption criteria. This form would collect vessel ownership interest information, broken down into percentages, and would be similar to the form used in the Shorebased IFQ Program. NMFS would use the information from the form submitted by the applicant to make an initial administrative determination (IAD) on the merits of the application. Applicants would follow the permit appeals process under existing regulations at 50 CFR 660.25(g) regarding appeal of the IAD, if needed.

    Following the suggestion of a June 2014 NMFS Report (Agenda Item F.6.b, NMFS Report 2; http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/F6b_NMFS_Rpt2_JUNE2014BB.pdf), the Council recommended that the qualifying criteria include a requirement that the vessel owner must own limited entry sablefish permit(s). However, upon further exploration, NMFS found that some of the potential beneficiaries of this ownership limitation exemption do not own limited entry sablefish permits, but accrue counts against the ownership limitation only by owning a vessel to which limited entry sablefish permits are registered (i.e. they are vessel owners, not permit owners). Under the qualifying criteria initially discussed by NMFS and the Council in June 2014, those individuals would not qualify for the ownership limitation exemption.

    Based on the overall context of the Council recommendations for an ownership limitation exemption, NMFS concludes that the Council meant for this exemption to apply to any vessel owner that has been negatively affected by ownership limitation provisions because of their interest in the Alaska sablefish IFQ fishery, even if a vessel owner did not have an ownership interest in a permit. Therefore, at § 660.25(b)(3)(iv)(C)(1) regarding qualifying criteria, this proposed rule does not include the phrase “ownership interest in a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit.” This proposed rule would allow a vessel owner who meets all other criteria, but does not own or have ownership interest in a sablefish-endorsed permit, to qualify for the ownership limitation exemption. NMFS is seeking public comment from affected industry on whether or not the final rule should include the phrase, “ownership interest in a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit,” in the qualifying criteria language.

    NMFS is also seeking comment from the affected industry on whether to expand the qualifying criteria to include the Pacific halibut IFQ in Alaska. It is possible that, due to similar owner-on-board requirements, participation in the Pacific halibut IFQ fishery in Alaska may also prompt the need for a sablefish ownership limitation exemption.

    The proposed rule would allow the owner of a vessel registered to a sablefish endorsed limited entry permit (i.e. vessel owner) to apply for an exemption to the three-permit ownership limitation at any time. NMFS would issue an IAD within 60 days of receipt of a complete application. Under this proposed process, NMFS suggests that the application for an ownership limitation exemption be made by February 1, so that an IAD may be reached before the start of the primary sablefish season on April 1. The reason for this is that the ownership limitation exemption would not waive the cumulative ownership limitation. This is because if a vessel owner were to start the primary sablefish season on April 1 at or above the three-permit limit, an exemption granted later in the season would not exempt the owner's prior history.

    The Council recommended that “the exemption would remain in place so long as there are no changes to vessel ownership.” In order to reduce the administrative burden for NMFS and vessel owners, the Council did not recommend an annual renewal of the exemption. Instead, the Council recommended that a change in vessel ownership would require action. However, NMFS notes that vessel ownership is only one of the components of the qualifying criteria that the Council recommended. Therefore, at § 660.25(b)(3)(iv)(D)(3), the proposed rule states that once a vessel owner has been granted an exemption from the ownership limitation, that exemption would remain in place so long as the vessel owner that was granted the exemption continues to meet the qualifying criteria. Should the vessel owner's circumstances change such that they no longer meet the qualifying criteria, the exemption would automatically become null and void thirty days after the change in circumstances. Consistent with other exemptions issued by NMFS, if NMFS at any time finds the vessel owner no longer meets the qualifying criteria, NMFS will notify the vessel owner that they are not compliant with the ownership limitation restriction. The vessel owner may re-apply for an ownership limitation exemption at any time if they meet the qualifying criteria. NMFS is seeking public comment from affected industry regarding proposed regulations for invalidation of the exemption at § 660.25(b)(3)(iv)(D)(3).

    The Council also recommended a limitation on the number of exemptions that may be issued to a vessel owner in order to maintain ownership limitations for individuals that own many vessels. As recommended by the Council, NMFS is proposing that the exemption would allow a vessel owner to seek an exemption for sablefish permits registered on up to two vessels.

    3. Joint Registration

    Originally, the license limitation program (LLP), implemented through Amendment 6 to the FMP (see the EA under ADDRESSES for more information on the LLP), allowed vessels to register both a trawl and fixed gear (longline and fishpot) endorsed permit at the same time. Subsequently, regulations were modified and no longer allow vessels to register multiple limited entry permits unless the permits are sablefish-endorsed and stacked for use in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. This restriction was put in place to keep trawl and fixed gear fisheries temporally separated to meet enforcement and monitoring needs. In 2004, a vessel monitoring program was implemented that allowed vessels to identify which fishery they were participating in through a declaration system. As part of FMP Amendment 20 trailing actions, in April 2012 the Council recommended that vessels registered to a limited entry trawl permit be allowed to simultaneously register to a limited entry fixed gear permit, also called “joint registration.” In this proposed rule, NMFS proposes to allow joint registration while clarifying how fishery-specific regulations would still apply to vessels that are jointly registered.

    Joint registration would allow vessels that are jointly registered to fish in the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery with simply a change in VMS declaration. Existing VMS and declaration systems meet monitoring and enforcement needs under the joint registration language of this proposed rule.

    Joint registration would be permitted in one of two configurations:

    (1) Configuration A: One trawl permit and one, two, or three sablefish endorsed permits.

    (2) Configuration B: One trawl permit and one limited entry fixed gear permit.

    Configuration A would continue to allow stacking of limited entry fixed gear sablefish permits, but would also allow a trawl endorsed permit to be jointly registered to the same vessel simultaneously. Under this configuration, a vessel would be able to fish in the Shorebased IFQ Program, the limited entry fixed gear fishery, and the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery without having to transfer any of its limited entry permits. Configuration B would allow a single trawl permit and a single limited entry fixed gear permit to be jointly registered to the same vessel simultaneously. Under this configuration, a vessel would be able to fish in the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery without having to transfer a limited entry permit. Under this proposed rule, registering permits to a single vessel, simultaneously in either one of the configurations shown above, would be considered “joint registration.”

    Joint registration is separate and distinct from sablefish-endorsed permit stacking. A certain, specific set of regulations apply to the vessel that has stacked sablefish permits and is fishing in the sablefish primary fishery. In contrast, joint registration alone is not associated with a specific set of regulations or a single fishery. Joint registration would allow a vessel to switch between limited entry fishery sectors (e.g. IFQ and limited entry fixed gear) with a change in VMS declaration. Joint registration is not a fishery. The fishing regulations that would apply to the jointly registered vessel depends on which fishery that vessel declared into. This rulemaking proposes specific language pertaining to the permitting actions, rules and restrictions of joint registration at 50 CFR 660.25(b)(4)(iv).

    Some additional restrictions would apply if a vessel participates in multiple limited entry fisheries in the fishing year. These situations and the applicable restrictions would be described in crossover provisions at § 660.60(h)(7). For example, if a vessel participates in both the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery during a two-month cumulative limit period, then the smallest trip limit for non-IFQ species applies. Jointly registered vessels that want to fish in the open access fishery would have to comply with crossover provisions that apply to both trawl permits and limited entry fixed gear permits.

    At the November 2011 Council meeting the Enforcement Consultants (EC) discussed the increased importance of the declarations system, and the EC strongly encouraged industry leaders to impress upon their membership the importance of maintaining a proper declaration that accurately reflects their fishing activity. Accuracy in the declaration process is both required by law and vital to the analysis of fishing effort by resource managers. Implementation of joint registration makes a small change to the VMS declaration requirements at § 660.13(d)(5)(ii). Current VMS declaration regulations only require a new declaration report when a vessel would use a different gear type than the gear most recently declared. However, since a jointly registered vessel may use non-trawl gear to fish in both the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery, clarifying regulations are added to require a new declaration if the vessel will fish in a fishery other than the fishery most recently declared. This edit is intended to explicitly require declarations be made when a jointly registered vessel switches between the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery, regardless of the gear type used when participating in that fishery. While the current list of vessel declarations are generally gear- and fishery-specific, this new requirement at § 660.13(d)(6)(ii) makes it clear that a change in declaration must be filed to legally switch between fisheries. Joint registration would not preclude declaring more than one gear type, if allowed under current regulations at § 660.13(d)(6)(iv).

    This proposed rule clarifies the definition for “base permit” at § 660.11 such that the use of a base permit only applies for sablefish endorsed permits. This does not change how the base permit concept has been applied to vessels registered to multiple limited entry sablefish permits. When a trawl endorsed permit and one or more sablefish endorsed permits are jointly registered, trawl endorsed permits must meet the current vessel length endorsement requirements at § 660.25(b)(3)(iii)(B). The concept of a base permit only applies to stacked sablefish endorsed permits.

    Cumulative limits (e.g. daily, weekly, bi-monthly limits, etc.) continue to apply to the vessel, regardless of the number of permits registered to that vessel. Registering a vessel to more than one limited entry permit under joint registration does not entitle the vessel to more than one cumulative limit. Joint registration would not allow a vessel to register multiple limited entry fixed gear permits (not sablefish endorsed) along with the trawl endorsed permit.

    Registering a vessel to a limited entry permit with a specific endorsement often triggers certain requirements in the groundfish regulations. Joint registration is not intended to change fishing operations of groundfish fisheries or change requirements that are applicable to vessels because of the type of the endorsement(s) on the limited entry permit to which they are registered, unless otherwise described above.

    4. Restrictions on At-Sea Processing of Sablefish

    Processing of groundfish at-sea is prohibited for vessels fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program or limited entry fixed gear fishery, unless exempted from that prohibition. One such exemption applies to certain vessels fishing in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. Those exempted vessels may freeze sablefish at-sea during the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.

    When trawl rationalization was implemented in 2011, the Council recommended that at-sea processing of groundfish in the Shorebased IFQ Program be prohibited, with limited exemptions. Regulations at § 660.112 (b)(1)(xii) prohibited at-sea processing of groundfish, and also listed the exemptions that had been granted to date, including the exemption to the prohibition of at-sea processing in the sablefish primary fishery. As written, those regulations grant vessels with an exemption to the prohibition of at-sea processing in the sablefish primary fishery an exemption from the at-sea processing prohibition when fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program. However, NMFS interpreted regulations at § 660.25(b)(6)(i) to only allow the sablefish at-sea processing exemption when the vessel is registered to a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit.

    Under current regulations, a vessel may not register a trawl-endorsed permit and a sablefish endorsed permit at the same time, so they cannot take advantage of the exemption at § 660.112(b)(1)(xii)(B). Therefore, the exemption at § 660.112(b)(1)(xii)(B) cannot currently be used by vessels participating in the Shorebased IFQ Program; qualifying vessels that may freeze sablefish at-sea in the sablefish primary fishery are not allowed to freeze sablefish at-sea when fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program. However, under this rule's proposed joint registration language, a vessel would be able to register to a trawl endorsed and a sablefish endorsed limited entry permit simultaneously. If the exemption at § 660.112(b)(1)(xii)(B) is not removed, joint registration could allow vessels with an exemption from the at-sea processing prohibition for the sablefish primary fishery to also process sablefish at sea in the Shorebased IFQ Program.

    At its April 2012 meeting, the Council recommended prohibiting the freezing of sablefish at-sea when caught in the Shorebased IFQ Program, regardless of whether the vessel has an exemption for the limited entry fixed gear fishery. The Council recommends this change to regulations to prevent the single vessel that holds a sablefish at-sea processing exemption to process sablefish at-sea in the Shorebased IFQ Program, a fishery in which it had no prior history. NMFS is therefore proposing to remove the exemption to the prohibition of at-sea processing (at § 660.112(b)(1)(xii)(B)) that extended the limited entry fixed gear exemption in § 660.25(b)(6)(i) to vessels fishing sablefish in the Shorebased IFQ Program. Also, in light of joint registration, a clarifying sentence would be added to § 660.25(b)(6)(i), stating that the at-sea processing exemption only applies to at-sea processing of sablefish caught in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.

    During development of these proposed regulations, NMFS noted that a similar situation as the one described above may occur when a vessel exempted from at-sea processing prohibitions of non-whiting groundfish in the Shorebased IFQ Program could utilize that exemption when fishing in non-IFQ fisheries. NMFS interprets the regulations to mean that the vessel must be registered to a limited entry trawl permit to qualify for this exemption. With joint registration, it may need to be clarified that the exemption only applies to processing non-whiting groundfish caught in the Shorebased IFQ Program. NMFS is seeking public comment on whether a clarifying sentence could be added to § 660.25(b)(6)(ii), stating that the at-sea processing exemption described there only applies to at-sea processing of non-whiting groundfish caught in the Shorebased IFQ Program.

    5. Sablefish Allocations North of 36° N. lat.

    The allocation structure for sablefish north of 36° N. lat. was established in FMP Amendment 6. In April 2009, the Council recommended final preferred intersector allocations for groundfish species under Amendment 21. The Council and NMFS recommended that no change be made to the Amendment 6 allocation structure for sablefish. However, FMP Amendment 21 and its implementing regulations slightly changed the process for allocating sablefish north of 36° N. lat. (75 FR 60868, October 1, 2010). In this action, NMFS is proposing regulations to align sablefish north of 36° N. lat. allocations with the Amendment 6 allocation structure, as recommended by the Council in 2009.

    Under FMP Amendment 6, harvest in the incidental open access fishery was deducted from the open access allocation after the limited entry/open access allocation occurred. Amendment 21 changed that process and deducts sablefish for the incidental open access fishery before the limited entry/open access allocation is made, similar to how the tribal fishery and scientific research deductions were made for other species. While this is consistent with how other groundfish species were treated under Amendment 21, it was inconsistent with Amendment 6 and the Council's intent. As clarified by the Council with Amendment 21-1, it was not the Council's intent to have Amendment 21 supersede the Amendment 6 allocation structure for sablefish north of 36° N. lat. In 2014, the Council revised figure 6-1 of the FMP to make it consistent with Amendment 6 and the Council's intent.

    However, at that time, regulations at § 660.55(h) were mistakenly left unrevised. In this action, NMFS proposes revising the text description of the sablefish north of 36° N. lat. allocation structure to reflect the Council's intent to maintain the Amendment 6 allocation structure and to bring the regulations at § 660.55(h) into consistency with the FMP. Proposed regulatory changes at § 660.55(h)(2) would deduct the metric tonnage for scientific research and recreational fisheries before the limited entry/open access split, but would no longer deduct the metric tonnage for the incidental open access fisheries during this step. Proposed regulations would deduct the metric tonnage for incidental open access fisheries from the open access allocation after the limited entry/open access split.

    6. VMS Declarations for Vessels Registered to a VMS Unit

    In 2004, the Council and NMFS implemented a vessel monitoring program. Since 2004, all commercial fishing vessels that take and retain groundfish in federal water, or transit through federal water with groundfish on board are required to have a working VMS. The VMS, along with a system of fishing declaration reporting requirements, allows for monitoring and enforcement of areas closed to fishing. With this program, NMFS type-approved hardware and software, or “units,” were installed on vessels in order to meet these new program requirements for the groundfish fishery. A variety of units were available for purchase, and vessel owners/operators could seek reimbursement for the cost of the units. When a VMS unit is installed on a vessel, it is registered with NMFS OLE and catalogued. There are a number of VMS units that have registered with OLE but have never made a fishing declaration, as required by regulations at § 660.13(d).

    At its June 2013 meeting, based on advice from their EC, the Council recommended that a declaration report be required for all vessels registered to a VMS unit, and that a declaration of “other” may be appropriate if the activity they will be doing is not fishing (e.g. serving as a chartered vessel conducting scientific research). Therefore, in this action, NMFS is proposing regulation changes at § 660.13(d) that would require all vessels registered to a VMS unit to submit a declaration report. Obtaining a declaration report from these vessels will give OLE the information necessary to monitor the activities of these vessels relative to the applicable regulations.

    Proposed regulations require any vessel operator upon registration of a VMS unit with NMFS OLE to make a declaration report regardless of fishing activity. This requirement would also apply to vessels that have already registered a VMS unit with NMFS OLE, but have not made a declaration report. OLE may contact a vessel operator and request that a declaration report be made. In such a circumstance, the proposed regulations would obligate the vessel operator to make a declaration report.

    Also, consistent with the Council's June 2013 recommendations, NMFS proposes revising the declaration of “other gear” at § 660.13(d)(5)(iv)(A)(24) to “other” to encompass a vessel's on the water activities that may not be fishing (e.g. scientific research activities). Vessels registered to a VMS unit would be required to make a declaration, regardless of fishing activities. Under proposed regulations, NMFS anticipates they may make a declaration of “other” if they are not fishing.

    NMFS also proposes that OLE will default a vessel's declaration to “other” if they are unable to contact the vessel operator with whom the VMS unit is associated. As required by current regulations, the vessel operator must update the declaration when they meet the requirements to do so.

    7. Equipment Requirements for Electronic Fish Tickets

    Under current regulations at § 660.15(d), submission of electronic fish tickets must be done on personal computers with software that meets specific NMFS requirements. The data is entered into the computer system. Then the information is transmitted in batches to PSMFC. The only step in the process that requires an internet connection is when data sets are transmitted to PSMFC.

    A new interface has been developed that uses the internet for both entry and submission of electronic fish ticket data. The new, web-based interface no longer requires the person submitting the electronic fish ticket to do so from a computer equipped with specific, NMFS-approved software. Instead, the only requirement for the web-based interface would be a hardware device (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.) with a web browser or other software (e.g. application) and an internet connection.

    Consistent with the Council's June 2014 recommendations to expand the required use of electronic fish tickets to the limited entry fixed gear and open access fisheries, NMFS is proposing updates to equipment requirements pertaining to electronic fish tickets.

    Current electronic fish ticket users (e.g. IFQ first receivers) are already using this web-based interface, and those first receivers affected by the new requirements would be using the web-based interface. The changes proposed to regulations at § 660.15(d) would reflect the move to a web-based electronic fish ticket for all first receivers, those that are receiving IFQ landings and those that would be receiving sablefish landings in limited entry fixed gear and open access fisheries under proposed electronic fish ticket regulations. Note that an internet connection would now be necessary for all steps in submission of an electronic fish ticket, from creating the new ticket through submission. To reflect these changes, the definition of “electronic fish ticket” at § 660.11 would also be revised to reflect the web-based form that would be used to send electronic fish ticket information to the PSMFC.

    8. Prohibitions Regarding “Take and Retain”

    When the Council and NMFS implemented Amendment 14 to the groundfish FMP, which established the sablefish primary fishery, regulations needed to clarify that vessels were still only allowed a single cumulative limit of sablefish when fishing outside of the primary sablefish season (66 FR 30869, June 8, 2001). Regulations were promulgated that prohibited taking more than a single cumulative trip limit. NMFS is proposing replacing “taking, retaining” with “taking and retaining,” consistent with the Council's recommendations under Amendment 14.

    There is a difference between “taking” fish and “taking and retaining” fish during fishing activities. “Take” is defined in MSA regulations at § 600.10 as any activity that results in killing fish or bringing live fish on board. “Retain” is also defined at § 600.10 and means to fail to return fish to the sea after a reasonable opportunity to sort the catch. In commercial groundfish fisheries, “trip limits” (defined at § 660.11) are used to specify the maximum amount of a fish species or species group that may legally be taken and retained, possessed, or landed (per vessel, per time period, etc.).

    Amendment 14 promulgated regulations that prohibited vessels from taking more than a single trip limit in the limited entry fixed gear DTL fishery (at § 660.323, which was later redesignated as § 660.212). The preamble to Amendment 14 explained that adding this prohibition was intended to make it clear that, even though the DTL fishery and the primary fishery could both occur during the same time period (e.g. April 1 through October 31), vessels in the DTL fishery would be restricted by applicable trip limits.

    Current regulations at §§ 660.12 and 660.212 prohibit any vessel from taking more than a single cumulative trip limit, unless they are fishing in the sablefish primary fishery. The exception is consistent with regulations at § 660.231 that describe how, when a vessel is fishing on stacked sablefish endorsed permits, it can take more than one cumulative limit of sablefish because they are fishing on more than one tier limit. However, the prohibition, as written, needs to be revised. Vessels in commercial groundfish fisheries, except the sablefish primary fishery, should not be prohibited from “taking” more than a single cumulative trip limit. For those fisheries, a prohibition on “taking and retaining” more than a single cumulative trip limit is more appropriate, and “take, retain” is replaced with “take and retain.”

    This change is appropriate for three reasons. First, in a mixed stock fishery, it is impracticable to eliminate “take” of a single species or species group while still allowing access to species or species groups that can sustain higher harvest levels. Second, a prohibition of “take and retain” is more enforceable. When boarding a vessel, enforcement agents will not always be able to measure the total amount of fish taken, as some could have been discarded. However, it is possible to quantify the number of fish on board the vessel in order to evaluate if more fish than the applicable trip limit have been “taken and retained.” Third, it was not the intent of FMP Amendment 14, or any subsequent promulgation of “take, retain,” prohibitions, to prohibit “taking” more than a single trip limit of a groundfish species or species group.

    It is for these reasons that groundfish trip limits apply when a species or species group is “taken and retained.” To better align prohibitions for enforcing trip limits with the definition of “trip limit,” to improve enforceability of trip limit prohibitions, and to bring consistency to regulations that apply to commercial groundfish fisheries, prohibitions at §§ 660.12(a)(6), 660.212(a)(2), and 660.212(d)(1) and (2) are proposed to be revised from “take, retain” to “take and retain.”

    9. Related Minor Clarifications and Non-Substantive Changes

    There are several legacy regulations that describe methodologies used for decisions and exemptions regarding limited entry permit endorsements (at § 660.25(b)(3)) and at-sea processing exemptions (at § 660.25(b)(6)) that have expired. Therefore, NMFS is proposing to remove them. Paragraph § 660.25(b)(3)(iv)(B) describes a one-time process for the issuance of sablefish endorsements and tier assignments. That process concluded in 1998. Proposed revisions to paragraphs § 660.25(b)(6)(i) and (ii) introductory text would make it clear that the at-sea processing exemptions described there were extended to industry on a one-time basis and can no longer be sought. The sablefish at-sea processing exemption could not be issued after 2006 and the non-whiting groundfish at-sea processing exemptions could not be issued after 2012. In addition to these revisions described above, additional expired regulations at § 660.25(b)(6)(ii)(A) through (C) would be removed because they no longer describe current regulatory activities and are not relevant to ongoing administrative or fishing practices.

    Regulations at § 660.55(f) describe catch accounting methodologies for groundfish species. Paragraph § 660.55(f)(1) describes how catch accounting is done for species with trawl/nontrawl allocations. One of the cross-references in § 660.55(f) refers to catch accounting in limited entry and open access fisheries, or nontrawl fisheries. The cross-reference refers to § 660.55(f)(2), however that paragraph describes catch accounting procedures for Pacific whiting. The cross-reference should refer to § 660.55(f)(1)(ii), where catch accounting for nontrawl fisheries is described. Therefore, this rule proposes to revise the cross reference at § 660.55(f) from “§ 660.55(f)(2)” to “§ 660.55(f)(1)(ii).”

    In this action, edits are made to regulations at § 660.60(h)(7)(i) and (ii)(A) to clarify that trip limit crossover provisions do not apply to IFQ species for vessels declared into the Shorebased IFQ Program. Those species are managed with IFQ, and therefore trip limit crossover provisions in these paragraphs do not apply.

    To improve consistency, this action would also make clarifying edits to regulations at § 660.60(h)(7)(ii)(B)(1) and (2) to replace the word “participate” with the defined term “fish” and to remove redundant text by changing “. . . in the open access fishery, described at part 660, subpart F, with open access gear . . .” to “. . . with open access gear . . .” Open access gear, as defined at § 660.11, can only be used in the open access fishery. It is redundant to refer to both the open access fishery and open access gear.

    The trawl fishery prohibitions at § 660.112(a)(3)(i) make it illegal to intentionally submit false information. By definition, a false statement is an untrue statement knowingly made with the intent to mislead, therefore the term “intentionally” in the existing prohibition is unnecessary. This proposed rule revises the prohibition by deleting the word “intentionally.” This language is intended to work coincident with regulations that require submission of final and accurate information on electronic fish tickets, and with electronic fish ticket regulations that require errors to data, when found, to be corrected via a revision to the electronic fish ticket.

    Regulations for revising electronic fish ticket submissions, at § 660.113(b)(4)(iii), would be modified to clarify that the only way to fix an error in an electronic fish ticket submission is to resubmit a revised electronic fish ticket. In other words, if an error is found in an electronic fish ticket submission, it cannot be remedied by submitting any other record besides an electronic fish ticket. Proposed regulations at § 660.113(b)(4)(iii) change “may be revised” via electronic fish ticket to “must be revised” via electronic fish ticket.

    A clarifying edit is made in paragraph § 660.113 (a)(2) to use the defined term “date of landing” consistently throughout the recordkeeping and reporting regulations.

    Current regulations at § 660.231 apply to vessels participating in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. However, many of the regulations that apply to limited entry fixed gear fishing also apply to vessels fishing in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery. In this action, clarifying edits would be made to paragraph § 660.231(a) to make this clear. Section 660.231 provides additional details regarding management and prosecution of the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery, and is intended to be taken in the larger context of regulations that apply to limited entry fixed gear fisheries (limited entry fixed gear fisheries during and outside of the sablefish primary season).

    Throughout these proposed revisions to regulations, cross-references would be updated to maintain accuracy given the proposed, substantive changes described in the sections above. Additionally, references to the NMFS “Northwest” Region would be changed to NMFS “West Coast” Region to reflect an organizational change that occurred in October 2013. References to “halibut” would be revised to refer to “Pacific halibut” to distinguish it from California halibut. Minor, non-substantive edits would also be made to remove duplicative text or change typographic or grammatical errors.

    All of the proposed changes to regulations described in this section are not intended to change the meaning of existing regulations, but rather are intended to reduce duplication, simplify, correct cross-references and make other minor, related changes to bring consistency within groundfish regulations.

    Classification

    NMFS has made a preliminary determination that the proposed action is consistent with groundfish FMP, the MSA, and other applicable law. There are no relevant federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this action. In making its final determination, NMFS will take into account the complete record, including the data, views, and comments received during the comment period. An environmental assessment (EA) was prepared for this action. The EA includes socio-economic information that was used to prepare the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA). The EA is available for public comment (See ADDRESSES) and is available on line at www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/nepa/groundfish/groundfish_nepa_documents.html.

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this proposed rule is not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 603 et seq., requires government agencies to assess the effects that regulatory alternatives would have on small entities, including small businesses, and to determine ways to minimize those effects. When an agency proposes regulations, the RFA requires the agency to prepare and make available for public comment an IRFA, unless the agency can certify that the proposed action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The IRFA describes the impact on small businesses, non-profit enterprises, local governments, and other small entities, and is intended to aid the agency in considering all reasonable regulatory alternatives that would minimize the economic impact on affected small entities. After the public comment period, the agency prepares a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) that takes into consideration any new information or public comments. A summary of the IRFA for this action is provided below. The reasons why action by the agency is being considered, the objectives and legal basis for this rule are described in previous sections of the preamble, and the reporting and recordkeeping requirements are described in the next section.

    Following are descriptions of small entities, as defined by the RFA and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    Small businesses. SBA has established guidelines on size criteria for all major industry sectors in the United States, including fish harvesting and fish processing businesses. A business involved in fish harvesting is a small business if it is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates) and if it has combined annual receipts, not in excess of $20.5 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide (See 79 FR 33647, effective July 14, 2014). For marinas and charter/party boats, a small business now defined as one with annual receipts, not in excess of $7.5 million. For related fish processing businesses, a small business is one that employs 750 or fewer persons.

    Small organizations. The RFA defines small organizations as any nonprofit enterprise that is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.

    An estimated 99 entities are potentially impacted by this rule, including 77 receivers and up to 22 vessels/permit-holding entities. All of these entities are considered small according to the SBA guidelines stated above. This rule is not anticipated to have a substantial or significant economic impact on small entities, or to place small entities at a disadvantage to large entities. Nonetheless, NMFS has prepared an IRFA (available as part of the EA described above), which is summarized below. Through the rulemaking process associated with this action, we are requesting comments on this conclusion.

    Description of Small Entities Affected by Proposed Rule Provisions on Electronic Fish Tickets. An estimated 77 first receivers across the primary and DTL fisheries will be impacted by the electronic fish ticket requirement. These 77 first receivers account for approximately 34 percent of sablefish landings in these fisheries. An additional 23 sablefish first receivers are also IFQ first receivers and already use electronic fish tickets to record shorebased IFQ landings. The 77 first receivers across the primary and DTL fisheries who do not already use electronic fish tickets would be most affected by the action alternatives. Without having employment information for these businesses, NMFS is considering all 77 first receivers to be small entities under the SBA guidelines described above.

    Description of Small Entities Affected by Proposed Rule Provisions on Ownership Limitation (i.e. Own/Hold Control Limit). This provision is likely to benefit a few individuals who own multiple vessels that operate in both the West Coast sablefish primary fishery and the Alaska sablefish IFQ fishery, and were grandfathered into the Alaska IFQ program. As relatively few businesses meet the SBA criteria for small enterprises, this provision of the proposed rule is not expected to impact a substantial number of small entities. At most, the 13 vessels that hold permits to fish in both the Alaska IFQ program and the West Coast sablefish primary fishery would qualify for the exemption.

    Description of Small Entities Affected by Proposed Rule Provisions on Joint Registration. Since 2011, a total of 20 vessels have been registered to both trawl and fixed gear permits in a single year. Of these, 16 vessels would qualify as a small business under the SBA criteria described above. The permits associated with large entities were participating in a temporary research program. These 16 vessels are likely to benefit from the flexibility offered by joint registration. In 2015, the last year with complete data, nine vessels registered to both trawl and fixed gear permits within the year, and all of these reported being small businesses. These nine vessels are the most likely to realize immediate benefits from the updated rule.

    Alternatives for Electronic Fish Tickets. NMFS considered four alternatives, including No Action, for electronic fish tickets. The No Action alternative (Alternative 1) would maintain current reporting state fish ticket reporting systems. Each of Alternatives 2 through 4 would implement a federal requirement that first receivers of non-trawl commercial sablefish landings to U.S. West Coast ports record landings on an electronic fish ticket. The action alternatives differ from each other only in the fleets that they address. Alternative 2 would affect participants in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery only. Alternative 3 would expand upon Alternative 2 to add participants in the limited entry fixed gear DTL fishery. Lastly, Alternative 4 would expand upon Alternative 3 to add participants in the open access DTL sablefish fishery. All alternative actions except for Alternative 1 (No Action) will result in some expenses as a result of new reporting requirements. NMFS assumed that all of the affected small businesses already have access to a technically suitable computer to submit the electronic fish tickets. However, if a business did not currently own a computer, it would incur additional costs for the initial investment in a computer and for a small monthly fee for an Internet connection. This requirement will likely result in increased administrative expenses with a longer submission time in those instances where first receivers must submit both State and Federal fish tickets. First receivers in the trawl program reported an hourly wage of $33.68 for non-production employees in 2012 (Economic Data Collection Program First Receiver and Shorebased Processor Report, 2009-2012). Assuming non-IFQ receivers pay a similar wage to non-production employees, and using the burden-hour estimate included in the Paperwork Reduction Act section below, Alternative 2 is estimated to result in an additional annual expense of about $2,500 for all processors combined, Alternative 3 would cost $10,000 in total, and Alternative 4 (preferred alternative) would cost the sector $20,000 or about an additional $4 per fish ticket.

    Alternatives for Ownership Limitation (i.e. Own/Hold Control Limit). NMFS considered three alternatives, including No Action (Alternative 1), with regards to ownership limitation changes. Alternatives 2a and 2b would result in a permit only being counted against the ownership limitation if a certain percentage of the vessel registered to that permit was owned. The two sub-alternatives vary by percentage of ownership: 20 percent and 30 percent for Alternatives 2a and 2b, respectively. Alternative 3 would result in permits counting as they do under No Action unless an exemption was applied for and granted by NMFS. There may be an opportunity for larger operations that were constrained by the three-permit limit to consolidate more harvest privileges by either acquiring Pacific coast limited entry fixed gear permits or by hiring out to west coast and Alaska participants to harvest Alaska IFQ. The degree of the current constraint, and consequently the opportunity provided by the alternative actions, is modest for the fleet as a whole, but this benefit may be important to some individuals.

    Alternatives for Joint Registration. NMFS considered three alternatives, including No Action (Alternative 1), relative to joint registration. Alternative 2 would allow a single trawl permit and up to three limited entry fixed gear permits to be registered to a vessel simultaneously. Alternative 3 would allow the same permit registration options as Alternative 2, but would have additional requirements relative to declarations and at-sea processing. In 2014, the last year for which economic data are available, the average net revenue per day was $4,815 for the eight vessels fishing with fixed gear in the trawl fishery that were also registered to a fixed-gear endorsed permit that year. The average net revenue per day in the fixed gear-endorsed fishery was $4,686 (per data provided by the Economic Data Collection Program on March 23, 2016). Vessels had lower variable costs per day while participating in the fixed gear fishery compared with the trawl fishery.

    Vessels that either own or lease both fixed gear and trawl permits may realize increased operational efficiency with joint registration, particularly with respect to the 100% observer coverage required when fishing under the trawl permit. Participants have indicated that they would take advantage of the alternative fishing opportunities afforded by this provision when scheduling trips on occasions that observers are unavailable for fishing under their trawl permit. If an observer wasn't available or had to cancel, the vessel could choose the alternative of declaring into the fixed gear endorsed fishery, and would not need to forgo the trip. Joint registration would additionally provide a minor administrative convenience to the vessels that own or have multi-year leased permits. These operators, who currently must complete and submit multiple transfer forms throughout the year (typically three), would no longer be required to submit any paperwork related to permit transfers.

    Rejected Sub-Options for Alternatives 2 through 4 for Electronic Fish Tickets. While discussing the options for electronic fish tickets, the Council considered a sub-option for each of the action alternatives (Alternatives 2 through 4). Under the sub-option, sablefish deliveries would be recorded on state paper fish tickets, rather than on federal electronic fish tickets. NMFS would implement a federal requirement that sablefish landings, and the federal groundfish permit number associated with the landings, be recorded on state paper fish tickets. Although this sub-option would cause the least disruption to the existing landings process, adding new requirements to the state paper fish ticket system would fail to address the purpose and need for this action. This slight alteration in the process would not improve the timeliness of catch accounting or enforcement capabilities in the fishery.

    Adding new requirements to the state paper fish ticket system would also cause several logistical challenges in managing the sablefish fishery: (1) Sablefish landings data would not be uploaded into the Pacific Fisheries Information Network (PacFIN) database at a faster than current rate, (2) there would continue to be a lag time of several months between when the landings occur and when the data are available, and (3) further augmenting paper fish ticket recording requirements would be disruptive to state data collection and management practices. Therefore, this sub-option has been considered, but rejected from further analysis.

    In addition, the action alternatives originally included language regarding how the catch data recorded on the electronic tickets would be used, specifically stating, “That tier permits be loaded into the IFQ Vessel Account System with deductions made as appropriate when a tier delivery is made and recorded on the E Fish Ticket.” The Council determined that this language was overly restrictive, and that it was premature to discuss implementations issues such as the details of how the data would be processed and made available to end users. Therefore, the use of this language in the action alternatives has been considered, but rejected from further analysis.

    Rejected Sub-Options for Alternatives 2 through 4 for Ownership Limitation (i.e. Own/Hold Control Limit). The Council also discussed other action alternatives to address issues regarding the own/hold control rule. The first action alternative that was considered but rejected would have maintained a three permit limit for the own/hold control rule. However, control would be calculated on percentage ownership of permits and vessels. Total ownership (including for first and second generation owners) would be limited to a total of 300 percent. The intent of this action alternative would have been to limit the total ownership to three permits, which is the same as the No Action alternative.

    The Council also considered increasing the own/hold control limit to six permits. Any percentage ownership would have counted as one permit. The Council also looked at leaving the own/hold control limit at three, but capping the number of tier permits an entity may register to a vessel at three permits, and capping the number of limited entry fixed gear tier vessels an entity can own at three. These changes would have effectively increased the maximum own/hold control limit to 12 permits, because an entity could own three permits and have partial or total ownership of three vessels, each of which are registered to three different permits owned by others. Finally, the Council considered an action alternative that would leave the own/hold control limit at three permits, but with the calculation based only on ownership of permits. Holding or leasing a permit or ownership in the vessel would not have counted toward the three permit limit. A person could have owned three permits and held any number of additional permits by registering the vessel(s) they own to permits owned or leased by other persons.

    The Council considered but rejected these action alternatives for the own/hold control rule from further analysis, because the Council found that these alternatives were administratively burdensome to implement and track. The Council found that some of these alternatives weakened the own/hold control limit beyond what was needed to address the purpose and need. If implemented, these alternatives could undermine the purpose of having own/hold control limits in place, namely to maintain the owner operator nature of the fleet.

    Rejected Sub-Options for Alternatives 2 through 4 for Joint Registration. Another alternative that was considered to address the issues with joint registration was to increase the number of transfers allowed per year. Currently, vessels are only allowed to transfer permits once per year. This alternative would increase a vessel's flexibility to move between the LE trawl and fixed gear fishery, and it would also allow more flexibility for vessels to move between the LE and OA fisheries, reducing the wall between these sectors. However, such a provision would increase administrative costs and provide less flexibility for the fleet than offered by the other action alternatives, because the cap on the number of transfers allowed per year would remain in place. Therefore, this alternative was considered but rejected from further analysis.

    Impacts to Small Businesses from Actions 4-9. Except for electronic fish tickets, own/hold control limit and joint registration, the actions described above in sections 4-9 of this proposed rule are largely administrative and, if adopted, would not impact any of the small entities identified as potentially being affected by the first three major actions in this proposed rule. Changes associated with actions 4-9 would make small modifications and clarifications to existing requirements, maintain existing requirements in light of changes related to joint registration, and simplify equipment requirements. Thus, these measures would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of the small entities described in this document.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains a collection-of-information requirement subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This requirement has been submitted to OMB for under the following control numbers:

    OMB Control Number 0648-XXX. Electronic Fish Tickets

    Public reporting burden is estimated to average 10 minutes per response (landing) for first receivers in Washington and California, and two minutes per response (landing) for first receivers in Oregon. The total annual burden estimate for all first receivers in Washington is 87 hours, in California is 543 hours, and in Oregon is 36 hours. Public reporting burden includes the time for reviewing instructions, accessing the web-based platform, gathering the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

    OMB Control Number 0648-XXX. Ownership Limitation Exemption

    Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 45 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing the instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

    Public comment is sought regarding whether this proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of the collection of information to West Coast Region at the ADDRESSES above, and by email to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-7285.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, and Indian fisheries.

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq., and 16 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.

    2. In § 660.11: a. Revise the definitions for “Base permit” and “Electronic fish ticket”; b. Add in alphabetical order the definition for “Joint registration”; c. Remove the definition for “Stacking”; and b. Add in alphabetical order the definition for “Stacking or stacked”

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 660.11 General definitions.

    Base permit means a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit described at § 660.25(b)(3)(i), subpart C, registered for use with a vessel that meets the permit length endorsement requirements appropriate to that vessel, as described at § 660.25(b)(3)(iii), subpart C.

    Electronic fish ticket means a web-based form that is used to send landing data to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. Electronic fish tickets are used to collect information similar to the information required in state fish receiving tickets or landing receipts, but do not replace or change any state requirements.

    Joint registration or jointly registered means simultaneously registering both trawl-endorsed and longline or trap/pot-endorsed limited entry permits for use with a single vessel in one of the configurations described at § 660.25(b)(4)(iv).

    Stacking or stacked means registering more than one sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit for use with a single vessel (See § 660.25(b)(4)(iii), subpart C).

    3. In § 660.12, revise paragraph (a)(6) to read as follows:
    § 660.12 General groundfish prohibitions.

    (a) * * *

    (6) Take and retain, possess, or land more than a single cumulative limit of a particular species, per vessel, per applicable cumulative limit period, except for sablefish taken in the primary limited entry, fixed gear sablefish season from a vessel authorized to fish in that season, as described at § 660.231, subpart E.

    4. In § 660.13, revise paragraph (d) introductory text, and paragraphs (d)(5)(ii) and (iii), and (d)(5)(iv)(A)(24) to read as follows:
    § 660.13 Recordkeeping and reporting.

    (d) Declaration reporting requirements—When the operator of a vessel registers a VMS unit with NMFS OLE, the vessel operator must provide NMFS with a declaration report as specified at paragraph (d)(5)(iv) of this section. The operator of any vessel that has already registered a VMS unit with NMFS OLE but has not yet made a declaration, as specified at paragraph (d)(5)(iv) of this section, must provide NMFS with a declaration report upon request from NMFS OLE.

    (5) * * *

    (ii) A declaration report will be valid until another declaration report revising the existing gear or fishery declaration is received by NMFS OLE. The vessel operator must send a new declaration report before leaving port on a trip that meets one of the following criteria:

    (A) A gear type that is different from the gear type most recently declared for the vessel will be used, or

    (B) A vessel will fish in a fishery other than the fishery most recently declared.

    (iii) During the period of time that a vessel has a valid declaration report on file with NMFS OLE, it cannot fish with a gear other than a gear type declared by the vessel or fish in a fishery other than the fishery most recently declared.

    (iv) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (24) Other, or

    5. In § 660.15, revise paragraphs (a) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 660.15 Equipment requirements.

    (a) Applicability. This section contains the equipment and operational requirements for scales used to weigh catch at sea, scales used to weigh catch at IFQ first receivers, hardware and software for electronic fish tickets, and computer hardware for electronic logbook software. Unless otherwise specified by regulation, the operator or manager must retain, for 3 years, a copy of all records described in this section and make the records available upon request to NMFS staff or an authorized officer.

    (d) Electronic fish tickets. First receivers are required to meet the hardware and software requirements below.

    (1) Hardware and software requirements. A personal computer system, tablet, mobile device, or other device that has software (e.g. web browser) capable of submitting information over the Internet, such that submission to Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission can be executed effectively.

    (2) Internet access. The first receiver is responsible for maintaining Internet access sufficient to access the web-based interface and submit completed electronic fish ticket forms.

    (3) Maintenance. The first receiver is responsible for ensuring that all hardware and software required under this subsection are fully operational and functional whenever they receive, purchase, or take custody, control, or possession of groundfish species for which an electronic fish ticket is required. “Functional” means that the software requirements and minimum hardware requirements described at paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section are met and submission to Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission can be executed effectively by the equipment.

    (4) Improving data quality. Vessel owners and operators, first receivers, or shoreside processor owners, or managers may contact NMFS to request assistance in improving data quality and resolving issues. Requests may be submitted to: Attn: Electronic Fish Ticket Monitoring, National Marine Fisheries Service, West Coast Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 7600 Sand Point Way, NE., Seattle, WA 98115.

    6. In § 660.25: a. Revise paragraph (b)(1)(v); b. Remove paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(B); c. Redesignate paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(C) as (b)(3)(iv)(B); d. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (b)(3)(iv)(B)(3) and (4); e. Add a new paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(C); f. Revise paragraphs (b)(3)(v), (b)(4) introductory text, (b)(4)(i)(D), and (b)(4)(iii); g. Redesignate paragraphs (b)(4)(iv) through (b)(4)(ix) as (b)(4)(v) through (b)(4)(x); h. Add a new paragraph (b)(4)(iv); i. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (b)(4)(v)(A) and (B), (b)(4)(vi)(A) and (B), and (b)(4)(vii)(A); and j. Revise paragraph (b)(6).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 660.25 Permits.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (v) Initial administrative determination (IAD). SFD will make a determination regarding permit endorsements, renewal, replacement, change in permit ownership and change in vessel registration. SFD will notify the permit owner in writing with an explanation of any determination to deny a permit endorsement, renewal, replacement, change in permit ownership or change in vessel registration. The SFD will decline to act on an application for permit endorsement, renewal, replacement, or change in registration of a limited entry permit if the permit is subject to sanction provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act at 16 U.S.C. 1858(a) and implementing regulations at 15 CFR part 904, subpart D, apply.

    (3) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (B) * * *

    (3) A partnership or corporation will lose the exemptions provided in paragraphs (b)(3)(iv)(B)(1) and (2) of this section on the effective date of any change in the corporation or partnership from that which existed on November 1, 2000. A “change” in the partnership or corporation is defined at § 660.11. A change in the partnership or corporation must be reported to SFD within 15 calendar days of the addition of a new shareholder or partner.

    (4) Any partnership or corporation with any ownership interest in a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement or in the vessel registered to the permit shall document the extent of that ownership interest with NMFS via the Identification of Ownership Interest Form sent to the permit owner through the annual permit renewal process and whenever a change in permit owner, vessel owner, and/or vessel registration occurs as described at paragraph (b)(4)(v) and (vi) of this section. NMFS will not renew a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit through the annual renewal process described at paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section, or approve a change in permit owner, vessel owner, and/or vessel registration unless the Identification of Ownership Interest Form has been completed. Further, if NMFS discovers through review of the Identification of Ownership Interest Form that an individual person, partnership, or corporation owns or holds more than 3 permits and is not authorized to do so under paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(B)(2) of this section, the individual person, partnership or corporation will be notified and the permits owned or held by that individual person, partnership, or corporation will be void and reissued with the vessel status as “unidentified” until the permit owner owns and/or holds a quantity of permits appropriate to the restrictions and requirements described in paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(B)(2) of this section. If NMFS discovers through review of the Identification of Ownership Interest Form that a partnership or corporation has had a change in membership since November 1, 2000, as described in paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(B)(3) of this section, the partnership or corporation will be notified, NMFS will void any existing permits, and reissue any permits owned and/or held by that partnership or corporation in “unidentified” status with respect to vessel registration until the partnership or corporation is able to register ownership of those permits to persons authorized under this section to own sablefish-endorsed limited entry permits.

    (C) Ownership limitation exemption. As described in (b)(3)(iv)(B) of this section, no individual person, partnership, or corporation in combination may own and/or hold more than three sablefish-endorsed permits. A vessel owner that meets the qualifying criteria described in paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(C)(1) of this section may request an exemption from the ownership limitation.

    (1) Qualifying criteria. The three qualifying criteria for an ownership limitation exemption are: the vessel owner currently has no more than 20 percent ownership interest in a vessel registered to the sablefish endorsed permit, the vessel owner currently has ownership interest in Alaska sablefish individual fishing quota, and the vessel has fished in the past 12-month period in both the West Coast groundfish limited entry fixed gear fishery and the Sablefish IFQ Program in Alaska. The best evidence of a vessel owner having met these qualifying criteria will be state fish tickets or landings receipts from the West Coast states and Alaska. The qualifying vessel owner may seek an ownership limitation exemption for sablefish endorsed permits registered to no more than two vessels.

    (2) Application and issuance process for an ownership limitation exemption. The SFD will make the qualifying criteria and application instructions available online at www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/groundfish/index.html. A vessel owner who believes that they may qualify for the ownership limitation exemption must submit evidence with their application showing how their vessel has met the qualifying criteria described at paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(C)(1) of this section. The vessel owner must also submit a Sablefish Permit Ownership Limitation Exemption Identification of Ownership Interest form that includes disclosure of percentage of ownership in the vessel and disclosure of individual shareholders in any entity. Paragraph (i) of this section sets out the relevant evidentiary standards and burden of proof. Applications may be submitted at any time to NMFS at: NMFS West Coast Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division, ATTN: Fisheries Permit Office—Sablefish Ownership Limitation Exemption, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115. After receipt of a complete application, the SFD will issue an IAD in writing to the applicant determining whether the applicant qualifies for the exemption. If an applicant chooses to file an appeal of the IAD, the applicant must follow the appeals process outlined at paragraph (g) of this section and, for the timing of the appeals, at paragraph (g)(4)(ii) of this section.

    (3) Exemption status. If at any time a change occurs relative to the qualifying criteria described at paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(C)(1), the vessel owner to whom the ownership limitation exemption applies must notify NMFS within 30 calendar days. If such changes mean the vessel owner no longer meets the qualifying criteria, the ownership limitation exemption becomes automatically null and void 30 calendar days after the date the vessel owner no longer meets the qualifying criteria. At any time, NMFS may request that the vessel owner submit a new exemption application. If NMFS at any time finds the vessel owner no longer meets the qualifying criteria described at paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(C)(1) of this section NMFS will issue an IAD, which may be appealed, as described at paragraph (g) of this section.

    (v) MS/CV endorsement. An MS/CV endorsement on a trawl limited entry permit conveys a conditional privilege that allows a vessel registered to it to fish in either the coop or non-coop fishery in the MS Coop Program described at § 660.150, subpart D. The provisions for the MS/CV-endorsed limited entry permit, including eligibility, renewal, change of permit ownership, vessel registration, combinations, accumulation limits, fees, and appeals are described at § 660.150. Each MS/CV endorsement has an associated catch history assignment (CHA) that is permanently linked as originally issued by NMFS and which cannot be divided or registered separately to another limited entry trawl permit. Regulations detailing this process and MS/CV-endorsed permit combinations are outlined in § 660.150(g)(2), subpart D.

    (4) Limited entry permit actions—renewal, combination, stacking, joint registration, change of permit owner or vessel owner, and change in vessel registration—

    (i) * * *

    (D) Limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements, as described at paragraph (b)(3)(iv) of this section, will not be renewed until SFD has received complete documentation of permit ownership as required under paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(B)(4) of this section.

    (iii) Stacking limited entry permits. “Stacking” limited entry permits, as defined at § 660.11, refers to the practice of registering more than one sablefish-endorsed permit for use with a single vessel. Only limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements may be stacked. Up to 3 limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements may be registered for use with a single vessel during the primary sablefish season described at § 660.231, subpart E. Privileges, responsibilities, and restrictions associated with stacking permits to fish in the sablefish primary fishery are described at § 660.231, subpart E and at paragraph (b)(3)(iv) of this section.

    (iv) Joint registration of limited entry permits—(A) General. “Joint registration” of limited entry permits, as defined at § 660.11, is the practice of simultaneously registering both trawl-endorsed and longline or trap/pot-endorsed limited entry permits for use with a single vessel.

    (B) Restrictions. Subject to vessel size endorsements in paragraph (b)(3)(iii), any limited entry permit with a trawl endorsement and any limited entry permit with a longline or trap/pot endorsement may be jointly registered for use with a single vessel but only in one of the following configurations:

    (1) a single trawl-endorsed limited entry permit and one, two or three sablefish-endorsed fixed gear (longline and/or fishpot endorsed) limited entry permits; or

    (2) a single trawl-endorsed limited entry permit and one longline-endorsed limited entry permit for use with a single vessel.

    (v) * * *

    (A) General. Change in permit owner and/or vessel owner applications must be submitted to NMFS with the appropriate documentation described at paragraphs (b)(4)(viii) and (ix) of this section. The permit owner may convey the limited entry permit to a different person. The new permit owner will not be authorized to use the permit until the change in permit owner has been registered with and approved by NMFS. NMFS will not approve a change in permit owner for a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement that does not meet the ownership requirements for such permit described at paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(B) of this section. NMFS will not approve a change in permit owner for a limited entry permit with an MS/CV endorsement or an MS permit that does not meet the ownership requirements for such permit described at § 660.150(g)(3), and § 660.150(f)(3), respectively. NMFS considers the following as a change in permit owner that would require registering with and approval by NMFS, including but not limited to: Selling the permit to another individual or entity; adding an individual or entity to the legal name on the permit; or removing an individual or entity from the legal name on the permit. A change in vessel owner includes any changes to the name(s) of any or all vessel owners, as registered with USCG or a state. The new owner(s) of a vessel registered to a limited entry permit must report any change in vessel ownership to NMFS within 30 calendar days after such change has been registered with the USCG or a state licensing agency.

    (B) Effective date. The change in permit ownership or change in the vessel holding the permit will be effective on the day the change is approved by NMFS, unless there is a concurrent change in the vessel registered to the permit. Requirements for changing the vessel registered to the permit are described at paragraph (b)(4)(vi) of this section.

    (vi) * * *

    (A) General. A permit may not be used with any vessel other than the vessel registered to that permit. For purposes of this section, a permit change in vessel registration occurs when, through SFD, a permit owner registers a limited entry permit for use with a new vessel. Permit change in vessel registration applications must be submitted to SFD with the appropriate documentation described at paragraph (b)(4)(viii) of this section. Upon receipt of a complete application, and following review and approval of the application, the SFD will reissue the permit registered to the new vessel. Applications to change vessel registration on limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements will not be approved until SFD has received complete documentation of permit ownership as described at paragraph (b)(3)(iv)(B)(4) and as required under paragraph (b)(4)(viii) of this section. Applications to change vessel registration on limited entry permits with trawl endorsements or MS permits will not be approved until SFD has received complete EDC forms as required under § 660.114, subpart D.

    (B) Application. Change in vessel registration applications must be submitted to NMFS with the appropriate documentation described at paragraphs (b)(4)(viii) and (ix) of this section. At a minimum, a permit owner seeking to change vessel registration of a limited entry permit shall submit to NMFS a signed application form and his/her current limited entry permit before the first day of the cumulative limit period in which they wish to fish. If a permit owner provides a signed application and current limited entry permit after the first day of a cumulative limit period, the permit will not be effective until the succeeding cumulative limit period. NMFS will not approve a change in vessel registration until it receives a complete application, the existing permit, a current copy of the USCG 1270, and other required documentation.

    (vii) * * *

    (A) General. A permit owner may designate the vessel registration for a permit as “unidentified,” meaning that no vessel has been identified as registered for use with that permit. No vessel is authorized to use a permit with the vessel registration designated as “unidentified.” A vessel owner who removes a permit from his vessel and registers that permit as “unidentified” is not exempt from VMS requirements at § 660.14, unless specifically authorized by that section. When a permit owner requests that the permit's vessel registration be designated as “unidentified,” the transaction is not considered a change in vessel registration for purposes of this section. Any subsequent request by a permit owner to change from the “unidentified” status of the permit in order to register the permit with a specific vessel will be considered a change in vessel registration and subject to the restriction on frequency and timing of changes in vessel registration.

    (6) At-sea processing exemptions—(i) Sablefish at-sea processing exemption. No new applications for sablefish at-sea processing exemptions will be accepted. As specified at § 660.212(d)(3), subpart E, vessels are prohibited from processing sablefish at sea that were caught in the sablefish primary fishery without a sablefish at-sea processing exemption. Any sablefish at-sea processing exemptions were issued to a particular vessel and that permit and vessel owner who requested the exemption. The exemption is not part of the limited entry permit. The exemption cannot be registered with any other vessel, vessel owner, or permit owner for any reason. The exemption only applies to at-sea processing of sablefish caught in the sablefish primary fishery. The sablefish at-sea processing exemption will expire upon registration of the vessel to a new owner or if the vessel is totally lost, as defined at § 660.11.

    (ii) Non-whiting at-sea processing exemption. No new applications for non-whiting at-sea processing exemptions will be accepted. As specified at § 660.112(b)(1)(xii), subpart D, vessels are prohibited from processing non-whiting groundfish at sea that were caught in the Shorebased IFQ Program without a non-whiting at-sea processing exemption. Any non-whiting at-sea processing exemptions were issued to a particular vessel and that permit and/or vessel owner who requested the exemption. The exemption is not part of the limited entry permit. The exemption is not transferable to any other vessel, vessel owner, or permit owner for any reason. The exemption only applies to at-sea processing of non-whiting groundfish caught in the Shorebased IFQ Program. The non-whiting at-sea processing exemption will expire upon registration of the vessel to a new owner or if the vessel is totally lost, as defined at § 660.11.

    7. In § 660.55, revise paragraph (f) introductory text and paragraphs (h)(1) and (2) to read as follows:
    § 660.55 Allocations.

    (f) Catch accounting. Catch accounting refers to how the catch in a fishery is monitored against the allocations described in this section. For species with trawl/nontrawl allocations, catch of those species are counted against the trawl/nontrawl allocations as explained in paragraph (f)(1) of this section. For species with limited entry/open access allocations in a given biennial cycle, catch of those species are counted against the limited entry/open access allocations as explained in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section.

    (h) * * *

    (1) Tribal/nontribal allocation. The sablefish allocation to Pacific coast treaty Indian tribes is identified at § 660.50(f)(2). The remainder is available to the nontribal fishery (limited entry, open access (directed and incidental), and research).

    (2) Between the limited entry and open access fisheries. The allocation of sablefish after tribal deductions is further reduced by the estimated total mortality of sablefish in research and recreational fisheries; the remaining yield (commercial harvest guideline) is divided between open access and limited entry fisheries. The limited entry fishery allocation is 90.6 percent of the commercial harvest guideline. The open access allocation is 9.4 percent of the commercial harvest guideline and includes incidental catch in non-groundfish fisheries, or incidental open access.

    8. In § 660.60: a. Revise paragraphs (h)(7) introductory text, (h)(7)(i) introductory text, (h)(7)(ii)(A), (h)(7)(ii)(B)(1) introductory text, and (h)(7)(ii)(B)(2); and b. Add paragraphs (h)(7)(ii)(B)(3) and (h)(7)(iii).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 660.60 Specifications and management measures.

    (h) * * *

    (7) Crossover provisions. Crossover provisions apply to three activities: Fishing on different sides of a management line, or fishing in both the limited entry and open access fisheries, or fishing in both the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery. NMFS uses different types of management areas for West Coast groundfish management, such as the north-south management areas as defined in § 660.11. Within a management area, a large ocean area with northern and southern boundary lines, trip limits, seasons, and conservation areas follow a single theme. Within each management area, there may be one or more conservation areas, defined at § 660.11 and §§ 660.70 through 660.74. The provisions within this paragraph apply to vessels fishing in different management areas. Crossover provisions also apply to vessels that fish in both the limited entry and open access fisheries, or that use open access non-trawl gear while registered to limited entry fixed gear permits. Crossover provisions also apply to vessels that are jointly registered, as defined at § 660.11, fishing in both the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery during the same cumulative limit period. Fishery specific crossover provisions can be found in subparts D through F of this part.

    (i) Fishing in management areas with different trip limits. Trip limits for a species or a species group may differ in different management areas along the coast. The following crossover provisions apply to vessels fishing in different geographical areas that have different cumulative or “per trip” trip limits for the same species or species group, with the following exceptions. Such crossover provisions do not apply to: IFQ species (defined at § 660.140(c), subpart D) for vessels that are declared into the Shorebased IFQ Program (see § 660.13(d)(5)(iv)(A), for valid Shorebased IFQ Program declarations); species that are subject only to daily trip limits; or to trip limits for black rockfish off Washington, as described at § 660.230(e) and § 660.330(e).

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Fishing in limited entry and open access fisheries with different trip limits. Open access trip limits apply to any fishing conducted with open access gear, even if the vessel has a valid limited entry permit with an endorsement for another type of gear. Except such provisions do not apply to IFQ species (defined at § 660.140(c), subpart D) for vessels that are declared into the Shorebased IFQ Program (see § 660.13(d)(5)(iv)(A) for valid Shorebased IFQ Program declarations). A vessel that fishes in both the open access and limited entry fisheries is not entitled to two separate trip limits for the same species. If a vessel has a limited entry permit registered to it at any time during the trip limit period and uses open access gear, but the open access limit is smaller than the limited entry limit, the open access limit may not be exceeded and counts toward the limited entry limit. If a vessel has a limited entry permit registered to it at any time during the trip limit period and uses open access gear, but the open access limit is larger than the limited entry limit, the smaller limited entry limit applies, even if taken entirely with open access gear.

    (B) * * *

    (1) Vessel registered to a limited entry trawl permit. To fish with open access gear, defined at § 660.11, a vessel registered to a limited entry trawl permit must make the appropriate fishery declaration, as specified at § 660.14(d)(5)(iv)(A). In addition, a vessel registered to a limit entry trawl permit must remove the permit from their vessel, as specified at § 660.25(b)(4)(vi), unless the vessel will be fishing in the open access fishery under one of the following declarations specified at § 660.13(d):

    (2) Vessel registered to a limited entry fixed gear permit(s). To fish with open access gear, defined at § 660.11, subpart C, a vessel registered to a limit entry fixed gear permit must make the appropriate open access declaration, as specified at § 660.14(d)(5)(iv)(A). Vessels registered to a sablefish-endorsed permit(s) fishing in the sablefish primary season (described at § 660.231, subpart E) may only fish with the gear(s) endorsed on their sablefish-endorsed permit(s) against those limits.

    (3) Vessel jointly registered to more than one limited entry permit. Vessels jointly registered (under the provisions at § 660.25(b)(4)(iv)(B)) may fish with open access gear (defined at § 660.11) if they meet the requirements of both paragraphs (h)(7)(ii)(B)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (iii) Fishing in both the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery for vessels that are jointly registered.

    (A) Fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program and limited entry fixed gear fishery with different trip limits. If a vessel fishes in both the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear fishery during a cumulative limit period, they are subject to the most restrictive trip limits for non-IFQ species.

    (B) Fishing in the Shorebased IFQ Program and the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery with different trip limits. If a vessel is jointly registered and one or more of the limited entry permits is sablefish endorsed, any sablefish landings made by a vessel declared into the limited entry fixed gear fishery after the start of the sablefish primary fishery count towards the tier limit(s), per regulations at § 660.232(a)(2), subpart E. Any sablefish landings made by a vessel declared into the Shorebased IFQ Program must be covered by quota pounds, per regulations at § 660.112(b), subpart D, and will not count towards the tier limit(s).

    9. In § 660.112: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (ii); b. Remove paragraph (b)(1)(xii)(B); and c. Redesignate paragraph (b)(1)(xii)(C) as (b)(1)(xii)(B).

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 660.112 Trawl fishery—prohibitions.

    (a) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) Fail to comply with all recordkeeping and reporting requirements at § 660.13, subpart C; including failure to submit information, or submission of inaccurate or false information on any report required at § 660.13(d), subpart C, and § 660.113:

    (ii) Falsify or fail to make and/or file, retain or make available any and all reports of groundfish landings, containing all data, and in the exact manner, required by the regulation at § 660.13, subpart C, or § 660.113.

    10. In § 660.113: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(4)(ii)(A); b. Remove paragraphs (b)(4)(ii)(B) and (C) and redesignate paragraphs (b)(4)(ii)(D) through (F) as (b)(4)(ii)(B) through (D); c. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (b)(4)(ii)(C)(5) introductory text and (b)(4)(ii)(C)(6); and d.) Revise paragraphs (b)(4)(iii) and (b)(4)(v).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 660.113 Trawl fishery—recordkeeping and reporting.

    (a) * * *

    (2) All records used in the preparation of records or reports specified in this section or corrections to these reports must be maintained for a period of not less than three years after the date of landing and must be immediately available upon request for inspection by NMFS or authorized officers or others as specifically authorized by NMFS. Records used in the preparation of required reports specified in this section or corrections to these reports that are required to be kept include, but are not limited to, any written, recorded, graphic, electronic, or digital materials as well as other information stored in or accessible through a computer or other information retrieval system; worksheets; weight slips; preliminary, interim, and final tally sheets; receipts; checks; ledgers; notebooks; diaries; spreadsheets; diagrams; graphs; charts; tapes; disks; or computer printouts. All relevant records used in the preparation of electronic fish ticket reports or corrections to these reports, including dock tickets, must be maintained for a period of not less than three years after the date of landing and must be immediately available upon request for inspection by NMFS or authorized officers or others as specifically authorized by NMFS.

    (b) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Include, as part of each electronic fish ticket submission, the actual scale weight for each groundfish species as specified by requirements at § 660.15(c), and the vessel identification number. Use, and maintain in good working order, hardware, software, and internet access as specified at § 660.15(d).

    (C) * * *

    (5) Prior to submittal, three copies of the printed, signed, electronic fish ticket must be produced by the IFQ first receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

    (6) After review and signature, the electronic fish ticket must be submitted within 24 hours of the completion of the offload, as specified in paragraph (b)(4)(ii)(B) of this section.

    (iii) Revising a submission. In the event that a data error is found, electronic fish ticket submissions must be revised by resubmitting the revised form electronically. Electronic fish tickets are to be used for the submission of final data. Preliminary data, including estimates of fish weights or species composition, shall not be submitted on electronic fish tickets.

    (v) Reporting requirements when a temporary waiver has been granted. IFQ First receivers that have been granted a temporary waiver from the requirement to submit electronic fish tickets must submit on paper the same data as is required on electronic fish tickets within 24 hours of the date received during the period that the waiver is in effect. Paper fish tickets must be sent by facsimile to NMFS, West Coast Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 206-526-6736 or by delivering it in person to 7600 Sand Point Way, NE., Seattle, WA 98115. The requirements for submissions of paper tickets in this paragraph are separate from, and in addition to existing state requirements for landing receipts or fish receiving tickets.

    § 660.114 [Amended]
    11. Amend § 660.114(b) by removing the words “§ 660.25(b)(4)(v)” wherever they appear and adding the words “§ 660.25(b)(4)(vi).” 12. In § 660.211, add the definition of “sablefish landing” is in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 660.211 Fixed gear fishery—definitions.

    Sablefish landing means a landing that includes any amount of sablefish harvested in the limited entry fixed gear fishery.

    13. In § 660.212: a. Revise paragraph (a)(2); b. Add paragraphs (a)(3) through (6); c. Revise paragraphs (b), and (d)(1) and (2).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 660.212 Fixed gear fishery—prohibitions.

    (a) * * *

    (2) Take and retain, possess, or land more than a single cumulative limit of a particular species, per vessel, per applicable cumulative limit period, except for sablefish taken in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary season from a vessel authorized to fish in that season, as described at § 660.231 and except for IFQ species taken in the Shorebased IFQ Program from a vessel authorized under gear switching provisions as described at § 660.140(k).

    (3) Transport catch that includes any amount of sablefish away from the point of landing before that catch has been sorted and weighed by federal groundfish species or species group, and recorded for submission on an electronic fish ticket under § 660.213(e). (If fish will be transported to a different location for processing, all sorting and weighing to federal groundfish species groups must occur before transporting the catch away from the point of landing).

    (4) Mix catch from more than one sablefish landing prior to the catch being sorted and weighed for reporting on an electronic fish ticket under § 660.213(e).

    (5) Process, sell, or discard any groundfish received from a sablefish landing that has not been accounted for on an electronic fish ticket under § 660.213(e).

    (6) Upon commencing an offload of a sablefish landing at a landing site, fail to offload all groundfish on board the vessel at that landing site.

    (b) Recordkeeping and reporting. (1) Fail to comply with all recordkeeping and reporting requirements at § 660.13, subpart C; including failure to submit information, or submission of inaccurate or false information on any report required at § 660.13(d), subpart C, and § 660.213.

    (2) Falsify or fail to make and/or file, retain or make available any and all reports of groundfish landings that include sablefish, containing all data, and in the exact manner, required by the regulation at § 660.13, subpart C, or § 660.213.

    (d) Sablefish fisheries. (1) Take and retain, possess or land sablefish under the tier limits provided for the limited entry, fixed gear sablefish primary season, described in § 660.231(b)(3), from a vessel that is not registered to a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement.

    (2) Take and retain, possess or land sablefish in the sablefish primary season, described at § 660.231(b), unless the owner of the limited entry permit registered for use with that vessel and authorizing the vessel to fish in the sablefish primary season is on board that vessel. Exceptions to this prohibition are provided at § 660.231(b)(4)(i) and (ii).

    14. In § 660.213, revise paragraph (d)(1) and add paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 660.213 Fixed gear fishery—recordkeeping and reporting.

    (d) * * *

    (1) Any person landing groundfish must retain on board the vessel from which groundfish are landed, and provide to an authorized officer upon request, copies of any and all reports of groundfish landings containing all data, and in the exact manner, required by the applicable state law throughout the cumulative limit period during which a landing occurred and for 15 days thereafter. All relevant records used in the preparation of electronic fish ticket reports or corrections to these reports, including dock tickets, must be maintained for a period of not less than three years after the date of landing and must be immediately available upon request for inspection by NMFS or authorized officers or others as specifically authorized by NMFS.

    (e) Electronic fish ticket. The first receiver, as defined at § 660.11, subpart C, of a sablefish landing from a limited entry fixed gear vessel is responsible for compliance with all reporting requirements described in this paragraph. When used in this paragraph, submit means to transmit final electronic fish ticket information via web-based form or, if a waiver is granted, by paper form. When used in this paragraph, record means the action of documenting electronic fish ticket information in any written format.

    (1) Required information. All first receivers must provide the following types of information: Date of landing, vessel that made the landing, vessel identification number, limited entry permit number(s), name of the vessel operator, gear type used, receiver, actual weights of species landed listed by species or species group including species with no value, condition landed, number of salmon by species, number of Pacific halibut, ex-vessel value of the landing by species, fish caught inside/outside 3 miles or both, and any other information deemed necessary by the Regional Administrator (or designee) as specified on the appropriate electronic fish ticket form.

    (2) Submissions. The first receiver must:

    (i) Include, as part of each electronic fish ticket submission, the actual scale weight for each groundfish species as specified by requirements at § 660.15(c), the vessel identification number, and the limited entry permit number. Use and maintain, for the purposes of submitting electronic fish tickets, equipment as specified at § 660.15(d).

    (ii) Submit a completed electronic fish ticket(s) for every landing that includes sablefish no later than 24 hours after the date of landing, unless a waiver of this requirement has been granted under provisions specified at paragraph (e)(4) of this section.

    (iii) Submit separate electronic fish tickets for sablefish landings in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery where the sablefish will be counted against more than one of the stacked permits, or against a tier limit(s) and the cumulative trip limit in the DTL fishery. For vessels with stacked limited entry sablefish permits, defined at § 660.12, a landing may be divided and reported on separate electronic fish tickets for the purposes of apportioning the sablefish landings amongst the remaining tier limits associated with each of the stacked permits. Per regulations at § 660.232(a)(2) a vessel may land the remainder of its tier limit(s) and also land against the applicable DTL limits in the same landing; in that instance multiple fish tickets must be used to apportion sablefish landed against the tier(s) from the sablefish landed against cumulative trip limits of the DTL fishery. If multiple electronic fish tickets are recorded and submitted for a single sablefish landing, each electronic fish ticket must meet the process and submittal requirements specified in paragraphs (e)(iv) and (v) of this section in addition to the following requirements:

    (A) The sum total of all groundfish, including sablefish, from the landing must be submitted via electronic fish ticket(s).

    (B) The limited entry fixed gear sablefish permit number unto which the portion of the sablefish landing will be attributed to must be recorded on each electronic fish ticket or dock ticket. Only one permit number may be recorded on a ticket.

    (C) The owner-on board, unless exempted under regulations at § 660.231(a)(4), must review and sign documentation of the landing, as described in (e)(2)(iv) and (v) of this section.

    (iv) If electronic fish tickets will be submitted prior to processing or transport, follow these process and submittal requirements:

    (A) After completing the landing, the electronic fish ticket information must be recorded immediately.

    (B) Prior to submittal of the electronic fish ticket, the information recorded for the electronic fish ticket must be reviewed by the vessel operator who delivered the fish, and the port sampler if one is present. If required by regulations at § 660.231(a)(4), the owner-on-board must also review the information recorded on the electronic fish ticket prior to submittal.

    (C) After review, the receiver and the vessel operator must sign a printed hard copy of the electronic fish ticket or, if the landing occurs outside of business hours, the original dock ticket. If required by regulations at § 660.231(a)(4), the owner-on-board must also sign a printed copy of the electronic fish ticket or, if the landing occurs outside of business hours, the original dock ticket.

    (D) Prior to submittal, three copies of the signed electronic fish ticket must be produced by the receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

    (1) The vessel operator and/or the owner-on-board;

    (2) The state of origin if required by state regulations; and

    (3) The first receiver.

    (E) After review and signature, the electronic fish ticket must be submitted within 24 hours after the date of landing, as specified in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section.

    (v) If electronic fish tickets will be submitted after transport, follow these process and submittal requirements:

    (A) The vessel name, limited entry permit number, and the electronic fish ticket number must be recorded on each dock ticket related to that landing.

    (B) Upon completion of the dock ticket, but prior to transfer of the landing to another location, the dock ticket information that will be used to complete the electronic fish ticket must be reviewed by the vessel operator who delivered the fish. If the electronic fish ticket will report landings of sablefish in the sablefish primary fishery, the owner-on-board, unless exempted under regulations at § 660.231(a)(4), must review the information recorded on the dock ticket prior to transfer of the landing to another location.

    (C) After review, the first receiver and the vessel operator must sign the original copy of each dock ticket related to that landing. If a dock ticket includes landings of sablefish in the sablefish primary fishery, the owner-on-board, unless exempted under regulations at § 660.231(a)(4), must sign the original copy of that dock ticket.

    (D) Prior to submittal of the electronic fish ticket, three copies of the signed dock ticket must be produced by the first receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

    (1) The vessel operator and/or the owner-on-board;

    (2) The state of origin if required by state regulations; and

    (3) The first receiver.

    (E) Based on the information contained in the signed dock ticket, the electronic fish ticket must be completed and submitted within 24 hours of the completion of the landing, as specified in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section.

    (F) Three copies of the electronic fish ticket must be produced by the first receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

    (1) The vessel operator and/or the owner-on-board;

    (2) The state of origin if required by state regulations; and

    (3) The first receiver.

    (3) Revising a submission. In the event that a data error is found, electronic fish ticket submissions must be revised by resubmitting the revised form electronically. Electronic fish tickets are to be used for the submission of final data. Preliminary data, including estimates of fish weights or species composition, shall not be submitted on electronic fish tickets.

    (4) Waivers for submission. On a case-by-case basis, a temporary written waiver of the requirement to submit electronic fish tickets may be granted by the Assistant Regional Administrator or designee if he/she determines that circumstances beyond the control of a receiver would result in inadequate data submissions using the electronic fish ticket system. The duration of the waiver will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

    (5) Reporting requirements when a temporary waiver has been granted. Receivers that have been granted a temporary waiver from the requirement to submit electronic fish tickets must submit on paper the same data as is required on electronic fish tickets within 24 hours of the date received during the period that the waiver is in effect. Paper fish tickets must be sent by facsimile to NMFS, West Coast Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 206-526-6736 or by delivering it in person to 7600 Sand Point Way, NE., Seattle, WA 98115. The requirements for submissions of paper tickets in this paragraph are separate from, and in addition to existing state requirements for landing receipts or fish receiving tickets.

    15. In § 660.231, revise paragraphs (a), (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), and (b)(4) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 660.231 Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.

    (a) Sablefish endorsement. In addition to requirements pertaining to fishing in the limited entry fixed gear fishery (described in subparts C and E), a vessel may not fish in the sablefish primary season for the limited entry fixed gear fishery, unless at least one limited entry permit with both a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear and a sablefish endorsement is registered for use with that vessel. Permits with sablefish endorsements are assigned to one of three tiers, as described at § 660.25(b)(3)(iv), subpart C.

    (b) * * *

    (1) Season dates. North of 36° N. lat., the sablefish primary season for the limited entry, fixed gear, sablefish-endorsed vessels begins at 12 noon local time on April 1 and closes at 12 noon local time on October 31, or closes for an individual vessel owner when the tier limit for the sablefish endorsed permit(s) registered to the vessel has been reached, whichever is earlier, unless otherwise announced by the Regional Administrator through the routine management measures process described at § 660.60(c).

    (2) Gear type. During the primary season, when fishing against primary season cumulative limits, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph (a) of this section may fish for sablefish with any of the gear types, except trawl gear, endorsed on at least one of the sablefish endorsed permits registered for use with that vessel.

    (3) Cumulative limits. (i) A vessel fishing in the primary season will be constrained by the sablefish cumulative limit associated with each of the sablefish endorsed permits registered for use with that vessel. During the primary season, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph (a) of this section may take, retain, possess, and land sablefish, up to the cumulative limits for each of the sablefish endorsed permits registered for use with that vessel. If a vessel is stacking permits, that vessel may land up to the total of all cumulative limits announced in this paragraph for the tiers for those permits, except as limited by paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Up to 3 sablefish endorsed permits may be stacked for use with a single vessel during the primary season; thus, a single vessel may not take and retain, possess or land more than 3 primary season sablefish cumulative limits in any one year. Per regulations at § 660.12(a)(6), subpart C, all other groundfish landings are subject to per vessel trip limits. In 2015, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 41,175 (18,677 kg), Tier 2 at 18,716 lb (8,489 kg), and Tier 3 at 10,695 lb (4,851 kg). For 2016 and beyond, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 45,053 lb (20,436 kg), Tier 2 at 20,479 lb (9,289 kg), and Tier 3 at 11,702 lb (5,308 kg).

    (ii) If a sablefish endorsed permit is registered to more than one vessel during the primary season in a single year, the second vessel may only take the portion of the cumulative limit for that permit that has not been harvested by the first vessel to which the permit was registered. The combined primary season sablefish landings for all vessels registered to that permit may not exceed the cumulative limit for the tier associated with that permit.

    (iii) A cumulative trip limit is the maximum amount of sablefish that may be taken and retained, possessed, or landed per vessel in a specified period of time, with no limit on the number of landings or trips.

    (iv) Incidental Pacific halibut retention north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46°53.30′ N. lat.). From April 1 through October 31, vessels authorized to participate in the sablefish primary fishery, licensed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission for commercial fishing in Area 2A (waters off Washington, Oregon, California), and fishing with longline gear north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46°53.30′ N. lat.) may possess and land up to the following cumulative limits: 110 lb (50 kg) dressed weight of Pacific halibut for every 1,000 pounds (454 kg) dressed weight of sablefish landed and up to 2 additional Pacific halibut in excess of the 110-pounds-per-1,000-pound ratio per landing. “Dressed” Pacific halibut in this area means halibut landed eviscerated with their heads on. Pacific halibut taken and retained in the sablefish primary fishery north of Pt. Chehalis may only be landed north of Pt. Chehalis and may not be possessed or landed south of Pt. Chehalis.

    (4) Owner-on-board requirement. Any person who owns or has ownership interest in a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement, as described at § 660.25(b)(3), subpart C, must be on board the vessel registered for use with that permit at any time that the vessel has sablefish on board the vessel that count toward that permit's cumulative sablefish landing limit. This person must carry government issued photo identification while aboard the vessel. This person must review and sign a printed copy of the electronic fish ticket(s) or dock ticket, as described at § 660.213(d), unless this person qualified for the owner-on-board exemption. A permit owner is qualified for the owner-on-board exemption and not obligated to be on board the vessel registered for use with the sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit during the sablefish primary season if:

    16. Section 660.232 is revised to read as follows:
    § 660.232 Limited entry daily trip limit (DTL) fishery for sablefish.

    (a) Limited entry DTL fisheries both north and south of 36° N. lat. (1) Before the start of the sablefish primary season, all sablefish landings made by a vessel declared into the limited entry fixed gear fishery and authorized by § 660.231(a) to fish in the sablefish primary season will be subject to the restrictions and limits of the limited entry DTL fishery for sablefish specified in this section and which is governed by routine management measures imposed under § 660.60(c), subpart C.

    (2) Following the start of the primary season, all sablefish landings made by a vessel declared into the limited entry fixed gear fishery and authorized by § 660.231(a) to fish in the primary season will count against the primary season cumulative limit(s) associated with the sablefish-endorsed permit(s) registered for use with that vessel. A vessel that is eligible to fish in the sablefish primary season may fish in the DTL fishery for sablefish once that vessels' primary season sablefish limit(s) have been landed, or after the close of the primary season, whichever occurs earlier (as described at § 660.231(b)(1)). If the vessel continues to fish in the limited entry fixed gear fishery for any part of the remaining fishing year, any subsequent sablefish landings by that vessel will be subject to the restrictions and limits of the limited entry DTL fishery for sablefish.

    (3) Vessels registered for use with a limited entry fixed gear permit that does not have a sablefish endorsement may fish in the limited entry DTL fishery, consistent with regulations at § 660.230, for as long as that fishery is open during the fishing year, subject to routine management measures imposed under § 660.60(c), subpart C. DTL limits for the limited entry fishery north and south of 36° N. lat. are provided in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) of this subpart.

    (b) A vessel that is jointly registered, and has participated or will participate in both the limited entry fixed gear fishery and the Shorebased IFQ Program during the fishing year, is subject to crossover provisions described at § 660.60(h)(7), subpart C.

    17. In § 660.311, add the definition of “sablefish landing” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 660.311 Open access fishery—definitions.

    Sablefish landing means a landing that includes any amount of sablefish harvested in the open access fishery.

    18. In § 660.312: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(3) through (6); b. Redesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as (c) and (d), respectively; and c. Add a new paragraph (b).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 660.312 Open access fishery—prohibitions.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Transport catch that includes any amount of sablefish away from the point of landing before that catch has been sorted and weighed by federal groundfish species or species group, and recorded for submission on an electronic fish ticket under § 660.313(f). (If fish will be transported to a different location for processing, all sorting and weighing to federal groundfish species groups must occur before transporting the catch away from the point of landing).

    (4) Mix catch from more than one sablefish landing prior to the catch being sorted and weighed for reporting on an electronic fish ticket under § 660.313(f).

    (5) Process, sell, or discard any groundfish received from a sablefish landing that has not been accounted for on an electronic fish ticket under § 660.313(f).

    (6) Upon commencing an offload of a sablefish landing at a landing site, fail to offload all groundfish on board the vessel at that landing site.

    (b) Recordkeeping and reporting. (1) Fail to comply with all recordkeeping and reporting requirements at § 660.13, subpart C, including failure to submit information, or submission of inaccurate or false information on any report required at § 660.13(d), subpart C, and § 660.313.

    (2) Falsify or fail to make and/or file, retain or make available any and all reports of groundfish landings that include sablefish, containing all data, and in the exact manner, required by the regulation at § 660.13, subpart C, or § 660.313.

    19. Section 660.313 is revised to read as follows:
    § 660.313 Open access fishery—recordkeeping and reporting.

    (a) General. General reporting requirements specified at § 660.13(a) through (c), subpart C, apply to the open access fishery.

    (b) Declaration reports for vessels using nontrawl gear. Declaration reporting requirements for open access vessels using nontrawl gear (all types of open access gear other than non-groundfish trawl gear) are specified at § 660.13(d), subpart C.

    (c) Declaration reports for vessels using non-groundfish trawl gear. Declaration reporting requirements for open access vessels using non-groundfish trawl gear are specified at § 660.13(d), subpart C.

    (d) VMS requirements for open access fishery vessels. VMS requirements for open access fishery vessels are specified at § 660.14, subpart C.

    (e) Retention of records. Any person landing groundfish must retain on board the vessel from which groundfish is landed, and provide to an authorized officer upon request, copies of any and all reports of groundfish landings containing all data, and in the exact manner, required by the applicable state law throughout the cumulative limit period during which a landing occurred and for 15 days thereafter. All relevant records used in the preparation of electronic fish ticket reports or corrections to these reports, including dock tickets, must be maintained for a period of not less than three years after the date of landing and must be immediately available upon request for inspection by NMFS or authorized officers or others as specifically authorized by NMFS.

    (f) Electronic fish ticket. The first receiver, as defined at § 660.11, subpart C, of a sablefish landing from an open access vessel is responsible for compliance with all reporting requirements described in this paragraph. When used in this paragraph, submit means to transmit final electronic fish ticket information via web-based form or, if a waiver is granted, by paper form. When used in this paragraph, record means the action of documenting electronic fish ticket information in any written format.

    (1) Required information. All first receivers must provide the following types of information: Date of landing, vessel that made the landing, vessel identification number, name of the vessel operator, gear type used, receiver, actual weights of species landed listed by species or species group including species with no value, condition landed, number of salmon by species, number of Pacific halibut, ex-vessel value of the landing by species, fish caught inside/outside 3 miles or both, and any other information deemed necessary by the Regional Administrator (or designee) as specified on the appropriate electronic fish ticket form.

    (2) Submissions. The first receiver must:

    (i) Include, as part of each electronic fish ticket submission, the actual scale weight for each groundfish species as specified by requirements at § 660.15(c) and the vessel identification number. Use and maintain, for the purposes of submitting electronic fish tickets, equipment as specified at § 660.15(d).

    (ii) Submit a completed electronic fish ticket for every landing that includes sablefish no later than 24 hours after the date of landing, unless a waiver of this requirement has been granted under provisions specified at paragraph (f)(4) of this section.

    (iii) If electronic fish tickets will be submitted prior to processing or transport, follow these process and submittal requirements:

    (A) After completing the landing, the electronic fish ticket information must be recorded immediately.

    (B) Prior to submittal of the electronic fish ticket, the information recorded for the electronic fish ticket must be reviewed by the vessel operator who delivered the fish, and the port sampler if one is present.

    (C) After review, the receiver and the vessel operator must sign a printed hard copy of the electronic fish ticket or, if the landing occurs outside of business hours, the original dock ticket.

    (D) Prior to submittal, three copies of the signed electronic fish ticket must be produced by the receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

    (1) The vessel operator;

    (2) The state of origin if required by state regulations; and

    (3) The first receiver.

    (E) After review and signature, the electronic fish ticket must be submitted within 24 hours after the date of landing, as specified in paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section.

    (iv) If electronic fish tickets will be submitted after transport, follow these process and submittal requirements:

    (A) The vessel name and the electronic fish ticket number must be recorded on each dock ticket related to that landing.

    (C) Upon completion of the dock ticket, but prior to transfer of the offload to another location, the dock ticket information that will be used to complete the electronic fish ticket must be reviewed by the vessel operator who delivered the fish.

    (D) After review, the first receiver and the vessel operator must sign the original copy of each dock ticket related to that landing.

    (E) Prior to submittal of the electronic fish ticket, three copies of the signed dock ticket must be produced by the first receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

    (1) The vessel operator;

    (2) The state of origin if required by state regulations; and

    (3) The first receiver.

    (F) Based on the information contained in the signed dock ticket, the electronic fish ticket must be completed and submitted within 24 hours of the date of landing, as specified in paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section.

    (G) Three copies of the electronic fish ticket must be produced by the first receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

    (1) The vessel operator;

    (2) The state of origin if required by state regulations; and

    (3) The first receiver.

    (3) Revising a submission. In the event that a data error is found, electronic fish ticket submissions must be revised by resubmitting the revised form electronically. Electronic fish tickets are to be used for the submission of final data. Preliminary data, including estimates of fish weights or species composition, shall not be submitted on electronic fish tickets.

    (4) Waivers for submission. On a case-by-case basis, a temporary written waiver of the requirement to submit electronic fish tickets may be granted by the Assistant Regional Administrator or designee if he/she determines that circumstances beyond the control of a receiver would result in inadequate data submissions using the electronic fish ticket system. The duration of the waiver will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

    (5) Reporting requirements when a temporary waiver has been granted. Receivers that have been granted a temporary waiver from the requirement to submit electronic fish tickets must submit on paper the same data as is required on electronic fish tickets within 24 hours of the date of landing during the period that the waiver is in effect. Paper fish tickets must be sent by facsimile to NMFS, West Coast Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 206-526-6736 or by delivering it in person to 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115. The requirements for submissions of paper tickets in this paragraph are separate from, and in addition to existing state requirements for landing receipts or fish receiving tickets.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12848 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 105 Wednesday, June 1, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Information Collection; Role of Communities in Stewardship Contracting Projects AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension with revision of a currently approved information collection, Role of Communities in Stewardship Contracting Projects.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing on or before August 1, 2016 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning this notice should be addressed to Director, Forest Management Staff, Mail Stop 1103, Forest Service, USDA, 201 14th Street SW., Washington DC 20024-1103.

    Comments also may be submitted by email to: [email protected] Comments may also be submitted via the world wide web/Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    The public may inspect comments received at the Office of the Director, Forest Management Staff, Third Floor NW., Yates Federal Building, 201 14th Street SW., Washington, DC during normal business hours. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to 202-649-1725 to facilitate entry to the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Lawrence, Forest Service, Forest Management Staff, 202-205-1269. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Role of Communities in Stewardship Contracting Projects.

    OMB Number: 0596-0201.

    Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2016.

    Type of Request: Extension with Revision.

    Abstract: The Forest Service is required to report to Congress annually on the role of local communities in the development of agreement or contract plans through stewardship contracting, per Section 8205 of Public Law 113-79, the Agricultural Act of 2014. To meet the requirement, the Forest Service conducts surveys to gather the necessary information. The survey provides information regarding the:

    (a) Nature of the local community involved in developing agreement or contract plans,

    (b) Nature of roles played by the entities involved in developing agreement or contract plans,

    (c) Benefits to the community and agency by being involved in planning and development of contract plans, and

    (d) Usefulness of stewardship contracting in helping meet the needs of local communities.

    The Pinchot Institute for Conservation and its sub-contractors collect the information through an annual telephone survey. The survey asks Federal employees, employees of for-profit and not-for-profit institutions, employees of State and local agencies, and individual citizens who have been involved in stewardship contracting projects about their role in the development of agreement or contract plans.

    The information collected through the survey is analyzed by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and its sub-contractors and used to help develop the Forest Service report to Congress as required by Section 8205 of Public Law 113-79.

    Without the information from this annual collection of data, the Forest Service will not be able to provide the required annual reports to Congress on the role of communities in development of agreement or contract plans under stewardship contracting.

    Type of Respondents: Employees of for-profit and non-profit businesses and institutions, as well as individuals.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 90.

    Estimate of Burden per Response: 0.75 hours.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 68 Hours.

    Comment Is Invited

    Comment is invited on: (1) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the stated purposes and the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical or scientific utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, 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 respondents, including the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when provided, will be a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the submission request toward Office of Management and Budget approval.

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Brian Ferebee, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest Systems.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12940 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Information Collection; Application for Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments on the revision of a currently approved information collection, form FS-7700-40, Application for Permit, Non-Federal Commercial Use of Roads Restricted by Order. The revised information collection is entitled, “Application for a Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order.” The Forest Service is also seeking renewal of an associated existing, form FS-7700-48, Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order, and renewal of an associated existing information collection, form FS-7700-41, Non-Federal Commercial Road Use Permit.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by August 1, 2016 to be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning this notice should be addressed to USDA Forest Service, Director, Engineering Staff, RPC5, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1101, Washington, DC 20024-1101. Comments also may be submitted via facsimile to 703-605-1542 or by email to [email protected]

    The public may inspect comments received at the Office of the Director of Engineering, USDA Forest Service, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1101, Washington, DC 20024-1101 during normal business hours. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead at 703-605-4962 to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    J. Humble, Engineering Staff, 703-605-4612. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at 800 877-8339 twenty four hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Application for Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order.

    OMB Number: 0596-0016.

    Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2016.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection, approval of an associated new information collection, and renewal of an associated existing information collection. Current: Application for Permit, Non-Federal Commercial Use of Roads Restricted by Order.

    Revised: Application for a Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order.

    Abstract: Authority for permits for use of National Forest System (NFS) roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands restricted by order or regulation derives from the National Forest Roads and Trails Act (16 U.S.C. 532-538). This statute authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to promulgate regulations regarding use of NFS roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands; establish procedures for sharing investments in NFS roads; and require commercial users to perform road maintenance commensurate with their use of NFS roads. Forest Service regulations implementing this authority are found in 36 CFR 212.5, 212.9, 212.51, 261.10, 261.12, 261.13, 261.54, and 261.55.

    In particular, 36 CFR 212.5 and 212.9 authorize the Chief of the Forest Service to establish procedures for investment sharing and to require commercial users to perform maintenance commensurate with their road use. Section 261.10 contains a national prohibition against constructing or maintaining an NFS road or NFS trail without a written authorization. Section 212.12 contains a national prohibition against violating the load, weight, height, length, or width limitations of State law when using NFS roads without a written authorization. Section 212.13 contains a national prohibition against possessing or operating a motor vehicle on NFS roads, NFS trails, or areas on NFS lands that are not designated for motor vehicle use on a motor vehicle use map, unless the use is authorized by a written authorization. Section 261.54 authorizes issuance of an order prohibiting use of an NFS road in a manner prohibited by the order without a written authorization, including commercial hauling without a permit or written authorization when required by order. Section 261.55 authorizes issuance of an order prohibiting use of an NFS trail in a manner prohibited by the order without a written authorization.

    Forest Service directives implementing the regulations are found in Forest Service Manual 2350, 7710, and 7730 and Forest Service Handbook 7709.59, chapter 20. These directives provide for the size and weight limits under State traffic law to apply on NFS roads and require the responsible official to designate NFS roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands for motor vehicle use; enter into appropriate investment sharing arrangements, require commercial users of NFS roads to perform maintenance commensurate with their road use; and issue orders that implement the authority in 36 CFR261.54. The permits road users obtain contain appropriate requirements for implementation of applicable regulations and directives.

    Form FS-7700-40, Application for Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order. This form will be used by individuals and entities that apply for a permit to use NFS roads, NFS trails, or areas on NFS lands that are subject to a restriction established by regulation or order. Examples of restrictions requiring permits are motor vehicle use on NFS roads and NFS trails that are not designated for that purpose; operating trucks that exceed size limits established by State traffic law on NFS roads; area closures during periods of high fire danger; and non-Federal commercial use of NFS roads.

    The following information is collected: (1) The applicant's name, address, and telephone number; (2) identification of the NFS roads, NFS trails, and areas on NFS lands proposed for use (NFS roads and NFS trails are identified by Forest Service route number, and areas on NFS lands are identified using a map); (3) purpose of use; and (4) the proposed use schedule. The applicant is asked to provide explanatory information specific to the proposed use, including information on the types and size of vehicles, through attachments and remarks. There are standard attachments available for use when the application requests oversize vehicle use or commercial use of roads. The application is submitted to the Forest Supervisor or District Ranger responsible for the NFS roads, NFS trails, or areas on NFS lands for which a permit is requested.

    When applications for commercial use of roads restricted by order are received, the information is used to identify maintenance commensurate with the applicant's road use. The information is also used to calculate the proportion of acquisition, construction, and maintenance costs associated with the NFS roads proposed for use that is assignable to the applicant for purposes of investment sharing. When requests are for oversize vehicle use, the information is used to evaluate the structural capacity of bridges and potential adverse effects on the safety of other traffic on the roads proposed for use. When the application requests use of NFS roads, NFS trails, or areas on NFS lands that are not designated for motor vehicle use or are restricted by order, the information is used to decide whether and, if appropriate, when the use should be permitted.

    The identifying information collected on form FS-7700-40, Application for Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order, is used on form FS-7700-41, Non-Federal Commercial Road Use Permit, and form FS-7700-48, Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order, to identify the permit holder and the routes or areas requested for use. When form FS-7700-41 is issued, road maintenance requirements, road use schedules, and any necessary payments to be made in lieu of performance of maintenance developed from the data submitted on or with form FS-7700-40 are included in form FS-7700-41. When form FS-7700-48 is issued, requirements resulting from data submitted with form FS-7700-40, such as requirements for signs and pilot cars when moving oversize vehicles, are included. A copy of form FS-7700-41 or form FS-7700-48 must be carried in the holder's motor vehicle during use of the NFS roads, NFS trails, or areas on NFS lands covered by the permit.

    Forms FS-7700-41, Non-Federal Commercial Road Use Permit, and FS-7700-48, Permit for Use of Roads, Trails, or Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order. Form FS-7700-41, FS-7700-41, and FS-7700-48 have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Forest Service is seeking renewal of this approval. No information beyond that collected on form FS-7700-40 will be collected on forms FS-7700-41 and FS-7700-48.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: 15 minutes per application.

    Type of Respondents: All those who need to use NFS roads, NFS trails, or areas on NFS lands that are restricted by regulation or order.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 20,000.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: One.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 5,000 hours.

    Public Comment: Public comment is invited on (1) whether this information collection is necessary for the stated purposes and the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical or scientific utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the information collection, 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 information collection on respondents, including the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when provided, will be a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of the information collection.

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Brian Ferebee, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest Systems.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12796 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Information Collection; Request for Comment; Objections to New Land Management Plans, Plan Amendments, and Plan Revisions AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice, request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested people and organizations on the extension of a currently approved information collection, objections to new land management plans, plan amendments, and plan revisions.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing on or before August 1, 2016 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning this notice should be addressed to Forest Service, Assistant Director for Planning, Ecosystem Management Coordination, Mail Stop 1104, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1104.

    Comments also may be submitted via facsimile to (202) 205-1056 or by email to: [email protected]

    The public may inspect comments received at the Ecosystem Management Coordination Office, 201 14th St. SW., Washington, DC, during normal business hours. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to (202) 205-0895 to assist entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Annie Eberhart Goode, Ecosystem Management Coordination, at (202) 205-1056 or email to: [email protected] Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Objection to new land management plans, plan amendments, and plan revisions.

    OMB Number: 0596-0158.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 07/31/2016.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: The information that would be required by Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 219-Planning, Subpart A-National Forest System Land Management Planning (36 CFR part 219, subpart B), section 219.54 is the minimum information needed for a person to make a clear objection to a proposed land management plan, plan amendment, or plan revision. Under 36 CFR 219.54, a person must provide: name, mailing address, and telephone number or email address if available; signature; the name of the specific plan, amendment or revision that is the subject of the objection; and the name and title of the responsible official; a statement of the issues and/or the parts of the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision to which the objection applies; a concise statement explaining the objection and suggesting how the proposed plan decision may be improved. if applicable, the objector should identify how the objector believes that the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision is inconsistent with law, regulation, or policy; and a statement that demonstrates the link between prior substantive formal comments attributed to the objector and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment (§ 219.53(a)).

    The reviewing officer must review the objection(s) and relevant information and then respond to the objector(s) in writing.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: 10 hours to prepare the objection.

    Type of Respondents: Interested and affected people, organizations, and governmental units who participate in the planning process: such as people who live in or near National Forest System (NFS) lands; local, State, and Tribal governments who have an interest in the plan; Federal agencies with an interest in the management of NFS lands and resources; not-for-profit organizations interested in NFS management, such as environmental groups, recreation groups, educational institutions; and commercial users of NFS land and resources.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 50 a year.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 500 hours.

    Comment is invited on: (1) Whether the right information is being requested, including whether the information will have practical value; (2) whether the instructions in 36 CFR 219.54 are clear; (3) whether the Forest Service estimate of the burden of the collection of information is accurate, (10 hours); (4) ways to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; (5) ways to make the objections available to people, (6) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on people, including the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received on this notice, including names and addresses when given, will be a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval.

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Brian Ferebee, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest Systems.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12797 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Alaska State Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of public meeting.

    DATES:

    Thursday, June 23, 2016.

    Time: 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. (Alaska Time).

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Alaska State Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 12:00 p.m. (Alaska Time) Thursday, June 23, 2016 for the purpose of considering and voting upon a written draft proposal for the Alaska State Advisory Committee's new project for FY 2016 identifying possible barriers in the election process that may disparately impact Alaskan Natives and their right to vote, and the impact of recent settlements upon voting access for Alaskan Natives.

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: Toll-Free Phone Number: 888-572-7034; when prompted, please provide conference ID number: 4694388.

    Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number. Hearing-impaired persons who will attend the meeting and require the services of a sign language interpreter should contact the Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments within thirty (30) days of the meeting. The comments must be received in the Western Regional Office of the Commission by Friday, July 22, 2016. The address is Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 N. Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Persons wishing to email their comments may do so by sending them to Angela French-Bell, Regional Director, Western Regional Office, at [email protected]

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=234. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Western Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Western Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda for June 23, 2016
    I. Introductory Remarks II. Discussion of Written Proposal III. Vote on Written Proposal IV. Discussion of Briefing Meeting V. Public Comment VI. Adjournment

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: Toll-Free Phone Number: 888-572-7034; when prompted, please provide conference ID number: 4694388.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Angela French-Bell, DFO, at (213) 894-3437 or [email protected]

    Dated: May 26, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Coordination Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12810 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Arizona State Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of public meeting.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

    Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Arizona Time).

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Arizona State Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 11:30 a.m. (Arizona Time) Wednesday, June 8, 2016 for the purpose of discussing whether the Committee should hear additional testimony from community advocates before completing its report on police practices in minority communities. The Committee will also discuss and vote upon a report outline.

    This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: Toll-Free Phone Number: 888-455-2263; when prompted, please provide conference ID number: 2891492.

    Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number. Hearing-impaired persons who will attend the meeting and require the services of a sign language interpreter should contact the Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments within thirty (30) days of the meeting. The comments must be received in the Western Regional Office of the Commission by Friday, July 8, 2016. The address is Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 N. Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Persons wishing to email their comments may do so by sending them to Angela French-Bell, Regional Director, Western Regional Office, at [email protected]

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=235. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Western Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Western Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda for June 8, 2016
    I. Introductory Remarks II. Discussion of Additional Testimony III. Discussion of Report Outline IV. Vote on Report Outline V. Public Comment VI. Adjournment Public Call Information Dial: 888-455-2263 Conference ID: 2891492

    Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150, the notice for this meeting is given less than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting because of the exceptional circumstances of planning to have a committee meeting to hear testimony prior to the end of fiscal year 2016. Given the exceptional urgency of the events, the agency and advisory committee deem it important for the advisory committee to meet on the date given.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Angela French-Bell, DFO, at (213) 894-3437 or [email protected]

    Dated May 26, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Coordination Unit.

    6335-01-P

    [FR Doc. 2016-12811 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Hawai'i State Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of Public Meeting.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

    Time: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. (Hawaii Time).

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Hawai'i State Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 9:00 p.m. (Hawaiian Time) Tuesday, June 14, 2016, for the purpose of considering and voting upon a new topic for the Hawai'i State Advisory Committee's new project for FY 2016. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-452-4023; when prompted, please provide conference ID number: 4285649.

    Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number. Hearing-impaired persons who will attend the meeting and require the services of a sign language interpreter should contact the Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting.

    Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments. The comments must be received in the Western Regional Office of the Commission by Thursday, July 14, 2016. The address is Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 N. Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Persons wishing to email their comments may do so by sending them to Angela French-Bell, Regional Director, Western Regional Office, at [email protected]

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=244. Please click on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Western Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Western Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda
    I. Introductory Remarks II. Discussion of New Projects III. Vote on New Project Topic IV. Public Comment V. Adjournment Public Call Information

    Dial: 888-452-4023 Conference ID: 4285649.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Angela French-Bell, DFO, at (213) 894-3437 or [email protected]

    Dated: May 26, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Coordination Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12812 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    On behalf of the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), the Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: International Trade Administration, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

    Title: Interim Procedures for Considering Requests under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States—Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    OMB Control Number: 0625-0265.

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Burden Hours: 89.

    Number of Respondents: 16 (10 for Requests; 3 for Responses; 3 for Rebuttals).

    Average Hours per Response: 8 hours per Request; 2 hours per Response; and 1 hour per Rebuttal.

    Needs and Uses: The United States and Peru negotiated the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (the Agreement), which entered into force on February 1, 2009. Subject to the rules of origin in Annex 4.1 of the Agreement, pursuant to the textile provisions of the Agreement, a fabric, yarn, or fiber produced in Peru or the United States and traded between the two countries is entitled to duty-free tariff treatment. Annex 3-B of the Agreement also lists specific fabrics, yarns, and fibers that the two countries agreed are not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner from producers in Peru or the United States. The items listed in Annex 3-B are commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers. Articles containing these items are entitled to duty-free or preferential treatment despite containing inputs not produced in Peru or the United States.

    The list of commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers may be changed pursuant to the commercial availability provision in chapter 3, Article 3.3, Paragraphs 5-7 of the Agreement. Section 203(o) of the Act implements the commercial availability provision of the Agreement. Under this provision, interested entities from Peru or the United States have the right to request that a specific fabric, yarn, or fiber be added to, or removed from, the list of commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns, and fibers in Annex 3-B.

    Section 203(o) of the Act provides that the President may modify the list of fabrics, yarns, and fibers in Annex 3-B by determining whether additional fabrics, yarns, or fibers are not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the United States or Peru, and that the President will issue procedures governing the submission of requests and providing an opportunity for interested entities to submit comments. The President delegated the responsibility for publishing the procedures and administering commercial availability requests to CITA, which issues procedures and acts on requests through the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) (See Proclamation No. 8341, 74 FR 4105, Jan. 22, 2009). Interim procedures to implement these responsibilities were published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2009. (See Interim Procedures for Considering Requests Under the Commercial Availability Provision of the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act and Estimate of Burden for Collection of Information, 74 FR 41111, Aug. 14, 2009) (Commercial Availability Procedures).

    The intent of the Commercial Availability Procedures is to foster the use of U.S. and regional products by implementing procedures that allow products to be placed on or removed from a product list, on a timely basis, and in a manner that is consistent with normal business practice. The procedures are intended to facilitate the transmission of requests; allow the market to indicate the availability of the supply of products that are the subject of requests; make available promptly, to interested entities and the public, information regarding the requests for products and offers received for those products; ensure wide participation by interested entities and parties; allow for careful review and consideration of information provided to substantiate requests and responses; and provide timely public dissemination of information used by CITA in making commercial availability determinations.

    CITA must collect certain information about fabric, yarn, or fiber technical specifications and the production capabilities of Peruvian and U.S. textile producers to determine whether certain fabrics, yarns, or fibers are available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the United States or Peru, subject to section 203(o) of the Act.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Frequency: Varies.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Wendy Liberante, (202) 395-3647.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to OIRA [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: May 26, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12851 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) is automatically initiating the five-year review (“Sunset Review”) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (“AD/CVD”) order(s) listed below. The International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Review which covers the same order(s).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Department official identified in the Initiation of Review section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty order(s):

    DOC Case No. ITC Case No. Country Product Department contact A-475-703 731-TA-385 Italy Granular Polytetrafluorethylene Resin (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. A-570-827 731-TA-669 PRC Cased Pencils (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. A-570-826 731-TA-663 PRC Paper Clips (4th Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Department's regulations, the Department's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on the Department's Web site at the following address: http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/. All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with the Department's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.1

    1See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    This notice serves as a reminder that any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives in these segments.3 The formats for the revised certifications are provided at the end of the Final Rule. The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”) (amending 19 CFR 351.303(g)).

    On April 10, 2013, the Department modified two regulations related to AD/CVD proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301).4 Parties are advised to review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied. Parties are also advised to review the final rule concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in AD/CVD proceedings, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1309frn/2013-22853.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.5

    4See Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013).

    5See Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013).

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), the Department will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (“APO”) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The Department's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with the Department's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, the Department will automatically revoke the order without further review.6

    6See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, the Department's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult the Department's regulations for information regarding the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult the Department's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at the Department.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: May 24, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12905 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Meeting of the United States Manufacturing Council AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Manufacturing Council (Council) will hold an open meeting via teleconference on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The Council was established in April 2004 to advise the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the U.S. manufacturing industry. The purpose of the meeting is for Council members to review and deliberate on a proposed recommendation by the Trade, Tax Policy, and Export Growth Subcommittee focused on trade enforcement policies and China Bilateral Investment Treaty. The final agenda will be posted on the Department of Commerce Web site for the Council at http://www.trade.gov/manufacturingcouncil/, at least one week in advance of the meeting.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, June 15, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. The deadline for members of the public to register, including requests to make comments during the meeting and for auxiliary aids, or to submit written comments for dissemination prior to the meeting, is 5 p.m. EDT on June 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held by conference call. The call-in number and passcode will be provided by email to registrants. Requests to register (including to speak or for auxiliary aids) and any written comments should be submitted to: U.S. Manufacturing Council, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 4043, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; email: [email protected] Members of the public are encouraged to submit registration requests and written comments via email to ensure timely receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Archana Sahgal, U.S. Manufacturing Council, Room 4043, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, 20230, telephone: 202-482-4501, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Council advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the U.S. manufacturing industry.

    Public Participation: The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible to people with disabilities. All guests are required to register in advance by the deadline identified under the DATES caption. Requests for auxiliary aids must be submitted by the registration deadline. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. There will be fifteen (15) minutes allotted for oral comments from members of the public joining the call. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments may be limited to three (3) minutes per person. Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must submit a request at the time of registration, as well as the name and address of the proposed speaker. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, the International Trade Administration may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers. Speakers are requested to submit a written copy of their prepared remarks by 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 8, 2016, for inclusion in the meeting records and for circulation to the members of the U.S. Manufacturing Council.

    In addition, any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the Council's affairs at any time before or after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to Archana Sahgal at the contact information indicated above. To be considered during the meeting, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 8, 2016, to ensure transmission to the Council prior to the meeting. Comments received after that date and time will be distributed to the members but may not be considered on the call. Copies of Council meeting minutes will be available within 90 days of the meeting.

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Archana Sahgal, Executive Secretary, U.S. Manufacturing Council.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12843 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket No.: 160429381-6381-01] National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Data Integrity Building Block AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invites organizations to provide products and technical expertise to support and demonstrate security platforms for the Data Integrity Building Block. This notice is the initial step for the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) in collaborating with technology companies to address cybersecurity challenges identified under the Data Integrity Building Block. Participation in the Data Integrity Building Block is open to all interested organizations.

    DATES:

    Interested parties must contact NIST to request a letter of interest template to be completed and submitted to NIST. Letters of interest will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Collaborative activities will commence as soon as enough completed and signed letters of interest have been returned to address all the necessary components and capabilities, but no earlier than July 1, 2016. When the Data Integrity Building Block has been completed, NIST will post a notice on the NCCoE Data Integrity Building Block Web site at https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/data_integrity announcing the completion of the Data Integrity Building Block and informing the public that it will no longer accept letters of interest for this Data Integrity Building Block.

    ADDRESSES:

    The NCCoE is located at 9700 Great Seneca Highway, Rockville, MD 20850. Letters of interest must be submitted to [email protected] or via hardcopy to National Institute of Standards and Technology, NCCoE; 9700 Great Seneca Highway, Rockville, MD 20850. Organizations whose letters of interest are accepted in accordance with the process set forth in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice will be asked to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NIST. A CRADA template can be found at: https://nccoe.nist.gov/library/nccoe-consortium-crada-example.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Don Tobin via email to [email protected], by telephone 301-975-0239, or by mail to National Institute of Standards and Technology, NCCoE; 9700 Great Seneca Highway, Rockville, MD 20850. Additional details about the Data Integrity Building Block are available at https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/data_integrity.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The NCCoE, part of NIST, is a public-private collaboration for accelerating the widespread adoption of integrated cybersecurity tools and technologies. The NCCoE brings together experts from industry, government, and academia under one roof to develop practical, interoperable cybersecurity approaches that address the real-world needs of complex Information Technology (IT) systems. By accelerating dissemination and use of these integrated tools and technologies for protecting IT assets, the NCCoE will enhance trust in U.S. IT communications, data, and storage systems; reduce risk for companies and individuals using IT systems; and encourage development of innovative, job-creating cybersecurity products and services.

    Process

    NIST is soliciting responses from all sources of relevant security capabilities (see below) to enter into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to provide products and technical expertise to support and demonstrate security platforms for the Data Integrity Building Block. The full Data Integrity Building Block can be viewed at: https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/data_integrity.

    Interested parties should contact NIST using the information provided in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. NIST will then provide each interested party with a letter of interest template, which the party must complete, certify that it is accurate, and submit to NIST. NIST will contact interested parties if there are questions regarding the responsiveness of the letters of interest to the Data Integrity Building Block objective or requirements identified below. NIST will select participants who have submitted complete letters of interest on a first come, first served basis within each category of product components or capabilities listed below up to the number of participants in each category necessary to carry out this Data Integrity Building Block. However, there may be continuing opportunity to participate even after initial activity commences. Selected participants will be required to enter into a consortium CRADA with NIST (for reference, see ADDRESSES section above). NIST published a notice in the Federal Register on October 19, 2012 (77 FR 64314) inviting U.S. companies to enter into National Cybersecurity Excellence Partnerships (NCEPs) in furtherance of the NCCoE. For this demonstration project, NCEP partners will not be given priority for participation.

    Data Integrity Building Block Objective

    The goal of this project is to mitigate the impacts of data corruption when recovering systems from backup storage. The solution will provide guidance for incorporating post-attack data corruption detection and recovery strategies into a corporate IT architecture. The project will explore methods to address the integrity of commodity components (operating systems, applications, and software configurations), custom applications, and data (database and files) and provide corruption indicators and activity logs to the security analysts to identify the malicious activity. It will produce an architecture that includes components that will integrate notification of data corruption events coupled with approaches to automate recovery from such events.

    A detailed description of the Data Integrity Building Block is available at: https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/data_integrity.

    Requirements

    Each responding organization's letter of interest should identify which security platform component(s) or capability(ies) it is offering. Letters of interest should not include company proprietary information, and all components and capabilities must be commercially available. Components are listed in the High-level Architecture section of the Data Integrity Building Block (for reference, please see the link in the PROCESS section above) and include, but are not limited to:

    • File integrity monitors

    • File versioning systems

    • File integrity testing capabilities

    • User activity monitoring tools

    • Configuration management systems

    • Database rollback tools

    • Virtual machine integrity/snapshots/versioning capabilities

    • Versioning file systems

    • Journaling file systems

    Each responding organization's letter of interest should identify how their products address one or more of the following desired solution characteristics in the High Level Architecture section of the Data Integrity Building Block (for reference, please see the link in the PROCESS section above):

    • Automated data corruption testing

    • Automated data corruption detection

    • Automated data corruption event logging

    • Secure data integrity monitoring and alerting information (checksums, off-site, hard-copy)

    • Automated detection and reporting of all file modifications/creations/deletions

    • Automated detection and reporting of all database modifications/creations/deletions

    • Automated correlation of file changes and users

    • Automated user activity recording

    • Automated anomalous user activity detection

    • Automated configuration management monitoring

    Responding organizations need to understand and, in their letters of interest, commit to provide:

    1. Access for all participants' project teams to component interfaces and the organization's experts necessary to make functional connections among security platform components

    2. Support for development and demonstration of the Data Integrity Building Block in NCCoE facilities which will be conducted in a manner consistent with Federal requirements (e.g., FIPS 200, FIPS 201, SP 800-53, and SP 800-63)

    Additional details about the Data Integrity Building Block are available at: https://nccoe.nist.gov/projects/building_blocks/data_integrity.

    NIST cannot guarantee that all of the products proposed by respondents will be used in the demonstration. Each prospective participant will be expected to work collaboratively with NIST staff and other project participants under the terms of the consortium CRADA in the development of the Data Integrity Building Block. Prospective participants' contribution to the collaborative effort will include assistance in establishing the necessary interface functionality, connection and set-up capabilities and procedures, demonstration harnesses, environmental and safety conditions for use, integrated platform user instructions, and demonstration plans and scripts necessary to demonstrate the desired capabilities. Each participant will train NIST personnel, as necessary, to operate its product in capability demonstrations. Following successful demonstrations, NIST will publish a description of the security platform and its performance characteristics sufficient to permit other organizations to develop and deploy security platforms that meet the security objectives of the Data Integrity Building Block. These descriptions will be public information.

    Under the terms of the consortium CRADA, NIST will support development of interfaces among participants' products by providing IT infrastructure, laboratory facilities, office facilities, collaboration facilities, and staff support to component composition, security platform documentation, and demonstration activities.

    The dates of the demonstration of the Data Integrity Building Block capability will be announced on the NCCoE Web site at least two weeks in advance at http://nccoe.nist.gov/. The expected outcome of the demonstration is to improve data integrity within the enterprise. Participating organizations will gain from the knowledge that their products are interoperable with other participants' offerings.

    For additional information on the NCCoE governance, business processes, and NCCoE operational structure, visit the NCCoE Web site http://nccoe.nist.gov/.

    Kevin Kimball, NIST Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12860 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE221 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Issuance of one enhancement of survival permit.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued Permit 20032 to Sonoma County Water Agency.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application, issued permit, and supporting documents are available upon written request or by appointment: California Coastal Office, NMFS, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Room 325, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, ph: (707)-387-0737, fax: (707) 578-3435).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Wilson, Santa Rosa, CA (ph.: 707-578-8555, Fax: 707-578-3435, email: [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The issuance of permits and permit modifications, as required by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543) (ESA), is based on a finding that such permits/modifications: (1) Are applied for in good faith; (2) would not operate to the disadvantage of the listed species which are the subject of the permits; and (3) are consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA. Authority to take listed species is subject to conditions set forth in the permits. Permits and modifications are issued in accordance with and are subject to the ESA and NMFS regulations (50 CFR parts 222-226) governing listed fish and wildlife permits.

    Species Covered in This Notice

    The following listed species are covered in this notice:

    Threatened California Coastal (CC) Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), Endangered Central California Coast (CCC) Coho salmon (O. kisutch), and

    Threatened CCC Steelhead (O. mykiss).

    Permits Issued Permit 20032

    A notice of receipt of an application for an enhancement of survival permit (20032) was published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2015 (80 FR 72047). Permit 20032 was issued to the Permit Holder, Sonoma County Water Agency, on March 3, 2016, and expires on March 3, 2051.

    Permit 20032 facilitates the implementation of the Dry Creek Valley Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement (Agreement) that is expected to promote the recovery of the Covered Species on non-federal properties within Dry Creek below Warm Springs Dam, a tributary to the Russian River in Sonoma County, California. The duration of the Agreement and Permit 20032 is 35 years.

    Permit 20032 authorizes the incidental taking of the Covered Species associated with routine viticulture activities and the potential future return of any property included in the Agreement to the Elevated Baseline Condition. Under this Agreement, individual landowners (Cooperators) may include their properties by entering into a Cooperative Agreement with the Permit Holder. Each Cooperative Agreement will specify the restoration and/or enhancement, and management activities to be carried out on that specific property and a timetable for implementing those activities. All Cooperative Agreements will be reviewed by NMFS to determine whether the proposed activities will result in a net conservation benefit for the Covered Species and meet all required standards of the Safe Harbor Policy (64 FR 32717). Upon NMFS approval, the Permit Holder will issue a Certificate of Inclusion to the Cooperator. Each Certificate of Inclusion will extend the incidental take coverage conferred by the Enhancement of Survival permit to the Cooperator. Certificates of Inclusion will be valid for a minimum of 10 years, but no longer than the term of Permit 20032. The Agreement requires that each enrolled property adopt an Elevated Baseline Condition. Elevated Baseline levels for the Covered Species will be determined by completing the Elevated Baseline Habitat Worksheet (Table 1 in Attachment 3 of the Agreement), which will be completed by the Permit Holder. NMFS will review each Elevated Baseline determination prior to the Permit Holder issuing a Certificate of Inclusion to the Cooperator. The Agreement also contains a monitoring component that requires the Permit Holder to ensure that the Cooperators are in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement, and that the Elevated Baseline levels of habitat for the Covered Species occur on the Enrolled Property. Results of these monitoring efforts will be provided to NMFS by the Permit Holder in annual reports for the duration of the 35-year permit term.

    Permit 20032 authorizes those Cooperators who have been issued a Certificate of Inclusion to take Covered Species incidental to the implementation of the management activities specified in the Agreement, incidental to other lawful uses of the property including routine viticulture activities, and to return to Elevated Baseline Conditions if desired.

    Dated: May 26, 2016. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12825 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE468 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research Activities in Central California, 2016-2017 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, we hereby give notification that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue), to take marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to conducting seabird and pinniped research activities in central California, May, 2016 through May, 2017.

    DATES:

    Effective May 16, 2016 through May 15, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public may obtain an electronic copy of the Point Blue's application, supporting documentation, the authorization, and a list of the references cited in this document by visiting: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm. In the case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed here (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    The Environmental Assessment and associated Finding of No Significant Impact, prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, are also available at the same site.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Pauline, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Availability

    An electronic copy of Point Blue's application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce to authorize, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals of a species or population stock, by United States citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if: (1) We make certain findings; (2) the taking is limited to harassment; and (3) we provide a notice of a proposed authorization to the public for review.

    We shall grant an authorization for the incidental taking of small numbers of marine mammals if we find that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). Also, the authorization must set forth the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such takings. We have defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].

    Summary of Request

    On September 29, 2015, NMFS received an application from Point Blue requesting the taking by harassment of marine mammals incidental to conducting seabird research activities on Southeast Farallon Island, Año Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore in central California. Point Blue, along with partners Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge and Point Reyes National Seashore, plan to conduct the proposed activities for one year. These partners are conducting this research under cooperative agreements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in consultation with the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Following the initial application submission, Point Blue submitted an updated version of their application on February 23, 2016. We considered the revised renewal request for 2016-2017 activities as adequate and complete on February 25, 2016.

    On December 24, 2015 (80 FR 80321), we published a Federal Register notice announcing our issuance of a revised Authorization (effective through January 30, 2016) to Point Blue to take marine mammals by harassment, incidental to conducting the same activities presented in this notice of proposed Authorization. The revised Authorization increased the number of authorized take for California sea lions from approximately 9,871 to 44,871 due to Point Blue encountering unprecedented numbers of California sea lions hauled out in survey areas due to warming environmental conditions in the Pacific Ocean offshore California—which researchers have attributed to an El Niño event.

    These proposed activities would occur in the vicinity of pinniped haul out sites and could likely result in the incidental take of marine mammals. We anticipate take, by Level B Harassment only, of individuals of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) to result from the specified activity.

    This is the organization's seventh request for an Authorization. To date, we have issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) to Point Blue (formerly known as PRBO Conservation Science) for the conduct of similar activities from 2007 to 2015 (72 FR 71121, December 14, 2007; 73 FR 77011, December 18, 2008; 75 FR 8677, February 19, 2010; 77 FR 73989, December 7, 2012; 78 FR 66686, November 6, 2013; December 24, 2015; 80 FR 80321).

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    Point Blue proposes to monitor and census seabird colonies; observe seabird nesting habitat; restore nesting burrows; observe breeding elephant and harbor seals; and resupply a field station annually in central California (i.e., Southeast Farallon Island, Año Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore in central California).

    The purpose of the seabird research is to continue a 30-year monitoring program of the region's seabird populations. Point Blue's long-term pinniped research program monitors pinniped colonies to understand elephant and harbor seal population dynamics and to contribute to the conservation of both species.

    Dates and Duration

    The Authorization would be effective from May 16, 2016 through May 15, 2017.

    Specified Geographic Region

    Point Blue will conduct their research activities within the vicinity of pinniped haul out sites in the following locations:

    South Farallones Islands: The South Farallon Islands consist of Southeast Farallon Island located at 37°41′54.32″ N; 123°0′8.33″ W and West End Island. The South Farallon Islands have a land area of approximately 120 acres (0.49 square kilometers (km)) and are part of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge. The islands are located near the edge of the continental shelf 28 miles (mi) (45.1 km) west of San Francisco, CA, and lie within the waters of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

    Año Nuevo Island: Año Nuevo Island located at 37°6′29.25″ N; 122°20′12.20″ W is one-quarter mile (402 meters (m)) offshore of Año Nuevo Point in San Mateo County, CA. The island lies within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area.

    Point Reyes National Seashore: Point Reyes National Seashore is approximately 40 miles (64.3 km) north of San Francisco Bay and also lies within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

    Detailed Description of Activities

    We outlined the purpose of Point Blue's activities in a previous notice for the proposed authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016). Following is a brief summary of the activities.

    Seabird Research on Southeast Farallon Island: Daily observations of seabird colonies would occur at a maximum frequency of three 15-minute visits per day; and daily observations would be conducted of breeding common murres (Uria aalge) at a maximum frequency of one, five-hour visit per day in September. These activities usually involve one or two observers conducting daily censuses of seabirds or conducting mark/recapture studies of breeding seabirds on Southeast Farallon Island. The researchers plan to access the island's two landing areas, the North Landing and the East Landing, by 14 to 18 feet (ft) (4.3 to 5.5 meters [m]) open motorboats which are hoisted onto the island using a derrick system and then travel by foot to coastal areas of the island to view breeding seabirds from behind an observation blind.

    Field Station Resupply on Southeast Farallon Island: Resupply of the field station would occur once every two weeks at a maximum frequency of 26 visits annually. Resupply activities involve personnel approaching either the North Landing or East Landing by motorboat to offload supplies.

    Seabird Research on Año Nuevo Island: Researchers would monitor seabird burrow nesting habitat quality and to conduct habitat restoration at a maximum frequency of 20 visits per year. This activity involves two to three researchers accessing the north side of the island by a 12 ft (3.7 m) Zodiac boat. Once onshore, the researchers will check subterranean nest boxes and restore any nesting habitat for approximately 15 minutes.

    Seabird Research on Point Reyes National Seashore: The National Park Service in collaboration with Point Blue would monitor seabird breeding and roosting colonies; conduct habitat restoration; remove non-native plants; monitor intertidal areas; and maintain coastal dune habitat. Seabird monitoring usually involves one or two observers conducting the survey by small boats along the shoreline. Researchers would visit the site at a maximum frequency of 20 times per year.

    The proposed activities have not changed between the proposed authorization notice and this final notice announcing the issuance of the Authorization. For a more detailed description of the authorized action, we refer the reader to the notice for the proposed authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016).

    Comments and Responses

    We published a notice of receipt of Point Blue's application and proposed Authorization in the Federal Register on March 22, 2016 (81 FR 15249). During the 30-day comment period, we received one comment from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission) which recommended that we issue the requested Authorization, provided that Point Blue carries out the required monitoring and mitigation measures as described in the notice of the proposed authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016) and the application. We have included all measures proposed in the notice of the proposed authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016).

    We also received a comment letter from one private citizen who opposed the authorization on the basis that NMFS should not allow any Authorizations for harassment. We considered the commenter's general opposition to Point Blue's activities and to our issuance of an Authorization. The Authorization, described in detail in the Federal Register notice of the proposed Authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016) includes mitigation and monitoring measures to effect the least practicable impact to marine mammals and their habitat. It is our responsibility to determine whether the activities will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks; will have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses, where relevant; and to prescribe the means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the affected species or stocks and their habitat, as well as monitoring and reporting requirements. The MMPA allows U.S. citizens to request take of marine mammals incidental to specified activities, and requires us to authorize such taking if we can make the necessary findings required by law and if we set forth the appropriate prescriptions. As explained throughout the Federal Register notice (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016) we made the necessary preliminary findings under 16 U.S.C. 1361(a)(5)(D) to support issuance of Authorization.

    Description of the Marine Mammals in the Area of the Proposed Specified Activity

    The marine mammals most likely to be harassed incidental to conducting seabird and pinniped research at the proposed research areas are primarily California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, and to a lesser extent the eastern distinct population segment (DPS) of the Steller sea lion and northern fur seal. We refer the public to Carretta et al., (2015) for general information on these species which we presented in the notice of the proposed authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016).

    California (southern) sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), listed as threatened under the ESA and categorized as depleted under the MMPA, usually range in coastal waters within 1.24 miles (2 km) of the shoreline. Point Blue has not encountered California sea otters during the course of their seabird or pinniped research activities over the past five years. This species is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and we do not consider it further in this notice of issuance of an Authorization.

    Potential Effects on Marine Mammals

    Acoustic and visual stimuli generated by: (1) Noise generated by motorboat approaches and departures; (2) noise generated during restoration activities and loading operations while resupplying the field station; and (3) human presence during seabird and pinniped research activities, have the potential to cause California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, northern elephant seals, and Steller sea lions hauled out in areas within Southeast Farallon Island, Año Nuevo Island and Point Reyes National Seashore to flush into the surrounding water or to cause a short-term behavioral disturbance for marine mammals.

    We expect that acoustic and visual stimuli resulting from the proposed motorboat operations and human presence has the potential to harass marine mammals. We also expect that these disturbances would be temporary and result, at worst, in a temporary modification in behavior and/or low-level physiological effects (Level B harassment) of certain species of marine mammals.

    We included a summary and discussion of the ways that the types of stressors associated with Point Blue's specified activities (i.e., visual and acoustic disturbance) have the potential to impact marine mammals in a previous notice for the proposed authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016).

    Vessel Strike: The potential for striking marine mammals is a concern with vessel traffic. However, it is highly unlikely that the use of small, slow-moving boats to access the research areas would result in injury, serious injury, or mortality to any marine mammal. Typically, the reasons for vessel strikes are fast transit speeds, lack of maneuverability, or not seeing the animal because the boat is so large. Point Blue's researchers will access areas at slow transit speeds in easily maneuverable boats negating any chance of an accidental strike.

    Rookeries: No research activities would occur on pinniped rookeries and breeding animals are concentrated in areas where researchers would not visit. Therefore, we do not expect mother and pup separation or crushing of pups during flushing.

    The potential effects to marine mammals described in the notice for the proposed authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016) did not take into consideration the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures described later in this document (see the “Proposed Mitigation” and “Proposed Monitoring and Reporting” sections).

    Anticipated Effects on Habitat

    We considered these impacts in detail in the notice for the proposed authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016). Briefly, we do not anticipate that the proposed research activities would result in any significant or long-term effects on the habitats used by the marine mammals in the proposed area, including the food sources they use (i.e., fish and invertebrates). While we anticipate that the specified activity could potentially result in marine mammals avoiding certain areas due to temporary ensonification and human presence, this impact to habitat is temporary and reversible. We do not consider behavioral modification to cause significant or long-term consequences for individual marine mammals or their populations.

    Mitigation

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses.

    Point Blue has based the mitigation measures which they will implement during the proposed research, on the following: (1) Protocols used during previous Point Blue seabird research activities as required by our previous authorizations for these activities; and (2) recommended best practices in Richardson et al. (1995).

    To reduce the potential for disturbance from acoustic and visual stimuli associated with the activities Point Blue and/or its designees has proposed to implement the following mitigation measures for marine mammals:

    (1) Postpone beach landings on Año Nuevo Island until pinnipeds that may be present on the beach have slowly entered the water.

    (2) Select a pathway of approach to research sites that minimizes the number of marine mammals harassed.

    (3) Avoid visits to sites used by pinnipeds for pupping.

    (4) Monitor for offshore predators and do not approach hauled out pinnipeds if great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) or killer whales (Orcinas orca) are present. If Point Blue and/or its designees see predators in the area, they must not disturb the animals until the area is free of predators.

    (5) Keep voices hushed and bodies low to the ground in the visual presence of pinnipeds.

    (6) Conduct seabird observations at North Landing on Southeast Farallon Island in an observation blind, shielded from the view of hauled out pinnipeds.

    (7) Crawl slowly to access seabird nest boxes on Año Nuevo Island if pinnipeds are within view.

    (8) Coordinate research visits to intertidal areas of Southeast Farallon Island (to reduce potential take) and coordinate research goals for Año Nuevo Island to minimize the number of trips to the island.

    (9) Coordinate monitoring schedules on Año Nuevo Island, so that areas near any pinnipeds would be accessed only once per visit.

    (10) Have the lead biologist serve as an observer to evaluate incidental take.

    Mitigation Conclusions

    NMFS has carefully evaluated the applicant's proposed mitigation measures and have considered a range of other measures in the context of ensuring that we have prescribed the means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. NMFS' evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, we expect that the successful implementation of the measure would minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals;

    (2) The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and

    (3) The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) prescribed by NMFS should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed below:

    1. Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    2. A reduction in the numbers of marine mammals (total number or number at biologically important time or location) exposed to activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    3. A reduction in the number of times (total number or number at biologically important time or location) individuals would be exposed to activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    4. A reduction in the intensity of exposures (either total number or number at biologically important time or location) to activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing the severity of harassment takes only).

    5. Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying special attention to the food base, activities that block or limit passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary destruction/disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    6. For monitoring directly related to mitigation—an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on our evaluation of Point Blue's proposed measures, we have determined that the mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act states that we must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The Act's implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for an incidental take authorization must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and our expectations of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals present in the action area.

    Monitoring measures prescribed by NMFS should accomplish one or more of the general goals by documenting the following:

    • Occurrence of marine mammal species in action area (e.g., presence, abundance, distribution, density).

    • Nature, scope, or context of likely marine mammal exposure to potential stressors/impacts (individual or cumulative, acute or chronic), through better understanding of: (1) Action or environment (e.g., source characterization, propagation, ambient noise); (2) Affected species (e.g., life history, dive patterns); (3) Co-occurrence of marine mammal species with the action; or (4) Biological or behavioral context of exposure (e.g., age, calving or feeding areas).

    • Individual responses to acute stressors, or impacts of chronic exposures (behavioral or physiological).

    • How anticipated responses to stressors impact either: (1) Long-term fitness and survival of an individual; or (2) Population, species, or stock.

    • Effects on marine mammal habitat and resultant impacts to marine mammals.

    • Mitigation and monitoring effectiveness.

    As part of its 2016-2017 application, Point Blue proposes to sponsor marine mammal monitoring during the present project, in order to implement the mitigation measures that require real-time monitoring, and to satisfy the monitoring requirements of the incidental harassment authorization. The Point Blue researchers will monitor the area for pinnipeds during all research activities. Monitoring activities will consist of conducting and recording observations on pinnipeds within the vicinity of the proposed research areas. The monitoring notes would provide dates, location, species, the researcher's activity, behavioral state, and numbers of animals that were alert or moved and numbers of pinnipeds that flushed into the water.

    Observers will record marine mammal behavior patterns and disturbances observed before, during, and after the activities according to a three-point scale including:

    (1) Head orientation in response to disturbance, which may include turning head towards the disturbance, craning head and neck while holding the body rigid in a u-shaped position, or changing from a lying to a sitting position and/or slight movement of less than 1 m; “alert”;

    (2) Movements in response to or away from disturbance, over short distances (typically two times its body length) and including dramatic changes in direction or speed of locomotion for animals already in motion “movement”;

    (3) All flushes to the water as well as lengthier retreats (>3 m); “flight”. However, authorized takes shall only be recorded when disturbances meet criteria for #2 and #3 described above.

    Point Blue has complied with the monitoring requirements under the previous authorizations for the 2007 through 2015 seasons. The results from previous Point Blue's monitoring reports support our findings that the proposed mitigation measures, which we also required under the 2007-2015 Authorizations provide the means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the species or stock.

    Point Blue will submit a monitoring report on the May 16, 2016 through May 15, 2017 research. Upon receipt and review, we will post this annual report on our Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm.

    Point Blue must submit a draft final report to NMFS' Office of Protected Resources within 60 days after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 field season. The report will include a summary of the information gathered pursuant to the monitoring requirements set forth in the Authorization.

    Point Blue will submit a final report to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, within 30 days after receiving comments from NMFS on the draft final report. If Point Blue does not receive any comments from NMFS on the draft report, NMFS and Point Blue will consider the draft final report to be the final report.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the Marine Mammal Protection Act defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].

    NMFS proposes to authorize take by Level B harassment only for the proposed seabird research activities on Southeast Farallon Island, Año Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore. Acoustic (i.e., increased sound) and visual stimuli generated during these proposed activities may have the potential to cause marine mammals in the harbor area to experience temporary, short-term changes in behavior.

    Based on Point Blue's previous research experiences, with the same activities conducted in the proposed research area, and on marine mammal research activities in these areas, we estimate that approximately 53,538 California sea lions, 485 harbor seals, 221 northern elephant seals, 5 northern fur seals, and 38 Steller sea lions could be affected by Level B behavioral harassment over the course of the effective period of the proposed Authorization.

    The authorized take differs from Point Blue's original request for California sea lions (44,871), harbor seals (343), northern elephant seals (196), and Steller sea lions (106). NMFS bases these new estimates on historical data from previous monitoring reports and anecdotal data for the same activities conducted in the proposed research areas. In brief, for four species (i.e., California sea lions, harbor seals, northern elephant seals, and Steller sea lions), we created a statistical model to derive an estimate of the average annual increase of reported take based on a best fit regression analysis (i.e., linear or polynomial regression) of reported take from 2007 to 2016. Next, we added the predicted annual increase in take for each species to the baseline reported take for the 2015-2016 seasons to project the estimated take for each species for the 2016-2017 proposed Authorization. We carried through the same predicted annual increase in take for future Authorizations (2017-2019) to obtain a mean projected take for each species. Last, we analyzed the reported take for each activity by calculating the upper bound of the 95 percent confidence interval of the mean reported take (2007-2016) and mean projected take (2017-2019) for each species. Our use of the upper confidence interval represents the best available information that supports our precautionary deliberation of how much take could occur annually.

    Although Point Blue has not reported encountering northern fur seals during the course of their previously authorized activities, NMFS has included take (5) for northern fur seals based on recent stranding information in the area for that species.

    There is no evidence that Point Blue's planned activities could result in injury, serious injury or mortality within the action area. Moreover, the required mitigation and monitoring measures will minimize further any potential risk for injury, serious injury, or mortality. Thus, we do not authorize any injury, serious injury or mortality. We expect all potential takes to fall under the category of Level B harassment only.

    Encouraging and Coordinating Research

    Point Blue will continue to coordinate monitoring of pinnipeds during the research activities occurring on Southeast Farallon Island, Año Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore. Point Blue conducts bone fide research on marine mammals, the results of which may contribute to the basic knowledge of marine mammal biology or ecology, or are likely to identify, evaluate, or resolve conservation problems.

    Analysis and Determinations Negligible Impact Analysis

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes alone is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, we consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (e.g., intensity, duration), the context of any responses (e.g., critical reproductive time or location, migration), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, and effects on habitat.

    To avoid repetition, the discussion below applies to all five species discussed earlier in this notice. In making a negligible impact determination, we consider:

    • The number of anticipated injuries, serious injuries, or mortalities;

    • The number, nature, and intensity, and duration of Level B harassment;

    • The context in which the takes occur (e.g., impacts to areas of significance, impacts to local populations, and cumulative impacts when taking into account successive/contemporaneous actions when added to baseline data);

    • The status of stock or species of marine mammals (i.e., depleted, not depleted, decreasing, increasing, stable, impact relative to the size of the population);

    • Impacts on habitat affecting rates of recruitment/survival; and

    • The effectiveness of monitoring and mitigation measures to reduce the number or severity of incidental take.

    For reasons stated previously in this document and based on the following factors, NMFS does not expect Point Blue's specified activities to cause long-term behavioral disturbance, abandonment of the haul-out area, injury, serious injury, or mortality:

    (1) The takes from Level B harassment would be due to potential behavioral disturbance. The effects of the seabird research activities would be limited to short-term startle responses and localized behavioral changes due to the short and sporadic duration of the research activities. Minor and brief responses, such as short-duration startle or alert reactions, are not likely to constitute disruption of behavioral patterns, such as migration, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

    (2) The availability of alternate areas for pinnipeds to avoid the resultant acoustic and visual disturbances from the research operations. Results from previous monitoring reports also show that the pinnipeds returned to the various sites and did not permanently abandon haul-out sites after Point Blue conducted their pinniped and research activities.

    (3) There is no potential for large-scale movements leading to injury, serious injury, or mortality because the researchers must delay ingress into the landing areas until after the pinnipeds present have slowly entered the water.

    (4) The limited access of Point Blue's researchers to Southeast Farallon Island, Año Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore during the pupping season.

    We do not anticipate that any injuries, serious injuries, or mortalities would occur as a result of Point Blue's proposed activities, and we do not propose to authorize injury, serious injury or mortality. These species may exhibit behavioral modifications, including temporarily vacating the area during the proposed seabird and pinniped research activities to avoid the resultant acoustic and visual disturbances. Further, these proposed activities would not take place in areas of significance for marine mammal feeding, resting, breeding, or calving and would not adversely impact marine mammal habitat. Due to the nature, degree, and context of the behavioral harassment anticipated, the activities are not expected to impact annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    NMFS does not expect pinnipeds to permanently abandon any area that is surveyed by researchers, as is evidenced by continued presence of pinnipeds at the sites during annual monitoring counts. Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures, NMFS finds that the total marine mammal take from Point Blue's seabird research activities will not adversely affect annual rates of recruitment or survival and therefore will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks.

    Small Numbers Analysis

    As mentioned previously, NMFS estimates that five species of marine mammals could be potentially affected by Level B harassment over the course of the proposed Authorization. For each species, these numbers are small relative to the population size. These incidental harassment numbers represent approximately 18.04 percent of the U.S. stock of California sea lion, 1.61 percent of the California stock of Pacific harbor seal, 0.12 percent of the California breeding stock of northern elephant seal, 0.04 percent of the California stock of northern fur seals, and 0.06 percent of the eastern distinct population segment of Steller sea lion.

    Because these are maximum estimates, actual take numbers are likely to be lower, as some animals may select other haul-out sites the day the researchers are present.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species or Stock for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA also requires us to determine that the taking will not have an unmitigable adverse effect on the availability of marine mammal species or stocks for subsistence use. There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Thus, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act

    No marine mammal species listed under the ESA are anticipated to occur in the action area. Therefore, NMFS has determined that a section 7 consultation under the ESA is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    We prepared an Environmental Assessment (DEA) analyzing the potential effects to the human environment from the issuance of an Authorization to Point Blue for their seabird research activities. The EA titled, Issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Point Blue Conservation Science and Partners to Take Marine Mammals by Harassment Incidental to Seabird Research Conducted in Central California is posted on our Web site at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm. NMFS provided relevant environmental information to the public through the notice of proposed Authorization (81 FR 15249, March 22, 2016) and considered public comments received prior to finalizing our EA and deciding whether or not to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). NMFS concluded that issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment and prepared and issued a FONSI in accordance with NEPA and NOAA Administrative Order 216-6. NMFS' EA and FONSI for this activity are available upon request (see ADDRESSES).

    Authorization

    As a result of these determinations, we have issued an Authorization to Point Blue for the take of marine mammals incidental to proposed seabird and pinniped research activities, provided they incorporate the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements.

    Dated: May 26, 2016. Perry Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-12816 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE443 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Boost-Backs and Landings of Rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of an incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) as amended, notification is hereby given that we have issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to Space Explorations Technology Corporation (SpaceX), to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, marine mammals incidental to boost-backs and landings of Falcon 9 rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and at a contingency landing location approximately 30 miles offshore.

    DATES:

    This Authorization is effective from June 30, 2016, through June 29, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jordan Carduner, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Availability

    An electronic copy of SpaceX's IHA application and supporting documents, as well as a list of the references cited in this document, may be obtained by visiting the Internet at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified area, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals, providing that certain findings are made and the necessary prescriptions are established.

    The incidental taking of small numbers of marine mammals may be allowed only if NMFS (through authority delegated by the Secretary) finds that the total taking by the specified activity during the specified time period will (i) have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) and (ii) not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). Further, the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking must be set forth.

    The allowance of such incidental taking under section 101(a)(5)(A), by harassment, serious injury, death, or a combination thereof, requires that regulations be established. Subsequently, a Letter of Authorization may be issued pursuant to the prescriptions established in such regulations, providing that the level of taking will be consistent with the findings made for the total taking allowable under the specific regulations. Under section 101(a)(5)(D), NMFS may authorize such incidental taking by harassment only, for periods of not more than one year, pursuant to requirements and conditions contained within an IHA. The establishment of these prescriptions requires notice and opportunity for public comment.

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: “. . . any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].”

    Summary of Request

    On July 28, 2015, we received a request from SpaceX for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to Falcon 9 First Stage recovery activities, including in-air boost-back maneuvers and landings of the First Stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, and at a contingency landing location approximately 50 km (31 mi) offshore of VAFB. SpaceX submitted a revised version of the request on November 5, 2015. This revised version of the application was deemed adequate and complete. Acoustic stimuli, including sonic booms (overpressure of high-energy impulsive sound), landing noise, and possible explosions, resulting from boost-back maneuvers and landings of the Falcon 9 First Stage have the potential to result in take, in the form of Level B harassment, of six species of pinnipeds.

    Description of the Specified Activity

    A detailed description of the Falcon 9 First Stage recovery project is provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (81 FR 18574; March 31, 2016). Since that time, no changes have been made to the planned Falcon 9 First Stage recovery activities. Therefore, a detailed description is not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for the description of the specific activity.

    Comments and Responses

    A notice of NMFS's proposal to issue an IHA to SpaceX was published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2016 (81 FR 18574). That notice described, in detail, SpaceX's activity, the marine mammal species that may be affected by the activity, and the anticipated effects on marine mammals. During the 30-day public comment period, NMFS received comments from the Marine Mammal Commission. The Marine Mammal Commission recommended that NMFS issue the IHA, subject to inclusion of the proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    There are six marine mammal species with expected occurrence in the project area (including at VAFB, on the NCI, and in the waters surrounding VAFB, the NCI and the contingency landing location) that are expected to be affected by the specified activities. These include the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardsi). There are an additional 28 species of cetaceans with expected or possible occurrence in the project area. However, despite the fact that the ranges of these cetacean species overlap spatially with SpaceX's planned activities, we have determined that none of the potential stressors associated with the planned activities (including exposure to debris strike, rocket fuel, and visual and acoustic stimuli, as described further in “Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals”) are likely to result in take of cetaceans. As we have concluded that the likelihood of a cetacean being taken incidentally as a result of SpaceX's planned activities is so low as to be discountable, cetaceans are not considered further in this authorization. Please see Table 3-1 in the IHA application for a complete list of species with expected or potential occurrence in the project area.

    A detailed description of the of the species likely to be affected by the dock construction project, including brief introductions to the species and relevant stocks as well as available information regarding population trends and threats, and information regarding local occurrence, were provided in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (81 FR 18574; March 31, 2016); since that time, we are not aware of any changes in the status of these species and stocks; therefore, detailed descriptions are not provided here. Please refer to that Federal Register notice for these descriptions. Please also refer to NMFS' Web site for generalized species accounts, at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals.

    Table 1 lists the marine mammal species with expected potential for occurrence in the vicinity of the project during the project timeframe that are likely to be affected by the specified activities, and summarizes key information regarding stock status and abundance. Please see NMFS' Stock Assessment Reports (SAR), available at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars, for more detailed accounts of these stocks' status and abundance.

    Table 1—Marine Mammals Expected To Be Present in the Vicinity of the Project Location That Are Likely To Be Affected by the Specified Activities Species Stock ESA Status/
  • MMPA
  • status;
  • strategic
  • (Y/N) 1
  • Stock abundance 2 Occurrence
  • in project
  • area
  • Order Carnivora—Superfamily Pinnipedia Family Otariidae (eared seals and sea lions) Steller sea lion Eastern U.S. DPS -/D; Y 60,131 Rare. California sea lion U.S. stock -/-; N 296,750 Common. Family Phocidae (earless seals) Harbor seal California stock -/-; N 30,968 Common. Northern elephant seal California breeding stock -/-; N 179,000 Common. Northern fur seal California stock -/-; N 12,844 Common. Guadalupe fur seal n/a T/D; Y 3 7,408 Rare. 1 ESA status: Endangered (E), Threatened (T)/MMPA status: Depleted (D). A dash (-) indicates that the species is not listed under the ESA or designated as depleted under the MMPA. Under the MMPA, a strategic stock is one for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds PBR or is determined to be declining and likely to be listed under the ESA within the foreseeable future. Any species or stock listed under the ESA is automatically designated under the MMPA as depleted and as a strategic stock. 2 For certain stocks of pinnipeds, abundance estimates are based upon observations of animals (often pups) ashore multiplied by some correction factor derived from knowledge of the species (or similar species) life history to arrive at a best abundance estimate. 3 Abundance estimate for this stock is greater than ten years old and is therefore not considered current. We nevertheless present the most recent abundance estimate, as this represents the best available information for use in this document.
    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals

    The effects of noise from sonic booms resulting from the Falcon 9 First Stage recovery project have the potential to result in behavioral harassment of marine mammals in the vicinity of the action area. The Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (81 FR 18574; March 31, 2016) included a discussion of the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals, therefore that information is not repeated here; please refer to the Federal Register notice (81 FR 18574; March 31, 2016) for that information. No instances of hearing threshold shifts, injury, serious injury, or mortality are expected as a result of the Falcon 9 First Stage recovery activities.

    Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    The main impact associated with the Falcon 9 First Stage recovery project would be temporarily elevated sound levels and the associated direct effects on marine mammals. We do not anticipate that the planned activities would result in any temporary or permanent effects on the habitats used by the marine mammals in the action area, including the food sources they use (i.e. fish and invertebrates). The project would not result in permanent impacts to habitats used directly by marine mammals, such as haulout sites and are unlikely to result in long term or permanent avoidance of the exposure areas or loss of habitat. The planned activities are also not expected to result in any reduction in foraging habitat or adverse impacts to marine mammal prey. This is discussed in greater detail in the Federal Register notice for the proposed IHA (81 FR 18574; March 31, 2016), therefore that information is not repeated here; please refer to that Federal Register notice for that information.

    Mitigation Measures

    In order to issue an IHA under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses.

    SpaceX's IHA application contains descriptions of the mitigation measures to be implemented during the specified activities in order to effect the least practicable adverse impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitats. These mitigation measures include the following:

    • Unless constrained by other factors including human safety or national security concerns, launches will be scheduled to avoid, whenever possible, boost-backs and landings during the harbor seal pupping season of March through June.

    We have carefully evaluated SpaceX's planned mitigation and considered their likely effectiveness relative to implementation of similar mitigation measures in previously issued incidental take authorizations to determine whether they are likely to affect the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. Our evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    (1) The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals;

    (2) The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and

    (3) The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) we prescribe should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed below:

    (1) Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    (2) A reduction in the number (total number or number at biologically important time or location) of individual marine mammals exposed to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing takes by behavioral harassment only).

    (3) A reduction in the number (total number or number at biologically important time or location) of times any individual marine mammal would be exposed to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing takes by behavioral harassment only).

    (4) A reduction in the intensity of exposure to stimuli expected to result in incidental take (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing the severity of behavioral harassment only).

    (5) Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying particular attention to the prey base, blockage or limitation of passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    (6) For monitoring directly related to mitigation, an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on our evaluation of SpaceX's planned measures, we have determined that the mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an IHA for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for incidental take authorizations must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the action area.

    Any monitoring requirement we prescribe should accomplish one or more of the following general goals:

    1. An increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, both within defined zones of effect (thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation) and in general to generate more data to contribute to the analyses mentioned below;

    2. An increase in our understanding of how many marine mammals are likely to be exposed to stimuli that we associate with specific adverse effects, such as behavioral harassment or hearing threshold shifts;

    3. An increase in our understanding of how marine mammals respond to stimuli expected to result in incidental take and how anticipated adverse effects on individuals may impact the population, stock, or species (specifically through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival) through any of the following methods:

    • Behavioral observations in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (need to be able to accurately predict pertinent information, e.g., received level, distance from source);

    • Physiological measurements in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (need to be able to accurately predict pertinent information, e.g., received level, distance from source); and

    • Distribution and/or abundance comparisons in times or areas with concentrated stimuli versus times or areas without stimuli.

    4. An increased knowledge of the affected species; or

    5. An increase in our understanding of the effectiveness of certain mitigation and monitoring measures.

    SpaceX submitted a monitoring plan as part of their IHA application. SpaceX's marine mammal monitoring plan was created with input from NMFS and was based on similar plans that have been successfully implemented by other action proponents under previous authorizations for similar projects, specifically the USAF's monitoring of rocket launches from VAFB.

    Monitoring protocols vary according to modeled sonic boom intensity and season. Sonic boom modeling will be performed prior to all boost-back events. PCBoom, a commercially available modeling program, or an acceptable substitute, will be used to model sonic booms. Launch parameters specific to each launch will be incorporated into each model. These include direction and trajectory, weight, length, engine thrust, engine plume drag, position versus time from initiating boost-back to additional engine burns, among other aspects. Various weather scenarios will be analyzed from NOAA weather records for the region, then run through the model. Among other factors, these will include the presence or absence of the jet stream, and if present, its direction, altitude and velocity. The type, altitude, and density of clouds will also be considered. From these data, the models will predict peak amplitudes and impact locations.

    Marine Mammal Monitoring

    Marine mammal monitoring procedures will consist of the following:

    • Should sonic boom model results indicate that a peak overpressure of 1.0 psf or greater is likely to impact VAFB, then acoustic and biological monitoring at VAFB will be implemented.

    • If it is determined that a sonic boom of 1.0 psf or greater is likely to impact one of the Northern Channel Islands between 1 March and 30 June; a sonic boom greater than 1.5 psf between 1 July and 30 September, and a sonic boom greater than 2.0 psf between 1 October and 28 February, then monitoring will be conducted at the haulout site closest to the predicted sonic boom impact area.

    • Monitoring would commence at least 72 hours prior to the boost-back and continue until at least 48 hours after the event.

    • Monitoring data collected would include multiple surveys each day that record the species; number of animals; general behavior; presence of pups; age class; gender; and reaction to booms or other natural or human-caused disturbances. Environmental conditions such as tide, wind speed, air temperature, and swell would also be recorded.

    • If the boost-back is scheduled for daylight; video recording of pinnipeds would be conducted during the Falcon 9 First Stage recovery in order to collect data on reactions to noise.

    • For launches during the harbor seal pupping season (March through June), follow-up surveys will be conducted within 2 weeks of the boost-back/landing.

    Acoustic Monitoring

    Acoustic measurements of the sonic boom created during boost-back at the monitoring location will be recorded to determine the overpressure level.

    Reporting

    SpaceX will submit a report within 90 days after each Falcon 9 First Stage recovery event that includes the following information:

    • Summary of activity (including dates, times, and specific locations of Falcon 9 First Stage recovery activities) • Summary of monitoring measures implemented • Detailed monitoring results and a comprehensive summary addressing goals of monitoring plan, including: ○ Number, species, and any other relevant information regarding marine mammals observed and estimated exposed/taken during activities; ○ Description of the observed behaviors (in both presence and absence of activities); ○ Environmental conditions when observations were made; and ○ Assessment of the implementation and effectiveness of monitoring measures.

    In addition to the above post-activity reports, a draft annual report will be submitted within 90 calendar days of the expiration of the IHA, or within 45 calendar days prior to the effective date of a subsequent IHA (if applicable). The annual report will summarize the information from the post-activity reports, including but not necessarily limited to: (a) Numbers of pinnipeds present on the haulouts prior to commencement of Falcon 9 First Stage recovery activities; (b) numbers of pinnipeds that may have been harassed as noted by the number of pinnipeds estimated to have entered the water as a result of Falcon 9 First Stage recovery noise; (c) for pinnipeds that entered the water as a result of Falcon 9 First Stage recovery noise, the length of time(s) those pinnipeds remained off the haulout or rookery; and (d) any behavioral modifications by pinnipeds that likely were the result of stimuli associated with the planned activities.

    In the unanticipated event that the specified activity clearly causes the take of a marine mammal in a manner not authorized by the IHA, such as a Level A harassment, or a take of a marine mammal species other than those authorized, SpaceX would immediately cease the specified activities and immediately report the incident to the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources. The report would include the following information:

    • Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    • Description of the incident;

    • Status of all Falcon 9 First Stage recovery activities in the 48 hours preceding the incident;

    • Description of all marine mammal observations in the 48 hours preceding the incident;

    • Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    • Fate of the animal(s); and

    • Photographs or video footage of the animal(s) (if equipment is available).

    Activities would not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS would work with SpaceX to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. SpaceX would not be able to resume their activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    In the event that SpaceX discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead MMO determines the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition), SpaceX would immediately report the incident to mail to: The Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the NMFS West Coast Region Stranding Coordinator.

    The report would include the same information identified in the paragraph above. Authorized activities would be able to continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS would work with SpaceX to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    In the event that SpaceX discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead MMO determines the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), SpaceX would report the incident to the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and NMFS West Coast Region Stranding Coordinator, within 24 hours of the discovery. SpaceX would provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, section 3(18) of the MMPA defines “harassment” as: “. . . any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].”

    All anticipated takes would be by Level B harassment only, resulting from noise associated with sonic booms and involving temporary changes in behavior. Estimates of the number of harbor seals, California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Steller sea lions, northern fur seals, and Guadalupe fur seals that may be harassed by the planned activities is based upon the number of potential events associated with Falcon 9 First Stage recovery activities (maximum six per year) and the average number of individuals of each species that are present in areas that will be exposed to the activities at levels that are expected to result in Level B harassment.

    In order to estimate the potential incidents of take that may occur incidental to the specified activity, we must first estimate the extent of the sound field that may be produced by the activity and then incorporate information about marine mammal density or abundance in the project area. We first provide information on applicable thresholds for determining effects to marine mammals before describing the information used in estimating the sound fields, the available marine mammal density or abundance information, and the method of estimating potential incidences of take. It should be noted that estimates of Level B take described below are not necessarily estimates of the number of individual animals that are expected to be taken; a smaller number of individuals may accrue a number of incidences of harassment per individual than for each incidence to accrue to a new individual, especially if those individuals display some degree of residency or site fidelity and the impetus to use the site (e.g., because of foraging opportunities) is stronger than the deterrence presented by the harassing activity.

    Sound Thresholds

    Typically NMFS relies on the acoustic criteria shown in Table 2 to estimate the extent of take by Level A and/or Level B harassment that is expected as a result of an activity. If we relied on the acoustic criteria shown in Table 2, we would assume harbor seals exposed to airborne sound at levels at or above 90 dB rms re 20 µPa, and non-harbor seal pinnipeds exposed to airborne sound at levels at or above 100 dB rms re 20 µPa, would experience Level B harassment. However, in this case we have the benefit of more than 20 years of observational data on pinniped responses to the stimuli associated with the planned activities that we expect to result in harassment (sonic booms) in the particular geographic area of the planned activity (VAFB and the NCI). Therefore, we consider these data to be the best available information in regard to estimating take based on modeled exposures among pinnipeds to sounds associated with the planned activities. These data suggest that pinniped reactions to sonic booms are dependent on the species, the age of the animal, and the intensity of the sonic boom (see Table 3).

    Table 2—NMFS Criteria for Acoustic Impacts to Marine Mammals Criterion Criterion definition Threshold In-Water Acoustic Thresholds Level A PTS (injury) conservatively based on TTS 190 dBrms for pinnipeds. 180 dBrms for cetaceans. Level B Behavioral disruption for impulsive noise 160 dBrms. Level B Behavioral disruption for non-pulse noise 120 dBrms. In-Air Acoustic Thresholds Level A PTS (injury) conservatively based on TTS None established. Level B Behavioral disruption for harbor seals 90 dBrms. Level B Behavioral disruption for non-harbor seal pinnipeds 100 dBrms.

    As described above, data from launch monitoring by the USAF on the NCI and at VAFB have shown that pinniped reactions to sonic booms are correlated to the level of the sonic boom. Low energy sonic booms (<1.0 psf) have resulted in little to no behavioral responses, including head raising and briefly alerting but returning to normal behavior shortly after the stimulus. More powerful sonic booms have flushed animals from haulouts (but not resulted in any mortality or sustained decreased in numbers after the stimulus). Table 3 presents a summary of monitoring efforts at the NCI from 1999 to 2011. These data show that reactions to sonic booms tend to be insignificant below 1.0 psf and that, even above 1.0 psf, only a portion of the animals present react to the sonic boom. Therefore, for the purposes of estimating the extent of take that is likely to occur as a result of the planned activities, we assume that Level B harassment occurs when a pinniped (on land) is exposed to a sonic boom at or above 1.0 psf. Therefore the number of expected takes by Level B harassment is based on estimates of the numbers of animals that would be within the area exposed to sonic booms at levels at or above 1.0 psf.

    Table 3—Pinniped Reactions to Sonic Booms at San Miguel Island Launch event Sonic boom
  • level
  • (psf)
  • Location Species & associated reaction
    Athena II (27 April 1999) 1.0 Adams Cove Calif. sea lion—866 alerted, 232 flushed into water; northern elephant seal—alerted but did not flush; northern fur seal—alerted but did not flush. Athena II (24 September 1999) 0.95 Point Bennett Calif. sea lion—600 alerted, 12 flushed into water; northern elephant seal—alerted but did not flush; northern fur seal—alerted but did not flush. Delta II 20 (November 2000) 0.4 Point Bennett Calif. sea lion—60 flushed into water, no reaction from rest; Northern elephant seal—no reaction. Atlas II (8 September 2001) 0.75 Cardwell Point Calif. sea lion—no reaction; northern elephant seal—no reaction; harbor seal—2 of 4 flushed into water. Delta II (11 February 2002) 0.64 Point Bennett Calif. sea lion—no reaction; northern fur seal—no reaction; northern elephant seal—no reaction. Atlas II (2 December 2003) 0.88 Point Bennett Calif. sea lion—40% alerted, several flushed to water; northern elephant seal—no reaction. Delta II (15 July 2004) 1.34 Adams Cove Calif. sea lion—10% alerted. Atlas V (13 March 2008) 1.24 Cardwell Point northern elephant seal—no reaction. Delta II (5 May 2009) 0.76 West of Judith Rock Calif. sea lion—no reaction. Atlas V (14 April 2011) 1.01 Cuyler Harbor northern elephant seal—no reaction. Atlas V (3 April 2014) 0.74 Cardwell Point harbor seal—1 of ~25 flushed into water, no reaction from others. Atlas V (12 December 2014) 1.16 Point Bennett Calif. sea lion—5 of ~225 alerted, none flushed.

    The data recorded by USAF at VAFB and the NCI over the past 20 years has also shown that pinniped reactions to sonic booms vary between species. As described above, little or no reaction has been observed in harbor seals, California sea lions, northern fur seals and northern elephant seals when overpressures were below 1.0 psf (data on responses among Steller sea lions and Guadalupe fur seals is not available). At the NCI sea lions have reacted more strongly to sonic booms than most other species. Harbor seals also appear to be more sensitive to sonic booms than most other pinnipeds, often resulting in startling and fleeing into the water. Northern fur seals generally show little or no reaction, and northern elephant seals generally exhibit no reaction at all, except perhaps a heads-up response or some stirring, especially if sea lions in the same area mingled with the elephant seals react strongly to the boom. No data is available on Steller sea lion or Guadalupe fur seal responses to sonic booms.

    Exposure Area

    As described above, SpaceX performed acoustic modeling to estimate overpressure levels that would be created during the return flight of the Falcon 9 First Stage (Wyle, Inc. 2015). The predicted acoustic footprint of the sonic boom was computed using the computer program PCBoom (Plotkin and Grandi 2002; Page et al. 2010). Modeling was performed for a landing at VAFB and separately for a contingency barge landing (see Figures 2-1, 2-2, 2-3 and 2-4 in the IHA application).

    The model results predicted that sonic overpressures would reach up to 2.0 pounds psf in the immediate area around SLC-4W (see Figures 2-1 and 2-2 in the IHA application) and an overpressure between 1.0 and 2.0 psf would impact the coastline of VAFB from approximately 8 km north of SLC-4W to approximately 18 km southeast of SLC-4W (see Figures 2-1 and 2-2 in the IHA application). A substantially larger area, including the mainland, the Pacific Ocean, and the NCI would experience an overpressure between 0.1 and 1.0 psf (see Figure 2-1 in the IHA application). In addition, San Miguel Island and Santa Rosa Island may experience an overpressure up to 3.1 psf and the west end of Santa Cruz Island may experience an overpressure up to 1.0 psf (see Figures 2-1 and 2-3 in the IHA application). During a contingency barge landing event, an overpressure of up to 2.0 psf would impact the Pacific Ocean at the contingency landing location approximately 50 km offshore of VAFB. San Miguel Island and Santa Rosa Island would experience a sonic boom between 0.1 and 0.2 psf, while sonic boom overpressures on the mainland would be between 0.2 and 0.4 psf.

    SpaceX assumes that actual sonic booms that occur during the planned activities will vary slightly from the modeled sonic booms; therefore, when estimating take based on areas anticipated to be impacted by sonic booms at or above 1.0 psf, haulouts within approximately 8.0 km (5 miles) of modeled contour lines for sonic booms at or above 1.0 psf were included to be conservative. Therefore, in estimating take for a VAFB landing, haulouts were included from the areas of Point Arguello and Point Conception, all of San Miguel Island, the northwestern half of Santa Rosa Island, and northwestern quarter of Santa Cruz Island (see Figure 2-2 and 2-3 in the IHA application). For a contingency landing event, sonic booms are far enough offshore so that only haulouts along the northwestern edge of San Miguel Island may be exposed to a 1.0 psf or greater sonic boom (see Figure 2-4 in the IHA application). As modeling indicates that substantially more haulouts would be impacted by a sonic boom at or above 1.0 psf in the event of a landing at VAFB versus a landing at the contingency landing location, estimated takes are substantially higher in the event of a VAFB landing versus a barge landing.

    Description of Take Calculation

    The take calculations presented here rely on the best data currently available for marine mammal populations in the project location. Data collected from marine mammal surveys represent the best available information on the occurrence of the six pinniped species in the project area. The quality of information available on pinniped abundance in the project area is varies depending on species; some species, such as California sea lions, are surveyed regularly at VAFB and the NCI, while for others, such as northern fur seals, survey data is largely lacking. See Table 4 for total estimated incidents of take. Take estimates were based on “worst case scenario” assumptions, as follows:

    • All six Falcon 9 First Stage recovery actions are assumed to result in landings at VAFB, with no landings occurring at the contingency barge landing location. This is a conservative assumption as sonic boom modeling indicates landings at VAFB are expected to result in a greater number of exposures to sound resulting in Level B harassment than would be expected for landings at the contingency landing location offshore. Some landings may ultimately occur at the contingency landing location; however, the number of landings at each location is not known in advance.

    • All pinnipeds estimated to be in areas ensonified by sonic booms at or above 1.0 psf are assumed to be hauled out at the time the sonic boom occurs. This assumption is conservative as some animals may in fact be in the water with heads submerged when a sonic boom occurs and would therefore not be exposed to the sonic boom at a level that would result in Level B harassment.

    • Actual sonic booms that occur during the planned activities are assumed to vary slightly from the modeled sonic booms; therefore, when estimating take based on areas expected to be impacted by sonic booms at or above 1.0 psf, an additional buffer of 8.0 km (5 miles) was added to modeled sonic boom contour lines. Thus haulouts that are within approximately 8.0 km (5 miles) of modeled sonic booms at 1.0 psf and above were included in the take estimate. This is a conservative assumption as it expands the area of ensonification that would be expected to result in Level B harassment.

    California sea lion—California sea lions are common offshore of VAFB and haul out on rocks and beaches along the coastline of VAFB, though pupping rarely occurs on the VAFB coastline. They haulout in large numbers on the NCI and rookeries exist on San Miguel and Santa Cruz islands. Based on modeling of sonic booms from Falcon 9 First Stage recovery activities, Level B harassment of California se