Federal Register Vol. 81, No.108,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 108 (June 6, 2016)

Page Range36137-36431
FR Document

81_FR_108
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 36304 - Farm Credit Administration Board; Sunshine Act; Regular MeetingPDF
81 FR 36351 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 36350 - Privacy Act of 1974; Systems of Records; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
81 FR 36228 - Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
81 FR 36385 - Government Securities: Call for Large Position ReportsPDF
81 FR 36375 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Application for a U.S. Passport: Corrections, Name Change Within 1 Year of Passport Issuance, and Limited Passport HoldersPDF
81 FR 36166 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Kennebec River, Richmond and Dresden, MEPDF
81 FR 36243 - Safety Zone; Casco Bay Islands Swim/Run, Casco Bay, Portland, MEPDF
81 FR 36169 - Safety Zone; Upper New York Bay, Liberty Island, NYPDF
81 FR 36167 - Safety Zones; Multiple Fireworks in Captain of the Port New York ZonePDF
81 FR 36168 - Safety Zone; Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, WisconsinPDF
81 FR 36174 - Safety Zone; Raritan Bay, Perth Amboy, NJPDF
81 FR 36154 - Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port ZonePDF
81 FR 36350 - Comment Request for Information Collection for the Evaluation of the Disability Employment Initiative Round 5 and Future Rounds; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 36303 - Stakeholder Workshop To Discuss Interim Scientific Methods Used in Draft Biological Evaluations; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 36284 - President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Open Teleconference; CancellationPDF
81 FR 36301 - Atrazine, Simazine, and Propazine Registration Review; Draft Ecological Risk Assessments; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 36284 - Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee Meeting; CancellationPDF
81 FR 36308 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 36254 - Inviting Applications for Socially-Disadvantaged Groups GrantsPDF
81 FR 36278 - Charter Renewal of Department of Defense Federal Advisory CommitteesPDF
81 FR 36319 - Committee Name: Homeland Security Academic Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 36186 - Disabled Veteran Leave and Other Miscellaneous ChangesPDF
81 FR 36266 - United States Investment Advisory Council: Meeting of the United States Investment Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 36354 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Corporate Credit Union Monthly Call ReportPDF
81 FR 36267 - Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Turkey: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Notice of Amended Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2012PDF
81 FR 36353 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 36264 - Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan and the United Kingdom: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews; 2009-2010PDF
81 FR 36261 - Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Review and Amended Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2011-2012PDF
81 FR 36263 - Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From India: Postponement of Preliminary Determination of Antidumping Duty InvestigationPDF
81 FR 36268 - Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative ReviewsPDF
81 FR 36322 - Renewals of Information Collections Under the Paperwork Reduction ActPDF
81 FR 36356 - Report to Congress on Abnormal Occurrences; Fiscal Year 2015; Dissemination of InformationPDF
81 FR 36321 - Notice of Intent To Amend the Resource Management Plan for the Taos Field Office, New Mexico, and Prepare an Associated Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Acceptance of the Rimrock Rose Ranch DonationPDF
81 FR 36283 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive LicensePDF
81 FR 36301 - Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Authorized Program Revision Approval, State of OklahomaPDF
81 FR 36376 - 2015 Tax Information for Use in the Revenue Shortfall Allocation MethodPDF
81 FR 36283 - DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 36276 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingsPDF
81 FR 36279 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 36284 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National LaboratoryPDF
81 FR 36378 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
81 FR 36281 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 36381 - Establishment of Interim National Multimodal Freight NetworkPDF
81 FR 36282 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; Superior Armor SystemsPDF
81 FR 36278 - Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 36288 - Notice of Petition for Waiver of Raypak Inc. From the Department of Energy Commercial Water Heater Test ProcedurePDF
81 FR 36284 - Notice of Petition for Waiver of Thermal Solutions Products, LLC From the Department of Energy Commercial Water Heater Test ProcedurePDF
81 FR 36260 - Rural Energy Savings Program; Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 36282 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 36295 - Notice of Petition for Waiver of HTP, Inc. From the Department of Energy Commercial Water Heater Test ProcedurePDF
81 FR 36305 - Notice of Termination; 10450, First Cherokee State Bank, Woodstock, GeorgiaPDF
81 FR 36305 - Notice of Termination; 10418, Central Florida State Bank, Belleview, FloridaPDF
81 FR 36306 - Notice of Termination; 10287, Bank of Ellijay, Ellijay, GeorgiaPDF
81 FR 36353 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Payments on Shares by Public Units and NonmembersPDF
81 FR 36171 - Safety Zones; Sector Upper Mississippi River Annual and Recurring Safety Zones UpdatePDF
81 FR 36321 - Filing of Plats of Survey; NVPDF
81 FR 36344 - Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract ActionsPDF
81 FR 36251 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex Fishery; Framework Adjustment 3 and 2016-2017 SpecificationsPDF
81 FR 36305 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0169)PDF
81 FR 36306 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10159, Valley Capital Bank, Mesa, ArizonaPDF
81 FR 36184 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2016 Management Measures; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 36320 - Filing of Plats of Survey: IdahoPDF
81 FR 36276 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 36386 - MyVA Federal Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 36354 - Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 1PDF
81 FR 36182 - NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation SupplementPDF
81 FR 36139 - Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. AirplanesPDF
81 FR 36279 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 36310 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Human Tissue Intended for TransplantationPDF
81 FR 36313 - Labeling for Biosimilar Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
81 FR 36307 - Submission for OMB Review; Travel CostsPDF
81 FR 36181 - Relay Services for Deaf Blind IndividualsPDF
81 FR 36254 - Forest Resource Coordinating Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 36309 - Reallotment of FY 2015 Funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)PDF
81 FR 36183 - International Fisheries; Eastern Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Amend Regulations Implementing Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Resolution C-02-03PDF
81 FR 36180 - Place of Business Location ChangePDF
81 FR 36377 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 36357 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Reflect a Change to the Benchmark Index Applicable to the WisdomTree Managed Futures Strategy FundPDF
81 FR 36367 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Definition of “Block” for Purposes of Rule 72(d)-Equities and the Size of a Proposed Cross Transaction Eligible for the Cross Function in Rule 76-EquitiesPDF
81 FR 36357 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Definition of “Block” for Purposes of Rule 72(d) and the Size of a Proposed Cross Transaction Eligible for the Cross Function in Rule 76PDF
81 FR 36367 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Implementing the Quoting and Trading Provisions of the Plan To Implement a Tick Size Pilot Program Submitted to the Commission Pursuant to Rule 608 of Regulation NMS Under the ActPDF
81 FR 36361 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Implementing the Quoting and Trading Provisions of the Plan To Implement a Tick Size Pilot Program Submitted to the Commission Pursuant to Rule 608 of Regulation NMS Under the ActPDF
81 FR 36336 - Major Portion Prices and Due Date for Additional Royalty Payments on Indian Gas Production in Designated Areas Not Associated With an Index ZonePDF
81 FR 36325 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Federal Oil and Gas Valuation; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 36265 - Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review; 2015-2016PDF
81 FR 36262 - Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty New Shipper Review; 2014-2016PDF
81 FR 36261 - Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Correction to the Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances ReviewPDF
81 FR 36373 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 36314 - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 36318 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 36317 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 36317 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 36316 - National Eye Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 36319 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 36315 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 36317 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 36314 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 36316 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Health Information National Trends Survey V (HINTS V) (NCI)PDF
81 FR 36351 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 36245 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Removal of Regulations Relating to Telegraphic CommunicationPDF
81 FR 36350 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
81 FR 36306 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Savings and Loan Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 36380 - Request for Approval of a New Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 36346 - United States of America v. BBA Aviation plc, et al.; Public Comment and Response on Proposed Final JudgmentPDF
81 FR 36324 - Amended Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement To Address the Presence of Wolves at Isle Royale National ParkPDF
81 FR 36377 - Notice of Request To Release Airport PropertyPDF
81 FR 36310 - Organon USA et al.; Withdrawal of Approval of 67 New Drug Applications and 128 Abbreviated New Drug Applications; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 36312 - Determination That APRESOLINE (Hydralazine Hydrochloride) Injectable and Other Drug Products Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
81 FR 36378 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Airport Property at Ralph Wenz Field, Pinedale, WyomingPDF
81 FR 36144 - Notice of Policy on Evaluating Disputed Changes of Sponsorship at Federally Obligated AirportsPDF
81 FR 36373 - Oklahoma Disaster #OK-00103PDF
81 FR 36387 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision of the Section 4(d) Rule for the African Elephant (Loxodonta africanaPDF
81 FR 36309 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 36344 - Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore New York; MMAA104000PDF
81 FR 36336 - Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 6 (ATLW-6) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New York-Proposed Sale NoticePDF
81 FR 36375 - Notice of Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 36179 - Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Arizona; Infrastructure Requirements To Address Interstate Transport for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 36193 - Executive Branch Ethics Program AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 36141 - Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace for the Following Oklahoma Towns: Antlers, OK; Oklahoma City, OK; Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport, OK; and Shawnee, OKPDF
81 FR 36140 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Clovis, NMPDF
81 FR 36214 - Proposed Modification of Class D Airspace; Peru, INPDF
81 FR 36425 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Purchasing by Non-Federal EntitiesPDF
81 FR 36423 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Rewrite of GSAR Part 515, Contracting by NegotiationPDF
81 FR 36421 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Rewrite of GSAR Part 517, Special Contracting MethodsPDF
81 FR 36137 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters)PDF
81 FR 36216 - Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New AutomobilesPDF
81 FR 36229 - Mergers and Transfers Between Multiemployer PlansPDF
81 FR 36211 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 36176 - Finding of Attainment and Approval of Attainment Plan for Klamath Falls, Oregon Fine Particulate Matter Nonattainment AreaPDF
81 FR 36145 - Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Technical CorrectionsPDF

Issue

81 108 Monday, June 6, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Proposed Final Judgment: United States of America v. BBA Aviation plc, et al., 36346-36350 2016-13185 Army Army Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery, 36278 2016-13254 Privacy Act; System of Records, 36276-36278 2016-13230 Safety Enviromental Enforcement Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement RULES Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf ; Corrections, 36145-36154 2016-12487 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36308-36309 2016-13289 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Head Start Performance Standards, 36309 2016-13172 Reallotment of Fiscal Year 2015 Funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, 36309-36310 2016-13217 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Kennebec River, Richmond and Dresden, ME, 36166-36167 2016-13346 Safety Zones: Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, WI, 36168-36169 2016-13339 Multiple Fireworks in Captain of the Port New York Zone, 36167-36168 2016-13340 Raritan Bay, Perth Amboy, NJ, 36174-36176 2016-13338 Sector Upper Mississippi River Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Update, 36171-36174 2016-13239 Upper New York Bay, Liberty Island, NY, 36169-36171 2016-13341 Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones: Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone, 36154-36166 2016-13334 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Casco Bay Islands Swim/Run, Casco Bay, Portland, ME, 36243-36245 2016-13342 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Removal of Regulations Relating to Telegraphic Communication, 36245-36251 2016-13189 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36279, 36281-36282, 36307-36308 2016-13222 2016-13247 2016-13262 2016-13265 Charter Renewals: Federal Advisory Committees, 36278-36279 2016-13287 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 36279-36281 2016-13225
Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

NOTICES Exclusive Licenses; Proposed Approvals, 36283 2016-13272 Meetings: DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, 36283 2016-13267 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National Laboratory, 36284 2016-13264 Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee; Cancellation, 36284 2016-13298 President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; Cancellation of Open Teleconference, 36284 2016-13300
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Commercial Water Heater Test Procedure Waiver Petitions: HTP, Inc., 36295-36300 2016-13245 Raypak Inc., 36288-36295 2016-13252 Thermal Solutions Products, LLC, 36284-36288 2016-13251 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Arizona; Infrastructure Requirements to Address Interstate Transport for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS; Correction, 36179-36180 2016-13160 Klamath Falls, Oregon Fine Particulate Matter Nonattainment Area, 36176-36179 2016-13031 NOTICES Cross-Media Electronic Reporting: Oklahoma; Authorized Program Revision Approval, 36301 2016-13270 Draft Ecological Risk Assessments: Atrazine, Simazine, and Propazine Registration Review, 36301-36303 2016-13299 Meetings: Stakeholder Workshop To Discuss Interim Scientific Methods Used in Draft Biological Evaluations, 36303-36304 2016-13301 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 36304-36305 2016-13450 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters), 36137-36139 2016-13103 Piper Aircraft, Inc. Airplanes, 36139-36140 2016-13226 Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace: Antlers, OK; Oklahoma City, OK; Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport, OK; Shawnee, OK, 36141-36143 2016-13146 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Clovis, NM, 36140-36141 2016-13145 Policy on Evaluating Disputed Changes of Sponsorship at Federally Obligated Airports, 36144-36145 2016-13177 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 36211-36214 2016-13049 Modification of Class D Airspace: Peru, IN, 36214-36216 2016-13144 NOTICES Requests To Release Airport Property: Ankeny Regional Airport, Ankeny, IA, 36377-36378 2016-13183 Ralph Wenz Field, Pinedale, WY, 36378 2016-13179 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Relay Services for Deaf Blind Individuals, 36181-36182 2016-13221 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36305-36306 2016-13235 Terminations of Receivership: Bank of Ellijay, Ellijay, GA, 36306 2016-13242 Central Florida State Bank, Belleview, FL, 36305 2016-13243 First Cherokee State Bank, Woodstock, GA, 36305 2016-13244 Valley Capital Bank Mesa, AZ, 36306 2016-13234 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 36378-36380 2016-13263 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Savings and Loan Holding Companies, 36306-36307 2016-13187 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission PROPOSED RULES Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles, 36216-36228 2016-13098 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: African Elephant (Loxodonta africana), 36388-36419 2016-13173 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation, 36310-36312 2016-13224 Determinations That Products Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: APRESOLINE (Hydralazine Hydrochloride) Injectable and Other Drug Products, 36312-36313 2016-13181 Guidance: Labeling for Biosimilar Products; Extension of Comment Period, 36313-36314 2016-13223 Withdrawal of Approval of 67 New Drug Applications and 128 Abbreviated New Drug Applications: Organon USA et al.; Correction, 36310 2016-13182 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Forest Resource Coordinating Committee, 36254 2016-13220 General Services General Services Administration RULES General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation: Contracting by Negotiation, 36423-36425 2016-13114 Purchasing by Non-Federal Entities, 36425-36431 2016-13115 Special Contracting Methods, 36422-36423 2016-13113 PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Removal of Regulations Relating to Telegraphic Communication, 36245-36251 2016-13189 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36307-36308 2016-13222 Government Ethics Government Ethics Office PROPOSED RULES Executive Branch Ethics Program, 36193-36211 2016-13152 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

NOTICES Meetings: Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council, 36319-36320 2016-13286
Interior Interior Department See

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Indian Gaming Commission

See

National Park Service

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

See

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

See

Reclamation Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan and the United Kingdom, 36264-36265 2016-13280 Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From India, 36263-36264 2016-13278 Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Turkey, 36267-36268 2016-13282 Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China, 36261-36262 2016-13279 Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China, 36262-36263, 36265-36266 2016-13204 2016-13205 Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China, 36261 2016-13203 Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 36268-36276 2016-13277 Meetings: United States Investment Advisory Council, 36266-36267 2016-13284 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

PROPOSED RULES Privacy Act; Implementation, 36228-36229 2016-13352 NOTICES Privacy Act; Implementation, 36350 2016-13353 Proposed Consent Decrees Under CERCLA, 36350 2016-13188
Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Disability Employment Initiative Round 5 and Future Rounds; Correction, 36350-36351 2016-13333 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Proposed Acceptance of the Rimrock Rose Ranch Donation; Intent To Amend the Resource Management Plan for the Taos Field Office, New Mexico, 36321-36322 2016-13273 Plats of Survey: Idaho, 36320-36321 2016-13232 Nevada, 36321 2016-13238 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 36351 2016-13404 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, 36182 2016-13227 PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Removal of Regulations Relating to Telegraphic Communication, 36245-36251 2016-13189 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36307-36308 2016-13222 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 36351-36353 2016-13190 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Central Liquidity Facility, 36353-36354 2016-13281 Corporate Credit Union Monthly Call Report, 36354 2016-13283 Payments on Shares by Public Units and Nonmembers, 36353 2016-13240 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36380-36381 2016-13186 National Indian National Indian Gaming Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36322-36324 2016-13276 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Health Information National Trends Survey, 36316 2016-13191 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 36314-36318 2016-13192 2016-13193 2016-13194 National Cancer Institute, 36319 2016-13195 National Eye Institute, 36316-36317 2016-13196 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 36314 2016-13200 National Institute on Aging, 36317 2016-13197 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 36317-36319 2016-13198 2016-13199 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries Off West Coast States: West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2016 Management Measures; Correction, 36184-36185 2016-13233 International Fisheries: Eastern Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species, 36183-36184 2016-13216 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Northeast Skate Complex Fishery; Framework Adjustment 3 and 2016-2017 Specifications, 36251-36253 2016-13236 NOTICES Meetings: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 36276 2016-13266 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Presence of Wolves at Isle Royale National Park, 36324-36325 2016-13184 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Exclusive Patents; Proposed Approvals: Superior Armor Systems, 36282 2016-13259 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 1, 36354-36356 2016-13228 Report to Congress on Abnormal Occurrences; Fiscal Year 2015;, 36356-36357 2016-13274 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau NOTICES Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 6 for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New York, 36336-36344 2016-13164 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New York, 36344 2016-13170 Natural Resources Office of Natural Resources Revenue NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36325-36336 2016-13206 Major Portion Prices and Due Date for Additional Royalty Payments on Indian Gas Production in Designated Areas Not Associated With an Index Zone, 36336 2016-13207 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation PROPOSED RULES Mergers and Transfers Between Multiemployer Plans, 36229-36243 2016-13083 Personnel Personnel Management Office PROPOSED RULES Disabled Veteran Leave and Other Miscellaneous Changes, 36186-36193 2016-13285 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract Actions, 36344-36346 2016-13237 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service NOTICES Requests for Applications: Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grants, 36254-36260 2016-13288 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Rural Energy Savings Program: Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance; Correction, 36260-36261 2016-13248 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: New York Stock Exchange LLC, 36357 2016-13210 NYSE Arca, Inc., 36357-36367 2016-13208 2016-13212 NYSE MKT LLC, 36367-36373 2016-13209 2016-13211 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Oklahoma, 36373 2016-13174 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 36373-36375 2016-13202 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for a U.S. Passport: Corrections, Name Change Within 1 Year of Passport Issuance, and Limited Passport Holders, 36375-36376 2016-13347 Meetings: International Maritime Organization's Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments, 36375 2016-13162 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Tax Information for Use in the Revenue Shortfall Allocation Method, 36376-36377 2016-13268 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals; Correction, 36377 2016-13214 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NOTICES Establishment of Interim National Multimodal Freight Network, 36381-36385 2016-13261
Treasury Treasury Department NOTICES Government Securities: Call for Large Position Reports, 36385-36386 2016-13348 Utah Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission RULES Place of Business Location Change, 36180-36181 2016-13215 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: MyVA Federal Advisory Committee, 36386 2016-13229 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 36388-36419 2016-13173 Part III General Services Administration, 36422-36431 2016-13114 2016-13115 2016-13113 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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81 108 Monday, June 6, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0903; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-043-AD; Amendment 39-18548; AD 2016-11-21] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters) AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, and EC135T2+ helicopters. This AD requires reducing the life limit of certain parts and removing each part that has reached its life limit. The actions of this AD are intended to reduce the life limits of certain critical parts to prevent failure of a part and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 11, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

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-2014-0903; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On November 13, 2014, at 79 FR 67382, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, and EC135T2+ helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require, before further flight, revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the applicable maintenance manual and the component history card or equivalent record by reducing the life limit for various parts and removing from service any part that has reached its life limit. The proposed requirements were intended to reduce the life limits of certain critical parts to prevent failure of a part and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2013-0178, dated August 7, 2013, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (ECD) (now Airbus Helicopters) Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, EC635T1, EC635P2+, and EC635T2+ helicopters. EASA advises that ECD has revised the airworthiness limitations for the EC135 and EC635 type design as published in the Master Servicing Manual (MSM) EC135 Chapter 04—ALS documents. Revision 14 of the MSM contains these new airworthiness limitations. EASA states that failure to comply with these limitations could result in an unsafe condition. For these reasons, EASA AD No. 2013-0178 requires revising the ALS to include the new life limits and replacing each part that has reached its life limit.

Since the NPRM was issued, the FAA Southwest Regional Office has relocated and a group email address has been established for requesting an FAA Alternative Method of Compliance for a helicopter of foreign design. We have updated this information throughout this Final Rule.

Comments

After our NPRM (79 FR 67382, November 13, 2014) was published, we received comments from three commenters.

Request

Three commenters requested that the FAA not issue this AD. The commenters stated an AD to revise the airworthiness limitations of an aircraft manual is unnecessary because operators are required to use the most current revision of the manual.

We disagree. The FAA must issue an AD to mandate an airworthiness limitations revision, such as a new life limit, for all operators.

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Germany and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Germany, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA, considered the comments received, and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

This AD does not apply to Airbus Helicopters Model EC635T1, P2+, or EC635T2+ helicopters because those helicopters are not type certificated in the U.S.

Related Service Information

The airworthiness limitations and maintenance procedures for certain parts are contained in the Airworthiness Limitations section, Chapter 4, of Eurocopter's MSM EC135, dated December 1, 2001. Revision 14 of the MSM, dated July 1, 2012, establishes a life limit for certain part-numbered main rotor blades and reduces the life limits for swashplate and mixing lever gear unit parts.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 267 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. We estimate 2 work-hours to update the maintenance manual for a total cost of $170 for each helicopter and $45,390 for the U.S. fleet.

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 helicopters 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 to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-11-21 Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH): Amendment 39-18548; Docket No. FAA-2014-0903; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-043-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, and EC135T2+ helicopters, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of a critical part, which could result in loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective July 11, 2016.

(d) Compliance

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

(e) Required Actions

Before further flight:

(1) Revise the life limit of each part listed in paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii) in the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the applicable maintenance manual and record the revised life limit on the component history card or equivalent record as follows:

(i) For swashplate parts:

(A) Ring (bearing ring), part number (P/N) L623M2001214, reduce the life limit from 8,300 hours time-in-service (TIS) to 8,000 hours TIS.

(B) Ring (control ring), P/N L623M2001213, reduce the life limit from 8,300 hours TIS to 8,000 hours TIS.

(C) Cardan ring (two-part), P/N L623M2005205, reduce the life limit from 14,400 hours TIS to 12,900 hours TIS.

(D) Bolt (control ring), P/N L671M7001215, reduce the life limit from 14,400 hours TIS to 12,900 hours TIS.

(E) Bolt (sliding sleeve), P/N L623M2006206 and P/N L623M2006213, reduce the life limit from 14,400 hours TIS to 12,900 hours TIS.

(ii) For mixing lever gear unit parts:

(A) Forked lever assembly, P/N L671M3012102, reduce the life limit from 9,000 hours TIS to 8,700 hours TIS.

(B) Hinged support, P/N L671M7003210, reduce the life limit from 8,700 hours TIS to 8,400 hours TIS.

(C) Bolt, P/N L671M7001220, reduce the life limit from 8,700 hours TIS to 8,400 hours TIS.

(2) Remove from service any part listed in paragraph (e)(1) of this AD that has reached or exceeded its newly revised life limit.

(f) Special Flight Permits

Special flight permits are limited to a one-time flight to a maintenance facility to replace a part that has reached its life limit.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

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

(h) Additional Information

(1) Eurocopter Master Servicing Manual EC135 Chapter 04—Airworthiness Limitations Section, Revision 14, dated July 1, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this final rule. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2013-0178, dated August 7, 2013. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2014-0903.

(i) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6300, 2700 Swashplate Ring, Cardan Ring, Bolt, Mixing Lever Gear Unit (flight controls).

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 23, 2016. Scott A. Horn, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-13103 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0338; Directorate Identifier 2014-CE-010-AD; Amendment 39-18495; AD 2016-08-18] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is correcting an airworthiness directive (AD) that published in the Federal Register. That AD applies to certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. Model PA-31-350 airplanes. The wing locations of engine TIO-540-J2B and LTIO-540-J2B in table 1 of the Applicability, paragraph (c), section are incorrect. This document corrects that error. In all other respects, the original document remains the same; however we are publishing the entire rule in the Federal Register.

DATES:

This final rule is effective June 6, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0338; 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 Document 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:

Gary Wechsler, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; telephone: (404) 474-5575; fax: (404) 474-5606; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Airworthiness Directive 2016-08-18, Amendment 39-18495 (81 FR 26106, May 2, 2016), currently requires inspecting the fuel hose assembly and the turbocharger support assembly for proper clearance between them, inspecting each assembly for any sign of damage, and making any necessary repairs or replacements for certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. Model PA-31-350 airplanes.

As published, the wing locations of engine TIO-540-JJ2B and LTIO-540-J2B in table 1 of the Applicability, paragraph (c), section are incorrect. This document corrects that error.

Although no other part of the preamble or regulatory information has been corrected, we are publishing the entire rule in the Federal Register.

The effective date of this AD remains June 6, 2016.

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): 2016-08-18 Piper Aircraft, Inc.: Amendment 39-18495; Docket No. FAA-2014-0338; Directorate Identifier 2014-CE-010-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective June 6, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Piper Aircraft, Inc. Model PA-31-350 airplanes, serial numbers 31-5001 through 31-5004, 31-7305005 through 31-8452024, and 31-8253001 through 31-8553002, certificated in any category, that are equipped with the following engines and fuel pump hose assemblies:

Table 1 to Paragraph (c) of This AD—Applicable Engines and Fuel Pump Hose Assemblies Engine Manufacturer's hose name Manufacturer's part No.
  • (P/N)
  • Hose description
    LTIO-540-J2B (right wing) Hose Assembly—Fuel Piper 39995-034 Inlet fuel hose to engine fuel pump. TIO-540-J2B (left wing) Hose, Fuel pump to Injector Lycoming LW-12877-6S142 Exit fuel hose from engine fuel pump. LTIO-540-J2BD (right wing) Hose, Fuel pump to Injector Lycoming LW-12877-6S142 Exit fuel hose from engine fuel pump. TIO-540-J2BD (left wing) Hose Assembly—Fuel Piper 39995-034 Inlet fuel hose to engine fuel pump.
    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 73: Engine Fuel and Control.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of an engine fire caused by a leak in the fuel pump inlet hose. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (j)(2) of this AD, unless already done.

    (g) Ensure Proper Clearance Between the Fuel Hose Assembly and the Turbocharger Support Assembly

    (1) Within the next 60 hours time-in-service (TIS) after June 6, 2016 (the effective date of this AD) or within the next 6 months after June 6, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs first, inspect to determine the clearance between the inlet and exit fuel hose assemblies listed in table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD, and each turbocharger support assembly, Lycoming P/N LW-18302. There should be a minimum 3/16-inch clearance. Do the inspection following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (2) Before further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, if the measured clearance is less than 3/16-inch, make all necessary adjustments to make the clearance a minimum of 3/16-inch between the inlet and exit fuel hose assemblies listed in table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD and each turbocharger support assembly, Lycoming P/N LW-18302, following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (h) Visually Inspect the Fuel Hose Assembly and Replace If Necessary

    (1) Within the next 60 hours TIS after June 6, 2016 (the effective date of this AD) or within the next 6 months after June 6, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs first, visually inspect the inlet and exit fuel hose assemblies listed in table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD for evidence of leaking, cracking, chafing, and any other sign of damage. Do the inspection following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (2) Before further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, if any evidence of leaking, cracking, chafing, or any other sign of damage is found in any inlet or exit fuel host assembly listed in table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD, replace the fuel hose assembly with a serviceable part. Do the replacement following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (i) Visually Inspect the Turbocharger Support Assembly and Replace If Necessary

    (1) Within the next 60 hours TIS after June 6, 2016 (the effective date of this AD) or within the next 6 months after June 6, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs first, visually inspect each turbocharger support assembly, Lycoming P/N LW-18302, for evidence of chafing and any other signs of damage. Do the inspection following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (2) Before further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, if any evidence of chafing or any other sign of damage is found on any turbocharger support assembly, replace Lycoming P/N LW-18302 with a serviceable part. Do the replacement following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (j) Engine Run-Up

    (1) If any fuel line component was adjusted or replaced during any actions required in paragraphs (g)(1) through (i)(2) of this AD, before further flight, perform an engine run-up on the ground to check for leaks. Do the engine run-up following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (2) If any leaks found during the engine run-up required in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD emanate from any fuel line component adjusted, repaired, or replaced during any actions required in paragraphs (g)(1) through (i)(2) of this AD, before further flight, take all necessary corrective actions following the INSTRUCTIONS section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Atlanta 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 the Related Information section of this AD.

    (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.

    (l) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Gary Wechsler, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta ACO, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; telephone: (404) 474-5575; fax: (404) 474-5606; email: [email protected]

    (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) Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1257A, dated August 4, 2015.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Piper Aircraft, Inc. service information identified in this AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; telephone: (772) 567-4361; fax: (772) 978-6573; Internet: www.piper.com/home/pages/Publications.cfm.

    (4) You may view this service information at 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.

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

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 31, 2016. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13226 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0449; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-2] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Clovis, 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 Portales Municipal Airport, Clovis, NM. Decommissioning of the Portales non-directional radio beacon (NDB), cancellation of NDB approaches at Portales Municipal Airport, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) procedures have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also updates the geographic coordinates for Portales Municipal Airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    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 would amend Class E airspace at Portales Municipal Airport, Clovis, NM.

    History

    On March 11, 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 Portales Municipal Airport, Clovis, NM (81 FR 12847). 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 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 Portales Municipal Airport, Clovis, NM. With the decommissioning of the Portales NDB, removal of NDB approaches, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) instrument approaches, the FAA is reducing the airspace from an 8-mile radius to a 6.6-mile radius of the airport in accordance with airspace requirements specified in FAA Joint Order 7400.2K. The geographic coordinates for Portales Municipal Airport are also being updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    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 5-6.5a. 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 Clovis, NM [Amended] Clovis, Cannon AFB, NM (Lat. 34°22′58″ N., long. 103°19′20″ W.) Portales Municipal Airport, NM (Lat. 34°08′44″ N., long. 103°24′37″ W.) Texico VORTAC (Lat. 34°29′42″ N., long. 102°50′23″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 20-mile radius of Cannon AFB, and within a 6.6-mile radius of Portales Municipal Airport, and within 8 miles north and 4 miles south of the 072° radial of the Texico VORTAC extending from the 20-mile radius to 16 miles east of the VORTAC.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 25, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13145 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7857; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-22] Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace for the Following Oklahoma Towns: Antlers, OK; Oklahoma City, OK; Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport, OK; and Shawnee, OK AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action modifies Class D airspace, Class E airspace designated as surface areas, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Antlers Municipal Airport, Antlers, OK; El Reno Regional Airport, Oklahoma City, OK; Wiley Post Airport, Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport, OK; and Shawnee Regional Airport, Shawnee, OK. 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 locations. This action also updates the airport names of University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport, Norman, OK; David Jay Perry Airport, Goldsby, OK; El Reno Regional Airport; Shawnee Regional Airport; Chandler Regional Airport, OK; and Sundance Airport, Oklahoma City, OK, to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. Additionally, this action updates the geographic coordinates for Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City, OK; El Reno Regional Airport; Wiley Post Airport; Antlers Municipal Airport; Sundance Airport; Seminole Municipal Airport, OK; Prague Municipal Airport, OK; Chandler Regional Airport, OK; Tilghman NDB; Cushing Municipal Airport, OK; Cushing NDB; and Cushing Regional Hospital Heliport, OK, to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    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 D airspace, Class E airspace designated as surface areas, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Antlers Municipal Airport, Antlers, OK; El Reno Regional Airport, Oklahoma City, OK; Wiley Post Airport, Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport, OK; and Shawnee Regional Airport, Shawnee, OK.

    History

    On March 11, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to modify Class D airspace, Class E airspace designated as surface areas, and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Antlers Municipal Airport, Antlers, OK; El Reno Regional Airport, Oklahoma City, OK; Wiley Post Airport, Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport, OK; and Shawnee Regional Airport, Shawnee, OK (81 FR 12845). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Two comments were received.

    One comment from Mr. Robert Pigott, Aeronautical Information Services, identified an error in the geographic coordinates for the Tilghman NDB and Antlers Municipal Airport, and identified that the name of Sundance Airport had been changed. The FAA agrees with the commenter and amends the geographic coordinates for Antlers Municipal Airport and the Tilghman NDB, as well as noting the name change to Sundance Airport.

    Another comment was received from Carolyn Bloom, Aeronautical Information Services, advising that the geographic coordinates for Chandler Regional Airport had been updated after the NPRM was published, and that the name of University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport had been changed. The FAA agrees with the commenter and amends the geographic coordinates for Chandler Regional Airport, and the name of the University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport.

    Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, and 6005, respectively, 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 D and 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 Antlers Municipal Airport, Antlers, OK; El Reno Regional Airport, Oklahoma City, OK; and Prague Municipal Airport, Shawnee, OK. After review, the FAA found that with the decommissioning of NDBs, cancellation of the NDB approaches, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) instrument approaches the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at: Antlers Municipal Airport should be reduced from a 6.5-mile radius to 6.3 miles and the extension to the south of the airport from the 6.5-mile radius to 7.3 miles was no longer required; El Reno Regional Airport should be reduced from a 7.4-mile radius to 6.6 miles; and Prague Municipal Airport should be reduced from a 6.5-mile radius to 6.3 miles and the extension to the north of the airport from the 6.5-mile radius to 8.9 miles was no longer required in accordance with airspace requirements specified in FAA Joint Order 7400.2K. This action is necessary for the safety and management of IFR operations under standard instrument approach procedures.

    Additionally, this amendment notes the name change of the following airports: University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport (formerly University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airpark), Norman, OK; El Reno Regional Airport (formerly El Reno Municipal Airpark); Sundance Airport (formerly Sundance Airpark), Oklahoma City, OK; David Jay Perry Airport, Goldsby, OK (formerly David J. Perry Airport, Norman, OK); Shawnee Regional Airport (formerly Shawnee Municipal Airport); and Chandler Regional Airport (formerly Chandler Municipal Airport). Geographic coordinates are also being updated for the following airports and navigation aids: Tinker AFB; El Reno Regional Airport; Wiley Post Airport; Antlers Municipal Airport; Sundance Airport; Seminole Municipal Airport; Prague Municipal Airport; Chandler Regional Airport; Tilghman NDB; Cushing Municipal Airport; Cushing NDB; and Cushing Regional Hospital Heliport.

    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 5-6.5a. 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 5000 Class D Airspace. ASW OK D Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport, OK [Amended] Oklahoma City, Wiley Post Airport, OK (Lat. 35°32′03″ N., long. 97°38′49″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,800 feet MSL within a 4.3-mile radius of Wiley Post Airport excluding that airspace within the Oklahoma City, Will Rogers World Airport, OK, Class C airspace area. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. ASW OK E2 Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport, OK [Amended] Oklahoma City, Wiley Post Airport, OK (Lat. 35°32′03″ N., long. 97°38′49″ W.)

    Within a 4.3-mile radius of Wiley Post Airport excluding that airspace within the Oklahoma City, Will Rogers World Airport, OK, Class C airspace area. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW OK E5 Antlers, OK [Amended] Antlers Municipal Airport, OK (Lat. 34°11′33″ N., long. 95°39′00″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Antlers Municipal Airport.

    ASW OK E5 Oklahoma City, OK [Amended] Oklahoma City, Will Rogers World Airport, OK (Lat. 35°23′35″ N., long. 97°36′03″ W.) Oklahoma City, Tinker AFB, OK (Lat. 35°24′53″ N., long. 97°23′12″ W.) Norman, University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport, OK (Lat. 35°14′44″ N., long. 97°28′20″ W.) University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport ILS Localizer (Lat. 35°14′58″ N., long. 97°27′51″ W.) Goldsby, David Jay Perry Airport, OK (Lat. 35°09′18″ N., long. 97°28′13″ W.) Oklahoma City, Clarence E. Page Municipal Airport, OK (Lat. 35°29′17″ N., long. 97°49′25″ W.) El Reno Regional Airport, OK (Lat. 35°28′22″ N., long. 98°00′21″ W.) Oklahoma City, Wiley Post Airport, OK (Lat. 35°32′03″ N., long. 97°38′49″ W.) Oklahoma City, Sundance Airport, OK (Lat. 35°36′07″ N., long. 97°42′22″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 8.1-mile radius of Will Rogers World Airport, and within an 8.2-mile radius of Tinker AFB, and within an 8.9-mile radius of University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport, and within 1.8 miles each side of the University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport ILS Localizer southwest course extending from the 8.9-mile radius to 12 miles southwest of the airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of David Jay Perry Airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of Clarence E. Page Airport, and within a 6.6-mile radius of El Reno Regional Airport, and within a 6.8-mile radius of Wiley Post Airport, and within a 6.8-mile radius of Sundance Airport.

    ASW OK E5 Shawnee, OK [Amended] Shawnee Regional Airport, OK (Lat. 35°21′26″ N., long. 96°56′34″ W.) Seminole, Seminole Municipal Airport, OK (Lat. 35°16′28″ N., long. 96°40′31″ W.) Prague Municipal Airport, OK (Lat. 35°28′51″ N., long. 96°43'08″ W.) Chandler Regional Airport, OK (Lat. 35°43′27″ N., long. 96°49′13″ W.) Tilghman NDB (Lat. 35°43′31″ N., long. 96°49′07″ W.) Cushing Municipal Airport, OK (Lat. 35°57′00″ N., long. 96°46′24″ W.) Cushing NDB (Lat. 35°53′24″ N., long. 96°46′24″ W.) Cushing Regional Hospital Heliport, OK, Point In Space Coordinates (Lat. 35°58′41″ N., long. 96°45′27″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Shawnee Regional Airport, and within a 6.6-mile radius of Seminole Municipal Airport, and within a 6.3-mile radius of Prague Municipal Airport, and within a 6.4-mile radius of Chandler Regional Airport, and within 2.5 miles each side of the 352° bearing from the Tilghman NDB extending from the 6.4-mile radius to 7.3 miles north of the airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of Cushing Municipal Airport and within 2.1 miles each side of the 185° bearing from the Cushing NDB extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 9.3 miles south of the airport, and that airspace within a 6-mile radius of the Point In Space serving Cushing Regional Hospital Heliport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 25, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13146 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Chapter I Notice of Policy on Evaluating Disputed Changes of Sponsorship at Federally Obligated Airports AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of policy.

    SUMMARY:

    This document clarifies the FAA's legal authority and policy for addressing disputed changes of sponsorship at federally obligated, publicly owned airports. This document also explains the requirements for state or local government entities to coordinate with the FAA when contemplating actions that may impact an airport's ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations.

    DATES:

    June 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin C. Willis, Manager, Airport Compliance Division, ACO-100, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone (202) 267-3085; facsimile: (202) 267-4629.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction

    This document clarifies the FAA's legal authority and policy for monitoring and approving requests to change the sponsorship of, and/or operational responsibility for, an airport from one public agency to another public agency when there is a dispute surrounding the proposed change.1 This document also describes the requirements for coordination between the FAA and state or local governments contemplating actions that may impact an airport's ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations, to ensure that such actions are consistent with Federal requirements. Where the current sponsor/operator and the proposed new sponsor/operator agree to a change of sponsorship and/or operational control, Section IV of this document does not apply.

    1 The policy does not apply to a change of sponsorship or ownership of a privately-owned airport, transfers under the Airport Privatization Pilot Program, or changes when the Federal Government exercises its right of reverter.

    II. FAA Legal Authority and Responsibility

    While state or local legislative action, or a judicial action, as the case may be, may seek to change an airport's ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations, only the FAA has the authority to determine sponsor eligibility, approve and formally change airport sponsorship, and approve and issue a new Airport Operating Certificate pursuant to 14 CFR part 139. The FAA has a statutory obligation to ensure that an airport sponsor/operator is capable of assuming all grant assurances, safety compliance, and other Federal obligations, and has the expertise to operate the airport. Specifically, an airport sponsor/operator must meet the requirements set out in title 49 U.S.C. 44706, as implemented by 14 CFR part 139, for obtaining an Airport Operating Certificate, (if applicable) or in 49 U.S.C. 47102, as implemented by FAA Order 5100.38D (which includes provisions governing sponsor eligibility for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding) and/or 14 CFR part 158 (which governs the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 40117).

    The FAA's obligation extends to reviewing sponsor/operator eligibility when state and local governments propose a change in the airport governance structure to ensure that there is no ambiguity regarding responsibility for Federal obligations and that any proposed changes will not impact compliance with Federal law. (In the event of a local or state dispute regarding sponsorship/operation of the airport, the FAA will apply the policy set out in Section IV below.) If any proposed changes give rise to such concerns by the FAA, the agency will work with state and/or local government(s) to resolve the concerns or, if the concerns cannot be addressed, deny the request.

    Airport sponsors and operators are required to maintain compliance with Federal requirements at all times, and this document does not preclude the FAA from taking enforcement action if a sponsor or operator fails to fulfill its obligations, even if the FAA has approved the transfer.

    III. Coordination of Potential Actions To Change Sponsorship/Operations

    Any state or local legislative body or public agency considering whether to take an action, such as drafting legislation, that would impact airport ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations should (1) consult with and obtain the consent of the current sponsor/operator (absent extraordinary circumstances, such as substantial evidence of mismanagement on the part of the current sponsor/operator); 2 and (2) request technical assistance from the FAA about the interrelationship between Federal and state or local requirements, and seek the FAA's review and comment as early in the deliberative process as is practicable. A failure to consult may cause FAA to deny a proposed change to airport sponsorship and/or operating authority. In all cases, final decisions regarding the proposed change will be made by FAA's Office of Airport Compliance and Management Analysis.

    2 Consent from the current sponsor/operator before a change of sponsorship or operational authority is a critical factor for the FAA in determining whether safety, efficiency, and compliance with grant assurances as required by Federal law will be fully satisfied prior to, during, and after any transition period between sponsors/operators. Even when consent is obtained, the FAA independently will determine whether the proposed sponsor/operator is able to satisfy Federal requirements for airport sponsorship or operation.

    In seeking technical assistance, representatives of the existing and/or proposed sponsors and operators must contact the appropriate Regional Office or Airport District Office (ADO) as early in the process as practicable. The Regional Office or ADO will inquire as to whether the proposed change is disputed, and the FAA will not act upon the proposed change until the dispute is resolved in accordance with Section IV below. In the absence of a dispute or upon final resolution of a dispute, the Regional Office or ADO will work with prospective airport sponsors and operators to ensure understanding of and compliance with the legal obligations associated with being an airport sponsor or operator (including those under part 139 as well as the AIP grant assurances and the PFC program requirements).

    As soon as Regional Offices and ADOs become aware of a proposed change in ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations, they must alert the FAA Office of Airport Compliance and Management Analysis, which will advise the Office of Airport Safety and Standards and Office of Airport Planning and Programming. The Office of Airport Compliance and Management Analysis is responsible for approving all changes to an airport's ownership, sponsorship, governance, or operations. The Office of Airport Safety and Standards is responsible for administering 14 CFR part 139. The Regional Airport Safety and Standards Offices are responsible for approving changes to the part 139 Airport Certification Program Handbook. The Office of Airport Planning and Programming also plays a role in determining sponsor eligibility, and administers the AIP and PFC programs, as well as several associated programs and requirements.

    IV. FAA Policy on Disputed Changes to Airport Sponsorship or Operations

    The determination of whether to seek a new applicant for airport sponsorship is a state or local decision. The FAA expects that all disputes about whether to change airport sponsorship and/or operating authority will be resolved through a legally-binding agreement between the parties involved in the dispute or a final, non-reviewable legal decision. While parties should seek technical assistance from the FAA as early as practicable, parties are encouraged to wait until a dispute has been resolved before submitting an application to the FAA seeking the agency's approval of a change in sponsorship of, and/or operational responsibility for, an airport. In matters in which a proposed change is contested by a current sponsor or operator, the FAA will not act on a part 139 application or a change of airport sponsorship and/or operating authority until the dispute is definitively resolved to the satisfaction of the FAA. Resolution may be demonstrated by issuance of a final, non-reviewable judicial decision requiring such a change, by the issuance of a consent letter between the existing airport sponsor and/or operator and the proposed new sponsor and/or operator, or by other legally definitive means deemed acceptable to the FAA.

    The FAA will accept an application for a change in airport sponsorship/operation only upon a legally definitive resolution of a dispute. At that time, the FAA will evaluate whether an application is complete and whether the proposed airport sponsor/operator is capable of assuming all grant assurances, safety compliance, and other Federal obligations, and has the expertise to operate the airport as required by law.

    V. Reimbursement of Airport Investments

    In circumstances in which a change in sponsorship or operation of an airport is approved and effectuated, the new airport sponsor and/or operator should reimburse the prior sponsor for investments that have been made by the prior sponsor of the airport but have not been fully recouped at the time of the change in airport sponsorship. Any such reimbursements must be consistent with the FAA's Policy and Procedures Concerning the Use of Airport Revenue, 64 FR 7696 (Feb. 16, 1999).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 25, 2016. Eduardo A. Angeles, Associate Administrator for Airports.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13177 Filed 6-1-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement 30 CFR Parts 203, 250, 251, 252, 254, 256, 280, 282, 290, and 291 [Docket ID: BSEE-2016-0006; EEEE500000 16XE1700DX EX1SF0000.DAQ000] RIN 1014-AA15 Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf—Technical Corrections AGENCY:

    Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule makes minor edits, changes, and updates to BSEE regulations. These changes include, but are not limited to: correcting all current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control numbers from “1010” to “1014”; adding two new control numbers to regulations as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA); changing the BSEE address from “Herndon, VA” to “Sterling, VA”; changing “shall” to “will” or “must” and changing “which” to “that”; and revising other language where necessary for improved clarity.

    DATES:

    This rule becomes effective on July 28, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy White, Regulations and Standards Branch at (703) 787-1665 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The technical corrections in this rulemaking affect offshore operators, lessees, pipeline right-of-way holders, and permittees. The corrections are necessary to reflect accurate regulatory citations, add or change a few words for clarification, and revise section numbering. Also, regulatory text that was inadvertently removed in a 2013 regulatory update is being re-inserted where it belongs. These corrections will make the regulations easier to read, understand, and comprehend, but will not change the purpose, scope or effect of the regulations.

    Because this rule makes no substantive change in any rule or requirement, BSEE for good cause finds that notice and public comment are unnecessary pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

    This rulemaking will correct regulations in 30 CFR parts 203, 250, 251, 252, 254, 256, 280, 282, 290, and 291 to reflect the changes discussed below. The following table shows the current regulatory citation and what changes were made.

    Section-by-Section Discussion Current citation Description of revision 30 CFR part 203 Revises the authority citation for Part 203 from “43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.” to “43 U.S.C. 1334”. Revises the “Herndon, VA” address to reflect the new address in “Sterling, VA”. § 203.3(b) Provides a correct Web site address for the BSEE Fees for Services page (application fees) for electronic payments of royalty relief fees. § 203.5(a) Corrects the OMB Control Number from “1010-0071” to “1014-0005”. 30 CFR part 250 Revises the “Herndon, VA” address to reflect the new address in “Sterling, VA”. § 250.102(b) Adds the word “part” before “250” in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(18) in the table of general references for these regulations. § 250.102(b) Adds new paragraph (b)(19) to the table of general references for these regulations, to include “Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS), 30 CFR part 250, subpart S”. § 250.114(a) Adds the cross reference “(as incorporated by referenced in § 250.198)” after the phrase “Division 2”. Undesignated Center Heading before § 250.118 Adds “Gas Storage or Injection” as an undesignated center heading to assist the reader with the regulatory text that follows. § 250.126 Provides a correct Web site address for the BSEE Fees for Services page (application fees) for electronic payments, adds the words “or permit,” and makes structural changes so that all text is contained in subsections (a) and (b). § 250.193(e)(2)(i)(C) Corrects a previous rulemaking published April 5, 2013 (78 FR 20423), which inadvertently used as BSEE's address “Herndon, VA” when it should have read “Washington, DC”. § 250.198(d), (e), (g), (i), (j), (k), (m) Updates these sections to reflect current phone numbers, URLs, and addresses of where the public can obtain standards and other documents incorporated by reference. § 205.405 In the introductory paragraph, corrects “air take” to read “air intake”. § 250.610 Removes an already-past deadline date for diesel engine air intake shut down equipment and rewrites the section in active voice. Corrects punctuation by adding missing commas. § 250.611 Removes an already-past deadline date for traveling-block safety devices and rewrites the section in active voice. § 250.713(b) Clarifies that site-specific information in approved plans may be relied upon to support permit issuance only when the approved plan covers “that” particular “well location and conditions” included in the APD. §§ 250.803(b) and 250.901(a)(24) Provides references to § 250.198 in instances where documents are incorporated by reference. The effect of incorporating a document into the regulations is to make the incorporated document a requirement. § 250.806(c) Revises “MS-4020” to read “VAE-OORP” and revises BSEE's “Herndon, VA” address to read “Sterling, VA”. § 250.901(a)(24) Adds the cross reference “(as incorporated by reference in § 250.198)”. § 250.904 Corrects the split rulemaking (76 FR 64462, October 18, 2011), which inadvertently used “≤” when it should have used “>”. § 250.908(a) Corrects the word “maximum” to read “minimum”. Consistent with the title of the section, “What are the minimum structural fatigue design requirements”, and the final rulemaking notice of December 27, 2001 (66 FR 66851), the intent of this paragraph (originally in the 2001 rule as § 250.913) was always “minimum”. Use of “minimum” is also in keeping with the statements in § 250.908(a)(2) and (a)(3). Also amends the word “analysis” to read “fatigue analysis.” § 250.920(b) Revises “operational loading, or inadequate deck height your platform” to read “operational loading, inadequate deck height, or”. § 250.1000(c)(3), (4), (12), and (13) Removes obsolete dates from § 250.1000(c)(3)(i) and (iv); provides in § 250.1000(c)(4), (c)(12)(ii), (c)(13)(i), and (c)(13)(ii) a general reference to the “appropriate Department of Transportation (DOT) pipeline official” with responsibility for transfer points instead of referring to a specific DOT office, since that office title has changed several times since the rule was originally published. Rewords for further clarity. §§ 250.1015(e) and 250.1018(c) Removes an already past date. An emergency rulemaking (70 FR 61893, October 27, 2005) was codified as a result of Hurricane Katrina and filing fees were suspended until January 3, 2006. § 250.1165(b) Clarifies that approval for enhanced recovery operations will be handled by BSEE and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). BSEE is responsible for approving enhanced recovery, but under the current regulations, the proposed enhanced recovery request must be accompanied by submission of Form BOEM-0127. The amended language clarifies that the applicant would submit the form to BOEM. § 250.1302(a), (c), (d) To avoid any confusion, revises this section by correcting the agency name to read “BSEE” and by changing the phrase “joint development and production plan” to “Competitive Reservoir Development Program.” Competitive Reservoir Development Programs will continue to be submitted to BSEE (not BOEM), as was the original intent. As a result of the reorganization of BOEM and BSEE (76 FR 64570), BSEE regulations at § 250.1302(a) and (d) were inadvertently changed to refer to `BOEM,' evidently because the phrase `joint development and production plan' was confused with the similarly named development and production plan (DPP) that would be submitted to BOEM. The `joint development and production plan' is not a DPP nor is it related in any way.1 § 250.1401 Removes and reserves this section, since the headings of all the sections are already listed in the Table of Contents. §§ 250.1455(b)(2) and 250.1463(b)(2) Revises §§ 250.1455(b)(2) and 250.1463(b)(2) by changing the cross references from “§§ 250.1490 through 250.1497” to “30 CFR part 550, Subpart N.” These changes are necessary because the 30 CFR part 250 sections currently referenced do not apply and are being removed through this rulemaking. §§ 250.1490 through 250.1497 Removes §§ 250.1490 through 250.1497 and the two undesignated center headings, “Bonding Requirements”, and “Financial Solvency Requirements.” These former Minerals Management Service provisions do not apply to BSEE. These sections are instead contained in BOEM's regulations at §§ 550.1490 through 550.1497. § 250.1609(b) Corrects “timelapse” to read “time lapse”. § 250.1920(b)(5), (e) Corrects portions of the SEMS final rule published April 5, 2013 (78 FR 20423), which amended the original 2010 SEMS rule (75 FR 63610). Corrects the 2013 amendments to paragraph (b)(5), which inadvertently made that paragraph confusing, to reflect BSEE's original intent. Also reinserts paragraph (e), which was included in § 250.1920 in the 2010 final SEMS rule but which was inadvertently removed in the 2013 amendments to the 2010 rule (see 78 FR 20423, 20442). This insertion remedies that inadvertent removal. § 251.15 Corrects the OMB Control Number from “1010-0141” to “1014-0025”, and changes the information collection title to the title that is submitted to OMB. § 252.2 (5) Corrects “oilspill” to read “oil spill”. 30 CFR part 254 In various places, throughout this Part, replaces the words “Regional Supervisor” with “Chief, OSPD” or “Chief, Oil Spill Preparedness Division”; also changes “plan” or “response plan” to “OSRP”. § 254.2 Removes obsolete paragraph (c). § 254.6 Adds definitions of “Chief, OSPD” to mean the Chief, BSEE Oil Spill Preparedness Division or designee and of “OSRP” to mean an Oil Spill Response Plan. Also revises the definition of “spill management team” to reflect the revised acronyms. § 254.7 Revises this section to reflect accurate OSPD contacts and addresses. § 254.9 Corrects the OMB Control Number from “1010-0091” to “1014-0007” and revises the “Herndon, VA” address to reflect the new address in “Sterling, VA”. 30 CFR part 256 Removes various “[Reserved]” citations as well as numerous undesignated center headings that are no longer needed and are confusing since they have no regulatory text. § 256.7(j) Adds cross references to BOEM regulations at Chapter V. § 280.25(a)(2) Replaces the word “our” with the word “the”. § 280.28(a) Inserts the words “Bureau of Ocean Energy Management” before “Regional Director” for clarity. § 282.0 Amends the existing paragraph by: designating it as paragraph “(a)”; correcting the OMB control number from “1010-0081” to “1014-0021”; and adding new paragraph (b) to provide the new address for submitting comments on information collections to BSEE. § 282.3 Corrects “overylying” to read “overlying”. § 282.13(d), (e)(2) Adds the words “to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management” for clarification; changes the word “shall” to either “will” or “must”. Changes order of sentences for clarity. § 282.14(c) Revises “$10,000” to read “$40,000” in accordance with 43 U.S.C. 1350. § 282.27(d)(2) Adds the word “BSEE” where applicable; changes “60 days” to “90 days” to be consistent with 30 CFR 250.133; changes “10 hours” to “12 hours”. 30 CFR part 290 Revises the authority citations for Part 290 from “5 U.S.C. 301 et seq.; 43 U.S.C. 1331” to “5 U.S.C. 305; 43 U.S.C. 1334”. § 290.4(b)(1) Provides a correct Web site address for the BSEE Fees for Services page (application fees) for electronic payments. 30 CFR part 291 Revises “Office of Policy Analysis” to read “Office of Policy and Analysis” throughout this section in six locations. § 291.1(a), (e) Corrects the OMB Control Number from “1010-0172” to “1014-0012”; revises the “Herndon, VA” address to reflect the new address in “Sterling, VA”. § 291.107(b)(1) Revises the Office of Policy and Analysis phone number from “(202)-208-3530)” to “(202) 208-1901)”. § 291.108(a) Provides a correct Web site address for the BSEE Fees for Services page (application fees) for electronic payments. 1 The “joint development and production plan”/“Competitive Reservoir Development Program” is a reservoir management tool used after the BSEE Regional Supervisor determines a reservoir to be a “competitive reservoir” that requires competing operators to operate in a manner that ensures the reserves are optimally and efficiently produced in accordance with BSEE's conservation mandate (e.g., restricting well production rates and/or reservoir withdrawal rates, limiting the number of new wells that can be drilled). Procedural Matters Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O.s 12866 and 13563)

    E.O. 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this final rule is not significant because it will not raise novel legal or policy issues.

    E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the Nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The Executive Order (E.O.) directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. This rulemaking is consistent with the principles of E.O. 13563.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior (DOI) certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and 10 Regional Fairness Boards were established to receive comments from small businesses about Federal agency enforcement actions. The Ombudsman will annually evaluate the enforcement activities and rate each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on the actions of BSEE, call 1-888-734-3247. You may comment to the Small Business Administration without fear of retaliation. Allegations of discrimination/retaliation filed with the Small Business Administration will be investigated for appropriate action.

    This final rule is not a major rule under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2)). This rule:

    a. Will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

    b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

    c. Will not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. The requirements will apply to all entities operating on the OCS.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This final rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The final rule will not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) is not required.

    Takings Implication Assessment (E.O. 12630)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 12630, this final rule does not have significant takings implications. The rulemaking is not a governmental action capable of interfering with constitutionally protected property rights. A Takings Implication Assessment is not required.

    Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 13132, this final rule does not have federalism implications. This final rule will not substantially and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and State governments. To the extent that State and local governments have a role in OCS activities, this final rule will not affect that role. A Federalism Assessment is not required.

    Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This final rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. Specifically, this rule:

    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

    Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 13175)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 13175 and DOI's Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes (Secretarial Order 3317, Amendment 2, December 31, 2013), we evaluated this final rule and determined that it has no substantial direct effects on federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995

    This final rule does not contain new information collection requirements, and a submission under the PRA is not required. Therefore, an information collection request is not being submitted to OMB for review and approval under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    This final rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. BSEE has evaluated this rule under the criteria of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Department's regulations implementing NEPA. This rule meets the criteria set forth at 43 CFR 46.210(i) for a Departmental Categorical Exclusion in that this rule is “of an administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature. . . .” Further, BSEE has analyzed this rule to determine if it meets any of the extraordinary circumstances that would require an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement as set forth in 43 CFR 46.215 and has concluded that this rule does not meet any of the criteria for extraordinary circumstances.

    Data Quality Act

    In developing this final rule, we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554, app. C § 515, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A-153-154).

    Effects on the Nation's Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This final rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in E.O. 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    List of Subjects 30 CFR Part 203

    Indians—lands, Oil and gas exploration, Outer Continental Shelf, Sulphur.

    30 CFR Part 250

    Administrative practice and procedure, Oil and gas and sulphur exploration, Outer Continental Shelf, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    30 CFR Part 251

    Freedom of information, Oil and gas exploration, Outer Continental Shelf, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Research.

    30 CFR Part 252

    Freedom of information, Intergovernmental relations, Oil and gas exploration, Outer Continental Shelf, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    30 CFR Part 254

    Intergovernmental relations, Oil and gas exploration, Oil pollution, Outer Continental Shelf, Pipelines, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    30 CFR Part 256

    Administrative practice and procedure, Environmental protection, Government contracts, Intergovernmental relations, Oil and gas exploration, Outer Continental Shelf, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

    30 CFR Part 280

    Outer Continental Shelf, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Research.

    30 CFR Part 282

    Administrative practice and procedure, Environmental protection, Government contracts, Intergovernmental relations, Mineral royalties, Outer Continental Shelf, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds.

    30 CFR Part 290

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    30 CFR Part 291

    Administrative practice and procedure.

    Dated: May 16, 2016. Amanda C. Leiter, Acting Assistant Secretary—Land and Minerals Management.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) amends 30 CFR parts 203, 250, 251, 252, 254, 256, 280, 282, 290, and 291 as follows:

    PART 203—RELIEF OR REDUCTION IN ROYALTY RATES 1. The authority citation for part 203 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    25 U.S.C. 396 et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 396a et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 2101 et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 351 et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 15903-15906; 43 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.; 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.; 43 U.S.C. 1334.; and 43 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In part 203, revise all references to “381 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170” to read “45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166”.
    § 203.3 [Amended]
    3. Revise § 203.3(b) to read as follows:
    § 203.3 Do I have to pay a fee to request royalty relief?

    (b) You must file all payments electronically through the Fees for Services page on the BSEE Web site at http://www.bsee.gov, and you must include a copy of the Pay.gov confirmation receipt page with your application or assessment.

    § 203.5 [Amended]
    4. Amend § 203.5(a) by removing “1010-0071” and adding in its place “1014-0005”.
    PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF 5. The authority citation for part 250 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 9701, 43 U.S.C. 1334.

    6. In Part 250, revise all references to“381 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170” to read “45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166”.
    § 250.102 [Amended]
    7. Amend § 250.102(b) by revising the table, to read as follows:
    § 250.102 What does this part do?

    (b) * * *

    For information about . . . Refer to . . . (1) Applications for permit to drill, 30 CFR part 250, subpart D. (2) Development and Production Plans (DPP), 30 CFR part 550, subpart B. (3) Downhole commingling, 30 CFR part 250, subpart K. (4) Exploration Plans (EP), 30 CFR part 550, subpart B. (5) Flaring, 30 CFR part 250, subpart K. (6) Gas measurement, 30 CFR part 250, subpart L. (7) Off-lease geological and geophysical permits, 30 CFR part 551. (8) Oil spill financial responsibility coverage, 30 CFR part 553. (9) Oil and gas production safety systems, 30 CFR part 250, subpart H. (10) Oil spill response plans, 30 CFR part 254. (11) Oil and gas well-completion operations, 30 CFR part 250, subpart E. (12) Oil and gas well-workover operations, 30 CFR part 250, subpart F. (13) Decommissioning Activities, 30 CFR part 250, subpart Q. (14) Platforms and structures, 30 CFR part 250, subpart I. (15) Pipelines and Pipeline Rights-of-Way, 30 CFR part 250, subpart J and 30 CFR part 550, subpart J. (16) Sulphur operations, 30 CFR part 250, subpart P. (17) Training, 30 CFR part 250, subpart O. (18) Unitization, 30 CFR part 250, subpart M. (19) Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS), 30 CFR part 250, subpart S.
    § 250.114 [Amended]
    8. Amend § 250.114(a) by adding, after the phrase “Division 2”, the parenthetical phrase “(as incorporated by reference in § 250.198)”.
    9. Add an undesignated center heading, before § 250.118 to read “GAS STORAGE OR INJECTION”. 10. Revise § 250.126 to read as follows:
    § 250.126 Electronic payment instructions.

    (a) You must file all payments electronically through the Fees for Services page on the BSEE Web site at http://www.bsee.gov. This includes, but is not limited to, all OCS applications, permits, or any filing fees. You must include a copy of the Pay.gov confirmation receipt page with your application, permit, or filing fee.

    (b) If you submitted an application or permit through eWell, you must use the interactive payment feature in that system, which directs you through Pay.gov to make a payment. It is recommended that you keep a copy of your payment confirmation receipt in the event that any questions arise regarding your transaction.

    § 250.193 [Amended]
    11. Amend § 250.193(e)(2)(i)(C) by removing “Herndon, VA” and adding in its place “Washington, DC”.
    § 250.198 [Amended]
    12. Amend § 250.198, by revising paragraphs (d), (e) introductory text, (g) introductory text, (i) introductory text, (j) introductory text, (k) introductory text, and (m) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 250.198 Documents incorporated by reference.

    (d) You may inspect these documents at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 45600 Woodland Rd, Sterling, VA 20166; phone: 1-844-259-4779; or 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/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    (e) American Concrete Institute (ACI), ACI Standards, 38800 Country Club Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3439: http://www.concrete.org; phone: 248-848-3700:

    (g) American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ANSI/ASME Codes, http://www.webstore.ansi.org; phone: 212-642-4900; and/or American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 22 Law Drive, P.O. Box 2900, Fairfield, NJ 07007-2900; http://www.asme.org; phone: 1-800-843-2763:

    (i) American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), ASTM Standards, 100 Bar Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959; http://www.astm.org; phone: 1-877-909-2786:

    (j) American Welding Society (AWS), AWS Codes, 8669 NW 36 Street, #130, Miami, FL 33126; http://www.aws.org; phone: 800-443-9353:

    (k) National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) International, NACE Standards, Park Ten Place, Houston, TX 77084; http://www.nace.org; phone: 281-228-6200:

    (m) International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 1, ch. de la Voie-Creuse, CP 56, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland; www.iso.org; phone: 41-22-749-01-11:

    § 250.405 [Amended]
    13. Amend § 250.405, in the introductory text, by removing the words “air take” and adding in their place “air intake”.
    § 250.610 [Amended]
    14. Revise § 250.610 to read as follows:
    § 250.610 Diesel engine air intakes.

    You must equip diesel engine air intakes with a device to shut down the diesel engine in the event of runaway. Diesel engines that are continuously attended must be equipped with remotely operated, manual, or automatic shutdown devices. Diesel engines that are not continuously attended must be equipped with automatic shutdown devices.

    § 250.611 [Amended]
    15. Revise § 250.611 to read as follows:
    § 250.611 Traveling-block safety device.

    You must equip all units being used for well-workover operations that have both a traveling block and a crown block with a safety device that is designed to prevent the traveling block from striking the crown block. You must check the device for proper operation weekly and after each drill-line slipping operation. You must enter the results of the operational check in the operations log.

    § 250.713 [Amended]
    16. Amend § 250.713(b) by adding after the phrase “or DOCD submitted to BOEM,” the phrase “for that well location and conditions,”.
    § 250.803 [Amended]
    17. Amend § 250.803(b)(1) introductory text, by adding, after the phrase “(ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code”, the parenthetical phrase “(as incorporated by reference in § 250.198)”.
    § 250.806 [Amended]
    18. Amend § 250.806(c) by removing “MS-4020” and adding in its place “VAE-OORP”, and by removing “381 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817” and adding in its place “45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166”.
    § 250.901 [Amended]
    19. Amend § 250.901(a)(24) by adding, after the phrase “Offshore Structures Associated with Petroleum Production”, the parenthetical phrase “(as incorporated by reference in § 250.198)”.
    § 250.904 [Amended]
    20. Amend § 250.904(b) by removing “≤”and adding in its place “>”.
    § 250.908 [Amended]
    21. Amend § 250.908(a), in the table under “Then . . .”, by removing the word “analysis” and adding in its place “fatigue analysis” in paragraph (a)(1), and by removing the word “maximum” wherever it appears and adding in its place “minimum”.
    § 250.920 [Amended]
    22. Amend § 250.920(b) by removing “operational loading, or inadequate deck height your platform” and adding in its place “operational loading, inadequate deck height, or”.
    23. Amend § 250.1000, paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (iv), (c)(4), (c)(12)(ii), and (c)(13)(i) and (ii), to read as follows:
    § 250.1000 General requirements.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) Each producing operator must, if practical, durably mark all of its above-water transfer points as of the date a pipeline begins service.

    (iv) If adjoining producing and transporting operators cannot agree on a transfer point, the BSEE Regional Supervisor and the appropriate Department of Transportation (DOT) pipeline official may jointly determine the transfer point.

    (4) The transfer point serves as a regulatory boundary. An operator may request that the BSEE Regional Supervisor grant an exception to this requirement for an individual facility or area. The Regional Supervisor, in consultation with the appropriate DOT pipeline official and affected parties, may grant the request.

    (12) * * *

    (ii) The Regional Supervisor will decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether to grant the operator's request. In considering each petition, the Regional Supervisor will consult with the appropriate DOT pipeline official.

    (13) * * *

    (i) The operator's request must be in the form of a written petition to the appropriate DOT pipeline official and the BSEE Regional Supervisor.

    (ii) The BSEE Regional Supervisor and the appropriate DOT pipeline official will decide how to act on this petition.

    § 250.1015 [Amended]
    24. Amend § 250.1015 by removing paragraph (e).
    § 250.1018 [Amended]
    25. Amend § 250.1018 by removing paragraph (c).
    26. Amend § 250.1165 by removing the last sentence of paragraph (b) and adding two sentences in its place to read as follows:
    § 250.1165 What must I do for enhanced recovery operations?

    (b) * * * The proposed plan must include, for each project reservoir, a geologic and engineering overview and any additional information required by the BSEE Regional Supervisor. You also must submit Form BOEM-0127 to BOEM along with the supporting data specified in BOEM regulations, 30 CFR part 550, subpart K.

    27. Amend § 250.1302 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (a), and paragraphs (c) and (d), to read as follows:
    § 250.1302 What if I have a competitive reservoir on a lease?

    (a) The Regional Supervisor may require you to conduct development and production operations in a competitive reservoir under either a joint Competitive Reservoir Development Program submitted to BSEE or a unitization agreement. * * *

    (c) If you conduct drilling or production operations in a reservoir determined competitive by the BSEE Regional Supervisor, you and the other affected lessees must submit for approval a joint Competitive Reservoir Development Program. You must submit the joint Competitive Reservoir Development Program within 90 days after the Regional Supervisor makes a final determination that the reservoir is competitive. The joint Competitive Reservoir Development Program must provide for the development and/or production of the reservoir. You may submit supplemental Competitive Reservoir Development Programs for the Regional Supervisor's approval.

    (d) If you and the other affected lessees cannot reach an agreement on a joint Competitive Reservoir Development Program, submitted to BSEE within the approved period of time, each lessee must submit a separate Competitive Reservoir Development Program to the Regional Supervisor. The Regional Supervisor will hold a hearing to resolve differences in the separate Competitive Reservoir Development Programs. If the differences in the separate programs are not resolved at the hearing and the Regional Supervisor determines that unitization is necessary under § 250.1301(b), BSEE will initiate unitization under § 250.1304.

    § 250.1401 [Removed and Reserved]
    28. Remove and reserve § 250.1401.
    29. Amend § 250.1455 by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 250.1455 Does my request for a hearing on the record affect the penalties?

    (b) * * *

    (2) To stay the accrual of penalties, you must post a bond or other surety instrument, or demonstrate financial solvency, using the standards and requirements as prescribed in BOEM's regulations, 30 CFR part 550, subpart N. The posted amount must cover the unpaid principal and interest due for the Notice of Noncompliance, plus the amount of any penalties accrued before the date a stay becomes effective.

    30. Amend § 250.1463 by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 250.1463 Does my request for a hearing on the record affect the penalties?

    (b) * * *

    (2) To stay the accrual of penalties, you must post a bond or other surety instrument, or demonstrate financial solvency, using the standards and requirements as prescribed in BOEM's regulations, 30 CFR part 550, subpart N. The posted amount must cover the unpaid principal and interest due for the Notice of Noncompliance, plus the amount of any penalties accrued before the date a stay becomes effective.

    31. Remove the undesignated heading, directly above § 250.1490, “BONDING REQUIREMENTS”.
    §§ 250.1490 and 250.1491 [Removed]
    32. Remove §§ 250.1490 and 250.1491.
    33. Remove the undesignated heading, directly above § 250.1495, “FINANCIAL SOLVENCY REQUIREMENTS”.
    §§ 250.1495, 250.1496, and 250.1497 [Removed]
    34. Remove §§ 250.1495, 250.1496, and 250.1497.
    § 250.1609 [Amended]
    35. Amend § 250.1609(b) by removing “timelapse” and adding in its place “time lapse”.
    36. Amend § 250.1920 by revising paragraph (b)(5) and by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 250.1920 What are the auditing requirements for my SEMS program?

    (b) * * *

    (5) Section 12.5 Audit Frequency. You must have your SEMS program audited by an ASP within 2 years after initial implementation and every 3 years thereafter. The 3-year auditing cycle begins on the start date of each comprehensive audit (including the initial implementation audit) and ends on the start date of your next comprehensive audit.

    (e) BSEE may verify that you undertook the corrective actions and that these actions effectively address the audit findings.

    PART 251—GEOLOGICAL AND GEOPHYSICAL (G&G) EXPLORATIONS OF THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF 37. The authority citation for part 251 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 9701, 43 U.S.C. 1334.

    § 251.15 [Amended]
    38. Revise § 251.15 to read as follows:
    § 251.15 Authority for information collection.

    The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this part under 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and assigned OMB control number 1014-0025 as it pertains to Application for Permit to Drill (APD, Form BSEE-0123), and Supplemental APD Information Sheet (Form BSEE-0123S). The title of this information collection is “30 CFR Part 250, Application for Permit to Drill (APD, Revised APD) Supplemental APD Information Sheet, and all supporting documents.

    PART 252—OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF (OCS) OIL AND GAS INFORMATION PROGRAM 39. The authority citation for part 252 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    OCS Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq., as amended, 92 Stat. 629; Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552; § 252.3 also issued under Pub. L. 99-190 making continuing appropriations for Fiscal Year 1986, and for other purposes.

    § 252.2 [Amended]
    40. Amend § 252.2, in paragraph (5) of the definition of Affected State, by removing “oilspill” and adding in its place “oil spill”.
    PART 254—OIL-SPILL RESPONSE REQUIREMENTS FOR FACILITIES LOCATED SEAWARD OF THE COAST LINE 41. The authority citation for part 254 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1321.

    § 254.1 [Amended]
    42. Amend § 254.1 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a), (b), (d), and (e) to read as follows:
    § 254.1 Who must submit an oil spill response plan (OSRP)?

    (a) If you are the owner or operator of an oil handling, storage, or transportation facility, and it is located seaward of the coast line, you must submit an oil spill response plan (OSRP) to BSEE for approval. Your OSRP must demonstrate that you can respond quickly and effectively whenever oil is discharged from your facility. Refer to § 254.6 for the definitions of oil, facility, and coast line if you have any doubts about whether to submit a plan.

    (b) You must maintain a current OSRP for an abandoned facility until you physically remove or dismantle the facility or until the Chief, Oil Spill Preparedness Division (OSPD) notifies you in writing that a plan is no longer required.

    (d) If you are in doubt as to whether you must submit a plan for an offshore facility or pipeline, you should check with the Chief, OSPD.

    (e) If your facility is located landward of the coast line, but you believe your facility is sufficiently similar to OCS facilities that it should be regulated by BSEE, you may contact the Chief, OSPD, offer to accept BSEE jurisdiction over your facility, and request that BSEE seek from the agency with jurisdiction over your facility a relinquishment of that jurisdiction.

    43. Revise § 254.2 to read as follows:
    § 254.2 When must I submit an OSRP?

    (a) You must submit, and BSEE must approve, an OSRP that covers each facility located seaward of the coast line before you may use that facility. To continue operations, you must operate the facility in compliance with the OSRP.

    (b) Despite the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, you may operate your facility after you submit your OSRP while BSEE reviews it for approval. To operate a facility without an approved OSRP, you must certify in writing to the Chief, OSPD that you have the capability to respond, to the maximum extent practicable, to a worst case discharge or a substantial threat of such a discharge. The certification must show that you have ensured by contract, or other means approved by the Chief, OSPD, the availability of private personnel and equipment necessary to respond to the discharge. Verification from the organization(s) providing the personnel and equipment must accompany the certification. BSEE will not allow you to operate a facility for more than 2 years without an approved OSRP.

    44. Revise § 254.3 to read as follows:
    § 254.3 May I cover more than one facility in my OSRP?

    (a) Your OSRP may be for a single lease or facility or a group of leases or facilities. All the leases or facilities in your plan must have the same owner or operator (including affiliates) and must be located in the same BSEE Region (see definition of Regional OSRP in § 254.6).

    (b) Regional OSRPs must address all the elements required for an OSRP in subpart B, or subpart D of this part, as appropriate.

    (c) When developing a Regional OSRP, you may group leases or facilities subject to the approval of the Chief, OSPD, for the purposes of:

    (1) Calculating response times;

    (2) Determining quantities of response equipment;

    (3) Conducting oil-spill trajectory analyses;

    (4) Determining worst case discharge scenarios; and

    (5) Identifying areas of special economic and environmental importance that may be impacted and the strategies for their protection.

    (d) The Chief, OSPD, may specify how to address the elements of a Regional OSRP. The Chief, OSPD, also may require that Regional OSRPs contain additional information if necessary for compliance with appropriate laws and regulations.

    45. Revise § 254.4 to read as follows:
    § 254.4 May I reference other documents in my OSRP?

    You may reference information contained in other readily accessible documents in your OSRP. Examples of documents that you may reference are the National Contingency Plan (NCP), Area Contingency Plan (ACP), BSEE or BOEM environmental documents, and Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) documents that are readily accessible to the Chief, OSPD. You must ensure that the Chief, OSPD, possesses or is provided with copies of all OSRO documents you reference. You should contact the Chief, OSPD, if you want to know whether a reference is acceptable.

    46. Amend § 254.5 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) to read as follows:
    § 254.5 General OSRP requirements.

    (a) The OSRP must provide for response to an oil spill from the facility. You must immediately carry out the provisions of the OSRP whenever there is a release of oil from the facility. You must also carry out the training, equipment testing, and periodic drills described in the OSRP, and these measures must be sufficient to ensure the safety of the facility and to mitigate or prevent a discharge or a substantial threat of a discharge.

    (b) The OSRP must be consistent with the National Contingency Plan and the appropriate Area Contingency Plan(s).

    (d) In addition to the requirements listed in this part, you must provide any other information the Chief, OSPD, requires for compliance with appropriate laws and regulations.

    47. Amend § 254.6 by adding in alphabetical order the definitions for “Chief, OSPD” and “OSRP”, and by revising the definition of “Spill management team”, to read as follows:
    § 254.6 Definitions.

    Chief, OSPD means the Chief, BSEE Oil Spill Preparedness Division or designee.

    OSRP means an Oil Spill Response Plan.

    Spill management team means the trained persons identified in an OSRP who staff the organizational structure to manage spill response.

    48. Revise § 254.7 to read as follows:
    § 254.7 How do I submit my OSRP to the BSEE?

    You must submit the number of copies of your OSRP that the appropriate BSEE regional office requires. If you prefer to use improved information technology such as electronic filing to submit your plan, ask the Chief, OSPD, for further guidance.

    (a) Send OSRPs for facilities located seaward of the coast line of Alaska to: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Oil Spill Preparedness Division, Attention: Senior Analyst, 3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite #500, Anchorage, AK 99503-5823.

    (b) Send OSRPs for facilities in the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean to: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Oil Spill Preparedness Division, Attention: GOM Section Supervisor, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123-2394.

    (c) Send OSRPs for facilities in the Pacific Ocean (except seaward of the coast line of Alaska) to: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Oil Spill Preparedness Division, Attention: Senior Analyst, 760 Paseo Camarillo, Suite 201, Camarillo, CA 93010-6002.

    § 254.9 [Amended]
    49. Amend § 254.9 in paragraph (a), by removing “1010-0091” and adding in its place “1014-0007” and in paragraph (d), by removing “381 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170” and adding in its place “45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166”.
    § 254.20 [Amended]
    50. Amend § 254.20 by removing “spill-response plans” and adding in its place “OSRPs”.
    51. Amend 254.21 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a), (b) introductory text, and (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 254.21 How must I format my OSRP?

    (a) You must divide your OSRP for OCS facilities into the sections specified in paragraph (b) of this section and explained in the other sections of this subpart. The OSRP must have an easily found marker identifying each section. You may use an alternate format if you include a cross reference table to identify the location of required sections. You may use alternate contents if you can demonstrate to the Chief, OSPD that they provide for equal or greater levels of preparedness.

    (b) Your OSRP must include:

    (1) Introduction and OSRP contents.

    § 254.22 [Amended]
    52. Amend § 254.22, in the section heading, introductory text, and paragraphs (a), (c), and (d), by removing “plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    § 254.23 [Amended]
    53. Amend § 254.23, in the introductory text, by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    § 254.25 [Amended]
    54. Amend § 254.25, in the first sentence, by removing “plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    55. Revise § 254.30 to read as follows:
    § 254.30 When must I revise my OSRP?

    (a) You must review your OSRP at least every 2 years and submit all resulting modifications to the Chief, OSPD. If this review does not result in modifications, you must inform the Chief, OSPD, in writing that there are no changes.

    (b) You must submit revisions to your OSRP for approval within 15 days whenever:

    (1) A change occurs which significantly reduces your response capabilities;

    (2) A significant change occurs in the worst case discharge scenario or in the type of oil being handled, stored, or transported at the facility;

    (3) There is a change in the name(s) or capabilities of the oil spill removal organizations cited in the OSRP; or

    (4) There is a significant change to the Area Contingency Plan(s).

    (c) The Chief, OSPD, may require that you resubmit your OSRP if the OSRP has become outdated or if numerous revisions have made its use difficult.

    (d) The Chief, OSPD, will periodically review the equipment inventories of OSRO's to ensure that sufficient spill removal equipment is available to meet the cumulative needs of the owners and operators who cite these organizations in their OSRPs.

    (e) The Chief, OSPD, may require you to revise your OSRP if significant inadequacies are indicated by:

    (1) Periodic reviews (described in paragraph (d) of this section);

    (2) Information obtained during drills or actual spill responses; or

    (3) Other relevant information the Chief, OSPD, obtained.

    § 254.41 [Amended]
    56. Amend § 254.41(d) by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    57. Amend § 254.42 as follows: a. Revise paragraphs (a), (b)(2), and (e). b. Amend paragraphs (f) and (h), by removing “Regional Supervisor” and adding in its place “Chief, OSPD,” and amend paragraph (i) by removing “Regional Supervisor” and adding in its place “Chief, OSPD.”.
    § 254.42 Exercises for your response personnel and equipment.

    (a) You must exercise your entire OSRP at least once every 3 years (triennial exercise). You may satisfy this requirement by conducting separate exercises for individual parts of the OSRP over the 3-year period; you do not have to exercise your entire OSRP at one time.

    (b) * * *

    (2) An annual deployment exercise of response equipment identified in your OSRP that is staged at onshore locations. You must deploy and operate each type of equipment in each triennial period. However, it is not necessary to deploy and operate each individual piece of equipment.

    (e) All records of spill-response exercises must be maintained for the complete 3-year exercise cycle. Records should be maintained at the facility or at a corporate location designated in the OSRP. Records showing that OSROs and oil spill removal cooperatives have deployed each type of equipment also must be maintained for the 3-year cycle.

    § 254.43 [Amended]
    58. Amend § 254.43(a) by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    § 254.44 [Amended]
    59. Amend § 254.44(a) by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    § 254.45 [Amended]
    60. Amend § 254.45(a) by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    § 254.46 [Amended]
    61. Amend § 254.46(b)(2) by removing “Regional Supervisor” and adding in its place “Chief, OSPD”.
    § 254.47 [Amended]
    62. Amend § 254.47(d) by removing “Regional Supervisor” and adding in its place “Chief, OSPD,”.
    § 254.51 [Amended]
    63. Amend § 254.51, in the section heading by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”, and in the text by removing “this plan” and adding in its place “this OSRP”.
    § 254.52 [Amended]
    64. Amend § 254.52, in the section heading by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”, and in the text by removing “plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    § 254.53 [Amended]
    65. Amend § 254.53, in the section heading by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”, and in paragraph (a) introductory text by removing “plan” and adding in its place “OSRP”.
    § 254.54 [Amended]
    66. Amend § 254.54, by removing “response plan” and adding in its place “OSRP” and by removing “Regional Supervisor” and adding in its place “Chief, OSPD,”.
    PART 256—LEASING OF SULPHUR OR OIL AND GAS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF 67. The authority citation for part 256 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 9701, 42 U.S.C. 6213, 43 U.S.C. 1334, Pub. L. 109-432.

    § 256.0 and §§ 256.2 through 256.5 [Removed]
    68. Remove reserved § 256.0 and reserved §§ 256.2 through 256.5.
    69. Amend § 256.7 by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:
    § 256.7 Cross references.

    (j) For Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) regulations, see 30 CFR chapter V.

    §§ 256.8 through 256.12 [Removed]
    70. Remove reserved §§ 256.8 through 256.12.
    Subparts B Through I [Removed] 71. Remove reserved subparts B Through I. Subparts J Through L [Redesignated as Subparts B through D] 72. Redesignate subparts J through L as subparts B through D respectively.
    §§ 256.62 through 256.68, § 256.76, and § 256.80 [Removed]
    73. Remove reserved §§ 256.62 through 256.68, § 256.76, and § 256.80.
    Subparts M and N [Removed] 74. Remove reserved subparts M and N. PART 280—PROSPECTING FOR MINERALS OTHER THAN OIL, GAS, AND SULPHUR ON THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF 75. The authority citation for part 280 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    43 U.S.C. 1334.

    § 280.25 [Amended]
    76. Amend § 280.25, paragraph (a)(2), by removing the word “our” and adding in its place “the”.
    § 280.28 [Amended]
    77. Amend § 280.28, paragraph (a), by adding “Bureau of Ocean Energy Management” before “Regional Director”.
    PART 282—OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF FOR MINERALS OTHER THAN OIL, GAS, AND SULPHUR 78. The authority citation for part 282 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    43 U.S.C. 1334.

    79. Amend § 282.0 by designating the existing paragraph as paragraph (a), by removing in that paragraph the number “1010-0081” and adding in its place “1014-0021”, and by adding new paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 282.0 Authority for information collection.

    (b) Send comments regarding any aspect of the collection of information under this part, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to: Information Collection Clearance Officer, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166.

    § 282.3 [Amended]
    80. Amend § 282.3, in the definition of Geological sample, by removing “overylying” and adding in its place “overlying”.
    81. Amend § 282.13 by revising paragraphs (d) and (e)(2) to read as follows:
    § 282.13 Suspension of production or other operations.

    (d) The Director may, at any time within the period prescribed for a suspension or temporary prohibition issued pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, require the lessee to submit a Delineation, Testing, or Mining Plan to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for approval in accordance with the requirements for the approval of such plans in part 582 of this title.

    (e) * * *

    (2) When the Director determines that measures are necessary, on the basis of the results of the studies conducted in accordance with paragraph (e)(1) of this section and other information available to and identified by the Director, the lessee will be required to take appropriate measures to mitigate, avoid, or minimize the damage or potential damage on which the suspension or temporary prohibition is based. In choosing between alternative mitigation measures, the Director will balance the cost of the required measures against the reduction or potential reduction in damage or threat of damage or harm to life (including fish and other aquatic life), to property, to any mineral deposits (in areas leased or not leased), to the National security or defense, or to the marine, coastal, or human environment. When deemed appropriate by the Director, the lessee must submit to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management a revised Delineation, Testing, or Mining Plan that incorporates the mitigation measures required by the Director.

    § 282.14 [Amended]
    82. Amend § 282.14(c) by revising “$10,000” to read “$40,000”.
    § 282.27 [Amended]
    83. Revise § 282.27(d)(2) to read as follows:
    § 282.27 Conduct of operations.

    (d) * * *

    (2) A lessee shall, on request by the Director, furnish food, quarters, and transportation for BSEE representatives to inspect its facilities. Upon request, you will be reimbursed by BSEE for the actual costs that you incur as a result of providing transportation to BSEE representatives. In addition, you will be reimbursed for the actual costs that you incur for providing food and quarters for a BSEE representative's stay of more than 12 hours. You must submit an invoice for reimbursement within 90 days of the inspection.

    PART 290—APPEAL PROCEDURES 84. Revise the authority citation for part 290 to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 305; 43 U.S.C. 1334.

    85. Revise § 290.4(b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 290.4 How do I file an appeal?

    (b) * * *

    (1) You must pay electronically through the Fees for Services page on the BSEE Web site at http://www.bsee.gov, and you must include a copy of the Pay.gov confirmation receipt page with your Notice of Appeal.

    PART 291—OPEN AND NONDISCRIMINATORY ACCESS TO OIL AND GAS PIPELINES UNDER THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS ACT 86. The authority citation for part 291 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 9701, 43 U.S.C. 1334.

    87. Amend part 291, in §§ 291.103 introductory text, 291.106(a), 291.107(a) and (b)(1), and 291.109(a)(1) and (b), by revising “Office of Policy Analysis” to read “Office of Policy and Analysis”.
    § 291.1 [Amended]
    88. Amend § 291.1 in paragraph (a), by removing “1010-0172” and adding in its place “1014-0012” and in paragraph (e), by removing “381 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170” and adding in its place “45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166”.
    § 291.107 [Amended]
    89. Amend § 291.107, paragraph (b)(1), by removing “(202)-208-3530);” and adding in its place “(202) 208-1901);”.
    90. Amend § 291.108 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 291.108 How do I pay the processing fee?

    (a) You must pay the processing fee electronically through the Fees for Services page on the BSEE Web site at http://www.bsee.gov, and you must include a copy of the Pay.gov confirmation receipt page with your complaint.

    [FR Doc. 2016-12487 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-VH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Parts 100 and 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-1052] RIN 1625-AA08; AA00 Special Local Regulations and Safety Zones; Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is updating the special local regulations and permanent safety zones in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone for annual recurring marine events. When enforced, these special local regulations and safety zones will restrict vessels from portions of water areas during certain annually recurring events. The special local regulations and safety zones are intended to expedite public notification and ensure the protection of the maritime public and event participants from the hazards associated with certain maritime events.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-USCG-2015-1052 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this rulemaking, call or email Chief Marine Science Technician Chris Bains, Waterways Management Division at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, telephone (207) 347-5003, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On February 25, 2016, the Coast Guard published an NPRM in the Federal Register titled Special Local Regulations and Safety Zone; Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone, 81 FR 9380, proposing to update SLR and safety zones. There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action. No public comments or request for a public meeting were received during the NPRM process. Swim events, fireworks displays, and marine events are held on an annual recurring basis on the navigable waters within the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England COTP Zone. In the past, the Coast Guard has established special local regulations, regulated areas, and safety zones for these annual recurring events on a case by case basis to ensure the protection of the maritime public and event participants from the hazards associated with these events. In the past year, events were assessed for their likelihood to recur in subsequent years or to discontinue, and were added to or deleted from the tables accordingly. In addition, minor changes to existing events were made to ensure the accuracy of event details.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to reduce administrative overhead, expedite public notification of events, and ensure the protection of the maritime public during marine events in the Sector Northern New England area.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The comment period for the NPRM associated with the Special Local Regulations and Safety Zone; Recurring Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone expired on April 25, 2016. The first events are scheduled to occur June 18, 2016. Thus, there is now insufficient time for a 30 day effective period before the need to enforce this safety zone and SLR. Delaying the enforcement of this safety zone and SLR to allow a 30 day effective period will be impracticable and contrary to the public interest because it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to fulfill its mission to keep the ports and waterways safe.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard issues this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. This rule will update the tables of annual recurring events in the existing regulation for the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England COTP Zone. The tables provide the event name, sponsor, and type, as well as approximate times, dates, and locations of the events. Advanced public notification of specific times, dates, regulated areas, and enforcement periods for each event will be provided through appropriate means, which may include, the Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and a Notice of Enforcement published in the Federal Register at least 30 days prior to the event date. If an event does not have a date and time listed in this regulation, then the precise dates and times of the enforcement period for that event will be announced through a Local Notice to Mariners and, if time permits, a Notice of Enforcement in the Federal Register.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes to the Rule

    As noted above, we received no comments to the NPRM published February 25, 2016. The single change from the NPRM is the addition of dates to the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Race held in Burlington, VT. The Coast Guard has added two dates in July, as well as an additional date in August to the table of Special Local regulations in 33 CFR 100.120

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the final rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    We expect the economic impact of this rule to be minimal. Although this regulation may have some impact on the public, the potential impact will be minimized for the following reason: the Coast Guard is only modifying an existing regulation to account for new information.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the regulated waters may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it 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 rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

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

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects 33 CFR Part 100

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

    33 CFR Part 165

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR parts 100 and 165 as follows:

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

    33 U.S.C. 1233.

    2. In § 100.120, revise the table to read as follows:
    § 100.120 Special Local Regulations; Marine Events Held in the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone. Table to § 100.120 5.0 May occur May through September 5.1 Tall Ships Visiting Portsmouth • Event Type: Regatta and Boat Parade. • Sponsor: Portsmouth Maritime Commission, Inc. • Date: A four day event from Friday through Monday.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire in the vicinity of Castle Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°03′11″ N., 070°42′26″ W. 43°03′18″ N., 070°41′51″ W. 43°04′42″ N., 070°42′11″ W. 43°04′28″ N., 070°44′12″ W. 43°05′36″ N., 070°45′56″ W. 43°05′29″ N., 070°46′09″ W. 43°04′19″ N., 070°44′16″ W. 43°04′22″ N., 070°42′33″ W. 6.0 JUNE 6.1 Bar Harbor Blessing of the Fleet • Event Type: Regatta and Boat Parade. • Sponsor: Town of Bar Harbor, Maine. • Date: A one day event between the 15th of May and the 15th of June.1 • Time (Approximate): 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Bar Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°23′32″ N., 068°12′19″ W. 44°23′30″ N., 068°12′00″ W. 44°23′37″ N., 068°12′00″ W. 44°23′35″ N., 068°12′19″ W. 6.2 Charlie Begin Memorial Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Boothbay Harbor Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event in June.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Boothbay Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of John's Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°50′04″ N., 069°38′37″ W. 43°50′54″ N., 069°38′06″ W. 43°50′49″ N., 069°37′50″ W. 43°50′00″ N., 069°38′20″ W. 6.3 Rockland Harbor Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Rockland Harbor Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event in June.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Rockland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of the Rockland Breakwater Light within the following points (NAD 83): 44°05′59″ N., 069°04′53″ W. 44°06′43″ N., 069°05′25″ W. 44°06′50″ N., 069°05′05″ W. 44°06′05″ N., 069°04′34″ W. 6.4 Windjammer Days Parade of Ships • Event Type: Tall Ship Parade. • Sponsor: Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce. • Date: A one day event in June.1 • Time (Approximate): 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Boothbay Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Tumbler's Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°51′02″ N., 069°37′33″ W. 43°50′47″ N., 069°37′31″ W. 43°50′23″ N., 069°37′57″ W. 43°50′01″ N., 069°37′45″ W. 43°50′01″ N., 069°38′31″ W. 43°50′25″ N., 069°38′25″ W. 43°50′49″ N., 069°37′45″ W. 6.5 Bass Harbor Blessing of the Fleet Lobster Boat Race. • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Tremont Congregational Church. • Date: A one day event in June.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Bass Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Lopaus Point within the following points (NAD 83): 44°13′28″ N., 068°21′59″ W. 44°13′20″ N., 068°21′40″ W. 44°14′05″ N., 068°20′55″ W. 44°14′12″ N., 068°21′14″ W. 6.6 Long Island Lobster Boat Race • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Long Island Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event in June.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Casco Bay, Maine in the vicinity of Great Ledge Cove and Dorseys Cove off the northwest coast of Long Island, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°41′59″ N., 070°08′59″ W. 43°42′04″ N., 070°09′10″ W. 43°41′41″ N., 070°09′38″ W. 43°41′36″ N., 070°09′30″ W. 7.0 JULY 7.1 Burlington 3rd of July Air Show • Event Type: Air Show. • Sponsor: Dan Marcotte Airshows. • Date: A one day event held near July 4th.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT within the following points (NAD 83): 44°28′51″ N., 073°14′21″ W. 44°28′57″ N., 073°13′41″ W. 44°28′05″ N., 073°13′26″ W. 44°27′59″ N., 073°14′03″ W 7.2 Moosabec Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Moosabec Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event held near July 4th.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Jonesport, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°31′21″ N., 067°36′44″ W. 44°31′36″ N., 067°36′47″ W. 44°31′44″ N., 067°35′36″ W. 44°31′29″ N., 067°35′33″ W. 7.3 The Great Race • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. • Date: A one day event on a Sunday between the 15th of August and the 15th of September.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Saint Albans Bay within the following points (NAD 83): 44°47′18″ N., 073°10′27″ W. 44°47′10″ N., 073°08′51″ W. 7.4 Searsport Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Searsport Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Searsport Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°26′50″ N., 068°55′20″ W. 44°27′04″ N., 068°55′26″ W. 44°27′12″ N., 068°54′35″ W. 44°26′59″ N., 068°54′29″ W. 7.5 Stonington Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Stonington Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Stonington, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°08′55″ N., 068°40′12″ W. 44°09′00″ N., 068°40′15″ W. 44°09′11″ N., 068°39′42″ W. 44°09′07″ N., 068°39′39″ W. 7.6 Mayor's Cup Regatta • Event Type: Sailboat Parade. • Sponsor: Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Cumberland Bay on Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Plattsburgh, New York within the following points (NAD 83): 44°41′26″ N., 073°23′46″ W. 44°40′19″ N., 073°24′40″ W. 44°42′01″ N., 073°25′22″ W. 7.7 The Challenge Race • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Button Bay State Park within the following points (NAD 83): 44°12′25″ N., 073°22′32″ W. 44°12′00″ N., 073°21′42″ W. 44°12′19″ N., 073°21′25″ W. 44°13′16″ N., 073°21′36″ W. 7.8 Yarmouth Clam Festival Paddle Race • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Maine Island Trail Association. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters in the vicinity of the Royal River outlet and Lane's Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°47′47″ N, 070°08′40″ W. 43°47′50″ N, 070°07′13″ W. 43°47′06″ N, 070°07′32″ W. 43°47′17″ N, 070°08′25″ W. 7.9 Maine Windjammer Lighthouse Parade • Event Type: Wooden Boat Parade. • Sponsor: Maine Windjammer Association. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Rockland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of the Rockland Harbor Breakwater within the following points (NAD 83): 44°06′14″ N., 069°03′48″ W. 44°05′50″ N., 069°03′47″ W. 44°06′14″ N., 069°05′37″ W. 44°05′50″ N., 069°05′37″ W. 7.10 Friendship Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Friendship Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event during a weekend between the 15th of July and the 15th of August.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Friendship Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°57′51″ N., 069°20′46″ W. 43°58′14″ N., 069°19′53″ W. 43°58′19″ N., 069°20′01″ W. 43°58′00″ N., 069°20′46″ W. 7.11 Harpswell Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Harpswell Lobster Boat Race Committee. • Date: A one day event between the 15th of July and the 15th of August.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes waters of Middle Bay near Harpswell, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°44′15″ N., 070°02′06″ W. 43°44′59″ N., 070°01′21″ W. 43°44′51″ N., 070°01′05″ W. 43°44′06″ N., 070°01′49″ W. 8.0 AUGUST 8.1 Eggemoggin Reach Regatta • Event Type: Wooden Boat Parade. • Sponsor: Rockport Marine, Inc. and Brookline Boat Yard. • Date: A one day event on a Saturday between the 15th of July and the 15th of August.1 • Time (Approximate): 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Eggemoggin Reach and Jericho Bay in the vicinity of Naskeag Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°15′16″ N., 068°36′26″ W. 44°12′41″ N., 068°29′26″ W. 44°07′38″ N., 068°31′30″ W. 44°12′54″ N., 068°33′46″ W. 8.2 Southport Rowgatta Rowing and Paddling Boat Race • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Boothbay Region YMCA. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Sheepscot Bay and Boothbay, on the shore side of Southport Island, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°50′26″ N., 069°39′10″ W. 43°49′10″ N., 069°38′35″ W. 43°46′53″ N., 069°39′06″ W. 43°46′50″ N., 069°39′32″ W. 43°49′07″ N., 069°41′43″ W. 43°50′19″ N., 069°41′14″ W. 43°51′11″ N., 069°40′06″ W. 8.3 Winter Harbor Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Winter Harbor Chamber of Commerce. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Winter Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°22′06″ N., 068°05′13″ W. 44°23′06″ N., 068°05′08″ W. 44°23′04″ N., 068°04′37″ W. 44°22′05″ N., 068°04′44″ W. 8.4 Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival • Event Type: Rowing and Paddling Boat Race. • Sponsor: Dragonheart Vermont. • Date: A two day event held in July and a two day event in August. • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Burlington Bay within the following points (NAD 83): 44°28′49″ N., 073°13′22″ W. 44°28′41″ N., 073°13′36″ W. 44°28′28″ N., 073°13′31″ W. 44°28′38″ N., 073°13′18″ W. 8.5 Merritt Brackett Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Town of Bristol, Maine. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Pemaquid Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°52′16″ N., 069°32′10″ W. 43°52′41″ N., 069°31′43″ W. 43°52′35″ N., 069°31′29″ W. 43°52′09″ N., 069°31′56″ W. 8.6 Multiple Sclerosis Regatta • Event Type: Regatta and Sailboat Race. • Sponsor: Maine Chapter, Multiple Sclerosis Society. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area for the start of the race includes all waters of Casco Bay, Maine in the vicinity of Peaks Island within the following points (NAD 83): 43°40′24″ N., 070°14′20″ W. 43°40′36″ N., 070°13′56″ W. 43°39′58″ N., 070°13′21″ W. 43°39′46″ N., 070°13′51″ W. 8.7 Multiple Sclerosis Harborfest Lobster Boat/Tugboat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Maine Chapter, National Multiple Sclerosis Society. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Portland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Maine State Pier within the following points (NAD 83): 43°40′25″ N., 070°14′21″ W. 43°40′36″ N., 070°13′56″ W. 43°39′58″ N., 070°13′21″ W. 43°39′47″ N., 070°13′51″ W. 9.0 SEPTEMBER 9.1 Pirates Festival Lobster Boat Races • Event Type: Power Boat Race. • Sponsor: Eastport Pirates Festival. • Date: A one day event in September.1 • Time (Approximate): 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters in the vicinity of Eastport Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 44°54′14″ N., 066°58′52″ W. 44°54′14″ N., 068°58′56″ W. 44°54′24″ N., 066°58′52″ W. 44°54′24″ N., 066°58′56″ W 1 Date subject to change. Exact date will be posted in Notice of Enforcement and Local Notice to Mariners.
    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 3. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    4. In § 165.171, revise the table to read as follows:
    § 165.171 Safety Zones for fireworks displays and swim events held in Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port Zone. Table to § 165.171 5.0 MAY 5.1 Ride into Summer • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Gardiner Maine Street. • Date: One night event between the 15th of May and the 15th of June.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Gardiner Waterfront, Gardiner, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°13′52″ N., 069°46′08″ W. 6.0 JUNE 6.1 Rotary Waterfront Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Gardiner Rotary. • Date: Two night event on a Wednesday and Saturday in June.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Gardiner Waterfront, Gardiner, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°13′52″ N., 069°46′08″ W. 6.2 LaKermesse Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Ray Gagne. • Date: One night event in June.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: Biddeford, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°29′37″ N., 070°26′47″ W. 6.3 Windjammer Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce • Date: One night event in June.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of McFarland Island, Boothbay Harbor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°50′38″ N., 069°37′57″ W. 7.0 JULY 7.1 Vinalhaven 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Firework Display. • Sponsor: Vinalhaven 4th of July Committee. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Grime's Park, Vinalhaven, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°02′34″ N., 068°50′26″ W. 7.2 Burlington Independence Day Fireworks • Event Type: Firework Display. • Sponsor: City of Burlington, Vermont • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. • Location: From a barge in the vicinity of Burlington Harbor, Burlington, Vermont in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°28′31″ N., 073°13′31″ W. 7.3 Camden 3rd of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Camden Harbor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°12′32″ N., 069°02′58″ W. 7.4 Bangor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Bangor 4th of July Fireworks. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Bangor Waterfront, Bangor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°47′27″ N., 068°46′31″ W. 7.5 Bar Harbor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Bar Harbor Town Pier, Bar Harbor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°23′31″ N., 068°12′15″ W. 7.6 Boothbay Harbor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Boothbay Harbor. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of McFarland Island, Boothbay Harbor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°50′38″ N., 069°37′57″ W. 7.7 Colchester 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Colchester, Recreation Department. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Bayside Beach and Malletts Bay in Colchester, Vermont in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°32′44″ N., 073°13′10″ W. 7.8 Eastport 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Eastport 4th of July Committee. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. • Location: From the Waterfront Public Pier in Eastport, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°54′25″ N., 066°58′55″ W. 7.9 Ellis Short Sand Park Trustee Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: William Burnham. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of York Beach, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°10′27″ N., 070°36′26″ W. 7.10 Hampton Beach 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Hampton Beach Village District. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Hampton Beach, New Hampshire in approximate position (NAD 83): 42°54′40″ N., 070°36′25″ W. 7.11 Jonesport 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Jonesport 4th of July Committee. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Beals Island, Jonesport, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°31′18″ N., 067°36′43″ W. 7.12 Lubec Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Lubec, Maine. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Lubec Public Boat Launch in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°51′52″ N., 066°59′06″ W. 7.13 Main Street Heritage Days 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display • Sponsor: Main Street Inc. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Reed and Reed Boat Yard, Woolwich, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°54′56″ N., 069°48′16″ W. 7.14 Portland Harbor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Department of Parks and Recreation, Portland, Maine. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of East End Beach, Portland, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°40′16″ N., 070°14′44″ W. 7.15 St. Albans Day Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: St. Albans Area Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: From the St. Albans Bay dock in St. Albans Bay, Vermont in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°48′25″ N., 073°08′23″ W. 7.16 Stonington 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Two Bush Island, Stonington, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°08′57″ N., 068°39′54″ W. 7.17 Southwest Harbor 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Sharon Gilley. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Southwest Harbor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°16′25″ N., 068°19′21″ W. 7.18 Prentice Hospitality Group Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Prentice Hospitality Group. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: Chebeague Island, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°45′12″ N., 070°06′27″ W. 7.19 Shelburne Triathlons • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Race Vermont. • Date: Up to three Saturdays throughout July and August.1 • Time (Approximate): 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Shelburne Beach in Shelburne, Vermont within a 400 yard radius of the following point (NAD 83): 44°21′45″ N., 075°15′58″ W. 7.20 St. George Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks. • Sponsor: Town of St. George. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Inner Tenants Harbor, ME, in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°57′42″ N., 069°12′47″ W. 7.21 Tri for a Cure Swim Clinics and Triathlon • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Maine Cancer Foundation. • Date: A multi-day event held throughout July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Portland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Spring Point Light within the following points (NAD 83): 43°39′01″ N., 070°13′32″ W. 43°39′07″ N., 070°13′29″ W. 43°39′06″ N., 070°13′41″ W. 43°39′01″ N., 070°13′36″ W. 7.22 Richmond Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Richmond, Maine. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: From a barge in the vicinity of the inner harbor, Tenants Harbor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°08′42″ N., 068°27′06″ W. 7.23 Colchester Triathlon • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Colchester Parks and Recreation Department. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Malletts Bay on Lake Champlain, Vermont within the following points (NAD 83): 44°32′18″ N., 073°12′35″ W. 44°32′28″ N., 073°12′56″ W. 44°32′57″ N., 073°12′38″ W. 7.24 Peaks to Portland Swim. • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Cumberland County YMCA. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Portland Harbor between Peaks Island and East End Beach in Portland, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°39′20″ N., 070°11′58″ W. 43°39′45″ N., 070°13′19″ W. 43°40′11″ N., 070°14′13″ W. 43°40′08″ N., 070°14′29″ W. 43°40′00″ N., 070°14′23″ W. 43°39′34″ N., 070°13′31″ W. 43°39′13″ N., 070°11′59″ W. 7.25 Friendship Days Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Friendship. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Town Pier, Friendship Harbor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°58′23″ N., 069°20′12″ W. 7.26 Bucksport Festival and Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the Verona Island Boat Ramp, Verona, Maine, in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°34′90″ N., 068°47′28″ W. 7.27 Nubble Light Swim Challenge • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Nubble Light Challenge. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters around Cape Neddick, Maine and within the following coordinates (NAD 83): 43°10′28″ N., 070°36′26″ W. 43°10′34″ N., 070°36′06″ W. 43°10′30″ N., 070°35′45″ W. 43°10′17″ N., 070°35′24″ W. 43°09′54″ N., 070°35′18″ W. 43°09′42″ N., 070°35′37″ W. 43°09′51″ N., 070°37′05″ W. 7.28 Paul Coulombe Anniversary Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Paul Coulombe. • Date: A one day event in July.1 • Time: 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Pratt Island, Southport, ME, in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°48′44″ N., 069°41′11″ W. 7.29 Castine 4th of July Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Randy Sterns. • Date: One night event in July.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of the town dock in the Castine Harbor, Castine, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°23′10″ N., 068°47′28″ W. 8.0 AUGUST 8.1 Sprucewold Cabbage Island Swim • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Sprucewold Association. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Linekin Bay between Cabbage Island and Sprucewold Beach in Boothbay Harbor, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°50′37″ N., 069°36′23″ W. 43°50′37″ N., 069°36′59″ W. 43°50′16″ N., 069°36′46″ W. 43°50′22″ N., 069°36′21″ W. 8.2 Westerlund's Landing Party Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Portside Marina. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Westerlund's Landing in South Gardiner, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°10′19″ N., 069°45′24″ W. 8.3 Y-Tri Triathlon • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Plattsburgh YMCA. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Treadwell Bay on Lake Champlain in the vicinity of Point Au Roche State Park, Plattsburgh, New York within the following points (NAD 83): 44°46′30″ N., 073°23′26″ W. 44°46′17″ N., 073°23′26″ W. 44°46′17″ N., 073°23′46″ W. 44°46′29″ N., 073°23′46″ W. 8.4 York Beach Fire Department Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: York Beach Fire Department. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Short Sand Cove in York, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°10′27″ N., 070°36′25″ W. 8.5 Rockland Breakwater Swim • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Pen-Bay Masters. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters of Rockland Harbor, Maine in the vicinity of Jameson Point within the following points (NAD 83): 44°06′16″ N., 069°04′39″ W. 44°06′13″ N., 069°04′36″ W. 44°06′12″ N., 069°04′43″ W. 44°06′17″ N., 069°04′44″ W. 44°06′18″ N., 069°04′40″ W. 8.6 Tri for Preservation • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Tri-Maine Productions. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°33′46″ N., 070°13′48″ W. 43°33′41″ N., 070°13′46″ W. 43°33′44″ N., 070°13′40″ W. 43°33′47″ N., 070°13′46″ W. 8.7 North Hero Air Show • Event Type: Air Show. • Sponsor: North Hero Fire Department. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Shore Acres Dock, North Hero, Vermont in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°48′24″ N., 073°17′02″ W. 44°48′22″ N., 073°16′46″ W. 44°47′53″ N., 073°16′54″ W. 44°47′54″ N., 073°17′09″ W. 8.8 Islesboro Crossing Swim • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Lifeflight Foundation. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time: (Approximate): 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. • Location: West Penobscot Bay from Ducktrap Beach, Lincolnville, ME to Grindel Point, Islesboro, ME, in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°17′44″ N., 069°00′11″ W. 44°16′58″ N., 068°56′35″ W. 8.9 Paul Columbe Party Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Paul Columbe. • Date: A one day event in August.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: From a barge in the vicinity of Pratt Island, Southport, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°48′69″ N., 069°41′18″ W. 9.0 SEPTEMBER 9.1 Windjammer Weekend Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Town of Camden, Maine. • Date: A one night event in September.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. • Location: From a barge in the vicinity of Northeast Point, Camden Harbor, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°12′10″ N., 069°03′11″ W. 9.2 Eastport Pirate Festival Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Eastport Pirate Festival. • Date: A one night event in September.1 • Time (Approximate): 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. • Location: From the Waterfront Public Pier in Eastport, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 44°54′17″ N., 066°58′58″ W. 9.3 The Lobsterman Triathlon • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Tri-Maine Productions. • Date: A one day event in September.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. • Location: The regulated area includes all waters in the vicinity of Winslow Park in South Freeport, Maine within the following points (NAD 83): 43°47′59″ N., 070°06′56″ W. 43°47′44″ N., 070°06′56″ W. 43°47′44″ N., 070°07′27″ W. 43°47′57″ N., 070°07′27″ W. 9.4 Eliot Festival Day Fireworks • Event Type: Fireworks Display. • Sponsor: Eliot Festival Day Committee. • Date: A one night event in September.1 • Time (Approximate): 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Location: In the vicinity of Eliot Town Boat Launch, Eliot, Maine in approximate position (NAD 83): 43°08′56″ N., 070°49′52″ W. 9.5 Lake Champlain Swimming Race • Event Type: Swim Event. • Sponsor: Christopher Lizzaraque. • Date: A one day event in September.1 • Time (Approximate): 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. • Location: Essex Beggs Point Park, Essex, NY, to Charlotte Beach, Charlotte, VT within the following points (NAD 83): 44°18′32″ N., 073°20′52″ W. 44°20′03″ N., 073°16′53″ W. 1 Date subject to change. Exact date will be posted in Notice of Enforcement and Local Notice to Mariners.
    Dated: May 16, 2016. M.A. Baroody, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Northern New England.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13334 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0344] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Kennebec River, Richmond and Dresden, ME AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is removing the existing drawbridge operation regulation for the Route-197 Bridge (Maine-Kennebec Bridge), across Kennebec River between Richmond and Dresden, Maine. The drawbridge was replaced with a fixed bridge in 2015 and the operating regulation is no longer applicable or necessary.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, Type [USCG-2016-0344]. In the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Jim Rousseau, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, Coast Guard, telephone 617-223-8619, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the Route-197-Bridge, that once required draw operations in 33 CFR 117.525(b) was removed from the Kennebec River and replaced with a fixed bridge in 2015. Therefore, the regulation is no longer applicable and should be removed from publication. It is unnecessary to publish an NPRM because this regulatory action does not place any restrictions on mariners but rather removes restrictions that have no further use or value.

    We are issuing this rule under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The bridge has been fixed bridge for 4 months and this rule merely requires an administrative change to the Code of Federal Regulations, in order to omit a regulatory requirement that is no longer applicable or necessary. The modification has already taken place and the removal of the regulation will not affect mariners currently operating on this waterway. Therefore, a delayed effective date is unnecessary.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499.

    The Route-197 Bridge (Maine Kennebec Bridge) was removed and replaced with a fixed bridge in 2015. The elimination of this drawbridge necessitates the removal of the drawbridge operation regulation, 33 CFR 117.525, that pertains to the former drawbridge.

    IV. Discussion of the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard is changing the regulation in 33 CFR 117.525 by removing restrictions and the regulatory burden related to the draw operations for this bridge that is no longer a drawbridge. The change removes the paragraph (b) of the regulation governing the Route-197 Bridge since the bridge has been replace with a fixed bridge. This change does not affect waterway or land traffic. This change does not affect nor does it alter the operating schedule in 33 CFR 117.525 that govern the remaining active drawbridge on the Kennebec River.

    V. Regulatory Analysis

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the fact that the bridge was removed from the waterway and no longer operates as a drawbridge. The removal of the operation schedule from 33 CFR part 117 will have no effect on the movement of waterway or land traffic.

    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 rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    For the reasons stated in section V.A above this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

    This rule calls 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 rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which 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 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 rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is 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.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

    Bridges.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 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. Revise § 117.525 to read as follows:
    § 117.525 Kennebec River.

    The draw of the Carlton Bridge, mile 14.0, between Bath and Woolwich shall operate as follows:

    (a) From May 15 through September 30 the draw shall open on signal; except that, from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., the draw shall open on signal if a two-hour notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

    (b) From October 1 through May14 the draw shall open on signal; except that, from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., the draw shall open on signal after a twenty-four hours notice is given from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday, after an eight-hour notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

    Dated: May 20, 2016. L.L. Fagan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13346 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0298] Safety Zones; Multiple Fireworks in Captain of the Port New York Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce various safety zones within the Captain of the Port New York Zone on the specified dates and times. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of vessels and spectators from hazards associated with fireworks displays. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP).

    DATES:

    The regulation for the safety zones described in 33 CFR 165.160 will be enforced on the dates and times listed in the table below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email Petty Officer First Class Ronald Sampert U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 718-354-4197, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones listed in 33 CFR 165.160 on the specified dates and times as indicated in Table 1 below. This regulation was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2011 (76 FR 69614).

    Table 1 1. IPO Celebration, Liberty Island Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(2.1) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°41′16.5″ N. 074°02′23″ W. (NAD 1983) located in Federal Anchorage 20-C, about 360 yards east of Liberty Island. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: April 27, 2016. • Time: 9:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 2. 71st Anniversary WW2 Fireworks Display, Pier 84 Hudson River Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(5.9) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°45′56.9″ N. 074°00′25.4″ W. (NAD 1983), approximately 380 yards west of Pier 84, Manhattan, New York. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: May 8, 2016. • Time: 8:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. 3. Shackman Associates, Liberty Island Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(2.1) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°41′16.5″ N. 074°02′23″ W. (NAD 1983) located in Federal Anchorage 20-C, about 360 yards east of Liberty Island. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: May 25, 2016. • Time: 8:55 p.m.—10:05 p.m. 4. The Bronx Tourism Council, Orchard Beach Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(3.9) • Launch site: All waters of Long Island Sound in an area bound by the following points: 40°51′43.5″ N. 073°47′36.3″ W. thence to 40°52′12.2″ N. 073°47′13.6″ W. thence to 40°52′02.5″ N. 073°46′47.8″ W. thence to 40°51′32.3″ N. 073°47′09.9″ W. (NAD 1983), thence to the point of origin. • Date: June 30, 2016. • Time: 8:50 p.m.—10:20 p.m.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.160, vessels may not enter the safety zones unless given permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Spectator vessels may transit outside the safety zones but may not anchor, block, loiter in, or impede the transit of other vessels. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.160(a) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide mariners with advanced notification of enforcement periods via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts. If the COTP determines that a safety zone need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the safety zone.

    Dated: April 20, 2016. M.H. Day, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13340 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2012-0375] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone in Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin for annual fireworks displays in the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan zone at specified times from June 11, 2016 until September 10, 2016. This action is necessary and intended to ensure safety of life on the navigable waters immediately prior to, during, and immediately after fireworks displays. During the aforementioned periods, the Coast Guard will enforce restrictions upon, and control movement of, vessels in the safety zone. No person or vessel may enter the safety zone while it is being enforced without permission of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.935 will be enforced at specified times from June 11, 2016 through September 10, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of enforcement, call or email CWO Mark Stevens, Prevention Department, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI at (414) 747-7188, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone listed in 33 CFR 165.935, Safety Zone, Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the following times for the following events:

    (1) Pridefest fireworks display on June 11, 2016 from 9:15 p.m. until 10:15 p.m.;

    (2) Polish Fest fireworks display on June 18, 2016 from 10:15 p.m. until 11:15 p.m.;

    (3) Summerfest fireworks display on June 29, 2016 from 9:15 p.m. until 10:15 p.m.;

    (4) Festa Italiana fireworks display on each day of July 22, 23, and 24, 2016 from 9:45 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.;

    (5) German Fest fireworks display on each day of July 29 and 30, 2016 from 10:15 p.m. until 11:15 p.m.;

    (6) Irish Fest fireworks display on August 21, 2016 from 9:45 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.;

    (7) Indian Summer fireworks display on September 10, 2016 from 9:45 p.m. until 10:45 p.m.

    This safety zone will encompass the waters of Lake Michigan within Milwaukee Harbor including the Harbor Island Lagoon enclosed by a line connecting the following points: Beginning at 43°02′00″ N., 087°53′53″ W.; then south to 43°01′44″ N., 087°53′53″ W.; then east to 43°01′44″ N., 087°53′25″ W.; then north to 43°02′00″ N., 087°53′25″ W.; then west to the point of origin (NAD 83). As specified in 33 CFR 165.935, all vessels must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated representative to enter, move within, or exit the safety zone when it is enforced. Vessels and persons granted permission to enter the safety zone must obey all lawful orders or directions of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated representative.

    This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.935, Safety Zone; Milwaukee Harbor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide the maritime community with advance notification for the enforcement of this zone via Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a representative may be contacted via Channel 16, VHF-FM.

    Dated: May 23, 2016. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13339 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0318] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Upper New York Bay, Liberty Island, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for navigable waters within a 100-yard radius of each participating swimmer during the Lady Liberty Sharkfest Swim. The safety zone is needed to protect the maritime public and event participants from the hazards associated with swim events taking place in a high vessel traffic area. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port New York.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 7:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. on July 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0318 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email MST1 R.J. Sampert, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 718-354-4197, email [email protected]

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM with respect to this rule because it would be impractical and contrary to the public interest. The event sponsor was late in submitting the marine event application. This late submission did not give the Coast Guard enough time to publish an NPRM and receive comments, making that impracticable and contrary to the public interest in immediate action to ensure the safety of the event participants, patrol vessels, spectator craft and other vessels transiting the event area.

    For the same reasons, we are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port New York (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with swim events occurring in high traffic areas of the Upper New York Harbor on July 16, 2016 will be a safety concern for anyone within a 100-yard radius of swimmers. This rule is needed to protect maritime public and event participants from the hazards associated with the swim event until the conclusion of the event.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone from at 7:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. on July 16, 2016. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters within 100 yards of participating swimmers for the Lady Liberty Sharkfest Swim. The duration of the zone is intended to protect maritime public and event participants from the hazards associated with swim events taking place in a high vessel traffic area. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this safety zone which will impact a small designated area of the Upper New York Harbor in vicinity of Ellis and Liberty Islands for 2.5 hours and during a time of day when vessel traffic is normally low. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting approximately 2.5 hours that will prohibit entry within 100 yards of participating swimmers for the Lady Liberty Sharkfest Swim. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination will be available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T01-0318 to read as follows:
    § 165.T01-0318 Safety Zone; Upper New York Harbor, New York, NY.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters of the Upper New York Harbor, from surface to bottom, within a 100 yard radius of each participating swimmer during the Lady Liberty Sharkfest Swim.

    (b) Definitions. As used in this section, designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard coxswain, petty officer, or other officer operating a Coast Guard vessel and a Federal, State, and local officer designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port New York (COTP) in the enforcement of the safety zone.

    (c) Regulations. (1) Under the general safety zone regulations in subpart C of this part, you may not enter the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section unless authorized by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

    (2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or the COTP's representative via VHF channel 16 or by phone at (718) 354-4353 (Sector New York Command Center). Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

    (d) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from 7:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. on July 16, 2016.

    Dated: May 15, 2016. M.H. Day, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, New York.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13341 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-1079] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Sector Upper Mississippi River Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Update AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Interim rule with requests for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is amending and updating its annual and recurring safety zones that take place in the Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River area of responsibility (AOR). This regulation informs the public of regularly scheduled events that require additional safety measures through establishing a safety zone. Through this interim rule the current list of recurring safety zones is updated with revisions, additional events, and removal of events that no longer take place; and we are requesting comments on additional changes necessary to update the permanent list of recurring safety zones in Sector Upper Mississippi River's AOR. When these safety zones are enforced, vessel traffic is restricted from specified areas. Additionally, this one rulemaking project serves to provide notice of the known recurring safety zones throughout the year.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 11, 2016. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2015-1079 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email LCDR Sean Peterson, Chief of Prevention, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 314-269-2332, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On April 8, 2016, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled Safety Zones; Sector Upper Mississippi River Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Update (81 FR 20592). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related to this fireworks display. During the comment period that ended May 9, 2016, we received information from event sponsors providing updated locations for 2 of the events listed in the NPRM. Therefore, we are requesting comments through this interim rule related to these two location changes before issuing a final rule. These changes are discussed further below.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Though we are not providing a full 30 day notice period, the Coast Guard did provide notice and opportunity to comment through the NPRM process and is now providing five days notice before the first updated recurring safety zone enforcement is required the weekend of June 11-12. It is impracticable to provide a full 30-days notice because this rule must be effective June 11, 2016.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port (COTP) Upper Mississippi River has determined that potential hazards associated with the recurring events will cause safety concerns. The purpose of this rule is to ensure safety of vessels and the navigable waters in the safety zones, before, during, and after the scheduled events.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Interim Rule

    As noted above, during the comment period for our NPRM that published April 8, 2016, we received information from event sponsors updating the location for two events. This information lead to the need to propose changes to the location details for two of the recurring safety zones listed in the NPRM. Therefore, there are two new proposed changes to the regulatory text of this rule that are different from the proposed rule in the NPRM. The first corrects the location of event number 14; Prairie du Chien Area Chamber Fireworks, taking place annually on one day during the second weekend of July. The location listed in the proposed rule was Upper Mississippi River mile marker 633.8 to 634.2; the correct location for this event is Upper Mississippi River mile marker 635.2 to 635.7. The second corrects the location of event number 31; Hermann 4th of July event taking place one day over the 4th of July weekend. The location listed in the proposed rule was Missouri River mile marker 99.0 to 98.0; the correct location for this event is Missouri River mile marker 97.0 to 98.0.

    All other changes, removals, and additions proposed under the NPRM remain the same as listed in the proposed rule. This interim rule establishes recurring safety zones to restrict vessel transit into and through specified areas to protect spectators, mariners, and other persons and property from potential hazards presented during certain events taking place in Sector Upper Mississippi River's AOR. This interim rule amends, updates, and replaces Table 2 in 33 CFR 165.801, and requests comments on two additional changes as discussed above before issuing a final rule. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zones without first obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This rule establishes safety zones limiting access to certain areas under 33 CFR 165 within Sector Upper Mississippi River's AOR. The effect of this proposed rulemaking will not be significant because these safety zones are limited in scope and duration. Additionally, the public is given advance notification through local forms of notice, the Federal Register, and/or Notices of Enforcement and thus will be able to plan operations around the safety zones in advance. Deviation from the safety zones established through this rulemaking may be requested from the COTP Upper Mississippi River or a designated representative and requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A. above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves establishing safety zones limiting access to certain area under 33 CFR part 165 within Sector Upper Mississippi River's AOR. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    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 interim rule or the preceding NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be 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 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Amend § 165.801 by revising Table 2 to read as follows:
    § 165.801 Annual fireworks displays and other events in the Eighth Coast Guard District requiring safety zones. Table 2 of § 165.801—Sector Upper Mississippi River Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Date Sponsor/name Sector Upper
  • Mississippi
  • River location
  • Safety zone
    1. 1 day—4th weekend of July Marketing Minneapolis LLC/Target Aquatennial Fireworks Minneapolis, MN Upper Mississippi River mile marker 853.2 to 854.2. 2. 1 day—4th of July weekend Radio Dubuque/Radio Dubuque Fireworks and Air show Dubuque, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 581.0 to 583.0. 3. 1 day—2nd weekend of June City of Champlin/Father Hennepin Fireworks Display Champlin, MN Upper Mississippi River mile marker 870.5 to 872.0. 4. 1 day—4th of July weekend Downtown Main Street/Mississippi Alumination Red Wing, MN Upper Mississippi River mile marker 790.8 to 791.2. 5. 1 day—4th of July weekend Tan-Tar-A Resort/Tan-Tar-A 4th of July Fireworks Lake of the Ozarks, MO Lake of the Ozarks mile marker 025.8 to 026.2. 6. 1 day—1st weekend of September Tan-Tar-A Resort/Tan-Tar-A Labor Day Fireworks Lake of the Ozarks, MO Lake of the Ozarks mile marker 025.8 to 026.2. 7. 1 day—Last Sunday in May Tan-Tar-A Resort/Tan-Tar-A Memorial Day fireworks Lake of the Ozarks, MO Lake of the Ozarks mile marker 025.8 to 026.2. 8. 1 day—4th of July weekend Lake City Chamber of Commerce/Lake City 4th of July Fireworks Lake City, MN Upper Mississippi River mile marker 772.4 to 772.8. 9. 1 day—4th of July weekend Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce/Muscatine 4th of July Muscatine, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 455.0 to 456.0. 10. 1 day—Last weekend in June/First weekend in July Friends of the River Kansas City/KC Riverfest Kansas City, KS Missouri River mile marker 364.8 to 365.2. 11. 1 day—4th of July weekend Louisiana Chamber of Commerce/Louisiana July 4th Fireworks Louisiana, MO Upper Mississippi River mile marker 282.0 to 283.0. 12. 1 day—4th of July weekend Guttenberg Development and Tourism/Stars and Stripes River Day Guttenberg, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 615.0 to 615.5. 13. 4 days—1st or 2nd week of July Riverfest, Inc./La Crosse Riverfest La Crosse, WI Upper Mississippi River mile marker 697.5 to 698.5 (Wisconsin). 14. 1 day—2nd weekend in July Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce/Prairie du Chien Area Chamber Fireworks Prairie du Chien, WI Upper Mississippi River mile marker 635.2 to 635.7. 15. 1 day—4th of July weekend JMP Radio/Red White and Boom Peoria Peoria, IL Illinois River mile marker 162.5 to 162.1. 16. 1 day—Last weekend in June/First weekend in July Hudson Boosters/Hudson Booster Days Hudson, WI St. Croix River mile marker 016.8 to 017.2. 17. 2 days—4th of July weekend City of St. Charles/St. Charles Riverfest St. Charles, MO Missouri River mile marker 028.2 to 028.8. 18. 1 day—4th of July weekend Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board/Red, White, and Boom Minneapolis Minneapolis, MN Upper Mississippi River mile marker 853.5 to 854.5. 19. 1 day—4th of July weekend Davenport One Chamber/Red White and Boom Davenport, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 482.0 to 482.7. 20. 2 days—3rd weekend of July Amelia Earhart Festival Committee/Amelia Earhart Festival Kansas City, KS Missouri River mile marker 422.0 to 424.5. 21. 1 day—4th of July weekend Alton Exposition Commission/Mississippi Fireworks Festival Alton, IL Upper Mississippi River mile marker 202.5 to 203.0. 22. 1 day—3rd Sunday in June Burlington Steamboat Days/Burlington Steamboat Days Burlington, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 403.5 to 404.5. 23. 1 day—Last Sunday in May Lodge of the Four Seasons/Lodge of the Four Seasons Memorial Day Fireworks Lake of the Ozarks, MO Lake of the Ozarks mile marker 013.8 to 014.2. 24. 1 day—First weekend of September Lodge of the Four Seasons/Labor Day Fireworks Lake of the Ozarks, MO Lake of the Ozarks mile marker 013.8 to 014.2. 25. 1 day—4th of July weekend Lodge of the Four Seasons/Lodge of the Four Seasons 4th of July Lake of the Ozarks, MO Lake of the Ozarks mile marker 013.8 to 014.2. 26. 2 days—3rd weekend in July Hasting Riverboat Days/Rivertown Days Hasting, MN Upper Mississippi River mile marker 813.7 to 815.2. 27. 1 day—Sunday of Father's Day weekend Winona Steamboat Days/Winona Steamboat Days Fireworks Winona, MN Upper Mississippi River mile marker 725.4 to 725.7. 28. 3 days—4th of July weekend Fair of St. Louis/Fair St. Louis St. Louis, MO Upper Mississippi River mile marker 179.2 to 180.0. 29. 1 day—Last weekend in June/First weekend in July Bellevue Heritage Days/Bellevue Heritage Days Bellevue, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 556.0 to 556.5. 30. 1 day—4th of July weekend Main Street Parkway Association/Parkville 4th of July Fireworks Parkville, MO Missouri River mile marker 378.0 to 377.5. 31. 1 day—4th of July weekend Hermann Chamber of Commerce/Hermann 4th of July Hermann, MO Missouri River mile marker 097.0 to 098.0 (Missouri). 32. 1 day—4th of July weekend Grafton Chamber of Commerce/Grafton Chamber 4th of July Fireworks Grafton, IL Illinois River mile marker 001.5 to 000.5 (Illinois). 33. 1 day—4th of July weekend Salute to America Foundation, Inc./Salute to America Jefferson City, MO Missouri River mile marker 143.5 to 143.0 (Missouri). 34. 1 day—4th of July weekend McGregor/Marquette Chamber Commerce/Independence Day Celebration McGregor, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 635.7 to 634.2. 35. 2 days—2nd weekend in August Tug Committee/Great River Tug Port Byron, IL Upper Mississippi River mile marker 497.2 to 497.6 (Illinois). 36. 1 day—4th of July weekend City of Stillwater/St. Croix Events/Stillwater 4th of July Stillwater, MN St. Croix River mile marker 022.9 to 023.5 (Minnesota). 37. 2 days—3rd weekend of September Riverside Chamber of Commerce/Riverfest Riverside, MO Missouri River mile marker 371.8 to 372.2. 38. 4 days—3rd week of July St. Croix Events/Lumberjack Days Stillwater, MN St. Croix River mile marker 022.9 to 023.5 (Minnesota). 39. 2 days—Weekend that precedes Labor Day Weekend Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, Inc./Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Lake of the Ozarks, MO Lake of the Ozarks mile marker 032.5 to 034.5. 40. 2 days—1st weekend of September City of Keithsburg/Keithsburg Fireworks Display Keithsburg, IL Upper Mississippi River mile marker 427.5 to 427.3. 41. 1 day—4th of July weekend City of East Moline/City of East Moline Fireworks East Moline, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 490.2 to 489.8. 42. 2nd Weekend in August Lansing Lion's Club/Lansing Fish Days Fireworks Lansing, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 662.8-663.9. 43. 3rd Weekend in August River Action/Floatzilla Rock Island, Illinois Upper Mississippi River mile marker 479.0-486.0. 44. 1 day—Weekend before Thanksgiving Main Street Parkway Association/Parkville Christmas on the River Parkville, MO Missouri River mile marker 377.5 to 378.0. 45. 2 days—A weekend in September St. Louis Drag Boat Association/New Athens Drag Boat Race New Athens, IL Kaskaskia River mile marker 119.7 to 120.3. 46. 1 day—4th of July weekend City of Marquette/Marquette Independence Day Celebration Marquette, IA Upper Mississippi River mile marker 634.2 to 635.7.
    Dated: May 26, 2016. M.L. Malloy, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Upper Mississippi River.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13239 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0297] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Raritan Bay, Perth Amboy, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the navigable waters of Raritan Bay near Perth Amboy, NJ for a fireworks display. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect spectators and vessels from the hazards associated with fireworks displays. This rule is intended to restrict all vessels from a portion of Raritan Bay during the fireworks event unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) New York or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8:45 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on July 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0297 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email, Marine Science Technician Daniel Vazquez, U.S. Coast Guard; Telephone (718) 354-4154, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing an NPRM with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The event sponsor was late in submitting the marine event application. This late submission did not give the Coast Guard enough time to publish an NPRM followed by a final rule before the effective date, thus making the publication of a NPRM impracticable. The event sponsor advised that the event is in correlation with a festival bringing together Perth Amboy and South Amboy, NJ to honor Independence Day. Any change to the date of the event would cause economic hardship on the event sponsor, negatively impacting other activities being held in conjunction with the event.

    The location of the event is centrally located between both Perth Amboy and South Amboy which is more advantageous for the event spectators and sponsors. In addition, it has less of an impact on vessel traffic within Raritan Bay because it is out of the major shipping lanes.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For the same reasons discussed in the preceding paragraph, a delay or cancellation is contrary to the public's interest.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. This temporary safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of spectators and vessels from hazards associated with the fireworks display.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a temporary safety zone on the waters of Raritan Bay near Perth Amboy, NJ. All persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP New York or a designated representative during the enforcement of the temporary safety zone. Entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within the temporary safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the COTP New York or a designated representative.

    Based on the inherent hazards associated with fireworks, the COTP New York has determined that fireworks launches in close proximity to water crafts pose a significant risk to public safety and property. The combination of increased number of recreational vessels, congested waterways, darkness punctuated by bright flashes of light, and debris, especially burning debris falling on passing or spectator vessels, has the potential to result in serious injuries or fatalities. This temporary safety zone will restrict vessels from a portion of Raritan Bay around the location of the fireworks launch platform before, during, and immediately after the fireworks display.

    The Coast Guard determined that this regulated area will not have a significant impact on vessel traffic due to its temporary nature and limited size and the fact that vessels are allowed to transit the navigable waters outside of the regulated area.

    Consistent with 33 CFR 165.7, the Coast Guard will notify the public and local mariners of this safety zone through appropriate means, which may include, but are not limited to, publication in the Federal Register, the Local Notice to Mariners, and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    The Coast Guard's implementation of this temporary safety zone will be of short duration and is designed to minimize the impact to vessel traffic on the navigable waters. This temporary safety zone will only be enforced for approximately 135 minutes. Due to the location, vessels will be able to transit around the safety zone in a safe manner.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

    Also, this rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

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

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

    Authority:

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

    2. Add § 165.T01-0522 to read as follows:
    § 165.T01-0522 Safety Zone; Raritan Bay, Perth Amboy, NJ.

    (a) Regulated area. The following area is a temporary safety zone: All navigable waters of Raritan Bay within a 300-yard radius of the fireworks barge located in approximate position 40°29′28″ N, 074°15′45″ W, in the vicinity of Perth Amboy, NJ, approximately 1,110 yards southeast of Ferry Point, Perth Amboy, NJ.

    (b) Effective and enforcement period. This rule will be effective and enforced from 8:45 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. on July 1, 2016.

    (c) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

    (1) Designated representative. A “designated representative” is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the Captain of the Port New York (COTP), to act on his or her behalf. A designated representative may be on an official patrol vessel or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM radio or loudhailer. In addition, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary may be present to inform vessel operators of this regulation.

    (2) Official patrol vessels. Official patrol vessels may consist of any Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, or local law enforcement vessels assigned or approved by the COTP.

    (3) Spectators. All persons and vessels not registered with the event sponsor as participants or official patrol vessels.

    (d) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in § 165.23, as well as the following regulations, apply.

    (2) No vessels, except for fireworks barge and accompanying vessels, will be allowed to transit the safety zone without the permission of the COTP.

    (3) All persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP or a designated representative. Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. Failure to comply with a lawful direction may result in expulsion from the area, citation for failure to comply, or both.

    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the regulated area shall contact the COTP or a designated representative via VHF channel 16 or 718-354-4353 (Sector New York command center) to obtain permission to do so.

    (5) Spectators or other vessels shall not anchor, block, loiter, or impede the transit of event participants or official patrol vessels in the regulated areas during the effective dates and times, unless authorized by COTP or a designated representative.

    (6) The COTP or a designated representative may delay or terminate any marine event in this subpart at any time it is deemed necessary to ensure the safety of life or property.

    Dated: May 15, 2016. M.H. Day, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13338 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2013-0005; FRL-9947-23-Region 10] Finding of Attainment and Approval of Attainment Plan for Klamath Falls, Oregon Fine Particulate Matter Nonattainment Area AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing the finding of attainment and approving the attainment plan submitted on December 12, 2012 by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) for the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the Klamath Falls, Oregon nonattainment area. Based upon 2012-2014 quality-assured, quality-controlled, and certified ambient air monitoring data available in the EPA's Air Quality System (AQS), the area has monitored attainment of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. The EPA determined that the attainment plan addressed the nonattainment planning requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and provided for attainment of the PM2.5 NAAQS. The attainment plan's strategy for controlling direct and precursor PM2.5 emissions relied primarily on an episodic woodstove curtailment program and a program to change-out uncertified woodstoves.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective July 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2013-0005. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Planning Unit, Office of Air and Waste, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. The EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. You may view the hard copy of the docket Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information please contact Justin Spenillo at (206) 553-6125, [email protected] or by using the EPA, Region 10 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background Information II. Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review I. Background Information

    On April 13, 2016, the EPA proposed to approve the attainment plan submitted by the ODEQ on December 12, 2012 and to make a finding of attainment for the Klamath Falls PM2.5 area (81 FR 21814). An explanation of the CAA attainment planning requirements, a detailed analysis of the ODEQ's attainment plan submittal, and the EPA's reasons for proposing approval were provided in the notice of proposed rulemaking, and will not be restated here. The public comment period for this proposed rule ended on May 13, 2016. The EPA received no comments on the proposal.

    II. Final Action

    The EPA is finalizing the finding of attainment and approving the attainment plan submitted by the ODEQ on December 12, 2012 for the Klamath Falls PM2.5 area as meeting the requirements of the CAA. The finding of attainment does not constitute a redesignation to attainment. Redesignations require states to meet a number of criteria including EPA approval of a state plan to maintain the air quality standard for 10 years after redesignation. Additionally, the EPA is approving and incorporating by reference updated versions of supporting regulations, specifically sections of Oregon Administrative Rules, Division 240 and Division 262 that provide for the contingency measures required under the CAA. The EPA is finalizing a Clean Data Determination (CDD) that suspends the requirements for the area to submit an attainment demonstration, associated Reasonably Available Control Measures, Reasonable Further Progress, contingency measures, and any other SIP planning requirements related to the attainment of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, so long as the area continues to meet the standard. Although a CDD suspends the requirement for submission of certain attainment planning elements, it does not relieve the EPA of its responsibility to take action on a state's SIP submission. The EPA is fully approving the Klamath Falls nonattainment plan as meeting the requirements of the CAA. The EPA is also approving Exceptional Events on September 25, 2009; August 25, 28, and 31, 2012; and July 30 and August 5, 2013 and removing them from the data set used for regulatory purposes.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    IV. 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. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • does not provide 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 it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 5, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2) of the CAA).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: May 24, 2016. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart MM—Oregon 2. Section 52.1970: a. In paragraph (c), Table 2—EPA Approved Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) is amended by: i. Adding a undesignated heading titled “Klamath Falls Nonattainment Area Contingency Measures” after the entry for “240-0560” and adding the entries “240-0570”, “240-0580”, “240-0610”, “240-0620”, and “240-0630”; and ii. Adding an entry “262-1000” after the entry for “262-0900”; and b. In paragraph (e), table titled “State of Oregon Air Quality Control Program” adding under “Section 4”, a new entry “4.62” after the entry “4.61”.

    The additions read as follows:

    § 52.1970 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Table 2—EPA-Approved Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) State citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Klamath Falls Nonattainment Area Contingency Measures 240-0570 Applicability 12/11/2012 6/6/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0580 Existing Industrial Sources Control Efficiency 12/11/2012 6/6/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0610 Continuous Monitoring for Industrial Sources 12/11/2012 6/6/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0620 Contingency Measures: New Industrial Sources 12/11/2012 6/6/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] 240-0630 Contingency Enhanced Curtailment of Use of Solid Fuel Burning Devices and Fireplaces 12/11/2012 6/6/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 262-1000 Wood Burning Contingency Measures for PM2.5 Nonattainment Areas 12/11/2012 6/6/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (e) * * *

    State of Oregon Air Quality Control Program SIP citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 4.62, 12/12/2012 4.62, 6/6/2016 [Insert Federal Register citation] 4.62, Klamath Falls PM2.5 Attainment Plan *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-13031 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0793; FRL-9947-27-Region 9] Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Arizona; Infrastructure Requirements To Address Interstate Transport for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS; Correction AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects an omission in the final rule document published on May 19, 2016, announcing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) approval in part and disapproval in part of State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to address the interstate transport requirements of Clean Air Act section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) with respect to the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard. The correction of this omission does not change the EPA's final action to approve in part and disapprove in part these SIP revisions.

    DATES:

    This correcting amendment is effective on June 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Kelly, Air Planning Office (AIR-2), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, (415) 972-3856, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 22, 2016 (81 FR 15200), the EPA proposed to approve in part and to disapprove in part SIP revisions submitted by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) on December 27, 2012, and supplemented on December 3, 2015, to address the interstate transport requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) with respect to the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). More specifically, in the March 22, 2016 proposed rule, the EPA proposed to approve Arizona's SIP as meeting the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) prongs 1 and 2 and to disapprove Arizona's SIP with respect to the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) prong 4. Id., at 15204. No comments were submitted on the EPA's March 22, 2016 proposed action. On May 19, 2016 (81 FR 31513), the EPA published a final rulemaking action announcing its approval in part and disapproval in part of the relevant SIP revisions as proposed on March 22, 2016. However, in its May 19, 2016 final rule, the EPA inadvertently omitted the regulatory text that codifies the final action taken therein. This document corrects that oversight.

    The EPA has determined that this action falls under the “good cause” exemption in section 553(b)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) which, upon finding “good cause,” authorizes agencies to dispense with public participation where public notice and comment procedures are impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. Public notice and comment for this action are unnecessary because the action codified herein was already subject to a 30-day comment period beginning with publication of the related proposed rule on March 22, 2016, and as noted above, no comments were submitted. Thus, no purpose would be served by additional public notice and comment.

    The EPA also finds that there is good cause under APA section 553(d)(3) for the regulatory text added herein to become effective on the same date as the final rulemaking for which the regulatory text was inadvertently omitted. Section 553(d)(3) of the APA allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication “as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.” 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). The purpose of the 30-day waiting period prescribed in APA section 553(d)(3) is to give affected parties a reasonable time to adjust their behavior and prepare before the final rule takes effect. This rule, however, does not create any new regulatory requirements such that affected parties would need time to prepare before the rule takes effect. Rather, this rule merely adds regulatory text codifying the partial approval and partial disapproval action that the EPA published on May 19, 2016, which is 30 days from the date on which this rule will become effective. The May 19, 2016 final rule thus provided sufficient notice and time for affected parties to take appropriate action to the extent any action is necessary to comply with the rule. For these reasons, the EPA finds good cause under APA section 553(d)(3) for the regulatory text codified herein and associated with the May 19, 2016 final rule to become effective on same date as the May 19, 2016 final rule becomes effective (i.e., June 20, 2019).

    Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This action merely adds regulatory text inadvertently omitted from a previous final rule and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this rule merely adds regulatory text inadvertently omitted from a previous final rule, and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by state law, it 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).

    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 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.

    This rule also does not have Federalism implications because it does not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This rule merely corrects an inadvertent omission of regulatory text for a previously published final rule, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act (CAA). This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant. In addition, this rule does not involve technical standards, thus the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. This rule also does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. Section 808 allows the issuing agency to make a rule effective sooner than otherwise provided by the CRA if the agency makes a good cause finding that notice and public procedure is impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest. This determination must be supported by a brief statement. 5 U.S.C. 808(2). As stated previously, the EPA has made such a good cause finding, including the reasons therefore, and established an effective date of June 20, 2016. The EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 5, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (see section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Oxides of nitrogen, Ozone, and Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: May 24, 2016. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart D—Arizona 2. Section 52.120 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(174) to read as follows:
    § 52.120 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (174) The following plan was submitted on December 3, 2015 by the Governor's designee.

    (i) [Reserved]

    (ii) Additional materials.

    (A) Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

    (1) SIP Revision: Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D), 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (December 3, 2015).

    3. Section 52.123 is amended by revising paragraph (o) to read as follows:
    § 52.123 Approval status.

    (o) 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS: The SIPs submitted on October 14, 2011, December 27, 2012, and December 3, 2015 are fully or partially disapproved for Clean Air Act (CAA) elements 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), D(ii), (J) and (K) for all portions of the Arizona SIP.

    [FR Doc. 2016-13160 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    UTAH RECLAMATION MITIGATION AND CONSERVATION COMMISSION 43 CFR Part 10000 Place of Business Location Change AGENCY:

    Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission (Commission) is updating its regulations to reflect a change of agency location. The Commission has moved from 111 East Broadway, Suite 310 to 230 South 500 East, Suite 230 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Diane Simmons at 801-524-3146, or email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission is an independent Federal agency established by the Central Utah Project Completion Act of 1992. The Act set terms and conditions for completing the Central Utah Project, which diverts stores and delivers large quantities of water from numerous Utah rivers to meet the needs of central Utah's citizens. The Commission is responsible for planning, funding, and implementing projects that benefit fish, wildlife, and related recreation resources in order to offset impacts caused by the Central Utah Project, and other Federal water reclamation projects in Utah. The Commission meets publicly to consider and act on agreements to carry out mitigation projects with various partners, including State and Federal natural resource agencies and non-profit groups. The Commission has relocated its place of business to 230 South 500 East, Suite 230 in Salt Lake City, Utah 84102-2045. This rule updates the agency location where it is referenced in 43 CFR 10000.7(a).

    II. Procedural Requirements A. Determination To Issue Final Rule Effective in Less Than 30 Days

    The Commission has determined that the public notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b), do not apply to this rulemaking. Because updating the agency's address is a matter of “agency organization, procedure, and practice,” it is exempt from notice and comment rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). The Commission has also determined that there is good cause to waive the requirement of publication 30 days in advance of the rule's effective date under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). The public benefits from having the regulations reflect the agency's correct physical address so it has accurate information on how to contact the agency. The use of the incorrect address could result in correspondence not reaching the agency.

    B. Review Under Procedural Statutes and Executive Orders

    The Commission has determined that making changes to its regulations to reflect its correct address does not trigger any requirements under the procedural statutes and Executive Orders that govern rulemaking procedures.

    List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 10000

    Organization and functions.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552 and section 301(g)(3)(A) of the Central Utah Project Completion Act, amend part 10000 of Chapter III of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 10000—ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS 1. The authority citation for part 10000 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.; 43 U.S.C. 620k(note); Sec. 301(g)(3)(A) of Public Law 102-575, 106 Stat. 4600, 4625.

    2. In § 10000.7, revise the first sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 10000.7 Place of business; service of process.

    (a) The principle place of business and offices of the agency are located at 230 South 500 East, Suite 230, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102-2045. * * *

    Dated: May 26, 2016. Mark A. Holden, Executive Director.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13215 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 64 [CG Docket No. 10-210; FCC 16-69] Relay Services for Deaf Blind Individuals AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) extends the National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) as a pilot program for one additional year. The NDBEDP provides up to $10 million annually to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Extending the pilot program enables the NDBEDP to continue providing communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind without interruption while the Commission considers whether to adopt rules to govern a permanent NDBEDP.

    DATES:

    Effective July 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rosaline Crawford, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at phone: (202) 418-2075 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Order (Order), Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, CG Docket No. 10-210, FCC 16-69, adopted on May 26, 2016, and released on May 27, 2016. The full text of this document will be available for public inspection and copying via ECFS, and during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. The full text of this document can also be downloaded in Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) at: https://www.fcc.gov/general/disability-rights-office-headlines. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Final Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

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

    Synopsis

    1. In this Order, the Commission extends the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP), as a pilot program, for one additional year, until June 30, 2017. The NDBEDP provides up to $10 million annually to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. The NDBEDP has operated as a pilot program since July 2012 and is currently set to expire on June 30, 2016. Extending the pilot program for an additional year will enable the NDBEDP to continue providing communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind without interruption while the Commission completes the proceeding that is underway to adopt rules to govern a permanent NDBEDP.

    2. The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), 47 U.S.C. 620, directed the Commission to establish rules to provide up to $10 million annually from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund) to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. In accordance with this directive, the Commission established the NDBEDP as a two-year pilot program, with an option to extend this program for an additional year. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau) launched the NDBEDP as a pilot program on July 1, 2012. Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, Report and Order, published at 76 FR 26641, May 9, 2011. To implement the program, the Bureau certified 53 entities to participate in the NDBEDP—one entity to distribute communications equipment in each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—and selected a national outreach coordinator to support the outreach and distribution efforts of these state programs. On February 7, 2014, the Bureau extended the pilot program for a third year, until June 30, 2015. Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, Order (CGB 2015). On May 27, 2015, the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to obtain additional input from the public on how best to design and administer a permanent NDBEDP. Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published at 80 FR 32885, June 10, 2015. In addition, the Commission simultaneously issued an Order that extended the pilot program for an additional year, until June 30, 2016. Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, Order, published at 80 FR 32857, June 10, 2015.

    3. To ensure the uninterrupted administration of the NDBEDP until the conclusion of the rulemaking proceeding and the establishment of a permanent program for the delivery of communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind, the Commission extends the existing NDBEDP pilot program rules for one additional year, until June 30, 2017. The Commission adopts this extension because it anticipates that this rulemaking proceeding and the implementation of new rules that may result will not be completed by June 30, 2016, when the rules governing the NDBEDP pilot program are scheduled to expire.

    4. Many individuals who have received equipment and training under the NDBEDP have reported that this program has vastly improved their daily lives, significantly enhancing their ability to live independently and expanding their educational and employment opportunities. Extending the pilot program will serve the public interest because it will allow a seamless transition between the pilot and permanent programs. This extension will also provide greater programmatic certainty and stability to entities that are currently certified to participate in the NDBEDP in each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    5. Federal Rules Which Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With, the Commission's Proposals. None.

    6. The Commission will send a copy of the Order, including a copy of the Final Regulatory Flexibility Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA.

    Congressional Review Act

    7. The Commission will not send a copy of the Order pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, because the Commission adopted no rules therein. See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A). Rather than adopting rules, the Commission exercised its statutory authority to extend the NDBEDP as a pilot program by this Order for one additional year.

    Ordering Clause

    8. Pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), and 719 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 620, the Order is adopted.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13221 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 1849 and 1852 NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    ACTION:

    Technical amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    NASA is making technical amendments to the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) to provide needed editorial changes.

    DATES:

    Effective June 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manuel Quinones, NASA, Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, via email at [email protected], or telephone (202) 358-2143.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    As part of NASA's retrospective review of existing regulations pursuant to section 6 of Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, NASA conducted a review of it regulations and published a final rule in the Federal Register on March 12, 2015 (80 FR 12946). As published, this rule contains errors due to inadvertent omissions. A summary of changes follows:

    • Subpart 1849.5 is removed in its entirety. Section 1849.5 titled Contract Termination Clauses contained a prescription at 1849.505-70 for which the associated clause at 1852.249-72 had been previously removed by a final rule published on March 12, 2015 (80 FR 12935).

    • Section 1852.214-71 is revised to correct a paragraph designation.

    List of Subject in 48 CFR Parts 1849 and 1852

    Government procurement.

    Manuel Quinones, NASA FAR Supplement Manager.

    Accordingly, 48 CFR parts 1849 and 1852 are amended as follows:

    1. The authority citation for parts 1849 and 1852 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 48 CFR chapter 1.

    PART 1849—TERMINATION OF CONTRACTS Subpart 1849.5 [Removed] 2. Remove subpart 1849.5, consisting of sections 1849.505 and 1849.505-70. PART 1852—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES
    1852.214-71 [Amended]
    3. Amend section 1852.214-71 introductory text by removing “1814.201-670(c)” and adding “1814.201-670(b)” in its place.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13227 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Parts 216 and 300 [Docket No. 160204078-6078-01] RIN 0648-BF71 International Fisheries; Eastern Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Amend Regulations Implementing Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Resolution C-02-03 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule amends regulations to allow U.S. vessels authorized to fish under an alternative international fisheries management regime (e.g., the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPF Convention), to fish in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) under the single-trip exception to the general rule that a vessel must be on the vessel register of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) to fish for tuna in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (EPO). This rule is intended to conform U.S. implementing regulations to the IATTC resolution that they implement and remove an unnecessary restriction on the ability of U.S. vessels to use this exception.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on June 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may view this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0036, e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0036.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chris Fanning, NMFS, West Coast Region, 562-980-4198.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS is issuing a final rule under the authority of the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950, as amended (TCA). 16 U.S.C. 951 et seq. As a party to the Convention for the Strengthening of the IATTC Established by the 1949 Convention between the United States of America and the Republic of Costa Rica and a member of the IATTC, the United States is obligated to implement the decisions of the IATTC, including resolutions governing the conservation of tuna and tuna-like species in the Convention Area. The Convention Area includes the waters bounded by the coast of the Americas, the 50° N. and 50° S. parallels, and the 150° W. meridian. NMFS implements binding resolutions of the IATTC under authority of the TCA. The regulations at 50 CFR 300.22(b)(1) implement Resolution C-02-03 (Resolution on the Capacity of the Tuna Fleet Operating in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (Revised)) adopted by the IATTC in June 2002. This rule makes a minor, technical revision to those regulations to be more consistent with the resolution and facilitate fishing by U.S. vessels in the EPO.

    Paragraph 12 of Resolution C-02-03 provides opportunities for up to 32 U.S. vessels authorized to fish in other areas of the Pacific Ocean under an alternative international fisheries management regime to fish a single trip per year in the EPO even if the vessels are not listed on the IATTC's Vessel Register. Vessels shall be authorized to fish in the EPO provided that the fishing activity of any such vessels in the EPO is limited to a single trip not to exceed 90 days in one calendar year, the vessels do not possess a Dolphin Mortality Limit pursuant to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program, and the vessels carry an approved observer. The current regulations implementing Resolution C-02-03, issued on April 12, 2005 (70 FR 19004), explicitly reference South Pacific Tuna Treaty (SPTT) licenses as the only licenses that qualify vessels for the single-trip exception. At the time of the 2005 final rule, the SPTT was the predominant “alternative international fisheries management regime” that provided for the authorization of fishing by U.S. purse seine vessels in the western Pacific Ocean. The WCPF Convention entered into force for the United States in 2007.

    Under regulations implementing the decisions of the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPFC), vessels used to commercially fish highly migratory species on the high seas in the WCPF Convention Area must be permitted to do so by NMFS (see 50 CFR 300.212). Because of the large overlap between the WCPFC Convention Area and the SPTT Area, vessels that fish under the SPTT also are typically permitted by NMFS under 50 CFR 300.212 to fish on the high seas in the WCPF Convention Area. These vessels are subject to regulations implementing conservation and management measures adopted by the WCPFC, the organization that carries out the management regime established under the WCPF Convention.

    SPTT licenses were not issued for the period starting January 1, 2016, through early March 2016, and it is unclear if they will be issued beyond 2016. Because of the wording of the implementing regulations, U.S. vessels could not use the single-trip EPO exception during the period of non-issuance of SPTT licenses. This final rule amends 50 CFR 300.22(b)(1) to allow U.S. vessels authorized to fish in areas of the Pacific Ocean other than the EPO under another alternative international fisheries management regime (e.g., the WCPFC) to fish under the single-vessel exception.

    This rule also revises 50 CFR 216.24(b)(6)(iii)(C) to: remove and replace the reference to “South Pacific Tuna Treaty” to conform to § 300.22(b) described above, and correct two cross-references to § 300.22(b). Also in that paragraph, the reference to the Southwest Regional Administrator, NMFS, is changed to “Administrator, West Coast Region” to reflect the merger of the former Southwest Region into a new West Coast Region and assumption of the responsibilities of the former Southwest Regional Administrator by the new West Coast Regional Administrator.

    Classification

    The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this rule is consistent with the Tuna Conventions Act, as amended, and other applicable laws.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    There is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action. Replacing “South Pacific Tuna Treaty” in the regulations with the exact wording from IATTC Resolution C-02-03 “alternative international tuna purse seine fisheries management regime” is a minor, technical correction that reflects the original intention of the regulation. The same vessels operating in the Western Pacific that were intended to be able to use the single-trip exception under the original wording would have access to the exception under the revised wording, and no vessels are added or removed from eligibility. Furthermore, because the purse seine fishery for tuna is active now in the Eastern Pacific, the existing reference to “South Pacific Tuna Treaty” in the absence of the issuance of SPTT licenses is an impediment to lawful fishing by U.S. vessels under Resolution C-02-03. Therefore, providing prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. For the same reasons, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) NMFS finds good cause to waive the requirement to delay for 30 days the effectiveness of this rule.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are inapplicable.

    List of Subjects 50 CFR Part 216

    Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Fish, Imports, Indians, Labeling, Marine mammals.

    50 CFR Part 300

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Marine resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: May 31, 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 parts 216 and 300 are amended as follows:

    PART 216—REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS 1. The authority citation for part 216 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., unless otherwise noted.

    2. In § 216.24, revise paragraph (b)(6)(iii)(C) to read as follows:
    § 216.24 Taking and related acts incidental to commercial fishing operations by tuna purse seine vessels in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

    (b) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (C) The owner or managing owner of a purse seine vessel that is permitted and authorized under an alternative international tuna purse seine fisheries management regime in the Pacific Ocean must submit the vessel assessment fee, as established by the IATTC or other approved observer program, to the Administrator, West Coast Region, prior to obtaining an observer and entering the ETP to fish. Consistent with § 300.22(b)(1) of this title, this class of purse seine vessels is not required to be listed on the Vessel Register under § 300.22(b)(4) of this title in order to purse seine for tuna in the ETP during a single fishing trip per calendar year of 90 days or less. Payment of the vessel assessment fee must be consistent with the fee for active status on the Vessel Register under § 300.22(b)(4)(i) of this title.

    PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS 3. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 951 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 5501 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 2431 et seq., 31 U.S.C. 9701 et seq.

    4. In § 300.22, revise paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 300.22 Eastern Pacific fisheries recordkeeping and written reports.

    (b) * * *

    (1) Exception. Once per year, a vessel that is permitted and authorized under an alternative international tuna purse seine fisheries management regime in the Pacific Ocean may exercise an option to fish with purse seine gear to target tuna in the Convention Area without being listed on the Vessel Register and without being categorized as active under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section, for a fishing trip that does not exceed 90 days in duration. No more than 32 of such trips are allowed each calendar year. After the commencement of the 32nd such trip, the Regional Administrator shall announce, in the Federal Register and by other appropriate means, that no more such trips are allowed for the remainder of the calendar year. Under § 216.24(b)(6)(iii)(C) of this title, vessel assessment fees must be paid for vessels exercising this option.

    [FR Doc. 2016-13216 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 151117999-6440-02] RIN 0648-BF56 Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2016 Management Measures; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 2, 2016, NMFS published a final rule to implement fishery management measures for the 2016 ocean salmon fisheries off the coast of the states of Washington, Oregon, and California under the jurisdiction of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (Council). This correction changes the minimum size table for the commercial salmon fishery from Point Arena to Pigeon Point, CA, and the description of the tribal area and boundaries for the treaty Indian fisheries for the Quileute Nation; these were incorrect in the original rule.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective June 6, 2016, until the effective date of the 2017 management measures, which will be published in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Need for Correction

    On May 2, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 26157) that implemented the fishery management measures for the 2016 ocean salmon fisheries off the coasts of the states of Washington, Oregon, and California under the jurisdiction of the Council. Subsequent to filing this rule with the Office of the Federal Register, two typographical errors were noted.

    On page 26164, the table under the subheading “B. Minimum Size,” for the area “Point Arena to Pigeon Point,” two time periods are listed that incorrectly exclude the date September 1. This is inconsistent with the management measures described in the related text within the rule. Additionally, these size restrictions are intended to be consistent with the commercial salmon fisheries managed by the State of California. This rule corrects the table to be consistent with the management measures described in the text of the final rule, and as adopted and recommended by the Council and as implemented by the State of California.

    On page 26169, in the first column, under the subheading “C.1. Tribe and Area Boundaries,” in the fourth paragraph, an incorrect latitude was provided for the Queets River. This latitude is intended to be consistent with usual and accustomed fishing areas established by a recent court ruling (United States v. Washington, 2:09-sp-00001-RSM (W.D. Wash. Sept. 3, 2015)). This latitude is listed correctly elsewhere in the rule, and should be consistent throughout the rule to avoid confusion. This rule corrects the latitude for the Queets River to be consistent with the rest of the management measures and the currently defined usual and accustomed fishing area for the Quileute Nation.

    The states, tribes, and Pacific Fishery Management Council staff have been notified of these corrections. These corrections have been made in the fishery booklet provided to the public by NMFS West Coast Region. Therefore, these corrections are anticipated by the public and the regulatory agencies and their implementation will cause no harm.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of May 2, 2016 (81 FR 26157), make the following corrections:

    1. On page 26164, under the subheading “B. Minimum Size,” the table for minimum size limits in the 2016 commercial salmon fisheries is corrected in its entirety to read as follows:

    Area (when open) Chinook Total
  • length
  • Head-off Coho Total
  • length
  • Head-off Pink
    North of Cape Falcon, OR 28.0 21.5 None. Cape Falcon to OR/CA border 28.0 21.5 None. OR/CA border to Humboldt South Jetty 28.0 21.5 None. Horse Mountain to Point Arena 27.0 20.5 None. Point Arena to Pigeon Point: Prior to September 1 27.0 20.5 None. September 1 and thereafter 26.0 19.5 None. Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico border 27.0 20.5 None. Metric equivalents: 28.0 in = 71.1 cm, 27.0 in = 68.6 cm, 26.0 in = 66.0 cm, 21.5 in = 54.6 cm, 20.5 in = 52.1 cm, 19.5 in = 49.5 cm, 16.0 in = 40.6 cm, and 12.0 in = 30.5 cm.

    2. On page 26169, first column, under the subheading “C.1. Tribe and Area Boundaries,” the fourth paragraph is corrected to read as follows:

    QUILEUTE—That portion of the FMA between 48°10′00″ N. lat. (Cape Alava.) and 47°31′42″ N. lat. (Queets River) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long.

    Classification

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (AA) finds there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice and comment would be unnecessary and contrary to public interest. Notice and comment are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest because this action corrects inadvertent errors in regulations for a fishery that opened on May 1, and immediate notice of the error and correction is necessary to prevent confusion among participants in the fishery that could result from the existing conflict between state and tribal regulations and the final rule. This error was noticed by NMFS on April 29, 2016, after the final rule had been filed with the Office of the Federal Register. To effectively correct the error, this correction must be done as soon as possible, as the tribal fisheries commenced May 1. There is not sufficient time for a notice and comment rulemaking as the fishery has begun. In addition, this action makes only minor changes that the states and tribes are already aware of.

    This correction will not affect the results of analyses conducted to support management decisions in the salmon fishery nor change the total catch of salmon. No change in operating practices in the fishery is required. For the same reasons, the AA has determined that good cause exists to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d). Because prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be provided for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, no Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is required for this rule and none has been prepared.

    This final rule is not significant under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

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

    Dated: May 23, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13233 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 108 Monday, June 6, 2016 Proposed Rules OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR PART 630 RIN 3206-AN31 Disabled Veteran Leave and Other Miscellaneous Changes AGENCY:

    Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Personnel Management is issuing proposed regulations to implement the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, which establishes a new leave category, to be known as “disabled veteran leave,” available during a 12-month period beginning on the first day of employment to be used by an employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more for purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability. In addition, we are proposing to rescind two obsolete regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN number “3206-AN31,” using either of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Doris Rippey by telephone at (202) 606-2858 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing proposed regulations to implement the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-75, November 5, 2015) (hereafter referred to as “the Act”). The Act adds section 6329 to title 5, United States Code, which establishes a new leave category, to be known as “disabled veteran leave.” This new leave category is an entitlement for any employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more to use disabled veteran leave during a 12-month period beginning on the first day of employment for the purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability. Disabled veteran leave available to an eligible employee may not exceed 104 hours for a regular full-time employee. Disabled veteran leave not used during this 12-month period may not be carried over to subsequent years and will be forfeited. By law, disabled veteran leave is available only to covered employees who are hired on or after November 5, 2016.

    Section 2(d) of the Act gives OPM authority to regulate the disabled veteran leave provision. The regulations on disabled veteran leave will be located in subpart M of part 630 (Absence and Leave) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. They will replace the regulations currently found in subpart M, Reservist Leave Bank Program. The Reservist Leave Bank Program was authorized by Public Law 102-25, April 6, 1991. Under that program, OPM established a leave bank that distributed annual leave to returning Federal employees who were called to active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Persian Gulf War. Employees were allowed to contribute unused accrued annual leave to the leave bank during an open season, which ran from July 13, 1991, until August 10, 1991. The authority is no longer needed, since Federal agencies were required to distribute the donated annual leave by the end of November 1991.

    OPM is also proposing to rescind 5 CFR 630.310, Scheduling of annual leave by employees determined necessary for Year 2000 computer conversion efforts. The regulations at 5 CFR 630.310 provided that year 2000 computer conversion efforts were deemed an exigency of the public business for the purpose of restoring annual leave to any employee who forfeited annual leave under 5 U.S.C. 6304 at the beginning of leave year 2000 because the agency determined the employee's services were required during the Year 2000 computer conversion. The forfeited annual leave was deemed to have been scheduled in advance for the purpose of 5 U.S.C. 6304(d)(1)(B) and § 630.308. This authority is no longer needed because the regulations at 5 CFR 630.310(a) provided that the exigency of the public business for Year 2000 computer conversion efforts terminated on January 31, 2000.

    Background

    There are several pieces of legislative history that provide additional information on the intent of Congress when enacting the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, including—

    • The Congressional Record for the House, H6268-H6269, September 28, 2015;

    • The Congressional Record for the Senate, S6085-S6088, July 28, 2015;

    • House Report 114-180, Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (a report issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform to accompany H.R. 313, ordered to be printed June 25, 2015); and

    • Senate Report 114-89, Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (a report issued by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to accompany S. 242, ordered to be printed July 23, 2015).

    These reports and records provide insight into Congressional intent when drafting and ultimately enacting the Wounded Warrior Act of 2015. When preparing these proposed regulations, OPM referred to these reports and records to assist in understanding Congressional intent. Effective Date

    Section 2(c) of the Act provides that its amendments will apply to employees hired on or after the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of the Act. Since the Act was enacted on November 5, 2015, the effective date is November 5, 2016. Therefore, if an employee is hired on or after November 5, 2016, and is otherwise eligible, the employee may be granted disabled veteran leave during the 12-month eligibility period that begins on the employee's first day of employment, which can occur no earlier than November 5, 2016.

    New Subpart M in 5 CFR Part 630

    In order to implement the Act, OPM is proposing to replace Subpart M, Reservist Leave Bank, in part 630 (Absences and Leave) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, with a new Subpart M, Disabled Veteran Leave. A section-by-section explanation of the proposed regulations follows.

    § 630.1301—Purpose and Authority

    Section 630.1301 addresses the purpose of the proposed regulations—i.e., to implement the new section 6329 in title 5, United States Code. It also notes that OPM is relying on its regulatory authority in section 2(d) of the Act.

    § 630.1302—Applicability

    Section 630.1302 provides that subpart M applies to an employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more, subject to the conditions specified in subpart M. It also notes that subpart M does not apply to employees of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, since they are covered by regulations issued by the Postmaster General. Section 630.1302 also states that subpart M applies only to an employee whose is hired on or after November 5, 2016.

    § 630.1303—Definitions

    Section 630.1303 provides definitions of terms for purposes of subpart M.

    The term “12-month period” in 5 U.S.C. 6329(a) is not defined in law. In the regulations, we are using the term “12-month eligibility period” and making clear that it refers to the continuous 12-month period that begins on the first day of employment. We are also making clear in the definition that, if an employee was eligible (or is later determined to have been eligible) for disabled veteran leave while previously employed by the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission and subsequently commences employment covered by subpart M, the 12-month eligibility period is the period that began on the first day of employment with the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission (as determined under regulations issued by the Postmaster General to implement 5 U.S.C. 6329).

    The 12-month eligibility period is fixed based on the “first day of employment,” which triggers the start of the 12-month clock. (See discussion of the definition of “first day of employment” below.) There is only one 12-month eligibility period for any employee during his or her Federal civilian career, since there is only one “first” day of employment. The date of the first day of employment may be established retroactively after the Veterans Benefits Administration has made a disability rating determination, which could mean that the employee was not able to use disabled veteran leave during part or all of the 12-month eligibility period. In that case, the employee will be allowed to retroactively substitute disabled veteran leave for other leave used for medical treatment of a qualifying service-connected disability, as provided in proposed § 630.1306(c).

    We provide that the term agency refers to an agency of the Federal Government. When the term is used in the context of an agency making determinations or taking actions, it means management officials of an employing agency authorized to make a given determination or take a given action.

    We define employee to have the same meaning as that term in 5 U.S.C. 2105, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 6329(d)(1). Since employees of the United States Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission are not covered by subpart M, we do not mention them in the definition of “employee” even though they are included under section 6329(d)(1). (Under section 2105(e), an employee of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission is generally deemed not to be considered an “employee” for purposes of title 5, except as otherwise provided by law. Section 6329(d)(1) is such a statutory exception.)

    Under 5 U.S.C. 2105(c), an employee of a nonappropriated fund instrumentality (NAFI) under the jurisdiction of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) that is conducted for the comfort, pleasure, contentment, and mental and physical improvement of personnel in the armed forces is “deemed not an employee” for the purpose of laws administered by OPM, except for certain listed exceptions. Section 6329 is not covered by any listed exception. Since the Act defines the term “employee” to be an employee as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105 and since OPM administers section 6329, NAFI employees identified in section 2105(c) are not covered by section 6329 and are not entitled to disabled veteran leave under that section.

    Section 6239(a) provides that disabled veteran leave is available to an eligible employee during the 12-month period “beginning on the first day of employment.” By regulation, we are defining the terms employment and first day of employment.

    We are defining employment to mean service as an “employee” (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105) during which the employee is covered by a leave system under which leave is charged for periods of absence. Since section 6329 is designed to provide a paid “leave” benefit to employees, it is clear that the benefit applies only to employees performing service covered by a leave system. Section 6329(a) states that the periods during which disabled veteran leave is used are periods “for which sick leave could regularly be used.” Also, the House and Senate committee reports describe the benefit as needed by employees who have insufficient paid leave and must currently use unpaid leave or take advanced sick leave that must be repaid at some point in the future. Accordingly, we are regulating that the “employment” that triggers entitlement to disabled veteran leave is service under a leave system. This would exclude service in which an employee has an intermittent work schedule or service by certain leave-exempt Presidential appointees.

    We also note in the definition of employment that it excludes service in a position in which an employee (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105) is not covered by 5 U.S.C. 6329 due to application of another statutory authority, such as service as an employee of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

    In order to define first day of employment, it is necessary to give context to the word “first”. We interpret section 6329(a) as using the term “first” relative to the time the employee attains status as a veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability. Under current law, the effective date is based on various factors, but in most cases it is either the date after the date of military discharge (for those who file within 1 year of that discharge date) or the date of receipt of the application, both of which occur prior to the date of the rating determination. That effective date may be before or after the date an employee is hired to perform service in a civilian position in the Federal Government that is covered employment under this subpart. If the effective date is before such hiring date, the first day of employment as an eligible veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability is the employee's hiring date. If the effective date is after the hiring date, the first day employment as an eligible veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability is the effective date of the disability rating. (As discussed earlier, by law, section 6329 applies only to employees who are hired on or after November 5, 2016. See section 6329(c).)

    Since the first day of employment (incorporating the definition of “employment” in § 630.1303) is based on when the employee first has status as a veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability during a period of employment, that first day is the later of (1) the date the employee is hired (i.e., hiring date) or (2) the effective date of the qualifying disability rating. Accordingly, this “later of” approach is reflected in the proposed definition of first day of employment.

    The term hired is being defined to mean one of several actions: (1) Initial appointment, (2) a qualifying reappointment, or (3) return to civilian duty following a break in civilian duty (with continuous civilian leave status) to perform military service. The term “hired” is used in the definition of “first day of employment” and in § 630.1302 (Applicability). Because there are several possible hiring actions and since there can be only one first day of employment, the definition of “first day of employment” speaks of the “earliest date” an employee is hired.

    The legislative history of the Act indicates that Congress was focused on the most common scenario, addressing “new” employees who begin their Federal careers with zero hours of sick leave. (See House Report 114-180 and Senate Report 114-89.) However, the law itself does not exclude those with past Federal civilian service. Thus, OPM is not required to interpret “first day of employment” to mean a person's first ever appointment with the Federal Government. Some individuals could have small amounts of past Federal service before military service, and we do not believe that Congress would have intended to automatically disqualify them from receiving disabled veteran leave benefits. Thus, the proposed regulations would cover certain reappointments as triggering the first day of employment, which in turn triggers the 12-month eligibility period to use disabled veteran leave. At the same time, given that Congress intended the 104-hour leave benefit for those with an initial balance of zero sick leave hours, any sick leave restored to an employee's credit upon reappointment will be taken into account in determining the amount of disabled veteran leave that should be credited. (See proposed § 630.1305(d).)

    While we are defining first day of employment to include the first “reappointment” following military service during which an individual incurred a qualifying disability, we are limiting the coverage of reappointments to those that occur after a 90-day break in employment (where “employment” is a defined term, as explained above). See the proposed definition of qualifying reappointment. This 90-day break-in-employment rule is consistent with similar 90-day rules OPM has adopted for determining when a “newly appointed” employee can be treated in the same way as a true first-time appointee. (See provisions in 5 U.S.C. 5333 and 5 CFR 531.211-531.212 regarding setting pay above step 1 for a newly appointed General Schedule employee. See also the provision in 5 U.S.C. 5753 and 5 CFR 575.102 regarding recruitment bonuses for a newly appointed employee.) The 90-day rule prevents employees from seeking a separation from Federal service merely to obtain a desired benefit. Civilian service with the Federal Government that is not “employment” covered by subpart M—such as FAA and TSA service—would be treated as a break in employment. Thus, for example, an individual who moves without a break in service between FAA and a position covered by subpart M could have a qualifying first day of employment under subpart M. However, as provided under § 630.1305(d), any sick leave transferred with the employee would offset the disabled veteran leave benefit. Further, if the employee already received an equivalent disabled veteran leave benefit under the FAA personnel authority, that could eliminate or reduce any entitlement to disabled veteran leave under subpart M, as provided under § 630.1305(e).

    We are also proposing that the term first day of employment includes the date an employee returns to a civilian duty status after a break in civilian duty (with the employee in continuous civilian leave status) to perform military service. We believe that, for purposes of this leave benefit, such a return to civilian duty status following a leave of absence for military service can properly be considered an “employment” or “hiring” event, even though in one sense the individual retained continuous status as a civilian employee. Many Federal civilian employees go on leave to perform military service as reservists or members of the National Guard and, should they incur a qualifying service-connected disability, could have an insufficient balance of sick leave to meet their needs as a disabled veteran when they return to civilian duty. Given that the purpose of the Act is to assist disabled veterans, we believe it would be appropriate to ensure that such employees have sufficient paid leave by covering them under section 6329. However, the disabled veteran leave benefit would be offset by the amount of sick leave to the employee's credit at the time of the hiring event, as provided in § 630.1305(d).

    As stated in our description of proposed § 630.1302 (Applicability), the provisions of section 6329 apply only to a qualifying employee hired on or after November 5, 2016. (See section 6329(c).) If a veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability is already a Federal employee as of November 4, 2016, that veteran would not qualify for disabled veteran leave unless he or she has a qualifying hiring event in the future.

    Although many veterans may receive treatment for their service-connected disabilities by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), others may seek treatment from other healthcare providers. Therefore, we define health care provider broadly, using the same broad definition used in OPM's regulations implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act. (See § 630.1202.)

    Section 6329(a) requires that disabled veteran leave be used solely for the purpose of undergoing medical treatment of a qualifying service-connected disability. As a means of verification, section 6329(c) provides that an employee using disabled veteran leave must submit to the employing agency certification that the employee will (or has) used the leave for purposes of being furnished treatment for the disability. It further provides that OPM is authorized to prescribe the “form and manner” that this certification takes. While an employee's self-certification will always be required, we are proposing in § 630.1307 that the agency, at its discretion, may additionally require a medical certificate to support an employee's use of disabled veteran leave. We are defining medical certificate as a written statement signed by a health care provider certifying to the medical treatment of an employee for a qualifying service-connected disability. We are defining medical treatment as any activity carried out by, or prescribed by, a health care provider to treat an employee's qualifying service-connected disability.

    Disabled veteran leave is only available to employees with a service-connected disability that meets the requirements of the statute, which provides that the disability is rated at 30 percent or more. We define qualifying service-connected disability for purposes of this subpart to mean a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more. The definition also makes clear that (1) a combined degree of disability of 30 percent or more that reflects the combined effect of multiple individual disabilities is a qualifying disability and (2) a temporary disability rating under 38 U.S.C. 1156 is considered a valid rating in applying this definition for as long as such rating is in effect.

    The definitions of the terms service-connected and veteran are provided in the statute at 5 U.S.C. 6329(d) and refer to the definitions of those terms at 38 U.S.C. 101. Since the statutory text may change in the future, we provide the reference to the definition in 38 U.S.C. 101, but do not provide the text of the definitions themselves. We are providing the current statutory text in this supplementary information to ensure that the reader fully understands who qualifies as a veteran with a service-connected disability under current law.

    We are defining service-connected as having the meaning given the term at 38 U.S.C. 101(16). The text of the statute currently reads, “The term ‘service-connected’ means, with respect to disability or death, that such disability was incurred or aggravated, or that the death resulted from a disability incurred or aggravated, in line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service.”

    The term veteran has the meaning given such term at 38 U.S.C. 101(2). The text of the statute currently reads, “The term ‘veteran’ means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.”

    Finally, we are proposing a definition of the term military service, which is based on the definition of active military, naval, or air service at 38 U.S.C. 101(24). This is the service that is a basis for a finding by the Veterans Benefits Administration that a veteran has a service-connected disability qualifying for benefits under title 38, United States Code. The term “active military, naval, or air service” is currently defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(24) as follows:

    The term “active military, naval, or air service” includes—

    • active duty;

    • any period of active duty for training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty; and

    • any period of inactive duty training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died—

    ○ from an injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty; or

    ○ from an acute myocardial infarction, a cardiac arrest, or a cerebrovascular accident occurring during such training.”

    We note that the terms “active duty for training” and “inactive duty training” are defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(22) and (23), respectively, and that those definitions must be used in applying the definition of “military service” in subpart M. In administering disabled veteran leave, agencies do not need to know all the title 38 requirements. They can simply rely on a determination of the Veterans Benefits Administration that an individual is a veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability. § 630.1304—Eligibility

    Section 630.1304(a) provides that an employee with a qualifying service-connected disability is eligible for disabled veteran leave under subpart M, which is available for use during the employee's 12-month eligibility period. For any employee, there will be only one such period under section 6329 during his or her career.

    Section 630.1304(b) addresses the employee's responsibility to provide documentation from the Veterans Benefits Administration certifying the qualifying service-connected disability to the agency. This certification is used by the agency to determine an employee's eligibility for disabled veteran leave. Since disabled veteran leave is only available during an eligible employee's first 12 months after employment, it is important that agencies be able to identify as soon as possible whether an employee is entitled to the benefit. An agency can only do so if it has received the proper documentation/certification. Employees should, when possible, provide the necessary documentation upon employment. For those who have not yet received such certifying documentation from the Veterans Benefits Administration, the employee should provide it to the agency as soon as practicable after he or she receives it.

    Section 630.1304(c) allows for the possibility that an employee may submit certifying documentation at a later time, including after a period of absence for medical treatment. In that case, disabled leave may be provided retroactively, as described in § 630.1306(c). A delay in the employee providing certifying documentation to the employing agency does not affect the dates of the 12-month eligibility period, since that period is fixed by statute based on the first day of employment.

    Section 630.1304(d) addresses situations in which a veteran's condition(s) improves such that the employee's disability rating is reduced or discontinued resulting in the employee no longer having a qualifying service-connected disability. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the employee to notify the agency of the change in rating. Since the requirements of the statutory entitlement will no longer be met, the employee will no longer be entitled to disabled veteran leave as of the effective date of the change in rating. Any unused disabled veteran leave to such an employee's credit as of the effective date of the change in rating is forfeited. The rating change has only prospective effect. It does not invalidate the use of disabled veteran leave prior to the effective date of the rating change. (See also § 630.1308(b).)

    § 630.1305—Crediting Disabled Veteran Leave

    Section 630.1305 addresses an agency's responsibilities regarding the crediting of disabled veteran leave.

    For regular full-time employees, agencies must credit 104 hours of disabled veteran leave to the employee's disabled veteran leave account, except as otherwise provided in § 630.1305. We are proposing special crediting rules for employees with part-time, seasonal, or uncommon tours of duty, which are found in paragraphs (a)-(c) of 630.1305.

    Section 6329(b)(1) states that disabled veteran leave “may not exceed 104 hours.” Based on the Act's legislative history, which stated that the intent of the statute was to provide disabled veterans “with immediate access to up to 13 days for sick leave,” it is clear that Congress was focused on regular full-time employees. (See page H6268 of the House Congressional Record, September 28, 2015.) The 104 hours was based on the amount of sick leave hours a regular full-time employee would normally accrue in a 12-month period (4 hours × 26 biweekly pay periods = 104 hours or 13 days). (See page 2 of House Committee Report 114-180 and page 2 of Senate Committee Report 114-89.) While full-time employees with a standard 40-hour weekly tour generally accrue 104 hours of sick leave in a leave year, that is not true for employees with part-time, seasonal, or uncommon tours of duty. (See 5 CFR 630.201 and 630.210 for a description of uncommon tours of duty that are more than 80 hours in a biweekly pay period.) These proposed regulations therefore provide that disabled veteran leave be proportionally adjusted for employees with part-time, seasonal, or uncommon tours of duty. For each type of schedule, a disabled veteran leave benefit would be derived to achieve a number of hours that is proportionally equivalent to 104 hours for a regular full-time employee. Under this approach, the value of the disabled veteran leave benefit as a percentage of projected total annual hours in the work schedule would be consistent across various types of schedules. This approach is consistent with OPM's administration of annual and sick leave accrual for employees with different types of work schedules and ensures equitable treatment of employees.

    Section 630.1305(d) addresses the offset of the 104-hour leave benefit (or proportional equivalent) for employees who have a balance of sick leave on the first day of employment that starts the 12-month eligibility period. Based on House and Senate committee reports, the intent of Congress was to provide 104 hours of disabled veteran leave to full-time employees who begin their Federal careers with a zero sick leave balance. Section 6329(b)(1) states that disabled veteran leave “may not exceed 104 hours.” It does not require the crediting of 104 hours.

    As explained earlier, we have proposed regulating that certain employees who have past Federal civilian service may be eligible for disabled veteran leave. Such employees may have sick leave to their credit upon reemployment or return to civilian duty following military service. This specific circumstance was not anticipated or addressed in the House and Senate committee reports. Thus, OPM is using its regulatory authority to carry out section 6329 and its purposes by providing that any sick leave to the credit of such employees upon the first day of employment must be used to offset (reduce) the 104-hour disabled veteran leave benefit (or proportional equivalent). For example if a regular full-time employee is reemployed, qualifies for the disabled veteran leave benefit, and is recredited with 30 hours of sick leave, the employee's disabled veteran leave would be credited at 74 hours (104 hours minus 30 hours of recredited sick leave).

    Section 630.1305(e) addresses the special circumstance in which a Federal agency and its employees are not subject to chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code, based on another statutory authority (e.g., the authorities that apply to employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration). Thus, these employees are not subject to section 6329 and have no statutory entitlement to disabled veteran leave. Such agencies may decide to offer their employees a parallel benefit, which would not, however, be disabled veteran leave under section 6329. The proposed regulations provide that an employee who was previously employed by a noncovered agency with a parallel benefit must self-certify whether he or she received an equivalent (or better) leave benefit and the date eligibility commenced. If 12 months have elapsed since that eligibility commencing date, the employee will be considered to have received the full amount of an equivalent benefit and no benefit may be provided under subpart M. If the employee is still within the 12-month period that began on such commencing date, the employee must certify the number of hours of disabled veteran leave used at the former agency. Those hours would be used to offset the disabled veteran leave benefit provided under section 6329.

    § 630.1306—Requesting and Using Disabled Veteran Leave

    Section 630.1306(a) provides, as required by 5 U.S.C. 6329, that disabled veteran leave may only be used for the medical treatment of an employee's qualifying service-connected disability. Disabled veteran leave must be distinguished from sick leave, which can be used if an employee is incapacitated for the performance of his or her duties by physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth (see 5 CFR 630.401(a)(2)). Such use of sick leave does not require that the employee undergo any specific medical treatment related to the incapacity. However, the disabled veteran leave benefit requires the benefit to be used for medical treatment as it relates to the employee's qualifying service-connected disability. The proposed regulations provide that the medical treatment may include a period of rest, but only if the period of rest is specifically ordered by the health care provider as part of a prescribed course of treatment for the qualifying service-connected disability. This means that an employee could not, for example, contact his or her manager to request a day of disabled veteran leave to rest because the employee believes he or she is incapacitated due to the service-connected disability. In such a circumstance, sick leave would be the appropriate choice.

    Section 630.1306(b) specifies the requirements for an employee's application to use disabled veteran leave. In compliance with the law, the application must include the employee's personal self-certification that the requested leave will be (or was) used for purposes of being furnished medical treatment for a qualifying service-connected disability. Section 630.1306(b) also lays out the requirement to request the leave in advance, unless the need for the leave is critical and not foreseeable.

    Section 630.1306(c) addresses the ability to substitute the disabled veteran leave retroactively for other leave or paid time off that was used for treatment of a qualifying service-connected disability during the 12-month eligibility period. For various reasons, an employee may not have provided the required certification of his or her qualifying service-connected disability before a period of absence for medical treatment of such disability (e.g., because the Veterans Benefits Administration's determination was pending). We believe the entitlement to disabled veteran leave should be preserved in such circumstances. Therefore, the proposed regulations allow an eligible employee to substitute disabled veteran leave retroactively for a period of absence (excluding a period of suspension or absence without leave (AWOL)) during the 12-month eligibility period that was used for medical treatment of the qualifying service-connected disability.

    § 630.1307—Medical Certification

    Section 630.1307(a) provides that an agency may require an employee to provide to the agency a signed written medical certification issued by a health care provider to support each use of disabled veteran leave. Section 630.1307(b) describes what information a health care provider may be required to include in the medical certification. Section 630.1307(c) addresses the deadlines for submitting a medical certification and what action an agency may take if the medical certification is not submitted within the required timeframes.

    § 630.1308—Disabled Veteran Leave Forfeiture, Transfer, Reinstatement

    Section 630.1308(a) provides that an employee forfeits any disabled veteran leave to his or her credit if it is not used during the 12-month eligibility period.

    Section 630.1308(b) provides that, if, during the 12-month eligibility period, a change in an employee's disability rating causes the employee to no longer have a qualifying service-connected disability, any disabled veteran leave to the employee's credit must be forfeited.

    Section 630.1308(c) addresses the transfer of disabled veteran leave when an employee transfers between agencies without a break in employment during the 12-month eligibility period.

    Section 630.1308(d) addresses the recrediting of disabled veteran leave when an employee has an unused balance of disabled veteran leave at the time of a break in employment but returns to employment during the 12-month eligibility period. It also addresses the responsibilities of the losing agency to provide information to the gaining agency.

    Section 630.1308(e) provides that an employee may not receive a lump-sum payment for any unused disabled veteran leave under any circumstance.

    Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed this rule in accordance with E.O. 13563 and 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it will apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 630

    Government employees.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Beth F. Cobert, Acting Director.

    Accordingly, OPM is proposing to amend part 630 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 630—ABSENCE AND LEAVE 1. Revise the authority citation for part 630 to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 6311; § 630.205 also issued under Pub. L. 108-411, 118 Stat 2312; § 630.301 also issued under Pub. L. 103-356, 108 Stat. 3410 and Pub. L. 108-411, 118 Stat 2312; § 630.303 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6133(a); §§ 630.306 and 630.308 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6304(d)(3), Pub. L. 102-484, 106 Stat. 2722, and Pub. L. 103-337, 108 Stat. 2663; subpart D also issued under Pub. L. 103-329, 108 Stat. 2423; § 630.501 and subpart F also issued under E.O. 11228, 30 FR 7739, 3 CFR, 1974 Comp., p. 163; subpart G also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6305; subpart H also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6326; subpart I also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6332, Pub. L. 100-566, 102 Stat. 2834, and Pub. L. 103-103, 107 Stat. 1022; subpart J also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6362, Pub. L 100-566, and Pub. L. 103-103; subpart K also issued under Pub. L. 105-18, 111 Stat. 158; subpart L also issued under 5 U.S.C. 6387 and Pub. L. 103-3, 107 Stat. 23; and subpart M also issued under section 2(d) of Pub. L. 114-75, 129 Stat. 640.

    § 630.310 [Removed and Reserved]
    2. Remove and reserve § 630.310. 3. Revise subpart M to read as follows: Subpart M—Disabled Veteran Leave Sec. 630.1301 Purpose and authority. 630.1302 Applicability. 630.1303 Definitions. 630.1304 Eligibility. 630.1305 Crediting disabled veteran leave. 630.1306 Requesting and using disabled veteran leave. 630.1307 Medical certification. 630.1308 Disabled veteran leave forfeiture, transfer, reinstatement. Subpart M—Disabled Veteran Leave
    § 630.1301 Purpose and authority.

    This subpart implements 5 U.S.C. 6329, which establishes a leave category, to be known as “disabled veteran leave,” for an eligible employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more. Such an employee is entitled to this leave for purposes of undergoing medical treatment for such disability. Disabled veteran leave must be used during the 12-month period beginning on the first day of employment following the military service during which the employee incurred such disability. OPM's authority to regulate section 6329 is found in section 2(d) of Public Law 114-75.

    § 630.1302 Applicability.

    This subpart applies to an employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more, subject to the conditions specified in this subpart. This subpart does not apply to employees of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission who are subject to regulations issued by the Postmaster General under section 2(d)(2) of Public Law 114-75. This subpart applies only to an employee who is hired on or after November 5, 2016.

    § 630.1303 Definitions.

    In this subpart:

    12-month eligibility period means the continuous 12-month period that begins on the first day of employment. For an employee who was eligible (or later determined to have been eligible) for disabled veteran leave as an employee of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission and who subsequently commences employment covered by this subpart, the 12-month eligibility period is the period that began on the first day of employment with the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission (as determined under regulations issued by the Postmaster General to implement 5 U.S.C. 6329).

    Agency means an agency of the Federal Government. In the case of an agency in the Executive branch, it means an Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105. When the term “agency” is used in the context of an agency making determinations or taking actions, it means management officials of the agency who are authorized by the agency head to make the given determination or take the given action.

    Employee has the meaning given that term in 5 U.S.C. 2105.

    Employment means service as an employee during which the employee is covered by a leave system under which leave is charged for periods of absence. This excludes service in a position in which the employee is not covered by 5 U.S.C. 6329 due to application of another statutory authority.

    First day of employment means the first day of service that qualifies as employment that occurs on or after the later of—

    (1) The earliest date an employee is hired after a period of military service during which the employee incurred a qualifying service-connected disability; or

    (2) The effective date of the employee's qualifying service-connected disability, as determined by the Veterans Benefits Administration.

    Health care provider has the meaning given that term in § 630.1202.

    Hired means the action of—

    (1) Receiving an initial appointment to a civilian position in the Federal Government in which the service qualifies as employment under this subpart;

    (2) Receiving a qualifying reappointment to a civilian position in the Federal Government in which the service qualifies as employment under this subpart; or

    (3) Returning to duty status in a civilian position in the Federal Government in which the service qualifies as employment under this subpart, when such return immediately followed a break in civilian duty (with the employee in continuous civilian leave status) to perform military service.

    Medical certificate means a written statement signed by a health care provider certifying to the treatment of a veteran's qualifying service-connected disability.

    Medical treatment means any activity carried out or prescribed by a health care provider to treat a veteran's qualifying service-connected disability.

    Military service means “active military, naval, or air service” as that term is defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(24).

    Qualifying reappointment means an appointment of a former employee of the Federal Government following a break in employment of at least 90 calendar days.

    Qualifying service-connected disability means a veteran's service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more by the Veteran Benefits Administration, including a combined degree of disability of 30 percent or more that reflects the combined effect of multiple individual disabilities, which resulted in the award of disability compensation under title 38, United States Code. A temporary disability rating under 38 U.S.C. 1156 is considered a valid rating in applying this definition for as long as it is in effect.

    Service-connected has the meaning given such term in 38 U.S.C. 101(16).

    Veterans Benefits Administration means the Veterans Benefits Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Veteran has the meaning given such term in 38 U.S.C. 101(2).

    § 630.1304 Eligibility.

    (a) An employee who is a veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability is entitled to disabled veteran leave under this subpart, which will be available for use during the 12-month eligibility period beginning on the first day of employment. For each employee, there is a single first day of employment.

    (b) In order to be eligible for disabled veteran leave, an employee must provide to the agency documentation from the Veterans Benefits Administration certifying that the employee has a qualifying service-connected disability. The documentation should be provided to the agency—

    (1) Upon the first day of employment, if the employee has already received such certifying documentation; or

    (2) For an employee who has not yet received such certifying documentation from the Veterans Benefit Administration, as soon as practicable after the employee receives the certifying documentation.

    (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this section, an employee may submit certifying documentation at a later time, including after a period of absence for medical treatment, as described in § 630.1306(c). The 12-month eligibility period is fixed based on the first day of employment and is not affected by the timing of when certifying documentation is provided.

    (d) If an employee's service-connected disability rating is decreased or discontinued during the 12-month eligibility period such that the employee no longer has a qualifying service-connected disability—

    (1) The employee must notify the agency of the effective date of the change in the disability rating; and

    (2) The employee is no longer eligible for disabled veteran leave as of the effective date of the rating change.

    § 630.1305 Crediting disabled veteran leave.

    (a) Upon receipt of the certifying documentation under § 630.1304, an agency must credit 104 hours of disabled veteran leave to a full-time, nonseasonal employee or a proportionally equivalent amount for employees with part-time, seasonal, or uncommon tours of duty, except as otherwise provided in this section.

    (b) The proportional equivalent of 104 hours for a full-time employee is determined for employees with other schedules as follows:

    (1) For an employee with a part-time work schedule, the 104 hours is prorated based on the number of hours in the part-time schedule (as established for leave charging purposes) relative to a full-time schedule (e.g., 52 hours for a half-time schedule);

    (2) For an employee with a seasonal work schedule, the 104 hours is prorated based on the total projected hours to be worked in an annual period of 52 weeks (based on the seasonal employee's seasonal work periods and full-time or part-time schedule during those periods) relative to a full-time work year of 2,080 hours (e.g., 52 hours for a seasonal employee who works full-time for half a year); and

    (3) For an employee with an uncommon tour of duty (as defined in § 630.201 and described in § 630.210), 104 hours is proportionally increased based on the number of hours in the uncommon tour relative to the hours in a regular full-time tour (e.g., 187 hours for an employee with a 72-hour weekly uncommon tour of duty.)

    (c) When an employee is converted to a different tour of duty for leave purposes, the employee's balance of unused disabled veteran leave must be converted to the proper number of hours based on the proportion of hours in the new tour of duty compared to the former tour of duty. For seasonal employees, hours must be annualized in determining the proportion.

    (d) The amount of disabled veteran leave initially credited to an employee under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section must be offset by the number of hours of sick leave an employee has credited to his or her account as of the first day of employment. For example, if an employee is being reappointed and having sick leave recredited upon such reappointment, the amount of disabled veteran leave must be reduced by the amount of such recredited sick leave. Similarly, if an employee is returning to civilian duty status after a period of leave for military service, that employee may have a balance of sick leave, which must be used to offset the disabled veteran leave.

    (e)(1) An employee who was previously employed by an agency whose employees were not subject to 5 U.S.C. 6329 must certify, at the time the employee is hired in a position subject to 5 U.S.C. 6329, whether or not that former agency provided entitlement to an equivalent disabled veteran leave benefit to be used in connection with the medical treatment of a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more. The employee must certify the date he or she commenced the period of eligibility to use disabled veteran leave in the former agency.

    (2) If 12 months have elapsed since the commencing date referenced in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the employee will be considered to have received the full amount of an equivalent benefit and no benefit may be provided under this subpart.

    (3) If the employee is still within the 12-month period that began on the commencing date referenced in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the employee must certify the number of hours of disabled veteran leave used at the former agency. The gaining agency must offset the number of hours of disabled veteran leave to be credited to the employee by the number of such hours used by the employee at such agency, while making no offset under paragraph (d) of this section. If the employee had a different type of work schedule at the former agency, the hours used at the former agency must be converted before applying the offset, consistent with § 630.1305(c).

    § 630.1306 Requesting and using disabled veteran leave.

    (a) An employee may use disabled veteran leave only for the medical treatment of a qualifying service-connected disability. The medical treatment may include a period of rest, but only if such period of rest is specifically ordered by the health care provider as part of a prescribed course of treatment for the qualifying service-connected disability.

    (b)(1) An employee must file an application—written, oral, or electronic, as required by the agency—to use disabled veteran leave. The application must include a personal self-certification by the employee that the requested leave will be (or was) used for purposes of being furnished medical treatment for a qualifying service-connected disability. The application must also include the specific days and hours of absence required for the treatment. The application must be submitted within such time limits as the agency may require.

    (2) An employee must request approval to use disabled veteran leave in advance unless the need for leave is critical and not foreseeable—e.g., due to a medical emergency or the unexpected availability of an appointment for surgery or other critical treatment. The employee must provide notice within a reasonable period of time appropriate to the circumstances involved. If the agency determines that the need for leave is critical and not foreseeable and that the employee is unable to provide advance notice of his or her need for leave, the leave may not be delayed or denied.

    (c)(1) When an employee did not provide the agency with certification of a qualifying service-connected disability before having a period of absence for treatment of such disability, the employee is entitled to substitute approved disabled veteran leave retroactively for such period of absence (excluding periods of suspension or absence without leave (AWOL), but including leave without pay, sick leave, annual leave, compensatory time off, or other paid time off) in the 12-month eligibility period. Such retroactive substitution cancels the use of the original leave or paid time off and requires appropriate adjustments. In the case of retroactive substitution for a period when an employee used advanced annual leave or advanced sick leave, the adjustment is a liquidation of the leave indebtedness covered by the substitution.

    (2) An agency may require an employee to submit the medical certification described in § 630.1307(a) before approving such retroactive substitution.

    § 630.1307 Medical certification.

    (a) In addition to the employee's self-certification required under § 630.1306(b)(1), an agency may additionally require that the use of disabled veteran leave be supported by a signed written medical certification issued by a health care provider.

    (b) When an agency requires a signed written medical certification by a health care provider, the agency may specify that the certification include—

    (1) A statement by the health care provider that the medical treatment is for one or more service-connected disabilities of the employee rated at 30 percent or more;

    (2) The date or dates of treatment or, if the treatment extends over several days, the beginning and ending dates of the treatment;

    (3) If the leave was not requested in advance, a statement that the treatment required was of an urgent nature or there were other circumstances that made advanced scheduling not possible; and

    (4) any additional information that is essential to verify the employee's eligibility.

    (c)(1) An employee must provide any required written medical certification no later than 15 calendar days after the date the agency requests such medical certification, except as otherwise allowed under paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

    (2) If the agency determines it is not practicable under the particular circumstances for the employee to provide the requested medical certification within 15 calendar days after the date requested by the agency despite the employee's diligent, good faith efforts, the employee must provide the medical certification within a reasonable period of time under the circumstances involved, but no later than 30 calendar days after the date the agency requests such documentation.

    (3) An employee who does not provide the required evidence or medical certification within the specified time period is not entitled to use disabled veteran leave, and the agency may, as appropriate and consistent with applicable laws and regulations—

    (i) Charge the employee as absent without leave (AWOL); or

    (ii) Allow the employee to request that the absence be charged to leave without pay, sick leave, annual leave, or other forms of paid time off.

    § 630.1308 Disabled veteran leave forfeiture, transfer, reinstatement.

    (a) Disabled veteran leave not used during the 12-month eligibility period may not be carried over to subsequent years and must be forfeited.

    (b) If a change in the employee's disability rating during the 12-month eligibility period causes the employee to no longer have a qualifying service-connected disability (as described in § 630.1304(d)), any unused disabled veteran leave to the employee's credit as of the effective date of the rating change must be forfeited.

    (c) When an employee with a positive disabled veteran leave balance transfers between positions in different agencies, or transfers from the United States Postal Service or Postal Regulatory Commission to a position in another agency, during the 12-month eligibility period, the agency from which the employee transfers must certify the number of unused disabled veteran leave hours available for credit by the gaining agency. The losing agency must also certify the expiration date of the employee's 12-month eligibility period to the gaining agency. Any unused disabled veteran leave will be forfeited at the end of that eligibility period. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term “transfers” means movement from a position in one agency (or the United States Postal Service or Postal Regulatory Commission) to a position in another agency without a break in employment of 1 workday or more in circumstances where service in both positions qualifies as employment under this subpart.

    (d)(1) An employee covered by this subpart, or an employee of the United States Postal Service or Postal Regulatory Commission, with a balance of unused disabled veteran leave who has a break in employment of at least 1 workday during the employee's 12-month eligibility period, and later recommences employment covered by 5 U.S.C. 6329 within that same eligibility period, is entitled to a recredit of the unused balance.

    (2) When an employee has a break in employment as described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the losing agency must certify the number of unused disabled veteran leave hours available for recredit by the gaining agency. The losing agency must also certify the expiration date of the employee's 12-month eligibility period. Any unused disabled veteran leave must be forfeited at the end of that eligibility period.

    (3) In the absence of the certification described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the recredit of disabled veteran leave may also be supported by written documentation available to the employing agency in its official personnel records concerning the employee, the official records of the employee's former employing agency, copies of contemporaneous earnings and leave statement(s) provided by the employee, or copies of other contemporaneous written documentation acceptable to the agency.

    (e) An employee may not receive a lump-sum payment for any unused disabled veteran leave under any circumstance.

    [FR Doc. 2016-13285 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-39-P
    OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS 5 CFR Part 2638 RIN 3209-AA42 Executive Branch Ethics Program Amendments AGENCY:

    Office of Government Ethics.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Government Ethics is proposing to amend the regulation that sets forth the elements and procedures of the executive branch ethics program. This comprehensive revision of 5 CFR part 2638 is informed by the experience gained over the last several decades administering the program, and was developed in consultation with agency ethics officials, the inspector general community, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Department of Justice. The proposed regulation defines and describes the executive branch ethics program, delineates the responsibilities of various stakeholders, and enumerates key executive branch ethics procedures.

    DATES:

    Comments are invited and must be received on or before August 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, in writing, on this proposed rule, identified by RIN 3209-AA42, by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include the reference “Proposed Amendment to the Executive Branch Ethics Program Regulation, 3209-AA42” in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 202-482-9237.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20005-3917, Attention: Monica Ashar, Assistant Counsel.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name of the Office of Government Ethics and the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN), 3209-AA42, for this proposed rulemaking. All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and be subject to public disclosure. Comments may be posted at www.oge.gov. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included. Comments generally will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Monica Ashar, Assistant Counsel; Telephone: 202-482-9300; TTY: 800-877-8339; FAX: 202-482-9237.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Background and Analysis of Proposed Rule Changes

    Title IV of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 as amended (the Act), sets forth the responsibilities of the Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in providing overall direction of executive branch policies related to preventing conflicts of interest on the part of officers and employees of any executive agency. On January 9, 1981, a final rule was published which set forth the elements of an agency's ethics program, the responsibilities of an agency head with regard to that program, and the duties of a Designated Agency Ethics Official. It also established the formal advisory opinion service of the Office of Government Ethics. See 46 FR 2582-2587 (January 9, 1981). These provisions, which are now codified at subparts A through C of 5 CFR part 2638, have remained largely unchanged since they were first issued, despite having been developed when the executive branch-wide ethics program was in its infancy.

    The next substantive addition to part 2638 occurred in 1990. The Office of Government Ethics Reauthorization Act of 1988, Public Law 100-598, granted the Director of the Office of Government Ethics the authority to order corrective action on the part of individuals and agencies, and to require certain reports from agencies. On January 18, 1990, the Office of Government Ethics issued interim regulations, as later modified by the final rule, which established procedures to correct deficiencies in executive branch ethics programs; to bring individual agency employees into compliance with rules, regulations, and executive orders relating to standards of conduct and conflicts of interest; and to specify requirements for executive agency reports. See 55 FR 1665-1670 (January 18, 1990) and 55 FR 21845-21847 (May 30, 1990). These procedures, which are codified at subparts D through F of part 2638, have remained unchanged since the final rule was issued 26 years ago.

    That same year, the Office of Government Ethics issued a proposed new subpart G to require executive branch ethics programs to maintain ethics training programs for their employees. See 55 FR 38335-38337 (September 18, 1990). After the final rule was promulgated in 1992, the Office of Government Ethics made several revisions to the training regulations, based in part on feedback from agency ethics officials. See 62 FR 11307 (March 12, 1997). The most recent amendment occurred 16 years ago, and was done to rewrite the regulation in plain language. See 65 FR 7275-7281 (February 14, 2000).

    The proposed revisions, which are described in further detail below, draw upon the collective experience of agency ethics officials across the executive branch and the Office of Government Ethics as the supervising ethics office. They reflect the extensive input that the executive branch ethics community provided throughout the drafting process. In short, they present a comprehensive picture of the executive branch ethics program, its responsibilities and its procedures, as reflected through 35 years of interpreting and implementing the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, as well as other applicable statutes, regulations, executive orders and authorities.

    Mission and Responsibilities

    The proposed subpart A, titled “Mission and Responsibilities,” presents an overarching view of the executive branch ethics program and establishes context for part 2638. It opens by setting forth the program's core principles: Its mission of preventing conflicts of interest, the breadth of conflicts prevention, and the scope of a conflicts-based program. Whereas the current regulation necessarily focuses on the granular operations of the executive branch ethics program, the proposed rule seeks also to articulate the core goals that guide the program's work.

    Subpart A then expands upon the regulations that currently exist at subpart B and that have remained largely unchanged since their issuance in 1981. The existing provisions, collected under the heading “Designated Agency Ethics Official,” enumerate the responsibilities of the agency head, the duties of the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO), and the delegation of those duties by the DAEO to one or more deputy agency ethics officials. However, as the Office of Government Ethics and agency ethics officials have experienced in the time since issuance of those provisions, there are several agency operations outside of the DAEO's control that are nonetheless critical to the success of an agency ethics program. Further, while the agency head is ultimately responsible for the ethics program, the structure of the existing subpart B serves to understate the agency head's role. The proposed subpart A improves upon the current regulation by identifying key constituencies individually and delineating their responsibilities.

    Subpart A concludes by defining the role and responsibilities of the Office of Government Ethics as the supervising ethics office for the executive branch. It expands upon the provision presently located at § 2638.102 to provide a more comprehensive list of the authorities and functions of the agency. It also institutionalizes certain practices, such as convening quarterly meetings, that the Office of Government Ethics otherwise plans to continue indefinitely.

    Procedures of the Executive Branch Ethics Program

    The proposed subpart B centralizes the procedures of the executive branch ethics program. At present, these procedures are found in the existing subpart C (Formal Advisory Opinion Service), the existing subpart F (Executive Branch Agency Reports), and in several advisories that are available on the public-facing Web site of the Office of Government Ethics. These procedures concern the furnishing of information, records and reports to the Office of Government Ethics; the executive branch's collection of financial disclosure reports; and the issuance of formal advisory opinions and other written guidance by the Office of Government Ethics. Further, the proposed subpart B will include one new procedure, which pertains to ethics preparations for presidential transitions.

    With respect to financial disclosure reports, §§ 2638.203 through 2638.205 establish the procedures that the executive branch ethics program will use to collect public and confidential financial disclosure reports. Part 2634 of this chapter addresses the substantive requirements of public and confidential financial disclosure, as well as the processes for individual agencies' review, maintenance, and, where applicable, release of financial disclosure reports.

    Government Ethics Education

    Subpart C further modernizes the ethics training regulations currently located at subpart G. This revision is one of several that have occurred since the training regulations were first issued in 1992. Most notably, it acknowledges the increased use of technology to fulfill existing training requirements and updates the current framework, which distinguishes between “verbal training” and “written training,” so that the key distinction will be between “live training” and “interactive training.” Interactive training may take a variety of forms, and training that satisfies the requirements for live training will also always satisfy the requirements for interactive training.

    Additionally, it creates greater flexibility for agency ethics officials—who are in the best position to know their agencies' programs and operations—to tailor the content of the training to meet the needs of their employees. For example, for employees who are required to receive annual training, the current subpart C has required the agency's training to cover each of the principles of ethical conduct, each of the standards of ethical conduct, and each of the Federal conflict of interest statutes, in addition to any agency supplemental standards of conduct. The proposed rule distills this broad range of topics into four key topic areas and provides the DAEO with broad discretion to determine how much of the training to devote to each of these four topic areas. After covering these four required topic areas, as briefly or extensively as the circumstances warrant, an agency's training may focus on other government ethics topics that the DAEO deems relevant to the audience being trained.

    As part of this modernization, subpart C also makes adjustments to the existing requirements for initial ethics orientation and annual training. At the same time, it introduces a new requirement to brief certain agency leaders around the time of appointment. This briefing must occur after confirmation but no later than 15 days after appointment, unless the DAEO grants a 15-day extension. A limited exception permits the DAEO to grant an individual an additional extension, but only in extraordinary circumstances. An individual's workload, meeting schedule, or travel schedule will normally not, without more, constitute extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances necessitating an additional extension might include a natural or manmade disaster, an imminent threat to national security, the individual's physical incapacity, the individual's absence from the office in connection with the death of a family member, and other circumstances of a similarly disruptive magnitude.

    Subpart C also introduces requirements for agencies to inform prospective employees, in any written employment offers, of the ethical obligations associated with the positions being offered, and to notify newly appointed supervisors of their unique role in the agency ethics program. By taking advantage of existing personnel systems for issuing written offers of employment and for training new supervisors, agencies can, with little additional effort, inform employees of their newly acquired ethical responsibilities. For example, the notice to new supervisors that is required under § 2638.306 could be provided to new supervisors either in the written notice that they are subject to the requirements of 5 CFR 412.202(b) or during the training they receive pursuant to 5 CFR 412.202(b).

    Subpart C acknowledges that ethics officials may coordinate with other offices to fulfill certain programmatic requirements. For example, an agency's Office of Human Resources may be delegated the responsibility to inform prospective employees, in written employment offers, of their ethical obligations. With respect to the tracking of specified activities performed by offices that are not supervised by the DAEO, as described in § 2638.310, the Office of Government Ethics requires only that the DAEO receive a written summary of the established procedures, and a written confirmation that these procedures are being properly implemented. Where § 2638.310 applies, agencies need not track the completion of each particular action taken with respect to individual employees.

    Finally, subpart C eliminates the formal requirement for agencies to develop training plans, which largely consist of inordinately detailed estimates of various categories of employees required to complete annual training in a particular year. In the experience of the Office of Government Ethics, these plans appear to contribute little to the success of agency training programs while requiring a disproportionately large effort from agency ethics officials. The requirement to engage in reasonable planning efforts still applies, but the Office of Government Ethics will no longer prescribe the form these efforts must take. See Executive Order 12674 of April 12, 1989, as modified by Executive Order 12731 of October 17, 1990.

    Correction of Executive Branch Agency Ethics Programs

    The proposed subpart D modifies the current subpart D, which establishes procedures for the correction of executive branch ethics programs. These procedures are implemented when there are indications that an agency ethics program is not in compliance with the requirements set forth in applicable government ethics laws and regulations. The proposed subpart D improves the current procedures by enumerating several informal actions that the Director may take in order to bring the agency into compliance. These informal procedures reflect the practice of the Office of Government Ethics over the past several decades. The Office of Government Ethics has found that informal resolution is often an appropriate and effective alternative to formal action because it involves agency ethics officials and other stakeholders in actively crafting and implementing a resolution. However, in the event that informal action does not resolve the deficiency, the Director will take formal action with respect to the agency's ethics program, as required by the Act.

    Corrective Action Involving Individual Employees

    The proposed subpart E modifies the current subpart E, which contains procedures for addressing potential violations of noncriminal ethics laws and regulations by individual employees. These corrective action procedures, which were established in 1990, have generated considerable confusion among external stakeholders over the past 26 years. The proposed subpart E therefore seeks to clarify three fundamental elements. First, it clarifies the meaning and effect of subpart E, particularly with respect to the limits on the authority of the Office of Government Ethics to direct employees to take corrective action. Second, it emphasizes that, in practice, suspected violations of noncriminal government ethics laws or regulations are generally resolved without the need for formal action on the part of the Office of Government Ethics. Third, it makes clear that, as a matter of law, the formal procedures may be used only when no criminal law is or has been implicated.

    General Provisions

    The proposed subpart F, which comprises general provisions, largely incorporates subpart A of the current regulation. Additionally, the proposed subpart F provides a comprehensive list of key ethics dates and deadlines that are otherwise dispersed throughout this part and other statutes and regulations.

    B. Matters of Regulatory Procedure Regulatory Flexibility Act

    As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I certify under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it primarily affects current and former Federal executive branch employees.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply because this regulation does not contain information collection requirements that require approval of the Office of Management and Budget.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    For purposes of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. chapter 5, subchapter II), this proposed rule would not significantly or uniquely affect small governments and will not result in increased expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (as adjusted for inflation) in any one year.

    Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select the regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rulemaking has been designated as a “significant regulatory action” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly this proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Executive Order 12988

    As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I have reviewed this proposed rule in light of section 3 of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, and certify that it meets the applicable standards provided therein.

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 2638

    Administrative practice and procedure, Conflict of interests, Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Approved: May 31, 2016. Walter M. Shaub, Jr., Director, Office of Government Ethics.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Office of Government Ethics proposes to revise 5 CFR part 2638 to read as follows:

    PART 2638—EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS PROGRAM Subpart A—Mission and Responsibilities Sec. 2638.101 Mission. 2638.102 Government ethics responsibilities of employees. 2638.103 Government ethics responsibilities of supervisors. 2638.104 Government ethics responsibilities of agency ethics officials. 2638.105 Government ethics responsibilities of lead human resources officials. 2638.106 Government ethics responsibilities of responsibilities of Inspectors General. 2638.107 Government ethics responsibilities of agency heads. 2638.108 Government ethics responsibilities of the Office of Government Ethics. Subpart B—Procedures of the Executive Branch Ethics Program 2638.201 In general. 2638.202 Furnishing records and information generally. 2638.203 Collection of public financial disclosure reports required to be submitted to the Office of Government Ethics. 2638.204 Collection of other public financial disclosure reports. 2638.205 Collection of confidential financial disclosure reports. 2638.206 Notice to the Director of certain referrals to the Department of Justice. 2638.207 Annual report on the agency's ethics program. 2638.208 Written guidance on the executive branch ethics program. 2638.209 Formal advisory opinions. 2638.210 Presidential transition planning. Subpart C—Government Ethics Education 2638.301 In general. 2638.302 Definitions. 2638.303 Notice to prospective employees. 2638.304 Initial ethics training. 2638.305 Additional ethics briefing for certain agency leaders. 2638.306 Notice to new supervisors. 2638.307 Annual ethics training for confidential filers and certain other employees. 2638.308 Annual ethics training for public filers. 2638.309 Agency-specific ethics education requirements. 2638.310 Coordinating the agency's ethics education program. Subpart D—Correction of Executive Branch Agency Ethics Programs 2638.401 In general. 2638.402 Informal action. 2638.403 Formal action. Subpart E—Corrective Action Involving Individual Employees 2638.501 In general. 2638.502 Violations of criminal provisions related to government ethics. 2638.503 Recommendations and advice to employees and agencies. 2638.504 Violations of noncriminal provisions related to government ethics. Subpart F—General Provisions 2638.601 Authority and purpose. 2638.602 Agency regulations. 2638.603 Definitions. 2638.604 Key program dates. Authority:

    5 U.S.C. App. 101-505; E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306.

    Subpart A—Mission and Responsibilities
    § 2638.101 Mission.

    (a) Mission. The primary mission of the executive branch ethics program is to prevent conflicts of interest on the part of executive branch employees.

    (b) Breadth. The executive branch ethics program works to ensure that public servants make impartial decisions based on the interests of the public when carrying out the governmental responsibilities entrusted to them, serve as good stewards of public resources, and loyally adhere to the Constitution and laws of the United States. The program's mission includes preventing conflicts of interest that stem from: Financial interests; business or personal relationships; misuses of official position, official time, or public resources; and the receipt of gifts. The mission is focused on both conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest.

    (c) Conflicts-based program. The executive branch ethics program is a conflicts-based program, rather than a solely disclosure-based program. While transparency is an invaluable tool for promoting and monitoring ethical conduct, the executive branch ethics program requires more than transparency. This program seeks to ensure the integrity of governmental decision-making and to promote public confidence by preventing conflicts of interest. Taken together, the systems in place to identify and address conflicts of interest establish a foundation on which to build and sustain an ethical culture in the executive branch.

    § 2638.102 Government ethics responsibilities of employees.

    Consistent with the fundamental principle that public service is a public trust, every employee in the executive branch plays a critical role in the executive branch ethics program. As provided in the Standards of Conduct at part 2635 of this chapter, employees must endeavor to act at all times in the public's interest, avoid losing impartiality or appearing to lose impartiality in carrying out official duties, refrain from misusing their offices for private gain, serve as good stewards of public resources, and comply with the requirements of government ethics laws and regulations, including any applicable financial disclosure requirements. Employees must refrain from participating in particular matters in which they have financial interests and, pursuant to § 2635.402(f) of this chapter, should notify their supervisors or ethics officials when their official duties create the substantial likelihood of such conflicts of interest. Collectively, the charge of employees is to make ethical conduct the hallmark of government service.

    § 2638.103 Government ethics responsibilities of supervisors.

    Every supervisor in the executive branch has a heightened personal responsibility for advancing government ethics. It is imperative that supervisors serve as models of ethical behavior for subordinates. Supervisors have a responsibility to help ensure that subordinates are aware of their ethical obligations under the Standards of Conduct and that subordinates know how to contact agency ethics officials. Supervisors are also responsible for working with agency ethics officials to help resolve conflicts of interest and enforce government ethics laws and regulations, including those requiring certain employees to file financial disclosure reports. In addition, supervisors are responsible, when requested, for assisting agency ethics officials in evaluating potential conflicts of interest and identifying positions subject to financial disclosure requirements.

    § 2638.104 Government ethics responsibilities of agency ethics officials.

    (a) Appointment of a Designated Agency Ethics Official. Each agency head must appoint a Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO). The DAEO is the employee with primary responsibility for directing the daily activities of the agency's ethics program and coordinating with the Office of Government Ethics.

    (b) Qualifications necessary to serve as DAEO. The following are necessary qualifications of an agency's DAEO:

    (1) The DAEO must be an employee at an appropriate level in the organization, such that the DAEO is able to coordinate effectively with officials in relevant agency components and gain access to the agency head when necessary to discuss important matters related to the agency's ethics program.

    (2) The DAEO must be an employee who has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to manage a significant agency program, to understand and apply complex legal requirements, and to generate support for building and sustaining an ethical culture in the organization.

    (3) On an ongoing basis, the DAEO must demonstrate the capacity to serve as an effective advocate for the executive branch ethics program, show support for the mission of the executive branch ethics program, prove responsive to the Director's requests for documents and information related to the ethics program, and serve as an effective liaison with the Office of Government Ethics.

    (4) In any agency with 1,000 or more employees, any DAEO appointed after the effective date of this regulation must be an employee at the senior executive level or higher, unless the agency has fewer than 10 positions at that level.

    (c) Responsibilities of the DAEO. Acting directly or through other officials, the DAEO is responsible for taking actions authorized or required under this subchapter, including the following:

    (1) Serving as an effective liaison to the Office of Government Ethics;

    (2) Maintaining records of agency ethics program activities;

    (3) Promptly and timely furnishing the Office of Government Ethics with all documents and information requested or required under subpart B of this part;

    (4) Providing advice and counseling to prospective and current employees regarding government ethics laws and regulations, and providing former employees with advice and counseling regarding post-employment restrictions applicable to them;

    (5) Carrying out an effective government ethics education program under subpart C of this part;

    (6) Taking appropriate action to resolve conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest, through recusals, directed divestitures, waivers, authorizations, reassignments, and other appropriate means;

    (7) Consistent with § 2640.303 of this chapter, consulting with the Office of Government Ethics regarding the issuance of waivers pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b);

    (8) Carrying out an effective financial disclosure program, by:

    (i) Establishing such written procedures as are appropriate relative to the size and complexity of the agency's financial disclosure program for the filing, review, and, when applicable, public availability of financial disclosure reports;

    (ii) Requiring public and confidential filers to comply with deadlines and requirements for financial disclosure reports under part 2634 of this chapter and, in the event of noncompliance, taking appropriate action to address such noncompliance;

    (iii) Imposing late fees in appropriate cases involving untimely filing of public financial disclosure reports;

    (iv) Making referrals to the Inspector General or the Department of Justice in appropriate cases involving knowing and willful falsification of financial disclosure reports or knowing and willful failure to file financial disclosure reports;

    (v) Reviewing financial disclosure reports, with an emphasis on preventing conflicts of interest;

    (vi) Consulting, when necessary, with financial disclosure filers and their supervisors to evaluate potential conflicts of interest;

    (vii) Timely certifying financial disclosure reports and taking appropriate action with regard to financial disclosure reports that cannot be certified; and

    (viii) Using the information disclosed in financial disclosure reports to prevent and resolve potential conflicts of interest.

    (9) Assisting the agency in its enforcement of ethics laws and regulations when agency officials:

    (i) Make appropriate referrals to the Inspector General or the Department of Justice;

    (ii) Take disciplinary or corrective action; and

    (iii) Employ other means available to them.

    (10) Upon request of the Office of Inspector General, providing that office with ready and active assistance with regard to the interpretation and application of government ethics laws and regulations, as well as the procedural requirements of the ethics program;

    (11) Ensuring that the agency has a process for notifying the Office of Government Ethics upon referral, made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 535, to the Department of Justice regarding a potential violation of a conflict of interest law, unless such notification would be prohibited by law;

    (12) Providing agency officials with advice on the applicability of government ethics laws and regulations to special Government employees;

    (13) Requiring timely compliance with ethics agreements, pursuant to part 2634, subpart H of this chapter;

    (14) Conducting ethics briefings for certain agency leaders, pursuant to § 2638.305;

    (15) Prior to any Presidential election, preparing the agency's ethics program for a potential Presidential transition; and

    (16) Periodically evaluating the agency's ethics program and making recommendations to the agency regarding the resources available to the ethics program.

    (d) Appointment of an Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official. Each agency head must appoint an Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official (ADAEO). The ADAEO serves as the primary deputy to the DAEO in the administration of the agency's ethics program. Together, the DAEO and the ADAEO direct the daily activities of an agency's ethics program and coordinate with the Office of Government Ethics. The ADAEO must be an employee who has demonstrated the skills necessary to assist the DAEO in the administration of the agency's ethics program.

    (e) Program support by additional ethics officials and other individuals. Subject to approval by the DAEO or the agency head, an agency may designate additional ethics officials and other employees to assist the DAEO in carrying out the responsibilities of the ethics program, some of whom may be designated “deputy ethics officials” for purposes of parts 2635 and 2636 of this chapter. The agency is responsible for ensuring that these employees have the skills and expertise needed to perform their assigned duties related to the ethics program and must provide appropriate training to them for this purpose. Although the agency may appoint such officials as are necessary to assist in carrying out functions of the agency's ethics program, they will be subject to the direction of the DAEO with respect to the functions of the agency's ethics program described in this chapter. The DAEO retains authority to make final decisions regarding the agency's ethics program and its functions, subject only to the authority of the agency head and the Office of Government Ethics.

    (f) Ethics responsibilities that may be performed only by the DAEO or ADAEO. In addition to any items reserved for action by the DAEO or ADAEO in other parts of this chapter, only the DAEO or ADAEO may carry out the following responsibilities:

    (1) Request approval of supplemental agency regulations, pursuant to § 2635.105 of this chapter;

    (2) Recommend a separate component designation, pursuant to § 2641.302(e) of this chapter;

    (3) Request approval of an alternative means for collecting certain public financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2638.204(c);

    (4) Request determinations regarding public reporting requirements, pursuant to §§ 2634.202(c), 2634.203, 2634.205, and 2634.304(f) of this chapter;

    (5) Make determinations, other than exceptions in individual cases, regarding the means the agency will use to collect public or confidential financial disclosure reports, pursuant to §§ 2638.204 and 2638.205;

    (6) Request an alternative procedure for filing confidential financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2634.905(a) of this chapter;

    (7) Request a formal advisory opinion on behalf of the agency or a prospective, current, or former employee of that agency, pursuant to § 2638.209(d); and

    (8) Request a certificate of divestiture, pursuant to § 2634.1005(b) of this chapter.

    § 2638.105 Government ethics responsibilities of lead human resources officials.

    (a) The lead human resources official, as defined in § 2638.603, acting directly or through delegees, is responsible for:

    (1) Promptly notifying the DAEO of all appointments to positions that require incumbents to file public or confidential financial disclosure reports, with the notification occurring prior to appointment whenever practicable but in no case occurring more than 15 days after appointment; and

    (2) Promptly notifying the DAEO of terminations of employees in positions that require incumbents to file public financial disclosure reports, with the notification occurring prior to termination whenever practicable but in no case occurring more than 15 days after termination.

    (b) The lead human resources official may be assigned certain additional ethics responsibilities by the agency.

    (1) If an agency elects to assign such responsibilities to human resources officials, the lead human resources official is responsible for coordinating, to the extent necessary and practicable, with the DAEO to support the agency's ethics program;

    (2) If the lead human resources official is responsible for conducting ethics training pursuant to subpart C of this part, that official must follow the DAEO's directions regarding applicable requirements, procedures, and the qualifications of any presenters, consistent with the requirements of this chapter;

    (3) If the lead human resources official is responsible for issuing the required government ethics notices in written offers of employment, pursuant to § 2638.303, or providing supervisory ethics notices, pursuant to § 2638.306, that official must comply with any substantive and procedural requirements established by the DAEO, consistent with the requirements of this chapter; and

    (4) To the extent applicable, the lead human resources official is required to provide the DAEO with a written summary and confirmation regarding procedures for implementing certain requirements of subpart C of this part by January 15 each year, pursuant to § 2638.310.

    (c) Nothing in this section prevents an agency head from delegating the duties described in paragraph (b) of this section to another agency official. In the event that an agency head delegates the duties described in paragraph (b) of this section to an agency official other than the lead human resources official, the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section will apply to that official.

    § 2638.106 Government ethics responsibilities of Inspectors General.

    An agency's Inspector General has authority to conduct investigations of suspected violations of conflict of interest laws and other government ethics laws and regulations. An Inspector General is responsible for giving serious consideration to a request made pursuant to section 403 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (the “Act”) by the Office of Government Ethics for investigation of a possible violation of a government ethics law or regulation. In addition, an Inspector General is responsible for providing the Office of Government Ethics information about certain referrals to the Department of Justice, pursuant to § 2638.206. An Inspector General may consult with the Director for legal guidance on the application of government ethics laws and regulations, except that the Director may not make any finding as to whether a provision of title 18, United States Code, or any criminal law of the United States outside of such title, has been or is being violated.

    § 2638.107 Government ethics responsibilities of agency heads.

    The agency head is responsible for, and will exercise personal leadership in, establishing and maintaining an effective agency ethics program and fostering an ethical culture in the agency. The agency head is also responsible for:

    (a) Designating employees to serve as the DAEO and ADAEO and notifying the Director in writing within 30 days of such designation;

    (b) Providing the DAEO with sufficient resources, including staffing, to sustain an effective ethics program;

    (c) Requiring agency officials to provide the DAEO with the information, support, and cooperation necessary for the accomplishment of the DAEO's responsibilities;

    (d) When action is warranted, enforcing government ethics laws and regulations through appropriate referrals to the Inspector General or the Department of Justice, investigations, and disciplinary or corrective action;

    (e) Requiring that violations of government ethics laws and regulations, or interference with the functioning of the agency ethics program, be appropriately considered in evaluating the performance of senior executives;

    (f) Requiring the Chief Information Officer and other appropriate agency officials to support the DAEO in using technology, to the extent practicable, to carry out ethics program functions such as delivering interactive training and tracking ethics program activities;

    (g) Requiring appropriate agency officials to submit to the Office of Government Ethics, by May 31 each year, required reports of travel accepted by the agency under 31 U.S.C. 1353 during the period from October 1 through March 31;

    (h) Requiring appropriate agency officials to submit to the Office of Government Ethics, by November 30 each year, required reports of travel accepted by the agency under 31 U.S.C. 1353 during the period from April 1 through September 30; and

    (i) Prior to any Presidential election, supporting the agency's ethics program in preparing for a Presidential transition.

    § 2638.108 Government ethics responsibilities of the Office of Government Ethics.

    The Office of Government Ethics is the supervising ethics office for the executive branch, providing overall leadership and oversight of the executive branch ethics program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest. The Office of Government Ethics has the authorities and functions established in the Act.

    (a) Authorities and functions. Among other authorities and functions, the Office of Government Ethics has the authorities and functions described in this section.

    (1) The Office of Government Ethics issues regulations regarding conflicts of interest, standards of conduct, financial disclosure, requirements for agency ethics programs, and executive branch-wide systems of records for government ethics records. In issuing any such regulations, the Office of Government Ethics will, to the full extent required under the Act and any Executive Order, coordinate with the Department of Justice and the Office of Personnel Management. When practicable, the Office of Government Ethics will also consult with a diverse group of selected agency ethics officials that represent a cross section of executive branch agencies to ascertain representative views of the DAEO community when developing substantive revisions to this chapter.

    (2) The Office of Government Ethics reviews and approves or disapproves agency supplemental ethics regulations.

    (3) The Office of Government Ethics issues formal advisory opinions to interested parties, pursuant to § 2638.209. When developing a formal advisory opinion, the Office of Government Ethics will provide interested parties with an opportunity to comment.

    (4) The Office of Government Ethics issues guidance and informal advisory opinions, pursuant to § 2638.208. When practicable, the Office of Government Ethics will consult with selected agency ethics officials to ascertain representative views of the DAEO community when developing guidance or informal advisory opinions that the Director determines to be of significant interest to a broad segment of the DAEO community.

    (5) The Office of Government Ethics supports agency ethics officials through such training, advice, and counseling as the Director deems necessary.

    (6) The Office of Government Ethics provides assistance in interpreting government ethics laws and regulations to executive branch Offices of Inspector General and other executive branch entities.

    (7) When practicable, the Office of Government Ethics convenes quarterly executive branch-wide meetings of key agency ethics officials. When the Office of Government Ethics convenes a major executive branch-wide training event, the event normally serves in place of a quarterly meeting.

    (8) Pursuant to sections 402(b)(10) and 403 of the Act, the Director requires agencies to furnish the Office of Government Ethics with all information, reports, and records which the Director determines to be necessary for the performance of the Director's duties, except when such a release is prohibited by law.

    (9) The Office of Government Ethics conducts reviews of agency ethics programs in order to ensure their compliance with program requirements and to ensure their effectiveness in advancing the mission of the executive branch-wide ethics program. The Office of Government Ethics also conducts single-issue reviews of individual agencies, groups of agencies, or the executive branch ethics program as a whole.

    (10) The Office of Government Ethics reviews financial disclosure reports filed by employees, former employees, nominees, candidates for the Office of the President of the United States, and candidates for the Office of the Vice President of the United States who are required to file executive branch financial disclosure reports with the Office of Government Ethics pursuant to sections 101, 103(c), and 103(l) of the Act.

    (11) By January 15 each year, the Office of Government Ethics issues year-end reports to agencies regarding their compliance with the obligations, pursuant to section 103(c) of the Act and part 2634 of this chapter:

    (i) To timely transmit the annual public financial disclosure reports of certain high-level officials to the Office of Government Ethics; and

    (ii) To promptly submit such additional information as is necessary to obtain the Director's certification of the reports.

    (12) The Office of Government Ethics oversees the development of ethics agreements between agencies and Presidential nominees for positions in the executive branch requiring Senate confirmation and tracks compliance with such agreements. The Office of Government Ethics also maintains a guide that provides sample language for ethics agreements of Presidential nominees requiring Senate confirmation.

    (13) The Office of Government Ethics proactively assists Presidential Transition Teams in support of effective and efficient Presidential transitions and, to the extent practicable, may provide Presidential campaigns with advice and counsel on preparing for Presidential transitions.

    (14) The Office of Government Ethics orders such corrective action on the part of an agency as the Director deems necessary, pursuant to subpart D of this part, and such corrective action on the part of individual executive branch employees as the Director deems necessary, pursuant to subpart E of this part.

    (15) The Office of Government Ethics makes determinations regarding public financial disclosure requirements, pursuant to §§ 2634.202(c), 2634.203, 2634.205, and 2634.304(f) of this chapter.

    (16) The Office of Government Ethics conducts outreach to inform the public of matters related to the executive branch ethics program.

    (17) The Director and the Office of Government Ethics take such other actions as are necessary and appropriate to carry out their responsibilities under the Act.

    (b) Other authorities and functions. Nothing in this subpart or this chapter limits the authority of the Director or the Office of Government Ethics under the Act.

    Subpart B—Procedures of the Executive Branch Ethics Program
    § 2638.201 In general.

    This subpart establishes certain procedures of the executive branch ethics program. The procedures set forth in this subpart are in addition to procedures established elsewhere in this chapter and in the program advisories and other issuances of the Office of Government Ethics.

    § 2638.202 Furnishing records and information generally.

    Consistent with sections 402 and 403 of the Act, each agency must furnish to the Director all information and records in its possession which the Director deems necessary to the performance of the Director's duties, except to the extent prohibited by law. All such information and records must be provided to the Office of Government Ethics in a complete and timely manner.

    § 2638.203 Collection of public financial disclosure reports required to be submitted to the Office of Government Ethics.

    The public financial disclosure reports of individuals, other than candidates for elected office and elected officials, whose reports are required by section 103 of the Act to be transmitted to the Office of Government Ethics will be transmitted through the executive branch-wide electronic filing system of the Office of Government Ethics, except in cases in which the Director determines that using that system would be impracticable.

    § 2638.204 Collection of other public financial disclosure reports.

    This section establishes the procedure that the executive branch ethics program will use to collect, pursuant to section 101 of the Act, public financial disclosure reports of individuals whose reports are not required by section 103 of the Act to be transmitted to the Office of Government Ethics.

    (a) General. Subject to the exclusions and exceptions in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section, the public financial disclosure reports required by part 2634 of this chapter will be collected through the executive branch-wide electronic filing system of the Office of Government Ethics.

    (b) Exclusions. This section does not apply to persons whose financial disclosure reports are covered by section 105(a)(1) or (2) of the Act, persons whose reports are required by section 103 of the Act to be transmitted to the Office of Government Ethics, or such other persons as the Director may exclude from the coverage of this section in the interest of the executive branch ethics program.

    (c) Authorization to collect public reports in paper format or through a legacy electronic filing system. Upon written request signed by the DAEO or ADAEO and by the Chief Information Officer, the Director of the Office of Government Ethics may authorize an agency in the interest of the executive branch ethics program to collect public financial disclosure reports in paper format or through a legacy electronic filing system other than the executive branch-wide electronic filing system of the Office of Government Ethics. The Director may rescind any such authorization based on a written determination that the rescission promotes the efficiency or effectiveness of the executive branch ethics program, but only after providing the agency with advance written notice and an opportunity to respond. The rescission will become effective on January 1 of a subsequent calendar year, but not less than 24 months after notice is provided.

    (d) Exceptions in cases of extraordinary circumstances or temporary technical difficulties. Based on a determination that extraordinary circumstances or temporary technical difficulties make the use of an electronic filing system impractical, the DAEO or ADAEO may authorize an individual to file a public financial disclosure report using such alternate means of filing as are authorized in the program advisories of the Office of Government Ethics. To the extent practicable, agencies should limit the number of exceptions they grant under this paragraph each year. The Director may suspend an agency's authority to grant exceptions under this paragraph when the Director is concerned that the agency may be granting exceptions unnecessarily or in a manner that is inconsistent with § 2638.601(c). Nothing in this paragraph limits the authority of the agency to excuse an employee from filing electronically to the extent necessary to provide reasonable accommodations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112), as amended, or other applicable legal authority.

    § 2638.205 Collection of confidential financial disclosure reports.

    This section establishes the procedure that the executive branch will use to collect confidential financial disclosure reports from employees of the executive branch. To the extent not inconsistent with part 2634 of this chapter or with the approved forms, instructions, and other guidance of the Office of Government Ethics, the DAEO of each agency will determine the means by which the agency will collect confidential financial disclosure reports, including a determination as to whether the agency will collect such reports in either paper or electronic format. Nothing in this paragraph limits the authority of the agency to provide reasonable accommodations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112), as amended, or other applicable legal authority.

    § 2638.206 Notice to the Director of certain referrals to the Department of Justice.

    This section establishes procedures implementing the requirement to provide the Director with notice of certain referrals, pursuant to sections 402(e)(2) and 403(a)(2) of the Act.

    (a) Upon any referral made by an agency pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 535 to the Department of Justice regarding a potential violation of a conflict of interest law, the referring agency must notify the Director of the referral by filing a completed OGE Form 202 with the Director, as soon as practicable after the referral but in no case more than 30 days after the referral, unless prohibited by law.

    (b) Thereafter, unless prohibited by law, the referring agency must promptly provide the Director with such other information as requested regarding the matter and any related prosecution, civil action, disciplinary action, or other corrective measure.

    (c) If an agency's procedures authorize an official outside the Office of Inspector General to make a referral covered by this section, that official must provide the Inspector General and the DAEO with copies of documents provided to the Director pursuant this section, unless prohibited by law. If an Inspector General makes a referral covered by this section, the Inspector General should provide the DAEO with copies of documents provided to the Director pursuant to this section, unless the Inspector General determines that disclosure to the DAEO would be inappropriate or prohibited by law.

    § 2638.207 Annual report on the agency's ethics program.

    (a) By February 1 of each year, the agency must file with the Office of Government Ethics, pursuant to section 402(e)(1) of the Act, a report containing such information about the agency's ethics program as is requested by the Office of Government Ethics. The report must be filed electronically and in a manner consistent with the instructions of the Office of Government Ethics.

    (b) In order to facilitate the collection of required information by agencies, the Office of Government Ethics will provide agencies with advance notice regarding the contents of the report prior to the beginning of the reporting period for information that would be expected to be tracked over the course of the reporting period. Otherwise, it will provide as much notice as practicable, taking in consideration the effort required to collect the information.

    § 2638.208 Written guidance on the executive branch ethics program.

    This section describes several means by which the Office of Government Ethics provides agencies, employees, and the public with guidance regarding its legal interpretations, program requirements, and educational offerings. Normally, guidance documents are published on the official Web site of the Office of Government Ethics.

    (a) Legal advisories. The Office of Government Ethics issues legal advisories, which are memoranda regarding the interpretation of government ethics laws and regulations. They are intended primarily to provide education and notice to executive branch ethics officials; prospective, current, and former executive branch employees; and individuals who interact with the executive branch.

    (b) Program advisories. The Office of Government Ethics issues program advisories, which are memoranda regarding the requirements or procedures applicable to the executive branch ethics program and individual agency ethics programs. They are intended primarily to instruct agencies on uniform procedures for the executive branch ethics program.

    (c) Informal advisory opinions. Upon request or upon its own initiative, the Office of Government Ethics issues informal advisory opinions. Informal advisory opinions address subjects that in the opinion of the Director do not meet the criteria for issuance of formal advisory opinions. They are intended primarily to provide guidance to individuals and illustrate the application of government ethics laws and regulations to specific circumstances.

    § 2638.209 Formal advisory opinions.

    This section establishes the formal advisory opinion service of the Office of Government Ethics.

    (a) General. The Office of Government Ethics renders formal advisory opinions pursuant to section 402(b)(8) of the Act. A formal advisory opinion will be issued when the Director determines that the criteria and requirements established in this section are met.

    (b) Subjects of formal advisory opinions. Formal advisory opinions may be rendered on matters of general applicability or important matters of first impression concerning the application of the Act; Executive Order 12674 of April 12, 1989, as modified by Executive Order 12731 of October 17, 1990; 18 U.S.C. 202-209; and regulations interpreting or implementing these authorities. In determining whether to issue a formal advisory opinion, the Director will consider:

    (1) The unique nature of the question and its precedential value;

    (2) The potential number of employees throughout the government affected by the question;

    (3) The frequency with which the question arises;

    (4) The likelihood or presence of inconsistent interpretations on the same question by different agencies; and

    (5) The interests of the executive branch ethics program.

    (c) Role of the formal advisory opinion service. The formal advisory opinion service of the Office of Government Ethics is not intended to replace the government ethics advice and counseling programs maintained by executive branch agencies. Normally, formal advisory opinions will not be issued with regard to the types of questions appropriately directed to an agency's DAEO. If a DAEO receives a request that the DAEO believes might appropriately be answered by the Office of Government Ethics through a formal advisory opinion, the DAEO will consult informally with the General Counsel of the Office of Government Ethics for instructions as to whether the matter should be referred to the Office of Government Ethics or retained by the agency for handling. Except in unusual circumstances, the Office of Government Ethics will not render formal advisory opinions with respect to hypothetical situations posed in requests for formal advisory opinions. At the discretion of the Director, however, the Office of Government Ethics may render formal advisory opinions on certain proposed activities or financial transactions.

    (d) Eligible persons. Any person may request an opinion with respect to a situation in which that person is directly involved, and an authorized representative may request an opinion on behalf of that person. However, an employee will normally be required to seek an opinion from the agency's DAEO before requesting a formal advisory opinion from the Office of Government Ethics. In addition, a DAEO may request a formal advisory opinion on behalf of the agency or a prospective, current, or former employee of that agency.

    (e) Submitting a request for a formal advisory opinion. The request must be submitted either by electronic mail addressed to [email protected] or by mail, through either the United States Postal Service or a private shipment service, to the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20005-3917. Personal deliveries will not be accepted.

    (f) Requirements for request. The request must include:

    (1) An express statement indicating that the submission is a request for a formal advisory opinion;

    (2) The name, street address, and telephone number of the person requesting the opinion;

    (3) The name, street address, and telephone number of any representative of that person;

    (4) All material facts necessary for the Director to render a complete and correct opinion;

    (5) The date of the request and the signature of either the requestor or the requestor's representative; and

    (6) In the case of a request signed by a representative, a written designation of the representative that is dated and signed by the requestor.

    (g) Optional materials. At the election of the requestor, the request may also include legal memoranda or other material relevant to the requested formal advisory opinion.

    (h) Additional information. The Director may request such additional information or documentation as the Director deems necessary to the development of a formal advisory opinion, from either the requestor or other sources. If the requestor or the requestor's representative fails to cooperate with such a request, the Office of Government Ethics normally will close the matter without issuing a formal advisory opinion.

    (i) Comments from interested parties. The Office of Government Ethics will, to the extent practicable, solicit written comments on a request by posting a prominent notice on its official Web site. Any such notice will summarize relevant information in the request, provide interested parties 30 days to submit written comments, and include instructions for submitting written comments. Written comments submitted after the deadline will be considered only at the discretion of the Director.

    (j) Consultation with the Department of Justice. Whenever the Office of the Government Ethics is considering rendering a formal advisory opinion, the Director will consult with the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice sufficiently in advance to afford that office an opportunity to review the matter. In addition, whenever a request involves an actual or apparent violation of any provision of 18 U.S.C. 202-209, the Director will consult with the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. If the Criminal Division determines that an investigation or prosecution will be undertaken, the Director will take no further action on the request, unless the Criminal Division makes a determination not to prosecute.

    (k) Consultation with other executive branch officials. The Director will consult with such other executive branch officials as the Director deems necessary to ensure thorough consideration of issues and information relevant to the request by the Office of Government Ethics. In the case of a request submitted by a prospective or current employee, the Director will share a copy of the request with the DAEO of the employee's agency.

    (l) Publication. The Office of Government Ethics will publish each formal advisory opinion on its official Web site. Prior to publishing a formal advisory opinion on its Web site, the Office of Government Ethics will delete information that identifies individuals involved and that is unnecessary to a complete understanding of the opinion.

    (m) Reliance on formal advisory opinions. (1) Any formal advisory opinion referred to in this section or any provisions or finding of a formal advisory opinion involving the application of the Act or the regulations promulgated pursuant to the Act or Executive Order may be relied upon by:

    (i) Any person directly involved in the specific transaction or activity with respect to which such advisory opinion has been rendered; and

    (ii) Any person directly involved in any specific transaction or activity which is indistinguishable in all its material aspects from the transaction or activity with respect to which such formal advisory opinion was rendered.

    (2) Any person who relies upon any provision or finding of any formal advisory opinion in accordance with this paragraph and who acts in good faith in accordance with the provisions and findings of such opinion, will not, as a result of such act, be subject to prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 202-209 or, when the opinion is exculpatory, be subject to any disciplinary action or civil action based upon legal authority cited in that opinion.

    § 2638.210 Presidential transition planning.

    Prior to any Presidential election, each agency has a responsibility to prepare its agency ethics program for a Presidential transition. Such preparations do not constitute support for a particular candidate and are not reflective of a belief regarding the likely outcome of the election; rather, they reflect an understanding that agencies are responsible for ensuring the continuity of governmental operations.

    (a) Preparing the ethics program for a transition. The agency head or the DAEO must, not later than 12 months before any Presidential election, evaluate whether the agency's ethics program has an adequate number of trained agency ethics officials to effectively support a Presidential transition.

    (b) Support by the Office of Government Ethics. In connection with any Presidential election, the Office of Government Ethics will:

    (1) Prior to the election, offer training opportunities for agency ethics officials on counseling departing noncareer appointees on post-employment restrictions, reviewing financial disclosure reports, drafting ethics agreements for Presidential nominees, and counseling new noncareer appointees on conflict of interest laws and the Standards of Conduct; and

    (2) After the election, in the event of a Presidential transition, proactively assist the Presidential Transition Team in preparing for Presidential nominations, coordinate with agency ethics officials, and develop plans to implement new initiatives related to government ethics.

    Subpart C—Government Ethics Education
    § 2638.301 In general.

    Every agency must carry out a government ethics education program to teach employees how to identify government ethics issues and obtain assistance in complying with government ethics laws and regulations. An agency's failure to comply with any of the education or notice requirements set forth in this subpart does not exempt an employee from applicable government ethics requirements.

    § 2638.302 Definitions.

    The following definitions apply to the format of the various types of training required in this subpart. The agency may deviate from these prescribed formats to the extent necessary to provide reasonable accommodations to participants under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112), as amended, or other applicable legal authority.

    (a) Live. A training presentation is considered live if the presenter personally communicates a substantial portion of the material at the same time as the employees being trained are receiving the material, even if part of the training is prerecorded or automated. The training may be delivered in person or through video or audio technology. The presenter must respond to questions posed during the training and provide instructions for participants to submit questions after the training.

    Example 1.

    An agency ethics official provides a presentation regarding government ethics and takes questions from participants who are assembled in a training room with the ethics official. At the end of the session, the ethics official provides contact information for participants who wish to pose additional questions. This training is considered live.

    Example 2.

    An agency ethics official provides a presentation to a group of employees in an auditorium. She presents an introduction and a brief overview of the material that will be covered in the training. She has participants watch a prerecorded video regarding government ethics. She stops the video frequently to elaborate on key concepts and offer participants opportunities to pose questions before resuming the video. At the end of the session, she recaps key concepts and answers additional questions. She then provides contact information for employees who wish to pose additional questions. This training is considered live.

    Example 3.

    The ethics official in Example 2 arranges for several Senate-confirmed public filers stationed outside of headquarters to participate in the live training via streaming video or telephone. For these remote participants, the ethics official also establishes a means for them to pose questions during the training, such as by emailing questions to her assistant. She also provides these remote participants with instructions for contacting the ethics office to pose additional questions after the training. This training is also considered live for the remote participants.

    Example 4.

    Agency ethics officials present training via a telephone conference. A few dozen agency employees dial into the conference call. The ethics officials take questions that are submitted by email and provide contact information for employees who wish to pose additional questions later. This training is considered live.

    Example 5.

    Several Senate-confirmed public filers required to complete live training in a particular year are stationed at various facilities throughout the country. For these filers, an ethics official schedules a 20-minute conference call, emails them copies of the written materials and a link to a 40-minute video on government ethics, and instructs them to view the video before the conference call. During the conference call, the ethics official recaps key concepts, takes questions, and provides his contact information in case participants have additional questions. The public filers then confirm by email that they watched the video and participated in the conference call. This training is considered live because a substantial portion of the training was live.

    (b) Interactive. A training presentation is considered interactive if the employee being trained is required to take an action with regard to the subject of the training. The required action must involve the employee's use of knowledge gained through the training and may not be limited to merely advancing from one section of the training to another section. Training that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section will also satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

    Example 1.

    An automated system allows employees to view a prerecorded video in which an agency ethics official provides training. At various points, the system poses questions and an employee selects from among a variety of possible answers. The system provides immediate feedback as to whether the selections are correct or incorrect. When the employee's selections are incorrect, the system displays the correct answer and explains the relevant concepts. This training is considered interactive.

    Example 2.

    If, instead of a video, the training described in Example 1 were to include animated or written materials interspersed with questions and answers, the training would still be considered interactive.

    Example 3.

    A DAEO emails materials to employees who are permitted under part 2638 to complete interactive training. The materials include a written training presentation, questions, and space for employees to provide written responses. Employees are instructed to submit their answers to agency ethics officials, who provide individualized feedback. This training is considered interactive.

    Example 4.

    A DAEO emails materials to employees who are permitted under part 2638 to complete interactive training. The materials include a written training presentation, questions, and an answer key. The DAEO also distributes instructions for contacting an ethics official with any questions about the subjects covered. This training meets the minimum requirements to be considered interactive, even though the employees are not required to submit their answers for review and feedback. However, any DAEO who uses this minimally interactive format is encouraged to provide employees with other opportunities for more direct and personalized feedback.

    § 2638.303 Notice to prospective employees.

    Written offers of employment for positions covered by the Standards of Conduct must include the information required in this section to provide prospective employees with notice of the ethical obligations associated with the positions.

    (a) Content. The written offer must include, in either the body of the offer or an attachment:

    (1) A statement regarding the agency's commitment to government ethics;

    (2) Notice that the individual will be subject to the Standards of Conduct and the criminal conflict of interest statutes as an employee;

    (3) Contact information for an appropriate agency ethics office or an explanation of how to obtain additional information on applicable ethics requirements;

    (4) Where applicable, notice of the time frame for completing initial ethics training; and

    (5) Where applicable, a statement regarding financial disclosure requirements and an explanation that new entrant reports must be filed within 30 days of appointment.

    (b) DAEO's authority. At the election of the DAEO, the DAEO may specify the language that the agency will use in the notice required under paragraph (a) of this section or may approve, disapprove, or revise language drafted by other agency officials.

    (c) Tracking. Each agency must establish written procedures, which the DAEO must review each year, for issuing the notice required in this section. In the case of an agency with 1,000 or more employees, the DAEO must review any submissions under § 2638.310 each year to confirm that the agency has implemented an appropriate process for meeting the requirements of this section.

    § 2638.304 Initial ethics training.

    Each new employee of the agency subject to the Standards of Conduct must complete initial ethics training that meets the requirements of this section.

    (a) Coverage. (1) This section applies to each employee appointed to a position in an agency who was not an employee of the agency immediately prior to that appointment. This section also permits Presidential nominees for Senate-confirmed positions to complete the initial ethics training prior to appointment.

    (2) The DAEO may exclude a non-supervisory position at or below the GS-8 grade level, or the equivalent, from the requirement to complete the training presentation described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, provided that:

    (i) The DAEO signs a written determination that the duties of the position do not create a substantial likelihood that conflicts of interest will arise;

    (ii) The position does not meet the criteria set forth at § 2634.904 of this chapter; and

    (iii) The agency provides an employee described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section who is appointed to the position with the written materials required under paragraph (e)(2) of this section within 90 days of appointment.

    (b) Deadline. Except as provided in this paragraph, each new employee must complete initial ethics training within 3 months of appointment.

    (1) In the case of a Presidential nominee for a Senate-confirmed position, the nominee may complete the ethics training before or after appointment, but not later than 3 months after appointment.

    (2) In the case of a special Government employee who is reasonably expected to serve for less than 60 days in a calendar year on a board, commission, or committee, the agency may provide the initial ethics training at any time before, or at the beginning of, the employee's first meeting of the board, commission, or committee.

    (c) Duration. The duration of the training must be sufficient for the agency to communicate the basic ethical obligations of Federal service and to present the content described in paragraph (e) of this section.

    (d) Format. Employees covered by this section are required to complete interactive initial ethics training.

    (e) Content. The following content requirements apply to initial ethics training.

    (1) Training presentation. The training presentation must focus on government ethics laws and regulations that the DAEO deems appropriate for the employees participating in the training. The presentation must address concepts related to the following subjects:

    (i) Financial conflicts of interest;

    (ii) Impartiality;

    (iii) Misuse of position; and

    (iv) Gifts.

    (2) Written materials. In addition to the training presentation, the agency must provide the employee with either the following written materials or written instructions for accessing them:

    (i) The summary of the Standards of Conduct distributed by the Office of Government Ethics or an equivalent summary prepared by the agency;

    (ii) Provisions of any supplemental agency regulations that the DAEO determines to be relevant or a summary of those provisions;

    (iii) Such other written materials as the DAEO determines should be included; and

    (iv) Instructions for contacting the agency's ethics office.

    (f) Tracking. Each agency must establish written procedures, which the DAEO must review each year, for initial ethics training. In the case of an agency with 1,000 or more employees, the DAEO must review any submissions under § 2638.310 each year to confirm that the agency has implemented an appropriate process for meeting the requirements of this section.

    Example 1.

    The DAEO of a large agency decides that the agency's ethics officials will conduct live initial ethics training for high-level employees and certain procurement officials. The DAEO directs ethics officials to cover concepts related to financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, misuse of position, and gifts during the live training sessions. She also coordinates with the agency's Chief Information Officer to develop computerized training for all other new employees, and she directs her staff to include concepts related to financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, misuse of position, and gifts in the computerized training. The computerized training poses multiple-choice questions and provides feedback when employees answer the questions. At the DAEO's request, the agency's human resources officials distribute the required written materials as part of the onboarding procedures for new employees. The computerized training automatically tracks completion of the training, and the ethics officials use sign-in sheets to track participation in the live training. After the end of the calendar year, the DAEO reviews the materials submitted by the Office of Human Resources under § 2638.310 to confirm that the agency has implemented procedures for identifying new employees, distributing the written materials, and providing their initial ethics training. The agency's program for initial ethics training complies with the requirements of § 2638.304.

    Example 2.

    The agency head, the DAEO, and the lead human resources official of an agency with more than 1,000 employees have agreed that human resources officials will conduct initial ethics training. The DAEO provides the lead human resources official with written materials for use during the training, approves the content of the presentations, and trains the human resources officials who will conduct the initial ethics training. After the end of the calendar year, the lead human resources official provides the DAEO with a copy of the agency's procedures for identifying new employees and providing initial ethics training, and the lead human resources official confirms that there is a reasonable basis for concluding that the procedures have been implemented. The DAEO reviews these procedures and finds them satisfactory. The agency has complied with its tracking obligations with regard to initial ethics training.

    § 2638.305 Additional ethics briefing for certain agency leaders.

    In addition to other applicable requirements, each individual covered by this section must complete an ethics briefing to discuss the individual's immediate ethics obligations. Although the ethics briefing is separate from the initial ethics training, the agency may elect to combine the ethics briefing and the initial ethics training, provided that the requirements of both this section and § 2638.304 are met.

    (a) Coverage. This section applies to public filers who are Senate-confirmed Presidential nominees and appointees, except for those in positions identified in § 2634.201(c)(2) of this chapter.

    (b) Deadline. The following deadlines apply to the ethics briefing.

    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each individual covered by this section must complete the ethics briefing after confirmation but not later than 15 days after appointment. The DAEO may grant an extension of the deadline not to exceed 30 days after appointment.

    (2)(i) In extraordinary circumstances, the DAEO may grant an additional extension to an individual by issuing a written determination that an extension is necessary. The determination must describe the extraordinary circumstances necessitating the extension, caution the individual to be vigilant for conflicts of interest created by any newly acquired financial interests, remind the individual to comply with any applicable ethics agreement, and be accompanied by a copy of the ethics agreement(s). The DAEO must send a copy of the determination to the individual before expiration of the time period established in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The agency must conduct the briefing at the earliest practicable date thereafter. The written determination must be retained with the record of the individual's briefing.

    (ii) In the case of a special Government employee who is expected to serve for less than 60 days in a calendar year on a board, commission, or committee, the agency must provide the ethics briefing before the first meeting of the board, commission, or committee.

    (c) Qualifications of presenter. The employee conducting the briefing must have knowledge of government ethics laws and regulations and must be qualified, as the DAEO deems appropriate, to answer the types of basic and advanced questions that are likely to arise regarding the required content.

    (d) Duration. The duration of the ethics briefing must be sufficient for the agency to communicate the required content.

    (e) Format. The ethics briefing must be conducted live.

    (f) Content. The ethics briefing must include the following activities.

    (1) If the individual acquired new financial interests reportable under section 102 of the Act after filing the nominee financial disclosure report, the agency ethics official must appropriately address the potential for conflicts of interest arising from those financial interests.

    (2) The agency ethics official must counsel the individual on the basic recusal obligation under 18 U.S.C. 208(a).

    (3) The agency ethics official must explain the recusal obligations and other commitments addressed in the individual's ethics agreement and ensure that the individual understands what is specifically required in order to comply with each of them, including any deadline for compliance. The ethics official and the individual must establish a process by which the recusals will be achieved, which may consist of a screening arrangement or, when the DAEO deems appropriate, vigilance on the part of the individual with regard to recusal obligations as they arise in particular matters.

    (4) The agency ethics official must provide the individual with instructions and the deadline for completing initial ethics training, unless the individual completes the initial ethics training either before or during the ethics briefing.

    (g) Tracking. The DAEO must maintain a record of the date of the ethics briefing for each current employee covered by this section.

    Example 1.

    A group of ethics officials conducts initial ethics training for six Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees within 15 days of their appointments. At the end of the training, ethics officials meet individually with each of the appointees to conduct their ethics briefings. The agency and the appointees have complied with both § 2638.304 and § 2638.305.

    Example 2.

    The Senate confirms a nominee for a position as an Assistant Secretary. After the nominee's confirmation but several days before her appointment, the nominee completes her initial ethics briefing during a telephone call with an agency ethics official, and the ethics official records the date of the briefing. The agency and the nominee have complied with § 2638.305. During the telephone call, the ethics official also discusses the content required for initial ethics training and provides the nominee with instructions for accessing the required written materials online. The agency and the nominee have also complied with § 2638.304.

    § 2638.306 Notice to new supervisors.

    The agency must provide each employee upon initial appointment to a supervisory position with the written information required under this section.

    (a) Coverage. This requirement applies to each civilian employee who is required to receive training pursuant to 5 CFR 412.202(b).

    (b) Deadline. The agency must provide the written materials required by this section within one year of the employee's initial appointment to the supervisory position.

    (c) Written materials. The written materials must include contact information for the agency's ethics office and the text of § 2638.103. In addition, a copy of, a hyperlink to, or the address of a Web site containing the Principles of Ethical Conduct must be included, as well as such other information as the DAEO deems necessary for new supervisors.

    (d) Tracking. Each agency must establish written procedures, which the DAEO must review each year, for supervisory ethics notices. In the case of an agency with 1,000 or more employees, the DAEO must review any submissions under § 2638.310 each year to confirm that the agency has implemented an appropriate process for meeting the requirements of this section.

    § 2638.307 Annual ethics training for confidential filers and certain other employees.

    Each calendar year, employees covered by this section must complete ethics training that meets the following requirements.

    (a) Coverage. In any calendar year, this section applies to the following employees, unless they are public filers:

    (1) Each employee who is required to file an annual confidential financial disclosure report pursuant to § 2634.904 of this chapter during that calendar year, except an employee who ceases to be a confidential filer before the end of the calendar year;

    (2) Employees appointed by the President and employees of the Executive Office of the President;

    (3) Contracting officers described in 41 U.S.C. 2101; and

    (4) Other employees designated by the head of the agency.

    (b) Deadline. The employee must complete required annual ethics training before the end of the calendar year.

    (c) Duration. Agencies must provide employees with one hour of duty time to complete interactive training and review any written materials.

    (d) Format. The following formatting requirements apply.

    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, employees covered by this section are required to complete interactive training.

    (2) If the DAEO determines that it is impracticable to provide interactive training to a special Government employee covered by this section who is expected to work no more than 60 days in a calendar year, or to an employee who is an officer in the uniformed services serving on active duty for no more 30 consecutive days, only the requirement to provide the written materials required by this section will apply to that employee each year. The DAEO may make the determination as to individual employees or a group of employees.

    (e) Content. The following content requirements apply to annual ethics training for employees covered by this section.

    (1) Training presentation. The training presentation must focus on government ethics laws and regulations that the DAEO deems appropriate for the employees participating in the training. The presentation must address concepts related to the following subjects:

    (i) Financial conflicts of interest;

    (ii) Impartiality;

    (iii) Misuse of position; and

    (iv) Gifts.

    (2) Written materials. In addition to the training presentation, the agency must provide the employee with either the following written materials or written instructions for accessing them:

    (i) The summary of the Standards of Conduct distributed by the Office of Government Ethics or an equivalent summary prepared by the agency;

    (ii) Provisions of any supplemental agency regulations that the DAEO determines to be relevant or a summary of those provisions;

    (iii) Such other written materials as the DAEO determines should be included; and

    (iv) Instructions for contacting the agency's ethics office.

    (f) Tracking. The following tracking requirements apply to training conducted pursuant to this section. An employee covered by this section must confirm in writing the completion of annual ethics training and must comply with any procedures established by the DAEO for such confirmation. If the DAEO or other presenter has knowledge that an employee completed required training, that individual may record the employee's completion of the training, in lieu of requiring the employee to provide written confirmation. In the case of an automated system that delivers interactive training, the DAEO may deem the employee to have confirmed the completion of the training if the system tracks completion automatically.

    § 2638.308 Annual ethics training for public filers.

    Each calendar year, public filers and other employees specified in this section must complete ethics training that meets the following requirements.

    (a) Coverage. In any calendar year, this section applies to each employee who is required to file an annual public financial disclosure report pursuant to § 2634.201(a) of this chapter during that calendar year, except for an employee who ceases to be a public filer during that calendar year.

    (b) Deadline. A public filer must complete required annual ethics training before the end of the calendar year.

    (c) Qualifications of presenter. The employee conducting any live training presentation must have knowledge of government ethics laws and regulations and must be qualified, as the DAEO deems appropriate, to answer the types of basic and advanced questions that are likely to arise regarding the required content.

    (d) Duration. The duration of training must be sufficient for the agency to communicate the required content, but at least one hour. Agencies must provide employees with one hour of duty time complete interactive training and review any written materials.

    (e) Format. The annual ethics training must meet the following formatting requirements.

    (1) Employees whose pay is set at Level I or Level II of the Executive Schedule must complete one hour of live training each year, unless a matter of vital national interest makes it necessary for an employee to complete interactive training in lieu of live training in a particular year.

    (2) Other civilian employees identified in section 103(c) of the Act who are stationed in the United States must complete live training once every 2 years and interactive training in alternate years. In extraordinary circumstances, the DAEO may grant written authorization for an employee who is required to complete live training in a particular year to complete interactive training.

    (3) All other employees covered by this section must complete interactive training.

    (f) Content. The following content requirements apply to annual ethics training for employees covered by this section.

    (1) Training presentation. The training presentation must focus on government ethics laws and regulations that the DAEO deems appropriate for the employees participating in the training. The presentation must address concepts related to the following subjects:

    (i) Financial conflicts of interest;

    (ii) Impartiality;

    (iii) Misuse of position; and

    (iv) Gifts.

    (2) Written materials. In addition to the training presentation, the agency must provide the employee with either the following written materials or written instructions for accessing them:

    (i) The summary of the Standards of Conduct distributed by the Office of Government Ethics or an equivalent summary prepared by the agency;

    (ii) Provisions of any supplemental agency regulations that the DAEO determines to be relevant or a summary of those provisions;

    (iii) Such other written materials as the DAEO determines should be included; and

    (iv) Instructions for contacting the agency's ethics office.

    (g) Tracking. The following tracking requirements apply to training conducted pursuant to this section. An employee covered by this section must confirm in writing the completion of annual ethics training and must comply with any procedures established by the DAEO for such confirmation. If the DAEO or other presenter has knowledge that an employee completed required training, that individual may record the employee's completion of the training, in lieu of requiring the employee to provide written confirmation. In the case of an automated system that delivers interactive training, the DAEO may deem the employee to have confirmed the completion of the training if the system tracks completion automatically.

    Example 1.

    The DAEO of a small agency distributes the written materials for annual training by emailing a link to a Web site that contains the required materials. He then conducts a live training session for all of the agency's public filers. He spends the first 15 minutes of the training addressing concepts related to financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, misuse of position, and gifts. Because several participants are published authors, he spends the next 15 minutes covering restrictions on compensation for speaking, teaching, and writing. He then spends 20 minutes discussing hypothetical examples related to the work of the agency and 10 minutes answering questions. The training meets the content requirements of this section. Further, because live training satisfies the requirements for interactive training, this training meets the formatting requirements for all public filers, including those required to complete interactive training.

    Example 2.

    An ethics official personally appears at each monthly senior staff meeting to conduct a 10-minute training session on government ethics. Across the year, he addresses concepts related to financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, misuse of position, gifts, and other subjects related to government ethics laws and regulations, although no one session covers all of these subjects. During each meeting, he distributes a one-page handout summarizing the key points of his presentation, takes questions, and provides contact information for employees who wish to pose additional questions. He records the names of the public filers in attendance at each meeting. Once a year, he emails them the required written materials, as well as the one-page summaries. While many of these public filers do not attend all 12 meetings, each attends at least six sessions during the calendar year. Although some of the filers missed the sessions that addressed gifts, they all received the handout summarizing the presentation on gifts. The training satisfies the annual training requirement for the public filers who attended the meetings, including those required to complete interactive training. Moreover, because the ethics official recorded the names of the public filers who attended, the filers are not required to separately confirm their completion of the training.

    Example 3.

    One of the Presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed employees in Example 2 was required to complete live training that year. Because she attended only four senior staff meetings during the year, she completed only 40 minutes of annual ethics training. The DAEO allows the employee to spend 20 minutes reviewing the handouts and written materials and send an email confirming that she completed her review before the end of the calendar year. This arrangement satisfies the requirements for live annual training because a substantial portion of the training was live.

    § 2638.309 Agency-specific ethics education requirements.

    The DAEO may establish additional requirements for the agency's ethics education program, with or without a supplemental agency regulation under § 2635.105 of this chapter.

    (a) Groups of employees. The DAEO may establish specific government ethics training requirements for groups of agency employees.

    (b) Employees performing ethics duties. The DAEO has an obligation to ensure that employees performing assigned ethics duties have the necessary expertise with regard to government ethics laws and regulations. If the DAEO determines that employees engaged in any activities described in §§ 2638.104 and 2638.105 require training, the DAEO may establish specific training requirements for them either as a group or individually.

    (c) Procedures. The DAEO may establish specific procedures for training that the DAEO requires under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, including any certification procedures the DAEO deems necessary. Agency employees must comply with the requirements and procedures that the DAEO establishes under this section.

    § 2638.310 Coordinating the agency's ethics education program.

    In an agency with 1,000 or more employees, any office that is not under the supervision of the DAEO but has been delegated responsibility for issuing notices, pursuant to § 2638.303 or § 2638.306, or conducting training, pursuant to § 2638.304, must submit the following materials to the DAEO by January 15 each year:

    (a) A written summary of procedures that office has established to ensure compliance with this subpart; and

    (b) Written confirmation that there is a reasonable basis for concluding that the procedures have been implemented.

    Subpart D—Correction of Executive Branch Agency Ethics Programs
    § 2638.401 In general.

    The Office of Government Ethics has authority, pursuant to sections 402(b)(9) and 402(f)(1) of the Act, to take the action described in this subpart with respect to deficiencies in agency ethics programs. Agency ethics programs comprise the matters described in this subchapter for which agencies are responsible.

    § 2638.402 Informal action.

    If the Director has information indicating that an agency ethics program is not compliant with the requirements set forth in applicable government ethics laws and regulations, the Director is authorized to take any or all of the measures described in this section. The Director may:

    (a) Contact agency ethics officials informally to identify the relevant issues and resolve them expeditiously;

    (b) Issue a notice of deficiency to make the agency aware of its possible noncompliance with an applicable government ethics law or regulation;

    (c) Require the agency to respond in writing to the notice of deficiency;

    (d) Require the agency to provide such additional information or documentation as the Director determines to be necessary;

    (e) Issue an initial decision with findings as to the existence of a deficiency in the agency's ethics program;

    (f) Require the agency to correct or, at the Director's discretion, satisfactorily mitigate any deficiency in its ethics program;

    (g) Provide the agency with guidance on measures that would correct or satisfactorily mitigate any program deficiency;

    (h) Monitor the agency's efforts to correct or satisfactorily mitigate the deficiency and require the agency to submit progress reports; or

    (i) Take other actions authorized under the Act to resolve the matter informally.

    § 2638.403 Formal action.

    If the Director determines that informal action, pursuant to § 2638.402, has not produced an acceptable resolution, the Director may issue an order directing the agency to take specific corrective action.

    (a) Before issuing such an order, the Director will:

    (1) Advise the agency in writing of the deficiency in its ethics program;

    (2) Describe the action that the Director is considering taking;

    (3) Provide the agency with 30 days to respond in writing; and

    (4) Consider any timely written response submitted by the agency.

    (b) If the Director is satisfied with the agency's response, no order will be issued.

    (c) If the Director decides to issue an order, the order will describe the corrective action to be taken.

    (d) If the agency does not comply with the order within a reasonable time, the Director will:

    (1) Notify the head of the agency of intent to furnish a report of noncompliance to the President and the Congress;

    (2) Provide the agency 14 calendar days within which to furnish written comments for submission with the report of noncompliance; and

    (3) Report the agency's noncompliance to the President and to the Congress.

    Subpart E—Corrective Action Involving Individual Employees
    § 2638.501 In general.

    This subpart addresses the Director's limited authority, pursuant to sections 402(b)(9) and 402(f)(2) of the Act, to take certain actions with regard to individual employees if the Director suspects a violation of a noncriminal government ethics law or regulation. Section 402(f)(5) of the Act prohibits the Director from making any finding regarding a violation of a criminal law. Therefore, the Director will refer possible criminal violations to an Inspector General or the Department of Justice, pursuant to § 2638.502. If, however, the Director is concerned about a possible violation of a noncriminal government ethics law or regulation by an employee, the Director may notify the employee's agency, pursuant to § 2638.503. In the rare circumstance that an agency does not address a matter after receiving this notice, the Director may use the procedures in § 2638.504 to issue a nonbinding recommendation of a disciplinary action or an order to terminate an ongoing violation. Nothing in this subpart relieves an agency of its primary responsibility to ensure compliance with government ethics laws and regulations.

    § 2638.502 Violations of criminal provisions related to government ethics.

    Consistent with section 402(f) of the Act, nothing in this subpart authorizes the Director or any agency official to make a finding as to whether a provision of title 18, United States Code, or any other criminal law of the United States outside of such title, has been or is being violated. If the Director has information regarding the violation of a criminal law by an individual employee, the Director will notify an Inspector General or the Department of Justice.

    § 2638.503 Recommendations and advice to employees and agencies.

    The Director may make such recommendations and provide such advice to employees or agencies as the Director deems necessary to ensure compliance with applicable government ethics laws and regulations. The Director's authority under this section includes the authority to communicate with agency heads and other officials regarding government ethics and to recommend that the agency investigate a matter or consider taking disciplinary or corrective action against individual employees.

    § 2638.504 Violations of noncriminal provisions related to government ethics.

    In the rare case that consultations made pursuant to § 2638.503 have not resolved the matter, the Director may use the procedures in this section if the Director has reason to believe that an employee is violating, or has violated, any noncriminal government ethics law or regulation. Any proceedings pursuant to this section will be conducted in accordance with applicable national security requirements.

    (a) Agency investigation. The Director may recommend that the agency head or the Inspector General conduct an investigation. If the Director determines that an investigation has not been conducted within a reasonable time, the Director will notify the President.

    (b) Initiating further proceedings. Following an investigation pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section or a determination by the Director that an investigation has not been conducted within a reasonable time, the Director may either initiate further proceedings under this section or close the matter.

    (1) If the Director initiates further proceedings, the Director will notify the employee in writing of the suspected violation, the right to respond orally and in writing, and the right to be represented. The notice will include instructions for submitting a written response and requesting an opportunity to present an oral response, copies of this section and sections 401-403 of the Act, and copies of the material relied upon by the Office of Government Ethics.

    (2) If the Director is considering issuing an order directing the employee to take specific action to terminate an ongoing violation, the Director will also provide notice of the potential issuance of an order and the right to request a hearing, pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

    (c) Employee's response. The employee will be provided with a reasonable opportunity to present an oral response to the General Counsel of the Office of Government Ethics within 30 calendar days of the date of the employee's receipt of the notice described in paragraph (b) of this section. If the employee fails to timely request an opportunity to present an oral response or fails to cooperate with reasonable efforts to schedule the oral response, only a timely submitted written response will be considered.

    (d) General Counsel's recommendation. After affording the employee 30 calendar days to respond, the General Counsel will provide the Director with a written recommendation as to the action warranted by the circumstances. However, if the employee has timely exercised an applicable right to request a hearing pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section, the provisions of paragraph (g) will apply instead of the provisions of this paragraph.

    (1) If the employee has not had an opportunity to comment on any newly obtained material relied upon for the recommendation, the General Counsel will provide the employee with an opportunity to comment on that material before submitting the recommendation to the Director.

    (2) The recommendation will include findings of fact and a conclusion as to whether it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred. The General Counsel will provide the Director with copies of the material relied upon for the recommendation, including any timely written response and a transcript of any oral response of the employee.

    (3) In the case of an ongoing violation, the General Counsel may recommend an order directing the employee to take specific action to terminate the violation, provided that the employee has been afforded the notice required under paragraph (f) of this section and an opportunity for a hearing.

    (e) Decisions and orders of the Director. After reviewing the recommendation of the General Counsel pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section or, in the event of a hearing, the recommendation of the administrative law judge pursuant to paragraph (g)(7) of this section, the Director may issue a decision and, if applicable, an order. The authority of the Director to issue decisions and orders under this paragraph may not be delegated to any other official. The Director's decision will include written findings and conclusions with respect to all material issues and will be supported by substantial evidence of record.

    (1) A copy of the decision and order will be furnished to the employee and, if applicable, the employee's representative. Copies will also be provided to the DAEO and the head of the agency or, where the employee is the head of an agency, to the President. The Director's decision and any order will be posted on the official Web site of the Office of Government Ethics, except to the extent prohibited by law.

    (2) The Director's decision may include a nonbinding recommendation that appropriate disciplinary or corrective action be taken against the employee. If the agency head does not take the action recommended within a reasonable period of time, the Director may notify the President.

    (3) In the case of an ongoing violation, the Director may issue an order directing the employee to take specific action to terminate the violation, provided that the employee has been afforded the notice required under paragraph (f) of this section and an opportunity for a hearing.

    (f) Notice of the right to request a hearing regarding an order to terminate a violation. Before an order to terminate an ongoing violation may be recommended or issued under this section, the employee must be provided with written notice of the potential issuance of an order, the right to request a hearing, and instructions for requesting a hearing.

    (1) If the employee submits a written request for a hearing within 30 calendar days of the date of the employee's receipt of the notice, the hearing will be conducted pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section;

    (2) If the employee does not submit a written request for a hearing within 30 days of receipt of the notice, the General Counsel may issue a recommendation, pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, in lieu of a hearing after first considering any timely response of the employee, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section; and

    (3) If the employee timely submits written requests for both a hearing, pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, and an oral response, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, only a hearing will be conducted, pursuant to paragraph (g).

    (g) Hearings. If, after receiving a notice required pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, the employee submits a timely request for a hearing, an administrative law judge who has been appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105 will serve as the hearing officer, and the following procedures will apply to the hearing. An employee of the Office of Government Ethics will be assigned to provide the administrative law judge with logistical support in connection with the hearing.

    (1) The General Counsel of the Office of Government Ethics will designate attorneys to present evidence and argument at the hearing in support of a possible finding that the employee is engaging in an ongoing violation. The General Counsel will serve as Advisor to the Director and will not, in connection with the presentation of evidence and argument against the employee, direct or supervise these attorneys. Any attorney who presents evidence, argument, or testimony against the employee at the hearing will be recused from assisting the Director or the General Counsel in connection with the contemplated order.

    (2) The administrative law judge will issue written instructions for the conduct of the hearing, including deadlines for submitting lists of proposed witnesses and exchanging copies of documentary evidence. The hearing will be conducted informally, and the administrative law judge may make such rulings as are necessary to ensure that the hearing is conducted equitably and expeditiously.

    (3) The parties to the hearing will be the employee and the attorneys of the Office of Government Ethics designated to present evidence and arguments supporting a finding that a violation is ongoing, respectively. The parties will not engage in ex parte communications with the administrative law judge, unless the administrative law judge authorizes limited ex parte communications regarding scheduling and logistical matters.

    (4) If either party requests assistance in securing the appearance of an approved witness who is an employee, the administrative law judge may, at his or her discretion, notify the General Counsel, who will assist the Director in requesting that the head of the employing agency produce the witness, pursuant to section 403(a)(1) of the Act. The Director will notify the President if an agency head fails to produce the approved witness.

    (5) The hearing will be conducted on the record and witnesses will be placed under oath and subject to cross-examination. Following the hearing, the administrative law judge will provide each party with a copy of the hearing transcript.

    (6) Hearings will generally be open to the public, but the administrative law judge may issue a written order closing, in whole or in part, the hearing in the best interests of national security, the employee, a witness, or an affected person. The order will set forth the reasons for closing the hearing and, along with any objection to the order by a party, will be made a part of the record. Unless specifically excluded by the administrative law judge, the DAEO of the employee's agency will be permitted to attend a closed hearing. If the administrative law judge denies a request by a party or an affected person to close the hearing, in whole or in part, that denial will be immediately appealable by the requester. The requester must file a notice of appeal with the Director within 3 working days. In the event that such a notice is filed, the hearing will be held in abeyance pending resolution of the appeal. The notice of appeal, exclusive of attachments, may not exceed 10 pages of double-spaced type. The Director will afford the parties and, if not a party, the requester the opportunity to make an oral presentation in person or via telecommunications technology within 3 working days of the filing of the appeal. The oral presentation will be conducted on the record. If the appellant or either party is unavailable to participate in the oral presentation within the 3-working-day period, the Director will convene the oral presentation without that party or affected person. The Director will issue a decision on the appeal within 3 working days of the oral presentation. If the Director is unavailable during this time period, the Director may designate a senior executive of the Office of Government Ethics to hear the oral presentation and decide the appeal. The notice of appeal, the record of the oral presentation, the decision on the appeal, and any other document considered by the Director or the Director's designee in connection with the appeal will be made a part of the record of the hearing.

    (7) After closing the record, the administrative law judge will certify the entire record to the Director for decision. When so certifying the record, the administrative law judge will make a recommended decision, which will include his or her written findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to material issues. After considering the certified record, the Director may issue a decision and an order, pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section.

    (h) Dismissal. The Director may dismiss a proceeding under this section at any time, without a finding as to the alleged violation, upon a finding that:

    (1) The employee or the agency has taken appropriate action to address the Director's concerns;

    (2) The employee has undertaken, or agreed in writing to undertake, measures the Director deems satisfactory; or

    (3) A question has arisen involving the potential application of a criminal law.

    (i) Notice procedure. The notices required by paragraphs (b)(1) and (f) of this section may be delivered by U.S. mail, electronic mail or personal delivery. There will be a rebuttable presumption that notice sent by U.S. mail is received within 5 working days. If the agency does not promptly provide the Office of Government Ethics with an employee's contact information upon request, the notice may be sent to the agency's DAEO, who will bear responsibility for promptly delivering that notice to the employee and promptly notifying the Director after its delivery.

    Subpart F—General Provisions
    § 2638.601 Authority and purpose.

    (a) Authority. The regulations of this part are issued pursuant to the authority of titles I and IV of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-521, as amended) (“the Act”).

    (b) Purpose. These executive branch regulations supplement and implement titles I, IV and V of the Act and set forth more specifically certain procedures provided in those titles, and furnish examples, where appropriate.

    (c) Agency authority. Subject only to the authority of the Office of Government Ethics as the supervising ethics office for the executive branch, all authority conferred on agencies in this subchapter B of chapter XVI of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations is sole and exclusive authority.

    § 2638.602 Agency regulations.

    Each agency may, subject to the prior approval of the Office of Government Ethics, issue regulations not inconsistent with this part and this subchapter, using the procedures set forth in § 2635.105 of this chapter.

    § 2638.603 Definitions.

    For the purposes of this part:

    Act means the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-521, as amended).

    ADAEO or Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official means an officer or employee who is designated by the head of the agency as the primary deputy to the DAEO in coordinating and managing the agency's ethics program in accordance with the provisions of § 2638.104.

    Agency or agencies means any executive department, military department, Government corporation, independent establishment, board, commission, or agency, including the United States Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission, of the executive branch.

    Agency head means the head of an agency. In the case of a department, it means the Secretary of the department. In the case of a board or commission, it means the Chair of the board or commission.

    Confidential filer means an employee who is required to file a confidential financial disclosure report pursuant to § 2634.904 of this chapter.

    Conflict of interest laws means 18 U.S.C. 202-209, and conflict of interest law means any provision of 18 U.S.C. 202-209.

    Corrective action means any action necessary to remedy a past violation or prevent a continuing violation of this part, including but not limited to restitution, change of assignment, disqualification, divestiture, termination of an activity, waiver, the creation of a qualified diversified or blind trust, or counseling.

    DAEO or Designated Agency Ethics Official means an officer or employee who is designated by the head of the agency to coordinate and manage the agency's ethics program in accordance with the provisions of § 2638.104.

    Department means a department of the executive branch.

    Director means the Director of the Office of Government Ethics.

    Disciplinary action means those disciplinary actions referred to in Office of Personnel Management regulations and instructions implementing provisions of title 5 of the United States Code or provided for in comparable provisions applicable to employees not subject to title 5, including but not limited to reprimand, suspension, demotion, and removal. In the case of a military officer, comparable provisions may include those in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    Employee means any officer or employee of an agency, including a special Government employee. It includes officers but not enlisted members of the uniformed services. It includes employees of a state or local government or other organization who are serving on detail to an agency, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3371, et seq. It does not include the President or Vice President. Status as an employee is unaffected by pay or leave status or, in the case of a special Government employee, by the fact that the individual does not perform official duties on a given day.

    Executive branch includes each executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105 and any other entity or administrative unit in the executive branch. However, it does not include any agency, entity, office, or commission that is defined by or referred to in 5 U.S.C. app. sections 109(8)-(11) of the Act as within the judicial or legislative branch.

    Government ethics laws and regulations include, among other applicable authorities, the provisions related to government ethics or financial disclosure of the following authorities:

    (1) Chapter 11 of title 18 of the United States Code;

    (2) The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-521, as amended);

    (3) The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act) (Public Law 112-105, as amended);

    (4) Executive Order 12674 (Apr. 12, 1989) as amended by Executive Order 12731 (Oct. 17, 1990); and

    (5) Subchapter B of this chapter.

    Lead human resources official means the agency's chief policy advisor on all human resources management issues who is charged with selecting, developing, training, and managing a high-quality, productive workforce. For agencies covered by the Chief Human Capital Officers Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-296), the Chief Human Capital Officer is the lead human resources official.

    Person includes an individual, partnership, corporation, association, government agency, or public or private organization.

    Principles of Ethical Conduct means the collection of general principles set forth in § 2635.101(b) of this chapter.

    Public filer means an employee, former employee, or nominee who is required to file a public financial disclosure report, pursuant to § 2634.202 of this chapter.

    Senior Executive means a career or noncareer appointee in the Senior Executive Service or equivalent Federal executive service. It also includes employees in Senior Level (SL) and Senior Technical (ST) positions. In addition, it includes equivalent positions in agencies that do not have a Federal executive service.

    Special Government employee means an employee who meets the definition at 18 U.S.C. 202(a). The term does not relate to a specific category of employee, and 18 U.S.C. 202(a) is not an appointment authority. The term describes individuals appointed to positions in the executive branch, the legislative branch, any independent agency of the United States, or the District of Columbia who are covered less expansively by conflict of interest laws at 18 U.S.C. 202-209. As a general matter, an individual appointed to a position in the legislative or executive branch who is expected to serve for 130 days or less during any period of 365 consecutive days is characterized as a special Government employee. The appointment of special Government employees is not administered or overseen by the Office of Government Ethics but is carried out under legal authorities administered by the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies.

    Standards of Conduct means the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch set forth in part 2635 of this chapter.

    § 2638.604 Key program dates.

    Except as amended by program advisories of the Office of Government Ethics, the following list summarizes key deadlines of the executive branch ethics program:

    (a) January 15 is the deadline for:

    (1) The Office of Government Ethics to issue its year-end status reports, pursuant to § 2638.108(a)(11); and

    (2) In an agency with 1,000 or more employees, any office not under the supervision of the DAEO that provides notices or training required under subpart C of this part to provide a written summary and confirmation, pursuant to § 2638.310.

    (b) February 1 is the deadline for the DAEO to submit the annual report on the agency's ethics program, pursuant to § 2638.207.

    (c) February 15 is the deadline for employees to file annual confidential financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2634.903(a) of this chapter.

    (d) May 15 is the deadline for employees to file annual public financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2634.201(a) of this chapter.

    (e) May 31 is the deadline for the agency to submit required travel reports to the Office of Government Ethics, pursuant to § 2638.107(g).

    (f) July 1 is the deadline for the DAEO to submit a letter stating whether components currently designated should remain designated, pursuant to § 2641.302(e)(2) of this chapter.

    (g) November 30 is the deadline for the agency to submit required travel reports to the Office of Government Ethics, pursuant to § 2638.107(h).

    (h) December 31 is the deadline for completion of annual ethics training for employees covered by §§ 2638.307 and 2638.308.

    (i) By the deadline specified in the request is the deadline, pursuant to § 2638.202, for submission of all documents and information requested by the Office of Government Ethics in connection with a review of the agency's ethics program, except when the submission of the information or reports would be prohibited by law.

    (j) Prior to appointment whenever practicable but in no case more than 15 days after appointment is the deadline, pursuant to § 2638.105(a)(1), for the lead human resources official to notify the DAEO that the agency has appointed a confidential or public financial disclosure filer.

    (k) Prior to termination whenever practicable but in no case more than 15 days after termination is the deadline, pursuant to § 2638.105(a)(2), for the lead human resources official to notify the DAEO of the termination of a public financial disclosure filer.

    (l) Within 15 days of appointment is the deadline for certain agency leaders to complete ethics briefings, pursuant to § 2638.305(b).

    (m) Within 30 days of designation is the deadline for the agency head to notify the Director of the designation of any DAEO or ADAEO, pursuant to § 2638.107(a).

    (n) Within 30 days of referral is the deadline for the Inspector General or the DAEO to submit notice to the Director of certain referrals to the Department of Justice, pursuant to § 2638.206(a).

    (o) Within 3 months of appointment is the deadline for new employees to complete initial ethics training, pursuant to § 2638.304(b).

    (p) Within 1 year of appointment is the deadline for new supervisors to receive supervisory ethics notices, pursuant to § 2638.306(b).

    (q) Not later than 12 months before any Presidential election is the deadline for the agency head or the DAEO to evaluate whether the agency's ethics program has an adequate number of trained agency ethics officials to deliver effective support in the event a Presidential transition, pursuant to § 2638.210(a).

    [FR Doc. 2016-13152 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6345-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-3631; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-060-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. The NPRM proposed to require modifying the cockpit door frame structure, installing bonding-leads to the upper cockpit door frame, and modifying the upper cockpit door plate cover. The NPRM was prompted by reports of chafed wiring at the upper left corner of the cockpit door. The affected wire bundle was not grounded on the cockpit door frame. This action revises the NPRM by also requiring, for certain airplanes, installing a noise-reduced cockpit door locking system (CDLS). We are proposing this supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) to prevent electrical shock injury to persons contacting the cockpit door. Since these actions impose an additional burden over those proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by July 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this SNPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    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-2015-3631; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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-2015-3631; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-060-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

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 18, 2015 (80 FR 56405) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of chafed wiring at the upper left corner of the cockpit door. The affected wire bundle was not grounded on the cockpit door frame. The NPRM proposed to require modifying the cockpit door frame structure, installing bonding-leads to the upper cockpit door frame, and modifying the upper cockpit door plate cover.

    Actions Since Previous NPRM Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM, new service information has been issued that specifies, for certain airplanes, prior or concurrent actions of installing a noise-reduced CDLS. We have determined this installation is necessary to address the identified unsafe condition.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0037, dated March 2, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    An operator has reported chafed wiring at the upper left corner of the cockpit door. The investigation concluded that the affected wire bundle, which supplies a voltage of 115V [volt] AC [alternating current], was not grounded on the cockpit door frame as part of the design of A330 and A340 aeroplanes.

    This condition, if not corrected, could result in injury [electrical shock], in case any person gets in contact with the door frame.

    Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued SB [service bulletin] A330-25-3534, SB A340-25-4349 and SB A340-25-5212 to provide instructions to modify the electrical bonding of the cockpit door.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of the cockpit door frame structure, installation of bonding-leads to the upper cockpit door frame and modification of the upper cockpit door plate cover.

    Required actions for certain airplanes include installation of a noise-reduced CDLS.

    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-2015-3631.

    Related Service Information Under1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information.

    • Service Bulletin A330-25-3213, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2005. This service information describes procedures for modification of the upper cockpit door plate cover.

    • Service Bulletin A330-25-3254, Revision 02, dated December 13, 2004. This service information describes procedures for installing a noise-reduced CDLS.

    • Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015. This service information describes procedures for modifying the cockpit door frame structure and installing bonding-leads to the upper cockpit door frame.

    • Service Bulletin A340-25-4217, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2005. This service information describes procedures for modification of the upper cockpit door plate cover.

    • Service Bulletin A340-25-4349, Revision 02, dated September 4, 2015. This service information describes procedures for modifying the cockpit door frame structure and installing bonding-leads to the upper cockpit door frame.

    • Service Bulletin A340-25-5046, Revision 02, dated February 5, 2007. This service information describes procedures for modification of the upper cockpit door plate cover.

    • Service Bulletin A340-25-5212, Revision 01, dated October 27, 2014. This service information describes procedures for modifying the cockpit door frame structure and installing bonding-leads to the upper cockpit door frame.

    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.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this proposed AD. We considered the comments received.

    Requests To Refer to Revised Service Information

    An anonymous commenter and Delta Air Lines (DAL) requested that we reference revised service information. DAL requested that we refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015, for accomplishing the actions in paragraphs (g) and (h) of the proposed AD (in the NPRM). The anonymous commenter requested that we refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4349, Revision 02, dated September 4, 2015, in paragraphs (g)(2) and (h)(2) of the proposed AD (in the NPRM).

    We partially agree with the commenters' requests. We agree to refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4349, Revision 02, dated September 4, 2015; in paragraph (g) of this proposed AD. This service information contains updated accomplishment instructions. Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015, also revises the specified concurrent requirements.

    However, in paragraph (h) of this proposed AD, we have determined that Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4349, Revision 02, dated September 4, 2015; are not appropriate sources of service information for accomplishing the proposed concurrent actions. Instead, we refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3213, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2005; Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4217, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2005; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-5046, Revision 02, dated February 5, 2007; for accomplishing the concurrent action of modifying the upper cockpit door plate cover. We refer to Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4349, Revision 02, dated September 4, 2015; in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, respectively, in order to identify the affected airplanes.

    We have added a new paragraph (j) to this proposed AD to provide credit for actions accomplished using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 01, dated October 23, 2014; Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3213, dated October 12, 2004; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4217, dated October 12, 2004. We have reidentified the subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

    DAL also requested that we approve using later issued revisions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534.

    We disagree with approving unspecified later revisions of the service information. When referring to a specific service bulletin in an AD, using the phrase, “or later FAA-approved revisions,” violates Office of the Federal Register regulations for approving materials that are incorporated by reference. Once we issue a final rule, affected operators may request approval to use a later revision of the referenced service bulletin as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), under the provisions of paragraph (k)(1) of this proposed AD.

    Requests To Extend Compliance Time

    DAL requested that we extend the compliance time from 24 months to 30 months. DAL stated that a 24-month compliance time does not provide the necessary time to procure parts and develop internal paperwork to accomplish the modifications. DAL explained that mandating a 24-month compliance time will result in several airplanes being missed during scheduled maintenance, which will result in requiring costly special visits that adversely impact passenger operations. DAL also stated it had not experienced problems with the cockpit door bonding during a service history of over 12 years and noted there is higher awareness to electrical wiring interconnect system (EWIS) issues, making wire chafing problems less likely. DAL concluded that a moderate extension to the compliance time should provide a sufficient level of safety without burdening the airlines unnecessarily.

    We disagree with DAL's request. The compliance time has been determined by EASA and Airbus through the specific analysis to ensure continued operational safety of the affected airplanes. If an operator wishes to extend the compliance time, this can be done through a specific request for approval of an AMOC under the provisions of paragraph (k)(1) of this proposed AD. The operator must justify in the request that an extension of the compliance time will provide an adequate level of safety (such as by accomplishment of specific inspections or tasks).

    Airbus has specified a standard lead time of 90 calendar days from the date of a purchase order for component kits, which ensures sufficient time for planning the appropriate operator's action to modify the airplane and comply with this proposed AD. We have not changed this proposed AD in this regard.

    Requests To Allow Alternative Consumable Materials

    DAL requested that we allow the use of industry standard consumable materials already stocked by the airlines, instead of burdening the airlines with procuring the specific consumables specified in the service information. DAL stated that there are many industry standard materials that fulfill the roles of each of the specific materials called out in the service bulletins that are used daily by every airline. DAL also stated that the use of these industry standard consumable materials will in no way reduce the level of safety of the modifications.

    We disagree with DAL's request. DAL did not provide details on the specific consumable materials it proposes to use for the actions required by this proposed AD and did not provide any technical justification that the use of other consumable materials would provide an equivalent level of safety. In addition, for service information that contains “Required for Compliance” (RC) sections in the Accomplishment Instructions, the consumable materials in the RC sections must be used to comply with the AD requirements. Completion of all steps in accordance with the RC sections ensures that the actions required by this proposed AD address the identified unsafe condition. Operators may request approval for the use of other consumable materials through the AMOC process, under the provisions of paragraph (k)(1) of this proposed AD. We have not changed this proposed AD in this regard.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

    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 the same type designs.

    Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this SNPRM affects 70 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate that it would take about 53 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this SNPRM. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $2,430 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this SNPRM on U.S. operators to be $485,450, or $6,935 per product.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

    Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-3631; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-060-AD.

    (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 21, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, except airplanes on which Airbus Modification 203066, Modification 203074, or Modification 203372 has been embodied in production.

    (1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; all manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs); if modified in-service as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3161, or in production with Airbus Modification 50014.

    (2) Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes; all MSNs, if modified in-service as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4181, or in production with Airbus Modification 50014.

    (3) Model A340-541 airplanes and Model A340-642 airplanes; all MSNs.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of chafed wiring at the upper left corner of the cockpit door. The affected wire bundle was not grounded on the cockpit door frame. We are issuing this AD to prevent electrical shock injury to persons contacting the cockpit door.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Door Modification and Installation

    Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the cockpit door frame structure and install bonding-leads to the upper cockpit door frame, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015.

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4349, Revision 02, dated September 4, 2015.

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-5212, Revision 01, dated October 27, 2014.

    (h) Cover Plate Modification of the Upper Flight Deck Door

    Except for airplanes on which Airbus Modification 52869 or Modification 53292 has been embodied in production: Prior to or concurrently with accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, modify the upper cockpit door plate cover, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD.

    (1) For configuration 1 airplanes identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015: Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3213, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2005.

    (2) For airplanes identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4349, Revision 02, dated September 4, 2015: Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4217, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2005.

    (3) For airplanes identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-5212, Revision 01, dated October 27, 2014: Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-5046, Revision 02, dated February 5, 2007.

    (i) Additional Concurrent Action for Certain Airplanes

    Prior to or concurrently with accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD: For configuration 1 airplanes identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 02, dated May 18, 2015, install the noise-reduced cockpit door locking system (CDLS), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3254, Revision 02, dated December 13, 2004.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) 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 Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3534, Revision 01, dated October 23, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4349, Revision 01, dated October 27, 2014, as applicable. These service bulletins are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (j)(2)(i) through (j)(2)(iv) of this AD. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3213, dated October 12, 2004.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4217, dated October 12, 2004.

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-5046, dated October 12, 2004.

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-5046, Revision 01, dated May 11, 2005.

    (3) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3254, dated October 25, 2004; or Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3254, Revision 01, dated December 3, 2004. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

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

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0037, dated March 2, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3631.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. 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 20, 2016. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13049 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6006; Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-3] Proposed Modification of Class D Airspace; Peru, IN AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class D airspace at Grissom Air Reserve Base (ARB), IN, to allow for a lower Circling Minimum Descent Altitude, where Instrument Flight Rules Category E circling procedures are being used. This action would increase the area of the existing controlled airspace for Grissom ARB, IN. Additionally, this action would add Peru, Grissom ARB, IN to the subtitle of the airspace designation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-6006; Docket No. 15-AGL-3, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Shelby, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5857.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-6006/Airspace Docket No. 15-AGL-3.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Central Service Center, Operation Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking (202) 267-9677, to request a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    This action proposes to amend Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by modifying Class D airspace at Grissom ARB, IN, to within a 5.8-mile radius of the airport. This increase would allow for a lower Circling Minimum Descent Altitude, where Instrument Flight Rules Category E circling procedures are being used. Also, this action would add Peru, Grissom Air Reserve Base, IN, to the subtitle of the airspace designation. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    Class D airspace areas are published in Section 5000 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 D airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Section 5000 Class D Airspace. AGL IN D Grissom ARB, IN [Amended] Peru, Grissom Air Reserve Base, IN (Lat. 40°38′53″ N., long. 086°09′08″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 3,300 feet MSL within a 5.8 mile radius of Grissom ARB. This Class D airspace is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on May 25, 2016. Walter L. Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13144 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 259 Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission

    ACTION:

    Proposed amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) seeks comments on proposed amendments to the Guide Concerning Fuel Economy Advertising for New Automobiles (“Fuel Economy Guide” or “Guide”) to reflect current Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) fuel economy labeling rules and to consider advertising claims prevalent in the market.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by August 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Fuel Economy Guide Amendments, R711008” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/fueleconomyamendments by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Fuel Economy Guide Amendments, R711008” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hampton Newsome, (202) 326-2889, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Room C-9528, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Commission issued the Fuel Economy Guide (16 CFR part 259) on September 10, 1975 (40 FR 42003) to prevent deceptive fuel economy advertising for new automobiles and thus facilitate the use of fuel efficiency information in advertising. To accomplish this goal, the current Guide advises advertisers to disclose established EPA fuel economy estimates (e.g., miles per gallon or “MPG”) whenever they make any fuel economy claim based on those estimates. In addition, if advertisers make claims based on non-EPA tests, the Guide advises them to disclose EPA-derived information and provide details about the non-EPA tests, such as the test's source, driving conditions, and vehicle configurations.

    On April 28, 2009 (74 FR 19148), the Commission published a notice soliciting comments on proposed amendments to the Guide as part of its regulatory review program. The Commission then postponed its review in a June 1, 2011 notice (76 FR 31467) pending new fuel economy labeling requirements from the EPA and completion of the FTC's Alternative Fuels Rule (16 CFR part 309) review. The Commission explained that Fuel Economy Guide revisions would be premature before the conclusion of these regulatory proceedings. With those activities complete,1 the Commission resumed its review of the Guide on May 15, 2014) (79 FR 27820) (“2014 Notice”) seeking comment on potential amendments to address changes to the EPA and NHTSA (hereinafter “EPA”) fuel economy labeling rules, address advertising for alternative fueled vehicles, and consider other advertising claims prevalent in the market. The Commission also announced plans to conduct consumer research on fuel economy advertising claims.

    1 The Commission announced final revisions to the Alternative Fuels Rule in an April 23, 2013 Notice (78 FR 23832). In 2011, EPA and NHTSA completed revisions to their fuel economy labeling requirements, which, among other things, addressed labels for alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs) not specifically addressed in past EPA requirements. See 76 FR 39478 (July 6, 2011) (see 40 CFR parts 85, 86, and 600; and 49 CFR part 575).

    After reviewing the comments generated by the 2014 Notice 2 and the consumer research results, the Commission proposes Guide amendments for comment. In considering these proposals, commenters should focus on information that helps advertisers avoid deceptive or unfair claims prohibited by the FTC Act.3 The Guide does not identify disclosures that are merely helpful or desirable to consumers. Likewise, commenters should not address the adequacy of EPA fuel economy test procedures or the accuracy of EPA label content. Such issues fall within the EPA's purview and are generally outside the scope of the Guide.

    2 The comments are available at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/initiative-573. The commenters included: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance) (#00004), Association of Global Automakers, Inc. (AGA) (#00007), Consumer Federation of America (on behalf of several organizations) (referred herein as “consumer groups”) (#00006), LaRosa (#00002), National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) (#00008), and Rodriguez (#00003).

    3 15 U.S.C. 45(a). The Guides do not have the force and effect of law and are not independently enforceable. However, failure to comply with industry guides may result in law enforcement action under applicable statutory provisions. The Commission, therefore, can take action under the FTC Act if a business makes fuel economy claims inconsistent with the Guides. In any such enforcement action, the Commission must prove that the act or practice at issue is unfair or deceptive in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

    II. Consumer Research

    To aid the Commission in developing the proposed Guide amendments, the Commission conducted an Internet-based research study to explore consumer perceptions of certain fuel economy marketing claims.4 Using a treatment-control comparison methodology, the study compared participant responses regarding their understanding of a variety of claim types, such as general fuel economy claims (e.g., “this car gets great gas mileage”), specific MPG claims (e.g., “25 MPG in the city”), driving range claims, electric vehicle claims, and “up to” mileage claims. The study collected responses from U.S. automobile consumers representing a broad spectrum of the U.S. adult population.5 By comparing the responses to various scenarios, the study provided useful insights about respondents' understanding of fuel economy claims.6 This Notice contains relevant discussion of the proposed amendments, as well as specific study results. The Commission invites commenters to identify additional consumer research that may aid the FTC in considering the proposed Guide revisions.

    4 The Commission announced the study in its May 2014 Notice and provided further information in two additional notices (79 FR 26428 (May 8, 2014) and 79 FR 62618 (Oct. 20, 2014)).

    5 The study sampled members of an Internet panel consisting of individuals recruited through a variety of convenience sampling procedures. The sample for this research, therefore, does not constitute a true, random sample of the adult U.S. population. However, because the study focused primarily on comparing responses across randomly assigned treatment groups, the Internet panel provided an appropriate sample frame.

    6 Additional information about the study, including the questionnaire and results, is available on the FTC Web site. See https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments.

    III. Guide Benefits

    Comments received in response to the 2014 Notice expressed general support for maintaining the Guide and provided general recommendations for improvement. Given this broad support, the Commission plans to retain the Guide. However, as detailed in this Notice, the Commission proposes to revise the Guide's format and update its content to address new technologies and new types of claims.

    In expressing support for the Guide, several commenters discussed its benefits. NADA, for example, explained that the Guide helps prospective new vehicle purchasers obtain consistent and objective fuel economy information by advising manufacturers and dealers “to disclose fuel economy estimates in a fair, even-handed, and clear and conspicuous manner.” The consumer groups added that “automobile purchases are among the largest expenditures consumers make and bind them to purchase the fuel necessary to run their vehicles.” In their view, accurate mileage information benefits consumers, facilitates market functions, serves as a powerful incentive to increase fuel efficiency, and contributes significantly to the overall public good. These various comments are consistent with the Commission's past observation that “the Guide has been a benefit to consumers, providing fuel economy numbers in advertising that allow meaningful comparisons of different vehicle models.” 7

    7 67 FR 9924 (Mar. 5, 2002).

    Commenters also provided Guide recommendations related to EPA label developments and market changes in recent years. For example, NADA and the Alliance emphasized the need to ensure the Guide reflects current EPA fuel economy labeling requirements. The Alliance added that the updated Guide should reflect new vehicle technologies, existing terminology, and the current EPA label format, while still providing advertisers flexibility in how they inform consumers about fuel economy. In addition, NADA and the Alliance recommended the Guide afford flexibility in the content and format of claims, as long as such claims maintain accuracy and clarity.

    In response to these comments, the Commission proposes to update the Guide, as detailed below, to take into account current EPA and NHTSA requirements, new vehicle technology, and new terminology. In addition, where appropriate, the proposed revisions provide flexibility to advertisers as long as they avoid deceptive claims.

    IV. Proposed Guide Revisions

    The Commission sought comments in the 2014 Notice on general issues related to the Guide, including a new format, technical definitions, citation format, types of fuel economy claims (including claims involving EPA-based MPG, non-EPA tests, vehicle configuration, fuel economy range, and alternative fueled vehicles), and limited-format advertising such as on mobile devices. The Commission discusses each of these issues below.

    A. Guide Format

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission proposed improving the Guide's format by making it consistent with recently amended FTC guides, such as the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims.8 Under the proposed format, the Guide includes a list of general principles to help advertisers avoid deceptive practices with detailed examples to illustrate those principles.

    8See Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (Green Guides) (16 CFR part 260).

    Comments: Commenters supported updating the Guide's format. For example, NADA explained updates would help dealers maximize the clarity and utility of their fuel economy advertising. The Alliance noted that revisions would aid manufacturers, particularly in addressing potential claims not specifically addressed by the Guide. However, several commenters (e.g., NADA and AGA) urged the Commission to publish such changes for comment before making final amendments.

    Discussion: In response to comments, the Commission proposes to revise the Guide format to be consistent with recent Guide revisions for other topics, such as environmental claims. Specifically, the proposed revisions include a list of general principles for fuel economy advertising illustrated by specific examples.

    B. Definitions

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission proposed five changes related to the Guide's definitions section (16 CFR 259.1).9 First, the Commission proposed to replace several outdated terms to ensure consistency with EPA's current fuel economy rules.10 Specifically, the Commission proposed changing the definitions “estimated city miles per gallon” to “estimated city fuel economy;” and “estimated highway miles per gallon” to “estimated highway fuel economy.” It also proposed revising the definition of the term “fuel economy.” In addition, the Commission proposed eliminating the term “estimated in-use fuel economy range” because EPA's fuel economy label no longer provides such information.11 Second, the Commission proposed adding the term “combined fuel economy” to Section 259.1 to ensure consistency and reduce potential confusion because EPA now uses this term on its label.12 The new term would expand the Commission's guidance to advertisers whose vehicles now display an estimate of combined fuel economy required by the EPA. Third, the Commission proposed to amend the Guide's definition of “new automobile” to include “medium-duty passenger vehicle,” consistent with EPA's existing fuel labeling requirements.13 Fourth, the Commission proposed several minor revisions, including eliminating the phrase “in use” in the definition of “range of fuel economy,” and changing the definitions for “estimated city MPG” and “estimated highway MPG” to ensure consistency with EPA's terms and definitions. The Commission also proposed eliminating an obsolete reference to the term “unique nameplate” in footnote 2 and replacing it with the more appropriate EPA term “model type.” 14 Finally, the Commission proposed reorganizing the definition of “new automobile” to reduce its length and potential confusion. Specifically, the proposed amendment would remove the definitions of “dealer,” “manufacturer,” and “ultimate purchaser” from “new automobile” and list them as separate terms under section 259.1.15

    9 The Commission, in the 2009 Notice, also proposed to add two terms, “Fuel” and “Alternative Fueled Vehicles,” to distinguish vehicles that would be covered by EPA's label requirements from those covered by the proposed guidance regarding AFVs. 74 FR 19148, 19153.

    10See 40 CFR 600.002.

    11 The current Guide defines “estimated in-use fuel economy range” as the “estimated range of city and highway fuel economy of the particular new automobile on which the label is affixed, as determined in accordance with procedures employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as described in 40 CFR 600.311 (for the appropriate model year), and expressed in miles-per-gallon, to the nearest whole mile-per-gallon, as measured, reported or accepted by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency.” 16 CFR 259.1(e).

    12See 40 CFR 600, Appendix VI.

    13 40 CFR 86.1803-01. Previously, EPA required fuel economy labels for only passenger automobiles and light trucks.

    14 74 FR at 19151.

    15 The Commission does not propose otherwise altering these definitions.

    Comments: Commenters supported conforming the definitions to current EPA label regulations.16 AGA, for example, explained that using EPA's recent terminology would provide additional clarity and help ensure the Guide's consistent use. AGA also recommended eliminating the term “estimated in-use fuel economy range” because EPA no longer uses it. Likewise, it concurred with the proposal to remove the term “in use” from the Guide because the term furthers consumers' expectations that they will actually achieve the EPA numbers.

    16See, e.g., Alliance, Global Automakers, and NADA.

    Discussion: Given commenters' support for these proposed changes, the Commission proposes to revise the definitions consistent with its proposals. In addition, the Commission has added the term “EPA” to the various “fuel economy” estimate definitions to clarify that such estimates are derived from required EPA test procedures. Furthermore, consistent with several proposed amendments discussed below, the proposed Guide contains new definitions for “alternative fueled vehicle,” “flexible fuel vehicle,” “EPA driving range estimate,” “EPA regulations,” and “fuel.” 17

    17See section 259.1 of the proposed Guide.

    C. Regulatory Citations

    Background: In its previous Notice, the FTC proposed to replace all specific regulatory citations to EPA regulations in the Guide with a general citation (40 CFR part 600) to reduce the frequency of future Guide changes should EPA amend its regulations. Earlier comments noted that this proposal would create confusion because the cited general EPA provisions contain two different sets of fuel economy requirements, one of which is not directly applicable to FTC's Guide. See 79 FR at 27821.

    Comments: In response to the 2014 Notice, NADA urged the Commission to use only a general citation to EPA's regulations (i.e., 40 CFR part 600), arguing the benefits of a general citation (e.g., it would require fewer updates) outweigh any potential risks of confusion.

    Discussion: To avoid confusion identified in the comments, the Commission proposes to simplify the citations by using a general citation to “EPA regulations,” but defining that term to mean EPA's “fuel economy labeling requirements in 40 CFR part 600, subpart D,” as opposed to other EPA vehicle-related regulations. This will clarify that the EPA regulations referenced in the Guide apply to that agency's labeling requirements and not other EPA requirements inapplicable to the Guide.

    D. Types of Fuel Economy Claims

    As discussed below, the Commission sought comment on specific types of advertising claims, including EPA-based miles-per-gallon claims, claims based on non-EPA tests, claims related to vehicle configuration, range of fuel economy claims, and AFV claims.

    1. Miles-Per-Gallon (MPG) Claims

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission sought comments on various aspects of the MPG provision of the current Guide (section 259.2(a)). Specifically, the Notice invited comments on the following issues: (1) Whether a general fuel economy claim (e.g., “XYZ car gets great mileage”) should be accompanied by a specific MPG disclosure to prevent consumer deception or unfairness; (2) whether an advertisement is unfair or deceptive if it provides only one type of mileage rating (e.g., an advertisement that only provides highway MPG); (3) whether an unspecified MPG claim (e.g., “37 MPG”) is deceptive if the advertisement fails to identify whether the rating is city, highway, or combined; (4) how consumers understand “up to” MPG claims (e.g., “up to 45 MPG”); (5) whether the combined EPA MPG rating should serve as the default disclosure for unspecified fuel economy claims (instead of the city MPG as currently indicated in the Guide); (6) whether the Guide should advise advertisers to avoid statements that imply a linear relationship between MPG and fuel costs; (7) whether fuel economy advertisements containing MPG claims should identify EPA as the source of the ratings; and (8) whether the FTC should provide additional guidance regarding disclaimers that the EPA ratings are only estimates. Each of these issues is addressed below.

    a. General Fuel Economy Claims

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission sought comments on whether a general fuel economy claim should be accompanied by a specific mileage disclosure to prevent consumer deception or unfairness. The Guide has advised advertisers to include such disclosures since its initial publication in the 1970's. Specifically, section 259.2(a) states that an advertisement with a general fuel economy claim should disclose the vehicle's city mileage rating.18 That section also indicates that any claim about city or highway driving should contain estimated city or highway MPG rating.

    18 At the time the Guide was created, EPA did not require combined fuel economy on the label. Therefore, the guidance pointed to the city mileage number as the default disclosure.

    Comments: Commenters supported the current Guide's approach to specific mileage disclosures for general fuel economy claims. The Alliance explained that such mileage disclosures provide consumers “with context and backup for the specific claim being made.” Rodriquez stated that, given the potential for deception in general advertising claims, the Guide should continue to advise advertisers to include the fuel economy ratings.

    Discussion: The Commission proposes to retain the existing guidance advising advertisers to provide the EPA mileage estimates whenever they make a fuel economy claim. As discussed below, this approach, supported by commenters, is consistent with the recent consumer research, as well as the guidance the Commission has provided consistently for decades.

    In releasing the Guide in 1975, the Commission explained that “when no specific fuel economy figure is cited in advertising, the use of such vague and ill-defined terms as `saves gas,' or `gas stingy engine' may . . . be deceptive by implying existence of some level of `good fuel economy' which may be perceived differently by different individuals.”19 In choosing to retain the provision in 1995, the Commission explained that “it is important that the EPA estimate accompany implicit as well as explicit mileage claims. Any mileage claim inherently involves a comparison to other vehicles. The EPA estimates provide consumers with a meaningful method of comparing competing claims.” 20

    19 40 FR 42003 (Sept. 10, 1975).

    20 60 FR 56230, 56231 (Nov. 8, 1995).

    The recent FTC consumer study supports these conclusions.21 Study respondents tended to assign multiple meanings to general fuel economy claims. For example, when asked about the meaning of the claim “this car gets great gas mileage,” various respondents said the vehicle had better mileage than other cars of its size, better mileage than all other cars, better mileage than similarly priced cars, or none of those choices.22 When the study narrowed the general fuel economy claim to a particular class size (“This car gets great gas mileage compared to other compact cars”), respondents offered varied responses about whether such claims applied to all, most, or many cars in the class.23 When asked to describe the meaning of a general fuel economy claim in an open-ended format, the results were similarly diverse. Specifically, when respondents were asked about the meaning of the claim “This car gets great gas mileage,” they variously answered “more miles per gallon/saves money/less gas”; “gets over 30 miles or more”; gets “good” or “great” mileage; and “gets over 20 miles or more.” 24

    21 Section II of this Notice contains background information about the study.

    22 Specifically, when asked about a general claim's meaning (Q1d), study participants, selecting from five responses, indicated the vehicle had better mileage than other cars of its size (36.8%), better mileage than all other cars (14.1%), better mileage than similarly priced cars (12.0%), not sure (15.6%), and none of above (21.5%). The responses were significant compared to control questions where the general claim was narrowed (Q1e and Q1f) (e.g., great mileage compared “to other compact cars” or “similarly priced cars”). In response to those questions, the vast majority of respondents correctly identified the relevant comparison. Specifically, in Q1e where the claim included “other compact cars,” 78.8% of respondents accurately identified the comparison as “other cars of its size” while the results for all other choices were fewer than 10%. Where the claim involved a comparison of “similar priced” cars in Q1f, 62.7% accurately identified the comparison as “cars with a similar sales price” though 20.6% still identified the relevant comparison as “other cars of its size” even though the claim specifically identified “similarly-priced cars.”

    23 When the advertisement said “This car gets great gas mileage compared to other compact cars” (Q2b), 23% of respondents indicated the car got better gas mileage than “all” other compact cars; 37% believed it got better gas mileage than “almost all” other compact cars; and 18% indicated it got better mileage than “at least half.” When the claim was altered to say “This car gets great gas mileage compared to many other compact cars” (Q2d), the responses also varied with 10% indicating the car had better mileage than all cars, 30% indicating better than almost all, and 30% indicating better than at least half. Only when respondents viewed a control which stated “This car gets great gas mileage compared to all other compact cars” (Q2c) did the variation decrease, with 52% indicating the advertised car got better mileage than all other cars. However, even under this scenario, 23% said the car got better mileage than “almost all” other compact cars.

    24 Q1a. None of these various answers corresponded to more than 5% of participants' responses.

    These varied interpretations are likely impossible for an advertiser to substantiate simultaneously. To overcome such potential deception, the Commission has consistently recommended that advertisers disclose the EPA MPG ratings in advertisements that contain general fuel economy claims. Such ratings adequately qualify general fuel economy claims by providing clear objective information that allows consumers to compare competing models and thus mitigates the deceptive conclusions consumers may draw from general claims. Given the results of the research and the overwhelming commenter support for the existing guidance, the Commission does not propose to change it.

    b. Combined EPA MPG Rating as Default Disclosure

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission also solicited comments on whether the EPA combined city/highway rating, rather than the city MPG, should serve as the default disclosure for general fuel economy claims. The current Guide (section 259.2(a)(1)(iii)), which the Commission issued before EPA began requiring the combined rating on the label, directs advertisers to provide the EPA city rating as the default disclosure to accompany any general fuel economy claim that does not reference city or highway driving. In 2011, EPA altered the fuel economy label's design and content to feature the combined city-highway rating.25 The EPA label continues to provide both the city and highway MPG ratings in a font smaller than that used for the combined rating.

    25 76 FR 39478 (July 6, 2011).

    Comments: Commenters generally supported designating the combined (city/highway) mileage rating as the default disclosure for general fuel economy claims. In particular, the Alliance preferred the combined rating because it is the most prominent disclosure on EPA's current label. The Alliance also explained that the city rating is no longer the lowest or most conservative value in all instances. For many hybrid vehicles, the city MPG rating is higher. AGA argued that advertisers should be able to disclose all the rating types—city, highway, and combined—in combination or alone because these ratings may be beneficial in specific cases (e.g., where a vehicle is intended primarily for city driving).

    The consumer groups argued that including all three ratings is the best way to avoid deception, though they noted the combined number alone may be appropriate in some cases. In addition, Rodriguez added that advertisements should include fuel economy ratings for both highway and city because evidence suggests that typical driving time is almost evenly split between the two, contrary to the EPA combined estimate, which weights 55% city and 45% highway. In Rodriguez's view, such city and highway disclosures allow for more accurate fuel economy comparisons.

    Discussion: The Commission proposes advising advertisers to disclose either the combined fuel economy rating, or both the city and highway numbers, when using fuel economy claims that do not specifically mention city or highway driving. Based on an EPA-specified weighted ratio of city and highway driving, the combined number is now the most prominent EPA label disclosure. It provides an effective default disclosure because it serves as a common consistent indicator of a vehicle's overall mileage. Additionally, the proposed guidance gives advertisers the option to disclose the city and highway estimates together. This disclosure allows consumers to gauge their expected mileage based on their own ratio of city-highway driving. Accordingly, the proposed provision would provide advertisers the flexibility to disclose either the combined rating or the city and highway ratings together. The Commission seeks comments on this approach.26

    26 74 FR at 19150. Currently, section 259.2(a) does not prohibit disclosure of both the city and highway estimates.

    c. Single Mileage Ratings

    Background: The Commission also asked whether an advertisement is deceptive or unfair if it provides only one type of rating (e.g., an advertisement that only discloses highway MPG). The current Guide states that, if an MPG claim involves only city or only highway fuel economy, the advertisement need only disclose the corresponding EPA city or highway estimate. For example, under the current approach, only the “estimated highway MPG” need be disclosed if the representation clearly refers only to highway fuel economy. 16 CFR 259.2(a)(1)(ii).

    Comments: Commenters offered different opinions on the use of a single mileage rating (e.g., “43 MPG on the highway”). For example, the consumer groups argued that single rating disclosures are clearly deceptive because few, if any, consumers drive solely on highways or local streets. Thus in their view, most consumers will not obtain the fuel efficiency represented by single highway ratings. The consumer groups also indicated that many advertisers use the highway rating “to present their vehicle in the best light possible.” To avoid deception, they argued that advertisers should disclose mileage estimates in one of two ways: (1) All three ratings together (i.e., city, highway, and combined) with the combined rating presented most prominently, or (2) the combined rating only where space for content is limited.

    Other commenters, particularly industry members, disagreed. For instance, NADA argued that advertisements containing a single fuel economy rating are not inherently unfair or deceptive. The Alliance agreed, stating that advertisers should have the flexibility to provide information that they believe is most relevant for each vehicle.27 The Alliance asserted that consumers “have had many years to become familiar with the City, Highway, and Combined rating system” and thus are unlikely to become confused by a single rating. Several of these commenters argued that the Guide should provide manufactures the flexibility to disclose the rating most relevant to the consumers of a particular product. The Alliance explained, for example, that consumers shopping for a compact car designed primarily for urban use are likely to be most interested in the city value. In its view, an advertisement is not deceptive as long as it discloses the EPA label value and identifies the rating involved (e.g., city mileage).

    27 Both NADA and the Alliance emphasized that appropriate disclosures should be included in ads.

    Discussion: Consistent with the current guidance, the proposed Guide does not discourage single mileage ratings in advertisements tied to a particular type of driving (e.g., “This vehicle is rated at 40 MPG on the highway according to the EPA estimate”). Such single-rating claims are not likely to be deceptive as long as the advertisement clearly identifies the type of estimate (e.g., city, highway, or combined), and the estimate matches the content of the advertised claims.

    The FTC's consumer study supports this approach. For example, when shown a single highway mileage claim (e.g., “This car is rated at 25 miles per gallon on the highway according to the EPA estimate”), the vast majority of respondents (74.6%) correctly answered that car would likely achieve that MPG in highway driving, and the responses for alternative interpretations were low.28 The results were similar when respondents were asked about a claim for a combination of city and highway driving.29

    28See Q5c. The response results for other choices, with no control, were: city rating (5.8%), combined rating (10.7%), unsure (5.5%), and none of the above (3.5%).

    29 The results for Q5d were, not accounting for a control: Combined (76.6%), highway (10%), city (4.2%), not sure (6.2%), and none of the above (2.5%). When the question presented an unspecified MPG claim (Q5b) (car “ . . . rated at 25 miles per gallon . . .”), the responses were: combined (40.4%), highway (30.5%), city (8.5%), not sure (16.7%), and none of the above (4.1%).

    In addition, respondents were able to distinguish between highway and combined driving ranges when asked whether they expected to achieve a certain mileage rating if they used the advertised vehicle for all their driving. For instance, when shown a 25 MPG highway claim, (Q6c) 62.2% of respondents indicated they would expect to get “a lot” or a “little” less than 25 MPG when driving the advertised car, while only 48.1% answered similarly when shown the 25 MPG combined driving claim (Q6d).30 When asked to identify the conditions that might lead to mileage higher or lower than the EPA estimate, more than half of respondents mentioned highway driving, city driving, or both.31

    30 The results for respondents expecting to achieve “a little” or “a lot” more than the stated rating were 7.6% for Q6c (highway claim) and 6.9% for Q6d (combined claim), with no control.

    31 In both cases, the number of respondents indicating they would get better mileage than the stated MPG rating was low. These results suggest that a significant number of respondents expected to achieve lower mileage in combined driving than highway driving and believe that EPA test results may overstate actual mileage, regardless of the type of driving.

    The research therefore suggests that consumers are not deceived by single mileage claims as long as the claim specifies the type of driving involved (e.g., highway, combined, etc.). Moreover, consumers have seen such estimates in advertising and on EPA labels for decades. In light of this ongoing exposure, it seems unlikely that a single, clearly-identified mileage estimate will lead to deception. Accordingly, absent additional evidence demonstrating that such claims are deceptive, the Commission does not propose changing its approach on this issue. However, consistent with the existing Guide, the proposed amendments (section 259.4(c)) advise marketers that EPA fuel economy estimates should match the driving claims appearing in the advertisements.

    d. Unspecified MPG Claims

    Background: The 2014 Notice also asked commenters whether an unspecified MPG claim (e.g., “37 MPG”) is deceptive if the advertisement fails to identify whether the rating is city, highway, or combined. The current Guide advises advertisers to tie specific mileage ratings to specific driving modes (i.e., city or highway).32

    32See section 259.2(a)(1)(iii). The Guide also advises disclosure of the “estimated city MPG” if advertisers make a “general fuel economy claim without reference to either city or highway, or if the representation refers to any combined fuel economy number.” As noted above, at the time the Guide was created, EPA did not require combined fuel economy on the label. Therefore, the guidance pointed to the city mileage number as the default disclosure. However, the current EPA label features combined city/highway MPG as the primary disclosure.

    Comments: The consumer groups argued that an unspecified MPG rating is clearly deceptive because consumers do not know the driving mode upon which such a claim is based and, in cases where the number reflects the highway rating, consumers are unlikely to consistently achieve such mileage. Citing similar concerns, the Alliance recommended that, whenever an EPA label value appears in an advertisement, the advertiser disclose which EPA value applies (city, highway, or combined).

    Discussion: The Commission plans to continue to advise against using mileage ratings claims that fail to specify the type of rating (i.e., city, highway, or combined). The FTC consumer study suggests that such unqualified claims lead to confusion and potential deception because respondents interpreted them in different ways. For example, when presented with the claim that a car was “rated at 25 MPG,” 30.5% of the respondents linked the figure to highway driving, while 40.4% indicated it applied to a combination of highway and city driving.33 The results are consistent with the assumption underlying the current Guide that consumers' interpretation of such unspecified mileage claims varies significantly in the absence of specific information (i.e., highway, city or combined), and that consumers do not uniformly assume such estimates apply to a particular type of driving (e.g., highway). Accordingly, advertisers failing to identify the driving type associated with an MPG claim are likely to deceive a significant percentage of consumers regarding the rating's basis.34

    33 Q5b. The contrasting questions lend validity to these results. As discussed above, in a separate question (5c), when told the car was rated at 25 MPG on the highway, 74.6% indicated the car would get about 25 MPG on the highway. Similarly, when told the car was rated at 25 MPG in combined driving (Q5d), 76.6% responded that the car would achieve about 25 MPG in combined driving.

    34 This guidance assumes the city and highway ratings for a particular vehicle are different, which is almost always the case.

    e. “Up To” Claims

    Background: The Commission also asked commenters to address how consumers understand “up to” MPG claims, which currently appear in dealership advertisements (e.g., “up to 45 MPG”). In making such claims, advertisers often seek to convey that the advertised MPG applies to a specific version of the model (e.g., style, trim line, or option package), while other versions of the model have lower ratings. The current guidance does not address such claims.

    Comments: Commenters split on this issue, with the consumer groups arguing that the Guide should discourage “up to” claims and industry members disagreeing. In the Alliance's view, such claims allow sellers to advertise a nameplate or family of vehicles by communicating “the range of capabilities across a nameplate or family.” The Alliance asserted that eliminating these claims would limit manufacturer flexibility and potentially prohibit simple “reasonably understood” information about vehicle groups. NADA added that, because single models have various engine and transmission options, the “up to” qualifier may be necessary to avoid deception. Alternatively, NADA suggested that dealers and manufacturers disclose a range of fuel economy label ratings when an advertisement involves multiple vehicles.

    The consumer groups, however, stated that “up to” claims are deceptive and, to avoid such deception, mileage ratings in ads must reflect the “vehicle configuration expected to be most popular for that year.” If a specific model configuration has a better fuel economy rating, the groups argued that the advertisement can present that rating in addition to the MPG of the most popular version.

    Discussion: The FTC proposes amending the Guide to advise advertisers to avoid unqualified “up to” MPG claims. The FTC consumer study suggested significant consumer confusion regarding these claims. In particular, the study gauged respondents' interpretation of three versions of an “up to” claim, ranging from a basic claim with no explanatory information, to one that provided a detailed explanation. Most respondents (73.1%) interpreted “up to” in an unqualified claim to mean the depicted vehicle would achieve the stated MPG if it was driven in a certain way.35 In addition, when respondents were asked in an open-ended format to explain their understanding of a simple “up to” claim (i.e., “This model gets up to 30 miles per gallon”), very few respondents mentioned that the claim relates to the MPG rating for a specific version of the model (Q3a).

    35 Specifically, 28.4% stated that “up to” meant the advertised MPG depended on the type of driving (e.g., highway or city), and 44.7% indicated the stated MPG could be achieved if the car was driven efficiently (Q3c). Only a few respondents (9.3%) interpreted the unqualified “up to” claim to mean the MPG rating applied to a specific model version, the meaning often intended by car advertisers.

    However, when respondents viewed a more detailed, qualified claim explaining that “up to” referred to a specific model version (Q3e (close-ended question)), the confusion decreased significantly, with a majority (51.9%) indicating the claim meant a version of the advertised model was rated at 30 miles per gallon.36 With this more detailed disclosure, 30% of respondents interpreted the stated MPG as referring to the way in which the vehicle is driven, compared to the 73.1% who took away the same interpretation from the unqualified claim in Q3c.37 Caution should be used in interpreting this 30%, as it is an uncontrolled result. Thus, we cannot be sure how many of the responses actually indicate deception. However, it does suggest that drafting an adequate qualifying disclosure may be difficult. Accordingly, to minimize the risk of deception, advertisers should be careful to ensure that qualifying language properly conveys the meaning and limitations of any “up to” claims.

    36 The claim in Q3e read: “Different options for engine size and other features are available. Depending on the options chosen, this model gets up to 30 miles per gallon.”

    37 Specifically, 14.2% choose type of driving (e.g., highway or city), and 15.8% indicated the stated MPG could be achieved if the car was driven efficiently (Q3e).

    In sum, the consumer study strongly suggests that unqualified “up to” claims are likely to be deceptive where the advertiser intends to communicate that a version of the advertised model will achieve the stated fuel economy rating. In addition, under the same circumstances, the results suggest that it is difficult to fashion qualifying language that adequately avoids consumer confusion. However, given available information, the Commission cannot conclude that such “up to” claims are categorically deceptive. Therefore, the proposed guidance advises advertisers to ensure that qualifying language adequately clarifies such claims to prevent deception.

    f. Non-Linear Relationship Between MPG and Fuel Costs

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission asked whether the Guide should advise advertisers to avoid statements that imply a linear relationship between MPG and fuel costs. As explained in the earlier notice, MPG ratings and fuel savings do not increase proportionally. For instance, fuel savings due to an increase from 10 MPG to 20 MPG is much greater than from an increase from 50 to 60 MPG. Given this fact, some have recommended use of a different efficiency metric, such as “gallons per 100 miles,” which exhibits a linear relationship with fuel cost.38 Indeed, EPA requires a “gallons per 100 miles” figure as a secondary disclosure on its label.

    38See, e.g., Larrick, R.P. and J.B. Soll, “The MPG Illusion,” Science 320:1593-1594 (2008).

    Comments: Commenters agreed that advertisers should not imply that there is a linear relationship between MPG and fuel costs. However, they also stated that no such claims currently appear in advertisements and thus did not identify a need for the Guide to address them.39

    39See Alliance and NADA comments.

    Discussion: Because commenters indicated that no claims currently appear in advertising implying a linear relationship between mileage and fuel cost, the Commission does not propose addressing this issue in the Guide.40 However, advertisers should remain mindful of the non-linear relationship between MPG and fuel costs and avoid claims that state or imply such a relationship.

    40 As EPA has indicated in the past, a metric such as “gallons per 100 miles” provides consumers with “a better tool for making economically sound decisions” than traditional MPG disclosure. Accordingly, EPA now includes such a figure on the label despite its unfamiliarity to most consumers. 76 FR 39478, 39486 (July 6, 2011).

    g. EPA as the Source of Estimate

    Background: The Commission also invited comments on whether it should retain its current advice that fuel economy values in advertisements should disclose that EPA is the source of the “estimated city MPG” and “estimated highway MPG.”

    Comments: Commenters agreed that the Guide should continue to advise advertisers to identify EPA as the source of the estimates. The consumer groups explained that advertisements should always list EPA as the rating's source because this designation reinforces the rating's “official nature” and ensures consumers can make true vehicle-to-vehicle comparisons. In their view, the FTC's recommended disclosures help consumers understand that the fuel economy values do not derive from an unofficial process for marketing or advertising purposes. NADA agreed and urged the Commission to recognize the value in additional disclosures directing consumers to www.fueleconomy.gov.

    Discussion: The Commission does not propose changing its guidance for identifying EPA as the source of the estimates. No information on the record suggests a change is necessary. As comments explained, this disclosure clarifies the basis for mileage disclosures and thus helps avoids deception. The consumer research provides some support for this guidance. Although the study did not address this issue directly, respondents indicated significant confusion about the source of tests for driving range claims related to electric vehicles, suggesting the absence of the EPA disclosures could lead to deception.41 Finally, the Commission expects most advertisers will identify the EPA disclosure as a matter of course. Accordingly, continuing the guidance is unlikely to place any significant burden on advertisers.

    41 In Question 4c, the Commission asked respondents about the source of a test used to determine a driving range claim. In open-ended responses, study participants pointed to a variety of results, with about 30% identifying the car company as the source, 11% identifying a government agency, and more than 40% indicating they were not sure.

    h. Additional Guidance on Ratings as “Estimates”

    Background: The current Guide advises advertisers to disclose that the EPA ratings are “estimates.” 42 In the 2014 Notice, the Commission asked whether the FTC should provide additional guidance on this issue.

    42See section 259.2(a)(2).

    Comments: Commenters urged the Commission to retain its guidance regarding the estimate disclosure. NADA explained that the EPA fuel economy ratings do not convey the mileage particular vehicles will actually achieve, but, instead, furnish estimates to help prospective purchasers make vehicle comparisons. Rodriguez also cautioned that the EPA test cannot accurately predict fuel economy for all drivers and all driving conditions. The Alliance, which also supported the existing guidance, argued that any additional disclosures on this issue would increase consumer confusion. AGA suggested that FTC caution against phrases such as “X vehicle gets xx MPG in the city/on the highway” because such language may lead consumers to believe that they will actually achieve such mileage in their own driving. However, AGA recommended that advertisers use the term “rating” instead of “estimate,” because the latter term may mislead consumers into believing they will actually achieve the stated MPG number.43 The term “rating,” it argued, would help manage consumers' expectations given other types of ratings, reviews, and other comparative tools typically based on individuals' experience. AGA noted that the EPA uses “rating” somewhat interchangeably with “estimated fuel economy” on the fueleconomy.gov Web site.

    43 AGA noted that, in the European Union, advertisements must include additional text stating: “The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results, are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience.”

    Discussion: The Commission does not propose to change its guidance advising advertisers to disclose that EPA numbers are “estimates.” The term “estimate” helps prevent deception by signaling to consumers that their actual mileage will vary. Specifically, the term helps reduce the likelihood consumers will believe they will achieve or “get” a certain mileage.44

    44 The revised Guidance also contains an example warning against the use of the term “gets” without adequate qualification.

    Moreover, although one commenter recommended that the Guide discourage using the term “estimate,” there is no indication this term is deceptive other than that comment. In addition, EPA regulations and the underlying statute employ this term, and it has appeared on EPA labels and in advertising for decades.45 At the same time, the Commission recognizes that the term “estimate” does not represent the only non-deceptive means to inform consumers that their fuel economy results may vary from the EPA rating.

    45See 40 CFR part 600, and 49 U.S.C. 32908.

    2. Claims Related to Model Types

    Background: The current Guide advises manufacturers to limit fuel economy ratings to the model type being advertised. Doing so ensures advertised fuel economy ratings match the advertised vehicles specification.46 Specifically, section 259.2, n. 2 of the Guide warns against using a single fuel economy estimate for all vehicles bearing a common model name, if separate vehicles within that model group have different fuel economy ratings. The Commission sought comment on this issue including whether the FTC should provide further guidance to help advertisers avoid deceptive claims in this context.

    46 The EPA's fuel economy regulations define “model type” as “a unique combination of car line, basic engine, and transmission class.” 40 CFR 600.002-85.

    Comments: In response, NADA indicated that, where an advertisement includes only one model version, advertisers should not use mileage ratings for a different version of the same make or model. The Alliance agreed and argued the current Guide provides adequate guidance on this issue. In its opinion, additional information would create lengthy and unwieldy disclosures, with little benefit to consumers. The Alliance noted that several sources, including manufacturer Web sites, fueleconomy.gov, the vehicle's EPA label, and dealers, have more detailed information about vehicle configuration to help consumers. Finally, AGA cautioned against revising guidance, explaining that EPA has been working to address how models are grouped for mileage purposes. Accordingly, AGA urged EPA and FTC to coordinate efforts to ensure consistency.

    Discussion: Responding to these comments, the Commission proposes to update its existing guidance on claims related to make or model groups to include current EPA terminology. Specifically, the proposed amendments remove the outdated term “unique nameplate” and replace it with the more general term “model type.” However, the proposed Guide remains consistent with existing advice. In particular, the proposal states that it is deceptive to state or imply that a rated fuel economy figure applies to vehicles not included in the same model type featured in the advertisement. Fuel economy estimates assigned to model types under EPA's regulations apply only to specific versions of the model. Thus, any fuel economy claim for a vehicle should apply to the model type being advertised (e.g., a version with a 1.0 liter engine, automatic transmission).

    3. Claims Based on Non-EPA Estimates

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission sought comment on the Guide's treatment of fuel economy claims based on non-EPA tests. In issuing the Guide in 1975, the Commission explained that “the use in advertising of fuel economy results obtained from disparate test procedures may unfairly and deceptively deny to consumers information which will enable them to compare advertised automobiles on the basis of fuel economy.” 47 To address this issue, the Guide advises advertisers to provide several disclosures whenever they make a fuel economy claim based on non-EPA information. Specifically, section 259.2(c) states that fuel economy claims based on non-EPA information should: (1) Disclose the corresponding EPA estimates with more prominence than other estimates; (2) identify the source of the non-EPA information; and (3) disclose how the non-EPA test differs from the EPA test in terms of driving conditions and other relevant variables. The Commission sought input on this issue, asking commenters to address, among other things, the prevalence of non-EPA fuel economy claims, including both traditional fuel economy claims (e.g., MPG), as well as electric vehicle driving range claims (e.g., “100 miles per charge”) and the adequacy of the current guidance for preventing deception.

    47 40 FR 42003 (Sept. 10, 1975).

    Comments: Commenters offered conflicting views on the Guide's treatment of non-EPA fuel economy claims. Industry members agreed with the existing guidance but questioned its relevance. In AGA's view, the current guidance could help consumers make comparisons when non-EPA ratings appear in advertisements. However, both NADA and AGA explained that manufacturers and dealers simply do not refer to such ratings in advertising, and there is no expectation they will do so in the future. Thus, both organizations questioned whether the guidance on non-EPA source is still necessary.

    Conversely, the consumer groups argued the Guide should “prevent the use of anything but standardized EPA MPG ratings” because such ratings provide the only means to avoid “significant deception.” The groups explained that the EPA ratings have become the standard on which manufacturers compete. In their view, many different techniques can produce mileage estimates, and the dissemination of such alternative ratings “would substantially increase deceptive advertising.” They argued that the EPA numbers, which appear on every vehicle sold in the U.S., must appear in the advertisements to avoid deception and confusion. They further asserted that EPA's single rating system allows for “true competition and avoids the deception associated with multiple rating systems” and different testing methodologies. In their view, alternative (non-EPA) rating results prevent vehicle-to-vehicle comparisons and lead to “manipulation and skepticism.”

    Discussion: The Commission does not propose changing the Guide's basic approach to advertising claims based on non-EPA data. The Commission has identified no basis to prohibit all fuel economy advertising claims based on non-EPA tests. There is no evidence that such claims are deceptive if adequately qualified. In addition, though advertisers may not commonly use non-EPA MPG ratings in advertising, that may not be the case for other claims, such as driving range representations for electric vehicles.48 Accordingly, the proposed Guide continues to recommend specific disclosures related to non-EPA claims to reduce the possibility of deception.49 The Commission seeks further comment on this issue, particularly whether non-EPA claims, including non-EPA driving range claims for electric vehicles, are common. Finally, the current Guide addresses the relative size and prominence of fuel economy claims based on non-EPA and EPA estimates in television, radio, and print advertisements. The Commission proposes to retain this guidance. The Commission, however, proposes to clarify that it applies to any advertising medium (not solely television, radio, and print).

    48 In addition, to the extent such claims do not appear in advertising, the Guide imposes no burden on such claims.

    49 The guidance assumes that the advertised non-EPA estimates are not identical to the EPA estimates.

    4. Claims for Alternative Fueled Vehicles

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission sought comment on whether the Guide should address advertising for flexible fueled vehicles (FFVs), particularly pertaining to different fuel economy estimates for different fuels.50 Specifically, the Commission asked commenters to address whether advertisements that provide a vehicle's gasoline MPG rating and identify the vehicle as an FFV should include disclosures about that vehicle's alternative fuel MPG rating.

    50 Previously, the Commission had sought comments on Guide amendments specifically related to alternative fueled vehicles labeled under the Alternative Fuels Rule (16 CFR part 309). 74 FR at 19152. However, in April 2013, the Commission amended the Alternative Fuels Rule to consolidate the FTC's alternative fueled vehicle labels with EPA's new fuel economy labels. Because those amendments removed any potential conflict between FTC and EPA labels, the Guides need not address FTC alternative fueled vehicles labels. 78 FR 23832 (April 23, 2013).

    Comments: In response, commenters recommended that the Guide address alternative fueled vehicles, particularly electric vehicles, given their recent proliferation in the market. However, they recommended different approaches to addressing this issue.

    Electric Vehicle Driving Range: First, AGA recommended the Guide address plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to ensure consistent use of fuel economy ratings among these increasingly prevalent vehicles. AGA also recommended that the FTC consult with EPA to develop best practices for BEV, FCEV, and PHEV fuel economy advertising. In particular, AGA asked the Commission to consider guidance on driving range claims for alternative fueled vehicles to provide a better “apples-to-apples” comparison across all fuel and vehicle types, particularly given the importance of this information for PHEVs and “electric-only” ranges. In the Alliance's view, any claims for a vehicle's driving range should follow the same disclosure principles applicable to other claims. NADA added that the Commission's guidance should promote uniformity and clarity in the use of all government fuel economy labeling for all AFVs in the same manner as conventionally fueled vehicles.

    Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe): The consumer groups recommended that electric vehicle advertisements disclose the vehicle's miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), which appears on the EPA label and converts the energy efficiency of electric vehicles into a miles per gallon estimate. However, to help consumers understand such information, the commenters suggested the following disclosure: “This vehicle does not use gasoline, the conversion from electric efficiency to miles per gallon is for comparative purposes.” For plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the consumer groups argued that the fuel economy ratings should include separate ratings for operation on gasoline (or other combustion engine fuel) and on electricity, in equal prominence.

    Alternative Fuel: Finally, the consumer groups argued that FFV advertisements should disclose two MPG ratings: One for the model's gasoline rating and one for the biofuel blend. However, they indicated that, if the advertisement does not mention the vehicle's FFV capability, it would be adequate to disclose the gasoline-only MPG.

    Discussion: The Commission has considered issues related to electric vehicle driving range, MPGe disclosures, and claims for FFVs. We discuss each below:

    Electric Driving Range Information: The Commission proposes to address driving range claims for several reasons. First, as with general fuel economy claims, general driving range claims (e.g., “will go far on a single charge”) are likely to generate a variety of consumer interpretations about the vehicle's range relative to other vehicle's on the market. These multiple interpretations are likely impossible for many advertisers to substantiate simultaneously. Disclosing the EPA range estimates will help prevent deception by providing clear, objective information that allows consumers to compare the driving ranges of competing vehicles. Second, the consumer research suggested that confusion may exist regarding the source of driving range claims. Specifically, in response to an open-ended question about the source of the test used to derive a driving range (Q4c), respondents pointed to a variety of results, with about 30% identifying the car company as the source, 11% identifying a government agency, and more than 40% indicating they were not sure.51 Finally, driving range estimates are becoming increasingly important and prevalent. As with MPG disclosures for gasoline vehicles, range estimates for electric vehicles provide a fundamental measurement of an electric vehicle's performance based on EPA testing requirements. Given these various considerations, the proposed Guide advises advertisers to disclose EPA-mandated driving range results whenever they make a general driving range claim.

    51 The balance of respondents (about 19%) identified other sources such as non-governmental organizations.

    Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPGe): The Commission does not propose advising advertisers to always disclose MPGe in advertising for electric vehicles as some comments suggested. It is unclear whether such disclosures are essential to preventing deception. Because MPGe is a relatively new and unfamiliar concept to most consumers, the extent to which they would understand and use such a disclosure is unclear. Indeed, the consumer research supports this. When viewing an MPGe claim (i.e., “This electric car is rated at 93 MPGe”) (Q4d), respondents assigned a variety of interpretations to the term. Specifically, only about 35% understood that MPGe reflected the electric vehicle's relative energy use (or energy cost) compared to conventional gasoline vehicles, and 40% indicated they were not sure what the term meant.52 In addition, in shopping for electric vehicles, consumers are likely to focus on other energy performance metrics, such as driving range. Furthermore, it is likely that consumer understanding of MPGe will evolve rapidly as more electric vehicles enter the market. For now, however, the concept is too novel to incorporate into the guidance.

    52 The research (Q4e) suggests that respondents were much more likely to understand the term “MPGe” when the claims included extensive explanatory information.

    Alternative Fuel: The Commission agrees with commenters that, if the advertisement mentions the vehicle's alternative fuel capability, FFV advertisements should provide both the vehicle's gasoline and alternative fuel ratings. Without such disclosures, consumers may assume the advertised MPG rating applies both to gasoline and alternative fuel operation.

    5. Fuel Economy Range Claims for Specific Models

    Background: In the 2014 Notice, the Commission proposed to eliminate its guidance on “estimated in-use fuel economy range” claims (e.g., “expected range for most drivers 15 to 21 MPG”). Because EPA's label no longer contains this information, and no evidence suggests such claims are prevalent, the Commission proposed to eliminate this specific provision.

    Comments: The Alliance supported the proposal, explaining that the provision, as written, no longer applies to most vehicles.

    Discussion: For the reasons discussed above, including commenter support, the Commission proposes to eliminate the Guides' provision related to “estimated in-use fuel economy range” (259.2(b)(1)).

    E. Limited Format Advertising

    Background and Comments: The Alliance urged the Commission to address space-constrained advertising, particularly in newer media formats. It recommended the Guide “grant maximum flexibility” for fuel economy advertising in new media formats while ensuring a level playing field and fair disclosures to consumers. Specifically, it suggested the Commission set general guidelines to allow familiar short-hand and weblinks in limited format advertising to direct consumers to mandated disclosures while avoiding overly prescriptive provisions. The Alliance stressed that such advertisements typically serve as a “starting point” for consumer awareness of the product and lead consumers to conduct additional research elsewhere. According to the Alliance, consumers understand that restricted‐format advertisements do not contain complete information and routinely click on hyperlinks to access more detailed information. In its view, such links are more effective in providing disclosures to consumers than “attempting to include detailed footnotes that clutter a restricted‐format advertisement and make it more difficult to read.” 53

    53 The consumer groups added that television and radio advertisements should include a clear, audible representation of the MPG.

    The Alliance provided two specific suggestions. First, it recommended the Guide allow fuel economy advertisers to make abbreviated, but clearly understandable, disclosures of EPA label values in restricted-format media (e.g., “EPA‐est. 35 MPG Hwy”). Second, it argued that, in restricted format advertising, the Guide allow advertisers to provide necessary disclosures through web links directing consumers to the required information.

    Discussion: The Commission does not propose to cover space-constrained advertising in the Fuel Economy Guide because these issues are already addressed by the FTC's “.Com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising” (“.Com Disclosures”).54 That guidance clarifies that advertisers are not exempt from general disclosure requirements simply because an advertisement has space constraints. However, it also provides recommendations for making disclosures in such contexts. The general principles in .Com Disclosures for space-constrained advertising hold true for fuel economy advertising. The Commission expects that advertisers will be able to include abbreviated forms of most disclosures identified in the proposed Guidance. Terms such as “EPA estimate” and “highway MPG” have been widespread in advertisements over the last four decades. Given the prevalence of these terms, the Commission expects that abbreviated disclosures, such as “EPA‐est. 35 MPG Hwy,” coupled with a link to more detailed information, should be effective in conveying the disclosures to consumers.55 However, since the Commission cannot anticipate every abbreviated disclosure advertisers may use, empirical evidence may be necessary to demonstrate that certain abbreviations or icons are effective. The Commission seeks further comment on these issues.56

    54See https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-staff-revises-online-advertising-disclosure-guidelines/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf.

    55 In addition, if consumers do not click the link for more detailed disclosures, they will have an opportunity to see the information in the showroom on the EPA label, which appears on every new car in the showroom.

    56 The Commission does not propose to recommend audible MPG disclosures in all advertisements. Instead, consistent with the existing Guide, the proposed amendments continue to recommend that disclosures appear in the same format as the claim. For example, if the estimated MPG appears in the video of a television advertisement, the recommended disclosure should appear in the video.

    V. Request for Comments

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 8, 2016. Write “Proposed Fuel Economy Guide Revisions” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, such as anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).57 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    57 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/fueleconomyrevisions, by following the instruction on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Fuel Economy Guide Amendments, R711008” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the News Release describing this proceeding. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before August 8, 2016. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

    VI. Proposed Amendments List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 259

    Advertising, Fuel economy, Trade practices.

    For the reasons set forth in this document, the Commission proposes to revise 16 CFR part 259 as follows:

    PART 259—GUIDE CONCERNING FUEL ECONOMY ADVERTISING FOR NEW AUTOMOBILES Sec 259.1 Purpose. 259.2 Definitions. 259.3 Qualifications and disclosures. 259.4 Advertising guidance. Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 41-58.

    § 259.1 Purpose.

    This Guide contains administrative interpretations of laws enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. Specifically, the Guide addresses the application of Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45) to the use of fuel economy information in advertising for new automobiles. This guidance provides the basis for voluntary compliance with the law by advertisers and endorsers. Practices inconsistent with this Guide may result in corrective action by the Commission under Section 5 if, after investigation, the Commission has reason to believe that the practices fall within the scope of conduct declared unlawful by the statute. The Guide sets forth the general principles that the Commission will use in such an investigation together with examples illustrating the application of those principles. The Guide does not purport to cover every possible use of fuel economy in advertising. Whether a particular advertisement is deceptive will depend on the specific advertisement at issue.

    § 259.2 Definitions.

    For the purposes of this part, the following definitions shall apply:

    (a) Alternative fueled vehicle. Any vehicle that qualifies as a covered vehicle under 16 CFR part 309.

    (b) Automobile. Any new passenger automobile, medium duty passenger vehicle, or light truck for which a fuel economy label is required under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 32901 et seq.) or rules promulgated thereunder, the equitable or legal title to which has never been transferred by a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer to an ultimate purchaser or lessee. For the purposes of this part, the terms “vehicle” and “car” have the same meaning as “automobile.”

    (c) Dealer. Any person located in the United States or any territory thereof engaged in the sale or distribution of new automobiles to the ultimate purchaser.

    (d) EPA. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    (e) EPA city fuel economy estimate. The city fuel economy determined in accordance with the city test procedure as defined and determined pursuant to EPA regulations.

    (f) EPA combined fuel economy estimate. The fuel economy value determined for a vehicle (or vehicles) by harmonically averaging the city and highway fuel economy values, weighted 0.55 and 0.45 respectively, determined pursuant to EPA regulations.

    (g) EPA driving range estimate. An estimate of the number of miles a vehicle will travel between refueling as defined and determined pursuant to EPA regulations.

    (h) EPA fuel economy estimate. The average number of miles traveled by an automobile per volume of fuel consumed (i.e., Miles-Per-Gallon (“MPG”) rating) as calculated under EPA regulations.

    (i) EPA highway fuel economy estimate. The highway fuel economy determined in accordance with the highway test procedure as defined and determined pursuant to EPA regulations.

    (j) EPA regulations. EPA regulatory requirements for fuel economy labeling set forth in 40 CFR part 600, subpart D.

    (k) Flexible Fuel Vehicle. Any motor vehicle (or motor vehicle engine) engineered and designed to be operated on any mixture of two or more different fuels.

    (l) Fuel. (1) Gasoline and diesel fuel for gasoline- or diesel-powered automobiles; or

    (2) Electricity for electrically-powered automobiles; or

    (3) Alcohol for alcohol-powered automobiles;

    (4) Natural gas for natural gas-powered automobiles; or

    (5) any other fuel type used in a vehicle for which EPA requires a fuel economy label under EPA regulations.

    (m) Manufacturer. Any person engaged in the manufacturing or assembling of new automobiles, including any person importing new automobiles for resale and any person who acts for, and is under the control, of such manufacturer, assembler, or importer in connection with the distribution of new automobiles.

    (n) Model type. A unique combination of car line, basic engine, and transmission class as defined by EPA regulations.

    (o) Ultimate purchaser or lessee. The first person, other than a dealer purchasing in his or her capacity as a dealer, who in good faith purchases a new automobile for purposes other than resale or leases such vehicle for his or her personal use.

    (p) Vehicle configuration. The unique combination of automobile features, as defined in 40 CFR part 600.

    § 259.3 Qualifications and disclosures.

    To prevent deceptive claims, qualifications and disclosures should be clear, prominent, and understandable. To make disclosures clear and prominent, marketers should use plain language and sufficiently large type for a person to see and understand them, should place disclosures in close proximity to the qualified claim, and should avoid making inconsistent statements or using distracting elements that could undercut or contradict the disclosure. The disclosures should also appear in the same format as the claim. For example, for television advertisements, if the estimated MPG appears in the video, the disclosure recommended by this Guide should appear in the visual format; if the estimated MPG is audio, the disclosure should be in audio.

    § 259.4 Advertising guidance.

    (a) Misrepresentations: It is deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, the fuel economy or driving range of an automobile.

    (b) General Fuel Economy Claims: General unqualified fuel economy claims, which do not reference a specific fuel economy estimate, likely convey a wide range of meanings about a vehicle's fuel economy relative to other vehicles. Such claims, which inherently involve comparisons to other vehicles, can mislead consumers about the vehicle class included in the comparison, as well as the extent to which the advertised vehicle's fuel economy differs from other models. Because it is highly unlikely that advertisers can substantiate all reasonable interpretations of these claims, advertisers making general fuel economy claims should disclose the advertised vehicle's EPA fuel economy estimate in the form of the EPA MPG rating.

    Example 1:

    A new car advertisement states: “This vehicle gets great mileage.” The claim is likely to convey a variety of meanings, including that the vehicle has a better MPG rating than all or almost all other cars on the market. However, the advertised vehicle's EPA fuel economy estimates are only slightly better than the average vehicle on the market. Because the advertiser cannot substantiate that the vehicle's rating is better than all or almost all other cars on the market, the advertisement is likely to be deceptive. In addition, the advertiser may not be able to substantiate other reasonable interpretations of the claim. To avoid deception, the advertisement should disclose the vehicle's EPA fuel economy estimate (e.g., “EPA-estimated 27 combined MPG”).

    Example 2:

    An advertisement states: “This car gets great gas mileage compared to other compact cars.” The claim is likely to convey a variety of meanings, including that the vehicle gets better gas mileage than all or almost all other compact cars. However, the vehicle's EPA fuel economy estimates are only slightly better than average compared to other models in its class. Because the advertiser cannot substantiate that the vehicle's rating is better than all or almost all other compact cars, the advertisement is likely to be deceptive. In addition, the advertiser may not be able to substantiate other reasonable interpretations of the claim. To address this problem, the advertisement should disclose the vehicle's EPA fuel economy estimate.

    (c) Matching the EPA Estimate to the Claim: EPA fuel economy estimates should match the driving claim appearing in the advertisement. If they do not, consumers are likely to associate the stated fuel economy estimate with a different type of driving. Specifically, if an advertiser makes a city or a highway fuel economy claim, it should disclose the corresponding EPA-estimated city or highway fuel economy estimate. If the advertiser makes both a city and a highway fuel economy claim, it should disclose both the EPA estimated city and highway fuel economy rating. If the advertiser makes a general fuel economy claim without specifically referencing city or highway driving, it should disclose the EPA combined fuel economy estimate, or, alternatively, both the EPA city and highway fuel economy estimates.

    Example 1:

    An automobile advertisement states that model “XYZ gets great gas mileage in town.” However, the advertisement does not disclose the EPA city fuel economy estimate. Instead, it only discloses the EPA highway fuel economy estimate, which is higher than the model's city estimate. This claim likely conveys to a significant proportion of reasonable consumers that the highway estimate disclosed in the advertisement applies to city driving. Thus, the advertisement is likely to mislead consumers. To remedy this problem, the advertisement should disclose the EPA city fuel economy estimate (e.g., “32 MPG in the city according to the EPA estimate”).

    Example 2:

    A new car advertisement states that model “XZA gives you great gas mileage” but only provides the EPA highway fuel economy estimate. Given the likely inconsistency between the general fuel economy claim, which does not reference a specific type of driving, and the disclosed EPA highway estimate, the advertisement is likely to mislead consumers. To address this problem, the advertisement should disclose the EPA combined estimate (e.g., “37 MPG for combined driving according to the EPA estimate”), or both the EPA city and highway fuel economy estimates.

    Example 3:

    An advertisement states “according to EPA estimates, new cars in this class are rated at between 20 and 32 MPG, while the EPA estimate for this car is an impressive 35 MPG highway.” The advertisement is likely to imply that the 20 to 32 MPG range and 35 MPG estimate are comparable. In fact, the “20 and 32 MPG” range reflects EPA city estimates. Therefore, the advertisement is likely deceptive. To address this problem, the advertisement should only provide an apples-to-apples comparison—either using the highway range for the class or using the city estimate for the advertised vehicle.

    (d) Identifying Fuel Economy and Driving Range Ratings as Estimates: Advertisers citing EPA fuel economy or driving range figures should disclose that these numbers are estimates. Without such disclosures, consumers may incorrectly assume that they will achieve the mileage or range stated in the advertisement. In fact, their actual mileage or range will likely vary for many reasons, including driving conditions, driving habits, and vehicle maintenance. To address potential deception, advertisers may state that the values are “EPA estimate(s),” or use equivalent language that informs consumers that they will not necessarily achieve the stated MPG rating or driving range.

    Example 1:

    An automobile manufacture's Web site states, without qualification, “This car gets 40 MPG on the highway.” The claim likely conveys to a significant proportion of reasonable consumers that they will achieve 40 MPG driving this vehicle on the highway. The advertiser based its claim on an EPA highway estimate. However, EPA provides that estimate primarily for comparison purposes—it does not necessarily reflect real world driving results. Therefore, the claim is likely deceptive. In addition, the use of the term “gets,” without qualification, may lead some consumers to believe not only that they can, but will consistently, achieve the stated mileage. To address these problems, the advertisement should clarify that the MPG value is an estimate by stating “EPA estimate” or equivalent language.

    (e) Disclosing EPA Test as Source of Fuel Economy and Driving Range Estimates: Advertisers citing any EPA fuel economy or driving range figures should disclose EPA as the source of the test so consumers understand that the estimate is comparable to estimates for competing models. Doing so prevents deception by ensuring that consumers do not associate the claimed ratings with a test other than the EPA-required procedures. Advertisers may avoid deception by stating that the values are “EPA estimate(s),” or equivalent language that identifies the EPA test as the source.

    Example 1:

    A radio commercial for the “XTQ” car states that the vehicle “is rated at an estimated 28 MPG in the city” but does not disclose that an EPA test is the source of this MPG estimate. This advertisement may convey that the source of this test is an entity other than EPA. Therefore, the advertisement may be deceptive.

    (f) Specifying Driving Modes for Fuel Economy Estimates: If an advertiser cites an EPA fuel economy estimate, it should identify the particular type of driving associated with the estimate (i.e., estimated city, highway, or combined MPG). Advertisements failing to do so can deceive consumers who incorrectly assume the disclosure applies to a specific type of driving, such as combined or highway, which may not be the driving type the advertiser intended. Thus, such consumers may believe the model's fuel economy rating is higher than it actually is.

    Example 1:

    A television commercial for the car model “ZTA” informs consumers that the ZTA is rated at “25 miles per gallon according to the EPA estimate” but does not disclose whether this number is a highway, city, or combined estimate. The advertisement likely conveys to a significant proportion of reasonable consumers that the 25 MPG figure reflects normal driving (i.e., a combination of city and highway driving), not the highway rating as intended by the advertiser. In fact, the 25 MPG rating is the vehicle's EPA highway estimate. Therefore, the advertisement is likely deceptive.

    (g) Within Vehicle Class Comparisons: If an advertisement contains an express comparative fuel economy claim where the relevant comparison is to any group or class, other than all available automobiles, the advertisement should identify the group or class of vehicles used in the comparison. Without such qualifying information, many consumers are likely to assume that the advertisement compares the vehicle to all new automobiles.

    Example 1:

    An advertisement claims that sports car X “outpaces other cars' gas mileage.” The claim likely conveys a variety of meanings to a significant proportion of reasonable consumers, including that this vehicle has a higher MPG rating than all or almost all other vehicles on the market. Although the vehicle's MPG rating compares favorably to other sports cars, its fuel economy is only better than roughly half of all new automobiles on the market. Therefore, the claim is likely deceptive.

    (h) Comparing Different Model Types: Fuel economy estimates are assigned to specific model types under EPA regulations (i.e., unique combinations of car line, basic engine, and transmission class). Therefore, advertisers citing MPG ratings for certain models should ensure that the rating applies to the model type depicted in the advertisement. It is deceptive to state or imply that a rated fuel economy figure applies to vehicles not included in the model type featured in the advertisement, unless such rating in fact applies to that model type.

    Example 1:

    A manufacturer's advertisement states that model “PDQ” gets “great gas mileage” but depicts the MPG numbers for a similar model type known as the “Econo-PDQ.” The advertisement is likely to convey that the claimed MPG rating applies to all types of the PDQ model. However, the “Econo-PDQ” has a better fuel economy rating than other types of the “PDQ” model. Therefore, the advertisement is likely to be deceptive.

    (i) “Up To” Claims: Advertisers should avoid using the term “up to” without adequate explanatory language if they intend to communicate that certain versions of a model (i.e., model types) are rated at a stated fuel economy estimate. A significant proportion of reasonable consumers are likely to interpret such claims to mean that the stated MPG can be achieved if the vehicle is driven under certain conditions. Therefore, to address the risk of deception, advertisers should qualify the term by clearly explaining the stated MPG applies to a particular vehicle model type.

    Example 1:

    An advertisement claims that a vehicle model VXR will achieve “up to 40 MPG on the highway” without further explanation. The advertisement is based on a particularly efficient type of this model, with specific options, with an EPA highway estimate of 40 MPG. However, other types of model VXR have lower EPA MPG estimates. A significant proportion of reasonable consumers likely interpret the “up to” claim as applying to all VXR model types. Therefore, the advertisement is likely deceptive. To address this problem, the advertisement should clearly explain that the 40 MPG rating does not apply to all model types of the VXR or use language other than “up to” that better conveys the basis for the claim.

    (j) Claims for Flexible-Fueled Vehicles: Advertisements for flexible-fueled vehicles should not mislead consumers about the vehicle's fuel economy when operated with alternative fuel. If an advertisement for a flexible fueled vehicle mentions the vehicle's flexible fuel capability and makes a fuel economy claim, it should include the EPA fuel economy estimates for both gasoline and alternative fuel operation. Without such disclosures, consumers are likely to assume the stated fuel economy estimate for gasoline operation also applies to alternative fuel operation.

    Example 1:

    An automobile advertisement states: “This flex-fuel powerhouse has a 30 MPG highway rating according to the EPA estimate.” The advertisement likely implies that the 30 MPG rating applies to both gasoline and alternative fuel operation. In fact, the ethanol EPA estimate for this vehicle is 25 MPG. Therefore, the advertisement is likely deceptive.

    (k) General Driving Range Claims: General unqualified driving range claims, which do not reference a specific driving range estimate, are difficult for consumers to interpret and likely convey a wide range of meanings about a vehicle's range relative to other vehicles. Such claims, which inherently involve comparisons to other vehicles, can mislead consumers about the vehicle class included in the comparison as well as the extent to which the advertised vehicle's driving range differs from other models. Because it is highly unlikely that advertisers can substantiate all reasonable interpretations of these claims, advertisers making general driving range claims should disclose the advertised vehicle's EPA driving range estimate.

    Example 1:

    An advertisement for an electric vehicle states: “This car has a great driving range.” This claim likely conveys a variety of meanings, including that the vehicle has a better driving range than all or almost all other electric vehicles. However, the EPA driving range estimate for this vehicle is only slightly better than roughly half of all other electric vehicles on the market. Because the advertiser cannot substantiate that the vehicle's driving range is better than all or almost all other electric vehicles, the advertisement is likely to be deceptive. In addition, the advertiser may not be able to substantiate other reasonable interpretations of the claim. To address this problem, the advertisement should disclose the vehicle's EPA driving range estimate (e.g., “EPA-estimated range of 70 miles per charge”).

    (l) Use of Non-EPA Estimates.—(1) Disclosure Content: Given consumers' reliance on EPA estimated fuel economy values over the last several decades, fuel economy and driving range estimates derived from non-EPA tests can lead to deception if consumers confuse such estimates with fuel economy ratings derived from EPA-required tests. Accordingly, advertisers should avoid such claims and disclose the EPA fuel economy or driving range estimates whenever possible. However, if an advertisement includes a claim about a vehicle's fuel economy or driving range based on a non-EPA estimate, advertisers should disclose the EPA estimate and disclose with substantially more prominence than the non-EPA estimate:

    (i) That the fuel economy or driving range information is based on a non-EPA test;

    (ii) The source of the non-EPA test;

    (iii) The EPA fuel economy estimates or EPA driving range estimates for the vehicle; and

    (iv) All driving conditions or vehicle configurations simulated by the non-EPA test that are different from those used in the EPA test. Such conditions and variables may include, but are not limited to, road or dynamometer test, average speed, range of speed, hot or cold start, temperature, and design or equipment differences.

    (2) Disclosure format: The Commission regards the following as constituting “substantially more prominence”:

    (i) For visual disclosures on television: If the fuel economy claims appear only in the visual portion, the EPA figures should appear in numbers twice as large as those used for any other estimate, and should remain on the screen at least as long as any other estimate. Each EPA figure should be broadcast against a solid color background that contrasts easily with the color used for the numbers when viewed on both color and black and white television.

    (ii) For audio disclosures: For radio and television advertisements in which any other estimate is used only in the audio, equal prominence should be given to the EPA figures. The Commission will regard the following as constituting equal prominence: the EPA estimated city and/or highway MPG should be stated, either before or after each disclosure of such other estimate, at least as audibly as such other estimate.

    (iii) For print and Internet disclosures: The EPA figures should appear in clearly legible type at least twice as large as that used for any other estimate. The EPA figures should appear against a solid color, and contrasting background. They may not appear in a footnote unless all references to fuel economy appear in a footnote.

    Example 1:

    An internet advertisement states: “Independent driving experts took the QXT car for a weekend spin and managed to get 55 miles-per-gallon under a variety of driving conditions.” It does not disclose the actual EPA fuel economy estimates, nor does it explain how conditions during the “weekend spin” differed from those under the EPA tests. This advertisement likely conveys that the 55 MPG figure is the same or comparable to an EPA fuel economy estimate for the vehicle. This claim is likely to be deceptive because it fails to disclose that fuel economy information is based on a non-EPA test, the source of the non-EPA test, the EPA fuel economy estimates for the vehicle, and all driving conditions or vehicle configurations simulated by the non-EPA test that are different from those used in the EPA test.

    Example 2:

    An advertisement states: “The XZY electric car has a driving range of 110 miles per charge in summer conditions according to our expert's test.” It provides no additional information regarding this driving range claim. This advertisement likely conveys that this 110 driving range figure is comparable to an EPA driving range estimate for the vehicle. The advertisement is likely deceptive because it does not clearly state that the test is a non-EPA test; it does not provide the EPA estimated driving range; and it does not explain how conditions referred to in the advertisement differed from those under the EPA tests. Without this information, consumers are likely to confuse the claims with range estimates derived from the official EPA test procedures.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13098 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 16 [CPCLO Order No. 005-2016] Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (Department or DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is extending the comment period for its proposal to exempt “The Next Generation Identification (NGI) System,” JUSTICE/FBI-009, from certain provisions of the Privacy Act, published in the Federal Register on May 5, 2016 (81 FR 27288). The original comment period is scheduled to expire on June 6, 2016. The Department is now extending the time period for public comments by 30 days. The updated comment period is scheduled to expire on July 6, 2016. This action will allow interested persons additional time to analyze the proposal and prepare their comments.

    DATES:

    Comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking published May 5, 2016 (81 FR 27288) must be submitted on or before July 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address all comments to the Privacy Analyst, Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, National Place Building, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20530-0001 or facsimile 202-307-0693. To ensure proper handling, please reference either this CPCLO Order No., or the CPCLO Order No. from the original notice of proposed rulemaking (CPCLO Order No. 003-2016) on your correspondence. You may review an electronic version of the proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov. You may also comment via the Internet to either [email protected]; or by using the http://www.regulations.gov comment form. When submitting comments electronically, you must include the CPCLO Order No., as described above, in the subject box.

    Please note that the Department is requesting that electronic comments be submitted before midnight Eastern Daylight Savings Time on the day the comment period closes because http://www.regulations.gov terminates the public's ability to submit comments at that time. Commenters in time zones other than Eastern Time may want to consider this so that their electronic comments are received. All comments sent via regular or express mail will be considered timely if postmarked on the day the comment period closes.

    Posting of Public Comments: Please note that all comments received are considered part of the public record and made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov and in the Department's public docket. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter.

    If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online or made available in the public docket, you must include the phrase “PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also place all personal identifying information you do not want posted online or made available in the public docket in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted.

    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment, but do not want it to be posted online or made available in the public docket, you must include the phrase “CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION” in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment has so much confidential business information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be posted online or made available in the public docket.

    Personal identifying information and confidential business information identified and located as set forth above will be redacted and the comment, in redacted form, will be posted online and placed in the Department's public docket file. Please note that the Freedom of Information Act applies to all comments received. If you wish to inspect the agency's public docket file in person by appointment, please see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT paragraph.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roxane M. Panarella, Assistant General Counsel, Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit, Office of the General Counsel, FBI, Washington, DC 20535-0001, telephone 304-625-4000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 5, 2016, the Department requested comments on its proposal to modify an existing FBI system of records notice titled, “Fingerprint Identification Records System (FIRS),” JUSTICE/FBI-009, and its proposal to amend the Department's Privacy Act regulations by establishing an exemption for records in this system of records from certain provisions of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k).

    Both the notice of a modified system of records notice and notice of proposed rulemaking for this system of records originally provided that comments must be received by June 6, 2016. The Department has received requests to extend these comment periods. The Department believes that extending the comment periods would be appropriate in order to provide the public additional time to consider and comment on the proposals addressed in these notices. Therefore, the Department is extending both public comment periods for 30 days, until July 6, 2016. Elsewhere in the Federal Register, the Department is extending the comment period for the accompanying notice of modified system of records.

    Dated: June 1, 2016. Erika Brown Lee, Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13352 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-02-P
    PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Part 4231 RIN 1212-AB31 Mergers and Transfers Between Multiemployer Plans AGENCY:

    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would amend PBGC's regulation on Mergers and Transfers Between Multiemployer Plans to implement section 121 of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. The proposed rule would also reorganize and update the existing regulation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before August 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1212-AB31, may be submitted by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 202-326-4112.

    Mail or Hand Delivery: Regulatory Affairs Group, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005-4026.

    All submissions must include the Regulation Identifier Number for this rulemaking (RIN 1212-AB31). Comments received, including personal information provided, will be posted to www.pbgc.gov. Copies of comments may also be obtained by writing to Disclosure Division, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington DC 20005-4026, or calling 202-326-4040 during normal business hours. (TTY and TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4040.)
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph J. Shelton ([email protected]), Assistant General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington DC 20005-4026; 202-326-4400, ext. 6559; Theresa B. Anderson ([email protected]), Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-4400, ext. 6353.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary—Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    This rulemaking is needed to implement statutory changes under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) affecting mergers of multiemployer plans under title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The proposed rule also would reorganize and update the existing regulatory requirements applicable to mergers and transfers between multiemployer plans.

    PBGC's legal authority for this action is based on section 4002(b)(3) of ERISA, which authorizes PBGC to issue regulations to carry out the purposes of title IV of ERISA, and section 4231 of ERISA, which sets forth the statutory requirements for mergers and transfers between multiemployer plans.

    Executive Summary—Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action

    Section 121 of MPRA amends the existing rules under section 4231 of ERISA by adding a new section 4231(e), which clarifies PBGC's authority to facilitate the merger of two or more multiemployer plans if certain statutory requirements are met. For purposes of section 4231(e), “facilitation” may include training, technical assistance, mediation, communication with stakeholders, and support with related requests to other government agencies. In addition, subject to the requirements of section 4231(e)(2), PBGC may provide financial assistance (within the meaning of section 4261 of ERISA) to facilitate a merger it determines is necessary to enable one or more of the plans involved to avoid or postpone insolvency.

    The proposed rule would provide guidance on the process for requesting a facilitated merger under section 4231(e) of ERISA, including a request for financial assistance under section 4231(e)(2). The proposed rule would also reorganize and update the existing regulation.

    Background PBGC and the Multiemployer Insurance Program

    PBGC is a Federal corporation created under title IV of ERISA to guarantee the payment of pension benefits earned by more than 40 million American workers and retirees in over 23,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans.

    PBGC administers two insurance programs—one for single-employer defined benefit pension plans, and a second for multiemployer defined benefit pension plans. This proposed rule would apply only to the multiemployer program.

    Multiemployer Mergers and Transfers Under ERISA

    Under section 4231(b) of ERISA, mergers of two or more multiemployer plans and transfers of assets and liabilities between multiemployer plans must comply with four requirements:

    (1) The plan sponsor must notify PBGC at least 120 days before the effective date of the merger or transfer;

    (2) No participant's or beneficiary's accrued benefit may be lower immediately after the effective date of the merger or transfer than the benefit immediately before that date;

    (3) The benefits of participants and beneficiaries must not be reasonably expected to be subject to suspension as a result of plan insolvency under section 4245 of ERISA; and

    (4) An actuarial valuation of the assets and liabilities of each of the affected plans must have been performed during the plan year preceding the effective date of the merger or transfer, based upon the most recent data available as of the day before the start of that plan year, or as prescribed by PBGC's regulation.

    Section 4231(a) of ERISA grants PBGC authority to vary these requirements by regulation. Part 4231 of PBGC's regulations implements and interprets these requirements by providing a procedure under which plan sponsors must notify PBGC of any merger or transfer between multiemployer plans.

    MPRA

    In December 2014, Congress enacted, and the President signed, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015,1 of which MPRA is a part. MPRA contains a number of statutory reforms to assist financially troubled multiemployer plans, and to improve the financial condition of PBGC's multiemployer insurance program.

    1 Division O of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235 (128 Stat. 2130 (2014)).

    Section 201 of MPRA amended the rules under section 305 of ERISA to add a new “critical and declining” status for financially troubled multiemployer plans (described below in the discussion of “multiemployer facilitated mergers under MPRA”). Generally, a plan is in critical and declining status if it is in critical status under any subparagraph of section 305(b)(2), and is projected to become insolvent within 15-20 years. Plans in critical and declining status may suspend benefits under section 305(e)(9) of ERISA under certain conditions. The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has interpretative jurisdiction over the subject matter in section 305.

    Sections 121 and 122 of MPRA provide PBGC with new statutory authority to assist critical and declining status plans under certain conditions. Section 121 of MPRA, which is the subject of this rulemaking, authorizes PBGC to facilitate multiemployer plan mergers, including with financial assistance (within the meaning of section 4261) if certain statutory conditions—such as the condition that one or more of the plans involved be in critical and declining status—are met. Section 122 of MPRA amended section 4233 of ERISA to create a new statutory framework for partitions of critical and declining status plans.2

    2 PBGC issued an interim final rule under section 4233 of ERISA on June 19, 2015 (80 FR 35220), and a final rule on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79687).

    Finally, section 131 of MPRA increased the annual premium that multiemployer plans pay to PBGC for 2015 from $13 to $26 per participant. For plan years beginning after 2015, the annual premium increases based on increases in the national average wage index. The annual premium for 2016 is $27 per participant.

    Multiemployer Facilitated Mergers—Before MPRA

    PBGC provides financial assistance under section 4261 of ERISA to multiemployer plans that are or will be insolvent under section 4245 of ERISA. Generally, a plan is insolvent when it is unable to pay benefits when due during the plan year. PBGC provides financial assistance to an insolvent plan in the form of a loan sufficient to pay its participants' and beneficiaries' guaranteed benefits.

    In a few cases before the enactment of MPRA, PBGC provided financial assistance (within the meaning of section 4261 of ERISA) to facilitate the merger of a soon-to-be insolvent multiemployer plan into a larger, more financially secure multiemployer plan. The financial assistance provided was a single payment that covered the cost of guaranteed benefits under the failing plan. In exchange, the larger, more financially secure plan assumed responsibility for paying the full plan benefits of the participants and beneficiaries in the failing plan with which it merged. As a result, the participants and beneficiaries in the failing plan received more than they would have in the absence of a facilitated merger from a financially secure plan that was more likely to remain ongoing. In addition, the financial assistance provided was generally less than PBGC's valuation of the present value of future financial assistance to the failing plan.

    For a number of reasons, including the deteriorating financial condition of PBGC's multiemployer insurance program, PBGC was only able to facilitate a few financial assistance mergers before MPRA.

    Multiemployer Facilitated Mergers Under MPRA

    Section 4231(e)(1) of ERISA provides that upon request by the plan sponsors, PBGC may take such actions as it deems appropriate to promote and facilitate the merger of two or more multiemployer plans. Facilitation may include training, technical assistance, mediation, communication with stakeholders, and support with related requests to other government agencies. The decision to facilitate a merger is within PBGC's discretion. Furthermore, before PBGC may exercise this discretion, it must first determine—in consultation with the Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate 3 —that the merger is in the interests of the participants and beneficiaries of at least one of the plans, and is not reasonably expected to be adverse to the overall interests of the participants and beneficiaries of any of the plans.

    3 The Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate position was created in 2012 by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Public Law 112-141 (126 Stat. 405 (2012)). See section 4004 of ERISA for the rules governing this position. PBGC is not defining the Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate's consultative role in determining how the merger affects the interests of the participants and beneficiaries of the plans involved, but will let that role evolve based on experience implementing this proposed rule.

    Under section 4231(e)(2), PBGC may also provide financial assistance (within the meaning of section 4261) to facilitate a merger that it determines is necessary to enable one or more of the plans involved to avoid or postpone insolvency, if the following statutory conditions are satisfied:

    Critical and declining status. In accordance with section 4231(e)(2)(A) of ERISA, one or more of the plans involved in the merger must be in critical and declining status as defined in section 305(b)(6). A plan is in critical and declining status if the plan is in critical status under any subparagraph of section 305(b)(2), and is projected to become insolvent within the meaning of section 4245 during the current plan year or any of the 14 succeeding plan years (or 19 succeeding plan years if the plan has a ratio of inactive participants to active participants that exceeds two to one, or if the funded percentage of the plan is less than 80 percent). Section 305(b)(3)(A)(i) requires an annual certification from the plan actuary on whether a plan is or will be in critical and declining status for the plan year. Treasury has interpretative jurisdiction over the subject matter in section 305.

    Long-term loss and plan solvency. In accordance with section 4231(e)(2)(B), PBGC must reasonably expect that—

    • Financial assistance will reduce PBGC's expected long-term loss with respect to the plans involved; and

    • Financial assistance is necessary for the merged plan to become or remain solvent.

    Certification. In accordance with section 4231(e)(2)(C), PBGC must certify that its ability to meet existing financial assistance obligations to other plans will not be impaired by the financial assistance.

    Source of funding. In accordance with section 4231(e)(2)(D), financial assistance must be paid exclusively from the PBGC fund for basic benefits guaranteed for multiemployer plans.

    PBGC Notice of Financial Assistance

    Section 4231(e)(2) requires that, not later than 14 days after the provision of financial assistance, PBGC provide notice of the financial assistance to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives; the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives; the Committee on Finance of the Senate; and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate.

    PBGC Request for Information

    On February 18, 2015, PBGC published in the Federal Register (80 FR 8712) a request for information (RFI) to solicit information from interested parties on issues PBGC should consider in implementing sections 4231 and 4233 of ERISA. PBGC received 20 comments in response to the RFI.4 This proposed rule reflects public input on facilitated mergers stemming from the comments.

    4 The RFI and comments are accessible at http://www.pbgc.gov/prac/pg/other/guidance/multiemployer-notices.html.

    In general, commenters expressed strong support for MPRA's changes to the merger rules under section 4231 of ERISA, and urged PBGC to issue timely guidance to the public on the types of information, documents, data, and actuarial projections needed for a request to be complete. Many of these same commenters urged that whenever possible and consistent with statutory requirements, any new regulatory information requirements should be based on information that plans are already required to prepare, or information that plans could easily develop.

    A number of commenters also suggested that PBGC provide guidance on the factors and criteria it will use to evaluate proposed facilitated mergers, while another suggested that proposed facilitated mergers should be analyzed individually on a case-by-case basis. In addition, one commenter suggested that PBGC provide guidance on any general limitations it may establish on the amount of financial assistance available for facilitated mergers.

    PBGC considered these and other comments and decided it will determine whether to provide further guidance on the evaluation criteria for facilitated mergers, and any limitations PBGC may impose relating to the amount of financial assistance available, based on the experience it gains implementing this proposed rule. While the proposed rule does not impose any additional limitations on the amount of financial assistance available for financial assistance mergers, sections 4231(e)(2) and 4233 of ERISA require PBGC to certify that its ability to meet existing financial obligations to other plans will not be impaired by the transaction. Furthermore, because the funds available for financial assistance to insolvent plans under 4261, financial assistance mergers under 4231(e)(2), and partitions under section 4233, are derived from the same source—the revolving fund for basic benefits guaranteed under section 4022A (the multiemployer revolving fund)—it is anticipated that the amount of financial assistance available to a critical and declining status plan for a financial assistance merger generally will not exceed the amount available to that plan for a partition (and could be less). Given complexities and uncertainties such as these, the proposed rule includes a provision that would allow a plan sponsor to engage in informal discussions with PBGC before filing a formal request for a facilitated merger.

    With respect to the eligibility requirements for a facilitated merger, a few commenters noted that unlike the statutory conditions for a partition under section 4233 of ERISA, which require, among other things, a finding that the plan sponsor has taken all reasonable measures to avoid insolvency, including maximum benefit suspensions, there is no explicit requirement in section 4231(e) to suspend benefits. Given the absence of such a requirement, these commenters urged PBGC not to impose one by regulation. Expressing a similar view, another commenter suggested that PBGC guidance under section 4231(e) should not result in the automatic imposition of the same requirements, such as benefit suspensions or a certain type of projection, because although each requirement might be appropriate in some cases, it might not be appropriate in all cases.

    PBGC agrees with the commenters and consistent with the express terms of the statute, this proposed rule would neither require nor preclude a plan sponsor's application for both benefit suspensions under section 305(e)(9)(G) and a facilitated merger under section 4231(e). PBGC recognizes, however, that although benefit suspensions are not required under section 4231(e), some plans may need both benefit suspensions and a financial assistance merger to become or remain solvent. For example, the plan sponsors of two critical and declining status plans that propose a financial assistance merger may need to consider benefit suspensions if the amount of financial assistance available from PBGC is less than the amount necessary for the merged plan to become or remain solvent.

    Before considering an integrated transaction involving benefit suspensions and a facilitated merger, however, plan sponsors must carefully consider how the various requirements under sections 305(e)(9) and 4231 would apply to such a transaction. For example, a critical and declining status plan could merge into a large, well-funded multiemployer plan. In such a case, to the extent any of the benefits previously provided by the critical and declining status plan had been subject to suspension under section 305(e)(9) or become subject to suspension at the same time that the merger occurs, the plan sponsor of the merged plan would become responsible for making the annual determinations necessary for continued benefit suspensions under section 305(e)(9) and the regulations thereunder. Under section 305(e)(9)(C)(ii) of ERISA and the regulations thereunder, benefits may continue to be suspended for a plan year only if the plan sponsor determines, in a written record to be maintained throughout the period of the benefit suspension, that although all reasonable measures to avoid insolvency have been and continue to be taken, the plan is still projected to become insolvent unless benefits are suspended. Absent these determinations, restoration of the suspended benefits would be required.

    Finally, one commenter expressed concern that a narrow interpretation of section 4231(e)(2)(B)(ii) would effectively preclude a small, critical and declining status plan from receiving financial assistance to merge into a large, financially healthy multiemployer plan. That section provides, in relevant part, that PBGC must reasonably expect that financial assistance is necessary for the merged plan to become or remain solvent.

    As explained more fully below in the section-by-section discussion, PBGC does not interpret section 4231(e)(2)(B)(ii) to preclude a small, critical and declining status plan from receiving financial assistance to merge into a large, financially healthy multiemployer plan because such an interpretation would be inconsistent with the statute as a whole. Section 4231(e)(2), for example, authorizes PBGC to provide financial assistance to facilitate a merger it determines is necessary to enable one or more (but not necessarily all) of the plans involved to avoid or postpone insolvency.

    Similarly, section 4231(e)(2)(A) requires only that one or more (but not necessarily all) of the plans involved in the merger be in critical and declining status. Given that MPRA neither imposes a requirement that all multiemployer plans involved in a financial assistance merger be in critical and declining status, nor requires a finding that the merger is necessary to enable all of the plans involved to avoid or postpone insolvency, PBGC does not interpret section 4231(e)(2)(B)(ii) to impose any additional eligibility conditions beyond those expressly provided in the statute.

    A more detailed discussion of the proposed rule and the RFI comments follows.

    Proposed Regulatory Changes Overview

    The proposed rule would amend part 4231 of PBGC's regulations to implement MPRA's changes to section 4231 of ERISA. The proposed rule also would reorganize and update the existing regulation to reflect other changes in law.

    Under the proposed rule, part 4231 would provide guidance on: (1) The process for submitting a notice of merger or transfer, and a request for a compliance determination or facilitated merger; (2) the information required in such notices and requests; (3) the notification process for PBGC decisions on requests for facilitated mergers; and (4) the scope of PBGC's jurisdiction over a merged plan that received financial assistance. The proposed rule also would reorganize part 4231 by dividing it into subparts. Subpart A would contain the general merger and transfer rules. Subpart B would provide guidance on procedures and information requirements for facilitated mergers, including those involving financial assistance.

    In most instances, implementation of the mergers and transfers addressed in this proposed rule, including facilitated mergers, will involve conduct that is also subject to the fiduciary responsibility standards of part 4 of subtitle B of title I of ERISA. Among other things, these standards require that a fiduciary with respect to a plan act prudently, solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries, and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries and defraying reasonable expenses of administering the plan. The fact that a merger or transfer, including a facilitated merger, may satisfy title IV of ERISA and the regulations thereunder is not determinative of whether it satisfies the requirements of part 4 of subtitle B of title I of ERISA (other than section 406(a) and (b)(2), in the event of a compliance determination).

    Finally, the proposed rule would be applicable to mergers and transfers for which a notice, and, if applicable, request for a facilitated merger are filed with PBGC on or after the effective date of the final rule. If a plan sponsor chooses to submit an application for a facilitated merger before the issuance of a final rule, then the plan sponsor may need to revise or supplement its request to take into account the requirements under the final rule.

    Section-by-Section Discussion Subpart A—General Provisions

    Section 4231.1 of the proposed rule describes the purpose and scope of part 4231, which is to prescribe notice requirements for mergers and transfers of assets or liabilities among multiemployer plans and to interpret other requirements under section 4231 of ERISA.

    Section 4231.2 of the proposed rule would amend the current regulation by adding new definitions, and by moving existing definitions defined elsewhere in the current regulation to § 4231.2. For example, the proposed rule would move the existing definition of “effective date” from § 4231.8(a) to § 4231.2.

    Under the proposed rule, the term “facilitated merger” would mean a merger of two or more multiemployer plans facilitated by PBGC under section 4231(e) of ERISA, including a merger that is facilitated with financial assistance under section 4231(e)(2).

    The term “financial assistance” would mean financial assistance under section 4261, which may be in the form of one or more payments.

    The term “financial assistance merger” would mean a facilitated merger for which PBGC provides financial assistance under section 4231(e)(2).

    Consistent with the definition of “merged plan” in § 4211.2, the term “merged plan” would mean a plan that is the result of the merger of two or more multiemployer plans.

    The proposed rule also would amend the existing definition of “significantly affected plan” in § 4231.2 to include a plan in endangered or critical status, as defined in section 305(b) of ERISA,5 that engages in a transfer (other than a de minimis transfer). When the regulation was originally published, only plans transferring 15% or more of their assets, or receiving a transfer of unfunded accrued benefits equaling 15% or more of their assets were treated as significantly affected plans.

    5 “Endangered” and “critical” status are plan categories established by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, Public Law 109-280 (120 Stat. 780 (2006) (PPA)).

    In PBGC's view, endangered and critical status plans generally present a greater risk of insolvency, and when these plans engage in non-de minimis transfers their risk of insolvency may increase. Consistent with this view, the proposed rule would expand the definition of “significantly affected plan” to include endangered and critical status plans engaging in non-de minimis transfers. Although the proposed rule would apply the stricter plan solvency test under § 4231.6(b) to non-de minimis transfers involving endangered and critical status plans, that test would only apply to transfers involving such plans (not mergers).

    Requirements for Mergers and Transfers

    Section 4231.3 of the proposed rule provides guidance on the requirements for mergers and transfers. As under the current regulation, § 4231.3(a) of the proposed rule sets forth the statutory criteria under section 4231(b) of ERISA. The proposed rule also would amend the current regulation to clearly provide that plan sponsors may engage in informal consultations with PBGC to discuss proposed mergers and transfers. As noted above in the discussion of the RFI comments, informal consultation is particularly important in the context of a proposed financial assistance merger because PBGC's ability to provide financial assistance will depend on, among other things, its ability to meet existing financial assistance obligations to other plans.

    Section 4231.4 of the current regulation is unchanged under the proposed rule. That section provides guidance on the requirement under section 4231(b)(2) of ERISA that no participant's or beneficiary's accrued benefit may be lower immediately after the effective date of a merger or transfer than the benefit immediately before that date.

    Section 4231.5 of the current regulation provides guidance on the actuarial valuation requirement under section 4231(b)(4) of ERISA. For a plan that is not a significantly affected plan, it provides that the actuarial valuation requirement under section 4231(b)(4) is satisfied if an actuarial valuation has been performed for the plan based on the plan's assets and liabilities as of a date not more than three years before the date on which the notice of the merger or transfer is filed. When the regulation was originally published, section 302(c)(9) of ERISA required plans to have an actuarial valuation performed every three years, and PBGC adopted that timeframe for non-significantly affected plans.

    Because multiemployer plans are now required under section 304(c)(7) of ERISA 6 to perform actuarial valuations not less frequently than once every year, the proposed rule would amend § 4231.5 to require that each plan involved in a merger or transfer have an actuarial valuation performed for the plan year preceding the proposed effective date of the merger or transfer. The proposed rule further provides that if the valuation is not complete as of the date the plan sponsors file the notice of merger or transfer, the plan sponsors may provide the most recent actuarial valuation performed for the plans with the notice, and the required valuations when complete.

    6 Sections 302 and 304 of ERISA were repealed and replaced by PPA. Section 304 of ERISA, as amended by PPA, sets forth the minimum funding standards for multiemployer plans.

    Section 4231.6 of the current regulation provides guidance on “plan solvency” tests that operate as regulatory safe harbors under section 4231(b)(3) of ERISA. Section 4231(b)(3) prohibits a merger or transfer unless “the benefits of participants and beneficiaries are not reasonably expected to be subject to suspension under section 4245.” Section 4245, in turn, provides that an insolvent plan must suspend benefits that are above the level guaranteed by PBGC to the extent the plan has insufficient assets to pay such benefits.

    For a plan that is not a significantly affected plan, § 4231.6(a) of the current regulation provides that the plan solvency requirement under section 4231(b)(3) of ERISA and § 4231.3(a)(3)(i) is satisfied if one of the following tests are met:

    (1) The expected fair market value of plan assets immediately after the merger or transfer equals or exceeds five times the benefit payments for the last plan year ending before the proposed effective date of the merger or transfer, or

    (2) In each of the first five plan years beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the merger or transfer, expected plan assets plus expected contributions and investment earnings equal or exceed expected expenses and benefit payments for the plan year.

    The proposed rule would amend and reorder these tests in the following manner. First, under § 4231.6(a)(1) of the proposed rule, a plan will satisfy the plan solvency requirement if in each of the first ten plan years beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the merger or transfer, the plan's expected fair market value of assets plus expected contributions and investment earnings equal or exceed expected expenses and benefit payments for the plan year.

    Alternatively, under § 4231.6(a)(2) of the proposed rule, a plan will satisfy the plan solvency requirement if the plan's expected fair market value of assets immediately after the merger or transfer equals or exceeds ten times the benefit payments for the last plan year ending before the proposed effective date of the merger or transfer.

    Accordingly, in addition to reordering § 4231.6(a)(1) and (2), the proposed rule would change the period of years in § 4231.6(a)(2) of the current regulation from “five plan years” to “ten plan years,” and the multiple in § 4231.6(a)(1) from “five times the benefit payments” to “ten times the benefit payments.” Based on PBGC's experience under the multiemployer program since the regulation was first published, PBGC believes that the proposed changes will provide a better demonstration that benefits are not reasonably expected to be subject to suspension under section 4245 of ERISA as a result of insolvency. At the same time, PBGC recognizes that the majority of multiemployer plan mergers will broaden the contribution base and stabilize the plans involved. Therefore, as is the case under the current regulation for a plan that cannot satisfy the solvency tests under § 4231.6(a), the proposed rule would continue to allow an enrolled actuary to “otherwise demonstrate” that benefits under the plan are not reasonably expected to be subject to suspension under section 4245 of ERISA as a result of insolvency.

    Section 4231.6(b) of the current regulation sets forth a more rigorous solvency test for significantly affected plans. The proposed rule would amend § 4231.6(b)(2) by changing the requirement that assets cover benefit payments for the first “five” years after the proposed effective date to “ten” years. In addition, the proposed rule would amend § 4231.6(b)(4)(i) by changing the amortization period from 25 to 15 years to reflect the amortization period generally applicable to changes in funding of multiemployer plans under PPA.7 Finally, the proposed rule would amend § 4231.6(c)(1) by requiring withdrawal liability payments to be listed separately from contributions.

    7See section 304(b) of ERISA.

    Section 4231.7 of the current regulation sets forth special rules for de minimis mergers and transfers. That section would remain unchanged under the proposed rule.

    Section 4231.8 of the current regulation sets forth requirements for notices of mergers and transfers, and requests for compliance determinations under section 4231(c). In general, a notice of a merger or transfer must be filed not less than 120 days, or not less than 45 days in the case of a merger for which a compliance determination is not requested, before the effective date of a merger or transfer. Section 4231.8(f) permits PBGC to waive the timing of the notice requirements under certain circumstances.

    In the case of a facilitated merger, the proposed rule would amend § 4231.8(a) to require that notice of a proposed facilitated merger be filed not less than 270 days before the proposed effective date of a facilitated merger. As noted above in the discussion of § 4231.2, the proposed rule would also move the definition of “effective date” from § 4231.8(a)(1) to § 4231.2. Finally, the proposed rule would move the information requirements contained in § 4231.8(e) to a new § 4231.9.

    Section 4231.9 of the proposed rule would generally retain the existing information requirements in § 4231.8(e) with minor modifications. For example, the de minimis exception contained in § 4231.8(e)(6) would not apply to a request for a financial assistance merger.

    Section 4231.10 of the proposed rule (§ 4231.9 of the existing regulation) describes the additional information required for a request for a compliance determination. The proposed rule would amend this section to make clear that a request for a compliance determination must be filed contemporaneously with a notice of merger or transfer. In addition, the proposed rule would delete the “place of filing” provision in § 4231.9(1) as that information is now contained in § 4231.8(e), and would delete certain information requirements as those requirements are now contained in § 4231.9(e).

    Section 4231.11 of the proposed rule (§ 4231.10 of the existing regulation) describes the requirements for actuarial calculations and assumptions. The proposed rule would conform the regulation to section 304(c)(3) of ERISA, would specify that calculations must be performed by an enrolled actuary, and would expand the bases upon which PBGC may require updated calculations.

    Subpart B—Additional Rules for Facilitated Mergers

    Section 4231.12 of the proposed rule provides general guidance on a request for a facilitated merger. A request for a facilitated merger, including a financial assistance merger, must satisfy the requirements of section 4231(b) of ERISA and subpart A of the regulation, in addition to section 4231(e) of ERISA and subpart B. The procedures set forth in the proposed rule would represent the exclusive means by which PBGC will approve a request for a facilitated merger, including a financial assistance merger. Any financial assistance provided by PBGC will be limited by section 4261 of ERISA and with respect to the guaranteed benefits of the plans involved in the merger that are in critical and declining status. In addition, as noted above, because the funds available for financial assistance mergers under section 4231(e), partitions under section 4233, and financial assistance to insolvent plans under 4261, are derived from the same source—the revolving fund for basic benefits guaranteed under section 4022A (the multiemployer revolving fund)—it is anticipated that the amount of financial assistance available to a critical and declining status plan for a financial assistance merger generally will not exceed the amount available to that plan for a partition (and could be less). Finally, while PBGC expects that in most cases the financial assistance it provides in a facilitated merger will be in the form of periodic payments, PBGC agrees with the RFI comment advocating flexibility in the structure of financial assistance (e.g., lump sum or periodic payments), and consistent with past practice will decide the structure of financial assistance on a case-by-case basis.

    Section 4231.12 of the proposed rule would also provide guidance on the information required for a request for a facilitated merger. It states that a request must include the information required under §§ 4231.9 (notice of merger or transfer) and 4231.10 (request for compliance determination), as well as a detailed narrative description with supporting documentation demonstrating that the proposed merger is in the interests of participants and beneficiaries of at least one of the plans, and is not reasonably expected to be adverse to the overall interests of the participants and beneficiaries of any of the plans. The narrative description and supporting documentation should reflect, among other things, any material efficiencies expected as a result of the merger and the basis for those expectations.

    In addition, a request for a financial assistance merger must contain the information described in § 4231.13 (plan information), § 4231.14 (financial assistance merger information), § 4231.15 (actuarial and financial information), and § 4231.16 (participant census data). The proposed rule provides that PBGC may require additional information to determine whether the requirements of section 4231(e) of ERISA are met or to enable it to facilitate the merger. Finally, § 4231.12 of the proposed rule would impose an affirmative obligation on the plan sponsors to promptly notify PBGC in writing if the plan sponsor(s) discovers that any material fact or representation contained in or relating to the request for a facilitated merger, or in any supporting documents, is no longer accurate, or has been omitted.

    Information Requirements for Financial Assistance Merger

    Section 4231.13 of the proposed rule would provide guidance on the various categories of plan-related information required for a request for a financial assistance merger, such as trust agreements, formal plan documents, summary plan descriptions, summaries of material modifications, and rehabilitation or funding improvement plans. PBGC expects that most, if not all, of the information required under this section should be readily available and accessible by plan sponsors.

    Section 4231.14 of the proposed rule sets forth information requirements relating to the proposed structure of a financial assistance merger. The information required includes a detailed description of the financial assistance merger, including any larger integrated transaction of which the proposed merger is a part (including, but not limited to, an application for suspension of benefits under section 305(e)(9)(G) of ERISA), and the estimated total amount of financial assistance the plan sponsors request for each year. It would also require a narrative description of the events that led to the sponsors' decision to request a financial assistance merger, and the significant risks and assumptions relating to the proposed financial assistance merger and the projections provided.

    Section 4231.15 of the proposed rule would identify the actuarial and financial information required for a request for a financial assistance merger. The first two information requirements relate to plan actuarial reports and actuarial certifications, which should ordinarily be within the possession of the plan sponsors or plan actuaries. Sections 4231.15(c)-(f) of the regulation would require the submission of certain actuarial and financial information specific to the proposed financial assistance merger, which are necessary for PBGC to evaluate the solvency requirements under section 4231(e)(2) of ERISA.

    Under § 4231.15 of the proposed rule, each critical and declining plan must demonstrate that its projected date of insolvency without the merger is sooner than the projected date of insolvency of the merged plan. The plan(s) may take the proposed financial assistance into account in this demonstration.

    Section 4231.15 of the proposed rule would also provide guidance on the required demonstration that financial assistance is necessary for the merged plan to become or remain solvent. Under the proposed rule, the type of projection required will depend on whether the merged plan would be in critical status under section 305(b) of ERISA immediately following the merger (without taking the proposed financial assistance into account), as reasonably determined by the actuary. For example, if a critical and declining status plan merges into an endangered status plan, and the actuary anticipates that the merged plan would not meet minimum funding requirements for the coming year without financial assistance, then the merged plan would be in critical status for purposes of the projections. Alternatively, if the actuary anticipates that the merged plan would not be described in section 305(b)(2)(A)-(D) of ERISA immediately after the merger, then the merged plan would not be in critical status for purposes of the projections (even if the merged plan could elect to be in critical status).

    Under the proposed rule, the plan's enrolled actuary may use any reasonable estimation for determining the expected funded status of the merged plan. Under an optional approach, the funded status of the merged plan could be determined based on the combined data and projections underlying the status certifications of each of the plans for the plan year immediately preceding the merger (including any selected updates in the data based on the experience of the plans in the immediately preceding plan year). PBGC requests comments on this issue, including methods to determine whether the merged plan would be in critical status.

    Under § 4231.15(f)(1) of the proposed rule, if the merged plan would be in critical status under section 305(b) of ERISA (without taking the proposed financial assistance into account), the plans must demonstrate that financial assistance is necessary for the merged plan to “avoid insolvency” under section 305(e)(9)(D)(iv) of ERISA and the regulations thereunder (excluding stochastic projections). This more rigorous solvency standard is consistent with the “emergence” test under section 305(e)(4)(B) of ERISA, which requires a plan in critical status to show that is not projected to become insolvent for any of the 30 succeeding plan years.

    If the merged plan would not be in critical status under section 305(b) of ERISA (without taking the proposed financial assistance into account), § 4231.15(f)(2) of the proposed rule provides that the plans must demonstrate that the merged plan is not projected to become insolvent during the 20 years beginning after the proposed effective date of the merger with the proposed financial assistance. If such a demonstration can be satisfied without taking the proposed financial assistance into account, or if the amount of financial assistance requested exceeds the amount that satisfies this demonstration, the plan sponsors must demonstrate that financial assistance is necessary to mitigate the adverse effects of the merger on the merged plan's ability to remain solvent.

    In summary, under the proposed rule, critical status plans would be subject to a different solvency standard than non-critical status plans. This is consistent with the RFI comments that suggested determining solvency on a case-by-case basis, and maintains flexibility in the solvency demonstration for a merged plan that would not be in critical status. To encourage the merger of critical and declining status plans into financially stable plans, the proposed rule provides for a solvency demonstration based on the circumstances and challenges specific to the merged plan (for example, the merger might have an impact on the plan's funding requirements, increase the ratio of inactive to active participants, or decrease the funded percentage of the healthy plan in a manner that can be demonstrated to adversely affect the merged plan's ability to remain solvent long-term). PBGC requests comments on this issue, including alternative approaches or methods to demonstrate plan solvency.

    Section 4231.16 of the proposed rule would identify the types of participant census data to include with a request for a financial assistance merger.

    Decision on Request for Facilitated Merger

    Section 4231.17 of the proposed rule would describe the manner in which PBGC will notify a plan sponsor of PBGC's decision on a request for a facilitated merger. PBGC will approve or deny a request for a facilitated merger in writing and in accordance with the standards set forth in section 4231(e) of ERISA.8 If PBGC denies a request, PBGC's written decision will state the reason(s) for the denial. If PBGC approves a request for a financial assistance merger, PBGC will provide a financial assistance agreement detailing the total amount and terms of the financial assistance as soon as practicable thereafter. The decision to approve or deny a request for facilitated merger under section 4231(e) of ERISA is within PBGC's discretion, and would be a final agency action not subject to PBGC's rules for reconsideration or administrative appeal.

    8 As noted above, section 4231(e)(1) of ERISA requires a determination by PBGC in consultation with the Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate to approve a facilitated merger. Section 4231(e)(2) of ERISA sets forth four additional statutory conditions that must be satisfied before PBGC may approve a request for a financial assistance merger. PBGC will review each request for a facilitated merger, including a financial assistance merger, on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the statutory criteria in section 4231(e) of ERISA.

    Jurisdiction Over Financial Assistance Merger

    Section 4231.18 of the proposed rule would describe PBGC's jurisdiction over the merged plan resulting from a financial assistance merger. PBGC has determined that maintaining oversight is necessary to ensure compliance with financial assistance agreements, and proper stewardship of PBGC financial assistance. This is also consistent with one of the RFI comments. Based on the foregoing, § 4231.18(a) would provide that PBGC will continue to have jurisdiction over the merged plan resulting from a financial assistance merger to carry out the purposes, terms, and conditions of the financial assistance merger, sections 4231 and 4261 of ERISA, and the regulations thereunder. Section 4231.18(b) would state that PBGC may, upon notice to the plan sponsor, make changes to the financial assistance agreement(s) in response to changed circumstances consistent with sections 4231 and 4261 of ERISA and the regulations thereunder.

    Request for Comments

    In addition to the specific requests for comments identified above, PBGC encourages all interested parties to submit their comments, suggestions, and views concerning the provisions of this proposed rule. In particular, PBGC is interested in any area in which additional guidance may be needed.

    Applicability

    The amendments to part 4231 would be applicable to mergers and transfers for which a notice, and, if applicable, request are filed with PBGC on or after the effective date of the final rule.

    Compliance With Rulemaking Guidelines Executive Orders 12866 “Regulatory Planning and Review” and 13563 “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

    Having determined that this rulemaking is a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, the Office of Management and Budget has reviewed this proposed rule under Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 require a comprehensive regulatory impact analysis be performed for any economically significant regulatory action, defined as an action that would result in an annual effect of $100 million or more on the national economy or which would have other substantial impacts.

    Pursuant to section 1(b)(1) of Executive Order 12866 (as amended by Executive Order 13422), PBGC has determined that regulatory action is required in this area. Principally, this regulatory action is necessary to implement the requirements for a request for a facilitated merger under section 4231 of ERISA, as amended by MPRA.

    In accordance with OMB Circular A-4, PBGC also has examined the economic and policy implications of this proposed rule and has concluded that the action's benefits justify its costs. Plan sponsors requesting a facilitated merger should have readily accessible the information needed for a request under this proposed rule. Most of the information requirements pertain to a request for facilitation of a merger with financial assistance. These requirements are largely the same as the information requirements in the interim final rule that PBGC published in the Federal Register on June 19, 2015 (80 FR 35220) about partition of a multiemployer plan. Public comments to that interim final rule stated that its information requirements were not overly burdensome.9 In addition, if the plan sponsors' request for facilitation of a merger with financial assistance is approved, the merged plan benefits by receiving enough financial assistance to remain solvent. The benefits to participants equal or exceed the costs to PBGC. Further, under section 4231(e)(2) of ERISA, PBGC cannot provide financial assistance to facilitate a merger unless its expected long-term loss with respect to the plans is reduced, and PBGC's ability to satisfy existing financial assistance obligations to other plans is not impaired.10

    9 The partition rule and comments are accessible at http://www.pbgc.gov/prac/pg/other/guidance/final-rules.html. PBGC published the final rule in the Federal Register on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79687).

    10See sections 4231(e)(2)(B)(i) and 4231(e)(2)(C) of ERISA.

    Under Section 3(f)(1) of Executive Order 12866, a regulatory action is economically significant if “it is likely to result in a rule that may * * * [h]ave an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities.” OMB has determined that this proposed rule does not cross the $100 million threshold for economic significance and is not otherwise economically significant.

    Based on a review of the requirements plans and PBGC must comply with for both partitions and financial assistance mergers, particularly the requirement that PBGC not impair its ability to help other troubled plans, PBGC expects that fewer than 20 plans would be approved for either partition or financial assistance merger over the next three years (about six plans per year), and that the total financial assistance PBGC would provide under both provisions would be less than $60 million per year.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act imposes certain requirements with respect to rules that are subject to the notice and comment requirements of section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act and that are likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Unless an agency determines that a rule is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that the agency present an initial regulatory flexibility analysis at the time of the publication of the proposed rule describing the impact of the rule on small entities and seeking public comment on such impact. Small entities include small businesses, organizations and governmental jurisdictions.

    For purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requirements with respect to the proposed amendments to the Annual Financial and Actuarial Information Reporting regulation, PBGC considers a small entity to be a plan with fewer than 100 participants. This is substantially the same criterion PBGC uses in other regulations 11 and is consistent with certain requirements in title I of ERISA 12 and the Internal Revenue Code (Code),13 as well as the definition of a small entity that the Department of Labor (DOL) has used for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.14

    11See, e.g., special rules for small plans under part 4007 (Payment of Premiums).

    12See, e.g., section 104(a)(2) of ERISA, which permits the Secretary of Labor to prescribe simplified annual reports for pension plans that cover fewer than 100 participants.

    13See, e.g., section 430(g)(2)(B) of the Code, which permits plans with 100 or fewer participants to use valuation dates other than the first day of the plan year.

    14See, e.g., DOL's final rule on Prohibited Transaction Exemption Procedures, 76 FR 66637, 66644 (Oct. 27, 2011).

    Further, while some large employers may have small plans, in general most small plans are maintained by small employers. Thus, PBGC believes that assessing the impact of the proposed rule on small plans is an appropriate substitute for evaluating the effect on small entities. The definition of small entity considered appropriate for this purpose differs, however, from a definition of small business based on size standards promulgated by the Small Business Administration (13 CFR 121.201) pursuant to the Small Business Act. PBGC therefore requests comments on the appropriateness of the size standard used in evaluating the impact on small entities of the proposed amendments to part 4231.

    PBGC certifies under section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act that the amendments in this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In 2014, multiemployer plans with fewer than 250 participants made up just 11% of the total 1,425 multiemployer plans. Accordingly, as provided in section 605 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), sections 603 and 604 do not apply.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    PBGC is submitting the information collection requirements under this proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    The collection of information in part 4231 is approved under control number 1212-0022 (expires July 31, 2017). PBGC estimates that there will be 28 respondents each year and that the total annual burden of the collection of information will be about 63.125 hours and $169,995. For purposes of estimating the total annual burden numbers for the collection of information in part 4231, PBGC assumed that it will receive a total of six requests for facilitation of a merger with financial assistance, with a per respondent annual burden of 10 hours and $26,250.

    Comments on the information requirements under this proposed rule should be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, via electronic mail at [email protected] or by fax to (202) 395-6974. Comments may be submitted through August 5, 2016. Comments may address (among other things)—

    • Whether the collection of information is needed for the proper performance of PBGC's functions and will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of PBGC's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhancement of the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimizing the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 4231

    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, PBGC proposes to amend 29 CFR chapter XL by revising part 4231 to read as follows:

    PART 4231—MERGERS AND TRANSFERS BETWEEN MULTIEMPLOYER PLANS Subpart A—General Provisions Sec. 4231.1 Purpose and scope. 4231.2 Definitions. 4231.3 Requirements for mergers and transfers. 4231.4 Preservation of accrued benefits. 4231.5 Valuation requirement. 4231.6 Plan solvency tests. 4231.7 De minimis mergers and transfers. 4231.8 Filing requirements; timing and method of filing. 4231.9 Notice of merger or transfer. 4231.10 Request for compliance determination. 4231.11 Actuarial calculations and assumptions. Subpart B—Additional Rules for Facilitated Mergers 4231.12 Request for facilitated merger. 4231.13 Plan information for financial assistance merger. 4231.14 Description of financial assistance merger. 4231.15 Actuarial and financial information for financial assistance merger. 4231.16 Participant census data for financial assistance merger. 4231.17 PBGC action on a request for facilitated merger. 4231.18 Jurisdiction over financial assistance merger. Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 1302(b)(3)

    PART 4231—MERGERS AND TRANSFERS BETWEEN MULTIEMPLOYER PLANS Subpart A—General Provisions
    § 4231.1 Purpose and scope.

    (a) General—(1) Purpose. The purpose of this part is to prescribe notice requirements under section 4231 of ERISA for mergers and transfers of assets or liabilities among multiemployer pension plans. This part also interprets the other requirements of section 4231 of ERISA and prescribes special rules for de minimis mergers and transfers.

    (2) Scope. This part applies to mergers and transfers among multiemployer plans where all of the plans immediately before and immediately after the transaction are multiemployer plans covered by title IV of ERISA.

    (b) Additional requirements. Subpart B of this part sets forth the additional requirements for and procedures specific to a request for a facilitated merger.

    § 4231.2 Definitions.

    The following terms are defined in § 4001.2 of this chapter: annuity, Code, EIN, ERISA, fair market value, guaranteed benefit, IRS, multiemployer plan, normal retirement age, PBGC, plan, plan sponsor, plan year, and PN. In addition, the following terms are defined for purposes of this part:

    Actuarial valuation means a valuation of assets and liabilities performed by an enrolled actuary using the actuarial assumptions used for purposes of determining the charges and credits to the funding standard account under section 304 of ERISA and section 431 of the Code.

    Advocate means the Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate under section 4004 of ERISA.

    Critical and declining status has the same meaning as the term has under section 305(b)(6) of ERISA and section 432(b)(6) of the Code.

    Critical status has the same meaning as the term has under section 305(b)(2) of ERISA and section 432(b)(2) of the Code, and includes “critical and declining status” as defined in section 305(b)(6) of ERISA and section 432(b)(6) of the Code.

    De minimis merger is defined in § 4231.7(b).

    De minimis transfer is defined in § 4231.7(c).

    Effective date means, with respect to a merger or transfer, the earlier of—

    (1) The date on which one plan assumes liability for benefits accrued under another plan involved in the transaction; or

    (2) The date on which one plan transfers assets to another plan involved in the transaction.

    Endangered status has the same meaning as the term has under section 305(b)(1) of ERISA and section 432(b)(1) of the Code, and includes “seriously endangered status” as described in section 305(b)(1) of ERISA and section 432(b)(1) of the Code.

    Facilitated merger means a merger of two or more multiemployer plans facilitated by PBGC under section 4231(e) of ERISA, including a merger that is facilitated with financial assistance under section 4231(e)(2) of ERISA.

    Fair market value of assets has the same meaning as the term has for minimum funding purposes under section 304 of ERISA and section 431 of the Code.

    Financial assistance means periodic or lump sum financial assistance payments from PBGC under section 4261 of ERISA.

    Financial assistance merger means a merger facilitated by PBGC for which PBGC provides financial assistance (within the meaning of section 4261 of ERISA) under section 4231(e)(2) of ERISA.

    Insolvent has the same meaning as insolvent under section 4245(b) of ERISA.

    Merged plan means a plan that is the result of the merger of two or more multiemployer plans.

    Merger means the combining of two or more plans into a single plan. For example, a consolidation of two plans into a new plan is a merger.

    Significantly affected plan means a plan that—

    (1) Transfers assets that equal or exceed 15 percent of its assets before the transfer,

    (2) Receives a transfer of unfunded accrued benefits that equal or exceed 15 percent of its assets before the transfer,

    (3) Is created by a spinoff from another plan,

    (4) Engages in a merger or transfer (other than a de minimis merger or transfer) either—

    (i) After such plan has terminated by mass withdrawal under section 4041A(a)(2) of ERISA, or

    (ii) With another plan that has so terminated, or

    (5) Is in either endangered status or critical status, and engages in a transfer (other than a de minimis transfer).

    Transfer and transfer of assets or liabilities mean a diminution of assets or liabilities with respect to one plan and the acquisition of these assets or the assumption of these liabilities by another plan or plans (including a plan that did not exist prior to the transfer). However, the shifting of assets or liabilities pursuant to a written reciprocity agreement between two multiemployer plans in which one plan assumes liabilities of another plan is not a transfer of assets or liabilities. In addition, the shifting of assets between several funding media used for a single plan (such as between trusts, between annuity contracts, or between trusts and annuity contracts) is not a transfer of assets or liabilities.

    Unfunded accrued benefits means the excess of the present value of a plan's accrued benefits over the plan's fair market value of assets, determined on the basis of the actuarial valuation required under § 4231.5.

    § 4231.3 Requirements for mergers and transfers.

    (a) General requirements. A plan sponsor may not cause a multiemployer plan to merge with one or more multiemployer plans or transfer assets or liabilities to or from another multiemployer plan unless the merger or transfer satisfies all of the following requirements:

    (1) No participant's or beneficiary's accrued benefit is lower immediately after the effective date of the merger or transfer than the benefit immediately before that date.

    (2) Actuarial valuations of the plans that existed before the merger or transfer have been performed in accordance with § 4231.5.

    (3) For each plan that exists after the transaction, an enrolled actuary—

    (i) Determines that the plan meets the applicable plan solvency requirement set forth in § 4231.6; or

    (ii) Otherwise demonstrates that benefits under the plan are not reasonably expected to be subject to suspension under section 4245 of ERISA.

    (4) The plan sponsor notifies PBGC of the merger or transfer in accordance with §§ 4231.8 and 4231.9.

    (b) Compliance determination. If a plan sponsor requests a determination that a merger or transfer that may otherwise be prohibited by section 406(a) or (b)(2) of ERISA satisfies the requirements of section 4231 of ERISA, the plan sponsor must submit the information described in § 4231.10 in addition to the information required by § 4231.9. PBGC may request additional information if necessary to determine whether a merger or transfer complies with the requirements of section 4231 and subpart A of this part. Plan sponsors are not required to request a compliance determination. Under section 4231(c) of ERISA, if PBGC determines that the merger or transfer complies with section 4231 of ERISA and subpart A of this part, the merger or transfer will not constitute a violation of the prohibited transaction provisions of section 406(a) and (b)(2) of ERISA.

    (c) Certified change in bargaining representative. Transfers of assets and liabilities pursuant to a change of collective bargaining representative certified under the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 or the Railway Labor Act, as amended, are governed by section 4235 of ERISA. Plan sponsors involved in such transfers are not required to comply with subpart A of this part. However, under section 4235(f)(1) of ERISA, the plan sponsors of the plans involved in the transfer may agree to a transfer that complies with sections 4231 and 4234 of ERISA. Plan sponsors that elect to comply with sections 4231 and 4234 of ERISA must comply with the rules in subpart A of this part.

    (d) Informal consultation. Nothing in this part precludes a plan sponsor from contacting PBGC on an informal basis to discuss a potential merger or transfer.

    § 4231.4 Preservation of accrued benefits.

    Section 4231(b)(2) of ERISA and § 4231.3(a)(1) require that no participant's or beneficiary's accrued benefit may be lower immediately after the effective date of the merger or transfer than the benefit immediately before the merger or transfer. A plan that assumes an obligation to pay benefits for a group of participants satisfies this requirement only if the plan contains a provision preserving all accrued benefits. The determination of what is an accrued benefit must be made in accordance with section 411 of the Code and the regulations thereunder.

    § 4231.5 Valuation requirement.

    The actuarial valuation requirement under section 4231(b)(4) of ERISA and § 4231.3(a)(2) is satisfied if an actuarial valuation has been performed for the plan based on the plan's assets and liabilities as of a date not earlier than the first day of the last plan year ending before the proposed effective date of the transaction. If the actuarial valuation required under this section is not complete when the notice of merger or transfer is filed, the plan sponsor may provide the most recent actuarial valuation for the plan with the notice, and the actuarial valuation required under this section when complete. For a significantly affected plan involved in a transfer, other than a plan that is a significantly affected plan only because the transfer involves a plan that has terminated by mass withdrawal under section 4041A(a)(2) of ERISA, the valuation must separately identify assets, contributions, and liabilities being transferred and must be based on the actuarial assumptions and methods that are expected to be used for the plan for the first plan year beginning after the transfer.

    § 4231.6 Plan solvency tests.

    (a) General. For a plan that is not a significantly affected plan, the plan solvency requirement of section 4231(b)(3) of ERISA and § 4231.3(a)(3)(i) is satisfied if—

    (1) In each of the first ten plan years beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the merger or transfer, the plan's expected fair market value of assets plus expected contributions and investment earnings equal or exceed expected expenses and benefit payments for the plan year; or

    (2) The plan's expected fair market value of assets immediately after the merger or transfer equals or exceeds ten times the benefit payments for the last plan year ending before the proposed effective date of the merger or transfer.

    (b) Significantly affected plans. The plan solvency requirement of section 4231(b)(3) of ERISA and § 4231.3(a)(3)(i) is satisfied for a significantly affected plan if all of the following requirements are met:

    (1) Expected contributions equal or exceed the estimated amount necessary to satisfy the minimum funding requirement of section 431 of the Code for the ten plan years beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the transaction.

    (2) The plan's expected fair market value of assets immediately after the transaction equal or exceed the total amount of expected benefit payments for the first ten plan years beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the transaction.

    (3) Expected contributions for the first plan year beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the transaction equal or exceed expected benefit payments for that plan year.

    (4) Expected contributions for the amortization period equal or exceed unfunded accrued benefits plus expected normal costs. The actuary may select as the amortization period either—

    (i) The first 15 plan years beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the transaction, or

    (ii) The amortization period for the resulting base when the combined charge base and the combined credit base are offset under section 431(b)(5) of the Code.

    (c) Rules for determinations. In determining whether a transaction satisfies the plan solvency requirements set forth in this section, the following rules apply:

    (1) Expected contributions after a merger or transfer must be determined by assuming that contributions for each plan year will equal contributions for the last full plan year ending before the date on which the notice of merger or transfer is filed with PBGC. If expected contributions include withdrawal liability payments, such payments must be shown separately. If the withdrawal liability payments are not the assessed amounts, or are not in accordance with the schedule of payments, or include future assessments, include the basis for such differences, with supporting data, calculations, assumptions, and methods. In addition, contributions must be adjusted to reflect—

    (i) The merger or transfer;

    (ii) Any change in the rate of employer contributions that has been negotiated (whether or not in effect); and

    (iii) Any trend of changing contribution base units over the preceding five plan years or other period of time that can be demonstrated to be more appropriate.

    (2) Expected normal costs must be determined under the funding method and assumptions expected to be used by the plan actuary for purposes of determining the minimum funding requirement under section 431 of the Code. If the plan uses an aggregate funding method, normal costs must be determined under the entry age normal method.

    (3) Expected benefit payments must be determined by assuming that current benefits remain in effect and that all scheduled increases in benefits occur.

    (4) The plan's expected fair market value of assets immediately after the merger or transfer must be based on the most recent data available immediately before the date on which the notice is filed.

    (5) Expected investment earnings must be determined using the same interest assumption to be used for determining the minimum funding requirement under section 431 of the Code.

    (6) Expected expenses must be determined using expenses in the last plan year ending before the notice is filed, adjusted to reflect any anticipated changes.

    (7) Expected plan assets for a plan year must be determined by adjusting the most current data on the plan's fair market value of assets to reflect expected contributions, investment earnings, benefit payments and expenses for each plan year between the date of the most current data and the beginning of the plan year for which expected assets are being determined.

    § 4231.7 De minimis mergers and transfers.

    (a) Special plan solvency rule. The determination of whether a de minimis merger or transfer satisfies the plan solvency requirement in § 4231.6(a) may be made without regard to any other de minimis mergers or transfers that have occurred since the most recent actuarial valuation.

    (b) De minimis merger defined. A merger is de minimis if the present value of accrued benefits (whether or not vested) of one plan is less than 3 percent of the other plan's fair market value of assets.

    (c) De minimis transfer defined. A transfer of assets or liabilities is de minimis if—

    (1) The fair market value of assets transferred, if any, is less than 3 percent of the fair market value of assets of all of the transferor plan's assets;

    (2) The present value of the accrued benefits transferred (whether or not vested) is less than 3 percent of the fair market value of assets of all of the transferee plan's assets; and

    (3) The transferee plan is not a plan that has terminated under section 4041A(a)(2) of ERISA.

    (d) Value of assets and benefits. For purposes of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, the value of plan assets and accrued benefits may be determined as of any date prior to the proposed effective date of the transaction, but not earlier than the date of the most recent actuarial valuation.

    (e) Aggregation required. In determining whether a merger or transfer is de minimis, the assets and accrued benefits transferred in previous de minimis mergers and transfers within the same plan year must be aggregated as described in paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section. For the purposes of those paragraphs, the value of plan assets may be determined as of the date during the plan year on which the total value of the plan's assets is the highest.

    (1) A merger is not de minimis if the total present value of accrued benefits merged into a plan, when aggregated with all prior de minimis mergers of and transfers to that plan effective within the same plan year, equals or exceeds 3 percent of the value of the plan's assets.

    (2) A transfer is not de minimis if, when aggregated with all previous de minimis mergers and transfers effective within the same plan year—

    (i) The value of all assets transferred from a plan equals or exceeds 3 percent of the value of the plan's assets; or

    (ii) The present value of all accrued benefits transferred to a plan equals or exceeds 3 percent of the plan's assets.

    § 4231.8 Filing requirements; timing and method of filing.

    (a) When to file. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, a notice of a proposed merger or transfer, and, if applicable, a request for a compliance determination or facilitated merger (which may be filed separately or combined), must be filed not less than the following number of days before the proposed effective date of the transaction—

    (1) 270 days in the case of a facilitated merger under § 4231.12;

    (2) 120 days in the case of a merger (other than a facilitated merger) for which a compliance determination under § 4231.10 is requested, or a transfer; or

    (3) 45 days in the case of a merger for which a compliance determination under § 4231.10 is not requested.

    (b) Method of filing. PBGC applies the rules in subpart A of part 4000 of this chapter to determine permissible methods of filing with PBGC under this part.

    (c) Computation of time. PBGC applies the rules in subpart D of part 4000 of this chapter to compute any time period for filing under this part.

    (d) Who must file. The plan sponsors of all plans involved in a merger or transfer, or the duly authorized representative(s) acting on behalf of the plan sponsors, must jointly file the notice required by subpart A of this part, and, if applicable, a request for a facilitated merger under § 4231.12.

    (e) Where to file. See § 4000.4 of this chapter for information on where to file.

    (f) Date of filing. PBGC applies the rules in subpart C of part 4000 of this chapter to determine the date a submission under this part was filed with PBGC. For purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, the notice, and, if applicable, a request for a compliance determination or facilitated merger, is not considered filed until all of the information required under this part has been submitted.

    (g) Waiver of timing of notice. PBGC may waive the timing requirements of paragraph (a) of this section and section 4231(b)(1) of ERISA if—

    (1) A plan sponsor demonstrates to the satisfaction of PBGC that failure to complete the merger or transfer in less than the applicable notice period set forth in paragraph (a) of this section will cause harm to participants or beneficiaries of the plans involved in the transaction;

    (2) PBGC determines that the transaction complies with the requirements of section 4231 of ERISA; or

    (3) PBGC completes its review of the transaction.

    § 4231.9 Notice of merger or transfer.

    Each notice of proposed merger or transfer required under section 4231(b)(1) of ERISA and this subpart must contain the following information:

    (a) For each plan involved in the merger or transfer—

    (1) The name of the plan;

    (2) The name, address and telephone number of the plan sponsor and of the plan sponsor's duly authorized representative, if any; and

    (3) The plan sponsor's EIN and the plan's PN and, if different, the EIN or PN last filed with PBGC. If no EIN or PN has been assigned, the notice must so indicate.

    (b) Whether the transaction being reported is a merger or transfer, whether it involves any plan that has terminated under section 4041A(a)(2) of ERISA, whether any significantly affected plan is involved in the transaction (and, if so, identifying each such plan), and whether it is a de minimis transaction as defined in § 4231.7 (and, if so, including an enrolled actuary's certification to that effect).

    (c) The proposed effective date of the transaction.

    (d) A copy of each plan provision stating that no participant's or beneficiary's accrued benefit will be lower immediately after the effective date of the merger or transfer than the benefit immediately before that date.

    (e) For each plan that exists after the transaction, one of the following statements, certified by an enrolled actuary:

    (1) A statement that the plan satisfies the applicable plan solvency test set forth in § 4231.6, indicating which is the applicable test, and including the supporting data, calculations, assumptions, and methods.

    (2) A statement of the basis on which the actuary has determined under § 4231.3(a)(3)(ii) that benefits under the plan are not reasonably expected to be subject to suspension under section 4245 of ERISA, including the supporting data, calculations, assumptions, and methods.

    (f) For each plan that exists before a transaction (unless the transaction is de minimis and does not involve a request for financial assistance, or any plan that has terminated under section 4041A(a)(2) of ERISA), a copy of the most recent actuarial valuation report that satisfies the requirements of § 4231.5.

    (g) For each significantly affected plan that exists after the transaction, the following information used in making the plan solvency determination under § 4231.6(b):

    (1) The present value of the accrued benefits and plan's fair market value of assets under the valuation required by § 4231.5, allocable to the plan after the transaction.

    (2) The fair market value of assets in the plan after the transaction (determined in accordance with § 4231.6(c)(4)).

    (3) The expected benefit payments for the plan in the first plan year beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the transaction (determined in accordance with § 4231.6(c)(3)).

    (4) The contribution rates in effect for the plan for the first plan year beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the transaction.

    (5) The expected contributions for the plan in the first plan year beginning on or after the proposed effective date of the transaction (determined in accordance with § 4231.6(c)(1)).

    § 4231.10 Request for compliance determination.

    (a) General. The plan sponsor(s) of one or more plans involved in a merger or transfer, or the duly authorized representative(s) acting on behalf of the plan sponsor(s), may file a request for a determination that the transaction complies with the requirements of section 4231 of ERISA. If the plan sponsor(s) requests a compliance determination, the request must be filed with the notice of merger or transfer under § 4231.3(a)(4), and must contain the information described in paragraph (c) of this section, as applicable.

    (b) Single request permitted for all de minimis transactions. A plan sponsor may submit a single request for a compliance determination covering all de minimis mergers or transfers that occur between one plan valuation and the next. However, the plan sponsor must still notify PBGC of each de minimis merger or transfer separately, in accordance with §§ 4231.8 and 4231.9. The single request for a compliance determination may be filed concurrently with any one of the notices of a de minimis merger or transfer.

    (c) Contents of request. A request for a compliance determination concerning a merger or transfer that is not de minimis must contain—

    (1) A copy of the merger or transfer agreement; and

    (2) For each significantly affected plan, other than a plan that is a significantly affected plan only because the merger or transfer involves a plan that has terminated by mass withdrawal under section 4041A(a)(2) of ERISA, copies of all actuarial valuations performed within the 5 years preceding the date of filing the notice required under § 4231.3(a)(4).

    § 4231.11 Actuarial calculations and assumptions.

    (a) Most recent valuation. All calculations required by this part must be based on the most recent actuarial valuation as of the date of filing the notice, updated to show any material changes.

    (b) Assumptions. All calculations required by this part must be performed by an enrolled actuary based on methods and assumptions each of which is reasonable (taking into account the experience of the plan and reasonable expectations), and which, in combination, offer the actuary's best estimate of anticipated experience under the plan.

    (c) Updated calculations. PBGC may require updated calculations and representations based on the actual effective date of a merger or transfer if that date is more than one year after the notice is filed, based on revised actuarial assumptions, or based on other good cause.

    Subpart B—Additional Rules for Facilitated Mergers
    § 4231.12 Request for facilitated merger.

    (a) General. (1) The plan sponsors of the plans involved in a proposed merger may request that PBGC facilitate the merger. Facilitation may include training, technical assistance, mediation, communication with stakeholders, and support with related requests to other government agencies. Facilitation may also include financial assistance to the merged plan. PBGC has discretion under section 4231(e) of ERISA to take such actions as it deems appropriate to facilitate the merger of two or more multiemployer plans if it determines, after consultation with the Advocate, that the proposed merger is in the interests of the participants and beneficiaries of at least one of the plans, and is not reasonably expected to be adverse to the overall interests of the participants and beneficiaries of any of the plans involved in the proposed merger. For a facilitated merger, including a financial assistance merger, the requirements of section 4231(b) of ERISA and subpart A of this part must be satisfied in addition to the requirements of section 4231(e) of ERISA and this subpart. The procedures set forth in this subpart represent the exclusive means by which PBGC will approve a request for a facilitated merger under section 4231(e) of ERISA.

    (2) Financial assistance. Subject to the requirements in section 4231(e) of ERISA and this subpart, in the case of a request for a financial assistance merger, PBGC may in its discretion provide financial assistance (within the meaning of section 4261 of ERISA). Such financial assistance will be with respect to the guaranteed benefits payable under the critical and declining status plan(s) involved in the facilitated merger.

    (b) Information requirements. (1) A request for a facilitated merger, including a request for a financial assistance merger, must be filed with the notice of merger under § 4231.3(a)(4), and must contain the information described in § 4231.10, and a detailed narrative description with supporting documentation demonstrating that the proposed merger is in the interests of participants and beneficiaries of at least one of the plans, and is not reasonably expected to be adverse to the overall interests of the participants and beneficiaries of any of the plans. If a financial assistance merger is requested, the narrative description and supporting documentation may consider the effect of financial assistance in making these demonstrations.

    (2) If a financial assistance merger is requested, the request must contain the information required in §§ 4231.13 through 4231.16 in addition to the information required in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (3) Additional information. PBGC may require the plan sponsors to submit additional information to determine whether the requirements of section 4231(e) of ERISA are met or to enable it to facilitate the merger.

    (c) Duty to amend and supplement. During any time in which a request for a facilitated merger, including a request for a financial assistance merger, is pending final action by PBGC, the plan sponsors must promptly notify PBGC in writing of any material fact or representation contained in or relating to the request, or in any supporting documents, that is no longer accurate or was omitted.

    § 4231.13 Plan information for financial assistance merger.

    A request for a financial assistance merger must include the following information for each plan involved in the merger:

    (a) The most recent trust agreement, including all amendments adopted since the last restatement.

    (b) The most recent plan document, including all amendments adopted since the last restatement.

    (c) The most recent summary plan description (SPD), and all summaries of material modification issued since the most recent SPD.

    (d) If applicable, the most recent rehabilitation plan (or funding improvement plan), including all subsequent amendments and updates, and the percentage of total contributions received under each schedule of the rehabilitation plan (or funding improvement plan) for the most recent plan year available.

    (e) A copy of the plan's most recent IRS determination letter.

    (f) A copy of the plan's most recent Form 5500 (Annual Report Form) and all schedules and attachments (including the audited financial statement).

    (g) A current listing of employers who have an obligation to contribute to the plan, and the approximate number of participants for whom each employer is currently making contributions.

    (h) A schedule of withdrawal liability payments collected in each of the most recent five plan years.

    (i) If applicable, a copy of the plan sponsor's application for suspension of benefits under section 305(e)(9)(G) of ERISA (including all attachments and exhibits).

    § 4231.14 Description of financial assistance merger.

    A request for a financial assistance merger must include the following information about the proposed financial assistance merger:

    (a) A detailed description of the proposed financial assistance merger, including any larger integrated transaction of which the merger is a part (including, but not limited to, an application for suspension of benefits under section 305(e)(9)(G) of ERISA).

    (b) A narrative description of the events that led to the plan sponsors' decision to submit a request for a financial assistance merger.

    (c) A narrative description of significant risks and assumptions relating to the proposed financial assistance merger and the projections provided in support of the request.

    (d) A detailed description of the estimated total amount of financial assistance the plan sponsors request for each year, including the supporting data, calculations, assumptions, and a description of the methodology used to determine the estimated amounts.

    § 4231.15 Actuarial and financial information for financial assistance merger.

    A request for a financial assistance merger must include the following actuarial and financial information for the plans involved in the merger:

    (a) A copy of the actuarial valuation performed for each of the two plan years before the most recent actuarial valuation filed in accordance with § 4231.5.

    (b) If applicable, a copy of the plan actuary's most recent annual actuarial certification under section 305(b)(3) of ERISA, including a detailed description of the assumptions used in the certification, and the basis under which they were determined. The description must include information about the assumptions used for the projection of future contributions, withdrawal liability payments, and investment returns, and any other assumption that may have a material effect on projections.

    (c) A detailed statement certified by an enrolled actuary that the merger is necessary for one or more of the plans involved to avoid or postpone insolvency, including the basis for the conclusion, supporting data, calculations, assumptions, and a description of the methodology. This statement must demonstrate for each critical and declining status plan involved in the merger that the date the plan projects to become insolvent (without reflecting the merger) is earlier than the date the merged plan projects to become insolvent (the merged plan may reflect the proposed financial assistance). Include as an exhibit annual cash flow projections for each critical and declining status plan involved in the merger through the date the plan projects to become insolvent (using an open group valuation and without reflecting the merger). Annual cash flow projections must reflect the following information:

    (1) Fair market value of assets as of the beginning of the year.

    (2) Contributions and withdrawal liability payments.

    (3) Benefit payments organized by participant type (e.g., active, retiree, terminated vested).

    (4) Administrative expenses.

    (5) Fair market value of assets as of the end of the year.

    (d) For each critical and declining status plan involved in the merger, a long-term projection (at least 50 to 90 years) of benefit disbursements by participant type (e.g., active, retiree, terminated vested) (without reflecting the merger) reflecting reduced benefit disbursements at the PBGC-guarantee level beginning with the proposed effective date of the merger (using a closed group valuation and no accruals after the proposed effective date of the merger).

    (e) For each critical and declining status plan involved in the merger, a long-term projection (at least 50 to 90 years) of benefit disbursements by participant type (e.g., active, retiree, terminated vested) (without reflecting the merger) reflecting maximum benefit suspensions that would be permissible under section 305(e)(9) of ERISA beginning with the proposed effective date of the merger (using an open group valuation).

    (f) A detailed statement certified by an enrolled actuary that financial assistance is necessary for the merged plan to become or remain solvent, including the basis for the conclusion, supporting data, calculations, assumptions, and a description of the methodology. Include as an exhibit annual cash flow projections for the merged plan with the proposed financial assistance (based on the actuarial assumptions and methods that will be used under the merged plan). Annual cash flow projections must reflect the information listed in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of this section. In addition, include as an exhibit a statement of whether the merged plan would be in critical status for purposes of paragraph (f)(1) or (2) of this section, including the basis for the conclusion.

    (1) If the merged plan would be in critical status immediately following the merger without the proposed financial assistance (as reasonably determined by the enrolled actuary), the enrolled actuary's certified statement must demonstrate that the merged plan will avoid insolvency under section 305(e)(9)(D)(iv) of ERISA and the regulations thereunder (excluding stochastic projections) with the proposed financial assistance.

    (2) If the merged plan would not be in critical status immediately following the merger without the proposed financial assistance (as reasonably determined by the enrolled actuary), the enrolled actuary's certified statement must demonstrate that the merged plan is not projected to become insolvent during the 20 plan years beginning after the proposed effective date of the merger with the proposed financial assistance (using the methodologies set forth under section 305(b)(3)(B)(iv) of ERISA and the regulations thereunder). If such a demonstration is possible without the proposed financial assistance, or if the amount of financial assistance requested exceeds the amount needed to satisfy this demonstration, the enrolled actuary's certified statement must demonstrate that financial assistance is necessary to mitigate the adverse effects of the merger on the merged plan's ability to remain solvent.

    (g) If applicable, a copy of the plan actuary's certification under section 305(e)(9)(C)(i) of ERISA.

    (h) The rules in § 4231.6(c) apply to the solvency projections described in § 4231.15(c) and (f), unless section 305(e)(9)(D)(iv) of ERISA and the regulations thereunder apply and specify otherwise.

    § 4231.16 Participant census data for financial assistance merger.

    A request for a financial assistance merger must include a copy of the census data used for the projections described in § 4231.15(c) and (f), including:

    (a) Participant type (retiree, beneficiary, disabled, terminated vested, active, alternate payee).

    (b) Gender.

    (c) Date of birth.

    (d) Credited service for guarantee calculation (i.e., number of years of participation).

    (e) Vested accrued monthly benefit.

    (f) Monthly benefit guaranteed by PBGC.

    (g) Monthly benefit reduced by the maximum benefit suspension permissible under section 305(e)(9) of ERISA.

    (h) Benefit commencement date (for participants in pay status and others for which the reported benefit will not be payable at normal retirement age).

    (i) For each participant in pay status—

    (1) Form of payment, and

    (2) Data relevant to the form of payment, including:

    (i) For a joint-and-survivor benefit, the beneficiary's benefit amount and the beneficiary's date of birth;

    (ii) For a Social Security level income benefit, the date of any change in the benefit amount, and the benefit amount after such change;

    (iii) For a 5-year certain or 10-year certain benefit (or similar benefit), the relevant defined period; or

    (iv) For a form of payment not otherwise described in this section, the data necessary for the valuation of the form of payment.

    (j) If an actuarial increase for postponed retirement applies, or if the form of annuity is a Social Security level income option, the monthly vested benefit payable at normal retirement age in normal form of annuity.

    § 4231.17 PBGC action on a request for facilitated merger.

    (a) General. PBGC may approve or deny a request for a facilitated merger, including a request for a financial assistance merger, at its discretion if the requirements of section 4231 of ERISA are satisfied. PBGC will notify the plan sponsor(s) in writing of its decision on a request. If PBGC denies the request, PBGC's written decision will state the reason(s) for the denial. If PBGC approves a request for a financial assistance merger, PBGC will provide a financial assistance agreement detailing the total amount and terms of the financial assistance as soon as practicable thereafter.

    (b) Final agency action. PBGC's decision to approve or deny a request for a facilitated merger, including a request for a financial assistance merger, is a final agency action for purposes of judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 701 et seq.).

    § 4231.18 Jurisdiction over financial assistance merger.

    (a) General. PBGC will retain jurisdiction over the merged plan resulting from a financial assistance merger to carry out the purposes, terms, and conditions of the financial assistance merger, the financial assistance agreement, sections 4231 and 4261 of ERISA, and the regulations thereunder.

    (b) Financial assistance agreement. PBGC may, upon providing notice to the plan sponsor, make changes to the financial assistance agreement in response to changed circumstances consistent with sections 4231 and 4261 of ERISA and the regulations thereunder.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 25th day of May, 2016. W. Thomas Reeder, Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13083 Filed 6-2-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0329] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Casco Bay Islands Swim/Run, Casco Bay, Portland, ME AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a temporary safety zone for certain waters of Portland Harbor and Casco Bay to be enforced during the Casco Bay Islands Swim/Run marine event. The event involves athletes tethered together by a line in which they will run and swim on and between eight islands of the Casco Bay archipelago. This safety zone will facilitate the protection of the event participants, their support vessels, and the maritime public from the hazards associated with the event. This proposed rulemaking would prohibit persons and vessels from entering into, transiting through, mooring, or anchoring within this safety zone during periods of enforcement unless authorized by the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Captain of the Port (COTP) or the COTP's designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before July 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0329 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rulemaking, call or email MSTC Bains, Sector Northern New England Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 207-347-5003, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations DHS Department of Homeland Security U.S.C. United States Code CFR Code of Federal Regulation FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NAD 83 North American Datum of 1983 II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    On December 15, 2015, the Coast Guard was notified of a swimming and running event that will occur within the Casco Bay Islands archipelago from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on August 14, 2016. The name of the marine event is called the Casco Bay Islands Swim/Run. Participants will begin the event with a run on Great Chebeague Island to Little Chebeague Island. From Little Chebeague Island they will start the swim/run process with a 470 yard swim to Long Island. After a short run, the athletes will swim an additional 900 yards on the east side of the island to a point back on Long Island. Next, the participants will swim 1,300 yards to Cow Island and then an additional 540 yards to Great Diamond Island. From Great Diamond Island, the participants will swim 700 yards to Peaks Island, then an additional 500 yards to another point on the southern end of Peaks Island. The participants will then swim 700 yards to House Island. From House Island the participants will swim 800 yards to the Little Diamond Island Landing. The final swim leg is a 650 yard swim from the Little Diamond Island Landing back to Peaks Island. Hazards associated with this marine event include accidental collisions with the event participants and the maritime public. The COTP has determined that potential hazards associated with the marine event will be a safety concern for event participants, the support vessels, and the maritime public.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of event participants, the support vessels, the maritime public, and the navigable waters within a 200-feet radius of the event participants, during, and after the scheduled event. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP proposes to establish a temporary safety zone from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on August 14, 2016. The safety zone would cover all navigable waters within the geographic locations specified in the regulatory text on the navigable waters of Casco Bay, Portland, Maine. Vessels not associated with the event shall maintain a distance of at least 200 feet from the participants. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of event participants, support vessels, the maritime public, and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. event. No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the safety zone without first obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document.

    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 a number of these statutes and Executive orders and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This 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.

    We expect the economic impact of this rule to be minimal. This regulation may have an impact on the general public, but that potential impact will likely be minimal for several reasons. First, this safety zone will be in effect for only five and a half hours in the morning when vessel traffic is expected to be light. In addition, vessels may enter or pass through the safety zone during an enforcement period with the permission of the COTP or the designated representative. Lastly, the Coast Guard will provide notification to the public through Broadcast Notice to Mariners and the Local Notice to Mariners publication well in advance of the event.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    For all of the reasons discussed in the REGULATORY PLANNING AND REVIEW section, this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this 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 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 would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves a safety zone lasting five and half hours that would prohibit entry within 200 feet of the participants and vessels in support of the event. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist is available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    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 NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be 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 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T01-3029 to read as follows:
    § 165.T01-0329 Safety Zone—Casco Bay Islands Swim Event—Casco Bay, Portland, Maine.

    (a) General. Establish a temporary safety zone:

    (1) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters, from surface to bottom, within (200) feet from the participants and vessels in support of events in Casco Bay, Portland, ME, and enclosed by a line connecting the following points (NAD 83):

    Latitude Longitude 43°42′47″ N 70°07′07″ W.; thence to. 43°38′09″ N 70°11′57″ W.; thence to. 43°38′57″ N 70°12′55″ W.; thence to. 43°41′31″ N 70°11′37″ W.; thence to. 43°43′25″ N 70°08′25″ W.; thence to point of origin.

    (2) Effective and Enforcement Period. This rule will be effective on August 14, 2016, from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    (b) Regulations. While this safety zone is being enforced, the following regulations, along with those contained in 33 CFR 165.23, apply:

    (1) No person or vessel may enter or remain in this safety zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP) or the COTP's representatives. However, any vessel that is granted permission by the COTP or the COTP's representatives must proceed through the area with caution and operate at a speed no faster than that speed necessary to maintain a safe course, unless otherwise required by the Navigation Rules.

    (2) Any person or vessel permitted to enter the safety zone shall comply with the directions and orders of the COTP or the COTP's representatives. Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing lights, or other means, the operator of a vessel within the zone shall proceed as directed. Any person or vessel within the safety zone shall exit the zone when directed by the COTP or the COTP's representatives.

    (3) To obtain permissions required by this regulation, individuals may reach the COTP or a COTP representative via VHF channel 16 or 207-767-0302 (Sector Northern New England Command Center).

    (c) Penalties. Those who violate this section are subject to the penalties set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1232 and 50 U.S.C. 1226.

    (d) Notification. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England will give notice through the Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and to mariners for the purpose of enforcement of this temporary safety zone. Sector Northern New England will also notify the public to the greatest extent possible of any period in which the Coast Guard will suspend enforcement of this safety zone.

    (e) COTP Representative. The COTP's representative may be any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer or any Federal, state, or local law enforcement officer who has been designated by the COTP to act on the COTP's behalf. The COTP's representative may be on a Coast Guard vessel, a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel, a state or local law enforcement vessel, or a location on shore.

    Dated: May 16, 2016. M.A. Baroody, Captain, U. S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Northern New England.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13342 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 5, 14, 19, 22, 25, 28, 43, 47, 49, 52, and 53 [FAR Case 2015-035; Docket 2015-0035; Sequence 1] RIN 9000-AN23 Federal Acquisition Regulation; Removal of Regulations Relating to Telegraphic Communication AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to delete the use of “telegram”, “telegraph”, and related terms. The objective is to delete reference to obsolete technologies no longer in use and replace with references to electronic communications. In addition, conforming changes are proposed covering expedited notice of termination and change orders.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat Division at one of the addresses shown below on or before August 5, 2016 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments in response to FAR Case 2015-035 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for “FAR Case 2015-035”. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with FAR Case 2015-035. Follow the instructions provided at the “Comment Now” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FAR Case 2015-035” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F Street NW., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR Case 2015-035, in all correspondence related to this case. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Zenaida Delgado, Procurement Analyst, at 202-969-7207, for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202-501-4755. Please cite FAR case 2015-035.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the FAR to delete the use of the terms “telegram”, “telegraph”, “telegraphic”, and related terminology.

    The word “telegram” emerged shortly after the invention of the electrical telegraph in the 1840s. This terminology and way of communicating was incorporated into the first issue of the FAR, effective April 1, 1984. The emergence of electronic means of communication, starting with the facsimile machine, and then followed by email and mobile-phone text messages in the 1990s, resulted in the sparing use of telegraph services and use of telegrams. On this basis, the Councils are proposing to delete telegraphic services from the FAR and replace these terms with an option for electronic communications.

    This case is consistent with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Memorandum dated December 4, 2014 on transforming the marketplace, which describes ongoing actions to support the needs of a 21st century Government.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    (1) This rulemaking proposes to delete all references to “telegraph” and “telegram” and replace these terms with an option for electronic communication.

    (2) At FAR 49.601-1, a revised policy statement is added to allow the use of electronic means to notify the contractor of a termination for convenience. The objective is to provide an expeditious way to notify the contractor of the termination. This change is necessary because the abbreviated version of the notice of termination for the convenience of the Government is currently linked with the telegraphic notice procedure.

    (3) At FAR 49.102, a conforming change is added to allow the use of electronic means to notify the contractor of a termination whether the termination is for convenience or default.

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    DoD, GSA, and NASA do not expect this proposed rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. However, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) has been prepared consistent with 5 U.S.C. 603. The analysis is summarized as follows:

    The reason for this action is to delete the use of “telegram”, “telegraph”, and related terms. The Councils are proposing to replace these terms with an option for electronic communications. The objective is to delete reference to obsolete technologies no longer in use within the context of the FAR requirements. The proposed rule would apply to all entities, both small and other than small, performing as contractors or subcontractors on U.S. Government contracts. In 2014 there were about 350,000 active registrants in the System for Award Management (SAM). DoD, GSA, and NASA estimate approximately half of the registrants in SAM (175,000) are small entities that will receive a contract or subcontract in a given year. In 2014 small entities received 1,398,605 or about 9 percent of all actions in that year per the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). However, the small entities will not be materially affected by this rule, as the only change provided in this rule is recognition of current options for transmitting documents between the Government and contractors. It does not change the policy requiring the Government to notify contractors of a contract termination. The Government is still responsible to obtain evidence of receipt of termination from the contractor.

    There are no reporting or recordkeeping requirements associated with this rule.

    The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules.

    There were no significant alternatives identified that would meet the objective of the rule.

    The Regulatory Secretariat Division has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat Division. DoD, GSA, and NASA invite comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this proposed rule on small entities.

    DoD, GSA, and NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by the proposed rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (FAR Case 2015-035), in correspondence.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 5, 14, 19, 22, 25, 28, 43, 47, 49, 52, and 53

    Government procurement.

    Dated: May 31, 2016. William Clark, Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.

    Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA propose amending 48 CFR parts 5, 14, 19, 22, 25, 28, 43, 47, 49, 52, and 53 as set forth below:

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 5, 14, 19, 22, 25, 28, 43, 47, 49, 52, and 53 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 U.S.C. 20113.

    PART 5—PUBLICIZING CONTRACT ACTIONS
    5.504 [Amended]
    2. Amend section 5.504 by removing from paragraph (d) “, telegrams,”. PART 14—SEALED BIDDING
    14.201-6 [Amended]
    3. Amend section 4.201-6 by removing and reserving paragraph (g).
    14.202-2 [Removed and Reserved]
    4. Remove and reserve section 14.202-2. 5. Amend section 14.208 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    14.208 Amendment of invitation for bids.

    (b) Before amending an invitation for bids, the contracting officer shall consider the period of time remaining until bid opening and the need to extend this period.

    14.301 [Amended]
    6. Amend section 14.301 by removing and reserving paragraph (b). 7. Revise section 14.302 to read as follows:
    14.302 Bid submission.

    Bids shall be submitted so that they will be received in the office designated in the invitation for bids not later than the exact time set for opening of bids.

    8. Amend section 14.303 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    14.303 Modification or withdrawal of bids.

    (a)(1) Bids may be modified or withdrawn by any method authorized by the solicitation, if notice is received in the office designated in the solicitation not later than the exact time set for opening of bids. If the solicitation authorizes facsimile bids, bids may be modified or withdrawn via facsimile received at any time before the exact time set for receipt of bids, subject to the conditions specified in the provision prescribed in 14.201-6(v). Modifications received by facsimile shall be sealed in an envelope by a proper official. The official shall write on the envelope:

    (i) The date and time of receipt and by whom; and

    (ii) The number of the invitation for bids, and shall sign the envelope.

    (2) No information contained in the envelope shall be disclosed before the time set for bid opening.

    14.407-3 [Amended]
    9. Amend section 14.407-3 by removing paragraph (g)(4), and redesignating paragraph (g)(5) as (g)(4).
    14.408-1 [Amended]
    10. Amend section 14.408-1 by removing from paragraph (d)(2) “telegrams or electronic transmissions,” and adding “electronic communications,” in its place. PART 19—SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS
    19.302 [Amended]
    11. Amend section 19.302 by removing from paragraph (d)(1)(ii) “telegram,”. PART 22—APPLICATION OF LABOR LAWS TO GOVERNMENT ACQUISITIONS
    22.1003-3 [Amended]
    12. Amend section 22.1003-3 by removing from paragraph (d) “telegraph,”. PART 25—FOREIGN ACQUISITION
    25.401 [Amended]
    13. Amend section 25.401 in the table, by removing from paragraph (b)(2)(iii) the words “telegraph services,”, and removing “47 U.S.C. 153(20))” and adding “47 U.S.C. 153(24))” in its place. PART 28—BONDS AND INSURANCE
    28.101-4 [Amended]
    14. Amend section 28.101-4 by removing paragraph (c)(6), and redesignating paragraphs (c)(7) through (9) as paragraphs (c)(6) through (8), respectively. PART 43—CONTRACT MODIFICATIONS 15. Amend section 43.201 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    43.201 General.

    (c) The contracting officer may issue a change order by electronic means without a SF 30 under unusual or urgent circumstances, provided that the message contains substantially the information required by the SF 30 and immediate action is taken to issue the SF 30.

    PART 47—TRANSPORTATION 16. Amend section 47.305-10 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    47.305-10 Packing, marking, and consignment instructions.

    (c) If necessary to meet required delivery schedules, the contracting officer may issue instructions by telephone or electronic means. The contracting officer shall confirm telephonic instructions in writing, and confirm electronic instructions if the contracting officer did not receive confirmation of receipt.

    PART 49—TERMINATION OF CONTRACTS 17. Amend section 49.102, paragraph (a), by revising the first and second sentences of the introductory text, to read as follows:
    49.102 Notice of termination.

    (a) General. The contracting officer shall terminate contracts for convenience or default only by a written notice to the contractor. The notice of termination may be expedited by means of electronic communication capable of providing confirmation of receipt by the contractor. When the notice is mailed, it shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. * * *

    18. Amend section 49.601-1 by— a. Revising the section heading; and adding an introductory paragraph; b. Removing from paragraph (a) “telegraphic”, “[insert “immediately” ”, and “Telegraph”, and adding “electronic”, “[insert “immediately”, (today's date)”, and “Provide by electronic means” in their places, respectively; and c. Removing from paragraph (b) “telegraphic”, “[insert “immediately” ”, and “Telegraph”, and adding “electronic”, “[insert “immediately”, (today's date)”, and “Provide by electronic means” in their places, respectively.

    The revision and addition reads as follows:

    49.601-1 Electronic notice.

    The contracting officer may provide expedited notice of termination, by electronic means, that includes a requirement for the contractor to confirm receipt. If the contractor does not confirm receipt promptly, the contracting officer shall resend the notice electronically, and expedite the letter notice described in 49.601-2. If confirmation of the electronic notice is received, and the electronic notice includes all content in 49.601-2, the contracting officer, at her or his discretion, need not send the letter notice described in 49.601-2.

    19. Amend section 49.601-2 by— a. Revising the third and fourth sentences of the introductory paragraph; b. Removing from paragraph (a) “telegram” and adding “electronic notice” in their places, two times; and c. Revising the introductory paragraph of the Alternate notice.

    The revisions read as follows:

    49.601-2 Letter notice.

    * * * This notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or electronically, provided evidence of receipt is received by the contracting officer. If no prior electronic notice was issued, or if no confirmation of an electronic notice was received, use the alternate notice that follows this notice.

    Alternate notice. Substitute the following paragraph (a) for paragraph (a) of 49.601-2, Notice of Termination to Prime Contractors, if no prior electronic notice was issued, or if no confirmation of an electronic notice was received:

    PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 20. Amend section 52.214-3 by— a. Revising the date of the provision; and b. Revising paragraph (b).

    The revisions read as follows:

    52.214-3 Amendments to Invitations for Bids. Amendments to Invitations for Bids (Date)

    (b)(1) Bidders shall acknowledge receipt of any amendment to this solicitation:

    (i) By signing and returning the amendment;

    (ii) By identifying the amendment number and date in space provided for this purpose on the form for submitting a bid;

    (iii) By letter;

    (iv) By facsimile, if facsimile bids are authorized in the solicitation; or

    (v) By email, if email bids are authorized in the solicitation.

    (2) The Government must receive the acknowledgment by the time and at the place specified for receipt of bids.

    21. Amend section 52.214-5 by— a. Revising the date of the provision; b. Removing paragraph (c); and c. Redesignating paragraphs (d) and (e), as paragraphs (c) and (d), respectively.

    The revision reads as follows:

    52.214-5 Submission of Bids. Submission of Bids (Date)
    52.214-13 [Removed and Reserved]
    22. Remove and reserve section 52.214-13. PART 53—FORMS
    53.213 [Amended]
    23. Amend section 53.213 by removing from paragraph (b) “(10/83)” and adding “(Date)” in its place.
    53.215-1 [Amended]
    24. Amend section 53.215-1 by removing from paragraph (b) “(10/83)” and adding “(Date)” in its place.
    53.243 [Amended]
    25. Amend section 53.243 introductory text by removing “(10/83)” and adding “(Date)” in its place. 26. Revise section 53.301-30 to read as follows:
    53.301-30 Standard Form 30, Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract. BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P EP06JN16.002 EP06JN16.003
    [FR Doc. 2016-13189 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-C
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160301164-6164-01] RIN 0648-BF87 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex Fishery; Framework Adjustment 3 and 2016-2017 Specifications AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule proposes regulations to approve and implement measures in Framework Adjustment 3 and 2016-2017 Specifications (Framework 3) to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Framework 3 would implement skate fishery specifications and a new seasonal quota allocation for the skate wing fishery. The action is necessary to update the Skate FMP to be consistent with the most recent scientific information, and improve management of the skate fisheries. The proposed action is expected to help conserve skate stocks, while maintaining economic opportunities for the skate fisheries.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the framework, including the Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Impact Review (EA/RIR) and other supporting documents for the action are available from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. The framework is also accessible via the Internet at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0054, by any one 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-2016-0054, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on Skate Framework 3.”

    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. 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. 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) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tobey Curtis, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9273.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The New England Fishery Management Council is responsible for developing management measures for skate fisheries in the northeastern U.S. through the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan (Skate FMP). Seven skate species are managed under the Skate FMP: Winter; little; thorny; barndoor; smooth; clearnose; and rosette. The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee reviews the best available information on the status of skate populations and makes recommendations on acceptable biological catch (ABC) for the skate complex (all seven species). This recommendation is then used as the basis for catch limits and other management measures for the skate fisheries.

    The regulations implementing the Skate FMP at 50 CFR part 648, subpart O, outline the management procedures and measures for the skate fisheries. Specifications including the annual catch limit (ACL), annual catch target (ACT), total allowable landings (TALs) for the skate wing and bait fisheries, and possession limits may be specified for up to 2 years. The current specifications were implemented as part of Framework Adjustment 2 to the Skate FMP (79 FR 51504, August 29, 2014). The Council is required to develop new specifications for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years. The existing specifications and possession limits remain in effect until they are replaced. In addition to setting specifications, the Council desired to modify the in-season management of the skate wing fishery, including a new seasonal allocation of the quota in a framework adjustment.

    In September 2015, the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee reviewed updated information on the status of the seven species in the skate complex, including new research on discard mortality rates, and recommended an ABC of 31,081 mt for 2016 and 2017 (a 12-percent reduction from 2015). The recommended catch reduction is based on trawl survey biomass declines in little and clearnose skates, as well as adjustments to historical catch estimates derived from the new discard mortality rate data (lower than previously assumed). According to the most recent stock status information, no skates are experiencing overfishing, and only thorny skate is in an overfished condition. Thorny skate continues to be a prohibited species as part of its long-term stock rebuilding plan. More details are provided in the EA (see ADDRESSES).

    The Council's Skate Oversight Committee and Advisory Panel (AP) met in October 2015 to develop specification recommendations for Council consideration, following the procedures in Amendment 3 to the Skate FMP (75 FR 34049, June 16, 2010). Following these procedures, the recommended ABC reduction, in addition to increases in the skate discard rate in recent years, resulted in a 23-percent decline in the total allowable landings (TAL) from 2015 levels. Due to the 23-percent reduction in the TAL, the Committee and AP discussed tradeoffs between reducing possession limits versus seasonally allocating the TAL in an effort to avoid in-season closures and maintain a steady supply of skate wings across the year.

    Proposed Framework Adjustment Measure

    The Council ultimately decided to recommend status quo possession limits (see Proposed Specification Measures), but to use a framework adjustment to allocate 57 percent of the skate wing TAL to a Season 1 quota (May 1-August 31). Under this action, the Regional Administrator would be given the authority to reduce the skate wing possession limit from 2,600 lb (1,179 kg) to an incidental catch level of 500 lb (227 kg) when 85 percent of the Season 1 quota is projected to be landed. If 85 percent of the Season 1 quota is projected to be landed between May 1 and August 17, the Regional Administrator would be required to reduce the possession limit. However, if 85 percent of the quota is projected to be landed between August 18 and August 31, the Regional Administrator would have discretion on whether or not to reduce the possession limit. The directed fishery would re-open with a 4,100-lb (1,860-kg) possession limit on September 1 with the remainder of the annual skate wing TAL available in Season 2.

    In Season 2, the Regional Administrator may reduce the possession limit to 500 lb (227 kg) when 85 percent of the annual skate wing TAL is projected to be landed, consistent with the existing authority provided in the regulations implemented in Framework Adjustment 1 to the Skate FMP (76 FR 28328, May 17, 2011). These in-season possession limit reductions are designed to mitigate the potential for prolonged closures for the directed skate fishery, while still allowing some incidental catches to be landed.

    Proposed Specification Measures

    The Council has recommended, and NMFS is proposing in this rule, the following specifications for the skate fisheries for the 2016-2017 fishing years:

    1. Skate Complex ABC and ACL of 31,081 mt;

    2. Skate Complex ACT of 23,311 mt;

    3. A TAL of 8,372 mt for the skate wing fishery, with 4,772 mt (57 percent) allocated to Season 1 (May 1-August 31), and the remainder of the TAL (at least 43 percent) allocated to Season 2 (September 1-April 30);

    4. Status quo skate wing possession limits, as defined in § 648.322(b): 2,600 lb (1,179 kg) wing weight per trip for Season 1 (May 1 through August 31), and 4,100 lb (1,860 kg) wing weight per trip for Season 2 (September 1 through April 30) for vessels fishing on a Northeast Multispecies, Monkfish, or Scallop day-at-sea. The Northeast Multispecies Category-B day-at-sea possession limit remains at 220 lb (100 kg) wing weight per trip, and the non-day-at-sea incidental possession limit remains at 500 lb (227 kg) wing weight per trip;

    5. A TAL of 4,218 mt for the skate bait fishery, divided into three seasons according to the current regulations at § 648.322; and

    6. Status quo skate bait possession limit, as defined in § 648.322(c): 25,000 lb (11,340 kg) whole weight per trip for vessels carrying a valid Skate Bait Letter of Authorization.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has made a preliminary determination that this proposed rule is consistent with the Skate FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for the purpose of E.O. 12866.

    The Council prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA consists of Framework 3, the EA for Framework 3, and this preamble to the proposed rule. The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A copy of this analysis is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). The following is a summary of the IRFA.

    Description of the Reasons Why Action by the Agency Is Being Considered and Statement of Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, This Proposed Rule

    A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained in the Background section of the preamble and in the SUMMARY of this proposed rule.

    Description of the Projected Reporting, Record-Keeping, and Other Compliance Requirements of This Proposed Rule

    This action does not introduce any new reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements.

    Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules.

    Description and Estimate of Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule Would Apply

    This proposed rule would impact fishing vessels, including commercial fishing entities. In 2014, there were 2,012 vessels that held an open access skate permit. However, only 431 of those permit holders were active participants in the commercial skate fishery (i.e., landed any amount of skates). If two or more vessels have identical owners, these vessels are considered to be part of the same firm. In 2014, there were 67 vessels within affiliate groups; therefore, the total number of active entities is 364. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), firms are classified as finfish or shellfish firms based on the activity from which they derive the most revenue. Using the $5.5M cutoff for shellfish firms (NAICS 114112) and the $20.5M cutoff for finfish firms (NAICS 114111), 361 of the 364 entities were small businesses in 2014; only three entities (0.8%) qualified as large businesses. On average, for small entities, skate is responsible for a small fraction of total landings, and active participants derive a small share of gross receipts from the skate fishery.

    Description of Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Action Which Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes and Which Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    This proposed rule includes management measure alternatives for (1) the skate complex ACL and associated ACT and TALs, (2) possession limits in the skate wing and bait fisheries, and (3) seasonal allocation alternatives in the skate wing fishery.

    With respect to the latter two management measures, the proposed action includes the alternatives that are expected to minimize any potential economic impacts compared to the other alternatives. This action proposes to maintain the current skate bait and skate wing trip limits. It would also apportion a percentage of the wing TAL to each season and establish an in-season trigger for season one. Therefore, the remainder of this summary will focus on the first management measure alternatives (i.e., ACLs).

    The proposed ACL alternative described in the preamble of this proposed rule represents a reduction in the allowable catch and landings as compared to the no action alternative. Therefore, as compared to the proposed action, the no action alternative would result in less short-term economic impacts. During 2014, total revenues from skate landings were valued at approximately $8.9 million. Compared to the no action alternative, the proposed reduction in the skate TALs (23 percent) could reduce potential annual skate revenues. However, actual skate landings in recent years have been close to the proposed TAL, suggesting that it is unlikely that potential revenue losses would be directly commensurate with the TAL reduction. If skate landings in 2016 and 2017 are comparable to those observed in 2014 and 2015, then most skate vessels may experience little loss of skate revenue, and the fishery may actually come closer to fully harvesting the available amount of landings. According to the analysis in the EA (see ADDRESSES), based on 2014 data, most entities (95 percent) would experience total landings revenue losses of less than 10 percent. Approximately 12 affiliate groups would experience losses of 10-15 percent, and 7 affiliate groups would experience losses greater than 15 percent.

    The no action alternative is not expected to result in any additional short-term reductions in landings revenue. Given the recent performance of the skate fisheries, the no action alternative could minimize economic impacts and still achieve the stated objectives of this action. However, the no action alternative does not include all of the most recent information on skate stock status and discard mortality rates, and could result in a higher risk of overfishing the skate complex resulting in long-term economic impacts.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 26, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR part 648 as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.322, revise paragraphs (a)(1) and (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 648.322 Skate allocation, possession, and landing provisions.

    (a) * * *

    (1) A total of 66.5 percent of the annual skate complex TAL shall be allocated to the skate wing fishery. All skate products that are landed in wing form, for the skate wing market, or classified by Federal dealers as food as required under § 648.7(a)(1)(i), shall count against the skate wing fishery TAL. The annual skate wing fishery TAL shall be allocated in two seasonal quota periods as follows:

    (i) Season 1—May 1 through August 31, 57 percent of the annual skate wing fishery TAL shall be allocated;

    (ii) Season 2—September 1 through April 30, the remainder of the annual skate wing fishery TAL not landed in Season 1 shall be allocated.

    (b) * * *

    (2) In-season adjustment of skate wing possession limits. The Regional Administrator shall, through a notice in the Federal Register consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, reduce the skate wing possession limit to 500 lb (227 kg) of skate wings (1,135 lb (515 kg) whole weight or any prorated combination of the allowable landing forms defined at paragraph (b)(4) of this section) for the remainder of the applicable quota season, under the following circumstances:

    (i) When 85 percent of the Season 1 skate wing quota is projected to be landed between May 1 and August 17, the Regional Administrator shall reduce the skate wing possession limit to the incidental level described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

    (ii) When 85 percent of the Season 1 skate wing quota is projected to be landed between August 18 and August 31, the Regional Administrator may reduce the skate wing possession limit to the incidental level described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

    (iii) In Season 2, when 85 percent of the annual skate wing fishery TAL is projected to be landed, the Regional Administrator shall reduce the skate wing possession limit to the incidental level described in this paragraph, unless such a reduction would be expected to prevent attainment of the annual TAL.

    [FR Doc. 2016-13236 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 108 Monday, June 6, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Forest Resource Coordinating Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Resource Coordinating Committee (Committee) will meet via teleconference. The Committee is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. II), and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the Act) (Pub. L. 110-246). Committee information can be found at the following Web site at http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/frcc/.

    DATES:

    The teleconference will be held on July 20, 2016, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

    All meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of the meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via teleconference. For anyone who would like to attend the teleconference, please visit the Web site listed in the “Summary” section or contact Andrea Bedell-Loucks at [email protected] for further details.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments placed on the Committee's Web site listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrea Bedell-Loucks, Designated Federal Officer, Cooperative Forestry staff, 202-205-1190.

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Follow up on action items from May 2016 meeting, and

    2. Deliver presentation on area of interest.

    The teleconference is open to the public. However, the public is strongly encouraged to RSVP prior to the teleconference to ensure all related documents are shared with public meeting participants. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should submit a request in writing 10 days before the planned meeting to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Committee may file written statements with the Committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Lori McKean, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 1123, Washington, DC 20250; or by email to [email protected] A summary of the meeting will be posted on the Web site listed above within 21 days after the meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: May 17, 2016. James E. Hubbard, Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13220 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Inviting Applications for Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grants AGENCY:

    Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Business-Cooperative Service announces competitive grant funds for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) program, formerly known as the Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant program, as authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114-113). The purpose of this program is to provide technical assistance to Socially-Disadvantaged Groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers. The Agency is encouraging applications that direct grants to projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent. This emphasis will support Rural Development's (RD) mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them.

    DATES:

    Completed applications for grants must be submitted on paper or electronically according to the following deadlines:

    Paper copies must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than August 5, 2016. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline date.

    Electronic copies must be received by http://www.grants.gov no later than midnight Eastern time August 1, 2016. Late applications are not eligible for funding under this Notice and will not be evaluated.

    ADDRESSES:

    You should contact the USDA Rural Development State Office (State Office) located in the State where you are headquartered if you have questions. Contact information for State Offices can be found at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices. You are encouraged to contact your State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your project and ask any questions about the application process. Program guidance as well as application templates may be obtained at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/socially-disadvantaged-groups-grant or by contacting your USDA Rural Development State Office.

    If you want to submit an electronic application, follow the instructions for the SDGG funding announcement located at http://www.grants.gov. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/organization_registration.jsp for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline. You are strongly encouraged to file your application early and allow sufficient time to manage any technical issues that may arise. If you want to submit a paper application, send it to the State Office located in the State where you are headquartered. If you are headquartered in Washington, DC, please contact the Grants Division, Cooperative Programs, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, at (202) 690-1374 for guidance on where to submit your application.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Grants Division, Cooperative Programs, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., MS 3253, Room 4208-South, Washington, DC 20250-3250, or call 202-690-1374.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    Federal Agency Name: USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service.

    Funding Opportunity Title: Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant.

    Announcement Type: Initial funding request.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.871.

    Dates: Application Deadline. You must submit your complete application by August 5, 2016, or it will not be considered for funding. Electronic applications must be received by http://www.grants.gov no later than midnight Eastern Time August 1, 2016, or it will not be considered for funding.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the paperwork burden associated with this Notice has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0570-0052.

    A. Program Description

    The SDGG Program is authorized by section 310B (e)(11) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1932 (e)(11)). The primary objective of the SDGG program is to provide Technical Assistance to Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. Grants are available for Cooperative Development Centers, individual Cooperatives, or Groups of Cooperatives that serve Socially-Disadvantaged Groups and where a majority of their board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups.

    Definitions

    The definitions you need to understand are as follows:

    Agency—Rural Business-Cooperative Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development or a successor agency.

    Conflict of Interest—A situation in which a person or entity has competing personal, professional, or financial interests that make it difficult for the person or business to act impartially. Federal procurement standards prohibit transactions that involve a real or apparent conflict of interest for owners, employees, officers, agents, or their immediate family members having a financial or other interest in the outcome of the project; or that restrict open and free competition for unrestrained trade. Specifically, project funds may not be used for services or goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a real or apparent conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, owner(s) and their immediate family members. Examples of conflicts of interest include using grant funds to pay a member of the applicant's board of directors to provide proposed Technical Assistance to Socially-Disadvantaged Groups; pay a cooperative member to provide proposed Technical Assistance to other members of the same cooperative; and pay an immediate family member of the applicant to provide proposed Technical Assistance to Socially-Disadvantaged Groups.

    Cooperative—A business or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services and where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. Profits and earnings generated by the cooperative are distributed among the members, also known as user-owners.

    Cooperative Development Center—A nonprofit corporation or institution of higher education operated by the grantee for cooperative or business development and where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. It may or may not be an independent legal entity separate from the grantee.

    Feasibility Study—An analysis of the economic, market, technical, financial, and management feasibility of a proposed Project.

    Group of Cooperatives—A group of Cooperatives whose primary focus is to provide assistance to Socially-Disadvantaged Groups and where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups.

    Operating Cost—The day-to-day expenses of running a business; for example: utilities, rent on the office space a business occupies, salaries, depreciation, marketing and advertising, and other basic overhead items.

    Participant Support Costs — Direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with conferences, or training projects.

    Project—Includes all activities to be funded by the Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant.

    Rural and Rural Area—Any area of a State:

    (1) Not in a city or town that has a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants, according to the latest decennial census of the United States; and

    (2) The contiguous and adjacent urbanized area,

    (3) Urbanized areas that are rural in character as defined by 7 U.S.C. 1991 (a) (13).

    (4) For the purposes of this definition, cities and towns are incorporated population centers with definite boundaries, local self-government, and legal powers set forth in a charter granted by the State. Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, within the areas of the County of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Secretary may designate any part of the areas as a rural area if the Secretary determines that the part is not urban in character, other than any area included in the Honolulu census designated place (CDP) or the San Juan CDP.

    Rural Development—A mission area within USDA consisting of the Office of Under Secretary for Rural Development, Rural Business-Cooperative Services, Rural Housing Service, and Rural Utilities Service and any successors.

    Socially-Disadvantaged Group—A group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities.

    State—Includes each of the 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and, as may be determined by the Secretary to be feasible, appropriate and lawful, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

    Technical Assistance—An advisory service performed for the purpose of assisting Cooperatives or groups that want to form Cooperatives such as market research, product and/or service improvement, legal advice and assistance, Feasibility Study, business planning, marketing plan development, and training.

    B. Federal Award Information

    Type of Award: Competitive Grant.

    Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2016.

    Total Funding: $3,000,000.

    Maximum Award: $175,000.

    Project Period: 1 year.

    Anticipated Award Date: September 30, 2016.

    C. Eligibility Information

    Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements. Applications which fail to meet any of these requirements by the application deadline will be deemed ineligible and will not be evaluated further.

    1. Eligible Applicants. Grants may be made to individual Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers that serve Socially-Disadvantaged Groups and where a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. Federally-recognized Tribes and tribal entities must demonstrate that they meet all definition requirements for one of the three eligible applicant types. You must be able to verify your legal structure in the State in which you are incorporated. Grants may not be made to public bodies or to individuals.

    (a) An applicant is ineligible if they have been debarred or suspended or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in Federal assistance programs under Executive Order 12549, “Debarment and Suspension.” In addition, an applicant will be considered ineligible for a grant due to an outstanding judgment obtained by the U.S. in a Federal Court (other than U.S. Tax Court), is delinquent on the payment of Federal income taxes, or is delinquent on Federal debt.

    (b) Any corporation (i) that has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the past 24 months or (ii) that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance provided with funds appropriated by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114-113), unless a Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and has made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching. No matching funds are required.

    3. Other Eligibility Requirements.

    Use of Funds: Your application must propose Technical Assistance that will benefit Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. Cooperatives that are recipients of Technical Assistance must have a membership that consists of a majority of members from Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. Please review section D (6) of this Notice, “Funding Restrictions,” carefully.

    Project Area Eligibility: The proposed Project must take place in a Rural Area as defined in this Notice.

    Grant Period Eligibility: Your application must include a grant period of one-year or less or it will not be considered for funding. The proposed time frame should begin no earlier than the grant award date and end no later than December 31, 2017. However, you should note that the anticipated award date is September 30, so your proposed start date should be after September 30, 2016. Projects must be completed within the 12-months or less time frame. The Agency may approve requests to extend the grant period for up to an additional 12 months at its discretion. Further guidance on grant period extensions will be provided in the award document.

    However, you may not have more than one active SDGG during the same grant period. If you receive another SDGG during the next grant cycle, the first grant must be closed before funds can be obligated for the new grant. Applications that request funds for a time period ending after December 31, 2017, will not be considered for funding.

    Satisfactory performance eligibility: If you have an existing SDGG award, you must be performing satisfactorily to be considered eligible for a new SDGG award. Satisfactory performance includes being up-to-date on all financial and performance reports and being current on all tasks as approved in the work plan. The Agency will use its discretion to make this determination. In addition, if you have an existing award from the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program, you must discuss the status of your existing RCDG award at application time and be performing satisfactorily to be considered for a new SDGG award.

    Completeness Eligibility: Your application must provide all of the information requested in Section D (2) of this Notice. Applications lacking sufficient information to determine eligibility and scoring will be considered ineligible.

    Multiple Grant Eligibility: You may only submit one SDGG grant application each funding cycle.

    D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address To Request Application Package

    The application template for applying on paper for this funding opportunity is located at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/socially-disadvantaged-groups-grant. Use of the application template is strongly recommended to assist you with the application process. You may also contact your USDA Rural Development State Office for more information. Contact information for State Offices is located at http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices. You may also obtain an application package by calling 202-690-1374.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    You may submit your application in paper form or electronically through Grants.gov. Your application must contain all required information.

    To submit an application electronically, you must follow the instructions for this funding announcement at http://www.grants.gov. Please note that we cannot accept emailed or faxed applications.

    You can locate the Grants.gov downloadable application package for this program by using a keyword, the program name, or the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number for this program.

    When you enter the Grants.gov Web site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    To use Grants.gov, you must already have a DUNS number and you must also be registered and maintain registration in SAM. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov.

    You must submit all of your application documents electronically through Grants.gov. Applications must include electronic signatures. Original signatures may be required if funds are awarded.

    After electronically submitting an application through Grants.gov, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number.

    If you want to submit a paper application, send it to the State Office located in the State where you are headquartered. You can find State Office contact information at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices.

    Your application must also contain the following required forms and proposal elements:

    (a) Form SF-424, “Application for Federal Assistance,” to include your DUNS number and SAM Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code and expiration date. Because there are no specific fields for a CAGE code and expiration date, you may identify them anywhere you want to on the form. If you do not include the CAGE code and expiration date and the DUNS number in your application, it will not be considered for funding.

    (b) Form SF-424A, “Budget Information-Non-Construction Programs.” This form must be completed and submitted as part of the application package.

    (c) Form SF-424B, “Assurances—Non-Construction Programs.” This form must be completed, signed, and submitted as part of the application package.

    (d) Form AD-3030, “Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants,” if you are a corporation. A corporation is any entity that has filed articles of incorporation in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the various territories of the United States including American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Corporations include both for profit and non-profit entities.

    (e) You must certify that there are no current outstanding Federal judgments against your property and that you will not use grant funds to pay for any judgment obtained by the United States. To satisfy the Certification requirement, you should include this statement in your application: “[INSERT NAME OF APPLICANT] certifies that the United States has not obtained an unsatisfied judgment against its property and will not use grant funds to pay any judgments obtained by the United States.” A separate signature is not required.

    (f) Table of Contents. Your application must contain a detailed Table of Contents (TOC). The TOC must include page numbers for each part of the application. Page numbers should begin immediately following the TOC.

    (g) Executive Summary. A summary of the proposal, not to exceed one page, must briefly describe the Project, tasks to be completed, and other relevant information that provides a general overview of the Project.

    (h) Eligibility Discussion. A detailed discussion, not to exceed four pages, must describe how you meet the following requirements:

    (1) Applicant Eligibility. You must describe how you meet the definition of a Cooperative, Group of Cooperatives, or Cooperative Development Center. Your application must show that your individual Cooperative, Group of Cooperatives or Cooperative Development Center serves Socially-Disadvantaged Groups and a majority of the board of directors or governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. Your application must include a list of your board of directors/governing board and the percentage of board of directors/governing board that are members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. NOTE: Your application will not be considered for funding if you fail to show that a majority of your board of directors/governing board is comprised of individuals who are members of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups.

    If applying as a Cooperative or a Group of Cooperatives, you must verify your incorporation and status in the State that you have applied by providing the State's Certificate of Good Standing and your Articles of Incorporation. If applying as a nonprofit corporation, you must provide evidence of your status as a nonprofit corporation in good standing and your Articles of Incorporation. If applying as an institution of higher education, you must qualify as an Institution of Higher Education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001. You must apply as only one type of applicant. If the requested verification documents are not included, your application will not be considered for funding.

    (2) Use of Funds. You must provide a detailed discussion on how the proposed Project activities meet the definition of Technical Assistance and identify the Socially-Disadvantaged Groups that will be assisted.

    (3) Project Area. You must provide specific information that details the location of the Project area and explain how the area meets the definition of “Rural Area.”

    (4) Grant Period. You must provide a time frame for the proposed Project and discuss how the Project will be completed within that time frame. You must have a time frame of one year or less.

    (5) Satisfactory Performance. If you have an existing SDGG and/or RCDG award, you must discuss the current status of the award(s).

    (6) Indirect Costs. Your negotiated indirect cost rate approval does not need to be included in your application, but you will be required to provide it if a grant is awarded. Approval for indirect costs that are requested in an application without an approved indirect cost rate agreement is at the discretion of the Agency.

    (i) Scoring Criteria. Each of the scoring criteria in this Notice must be addressed in narrative form, with a maximum of two pages for each individual scoring criterion, unless otherwise specified. Failure to address each scoring criteria will result in the application being determined ineligible.

    (j) The Agency has established annual performance evaluation measures to evaluate the SDGG program. You must provide estimates on the following performance evaluation measures as part of your narrative:

    • Number of cooperatives assisted; and

    • Number of socially disadvantaged groups assisted.

    3. DUNS Number and SAM

    In order to be eligible (unless you are excepted under 2 CFR 25.110(b), (c) or (d), you are required to:

    (a) Provide a valid DUNS number in your application, which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705-5711;

    (b) Register in SAM before submitting your application. You may register in SAM at no cost at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/; and

    (c) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which you have an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency.

    The Agency may not make a Federal award to you until you have complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements. If you have not fully complied with requirements by the time the Agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and the Agency may use this determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

    4. Submission Dates and Times

    Application Deadline Date: August 5, 2016.

    Explanation of Deadlines: Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight by August 5, 2016. The Agency will determine whether your application is late based on the date shown on the postmark or shipping invoice. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline date. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the reporting package is due the next business day. Late applications are not eligible for funding and will not be evaluated further.

    Electronic applications must be RECEIVED by http://www.grants.gov by midnight Eastern time August 1, 2016, to be eligible for funding. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/organization_registration.jsp for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline. Grants.gov will not accept applications submitted after the deadline.

    5. Intergovernmental Review

    Executive Order (EO) 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs, is listed as applying to this program, however since this program is comprised of the provision of technical assistance which is of a non-construction nature the intergovernmental review process is not required.

    You are also encouraged to contact Cooperative Programs at 202-690-1374 or [email protected] if you have questions about this process.

    6. Funding Restrictions

    Grant funds must be used for Technical Assistance. No funds made available under this solicitation shall be used to:

    (a) Plan, repair, rehabilitate, acquire, or construct a building or facility, including a processing facility;

    (b) Purchase, rent, or install fixed equipment, including processing equipment;

    (c) Purchase vehicles, including boats;

    (d) Pay for the preparation of the grant application;

    (e) Pay expenses not directly related to the funded Project;

    (f) Fund political or lobbying activities;

    (g) To fund any activities considered unallowable by the applicable grant cost principles, including 2 CFR part 200, subpart E and the Federal Acquisition Regulation;

    (h) Fund architectural or engineering design work for a specific physical facility;

    (i) Fund any direct expenses for the production of any commodity or product to which value will be added, including seed, rootstock, labor for harvesting the crop, and delivery of the commodity to a processing facility;

    (j) Fund research and development;

    (k) Purchase land;

    (l) Duplicate current activities or activities paid for by other Federal grant programs;

    (m) Pay costs of the Project incurred prior to the date of grant approval;

    (n) Pay for assistance to any private business enterprise that does not have at least 51 percent ownership by those who are either citizens of the United States or reside in the United States after being legally admitted for permanent residence;

    (o) Pay any judgment or debt owed to the United States;

    (p) Pay any Operating Costs of the Cooperative, Group of Cooperatives, or Cooperative Development Center not directly related to the Project;

    (q) Pay expenses for applicant employee training; or

    (r) Pay for any goods or services from a person who has a Conflict of Interest with the grantee.

    (s) Pay for Technical Assistance provided to a Cooperative that does not have a membership that consists of a majority of members from Socially-Disadvantaged Groups.

    In addition, your application will not be considered for funding if it does any of the following:

    • Requests more than the maximum grant amount;

    • Proposes ineligible costs that equal more than 10 percent of total grant funds requested; or

    • Proposes Participant Support Costs that equal more than 10 percent of total grant funds requested.

    We will consider your application for funding if it includes ineligible costs of 10 percent or less of total grant funds requested, as long as it is determined eligible otherwise. However, if your application is successful, those ineligible costs must be removed and replaced with eligible costs before the Agency will make the grant award or the amount of the grant award will be reduced accordingly. If we cannot determine the percentage of ineligible costs, your application will not be considered for funding.

    7. Other Submission Requirements

    (a) You should not submit your application in more than one format. You must choose whether to submit your application in hard copy or electronically. Applications submitted in hard copy should be mailed or hand-delivered to the State Office located in the State where you are headquartered. You can find State Office contact information at: http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices.your State Office. To submit an application electronically, you must follow the instructions for this funding announcement at http://www.grants.gov. A password is not required to access the Web site.

    (b) National Environmental Policy Act. This Notice has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970 “Environmental Policies and Procedures”. We have determined that an Environmental Impact Statement is not required because the issuance of regulations and instructions, as well as amendments to them, describing administrative and financial procedures for processing, approving, and implementing the Agency's financial programs is categorically excluded in the Agency's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulation found at 7 CFR 1970.53(f). We have determined that this Notice does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Individual awards under this Notice are hereby classified as Categorical Exclusions according to 7 CFR 1970.53(b), the award of financial assistance for planning purposes, management and feasibility studies, or environmental impact analyses, which do not require any additional documentation.

    (c) Civil Rights Compliance Requirements. All grants made under this Notice are subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as required by the USDA (7 CFR part 15, subpart A), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Age Act of 1975, and Executive Order 13166 Limited English Proficiency. As such, the Agency will conduct Civil Rights Compliance Reviews on recipients to identify the collection of racial and ethnic data on Program beneficiaries. In addition, the Compliance review will ensure that equal access to the Program benefits and activities are provided for persons with disabilities and language barriers.

    E. Application Review Information 1. Scoring Criteria

    All eligible and complete applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria. Failure to address any one of the following criteria by the application deadline will result in the application being determined ineligible and the application will not be considered for funding. Evaluators will base scores only on the information provided or cross-referenced by page number in each individual scoring criterion. The total points possible for the criteria are 60.

    (a) Technical Assistance (maximum score of 15 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your application to determine your ability to assess the needs of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. You must explain why the proposed Technical Assistance is needed and provide a detailed plan that describes your method of providing assistance. You must also identify the expected outcomes of the proposed Technical Assistance.

    Higher points are awarded if you identify specific needs of the Socially-Disadvantaged Groups to be assisted; clearly explain a logical and detailed plan of assistance for addressing those needs; and discuss realistic outcomes of planned assistance.

    (b) Experience (maximum score of 15 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your length of experience for identified staff or consultants in providing Technical Assistance, as defined in this Notice. You must describe the specific type of Technical Assistance experience for each identified staff member or consultant, as well as years of experience in providing that assistance. In addition, resumes for each individual staff member or consultant must be included as an attachment, listing their experience for the type of Technical Assistance proposed. The attachments will not count toward the maximum page total. We will compare the described experience to the work plan to determine relevance of the experience. Applications that do not include the attached resumes will not be considered for funding.

    Higher points will be awarded if a majority of identified staff or consultants demonstrate 5 or more years of experience in providing relevant Technical Assistance in accordance with the work plan. Maximum points will be awarded if all of the identified staff or consultants demonstrate 5 or more years of experience in providing relevant Technical Assistance.

    (c) Commitment (maximum of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your commitment to providing Technical Assistance to Socially-Disadvantaged Groups in Rural Areas. You must list the number and location of Socially-Disadvantaged Groups that will directly benefit from the assistance provided. If you define and describe the underserved and economically distressed areas within your service area and provide current and relevant statistics that support your description of the service area, you will score higher on this factor.

    (d) Work Plan/Budget (maximum of 15 points)—Four page limit. Your work plan must provide specific and detailed descriptions of the tasks and the key project personnel that will accomplish the project's goals. Budget will be reviewed for completeness. You must list what tasks are to be done, when it will be done, who will do it, and how much it will cost. Reviewers must be able to understand what is being proposed and how the grant funds will be spent. The budget must be a detailed breakdown of estimated costs. These costs should be allocated to each of the tasks to be undertaken. The amount of grant funds requested will be reduced if the applicant does not have justification for all costs.

    A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your work plan for detailed actions and an accompanying timetable for implementing the proposal. Clear, logical, realistic, and efficient plans will result in a higher score. You must discuss at a minimum:

    (i) Specific tasks to be completed using grant funds;

    (ii) How customers will be identified;

    (iii) Key personnel; and

    (iv) The evaluation methods to be used to determine the success of specific tasks and overall project objectives. Please provide qualitative methods of evaluation. For example, evaluation methods should go beyond quantitative measurements of completing surveys or number of evaluations.

    (e) Local support (maximum of 5 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your application for local support of the Technical Assistance activities. Applicants that demonstrate strong support from potential beneficiaries and other developmental organizations will receive more points than those not showing such support.

    (i) 0 points are awarded if you do not adequately address this criterion.

    (ii) 1 point is awarded if you provide 2-3 support letters that show support from potential beneficiaries and/or support from local organizations.

    (iii) 2 points are awarded if you provide 4 -5 support letters that show support from potential beneficiaries and/or support from local organizations.

    (iv) 3 points are awarded if you provide 6-7 support letters that show support from potential beneficiaries and/or support from local organizations.

    (v) 4 points are awarded if you provide 8-9 support letters that show support from potential beneficiaries and/or support from local organizations.

    (vi) 5 points are awarded if you provide 10 support letters that show support from potential beneficiaries and/or support from local organizations.

    You may submit a maximum of 10 letters of support. Support letters should come from potential beneficiaries and other local organizations. Letters received from Congressional members and Technical Assistance providers will not be included in the count of support letters received. Additionally, identical form letters signed by multiple potential beneficiaries and/or local organizations will not be included in the count of support letters received. Support letters should be included as an attachment to the application and will not count against the maximum page total. Additional letters from industry groups, commodity groups, Congressional members, and similar organizations should be referenced, but not included in the application package. When referencing these letters, provide the name of the organization, date of the letter, the nature of the support, and the name and title of the person signing the letter.

    2. Review and Selection Process

    The State Offices will review applications to determine if they are eligible for assistance based on requirements in this Notice, and other applicable Federal regulations. If determined eligible, your application will be scored by a panel of USDA employees in accordance with the point allocation specified in this Notice. The panel will consist of USDA employees with expertise in providing Technical Assistance to Socially-Disadvantaged Groups. The review panel will convene to reach a consensus on the scores for each of the eligible applications. A recommendation will be submitted to the Administrator to fund applications in highest ranking order. Applications that cannot be fully funded may be offered partial funding at the Agency's discretion. If your application is ranked and not funded, it will not be carried forward into the next competition.

    F. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices

    If you are selected for funding, you will receive a signed notice of Federal award by postal mail, containing instructions on requirements necessary to proceed with execution and performance of the award.

    If you are not selected for funding, you will be notified in writing via postal mail and informed of any review and appeal rights. Funding of successfully appealed applications will be limited to available FY 2016 funding.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this program can be found in 2 CFR parts 200, 215, 400, 415, 417, 418, and 421. All recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation (See 2 CFR part 170). You will be required to have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act reporting requirements (See 2 CFR 170.200(b), unless you are exempt under 2 CFR 170.110(b)). These regulations may be obtained at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html.

    The following additional requirements apply to grantees selected for this program:

    • Agency approved Grant Agreement.

    • Letter of Conditions.

    • Form RD 1940-1, “Request for Obligation of Funds.”

    • Form RD 1942-46, “Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions.”

    • Form AD-1047, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions.”

    • Form AD-1048, “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion—Lower Tier Covered Transactions.”

    • Form AD-1049, “Certification Regarding a Drug-Free Workplace Requirement (Grants).”

    • Form AD-3031, “Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants.” Must be signed by corporate applicants who receive an award under this Notice.

    • Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement.”

    • SF LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,” if applicable.

    3. Reporting

    After grant approval and through grant completion, you will be required to provide the following:

    a. A SF-425, “Federal Financial Report,” and a project performance report will be required on a semiannual basis (due 30 working days after end of the semiannual period). For the purposes of this grant, semiannual periods end on March 31st and September 30th. The project performance reports shall include the following: A comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives established for that period;

    b. Reasons why established objectives were not met, if applicable;

    c. Reasons for any problems, delays, or adverse conditions, if any, which have affected or will affect attainment of overall project objectives, prevent meeting time schedules or objectives, or preclude the attainment of particular objectives during established time periods. This disclosure shall be accompanied by a statement of the action taken or planned to resolve the situation; and

    d. Objectives and timetable established for the next reporting period.

    e. Provide a final project and financial status report within 90 days after the expiration or termination of the grant.

    f. Provide outcome project performance reports and final deliverables.

    G. Agency Contacts

    For general questions about this announcement and for program Technical Assistance, please contact the appropriate State Office as indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice. You may also contact National Office staff: Melinda Martin, SDGG Program Lead, [email protected], or call 202-690-1374.

    H. Other Information

    Non Discrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410;

    (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

    (3) email: [email protected].

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

    Dated: May 31, 2016. Samuel H. Rikkers, Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13288 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Rural Energy Savings Program; Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance; Correction AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published in the Federal Register, on May 24, 2016, a Notice of Comment Solicitation, Rural Energy Savings Program: Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance. Inadvertently, an inaccurate citation to the Code of Federal Register (CFR) was included in the Notice. This document removes the inaccurate CFR citation and replaces it with the correct citation to the Federal Register. The corrected citation directs readers to the CFR regulation that describes types of eligible borrowers who are entities that may also participate in the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP).

    DATES:

    Effective on June 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Titilayo Ogunyale, Senior Advisor, Office of the Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1510, Room 5136-S, Washington, DC 20250-1510; Telephone: (202) 720-0736; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2016, at 81 FR 32719, a Notice of Comment Solicitation seeking input on the Rural Energy Savings Program. Inadvertently, an inaccurate citation to the Code of Federal Register (CFR) was included in the Notice. This document removes all references to the inaccurate CFR citation published on May 24, 2016, and replaces it with the correct citation to the CFR.

    In the Notice of Comment Solicitation FR Doc. 2016-12192 published May 24, 2016, at 81 FR 32719, make the following correction. Remove “7 CFR 1710.10” and add in its place “7 CFR 1710.101” on the following page:

    Page 32719, third column, “Entities eligible to borrow from RUS and relend to consumers pursuant to RESP are not restricted to electric utilities per se; entities owned or controlled by current or former RUS borrowers and those entities described in 7 CFR 1710.101 may also participate in the RESP program.”

    Dated: May 26, 2016. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13248 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-601] Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Correction to the Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alice Maldonado, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4682.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 13, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published in the Federal Register the initiation of the antidumping duty changed circumstances review on tapered roller bearings and parts thereof, finished and unfinished (TRBs), from the People's Republic of China (PRC) to determine whether to reinstate the antidumping duty order with respect to Shanghai General Bearing Co., Ltd. (SGBC/SKF).1 The period of review is June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015. In the Initiation, the Department incorrectly stated in two places that if we determine in this changed circumstances review that SGBC/SKF resumed dumping, “effective on the date of the publication of our final results,” 2 we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of TRBs manufactured in the PRC and exported by SGBC/SKF. However, we intended to state the following: “If we preliminarily determine in this changed circumstances review that SGBC/SKF resumed dumping, we will direct CBP to suspend liquidation of all entries of TRBs manufactured in the PRC, and exported, by SGBC/SKF” (emphasis also added). As a result, we now correct the Initiation as noted above.

    1See Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Correction to the Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review, 80 FR 48493 (August 13, 2015) (Initiation).

    2Id., at 48493 and 48497 (emphasis added).

    This correction to the initiation of the antidumping duty changed circumstances review is issued and published in accordance with section 751(b)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

    Dated: May 26, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13203 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-900] Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Review and Amended Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2011-2012 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 11, 2016, the United States Court of International Trade (the Court) sustained our final remand redetermination pertaining to the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on diamond sawblades and parts thereof from the People's Republic of China covering the period November 1, 2011, through October 31, 2012 (third administrative review).1 Consistent with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken), as clarified by Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is notifying the public that the Court's final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the AR3 Final Results2 and that the Department is amending the AR3 Final Results with respect to the PRC-wide entity, including the ATM Single Entity.3

    1See Gang Yan Diamond Products, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 14-00148, slip op. 16-49, 2016 Ct. Intl. Trade LEXIS 49 (Ct. Int'l Trade May 11, 2016); Final Remand Redetermination pursuant to Gang Yan Diamond Products, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 14-00148, slip op. 15-127, (Ct. Int'l Trade Nov. 9, 2015), dated February 8, 2016, and available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/remands/15-127.pdf (AR3 Remand Redetermination), aff'd, Gang Yan Diamond Products, Inc. 2016 Ct. Intl. Trade LEXIS 49.

    2See Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2011-2012, 79 FR 35723 (June 24, 2014) (AR3 Final Results).

    3 The ATM Single Entity includes Advanced Technology & Materials Co., Ltd., Beijing Gang Yan Diamond Products Co., HXF Saw Co., Ltd., AT&M International Trading Co., Ltd., and Cliff International Ltd. See Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2011-2012, 78 FR 77098, 77099 (December 20, 2013), unchanged in AR3 Final Results.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: May 21, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yang Jin Chun or Minoo Hatten, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-5760 or (202) 482-1690, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 24, 2014, the Department published the AR3 Final Results, in which we assigned the PRC-wide rate of 164.09 percent to companies including the ATM Single Entity that comprise the PRC-wide entity.4 The ATM Single Entity challenged our decision to treat it as part of the PRC-wide entity and assign the PRC-wide rate to it. On November 9, 2015, the Court remanded the AR3 Final Results to the Department to reconsider the PRC-wide rate in light of the remand redeterminations for the two previous reviews that the Department issued after the publication of the AR3 Final Results.5 In these two remand redeterminations, the Department found that the ATM Single Entity was not entitled to a separate rate and, therefore, was part of the PRC-wide entity, and revised the PRC-wide rate using the simple average of the margins that had been calculated for the ATM Single Entity in the underlying administrative reviews and the petition rate in the less-than-fair-value investigation, i.e., 164.09 percent.6 On remand for the third administrative review, the Department revised the PRC-wide rate consistent with the immediately preceding administrative review, i.e., the second administrative review.7 On May 11, 2016, the Court upheld our AR3 Remand Redetermination in its entirety.8

    4See AR3 Final Results, 79 FR at 35724, n.7.

    5See Gang Yan Diamond Products, Inc. v. United States, Court No. 14-00148, slip op. 15-127 (Ct. Int'l Trade Nov. 9, 2015).

    6See Final Results of Redetermination pursuant to Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers' Coalition v. United States, Court No. 13-00078, slip op. 14-50 (Ct. Int'l Trade Apr. 29, 2014), dated April 10, 2015, and available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/remands/14-50.pdf, aff'd, Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers' Coalition v. United States, Court No. 13-00078, slip op. 15-105 (Ct. Int'l Trade Sept. 23, 2015), and Final Remand Redetermination pursuant to Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers Coalition v. United States, Court No. 13-00241, slip op. 14-112 (Ct. Int'l Trade Sept. 23, 2014), dated May 18, 2015, and available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/remands/14-112.pdf, aff'd, Diamond Sawblades Manufacturers' Coalition v. United States, Court No. 13-00241, slip op. 15-116 (Ct. Int'l Trade Oct. 21, 2015).

    7See AR3 Remand Redetermination. See also Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Review and Amended Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 81 FR 2843 (January 19, 2016), for the revision of the PRC-wide rate for the second administrative review.

    8See Gang Yan Diamond Products, Inc., 2016 Ct. Intl. Trade LEXIS 49.

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, the CAFC held that, pursuant to section 516A(e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The Court's final judgment affirming the AR3 Remand Redetermination constitutes the Court's final decision which is not in harmony with the AR3 Final Results. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken. Accordingly, the Department will continue the suspension of liquidation of the subject merchandise pending a final and conclusive court decision.

    Amended Final Results of Review

    Because there is now a final court decision, the Department is amending the AR3 Final Results with respect to the PRC-wide entity, which includes the ATM Single Entity, as follows:

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (%)
  • PRC-Wide Entity (which includes the ATM Single Entity) 82.05

    In the event the Court's ruling is not appealed or, if appealed, upheld by a final and conclusive court decision, the Department will instruct the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to assess antidumping duties on unliquidated entries of subject merchandise based on the revised rate the Department determined and listed above.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The current cash deposit rate for the PRC-wide entity is 82.05 percent, and thus same as the cash deposit rate established in the AR3 Remand Redetermination.9 Therefore, there is no need to update the cash deposit rate for the PRC-wide entity as a result of these amended final results.

    9See Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China; Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 80 FR 32344, 32345 (June 8, 2015).

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(e)(1), 751(a)(1), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: May 31, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13279 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-017] Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty New Shipper Review; 2014-2016 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 25, 2016, the Department received a timely request for a new shipper review (NSR) from Shandong Xinghongyuan Tire Co., Ltd. (SXT), in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.214(c). The Department of Commerce (the Department) has determined that the request for a NSR of the countervailing duty order on certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires (passenger tires) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) meets the statutory and regulatory requirements for initiation. The period of review (POR) is December 1, 2014, through January 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Hoadley, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3148.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department published the countervailing duty order on passenger tires from the PRC in the Federal Register on August 10, 2015.1 On February 25, 2016, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”), and 19 CFR 351.214(b) and (c), the Department received a timely request for a NSR from SXT. Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(I) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(i), SXT certified that it is the exporter and producer of the passenger tires for which the request for a NSR is based, and certified that it did not export passenger tires to the United States during the period of investigation (POI).2 Moreover, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(II) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(A), SXT certified that, since the investigation was initiated, it never has been affiliated with any exporter or producer who exported the subject merchandise to the United States during the POI, including those not individually examined during the investigation.3 Further, as required by 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(v), it certified that it informed the government of the PRC that the government will be required to provide a full response to the Department's questionnaires.4

    1See Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Duty Determination and Antidumping Duty Order; and Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order, 80 FR 47902 (August 10, 2015).

    2See SXT's request for a NSR dated February 25, 2016, at Exhibit 2.

    3Id.

    4Id.

    In addition to the certifications described above, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iv), SXT submitted documentation establishing the following: (1) The date of its first sale to an unaffiliated customer in the United States; (2) the date on which the passenger tires were first entered for consumption; (3) the volume of that shipment.5

    5Id. at Exhibit 1.

    The Department queried the database of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in an attempt to confirm that the shipment reported by SXT had entered the United States for consumption and that liquidation had been suspended as subject to the countervailing duty order. The information which the Department examined was consistent with that provided by SXT in its request.6 In particular, the CBP data confirmed the price and quantity reported by SXT for the sale that forms the basis for this NSR request.

    6See Memorandum to the File from Spencer Toubia, “New Shipper Review of the Countervailing Duty Order on Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Customs Entries from January 1, 2013,” dated March 31, 2016.

    Period of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(c), an exporter or producer may request a NSR within one year of the date on which its subject merchandise was first entered. Moreover, 19 CFR 351.214(d)(1) states that if the request for the review is made during the six-month period ending with the end of the semiannual anniversary month, the Department will initiate a NSR in the calendar month immediately following the semiannual anniversary month. Further, 19 CFR 351.214(g)(2) and 19 CFR 351.213(e)(2)(ii) state that the first review period after an order normally will cover entries or exports from the date of suspension of liquidation to the end of the most recently completed calendar year. However, since SXT's shipment entered the United States after the end of 2015, and because SXT has requested a concurrent NSR of the antidumping duty order covering the same shipment, we are expanding the POR by one month.7 Therefore, the POR is December 1, 2014, through January 31, 2016.8

    7See Raw Flexible Magnets From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty New Shipper Review, 75 FR 22741 (April 30, 2010) (expanding the POR for a NSR of a CVD order); see also Antidumping Duties; Countervailing Duties; Final Rule, 62 FR 27296, 27320 (May 19, 1997) (The Department's regulations “provide the Department with sufficient flexibility to resolve any problems that may arise {when the requestor's first shipment occurs after the calendar year in question} by modifying the standard review period.”).

    8See 19 CFR 351.214(g)(1)(i)(B).

    Initiation of New Shipper Review

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b), and the information on the record, the Department finds that SXT's request meets the threshold requirements for initiation of a NSR and, therefore, is initiating a NSR of SXT. If the information supplied by STX is found to be incorrect or insufficient during the course of this proceeding, the Department may rescind the review for STX or apply facts available pursuant to section 776 of the Act, depending on the facts on the record. Absent a determination that the new shipper review is extraordinarily complicated, the Department intends to issue the preliminary results within 180 days after the date on which this review is initiated and the final results within 90 days after the date on which we issue the preliminary results.9

    9See section 751(a)(2)(B)(iv) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(i).

    On February 24, 2016, the President signed into law the “Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015,” H.R. 644, which made several amendments to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act. We will conduct this new shipper review in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act, as amended by the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.10

    10 The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 removed from section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act the provision directing the Department to instruct CBP to allow an importer the option of posting a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit during the pendency of a new shipper review.

    Interested parties requiring access to proprietary information in this proceeding should submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 and 351.306.

    This initiation and notice are in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214 and 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: May 27, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13204 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-869] Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From India: Postponement of Preliminary Determination of Antidumping Duty Investigation AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective June 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lilit Astvatsatrian at (202) 482-6412 or Trisha Tran at (202) 482-4852; AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On February 10, 2016, the Department of Commerce (Department) published a notice of initiation of an antidumping duty investigation on certain new pneumatic off-the-road tires (off road tires) from India.1 Section 733(b)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.205(b)(1) state the Department will make a preliminary determination no later than 140 days after the date of the initiation. The current deadline for the preliminary determination of this investigation is no later than June 22, 2016.

    1See Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from India and the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair Value Investigations, 81 FR 7073 (February 10, 2016).

    Postponement of Preliminary Determination

    On May 3, 2016, Titan Tire Corporation and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC (USW) (collectively, Petitioners) made a timely request, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(e), for postponement of the preliminary determination, in order to provide the Department with sufficient time to develop the record in this proceeding through additional questionnaires, which Petitioners will in turn need to analyze and possibly comment on. Because there are no compelling reasons to deny Petitioners' request, in accordance with section 773(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determination by 50 days.

    For the reasons stated above, the Department, in accordance with section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, is postponing the deadline for the preliminary determination to no later than 190 days after the date on which the Department initiated this investigation. Therefore, the new deadline for the preliminary determination is August 11, 2016. In accordance with section 735(a)(1) of the Act, the deadline for the final determination of this investigation will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determination, unless postponed at a later date.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 733(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: May 31, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13278 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-588-804, A-412-801] Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan and the United Kingdom: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews; 2009-2010 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 10, 2016, the United States Court of International Trade (the Court) sustained the Final Remand Redetermination pertaining to the administrative reviews of the antidumping duty orders on ball bearings and parts thereof from Japan and the United Kingdom covering the period May 1, 2009, through April 30, 2010.1 Consistent with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken), as clarified by Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades), the Department of Commerce (the Department) is notifying the public that the Court's final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the Final Results, and that the Department is amending the Final Results with respect to all respondents that were subject to these administrative reviews.2

    1See Final Results of Remand Redetermination (Final Remand Redetermination) Pursuant to The Timken Company v. United States, 79 F. Supp. 3d 1350 (CIT 2015) (Remand Order), aff'd The Timken Company v. United States, Consol. Court No. 14-00155, slip op. 16-47, 2016 Ct. Intl. Trade LEXIS 45 (Ct. Int'l Trade May 10, 2016) (Remand Affirmation).

    2See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof from Japan and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews and Rescission of Review in Part; 2009-2010, 79 FR 35312 (June 20, 2014) (Final Results).

    DATES:

    Effective May 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Schauer or Minoo Hatten, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-0410 or (202) 482-1690, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 8, 2015, the Court remanded the Final Results for the Department to apply a differential pricing analysis.3 On remand, the Department applied a differential pricing analysis, under protest, and as a result, the weighted-average dumping margin for each respondent subject to these administrative reviews changed. On May 10, 2016, the Court upheld the Final Remand Redetermination in full.4

    3See Remand Order, 79 F. Supp. 3d at 1361.

    4See Remand Affirmation at 26.

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, the CAFC held that, pursuant to section 516A(e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The Remand Affirmation sustaining the Final Remand Redetermination constitutes a final decision of the Court which is not in harmony with the Final Results. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken.

    Amended Final Results

    Because there is now a final court decision, the Department is amending the Final Results with respect to all respondents as follows:

    Company Rate (percent) JAPAN Asahi Seiko Co., Ltd. 1.33 Audi AG 4.58 Bosch Corporation 4.58 Bosch Packaging Technology K.K. 4.58 Bosch Rexroth Corporation 4.58 Caterpillar Japan Ltd. 4.58 Caterpillar Overseas S.A.R.L. 4.58 Caterpillar Group Services S.A. 4.58 Caterpillar Brazil Ltd. 4.58 Caterpillar Africa Pty. Ltd. 4.58 Caterpillar of Australia Pty. Ltd. 4.58 Caterpillar S.A.R.L. 4.58 Caterpillar Americas Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. 4.58 Caterpillar Logistics Services China Ltd. 4.58 Caterpillar Mexico, S.A. de C.V. 4.58 Hagglunds Ltd. 4.58 Hino Motors Ltd. 4.58 JTEKT Corporation (formerly known as Koyo Seiko Co., Ltd.) 4.58 Kongskilde Limited 4.58 Mazda Motor Corporation 4.58 Mori Seiki Co., Ltd. 0.65 Nachi-Fujikoshi Corporation 4.58 Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. 4.58 NSK Ltd. 2.79 NTN Corporation and NTN Kongo Corporation 6.37 Perkins Engines Company Limited 4.58 Volkswagen AG 4.58 Volkswagen Zubehor GmbH 4.58 Yamazaki Mazak Trading Corporation 4.58 UNITED KINGDOM Alcatel Vacuum Technology 6.47 Bosch Rexroth Ltd. 6.47 Caterpillar S.A.R.L. 6.47 Caterpillar Group Services S.A. 6.47 Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd. 6.47 Caterpillar Overseas S.A.R.L. 6.47 Caterpillar Marine Power UK 6.47 NSK Bearings Europe Ltd. 6.47 Perkins Engines Company Ltd. 6.47 SKF (U.K.) Limited and SKF Aeroengine Bearings U.K. 6.47

    In the event the Court's ruling is not appealed, or if it is appealed and upheld by the CAFC, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on entries of the subject merchandise exported by the companies listed above. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), for Asahi Seiko Co., Ltd., Mori Seiki Co., Ltd., NSK Ltd., NSK Bearings Europe Ltd., and NTN Corporation and NTN Kongo Corporation, we calculated importer-specific assessment rates by dividing the total amount of dumping for the reviewed sales by the total entered vale of those reviewed sales for each importer.

    For entries of subject merchandise during the period of reviews produced by Asahi Seiko Co., Ltd., Mori Seiki Co., Ltd., NSK Ltd., NSK Bearings Europe Ltd., and NTN Corporation and NTN Kongo Corporation, for which they did not know their merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the country-specific all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.

    For all other companies listed above, which were not selected for individual examination, we will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties at a rate equal to the weighted-average dumping margin listed above to all entries of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by such firms.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Because we revoked the antidumping duty orders on ball bearings and parts thereof from Japan and the United Kingdom effective September 15, 2011, no cash deposits for estimated antidumping duties on future entries of subject merchandise will be required.5

    5See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Sunset Reviews and Revocation of Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 16771 (March 26, 2014).

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516(A)(e), 751(a)(1), and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: May 31, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13280 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-016] Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review; 2015-2016 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 25, 2016, the Department received a timely request for a new shipper review (NSR) from Shandong Xinghongyuan Tire Co., Ltd. (“SXT”), in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.214(c). The Department of Commerce (Department) has determined that the request for a NSR of the antidumping duty order on Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires (passenger tires) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) meets the statutory and regulatory requirements for initiation. The period of review (POR) is August 1, 2015, through, January 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective June 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chien-Min Yang, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the antidumping duty order on passenger tires from the PRC in the Federal Register on August 10, 2015.1 On February 25, 2016, the Department received a timely request for a NSR from SXT.2 SXT certified that it is the exporter and producer of the passenger tires upon which the request for a NSR is based.3 Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(I) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(i), SXT certified that it did not export passenger tires for sale to the United States during the period of investigation (POI).4 Moreover, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(i)(II) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(A), SXT certified that, since the investigation was initiated, it never has been affiliated with any exporter or producer who exported the subject merchandise to the United States during the POI, including those not individually examined during the investigation.5 Further, as required by 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iii)(B), it certified that its export activities are not controlled by the central government of the PRC.6 SXT also certified it had no subsequent shipments of subject merchandise.7

    1See Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Duty Determination and Antidumping Duty Order; and Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order. 80 FR 47902 (August 10, 2015).

    2See Shandong Xinghongyuan 's request for a NSR dated February 25, 2016.

    3Id. at Exhibit 2.

    4Id.

    5Id.

    6Id.

    7Id. at page 2.

    In addition to the certifications described above, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iv), SXT submitted documentation establishing the following: (1) The date of its first sale to an unaffiliated customer in the United States; (2) the date on which the passenger tires were first entered; and (3) the volume of that shipment.8

    8Id. at Exhibit 1.

    The Department queried the database of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in an attempt to confirm that the shipment reported by SXT had entered the United States for consumption and that liquidation had been properly suspended for antidumping duties. The information which the Department examined was consistent with that provided by SXT in its request.9 In particular, the CBP data confirmed the price and quantity reported by SXT for the sale that forms the basis for this NSR request.

    9See Memorandum to the File, “New Shipper Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Customs Entries from January 27, 2015, to January 31, 2016,” dated March 31, 2016.

    Period of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.214(c), an exporter or producer may request a NSR within one year of the date on which its subject merchandise was first entered. Moreover, 19 CFR 351.214(d)(1) states that if the request for the review is made during the six-month period ending with the end of the semiannual anniversary month, the Secretary will initiate a NSR in the calendar month immediately following the semiannual anniversary month. Further, 19 CFR 315.214(g)(1)(i)(B) states that if the NSR was initiated in the month immediately following the semiannual anniversary month, the POR will be the six-month period immediately preceding the semiannual anniversary month. SXT made the request for a NSR, that included all documents and information required by the statute and regulations, within one year of the date on which its passenger tires first entered. Its request was filed in February, which is the semiannual anniversary month of the order. Therefore, the POR is August 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016.10

    10See 19 CFR 351.214(g)(1)(i)(B).

    Initiation of New Shipper Review

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(b), and the information on the record, the Department finds that SXT's request meets the threshold requirements for initiation of a NSR and, therefore, is initiating a NSR of SXT. The Department intends to issue the preliminary results within 180 days after the date on which this review is initiated and the final results within 90 days after the date on which we issue the preliminary results.11

    11See section 751(a)(2)(B)(iv) of the Act.

    It is the Department's usual practice in cases involving non-market economies to require that a company seeking to establish eligibility for an antidumping duty rate separate from the country-wide rate (i.e., a separate rate) provide evidence of de jure and de facto absence of government control over the company's export activities.12 Accordingly, the Department will issue questionnaires to SXT, which will include a section requesting information with regard to its export activities for the purpose of establishing its eligibility for a separate rate. The review will proceed if the responses provide sufficient indication that SXT is not subject to either de jure or de facto government control with respect to its exports of passenger tires.

    12See Import Administration Policy Bulletin, Number: 05.1. (http://ia.ita.doc.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf).

    On February 24, 2016, the President signed into law the “Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015,” H.R. 644, which made several amendments to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act. We will conduct this new shipper review in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act, as amended by the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.13

    13 The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 removed from section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act the provision directing the Department to instruct Customs and Border Protection to allow an importer the option of posting a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit during the pendency of a new shipper review.

    Interested parties requiring access to proprietary information in this proceeding should submit applications for disclosure under administrative protective order in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305 and 351.306.

    This initiation and notice are in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214 and 351.221(c)(1)(i).

    Dated: May 25, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13205 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration United States Investment Advisory Council: Meeting of the United States Investment Advisory Council AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Investment Advisory Council (Council) will hold its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The Council was chartered on April 6, 2016, to advise the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to foreign direct investment into the United States. At the meeting, members will be sworn-in and will begin a discussion of the work they will undertake during their term. They are expected to discuss issues impacting foreign direct investment into the United States, including investment opportunities across U.S. regions, regulations and visas, in addition to other topics. The agenda may change to accommodate Council business. The final agenda will be posted on the Department of Commerce Web site for the Council at http://trade.gov/IAC, at least one week in advance of the meeting.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The United States Investment Advisory Council meeting will be broadcast via live webcast on the Internet at http://whitehouse.gov/live.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Li Zhou, the United States Investment Advisory 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 promotion and retention of foreign direct investment in the United States.

    Public Participation: The public is invited to submit written statements to the United States Investment Advisory Council. Statements must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT June 14, 2016 by either of the following methods:

    a. Electronic Submissions

    Submit statements electronically to Li Zhou, Executive Secretary, United States Investment Advisory Council via email: [email protected]

    b. Paper Submissions

    Send paper statements to Li Zhou, Executive Secretary, United States Investment Advisory Council, Room 4043, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Statements will be posted on the United States Investment Advisory Council Web site (http://trade.gov/IAC) without change, including any business or personal information provided such as names, addresses, email addresses, or telephone numbers. All statements received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. You should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available.

    Meeting minutes: Copies of the Council's meeting minutes will be available within ninety (90) days of the meeting.

    Dated: June 1, 2016. Li Zhou, Executive Secretary, United States Investment Advisory Council.
    [FR Doc. 2016-13284 Filed 6-3-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-489-502] Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Turkey: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Notice of Amended Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2012 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 11, 2016, the United States C