Federal Register Vol. 81, No.135,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 135 (July 14, 2016)

Page Range45387-45962
FR Document

81_FR_135
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 45498 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 45955 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan and the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
81 FR 45960 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
81 FR 45546 - Sunshine Act; Notice of Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 45428 - Anchorage Regulations; Special Anchorage Areas, Marina del Rey Harbor, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 45414 - Safety Zone; Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016, Fairport Harbor, OH, Bay City, MI, Chicago, IL, Green Bay, WI, Duluth, MN, Erie, PAPDF
81 FR 45475 - Notification of Two Public Teleconferences of the Science Advisory Board; Environmental Economics Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 45477 - Registration Review Proposed Decisions for Sulfonylureas and Certain Other Pesticides; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 45476 - Alpha-chlorohydrin and Hydrogen Cyanamide Registration Review Interim Decisions; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 45449 - U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products.PDF
81 FR 45387 - Importation of Mangoes From India; Technical AmendmentPDF
81 FR 45591 - Boathouse Capital II, LP, License No. 03/03-0264; Notice Seeking Exemption Under Section 312 of the Small Business Investment Act, Conflicts of InterestPDF
81 FR 45479 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Notice of Submission for OMB Review, Final Comment Request: Revision of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1)PDF
81 FR 45544 - New Postal ProductsPDF
81 FR 45514 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Declaration of Owner and Declaration of Consignee When Entry Is Made by an AgentPDF
81 FR 45498 - Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC; Analysis To Aid Public CommentPDF
81 FR 45502 - Submission for OMB Review; Right of First Refusal of EmploymentPDF
81 FR 45507 - The Food and Drug Administration Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2025PDF
81 FR 45460 - Science Advisory Board; MeetingsPDF
81 FR 45541 - Notice of Public Comment Period on Revised Federal Advisory Committee Work ProductsPDF
81 FR 45543 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Certification by School OfficialPDF
81 FR 45593 - Certification Pursuant to Section 7045(a)(3)(B) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2016 (DIV. K, Pub. L. 114-113)PDF
81 FR 45592 - Notice of 30-Day Public Comment Period Regarding the National Interest Determination for NuStar Logistics, L.P.'s Presidential Permit ApplicationPDF
81 FR 45593 - Notice of 30 Day Public Comment Period Regarding the National Interest Determination for NuStar Logistics, LP Presidential Permit ApplicationPDF
81 FR 45592 - Notice of 30-Day Public Comment Period Regarding the National Interest Determination for NuStar Logistics, LP Presidential Permit ApplicationPDF
81 FR 45459 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing PermitsPDF
81 FR 45596 - OmniTRAX Holdings Combined, Inc.-Continuance in Control Exemption-Central Texas & Colorado River Railway, LLCPDF
81 FR 45596 - Central Texas & Colorado River Railway, LLC-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Line of Heart of Texas Railroad, L.P.PDF
81 FR 45535 - Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism ActPDF
81 FR 45594 - Omnitrax Holdings Combined, Inc.-Acquisition of Control Exemption-Alabama & Tennessee River Railway, LLC, et al.PDF
81 FR 45539 - Privacy Act of 1974; Systems of RecordsPDF
81 FR 45533 - Ammonium Sulfate From China; DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 45467 - National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Line T2KNY Install, Line TNY Replacement, and Line KNY Abandonment ProjectPDF
81 FR 45466 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Southwest Louisiana Supply ProjectPDF
81 FR 45467 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 45464 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 45464 - Apple Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 45469 - Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 45471 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Nexus Gas Transmission Project and Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease ProjectPDF
81 FR 45468 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
81 FR 45473 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 45425 - Indiana Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation PlanPDF
81 FR 45426 - Kansas Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation PlanPDF
81 FR 45534 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Application for an Amended Federal Firearms License (ATF F 5300.38)PDF
81 FR 45458 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery ProgramPDF
81 FR 45544 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Federal Credit Union BylawsPDF
81 FR 45461 - Grand River Dam Authority; Notice of Application for Amendment of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
81 FR 45462 - Swan Lake North Hydro LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping CommentsPDF
81 FR 45468 - Grand River Dam Authority; Notice of Tribal Consultation MeetingPDF
81 FR 45473 - TransCameron Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Amendment to Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and NecessityPDF
81 FR 45423 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reapportionment of the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-Water and Shallow-Water Fishery CategoriesPDF
81 FR 45461 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Enrollment DocumentPDF
81 FR 45533 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 45451 - Establishment-Specific Data Release Strategic PlanPDF
81 FR 45542 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection Comments Requested;PDF
81 FR 45597 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 45405 - Special Conditions: American Airlines, Boeing 777-200 Series Airplanes; Dynamic Test Requirements for Single-Occupant Oblique (Side-Facing) Seats Equipped With Inflatable LapbeltsPDF
81 FR 45409 - Removal of Review and Reclassification Procedures for Biological Products Licensed Prior to July 1, 1972; Technical AmendmentPDF
81 FR 45509 - Bacterial Vaginosis: Developing Drugs for Treatment; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 45507 - Determination That PARAFON FORTE DSC (Chlorzoxazone) Tablets, 500 Milligrams, Was Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
81 FR 45545 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 45502 - Supplemental Evidence and Data for Systematic Reviews Request on Osteoarthritis of the Knee: An UpdatePDF
81 FR 45545 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 45518 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Application for Surplus Federal Real Property Public Benefit Conveyance and BRAC Program for Emergency Management UsePDF
81 FR 45517 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Community Rating System (CRS) Program-Application Worksheets and CommentaryPDF
81 FR 45527 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Notice To Amend an Existing System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 45515 - Meeting of the Board of Visitors for the National Fire AcademyPDF
81 FR 45519 - Texas; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 45451 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Biological Control of Cape-IvyPDF
81 FR 45516 - West Virginia; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 45520 - Texas; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 45516 - Texas; Amendment No. 6 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 45497 - Open Commission Meeting, Thursday, July 14, 2016PDF
81 FR 45447 - Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification of Action in Rulemaking ProceedingPDF
81 FR 45573 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 6.87 Regarding Transactions That Qualify as a Catastrophic Error as it Relates to Binary Return Derivatives ContractsPDF
81 FR 45575 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 975NY Regarding Transactions That Qualify as a Catastrophic Error as it Relates to Binary Return Derivatives ContractsPDF
81 FR 45578 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 515A To Extend the MIAX Price Improvement Mechanism (“PRIME”) Auction Pilot Program Until January 18, 2017PDF
81 FR 45546 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of the JPMorgan Global Bond Opportunities ETFPDF
81 FR 45517 - West Virginia; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 45518 - West Virginia; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 45450 - Notice of Request for Approval of an Information Collection; National Animal Health Monitoring System; Antimicrobial Use StudiesPDF
81 FR 45517 - Mississippi; Amendment No. 7 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 45535 - FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division; User Fee SchedulePDF
81 FR 45532 - Notice of Inventory Completion: University of Alabama Museums, Tuscaloosa, ALPDF
81 FR 45531 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Indianapolis Field Office, Indianapolis, INPDF
81 FR 45510 - Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; Announcement of Requirements and Registration for “Blockchain and its Emerging Role in Health IT and Health-related Research”; AmendmentPDF
81 FR 45409 - Participation of a Person Described in Section 6103(n) in a Summons Interview Under Section 7602(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue CodePDF
81 FR 45580 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Allowing the Exchange To Trade Pursuant to Unlisted Trading Privileges for Any NMS Stock Listed on Another National Securities Exchange; Establishing Listing and Trading Requirements for Exchange Traded Products; and Adopting New Equity Trading Rules Relating to Trading Halts of Securities Traded Pursuant to UTP on the Pillar PlatformPDF
81 FR 45554 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change to BZX Rule 14.11(e)(4), Commodity-Based Trust Shares, To List and Trade Winklevoss Bitcoin Shares Issued by the Winklevoss Bitcoin TrustPDF
81 FR 45577 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Withdrawal of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Adopt NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.900 To Permit Listing and Trading of Managed Portfolio Shares and To Permit Listing and Trading of Shares of Fifteen Issues of the Precidian ETFs TrustPDF
81 FR 45590 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the NYSE Arca Options Fee SchedulePDF
81 FR 45577 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Withdrawal of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, Relating to Listing and Trading of Shares of the Cumberland Municipal Bond ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
81 FR 45455 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 45520 - Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security/United States Coast Guard-015 Legal Assistance Case Files System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 45541 - Notice of Lodging Proposed Consent DecreePDF
81 FR 45871 - Safety Management System for Certificated AirportsPDF
81 FR 45513 - Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 45513 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 45512 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 45514 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 45513 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 45512 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 45520 - West Virginia; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 45523 - Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-014 Homeland Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 45504 - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Safety and Occupational Health Study Section: Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
81 FR 45506 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
81 FR 45506 - Requests for Nominations of Candidates and Suggested Meeting Topics for the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC)PDF
81 FR 45504 - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or Advisory Board)PDF
81 FR 45428 - Air Plan Approval/Disapproval; Alabama; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
81 FR 45416 - Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances; WithdrawalPDF
81 FR 45474 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
81 FR 45470 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 45593 - Executive Order 13224 Designation of Aslan Avgazarovich, aka Aslan Byutukayev, aka Aslan Byutukaev, aka Emir Khamzat, aka Amir Khamzat, aka Khamzat Chechensky, aka Hamzat as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
81 FR 45594 - Executive Order 13224 Designation of Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, aka Aiat Nasimovich Vahitov, aka Airat Vakhitov, aka Aryat Vakhitov, aka Airat Wakhitov, aka Taub Ayrat Vakhitov, aka Salman Bulgarsky, aka Salman Bulgarskiy, as a Specially Designated Global TerroristPDF
81 FR 45911 - Amendments to Registration of Food FacilitiesPDF
81 FR 45438 - Air Plan Approval; Tennessee Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardPDF
81 FR 45597 - Debt Management Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 45455 - Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results, Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Preliminary Rescission of New Shipper Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 45421 - Air Plan Approval; NC; Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards RevisionPDF
81 FR 45447 - Air Plan Approval; NC; Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards RevisionPDF
81 FR 45417 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Spokane Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Limited Maintenance PlanPDF
81 FR 45419 - Determination of Attainment; Atlanta, Georgia; 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 45387 - Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Central Air ConditionersPDF
81 FR 45407 - Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Louisiana Towns; De Quincy, LA; Minden, LA; Slidell, LA; and Revocation of Class E Airspace; Homer, LAPDF
81 FR 45868 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-89; Small Entity Compliance GuidePDF
81 FR 45866 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Technical AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 45855 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Revision to Standard Forms for BondsPDF
81 FR 45854 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; FPI Blanket Waiver ThresholdPDF
81 FR 45852 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; OMB Circular Citation UpdatePDF
81 FR 45833 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Small Business Subcontracting ImprovementsPDF
81 FR 45831 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-89; IntroductionPDF
81 FR 45603 - Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Organ Procurement Organization Reporting and Communication; Transplant Outcome Measures and Documentation Requirements; Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs; Payment to Certain Off-Campus Outpatient Departments of a Provider; Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) ProgramPDF
81 FR 45789 - 2016-2017 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing RegulationsPDF

Issue

81 135 Thursday, July 14, 2016 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Supplemental Evidence and Data for Systematic Reviews Request on Osteoarthritis of the Knee: An Update, 45502-45504 2016-16632 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products, 45449-45450 2016-16703 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for an Amended Federal Firearms License, 45534-45535 2016-16656 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service RULES Importation of Mangoes from India; Technical Amendment, 45387 2016-16702 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Animal Health Monitoring System; Antimicrobial Use Studies, 45450-45451 2016-16612 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Biological Control of Cape-Ivy, 45451 2016-16624 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Charter Renewals: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Safety and Occupational Health Study Section, 45504 2016-16583 Meetings: Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or Advisory Board), 45504-45505 2016-16579 Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 2016-16582 45506-45507 2016-16581 Requests for Nominations: Candidates and Suggested Meeting Topics for the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee, 45506 2016-16580 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Organ Procurement Organization Reporting and Communication; Transplant Outcome Measures and Documentation Requirements; etc., 45604-45788 2016-16098 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016, Fairport Harbor, OH, Bay City, MI, Chicago, IL Green Bay, WI, Duluth, MN, Erie, PA, 45414-45416 2016-16711 PROPOSED RULES Anchorage Regulations: Special Anchorage Areas, Marina del Rey Harbor, CA, 45428 2016-16713 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45455 2016-16600
Defense Department Defense Department RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-89; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 45868-45869 2016-16250 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-89; Introduction, 45832-45833 2016-16244 FPI Blanket Waiver Threshold, 45854-45855 2016-16247 OMB Circular Citation Update, 45852-45854 2016-16246 Revision to Standard Forms for Bonds, 45855-45866 2016-16248 Small Business Subcontracting Improvements, 45833-45851 2016-16245 Technical Amendments, 45866-45868 2016-16249 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Right of First Refusal of Employment, 45502 2016-16685 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Enrollment Document, 45461 2016-16645 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Central Air Conditioners, 45387-45405 2016-16441
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: North Carolina; Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards Revision, 45421-45423 2016-16458 Washington: Spokane Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Limited Maintenance Plan, 45417-45419 2016-16452 Determinations of Attainment: Atlanta, Georgia; 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 45419-45421 2016-16449 Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances; Withdrawal, 45416-45417 2016-16576 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Alabama; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 45428-45438 2016-16577 North Carolina; Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards Revision, 45447 2016-16455 Tennessee Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 45438-45447 2016-16514 NOTICES Meetings: Science Advisory Board Environmental Economics Advisory Committee; Public Teleconferences, 45475-45476 2016-16710 Registration Reviews: Alpha-chlorohydrin and Hydrogen Cyanamide; Interim Decisions, 45476-45477 2016-16708 Sulfonylureas and Certain Other Pesticides; Proposed Decisions, 45477-45479 2016-16709 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Revision of the Employer Information Report, 45479-45497 2016-16692 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Amendment of Class E Airspace and Revocation of Class E Airspace: De Quincy, Minden, Slidell, and Homer, LA, 45407-45409 2016-16383 Special Conditions: American Airlines, Boeing 777-200 Series Airplanes; Dynamic Test Requirements for Single-Occupant Oblique (Side-Facing) Seats Equipped with Inflatable Lapbelts, 45405-45407 2016-16639 PROPOSED RULES Safety Management System for Certificated Airports, 45872-45909 2016-16596 Federal Bureau Federal Bureau of Investigation NOTICES FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division User Fee Schedule, 45535 2016-16610 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, 45447-45448 2016-16619 NOTICES Meetings: Open Commission Meeting, 45497-45498 2016-16620 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45498 2016-16805 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Surplus Federal Real Property Public Benefit Conveyance and BRAC Program for Emergency Management Use, 45518-45519 2016-16629 Community Rating System Program—Application Worksheets and Commentary, 45517-45518 2016-16628 Disaster Declarations: Mississippi; Amendment No. 7, 45517 2016-16611 Texas; Amendment No. 3, 45519-45520 2016-16625 West Virginia; Amendment No. 3, 45516 2016-16623 West Virginia; Amendment No. 5, 45518 2016-16613 Major Disaster Declarations: Texas; Amendment No. 5, 45520 2016-16622 Texas; Amendment No. 6, 45516 2016-16621 West Virginia; Amendment No. 2, 45520 2016-16588 West Virginia; Amendment No. 4, 45517 2016-16614 Meetings: Board of Visitors for the National Fire Academy, 45515-45516 2016-16626 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Grand River Dam Authority, 45461-45462 2016-16652 Northern Natural Gas Co., 45469-45470 2016-16663 Applications for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity: TransCameron Pipeline, LLC, 45473 2016-16649 Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity: National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., 45467-45468 2016-16668 Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., LLC, 45466 2016-16667 Combined Filings, 45464-45471, 45473-45474 2016-16574 2016-16660 2016-16661 2016-16665 2016-16666 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC, Texas Eastern Transmission, LP, et al., NEXUS Gas Transmission Project and Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease Project, 45471-45472 2016-16662 Swan Lake North Hydro LLC, 45462-45464 2016-16651 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Apple Energy LLC, 45464 2016-16664 Meetings: PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM), 45474 2016-16575 Tribal Consultation; Grand River Dam Authority, 45468 2016-16650 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Proposed Consent Agreements: Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC, 45498-45501 2016-16687 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES 2016-2017 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing, 45790-45830 2016-15259 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Amendments to Registration of Food Facilities, 45912-45954 2016-16531 Removal of Review and Reclassification Procedures for Biological Products Licensed Prior to July 1, 1972; Technical Amendment, 45409 2016-16637 NOTICES Determinations That Products Were Not Withdrawn from Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: PARAFON FORTE DSC (Chlorzoxazone) Tablets, 500 Milligrams, 45507 2016-16635 Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2025, 45507-45509 2016-16684 Guidance for Industry: Bacterial Vaginosis: Developing Drugs for Treatment, 45509-45510 2016-16636 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Establishment-Specific Data Release Strategic Plan, 45451-45455 2016-16642 General Services General Services Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-89; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 45868-45869 2016-16250 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-89; Introduction, 45832-45833 2016-16244 FPI Blanket Waiver Threshold, 45854-45855 2016-16247 OMB Circular Citation Update, 45852-45854 2016-16246 Revision to Standard Forms for Bonds, 45855-45866 2016-16248 Small Business Subcontracting Improvements, 45833-45851 2016-16245 Technical Amendments, 45866-45868 2016-16249 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Right of First Refusal of Employment, 45502 2016-16685 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Blockchain and its Emerging Role in Health IT and Health-related Research; Requirements and Registration; Amendment, 45510-45511 2016-16607
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 45520-45527 2016-16587 2016-16598
Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 45527-45530 2016-16627
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Participation of a Person Described in Section 6103(n) in a Summons Interview Under the Internal Revenue Code, 45409-45414 2016-16606 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Japan and the People's Republic of China, 45956-45960 2016-16798 Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the People's Republic of China, 45960-45962 2016-16794 Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, from the People's Republic of China, 45455-45458 2016-16467 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Ammonium Sulfate from China, 45533-45534 2016-16669 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

See

Federal Bureau of Investigation

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Survey of State Criminal Investigative Agencies on Law Enforcement Use of Force, 45542-45543 2016-16641 Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act, 45535-45539 2016-16672 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 45539-45541 2016-16670 Proposed Consent Decrees, 45541-45542 2016-16597 Revised Federal Advisory Committee Work Products, 45541 2016-16682
Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification by School Official, 45543 2016-16681 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-89; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 45868-45869 2016-16250 Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-89; Introduction, 45832-45833 2016-16244 FPI Blanket Waiver Threshold, 45854-45855 2016-16247 OMB Circular Citation Update, 45852-45854 2016-16246 Revision to Standard Forms for Bonds, 45855-45866 2016-16248 Small Business Subcontracting Improvements, 45833-45851 2016-16245 Technical Amendments, 45866-45868 2016-16249 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Right of First Refusal of Employment, 45502 2016-16685 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Credit Union Bylaws, 45544 2016-16654 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 2016-16589 45512-45513 2016-16590 2016-16591 National Human Genome Research Institute, 45512, 45514 2016-16592 2016-16593 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 45513 2016-16594 Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, 45513 2016-16595 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-water and Shallow-water Fishery Categories; Reapportionment, 45423-45424 2016-16648 NOTICES Applications for Exempted Fishing Permits, 45459-45460 2016-16675 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program, 45458-45459 2016-16655 Meetings: Science Advisory Board, 45460-45461 2016-16683 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Indianapolis Field Office, Indianapolis, IN, 45531-45532 2016-16608 University of Alabama Museums, Tuscaloosa, AL, 45532-45533 2016-16609 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 45544-45545 2016-16690 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 45545 2016-16631 2016-16633 2016-16634 Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service Agreement, 45545-45546 2016-16630 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 45546 2016-16765 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 45533 2016-16644 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 45546-45573 2016-16604 2016-16615 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 45578-45580 2016-16616 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 45580-45589 2016-16605 NYSE Arca, Inc., 2016-16601 2016-16602 2016-16603 45573-45575, 45577-45578, 45590-45591 2016-16618 NYSE MKT LLC, 45575-45577 2016-16617 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Conflict of Interest Exemptions: Boathouse Capital II, LP, 45591 2016-16701 State Department State Department NOTICES Certification Pursuant to the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 45593 2016-16679 Designations as Specially Designated Global Terrorists: Aslan Avgazarovich, aka Aslan Byutukayev, aka Aslan Byutukaev, aka Emir Khamzat, et al., 45593 2016-16572 Ayrat Nasimovich Vakhitov, aka Aiat Nasimovich Vahitov, aka Airat Vakhitov, aka Aryat Vakhitov, et al., 45594 2016-16569 Presidential Permit Applications: National Interest Determination for NuStar Logistics, LP, 45592-45594 2016-16676 2016-16677 NuStar Logistics, LP, 45592 2016-16678 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office PROPOSED RULES Indiana Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan, 45425-45426 2016-16658 Kansas Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan, 45426-45428 2016-16657 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Acquisition and Operation Exemptions: Central Texas and Colorado River Railway, LLC, Line of Heart of Texas Railroad, LP, 45596 2016-16673 Acquisition of Control Exemptions: Omnitrax Holdings Combined, Inc., Alabama and Tennessee River Railway, LLC, et al., 45594-45596 2016-16671 Continuances in Control Exemptions: OmniTRAX Holdings Combined, Inc., Central Texas & Colorado River Railway, LLC, 45596-45597 2016-16674 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Meetings: Debt Management Advisory Committee, 45597 2016-16509
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Declaration of Owner and Declaration of Consignee when Entry is made by an Agent, 45514-45515 2016-16688 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 45597-45602 2016-16640 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 45604-45788 2016-16098 Part III Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 45790-45830 2016-15259 Part IV Defense Department, 45832-45869 2016-16250 2016-16244 2016-16247 2016-16246 2016-16248 2016-16245 2016-16249 General Services Administration, 45832-45869 2016-16250 2016-16244 2016-16247 2016-16246 2016-16248 2016-16245 2016-16249 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 45832-45869 2016-16250 2016-16244 2016-16247 2016-16246 2016-16248 2016-16245 2016-16249 Part V Transportation Department, Federal Aviation Administration, 45872-45909 2016-16596 Part VI Health and Human Services Department, Food and Drug Administration, 45912-45954 2016-16531 Part VII Commerce Department, International Trade Administration, 45956-45962 2016-16798 2016-16794 Reader Aids

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

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

81 135 Thursday, July 14, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 [Docket No. APHIS-2006-0121] RIN 0579-AC19 Importation of Mangoes From India; Technical Amendment AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule; technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

We are amending the regulations regarding the importation of mangoes from India to further clarify our requirements regarding inspection of the mangoes. A previous technical amendment amended the regulations to allow mangoes treated with irradiation in the United States to be inspected by the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of India in India, and subsequently by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at the port of entry within the United States, rather than being jointly inspected by APHIS and the NPPO in India in all cases. However, in that technical amendment, we neglected to also remove two references to preclearance inspections within India. This document corrects that error.

DATES:

Effective July 14, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Nicole Russo, Director, Imports, Regulations, and Manuals, APHIS-PPQ Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-2159.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In a final rule 1 published in the Federal Register on July 20, 2012 (77 FR 42621-42625, Docket No. APHIS-2009-0100), and effective on August 20, 2012, we amended the regulations in 7 CFR 319.56-46 to allow for irradiation treatment of mangoes from India upon arrival in the mainland United States rather than just at the point of origin.

1 To view the final rule and related documents, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2009-0100.

In a technical amendment 2 published in the Federal Register on September 21, 2012 (77 FR 58470-58471, Docket No. APHIS-2009-0100), we amended paragraph (c) of § 319.56-46, which contains inspection requirements for mangoes from India, to allow mangoes intended for irradiation treatment within the United States to be inspected by the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of India prior to shipment to the United States, and subsequently to be inspected by an inspector upon arrival at the port of entry in the United States. Prior to that technical amendment, paragraph (c) had required a joint preclearance inspection in India for all mangoes intended for export to the United States.

2 To view the technical amendment, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2009-0100.

In that technical amendment, however, we neglected to also amend paragraphs (d) and (e)(2) of § 319.56-46, which together required consignments of mangoes to be inspected during preclearance activities and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration that the mangoes were inspected during preclearance activities and found free of Cytosphaera mangiferae, Macrophoma mangiferae, and Xanthomonas campestri pv. mangiferaeindicae.

Because we did not amend these requirements to remove references to preclearance activities, there has continued to be confusion among stakeholders regarding whether preclearance inspections are required for mangoes from India intended for irradiation in the United States. As noted in the previous technical amendment, however, we consider preclearance inspections, which are jointly conducted by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the NPPO of India, to be necessary only when irradiation will take place in India. If the mangoes will be irradiated in the United States, we require the mangoes to be inspected in the United States prior to this treatment. Accordingly, it is more useful and cost effective for the NPPO to initially inspect the mangoes in India, and for us to subsequently inspect the mangoes at the port of entry into the United States. As a result, we are amending paragraphs (d) and (e)(2) of § 319.56-46 to remove their references to preclearance activities.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rice, Vegetables.

Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 319 as follows:

PART 319—FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES 1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

§ 319.56-46 [Amended]
2. In § 319.56-46, paragraphs (d) and (e)(2) are amended by removing the words “during preclearance activities”.
Done in Washington, DC, this 8th day of July 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-16702 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 429 and 430 [Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077] RIN 1904-AC68 Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Central Air Conditioners AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

In this final rule, DOE is adopting provisions pertaining to the enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners, which were largely based on recommendations from a negotiated rulemaking term sheet. On November 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to adopt requirements related to the enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975. That proposed rulemaking serves as the basis for this final rule. The provisions adopted in this final rule will aid the Department in enforcing its energy conservation standards for central air conditioners that are regionally based.

DATES:

The effective date of this rule is August 15, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

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

The docket Web page can be found at: https://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077. This Web page will contain a link to this final rule on the regulations.gov site. The regulations.gov Web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

For further information on how to review the docket, contact the Appliance and Equipment Standards staff at (202) 586-6636 or by email: [email protected]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-6590. Email: [email protected] Ms. Laura Barhydt, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-32, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-5772. Email: [email protected] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents I. Authority and Background A. Authority B. Background II. Discussion A. General Comments B. Clarifications to Regional Standards C. Private Labelers D. Definitions E. Public Awareness F. Reporting G. Proactive Investigation H. Records Retention and Requests I. Violations and Routine Violations J. Remediation K. Manufacturer Liability L. Impact of Regional Enforcement on National Impacts Analysis III. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review IV. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority and Background A. Authority

Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (“EPCA” or, in context, “the Act”) sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency.1 Part A of Title III 2 (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) establishes the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.” These consumer products include central air conditioners, which are the subject of this rule.

1 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-11 (Apr. 30, 2015).

2 For editorial reasons, Part B was redesignated as Part A upon incorporation into the U.S. Code (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified).

Under EPCA, this program consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing; (2) labeling; (3) Federal energy conservation standards; and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is primarily responsible for labeling consumer products, and DOE implements the remainder of the program.

Pursuant to EPCA, any new or amended energy conservation standards for covered consumer products must be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that are technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)) Furthermore, the new or amended standard must result in significant conservation of energy. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B)) The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) amended EPCA to require that DOE consider regional standards for certain products if the regional standards can save significantly more energy than a national standard and are economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(A)) Under EPCA, DOE is authorized to establish up to two additional regional standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(B)(ii)) DOE was required to initiate an enforcement rulemaking after DOE issued a final rule that establishes a regional standard (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(G)(ii)(I)) and issue a final rule. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(G)(ii)(III))

B. Background

On June 27, 2011, DOE promulgated a Direct Final Rule (June 2011 DFR) that, among other things, established regional standards for central air conditioners. 76 FR 37408. Under the June 2011 DFR, after January 1, 2015, split-system central air conditioners in the Southeast 3 and Southwest 4 must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) not less than 14. 76 FR at 37547. In addition, the DFR stated that in the Southwest, split-systems with rated cooling capacities less than 45,000 Btu/h must have an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) not less than 12.2, split-systems with rated cooling capacities equal to or greater than 45,000 Btu/h must have an EER not less than 11.7, and single-package systems must not have an EER less than 11.0. Id. DOE subsequently published a notice of effective date and compliance date for the June 2011 DFR on October 31, 2011, setting a standards compliance date for central air conditioners and heat pumps of January 1, 2015. 76 FR 67037.

3 The southeast region includes states with a hot-humid climate. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, and in the District of Columbia. 76 FR at 37547.

4 The southwest region includes states with a hot-dry climate. These states are Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico. 76 FR at 37547.

As required by EPCA, DOE initiated an enforcement rulemaking by publishing a notice of data availability (NODA) in the Federal Register that proposed three approaches to enforcing regional standards for central air conditioners. 76 FR 76328 (December 7, 2011). DOE received numerous comments expressing a wide range of views in response to this NODA. Consequently, on June 13, 2014, DOE published a notice of intent to form a working group to negotiate regulations for the enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners and requested nominations from parties interested in serving as members of the Working Group. 79 FR 33870. On July 16, 2014, the Department published a notice of membership announcing the eighteen nominations that were selected to serve as members of the Working Group, in addition to two members from Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC), and one DOE representative. 79 FR 41456. The members of the Working Group were selected by ASRAC to ensure a broad and balanced array of stakeholder interests and expertise, and included efficiency advocates, utility representatives, and manufacturers, contractors, and distributors of central air conditioners. Id.

Between August 13, 2014, and October 24, 2014, the Working Group held fourteen public meetings in Washington, DC, primarily at the DOE headquarters.5 Thirty-seven interested parties, including members of the Working Group, attended the various meetings. For more details see the Working Group meeting transcripts.6

5 The Working Group met on August 13, 2014; August 14, 2014; August 26, 2014; August 27, 2014; August 28, 2014; September 3, 2014; September 4, 2014; September 24, 2014; September 25, 2014; October 1, 2014; October 2, 2014; October 15, 2014; October 16, 2014; and October 24, 2014. Due to space conflicts at DOE, the August 27th meeting took place at ACEEE's office in Washington, DC.

6 Docket Folder, Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Residential Furnaces and Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps, http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077.

The Working Group submitted a final report to ASRAC on October 24, 2014, summarizing the group's recommendations for DOE's rule for enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners. Working Group Recommendations, No. 70.7 The recommendations included a statement that the nongovernmental participants conditionally approved the recommendations contingent upon the issuance of final guidance (see No. 89 and No. 90 for the draft versions) consistent with the understanding of the Working Group as set forth in these recommendations. Working Group Recommendations, No. 70 at 37. ASRAC subsequently voted to approve these recommendations on December 1, 2014. (ASRAC Meeting Transcript, No. 73 at pp. 42-43).

7 A notation in this form provides a reference for information that is in the docket for this rulemaking (Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077), which is maintained at www.regulations.gov. This notation indicates that the statement preceding the reference is from document number 70 in the docket.

DOE presented the Working Group's recommendations in separate rulemakings. DOE proposed regulatory changes related to unit selection and testing requirements in a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking for CAC test procedures (November 2015 CAC TP SNOPR) on November 9, 2015 and finalized them on June 8, 2016 (June 2016 CAC TP final rule. 80 FR 69277, 81 FR 36992. DOE presented the Working Group's recommendations for enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners in a NOPR published on November 19, 2015 (November 2015 NOPR). 80 FR 72373. DOE is now finalizing them in this final rule.

II. Discussion

As previously stated, DOE proposed the Working Group's recommendations for enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners in the November 2015 NOPR. See 80 FR 72373. In response to the November 2015 NOPR, DOE received comments from 11 interested parties including manufacturers, trade associations, advocacy groups, and a utility association. Interested parties provided comments on a range of issues, including those DOE identified in the November 2015 NOPR, as well as issues related to the enforcement procedure changes. The issues on which DOE received comments, as well as DOE's responses to those comments and the resulting changes to the enforcement proposals presented in the November 2015 NOPR, are discussed in the subsequent sections.8

8 A full set of comments can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077.

Table II.1—Stakeholders That Submitted Comments on the NOPR Name Acronym Organization type Advanced Distributor Products, LLC ADP Manufacturer. Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute AHRI Trade Association. California Investor Owned Utilities CA IOUs Utility Association. Carrier Corporation Carrier Manufacturer. Earthjustice Earthjustice Energy Efficiency Advocacy Group. Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International HARDI Trade Association. Ingersoll Rand Residential Solutions Ingersoll Rand Manufacturer. Lennox International, Inc. Lennox Manufacturer. Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC Energy Efficiency Advocacy Group. Appliance Standards Awareness Project ASAP Energy Efficiency Advocacy Group. Rheem Manufacturing Company Rheem Manufacturer. A. General Comments

DOE received several general comments in response to the November 2015 NOPR. NRDC, Earthjustice, and ASAP support the proposal for enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners. (NRDC, Earthjustice, and ASAP, No. 96 at p. 1) Ingersoll Rand commented that they support AHRI's comments. (Ingersoll Rand, No. No. 100 at p. 2)

In addition, DOE received some comments pertaining to the effective dates, enforcement policies, and other aspects of the proposed rule. Rheem commented that the updates to § 430.32 that are shown beginning on the NOPR page 72389 clarify the effective dates to (1) include the agreements on the sell through period; and (2) the off-mode power requirements for which there is currently no finalized test procedure. 80 FR 72373, 72389 (Nov. 19, 2015). Rheem suggested that the Federal Register should include a complete, accurate, and transparent account of the effective dates and enforcement policies associated with each for both current and historical references. (Rheem, No. 98 at p. 1)

In response, DOE clarifies that the updates to § 430.32 that were proposed in the NOPR did not change the effective compliance and installation dates for the regional standard. DOE proposed to remove the former energy conservation standards that were surpassed by the current standard levels, and DOE added language related to the Working Group's recommendation that units rated below the regional standard by the OEM cannot be installed in such region. 80 FR 72373, 72389 (Nov. 19, 2015). DOE published a notice of effective date and compliance date for the June 2011 DFR on October 31, 2011, which detailed the compliance dates for central air conditioners and heat pumps standards. 76 FR 67037. As Rheem indicated, DOE issued enforcement guidance stating that DOE will not seek civil penalties for violations of the regional standards applicable to central air conditioners that occur prior to July 1, 2016, provided that the violations are related to the distribution in commerce of units manufactured prior to January 1, 2015.9 This enforcement guidance does not amend the compliance dates of the for central air conditioners and heat pumps standards, but rather is an exercise of DOE's discretion by providing a sell through period for central air conditioners impacted by regional standards.

9 Enforcement Policy Statement: Regional Standards Sell-Through. The full enforcement policy can be found at: http://www.energy.gov/gc/downloads/enforcement-policy-regional-standards-sell-through.

In regard to the off-mode power consumption standards, Carrier commented that, while it has no issue with the specific level of watt consumption requirements, it has issues with the retroactive implementation date of January 1, 2015. Carrier cited the DOE Enforcement Policy Statement of July 8, 2014, which stated “. . . until 180 days following publication of final rule establishing a test method. . . .” 10 Based on this enforcement policy, Carrier believed DOE should modify the compliance date in the CFR to at least 180 days following the publishing of the final test procedure, and requested that DOE consider a 360 day implementation to allow for testing of highest sales volume tested combination. (Carrier, No. 97 at pp. 5-6)

10 Enforcement Policy Statement: Off Mode Standards for Central Air Conditioners and Central Air Conditioning Heat Pumps. The full enforcement policy can be found at: http://www.energy.gov/gc/downloads/enforcement-policy-statement-mode-standards-cachp.

In response to Carrier and Rheem's comments regarding off-mode power consumption, DOE established the effective date and compliance date for the June 2011 DFR in a separate rule published on October 31, 2011. 76 FR 67037. As Carrier stated, DOE's enforcement policy statement for off mode standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps is currently applicable to off-mode standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps, and will be until the dates mentioned in the policy statement.11 Specifically, DOE finalized test procedures for off-mode standards in a final rule published on June 8, 2016. 81 FR 36992. In accordance with the enforcement policy statement, DOE will not assert civil penalty authority for violation of the off mode standard specified at 10 CFR 430.32(c)(6) until December 5, 2016, which is 180 days after the publication of the final rule. This enforcement policy does not change the legal requirements or the compliance date. Therefore, manufacturers will be required to comply with the July 8, 2016 for off-mode testing.

11Id.

HARDI requested in its comments that DOE effectively communicate all aspects of this standard and its subsequent enforcement to state governments, as some states may enact policies that preempt federal policy. (HARDI, No. 94 at p. 2) As recommended by the Working Group, DOE is promoting public awareness of the regional standards and regional enforcement policy by establishing a Web site, hosting a public meeting, and publishing informative literature on its Web site. DOE's Web page for regional standards can be found at http://www.energy.gov/gc/regional-standards-enforcement. This Web page includes a brochure for installers and purchasers of central air conditioners. DOE has also been answering questions from state and local governments regarding both the regional standards and DOE's enforcement policy and will continue to do so.

B. Clarifications to Regional Standards

As previously mentioned, DOE adopted regional standards for central air conditioners in its June 2011 DFR. That rule established regional standards for split-system central air conditioners and single-package central air conditioners. 10 CFR 430.32(c).

A split-system central air conditioner is a kind of air conditioner that has one or more of its major assemblies separated from the others. Typically, the air conditioner has a condensing unit (“outdoor unit”) that is separate from the evaporator coil and/or blower (“indoor unit”). Accordingly, a split-system condensing unit is often sold separately from the indoor unit and may be matched with several different models of indoor units and/or blowers. For this reason, a condensing unit could achieve a 14 SEER or above if it is paired with certain indoor units and/or blowers and could perform below 14 SEER when paired with other indoor units and/or blowers. 80 FR 72373 (November 19, 2015).

During their meetings, the Working Group suggested the regional standards required clarification because a particular condensing unit may have a range of efficiency ratings when paired with various indoor evaporator coils and/or blowers. The Working Group provided the following four recommendations to clarify the regional standards: (1) The least efficient rated combination for a specified model of condensing unit must be 14 SEER for models installed in the Southeast and Southwest regions; (2) the least efficient rated combination for a specified model of condensing unit must meet the minimum EER for models installed in the Southwest region; (3) any condensing unit model that has a certified combination that is below the regional standard(s) cannot be installed in that region; and (4) a condensing unit model certified below a regional standard by the original equipment manufacturer cannot be installed in a region subject to a regional standard(s) even with an independent coil manufacturer's indoor coil or air handler combination that may have a certified rating meeting the applicable regional standard(s). Working Group Recommendations, No. 70 at 4. In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE proposed to adopt these recommendations and requested comment on these recommendations. 80 FR 72373, 72375 (November 19, 2015).

Interested parties submitted comments on the proposed clarification to the regional standards. In their comments, ADP and Lennox supported the clarifications discussed in the NOPR. Further, ADP and Lennox recommended these clarifications be used to provide consistent language in the central air conditioner test procedure rulemaking that are based on basic models. (ADP, No. 93 at p. 1; Lennox, No. 95 at p. 2) Rheem also agreed with the four clarifications to the regional standards discussed in the November 2015 NOPR. In its comments, Rheem stated it could also support the new alternative proposed by DOE concerning combinations permitted to be certified, if the alternative would not impose additional testing costs and burdens. (Rheem, No. 98 at p. 2) CA IOUs supported DOE's conclusion that split-system condensing units should be rated with their lowest performing evaporator combination. (CA IOUs, No. 99 at p. 2)

Alternatively, Carrier and AHRI commented that the approach proposed in the November 2015 NOPR was preferable to the approach proposed in the CAC test procedure SNOPR. Carrier and AHRI explained that the SNOPR approach would mean that an ICM (independent coil manufacturer) could have a CAC basic model meeting the Southeast or Southwest Regional Standard even when the outdoor unit manufacturer certified the condensing unit paired with the ICMs indoor unit below 14 SEER. (Carrier, No. 97 at p. 2; AHRI, No. 101 at p.3)

DOE's proposal in the CAC test procedure SNOPR was to make clear that it is not permissible for an outdoor unit that is certified as meeting a regional standard (i.e., the OUM (outdoor unit manufacturer) does not make any representation below the regional standard for that outdoor unit) to be certified in a combination that does not meet the regional standard. That includes both certifications by an OUM and an ICM. DOE has finalized that approach in the CAC test procedure final rule.12

12 See the Section III.A.4 of the CAC test procedure final rule at 81 FR 36992 (June 8, 2016).

Nonetheless, DOE understands AHRI and Carrier to be concerned that, if an ICM certifies a combination in violation of the regulations, there is no separate prohibition against installing that combination. DOE had proposed in the November 2015 NOPR to include the following language at 10 CFR 430.32(c)(3)-(4): “An outdoor unit model certified below 14 SEER by the outdoor unit manufacturer cannot be installed in this region even with an independent coil manufacturer's indoor unit that may have a certified rating at or above 14 SEER.” For consistency between its CAC TP and regional standards, DOE clarified in the June 2016 CAC TP final rule at 10 CFR 429.16(a)(3)(A) specific limitations for tested combinations subject to regional standards (“a basic model may only be certified as compliant with a regional standard if all individual combinations within that basic model meet the regional standard for which it is certified . . . [and] an ICM cannot certify a basic model containing a representative value that is more efficient than any combination certified by an OUM containing the same outdoor unit”). In this final rule, DOE is adopting complementary language at 10 CFR 430.32(c)(3)-(4): “[a]ny outdoor unit model that has a certified combination with a rating below 14 SEER cannot be installed in these States.” DOE intends this modified language to prevent any model that is rated below the Southeast or Southwest Regional Standard by the OUM from being installed in those regions. Further, this language maintains the Working Group's clarification that an outdoor unit certified below a regional standard by the original equipment manufacturer cannot be installed in a region subject to a regional standard(s) even with an independent coil manufacturer's indoor coil.

C. Private Labelers

As discussed in the November 2015 NOPR, DOE received questions about the applicability of the regional standards to private labelers, which was an entity not addressed by the Working Group. In response, DOE noted that, although private labelers are liable for distribution in commerce of noncompliant products generally, DOE does not require private labelers to submit certification reports unless the private labeler is also the importer. DOE suggested that it may not be necessary for exactly the same requirements to apply to private labelers. Consequently, DOE requested comment on whether these proposed requirements should be the same for manufacturers and private labelers or whether different requirements should apply. 80 FR 72373.

Commenters generally agreed that the proposed requirements should apply to private labelers in the same way that the requirements apply to manufacturers. Lennox strongly recommended that DOE apply the same enforcement requirements for manufacturers to private labelers of products covered under this rule. (Lennox, No. 95 at p. 2) NRDC, Earthjustice, and ASAP also supported the Department's proposal to treat private labelers the same as manufacturers. (NRDC, Earthjustice, and ASAP, No. 96 at p. 1) Carrier and AHRI commented that if private labelers are importers, then the private labelers should be subject to the same requirements as manufacturers, consistent with DOE's determination elsewhere in the November 2015 NOPR. Carrier and AHRI further stated that, even if private labelers are not importers and the product does not bear the brand, trademark, or other marking of the manufacturer of the product, then the private labeler should still be treated as a manufacturer. (Carrier, No. 97 at p. 4; AHRI, No. 101 at p. 3)

Accordingly, DOE adopts the same requirements for private labelers and manufacturers in this final rule as a result of comments received.

D. Definitions

EPCA prohibits manufacturers from selling to “distributors, contractors, or dealers that routinely violate the regional standards.” (42 U.S.C. 6302(a)(6)) In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE proposed definitions for “contractor,” “dealer,” and “installation of a central air conditioner.” Under the November 2015 SNOPR, a “contractor” is a person (other than the manufacturer or distributor) who sells to and/or installs for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards. A “dealer” is a type of contractor, generally with a relationship with one or more specific manufacturers. “Installation of a central air conditioner” means the connection of the refrigerant lines and/or electrical systems to make the central air conditioner operational. 80 FR 72373 (November 19, 2015).

Commenters agreed with the proposed definitions. (ADP, No. 93 at p. 1; Rheem, No. 98 at p. 2; Carrier, No. 97 at p. 3; Lennox, No. 95 at p. 2) Accordingly, DOE adopts the November 2015 NOPR proposed definitions for contractor, dealer, and installation of a central air conditioner in this final rule.

E. Public Awareness

In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE reiterated the Working Group's recommendations related to public awareness. 80 FR 72373, 72376-77 (Nov. 19, 2015). DOE did not receive any comments specific to the Working Groups recommendations on public awareness.

Per the Working Group's recommendation, DOE established a Web page with information on regional standards for CACs that could be referenced by manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and other interested parties. This Web page can be found at http://www.energy.gov/gc/regional-standards-enforcement. DOE posted on its regional standards Web page a printable trifold to provide information to consumers and contractors and to answer common questions. All information sources include information, including email links, on how to report suspected violations of the CAC regional standards. DOE encourages manufacturers to provide the information to its distributors, distributors to provide the information to contractors, and contractors to provide this information to purchasers.

The Working Group also recommended that DOE conduct a public presentation (accessible via internet as well as in-person) on regional standards for CACs and the enforcement of such standards in order to educate stakeholders and the public on these regulations. DOE will announce the details for an educational presentation about regional standards soon. (DOE expects that the presentation will be in July 2016.) After the presentation, DOE will post the slides from the presentation to the docket for this rulemaking and on the regional standards Web page.

Finally, the Working Group recommended that CAC manufacturers provide training about regional standards to distributors and contractors/dealers. Distributors and contractors also agreed to conduct their own training on regional standards. The Working Group did not establish specific guidelines for the training. DOE does not have information about whether or to what extent the manufacturers, distributors and contractors have conducted/participated in such training. However, DOE encourages all CAC manufacturers to provide training to their distributors and contractors/dealers as part of their commitment to the Working Group.

F. Reporting

The Working Group discussed methods for facilitating the reporting of suspected regional standards violations and recommended that the Department provide multiple pathways for the public to report such information, such as accepting complaints regarding CAC regional standards from an email address and call-in number. The Working Group emphasized the importance that a complainant receive confidential treatment to the maximum extent authorized by law. DOE did not receive any comments specific to the Working Groups recommendations on reporting of suspected regional standards violations.

As discussed in the November 2015 NOPR, the Department accepts reports of suspected violations of the regional central air conditioner standards that are received via email at [email protected] or phone at 202-287-6997. 80 FR 72373, 72377 (Nov. 19, 2015). DOE remains committed to investigating all credible complaints.

G. Proactive Investigation

In addition to responding to reports of noncompliance with the regional standards, the Working Group recommended that the Department consider conducting proactive investigations. Specifically, the Working Group recommended that, if funding is available, DOE consider conducting a survey of homes in any region of the United States to determine if a central air conditioner not in compliance with the regional standards has been installed. DOE, as a member of the Working Group, agreed to consider proactive investigations if funding for such investigations is available, but has not yet conducted such a survey. DOE did not receive any comments specific to the Working Group recommendations on proactive investigations.

H. Records Retention and Requests

In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE proposed to adopt the Working Group's recommended records retention requirements for contractors and dealers, distributors, and manufacturers and private labelers with two modifications. Due to the delay in issuing the NOPR, DOE proposed that distributors be required to retain records beginning July 1, 2016, instead of November 30, 2015. Additionally, DOE proposed to replace the term “indoor coils or air handlers” with the term “indoor unit” in order to harmonize with the CAC TP supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR). See 80 FR 69278 at 69284. The records retention scheme was proposed as follows:

Beginning 30 days after the issuance of a final rule, a manufacturer must retain:

• For split-system central air conditioner condensing units: The model number, serial number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number);

• For split-system central air conditioner indoor units (not including uncased coils sold as replacement parts): The model number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number); and

• For single-package central air conditioners: The model number, serial number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

Beginning July 1, 2016,13 a distributor must retain:

13 The Working Group originally recommended that distributors retain records beginning on November 30, 2015.

• For split-system central air conditioner condensing units: The manufacturer, model number, serial number, date the unit was purchased from the manufacturer, party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number), date unit was sold to a dealer or contractor, party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number), and, if delivered to the purchaser, the delivery address; and

• For single-package central air conditioners: The manufacturer, model number, serial number, date the unit was purchased from the manufacturer, party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number), date unit was sold to dealer or contractor, party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number), and, if delivered to the purchaser, the delivery address.

For all installations in the Southeast and Southwest, beginning 30 days after issuance of a final rule in this rulemaking, contractors must retain:

• For split-system central air conditioner condensing units: The manufacturer name, model number, serial number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number);

• For split-system central air conditioner indoor units (not including uncased coils sold as replacement parts): The manufacturer name, model number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number); and

• For single-package central air conditioners: The manufacturer name, model number, serial number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

The Working Group recommended that contractors retain records for 48 months after the date of installation, distributors retain records for 54 months after the date of sale, and manufacturers retain records for 60 months after the date of sale. The Working Group explicitly noted that retaining records allows each entity to archive records as long as the entity does not delete or dispose of the records. The Working Group also clarified that the records retention requirements neither mandate that contractors, distributors, or manufacturers create new forms for the purpose of tracking central air conditioners nor require records to be electronic. DOE proposed in the November 2015 NOPR to adopt these record retention period requirements. See 2013-BT-NOC-0005, No. 30 at 17-18, 80 FR 72373, 72377-78 (Nov. 19, 2015).

Interested parties generally supported the proposed records retention requirements. (ADP, No. 93 at p. 2; CA IOUs, No. 99 at p. 3; Carrier, No. 97 at p. 3; Lennox, No. 95 at p. 2; Rheem, No. 98 at p. 2) HARDI specifically supported DOE's proposal to require record keeping for distributors to take effect on July 1, 2016. (HARDI, No. 94 at p. 1) AHRI noted that DOE's proposed regulatory text for record retention requirements would need to be aligned with the revised date for distributors proposed by DOE (July 1, 2016), instead of the date of November 30, 2015. (AHRI, No. 101 at p. 6)

Some commenters noted that the proposed requirements impose additional costs on contractors, dealers, distributors, manufacturers, and private labelers. Carrier noted there would be a cost associated with record retrieval but stated it supported the proposed requirements. (Carrier, No. 97 at p. 3) Although HARDI commented that the cost to alter inventory accounting systems and modify processes for the recordkeeping requirements is significant, it also noted that it was part Working Group and voted in support of these requirements. (HARDI, No. 94 at p. 1) In response, DOE understands that there is an additional cost. However, as HARDI commented, DOE notes that the Working Group was fully aware of the additional cost when it voted to support these provisions and the Working Group attempted to minimize the cost to the greatest extent possible.

Some commenters disagreed with DOE's proposed use of the term “indoor unit” with respect to the record retention requirements for split-system air conditioners. Because DOE proposed a definition for “indoor unit” that does not include casing or expansion device, AHRI expressed concern that the uncased coil would no longer be within the scope of regulation. At the same time, AHRI supported the current status of service coils as “not rated” and would like DOE to make it clear that they will not be rated in the future. To aid DOE in addressing this problem, AHRI recommended definitions for the terms uncased coil, cased coil, service coil, air handler, blower coil, coil-only, and indoor unit.14 (AHRI, No. 101 at pp. 2-3)

14 A full description of the definitions proposed by AHRI can be found in AHRI's comment at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077.

ADP and Lennox commented that DOE needed a clear definition of “uncased coils sold as replacement parts” that are not required to be recorded versus uncased coils sold as a part of a new CAC installation that are required to be recorded. (ADP, No. 93 at p. 2; Lennox, No. 95 at p. 2) Rheem also mentioned that that comments it submitted in response to the test procedure SNOPR requested that DOE ensure that “service coils” are not a covered product and that consistent terminologies are used to describe air handlers, blower coils, coil-only and indoor units.

DOE appreciates the suggested definitions and clarifications suggested by AHRI, Lennox, ADP, and Rheem. To address these comments and the comments received in response to the CAC TP SNOPR, DOE adopted definitions of the terms blower coil indoor unit, blower coil system, cased coil, coil-only indoor unit, coil-only system, indoor unit, service coil, and uncased coil. For more details on these definitions see the CAC test procedure final rule at 81 FR 36992 (June 8, 2016). In addition, as requested by Rheem, ADP, and Lennox, DOE is not requiring manufacturers, distributors, or installers to retain records for service coils.

Therefore, in this final rule, DOE adopts the record retention requirements recommended by the Working Group with the two modifications proposed in the November 2015 NOPR. 80 FR 72373, 72377-72378 (Nov. 19 2015).

In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE defined a threshold for records requests and proposed a timeframe for responding to such requests. Specifically, DOE proposed that DOE must have reasonable belief that a violation has occurred to request records specific to an on-going investigation of a violation of central air conditioner regional standards. Upon request, the manufacturer, private labeler, distributor, dealer, or contractor must provide to DOE the relevant records within 30 calendar days of the request. DOE may grant additional time for records production at its discretion. 80 FR 72373, 72378 (November 19, 2015).

DOE requested comments from interested parties on the proposed threshold for a records request and proposed a timeframe for responding to such requests in its November 2015 NOPR. Commenters generally agreed with the proposed threshold and timeframe. (ADP, No. 92 at p. 2; Rheem, No. 98 at p. 2; Lennox, No. 95 at p. 3) Some commenters agreed with the proposed threshold and timeframe but emphasized the need for discretion to grant additional time for production of records. Carrier agreed with the threshold for records request and the proposed 30-day timeframe, as long as DOE uses discretion to grant additional time for production of records as long as the entity is making a good-faith effort. (Carrier, No. 93 at p. 3) HARDI stated that it believes the 30-day threshold is sufficient, but expressed the view that DOE should allow for extra time upon request, as many small entities have little or no experience in complying with such a request. (HARDI, No. 94 at p. 2)

To address Carrier's and HARDI's concerns, DOE reiterates that it may grant additional time for production of records as long as the affected entity makes a good faith effort to respond to the records request. As explained in the November 2015 NOPR, to receive this extra time, the entity, after working to gather the records within the 30 days, must provide DOE all the records gathered and a written explanation for the need for additional time including the requested date for completing the records request. 80 FR at 72377. DOE also notes that both Carrier and HARDI were part of the negotiated rulemaking and agreed to these terms as part of the Working Group.

In this final rule, DOE adopts the proposed threshold for records requests and the timeline to respond to such requests.

I. Violations and Routine Violations

In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE proposed to adopt the Working Group's recommendations on regional standards violations for distributors, contractors or dealers in order to clarify the prohibition on manufacturers knowingly selling to such entities that are routine violators. (42 U.S.C. 6302(a)(6), 10 CFR 430.102(a)(10))

For a distributor, the Working Group agreed that it would be a violation to knowingly sell a product to a contractor or dealer with knowledge that the entity will sell and/or install the product in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product. Additionally, it would be a violation for a distributor to knowingly sell a product to a contractor or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product. For contractors, the Working Group agreed it would be a violation to knowingly sell to and/or install for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards with knowledge that such product would be installed in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product. 80 FR 72373 (November 19, 2015).

To further clarify what constituted an installation of a central air conditioner in violation of an applicable regional standard, the Working Group agreed that:

(1) A person cannot install a complete central air conditioner system—meaning the condensing unit and evaporator coil and/or blower—unless it has been certified as a complete system that meets the applicable standard. A previously discontinued combination may be installed as long as the combination was previously validly certified to the Department as compliant with the applicable regional standard and the combination was not discontinued because it was found to be noncompliant with the applicable standard(s);

(2) A person cannot install a replacement condensing unit unless it is certified as part of a combination that meets the applicable standard; and

(3) A person cannot install a condensing unit that has a certified combination with a rating that is less than the applicable regional standard.

Interested parties submitted comments on the proposed violations for distributors, contractors, and dealers. Commenters generally agreed with the proposed violations. (ADP, No. 93 at p. 2; CA IOUs, No. 99 at p. 2; Lennox, No. 95 at p. 3; Rheem, No. 98 at p. 3) Therefore, DOE adopts these violations in thisa final rule.

Carrier agreed with the proposed violations, but requested that DOE further elaborate on the term “manufacturer” as it pertains to violations to include clarification that some manufacturers may also act as distributors, but are still subject to the fines of a prohibited act as a manufacturer. (Carrier, No. 97 at p. 4)

DOE agrees with Carrier's clarification that manufacturer-owned distributors are considered manufacturers. Because EPCA defines the term “distributor” as a person, other than a manufacturer or retailer, to whom a consumer product is delivered or sold for purposes of distribution in commerce, then a company that both manufactures and distributes is considered a manufacturer. 42 U.S.C. 6291(14). Therefore, manufacturer-owned distributors cannot be found to be routine violators as adopted in this rule, but are instead prohibited from knowingly selling a product to a distributor, contractor, or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product. (42 U.S.C. 6302, 10 CFR 429.102(a)(10))

To determine if a violation occurred, the Department explained it will conduct an investigation into the alleged misconduct. In a typical investigation, DOE may discuss the installation in question with the end user or the homeowner and other relevant parties, including the alleged violator. DOE may also request records from the dealer, contractor, distributor, and/or manufacturer if the Department has reasonable belief a violation occurred.

The Working Group recommended and DOE proposed in the November 2015 NOPR that if no violation is found, the Department should issue a case closed letter to the party being investigated. The Working Group also recommended that, if DOE finds that a contractor or dealer completed a noncompliant installation in one residence or an equivalent setting (e.g., one store), but the violator remediated that violation by installing a compliant unit before DOE concluded its investigation, then DOE should issue a case closed letter to the party being investigated, as long as that person has no history of prior violations. The purpose of this practice would be to incentivize parties who, on one occasion, mistakenly install one noncompliant unit to replace the product and thereby not suffer any public stigma. However, if the noncompliant installation is not remediated and a violation is found, DOE should issue a public “Notice of Violation.” The party found to be in violation can remediate the single violation and it will not count towards the finding of “routine violator” unless the party is found, in the course of a subsequent investigation, to have committed another violation. For more on remediation of a single violation, see section II.J. See 80 FR 72373, 72378 (Nov. 19, 2015).

In determining whether a party “routinely violates” a regional standard, the Working Group recommended that DOE consider the following factors:

• Number of violations (in both current and past investigations);

• Length of time over which the violations were committed;

• Ratio of compliant to noncompliant installations or sales;

• Percentage of employees committing violations;

• Evidence of effort or intent to commit violations;

• Evidence of training or education provided on regional standards; and

• Subsequent remedial actions.

The Working Group also agreed that DOE should consider whether the routine violation was limited to a specific contractor or distribution location. DOE would rely on the same factors considered in determining whether a routine violation occurred.

Interested parties submitted comments supporting the factors DOE proposed to consider to determine if a violation is routine. (ADP, No. 93 at p. 2; Rheem, No. 98 at p. 3; Carrier, No. 97 at p. 4; Lennox, No. 95 at p. 3) Accordingly, DOE is adopting these factors are part of its provisions for identifying routine violations.

In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE proposed adopting the Working Group's recommendation that DOE issue a “Notice of Finding of Routine Violator” if the Department determines that a violator routinely violated a regional standard. This notice would identify the party found to be a routine violator and explain the scope of the violation. Additionally, if DOE, in its discretion, finds that the routine violation was limited to a specific location, DOE may in the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation state that the prohibition on manufacturer sales is limited to a particular contractor or distribution location This notice would be both posted to the Department's enforcement Web site 15 and would be emailed to those signed up for email updates.16 See 80 FR 72373, 72378 (Nov. 19, 2015).

15 DOE's enforcement Web site is: http://energy.gov/gc/enforcement.

16 Sign up for updates at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USEERE/subscriber/new and select “Regional Enforcement Standards” under “Appliance and Equipment Standards.”

DOE also proposed that if DOE makes a finding of routine violation, the violator has the right to file an administrative appeal of the finding. Any appeal of a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation would be required to be filed within 30 days of the issuance of the notice. The appeal would be reviewed by DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals. The appeal must present information rebutting the finding of routine violation. The appeal will be decided within 45 days of filing of the appeal. The violator may file a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the DOE Office of Hearings and Appeals. If this notice of intent is filed within three business days of the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation, then manufacturers may continue to sell products to the routine violator during the pendency of the appeal. See section II.J for more details on sales during the pendency of an appeal. See 80 FR 72373, 72378 (Nov. 19, 2015).

In response, the CA IOUs commented that DOE should be aware of the potential for units to cross region borders illegally, as once a condenser unit is shipped to a given region, there would be potential for it to cross region borders. The CA IOUs stated that the ability to label the distributor as a “routine violator” would help this problem. Further, the CA IOUs supported publically disciplining distributors who sell non-compliant units by labeling such distributors as “routine violators.” (CA IOUs, No. 99 at p. 2)

DOE received no other comments related to its proposed regulatory framework for violations and routing violations. Therefore, in this rule DOE adopts its proposals related to issuing a Notice of Violation or Notice of Finding of Routine Violations. Further, DOE adopts its proposal to allow findings of routine violation to be appealed. The CA IOUs recommendation goes beyond the scope of DOE's proposal and is not addressed in this rulemaking.

J. Remediation

DOE proposed in its November 2015 NOPR a concept for remediation that would apply to any party found to be in violation of the regional standards. The Department explained that any violator may remediate by replacing the noncompliant unit at cost to the violator; the end user could not be charged for any costs of remediation. The violator would be required to provide to DOE the serial number of any outdoor unit and/or indoor unit installed not in compliance with the applicable regional standard and the serial number(s) of the replacement unit(s) to be checked by the Department against warranty and other replacement claims. If the remediation is approved by the Department, then DOE would issue a Notice of Remediation and the violation would not count toward a finding of “routine violator.” 80 FR 72373, 72379 (Nov. 19, 2015).

Commenters agreed with the proposed concept for remediation. (ADP, No. 93 at p. 2; Carrier, No. 97 at p. 5; HARDI, No. 94 at p. 2; Lennox, No. 95 at p. 3; Rheem, No. 98 at p. 3). Accordingly, DOE adopts the proposed concept for remediation in this final rule.

K. Manufacturer Liability

In accordance with the Department's regulations on prohibited acts, manufacturers may be fined for “knowingly sell[ing] a product to a distributor, contractor, or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product.” (42 U.S.C. 6302, 10 CFR 429.102(a)(10)) The Working Group had significant discussions on the scope of the term “product” as it relates to this prohibited act. During the Working Group meetings, the Department explained that it interprets the term “product” to include all classes of central air conditioners and heat pumps found within 10 CFR 430.32(c). Ultimately, the Working Group could not come to consensus on whether the scope of any prohibition on sales could be limited to split-system air conditioners and single-package air conditioners instead of the Department's interpretation.17 80 FR 72373, 72380 (Nov. 19, 2015).

17 For more details regarding this discussion, see the public meeting transcript for October 24, 2014, No. 88.

EPCA defines a “central air conditioner” as a “product . . . which . . . is a heat pump or a cooling only unit” and refers to all central air conditioners as one “product.” (42 U.S.C. 6291(21)) Therefore, to be consistent with EPCA, DOE proposed in the November 2015 NOPR to interpret the term “product” to be inclusive of all central air conditioner and heat pump product classes listed in 10 CFR 430.32(c), meaning that manufacturers may be subject to civil penalties for sales to a routine violator of any unit within the central air conditioning product classes. 80 FR 72373, 72380 (Nov. 19, 2015).

DOE also proposed that, if a manufacturer sells a central air conditioner (including heat pumps) to a routine violator after a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation has been issued, then the manufacturer would be liable for civil penalties. 80 FR 72373, 72380 (Nov. 19, 2015). The maximum fine a manufacturer is subject to is $200 per unit sold to a routine violator. (42 U.S.C. 6303(d), 10 CFR 429.120)

CA IOUs commented in support of DOE's decision to fine manufacturers for violations of the regional standard. CA IOUs explained that ultimately manufacturers are responsible for where their units are shipped for end use sale and should bear the penalty of being out of compliance. (CA IOUs, No. 99 at p. 2)

In response, DOE clarifies that manufacturers are only subject to penalties if they commit a prohibited act. See 10 CFR 429.120. The violations DOE established in this rulemaking are a pathway to establishing whether or not a manufacturer is knowingly selling to a distributor, contractor, or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard.

DOE also proposed to adopt the Working Group's recommendation that DOE provide manufacturers with 3 business days from the issuance of a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation to stop all sales of central air conditioners and heat pumps to the routine violator. During this time, manufacturers would not be liable for sales to a routine violator. DOE noted that, consistent with its penalty guidance,18 it would consider the manufacturer's efforts to stop any sales in determining whether (or to what extent) to assess any civil penalties for sales to a routine violator after that three day window. 80 FR 72373, 72380 (Nov. 19, 2015).

18 The DOE civil penalty guidance is available at http://energy.gov/gc/enforcement under “Enforcement Guidance.”

If the routine violator is appealing the finding, the Working Group recommended that manufacturers be allowed to continue to sell central air conditioners and heat pumps to the routine violator during the pendency of the appeal. In order to provide parties notice that a routine violator is appealing the determination, the routine violator must file a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the Office of Hearings and Appeals within three business days after the issuance of the Notice of Finding of Routine Violator. If the finding is ultimately upheld, then the manufacturers could face civil penalties for sale of any products rated below the regional standards to the routine violator. DOE proposed to adopt this recommendation in the November 2015 NOPR. 80 FR 72373, 72380 (Nov. 19, 2015).

The Working Group also recommended that DOE provide an incentive for manufacturers to report routine violators. The Working Group recommended that if a manufacturer has knowledge of a routine violator, then the manufacturer can be held liable for all sales made after the date such knowledge is obtained by the manufacturer. However, if the manufacturer reports such knowledge to DOE within 15 days of receipt of the knowledge, then the Department will not hold the manufacturer liable for sales to the suspected routine violator made prior to notifying DOE. DOE proposed to adopt this recommendation in the November 2015 NOPR. 80 FR 72373, 72380 (Nov. 19, 2015).

In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE proposed to adopt the clarifications of manufacturer liability, as recommended by the Working Group, and requested comment on this proposal. Interested parties submitted comments on DOE's proposed scheme for manufacturer liability. One commenter supported DOE's proposed scheme. Some commenters agreed in part with DOE's proposed scheme but offered additional, suggested clarification. Some commenters disagreed with DOE's use of the term “product.”

Lennox supported DOE's proposed scheme for manufacturer liability. (Lennox, No. 95 at p. 3) ADP agreed with DOE's proposal as it pertains to independent coil manufacturers, with the clarification that the independent coil manufacturer would not be responsible for noncompliant installations performed after the combination has been removed from the certification database and is no longer being distributed in commerce. (ADP, No. 93 at p. 2) Rheem agreed with the proposed scheme. (Rheem, No. 98 at p. 3) Carrier also expressed in basic agreement with the scheme for manufacturer liability. (Carrier, No. 97 at p. 5)

Accordingly, DOE adopts the proposed framework and procedures for making findings of violations.

Rheem commented that the prohibited act should only apply to manufacturers of products subject to regional standards. Rheem stated that the November 2015 NOPR language gives the Department the ability to fine manufacturers for the sale of product even if there is no regional standard applicable to that product and stated that it believes this to be outside the authority of this NOPR. (Rheem, No. 98 at p. 3) Rheem further stated that regional standards products were specifically defined in the ground rules of the working group as residential split-system and single package air conditioners that are subject to the regional standards. (Rheem, No. 98 at p. 3). Carrier also did not agree with the NOPR's scope relative to manufacturer's liability for covered products. Carrier stated the focus of the Working Group was on split systems and single package systems. Carrier also stated that manufacturer liability should be limited to these specific classes that are not subject to regional standards,19 and fully supported AHRI's position in their more extensive comments relative to this matter. (Carrier, No. 97 at p. 5) AHRI stated that to accept DOE's expansive view of the “products” affected by the regional standards enforcement would result in DOE's ability to ban the sale of products that are not subject to a regional standard, and that are fully compliant with the applicable national standard. AHRI believed that DOE ignored the Working Group's Ground Rules, which referred specifically to split systems and single package systems. AHRI commented that, instead, when interpreting the prohibited act as it relates to regional standards, DOE focused exclusively on the word “product” in isolation from both the Working Group's approved scope and EPCA's statutory text. (AHRI, No. 101 at p. 5) AHRI stated that manufacturers of central air conditioning products (other than split system and single package) were provided no notice that the Working Group would be developing an enforcement standard that would ban the sale of their equipment even though it is not subject to regional standards. (AHRI, No. 101 at pp. 5-6)

19 Read in context, DOE believes Carrier intended to say that liability should be limited to classes that are subject to regional standards.

As DOE explained in the November 2015 NOPR, EPCA defines a “central air conditioner” as a “product . . . which . . . is a heat pump or a cooling only unit” and refers to all central air conditioners as one “product.” (42 U.S.C. 6291(21)) EPCA also sets forth a prohibited act for a manufacturer to “knowingly sell a product to a distributor, contractor, or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product.” (42 U.S.C. 6302(a)(6) emphasis added) Accordingly, DOE interprets the term “product” in 42 U.S.C. 6302 to be inclusive of all central air conditioner and heat pump product classes listed in 10 CFR 430.32(c), meaning that manufacturers may be subject to civil penalties for sales to a routine violator of any unit within the central air conditioning product classes. 80 FR 72373 (November 19, 2015).

In response to Rheem, DOE notes that, with respect to national standards, the prohibited act reads “for any manufacturer or private labeler to distribute in commerce any new covered product which is not in conformity with an applicable energy conservation standard established in or prescribed under this part, except to the extent that the new covered product is covered by a regional standard that is more stringent than the base national standard.” (42 U.S.C. 6302(a)(5)) In contrast, the prohibited act with respect to regional standards does not mention the “conformity” of the product being distributed with respect to the regional standard. Instead, the relevant analysis is whether the sale of the product is to a routine violator. (See 42 U.S.C. 6302(a)(6).)

In arriving at its interpretation, DOE notes that the installer, distributor, and manufacturer have multiple opportunities to remediate violations and to avoid further violations. In the course of the negotiation, the regulated parties have ensured that there is a very high bar for DOE to make a finding that a manufacturer has knowingly sold a product to a distributor, contractor, or dealer with knowledge that the entity is a routine violator. Therefore, not only does the plain language of EPCA support the interpretation, DOE finds that the remedy is proportionate to the violation.

AHRI, Carrier and Rheem suggested in their comments that DOE's interpretation is at odds with the scope of the Working Group. DOE disagrees. The parties agreed to negotiate a procedure for enforcement of regional standards under 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(G), which are applicable only to split systems and single package CAC systems. DOE is not enforcing a regional standard against heat pumps. DOE's interpretation is that the ramifications for a distributor, contractor, or dealer that is a routine violator of regional standards include a limitation on the availability of all classes of central air conditioners. Nothing prevents manufacturers from selling to other distributors, contractors, or dealers.

With respect to AHRI's contention that this interpretation results in DOE's ability to ban the sale of products that are not subject to a regional standard, DOE notes that it is not banning the sale of products—it is only asserting authority to assess civil penalties for commission of prohibited acts. As mentioned above, manufacturers can continue to sell products to entities that have not been found to routinely violate the regional standards without penalty. Manufacturers can continue to sell central air conditioners to entities that have been found to routinely violate the regional standards, albeit subject to penalty. Manufacturers may continue to sell other types of covered products or equipment (other than central air conditioners) and products that are not subject to standards to entities that have been found to routinely violate the regional standards without penalty. Manufacturers are only subject to penalty for the sale of central air conditioners to a distributor, contractor, or dealer that has been found to routinely violate the regional standards.

AHRI also commented that this interpretation would prevent manufacturers from selling products that are fully compliant with the applicable national standard to an entity that has been found to routinely violate the regional standards. Again, manufacturers could do so but would be subject to penalty—it is not a ban. More to the point, however, DOE agrees that it would be a prohibited act to sell a central air conditioner that meets the base national standard to an entity that has been found to routinely violate the regional standards. This is entirely consonant with the statutory language, which is markedly different with respect to regional standards than national standards. If an entity has failed to remediate past violations and has continued to violate the regional standards, there should be a significant consequence. The likely lack of availability of central air conditioners should produce a significant incentive for a routine violator to remediate past violations—or, hopefully, to avoid being identified as a routine violator at all.

As DOE noted in the NOPR, nothing in this rulemaking impacts DOE's ability to determine that a manufacturer has manufactured and distributed a noncompliant central air conditioner in accordance with the existing procedures at 10 CFR 429.104-114. Furthermore, those processes apply to DOE's determination of a manufacturer's manufacture and distribution of a central air conditioner that fails to meet a regional standard. With respect to liability, if DOE determines that a model of condensing unit fails to meet the applicable regional standard(s) when tested in a combination certified by the same manufacturer (i.e., one entity manufactures both the indoor coil and the condensing unit), the condensing unit manufacturer will be responsible for this model's noncompliance. If DOE determines that a basic model fails to meet regional standards when tested in a combination certified by a manufacturer other than the outdoor unit manufacturer (e.g., an independent coil manufacturer (ICM)), the certifying manufacturer will be responsible for this combination's noncompliance. The responsible manufacturer will be liable for distribution in commerce of noncompliant units. That manufacturer can minimize liability by demonstrating on a unit-by-unit basis that the noncompliant combination was installed in a region where it would meet the standards. For example, if a 14 SEER split-system air conditioner was tested by the Department and determined to be 13.5 SEER, then the manufacturer may minimize its liability by proving only a portion of sales for this combination was installed in the Southeast and Southwest. Manufacturers represented during the course of the negotiations that the bulk of sales are of minimally compliant units and so they expect most of the products that comply with the Southeast and Southwest regional standards would be sold in those regions. Given this, the Working Group agreed that there should be a presumption that the units were sold in a region subject to a regional standard and that DOE would presume all units of a model rated as compliant with a regional standard but determined to be noncompliant with that standard were in fact installed illegally. Manufacturers can rebut this presumption by providing evidence that a portion of the units were instead installed in a location where they would have met the applicable energy conservation standards. 80 FR 72373, 72380 (Nov. 19, 2015).

L. Impact of Regional Enforcement on National Impacts Analysis

In the June 2011 DFR, DOE considered the economic impacts of amending the standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps. Included in the economic analyses was a National Impacts Analysis (NIA) which estimated the energy savings and the net present value (NPV) of those energy savings that consumers would receive from the new energy efficiency standards of central air conditioners (CAC) and heat pumps (HP). This NPV was the estimated total value of future operating-cost savings during the analysis period (2015-2045), minus the estimated increased product costs (including installation), discounted to 2011. However, DOE did not account for the financial burden on distributors and installers related to record retention requirements necessary to demonstrate compliance with the regional standards in the June 2011 DFR.

From the enforcement plan proposed in the November 2015 NOPR, DOE estimated that manufacturers, distributors, and contractors face some financial burden related to the proposed record retention requirements. DOE assumed that the proposed records retention requirements would cause manufacturers, distributors, and contractors additional labor costs from collecting and filing such records. These labor costs would be an annual burden to the market participants. At the Working Group public meetings, distributors stated that, if they had to update their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to track the necessary information electronically, initial costs could be as high as $46,340,000. DOE did not receive any quantitative comments on its assumptions for the financial burden from the proposed record retention requirements, but upon review, has increased the estimated total annual cost to manufacturers. Because DOE is not requiring distributors to track the necessary information electronically and therefore distributors are not required to update their ERP systems, DOE has not included that cost in the updated cost of retaining records on each market participant, which is summarized in Table II.2.

Table II.2—Cost of Records Retention Due to Regional Standards Enforcement for Central Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Market Participants Manufacturers Distributors Contractors Total Annual Burden Hours 574,167 287,083 359,949 Estimated Total Annual Cost $57,416,667 $2,081,354 $2,609,631

In the November 2015 NOPR, DOE re-evaluated the NIA to include the cost of the proposed record retention requirements to manufacturer, distributors, and contractors. DOE conservatively estimated the consumer benefits by assuming that the annual cost from the proposed record retention requirements would be passed on to consumers and thus decreasing the NPV. DOE revised this analysis for the final rule using the updated costs to manufacturers and excluding initial ERP costs, which are not required by the rule. The updated NPV results are summarized in Table II.3. The impact of including the proposed record retention requirement costs on the NPV is estimated to reduce the benefit by $1.86 billion (11-percent) at a 3% discount rate and $0.99 billion (25-percent) at a 7% discount rate. The costs of the record retention requirements are estimated to have no impact on national energy savings. DOE's economic justification of the energy conservation standards chosen and published in the 2011 DFR would be unaffected by the quantification and inclusion of enforcement plan costs. In this final rule, DOE reaffirms the 2011 DFR energy conservation standards based on this analysis and adopts its evaluation in the November 2015 NOPR. 80 FR 72373, 72382 (Nov. 19, 2015).

Table II.3—National Impacts Analysis Results With Costs From Proposed Regional Enforcement Plan for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps National impacts estimated from 2011 DFR for the chosen energy
  • conservation
  • standards
  • National impacts estimated from 2011 DFR for the chosen energy
  • conservation
  • standards with enforcement plan costs
  • Savings (quads) 3.20 to 4.22 3.20 to 4.22. NPV of Consumer Benefits at 3% discount rate (2009$ billion) 14.73 to 17.55 12.88 to 15.69. NPV of Consumer Benefits at 7% discount rate (2009$ billion) 3.93 to 4.21 2.94 to 3.22.
    III. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that test procedure rulemakings do not constitute “significant regulatory actions” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). Accordingly, this action was not subject to review under the Executive Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires preparation of a regulatory flexibility analysis (FRA) for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As required by Executive Order 13272, “Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking,” 67 FR 53461 (August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003 to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the DOE rulemaking process. 68 FR 7990. DOE has made its procedures and policies available on the Office of the General Counsel's Web site: http://energy.gov/gc/.

    DOE reviewed the proposed requirements under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on February 19, 2003. As discussed in more detail in this preamble, DOE found that the entities impacted by this rule (central air conditioning manufacturers, distributors, and contractors) could potentially experience a financial burden associated with these new requirements. Additionally, the majority of central air conditioning contractors and distributors are small business as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA). DOE determined that it could not certify that the proposed rule, if promulgated, would not have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, DOE has prepared an RFA for this rulemaking. The RFA describes potential impacts on small businesses associated with the requirements adopted in this rulemaking.

    DOE has transmitted a copy of this RFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for review.

    1. Description and Estimated Number of Small Entities Regulated

    The SBA has set a size threshold for manufacturers, distributors, and contractors of central air conditioning products that define those entities classified as “small businesses.” DOE used SBA's size standards to determine whether any small businesses would be impacted by this rule. 65 FR 30836, 30849 (May 15, 2000), as amended at 65 FR 53533, 53545 (Sept. 5, 2000) and codified at 13 CFR part 121. The size standards are listed by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and industry description, and are available at http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf. The size standards and NAICS codes relevant to this rulemaking are listed in Table III-1.

    To estimate the number of companies that could be small business manufacturers, distributors, and contractors of equipment covered by this rulemaking, DOE conducted a market survey using available public information. DOE's research involved examining industry trade association Web sites, public databases, and individual company Web sites. DOE also solicited information from industry representatives such as AHRI, HARDI, ACCA, and PHCC. DOE screened out companies that do not offer products covered by this rulemaking or are not impacted by this rulemaking, do not meet the definition of a “small business,” or are foreign owned and operated. In addition, DOE prepared an IRFA and requested comment in the November 2015 NOPR proposing the concepts adopted in this final rule. DOE did not receive any substantive comments in response to its IRFA.

    20 The number of impacted contractors and small contractors is based on the number of contractors installing in the Southwest and Southeast regions.

    21 Chapter 18: Regional Standards Impacts on Market Participants. Technical Support Document: Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products: Residential Central Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Furnaces. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-STD-0011-0012.

    22 “Statistics of U.S. Businesses: 2008: NAICS 423730—HVAC equip. merchant wholesalers United States.” U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/epcd/susb/2008/us/us423730.htm.

    Table III.1—Small Business Classification Summary Table Impacted entity NAICS Code NAICS Definition of small business Total number of impacted businesses Total number of small
  • businesses
  • Contractors 20 238220 $15 million or less in revenue 21 22,207 21,763 Distributors 423730 100 or less employees 22 2,317 2,000 Manufacturers 333415 750 or less employees 29 12
    2. Description and Estimate of Regional CAC Requirements

    As discussed in the preamble of this rule, the Working Group recommended an enforcement plan for central air conditioners that would include public awareness efforts, records retention requirements, and voluntary efforts like remediation and labeling. The Working Group also made explicit the terms “violation” and “routine violator.” While most of the regulations in this rule will not have an impact on manufacturers, distributors, and contractors that adhere to the central air conditioner regional standards, the records retention requirements may result in some financial burden.

    At the Working Group meetings. HARDI stated that distributors track equipment and sales in ERP systems and are expected to incorporate the proposed recordkeeping requirements into their ERP systems. HARDI expected that 40% of distributors currently retain the proposed records and will not need to update their ERP systems. HARDI expected 50% of distributors would need to make some changes to their ERP systems and 10% of distributors would need to make major changes to their ERP system. HARDI expected that small distributors are more likely to require major changes to their ERP systems because typically small distributors have older and more inflexible systems. HARDI estimated that changes to ERP systems to accommodate the record retention proposals may cost $20,000 to $100,000 depending on the type of change needed to the system. According to HARDI, the entire central air conditioner distribution industry would incur an initial conversion cost of around $46,340,000 to modify the ERP systems. To help alleviate some of the financial burden, the Working Group recommended that DOE not require distributors to retain records for sales of central air conditioner indoor coils or air handlers, which were identified as difficult components to track for the distributors. Additionally, the Working Group recommended that distributors should not have to start retaining records until November 30, 2015, at the earliest, which DOE has delayed until August 15, 2016.

    The Working Group worked to negotiate records retention requirements that would have limited financial burden on the impacted parties—manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. The Working Group made a few general provisions regarding the records retention requirements to help mitigate some of the financial burden. The Working Group tried to reduce the impact of the records retention requirements by staggering the length of time for which records must be maintained. Manufacturers, the entities understood to have the most resources and sophistication, would have to retain records for the longest time period (60 months); distributors would have to retain records for less time (54 months); and contractors would have to retain records for the least amount of time (48 months). Additionally, in the case that records are requested, the Working Group recommended that the party from whom the records were requested should have an extended period of 30 days to produce such records. The Working Group also explicitly recommended that manufacturers, distributors, and contractors should not have to create new forms to retain such records, and that the records would not have to be retained electronically.

    DOE expects central air conditioning manufacturers to be the least burdened entity of all the affected entities by the record retention requirements in this final rule. Manufacturers have the fewest record retention requirements. Many of the record retention requirements being in this final rule expand on DOE's existing certification requirements and thus should only slightly increase the recordkeeping burden. DOE does not expect manufacturers to incur any capital expenditures as a result of the proposals since the rulemaking does not impose any product-specific requirements that would require changes to existing plants, facilities, product specifications, or test procedures. Rather, this proposed rule imposes record retention requirements, which may have a slight impact on labor costs. DOE included certification and enforcement requirements associated with the regional standards for central air conditioners in the June 27, 2011 23 energy conservation standards final rule for central air conditioners and heat pumps. To avoid the potential costs to distributors, the Working Group recommended DOE not require electronic record retention, and DOE is neither requiring records to be retained in electronic form nor mandating that distributors make changes in their ERP systems to retain the information proposed in this rule.

    23 Chapter 12: Manufacturer Impact Analysis. Technical Support Document: Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products: Residential Central Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Furnaces. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-STD-0011-0012.

    DOE believes central air conditioning contractors will experience a minimal recordkeeping burden. DOE is limiting the records retention requirements on contractors to installations in the Southeast and Southwest. For all central air conditioner installations in those regions, contractors must keep a record of installation location, date of installation, and purchaser. Contractors must keep records specific to the type of units (outdoor condensing unit, indoor coil or air handler, or single-package air conditioner) installed as well. A contractor trade association remarked at the public meetings that most contractors already retain such records and the record retention requirements would have limited financial impacts. (ACCA, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 77 at 12-13) DOE estimates that any additional expense caused by the records requirements adopted in this rule would be related to the time required to file these records. DOE estimates that contractors may spend an additional 10 minutes per installation to comply with the records retention requirements.

    3. Duplication, Overlap, and Conflict With Other Rules and Regulations

    DOE is not aware of any rules or regulations that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the rule being considered.

    4. Significant Alternatives to the Rule

    DOE could mitigate the potential impacts on small manufacturers, distributors, or contractors by reducing or eliminating the proposed types of information to be maintained. However, these requirements were negotiated as an acceptable compromise among the participants in the Working Group. While there may be some financial burden, the Working Group unanimously agreed to the record retention requirements for manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. Furthermore, DOE believes that the record retention requirements are the least burdensome requirements possible to provide DOE sufficient information to determine whether manufacturers, distributors and contractors are complying with regulatory requirements. Thus, in the November 2015 NOPR, DOE rejected the alternative of reducing or eliminating the record retention requirements and is proposing these record retention requirements for the aforementioned parties. DOE adopts this proposal in this final rule. 80 FR 72373, 72383-72384 (Nov. 19, 2015).

    C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    1. Description of the Requirements: In this final rule, DOE is adopting record retention requirements for central air conditioner manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. DOE requested approval for a new information collection associated with these requirements. These requirements were developed as part of a negotiated rulemaking effort for regional central air conditioner enforcement. These requirements are described in detail in section II.H.

    2. Information Collection Request Title: Enforcement of Regional Standards.

    3. Type of Request: New.

    4. Purpose: Generally, DOE is requiring that manufacturers retain records of the model number and serial number for all split system and single-package air conditioners, when these units were manufactured, when these units were sold, and to whom the units were sold. Manufacturers must retain these records for 60 months. Distributors must retain the manufacturer, model number and serial number for all their split system outdoor condensing units and single-package units. In addition, distributors must keep track of when and from whom each of these types of units was purchased, and when and to whom each of these units was sold. Distributors must retain these records for 54 months. Contractors must retain records of all split system and single-package air conditioner installations in the Southeast and Southwest region. These records are required to include what was installed (e.g., manufacturer and model number), date of sale, and the party to whom the unit was sold. Contractors must retain these records for 48 months.

    This final rule primarily requires central air conditioner manufacturers, distributors, and contractors to retain records for CAC installations. If DOE has a “reasonable belief” that an installation in violation of regional standards occurred, then it may request records specific to an ongoing investigation from the relevant manufacturer(s), distributor(s), and/or contractor(s). The Working Group recommended that DOE determine if it has a “reasonable belief” of a CAC violation based on the factors described in section II.I. Once DOE establishes reasonable belief and requests records from the relevant parties, then the entity from whom DOE requested records has 30 days to produce those records. The party from whom DOE requested records may ask for additional time with a written explanation of the circumstances.

    The following are DOE estimates of the total annual recordkeeping burden imposed on manufacturers, distributors, and contractors of central air conditioners. These estimates take into account the time necessary collect, organized and store the record required by this rulemaking. See the supporting statement for detailed explanations of the estimates.

    Manufacturers

    Estimated Number of Impacted Manufacturers: 29.

    Estimated Time per Record: 10 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 574,167 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Manufacturers: $57,416,667.

    Distributors

    Estimated Number of Impacted Distributors: 2,317.

    Estimated Time per Record: 5 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 287,083 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Distributors: $2,081,354.

    Contractors

    Estimated Number of Impacted Contractors: 22,207.

    Estimated Time per Record: 10 minutes per installation.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 359,949 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Contractors: $2,609,631.

    5. Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 24,553.

    6. Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 24,553.

    7. Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 1,221,199.

    8. Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $62,107,652.

    D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    DOE has determined that this rule falls into a class of actions that are categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and DOE's implementing regulations at 10 CFR part 1021. Specifically, this rule would adopt changes to the manner in which regional standards for central air conditioners are enforced, which would not affect the amount, quality or distribution of energy usage, and, therefore, would not result in any environmental impacts. Thus, this rulemaking is covered by Categorical Exclusion A5 under 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D, which applies to any rulemaking that interprets or amends an existing rule without changing the environmental effect of that rule. Accordingly, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999), imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations. 65 FR 13735. DOE examined this final rule and determined that it 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. EPCA governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State regulations as to energy conservation for the products that are the subject of this final rule. States can petition DOE for exemption from such preemption to the extent, and based on criteria, set forth in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d)) No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    Regarding the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 7, 1996), imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard; and (4) promote simplification and burden reduction. Section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this final rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Public Law 104-4, sec. 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531). For a regulatory action resulting in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and Tribal governments on a proposed “significant intergovernmental mandate,” and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820; also available at http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel. DOE examined this final rule according to UMRA and its statement of policy and determined that the rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate, nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or more in any year, so these requirements do not apply.

    H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. This final rule will not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

    I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

    DOE has determined, under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights” 53 FR 8859 (March 18, 1988), that this final rule will not result in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (Oct. 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed this final rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

    K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OMB, a Statement of Energy Effects for any significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgated or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use if the regulation is implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.

    This final rule adopting a regional standards enforcement plan for central air conditioners is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Moreover, it would not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, nor has it been designated as a significant energy action by the Administrator of OIRA. Therefore, it is not a significant energy action, and, accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

    L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974

    Under section 301 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91; 42 U.S.C. 7101), DOE must comply with section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, as amended by the Federal Energy Administration Authorization Act of 1977. (15 U.S.C. 788; FEAA) Section 32 essentially provides in relevant part that, where a proposed rule authorizes or requires use of commercial standards, the notice of proposed rulemaking must inform the public of the use and background of such standards. In addition, section 32(c) requires DOE to consult with the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the impact of the commercial or industry standards on competition. This final rule does not require use of any commercial standards.

    M. Congressional Notification

    As required by 5 U.S.C. 801, DOE will report to Congress on the promulgation of this final rule before its effective date. The report will state that it has been determined that the rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    IV. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this final rule.

    List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 429

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    10 CFR Part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Small businesses.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 10, 2016. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOE amends parts 429 and 430 of chapter II of title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 429—CERTIFICATION, COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT 1. The authority citation for part 429 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

    2. Amend § 429.102 to add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 429.102 Prohibited acts subjecting persons to enforcement action.

    (c) Violations of regional standards. (1) It is a violation for a distributor to knowingly sell a product to a contractor or dealer with knowledge that the entity will sell and/or install the product in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product.

    (2) It is a violation for a distributor to knowingly sell a product to a contractor or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product.

    (3) It is a violation for a contractor or dealer to knowingly sell to and/or install for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards with the knowledge that such product will be installed in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product.

    (4) A “product installed in violation” includes:

    (i) A complete central air conditioning system that is not certified as a complete system that meets the applicable standard. Combinations that were previously validly certified may be installed after the manufacturer has discontinued the combination, provided the combination meets the currently applicable standard.

    (ii) An outdoor unit with no match (i.e., that is not offered for sale with an indoor unit) that is not certified as part of a combination that meets the applicable standard.

    (iii) An outdoor unit that is part of a certified combination rated less than the standard applicable in the region in which it is installed.

    3. Add an undesignated center heading after § 429.134 in subpart C to read as follows: Regional Standards Enforcement Procedures 4. Add § 429.140 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.140 Regional standards enforcement procedures.

    Sections 429.140 through 429.158 provide enforcement procedures specific to the violations enumerated in § 429.102(c). These provisions explain the responsibilities of manufacturers, private labelers, distributors, contractors and dealers with respect to central air conditioners subject to regional standards; however, these provisions do not limit the responsibilities of parties otherwise subject to 10 CFR parts 429 and 430.

    5. Add § 429.142 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.142 Records retention.

    (a) Record retention. The following entities must maintain the specified records—(1) Contractors and dealers. (i) Contractors and dealers must retain the following records for at least 48 months from the date of installation of a central air conditioner in the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia or in the District of Columbia:

    (A) For split-system central air conditioner outdoor units: The manufacturer name, model number, serial number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number); and

    (B) For split-system central air conditioner indoor units: The manufacturer name, model number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

    (ii) Contractors and dealers must retain the following, additional records for at least 48 months from the date of installation of a central air conditioner in the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico:

    (A) For single-package central air conditioners: The manufacturer name, model number, serial number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

    (B) [Reserved]

    (2) Distributors. Beginning July 1, 2016, all distributors must retain the following records for no less than 54 months from the date of sale:

    (i) For split-system central air conditioner outdoor units: The outdoor unit manufacturer, outdoor unit model number, outdoor unit serial number, date unit was purchased from manufacturer, party from whom the unit was purchased (including company or individual's name, full address, and phone number), date unit was sold to contractor or dealer, party to whom the unit was sold (including company or individual's name, full address, and phone number), and, if delivered, delivery address.

    (ii) For single-package air conditioners: The manufacturer, model number, serial number, date unit was purchased from manufacturer, party from whom the unit was purchased (including company or individual's name, full address, and phone number), date unit was sold to a contractor or dealer, party to whom the unit was sold (including company or individual's name, full address, and phone number), and, if delivered, delivery address.

    (3) Manufacturers and private labelers. All manufacturers and private labelers must retain the following records for no less than 60 months from the date of sale:

    (i) For split system air conditioner outdoor units: The model number, serial number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number);

    (ii) For split system central air conditioner indoor units: The model number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number); and

    (iii) For single-package central air conditioners: The model number, serial number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

    (b) [Reserved]

    6. Add § 429.144 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.144 Records request.

    (a) DOE must have reasonable belief a violation has occurred to request records specific to an on-going investigation of a violation of central air conditioner regional standards.

    (b) Upon request, the manufacturer, private labeler, distributor, dealer, or contractor must provide to DOE the relevant records within 30 calendar days of the request.

    (1) DOE, at its discretion, may grant additional time for records production if the party from whom records have been requested has made a good faith effort to produce records.

    (2) To request additional time, the party from whom records have been requested must produce all records gathered in 30 days and provide to DOE a written explanation of the need for additional time with the requested date for completing the production of records.

    7. Add § 429.146 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.146 Notice of violation.

    (a) If DOE determines a party has committed a violation of regional standards, DOE will issue a Notice of Violation advising that party of DOE's determination.

    (b) If, however, DOE determines a noncompliant installation occurred in only one instance, the noncompliant installation is remediated prior to DOE issuing a Notice of Violation, and the party has no history of prior violations, DOE will not issue such notice.

    (c) If DOE does not find a violation of regional standards, DOE will notify the party under investigation.

    8. Add § 429.148 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.148 Routine violator.

    (a) DOE will consider, inter alia, the following factors in determining if a person is a routine violator: Number of violations in current and past cases, length of time over which violations occurred, ratio of compliant to noncompliant installations or sales, percentage of employees committing violations, evidence of intent, evidence of training or education provided, and subsequent remedial actions.

    (b) In the event that DOE determines a person to be a routine violator, DOE will issue a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation.

    (c) In making a finding of Routine Violation, DOE will consider whether the Routine Violation was limited to a specific location. If DOE finds that the routine violation was so limited, DOE may, in its discretion, in the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation limit the prohibition on manufacturer and/or private labeler sales to a particular contractor or distribution location.

    9. Add § 429.150 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.150 Appealing a finding of routine violation.

    (a) Any person found to be a routine violator may, within 30 calendar days after the date of Notice of Finding of Routine Violation, request an administrative appeal to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.

    (b) The appeal must present information rebutting the finding of violation(s).

    (c) The Office of Hearings and Appeals will issue a decision on the appeal within 45 days of receipt of the appeal.

    (d) A routine violator must file a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the Office of Hearings and Appeals within three business days of the date of the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation, serving a copy on the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Enforcement to retain the ability to buy central air conditioners during the pendency of the appeal.

    10. Add § 429.152 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.152 Removal of finding of “routine violator”.

    (a) A routine violator may be removed from DOE's list of routine violators through completion of remediation in accordance with the requirements in § 429.154.

    (b) A routine violator that wants to remediate must contact the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Enforcement via the point of contact listed in the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation and identify the distributor(s), manufacturer(s), or private labeler(s) from whom it wishes to buy compliant replacement product.

    (c) DOE will contact the distributor(s), manufacturer(s), or private labeler(s) and authorize sale of central air conditioner units to the routine violator for purposes of remediation within 3 business days of receipt of the request for remediation. DOE will provide the manufacturer(s), distributor(s), and/or private labeler(s) with an official letter authorizing the sale of units for purposes of remediation.

    (d) DOE will contact routine violators that requested units for remediation within 30 days of sending the official letter to the manufacturer(s), distributor(s), and/or private labeler(s) to determine the status of the remediation.

    (e) If remediation is successfully completed, DOE will issue a Notice indicating a person is no longer considered to be a routine violator. The Notice will be issued no more than 30 days after DOE has received documentation demonstrating that remediation is complete.

    11. Add § 429.154 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.154 Remediation.

    (a) Any party found to be in violation of the regional standards may remediate by replacing the noncompliant unit at cost to the violator; the end user cannot be charged for any costs of remediation.

    (1) If a violator is unable to replace all noncompliant installations, then the Department may, in its discretion, consider the remediation complete if the violator satisfactorily demonstrates to the Department that it attempted to replace all noncompliant installations.

    (2) The Department will scrutinize any “failed” attempts at replacement to ensure that there was indeed a good faith effort to complete remediation of the noncompliant unit.

    (b) The violator must provide to DOE the serial number of any outdoor unit and/or indoor unit installed not in compliance with the applicable regional standard as well as the serial number(s) of the replacement unit(s) to be checked by the Department against warranty and other replacement claims.

    (c) If the remediation is approved by the Department, then DOE will issue a Notice of Remediation and the violation will not count towards a finding of “routine violator”.

    12. Add § 429.156 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.156 Manufacturer and private labeler liability.

    (a) In accordance with § 429.102, paragraphs (a)(10) and (c), manufacturers and private labelers are prohibited from selling central air conditioners and heat pumps to a routine violator.

    (1) To avoid financial penalties, manufacturers and/or private labelers must cease sales to a routine violator within 3 business days from the date of issuance of a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation.

    (2) If a Routine Violator files a Notice of Intent to Appeal pursuant to § 429.150, then a manufacturer and/or private labeler may assume the risk of selling central air conditioners to the Routine Violator during the pendency of the appeal.

    (3) If the appeal of the Finding of Routine Violator is denied, then the manufacturer and/or private labeler may be fined in accordance with § 429.120, for sale of any units to a routine violator during the pendency of the appeal that do not meet the applicable regional standard.

    (b) If a manufacturer and/or private labeler has knowledge of routine violation, then the manufacturer can be held liable for all sales that occurred after the date the manufacturer had knowledge of the routine violation. However, if the manufacturer and/or private labeler reports its suspicion of a routine violation to DOE within 15 days of receipt of such knowledge, then it will not be liable for product sold to the suspected routine violator prior to reporting the routine violation to DOE.

    13. Add § 429.158 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.158 Product determined noncompliant with regional standards.

    (a) If DOE determines a model of outdoor unit fails to meet the applicable regional standard(s) when tested in a combination certified by the same manufacturer, then the outdoor unit basic model will be deemed noncompliant with the regional standard(s). In accordance with § 429.102(c), the outdoor unit manufacturer and/or private labeler is liable for distribution of noncompliant units in commerce.

    (b) If DOE determines a combination fails to meet the applicable regional standard(s) when tested in a combination certified by a manufacturer other than the outdoor unit manufacturer (e.g., ICM), then that combination is deemed noncompliant with the regional standard(s). In accordance with § 429.102(c), the certifying manufacturer is liable for distribution of noncompliant units in commerce.

    (c) All such units manufactured and distributed in commerce are presumed to have been installed in a region where they would not comply with the applicable energy conservation standard; however, a manufacturer and/or private labeler may demonstrate through installer records that individual units were installed in a region where the unit is compliant with the applicable standards.

    PART 430—ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS 14. The authority citation for part 430 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6291-6309; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    15. Amend § 430.2 by adding, in alphabetical order, new definitions for “contractor,” “dealer,” “distributor,” and “installation of a central air conditioner” to read as follows:
    § 430.2 Definitions.

    Contractor means a person (other than the manufacturer or distributor) who sells to and/or installs for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards. The term “end user” means the entity that purchases or selects for purchase the central air conditioner. Some examples of typical “end users” are homeowners, building owners, building managers, and property developers.

    Dealer means a type of contractor, generally with a relationship with one or more specific manufacturers.

    Distributor means a person (other than a manufacturer or retailer) to whom a consumer appliance product is delivered or sold for purposes of distribution in commerce.

    Installation of a central air conditioner means the connection of the refrigerant lines and/or electrical systems to make the central air conditioner operational.

    16. Section 430.32 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 430.32 Energy and water conservation standards and their compliance dates.

    (c) Central air conditioners and heat pumps. The energy conservation standards defined in terms of the heating seasonal performance factor are based on Region IV, the minimum standardized design heating requirement, and the provisions of 10 CFR 429.16.

    (1) Each basic model of single-package central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps and each individual combination of split-system central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured on or after January 1, 2015, shall have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor not less than:

    Product class Seasonal energy efficiency ratio
  • (SEER)
  • Heating seasonal performance
  • factor
  • (HSPF)
  • (i) Split-system air conditioners 13 (ii) Split-system heat pumps 14 8.2 (iii) Single-package air conditioners 14 (iv) Single-package heat pumps 14 8.0 (v) Small-duct, high-velocity systems 12 7.2 (vi)(A) Space-constrained products—air conditioners 12 (B) Space-constrained products—heat pumps 12 7.4

    (2) In addition to meeting the applicable requirements in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, split-system air conditioners that are installed on or after January 1, 2015, in the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia, or in the District of Columbia, must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14 or higher. Any outdoor unit model that has a certified combination with a rating below 14 SEER cannot be installed in these States. The least efficient combination of each basic model must comply with this standard.

    (3)(i) In addition to meeting the applicable requirements in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, split-system air conditioners and single-package air conditioners that are installed on or after January 1, 2015, in the States of Arizona, California, Nevada, or New Mexico must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14 or higher and have an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) (at a standard rating of 95 °F dry bulb outdoor temperature) not less than the following:

    Product class Energy
  • efficiency ratio
  • (EER)
  • (A) Split-system rated cooling capacity less than 45,000 Btu/hr 12.2 (B) Split-system rated cooling capacity equal to or greater than 45,000 Btu/hr 11.7 (C) Single-package systems 11.0

    (ii) Any outdoor unit model that has a certified combination with a rating below 14 SEER or the applicable EER cannot be installed in this region. The least efficient combination of each basic model must comply with this standard.

    (4) Each basic model of single-package central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps and each individual combination of split-system central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured on or after January 1, 2015, shall have an average off mode electrical power consumption not more than the following:

    Product class Average off mode power
  • consumption PW,OFF
  • (watts)
  • (i) Split-system air conditioners 30 (ii) Split-system heat pumps 33 (iii) Single-package air conditioners 30 (iv) Single-package heat pumps 33 (v) Small-duct, high-velocity systems 30 (vi) Space-constrained air conditioners 30 (vii) Space-constrained heat pumps 33
    [FR Doc. 2016-16441 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6136; Special Conditions No. 25-620-SC] Special Conditions: American Airlines, Boeing 777-200 Series Airplanes; Dynamic Test Requirements for Single-Occupant Oblique (Side-Facing) Seats Equipped With Inflatable Lapbelts AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final special conditions; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    These special conditions are issued for the Boeing 777-200 series airplane. This airplane, as modified by American Airlines, will have novel or unusual design features when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. These airplanes will include single-occupant oblique seats with inflatable lapbelts requiring dynamic testing. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    This action is effective on American Airlines on July 14, 2016. We must receive your comments by August 29, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2016-6136 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov/.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Shelden, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2785; facsimile 425-227-1320.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FAA has determined that notice of, and opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions is impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay issuance of the design approval and thus delivery of the affected airplanes.

    In addition, the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

    Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

    We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

    Background

    On November 3, 2015, American Airlines applied for a supplemental type certificate for installation of TSO-C39c-approved B/E Aerospace Super Diamond model oblique business-class passenger seats in Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes. The Model 777-200 airplane, approved under type certificate no. T00001SE, is a transport-category, twin-engine jet airplane with a maximum capacity of 440 passengers and a maximum takeoff weight of 535,000 lbs.

    Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, American Airlines must show that the Boeing Model 777-200 series airplane, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in type certificate no. T00001SE, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

    In addition, the certification basis includes certain special conditions, exemptions, or later amended sections of the applicable part that are not relevant to these special conditions.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 777-200 series airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the applicant apply for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Boeing Model 777-200 series airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.101.

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Boeing Model 777-200 series airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: Single-occupant oblique (side-facing) seats with inflatable lapbelts.

    Discussion

    Amendment 25-15 to part 25, dated October 24, 1967, introduced the subject of side-facing seats, and a requirement that each occupant in a side-facing seat must be protected from head injury by a safety belt and a cushioned rest that will support the arms, shoulders, head, and spine.

    Subsequently, Amendment 25-20, dated April 23, 1969, clarified the definition of side-facing seats to require that each occupant of a seat that is positioned at more than an 18-degree angle to the vertical plane containing the airplane centerline must be protected from head injury by a safety belt and an energy-absorbing rest that supports the arms, shoulders, head, and spine; or by a safety belt and shoulder harness that prevents the head from contacting injurious objects. The FAA concluded that a maximum 18-degree angle would provide an adequate level of safety based on tests that were performed at the time, and thus adopted that standard.

    Amendment 25-64, dated June 16, 1988, revised the emergency-landing conditions that must be considered in the design of the airplane. It revised the static-load conditions in § 25.561 and added a new § 25.562, requiring dynamic testing for all seats approved for occupancy during takeoff and landing. The intent was to provide an improved level of safety for occupants on transport-category airplanes. Because most seating on transport-category airplanes is forward-facing, the pass/fail criteria developed in Amendment 25-64 focused primarily on forward-facing seats. Therefore, the testing specified in the rule did not provide a complete measure of occupant injury in seats that are not forward-facing. However, § 25.785 does require that occupants of all seats that are occupied during taxi, takeoff, and landing not suffer serious injury as a result of the inertia forces specified in §§ 25.561 and 25.562.

    To address recent research findings and accommodate commercial demand, the FAA developed a methodology to address all fully side-facing seats (i.e., seats oriented in the airplane with the occupant facing 90 degrees to the direction of airplane travel) and has documented those requirements in a set of proposed new special conditions. The FAA issued policy statement PS-ANM-25-03-R1 on November 12, 2012, titled, “Technical Criteria for Approving Side-Facing Seats,” which conveys the injury criteria to be used in the special conditions. Some of those criteria are applicable to oblique seats but others are not, because the motion of an occupant in an oblique seat is different from the motion of an occupant in a fully side-facing seat during emergency landing conditions.

    For shallower installation angles, the FAA has granted equivalent level of safety (ELOS) findings for oblique-seat installations on the premise that an occupant's kinematics in an oblique seat during a forward impact would result in the body aligning with the impact direction. We predicted that the occupant response would be similar to an occupant of a forward-facing seat, and would produce a level of safety equivalent to that of a forward-facing seat. These ELOS findings were subject to many conditions that reflected the injury-evaluation criteria and mitigation strategies available at the time of issuance of the ELOS. However, review of dynamic test results for many of these oblique seat installations raised concerns that the premise was not correct. Potential injury mechanisms exist that are unique to oblique seats and are not mitigated by the ELOS self-alignment approach even if the occupant appears to respond similarly to a forward-facing seat.

    These seats will be installed at a maximum angle of 30 degrees to the aircraft centerline and will include an inflatable lapbelt restraint system for occupant restraint and injury protection.

    The airbag in the inflatable lapbelt is designed to limit occupant forward excursion in the event of an emergency landing condition. This reduces the potential for head injury, thereby reducing the Head Injury Criteria (HIC) measurement. The use of an inflatable airbag in this fashion is novel for commercial aviation.

    These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Boeing Model 777-200 series airplane. Should American Airlines apply at a later date for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on type certificate no. T00001SE, to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model series of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

    The substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public-comment process with no substantive comments received. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, because a delay would significantly affect the certification of the airplane, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions upon publication in the Federal Register. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

    The Special Conditions

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Boeing Model 777-200 series airplanes modified by American Airlines.

    In addition to the requirements of § 25.562:

    1. Head-Injury Criteria

    Compliance with § 25.562(c)(5) is required, except that, if the anthropomorphic test device (ATD) has no apparent contact with the seat/structure but has contact with an airbag, a HIC unlimited score in excess of 1000 is acceptable, provided the HIC15 score (calculated in accordance with 49 CFR 571.208) for that contact is less than 700.

    2. Body-to-Wall/Furnishing Contact

    If a seat is installed aft of structure (e.g. interior wall or furnishings) that does not provide a homogenous contact surface for the expected range of occupants and yaw angles, then additional analysis and/or tests may be required to demonstrate that the injury criteria are met for the area which an occupant could contact. For example, if an airbag device is present, different yaw angles could result in different airbag-device performance, and additional analysis or separate tests may be necessary to evaluate performance.

    3. Neck Injury Criteria

    The seating system must protect the occupant from experiencing serious neck injury. If an airbag device is present, the assessment of neck injury must be conducted with the airbag device activated, unless there is reason to also consider that the neck-injury potential would be higher for impacts below the airbag-device deployment threshold.

    a. The Nij (calculated in accordance with 49 CFR 571.208) must be below 1.0, where Nij =Fz/Fzc + My/Myc, and Nij critical values are:

    i. Fzc = 1530 lb for tension ii. Fzc = 1385 lb for compression iii. Myc = 229 lb-ft in flexion iv. Myc = 100 lb-ft in extension

    b. In addition, peak upper-neck Fz must be below 937 lb in tension and 899 lb in compression.

    c. Rotation of the head about its vertical axis, relative to the torso, is limited to 105 degrees in either direction from forward-facing.

    d. The neck must not impact any surface that would produce concentrated loading on the neck.

    4. Spine and Torso Injury Criteria

    a. The lumbar spine tension (Fz) cannot exceed 1200 lb.

    b. Significant concentrated loading on the occupant's spine, in the area between the pelvis and shoulders during impact, including rebound, is not acceptable. During this type of contact, the interval for any rearward (X direction) acceleration exceeding 20g must be less than 3 milliseconds as measured by the thoracic instrumentation specified in 49 CFR part 572, subpart E, filtered in accordance with SAE International (SAE) Recommended Practice J211/1, “Instrumentation for Impact Test—Part 1—Electronic Instrumentation.”

    c. The occupant must not interact with the armrest or other seat components in any manner significantly different than would be expected for a forward-facing seat installation.

    5. Pelvis Criteria

    Any part of the load-bearing portion of the bottom of the ATD pelvis must not translate beyond the edges of the seat bottom seat-cushion supporting structure.

    6. Femur Criteria

    Axial rotation of the upper leg (about the z-axis of the femur per SAE Recommended Practice J211/1) must be limited to 35 degrees from the nominal seated position. Evaluation during rebound does not need to be considered.

    7. ATD and Test Conditions

    Longitudinal tests conducted to measure the injury criteria above must be performed with the FAA Hybrid III ATD, as described in SAE 1999-01-1609, “A Lumbar Spine Modification to the Hybrid III ATD for Aircraft Seat Tests,” V. Gowdy, et al. (1999). The tests must be conducted with an undeformed floor, at the most-critical yaw cases for injury, and with all lateral structural supports (e.g., armrests or walls) installed.

    Note: In addition to these special conditions, the inflatable lapbelts must meet the criteria of special conditions no. 25-187A-SC, titled, “Boeing Model 777 Series Airplanes; Seats with Inflatable Lapbelts.”

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 7, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Assistant Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16639 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-4429; Airspace Docket No. 16-ASW-8] Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Louisiana Towns; De Quincy, LA; Minden, LA; Slidell, LA; and Revocation of Class E Airspace; Homer, LA 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 De Quincy Industrial Airpark, De Quincy, LA; Minden Airport, Minden, LA; and Slidell, Airport, Slidell, LA. The decommissioning of non-directional radio beacons (NDB) and/or cancellation of NDB approaches due to advances in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) procedures have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at these airports. This action also removes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Homer Municipal Airport, Homer, LA, as controlled airspace is no longer needed. Additionally, the name of Minden Airport (formerly Minden-Webster Airport) and the geographic coordinates at De Quincy Industrial Airpark, Minden Airport, and Slidell Airport are being adjusted 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 E airspace at De Quincy Industrial Airpark, De Quincy, LA; Homer Municipal Airport, Homer, LA; Minden Airport, Minden, LA; and Slidell, Airport, Slidell, LA.

    History

    On April 13, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (81 FR 21774), Docket No. FAA-2016-4429, to modify Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at De Quincy Industrial Airpark, De Quincy, LA; Homer Municipal Airport, Homer, LA; Minden Airport, Minden, LA; and Slidell, Airport, Slidell, LA. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found that Minden-Webster Airport had been changed to Minden Airport and is noted as such in this rule.

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.5-mile radius of De Quincy Industrial Airpark, De Quincy, LA; within a 6.5-mile radius of Minden Airport, Minden, LA; and within a 6.5-mile radius of Slidell Airport, Slidell, LA, with segments extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 9.2 miles north, and 9 miles south of the airport. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of NDBs, cancellation of NDB approaches, and implementation of RNAV procedures at the above airports. The Class E airspace area extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.8-mile radius of Homer Municipal Airport, Homer, LA, is being removed as controlled airspace is no longer needed. Additionally, the name of Minden Airport (formerly Minden-Webster Airport) and the geographic coordinates at De Quincy Industrial Airpark, Minden Airport, and Slidell Airport are being adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. All modifications to the Class E airspace are in accordance with airspace requirements specified in FAA Joint Order 7400.2K, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airports.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

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

    Environmental Review

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

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 Amended
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward from 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW LA E5 De Quincy, LA [Amended] De Quincy Industrial Airpark, LA (Lat. 30°26′28″ N., long. 93°28′25″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.5-mile radius of De Quincy Industrial Airpark.

    ASW LA E5 Homer, LA [Removed] ASW LA E5 Minden, LA [Amended] Minden Airport, LA (Lat. 32°38′46″ N., long. 93°17′53″ W.)

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

    ASW LA E5 Slidell, LA [Amended] Slidell Airport, LA (Lat. 30°20′47″ N., long. 89°49′15″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Slidell Airport, and within 4.0 miles each side of the 360° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 9.2 miles north of the airport, and within 4.0 miles each side of the 180° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 9.0 miles south of the airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 27, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16383 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Parts 14 and 20 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-2103] Removal of Review and Reclassification Procedures for Biological Products Licensed Prior to July 1, 1972; Technical Amendment AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; technical amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is amending the Agency's regulations by removing certain regulations that include obsolete references. FDA is taking this action to improve the accuracy of the regulations.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 14, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jessica T. Walker, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Federal Register of February 12, 2016 (81 FR 7445), FDA published a final rule entitled “Removal of Review and Reclassification Procedures for Biological Products Licensed Prior to July 1, 1972” (February 2016 final rule). In the February 2016 final rule, FDA, in part, removed § 601.25 (21 CFR 601.25), which prescribed procedures for FDA's review of biological products licensed before July 1, 1972.

    Under § 14.1(a)(2) (21 CFR 14.1(a)(2)), specific provisions are provided for a matter that is subject to a hearing before an advisory committee. Under § 20.100(c) (21 CFR 20.100(c)), in addition to the provisions of 21 CFR part 20, rules on the availability of specific categories of FDA records are established by regulations under Chapter I of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Sections 14.1(a)(2)(v) and 20.100(c)(22) include a reference to § 601.25. In the February 2016 final rule, FDA inadvertently did not remove these sections (§§ 14.1(a)(2)(v) and 20.100(c)(22)) that referenced § 601.25. Accordingly, FDA is removing and reserving §§ 14.1(a)(2)(v) and 20.100(c)(22).

    Publication of this document constitutes final action under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553). FDA has determined that notice and public comment is unnecessary because the amendments to the regulations are nonsubstantive.

    List of Subjects 21 CFR Part 14

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advisory committees, Color additives, Drugs, Radiation protection.

    21 CFR Part 20

    Confidential business information, Courts, Freedom of information, Government employees.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Public Health Service Act, and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR parts 14 and 20 are amended as follows:

    PART 14—PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE A PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE 1. The authority citation for part 14 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. App. 2; 15 U.S.C. 1451-1461, 21 U.S.C. 41-50, 141-149, 321-394, 467f, 679, 821, 1034; 28 U.S.C. 2112; 42 U.S.C. 201, 262, 263b, 264; Pub. L. 107-109; Pub. L. 108-155; Pub. L. 113-54.

    § 14.1 [Amended]
    2. In § 14.1, remove and reserve paragraph (a)(2)(v).
    PART 20—PUBLIC INFORMATION 3. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552; 18 U.S.C. 1905; 19 U.S.C. 2531-2582; 21 U.S.C. 321-393, 1401-1403; 42 U.S.C. 241, 242, 242a, 2421, 242n, 243, 262, 263, 263b-263n, 264, 265, 300u-300u-5, 300aa-1.

    § 20.100 [Amended]
    4. In § 20.100, remove and reserve paragraph (c)(22).
    Dated: July 8, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16637 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 301 [TD 9778] RIN 1545-BM24 Participation of a Person Described in Section 6103(n) in a Summons Interview Under Section 7602(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations and removal of te mporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations modifying regulations under section 7602(a) of the Internal Revenue Code relating to administrative summonses. Specifically, these final regulations clarify that persons with whom the IRS or the Office of Chief Counsel (Chief Counsel) contracts for services described in section 6103(n) and its implementing regulations may be included as persons designated to receive summoned books, papers, records, or other data and, in the presence and under the guidance of an IRS officer or employee, participate fully in the interview of a witness summoned by the IRS to provide testimony under oath. These regulations may affect taxpayers, a taxpayer's officers or employees, and any third party who is served with a summons, as well as any other person entitled to notice of a summons.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These regulations are effective on July 14, 2016.

    Applicability Date: For date of applicability, see § 301.7602-1(d).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William V. Spatz at (202) 317-5461 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    These final regulations amend Procedure and Administration Regulations (26 CFR part 301) under section 7602 of the Internal Revenue Code. These final regulations clarify that persons described in section 6103(n) and Treas. Reg. § 301.6103(n)-1(a) with whom the IRS or Chief Counsel contracts for services—such as outside economists, engineers, consultants, or attorneys—may receive books, papers, records, or other data summoned by the IRS and, in the presence and under the guidance of an IRS officer or employee, participate fully in the interview of a person who the IRS has summoned as a witness to provide testimony under oath. On June 18, 2014, temporary regulations (TD 9669) regarding participation in a summons interview of a person described in section 6103(n) were published in the Federal Register (79 FR 34625). A notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-121542-14) cross-referencing the temporary regulations was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 34668) the same day.

    No public hearing was requested or held. The Internal Revenue Service received two comments to the proposed regulations. One comment recommends that the regulations be revised to remove the provision permitting a contractor to question a witness under oath or to ask a witness's representative to clarify an objection or assertion of privilege. The other comment recommends that the proposed and temporary regulations be withdrawn. After consideration of both comments, the sole amendment to the proposed regulations is to replace the word “examine” with “review” in the phrase describing what contractors may do with books, papers, records, or other data received by the IRS under a summons. This revision clarifies that the regulations do not permit contractors to direct examinations (that is, audits) of a taxpayer's return. Accordingly, the proposed regulations are adopted as amended by this Treasury decision, and the corresponding temporary regulations are removed.

    Explanation and Summary of Comments 1. Potential for IRS Loss of Control Over Interview

    One comment raises concerns about how the regulations would operate in practice. This comment states that turning the questioning of a witness over to a third-party contractor may cause the IRS officer or employee in charge of the interview to lose control of the interview. The comment further states that having multiple persons “on the record”—an IRS officer or employee, a contractor, a witness, and a representative of the witness—may lead to a cluttered, incomprehensible transcript of the interview. To address these concerns, the comment suggests that instead of having the contractor question the witness directly, the IRS officer or employee should announce to the court reporter that he or she needs a moment to confer with the contractor, and after consultation ask to go back on the record to resume questioning.

    These concerns are unfounded. When the IRS hires a contractor to assist the IRS in reviewing books and records, analyzing data, or receiving sworn testimony from a summoned witness, the IRS determines what information will be requested via a summons and who the summons will request to testify. An IRS officer or employee is present during the interview and remains in charge of the interview. A contractor asking questions does not present any additional difficulties for the IRS officer or employee in retaining control of that interview. Rather, the IRS officer or employee in charge of the interview may be in a better position to maintain control of the overall interview if someone else is asking the questions. The IRS officer or employee always has the ability to ask the court reporter to go off the record to confer with the contractor, if necessary.

    Further, since 2002, § 301.7602-1(b)(1) has provided that a summoned witness may be required to appear before “one or more” IRS officers or employees to give testimony, including Chief Counsel attorneys. During this time, the IRS experience with multiple persons asking questions of summoned persons has not resulted in cluttered interview transcripts as compared to those transcripts in which only one person from the IRS asks a witness questions. Instead, the IRS has generally found that allowing multiple IRS persons to question a summoned witness results in more thorough and complete coverage of the appropriate interview topics. This is particularly true when a person asking questions for the IRS has the chance to focus questions on particular subject areas with which the questioner is most familiar. Furthermore, the IRS has found that significant value is also added when multiple persons have the opportunity to ask questions to address gaps in prior questioning or clarify answers by a witness.

    Accordingly, for the reasons discussed above, the proposed regulations have not been amended as suggested by this comment.

    2. Statutory Authority for an Outside Contractor To Question a Summoned Witness

    Both comments state section 7602 does not authorize a contractor to question a witness during an IRS summons interview. Specifically, the comments state that the regulations improperly delegate to the contractor the Secretary's authority under section 7602(a)(3) to take testimony under oath. According to one of the comments, because section 7701(a)(11)(B) defines the term “Secretary” to include a delegate, and section 7701(a)(12)(A) defines a “delegate” of the Secretary, in part, as a duly authorized “officer, employee or agency of the Treasury Department,” the regulations improperly attempt to treat a “third party agent” (a contractor under section 6103(n)) as an “agency of the Treasury Department.” The other comment adds that this type of treatment of a contractor would be unprecedented under various IRS Delegation Orders and Internal Revenue Manual provisions and that a statutory authorization is required for “such delegation.” Both comments state that section 6306, regarding the IRS's use of private collection agencies to perform certain tax collection functions, was an example of such authorization by statute.

    Further, both comments question whether under the regulations inherently governmental functions will continue to be performed by IRS officers or employees, and state that reference to this in the preamble to the temporary regulations was included to allay potential concerns about improper delegation. The comment also asserts that taking testimony by asking questions, reviewing books or papers, and analyzing other data, as allowed by the regulations, is inherently governmental. In support of this, the comment states that when contractors ask questions that taxpayers are compelled to answer under oath, the contractor is deciding what information must be produced by the taxpayer. The comment asserts that it is clear that questioning a witness under oath and with compulsion, or directing counsel for a witness to clarify an objection or assertion of privilege, in an extra-judicial governmental investigation such as an IRS audit is inherently governmental. This comment states that the fact that a contractor's participation in a summons interview will only be done in the presence and under the guidance of an IRS officer or employee suggests that participation in a summons interview is inherently governmental.

    These comments state further that the reference to § 301.7602-2(c)(1)(i)(B) and (c)(1)(ii) Example 2 in the preamble to the temporary regulations means that the regulations are delegating authority under section 7602(a) to the contractor.

    The IRS has broad information gathering authority under section 7602(a). See United States v. Arthur Young & Co., 465 U.S. 805, 816 (1984). Section 7602(a) provides that, for the purpose of ascertaining the correctness of any return, making a return where none has been made, or determining the liability of any person for any internal revenue tax, the Secretary (and the IRS as the Secretary's delegate) is authorized to examine books and records, issue summonses seeking documents and testimony, and take testimony from witnesses under oath. When a contractor assists the IRS in gathering facts by reviewing books and records or asking questions of a witness during a summons interview, the contractor is merely assisting in carrying out the powers granted to the Secretary. Nothing in section 7602(a) prohibits participation by a contractor in a summons interview, nor does it prescribe procedures that the IRS must follow during the summons interview.

    Moreover, nothing in these regulations delegates authority under section 7602(a). The IRS's authority to engage contractors to assist with fact gathering has always existed under section 7602, and the comments acknowledge this authority. For instance, the comment addressing the impact of multiple questioners on the clarity of the transcribed record of the summons interview suggests as an alternative that the contractor provide the IRS with the questions to ask. Given that the commentators acknowledge that the IRS is authorized to have a contractor communicate the question off the record to the IRS, it seems implausible that having the contractor actually ask the question on the record, in the presence of and under the supervision of the IRS, is substantively different.

    Section 6306, dealing with qualified tax collection contracts, does not support the contention in the comments that congressional action is required to engage a contractor to perform services for the IRS. Long before section 6306 was added to the Code in 2004, the IRS collection function had contracted with private persons (for example, locksmiths, tow truck drivers, storage facilities, property appraisers and auctioneers) for tax administration purposes to facilitate IRS seizures of property by levy and IRS sales of such property, pursuant to the statutory powers conferred on the Secretary by sections 6301, 6331, and 6335. In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, without making any modifications to the Code, Congress earmarked $13 million for the IRS to test the use of private debt collection companies. In 2004, rather than say it was authorizing the IRS to enter into collection agreements with outside contractors to assist the IRS in collecting tax debts, Congress instead said in section 6306(a) that “[n]othing in any provision of law shall be construed to prevent the Secretary from entering into a qualified tax collection contract.” Therefore, section 6306 was a congressional clarification of the IRS's existing authority to engage outside contractors to assist with collection. Accordingly, contrary to the comments' assertions, no explicit congressional authorization was needed to permit the IRS to hire outside contractors to assist in the collection of taxes, a role outside contractors had been playing for years prior to enactment of section 6306. As a result, enactment of section 6306 does not support the contention in the comments that having a contractor ask questions during a summons interview is inconsistent with authority under section 7602.

    The comments are also incorrect that the regulations include an improper delegation to perform certain examination functions. One comment assumes that the role of questioner must be accompanied by the power to compel the witness to answer under oath. That is not accurate. While the contractor will ask questions during a summons interview, an IRS officer or employee will determine whether the questions must be answered by pursuing judicial enforcement. Only if an IRS officer or employee pursues the matter by seeking judicial enforcement can a witness be compelled to answer the question asked by the contractor. Similarly, a contractor can ask counsel for a witness to clarify an objection or assertion of privilege, but only an IRS officer or employee can pursue resolution of the claim of privilege by seeking judicial enforcement. Accordingly, the comment incorrectly equates the act of compelling a witness to answer a question asked with the mere act of asking the question. Further, the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998, Public Law 105-270 (31 U.S.C. 501 Note (FAIR Act)), defines “inherently governmental function” as “a function that is so intimately related to the public interest as to require performance by Federal Government employees.” FAIR Act section 5(2)(A). Inherently governmental functions include activities that require “the exercise of discretion in applying Federal Government authority,” including “the interpretation and execution of the laws of the United States so as . . . to bind the United States to take or not to take some action.” Id. at section 5(2)(B)(i). However, Congress further specified in FAIR Act section 5(2)(C)(i) that an inherently governmental function does not normally include “gathering information for or providing advice, opinions, recommendations, or ideas to Federal Government officials.”

    In 2009, Congress further directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to refine the definition of “inherently governmental function” applicable to all agencies and provide guidance to improve internal agency management of functions that are inherently governmental. Public Law 110-417, section 321. Toward these ends, and after notice and comment, OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) issued its Policy Letter 11-01 on September 12, 2011. 76 FR 56227. The Policy Letter clarified the “discretion” that a contractor may appropriately exercise as the circumstances “where the contractor does not have the authority to decide on the overall course of action, but is tasked to develop options or implement a course of action, and the agency official has the ability to override the contractor's action.” Id., at section 5-1(a)(1)(ii)(B), 76 FR at 56237. The Policy Letter further explains that “contractors routinely, and properly, exercise discretion in performing functions for the Federal Government when, providing advice, opinions, or recommended actions, emphasizing certain conclusions, and . . . deciding what techniques and procedures to employ, whether and whom to consult, [and] what research alternatives to explore given the scope of the contract.” Id., 76 FR at 56237-38. The Policy Letter recognizes that in addition to functions that are inherently governmental, there are also many functions closely associated with inherently governmental functions. The Policy Letter cautions that when a contractor function is closely associated with an inherently governmental one, the agency should “limit or guide the contractor's exercise of discretion,” by “establishing in advance a process for subjecting the contractor's discretionary decisions and conduct to meaningful oversight and, whenever necessary, final approval by an agency official.” Id., at section 5-2(a)(4)(ii) and Appendix C, section (1)(ii), 76 FR at 56238-39 and 56241-42.

    Accordingly, the preamble to the temporary regulations described the inherently governmental functions associated with section 7602(a) as including the ultimate decisions to issue a summons, whom to summon, what information must be produced or who will be required to provide testimony, as well as issuing the summons. The final decision to issue an IRS summons may “bind the United States to take or not take some action,” within the meaning of the FAIR Act section 5(2)(B)(i). For example, serving an IRS summons pursuant to sections 7609(f) and (g) requires prior court approval, and IRS summonses issued for an examination purpose to third parties generally expose the United States to a court action the taxpayer may commence to quash a summons under section 7609(b)(2) or obligate the IRS to pay certain search and reproduction costs incurred by the summoned witness under section 7610. The final decision to include or not include certain document or testimony requests in an IRS summons also limits going forward what information or documents the IRS may ask a court to require a witness to produce in any future summons enforcement proceeding regarding that summons. The final decision to seek judicial enforcement of an IRS summons pursuant to sections 7402(b) and 7604 is also an inherently governmental function. These inherently governmental actions associated with issuing or seeking to enforce an IRS summons will continue to be performed by IRS officers and employees under these regulations.

    As discussed above, pursuant to these regulations, contractors may assist IRS officers and employees when the IRS has summoned a witness, by receiving and reviewing books, papers, records, or other data produced in compliance with a summons and, in the presence and under the guidance of an IRS officer or employee, ask questions in the interview of the summoned witness. The contractor's assistance to the IRS officer or employee presiding over a summons interview is closely associated with the inherently governmental summons functions performed by an IRS employee, within the meaning of OFPP Policy Letter 11-01, without crossing the line into the performance of inherently governmental functions. A contractor participating fully in a summons interview will not, for example, be permitted to bind or otherwise disadvantage the IRS by making any unauthorized, premature statements that the summoned party has produced all of the summoned information or has fully answered all of the questions asked by the IRS in the interview. Similarly, the contractor has no authority to commit the IRS to pursue judicial enforcement of a summons for any documents or answers to questions that a witness failed to provide.

    The contractor's “discretion” in pursuing any potentially relevant line of questioning in a summons interview is permissible under Policy Letter 11-01 standards because the contractor will not have the authority to decide on the overall course of action adopted by the IRS with respect to the summons interview. The IRS officer or employee presiding over IRS receipt of documents and evidence from the summoned witness will also be present for any questioning pursued by the contractor and will have the ability to override the contractor's actions, if necessary and appropriate. Rather than proving that a contractor would be performing an inherently governmental function under these regulations, the additional safeguards the comment points to—that a contractor's participation in a summons interview will only be done in the presence and under the guidance of an IRS officer or employee—show the IRS heeded the instructions of Policy Letter 11-01 to establish a process for subjecting the contractor's discretionary decisions and conduct under these regulations to meaningful IRS oversight.

    The comments incorrectly interpret the purpose of the reference in the preamble of the temporary regulations to § 301.7602-2(c)(1)(i)(B) and (c)(1)(ii) Example 2. The purpose of referencing that regulation, which implements the provisions of section 7602(c) (requiring notice of third party contacts) in the case of a section 6103(n) contractor, was instead intended to highlight the fact that the IRS had been allowing contractors, under the guidance of an IRS officer or employee, to hold discussions and ask questions of witnesses for many years and that the proposed regulations were in the nature of a clarification. The purpose was not to demonstrate that the IRS is delegating authority to contractors as the comments incorrectly state.

    Therefore, for the reasons above, Treasury and the IRS disagree with the comments' assertion that the regulations improperly delegate authority under section 7602. The statute permits section 6103(n) contractors to receive books, papers, records, or other data summoned by the IRS and, in the presence and under the guidance of an IRS officer or employee, participate fully in the interview of a person who the IRS has summoned as a witness to provide testimony under oath.

    3. Confidential Taxpayer Information Provided to a Contractor

    One of the comments suggests that the proposed regulations raise issues relating to confidentiality of taxpayer information. First, the comment states that the regulations place confidential taxpayer information unnecessarily at risk of unauthorized disclosure under section 6103. According to the comment, this is because placing taxpayer information in the hands of outside contractors under section 6103(n) increases the risk of misuse and unlawful disclosure because outside contractors are not subject to the same rules of conduct as IRS employees and may have loyalties to other clients besides the IRS and the public fisc.

    Next, the comment questions whether the disclosure of confidential information to outside counsel is permitted under section 6103(n). The comment explains that in 1990 the phrase “other services” was added to section 6103(n) to cover outside experts, in part, because these experts are objective and the IRS is not. The comment continues that outside counsel, as an advocate, is not objective and, therefore, is not covered by the phrase “other services” in section 6103(n).

    Finally, the comment states that the IRS has failed to demonstrate that government employees cannot effectively and more appropriately perform the function contemplated by the temporary regulations.

    These comments do not address the clarification made by the proposed and temporary regulations (that is, that section 6103(n) contractors may be present at summons interviews, ask questions at a summons interview, and review summoned books, papers, records, or other data). Further, the comments do not explain why the proposed regulations place confidential taxpayer information at risk of unauthorized disclosure at all. Rather, these comments address disclosure to experts under section 6103(n), which is not the subject of these regulations. Therefore, the comments do not address issues under the regulations.

    Regardless of the relevance of the comments to these regulations, the IRS takes protection of the confidentiality of taxpayer information seriously and will not disclose taxpayer information unless authorized under the law. “Return information” and “taxpayer return information” are in general broadly defined in sections 6103(b)(2) and (b)(3), as including information concerning a taxpayer's identity, the nature, source or amount of his income, payments, receipts, deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liabilities, tax withheld, owed, or paid, whether the taxpayer is being or will be examined or investigated, to the extent such information is filed with or furnished to the IRS by or on behalf of the taxpayer to whom such information relates.

    Section 6103(n) authorizes the IRS to disclose confidential taxpayer information to persons who provide services to the IRS, including outside experts. The legislative history of section 6103(n) indicates that Congress added the words “other services” in 1990 to ensure that persons who provide services to the IRS, such as expert witnesses, and to whom the IRS discloses returns and return information pursuant to section 6103, would clearly be subject to the same confidentiality standards and penalties for unauthorized disclosure as are IRS employees.

    In sections 7431, 7213, and 7213A, Congress created parallel civil and criminal deterrents for outside contractors (to those applicable to IRS employees) to punish any misuse of taxpayer return information through unlawful inspection or unlawful disclosure of such information. Specifically, section 7431(a)(2) authorizes taxpayers to file the same type of civil action for damages against an IRS contractor for knowingly, or by reason of negligence, making any unauthorized inspection or unauthorized disclosure of taxpayer return information, as may be filed against the United States for the same type of conduct committed by any officer or employee of the United States. Similarly, in sections 7213(a)(1) and 7213A(a)(1)(B) (by references to persons described in section 6103(n)), Congress made it a crime punishable by up to five years or up to one year of imprisonment, plus a fine, for an IRS contractor to willfully make an unauthorized disclosure or an unauthorized inspection of taxpayer return information, respectively. If an IRS officer or employee is convicted under sections 7213 or 7213A, such person will also be dismissed or discharged from Federal employment. Before any conviction, if the IRS determines that a contractor has violated its taxpayer return information disclosure obligations under its contract, the IRS may also suspend or terminate the contract, pursuant to § 301.6103(n)-1(e)(4)(iii). Moreover, § 301.6103(n)-1(e)(4) provides further safeguards against unlawful disclosures or inspections of taxpayer return information by contractors.

    Finally, it is unclear what connection the comment is making between protecting confidentiality of taxpayer information and objectivity of the section 6103(n) contractor. First, there is no obligation under section 6103(n) or the regulations thereunder for a contractor under section 6103(n) to be objective. Second, whether a contractor is objective has no relation to whether the contractor has an obligation to protect confidential taxpayer information from disclosure or the contractor's ability to do so.

    For these reasons, the Treasury and the IRS disagree that the regulations place confidential taxpayer information unnecessarily at risk of unauthorized disclosure.

    4. Potential Litigation Costs To Enforce the Regulation

    One comment states that including a provision to allow an IRS contractor in a summons interview to question a witness under oath in the final regulations would result in time-consuming and costly litigation for the IRS, taxpayers, third party witnesses, and the courts, and that these costs would outweigh the potential benefits to the IRS from a contractor directly questioning a summoned witness under oath. The comment does not indicate how it came to this conclusion, nor does it provide any support for its concern.

    The IRS makes the decision of whether to issue a summons or to pursue summons enforcement actions on a case-by-case basis, analyzing each situation in the light of its particular facts and weighing the desired information against the tax liability involved, the time and expense of obtaining the records, and the adverse effect on voluntary compliance by others if the enforcement actions are not successful. A contractor's participation in a summons interview does not factor into the IRS's decision to request the Department of Justice to institute enforcement action or lead the taxpayer ultimately to file a deficiency action in the United States Tax Court or a refund claim in a United States District Court or the Court of Federal Claims. As a practical matter, the IRS will likely hire contractors to assist in the factual development of an examination only in significant cases. These are cases in which litigation over summons enforcement is already likely to occur if the IRS examination team faces resistance from taxpayers to providing requested information. Accordingly, there should not be considerably more litigation as a result of these final regulations. Moreover, when there is summons enforcement litigation, it will be because the IRS has determined that such litigation is in the best interest of tax administration.

    5. Procedural Concerns With the Issuance of the Temporary Regulations

    One of the comments states that the temporary regulations were not issued in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The temporary regulations were promulgated in full compliance with the APA. In addition, this document finalizes proposed regulations contained in a notice of proposed rulemaking that cross-referenced the temporary regulations. The proposed regulations were also promulgated in full compliance with the APA. Because these final regulations adopt the proposed regulations, it is not necessary to address concerns regarding procedural issues relating to promulgation of the temporary regulations.

    Special Analyses

    It has been determined that this Treasury Decision is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. The IRS has determined that sections 553(b) and (d) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) do not apply to these regulations and because the regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the notice of proposed rulemaking preceding these regulations was submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comments on its impact on small business, and no comments were received.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these final regulations is William V. Spatz of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration). However, other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 301

    Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 301 is amended as follows:

    PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    § 301.7602-1T [Removed]
    Par. 2. Section 301.7602-1T is removed. Par. 3. Section 301.7602-1 is amended by adding paragraph (b)(3) and revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 301.7602-1 Examination of books and witnesses.

    (b)(3) Participation of a person described in section 6103(n). For purposes of this paragraph (b), a person authorized to receive returns or return information under section 6103(n) and § 301.6103(n)-1(a) of the regulations may receive and review books, papers, records, or other data produced in compliance with a summons and, in the presence and under the guidance of an IRS officer or employee, participate fully in the interview of a witness summoned by the IRS to provide testimony under oath. Fully participating in an interview includes, but is not limited to, receipt, review, and use of summoned books, papers, records, or other data; being present during summons interviews; questioning the person providing testimony under oath; and asking a summoned person's representative to clarify an objection or assertion of privilege.

    (d) Applicability date. This section is applicable after September 3, 1982, except for paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section which are applicable on and after April 1, 2005 and paragraph (b)(3) of this section which applies to summons interviews conducted on or after July 14, 2016. For rules under paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) that are applicable to summonses issued on or after September 10, 2002 or under paragraph (b)(3) that are applicable to summons interviews conducted on or after June 18, 2014, see 26 CFR 301.7602-1T (revised as of April 1, 2016).

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: May 27, 2016. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2016-16606 Filed 7-12-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0267] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016, Fairport Harbor, OH, Bay City, MI, Chicago, IL, Green Bay, WI, Duluth, MN, Erie, PA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is creating temporary safety zones around each tall ship visiting the Great Lakes during the Tall Ships Challenge 2016 race series. These safety zones will provide for the regulation of vessel traffic in the vicinity of each tall ship in the navigable waters of the United States. The Coast Guard is taking this action to safeguard participants and spectators from the hazards associated with the limited maneuverability of these tall ships and to ensure public safety during tall ships events.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from July 14, 2016 through 12:01 a.m. on September 12, 2016. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 12:01 a.m. July 6, 2016 through July 14, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0267 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 Mark Bobal, Ninth District Inspections and Investigations Branch, Passenger Vessel Safety Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 216-902-6052, 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

    During the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016, tall ships will be participating in parades and then mooring in the harbors of Fairport Harbor, OH, Bay City, MI, Chicago, IL, Green Bay, WI, Duluth, MN, Erie, PA. This is a tri-annual event that teaches character building and leadership through sail training. The Tall Ships event seeks to educate the public about both the historical aspects of sailing ships as well as their current use as training vessels for students. Tall ships are large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessels. The event will consist of festivals at each port of call, sail training cruises, tall ship parades, and races between the ports. More information regarding the Tall Ships Challenge 2016 and the participating vessels can be found at http://www.sailtraining.org/tallships/2016greatlakes/TSC2016index.php

    The Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled Safety Zone; Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016, Fairport Harbor, OH, Bay City, MI, Chicago, IL, Green Bay, WI, Duluth, MN, Erie, PA (USCG-2016-0267, 81 FR 26767, May 4, 2016). There we stated why we issued the NPRM, and invited comments on our proposed regulatory action related. During the comment period that ended June 3, 2016, we received one comment.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Ninth District Commander has determined that potential hazards associated with tall ships operating in crowded harbors in close proximity to spectator craft necessitate a safety zone. The purpose of this rule is to ensure the safety of all vessels during the Tall Ship events.

    IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes, and the Rule

    As noted above, we received one comments on our NPRM published May 4, 2016. The comment was directed at a rule pertaining to a fireworks show during a university graduation and did not apply to this rule. There are no changes in the regulatory text of this rule from the proposed rule in the NPRM.

    This rule establishes a safety zone from 12:01 a.m. July 6, 2016, that is established around each Tall Ship participating in this event. The safety zone covers all navigable waters within 100 yards of a tall ship in the Great Lakes. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters during the 2016 Tall Ships Challenge. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. If the tall ships are operating in a confined area such as a small harbor and there is not adequate room for vessels to stay out of the safety zone because of a lack of navigable water, then vessels will be permitted to operate within the safety zone and shall travel at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course. The navigation rules apply at all times within the safety zone. The safety zone terminates at 12:01 a.m. on September 12, 2016.

    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 regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this safety zone. Commercial traffic does not typically come within the boundaries of the safety zone, and would be permitted to pass through the safety zone in accordance with the rule. 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 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 a safety zone that will prohibit vessels from passing within 100 yards of a tall ship without coming to a slow speed. 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.

    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(g), 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 165.T09-0073 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0073 Safety Zone; Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016; Fairport Harbor, OH, Bay City, MI, Chicago, IL, Green Bay, WI, Sturgeon Bay, WI, Duluth, MN, Erie, PA.

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

    (1) Navigation Rules means the Navigation Rules, International and Inland (See, 1972 COLREGS and 33 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.).

    (2) Official Patrol means those persons designated by Captain of the Port Buffalo, Detroit, Sault Ste. Marie, Duluth and Lake Michigan to monitor a tall ship safety zone, permit entry into the zone, give legally enforceable orders to persons or vessels within the zone, and take other actions authorized by the cognizant Captain of the Port.

    (3) Public Vessel means vessels owned, chartered, or operated by the United States or by a State or political subdivision thereof.

    (4) Tall Ship means any sailing vessel participating in the Tall Ships Challenge 2016 in the Great Lakes.

    (b) Location. The following areas are safety zones: all navigable waters of the United States located in the Ninth Coast Guard District within a 100 yard radius of any tall ship.

    (c) Regulations. (1) No person or vessel is allowed within the safety zone unless authorized by the cognizant Captain of the Port, their designated representative, or the on-scene official patrol.

    (2) Persons or vessels operating within a confined harbor or channel, where there is not sufficient navigable water outside of the safety zone to safely maneuver are allowed to operate within the safety zone and shall travel at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course. Vessels operating within the safety zone shall not come within 25 yards of a tall ship unless authorized by the cognizant Captain of the Port, their designated representative, or the on-scene official patrol.

    (3) When a tall ship approaches any vessel that is moored or anchored, the stationary vessel must stay moored or anchored while it remains within the tall ship's safety zone unless ordered by or given permission from the cognizant Captain of the Port, their designated representative, or the on-scene official patrol to do otherwise.

    (d) Effective period. This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 through 12:01 a.m. on Monday, September 12, 2016.

    (e) Navigation Rules. The Navigation Rules shall apply at all times within a tall ships safety zone.

    Dated: July 5, 2016. J.E. Ryan, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16711 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 9 and 721 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0810; FRL-9948-81] RIN 2070-AB27 Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances; Withdrawal AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Partial withdrawal of direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is withdrawing significant new use rules (SNURs) promulgated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for three chemical substances, which were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs). EPA published these SNURs using direct final rulemaking procedures, which requires EPA to take certain actions if an adverse comment is received. EPA received adverse comments regarding the SNURs identified in this document. Therefore, the Agency is withdrawing the direct final rule SNURs identified in this document, as required under the direct final rulemaking procedures.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0810, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Kenneth Moss, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-9232; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Does this action apply to me?

    A list of potentially affected entities is provided in the Federal Register of May 16, 2016 (81 FR 30452) (FRL-9944-77). If you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    II. What direct final SNURs are being withdrawn?

    In the May 16, 2016 Federal Register, EPA issued direct final SNURs for the chemical substances that are identified in this document. These direct final SNURs were issued under the procedures in 40 CFR part 721, subpart D. Because the Agency received notices of intent to submit adverse comments, in accordance with § 721.160(c)(3)(ii), EPA is withdrawing the direct final SNURS issued for the following chemical substances, which were the subject of PMNs: Functionalized carbon nanotubes (generic), (PMN P-15-276), Diisocyanato hexane, homopolymer, alkanoic acid-polyalkylene glycol ether with substituted alkane (3:1) reaction products-blocked (generic), (PMN P-15-378), and Modified diphenylmethane diisocyanate prepolymer with polyol (generic), (PMN P-15-559). EPA intends to publish proposed SNURs for the chemical substances identified in this document.

    For further information regarding EPA's direct final rulemaking procedures for issuing SNURs, see 40 CFR part 721, subpart D, and the Federal Register of July 27, 1989 (54 FR 31314).

    III. Good Cause Finding

    EPA determined that this document is not subject to the 30-day delay of effective date generally required by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(d)) because of the time limitations for publication in the Federal Register. This document must publish on or before the effective date of the direct final rule containing the direct final SNURs being withdrawn.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action withdraws regulatory requirements that have not gone into effect and which contain no new or amended requirements. As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have any adverse impacts, economic or otherwise. The statutory and Executive Order review requirements applicable to the direct final rule were discussed in the May 16, 2016 Federal Register. Those review requirements do not apply to this action because it is a withdrawal and does not contain any new or amended requirements.

    V. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Section 808 of the CRA allows the issuing agency to make a rule effective sooner than otherwise provided by CRA if the agency makes a good cause finding that notice and public procedure is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. As required by 5 U.S.C. 808(2), this determination is supported by a brief statement in Unit III.

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 9

    Environmental protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Part 721

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 7, 2016. Maria J. Doa, Director, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 9—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 135 et seq., 136-136y; 15 U.S.C. 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2601-2671; 21 U.S.C. 331j, 346a, 348; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., 1311, 1313d, 1314, 1318, 1321, 1326, 1330, 1342, 1344, 1345(d) and (e), 1361; E.O. 11735, 38 FR 21243, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp. p. 973; 42 U.S.C. 241, 242b, 243, 246, 300f, 300g, 300g-1, 300g-2, 300j-2, 300j-3, 300j-4, 300j-9, 1857 et seq., 6901-6992k, 7401-7671q, 7542, 9601-9657, 11023, 11048.

    § 9.1 [Amended]
    2. In the table in § 9.1, under the undesignated center heading “Significant New Uses of Chemical Substances,” remove §§ 721.10902, 721.10913 and 721.10920. PART 721—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for part 721 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2604, 2607, and 2625(c).

    § 721.10902 [Removed]
    4. Remove § 721.10902.
    § 721.10913 [Removed]
    5. Remove § 721.10913.
    § 721.10920 [Removed]
    6. Remove § 721.10920.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16576 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0290; FRL-9948-97-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Spokane Second 10-Year Carbon Monoxide Limited Maintenance Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the limited maintenance plan submitted on May 11, 2016, by the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), in cooperation with the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency (SRCAA) for the Spokane carbon monoxide (CO) maintenance area (Spokane area or area). The Spokane area includes the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Millwood, and surrounding urban areas in Spokane County, Washington. This plan addresses the second 10-year maintenance period for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) promulgated for CO, as revised in 1985. The Spokane area has had no exceedances of the CO NAAQS since 1997 and monitored CO levels in the area continue to decline steadily. The EPA is also approving an alternative CO monitoring strategy for the Spokane area which was submitted as part of the limited maintenance plan.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2016-0290. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information 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 is publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available at http://www.regulations.gov or at EPA Region 10, Office of Air and Waste, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101. The EPA requests that you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Hunt, Air Planning Unit, Office of Air and Waste (AWT-150), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Ave., Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101; telephone number: (206) 553-0256; email address: [email protected]

    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 May 27, 2016, the EPA proposed to approve the limited maintenance plan submitted by the State of Washington for the Spokane CO area, including proposed approval of an alternative CO monitoring strategy and removal of an obsolete site-specific order and amendment for the former Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation's aluminum reduction plant (81 FR 33632). An explanation of the Clean Air Act requirements, a detailed analysis of the 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 June 27, 2016. The EPA received no comments on the proposal.

    II. Final Action

    The EPA is approving the limited maintenance plan submitted by the State of Washington for the Spokane CO area. We are approving the request to remove the associated order and amendment for the former Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation's aluminum reduction plant located in Mead, Washington from incorporation by reference in the Washington State Implementation Plan (SIP) because the facility has been shut down, dismantled, and the operating permit has been revoked. We are also approving the State's alternative CO monitoring strategy for the Spokane area. The EPA's approval of this limited maintenance plan satisfies the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 175A requirements for the second 10-year period in the Spokane CO area.

    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 as described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. These materials have been approved by the EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by the EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.1 The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 10 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Orders Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • does not provide 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).

    This SIP revision is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land in Washington or any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). However, consistent with EPA policy, the EPA provided a consultation opportunity to the Spokane Tribe in a letter dated September 11, 2015. The EPA did not receive a request for consultation.

    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 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 September 12, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: June 29, 2016. Michelle L. Pirzadeh, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 10.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 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 WW—Washington 2. In § 52.2470: a. Amend paragraph (d) by removing the entries for “Kaiser Order DE 01 AQIS-3285” (state effective date 10/24/01) and “Kaiser Order Amendment #1 DE 01 AQIS-3285” (state effective date 4/9/03) from the table. b. Amend paragraph (e) by adding an entry at the end of Table 2—Attainment, Maintenance, and Other Plans for “Carbon Monoxide 2nd 10-Year Limited Maintenance Plan.”

    The addition reads as follows:

    § 52.2470 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    Table 2—Attainment, Maintenance, and Other Plans Name of SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or nonattainment area
  • State submittal date EPA approval date Explanations
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Carbon Monoxide 2nd 10-Year Limited Maintenance Plan Spokane 5/11/16 7/14/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation]
    [FR Doc. 2016-16452 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0839; FRL-9948-93-Region 4] Determination of Attainment; Atlanta, Georgia; 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to determine that the Atlanta, Georgia, 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) Moderate Nonattainment Area (“Atlanta Area” or the “Area”) has attained the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This final determination is based upon complete, quality-assured, and certified ambient air monitoring data showing that the Area has monitored attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the 2013-2015 monitoring period. The requirement for this Area to submit an attainment demonstration and associated reasonably available control measures (RACM), reasonable further progress (RFP) plans, contingency measures, and other planning state implementation plans (SIPs) related to attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS is suspended until EPA redesignates the Area to attainment, approves a redesignation substitute, or determines that the Area has violated the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This final attainment determination does not constitute a redesignation to attainment. The Atlanta Area will remain in nonattainment status for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS until such time as the State requests a redesignation to attainment and EPA determines that the Atlanta Area meets the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) requirements for redesignation, including an approved maintenance plan.

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0839. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jane Spann, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, Region 4, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Spann can be reached via phone at (404) 562-9029 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On March 12, 2008, EPA revised both the primary and secondary NAAQS for ozone to a level of 0.075 parts per million (ppm) (annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average concentration, averaged over three years) to provide increased protection of public health and the environment. See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008). The 2008 ozone NAAQS retains the same general form and averaging time as the 0.08 ppm NAAQS set in 1997, but is set at a more protective level.

    Effective July 20, 2012, EPA designated any area that was violating the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS based on the three most recent years (2008-2010) of air monitoring data as a nonattainment area. See 77 FR 30088 (May 21, 2012). The Atlanta Area, consisting of Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, and Rockdale counties, was designated as a marginal ozone nonattainment area. See 40 CFR 81.311. Areas that were designated as marginal ozone nonattainment areas were required to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS no later than July 20, 2015, based on 2012-2014 monitoring data. The Atlanta Area did not attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS by July 20, 2015, and therefore on April 11, 2016, the EPA Administrator signed a final rule reclassifying the Atlanta Area from a marginal nonattainment area to a moderate nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard. See 81 FR 26697 (May 4, 2016). Moderate areas are required to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS by no later than July 20, 2018, six years after the effective date of the initial nonattainment designations. See 40 CFR 51.1103. Air quality monitoring data from the 2013-2015 monitoring period show that the Atlanta Area is now attaining the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    Under the provisions of EPA's ozone implementation rule for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS (40 CFR part 51, subpart AA), if EPA issues a determination that an area is attaining the relevant standard, also known as a Clean Data Determination, the area's obligations to submit an attainment demonstration and associated RACM, RFP, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS are suspended until EPA: (i) Redesignates the area to attainment for the standard or approves a redesignation substitute, at which time those requirements no longer apply; or (ii) EPA determines that the area has violated the standard, at which time the area is again required to submit such plans. See 40 CFR 51.1118. While these requirements are suspended, EPA is not precluded from acting upon these elements at any time if submitted to EPA for review and approval.

    An attainment determination is not equivalent to a redesignation under section 107(d)(3) of the CAA. The designation status of the Atlanta Area will remain nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS until such time as EPA determines that the Area meets the CAA requirements for redesignation to attainment, including an approved maintenance plan, and redesignates the Area. Additionally, the determination of attainment is separate from, and does not influence or otherwise affect, any future designation determination or requirements for the Atlanta Area based on any new or revised ozone NAAQS, and the determination of attainment remains in effect regardless of whether EPA designates this Area as a nonattainment area for purposes of any new or revised ozone NAAQS.

    In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on May 3, 2016, EPA proposed to determine that the Atlanta Area has attained the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 81 FR 26515 (May 3, 2016). No comments were received on the May 3, 2016, proposed rulemaking. The details of Georgia's submittal and the rationale for EPA's actions are further explained in the NPRM. See 81 FR 26515 (May 3, 2016).

    II. Final Action

    EPA is making the determination that the Atlanta Area has attained the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This final determination is based upon complete, quality assured, and certified ambient air monitoring data showing that the Atlanta Area has monitored attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the 2013-2015 monitoring period. The requirement for this Area to submit an attainment demonstration and associated RACM, a RFP plan, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS are suspended until EPA redesignates the Area to attainment, approves a redesignation substitute, or determines that the Area has violated the standard.

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action makes a determination of attainment based on air quality data and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • will not have disproportionate human health or environmental effects under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law because it merely makes a determination based on air quality data.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 12, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Ozone, Nitrogen dioxide, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: June 27, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart L—Georgia 2. Section 52.582 is amended by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 52.582 Control strategy: Ozone.

    (e) Determination of attaining data. EPA has determined, as of July 14, 2016, that the Atlanta, Georgia nonattainment area has attaining data for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This determination, in accordance with 40 CFR 51.1118, suspends the requirements for this area to submit attainment demonstrations and associated reasonably available control measures, reasonable further progress plans, contingency measures for failure to attain or make reasonable progress, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the 2008 ozone NAAQS, or for any prior NAAQS for which the determination has been made, until such time as: The area is redesignated to attainment for that NAAQS or a redesignation substitute is approved as appropriate, at which time the requirements no longer apply; or EPA determines that the area has violated that NAAQS, at which time the area is again required to submit such plans.

    [FR Doc. 2016-16449 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0106; FRL-9948-95-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; NC; Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards Revision AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of North Carolina, through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's (NCDEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) on December 11, 2015, that incorporates amendments to the state rules reflecting the 2012 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This action is being taken pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    This direct final rule is effective September 12, 2016 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by August 15, 2016. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0106 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madolyn Sanchez, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Sanchez can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9644 or via electronic mail at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Sections 108 and 109 of the CAA govern the establishment, review, and revision, as appropriate, of the NAAQS to protect public health and welfare. The CAA requires periodic review of the air quality criteria—the science upon which the standards are based—and the standards themselves. EPA's regulatory provisions that govern the NAAQS are found at 40 CFR 50—National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards. In this rulemaking, EPA is taking direct final action to approve North Carolina's December 11, 2015, submission amending the State's regulations to incorporate the NAAQS for PM2.5, which are found at 15A North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC) 02D .0410. The SIP submittal amending North Carolina's rules to incorporate the NAAQS can be found in the docket for this rulemaking at www.regulations.gov and is summarized below.

    II. Analysis of State's Submittal

    On December 14, 2012, EPA promulgated a revised primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. See 78 FR 3086. In that action, EPA revised the primary annual PM2.5 standard, strengthening it from 15.0 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 12.0 μg/m3, and retained the existing 24-hour PM2.5 standard at 35 μg/m3. Accordingly, in the December 11, 2015, SIP submittal, North Carolina revised state rule 15A NCAC 02D .0410 PM 2.5 Particulate Matter to update the primary air quality standard for PM2.5 to be consistent with the NAAQS that were promulgated by EPA in 2012. EPA has reviewed this change to North Carolina's rule for PM2.5 and has made the determination that this change is consistent with federal regulations.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of North Carolina regulation 15A NCAC 02D .0410 PM 2.5 Particulate Matter effective September 1, 2015, which was revised to be consistent with the current NAAQS. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.1 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this preamble for more information).

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is approving the aforementioned change to the North Carolina SIP because it is consistent with EPA's 2012 PM2.5 standards. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective September 12, 2016September 12, 2016 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by August 15, 2016.

    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on September 12, 2016 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing 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 September 12, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter.

    Dated: June 30, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 Part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart II—North Carolina 2. Section 52.1770(c) is amended under Table 1, at “Subchapter 2D—Air Pollution Control Requirements”, “Section .0400 Ambient Air Quality Standards” by revising the entry for “Sect .0410” to read as follows:
    § 52.1770 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    Table 1—EPA Approved North Carolina Regulations State citation Title/Subject State effective date EPA Approval date Explanation Subchapter 2D Air Pollution Control Requirements *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section .0400 Ambient Air Quality Standards *         *         *         *         *         *         * Sect .0410 PM2.5 Particulate Matter 9/1/2015 7/14/16, [Insert citation of publication] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-16458 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742-6210-02] RIN 0648-XE728 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reapportionment of the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pacific Halibut Prohibited Species Catch Limits for the Trawl Deep-Water and Shallow-Water Fishery Categories AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reapportionment.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reapportioning the seasonal apportionments of the 2016 Pacific halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories in the Gulf of Alaska. This action is necessary to account for the actual halibut PSC use by the trawl deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories from May 15, 2016, through June 30, 2016. This action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), July 11, 2016, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016) apportions the 2016 Pacific halibut PSC limit for trawl gear in the GOA to two trawl fishery categories: A deep-water species fishery and a shallow-water species fishery. The halibut PSC limit for these two trawl fishery categories is further apportioned by season, including four seasonal apportionments to the shallow-water species fishery and three seasonal apportionments to the deep-water species fishery. The two fishery categories also are apportioned a combined, fifth seasonal halibut PSC limit. Unused seasonal apportionments are added to the next season apportionment during a fishing year.

    Regulations at § 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(D) require NMFS to combine management of the available trawl halibut PSC limits in the second season (April 1 through July 1) deep-water and shallow-water species fishery categories for use in either fishery from May 15 through June 30 of each year. Furthermore, NMFS is required to reapportion the halibut PSC limit between the deep-water and shallow-water species fisheries after June 30 to account for actual halibut PSC use by each fishery category during May 15 through June 30. As of July 6, 2016, NMFS has determined that the trawl deep-water and shallow-water fisheries used 28 metric tons (mt) and 32 mt of halibut PSC, respectively, from May 15 through June 30. Accordingly, pursuant to § 679.21(d)(4)(iii)(D), the Regional Administrator is reapportioning the combined first and second seasonal apportionments (810 mt) of halibut PSC limit between the trawl deep-water and shallow-water fishery categories to account for the actual PSC use (792 mt) in each fishery. Therefore, Table 15 of the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016) is revised consistent with this adjustment.

    Table 15—Final 2016 and 2017 Apportionment of Pacific Halibut PSC Trawl Limits Between the Trawl Gear Deep-Water Species Fishery and the Shallow-Water Species Fishery Categories [Values are in metric tons] Season Shallow-water Deep-water 1 Total January 20-April 1 257 92 349 April 1-July 1 144 299 443 Subtotal of combined first and second season limit (January 20-July 1) 401 391 792 July 1-September 1 180 350 530 September 1-October 1 128 Any remainder 128 Subtotal January 20-October 1 709 741 1,450 October 1-December 31 2 256 Total 1,706 1 Vessels participating in cooperatives in the Central GOA Rockfish Program will receive 191 mt of the third season (July 1 through September 1) deep-water species fishery halibut PSC apportionment. 2 There is no apportionment between trawl shallow-water and deep-water species fishery categories during the fifth season (October 1 through December 31). Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would allow for harvests that exceed the originally specified apportionment of the halibut PSC limits to the deep-water and shallow-water fishery categories. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of July 8, 2016.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16648 Filed 7-11-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 135 Thursday, July 14, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 914 [SATS No. IN-164-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2016-0004; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 167S180110 S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 16XS501520] Indiana Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Indiana Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AMLR) Plan (hereinafter, the Plan) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Indiana proposes to revise its Plan to reflect the 2006 changes to SMCRA.

    This document gives the times and locations that the Indiana Plan and this proposed amendment to that Plan are available for your inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written comments on the amendment, and the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested.

    DATES:

    We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4:00 p.m., c.t., August 15, 2016. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on August 8, 2016. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., c.t. on July 29, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. IN-164-FOR, by any of the following methods:

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Len V. Meier, Chief, Alton Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 501 Belle St., Suite 216, Alton, IL 62002

    Fax: (618) 463-6470

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comment Procedures” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to review copies of the Indiana Plan, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, you must go to the address listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE's Alton Field Division or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at www.regulations.gov.

    Len V. Meier, Chief Alton Field Division Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 501 Belle Street, Suite 216 Alton, Illinois 62002-6169 Telephone: (618) 463-6460 Email: [email protected]

    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following location:

    Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Reclamation 14619 West State Road 48 Jasonville, IN 47438 Telephone: (812) 665-2207
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Len V. Meier, Chief, Alton Field Division. Telephone: (618) 463-6460. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background on the Indiana Plan II. Description of the Proposed Amendment III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Indiana Plan

    The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program was established by Title IV of the Act, (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.) in response to concerns over extensive environmental damage caused by past coal mining activities. The program is funded by a reclamation fee collected on each ton of coal that is produced. The money collected is used to finance the reclamation of abandoned coal mines and for other authorized activities. Section 405 of the Act allows States and Indian tribes to assume exclusive responsibility for reclamation activity within the State or on Indian lands if they develop and submit to the Secretary of the Interior for approval, a program (often referred to as a Plan) for the reclamation of abandoned coal mines. You can find background information on the Indiana Plan, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Indiana Plan in the April 26, 1999, Federal Register (64 FR 20166). You can also find later actions concerning the Indiana Plan and Plan amendments at 30 CFR 914.20 and 914.25.

    II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated March 14, 2016 (Administrative Record No. IN-1773), Indiana sent us an amendment to its AMLR Plan under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Indiana proposes to update the Indiana Plan as required by the 2006 Amendment to SMCRA. The full text of the Plan amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at www.regulations.gov.

    III. Public Comment Procedures

    We are seeking your comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable Plan approval criteria of 30 CFR 884.15. If we approve the amendment, it will become part of the State Plan.

    Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written comments, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent State or Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4:00 p.m., c.t. on July 29, 2016. If you are disabled and need reasonable accommodations to attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests an opportunity to speak, we will not hold a hearing.

    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, if possible, that each person who speaks at the public hearing provide us with a written copy of his or her comments. The public hearing will continue on the specified date until everyone scheduled to speak has been given an opportunity to be heard. If you are in the audience and have not been scheduled to speak and wish to do so, you will be allowed to speak after those who have been scheduled. We will end the hearing after everyone scheduled to speak and others present in the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

    Public Meeting

    If only one person requests an opportunity to speak, we may hold a public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with us to discuss the amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings are open to the public and, if possible, we will post notices of meetings at the locations listed under ADDRESSES. We will make a written summary of each meeting a part of the administrative record.

    IV. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rulemaking is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

    When a State submits a Plan amendment to OSMRE for review, our regulations at 30 CFR 884.14 and 884.15 require us to hold a public hearing on a Plan amendment if it changes the objectives, scope or major policies followed, or make a finding that the State provided adequate notice and opportunity for public comment. Indiana has elected to have OSMRE publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment and soliciting comments. We will conclude our review of the proposed amendment after the close of the public comment period and determine whether the amendment should be approved, approved in part, or not approved. At that time, we will also make the determinations and certifications required by the various laws and executive orders governing the rulemaking process and include them in the final rule.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 914

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Sterling Rideout, Acting Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16658 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 916 [SATS No. KS-029-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2016-0003; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 167S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 16XS501520] Kansas Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Kansas Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AMLR) Plan (hereinafter, the Plan) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Kansas proposes revisions to modernize its Plan, which remains largely unchanged since its approval on February 1, 1982, and encompasses the November 14, 2008, changes to the Federal regulations.

    This document gives the times and locations that the Kansas Plan and proposed amendment to that Plan are available for your inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written comments on the amendment, and the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested.

    DATES:

    We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4:00 p.m., c.t., August 15, 2016. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on August 8, 2016. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., c.t. on July 29, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. KS-029-FOR, by any of the following methods:

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1645 South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128-4629.

    Fax: (918) 581-6419.

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comment Procedures” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to review copies of the Kansas Plan, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, you must go to the address listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE's Tulsa Field Office or going to www.regulations.gov.

    Director Tulsa Field Office Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 1645 South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145 Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128-4629 Telephone: (918) 581-6430

    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following location:

    Kansas Department of Health and Environment Surface Mining Section 4033 Parkview Drive Frontenac, Kansas 66763 Telephone: (316) 231-8540.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Director, Tulsa Field Office. Telephone: (918) 581-6430. Email: William L. Joseph at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Kansas Plan II. Description of the Proposed Amendment III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Kansas Plan

    The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program was established by Title IV of the Act, (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.) in response to concerns over extensive environmental damage caused by past coal mining activities. The program is funded by a reclamation fee collected on each ton of coal that is produced. The money collected is used to finance the reclamation of abandoned coal mines and for other authorized activities. Section 405 of the Act allows States and Indian tribes to assume exclusive responsibility for reclamation activity within the State or on Indian lands if they develop and submit to the Secretary of the Interior for approval, a program (often referred to as a Plan) for the reclamation of abandoned coal mines. On February 1, 1982, the Secretary of the Interior approved the Kansas Plan. You can find background information on the Kansas Plan, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the approval of the Plan in the February 1, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 4513). You can find later actions concerning the Kansas AMLR Plan and amendments to the Plan at 30 CFR 916.20 and 916.25.

    II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated February 23, 2016 (Administrative Record No. KS-628), Kansas sent us an amendment to its AMLR Plan under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.) at its own initiative. Below is a summary of the changes proposed by Kansas. The full text of the Plan amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES.

    Kansas proposes to revise its Plan by modernizing it and encompassing the November 14, 2008, changes to the Federal regulations. The revised Plan addresses all the Federal requirements found in 30 CFR 884.13 regarding content of proposed State reclamation plans.

    III. Public Comment Procedures

    We are seeking your comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable Plan approval criteria of 30 CFR 884.15. If we approve the amendment, it will become part of the State Plan.

    Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written comments, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent State or Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4:00 p.m., c.t. on July 29, 2016. If you are disabled and need reasonable accommodations to attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests an opportunity to speak, we will not hold a hearing.

    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, if possible, that each person who speaks at the public hearing provide us with a written copy of his or her comments. The public hearing will continue on the specified date until everyone scheduled to speak has been given an opportunity to be heard. If you are in the audience and have not been scheduled to speak and wish to do so, you will be allowed to speak after those who have been scheduled. We will end the hearing after everyone scheduled to speak and others present in the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

    Public Meeting

    If only one person requests an opportunity to speak, we may hold a public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with us to discuss the amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings are open to the public and, if possible, we will post notices of meetings at the locations listed under ADDRESSES. We will make a written summary of each meeting a part of the administrative record.

    IV. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rulemaking is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

    When a State submits a Plan amendment to OSMRE for review, our regulations at 30 CFR 884.14 and 884.15 require us to hold a public hearing on a Plan amendment if it changes the objectives, scope or major policies followed, or make a finding that the State provided adequate notice and opportunity for public comment. Kansas has elected to have OSMRE publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment and soliciting comments. We will conclude our review of the proposed amendment after the close of the public comment period and determine whether the amendment should be approved, approved in part, or not approved. At that time, we will also make the determinations and certifications required by the various laws and executive orders governing the rulemaking process and include them in the final rule.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 916

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Sterling Rideout, Acting Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16657 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 110 [Docket No. USCG-2014-0142] RIN 1625-AA01 Anchorage Regulations; Special Anchorage Areas, Marina del Rey Harbor, California AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; reopen comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is re-opening the comment period for its supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM), published in May 2014. The Coast Guard is proposing to amend the shape and reduce the size of the special anchorage in Marina del Rey Harbor, California. Additionally, we propose to clarify the language in the note section of the existing regulation. Because the date of the public meeting was not published in the Federal Register until after the meeting was held, the Coast Guard is providing an additional opportunity for public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments identified by docket number USCG-2014-0142 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions concerning the proposed rule, please call or email Lieutenant Junior Grade Colleen Patton, Waterways Management Branch, Eleventh Coast Guard District, telephone 510-437-5984, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background and Purpose

    We published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on May 28, 2014 (79 FR 30509), entitled “Anchorage Regulations: Special Anchorage Areas, Marina del Rey Harbor, California.” The NPRM proposed to disestablish the special anchorage area. In response to comments received, we have issued a supplemental NPRM (81 FR 10156, February 29, 2016) to retain the special anchorage, but amend the shape and reduce the size of the anchorage to remove the anchorage area from a location where it could endanger vessel traffic.

    Because the date of the public meeting was not published in the Federal Register until after the meeting was held, we have concluded that additional comments would aid this rulemaking. Therefore, we are publishing this document to reopen the comment period.

    You may view the SNPRM, in our online docket, in addition to supporting documents prepared by the Coast Guard and comments submitted thus far by going to http://www.regulations.gov. Once there, insert “USCG-2014-0142” in the “Keyword” box and click “Search.”

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments to the docket 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.

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Public Meeting

    We do not now plan to hold another public meeting, but will consider holding one in response to a request from the public. You may submit a request for a meeting either by submitting a comment to the docket or by writing to Eleventh Coast Guard District at the address under ADDRESSES explaining why one would be beneficial. If we determine that a meeting would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice.

    Reopening the Comment Period

    The comment period for the SNPRM published in February 2016 ended April 30, 2016. In order to give the public a chance to make additional comments, the Coast Guard is reopening the comment period on our SNPRM. All comments must reach the public docket at the address found in ADDRESSES on or before August 15, 2016.

    Dated: June 10, 2016. J.A. Servidio, RADM, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16713 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0431; FRL- 9948-98-Region 4] Air Plan Approval/Disapproval; Alabama; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve in part and disapprove in part portions of the April 23, 2013, State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of Alabama, through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), for inclusion into the Alabama SIP. This proposal pertains to the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2010 1-hour sulfur dioxide (SO2) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. ADEM certified that the Alabama SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Alabama. With the exception of provisions respecting state boards, which EPA is proposing to disapprove, and interstate transport, which EPA is not proposing any action at this time, EPA is proposing to determine that portions of Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission provided to EPA on April 23, 2013, satisfy the required infrastructure elements for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0431 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Overview

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

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions States generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Throughout this rulemaking, unless otherwise indicated, the term “ADEM Administrative Code (Admin. Code r).” indicates that the cited regulation has either been approved, or submitted for approval into Alabama's federally-approved SIP. The term “Alabama Code” (Ala. Code) indicates cited Alabama state statutes, which are not a part of the SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    This action is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission for the applicable requirements of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, with the exception of interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states and visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4) and the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). With respect to the interstate transport provisions of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) and the visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4), EPA is not proposing any action at this time regarding these requirements. With respect to Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission related to section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requirements respecting the section 128 state board requirements, EPA is proposing to disapprove this element of Alabama's submission in this rulemaking. For the aspects of Alabama's submittal proposed for approval today, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Alabama's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    II. What elements are required under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains.

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned previously, these requirements include basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements of section 110(a)(2) are summarized later on and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” 2

    2 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D, title I of the CAA; and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, title I of the CAA. This proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System • 110(a)2(C): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources 3

    3 This rulemaking only addresses requirements for this element as they relate to attainment areas.

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Powers • 110(a)(2)(H): SIP Revisions • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 4

    4 As mentioned previously, this element is not relevant to this proposed rulemaking.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Visibility Protection • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Alabama that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.5 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    5 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.13 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    13 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the United States (U.S.) Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and new source review (NSR) pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHGs). By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's implementation plan meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, among other things, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor NSR program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.14 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    14 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's implementation plan is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.15 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.16 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.17

    15 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    16 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    17See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Alabama addressed the elements of the Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “Infrastructure” provisions?

    Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described later on.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires that each implementation plan include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements. Several regulations within Alabama's SIP are relevant to air quality control regulations. The regulations described later on have been federally approved in the Alabama SIP and include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.03—Ambient Air Quality Standards, authorizes ADEM to adopt rules for the control of air pollution in order to comply with NAAQS, including those necessary to obtain EPA approval under section 110 of the CAA. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.06—Compliance Schedule, sets the schedule for compliance with the State's Air Pollution Control rules and regulations to be consistent with the requirements of the CAA. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-05—Sampling and Testing Methods, details the authority and means with which ADEM can require testing and emissions verification. Also, the following ADEM Administrative Code rules regulate stack height: 335-3-14-03(2)—Stack Heights, subparagraphs (d) and (e), 335-3-15-02(9)—Stack Heights, subparagraphs (d) and (e), and 335-3-16-.02(10)—General Provisions, subparagraphs (d) and (e). EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP satisfies Section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS in the State.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during SSM of operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.18

    18 On June 12, 2015, EPA published a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” See 80 FR 33840.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 24, 1987)), and the Agency plans to take action in the future to address such state regulations. In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to (i) monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.04—Monitoring, Records, and Reporting, requires sources to submit emissions monitoring reports as prescribed by the Director of ADEM. Pursuant to this regulation, these sources collect air monitoring data, quality assure the results, and report the data to EPA. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.05—Sampling and Testing Methods, details the authority and means through which ADEM can require testing and emissions verification. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.04—Air Permits Authorizing Construction in Clean Air: Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting (PSD), describes the State's use of ambient air quality monitoring data for purposes of permitting new facilities and assessing major modifications to existing facilities. Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, and includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.19 On July 22, 2015, Alabama submitted its plan to EPA. On November 19, 2015, EPA approved Alabama's monitoring network plan. Alabama's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0431. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    19 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources: This element consists of three sub-elements: Enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources, and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). ADEM's 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission cited a number of SIP provisions to address these requirements. Specifically, the submission cited ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.01—General Provisions, 335-3-14-.02,—Permit Procedure, 335-3-14-.03—Standards for Granting Permits, 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting and 335-3-14-.05—Air Permits Authorizing Construction in or Near Nonattainment Areas. Collectively, these provisions of Alabama's SIP regulate the construction of any new major stationary source or any modification at an existing major stationary source in an area designated as nonattainment, attainment or unclassifiable.

    Enforcement: ADEM's above-described, SIP-approved regulations provide for enforcement of SO2 emission limits and control measures through construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources. Note also that ADEM has authority to issue enforcement orders and assess penalties (see Ala. Code sections 22-22A-5, 22-28-10 and 22-28-22).

    PSD Permitting for Major Sources: EPA interprets the PSD sub-element to require that a state's infrastructure SIP submission for a particular NAAQS demonstrate that the state has a complete PSD permitting program in place covering the structural PSD requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants. A state's PSD permitting program is complete for this sub-element (and prong 3 of D(i) and J related to PSD) if EPA has already approved or is simultaneously approving the state's implementation plan with respect to all structural PSD requirements that are due under the EPA regulations or the CAA on or before the date of the EPA's proposed action on the infrastructure SIP submission.

    For the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, Alabama's authority to regulate new and modified sources to assist in the protection of air quality in Alabama is established in the Alabama Administrative Code Chapters 335-3-14-.01—General Provisions, 335-3-14-.02—Permit Procedure, 335-3-14-.03—Standards for Granting Permits, 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting, and 335-3-14-.05—Air Permits Authorizing Construction in or Near Nonattainment Areas. Alabama's SIP contains the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA to satisfy the infrastructure SIP PSD elements.20

    20 For more information on EPA's analysis of Alabama's infrastructure SIP in connection with the current PSD-related infrastructure requirements, see the Technical Support Document in the docket for this rulemaking.

    As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP satisfies this PSD element for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source program that regulates emissions of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.01 General Provisions, 335-3-14-.02 Permit Procedure, and 335-3-14-.03—Standards for Granting Permits govern the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for program enforcement of control measures and regulation of minor sources and modifications, and preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources, and minor modifications of major stationary sources related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) Interstate Pollution Transport: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components: 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Each of these components has two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) because Alabama's 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS infrastructure submission did not address prongs 1 and 2.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), the PSD element, referred to as prong 3, this requirement may be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to: A PSD program meeting current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA, or (if the state contains a nonattainment area that has the potential to impact PSD in another state) a NNSR program. As discussed in more detail previously under section 110(a)(2)(C), Alabama's SIP contains provisions for the State's PSD program that reflect the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the requirement of prong 3. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP satisfies section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3) for PSD permitting of major sources and major modifications related to interstate transport for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4) and will consider these requirements in relation to Alabama's 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate and International Transport Provisions: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration in Permitting describes how Alabama notifies neighboring states of potential emission impacts from new or modified sources applying for PSD permits. This regulation requires ADEM to provide an opportunity for a public hearing to the public, which includes state or local air pollution control agencies, “whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification” in Alabama. Additionally, Alabama does not have any pending obligation under sections 115 and 126 of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(E) Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide: (i) Necessary assurances that the state will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the state comply with the requirements respecting state boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the state has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission as meeting the requirements of sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii). With respect to sub-element 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) (regarding state boards), EPA is proposing to disapprove this sub-element. EPA's rationale respecting each sub-element is described in turn later on.

    In support of EPA's proposal to approve sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), ADEM's infrastructure submission demonstrates that it is responsible for promulgating rules and regulations for the NAAQS, emissions standards, general policies, a system of permits, fee schedules for the review of plans, and other planning needs as authorized at Ala. Code section 22-28-11 and section 22-28-9. As evidence of the adequacy of ADEM's resources with respect to sub-elements (i) and (iii), EPA submitted a letter to Alabama on April 19, 2016, outlining 105 grant commitments and current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2015. The letter EPA submitted to Alabama can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0431. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. There were no outstanding issues in relation to the SIP for fiscal year 2015, therefore, Alabama's grants were finalized and closed out. Alabama's funding is also met through the state's title V fee program at ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-7—Air Division Operating Permit Fees21 and ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-6—Application Fees. 22 In addition, the requirements of 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii) are met when EPA performs a completeness determination for each SIP submittal. This determination ensures that each submittal provides evidence that adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority under state law has been used to carry out the state's implementation plan and related issues. Alabama's authority to implement provisions of the State's implementation plan is included in all prehearings and final SIP submittal packages for approval by EPA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama has adequate authority and resources for implementation of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    21 Title V program regulations are federally-approved but not incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    22 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that SIPs comply with section 128 of the CAA. Section 128 requires that SIPs contain provisions to provide that: (1) The majority of members of the state board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permitting or enforcement orders under the CAA; and (2) any potential conflicts of interest by such board or body, or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed. After reviewing Alabama's SIP, EPA has made the preliminary determination that the State's implementation plan does not contain provisions to comply with section 128 of the Act, and thus Alabama's April 23, 2013, infrastructure SIP submission does not meet the requirements of the Act. While Alabama has state statutes that may address, in whole or part, requirements related to state boards at the state level, these provisions are not included in the SIP as required by the CAA. Based on an evaluation of the federally-approved Alabama SIP, EPA is proposing to disapprove Alabama's certification that its SIP meets the requirements of 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the CAA for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. The submitted provisions which purport to address 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) are severable from the other portions of ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission, therefore, EPA is proposing to disapprove those provisions which relate only to sub-element 110(a)(2)(E)(ii).

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires SIPs to meet applicable requirements addressing: (i) The installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources, (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions related data from such sources, and (iii) correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this section, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection. ADEM's infrastructure SIP submission describes the establishment of requirements for compliance testing by emissions sampling and analysis, and for emissions and operation monitoring to ensure the quality of data in the State. The Alabama infrastructure SIP submission also describes how the major source and minor source emission inventory programs collect emission data throughout the State and ensure the quality of such data. Alabama meets these requirements through ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.04—Monitoring, Records, and Reporting, and 335-3-12—Continuous Monitoring Requirements for Existing Sources. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.04, details how sources are required as appropriate to establish and maintain records; make reports; install, use, and maintain such monitoring equipment or methods; and provide periodic emission reports as the regulation requires. Additionally, ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-12-.02 requires owners and operators of emissions sources to “install, calibrate, operate and maintain all monitoring equipment necessary for continuously monitoring the pollutants.” 23 ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.13—Credible Evidence, makes allowances for owners and/or operators to utilize “any credible evidence or information relevant” to demonstrate compliance with applicable requirements if the appropriate performance or compliance test had been performed, for the purpose of submitting compliance certification and can be used to establish whether or not an owner or operator has violated or is in violation of any rule or standard. Accordingly, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Alabama SIP.

    23 ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-12-.02 establishes that data reporting requirements for sources required to conduct continuous monitoring in the state should comply with data reporting requirements set forth at 40 CFR part 51, Appendix P. Section 40 CFR part 51, Appendix P includes that the averaging period used for data reporting should be established by the state to correspond to the averaging period specified in the emission test method used to determine compliance with an emission standard for the pollutant/source category in question.

    Additionally, Alabama is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—NOX, SO2, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Alabama made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on May 7, 2013. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency Powers: This section requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Ala. Code sections 22-28-22, 22-28-14 and 22-28-21 grant ADEM authority to adopt regulations for the purpose of protecting human health, welfare and the environment as required by section 303 of the CAA. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-2,—Air Pollution Emergency, provides for the identification of air pollution emergency episodes, episode criteria, and emissions reduction plans. Alabama's compliance with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority is also met by Ala. Code section 22-28-21 Air Pollution Emergencies. Ala. Code Section 22-28-21 provides ADEM the authority to order the “person or persons responsible for the operation or operations of one or more air contaminants sources” causing “imminent danger to human health or safety in question to reduce or discontinue emissions immediately.” The order triggers a hearing no later than 24-hours after issuance before the Environmental Management Commission which can affirm, modify or set aside the Director's order. Additionally, the Governor can, by proclamation, declare, as to all or any part of said area, that an air pollution emergency exists and exercise certain powers in whole or in part, by the issuance of an order or orders to protect the public health. Under Ala. Code sections 22-28-3(a) and 22-28-10(2), ADEM also has the authority to issue such orders as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of the Alabama Pollution Control Act, which includes achieving and maintaining such levels of air quality as will protect human health and safety and, to the greatest degree practicable, prevent injury to plant and animal life and property, foster the comfort and convenience of the people, promote the social development of this state and facilitate the enjoyment of the natural attractions of the state. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP, state laws and practices are adequate to satisfy the infrastructure SIP obligations for emergency powers related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(G).

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) SIP Revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H), in summary, requires each SIP to provide for revisions of such plan: (i) As may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard, and (ii) whenever the Administrator finds that the plan is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS or to otherwise comply with any additional applicable requirements. As previously discussed, ADEM is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS. Alabama has the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-1-.03—Organization and Duties of the Commission, 24 provides the Alabama Environmental Management Commission with the authority to establish, adopt, promulgate, modify, repeal and suspend rules, regulations, or environmental standards which may be applicable to Alabama or “any of its geographic parts.” Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.03—Ambient Air Quality Standards, incorporate NAAQS, as amended or revised, and provides that the NAAQS apply throughout the State. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama adequately demonstrates a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(H).

    24 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, and PSD and visibility protection: EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that complies with the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, PSD and visibility protection. EPA's rationale for each sub-element is described later on.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.03—Ambient Air Quality Standards, as well as its Regional Haze Implementation Plan (which allows for continued consultation with appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding FLMs), provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. In addition, Alabama adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity which includes the development of mobile inventories for SIP development. These consultation procedures were developed in coordination with the transportation partners in the State and are consistent with the approaches used for development of mobile inventories for SIPs. Required partners covered by Alabama's consultation procedures include Federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with government officials related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS when necessary.

    Public notification (127 public notification): ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.01(7)—Public Participation, and 335-3-14-.05(13)—Public Participation, and Ala. Code section 22-28-21—Air Pollution Emergencies, provide for public notification when air pollution episodes occur. Furthermore, ADEM has several public notice mechanisms in place to notify the public of ozone and PM2.5 forecasting. Alabama maintains a public Web site on which daily air quality index forecasts are posted for the Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile areas. This Web site can be accessed at: http://adem.alabama.gov/programs/air/airquality.cnt. Although specific air quality forecasts for SO2 are not provided, they are provided for PM2.5 for which SO2 is a precursor. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    PSD: With regard to the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J), this requirement may be met by the state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to a PSD program meeting current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA. As discussed in more detail previously under the section discussing 110(a)(2)(C), Alabama's SIP contains the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J). Thus, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP satisfies the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J) for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS .

    Visibility protection: EPA's 2013 Guidance notes that it does not treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. ADEM referenced its regional haze program as germane to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Thus, EPA has determined that states do not need to address the visibility component of 110(a)(2)(J) in infrastructure SIP submittals so ADEM does not need to rely on its regional haze program to fulfill its obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J). As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's submission is approvable for the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) and that Alabama does not need to rely on its regional haze program to address this element.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the EPA can be made. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-14-.04—Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting, specifically sub-paragraph (11)—Air Quality Models, specifies that required air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models”. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-3-1-.04—Monitoring, Records, and Reporting details how sources are required as appropriate to establish and maintain records; make reports; install, use, and maintain such monitoring equipment or methods; and provide periodic emission reports as the regulation requires. These reports and records are required to be compiled, and submitted on forms furnished by the State. These regulations also demonstrate that Alabama has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Additionally, Alabama participates in a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, for the southeastern states. Taken as a whole, Alabama's air quality regulations and practices demonstrate that ADEM has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of any emissions of any pollutant for which a NAAQS has been promulgated, and to provide such information to the EPA Administrator upon request. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2010-1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(K).

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting Fees: This section requires the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a fee sufficient to cover (i) the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and (ii) if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source, the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under title V. ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-6—Application Fees25 requires ADEM to charge permit-specific fees to the applicant/source as authorized by Ala. Code section 22-22A-5. ADEM relies on these State requirements to demonstrate that its permitting fee structure is sufficient for the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting upon PSD and NNSR permits. Additionally, Alabama has a fully-approved title V operating permit program—ADEM Admin. Code r. 335-1-7—Air Division Operating Permit Fees 26 —that covers the cost of implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's state rules and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(L).

    25 This regulation has not been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    26 Title V program regulations are federally approved but not incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) of the Act requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. ADEM coordinates with local governments affected by the SIP. ADEM Administrative Code 335-3-17-.01—Transportation Conformity is one way that Alabama provides for consultation with affected local entities. More specifically, Alabama adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity which includes the development of mobile inventories for SIP development and the requirements that link transportation planning and air quality planning in nonattainment and maintenance areas. Required partners covered by Alabama's consultation procedures include Federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials. Furthermore, ADEM has worked with the Federal Land Managers as a requirement of the regional haze rule. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Alabama's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of interstate transport provisions pertaining to visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4), and the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's April 23, 2013, SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS for the previously described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to disapprove section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of Alabama's infrastructure submission because the State's implementation plan does not contain provisions to comply with section 128 of the Act, and thus Alabama's April 23, 2013, infrastructure SIP submission does not meet the requirements of the Act. The interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) will not be addressed by EPA at this time.

    Under section 179(a) of the CAA, final disapproval of a submittal that addresses a requirement of a CAA Part D Plan, or is required in response to a finding of substantial inadequacy as described in CAA section 110(k)(5) (SIP call), starts a sanctions clock. The portion of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) provisions (the provisions being proposed for disapproval in this notice) were not submitted to meet requirements for Part D or a SIP call, and therefore, if EPA takes final action to disapprove this submittal, no sanctions will be triggered. However, if this disapproval action is finalized, that final action will trigger the requirement under section 110(c) that EPA promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) no later than two years from the date of the disapproval unless the State corrects the deficiency, and EPA approves the plan or plan revision before EPA promulgates such FIP.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 30, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16577 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0252; FRL-9948-96-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Tennessee Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), on March 13, 2014, to demonstrate that the State meets the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP submission. TDEC certified that the Tennessee SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2010 NO2 NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Tennessee. With the exception of provisions pertaining to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting, and interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance, and visibility in other states, for which EPA is proposing no action through this rulemaking, EPA is proposing to find that Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission, provided to EPA on March 13, 2014, satisfies the required infrastructure elements for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0252 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Wong, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Wong can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected] or via telephone at (404) 562-8726.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Overview

    On February 9, 2010 (75 FR 6474), EPA published a new 1-hour primary NAAQS for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb), based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 6474. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP requirements, including emissions inventories, monitoring, and modeling to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS to EPA no later than January 22, 2013.1

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions States generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Throughout this rulemaking, unless otherwise indicated, the term “Tennessee Air Pollution Control Regulations” or “Regulation” indicates that the cited regulation has been approved into Tennessee's federally-approved SIP. The term “Tennessee Annotated Code”, or “TCA”, indicates cited Tennessee state statutes, which are not a part of the SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    This action is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission for the applicable requirements of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS, with the exception of the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J), and the interstate transport provisions of prongs 1, 2, and 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). On March 18, 2015, EPA approved Tennessee's March 13, 2014 infrastructure SIP submission regarding the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. See 80 FR 14019. Therefore, EPA is not proposing any action pertaining to these requirements. With respect to Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission related to the interstate transport provisions of prongs 1, 2 and 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), EPA is not proposing any action today. EPA will act on these provisions in a separate action. For the aspects of Tennessee's submittal proposed for approval today, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Tennessee's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    II. What elements are required under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains. In the case of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS, states typically have met the basic program elements required in section 110(a)(2) through earlier SIP submissions in connection with previous NAAQS.

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned previously, these requirements include SIP infrastructure elements such as modeling, monitoring, and emissions inventories that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements that are the subject of this proposed rulemaking are listed below and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and (2).” 2

    2 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D Title I of the CAA; and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA. This proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System • 110(a)(2)(C): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources 3

    3 This rulemaking only addresses requirements for this element as they relate to attainment areas.

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Powers • 110(a)(2)(H): SIP revisions • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 4

    4 As mentioned previously, this element is not relevant to this proposed rulemaking.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Tennessee that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.5 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    5 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6 See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8 See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.13 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    13 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and NSR pollutants, including GHGs. By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's implementation plan meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, inter alia, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor new source review program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions. 14 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    14 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's implementation plan is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.15 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.16 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.17

    15 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    16 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    17 See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of how Tennessee addressed the elements of the sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions?

    Tennessee's infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A): Emission limits and other control measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires that each implementation plan include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements. The Tennessee Code Annotated section 68-201-105(a) provides TDEC authority to establish limits and measures as well as schedules for compliance to meet the applicable requirements of the CAA. Emission limits and other control measures, means, and techniques as well as schedules and timetables for activities that contribute to NO2 concentrations in the ambient air are found in Regulations 1200-03-03, Ambient Air Quality Standards, 1200-03-19, Emission Standards and Monitoring Requirements for Additional Control Areas, and 1200-03-27, Nitrogen Oxides. EPA has made the preliminary determination that the cited provisions adequately address 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during SSM of operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.18

    18 On June 12, 2015, EPA published a final action entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Restatement and Update of EPA's SSM Policy Applicable to SIPs; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction.” See 80 FR 33840.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 24, 1987)), and the Agency plans to take action in the future to address such state regulations. In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: SIPs are required to provide for the establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors, the compilation and analysis of ambient air quality data, and the submission of these data to EPA upon request. TCA 68-201-105(b)(4) provides TDEC with the authority to collect and disseminate information relating to air quality and pollution and the prevention, control, supervision, and abatement thereof. Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.19 On June 30, 2015, Tennessee submitted its monitoring network plan to EPA, and on October 26, 2015, EPA approved this plan. Tennessee's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0252. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    19 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Program for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources: This element consists of three sub-elements; enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources; and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). To satisfy the requirements of 110(a)(2)(C), Tennessee cites to Regulations 1200-03-09, Construction and Operating Permits, and 1200-03-13, Violation. These provisions of Tennessee's SIP pertain to the construction and modification of stationary sources and the enforcement of air pollution control regulations. As discussed further below, in this action EPA is only proposing to approve the enforcement, and the regulation of minor sources and minor modifications aspects of Tennessee's section 110(a)(2)(C) infrastructure SIP submission.

    Enforcement: Regulation 1200-03-13, Enforcement provides for enforcement of emission limits and control measures and construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources. Also note, under TCA 68-201-116, Orders and assessments of damages and civil penalty—Appeal, the State's Technical Secretary is authorized to issue orders requiring correction of violations of any part of the Tennessee Air Quality Act, or of any regulation promulgated under this State statute. Violators are subject to civil penalties of up to $25,000 dollars per day for each day of violation and for any damages to the State resulting from the violations.

    Preconstruction PSD Permitting for Major Sources: With respect to Tennessee's March 13, 2014, infrastructure SIP submission related to the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), EPA took final action to approve these provisions for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS on March 18, 2015 (80 FR 14019).

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source program that regulates emissions of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. Tennessee has a SIP-approved minor NSR permitting program at Regulations 1200-03-09-.01, Construction Permits, and 1200-03-09-.03, General Provisions, that regulates the preconstruction permitting of minor modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices are adequate for program enforcement of control measures and regulation of minor sources and modifications related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i) Interstate Pollution Transport: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components; 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Each of these components have two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2) because Tennessee's 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS infrastructure submission did not address prongs 1 and 2.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3: With respect to Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission related to the interstate transport requirements for PSD of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3), EPA took final action to approve Tennessee's March 13, 2014, infrastructure SIP submission regarding prong 3 of D(i) for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to visibility protection in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4) and will consider these requirements in relation to Tennessee's 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. Regulation 1200-03-09-.03,General Provisions, requires the permitting authority to notify air agencies whose areas may be affected by emissions from a source. EPA is unaware of any pending obligations for the State of Tennessee pursuant to sections 115 or 126 of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices are adequate for insuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(E) Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide (i) necessary assurances that the State will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the State comply with the requirements respecting State Boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the State has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the State has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's SIP as meeting the requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(E). EPA's rationale for this proposals respecting each section of 110(a)(2)(E) is described in turn below.

    In support of EPA's proposal to approve sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), TCA 68-201-105, Powers and duties of board—Notification of vacancy—Termination due to vacancy, gives the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board the power and duty to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the Tennessee Air Quality Act. The Board may define ambient air quality standards, set emission standards, set forth general policies or plans, establish a system of permits, and identify a schedule of fees for review of plans and specifications, issuance or renewal of permits or inspection of air contaminant sources.

    TAPCR 1200-03-26, Administrative Fees Schedule, establishes construction fees, annual emission fees, and permit review fees sufficient to supplement existing State and Federal funding and to cover reasonable costs associated with the administration of Tennessee's air pollution control program. These costs include costs associated with the review of permit applications and reports, issuance of permits, source inspections and emission unit observations, review and evaluation of stack and/or ambient monitoring results, modeling, and costs associated with enforcement actions.

    TCA 68-201-115, Local pollution control programs—Exemption from state supervision—Applicability of part to air contaminant sources burning wood waste—Open burning of wood waste, states that “Any municipality or county in this state may enact, by ordinance or resolution respectively, air pollution control regulations not less stringent than the standards adopted for the state pursuant to this part, or any such municipality or county may also adopt or repeal an ordinance or resolution which incorporates by reference any or all of the regulations of the board, or any federal regulations including any changes in such regulations, when such regulations are properly identified as to date and source.” Before such ordinances or resolutions become effective, the municipality or county must receive a certificate of exemption from the Board to enact local regulations in the State. In granting any certificate of exemption, the State of Tennessee reserves the right to enforce any applicable resolution, ordinance, or regulation of the local program.

    TCA 68-201-115 also directs TDEC to “frequently determine whether or not any exempted municipality or county meets the terms of the exemption granted and continues to comply with this section.” If TDEC determines that the local program does not meet the terms of the exemption or does not otherwise comply with the law, the Board may suspend the exemption in whole or in part until the local program complies with the State standards.

    As evidence of the adequacy of TDEC's resources, EPA submitted a letter to Tennessee on March 9, 2015, outlining section 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2014. The letter EPA submitted to Tennessee can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0252. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. Tennessee satisfactorily met all commitments agreed to in the Air Planning Agreement for fiscal year 2014, therefore Tennessee's grants were finalized. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee has adequate authority and resources for implementation of the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that the state to comply with section 128 of the CAA. Section 128 requires that the SIP provide: (a)(1) The majority of members of the state board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permitting or enforcement orders under the CAA; and (a)(2) any potential conflicts of interest by such board or body, or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed. Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) obligations for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS and the requirements of CAA section 128 are met in Regulation 0400-30-17, Conflict of Interest. Under this regulation, the Tennessee board with authority over air permits and enforcement orders is required to determine annually and after receiving a new member that at least a majority of its members represent to public interest and do not derive any significant portion of income from persons subject to such permits and enforcement orders. Further, the board cannot act to hear contested cases until it has determined it can do so consistent with CAA section 128. The regulation also requires TDEC's Technical Secretary and board members to declare any conflict-of-interest in writing prior to the issuance of any permit, variance or enforcement order that requires action on their part.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that the State has adequately addressed the requirements of section 128, and accordingly has met the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements. Therefore, EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission as meeting the requirements of sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i), (ii) and (iii).

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary source monitoring system: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires SIPs to meet applicable requirements addressing (i) the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources, (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions related data from such sources, and (iii) correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this section, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection. Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission describes how the State establishes requirements for emissions compliance testing and utilizes emissions sampling and analysis. It further describes how the State ensures the quality of its data through observing emissions and monitoring operations. These infrastructure SIP requirements are codified at Regulation 1200-03-10, Required Sampling, Recording, and Reporting. This rule requires owners or operators of stationary sources to compute emissions, submit periodic reports of such emissions and maintain records as specified by various regulations and permits, and to evaluate reports and records for consistency with the applicable emission limitation or standard on a continuing basis over time. The monitoring data collected and records of operations serve as the basis for a source to certify compliance, and can be used by Tennessee as direct evidence of an enforceable violation of the underlying emission limitation or standard. Accordingly, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Tennessee SIP.

    Additionally, Tennessee is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Tennessee made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on April 9, 2014. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(F).

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency Powers: Section 110(a)(2)(G) of the Act requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Tennessee's emergency powers are outlined in TAPCR 1200-03-15, Emergency Episode Plan, which establishes the criteria for declaring an air pollution episode (air pollution alert, air pollution warning, or air pollution emergency), specific emissions reductions for each episode level, and emergency episode plan requirements for major sources located in or significantly impacting a nonattainment area. Additional emergency powers are codified in TCA 68-201-109, Emergency Stop Orders for Air Contaminant Sources. Under TCA 68-201-109, if the Commissioner of TDEC finds that emissions from the operation of one or more sources are causing imminent danger to human health and safety, the Commissioner may, with the approval of the Governor, order the source(s) responsible to reduce or discontinue immediately its (their) air emissions. Additionally, this State law requires a hearing to be held before the Commissioner within 24 hours of any such order.

    Regarding the public welfare and environment, TCA 68-201-106, Matters to be considered in exercising powers, states that “In exercising powers to prevent, abate and control air pollution, the board or department shall give due consideration to all pertinent facts, including, but not necessarily limited to: (1) The character and degree of injury to, or interference with, the protection of the health, general welfare and physical property of the people . . .” Also, TCA 68-201-116, Orders and assessments of damages and civil penalty Appeal, provides in subsection (a) that if the Tennessee technical secretary discovers that any State air quality regulation has been violated, the Tennessee technical secretary may issue an order to correct the violation, and this order shall be complied with within the time limit specified in the order. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices are adequate for emergency powers related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(G).

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) Future SIP revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H), in summary, requires each SIP to provide for revisions of such plan (i) as may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard, and (ii) whenever the Administrator finds that the plan is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS or to otherwise comply with any additional applicable requirements. As previously discussed, Tennessee is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in Tennessee.

    Section 68-201-105(a) of the Tennessee Air Quality Act authorizes the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board to promulgate rules and regulations to implement this State statute, including setting and implementing ambient air quality standards, emission standards, general policies or plans, a permits system, and a schedule of fees for review of plans and specifications, issuance or renewal of permits, and inspection of sources. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(H).

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection: EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that provides for meeting the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127; and visibility protection requirements of part C of the Act. With respect to Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J), EPA took final action to approve Tennessee's March 13, 2014, 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS infrastructure SIP for these requirements on March 18, 2015. See 80 FR 14019. EPA's rationale for its proposed action regarding applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, and visibility protection requirements is described below.

    110(a)(2)(J) (121 consultation)—Consultation with government officials: Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and Federal Land Managers carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. Regulation 1200-03-34, Conformity, as well as Tennessee's Regional Haze Implementation Plan (which allows for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding Federal Land Managers), provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. TAPCR 1200-03-34, Conformity, provides for interagency consultation on transportation and general conformity issues. Tennessee adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity which includes the development of mobile inventories for SIP development. Required partners covered by Tennessee's consultation procedures include Federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with government officials related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) consultation with government officials.

    110(a)(2)(J) (127 public notification)—Public notification: These requirements are met through Regulation 1200-03-15, Emergency Episode Plan, which requires that TDEC notify the public of any air pollution alert, warning, or emergency. The TDEC Web site also provides air quality summary data, air quality index reports and links to more information regarding public awareness of measures that can prevent such exceedances and of ways in which the public can participate in regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide public notification related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    110(a)(2)(J)—Visibility protection: EPA's 2013 Guidance notes that it does not treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under Part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Thus, EPA has determined that states do not need to address the visibility component of 110(a)(2)(J) in infrastructure SIP submittals. As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that it does not need to address the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) in Tennessee's infrastructure SIP related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the EPA can be made. Regulation 1200-03-09-.01(4), Prevention of Significant Air Quality Deterioration, specifies that air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models.” Tennessee also states that it has personnel with training and experience to conduct dispersion modeling consistent with models approved by EPA protocols. Also note that TCA 68-201-105(b)(7) grants TDEC the power and duty to collect and disseminate information relative to air pollution. Additionally, Tennessee supports a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for NOx, which includes NO2. Taken as a whole, Tennessee's regulations, statutes and practices demonstrate that Tennessee has the authority to collect and provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 1-hour NO2 NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality and modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary.

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting fees: This element necessitates that the SIP require the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a fee sufficient to cover (i) the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and (ii) if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source, the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under title V.

    Funding for the Tennessee air permit program comes from a processing fee, submitted by permit applicants, required by Regulations 1200-03-26.02(5), Construction Fee, and 1200-03-26.02(9), Annual Emissions Fees for Major Sources. Tennessee ensures this is sufficient for the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting upon PSD and NNSR permits. Additionally, Tennessee has a fully approved title V operating permit program at Regulation 1200-03-09 20 that covers the cost of implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(L).

    20 Title V program regulations are federally-approved but not incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) of the Act requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. TCA 68-201-105, Powers and duties of board Notification of vacancy Termination due to vacancy, authorizes and requires the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board to promulgate rules and regulations related to consultation under the provisions of the State's Uniform Administrative Procedures Act. TCA 4-5-202, When hearings required, requires agencies to precede all rulemaking with a notice and public hearing, except for exemptions. TCA 4-5-203, Notice of hearing, states that whenever an agency is required by law to hold a public hearing as part of its rulemaking process, the agency shall: “(1) Transmit written notice of the hearings to the secretary of state for publication in the notice section of the administrative register Web site . . . and (2) Take such other steps as it deems necessary to convey effective notice to persons who are likely to have an interest in the proposed rulemaking.” TCA 68-201-105(b)(7) authorizes and requires TDEC to “encourage voluntary cooperation of affected persons or groups in preserving and restoring a reasonable degree of air purity; advise, consult and cooperate with other agencies, persons or groups in matters pertaining to air pollution; and encourage authorized air pollution agencies of political subdivisions to handle air pollution problems within their respective jurisdictions to the greatest extent possible and to provide technical assistance to political subdivisions . . .”. TAPCR 1200-03-34, Conformity, requires interagency consultation on transportation and general conformity issues. Additionally, TDEC has, in practice, consulted with local entities for the development of its transportation conformity SIP and has worked with the Federal Land Managers as a requirement of EPA's regional haze rule. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Tennessee's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(M).

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of (D)(i), and (J) and the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states and visibility of prongs 1, 2, and 4 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), EPA is proposing to approve that Tennessee's March 13, 2014, SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour NO2 NAAQS has met the above-described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to approve Tennessee's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS because the submission is consistent with section 110 of the CAA.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: June 30, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16514 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0106; FRL-9948-94-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; NC; Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards Revision AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of North Carolina, through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's (NCDEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) on December 11, 2015, that incorporates amendments to the state rules reflecting the 2012 national ambient air quality standards for fine particulate matter. EPA is approving this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that it is consistent with the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0106 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madolyn Sanchez, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Sanchez can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9644 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules Section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's implementation plan revision as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this document. Any parties interested in commenting on this document should do so at this time.

    Dated: June 30, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16455 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 09-197 and 10-90; Report No. 3046] Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petitions for reconsideration and clarification.

    SUMMARY:

    Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification (Petitions) have been filed in the Commission's rulemaking proceeding by Thomas C. Power on behalf of CTIA, Kevin G. Rupy on behalf of United States Telecom Association, Colin W. Scott on behalf of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, John J. Heitmann on behalf of Joint Lifeline ETC Petitioners, John T. Nakahata on behalf of General Communication, Inc., Michael R. Romano on behalf of NTCA & WTA, Mitchell F. Brecher on behalf of TracFone Wireless, Inc., and David Springe on behalf of NASUCA.

    DATES:

    Oppositions to the Petitions must be filed on or before July 29, 2016. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before August 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christian Hoefly, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-3607, email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of Commission's document, Report No. 3046, released June 30, 2016. The full text of the Petitions is available for viewing and copying at the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554 or may be accessed online via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. The Commission will not send a copy of this Notice pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A), because this Notice does not have an impact on any rules of particular applicability.

    Subject: Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization, Telecommunications Carriers Eligible for Universal Service Support, Connect America Fund, FCC 16-38, published at 81 FR 33026, May 24, 2016, in WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 09-197 and 10-90. This Notice is being published pursuant to 47 CFR 1.429(e). See also 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1) and 1.429(f), (g).

    Number of Petitions Filed: 8.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16619 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    81 135 Thursday, July 14, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Docket No. AMS-LPS-16-0006] U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products. AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice, request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites catfish producers, suppliers, processors, retailers, foodservice operators, and other interested stakeholders to provide background information, comments, and data to assist in the development of voluntary U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products. AMS is requesting comments concerning, but not limited to, the catfish quality standard that is currently implemented by the Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

    DATES:

    Comments, information, and data relating to this notice are due no later than September 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments, information, and data relating to this notice by using the electronic process available at http://www.regulations.gov, or email: [email protected] Written comments, information, and data may also be submitted to Catfish Grade Standards, Quality Assessment Division (QAD), 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0258, Room 3932-S, Washington, DC 20250 or by facsimile to (202) 690-2746.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Bowden, Chief, Standardization Branch, QAD, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0258, Room 3932-S, Washington, DC 20250, by phone (202) 690-3148, or via email: [email protected] or Bucky Gwartney, Marketing Specialist, Standardization Branch, QAD, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program at (202) 720-1424 or via email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 U.S. Farm Bill) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to establish, within USDA, a voluntary fee-based grading program for catfish. Section 203(c) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA) (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) directs and authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture “to develop and improve standards of quality, condition, quantity, grade, and packaging, and recommend and demonstrate such standards in order to encourage uniformity and consistency in commercial practices.” USDA is committed to carrying out this authority in a manner that facilitates the marketing of agricultural products. One method of achieving this objective is through the development and maintenance of voluntary standards by AMS. AMS Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program's QAD Standardization Branch develops and maintains product and carcass standards for many different protein commodities. The development of grade standards for catfish and catfish products will assist the USDA in meeting its obligations under the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill.

    Background

    Since 1987, the NMFS has administered and applied the U.S. Standards for Grades of North American Freshwater Catfish and Products Made Therefrom (http://www.seafood.nmfs.noaa.gov/pdfs/catfish.pdf). While NMFS has a rigorous grading system, it may not be as recognizable to consumers as USDA graded products and is not utilized widely in the catfish industry. The longstanding USDA commodity grade standards are recognized, understood, valued, and expected by the consuming public.

    AMS voluntary grade standards exist for many commodities, including a wide range of fruits, vegetables, poultry, meat, shell eggs, dairy, cotton, and other agricultural commodities. The application of these grade standards in their respective industries allows for the segregation and differentiation of product in accordance with quality attributes. Furthermore, creation of a grade standard often leads to broader opportunities to develop branded products through AMS certification, which serves to expand the market for the particular commodity and allow for the marketing of premium products.

    The purpose of this Notice is to identify what the industry requires and needs in a catfish quality standard. We are seeking any recent research, industry data, and background information that will assist in the possible revision of or development of new catfish quality standards. Specific information is needed about catfish products, including both domestically produced and imported catfish, and how quality standards would promote value differentiation and create more objective market signals up and down the product and processing chain. Product standards also assist producers, processors, and retail segments in making informed management and marketing decisions. Additionally, any information regarding the use of quality specifications for value differentiation would be helpful.

    To assist AMS in the potential development of catfish grade standards, background information, comments, and data are requested concerning the following:

    1. Is there a need for AMS to develop a new voluntary catfish grade standards? If yes:

    a. What key components should be included in the new voluntary standards for grades of catfish and catfish products?

    b. What catfish and catfish product factors are currently being used by catfish producers, processors, and marketers to determine value?

    c. Should voluntary grade standards for catfish include both quality and cutability (yield) determinations?

    d. Are there currently any established industry catfish and catfish products standards being used by producers, processors, or marketers that could be useful in developing new AMS catfish and catfish products grade standards?

    e. What are the consumer's expectations of catfish quality and how should a standard reflect those expectations?

    f. How many tiers or levels of quality and/or yield should a catfish standard set forth?

    g. Are there any additional species of farm-raised fish or farm-raised shellfish that AMS should take into consideration for a voluntary grading program?

    AMS is soliciting comments from stakeholders about whether changes in the catfish quality grade standards should be made, and if so, what specific changes should be made. If after analyzing the comments, AMS determines that changes are warranted, a notice will be published in the Federal Register proposing specific changes. Interested parties will have an opportunity to comment prior to a final decision adopting any changes.

    Therefore, we request your input regarding any catfish and catfish products background information, technical data, or research that you think will assist us on this matter.

    Dated: June 11, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16703 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2016-0023] Notice of Request for Approval of an Information Collection; National Animal Health Monitoring System; Antimicrobial Use Studies AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    New information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request approval of a new information collection associated with the National Animal Health Monitoring System's studies on antimicrobial use in cattle feedlot and swine operations.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before September 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0023.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2016-0023, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0023 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the Antimicrobial Use Studies, contact Mr. William Kelley, Supervisory Management and Program Analyst, Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, VS, APHIS, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building B, MS 2E6, Fort Collins, CO 80526; (970) 494-7270. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: National Animal Health Monitoring System; Antimicrobial Use Studies.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-XXXX.

    Type of Request: Approval of a new information collection.

    Abstract: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorized, among other things, to protect the health of U.S. livestock and poultry populations by preventing the introduction and interstate spread of serious diseases and pests of livestock and by eradicating such diseases from the United States when feasible. In connection with this mission, APHIS operates the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), which collects data on the prevalence and economic importance of livestock diseases and associated risk factors.

    NAHMS' national studies are a collaborative industry and government initiative to help determine the most effective means of preventing and controlling diseases of livestock. APHIS is the only agency responsible for collecting data on livestock health.

    On March 20, 2012, NAHMS was recognized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a statistical unit under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002. In accordance with the Confidential Information Protection provisions of Title V, Subtitle A, Public Law 107-347, and other applicable Federal laws, all data provided to NAHMS under the antimicrobial use studies will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed in any identifiable form. Only NAHMS staff and designated agents will be permitted access to individual-level data. All information acquired under antimicrobial use studies will be used for statistical purposes only.

    APHIS plans to initiate two annual antimicrobial use studies, one on cattle feedlots and one on swine operations. The studies' objectives are to describe antimicrobial use practices on livestock operations annually, including the impacts of U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy changes. The antimicrobial use studies will consist of Antimicrobial Use Producer Agreements and questionnaires administered by National Agricultural Statistics Service personnel. Information collected will be analyzed and organized by NAHMS into one or more descriptive reports containing summary statistics. The information will be used to describe current antimicrobial use practices; help policymakers and industry make informed decisions; assist researchers and private enterprise in identifying and focusing on vital issues related to antimicrobial use; facilitate education of future producers and veterinarians; and collect data capable of informing responses to objectives 2.4.3 and 2.4.4 of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

    We are asking OMB to approve our use of these information collection activities for 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.4276 hours per response.

    Respondents: Cattle feedlot personnel and swine owners and operators.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 7,200.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.5.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 10,800.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 4,618 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 8th day of July 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16612 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0099] Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Biological Control of Cape-Ivy AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact relative to the field release of a gall-forming fly, Parafreutreta regalis, into the continental United States for the use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of Cape-ivy, Delairea odorata. Based on the finding of no significant impact, we have determined that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Robert Tichenor, Plant Health Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2198.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Cape-ivy (Delairea odorata), a native of South Africa, has become one of the most pervasive non-native plants to invade the coastal west region of the United States, particularly in California and Oregon. Cape-ivy is a weedy vine that prefers moist, partly-shaded environments along the Pacific coast; however, there are reports of infestations at inland riparian locations. Fragments of the plant easily root, which facilitates the spread of this invasive plant. Overgrowth of Cape-ivy, a climbing vine, causes native plants to die. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to issue permits for the field release of a gall-forming fly, Parafreutreta regalis, into the continental United States to reduce the severity of Cape-ivy infestations.

    On March 24, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 15679-15680, Docket No. APHIS-2015-0099) a notice 1 in which we announced the availability, for public review and comment, of an environmental assessment (EA) that examined the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed release of P. regalis into the continental United States.

    1 To view the notice, the comments we received, the final EA, and the FONSI, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0099.

    We solicited comments on the EA for 30 days ending April 25, 2016. We received 23 comments by that date. The comments were from a State native plant society, plant preservation entities, State departments of agriculture, an organization of State plant regulatory agencies, and private citizens. Twenty-two commenters supported this action.

    One commenter raised a concern about the possibility of P. regalis being introduced to Hawaii by airplanes commuting from California to Hawaii and asked whether we considered the biological risks associated with the release of P. regalis in Hawaii. We have prepared a response to this specific concern in an appendix to the final EA.

    In this document, we are advising the public of our finding of no significant impact (FONSI) regarding the release of P. regalis into the continental United States for use as a biological control agent for Cape-ivy. The finding, which is based on the final EA, reflects our determination that release of this biological control agent will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment.

    The final EA and FONSI may be viewed on Regulations.gov Web site (see footnote 1). Copies of the EA and FONSI are also available for public inspection at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons wishing to inspect copies are requested to call ahead to (202) 799-7039 to facilitate entry into the reading room. In addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    The EA and FONSI have been prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b); and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 8th day of July 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16624 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2014-0032] Establishment-Specific Data Release Strategic Plan AGENCY:

    Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; response to comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing the availability of its final Establishment-Specific Data Release Strategic Plan (the Plan) for sharing data on federally inspected meat and poultry establishments with the public. FSIS is also responding to comments received on a draft version of the Plan that FSIS posted on its Web site and announced in January 2015 in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Daniel L. Engeljohn, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development; Telephone: (202) 205-0495.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) administers a regulatory program under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.) to protect the health and welfare of consumers. The Agency is responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and correctly labeled and packaged.

    FSIS inspects these products at official slaughtering and processing establishments, verifying that the establishments meet regulatory requirements and enforcing those requirements as necessary.

    Additionally, FSIS employees (including inspectors, veterinarians, laboratorians, and Enforcement, Investigations, and Analysis Officers (EIAOs)) perform a variety of activities, including conducting inspections, ensuring compliance with existing regulations, and collecting and testing microbiological and chemical residue samples to verify that establishments are maintaining Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans or other food safety systems that address these hazards.

    While conducting these activities and performing many other key functions, FSIS collects a large volume of establishment-specific data. Using the data, FSIS produces reports for internal use, and publicly shares data and reports through the Agency's Web site 1 and other public communication venues. Most of the data that FSIS shares with the public is aggregated or in summary format; however, FSIS releases a large volume of disaggregated, establishment-specific data to the public through formal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.2

    1 For more information, please visit: www.fsis.usda.gov.

    2 The Freedom of Information Act 5 U.S.C. 552, As Amended by Public Law 104-231, 110 Stat. 3048. Available at: http://www.justice.gov/oip/amended-foia-redlined.pdf.

    In a notice published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2015, FSIS announced that the Agency had developed a plan for sharing data on federally inspected meat, poultry, and processed egg product establishments with the public (80 FR 2092). The Agency developed the Plan in response to policy documents issued by President Obama and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and to reduce the administrative burden FOIA requests have placed on the Agency.

    In 2009, President Obama and OMB released policy documents that called for increased data sharing and greater transparency in Federal agencies, including President Obama's January 21, 2009 “Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government,” 3 OMB's February 24, 2009 memorandum on “The President's Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government—Interagency Collaboration” 4 and OMB's December 8, 2009 “Open Government Directive.” 5 President Obama subsequently issued policy documents instructing agencies to develop plans for making information on regulatory compliance and enforcement activities available in machine-readable format, and accessible, downloadable, and searchable online.6

    3 “Transparency and Open Government: Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies”. (74 FR 4685; Jan. 26, 2009), pp. 4685-4686. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment.

    4 “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: President's Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government—Interagency Collaboration.” Memorandum Number: M-09-12. 24 February, 2009. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/memoranda_fy2009/m09-12.pdf.

    5 “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: President's Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government—Interagency Collaboration.” Memorandum Number: M-10-06. 8 December, 2009. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/open/documents/open-government-directive.

    6 “Memorandum on Regulatory Compliance.” 76 FR 3825 (January 21, 2011); “Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information.” Executive Order 13642. 78 FR 28111 (May 14, 2013).

    Upon the recommendation of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI), FSIS asked the National Research Council (NRC) within the National Academies to study the potential food safety benefits and consequences of releasing establishment-specific data to the public. The NRC convened a committee in 2011 and issued a report that analyzed the costs and benefits of releasing establishment-specific data, recommending that FSIS develop a strategic plan to guide the Agency's efforts to release the data.7

    7 National Research Council, Committee on a Study of Food Safety and Other Consequences of Publishing Establishment-Specific Data. “The Potential Consequences of Public Release of Food Safety and Inspection Service Establishment-Specific Data.” 2011. Available at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13304.

    FSIS also convened an internal committee to conduct its own in-depth review of Federal data sharing procedures and resources, which culminated in the development of the draft version of the Plan. NACMPI reviewed the draft plan in January 2014 and FSIS incorporated its feedback in the announced version of the draft Plan.

    Final Revision of the Plan

    After carefully reviewing the submitted comments, FSIS made minor changes to the draft Plan. These changes include updated preliminary lists of datasets identified for release and considered for future release, as well as an expanded explanation of how FSIS will determine the level of aggregation for each dataset. The final revision of the Plan can be viewed on the Agency's Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/0803f8a0-a3cc-4945-87b6-f992acdcfa9b/Establishment-Specific-Data-Plan-Final.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.

    The Plan establishes FSIS's process for releasing establishment-specific data on Data.gov. The Plan includes an overview of FSIS data collection processes and structures, dataset selection criteria, data release procedures, a preliminary list of Agency datasets for public release, and performance measures for evaluating the effectiveness of data release.

    The preliminary list of Agency datasets for public release includes a “demographic” dataset of all regulated establishments that incorporates both information currently included in the Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection Directory (name, number, address, grant date, slaughter and/or processing, meat and/or poultry) and additional information to facilitate data analysis (e.g., variables specifically created to allow different datasets to be correctly combined). The preliminary list also includes data on Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella in ready-to-eat (RTE) products and processed egg products; data on Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella in raw, non-intact beef products; data on Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens and young turkeys, comminuted poultry, and chicken parts; routine chemical residue testing data in meat and poultry products; and advanced meat recovery (AMR) testing data. Of these, Salmonella in raw, non-intact beef products; Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella in processed egg products; and Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens and young turkeys, comminuted poultry, and chicken parts are new additions to the Plan.

    Agency datasets identified for the first release include the demographic dataset and Listeria and Salmonella data in RTE products. FSIS will release these datasets by October 12, 2016. The preliminary list of Agency datasets will not all be released at the same time, and before the release of final datasets, FSIS intends to publish a Constituent Update with a link to a sample dataset for stakeholder review. For each dataset to be released, FSIS will determine and announce, on a case-by-case basis, the appropriate level of aggregation. For example, datasets could be aggregated at the national level or not aggregated at all, depending on FSIS's determination.

    Besides the preliminary datasets that the Agency intends for release, FSIS is considering additional data sources for future release of both aggregate and individual establishment data. These include: Individual establishment inspection task data associated with verification of compliance with each regulation; humane handling task data; and import sampling task data relating to STEC, Salmonella, and residue testing.

    The following is a summary of the comments received and FSIS's responses.

    Summary of Comments and Responses

    FSIS received 19 comments in response to the January 2015 notice. The comments were from trade groups representing the meat and poultry industry, consumer groups, animal welfare groups, veterinary associations, a corporation that produces meat and poultry products, and three private citizens.

    National Research Council (NRC) Study

    Comment: Several commenters stated that the release of establishment-specific data could damage the reputation of product brands because consumers will relate products to the specific establishments producing those products. These commenters suggested that the data released could create competitive disparity within the industry or cause harm to the U.S. food industry. Because of this, according to the commenters, the release of establishment-specific data would be akin to FSIS's endorsing certain brands over others.

    One commenter agreed that some brands may develop an unwanted reputation based on data released to the public, but believed that this could actually benefit FSIS by weeding out bad actors.

    Other commenters stated that the Plan will have a limited impact on brand reputation because consumers do not relate products to the specific establishments producing those products.

    Response: While consumers could relate brands to the specific establishments producing their products, FSIS will not endorse certain brands over others through sharing data. FSIS maintains information on establishments, not brand information. When evaluating datasets for release, FSIS will thoroughly examine whether releasing datasets could have an adverse impact on the industry, including whether releasing the dataset would create market disparity. However, the NRC Committee thought that one potential benefit of releasing establishment-specific data would be that consumers would be able to make more informed choices, and that resulting consumer pressure could motivate corporations to improve performance in order to protect brand reputation.

    Criteria for Evaluating FSIS Datasets for Public Posting

    Comment: Some commenters stated that data released under the Plan could contain confidential information such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), or proprietary information such as trade secrets. Other commenters suggested that the release of certain establishment-specific data to the public could incentivize foreign countries to erect trade barriers against the United States or individual companies. One commenter noted that the release of certain establishment-specific data could expose establishments to vulnerabilities in food defense. The commenter also stated that the publication of the establishment's name, address, and size, along with the types of products produced, could direct potential terrorists to more desirable targets.

    Response: FSIS will thoroughly examine candidate datasets, using multiple FSIS personnel, to ensure the datasets do not contain PII, confidential information or proprietary information. The Agency will not release data that contains confidential information, including PII, on either FSIS staff or establishment employees.

    In addition, FSIS will consider potential security risks associated with release of data based on the evolving threat landscape. The release of establishment-specific demographic data, such as the name, address, and type of product produced, does not pose a significant security risk to food defense. Most of this information is already available to the public in the Meat, Poultry, and Egg Product Directory. The Agency continues to recommend that establishments voluntarily adopt and implement food defense measures to mitigate potential vulnerabilities.

    Comment: Several commenters stated that the release of disaggregated, establishment-specific data may mislead the public if there is a lack of context. For example, the public may misconstrue the meaning and significance of NRs received by establishments if the corrective actions, enforcement actions, and appeals are not also provided. These commenters worried that misinterpretation of the data could be harmful to the image of the individual establishments and the industry as a whole.

    Some commenters recommended FSIS adopt a due-process mechanism to prevent the release of data that can be easily misinterpreted. These commenters requested that the industry be allowed to examine data and user guides concerning the data before they are released to the public. One commenter recommended that FSIS incorporate the user guides into the same document containing the datasets to increase the likelihood that the public will consult the guides when reviewing the data. Another commenter recommended that FSIS use consumer test panels to evaluate whether readers understand the data. The same commenter also recommended that FSIS allow the industry to provide comments along with the datasets to help give the public some context in interpreting the data.

    Response: FSIS staff will thoroughly evaluate every dataset to determine the potential for misinterpretation. If it is highly likely that the public will misinterpret the released data, the Agency will evaluate the dataset to determine if additional explanatory or contextual information would reduce that likelihood. If additional information will not reduce the potential for misinterpretation, the Agency will remove the dataset from consideration for release.

    In addition, the Plan provides a thorough list of context-providing documentation that will be included in user guides with each dataset released, including: (1) A dataset overview and explanation; (2) database-specific dictionaries; (3) historical information on changes to sampling methods and scheduling or collection to inform changes to time-series; (4) the context in which the data was collected; (5) sources of variability and specificity of methods used; (6) the dataset's relationship to other released datasets; (7) data use limitations; and (8) links to analyses conducting using the data to be released. FSIS will share these user guides with industry stakeholders prior to the release of datasets to ensure the accuracy of the information; however, there is no plan at this time to include industry comments with the released datasets.

    Comment: Some commenters stated that the Plan did not articulate how the release of establishment-specific data aligns with FSIS's goals. Specifically, these commenters requested that FSIS articulate how each data release aligns with a public health objective.

    Response: Every dataset released will align with the primary mission of FSIS: To ensure that the Nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. Because of its importance, for every dataset it considers for release, FSIS will separately evaluate whether the data released will be used to benefit the public's health and reduce foodborne illness.

    Comment: Some commenters expressed concern about the potential cost for the Agency to implement the Plan. One commenter stated that too many FSIS resources would be expended in implementing the Plan and requested the inclusion of additional information about cost savings.

    Response: The monetary and personnel costs associated with implementing the Plan will be minimal. Under the Plan, FSIS will consider both the Agency's personnel and monetary costs when determining which datasets to release. Accordingly, data that will create a heavy administrative burden through excessive documentation or manual redaction will not be released. To further reduce the administrative costs, FSIS will develop an automated algorithm that will identify and collect datasets intended for release.

    Prioritization for Data Release

    Comment: Several commenters identified additional datasets that should be considered for release, such as import inspection data, humane handling task data, Food-Safety Assessments (FSAs), codes for inspections tasks that were not performed and whether establishments participate in the new poultry inspection system.

    A few commenters requested the release of information on tissue residue violations in cull dairy cows. These commenters stated that the information, which was published on the Agency's Web site until March 2011, is a valuable resource for the dairy industry to target outreach efforts and reduce the probability that repeat violations will occur.

    Response: After considering these comments, FSIS has decided to add import inspection data, FSAs, and inspection tasks that were not performed to the preliminary list of data sources to be considered for future release. Humane handling task data is already on the preliminary list. FSA data will be limited to exclude free-text fields that may include PII or proprietary information.

    FSIS announced in the 2016 Federal Register Notice titled “New Performance Standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Not-Ready-to-Eat Comminuted Chicken and Turkey Products and Raw Chicken Parts . . .” that it will begin posting, based on FSIS sampling results and depending on the standard for the particular product, whether an establishment meets the FSIS pathogen reduction performance standards, or what category an establishment is in.

    FSIS does not intend to resume the publication of a monthly Residue Violator List that includes the name of any producer with at least one residue violation in the previous 12-months. The Agency stopped publishing the monthly Residue Violator List in 2011 to prevent potential economic harm to producers with only one violation. Instead, FSIS will continue to publish a weekly Residue Repeat Violator List, which identifies producers with multiple residue violations within a 12-month period.8 FSIS notes that many first time violators do not go on to become repeat violators within the designated 12-month period. In addition, repeat violators have an incentive to improve operations and prevent violative residues in order to remove their names from the Repeat Violator List.

    8 The FSIS Repeat Residue Violator List can be downloaded at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/chemistry/residue-chemistry.

    Comment: A few commenters requested that FSIS release noncompliance records (NRs) filed by FSIS inspection personnel, subsequent appeals, and their eventual resolutions.

    Several commenters requested that NRs not be released because consumers could easily misinterpret their significance and regulatory meaning. Those same commenters argued that it would waste FSIS resources to review and redact each NR before releasing the data.

    Response: FSIS does not intend to release NRs as a stand-alone data set at this time. FSIS will consider releasing the compliance status of individual inspection tasks and regulations if FSIS decides to release inspection task data in the future. Free-text fields will never be released because of the possible presence of PII and because manual redaction is costly. However, general information, such as whether or not an NR was recorded, the date the NR was issued, which regulations it cited, whether an appeal was filed, and whether the appeal was granted, will be considered for release.

    Comment: One commenter encouraged FSIS to release historical data from older data systems in addition to the Public Health Information System (PHIS) data it currently plans to release.

    Response: At this time, only data collected since the implementation of PHIS in 2012 will be considered for release. The historical data from before the implementation of PHIS would be too burdensome for the Agency to release. FSIS will consider releasing historical data from older data systems at a later date if Agency resources permit.

    Data Release Procedures

    Comment: One commenter asked that FSIS release data more frequently than on a quarterly basis. The commenter stated that because PHIS collects data in real time, FSIS should be able to release data every month.

    Response: At this time, one new dataset from the Priority List is scheduled to be released no more frequently than on a quarterly basis. This will provide the Agency sufficient time to select and verify the accuracy of the data, as well as release a sample data set and documentation through an FSIS Constituent Update to interested stakeholders for review.

    Comment: Some commenters recommended that FSIS “blind” or aggregate the datasets. The blind or aggregated data would allow interested parties to see how industry and the Agency are performing in various areas without compromising individual companies and creating market disparity.

    Response: As part of the review process, FSIS will determine the most appropriate level of aggregation for each dataset. FSIS will continue to release at a national level of aggregation datasets that are currently so aggregated. For other datasets, FSIS intends to assess feedback from stakeholders and other users of the data to determine if additional levels of aggregation would be useful. Also, for each dataset planned for initial release, FSIS plans to release establishment-specific information, including the establishment's name and number.

    Measurement of Effectiveness of Data Release

    Comment: One commenter stated that some of the metrics presented in the draft Plan to measure effectiveness are too narrow to fully capture the ways in which the data is used. For instance, according to the commenter, a metric for the number of presentations on related data by FSIS staff at professional meetings does not account for presentations on other topics that use the data as a portion of their presentations. Similarly, the commenter stated that a metric for the number of peer-reviewed reports generated using the establishment-specific data does not include papers that use the data that are not peer-reviewed.

    Another commenter recommended that FSIS reassess the Plan after one year. If after one year FSIS determines that the data release program is not achieving its intended goals, the Agency should change the Plan.

    Response: FSIS acknowledges that it is impossible to anticipate every way in which the released establishment-specific data will be used. The Plan, however, presents a framework of performance measures that will adequately inform future data releases. This framework includes a combination of the seven quantitative metrics listed, along with qualitative measures, such as assessments of how data are interpreted and used by stakeholders. FSIS will regularly review these metrics and use them to guide future choices for data release.

    USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail U.S. Department of Agriculture Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410. Fax (202) 690-7442 Email [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202)720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Additional Public Notification

    FSIS will announce this notice online through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS will also make copies of this Federal Register publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to constituents and stakeholders. The Update is communicated via Listserv, a free electronic mail subscription service for industry, trade groups, consumer interest groups, health professionals, and other individuals who have asked to be included. The Update is also available on the FSIS Web page. In addition, FSIS offers an electronic mail subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information to regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    Done at Washington, DC, on July 11, 2016. Alfred V. Almanza, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16642 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    Title: NIST Associates Information System (NAIS).

    OMB Control Number: 0693-0067.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular submission (extension).

    Number of Respondents: 4,000.

    Average Hours per Response: 30 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 2,000.

    Needs and Uses: NIST Associates (NA) will include guest researchers, research associates, contractors, and other non-NIST employees that require access to the NIST campuses or resources. The NIST Associates Information System (NAIS) information collection instruments(s) are completed by incoming NAs. They are asked to provide personal identifying data including home address, date and place of birth, employer name and address, and basic security information. The data provided by the collection instruments is input into NAIS which automatically populates the appropriate forms, and is routed through the approval process. NIST's Office of Security receives security forms through the NAIS process and is able to allow preliminary access to NIST for NAs. The data collected is the basis for further security investigations as necessary.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: Once.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16600 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-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: Preliminary Results, Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Preliminary Rescission of New Shipper Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Department) is conducting an administrative review (AR) and a new shipper review (NSR) of the antidumping duty order on tapered roller bearings and parts thereof, finished and unfinished (TRBs), from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The AR covers four 1 exporters, of which the Department selected two mandatory respondents for individual examination (i.e., Changshan Peer Bearing Co. Ltd. (CPZ/SKF); and Yantai CMC Bearing Co., Ltd. (Yantai CMC)). The NSR covers Shandong Bolong Bearing Co., Ltd. (Bolong). The period of review (POR) is June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015.

    1 This figure does not include one exporter for which the Department is preliminarily rescinding the administrative review.

    We preliminarily determine that sales of subject merchandise have been made below normal value (NV). In addition, we preliminarily determine that Bolong's sale to the United States is not bona fide, as required by section 751(a)(2)(B)(iv) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).2 Therefore, we are preliminarily rescinding this NSR. If these preliminary results are adopted in the final results of this review, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    2 On February 24, 2016, the President of the United States signed into law the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-125 (February 24, 2016), which made amendments to section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Act. These amendments apply to this determination.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: July 14, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Blaine Wiltse or Manuel Rey, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6345 or (202) 482-5518, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order includes tapered roller bearings and parts thereof. The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 8482.20.00, 8482.91.00.50, 8482.99.15, 8482.99.45, 8483.20.40, 8483.20.80, 8483.30.80, 8483.90.20, 8483.90.30, 8483.90.80, 8708.70.6060, 8708.99.2300, 8708.99.4850, 8708.99.6890, 8708.99.8115, and 8708.99.8180. The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes only; the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.3

    3 For a complete description of the scope of the order, see memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the 2014-2015 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and New Shipper Review of Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, from the People's Republic of China” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), issued concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Tolling of Deadlines for Preliminary Results

    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines for the duration of the closure of the Federal Government during Snowstorm “Jonas.” 4 Therefore, all deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four days. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now July 5, 2016.

    4See Memorandum to the Record from Ron Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Partial Rescission of the Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party who requested the review withdraws the request within 90 days of the date of publication of notice of initiation of the requested review. On October 27, 2015, GGB Bearing Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (GGB) timely withdrew its request for an administrative review.5 No other party had requested a review of GGB. Based on the timely withdrawal of the request for review and because GGB established its entitlement to a separate rate from a prior segment, the Department is rescinding this administrative review with respect to GGB, in accordance with 19 CR 351.213(d)(1).

    5See Letter to the Department from GGB, “Withdrawal of Administrative Review Request in the Antidumping Duty Order on Tapered Roller Bearings from the People's Republic of China (POR: 06/01/14-5/31/15),” dated October 27, 2015.

    Preliminary Rescission of the NSR

    As discussed in the Bona Fides Analysis Memorandum,6 the Department preliminarily finds that the single sale made by Bolong to the United States during the POR is not a bona fide sale. The Department reached this conclusion based on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the reported sale, including:

    (I) the prices of such sales; (II) whether such sales were made in commercial quantities; (III) the timing of such sales; (IV) the expenses arising from such sales; (V) whether the subject merchandise involved in such sales was resold in the United States at a profit; (VI) whether such sales were made on an arms-length basis; and (VII) any other factor {it} determines to be relevant as to whether such sales are, or are not, likely to be typical of those the exporter or producer will make after completion of the review.7

    6See Memorandum from Manuel Rey, International Trade Analyst, to Melissa Skinner, Director of AD/CVD Operations, dated July 5, 2016 entitled, “New Shipper Review of Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China—Bona Fides Sales Analysis” (Bona Fides Analysis Memorandum), issued concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    7See section 751(a)(2)(B)(iv) of the Act.

    Because the non-bona fide sale was the only reported sale of subject merchandise during the POR, and thus there are no reviewable transactions on this record, we are preliminarily rescinding the NSR. Because much of the factual information used in our analysis of Bolong's sale involves business proprietary information, a full discussion of the basis for our preliminary determination is set forth in the Bona Fides Analysis Memorandum.

    We further note that Bolong's NSR request did not conform to the Department's regulations at 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(ii). 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(ii) requires that, in order to qualify for a NSR, the requestor must provide certifications from both itself and any company that supplied it with subject merchandise that neither party exported the subject merchandise to the United States during the period of investigation. In this case, Bolong purchased in-scope components from unaffiliated producers, and it failed to provide the certifications required by 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(ii) from those producers. The Department requires appropriate certifications from any company requesting a NSR that sources in-scope merchandise, whether finished or unfinished, from its suppliers. In conjunction with any arguments that its reported sale is bona fide, Bolong shall submit the requisite certifications from the suppliers of the subject merchandise.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Act. As noted above, there are two mandatory respondents in this administrative review: CPZ/SKF and Yantai CMC. For CPZ/SKF, we calculated constructed export prices in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because the PRC is a non-market economy (NME) within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, NV has been calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For Yantai CMC, we preliminarily find that this respondent is ineligible for a separate rate because it has failed to demonstrate an absence of de facto government control in this administrative review. Therefore, we did not calculate a separate margin for Yantai CMC.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as the Appendix to this notice.

    Rate for Non-Examined Companies Which Are Eligible for a Separate Rate

    As indicated in the “Preliminary Results of Review” section below, we preliminarily determine that a margin of zero percent applies to the two firms not selected for individual review but determined to be eligible for a separate rate. For further information, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum at “Rate for Non-Examined Companies Which Are Eligible for a Separate Rate.”

    Preliminary Results of Review

    Because Yantai CMC did not demonstrate that it was entitled to a separate rate, the Department preliminarily finds Yantai CMC to be part of the PRC-wide entity.8 The rate previously established for the PRC-wide entity is 92.84 percent.

    8See Preliminary Decision Memorandum, at 8-10. Pursuant to the Department's change in practice, the Department no longer considers the NME entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65970 (November 4, 2013). Under this practice, the NME entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the entity, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate is not subject to change.

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015:

    Exporters Weighted-average percent margin Changshan Peer Bearing Co., Ltd 0.00 Haining Nice Flourish Auto Parts Co., Ltd * 0.00 Roci International (HK) Limited * 0.00 * This company demonstrated that it qualified for a separate rate in this administrative review. Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department will disclose calculations performed for these preliminary results to the parties within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.9 Rebuttals to case briefs may be filed no later than five days after case briefs are filed and all rebuttal briefs must be limited to comments raised in the case briefs.10 Parties who submit comments are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.11

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    10See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    11See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2).

    Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice.12 Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations will be limited to issues raised in the briefs.13 If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.14

    12See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    13Id.

    14See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    All submissions, with limited exceptions, must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the due date. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with the APO/Dockets Unit in Room 18022 and stamped with the date and time of receipt by 5 p.m. ET on the due date.

    Unless otherwise extended, the Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of its analysis of all issues raised in the case briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results of the administrative review, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.15 If the preliminary results are unchanged for the final results we will instruct CBP to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of zero percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the zero percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were produced and/or exported by CPZ/SKF and the two aforementioned companies which were not selected for individual examination but were found to be eligible for a separate rate.

    15See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    If we determine in the final results that an individually-examined respondent in the administrative review (e.g., CPZ/SKF) has a weighted-average dumping margin which is not zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), then we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).16

    16 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    For the final results, if we continue to treat Yantai CMC as part of the PRC-wide entity, we will instruct CBP to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of 92.84 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were exported by Yantai CMC.

    We intend to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication of the final results of this review.

    For entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by companies individually examined during the administrative review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the PRC-wide rate. In addition, if the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.17

    17 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    If we proceed to a final rescission of the NSR, Bolong's entries will be assessed at the rate entered.18 If we do not proceed to a final rescission of the NSR, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), we will calculate an importer-specific assessment rate for Bolong. We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this NSR if the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this NSR is above de minimis. 19

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For the exporters listed above which have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then a cash deposit rate of zero will be established for that company); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed above that have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate for the PRC-wide entity, 92.84 percent; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter(s) that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Effective upon publication of the final rescission or the final results of the NSR, pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(B)(iii) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(e), the Department will instruct CBP to discontinue the option of posting a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit for entries of subject merchandise by Bolong. If the Department proceeds to a final rescission of the NSR, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the PRC-wide rate for Bolong because the Department will not have determined an individual margin of dumping for this company. If the Department issues final results for the NSR, the Department will instruct CBP to collect a cash deposit, effective upon the publication of the final results, at the rate established therein.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results of reviews in accordance with sections 751(a)(l), 751(a)(2)(B) and 777(i)(l) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: July 5, 2016. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Bona Fides Analysis 5. Discussion of the Methodology for the Administrative Review a. Non-Market Economy Country b. Separate Rates c. Separate Rate Assigned to Non-Selected Companies d. The PRC-Wide Entity e. Collapsing of CPZ/SKF With Another Producer of TRBs f. Surrogate Country g. Date of Sale h. Comparisons to Normal Value i. Determination of Comparison Method j. Constructed Export Price k. Value-Added Tax (VAT) l. Normal Value m. Currency Conversion 6. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-16467 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE693 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Cost Recovery Program AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notification of fee percentage.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS publishes notification of a 1.60 percent fee for cost recovery under the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program. This action is intended to provide holders of crab allocations with the fee percentage for the 2016/2017 crab fishing year so they can calculate the required payment for cost recovery fees that must be submitted by July 31, 2017.

    DATES:

    The Crab Rationalization Program Registered Crab Receiver permit holder is responsible for submitting the fee liability payment to NMFS on or before July 31, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keeley Kent, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    NMFS Alaska Region administers the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program (Program) in the North Pacific. Fishing under the Program began on August 15, 2005. Regulations implementing the Program can be found at 50 CFR part 680.

    The Program is a limited access system authorized by section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The Program includes a cost recovery provision to collect fees to recover the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Program. The Program implemented under the authority of section 313(j) is consistent with the cost recovery provisions included under section 304(d)(2)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS developed the cost recovery provision to conform to statutory requirements and to reimburse the agency for the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Program. The cost recovery provision allows collection of 133 percent of the actual management, data collection, and enforcement costs up to 3 percent of the ex-vessel value of crab harvested under the Program. The Program provides that a proportional share of fees charged for management and enforcement be forwarded to the State of Alaska for its share of management and data collection costs for the Program. The cost recovery provision also requires the harvesting and processing sectors to each pay half the cost recovery fees. Catcher/processor quota shareholders are required to pay the full fee percentage for crab processed at sea.

    A crab allocation holder generally incurs a cost recovery fee liability for every pound of crab landed. The crab allocations include Individual Fishing Quota, Crew Individual Fishing Quota, Individual Processing Quota, Community Development Quota, and the Adak community allocation. The Registered Crab Receiver (RCR) permit holder must collect the fee liability from the crab allocation holder who is landing crab. Additionally, the RCR permit holder must collect his or her own fee liability for all crab delivered to the RCR. The RCR permit holder is responsible for submitting this payment to NMFS on or before July 31, in the year following the crab fishing year in which landings of crab were made.

    The dollar amount of the fee due is determined by multiplying the fee percentage (not to exceed 3 percent) by the ex-vessel value of crab debited from the allocation. Specific details on the Program's cost recovery provision may be found in the implementing regulations at 50 CFR 680.44.

    Fee Percentage

    Each year, NMFS calculates and publishes in the Federal Register the fee percentage according to the factors and methodology described in Federal regulations at § 680.44(c)(2). The formula for determining the fee percentage is the “direct program costs” divided by “value of the fishery,” where “direct program costs” are the direct program costs for the Program for the previous fiscal year, and “value of the fishery” is the ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the crab cost recovery fee liability for the current year. Fee collections for any given year may be less than, or greater than, the actual costs and fishery value for that year, because, by regulation, the fee percentage is established in the first quarter of a crab fishery year based on the fishery value and the costs of the prior year.

    Based upon the fee percentage formula described above, the estimated percentage of costs to value for the 2015/2016 fishery was 1.60 percent. Therefore, the fee percentage will be 1.60 percent for the 2016/2017 crab fishing year. This is an increase of 0.12 percent from the 2015/2016 fee percentage of 1.48 percent (80 FR 42792, July 20, 2015). The change in the fee percentage from 2015/2016 to 2016/2017 is due to an increase in Alaska Department of Fish and Game management costs. These additional costs were necessary to process, analyze, and report fishery data for monitoring and management of the crab fisheries in the Program. Additionally, the value of crab harvested under the Program decreased by $1.6 million. This decrease in value of the fishery contributed to the increase in the fee percentage between 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1862; Pub. L. 109-241; Pub. L. 109-479.

    Dated: July 11, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16655 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE691 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Exempted Fishing Permits AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has made a preliminary determination that an Exempted Fishing Permit application contains all of the required information and warrants further consideration. The Exempted Fishing Permit would allow one commercial fishing vessel to fish outside of the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass regulations in support of research conducted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. These exemptions would enable research designed to quantify codend mesh selectivity for summer flounder, black sea bass, and scup.

    Regulations under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act require publication of this notification to provide interested parties the opportunity to comment on applications for proposed Exempted Fishing Permits.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 29, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line “CCE FSB mesh selectivity EFP.”

    Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on CCE FSB mesh selectivity EFP.”

    Fax: (978) 281-9135.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Scheimer, Fisheries Management Specialist, 978-281-9236.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) submitted a complete application for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) on June 6, 2016. They are seeking regulatory exemptions to allow gear research to be conducted on a commercial vessel fishing for a project funded by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's collaborative research initiative. The EFP would authorize exemptions from the minimum mesh size and net modification requirements found at 50 CFR 648.108, 648.125, and 648.144. Any fishing activity conducted outside the scope of the exempted fishing activity would be prohibited, including landing fish in excess of a possession limit or below the minimum size.

    Experimental fishing activity would compare the composition, commercial yield, retention efficiency, discards, and size selectivity of five different codends in the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass commercial bottom trawl fishery in the Mid-Atlantic. The current regulated mesh sizes are 5.5-inch (13.97-cm) diamond or 6-inch (15.24-cm) square for summer flounder, 5-inch (12.7-cm) diamond for scup, and 4.5-inch (11.43-cm) diamond for black sea bass. This project would test diamond mesh in 4.5-inch (11.43-cm), 5-inch (12.7-cm), 5.5-inch (13.97-cm), 6-inch (15.24-cm), and 6-inch (15.24-cm) square mesh.

    The research would be conducted on a commercial fishing vessel using a trouser trawl that would allow an experimental codend and the control codend to be fished at the same time. The control codend would be a standard squid liner with 6-cm diamond mesh.

    The researchers would conduct the experiment across the wide range of strata and conditions representative of this fishery. Tow speeds, tow cable scope, and tow cable length would be consistent across all tows. The researchers propose to conduct 20 tows per experimental codend, for a total of 100 tows. Up to 20 days of fishing would occur between August 15 and December 31, 2016, south of Block Island and Long Island, in statistical areas 539, 613, 612, and 611. The researchers would not fish in the scup gear restricted areas or the Summer Flounder Fishery Sea Turtle Protection Area. Onboard catch processing would follow NMFS trawl survey standards. Total summer flounder, black sea bass, and scup would be weighed for each tow. Researchers will target a minimum of 200 random length measurements of each species to be sampled for each tow, but if fewer individuals are caught then all would be measured. CCE's anticipated catch is shown in table 1.

    Table 1—Total Estimated Catch for 100 Tows During Mesh Selectivity Study Species Legal Sub-legal Summer Flounder 18,000 lb (8.1 mt) 9,000 lb (4.0 mt). Black Sea Bass 27,000 lb (12.2 mt) 13,500 lb (6.1 mt). Scup 50,000 (22.7 mt) 25,000 lb (11.3 mt). Incidental Catch: Skates 30,000 lb (13.6 mt) Dogfish spiny & smooth 30,000 lb (13.6 mt) Whiting (silver hake) 30,000 lb (13.6 mt) Ling (red hake) 15,000 lb (6.8 mt) Squid (longfin) 10,000 lb (4.5 mt)

    CCE would contract one commercial fishing vessel that is licensed for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass in both New Jersey and New York. Fish would be landed and sold according to the appropriate state limits and be applied against the applicable annual catch limit. CCE would direct all experimental fishing activities that would occur under this EFP. This exemption may increase bycatch numbers beyond those that would normally occur within the fishery; however, the additional mortality will not exceed any catch limits and is therefore negligible. Bycatch will be returned to the water as quickly as possible to reduce mortality.

    If approved, the applicant may request minor modifications and extensions to the EFP throughout the year. EFP modifications and extensions may be granted without further notice if they are deemed essential to facilitate completion of the proposed research and have minimal impacts that do not change the scope or impact of the initially approved EFP request.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: July 11, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16675 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board; Meetings AGENCY:

    Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum dated September 25, 1997, and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management.

    Time and Date: The meeting will be held Tuesday August 2 from 9:15 a.m. CDT to 5:30 p.m. CDT and on Wednesday August 3 from 8:15 a.m. CDT to 1:30 p.m. CDT. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Please refer to the Web page http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/meetings.html for the most up-to-date meeting times and agenda.

    Place: The meeting will be held at the Bryant Conference Center, 240 Paul W. Bryant Dr., Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Please check the SAB Web site http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/meetings.html for directions to the meeting location.

    Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15-minute public comment period on August 2 from 12:30-12:45 p.m. CDT (check Web site to confirm time). The SAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of two (2) minutes. Individuals or groups planning to make a verbal presentation should contact the SAB Acting Executive Director by July 26, 2016 to schedule their presentation. Written comments should be received in the SAB Executive Director's Office by July 26, 2016, to provide sufficient time for SAB review. Written comments received by the SAB Executive Director after July 26, 2016, will be distributed to the SAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seating at the meeting will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Special Accommodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations may be directed no later than 12:00 p.m. on July 26, 2016, to Dr. Cynthia Decker, SAB Executive Director, SSMC3, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; Email: [email protected].

    Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) Report on Arctic Research Review from the Ecosystem Sciences and Management Working Group; (2) Updates from the NOAA Administrator and Chief Scientist; (3) NOAA Response to the SAB GOES-R Level 0 Data report; (4) SAB Strategy Discussion and Implications for NOAA; (5) Discussion of SAB Issue Papers; and (6) Discussion of Working Group and SAB Concepts of Operations.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Cynthia Decker, Executive Director, Science Advisory Board, NOAA, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Email: [email protected]; or visit the NOAA SAB Web site at http://www.sab.noaa.gov.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16683 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0084] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Enrollment Document AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0084. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-347, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Enrollment Document.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0002.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments; Private Sector.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 65,071.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 14,720.

    Abstract: Enrollment in the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) allows eligible entities to securely exchange title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) assistance programs data electronically with the Department of Education processors. Organizations establish Destination Point Administrators (DPAs) to transmit, receive, view and update student financial aid records using telecommunication software. Eligible respondents include, but are not limited to, the following institutions of higher education that participate in title IV, HEA assistance programs, third-party servicers of eligible institutions, Guaranty Agencies, Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) lenders, Federal Loan Servicers, and local educational agencies (LEAs). The Enrollment Form for Post-Secondary Schools and Servicers represents the full complement of questions that must be presented for an organization enrolling in SAIG. The Enrollment Form for State Grant Agencies is a subset of selected questions (from the full complement of questions) to streamline the form for ease of use. This request represents the full 3 year review.

    Dated: July 11, 2016. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16645 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 1494-433] Grand River Dam Authority; Notice of Application for Amendment of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Amendment of Article 401 reservoir elevation rule curve in order to keep reservoir levels in the Grand Lake O' the Cherokees (Grand Lake) higher than normal from August 16 through October 31. As explained in (k) below, this notice only seeks comments, motions to intervene, and protests on a temporary variance from the rule curve, for the period from August 16 through October 31, 2016.

    b. Project No.: 1494-433.

    c. Date Filed: May 6, 2016; supplemented June 2, 2016 and June 30, 2016.

    d. Applicant: Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA).

    e. Name of Project: Pensacola Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The project is located on the Grand River in Craig, Delaware, Mayes, and Ottawa Counties, Oklahoma.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Tamara E. Jahnke, Assistant General Counsel, Grand River Dam Authority, P.O. Box 409, Vinita, OK 74301-0409; telephone: (918) 256-5545.

    i. FERC Contact: Linda Stewart, telephone (202) 502-6680, email [email protected]; or B. Peter Yarrington, telephone (202) 502-6129, email [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests is 14 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission.

    All documents may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail a copy to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please include the project number (P-1494-433) on any comments or motions filed.

    k. Description of Request: In its application, GRDA requests a permanent amendment of the project's Article 401 reservoir elevation rule curve to go into effect August 16, 2016, and remain in effect through the remaining term of the project license. GRDA requests, if a permanent amendment cannot be reviewed by the Commission by August 16, 2016, that a temporary variance for August 16 through October 31, 2016 only be considered while the Commission continues to process its request for a permanent amendment. This notice only seeks comments, motions to intervene, and protests on GRDA's request for a temporary variance for the period from August 16 through October 31, 2016.

    GRDA indicates that it seeks the rule curve change to reduce the risk of vessel groundings at Grand Lake in late summer, improve recreation during a peak recreation season, better balance competing stakeholder interests, and provide additional water storage so that, in the event of drought, water would be available for release to aid in maintaining water quality in the river downstream.

    Under GRDA's proposal, between August 16 and September 15, the reservoir would be maintained at elevation 743 feet Pensacola Datum (PD), which is up to two feet higher than the current rule curve. Between September 16 and September 30, the elevation would be lowered from 743 to 742 feet PD. Between October 1 and October 31, the reservoir would be maintained at elevation 742 feet PD, which is up to one foot higher than the current rule curve. After October 31, reservoir elevations would follow the project's current rule curve. With its application, GRDA includes a Storm Adaptive Management Plan that would be followed to address high water conditions upstream and downstream of Grand Lake during major precipitation events in the river basin. GRDA also includes a Drought Adaptive Management Plan that would be followed to determine project operation, including deviations from the rule curve elevations, to allow releases for maintenance of downstream water quality and reliable operation of GRDA's downstream Salina Pumped Storage Project if certain drought conditions occur.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to project works which are the subject of the amendment application. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16652 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 13318-003] Swan Lake North Hydro LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping Comments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Original Major License.

    b. Project No.: 13318-003.

    c. Date filed: October 28, 2015.

    d. Applicant: Swan Lake North Hydro LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Swan Lake North Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: Approximately 11 miles northeast of the city of Klamath Falls, Klamath County, Oregon. The proposed project would include about 730 acres of federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Joe Eberhardt, EDF-Renewable Energy, 1000 SW Broadway Ave., Ste. 1800, Portland, OR 97205; phone: (503) 889-3838.

    i. FERC Contact: Dianne Rodman, [email protected], (202) 502-6077.

    j. Deadline for filing scoping comments: September 9, 2016.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file scoping comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-13318-003.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. The proposed project would be a closed-loop system using groundwater for initial fill and consist of the following new facilities: (1) A 7,972-foot-long earthen embankment forming a geomembrane-lined upper reservoir with a surface area of 64.21 acres and a storage capacity of 2,568 acre-feet at a maximum surface elevation of 6,135 feet above mean sea level (msl); (2) a 8,003-foot-long earthen embankment forming a geomembrane-lined lower reservoir with a surface area of 60.14 acres and a storage capacity of 3,206 acre-feet at a maximum surface elevation of 4,457 feet msl; (3) a 500-foot-long, rip-rap lined trapezoidal spillway built into the crest of each embankment; (4) a 0.5-percent slope perforated polyvinyl chloride tube of varying diameter and accompanying optical fiber drainage system designed to detect, collect, and monitor water leakage from the reservoirs; (5) a 25-inch-diameter bottom outlet with manual valve for gravitational dewatering of the lower reservoir; (6) an upper intake consisting of a bell mouth, 38.6-foot-wide by 29.8-foot-long inclined screen, head gate, and 13.8-foot-diameter foundational steel pipe; (7) a 36.5-foot-diameter, 9,655-foot-long steel high-pressure penstock from the upper reservoir to the powerhouse that is predominantly above ground with a 14-foot-long buried segment; (8) three 9.8-foot-diameter, 1,430-foot-long steel low-pressure penstocks from the lower reservoir to the powerhouse that are predominantly above ground with a 78-foot-long buried segment; (9) a partially-buried powerhouse with three 131.1-megawatt (MW) reversible pump-turbine units with a total installed capacity of 393.3 MW; (10) a fenced substation next to the powerhouse; (11) 32.8 mile, 230-kilovolt above-ground transmission line interconnecting to an existing non-project substation; (12) approximately 10.7 miles of improved project access road; (13) approximately 3.4 miles of new permanent project access road; (14) approximately 8.3 miles of temporary project access road; and (15) appurtenant facilities. The project would generate about 1,187 gigawatt-hours annually.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Scoping Process. The Commission intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EIS will consider both site-specific and cumulative environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.

    Scoping Meetings

    FERC staff will conduct one agency scoping meeting and one public meeting. The agency scoping meeting will focus on resource agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) concerns, while the public scoping meeting is primarily for public input. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend one or both of the meetings, and to assist the staff in identifying the scope of the environmental issues that should be analyzed in the EIS. The times and locations of these meetings are as follows:

    Agency Scoping Meeting

    DATE: Wednesday, August 10, 2016.

    TIME: 9:00 a.m.

    PLACE: Mt. Scott Room.

    ADDRESS: College Union, Oregon Institute of Technology, 3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.

    Public Scoping Meeting

    DATE: Tuesday, August 9, 2016.

    TIME: 7:00 p.m.

    PLACE: Mt. Mazama Room.

    ADDRESS: College Union, Oregon Institute of Technology, 3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.

    Copies of the Scoping Document (SD1) outlining the subject areas to be addressed in the EIS were distributed to the parties on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of the SD1 will be available at the scoping meeting or may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link (see item m above).

    Environmental Site Review

    The Applicant and FERC staff will conduct a project Environmental Site Review beginning at 9:00 a.m. on August 9, 2016. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend. All participants should meet at the Edgewood Ranch, 12501 Swan Falls Road, Klamath Falls, Oregon. To reach the ranch from Main Street in Klamath Falls, follow Oregon 39 South/Crater Lake east and south of town. Follow signs for a slight left turn onto Oregon 140 East and follow it for 9.4 miles to Swan Lake Road. Follow Swan Lake Road for 9.4 miles. Edgewood Ranch is located off a driveway at the corner of a 90-degree left-land turn in Swan Lake Road. The main office building is located immediately on the right. Parking is available at the entry driveway before the main office building. Anyone with questions about the Environmental Site Review should contact Joe Eberhardt of EDF-Renewable Energy at (503) 889-3838.

    Objectives

    At the scoping meetings, the staff will: (1) Summarize the environmental issues tentatively identified for analysis in the EIS; (2) solicit from the meeting participants all available information, especially quantifiable data, on the resources at issue; (3) encourage statements from experts and the public on issues that should be analyzed in the EIS, including viewpoints in opposition to, or in support of, the staff's preliminary views; (4) determine the resource issues to be addressed in the EIS; and (5) identify those issues that require a detailed analysis, as well as those issues that do not require a detailed analysis.

    Procedures

    The meetings will be recorded by a stenographer and become part of the formal record of the Commission proceeding on the project.

    Individuals, organizations, and agencies with environmental expertise and concerns are encouraged to attend the meeting and to assist the staff in defining and clarifying the issues to be addressed in the EIS.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16651 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER16-1887-000] Apple Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Apple Energy LLC`s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is July 28, 2016.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16664 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1050-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Sequent Energy Contract 911362 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/29/16.

    Accession Number: 20160629-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/11/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1051-000.

    Applicants: Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Vol 2—Non-Conforming Agreement—Chesapeake Energy Marketing, Inc.—Amendment to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/29/16.

    Accession Number: 20160629-5173.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/11/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1052-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Cherokee AGL—Replacement Shippers—Jul 2016 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1053-000.

    Applicants: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Rock Springs Expansion Initial Rate Filing to be effective 8/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5025.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1054-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: DTI—June 30, 2016 Negotiated Rate Agreement to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5030.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1055-000.

    Applicants: Questar Overthrust Pipeline Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Section 35 Version 1.0.0 to be effective 8/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5033.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1056-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: DCP—June 30, 2016 Form of Service Agreement Change to be effective 7/30/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5042.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1057-000.

    Applicants: MoGas Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing MoGas NAESB Compliance Filing to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5059.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1058-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—EDF Trading contracts 791756 & 791755 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5069.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1059-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Clean Up Filing to be effective 7/30/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5083.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1060-000.

    Applicants: Destin Pipeline Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Auxiliary Installation Reimbursement Fee Change—Docket No. RP14-1200 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5086.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1061-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: DTI—Termination of Gathering & Products Extraction Services (CP16-1) to be effective 8/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5163.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1062-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Neg Rate Agmt (Devon 34694-66) to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5164.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1063-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (Petrohawk 41455 to Texla 46616) to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1064-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmt (Encana 37663 to Texla 46621) to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5178.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1065-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Measurement Variance/Fuel Use Factors of Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P. under RP16-1065.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1066-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Neg Rates 2016-06-30 6 Ks to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1067-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Cap Rel Neg Rate Agmts (Atlanta Gas 8438 to various eff 7-1-16) to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5231.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1068-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update (APS July 2016) to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5235.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1069-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: EPC AUG 2016 FILING to be effective 8/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5258.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1070-000.

    Applicants: Enable Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Filing—June 2016 Entergy Arkansas 8791 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5296.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1071-000.

    Applicants: White River Hub, LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming TSAs and Original Volume No. 2 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5341.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1072-000.

    Applicants: Paiute Pipeline Company.

    Description: Compliance filing Adobe Fuel/Imbalance Trading to be effective 9/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5346.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1073-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Chesapeake Energy Marketing—Negotiated Rate to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5000.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1074-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: DCP—July 1, 2016 Negotiated Rate Agreement to be effective 8/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5059.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1075-000.

    Applicants: ETC Tiger Pipeline, LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Revised Fuel Provision and Rates to be effective 8/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5064.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1076-000.

    Applicants: WTG Hugoton, LP.

    Description: Compliance filing Annual Fuel Retention Percentage Filing 2015-2016 to be effective 8/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5085.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1077-000.

    Applicants: Equitrans, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Capacity Release Agreements—07/01/2016 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1078-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rates—Eco-Energy Contract 8941965 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1079-000.

    Applicants: Dauphin Island Gathering Partners.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Filing 7-1-16 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1080-000.

    Applicants: Ruby Pipeline, L.L.C.

    Description: Request for Waiver of Ruby Pipeline, L.L.C.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5417.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1081-000.

    Applicants: Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) Rate Filing: Change in FERC Gas Tariff to be effective 8/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5144.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/13/16.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-549-003.

    Applicants: PGPipeline LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing Amended NAESB 3.0 Compliance Filing to be effective 4/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 6/29/16.

    Accession Number: 20160629-5212.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/11/16.

    Any person desiring to protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 5, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16665 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-12-000] Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Southwest Louisiana Supply Project

    On October 26, 2015, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC (Tennessee) filed an application in Docket No. CP16-12-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate certain natural gas pipeline facilities located in Franklin, Rapides, Richland, and Madison Parishes, Louisiana. The proposed project is known as the Southwest Louisiana Supply Project (Project), and would provide 295,000 dekatherms per day of incremental capacity to serve Mitsubishi Corporation and MMGS, Inc.

    On November 9, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA—September 29, 2016 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—December 28, 2016

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Tennessee proposes to construct a 2.4-mile-long, 30-inch-diameter pipeline lateral in Madison Parish, Louisiana; a 1.4-mile-long, 30-inch-diameter pipeline lateral in Richland and Franklin Parishes, Louisiana; five meter stations to allow Tennessee to receive gas on its existing 800 Line from five interconnecting pipelines; one new compressor station in Franklin Parish, Louisiana; and replace a gas turbine engine at an existing compressor station in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

    Background

    On December 9, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Southwest Louisiana Supply Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the Commission received recommendations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the State of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Office of Wildlife; the State of Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, Office of Cultural Development; and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The primary issues raised by the commenters are recommendations on avoiding impacts on cultural resources, wildlife, and wetlands.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). Using the “eLibrary” link, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and “Docket Number” excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-12-000), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: July 7, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16667 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: CP14-112-003.

    Applicants: National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc.

    Description: Joint Petition to Amend the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

    Filed Date: 6/28/16.

    Accession Number: 20160628-5281.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/18/16.

    Docket Numbers: CP14-96-002.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Abbreviated application for limited amendment of the certificate of public convenience and necessity.

    Filed Date: 7/01/16.

    Accession Number: 20160701-5329.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/18/16.

    Docket Number: PR16-61-000.

    Applicants: SourceGas Distribution LLC.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(e) + (g): Statement of Operating Conditions to be effective 6/1/2016; Filing Type: 1280.

    Filed Date: 6/30/2016.

    Accession Number: 201606305111 http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/doc_info.asp?accession_num=20160415-5222.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/21/16.

    284.123(g) Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/29/16.

    Docket Number: PR16-62-000.

    Applicants: Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc.

    Description: Tariff filing per 284.123(b)(1)/.: COH SOC 6-29-2016 to be effective 6/29/2016; Filing Type: 980.

    Filed Date: 7/1/16.

    Accession Number: 201607015278.

    Comments/Protests Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/22/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP10-837-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: DTI—Operational Gas Sales Report—2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5334.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP10-900-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: DTI—Informational Fuel Report—2016.

    Filed Date: 6/30/16.

    Accession Number: 20160630-5335.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/12/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1084-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Transmission, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing DTI—2016 Overrun and Penalty Revenue Distribution.

    Filed Date: 7/6/16.

    Accession Number: 20160706-5033.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/18/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified date(s). Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 7, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16666 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-125-000] National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Line T2KNY Install, Line TNY Replacement, and Line KNY Abandonment Project

    On April 4, 2016, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation (National Fuel) filed an application in Docket No. CP16-125-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to sections 7(b) and (c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and abandon certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The proposed project is known as the Line T2KNY Install, Line TNY Replacement, and Line KNY Abandonment Project (Project). The Project would eliminate vintage bare steel pipeline, replacing it with modern, high strength, coated steel pipeline, therefore increasing the overall integrity and reliability of National Fuel's pipeline system.

    On April 15, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA August 3, 2016 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline November 1, 2016

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    National Fuel proposes to install approximately 1.2 miles of new 20-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline (Line T2KNY), replace approximately 6.7 miles of 20-inch-diameter bare steel pipeline with 7.0 miles of 24-inch-diameter coated natural gas pipeline (Line TNY), abandon approximately 14.9 miles of 20-inch-diameter bare steel natural gas pipeline (Line KNY), make modifications at two existing National Fuel meter and regulator stations (North Boston and East Eden), and make modifications at National Fuel's existing Zoar Compressor Station in Erie County, New York. The Line T2KNY Install, Line TNY Replacement, and Line KNY Abandonment Project would allow National Fuel to cure operating deficiencies on Line TNY and would provide an additional 2,600 dekatherms per day of new firm capacity which would be offered in an open season.

    Background

    On May 2, 2016, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Line T2KNY Install, Line TNY Replacement, and Line KNY Abandonment Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers.

    To date, no comments have been received on the NOI. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EA.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). Using the “eLibrary” link, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and “Docket Number” excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-125), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: July 7, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16668 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 1494-433; Oklahoma] Grand River Dam Authority; Notice of Tribal Consultation Meeting

    On May 6, 2016, the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) filed an application to amend the rule curve specified in Article 401 of the license for the Pensacola Project. The rule curve sets forth target water elevations for Grand Lake O' the Cherokees.

    The Commission will hold a meeting with representatives of the tribes comprising the Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. potentially affected by GRDA's application to amend the rule curve. The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday August 3, 2016, at the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Council House, 2319 Newman Road, Miami, Oklahoma 74354.

    Interested parties may attend the meeting as observers. The meeting will be transcribed by a court reporter and the transcript will be placed in the record of this proceeding.

    For further information on this meeting please contact either B. Peter Yarrington at (202) 502-6129 or Linda Stewart at (202) 502-6680.

    Dated: July 8, 2016 Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16650 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-145-000.

    Applicants: NSTAR Electric Company.

    Description: Application of NSTAR Electric Company Seeking Authorization for the Acquisition of Jurisdictional Facilities under FPA Section 203.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5159.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1861-000.

    Applicants: Tucson Electric Power Company.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5117.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1862-000.

    Applicants: Tucson Electric Power Company.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5119.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1707-002.

    Applicants: Upper Peninsula Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2nd Amended Project Services Agreement to be effective 7/16/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5113.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2145-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Compliance filing: PacifiCorp MBR Sales Tariff Compliance Filing per 155 FERC 61,249 to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5100.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2146-000.

    Applicants: Bishop Hill Energy II LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2147-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of ISA No. 3383, Queue No. X4-004 due to Withdraw to be effective 8/6/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5127.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2148-000.

    Applicants: CalEnergy, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5128.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2149-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amended LGIA Added Facilities Rate—Garland Project to be effective 1/3/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2150-000.

    Applicants: CE Leathers Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2151-000.

    Applicants: Cordova Energy Company LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5131.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2152-000.

    Applicants: Del Ranch Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5134.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2153-000.

    Applicants: Elmore Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2154-000.

    Applicants: Fish Lake Power LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2155-000.

    Applicants: Grande Prairie Wind, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5138.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2156-000.

    Applicants: Marshall Wind Energy LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5140.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2157-000.

    Applicants: Pinyon Pines Wind I, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5142.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2158-000.

    Applicants: Pinyon Pines Wind II, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2159-000.

    Applicants: Salton Sea Power Generation Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5148.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2160-000.

    Applicants: Salton Sea Power L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2161-000.

    Applicants: Saranac Power Partners, L.P.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2162-000.

    Applicants: Solar Star California XIX, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5155.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2163-000.

    Applicants: Solar Star California XX, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2164-000.

    Applicants: Topaz Solar Farms LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2165-000.

    Applicants: Vulcan/BN Geothermal Power Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5166.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2166-000.

    Applicants: Yuma Cogeneration Associates.

    Description: Compliance filing: BHE MBR Sellers Compliance Filing to be effective 6/9/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5170.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 08, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16661 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-472-000; PF15-33-000] Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on June 24, 2016, Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern), having its principal place of business at 1111 South 103rd Street, Omaha, NE 68124, filed in the above referenced docket an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and part 157 of the Commission's regulations requesting authorization to construct and operate compression and pipeline facilities located in Isanti, Sherburne and Rice Counties, Minnesota, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to Michael T. Loeffler, Senior Director, Certificates and External Affairs for Northern, 1111 South 103rd Street, Omaha, NE 68124; by calling (402) 398-7103; by faxing (402) 398-7592; or by emailing [email protected]

    Specifically, Northern proposes to construct and operate 4.8 miles of 8- and 12-inch diameter branch line loop extensions in Sherburne and Isanti Counties, Minnesota. The proposed facilities will provide for incremental winter peak day firm service of 75,937 dekatherms per day serving residential, commercial, and industrial customer market growth in Northern's Market Area. Northern also proposes to install and operate an additional 15,900 horsepower compressor unit at an existing compressor station in Rice County, Minnesota. Short segments of pipeline will be removed to accommodate compressor station tie-ins. The total cost of the project is $44,068,126.

    On October 9, 2015 the Commission granted Northern's request to utilize the Pre-Filing Process and assigned Docket No. PF15-33-000 to staff activities involved in the Project. Now, as of the filing of the June 24, 2016 application, the Pre-Filing Process for this Project has ended. From this time forward, this proceeding will be conducted in Docket No. CP16-472-000 as noted in the caption of this Notice.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules (18 CFR 157.9), within 90 days of this Notice, the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit seven copies of filings made in the proceeding with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 7 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: July 29, 2016.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16663 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-141-000.

    Applicants: Elevation Solar C LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, Request for Expedited Consideration and Confidential Treatment of Elevation Solar C LLC.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5076.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-142-000.

    Applicants: Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch B LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, Request for Expedited Consideration and Confidential Treatment of Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch B LLC.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5082.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-143-000.

    Applicants: GE Albany Global Holdings BV, Solar Partners I, LLC, Solar Partners II, LLC, Solar Partners VIII, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers of GE Albany Global Holdings BV, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5169.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-144-000.

    Applicants: GE Albany Global Holdings BV, Solar Partners I, LLC, Solar Partners II, LLC, Solar Partners VIII, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers of GE Albany Global Holdings BV, et al.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5173.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER12-1650-007.

    Applicants: Emera Maine.

    Description: Compliance Filing of Emera Maine.

    Filed Date: 7/5/16.

    Accession Number: 20160705-5217.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/26/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2142-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3220 Westar, ITC Great Plains & Mid-Kansas Interconnection Agreement to be effective 7/6/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5080.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2143-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: BPA NITSA (SE Idaho Area) Rev 1 to be effective 7/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5114.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 07, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16574 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Nexus Gas Transmission Project and Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease Project Docket No. NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC CP16-22-000 Texas Eastern Transmission, LP CP16-23-000 DTE Gas Company CP16-24-000 Vector Pipeline L.P CP16-102-000

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the NEXUS Gas Transmission (NGT) Project and Texas Eastern Appalachian Lease (TEAL) Project (jointly referred to as “Projects”), proposed by NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC (NEXUS) and Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern) in the above-referenced dockets. NEXUS and Texas Eastern request authorization to construct a new Greenfield pipeline and expand an existing pipeline system from the Appalachian Basin to deliver 1.5 million dekatherms per day to consuming markets in Northern Ohio, Southeastern Michigan, and Ontario, Canada. DTE Gas Company and Vector Pipeline L.P. are requesting approval to lease capacity on their systems to NEXUS.

    The draft EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the Projects in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The FERC staff concludes that approval of the Projects would result in some adverse environmental impacts; however, most of these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of NEXUS's and Texas Eastern's proposed mitigation measures and the additional recommendations in the draft EIS.

    Some of the route alternatives suggested during scoping would affect landowners that have not been part of the FERC's environmental scoping process, as further discussed on page 5. Therefore, by this letter we are notifying these parties of our evaluation and requesting comments about the following alternative routes presented in section 3 of the draft EIS: City of Green Route Alternative, Chippewa Lake C Route Variation, and Reserve Avenue Route Variation.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the draft EIS. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposal and participate in the National Environmental Policy Act analysis. Although the FWS and EPA provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS, the FWS and EPA will each present its own conclusions and recommendations in its respective record of decision or determination for the Projects.

    The draft EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of both the NGT and TEAL Projects. The NGT Project consists of about 255.9 miles of pipeline composed of the following facilities:

    • 208.9 miles of new 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in Ohio;

    • 47 miles of new 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline in Michigan;

    • associated equipment and facilities.

    The TEAL Project would include two main components:

    • 4.4 miles of new 36-inch-diameter loop pipeline in Ohio;

    • 0.3 mile of new 30-inch-diameter interconnecting pipeline Ohio; and

    • associated equipment and facilities.

    The Projects' proposed aboveground facilities include five new compressor stations in Ohio; additional compression and related modifications to one existing compressor station in Ohio; five new metering and regulating stations in Ohio; one new metering and regulating station in Michigan; and minor modifications at existing aboveground facilities at various locations across Ohio.

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the draft EIS to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners and other interested individuals and groups; and newspapers and libraries near the Projects. Paper copy versions of this draft EIS were mailed to those specifically requesting them; all others received a CD version. In addition, the draft EIS is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link.

    A limited number of copies are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Any person wishing to comment on the draft EIS may do so. To ensure consideration of your comments on the proposal in the final EIS, it is important that the Commission receive your comments on or before August 29, 2016.

    For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the Projects' docket numbers (CP16-22-000 for the NGT Project and CP16-23-000 for the TEAL Project) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project.

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type.

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    (4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend one of the public comment meetings its staff will conduct in the Project areas to receive comments on the draft EIS. We 1 encourage interested groups and individuals to attend and present oral comments on the draft EIS at any of the meeting locations provided on page 4.

    1 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the FERC's Office of Energy Projects.

    There will not be a formal start of the meeting nor a formal presentation by Commission staff, but FERC staff will be available to answer your questions about the environmental review process. You may arrive at any time after 5:00 p.m. and we will stop taking comments at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time Zone. The primary goal is to have your verbal environmental comments on the draft EIS documented in the public record.

    Date Location August 10, 2016 Swanton High School, 604 North Main Street, Swanton, OH 43558, (419) 826-3045. August 11, 2016 Tecumseh Center for the Arts, 400 North Maumee Street, Tecumseh, MI 49286, (517) 423-6617. August 15, 2016 Quality Inn, Fremont, 3422 Port Clinton Road, Fremont, OH 43420, (419) 332-0601. August 16, 2016 Elyria High School Performing Arts Center, 601 Middle Avenue, Elyria, OH 44035, (440) 284-5209. August 17, 2016 Wadsworth High School—James A. Mcilvaine Performing Arts Center, 625 Broad Street, Wadsworth, OH 44281, (330) 335-1369. August 18, 2016 Green High School, 1474 Boettler Road, Uniontown, OH 44685, (330) 896-7575.

    Verbal comments will be recorded by court reporter(s) and transcriptions will be placed into the docket for the Projects and made available for public viewing on FERC's eLibrary system (see page 5 for instructions on using eLibrary). It is important to note that verbal comments hold the same weight as written or electronically submitted comments. If a significant number of people are interested in providing verbal comments, a time limit of 3 to 5 minutes may be implemented for each commenter to ensure all those wishing to comment have the opportunity to do so within the designated meeting time. Time limits will be strictly enforced if they are implemented.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (Title 18 Code of Federal Regulations Part 385.214).2 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding that no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    2 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Route Alternatives

    As indicated on page 1, some landowners are receiving this draft EIS because their property has been identified as potentially being affected by certain route alternatives recommended or being considered by FERC staff to avoid or lessen environmental impacts along NEXUS's proposed pipeline route in several locations. Refer to discussions in section 3.3.3 of the draft EIS for the City of Green Route Alternative, section 3.4.10 for the Chippewa Lake C Route Variation, and section 3.4.12 for the Reserve Avenue Route Variation. Please note that while staff has recommended the use of the last two listed alternatives, a decision whether or not to recommend the use of the City of Green Route Alternative has not been made. The Commission staff wants to ensure that all potentially affected landowners have the opportunity to participate in the environmental review process, thus staff is soliciting comments to assist with the environmental analysis of these route alternatives, which will be presented in the final EIS.

    Questions?

    Additional information about the Projects is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP16-22). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676; for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription that allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to subscribe.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16662 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-551-001] TransCameron Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Amendment to Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

    Take notice that on June 28, 2016, TransCameron Pipeline, LLC (TransCameron), 2200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 600 West, Washington, DC 20037, filed in the above referenced docket an amendment to the certificate application in Docket No. CP15-551-000, pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations. TransCameron proposes to (1) remove the Western Lateral from its original TransCameron Pipeline Project, (2) modify the capacity of its East Lateral without any facility changes, and (3) update East Lateral alignment and workspace for minor modifications, as was originally proposed in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection.

    The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this amendment may be directed to Fory Musser, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Venture Global LNG, Inc., 2200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 600 West, Washington, DC 20037.

    Specifically, TransCameron originally proposed to construct, own, and operate the 23.5-mile-long East Lateral and 19.2-mile-long West Lateral, both 42-inch-diameter pipelines designed to deliver approximately 1,900,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service. However, Venture Global Calcasieu Pass—TransCameron's sole customer—optimized their LNG Terminal design and updated their natural gas transportation requirements. To comply with these changes, TransCameron now proposes to construct the 42-inch-diameter 23.5 mile-long pipeline (formerly referred to as East Lateral) that will have transmission capacity of approximately 2,125,000 Dth/d. TransCameron also requests approval of proposed initial recourse rates for transportation service and its pro forma FERC Gas Tariff. Amended cost of the pipeline is estimated at $198.1 million.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 7 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 14 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: July 29, 2016.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16649 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2633-025; ER10-2570-025; ER10-2717-025; ER10-3140-025; ER13-55-015.

    Applicants: Birchwood Power Partners, L.P., Shady Hills Power Company, L.L.C., EFS Parlin Holdings, LLC, Inland Empire Energy Center, LLC, Homer City Generation, L.P.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of the GE Companies.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5217.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-316-001.

    Applicants: NorthWestern Corporation.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report for Refunds to Schedule 3 Customers, ER10-1138 & ER12-316 to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5046.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-2107-011; ER13-2020-011; ER13-2050-011.

    Applicants: Solar Partners I, LLC, Solar Partners II, LLC, Solar Partners VIII, LLC.

    Description: Notification of Change in Status of Ivanpah MBR Sellers.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5232.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1610-002.

    Applicants: V3 Commodities Group, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of V3 Commodities Group, LLC.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5231.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-1706-001.

    Applicants: Upper Peninsula Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amended Common Facilities Agreement to be effective 7/16/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/8/16.

    Accession Number: 20160708-5067.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/29/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2144-000.

    Applicants: Phillips 66 Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Market-Based Rate Schedule to be effective 7/8/2016.

    Filed Date: 7/7/16.

    Accession Number: 20160707-5194.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/28/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF16-996-000.

    Applicants: SunSelect Produce (California), Inc.

    Description: Form 556 of SunSelect Produce (California), Inc.

    Filed Date: 6/21/16.

    Accession Number: 20160621-5201.

    Comments Due: None Applicable.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16660 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Commission Staff Attendance

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of the Commission's staff may attend the following meetings related to the transmission planning activities of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM):

    PJM Planning Committee

    July 14, 2016, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (EST).

    PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee

    July 14, 2016, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (EST).

    The above-referenced meetings will be held at: PJM Conference and Training Center, PJM Interconnection, 2750 Monroe Boulevard, Audubon, PA 19403.

    The above-referenced meetings are open to stakeholders.

    Further information may be found at www.pjm.com.

    The discussions at the meetings described above may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket No. ER16-453, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. and Northeast Transmission Development, LLC Docket No. ER16-736, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER14-972, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER14-1485, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket Nos. ER13-1944, et al., PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., et al. Docket No. ER15-1344, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-1387, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. and Potomac Electric Power Company Docket No. ER15-2562, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-2563, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL15-18, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL15-41, Essential Power Rock Springs, LLC, et. al. v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER15-2114, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. and Transource West Virginia, LLC Docket No. EL15-79, TransSource, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL15-95, Delaware Public Service Commission, et. al., v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., et. al. Docket No. EL15-67, Linden VFT, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. EL05-121, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER13-198, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER16-1335, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER16-1232, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Docket No. ER16-1499, PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    For more information, contact the following:

    Jonathan Fernandez, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (202) 502-6604 [email protected]

    Alina Halay, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, (202) 502-6474, [email protected]

    Dated: July 7, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16575 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9949-04-OA] Notification of Two Public Teleconferences of the Science Advisory Board; Environmental Economics Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces two public teleconferences of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (EEAC) to review its draft report regarding the EPA's proposed methodology for updating its mortality risk valuation estimates for policy analysis.

    DATES:

    The SAB Environmental Economics Advisory Committee will conduct public teleconferences on August 4 and August 5, 2016. Each of the teleconferences will begin at 1:00 p.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

    ADDRESSES:

    The teleconferences will be conducted by telephone only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public who wants further information concerning the public teleconferences may contact Dr. Thomas Armitage, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office (1400R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; by telephone at (202) 564-2155 or via email at [email protected] General information concerning the EPA SAB can be found at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The SAB was established pursuant to the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDDAA), codified at 42 U.S.C. 4365, to provide independent scientific and technical advice to the Administrator on the technical basis for Agency positions and regulations. The SAB is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., App. 2. The SAB will comply with the provisions of FACA and all appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies. Pursuant to FACA and EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the SAB Environmental Economics Advisory Committee will hold two public teleconferences to discuss its draft report on the EPA's methodology for updating its mortality risk valuation estimates for policy analysis. The committee will provide advice to the Administrator through the chartered SAB.

    The EPA's Office of Policy requested advice on proposed improvements to the Agency's methodology for estimating benefits associated with reduced risk of mortality. This methodology takes into account the amounts that individuals are willing to pay for reductions in mortality risk. The resulting values are combined into an estimate known as the value of statistical life (VSL) which is used in regulatory benefit-cost analysis. The EPA also requested that the SAB review options for accounting for changes in the VSL over time as real income grows, known as income elasticity of willingness to pay. The EPA submitted the following documents to the SAB for review: (1) Valuing Mortality Risk for Policy: A Meta-analytic Approach, a white paper prepared by the EPA Office of Policy to describe the Agency's interpretation and application of SAB recommendations received in July 2011 regarding updates to the EPA's estimates of mortality risk valuation; (2) The Effect of Income on the Value of Mortality and Morbidity Risk Reductions, a report prepared for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation on options for updating the Agency's recommended estimate for the income elasticity of the value of statistical life; and (3) Recommended Income Elasticity and Income Growth Estimates: Technical Memorandum, an EPA memorandum providing supplementary information to the report. The SAB Environmental Economics Advisory Committee met on March 7-8, 2016, to receive agency briefings, hear public comments, and deliberate on responses to the EPA charge questions (81 FR 4296-4297). The committee also held teleconferences on June 16 and June 17, 2016 to discuss its draft report with responses to the charge questions (81 FR 30535-30536). The purpose of the teleconferences described in this notice is to continue the discussion of the committee's draft report. The two committee teleconferences will be conducted as one complete meeting beginning on August 4, 2016 and continuing on August 5, 2016, if needed to complete agenda items. Additional information about this SAB advisory activity can be found at the following URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/Valuing%20fatal%20risk%20for%20policy?OpenDocument.

    Technical Contacts: Any technical questions concerning the EPA documents reviewed by the SAB should be directed to Dr. Nathalie Simon in the EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics, by telephone at (202) 566-2347 or by email at [email protected]

    Availability of Meeting Materials: Prior to the meeting, the teleconference agenda, draft committee report, and other materials will be available on the SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Public comment for consideration by EPA's federal advisory committees and panels has a different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a federal advisory committee is different from the process used to submit comments to an EPA program office. Federal advisory committees and panels, including scientific advisory committees, provide independent advice to the EPA. Interested members of the public may submit relevant information on the topic of this advisory activity, and/or the group conducting the activity, for the SAB to consider during the advisory process. Input from the public to the SAB will have the most impact if it provides specific scientific or technical information or analysis for SAB committees and panels to consider or if it relates to the clarity or accuracy of the technical information. Members of the public wishing to provide comment should contact the DFO directly. Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation at the teleconference will be limited to three minutes. Interested parties wishing to provide comments should contact Dr. Armitage, DFO, in writing (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by July 28, 2016, to be placed on the list of public speakers for the meeting. Written Statements: Written statements will be accepted throughout the advisory process; however, for timely consideration by committee members, statements should be supplied to the DFO (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by July 28, 2016. It is the SAB Staff Office general policy to post written comments on the Web page for advisory meetings. Submitters are requested to provide an unsigned version of each document because the SAB Staff Office does not publish documents with signatures on its Web sites. Members of the public should be aware that their personal contact information, if included in any written comments, may be posted to the SAB Web site. Copyrighted material will not be posted without explicit permission of the copyright holder.

    Accessibility: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Dr. Armitage at the contact information provided above. To request accommodation of a disability, please contact Dr. Armitage preferably at least ten days prior to the meeting to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: July 5, 2016. Thomas H. Brennan, Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16710 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0338; FRL-9948-03] Alpha-chlorohydrin and Hydrogen Cyanamide Registration Review Interim Decisions; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's interim registration review decisions for the pesticides alpha-chlorohydrin (case 4120) and hydrogen cyanamide (case 7005). Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without causing unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For pesticide specific information, contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II., Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    For general information on the registration review program, contact: Richard Dumas, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8015; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0338 is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. What action is the agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58(c), this notice announces the availability of EPA's interim registration review decisions for the pesticides shown in the following table.

    Table—Interim Registration Review Decisions Registration review case name and No. Pesticide docket ID No. Chemical review manager, telephone number, email address Alpha-chlorohydrin, Case 4120 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0726 Matthew Manupella, (703) 347-0411, [email protected]. Hydrogen cyanamide, Case 7005 EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1014 Dana L. Friedman, (703) 347-8827, [email protected].

    Alpha-chlorohydrin. The registration review docket for alpha-chlorohydrin opened in December 2015. For alpha-chlorohydrin, the Agency expedited the registration review and opened the docket with the proposed interim decision and supporting documents. The only registered use for alpha-chlorohydrin is as a tamper-proof bait station/bait application delivery system for elimination of Norway rats. Alpha-chlorohydrin is approved for use in and around commercial/industrial facilities and sanitary sewers. The label prohibits the use of the product in any facility where children may be present, and no outdoor uses are permitted. Exposure to pollinators is unlikely because alpha-chlorohydrin is deployed in a bait station. Therefore, pollinator data will not be required, nor will exposure to pollinators be assessed. The Agency has made the following interim decision: (1) No additional data are required at this time; (2) no changes to the affected registrations or their labeling are needed at this time; and (3) EPA does not expect alpha-chlorohydrin to have direct or indirect adverse effects to non-listed, and listed species or to adversely modify any designated critical habitat for such species, and is making a “no effect” determination under the Endangered Species Act for all listed species and designated critical habitat for such species. At this time, EPA is making no human health or environmental safety findings associated with the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) screening of alpha-chlorohydrin. EPA's registration review decision for alpha-chlorohydrin will depend upon the result of an EDSP Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) section 408(p) determination.

    Hydrogen cyanamide. Hydrogen cyanamide is a plant growth regulator used to promote uniform bud break in orchard fruit trees and vines; there are no residential uses. It is the only registered plant growth regulator available to induce uniform bud break in United States fruit production, and there are significant economic benefits associated with its use in areas where the critical number of chilling hours needed for bud break do not occur or are not consistent. The Agency conducted a comprehensive human health risk assessment and determined that there are potential risks of concern for occupational handlers, as well as spray drift concerns for bystanders. The occupational risks can be mitigated through modifications to the cyanamide label, and spray drift concerns are addressed by a distance restriction for bystanders. The Agency also conducted an ecological risk assessment and determined that there are potential risks of concern for terrestrial animals, but current use practices and label mitigation address many of these concerns. In this Interim Registration Review Decision, EPA is making no human health or environmental safety findings associated with the EDSP screening of cyanamide or risks to pollinators, nor is it making a complete endangered species finding. The Agency's final registration review decision is dependent upon the assessment of risks to threatened and endangered species, and to pollinators, and of potential endocrine disruptor risk.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.57, a registration review decision is the Agency's determination whether a pesticide meets, or does not meet, the standard for registration in FIFRA. EPA has considered alpha-chlorohydrin and hydrogen cyanamide in light of the FIFRA standard for registration. The Interim Decision documents in the docket for these pesticides describe the Agency's rationale for issuing the interim decisions.

    In addition to the interim registration review decision documents, the registration review dockets for alpha-chlorohydrin and hydrogen cyanamide include other relevant documents related to the registration review of these pesticides. The proposed interim registration review decisions were posted to the docket and the public was invited to submit any comments or new information. EPA addressed the comments or information received during the comment period in the discussions for alpha-chlorohydrin and hydrogen cyanamide. During the 60-day comment period, the public comments received for both pesticides did not affect the Agency's interim decisions. Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58(c), the registration review case dockets for alpha-chlorohydrin and hydrogen cyanamide will remain open until all actions required in the interim decision have been completed.

    Background on the registration review program is provided at: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/registration_review. Links to earlier documents related to the registration review of this pesticide are provided at: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/registration_review/reg_review_status.htm.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2016. Michael Goodis, Acting Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16708 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0774; FRL-9948-29] Registration Review Proposed Decisions for Sulfonylureas and Certain Other Pesticides; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed interim registration review and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decisions. It also opens the docket for Bacillus thuringiensis. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by the docket identification (ID) number for the specific pesticide of interest provided in the tables in Unit II, by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For pesticide specific information, contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the tables in Unit II.

    For general information on the registration review program, contact: Richard Dumas, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8015; email address: [email protected]

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

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the tables in Unit II.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information on a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. What action is the agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58, this notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed interim registration review decisions for the pesticides shown in the following tables, and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decisions.

    A single Proposed Interim Registration Review Decision document covering the 22 sulfonylurea chemicals listed in Table 1 is being made available for public review and comment. Public comments submitted to any of the 22 sulfonylurea dockets will be considered for the sulfonylureas as a group, as appropriate.

    Table 1—Registration Review Proposed Interim Decision for Sulfonylureas Registration review case name and No. Docket ID No. Chemical review manager and
  • contact information
  • Bensulfuron-methyl 7216 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0663 Moana Appleyard, [email protected], (703) 308-8175. Chlorimuron-ethyl 7403 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0478 Leigh Rimmer, [email protected], (703) 347-0553. Chlorsulfuron 0631 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0878 Miguel Zavala, [email protected], (703) 347-0504. Flazasulfuron 7271 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0994 Ricardo Jones, [email protected], (703) 347-0493 Foramsulfuron 7252 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0387 Jose Gayoso, [email protected], (703) 347-8652. Halosulfuron-methyl 7233 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0745 Brittany Pruitt, [email protected], (703) 347-0289. Imazosulfuron 7281 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0625 Caitlin Newcamp, [email protected], (703) 347-0325. Iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium 7253 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0717 Leigh Rimmer, [email protected], (703) 347-0553. Mesosulfuron-methyl 7263 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0833 Maria Piansay, [email protected], (703) 308-8063. Metsulfuron-methyl 7205 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0375 Brian Kettl, [email protected], (703) 347-0535. Nicosulfuron 7227 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0372 Nathan Sell, [email protected], (703) 347-8020. Orthosulfamuron 7270 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0438 Khue Nguyen, [email protected], (703) 347-0248. Primisulfuron-methyl 7220 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0844 Christina Scheltema, [email protected], (703) 308-2201. Prosulfuron 7235 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-1010 Wilhelmena Livingston, [email protected], (703) 308-8025. Rimsulfuron 7218 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0178 Jose Gayoso, [email protected], (703) 347-8652. Sulfometuron-methyl 3136 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0433 Caitlin Newcamp, [email protected], (703) 347-0325. Sulfosulfuron 7247 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0434 Nicole Zinn, [email protected], (703) 308-7076. Thifensulfuron-methyl 7206 EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0171 Steven Snyderman, [email protected], (703) 347-0249. Triasulfuron 7221 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0115 Margaret Hathaway, [email protected], (703) 305-5076. Tribenuron-methyl 7217 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0626 Linsey Walsh, [email protected], (703) 374-8030. Trifloxysulfuron-Sodium 7028 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0409 Nicole Zinn, [email protected], (703) 308-7076. Triflusulfuron-methyl 7236 EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0605 Susan Bartow, [email protected], (703) 603-0065.

    The chemicals included below in Table 2 are not sulfonylureas chemicals and have individual Proposed Interim Registration Review Decision documents.

    Table 2—Registration Review Proposed Interim Decision—Additional Chemicals Registration review case name and No. Docket ID No. Chemical review manager and
  • contact information
  • Antimycin A 4121 EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0480 Christina Scheltema, [email protected], (703) 308-2201. Bacillus thuringiensis 6503 EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0200 Jennifer Wingeart, [email protected], (703) 347-0100. Flufenacet 7245 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0863 Brian Kettl, [email protected], (703) 347-0535. Flurprimidol 7000 EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0630 Kelly Ballard, [email protected], (703) 305-8126. Fosamine Ammonium 2355 EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0215 James Parker, [email protected], (703) 306-0469. Glufosinate Case 7224 EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0190 Marquea D. King, [email protected], (703) 305-7432. Lithium Hypochlorite 3084 EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0606 Sandra O'Neill, [email protected], (703) 347 0141. Tebufenozide 7416 EPA-HQ-2008-0824 Christina Scheltema, [email protected], (703) 308-2201.

    The registration review docket for a pesticide includes earlier documents related to the registration review case, except for Bacillus thuringiensis, whose docket is now opening. For example, the review opened with a Summary Document, containing a Preliminary Work Plan, for public comment. A Final Work Plan was placed in the docket following public comment on the Preliminary Work Plan.

    The documents in the dockets describe EPA's rationales for conducting additional risk assessments for the registration review of the pesticides included in the tables in Unit II, as well as the Agency's subsequent risk findings and consideration of possible risk mitigation measures. These proposed interim registration review decisions are supported by the rationales included in those documents.

    Following public comment, the Agency will issue interim or final registration review decisions for the pesticides listed in the tables in Unit II.

    The registration review program is being conducted under congressionally mandated time frames, and EPA recognizes the need both to make timely decisions and to involve the public. Section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136a(g)) required EPA to establish by regulation procedures for reviewing pesticide registrations, originally with a goal of reviewing each pesticide's registration every 15 years to ensure that a pesticide continues to meet the FIFRA standard for registration. The Agency's final rule to implement this program was issued in August 2006 and became effective in October 2006, and appears at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003 (PRIA) was amended and extended in September 2007. FIFRA, as amended by PRIA in 2007, requires EPA to complete registration review decisions by October 1, 2022, for all pesticides registered as of October 1, 2007.

    The registration review final rule at 40 CFR 155.58(a) provides for a minimum 60-day public comment period on all proposed interim registration review decisions. This comment period is intended to provide an opportunity for public input and a mechanism for initiating any necessary amendments to the proposed interim decision. All comments should be submitted using the methods in ADDRESSES, and must be received by EPA on or before the closing date. These comments will become part of the docket for the pesticides included in the tables in Unit II. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

    The Agency will carefully consider all comments received by the closing date and may provide a “Response to Comments Memorandum” in the docket. The interim registration review decision will explain the effect that any comments had on the interim decision and provide the Agency's response to significant comments.

    Background on the registration review program is provided at: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: July 6, 2016. Michael Goodis, Acting Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16709 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION [3046-007] Agency Information Collection Activities; Notice of Submission for OMB Review, Final Comment Request: Revision of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) AGENCY:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) announces that it is submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for a three-year PRA approval of a revised Employer Information Report (EEO-1) data collection. Employers have submitted the EEO-1 report for over fifty years. The Commission is responsible for PRA compliance for the EEO-1, although it is a joint data collection to meet the statistical needs of both the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). This PRA submission has two components. Component 1 describes the data now collected by the currently approved EEO-1, which is data about employees' ethnicity, race, and sex by job category (demographic data). Component 2 describes the W-2 (Box 1) and hours-worked data that will be added to the EEO-1 with OMB's approval under this PRA request (pay data). EEO-1 respondents must comply with the 2016 filing requirement for the currently approved EEO-1.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on this notice must be submitted to Joseph B. Nye, Policy Analyst, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, email [email protected] Commenters are also encouraged to send comments to the EEOC online at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments. In addition, the EEOC's Executive Secretariat will accept comments in hard copy by delivery by COB on August 15, 2016. Hard copy comments should be sent to Bernadette Wilson, Acting Executive Officer, EEOC, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507. Finally, the Executive Secretariat will accept comments totaling six or fewer pages by facsimile (“fax”) machine before the same deadline at (202) 663-4114. (This is not a toll-free number.) Receipt of fax transmittals will not be acknowledged, except that the sender may request confirmation of receipt by calling the Executive Secretariat staff at (202) 663-4070 (voice) or (202) 663-4074 (TTY). (These are not toll-free telephone numbers.) The EEOC will post online at http://www.regulations.gov all comments submitted via this Web site, in hard copy, or by fax to the Executive Secretariat. These comments will be posted without change, including any personal information you provide. However, the EEOC reserves the right to refrain from posting libelous or otherwise inappropriate comments including those that contain obscene, indecent, or profane language; that contain threats or defamatory statements; that contain hate speech directed at race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, or genetic information; or that promote or endorse services or products. All comments received, including any personal information provided, also will be available for public inspection during normal business hours by appointment only at the EEOC Headquarters' Library, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507. Upon request, individuals who require assistance viewing comments will be provided appropriate aids such as readers or print magnifiers. To schedule an appointment, contact EEOC Library staff at (202) 663-4630 (voice) or (202) 663-4641 (TTY). (These are not toll-free numbers.)

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ronald Edwards, Director, Program Research and Surveys Division, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Room 4SW30F, Washington, DC 20507; (202) 663-4949 (voice) or (202) 663-7063 (TTY). Requests for this notice in an alternative format should be made to the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs at (202) 663-4191 (voice) or (202) 663-4494 (TTY).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. The EEOC's Legal Authority To Propose This EEO-1 Report A. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 B. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 III. Revisions to the EEO-1 Report Are Necessary for the Enforcement of Title VII, the EPA, and Executive Order 11246 IV. Who Will Report Pay Data on the Revised EEO-1 A. Employers That Currently File the EEO-1 B. 60-Day Notice: Which Employers Would File Pay Data C. Public Comments D. 30-Day Notice: Employers With 100 or More Employees Will File Components 1 & 2 V. When To File: Filing Deadline and Workforce Snapshot Period A. 60-Day Notice B. Public Comments C. 30-Day Notice 1. Deadline for Filing the EEO-1 2. “Workforce Snapshot” Period VI. What Pay Data To Report: Measure of Pay for the EEO-1 A. 60-Day Notice: Options for Measuring Pay B. Public Comments 1. Supporting the Use of W-2 Income 2. Opposing the Use of W-2 Income C. 30-Day Notice: W-2 (Box 1) Income Is the Measure of Pay 1. W-2 Income and Employee Choice 2. Supplemental Income Is Important and May Be Linked to Discrimination 3. Bridging HRIS and Payroll VII. What Data To Report: Hours Worked A. 60-Day Notice B. Public Comments C. 30-Day Notice 1. The Importance of Collecting Hours Worked 2. Defining “Hours Worked” 3. Reporting Hours Worked for Nonexempt Employees 4. Reporting Hours Worked for Exempt Employees VIII. How To Report Data in Component 2: Pay Bands and Job Categories A. 60-Day Notice B. Public Comments C. 30-Day Notice IX. How the EEOC Will Use W-2 and Hours-Worked Data A. 60-Day Notice B. Public Comments C. 30-Day Notice 1. Early Assessment of Charges of Discrimination 2. EEOC Publications Analyzing Aggregate EEO-1 Data 3. EEOC Training on the Pay Data Collection X. Confidentiality of EEO-1 Data A. 60-Day Notice B. Public Comments C. 30-Day Notice 1. Legal Confidentiality a. EEOC b. OFCCP 2. Data Protection and Security XI. Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Estimates A. Background B. 60-Day Notice C. 30-Day Notice 1. Annual Burden Hours 2. Hourly Wage Rates XII. Formal Paperwork Reduction Act Statement A. Overview of Information Collection 1. 2016 Overview of Information Collection—Component 1 2. 2017 and 2018 Overview of Information Collection—Components 1 and 2 a. Component 1 (Demographic and Job Category Data) b. Components 1 and 2 (Demographic and Job Category Data Plus W-2 and Hours Worked Data) B. 30-Day Notice PRA Burden Statement I. Background

    This final proposal to supplement the longstanding EEO-1 employer information report (currently approved by OMB under Control Number 3046-0007) is intended to support the EEOC's pay discrimination investigations by collecting employer- and gender-, race-, and ethnicity-specific pay data to identify pay disparities that may result from discriminatory practices or policies. This Notice provides stakeholders with their second opportunity to comment on this proposal.

    The EEOC published the first notice of this proposed revision in the Federal Register on February 1, 2016, for a 60-day comment period (the “60-Day Notice”).1 It announced which employers would be required to file pay data, what data would be collected, when the due date would be, how the data would be analyzed, and how the proposed collection and analysis would protect confidentiality and privacy. As required, the 60-Day Notice estimated the cost to employers of completing the current EEO-1 (Component 1) and the proposed revision of the EEO-1 (Components 1 and 2).

    1 81 FR 5113 (Feb. 1, 2016).

    The EEOC received 322 timely public comments in response to the 60-Day Notice. The comments were submitted by individual members of the public, employers, employer associations, Members of Congress, civil rights groups, women's organizations, labor unions, industry groups, law firms, and human resources organizations. Over 120 of the 322 comments were part of mass mail campaigns mostly supporting the proposal, although one mass mail campaign opposed the proposal. The mass mail campaigns included submissions from organizations that collected up to thousands of signatures from their members or supporters.

    The Commission also held a public hearing on March 16, 2016, and heard from 15 witnesses representing a range of stakeholders including employers, employees, and academics. The Commission reviewed their detailed written submissions, heard them discuss their different perspectives on the proposal, and asked them questions.2

    2 The press release on the hearing is available at EEOC, EEOC Hears Wide Range of Views at Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to EEO-1 Form (Mar. 16, 2016), https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-16-16.cfm. The statements and biographies of the witnesses are available at EEOC, Hearing of March 16, 2016—Public Input into the Proposed Revisions to the EEO-1 Report, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/meetings/3-16-16/.

    Pursuant to the required procedures under the PRA, the Commission now publishes its final proposal to supplement the EEO-1 for a second round of public comments, to last 30 days (hence the “30-Day Notice”). The EEOC also is formally submitting the proposed EEO-1 revisions to OMB for consideration and decision.

    This 30-Day Notice summarizes the 60-Day Notice, describes the public comments, and explains the Commission's decisions. In making these decisions, the Commission took into account all of the hearing testimony and public comments. The Commission also assessed government data regarding components of compensation in United States workplaces, relevant academic literature on compensation practices and on discrimination, and the conclusions of two studies commissioned by the EEOC to examine how and whether to implement a pay data collection.3 This 30-Day Notice sets forth the EEOC's conclusions about the ways the proposed pay data collection will be used to enhance and increase the efficiency of enforcement efforts while facilitating employer self-evaluation and voluntary compliance.

    3 The first EEOC-commissioned study, resulting in a 2012 report from the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences (NAS Report), outlined the potential value for EEOC enforcement of collecting pay data from employers by sex, race, and national origin through a report such as the EEO-1. National Research Council, 2012. Collecting Compensation Data from Employers. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, http://www.nap.edu/read/13496/chapter/1#ii. The second study, reported by an EEOC contractor in 2015, provided detailed analysis of different approaches to implementing the report and included assessments of different statistical analyses for employer data. Sage Computing, EEOC Pay Pilot Study (September, 2015), http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/pay-pilot-study.pdf.

    II. The EEOC's Legal Authority To Propose This EEO-1 Report

    In written comments in response to the 60-Day Notice, several interested parties questioned whether the EEOC has legal authority to collect pay data and whether the agency should have conducted a formal rulemaking to impose a pay data reporting requirement. As explained in more detail below, the EEOC has the legal authority to collect pay data under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VII),4 without conducting a formal rulemaking because the EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin, and Title VII grants the EEOC broad authority to collect data from employers regarding compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws. The EEOC has exercised this statutory authority by implementing a regulation to establish the EEO-1 reporting requirement, and now administers the EEO-1 report pursuant to the PRA.

    4 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq.

    A. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    The EEOC is responsible for enforcing Title VII, which prohibits all employment discrimination, including pay discrimination, based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.5 The EEOC also enforces other federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which prohibits certain gender-based pay discrimination.6

    5Id.

    6 29 U.S.C. 206(d).

    The EEOC's authority to promulgate the EEO-1 report is found in section 709(c) of Title VII, which requires employers covered by Title VII to make and keep records relevant to whether unlawful employment practices have been or are being committed, to preserve such records, and to produce reports as the Commission prescribes by regulation or order, after public hearing, “as reasonable, necessary, or appropriate for the enforcement of this subchapter or the regulations . . . thereunder.” 7 The Commission prescribes the EEO-1 report by regulation at 29 CFR part 1602, subpart B, which requires private employers with 100 or more employees to “file [annually] with the Commission or its delegate executed copies of [the] . . . EEO-1 [report] in conformity with the directions set forth in the form and accompanying instructions.” The EEOC administers the EEO-1 jointly with OFCCP, which enforces the employment discrimination prohibitions of Executive Order 11246, as amended, for federal contractors and subcontractors (contractors), including specific provisions regarding pay discrimination and transparency.8 OFCCP's regulations require contractors to submit “complete and accurate reports on Standard Form 100 (EEO-1) . . . or such form as may hereafter be promulgated in its place.” 9 The Joint Reporting Committee, composed of the EEOC and OFCCP and located at the EEOC, administers the EEO-1 as a single data collection to meet the statistical needs of both agencies while avoiding duplication.

    7 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(c).

    8 E.O. 11246, as amended, 30 FR 12319, 41 CFR 60-1.7(a). Executive Order 13665 amends E.O. 11246 to promote pay transparency for federal contractors, protect employees and job applicants, and make it possible for employees and job applicants to share information about their pay without fear of discrimination. E.O. 13665, 79 FR 20749, available at: https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/DCPD-201400250/pdf/DCPD-201400250.pdf. OFCCP's recently adopted final rule on sex discrimination (OFCCP Rule on Discrimination on the Basis of Sex) addresses a number of sex-based barriers to equal employment and fair pay. The rule requires contractors to provide equal opportunities “without regard to sex.” 41 CFR part 60-20. See also 81 FR 39108, 39125-39129 (June 15, 2016).

    9 41 CFR 60-1.7(a).

    B. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Since 1995, the EEO-1 report also has been governed by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), which provides standards for federal data collections and requires periodic Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and renewal.10 The EEOC is responsible for maintaining PRA approval of the EEO-1.

    10 According to the OMB, “collection of information” may include: (1) Requests for information to be sent to the government, such as forms (e.g., the IRS 1040), written reports (e.g., grantee performance reports), and surveys (e.g., the Census); (2) recordkeeping requirements (e.g., OSHA requirements that employers maintain records of workplace accidents); and third-party or public disclosures (e.g., nutrition labeling requirements for food).

    Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies and Independent Regulatory Agencies, Information Collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act (Apr. 7, 2010), https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/inforeg/PRAPrimer_04072010.pdf; See also 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

    The EEOC, like other federal agencies subject to the PRA, generally follows a multi-step process for maintaining OMB approval of an information collection, which culminates in OMB deciding if the proposed collection “strikes a balance between collecting information necessary to fulfill [the agency's] statutory mission[ ] and guarding against unnecessary or duplicative information that imposes unjustified costs on the American public.” 11 The first step is for the agency to publish a proposed information collection for a 60-day public comment period, which ran from February 1 to April 1, 2016 for this EEO-1 revision.12 Then, in light of the public comments and its statutory mission, the agency formulates a final data collection, which it publishes in the Federal Register and submits to OMB for approval, subject to a 30-day public comment period.13 The current document, which has been approved by a majority of the Commission, is the EEOC's 30-Day Notice for the revised EEO-1.

    11Id.

    12 81 FR 5113 (Feb. 1, 2016).

    13 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1).

    The EEOC has consistently used the PRA renewal process to change the EEO-1. Most recently, in 2006, the PRA process was used to significantly revise the EEO-1 by adding a new race category, requiring employers to ask employees to self-identify by race and ethnicity, and requiring employers to ask about ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino) in a separate question.14 The 2006 EEO-1 revision also added a new job category.15

    14 EEOC, EEOC Implements Finals Revisions to EEO-1 Report (Jan. 27, 2006), https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/archive/1-27-06.html; See also 70 FR 71294 (Nov. 28, 2005); OMB approved these changes on January 25, 2006, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=200511-3046-001#.

    15Id.

    III. Revisions to the EEO-1 Report Are Necessary for the Enforcement of Title VII, the EPA, and Executive Order 11246

    Some public comments opposing the EEOC's proposal in the 60-Day Notice questioned whether there are still pay disparities that are caused by discrimination linked to gender, race, or ethnicity and, accordingly, whether there is actually a need for more effective enforcement of the prohibitions on pay discrimination in Title VII, the EPA, and E.O. 11246.

    Based on federal data and a robust body of research, the Commission concludes that: (1) Persistent pay gaps continue to exist in the U.S. workforce correlated with sex, race, and ethnicity; (2) workplace discrimination is an important contributing factor to these pay disparities; and (3) implementing the proposed EEO-1 pay data collection will improve the EEOC's ability to efficiently and effectively structure its investigation of pay discrimination charges.

    First, persistent pay gaps exist in the U.S. workforce correlated with sex, race, and ethnicity. As of 2014, for women of all races and ethnicities, the median annual pay for a woman who held a full-time, year-round job was $39,621, while the median annual pay for a man who held a full-time, year-round job was $50,383.16

    16 Carmen DeNavas-Walt and Bernadette Proctor, U.S. Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014, Current Population, 6 (2015), Table 1: Income and Earnings Summary Measures by Selected Characteristics: 2013 and 2014, https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/demo/p60-252.pdf.

    African American and Hispanic or Latina women nationwide now experience the largest pay disparities. As of 2014, African American women were paid almost 40% less than white, non-Hispanic, men and approximately 20% less than white, non-Hispanic women.17 At a national level, African American women were paid 18% less than African American men.18

    17 Joan Farrelly-Harrigan, U.S. Dep't. of Labor, Women's Bureau, Black Women in the Labor Force (Feb. 2016), https://www.dol.gov/wb/media/Black_Women_in_the_Labor_Force.pdf (reporting that African American women's median annual earnings in 2014 was $33,533, $41,822 for white, non-Hispanic women, and $55,470 for white, non-Hispanic men).

    18Id.

    Similarly, Latina women were paid approximately 44% less than white, non-Hispanic men, and 27% less than white, non-Hispanic, women in 2014.19 The result of the wage gap is that the average Hispanic or Latina woman would be paid approximately $1,007,000 less than the average white, non-Hispanic, male over a 40-year period.20

    19 Michelle Vaca, U.S. Dep't. of Labor Blog, Celebrating Hispanic Women in the Labor Force (Oct. 6, 2015), http://blog.dol.gov/2015/10/06/celebrating-hispanic-women-in-the-labor-force/ (reporting that the 2013 median annual earnings for Latinas was $30,209).

    20 Joint Economic Committee, United States Congress, Gender Pay Inequality, 3 (April 2016) http://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/0779dc2f-4a4e-4386-b847-9ae919735acc/gender-pay-inequality----us-congress-joint-economic-committee.pdf.

    A similar pattern exists for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women and Native American women who were paid approximately 38% and 41% less than white, non-Hispanic men, respectively.21 Asian American women were paid 10% less than white, non-Hispanic men.22

    21 American Association of University Women, The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap, 10 (Spring 2016), http://www.aauw.org/files/2016/02/SimpleTruth_Spring2016.pdf (reporting that the median annual earnings for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women was $32,893 and $31,191 for Native American women).

    22Id. (reporting that Asian American women's median earnings in 2014 was $47,776).

    Wage disparities also exist for men of color. In 2014, African American men who worked full time in wage and salary jobs had median weekly earnings of $680, which represented approximately 76% of white men's median weekly earnings ($897).23 Hispanic men earned $616, or approximately 69%, of white men's median weekly earnings.24

    23 U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Women in the labor force; a databook, BLS Reports, 60-61 (Dec. 2015), Table 16: Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, in current dollars, by race, Hispanic, or Latino ethnicity, and gender, 1979-2014 annual averages, http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/womens-databook/archive/women-in-the-labor-force-a-databook-2015.pdf.

    24Id.

    Employment discrimination may play both direct and indirect roles in creating these pay disparities. Economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Khan found that 64.6% of the wage gap between men and women can be explained by three factors: Experience (14.1%), industry (17.6%), and occupation (32.9%).25 Men are more likely to work in blue collar jobs that are higher paying, including construction, production, or transportation occupations, whereas women are more concentrated in lower paying professions, such as office and administrative support positions.26 Most of the remaining 35.4% of the gender gap cannot be explained by differences in education, experience, industry, or occupation.27 Blau and Khan argue that discrimination—intentional or unintentional, systematic or at the individual level—plays a role in explaining the gap.28

    25 Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn, The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations, Institute for the Study of Labor, 73 (Jan. 2016), Table 4: Decomposition of Gender Wage Gap, 1980 and 2010 (PSID), http://ftp.iza.org/dp9656.pdf (the authors reported that the gender wage gap for purposes of the study was approximately 79 cents on the dollar in 2010).

    26 DeNavas-Walt and Proctor, supra note 16 at 5; see also PayScale, Inside the Gender Pay Gap, (2016), http://www.payscale.com/data-packages/gender-pay-gap (reporting that across the United States women are more likely to be overrepresented in lower paying jobs (jobs that pay less than $60,000 per year) and underrepresented in higher paying jobs compared to men. In addition, female pay levels off at $49,000 between the ages of 35-40 whereas men's pay levels off at $75,000 for the ages of 50-55).

    27 Blau & Kahn, supra note 25 at 73, Table 4.

    28Id. A smaller portion of the gap (approximately 5%) can be attributed to geographic region (0.3%) and race (4.3%). The authors do not provide an explanation about why only 4% of the pay gap is attributed to race despite federal data suggesting that the wage gap between and within minorities is much larger. However, women's gains in education helped to narrow the gender wage gap by almost 6% as women now exceed men in educational attainment.

    Gender bias may become more obvious when occupations have a greater proportion of women. One study found that, in an occupation dominated by men, pay declines when women enter that occupation in large numbers, even after controlling for factors such as education and work experience.29 The opposite effect occurred when a larger proportion of men entered a profession previously dominated by women, i.e., pay increased.30

    29 Asaf Levanon, Paula England, Paul Allison, Occupational Feminization and Pay: Assessing Casual Dynamics Using 1950-2000 U.S. Census Data, Social Forces 88(2) (Dec. 2009), http://statisticalhorizons.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/88.2.levanon.pdf.

    30 Claire Cain Miller, As Women Take Over a Male Dominated Field, the Pay Drops, NY Times (Mar. 18, 2016), http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/upshot/as-women-take-over-a-male-dominated-field-the-pay-drops.html?_r=0 (reporting that when more women became designers, for example, wages fell by 34 percentage points. When male computer programmers outnumbered women computer programmers, the job began to pay more and earned more prestige).

    One way that gender discrimination may influence pay is through implicit or unconscious bias during hiring, promotion decisions, or job assignments.31 A study by McKinsey & Company found that women are almost three times more likely than men to have missed out on an assignment, promotion, or increase in wages because of their gender.32 Another study shows that women who engage in pay negotiations are more likely than men to face backlash due to gender stereotypes.33

    31 Nancy Lockwood, The Glass Ceiling: Domestic and International Perspectives, 3 Society for Human Resource Management Quarterly 2004, https://www.shrm.org/Research/Articles/Articles/Documents/040329Quaterly.pdf (reporting that signs of the glass ceiling in the workplace can be based on gender-based barriers that may be invisible, covert, and overt).

    32 Lean In & McKinsey & Company, Women in the Workplace 2015, 13 (2015), http://womenintheworkplace.com/ui/pdfs/Women_in_the_Workplace_2015.pdf?v=5.

    33 Hannah Riley Bowles & Linda Babcock, How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma? Relational Accounts Are One Answer, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37.1, 81 (2013), http://pwq.sagepub.com/content/37/1/80.full.pdf+html (finding that “[n]egotiating for higher compensation is socially costly for women because it violates prescriptive gender stereotypes derived from the gendered division of labor . . ., and its resulting social hierarchy of men in charge and women in caregiving and support roles”).

    Similar to gender discrimination, racial discrimination may influence pay through implicit or unconscious bias. A series of studies by MIT Sloan found racial bias in salary negotiations even after controlling for the applicants' objective qualifications.34 Research by Roland Fryer, Devah Pager, and Jörg L. Spenkuch found that discrimination accounts for at least one-third of the black-white wage gap.35 The authors concluded that, compared to whites with comparable resumes, black job seekers were offered lower compensation by potential new employees and were more likely to accept the lower compensation. The researchers found that, although the wage gaps narrow over time as black workers stay at the same job, an unexplained gap nonetheless persists.36

    34 Moreal Hernandez and Derek R. Avery, Getting the Short End of the Stick: Racial Bias in Salary Negotiations, MIT Sloan Management Review (June 15, 2016), http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/getting-the-short-end-of-the-stick-racial-bias-in-salary-negotiations/ (MIT conducted three studies focused on racial bias in salary negotiations. In the first study, evaluators reviewed resumes from white and black job applicants. The evaluators were asked to evaluate each job applicant and rate the likelihood that the job applicant would negotiate their salary if offered the job. After controlling for each job applicant's objective qualifications, the evaluators identified the black job applicants as less likely to negotiate compared to the white job applicants. The second study tested whether the evaluators had a racially-biased mindset, which was defined as a person who believes one or a few races were superior to others. The study found that the evaluators had different role expectations of the black applicants compared to the white applicants and they also identified the black job applicants as less likely to negotiate. For the third study, the evaluators and job applicants were required to simulate a job negotiation. Although the black job applicants reported that they negotiated comparably (in terms of the number of offers and counteroffers made) to their white counterparts, their evaluators reported that the black job applicants had negotiated more than the white job applicants. The MIT professors concluded that because the evaluators expected the black job applicants to negotiate less, they had an exaggerated view of their behavior during the job negotiation. In addition, the professors found that the black job applicants received lower starting salaries based on the evaluators perception that the black job applicants were more aggressive).

    35 Roland Fryer, Devah Pager, and Jörg L. Spenkuch, Racial Disparities in Job Findings and Offered Wages, Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), 22-23, (Sept. 2011), http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/fryer/files/racial_disparities_in_job_finding_and_offered_wages.pdf.

    36Id.

    Voluntary compliance is an important part of the effort to prevent discrimination and improve pay equity, and many employers are taking steps to ensure equal pay for equal work. For example, more than 25 companies have signed a White House Equal Pay Pledge to take action to reduce wage disparities in the workplace.37 These employers committed to conducting an annual company-wide gender pay analysis across occupations, reviewing hiring and promotion processes and procedures to reduce unconscious bias and structural barriers, and embedding equal pay efforts into broader enterprise-wide equity initiatives.38

    37 The White House, White House Equal Pay Pledge, https://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/white-house-equal-pay-pledge. See also, Natalia Merluzzi, These Businesses are Taking the Equal Pay Pledge, White House Blog (June 14, 2016), https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/06/14/businesses-taking-equal-pay-pledge.

    38Id.

    There is also evidence that pay equity is good for business. For example, a McKinsey & Company study found that gender parity in the United States could lead to $4.3 trillion of additional GDP by 2025, which is 19% higher than if current trends in pay inequity continue.39 Another recent study found that, on average, companies with greater gender diversity outperformed their peers with less diversity over the previous five years, and had a higher return on equity.40 The study measured gender diversity according to the following factors: (1) Equality in pay; (2) empowerment (defined as number of women at the highest levels of the corporation and on key committees); (3) representation of women at different levels (including as members of the board of directors, senior executives, and regular employees); (4) work life balance programs; and (5) diversity policies. Pay parity and empowerment were weighted more than the other factors.41

    39 McKinsey & Company, The Power of Parity: Advancing Women's Equality in the United States, (April 2016) http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/the-power-of-parity-advancing-womens-equality-in-the-united-states.

    40 Morgan Stanley, Gender Diversity is a Competitive Advantage (May 12, 2016), http://www.morganstanley.com/blog/women/gender-diversity-work; See also Morgan Stanley, Why it Pays to Invest in Gender Diversity (May 11, 2016), http://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/gender-diversity-investment-framework.html.

    41Id.

    Despite voluntary compliance and the strong business case for fair pay, pay discrimination persists as a serious problem that EEOC and OFCCP are statutorily required to address. The EEOC's mission is to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination. The OFCCP's purpose is to enforce, for the benefit of job seekers and wage earners, the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the federal government. To fulfill these goals, the EEOC and OFCCP need to be as effective and efficient as possible in their investigations of alleged discrimination. They now lack the employer- and establishment-specific pay data that, prior to issuing a detailed request for information or a subpoena, would be extremely useful in helping enforcement staff to investigate potential pay discrimination. Balancing utility and burden, the EEOC has concluded that the proposed EEO-1 pay data collection would be an effective and appropriate tool for this purpose, for all of the reasons explained below.42

    42 States also are addressing gender pay inequities, including proposing to establish pay transparency, prohibit retaliation against workers who discuss their wages, and request state agencies to examine their pay practices and develop best practices. For a summary of state equal pay laws, see National Conference of State Legislatures, State Equal Pay Laws—July 2015, http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/equal-pay-laws.aspx. For a summary of state equal pay legislation, see Kate Nielsen, American Association of University Women, 2015 State Equal Pay Legislation by the Numbers (August 20, 2015), http://www.aauw.org/2015/08/20/equal-pay-by-state/.

    IV. Who Will Report Pay Data on the Revised EEO-1 A. Employers That Currently File the EEO-1

    All private employers that are covered by Title VII and have 100 or more employees now file an EEO-1 report about the sex, race, and ethnicity of their employees, which is designated here as Component 1 (demographic data).43 Federal contractors with 50 or more employees also file the EEO-1 if they are not exempt as provided for by 41 CFR 60-1.5. Single establishment employers file one EEO-1, and multi-establishment employers file EEO-1 reports or data for each establishment.44 Federal contractors with 1 to 49 employees and other private employers with 1 to 99 employees do not file EEO-1 reports.

    43 Private employers also must file the EEO-1 if they have fewer than 100 employees but are owned or affiliated with another company or have centralized ownership, control or management so that the group legally constitutes a single enterprise and the entire enterprise employs a total of 100 or more employees. EEOC, EEO-1: Who Must File, https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/whomustfile.cfm.

    44 Employers and contractors file different types of EEO-1 reports depending on whether they are single-establishment or multi-establishment filers. Single-establishment filers only file one report, the Type 1 report. Multi-establishment filers submit several reports. These are: The Type 2—Consolidated Report, which must include data on all employees of the company; the Type 3—Headquarters Report, which must include the employees working at the main office site of the company and those who work from home and report to the corporate office; the Type 4—Establishment Report, for each physical location with 50 or more employees, which provides full employment data categorized by race, gender and job category. For sites with fewer than 50 employees, filers submit either: Type 6—Establishment List, which provides only the establishment name, complete address and total number of employees; or Type 8—Establishment Report, which is a full report for each establishment employing fewer than 50 employees.

    B. 60-Day Notice: Which Employers Would File Pay Data

    In the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC proposed that EEO-1 private employers and federal contractors with 100 or more employees would submit the EEO-1 with pay and hours-worked data (Component 2) in addition to Component 1 data. The 60-Day Notice also stated that federal contractors with between 50 and 99 employees would continue to submit Component 1 data but would not submit Component 2 data.

    C. Public Comments

    The EEOC received comments urging it to remove employers with fewer than 200, or fewer than 500, employees from the requirement to report pay and hours-worked data on the EEO-1 (Component 2), in order to avoid imposing a burden on them. Some comments also encouraged the EEOC to eliminate the requirement to provide establishment-level pay data for establishments with fewer than 50 or 100 employees. These comments also expressed concern that reporting pay data for small employers, or small employer establishments, could reveal employee-level pay information. Conversely, other comments urged the EEOC to collect data from smaller employers by lowering the reporting threshold for pay data to 50 or more employees for federal contractors.

    D. 30-Day Notice: Employers With 100 or More Employees Will File Components 1 and 2

    The Commission has considered the arguments for increasing the size of those employers subject to Components 1 and 2 and has decided to retain the same employee thresholds as in the 60-Day Notice. Exempting employers with fewer than 500 employees, or even fewer than 250, from Component 2 would result in losing data for a large number of employers who employ millions of workers, and thus would significantly reduce the utility of the pay data collection. In addition, the EEOC and OFCCP have decided not to exempt federal contractors with 50-99 employees from filing Component 1 of the EEO-1. The Commission's proposal reduces employer burden by changing other aspects of the EEO-1, such as the reporting deadline. See section V.

    In sum, all employers with 100 or more employees will be subject to Components 1 and 2 of the EEO-1 starting with reporting year 2017. Federal contractors with 50-99 employees will not experience a change in their EEO-1 reporting requirements as a result of this proposal; they will not file Component 2 and will continue to file only Component 1. Consistent with current practice, federal contractors with 1 to 49 employees and other private employers with 1 to 99 employees will be exempt from filing the EEO-1; they will file neither Component 1 nor Component 2.

    V. When To File: Filing Deadline and Workforce Snapshot Period

    This 30-Day Notice proposes to change the EEO-1 filing deadline to March 31st, of the year that follows the reporting year. This Notice also proposes to change the “workforce snapshot” to a pay period between October 1st and December 31st of the reporting year, starting with the EEO-1 report for 2017.

    Note that the reporting schedule for 2016 data remains unchanged; EEO-1 respondents must comply with the September 30, 2016, filing requirement for the currently-approved EEO-1, and must continue to use the July 1st through September 30th workforce snapshot period for that report. Under the proposed changes to the reporting schedule, EEO-1 reports for 2017 data would be due on March 31, 2018.

    A. 60-Day Notice

    In the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC proposed to retain the current September 30th EEO-1 filing deadline. The EEOC explained that, starting in 2017, employers with 100 or more employees would document their employees' W-2 earnings for a 12-month period starting October 1st and ending the next September 30th. The 60-Day Notice reasoned that W-2 earnings are generally recorded in 3-month periods (calendar year quarters) and that, because the third quarter ends on September 30th, employers could calculate the 12-month W-2 wages without significant difficulty.45 The 60-Day Notice also retained the current “workforce snapshot” approach of allowing each employer to choose a pay period between July 1st and September 30th during which it would count its employees to be reported on the EEO-1.46 The employees counted during this pay period would be the ones reported on the EEO-1.

    45 81 FR 5113 (Feb. 1, 2016).

    46 EEOC, EEO-1: When to File, https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/whentofile.cfm.

    B. Public Comments

    Employers and other groups objected vigorously to the burden of reporting non-calendar year W-2 data (i.e., October 1st to September 30th). These parties argued that the EEOC, by choosing to impose this unique 12-month reporting period, would significantly increase their costs by compelling them to recalculate W-2 earnings for the sole purpose of completing the EEO-1.

    On a related point, employers reliant on human resource information systems (HRIS) 47 and payroll software said that they would have insufficient time to budget, develop, and implement new reporting systems if the 2017 EEO-1 report were to be due on September 30, 2017. Employers lacking HRIS and payroll software said they would have a variety of implementation challenges, depending on how they organized their records.

    47 These systems are also sometimes called “human resource management systems” or HRMS.

    Many commenters suggested changing the 12-month EEO-1 reporting period to be the same as the W-2 reporting period (a calendar year) and moving the EEO-1 filing deadline into the subsequent year, preferably after W-2s are due. A few stakeholders suggested that the EEOC conduct the pay data collection every two years.

    C. 30-Day Notice 1. Deadline for Filing the EEO-1

    For the upcoming 2016 EEO-1 report, the filing deadline will remain September 30, 2016. However, beginning with the 2017 report, the reporting deadline for all EEO-1 filers will be March 31st of the year following the EEO-1 report year. Thus, the 2017 EEO-1 report will be due on March 31, 2018. Changing the filing deadline will give employers subject to Component 2 six more months to prepare their recordkeeping systems for the 2017 report, and it will give them 1.5 years without filing an EEO-1 report (September 30, 2016 to March 31, 2018). At the same time, this change will align the EEO-1 with federal obligations to calculate and report W-2 earnings as of December 31st; the EEOC will not require a special W-2 calculation for the EEO-1.48 These changes will reduce the burden on employers of gathering Component 2 data.

    48 Employers must send the W-2 to the Social Security Administration by the last day of February, although special due dates apply if the employer terminated its business or is filing electronically. Employers must furnish the W-2 to employees by February 1. IRS, Topic 752—Filing Forms W-2 and W-3 (Dec. 30, 2015), https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc752.html.

    The Commission declines to adopt an alternate-year schedule for filing the EEO-1 report. If collected only in alternate years, the utility of EEO-1 data would be diminished because it would become stale before the new data became available.

    2. “Workforce Snapshot” Period

    The “workforce snapshot” period refers to the pay period when employers count the total number of employees for that year's EEO-1 report. The EEO-1 has always used this “workforce snapshot” approach, which gives employers a choice but freezes EEO-1 employment numbers as of the chosen pay period. Some employers criticized the “workforce snapshot” approach because it would not reflect same-year promotions that have the effect of moving the employee into a different EEO-1 job category or pay band after the “snapshot” was taken. The Commission addresses this concern in part by moving the “workforce snapshot” period to the fourth quarter, October 1st to December 31st, so that there are fewer opportunities for unreported changes after the “snapshot.” This will preserve employer choice as to the “workforce snapshot,” while at the same time accommodating the established federal schedule for preparing W-2's. In sum, while employers will count their employees during a pay period between October 1st and December 31st, they will report W-2 income and hours-worked data for these employees for the entire year ending December 31st.49

    49 By changing the EEO-1 “workforce snapshot” to the last quarter of each calendar year, EEO-1 contractor filers that also file annual employee reports under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended (VEVRAA), 38 U.S.C. 4212(d), will be in a position to align their VEVRAA data collections with the new EEO-1. Under regulations implementing VEVRAA, certain federal contractors must report annually on form VETS-4212 the number of employees and new hires protected under VEVRAA. 41 CFR 61-300.10(d)(1). Form VETS-4212 collects information for veterans protected by VEVRAA using the EEO-1's 10 job categories. For each reporting year, the federal contractor must report covered employees for the 12-month period preceding a date it selects between July 1st and August 31st that falls at the end of a payroll period. Significantly, the regulations allow contractors to select December 31st as the basis for reporting the number of employees and as the ending date of the twelve-month covered period, if the federal contractor has “previous written approval from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to do so for purposes of submitting the Employer Information Report EEO-1, Standard Form 100 (EEO-1 Report).” 41 CFR 61-300.10(d)(2). The implementation notice for the revised EEO-1 will serve as “previous written approval” from the EEOC pursuant to this Department of Labor VEVRAA rule.

    This change will not affect the 2016 EEO-1, for which the July 1st to September 30th “workforce snapshot” period remains effective.

    VI. What Pay Data To Report: Measure of Pay for the EEO-1

    This 30-Day Notice proposes that employers use Box 1 of Form W-2 (hereafter “W-2 income”) as the measure of pay for Component 2 of the EEO-1.50 By definition, W-2, Box 1 includes income that is received between January 1st and December 31st of the relevant calendar year. In reaching this decision, the Commission considered government studies that analyze compensation in U.S. workplaces, relevant academic literature on compensation practices, the public comments and public testimony, and the analyses reflected in the EEOC's NAS study 51 and its own Pilot Study.52

    50 The IRS instructions for Form W-2 list the following categories of Box 1 taxable income: “(1) Total wages, bonuses (including signing bonuses), prizes, and awards paid to employees during the year; (2) Total noncash payments, including certain fringe benefits; (3) Total tips reported by the employee to the employer; (4) Certain employee business expense reimbursements; (5) The cost of accident and health insurance premiums for 2%-or-more shareholder-employees paid by an S corporation: (6) Taxable benefits from a section 125 (cafeteria) plan if the employee chooses cash; (7) Employee contributions to an Archer MSA (medical savings account); (8) Employer contributions to an Archer MSA if includible in the income of the employee; (9) Employer contributions for qualified long-term care services to the extent that such coverage is provided through a flexible spending or similar arrangement; (10) Taxable cost of group-term life insurance in excess of $50,000; (11) Unless excludable under Educational assistance programs, payments for non-job-related education expenses or for payments under a nonaccountable plan; (12) The amount includible as wages because you paid your employee's share of social security and Medicare taxes (or railroad retirement taxes, if applicable). If employer also paid the employee's income tax withholding, the employer treats the grossed-up amount of that withholding as supplemental wages and reports those wages in boxes 1, 3, 5, and 7. (Employer uses box 14 if railroad retirement taxes apply.) No exceptions to this treatment apply to household or agricultural wages; (13) Designated Roth contributions made under a section 401(k) plan, a section 403(b) salary reduction agreement, or a governmental section 457(b) plan; (14) Distributions to an employee or former employee from an NQDC plan (including a rabbi trust) or a nongovernmental section 457(b) plan; (15) Amounts includible in income under section 457(f) because the amounts are no longer subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture; (16) Payments to statutory employees who are subject to social security and Medicare taxes but not subject to federal income tax withholding must be shown in box 1 as other compensation; (17) Cost of current insurance protection under a compensatory split-dollar life insurance arrangement; (18) Employee contributions to a health savings account (HSA); (19) Employer contributions to an HSA if includible in the income of the employee; (20) Amounts includible in income under an NQDC plan because of section 409A; (21) Payments made to former employees while they are on active duty in the Armed Forces or other uniformed services; and (22) All other compensation, including certain scholarship and fellowship grants.” IRS, 2016 General Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3, (Jan. 5, 2016), https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw2w3.pdf.

    51 NAS Report, supra note 3.

    52 Sage Computing, supra note 3. This EEOC Pilot Study compared the OES definition of compensation to the W-2 and concluded that “[t]he W-2 definition of income . . . offers a more comprehensive picture of earnings data and therefore is more appropriate for identifying discriminatory practices.” In contrast to the OES definition of pay, the W-2 definition includes all the elements of compensation that are captured by the OES definition, but also includes forms of compensation such as overtime wages, shift differentials, fees, commissions, fringe benefits, and bonuses. Box 1 on the W-2 excludes certain elective deferrals or pre-tax deductions such as employer-sponsored retirement plan (401(k) or 403(b)) contributions, flexible spending account contributions for health and dependent care, and medical contributions.

    A. 60-Day Notice: Options for Measuring Pay

    The EEOC's 60-Day Notice described five different measures of individual compensation that are used by the federal government.53 After narrowing its consideration to two of these—the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) measure of pay 54 and the Internal Revenue Service's W-2 definition 55 —the EEOC proposed to use W-2 income because it is already calculated by employers, therefore limiting burden, and because it is a comprehensive measure of pay that would be more likely to capture the effect of employment discrimination on different kinds of compensation.56 In the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC did not specify which box on the W-2 it would use, but the Commission now specifies that employers will report on income provided in Box 1 of the W-2 form.

    53 NAS Report, supra notes 3 and 51 at 32-34, 41-45, http://www.nap.edu/read/13496/chapter/4#32.

    54 The Occupation Employment Statistics (OES) survey defines earnings to include base rate pay, cost-of-living allowances, guaranteed pay, hazardous-duty pay, incentive pay such as commissions and production bonuses, tips, and on-call pay. The OES measure excludes back pay, jury duty pay, overtime pay, severance pay, shift differentials, nonproduction bonuses, employer costs for supplementary benefits, and tuition reimbursements. U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupation Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm. OES survey uses twelve wage intervals. U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Survey Methods and Reliability Statement for the 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 4, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/methods_statement.pdf,

    55 81 FR 5113, 5116 (Feb. 1, 2016). The EEOC initially considered five measures of pay. Three of those measures are used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) when it reports national employment data: the Occupation Employment Statistics (OES); the National Compensation Survey (NCS); and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey programs. One measure was from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the final measure was from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (W-2).

    56 Sage Computing, supra notes 3 and 52.

    B. Public Comments 1. Supporting the Use of W-2 Income

    Comments in support of using W-2 income emphasized that it is a comprehensive measure of pay that encompasses overtime, shift differentials, and production and non-production bonuses, which are increasingly important elements of pay. These parties stated that employment discrimination can be manifested when employers decide which employees get opportunities to earn shift differentials or overtime pay, or get large bonuses or awards. Using a measure of pay that excludes so much pay that could be influenced by discrimination would radically reduce the utility of this data collection for the EEOC and OFCCP.

    2. Opposing the Use of W-2 Income

    Comments in opposition to using W-2 income fell into three categories.

    Objection 1: W-2 Income Reflects Employee Choice and Is Not a Reliable Measure of Employer Discrimination

    The most widely articulated objection to using W-2 income was that it was not indicative of discrimination because it may reflect employee choice more than employer discretion and that the EEOC cannot differentiate the two in an aggregate pay data collection. Commenters making this argument identified elective participation in overtime, working shifts that provide pay differentials, and working faster or better than another employee (e.g., payments for piecework, commissions, or production), as governed by employee choice. Some of these comments argued that using W-2 income will in fact cause the EEOC to find “false-positives” indicating discrimination because the agency will assume that pay disparities are caused by discrimination rather than employee choice.

    Some of these parties urged the EEOC to use “base pay” rather than W-2 income because “base pay” is controlled entirely by employers and therefore is better suited to documenting potential discrimination. Another advantage to using “base pay,” they maintained, is that it would be significantly less expensive and easier for them to report on the EEO-1 because their HRIS now include records of base pay but not W-2 income. These stakeholders did not define “base pay,” apart from noting that it does not include supplemental pay such as overtime, shift differentials, and bonuses, and that it can be stated as an hourly rate or as an annual salary.

    Objection 2: Collection of W-2 Data Burdens Employers by Requiring the Integration of HRIS and Payroll Systems

    Employers argued that reporting W-2 income would impose an inordinate burden and expense because they store W-2 income data in computerized payroll systems that are entirely separate from the HRIS where they maintain EEO-1 demographic data. They asserted that procuring or developing new software to bridge these two systems would be time-consuming and extremely costly.

    Objection 3: Collection of W-2 Income Data for October 1st to September 30th Is Burdensome

    Finally, employers argued that reporting W-2 income for October 1st to September 30th of every year would be burdensome because employers' payroll systems collect and report W-2 income on a calendar-year basis for tax purposes. By proposing to change the filing date for the revised EEO-1 from September 30th to March 31st, the EEOC has addressed this objection.

    C. 30-Day Notice: W-2 (Box 1) Income Is the Measure of Pay 1. W-2 Income and Employee Choice

    The Commission is not persuaded by the argument that W-2 income is an unsuitable measure for a pay data collection by an agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws because it may reflect employee choice as well as employer policy or decisions. As the White House Council of Economic Advisers notes, “In many situations, the delineations between discrimination and preferences are ambiguous.” 57 For example, higher commission income may, as some public comments noted, reflect an employee's higher performance, but it may also reflect an employer's discriminatory assignment of more lucrative sales opportunities to employees based on race, ethnicity, and/or sex. As another example, a statistically significant difference in overtime pay between men and women in the same job may result from an employer's gender-biased assumptions that lead to more overtime opportunities being offered to men than to women, whom they may assume have competing family responsibilities. Pay discrimination is complex, and it would be an oversimplification to conclude that only those measures of pay that are shown to be exclusively dependent on an employer's decision or policy can be relevant to assessing allegations of pay discrimination.

    57 Council of Economic Advisers Issue Brief, The Gender Pay Gap on the Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Jan. 2016), https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/page/files/20160128_cea_gender_pay_gap_issue_brief.pdf.

    2. Supplemental Income Is Important and May Be Linked to Discrimination

    Based on its consideration of public comments and government and private sector research, the Commission concludes that supplemental pay is a critical component of compensation and it can be influenced by discrimination, so any measure of income for purposes of enforcing the pay discrimination laws should include supplemental pay. W-2 income incorporates different kinds of supplemental pay that would not be available for analysis if the EEOC were to collect only “base pay” or another basic measure of pay that ignored major sources of compensation.58 For employers, W-2 income is a well-defined, familiar, and universally-available measure of pay; for the EEOC and OFCCP, it is useful data for exploring potential pay discrimination.

    58 For example, although the FLSA requires employers to maintain pay rates, those pay rates do not include important sources of supplemental income that the EEOC has determined is important to collect in order to identify potential sources of pay discrimination.

    Supplemental pay is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States. As noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor (BLS), “For many occupations in the U.S. labor market supplemental pay—including overtime, bonuses, and shift differentials—is an important component of overall cash compensation. Overtime pay is especially important in production occupations and other blue-collar jobs; bonus pay is mostly a feature of high-wage managerial and sales occupations; and shift differentials play a prominent role in . . . healthcare [] and technical occupations.” 59 This pattern also is apparent in some of America's highest paying professions. In the legal profession, for example, bonuses at law firms can account for a significant portion of an associate's total compensation, beyond base salary.60

    59 John L. Bishow, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, A Look at Supplemental Pay: Overtime Pay, Bonuses, and Shift Differentials (March 25, 2009), http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/a-look-at-supplemental-pay-overtime-pay-bonuses-and-shift-differentials.pdf.

    60 National Association of Law Placement (NALP), 2014 Associate Salary Survey, NALP, 67-77 (September, 2014), Associate Bonuses.

    The human resources consulting firm Aon Hewitt's 2014 U.S. Salary Increase Survey of 1,064 organizations found that variable pay (such as performance-based bonuses) for exempt employees comprised 12.7% of payroll that year.61 This represented the highest ratio companies have paid out of their budgets toward bonuses since the consulting firm started keeping records 35 years ago and is an increase from 2008 when 10.8% of their total compensation budgets were devoted to variable pay for exempt employees.62 Ken Abosch, leader of Aon Hewitt's compensation practice, stated that companies prefer to give performance-based pay because this practice “keeps employees focused on good performance rather than just showing up, and it allows companies to reward and retain their really valuable employees.” 63 In addition, Abosch noted that performance-based pay allows companies to keep their base salaries lower and that companies will only allocate bonuses “if [the company] has good or great results.” 64

    61 Aon Hewitt, New Aon Hewitt Survey Shows 2014 Variable Pay Spending Spikes to Record-High Level (Aug. 27, 2014), http://aon.mediaroom.com/New-Aon-Hewitt-Survey-Shows-2014-Variable-Pay-Spending-Spikes-to-Record-High-Level.

    62Id.

    63 Jenna McGregor, Bonuses are making up a bigger and bigger percentage of companies' payrolls, Washington Post, (Aug. 27, 2014), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2014/08/27/bonuses-are-making-up-a-bigger-and-bigger-percentage-of-companies-payrolls/.

    64Id.

    In some industries, shift differentials 65 and overtime pay 66 are important aspects of income. Eighty-three percent of manufacturing and production companies, 59% of customer service and support entities, and 51% of transportation and distribution companies surveyed in 2010 offered shift differentials.67 Hospitals and health care service organizations also pay shift differentials for holiday and weekend shifts more than other industries.68 Overtime is particularly important in production, transportation, and material moving industries, with workers earning 2% of their income in overtime pay in December 2015.69 Employers can control who gets the opportunity for assignments to lucrative shifts that pay premium wages or overtime pay, and withholding such assignments because of a protected basis such as race, ethnicity, or sex would violate Title VII.

    65 Shift differentials are paid to compensate employees for working shifts other than regular weekday hours.

    66 Employees who are nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. 29 CFR 778.10. The overtime rate is not less than time and one-half their regular pay rate. U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Overtime Pay, https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htm. See also U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Final Rule: Overtime, https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/, and, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Fact Sheet: Final Rule to Update the Regulations Defining and Delimiting the Exemption for Executive, Administrative, and Professional Employees (May 2016), https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/overtime-factsheet.htm.

    67 SHRM, Shift Differentials: Compensation for Working Undesirable Hours (Dec. 3, 2010), https://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/compensation/articles/pages/shiftdifferentials.aspx.

    68Id.

    69 U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, News Release-Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (June 9, 2016), http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf.

    Incentive pay for top executives also may be subject to discrimination. For example, at the five highest executive level positions (chief executive officer, vice chair, president, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer), research based on data from 1992-2005 shows that women received a lower share of incentive pay (including bonuses and stock option grants) than their male counterparts, accounting for 93% of the gender pay gap at that level.70 This difference remained even after taking into account differences of age, tenure, and titles.71

    70 Stefania Albanesi, Claudia Olivetti, Maria José Prados, Liberty Street Economics: Incentive Pay and Gender Compensation Gaps for Top Executives, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, (Aug. 25, 2015), http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2015/08/incentive-pay-and-gender-compensation-gaps-for-top-executives.html#.VzovwP5JlR0.

    71 Stefania Albanesi, How performance pay schemes make the gender gap worse, World Economic Forum, (Dec.23, 2015), https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/how-performance-pay-schemes-make-the-gender-gap-worse/.

    3. Bridging HRIS and Payroll

    In light of employers' argument that bridging employers' HRIS and payroll software for the new EEO-1 will be so burdensome that it outweighs the utility of W-2 income, the EEOC examined three of the HRIS tools that it sees most often in systemic investigations: ADP Enterprise, PeopleSoft, and UltiPro. All three HRIS allow for the collection of EEO-1 demographic data, and all three offer the capacity to record year-to-date gross and paid earnings.72 The EEOC recognizes that many employers may not choose to use this capacity, but its existence suggests that creating software solutions for the EEO-1, Components 1 and 2, may not be as complex or novel as some comments suggested.

    72 The ADP HRIS software allows for the collection of year-to-date gross pay and pay earnings. It includes paycheck year-to-date totals and provides fields for year-to-date tax amount, overtime hourly earnings, overtime hours, total overtime earnings, and total overtime hours. Further, it appears to provide fields for year-to-date taxable income, taxable gross income year-to-date, and year-to-date taxable amounts. Ultipro allows collection of weekly pay rate, hourly pay rate, and year-to-date taxable gross income, in addition to other measure of pay, hours, and bonus. Finally, PeopleSoft allows collection of hourly rate, minimum hourly rate, maximum hourly rate, and Last 26 Pay Period gross income.

    The EEOC intends to support employers and HRIS vendors as appropriate to accommodate Component 2 of the proposed EEO-1. For example, the EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee plans to post online its new Data File Specifications for Components 1 and 2 of the modified EEO-1 as soon as OMB approves the information collection. The EEO-1 data file specifications will be for data uploads (submitting EEO-1 data in one digital file), but they also will describe the formatting of data for direct data entry onto the firm's secure EEO-1 account with the Joint Reporting Committee. For reference, the current EEO-1 data file specifications can be found at https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/ee1_datafile_2013.cfm.

    VII. What Data To Report: Hours Worked A. 60-Day Notice

    The Commission proposed collecting the number of “hours worked” for non-exempt employees by job category, subdivided into pay band cells, to account for periods when employees were not employed or were engaged in part-time work. With regard to exempt employees, the EEOC suggested that “[o]ne approach would be for employers to use an estimate of 40 hours per week for full-time salaried workers. The EEOC [was] not proposing to require an employer to begin collecting additional data on actual hours worked for salaried workers, to the extent that the employer does not currently maintain such information.” 73

    73 81 FR 5113, 5117 (Feb. 1, 2016).

    B. Public Comments

    Public comments from many employers objected to collecting hours worked data due to the cost of creating new systems to collate and report data about hours worked with W-2 income, and EEO-1 Component 1 data. Some employers inquired how the EEOC would define “hours worked,” so they would know what to report. These employers focused on two alternatives: (1) The FLSA definition of hours worked; and (2) the Affordable Care Act (ACA) approach.

    The question of how to count hours worked for employees exempt from overtime received a lot of attention, especially the EEOC's proposal to count 40 hours per week for full time, exempt workers. Supporters of the revised EEO-1 said it was reasonable to use a proxy of 40 hours per week for full-time exempt employees. Those who objected to using the 40-hours per week proxy observed that it simply would not reflect the reality of the hours worked by many full-time exempt employees, who may work substantially more than 40 hours in any given week and may work less than 40 hours in another week. Some comments argued that, since the 40-hour estimate would be incorrect in many instances, reporting 40 hours per week would require them to submit and certify inaccurate information to the federal government.

    C. 30-Day Notice 1. The Importance of Collecting Hours Worked

    Collecting hours worked is of central importance because this data will enable the EEOC and OFCCP to account for part-time and partial-year work and to assess potential pay disparities in the context of this information. The importance of “hours worked” data can be illustrated by example. If two men and two women in the same job category are paid comparable wage rates, but the men are employed full-time and the women are employed part-time, it would initially appear on Component 2 of the EEO-1—without any data on their hours worked—that the employer was paying the women significantly less than the men (the women would be counted in a lower pay band). On the other hand, if it was known that the men worked 40 hours per week and the women worked 20 hours per week, then their different hours would provide a potential explanation of what initially appears to be a gender-based pay disparity. Of course, explaining a pay disparity in this way would not rule out the possibility that it was also caused by a discriminatory practice or policy that may be identified through further investigation.

    In addition to helping to assess pay disparities, hours-worked data may be useful in its own right. The EEOC receives charges of discrimination alleging that an employer gave the charging party fewer hours than other employees, or denied overtime or premium pay hours based on race, ethnicity, sex, or another statutorily-protected basis. Collecting “hours worked” data on the EEO-1 would be useful in the initial stages of such an investigation, as the EEOC seeks to assess how the employer assigns work hours.

    2. Defining “Hours Worked”

    The Commission adopts the FLSA definition for “hours worked” because it is familiar to employers, designed in conjunction with pay, and applies to all employers subject to the EEO-1.74 By contrast, the ACA approach to “service hours” gives employers a range of choices about how to count hours, which would not provide clarity for the EEO-1.75

    74 Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must keep certain records for employees who are subject to the minimum wage provisions alone, or to both the minimum wage and overtime provisions, including records of hours worked each workday and total hours worked each workweek. 29 CFR 516.2(a)(7). Employers are not required to maintain hours worked records for employees who are exempt from minimum wage or minimum wage and overtime requirements. 29 CFR 516.3. “Hours worked” under the FLSA includes “(a) [a]ll time during which an employee is required to be on duty or on the employer's premises or at a prescribed workplace and (b) all time during which an employee is suffered or permitted to work whether or not he is required to do so.” 29 CFR 778.223. Unlike the ACA definition, it does not include paid days off.

    75 Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all employers with 50 or more full-time employees or equivalents are considered applicable large employers (ALEs) subject to ACA's shared responsibility provisions for providing health insurance. For this purpose, a full-time employee is, for a calendar month, an employee employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week, or 130 hours of service per month. The ACA provides employers the flexibility to use different measurements of hours worked, or “service hours,” for different categories of exempt employees, provided the measures are reasonable and consistently applied. 26 CFR 54.4980H-3(b)(3)(i).

    Under the FLSA, the term “hours worked” includes “all time an employee must be on duty, or on the employer's premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal activity of the workday to the end of the last principal activity of the workday.” 76 Numerous court decisions have also helped shape this definition. The FLSA and its regulations require employers to maintain certain records for nonexempt employees, including hours the employee worked each day and the total hours the employee worked each workweek.77 Payroll records are to be preserved for at least three years and records upon which wage computations were made (e.g., time cards) should be maintained for at least two years.78

    76 U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act (November, 2014), https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/hrg.htm.

    77 Additional FLSA recordkeeping requirements include (1) the employee's sex and occupation, (2) time and day of the week when employer's workweek begins, (3) basis on which employee's wages are paid, (4) employee's regular hourly rate, (5) employee's total daily or weekly straight-time earnings, (6) employee's total overtime earnings for the workweek, (7) employee's total wages each pay period, (8) date of payment to employee and pay period covered by payment, and much more. 29 CFR 516. See also United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, Fact Sheet #21: Recordkeeping Requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (July, 2008), https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs21.htm.

    78Id.

    Federal contractors that file the EEO-1 also are subject to the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which, once implemented by regulation, will require them to supply employees with a document each pay period showing the employee's hours worked, overtime hours, pay, and any additions made to, or deductions made from, pay as recorded for purposes of the FLSA.79 Adopting the FLSA definition of “hours worked” for the EEO-1 promotes consistency for contractors subject to both requirements.

    79 E.O. 13673, section 5, 79 FR 45309 (Aug. 5, 2014). The Paycheck Transparency provision of the Executive Order on Fair Pay Safe Workplaces provides: “(a) Agencies shall ensure that, for contracts subject to section 2 of this order, provisions in solicitations and clauses in contracts shall provide that, in each pay period, contractors provide all individuals performing work under the contract for whom they are required to maintain wage records under the Fair Labor Standards Act; 40 U.S.C. chapter 31, subchapter IV (also known as the Davis-Bacon Act); 41 U.S.C. chapter 67 (also known as the Service Contract Act); or equivalent State laws, with a document with information concerning that individual's hours worked, overtime hours, pay, and any additions made to or deductions made from pay. Agencies shall also require that contractors incorporate this same requirement into subcontracts covered by section 2 of this order. The document provided to individuals exempt from the overtime compensation requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act need not include a record of hours worked if the contractor informs the individuals of their overtime exempt status. These requirements shall be deemed to be fulfilled if the contractor is complying with State or local requirements that the Secretary of Labor has determined are substantially similar to those required by this subsection.”

    3. Reporting Hours Worked for Nonexempt Employees

    The Commission will require private employers and contractors to report the “hours worked” as recorded for FLSA purposes for nonexempt employees in Component 2 of the proposed EEO-1. “Hours worked” will be reported for the total number of employees in each pay band by ethnicity, race, and gender, for the entire calendar year. For example, assume an employer reports on the EEO-1 that it employs four African American women as administrative support workers in the sixth pay band. The employer would report their total “hours worked” for the entire year in the appropriate pay band cell under “Hours Worked” (for example, 8,160 hours). If one of the workers resigned after the employer took its “workforce snapshot” but before December 31st, the employer would report only the total number of hours she actually worked that year prior to her resignation, which would account for her partial-year employment (for example, rather than 2,040 hours, it might report 1,900 hours).

    4. Reporting Hours Worked for Exempt Employees

    Although the Commission seeks to minimize employer burden, the importance of hours-worked data necessitates its collection on the EEO-1. The EEO-1 Instructions will give employers the option to: (1) Report a proxy of 40 hours per week for full-time exempt employees, and 20 hours per week for part-time exempt employees, multiplied by the number of weeks the individuals were employed during the EEO-1 reporting year; or (2) provide actual hours of work by exempt employees during the EEO-1 reporting year if the employer already maintains accurate records of this information.

    With this approach, the company official who certifies the firm's EEO-1 report would certify that the reports are “accurate and . . . . prepared in accordance with the instructions.” Since the new EEO-1 instructions will give employers the option to record 40 hours per week for full-time exempt employees and 20 hours per week for part-time exempt employees, or to report actual hours-worked data for exempt employees, employers using the proxies can certify with confidence that they completed their EEO-1 reports accurately and in accordance with the instructions.

    VIII. How To Report Data in Component 2: Pay Bands and Job Categories

    This 30-Day Notice does not change the proposal to collect W-2 income and hours-worked data in the twelve pay bands used by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics (OES),80 for each of the 10 EEO-1 job categories. Such data will support the EEOC's ability to discern significant pay disparities in the early stages of its investigations and, in conjunction with other information, to make more efficient decisions about how to plan the investigations going forward.

    80 U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Survey Methods and Reliability Statement for the May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, supra note 54 at 3, (stating that “employment refers to the number of workers who can be classified as full-or-part-time employees, including workers on paid vacations or other types of paid leave; exempt officers, executives, and staff members of incorporated firms; employees temporarily assigned to other units; and noncontract employees for whom the reporting unit is their permanent duty station regardless of whether that unit prepares their paychecks.”)

    A. 60-Day Notice

    The 60-Day Notice proposed that Component 2 of the EEO-1 report would collect W-2 income and hours-worked data within twelve distinct pay bands for each job category. These pay bands were based on the twelve wage intervals used by the BLS for the OES survey, which is a semi-annual survey designed to measure employment and wage estimates 81 for over 800 occupations.82 These OES pay bands are different from the pay bands used on the EEO-4 report now completed by state and local government employers.

    81 U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm.

    82Id. The OES survey produces estimates of wages or salary paid to employees in non-farm occupations in the United States, in a particular State, or in a particular industry. The occupational wage estimates can be estimates of mean wages or percentiles, such as the median wage.

    Table 1—EEO-4 Pay Bands Pay bands Pay bands label 1 $100-$15,999. 2 $16,000-$19,999. 3 $20,000-$24,999. 4 $25,000-$32,999. 5 $33,000-$42,999. 6 $43,000-$54,999. 7 $55,000-$69,999. 8 $70,000 and over. Table 2—Proposed EEO-1 Pay Bands Pay bands Pay bands label 1 $19,239 and under. 2 $19,240-$24,439. 3 $24,440-$30,679. 4 $30,680-$38,999. 5 $39,000-$49,919. 6 $49,920-$62,919. 7 $62,920-$80,079. 8 $80,080-$101,919. 9 $101,920-$128,959. 10 $128,960-$163,799. 11 $163,800-$207,999. 12 $208,000 and over. B. Public Comments

    Many stakeholders argued that the twelve OES pay bands are overly broad, particularly for the highest pay band ($208,000 and over) and also for the lower or middle income pay bands ($30,000 to $80,000). Opponents of the proposal argued that broad pay bands would not produce reliable data because the employees within each pay band may have different levels of experience or hold different jobs within an organization. Some comments advocated for additional and narrower pay bands to better capture pay disparities.

    C. 30-Day Notice

    Collecting W-2 income and hours-worked data in the twelve OES pay bands will enable the EEOC to gather pay data about most employees and EEO-1 filers, as the majority of wages in the United States are well below the highest OES pay band ($208,000 and over), even after including some types of supplemental income. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated median earnings for full-time, year round civilian workers 16 years of age and over were $43,545 in 2014. For management occupations, the median earnings were $71,112.83

    83 U.S. Census Bureau, Table Packages, Full-Time, Year-Round Workers and Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months by Sex and Detailed Occupation: 2014, http://www.census.gov/people/io/publications/table_packages.html.

    In Component 2 of the EEO-1, employers will report the number of employees whose annual W-2 income falls in each of the job category's twelve pay bands. For example, an employer may report that it has twelve employees in pay band 3 for Professionals, and that four are white men, four are Asian men, and four are white women.

    The EEOC is not convinced that using twelve pay bands in conjunction with the EEO-1 job categories will undermine the utility of W-2 income and hours-worked data. The EEOC does not intend or expect that this data will identify specific, similarly situated comparators or that it will establish pay discrimination as a legal matter. Therefore, it is not critical that each EEO-1 pay band include only the same or similar occupations. The data will be useful for identifying patterns or correlations that can inform the early stages of the investigative process, as explained in more detail in section IX.

    In addition, many EEO-1 firms and establishments do not report widely divergent occupations in each EEO-1 job category. It also is likely that similar firms and establishments in the same geographic area will have similar distributions of occupations within the job groups and pay bands, thus making statistical comparisons between EEO-1 reports a reasonable approach to using this data.

    IX. How the EEOC Will Use W-2 and Hours-Worked Data A. 60-Day Notice

    As explained in the 60-Day Notice, Component 2 data would support EEOC data analysis at the early stages of an investigation, using statistical tests to identify significant disparities in reported pay. EEOC enforcement staff who conduct these analyses would use them, in the larger context of other available economic data and information, to evaluate whether and how to investigate the allegations of discrimination in more depth. Moreover, the 60-Day Notice also explained how employers would be able to use the summary pay data that the EEOC intends to publish to generally assess their own pay practices.

    B. Public Comments

    Employers opposing the proposal expressed concern that the EEOC would make unfounded inferences of discrimination based on its statistical analysis of the EEO-1 Component 2 pay data which, in turn, would result in unwarranted and burdensome EEOC investigations. Some interested parties criticized the particular statistical analyses that the EEOC described in the 60-Day Notice, arguing that these tests would not yield meaningful results when applied to data reported in pay bands and broad EEO-1 job categories. These commenters also raised concerns about the dangers of Type I or Type II errors in analyzing Component 2 data: In statistics, “Type I” errors are referred to as “false positives” and “Type II” errors are “false negatives.” 84

    84 Type I errors represent the possibility of rejecting a null hypothesis when it is correct. For example, a null hypothesis might be that the earnings of African Americans and whites are the same and a Type I error would be rejecting it as false when it is true. Type II errors represent the opposite: The possibility of accepting the null hypothesis (for example, that the earnings of African Americans and whites are the same) as true when in fact it is false. Type I errors in this context could suggest a need for an investigation where it may not be needed; Type II errors in this context could result in victims of pay discrimination not receiving relief for discrimination.

    Finally, employers expressed skepticism that the EEOC's reports based on aggregated EEO-1 pay data would be useful for evaluating their own pay practices and promoting voluntary compliance. Several employers explained that they do not use W-2 data to analyze their own compensation practices, but rather rely on more complete compensation data that they have at their disposal.

    C. 30-Day Notice

    This 30-Day Notice expands on the discussion in the 60-Day Notice and explains in more detail how the data collected with this information collection will support enforcement of, and compliance with, Title VII, the EPA, and E.O. 11246.

    1. Early Assessment of Charges of Discrimination

    Currently, the EEOC enforcement staff can retrieve a respondent's EEO-1 report using existing EEO-1 analytics software to assess the distribution of different demographics (sex, race, and ethnicity) in an employer's job groups. When W-2 income and hours-worked data is added to the EEO-1 report, the EEOC's EEO-1 analytic software tool will be expanded to allow for the examination of pay disparities based on job category, pay bands, and gender, ethnicity, or race. For example, if a charging party alleges that she was paid less than her male colleagues in a similar job, the EEOC's enforcement staff might use the expanded EEO-1 analytics tool to generate a report comparing the distribution of the pay of women to that of men in the same EEO-1 job category.85 They also might use statistical tools to determine generally whether there are significant disparities in reported pay in job groups based on race, gender, or ethnicity.

    85 Enforcement staff could choose to compare men and women in one particular EEO-1 job category, for multiple job categories, or even all job categories.

    EEOC enforcement staff could then examine how the employer compares to similar employers in its labor market 86 by using a statistical test to compare the distribution of women's pay in the respondent's EEO-1 report to the distribution of women's pay among the respondent's competitors in the same labor market. With the proposed addition of hours-worked data to the EEO-1, statistical tests could be used to determine whether pay disparities remain among relevant groups such as men and women, controlling for hours worked. More specifically, statistical tests could determine whether factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and hours worked impact the distribution of individuals in pay bands. The EEOC envisions that any statistical test would be accompanied by an indication of the practical significance of pay differences.

    86 EEO-1 reports are identified by location and by each establishment's 5-dight NAICS industry codes. The U.S. Census Bureau maintains only one NAICS code for each establishment based on its primary business activity. The Census Bureau states: “[i]deally, the primary business activity of an establishment is determined by relative share of production costs and/or capital investment. In practice, other variables, such as revenue, value of shipments, or employment, are used as proxies. The Census Bureau generally uses revenue or value of shipments to determine an establishment's primary business activity.” U.S. Census Bureau, “North American Industry Classification System—Frequently Asked Questions,https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/faqs/faqs.html.

    After considering the results of several statistical analyses in conjunction with allegations in the charge, and sometimes also assessing how the EEO-1 pay data compares to statistics for comparable workers using Census data, EEOC enforcement staff would decide how to focus the investigation and what information to request from the employer. When EEOC enforcement staff requests information from an employer, the employer has the opportunity to explain its practices, provide additional data, and explain the non-discriminatory reasons for its pay practices and decisions. Only after considering all of this information, and possibly additional information, would the EEOC reach a conclusion about whether discrimination was the likely cause of the pay disparities.

    The EEOC has tested whether statistical tests, and the EEO-1 pay data, would be useful tools in the investigation of charges of discrimination and has found them to be effective.87 The EEOC used two databases to test the utility of the planned analyses. The first was the EEO-4 database that the EEOC currently uses to collect and analyze pay data from state and local governments. Since the EEO-4 has fewer and different pay bands than the EEOC proposes for the EEO-1 pay data collection, the EEOC also used a synthetic database. The term “synthetic” does not mean that the data was not real. Rather, the EEOC created a large confidential database from HRIS data obtained in actual EEOC investigations that contained certain variables of interest, in particular pay rate history and job titles for all employees, and the statistical tests referenced above were run. Other important variables such as “race,” “gender,” and “EEO-1” job codes were randomly generated for databases that lacked this information. The results supported the EEOC's conclusion that these statistical tests provide insights that are useful in developing a request for information or deciding whether an investigation of a charge should have a more limited scope.88

    87 Sage Computing, supra notes 3, 52, and 56.

    88Id.

    As noted above, some critics disputed the EEOC's choice of statistical tests, arguing that they would not be useful for data reported in broad pay bands and job categories. The EEOC's Pilot Study reported on a 2007 study finding that, even if collecting income data in bands results in a loss of information, that loss would likely be small and of little concern to many researchers, and would be balanced by reduced cost and burden.89 Other researchers have identified the value of banded pay data even to the point of being useful in estimating mean incomes within an accuracy of 1-3 percent.90 This research suggests that critics who argue that one cannot detect mean differences that are smaller than the pay bands, or bins, are incorrect.91

    89Id. citing Micklewright, John and Schnepf, Sylke V., How Reliable are Income Data Collected with a Single Question? (Nov., 2007), http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1047981.

    90 Paul T. von Hippel, Samuel V. Scarpino and Igor Holas, Robust estimation of inequality from binned incomes, Sociological Methodology (Jun. 6, 2016), http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.4061.

    91Id.

    In addition, the EEOC is confident that the risk of Type I (false positive) or Type II (false negative) errors will not undermine its statistical analyses of Component 2 data. The chances of incurring Type I errors (false positives) are related to the probability level used in the statistical significance test. The EEOC follows judicially recognized statistical standards for identifying meaningful discrepancies,92 and therefore is confident that the probability level it uses is effective at minimizing the risk of Type I (false positive) errors. By contrast, the risk of Type II (false negative) error is inversely related to the sample size: The smaller the sample size, the more likely a Type II error. If a sample size is so small that the EEOC enforcement staff is concerned about Type II errors, it will consider analyzing a differently configured, larger sample. Even if it forgoes such analysis due to an elevated risk of Type II errors, enforcement staff will study the EEO-1 for other relevant information and analyze additional data from other sources. In fact, EEOC enforcement staff expects to analyze data from other sources regardless of the risk of error.

    92Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. United States, 433 U.S. 299, 311 n.17 (1977) (explaining that “a fluctuation of more than two or three standard deviations would undercut the hypothesis that decisions were being made randomly with respect to [a protected trait]”); Wright v. Stern, 450 F.Supp.2d 335, 363 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (denying motion for summary judgment in case alleging discrimination against African-American and Hispanic employees in promotions and compensation, the court noted that, “[t]hough not dispositive, statistics demonstrating a disparity of two standard deviations outside of the norm are generally considered statistically significant.”).

    2. EEOC Publications Analyzing Aggregate EEO-1 Data

    Using aggregated EEO-1 data, Census data, and potentially other data sources, the EEOC expects to periodically publish reports on pay disparities by race, sex, industry, occupational groupings, and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Particularly after a few years of data collection, these reports will provide useful comparative data. For smaller employers and others that do not hire consultants to analyze their compensation structures, these reports will be especially informative in light of the business case for equal pay and the need to comply with state equal pay laws.

    The EEOC's publication of aggregated pay data, in conjunction with the employer's preparation of the EEO-1 report itself, may be useful tools for employers to engage in voluntary self-assessment of pay practices. For contractors, such self-assessment is encouraged by the OFCCP Rule on Discrimination on the Basis of Sex.93 OFCCP states that “[e]ach contractor may continue to choose the assessment method that best fits with its workforce and compensation practices.” 94 Although the OFCCP rule does not create new obligations with respect to a covered contractor's self-assessment of its compensation practices, it does provide additional guidance about the kinds of compensation practices the contractors should evaluate to ensure their compliance with E.O. 11246.

    93 41 CFR 60-20. See also 81 FR 39109 (June 15, 2016).

    94Id.

    3. EEOC Training on the Pay Data Collection

    The EEOC will ensure its internal capacity to use the EEO-1 pay data effectively by supplementing existing training for EEOC statisticians, investigators, and attorneys about how EEO-1 pay data and the updated EEO-1 analytics tool can be used to improve the agency's enforcement work. EEOC enforcement staff will receive periodic training on how to use the expanded EEO-1 analytics software tool to examine pay data and identify any disparities. EEOC personnel who conduct intake also would receive periodic training to help them “issue spot” potential pay discrimination and ask appropriate questions to collect relevant anecdotal evidence of possible discrimination and information about employer policies and practices. Further, the agency would provide specialized training to its lead systemic investigators. Finally, as discussed more fully below, the EEOC would continue to ensure that staff is trained with regard to confidentiality obligations with respect to pay data.

    The EEOC also would provide enhanced technical assistance and support to employers with seminars or webinars, training, and outreach and education materials. Such materials may include best practice guides and self-assessment tools to promote voluntary compliance and assist employers in identifying and correcting discriminatory pay policies and practices. They may also identify practices that could lead to pay discrimination, such as subjective pay decision-making practices, establishing salary by relying heavily on prior salary, and setting salary based in large part on negotiations.

    Finally, the EEOC would conduct outreach to other stakeholders, including employees and their advocates, and academic researchers. Outreach to employees and their advocates would focus on “know your rights” trainings with respect to equal pay for equal work and also include training about how to use the EEOC's planned aggregated pay data reports for research and informational purposes.

    X. Confidentiality of EEO-1 Data

    This 30-Day Notice expands on the discussion in the 60-Day Notice regarding the privacy and confidentiality protections for Component 2 data. The EEOC has successfully protected the confidentiality of EEO-1 data for over 50 years, since this data was first collected. Recognizing that employers are concerned both about the confidentiality of their business data and the privacy of employees' pay information, the EEOC and OFCCP have committed to vigorously guarding its privacy and confidentiality, as explained below.

    A. 60-Day Notice

    The 60-Day Notice emphasized that Title VII subjects the EEOC to strict confidentiality requirements, subject to criminal penalties; that OFCCP defers to the EEOC on disclosure of all non-contractor data; and that the OFCCP ensures the confidentiality of contractor data to the maximum extent permissible by law. In the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC explained that EEO-1 Component 2 data would not include any employee personally identifiable information and, since EEO-1 pay and hours-worked data would be anonymous and aggregated, personally identifying information would not be readily apparent.

    B. Public Comments

    Employers expressed concern that the addition of sensitive pay data to the EEO-1 would make it more valuable to their competitors and that any breach in confidentiality would be significantly more costly than with the current EEO-1. They also expressed concern about the privacy of the data, because an individual's pay could be disclosed if, for example, the employee was one of only a few employees matching a particular race/ethnicity background and gender in a cell on the EEO-1 and the EEO-1 report were disclosed. Some employers expressed concern that federal and state agencies may not be bound by Title VII's confidentiality requirements, and some employers urged the EEOC to prevail on Congress to amend Title VII to expressly extend the statute's confidentiality provisions to other federal and state agencies that might get EEO-1 data.

    C. 30-Day Notice 1. Legal Confidentiality a. EEOC

    As recognized by employers and explained in the 60-Day Notice, Title VII forbids the EEOC or any EEOC officer or employee from making public any information, including EEO-1 data, before a Title VII proceeding is instituted that involves that information.95 EEOC staff who violate this prohibition are guilty of a criminal misdemeanor and can be imprisoned.

    95 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(e).

    The EEOC directly imposes this Title VII confidentiality requirement on all of its contractors, including contract workers and contractor companies, as a condition of their contracts. With respect to other federal agencies with a legitimate law enforcement purpose, the EEOC gives access to information collected under Title VII only if the agencies agree, by letter or memorandum of understanding, to comply with the confidentiality provisions of Title VII.

    Finally, the text of Title VII itself states that the EEOC may only give state and local fair employment practices agencies (FEPAs) information (including EEO-1 data) about employers in their jurisdiction on the condition that they not make it public.96

    96 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(d). See also EEOC, EEO-1 Survey System Privacy Impact Assessment, https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/privacyimpact.cfm.

    For the EEOC, its agents and contractors, and the FEPAs, Title VII only permits disclosure of information after suit is filed on the issues that were investigated at the administrative level.

    b. OFCCP

    Even though OFCCP obtains EEO-1 reports for federal contractors and subcontractors (contractors) through the Joint Reporting Committee with the EEOC, OFCCP obtains this information pursuant to its own legal authority under E.O. 11246 and its implementing regulations.97

    97 41 CFR 60-1.7(a)(1).

    OFCCP will notify contractors of any FOIA request for their EEO-1 pay and hours-worked data. If a contractor objects to disclosure, OFCCP will not disclose the data if OFCCP determines that the contractor's objection is valid. FOIA Exemptions 3 and 4 recognize the value of this data and provide, in combination with the Trade Secrets Act, the necessary tools to appropriately protect it from public disclosure. OFCCP will protect the confidentiality of EEO-1 pay and hours-worked data to the maximum extent possible consistent with FOIA.

    With respect to companies that are not federal contractors or subcontractors under OFCCP's jurisdiction, the confidentiality provision of Section 709(e) applies. OFCCP will refer all such FOIA requests for EEO-1 data to the EEOC for a response. The EEOC, in turn, is subject to Title VII confidentiality and cannot disclose any of its EEO-1 data to the public, except in an aggregated format that protects the confidentiality of each employer's information. Any FOIA request by a member of the public for such disaggregated EEO-1 data will be denied by the EEOC under Exemption 3 of the FOIA.

    2. Data Protection and Security

    The EEOC takes extensive measures to protect the confidentiality and integrity of EEO-1 data in its possession. First, all EEOC and FEPA staff 98 receive annual training in data protection and security. The EEOC maintains a robust cyber security and privacy program, in compliance with the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014.99

    98 As noted in text above, all FEPAs sign a contractual agreement with the EEOC that requires them to follow the confidentiality provisions set forth in Title VII.

    99 44 U.S.C. 3551; see also relevant provision 44 U.S.C. 3554 discussing federal agency responsibilities for protecting federal information and information systems.

    The EEOC also complies with a comprehensive set of security and privacy controls to protect organizational operations and information system assets against a diverse set of threats, including hostile cyber-attacks, natural disasters, structural failures, and human errors. The EEOC's systems are monitored on an ongoing basis to assure compliance with an extensive set of security and privacy requirements derived from legislation, Executive Orders, policies, directives, and standards.100 Agency information technology systems are subjected to weekly security scans by the Department of Homeland Security, annual internal audits performed by the EEOC's Office of Inspector General, and expert third-party audits for best practices and compliance with cyber-security standards. Current protections include regular internal and external vulnerability scanning and penetration testing, comprehensive real-time anti-virus scanning and protection on all desktops and servers, Internet and email filtering for malware and spam, strong firewall protections and intrusion detection systems, compliance with security benchmark configuration settings, deep discovery advanced network security analysis and monitoring, secure domain name server configurations, automatic server/firewall monitoring and logging, security awareness training, and comprehensive disaster recovery planning and testing.

    100 40 U.S.C. 1401 et seq., Information Technology Management Reform Act, identifying standards and guidelines developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for federal computing systems. NIST, NIST Special Publication 800-53, Rev 4, Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations (April 2013), http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-53r4.pdf (explaining specific security controls required by the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 and thereafter the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014).

    The online EEO-1 portal of the Joint Reporting Committee allows firms that currently upload EEO-1 data files to encrypt their data or even create a file transfer site for EEOC to download the data. After collecting and reconciling EEO-1 data through a process that may involve input from the employer or contractor, the Joint Reporting Committee at the EEOC provides the database to OFCCP on an encrypted storage device.

    XI. Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Estimates A. Background

    The revised EEO-1 data collection has two components. The first component (Component 1) will collect information identical to that collected by the currently approved EEO-1, through which employers report data on employees' ethnicity, race, and sex by job category. The second component (Component 2) will collect data on employees' W-2 (Box 1) income and hours worked. Because of the complexity of this PRA burden calculation, the EEOC is providing the following background information to explain the rationale behind its methodologies for calculating the annual and one-time burden of filing EEO-1 reports.

    The OMB's PRA guidance prescribes the factors for agencies to consider in calculating annual reporting and one-time implementation costs. The prescribed PRA calculation is focused on the time it takes filers to complete the tasks required for the proposed information collection and the hourly rates of the employees who spend that time. For this reason, the following discussion of the costs of transitioning and annually filing Components 1 and 2 of the EEO-1 must be formulated through the PRA analysis of hours spent and hourly rates.

    OMB's PRA regulations also require consideration of how to reduce the burden of a data collection through the use of technology and automation.101 This consideration is particularly relevant to EEO-1 reporting. In the years since the EEOC first estimated the PRA burden of the EEO-1 based only on the time to fill in the cells on a paper EEO-1 report, there have been major advances in technology both for employers and the Joint Reporting Committee. Many employers now rely on HRIS and automated payroll systems.102 The Joint Reporting Committee now utilizes an online EEO-1 portal for the confidential filing of EEO-1 reports, either by digital upload or by data entry onto a password-protected, partially pre-populated digital EEO-1.

    101 Agencies must “evaluat[e] . . . whether (and if so, to what extent) the burden on respondents can be reduced by use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.” 5 CFR 1320.8(a)(5).

    102 International Public Management Association for Human Resources, Public Personnel Management, Volume 39, No. 3, Fall 2010, http://ipma-hr.org/files/pdf/ppm/ppmfall2010.pdf (reporting that 90% of human resources departments used some form of HRIS).

    Throughout the Joint Reporting Committee's transition to this new system, the EEOC continued to calculate the PRA burden based on its original method of counting all the cells on a paper report and calculating the time needed to enter data into each of them. However, with the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC concluded that both digital recordkeeping and digital filing were sufficiently well-established to transition to a new PRA methodology more suited to the new technology and the time-savings it generated.103 The EEOC's new PRA methodology—necessarily expressed in the PRA's terms of hours and hourly labor rates—focuses on the time needed by the employer's staff to complete tasks such as reading the EEO-1 instructions, collecting, verifying, validating, certifying, and submitting the report. Therefore, in the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC considered for the first time the time savings generated by this task-based approach stemming from technology.104 This is the reason that the burden of filing the EEO-1 actually declined with the PRA calculations in 60-Day Notice, relative to the paper-based calculation method previously used.

    103 81 FR 5113, 5120 (Feb. 1, 2016).

    104Id.

    In the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC concluded that most employers would be filing the EEO-1 with a digital file upload by the time they file their EEO-1 reports for 2017 and 2018. Therefore, in the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC reasoned that “each additional report filed [would have] just a marginal additional cost.” 105 Accordingly, the burden calculation in the 60-Day Notice was based on the number of firms filing one or more EEO-1 reports, not on the number of reports submitted or the number of separate establishments submitting reports. The EEOC's PRA burden calculations also assumed that all employees working on the EEO-1 would be administrative staff paid an hourly rate of $24.23 per hour.

    105Id.

    The EEOC's intent in calculating respondent burden for the 60-Day Notice was to recognize the cost and time savings associated with the accelerating trend toward greater automation. However, employers' public comments indicated that the EEOC's estimates reflected a level of automation that was unlikely to be attained imminently. Some of these comments included estimates about the annual time and costs of completing the EEO-1. While some firms stated that they spent less time each year on the EEO-1 than the EEOC estimated in the 60-Day Notice, many firms reported that they spent more time and used more varied professional staff. These same commenters observed that they used data uploads less frequently than the EEOC had projected.

    The EEOC carefully considered employers' input, yet, their comments as a whole reflected widely discrepant estimates of the time needed, jobs involved, and HRIS and software costs associated with digital EEO-1 reporting. Although the EEOC recognizes that the EEO-1 may involve more time than it estimated in the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC also concludes that the amount of time a filer spends each year completing this report varies, because each employer is different in terms of number of establishments, number of employees involved in producing the report, time spent by those employees and their rates of pay, and sophistication of HRIS. Due to the wide range of estimates provided about annual reporting costs, the EEOC also relied on its own experience collecting the EEO-1 reports and working with EEO-1 stakeholders over the years.

    In conclusion, the EEOC adjusted its methodology for calculating PRA annual burden in this 30-Day Notice. First, the EEOC took into account the time and pay rates for a range of employees at both the firm- and establishment- levels who are responsible for preparing and filing the EEO-1. The EEOC now accounts for time to be spent annually on EEO-1 reporting by everyone from the executive who certifies it, to the lawyer who reviews it and the human resource professionals who prepare it with the support of information technology professionals and clericals.

    Second, the EEOC no longer assumes that all the EEO-1 reports for 2017 and 2018 will be submitted by one data upload filed by the firm on behalf of all the establishments. While still reflecting that the bulk of the tasks performed in completing the EEO-1 report will be completed at the firm level due to the centrality of automation, the EEOC's 30-Day Notice recognizes that there are certain tasks that will be performed at the establishment level for employers who enter their EEO-1 data directly onto the Joint Reporting Committee's secure portal. Therefore, the 30-Day Notice burden calculations are based on the number of hours needed to complete the tasks at the firm level and also at the establishment level for the proportion of EEO-1 filers who do not now use centralized, secure data uploads. To make these calculations, the EEOC distinguished the time spent at the firm and establishment levels on the different types of EEO-1 reports, such as single-establishment Type 1 reports, Type 2 consolidated reports for employers with multiple establishments, and Type 6 or 8 reports for small establishments (under 50 employees).

    For those employers who have staff enter EEO-1 data online, which is closest digital equivalent to completing a paper form by hand, the Joint Reporting Committee's password-protected, individualized portal prompts the employer with pre-populated EEO-1 forms that already include identifying information and the prior year totals. Moreover, the Joint Reporting Committee's online portal does not compel these employers to enter “zeros” in the cells for which they do not submit data. No EEO-1 filers enter data in every cell, so basing the annual PRA burden on the total number of cells on the EEO-1 form would be inaccurate.

    Therefore, as explained in detail below, the total estimated annual burden hour cost in 2017 and 2018 for those contractors that will complete and submit only Component 1 (contractors with 50-99 employees) will be $1,872,792.41. The total estimated annual burden hour cost in 2017 and 2018 for employers and contractors that will complete both Components 1 and 2 will be $53,546,359.08.

    The EEOC estimates that for these filers submitting both Component 1 and 2 data in 2017 and 2018, the addition of pay data will increase the estimated annual burden hour costs by a total of $25,364,064.80 or an average of $416.58 per EEO-1 filer each year, using the 30-Day PRA analysis. This is an average estimate per filer, and actual costs will vary, as explained in this Notice.

    B. 60-Day Notice

    In the 60-Day Notice, the EEOC estimated burden based on centralized electronic, rather than paper, filing of the EEO-1. Costs were calculated assuming that all tasks were performed at the firm level.

    Burden Statement—2016: For reporting year 2016, when all filers will continue to submit only Component 1 demographic data, the EEOC estimated the total annual burden hours required to complete the EEO-1 as 228,296.4 hours, with an associated total annual burden hour cost of $5,531,621.77.

    Burden Statement—Component 1 Only: The 60-Day Notice stated that starting in 2017, the estimated number of annual respondents (contractor filers) who will submit Component 1 only would be 6,260.106 The 60-Day Notice estimated the burden in 2017 on contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees as follows:

    106 81 FR 5113 (Feb. 1, 2016). Of the 67,146 firms that filed EEO-1 reports in 2014, 6,260 were federal contractor filers with fewer than 100 employees.

    Annual Burden Calculation: The total annual burden hours required to complete Component 1 of the EEO-1 data collection in 2017 and 2018 was estimated to be 21,284 hours each year, with an associated total annual burden hour cost of $515,711.32. This figure used an average wage rate of $24.23 for employees working on the EEO-1, based on the conclusion that administrative support staff would perform the work in completing an EEO-1 report.

    Burden Statement—Components 1 and 2: The 60-Day Notice estimated the number of annual respondents that would submit both Components 1 and 2 starting with the 2017 reporting cycle at 60,886 private industry and contractor filers. Filers required to complete both Components 1 and 2 were estimated to incur 401,847.6 burden hours annually or 6.6 hours per filer.

    Annual Burden Calculation: The estimated total annual burden hours needed for filers to report demographic and W-2 income and hours-worked data via Components 1 and 2 of the revised EEO-1 was estimated at 401,847.6, with an associated total annual burden hour cost of $9,736,767.35. This burden estimate includes reading instructions and collecting, merging, validating, and reporting the data electronically.107

    107 81 FR 5113 (Feb. 1, 2016). This estimate was calculated as follows: 6.6 hours per respondent × 60,886 respondents = 401,847.6 hours × $24.23 per hour = $9,736,767.35. See also U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation—December 2013 (March 2014), http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecec_03122014.htm (listing total compensation for administrative support as $24.23 per hour).

    One-Time Implementation Burden: The estimated one-time implementation burden hour cost for submitting the information required by Component 2 of the revised EEO-1 Report was estimated as $23,000,295.108 This calculation was based on the one-time cost for developing queries related to Component 2 in an existing human resources information system, which was estimated to take 8 hours per filer at a wage rate of $47.22 per hour.

    108 81 FR 5113 (Feb. 1, 2016). This estimate was calculated as follows: 8 hours per respondent × 60,886 employers = 487,088 × $47.22 per hour = $23,000,295. See also U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation—December 2013, supra note 108 (listing total compensation for a professional as $47.22 per hour).

    The 60-Day Notice also estimated that the addition of W-2 income data to the EEO-1 would result in the EEOC incurring $318,000 in one-time costs and would raise the EEOC's recurring internal staffing cost by $290,478 due to the increased staff time needed to process the additional data.

    C. 30-Day Notice

    In response to concerns raised in the public comments to the 60-Day Notice, this 30-Day Notice reflects an increased burden estimate by: (1) Reflecting varying labor costs for the different types of staff involved with preparing the EEO-1, (2) adding labor costs for report-level functions, and (3) increasing the total number of burden hours a firm would need to read the EEO-1 instructions and to collect, verify, and enter EEO-1 data on the EEO-1 online portal. This methodology increases the total number of hours spent annually, even though the 30-Day Notice reduced overall burden by no longer requiring employers to make special W-2 income calculations for the EEO-1. This reflects employers' feedback about the annual EEO-1 reporting burden.

    1. Annual Burden Hours

    The 30-Day Notice revises the annual burden hour estimates to add the estimated time spent on firm-level functions by several different types of employees. These estimates are informed by the comments on the 60-Day Notice, based on the EEOC's experiences in providing technical assistance to employers, and within the range of time suggested by public comments.

    To submit a report containing EEO-1 Component 1 data, the EEOC now assumes that, at the firm level, computer specialists would need to spend 4 hours, senior human resource managers, corporate legal counsel, and chief executive officers would each spend 1 hour, and data entry clerks and clerical staff would each spend 0.5 hours, for a total of 8 hours to complete firm-level functions.

    Based on information received during the comment period, the addition of Component 2 data would increase the total time spent by each of these employees by a factor of 1.9. Therefore, the EEOC estimates that beginning with the 2017 EEO-1, each firm reporting both Component 1 and Component 2 data would require 7.6 hours by computer specialists, 1.9 hours each by senior human resource managers, corporate legal counsel, and chief executive officers, and 0.95 hours each by data entry clerks and clerical staff, for a total of 15.2 hours per firm for firm-level functions.

    In order to analyze annual reporting burden as accurately as possible, the EEOC now also considers the time and effort associated with completing the different types of EEO-1 reports. There are six types of EEO-1 reports, as detailed in the footnote.109 All reports except the Type 6 report include the requested EEO-1 workforce data; the Type 6 report includes only the employer's name, address, and the number of employees in each establishment with fewer than 50 employees. An employer having establishments with fewer than 50 employees chooses between filing one Type 6 report or multiple Type 8 reports (a full EEO-1 report for the establishment). If it chooses to file separate Type 8 reports for each establishment with fewer than 50 employees, the Joint Reporting Committee does not require it to complete a consolidated EEO-1 for the entire firm; rather, the Joint Reporting Committee's software generates a Type 2 report for the employer. However, if the employer chooses to submit a Type 6 report, it must also complete a full consolidated report. Accordingly, firms that have establishments with fewer than 50 employees either submit Type 8 reports (one for each establishment) or a Type 6 report (a list covering all establishments) plus a Type 2 report.

    109 Type 1 (single establishment firm); Type 2 (consolidated report for headquarters and multi-establishment firm); Type 3 (headquarters report); Type 4 (report for establishments with over 50 employees); Type 6 (list of establishments with under 50 employees); and Type 8 (detailed report for establishments with under 50 employees).

    Finally, based on the EEOC's experience, most firms complete all the tasks associated with filing EEO-1 Type 1, 2, and 6 reports at the firm level. By contrast, for Type 3, 4 and 8 reports, some of the tasks are performed at the firm level, but others are performed at the establishment level. The EEOC's 30-Day Notice annual burden estimates therefore reflect time spent on establishment-level tasks associated with Type 3, 4, and 8 reports, while time spent on tasks associated with Type 1, 2, and 6 reports (and the firm-level functions associated with Types 3, 4, and 8) are included in the firm-level estimates.110

    110 Because of this, the EEOC's burden estimates for firm-level tasks are inflated for those firms electing to file Type 8 reports, because the firm-level estimates include time spent completing a Type 2 and a Type 6 report, even though firms that opt to complete Type 8 reports do not also submit a Type 2 or Type 6 report.

    The EEOC assumes that human resource specialists and data entry clerks will perform all establishment-level functions. For firms filing only Component 1 of the EEO-1, the EEOC estimates that for each establishment report submitted, a human resource specialist and a data entry clerk would each spend 0.5 hours on establishment-level functions, for a total of 1 hour per report. Beginning in 2017, firms filing both Component 1 and Component 2 of the EEO-1 would require 0.95 hours each from the human resource specialist and the data entry clerk on establishment-level functions, for a total of 1.9 hours per report.

    In 2014, 1,449 firms submitted their EEO-1 reports via data upload, but they submitted 329,944 Type 3, 4, and 8 reports.111 The EEOC estimates that firms using data upload will need to spend less time at the establishment level than firms submitting their reports by data entry. For firms using data upload, the EEOC estimates that data entry clerks will not need to perform any establishment-level tasks.

    111 In 2014, contractor filers with 50-99 employees submitted 86 Type 3, 4, and 8 reports via data upload.

    2. Hourly Wage Rates

    Using figures reflecting median pay obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,112 the EEOC's 30-Day Notice uses hourly wage rates as follows: Computer specialist $24.75, senior human resource manager $50.21, corporate legal counsel $55.69, chief executive officer $49.37, data entry clerk $13.69, clerical staff $15.41, and human resource specialist $28.06. See Table 3 for an illustration of the jobs, hours, and wage rates described in this Notice. Based on the EEOC's experience, the bulk of the work is now performed by computer specialists and senior human resource managers. At the establishment level, the EEOC concluded that EEO-1 reporting work is more likely to be performed by data entry clerks and human resource specialists, resulting in a lower average wage rate for establishment-level functions.

    112 U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/.

    Table 3—EEO-1 Jobs, Hours, and Wages Job title Hours spent on EEO-1 Component 1 only Hours spent on EEO-1 Components
  • 1 & 2
  • Hourly wage rates
    Firm-Level Functions Computer Specialist 4 7.6 $24.75 Senior Human Resource Manager 1 1.9 50.21 Corporate Legal Counsel 1 1.9 55.69 Chief Executive Officer 1 1.9 49.37 Data Entry Clerk 0.5 0.95 13.69 Clerical Staff 0.5 0.95 15.41 Report-Level Functions Human Resource Specialist 0.5 0.95 28.06 Data Entry Clerk 0.5 0.95 13.69
    XII. Formal Paperwork Reduction Act Statement A. Overview of Information Collection

    The EEOC has submitted to OMB a request for a three-year PRA approval of a revised EEO-1. The revised EEO-1 data collection has two components. The first component (Component 1) will collect information identical to that collected by the currently approved EEO-1. The second component (Component 2) will collect data on employees' W-2 pay and hours worked. Component 1 can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/upload/eeo1-2.pdf. An illustration of the data to be collected by both Components 1 and 2 can be found at http://10.5.0.211/employers/eeo1survey/2016_new_survey.cfm.

    For the 2016 reporting cycle, there will be no change to the EEO-1 reporting requirement. All EEO-1 filers will continue to submit the data on race, ethnicity, sex, and job category that is currently collected by the EEO-1 report. The EEOC refers to this demographic and job category data as Component 1 data. Beginning with the 2017 reporting cycle, the EEOC proposes to require EEO-1 filers with 100 or more employees to submit data on pay and hours worked (Component 2 data) in addition to Component 1 data. However, federal contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees will only submit Component 1 data.

    1. 2016 Overview of Information Collection—Component 1

    Collection Title: Employer Information Report (EEO-1).

    OMB Control Number: 3046-0007.

    Frequency of Report: Annual.

    Description of Affected Public: Private industry filers with 100 or more employees and federal government contractor filers with 50 or more employees.

    Number of Respondents: 67,146 firms filing 683,275 establishment reports.

    Reporting Hours: 1,055,471.

    Respondent Burden Hour Cost: $30,055,086.62.

    Federal Cost: $1,330,821.

    Number of Forms: 1.

    Form Number: EEOC Form 100.

    2. 2017 and 2018 Overview of Information Collection—Components 1 and 2

    Collection Title: Employer Information Report (EEO-1).

    OMB Control Number: 3046-0007.

    Frequency of Report: Annual.

    Number of Forms: 1.

    Form Number: EEOC Form 100.

    Federal Cost: $318,000 for one-time costs and $1,621,300 113 for recurring staffing costs.

    113 The addition of W-2 pay data to the EEO-1 is expected to increase EEOC's internal staffing costs by approximately $290,478. The annual federal cost figure of $1,621,300 includes both the increase in contract costs resulting from the addition of the pay data collection and the estimated internal staffing costs. It reflects an increase of more than $290,478 compared to the estimated federal costs provided in previously published Federal Register notices seeking PRA approval of this information collection because past estimates reflected the cost of the contract with the vendor whose services the EEOC procures to assist with administration and processing of the EEO-1 but did not include EEOC's internal staffing costs associated with processing the EEO-1.

    a. Component 1 (Demographic and Job Category Data)

    Description of Affected Public: In 2017 and 2018, contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees will submit only the demographic and job category data collected by Component 1.

    Number of Respondents: 6,260 firms filing 9,129 establishment reports.

    Reporting Hours: 59,166.

    Respondent Burden Hour Cost: $1,872,792.41.

    b. Components 1 and 2 (Demographic and Job Category Data Plus W-2 and Hours Worked Data)

    Description of Affected Public: In 2017 and 2018, EEO-1 filers with 100 or more employees will submit pay and hours worked data under Component 2 in addition to demographic and job category data under Component 1.

    Number of Respondents: 60,886 firms filing 674,146 establishment reports.

    Reporting Hours: 1,892,979.5.

    Respondent Burden Hour Cost: $53,546,359.08.

    B. 30-Day Notice PRA Burden Statement 2016: Component 1

    Burden Statement: In 2016, all EEO-1 filers will submit Component 1, which only includes the data collected by the currently approved EEO-1. No filer will be required to submit the Component 2 data during the 2016 reporting cycle. The estimated number of respondents required to submit the annual EEO-1 report is 67,146.114 This data collection is estimated to impose 1,055,471 burden hours in 2016 or 8 hours per filer for firm-level functions plus an additional one hour per report for establishment-level functions.115 The associated burden hour cost for the 2016 reporting cycle is $30,055,086.62.116 This estimate assumes electronic filing through the EEO-1 online portal either by data entry or data upload, and accounts for time and cost savings now associated with submission of the EEO-1 via data upload.

    114 In 2014, 67,146 firms filed EEO-1 reports.

    115 This estimate calculates total time spent by firms assuming no data upload, then subtracts the estimated time saved by firms using data upload, as follows: 8 hours per firm for firm-level functions × 67,146 firms = 537,168 hours; 1 hour per report for establishment-level functions × 683,275 reports = 683,275 hours; 537,168 + 683,275 = 1,220,443 total hours; 0.5 hours per report of data entry clerk time saved by data upload × 329,944 reports filed by data upload = 164,972; 1,220,443−164,972 = 1,055,471.

    116 To reach this estimate, the EEOC multiplied the hourly wage rates for each job by the estimated hours spent by each job in completing the EEO-1 to arrive at a per-firm cost for firm-level functions of $268.82 and a per-report cost for establishment-level functions of approximately $20.88 (rounded). The total burden hour cost for firm-level functions is $18,050,187.7 and the total burden hour cost for establishment-level functions is $14,263,365.6. Firms using data upload are estimated to save $2,258,466.68 (data entry clerk hourly wage rate of $13.69 × 0.5 hours × 329,944 reports filed by data upload). Total firm-level burden hour cost of $18,050,187.7 + total establishment-level burden hour cost of $14,263,365.6−cost savings from data upload of $2,258,466.68 = a total annual burden hour cost of $30,055,086.62.

    2017 and 2018: Components 1 and 2

    With respect to the EEO-1 reporting cycles for 2017 and 2018, this Notice will discuss the burden estimates associated with two distinct groups of filers. The first group consists of contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees. This group of filers will continue to submit only the Component 1 data, just as they have done in previous years. The second group of filers includes all EEO-1 filers with 100 or more employees, whether private industry or contractor filers. This larger group will continue to submit Component 1 data as they have always done, but will also submit the newly-added W-2 and hours-worked data of Component 2.

    Burden Statement—Component 1 Only: Starting in 2017, the estimated number of annual respondents who are contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees is 6,260.117 Again, this calculation assumes 8 hours per filer for firm-level functions plus an additional one hour per individual report for report-level functions. The burden on these contractor filers is estimated as follows:

    117 Of the 67,146 firms that filed EEO-1 reports in 2014, 6,260 were federal contractor filers with fewer than 100 employees.

    Annual Burden Calculation: The estimated total annual burden hours required to complete Component 1 of the EEO-1 data collection in 2017 and 2018 is 59,166,118 with an associated total annual burden hour cost of $1,872,792.41.119

    118 This estimate calculates total time spent by firms assuming no data upload, then subtracts the estimated time saved by firms using data upload, as follows: 8 hours per firm for firm-level functions × 6,260 firms = 50,080 hours; 1 hour per report for establishment-level functions × 9,129 reports = 9,129 hours; 50,080 + 9,129 = 59,209 total hours; 0.5 hours per report of data entry clerk time saved by data upload × 86 reports filed by data upload = 43; 59,209−43 = 59,166.

    119 To reach this estimate, the EEOC multiplied the adjusted hourly rates for each job by the estimated hours spent by each job in completing the report to arrive at a per-firm cost for firm-level functions of $268.82 and a per-report cost for establishment-level functions of approximately $20.88 (rounded). The burden hour cost for firm-level functions is $1,682,813.2 and the burden hour cost for establishment-level functions is $190,567.875. Firms using data upload are estimated to save $588.67 (data entry clerk hourly wage rate of $13.69 × 0.5 hours × 86 reports filed by data upload). Total firm-level burden hour cost of $1,682,813.2 + total establishment-level burden hour cost of $190,567.875−cost savings from data upload of $588.67 = a total annual burden hour cost of $1,872,792.41.

    Burden Statement—Components 1 and 2: Starting in 2017, the estimated number of annual respondents that will submit Components 1 and 2 is 60,886 private industry and contractor filers. Filers required to complete both Components 1 and 2 are estimated annually to incur a total of 15.2 hours per filer for firm-level functions plus an additional 1.9 hours per individual report for establishment-level functions. The estimated burden is based on electronic filing.

    The burden imposed on all private industry employer filers and contractor filers with 100 or more employees as a result of the proposed collection of Component 1 and 2 data is estimated as follows:

    Annual Burden Calculation: The estimated total annual burden hours needed for all filers required to report Components 1 and 2 data is 1,892,979.5 hours,120 with an associated total annual burden hour cost of $53,546,359.08.121 The EEOC estimates that for these filers submitting both Component 1 and 2 data in 2017 and 2018, the addition of pay data will increase the estimated annual burden hour costs by a total of $25,364,064.80 or an average of $416.58 per EEO-1 filer each year. This burden estimate includes reading instructions and collecting, merging, validating, and reporting the data electronically.

    120 This estimate calculates total time spent by firms assuming no data upload, then subtracts the estimated time saved by firms using data upload, as follows: 15.2 hours per firm for firm-level functions × 60,886 firms = 925,467.2 hours; 1.9 hours per report for establishment-level functions × 674,146 reports = 1,280,877.4 hours; 925,467.2 + 1,280,877.4 = 2,206,344.6 total hours; 0.95 hours per report of data entry clerk time saved by data upload × 329,858 reports filed by data upload = 313,365.1; 2,206,344.6−313,365.1 = 1,892,979.5.

    121 To reach this estimate, the EEOC multiplied the adjusted hourly rates for each job by the estimated hours spent by each job in completing the report to arrive at a per-firm cost for firm-level functions of approximately $510.76 and a per-report cost for establishment-level functions of approximately $39.66 (these figures are rounded). The burden hour cost for firm-level functions is $31,098,011.6 and the burden hour cost for establishment-level functions is $26,738,315.7. Firms using data upload are estimated to save $4,289,968.22 (data entry clerk hourly wage rate of $13.69 × 0.95 hours × 329,858 reports filed by data upload). Total firm-level burden hour cost of $31,098,011.6 + total establishment-level burden hour cost of $26,738,315.7−cost savings from data upload of $4,289,968.22 = a total annual burden hour cost of $53,546,359.08.

    One-Time Implementation Burden: The 60-Day Notice estimated the one-time implementation burden hour cost associated with submitting the information required by Component 2 of the revised EEO-1 Report to be $23,000,295. This was based on the one-time cost for developing queries related to Component 2 in an existing HRIS, which was estimated to take 8 hours per filer at a wage rate of $47.22 per hour.

    Employers filing public comments stated that bridging pay and HRIS systems, or purchasing software updates from vendors, would be extremely expensive. Some of these employers estimated the one-time implementation cost of bridging HRIS and payroll records to report Component 2 data estimated costs could range from $5,000 per firm to $20,000, $30,000, or $40,000 per firm. Although the estimates did not provide details explaining how they were calculated, the EEOC has considered this feedback and increased the one-time implementation burden. It has done so by reflecting that specialized computer software experts with a higher wage rate will be required to do the work necessary to implement the one-time changes required for this proposal.

    Using an hourly wage rate for a computer programmer of $55.81, the EEOC now estimates one-time burden hour cost of $27,184,381.28.122

    122 This estimate is calculated as follows: 8 hours per respondent × 60,886 employers = 487,088 × $55.81 per hour = $27,184,381.28. The higher one-time implementation burden estimate in this Notice as compared to the one-time implementation burden estimate in the 60-Day Notice is due to the higher wage rate for the computer programmer, multiplied by 1.46, which is the employer contribution for “management, professional, related.” U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer Programmers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm; see also U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation—Dec. 2015 (Mar. 2016), http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecec_03102016.htm (computing the rate of employer contribution by dividing total compensation by total salary).

    Dated: July 11, 2016.

    For the Commission.

    Jenny R. Yang, Chair.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16692 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Open Commission Meeting, Thursday, July 14, 2016 July 7, 2016.

    The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on the subjects listed below on Thursday, July 14, 2016 which is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC.

    Item No. Bureau Subject 1 Wireless Tele-Commucations, International And Office Of Engineering & Technology Title: Use of Spectrum Bands Above 24 GHz For Mobile Radio Services (GN Docket No. 14-177); Establishing a More Flexible Framework to Facilitate Satellite Operations in the 27.5-28.35 GHz and 37.5-40 GHz Bands (IB Docket No. 15-256); Petition document of the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition to Create Service Rules for the 42-43.5 GHz Band (RM-11664); Amendment of Parts 1, 22, 24, 27, 74, 80, 90, 95, and 101 To Establish Uniform License Renewal, Discontinuance of Operation, and Geographic Partitioning and Spectrum Disaggregation Rules and Policies for Certain Wireless Radio Services (WT Docket No. 10-112); Allocation and Designation of Spectrum for Fixed-Satellite Services in the 37.5-38.5 GHz, 40.5-41.5 GHz and 48.2-50.2 GHz Frequency Bands; Allocation of Spectrum to Upgrade Fixed and Mobile Allocations in the 40.5-42.5 GHz Frequency Band; Allocation of Spectrum in the 46.9-47.0 GHz Frequency Band for Wireless Services; and Allocation of Spectrum in the 37.0-38.0 GHz and 40.0-40.5 GHz for Government Operations (IB Docket No. 97-95). Summary: The Commission will consider a document that would make spectrum in bands above 24 GHz available for flexible use wireless services, including for next-generation, or 5G, networks and technologies. 2 Wireline Competition Title: Technology Transitions (GN Docket No. 13-5); USTelecom Petition for Declaratory Ruling that Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers Are Non-Dominant in the Provision of Switched Access Services (WC Docket No. 13-3); Policies and Rules Governing Retirement of Copper Loops by Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (RM-11358). Summary: The Commission will consider a document that adopts a framework to guide transitions to next-generation communications technologies while protecting the interests of consumers and competition. Consent Agenda

    The Commission will consider the following subjects listed below as a consent agenda and these items will not be presented individually:

    1 General Counsel Title: William J. Kirsch Request for Inspection of Records (FOIA Control No. 2015-368). Summary: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning the application for review filed by William J. Kirsch regarding a decision of the International Bureau's fee estimate for processing his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

    The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. In your request, include a description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an email to: [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Additional information concerning this meeting may be obtained from the Office of Media Relations, (202) 418-0500; TTY 1-888-835-5322. Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live Web page at www.fcc.gov/live.

    For a fee this meeting can be viewed live over George Mason University's Capitol Connection. The Capitol Connection also will carry the meeting live via the Internet. To purchase these services, call (703) 993-3100 or go to www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16620 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    DATE and TIME:

    Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    999 E Street NW., Washington, DC.

    STATUS:

    This meeting will be closed to the public.

    Federal Register notice of previous announcement—81 FR 40888.

    Change in the Meeting: This meeting was continued on July 12, 2016.

    Person to Contact for Information: Judith Ingram, Press Officer; Telephone: (202) 694-1220.

    Shelley E. Garr, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16805 Filed 7-12-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 151 0088] Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC; Analysis To Aid Public Comment AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed consent agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ballrexamconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “In the Matter of Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC, File No. 151 0088—Consent Agreement” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ballrexamconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “In the Matter of Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC, File No. 151 0088—Consent Agreement” 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 D), 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 D), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Lovinger (202-326-2539), Bureau of Competition, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for June 28, 2016), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm.

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before July 28, 2016. Write “In the Matter of Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC, File No. 151 0088—Consent Agreement” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as 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).1 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    1 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/ballrexamconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “In the Matter of Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC, File No. 151 0088—Consent Agreement” 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 D), 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 D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before July 28, 2016. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment I. Introduction and Background

    Pursuant to an agreement dated February 19, 2015 (the “Acquisition”), Ball Corporation (“Ball”) seeks to acquire Rexam PLC (“Rexam”) in a transaction valued at approximately £5.4 billion, or $8.4 billion, at the time the Acquisition was announced. In order to preserve competition that would be lessened as a result of the proposed Acquisition, the Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted for public comment, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order (“Consent Agreement”) from Ball and Rexam. The Commission has also issued a Complaint and Decision & Order, and has assigned a Monitor Trustee to oversee compliance with the Consent Agreement.

    The Commission's Complaint alleges that the proposed Acquisition, if consummated, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 18, and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 45, by lessening competition in the markets for standard 12-ounce aluminum beverage cans (“Standard Cans”) and specialty aluminum beverage cans (“Specialty Cans”) in the United States. The Consent Agreement would remedy the alleged violations by restoring the competition that would be lost as a result of the proposed Acquisition.

    Under the terms of the proposed Consent Agreement, Ball and Rexam are required to divest seven aluminum can body plants, one aluminum can end plant, and other innovation and support functions in order to preserve competition in the relevant markets in the United States. These manufacturing plants account for the majority of Rexam's sales in the United States. Ball and Rexam have agreed to divest these and additional assets around the world to Ardagh Group S.A. (“Ardagh”) in a transaction entered into on April 22, 2016 and valued at $3.42 billion, including assumption of liabilities.

    The proposed Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for 30 days to solicit comments from interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After 30 days, the Commission will again review the proposed Consent Agreement and any comments received, and decide whether the Consent Agreement should be withdrawn, modified, or made final.

    II. The Parties

    Ball, an Indiana corporation headquartered in Broomfield, CO, is the largest manufacturer of aluminum beverage cans in the both the United States and the world. In 2015, Ball had total sales of $8.0 billion, 74% of which were derived from its worldwide metal beverage container business. Approximately 16% of Ball's revenues come from its worldwide sales of metal food and household containers, and approximately 10% from its U.S. aerospace business. In 2015, Ball had approximately $2.7 billion in sales of aluminum beverage cans in the United States.

    Rexam is the second-largest manufacturer of aluminum beverage cans in North America and the world. Rexam is a United Kingdom company headquartered in London. Rexam manufactures only aluminum beverage containers today, after selling its plastic packaging business in 2011 and its glass manufacturing business in 2005. In 2015, Rexam had total aluminum beverage container sales of about $5.7 billion, with approximately $1.75 billion coming from the United States.

    Ardagh, headquartered in Luxembourg, is one of the world's largest producers of glass bottles for the beverage industry and metal cans for the food industry. Ardagh does not currently produce aluminum cans for the beverage industry, but it serves many of the same customers as Ball and Rexam through its glass bottle business. In 2015, Ardagh had sales of approximately $5.9 billion, with approximately $3.6 billion coming from glass packaging and $2.3 billion from metal food packaging.

    III. Standard Cans

    The first relevant line of commerce in which to analyze the Acquisition is standard 12-ounce aluminum beverage cans (“Standard Cans”). Approximately 3 out of every 4 beverage cans sold in the United States today are Standard Cans, which are found, for instance, in a 12-pack of carbonated soft drinks or beer. Beverage producers purchase Standard Cans because of their superior shelf life, filling efficiency, recyclability, compact storage, and relatively low cost.

    Other packaging substrates, such as plastic bottles and glass bottles, do not serve as competitive constraints to Standard Cans. Beverage producers sell their products in different types of containers in order to meet consumer demand, and could not substitute other container types for Standard Cans without risking a loss in sales. Beverage producers have also invested substantial sums of money in specialized filling lines that are designed to fill either aluminum cans, plastic bottles, or glass bottles, and cannot switch from one container type to another. As a result, beverage producers negotiate for Standard Cans independently from plastic bottles and glass bottles, and do not shift volumes between Standard Cans and other packaging substrates in response to fluctuations in their relative prices.

    The relevant geographic markets in which to analyze competition for Standard Cans are regional. Beverage producers incur significant freight costs from shipping empty cans to their filling plants. For this reason, manufacturers of Standard Cans have built a network of plants throughout the United States to meet regional customer demand and minimize shipping costs. Although aluminum can manufacturers often ship Standard Cans several hundred miles and win bids when they are not the closest supplier, it is not common or cost-effective for Standard Cans to ship cross-country. As a result, the Complaint identifies three regional markets in the United States in which substantial competition exists between Ball and Rexam for the sale of Standard Cans: (1) The South/Southeast; (2) the Midwest; and (3) the West Coast, consisting primarily of California.

    The Commission often calculates the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (“HHI”) to assess market concentration. Under the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Horizontal Merger Guidelines, markets with an HHI above 2,500 are generally classified as “highly concentrated,” and acquisitions “resulting in highly concentrated markets that involve an increase in the HHI of more than 200 points will be presumed to be likely to enhance market power.” 2 Absent the proposed remedy, the Acquisition would increase HHIs for Standard Cans by 1,712 points to 4,874 in the South/Southeast; by 2,201 points to 5,050 in the Midwest; and by 1,673 points to 4,680 on the West Coast. As a result, there is a presumption that the proposed merger of Ball and Rexam would substantially lessen competition in each of the regional markets for Standard Cans.

    2 2010 U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission Horizontal Merger Guidelines § 5.3.

    IV. Specialty Cans

    The second relevant line of commerce in which to analyze the Acquisition is an assortment of specialty aluminum beverage cans (“Specialty Cans”), which come in a variety of dimensions that differ from Standard Cans. Specialty Cans include 7.5-ounce and 8-ounce slim cans, which are narrower and shorter than Standard Cans; 12-ounce sleek cans, which are narrower and taller than standard 12-ounce cans; 16-ounce cans, which have the same diameter as Standard Cans but are taller; 24-ounce cans, which are wider and taller than Standard Cans; and other aluminum cans in non-standard shapes and sizes. Specialty Can sales have been growing as beverage producers seek to package their products in new shapes and sizes to reach different consumers and consumption occasions.

    Beverage producers package in different types of Specialty Cans for different reasons. For example, carbonated soft drink producers package some of their products in 7.5-ounce slim cans specifically to reach consumers who want a smaller portion in an attractive, sub-100 calorie package. Popular with producers of flavored malt beverages are 8-ounce slim cans. Energy drink producers package in 16-ounce and other “sleek” cans in order to differentiate their products and convey a premium image in ways that cannot be achieved by using Standard Cans. Some tea and energy drink producers further differentiate their products and convey value by packaging in large 24-ounce cans.

    Although one type of Specialty Can is not typically a substitute for another, it is appropriate to group or cluster the different Specialty Cans together for the purposes of market definition analysis because each of the products in the assortment is offered under similar competitive conditions. As such, grouping the many different types of Specialty Cans into a single cluster enables a more efficient evaluation of competitive effects.

    Beverage producers would not substitute Standard Cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, or other container types for Specialty Cans in sufficient quantities to defeat a hypothetical, small but significant and non-transitory increase in the price of Specialty Cans. Beverage producers package in specific shapes and sizes of Specialty Cans to maximize sales and attract certain customers who would not purchase their products in a different package type. Moreover, beverage producers have made substantial investments in infrastructure that are used to fill Specialty Cans and that cannot be used to fill PET bottles or glass bottles.

    The relevant geographic market in which to analyze Specialty Cans is the United States. A national market is appropriate because each Specialty Can type is produced at only a small number of locations nationwide, and Specialty Cans are shipped over much longer distances than Standard Cans, often over 1,000 miles. Specialty Cans of particular shapes and sizes are produced at only a few locations in the United States because their volumes are only a small fraction of the volume of Standard Cans, and it is not cost-effective to spread such small volumes across a large number of plants.

    Ball and Rexam are the two largest suppliers of Specialty Cans in the United States with shares of approximately 56% and 21%, respectively, across all Specialty Can sizes. Absent the proposed remedy, the Acquisition would increase HHIs for Specialty Cans by 2,284 points to 6,267 in the United States. As a result, there is a presumption that the proposed merger of Ball and Rexam would substantially lessen competition in the national market for Specialty Cans.

    V. Effects of the Acquisition

    Absent relief, the Acquisition would likely cause significant competitive harm in the markets for the manufacture and sale of Standard Cans and Specialty Cans to beverage producers. The Acquisition would eliminate substantial direct competition between Ball and Rexam for the sale of Standard Cans and Specialty Cans. In individual contract negotiations with Ball and Rexam, beverage producers have been able to secure better prices and other terms by switching, or threatening to switch, their business from one supplier to the other. In some of these negotiations, no other suppliers besides Ball and Rexam have submitted a bid, and beverage producers have therefore depended on the competition between Ball and Rexam to obtain a contract with favorable terms. The Acquisition would also increase the ease and likelihood of anticompetitive coordination between the only two remaining independent beverage can suppliers, Ball and Crown Holdings, Inc. Thus, the Acquisition would likely result in higher prices and a reduction in quality, selection, service, and innovation.

    VI. Entry

    Entry in the manufacture of Standard Cans and Specialty Cans would not be timely, likely, or sufficient in magnitude, character, and scope to deter or counteract the likely competitive harm from the Acquisition. Considerable entry barriers exist in the manufacture of Standard Cans and Specialty Cans, including, but not limited to, substantial capital costs needed to construct a new aluminum can plant and significant volume requirements necessary to run a plant efficiently. For Standard Cans, a consistent decline in demand has created a further disincentive to entry, which has led to a steady removal of capacity for over 20 years. With respect to Specialty Cans, a new entrant would be at a significant disadvantage if it were to construct new Specialty Can lines compared to incumbent suppliers (led by Ball and Rexam) that can convert Standard Can lines to Specialty Can production at lower cost.

    The threat of vertical integration by beverage producers is also unlikely to deter or counteract the competitive harm from the Acquisition. A single beverage can plant requires an annual production volume in the billions of cans to run profitably, which would preclude all but the very largest beverage producers from contemplating vertical integration. Moreover, it is difficult for even the largest beverage producers to make a credible threat of vertical integration because their filling plants are spread throughout the United States in a way that they could never fully supply internally. As a result, even a large, vertically integrated beverage producer would have to continue buying at least some beverage cans from existing suppliers, but at a higher price since it would receive a smaller volume discount, which would further disincentivize vertical integration. Coupled with the significant capital costs and technical requirements needed to build a new beverage can plant, vertical integration would not be a credible threat for the vast majority of beverage producers.

    VII. The Proposed Consent Agreement

    The proposed Consent Agreement remedies the competitive concerns raised by the Acquisition by requiring Ball to divest seven beverage can plants and one can end plant in the United States to Ardagh. Divestitures of Rexam's Bishopville, SC and Olive Branch, MS can plants preserve competition for Standard Cans in the South/Southeastern United States. Divestitures of Rexam's Fremont, OH and Chicago, IL can plants preserve competition for Standard Cans in the Midwest. Divestiture of Rexam's Fairfield, CA can plant preserves competition for Standard Cans on the West Coast. Divestitures of Rexam's Winston-Salem, NC, Whitehouse, OH, and Chicago, IL can plants preserve competition in Specialty Cans in the United States. Finally, divestiture of Rexam's Valparaiso, IN can end plant ensures that Ardagh will be able to manufacture lids for all of its Standard Cans and Specialty Cans produced in the United States.

    As part of the Consent Agreement, Ball is also divesting Rexam's U.S. headquarters in Chicago, IL and Rexam's U.S. Technical Center in Elk Grove, IL to Ardagh. In addition, Ball has agreed to sell to Ardagh ten beverage can plants and two can end plants in Europe; two beverage can plants in Brazil; and other innovation and support functions in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland to resolve competitive concerns in Europe. Divestiture of the Ball and Rexam assets to a single, global buyer is important to preserve competition for many multinational customers.

    The Consent Agreement requires Ball to transfer all customer contracts currently serviced at the beverage can plants that are being divested to Ardagh. Additionally, in order to fully service the customer contract with Arizona Beverage Co. (“Arizona”) and to ensure the viability of certain divestiture assets, the Consent Agreement requires Ball to purchase a supply of beverage cans sufficient to service Arizona's requirements for the remaining duration of that agreement or until Ardagh enters into a separate customer agreement with Arizona.

    The Consent Agreement also requires Ball to provide support services for up to 18 months, including support for potential line conversions from Standard Cans to Specialty Cans, at Ardagh's request. In addition, Ball must provide Ardagh with a royalty-free, perpetual license to use patents and technologies necessary to operate the divested can business. Ball and Rexam must also help facilitate the employment of certain key employees by Ardagh.

    The Consent Agreement incorporates a proposed Order to Maintain Assets to ensure the continued health and competitiveness of the divested assets. The Consent Agreement also provides that the Commission may appoint a Monitor Trustee to monitor Ball and Rexam's compliance with their obligations pursuant to the Consent Agreement, and oversee the integration of the Rexam and Ball assets into Ardagh. The Commission has selected ING to serve as Monitor Trustee in this matter until integration of the divested assets is completed. The European Commission has also selected ING to oversee the divestiture, which makes the Monitor Trustee uniquely capable of monitoring the global transition of all assets acquired by Ardagh. The Consent Agreement also provides for appointment of a Divestiture Trustee to effectuate the divestitures if Ball fails to carry out the sale of assets and its related obligations.

    Through the proposed divestitures, Ardagh will become the third-largest beverage can manufacturer in the United States and the world. Ardagh will own beverage can plants that span a broad geographic footprint, offer a well-balanced product mix, and have flexible manufacturing capabilities. Ardagh is an ideal buyer of the divested assets because it has existing long-standing relationships with key beverage customers through its glass bottle business, and existing experience with metal container manufacturing through its food can business. Furthermore, the fact that Ardagh does not currently produce aluminum beverage cans means that the divestiture will not create competitive issues of its own. Accordingly, Ardagh's acquisition of the divested assets will preserve the competition that would have otherwise been lost through Ball's acquisition of Rexam.

    The sole purpose of this Analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed Consent Order. This Analysis does not constitute an official interpretation of the proposed Consent Order, nor does it modify its terms in any way.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16687 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0114; Docket 2016-0053; Sequence 23] Submission for OMB Review; Right of First Refusal of Employment AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0114, Right of First Refusal of Employment”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0114, Right of First Refusal of Employment” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Divison (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0114, Right of First Refusal of Employment.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0114, Right of First Refusal of Employment, in all correspondence related to this collection. 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:

    Mr. Michael O. Jackson, Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, GSA, at 202-208-4949 or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    As prescribed in FAR 7.305(c), the clause at FAR 52.207-3, Right of First Refusal of Employment, deals with adversely affected or separated Government employees resulting from the conversion of work from in-house performance to performance by contract. The clause requires the contractor to give these employees an opportunity to work for the contractor who is awarded the contract.

    The information gathered will be used by the Government to gain knowledge of which employees, adversely affected or separated as a result of the contract award, have gained employment with the contractor within 90 days after contract performance begins. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 81 FR 19606 on April 5, 2016. No comments were received.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Number of Respondents: 10.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Total Responses: 10.

    Hours per Response: 3.

    Total Burden Hours: 30.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for profit organizations.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0114, Right of First Refusal of Employment, in all correspondence.

    Dated: July 11, 2016. Kathlyn Hopkins, Acting Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16685 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Supplemental Evidence and Data for Systematic Reviews Request on Osteoarthritis of the Knee: An Update AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Request for supplemental evidence and data submissions.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking scientific information submissions from the public. Supplemental datasets are being solicited to inform the review of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: An Update, which is currently being conducted by AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) Programs. Obtaining access to published and unpublished pertinent scientific information will improve the quality of this review. AHRQ is conducting this systematic review pursuant to section 902(a) of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 299a(a).

    DATES:

    Submission Deadline on or before August 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Email submissions: [email protected]

    Print submissions:

    Mailing Address: Portland VA Research Foundation, Scientific Resource Center, ATTN: SEADS Coordinator, P.O. Box 69539, Portland, OR 97239.

    Shipping Address (FedEx, UPS, etc.): Portland VA Research Foundation, Scientific Resource Center, ATTN: SEADS Coordinator, 3710 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Road, Mail Code: R&D 71, Portland, OR 97239.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ryan McKenna, Telephone: 503-220-8262 ext. 51723 or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has commissioned its Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) Programs to complete a review of the evidence a review that updates information on treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee. The review will be titled Osteoarthritis of the Knee: An Update.

    The EPC Program is dedicated to identifying as many studies as possible that are relevant to the questions for each of its reviews. In order to do so, AHRQ is supplementing the usual manual and electronic database searches of the literature by requesting information (e.g., details of studies conducted) from the public. We are looking for studies that report on treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee, including those that describe adverse events. The entire research protocol, including the key questions, is also available online at: https://www.effective healthcare.ahrq.gov/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productID=2247.

    This notice is to notify the public that the EPC program would find the following information on treatments for osteoarthritis of the knee helpful:

    A list of completed studies that your organization has sponsored for this indication. In the list, please indicate whether results are available on ClinicalTrials.gov along with the ClinicalTrials.gov trial number.

    For completed studies that do not have results on ClinicalTrials.gov, please provide a summary, including the following elements: Study number, study period, design, methodology, indication and diagnosis, proper use instructions, inclusion and exclusion criteria, primary and secondary outcomes, baseline characteristics, number of patients screened/eligible/enrolled/lost to follow-up/withdrawn/analyzed, effectiveness/efficacy, and safety results.

    A list of ongoing studies that your organization has sponsored for this indication. In the list, please provide the ClinicalTrials.gov trial number or, if the trial is not registered, the protocol for the study including a study number, the study period, design, methodology, indication and diagnosis, proper use instructions, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and primary and secondary outcomes.

    Description of whether the above studies constitute all Phase II and above clinical trials sponsored by your organization for this indication and an index outlining the relevant information in each submitted file.

    Your contribution is very beneficial to the EPC Program. The contents of all submissions will be made available to the public upon request. Materials submitted must be publicly available or could be made public. Materials that are considered confidential; marketing materials; study types not included in the review; or information on indications not included in the review cannot be used by the EPC Program.

    This is a voluntary request for information, and all costs for complying with this request must be borne by the submitter.

    The draft of this review will be posted on AHRQ's EPC program Web site and available for public comment for a period of 4 weeks. If you would like to be notified when the draft is posted, please sign up for the email list at: https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/join-the-email-list1/.

    The systematic review will answer the following questions. This information is provided as background. AHRQ is not requesting that the public provide answers to these questions. The entire research protocol, is available online at: https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productID=2247

    Key Questions Key Question 1 I. What is the clinical effectiveness of oral glucosamine and/or chondroitin, physical treatments, weight loss, oral serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), intraarticular corticosteroids and/or prolotherapy, topical or transdermal analgesics, acupuncture, or cell-based therapies in patients with primary or secondary OA of the knee, compared with appropriate placebo/sham controls or compared with other active interventions? II. How do the outcomes of each intervention differ by the following population and study characteristics: Sex, disease subtype (lateral, patellofemoral), severity (stage/baseline pain and functional status), weight status (body mass index), baseline fitness (activity level), comorbidities, prior or concurrent treatments (including self-initiated therapies), and treatment duration or intensity? Key Question 2 I. What harms are associated with each intervention in patients with primary or secondary OA of the knee? II. How do the harms associated with each intervention differ by the following population or study characteristics: Sex, disease subtype (lateral tibiofemoral, patellofemoral), severity (stage/baseline pain and functional status), weight status (body mass index), baseline fitness (activity level), comorbidities, prior or concurrent treatments (including self-initiated therapies), and treatment duration or intensity? PICOTS (Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome, Timing, Setting) Population(s) I. Adults (age 18 or over) with a diagnosis of primary (or secondary) OA of the knee, as defined by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS, 2013), ACR clinical classification criteria, or Kellgren-Lawrence stage. II. Subpopulations of interest include those defined by sex, disease subtype (e.g., patellofemoral, or medial tibiofemoral), disease severity (stage/pain or functional status), body mass index, fitness/activity level, prior treatment, concurrent treatment(s), comorbidities III. Exclusions: A. Studies of individuals under age 18; those with OA caused by a congenital condition; and those with OA concomitant with a meniscal or anterior cruciate ligament tear will be excluded because these participants have conditions that differ importantly from the vast majority of OA patients B. Studies that include those who have had knee replacement surgery on the affected limb or for whom outcomes will be measured after knee replacement surgery or who have concomitant joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout will be excluded because these conditions or procedures will confound assessment of the outcomes of interventions. C. If three or more RCTs of a particular intervention are included that enroll at least 50 participants per study arm, smaller studies of the same intervention will be excluded unless they report on a subgroup analysis of interest because studies on management of OA of the knee that enroll fewer than 50 participants per study arm have been shown to have high risk of bias and significantly larger effect sizes. Interventions I. Pharmacologic treatments A. Oral agents i. Glucosamine and/or chondroitin ii. SNRIs (to be assessed for review in next update) B. Intra-articular injected agents (to be assessed for review in next update) i. Corticosteroids (to be assessed for review in next update) ii. Prolotherapeutic agents (e.g. dextrose) (to be reviewed in next update) iii. Hyaluronic acid (to be assessed for review in next update) C. Topical and transdermal agents (to be assessed for review in next update) i. Capsaicin (to be assessed for review in next update) ii. NSAIDs (to be assessed for review in next update) II. Cell-based therapies A. Platelet-rich plasma B. Intraarticular or arthroscopic administration of mesenchymal stem-cells or chondrocytes or tissue C. Exclusions: i. Phase I or II trials will not be included for efficacy, as the interventions are generally not FDA-approved for use. III. Physical treatments and/or weight loss A. Physical therapy and exercise programs i. Manual therapy ii. Land-based therapy and/or exercise iii. Exercise programs (aerobic, resistance) iv. Aquatherapy v. Balneotherapy, mud therapy vi. Heat or cold vii. Self-management programs B. Weight loss C. Braces or kinesiology taping D. Orthotic shoe inserts and/or wedges E. Vibrating platform F. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (e.g., Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) IV. Acupuncture (to be assessed for review in next update) A. Needle acupuncture alone (to be assessed for review in next update) B. Moxibustion (to be assessed for review in next update) V. Combination interventions (to be assessed for review in next update) A. Sequential treatment algorithms (to be assessed for review in next update) Comparators I. Pharmacologic treatments: Placebo-controlled or head-to-head non-inferiority only II. Cell-based therapies: Placebo- or sham-controlled only III. Physical treatments and/or weight loss: Placebo-controlled, usual care-controlled, or wait list-controlled only except for weight loss IV. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation: Sham stimulation without current V. Wait list VI. Treatment as usual VII. Studies that use the untreated knee as a control will be excluded, based on evidence indicating that individuals with OA in one knee are likely to have some, but not necessarily identically, reduced function in the other knee and that treatment of one knee only may improve pain in that knee but may not markedly improve function VIII. Studies that use participants as their own controls will be excluded, unless no randomized controlled trials are identified for a particular intervention of interest, as quasi-experimental designs provide weaker evidence. IX. Exclusions: A. Studies that use an active control that has not been established to be effective will be excluded. Efficacy and effectiveness must be established before examining comparative effectiveness questions. Outcomes I. Short-term clinical outcomes A. Pain (e.g., VAS, WOMAC, KOOS,) B. Joint stiffness (WOMAC) C. Function (WOMAC, Lequesne, others) D. OARSI physical outcomes (e.g., timed up-and-go, 6-minute walk test) E. Patient Reported Outcome Measurement System (PROMIS®) and Osteoarthritis-Computer Adaptive Test (OA-CAT) F. Inflammation or effusion G. Medication use II. Long-term clinical outcomes A. Any of the short-term clinical outcomes B. Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) C. Quality of life (e.g., SF-36, EuroQuol EQ-5D, Arthritis Self-Efficacy scale, global assessment, patient satisfaction) D. Surgery (i.e., rate of undergoing knee replacement) III. Adverse effects of intervention(s) IV. Outcome reporting A. Only studies that report outcomes for knee OA alone B. Mean differences at followup or percent of responders at followup will be abstracted Timing Minimum 1 month follow-up from initiation of treatment Settings Any setting Andrew B. Bindman, AHRQ Director.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16632 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-90-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Safety and Occupational Health Study Section: Notice of Charter Renewal

    This gives notice under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463) of October 6, 1972, that the Safety and Occupational Health Study Section, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, has been renewed for a 2-year period through June 30, 2018.

    For more information contact: JoAnne Fairbanks, Executive Secretary, Safety and Occupational Health Study Section, Department of Health and Human Services, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop E74, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, telephone 304/285-6143 or fax 304/285-6147.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16583 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (ABRWH or Advisory Board)

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), and pursuant to the requirements of 42 CFR 83.15(a), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces the following meeting of the aforementioned committee:

    Times and Dates: 8:15 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Mountain Time, August 9, 2016; 8:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Mountain Time, August 10, 2016.

    Public Comment Time and Date: 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.*, Mountain Time, August 9, 2016.

    * Please note that the public comment period may end before the time indicated, following the last call for comments. Members of the public who wish to provide public comments should plan to attend the public comment session at the start time listed.

    Place: Residence Inn by Marriott, 635 West Broadway, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402; Phone: (208) 542-0000; Fax: (208) 542-0021.

    Status: Open to the public, limited only by the space available. The meeting space accommodates approximately 100 people. The public is also welcome to listen to the meeting by joining the teleconference at USA toll-free, dial-in number, 1-866-659-0537 and the pass code is 9933701.

    Live Meeting Connection: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/cdc/join?id=M3QDP7&role=attend&pw=ABRWH; Meeting ID: M3QDP; Entry Code: ABRWH.

    Background: The Advisory Board was established under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 to advise the President on a variety of policy and technical functions required to implement and effectively manage the new compensation program. Key functions of the Advisory Board include providing advice on the development of probability of causation guidelines which have been promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a final rule, advice on methods of dose reconstruction which have also been promulgated by HHS as a final rule, advice on the scientific validity and quality of dose estimation and reconstruction efforts being performed for purposes of the compensation program, and advice on petitions to add classes of workers to the Special Exposure Cohort (SEC).

    In December 2000, the President delegated responsibility for funding, staffing, and operating the Advisory Board to HHS, which subsequently delegated this authority to the CDC. NIOSH implements this responsibility for CDC. The charter was issued on August 3, 2001, renewed at appropriate intervals, rechartered on March 22, 2016 pursuant to Executive Order 13708, and will expire on September 30, 2017.

    Purpose: This Advisory Board is charged with (a) providing advice to the Secretary, HHS, on the development of guidelines under Executive Order 13179; (b) providing advice to the Secretary, HHS, on the scientific validity and quality of dose reconstruction efforts performed for this program; and (c) upon request by the Secretary, HHS, advising the Secretary on whether there is a class of employees at any Department of Energy facility who were exposed to radiation but for whom it is not feasible to estimate their radiation dose, and on whether there is reasonable likelihood that such radiation doses may have endangered the health of members of this class.

    Matters for Discussion: The agenda for the Advisory Board meeting includes: NIOSH Program Update; Department of Labor Program Update; Department of Energy Program Update; Report by the Dose Reconstruction Review Methods Work Group; Dose Reconstruction Report to the Secretary; SEC Petitions Update; Site Profile review for: Pinellas Plant (Clearwater, Florida), and United Nuclear Co. (Hematite, Missouri); SEC petitions for: Area IV of Santa Susana Field Laboratory (1965; Ventura County, California), Argonne National Laboratory West (1951-1979; Scoville, Idaho), Blockson Chemical Company (1960-1991; Joliet, Illinois), Idaho National Laboratory (1949-1970; Scoville, Idaho), Savannah River Site (1973-2007; Aiken, South Carolina), and Westinghouse Electric Co. (1960-2011; Bloomfield, New Jersey); and a Board Work Session.

    The agenda is subject to change as priorities dictate.

    In the event an individual cannot attend, written comments may be submitted to the contact person below well in advance of the meeting. Any written comments received will be provided at the meeting in accordance with the redaction policy provided below.

    Policy on Redaction of Board Meeting Transcripts (Public Comment):

    (1) If a person making a comment gives his or her personal information, no attempt will be made to redact the name; however, NIOSH will redact other personally identifiable information, such as contact information, social security numbers, case numbers, etc., of the commenter.

    (2) If an individual in making a statement reveals personal information (e.g., medical or employment information) about themselves that information will not usually be redacted. The NIOSH Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) coordinator will, however, review such revelations in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and if deemed appropriate, will redact such information.

    (3) If a commenter reveals personal information concerning a living third party, that information will be reviewed by the NIOSH FOIA coordinator, and upon determination, if deemed appropriate, such information will be redacted, unless the disclosure is made by the third party's authorized representative under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) program.

    (4) In general, information concerning a deceased third party may be disclosed; however, such information will be redacted if (a) the disclosure is made by an individual other than the survivor claimant, a parent, spouse, or child, or the authorized representative of the deceased third party; (b) if it is unclear whether the third party is living or deceased; or (c) the information is unrelated or irrelevant to the purpose of the disclosure.

    The Board will take reasonable steps to ensure that individuals making public comment are aware of the fact that their comments (including their name, if provided) will appear in a transcript of the meeting posted on a public Web site. Such reasonable steps include: (a) A statement read at the start of each public comment period stating that transcripts will be posted and names of speakers will not be redacted; (b) A printed copy of the statement mentioned in (a) above will be displayed on the table where individuals sign up to make public comments; (c) A statement such as outlined in (a) above will also appear with the agenda for a Board Meeting when it is posted on the NIOSH Web site; (d) A statement such as in (a) above will appear in the Federal Register Notice that announces Board and Subcommittee meetings.

    Contact Person for More Information: Theodore Katz, Designated Federal Officer, NIOSH, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS E-20, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, telephone: (513) 533-6800, toll free: 1-800-CDC-INFO, email: [email protected].

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register Notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16579 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) GH16-007, Operations Research (Implementation Science) for Strengthening Global Health Protection Implementation.

    Times and Dates: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., EDT, Panel A, August 8, 2016 (Closed); 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., EDT, Panel B, August 9, 2016 (Closed); 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., EDT, Panel C, August 10, 2016 (Closed).

    Place: Teleconference.

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(4) and (6), title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to FOA GH-007 Operations Research (Implementation Science) for Strengthening Global Health Protection Implementation.

    Contact Person for More Information: Hylan Shoob, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Global Health (CGH) Science Office, CGH, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop D-69, Atlanta, Georgia 30033, Telephone: (404) 639-4796.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16582 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Requests for Nominations of Candidates and Suggested Meeting Topics for the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC)

    Correction: This notice was published in the Federal Register on June 7, 2016, 81 FR 36543. The Request for Candidates should read as follows:

    Request For Candidates: Nominations are being sought for individuals who have expertise and qualifications necessary to contribute to accomplishing CLIAC's objectives. Nominees will be selected by the HHS Secretary or designee from authorities knowledgeable across the fields of microbiology (including bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology), immunology (including histocompatibility), chemistry, hematology, pathology (including histopathology and cytology), or genetic testing (including cytogenetics); representatives from the fields of medical technology, public health, and clinical practice; and consumer representatives. Members may be invited to serve for terms of up to four years.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy stipulates that Committee membership be balanced in terms of points of view represented, and the committee's function. Appointments shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, disability, and cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status. Nominees must be U.S. citizens, and cannot be full-time employees of the U.S. Government. Current participation on federal workgroups or prior experience serving on a federal advisory committee does not disqualify a candidate; however, HHS policy is to avoid excessive individual service on advisory committees and multiple committee memberships. Committee members are Special Government Employees, requiring the filing of financial disclosure reports at the beginning and annually during their terms. CDC reviews potential candidates for CLIAC membership each year, and provides a slate of nominees for consideration to the Secretary of HHS for final selection. HHS notifies selected candidates of their appointment near the start of the term in July, or as soon as the HHS selection process is completed. Note that the need for different expertise varies from year to year and a candidate who is not selected in one year may be reconsidered in a subsequent year.

    Candidates should submit the following items to be considered for nomination. The deadline for receipt of materials for the 2017 term is August 1, 2016:

    • Current curriculum vitae, including complete contact information (name, affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, email address).

    • Letter(s) of recommendation from person(s) not employed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy Anderson, Chief, Laboratory Practice Standards Branch, Division of Laboratory Systems, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Office of Public Health Scientific Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop F-11, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-4018; telephone (404) 498-2741; or via email at [email protected]

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16580 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    In accordance with sction 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces a meeting for the initial review of applications in response to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) CK17-1701, Emerging Infections Programs.

    Time and Date: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT, August 30-31, 2016 (Closed).

    Place: Teleconference.

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(4) and (6), title 5 U.S.C., and the determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “Emerging Infections Programs”, FOA CK17-1701.

    Contact Person for More Information: Gregory Anderson, M.S., M.P.H., Scientific Review Officer, CDC, 1600 Clifton Road NE., Mailstop E60, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, Telephone: (404) 718-8833.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Catherine Ramadei, Acting Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16581 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-P-4224] Determination That PARAFON FORTE DSC (Chlorzoxazone) Tablets, 500 Milligrams, Was Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) has determined that PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 milligrams (mg), were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination means that FDA will not begin procedures to withdraw approval of abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) that refer to this drug product, and this determination will allow FDA to continue to approve ANDAs for chlorzoxane tablets, 500 mg, if all other legal and regulatory requirements are met.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Faranda, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6213, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-8767.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 1984, Congress enacted the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) (the 1984 amendments), which authorized the approval of duplicate versions of drug products under an ANDA procedure. ANDA applicants must, with certain exceptions, show that the drug for which they are seeking approval contains the same active ingredient in the same strength and dosage form as the “listed drug,” which is a version of the drug that was previously approved. ANDA applicants do not have to repeat the extensive clinical testing otherwise necessary to gain approval of a new drug application (NDA).

    The 1984 amendments include what is now section 505(j)(7) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(7)), which requires FDA to publish a list of all approved drugs. FDA publishes this list as part of the “Approved Drug Products With Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” which is known generally as the “Orange Book.” Under FDA regulations, drugs are removed from the list if the Agency withdraws or suspends approval of the drug's NDA or ANDA for reasons of safety or effectiveness or if FDA determines that the listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness (21 CFR 314.162).

    A person may petition the Agency to determine, or the Agency may determine on its own initiative, whether a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination may be made at any time after the drug has been withdrawn from sale, but must be made prior to approving an ANDA that refers to the listed drug (§ 314.161 (21 CFR 314.161)). FDA may not approve an ANDA that does not refer to a listed drug.

    PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 mg, is the subject of NDA 011529, held by Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and initially approved on August 15, 1958. PARAFON FORTE DSC is indicated as an adjunct to rest, physical therapy, and other measures for the relief of discomfort associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions.

    PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 mg, is listed in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book.

    Flamingo Pharmaceuticals Ltd. submitted a citizen petition dated November 7, 2015 (Docket No. FDA-2015-P-4224), under 21 CFR 10.30, requesting that the Agency determine whether PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 mg, were withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness.

    After considering the citizen petition and reviewing Agency records and based on the information we have at this time, FDA has determined under § 314.161 that PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 mg, were not withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. The petitioner has identified no data or other information suggesting that PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 mg, were withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. We have carefully reviewed our files for records concerning the withdrawal of PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 mg, from sale. We have also independently evaluated relevant literature and data for possible postmarketing adverse events. We have reviewed the available evidence and determined that this drug product was not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness.

    Accordingly, the Agency will continue to list PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 mg, in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book. The “Discontinued Drug Product List” delineates, among other items, drug products that have been discontinued from marketing for reasons other than safety or effectiveness. ANDAs that refer to PARAFON FORTE DSC (chlorzoxazone) tablets, 500 mg, may be approved by the Agency as long as they meet all other legal and regulatory requirements for the approval of ANDAs. If FDA determines that labeling for this drug product should be revised to meet current standards, the Agency will advise ANDA applicants to submit such labeling.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16635 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-1678] The Food and Drug Administration Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2025 AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of the “Foods and Veterinary Medicine (FVM) Program's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2025” that covers activities of the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and the Center for Veterinary Medicine, as well as related efforts by the Office of Global Regulatory Operations and Policy and the Office of Regulatory Affairs. Our strategic plan includes goals and objectives for the next 10 years including our mission to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) enacted in 2011, as well as details on our goals of protecting and enhancing the health of both people and animals. We invite public comment on the plan.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the strategic plan at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-N-1678 for “FDA Foods and Veterinary Medicine (FVM) Program's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2025.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mia Mercer, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-8794.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    We are announcing the availability of the FVM Program's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2025 in order to inform the public of our goals for the next 10 years. We are implementing the modernization of FDA's regulatory framework for the FVM Program. We are focused on continuing to drive toward a more proactive, preventive, risk-informed approach to food and feed safety, nutrition, and animal health.

    The FVM Program works to ensure the American public has food that is safe and nutritious and that animal drug products are safe and effective. Our priority is to obtain high rates of compliance with standards necessary to protect public health and meet consumer and other stakeholder expectations. Recognizing the unique challenges we face in the area of food safety in the 21st century, Congress enacted FSMA which requires (among other things):

    • Comprehensive prevention-oriented food safety standards across the food system;

    • mandated domestic inspection frequency, based on risk, to ensure high rates of compliance;

    • a national integrated food safety system based on full partnership with States; and

    • a new import safety system based on food safety accountability for importers, increased foreign presence, and increased collaboration with foreign governments.

    Our FVM Program Strategic Plan takes this statutory framework into account, places high priority on the implementation of FSMA, and focuses on how we plan to modernize our food safety work including:

    • An increased focus on obtaining compliance with preventive control standards rather than finding and responding to legal violations after an illness or outbreak has occurred;

    • strengthening our technical expertise and capacity to support FDA, industry, and other stakeholders in implementing the new prevention standards;

    • furthering federal, State, local, and territorial partnerships, and investing in training and capacity to ensure efficient, high quality, and consistent oversight nationwide; and

    • broadening interaction with foreign partners and increasing oversight of importers, who will have more responsibility for the safety of imported foods.

    Beyond FSMA's implementation, the FVM Program Strategic Plan provides details on our goals of protecting and enhancing the health of people and animals. The active engagement of all stakeholders and partners, both internal and external, is critical to the successful implementation of this plan. II. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the FVM Program Strategic Plan at http://www.regulations.gov.

    III. References

    The following references have been placed on display in the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) and may be seen by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. (FDA has verified the Web site addresses in this reference section, but we are not responsible for any subsequent changes to the Web sites after this document publishes in the Federal Register.)

    1. FDA Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program Strategic Plan, FY 2016-2025, available at http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/centersoffices/officeoffoods/ucm273269.htm. 2. Partnership for Food Protection (PFP) Strategic Plan FY 2015 through 2020, available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForFederalStateandLocalOfficials/FoodSafetySystem/PartnershipforFoodProtectionPFP/UCM423834.pdf. Dated: July 11, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16684 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-D-1659] Bacterial Vaginosis: Developing Drugs for Treatment; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Bacterial Vaginosis: Developing Drugs for Treatment.” The purpose of this guidance is to assist sponsors in the clinical development of drugs for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV).

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by October 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-D-1659 for “Bacterial Vaginosis: Developing Drugs for Treatment; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edward Weinstein, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 22, Rm. 6382, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-1400.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Bacterial Vaginosis: Developing Drugs for Treatment.” The purpose of this guidance is to assist sponsors in the development of drugs for the treatment of BV. This draft guidance helps define enrollment criteria for BV trials and recommends that such trials be superiority trials. The draft guidance reflects recent developments in scientific information that pertain to drugs being developed for the treatment of BV, including the characterization of the primary efficacy endpoint.

    Issuance of this guidance fulfills a portion of the requirements of Title VIII, section 804, of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (Pub. L. 112-144), which requires FDA to review and, as appropriate, revise not fewer than three guidance documents per year for the conduct of clinical trials with respect to antibacterial and antifungal drugs. In 1998, FDA published a draft guidance entitled “Bacterial Vaginosis—Developing Antimicrobial Drugs for Treatment” (the 1998 draft guidance). In a Federal Register notice dated August 7, 2013 (78 FR 48175), FDA announced an initiative in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research involving the review of draft guidance documents issued before 2010 to determine their status and to decide whether those guidances should be withdrawn, revised, or finalized with only minor changes. In the August 7, 2013, Federal Register notice, FDA announced that the 1998 draft guidance, as well as other draft guidances, was being withdrawn (78 FR 48175). FDA is now issuing a new draft guidance that revises the recommendations in the 1998 draft guidance.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This guidance refers to previously approved collections of information that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR parts 312 and 314 have been approved under OMB control numbers 0910-0014 and 0910-0001, respectively.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft guidance at either http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: July 8, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-16636 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; Announcement of Requirements and Registration for “Blockchain and its Emerging Role in Health IT and Health-related Research”; Amendment AGENCY:

    Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, HHS. Award Approving Official: Karen DeSalvo, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

    ACTION:

    Notice; Amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document amends the notice published in Federal Register, Friday July 8, 2016, volume 81, pages 44639-44640. This notice updates and extends the submission period to August 8, 2016, limits an investigator or co-investigator to one submission and adds prize details. The “Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-related Research” Ideation Challenge solicits white papers on the topic of Blockchain Technology and the potential use in Health IT to address privacy, security and scalability challenges of managing electronic health record and resources. Up to 15 winners will be awarded a cash prize and up to 8 winners may be invited to present their papers at an upcoming industry-wide workshop co-hosted with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The statutory authority for this Challenge is section 105 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-358).

    DATES:

    • Submission period begins: July 7, 2016.

    • Submission period ends: August 8, 2016.

    • Evaluation begins: August 9, 2016.

    • Evaluation ends: August 19, 2016.

    • Winners notified: August 22, 2016.

    • Winners Announced: August 29, 2016.

    • Winner Presentation: September 26-27, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Debbie Bucci, [email protected] (preferred), (202) 690-0213.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Subject of Challenge

    A Blockchain is a data structure that can be timed-stamped and signed using a private key to prevent tampering. There are generally three types of Blockchain: Public, private and consortium. Potential uses include:

    • Digitally sign information,

    • Computable enforcement of policies and contracts (smart contracts),

    • Management of Internet of Things devices,

    • Distributed encrypted storage, and

    • Distributed trust.

    This Ideation Challenge solicits White Papers on the topic of Blockchain Technology and the Potential for Its Use in Health IT and/or Healthcare Related Research Data. This nationwide call may be addressed by an individual investigator or an investigator team. Interested parties should submit a White Paper no longer than 10 pages describing the proposed subject. Investigators or co-investigators may only participate in one submission. Up to 15 of these submissions will be selected as winners. The selection of a White Paper may also result in an invitation to present at an upcoming industry-wide workshop on September 26th-27th, 2016, at NIST Headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD.

    Objective

    The goal of this Ideation Challenge is to solicit White Papers that investigate the relationship between Blockchain technology and its use in Health IT and/or Health Related research. The paper should discuss the cryptography and underlying fundamentals of Blockchain technology, examine how the use of Blockchain can advance industry interoperability needs expressed in the ONC's Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, as well as for Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR), the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), delivery system reform, and other health care delivery needs, as well as provide recommendations for Blockchain's implementation. In addition to a monetary award, winners may also have the opportunity to present their White Papers at an industry-wide “Blockchain & Healthcare Workshop” co-hosted by ONC and NIST.

    Submission Requirements

    The white paper must:

    • Be no longer than ten (10) pages;

    • Address whether there is a place in health IT and/or healthcare related research for the technology;

    • Describe the value of Blockchain to the health-care system;

    • Identify potential gaps in standards created and/or resolved by the use of Blockchain;

    • Discuss the effectiveness of Blockchain to function in the “real world.” This discussion may include information regarding meeting privacy and security standards, implementation and potential performance issues, and cost implications. Risk analysis and mitigation would be appropriate to include here as well; and

    • Discuss how Blockchain links to the stated objectives in the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, PCOR, PMI, delivery system