Federal Register Vol. 81, No.158,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 158 (August 16, 2016)

Page Range54477-54707
FR Document

81_FR_158
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 54578 - Sunshine Act; Board Member MeetingPDF
81 FR 54631 - In the Matter of: Safecode Drug Technologies Corp., Dynamic Ventures Corp.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 54624 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 54622 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 54576 - Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on the Determination of Minor Use; Notice of Availability; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
81 FR 54510 - Flumioxazin; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
81 FR 54591 - Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 7 (ATLW-7) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina (Kitty Hawk)-Proposed Sale Notice and Request for Interest; MMAA104000PDF
81 FR 54552 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Quality ControlPDF
81 FR 54551 - Notice of Request for Approval of an Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 54520 - Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Continuance ReferendumPDF
81 FR 54550 - Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 54564 - Changes in Accelerated Examination PracticePDF
81 FR 54622 - Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC; William States Lee III Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2PDF
81 FR 54553 - Mineral County Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 54561 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; National Standard 2-Scientific Information; Regional Peer Review ProcessesPDF
81 FR 54647 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Airport Property at Enterprise Municipal Airport, Enterprise, AlabamaPDF
81 FR 54554 - Approval of Expanded Subzone Status; Space Systems/Loral, LLC, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View and San Jose, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 54555 - Foreign-Trade Zone 283-West Tennessee Area; Application for Reorganization (Expansion of Service Area) Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
81 FR 54554 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 134-Chattanooga, Tennessee; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Wacker Polysilicon North America LLC (Polysilicon); Charleston, TennesseePDF
81 FR 54586 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meetings of the Moving To Work Research Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 54584 - Update to Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) National GuidelinesPDF
81 FR 54588 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: ConnectHome Baseline Survey Data CollectionPDF
81 FR 54531 - Anchorage Grounds; Lower Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles, VAPDF
81 FR 54588 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: The Multifamily Project Application and Construction Prior to Initial EndorsementPDF
81 FR 54662 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 54554 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 54586 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Monthly Report of Excess Income and Annual Report of Uses of Excess IncomePDF
81 FR 54558 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Exempted Fishing PermitPDF
81 FR 54519 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota TransferPDF
81 FR 54518 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Small-Mesh Multispecies Fishery; Adjustment to the Northern Red Hake Inseason Possession LimitPDF
81 FR 54576 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 54608 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 54568 - President's Council of Advisors on Science and TechnologyPDF
81 FR 54600 - Certain Quartz Slabs and Portions Thereof (II); Institution of InvestigationPDF
81 FR 54568 - State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB)PDF
81 FR 54567 - Secretary of Energy Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 54512 - Pipeline Safety: Clarification of Terms Relating to Pipeline Operational StatusPDF
81 FR 54501 - Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 54499 - Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines: Guidance for Industry; Small Entity Compliance Guide; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 54558 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 54645 - Meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business DevelopmentPDF
81 FR 54645 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Veterans Business AffairsPDF
81 FR 54598 - Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract ActionsPDF
81 FR 54589 - Filing of Plats of Survey, WyomingPDF
81 FR 54605 - Notice of Lodging Proposed Consent DecreePDF
81 FR 54577 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 54577 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 54648 - Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; TxDOT Audit ReportPDF
81 FR 54571 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725I); Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
81 FR 54575 - FFP Project 132, LLC; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
81 FR 54572 - Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
81 FR 54570 - Grand Mesa Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Amended Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
81 FR 54571 - Panda Patriot LLC; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective DatePDF
81 FR 54574 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-604 and FERC-923); Consolidated Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
81 FR 54573 - The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company v. Entergy Texas, Inc.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
81 FR 54573 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 54555 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Foreign Availability ProceduresPDF
81 FR 54533 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Amendment 19PDF
81 FR 54660 - Notice of Request for Revisions of an Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 54658 - Notice of Request for the Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 54580 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 54578 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 54556 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Draft Recovery Plan for Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Yelloweye Rockfish and BocaccioPDF
81 FR 54559 - Conclusion of National Marine Fisheries Service International Trade Data System Tests Concerning the Electronic Submission of Certain Data Required for Fish Imports and ExportsPDF
81 FR 54608 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection Request: Public Libraries Survey FY 2016-FY 2018PDF
81 FR 54606 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 54662 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Publication 1075PDF
81 FR 54609 - Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request, Proposed Collection: STEM Expert Facilitation of Family Learning in Libraries and Museums (STEMeX)-A National Leadership Grants Special InitiativePDF
81 FR 54604 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Chemtos, LLCPDF
81 FR 54585 - Intent To Request Revision From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Security Threat Assessment for Individuals Applying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a Commercial Driver's LicensePDF
81 FR 54514 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for Certain Migratory Game BirdsPDF
81 FR 54604 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Collection; Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program Electronic FormsPDF
81 FR 54624 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Logical Port FeesPDF
81 FR 54640 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to FeesPDF
81 FR 54631 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fees SchedulePDF
81 FR 54634 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To List and Trade the Shares of the VanEck Vectors Long/Flat Commodity ETFPDF
81 FR 54643 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Nonstandard Expirations Pilot Program To Include Monday ExpirationsPDF
81 FR 54639 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Add a Participants Fund Maintenance FeePDF
81 FR 54602 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: ALMAC Clinical Services Incorp (ACSI)PDF
81 FR 54602 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Actavis Laboratories FL., Inc.PDF
81 FR 54603 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Bellwyck Clinical ServicesPDF
81 FR 54603 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: AMRI Rensselaer, Inc.PDF
81 FR 54602 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Cody Laboratories, Inc.PDF
81 FR 54601 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Fresenius Kabi USA, LLCPDF
81 FR 54626 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Add a Clearing Fund Maintenance FeePDF
81 FR 54628 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Establish a Closing Contingency ProcedurePDF
81 FR 54632 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Revise The Options Clearing Corporation's Schedule of FeesPDF
81 FR 54477 - Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 54591 - Notice of Proposed Reinstatement of Terminated Oil and Gas Lease WYW178492, WyomingPDF
81 FR 54590 - Call for Nominations for Central and Northern California Resource Advisory Councils and Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 54568 - Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 54569 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board ChairsPDF
81 FR 54570 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PortsmouthPDF
81 FR 54583 - Advisory Committee for Women's Services; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 54647 - RTCA Special Committee 225, Rechargeable Lithium Battery and Battery Systems, Twenty Fifth MeetingPDF
81 FR 54577 - Notice of Termination; 10084 First Piedmont Bank, Winder, GeorgiaPDF
81 FR 54583 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
81 FR 54581 - Prospective Grant of Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement: Small Molecule Therapeutic Compounds Encompassed Within the Licensed Patent Rights for the Treatment of Thioesterase Deficiency DisorderPDF
81 FR 54581 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 54582 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 54660 - Hazardous Materials: Termination of Designated Approval Agencies ApprovalsPDF
81 FR 54661 - Hazardous Materials: Termination of Competent Authority Manufacturing ApprovalsPDF
81 FR 54646 - Request for Comments and Notice of Public Hearing Concerning China's Compliance With WTO CommitmentsPDF
81 FR 54504 - Air Plan Approval; DC; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
81 FR 54532 - Air Plan Approval; DC; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
81 FR 54506 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Case-by-Case Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)PDF
81 FR 54532 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Case by Case Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)PDF
81 FR 54502 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Iowa; Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5PDF
81 FR 54520 - Revisions to Rules of Conduct and Standards of Responsibility for Appointed RepresentativesPDF
81 FR 54498 - Protection of Archaeological ResourcesPDF
81 FR 54610 - Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards ConsiderationsPDF
81 FR 54665 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)PDF
81 FR 54605 - Job Corps: Draft Finding of No Significant Impact Sacramento Job Corps Center, 3100 Meadowview Rd., Sacramento, CA 95832 for Sacramento Regional Transit District Power Line Easement Alignment AlterationPDF
81 FR 54478 - Final Response to District Court Remand Order in Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, et al. v. United States Commodity Futures Trading CommissionPDF

Issue

81 158 Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Continuance Referendum: Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, 54520 2016-19531 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54550-54551 2016-19530 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54551-54552 2016-19532
Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54578-54581 2016-19460 2016-19461 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, 54666-54707 2016-19153 Coast Guard Coast Guard PROPOSED RULES Anchorage Grounds: Lower Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles, VA; Meetings, 54531-54532 2016-19510 NOTICES Meetings: Update to Alternative Planning Criteria National Guidelines, 54584-54585 2016-19512 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54554 2016-19507
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission RULES Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, et al. v. United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Final Response, 54478-54498 2016-18854 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Actavis Laboratories FL., Inc., 54602-54603 2016-19438 ALMAC Clinical Services Inc., 54602 2016-19439 AMRI Rensselaer, Inc., 54603-54604 2016-19436 Bellwyck Clinical Services, 54603 2016-19437 Cody Laboratories, Inc., 54602 2016-19435 Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC, 54601-54602 2016-19434 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Chemtos, LLC, 54604 2016-19449 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Sacramento Job Corps Center; Power Line Easement Alignment Alteration, 54605-54606 2016-19111 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee, 54568 2016-19426 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board Chairs, 54569-54570 2016-19425 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Portsmouth, 54570 2016-19423 President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 54568-54569 2016-19499 Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, 54567 2016-19495 State Energy Advisory Board, 54568 2016-19496
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: DC; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 54504-54506 2016-19390 Iowa; Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and the Adoption of the 1997 Standard, 54502-54504 2016-19386 Virginia; Case-by-Case Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 54506-54510 2016-19388 Pesticide Tolerances: Flumioxazin, 54510-54512 2016-19553 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: DC; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 54532 2016-19389 Virginia; Case by Case Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 54532-54533 2016-19387 NOTICES Pesticides: Guidance for Registrants on the Determination of Minor Use, 54576 2016-19554 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Meetings: RTCA Special Committee 225, Rechargeable Lithium Battery and Battery Systems, 54647-54648 2016-19421 Release of Airport Property: Enterprise Municipal Airport, Enterprise, AL, 54647 2016-19520 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54576-54577 2016-19502 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: 10084, First Piedmont Bank, Winder, GA, 54577 2016-19420 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54571-54572, 54574-54575 2016-19469 2016-19474 Applications: Erie Boulevard Hydropower, LP, 54572-54573 2016-19472 FFP Project 132, LLC, 54575-54576 2016-19473 Combined Filings, 54573 2016-19467 Complaints: Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. v. Entergy Texas, Inc., 54573 2016-19468 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Grand Mesa Pipeline, LLC, 54570-54571 2016-19471 Refund Effective Dates: Panda Patriot LLC, 54571 2016-19470 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program: TxDOT Audit Report, 54648-54658 2016-19476 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Change in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 54577 2016-19477 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 54577-54578 2016-19478 Federal Retirement Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 54578 2016-19617 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54658-54660 2016-19462 2016-19463 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Migratory Bird Hunting: Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for Certain Game Birds, 54514-54518 2016-19447 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Draft Guidance for Industry: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines, 54501-54502 2016-19493 Small Entity Compliance Guides: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines, 54499-54501 2016-19492 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Quality Control, 54552-54553 2016-19533 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Applications for Reorganization under Alternative Site Framework: Foreign-Trade Zone 283-West Tennessee Area, 54555 2016-19515 Approval of Expanded Subzone Status: Space Systems/Loral, LLC Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View and San Jose, CA, 54554 2016-19518 Proposed Production Activities: Foreign-Trade Zone 134; Wacker Polysilicon North America LLC, Charleston, TN, 54554 2016-19514 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Mineral County Resource Advisory Committee, 54553 2016-19524 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Transportation Security Administration

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54586, 54588 2016-19506 2016-19509 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: ConnectHome Baseline Survey Data Collection, 54588-54589 2016-19511 Meetings: Moving to Work Research Advisory Committee, 54586-54588 2016-19513 Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Foreign Availability Procedures, 54555 2016-19466 Institute of Museum and Library Services Institute of Museum and Library Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Public Libraries Survey FY 2016-2018, 54608-54609 2016-19457 STEM Expert Facilitation of Family Learning in Libraries and Museums: A National Leadership Grants Special Initiative, 54609-54610 2016-19451 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

See

Reclamation Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54662 2016-19453 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Quartz Slabs and Portions Thereof, 54600-54601 2016-19498 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program Electronic Forms, 54604-54605 2016-19446 Proposed Consent Decrees: United States v. Varca Ventures, Inc. and Wildcat Mining Corp., 54605 2016-19479
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Call for Nominations: Central and Northern California Resource Advisory Councils and Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee, 54590-54591 2016-19428 Oil and Gas Leases: Wyoming; Proposed Reinstatement of WYW178492, 54591 2016-19429 Plats of Surveys: Wyoming, 54589-54590 2016-19482 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules; Availability, 54606-54608 2016-19456 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54608 2016-19501 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

Institute of Museum and Library Services

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 54583 2016-19419 Meetings: National Cancer Institute, 54582-54583 2016-19416 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel, 54581 2016-19417 Prospective Grant of Start-up Exclusive License: Small Molecule Therapeutic Compounds Encompassed Within the Licensed Patent Rights for the Treatment of Thioesterase Deficiency Disorder, 54581-54582 2016-19418 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer, 54519 2016-19504 Small-Mesh Multispecies Fishery; Adjustment to the Northern Red Hake Inseason Possession Limit, 54518 2016-19503 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Amendment 19, 54533-54549 2016-19465 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Draft Recovery Plan for Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Yelloweye Rockfish and Bocaccio, 54556-54558 2016-19459 Exempted Fishing Permits: Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic, 54558-54559 2016-19505 International Trade Data System Test Concerning the Electronic Submission of Certain Data Required for Exports, 54559-54561 2016-19458 Meetings: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 54558 2016-19490 Regional Peer Review Processes: Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; National Standard 2—Scientific Information, 54561-54564 2016-19522 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined License Applications: Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC; William States Lee III Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2, 54622-54624 2016-19526 Facility Operating and Combined Licenses: Applications and Amendments Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 54610-54622 2016-19213 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 54622 2016-19557 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau NOTICES Atlantic Wind Lease Sales: Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina (Kitty Hawk), 54591-54598 2016-19552 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Changes in Accelerated Examination Practice, 54564-54567 2016-19527 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RULES Pipeline Safety: Clarification of Terms Relating to Pipeline Operational Status., 54512-54514 2016-19494 NOTICES Hazardous Materials: Termination of Competent Authority Manufacturing Approvals, 54661-54662 2016-19414 Termination of Designated Approval Agencies Approvals, 54660-54661 2016-19415 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract Actions, 54598-54600 2016-19483 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service RULES Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations; correction, 54477 2016-19430 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations; correction, 54477 2016-19430 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 54624 2016-19590 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange Inc., 54628-54631 2016-19432 Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc., 54624-54626 2016-19445 Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., 54640-54643 2016-19444 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 54631-54632, 54643-54645 2016-19441 2016-19443 Fixed Income Clearing Corp., 54626-54628 2016-19433 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 54634-54639 2016-19442 Options Clearing Corporation, 54632-54634 2016-19431 The Depository Trust Co., 54639-54640 2016-19440 Trading Suspension Orders: Safecode Drug Technologies Corp., and Dynamic Ventures Corp., 54631 2016-19607 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs, 54645 2016-19488 Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, 54645-54646 2016-19489 Social Social Security Administration PROPOSED RULES Revisions to Rules of Conduct and Standards of Responsibility for Appointed Representatives, 54520-54531 2016-19384 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Women's Services, 54583-54584 2016-19422 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority RULES Protection of Archaeological Resources, 54498-54499 2016-19343 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Meetings: China's Compliance with WTO Commitments, 54646-54647 2016-19413 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Security Threat Assessment for Individuals Applying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a Commercial Drivers License, 54585-54586 2016-19448 Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 54662-54663 2016-19508
Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 54666-54707 2016-19153 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.

81 158 Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Parts 4279 and 4287 RIN 0570-AA85 Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations; Correction AGENCY:

Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural Utilities Service; USDA.

ACTION:

Correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

This document contains corrections to the final rule published in the Federal Register of June 3, 2016, entitled “Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations.”

DATES:

Effective August 16, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brenda Griffin, Rural Development, Business Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Stop 3224, Washington, DC, 20250-3224; email: [email protected]; telephone number: (202) 720-6802.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION Need for Correction

On June 3, 2016, the Agency published a final rule for the Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program (81 FR 35984). Since then, the Agency has discovered three necessary technical corrections.

First. The Agency is clarifying that the list of eligible regulated lenders, which are identified in § 4279.29(a), can include “other financial institutions” that are, like the other entities already listed in said paragraph, “subject to credit examination and supervision by an agency of the United States or a State.” This clarification implements the intent of the Agency to offer eligibility to all regulated lenders. As currently written, an unintended consequence is that some of the program's historically highest performing lenders may be excluded from eligibility.

Second. The Agency is correcting an inconsistency between a provision in § 4279.131(b)(1)(ii), associated with how the value of collateral is calculated for newly acquired equipment and a provision in § 4279.144, identifying when an appraisal of collateral is required. Briefly, the first provision allows the value of the collateral to be based on the purchase price of the newly acquired equipment without the need for an appraisal regardless of the purchase price, while the second provision as currently written, requires an appraisal for such newly acquired equipment when the purchase price exceeds $250,000. This poses a contradiction for newly acquired equipment whose collateral value, based on purchase price, is greater than $250,000—is an appraisal required or not? The intent of the Agency is found in the first provision and the correction being made is to modify the second provision to indicate that an appraisal is not required for newly acquired equipment whose collateral value is based on the purchase price. This correction provides clarity to the regulation as well as saves borrowers the added processing time and expense of obtaining an appraisal when purchasing new equipment in excess of $250,000.

Third. One of the changes that the final rule put into effect was to limit interest accrual associated with guaranteed loans “closed on or after” the effective date of the rule (i.e., August 2, 2016). This provision was supposed to have been addressed consistently throughout the provisions. The Agency identified two places in bankruptcy provisions (§ 4287.170(b)(3)(i) and (ii)) where this change was unintentionally not made. This notice corrects those oversights.

List of Subjects for 7 CFR Parts 4279 and 4287

Loan programs—Business and industry, Direct loan programs, Economic development, Energy, Energy efficiency improvements, Grant programs, Guaranteed loan programs, Renewable energy systems, Rural areas, and Rural development assistance.

Accordingly, 7 CFR chapter XLII is amended by making the following correcting amendments:

PART 4279—GUARANTEED LOAN MAKING 1. The authority citation for part 4279 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; and 7 U.S.C. 1989.

Subpart A—General
§ 4279.29 [Amended]
2. Amend the first sentence of § 4279.29(a) by adding “or other financial institution” after “State chartered bank”. Subpart B—Business and Industry Loans 3. Revise the first sentence of § 4279.144 introductory text to to read as follows:
§ 4279.144 Appraisals

Lenders must obtain appraisals for real estate and chattel collateral when the value of the collateral exceeds $250,000, unless the chattel is newly-acquired equipment and the value is supported by a bill of sale. * * *

PART—SERVICING 4. The authority citation for part 4287 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 1932(a); 7 U.S.C. 1989.

Subpart B—Servicing Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans
§ 4287.170 [Amended]
5. Amend § 4287.170(b)(3)(i) introductory text and (b)(3)(ii) by removing “approved” and adding “closed” in its place.
Dated: August 9, 2016. Samuel H. Rikkers, Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Dated: August 10, 2016. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-19430 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Parts 1, 3, 23, 37, 43, 45, 46, and 170 RIN 3038-AE27 Final Response to District Court Remand Order in Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, et al. v. United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission AGENCY:

Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

ACTION:

Final response to district court remand order.

SUMMARY:

This release is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (“Commission” or “CFTC”) final response to the order of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, et al. v. United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (“SIFMA v. CFTC”), remanding eight swaps-related rulemakings to the Commission to resolve what the court held to be inadequacies in the Commission's consideration of costs and benefits, or its explanation of its consideration of costs and benefits, in those rulemakings. In this release the Commission addresses cost-benefit issues raised and suggestions for rule changes made in comments submitted in response to the Commission's Initial Response to the remand order.

DATES:

August 16, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Martin B. White, Assistant General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, (202) 418-5129, [email protected]; Frank Fisanich, Chief Counsel, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, (202) 418-5949, [email protected]; Philip Raimondi, Attorney Advisor, Division of Market Oversight, (202) 418-5717, [email protected]; Michael A. Penick, Economist, Office of the Chief Economist, (202) 418-5279, [email protected]; Megan Wallace, Senior Special Counsel, Office of International Affairs, (202) 418-5150, [email protected]; Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview and Scope

This release is the Commission's final response to the order of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in SIFMA v. CFTC1 remanding eight swaps-related rulemakings to the Commission. It addresses issues raised by public comments submitted in response to a previous Federal Register release setting forth the Commission's initial response to the remand order.2

1 No. 13-1916 (PLF), 67 F. Supp. 3d. 373 (D.D.C. Sept. 16, 2014).

2 Initial Response to District Court Remand Order in Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, et al. v. United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 80 FR 12555 (Mar. 10, 2015) (“Initial Response”).

The present release is organized as follows. Part II describes the SIFMA litigation, the district court order, and the Commission's Initial Response. Part III discusses the Commission's general approach to extraterritorial costs and benefits in this release and potential methods for addressing extraterritorial cost-benefit issues. Part IV supplements the consideration of costs and benefits in the preambles to the original rulemakings and in the Initial Response by describing and evaluating the cost-benefit issues raised in the comments. Section IV.A discusses certain issues related to the costs of the extraterritorial application of the remanded rules. Section IV.B discusses certain issues related to the benefits of the extraterritorial application of the remanded rules. Section IV.C discusses the Commission's efforts to mitigate costs of the extraterritorial application of the Commission's rules, including the Commission's substituted compliance program and other actions. Section IV.D discusses consideration of substantive rule changes outside the scope of the remand order that may affect cross-border costs and benefits. Section IV.E discusses commenters' concerns about “market fragmentation,” primarily in the context of the Swap Execution Facility (“SEF”) Registration Rule. Section IV.F discusses cost-benefit issues related to the use of a test for the application of transaction-level Dodd-Frank rules to non-U.S. swap dealers based on dealing activities physically located in the United States as described in a November 2013 Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight staff advisory. It also discusses cost-benefit issues related to a test for the application of the SEF Registration Rule based on the provision of swap execution services to traders located in the United States as described in a Division of Market Oversight guidance document, also issued in November 2013. Section IV.G discusses certain additional cost-benefit issues specific to particular rules. Part V discusses commenters' recommendations for changes in the substance of the remanded rules and evaluates whether these changes are justified in light of the international cost-benefit considerations addressed in Part IV and other relevant considerations. Finally, Part VI concludes that, taking into account the facts and analysis in the original rulemaking preambles as well as the additional consideration of costs and benefits in the Initial Response and this release, the remanded rules are legally sound, and the Commission will not propose changes in the context of the SIFMA v. CFTC remand order.

The Commission emphasizes that the purpose of the discussion of costs and benefits in Part IV and of potential rule changes in Parts V and VI is to respond to the mandate of the SIFMA remand order and to evaluate the present legal sufficiency of the remanded rulemaking proceedings. The discussion and conclusions in this release should not be interpreted to mean that the Commission will not consider other actions with respect to the rules, including substantive amendments, looking forward. To the contrary, the Commission will amend the rules in the future when amendment is in the public interest, whether in response to new information, experience, or the evolution of the markets and the international legal landscape.

II. Background  3

3 For a more detailed description of the background of this release, see Initial Response, 80 FR at 12556-58.

A. The District Court Litigation and Decision

On December 4, 2013, three trade associations sued the Commission in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the Commission's Interpretive Guidance and Policy Statement Regarding Compliance with Certain Swap Regulations 4 (“Cross-Border Guidance” or “Guidance”) as well as the extraterritorial application of fourteen of the rules promulgated by the Commission to implement the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 5 regarding swaps.6

4 78 FR 45292 (July 26, 2013).

5 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

6See SIFMA, 67 F. Supp. 3d at 384. The plaintiffs were the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, and the Institute of International Bankers. Id. See also id. at 437-38.

The fourteen challenged rules were promulgated by the Commission in twelve rulemakings.7 On September 16, 2014, the court issued a decision, granting summary judgment to the Commission on most issues but remanding without vacatur ten rules, promulgated in eight rulemakings.8 The court held that the preambles for these rules did not adequately address the costs and benefits of the extraterritorial application of the rules pursuant to section 2(i) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“section 2(i)”).9 Specifically, the court held that the Commission needed to address whether and to what extent the costs and benefits as to overseas activity may differ from those related to the domestic application of the rules.10

7See id. at 437-38. Three of the fourteen challenged rules, informally identified by the court as the “Daily Trading Records,” “Risk Management,” and “Chief Compliance Officer” Rules, were promulgated as part of a single rulemaking. Id.

8SIFMA, 67 F. Supp. 3d 373. For a more complete description of the decision, see the Commission's Initial Response, 80 FR 12555.

9SIFMA, 67 F. Supp. 3d at 430-33.

10Id. at 434-35.

The eight remanded rulemakings are:

Real-Time Public Reporting of Swap Transactions Data 11 (“Real-Time Reporting Rule”);

11 77 FR 1182 (Jan. 9, 2012).

Swap Data Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements 12 (“SDR Reporting Rule”);

12 77 FR 2136 (Jan. 13, 2012).

Registration of Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants 13 (“Swap Entity Registration Rule”);

13 77 FR 2613 (Jan. 19, 2012).

Swap Dealer and Major Swap Participant Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Duties Rule; Futures Commission Merchant and Introducing Broker Conflicts of Interest Rules; and Chief Compliance Officer Rules for Swap Dealers, Major Swap Participants, and Futures Commission Merchants 14 (“Daily Trading Records,” “Risk Management,” and “Chief Compliance Officer” Rules);

14 77 FR 20128 (Apr. 3, 2012).

Further Definition of “Swap Dealer,” “Security-Based Swap Dealer,” “Major Swap Participant,” “Major Security-Based Swap Participant,” and “Eligible Contract Participant” 15 (“Swap Entity Definition Rule”);

15 77 FR 30596 (May 23, 2012).

Swap Data Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements: Pre-Enactment and Transition Swaps 16 (“Historical SDR Reporting Rule”);

16 77 FR 35200 (June 12, 2012).

Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, Portfolio Compression, and Swap Trading Relationship Documentation Requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants 17 (“Portfolio Reconciliation Rule”); and

17 77 FR 55904 (Sept. 11, 2012).

Core Principles and Other Requirements for Swap Execution Facilities 18 (“SEF Registration Rule”).

18 78 FR 33476 (June 4, 2013).

B. The District Court's Rulings on Consideration of Costs and Benefits

The district court remanded the eight rulemakings “for further proceedings consistent with the Opinion issued this same day.” 19 As the Commission explained in its Initial Response to the remand order, the court's opinion included a number of holdings and observations that provide guidance as to the actions the Commission must take on remand.

19SIFMA, 67 F. Supp. 3d at 437.

1. The court held that, because Congress made the determination that the swaps rules apply overseas to the extent specified in section 2(i), the CEA provision on consideration of costs and benefits, section 15(a), does not require the Commission to consider whether it is necessary or desirable for particular rules to apply to overseas activities as specified in section 2(i).20 Indeed, the court explained, the Commission cannot, based on a consideration of costs and benefits, second-guess Congress's decision that swaps rules apply to certain overseas activities.21 As a result, the court stated that “the only issues necessarily before the CFTC on remand would be the substance of the Title VII rules, not the scope of those Rules' extraterritorial applications under 7 U.S.C. 2(i).” 22

20Id. at 431.

21Id. at 432; see also id. at 434-35 & n.35.

22Id. at 434-35.

2. At the same time, the court held that, in considering costs and benefits of the substantive regulatory choices it makes when promulgating a swaps rule, the Commission is required to take into consideration the fact that the rule, by statute, will apply to certain overseas activity.23 Thus, the Commission's consideration of costs and benefits of the application of the rule must encompass both foreign and domestic business activities.24 The court held that the Commission failed to meet this requirement because, the court stated, in the cost-benefit discussions for the rules at issue, the Commission did not state explicitly whether the identified costs and benefits regarding overseas activities are the same as, or differ from, those pertinent to domestic activities.25

23Id. at 431-32.

24Id.

25Id.

3. The court held that the Commission has discretion either to consider costs and benefits of the international application of swaps rules separately from domestic application or to evaluate them together, “so long as the cost-benefit analysis makes clear that the CFTC reasonably considered both.” 26 The district court found that, at the time the rules at issue in the litigation were promulgated, foreign swaps regulations were still under development so that costs of possible duplicative regulation were hypothetical and did not have to be considered.27 The court noted that this fact raised the possibility that the costs and benefits of the rules' extraterritorial applications “were essentially identical to those of the Rules' domestic applications” so that the Commission “functionally considered the extraterritorial costs and benefits” of the rules “by considering the Rules' domestic costs and benefits.” 28 However, the court concluded that it did not need to address that possibility because the cost-benefit discussions in the rule preambles gave “no indication” that this was so.29 The court further noted that foreign swaps regulations passed since the promulgation of the rules at issue in the litigation “may now raise issues of duplicative regulatory burdens,” but that “the CFTC may well conclude that its policy of substituted compliance largely negates these costs.” 30

26 Id. at 433.

27Id.

28Id.

29Id.

30Id. at 435.

4. Finally, the court noted that “[p]laintiffs raise no complaints regarding the CFTC's evaluation of the general, often unquantifiable, benefits and costs of the domestic application of the Title VII Rules.” 31 As a result, the court held, “[o]n remand, the CFTC would only need to make explicit which of those benefits and costs similarly apply to the Rules' extraterritorial applications.” 32

31Id.

32Id.

C. The Commission's Initial Response to the Remand Order

On March 10, 2015, the Commission published its Initial Response to the district court remand order. In that release, the Commission described the district court litigation and order and took two substantive actions.

First, the Commission supplemented the discussion of costs and benefits in the preambles of the remanded rulemakings by stating that it:

hereby clarifies that it considered costs and benefits based on the understanding that the swaps market functions internationally, with many transactions involving U.S. firms taking place across international boundaries; with leading industry members typically conducting operations both within and outside the United States; and with industry members commonly following substantially similar business practices wherever located. The Commission considered all evidence in the record, and in the absence of evidence indicating differences in costs and benefits between foreign and domestic swaps activities, the Commission did not find occasion to characterize explicitly the identified costs and benefits as foreign or domestic. Thus, where the Commission did not specifically refer to matters of location, its discussion of costs and benefits referred to the effects of its rules on all business activity subject to its regulations, whether by virtue of the activity's physical location in the United States or by virtue of the activity's connection with or effect on U.S. commerce under section 2(i). In the language of the district court, the Commission “functionally considered the extraterritorial costs and benefits,” and this was because the evidence in the record did not suggest that differences existed, with certain limited exceptions that the Commission addressed.33

33 80 FR at 12558 (internal citation omitted).

Second, to further inform its consideration of costs and benefits on remand, the Commission solicited comments on four questions:

1. Are there any benefits or costs that the Commission identified in any of the rule preambles that do not apply, or apply to a different extent, to the relevant rule's extraterritorial applications?

2. Are there any costs or benefits that are unique to one or more of the rules' extraterritorial applications? If so, please specify how.

3. Put another way, are the types of costs and benefits that arise from the extraterritorial application of any of the rules different from those that arise from the domestic application? If so, how and to what extent?

4. If significant differences exist in the costs and benefits of the extraterritorial and domestic application of one or more of the rules, what are the implications of those differences for the substantive requirements of the rule or rules? 34

34Id.

The Commission requested that commenters focus on information and analysis specifically relevant to the inquiry required by the remand order, and supply relevant data to support their comments.35

35Id.

The Initial Response stated that, following review of the comments, the Commission would publish a further response to the district court remand order, which would include any necessary supplementation of the Commission's consideration of costs and benefits for the remanded rules. The Commission also stated that it would consider whether to amend any of the remanded rules based on information developed in this process.36

36Id. at 12555.

D. Comments in Response to the Commission's Initial Response

The Commission received four comments in response to its Initial Response to the remand order: A five-page comment jointly filed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“ISDA-SIFMA”); a three-page comment filed by the Japanese Bankers Association (“JBA”); a two-page comment filed by UBS Securities LLC (“UBS”); and a twenty-one page comment filed by the Institute of International Bankers (“IIB”).37 The substance of the comments is discussed in detail in the remainder of this release.

37 The IIB comment also had a thirteen-page appendix consisting of a comment letter previously filed in response to another Commission request for comments, but covering largely similar subject matter to the primary IIB comment. Comment letters are available on the Commission's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1564.

Briefly, ISDA-SIFMA cautioned against an overly narrow conception of the burdens of overseas application of Commission rules, stating that, in addition to costs such as registration fees and expenses to construct and administer compliance systems, foreign entities would incur additional costs of “engag[ing] with an unfamiliar, non-domestic regulator and face uncertainty regarding the ramifications of being subject to a new regime.” 38 The comment stated that “internal conflicts and customer resistance frequently may follow.” 39 ISDA-SIFMA further stated that these costs and uncertainties function as barriers to engagement in U.S. markets, potentially resulting in market fragmentation and decreased liquidity available to U.S. persons.40 ISDA-SIFMA stated that these costs must be weighed against what ISDA-SIFMA described as “attenuated or minimal benefits” from Commission rules where “foreign regulations . . . meet the objectives outlined by the G-20 jurisdictions.” 41

38 ISDA-SIFMA at 2. ISDA-SIFMA stated that “[s]imple redeployment of the Commission's apparently domestic previous cost-benefit analysis” would not yield new information or distill lessons from experience to date with the Commission's rules and would “miss a valuable opportunity to contribute to the global discussion regarding resolution of cross-border issues.” Id. However, in making this observation, ISDA-SIFMA stated that “it is not our purpose in this letter to express a view on what further actions are necessary in order to satisfy the `reasonable consideration' and related requirements of the remand order.” Id. at 2 n.4.

39Id. at 2.

40Id.

41Id. The reference to G-20 objectives is to the 2009 commitment by the G-20 group of major industrial nations to implement regulations for the over-the-counter derivatives market, including requirements for clearing, trading on exchanges or electronic trading platforms, and reporting of information on derivatives contracts to trade repositories. See Leaders' Statement, The Pittsburgh Summit (Sept. 24-25, 2009) at 20, https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/international/g7-g20/Documents/pittsburgh_summit_leaders_statement_250909.pdf. Of the ten rules remanded in SIFMA, three fall within the specific scope of the 2009 G-20 commitment—the SEF Registration Rule and the SDR and Historical SDR Reporting Rules. Other rules contribute to the broader G-20 objective of reducing risk to the financial system from the use of derivatives.

As evidence of market fragmentation, ISDA-SIFMA referred to ISDA research indicating a reduced percentage of transactions by European swap dealers with U.S. swap dealers in the market for euro denominated interest rate swaps following the implementation of the SEF Registration Rule.42 ISDA-SIFMA made suggestions for specific substantive changes in two remanded rules. In the Swap Entity Definition Rule, it recommended greater use of safe harbors to reduce uncertainty for businesses hedging financial risk in applying the de minimis exception for determining swap dealer status.43 In the SDR Reporting Rule, it recommended that the Commission “re-examine” the requirement of Commission rule 45.2(h) that swap counterparties who are not Commission registrants make their books and records available to the Commission and other U.S. authorities.44

42 ISDA-SIFMA at 3.

43Id.

44Id.

ISDA-SIFMA also urged the Commission to undertake greater harmonization with foreign jurisdictions. In connection with the SEF Registration Rule, ISDA-SIFMA stated that there was a “stark contrast” between what it described as “very rigid execution methods” under the Commission's rule and “greater flexibility” under the rules that the European Union plans to implement, and urged the Commission to “re-examine its approach.” 45 ISDA-SIFMA also supported greater international harmonization in the area of swap data reporting.46 ISDA-SIFMA further stated that significant costs would be incurred if the Commission implemented the test for the application of certain Commission rules based on swap dealing activities within the United States by non-U.S. swap dealers set forth in the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight Advisory, Applicability of Transaction-Level Requirements to Activity in the United States (CFTC Staff Advisory No. 13-69, Nov. 14, 2013) (“DSIO Advisory”).47 Finally, with respect to the use of substituted compliance as a means for addressing issues of duplicative regulation, ISDA-SIFMA stated that “broad, holistic” substituted compliance “can be of substantial help.” 48

45Id.

46Id.

47Id. at 4. ISDA-SIFMA called this a “personnel-based test.” Id.

48Id.

JBA stated that banks are faced with legal and consulting fees to comply with Dodd-Frank rules and that remaining areas of ambiguity cause them to manage their business in a conservative manner.49 Banks have also incurred costs to comply with regulatory requirements that differ across jurisdictions, including where comparability is not established.50 With respect to foreign banks registered as swap dealers, JBA stated that the Commission's initial cost-benefit analysis did not take into consideration the fact that entity-level requirements apply to all of a bank's swaps business even though, for a non-U.S. bank, transactions with U.S. persons account for only 10% of that business.51 JBA further stated that foreign banks not registered as swap dealers have avoided transacting with U.S. financial institutions to avoid U.S. regulation, inconveniencing their customers and increasing risks and costs for maintaining market liquidity.52 JBA also stated that customers have avoided transacting with subsidiaries of foreign banks incorporated in the U.S. in order to avoid U.S. regulation, resulting in costs to book transactions with these customers with non-U.S. entities to maintain business relationships.53 JBA identified the reporting of swap data to trade repositories as one area where banks have been subject to differing requirements in multiple jurisdictions, resulting in increased compliance costs.54 JBA therefore recommended that the swap data reporting process should be established “through an industry-wide initiative.” 55 JBA identified the swaps push-out rule as a second area of particular concern.56 However, this statutory provision 57 was not part of the SIFMA litigation or remand order.

49 JBA at 1.

50Id.

51Id. at 1-2.

52Id. at 2.

53Id.

54Id. at 2-3.

55Id. at 3.

56Id.

57 The phrase “swaps push-out rule” is commonly used to refer to 15 U.S.C. 8305, which, broadly speaking and with certain exclusions, prohibits advances from a Federal Reserve credit facility or discount window to assist swap dealers and certain similar entities.

UBS focused on the benefits of the SEF Registration Rule in promoting a level playing field for market participants, facilitating access to liquidity providers, and making the workflow from execution to clearing as robust and efficient as possible.58 UBS stated that application of the rule to all activities under the Commission's jurisdiction pursuant to section 2(i) helps to ensure that the core principles and benefits of the rule “remain relevant as the global swaps market continues to evolve.” 59 UBS also urged the Commission to work with foreign regulators to maximize harmonization, avoid regulatory arbitrage, and establish substituted compliance regimes that address duplicative regulatory burdens, while also maintaining consistency with the principles of the Dodd-Frank Act and Commission regulations in the SEF area.60

58 UBS at 1.

59Id.

60Id.

IIB dealt primarily with cost-benefit issues that would arise from implementation of the test based on swap dealing activities physically located in the United States articulated in the DSIO Advisory.61 IIB focused on swaps between a non-U.S. swap dealer and its non-U.S. counterparties that—under the test set forth in the Advisory—would be subject to transaction-level Dodd-Frank rules if the relevant swaps are arranged, negotiated, or executed by personnel or agents of the non-U.S. swap dealer located in the United States, but not otherwise. According to IIB, in such transactions, the costs of U.S. rules would be greater and benefits lower than in other transactions to which Dodd-Frank rules apply. IIB stated that, in order to avoid U.S. regulation, foreign swap dealers would forgo using staff located in the United States in transactions with foreign counterparties even in circumstances where employing U.S. personnel would be advantageous, for example because a trader located in the United States is more familiar with a particular market.62 IIB also stated that such a test could result in covered transactions being subject to duplicative and possibly contradictory regulation by multiple jurisdictions and in costs to establish systems to keep track of which swaps are handled by personnel or agents located in the United States.63 IIB further stated that benefits would be doubtful in transactions made subject to Commission rules by such a test because the resulting swaps would be between two foreign entities and thus, according to IIB, pose little threat to the U.S. financial system.64 IIB also discussed cost-benefit implications of a test based on physical presence in the United States in the context of several particular Dodd-Frank rules, including, but not limited to, some of the rules subject to the SIFMA remand order.65 IIB urged the Commission either to not implement such a test or to implement a version considerably narrower than the one described in the DSIO Advisory.66 IIB also was critical of a different standard based on services provided within the United States by non-U.S. persons, set forth in a Division of Market Oversight guidance document. Under this standard, the SEF Registration Rule applies to foreign-based entities that provide swap execution services to traders located in the United States, even if the traders execute swaps for non-U.S. persons.67

61 IIB called this a “U.S. personnel test.” IIB at 4.

62 IIB at 5.

63Id. at 6-8.

64Id. at 6.

65Id. at 9-16. IIB's points regarding particular remanded rules are described in section IV.F, below.

66Id. at 17-19.

67Id. at 13-14.

In addition to discussing the application of Commission rules to non-U.S. firms based on activities within the United States, IIB stated that, in the area of swap data reporting, duplicative requirements create costs that could be avoided if the Commission could obtain information from foreign regulators and trade repositories.68 IIB stated that it supported Commission efforts to address legal and other obstacles to cross-border information sharing.69 Pending completion of these international efforts, IIB recommended that the Commission formalize existing no-action relief relating to the extraterritorial application of the SDR and Historical SDR Reporting Rules.70 IIB made no recommendations for specific changes in the substantive requirements of the remanded rules.

68Id. at 20.

69Id.

70Id.

III. General Approach to Costs and Benefits of Extraterritorial Application of Remanded Rules and Methods for Addressing Cost-Benefit Issues Raised by Commenters

Under the SIFMA decision, the ultimate mandate to the Commission on remand, following consideration of the extraterritorial costs and benefits of the remanded rules, is to determine whether such consideration requires any changes to be made in the “substantive transaction- and entity-level requirements” of the remanded rules and, if not, to give a reasoned explanation why not.71 The Commission observes, consistent with the court's analysis, that Congress's decision to apply the swaps rules extraterritorially may have implications for the costs and benefits of the substance of those rules. This possibility is inherent in cross-border regulation because different sovereigns will make different substantive choices in implementing swaps-market reforms, and will do so at different paces, which raises the prospect of regulatory arbitrage and/or overlapping or inconsistent rulemaking.

71 67 F. Supp. 3d at 435.

Although it is likely impossible to fully eliminate those difficulties, there are three general means by which the Commission and other regulators can reduce them. First, the regulator may promulgate rules and pursue policies specifically addressing the geographic reach of its regulations. For the Commission, any such cross-border rules and policies must be within the framework for the extraterritorial application of swaps rules set forth in section 2(i) and must take into account the policies of the relevant Dodd-Frank provisions as well as international harmonization and comity. Second, the regulator may alter the substance of its rules to conform them to those of foreign jurisdictions or to otherwise address the special issues inherent in cross-border regulation. Finally, the regulator may offer substituted compliance or similar relief in situations where a foreign regulation achieves results that are comparable to its own rules. At the Commission, similar relief may also come at the staff level in the form of no-action letters to address problems that may be more transient in nature, require faster action, or otherwise be better suited to staff action. These three categories of regulatory action may be used individually or in concert.

As to the first of these methods—rules or policies specifically addressing the geographical scope of regulations—the Commission in 2013 issued the Cross-Border Guidance to announce what it judged to be a desirable balance between Dodd-Frank's financial reform policies and international cooperation, consistent with the language of section 2(i). The Commission acknowledged, however, that swaps markets are dynamic and would continue to evolve, necessitating an adaptable approach.72 In that vein, the Commission stated that it would consider addressing some of the subjects discussed in the Guidance by rulemaking in the future.73 That remains the Commission's position. As markets evolve and the Commission receives more information, it will consider the possibility of adopting rules concerning the cross-border application of its swaps regulations.74 Consideration of such rules is, however, outside the scope of the remand order.75

72 Cross-Border Guidance, 78 FR at 45297.

73Id. at 45297 n.39.

74 For example, in conjunction with its rule on Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants, 81 FR 636 (Jan. 6, 2016), the Commission has adopted an accompanying rule specifically addressing cross-border application. Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants—Cross-Border Application of the Margin Requirements, 81 FR 34818 (May 31, 2016).

75SIFMA v. CFTC, 67 F. Supp. 3d at 435; see also id. at 434-35 (distinguishing between “substance” of rules and “scope” of their extraterritorial application under section 2(i)).

The second tool for addressing cross-border issues, tailoring substantive rule requirements, is the subject of this release, pursuant to the district court mandate. Although tailoring substantive rule requirements is a possible tool by which to avoid certain issues of regulatory arbitrage and inconsistent regulation, this approach has significant limitations. Chief among these is that the Commission does not have unlimited flexibility to alter rules or lower its standards, consistent with its statutory mandate. Even where the statute permits flexibility, relaxing a particular substantive requirement to address a cross-border issue may be undesirable from a public-policy standpoint when other relevant factors are also considered. This is particularly true since changes in the substance of rules affect domestic as well as extraterritorial transactions and entities.

A further concern with relaxation of substantive rule requirements as a tool to address issues of regulatory arbitrage and costs of regulation by multiple jurisdictions is that it could contribute to a “race to the bottom” dynamic if engaged in unilaterally rather than as an outcome of internationally coordinated rule harmonization efforts. This point is complicated by the fact, discussed in more detail below, that foreign jurisdictions do not yet have regulations in place, or fully in place, in important areas covered by the remanded rules. A final consideration in connection with the present remand is that, at the time of its original rulemakings, the Commission consulted with foreign regulators, reviewed comments concerning overseas application of rules, and took these sources of information into account in framing the substance of rules even where the accompanying cost-benefit discussion did not explicitly distinguish between domestic and extraterritorial rule applications.76

76 For example, in the Portfolio Reconciliation Rule, the Commission, at the request of commenters, modified the proposed confirmation deadlines to take into account swaps executed in different time zones. 77 FR at 55923. See also, e.g., Real-Time Reporting Rule, 77 FR at 1189-90; SDR Reporting Rule, 77 FR at 2137-38, 2151, 2160-62, 2165, 2167.

Notwithstanding these concerns, the Commission recognizes that incremental changes to harmonize its substantive rules with those of foreign jurisdictions, or otherwise to address issues specific to extraterritorial application, might be desirable under certain circumstances. However, perhaps because of the difficulties described in the previous paragraph, commenters made only a small number of recommendations for specific changes in the substantive requirements of the remanded rules. As explained in Part V, below, the available record does not justify adoption of these proposed changes in the context of the present remand, taking into account both considerations unique to the extraterritorial application of the relevant rules, and considerations common to their domestic and extraterritorial application. Commenters also urged the Commission to continue or expand its engagement in international harmonization efforts for certain rules. The Commission agrees, as discussed in more detail below. However, as also explained below, these efforts have not reached the point today where they can serve as the basis for specific rule changes.

At this time, the Commission is focused, in large part, on the third tool—cooperative international efforts including, but not limited to, substituted compliance and similar relief at the staff level. As outlined in the Cross-Border Guidance, the Commission's substituted compliance program is designed to avoid potential conflicts and duplication between U.S. regulations and foreign law, consistent with principles of international comity, but only in instances where the laws and regulations of the foreign jurisdiction are comparable and as comprehensive as a corresponding category of U.S. laws and regulations, thus avoiding the risk of a race to the bottom and ensuring that the Commission's public policy goals, established by Congress, are met.77 As foreign regulators continue to make progress in implementing swaps-market reforms, incentives for regulatory arbitrage will diminish, and substituted compliance can be expanded to reduce duplicative or otherwise unnecessary regulatory burdens.78

77 78 FR at 45340.

78See below at section IV.C.

IV. Evaluation of International Cost-Benefit Considerations Raised in Comments A. Commenters' General Observations on Costs of Extraterritorial Application of Rules

ISDA-SIFMA identifies a number of general respects in which compliance with Commission rules may be more difficult for foreign market participants than domestic ones:

When foreign market participants are subject to Commission rules, they must engage with an unfamiliar, non-domestic regulator and face uncertainty regarding the ramifications of being subject to a new regime. A full-bore legal investigation (which may leave unresolved issues) and substantial management attention are prerequisites in any responsible entity becoming subject to a foreign regulator. The addition of specially trained staff is a common adjunct. Internal conflicts and customer resistance frequently may follow. It is unsurprising that non-U.S. market participants simply may be unwilling to take on this burden.79

79 ISDA-SIFMA at 2.

ISDA-SIFMA thus suggests that foreign swaps entities may find it more costly to comply with Commission regulations than domestic entities because foreign entities will be less familiar with U.S. laws and institutions and will need to invest resources in learning about them. Along the same lines, the JBA comments that “banks are faced with increasing costs for legal fees and external consulting fees in their efforts to accurately interpret and comply with [Dodd-Frank rules].” 80 JBA also points out that banks have incurred costs to comply with multiple jurisdictions' regulations where the timing of implementation or requirements may differ, and that foreign swap dealers need to incur costs to comply with entity-level rules that apply to a firm's overall operations even though only a relatively small portion of the dealer's swaps may be with U.S. counterparties.81

80 JBA at 1.

81Id. at 1-2.

With respect to these general points about costs of extraterritorial application of Commission rules, the Commission notes:

1. The commenters do not appear to dispute the basic point made in the Commission's Initial Response that “the swaps market functions internationally, with many transactions involving U.S. firms taking place across international boundaries; with leading industry members typically conducting operations both within and outside the United States; and with industry members commonly following substantially similar business practices wherever located.” 82 By the same token, ISDA-SIFMA's and JBA's general observations on costs are not inconsistent with the conclusion that the types of costs and benefits identified in the original preambles to the remanded rule characterize the extraterritorial, as well as the domestic, application of the rules. The Commission agrees, however, that entities doing business internationally likely would face additional costs resulting from the need to comply with swaps regulations in more than one jurisdiction. The more jurisdictions in which the market participant does business, the greater the costs that predictably will result. This is inherent in cross-border regulation, both as required of the Commission by Congress and by foreign regulators.

82 80 FR at 12558. Similarly, while the comments set forth various ways in which, according to the commenters, foreign and domestic costs may differ, they do not take issue with the Commission's statement in the Initial Response that, in the original Federal Register releases for the rules at issue, “where the Commission did not specifically refer to matters of location, its discussion of costs and benefits referred to the effects of its rules on all business activity subject to its regulations, whether by virtue of the activity's physical location in the United States or by virtue of the activity's connection with or effect on U.S. commerce under section 2(i).” Id.

2. ISDA-SIFMA and JBA state that, in at least some instances, foreign firms will find it more costly to comply with CFTC Dodd-Frank rules than domestic firms will. However, for purposes of considering costs and benefits on remand, a number of factors significantly limit the weight that can be given to their general observations on costs.

a. With certain limited exceptions, discussed below,83 ISDA-SIFMA and JBA provide no quantitative information on, or estimates of, the differential foreign and domestic cost effects they assert. Moreover, even in qualitative terms they provide little in the way of specific analysis or examples of how the cost mechanisms they mention work in practice.84 This makes it difficult to evaluate how significant any differences in foreign and domestic costs are relative to the similarities resulting from the overall international nature of the swaps markets; and to assess the attendant implications with respect to the substance of the remanded rules.

83See section IV.E below.

84 IIB provides somewhat more detail in its discussion of issues raised by the DSIO Advisory. See section IV.F. below.

b. The costs identified by ISDA-SIFMA and JBA are, to a considerable extent, not unique to the foreign applications of the remanded rules. Both comments emphasize the cost of learning about, and establishing compliance programs for, a novel regulatory scheme. However, the Dodd-Frank swaps regime, and the Commission's implementing rules, were novel for domestic as well as foreign firms since swaps in the United States were largely unregulated before Dodd-Frank. Moreover, firms located in the United States also must learn about foreign swaps regulations if they wish to do business overseas. The discussion by ISDA-SIFMA and JBA does not clearly distinguish the special costs of foreign firms complying with novel U.S. regulations from the costs to all firms of complying with any novel regulations. ISDA-SIFMA also does not adequately take into consideration that some costs of complying with U.S. rules may have been higher simply because the United States moved more quickly than foreign jurisdictions to implement derivatives regulations in response to the financial crisis; and foreign jurisdictions still do not have regulations fully in place.

c. The discussion of general costs in ISDA-SIFMA and JBA, to a large extent, does not distinguish between costs attributable to the remanded rules and costs attributable to the underlying statute. As noted, one of the major cost drivers described in these comments is the cost of learning about, and establishing compliance programs for, U.S. law. However, in virtually all areas covered by the remanded rules, the Dodd-Frank statute either specifically required the CFTC to promulgate some form of rule or directly imposed regulatory requirements.85 And, as held by the court in SIFMA, the rules were made applicable to foreign activity by CEA section 2(i), not the Commission's rulemaking. As a result, at least part of the cost of figuring out and applying U.S. law discussed in these comments is attributable to the statutory scheme and not to the specific terms of the rules promulgated by the Commission.

85 For example, reporting of swaps to swap data repositories is required by CEA section 2(a)(13)(G), 7 U.S.C. 2(a)(13)(G); the Swap Entity Registration Rule is required by CEA sections 4s(a) and 4s(b), 7 U.S.C. 6s(a) and 6s(b); the Daily Trading Records Rule is required by CEA section 4s(g), 7 U.S.C. 6s(g); the Real-Time Reporting Rule is required by CEA section 2(a)(13)(C), 7 U.S.C. 2(a)(13)(C); and requirements for risk management and chief compliance officers are imposed by CEA sections 4s(j)(2) and 4s(k), 7 U.S.C. 6s(j)(2) and 6s(k).

d. The regulatory requirements imposed by the remanded rules fall largely on sophisticated financial firms active in international markets. It is unlikely that such firms would have significantly more difficulty than similar U.S. firms in applying U.S. law.

Foreign firms made subject to the rules by section 2(i) are likely to have significant experience in international markets, including in particular the U.S. market, since that provision only applies to firms whose transactions have a significant connection with or effect on U.S. commerce. Among such firms, the Swap Entity Registration,86 Daily Trading Records, Risk Management, Chief Compliance Officer,87 Swap Entity Definition,88 and Portfolio Reconciliation 89 Rules primarily impose requirements on swap dealers. A foreign business that meets the legal criteria to be classified as a swap dealer is likely to be a major international financial firm, for a number of reasons. Broadly speaking, the statutory swap dealer definition encompasses firms that are in the business of making available swaps to other persons, to meet the business needs of those persons, as opposed to firms that merely use swaps to hedge their own business risks or for their own investment purposes.90 Firms engaged in this line of business are likely to be sophisticated financial entities. Indeed, the Commission's rule further defining a swap dealer includes a “de minimis” exception under which an entity dealing in swaps is not considered to be a swap dealer unless its volume of dealing activity exceeds a specified notional dollar amount, currently $8 billion, with certain limited exceptions.91

86 77 FR 2613.

87 77 FR 20128.

88 77 FR 30596.

89 77 FR 55904.

90See, e.g., the interpretive guidance on the definition of swap dealer in the preamble to the Swap Entity Definition Rule, 77 FR at 30607-16.

91 17 CFR 1.3(ggg)(4). Under the terms of the regulation, the amount will change to $3 billion at the end of 2017 unless the Commission takes action to the contrary. The Commission is currently evaluating what the de minimis amount should be after this date. See, e.g., Swap Dealer De Minimis Exception Preliminary Report, A Report by Staff of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Pursuant to Regulation 1.3(ggg) (Nov. 18, 2015).

Pursuant to section 2(i), a foreign firm that otherwise meets the definition of a swap dealer would not be considered a swap dealer for purposes of Dodd-Frank swaps regulations unless its dealing activity has a direct and significant connection with activities in or effect on U.S. commerce. The Cross-Border Guidance describes current Commission policy for applying this limitation. Generally speaking, a non-U.S. firm engaged in swap dealing is only treated as a swap dealer if it is a guaranteed or conduit affiliate of a U.S. firm, or if its dealing activity with a connection to or effect on U.S. markets—including trades with U.S. persons and trades with non-U.S. firms that are guaranteed or conduit affiliates of U.S. persons—exceeds the de minimis amount, which, as noted, is currently $8 billion.92 Non-U.S. firms that meet these criteria are likely not only to be sophisticated financial firms, but also to have a significant presence in international markets and at least some familiarity with U.S. law, including Dodd-Frank and the CEA, and capacity for implementing compliance programs based on it. While the Guidance is non-binding, the scope of section 2(i) itself means that foreign entities subject to the swap dealer definition will generally be sophisticated international companies.

92 Cross-Border Guidance, 78 FR at 45318-20. An exception is non-U.S. firms that are themselves guaranteed or conduit affiliates of U.S. firms. For these firms, all of their swap dealing activity counts toward the de minimis threshold. Id. at 45318-19.

Consistent with this conclusion, of the firms currently registered as swap dealers with the Commission, almost all that are not U.S. companies are either foreign affiliates of U.S. companies, international banking companies, or affiliates of other major international companies.93 Similarly, in the preamble to the Swap Entity Registration Rule, the Commission noted that many of the foreign-based commenters on the rule had experience navigating U.S. law in connection with lines of business such as banking or insurance, although it acknowledged that there might potentially be higher costs for any swap dealers that may lack familiarity with U.S. law.94

93See Dodd-Frank Act, Provisionally Registered Swap Dealers, CFTC.gov, http://www.cftc.gov/ LawRegulation/DoddFrankAct/registerswapdealer.

94 77 FR at 2625.

The remanded reporting rules—the Real-Time Reporting, SDR Reporting, and Historical SDR Reporting Rules—also impose duties largely on sophisticated parties. For transactions executed on or subject to the rules of designated contract markets 95 (“DCMs”) or SEFs, reporting duties generally fall on the relevant DCM or SEF. In other swap transactions, the reporting duty generally falls on a swap dealer, assuming at least one of the parties is a dealer.96 For cleared swaps, certain reporting duties are handled by derivatives clearing organizations, another category of sophisticated entity.97 The Commission's understanding is that transactions that are not traded on or pursuant to the rules of a DCM or SEF and that do not involve a dealer, account for only a relatively small portion of the market.

95 Broadly speaking, “designated contract market” is the term used in the CEA for a traditional futures exchange or a similar exchange used for swap trading.

96 17 CFR 43.3(a)(3)(i)-(iii).

97See, e.g., 17 CFR 45.4(b); Amendments to Swap Data Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements for Cleared Swaps, 80 FR 52544 (Aug. 31, 2015).

3. The Commission and its staff have taken a variety of actions that mitigate, though they do not eliminate, differential costs of compliance for foreign and domestic swaps business, most importantly, though not only, through the program of substituted compliance. These mitigation actions are described in section IV.C, below.

B. General Observations by Commenters on Benefits of Extraterritorial Application of Remanded Rules

ISDA-SIFMA stated that net benefits of the extraterritorial application of Commission rules are likely to be reduced where foreign regulations accomplish similar results; they refer to “attenuated or minimal benefits” from “overlayering Commission regulations onto foreign regulations that meet the objectives outlined by the G-20 jurisdictions.” 98 Other commenters also refer to the existence of overlapping regulations in some areas such as reporting.99 The Commission agrees that the existence of similar foreign regulations can potentially reduce the incremental benefits of Commission rules for entities or transactions covered by those regulations. However, there are a number of factors that limit the weight that can be given to commenters' observations on this point in the context of the present remand.

98 ISDA-SIFMA at 2.

99 JBA at 2-3, IIB at 19-20.

1. ISDA-SIFMA and other commenters give little or no information as to what foreign regulations are currently in effect that they believe address the subject areas of the remanded Commission rules, in particular foreign regulations that are not at this time subject to substituted compliance. Several of the remanded rules cover subjects where non-U.S. regulation is not yet final. One example is the SEF Registration Rule. In the European Union (“EU”), the leading swaps market outside the United States, new regulations for “multilateral trading facilities” and “organized trading facilities”—EU terms for certain types of facilities that execute swaps—are being put in place pursuant to EU Directive 2014/65, markets in financial instruments directive, commonly known as “MiFID II,” and Regulation No. 600/2014, markets in financial instruments regulation, commonly known as “MiFIR,” both of which were adopted in 2014.100 However, the EU still needs to approve draft Regulatory Technical Standards put forth by the European Securities and Markets Authority implementing MiFID II and MiFIR.101 For some requirements, individual European states and competent authorities will need to take action to put requirements in force.102 As a result, these EU requirements are not currently expected to go into effect until January 3, 2018.103 Other foreign jurisdictions also generally do not have current regulations in operation for swaps trading facilities analogous to SEFs.104

100See, e.g., Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments and amending Directive 2002/92/EC and Directive 2011/61/EU, 2014 O.J. (L 173) 349; Regulation (EU) No. 600/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments and amending regulation (EU) No. 648/2012, 2014 O.J. (L 173) 84.

101 Council of the EU Press Release 255/16, Markets in financial instruments: Council confirms agreement on one-year delay (May 18, 2016).

102Id.

103Id.

104See Financial Stability Board, OTC Derivatives Market Reforms, Tenth Progress Report on Implementation, at 12-13, 17 Table F (Nov. 4, 2015), http://www.fsb.org/wp-content/uploads/OTC-Derivatives-10th-Progress-Report.pdf.

Another example is the Real-Time Reporting Rule. European regulations that will require the post-trade publication of swap transaction information are being implemented within the MiFID II/MiFIR framework and therefore are not yet operational.105 At present, with very limited exceptions, other non-U.S. jurisdictions also do not yet provide for public reporting of swap transaction information similar to that provided by the Real-Time Reporting Rule.106

105See International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”), Post-Trade Transparency in the Credit Default Swaps Market, Final Report, at 6 (Aug. 2015), http://www.iosco.org/library/pubdocs/pdf/IOSCOPD499.pdf.

106See id. Financial Stability Board, Thematic Review on OTC Derivatives Trade Reporting, Peer Review Report, at 51 Table 12 (Nov. 4, 2015) (“FSB Trade Reporting Review”), http://www.fsb.org/wp-content/uploads/Peer-review-on-trade-reporting.pdf.

The Commission will also need to monitor the effect of the recent vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union on the timing and other aspects of the implementation of foreign regulation in the areas of the remanded rules, particularly given the importance of London as a financial center.

2. Even where foreign jurisdictions have in place regulations broadly similar to U.S. regulations, there can be important benefits to having U.S. rules apply to foreign swaps activity that has a significant connection with or effect on U.S. markets. Among the remanded rules, one example is the Swap Entity Registration Rule, which sets forth the paperwork and related requirements for a swap dealer to register with the Commission.107 As explained in the cost-benefit discussion in the rule preamble, the major benefit of this rule is that it “will enable the Commission to increase market integrity and protect market participants and the public by identifying the universe of [swap dealers] and [major swap participants] subject to heightened regulatory requirements and oversight in connection with their swaps activities.” 108 In other words, the rule provides the Commission with basic identifying and other information to enable it to monitor the activities of swap dealers and major swap participants—whether foreign or domestic—with a significant connection with or effect on the U.S. market, thereby facilitating regulatory actions that may be required. Foreign licensure requirements do not provide the same benefit of directly and systematically providing the Commission information to enable it to identify and monitor foreign participants in U.S. markets.

107 77 FR at 2614. The underlying requirement to register derives from the statute. See CEA section 4s(a), 7 U.S.C. 6s(a).

108 Swap Entity Registration Rule, 77 FR at 2623.

Other important examples are the SDR and Historical SDR Reporting Rules. Among the primary benefits of these rules is to provide the Commission and other U.S. regulators with information on swaps trades to enable them to monitor and analyze the market.109 This benefit is relevant to swaps outside the United States made subject to reporting by section 2(i), since such swaps are likely to have significant effects on or connections to the U.S. financial system. While the EU and some other major swaps jurisdictions have rules in place requiring reporting of swaps transactions to “trade repositories,” U.S. regulators currently do not have ready access to this data for a variety of legal and practical reasons.110 While efforts are underway to address these issues, at present reporting to foreign trade repositories does not provide the same benefits for U.S. markets as the Commission's SDR and Historical SDR Reporting Rules.111

109See, e.g., discussion of benefits of SDR Reporting Rule in rule preamble, 77 FR at 2176, 2179, 2181.

110See FSB Trade Reporting Review at 27-28.

111See id. at 29-30 (recommendation that all jurisdictions should have a legal framework in place to permit access to data in trade repositories by foreign regulatory authorities by June 2018).

3. In circumstances where foreign and U.S. regulations address similar concerns, there may be economies in compliance activity that partially compensate for the effects of regulatory overlap. For example, investments by a firm in information and compliance systems to comply with foreign legal requirements in areas such as reporting and risk management are likely to be useful for—and thus reduce the incremental cost of—complying with similar U.S. requirements even if the rules differ in detail.

4. Through substituted compliance and other actions, the Commission has allowed businesses to rely on foreign law in circumstances where it can be shown that that law achieves benefits similar to the Commission's requirements. The Commission expects to make additional use of substituted compliance or other forms of recognition of similar foreign regulation as appropriate in the future, including when other foreign rules take effect. Substituted compliance and related actions are discussed in detail in section IV.C, below.

C. Substituted Compliance and Other Commission Actions To Mitigate Costs of Application of Remanded Rules Outside the United States

The Commission has taken a variety of actions to modify the overseas application of the remanded rules in circumstances where other jurisdictions have similar regulations in place. These actions may not eliminate the costs associated with duplicative regulation, but they substantially mitigate them, and therefore reduce any justification for substantive rule changes to address extraterritorial concerns.

The most important of the Commission's actions to address problems of duplicative regulation is substituted compliance. A framework for substituted compliance was set forth in the Commission's Cross-Border Guidance.112 Notably, since the Guidance is a non-binding policy statement, the Commission is not precluded from employing substituted compliance in circumstances, or on terms, not specified in the Guidance if there are good reasons for doing so.113

112 78 FR at 45342ff.

113 For example, in the recently promulgated rule on the cross-border application of the Commission's rule on margin requirements for uncleared swaps, the Commission established standards as to when substituted compliance would be available with respect to that rule that are somewhat different from the standards set forth in the Cross-Border Guidance. See 81 FR at 34829-30.

Substituted compliance is relevant to entities that are subject to the Commission's rules pursuant to section 2(i), but also are subject to the swaps laws of a foreign jurisdiction. Examples given in the Guidance include non-U.S. firms required under section 2(i) to register with the Commission as swap dealers and foreign branches and foreign-located guaranteed and conduit affiliates of U.S. swap dealers.114 Substituted compliance means that the Commission will permit the entity to comply with the law of the relevant foreign jurisdiction in lieu of compliance with one or more of the Commission's regulatory requirements.115 As a condition for substituted compliance, the Commission must find that the foreign jurisdiction's requirements, in a particular subject area, are comparable to and as comprehensive as, the Commission's requirements.116 The foreign jurisdiction's requirements need not be identical, however, so long as they achieve similar outcomes.117 Under the program described in the Guidance, the availability of substituted compliance may vary depending on the type of regulations or transactions at issue. For example, for certain regulations, called “transaction-level requirements” in the Guidance, substituted compliance is available to foreign swap dealers that are affiliates of U.S. firms in transactions with foreign counterparties, but not in transactions with counterparties who are U.S. persons, in light of the greater U.S. interest in the latter.118

114 78 FR at 45342.

115Id.

116Id.

117Id. at 45342-43.

118Id. at 45350-61.

Procedurally, persons interested in substituted compliance must apply to the Commission for a comparability determination. Applicants must identify the Commission requirements for which they seek substituted compliance and provide information about the foreign law that they believe is comparable.119 Applicants can include regulated firms, foreign regulators, and trade associations or similar groups.120 However, a resulting comparability determination will apply to all entities or transactions in the relevant jurisdiction, not just to particular applicants.121 In addition to the formal application, comparability determinations typically also involve consultation by the Commission with foreign regulators and may involve follow-up memoranda of understanding providing for information sharing and other forms of cooperation between regulators.122 These elements of the process allow the Commission to reduce burdens without sacrificing its regulatory interests as defined by the CEA and Dodd-Frank.

119Id. at 45344.

120Id.

121Id.

122Id.

In December 2013, the Commission announced comparability determinations—making substitute compliance possible—with respect to six foreign jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, and Switzerland in certain rulemaking areas. All of these jurisdictions were found to have laws comparable to two of the remanded rules, the Chief Compliance Officer and Risk Management Rules.123 The EU and Japan were found to have laws comparable to the Daily Trading Records Rule.124 The EU was also found to have laws comparable to most, and Japan to have laws comparable to some, provisions of the Portfolio Reconciliation Rule.125 The comparability determinations incorporated a number of exceptions, typically to ensure that the Commission or other U.S. authorities obtain information on foreign registrants.126

123 17 CFR 3.3, 23.600-23.606; see Comparability Determination for Australia: Certain Entity-Level Requirements, 78 FR 78864, 78868-75 (Dec. 27, 2013); Comparability Determination for Canada: Certain Entity-Level Requirements, 78 FR 78839, 78842-49 (Dec. 27, 2013); Comparability Determination for the European Union: Certain Entity-Level Requirements, 78 FR 78923, 78927-35 (Dec. 27, 2013); Comparability Determination for Hong Kong: Certain Entity-Level Requirements, 78 FR 78852, 78855-62 (Dec. 27, 2013); Comparability Determination for Japan: Certain Entity-Level Requirements, 78 FR 78910, 78914-21 (Dec. 27, 2013); Comparability Determination for Switzerland: Certain Entity-Level Requirements, 78 FR 78899, 78902-08 (Dec. 27, 2013).

124 17 CFR 23.202; see Comparability Determination for the European Union: Certain Entity-Level Requirements, 78 FR 78878, 78887-88 (Dec. 27, 2013); Comparability Determination for Japan: Certain Transaction-Level Requirements, 78 FR 78890, 78896-97 (Dec. 27, 2013).

125 17 CFR 23.501-23.506; see 78 FR at 78883-87; 78 FR at 78894-95.

126 For example the comparability determinations for the Risk Management and Chief Compliance Officer Rules required covered entities to make reports to the Commission, although these reports could be the same as the equivalent reports provided to the relevant foreign regulators.

Nothing in the Commission's policies for substituted compliance precludes additional comparability determinations, beyond those made in 2013, as the international legal landscape for swaps evolves. The Commission recently made a comparability determination for certain European rules for central counterparties, the EU equivalent of what U.S. law calls derivatives clearing organizations.127 While this is a subject area outside the SIFMA litigation, the Commission remains open to further substituted compliance for the remanded rules, upon an adequate showing of comparability.

127 Comparability Determination for the European Union: Dually Registered Derivatives Clearing Organizations and Central Counterparties, 81 FR 15260 (Mar. 22, 2016).

Comparability determinations have been supplemented by other actions to mitigate costs of the extraterritorial application of the remanded rules and accommodate foreign regulation. For example, in the Cross-Border Guidance, the Commission set forth a policy that, with certain exceptions, foreign swap dealers generally would not be required to comply with transaction-level requirements in connection with their swaps with foreign counterparties independently of the substituted compliance program.128 Another major example is the use of staff no-action letters. These have been used particularly in areas where the law is unsettled, either because of the continuing evolution of foreign law, efforts to harmonize regulation across jurisdictions, or, in some instances, possible changes in the Commission's own rules. Staff no-action relief has typically been for limited periods of time, with extensions granted as appropriate.

128 78 FR at 45369. In connection with the cross-border application of the margin rule for uncleared swaps, which postdates the present litigation, the Commission has established certain exclusions by rule. See 81 FR at 34850-51 (Table A).

One example is no-action relief in the area of the SDR and Historical SDR Reporting Rules. With certain exceptions, the Commission's Division of Market Oversight has granted no-action relief with respect to these rules for swap dealers and major swap participants established under the laws of Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, or Switzerland.129 This relief was issued after the Commission received requests for comparability determinations for trade repository reporting rules in these jurisdictions.130 The primary exceptions to the relief are for entities that are part of an affiliated group with a U.S. parent and for transactions with counterparties who are U.S. persons or guaranteed or conduit affiliates of U.S. persons.131 These exceptions reflect the stronger U.S. supervisory and oversight interest in such entities and transactions.132

129 CFTC Letter No. 15-61 (extending no-action relief provided in CFTC Letter No. 13-75 and extended under CFTC Letter No. 14-141).

130See id. at 2; CFTC Letter No. 13-75 at 1-2. In response to a request from ISDA, this relief was extended in late 2015 until the earlier of (a) 30 days after the issuance of a relevant comparability determination or (b) December 1, 2016. CFTC Letter No. 15-61 at 2.

131 CFTC Letter No. 15-61 at 2. There are also exceptions for certain recordkeeping requirements. Id.

132See CFTC Letter No. 13-75 at 2.

For certain other jurisdictions, the Division of Market Oversight, in response to an ISDA request, has granted no-action relief in connection with requirements in the SDR and Historical SDR Reporting Rules to report identifying information regarding swap counterparties in certain circumstances where doing so would conflict with foreign privacy laws or other legal requirements.133 The most recent no-action letter on this subject extends relief through March 1, 2017.134

133See, e.g., CFTC Letter Nos. 16-03, 13-41; see also IIB at 20 (supporting Commission's efforts to dispel conflicts with foreign privacy laws through no-action relief, data standardization, and memoranda of understanding).

134 CFTC Letter No. 16-03 at 4-5.

In connection with the SEF Registration Rule, in 2014 the Division of Market Oversight and Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued a letter stating that no-action relief from that rule would be available to multilateral trading facilities in EU member states upon certification that they were subject to regulatory requirements of their home governments similar to those of the SEF Registration Rule in specified ways.135 The letter also stated that certain no-action relief would be available to persons trading on these facilities to reflect the fact that the facilities would be carrying out functions like those of U.S. SEFs.136 This includes partial relief from two of the remanded rules, SDR Reporting and Real-Time Reporting, since the EU trading facility, like a SEF, would be reporting the swap data in question.137 To date, no European trading facilities have submitted the required certification to obtain this no-action relief.

135See CFTC Letter No. 14-46. This letter superseded an earlier no-action letter on the same subject, CFTC Letter No. 14-16.

136 CFTC Letter No. 14-46.

137Id.

The Division of Market Oversight and the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight have also issued a letter announcing the availability of similar no-action relief for certain Australian licensed financial markets.138 An Australian trading facility has advised the Division of Market Oversight that it intends to make the certification required by the enabling letter.139 In the interim, the Division has issued a series of no-action letters granting the facility time-limited no-action relief from the SEF Registration Rule, subject to certain conditions.140 This relief currently extends until September 15, 2016.141

138 CFTC Letter No. 14-117, updated by CFTC Letter No. 15-29.

139See CFTC Letter No. 16-52.

140Id.

141Id.

Further, in response to industry requests, the Commission staff has issued no-action relief to address a variety of issues related to the implementation of some of the remanded rules that do not specifically involve cross-border issues, but that may provide relief to foreign as well as domestic businesses subject to the rules.142 In addition, the Commission is codifying some existing no-action relief via rulemaking.143

142See, e.g., CFTC Letter Nos. 15-60, 15-38.

143 The Commission has recently done this for registration requirements involving foreign nationals. Alternative to Fingerprinting Requirement for Foreign Natural Persons, 81 FR 18743 (Apr. 1, 2016). See also, Definitions of “Portfolio Reconciliation” and “Material Terms” for Purposes of Swap Portfolio Reconciliation, 81 FR 27309 (May 6, 2016).

D. Commission Consideration of Substantive Rule Changes Outside the Context of the Remand Order

Another factor weighing against adopting substantive rule changes in the immediate context of the SIFMA remand is that the Commission currently is involved in a number of ongoing international efforts that may in the future result in the Commission considering substantive rule changes and may thereby lead to further mitigation of costs of extraterritorial application of the remanded rules. These include discussions with foreign regulators at a variety of levels of formality. For example, in the SEF area, the Commission has worked with European counterparts to understand similarities and differences in our rules.

In the area of swap data reporting, the Commission staff is actively involved in international efforts to develop guidance regarding data elements used for reporting in different jurisdictions.144 While the primary purpose of this effort is to make reported information more valuable to regulators, better standardization of data elements may also reduce compliance costs for entities operating under the laws of multiple jurisdictions and help facilitate the use of substituted compliance for reporting requirements in the future. In another example of ongoing developments involving swaps data reporting, in December 2015 Congress amended the Dodd-Frank provision regarding swaps data repositories to remove an indemnification requirement that has proven to be an obstacle to the sharing of data internationally.145 The Commission staff is considering recommendations to the Commission for amendments to Commission rules to address this statutory change. As with data standards, improved sharing of information among regulators potentially could support the future use of substituted compliance in the swap data reporting area.

144See, e.g., Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, Consultative report, Harmonisation of key OTC derivatives data elements (other than UTI and UPI)—first batch (Sept. 2015). The Commission co-chairs an international working group in this area. Id. at Annex 2.

145See, e.g., FAST Act Includes Dodd-Frank Swap Fix on Global Transparency, Practical Law (Dec. 15, 2015), http://us.practicallaw.com/w-001-0649?q=&qp=&qo=&qe=.

The Commission believes that harmonization through substantive rule changes is best considered first in consultation with foreign counterparts, rather than unilaterally and reactively. Indeed, section 752 of Dodd-Frank directs the Commission to “consult and coordinate with foreign regulatory authorities on the establishment of consistent international standards with respect to the regulation (including fees) of swaps.” 146 This ensures that rule changes are more likely to result in harmonized regulation rather than a race to the bottom or rules that do not function efficiently in combination. Where such progress has not yet produced agreement or relief, it does not affect the present costs and benefits of the extraterritorial application of the remanded rules. But the existence of these efforts is a factor weighing against making immediate changes in the rules in the context of the SIFMA v. CFTC remand.

146 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

E. Market Fragmentation and Related Issues

ISDA-SIFMA and JBA state that, in addition to imposing direct costs on foreign businesses, the extraterritorial application of the remanded rules may induce such businesses to reduce their participation in the U.S. market to avoid U.S. regulation. For example, ISDA-SIFMA observes:

These costs and uncertainties [of foreign entities' compliance with U.S. rules] function as barriers to entry and to continued engagement in U.S. markets, potentially resulting in market fragmentation and decreased liquidity available to U.S. persons as foreign market participants change their business practices so as not to subject themselves to Commission regulation.147

147 ISDA-SIFMA at 2. See also JBA at 2. IIB also discusses market withdrawal issues, but primarily in the context of application of the DSIO Advisory and Division of Market Oversight guidance document relating to legal standards for the application of Commission rules based on the provision of swap-related services by non-U.S. persons within the United States. IIB's concerns in this area are discussed below in section IV.F.

This is an important issue worthy of the Commission's sustained attention. The possibility that compliance costs may induce some businesses—whether domestic or foreign—to reduce their swaps activities was recognized at the time of the original rulemakings and was discussed in the cost-benefit section of the preamble to the Swap Entity Definition Rule, albeit without specifically distinguishing between domestic and cross-border activity.148 It is plausible that foreign firms are more likely to reduce their swaps activities in U.S. markets in response to U.S. regulation since U.S. markets may be less important to foreign firms, at least for some firms and some categories of swaps. However, it is difficult to evaluate the magnitude of any such effects since, with the important but limited exception of ISDA data on the SEF Registration Rule discussed immediately below, commenters generally did not provide quantitative information on the subject.

148See 77 FR at 30703 & n.1272, 30705.

Nevertheless, it is reasonable to believe that if an individual firm judges that costs of complying with U.S. rules exceed the costs of reducing its participation in or withdrawing from U.S. markets, it may choose to avoid U.S. markets, at least temporarily. Accordingly, it is important to consider, as ISDA-SIFMA has raised, whether and to what extent rule-induced avoidance of U.S. markets will have a significant effect on the liquidity and the overall operation of those markets. ISDA-SIFMA discusses two ISDA research notes which provide relevant quantitative information on this issue for one of the remanded rules, the SEF Registration Rule.149

149 ISDA-SIFMA at 3 & n.6 (citing ISDA Research Note, Cross-Border Fragmentation of Global OTC Derivatives: An Empirical Analysis (Jan. 2014), https://www2.isda.org/attachment/NjIzNw==/Cross%20Border%20Fragmentation%20-%20An%20Empirical%20Analysis.pdf; and ISDA Research Note, Revisiting Cross-Border Fragmentation of Global OTC Derivatives: Mid-Year 2014 Update (July 2014), https://www2.isda.org/attachment/NjY0NQ==/Fragmentation%20study%20FINAL.pdf).

The research notes studied transactions between U.S. and European swap dealers before and after the compliance date of the rule in October 2013. They studied transactions involving two categories of cleared swaps, euro-denominated interest rate swaps (“euro IRS”) and U.S. dollar-denominated interest rate swaps (“dollar IRS”).150 For euro IRS, the notes found that, before the compliance date of the SEF Registration Rule, the average volume of transactions between European and U.S. dealers was approximately 29% of the total volume of euro IRS. This figure fell to 9% in October 2013 and 6% in May 2014.151

150 ISDA Research Note, Cross-Border Fragmentation of Global OTC Derivatives: An Empirical Analysis (Jan. 2014), and ISDA Research Note, Revisiting Cross-Border Fragmentation of Global OTC Derivatives: Mid-Year 2014 Update (July 2014).

151 ISDA-SIFMA at 3.

The ISDA figures on euro IRS volume provide evidence of a reduction in European involvement in the U.S. interdealer market following the compliance date of the SEF Registration Rule, but do not measure liquidity or market quality. The ISDA evidence raises concerns about market fragmentation and justifies further inquiry, including inquiry into possible effects of market fragmentation on liquidity. However, the ISDA data does not require immediate changes in the SEF Registration Rule in the context of the SIFMA v. CFTC remand, for a number of reasons.

1. There is a significant possibility that the ISDA data reflect a temporary transition period rather than the permanent effects of the SEF Registration Rule. As discussed above, the European Union, in MiFID II and MiFIR, has determined to put in place a regulatory framework for swap trading facilities that aims at many of the same objectives as the Dodd-Frank regime for SEFs.152 As also discussed above, these regulations are planned to take effect in 2018. As a result, to the extent that the reduced participation in the U.S. market reported by ISDA is driven by differences in U.S. and European regulation of trading facilities, those differences can be expected to narrow in the next few years. For the same reason, the results reported by ISDA may not reflect European dealers' response to the specific substantive requirements of the SEF Registration Rule but, rather, a preference to trade in a market where more robust regulation of trading platforms has yet been put into effect. It is also possible that, as the European Union regime is implemented, the Commission may consider substituted compliance or similar actions that might affect choice of counterparties by European dealers.153

152See, e.g., MiFIR, supra note 100, at 2-3 (recital 8).

153See, e.g., CEA section 5h(g), 7 U.S.C. 7b-3(g) (authorizing conditional or unconditional exemptions from SEF registration for SEFs subject to comparable, comprehensive supervision and regulation by governmental authorities in the home country of the facility). For comparison, in the area of clearing, the Commission has granted conditional exemptions from U.S. registration to a number of foreign-regulated derivatives clearing organizations under the authority of CEA section 5b(h), 7 U.S.C. 7a-1(h). See, e.g., Order of Exemption from Registration, In the Matter of the Petition of Japan Securities Clearing Corporation for Exemption from Registration as a Derivatives Clearing Organization (CFTC Oct. 26, 2015), available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@otherif/documents/ifdocs/jsccdcoexemptorder10-26-15.pdf.

2. It is not clear how far the results reported by ISDA for euro IRS generalize. According to the more recent of the research notes cited by ISDA-SIFMA, in the interdealer market for dollar IRS, the portion of the market involving transactions between European and U.S. swap dealers declined to some extent for several months after the SEF Registration Rule took effect, but then returned to more-or-less pre-rule levels.154 The note suggests that the difference between the results for euro IRS and dollar IRS “may be because the market for US IRS is US-centric, whereas the market for euro IRS has a more global character and is thus more prone to fragmentation.” 155 The market for euro IRS is large enough that even results confined to this market are still important for Commission policymaking, but the differences in the results reported by ISDA for different IRS markets affected by the same SEF Registration Rule are a reason for caution in drawing conclusions with respect to the specifics of the rule.156

154 ISDA Research Note, Revisiting Cross-Border Fragmentation of Global OTC Derivatives: Mid-Year 2014 Update at 8.

155Id.

156 It may also be noted that, in the euro IRS market, U.S. swap dealers continued to do most of their trading with European swap dealers after the implementation of the SEF Registration Rule, notwithstanding the apparent shift away from the U.S. market by the European firms. According to the more recent of the research notes, U.S. swap dealers did 66% of the volume of their euro IRS trades with European swap dealers in 2013, and still did 61% of the volume of these trades with European swap dealers in the first part of 2014. Id. at 5.

3. To the extent that the results reported by ISDA are attributable to regulation, they may be partly attributable to regulatory requirements that are not subject to the SIFMA remand, including statutory requirements. As the more recent of the ISDA research notes points out, initial “made available to trade” determinations occurred in early 2014, triggering a requirement under U.S. law that the types of swaps studied by ISDA be traded on SEFs or DCMs. According to the research note, this could have contributed to the European swap dealer behavior reported by ISDA.157 However, the requirement that certain swaps be traded on either SEFs or DCMs is not imposed by the remanded SEF Registration Rule. It arises primarily from the combined effect of the mandatory clearing requirement under CEA section 2(h)(1); 158 the Commission's Clearing Determination Rule,159 which was part of the SIFMA lawsuit, but was not remanded; and the statutory requirement that swap transactions subject to mandatory clearing be traded on a SEF or DCM if a SEF or DCM makes the swap available to trade.160 This adds a further complication in drawing conclusions from the ISDA data for purposes of the remand order.

157Id. at 1, 4-5.

158 7 U.S.C. 2(h)(1).

159 17 CFR part 50.

160See CEA section 2(h)(8), 7 U.S.C. 2(h)(8).

4. The criteria for identifying dealers as European and U.S. in the ISDA research notes is not completely clear, but appear to be based, at least in part, on country of incorporation.161 However, some swap dealers incorporated in Europe are subsidiaries or affiliates of U.S. companies while some swap dealers incorporated in the United States are subsidiaries or affiliates of European companies.162 As a result, it is likely that some of the swaps business that shifted away from U.S. dealers as reported in the ISDA notes moved to swap dealers incorporated in Europe that have corporate relationships with U.S. swap dealers. The economic effect of such a shift may depend on the nature of the business relationship between the affiliated dealers—for example whether their swaps activities are managed in a unified manner or how risks and obligations are transferred among the affiliates. These issues are not explored in the research notes.

161See ISDA Research Note, Revisiting Cross-Border Fragmentation of Global OTC Derivatives: Mid-Year 2014 Update at 4 n.5.

162See Dodd-Frank Act, Provisionally Registered Swap Dealers, CFTC.gov, http://www.cftc.gov/ LawRegulation/DoddFrankAct/registerswapdealer (list of registered swap dealers).

5. Even apart from scheduled changes in European law, enhanced regulation of multilateral swap trading platforms, such as SEFs, is still relatively new and the industry is likely to continue to evolve.163 There is also ongoing research into the effects of SEF regulation, including the market fragmentation issue raised by ISDA-SIFMA.164 As a result, a better understanding of the issue and its implications is likely to be available in the reasonably near future compared with the present record.

163See, e.g., Chris Barnes, Is an All-to-All SEF Market About to Arrive? Clarus Financial Technology (Sept. 8, 2015), https://www.clarusft.com/is-an-all-to-all-sef-market-about-to-arrive/.

164See, e.g., Evangelos Benos, Richard Payne & Michalis Vasios, Centralized trading, transparency and interest rate swap market liquidity: evidence from the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, Staff Working Paper No. 580 (Jan. 2016), http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2016/swp580.pdf; ISDA Research Note, Cross-Border Fragmentation of Global Interest Rate Derivatives: The New Normal? First Half 2015 Update (Oct. 2015), http://www2.isda.org/attachment/Nzk2NA==/Market%20fragmentation%20Oct15%20FINAL.pdf. Because these sources postdate the comment period on the Commission's Initial Response, the Commission is not relying on their findings. They are cited as evidence that relevant research is ongoing.

6. The evidence of market fragmentation cited by ISDA-SIFMA needs to be considered against the background of the expected benefits to the functioning of the swap market provided by the requirements of the SEF Registration Rule. These benefits were discussed in detail in the preamble to the rule.165 They include, among others, increased pre-trade transparency (availability of information about prices and quantities at which traders are prepared to transact), potentially making the market more efficient by facilitating the ability of participants to identify potential counterparties.166 The requirements of the rule are also calculated to put market participants on a more even footing, reducing the effects of informational asymmetries or other forms of market power, and potentially making the swaps market less concentrated and more competitive.167 All of this can potentially increase market liquidity.168 The research notes cited by ISDA-SIFMA raise significant issues but provide little, if any, information on how the functioning of U.S. swaps markets has been affected, so far, by any reduced participation on the part of European swap dealers. For example, they do not provide comparative information on bid-ask spreads or other indicators of market efficiency.

165See 78 FR at 33553-56, 33564-81.

166Id. at 33564-65.

167Id. at 33564.

168See id. at 33554-55.

Notwithstanding these considerations, the research cited by ISDA-SIFMA raises important issues that justify further inquiry. But, for the reasons stated, it does not require immediate changes to the SEF Registration Rule in the context of the SIFMA remand.

F. Issues Relating to Application of Commission Rules to Foreign Firms Based on Swaps Activities Within the United States 1. Background

The IIB comment focused on the cost-benefit implications for the remanded rules if the Commission employs a test based on swaps-related activities physically located within the United States for determining, in certain circumstances, whether U.S. swaps rules apply to transactions between two non-U.S. firms. ISDA-SIFMA addressed the implications of such a test more briefly, making points similar to those of IIB. As noted previously, the idea of a test based on physical presence of activities in the United States in connection with rules for swap dealers was articulated in the November 2013 DSIO Advisory; while a test based on trading by persons inside the United States on multilateral platforms located outside the country was articulated in the Division of Market Oversight Guidance on Application of Certain Commission Regulations to Swap Execution Facilities (November 15, 2013) (“DMO Guidance”). Before addressing the issues raised by IIB and ISDA-SIFMA, some background will be given as context.

The DSIO Advisory dealt with certain issues involving the application of transaction-level requirements to non-U.S. swap dealers, i.e., foreign firms that do sufficient U.S.-related swap dealing that they are required to register with the Commission as swap dealers. In the Cross-Border Guidance, the Commission stated that its policy for applying Commission rules to such dealers in accordance with section 2(i) of the CEA would make use of a distinction between what it described as entity-level requirements and transaction-level requirements.169 As the names imply, an entity-level requirement is a rule requirement that is recognized by the Commission as applying to a firm as a whole, while a transaction-level requirement is a requirement that is recognized by the Commission as applying at the level of the individual transaction.170 Among the remanded rules, the Real-Time Reporting, Daily Trading Records, and Portfolio Reconciliation Rules are characterized as transaction-level rules in the Guidance.171 According to the policy announced in the Cross-Border Guidance, transaction-level requirements would generally be expected to apply to swaps between a non-U.S. swap dealer and U.S. counterparty, but they would not generally be expected to apply, with certain exceptions, to swaps between a non-U.S. swap dealer and a non-U.S. counterparty.172 The general exceptions are for transactions with certain non-U.S. counterparties with a particularly close connection to the U.S. market, specifically guaranteed and conduit affiliates of U.S. firms.173

169 78 FR at 45331.

170Id.

171Id. at 45333.

172 Id. at 45350-53.

173 Id. at 45353-59.

The DSIO Advisory addresses situations where a non-U.S. swap dealer has personnel located within the United States that regularly engage in certain forms of swap dealing activity. The advisory expressed the view that a non-U.S. dealer who is “regularly using personnel or agents located in the U.S. to arrange, negotiate, or execute a swap with a non-U.S. person generally would be required to comply with the Transaction-Level Requirements” with respect to such swaps, even though a non-U.S. swap dealer generally is not required to comply with transaction-level requirements for swaps with another non-U.S. counterparty.174 In support of this position, the advisory stated that, in the view of DSIO, “the Commission has a strong supervisory interest in swap dealing activities that occur within the United States, regardless of the status of the counterparties.” 175 The advisory stated that it reflected the views of DSIO only, and did not necessarily represent the position of the Commission or any other office or division of the Commission.176

174 DSIO Advisory at 2.

175Id.

176Id.

Shortly after the DSIO Advisory was issued, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, the Division of Market Oversight, and the Division of Clearing and Risk issued temporary no-action relief with respect to activity within the scope of that described in the DSIO Advisory regarding transaction-level requirements.177 This relief has since been extended, most recently until the earlier of September 30, 2016, or the effective date of any Commission action with respect to the issues raised by the DSIO Advisory.178 In January of 2014, the Commission published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the DSIO Advisory.179 Comments on the DSIO Advisory remain under review and the Commission, to date, has not sought to enforce its rules against a foreign entity based solely on the type of swap dealing activity discussed in the advisory.

177 CFTC Letter No. 13-71.

178 CFTC Letter No. 15-48.

179 Request for Comment on Application of Commission Regulations to Swaps Between Non-U.S Swap Dealers and Non-U.S. Counterparties Involving Personnel or Agents of the Non-U.S. Swap Dealers Located in the United States, 79 FR 1347 (Jan. 8, 2014).

The DMO Guidance addressed a variety of issues regarding application of the SEF Registration Rule. As relevant here, the DMO Guidance addressed circumstances in which a multilateral swaps trading platform located outside the United States provides U.S. persons or persons located in the United States—including personnel or agents of non-U.S. persons—with the ability to trade or execute swaps on or pursuant to the rules of the platform, whether directly or through intermediaries.180 The DMO Guidance expressed the view that provision of the ability to trade or execute swaps to U.S. located-persons, including personnel or agents of non-U.S. persons, “may create the requisite connection under CEA section 2(i) for purposes of the SEF/DCM registration requirement.” 181 As a result, the Division of Market Oversight “expects that a multilateral swaps trading platform located outside the United States” that provides U.S. located persons, including personnel or agents of non-U.S. firms, with the ability to trade or execute swaps pursuant to the rules of the platform “will register as a SEF or DCM.” 182 The DMO Guidance indicated that in determining whether a particular foreign trading platform needed to register as a SEF, it would take into consideration whether the platform directly solicits or markets its services to U.S.-located persons and whether a significant portion of its business involved U.S.-located persons.183 The DMO Guidance stated that it represents the views of the Division of Market Oversight only and does not represent the views of the Commission or any other office or division of the Commission.184

180 DMO Guidance at 2.

181Id.

182Id. at 2.

183Id. at 2 n.8.

184Id. at 5.

2. Comments on Cost-Benefit Implications of DSIO Advisory a. Points Made by Commenters

IIB identifies a number of general costs—not specific to particular rules—from applying a test based on presence in the United States to transactions between non-U.S. swap dealers and non-U.S. counterparties. The major cost, according to IIB, is that such a test would create incentives to avoid using personnel located in the United States in such transactions in order to avoid being subject to U.S. transaction-level rules.185 While the transactions could still occur, IIB states that parties would lose certain advantages that may be associated with the use of personnel located in the United States. In particular, IIB states that personnel with the greatest expertise in some markets, such as U.S. dollar denominated interest rate swaps, are typically located in the United States.186 Relatedly, presence in the United States may provide traders with better access to information on U.S. markets.187 In addition, U.S.-located personnel can have advantages for time zone reasons.188 IIB also states that some advantages of centralized risk management may be lost if functions previously handled by personnel located in the United States are split, with U.S. personnel retaining the functions for transactions with U.S. counterparties and personnel outside the U.S. handling those same functions for other transactions to avoid the effects of a U.S. presence test.189

185 IIB at 5-6; see also ISDA-SIFMA at 4.

186 IIB at 5 & n.12.

187Id. at 5.

188Id.

189Id. at 5-6.

IIB also states that, since such a test applies to transactions between non-U.S. firms, it exposes them to the cost of dealing with duplicative and possibly contradictory foreign regulation.190 IIB also notes that there will be costs associated with keeping track of which swaps with non-U.S. counterparties are arranged, negotiated, or executed by personnel located in the United States and incorporating that information into compliance systems.191 IIB further observes that, even if most of these costs fall on non-U.S. swap dealers who maintain offices in the United States, some will fall on non-U.S. counterparties who deal with these swap dealers.192

190Id. at 6-7.

191Id. at 8.

192Id. at 8-9.

IIB also characterizes the benefits of applying a test based on physical presence in the United States to transaction-level requirements as doubtful. IIB states that transactions made subject to U.S. regulation by such a test do not give rise to risks to the U.S. financial system because they do not involve a counterparty that is a U.S. person or a guaranteed or conduit affiliate of a U.S. person.193 IIB further asserts that this test does not offer competitive parity benefits. IIB states that, even if the Commission believes that, without a physical presence test, there is an unlevel playing field between U.S. and non-U.S. swap dealers employing U.S.-located front-office personnel, such concerns are outweighed by the applicability of foreign regulation to those non-U.S. swap dealers and by new competitive disparities such a test would create between U.S. and non-U.S. personnel.194 Finally, IIB states that any benefits from application of rules pursuant to a physical presence test would be “largely illusory” to the extent that non-U.S. entities structure transactions to fall outside the test.195

193Id. at 6. As explained above, under the policies for applying section 2(i) announced in the Cross-Border Guidance, transactions between a non-U.S. swap dealer and a counterparty that is a U.S. person or guaranteed or conduit affiliate are subject to transaction-level requirements independently of the location of the swap dealer's personnel.

194 IIB at 6.

195Id.

IIB also discusses certain implications of the application of such a test to particular rules, including the three transaction-level rules that are part of the SIFMA remand.196 IIB notes that the Portfolio Reconciliation Rule and the Daily Trading Records Rule are intended to mitigate risks to the U.S. financial system.197 IIB states that the risks those rules are intended to address are not borne by the personnel who arrange, negotiate, or execute swaps, but rather by the parties to the swap.198 In transactions made subject to these rules solely based on the physical presence of dealing activity in the United States, neither counterparty is a U.S. person or a guaranteed or conduit affiliate of a U.S. person so, according to IIB, the risks do not flow back to the U.S. financial system and the purposes of the rules are not served or only served in an attenuated way.199

196 Much of IIB's discussion of specific rules concerns external business conduct and entity-level rules that are outside the remand and therefore are not addressed here. See, e.g., IIB at 14-16, 19-20.

197 IIB at 9.

198Id.

199Id. at 9 & n.27.

With respect to the Real-Time Reporting Rule, IIB appears to acknowledge that this rule, as a general matter, may generate useful market information since it states that non-U.S. counterparties “can effectively free ride and obtain the benefits of the CEA's real-time public reporting requirements by accessing publicly available price data and taking that data into account when negotiating its swaps.” 200 However, IIB asserts that these same non-U.S. counterparties have a financial incentive to avoid engaging in transactions that are subject to this rule, and will therefore have an incentive to avoid transactions involving U.S. personnel if a physical presence test applies. In particular, according to IIB, swap dealers may provide worse pricing in transactions subject to real-time reporting. This is so, according to IIB, because swap dealers must allow for the possibility that they will be unable to hedge the transaction before the terms of the underlying transaction are disclosed pursuant to the Real-Time Reporting Rule, and may face worse market terms for their hedge transactions as a result of the disclosure.201 IIB does not, however, provide data indicating how often this phenomenon is likely to occur or comparing bid-ask spreads in transactions subject to the Real-Time Reporting Rule with those in similar transactions not covered by the rule. IIB also states that application of a physical presence test to the Real-Time Reporting Rule may be costly to implement because current systems used by non-U.S. swap dealers to identity which of their swaps must be reported under the rule do not track information on the location of front-office personnel involved in arranging, negotiating, or executing the swap.202 IIB does not provide quantitative cost estimates, however.

200Id. at 12.

201Id.

202Id.

b. Commission Response

The Commission agrees with IIB and ISDA-SIFMA that the test articulated in the DSIO Advisory raises significant issues that need to be considered by the Commission. However, their comments are overwhelmingly presented as a criticism of the test itself, not as a basis for substantive rule changes. The SIFMA v. CFTC remand order does not cover this issue, because the test relates to the geographical scope of application of certain Commission rules and not to their substance.203 Accordingly, the Commission will not pass judgment on it in the context of this release. Rather, as noted above, the Commission has separately solicited, and is considering, comments on the DSIO Advisory; and, in the interim, the Commission's regulatory divisions have granted staff no-action relief.

203See SIFMA, 67 F. Supp. 3d at 434-35.

For purposes of the remand, the Commission will address a narrower issue: do the possible cost-benefit implications of a physical presence test sufficiently alter the evaluation of the costs and benefits of the three remanded transaction-level rules to require the Commission to make changes in the substance of those rules at the present time. The Commission concludes that they do not, for a number of reasons:

1. The cost-benefit implications of the test articulated in the DSIO Advisory for the three remanded transaction-level rules are currently uncertain because the Commission is still considering public comments and it is uncertain at this time whether the Commission will apply the test. As a result of no-action relief, the test has not, to date, been applied or, therefore, affected the costs and benefits of the remanded rules. As a result, even if the test potentially might affect costs and benefits in a manner that is distinct from the mere fact of extraterritorial regulation, it is not appropriate at this time to fashion substantive rule changes to account for it.

2. The test articulated in the DSIO Advisory affects a somewhat limited segment of the market—only swap transactions that a non-U.S. swap dealer enters into with non-U.S. counterparties that are not guaranteed or conduit affiliates of U.S. persons and that are arranged, negotiated, or executed using personnel or agents of the non-U.S. swap dealer that are located in the United States. This limits the implications of the test for the overall costs and benefits of the remanded rules even if the points made by the commenters are important for purposes of the costs and benefits of the rules as applied to transactions within the scope of such a test. In addition, this fact makes it likely that the best way to address issues raised with respect to the test will involve assessing the test itself rather than making rule changes that would affect numerous transactions outside its scope. Consistent with this conclusion, the IIB comment makes recommendations with regard to application of the test itself, but makes no recommendations for across-the-board changes in the substance of the three remanded transaction-level rules.204 Similarly, ISDA-SIFMA identifies costs that it states would be caused by implementation of the test, but does not make recommendations for changes to the substance of the remanded transaction-level rules as a way of addressing those costs.205

204See IIB at 16-19.

205 ISDA-SIFMA at 4.

3. Even assuming that a test based on dealing activities by non-U.S. firms physically present in the United States were to be implemented for transaction-level rules, there are a number of considerations that limit, though they do not eliminate, the weight that can be given to some of the points made by commenters with respect to the implications of such a test for costs and benefits.

(a) IIB and ISDA-SIFMA do not provide quantitative information or estimates of the effects they project.206 The fact that staff no-action relief was promptly put in place presumably affected the ability to obtain quantitative information on the effects of the test in the DSIO Advisory, but the absence of quantitative information, or even estimates, makes it difficult to assess how important the effects described by the commenters would be in practice.

206 The ISDA research notes on market fragmentation do not relate to the test in the DSIO Advisory since they involve transactions between European and U.S. swap dealers, while the DSIO Advisory primarily relates to transactions between two non-U.S. firms.

(b) Convergence between foreign and U.S. regulation may reduce incentives to avoid U.S. regulation and therefore to avoid making use of U.S. personnel or agents to avoid such regulation. For example, as described above, the EU currently is planning to implement public reporting of swaps transactions broadly similar to the Real-Time Reporting Rule in 2018.

(c) The discussion of the implications of a physical presence test for the Real-Time Reporting Rule in the IIB comment asserts that swap dealers will tend to offer worse pricing to counterparties in transactions subject to the Real-Time Reporting Rule because reporting may expose dealers to worse prices in their hedging transactions.207 However, this possibility was recognized in the original rulemaking and provisions were built into the rule to minimize the chance that the otherwise anonymous public reporting of trades would provide the market with information that would enable traders to identify planned, but not-yet-executed, hedge trades by dealers and take advantage of that information. These provisions include time delays for reporting of large transactions 208 and reporting of rounded or “capped” notional amounts rather than the actual notional amount for block trades and certain other large transactions.209 The cost-benefit discussion in the preamble to the rule concluded that time delays “will counter the possibility for front-running large block trades before they can be adequately hedged.” 210 The IIB comment does not address the consideration of this issue in the original rulemaking and in a subsequent rulemaking that amended the anonymity-protecting provisions.211

207 IIB at 12.

208See 17 CFR 43.5.

209See 17 CFR 43.4(h).

210 Real-Time Reporting Rule, 77 FR at 1239.

211See Procedures to Establish Appropriate Minimum Block Sizes for Large Notional Off-Facility Swaps and Block Trades, 78 FR 32866, 32928-31 (May 31, 2013) (discussing costs and benefits of amendments to anonymity protection provisions of Real-Time Reporting Rule).

3. Comments on Application of SEF Registration Rule to Non-U.S. Trading Platforms Based on Provision of Services Within the United States a. Points Made in Comments

IIB discusses cost-benefit issues arising from the application of a test based on provision of services within the United States to the SEF Registration Rule pursuant to the interpretation of section 2(i) in the DMO Guidance.212 As described above, according to this interpretation, a non-U.S. swaps trading platform would be subject to the SEF Registration Rule even if the platform provides swap execution services solely to non-U.S. persons, if it provides personnel or agents of those persons with the ability to make trades from locations within the United States. According to IIB, this has a number of negative effects. IIB states that some non-U.S. multilateral trading platforms have refused access to U.S.-located personnel of foreign firms in order to avoid the costs of having to register as SEFs.213 According to IIB, this encourages U.S. personnel of non-U.S. entities to trade swaps bilaterally, over-the-counter, contrary to the Commission's overall transparency objectives.214 IIB does not, however, provide information on how often these phenomena may have occurred or give examples. IIB also does not discuss whether U.S. SEFs or other non-U.S. multilateral trading platforms may sometimes be able to provide substitute services if a particular non-U.S. multilateral trading platform refuses access. IIB also notes that the test in the DMO Guidance extends to trades executed through an intermediary and states that the benefits of SEF registration are highly attenuated in transactions where U.S. personnel of non-U.S. firms trade on a non-U.S. multilateral trading facility through an intermediary because the intermediary will be regulated by the Commission and this will provide significant customer and market integrity protections.215

212 IIB at 13-14.

213Id. at 13.

214Id.

215Id. at 14.

b. Commission Response

As with the DSIO Advisory, the issues raised by IIB with respect to the DMO Guidance relate to the geographic scope of the SEF Registration Rule as opposed to substantive rule requirements that may carry unique cross-border costs. Consistent with this, IIB recommends changes in the geographic approach taken in the DMO Guidance and does not recommend changes in the SEF Registration Rule itself. Moreover, to the extent that there are cost implications of the type identified by IIB, they relate to a limited subset of the market—transactions between non-U.S. firms that the firms would prefer to have executed on a non-U.S. trading platform with at least one firm using a U.S.-based trader. For these reasons, the Commission concludes that the issues raised by IIB with respect to the DMO Guidance do not warrant changes in the substantive provisions of the SEF Registration Rule and are beyond the scope of the remand.

G. Additional Observations Made by Commenters on Costs and Benefits of Extraterritorial Application of Particular Rules 1. SEF Registration Rule

The UBS comment emphasized the benefits of the SEF Registration Rule, particularly provisions requiring SEFs to provide impartial access so that market participants can compete on a level playing field and to provide straight-through-processing, which is designed to make the workflow from trade execution to clearing as robust and efficient as possible.216 The comment endorsed the extraterritorial application of the rule consistent with section 2(i), stating that, “[i]n light of the global and flexible nature of swaps execution, failing to apply the provisions of [the rule] to all activities subject to the Commission's jurisdiction would risk undermining the importance of the core principles contained therein as the global swaps market continues to evolve.” 217 The comment further stated that, as other jurisdictions proceed with finalizing swap execution rules, the Commission should attempt to maximize harmonization while preserving core principles that are critical to a well-functioning market.218

216 UBS at 1.

217Id.

218Id.

The Commission agrees that broad application of the SEF Registration Rule within its jurisdiction will benefit the market in terms of transparency, efficiency, and competitiveness. The Commission also agrees that realization of those benefits may be enhanced by harmonization with foreign regimes, consistent with the Commission's own regulatory objectives.

ISDA-SIFMA also recommended harmonization in the SEF area; and specifically urged the Commission to “re-examine” what ISDA-SIFMA considered to be a “very rigid” approach to execution methods in the SEF Registration Rule in light of what ISDA-SIFMA characterized as greater flexibility for swap trading platforms in the European Union under MiFID II.219 As described previously, the MiFID II regime is still in the process of being implemented and is not expected to be in operation until 2018. The Commission also notes that the SEF Registration Rule provides for flexibility in execution methods, albeit not in the precise ways that ISDA and SIFMA have recommended in other documents.220 In particular, the rule requires SEFs to make available trading via an order book, but also allows trades to be executed on SEFs using a request for quotes system.221 It also allows block trading for large transactions.222 Additional flexibility for SEFs with respect to block trades has been provided through staff no-action relief.223 The MiFID II standards for pre-trade transparency in transactions on derivatives trading platforms, in some important respects, may be more stringent and prescriptive than the Commission's SEF rules.224

219 ISDA-SIFMA at 3.

220See generally ISDA, Path Forward for Centralized Execution of Swaps (Apr. 2015), cited in ISDA-SIFMA at 3 n.7.

221 17 CFR 37.9.

222 17 CFR 37.9(a)(2).

223See CFTC Letter No. 15-60.

224See, e.g., MiFIR, supra note 100, at 2-3 (recital 8); Amir Khwaja, MiFID II and Transparency for Swaps: What You Need to Know, Clarus Financial Technology (Sept. 29, 2015), https://www.clarusft.com/mifid-ii-and-transparency-for-swaps-what-you-need-to-know/.

2. SDR and Historical SDR Reporting Rules

Commenters observed that the current international regime in which, pursuant to international commitments made following the 2008 financial crisis, multiple jurisdictions have put in place requirements to report data on swap transactions to swap data repositories or their foreign equivalents has increased costs and reduced benefits of reporting. For example, ISDA-SIFMA stated:

[I]mplementation of trade reporting mandates in different jurisdictions is producing a disjointed and costly framework of overlapping reporting obligations, in some cases in conflict with local laws, with market participants reporting to a multiplicity of trade repositories on different bases. Despite having access to tremendous amounts of information, regulators are unable to consolidate, aggregate and effectively use that information.225

225 ISDA-SIFMA at 3.

JBA and IIB made substantially similar observations.226 None of the commenters provided quantitative data on, or estimates of, the cost of duplicative reporting. Commenters also did not provide detailed or specific qualitative information on how the Commission's reporting rules interact with foreign requirements. With the exception of a recommended change in Commission rule 45.2(h), discussed below, none of the commenters recommended specific substantive changes in the SDR or Historical SDR Reporting Rules. Commenters generally recommended that the Commission address the current problems with the international reporting regime through international cooperative means such as memoranda of understanding with foreign regulators, initiatives to promote data standardization and remove legal obstacles to cross-border access to reported information, and international rules to determine parties responsible for reporting.227 IIB also recommended that, while efforts to resolve international data reporting issues are ongoing, the Commission keep in place and formalize existing no-action relief.228

226 JBA at 2-3; IIB at 19-20.

227 JBA at 3; IIB at 20.

228 IIB at 20.

The Commission agrees that improvements in standardization and sharing of reported swap data across jurisdictions would be beneficial, and Commission staff is working toward these objectives, as noted in section IV.D, above. Among other benefits, they might facilitate the use of substituted compliance or similar arrangements to reduce duplicative regulation in the swap reporting area. By their nature, however, improvements in these areas require international cooperative efforts, as commenters generally recognized. As a result, the issues with swap data reporting raised by the commenters do not support unilateral changes in the substance of the SDR or Historical SDR Reporting Rules in the context of the present remand.

V. Commenters' Recommendations for Changes in Substantive Requirements of Rules A. Introduction

As noted above in Part III, under the SIFMA decision, the ultimate mandate to the Commission on remand, following consideration of any differences between the extraterritorial and domestic costs and benefits of the remanded rules, is to determine whether such consideration requires any changes to be made in the substantive requirements of the remanded rules and, if not, to give a reasoned explanation why not.229 For this purpose the Commission, as mentioned above, asked commenters about “the implications of” any differences between extraterritorial and domestic costs and benefits “for the substantive requirements” of the remanded rules.230 In addition to general discussions of cross-border costs and benefits of some of the remanded rules, addressed in Part IV, above, commenters put forth two requests for specific changes in particular substantive rule requirements, which are discussed here. The Commission believes that it is useful in this context to evaluate the commenters' proposed changes in light of the fact that the Commission is required to apply to its own regulatory proposals pursuant to section 15(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“section 15(a)”).231 The Commission also incorporates by reference the discussions in the preceding sections.

229See 67 F. Supp. 3d at 435.

230 Initial Response, 80 FR at 12558.

231 Section 15(a)(1), 7 U.S.C. 19(a)(1), requires the Commission, with certain exceptions, to consider the costs and benefits of its action before promulgating a regulation or issuing an order. Section 15(a)(2), 7 U.S.C. 19(a)(2) states that the costs and benefits of the proposed Commission action shall be evaluated in light of—(A) considerations of protection of market participants and the public; (B) consideration of the efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures markets; (C) considerations of price discovery; (D) considerations of sound risk management practices; and (E) other public interest considerations.

In addition to making recommendations regarding the substance of some of the remanded rules, the commenters made a number of recommendations as to how the Commission should apply section 2(i) in particular circumstances to establish the extraterritorial scope of one or more of the rules.232 For purposes of its response to the remand order, the Commission will not attempt to make determinations regarding the merits of commenters' recommendations for rule changes or other actions defining the extraterritorial scope, as opposed to the substance, of the rules.

232 An example is IIB's recommendation that the Commission not make use of a test based on the physical presence of swap dealing activity in the United States test in determining what transactions are subject to transaction-level rules. IIB at 16-19.

B. Expanded Use of Safe Harbors in the Swap Entity Definition Rule 1. Commenter Proposal

Based on its observation that foreign entities are likely to have more difficulty figuring out U.S. law than U.S. firms, ISDA-SIFMA states that the costs of extraterritorial application of rules could be mitigated by “greater clarity around the scope of Commission rules and greater use of safe harbors.” 233 The Commission agrees that use of safe harbors or other forms of “bright line” rules can make it easier for businesses to determine whether they are in compliance with regulations. On the other hand, use of bright line rules commonly involves a trade-off between simplicity of implementation and risks of either underinclusiveness or overinclusiveness with regard to the policy objectives of the regulation. As a result, suggestions for greater use of bright line rules need to be evaluated in specific contexts.

233 ISDA-SIFMA at 3.

ISDA-SIFMA makes only one specific suggestion for greater use of safe harbor provisions, in the definition of a swap dealer. The comment states:

[P]ersons utilizing the de minimis exemption from swap dealer status may be avoiding transactions with U.S. swap dealers due to uncertainty regarding whether their swaps hedging their own financial risks would be considered to be entered into “in connection with dealing activity.” Expansion of the safe harbor now restricted to physical commodity hedging, so as to encompass a broader array of hedging transactions, could mitigate this effect.234

234Id.

The ISDA-SIFMA recommendation relates to an issue that was considered by the Commission at the time of the original Swap Entity Definition rulemaking. As noted above, under the Commission's regulation defining a swap dealer, a person who enters into swap transactions is only considered to be a swap dealer if its swap positions in connection with its dealing activity exceed a specified de minimis amount, currently $8 billion.235 Thus, in order to determine if it needs to register as a swap dealer, a business that enters into a large volume of swaps may need to evaluate whether its positions involve dealing or are for some other purpose. In close cases, this may involve a judgment taking into account a number of factors.236 However, the Commission has specified that some categories of swap transactions are not considered in determining whether an entity is a swap dealer. One of these safe harbor categories is swaps used to hedge market positions in physical commodities.237

235 17 CFR 1.3(ggg)(4)(i)(A).

236See, e.g., 77 FR at 30614-16 (discussing interpretive issues in application of statutory definition of swap dealer).

237 17 CFR 1.3(ggg)(6)(iii).

At the time of the original rulemaking, the Commission considered whether to also create a safe harbor for swaps used to hedge commercial risks—including financial risks—not associated with physical commodities.238 The Commission stated that hedging generally was not a form of dealing activity, but determined that a per se safe harbor for commercial hedging should not be adopted because, in practice, it is often difficult to distinguish commercial hedging transactions from dealing transactions without taking into consideration the surrounding facts and circumstances.239 “[N]o method has yet been developed to reliably distinguish, through a per se rule between: (i) [s]waps that are entered into for the purpose of hedging or mitigating commercial risk; and (ii) swaps that are entered into for the purpose of accommodating the counterparty's needs or demands or otherwise constitute swap dealing activity, but which also have a hedging consequence.” 240 By contrast, the Commission had extensive experience in the futures market with exclusions for hedging risks associated with physical commodities and therefore concluded that it could safely make use of a per se rule for swaps used for this purpose.241 The hedging safe harbor was adopted as an interim final rule and the Commission invited comments, including on whether the safe harbor should be expanded to include hedging of financial risks.242 However, the Commission has not, to date, found reason to modify the safe harbor as originally promulgated.

238 77 FR at 30611-13.

239Id.

240Id. at 30613.

241Id. at 30612-13.

242Id. at 30613.

The ISDA-SIFMA safe-harbor proposal thus raises issues that go well beyond ISDA-SIFMA's concern with making U.S. law easier for foreign firms to figure out. Maintaining the integrity of the line between hedging and dealing activities is fundamental to a definition of a swap dealer that is meaningful in practice and thus fundamental to the effectiveness of the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime for swap dealers, both foreign and domestic. Unfortunately, the ISDA-SIFMA comment does not put forward a solution to the problem identified in the original rulemaking—devising a reliable per se rule for distinguishing between swaps entered into to hedge commercial risks and swaps that constitute dealing activity without taking into consideration additional facts and circumstances.

2. Evaluation in Light of Section 15(a) Factors a. Protection of Market Participants and the Public

Expanding the hedging safe harbor in the definition of swap dealer to cover hedging of financial risks poses significant risks of reducing protection of market participants and the public. As noted above, the Commission found in the preamble to the Swap Entity Definition Rule that no reliable per se method has been found for distinguishing between hedging financial risks using swaps and swap dealing. As a result, a safe harbor for hedging financial risks could increase the possibility that some entities engaged in a large volume of swap dealing would be misclassified and not treated as dealers. This is particularly true since, in close cases, businesses would have incentives to label transactions as hedging rather than dealing to take advantage of the safe harbor. Thus, a safe harbor for hedging financial risks could result in some entities engaged in large volumes of swap dealing not being subject to the provisions of Dodd-Frank and Commission implementing regulations designed to protect market participants and the public against wrongdoing by swap dealers and against the risks to the financial system that were associated with unregulated swap dealing before Dodd-Frank. This includes both some of the remanded rules and statutory provisions and Commission rules that are not subject to the remand order but that would not apply to firms that were no longer classified as swap dealers as a result of an expanded safe harbor.243 This concern applies to overseas as well as domestic entities since, given the de minimis volume element of the swap dealer definition and limits of section 2(i), a safe harbor would only be relevant to foreign entities engaged in a reasonably large volume of swaps that affect or are connected to U.S. markets. The ISDA-SIFMA comment does not specify methods for crafting a safe harbor for hedging financial risks that avoids misidentification or otherwise give reasons to overturn the Commission's judgment regarding the workability of a safe harbor in the preamble to the Swap Entity Definition Rule.

243 Relevant remanded rules include the Swap Entity Registration, Daily Trading Records, Risk Management, Chief Compliance Officer, and Portfolio Reconciliation Rules. Examples of other requirements imposed on swap dealers to protect market participants and the public include the business conduct standards set forth at 17 CFR part 23, subpart H.

b. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity

A safe harbor for hedging of financial risks poses a significant risk of reducing efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity because, as already explained, it could result in firms that engage in large volumes of swap dealing not being subject to Dodd-Frank provisions and Commission regulations that apply to swap dealers and that are themselves designed to promote efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity in the business of swap dealing. Examples include the Daily Trading Records, Risk Management, Chief Compliance Officer, Portfolio Reconciliation, and Real-Time Reporting Rules, among others.

c. Price Discovery

The recommended safe harbor appears unlikely to have a significant effect on price discovery. A safe harbor for swaps used to hedge financial risks could increase the volume of swaps transactions by some amount, but in light of the limited circumstances in which it is likely to make a difference, any change in volume of transactions is unlikely to affect price discovery. This is particularly true with respect to the even narrower category of foreign swaps market participants who might be affected by an expanded safe harbor.

d. Sound Risk Management Practices

The recommended safe harbor could increase the use of swaps to manage financial risks in some limited circumstances—for example where a firm's volume of swap transactions is close to the de minimis amount for classification as a swap dealer, the firm wishes to expand its use of swaps to hedge financial risks, the costs of regulation as a swap dealer would outweigh the benefits from expanded use of swaps, and the nature of the firm's business model creates ambiguity as to whether it is engaged in hedging or dealing in the absence of a safe harbor. It is unclear from available information how often this is likely to be the case. For foreign firms, a safe harbor is unlikely to significantly increase use of swaps to manage risks because such firms can already avoid regulation as U.S. swap dealers by entering into swaps beyond the de minimis amount with non-U.S. counterparties.

The recommended safe harbor also has a significant likelihood of reducing use of sound risk management practices by some firms that engage in swap dealing. As discussed previously, a safe harbor for swaps used to hedge financial risks may lead to some firms that engage in a large volume of swap dealing affecting U.S. markets being misclassified and not regulated as swap dealers. Many of the Dodd-Frank provisions and Commission rules applicable to swap dealers are designed to ensure that swap dealers adopt sound risk management practices, including, but not limited to, the Daily Trading Records, Risk Management, Chief Compliance Officer, and Portfolio Reconciliation Rules.

e. Other Public Interest Considerations

For some firms, an expanded safe harbor could contribute to efficiency by making it easier to determine whether the firm needs to comply with regulations applicable to swap dealers. This would be true primarily, if not only, for firms that engaged in a total volume of swap transactions that approached or exceeded the de minimis amount and whose overall business model did not otherwise make clear whether or not they were engaged in swap dealing. ISDA-SIFMA does not provide information on the number of firms, either foreign or domestic, likely to be in this category and the Commission is not aware of other sources of information on this question. ISDA-SIFMA suggests that ease of determining whether a firm is within the definition of a swap dealer would be particularly valuable to foreign firms, on the theory that such firms have difficulty coping with U.S. law. However, it is unclear how important this factor would be for firms to which the recommended safe harbor is most relevant since such firms, for the reasons just stated, would likely have some level of financial and legal sophistication, whether domestic firms engaged in substantial swaps activity or foreign firms engaged in a significant volume of cross-border swaps affecting or connected to U.S. markets.

Relatedly, the recommended safe harbor might encourage some foreign counterparties who currently enter into swaps to hedge financial risks with non-U.S. firms to move some of their business to U.S. swap dealers. In particular, this might be true for foreign counterparties whose other business does not make them swap dealers; who engage, or would potentially engage, in more than the de minimis amount of swaps with U.S. persons; whose business model currently creates ambiguity as to whether the swaps in question are a form of dealing in the absence of a safe harbor; and who do not have other reasons for confining their swaps business to local, non-U.S., dealers. The available record does not provide information on the number of firms that would meet all these criteria or the volume of swaps business that would be involved. However, given the limited circumstances in which a safe harbor would have an effect, it appears unlikely, in the absence of information to the contrary, that the volume of swaps involved would have a major impact on the overall liquidity of U.S. markets.

Based on its evaluation of these factors, the Commission concludes that expanding the hedging safe harbor is not warranted on the present record. This is particularly true in light of (1) the fact that the suggested expansion of the safe harbor would apply across the board and not just in circumstances where foreign firms have greater difficulty than U.S. firms in applying the swap dealer definition; (2) the importance of maintaining the integrity of the swap dealer definition to the entire Dodd-Frank regulatory regime; and (3) the conclusion in the original Swaps Entity Definition rulemaking that there is no reliable per se test for distinguishing between hedging financial risk and dealing, and the absence of any showing by the commenters that this conclusion is incorrect.

C. “Re-examination” of Application of Rule 45.2(h) to Non-Registrants 1. Commenter Proposal

ISDA-SIFMA recommends that the Commission “re-examine the provisions of Regulation 45.2 that require non-registrants `subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission' to make books and records available to the Commission and other U.S. authorities.” 244 Commission rule 45.2 generally deals with recordkeeping requirements for registered entities and parties involved in swaps transactions. Section 45.2(h) requires covered persons subject to the Commission's jurisdiction, including registrants such as swap dealers but also swap counterparties not required to register with the Commission, to make records available on request to the Commission, the Justice Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission; and to U.S. prudential regulators (i.e., bank regulators) as authorized by the Commission.245 The ISDA-SIFMA comment does not explain specifically how and to what extent costs of compliance for § 45.2(h) differ for foreign and domestic entities, beyond ISDA-SIFMA's general assertion, discussed in section IV.A above, that some foreign firms may have more difficulty coping with U.S. law than U.S. firms.

244 ISDA-SIFMA at 3.

245 17 CFR 45.2(h).

2. Evaluation in Light of Section 15(a) Factors a. Protection of Market Participants and the Public

Eliminating or significantly restricting application of § 45.2(h) to non-registrants, including both domestic swaps counterparties and foreign counterparties sufficiently involved in U.S. swaps markets to be subject to U.S. regulation pursuant to section 2(i), can be expected to reduce protection of market participants and the public since prompt and efficient access to records is necessary for effective regulation of financial activity, both for purposes of law enforcement and for purposes of market surveillance. This benefit is limited somewhat by the alternative possibilities of obtaining information about swap market participants by means such as legal process or obtaining the assistance of foreign regulators. However, such alternatives are likely to be slower and less efficient than use of § 45.2(h). Prompt and efficient access to records is particularly important in developing situations, for example when there is reason to believe that fraud or other law violations are ongoing and that records may be destroyed or assets dissipated or hidden. It is similarly important when there is reason to believe that insolvency or other business problems at a firm with a large swaps portfolio may pose risks to other market participants or the market in general. While it is not practicable to quantify the benefits of § 45.2(h) in protecting market participants and the public, there is strong reason to believe that the benefits are high relative to the costs since the provision commonly is employed in situations where regulators have a specific reason to be concerned about a firm's swaps activities or otherwise have a specific need for information.

b. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity

Eliminating or significantly restricting application of § 45.2(h) to non-registrants is likely to reduce efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of relevant markets since it would make it more difficult to enforce legal requirements designed to promote these objectives, such as the anti-fraud and anti-market manipulation provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act.246 As noted in the previous section, it would also make it more difficult for U.S. authorities to make prompt inquiries when the financial integrity of a market participant is in question. The Commission does not have data that would permit it to quantify these effects, however. The Commission also does not have quantitative information on the costs of § 45.2(h). However, there is reason to believe that overall costs are relatively modest since this provision does not itself require either recordkeeping or routine making of reports, but only provision of access to existing records on request.

246 CEA sections 4b(a)(2), 6(c), 7 U.S.C. 6b(a)(2), 9.

c. Price Discovery

Changes in § 45.2(h) appear unlikely to have any direct impact on price discovery. Scaling back this requirement could have negative indirect effects on price discovery since the provision can be used to investigate violations of provisions designed to promote the price discovery function of Commission-regulated markets, such as the prohibition against price manipulation.247 The Commission lacks information that would permit it to quantify any such effects, however.

247 CEA section 6(c), 7 U.S.C. 9.

d. Sound Risk Management Practices

Scaling back § 45.2(h) appears unlikely to have a significant effect on use of swaps to manage risks since, as noted, this provision does not require recordkeeping or routine making of reports, but only requires that records be made available to the CFTC and other authorities on request.

e. Other Public Interest Considerations

Conceivably, some foreign non-registrant swap counterparties who would prefer to avoid even a chance of involvement with U.S. authorities might switch business from foreign swap providers to U.S. swap dealers if § 45.2(h) did not apply to them. ISDA-SIFMA does not provide information on how often this would be the case. However, in the absence of information to the contrary, it appears unlikely that any such effect would be large enough to have a significant impact on the overall liquidity of U.S. markets since the foreign firms in question would still be subject to inspection by their home authorities; and their records might still become available to U.S. authorities, albeit less expeditiously, through mechanisms such as cooperative enforcement arrangements with foreign jurisdictions.

In light of these considerations and the importance of access to books and records for law enforcement, market surveillance, and other regulatory purposes, the Commission concludes that ISDA-SIFMA has not justified an amendment to § 45.2(h) to exclude non-registrants.

D. Process Recommendations

Commenters made a number of recommendations for Commission engagement in processes that could be expected to lead to substantive changes in some of the remanded rules. In particular, commenters generally supported Commission engagement in efforts for international harmonization of rules in the area of swap data reporting and regulation of SEFs and their foreign equivalents.248 The Commission agrees that such efforts are important and is participating in them, as described in section IV.C and IV.D, above. However, they are not at the point where they can provide the basis for specific rule changes in the context of the SIFMA remand. Consistent with this, commenters did not identify specific rule changes based on harmonization efforts to date.

248E.g., ISDA-SIFMA at 3; IIB at 20.

VI. Conclusion

The comments on the Initial Response identify some respects in which the costs and benefits of the extraterritorial application of the remanded rules may differ from the domestic application. However, taking into account the facts and analysis in the original rulemaking preambles as well as the additional consideration of costs and benefits in the Initial Response and this release, the record does not establish a need to make changes in the substantive requirements of the remanded rules as originally promulgated at the present time and in the context of the SIFMA remand order.

Issued in Washington, DC, on August 4, 2016, by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Note:

The following appendices will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Appendices to Final Response to District Court Remand Order in Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, et al. v. United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission—Commission Voting Summary, Chairman's Statement, and Commissioner's Statement Appendix 1—Commission Voting Summary

On this matter, Chairman Massad and Commissioner Bowen voted in the affirmative. Commissioner Giancarlo voted in the negative.

Appendix 2—Statement of Chairman Timothy G. Massad

I support the two actions the Commission and staff have taken today, which address issues related to the cross-border application of our rules on swaps. I thank the staff for their hard work on these matters, my fellow Commissioners for their consideration, and the public for their feedback.

Today, the CFTC has issued a final response to the remand order of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in litigation brought by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and other industry associations against the Commission. The litigation challenged the extra-territorial application of several swaps rules and unsuccessfully sought to invalidate the Commission's 2013 cross-border guidance. Today we have supplemented our earlier answer to the Court's inquiry regarding the costs and benefits of the overseas application of those rules.

In addition, Commission staff today has extended for another year the previously issued no-action relief from certain transaction-level requirements for transactions between non-U.S. parties that regularly use personnel or agents located in the U.S. to “arrange, negotiate, or execute” them.

These actions are part of our overall effort to address the cross-border implications of swap activity, while at the same time harmonizing derivatives regulation with other jurisdictions as much as possible. The past several years have been marked by progress in this regard. In the last year alone, we have accomplished a great deal in each of the four basic areas of derivatives regulation—central clearing, oversight of swap dealers, trading and reporting. Consider the following:

With regard to central clearing, we and the European Commission agreed upon a common approach regarding requirements for central clearing counterparties (CCPs), which will permit U.S. and European CCPs to continue providing clearing services to entities in each other's jurisdiction. We also granted exempt status to several foreign clearinghouses. The CFTC is also co-chairing a task force with international regulators to address resiliency requirements and engage in recovery planning, while also participating in international resolution planning for CCPs.

When it comes to the oversight of swap dealers, we harmonized the substance of rules setting margin requirements for uncleared swaps, one of the most important parts of our overall regulatory framework. We also agreed on an international timetable for implementation. Although the European Commission recently delayed their implementation for technical reasons, they have made clear that this delay will be modest. We adopted a cross-border application of our margin rule, which provides a broad scope of substituted compliance. And we are currently working with other jurisdictions on substituted compliance determinations that will supplement those we have previously made in other areas.

On trading, the CFTC is looking at ways to harmonize our swap execution facility rules with those of other jurisdictions. For example, now that the European Securities and Markets Authority has published its MiFiD II technical standards, we are working with our European counterparts to look at differences in our respective rules and make progress toward harmonization. We also recently issued no-action relief to an Australia-based trading platform.

We are focused on harmonizing data reporting standards as well. The CFTC co-chairs an international task force that is leading this effort. CFTC staff is also working with international regulators and the Office of Financial Research to develop effective means to identify swaps and swap activity by participant, transaction and product type throughout the swap lifecycle.

We will continue making progress in all these areas. For example, this fall I intend to ask the Commission to consider a rule to begin to address the “arrange, negotiate, or execute” issues raised by the no-action relief that we have extended today.

Our first responsibility is to implement our nation's laws faithfully, which requires us to address the cross-border implications of swap activity. A strong global regulatory framework is the best way to do so, and that is why harmonization is so important. To focus on the fact that full harmonization has not been reached, or that progress sometimes occurs in fits and starts, I believe misses the forest for the trees. Regulations are implemented by individual nations, or unions of nations, each of which has its own legal traditions, regulatory philosophies, political processes, and often, statutory timetables. There will always be differences, just as there are in every other area of financial regulation. The more important story is we are making good, steady progress.

Appendix 3—Dissenting Statement of Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo

I respectfully dissent from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC or Commission) final response in the SIFMA litigation.

The CFTC appears to have addressed the District Court's inquiry whether the costs and benefits identified in the remanded rulemakings apply to swaps activities outside of the United States (U.S.) and what differences are present in the costs and benefits between domestic and overseas activities. Nevertheless, it must be noted that the Commission has repeatedly failed to coordinate effectively with foreign regulators to “implement global standards” in financial markets as agreed to by the G-20 leaders in Pittsburgh in 2009.1 The lack of harmonization in the implementation date for margin for uncleared swaps is the latest example. The result for financial markets has been a complex, conflicting and costly array of CFTC cross-border regulations.

1 G-20 Leaders' Statement, The Pittsburgh Summit at 7 (Sept. 24-25, 2009) (G-20 Statement), available at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/international/g7-g20/Documents/pittsburgh_summit_leaders_statement_250909.pdf.

The Commission's uncoordinated approach to regulation of swaps trading started with its July 2013 Interpretative Guidance and Policy Statement Regarding Compliance With Certain Swap Regulations (Interpretative Guidance).2 The Interpretative Guidance, which the District Court found is a non-binding general statement of policy, basically stated that every single swap a U.S. Person enters into, no matter where it is transacted, has a direct and significant connection with activities in, and effect on, commerce of the U.S. that requires imposing CFTC transaction rules.3 This uncoordinated approach has continued through the CFTC's Cross-Border Application of Margin Requirements,4 in which the Commission unilaterally imposed a set of preconditions to substituted compliance that is overly complex, unduly narrow and operationally impractical.5

2 78 FR 45292 (Jul. 26, 2013).

3Id.

4 81 FR 34818 (May 31, 2016).

5Id. at 34853-54.

Unfortunately, the Commission's uncoordinated approach to cross-border harmonization has allowed foreign regulators to respond in kind. The CFTC's and European Union's (EU) tortured and repeatedly delayed central counterparty clearinghouse equivalence process is a stark example, as is the EU's recent decision to postpone until 2017 new rules setting collateral requirements for uncleared derivatives.

The CFTC must do better to work with foreign regulators to implement global standards consistently in a way that ensures a level playing field and avoids market fragmentation, protectionism and regulatory arbitrage.6 As a good start, the CFTC should replace its Interpretative Guidance with a formal rulemaking that recognizes outcomes-based substituted compliance for competent non-U.S. regulatory regimes.7 Such an approach is practical, provides certainty and is in keeping with the cooperative spirit of the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh Accords.8

6 G-20 Statement, par. 12.

7 Keynote Address of CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo at The Global Forum for Derivatives Markets, 35th Annual Burgenstock Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 24, 2014, http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/SpeechesTestimony/opagiancarlos-1.

8See generally G-20 Statement.

[FR Doc. 2016-18854 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 18 CFR Part 1312 Protection of Archaeological Resources AGENCY:

Tennessee Valley Authority.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule amends the regulations of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for the protection of archaeological resources by providing for the issuance of petty offense citations for violations of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and the Antiquities Act of 1906 (AA). Amending the regulations such that TVA law enforcement agents are authorized to issue citations will help prevent loss and destruction of archaeological resources resulting from unlawful excavations and pillage.

DATES:

This final rule becomes effective September 15, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ralph E. Majors, TVA, 865-632-4176; or Erin E. Pritchard, TVA, 865-632-2463.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Legal Authority

These amendments are promulgated under the authority of the TVA Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 831-831ee, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, 16 U.S.C. 470aa-470mm, and the Antiquities Act of 1906, 16 U.S.C.431, 432 & 433.

II. Background for the Amendments

This final rule amends TVA's regulations implementing the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-95, as amended by Pub. L. 100-555, Pub. L. 100-588; 93 Stat. 721; 102 Stat. 2983; 16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm) to provide for the issuance of petty offense citations by TVA's law enforcement agents for violations of ARPA or AA.

Section 10(a) of ARPA requires the Departments of Interior, Agriculture and Defense and the Tennessee Valley Authority to promulgate such uniform rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of ARPA. The first purpose of ARPA is “to secure, for the present and future benefit of the American people, the protection of archaeological resources and sites which are on public lands and Indian lands.” 16 U.S.C. 470aa(b). The uniform regulations for ARPA originally were published on January 6, 1984 to implement the Act of 1979. The uniform regulations were then revised on January 26, 1995 to incorporate the amendments to ARPA promulgated by Congress in 1988.

Section 10(b) of ARPA requires each Federal land manager (FLM) to promulgate such regulations, consistent with the uniform regulations under Section 10(a), as may be appropriate for the carrying out of the FLM's functions and authorities under the Act. Thus, Section 10(b) allows individual Federal agencies to tailor the uniform regulations to suit their own particular needs with a view to effectively implementing the authorities under the Act. TVA has adopted the uniform regulations as its own. See 18 CFR part 1312 (1984 and 1995). This final rule amends TVA's ARPA regulations by enabling TVA's law enforcement agents to issue petty offense citations for violations of ARPA 1 or AA 2 occurring on lands owned by the United States that are entrusted to TVA.3 The issuance of petty offense citations is consistent with the authority granted to TVA's law enforcement agents under the TVA Act, and advances the effective prosecution of violations of ARPA and AA.

1 The prohibitions under ARPA are set out in Sections 6(a), 6(b) and 6(c) of the Act. See 16 U.S.C. 470ee(a), (b) & (c). Any violation of these prohibitions is subject to the criminal sanctions prescribed in Section 6(d). See 16 U.S.C. 470ee(d). TVA's regulations implementing ARPA replicate these prohibitions and criminal sanctions. See 18 CFR 1312.4.

2 The AA prohibits, among other things, the excavation, destruction or appropriation of an object of antiquity situated on federal lands without the permission of the head of the agency having jurisdiction over those lands. See 16 U.S.C. 433. Any violation of these provisions is subject to criminal sanctions. Id.

3 Under Section 21(a) of the TVA Act, “[a]ll general penal statutes relating to larceny, embezzlement, conversion, or to the improper handling, retention, use or disposal of . . . property of the United States, shall apply to the . . . property of the Corporation and to . . . properties of the United States entrusted to the Corporation.” 16 U.S.C. 831t(a) (emphasis added).

Under the TVA Act, the TVA Board of Directors “may designate employees of the Corporation to act as law enforcement agents” to “make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in the agent's presence” that occurs “on any lands or facilities owned or leased by the Corporation.” See 16 U.S.C. 831c-3. Based on this authority, the final rule amends TVA's regulations for protection of archaeological resources to authorize certain TVA law enforcement agents to issue petty offense citations for the violation of any provision of 16 U.S.C. 470ee or 16 U.S.C. 433. Those TVA law enforcement agents that are designated by the Director of TVA Police and Emergency Management for the purpose of conducting archaeological investigations shall have the authority to issue petty offense citations for ARPA or AA violations committed in the agent's presence on lands owned by the United States that are entrusted to TVA. For any such petty offense committed on lands entrusted to TVA, the citation may be issued at the site of the offense, or on non-TVA land (a) when the person committing the offense is in the process of fleeing the site of the offense to avoid arrest, or (b) to protect the archaeological artifacts involved in the commission of the offense.4 The citation will require the person charged with the violation to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge within whose jurisdiction the affected archaeological resource is located.5

4See 16 U.S.C. 831c-3(c)(2) (authorizing TVA's law enforcement agents to exercise their law enforcement duties and powers on non-TVA lands (1) when the person to be arrested is in the process of fleeing to avoid arrest or (2) in conjunction with the protection of TVA property.)

5 Section 3401 of Title 18, United States Code, provides that “any United States magistrate judge shall have jurisdiction to try persons accused of, and sentence persons convicted of, misdemeanors committed within that judicial district.” 18 U.S.C. 3401(a).

III. Comment Period

Public comment was sought for a 30-day period following publication of the proposed amendments in the Federal Register on May 20, 2016 (81 FR 31873). The comment period closed on June 20, 2016. No comments were received in response to the publication of the proposed amendments.

The final rule corrects a typographical error in the proposed rule published on May 20, 2016. The reference to “Title 8” in the final sentence of § 1312.22 (on page 31875 of the proposed rule) has been corrected to “Title 18” in this final rule.

IV. Administrative Requirements

A. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and various Executive Orders including E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review; E.O. 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations; E.O. 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks; E.O. 13132, Federalism; E.O. 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments; and E.O. 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, and Use; E.O. 12988, Civil Justice Reform Act.

This final rule amends TVA's regulations for the protection of archaeological resources by providing for issuance of petty offense citations by TVA's law enforcement agents for violations of ARPA or AA. The rule is not subject to Office of Management and Budget Review under Executive Order 12866. The rule contains no Federal mandates for State, local, or tribal government or for the private sector. TVA has determined that these amendments will not have a significant annual effect of $100 million or more or result in expenditures of $100 million in any one year by State, local, or tribal governments or by the private sector. Nor will the amendments have concerns for environmental health or safety risks that may disproportionately affect children, have significant effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, or disproportionally impact low-income or minority populations. Accordingly, this final rule has no implications for any of the referenced authorities.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., TVA is required to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis unless the head of the agency certifies that the proposal will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. TVA's Chief Executive Officer has certified that the amendments promulgated in this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This determination is based on the finding that the amendments are directed toward Federal resource management to help prevent loss or destruction of archaeological resources, with no economic impact on the public.

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

This rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 1312

Administrative practice and procedure, Historic Preservation, Indians—lands, Penalties, Public Lands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set out in the preamble, 18 CFR part 1312 is amended as follows:

PART 1312—PROTECTION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES: UNIFORM REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for Part 1312 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

Pub. L. 96-95, 93 Stat. 721, as amended, 102 Stat. 2983 (16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm) (Sec. 10(a) & (b)); 16 U.S.C. 831-831ee (2012). Related Authority: Pub. L. 59-209, 34 Stat. 225 (16 U.S.C. 432, 433); Pub. L. 86-523, 74 Stat. 220, 221 (16 U.S.C. 469), as amended, 88 Stat. 174 (1974); Pub. L. 89-665, 80 Stat. 915 (16 U.S.C. 470a-t), as amended, 84 Stat. 204 (1970), 87 Stat. 139 (1973), 90 Stat. 1320 (1976), 92 Stat. 3467 (1978), 94 Stat. 2987 (1980); Pub. L. 95-341, 92 Stat. 469 (42 U.S.C. 1996)

2. In § 1312.1, a sentence is added at the end of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1312.1 Purpose.

(a)* * *. The regulations in this part also enable TVA's law enforcement agents to issue petty offense citations for violations of any provision of 16 U.S.C. 470ee or 16 U.S.C. 433.

3. In § 1312.2, paragraph (c) is added to read as follows:
§ 1312.2 Authority.

(c) Provisions pertaining to the issuance of petty offense citations are based on the duties and powers assigned to TVA's law enforcement agents under 16 U.S.C. 831-831ee.

4. In § 1312.3, paragraph (j) is added to read as follows:
§ 1312.3 Definitions.

(j) Director means the Director of TVA Police and Emergency Management assigned the function and responsibility of supervising TVA employees designated as law enforcement agents under 16 U.S.C. 831c-3(a).

5. Section 1312.22 is added to read as follows:
§ 1312.22 Issuance of citations for petty offenses.

Any person who violates any provision contained in 16 U.S.C. 470ee or 16 U.S.C. 433 in the presence of a TVA law enforcement agent may be tried and sentenced in accordance with the provisions of section 3401 of Title 18, United States Code. Law enforcement agents designated by the Director for that purpose shall have the authority to issue a petty offense citation for any such violation, requiring any person charged with the violation to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge within whose jurisdiction the archaeological resource impacted by the violation is located. The term “petty offense” has the same meaning given that term under section 19 of Title 18, United States Code.

Dated: August 8, 2016. Rebecca C. Tolene, Deputy General Counsel and Vice President, Natural Resources.
[FR Doc. 2016-19343 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120-08-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Parts 11 and 101 [Docket No. FDA-2011-F-0171] Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines: Guidance for Industry; Small Entity Compliance Guide; Availability AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notification of availability.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines—Small Entity Compliance Guide.” The small entity compliance guide (SECG) is intended to help small entities comply with the final rule entitled “Food Labeling; Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines.”

DATES:

Submit either electronic or written comments on FDA guidances 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-2011-F-0171 for “Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines—Small Entity Compliance Guide.” 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 guidance to the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Food Labeling and Standards Staff, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ashley N. Rulffes, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-820), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2371.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

In the Federal Register of December 1, 2014 (79 FR 71259), we issued a final rule requiring vending machine operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines, or who voluntarily register to be covered, to provide calorie declarations for those foods sold from vending machines for which the Nutrition Facts label cannot be examined before purchase or for which visible nutrition information is not otherwise provided at the point of purchase (the final rule). Covered vending machine operators must comply with the rule by December 1, 2016. However, in the Federal Register of August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50303), we issued a final rule entitled “Food Labeling; Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines; Extension of Compliance Date.” This rule provides that the compliance date for type size front-of-pack labeling requirements (§ 101.8(b)(2) (21 CFR 101.8(b)(2))) and calorie disclosure requirements (§ 101.8(c)(2)) for certain gums, mints, and roll candy products in glass-front machines in the final rule published December 1, 2014 (79 FR 71259) is extended to July 26, 2018. The compliance date for all other requirements in the final rule (79 FR 71259) remains December 1, 2016.

We examined the economic implications of the final rule as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) and determined that the final rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In compliance with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (Pub. L. 104-121, as amended by Pub. L. 110-28), we are making available the SECG to explain the actions that a small entity must take to comply with the rule.

We are issuing the SECG consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115(c)(2)). The SECG represents our current thinking on calorie labeling for foods sold in vending machines operated by a person engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines, or a person who voluntarily registers with FDA to be covered by the rule. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This SECG refers to collections of information described in FDA's final rule that published in the Federal Register of December 1, 2014, and that will be effective on December 1, 2016. As stated in the final rule, these collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in the final rule have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0782. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

III. Electronic Access

Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the SECG at either http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA Web site listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

Dated: August 11, 2016. Jeremy Sharp, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation and Analysis.
[FR Doc. 2016-19492 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR part 101 [Docket No. FDA-2011-F-0171] Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notification of availability.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry, entitled “Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines.” The draft guidance, when finalized, will help covered vending machine operators and industry to better understand and comply with the final rule entitled “Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines.”

DATES:

Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that we consider your comment on the draft guidance before we begin work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by September 30, 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-2011-F-0171 for Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines; Draft Guidance for Industry. 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 guidance to Food Labeling and Standards Staff, Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-820), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Felicia B. Billingslea, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-820), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2371.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

We are announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines.” We are issuing the draft guidance consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of the 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 alternate approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

In the Federal Register of December 1, 2014 (79 FR 71259), we issued a final rule entitled “Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines” (“the rule”). The rule is codified at 21 CFR 101.8. The rule requires vending machine operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines, or who voluntarily register with FDA to be covered, to declare calories for those vending machine foods for which the Nutrition Facts label cannot be examined before purchase or for which visible nutrition information is not otherwise provided at the point of purchase. Covered vending machine operators must comply with the rule by December 1, 2016. However, in the Federal Register of August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50303), we issued a final rule entitled “Food Labeling; Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines; Extension of Compliance Date.” This rule provides that the compliance date for type size front-of-pack labeling requirements (§ 101.8(b)(2) (21 CFR 101.8(b)(2))) and calorie disclosure requirements (§ 101.8(c)(2)) for certain gums, mints, and roll candy products in glass-front machines in the final rule published December 1, 2014 (79 FR 71259) is extended to July 26, 2018. The compliance date for all other requirements in the final rule (79 FR 71259) remains December 1, 2016.

II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This draft guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information 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 101.8 have been approved under OMB Control No. 0910-0782.

III. Electronic Access

Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft guidance at either http://www.fda.gov/FoodGuidances or http://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA Web site listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

Dated: August 11, 2016. Jeremy Sharp, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation, and Analysis.
[FR Doc. 2016-19493 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2014-0213; FRL-9950-65-Region 7] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Iowa; Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and the Adoption of the 1997 PM2.5 Standard AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of two State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions from the State of Iowa for the Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Infrastructure SIPs address the applicable requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110, which requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by the EPA. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. This action also approves the adoption of the 1997 PM2.5 standard.

On September 8, 2011, EPA issued a Finding of Failure to Submit a Complete State Implementation Plan for several states, including Iowa. With respect to Iowa, the Finding of Failure to Submit included the following 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure requirements: 110(a)(2)(A)-(C), (D)(i)(II) (prong 3 only), (E)-(H) and (J)-(M). This approval of Iowa's infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS addresses the September 8, 2011 finding.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on September 15, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2014-0213. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI 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 electronically at www.regulations.gov and at EPA Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. Please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Heather Hamilton, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at (913) 551-7039, or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

I. What is being addressed in this document? II. EPA's Response to Comments III. Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is being addressed in this document?

The EPA is approving two submissions from the State of Iowa: The infrastructure SIP submissions for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS received on March 31, 2008 and July 29, 2013. The SIP submissions from Iowa addressed the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. The March 31, 2008 SIP submission also included the state adoption of the 1997 PM2.5 standard. The EPA is also approving the 1997 PM2.5 standard in today's action.

For the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS, the EPA took previous action to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2 for Iowa. (72 FR 10380, March 8, 2007, as revised in 76 FR 48208, August 8, 2011). Therefore, in this final action, we are not acting on these portions since they have already been acted upon by the EPA.

A Technical Support Document is included as part of the docket to discuss the details of this final action.

II. EPA's Response to Comment

The public comment period on EPA's proposed regulation opened June 23, 2016, the date of its publication in the Federal Register, and closed on July 25, 2016. 81 FR 40825. During this period, EPA received one comment that is addressed as follows:

Comment: The commenter stated that EPA must disapprove the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) portions of the infrastructure SIP, 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II) (prong 3) and (J), because the local air agencies in Iowa with their own PSD programs lack the PM2.5 increment or do not treat NOX as a precursor for ozone.

Response to comment: Iowa has a delegated PSD program (see 72 FR 27056) that is not delegated to local air agencies. PSD permits are only issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 81 FR 44795, 44796. Therefore, no changes will be made in response to this comment.

III. What action is EPA taking?

The EPA is approving two submissions from the State of Iowa: The infrastructure SIP submissions for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS received on March 31, 2008 and July 29, 2013. The SIP submissions from Iowa address the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. Today's action also approves the adoption of the 1997 PM2.5 standard.

The EPA's analysis of these submissions is addressed in a TSD as part of the docket.

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

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

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 17, 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).)

Statutory Authority

The statutory authority for this action is provided by section 110 of the CAA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7410).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Prevention of significant deterioration, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: August 1, 2016. Mike Brincks, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA to amends 40 CFR part 52 as set forth below:

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 Q—Iowa 2. Section 52.820 is amended by adding (e)(45) and (46) to read as follows:
§ 52.820 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved Iowa Nonregulatory SIP Provisions Name of
  • non-regulatory
  • SIP revision
  • Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment
  • area
  • State submittal date EPA Approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (45) Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS Statewide 3/21/08 8/16/16 [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), prong 3, (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). 110(a)(2)(I) is not applicable. (46) Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS Statewide 7/23/13 8/16/16 [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), prong 3, (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). 110(a)(2)(I) is not applicable.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19386 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0350; FRL-9950-73-Region 3] Air Plan Approval; DC; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the District of Columbia (the District) state implementation plan (SIP). Whenever new or revised national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) are promulgated, the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires states to submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of such NAAQS. The plan is required to address basic program elements including, but not limited to, regulatory structure, monitoring, modeling, legal authority, and adequate resources necessary to assure attainment and maintenance of the standards. These elements are referred to as infrastructure requirements. The District has made a submittal addressing the infrastructure requirements for the 2012 annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. EPA is approving these revisions addressing the infrastructure requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS in accordance with the requirements of the CAA.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 17, 2016 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by September 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-R03-OAR-2016-0350 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ruth Knapp, (215) 814-2191, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Summary of SIP Revision

    On December 28, 2015, the District submitted a formal SIP revision to its SIP. The District's SIP revision submittal addresses the following infrastructure elements for the implementation of the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS: section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(I), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M) of the CAA. The infrastructure SIP submittal does not address section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertains to the nonattainment requirements of part D, title I of the CAA, since this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of CAA section 110(a)(1), and will be addressed in a separate process.

    II. Summary of EPA's Rationale for Proposing Approval

    In accordance with 40 CFR part 51, appendix V, EPA found that the District's December 28, 2015 infrastructure SIP submittal is technically incomplete for the portions addressing the infrastructure elements in section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), and (J) relating to the permitting program for prevention of significant deterioration (PSD), because the District has not adequately addressed the requirements of part C of title I of the CAA for having a SIP approved PSD permit program. EPA found the remainder of the SIP submittal to be administratively and technically complete. On May 11, 2016, EPA sent a letter to the District Department of Environment and Energy (DDOEE) notifying the District of this determination.

    As a result of this incompleteness finding, EPA is not taking rulemaking action on the PSD related portions of section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), and (J) for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, until the District through DDOEE submits a SIP to address the PSD permit program requirements of part C of title I of the CAA. EPA recognizes, however, that the District is already subject to a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) containing the federal PSD program to correct the SIP deficiency and that DDOEE would not have to take further action for the FIP based permitting process to continue operating, as incorporated by reference in the District SIP in 40 CFR 52.499.1 EPA's PSD FIP for the District consists of the implementation of the federal PSD provisions as codified in 40 CFR 51.21, with the exception of paragraph (a)(1).

    1 On August 7, 1980 (45 FR 52676, at 52741), EPA disapproved a number of states SIPs for PSD purposes, including the District of Columbia, and incorporated by reference portions of the federal PSD provisions in 40 CFR 52.21 into the implementation plans for those states. This FIP was subsequently amended to reflect amendments to the federal PSD rule, on March 10, 2003 (68 FR 11316, at 11322) and December 24, 2003 (68 FR 74483, at 74488). The PSD FIP is incorporated by reference in the District SIP in 40 CFR 52.499.

    EPA does not anticipate any adverse consequences to DDOEE as a result of this incompleteness finding for the PSD related portions of section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), and (J) for the District's 2012 annual PM2.5 infrastructure SIP revision. First, mandatory sanctions would not apply to the District under CAA section 179 because the failure to submit a PSD SIP is neither required under title I part D of the CAA, nor in response to a SIP call under section 110(k)(5) of the CAA. Second, EPA is not subject to any further FIP duty from our finding of incompleteness because of the PSD FIP that is already been approved, which addresses the SIP deficiency.

    EPA finds that the remainder of the District's December 28, 2015 infrastructure submittal provides the basic program elements specified in section 110(a)(2) of the CAA necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. A detailed summary of EPA's review and rationale for approving the District's infrastructure SIP submittal for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS may be found in the technical support document (TSD) for this rulemaking action which is available on line at www.regulations.gov, Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0350.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving the District's December 28, 2015 infrastructure submittal for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS as meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA, including specifically section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(I), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M) for this NAAQS, with the exception of the requirements related to the PSD permitting program of part C, title I of the CAA in section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), and (J). This rulemaking does not include action on section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertains to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, title I of the CAA, because this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, and will be addressed in a separate process where necessary and applicable. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on October 17, 2016 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 15, 2016. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA 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 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).

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. 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).

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    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 October 17, 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 action. This action which satisfies certain infrastructure requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS for the District 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, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: August 4, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.

    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 J—District of Columbia

    In § 52.470, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding an entry for Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS to read as follows:

    § 52.470 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    Name of non-regulatory SIP revision Applicable geographic area State submittal date EPA Approval date Additional explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS District of Columbia 12/28/15 8/16/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(I), D(i)(II), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). PSD related portions are addressed by FIP in 40 CFR 52.499. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-19390 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0210; FRL-9950-71-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Case-by-Case Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the Commonwealth of Virginia's state implementation plan (SIP). The SIP revision includes revised Virginia regulations which incorporate compliance dates necessary for implementing planning requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). Specifically, the SIP revision includes revised Virginia regulations which added notification and compliance dates for sources seeking case-by-case reasonably available control technology (RACT) determinations required under the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA is approving this revision to the Virginia SIP in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 17, 2016 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by September 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-R03-OAR-2016-0210 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Leslie Jones Doherty, (215) 814-3409, or by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On February 5, 2016, the Commonwealth of Virginia, through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ), submitted a formal revision to the Virginia SIP. The SIP revision submittal includes revised provisions within 9VAC5 Chapter 40, Existing Stationary Sources, to include revised notification and compliance dates for sources subject to RACT for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS to submit a case-by-case RACT demonstration to VADEQ.

    On March 27, 2008, EPA revised the 8-hour ozone standard to a new 0.075 parts per million (ppm) level (73 FR 16436). On May 21, 2012, EPA finalized designations for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS (77 FR 30087) in which the Washington, DC-MD-VA area was designated marginal nonattainment. See 40 CFR 81.347. The northern portion of Virginia is also part of the Metropolitan Statistical Area of the District Columbia which is in the ozone transport region (OTR) established under section 184(a) of the CAA. Pursuant to section 184(b) of the CAA, all areas in the OTR must comply with the CAA requirements for a moderate nonattainment area which includes RACT requirements. On March 6, 2015, EPA published a final implementation rule (80 FR 12264) which specifies the compliance date (January 1, 2017) by which RACT measures must be implemented for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 40 CFR 51.1112. Thus, the northern portion of Virginia which is within the OTR must implement RACT per CAA sections 172 and 182 for major stationary sources of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).1

    1 Any stationary source which emits or has the potential to emit at least 50 tons per year (tpy) of VOCs or 100 tpy of NOX shall be considered a major stationary source subject to attainment planning requirements, including RACT, as if the area were a moderate nonattainment area. See CAA sections 182(b) and (f), 184(b), and 302.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    This SIP revision includes revised 9VAC5-40-7400 and 9VAC5-40-7420 which incorporate EPA's compliance date for implementation of RACT requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS (i.e., January 1, 2017) into VADEQ's regulations. The SIP revision consists of amended versions of 9VAC5-40-7400 and 9VAC5-40-7420, which were previously included in the Virginia SIP, to add notification and compliance dates for RACT case-by-case determinations to meet CAA deadlines for implementing RACT for major stationary sources of NOX and VOC within Virginia for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. These provisions now include the RACT compliance date stated in EPA's implementation rule for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The notification date included in the Virginia regulations is the date by which facilities subject to RACT for the 2008 ozone NAAQS must notify the State Air Pollution Control Board of their applicability status, commit to making a RACT determination, and provide an acceptable schedule for implementing the proposed RACT determination so the source achieves compliance with the RACT emission standard as expeditiously as possible, but no later than the compliance date of January 1, 2017 as required by CAA.

    Specifically, in section 9VAC5-40-7400, pertaining to stationary sources of VOCs, Table 4-51B was amended to add the 2008 8-hour ozone standard, emissions control area, source threshold limit in tpy which subjects sources to VOC RACT, date for submission of notification to VADEQ, and the compliance date to implement RACT. Table 1, in this rulemaking action, describes Table 4-51B, Notification and Compliance Dates for Facilities Located in VOC Emissions Control Areas.

    Table 1—Notification and Compliance Dates for Facilities Located in VOC Emissions Control Areas Standard Emissions control area Source threshold Notification date Compliance date 1997 (0.08 ppm) Northern Virginia ≥50 tpy March 1, 2007 April 1, 2009. 2008 (0.075 ppm) Northern Virginia ≥50 tpy February 1, 2016 January 1, 2017.

    In section 9VAC5-40-7420, pertaining to stationary sources of NOX, Table 4-51E and Table 4-51F were amended to include the 2008 8-hour ozone standard, emissions control area, source threshold limit in tpy which subjects sources to NOX RACT, date for submission of notification to VADEQ, and compliance date to implement RACT. Table 2, of this rulemaking action, describes Table 4-51E for facilities in an emission control area where there is no applicable presumptive RACT. Table 3, of this rulemaking action describes Table 4-51F which pertains to facilities in an emission control area where presumptive RACT is defined or applicable.

    Table 2—Notification and Compliance Dates for Facilities Located in NOX Emissions Control Areas for Which There Is No Presumptive RACT Standard Emissions control area Source threshold Notification date Compliance date 1997 (0.08 ppm) Northern Virginia ≥100 tpy March 1, 2007 April 1, 2009 2008 (0.075 ppm) Northern Virginia ≥100 tpy February 1, 2016 January 1, 2017 Table 3—Notification and Compliance Dates for Facilities Located in NOX Emissions Control Areas for Which Presumptive RACT Is Defined Standard Emissions control area Source threshold Notification date Compliance date 1997 (0.08 ppm) Northern Virginia ≥100 tpy March 1, 2007 April 1, 2009 2008 (0.075 ppm) Northern Virginia ≥100 tpy February 1, 2016 January 1, 2017

    The amendments to 9VAC5-40-7400 and 9VAC5-40-7420 are consistent with the federal requirements for RACT implementation for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS contained within EPA's final implementation rule for this NAAQS and with CAA requirements for RACT in CAA sections 172, 182, and 184. See 80 FR 12264.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving the February 5, 2016 SIP submission from Virginia which includes amended Virginia regulations to include notification and compliance dates for the submission and implementation of case-by-case RACT to address requirements for the 2008 8-hour NAAQS. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on October 17, 2016 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 15, 2016. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals From the Commonwealth of Virginia

    In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) “privilege” for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and information about the content of those documents that are the product of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not extend to documents or information that: (1) Are generated or developed before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment; or (4) are required by law.

    On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the Privilege Law, Va. Code § 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege to documents and information “required by law,” including documents and information “required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval,” since Virginia must “enforce federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less stringent than their federal counterparts. . . .” The opinion concludes that “[r]egarding § 10.1-1198, therefore, documents or other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of these programs could not be privileged because such documents and information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required by federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval.” Virginia's Immunity law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that “[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by federal law,” any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute inapplicable to enforcement of any federally authorized programs, since “no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.”

    Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its program consistent with the federal requirements. In any event, because EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on federal enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under the CAA, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen enforcement under section 304 of the CAA is likewise unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rulemaking action, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of VADEQ regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR 52 set forth below which added notification and compliance dates for sources seeking case-by-case RACT. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or may be viewed at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA 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 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 as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151 or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. 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).

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    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 October 17, 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 action. This action pertaining to submission and compliance dates for case-by-case RACT determinations in Virginia for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS 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, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: August 2, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.

    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 VV—Virginia
    2. In § 52.2420, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising the entries for Sections 5-40-7400 and 5-40-7420 under 9VAC5, Chapter 40, Part 2, Article 51 to read as follows:
    § 52.2420 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA—Approved Virginia Regulations and Statutes State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanation [former SIP citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 9 VAC 5, Chapter 40 Existing Stationary Sources (Part IV) *         *         *         *         *         *         * Part 2 Emissions Standards *         *         *         *         *         *         * Article 51 Stationary Sources Subject to Case-by-Case Control Technology Determinations (Rule 4-51) *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5-40-7400 Standard for volatile organic compounds (eight-hour ozone standard) 12/02/2015 8/16/2016 [Insert Federal Register Citation] Notification and compliance dates added *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5-40-7420 Standard for nitrogen oxides (eight-hour ozone standard) 12/02/2015 8/16/2016 [Insert Federal Register Citation] Notification and compliance dates added *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-19388 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0652; FRL-9949-21] Flumioxazin; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of flumioxazin in or on soybean forage and hay. Valent U.S.A. Corporation requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective August 16, 2016. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before October 17, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0652, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl. To access the OCSPP test guidelines referenced in this document electronically, please go to http://www.epa.gov/ocspp and select “Test Methods and Guidelines.”

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

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0652 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before October 17, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0652, by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets. II. Summary of Petitioned-For Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of April 25, 2016 (81 FR 24046) (FRL-9944-86), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 5F8353) by Valent USA Corporation, 1600 Riviera Avenue, Suite 200, Walnut Creek, CA 94596 U.S.A. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.180.568 be amended by establishing tolerances for residues of the herbicide flumioxazin, in or on soybean forage at 0.05 parts per million (ppm) and hay at 0.02 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Valent USA Corporation, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has determined that the tolerance for soybean forage should be lowered from the proposed level of 0.05 ppm to 0.03 ppm. The reason for these changes are explained in Unit IV.D.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

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

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

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

    In the Federal Register of April 05, 2013 (78 FR 20462) (FRL-9381-7), EPA published a final rule establishing tolerances for residues of flumioxazin on globe artichoke, chinese cabbage, olive, pomegranate, and prickly pear cactus commodities based on EPA's conclusion that aggregate exposure to flumioxazin is safe for the general population, including infants and children. Since that rulemaking, the toxicity profile for flumioxazin has not changed. The requested tolerances will not result in residues on human food commodities, only animal feed (soybean forage and hay). The available residue data submitted for use in soybean forage and hay indicates that the dietary burden for livestock will not change from the current levels that were previously assessed. Therefore, the residues of flumioxazin soybean forage and hay from the proposed new use will not impact the existing human dietary and aggregate risk assessments for flumioxazin. For a detailed discussion of the aggregate risk assessments and determination of safety, as well as a summary of the toxicological endpoints used for human risk assessment, please refer to the final rule published in the Federal Register of April 05, 2013. EPA relies upon those supporting risk assessments and the findings made in the Federal Register document in support of this final rule.

    Based on the risk assessments and information described above, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to flumioxazin residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology (gas chromatography/nitrogen-phosphorus detection (GC/NPD) method, Valent Method RM30-A-1) is available to enforce the tolerance expression. The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established a MRL for flumioxazin.

    C. Revisions to Petitioned-For Tolerances

    The agency has determined that the tolerance for soybean forage should be lowered from the proposed level of 0.05 ppm to 0.03 ppm. The modifications were due to the Agency's use of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) calculation procedures to determine the appropriate tolerance levels.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of flumioxazin, in or on soybean forage at 0.03 parts per million (ppm) and hay at 0.02 (ppm).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    VII. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: August 5, 2016. Daniel J. Rosenblatt, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.568, add alphabetically the commodities “Soybean forage” and “Soybean hay” to the table in paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 180.568 Flumioxazin; tolerance for residues.

    (a) * * *

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    *     Soybean forage 0.03 Soybean hay 0.02 *    *    *    *    *    
    [FR Doc. 2016-19553 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 192 and 195 [Docket No. PHMSA-2016-0075] Pipeline Safety: Clarification of Terms Relating to Pipeline Operational Status AGENCY:

    Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); DOT.

    ACTION:

    Issuance of Advisory Bulletin.

    SUMMARY:

    PHMSA is issuing this advisory bulletin to all owners and operators (operators) of hazardous liquid, carbon dioxide, and gas pipelines, as defined in 49 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 192 and 195, to clarify the regulatory requirements that may vary depending on the operational status of a pipeline. Further, this advisory bulletin identifies regulatory requirements operators must follow for the abandonment of pipelines. Pipeline owners and operators should verify their operations and procedures align with the regulatory intent of defined terms as described under this bulletin. Congress recognized the need for this clarification in its Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016.

    DATES:

    August 16, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Linda Daugherty at 816-329-3800 or by email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On March 17, 2014, a hazardous liquid pipeline company was notified by emergency responders of crude oil leaking up from below the pavement in a residential area in Wilmington, California. The leak was close to a refinery. The company initially informed the regulator that it had no active lines in the area but responded anyway.

    On March 18, 2014, the company excavated the area surrounding the leaking oil and learned that the leak originated from a pipeline that it owned. The pipeline had been purchased 16 years ago and the company understood that the previous operator had properly abandoned and purged the pipeline prior to purchase. Regulators determined the pipeline leaked due to an internal “pinhole” corrosion leak on a weld.

    Subsequent investigations determined that while the pipeline was not in operation, its valves were positioned to prevent flow but the pipeline had never been purged and cleaned. Some regulators and industry representatives informally referred to such pipelines as “idled.”

    On May 31, 2015, a 24-inch natural gas “auxiliary” pipeline crossing the Arkansas River in North Little Rock, Arkansas, failed due to vortex-induced vibration after high water levels eroded the ground cover and exposed the pipeline to the river's flow. The failure released 3,858 cubic feet of natural gas into the atmosphere and resulted in the temporary closure of the Arkansas River to vessel traffic for five days. The pipeline at the time of the failure was isolated by two mainline valves, at an approximate pressure of 700 pounds per square inch (psig). The pipeline, considered an emergency back-up pipeline crossing the river, has not been fully operated since 1972. However, the company did maintain the pipeline as an active pipeline, subject to in-line inspection, cathodic protection, and other maintenance requirements.

    On October 28, 2015, Cypress, California, city public works employees identified an oil-water mixture on a local road. Approximately 28 barrels of oil-water mixture was determined to have leaked from an oil pipeline that was believed to have been purged of oil prior to deactivation in 1997. The owner of the pipeline had purchased it from another company just prior to the failure.

    Congress recognized the need for PHMSA to provide clarification of operational terms and ensure all operators are aware of and abide by the regulatory requirements for properly abandoning pipelines. In its “Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016,” Congress required PHMSA to issue an advisory bulletin to owners and operators of gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities and Federal and State pipeline safety personnel regarding procedures required to change the status of a pipeline facility from active to abandoned, including specific guidance on the terms recognized by the Secretary for each pipeline status referred to in such advisory bulletin.

    PHMSA regulations do not recognize an “idle” status for hazardous liquid or gas pipelines. The regulations consider pipelines to be either active and fully subject to all relevant parts of the safety regulations or abandoned. The process and requirements for pipeline abandonment are captured in §§ 192.727 and 195.402(c)(10) for gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, respectively. These requirements include purging all combustibles and sealing any facilities left in place. The last owner or operator of abandoned offshore facilities and abandoned onshore facilities that cross over, under, or through commercially navigable waterways must file a report with PHMSA. PHMSA regulations define the term “abandoned” to mean permanently removed from service (§ 192.3).

    A 1998 report by the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), a predecessor agency to PHMSA, titled: “Analysis of Pipeline Burial Surveys in the Gulf of Mexico,” stated: “Abandonment involves the permanent and, for all practical purposes, irreversible process of discontinuing the use of a pipeline. The physical asset is abandoned in the truest sense of the word; no future use or value is attributed to it, and no attempts are made to maintain serviceability. Pipeline systems or segments that are not abandoned, but only idled, decommissioned, or mothballed, are considered to have the potential for reuse at some point in the future. The maintenance and inspection to be performed in these cases is a function of the probability of reuse, the cost and difficulty of remediation which may be required, and the potential impact of the in-place and idled facility on human safety and the environment.”

    PHMSA is aware that some pipelines may have been abandoned prior to the effective date of the abandonment regulations. Companies may not have access to records relating to where these pipelines are located or whether they were properly purged of combustibles and sealed. Owners and operators have a responsibility to assure facilities for which they are responsible or last owned do not present a hazard to people, property or the environment.

    In the case study from Wilmington, California, provided above, the pipeline company was aware of the pipeline and believed it to have been properly abandoned by the previous owner/operator. The pipeline company was cited and fined by a State regulator because it did not properly maintain the active line or, alternatively, properly abandon the pipeline facility.

    Pipelines not currently in operation but that may be used in the future are sometimes informally referred to as “idled,” “inactive,” or “decommissioned.” These pipelines may be shut down and still contain hazardous liquids or gas. Usually, the mainline valves on these pipelines are closed, isolating them from other pipeline segments. Frequently, blind flanges or welded end caps are used for further isolation. Some pipelines do not operate for short periods of time such as weeks or months. Other pipelines do not operate for years. If a pipeline is not properly abandoned and may be used for the future for transportation of hazardous liquid or gas, PHMSA regulations consider it an active pipeline. Owners and operators of pipelines that are not operating but contain hazardous liquids and gas must comply with all relevant safety requirements, including periodic maintenance, integrity management assessments, damage prevention programs, and public awareness programs.

    PHMSA is aware that some owners and operators may properly purge a pipeline of combustibles without abandonment because of an expectation to later continue using the pipeline in hazardous materials transportation. A purged pipeline presents different risks, and different regulatory treatment may be appropriate. Degradation of such a pipeline can occur, but it is not likely to result in significant safety impacts to people, property, or the environment. PHMSA will accept deferral of certain activities for purged but active pipelines. These deferred activities might include actions impractical on most purged pipelines such as in-line inspection. PHMSA is considering proposing procedures in a future rulemaking that would address methods owners or operators could use to notify regulators of purged but active pipelines. In the interim, owners or operators planning to defer certain activities for purged pipelines should coordinate the deferral in advance with regulators. All deferred activities must be completed prior to, or as part, of any later return-to-service. Pipeline owners and operators are fully responsible for the safety of their pipeline facilities at all times and during all operational statuses.

    II. Advisory Bulletin (ADB-2016-05)

    To: Owners and Operators of Hazardous Liquid, Carbon Dioxide and Gas Pipelines.

    Subject: Clarification of Terms Relating to Pipeline Operational Status.

    Advisory: PHMSA regulations do not recognize an “idle” status for a hazardous liquid or gas pipelines. The regulations consider pipelines to be either active and fully subject to all parts of the safety regulations or abandoned. The process and requirements for pipeline abandonment are captured in §§ 192.727 and 195.402(c)(10) for gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, respectively. Pipelines abandoned after the effective date of the regulations must comply with requirements to purge all combustibles and seal any facilities left in place. The last owner or operator of abandoned offshore facilities and abandoned onshore facilities that cross over, under, or through commercially navigable waterways must file a report with PHMSA. PHMSA regulations define the term “abandoned” to mean permanently removed from service.

    Companies that own pipelines abandoned prior to the effective date of the abandonment regulations may not have access to records relating to where these pipelines are located or whether they were properly purged of combustibles and sealed. To the extent feasible, owners and operators have a responsibility to assure facilities for which they are responsible or last owned do not present a hazard to people, property or the environment.

    Pipelines not currently in operation are sometimes informally referred to as “idled,” “inactive,” or “decommissioned.” These pipelines may be shut down and still contain hazardous liquids or gas. Usually, the mainline valves on these pipelines are closed, isolating them from other pipeline segments. If a pipeline is not properly abandoned and may be used in the future for transportation of hazardous liquid or gas, PHMSA regulations consider it as an active pipeline. Owners and operators of pipelines that are not operating but contain hazardous liquids and gas must comply with all applicable safety requirements, including periodic maintenance, integrity management assessments, damage prevention programs, response planning, and public awareness programs.

    PHMSA is aware that some owners and operators may properly purge a pipeline of combustibles with the expectation to later use that pipeline in hazardous materials transportation. A purged pipeline presents different risks, and therefore different regulatory treatment may be appropriate. Degradation of such a pipeline can occur, but is not likely to result in significant safety impacts to people, property, or the environment. PHMSA will accept deferral of certain activities for purged but active pipelines. These deferred activities might include actions impractical on most purged pipelines, such as in-line inspection. PHMSA is considering proposing procedures in a future rulemaking that would address methods owners or operators could use to notify regulators of purged but active pipelines. In the interim, owners or operators planning to defer certain activities for purged pipelines should coordinate the deferral in advance with regulators. All deferred activities must be completed prior to, or as part of, any later return-to-service. Pipeline owners and operators are fully responsible for the safety of their pipeline facilities at all times and during all operational statuses.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 11, 2016, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.97. Alan K. Mayberry, Acting Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19494 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-60-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2015-0034; FF09M21200-167-FXMB1231099BPP0] RIN 1018-BA70 Migratory Bird Hunting; Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for Certain Migratory Game Birds AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, published a final rule in the Federal Register on July 25, 2016, that prescribes the hunting seasons, hours, areas, and daily bag and possession limits for migratory game birds during the 2016-17 season. Taking of migratory birds is prohibited unless specifically provided for by annual regulations. In that final rule, we identified several errors concerning season dates, and bag and possession limits, for certain States, as well as a number of formatting and other errors in tables and table notes. With this document, we correct those errors.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective August 16, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron W. Kokel, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (703) 358-1714.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a final rule published in the Federal Register on July 25, 2016, at 81 FR 48648, the following corrections are made:

    1. On page 48652, § 20.103(a) is amended by revising the entry for Pennsylvania under the heading EASTERN MANAGEMENT UNIT in the table to read as follows:
    § 20.103 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for doves and pigeons.

    (a) * * *

    Season dates Limits Bag Possession EASTERN MANAGEMENT UNIT Pennsylvania 12 noon to sunset Sept. 1-Sept. 24 15 45 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset Sept. 26-Oct. 8 & 15 45 Oct. 15-Nov. 26 &
  • Dec. 26-Jan. 3
  • 15
  • 15
  • 45
  • 45
  • 2. On page 48656, § 20.104 is amended by revising table note (14) to read as follows:
    § 20.104 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for rails, woodcock, and snipe.

    (14) In Iowa, the limits for sora and Virginia rails are 12 daily and 36 in possession.

    3. Section 20.105 is amended as follows: a. On page 48657, in paragraph (c), by revising the entry for Iowa under the heading MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY in the table; b. On page 48659, in paragraph (d), by revising table note (11); c. In paragraph (e): i. On pages 48660 through 48665, under the heading ATLANTIC FLYWAY, by revising the entries for Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, and Rhode Island in the table; by adding an entry for South Carolina in the table; and by revising table note (14); ii. On pages 48668 through 48670, under the heading MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY, by revising the entries for Minnesota and Tennessee in the table, and by removing and reserving table note (6); and iii. On page 48670, under the heading CENTRAL FLYWAY, in the introductory text under the heading “Duck Limits”, by removing the words “1 mottled duck,”; and d. In paragraph (f), in the table: i. On page 48678, under the heading MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY, by revising the entry for Iowa; and ii. On page 48679, under the heading CENTRAL FLYWAY, by revising the entry for Kansas.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 20.105 Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for waterfowl, coots, and gallinules.

    (c) * * *

    Season dates Limits Bag Possession *         *         *         *         *         *         * MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY *         *         *         *         *         *         * Iowa (3): North Zone Sept. 3-Sept. 11 6 18 South Zone Sept. 3-Sept. 11 6 18 Missouri River Zone Sept. 3-Sept. 18 6 18 *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (d) * * *

    (11) In Virginia, shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset from September 1 to September 16, and one-half hour before sunrise to sunset from September 17 to September 25 in the area east of I-95 where the September teal season is open. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset from September 1 to September 21, and one-half hour before sunrise to sunset from September 22 to September 25 in the area west of I-95.

    (e) * * *

    ATLANTIC FLYWAY

    Season dates Limits Bag Possession *         *         *         *         *         *         * Georgia Ducks Nov. 19-Nov. 27 & 6 18 Dec. 10-Jan. 29 6 18 Mergansers Same as for Ducks 5 15 Coots Same as for Ducks 15 45 Canada Geese Oct. 8-Oct. 23 & 5 15 Nov. 19-Nov. 27 & 5 15 Dec. 10-Jan. 29 5 15 Light Geese Same as for Canada Geese 5 15 Brant Closed Maine Ducks (2): 6 18 North Zone Sept. 26-Dec. 3 South Zone Oct. 1-Oct. 15 &
  • Nov. 1-Dec. 24
  • Coastal Zone Oct. 1-Oct. 15 &
  • Nov. 11-Jan. 4
  • Mergansers Same as for Ducks 5 15 Coots Same as for Ducks 5 15 Canada Geese: North Zone Oct. 1-Dec. 21 3 9 South Zone Oct. 1-Oct. 27 & 3 9 Nov. 1-Dec. 24 3 9 Coastal Zone Oct. 1-Oct. 27 & 3 9 Nov. 11-Jan. 4 3 9 Light Geese Oct. 1-Jan. 31 25 Brant: North Zone Sept. 26-Dec. 3 2 6 South Zone Oct. 1-Oct. 15 & 2 6 Nov. 1-Dec. 24 2 6 Coastal Zone Oct. 1-Oct. 15 & 2 6 Nov. 11-Jan. 4 2 6 *         *         *         *         *         *         * New Jersey Ducks: 6 18 North Zone Oct. 8-Oct. 15 &
  • Nov. 5-Jan. 5
  • South Zone Oct. 22-Oct. 29 &
  • Nov. 12-Jan. 12
  • Coastal Zone Nov. 10-Nov. 12 &
  • Nov. 24-Jan. 28
  • Mergansers Same as for Ducks 5 15 Coots Same as for Ducks 15 45 Canada and White-fronted Geese: North Zone Nov. 12-Nov. 26 & 3 9 Dec. 10-Jan. 21 3 9 South Zone Nov. 12-Nov. 26 & 3 9 Dec. 10-Jan. 21 3 9 Coastal Zone Nov. 10-Nov. 12 & 5 15 Nov. 24-Feb. 15 5 15 Special Season Zone Jan. 23-Feb. 15 5 15 Light Geese: North Zone Oct. 17-Feb. 15 25 South Zone Oct. 17-Feb. 15 25 Coastal Zone Oct. 17-Feb. 15 25 Brant: North Zone Oct. 8-Oct. 15 & 1 3 Nov. 5-Jan. 5 1 3 South Zone Oct. 22-Oct. 29 & 1 3 Nov. 12-Jan. 12 1 3 Coastal Zone Nov. 10-Nov. 12 & 1 3 Nov. 24-Jan. 28 1 3 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Rhode Island Ducks Oct. 7-Oct. 10 & 6 18 Nov. 23-Nov. 27 & 6 18 Dec. 3-Jan. 22 6 18 Mergansers Same as for Ducks 5 15 Coots Same as for Ducks 15 45 Canada Geese Nov. 19-Nov. 27 & 3 9 Dec. 3-Jan. 30 3 9 Special season Feb. 4-Feb. 10 5 15 Light Geese Oct. 16-Jan. 30 25 Brant Dec. 4-Jan. 22 2 6 South Carolina Ducks (9)(10) Nov. 12 & 6 18 Nov. 19-Nov. 26 & 6 18 Dec. 10-Jan. 29 6 18 Mergansers (11) Same as for Ducks 5 15 Coots Same as for Ducks 15 45 Canada and White-fronted Geese (12) Nov. 19-Nov. 26 & 5 15 Dec. 10-Jan. 29 & 5 15 Feb. 12-Feb. 27 5 15 Light Geese Nov. 19-Nov. 26 & 25 Dec. 10-Jan. 29 & 25 Feb. 12-Feb. 27 25 Brant Nov. 19-Nov. 26 & 2 6 Dec. 10-Jan. 29 2 6 *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (14) In West Virginia, the season is closed for eiders, whistling ducks, and mottled ducks.

    MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY Season dates Limits Bag Possession *         *         *         *         *         *         * Minnesota Ducks: 6 18 North Zone Sept. 24-Nov. 22 Central Zone Sept. 24-Oct. 2 & Oct. 8-Nov. 27 South Zone Sept. 24-Oct. 2 &
  • Oct. 15-Dec. 4
  • Mergansers Same as for Ducks 5 15 Coots (5) Same as for Ducks 15 45 Dark Geese (1): North Zone Sept. 3-Sept. 18 & 5 15 Sept. 24-Dec. 23 3 9 Central Zone Sept. 3-Sept. 18 & 5 15 Sept. 24-Oct. 2 & 3 9 Oct. 8-Dec. 28 3 9 South Zone Sept. 3-Sept. 18 & 5 15 Sept. 24-Oct. 2 & 3 9 Oct. 15-Jan. 4 3 9 Light Geese: North Zone Same as for Dark Geese 20 60 Central Zone Same as for Dark Geese 20 60 South Zone Same as for Dark Geese 20 60 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Tennessee Ducks: 6 18 Reelfoot Zone Nov. 12-Nov. 13 & Dec. 3-Jan. 29 Rest of State Nov. 26-Nov. 27 & Dec. 3-Jan. 29 Mergansers Same as for Ducks 5 15 Coots Same as for Ducks 15 45 Canada Geese: Northwest Zone Sept. 1-Sept. 15 & 5 15 Oct. 8-Oct. 12 & 5 15 Nov. 12-Nov. 13 & 5 15 Dec. 3-Feb. 11 5 15 Rest of State Sept. 1-Sept. 15 & 5 15 Oct. 8-Oct. 25 & 5 15 Nov. 26-Nov. 27 & 5 15 Dec. 3-Jan. 29 5 15 White-fronted Geese: Northwest Zone Nov. 26-Nov. 27 & 2 6 Dec. 3-Feb. 11 2 6 Rest of State Same as Northwest Zone 2 6 Brant: Northwest Zone Nov. 26-Nov. 27 & 2 6 Dec. 3-Jan. 29 2 6 Rest of State Same as Northwest Zone 2 6 Light Geese Same as White-fronted Geese 20 *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (f) * * *

    Season dates *         *         *         *         *         *         * MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY *         *         *         *         *         *         * Iowa Ducks, mergansers, coots North Zone Sept. 17 & 18. Missouri River Zone Oct. 1 & 2. South Zone Sept. 24 & 25. *         *         *         *         *         *         * CENTRAL FLYWAY *         *         *         *         *         *         * Kansas (7) Ducks, geese, mergansers, and coots: High Plains Oct. 1 & 2. Low Plains: Early Zone Oct. 1 & 2. Late Zone Oct. 22 & 23. Southeast Zone Nov. 5 & 6. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    4. Amend § 20.109 by: a. On page 48682, revising the entry for New York under the heading ATLANTIC FLYWAY in the table; and b. On page 48683, revising the entry for Montana under the heading CENTRAL FLYWAY in the table.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § § 20.109 Extended seasons, limits, and hours for taking migratory game birds by falconry. Extended falconry dates ATLANTIC FLYWAY *         *         *         *         *         *         * New York Ducks, mergansers and coots: Long Island Zone Nov. 1-Nov. 23 & Nov. 28-Dec. 4 & Jan. 30-Feb. 13. Northeastern Zone Oct. 1-Oct. 7 & Oct. 31-Nov. 4 & Dec. 12-Jan. 13. Southeastern Zone Oct. 11-Nov. 11 & Jan. 1-Jan. 13. Western Zone Oct. 1-Oct. 21 & Dec. 5-Dec. 30. *         *         *         *         *         *         * CENTRAL FLYWAY *         *         *         *         *         *         * Montana (2) Ducks, mergansers, and coots Sept. 21-Sept. 30. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: August 10, 2016. Tina A. Campbell, Chief, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19447 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 120109034-2171-01] RIN 0648-XE787 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Small-Mesh Multispecies Fishery; Adjustment to the Northern Red Hake Inseason Possession Limit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    We announce the reduction of the commercial per-trip possession limit for northern red hake for the remainder of the 2016 fishing year. This action is required to prevent the northern red hake total allowable landing limit from being exceeded. This announcement informs the public that the northern red hake possession limit is reduced.

    DATES:

    Effective August 16, 2016, through April 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-675-9112.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Regulations governing the red hake fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The small-mesh multispecies fishery is managed primarily through a series of exemptions from the Northeast Multispecies Fisheries Management Plan. The regulations describing the process to adjust inseason commercial possession limits of northern red hake are described in § 648.86(d)(4) and (5). These regulations require the National Marine Fisheries Service Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, to reduce the northern red hake possession limit from 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) to 1,500 lb (680 kg) when landings have been projected to reach or exceed 45 percent of the total allowable landings (TAL). The possession limit is required to be further reduced from 1,500 lb (680 kg) to 400 lb (181 kg) if landings are projected to reach or exceed 62.5 percent of the TAL, unless such a reduction would be expected to prevent the TAL from being reached. The final rule implementing the small-mesh multispecies specifications for 2016-2017, which published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2016 (81 FR 41866), set these inseason adjustment thresholds for the 2016 fishing year. These trip limit adjustment thresholds are accountability measures put in place because the annual catch limits (ACL) for northern red hake were exceeded for the 2012 and 2013 fishing years, and the northern red hake stock was experiencing overfishing.

    Inseason Action

    On August 8, 2016, the northern red hake commercial possession limit was reduced from 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) to 1,500 lb (680 kg) because the overall commercial landings reached 45 percent of the TAL. Based on commercial landings data reported through July 27, 2016, the northern red hake fishery is projected to reach 65.2 percent of the TAL on August 6, 2016. Based on this projection, we are required to reduce the commercial northern red hake possession limit from 1,500 lb (680 kg) to 400 lb (181 kg) to prevent the TAL from being exceeded. On the effective date of this action, no person may possess on board or land more than 400 lb (181 kg) of northern red hake per trip for the remainder of the fishing year (i.e., through April 30, 2017).

    Classification

    This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 11, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19503 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151130999-6225-01] RIN 0648-XE782 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; quota transfer.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the State of Florida is transferring a portion of its 2016 commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York. These quota adjustments are necessary to comply with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for Florida and New York.

    DATES:

    Effective August 15, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Scheimer, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9236.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations governing the Atlantic bluefish fishery are found in 50 CFR 648.160 through 648.167. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Maine through Florida. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in § 648.162.

    The final rule implementing Amendment 1 to the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2000 (65 FR 45844), and provided a mechanism for transferring bluefish quota from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), can transfer or combine bluefish commercial quota under § 648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.162(e) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations.

    Florida is transferring 50,000 lb (22,679 kg) of Atlantic bluefish commercial quota to New York. This quota transfer was requested by the State of New York to ensure that its 2016 quota would not be exceeded. The Regional Administrator has determined that the criteria set forth in § 648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii) have been met. The revised bluefish quotas for calendar year 2016 are: Florida, 391,394 lb (177,533 kg); and New York, 587,289 lb (266,390 kg). These quotas are based on the final rule implementing the 2016-2018 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications that became effective August 4, 2016, inclusive of previous commercial bluefish transfers that were implemented in that rule.

    Classification

    This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 11, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19504 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 158 Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 983 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-16-0057; SC16-983-1 CR] Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; Continuance Referendum AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Referendum order.

    SUMMARY:

    This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of pistachios grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order that regulates the handling of pistachios produced in the production area.

    DATES:

    The referendum will be conducted from November 1 through November 18, 2016. To vote in this referendum, producers must have produced pistachios within the designated production area during the period September 1, 2015, through August 31, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the marketing order may be obtained from the referendum agents at the California Marketing Field Office, 2202 Monterey Street, Suite 102B, Fresno, California 93721-3129, or the Office of the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Fax: (202) 720-8938; or Internet: www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Sommers, Marketing Specialist, or Jeffrey Smutny, Regional Director, California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (559) 487-5901, Fax: (559) 487-5906, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to Marketing Order No. 983 (7 CFR part 983), hereinafter referred to as the “order,” and the applicable provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act,” it is hereby directed that a referendum be conducted to ascertain whether continuance of the order is favored by the producers. The referendum shall be conducted from November 1 through November 18, 2016, among pistachio producers in the production area. Only pistachio producers who were engaged in the production of pistachios during the period of September 1, 2015, through August 31, 2016, may participate in the continuance referendum.

    USDA has determined that continuance referenda are an effective means for determining whether producers favor the continuation of marketing order programs. USDA would consider termination of the order if continuance is not favored by a two-thirds majority of voting producers or a two-thirds majority of the volume represented in the referendum.

    In evaluating the merits of continuance versus termination, USDA will consider the results of the continuance referendum and other relevant information regarding operation of the order. USDA will evaluate the order's relative benefits and disadvantages to growers, handlers, and consumers to determine whether continuing the order would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the ballot materials used in the referendum have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), under OMB No. 0581-0215, Pistachios Grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. It has been estimated that it will take an average of 20 minutes for each of the approximately 1,150 growers of California, Arizona, and New Mexico pistachios to cast a ballot. Participation is voluntary. Ballots postmarked after November 18, 2016, will not be included in the vote tabulation.

    Peter Sommers and Jeffrey Smutny of the California Marketing Field Office, Specialty Crop Programs, AMS, USDA, are hereby designated as the referendum agents of the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct this referendum. The procedure applicable to the referendum shall be the “Procedure for the Conduct of Referenda in Connection With Marketing Orders for Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended” (7 CFR part 900.400-900.407).

    Ballots will be mailed to all producers of record and may also be obtained from the referendum agents or from their appointees.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 983

    Marketing agreements and orders, Pistachios, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19531 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA-2013-0044] 20 CFR Parts 404 and 416 RIN 0960-AH63 Revisions to Rules of Conduct and Standards of Responsibility for Appointed Representatives AGENCY:

    Social Security Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to revise our rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives. We also propose to update and clarify procedures we use when we bring charges against a representative for violating our rules of conduct and standards of responsibilities for representatives. These changes are necessary to better protect the integrity of our administrative process and further clarify representatives' currently existing responsibilities in their conduct with us. The changes to our rules are not meant to suggest that any specific conduct is permissible under our existing rules; instead, we seek to ensure that our rules of conduct and standards of responsibility are clearer as a whole and directly address a broader range of inappropriate conduct.

    DATES:

    To ensure that your comments are considered, we must receive them no later than October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any one of three methods—Internet, fax, or mail. Do not submit the same comments multiple times or by more than one method. Regardless of which method you choose, please state that your comments refer to Docket No. SSA-2013-0044 so that we may associate your comments with the correct rule.

    Caution: You should be careful to include in your comments only information that you wish to make publicly available. We strongly urge you not to include in your comments any personal information, such as Social Security numbers or medical information.

    1. Internet: We strongly recommend that you submit your comments via the Internet. Please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Use the Search function to find docket number SSA-2013-0044. The system will issue a tracking number to confirm your submission. You will not be able to view your comment immediately because we must post each comment manually. It may take up to a week for your comment to be viewable.

    2. Fax: Fax comments to (410) 966-2830.

    3. Mail: Mail your comments to the Office of Regulations, Social Security Administration, 3100 West High Rise Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401.

    Comments are available for public viewing on the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov or in person, during regular business hours, by arranging with the contact person identified below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maren Weight, Office of Appellate Operations, Social Security Administration, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041, (703) 605-7100. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    We may issue rules and regulations to administer the Social Security Act (Act). 42 U.S.C. 405(a), 406(a)(1), 902(a)(5), 1010(a), and 1383(d). We are revising our rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives and other rules about the representation of parties in 20 CFR part 404 subpart R and part 416 subpart O.

    Although the vast majority of representatives conduct business before us ethically, and conscientiously assist their clients, these changes are prompted by our concerns that some representatives are using our processes in a way that undermines the integrity of our programs. We seek to clarify that certain actions are prohibited and to provide additional means to address representative actions that affect the integrity of our programs and our ability to provide the best possible service to the public.

    Clarification to Qualifications for Non-Attorney Representatives

    Our current regulations specify in § 404.1705(b)(1) that a non-attorney must generally be known to have a good character and reputation to serve as a representative. In proposed § 404.1705(b)(4), we specify that certain convictions will preclude a non-attorney representative from demonstrating this requisite good character and reputation. We have noted in our existing policy that neither the Act nor our regulations define the terms “good character and reputation.” In these rules, we propose to clarify these terms by including a non-exclusive list of examples that show that a person lacks good character and reputation, and which, if present, will demonstrate to us that a non-attorney is unqualified to serve as a representative.

    New Rules of Conduct for Representatives and Clarification of Existing Rules

    We are revising our rules of conduct for representatives to clarify their existing responsibilities under our regulations and to ensure their compliance with procedures designed to provide fair and efficient claim adjudication. We propose these changes to save limited administrative resources, process claims more efficiently, and protect the integrity of our programs.

    Current § 404.1740(b)(3)(i) states that competent representation requires the “knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.” In proposed § 404.1740(b)(3)(i), we specify that, in addition to the other requirements already listed, competent representation also includes reasonable and adequate familiarity with the evidence in a case, as well as knowledge of the applicable provisions of the Act, our regulations, and Social Security Rulings.

    Consistent with regulatory changes in our 2014 final rules to scheduling and appearing at hearings,1 we propose adding an affirmative duty in § 404.1740(b)(3) requiring representatives to provide to us, on our request, a specified number of dates and times the representative is available for a hearing. We also propose specifying as an affirmative duty the requirement that representatives withdraw from representation at a time and in a manner that does not disrupt claim processing; and, in particular, not to withdraw once we have scheduled a hearing unless the representative can show that a withdrawal is necessary due to extraordinary circumstances, as we determine on a case-by-case basis. We also added a paragraph in proposed § 404.1740(b)(3)(v) clarifying that a representative has an obligation to maintain prompt and timely communication with the claimant. This proposed new paragraph is consistent with many of the principles found in American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4.2

    1 In our 2014 final rules regarding changes to scheduling and appearing at hearings, we made changes to when a claimant may object to appearing at a hearing by video teleconferencing, or to the time and place of a hearing. 79 FR 39526 at 35931 (June 25, 2014).

    2 We acknowledge the ABA model rules apply only to attorneys, and our rules and regulations govern both attorney and non-attorney representatives. However, the ABA model rules are a helpful resource, as they address representation principles and practices relevant to our programs. The principles we cite in this proposed rule apply equally to attorney and non-attorney representatives.

    In addition, for consistency with our 2015 final rules regarding submission of evidence in disability claims, we propose adding affirmative duties in proposed § 404.1740(b)(5) requiring that a representative, when he or she submits a medical or vocational opinion to us, disclose in writing whether the medical or vocational opinion is drafted, prepared, or issued by: An employee of the representative; an individual contracting with the representative for services; or an individual to whom the representative referred the claimant for suggested treatment.3 In doing so, we clarify that we do not find the behavior of referring a claimant to a medical or vocational provider in and of itself problematic, even in the particularly noted circumstances. By adding this requirement, we are merely indicating that, in the noted circumstances, a representative must disclose such a referral to us.

    3 In our recent 2015 final rules regarding submission of evidence, we require a claimant to inform us about or submit all evidence that relates to whether or not he or she is blind or disabled, with certain exceptions for information subject to the attorney work product doctrine and communications subject to attorney-client privilege. Consistent with these recent rules regarding submission of evidence, the affirmative duty set forth in proposed § 404.1740(b)(5) will not require a representative to disclose attorney work product or communication subject to the attorney-client privilege as defined by § 404.1512(b)(2). In particular, the 2015 final rules provide that “if you tell your representative about the medical sources you have seen, your representative cannot refuse to disclose the identity of those medical sources to us based on the attorney-client privilege,” and “if your representative asks a medical source to complete an opinion form related to your impairment(s), symptoms, or limitations, your representative cannot withhold the completed opinion form from us based on the attorney work product doctrine.” 20 CFR 404.1512(b)(2)(iv). In the course of this rulemaking, we acknowledged that “state bar rules generally require client confidentiality and zealous representation,” but we stated that we did not believe that “state bar rules prevent an attorney from complying with our Federal rule, which requires a representative to help a claimant satisfy his or her disclosure obligation,” under our regulations. 80 FR 14828, 14832-33 (March 20, 2015); see also ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6(b)(6) (attorney can reveal information relating to representation of a client “to comply with other law or a court order”).

    We also propose § 404.1740(b)(6) specifying that a representative must inform the agency if a claimant used the representative's services to commit fraud against us. This is consistent with requirements set forth by portions of ABA Model Rule 3.3 regarding the duty of candor toward the tribunal. We acknowledge that attorney representatives may be subject to state bar and ethics rules, which vary from state to state. However, all states recognize a version of the common law crime or fraud exception to privileged communications between an attorney and client. Furthermore, even if a state's rules conflicted with our rules, under the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause, the federal rules take precedence when the representative is appearing in federal proceedings before us. Therefore, our rules would preempt any conflicting state bar and ethics rules.

    In proposed § 404.1740(b)(7) and (8), we add affirmative duties that require a representative to disclose whether the representative is or has been disbarred or suspended from any bar or court to which he or she was previously admitted to practice. This includes instances in which a bar or court took administrative action to disbar or suspend the representative in lieu of disciplinary proceedings (e.g. acceptance of voluntary resignation pending disciplinary action); and also disclose whether the representative is or has been disqualified from participating in or appearing before any Federal program or agency, again including instances in which the representative was disqualified in lieu of disciplinary proceedings. Our current regulations specify in § 404.1745(d) that such disbarments, suspensions, or disqualifications based upon misconduct constitute grounds for sanctions. While our current Appointment of Representative form (Form SSA-1696) requires a representative to disclose this information, our current policy does not require representatives to use this form, and, in some matters, a representative may be disbarred, suspended, or disqualified following appointment as a representative. Therefore, we proposed these new affirmative duties setting forth ongoing disclosure requirements. Similarly, in proposed § 404.1740(b)(9), we also require that a representative disclose to us whether he or she has been removed or suspended from practice by a professional licensing authority.

    Current § 404.1740(c)(10) addresses instances in which a representative may be working with employees or assistants to commit misconduct. The current rule prohibits a representative from suggesting, assisting, or directing another person to violate our rules or regulations. We have proposed adding an affirmative duty in proposed § 404.1740(b)(10) which requires a representative to ensure that all of the representative's employees, assistants, partners, contractors, or any other person assisting the representative will be compliant with our rules of conduct and standards of responsibility. We have also specified in proposed § 404.1740(c)(14) that, within the scope of employment, failure by a representative to properly oversee the representative's employees, assistants, partners, contractors, or any person assisting the representative, constitutes sanctionable behavior. This provision applies where the representative has managerial or supervisory authority over the individual(s) in question, the individual's conduct would be a violation of our rules, the representative has reason to believe that misconduct has occurred or may occur, and, when possible, the representative fails to take remedial action.4 Because many representatives associated with large organizations rely extensively on other employees and assistants when providing representational services to claimants, we believe that these new rules are necessary to ensure that claimants receive competent and effective representation and to protect the integrity of our administrative processes.

    4 These proposed affirmative duties and prohibited actions are consistent with ABA Model Rule 5.1, which requires that a partner in a law firm, or others with comparable managerial authority, make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

    In proposed § 404.1740(c)(1), we specify that misleading a claimant, prospective claimant, or beneficiary regarding benefits or other rights under the Act includes misleading the claimant, prospective claimant, or beneficiary about that representative's services and qualifications. Both the Act and our rules provide claimants with a right to a representative, and, therefore, misleading statements about the representative's services and qualifications are material to the claimant's rights under the Act. However, we clarify that in situations where a misleading statement about the representative's services and qualifications adversely affects claim processing, to the extent permitted by our other rules, we will not disadvantage a claimant, potential claimant, or beneficiary because of a representative's misconduct. In addition, in proposed § 404.1740(c)(2), we specify that knowingly charging, collecting, or retaining an improper fee also includes soliciting a gift or other item of value other than what is authorized by law.

    We have also proposed revising our current rules regarding submission of false or misleading evidence. In current § 404.1740(c)(3), we prohibit a representative from knowingly making, presenting, or participating in the making or presenting of certain false or misleading statements, assertions, or representations. In our 1998 final rules,5 we stated that we based this rule in part on the criminal prohibitions in 18 U.S.C. 1001, which prohibit knowingly and willfully making materially false statements. The intent requirement set forth in the current rule is also consistent with ABA Model Rule 3.3(a)(1), which prohibits an attorney from knowingly making false statements of fact or law to a tribunal. As we emphasized in connection with the 2015 final rules on submission of evidence, the non-adversarial nature of the disability adjudication process requires that we maintain a high level of cooperation from claimants and, by extension, their representatives, in order to ensure that the agency obtains the information needed to make accurate disability determinations.6 Therefore, in order to protect the integrity of our programs, we propose strengthening our current rule to prohibit the submission of false or misleading evidence in matters where the representative has or should have reason to believe that the evidence is false or misleading and to prohibit any written statements, assertions, or representations, which the representative has or should have reason to believe are false or misleading. Likewise, in proposed § 404.1740(c)(7)(ii)(B), we specify that providing misleading information or misrepresenting facts that affect how we process a claim may also be sanctionable where the representative has or should have reason to believe the information or facts would mislead the agency or constitute a misrepresentation.

    5 63 FR 41404 at 41416 (August 4, 1998).

    6See 80 FR 14828 at 14831 (March 20, 2015).

    Our regulations currently prohibit attempts to influence the outcome of a decision, determination, or other administrative action by offering or granting an item of value to a presiding official, agency employee, or witness who is or may reasonably be involved in the decision making process, with certain exemptions. In proposed § 404.1740(c)(6), we specify that in addition to the current prohibitions on offering or granting items of value to agency employees or witnesses, we also may sanction a representative who influences or attempts to influence such an agency employee or presiding official by any means prohibited by law.

    Current § 404.1740(c)(7)(ii) and (iii) addresses disruptive, threatening, and obstructive behavior by representatives. In our proposed rules, we have renumbered and proposed revisions to these rules. Current § 404.1740(c)(7)(iii) prohibits “threatening or intimidating language, gestures, or actions directed at a presiding official, witness, or agency employee that result in a disruption of the orderly presentation and reception of evidence.” In our proposed rules, we have eliminated the requirement that such threats or intimidation result in a disruption of the orderly presentation and receipt of evidence, since such threats and intimidations are inherently prejudicial to the administrative proceedings. In proposed § 404.1740(c)(ii)(C), we add that a representative may not communicate with an agency employee or adjudicator outside the normal course of business or prescribed procedures in an attempt to influence the processing or outcome of a case.

    Violations of Our Requirements

    Under our current rules, we may begin proceedings to suspend or disqualify a representative when we have evidence that the representative fails to meet our qualification requirements or has violated our rules of conduct. We propose revising § 404.1745 to clarify that we may disqualify a non-attorney representative who has been removed from practice or suspended by a professional licensing authority for reasons that reflect on the person's character, integrity, judgment, reliability, or fitness to serve as a fiduciary.

    Notice of Charges Against a Representative

    In § 404.1750, we propose reducing the amount of time a representative has to respond to our notice of charges from 30 days to 14 days because it will help us timely adjudicate possible representative misconduct matters and provide efficient service to claimants, potential claimants, recipients, and beneficiaries. This 14-day timeframe provides the representative ample time to respond to the charges, which usually consist of simply affirming or denying a series of factual allegations. Additionally, there is public interest in resolving these matters as quickly as possible because representatives may continue to represent claimants during the time that charges are pending. Reducing this timeframe will allow us to better protect the public by allowing less time for a representative who is found to have violated our rules to continue to represent claimants while charges are pending. Furthermore, quicker processing of these cases is also of particular interest to the person against whom we bring charges because it results in a more timely resolution of the matter. Finally, we note that irrespective of the reduced timeframe to respond to the charges, the representative will still have the opportunity to defend himself or herself before the hearing officer conducting the hearing, when a hearing is needed.

    In regards to any fairness concerns, we expect that most individuals subject to this rule will easily be able to respond within the proposed timeframe, as it is not uncommon for us to seek disqualification based on a single charge involving legal or factual issues that are not complex, such as disbarment or improper retention of a fee. As we stated previously, charges usually consist of simply affirming or denying a series of factual allegations. However, because we propose reducing the standard time for a representative to respond to our notice of charges, we also propose retaining the rule to allow a representative to seek an extension of time for filing an answer upon a showing of good cause. Therefore, if a person against whom we brought charges indicates that he or she required additional time to respond, we would consider that information in determining whether to extend the period for filing an answer. Our current rules specify that the General Counsel or other delegated official may extend the period for filing an answer for good cause in accordance with § 404.911.

    Hearing on the Charges

    We propose clarifying in § 404.1765 that a hearing on the charges may be conducted at our discretion in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone. We add that we will not consider objections to the manner of appearance unless a party shows good cause why he or she cannot appear in the prescribed manner. We also propose to codify our existing policy by clarifying that a hearing officer may reopen the hearing for the receipt of additional evidence at any time before mailing the notice of the decision, subject to our limitations on submitting an answer to the charges. In addition, we propose requiring a hearing officer to mail the notice of hearing to the parties no later than 14 days prior to the hearing, rather than 20 days, so that we can conduct sanction proceedings in a timely manner. We have also proposed to codify our existing policy regarding hearing notices by specifying that a hearing officer will include the requirements and instructions for filing motions, requesting witnesses, and entering exhibits.

    In addition, we propose rules clarifying the standard upon which motions for decisions on the record may be granted. We use a similar standard to that stated in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 for summary judgment, specifying that a hearing officer may grant a motion for decision on the record if there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a decision as a matter of law. We have specified that before granting a motion for decision on the record, the hearing officer must first provide both parties with the opportunity to submit evidence and briefs. We propose this rule because, in our experience, many cases can be decided based on the record, and a hearing will often be unnecessary and delay any final decision. These proposed rules are consistent with the requirements of Section 206 of the Act, which specifies that we may suspend or disqualify a representative “after due notice and opportunity for hearing.” Our proposed rules provide for an opportunity for a hearing, and the hearing officer may only grant a motion for decision on the record if a party demonstrates that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, such that any evidence or argument presented at the hearing would not alter the outcome of the case.

    Requesting Review of the Hearing Officer's Decision

    We propose reducing the amount of time to request Appeals Council review of a hearing officer's decision from 30 to 14 days in proposed § 404.1775. In our experience, representatives will often decline to seek review of adverse sanctions decisions. However, our sanctions decision is not final until the time to seek review has expired. During this time, a representative may continue to represent claimants. We believe that reducing the amount of time to seek Appeals Council review from 30 to 14 days will enable us to better protect the claimants we serve while providing sufficient protections for representatives in our sanctions process. Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(b) provides for a comparable 14-day period to file a notice of appeal in criminal matters, in which significant liberty interests are at stake. In addition, our rules provide for submission of briefs to the Appeals Council subsequent to the filing of the request for review, allowing a representative additional time to formulate his or her arguments on appeal.

    Clarifications to the Appeals Council Review Process

    We propose clarifying in § 404.1780 that in the event a party appeals the hearing officer's decision and requests to appear at an oral argument, the Appeals Council will determine whether the parties will appear at a requested oral argument in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone.

    Furthermore, we propose revising the rules about presenting evidence at the Appeals Council level. Based on our experience, some individuals are confused about whether the Appeals Council will accept additional evidence that was not submitted to the hearing officer. We propose revising the language in § 404.1785 to clarify that the Appeals Council, at its discretion, may accept additional evidence it finds material to the issues that existed when an individual filed an answer to the charges. When it does so, the Appeals Council will give the opposing party the opportunity to comment on the evidence prior to admitting it into the record. We also added language in proposed § 404.1790 stating the Appeals Council will determine whether additional material evidence warrants remand to a hearing officer for review or whether the Appeals Council will consider the evidence as part of its review of the case. In addition, we propose adding clarifying language in § 404.1790 that explains the Appeals Council will affirm the hearing officer's decision if the action, findings, and conclusions are supported by substantial evidence. We also propose adding that the Appeals Council may designate and publish final decisions as precedent for other actions brought against individuals charged with violating our rules.

    Finally, we propose revising our rules in § 404.1799 about when and how a disqualified or suspended representative may seek the right to request reinstatement. Most individuals do not request reinstatement until they are in full compliance with our requirements. However, individuals who seek reinstatement prematurely waste valuable agency resources. Therefore, in addition to retaining our existing rule that a disqualified or suspended representative must wait at least one year from the effective date of the suspension or disqualification to request reinstatement, we propose revising our rules to state that a disqualified or sanctioned representative who has requested and been denied reinstatement by the Appeals Council must wait an additional three years before he or she can again request reinstatement. We are proposing this change because our experience shows that when the Appeals Council denies a request for reinstatement, the representative requesting reinstatement has usually not taken the appropriate actions to remedy the violation or does not understand the severity of the violation committed. Therefore, we are proposing this change to save valuable resources and ensure individuals take the necessary measures before submitting the initial or successive request for reinstatement. We also made a minor clarification in § 404.1799 that the Appeals Council uses the same procedures outlined in § 404.1776 for assigning a reviewing panel and processing a request for reinstatement after a suspension or disqualification.

    In addition to these proposed changes to 20 CFR part 404, we are proposing changes to the rules set forth in 20 CFR part 416 to conform to our changes in part 404.

    Clarity of These Rules

    Executive Order 12866 as supplemented by Executive Order 13563 requires each agency to write all rules in plain language. In addition to your substantive comments on this NPRM, we invite your comments on how to make rules easier to understand.

    For example:

    • Would more, but shorter, sections be better?

    • Are the requirements in the rule clearly stated?

    • Have we organized the material to suit your needs?

    • Could we improve clarity by adding tables, lists, or diagrams?

    • What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand?

    • Does the rule contain technical language or jargon that is not clear?

    • Would a different format make the rule easier to understand, e.g. grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing?

    Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866 as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and determined that these proposed rules do meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563 and are subject to OMB review.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that these proposed rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they affect individuals only. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    These proposed rules contain reporting requirements in the regulation sections listed below. For some sections in these rules, we previously accounted for the public reporting burdens in the Information Collection Requests for the various forms the public uses to submit the information to SSA. Consequently, we are not reporting those sections below. Further, these proposed rules contain information collection activities at 20 CFR 404.1750 ((c), (e)(1), and (e)(2)), 404.1765(g)(1), 404.1775(b), 404.1799(d)(2), 416.1750 ((c), (e)(1), and (e)(2)), 416.1565(g)(1), 404.1575(b), and 416.1599(d)(2). However, 44 U.S.C. 3518(c)(1)(B)(ii) exempts these activities from the OMB clearance requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    The sections below pose new public reporting burdens not covered by an existing OMB-approved form, and we provide burden estimates for them.

    Regulation section Description of public reporting
  • requirement
  • Number of
  • respondents
  • (annually)
  • Frequency of
  • response
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (minutes)
  • Estimated
  • annual
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • 404.1740(b)(5); 416.1540(b)(5) Disclose in writing, at the time a medical or vocational opinion is submitted to us or as soon as the representative is aware of the submission to us, if: The representative's employee or any individual contracting with the representative drafted, prepared, or issued the medical or vocational opinion; or 43,600 1 5 3,633 The representative referred or suggested that the claimant seek an examination from, treatment by, or the assistance of the individual providing opinion evidence 404.1740(b)(6); 416.1540(b)(6) Disclose to us in writing immediately if the representative discovers that his or her services are or were used by the claimant to commit fraud 50 1 5 4 404.1740(b)(7); 416.1540(b)(7) Disclose to us in writing whether the representative is or has been disbarred or suspended from any bar or court to which he or she was previously admitted to practice 50 1 5 4 404.1740(b)(8); 416.1540(b)(8) Disclose to us in writing whether the representative is or has been disqualified from participating in or appearing before any Federal program or agency 10 1 5 1 404.1740(b)(9); 416.1540(b)(9) Disclose to us in writing whether the representative has been removed from practice or suspended by a professional licensing authority for reasons that reflect on the person's character, integrity, judgement, reliability, or fitness to serve as a fiduciary 10 1 5 1 Totals 436,120 3,643

    For those listed above, SSA submitted an Information Collection Request for clearance to OMB. We are soliciting comments on the burden estimate; the need for the information; its practical utility; ways to enhance its quality, utility, and clarity; and ways to minimize the burden on respondents, including the use of automated techniques or other forms of information technology. If you would like to submit comments, please send them to the following locations:

    Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for SSA, Fax Number: 202-395-6974, Email address: [email protected] Social Security Administration, Attn: Reports Clearance Officer, 1333 Annex, 6401 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21235-0001, Fax Number: 410-965-6400, Email: [email protected]

    You can submit comments until October 17, 2016, which is 60 days after the publication of this notice. However, your comments will be most useful if you send them to SSA by September 15, 2016, which is 30 days after publication. To receive a copy of the OMB clearance package, contact the SSA Reports Clearance Officer using any of the above contact methods. We prefer to receive comments by email or fax.

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

    Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits; Old-age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social security.

    20 CFR Part 416

    Administrative practice and procedure, Aged, Blind, Disability benefits, Public assistance programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, we propose to amend 20 CFR chapter III parts 404 and part 416 as set forth below:

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

    Secs. 205(a), 206, 702(a)(5), and 1127 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(a), 406, 902(a)(5), and 1320a-6).

    2. Revise § 404.1705(b) to read as follows:
    § 404.1705 Who may be your representative

    (b) You may appoint any person who is not an attorney to be your representative in dealings with us if the person—

    (1) Is capable of giving valuable help to you in connection with your claim;

    (2) Is not disqualified or suspended from acting as a representative in dealings with us;

    (3) Is not prohibited by any law from acting as a representative; and

    (4) Is generally known to have a good character and reputation. Persons lacking good character and reputation, include, but are not limited to, persons convicted of a felony (as defined by § 404.1506(c)), or any crime involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, false statements, misrepresentation, deceit, or theft.

    3. Amend § 404.1740 by a. Revising paragraph (b)(3)(i); b. Adding paragraphs (b)(3)(iii) through (v) and (b)(5) through (10); c. Revising paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) and (6) and (7); d. Removing from the end of paragraph (c)(12) the word “or”; e. Removing from paragraph (c)(13) the final period and adding in its place “; or”; and f. Adding paragraph (c)(14).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 404.1740 Rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives.

    (b) * * *

    (3) Conduct his or her dealings in a manner that furthers the efficient, fair and orderly conduct of the administrative decision making process, including duties to:

    (i) Provide competent representation to a claimant. Competent representation requires the knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. A representative must know the significant issue(s) in a claim, have reasonable and adequate familiarity with the evidence in the case, and have a working knowledge of the applicable provisions of the Social Security Act, as amended, the regulations, and Social Security Rulings.

    (iii) When requested, provide us, in a manner we specify, potential dates and times that the representative will be available for a hearing. We will inform you how many potential dates and times we require to coordinate the hearing schedule.

    (iv) Only withdraw representation at a time and in a manner that does not disrupt the processing or adjudication of a claim and provides the claimant adequate time to find new representation, if desired. A representative should not withdraw after a hearing is scheduled unless the representative can show that a withdrawal is necessary due to extraordinary circumstances, as we determine on a case-by-case basis.

    (v) Maintain prompt and timely communication with the claimant, which includes, but is not limited to, reasonably informing the claimant of all matters concerning the representation, consulting with the claimant on an ongoing basis during the entire representational period, and promptly responding to a claimant's reasonable requests for information.

    (5) Disclose in writing, at the time a medical or vocational opinion is submitted to us or as soon as the representative is aware of the submission to us, if:

    (i) The representative's employee or any individual contracting with the representative drafted, prepared, or issued the medical or vocational opinion; or

    (ii) The representative referred or suggested that the claimant seek an examination from, treatment by, or the assistance of the individual providing opinion evidence.

    (6) Disclose to us immediately if the representative discovers that his or her services are or were used by the claimant to commit fraud against us.

    (7) Disclose to us whether the representative is or has been disbarred or suspended from any bar or court to which he or she was previously admitted to practice, including instances in which a bar or court took administrative action to disbar or suspend the representative in lieu of disciplinary proceedings (e.g. acceptance of voluntary resignation pending disciplinary action). If the disbarment or suspension occurs after the appointment of the representative, the representative will immediately disclose the disbarment or suspension to us.

    (8) Disclose to us whether the representative is or has been disqualified from participating in or appearing before any Federal program or agency, including instances in which a Federal program or agency took administrative action to disqualify the representative in lieu of disciplinary proceedings (e.g. acceptance of voluntary resignation pending disciplinary action). If the disqualification occurs after the appointment of the representative, the representative will immediately disclose the disqualification to us.

    (9) Disclose to us whether the representative has been removed from practice or suspended by a professional licensing authority for reasons that reflect on the person's character, integrity, judgment, reliability, or fitness to serve as a fiduciary. If the removal or suspension occurs after the appointment of the representative, the representative will immediately disclose the removal or suspension to us.

    (10) Ensure that all of the representative's employees, assistants, partners, contractors, or any person assisting the representative on claims for which the representative has been appointed, are compliant with these rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives.

    (c) * * *

    (1) In any manner or by any means threaten, coerce, intimidate, deceive, or knowingly mislead a claimant, or prospective claimant or beneficiary, regarding benefits or other rights under the Act. This prohibition includes misleading a claimant, or prospective claimant or beneficiary, about the representative's services and qualifications.

    (2) Knowingly charge, collect, or retain, or make any arrangement to charge, collect, or retain, from any source, directly or indirectly, any fee for representational services in violation of applicable law or regulation. This prohibition includes soliciting any gift or any other item of value, other than is what is authorized by law.

    (3) Make or present, or participate in the making or presentation of, false or misleading oral or written statements, evidence, assertions, or representations about a material fact or law concerning a matter within our jurisdiction, in matters where the representative has or should have reason to believe that those statements, evidence, assertions or representations are false or misleading.

    (6) Attempt to influence, directly or indirectly, the outcome of a decision, determination, or other administrative action by any means prohibited by law, or by offering or granting a loan, gift, entertainment, or anything of value to a presiding official, agency employee, or witness who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the administrative decision making process, except as reimbursement for legitimately incurred expenses or lawful compensation for the services of an expert witness retained on a non-contingency basis to provide evidence.

    (7) Engage in actions or behavior prejudicial to the fair and orderly conduct of administrative proceedings, including but not limited to:

    (i) Repeated absences from or persistent tardiness at scheduled proceedings without good cause (see § 404.911(b));

    (ii) Behavior that has the effect of improperly disrupting proceedings or obstructing the adjudicative process, including but not limited to:

    (A) Directing threatening or intimidating language, gestures, or actions at a presiding official, witness, contractor, or agency employee;

    (B) Providing misleading information or misrepresenting facts that affect how we process a claim, including but not limited to information relating to the claimant's work activity or the claimant's place of residence or mailing address in matters where the representative has or should have reason to believe that the information was misleading and the facts would constitute a misrepresentation;

    (C) Communicating with agency staff or adjudicators outside the normal course of business or other prescribed procedures in an attempt to inappropriately influence the processing or outcome of a claim(s);

    (14) Fail to oversee the representative's employees, assistants, partners, contractors, or any other person assisting the representative on claims for which the representative has been appointed, when the representative has managerial or supervisory authority over these individuals and:

    (i) The individual's conduct would be a violation of these rules of conduct and standards of responsibility;

    (ii) The representative has reason to believe that a violation of our rules of conduct and standards of responsibility would occur; and

    (iii) When possible, the representative fails to take remedial action.

    4. Amend § 404.1745 by revising paragraphs (d) and (e) and adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 404.1745 Violations of our requirements, rules, or standards.

    (d) Has been, by reason of misconduct, disbarred or suspended from any bar or court to which he or she was previously admitted to practice (see § 404.1770(a));

    (e) Has been, by reason of misconduct, disqualified from participating in or appearing before any Federal program or agency (see § 404.1770(a)); or

    (f) Who is a non-attorney, has been removed from practice or suspended by a professional licensing authority for reasons that reflect on the person's character, integrity, judgment, reliability, or fitness to serve as a fiduciary.

    5. Revise § 404.1750(c) through (f) to read as follows:
    § 404.1750 Notice of charges against a representative.

    (c) We will advise the representative to file an answer, within 14 days from the date of the notice, or from the date the notice was delivered personally, stating why he or she should not be suspended or disqualified from acting as a representative in dealings with us.

    (d) The General Counsel or other delegated official may extend the 14-day period for good cause in accordance with § 404.911.

    (e) The representative must—

    (1) Answer the notice in writing under oath (or affirmation); and

    (2) File the answer with the Social Security Administration, at the address specified on the notice, within the 14-day time period.

    (f) If the representative does not file an answer within the 14-day time period, he or she does not have the right to present evidence, except as may be provided in § 404.1765(g).

    6. Amend § 404.1765 by revising paragraphs (c), (d)(1) and (3), and (g) to read as follows:
    § 404.1765 Hearing on charges.

    (c) Time and place of hearing. The hearing officer will mail the parties a written notice of the hearing at their last known addresses, at least 14 days before the date set for the hearing. The notice will inform the parties whether the appearance of the parties or any witnesses will be in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone. The notice will also include requirements and instructions for filing motions, requesting witnesses, and entering exhibits.

    (d) * * * (1) The hearing officer may change the time and place for the hearing, either on his or her own initiative, or at the request of the representative or the other party to the hearing. The hearing officer will not consider objections to the manner of appearance of parties or witnesses, unless the party shows good cause not to appear in the prescribed manner.

    (3) Subject to the limitations in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, the hearing officer may reopen the hearing for the receipt of additional evidence at any time before mailing notice of the decision.

    (g) Conduct of the hearing. (1) The representative or the other party may file a motion for decision on the basis of the record prior to the hearing. The hearing officer will give the representative and the other party a reasonable amount of time to submit any evidence and to file briefs or other written statements as to fact and law prior to deciding the motion. If the hearing officer concludes that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a decision as a matter of law, the hearing officer may grant the motion and issue a decision in accordance with the provisions of § 404.1770.

    (2) If the representative did not file an answer to the charges, he or she has no right to present evidence at the hearing. The hearing officer may make or recommend a decision on the basis of the record, or permit the representative to present a statement about the sufficiency of the evidence or the validity of the proceedings upon which the suspension or disqualification, if it occurred, would be based.

    (3) The hearing officer will make the hearing open to the representative, to the other party, and to any persons the hearing officer or the parties consider necessary or proper. The hearing officer will inquire fully into the matters being considered, hear the testimony of witnesses, and accept any documents that are material.

    (4) The hearing officer has the right to decide the order in which the evidence and the allegations will be presented and the conduct of the hearing.

    7. Revise § 404.1775(b) to read as follows:
    § 404.1775 Requesting review of the hearing officer's decision.

    (b) Time and place of filing request for review. The party requesting review will file the request for review in writing with the Appeals Council within 14 days from the date the hearing officer mailed the notice. The party requesting review will certify that a copy of the request for review and of any documents that are submitted have been mailed to the opposing party.

    8. Revise § 404.1780(a) to read as follows:
    § 404.1780 Appeals Council's review of hearing officer's decision.

    (a) Upon request, the Appeals Council will give the parties a reasonable time to file briefs or other written statements as to fact and law, and to request to appear before the Appeals Council to present oral argument. When oral argument is requested within the time designated by the Appeals Council, the Appeals Council will grant the request for oral argument and determine whether the parties will appear at the oral argument in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone. If oral argument is not requested within the time designated by the Appeals Council, the Appeals Council may deny the request.

    9. Revise § 404.1785 to read as follows:
    § 404.1785 Evidence permitted on review.

    (a) General. Generally, the Appeals Council will not consider evidence in addition to that introduced at the hearing. However, if the Appeals Council finds the evidence offered is material to an issue it is considering, it may consider that evidence as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) Individual charged filed an answer. (1) When the Appeals Council finds that additional material evidence to the charges is available, and the individual charged filed an answer to the charges, the Appeals Council will allow the party with the information to submit the additional evidence.

    (2) Before the additional evidence is admitted into the record, the Appeals Council will mail a notice to the parties, informing them that evidence about certain issues was submitted. The Appeals Council will give each party a reasonable opportunity to comment on the evidence and to present other evidence that is material to the issue it is considering.

    (3) The Appeals Council will determine whether the additional evidence warrants a new review by a hearing officer or whether the Appeals Council will consider the additional evidence as part of its review of the case.

    (c) Individual charged did not file an answer. If the representative did not file an answer to the charges, the representative may not introduce evidence that was not considered at the hearing.

    10. Amend § 404.1790 by revising paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 404.1790 Appeals Council's decision.

    (a) The Appeals Council will base its decision upon the evidence in the hearing record and any other evidence it may permit on review. The Appeals Council will affirm the hearing officer's decision if the action, findings, and conclusions are supported by substantial evidence. If the hearing officer's decision is not supported by substantial evidence, the Appeals Council will either:

    (1) Reverse or modify the hearing officer's decision; or

    (2) Return the case to the hearing officer for further proceedings.

    (f) The Appeals Council may designate and publish certain final decisions as precedent for other actions brought under our representative conduct provisions. Prior to making a decision public, we may remove or redact information from the decision.

    11. Amend § 404.1799 by: a. Adding a sentence to the end of paragraph (a); and b. Revising paragraphs (d)(2) and (f).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 404.1799 Reinstatement after suspension or disqualification—period of suspension not expired.

    (a) * * * The Appeals Council will assign and process a request for reinstatement using the same general procedures described in § 404.1776.

    (d) * * *

    (2) If a person was disqualified because he or she had been disbarred, suspended, or removed from practice for the reasons described in § 404.1745(d) through (f), the Appeals Council will grant a request for reinstatement as a representative only if the criterion in paragraph (d)(1) of this section is met and the disqualified person shows that he or she has been admitted (or readmitted) to and is in good standing with the court, bar, or other governmental or professional licensing authority from which he or she had been disbarred, suspended, or removed from practice.

    (f) If the Appeals Council decides not to grant the request, it will not consider another request before the end of 3 years from the date of the notice of the previous denial.

    PART 416—SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED Subpart O—Representation of Parties 12. The authority citation for subpart O of part 416 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 702(a)(5), 1127 and 1631(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1320a-6 and 1383(d)).

    13. Revise § 416.1505(b) to read as follows:
    § 416.1505 Who may be your representative.

    (b) You may appoint any person who is not an attorney to be your representative in dealings with us if the person—

    (1) Is capable of giving valuable help to you in connection with your claim;

    (2) Is not disqualified or suspended from acting as a representative in dealings with us;

    (3) Is not prohibited by any law from acting as a representative; and

    (4) Is generally known to have a good character and reputation. Persons lacking good character and reputation, include, but are not limited to, persons convicted of a felony (as defined by § 404.1506(c)) of this chapter, or any crime involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, false statement, misrepresentations, deceit, or theft.

    14. Amend § 416.1540 by: a. Revising paragraph (b)(3) introductory text and (b)(3)(i); b. Adding paragraphs (b)(3)(iii) through (v) and (b)(5) through (10); c. Revising paragraphs (c)(1) through (3), (c)(6), and (c)(7)(i) and (ii); and d. Adding paragraph (c)(14).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 416.1540 Rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives.

    (b) * * *

    (3) Conduct his or her dealings in a manner that furthers the efficient, fair and orderly conduct of the administrative decision making process, including duties to:

    (i) Provide competent representation to a claimant. Competent representation requires the knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. A representative must know the significant issue(s) in a claim, have reasonable and adequate familiarity with the evidence in the case, and have a working knowledge of the applicable provisions of the Social Security Act, as amended, the regulations, and Social Security Rulings.

    (iii) When requested, provide us, in a manner we specify, potential dates and times that the representative will be available for a hearing. We will inform you how many potential dates and times we require to coordinate the hearing schedule.

    (iv) Only withdraw representation at a time and in a manner that does not disrupt the processing or adjudication of a claim and provides the claimant adequate time to find new representation, if desired. A representative should not withdraw after a hearing is scheduled unless the representative can show that a withdrawal is necessary due to extraordinary circumstances, as we determine on a case-by-case basis.

    (v) Maintain prompt and timely communication with the claimant, which includes, but is not limited to, reasonably informing the claimant of all matters concerning the representation, consulting with the claimant on an ongoing basis during the entire representational period, and promptly responding to a claimant's reasonable requests for information.

    (5) Disclose in writing, at the time a medical or vocational opinion is submitted to us or as soon as the representative is aware of the submission to us, if:

    (i) The representative's employee or any individual contracting with the representative drafted, prepared, or issued the medical or vocational opinion; or

    (ii) The representative referred or suggested that the claimant seek an examination from, treatment by, or the assistance of the individual providing opinion evidence.

    (6) Disclose to us immediately if the representative discovers that his or her services are or were used by the claimant to commit fraud against us.

    (7) Disclose to us if the representative is or has been disbarred or suspended from any bar or court to which he or she was previously admitted to practice, including instances in which a bar or court took administrative action to disbar or suspend the representative in lieu of disciplinary proceedings (e.g. acceptance of voluntary resignation pending disciplinary action). If the disbarment or suspension occurs after the appointment of the representative, the representative will immediately disclose the disbarment or suspension to us.

    (8) Disclose to us whether the representative is or has been disqualified from participating in or appearing before any Federal program or agency, including instances in which a Federal program or agency took administrative action to disqualify the representative in lieu of disciplinary proceedings (e.g. acceptance of voluntary resignation pending disciplinary action). If the disbarment or suspension occurs after the appointment of the representative, the representative will immediately disclose the disqualification to us.

    (9) Disclose to us whether the representative has been removed from practice or suspended by a professional licensing authority for reasons that reflect on the person's character, integrity, judgment, reliability, or fitness to serve as a fiduciary. If the removal or suspension occurs after the appointment of the representative, the representative will immediately disclose the removal or suspension to us.

    (10) Ensure that all of the representative's employees, assistants, partners, contractors, or any person assisting the representative on claims for which the representative has been appointed, are compliant with these rules of conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives.

    (c) * * *

    (1) In any manner or by any means threaten, coerce, intimidate, deceive, or knowingly mislead a claimant, or prospective claimant or beneficiary, regarding benefits or other rights under the Act. This prohibition includes misleading a claimant, or prospective claimant or beneficiary, about the representative's services and qualifications.

    (2) Knowingly charge, collect, or retain, or make any arrangement to charge, collect, or retain, from any source, directly or indirectly, any fee for representational services in violation of applicable law or regulation. This prohibition includes soliciting any gift or any other item of value, other than is what is authorized by law.

    (3) Make or present, or participate in the making or presentation of, false or misleading oral or written statements, evidence, assertions, or representations about a material fact or law concerning a matter within our jurisdiction, in matters where the representative has or should have reason to believe that those statements, evidence, assertions or representations are false or misleading.

    (6) Attempt to influence, directly or indirectly, the outcome of a decision, determination, or other administrative action by any means prohibited by law, or by offering or granting a loan, gift, entertainment, or anything of value to a presiding official, agency employee, or witness who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the administrative decision making process, except as reimbursement for legitimately incurred expenses or lawful compensation for the services of an expert witness retained on a non-contingency basis to provide evidence.

    (7) * * *

    (i) Repeated absences from or persistent tardiness at scheduled proceedings without good cause (see § 416.1411(b));

    (ii) Behavior that has the effect of improperly disrupting proceedings or obstructing the adjudicative process, including but not limited to:

    (A) Directing threatening or intimidating language, gestures, or actions at a presiding official, witness, contractor, or agency employee;

    (B) Providing misleading information or misrepresenting facts that affect how we process a claim, including but not limited to information relating to the claimant's work activity or the claimant's place of residence or mailing address in matters where the representative has or should have reason to believe that the information was misleading and the facts would constitute a misrepresentation;

    (C) Communicating with agency staff or adjudicators outside the normal course of business or other prescribed procedures in an attempt to inappropriately influence the processing or outcome of a claim(s);

    (14) Fail to oversee the representative's employees, assistants, partners, contractors, or any other person assisting the representative on claims for which the representative has been appointed, when the representative has managerial or supervisory authority over these individuals and:

    (i) The individual's conduct would be a violation of these rules of conduct and standards of responsibility;

    (ii) The representative has reason to believe a violation of our rules of conduct and standards of responsibility would occur; and

    (iii) When possible, the representative fails to take remedial action.

    15. Amend § 416.1545 by revising paragraphs (d) and (e) and adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 416.1545 Violations of our requirements, rules, or standards.

    (d) Has been, by reason of misconduct, disbarred or suspended from any bar or court to which he or she was previously admitted to practice (see § 416.1570(a));

    (e) Has been, by reason of misconduct, disqualified from participating in or appearing before any Federal program or agency (see § 416.1570(a)); or

    (f) Who is a non-attorney, has been removed from practice or suspended by a professional licensing authority for reasons that reflect on the person's character, integrity, judgment, reliability, or fitness to serve as a fiduciary.

    16. Revise § 416.1550(c) through (f) to read as follows:
    § 416.1550 Notice of charges against a representative.

    (c) We will advise the representative to file an answer, within 14 days from the date of the notice, or from the date the notice was delivered personally, stating why he or she should not be suspended or disqualified from acting as a representative in dealings with us.

    (d) The General Counsel or other delegated official may extend the 14-day period for good cause in accordance with § 416.1411.

    (e) The representative must—

    (1) Answer the notice in writing under oath (or affirmation); and

    (2) File the answer with the Social Security Administration, at the address specified on the notice, within the 14-day time period.

    (f) If the representative does not file an answer within the 14-day time period, he or she does not have the right to present evidence, except as may be provided in § 416.1565(g).

    17. Amend § 416.1565 by revising paragraphs (c), (d)(1) and (2), and (g) to read as follows:
    § 416.1565 Hearing on charges.

    (c) Time and place of hearing. The hearing officer will mail the parties a written notice of the hearing at their last known addresses, at least 14 days before the date set for the hearing. The notice will inform the parties whether the appearance of the parties or any witnesses will be in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone. The notice will also include requirements and instructions for filing motions, requesting witnesses, and entering exhibits.

    (d) * * * (1) The hearing officer may change the time and place for the hearing, either on his or her own initiative, or at the request of the representative or the other party to the hearing. The hearing officer will not consider objections to the manner of appearance of parties or witnesses, unless the party shows good cause not to appear in the prescribed manner.

    (3) Subject to the limitations in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, the hearing officer may reopen the hearing for the receipt of additional evidence at any time before mailing notice of the decision.

    (g) Conduct of the hearing. (1) The representative or the other party may file a motion for decision on the basis of the record prior to the hearing. The hearing officer will give the representative and the other party a reasonable amount of time to submit any evidence and to file briefs or other written statements as to fact and law prior to deciding the motion. If the hearing officer concludes that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a decision as a matter of law, the hearing officer may grant the motion and issue a decision in accordance with the provisions of § 416.1570.

    (2) If the representative did not file an answer to the charges, he or she has no right to present evidence at the hearing. The hearing officer may make or recommend a decision on the basis of the record, or permit the representative to present a statement about the sufficiency of the evidence or the validity of the proceedings upon which the suspension or disqualification, if it occurred, would be based.

    (3) The hearing officer will make the hearing open to the representative, to the other party, and to any persons the hearing officer or the parties consider necessary or proper. The hearing officer will inquire fully into the matters being considered, hear the testimony of witnesses, and accept any documents that are material.

    (4) The hearing officer has the right to decide the order in which the evidence and the allegations will be presented and the conduct of the hearing.

    18. Revise § 416.1575(b) to read as follows:
    § 416.1575 Requesting review of the hearing officer's decision.

    (b) Time and place of filing request for review. The party requesting review will file the request for review in writing with the Appeals Council within 14 days from the date the hearing officer mailed the notice. The party requesting review will certify that a copy of the request for review and of any documents that are submitted have been mailed to the opposing party.

    19. Revise § 416.1580(a) to read as follows:
    § 416.1580 Appeals Council's review of hearing officer's decision.

    (a) Upon request, the Appeals Council will give the parties a reasonable time to file briefs or other written statements as to fact and law, and to request to appear before the Appeals Council to present oral argument. When oral argument is requested within the time designated by the Appeals Council, the Appeals Council will grant the request for oral argument, and determine whether the parties will appear at the oral argument in person, by video teleconferencing, or by telephone. If oral argument is not requested within the time designated by the Appeals Council, the Appeals Council may deny the request.

    20. Revise § 416.1585 to read as follows:
    § 416.1585 Evidence permitted on review.

    (a) General. Generally, the Appeals Council will not consider evidence in addition to that introduced at the hearing. However, if the Appeals Council finds the evidence offered is material to an issue it is considering, it may consider that evidence as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) Individual charged filed an answer. (1) When the Appeals Council finds that additional material evidence to the charges is available, and the individual charged filed an answer to the charges, the Appeals Council will allow the party with the information to submit the additional evidence.

    (2) Before the additional evidence is admitted into the record, the Appeals Council will mail a notice to the parties, informing them that evidence about certain issues was submitted. The Appeals Council will give each party a reasonable opportunity to comment on the evidence and to present other evidence that is material to the issue it is considering.

    (3) The Appeals Council will determine whether the additional evidence warrants a new review by a hearing officer or whether the Appeals Council will consider the additional evidence as part of its review of the case.

    (c) Individual charged did not file an answer. If the representative did not file an answer to the charges, the representative may not introduce evidence that was not considered at the hearing.

    21. Amend § 416.1590 by revising paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 416.1590 Appeals Council's decision.

    (a) The Appeals Council will base its decision upon the evidence in the hearing record and any other evidence it may permit on review. The Appeals Council will affirm the hearing officer's decision if the action, findings, and conclusions are supported by substantial evidence. If the hearing officer's decision is not supported by substantial evidence, the Appeals Council will either:

    (1) Reverse or modify the hearing officer's decision; or

    (2) Return the case to the hearing officer for further proceedings.

    (f) The Appeals Council may designate and publish certain final decisions as precedent for other actions brought under our representative conduct provisions. Prior to making a decision public, we may remove or redact information from the decision.

    22. Amend § 416.1599 by: a. Adding a sentence to the end of paragraph (a); and b. Revising paragraphs (d)(2) and (f).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 416.1599 Reinstatement after suspension or disqualification—period of suspension not expired.

    (a) * * * The Appeals Council will assign and process a request for reinstatement using the same general procedures described in § 416.1576.

    (d) * * *

    (2) If a person was disqualified because he or she had been disbarred, suspended, or removed from practice for the reasons described in § 416.1545(d) through (f), the Appeals Council will grant a request for reinstatement as a representative only if the criterion in paragraph (d)(1) of this section is met and the disqualified person shows that he or she has been admitted (or readmitted) to and is in good standing with the court, bar, or other governmental or professional licensing authority from which he or she had been disbarred, suspended, or removed from practice.

    (f) If the Appeals Council decides not to grant the request, it will not consider another request before the end of 3 years from the date of the notice of the previous denial.

    [FR Doc. 2016-19384 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 110 [Docket No. USCG-2015-1118] RIN 1625-AA01 Anchorage Grounds; Lower Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles, VA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard announces an August 17, 2016 public meeting to receive comments on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for anchorage grounds that was published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2016. As stated in the ANPRM, the Coast Guard is considering amending the regulations for Hampton Roads, VA, and adjacent waters anchorages by establishing a new anchorage, near Cape Charles, VA, on the Lower Chesapeake Bay. We are reopening the comment period on the ANPRM so that comments may be received both at the public meeting and up to 2 weeks after the public meeting.

    DATES:

    A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., to provide an opportunity for oral comments. Written comments and related material may also be submitted to Coast Guard personnel specified at that meeting. All comments and related material submitted after the meeting must be received by the Coast Guard on or before August 31, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at Cape Charles Civic Center, 500 Tazewell Avenue, Cape Charles, VA 23310.

    You may submit written comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-1118 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before August 31, 2016. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions concerning the meeting or the advance proposed rule, please call or email LCDR Barbara Wilk, Sector Hampton Roads Waterways Management Officer, Coast Guard; telephone 757-668-5581, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background and Purpose

    We published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register on April 19, 2016 (81 FR 22939), entitled “Anchorage Grounds; Lower Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles, VA.” In it we stated our intention to hold public meetings, and to publish a notice announcing the location and date (81 FR 22940). This document is the notice of that meeting.

    In the ANPRM, we stated that the Coast Guard is considering amending the regulations for Hampton Roads, VA and adjacent waters anchorages by establishing a new anchorage, near Cape Charles, VA on the Lower Chesapeake Bay.

    You may view the ANPRM in our online docket, in addition to supporting documents prepared by the Coast Guard (Illustration Contemplated Anchorage R), and comments submitted thus far by going to http://www.regulations.gov. Once there, insert “USCG-2015-1118” in the “Keyword” box and click “Search.”

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments either orally at the meeting or in writing. If you bring written comments to the meeting, you may submit them to Coast Guard personnel specified at the meeting to receive written comments. These comments will be submitted to our online public docket. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

    Comments submitted after the meeting must reach the Coast Guard on or before August 31, 2016. We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    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).

    Agenda of Public Meeting

    The agenda includes the following:

    (1) Introduction of speakers.

    (2) Overview of meeting format.

    (3) Background on proposed commercial anchorage.

    (4) Comments from interested persons.

    Comments may be delivered in written form at the public meeting and made part of the docket or delivered in oral presentations not to exceed 10 minutes. Information on Service for Individuals With Disabilities

    For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the public meeting, contact LCDR Barbara Wilk at the telephone number or email address indicated under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

    Public Meeting

    The Coast Guard will hold a public meeting regarding its “Anchorage Grounds; Lower Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles, VA” advance notice of proposed rulemaking on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Cape Charles Civic Center, 500 Tazewell Avenue, Cape Charles, VA 23310. A written summary of the meeting and comments will be placed in the docket.

    Dated: August 3, 2016. R.J. Wester, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Hampton Roads.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19510 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0350; FRL-9950-72-Region 3] Air Plan Approval; DC; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the District of Columbia (the District) pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA). Whenever new or revised national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) are promulgated, the CAA requires states to submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of such NAAQS. The plan is required to address basic program elements including, but not limited to, regulatory structure, monitoring, modeling, legal authority, and adequate resources necessary to assure attainment and maintenance of the standards. These elements are referred to as infrastructure requirements. The District has made a submittal addressing the infrastructure requirements for the 2012 annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS. This action is being taken under the CAA. In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the District's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A more detailed description of the state submittal and EPA's evaluation is included in a technical support document (TSD) prepared in support of this rulemaking action. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0350 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. A copy of the TSD is available, upon request, from the EPA Regional Office listed in this document or is also available electronically within the Docket for this rulemaking action.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ruth Knapp, (215) 814-2191, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, that is located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register publication. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    Dated: August 4, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19389 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0210; FRL-9950-70-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Case by Case Reasonably Available Control Technology for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Commonwealth of Virginia for inclusion of revised Virginia regulations in the Virginia SIP which incorporate EPA's compliance date for implementation of case-by-case reasonably available control technology (RACT) determinations for the 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the Commonwealth's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0210 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Leslie Jones Doherty, (215) 814-3409 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, that is located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register publication. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    Dated: August 2, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19387 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160126052-6052-01] RIN 0648-BF72 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Amendment 19 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to approve and implement through regulations measures included in Amendment 19 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which the New England Fishery Management Council adopted and submitted to NMFS for approval. Amendment 19 would establish a specifications process outside of the current framework adjustment process to implement management measures that are typically adjusted on an annual or biennial basis and change the start of the scallop fishing year from March 1 to April 1. This amendment is intended to streamline the development and implementation of annual specifications and reduce the administrative burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Council developed an environmental assessment (EA) for this action that describes the proposed measures and other considered alternatives and provides a thorough analysis of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. Copies of the Amendment, the EA, and the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) are available upon request from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0028, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0028, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    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 Scallop Amendment 19 Proposed Rule.”

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978-281-9233.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The scallop fishery's management unit ranges from the shorelines of Maine through North Carolina to the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP), established in 1982, includes a number of amendments and framework adjustments that have revised and refined the fishery's management. The Council has had to rely on the framework adjustment process to set scallop fishery measures, often referred to as specifications, that occur annually or biennially. Typically, these specifications include annual catch limits, days-at-sea (DAS), rotational area management, possession limits, access area trip allocations, individual fishing quota (IFQ) allocations, and allocations for vessels with Northern Gulf of Maine permits. These framework adjustments often include other management measures to the FMP and are often implemented 2 to 3 months after the March 1 start of the scallop fishing year (March 1 through February 28/29).

    Amendment 4 to the Scallop FMP (59 FR 2757, January 19, 1994), was a major shift in scallop fishery management. It established a limited access permit and effort control program and the new permits and effort control became effective on March 1, 1994. Framework Adjustment 1 (59 FR 36720, July 19, 1994) formally adopted March 1 as the start of the scallop fishing year. There was no biological or economic rationale for originally selecting this date as the start of the fishing year: Framework 1 codified the March 1 Amendment 4 effective date as the start of the fishing year so that allocations for 1994 spanned a 12-month period in order to ensure a reduction in fishing effort the first year of the DAS effort-control program. This fishing year has remained in place since that time, even though specifications have become increasingly more complicated with the development of the scallop access area rotation program in 2004 and IFQ fishery in 2010.

    In the last 16 years following Framework 11, there have been 12 actions that set annual scallop specifications. Four of those actions set specifications for 2 years, which ensured that the second year's specifications for each of those actions were implemented on March 1. Aside from these biennial frameworks, we have only been able to set specifications by March 1 on two occasions, both involving special circumstances (i.e., the proposed rule was waived for one framework action and Council took final action 2 months earlier than usual for the other action).

    Typically, the Council begins developing a specifications-setting framework in June. Scallop biomass estimates are provided through scallop surveys conducted by NMFS and other research institutions in the spring and summer. These estimates are not generally available for consideration until the early fall, at which point the Scallop Plan Development Team (PDT) develops and analyzes fishery allocation alternatives for Council consideration. In order to incorporate the most recent available scallop survey information into these alternatives, which has proved essential in setting appropriate access area catch levels, the Council has been taking final action in November and NMFS has typically implemented allocations in May or June.

    In 2013, the Council began developing specifications on an annual basis via frameworks at the request of the industry to avoid biennial specifications that resulted in the second year specifications being out of sync with what the most recent annual surveys indicate should be harvested in a given area. However, this meant that the annual specifications were likely to be late every year due to availability of relevant data. To address this problem, the Council has been specifying “default” specifications for the year after annual specifications are set to fill the gap between the end of the fishing year and the setting of new specifications for the next fishing year. Implementing these “default” specifications every year is an administrative burden to NMFS staff and can result in complex inseason changes in fishery specifications. In addition, default specifications lead to confusion and uncertainty for the fleet, as well as potentially negative impacts on the resource and fishery if effort shifts into areas or seasons that are less desirable as a result of delayed measures.

    The Council initiated Amendment 19 to develop an alternative to the framework adjustment process to implement specifications closer to the start of the scallop fishing year. To address these timing issues while still supporting the current timeline for integrating the best available science into the management process, Amendment 19 proposes to:

    • Establish a more timely and less complicated specification process that is limited in the types of measures that can be implemented and is not bound by the procedural requirements of the amendment and framework processes; and

    • Adjust the scallop fishing year to April 1 through March 31.

    These proposed measures are further described below.

    Proposed Measures Establish a New Specification Process

    Establishing a separate process for implementing specifications in the Scallop FMP instead of a framework process would help ensure that such specifications go into place on or about the start of the scallop fishing year, in part because the Council would not be required to discuss measures over the course of two Council meetings, as is required under a framework. In addition, by limiting the specifications process to implementing only certain types of measures, other types of management measures that typically get added to specifications frameworks would not be included, thereby simplifying the development and rulemaking for specifications.

    The Scallop PDT would meet at least every two years to assess the status of the scallop resource and to develop and recommend specifications for up to 2 years, as well as second or third-year default measures, for the Atlantic Sea Scallop Oversight Committee and the Council to consider. The types of measures that could be implemented through the specifications process are limited to the following: Overfishing limit (OFL); overall annual biological catch (ABC)/annual catch limit (ACL); sub-ACLs; sub-annual catch targets (ACTs); DAS open area allocations; possession limits; modifications to rotational area management (e.g., schedule, rotational closures and openings, seasonal restrictions, modifications to boundaries, etc.); access area limited access poundage allocations and Limited Access General Category (LAGC) Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fleet-wide trip allocations; annual incidental catch target total allowable catch (TAC); and Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) TAC.

    The Council would review these recommendations and, after considering public comments, recommend appropriate specifications for 1 or 2 years, as well as second or third-year default measures, to NMFS. NMFS would approve, disapprove, or partially approve the specifications recommended by the Council and publish the approved specifications in the Federal Register.

    In addition, the PDT would update the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Report at least every 2 years that provides the information and analysis needed to evaluate potential management adjustments.

    The PDT would meet at least once during the interim years to review the status of the stock relative to the overfishing definition if information is available to do so. If the Council determines that the approved specifications should be adjusted during the 2-year time period, it can do so through the specifications process.

    The Council could set scallop allocations through a specifications action in conjunction with a framework to develop more robust management measures, but the more complicated an action is and the more management measures under consideration generally means the action will take longer to complete, be approved, and be effective.

    Changing the Start of the Fishing Year to April 1

    Although developing a specifications action would save some time in the development of allocations, it would not guarantee allocations would be in place by March 1 of each year because of the timing of data becoming available that are necessary to set the specifications. It is more likely that allocations could be implemented on April 1, a month after the current start of the fishing year. Therefore, the Council is also recommending that the fishing year be changed to April 1 through March 31. Pushing the fishing year back 1 month would increase the likelihood that NMFS would be able to implement simple specifications actions at the start of the scallop fishing year on a more consistent basis and not need to implement default measures at all.

    To give the industry time to account for this change in its business planning, the Council recommends and NMFS proposes that this measure not be effective until fishing year 2018. Because the current fishing year began on March 1, 2016, fishing year 2016 would be unaffected by this change. Fishing year 2017 would need to be 13 months long, running from March 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018. The Council intends to prorate allocations appropriately for 2017 to account for this additional month. On April 1, 2018, the scallop fishing year would officially change for fishing year 2018 and beyond.

    Amendment 19 would also adjust the scallop permit year so that it continues to match the official fishing year (i.e., scallop permits would need to be renewed by April 1 of each year). This change would also be effective beginning in fishing year 2018.

    In addition, NMFS and Council staff discussed other, non-regulatory streamlining initiatives that will result in time-savings in implementing final allocations. These include preparing a decision draft of an EA immediately following the Council's final action on a framework and publishing a proposed rule prior to NMFS' formal review of the EA. These measures will assist in implementing simple, non-controversial specifications actions on a quicker timeline than typical frameworks.

    The Council adopted Amendment 19 on December 3, 2015, and submitted it to NMFS on July 14, 2016, for review and approval. The Council has reviewed the Amendment 19 proposed rule regulations as drafted by NMFS and deemed them to be necessary and appropriate as specified in section 303(c) of the MSA. A Notice of Availability (NOA) for Amendment 19 was published in the Federal Register on July 20, 2016 (81 FR 47152). The comment period on Amendment 19 NOA ends on September 19, 2016. Comments submitted on the NOA and/or this proposed rule prior to September 19, 2016, will be considered in NMFS's decision to approve, partially approve, or disapprove Amendment 19. NMFS will consider comments received by the end of the comment period for this proposed rule September 15, 2016 in its decision regarding measures to be implemented. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), NMFS is required to publish proposed rules for comment after preliminarily determining whether they are consistent with applicable law. The Magnuson-Stevens Act permits NMFS to approve, partially approve, or disapprove measures proposed by the Council based only on whether the measures are consistent with the fishery management plan, plan amendment, the Magnuson-Stevens Act and its National Standards, and other applicable law.

    Regulatory Adjustments and Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority

    NMFS removed the annual specifications from the regulatory text and reorganized the layout of the regulations to help streamline the approval of future specifications actions. As a result, this proposed rule includes revisions to the regulatory text that would reorganize and condense references to annual scallop allocations and possession limits. These adjustments do not make any substantive changes to the implications of the current regulations and would allow future specifications-setting actions to be implemented sooner by avoiding the need to make extensive regulatory changes for each specifications-setting action. In addition to saving time during rulemaking, this adjustment also avoids the need to develop follow-up correcting amendments when NMFS inadvertently and incorrectly updates regulations. NMFS proposes these changes consistent with section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which provides that the Secretary of Commerce may promulgate regulations necessary to ensure that amendments to an FMP are carried out in accordance with the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    To accommodate the specifications process and simplify the scallop regulations NMFS proposes the following changes to regulatory text: Revising the definitions in section 648.2 to remove the unnecessary distinction between Rotational Closed Areas and Scallop Access Areas; consolidating all of the allocations into a single table in section 648.53; condensing the explanations of OFL, ABC, and ACL into section 648.53 which creates a single section dedicated to all of the catch limits (the current regulations have this information repeated again at § 648.55 which we removed); removing sections 648.57 and 648.58 and integrating them into sections 648.59 and 648.60 to describe the scallop access area program and remove the unnecessary distinction between Rotational Closed Areas and Scallop Access Areas; and moving access area program requirements currently in § 648.60 to § 648.59 to provide a dedicated section to access area program requirements (§ 648.59) and a dedicated section to listing all of the scallop access areas (§ 648.60).

    Under this same section 305(d) authority, this action also proposes the following revisions to the regulatory text, unrelated to the addition of a specifications process, to address text that is unnecessary, outdated, unclear, or NMFS could otherwise improve: Revising §§ 648.14(i)(2)(vi)(B) and 648.14(i)(3)(v)(E) to clarify in the prohibitions a requirement currently in § 648.58(e) that vessels cannot transit the Closed Area II Rotational Area, the Closed Area II Extension Rotational Area, or the Elephant Trunk Closed Area unless there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area; adding back in text, at § 648.53(c), regarding limited access accountability measures that was unintentionally removed during Framework Adjustment 27 to the Scallop FMP (81 FR 26727, May 4, 2016); updating a reference in section § 648.54 regarding the state waters exemption program that was unintentionally overlooked in Framework Adjustment 26 to the Scallop FMP (80 FR 22119, April 21, 2015); revising § 648.56(f) to reflect a change that scallop research set-aside (RSA) can be harvested to accommodate the proposed change in fishing year (changing from May 31 to June 30 of the fishing year subsequent to the fishing year in which the set-aside is awarded); revising § 648.62(c) to clarify that NGOM vessels must declare either a Federal NGOM trip or a state-waters NGOM trip on their VMS units when declaring a scallop trip.

    Finally, due to the extensive regulatory changes in this action we are updating references throughout the scallop regulations that will change based on the proposed regulatory adjustments. We have included a summary of all of the proposed regulatory changes in this proposed rule in Table 1.

    Table 1—Summary of Proposed Regulatory Changes to 50 CFR Part 648 Section Current title Proposed title Type of changes Summary of changes 648.2 Definitions Same Amendment 19 & Regulatory Streamlining Changes address the new scallop fishing year and remove the unnecessary distinction between Rotational Closed Areas and Scallop Access Areas. 648.10 VMS and DAS requirements for vessel owners/operators Same Regulatory Streamlining Changes update references that will change based on proposed regulatory adjustments to other sections. 648.14 Prohibitions Same Regulatory Streamlining & Corrections Changes update references that will change based on proposed regulatory adjustments to other sections. Clarification that vessels cannot transit the Closed Area II Rotational Area, the Closed Area II Extension Rotational Area, or the Elephant Trunk Closed Area. 648.51 Gear and crew restrictions Same Regulatory Streamlining Changes update references that will change based on proposed regulatory adjustments to other sections. 648.52 Possession and landing limits Same Regulatory Streamlining Changes update references that will change based on proposed regulatory adjustments to other sections. 648.53 Acceptable biological catch, annual catch limits, annual catch targets, DAS allocations, and individual fishing quotas Overfishing limit, acceptable biological catch, annual catch limits, annual catch targets, DAS allocations, and individual fishing quotas Amendment 19, Regulatory Streamlining, & Corrections Changes address Amendment 19 specifications process, condense allocations into a single table, and condense the explanations of OFL, ABC, and ACL into a single section. The current regulations have this information repeated again at § 648.55. Also, we add back in text, at § 648.53(c), regarding limited access accountability measures that was unintentionally removed during scallop Framework Adjustment 27. 648.54 State waters exemption Same Corrections The change to this section updates an old reference that should have occurred during scallop Framework Adjustment 26 rulemaking but was inadvertently overlooked. 648.55 Framework adjustments to management measures Specifications and framework adjustments to management measures Amendment 19 & Regulatory Streamlining Changes to this section address Amendment 19 changes, but also fine-tune previous regulations and remove repetitive regulations that are now consolidated into § 648.53, specifically the explanation of OFL, ABC, and ACL. 648.56 Scallop research Same Amendment 19 & Regulatory Streamlining Changes update references that will change based on other proposed regulatory adjustments and support the Amendment 19 alternative to change the fishing year to April 1. Changes would push back the 90-day RSA carryover timeframe by a month (from May 31 to June 30) to accommodate the change in fishing year. 648.57 Sea scallop area rotation program Reserved Amendment 19 & Regulatory Streamlining Changes remove unnecessary distinction between rotational closed areas and scallop access areas, clarifying that rotational areas can be open or closed as determined through the specifications or framework process. Consolidates the regulations formerly in this section into § 648.59. 648.58 Rotational Closed Areas Reserved Amendment 19 & Regulatory Streamlining Changes remove unnecessary distinction between rotational closed areas and scallop access areas clarifying that rotational areas can be open or closed, as determined through the specifications or framework process. Consolidating the regulations formerly in this section into §§ 648.59 and 648.60. 648.59 Sea Scallop Access Areas Sea scallop rotational area management program and access area program requirements Amendment 19 & Regulatory Streamlining There are no substantial changes to current regulatory text in this section; portions of this section are reorganized to incorporate regulations formerly in §§ 648.57 and 648.58. Also, the access area program requirements were moved to this section from § 648.60 for clarity. 648.60 Sea scallop access area program requirements Sea scallop rotational areas Amendment 19 & Regulatory Streamlining There are no substantial changes to current regulatory text in this section; portions of this section are reorganized to incorporate regulations formerly in § 648.58. Also, the access area program requirements were moved from this section to § 648.59 for clarity. 648.62 Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Management Program Same Amendment 19, Regulatory Streamlining, & Corrections Changes to this section support the specifications process and update references that will change based on other proposed regulatory adjustments. Also, changes clarify that NGOM vessels must declare either a Federal NGOM trip or a state-waters NGOM trip. 648.63 General category Sectors and harvesting cooperatives Same Regulatory Streamlining Changes update references that will change based on proposed regulatory adjustments to other sections. 648.64 Yellowtail flounder sub-ACLs and AMs for the scallop fishery Same Amendment 19 Changes to this section are proposed to support the Amendment 19 alternative to change the fishing year to April 1. 648.65 Windowpane flounder sub-ACL and AM for the scallop fishery Same Amendment 19 Changes to this section are proposed to support the Amendment 19 alternative to change the fishing year to April 1. Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has made a preliminary determination that this proposed rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the MSA, and other applicable law. In making the final determination, NMFS will consider the data, views, and comments received during the public comment period.

    This proposed rule does not contain policies with Federalism or “takings” implications as those terms are defined in E.O. 13132 and E.O. 12630, respectively.

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

    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    On December 29, 2015, NMFS issued a final rule establishing a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses primarily engaged in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS 11411) for Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) compliance purposes only (80 FR 81194, December 29, 2015). The $11 million standard became effective on July 1, 2016, and is to be used in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) current standards of $20.5 million, $5.5 million, and $7.5 million for the finfish (NAICS 114111), shellfish (NAICS 114112), and other marine fishing (NAICS 114119) sectors of the U.S. commercial fishing industry in all NMFS rules subject to the RFA after July 1, 2016. Id at 81194.

    The Council conducted an evaluation of the potential impacts of the proposed measures in conjunction with this EA. There were 313 vessels that obtained full-time limited access permits in 2015, including 250 dredge, 52 small-dredge, and 11 scallop trawl permits. In the same year, there were also 34 part-time limited access permits in the sea scallop fishery. No vessels were issued occasional scallop permits. NMFS issued 220 limited access general category (LAGC) IFQ permits in 2014 and 128 of these vessels actively fished for scallops that year (the remaining permits likely leased out scallop IFQ allocations with their permits in Confirmation of Permit History).

    Individually-permitted vessels may hold permits for several fisheries, harvesting species of fish that are regulated by several different fishery management plans, even beyond those affected by the proposed action. Furthermore, multiple permitted vessels and/or permits may be owned by entities with various personal and business affiliations. For the purposes of this analysis, “ownership entities” are defined as those entities with common ownership as listed on the permit application. Only permits with identical ownership are categorized as an “ownership entity.” For example, if five permits have the same seven persons listed as co-owners on their permit applications, those seven persons would form one “ownership entity” that holds those five permits. If two of those seven owners also co-own additional vessels, that ownership arrangement would be considered a separate “ownership entity” for the purpose of this analysis.

    On June 1 of each year, ownership entities are identified based on a list of all permits for the most recent complete calendar year. The current ownership dataset is based on the calendar year 2014 permits and contains average gross sales associated with those permits for calendar years 2012 through 2014. When adjusted for calendar year, there were 166 distinct ownership entities for the limited access fleet and 106 distinct ownership entities for the LAGC IFQ fleet in 2014. All of the entities directly regulated by this regulatory action are shellfish commercial fishing businesses. Under the NMFS size standards, 159 of the limited access distinct ownership entities and 104 of the LAGC IFQ entities were categorized as small. The remaining 7 of the limited access and 2 of the LAGC IFQ entities were categorized as large entities.

    Amendment 19 proposes to establish a specification process so that allocations would not be tied only to actions that tend to have longer development and implementation timelines (i.e., frameworks or amendments) and change the start of the fishing year from March 1 to April 1. Developing a specifications process would eliminate the need for a framework adjustment to set annual allocations for the scallop fishery. This will reduce the delays in implementation and make it possible to integrate the updated survey data into allocation estimates. Similarly, changing the start of the fishing year from March 1 to April l would reduce the time lag between the fishing year and the time when the survey data become available. This would improve accuracy of catch limits for the access areas, and align the implementation time better with the fishing year, thus reducing the uncertainties for the small businesses in the scallop fishery in making their business plans for the fishing year.

    Adjusting the fishing year back 1 month will, however, require a change in the business plans of the scallop fishermen. Currently, the fishing year begins on March 1, at a time when meat-weight of scallops begins to increase and a higher yield per unit effort could be obtained from scallop fishing. If the landings are postponed to the following March (i.e., the last month of the fishing year, under this alternative) because of the change in the start of the fishing year to April 1, and if the resource and market conditions turn out to be less favorable than they were expected a year ago—for example, because of a decline scallop prices or a decline catch per-unit effort— the scallop fishermen will incur a loss from not using them in earlier months. This loss is not expected to be high, however, taking into consideration that some of the effort normally occurred in March could be shifted to other months when meat weights are even higher.

    For example, starting the fishing year in April could lead to increased effort in this month if fishermen would want to postpone a smaller proportion of their allocations to the following March due to uncertainties. However, an increase in scallop landings in April (compared to the earlier years when the start of the fishing year was in March) could also have some beneficial impacts compared to No Action because meat weights are larger in April compared to March. Although the average price of scallops could decline somewhat with increased landings in April, the higher prices associated with larger size scallops are expected to outweigh negative impacts on average prices and revenues.

    In addition, present regulations allow a vessel to carry over 10 days-at-sea to the next fishing year, and this provision could be used if it turns out that the market conditions are not optimal or if there are vessel breakdowns in the following year in March. Other factors, such as constraints on labor due to some crew members working on multiple boats with the reduced landings, especially in the last couple of years, also help spread the effort throughout the fishing year.

    In summary, starting the fishing year a month later will require some change in business planning and will create some risks due to reduced predictability of the resource and market conditions in March, a month when yields start improving. Negative impacts associated with this change are expected to be minimal and also are expected to decline over time as the vessel-owners gain experience with the new fishing year and learn to adjust their business plans more efficiently to the new conditions. The proposed measures are expected to result in positive economic impacts on regulated entities by improving scallop yield over the long-term, increase revenues, and reduce the business costs associated with constantly changing regulations outweighing any negative impacts associated with the change in fishing year.

    Because this rulemaking will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    There are no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements contained in any of the alternatives considered for this action.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Paul Doremus, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. Amend § 648.2 by: a. Revising the definitions of “Fishing year”, “Open areas”, and “Permit year”; b. Removing the definitions for ““Rotational Closed Area” and “Sea Scallop Access Area”; and c. Adding definitions for “Sea Scallop Access Area, Scallop Access Area, or Access Area” and “Sea Scallop Rotational Area, Scallop Rotational Area, or Rotational Area” in alphabetical order.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 648.2 Definitions.

    Fishing year means:

    (1) For the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, from March 1 through the last day of February of the following year.

    (2) Beginning in 2018, for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, from April 1 through March 31 of the following year (for 2017, the Atlantic sea scallop fishing year will be from March 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018).

    (3) For the NE multispecies, monkfish and skate fisheries, from May 1 through April 30 of the following year.

    (4) For the tilefish fishery, from November 1 through October 31 of the following year.

    (5) For all other fisheries in this part, from January 1 through December 31.

    Open areas, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means any area that is not subject to restrictions of the Sea Scallop Rotational Areas specified in §§ 648.59 and 648.60, EFH Closed Areas specified in § 648.61, or the Northern Gulf of Maine Management Area specified in § 648.62.

    Permit year means:

    (1) For the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, from March 1 through the last day of February of the following year;

    (2) Beginning in 2018, for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, from April 1 through the last day of March of the following year (for 2017, the Atlantic sea scallop permit year will be from March 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018);

    (3) For all other fisheries in this part, from May 1 through April 30 of the following year.

    Sea Scallop Access Area, Scallop Access Area, or Access Area, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means an area that has been designated under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan as a sea scallop rotational area that is open to the scallop fishery in a given fishing year.

    Sea Scallop Rotational Area, Scallop Rotational Area, or Rotational Area, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means an area that has been designated under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan as part of the Sea Scallop Rotational Management Program. A rotational area may be closed or open to the scallop fishery in a given fishing year. A rotational area open to the scallop fishery is termed a Sea Scallop Access Area and has area-specific management measures that are designed to control fishing effort and mortality on only the portion of the scallop resource within the area. Such measures are not applicable in Open Areas defined above.

    3. In § 648.10, paragraph (b)(2), the first sentence to the introductory text of paragraph (f)(4)(i), the introductory text to paragraph (h), and paragraph (h)(8)(ii) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.10 VMS and DAS requirements for vessel owners/operators.

    (b) * * *

    (2) A scallop vessel issued an Occasional limited access permit when fishing under the Sea Scallop Area Access Program specified under § 648.59;

    (f) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (i) The owner or operator of a limited access or LAGC IFQ vessel that fishes for, possesses, or retains scallops, and is not fishing under a NE Multispecies DAS or sector allocation, must submit reports through the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished, including open area trips, access area trips as described in § 648.59(b)(9), and trips accompanied by a NMFS-approved observer. * * *

    (h) Call-in notification. The owner of a vessel issued a limited access monkfish permit who is participating in a DAS program and who is not required to provide notification using a VMS, and a scallop vessel qualifying for a DAS allocation under the occasional category that has not elected to fish under the VMS notification requirements of paragraph (e) of this section and is not participating in the Sea Scallop Area Access program as specified in § 648.59, and any vessel that may be required by the Regional Administrator to use the call-in program under paragraph (i) of this section, are subject to the following requirements:

    (8) * * *

    (ii) A vessel issued a limited access scallop and LAGC IFQ scallop permit that possesses or lands more than 600 lb (272.2 kg) of scallops, unless otherwise specified in § 648.59(d)(2);

    4. Amend § 648.14 by: a. Revising paragraphs (i)(1)(vi), (i)(2)(ii)(B)(7), (i)(2)(iii)(B), (i)(2)(iii)(C), (i)(2)(iv)(B), the introductory text to (i)(2)(vi), and paragraph (i)(2)(vi)(A); b. Add paragraph (i)(2)(vi)(B); and c. Revise paragraphs (i)(2)(vi)(D), (i)(3)(iv)(A), (i)(3)(v), and (i)(4)(i)(A).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (i) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (vi) Closed area requirements—(A) EFH Closed Areas. (1) Fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the EFH Closed Areas specified in § 648.61.

    (2) Transit or enter the EFH Closure Areas specified in § 648.61, except as provided by § 648.61(b).

    (B) Scallop Rotational Areas. (1) Fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the Scallop Rotational Areas closed to the scallop fishery through the specifications or framework adjustment processes specified in § 648.55.

    (2) Transit or enter the Scallop Rotational Areas, except as provided by § 648.59(a) or (b).

    (2) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (B) * * *

    (7) Fish in a Sea Scallop Access Area, as described in § 648.60, with more persons on board the vessel than the number specified in § 648.51(c) or § 648.51(e)(3)(i), unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator.

    (iii) * * *

    (B) Fish for, possess, or land more than 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops once inside the VMS Demarcation Line on or by a vessel that, at any time during the trip, fished in or transited any area south of 42°20′ N. lat; or fished in any Sea Scallop Area Access Program specified in § 648.59, except as provided in the state waters exemption, as specified in § 648.54.

    (C) Fish for, possess, or land per trip, at any time, scallops in excess of any sea scallop possession and landing limit set by the Regional Administrator in accordance with § 648.59(b)(3) when properly declared into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as described in § 648.59.

    (iv) * * *

    (B) Combine, transfer, or consolidate DAS allocations, except as allowed for one-for-one Access Area trip exchanges as specified in § 648.59(b)(3)(ii).

    (vi) Scallop rotational area management program and scallop access area program requirements. (A) Fail to comply with any of the provisions and specifications of § 648.59.

    (B) Transit the Closed Area II Rotational Area or the Closed Area II Extension Rotational Area, as defined § 648.60(d) and (e), respectively, or the Elephant Trunk Closed Area, as defined in § 648.60(b), unless there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    (D) Possess more than 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops outside the boundaries of a Sea Scallop Access Area by a vessel that is declared into the Area Access Program as specified in § 648.59.

    (3) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (A) Fail to comply with any of the VMS requirements specified in §§ 648.10, 648.59, or 648.62.

    (v) Scallop rotational area management program and scallop access area program requirements. (A) Fail to comply with any of the requirements specified in § 648.59.

    (B) Declare into or leave port for an area specified in § 648.60 after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the number of LAGC trips have been taken, as specified in § 648.59.

    (C) Fish for or land per trip, or possess in excess of 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked scallops at any time in or from any Sea Scallop Access Area specified at § 648.60, unless declared into the Sea Scallop Access Area Program.

    (D) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from any Sea Scallop Access Area without an observer on board, unless the vessel owner, operator, or manager has received a waiver to carry an observer for the specified trip and area fished.

    (E) Transit the Closed Area II Rotational Area or the Closed Area II Extension Rotational Area, as defined § 648.60(d) and (e), respectively, or the Elephant Trunk Closed Area, as defined in § 648.60(b), unless there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    (4) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) Fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time, in excess of 600 lb (272.2 kg) of shucked, or 75 bu (26.4 hL) of in-shell scallops per trip, or 100 bu (35.2 hL) in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line, unless the vessel is carrying an observer as specified in § 648.11 and an increase in the possession limit is authorized by the Regional Administrator and not exceeded by the vessel, as specified in §§ 648.52(g) and 648.59(d).

    5. In § 648.51, paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(3)(i), the introductory text to paragraph (c), and paragraph (f)(1) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.51 Gear and crew restrictions.

    (b) * * *

    (1) Maximum dredge width. The combined dredge width in use by or in possession on board such vessels shall not exceed 31 ft (9.4 m), measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge, except as provided under paragraph (e) of this section, in § 648.59(g)(2), and the scallop dredge exemption areas specified in § 648.80. However, component parts may be on board the vessel such that they do not conform with the definition of “dredge or dredge gear” in § 648.2, i.e., the metal ring bag and the mouth frame, or bail, of the dredge are not attached, and such that no more than one complete spare dredge could be made from these component's parts.

    (3) * * *

    (i) Unless otherwise required under the Sea Scallop Area Access program specified in § 648.59(b)(6), the ring size used in a scallop dredge possessed or used by scallop vessels shall not be smaller than 4 inches (10.2 cm).

    (c) Crew restrictions. A limited access vessel participating in or subject to the scallop DAS allocation program may have no more than seven people aboard, including the operator, and a limited access vessel participating in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as specified in § 648.59 may have no more than eight people aboard, including the operator, when not docked or moored in port, except as follows:

    (f) * * *

    (1) A vessel issued a limited access scallop permit fishing for scallops under the scallop DAS allocation program may not fish with, possess on board, or land scallops while in possession of a trawl net, unless such vessel has been issued a limited access trawl vessel permit that endorses the vessel to fish for scallops with a trawl net. A limited access scallop vessel issued a trawl vessel permit that endorses the vessel to fish for scallops with a trawl net and general category scallop vessels enrolled in the Area Access Program as specified in § 648.59, may not fish for scallops with a trawl net in the Closed Area 1, Closed Area II, Closed Area II Extension, and Nantucket Lightship Rotational Areas specified in § 648.60.

    6. In § 648.52, paragraphs (d), (f), and (g) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.52 Possession and landing limits.

    (d) Owners or operators of vessels with a limited access scallop permit that have properly declared into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as described in § 648.59 are prohibited from fishing for or landing per trip, or possessing at any time, scallops in excess of any sea scallop possession and landing limit set by the Regional Administrator in accordance with § 648.59(b)(5).

    (f) A limited access vessel or an LAGC vessel that is declared into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as described in § 648.59, may not possess more than 50 bu (17.6 hL) or 75 bu (26.4 hL), respectively, of in-shell scallops outside of the Access Areas described in § 648.60.

    (g) Possession limit to defray the cost of observers for LAGC IFQ vessels. An LAGC IFQ vessel with an observer on board may retain, per observed trip, up to 1 day's allowance of the possession limit allocated to limited access vessels, as established by the Regional Administrator in accordance with § 648.59(d), provided the observer set-aside specified in § 648.59(d)(1) has not been fully utilized. For example, if the limited access vessel daily possession limit to defray the cost of an observer is 180 lb (82 kg), the LAGC IFQ possession limit to defray the cost of an observer would be 180 lb (82 kg) per trip, regardless of trip length.

    7. In § 648.53, the section heading and paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g)(1), the introductory text to (h)(2), paragraphs (h)(2)(i), (h)(2)(v)(B), (h)(3)(i), (h)(3)(ii)(A), (h)(5)(i), and (h)(5)(ii)(A) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.53 Overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACL), annual catch targets (ACT), DAS allocations, and individual fishing quotas (IFQ).

    (a) The following determinations and allocations for the sea scallop rotational areas are defined as follows and shall be established through the specifications or framework adjustment process:

    (1) OFL. OFL shall be based on an updated scallop resource and fishery assessment provided by either the Scallop PDT or a formal stock assessment. OFL shall include all sources of scallop mortality and shall include an upward adjustment to account for catch of scallops in state waters by vessels not issued Federal scallop permits. The fishing mortality rate (F) associated with OFL shall be the threshold F, above which overfishing is occurring in the scallop fishery. The F associated with OFL shall be used to derive specifications for ABC, ACL, and ACT, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (2) The specification of ABC, ACL, and ACT shall be based upon the following overfishing definition: The F shall be set so that in access areas, averaged for all years combined over the period of time that the area is closed and open to scallop fishing as an access area, it does not exceed the established F threshold for the scallop fishery; in open areas it shall not exceed the F threshold for the scallop fishery; and for access and open areas combined, it is set at a level that has a 75-percent probability of remaining below the F associated with ABC, as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, taking into account all sources of fishing mortality in the limited access and LAGC fleets of the scallop fishery.

    (3) Overall ABC/ACL. The overall ABC for sea scallop fishery shall be the catch level that has an associated F that has a 75-percent probability of remaining below the F associated with OFL. The overall ACL shall be equal to the ABC for the scallop fishery, minus discards (an estimate of both incidental and discard mortality). The ABC/ACL, after the discards and deductions specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section are removed, shall be divided as sub-ACLs between limited access vessels, limited access vessels that are fishing under a LAGC permit, and LAGC vessels as defined in paragraphs (a)(5) and (6) of this section, after the deductions outlined in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (4) Deductions from ABC/ACL. Incidental catch, as defined in paragraph (a)(7) of this section, shall be removed from ABC/ACL. One percent of ABC/ACL shall be removed from ABC/ACL for observer set-aside. Scallop catch equal to the value specified in § 648.56(d) shall be removed from ABC/ACL for research set-aside. These deductions for incidental catch, observer set-aside, and research set-aside, shall be made prior to establishing sub-ACLs for the limited access and LAGC fleets, as specified in paragraphs (a)(5) and (6) of this section.

    (5) Limited access fleet sub-ACL and sub-ACT—(i) Limited access fleet sub-ACL. After applying the deductions as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the limited access scallop fleet shall be allocated a sub-ACL equal to 94.5 percent of the ABC/ACL.

    (ii) Limited access fleet sub-ACT. The ACT for the limited access fishery shall be set at a level that has an associated F with a 75-percent probability of remaining below the F associated with ABC/ACL.

    (6) LAGC IFQ fleet sub-ACL and sub-ACT—(i) LAGC IFQ fleet sub-ACL. After applying the deductions as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the LAGC IFQ fleet shall be allocated a sub-ACL equal to 5.5 percent of the ABC/ACL, so that 5 percent of ABC/ACL is allocated to the LAGC fleet of vessels that do not also have a limited access scallop permit, and 0.5 percent of the ABC/ACL is allocated to the LAGC fleet of vessels that have limited access scallop permits. This specification of sub-ACLs shall not account for catch reductions associated with the application of AMs or adjustment of the sub-ACL as a result of the limited access AM exception as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

    (ii) LAGC IFQ fleet sub-ACT. The LAGC IFQ fishery sub-ACT shall be equal to the LAGC IFQ fishery's sub-ACL. The sub-ACT for the LAGC IFQ fishery for vessels issued only a LAGC IFQ scallop permit shall be equal to 5 percent of the ABC/ACL specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, after applying the deductions as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section. The sub-ACT for the LAGC IFQ fishery for vessels issued both a LAGC IFQ scallop permit and a limited access scallop permit shall be 0.5 percent of the ACL specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, after applying the deductions as specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (7) Scallop incidental catch target TAC. The annual incidental catch target TAC is the catch available for harvest for vessels with incidental catch scallop permits. This incidental catch target will be removed from the ABC/ACL defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section prior to establishing the limited access and LAGC IFQ sub-ACLs and sub-ACTs defined in paragraphs (a)(5) and (6) of this section.

    (8) The following catch limits will be effective for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years:

    Scallop Fishery Catch Limits Catch limits 2016
  • (mt)
  • 2017
  • (mt) *
  • Overfishing Limit 68,418 68,418 Acceptable Biological Catch/ACL (discards removed) 37,852 37,852 Incidental Catch 23 23 Research Set-Aside (RSA) 567 567 Observer Set-Aside 379 379 ACL for fishery 36,884 36,884 Limited Access ACL 34,855 34,855 LAGC ACL 2,029 2,029 LAGC IFQ 1,845 1,845 Limited Access with LAGC IFQ 184 184 Limited Access ACT 18,290 18,290 * The catch limits for the 2017 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment.

    (b) DAS specifications and allocations. DAS specifications and allocations for limited access scallop trips in open areas are defined as follows and shall be specified through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55, as follows:

    (1) DAS allocations. DAS allocations shall be determined by distributing the portion of the limited access ACT defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, as reduced by access area allocations defined in § 648.59, and dividing that amount among vessels in the form of DAS calculated by applying estimates of open area landings per unit effort (LPUE) projected through the specifications or framework adjustment processes used to set annual allocations.

    (2) Assignment to DAS categories—(i) Limited access vessels shall be categorized as full-time, part-time, or occasional. Allocations for part-time and occasional scallop vessels shall be 40 percent and 8.33 percent of the full-time DAS allocations, respectively.

    (ii) Subject to the vessel permit application requirements specified in § 648.4, for each fishing year, each vessel issued a limited access scallop permit shall be assigned to the DAS category (full-time, part-time, or occasional) it was assigned to in the preceding year, except as provided under the small dredge program specified in § 648.51(e).

    (3) The DAS allocations for limited access scallop vessels for fishing years 2016 and 2017 are as follows:

    Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations Permit
  • category
  • 2016 2017 *
    Full-Time 34.55 34.55 Part-Time 13.82 13.82 Occasional 2.88 2.88 * The DAS allocations for the 2017 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment.

    (c) Accountability measures (AM) for limited access vessels. Unless the limited access AM exception is implemented in accordance with the provision specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, if the limited access sub-ACL defined in paragraph (a)(5) of this section is exceeded for the applicable fishing year, the DAS for each limited access vessel shall be reduced by an amount equal to the amount of landings in excess of the sub-ACL divided by the applicable LPUE for the fishing year in which the AM will apply as projected by the specifications or framework adjustment process specified in § 648.55, then divided by the number of scallop vessels eligible to be issued a full-time limited access scallop permit. For example, assuming a 300,000-lb (136-mt) overage of the limited access fishery's sub-ACL in 2011, an open area LPUE of 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) per DAS in 2012, and 313 full-time vessels, each full-time vessel's DAS for 2012 would be reduced by 0.38 DAS (300,000 lb (136 mt)/2,500 lb (1.13 mt) per DAS = 120 lb (0.05 mt) per DAS/313 vessels = 0.38 DAS per vessel). Deductions in DAS for part-time and occasional scallop vessels shall be 40 percent and 8.33 percent of the full-time DAS deduction, respectively, as calculated pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The AM shall take effect in the fishing year following the fishing year in which the overage occurred. For example, landings in excess of the limited access fishery's sub-ACL in fishing year 2011 would result in the DAS reduction AM in fishing year 2012. If the AM takes effect, and a limited access vessel uses more open area DAS in the fishing year in which the AM is applied, the vessel shall have the DAS used in excess of the allocation after applying the AM deducted from its open area DAS allocation in the subsequent fishing year. For example, a vessel initially allocated 32 DAS in 2011 uses all 32 DAS prior to application of the AM. If, after application of the AM, the vessel's DAS allocation is reduced to 31 DAS, the vessel's DAS in 2012 would be reduced by 1 DAS.

    (1) Limited access AM exception. If NMFS determines that the fishing mortality rate associated with the limited access fleet's landings in a fishing year is less than 0.34, the AM specified in paragraph (c) of this section shall not take effect. The fishing mortality rate of 0.34 is the fishing mortality rate that is one standard deviation below the fishing mortality rate for the scallop fishery ACL, currently estimated at 0.38.

    (2) Limited access fleet AM and exception provision timing. The Regional Administrator shall determine whether the limited access fleet exceeded its sub-ACL defined in paragraph (a)(5) of this section by July of the fishing year following the year for which landings are being evaluated. On or about July 1, the Regional Administrator shall notify the New England Fishery Management Council of the determination of whether or not the sub-ACL for the limited access fleet was exceeded, and the amount of landings in excess of the sub-ACL. Upon this notification, the Scallop Plan Development Team (PDT) shall evaluate the overage and determine if the fishing mortality rate associated with total landings by the limited access scallop fleet is less than 0.34. On or about September 1 of each year, the Scallop PDT shall notify the Council of its determination, and the Council, on or about September 30, shall make a recommendation, based on the Scallop PDT findings, concerning whether to invoke the limited access AM exception. If NMFS concurs with the Scallop PDT's recommendation to invoke the limited access AM exception, in accordance with the APA, the limited access AM shall not be implemented. If NMFS does not concur, in accordance with the APA, the limited access AM shall be implemented as soon as possible after September 30 each year.

    (d) End-of-year carry-over for open area DAS. With the exception of vessels that held a Confirmation of Permit History as described in § 648.4(a)(2)(i)(J) for the entire fishing year preceding the carry-over year, limited access vessels that have unused open area DAS on the last day of February of any year may carry over a maximum of 10 DAS, not to exceed the total open area DAS allocation by permit category, into the next year. DAS carried over into the next fishing year may only be used in open areas. Carry-over DAS are accounted for in setting the sub-ACT for the limited access fleet, as defined in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section. Therefore, if carry-over DAS result or contribute to an overage of the ACL, the limited access fleet AM specified in paragraph (c) of this section would still apply, provided the AM exception specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section is not invoked.

    (e) Accrual of DAS. All DAS fished shall be charged to the nearest minute. A vessel carrying an observer and authorized to be charged fewer DAS in Open Areas based on the total available DAS set aside under paragraph (g) of this section shall be charged at a reduced rate as specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

    (g) * * *

    (1) To help defray the cost of carrying an observer, 1 percent of the ABC/ACL defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be set aside to be used by vessels that are assigned to take an at-sea observer on a trip. This observer set-aside is specified through the specifications or framework adjustment process defined in § 648.55.

    (h) * * *

    (2) Calculation of IFQ. The ACL allocated to IFQ scallop vessels, and the ACL allocated to limited access scallop vessels issued IFQ scallop permits, as defined in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, shall be used to determine the IFQ of each vessel issued an IFQ scallop permit. Each fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall provide the owner of a vessel issued an IFQ scallop permit issued pursuant to § 648.4(a)(2)(ii) with the scallop IFQ for the vessel for the upcoming fishing year.

    (i) Individual fishing quota. The IFQ for an IFQ scallop vessel shall be the vessel's contribution percentage as specified in paragraph (h)(2)(iii) of this section and determined using the steps specified in paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section, multiplied by the ACL allocated to the IFQ scallop fishery, or limited access vessels issued an IFQ scallop permit, as defined in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (v) * * *

    (B) For accounting purposes, the combined total of all vessels' IFQ carry-over shall be added to the LAGC IFQ fleet's applicable sub-ACL for the carry-over year. Any IFQ carried over that is landed in the carry-over fishing year shall be counted against the sub-ACL defined in paragraph (a)(6) of this section, as increased by the total carry-over for all LAGC IFQ vessels, as specified in this paragraph (h)(2)(v)(B). IFQ carry-over shall not be applicable to the calculation of the IFQ cap specified in paragraph (h)(3)(i) of this section and the ownership cap specified in paragraph (h)(3)(ii) of this section.

    (3) * * *

    (i) IFQ scallop vessel IFQ cap. (A) Unless otherwise specified in paragraphs (h)(3)(i)(B) and (C) of this section, a vessel issued an IFQ scallop permit or confirmation of permit history shall not be issued more than 2.5 percent of the sub-ACL allocated to the IFQ scallop vessels as described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section.

    (B) A vessel may be initially issued more than 2.5 percent of the sub-ACL allocated to the IFQ scallop vessels as described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section, if the initial determination of its contribution factor specified in accordance with § 648.4(a)(2)(ii)(E) and paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section, results in an IFQ that exceeds 2.5 percent of the sub-ACL allocated to the IFQ scallop vessels as described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section. A vessel that is allocated an IFQ that exceeds 2.5 percent of the sub-ACL allocated to the IFQ scallop vessels as described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section, in accordance with this paragraph (h)(3)(i)(B), may not receive IFQ through an IFQ transfer, as specified in paragraph (h)(5) of this section. All scallops that have been allocated as part of the original IFQ allocation or transferred to a vessel during a given fishing year shall be counted towards the vessel cap.

    (C) A vessel initially issued a 2008 IFQ scallop permit or confirmation of permit history, or that was issued or renewed a limited access scallop permit or confirmation of permit history for a vessel in 2009 and thereafter, in compliance with the ownership restrictions in paragraph (h)(3)(i)(A) of this section, is eligible to renew such permit(s) and/or confirmation(s) of permit history, regardless of whether the renewal of the permit or confirmations of permit history will result in the 2.5-percent IFQ cap restriction being exceeded.

    (ii) * * *

    (A) For any vessel acquired after June 1, 2008, a vessel owner is not eligible to be issued an IFQ scallop permit for the vessel, and/or a confirmation of permit history, and is not eligible to transfer IFQ to the vessel, if, as a result of the issuance of the permit and/or confirmation of permit history, or IFQ transfer, the vessel owner, or any other person who is a shareholder or partner of the vessel owner, will have an ownership interest in more than 5 percent of the sub-ACL allocated to the IFQ scallop vessels as described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section.

    (5) * * *

    (i) Temporary IFQ transfers. Subject to the restrictions in paragraph (h)(5)(iii) of this section, the owner of an IFQ scallop vessel (and/or IFQ scallop permit in confirmation of permit history) not issued a limited access scallop permit may temporarily transfer (e.g., lease) its entire IFQ allocation, or a portion of its IFQ allocation, to another IFQ scallop vessel. Temporary IFQ transfers shall be effective only for the fishing year in which the temporary transfer is requested and processed. IFQ, once temporarily transferred, cannot be temporarily transferred again to another vessel. IFQ can be temporarily transferred more than once (i.e., re-transferred). For example, if a vessel temporarily transfers IFQ to a vessel, the transferee vessel may re-transfer any portion of that IFQ to another vessel. There is no limit on how many times IFQ can be re-transferred in a fishing year. The Regional Administrator has final approval authority for all temporary IFQ transfer requests.

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Subject to the restrictions in paragraph (h)(5)(iii) of this section, the owner of an IFQ scallop vessel (and/or IFQ scallop permit in confirmation of permit history) not issued a limited access scallop permit may transfer IFQ permanently to or from another IFQ scallop vessel. Any such transfer cannot be limited in duration and is permanent as to the transferee, unless the IFQ is subsequently permanently transferred to another IFQ scallop vessel. IFQ may be permanently transferred to a vessel and then be re-transferred (temporarily transferred (i.e., leased) or permanently transferred) by such vessel to another vessel in the same fishing year. There is no limit on how many times IFQ can be re-transferred in a fishing year.

    8. In § 648.54, paragraph (e) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.54 State waters exemption.

    (e) Notification requirements. Vessels fishing under the exemptions specified in paragraph (b), (c), and/or (d) of this section must notify the Regional Administrator in accordance with the provisions of § 648.10(f).

    9. Amend § 648.55 by: a. Revising the section heading and paragraph (a); b. Removing and reserving paragraph (b); c. Revising paragraph (c); d. Removing and reserving paragraph (e); e. Revising the introductory text to paragraph (f) and paragraph (f)(38).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 648.55 Specifications and framework adjustments to management measures.

    (a) Specifications. (1) The Scallop Plan Development Team (PDT) shall meet at least every two years to assess the status of the scallop resource and to develop and recommend the following specifications for a period of up to 2 years, as well as second or third-year default measures, for consideration by the New England Fishery Management Council's Atlantic Sea Scallop Oversight Committee and Advisory Panel: OFL, overall ABC/ACL, sub-ACLs, sub-ACTs, DAS open area allocations, possession limits, modifications to rotational area management (e.g., schedule, rotational closures and openings, seasonal restrictions, modifications to boundaries, etc.), access area limited access poundage allocations and LAGC IFQ fleet-wide trip allocations, annual incidental catch target TAC, and NGOM TAC.

    (2) Based on the PDT recommendations and any public comments received, the Atlantic Sea Scallop Oversight Committee shall recommend appropriate specifications to the New England Fishery Management Council.

    (3) The Council shall review these recommendations and, after considering public comments, shall recommend appropriate specifications for up to 2 years, as well as second or third-year default measures, to NMFS. NMFS shall approve, disapprove, or partially approve the specifications recommended by the Council and publish the approved specifications in the Federal Register in accordance with the APA.

    (4) The PDT shall prepare a Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report at least every two years that provides the information and analysis needed to evaluate potential management adjustments. The preparation of the SAFE Report shall begin on or about June 1 of the year preceding the fishing year in which measures will be adjusted.

    (5) The PDT will meet at least once during the interim years to review the status of the stock relative to the overfishing definition if information is available to do so. If the Council determines, based on information provided by the PDT or other stock-related information, that the approved specifications should be adjusted during the 2-year time period, it can do so through the same process outlined in paragraphs (a)(2) through (4) of this section during the interim year.

    (6) Rotational area management guidelines. The Council's development of rotational area management adjustments shall take into account at least the following factors: General rotation policy; boundaries and distribution of rotational closures; number of closures; minimum closure size; maximum closure extent; enforceability of rotational closed and re-opened areas; monitoring through resource surveys; and re-opening criteria. Rotational closures should be considered where projected annual change in scallop biomass is greater than 30 percent. Areas should be considered for Sea Scallop Rotational Areas where the projected annual change in scallop biomass is less than 15 percent.

    (7) Second and third-year default specifications. The specifications action shall include default specifications that shall be effective in the second year after 1-year specifications and the third year after the 2-year specifications expire until replaced by the measures included in the next specifications action. If the specifications action is not published in the Federal Register with an effective date on or before April 1, the following year's default specifications shall be effective beginning April 1 of each fishing year until any new specifications action is implemented and made effective during the second or third year, or for the entire fishing year if the specifications action is not completed or is not implemented by NMFS during the following year. The specifications action shall specify the measures necessary to address inconsistencies between specifications and default allocations for the period after April 1 but before the specifications action is implemented for that year. The default specifications, if implemented, shall remain in effect until they are revised through a subsequent specifications action.

    (c) OFL, overall ABC/ACL, sub-ACLs, and sub-ACTs. The Council shall specify OFL, ABC, ACL, and ACT, as defined in § 648.53, for each year covered under the specifications.

    (f) Framework adjustments. The Council may at any time initiate a framework adjustment to add or adjust management measures within the Scallop FMP if it finds that action is necessary to meet or be consistent with the goals and objectives of the FMP. The Council shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two Council meetings. To address interactions between the scallop fishery and sea turtles and other protected species, such adjustments may include proactive measures including, but not limited to, the timing of Sea Scallop Access Area openings, seasonal closures, gear modifications, increased observer coverage, and additional research. The Council shall provide the public with advance notice of the availability of both the proposals and the analyses, and opportunity to comment on them prior to and at the second Council meeting. The Council's recommendation on adjustments or additions to management measures may include specifications measures specified in paragraph (a) of this section, which must satisfy the criteria set forth § 648.53(a) in order to prevent overfishing of the available biomass of scallops and ensure that OY is achieved on a continuing basis. Other measures that may be changed or implemented through framework action include:

    (38) Adjustments to aspects of ACL management, including accountability measures;

    10. In § 648.56, paragraphs (a), (d), (f), and (g) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.56 Scallop research.

    (a) At least biennially, in association with the biennial framework process, the Council and NMFS shall prepare and issue an announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) that identifies research priorities for projects to be conducted by vessels using research set-aside as specified in paragraph (d) of this section and § 648.59(e), provides requirements and instructions for applying for funding of a proposed RSA project, and specifies the date by which applications must be received. The FFO shall be published as soon as possible by NMFS and shall provide the opportunity for applicants to apply for projects to be awarded for 1 or 2 years by allowing applicants to apply for RSA funding for the first year, second year, or both.

    (d) Available RSA allocation shall be 1.25 million lb (567 mt) annually, which shall be deducted from the ABC/ACL specified in § 648.53(a) prior to setting ACLs for the limited access and LAGC fleets, as specified in § 648.53(a)(3) and (4), respectively. Approved RSA projects shall be allocated an amount of scallop pounds that can be harvested in open areas and available access areas. The specific access areas that are open to RSA harvest shall be specified through the framework process as identified in § 648.59(e)(1). In a year in which a framework adjustment is under review by the Council and/or NMFS, NMFS shall make RSA awards prior to approval of the framework, if practicable, based on total scallop pounds needed to fund each research project. Recipients may begin compensation fishing in open areas prior to approval of the framework, or wait until NMFS approval of the framework to begin compensation fishing within approved access areas

    (f) If all RSA pounds awarded to a project cannot be harvested during the applicable fishing year, RSA TAC awarded to that project may be harvested through June 30 of the fishing year subsequent to the fishing year in which the set-aside is awarded.

    (g) Vessels conducting research under an approved RSA project may be exempt from crew restrictions specified in § 648.51, seasonal closures of access areas specified in § 648.60, and the restriction on fishing in only one access area during a trip specified in § 648.59(b)(4). The RSA project proposal must list which of these measures for which an exemption is required. An exemption shall be provided by Letter of Authorization issued by the Regional Administrator. RSA compensation fishing trips and combined compensation and research trips are not eligible for these exemptions.

    § 648.57 [Removed and reserved]
    11. Remove and reserve § 648.57.
    § 648.58 [Removed and reserved]
    12. Remove and reserve § 648.58. 13. Revise § 648.59 to read as follows:
    § 648.59 Sea Scallop Rotational Area Management Program and Access Area Program requirements.

    (a) The Sea Scallop Rotational Area Management Program consists of Scallop Rotational Areas, as defined in § 648.2. Guidelines for this area rotation program (i.e., when to close an area and reopen it to scallop fishing) are provided in § 648.55(a)(6). Whether a rotational area is open or closed to scallop fishing in a given year, and the appropriate level of access by limited access and LAGC IFQ vessels, are specified through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55. When a rotational area is open to the scallop fishery, it is called an Access Area and scallop vessels fishing in the area are subject to the Access Area Program Requirements specified in this section. Areas not defined as Scallop Rotational Areas specified in § 648.60, EFH Closed Areas specified in § 648.61, or areas closed to scallop fishing under other FMPs, are governed by other management measures and restrictions in this part and are referred to as Open Areas.

    (1) When a Scallop Rotational Area is closed to scallop fishing, a vessel issued any scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area unless the vessel is transiting pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section. A vessel may fish for species other than scallops within the rotational closed areas, provided the vessel does not fish for, catch, or retain scallops or intend to fish for, catch, or retain scallops. When a Scallop Rotational Area is open to scallop fishing (henceforth referred to as an Access Area), a scallop vessel may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area unless it is participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the Scallop Access Area Program Requirements defined in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section or the vessel is transiting pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    (2) Transiting a Closed Scallop Rotational Area. No vessel possessing scallops may enter or be in the area(s) specified in this section when those areas are closed, as specified through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55, unless the vessel is transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, or there is a compelling safety reason to be in such areas without such gear being stowed. A vessel may only transit the Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area or the Closed Area II Extension Scallop Rotational Area, as defined § 648.60(d) and (e), respectively, or the Elephant Trunk Closed Area, as defined in § 648.60(b), if there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    (3) Transiting a Scallop Access Area. Any sea scallop vessel that has not declared a trip into the Scallop Area Access Program may enter a Scallop Access Area, and possess scallops not caught in the Scallop Access Areas, for transiting purposes only, provided the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2. Any scallop vessel that has declared a trip into the Scallop Area Access Program may not enter or be in another Scallop Access Area on the same trip except such vessel may transit another Scallop Access Area provided its gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, or there is a compelling safety reason to be in such areas without such gear being stowed. A vessel may only transit the Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area or the Closed Area II Extension Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in § 648.60(d) and (e), respectively, or the Elephant Trunk Closed Area, as defined in § 648.60(b) if there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

    (b) A limited access scallop vessel may only fish in the Scallop Rotational Areas, defined in § 648.60, when the areas are open (i.e., Access Areas), as specified through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55, subject to any additional restrictions specified in § 648.60, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(9), and (c) through (f) of this section. An LAGC scallop vessel may fish in the Scallop Rotational Areas, defined in § 648.60, when the areas are open (i.e., Access Areas), as specified through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55, subject to any additional requirements specified in § 648.60, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (g) of this section.

    (1) VMS. Each vessel participating in the Scallop Access Area Program must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§ 648.9 and 648.10, and paragraphs (b)(9) and (f) of this section.

    (2) Vessels participating in the Scallop Access Area Program must comply with the trip declaration requirements specified in § 648.10(f) and vessel notification requirements specified in § 648.11(g) for observer deployment.

    (3) Scallop Access Area Allocations—(i) Limited access vessel allocations and possession limits. (A) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55 determine the total amount of scallops, in weight, that a limited access scallop vessel may harvest from Scallop Access Areas during applicable seasons specified in § 648.60. A vessel may not possess or land in excess of its scallop allocation assigned to specific Scallop Access Areas, unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section, unless the vessel owner has exchanged an area-specific scallop allocation with another vessel owner for additional scallop allocation in that area, as specified in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. A vessel may harvest its scallop allocation on any number of trips in a given fishing year, provided that no single trip exceeds the possession limits specified in the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55, unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. No vessel declared into the Scallop Access Areas may possess more than 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops outside of the Scallop Rotational Area boundaries defined in § 648.60.

    (B) The following access area allocations and possession limits for limited access vessels will be effective for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years:

    Fishing year Access area Permit category Full-time Part-time Occasional 2016 Mid-Atlantic Access Area Allocation
  • Possession limit
  • 51,000 lb (23,133 kg)
  • 17,000 lb (57,711 kg)
  • 20,400 lb (9,253 kg)
  • 10,200 lb (4,627 kg)
  • 4,250 lb (1,928 kg).
  • 1,420 lb (644 kg).
  • 2017 * Mid-Atlantic Access Area Allocation
  • Possession limit
  • 17,000 lb (57,711 kg)
  • 17,000 lb (57,711 kg)
  • 10,200 lb (4,627 kg)
  • 10,200 lb (4,627 kg)
  • 1,420 lb (644 kg).
  • 1,420 lb (644 kg).
  • * The limited access fishery's access area allocations and possession limits for the 2017 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment.

    (ii) Limited access vessels' one-for-one area access allocation exchanges. The owner of a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may exchange unharvested scallop pounds allocated into one access area for another vessel's unharvested scallop pounds allocated into another Scallop Access Area. These exchanges may only be made for the amount of the current trip possession limit, as specified in paragraph (b)(3)(i)(B) of this section. For example, if the access area trip possession limit for full-time vessels is 17,000 lb (7,711 kg), a full-time vessel may exchange no less than 17,000 lb (7,711 kg), from one access area for no more or less than 17,000 lb (7,711 kg) allocated to another vessel for another access area. In addition, these exchanges may be made only between vessels with the same permit category: A full-time vessel may not exchange allocations with a part-time vessel, and vice versa. Vessel owners must request these exchanges by submitting a completed Access Area Allocation Exchange Form at least 15 days before the date on which the applicant desires the exchange to be effective. Exchange forms are available from the Regional Administrator upon request. Each vessel owner involved in an exchange is required to submit a completed Access Area Allocation Form. The Regional Administrator shall review the records for each vessel to confirm that each vessel has enough unharvested allocation remaining in a given access area to exchange. The exchange is not effective until the vessel owner(s) receive a confirmation in writing from the Regional Administrator that the allocation exchange has been made effective. A vessel owner may exchange equal allocations up to the current possession limit between two or more vessels under his/her ownership. A vessel owner holding a Confirmation of Permit History is not eligible to exchange allocations between another vessel and the vessel for which a Confirmation of Permit History has been issued.

    (4) Area fished. While on a Scallop Access Area trip, a vessel may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from areas outside the Scallop Access Area in which the vessel operator has declared the vessel will fish during that trip, and may not enter or exit the specific declared Scallop Access Area more than once per trip. A vessel on a Scallop Access Area trip may not enter or be in another Scallop Access Area on the same trip except such vessel may transit another Scallop Access Area as provided for under paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    (5) NE multispecies possession limits—(i) Maximum possession limit of NE multispecies combined. A vessel owner or operator of a limited access scallop vessel issued a valid NE multispecies permit as specified in § 648.4(a)(1), that has declared into a Scallop Access Area and fishes within the open Scallop Rotational Area boundaries defined in § 648.60, may fish for, possess, and land, per trip, up to a maximum of 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) of all NE multispecies combined, excluding yellowtail flounder, subject to the minimum commercial fish size restrictions specified in § 648.83(a)(1), and the additional restrictions for Atlantic cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder specified in paragraphs (b)(5)(ii) through (iv) of this section.

    (ii) Atlantic cod. Such vessel may bring onboard and possess only up to 100 lb (45.4 kg) of Atlantic cod per trip, provided such fish is intended for personal use only and cannot be not sold, traded, or bartered.

    (iii) Haddock. Such vessel may possess and land haddock up to the overall possession limit of all NE multispecies combined, as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section, except that such vessel are prohibited from possessing or landing haddock from January 1 through June 30.

    (iv) Yellowtail flounder. Such vessel is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, or landing yellowtail flounder.

    (6) Gear restrictions. (i) The minimum ring size for dredge gear used by a vessel fishing on a Scallop Access Area trip is 4 inches (10.2 cm) in diameter. Dredge or trawl gear used by a vessel fishing on a Scallop Access Area trip must be in accordance with the restrictions specified in § 648.51(a) and (b).

    (ii) Vessels fishing in the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, Closed Area II Extension, and Nantucket Lightship Scallop Rotational Areas defined in § 648.60 are prohibited from fishing with trawl gear as specified in § 648.51(f)(1).

    (7) Transiting. While outside a Sea Scallop Access Area (i.e., in open areas) on a Scallop Access Area trip, the vessel must have all fishing gear stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, unless there is a compelling safety reason to be transiting open areas without gear stowed. Regulations pertaining to transiting Scallop Rotational Areas are provided for under paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    (8) Off-loading restrictions. The vessel may not offload its catch from a Scallop Access Area trip at more than one location per trip.

    (9) Reporting. The owner or operator must submit scallop catch reports through the VMS, as specified in § 648.10(f)(4)(i), and limited access scallop access area pre-landing notification forms, as specified in § 648.10(f)(4)(iii).

    (c) Scallop Access Area scallop allocation carryover. With the exception of vessels that held a Confirmation of Permit History as described in § 648.4(a)(2)(i)(J) for the entire fishing year preceding the carry-over year, a limited access scallop vessel operator may fish any unharvested Scallop Access Area allocation from a given fishing year within the first 60 days of the subsequent fishing year if the Scallop Access Area is open, unless otherwise specified in this section. For example, if a full-time vessel has 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) remaining in the Mid-Atlantic Access Area at the end of fishing year 2016, that vessel may harvest 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) from its 2017 fishing year scallop access area allocation during the first 60 days that the Mid-Atlantic Access Area is open in fishing year 2017 (March 1, 2017, through April 29, 2018). Unless otherwise specified through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55, if a Scallop Access Area is not open in the subsequent fishing year, then the unharvested scallop allocation would expire at the end of the fishing year that the scallops were allocated.

    (d) Increase in possession limit to defray costs of observers—The Regional Administrator may increase the sea scallop possession limit through the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55 to defray costs of at-sea observers deployed on area access trips subject to the limits specified § 648.53(g). An owner of a scallop vessel shall be notified of the increase in the possession limit through a permit holder letter issued by the Regional Administrator. If the observer set-aside is fully utilized prior to the end of the fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall notify owners of scallop vessels that, effective on a specified date, the increase in the possession limit is no longer available to offset the cost of observers. Unless otherwise notified by the Regional Administrator, vessel owners shall be responsible for paying the cost of the observer, regardless of whether the vessel lands or sells sea scallops on that trip, and regardless of the availability of set-aside for an increased possession limit.

    (e) Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Harvest in Scallop Access Areas.—Unless otherwise specified, RSA may be harvested in any access area that is open in a given fishing year, as specified through a specifications action or framework adjustment and pursuant to § 648.56. The amount of scallops that can be harvested in each access area by vessels participating in approved RSA projects shall be determined through the RSA application review and approval process.

    (f) VMS polling. For the duration of the Sea Scallop Area Access Program, as defined in this section, all sea scallop vessels equipped with a VMS unit shall be polled at a minimum of twice per hour, regardless of whether the vessel is enrolled in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program. Vessel owners shall be responsible for paying the costs of polling twice per hour.

    (g) Limited Access General Category vessels. (1) An LAGC scallop vessel may only fish in the scallop rotational areas specified in § 648.60 or in paragraph (g)(3)(iv) of this section, subject to any additional restrictions specified in § 648.60, subject to the possession limit and access area schedule specified in the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(6) through (9), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this section. A vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit may fish in an approved SAP under § 648.85 and under multispecies DAS in the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, Closed Area II Extension, and Nantucket Lightship Scallop Rotational Areas specified in § 648.60, when open, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in § 648.59 and this paragraph (g), but may not fish for, possess, or land scallops on such trips.

    (2) Limited Access General Category Gear restrictions. An LAGC IFQ scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Scallop Rotational Areas specified in § 648.60 must fish with dredge gear only. The combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board of, an LAGC scallop vessel fishing in Closed Area I, Closed Area II, Closed Area II Extension, and Nantucket Lightship Access Areas may not exceed 10.5 ft (3.2 m). The combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board of, an LAGC scallop vessel fishing in the remaining Scallop Rotational Areas defined in § 648.60 may not exceed 31 ft (9.4 m). Dredge width is measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

    (3) LAGC IFQ Access Area trips. (i) An LAGC scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Scallop Rotational Areas specified in § 648.60 or in paragraph (g)(3)(iv) of this section may land scallops, subject to the possession limit specified in § 648.52(a), unless the Regional Administrator has issued a notice that the number of LAGC IFQ access area trips have been or are projected to be taken. All LAGC IFQ access area trips must be taken in the fishing year that they are allocated (i.e., there are no carryover trips). The total number of LAGC IFQ trips in an Access Area is specified in the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55.

    (ii) Scallops landed by each LAGC IFQ vessel on an access area trip shall count against the vessel's IFQ.

    (iii) Upon a determination from the Regional Administrator that the total number of LAGC IFQ trips in a specified Access Area have been or are projected to be taken, the Regional Administrator shall publish notification of this determination in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Once this determination has been made, an LAGC IFQ scallop vessel may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the specified Access Area after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register.

    (iv) Nantucket Lightship North Sea Scallop Access Area. (A) From March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2018 (i.e., fishing years 2016 and 2017), a vessel issued an LAGC IFQ scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Nantucket Lightship North Access Area, defined in paragraph (g)(3)(iv)(B) of this section, unless the vessel is participating in, and complying with the requirements of, the area access program defined in this section or the vessel is transiting pursuant to § 648.59(a)(3).

    (B) The Nantucket Lightship North Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude NLNAA1 40°50′ N. 69°00′ W. NLNAA2 40°30′ N. 69°00′ W. NLNAA3 40°30′ N. 69°30′ W. NLNAA4 40°50′ N. 69°30′ W. NLNAA1 40°50′ N. 69°00′ W.

    (v) The following LAGC IFQ access area allocations will be effective for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years:

    Scallop rotational area 2016 2017 * Mid-Atlantic Access Area 2,068 602 Nantucket Lightship North 485 0 * The LAGC IFQ access area trip allocations for the 2017 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment.

    (4) Possession limits—(i) Scallops. A vessel issued a NE multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is fishing in an approved SAP under § 648.85 under multispecies DAS, and that has not declared into the Scallop Access Area Program, is prohibited from possessing scallops. An LAGC scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Scallop Rotational Areas specified in § 648.60 may possess scallops up to the possession limit specified in § 648.52(a).

    (ii) Other species. Unless issued an LAGC scallop permit and fishing under an approved NE multispecies SAP under NE multispecies DAS, an LAGC IFQ vessel fishing in the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, Closed Area II Extension, and Nantucket Lightship Rotational Areas specified in § 648.60, and the Nantucket Lightship North Sea Scallop Access Area specified in paragraph (g)(3)(iv) of this section is prohibited from possessing any species of fish other than scallops and monkfish, as specified in § 648.94(c)(8)(i). Such a vessel may fish in an approved SAP under § 648.85 and under multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, provided that it has not declared into the Scallop Access Area Program. Such a vessel is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, or landing scallops.

    14. Revise § 648.60 to read as follows:
    § 648.60 Sea Scallop Rotational Areas.

    (a) Mid-Atlantic Scallop Rotational Area. (1) The Mid-Atlantic Scallop Rotational Area is comprised of the following scallop access areas: The Delmarva Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section; the Elephant Trunk Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and the Hudson Canyon Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (2) Delmarva Scallop Rotational Area. The Delmarva Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude DMV1 38°10′ N. 74°50′ W. DMV2 38°10′ N. 74°00′ W. DMV3 37°15′ N. 74°00′ W. DMV4 37°15′ N. 74°50′ W. DMV1 38°10′ N. 74°50′ W.

    (3) Elephant Trunk Scallop Rotational Area. The Elephant Trunk Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude ETAA1 38°30′ N. 74°20′ W. ETAA2 38°30′ N. 73°50′ W. ETAA3 38°40′ N. 73°50′ W. ETAA4 38°40′ N. 73°40′ W. ETAA5 38°50′ N. 73°40′ W. ETAA6 38°50′ N. 73°30′ W. ETAA7 38°10′ N. 73°30′ W. ETAA8 38°10′ N. 74°20′ W. ETAA1 38°30′ N. 74°20′ W.

    (4) Hudson Canyon Scallop Rotational Area. The Hudson Canyon Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude H1 39°30′ N. 73°10′ W. H2 39°30′ N. 72°30′ W. H3 38°30′ N. 73°30′ W. H4 38°50′ N. 73°30′ W. H5 38°50′ N. 73°42′ W. H1 39°30′ N. 73°10′ W.

    (b) Elephant Trunk Closed Area. The Elephant Trunk Closed Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request).

    Point Latitude Longitude ETCA 1 38°50′ N. 74°20′ W. ETCA 2 38°50′ N. 73°40′ W. ETCA 3 38°40′ N. 73°40′ W. ETCA 4 38°40′ N. 73°50′ W. ETCA 5 38°30′ N. 73°50′ W. ETCA 6 38°30′ N. 74°20′ W. ETCA 1 38°50′ N. 74°20′ W.

    (c) Closed Area I Scallop Rotational Area. (1) The Closed Area I Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request), and so that the line connecting points CAIA3 and CAIA4 is the same as the portion of the western boundary line of Closed Area I, defined in § 648.81(a)(1), that lies between points CAIA3 and CAIA4:

    Point Latitude Longitude Note CAIA1 41°26′ N. 68°30′ W. CAIA2 40°58′ N. 68°30′ W. CAIA3 40°54.95′ N. 68°53.37′ W. (1) CAIA4 41°04′ N. 69°01′ W. (1) CAIA1 41°26′ N. 68°30′ W. 1 From Point CAIA3 to Point CAIA4 along the western boundary of Closed Area I, defined in § 648.81(a)(1).

    (d) Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area. (1) The Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines, except where noted, connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude Note CAIIA1 41°00′ N. 67°20′ W. CAIIA2 41°00′ N. 66°35.8′ W. CAIIA3 41°18.45′ N. (1) (2) CAIIA4 41°30′ N. (3) (2) CAIIA5 41°30′ N. 67°20′ W. CAIIA1 41°00′ N. 67°20′ W. 1 The intersection of 41°18.45′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°18.45′ N. lat. and 66°24.89′ W. long. 2 From Point CAIIA3 connected to Point CAIIA4 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary. 3 The intersection of 41°30′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°30′ N. lat., 66°34.73′ W. long.

    (2) Season. A vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Closed Area II Sea Scallop Rotational Area, defined in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, during the period of August 15 through November 15 of each year the Closed Area II Access Area is open to scallop vessels, unless transiting pursuant to § 648.59(a).

    (e) Closed Area II Extension Scallop Rotational Area. The Closed Area II Extension Rotational Area is defined by straight lines, except where noted, connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude Note CAIIE1 40°30′ N. 67°20′ W. CAIIE2 41°00′ N. 67°20′ W. CAIIE3 41°00′ N. 66°35.8′ W. CAIIE4 41°18.45′ N. (1) (2) CAIIE5 40°30′ N. (3) (2) CAIIE1 40°30′ N. 67°20′ W. 1 The intersection of 41°18.45′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°18.45′ N. lat. and 66°24.89′ W. long. 2 From Point CAIIE4 to Point CAIIE5 following the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary. 3 The intersection of 40°30′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately, 65°44.34′ W. long.

    (f) Nantucket Lightship Scallop Rotational Area. (1) The Nantucket Lightship Scallop Rotational Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

    Point Latitude Longitude NLAA1 40°50′ N. 69°30′ W. NLAA2 40°50′ N. 69°00′ W. NLAA3 40°33′ N. 69°00′ W. NLAA4 40°33′ N. 68°48′ W. NLAA5 40°20′ N. 68°48′ W. NLAA6 40°20′ N. 69°30′ W. NLAA1 40°50′ N. 69°30′ W.
    15. In § 648.62, paragraphs (a)(3), the introductory text to paragraph (b), paragraph (b)(3), and (c) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.62 Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Management Program.

    (a)* * *

    (3) Scallop landings by all vessels issued LAGC IFQ scallop permits and fishing in the NGOM scallop management area shall be deducted from the NGOM scallop total allowable catch specified in the specifications or framework adjustment processes defined in § 648.55. Scallop landings by IFQ scallop vessels fishing in the NGOM scallop management area shall be deducted from their respective scallop IFQs. Landings by incidental catch scallop vessels and limited access scallop vessels fishing under the scallop DAS program shall not be deducted from the NGOM total allowable catch specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) Total allowable catch. The total allowable catch for the NGOM scallop management area shall be specified through the framework adjustment process. The total allowable catch for the NGOM scallop management area shall be based on the Federal portion of the scallop resource in the NGOM. The total allowable catch shall be determined by historical landings until additional information on the NGOM scallop resource is available, for example through an NGOM resource survey and assessment. The ABC/ACL as defined in § 648.53(a) shall not include the total allowable catch for the NGOM scallop management area, and landings from the NGOM scallop management area shall not be counted against the ABC/ACL defined in § 648.53(a).

    (3) If the annual NGOM TAC is exceeded, the amount of NGOM scallop landings in excess of the TAC specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be deducted from the NGOM TAC for the subsequent fishing year, as soon as practicable, once scallop landings data for the NGOM fishery is available.

    (c) VMS requirements. Except scallop vessels issued a limited access scallop permit pursuant to § 648.4(a)(2)(i) that have declared a trip under the scallop DAS program, a vessel issued a scallop permit pursuant to § 648.4(a)(2) that intends to fish for scallops in the NGOM scallop management area or fishes for, possesses, or lands scallops in or from the NGOM scallop management area, must declare a NGOM scallop management area trip and report scallop catch through the vessel's VMS unit, as required in § 648.10. If the vessel has a NGOM permit, the vessel must declare either a Federal NGOM trip or a state-waters NGOM trip. If a vessel intends to fish any part of a NGOM trip in Federal NGOM waters, it may not declare into the state water NGOM fishery.

    16. In § 648.63, paragraph (b)(2)(iii) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.63 General category Sectors and harvesting cooperatives.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iii) A sector shall not be allocated more than 20 percent of the ACL for IFQ vessels defined in § 648.53(a)(4).

    17. In § 648.64, paragraph (e) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.64 Yellowtail flounder sub-ACLs and AMs for the scallop fishery.

    (e) Process for implementing the AM—(1) If reliable information is available to make a mid-year determination: On or about January 15 of each year, based upon catch and other information available to NMFS, the Regional Administrator shall determine whether a yellowtail flounder sub-ACL was exceeded, or is projected to be exceeded, by scallop vessels prior to the end of the scallop fishing year. The determination shall include the amount of the overage or projected amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the applicable yellowtail flounder stock, in accordance with the values specified in paragraph (a) of this section. Based on this initial projection in mid-January, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in accordance with the APA and notify owners of limited access and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the closure and a summary of the yellowtail flounder catch, overage, and projection that resulted in the closure.

    (2) If reliable information is not available to make a mid-year determination: Once NMFS has compiled the necessary information (e.g., when the previous fishing year's observer and catch data are fully available), the Regional Administrator shall determine whether a yellowtail flounder sub-ACL was exceeded by scallop vessels following the end of the scallop fishing year. The determination shall include the amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the applicable yellowtail flounder stock, in accordance with the values specified in paragraph (a) of this section. Based on this information, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in accordance with the APA in Year 3 (e.g., an accountability measure would be implemented in fishing year 2016 for an overage that occurred in fishing year 2014) and notify owners of limited access and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the closure and a summary of the yellowtail flounder catch and overage information.

    18. In § 648.65, paragraph (c) is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.65 Windowpane flounder sub-ACL and AM for the scallop fishery.

    (c) Process for implementing the AM—(1) If reliable information is available to make a mid-year determination: On or about January 15 of each year, based upon catch and other information available to NMFS, the Regional Administrator shall determine whether the SNE/MA windowpane flounder sub-ACL was exceeded, or is projected to be exceeded, and if an accountability measure was triggered as described in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv), by scallop vessels prior to the end of the scallop fishing year. The determination shall include the amount of the overage or projected amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the SNE/MA windowpane flounder stock, in accordance with the values specified in paragraph (a) of this section. Based on this initial determination in mid-January, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in the following fishing year in accordance with the APA and attempt to notify owners of limited access and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the gear restricted area and a summary of the SNE/MA windowpane flounder catch, overage, and projection that resulted in the gear restricted area.

    (2) If reliable information is not available to make a mid-year determination: Once NMFS has compiled the necessary information (e.g., when the previous fishing year's observer and catch data are fully available), the Regional Administrator shall determine whether the SNE/MA windowpane flounder sub-ACL was exceeded and if an accountability measure was triggered as described in § 648.90(a)(5)(iv), by scallop vessels following the end of the scallop fishing year. The determination shall include the amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the SNE/MA windowpane flounder stock, in accordance with the values specified in paragraph (a) of this section. Based on this information, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in accordance with the APA in Year 3 (e.g., an accountability measure would be implemented in fishing year 2016 for an overage that occurred in fishing year 2014) and attempt to notify owners of limited access and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the gear restricted area and a summary of the SNE/MA windowpane flounder catch and overage information.

    [FR Doc. 2016-19465 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 158 Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Doc. No. AMS-DA-16-0056] Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection for report forms under the Federal milk marketing order program.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by October 17, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or to the Office of the Deputy Administrator, Dairy Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2968 South, Stop 0225, Washington, DC 20250-0225. Comments should make reference to the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments will be posted electronically without change; including any personal information provided at http://regulations.gov. Comments will also be available for public inspection in the above office during regular business hours.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David R. Jamison, Director, Order Operation and Accountability Division, Dairy Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2968 South, Stop 0225, Washington, DC 20250-0225.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Report Forms under Federal Milk Orders (From Milk Handlers and Milk Marketing Cooperatives).

    OMB Number: 0581-0032.

    Expiration Date of Approval: February 28, 2017.

    Type of Request: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Federal milk marketing order regulations (7 CFR parts 1000-1199) authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), require milk handlers to report in detail the receipts and utilization of milk and milk products handled at each of their plants that are regulated by a Federal order. The data are needed to administer the classified pricing system and related requirements of each Federal order.

    A Federal milk marketing order (hereinafter, Order) is a regulation issued by the Secretary of Agriculture that places certain requirements on the handling of milk in the area it covers. Each Order is established under the authority of the Act. The Order requires that handlers of milk for a marketing area pay not less than certain minimum class prices according to how the milk is used. These prices are established under each Order after a public hearing at which evidence is received on the supply and demand conditions for milk in the market. An Order requires that payments for milk be pooled and paid to individual farmers or cooperative associations of farmers on the basis of a uniform or average price. Thus, all eligible farmers (producers) share in the market wide use-values of milk by regulated handlers.

    Milk Orders help ensure adequate supplies of milk and dairy products for consumers and adequate returns to producers.

    The Orders also provide for the public dissemination of market statistics and other information for the benefit of producers, handlers, and consumers.

    Formal rulemaking amendments to the Orders must be approved in referenda conducted by the Secretary.

    During 2015, 35,181 dairy farmers delivered over 126 billion pounds of milk to handlers regulated under the milk orders. This volume represents 61 percent of all milk marketed in the U.S. and 61 percent of the milk of bottling quality (Grade A) sold in the country. The value of this milk delivered to Federal milk order handlers at minimum order blend prices was over $21 billion. Producer deliveries of milk used in Class I products (mainly fluid milk products) totaled 41 billion pounds—32 percent of total producer deliveries.

    Each Order is administered by a USDA market administrator. The market administrator is authorized to levy assessments on regulated handlers to carry out the market administrator's duties and responsibilities under the Orders. Additional duties of the market administrators are to prescribe reports required of each handler, to assure that handlers properly account for milk and milk products, and to assure that such handlers pay producers and associations of producers according to the provisions of the Order. The market administrator employs a staff that verifies handlers' reports by examining records to determine that the required payments are made to producers. Most reports required from handlers are submitted monthly to the market administrator.

    The Biennial Summary of Packaged Fluid Milk Sales in Federal Order Markets, by Size, Container Type and Distribution Method is a new electronic form that was added in 2015. The data from this form is collected from all regulated handlers who process and/or sell Class I fluid milk products under a Federal Milk Marketing Order.

    The forms used by the market administrators are required by the respective Orders that are authorized by the Act. The forms are used to establish the quantity of milk received by handlers, the pooling status of the handlers, the class-use of the milk used by the handler, and the butterfat content and amounts of other components of the milk.

    The forms covered under this information collection require the minimum information necessary to effectively carry out the requirements of the Orders, and their use is necessary to fulfill the intent of the Act as expressed in the Orders and in the rules and regulations issued under the Orders. The information collected is used only by authorized employees of the market administrator and authorized representatives of the USDA, including AMS Dairy Programs' headquarters staff.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.47 hours per response.

    Respondents: Milk handlers and milk marketing cooperatives.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 690.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 18,591.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 27.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 27,334.05.

    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19530 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Notice of Request for Approval of an Information Collection AGENCY:

    Office of Advocacy and Outreach, Department of Agriculture.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the intent, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, of the Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) to request an extension/revision of a currently approved information collection to the Minority Farm Register. The Minority Farm Register is a voluntary register of minority farm and ranch operators, landowners, tenants, and others with an interest in farming or agriculture. The OAO uses the collected information to better inform minority farmers about U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services.

    DATES:

    We will consider comments received by October 17, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your comments, include date, volume, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments; (2) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Advocacy and Outreach, Attn: Kenya Nicholas, Program Director, Whitten Building Room 520-A, Mail Stop 0601, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; and (3) Fax: (202) 720-7704.

    How to File a Complaint of Discrimination: 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]
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Agency Contact: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Advocacy and Outreach, Attention: Kenya Nicholas, Program Director, Whitten Building Room 520-A, Mail Stop 0601, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, Phone: (202) 720-6350, Fax: (202) 720-7704, Email: [email protected]

    Persons with Disabilities: Persons who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: USDA Minority Farm Register.

    Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Number: 0560-0231.

    Expiration Date: October 31, 2016.

    Type of Request: Extension/Revision.

    Abstract: The Minority Farm Register is a voluntary register of minority farm and ranch operators, landowners, tenants, and others with an interest in farming or agriculture. The registrant's name, address, email, phone number, race, ethnicity, gender, farm location, and signature will be collected; however, the registrant's name, address, and signature are the only items required to register. Providing this information is completely voluntary. USDA's OAO will use this information to help inform minority farmers and ranchers about programs and services provided by USDA agencies. The Minority Farm Register is maintained by OAO. Because USDA partners with community-based organizations, minority-serving educational institutions, and other groups to communicate USDA's programs and services, the OAO may share information collected with these organizations for outreach purposes. The race, ethnicity, and gender of registrants may be used to provide information about programs and services that are designed for these particular groups. Information about the Minority Farm Register is available on the Internet to ensure that the program is widely publicized and accessible to all.

    Respondents: Individuals and households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 5000.

    Estimated Average Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Number of Responses: 5000.

    Estimated average time to respond: 5 minutes (0.083 hours) and 1 hour traveling time. Estimated Total Annual Burden on all Respondents: 4667 hours.

    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help us to: (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of OAO, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of OAO's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All responses to this notice, including name and addresses when provided, will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Signed this 8th day of August, 2016. Carolyn C. Parker, Director, Office of Advocacy and Outreach.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19532 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Quality Control AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be sent to: Stephanie Proska, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 822, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Stephanie Proska at 703-305-0928 or via email to [email protected] Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Stephanie Proska at 703-305-2437.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Title: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—Title 7, Part 275.

    OMB Number: 0584-0303.

    Expiration Date: January 31, 2017.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: There are three components of the Quality Control (QC) system that are covered in this required information collection. They are: (1) The sampling plan; (2) the arbitration process; and (3) the good cause process. Each State is required to develop a sampling plan that demonstrates the integrity of its case selection procedures. The QC system is designed to measure each State agency's payment error rate based on a statistically valid sample of SNAP cases. A State agency's payment error rate represents the proportion of cases that were reported through a QC review as being ineligible, as well as the proportion of SNAP benefits that were either overissued or underissued to SNAP households.

    The QC system contains procedures for resolving differences in review findings between State agencies and FNS. This is referred to as the arbitration process. The QC system also contains procedures that provide relief for State agencies from all or a part of a QC liability when a State agency can demonstrate that a part or all of an excessive error rate was due to an unusual event that had an uncontrollable impact on the State agency's payment error rate. This is referred to as the good cause process.

    The approved burden for the QC system includes the burden for the QC sampling plan, the arbitration process and the good cause process. The currently approved burden for total reporting burden for the QC system is 1,544.91 hours, an increase of 167.91 hours. (1) The annual reporting burden associated with the QC sampling plan remains at 265 hours. (2) We estimate the annual reporting burdens associated with arbitration and (3) good cause processes to total 791.1 and 320 hours, respectively. The decrease in the revised burden from the currently approved 792 to 791.1 hours for the arbitration process is due to a decrease in the estimated number of responses per State agency. These decreases are a result of State agencies less frequently disagreeing with FNS' findings. The requested annual reporting burden for the good cause process remains at 320 hours.

    In addition, we are adding two additional forms to the reporting burden: FNS 74A, Template for QC-related New Investment Plans and FNS 74B, Template for QC-related New Investment Plan Progress Reports. These two templates are being added to this collection in an effort to formalize the regulatory requirements of these two items for States that are subject to QC-related new investments.

    Based on the number of State agencies subject to the QC-related new investment requirement over the last three years and feedback from those State agencies that responded to our inquiry, we estimate the amount of time to create a QC-related new investment plan is approximately 32 hours. This estimate includes determining root causes of a State agency's error rate, exploring methods to address those causes, and writing up the plan to address those causes. In addition, we estimate it takes approximately 5 hours to complete a progress report updating FNS on the status of the activities in the State agency's relevant QC-related new investment plan. We estimate the total annual reporting burden for 4 State Agencies to complete a new investment plan to be 128 hours and 40 hours for the progress report.

    The requested annual recordkeeping burden associated with the QC sampling plan remains at 1.25 hours per year. The revised annual recordkeeping burdens associated with arbitration has increased from 0.7788 hour to 1.4868 hours and the good cause process has remained at 0.0472 hour. The estimated recordkeeping burden for the QC-related new investment plan and progress reports total 0.0944 hour and 0.1888 hours respectively.

    The burden for recordkeeping has increased from 2.076 hours to 3.068 hours. As a result, the overall annual burden for the QC system, as proposed by this notice, increased from 1,379.076 to 1547.978 hours, totaling an increase of 168.90 hours.

    Affected public Requirement Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Responses annually per respondent Total annual responses (Col. b × c) Estimated
  • average
  • number of
  • hours per
  • response
  • Estimated total hours
  • (Col. d × e)
  • Reporting Burden State Agencies Sampling Plan 53 1 53 5 265 State Agencies Arbitration Process 15 4.2 63 12.57 791.91 State Agencies Good Cause Process 2 1 2 160 320 State Agencies New Investment Plan Template Form FNS 74 A 4 1 4 32 128 State Agencies New Investment Progress Report Template Form FNS 74 B 4 2 8 5 40 Grand Total Reporting 53 130 1544.91
    Affected public Requirement Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • reports
  • annually per
  • state
  • Number of
  • total annual
  • records
  • Estimated time per record Estimated total recordkeeping hours
    Recordkeeping Burden State Agencies Sampling Plan 53 1 53 0.0236 1.2508 State Agencies Arbitration Process 15 4.2 63 0.0236 1.4868 State Agencies Good Cause Process 2 1 2 0.0236 0.0472 State Agencies New Investment Plan Template Form FNS 74 A 4 1 4 0.0236 0.0944 State Agencies New Investment Progress Report Template Form FNS 74 B 4 2 8 0.0236 0.1888 Grand Total Recordkeeping 53 130 3.068 Combined Grand Total Reporting and Recordkeeping 53 4.90566 260 5.953730 1547.978
    Dated: August 2, 2016. Yvette S. Jackson, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19533 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Mineral County Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mineral County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Superior, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with title II of the Act.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held August 25, 2016, at 6:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Superior Ranger District, 209 W. Riverside Avenue, Superior, Montana.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Superior Ranger District. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carole Johnson, District Ranger, by phone at 406-822-4233 or via email at [email protected]; or Racheal Koke, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 406-822-3930 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to vote on projects that were previously presented.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by September 2, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time to make oral comments must be sent to Racheal Koke, RAC Coordinator, P.O. Box 460, Superior, Montana 59872; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 406-822-3903.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: August 8, 2016. Carole Johnson, District Ranger.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19524 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-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: Bureau of Industry and Security.

    Title: Delivery Verification Procedure for Imports.

    Form Number(s): BIS-647P.

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0016.

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Burden Hours: 56 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 100 respondents.

    Average Hours per Response: 30 minutes per response.

    Needs and Uses: Foreign governments, on occasions, require U.S. importers of strategic commodities to furnish their foreign supplier with a U.S. Delivery Verification Certificate validating that the commodities shipped to the U.S. were in fact received. This procedure increases the effectiveness of controls on the international trade of strategic commodities.

    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain benefits.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: August 11, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19507 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-52-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 134—Chattanooga, Tennessee; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Wacker Polysilicon North America LLC (Polysilicon); Charleston, Tennessee

    Wacker Polysilicon North America LLC (Wacker) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Charleston, Tennessee within FTZ 134. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on August 5, 2016.

    A separate application for subzone designation at the Wacker facility was submitted and will be processed under Section 400.38 of the Board's regulations. The facility is used for the production of polysilicon. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Wacker from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production (estimated 95 percent of production). On its domestic sales, Wacker would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to hyperpure polysilicon (duty-free) for the foreign-status material/component noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The material/component sourced from abroad is: silicon metal (duty rate: 5.3%). Wacker has only requested authority to admit silicon metal that is not subject to an antidumping/countervailing duty (AD/CVD) order to the zone in foreign status. Any silicon metal subject to an AD/CVD order would be brought into the zone in domestic (duty-paid) status.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is September 26, 2016.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19514 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-90-2016] Approval of Expanded Subzone Status; Space Systems/Loral, LLC, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View and San Jose, California

    On June 22, 2016, the Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board docketed an application submitted by the City of San Jose, California, grantee of FTZ 18, requesting expanded subzone status subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 18, on behalf of Space Systems/Loral, LLC, in San Jose, California.

    The application was processed in accordance with the FTZ Act and Regulations, including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (81 FR 42650, June 30, 2016). The FTZ staff examiner reviewed the application and determined that it meets the criteria for approval. Pursuant to the authority delegated to the FTZ Board Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to expand Subzone 18E is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ 18's 2,000-acre activation limit.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19518 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-53-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone 283—West Tennessee Area; Application for Reorganization (Expansion of Service Area) Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 283, requesting authority to reorganize the zone to expand its service area under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on August 11, 2016.

    FTZ 283 was approved by the FTZ Board on October 11, 2012 (Board Order 1851, 77 FR 64463-64464, October 22, 2012) under the alternative site framework. The zone currently has a service area that includes the Counties of Dyer, Gibson, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, Obion and Tipton.

    The applicant is now requesting authority to expand the service area of the zone to include the Counties of Fayette, Hardeman and McNairy, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the expanded service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed expanded service area is adjacent to the Memphis Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Kathleen Boyce of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is October 17, 2016. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to October 31, 2016.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Kathleen Boyce at [email protected] or (202) 482-1346.

    Dated: August 11, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19515 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Foreign Availability Procedures AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Mark Crace, BIS ICB Liaison, (202) 482-8093, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This information is collected in order to respond to requests by Congress and industry to make foreign availability determinations in accordance with Section 768 of the Export Administration Regulations. Exporters are urged to voluntarily submit data to support the contention that items controlled for export for national security reasons are available-in-fact, from a non-U.S. source, in sufficient quantity and of comparable quality so as to render the control ineffective.

    II. Method of Collection

    Submitted electronically or on paper.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0004.

    Form Number(s): N/A.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

    Estimated Time per Response: 255 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 510 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $20.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: August 11, 2016. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19466 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE698 Endangered and Threatened Species; Draft Recovery Plan for Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Yelloweye Rockfish and Bocaccio AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) and Bocaccio (S. paucispinis) Draft Recovery Plan (Plan) for public review. NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the draft Plan, and will consider all substantive comments received during the review period before submitting the Plan for final approval.

    DATES:

    Comments and information on the draft Plan must be received by close of business on November 14, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0083 by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0083. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Chris Yates, Assistant Regional Administrator, Protected Resources Division, NMFS, West Coast Regional Office, Attn: Dan Tonnes 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115.

    Instructions: You must submit comments by one of the above methods to ensure that we receive, document, and consider them. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. We will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Tonnes (206-526-4643), email [email protected]; or Jennifer Sawchuk (360-561-4025), email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On April 28, 2010, we listed the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Distinct Population Segments (DPSs) of yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish as threatened under the ESA, and the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin DPS of bocaccio as endangered (75 FR 22276). The DPS determinations for Puget Sound/Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, and boccacio were informed by the best available scientific and commercial data and the status review conducted by a Biological Review Team (BRT) (Drake et al., 2010). The final critical habitat rule for the listed DPSs of rockfish was published in the Federal Register on November 1, 2014 (79 FR 68041).

    In 2013, we appointed a recovery team and initiated recovery planning for the listed rockfish species. Through the process of recovery planning, priority research and recovery actions emerged. One such action was to seek specific genetic data for each of the listed rockfish species to better evaluate and determine whether differences exist in the genetic structure of the listed species' populations between inland basins where the DPSs occur and the outer coast. In 2014 and 2015, we partnered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, several local fishing guides, and anglers including anglers from the Puget Sound Anglers and the Kitsap Pogie Club to collect samples and compare the genetic structure of the species' populations between the different basins of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin DPSs area and the outer coast.

    In 2015 we announced a 5-year review (80 FR 6695; February 6, 2015) for the three rockfish DPSs and genetics information from the above cooperative study was included in the review. The 5-year review was completed May 5, 2016 (NMFS 2016) and is available at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/protected_species/other/rockfish/5.5.2016_5yr_review_report_rockfish.pdf. To complete the review, we collected, evaluated, and incorporated all information on the species that has become available since April 2010, the date of the listing, including the 2014 final critical habitat designation and the newly obtained genetic information.

    The BRT found that current genetic data evaluated and interpreted in the context of all available scientific information now provides strong evidence that canary rockfish of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin are not discrete from coastal area canary rockfish. Based on the BRT findings, and best available science and commercial information, and in accordance with the DPS policy (61 FR 4722; February 7, 1996), we determined that the canary rockfish of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin do not meet the criteria to be considered a DPS and recommended delisting canary rockfish in the 5-year review (NMFS 2016). The new genetics information confirmed the existence of an inland population of Puget Sound/Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish that is discrete from coastal yelloweye rockfish, and there was not information to change our prior status review determination that Puget Sound/Georgia Basin bocaccio are discrete from coastal fish (Ford, 2015). Based on the new information and recommendation in the 5-year review, we published a proposed rule to remove Puget Sound/Georgia Basin canary rockfish from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species (81 FR 43979; July 6, 2016). The Puget Sound/Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish DPS shall remain threatened under the ESA, and the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin bocaccio DPS shall remain endangered. Therefore, this draft recovery plan is for yelloweye rockfish and bocaccio and does not include canary rockfish.

    Draft Recovery Plan

    Recovery plans describe actions beneficial to the conservation and recovery of species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Section 4(f)(1) of the ESA requires that recovery plans incorporate: (1) Objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the species is no longer threatened or endangered; (2) site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the Plan's goals; and (3) estimates of the time required and costs to implement recovery actions. The ESA requires the development of recovery plans for each listed species unless such a plan would not promote its recovery.

    The Draft Recovery Plan for Yelloweye Rockfish and Bocaccio of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin was developed by NMFS in cooperation with a recovery team made up of experts from the University of Washington, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. Additionally, a number of scientists have provided peer review and individuals from the Rockfish Workgroup, a group of diverse stakeholders, have also provided research ideas.

    The BRT appointed to assess the status of the petitioned rockfish in 2008 found that the total rockfish abundance in the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin has declined by 70 percent, and that yelloweye rockfish and bocaccio have declined to an even greater extent (Drake et al., 2010). NMFS's goal is to restore the threatened yelloweye rockfish DPS and the endangered bocaccio DPS of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin to the point where they are again secure, self-sustaining members of their ecosystems and no longer need the protections of the ESA. The Plan provides background on the natural history of yelloweye rockfish and bocaccio, population trends, and the potential threats to their viability. The Plan lays out a recovery strategy to address the potential threats based on the best available science, identifies site-specific actions with time lines and costs, and includes recovery goals and criteria. NMFS concludes that the Plan meets the requirements of the ESA.

    The primary factors responsible for the decline of the DPSs of rockfishes were overutilization for commercial and recreational purposes, habitat degradation, water quality problems including low dissolved oxygen and elevated contaminant levels, and inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms to address bycatch (75 FR 22276, April 28, 2010). The Plan assesses these factors and other threats using the best available and commercial data, provides current information and conservation measures to assess, rank and prioritize, and provide guidance to address the threats. In some cases, more information is needed to understand the extent or if the threat is limiting recovery, and in those cases research to address these data gaps is outlined. This Plan contains both demographic and threats-based criteria for down- and delisting bocaccio and delisting criteria for yelloweye rockfish.

    The Plan is not regulatory, but presents guidance for use by agencies and interested parties to assist in the recovery of yelloweye rockfish and bocaccio. The Plan identifies substantive actions needed to achieve recovery by assessing the species' population abundance, distribution, and genetic changes over time and addressing the threats to the species. When determining recovery actions, the Plan prioritized actions that increase knowledge of the species themselves, threats ranked as high risk threats, and aims to improve understanding of whether a particular threat is limiting recovery and to eliminate or mitigate that threat, or to improve our understanding of, and ability to manage, that threat. The actions in the Plan include research, management, monitoring, and outreach efforts, because a comprehensive approach to yelloweye rockfish and bocaccio recovery is likely to have greater success than focusing on any one type of action. There are also actions targeted at incorporating new information and conducting regular reassessments, making this Plan an adaptive management plan.

    We expect the Plan to inform section 7 consultations with Federal agencies under the ESA and to support other ESA decisions, such as considering permits under section 10. We have already begun implementation of several actions as described in the plan, such partnering with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct remotely operated vehicle surveys to assess listed rockfish abundance, distribution, and habitat use. After public comment and the adoption of the Final Recovery Plan, we will continue to implement actions in the plan for which we have authority, work cooperatively on implementation of other actions, and encourage other Federal and state agencies to implement recovery actions for which they have responsibility and authority. There are several Appendices in the Plan intended to assist with implementation of actions to address specific threats.

    Because of the life histories of yelloweye rockfish and bocaccio, once populations are at a low level, recovery can require decades (Parker et al., 2000; Love et al., 2002). In particular, rockfish grow slowly, have a long life span and low natural mortality rates, mature late in life, often have sporadic reproductive success from year to year, may display high fidelity to specific habitats and locations, and require a diverse genetic and age structure to maintain healthy populations (Love et al., 2002). Recovery of yelloweye rockfish and bocaccio will require a long-term effort and will require cooperation and coordination of Federal, state, tribal and local government agencies, and the community.

    The total time and cost to recovery are difficult to predict with the current information. The Plan outlines recovery research and actions, priority numbers, and estimated rockfish recovery program cost over a 5-year period. Projections of which actions may continue beyond year 5 are provided, but there is uncertainty regarding how long recovery will take. Currently, we do not have reliable biomass information for yelloweye rockfish and bocaccio. As prioritized information is obtained on present and past biomass, as well as additional information to assess the impact on how some threats may limit recovery and how the threats can be effectively managed or mitigated, more robust time and expense projections can be developed.

    The cost of the approximately 45 actions recommended in this Plan for the first 5 years of recovery is approximately $23,360,000. Assuming that recovery takes one and a half generations (of yelloweye rockfish) or approximately 60 years, the total recovery costs over 60 years would be approximately $82,970,000. The annual cost of recovery is estimated to decrease substantially after the first 5 to 10 years, once the necessary baseline research and management actions are performed. There are numerous parallel efforts underway, independent from listed rockfish recovery, to protect and restore the Puget Sound ecosystem. Such efforts include oil-spill prevention measures, contaminated sediment clean-up projects, and other important projects. These efforts will provide benefits to listed rockfish and their habitats and prey base and are thus highlighted in the plan. However, the costs of these actions are not included in the total cost of listed rockfish recovery because they would occur independent of this Plan. Similarly, actions conducted to restore listed rockfish and their habitats will benefit other listed species that utilize the Puget Sound area, such as Puget Sound Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and may provide economic benefits. We are unable to quantify the economic benefits of listed rockfish recovery actions, but it is likely the benefits to the ecosystem and economy would offset the total recovery costs estimated in the Plan.

    NMFS requests and will consider all substantive comments and information presented during the public comment period as we finalize this Plan. Public meetings will be held to provide information about the Plan and to receive public comments. The meetings will be held at in Olympia (The Olympia Center, Room B, 222 Columbia St. NW., Olympia, WA) on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 7pm; in Friday Harbor (Brick Works, 150 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, WA) on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 7pm; in Anacortes (City Council Chambers, Anacortes City Hall, 904 6th St., Anacortes, WA) on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 7pm; and in Seattle (Seattle Aquarium, Puget Sound Hall, 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA) on Thursday October 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.

    References Cited

    The complete citations for the references used in this document can be obtained by contacting NMFS (See ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or on our Web page at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/rockfish/rockfish_in_puget_sound.html. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: August 9, 2016. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19459 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE805 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a one-day work session that is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, October 6, 2016, and end after business for the day is completed.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Building, Room 682, 1111 Washington St. SE., Olympia, WA 98501, (360) 902-2200.

    Council address: Pacific Council, 7700 NE. Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, Oregon 97220-1384.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Kelly Ames, Pacific Council, 503-820-2426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The primary purpose of the GMT work session is to discuss with the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program refinements to groundfish projection models for use in fishery management. The GMT's task will be to identify which models need improvements, outline the improvements necessary, and develop recommendations for consideration by the Pacific Council at its November meeting in Garden Grove, California. During the November meeting, the Council will determine which models are ready for review and recommend a review schedule. A detailed description on the process for revising and approving models is outlined in Council Operating Procedure 25. The GMT may also address other assignments relating to groundfish management. No management actions will be decided by the GMT.

    Although nonemergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may be discussed, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issues arising after publication of this document that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt, at (503) 820-2425, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 11, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19490 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE036 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Exempted Fishing Permit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces the receipt of an application for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from the Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman's Association (Association). If granted, the EFP would authorize the deployment of four fish trap designs at several sites in the Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) and the South Atlantic to determine the effectiveness of these gear types for attracting and collecting invasive lionfish and to obtain lionfish life-history information over a 1 year period. The EFP would also utilize an outreach and education program to inform the public about the status of lionfish as an invasive species, efforts to control the spread of the population, and utilization of lionfish as a consumer food source.

    DATES:

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

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the application by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Include in the subject line of the email comment the following document identifier: “Association Lionfish_EFP”.

    Mail: Susan Gerhart, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    The application and related documents are available for review upon written request to any of the above addresses.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Gerhart, 727-824-5305; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The EFP is requested under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and regulations at 50 CFR 600.745(b) concerning exempted fishing.

    Lionfish is an invasive species that occurs in both the Gulf and South Atlantic. The harvest of lionfish in the Federal waters of the Gulf and South Atlantic is not currently managed. The EFP request, however, involves the use of prohibited gear types. Federal regulations prohibit the use or possession of a fish trap in Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, except in certain fisheries with certain approved traps (50 CFR 622.2 and 622.9(c)). In Gulf Federal waters, crustacean traps are allowed for the commercial harvest of spiny lobster (50 CFR 622.2 and 622.405), and in South Atlantic Federal waters, black sea bass pots are allowed for the commercial harvest of black sea bass, golden crab traps are allowed for the commercial harvest of golden crab, and crustacean traps are allowed for the commercial harvest of spiny lobster (50 CFR 622.2, 622.198, 622.248, 622.249, and 622.405). The EFP would exempt this research activity from Federal regulations at 50 CFR 622.9(c).

    The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of different trap designs in capturing lionfish in the Gulf and South Atlantic with a goal of determining the performance of traps as part of a lionfish population control program. Additionally, the project would collect information on lionfish population distribution, density, and life-history information. The applicant also proposes to develop and utilize an outreach and education program to further increase awareness about the lionfish, its status as an invasive species, efforts to control the spread of the population, and utilization of lionfish as a consumer food source.

    The Association requests authorization to deploy four fish trap designs at reef sites in the Federal waters of the Gulf and South Atlantic to target lionfish. Fish trap deployment in the Gulf would be off west central Florida (Tampa, FL), in the South Atlantic off east central Florida (Ponce Inlet, FL) and South Carolina (Murrells Inlet, SC), and in the Florida Keys.

    As described in the application, the four fish trap designs to be tested are wood spiny lobster trap, wire basket spiny lobster trap, rectangular wire trap, and sea bass pot. All four designs would have biodegradable trap panels and modified funnels not to exceed 4 by 7 inches (10 by 18 cm). Current project plans would have 25 of each of the 4 trap types deployed on the seafloor in a combination resulting in 4 strings of 25 traps per string at each of the four locations twice per month during a 12-month period during the project. The depth of trap deployment is expected to be between 65 to 300 ft (20 to 91 m). Trap soak time will range from several hours to 2 weeks depending on trap type and location. Setting and hauling of the traps is expected to occur during daylight hours. Bait to be used in the traps would include live lionfish, cowhide strips, and/or female lionfish gonads. Sampling at each site would be limited to 100 days per year.

    Vessels to be used in the proposed study would be federally permitted commercial fishing vessels under contract to the Association. Vessel crew or observers onboard the contract vessels during the sampling trips would collect and record date and time of trap deployment and retrieval, location, water depth, and collect biological samples. Video images would also be used to assess the success of the trap designs as structures for attracting lionfish. A percentage of the lionfish catch would be retained for further biological sampling and analysis under the study, a percentage would be tagged and released, and a percentage would be retained to promote lionfish as a food source to the consumer. All other fish species caught in the traps would be released and returned to depth using decompression devices; only lionfish would be retained in the project.

    The applicant has requested the EFP be effective for a 1-year period from the date any EFP is issued.

    The applicant is still in the process of obtaining funding for this research. Therefore, further information regarding the specific locations for sampling, sampling methods and schedule, are not yet available. If, based on this additional information, the permit as granted is significantly different from the original application, NMFS may publish notification in the Federal Register describing the exempted fishing to be conducted under the EFP.

    NMFS finds this application warrants further consideration based on a preliminary review. Possible conditions the agency may impose on this permit, if they are granted, include but are not limited to, a prohibition of conducting research within marine protected areas, marine sanctuaries, special management zones, or artificial reefs without additional authorization. Additionally, NMFS may require special protections for species listed under the Endangered Species Act and their critical habitat. A final decision on issuance of the EFP will depend on NMFS' review of public comments received on the application, consultations with the appropriate fishery management agencies of the affected states, the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, and the U.S. Coast Guard, and a determination that they are consistent with all applicable laws.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 11, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19505 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE646 Conclusion of National Marine Fisheries Service International Trade Data System Tests Concerning the Electronic Submission of Certain Data Required for Fish Imports and Exports AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) previously announced tests under the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) concerning the electronic transmission of certain data for NMFS-regulated commodities through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and through the Automated Export System (AES). The tests included electronic data submission for imports (published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2015) and for exports (published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2016).

    During the imports test, entry filers were able to use the Automated Broker Interface (ABI) and the Document Image System (DIS) to transmit the NMFS Partner Government Agency (PGA) message data and forms required for NMFS to make admissibility determinations for entries subject to the monitoring programs for tunas, swordfish and toothfish, under the Highly Migratory Species International Trade Program (HMS), the Antarctic Marine Living Resources Trade Monitoring Program (AMR), and the Tuna Tacking and Verification Program (TTVP). During the exports test, exporters were able to use the Automated Export System (AES) and the DIS to transmit the NMFS PGA data and forms required for NMFS to collect required information on exports subject to these same trade monitoring programs.

    It has been determined that ACE and AES are capable of accepting NMFS-regulated electronic entries. NMFS regulations effective on September 20, 2016 (published on August 3, 2016) will require the use of ACE or AES, as applicable, for electronic filings of regulated imports or exports of fish products. Accordingly, CBP and NMFS announce that the NCAP tests are ending on September 20, 2016. All importers and exporters of fish products regulated by NMFS are encouraged to use ACE or AES, as applicable, for their electronic filings in advance of September 20, 2016, when such filings will become mandatory.

    DATES:

    The NMFS ACE and AES tests conclude on September 20, 2016. ACE entries and AES export declarations for NMFS-regulated products may be continued until the conclusion of the tests. For NMFS regulated fishery products, use of ACE and AES to file electronically is required beginning September 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions related to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), ABI transmissions, or AES, contact your assigned CBP client representative. Interested parties without an assigned client representative should direct their questions to Steven Zaccaro at [email protected] For PGA reporting related questions, contact Emi Wallace (CBP) at mailto:[email protected] and for NMFS program related questions contact Dale Jones (NMFS) at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background I. The National Customs Automation Program (NCAP)

    NCAP was established in Subtitle B of Title VI—Customs Modernization, in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2170, December 8, 1993) (Customs Modernization Act). See 19 U.S.C. 1411. Through NCAP, the initial thrust of customs modernization was on trade compliance and the development of ACE, the planned successor to the Automated Commercial System (ACS). ACE is an automated and electronic system for commercial trade processing which is intended to streamline business processes, facilitate growth in trade, ensure cargo security, and foster participation in global commerce, while ensuring compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and reducing costs for CBP and all of its communities of interest. The ability to meet these objectives depends on successfully modernizing CBP's business functions and the information technology that supports those functions.

    CBP's modernization efforts are accomplished through phased releases of ACE and AES component functionalities. Each release begins with a test and ends with mandatory use of the new ACE or AES features. Each release builds on previous releases and sets the foundation for subsequent releases. ABI and AES allow participants to electronically file required import and export data, respectively, with CBP and transfer that data into ACE.

    II. International Trade Data System

    The NMFS import and export tests were conducted in furtherance of the ITDS, which is statutorily authorized by section 405 of the Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006, Public Law 109-347. The purpose of ITDS, as set forth in section 405 of the SAFE Port Act of 2006, is to eliminate redundant information filing requirements, efficiently regulate the flow of commerce, and effectively enforce laws and regulations relating to international trade, by establishing a single portal system, operated by CBP, for the collection and distribution of standard electronic import and export data required by all participating Federal agencies.

    III. Conclusion of the NMFS PGA Message Set and DIS Tests

    Through this notice, CBP and NMFS announce that ACE and AES are capable of accepting required data and/or forms related to electronically filed entries of NMFS regulated commodities via the NMFS PGA Message Set (for imports), in AES Trade Interface Requirements (AESTIR) or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) X12, or in ACE AESDirect using an ACE portal, bulk upload or weblink (for exports) and the DIS. CBP encourages all importers of fish products regulated by NMFS to now use ACE or AES, as applicable, for their electronic filings. Making the transition to ACE and AES now will benefit the filing community when ACE and AES become the NMFS and CBP authorized EDI system for these filings as of September 20, 2016.

    IV. Transition to Use of ACE for Imports and Exports

    On February 29, 2016, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 10264) announcing that, starting on March 31, 2016, CBP would begin decommissioning the Automated Commercial System (ACS) for certain entry and entry summary filings, making ACE the sole CBP-authorized EDI system for processing those electronic filings. CBP explained that the PGA Message Set and DIS pilots would be concluded on a rolling basis and that, as each pilot was concluded, ACE would become the sole CBP-authorized EDI system for electronic entry and entry summary filings for merchandise subject to the specified PGA import requirements and that merchandise subject to the specified PGA import requirements would no longer be permitted in ACS. In the case of NMFS, no PGA data was previously collected via ACS, so ACE implementation for these commodities is an important step in the NMFS effort to collect import data electronically.

    Subsequently, CBP published a notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 32339, May 23, 2016) announcing that, effective July 23, 2016, CBP will decommission ACS for most entry and entry summary filings, making ACE the sole CBP-authorized EDI system for processing those electronic filings. As of July 23, 2016, electronic entry filings for NMFS-regulated fishery products were no longer accepted in ACS.

    With respect to exports and electronic filing within ITDS, the Bureau of the Census issued a proposed rule on March 9, 2016 (81 FR 12423) to amend regulations pertaining to export requirements. In that notice of proposed rulemaking, Census explained how the AES was being integrated into ACE consistent with the “single window” concept of ITDS, as required by the SAFE Port Act. Comments submitted on that proposed rule may be viewed in the rulemaking docket: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=USBC-2016-0001.

    VI. Process Changes

    Although CBP and NMFS are concluding the NCAP tests, importers and exporters are encouraged to continue filing in ACE or AES, as applicable, in advance of the September 20, 2016 transition date for mandatory ACE and AES filings as recently announced by NMFS.

    In December 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule that would require submission of the import and exports data and forms through ACE/AES. See 80 FR 81251 (December 29, 2015). For imports, these data elements and forms are set forth in the supplemental Customs and Trade Automated Interface Requirements (CATAIR) guidelines for NMFS. These specifications, including the CATAIR chapters can be found at the following link: http://www.cbp.gov/trade/ace/catair. For exports, the CBP Web page that contains the primary information on export requirements is: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/aes. Details on how to submit export data via AES are available at: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/aes/aestir/introduction-and-guidelines.

    NMFS published a final rule on August 3, 2016 (81 FR 51126) to require electronic entry and/or export filings in ACE/AES for fish and fish products subject to permitting, reporting and recordkeeping requirements under these three programs: Highly Migratory Species International Trade Program (HMS), Antarctic Marine Living Resources Trade Monitoring Program (AMR), and the Tuna Tacking and Verification Program (TTVP). Importers, exporters, shippers and customs brokers should note that the NMFS final rule, effective September 20, 2016, requires ACE or AES electronic filings for imports and exports, respectively, including the message set, International Fisheries Trade Permit (IFTP) check, and DIS submissions.

    For information regarding imports of fish products regulated by NMFS and the data elements, forms and documentation required by NMFS, importers and customs brokers should consult the ITDS implementation guidelines for NMFS at: https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/nmfs-pga-message-set-guidelines. For exports, the PGA record formats are listed at: https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/aestir-draft-appendix-q-pga-record-formats. The Appendix Q Record Layout Key provides details how each record should be structured: https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/appendix-q-record-layout-key.

    NMFS Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection will host two public webinar meetings on August 18, 2016 and September 1, 2016, 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Eastern, to inform interested stakeholders about this regulation and its implementation. Instructions on how to join the webinars are provided at the following internet link: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/slider_stories/2016/07/08022016_itds_final_rule.html.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. John Henderschedt, Director, Office for International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19458 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE668 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; National Standard 2—Scientific Information; Regional Peer Review Processes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of regional peer review processes.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is providing notice of the regional peer review processes established pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). This notice provides a summary of each regional peer review process which has been jointly established by the Secretary and the relevant regional fishery management council (Council) for review of scientific information used to advise the Council about the conservation and management of fisheries. It also directs the public to a Web page where detailed guidelines can be found for each peer review process. NMFS and the Councils may update those guidelines as necessary.

    DATES:

    Effective August 16, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Michaels by phone 301-427-8155, or by email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 301(a)(2) of the MSA specifies that fishery conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available. 16 U.S.C. 1851(a)(2). Section 302(g)(1)(E) of the MSA provides that the Secretary and each Council may establish a peer review process for that Council for scientific information used to advise the Council about the conservation and management of the fishery. 16 U.S.C. 1852(g)(1)(E). Section 301(b) of the MSA states that the Secretary [of Commerce] shall establish advisory guidelines (which shall not have the force and effect of law), based on national standards, to assist in the development of fishery management plans. 16 U.S.C. 1851(b). These national standards include National Standard 2 (NS2), which provides guidance on the best scientific information available (BSIA) standard, including guidance on standards for establishing a peer review process per MSA section 302(g)(1)(E). The NS2 guidelines appear at 50 CFR 600.315.

    The decision to establish a 302(g)(1)(E) peer review process is a joint decision made by the Secretary and a Council. If the Secretary and a Council establish such a process, it will be deemed to satisfy the requirements of the Information Quality Act (44 U.S.C. 3516), including the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (70 FR 2664, January 14, 2005). 16 U.S.C. 1852(g)(1)(E). Under the NS2 guidelines, the Secretary will announce the establishment of a peer review process under MSA 302(g)(1)(E), which may include existing committees or panels, in the Federal Register. See 50 CFR 600.315(b)(4). This notice fulfills that requirement and is an affirmation that the existing regional peer review processes jointly commissioned by the Secretary and Council are consistent with widely accepted peer review standards and the NS2 guidelines, including requirements for public transparency.

    The NS2 guidelines provide guidance and standards to establish a 302(g)(1)(E) review process and adopts many of the OMB Peer Review Bulletin standards. See 50 CFR 600.315(b). These standards emphasize the importance of expert qualifications; balance in knowledge and perspectives; lack of conflicts of interest; independence from the work being reviewed; and transparency of the peer review process. The NS2 guidelines specify that the degree of independence for a peer review may vary depending of the novelty, controversy, and complexity of the scientific information being reviewed. For reviews requiring a high degree of independence, the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) has often been used as an independent selection process for obtaining highly qualified experts to participate on review panels. Further information on CIE and NS2 is available at: https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/science-quality-assurance/index. The NS2 guidelines also provide guidance on participation in the peer review process by members of the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). This notice provides links to publicly available Web pages that set forth detailed guidelines for each 302(g)(1)(E) peer review process. The guidelines may be updated as necessary and appropriate to improve the review processes. Although not within the scope of this notice, there are other important processes, including peer review, that are used by NMFS to inform fishery conservation and management that are not jointly established by the Secretary and Council pursuant to section 302(g)(1)(E), such as peer reviews pertaining to scientific information supporting international fisheries management agreements.

    Description of Regional Peer Review Processes. Five regional peer review processes have been established jointly by the Secretary and Councils pursuant to MSA section 302(g)(1)(E); an overview of each is provided below.

    (1) Stock Assessment Workshop/Stock Assessment Review Committee (SAW/SARC)

    (i) Scope and objective. The Stock Assessment Workshop/Stock Assessment Review Committee (SAW/SARC) process has been jointly established by the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO), New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC), Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to conduct the peer review of scientific stock assessment information used for fishery management in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

    (ii) Background. The Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) is a formal scientific peer-review process for evaluating and presenting stock assessment results to managers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The SAW protocol is used to prepare and review assessments for fish and invertebrate stocks in the offshore U.S. waters of the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Assessments are prepared by SAW working groups (federally led assessments) or ASMFC technical assessment committees (state led assessments) and peer reviewed by an independent panel of stock assessment experts called the Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC) to determine the adequacy of benchmark stock assessments for providing a scientific basis for fisheries management. SARC panels are typically composed of a chair, who is selected from the New England or Mid-Atlantic Council's SSC, and experts selected by the CIE. Published SAW assessment reports reflect the written decisions and conclusions of the SARC panel regarding each of the assessment Terms of Reference (ToR). The SAW/SARC process is overseen by the Northeast Region Coordinating Council (NRCC). The NRCC includes high level representatives from the NEFSC, GARFO, MAFMC, NEFMC, and ASMFC. The NEFSC Science and Research Director and the NRCC are directly involved with assessment scheduling. Peer reviewed assessment results and reports from the SARC review panel are provided to the relevant Council's Technical Teams, and the SSC for use in making fishing level recommendations to the Councils.

    (iii) Terms of reference. Peer reviewer selection takes into consideration qualifications of experts, balance of perspective, conflict of interest, and independence. ToRs for stock assessments are developed by the NEFSC in consultation with NRCC members, and with final approval by the NRCC. Benchmark stock assessments undergo a higher degree of peer review than stock assessment updates and operational stock assessments. In benchmark assessments, it is acceptable to incorporate new data sources and assessment models and assumptions. Assessment updates and operational stock assessments are more limited in this respect. They generally incorporate additional years of data into the previously accepted benchmark assessment model, with few modifications to the model or model assumptions.

    (iv) Compliance with National Standard 2. The SAW/SARC process for conducting peer review of scientific information for fishery management is fully compliant with the NS2 guidelines.

    (v) Transparency. SAW working group meetings, as well as the SARC peer review meetings, are open to the public. Dates and locations of these meetings are posted on a public NEFSC Web page well in advance, and peer review meetings are also announced in the Federal Register, and at public Council meetings. SAW working papers are made available on a public NEFSC Web page before, during, and after the peer review. Names of reviewers are posted online and paper copies of reports are available during peer reviews. A public comment period is scheduled on the SARC review meeting agenda. When the peer review is completed, published proceedings and reviewer reports are posted on public NEFSC Web pages (http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/ and http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/) and public presentations are given to the Councils. A detailed description of the SAW/SARC peer review process is available to the public at: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/.

    (2) Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR)

    (i) Scope and objective. The Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process has been jointly established by the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), NMFS Southeast Regional Office (SERO), Southeast Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC), Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC), and Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) to conduct the peer review of scientific information used for fishery management in the U.S. Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean regions.

    (ii) Background. The SEDAR is overseen by the SEDAR Steering Committee, comprised of executive directors and chairs of the GMFMC, CFMC and SAFMC; executive directors of the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions; the SERO Administrator; and chaired by the director of the SEFSC. SEDAR seeks improvements in the quantity and scientific quality of stock assessments to address existing and emerging fishery management issues. SEDAR emphasizes transparency in the assessment review process, and a rigorous and independent scientific review of completed stock assessments. A SEDAR review is organized as three workshops: (1) A data workshop where datasets are documented, analyzed, and reviewed and data for conducting assessment analyses are compiled; (2) an assessment workshop where quantitative population analyses are developed and refined and population parameters are estimated; and (3) a review workshop where a panel of independent experts reviews the data and assessment and advises on whether the assessment is of sufficient quality for use in fisheries management.

    (iii) Terms of reference. The terms of reference for conducting a peer review within the SEDAR process are established before the peer review by the SEFSC with the SAFMC, GMFMC, or CFMC and their SSCs.

    (iv) Compliance with National Standard 2. The SEDAR process for conducting peer review of scientific information for fishery management is fully compliant with the NS2 guidelines.

    (v) Transparency. All SEDAR workshops are open to the public. Public testimony is accepted in accordance with the Council Statement of Organization Practices and Procedures (SOPP). Workshop times and locations are announced in advance through the Federal Register. All SEDAR reports are posted on the SEDAR Web site and are hyperlinked to the respective Council(s) and the NMFS SERO and SEFSC Web sites. The SEDAR Web page is at http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/. A detailed description of the SEDAR peer review process is publicly available at: http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/download/D2c_RW%20panelist%20instructions.pdf?id=DOCUMENT.

    (3) Stock Assessment Review (STAR)

    (i) Scope and objective. The Stock Assessment Review (STAR) process has been jointly established by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), and NMFS West Coast Region (WCR) to conduct the peer review of scientific information used for fishery management of Coastal Pelagic Species and Pacific Coast Groundfish in the Pacific region.

    (ii) Background. The STAR peer review process is primarily overseen by the PFMC's SSC and conducted in collaboration with the NWFSC and SWFSC. It is a transparent, rigorous and independent scientific peer review process designed to evaluate the technical merits of benchmark stock assessments and related scientific information. The STAR process allows the Council to make timely use of new fishery and survey data, ensure the stock assessments represent the best information for fishery management decisions and provide opportunity for public comment. STAR Panels are held early in the management process to ensure their recommendations are readily available for fishery management decision-making. The relevant SSC subcommittees typically review updated and data-moderate assessments, although STAR panels may be used as needed.

    (iii) Terms of reference. The ToR for the Groundfish and Coastal Pelagic Species Stock Assessment and Stock Assessment Review Process is updated by the PFMC in partnership with NMFS. The ToR describes the STAR process and includes an overview of the stock assessment prioritization process, STAR Panel goals and objectives, roles and responsibilities of STAR participants, as well as a calendar of events with a list of deliverables for final approval by the Council. The ToR is publicly available on the PFMC's Web site.

    (iv) Compliance with National Standard 2. The STAR process for conducting peer review of scientific information for fishery management is fully compliant with the NS2 guidelines.

    (v) Transparency. STAR panel review meetings are open to the public and background materials are publicly available. Public testimony is accepted in accordance with the PFMC's Statement of Organization Practices and Procedures (SOPP). STAR Panel meeting times and locations are announced in advance through the Federal Register. STAR panel review reports are posted on the Council's Web site. More detailed information about the STAR process can be found on the Council's Web site at: http://www.pcouncil.org and its ToRs can be found at http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/Stock_Assessment_ToR_2013-14_Final.pdf.

    (4) North Pacific Stock Assessment Review

    (i) Scope and objective. The North Pacific Stock Assessment Review (NPSAR) process has been jointly established by the NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), NMFS Alaska Regional Fisheries Office (AKRO), and North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) to conduct the peer review of scientific information used for fishery management in the North Pacific region. The NPFMC's SSC reviews are the main scientific analyses that come before the Council for action, including stock assessment and fishery evaluation (SAFE) documents. The NPFMC's SSC has a set of guidelines that it uses specifically when reviewing SAFE documents.

    (ii) Background. The AFSC is responsible for stock assessments for about 25 species or species groups listed in the groundfish fishery management plan (FMP) for the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and approximately 25 species or species groups in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands FMP. The State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) has responsibility for one groundfish stock assessment in the GOA FMP and all assessment responsibility for Scallops. The AFSC and ADFG share assessment responsibilities for the 10 species in the Bering Sea crab FMP. Scientific recommendations for these living marine resources are provided by the NPFMC with various management authorities delegated to the State of Alaska for crab and scallop fisheries. The SAFE report is compiled by the Plan Teams (which are scientific review bodies specific to each FMP) with contributions that include individual stock assessment, economic, and ecosystem chapters from AFSC and ADFG. The SAFE is disseminated by the NPFMC and describes the condition and current status of these resources in addition to information that summarizes the ecosystem and economic status. The stock assessment, economic, and ecosystem chapters are subject to internal review before dissemination to the FMP Plan Teams and the Council's SSC. The information is provided to the NPFMC and ADFG to be used as the basis of their management decisions, which are subsequently approved by NMFS.

    The stock assessment process begins with an annual memo from the AFSC stock assessment supervisors to staff outlining the dates for completion of the stock assessment chapters for internal review and the list of internal reviewers for each assessment. Stock assessments authored by ADFG follow a similar process. After review and revision, the draft stock assessment chapters are released for pre-dissemination review by the NPFMC Plan Team. The Plan Teams review stock assessments and associated ecosystem and economic appendices, compile the SAFE reports and make recommendations to the SSC. The SSC reviews the SAFEs and the Plan Team recommendations and sets the fishing level recommendations for each stock. The members of the NPFMC SSC represent broad areas of scientific expertise to encompass the full range of expertise required to review analyses that come to the Council to aid in decision-making. SSC members are nominated by individuals or agencies and are appointed and re-appointed annually by the NPFMC. Review assignments are made by the SSC chair to ensure that members are not assigned to review work products of individuals in their chain of command. In addition to the normal schedule of assessment updates and reviews, a separate review schedule involving the CIE is maintained, with the goal of obtaining a CIE review of all stock assessments once every five years.

    (iii) Terms of reference. The ToRs for conducting a peer review within the NPSAR process is established before the peer review by the AFSC in conjunction with the NPFMC.

    (iv) Compliance with National Standard 2. The NPSAR process for conducting peer review of scientific information for fishery management is fully compliant with the NS2 guidelines.

    (v) Transparency. SAFE documents are made available to the Plan Team two weeks prior to the Plan Team meeting in which they are to be reviewed. The public is also given public access to these documents and are allowed to attend Plan Team and SSC meetings. Notification of Plan Team meetings is provided in the Federal Register. Similarly, all documents reviewed by the SSC are made available to the public. This includes SAFE documents and Plan Team reports provided to the SSC in advance of the meeting in which the SSC makes ABC/OFL recommendations. The SSC publicly presents the findings of its report to the NPFMC at its meeting. When the SSC is making ABC/OFL recommendations for groundfish, the SSC report also characterizes the nature of any public testimony provided to the SSC at its meeting. The final SAFE is also published on the NPFMC Web page. More detailed information for the North Pacific Stock Assessment Review process is publicly available at: http://www.npfmc.org/wp-content/PDFdocuments/resources/SAFE/AFSCsafeReviewProcess.pdf.

    (5) Western Pacific Stock Assessment Review (WPSAR)

    (i) Scope and objective. The Western Pacific Stock Assessment Review (WPSAR) process has been jointly established by the NMFS Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Fisheries Office (PIRO), and Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (WPFMC) to conduct the peer review of scientific information used for fishery management in the Pacific Islands Region.

    (ii) Background. The WPSAR process was established to improve the quality and reliability of stock assessments for fishery resources in the Pacific Islands region. The process provides for rigorous and independent scientific review of stock assessments, and encourages constituent/stakeholder participation in stock assessment reviews. A five-year planning horizon is adopted to facilitate the timely execution of critical data collection activities, population dynamics model development, and stock evaluation exercises. The WPFMC, PIFSC and PIRO share the fiscal and logistical responsibilities of the WPSAR process. The WPFMC sponsors the review process, and PIFSC, PIRO and WPFMC staff coordinate and facilitate the review process in the Coordinating Committee. Specifically, the Coordinating Committee consults with the WPSAR Steering Committee, which is comprised of WPFMC, PIFSC, PIRO leadership, to develop the WPSAR schedule, prepare terms of reference, convene the review panels, and any other duties deemed pertinent by the Steering Committee. The WPSAR process adopts a three tier approach for the review and acceptance of stock assessment research products. The tiers differ in form, timing, scope, and panel membership, commensurate with the novelty and complexity of the information under review. Under Tier 1, CIE reviewers conduct independent peer reviews of new stock assessment methodologies and, in special circumstances, international stock assessments in accordance with the specified terms of reference. The application of new methodologies and benchmark assessments fall under Tier 2 which utilizes panel independent subject matter experts. Tier 3 is used for assessment updates, where only new data are added to an existing and approved assessment.

    The Coordinating Committee, in consultation with the WPSAR Steering Committee, identifies and selects expert panel members. The selected panel reviews the products in accordance with the associated terms of reference. A standing member of the Council's SSC will chair each WPSAR Tier 2 Review Panel and provide a summary report. Each individual reviewer produces and provides a report regarding their unique findings.

    (iii) Terms of reference. The terms of reference are developed before each review, and identify the specific assessment parameters to be addressed during that review.

    (iv) Compliance with National Standard 2. The WPSAR process for conducting peer review of scientific information for fishery management is fully compliant with the NS2 guidelines.

    Tier 1 reviews will be conducted by the CIE, in accordance with CIE protocols (http://ciereviews.org/). For Tier 2 reviews, the panel will consist of three to five experts, the exact size determined by the WPSAR Coordinators and approved by the Steering Committee. The Tier 2 Review's Chair will be a standing member of the Council's SSC, and appointed by the Steering Committee. In addition, all reviewers must meet qualifications required for the peer review. The independent reviewers can come from the CIE, academia, or be nominated by the public. Reviewers will be selected in accordance with NS2 peer reviewer selection guidelines (50 CFR 600.315(b)(2) and (c)(2)), and in accordance NOAA's Conflict of Interest Policy. Like a Tier 2 panel, Tier 3 panels will consist of three to five experts, the exact size determined by the WPSAR Coordinators and approved by the Steering Committee. Under Tier 3 only, the Steering Committee may unanimously agree to a WPRFMC SSC/PIFSC-only review.

    (v) Transparency. All meetings are open to the public, and will be announced in the Federal Register with a minimum of 14 days before a review. More detailed information for the WPSAR process is publicly available at http://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/peer_reviews/wpsar/index.php.

    Other peer review processes. In addition to the peer review processes described above, NMFS uses other important peer review processes to ensure the use of the BSIA for fishery management decisions. While these processes provide critical peer review of scientific information, NMFS is not identifying them as jointly established peer review processes for purposes of MSA section 302(g)(1)(E). Many of these other peer review processes are used in connection with transboundary and/or internationally-managed species under legal authorities other than the MSA. Examples include Atlantic tuna and tuna-like species managed pursuant to the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna; tropical Pacific tuna managed by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission; Atlantic and Pacific salmon and Pacific hake/whiting, all managed in conjunction with Canada. Lack of inclusion on the list of MSA § 302(g)(1)(E) peer review processes does not in any way diminish the integrity of those peer review processes or NMFS' confidence in and reliance on them for review of scientific information.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Ned Cyr, Director, Office of Science and Technology, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19522 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2016-0024] Changes in Accelerated Examination Practice AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In 2006, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) introduced the accelerated examination program to permit an application to be advanced out of turn if the applicant files a grantable petition under the program. Since its institution, the patent landscape has witnessed numerous legal changes such as the America Invents Act (AIA), the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act (PLTIA) implementing the provisions of the Patent Law Treaty (PLT), and the USPTO's adoption of the Cooperative Patent Classification system (CPC) along with changes to USPTO systems. Accordingly, the Office is updating the accelerated examination program to reflect these changes in the law and examination practice.

    DATES:

    Effective on August 16, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pinchus M. Laufer, Senior Legal Advisor ((571) 272 7726) or Matthew Sked, Legal Advisor ((571) 272-7627), Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Purpose of the Notice

    The USPTO published a notice in June 2006 (2006 AE Notice) to implement the accelerated examination program under which an application will be advanced out of turn for examination if the applicant files a petition to make special with the appropriate showing. See Changes in Practice for Petitions in Patent Applications To Make Special and for Accelerated Examination, 71 FR 36323 (June 26, 2006). This showing requires the applicant to meet several conditions, including conducting a pre-examination search, providing an accelerated examination support document (AESD), and requiring the application be complete under 37 CFR 1.51 at the time of filing. In light of recent changes in the law such as the America Invents Act (AIA), Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act (PLTIA) to implement the provisions of the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) and the conversion to the Cooperative Patent Classification system (CPC), some of the requirements and practices of the program reflected in the 2006 AE Notice are no longer appropriate. Therefore, the program is being updated to account for these changes. The full updated accelerated examination guidelines may be found on the accelerated examination Web page (http://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/accelerated-examination) and in a forthcoming update to the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). In particular, the changes are explained beginning at Section I.A of this notice. Subsequent to the implementation of the AE program in 2006, the Office implemented the prioritized examination program (referred to as “Track I”) provided for in the AIA in a final rule published on September 23, 2011. See Changes to Implement the Prioritized Examination Track (Track I) of the Enhanced Examination Timing Control Procedures under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, 76 FR 59050 (September 23, 2011). Since implementation of Track I in 2011, the USPTO has received fewer than 200 AE requests annually. In view of the relatively low usage of the AE program, the USPTO plans to publish a request for comments in the Federal Register to seek public input on whether there is value in retaining the AE program in view of the more popular Track I program.

    A. Pre-Examination Search

    The 2006 AE Notice requires that the pre-examination search include a classification search of the United States Patent Classification system (USPC) by class and subclass. 71 FR at 36324. However, the USPTO has since harmonized its classification system for utility applications with Europe to create a common classification scheme known as the CPC. Therefore, a classified search of U.S. patents and published patent applications would need to include the relevant group(s)/subgroup(s) of the CPC rather than the class(es)/subclass(es) of the USPC. Applicants should consult with the USPTO's classification resources to determine the relevant group(s)/subgroup(s) of the CPC to consider. The classification resources may be found in Chapter 900 of the MPEP (http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/0900.htm) and the Office of Patent Classification Home Page (http://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/patent-search/classification-standards-and-development). It is noted that a pre-examination search regarding a design application should continue to use the USPC because the CPC only applies to utility applications.

    B. Accelerated Examination Support Document

    The accelerated examination support document (AESD) was previously required to contain an indication of whether any cited references may be disqualified as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as amended by the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act (Pub. L. 108-453, 118 Stat. 3596 (2004)). 71 FR at 36325. In 2011, the AIA was enacted, which amended 35 U.S.C. 103 to remove subsection (c). Instead, applicants enjoy a common ownership and obligation of assignment exception to prior art under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C). Therefore, an application that is subject to examination under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 would need to, instead, include an indication in the AESD whether any of the cited prior art may be disqualified as prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C). Applications that are subject to examination under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 would need to continue to indicate whether any of the cited references are disqualified as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c). Applicants should consult MPEP 2159 in ascertaining whether the application is subject to examination under pre-AIA or AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103. Applicants are reminded, that if the application is filed on or after March 16, 2013, and claims the benefit of or priority to an application where the filing date of a foreign, U.S. provisional, U.S. nonprovisional, or international application is prior to March 16, 2013, it is necessary for the applicant to specify whether pre-AIA or AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 applies.

    It is noted that further minor changes have been made to the 2006 AE Notice to reflect changes made by the AIA such as the citation change of 35 U.S.C. 112(a) and (f) and the appeal board's designation as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

    C. Reply by Applicant

    The 2006 AE Notice provides shortened statutory periods of one month or thirty days, whichever is longer, without extensions under 37 CFR 1.136(a). 71 FR at 36325, 36327. This provision of the 2006 AE Notice was updated in 2013, when the Office issued a final rule to implement the PLT stating: “The Office is revising the Accelerated Examination program to provide that Office actions (other than a notice of allowance) will set a shortened statutory period for reply of at least two months. In addition, extensions of this shortened statutory period under 37 CFR 1.136(a) will be permitted, but filing a petition for an extension of time will result in the application being taken out of the Accelerated Examination program.” Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62368, 62373 (Oct. 21, 2013).

    D. Complete Application Upon Filing

    In listing the conditions that must be met at the time of filing, the 2006 AE Notice states that no petition under 37 CFR 1.47 for a non-signing inventor may be present. 71 FR at 36327. However, in implementing the AIA, 37 CFR 1.47 was removed and 37 CFR 1.46 was amended to allow an assignee, an obligated assignee, or a person who otherwise shows sufficient proprietary interest in the matter to make an application for patent. Included among the amendments to 37 CFR 1.46 is a provision in 37 CFR 1.46(b)(2) that requires a petition in order to designate a person with sufficient proprietary interest as the applicant. Thus, the conditions for participation in the AE are hereby revised to preclude any petition under 37 CFR 1.46(b)(2) to designate a person with sufficient proprietary interest as the applicant. In fact, applicant should refrain from filing any petition that would delay the processing of the application including a petition under 37 CFR 1.78 to accept a delayed benefit claim.

    Additionally, the 2006 AE Notice states that a foreign priority claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d) should be identified in the executed oath or declaration or an application data sheet (if applicable). 71 FR at 36326. Further, the 2006 AE notice also states that any domestic benefit claim must be in the first sentence of the specification or in an application data sheet. 71 FR at 36326. However, after the AIA, current rules require all domestic benefit and foreign priority claims to be made in the application data sheet (except for foreign priority claim in a national stage application under 35 U.S.C. 371) (see 37 CFR 1.55 and 1.78). Therefore, any priority claim would need to be made in an application data sheet under 37 CFR 1.76.

    Finally, the 2006 AE Notice requires the applicant to file using the USPTO's electronic filing system (EFS) or EFS-Web. The USPTO's original electronic filing system (EFS) was discontinued. Therefore, applicants will need to file their accelerated examination applications through EFS-Web.

    It is noted that an executed oath or declaration is no longer a condition for examination after the AIA. However, it is a requirement under 37 CFR 1.51 and will need to be present upon filing for entry in the program. A missing oath or declaration will not result in a notice to file missing parts when the application is reviewed by the Office of Patent Application Processing (OPAP). Nonetheless, the presence of the oath or declaration in compliance with 37 CFR 1.63 or substitute statement in compliance with 37 CFR 1.64 will subsequently be reviewed in the Technology Centers by the Quality Assurance Specialist (QAS) office. Failure to have a compliant oath, declaration, or substitute statement upon filing will prevent the application from being accorded special status.

    II. Changes to the 2006 AE Notice

    As detailed above, the 2006 AE Notice has been modified to reflect changes in law and examination practice. The changes are set out below as paragraphs that replace paragraphs in the original notice.

    The changes in Part I are as follows:

    71 FR at 36324, col. 2, fifth paragraph (“(3) . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    (3) The application, petition, and required fees must be filed electronically using the USPTO's electronic filing system (EFS-Web). If the USPTO's EFS-Web is not available to the public during the normal business hours for the system at the time of filing the application, applicant may file the application, other papers, and fees by mail accompanied by a statement that EFS-Web was not available during the normal business hours, but the final disposition of the application may occur later than twelve months from the filing of the application. See Part VIII (subsection The Twelve-Month Goal) for more information.

    71 FR at 36324, col. 3, fourth paragraph (“(8) . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    (8) At the time of filing, applicant must provide a statement that a preexamination search was conducted, including an identification of the field of search (i.e., group/subgroup of the CPC for utility applications and class/subclass of the USPC for design applications) and the date of the search, where applicable, and for database searches, the search logic or chemical structure or sequence used as a query, the name of the file or files searched and the database service, and the date of the search.

    71 FR at 36325, col. 1-2, ninth paragraph (“(E) . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    (E) The accelerated examination support document must include a showing of where each limitation of the claims finds support under 35 U.S.C. 112(a) in the written description of the specification. If applicable, the showing must also identify: (1) Each means- (or step-) plus-function claim element that invokes consideration under 35 U.S.C. 112(f); and (2) the structure, material, or acts in the specification that correspond to each means- (or step-) plus-function claim element that invokes consideration under 35 U.S.C. 112(f). If the application claims the benefit of one or more applications under title 35, United States Code, the showing must also include where each limitation of the claims finds support under 35 U.S.C. 112(a) in each such application in which such support exists.

    71 FR at 36325, col. 2, first paragraph (“(F) . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    (F)(1) For an application that is subject to examination under the pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103: The accelerated examination support document must identify any cited references that may be disqualified as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 103(c) as amended by the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act (Pub. L. 108-453, 118 Stat. 3596 (2004)).

    (F)(2) For an application that is subject to examination under AIA 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103: The accelerated examination support document must identify any cited references that may be disqualified as prior art under 35 U.S.C. 102(b)(2)(C).

    The changes in Part III are as follows:

    71 FR at 36325, col. 3, second paragraph (“If an . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    If an Office action other than a notice of allowance is mailed, the Office action will set a shortened statutory period of two (2) months. Extensions of time under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.136(a) will be permitted, but will result in the application being taken out of the program. Failure to timely file a reply will result in abandonment of the application. See Parts V and VI for more information on post-allowance and after-final procedures.

    The changes in Part VI are as follows:

    71 FR at 36326, col. 1-2, third paragraph (“After-Final and Appeal Procedures”) is replaced with the following:

    After-Final and Appeal Procedures: The mailing of a final Office action or the filing of a notice of appeal, whichever is earlier, is the final disposition for purposes of the twelve-month goal for the program. Prior to the mailing of a final Office action, the USPTO will conduct a conference to review the rejections set forth in the final Office action (i.e., the type of conference conducted in an application on appeal when the applicant requests a pre-appeal brief conference). In order for the application to be expeditiously forwarded to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) for a decision, applicant must: (1) Promptly file the notice of appeal, appeal brief, and appeal fees; and (2) not request a pre-appeal brief conference. A pre-appeal brief conference would not be of value in an application under a final Office action because the examiner will have already conducted such a conference prior to mailing the final Office action. During the appeal process, the application will be treated in accordance with the normal appeal procedures. The USPTO will continue to treat the application special under the accelerated examination program after the decision by the PTAB.

    The changes in Part VIII are as follows:

    71 FR at 36326, col. 3, ninth paragraph (“(G) . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    (G) Electronic submissions of sequence listings in compliance with 37 CFR 1.821(c) or (e), large tables, or computer listings in compliance with 37 CFR 1.96, submitted via the USPTO's electronic filing system (EFS-Web) in ASCII text as part of an associated file (if applicable);

    71 FR at 36326, col. 3, tenth paragraph (“(H) . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    (H) Foreign priority claim under 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d) identified in the application data sheet (if applicable);

    71 FR at 36326-27, col. 3, eleventh paragraph (“(I) . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    (I) Domestic benefit claims under 35 U.S.C. 119(e), 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) in compliance with 37 CFR 1.78 (e.g., the specific reference to the prior application must be submitted in an application data sheet, and for any benefit claim to a non-English language provisional application, the application must include a statement that: (a) An English language translation, and (b) a statement that the translation is accurate, have been filed in the provisional application) (if applicable);

    71 FR at 36327, col. 1, third paragraph (“(L) . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    (L) No petition under 37 CFR 1.46(b)(2) to designate a person with sufficient proprietary interest as the applicant.

    71 FR at 36327, col. 1, fifth paragraph (“Applicant should . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    Applicant should also provide a suggested classification (i.e., group/subgroup of the Cooperative Patent Classification for utility applications or class/subclass of the U.S. Patent Classification for design applications) for the application on the transmittal letter, petition, or an application data sheet as set forth in 37 CFR 1.76(b)(3) so that the application can be expeditiously processed.

    71 FR at 36327, col. 1, sixth paragraph (“The petition . . .”) is replaced with the following:

    The petition to make special will be dismissed if the application omits an item or includes a paper that causes the Office of Patent Application Processing (OPAP) to mail a notice during the formality review (e.g., a notice of incomplete application, notice to file missing parts, notice to file corrected application papers, notice of omitted items, or notice of informal application). The opportunity to perfect a petition (Part II) does not apply to applications that are not in condition for examination on filing.

    71 FR at 36327, col. 1, seventh paragraph (“Reply Not . . .”) is replaced with following:

    Reply Not Fully Responsive: If a reply to a non-final Office action is not fully responsive, but a bona fide attempt to advance the application to final action, the examiner may provide two (2) months for applicant to supply the omission or a fully responsive reply. Extensions of time under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.136(a) are permitted, but will result in the application being taken out of the program. Failure to timely file the omission or a fully responsive reply will result in abandonment of the application.

    If the reply is not a bona fide attempt, no additional time period will be given. The time period set forth in the previous Office action will continue to run.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19527 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Secretary of Energy Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces an open meeting of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). SEAB was reestablished pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) (the Act). This notice is provided in accordance with the Act.

    DATES:

    September 22, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Room 1E-245, Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Gibson, Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Board was established to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on the Department's basic and applied research, economic and national security policy, educational issues, operational issues, and other activities as directed by the Secretary.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This meeting is the quarterly meeting of the Board.

    Tentative Agenda: The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. on September 22nd. The tentative meeting agenda includes: Updates from SEAB's task forces, approval of SEAB reports, informational briefings, and an opportunity for comments from the public. The meeting will conclude at 12:30 p.m. Agenda updates will be posted on the SEAB Web site prior to the meeting: www.energy.gov/seab.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Individuals who would like to attend must RSVP to Karen Gibson no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at [email protected] Please provide your name, organization, citizenship, and contact information. Anyone attending the meeting will be required to present government issued identification. Please note that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined that regular driver's licenses (and ID cards) from the following jurisdictions are not acceptable: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington. Acceptable alternate forms of Photo-ID include:

    • U.S. Passport or Passport Card • An Enhanced Driver's License or Enhanced ID-Card issued by the states of Minnesota, New York or Washington (Enhanced licenses issued by these states are clearly marked Enhanced or Enhanced Driver's License) • A military ID or other government issued Photo-ID card

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions may do so during the meeting. Approximately 30 minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but will not exceed 5 minutes. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Those wishing to speak should register to do so beginning at 8:15 a.m. on September 22nd.

    Those not able to attend the meeting or who have insufficient time to address the committee are invited to send a written statement to Karen Gibson, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, email to [email protected]

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available on the SEAB Web site or by contacting Ms. Gibson. She may be reached at the postal address or email address above, or by visiting SEAB's Web site at www.energy.gov/seab.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 10, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19495 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of open teleconference.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a teleconference call of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463; 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, September 22, 2016 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EDT). To receive the call-in number and passcode, please contact the Board's Designated Federal Officer at the address or phone number listed below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Li, Policy Advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585. Phone number 202-287-5718, and email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: To make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy regarding goals and objectives, programmatic and administrative policies, and to otherwise carry out the Board's responsibilities as designated in the State Energy Efficiency Programs Improvement Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-440).

    Tentative Agenda: Receive STEAB Task Force updates on action items and revised objectives for FY 2016, discuss follow-up opportunities and engagement with EERE and other DOE staff as needed to keep Task Force work moving forward, continue engagement with DOE, EERE and EPSA staff regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and initiatives, and receive updates on member activities within their states. Discuss plans for transition document.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Members of the public who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Michael Li at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests to make oral comments must be received five days prior to the meeting; reasonable provision will be made to include requested topic(s) on the agenda. The Chair of the Board is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available for public review and copying within 60 days on the STEAB Web site at: http://www.energy.gov/eere/steab/state-energy-advisory-board.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 10, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19496 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ADDRESSES:

    Holiday Inn Capital, 550 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christine Chalk, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research; SC-21/Germantown Building; U. S. Department of Energy; 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone (301) 903-7486.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Committee: To provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Office of Science and to the Department of Energy on scientific priorities within the field of advanced scientific computing research.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This meeting is the semi-annual meeting of the Committee.

    Tentative Agenda Topics • View from Germantown • New Charge—Laboratory Directed Research and Development • Exascale update • X-stack Principal Investigator Meeting • Summary of workshop on Management, Analysis and Visualization of Experimental and Observational Data • Technical presentations • Public Comment (10-minute rule) The meeting agenda includes a new charge for the committee to review the Laboratory Director Research and Development efforts at the National Labs; an update on the budget, accomplishments and planned activities of the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program; an update on exascale computing research activities; information on recent workshops exploring the management, analysis and visualization of experimental and observational data; a technical presentation from an exascale researcher; and an opportunity for comments from the public. The meeting will conclude at noon on September 21, 2015. Agenda updates and presentations will be posted on the ASCAC Web site prior to the meeting: http://science.energy.gov/ascr/ascac/.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions may do so during the meeting. Approximately 30 minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but will not exceed 10 minutes. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business.

    Those wishing to speak should submit your request at least five days before the meeting. Those not able to attend the meeting or who have insufficient time to address the committee are invited to send a written statement to Christine Chalk, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC 20585, email to [email protected]

    Minutes: The minutes of this meeting will be available within 90 days on the Advanced Scientific Computing Web site at http://science.energy.gov/ascr/ascac/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 9, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19426 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open teleconference.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and summary agenda for a conference call of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and describes the functions of the Council. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    September 1, 2016, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    To receive the call-in information, attendees should register for the conference call on the PCAST Web site, http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast no later than 1:00 p.m. (ET), Monday, August 29, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information regarding the meeting agenda, time, location, and how to register for the meeting is available on the PCAST Web site at: http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast. Questions about the meeting should be directed to Ms. Jennifer Michael at [email protected], (202) 456-4444.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the nation's leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House, cabinet departments, and other Federal agencies. See the Executive Order at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast. PCAST is consulted about and provides analyses and recommendations concerning a wide range of issues where understandings from the domains of science, technology, and innovation may bear on the policy choices before the President. PCAST is co-chaired by Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, The White House; and Dr. Eric S. Lander, President, Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.

    Type of Meeting: Open.

    Proposed Schedule and Agenda: The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is scheduled to hold a public conference call on September 1, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Open Portion of Meeting: During this open meeting, PCAST is scheduled to vote on its biodefense and forensics studies. Additional information and the agenda, including any changes that arise, will be posted at the PCAST Web site at: http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast.

    Public Comments: It is the policy of the PCAST to accept written public comments of any length, and to accommodate oral public comments whenever possible. The PCAST expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted oral or written statements.

    The public comment period for this meeting will take place on September 1, 2016 at a time specified in the meeting agenda posted on the PCAST Web site at http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast. This public comment period is designed only for substantive commentary on PCAST's work, not for business marketing purposes.

    Oral Comments: To be considered for the public speaker list at the meeting, interested parties should register to speak at http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast, no later than 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 29, 2016. Phone or email reservations will not be accepted. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two (2) minutes per person, with a total public comment period of up to 10 minutes. If more speakers register than there is space available on the agenda, PCAST will randomly select speakers from among those who applied. Those not selected to present oral comments may always file written comments with the committee.

    Written Comments: Although written comments are accepted continuously, written comments should be submitted to PCAST no later than 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on August 29, 2016, so that the comments may be made available to the PCAST members prior to this meeting for their consideration. Information regarding how to submit comments and documents to PCAST is available at http://whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast in the section entitled “Connect with PCAST.”

    Please note that because PCAST operates under the provisions of FACA, all public comments and/or presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including being posted on the PCAST Web site.

    Meeting Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodation to access this public meeting should contact Ms. Jennifer Michael at least ten business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 11, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19499 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board Chairs AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB) Chairs. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, August 31, 2016 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Thursday, September 1, 2016 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Las Vegas Marriott, 325 Convention Center Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Borak, Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; Phone: (202) 586-9928.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda Topics Wednesday, August 31, 2016 ○ EM Program Update ○ EM SSAB Chairs' Round Robin ○ Waste Disposition Thursday, September 1, 2016 ○ DOE Headquarters News and Views ○ Budget and Strategic Communications ○ Board Business

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB Chairs welcome the attendance of the public at their advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact David Borak at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed either before or after the meeting with the Designated Federal Officer, David Borak, at the address or telephone listed above. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should also contact David Borak. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comment will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling David Borak at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.em.doe.gov/stakepages/ssabchairs.aspx.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 9, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19425 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Portsmouth AGENCY:

    Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Portsmouth. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, September 8, 2016, 6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Ohio State University, Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio 45661.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Greg Simonton, Alternate Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office, Post Office Box 700, Piketon, Ohio 45661, (740) 897-3737, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda • Call to Order, Introductions, Review of Agenda • Approval of May Minutes • Deputy Designated Federal Officer's Comments • Federal Coordinator's Comments • Liaison's Comments • Presentation • Administrative Issues ○ Draft Recommendation 16-02: Priorities for the President's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request Public Comments on Recommendation Board Comments on Recommendation ○ Update on Annual Executive Planning and Leadership Training Session • EM SSAB Chairs Meeting Update • Election of Chair and Vice Chair • Adoption of Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan • Subcommittee Updates • Public Comments • Final Comments from the Board • Adjourn

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. The EM SSAB, Portsmouth, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Greg Simonton at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Greg Simonton at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Greg Simonton at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.ports-ssab.energy.gov/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 9, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19423 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR16-12-000] Grand Mesa Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Amended Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on August 9, 2016, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2)(2015), Grand Mesa Pipeline, LLC (Grand Mesa), a subsidiary of NGL Energy Partners LP, filed an amended petition for a declaratory order to provide greater shipper flexibility and make further changes, all as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of 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 5 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: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on August 22, 2016.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19471 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-103-000] Panda Patriot LLC; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective Date

    On August 10, 2016, the Commission issued an order in Docket No. EL16-103-000, pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824e (2012), instituting an investigation into the justness and reasonableness of the Panda Patriot LLC's Reactive Service rates. Panda Patriot LLC, 156 FERC ¶ 61,103 (2016).

    The refund effective date in Docket No. EL16-103-000, established pursuant to section 206(b) of the FPA, will be the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Any interested person desiring to be heard in Docket No. EL16-103-000 must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate, with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.214, within 21 days of the date of issuance of the order.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19470 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RD16-8-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725I); Comment Request; Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, COE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the information collection, FERC-725I (Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Northeast Power Coordinating Council) which will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a review of the information collection requirements.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection of information are due October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. RD16-8-000) by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-725I, Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Northeast Power Coordinating Council.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0258.

    Type of Request: Three-year approval of the FERC-725I information collection requirements, as modified.

    Abstract: On June 9, 2016, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Northeast Power Coordination Council, Inc. (“NPCC”) filed a petition for Commission approval, pursuant to section 215(d)(1) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) 1 and Section 39.5 2 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's regulations, of the retirement of NPCC Regional Reliability Standard PRC-002-NPCC-01 (Disturbance Monitoring) and the two related NPCC regional definitions, Current Zero Time and Generating Plant.

    1 16 U.S.C. 824o (2012).

    2 18 CFR 39.5 (2015).

    Type of Respondents: Public utilities.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:3 The Commission estimates the reduction (due to the retirement of Reliability Standard PRC-002-NPCC-01) in the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as follows:

    3 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    Information collection requirements Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average
  • burden
  • (hours)
  • Total annual burden
  • (hours)
  • (1) (2) (1)*(2)=(3) (4) (3)*(4)=(5) R13: GO 4 and TO to have evidence it acquired and installed dynamic disturbance recorders and a mutually agreed upon implementation schedule with the RC (record retention) 1 1 1 10 10 R14.5: GO and TO to have evidence of a maintenance and testing program for stand-alone disturbance monitoring equipment including monthly verification of active analog quantities 169 12 2028 5 10,140 R14.7: GO and TO to record efforts to return failed units to service if it takes longer than 90 days 5 33 1 33 10 330 R14.7: GO and TO record retention 33 1 33 10 330 R17: RC provide certain disturbance monitoring equipment data to the Regional Entity upon request 5 1 5 5 25 R17: RC record retention 5 1 5 10 50 Total Reductions 2,105 10,885 4 For purposes of these charts, generation owner is abbreviated to GO, transmission owner is abbreviated to TO, reliability coordinator is abbreviated to RC, and planning coordinator is abbreviated to PC. 5 We estimate that an entity will experience a unit failure greater than 90 days once every five years. Therefore, 20 percent of NPCC's 169 generator owners and transmission owners will experience a unit failure of this duration each year.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19474 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 3452-016] Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process

    a. Type of Application: Notice of Intent To File License Application and Request To Use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    b. Project No.: P-3452-016.

    c. Date filed: June 28, 2016.

    d. Submitted by: Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P.

    e. Name of Project: Oak Orchard Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: on the New York State Barge Canal and Oak Orchard Creek in the village of Medina in the town of Ridgeway, Orleans County, New York. No federal lands are occupied by the project works or located within the project boundary.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 5.3 of the Commission's regulations.

    h. Potential Applicant Contact: Steven Murphy, Manager, Licensing, Brookfield Renewable, 33 West 1st Street South, Fulton, New York 13069, Phone: (315) 598-6130; Email: [email protected] or Jon Elmer, Director of Operations, Brookfield Renewable, 800 Starbuck Ave., Suite 201, Watertown, New York 13601, Phone: (315) 779-2401, Email: [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Brandi Sangunett, Phone: (202) 502-8393, Email: [email protected]

    j. Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P filed its request to use the Traditional Licensing Process on June 28, 2016. Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P provided public notice of its request on June 26, 2016. In a letter dated August 10, 2016, the Director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing approved Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P.'s request to use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or NOAA Fisheries under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402; and NOAA Fisheries under section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.920. We are also initiating consultation with the New York State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historic Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

    l. With this notice, we are designating Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and consultation pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    m. Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule) that also serves as the draft license application, with the Commission, pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    n. A copy of the PAD/DLA is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site (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 at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

    o. The licensee states its unequivocal intent to submit an application for a new license for Project No. 3452-016. Pursuant to 18 CFR 16.8, 16.9, and 16.10 each application for a new license and any competing license applications must be filed with the Commission at least 24 months prior to the expiration of the existing license. All applications for license for this project must be filed by June 30, 2019.

    p. Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19472 Filed 8-15-16; 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 exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG16-134-000.

    Applicants: ID Solar 1, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of ID Solar 1, LLC of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status.

    Filed Date: 8/10/16.

    Accession Number: 20160810-5185.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2398-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Ameren Illinois Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-08-10_SA 2936 Ameren Illinois-Norris Electric Coop Switching Agreement to be effective 8/2/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/10/16.

    Accession Number: 20160810-5146.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2399-000.

    Applicants: Sierra Pacific Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Rate Schedule No. 64 SPPC and Mt Wheeler EPC Termination to be effective 8/11/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/10/16.

    Accession Number: 20160810-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 8/31/16.

    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: August 10, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19467 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-105-000] The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company v. Entergy Texas, Inc.; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on August 9, 2016, pursuant to sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824e and 825e (2012) and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Goodyear or Complainant) filed a formal complaint against Entergy Texas, Inc., (ETI or Respondent) alleging that the Respondent's proposed termination of the Agreement for Purchased Power between Goodyear and ETI (PPA) is contrary to ETI's obligation to purchase energy and capacity from Goodyear pursuant to section 292.303 of Commission's regulations implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, and the Commission's January 21, 2016 Order, granting in part, ETI's application to terminate its mandatory purchase obligation,1 as more fully explained in the complaint.

    1Entergy Services, Inc., et al., 154 FERC ¶ 61,035 (2016) (“January 21 Order”). The application was filed by Entergy Services, Inc. on behalf of ETI and other subsidiaries; this complaint refers to the application as being filed by ETI.

    Complainant certifies that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for Respondent as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials, as well as through individuals who send and receive notices under the PPA.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of 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 5 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: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on August 25, 2016.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19468 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. Ic16-14-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-604 and FERC-923); Consolidated Comment Request; Extension AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collections and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the requirements and burden 1 of the information collections described below.

    1 The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collections of information are due October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. IC16-14-000) by either of the following methods:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Please reference the specific collection number and/or title in your comments.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance, contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/docs-filing.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the information collection requirements for all collections described below with no changes to the current reporting requirements. Please note that each collection is distinct from the next.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and cost of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    FERC-604, Cash Management Agreements

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0267.

    Abstract: Cash management or “money pool” programs typically concentrate affiliates' cash assets in joint accounts for the purpose of providing financial flexibility and lowering the cost of borrowing.

    In a 2001 investigation, FERC staff found that balances in cash management programs affecting FERC-regulated entities totaled approximately $16 billion. Additionally, other investigations revealed large transfers of funds (amounting to more than $1 billion) between regulated pipeline affiliates and non-regulated parents whose financial conditions were precarious. The Commission found that these and other fund transfers and the enormous (mostly unregulated) pools of money in cash management programs could detrimentally affect regulated rates.

    To protect customers and promote transparency, the Commission issued Order 634-A (2003) requiring entities to formalize in writing and file with the Commission their cash management agreements. At that time, the Commission obtained OMB clearance for this new reporting requirement under the FERC-555 information collection (OMB Control No. 1902-0098). Now, the Commission includes these reporting requirements for cash management agreements under the FERC-604 information collection (OMB Control No. 1902-0267). The Commission implemented these reporting requirements in 18 CFR parts 141.500, 260.400, and 357.5.

    Type of Respondent: Public utilities, natural gas companies, and oil pipeline companies.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    FERC-604—Cash Management Agreements Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden
  • & cost per
  • response 2
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • & total annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1)*(2) = (3) (4) (3)*(4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) 25 1 25 1.5 hrs.; $111.75 37.5 hrs.; $2,793.75 111.75
    FERC-923, Communication of Operational Information Between Natural Gas Pipelines and Electric Transmission Operators

    2 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $74.50 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The Commission staff believes that the industry's level and skill set is comparable to FERC's with an average hourly cost (wages plus benefits) of $74.50.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0265.

    Abstract: In 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) revised its regulations to provide explicit authority to interstate natural gas pipelines and public utilities that own, operate, or control facilities used for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce to voluntarily share non-public, operational information with each other for the purpose of promoting reliable service and operational planning on either the pipeline's or public utility's system. This helps ensure the reliability of natural gas pipeline and public utility transmission service by permitting transmission operators to share the information with each other that they deem necessary to promote the reliability and integrity of their systems. FERC removed actual or perceived prohibitions to the information sharing and communications between industry entities. The communications of information are not and will not be submitted to FERC. Rather, the non-public information is shared voluntarily between industry entities. FERC does not prescribe the content, medium, format, or frequency for the information sharing and communications. Those decisions are made by the industry entities, depending on their needs and the situation.

    Type of Respondent: Natural gas pipelines and public utilities.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

    3 The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $74.50 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The Commission staff believes that the industry's level and skill set is comparable to FERC's with an average hourly cost (wages plus benefits) of $74.50.

    4 The estimate for the number of respondents is based on the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Compliance Registry as of July 29, 2016, minus the Transmission Operators within ERCOT.

    FERC-923—Communication of Operational Information Between Natural Gas Pipelines and Electric Transmission Operators Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number
  • of responses
  • Average burden
  • & cost per
  • response 3
  • Total annual
  • burden hours
  • & total annual cost
  • Cost per
  • respondent
  • ($)
  • (1) (2) (1)*(2) = (3) (4) (3)*(4) = (5) (5) ÷ (1) Public Utility Transmission Operator, communications 4 164 12 1,968 0.5 hrs.; $37.25 984 hrs.; $73,308 447 Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines, communications 155 12 1,860 0.5 hrs.; $37.25 930 hrs.; $69,285 447 Total 3,828 1,914 hrs.; $142,593
    Dated: August 10, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19469 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14522-001] FFP Project 132, LLC; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing Process

    a. Type of Filing: Notice of Intent to File License Application and Request to Use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    b. Project No.: 14522-001.

    c. Date Filed: June 22, 2016.

    d. Submitted by: Rye Development, LLC on behalf of FFP Project 132, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Allegheny Lock and Dam 7 Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: At the existing Army Corps of Engineers' Allegheny Lock and Dam 7 on the Allegheny River in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania near the Borough of Kittanning. The project would occupy United States lands administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 5.3 of the Commission's regulations.

    h. Applicant Contact: Kellie Doherty, Rye Development, LLC, 745 Atlantic Avenue, 8th floor, Boston, MA 02111; ( ) 846-0042, extension 100; email—[email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Nick Ettema at (202) 502-6565; or email at [email protected]

    j. FFP Project 132, LLC filed its request to use the Traditional Licensing Process on June 22, 2016. FFP Project 132, LLC provided public notice of its request on June 25, 2016 and June 27 through July 1, 2016. In a letter dated August 10, 2016, the Director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing approved FFP Project 132, LLC's request to use the Traditional Licensing Process.

    k. With this notice, we are initiating informal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the joint agency regulations thereunder at 50 CFR, Part 402; and NOAA Fisheries under section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and implementing regulations at 50 CFR 600.920. We are also initiating consultation with the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Officer, as required by section 106, National Historic Preservation Act, and the implementing regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at 36 CFR 800.2.

    l. With this notice, we are designating FFP Project 132, LLC as the Commission's non-federal representative for carrying out informal consultation pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and section 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and consultation pursuant to section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

    m. FFP Project 132, LLC filed a Pre-Application Document (PAD; including a proposed process plan and schedule) with the Commission, pursuant to 18 CFR 5.6 of the Commission's regulations.

    n. A copy of the PAD is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site (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 at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in paragraph h.

    o. Register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filing and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19473 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0814; FRL-9950-39] Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on the Determination of Minor Use; Notice of Availability; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register on June 14, 2016, announcing the availability of a draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) for review and comment. The PR Notice was entitled “Determination of Minor Use under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), section 2(ll).” In response to a request to extend the comment period, this document extends the comment period for 30 days, from August 15, 2016 to September 14, 2016. This is one of the busiest times of year for pest control experts and this will allow them extra time to complete their review and comment on the PR Notice.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by September 14, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Follow the detailed instructions provided under ADDRESSES in the Federal Register documents of June 14, 2016 (81 FR 38704) (FRL 9946-13).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Derek Berwald, Biological and Economic Analysis Division, MC 7503P, Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8115; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document extends the public comment period established in the Federal Register document of June 14, 2016 (81 FR 38704) (FRL 9946-13) that announced the availability of a draft PR Notice entitled “Determination of Minor Use under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), section 2(ll).” EPA is hereby extending the comment period, which was set to end on August 15, 2016, to September 14, 2016.

    To submit comments, or access the docket, please follow the detailed instructions provided under ADDRESSES in the Federal Register document of June 14, 2016 (81 FR 38704) (FRL 9946-13). If you have questions, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Wynne F. Miller, Acting Director, Biological and Economic Analysis Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19554 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0599] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before September 15, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0599.

    Title: Section 90.187, Trunking in the Bands Between 150-512 MHz; and Sections 90.425 and 90.647, Station Identification.

    Form No.: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit, not-for-profit institutions, and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,757 respondents and 4,757 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25-3 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 309(j) and 332, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 5,242 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: No cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: The information contained in this collection sets forth frequency coordination requirements under Section 90.187, and station identification requirements under Section 90.647 and 90.425. The information requested in this collection is used by the Commission staff to enable the FCC to evaluate the accuracy of frequency coordination pursuant to its rule under 47 CFR 90.187, 90.425 and 90.647.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19502 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination; 10084 First Piedmont Bank, Winder, Georgia

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10084 First Piedmont Bank, Winder, Georgia (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of First Piedmont Bank (Receivership Estate); the Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds.

    Effective August 01, 2016, the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19420 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than August 31, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (David L. Hubbard, Senior Manager) P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-2034. Comments can also be sent electronically to [email protected]:

    1. J.T. Compton SBI Trust, James T. Compton, Mountain View, Arkansas, as trustee, the James Kent Compton SBI Trust, James Kent Compton, Conway, Arkansas, as trustee, the Charles Kevin Compton SBI Trust, Charles Kevin Compton, Little Rock, Arkansas, as trustee; and the Kris David Compton SBI Trust, Kris David Compton and Debra Lynn Walters Compton, both of Hendersonville, North Carolina, as co-trustees, all as general and limited partners of the Compton Stone Quarry Family Limited Partnership, LLLP, Morrilton, Arkansas and as members of a family control group. The control group also includes the J.T. Compton GST Exempt Trust, James T. Compton as trustee, James T. Compton, individually, Lauren A. Compton, the Niva Compton Lancaster GST Exempt Trust, and the Niva Lancaster Revocable Living Trust, Niva C. Lancaster, Springfield, Missouri, as trustees; the Daniels Family Trust Dated 7/12/2006, Charles Daniels and Sonya Daniels, both of Navarre, Florida, as co-trustees; the Douglas Lancaster Trust, Sonya Daniels as trustee; and the Kevin Compton Revocable Trust, Charles K. Compton as trustee, to acquire and retain ownership of the voting shares of Stone Bancshares, Inc., Mountain View, Arkansas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 11, 2016.

    Michele T. Fennell, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19477 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than September 12, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert L. Triplett III, Senior Vice President) 2200 North Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201-2272:

    1. Oakwood Bancshares, Inc., Plano, Texas, to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of Oakwood State Bank, Oakwood, Texas.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Jacquelyn K. Brunmeier, Assistant Vice President) 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. American Heritage Holding Company, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, to acquire 100 percent of Avon Bancshares, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire Avon State Bank, both of Avon, Minnesota.

    C. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. First Midwest Bancorp, Inc., Itasca, Illinois, to merge with Standard Bancshares, Inc., Hickory Hills, Illinois, and thereby indirectly acquire Standard Bank and Trust Company, Hickory Hills, Illinois.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 11, 2016. Michele T. Fennell, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19478 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD Sunshine Act; Board Member Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) August 22, 2016 (Telephonic).

    PLACE:

    10th Floor Board Meeting Room, 77 K Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    STATUS:

    Parts will be open to the public and part will be closed to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Open to the Public 1. Approval of the Minutes for the July 25, 2016 Board Member Meeting 2. Monthly Reports (a) Participant Activity Report (b) Investment Performance Report 3. Quarterly Reports (c) Metrics (d) Project Activity 4. Calendar Review: 2016-2017 Board Member Meetings Closed to the Public 5. Security 6. Procurement CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly Weaver, Director, Office of External Affairs, (202) 942-1640.

    Dated: August 12, 2016. Laurissa Stokes, Assistant General Counsel, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19617 Filed 8-12-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6760-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-16AR; Docket No. CDC-2016-0073] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on the CDC Undergraduate Scholars Program (CUPS), James A. Ferguson Infectious Diseases Graduate Fellowship (Ferguson) and Student Coordinating Center (SCC) Program Evaluation. Data will be collected for the purpose of evaluating the progress of programmatic activities.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0073 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    CDC CUPS, Ferguson Fellowship, and Student Coordinating Center Program Evaluation—Existing Collection in Use Without OMB Control Number—Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the United States. As America continues to evolve into a more diverse society, and as CDC strives to fulfill this mission, it contends with the reality that racial and ethnic minority populations assume a much higher burden of morbidity and mortality than the majority of Americans. Particularly challenging for public health is that as the growth of these underrepresented racial-ethnic groups in the United States population increases, the percentage of underrepresented groups working in public health remains stagnant or continues to decline. Research has shown that physicians of underrepresented populations are more likely to provide services in underserved communities; often providing care at much greater frequency than their white counterparts. Therefore, a major part of achieving CDC's mission is to encourage greater numbers of underrepresented students to pursue a career in public health.

    The CDC's Undergraduate Scholars Program (CUPS) and the Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship (Ferguson) are educational pipeline programs that seek to increase the pool of qualified, underrepresented professionals in the public health workforce by providing students with experiential knowledge and academic learning. The Student Coordinating Center is the operational support arm of CUPS and Ferguson, providing technical support to the grantees and student follow up efforts. The common mission of CUPS and Ferguson is to encourage students, early in their college and graduate educations, to choose a career in public health (federal, state, local, territorial health agencies or non-governmental agencies), public health research, and to contribute to the public health workforce.

    Through a highly competitive selection process, each year a new cohort of up to 150 students is chosen. So far, over 900 participants have been recruited and completed the CUPS program. Each year six to eight students are selected to participate in the Ferguson Program. To date, more than 460 students have participated in the Ferguson Fellowship Program. Racial/Ethnic minorities and other underrepresented students comprise the majority (>90%) of those recruited to both programs. All selected participants receive a full day orientation at CDC, where they are introduced to the Centers' leadership, attend symposia; participate in a series of group discussions; and take part in information exchanges. During the CDC orientation, students are also introduced to CDC's priorities, current public health initiatives, and emerging public health issues at the federal level.

    After the initial CDC orientation, students are assigned to a variety of public health practice and research settings across the nation, where they are paired with public health mentors who provide the interns a guided experience of public health through instruction that emphasizes skill areas identified as Core Competencies for public health professionals. In addition to mentorship and didactic learning, students also receive real world work experience that provides foundational knowledge for a career in public health.

    There are nine data collection instruments administered by the four grantees: Summer Public Health Scholars Program; James A. Ferguson Program; Maternal and Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement; Public Health Leadership and Learning Undergraduate Student Success (PLUSS); Project Imhotep; SCC Follow-up Survey (6 months); SCC Follow-up Survey (12 months); SCC Follow-up Survey (24 months); Future Public Health Leaders Program.

    The maximum estimated, annualized time burden is 6,081 hours. There is no cost to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average burden
  • per response
  • (in hrs.)
  • Total burden hours
    Student Participants, Columbia University Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP) 1,600 1 90/60 2,400 Student Participants, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Ferguson Infectious Disease Fellowship Program James A. Ferguson Program 310 1 90/60 465 Student Participants, MCH Maternal and Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement 900 1 90/60 1,350 Student Participants, PPLUSS Public Health Leadership and Learning Undergraduate Student Success (PPLUSS) 224 1 90/60 336 Student Participants, IMHOTEP Project IMHOTEP 330 1 90/60 495 Former CUPS students SCC Follow-up Survey (6 months) 150 1 30/60 75 Former CUPS students SCC Follow-up Survey (12 months) 150 1 30/60 75 Former CUPS students SCC Follow-up Survey (24 months) 150 1 30/60 75 Student Participants, University of Michigan Future Public Health Leaders Program 540 1 90/60 810 Total 6,081
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19460 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Docket No. CDC-2016-0083; 60Day-16-16AWM] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this proposed information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on the Executive and Scientific Resources Office Access Management System (EAMTS). EAMTS is designed to house all Guest Researcher & ORISE program packets, Appointment Mechanism Determination Forms, and Title 42 Fellowship Immigration information in one central location on the Human Resources Office SharePoint Server.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0083 by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Jeffrey M. Zirger, Acting Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Data Management for Executive and Scientific Resources Access Management Tracking System—New—Executive and Scientific Resource Office (ESRO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    ESRO seeks to submit and information collection request for approval of information collections through its ESRO Access Management Tracking System (EAMTS). This system will automate current manual processes for programs managed by ESRO. This new process will provide users a single, integrated location to allow for collaboration, faster processing between the programs and ESRO and a better onboarding experience for potential fellows.

    EAMTS will support users by providing a single, integrated location for enterprise content management, manage documents and records by using workflows an information rights management. This business process will allow ESRO to design forms that are accessible in SharePoint through a Web Browser. Team members will be able to access critical business information, analyze and view data, and publish reports to make more informed decisions.

    EAMTS will allow CIO's to submit digital packets including Guest Researcher, ORISE, Title 42 Fellowship Visa request (portion of CDC 0.1475) and Appointment Mechanism Determination Request Form (CDC 0.4601). CIO's can upload supplemental documentation as an attachment to each application, electronically track and monitor status of application, digitally sign forms and requests, receive case determinations quickly and accurately, and track the Visa status of Title 42 Fellowship requests that require Visa assistance from the Human Resources Office.

    EAMTS is developed in SharePoint for CDC's Centers/Institutes/Offices (CIO) to submit required information for all of Executive and Scientific Resource Office's managed programs and for these CIO's to effectively and efficiently digitally review this information. Data is managed and maintained by appropriate CIO Staff with ground and form level permission.

    Permissions to EAMTS are required to access the lists, forms, and document library. This includes entering data, clearing/approving forms, processing forms, and acknowledging data entered.

    The total estimated annualized burden hours for all respondents are 1,280. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. CDC will seek a three-year approval from OMB.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • CIO
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Initiator/C/I/O CDC 0.4601 64 5 1 320 Initiator/C/I/O CDC 0.410A 64 5 1 320 Initiator/C/I/O CDC 0.410B 64 5 1 320 Initiator/C/I/O Section C of the CDC 0.1475 64 5 1 320 Totals 1,280
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19461 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; NIAID Clinical Trial Implementation Cooperative Agreement (U01).

    Date: September 22, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Room 3F100, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Lynn Rust, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G42A, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, (240) 669-5069, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 10, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19417 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement: Small Molecule Therapeutic Compounds Encompassed Within the Licensed Patent Rights for the Treatment of Thioesterase Deficiency Disorder AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice, in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404, that the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, is contemplating the grant of a Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement to practice the inventions embodied in the following Patent Applications to Circumvent Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Circumvent”) located in Pasadena, California, USA:

    Intellectual Property

    United States Provisional Patent Application No. 61/473,692, filed April 8, 2011, titled “Small molecule therapeutic compounds targeting thioesterase deficiency disorders and methods of using the same” [HHS Reference No. E-157-2011/0-US-01], status: Expired;

    International Patent Application No. PCT/US2012/32772 filed April 9, 2012 titled “Small molecule therapeutic compounds targeting thioesterase deficiency disorders and methods of using the same” [HHS Reference No. E-157-2011/0-PCT-02], status: Converted;

    European Patent Application No. 12716889.6, filed November 7, 2013, titled “Small molecule therapeutic compounds targeting thioesterase deficiency disorders and methods of using the same” [HHS Reference No. E-157-2011/0-EP-03], status: Pending; and

    United States Patent Application No. 14/110,393, filed October 7, 2013, titled “Small molecule therapeutic compounds targeting thioesterase deficiency disorders and methods of using the same” [HHS Reference No. E-157-2011/0-US-04], status: Pending.

    The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned and/or exclusively licensed to the government of the United States of America.

    The territory of the prospective Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement may be worldwide and the field of use may be limited to: “Small molecule therapeutic compounds encompassed within the Licensed Patent Rights for the treatment of thioesterase deficiency disorders”

    Upon the expiration or termination of the Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement, Circumvent will have the exclusive right to execute a Start-Up Exclusive Patent License Agreement which will supersede and replace the Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement, with no greater field of use and territory than granted in the Start-up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement.

    DATES:

    Only written comments and/or applications for a license which are received by the NIH Office of Technology Transfer on or before August 31, 2016 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patent application, inquiries, comments, and other materials relating to the contemplated Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement should be directed to: Surekha Vathyam, Ph.D., Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager, National Cancer Institute Technology Transfer Center, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rm 1E-530 MSC9702, Rockville, MD 20850-9702, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject technology describes methods of using derivative compositions of hydroxylamine, including N-t-butyl hydroxylamine (NtBuHA), for the treatment of thioesterase deficiencies. NtBuHA is small molecule derivative of hydroxylamine which possesses strong anti-oxidant properties and an ability to cleave thioester linkages with high specificity. These capabilities suggest that NtBuHA may be useful as a modulator of intracellular protein palmitoylation dynamics when endogenous mechanisms are insufficient to support normal function.

    The compounds disclosed in this invention have potential therapeutic applications for both the management of diseases driven by excess accumulation or malfunction of palmitoylated proteins. Target disorders may therefore include neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (also known as Batten Disease), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Ras-driven cancers.

    The prospective Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement is being considered under the small business initiative launched on October 1, 2011 and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.7. The prospective Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement may be granted unless the NIH receives written evidence and argument that establishes that the grant of the contemplated Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.7 within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice.

    Complete applications for a license in an appropriate field of use that are filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated Start-Up Exclusive Evaluation Option License Agreement. Comments and objections submitted to this notice will not be made available for public inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: August 8, 2016. Richard U. Rodriguez, Associate Director, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19418 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Integrating Biospecimen Science Approaches into Clinical Assay Development.

    Date: September 8, 2016.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W030, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Clifford W. Schweinfest, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Special Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W108, Rockville, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6343, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI Program Project I SEP-1.

    Date: September 29-30, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center, 9751 Washingtonian Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878.

    Contact Person: Shakeel Ahmad, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Programs Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W122, Rockville, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6349, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network Review.

    Date: October 20, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda Marriott Pooks Hill, 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Wlodek Lopaczynski, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Programs Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W608, Rockville, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6458, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; PAR 15-266 Imaging.

    Date: October 24, 2016.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 6W030, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Kenneth L. Bielat, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W244, Rockville, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6373, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; NCI Omnibus R03 SEP-3.

    Date: November 3, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Byeong-Chel C. Lee, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Review Training and Resources Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W238, Rockville, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6260, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Pancreatic Cancer Detection Consortium (U01).

    Date: November 9, 2016.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W032, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Majed M. Hamawy, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Programs Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W120, Rockville, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-6457, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Biospecimen Science.

    Date: December 9, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Cancer Institute Shady Grove, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W030, Rockville, MD 20850, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Nadeem Khan, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Research Technology and Contract Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 7W260, Rockville, MD 20892-9750, 240-276-5856, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 10, 2016. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19416 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The invention listed below is owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and is available for licensing and/or co-development in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing and/or co-development.

    ADDRESSES:

    Invention Development and Marketing Unit, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Mail Stop 9702, Rockville, MD 20850-9702.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information on licensing and co-development research collaborations, and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by contacting: Attn. Invention Development and Marketing Unit, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Mail Stop 9702, Rockville, MD 20850-9702, Tel. 240-276-5515 or Email [email protected] A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement may be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology description follows.

    Title of invention: Human Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting Glypican-2 in Neuroblastoma.

    Keywords: Glypican-2, GPC2, Antibody, Immunotoxin, Recombinant Immunotoxin, RIT, Chimeric Antigen Receptor, CAR, Antibody-drug Conjugate, ADC, bispecific antibody, neuroblastoma.

    Description of Technology: Neuroblastoma is a rare pediatric cancer that affects one in every hundred thousand children under the age of fifteen in the United States. Current standards of care are chemotherapy and surgery, followed by stem-cell treatments, radiation and anti-ganglioside antibody therapy, which yield an average three-year survival rate of 10-45%. This demonstrates a need for more effective therapies.

    Glypican-2 (GPC2) is a cell surface protein that has been shown to be preferentially expressed on numerous pediatric cancers, including neuroblastoma. Due to this preferential expression, GPC2 represents a potential candidate for targeted therapy. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Molecular Biology (NCI LMB) have developed and isolated several single domain monoclonal human antibodies against GPC2. This technology covers the naked GPC2 antibodies as well as their use as targeting domains in recombinant immunotoxins (RITs) and chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). RITs (using clones LH1, LH4, or LH7) and CARs (using LH7) have shown specific killing activity against GPC2-expressing cells, suggesting that these candidates may be further developed as therapeutics.

    The technology has been validated with in-vitro studies (human anti-GPC2 RITs and CARs can bind to, and kill, GPC2-positive tumor cells) and the researchers are currently developing mouse models to further develop GPC2-targeted therapies.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    —Therapeutic applications include: Unconjugated antibodies, and use as targeting moieties for immunoconjugates such as CARs, ADCs, immunotoxins, and bispecific antibodies —Diagnostic agent for detecting and monitoring target-expressing malignancies

    Value Proposition:

    —First to market potential—No current clinical trials with GPC2-targeted therapies —Human antibody with high specificity and binding to targets results in less non-specific cell killing, therefore fewer potential side-effects for the patient —Small size of single domain antibodies enhances stability, solubility, and target recognition

    Development Stage: In-vitro.

    Inventor(s): Mitchell Ho (NCI), et al.

    Intellectual Property: US Provisional Application 62/369,861 (HHS Reference No. E-211-2016/0-US-01) filed August 2, 2016, entitled “Human Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting Glypican-2 in Neuroblastoma.”

    Collaboration Opportunity: Researchers at the NCI seek parties interested in licensing or co-developing GPC2 antibodies and/or conjugates.

    Contact Information: Requests for copies of the patent application or inquiries about licensing, research collaborations, and co-development opportunities should be sent to John D. Hewes, Ph.D., email: [email protected]

    Dated: August 8, 2016. John D. Hewes, Technology Transfer Specialist, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19419 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Advisory Committee for Women's Services; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to Public Law 92-463, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS) on August 24, 2016.

    The meeting will include discussions on child welfare and substance use disorders among families; improving the health of women and girls; recovery-oriented systems of care and what they mean for women; accountable health communities and how they relate to behavioral health; and a conversation with the SAMHSA Deputy of Operations and the Chief of Staff.

    The meeting is open to the public and will be held at SAMHSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, in Conference Room 5N76. Attendance by the public will be limited to space available. Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions should be forwarded to the contact person (below) on or before August 19, 2016. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled at the conclusion of the meeting. Individuals interested in making oral presentations are encouraged to notify the contact person on or before August 19, 2016. Five minutes will be allotted for each presentation.

    The meeting may be accesed via telephone. To attend on site, obtain the call-in number and access code, submit written or brief oral comments, or request special accommodations for persons with disabilities, please register on-line at http://nac.samhsa.gov/Registration/meetingsRegistration.aspx, or communicate with SAMHSA's Designated Federal Officer, Ms. Nadine Benton (see contact information below).

    Substantive meeting information and a roster of Committee members may be obtained either by accessing the SAMHSA Committees' Web site http://www.samhsa.gov/about-us/advisory-councils/advisory-committee-womens-services-acws or by contacting Ms. Benton.

    Committee Name: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS).

    Date/Time/Type: Wednesday, August 24, 2016, from: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT, open.

    Place: SAMHSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Conference Room 5N76, Rockville, Maryland 20857.

    Contact: Nadine Benton, Designated Federal Official, SAMHSA's Advisory Committee for Women's Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857, Telephone: (240) 276-0127, Fax: (240) 276-2252, Email: [email protected].

    Summer King, Statistician, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Services Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19422 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2016-0437] Update to Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) National Guidelines AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Extension of comment period and notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard's Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy and Seventeenth District will meet on September 21, 2016, in Anchorage, Alaska. The meeting will be used as an opportunity to discuss Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) as they relate to oil spill preparedness pursuant to vessel response plan requirements. The meeting will be open to the public. In addition, the comment period for the notice published May 27, 2016, is extended.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice published May 27, 2016 (81 FR 33685) is extended. Comments and related material must be submitted on or before Friday, September 23, 2016. The Coast Guard will meet Wednesday, September 21, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please note that the meeting may close early if all comments have been heard.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Robert Atwood Room (Room 104) on the first floor of the Robert B. Atwood Building, 550 W. 7th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. Parking will be available in the adjacent Lilly Pacillo Parking Garage. Parking tickets can be validated at the Atwood Building's Security Desk.

    For information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities, or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact the person listed in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below, as soon as possible.

    To view the APC Guidelines, as well as public comments and any documents mentioned in this notice, go to http://www.regulations.gov and type “USCG-2016-0437,” and click “Search.” Then click “Open Docket Folder.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    CDR Scott Stoermer, USCG Headquarters, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE., Stop 7516, Washington, DC 20593, [email protected], (202) 372-2234.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This public meeting is part of the public comment period already announced regarding the draft National APC Policy (81 FR 33685). To facilitate public participation, we are extending the comment period and holding a public meeting, and we invite public comment on the issues as listed in the “Agenda” section below. Comments previously submitted do not need to be submitted again.

    Submitting Written Comments

    If you submit a written comment, please include the docket number, indicate the specific material to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Public Meeting

    A public comment period will be held during the meeting on September 21, 2016, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Speakers are requested to limit their comments to 3 minutes. Please note that the public comment period may end before the time indicated, following the last call for comments. Contact the individual listed below to pre-register as a speaker. Pre-registration is not required to speak at the meeting as attendees will be able to note their desire to speak via the on-site meeting attendance/registration form. Written comments may also be brought to the meeting and will be included as part of the docket. Written comments submitted to the docket via http://www.regulations.gov do not need to be brought to the meeting.

    The U.S. Coast Guard Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy is developing national-level policy to clarify APC submissions and processes pursuant to Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 155.1065 and 155.5067. While not a regulatory or rule-making activity, the Coast Guard is aware of the impact of the policy related to APC and its critical role in tank and non-tank vessel response preparedness. The goals of this public meeting are to: (1) Inform public entities of the status of Alternative Planning Criteria policy; (2) Inform public entities of the comments from earlier comment period(s); (3) Ensure public understanding of the Coast Guard's view of APC; and (4) Seek public comment & public insight into current APC policy challenges.

    Agenda

    The Coast Guard will present information pertaining to APC and receive oral comments from the public. Written comments will be accepted at the meeting; however, it is preferred any written comments are submitted in advance of the meeting. The Coast Guard will present the following topics:

    (1) Brief, high-level summary of comments received following the release of District Seventeen's Draft Marine Safety Information Bulletin (July 2015) and during the comment period to date.

    (2) Tenets of the draft APC policy.

    (3) Open floor to receive public comments.

    The Coast Guard will review all of the information received from public comment and take both oral and written comments into consideration as it finalizes the development of national APC policy.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Joseph B. Loring, Captain, Office of Marine Environmental Response Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19512 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration [Docket No. TSA-2003-14610] Intent To Request Revision From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Security Threat Assessment for Individuals Applying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a Commercial Driver's License AGENCY:

    Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

    ACTION:

    60-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) invites public comment on one currently approved Information Collection Request (ICR), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 1652-0027, abstracted below that we will submit to OMB for revision in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. The collection involves applicant submission of biometric and biographic information for TSA's security threat assessment in order to obtain the hazardous materials endorsement (HME) on a commercial drivers license (CDL) issued by states and the District of Columbia.

    DATES:

    Send your comments by October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be emailed to [email protected] or delivered to the TSA PRA Officer, Office of Information Technology (OIT), TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6011.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina A. Walsh at the above address, or by telephone (571) 227-2062.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation is available at www.reginfo.gov. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is inviting comments to—

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement 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 the agency's estimate of the burden;

    (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, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Information Collection Requirement

    OMB Control Number 1652-0027; Security Threat Assessment for Individuals Applying for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a Commercial Driver's License, 49 CFR part 1572. TSA is requesting a revision of the currently approved ICR. The currently approved ICR supports implementation of section 1012 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272, 396, Oct. 26, 2001) (49 U.S.C. 5103a), which mandates that no state or the District of Columbia may issue a HME on a CDL unless TSA has first determined that the driver is not a threat to transportation security.

    TSA's implementing regulations (codified at 49 CFR part 1572) describe the procedures, standards, and eligibility criteria for security threat assessments on individuals seeking to obtain, renew, or transfer a HME on a CDL. In order to conduct the security threat assessment, states (or TSA's agent in states electing to have TSA perform the collection of information) must collect the driver's legal name, current and previous mailing addresses, date of birth, gender, height, weight, hair and eye color, city/state/country of birth, social security number (optional) and immigration status/naturalization date/alien registration number (as applicable).

    In addition, states or the TSA agent must submit the driver's acknowledgement concerning previous criminal history, the driver's fingerprints, and whether the driver is a new applicant or applying to renew or transfer the HME. This information is necessary for TSA to forecast driver retention, transfer rate, and drop-rate to help improve customer service, reduce program costs, and provide comparability with other Federal background checks, including the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC). Finally, states are required to maintain a copy of the driver application for a period of one year.

    The currently approved ICR also includes an optional survey to gather information regarding the drivers' overall customer satisfaction with the service received at the enrollment center utilized by the TSA agent states. The optional survey will be administered at the end of the in-person enrollment service. Please note that the optional survey is only provided for drivers who enroll with a state serviced by TSA's designated enrollment contractor.

    TSA is revising the collection of information to expand the potential use of information. This revision would allow future use of the information collected for additional comparability determinations, such as allowing the HME applicant to participate in a program such as the TSA Pre✓® Application Program without requiring an additional background check. For example, the HME applicant may be able to “opt in” for a determination that the HME holder is eligible to participate in TSA Pre✓®, TSA's expedited screening program for air travelers. TSA does not foresee additional fees for completing the comparability determination.

    TSA estimates an annualized 267,157 respondents 1 will apply for an HME, and that the application and background check process will involve 440,275 annualized hours.2 TSA estimates that of the 267,157 respondents, 93,505 drivers will respond to the survey with an annualized burden hours of 3,927. TSA estimates the total annualized costs to respondent drivers will be $23,497,498.

    1 The number of respondents is based on actual numbers from 2014, 2015, the estimate for 2016, and a 1 percent growth estimate for 2017-19.

    2 The hour burden was recalculated using zip code average transit, average enrollment time, and a “wait time” buffer of 10 minutes. The total hour burden was reduced by about 1.5 hours, which accounts for the reduction of the annualized hours since the last submission to OMB in 2013.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Christina A. Walsh, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19448 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5913-N-18] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Monthly Report of Excess Income and Annual Report of Uses of Excess Income AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Harry Messner, Project Manager, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 402-2626 (this is not a toll free number) for copies of the proposed forms and other available information. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Monthly Report of Excess Income and Annual Report of Uses of Excess Income.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0086.

    Type of Request: Extension request of currently approved collection.

    Form Number: Web form e-93104 Monthly Report of Excess Income.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Project owners are permitted to retain Excess Income for projects under terms and conditions established by HUD. Owners must submit a written request to retain some or all of their Excess Income. The request must be submitted at least 90 days before the beginning of each fiscal year, or 90 days before any other time during a fiscal year that the owner plans to begin retaining excess income for that fiscal year. HUD uses the information to ensure that required excess rents are remitted to the Department and/or retained by the owner for project use.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): Multifamily Project Owners.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 834.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 19,361.

    Frequency of Response: Monthly.

    Average Hours per Response: Three-quarters of an hour.

    Total Estimated Burden: 5,585.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: August 9, 2016. Janet M. Golrick, Associate General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing-Associate Deputy Federal Housing Commissioner.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19506 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5932-N-05] Agenda and Notice of Public Meetings of the Moving To Work Research Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a federal advisory committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a two-day meeting of the Moving To Work (MTW) Research Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee meeting will be held on Thursday and Friday, September 1 and 2, 2016. The meeting is open to the public and is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

    DATES:

    The in-person meeting will be held on Thursday, September 1, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and Friday, September 2, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT) at HUD Headquarters, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laurel Davis, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Public and Indian Housing, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4116, Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 402-5759 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons who have difficulty hearing or speaking may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or can email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of this meeting is provided in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5. U.S.C. App. 10(a)(2). The Moving To Work (MTW) Research Advisory Committee (Committee) was established on May 2, 2016, to advise HUD on specific policy proposals and methods of research and evaluation related to the expansion of the MTW demonstration to an additional 100 high-performing Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). See 81 FR 244630. On July 26 and 28, 2016 HUD convened two conference call meetings of the Committee. The minutes of these meetings are available on the HUD Web site at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/mtw/expansion.

    HUD is now convening a two-day meeting to discuss the framework and associated research methodologies for potential policies that HUD may require new MTW PHAs to test as a condition of admittance to the program. HUD will convene the first day of the meeting on Thursday, September 1, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EDT). The second day of the Committee's meeting will convene on Friday, September 2, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT). The agenda for the two-day meeting is as follows:

    Thursday, September 1, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT I. Welcome and Introductions II. Review of Agenda III. Recap of July 2016 Conference Calls IV. Goals for the September 1st and 2nd Meeting a. Review and refine “Guiding Principles” for research methodology discussion b. Discuss framework and possible research methodologies for each policy c. Obtain recommendations for the initial cohort V. Overview of Evaluation Responsibilities VI. Public Comment VII. BREAK VIII. Policy Framework and Research Methodologies—MTW Statutory Objective #1: Reduce Cost and Achieve Greater Cost-Effectiveness in Federal Expenditures a. Simplification of the Rent Calculation IX. BREAK FOR LUNCH X. Policy Framework and Research Methodologies—MTW Statutory Objective #1: Reduce Cost and Achieve Greater Cost-Effectiveness in Federal Expenditures (continued) a. Studying Fungibility through the MTW Block Grant b. Regionalization, as per the FY 2016 Appropriations Act XI. BREAK XII. Policy Framework and Research Methodologies—MTW Statutory Objective #1: Reduce Cost and Achieve Greater Cost-Effectiveness in Federal Expenditures (continued) a. Other Topics b. Public Comment XIII. Policy Framework and Research Methodologies—MTW Statutory Objective #2: Give Incentives to Families with Children Whose Heads of Household are Either Working, Seeking Work, or Participating in Job Training, Educational, or Other Programs that Assist in Obtaining Employment and Becoming Economically Self-Sufficient a. Rent Reform, in combination with work requirements, time limits, and supportive services b. Work Requirements and/or time limits, without rent reform XIV. Wrap-Up and Adjourn Friday, September 2, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT I. Welcome and Introductions II. Recap of Day 1 Discussion III. Policy Framework and Research Methodologies—MTW Statutory Objective #2: Give Incentives to Families with Children Whose Heads of Household are Either Working, Seeking Work, or Participating in Job Training, Educational, or Other Programs that Assist in Obtaining Employment and Becoming Economically Self-Sufficient (continued) a. Strategies for the reintegration of individuals to their family or household b. Other Topics c. Public Comment IV. BREAK V. Policy Framework and Research Methodologies—MTW Statutory Objective #3: Increasing Housing Choice a. Local Project-Based Voucher Programs b. Sponsor-Based Housing VI. BREAK FOR LUNCH VII. Policy Framework and Research Methodologies—MTW Statutory Objective #3: Increasing Housing Choice (continued) a. Landlord Incentive Programs b. Other Topics VIII. BREAK IX. Public Comment X. Recap of Day 2 Discussion XI. Priorities for the 1st Cohort XII. Wrap-Up, Next Steps and Adjourn

    With advance registration, the public is invited to attend both days of the meeting in-person or by phone. To register to attend either in-person or by phone, please visit the MTW Demonstration's expansion Web page at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/mtw/expansion.

    If attending the meeting in-person, details about the meeting location and how to access the building will be provided after completing the pre-registration process at the above link.

    Registered members of the public can call-in to both days of the meeting by using the following toll-free number in the United States: (800) 230-1766, or the following International number for those outside the United States: (612) 288-0329. Please be advised that the operator will ask callers to provide their names and their organizational affiliations (if any) prior to placing callers into the conference line to ensure they are part of the pre-registration list. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines and for international calls, and HUD will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free phone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service (FRS): (800) 977-8339 and providing the FRS operator with the conference call toll-free number: (800) 230-1766.

    Also, with advance registration, members of the public will have an opportunity to provide feedback during the meeting. The total amount of time for such feedback will be limited to ensure pertinent Committee business is completed. If the number of registered commenters for any comment session listed on the agenda exceeds the available time, HUD will initiate a lottery to select commenters. In order to pre-register to provide comments during one or more of the public comment sessions on the meeting agenda, please visit the MTW Demonstration's expansion Web page at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/mtw/expansion.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting, as well as other information about the work of this Committee, will be available for public viewing as they become available at: http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/committee.aspx?t=c&cid=2570&aid=77 by clicking on the “Committee Meetings” link. These materials will also be available on the MTW Demonstration's expansion Web page at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/mtw/expansion. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Department of Housing and Urban Development Headquarters in Washington, DC, as they become available, both before and after the meeting.

    Outside of the work of this Committee, information about HUD's broader implementation of the MTW expansion, as well as additional opportunities for public input, can be found on the MTW Demonstration's expansion Web page at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/mtw/expansion.

    Questions concerning this notice should be directed to Laurel Davis, DFO, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development at MTWAdvisory [email protected]

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. Katherine M. O'Regan, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19513 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5909-N-58] 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: The Multifamily Project Application and Construction Prior to Initial Endorsement AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD has submitted the proposed information collection requirement described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The purpose of this notice is to allow for an additional 30 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; fax: 202-395-5806. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QMAC, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email Colette Pollard at [email protected] or telephone 202-402-3400. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Pollard.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    The Federal Register notice that solicited public comment on the information collection for a period of 60 days was published on March 1, 2016.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: The Multifamily Project Application and Construction Prior to Initial Endorsement.

    OMB Approval Number: 2502-0029.

    Type of Request: Revision.

    Form Number: HUD-92013, HUD-92013 Supp, HUD-92013-A, HUD-92013-B, HUD-92013-C, HUD-92013-D, HUD-92013-E, 92264, HUD-92264-A, HUD-92273, HUD-92274, HUD-92326, HUD-92329, HUD-92331,HUD-92485, HUD-92415, HUD-92447, HUD-92452, HUD-92010, HUD-91708, HUD-2880, HUD-92466-R1, R2, R3, R4, HUD-92466 R5, HUD-92408, HUD-92466M, FM-1006, HUD-95379 and HUD-2.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: The Multifamily Project Applications and Construction Prior to Initial Endorsement is being revised to include two (2) supplemental forms that outline requirements of owners that elect to benefit from the simplified rate categories. These forms will be used during the processing of an application for a FHA insured mortgage to determine the appropriate mortgage insurance premium.

    Respondents (i.e., affected public): 1,002.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,002.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 229.

    Frequency of Response: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: 34,112.

    Total Estimated Burden: 351,182.

    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: August 9, 2016. Colette Pollard, Department Reports Management Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19509 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5909-N-57] 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: ConnectHome Baseline Survey Data Collection AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    HUD has submitted the proposed information collection requirement described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The purpose of this notice is to allow for an additional 30 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; fax: 202-395-5806. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anna P. Guido, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email Anna P. Guido at [email protected] or telephone 202-402-5533. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Guido.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    The Federal Register notice that solicited public comment on the information collection for a period of 60 days was published on Friday, May 6, 2016 at 81 FR 27462.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: ConnectHome Baseline Survey Data Collection.

    OMB Control Number: 2528-0308.

    Form Number: Survey.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement.

    Description of the need for information and proposed use: The purpose of this effort is to support communities in the 28 ConnectHome sites in administering a baseline survey of targeted residents' current at-home Internet access. The survey administration will include the development of an outreach plan with HUD ConnectHome collaborators and communities; selection of a sample of participants to be surveyed; administration of an initial baseline internet access survey; and submission of a database, codebook, and frequency output tables for collected data; and submission of a summary analysis of the collected data.

    The baseline survey will provide HUD with baseline measures of in-home high-speed internet access, barriers to access among those without access, and types of devices used to access the internet. Upon establishing baseline measures, HUD's ConnectHome team will use this information to support local efforts in closing the digital divide

    Respondents (describe): The survey is expected to be administered by mail or by Public Housing Authority staff in person or by phone to targeted assisted households at 28 ConnectHome sites. Communities are targeting different populations, which the survey's sampling process will recognize that some communities are targeting only public housing households with children, while others are also targeting voucher holders or residents of HUD multifamily housing in addition or instead.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,800.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 2,800.

    Frequency of Response: One time.

    Average Hours per Response: 5 minutes (.0833 hours).

    Total Estimated Burdens: 233.24.

    ConnectHome Baseline Survey Data Collection Submission requirements Number
  • respondents
  • Number
  • responses
  • Total
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total hours Cost per hour Total cost
    Baseline Survey 5600 2800 2800 .0833 233.24 $7.25 $1,690.99 Total Paperwork Burden 5600 2800 2800 .0833 233.24 7.25 1,690.99
    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: August 9, 2016. Inez C. Downs, Department Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19511 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWY-957000-16-L13100000-PP0000] Filing of Plats of Survey, Wyoming AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has filed the plats of survey of the lands described below in the BLM Wyoming State Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming, on the dates indicated.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    WY957, Bureau of Land Management, 5353 Yellowstone Road, P.O. Box 1828, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    These surveys were executed at the request of the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service and are necessary for the management of resources. The lands surveyed are:

    The plats and field notes representing the retracement of the Wyoming-South Dakota State Boundary between mile posts 65 and 69, the corrective dependent resurvey of certain sections, the dependent resurvey of portions of the subdivisional lines, and the survey of the subdivision of sections 9 and 10, Township 46 North, Range 60 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Wyoming, Group No. 918, was accepted February 11, 2016.

    The plat and field notes representing the dependent resurvey of portions of the subdivisional lines and the survey of the subdivision of sections 3, 4 and 8, Township 14 North, Range 88 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Wyoming, Group No. 923, was accepted February 11, 2016.

    The plat and field notes representing the dependent resurvey of portions of the east boundary, subdivisional lines, and subdivision of section 24, Township 21 North, Range 88 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Wyoming, Group No. 922, was accepted March 16, 2016.

    Copies of the preceding described plats and field notes are available to the public at a cost of $4.20 per plat and $.13 per page of field notes.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. John P. Lee, Chief Cadastral Surveyor, Division of Support Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19482 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCAC01000 L16600000.XZ0000 16XL1109AF LXSIOVHD0000] Call for Nominations for Central and Northern California Resource Advisory Councils and Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking nominations for the Central California and Northern California District Resource Advisory Councils (RAC) and the Carrizo Plain National Monument Advisory Committee (MAC). The Central California RAC advises BLM officials for the Central Coast, Mother Lode, Bakersfield, Ukiah and Bishop Field Offices. The Northern California RAC advises BLM officials for the Redding, Arcata, Eagle Lake and Applegate Field Offices. The Carrizo MAC advises BLM officials for the Monument. The BLM will receive public nominations for 30 days from the date this notice is published.

    DATES:

    A completed nomination form and accompanying nomination/recommendation letters must be received at the addresses listed below no later than September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Completed applications for the Central California RAC and Carrizo MAC should be sent to the Bureau of Land Management, 5152 Hillsdale Circle, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762; attn: David Christy, email [email protected] Completed applications for the Northern California RAC should be sent to the Bureau of Land Management, 1695 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521; attn: Leiskya Parrott, email [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Christy, Central California District Public Affairs Officer, regarding the Central California RAC and Carrizo MAC, phone 916-941-3146, or email: [email protected] For further information on the Northern California RAC, contact Leiskya Parrott, Northern California District Acting Public Affairs Officer, phone 707 825-2313, email [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Secretary of the Interior established the Central California and Northern California RACs and Carrizo MAC pursuant to section 309 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1739) and in conformity with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2). The councils advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in the respective geographic areas. The Secretary appoints persons who are representatives of the various major citizen interests pertaining to land-use planning and management of the lands under BLM management.

    Each member of the two RACs will be a person who, as a result of training and experience, has knowledge or special expertise which qualifies him or her to provide advice from among the categories of interest listed below. As appropriate, certain council members may be appointed as Special Government Employees, who serve on the councils without compensation, and are subject to financial disclosure requirements in the Ethics in Government Act and 5 CFR part 2634.

    This notice, published pursuant to 43 CFR 1784.4-1, solicits public nominations to fill positions on the councils. The five positions open in the Central California RAC are in the following categories:

    Category One (three positions)—Public land ranchers and representatives of organizations associated with energy and mineral development, the timber industry, transportation or rights-of-way, off-highway vehicle use, and commercial recreation.

    Category Two (one position)—Representatives of nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations, archaeological and historical organizations, dispersed recreation activities, and wild horse and burro organizations.

    Category Three (one position)—Representatives of State, county, or local elected office; representatives and employees of a State agency responsible for the management of natural resources; representatives of Indian Tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the RAC is organized; representatives and employees of academic institutions who are involved in natural sciences; and the public-at-large.

    The Northern California RAC has five openings in the following membership categories:

    Category One—(Two positions) Members are public land ranchers and representatives of organizations associated with energy and mineral development, the timber industry, transportation or rights-of-way, off-highway vehicle use, and commercial recreation.

    Category Two—(One position) The group includes representatives of nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations, archaeological and historical organizations, dispersed recreation activities, and wild horse and burro organizations.

    Category Three—(Two positions) The group consists of elected representatives of State, county or local government; representatives and employees of a State agency responsible for the management of natural resources; representatives of Indian tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the RAC is organized; representatives and employees of academic institutions who are involved in natural sciences; and the public-at-large. For the Carrizo MAC, five positions are open representing the Carrizo Native American Advisory Committee, those authorized to graze livestock within the monument and the public-at-large.

    Nomination forms and additional information about the advisory groups are available on the Internet at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/rac.html.

    Any individual or organization may nominate one or more persons to serve on the RAC or MAC. Individuals may nominate themselves for RAC or MAC membership. Nominations packages must include a letter of nomination, a completed nomination form, letters of reference from the represented interest groups or organizations associated with the interests represented by the candidate, and any other information that speaks to the candidate's qualifications.

    The specific category the nominee would represent should be identified in the letter of nomination and in the nomination form.

    The BLM-California State Director and District Manager will review the nomination forms and letters of reference. The State Director shall confer with the Governor of the State of California on potential nominations, and then will forward recommended nominations to the Secretary of the Interior, who has responsibility for making the appointments.

    Members will serve without monetary compensation, but will be reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses at current U.S. General Services Administration rates. The committees will meet at least twice a year. Additional meetings may be called by the Designated Federal Officer.

    The Obama Administration prohibits individuals who are currently federally registered lobbyists to serve on all FACA and non-FACA boards, committees or councils.

    Authority:

    43 CFR 1784.4-1.

    Dereck Wilson, Acting Central California District Manager.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19428 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-40-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLWY920000. 16XL5017AR. L57000000.RB0000] Notice of Proposed Reinstatement of Terminated Oil and Gas Lease WYW178492, Wyoming AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Per the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, Hilcorp Energy I, L.P. filed a petition for reinstatement of competitive oil and gas lease WYW178492, in Crook County, Wyoming. The petition was filed on time, and the lessee paid the required rentals accruing from the date of termination. No leases that affect these lands were issued before the petition was filed.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chris Hite, Chief of Fluid Minerals Adjudication, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Office, 5353 Yellowstone Road, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009; phone 307-775-6176; email [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact Mr. Hite during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Consistent with applicable requirements the lessee has agreed to the amended lease terms for rentals and royalties at rates of $10 per acre, or fraction thereof, per year and 162/3 percent, respectively, as part of the lease reinstatement. The lessee has also agreed to the amended lease stipulations for the lease described in the associated Reinstatement Certification.

    The lessee has paid the required $500 administrative fee and the $159 cost for publishing this notice. The lessee met the requirements for reinstatement of the lease per Sec. 31(d) and (e) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. The BLM proposes to reinstate the lease effective January 1, 2013, under the original terms and conditions of the lease, the amended lease stipulations, and the increased rental and royalty rates cited above.

    Chris Hite, Chief, Branch of Fluid Minerals Adjudication.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19429 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management [Docket No. BOEM-2016-0045] Atlantic Wind Lease Sale 7 (ATLW-7) for Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina (Kitty Hawk)—Proposed Sale Notice and Request for Interest; MMAA104000 AGENCY:

    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM or “the Bureau”), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed sale notice and request for interest for commercial leasing for Wind Power on the outer continental shelf offshore North Carolina (Kitty Hawk).

    SUMMARY:

    This is the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) for the sale of one commercial wind energy lease on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, pursuant to 30 CFR 585.216. BOEM proposes to offer Lease OCS-A 0508 for sale using an ascending-bid auction. In this PSN, you will find information pertaining to the area available for leasing, proposed lease provisions and conditions, auction details, the lease form, criteria for evaluating competing bids, award procedures, appeal procedures, and lease execution. BOEM invites public comment during a 60-day comment period following publication of this notice. The issuance of the proposed lease resulting from this sale would not constitute an approval of project-specific plans to develop offshore wind energy. Such plans, expected to be submitted by the auction winner, would be subject to subsequent environmental and technical reviews prior to a decision to proceed with development. This document is also a Request for Interest (RFI), pursuant to 30 CFR 585.212, to assess if there has been a change in competitive interest in the area encompassing proposed lease OCS-A 0508 since the publication of the North Carolina Call for Information and Nominations (Call) (77 FR 74204) on December 13, 2012. If BOEM determines that competitive interest in the proposed lease area (OCS-A 0508) still exists, BOEM will proceed with the competitive process set forth in 30 CFR 585.211 through 585.225. If BOEM determines competitive interest in the proposed lease area (OCS-A 0508) no longer exists because only one potential lessee is interested in the area, BOEM may proceed with the non-competitive process set forth in 30 CFR 585.231(d)-(i) following the receipt of the acquisition fee specified in 30 CFR 585.502(a).

    DATES:

    Comments should be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than October 17, 2016. All comments received or postmarked during the comment period will be made available to the public and considered prior to publication of the Final Sale Notice (FSN).

    Everyone wishing to participate as a bidder in the proposed Kitty Hawk lease sale must respond to this notice by the end of the 60-day comment period. Prospective bidders whom BOEM has already determined are qualified to hold an OCS lease for commercial wind energy development offshore North Carolina must submit a response to this notice affirming their continued interest in the proposed lease area. Those who are not yet qualified, but wish to participate as bidders in the proposed lease sale, must submit qualification materials by the end of the 60-day comment period. All qualification materials must be postmarked no later than October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Potential auction participants, Federal, state, and local government agencies, tribal governments, and other interested parties are requested to submit their written comments on the PSN in one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically: http://www.regulations.gov. In the entry entitled, “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter BOEM-2016-0045 then click “search.” Follow the instructions to submit public comments.

    2. Written Comments: In written form, delivered by hand or by mail, enclosed in an envelope labeled, “Comments on North Carolina PSN” to: BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 45600 Woodland Road, VAM-OREP, Sterling, Virginia 20166, (703) 787-1320.

    3. Qualifications Materials: Those submitting qualifications materials should contact William Waskes, BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 45600 Woodland Road, VAM-OREP, Sterling, Virginia 20166, (703) 787-1320, or [email protected] If you wish to protect the confidentiality of your qualification materials, clearly mark the relevant sections and request that BOEM treat them as confidential. Please label privileged or confidential information with the caption “Contains Confidential Information” and consider submitting such information as a separate enclosure. Treatment of confidential information is addressed in the section of this PSN entitled “Protection of Privileged or Confidential Information.” Information that is not labeled as privileged or confidential will be regarded by BOEM as suitable for public release.

    4. Interest Affirmation Materials: Potential bidders who submitted nominations in the response to the Call, have been qualified for this sale, and wish to participate in the sale should contact William Waskes, BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 45600 Woodland Road, VAM-OREP, Sterling, Virginia 20166, (703) 787-1320, or [email protected] If you wish to protect the confidentiality of your materials, clearly mark the relevant sections and request that BOEM treat them as confidential. Please label privileged or confidential information with the caption “Contains Confidential Information” and consider submitting such information as a separate enclosure. Treatment of confidential information is addressed in the section of this PSN entitled “Protection of Privileged or Confidential Information.” Information that is not labeled as privileged or confidential will be regarded by BOEM as suitable for public release.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Will Waskes, BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 45600 Woodland Road, VAM-OREP, Sterling, Virginia 20166, (703) 787-1320 or [email protected]

    Authority:

    This PSN and RFI is published pursuant to subsection 8(p) of the OCS Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(p)) (OCSLA), as amended by section 388 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), and the implementing regulations at 30 CFR part 585, including 30 CFR 585.211, 585.212, and 585.216.

    Background Area for Proposed Leasing

    The area described for leasing in this PSN, the Kitty Hawk Leasing Area (LA), is the same as the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area (WEA) that BOEM announced on August 11, 2014. The Area Identification announcement is available at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/.

    The Wilmington East and Wilmington West WEAs, which were also announced on August 11, 2014, have been realigned with the planning and leasing process for the South Carolina Call Areas. BOEM believes that by realigning the leasing process for these areas, a number of existing issues can be addressed in a holistic manner. For example, the entire Wilmington West WEA, a portion of the Wilmington East WEA, and the South Carolina Grand Strand Call Area (80 FR 73818) are all located within the newly expanded North Atlantic right whale (NARW) critical habitat (81 FR 4838). Further, the State of North Carolina and a number of coastal localities in southern North Carolina have expressed concerns regarding potential visual impacts that could result from wind development offshore North Carolina. Many of these communities have requested that BOEM remove from leasing consideration all areas within 24 nautical miles (nm) of their respective locations, which would include all of Wilmington West, a portion of Wilmington East, and a portion of the Grand Strand Call Area. This is in contrast to South Carolina, where coastal localities such as the City of North Myrtle Beach have indicated that they are in favor of offshore wind development even if it would be located close to shore. Finally, because the Wilmington West WEA is contiguous with the Grand Strand Call Area, wake effects could impact the productivity and viability of multiple offshore wind developments within these areas.

    Environmental Reviews

    On January 23, 2015, BOEM published a Notice of Availability (NOA) of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for commercial wind lease issuance and site assessment activities on the Atlantic OCS offshore North Carolina with a 30-day public comment period (80 FR 3621). In response to the NOA, BOEM received 195 comments, which are available at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. BOEM-2015-0001. Many of the comments focused on mitigation measures to protect wildlife, specifically marine mammals. Based on the comments received in response to the EA, public outreach, information meetings, and new information received, BOEM decided to make revisions to the EA originally published in January 2015. As a result of the analysis in the revised EA, BOEM issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on September 18, 2015 (80 FR 56494). The revised EA and FONSI can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/.

    BOEM also considered the comments received when developing mitigation measures that will be enforced through the terms, conditions, and stipulations in Addendum C of the proposed lease (OCS-A 0508). These mitigation measures are designed to reduce or eliminate impacts from survey activities. They are based on the best available science and BOEM's Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Additional mitigation measures related to the installation and operation of meteorological towers and/or buoys will be included as terms and conditions of the lessee's Site Assessment Plan (SAP) approval. BOEM will continue to work with interested stakeholders and reassess mitigation measures as research and data become available.

    In addition, BOEM has concluded consultations under the ESA and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) covering the proposed lease sale, associated site characterization surveys, and subsequent site assessment activities. BOEM will initiate consultations with the States of North Carolina and Virginia under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) concurrent with the publication of this PSN.

    In order to guide its consultation under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for renewable energy activities offshore North Carolina, BOEM executed a programmatic agreement (PA) with the State Historic Preservation Officer of North Carolina and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The PA provides for consultation to continue throughout BOEM's commercial leasing process and the decisionmaking process regarding the approval, approval with modification, or disapproval of a lessees' SAP, Construction and Operations Plan (COP), or other plan. In addition, the PA allows for phased identification and evaluation of historic properties. The PA can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/South-Atlantic-Renewable-Energy-Activities/.

    On May 7, 2015, BOEM completed its section 106 review for the undertaking of issuing commercial leases within the North Carolina WEAs and published a Finding of No Historic Properties Affected For the Issuance of Commercial Leases within the Kitty Hawk, Wilmington East and Wilmington West Wind Energy Areas For Wind Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore North Carolina. The Finding can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/NC-WEAs-Lease-Issuance/.

    Additional environmental reviews and consultations will be conducted upon receipt of the Lessee's SAP and COP.

    Additional Participation in the Proposed Lease Sale

    Any parties wishing to participate in the proposed Kitty Hawk lease sale that have not already been legally, financially, and technically qualified to hold a lease for commercial wind development offshore North Carolina must submit the required qualification materials by the end of the 60-day comment period for this notice. Guidelines to prospective lessees on BOEM's requirements to qualify for and hold a renewable energy lease on the OCS and the type of information that should be submitted to demonstrate your legal, technical, and financial qualifications can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Regulatory-Information/QualificationGuidelines-pdf.aspx. Documentation you submit must be provided to BOEM in both paper and electronic formats. BOEM considers an Adobe PDF file stored on a storage media device to be an acceptable format for submitting an electronic copy. Please note that it may take a number of weeks for BOEM to assess a potential bidder's legal, technical, and financial qualifications. BOEM advises potential bidders who plan to participate in a sale to establish their qualifications promptly. It is not uncommon for BOEM to request additional materials establishing qualifications following an initial review of the qualifications package. BOEM cannot determine a potential bidder to be qualified without a complete qualification package. Potential bidders who BOEM has not determined to be qualified before the FSN is published will not be allowed to participate in the proposed sale.

    Request for Interest Affirmation of Interest Received in Response to the North Carolina Call for Information and Nominations of Interest for the Kitty Hawk WEA

    Legally, technically, and financially qualified entities who submitted a nomination in response to the North Carolina Call must respond to this notice and indicate whether: (1) They wish to continue with their Call nomination for the Kitty Hawk WEA; or (2) they wish to withdraw their Call nomination from further consideration. If such entities do not respond by the comment period deadline associated with this notice, BOEM will deem their nominations submitted in response to the North Carolina Call to be withdrawn, and they will not be able to participate in the proposed lease sale. BOEM is issuing this Request for Interest due to the large amount of time that has elapsed since its initial solicitation of commercial interest through its Call in December 2012 and the experience of past lease sales, in which a significant number of companies that expressed competitive interest in response to the Call choose not to submit a Bidder's Financial Form (BFFs) or Bid Deposits.

    Deadlines and Milestones for Bidders: This section describes the major deadlines and milestones in the auction process from publication of this PSN to execution of the lease pursuant to this proposed sale. This process is organized into five stages: (1) The PSN comment period; (2) from the end of PSN comment period to publication of the FSN; (3) the FSN waiting period; (4) conducting the auction; and (5) from the auction to Lease Execution.

    The PSN Comment Period

    Submit Comments: The public is invited to submit comments during this 60-day period, which will expire on October 17, 2016.

    Public Seminar: BOEM will host a public seminar to discuss the lease sale process and the auction format. The time and place of the seminar will be announced by BOEM and published on the BOEM Web site at http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/. No registration or RSVP is required to attend.

    Submit Qualifications Materials: All qualifications materials must be received by BOEM by the end of the 60-day PSN comment period, October 17, 2016. This includes materials sufficient to establish a company's legal, technical, and financial qualifications pursuant to 30 CFR 585.106-107.

    Submit Interest Affirmation Materials: In order to participate in the proposed Kitty Hawk lease sale, potential bidders whom BOEM has determined to be legally, technically, and financially qualified to hold an OCS lease for commercial wind energy development offshore North Carolina, must submit a response to this notice affirming their continued interest in participating in the proposed lease sale by the end of the 60-day comment period, October 17, 2016.

    End of PSN Comment Period to FSN Publication

    Review Comments: BOEM will review all comments submitted in response to the PSN during the comment period.

    Finalize Qualifications Reviews: BOEM will complete any outstanding reviews of bidder qualifications materials submitted during the PSN comment period and requested by BOEM prior to the publication of the FSN. The final list of eligible bidders will be published in the FSN.

    Prepare the FSN: Should BOEM determine that competitive interest still exists in leasing the Kitty Hawk WEA, and BOEM decides to move forward with a lease sale, BOEM will prepare the FSN by updating information contained in the PSN where appropriate.

    Publish FSN: If BOEM decides to move forward with a lease sale, BOEM will publish the FSN in the Federal Register.

    FSN Waiting Period. During this period, qualified bidders must take several steps before participating in the auction.

    Bidder's Financial Form (BFF): BOEM must receive each qualified bidder's completed and signed BFF no later than the date listed in the FSN. Typically, this deadline is approximately 14 calendar days after publication of the FSN in the Federal Register. BOEM will consider extensions to this deadline only if BOEM determines that the failure to timely submit the BFF was caused by events beyond the bidder's control. Blank BFFs can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/. Once the BFF has been processed, bidders may log into pay.gov and submit bid deposits. BOEM will only accept an originally executed paper copy of the BFF, and will not consider for this auction BFFs submitted for previous lease sales. The BFF must be executed by an authorized representative as shown on the bidder's legal qualifications. Each bidder is required to sign the self-certification in the BFF, in accordance with 18 U.S.C. 1001 (Fraud and False Statements).

    Bid Deposits: Each qualified bidder must submit a bid deposit of $450,000 no later than the date listed in the FSN. Typically, this deadline is approximately 30 calendar days after the publication of the FSN. BOEM will consider extensions to this deadline only if BOEM determines that the failure to timely submit the bid deposit was caused by events beyond the bidder's control.

    Mock Auction: BOEM will hold an online Mock Auction that is open only to qualified bidders who have met the requirements and deadlines for auction participation, including submission of the bid deposit. Final details of the Mock Auction will be provided in the FSN.

    Conduct of the Auction. BOEM, through its contractor, will hold an auction as described in the FSN. The auction will take place no sooner than 30 days following publication of the FSN in Federal Register. The estimated timeframes described in this PSN assume the auction will take place approximately 45 days after publication of the FSN.

    From Auction to Lease Execution. There are several steps between the conclusion of the auction and execution of the lease.

    Bid Deposit Refund: BOEM will refund the bid deposit of any bidder that did not win the lease. BOEM will provide a written explanation of why the bidder did not win.

    Department of Justice (DOJ) Review: The DOJ has 30 days in which to conduct an antitrust review of the auction in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission, pursuant to 43 U.S.C § 1337(c).

    Delivery of the Lease: BOEM will send three lease copies to the winner, with instructions on how to sign the lease. The first year's rent is due 45 days after the winner receives the lease copies for execution.

    Return the Lease: Within 10 business days of receiving the lease copies, the auction winner must post financial assurance, pay any outstanding balance of their bonus bid (i.e., winning monetary bid minus bid deposit), and sign and return the three signed lease copies.

    Execution of the Lease: Once BOEM has received the lease copies and verified that it has received all other required materials, BOEM will execute the lease if appropriate.

    Area Proposed for Leasing: The area available for sale will be auctioned as one lease, Lease OCS-A 0508 (Kitty Hawk LA). The Kitty Hawk LA consists of 122,405 acres. A description of the proposed lease area can be found in Addendum A of the proposed lease, which BOEM has made available with this notice on its Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/.

    Map of the Area Proposed for Leasing

    A map of the proposed Kitty Hawk LA, GIS spatial files, and a table of the boundary coordinates in X, Y (eastings, northings) UTM Zone 18, NAD83 Datum, and geographic X, Y (longitude, latitude), NAD83 Datum can be found on BOEM's Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/.

    A large scale map of the area, showing boundaries of the area with numbered blocks, is available from BOEM upon request at the following address: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, 45600 Woodland Road, VAM-OREP, Sterling, Virginia 20166, Phone: (703) 787-1300, Fax: (703) 787-1708.

    Withdrawal of Blocks: BOEM reserves the right to withdraw portions of the proposed lease area prior to its execution of the lease based upon relevant information provided to the Bureau.

    Lease Terms and Conditions: BOEM has made available proposed terms, conditions, and stipulations for the OCS commercial wind lease to be offered through this proposed sale. If and when the lease is issued, BOEM reserves the right to require compliance with additional terms and conditions associated with approval of a SAP or COP. The proposed lease is on BOEM's Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/. The lease includes the following seven attachments:

    • Addendum A (Description of Leased Area and Lease Activities) • Addendum B (Lease Term and Financial Schedule) • Addendum C (Lease Specific Terms, Conditions, and Stipulations) • Addendum D (Project Easement) • Addendum E (Rent Schedule post COP approval) • Appendix A to Addendum C (Incident Report: Protected Species Injury or Mortality) • Appendix B to Addendum C (Required Data Elements for Protected Species Observer Reports)

    Addenda A, B, and C provide detailed descriptions of lease terms and conditions. Addendum D will be completed at the time of COP approval or approval with modifications. Addendum E will be completed after COP approval or approval with conditions.

    BOEM is soliciting comments on the provisions of Addendum C that require the submission of SAP and COP survey plans. Specifically, BOEM is interested in whether potential lessees and other stakeholders find the timeframes associated with those requirements to be reasonable, and whether those provisions could be written in a manner that better describes the realities associated with offshore wind survey efforts (e.g., referring to “survey mobilizations” instead of “SAP surveys” and “COP surveys” specifically).

    Plans. Pursuant to 30 CFR 585.601, the leaseholder must submit a SAP within 12 months of lease issuance and a COP at least 6 months before the end of the site assessment term of the lease.

    Financial Terms and Conditions: This section provides an overview of the annual payments required of a lessee that are described in the proposed lease, and the financial assurance requirements that will be associated with the lease if it is awarded.

    Rent. Pursuant to 30 CFR 585.224(b) and 585.503, the first year's rent payment of $3 per acre is due within 45 days of the date the lessee receives the lease for execution. Thereafter, annual rent payments are due on the anniversary of the Effective Date of the lease (the “Lease Anniversary”). Once commercial operations under the lease begin, BOEM will charge rent only for the portions of the lease not authorized for commercial operations, i.e., not generating electricity. However, instead of geographically dividing the lease area into acreage that is “generating” and “non-generating,” the fraction of the lease accruing rent will be based on the fraction of the total nameplate capacity of the project that is not yet in operation. This fraction is calculated by dividing the nameplate capacity not yet authorized for commercial operations at the time payment is due by the anticipated nameplate capacity after full installation of the project (as described in the COP). The annual rent due for a given year is then derived by multiplying this fraction by the amount of rent that would have been due for the lessee's entire lease area at the rental rate of $3 per acre.

    For example, a 122,405 acre lease (the size of the entire Kitty Hawk LA); will have a rent payment of $367,215 per year if no portion of the leased area is authorized for commercial operations. If 300 megawatts (MW) of a project's nameplate capacity is operating (or authorized for operation), and the approved COP specifies a maximum project size of 500 MW, the rent payment will be $146,886. This payment is based on the 200 MW of nameplate capacity BOEM has not yet authorized for commercial operations. For the above example, this would be calculated as follows: 200MW/500MW × ($3/acre × 122,405 acres) = $146,886.

    If the lessee submits an application for relinquishment of a portion of its lease area within the first 45 calendar days following the date that the lease is received by the lessee for execution, and BOEM approves that application, no rent payment will be due on that relinquished portion of the lease area. Later relinquishments of any portion of the lease area will reduce the lessee's rent payments starting in the year following BOEM's approval of the relinquishment.

    The lessee also must pay rent for any project easement associated with the lease, commencing on the date that BOEM approves the COP (or modification thereof) that describes the project easement. Annual rent for a project easement that is 200 feet wide and centered on the transmission cable is $70 per statute mile. For any additional acreage required, the lessee must also pay the greater of $5 per acre per year or $450 per year.

    Operating Fee

    For purposes of calculating the initial annual operating fee payment and pursuant to 30 CFR 585.506, an operating fee rate is applied to a proxy for the wholesale market value of the electricity expected to be generated from the project during its first twelve months of operations. This initial payment will be prorated to reflect the period between the commencement of commercial operations and the Lease Anniversary. The initial annual operating fee payment is due within 45 days of the commencement of commercial operations. Thereafter, subsequent annual operating fee payments are due on or before each Lease Anniversary.

    The subsequent annual operating fee payments are calculated by multiplying the operating fee rate by the imputed wholesale market value of the projected annual electric power production for the project. For the purposes of this calculation, the imputed market value is the product of the project's annual nameplate capacity, the total number of hours in the year (8,760), the capacity factor, and the annual average price of electricity derived from a historical regional wholesale power price index. For example, the annual operating fee for a 100 MW wind facility operating at a 40% capacity (i.e., capacity factor of 0.4) with a regional wholesale power price of $40/MWh and an operating fee rate of 0.02 would be calculated as follows:

    EN16AU16.000

    Operating Fee Rate. The operating fee rate is the share of imputed wholesale market value of the projected annual electric power production due to BOEM as an annual operating fee. For the proposed Kitty Hawk LA, BOEM will set the fee rate at 0.02 (i.e., 2 percent) for the entire life of commercial operations.

    Nameplate Capacity. Nameplate capacity is the maximum rated electric output, expressed in MW, that the turbines of the wind facility under commercial operations can produce at their rated wind speed as designated by the turbine's manufacturer. The lessee will specify in its COP the nameplate capacity available at the start of each year of commercial operations on the lease. For example, if the lessee specifies 20 turbines in its COP, and each is rated by the design manufacturer at 5 MW, the nameplate capacity of the wind facility would be 100 MW.

    Capacity Factor. The capacity factor compares the amount of energy delivered to the grid during a period of time to the amount of energy the wind facility would have produced at full capacity. The amount of power delivered will always be less than the theoretical 100 percent capacity, largely because of the variability of wind speeds, transmission line loss, and down time for maintenance or other purposes.

    The capacity factor is expressed as a decimal between zero and one, and represents the share of anticipated generation of the wind facility that is delivered to the interconnection grid (i.e., where the lessee's facility interconnects with the electric grid) relative to the wind facility's generation at continuous full power operation at nameplate capacity. For the proposed lease area, BOEM has set the capacity factor for the year in which commercial operations commence and the six full years thereafter at 0.4 (i.e., 40 percent). At the end of the sixth year, BOEM may adjust the capacity factor to reflect the performance over the previous five years based upon the actual metered electricity generation at the delivery point to the electrical grid. BOEM may make similar adjustments to the capacity factor once every five years thereafter. The maximum change in the capacity factor from one period to the next will be limited to plus or minus 10 percent of the previous period's value.

    Wholesale Power Price Index. Pursuant to 30 CFR 585.506(c)(2)(i), the wholesale power price, expressed in dollars per MW-hour, is determined at the time each annual operating fee payment is due, based on the weighted average of the inflation-adjusted peak and off-peak spot price indices for the PJM Dominion zone for the most recent year of spot price data available. The wholesale power price is adjusted for inflation from the year associated with the published spot price indices to the year in which the operating fee is to be due, based on the Lease Anniversary and using annual implicit price deflators as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis. BOEM proposes to use the PJM Dominion power price as the price in its operating fee formula. BOEM is soliciting further comments on the merits of other electric power prices, including prices from other hubs within the PJM Virginia Power Company electric region that may be used in lieu of or in combination with the current proposed power price.

    Financial Assurance

    Within 10 business days after receiving the lease copies and pursuant to 30 CFR 585.515-516, the provisional winner of the Kitty Hawk LA must provide an initial lease-specific bond or other approved means of meeting the lessor's initial financial assurance requirements. The provisionally winning bidder may meet financial assurance requirements by posting a surety bond or by setting up an escrow account with a trust agreement giving BOEM the right to withdraw the money held in the account on demand. BOEM encourages the provisionally winning bidder to discuss the financial assurance requirement with BOEM as soon as possible after the auction has concluded.

    BOEM will base the amount of all SAP, COP, and decommissioning financial assurance requirements on cost estimates for meeting all accrued lease obligations at the respective stages of development. The required amount of supplemental and decommissioning financial assurance will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

    The financial terms described above can be found in Addendum B of the proposed lease, which BOEM has made available with this notice on its Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/.

    Bid Deposit: A bid deposit is an advance cash payment submitted to BOEM in order to participate in the auction. Each qualified bidder must submit a bid deposit of $450,000 no later than the deadline provided in the FSN. Any qualified bidder who fails to submit the bid deposit by this deadline may be disqualified from participating in the auction. Bid deposits will be accepted online via pay.gov.

    Following the auction, bid deposits will be applied against bonus bids or other obligations owed to BOEM. If the bid deposit exceeds a bidder's total financial obligation, the balance of the bid deposit will be refunded to the bidder. BOEM will refund bid deposits to non-winners.

    Bidder Financial Form: Each bidder must fill out the BFF referenced in this PSN. BOEM has also made a copy of the form available with this notice on its Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/. BOEM recommends that each bidder designate an email address in its BFF that the bidder will then use to create an account in pay.gov (if it has not already done so). Bidders may then use the Bid Deposit Form on the pay.gov Web site to leave a deposit.

    BOEM will not consider BFFs submitted by qualified bidders for previous lease sales to satisfy the requirements of the proposed Kitty Hawk lease sale. BOEM will also only consider BFFs submitted after the deadline if BOEM determines that the failure to timely submit the BFF was caused by events beyond the bidder's control. BOEM will only accept an original, executed paper copy of the BFF. The BFF must be executed by an authorized representative who has been identified in the qualifications package on file with BOEM as authorized to bind the company.

    Minimum Bid: The minimum bid is the lowest price BOEM will accept as a winning bid. BOEM has established a minimum bid per acre of $2.00 or $244,810 for the proposed lease sale.

    Auction Procedures: The following is a summary of the auction procedures that BOEM proposes to use if it proceeds with the proposed Kitty Hawk lease sale.

    Summary of Auction Format

    As authorized under 30 CFR 585.220(a)(2) and 585.221(a)(1), BOEM intends to conduct the proposed lease sale using an ascending bidding auction with cash as the bid variable. Using an online bidding system to host the auction, BOEM sets an initial asking price for Lease OCS-A 0508 and increases that price incrementally until no more than one active bidder remains in the auction. A bid submitted at the full asking price for the lease in a particular round is referred to as a live bid. During each round, active bidders may: (1) Submit a live bid indicating that they are interested in acquiring the lease at the current round's stated asking price, or (2) submit an exit bid (see below for discussion of exit bids). All bids are considered binding until BOEM has determined the winning bid.

    A bidder remains active in the auction as long as it continues to meet BOEM's asking price in each round. If more than one live bid is received in a round, BOEM increases the asking price incrementally and conducts another auction round. BOEM would raise the asking price following any round in which two or more bidders submitted live bids. The auction concludes at the end of the round in which the number of live bids received falls to one or zero.

    Asking price increments are in BOEM's sole discretion. They will be determined round-by-round and based on a number of factors, including, but not necessarily limited to, the number of bidders remaining in the lease sale, the expected time needed to conduct the auction, and the number of rounds that have already occurred. BOEM reserves the right to increase or decrease bidding increments as necessary.

    Between rounds, BOEM will disclose to all bidders eligible to bid in the next round: (1) The number of live bids in the previous round of the auction (i.e., the level of demand); and (2) the asking price in the upcoming round of the auction.

    If a bidder is not willing to meet the asking price in the upcoming round, the bidder may submit an exit bid and then exit the auction. Bidders exiting the auction are allowed to submit one exit bid at an offer price greater than the asking price in the previous round, but less than the asking price in the current round. Exit bids allow bidders to express precisely the maximum price they are willing to offer while also minimizing the chance of ties. If a bidder does not submit any bid at all in the current round, BOEM will treat the bidder as having submitted an exit bid in the current round at the previous round's asking price. If a bidder exits the auction by placing an exit bid (or by not submitting any bid at all) in the current round, it will not be allowed to submit bids in any subsequent round. BOEM will not consider exit bids for the purpose of determining whether to increase the asking price or to end the auction.

    After the final round of the auction, BOEM will determine the provisionally winning bidder to be the bidder with the highest bid, whether the bid was a live bid or an exit bid. If there is a tie, BOEM will resolve the tie by randomized means. The provisionally winning bidder may be disqualified if it is subsequently found to have violated auction rules or otherwise engaged in conduct detrimental to the integrity of the competitive auction.

    The auction winner for the proposed lease sale will have 10 business days from receiving the lease to post financial assurance, pay any outstanding balance of its bonus bid, and sign and return three copies of the lease. BOEM reserves the right not to issue the lease to the provisionally winning bidder if that bidder fails to timely sign and pay for the lease or otherwise fails to comply with applicable regulations or terms of the FSN. In that case, that bidder will forfeit its bid deposit. If a bidder fails to timely pay the full amount due, BOEM may consider this to be an indication that the bidder is no longer financially qualified to participate in other lease sales under BOEM's regulations at 30 CFR 585.106—107. If a winning bidder does not sign the lease pursuant to the proposed lease sale, BOEM reserves the right to identify the next highest bid submitted during the proposed lease sale and offer the lease pursuant to this bid.

    Additional Information Regarding the Auction Format Bidder Authentication

    For the proposed online auction, BOEM will require two-factor authentication. Prior to the auction, BOEM will send several bidder authentication packages to the bidders shortly after BOEM has processed the BFFs. One package will contain digital authentication tokens for each authorized individual. The tokens will be sent to the primary point of contact indicated on the BFF. This individual is responsible for distributing the tokens to the individuals authorized to bid for that company. Bidders are to ensure that each token is returned within three business days following the auction. An addressed, stamped envelope will be provided to facilitate this process. In the event that a bidder fails to submit a bid deposit or does not participate in the proposed auction, BOEM will de-activate that bidder's token and login information, and the bidder will likewise be asked to return its tokens within three business days following the auction.

    The second package contains login credentials for authorized bidders. The login credentials will be sent to the address provided in the BFF for each authorized individual. Bidders can confirm these addresses by calling 703-787-1320. This package will contain user login information and instructions for accessing the Auction System Technical Supplement and Alternative Bidding Form. The login information, along with the tokens, will be tested during the Mock Auction.

    Timing of Auction

    The FSN will provide specific information regarding when bidders can enter the auction system and when the proposed auction will start. Once bidders have logged in, they should review the auction schedule, which lists the start, end, and recess times of each round in the auction. Each round is structured as follows:

    • Bidding round begins; • Bidders enter their bids; • Bidding round ends and the recess begins;

    • During the recess, the number of live bids received in the previous round and the next round's asking price are posted;

    • Bidders review the previous round results and prepare their next round's bids; and

    • Next bidding round begins.

    The first round will last about 30 minutes, though subsequent rounds may be shorter. Recesses are anticipated to last approximately 10 minutes. The descriptions of the auction schedule and asking price increments included in the PSN and FSN are tentative. Bidders should consult the auction schedule on the bidding Web site just before and during the auction for updated times. BOEM anticipates the proposed auction will last one or two business days, but bidders are advised to prepare to continue bidding for additional business days if necessary, to resolve the auction.

    BOEM and the auction contractor will use the auction platform messaging service to keep bidders informed on issues of interest during the proposed auction. BOEM will use the messaging system for auction schedule changes and other updates during the auction.

    Bidders may place bids at any time during the round. At the top of the bidding page, a countdown clock will show how much time remains in the round. Bidders have until the scheduled ending time to place bids. Bidders should bid according to the procedures described in both the FSN and the Auction System Technical Supplement. No information about bidding during a given round is available until the round has closed and results have been posted, so there is no tactical advantage to placing bids early or late in the round.

    The timing of the auction will be elaborated on and clarified in the Auction System Technical Supplement which is available on BOEM's Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/ if and when the FSN is published in the Federal Register. The Auction System Technical Supplement will describe auction procedures that are incorporated by reference into the FSN, except in the unexpected circumstance that any of the information in the Auction System Technical Supplement is inconsistent with the FSN, in which case the provisions of the FSN will take precedence.

    Alternate Bidding Procedures

    Alternate Bidding Procedures enable a bidder who is having difficulties accessing the Internet to submit its bid via fax using an Alternate Bidding Form available on BOEM's Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/.

    In order to be authorized to use an Alternative Bidding Form, a bidder must call the help desk number listed in the Auction Manual before the end of the round. BOEM will authenticate the caller to ensure he/she is authorized to bid on behalf of the company. The bidder must explain the reasons for which he/she cannot place a bid using the online bidding platform. BOEM may, in its sole discretion, permit or refuse to accept a request for the placement of a bid using the Alternate Bidding Procedures.

    If bidders need to submit an Alternate Bidding Form, they are strongly encouraged to do so before the round ends.

    Rejection or Non-Acceptance of Bids: BOEM reserves the right and authority to reject any and all bids that do not satisfy the requirements and rules of the proposed auction, the FSN, or applicable regulations and statutes.

    Anti-Competitive Review

    This sale is subject to Federal antitrust laws. Accordingly, following the auction, but before the acceptance of the bid and the issuance of the lease, BOEM will “allow the Attorney General, in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission, 30 days to review the results of the lease sale.” 43 U.S.C. 1337(c). If a provisionally winning bidder is found to have engaged in anti-competitive practices in connection with this sale, BOEM may reject its bid.

    Anti-competitive practices may include, but are not limited to:

    • An express or tacit agreement among bidders not to bid in an auction, or to bid at a particular price; • An agreement among bidders not to bid against each other; and • Other agreements among bidders that have the potential to affect the final auction price.

    BOEM will decline to award the lease if the Attorney General, in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission, determines that doing so would be inconsistent with the antitrust laws. See 43 U.S.C. 1337(c).

    For more information on whether specific communications or agreements could constitute a violation of Federal antitrust law, please see http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/business-resources.html, or consult legal counsel.

    Process for Issuing the Lease: Once all post-auction reviews have been completed to BOEM's satisfaction, BOEM will issue three unsigned copies of the lease to the provisionally winning bidder. Within 10 business days after receiving the lease copies, the provisionally winning bidder must:

    1. Sign and return the lease copies on the bidder's behalf;

    2. File financial assurance, as required under 30 CFR 585.515-537; and

    3. Pay by electronic funds transfer (EFT) the balance (if any) of the bonus bid (winning bid less the bid deposit). BOEM requires bidders to use EFT procedures (not pay.gov, the Web site bidders used to submit bid deposits) for payment of the balance of the bonus bid, following the detailed instructions contained in the “Instructions for Making Electronic Payments” available on BOEM's Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/.

    BOEM will not execute a lease until the three requirements above have been satisfied, the provisionally winning bidder's financial assurance has been accepted pursuant to 30 CFR 585.515, and the provisionally winning bidder's payment has been processed.

    BOEM may extend the 10 business day deadline for executing the lease on the bidder's behalf, filing the required financial assurance, and/or paying the balance of the bonus bid, but only if BOEM determines the delay was caused by events beyond the provisionally winning bidder's control.

    If the provisionally winning bidder does not meet these requirements or otherwise fails to comply with applicable regulations or the terms of the FSN, BOEM reserves the right not to issue the lease to that bidder. In such a case, the provisionally winning bidder will forfeit its bid deposit.

    Within 45 days of the date that the provisionally winning bidder receives copies of the lease, it must pay the first year's rent using the pay.gov Renewable Energy Initial Rental Payment form available at: https://pay.gov/paygov/forms/formInstance.html?agencyFormId=27797604.

    Subsequent annual rent payments must be made following the detailed instructions contained in the “Instructions for Making Electronic Payments,” available on BOEM's Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/North-Carolina/.

    Non-Procurement Debarment and Suspension Regulations: Pursuant to regulations at 43 CFR part 42, subpart C, an OCS renewable energy lessee must comply with the Department of the Interior's non-procurement debarment and suspension regulations at 2 CFR 180 and 1400. The lessee must also communicate this requirement to persons with whom the lessee does business relating to this lease, by including this term as a condition in their contracts and other transactions.

    Force Majeure: The Program Manager of BOEM's Office of Renewable Energy Programs has the discretion to change any auction details specified in the FSN, including the date and time, in case of a force majeure event that the Program Manager deems may interfere with a fair and proper lease sale process. Such events may include, but are not limited to: Natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, blizzards), wars, riots, acts of terrorism, fire, strikes, civil disorder or other events of a similar nature. In case of such events, BOEM will notify all qualified bidders via email, phone, or through the BOEM Web site at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/index.aspx. Bidders should call 703-787-1320 if they have concerns.

    Appeals: The appeals procedures are provided in BOEM's regulations at 30 CFR 585.225 and 585.118(c). Pursuant to 30 CFR 585.225:

    (a) If BOEM rejects your bid, BOEM will provide a written statement of the reasons and refund any money deposited with your bid, without interest.

    (b) You will then be able to ask the BOEM Director for reconsideration, in writing, within 15 business days of bid rejection, under 30 CFR 585.118(c)(1). We will send you a written response either affirming or reversing the rejection.

    The procedures for appealing final decisions with respect to lease sales are described in 30 CFR 585.118(c).

    Protection of Privileged or Confidential Information

    BOEM will protect privileged or confidential information that you submit as required by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Exemption 4 of FOIA applies to “trade secrets and commercial or financial information that you submit that is privileged or confidential.” 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). If you wish to protect the confidentiality of such information, clearly mark it “Contains Privileged or Confidential Information” and consider submitting such information as a separate attachment. BOEM will not disclose such information, except as required by FOIA. Information that is not labeled as privileged or confidential will be regarded by BOEM as suitable for public release.

    BOEM will not treat as confidential aggregate summaries of otherwise confidential information or comments not containing such information. Additionally, BOEM will not treat as confidential the legal title of the commenting entity (e.g., the name of your company).

    Dated: August 9, 2016. Abigail Ross Hopper, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19552 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR83550000, 167R5065C6, RX.59389832.1009676] Quarterly Status Report of Water Service, Repayment, and Other Water-Related Contract Actions AGENCY:

    Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of contractual actions that have been proposed to the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and are new, discontinued, or completed since the last publication of this notice. This notice is one of a variety of means used to inform the public about proposed contractual actions for capital recovery and management of project resources and facilities consistent with section 9(f) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939. Additional announcements of individual contract actions may be published in the Federal Register and in newspapers of general circulation in the areas determined by Reclamation to be affected by the proposed action.

    ADDRESSES:

    The identity of the approving officer and other information pertaining to a specific contract proposal may be obtained by calling or writing the appropriate regional office at the address and telephone number given for each region in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Kelly, Reclamation Law Administration Division, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, Colorado 80225-0007; telephone 303-445-2888.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Consistent with section 9(f) of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939, and the rules and regulations published in 52 FR 11954, April 13, 1987 (43 CFR 426.22), Reclamation will publish notice of proposed or amendatory contract actions for any contract for the delivery of project water for authorized uses in newspapers of general circulation in the affected area at least 60 days prior to contract execution. Announcements may be in the form of news releases, legal notices, official letters, memorandums, or other forms of written material. Meetings, workshops, and/or hearings may also be used, as appropriate, to provide local publicity. The public participation procedures do not apply to proposed contracts for the sale of surplus or interim irrigation water for a term of 1 year or less. Either of the contracting parties may invite the public to observe contract proceedings. All public participation procedures will be coordinated with those involved in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act. Pursuant to the “Final Revised Public Participation Procedures” for water resource-related contract negotiations, published in 47 FR 7763, February 22, 1982, a tabulation is provided of all proposed contractual actions in each of the five Reclamation regions. When contract negotiations are completed, and prior to execution, each proposed contract form must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior, or pursuant to delegated or redelegated authority, the Commissioner of Reclamation or one of the regional directors. In some instances, congressional review and approval of a report, water rate, or other terms and conditions of the contract may be involved.

    Public participation in and receipt of comments on contract proposals will be facilitated by adherence to the following procedures:

    1. Only persons authorized to act on behalf of the contracting entities may negotiate the terms and conditions of a specific contract proposal.

    2. Advance notice of meetings or hearings will be furnished to those parties that have made a timely written request for such notice to the appropriate regional or project office of Reclamation.

    3. Written correspondence regarding proposed contracts may be made available to the general public pursuant to the terms and procedures of the Freedom of Information Act, as amended.

    4. Written comments on a proposed contract or contract action must be submitted to the appropriate regional officials at the locations and within the time limits set forth in the advance public notices.

    5. All written comments received and testimony presented at any public hearings will be reviewed and summarized by the appropriate regional office for use by the contract approving authority.

    6. Copies of specific proposed contracts may be obtained from the appropriate regional director or his or her designated public contact as they become available for review and comment.

    7. In the event modifications are made in the form of a proposed contract, the appropriate regional director shall determine whether republication of the notice and/or extension of the comment period is necessary.

    Factors considered in making such a determination shall include, but are not limited to, (i) the significance of the modification, and (ii) the degree of public interest which has been expressed over the course of the negotiations. At a minimum, the regional director will furnish revised contracts to all parties who requested the contract in response to the initial public notice.

    Definitions of Abbreviations Used in the Reports ARRA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 BCP Boulder Canyon Project Reclamation Bureau of Reclamation CAP Central Arizona Project CUP Central Utah Project CVP Central Valley Project CRSP Colorado River Storage Project FR Federal Register IDD Irrigation and Drainage District ID Irrigation District M&I Municipal and industrial NMISC New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission O&M Operation and maintenance OM&R Operation, maintenance, and replacement P-SMBP Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program PPR Present Perfected Right RRA Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 SOD Safety of Dams SRPA Small Reclamation Projects Act of 1956 USACE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers WD Water District

    Pacific Northwest Region: Bureau of Reclamation, 1150 North Curtis Road, Suite 100, Boise, Idaho 83706-1234, telephone 208-378-5344.

    New contract actions:

    17. Willow Creek District Improvement Company, Willow Creek Project, Oregon: Amend to increase the amount of storage water made available under the existing long-term contract from 2,500 to 3,500 acre-feet.

    18. East Columbia Basin ID, Columbia Basin Project, Washington: Amendment of renewal master water service contract, contract No. 159E101882, to authorize up to an additional 70,000 acres within the District that are located within the Odessa Subarea and eligible to participate in the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Program, to receive Columbia Basin Project irrigation water service.

    19. Talent, Medford, and Rogue River Valley IDs; Rogue River Basin Project; Oregon: Contracts for repayment of reimbursable shares of SOD program modifications for Hyatt Dam.

    20. Stanfield ID, Umatilla Basin Project, Oregon: A long-term water service contract to provide for the use of conjunctive use water, if needed, for the purposes of pre-saturation or failure of District diversion facilities.

    Mid-Pacific Region: Bureau of Reclamation, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, California 95825-1898, telephone 916-978-5250.

    The Mid-Pacific Region has no updates to report for this quarter.

    Lower Colorado Region: Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 61470 (Nevada Highway and Park Street), Boulder City, Nevada 89006-1470, telephone 702-293-8192.

    New contract actions:

    21. Imperial ID, Lower Colorado River Water Supply Project, California: Develop an agreement between Reclamation and Imperial ID for the funding of design, construction, and installation of power facilities for the Project.

    22. Mohave County Water Authority, BCP, Arizona: Amend Exhibit B to the Authority's Colorado River water delivery contract to update the annual diversion amounts to be used within the contract service areas.

    23. City of Chandler and the Gila River Indian Community, CAP, Arizona: Approve a CAP water lease for the Community to lease 2,450 acre-feet per year of its CAP water to Chandler for 100 years. (The United States is not a party to this lease agreement, but must approve the lease agreement pursuant to the Arizona Water Settlements Act and the Community's amended CAP water delivery contract.)

    24. City of Chandler and the Gila River Indian Community, CAP, Arizona: Approve a reclaimed water exchange agreement beginning January 1, 2019, for 50 years. The Agreement will allow for the exchange of Chandler reclaimed water for Community CAP water. The Community will accept delivery of up to 4,225 acre-feet per year of Chandler reclaimed water, in exchange for up to 3,380 acre-feet of Community CAP water. (The United States is not a party to this agreement, but must approve the agreement pursuant to the Arizona Water Settlements Act.)

    25. Avra Water Co-op, Inc. and the Town of Marana, CAP, Arizona: Execute a proposed assignment to the Town of Marana of Avra Water Co-op's 808 acre-foot annual CAP M&I water entitlement. This proposed action will increase the Town of Marana's entitlement to 2,336 acre-feet per annum and will eliminate Avra Water Co-op's entitlement.

    Completed contract actions:

    16. San Carlos Apache Tribe and the Town of Gilbert, CAP, Arizona: Execute Amendment No. 5 to a CAP water lease to extend the term of the lease in order for the San Carlos Apache Tribe to lease 20,000 acre-feet of its CAP water to the Town of Gilbert during calendar year 2016. Contract executed March 23, 2016.

    19. Ak-Chin Indian Community and Del Webb Corporation, CAP, Arizona: Execute a CAP water lease in order for Ak-Chin Indian Community to lease 2,800 acre-feet of its CAP water to the Del Webb Corporation during calendar year 2016. Contract completed May 12, 2016.

    Upper Colorado Region: Bureau of Reclamation, 125 South State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138-1102, telephone 801-524-3864.

    New contract actions:

    32. Utah Division of State Parks, Utah: Requested an early renewal of its 11 State Parks Agreement for recreation management at various Reclamation Reservoirs.

    33. State of Wyoming, Seedskadee Project; Wyoming: The Wyoming Water Development Commission is interested in purchasing an additional 65,000 acre-feet of M&I water from Fontenelle Reservoir.

    34. Newton Water Users Association, Newton Project; Utah: The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources desires to install a fish screen on the outlet works of Newton Dam. This requires a supplementary O&M agreement to approve modification to Federal Reclamation facilities.

    35. Strawberry High Line Canal Company, Strawberry Valley Project; Utah: The Strawberry High Line Canal Company has requested a conversion of up to 20,000 acre-feet of irrigation water to be allowed for miscellaneous use.

    36. Sweetwater County; Flaming Gorge Unit, CRSP; Wyoming: Sweetwater County has requested a water service contract for 1 acre-foot of M&I water annually from Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

    37. Grand Valley Water Users Association and Orchard Mesa ID, Grand Valley Project, Colorado: A contract for repayment of extraordinary maintenance of the Grand Valley Power Plant funded pursuant to Subtitle G of Public Law 111-11.

    Completed contract actions:

    8. Provo Reservoir Water Users Company, Provo River Project, Utah: The Company has requested a contract to store up to 5,000 acre-feet on its nonproject water in Deer Creek Reservoir on a space-available basis under the authority of the Warren Act of 1911. Contract executed April 20, 2016.

    16. Aamodt Litigation Settlement, San Juan-Chama Project, New Mexico: Contract for 1,079 acre-feet of San Juan-Chama Project water for M&I use with the four Pueblos included in the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act, Title VI of Public Law 111-291. The four Pueblos are the Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, and Tesuque. Contract executed January 21, 2016.

    30. Jicarilla Apache Nation, Navajo Project, New Mexico: Water service agreement between the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the San Juan Basin Water Haulers Association for delivery of 200 acre-feet of M&I water from the Jicarilla's settlement water from the Navajo Reservoir Supply. This agreement will have a term of 5 years (2016-2020) and will replace the expired previous agreement which was in place for 10 years. Contract became effective January 1, 2016.

    Great Plains Region: Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 36900, Federal Building, 2021 4th Avenue North, Billings, Montana 59101, telephone 406-247-7752.

    New contract action:

    42. Yellowtail Unit, P-SMBP, Montana: Negotiation of a water allocation agreement with the Crow Tribe for 300,000 acre-feet of storage in Bighorn Lake pursuant to the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-291, enacted December 8, 2010).

    Discontinued contract actions:

    35. Bryan Hauxwell, Frenchman Cambridge Project, Nebraska: Consideration of a long-term Warren Act contract.

    39. South Chester County WD; Lower Marias Unit, P-SMBP; Montana: Consideration to renew of long-term M&I water service contract No. 14-06-600-2022A.

    Completed contract actions:

    20. Altus Dam, W.C. Austin Project, Oklahoma: Consideration of a contract(s) for repayment of SOD costs. Contract executed May 2, 2016.

    23. Savage ID; Savage Unit, P-SMBP; Montana: Intent to renew the repayment contract to provide for a long-term-water supply to the District. Contract executed May 6, 2016.

    25. Guernsey Dam, North Platte Project, Nebraska and Wyoming: O&M repayment contracts with North Platte Project contractors for the repayment of extraordinary maintenance associated with Guernsey Dam. Contract executed May 12, 2016.

    37. Mitchell County Rural Water District No. 2; Glen Eldecr Unit, P-SMBP; Kansas: Consideration to renew long-term water delivery contract No. 7-07-70-W0108. Contract executed April 18, 2016.

    42. Yellowtail Unit, P-SMBP, Montana: Negotiation of a water allocation agreement with the Crow Tribe for 300,000 acre-feet of storage in Bighorn Lake pursuant to the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-291, enacted December 8, 2010). Contract executed March 30, 2016.

    Dated: June 29, 2016. Roseann Gonzales, Director, Policy and Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19483 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4332-90-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-1017] Certain Quartz Slabs and Portions Thereof (II); Institution of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on July 11, 2016, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, on behalf of Cambria company LLC of Belle Plaine, Minnesota. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain quartz slabs and portions thereof (II) by reason of infringement of U.S. Patent No. D712,666 (“the '666 patent”); U.S. Patent No. D712,670 (“the '670 patent”); U.S. Patent No. D751,298 (“the '298 patent”); U.S. Patent No. D712,161 (“the '161 patent”); and U.S. Patent No. D737,058 (“the '058 patent”). The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337.

    The complainant requests that the Commission institute an investigation and, after the investigation, issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders.

    ADDRESSES:

    The complaint, except for any confidential information contained therein, is available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. Hearing impaired individuals are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server at http://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, telephone (202) 205-2560.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    The authority for institution of this investigation is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and in section 210.10 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.10 (2016).

    SCOPE OF INVESTIGATION:

    Having considered the complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission, on August 10, 2016, Ordered that—

    (1) Pursuant to subsection (b) of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, an investigation be instituted to determine whether there is a violation of subsection (a)(1)(B) of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain quartz slabs and portions thereof (II) by reason of infringement of the claim of the '666 patent; the claim of the '670 patent; the claim of the '298 patent; the claim of the '161 patent; and the claim of the '058 patent, and whether an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337;

    (2) For the purpose of the investigation so instituted, the following are hereby named as parties upon which this notice of investigation shall be served:

    (a) The complainant is:

    Cambria Company LLC 805 Enterprise Drive East Suite H Belle Plaine, MN 56011

    (b) The respondents are the following entities alleged to be in violation of section 337, and are the parties upon which the complaint is to be served:

    Stylen Quaza LLC DBA Vicostone USA 11620 Goodnight Lane, Suite 100 Dallas, TX 75229 Vicostone Joint Stock Company Hoalac Hi-tech Park Thachthat, Hanoi Vietnam Building Plastics Inc. 3263 Sharpe Avenue Memphis, TN 38111 Fasa Industrial Corporation, Ltd. 10th Floor, Building T6, Wisdom New Town No. 2 Jihua Road, Chancheng District, Foshan, Guangdong Province 528000 China Foshan FASA Building Material Co., Ltd. 10th Floor, Building T6, Wisdom New Town No. 2 Jihua Road, Chancheng District, Foshan, Guangdong Province 528000 China Solidtops LLC 27964 Oxford Road Oxford, MD 21654 Dorado Soapstone LLC 940 S. Jason St., Unit 9 Denver, CO 80223 Pental Granite and Marble Inc. 713 South Fidalgo Street Seattle, WA 98108

    (c) The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Suite 401, Washington, DC 20436; and

    (5) For the investigation so instituted, the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. International Trade Commission, shall designate the presiding Administrative Law Judge.

    The Chief Administrative Law Judge is authorized to consolidate Inv. No. 337-TA-996 and this investigation if he deems it appropriate.

    Responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation must be submitted by the named respondents in accordance with section 210.13 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.13. Pursuant to 19 CFR 201.16(e) and 210.13(a), such responses will be considered by the Commission if received not later than 20 days after the date of service by the Commission of the complaint and the notice of investigation. Extensions of time for submitting responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation will not be granted unless good cause therefor is shown.

    Failure of a respondent to file a timely response to each allegation in the complaint and in this notice may be deemed to constitute a waiver of the right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and this notice, and to authorize the administrative law judge and the Commission, without further notice to the respondent, to find the facts to be as alleged in the complaint and this notice and to enter an initial determination and a final determination containing such findings, and may result in the issuance of an exclusion order or a cease and desist order or both directed against the respondent.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: August 11, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19498 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic class, and applicants therefor, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before September 15, 2016. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on June 13, 2016, Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC, 3159 Staley Road, Grand Island, New York 14072 applied to be registered as an importer of remifentanil (9739), a basic class of controlled substance listed in schedule II.

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substance for product development and preparation of stability batches.

    Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19434 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: ALMAC Clinical Services Incorp (ACSI) ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before September 15, 2016. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on June 29, 2016, ALMAC Clinical Services Incorp (ACSI), 25 Fretz Road, Souderton, Pennsylvania 18964 applied to be registered as an importer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Oxycodone (9143) II Hydromorphone (9150) II Morphine (9300) II Tapentadol (9780) II Fentanyl (9801) II

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substances in dosage form for clinical trial only. Approval of permit applications will occur only when the registrant's business activity is consistent with what is authorized under 21 U.S.C. 952(a)(2). Authorization will not extend to the import of FDA approved or non-approved finished dosage forms for commercial sale.

    Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19439 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Cody Laboratories, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before September 15, 2016. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on May 18, 2016, Cody Laboratories, Inc., 601 Yellowstone Avenue, Barry Baldwin, Controlled Substances Manager, Cody, Wyoming 82414-9321 applied to be registered as an importer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Phenylacetone (8501) II Poppy Straw Concentrate (9670) II Tapentadol (9780) II

    The company plans to import narcotic raw materials to manufacture bulk controlled substances for distribution to its customers. The company plans to import an intermediate form of tapentadol (9780), to bulk manufacture tapentadol for distribution to its customers.

    Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19435 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Actavis Laboratories FL., Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before September 15, 2016. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on June 2, 2016, Actavis Laboratories FL., Inc., 4955 Orange Drive, Davie, Florida 33314 applied to be registered as an importer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Amphetamine (1100) II Methylphenidate (1724) II Oxycodone (9143) II Hydromorphone (9150) II Hydrocodone (9193) II Fentanyl (9801) II

    The company plans to import the above-listed controlled substances for clinical trials, research and analytical purposes.

    Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19438 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Bellwyck Clinical Services ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before September 15, 2016. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on April 18, 2016, Bellwyck Clinical Services, 8946 Global Way, West Chester, Ohio 45069 applied to be registered as an importer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Methylphenidate (1724) II Oxycodone (9143) II

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substances in finished dosage form (FDF) from foreign sources for analytical testing and clinical trials in which the foreign FDF will be compared to the company's own domestically-manufactured FDF. This analysis is required to allow the company to export domestically-manufactured FDF to foreign markets. Authorization will not extend to the import of FDA approved or non-approved finished dosage forms for commercial sale.

    Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19437 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: AMRI Rensselaer, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before September 15, 2016. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before September 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Comments and requests for hearings on applications to import narcotic raw material are not appropriate. 72 FR 3417 (January 25, 2007).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on June 27, 2016, AMRI Rensselaer, Inc., 33 Riverside Avenue, Rensselaer, New York 12144 applied to be registered as an importer of poppy straw concentrate (9670), a basic class of controlled substance listed in schedule II.

    The company plans to import the listed controlled substance to manufacture bulk controlled substance for distribution to its customers.

    Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19436 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Chemtos, LLC ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on May 5, 2016, Chemtos, LLC, 14101 W. Highway 290, Building 2000B, Austin, Texas 78737-9331 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer for the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled Substance Schedule Marihuana (7360) I Amphetamine (1100) II Methamphetamine (1105) II Lisdexamfetamine (1205) II Methylphenidate (1724) II Nabilone (7379) II Phenylacetone (8501) II Cocaine (9041) II Codeine (9050) II Etorphine HCI (9059) II Dihydrocodeine (9120) II Oxycodone (9143) II Hydromorphone (9150) II Ecgonine (9180) II Ethylmorphine (9190) II Hydrocodone (9193) II Levomethorphan (9210) II Levorphanol (9220) II Isomethadone (9226) II Meperidine (9230) II Meperidine intermediate-A (9232) II Meperidine intermediate-B (9233) II Meperidine intermediate-C (9234) II Methadone (9250) II Methadone intermediate (9254) II Morphine (9300) II Thebaine (9333) II Dihydroetorphine (9334) II Levo-alphacetylmethadol (9648) II Oxymorphone (9652) II Racemethorphan (9732) II Racemorphan (9733) II

    The company plans to manufacture small quantities of the listed controlled substances in bulk for distribution to its customers for use as reference standards.

    Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19449 Filed 8-15-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1105-0086] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Collection; Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program Electronic Forms AGENCY:

    Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management, Department of Justi