Federal Register Vol. 81, No.163,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 163 (August 23, 2016)

Page Range57439-57741
FR Document

81_FR_163
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 57645 - Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “In the Tower: Barbara Kruger” ExhibitionPDF
81 FR 57634 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 57562 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 158-Vicksburg/Jackson, Mississippi; Authorization of Limited Production Activity; Max Home, LLC (Upholstered Furniture); Iuka and Fulton, MississippiPDF
81 FR 57562 - Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
81 FR 57562 - Approval of Subzone Status; Next Level Apparel; Ashford, AlabamaPDF
81 FR 57646 - Amendments to Highway Safety Program GuidelinesPDF
81 FR 57592 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request; Protection and Advocacy Annual Program Performance Report and Statement of Goals and PrioritiesPDF
81 FR 57591 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Alzheimer's and Dementia Program Data Reporting ToolPDF
81 FR 57580 - Notification of a Public Teleconference of the Science and Information SubcommitteePDF
81 FR 57531 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Control of Volatile Organic Compound EmissionsPDF
81 FR 57451 - Addition of Certain Persons to the Entity ListPDF
81 FR 57509 - Air Plan Approval; SC; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
81 FR 57461 - Extension of Deadline for Action on the July 2016 Section 126 Petition From DelawarePDF
81 FR 57544 - Air Plan Approval; GA; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5PDF
81 FR 57596 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57594 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57595 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57561 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 57507 - Safety Zone; Columbia River, Sand Island, WAPDF
81 FR 57578 - TRICARE; Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) Quarterly Premium UpdatePDF
81 FR 57593 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57610 - Order of Succession for Office of General CounselPDF
81 FR 57611 - Notice of a Federal Advisory Committee Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee Technical Systems Subcommittee TeleconferencePDF
81 FR 57620 - Meeting of the NDCAC Executive Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 57601 - Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Local Government Assessment Tool-Information Collection Renewal: Solicitation of Comment 30-Day Notice Under Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995PDF
81 FR 57561 - First Responder Network Authority Board and Finance Committee Special MeetingPDF
81 FR 57574 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
81 FR 57563 - Visiting Committee on Advanced TechnologyPDF
81 FR 57564 - Genome in a Bottle Consortium-Progress and Planning WorkshopPDF
81 FR 57535 - Air Plan Approval; FL: Nassau Area; SO2PDF
81 FR 57522 - Air Plan Approval; FL: Hillsborough Area; SO2PDF
81 FR 57506 - Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Ninth MeetingPDF
81 FR 57569 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57645 - Shipping Coordinating Committee, Notice of Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 57644 - Notice of Receipt of Application for a Presidential Permit To Operate and Maintain the Brownsville West Rail Bypass International Bridge on the U.S.-Mexico Border West of Brownsville, TexasPDF
81 FR 57621 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested Collection of Information on Claims of U.S. Nationals Referred to the Commission by the Department of State Pursuant to Section 4(A)(1)(C) of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949, as Amended, 22 U.S.C. 1623(a)(1)(C)PDF
81 FR 57623 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Quality of Service SurveyPDF
81 FR 57581 - Information Collection; USA.gov and All Related SubdomainsPDF
81 FR 57491 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
81 FR 57491 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
81 FR 57576 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
81 FR 57565 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review WorkshopsPDF
81 FR 57579 - Call for U.S.-China Energy Performance Contracting Pilot Projects To Be Recognized at the 7th Annual U.S.-China Energy Efficiency ForumPDF
81 FR 57570 - Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57495 - Amendment to the Beef Promotion and Research Rules and RegulationsPDF
81 FR 57493 - Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment RatePDF
81 FR 57611 - Notice of Intent To Amend the Coeur d'Alene Resource Management Plan and To Prepare an Associated Environmental AssessmentPDF
81 FR 57571 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
81 FR 57629 - Virginia Electric and Power Company; North Anna Power Station Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation; Renewal of Special Nuclear Materials LicensePDF
81 FR 57497 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Amendment No. 2PDF
81 FR 57442 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Amendment No. 2PDF
81 FR 57589 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57599 - Waterway Suitability Assessment for Expansion of Liquefied Natural Gas Facility; Ingleside, TXPDF
81 FR 57458 - Arbitrage Guidance for Tax-Exempt Bonds; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 57459 - Arbitrage Guidance for Tax-Exempt Bonds; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 57459 - Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River, St. Louis, MOPDF
81 FR 57612 - Request for Nominations for the Na Hoa Pili O Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park Advisory CommissionPDF
81 FR 57614 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
81 FR 57447 - Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG Turbofan EnginesPDF
81 FR 57565 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; South Pacific Tuna ActPDF
81 FR 57613 - Andean Trade Preference Act: Impact on U.S. Industries and Consumers and on Drug Crop Eradication and Crop SubstitutionPDF
81 FR 57559 - Chippewa National Forest Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 57615 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Notification of Change of Mailing or Premise AddressPDF
81 FR 57624 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
81 FR 57570 - US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 57579 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and approval; Comment Request; Study of Title I Schoolwide and Targeted Assistance ProgramsPDF
81 FR 57588 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 57587 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 57580 - Next Meeting of the North American Numbering CouncilPDF
81 FR 57617 - United States of America v. Charter Communications, Inc., et al.; Public Comment and Response on Proposed Final JudgmentPDF
81 FR 57641 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Correct a Typographical Error in Rules IM-5910-1 and IM-5920-1PDF
81 FR 57635 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Settlement of UK Spot Natural Gas Contracts and European Emissions ContractsPDF
81 FR 57639 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Extending the Pilot Period for the Exchange's Retail Liquidity ProgramPDF
81 FR 57632 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Extending the Pilot Period for the Exchange's Retail Liquidity ProgramPDF
81 FR 57642 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Extending the Pilot Period for the Exchange's Retail Liquidity ProgramPDF
81 FR 57642 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change Amending Rules 340, 341, and 359 To Extend the Time Within Which a Member, Member Organization, or an ATP Holder Must File a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (“U5”)PDF
81 FR 57636 - FS Global Credit Opportunities Fund, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 57456 - Prohibition on Importation of Jadeite or Rubies Mined or Extracted From Burma, and Articles of Jewelry Containing Jadeite or Rubies Mined or Extracted From BurmaPDF
81 FR 57489 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual SpecificationsPDF
81 FR 57600 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Appeal or Motion, Form I-290B; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 57623 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection, Comments Requested; Extension With Change, of a Previously Approved Collection Application for Approval as a Provider of a Personal Financial Management Instructional CoursePDF
81 FR 57622 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection, Comments Requested; Extension With Change, of a Previously Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 57616 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Application for Federal Firearms License-ATF F 7(5310.12)/7 CR (5310.16)PDF
81 FR 57627 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility to Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 57626 - Mesabi Radial Tire Company, 1801 5th Avenue East, Hibbing, Minnesota; Notice of Affirmative Determination Regarding Application for ReconsiderationPDF
81 FR 57567 - Pacific Island Fisheries; AquaculturePDF
81 FR 57625 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
81 FR 57625 - Exal Corporation, Including On-Site Leased Workers from Alliance Industrial Solutions and Ryan Alternative Staffing, Youngstown, Ohio; Notice of Affirmative Determination Regarding Application for ReconsiderationPDF
81 FR 57632 - Product Change-Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 57632 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 57598 - Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 57598 - National Institute of Nursing Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 57599 - National Institute of Mental Health; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 57598 - National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 57597 - National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 57597 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 57597 - National Cancer Institute; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 57583 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57554 - Request for Information: Inappropriate Steering of Individuals Eligible for or Receiving Medicare and Medicaid Benefits to Individual Market PlansPDF
81 FR 57650 - MyVA Federal Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 57644 - Notice of Surrender of License of Small Business Investment CompanyPDF
81 FR 57519 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; Interstate Transport of Air PollutionPDF
81 FR 57469 - Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Shipbuilding Antifoulant CoatingsPDF
81 FR 57560 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 57534 - Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Shipbuilding Antifoulant CoatingsPDF
81 FR 57535 - Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Kenosha County, 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Reasonable Further Progress PlanPDF
81 FR 57463 - Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Kenosha County 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Reasonable Further Progress PlanPDF
81 FR 57582 - Draft Update to the Comprehensive PlanPDF
81 FR 57649 - Proposed Collection of Information: Management of Federal Agency DisbursementsPDF
81 FR 57439 - Civil Monetary PenaltiesPDF
81 FR 57449 - Airworthiness Directives; All Hot Air BalloonsPDF
81 FR 57589 - The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Announces the State Median Income Estimates for Federal Fiscal Year 2017PDF
81 FR 57466 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Minor New Source Review-Nonroad EnginesPDF
81 FR 57534 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Minor New Source Review-Nonroad EnginesPDF
81 FR 57499 - Federal Home Loan Bank New Business ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 57645 - Environmental Impact Statement: State Route (S.R.) 30, Cache County, UtahPDF
81 FR 57473 - Closed Captioning of Video Programming; Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Petition for RulemakingPDF
81 FR 57442 - Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for Inflation; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 57505 - Temporary Exports to Mexico Under License Exception TMPPDF
81 FR 57716 - Right-of-Way and Real EstatePDF
81 FR 57652 - Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)-Reader RequirementsPDF
81 FR 57559 - Rogue and Umpqua Resource Advisory CommitteePDF

Issue

81 163 Tuesday, August 23, 2016 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57583-57586 2016-20035 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Beef Promotion and Research, 57495-57497 2016-20098 Increased Assessment Rates: Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington, 57493-57495 2016-20096 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Housing Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 57570-57571 2016-20071 Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Federal Firearms License, 57616-57617 2016-20051 Notification of Change of Mailing or Premise Address, 57615-57616 2016-20077 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Proposed Final Judgments: United States of America v. Charter Communications, Inc., et al., 57617-57620 2016-20066 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57569-57570 2016-20114 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57587-57589 2016-20069 2016-20068 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Inappropriate Steering of Individuals Eligible for or Receiving Medicare and Medicaid Benefits to Individual Market Plans, 57554-57558 2016-20034 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57589 2016-20089 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: State Median Income Estimates for Federal Fiscal Year 2017, 57589-57591 2016-19922 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Upper Mississippi River, St. Louis, MO, 57459-57461 2016-20084 Transportation Worker Identification Credential; Reader Requirements, 57652-57713 2016-19383 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Columbia River, Sand Island, WA, 57507-57509 2016-20132 NOTICES Waterway Suitability Assessments: Expansion of Liquefied Natural Gas Facility, Ingleside, TX, 57599-57600 2016-20088 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Development Administration

See

First Responder Network Authority

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Alzheimer's and Dementia Program Data Reporting Tool, 57591-57592 2016-20156 Protection and Advocacy Annual Program Performance Report and Statement of Goals and Priorities, 57592-57593 2016-20161 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57570 2016-20099 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

NOTICES Arms Sales, 57571-57578 2016-20094 2016-20104 2016-20122 TRICARE: Fiscal Year 2017 Continued Health Care Benefit Program; Quarterly Premium Update, 57578-57579 2016-20131
Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Petitions, 57561 2016-20133 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Study of Title I Schoolwide and Targeted Assistance Programs, 57579 2016-20070 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Determinations, 57627-57629 2016-20050 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Determinations: Exal Corp. Including On-Site Leased Workers from Alliance Industrial Solutions and Ryan Alternative Staffing, Youngstown, OH, 57625 2016-20046 Mesabi Radial Tire Co., 57626-57627 2016-20049 Worker Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Investigations, 57625-57626 2016-20047 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Request for Project Submissions: Call For U.S.-China Energy Performance Contracting Pilot Projects to be Recognized at the 7th Annual U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum, 57579-57580 2016-20101 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Indiana; Shipbuilding Antifoulant Coatings, 57469-57473 2016-20016 Virginia; Minor New Source Review, Nonroad Engines, 57466-57469 2016-19888 Wisconsin; Kenosha County 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Reasonable Further Progress Plan, 57463-57466 2016-20002 Petitions: Brunner Island Steam Electric Station; Deadline Extension, 57461-57463 2016-20140 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Florida; Hillsborough Area; SO2 Attainment Demonstration, 57522-57531 2016-20118 Florida; Nassau Area; SO2 Attainment Demonstration, 57535-57544 2016-20119 Georgia; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 57544-57554 2016-20139 Indiana; Shipbuilding Antifoulant Coatings, 57534-57535 2016-20011 Maine; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; Vermont; Interstate Transport of Air Pollution, 57519-57522 2016-20022 South Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 57509-57519 2016-20141 Virginia; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions, 57531-57534 2016-20143 Virginia; Minor New Source Review, Nonroad Engines, 57534 2016-19878 Wisconsin; Kenosha County, 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Reasonable Further Progress Plan, 57535 2016-20008 NOTICES Meetings: Science and Information Subcommittee, 57580 2016-20153 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: All Hot Air Balloons, 57449-57451 2016-19937 Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd and Co KG Turbofan Engines, 57447-57449 2016-20081 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Closed Captioning of Video Programming: Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., 57473-57489 2016-19685 NOTICES Meetings: North American Numbering Council, 57580-57581 2016-20067 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration RULES Right-of-Way and Real Estate, 57716-57741 2016-19475 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: State Route 30, Cache County, UT, 57645-57646 2016-19827 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency PROPOSED RULES Federal Home Loan Bank New Business Activities, 57499-57505 2016-19858 FIRSTNET First Responder Network Authority NOTICES Meetings: First Responder Network Authority Board and Finance Committee, 57561-57562 2016-20123 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Management of Federal Agency Disbursements, 57649-57650 2016-19976 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Max Home, LLC; Foreign-Trade Zone 158, Vicksburg and Jackson, MS, 57562 2016-20180 Subzone Approvals: Next Level Apparel, Ashford, AL, 57562 2016-20168 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Chippewa National Forest Resource Advisory Committee, 57559 2016-20078 Rogue and Umpqua Resource Advisory Committee, 57559-57560 2016-19355 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: USA.gov and All Related Subdomains, 57581-57582 2016-20107 Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council NOTICES Draft Update to the Comprehensive Plan, 57582-57583 2016-19986 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Community Living Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57593-57597 2016-20110 2016-20130 2016-20134 2016-20135 2016-20136
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for Inflation; Correction, 57442 2016-19672
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department PROPOSED RULES Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Ninth Meeting, 57506-57507 2016-20115 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Local Government Assessment Tool, 57601-57610 2016-20125 Meetings: Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, 57611 2016-20127 Order of Succession for Office of General Counsel, 57610-57611 2016-20128 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Additions and Removals of Certain Persons and Modification of Certain Entries to the Entity List, 57451-57456 2016-20142 PROPOSED RULES License Exceptions: Temporary Exports to Mexico, 57505-57506 2016-19670 Interior Interior Department See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Arbitrage Guidance for Tax-Exempt Bonds: Correction, 2016-20086 57458-57459 2016-20087 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the People's Republic of China, 57562-57563 2016-20174 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Andean Trade Preference Act: Impact on U.S. Industries and Consumers and on Drug Crop Eradication and Crop Substitution, 57613-57614 2016-20079 Complaints: Certain Sleep-Disordered Breathing Treatment Mask Systems and Components Thereof, 57614-57615 2016-20082 Justice Department Justice Department See

Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau

See

Antitrust Division

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Approval as a Nonprofit Budget and Credit Counseling Agency, 57622 2016-20052 Application for Approval as a Provider of a Personal Financial Management Instructional Course, 57623-57624 2016-20053 Claims of U.S. Nationals Referred to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission by the Department of State, 57621-57622 2016-20109 Quality of Service Survey, 57623 2016-20108 Consent Decrees under CERCLA, 57624-57625 2016-20076 Meetings: National Domestic Communications Assistance Centers Executive Advisory Board, 57620-57621 2016-20126
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Coeur d'Alene Resource Management Plan; Amendments, 57611-57612 2016-20095 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Amendments to Highway Safety Program Guidelines, 57646-57649 2016-20165 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Genome in a Bottle Consortium; Workshop, 57564-57565 2016-20120 Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, 57563-57564 2016-20121 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 57597 2016-20037 National Cancer Advisory Board; Correction, 57597-57598 2016-20036 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 57597-57598 2016-20038 2016-20039 National Institute of Mental Health, 57599 2016-20040 National Institute of Nursing Research, 57598-57599 2016-20041 Office of the Director, 57598 2016-20042 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 57491-57492 2016-20106 Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 57491 2016-20105 Fisheries Off West Coast States: Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications, 57489-57490 2016-20056 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: South Pacific Tuna Act, 57565 2016-20080 Programmatic Environmental Impact and Related Procedures Pacific Island Fisheries; Aquaculture, 57567-57569 2016-20048 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Workshops, 57565-57567 2016-20103 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Na Hoa Pili O Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park Advisory Commission, 57612-57613 2016-20083 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Meetings: First Responder Network Authority Board and Finance Committee, 57561-57562 2016-20123 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Amendment No. 2, 57442-57446 2016-20090 PROPOSED RULES List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Amendment No. 2, 57497-57499 2016-20091 NOTICES License Application; Renewals: Virginia Electric and Power Company; North Anna Power Station Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, 57629-57632 2016-20092 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 57632 2016-20043 2016-20045 Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 57632 2016-20044 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service RULES Civil Monetary Penalties, 57439-57442 2016-19954 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57560-57561 2016-20012 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: FS Global Credit Opportunities Fund, et al.;, 57636-57639 2016-20059 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 57634-57635 2016-20214 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: ICE Clear Europe Limited, 57635-57636 2016-20064 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 57641-57642 2016-20065 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 57642-57644 2016-20061 NYSE Arca, Inc., 57632-57634 2016-20062 NYSE MKT LLC, 2016-20060 57639-57640, 57642 2016-20063 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Surrender of License of Small Business Investment Company, 57644 2016-20032 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: In the Tower: Barbara Kruger, 57645 2016-20298 Meetings: Shipping Coordinating Committee, 57645 2016-20113 Presidential Permits: Union Pacific Railroad Co. to Operate and Maintain the Brownsville West Rail Bypass International Bridge on the U.S.-Mexico Border West of Brownsville, TX, 57644-57645 2016-20111 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Fiscal Service

See

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 57600-57601 2016-20055 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection RULES Importations; Prohibitions: Jadeite or Rubies Mined or Extracted from Burma and Articles of Jewelry Containing Jadeite or Rubies Mined or Extracted from Burma, 57456-57458 2016-20057 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: MyVA Advisory Committee, 57650 2016-20033 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Homeland Security Department, Coast Guard, 57652-57713 2016-19383 Part III Transportation Department, Federal Highway Administration, 57716-57741 2016-19475 Reader Aids

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

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81 163 Tuesday, August 23, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service 7 CFR Part 3560 RIN 0575-AC93 Civil Monetary Penalties AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) is implementing its civil monetary penalty provision. Currently, the Agency is limited to severe actions, such as acceleration and foreclosure, as a remedy for non-monetary compliance violations, actions that may not be in the best interest of the government. New Civil Monetary Penalties regulations will enable the Agency to target the non-monetary default issues and elicit compliance by the borrower without such a drastic step as foreclosure. By implementing procedures for Civil Monetary Penalties, the Agency will be provided an important tool to enforce compliance with the regulations.

DATES:

This rule is effective September 22, 2016. However, there will be an implementation period for this rule that will allow the Agency to ensure that proper guidance is disseminated. The implementation date is December 21, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Stephanie White, Director, Multi-Family Housing Portfolio Management Division, Rural Housing Service, STOP 0782—Room 1263S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0782, Telephone: (202) 720-1615.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Executive Order 12866, Classification

This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 and has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Authority

The civil monetary penalty provision is authorized under section 543(b) of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1490s(b)).

Environmental Impact Statement

This document has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970. RHS has determined that this action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the environment. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rule has been reviewed with regard to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612). Under Section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the Agency has determined and certified by signature on this document that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities since this rulemaking action does not involve a new or expanded program nor does it require any more action on the part of a small business than required of a large entity.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The policies contained in this rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of Government. This rule does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local Governments; therefore, consultation with the States is not required.

Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988. In accordance with this rule: (1) Unless otherwise specifically provided, all State and local laws that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule except as specifically prescribed in the rule; and (3) administrative proceedings of the National Appeals Division of the Department of Agriculture (7 CFR part 11) must be exhausted before bringing suit in court that challenges action taken under this rule.

Unfunded Mandate Reform Act (UMRA)

Title II of the UMRA, Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal Agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal Governments and on the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, Federal Agencies generally must prepare a written statement, including cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and Final Rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, local, or tribal Governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any 1-year. When such a statement is needed for a rule, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires a Federal Agency to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, more cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. This rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of title II of the UMRA) for State, local, and tribal governments or for the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

The revisions in this rulemaking for 7 CFR part 3560 are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act package with the assigned OMB control number of 0575-0189. No changes would impact that package.

E-Government Act Compliance

RHS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services and for other purposes.

Programs Affected

The programs affected by this regulation are listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under Section 514 program and Section 516 program (10.405); Section 515 program (10.415); Section 521 (10.427); and Section 542 (10.448).

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This executive order imposes requirements on RHS in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications or preempt tribal laws. RHS has determined that the rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers and responsibilities between the Federal Government and the Indian tribes. Thus, the rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13175. If tribal leaders are interested in consulting with RHS on this rule, they are encouraged to contact USDA's Office of Tribal Relations or Rural Development's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected] to request such consultation.

Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

This final rule is subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372 which require intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. RHS conducts intergovernmental consultations for each loan and grant in a manner delineated in 7 CFR part 3015 subpart V.

Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identification (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: [email protected]

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

I. Background

Section 543(b) of the Housing Act of 1949 as amended (hereinafter the Act) (42 U.S.C. 1490s(b)) states for 5 different types of violations, “the Secretary may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, impose a civil monetary penalty (CMP) against any individual or entity, including its owners, officers, directors, general partners, limited partners, or employees, who knowingly and materially violate, or participate in the violation of the Act or its regulations.”

In the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 4, 2013 (78 FR 672) RHS proposed to implement two civil monetary penalty provisions. First, RHS proposed to amend its regulations to create a new section for imposing civil monetary penalties under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 1490s (section 543 of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (Act)) (Housing Act CMP). Second, RHS proposed to adopt the USDA civil monetary penalty provisions for the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986 (PFCRA) in a revision to an existing regulation (PFCRA CMP). In the proposed rule, RHS addressed the following issues for CMP:

1. Procedures for the determination of the civil monetary penalties;

2. Procedures for the administrative hearing;

3. Establishing fines; and

4. Procedures for the collection of fines.

In the final rule, Multi-Family Housing (MFH) will set out procedures to use the USDA Administrative Law Judges' office to conduct the hearings for the civil monetary penalty program. The Administrative Laws Judges conduct similar hearings for other USDA agencies. The Administrative Law Judges' regulations allow within its jurisdiction, “other adjudicatory proceedings in which the complaint instituting the proceeding so provides with the concurrence of the Assistant Secretary for Administration.” See 7 CFR 1.131(b)(6) Rural Housing Service (RHS) received concurrence in conducting MFH's civil monetary penalty hearings through the Administrative Law Judges' office.

The Agency expects about 50 CMP cases annually.

II. Summary of Comments and Responses

On January 4, 2013 (78 FR 672), the Agency published a proposed rule for Civil Monetary Penalties. A thirty-day comment period that ended February 4, 2013, was provided. Fifty-one comments were received from eleven stakeholders, including housing associations, housing advocates, and individuals. RHS is also including five comments relating to civil monetary penalties received from an interim rule titled “Reinvention of the Sections 514, 515, 516 and 521 Multi-Family Housing Programs”, which was published on November 26, 2004 (69 FR 69032-69176). Of the comments received, two comments were deemed not relevant to the rule, as the comments were not related to the CMP proposed rule.

The Agency will adopt the following comments:

Duplication and vagueness of CMP/PFCRA: Twenty-one comments mentioned that the proposed rule was broad and vague. Comments expressed concern about the duplication and overlap of existing rules created by the proposed rule. Several commenters requested that the Agency explain the need for Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act (PFCRA) in the proposed rule. The Agency has reviewed the comments and agrees that the inclusion of PFCRA provisions in the proposed rule created repetition and overlap, so they have been removed. Accordingly, the Agency has determined that 7 CFR part 1, subpart L, Procedures Related to Administrative Hearings Under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986, will be replaced with references to 7 CFR part 1, subpart H—Rules of Practice Governing Formal Adjudicatory Proceedings Instituted by the Secretary Under Various Statutes.

The majority of borrowers and management agents within the multifamily portfolio comply with Agency regulations and procedures and will not be affected by this rule. We estimate that less than five percent of the multifamily portfolio will be affected by the CMP rule.

CMP Process: Ten comments expressed concerns about the CMP process. Those concerns included:

• Two comments concerning the timeliness and use of the Attorney General. The concern was that the use of the United States Attorney's office could take years delaying completion of any civil monetary penalty against the individual or entity.

• One commenter raised a concern about the role of the Office of General Counsel (OGC) and its impact on the length of time for completing a CMP case and whether it had adequate staffing to handle such matters.

• One comment requested clearer guidance on the role and process of the Fraud Claims Officer, and the designation of the reviewing official.

• One comment objected to the pre-penalty notices warning that a penalty may be coming if the Agency did not receive adequate performance.

• Five comments were received that raised concerns about the complicated methodology of the process, ambiguous deadlines, and the standards for maintaining a property.

• Another comment suggested that the rule clearly limit which portions of Part 1 apply so, for example, the Agency is clear that it is not seeking to take on the Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation powers, but is still providing full and adequate discovery and hearing procedures.

• Another commenter suggested an initial process using the State Director or Program Director.

• The Agency considered all of the comments above and changed the rule by enlisting the Office of Administrative Law Judges to administer civil monetary hearings to address the concerns of due process. References to the Fraud Office, of which there is no equivalent in USDA have been removed. No specific pre-penalty notice will be provided. Instead the Agency will use servicing letters in the existing guidance provided in the Serving Handbook. The Administrative Law Judges conduct similar hearings for other U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies. The Administrative Law Judges' regulations allow within its jurisdiction, “other adjudicatory proceedings in which the complaint instituting the proceeding so provides with the concurrence of the Assistant Secretary for Administration.” See 7 CFR 1.131(b)(6). The Agency process will be similar to that used by Investigative and Enforcement Services of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Borrowers will have an opportunity to resolve the findings or deficiencies by working with the State Director and Agency staff prior through its regulatory loan servicing procedures prior to a CMP hearing. As with other loan servicing actions, the Agency will complete its loan servicing pursuant to 7 CFR part 3560 of the Borrower's loan account before pursuing civil monetary penalties. Pursuant to 7 CFR 3560.456(b), the Agency will make a determination on whether to proceed with an acceleration or seek CMPs. The Office of General Counsel will review the cases to ensure legal sufficiency as well as represent the Agency on any cases that they recommend to move forward. Once forwarded, the timing of the process will be incumbent on the caseload of the Office of the Administrative Law Judges.

The Agency will amend § 3560.461(b)(2) adding references to 7 CFR part 1 subpart H-Rules of Practice Governing Formal Adjudicatory Proceedings Instituted by the Secretary Under Various Statutes. In response to comments concerning duplicity, due process and procedural concerns the Agency determined it will use its authority in section 543(b) Housing Act authority and this subpart rather than 7 CFR part 1, subpart L.

CMP Fees: Three commenters expressed concerns about the fee structure and its reasonableness. As described in the proposed rule, the CMP fees will be assessed in accordance with 7 CFR part 3, subpart I. The Administrative Law Judge will use the criteria in the final rule and the requirements in section 3.91(b)(8) to determine the fees. The Agency believes that the fees set in the final rule will be reasonable. With the threshold of the fees independently established in USDA regulation and the assessment of the CMP fees imposed by the Administrative Law Judges, the Agency believes these measures eliminate any potential RHS subjectivity or bias.

Failure to Disclose: One commenter requested that the Agency add a section to the rule that specifies the failure to disclose proper identity-of-interest information on site managers and contractors as a cause to impose CMP. We agree this should be included and have adopted the comment. This requirement is addressed in § 3560.461(b)(1)(iii) entitled, “Failing to submit information requested by the Agency in a timely manner.”

The Agency will not adopt the following comments:

Non-profits: Six commenters were concerned about the negative impact of the rule on non-profit borrowers. Some requested exempt status or a 24-month grace period for implementation when a non-profit obtains a property through a transfer and assumption.

The Agency does not see a need to adopt the comment because all borrowers, including non-profits, are required to adhere to the requirements of 7 CFR part 3560. In addition, MFH will work with the non-profits to assist them in bringing the properties into compliance with MFH regulations. As a result, MFH does not think it is necessary to implement a 24 month grace period.

Liability Concerns: One commenter expressed concerns about liability in the case of a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) and whether the tenant could be liable. It is ultimately the borrower's responsibility to remain compliant with the program regulations. False information provided by the tenant resulting in unauthorized benefits may be pursued under 7 CFR part 3560, subpart O—Unauthorized Assistance. The Agency will determine borrower liability on a case-by-case basis and as the regulation and law allows. A Tenant may be liable under the CMP and is subject to the requirements of this rule.

Lack of Resources: One commenter requested that the rule clarify that civil monetary penalties will not be sought or assessed under circumstances where the primary cause of a failure to properly manage or maintain a project results from a lack of available funds where the borrower has requested rental increases or additional loans or grants in order to maintain and repair the project, but such requests have been denied. The Agency understands the commenter's concern. The Agency is choosing not to adopt the comment because the Agency is confident it can work with borrowers on tools that are available, which may include rent increases in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560, subpart E and other servicing options available under subpart J.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3560

Aged, Loan programs—Agriculture, Loan programs—Housing and Community Development, Low and moderate income housing, Public housing, Rent subsidies.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, chapter XXXV, Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 3560—DIRECT MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING LOANS AND GRANTS 1. The authority citation for part 3560 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 1480.

Subpart J—Special Servicing, Enforcement, Liquidation, and Other Actions
2. Amend § 3560.461 by revising paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(4) to read as follows:
§ 3560.461 Enforcement provisions.

(b) * * *

(2) Amount. Civil penalties shall be assessed in accordance with 7 CFR part 3, subpart I. In determining the amount of a civil monetary penalty under this section, the Agency must take into consideration:

(i) The gravity of the offense;

(ii) Any history of prior offenses by the violator (including offenses occurring prior to the enactment of this section);

(iii) Any injury to tenants;

(iv) Any injury to the public;

(v) Any benefits received by the violator as a result of the violation;

(vi) Deterrence of future violations; and

(vii) Such other factors as the Agency may establish by regulation.

(4) Hearings under this part shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures applicable to hearings in accordance with 7 CFR part 1, subpart H.

Dated: July 25, 2016. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-19954 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Part 274a [Docket No. DHS-2016-0034] RIN 1601-AA80 Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for Inflation; Correction AGENCY:

Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION:

Interim final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is correcting an interim final rule that published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2016 (81 FR 42987). The rule amended DHS regulations to adjust DHS and component civil monetary penalties for inflation. DHS calculated the adjusted penalties according to the statutory formula in the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which was signed into law on November 2, 2015. DHS is correcting an error in the amendatory instruction related to one regulatory section.

DATES:

This correction is effective on August 23, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Megan Westmoreland, Attorney-Advisor, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Phone: 202-447-4384.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In FR Doc. 2016-15673, appearing on page 42987 in the Federal Register of Friday, July 1, 2016, DHS makes the following correction:

§ 274a.10 [Corrected]
1. On page 43002, in the first column, in part 274a Control of Employment of Aliens, in amendment 7, DHS corrects the instruction “In § 274a.10, revise paragraphs (b)(1)(ii)(A),(B),(C), and (b)(1)(iii)(2) to read as follows:” to read “In § 274a.10, revise paragraphs (b)(1)(ii)(A),(B),(C), and (b)(2) to read as follows:” Dated: August 11, 2016. Christina E. McDonald, Associate General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2016-19672 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-28-P
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC-2016-0103] RIN 3150-AJ75 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Amendment No. 2 AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its spent fuel storage regulations by revising the “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks” to include Amendment No. 2 to Certificate of Compliance (CoC) No. 1032 for the Holtec International (Holtec) HI-STORM Flood/Wind (FW) Multipurpose Canister (MPC) Storage System. Amendment No. 2 adds new fuel types to the HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System, includes new criticality calculations, updates an existing fuel type description, and includes changes previously incorporated in Amendment No. 0 to CoC No. 1032, Revision 1. In addition, Amendment No. 2 makes several other changes as described in Section IV, “Discussion of Changes,” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

DATES:

The direct final rule is effective November 7, 2016, unless significant adverse comments are received by September 22, 2016. If the direct final rule is withdrawn as a result of such comments, timely notice of the withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. Comments received on this direct final rule will also be considered to be comments on a companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0103. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vanessa Cox, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-8342 or email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments II. Procedural Background III. Background IV. Discussion of Changes V. Voluntary Consensus Standards VI. Agreement State Compatibility VII. Plain Writing VIII. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact IX. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement X. Regulatory Flexibility Certification XI. Regulatory Analysis XII. Backfitting and Issue Finality XIII. Congressional Review Act XIV. Availability of Documents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0103 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0103.

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

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

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2016-0103 in your comment submission.

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

II. Procedural Background

This rule is limited to the changes contained in Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1032 and does not include other aspects of the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design. The NRC is using the “direct final rule procedure” to issue this amendment because it represents a limited and routine change to an existing CoC that is expected to be noncontroversial. Adequate protection of public health and safety continues to be ensured. The amendment to the rule will become effective on November 7, 2016. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this direct final rule by September 22, 2016, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws this action and will subsequently address the comments received in a final rule as a response to the companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rule section of this issue of the Federal Register. Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action.

A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:

(1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient to require a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. For example, a substantive response is required when:

(a) The comment causes the NRC staff to reevaluate (or reconsider) its position or conduct additional analysis;

(b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or

(c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously addressed or considered by the NRC staff.

(2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable without incorporation of the change or addition.

(3) The comment causes the NRC staff to make a change (other than editorial) to the rule, CoC, or Technical Specifications (TSs).

For detailed instructions on filing comments, please see the companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rule section of this issue of the Federal Register.

III. Background

Section 218(a) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended, requires that “the Secretary [of the Department of Energy] shall establish a demonstration program, in cooperation with the private sector, for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel at civilian nuclear power reactor sites, with the objective of establishing one or more technologies that the [Nuclear Regulatory] Commission may, by rule, approve for use at the sites of civilian nuclear power reactors without, to the maximum extent practicable, the need for additional site-specific approvals by the Commission.” Section 133 of the NWPA states, in part, that “[the Commission] shall, by rule, establish procedures for the licensing of any technology approved by the Commission under Section 219(a) [sic: 218(a)] for use at the site of any civilian nuclear power reactor.”

To implement this mandate, the Commission approved dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in NRC-approved casks under a general license by publishing a final rule which added a new subpart K in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) entitled, “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites” (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990). This rule also established a new subpart L in 10 CFR part 72 entitled, “Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks,” which contains procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of spent fuel storage cask designs. The NRC subsequently issued a final rule dated March 28, 2011 (76 FR 17019), that approved the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design and added it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in 10 CFR 72.214, “List of approved spent fuel storage casks,” as CoC No. 1032.

IV. Discussion of Changes

By letter dated March 31, 2015, Holtec submitted a request to the NRC to amend CoC No. 1032 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15092A130). Holtec supplemented its request on the following dates: April 9, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15114A423), June 19, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15170A433), and August 14, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15233A038). Amendment No. 2 includes the following changes:

• Adds new fuel types to the HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System;

• Includes criticality calculations performed in support of the request for Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1040 for the HI-STORM Underground Maximum Canister Storage System;

• Updates an existing fuel type description; and

• Includes changes previously incorporated in Amendment No. 0 to CoC No. 1032, Revision 1.

In addition to the changes requested by Holtec, the NRC staff proposed to revise CoC Condition No. 8 to provide additional clarity and guidance. Holtec agreed to this change in correspondence dated February 29, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16061A410). Therefore, Amendment No. 2 includes the revision to CoC Condition No. 8.

As documented in the Preliminary Safety Evaluation Report (PSER) (ADAMS Accession No. ML16054A624), the NRC staff performed a detailed safety evaluation of the proposed CoC amendment request. There are no significant changes to cask design requirements in the proposed CoC amendment. Considering the specific design requirements for each accident condition, the design of the cask would prevent loss of containment, shielding, and criticality control. If there is no loss of containment, shielding, or criticality control, the environmental impacts would be insignificant. This amendment does not reflect a significant change in design or fabrication of the cask. In addition, any resulting occupational exposure or offsite dose rates from the implementation of Amendment No. 2 would remain well within the applicable limits of 10 CFR part 20, “Standards for Protection Against Radiation.” Therefore, the proposed CoC changes will not result in any radiological or non-radiological environmental impacts that significantly differ from the environmental impacts evaluated in the environmental assessment supporting the March 28, 2011, final rule. There will be no significant change in the types or significant revisions in the amounts of any effluent released, no significant increase in the individual or cumulative radiation exposure, and no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents.

This direct final rule revises the Holtec International HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System listing in 10 CFR 72.214 by adding Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1032. The amendment consists of the changes previously described, as set forth in the revised CoC and TSs. The revised TSs are identified in the PSER.

The amended Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design, when used under the conditions specified in the CoC, the TSs, and the NRC's regulations, will meet the requirements of 10 CFR part 72; therefore, adequate protection of public health and safety will continue to be ensured. When this direct final rule becomes effective, persons who hold a general license under 10 CFR 72.210, “General license issued,” may load spent nuclear fuel into Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System casks that meet the criteria of Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1032 under 10 CFR 72.212, “Conditions of general license issued under § 72.210.”

V. Voluntary Consensus Standards

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113) requires that Federal agencies use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies unless the use of such a standard is inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. In this direct final rule, the NRC will revise the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design listed in 10 CFR 72.214. This action does not constitute the establishment of a standard that contains generally applicable requirements.

VI. Agreement State Compatibility

Under the “Policy Statement on Adequacy and Compatibility of Agreement State Programs” approved by the Commission on June 30, 1997, and published in the Federal Register on September 3, 1997 (62 FR 46517), this rule is classified as Compatibility Category “NRC.” Compatibility is not required for Category “NRC” regulations. The NRC program elements in this category are those that relate directly to areas of regulation reserved to the NRC by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the provisions of 10 CFR. Although an Agreement State may not adopt program elements reserved to the NRC, it may wish to inform its licensees of certain requirements via a mechanism that is consistent with the particular State's administrative procedure laws, but does not confer regulatory authority on the State.

VII. Plain Writing

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883).

VIII. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact A. The Action

The action is to amend 10 CFR 72.214 to revise the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System listing within the “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks” to include Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1032. Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the NRC's regulations in subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,” the NRC has determined that this rule, if adopted, would not be a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required. The NRC has made a finding of no significant impact on the basis of this environmental assessment.

B. The Need for the Action

This direct final rule amends the CoC for the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design within the list of approved spent fuel storage casks that power reactor licensees can use to store spent fuel at reactor sites under a general license. Specifically, Amendment No. 2 adds new fuel types to the HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System, includes new criticality calculations, updates an existing fuel type description, includes changes previously submitted in Amendment No. 0 to CoC No. 1032 Revision 1, and revises CoC Condition No. 8 to provide additional clarity and guidance.

C. Environmental Impacts of the Action

On July 18,1990 (55 FR 29181), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 to provide for the storage of spent fuel under a general license in cask designs approved by the NRC. The potential environmental impact of using NRC-approved storage casks was initially analyzed in the environmental assessment for the 1990 final rule. The environmental assessment for this Amendment No. 2 tiers off of the environmental assessment for the July 18, 1990, final rule. Tiering on past environmental assessments is a standard process under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System casks are designed to mitigate the effects of design basis accidents that could occur during storage. Design basis accidents account for human-induced events and the most severe natural phenomena reported for the site and surrounding area. Postulated accidents analyzed for an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, the type of facility at which a holder of a power reactor operating license would store spent fuel in casks in accordance with 10 CFR part 72, include tornado winds and tornado-generated missiles, a design basis earthquake, a design basis flood, an accidental cask drop, lightning effects, fire, explosions, and other incidents.

Considering the specific design requirements for each accident condition, the design of the cask would prevent loss of confinement, shielding, and criticality control. If there is no loss of confinement, shielding, or criticality control, the environmental impacts would be insignificant. This amendment does not reflect a significant change in design or fabrication of the cask. There are no significant changes to cask design requirements in the proposed CoC amendment. In addition, because there are no significant design or process changes, any resulting occupational exposure or offsite dose rates from the implementation of Amendment No. 2 would remain well within the 10 CFR part 20 limits. Therefore, the proposed CoC changes will not result in any radiological or non-radiological environmental impacts that significantly differ from the environmental impacts evaluated in the environmental assessment supporting the July 18, 1990, final rule. There will be no significant change in the types or significant revisions in the amounts of any effluent released, no significant increase in the individual or cumulative radiation exposure, and no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents. The staff documented its safety findings in the PSER for this amendment, which is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16054A624.

D. Alternative to the Action

The alternative to this action is to deny approval of Amendment No. 2 and end the direct final rule. Consequently, any 10 CFR part 72 general licensee that seeks to load spent nuclear fuel into Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System casks in accordance with the changes described in proposed Amendment No. 2 would have to request an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212 and 72.214. Under this alternative, an interested licensee would have to prepare, and the NRC would have to review, a separate exemption request, thereby increasing the administrative burden upon the NRC and the costs to each licensee. Because licensees could still receive approval for use of this cask through a different and more burdensome administrative process, environmental impacts of the proposed action would be the same as or less than the no-action alternative.

E. Alternative Use of Resources

Approval of Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1032 would result in no irreversible commitments of resources.

F. Agencies and Persons Contacted

No agencies or persons outside the NRC were contacted in connection with the preparation of this environmental assessment.

G. Finding of No Significant Impact

The environmental impacts of the action have been reviewed under the requirements in 10 CFR part 51. Based on the foregoing environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that this direct final rule entitled, “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Amendment No. 2” will not have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, the NRC has determined that an environmental impact statement is not necessary for this direct final rule.

IX. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

This rule does not contain any information collection requirements, and is therefore not subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

X. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the NRC certifies that this direct final rule will not, if issued, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This direct final rule affects only nuclear power plant licensees and Holtec. These entities do not fall within the definition of small entities set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the size standards established by the NRC (10 CFR 2.810).

XI. Regulatory Analysis

On July 18, 1990 (55 FR 29181), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 to provide for the storage of spent nuclear fuel under a general license in casks with designs approved by the NRC. Any nuclear power reactor licensee can use NRC-approved cask designs to store spent nuclear fuel if it notifies the NRC in advance, the spent fuel is stored under the conditions specified in the cask's CoC, and the conditions of the general license are met. A list of NRC-approved cask designs is contained in 10 CFR 72.214. On March 28, 2011 (76 FR 17019), the NRC issued a direct final rule that approved the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design by adding it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in 10 CFR 72.214, as CoC No. 1032.

By letter dated March 31, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15092A130), and as supplemented on April 9, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15114A423), June 19, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15170A433), and August 14, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15233A038), Holtec submitted an application to amend the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System as described in Section IV, “Discussion of Changes,” of this document.

The alternative to this action is to withhold approval of Amendment No. 2 and to require any 10 CFR part 72 general licensee seeking to load spent nuclear fuel into Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System casks under the changes described in Amendment No. 2 to request an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212 and 72.214. Under this alternative, each interested 10 CFR part 72 licensee would have to prepare, and the NRC would have to review, a separate exemption request, thereby increasing the administrative burden upon the NRC and the costs to each licensee.

Issuance of this direct final rule is consistent with previous NRC actions. Further, as documented in the PSER and the environmental assessment, the direct final rule will have no adverse effect on public health and safety or the environment. This direct final rule has no significant identifiable impact or benefit on other Government agencies. Based on this regulatory analysis, the NRC concludes that the requirements of the direct final rule are commensurate with the NRC's responsibilities for public health and safety and the common defense and security. No other available alternative is believed to be as satisfactory, and therefore, this action is recommended.

XII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

The NRC has determined that the backfit rule (10 CFR 72.62) does not apply to this direct final rule. Therefore, a backfit analysis is not required. This direct final rule revises CoC No. 1032 for the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System, as currently listed in 10 CFR 72.214, “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks.” Amendment No. 2 adds new fuel types to the HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System, includes new criticality calculations, updates an existing fuel type description, includes changes previously incorporated in Amendment No. 0 to CoC No. 1032, Revision 1, and revises CoC Condition No. 8 to provide additional clarity and guidance.

Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1032 for the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System was initiated by Holtec and was not submitted in response to new NRC requirements, or an NRC request for amendment. Amendment No. 2 applies only to new casks fabricated and used under Amendment No. 2. These changes do not affect existing users of the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System, and the current Amendment No. 1 continues to be effective for existing users. While current CoC users may comply with the new requirements in Amendment No. 2 this would be a voluntary decision on the part of current users. For these reasons, Amendment No. 2 to CoC No. 1032 does not constitute backfitting under 10 CFR 72.62 or 10 CFR 50.109(a)(1), or otherwise represent an inconsistency with the issue finality provisions applicable to combined licenses in 10 CFR part 52. Accordingly, no backfit analysis or additional documentation addressing the issue finality criteria in 10 CFR part 52 has been prepared by the staff.

XIII. Congressional Review Act

The Office of Management and Budget has not found this to be a major rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act.

XIV. Availability of Documents

The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons as indicated.

Document ADAMS
  • Accession No.
  • Letter and License Application ML15092A130 Supplement Letter ML15114A423 Package with the Transmittal and Request for Supplemental Information Responses Supporting HI-STORM FW CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2 ML15170A433 Supplement to HI-STORM FW CoC No. 1032, Amendment 2 ML15233A038 Proposed CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2 ML16054A625 Proposed CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2—Appendix A ML16054A628 Proposed CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2—Technical Specifications, Appendix B ML16054A627 CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2—Preliminary Safety Evaluation Report ML16054A624

    The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal rulemaking Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2016-0103. The Federal rulemaking Web site allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2016-0103); (2) click the “Sign up for Email Alerts” link; and (3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 72

    Administrative practice and procedure, Criminal penalties, Hazardous waste, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Manpower training programs, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Occupational safety and health, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Spent fuel, Whistleblowing.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553; the NRC is adopting the following amendments to 10 CFR part 72.

    PART 72—LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDEPENDENT STORAGE OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL, HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE, AND REACTOR-RELATED GREATER THAN CLASS C WASTE 1. The authority citation for part 72 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 51, 53, 57, 62, 63, 65, 69, 81, 161, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 189, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2077, 2092, 2093, 2095, 2099, 2111, 2201, 2210e, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2238, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 117(a), 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 141, 145(g), 148, 218(a) (42 U.S.C. 10137(a), 10152, 10153, 10154, 10155, 10157, 10161, 10165(g), 10168, 10198(a)); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    2. In § 72.214, Certificate of Compliance 1032 is revised to read as follows:
    § 72.214 List of approved spent fuel storage casks.

    Certificate Number: 1032.

    Initial Certificate Effective Date: June 13, 2011, superseded by Amendment Number 0, Revision 1, on April 25, 2016.

    Amendment Number 0, Revision 1, Effective Date: April 25, 2016.

    Amendment Number 1 Effective Date: December 17, 2014, superseded by Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, on June 2, 2015.

    Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, Effective Date: June 2, 2015.

    Amendment Number 2 Effective Date: November 7, 2016.

    SAR Submitted by: Holtec International, Inc.

    SAR Title: Final Safety Analysis Report for the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System.

    Docket Number: 72-1032.

    Certificate Expiration Date: June 12, 2031.

    Model Number: HI-STORM FW MPC-37, MPC-89.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of August, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Victor M. McCree, Executive Director for Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20090 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2006-25513; Directorate Identifier 99-NE-61-AD; Amendment 39-18614; AD 2016-17-01] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding airworthiness directive (AD) 2006-18-14 for all Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG (RRD) Tay 650-15 and Tay 651-54 turbofan engines. AD 2006-18-14 required calculating and re-establishing the cyclic life of stage 1 high-pressure turbine (HPT) disks, part number (P/N) JR32013 and P/N JR33838, and stage 1 low-pressure turbine (LPT) disk, P/N JR32318A. In addition, this AD requires re-calculating the cyclic life, and would impose a reduced cyclic life of stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR32013. This AD was prompted by RRD review of the cyclic life limit of parts affected by AD 2006-18-14 and the RRD conclusion that the stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR32013, requires further cyclic life limit reduction. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of stage 1 HPT disks, P/N JR32013 and P/N JR33838, and stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, uncontained disk release and damage to the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective September 27, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG; Eschenweg 11, Dahlewitz, 15827 Blankenfelde-Mahlow, Germany; phone: 49-0-33-7086-1064; fax: 49-0-33-7086-3276. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2006-25513.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2006-25513; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information, regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Philip Haberlen, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7770; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2006-18-14, Amendment 39-14753 (71 FR 52988, September 8, 2006), (“AD 2006-18-14”). AD 2006-18-14 applied to the specified products. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2016 (81 FR 12841). The NPRM proposed to require calculating and re-establishing the cyclic life of stage 1 HPT disks, P/N JR32013 and P/N JR33838, and stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A. The NPRM also proposed to require removing from service, using a drawdown schedule, those stage 1 HPT disks and stage 1 LPT disks operated under Tay 650-15 engine flight plan profiles A, B, C, or D; or operated under the Tay 651-54 engine datum flight profile, at reduced cyclic life limits found in the RRD Time Limits Manual (TLM) T-TAY-3RR, Chapter 05, Time Limits, Subject 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014 and T-TAY-5RR, Chapter 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comments received.

    Changes to Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We removed Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) No. TAY-72-A1821, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2015 from Related Service Information under 1 CFR part 51, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    We added the RRD TLM T-TAY-3RR, Chapter 05, Time Limits, Subject 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014.

    Request To Change Compliance

    RRD requests that the cyclic life limits for the HPT stage 1 disk, P/N JR33838, installed in RRD Tay 650-15 and Tay 651-54 engines to be changed in this AD to match the life limits found in the RRD TLM T-TAY-3RR, Chapter 05, Time Limits, Subject 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014 and the RRD TLM T-TAY-5RR, Chapter 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014. RRD updated their lifing analysis for the HPT stage 1 disk, P/N JR33838 and their new analysis justified an increased cyclic life limit for the HPT stage 1 disk, P/N JR33838 installed in the RRD Tay 650-15 and Tay 651-54 engines for certain flight profiles. These life increases were reflected in the applicable service bulletin and the TLM and the FAA did not have an opportunity to mandate the increase in the cyclic life limits via AD until now. The FAA previously addressed the increase in the life limits via a global AMOC.

    We agree. The FAA accepts RRD's new lifing analysis. We changed the cyclic life limits in paragraphs (e)(3)(i)(B), (C), and (D) of this AD for the HPT stage 1 disk, P/N JR33838, installed in RRD Tay 650-15 engines to 21,000 flight cycles since new (FCSN), 18,000 FCSN, and 14,250 FCSN for flight profiles B, C, and D, respectively. We also changed the cyclic life limit in paragraph (e)(3)(i)(E) of this AD for the HPT stage 1 disk, P/N JR33838, installed in RRD Tay 651-54 engines to 14,250 FCSN for any flight profile.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously. We determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    RRD TLM T-TAY-3RR, Chapter 05, Time Limits, Subject 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014, contains information on re-calculating the cyclic life. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Other Related Service Information

    RRD TLM T-TAY-5RR, Chapter 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014 provides the new, reduced cyclic life limits for RRD Tay 651-54 engines operated under any engine flight plan profile.

    RRD Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin TAY-72-A1821, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2015, provides reduced cyclic life limits for RRD Tay 650-15 and RRD Tay 651-54 engines operated under various affected flight plan profiles.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 25 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 0.5 hours per engine to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. The pro-rated life limit reduction cost is about $23,053 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $577,388.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2006-18-14, Amendment 39-14753 (71 FR 52988, September 8, 2006), (“AD 2006-18-14”), and adding the following new AD: 2016-17-01 Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG (formerly Rolls-Royce plc): Amendment 39-18614; Docket No. FAA-2006-25513; Directorate Identifier 99-NE-61-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 27, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2006-18-14.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co (RRD) KG Tay 650-15 and Tay 651-54 turbofan engines with stage 1 high-pressure turbine (HPT) disks, part number (P/N) JR32013 or P/N JR33838, or stage 1 low-pressure turbine (LPT) disks, P/N JR32318A, installed.

    (d) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by RRD review of the cyclic life limit of parts affected by AD 2006-18-14 and the RRD conclusion that the stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR32013, requires further cyclic life limit reduction. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of stage 1 HPT disks, P/N JR32013 and P/N JR33838, and stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, which could result in an uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane.

    (e) Compliance

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

    (1) Re-calculate the cyclic life of stage 1 HPT disks, P/N JR32013, as follows:

    (i) If a stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR32013, was ever operated under a different engine flight plan profile than the engine flight plan profile operated on the last flight, or was ever installed and operated in a different engine model, do the following:

    (A) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, re-calculate the cyclic life for each stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR32013. Use the RRD Time Limits Manual (TLM) T-TAY-3RR, Chapter 05, Time Limits, Subject 05-10-01, Task 05-10-01-800-000, Subtask 05-10-01-860-036, paragraph 1(E) or (1)(F), dated September 15, 2014 to re-calculate the cyclic life.

    (B) Reserved.

    (ii) If you change your flight plan profile or install a stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR32013 or P/N JR33838, or stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, into a different engine model after the effective date of this AD, re-calculate the cyclic life within 30 days of making the change. Use the RRD TLM T-TAY-3RR, Chapter 05, Time Limits, Subject 05-10-01, Task 05-10-01-800-000, Subtask 05-10-01-860-036, paragraph 1(E) or (1)(F), dated September 15, 2014 to re-calculate the cyclic life.

    (2) For engines with a stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR32013, installed, do the following:

    (i) Remove from service any stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR32013, within 100 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD or before exceeding the new, reduced cyclic life limits specified in paragraphs (e)(2)(i)(A) through (e)(2)(i)(E) of this AD, whichever occurs later, as follows:

    (A) For RRD Tay 650-15 engines operated under engine flight plan profile A, the new, reduced cyclic life limit is 18,900 flight cycles-since-new (FCSN).

    (B) For RRD Tay 650-15 engines operated under engine flight plan profile B, the new, reduced cyclic life limit is 15,500 FCSN.

    (C) For RRD Tay 650-15 engines operated under engine flight plan profile C, the new, reduced cyclic life limit is 11,500 FCSN.

    (D) For RRD Tay 650-15 engines operated under engine flight plan profile D, the new, reduced cyclic life limit is 9,300 FCSN.

    (E) For RRD Tay 651-54 engines operated under any engine flight plan profile, the new, reduced cyclic life limit is 10,873 FCSN.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For engines with a stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR33838, or stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, installed, do the following:

    (i) Remove from service any stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR33838, or stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, before exceeding the cyclic life limits specified in paragraphs (e)(3)(i)(A) through (e)(3)(i)(E) of this AD, as follows:

    (A) For RRD Tay 650-15 engines operated under engine flight plan profile A, the cyclic life limit for stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR33838, and stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, is 23,000 FCSN.

    (B) For RRD Tay 650-15 engines operated under engine flight plan profile B, the cyclic life limit for stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR33838, and stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, is 21,000 FCSN.

    (C) For RRD Tay 650-15 engines operated under engine flight plan profile C, the cyclic life limit for stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR33838, and stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, is 18,000 FCSN.

    (D) For RRD Tay 650-15 engines operated under engine flight plan profile D, the cyclic life limit for stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR33838, and stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, is 14,250 FCSN.

    (E) For RRD Tay 651-54 engines operated under any engine flight plan profile, the cyclic life limit for stage 1 HPT disk, P/N JR33838, is 14,250 FCSN and the cyclic life limit for stage 1 LPT disk, P/N JR32318A, is 20,000 FCSN.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (f) Installation Prohibition

    After the effective date of this AD, do not install any part identified in paragraph (e) of this AD into any engine, or return any engine to service with any part identified in paragraph (e) of this AD, installed, if the part exceeds the cyclic life limit specified in paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this AD.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    The Manager, Engine Certification Office, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected]

    (h) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Philip Haberlen, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7770; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

    (2) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency, AD 2015-0056, dated March 31, 2015, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2006-25513.

    (3) Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG Alert Non-Modification Service Bulletin No. TAY-72-A1821, Revision 1, dated March 26, 2015, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD, can be obtained from Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG, using the contact information in paragraph (i)(3) of this AD.

    (4) RRD TLM T-TAY-5RR, Chapter 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014.

    (5) You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

    (i) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG, Time Limits Manual T-TAY-3RR, Chapter 05, Time Limits, Subject 05-10-01, dated September 15, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG service information identified in this AD, contact Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd & Co KG, Eschenweg 11, Dahlewitz, 15827 Blankenfelde-Mahlow, Germany; phone: 49-0-33-7086-1064; fax: 49-0-33-7086-3276.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

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

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 16, 2016. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20081 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-8989; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-025-AD; Amendment 39-18617; AD 2016-17-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; All Hot Air Balloons AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all hot air balloons to determine if BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r.o. Model Kubíček burners equipped with fuel hoses made of “EGEFLEX” material are installed. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as propane leaks found on burners equipped with fuel hoses made of EGEFLEX material. We are issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective August 29, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 29, 2016.

    We must receive comments on this AD by October 7, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: (202) 493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r.o., Jarní 2a, 614 00 Brno, Czech Republic, telephone: +420 545 422 620; fax: +420 545 422 621; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.kubicekballoons.eu. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2016-8989.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-8989; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4123; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued AD No. 2016-0151, dated July 26, 2016 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for hot air balloons with Balóny Kubíček spol. s.r.o. Model Kubíček burners equipped with fuel hoses made of “EGEFLEX” material. The MCAI states:

    Three propane leaks were reported in the recent past on a burner manufactured by Balóny Kubíček spol. s.r.o., equipped with the fuel hoses made of hose material “EGEFLEX”.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could result in a fire, damaging the balloon and its envelope, ultimately leading to an emergency landing, with consequent injury to balloon occupants and persons on the ground.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Balóny Kubíček spol. s.r.o. (the hose assemblies' manufacturer) published Service Bulletin (SB) N° BB/50, BB-S/11, AB24 rev. 1, which provides instructions for replacement of the affected fuel hoses with an improved part. As the affected burner and related fuel hoses can easily be installed on other hot air balloons, this AD applies to all possibly affected type designs.

    For the reasons described above, this AD required identification and replacement of the affected fuel hoses.

    You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-8989. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r.o. has issued Service Bulletin No. BB/50, BB-S/11, AB24 rev.1, dated May 12, 2016. The service information describes procedures for replacing all fuel lines on burners that utilize EGEFLEX hoses. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

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

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because this condition could result in a fire, damaging the balloon and its envelope, ultimately leading to an emergency landing, with consequent injury to the occupants and persons on the ground. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-8989; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-025-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 6,400 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 0.5 work-hour per product to comply with the basic inspection requirement of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.

    Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $272,000, or $42.50 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 2 work-hours and require parts costing $200, for a cost of $370 per product. We have no way of determining the number of hot air balloons that may need the replacement, but we estimate that it will affect no more than 60 hot air balloons.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD: 2016-17-04 All Hot Air Balloons: Amendment 39-18617; Docket No. FAA-2016-8989; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-025-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective August 29, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all hot air balloons, certificated in any category, with BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r.o. Model Kubíček burners.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as propane leaks on burners equipped with fuel hoses made of EGEFLEX material. We are issuing this AD to prevent propane leaks in the fuel hoses, which could result in a fire, damaging the balloon and its envelope, ultimately leading to an emergency landing, with consequent injury to the occupants and persons on the ground.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the following actions.

    (1) Within the next 14 days after August 29, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), inspect all hot air balloon fuel lines to determine if a Kubíček fuel hose made of “EGEFLEX” material is installed. Do the inspection as following BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r.o.. Service Bulletin No. BB/50, BB-S/11, AB24 rev.1, dated May 12, 2016.

    (2) If any Kubíček hose made of “EGEFLEX” material is found during the inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight, replace the fuel hose following BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r.o. Service Bulletin No. BB/50, BB-S/11, AB24 rev.1, dated May 12, 2016.

    (3) As of August 29, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), do not install a Kubíček fuel hose made of “EGEFLEX” material.

    (g) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4123; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC on any balloon to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

    (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

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

    (h) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

    (i) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0151, dated July 26, 2016, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-8989.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r.o. Service Bulletin No. BB/50, BB-S/11, AB24 rev.1, dated May 12, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r.o. service information identified in this AD, contact BALÓNY KUBÍČEK spol. s r. o., Jarní 2a, 614 00 Brno, Czech Republic, telephone: +420 545 422 620; fax: +420 545 422 621; email: [email protected] Internet: http://www.kubicekballoons.eu.

    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for locating Docket No. FAA-2016-8989.

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

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on August 16, 2016. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19937 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 744 [Docket No. 160719631-6631-01] RIN 0694—AH06 Addition of Certain Persons to the Entity List AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding ten persons under fourteen entries to the Entity List. The ten persons who are added to the Entity List have been determined by the U.S. Government to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. These ten persons will be listed on the Entity List under the destinations of Iraq, the Philippines, Syria, and Turkey.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective August 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chair, End-User Review Committee, Office of the Assistant Secretary, Export Administration, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, Phone: (202) 482-5991, Fax: (202) 482-3911, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Entity List (Supplement No. 4 to part 744) identifies entities and other persons reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The EAR imposes additional license requirements on, and limits the availability, of most license exceptions for, exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to those listed. The “license review policy” for each listed entity or other person is identified in the License Review Policy column on the Entity List and the impact on the availability of license exceptions is described in the Federal Register notice adding entities or other persons to the Entity List. BIS places entities and other persons on the Entity List pursuant to sections of part 744 (Control Policy: End-User and End-Use Based) and part 746 (Embargoes and Other Special Controls) of the EAR.

    The ERC, composed of representatives of the Departments of Commerce (Chair), State, Defense, Energy and, where appropriate, the Treasury, makes all decisions regarding additions to, removals from, or other modifications to the Entity List. The ERC makes all decisions to add an entry to the Entity List by majority vote and all decisions to remove or modify an entry by unanimous vote.

    ERC Entity List Decisions Additions to the Entity List

    This rule implements the decision of the ERC to add ten persons under fourteen entries to the Entity List. These ten persons are being added on the basis of § 744.11 (License requirements that apply to entities acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States) of the EAR. The fourteen entries added to the entity list consist of three entries in Iraq, one entry in the Philippines, four entries in Syria, and six entries in Turkey. There are fourteen entries for the ten persons because two of the persons are listed in multiple locations, resulting in four additional entries.

    The ERC reviewed § 744.11(b) (Criteria for revising the Entity List) in making the determination to add these ten persons under fourteen entries to the Entity List. Under that paragraph, persons and those acting on behalf of such persons may be added to the Entity List if there is reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, that they have been involved, are involved, or pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in, activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. Paragraphs (b)(1) through (5) of § 744.11 include an illustrative list of activities that could be contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

    Pursuant to § 744.11(b)(1) of the EAR, the ERC determined that nine persons, located in the destinations of Iraq, Syria and Turkey, be added to the Entity List for actions contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The ERC determined that there is reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, that Sekirin (Sekirin Tekstil lthalat Ihracat Ic ve Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi), Yildiz (Ag Yildiz Insaat Gayrimenkul Tasimacilik Pazarlama Ithalat Ihracat ve Ticaret Ltd. Sirketi), and their seven associates (Luqman Yasin Yunus Shgragi, Yunus Luqman Yasin Shgragi, Abd Al Hakim Luqman Jasim Muhammad, Muhammad `ulwan Al-Shawi, Ala al-Shawi, Ali Guzel, and Jamal Jum'ah al-Shawi) have been involved in actions contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. Sekirin, Yildiz, and their seven associates have been involved in activities that are contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States by supporting persons engaged in acts of terror as set forth in § 744.11(b)(1) of the EAR. Specifically, these entities have been providing logistical and material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    In addition, pursuant to § 744.11(b), the ERC determined that one person, located in the Philippines, should be added to the Entity List for actions contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The ERC determined that there is reasonable cause to believe, based on specific and articulable facts, that Warren Sumaylo, has been involved in actions contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. Specifically, in July 2014, Warren Sumaylo was indicted for exporting weapon sights and rifle scopes to the Philippines in violation of the EAR and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

    Pursuant to § 744.11(b) of the EAR, the ERC determined that the conduct of these ten persons raises sufficient concern that prior review of exports, reexports or transfers (in-country) of items subject to the EAR involving these persons, and the possible imposition of license conditions or license denials on shipments to the persons, will enhance BIS's ability to prevent violations of the EAR. Therefore, these ten persons are being added to the Entity List under fourteen entries.

    For the ten persons under fourteen entries added to the Entity List, BIS imposes a license requirement for all items subject to the EAR and a license review policy of presumption of denial. The license requirements apply to any transaction in which items are to be exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) to any of the persons or in which such persons act as purchaser, intermediate consignee, ultimate consignee, or end-user. In addition, no license exceptions are available for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to the persons being added to the Entity List in this rule. The acronym “a.k.a.” (also known as) is used in entries on the Entity List to help exporters, reexporters and transferors better identify listed persons on the Entity List.

    This final rule adds the following ten persons under fourteen entries to the Entity List:

    Iraq

    (1) Abd Al Hakim Luqman Jasim Muhammad,

    Al Faysaliyah, Mosul, Iraq;

    (2) Ag Yildiz Insaat Gayrimenkul Tasimacilik Pazarlama lthalat Ihracat ve Ticaret Ltd. Sirketi, a.k.a., the following four aliases:

    —Ag Yildiz Cargo; —Ag Yildiz Gayrimenkul; —Yildiz Company; and —Yildiz Shipping Company.

    Irbil, Iraq; and Mosul, Iraq (See alternate addresses under Syria and Turkey); and

    (3) Sekirin Tekstil Ithalat Ihracat le ve Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi, a.k.a., the following seven aliases:

    —Sekirin Textiles Export Import Limited Company; —Al Shakirin International Transport Company; —Shakirin Company; —Shakrin Company; —Sekirin Ticaret; —Al Shakirin Company; and —Sekirin Company.

    Al Faysaliyah, Mosul, Iraq (See alternate addresses under Syria and Turkey).

    Philippines

    (1) Warren Sumaylo,

    053 E Luna Street, Bgry Sikatuna, Butuan City, Philippines.

    Syria

    (1) Ag Yildiz Insaat Gayrimenkul Tasimacilik Pazarlama lthalat Ihracat ve Ticaret Ltd. Sirketi, a.k.a. the following four aliases:

    —Ag Yildiz Cargo; —Ag Yildiz Gayrimenkul; —Yildiz Company; and —Yildiz Shipping Company.

    Al Bab, Syria (See alternate addresses under Iraq and Turkey);

    (2) Jamal Jum'ah al-Shawi,

    Al Bab, Syria;

    (3) Muhammad `ulwan Al-Shawi,

    Al Bab, Syria; and

    (4) Sekirin Tekstil Ithalat Ihracat le ve Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi, a.k.a., the following seven aliases:

    —Sekirin Textiles Export Import Limited Company; —Al Shakirin International Transport Company; —Shakirin Company; —Shakrin Company; —Sekirin Ticaret; —Al Shakirin Company; and —Sekirin Company.

    Al Bab, Syria (See alternate addresses under Iraq and Turkey).

    Turkey

    (1) Ag Yildiz Insaat Gayrimenkul Tasimacilik Pazarlama lthalat Ihracat ve Ticaret Ltd. Sirketi, a.k.a., the following four aliases:

    —Ag Yildiz Cargo; —Ag Yildiz Gayrimenkul; —Yildiz Company; and —Yildiz Shipping Company.

    Guneykent Mah. Universite Blv. Tuze Sitesi Alti No: 393/B, Sahinbey, Gaziantep, Turkey (See alternate addresses under Iraq and Syria);

    (2) Ala al-Shawi, a.k.a., the following one alias:

    —Abu Cemal.

    60147 Caddesi No. 23, Sanayi Mahallesi, Sehitkamil, Gaziantep, Turkey;

    (3) Ali Guzel,

    60147 Caddesi No. 23, Sanayi Mahallesi, Sehitkamil, Gaziantep, Turkey;

    (4) Luqman Yasin Yunus Shgragi, a.k.a., the following two aliases:

    —Lkemanasel Yosef; and —Luqman Sehreci.

    Savcili Mahalesi Turkmenler Caddesi No:2, Sahinbey, Gaziantep, Turkey; and Sanayi Mahalesi 60214 Nolu Caddesi No 11, SehitKamil, Gaziantep, Turkey;

    (5) Sekirin Tekstil Ithalat Ihracat le ve Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi, a.k.a., the following seven aliases:

    —Sekirin Textiles Export Import Limited Company; —Al Shakirin International Transport Company; —Shakirin Company; —Shakrin Company; —Sekirin Ticaret; —Al Shakirin Company; and —Sekirin Company.

    Savcili Mahalesi Turkmenler Caddesi No:2, Sahinbey, Gaziantep, Turkey; and Sanayi Mahalesi 60214 Nolu Caddesi No 11, Sehit Kamil, Gaziantep, Turkey (See alternate addresses under Iraq and Syria); and

    (6) Yunus Luqman Yasin Shgragi, a.k.a., the following one alias:

    —Yunus Sehreci.

    Savcili Mahalesi Turkmenler Caddesi No: 2, Sahinbey, Gaziantep, Turkey; and Sanayi Mahalesi 60214 Nolu Caddesi No 11, SehitKamil, Gaziantep, Turkey.

    Savings Clause

    Shipments of items removed from eligibility for a License Exception or export or reexport without a license (NLR) as a result of this regulatory action that were en route aboard a carrier to a port of export or reexport, on August 23, 2016, pursuant to actual orders for export or reexport to a foreign destination, may proceed to that destination under the previous eligibility for a License Exception or export or reexport without a license (NLR).

    Export Administration Act

    Although the Export Administration Act expired on August 20, 2001, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013) and as extended by the Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016), has continued the Export Administration Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222, as amended by Executive Order 13637.

    Rulemaking Requirements

    1. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to nor be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This regulation involves collections previously approved by OMB under control number 0694-0088, Simplified Network Application Processing System, which includes, among other things, license applications and carries a burden estimate of 43.8 minutes for a manual or electronic submission. Total burden hours associated with the PRA and OMB control number 0694-0088 are not expected to increase as a result of this rule. You may send comments regarding the collection of information associated with this rule, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet K. Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email to [email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285.

    3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    4. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, the opportunity for public comment and a delay in effective date are inapplicable to this rule because this regulation involves a military or foreign affairs function of the United States. (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). BIS implements this rule to protect U.S. national security or foreign policy interests by preventing items from being exported, reexported, or transferred (in country) to the persons being added to the Entity List. If this rule were delayed to allow for notice and comment and a delay in effective date, the entities being added to the Entity List by this action would continue to be able to receive items without a license and to conduct activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. In addition, publishing a proposed rule would give these parties notice of the U.S. Government's intention to place them on the Entity List and would create an incentive for these persons to either accelerate receiving items subject to the EAR to conduct activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States, and/or to take steps to set up additional aliases, change addresses, and other measures to try to limit the impact of the listing on the Entity List once a final rule was published. Further, no other law requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment be given for this rule. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required and none has been prepared.

    List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 744

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Terrorism.

    Accordingly, part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730 through 774) is amended as follows:

    PART 744—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 744 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 12947, 60 FR 5079, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 356; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13099, 63 FR 45167, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 208; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13224, 66 FR 49079, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 786; Notice of September 18, 2015, 80 FR 57281 (September 22, 2015); Notice of November 12, 2015, 80 FR 70667 (November 13, 2015); Notice of January 20, 2016, 81 FR 3937 (January 22, 2016) ; Notice of August 4, 2016, 81 FR 52587 (August 8, 2016).

    2. Supplement No. 4 to part 744 is amended: a. By adding in alphabetical order, an entry for Iraq and three Iraqi entities; b. By adding in alphabetical order, an entry for Philippines and one Filipino entity; c. By adding under Syria, in alphabetical order, four Syrian entities; and d. By adding under Turkey, in alphabetical order, six Turkish entities. The additions read as follows: Supplement No. 4 to Part 744—Entity List Country Entity License requirement License review policy Federal Register citation *         *         *         *         *         *         * IRAQ Abd Al Hakim Luqman Jasim Muhammad, Al Faysaliyah, Mosul, Iraq. For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16. Ag Yildiz Insaat Gayrimenkul Tasimacilik Pazarlama lthalat Ihracat ve Ticaret Ltd. Sirketi, a.k.a. the following four aliases:
  • —Ag Yildiz Cargo;
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16.
    —Ag Yildiz Gayrimenkul; —Yildiz Company; and —Yildiz Shipping Company. Irbil, Iraq; and Mosul, Iraq (See alternate addresses under Syria and Turkey). Sekirin Tekstil Ithalat Ihracat le ve Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi, a.k.a., the following seven aliases:
  • Sekirin Textiles Export Import Limited Company;
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16.
    —Al Shakirin International Transport Company; —Shakirin Company; —Shakrin Company; —Sekirin Ticaret; —Al Shakirin Company; and —Sekirin Company. Al Faysaliyah, Mosul, Iraq (See alternate addresses under Syria and Turkey). *         *         *         *         *         *         * PHILIPPINES Warren Sumaylo, 053 E Luna Street, Bgry Sikatuna, Butuan City, Philippines. For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16. *         *         *         *         *         *         * SYRIA Ag Yildiz Insaat Gayrimenkul Tasimacilik Pazarlama lthalat Ihracat ve Ticaret Ltd. Sirketi, a.k.a., the following four aliases: For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16. —Ag Yildiz Cargo; —Ag Yildiz Gayrimenkul; —Yildiz Company; and —Yildiz Shipping Company. Al Bab, Syria (See alternate addresses under Iraq and Turkey). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Jamal Jum'ah al-Shawi, Al Bab, Syria. For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Muhammad `ulwan Al-Shawi, Al Bab, Syria For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Sekirin Tekstil Ithalat Ihracat le ve Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi, a.k.a., the following seven aliases:
  • —Sekirin Textiles Export Import Limited Company;
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16.
    —Al Shakirin International Transport Company; —Shakirin Company; —Shakrin Company; —Sekirin Ticaret; —Al Shakirin Company; and —Sekirin Company. Al Bab, Syria (See alternate addresses under Iraq and Turkey). *         *         *         *         *         *         * TURKEY Ag Yildiz Insaat Gayrimenkul Tasimacilik Pazarlama lthalat Ihracat ve Ticaret Ltd. Sirketi, a.k.a., the following four aliases: For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16. —Ag Yildiz Cargo; —Ag Yildiz Gayrimenkul; —Yildiz Company; and —Yildiz Shipping Company. Guneykent Mah. Universite Blv. Tuze Sitesi Alti No: 393/B, Sahinbey, Gaziantep, Turkey (See alternate addresses under Iraq and Syria). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Ala al-Shawi, a.k.a., the following one alias:
  • —Abu Cemal.
  • 60147 Caddesi No. 23, Sanayi Mahallesi, Sehitkamil, Gaziantep, Turkey.
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16.
    Ali Guzel, 60147 Caddesi No. 23, Sanayi Mahallesi, Sehitkamil, Gaziantep, Turkey. For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Luqman Yasin Yunus Shgragi, a.k.a., the following two aliases:
  • —Lkemanasel Yosef; and
  • —Luqman Sehreci.
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16.
    Savcili Mahalesi Turkmenler Caddesi No:2, Sahinbey, Gaziantep, Turkey; and
  • Sanayi Mahalesi 60214 Nolu Caddesi No 11, SehitKamil, Gaziantep, Turkey.
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Sekirin Tekstil Ithalat Ihracat le ve Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi, a.k.a., the following seven aliases:
  • —Sekirin Textiles Export Import Limited Company;
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16.
    —Al Shakirin International Transport Company; —Shakirin Company; —Shakrin Company; —Sekirin Ticaret; —Al Shakirin Company; and —Sekirin Company. Savcili Mahalesi Turkmenler Caddesi No:2, Sahinbey, Gaziantep, Turkey; and
  • Sanayi Mahalesi 60214 Nolu Caddesi No 11, Sehit Kamil, Gaziantep, Turkey (See alternate addresses under Iraq and Syria).
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Yunus Luqman Yasin Shgragi, a.k.a., the following one alias:
  • —Yunus Sehreci.
  • Savcili Mahalesi Turkmenler Caddesi No: 2, Sahinbey, Gaziantep, Turkey; and
  • Sanayi Mahalesi 60214 Nolu Caddesi No 11, SehitKamil, Gaziantep, Turkey.
  • For all items subject to the EAR. (See § 744.11 of the EAR). Presumption of denial. 81 FR [INSERT FR PAGE NUMBER], 08/23/16.
    *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: August 17, 2016. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20142 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY 19 CFR Parts 12 and 163 [Docket No. USCBP-2016-0054; CBP Dec. 16-12] RIN 1515-AE15 Prohibition on Importation of Jadeite or Rubies Mined or Extracted From Burma, and Articles of Jewelry Containing Jadeite or Rubies Mined or Extracted From Burma AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security; Department of the Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document amends the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) regulations to update the provisions relating to the prohibition on importation of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma, and articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma, following the expiration of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, as amended by the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008. The CBP regulations are amended to reflect the import prohibitions set forth in Executive Order 13651 of August 6, 2013.

    DATES:

    Effective August 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel Collier, Partner Government Agency Branch, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International Trade, (202) 863-6225, [email protected]; or William Scopa, Branch Chief, Partner Government Agency Branch, Trade Policy and Programs, Office of International Trade, (202) 863-6554, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 28, 2003, the President signed into law the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 (Pub. L. 108-61) (the “BFDA”) to sanction the military junta then ruling Burma. Among other provisions, the BFDA required the imposition, subject to annual renewal, of a ban on the importation into the United States of any article that is a product of Burma. To implement the BFDA, the President issued Executive Order (“E.O.”) 13310 (68 FR 44853, July 30, 2003). E.O. 13310 prohibited, among other things, the importation into the United States of any article that is a product of Burma.

    On July 29, 2008, the President signed into law the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-286) (the “JADE Act”), which, among other things, amended the BFDA to require a prohibition on the importation into the United States of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and articles of jewelry containing such jadeite or rubies, referred to in the statute as Burmese covered articles. It also imposed certain conditions on the importation into the United States of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma and articles of jewelry containing such jadeite or rubies, referred to in the statute as non-Burmese covered articles. Section 12.151 of the CBP regulations (Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”), section 12.151) currently reflects this prohibition on the importation of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and articles of jewelry containing such jadeite or rubies as well as the imposition of certain conditions on the importation of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma and articles of jewelry containing such jadeite or rubies.

    The BFDA, as amended by the JADE Act, required annual renewal, which did not occur in 2013. As a result, the prohibition on the importation of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and the corresponding conditions on the importation of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma and articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma expired on July 28, 2013. Subsequently, on August 6, 2013, the President signed E.O. 13651, titled “Prohibiting Certain Imports of Burmese Jadeite and Rubies” which prohibits the importation of any jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma as well as any articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma. See 78 FR 48793. E.O. 13651 also revoked the sections of E.O. 13310 imposing a prohibition on the importation into the United States of any article that is a product of Burma. As a result, there is no longer a general ban on importing into the United States any article that is a product of Burma; however, the specific ban on jadeite and rubies mined or extracted from Burma as well as articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma was reinstituted by E.O. 13651.

    Explanation of Amendments Part 12

    Section 12.151 is amended to reflect the expiration of the BFDA, as amended by the JADE Act, and the issuance of E.O. 13651. The specific authority citation for section 12.151 is amended accordingly by removing references to the BFDA, as amended by the JADE Act, Presidential Proclamation 8294, signed on September 26, 2008, and Additional U.S. Note 4 to Chapter 71 of the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTSUS), and adding a reference to the current authority, E.O. 13651, of August 6, 2013 (78 FR 48793). While E.O. 13651 re-imposes the prohibition on the importation of jadeite and rubies mined or extracted from Burma and articles of jewelry containing such jadeite and rubies, it does not impose any conditions on the importation of jadeite and rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma or articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma as the BFDA, as amended by the JADE Act, did. Accordingly, section 12.151 is amended by removing paragraphs (c) through (f) which detail the certification and recordkeeping requirements for non-Burmese covered articles (referred to in section12.151 as “regulated articles”).

    In addition, the heading to section 12.151 is revised to reflect the expiration of conditions on non-Burmese covered articles by removing the words “and conditions”. The heading is further revised to more specifically refer to jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma.

    The introductory text in paragraph (a) of section 12.151 is amended to remove the reference to the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-286) and to cite instead to the current authority, E.O. 13651 of August 6, 2013 (78 FR 48793). Paragraph (a) is also amended to reflect the expiration of conditions on non-Burmese covered articles by removing the words “or conditioned”. Given that E.O. 13651 does not impose any conditions on jade or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma or articles of jewelry containing jade or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma, it is no longer necessary to distinguish between “prohibited articles” and “regulated articles”. As a result of the amendments described in this document, the list of prohibited articles, which is currently set forth in paragraph (b), is set forth in revised paragraph (a). Paragraph (b) is revised to set forth the exception currently found in paragraph (g)(1) as E.O. 13651 retains the exception for prohibition on the import of Burmese jadeite or rubies or articles of jewelry containing Burmese jadeite or rubies that were previously exported from the United States, including those that accompanied an individual outside the United States for personal use, provided that they are reimported to the United States by the same person who exported them, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process or other means while outside the United States (E.O. 13651 (78 FR 48793)). Given that E.O. 13651 does not impose any conditions on jade or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma or articles of jewelry containing jade or rubies mined or extracted from a country other than Burma, subparagraph (g)(2) is removed.

    CBP advises parties who plan to temporarily export any jadeite or rubies or any article of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies, whether of Burmese origin or not, to register those articles prior to export through CBP Form 4455 (Certificate of Registration), CBP Form 4457 (Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad), or a carnet issued by the U.S. Council for International Business. If one of these three documents is not presented to CBP at the time of re-importation into the United States, the importer must present documentary evidence that supports the claim that the subject articles were exported and reimported by the same person without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process or other means while outside the United States. Without such documentation, the articles are subject to seizure by CBP.

    Part 163

    The list of records and information required for the entry of merchandise appearing in the Appendix to Part 163 (commonly known as the (a)(1)(A) List) is amended to remove the records previously required to support the certification of non-Burmese covered articles under section 3A(c)(1) of the BFDA.

    Inapplicability of Prior Public Notice and Delayed Effective Date

    This document amends the regulations to reflect Executive Order 13651 of August 6, 2013. Because this regulation merely removes expired statutory requirements and inserts the new legal authority for the continuing import prohibition, CBP has determined, pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), that prior public notice and comment procedures on this regulation are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and that there is good cause for this rule to become effective immediately upon publication. For these reasons, pursuant to the provision of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), CBP finds that there is good cause for dispensing with a delayed effective date.

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996, requires an agency to prepare and make available to the public a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of a proposed rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions) when the agency is required to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for a rule. As a general notice of proposed rulemaking is not necessary for this rule, CBP is not required to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for this rule.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The collections of information in this final rule were previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507) under control number 1651-0133. However this information collection and control number were discontinued in 2014 when the requirement for submission of the certification from the exporter was eliminated.

    Signing Authority

    This regulation is being issued in accordance with 19 CFR 0.1(a)(1) pertaining to the Secretary of the Treasury's authority (or that of his delegate) to approve regulations related to certain customs revenue functions.

    List of Subjects 19 CFR Part 12

    Customs duties and inspection, Economic sanctions, Entry of merchandise, Foreign assets control, Jadeite, Jewelry, Imports, Licensing, Prohibited merchandise, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Restricted merchandise, Rubies sanctions.

    19 CFR Part 163

    Administrative practice and procedure, Customs duties and inspection, Exports, Imports, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Trade agreements.

    Amendments to the CBP Regulations

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, parts 12 and 163 of title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR parts 12 and 163) are amended as set forth below.

    PART 12—SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE 1. The general authority citation for part 12 continues to read, and the specific authority citation for § 12.151 is revised to read, as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 3(i), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624.

    Section 12.151 also issued under E.O. 13651 of August 6, 2013, 78 FR 48793.

    2. In § 12.151: a. The heading is revised; b. Paragraph (a) introductory text is revised; c. Paragraph (b) is revised; and d. Paragraphs (c) through (g) are removed.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 12.151 Prohibition on importations of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma, and articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma.

    (a) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the importation into the United States of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma, and articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma is prohibited pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13651 of August 6, 2013. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

    (b) Inapplicability. This section does not apply to Burmese jadeite, rubies, and articles of jewelry containing Burmese jadeite or rubies that are reimported into the United States after having been previously exported from the United States, including those that accompanied an individual outside the United States for personal use, if they are reimported into the United States by the same person who exported them, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process or other means while outside the United States.

    PART 163—RECORDKEEPING 3. The general authority citation for part 163 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1484, 1508, 1509, 1510, 1624.

    Appendix to Part 163 [Amended]
    4. In the Appendix to part 163, within section IV, the listing for § 12.151 is removed. R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Approved: August 17, 2016. Timothy E. Skud, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20057 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9777] RIN 1545-BG41; RIN 1545-BH38 Arbitrage Guidance for Tax-Exempt Bonds; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to final regulations (TD 9777) that were published in the Federal Register on Monday, July 18, 2016 (81 FR 46582). The final regulations relate to the arbitrage restrictions under section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code applicable to tax-exempt bonds and other tax-advantaged bonds issued by State and local governments.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective August 23, 2016 and applicable July 18, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Spence Hanemann at (202) 317-6980 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The final regulations (TD 9777) that are the subject of this correction are under section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published, the final regulation (TD 9777) contains errors that may prove to be misleading and are in need of clarification.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended by making the following correcting amendment:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 1.148-11 [Amended]
    Par. 2. Section 1.148-11 is amended by removing “October 17, 2016” at end of paragraphs (l)(2) and (l)(3) and adding “July 18, 2016” in its place. Martin V. Franks Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2016-20087 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9777] RIN 1545-BG41; RIN 1545-BH38 Arbitrage Guidance for Tax-Exempt Bonds; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to final regulations (TD 9777) that were published in the Federal Register on Monday, July 18, 2016 (81 FR 46582). The final regulations relate to the arbitrage restrictions under section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code applicable to tax-exempt bonds and other tax-advantaged bonds issued by State and local governments.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective August 23, 2016 and applicable July 18, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Spence Hanemann at (202) 317-6980 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The final regulations (TD 9777) that are the subject of this correction are under section 148 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published, the final regulation (TD 9777) contains errors that may prove to be misleading and are in need of clarification.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, the final regulation (TD 9777), that is the subject of FR Doc. 2016-16558, are corrected as follows:

    1. On page 46591, in the preamble, the second column, under the paragraph heading “Applicability Dates”, a second paragraph is added after the last sentence to read as follows: “In addition, the amendments to § 1.148-3(j) in the Final Regulations apply to bonds subject to § 1.148-3(i). For this purpose, a bond is considered to be subject to § 1.148-3(i) if the issue of which the bond is a part is subject to the version of § 1.148-3(i) published in TD 8476 (58 FR 33510) or any subsequent version.”. 2. On page 46591, in the preamble, the second column, under the paragraph heading “Effect on Other Documents”, the first line, the language “As of July 18, 2016, Revenue” is corrected to read “As of October 17, 2016, Revenue”. Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel, (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2016-20086 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0689] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River, St. Louis, MO AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the Upper Mississippi River from mile 180 to mile 180.5. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect persons and property from potential damage and safety hazards during a fireworks display on and over the navigable waterway. During the period of enforcement, entry into the safety zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Upper Mississippi River (COTP) or other designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on September 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0689 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations BNM Broadcast Notice to Mariners CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register LNM Local Notice to Mariners NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code UMR Upper Mississippi River II. Background Information and Regulatory History

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a NPRM with respect to this rule because the Coast Guard was not notified of the fireworks display until July 8, 2016. After full review of the details for the planned and locally advertised displays, the Coast Guard determined action is needed to protect people and property from the safety hazards associated with the fireworks display on the UMR near St. Louis, MO. It is impracticable to publish an NPRM because we must establish this safety zone by September 3, 2016.

    We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of the rule is contrary to the public interest as it would delay the effectiveness of the temporary safety zone needed to respond to potential related safety hazards until after the planned fireworks display.

    III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

    The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The COTP has determined that potential hazards associated with the fireworks display will be a safety concern before, during, and after the display. The purpose of this rule is to ensure safety of vessels and the navigable waters in the safety zone before, during, and after the scheduled event.

    IV. Discussion of the Rule

    This rule establishes a safety zone from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on September 3, 2016. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters between miles 180 and 180.5 on the UMR in St. Louis, MO. Exact times of the closures and any changes to the planned schedule will be communicated to mariners using BNM and LNM. The safety zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during and after the fireworks display. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This temporary final rule establishes a safety zone impacting a one-half mile area on the UMR for a limited time period of two hours. During the enforcement period, vessels are prohibited from entering into or remaining within the safety zone unless specifically authorized by the COTP or other designated representative. Based on the location, limited safety zone area, and short duration of the enforcement period, this rule does not pose a significant regulatory impact. Additionally, notice of the safety zone or any changes in the planned schedule will be made via BNM and LNM. Deviation from this rule may be requested from the COTP or other designated representative and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone lasting two hours that will prohibit entry from mile 180 to 180.5 on the UMR. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T08-0689 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0689 Safety Zone; Upper Mississippi River between miles 180 and 180.5; St. Louis, MO.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters of the Upper Mississippi River between miles 180 to 180.5, St. Louis, MO.

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

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

    (2) To seek permission to enter, contact the COTP or the COTP's representative via VHF-FM channel 16, or through Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River at 314-269-2332. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the COTP's designated representative.

    (d) Enforcement periods. This section will be enforced from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on September 3, 2016.

    (e) Informational Broadcasts. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes in the dates and times of enforcement.

    Dated: August 17, 2016. M.L. Malloy Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Upper Mississippi River.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20084 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0402; FRL-9951-18-OAR] Extension of Deadline for Action on the July 2016 Section 126 Petition From Delaware AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is determining that 60 days is insufficient time to complete the technical and other analyses and public notice-and-comment process required for our review of a petition submitted by the state of Delaware pursuant to section 126 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The petition requests that the EPA make a finding that the Brunner Island Steam Electric Station located in York County, Pennsylvania, emit air pollution that significantly contributes to nonattainment and interferes with maintenance of the 2008 and 2015 ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in state of Delaware. Under section 307(d)(10) of CAA, the EPA is authorized to grant a time extension for responding to a petition if the EPA determines that the extension is necessary to afford the public, and the agency, adequate opportunity to carry out the purposes of the section 307(d)'s notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements. By this action, the EPA is making that determination. The EPA is therefore extending the deadline for acting on the petition to no later than March 5, 2017.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on August 23, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0402. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information 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 through http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Gobeail McKinley, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (C504-04), U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, telephone number (919) 541-5246, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background and Legal Requirements for Interstate Air Pollution

    This is a procedural action to extend the deadline for the EPA to respond to a petition from the state of Delaware filed pursuant to CAA section 126(b). The EPA received the petition on July 7, 2016. The petition requests that the EPA make a finding under section 126(b) of the CAA that the Brunner Island Steam Electric Station located in York County, Pennsylvania, is operating in a manner that emits air pollutants in violation of the provisions of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA with respect to the 2008 and 2015 ozone NAAQS.

    Section 126(b) of the CAA authorizes states to petition the EPA to find that a major source or group of stationary sources in upwind states emits or would emit any air pollutant in violation of the prohibition of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) 1 by contributing significantly to nonattainment or maintenance problems in downwind states. Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA prohibits emissions of any air pollutant in amounts which will contribute significantly to nonattainment in, or interfere with maintenance by, any other state with respect to any NAAQS. The petition asserts that emissions from the Brunner Island's three major boiler units significantly contribute to Delaware's nonattainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, set at 0.075 parts per million (ppm), and the revised 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS, set at 0.070 ppm.2

    1 The text of CAA section 126 codified in the United States Code cross references CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) instead of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). The courts have confirmed that this is a scrivener's error and the correct cross reference is to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). See Appalachian Power Co. v. EPA, 249 F.3d 1032, 1040-44 (D.C. Cir. 2001).

    2 On October 1, 2015, the EPA strengthened the ground-level ozone NAAQS, based on extensive scientific evidence about ozone's effects on public health and welfare. See 80 FR 65291 (October 26, 2015).

    Pursuant to CAA section 126(b), the EPA must make the finding requested in the petition, or must deny the petition within 60 days of its receipt. Under CAA section 126(c), any existing sources for which the EPA makes the requested finding must cease operations within 3 months of the finding, except that the source may continue to operate if it complies with emission limitations and compliance schedules (containing increments of progress) that the EPA may provide to bring about compliance with the applicable requirements as expeditiously as practical but no later than 3 years from the date of the finding.

    CAA section 126(b) further provides that the EPA must hold a public hearing on the petition. The EPA's action under section 126 is also subject to the procedural requirements of CAA section 307(d). See CAA section 307(d)(1)(N). One of these requirements is notice-and-comment rulemaking, under section 307(d)(3)-(6).

    In addition, CAA section 307(d)(10) provides for a time extension, under certain circumstances, for a rulemaking subject to CAA section 307(d). Specifically, CAA section 307(d)(10) provides:

    Each statutory deadline for promulgation of rules to which this subsection applies which requires promulgation less than six months after date of proposal may be extended to not more than six months after date of proposal by the Administrator upon a determination that such extension is necessary to afford the public, and the agency, adequate opportunity to carry out the purposes of the subsection.

    CAA section 307(d)(10) may be applied to section 126 rulemakings because the 60-day time limit under CAA section 126(b) necessarily limits the period for promulgation of a final rule after proposal to less than 6 months.

    II. Final Rule A. Rule

    In accordance with CAA section 307(d)(10), the EPA is determining that the 60-day period afforded by CAA section 126(b) for responding to the petition from the state of Delaware is not adequate to allow the public and the agency the opportunity to carry out the purposes of CAA section 307(d). Specifically, the 60-day period is insufficient for the EPA to complete the necessary technical review, develop an adequate proposal, and allow time for notice and comment, including an opportunity for public hearing, on a proposed finding regarding whether the Brunner Island Steam Electric Station identified in the CAA section 126 petition contributes significantly to nonattainment or interferes with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS or the 2015 ozone NAAQS in Delaware. Moreover, the 60-day period is insufficient for the EPA to review and develop response to any public comments on a proposed finding, or testimony supplied at a public hearing, and to develop and promulgate a final finding in response to the petition. The EPA is in the process of determining an appropriate schedule for action on the CAA section 126 petition. This schedule must afford the EPA adequate time to prepare a proposal that clearly elucidates the issues to facilitate public comment, and must provide adequate time for the public to comment and for the EPA to review and develop responses to those comments prior to issuing the final rule. As a result of this extension, the deadline for the EPA to act on the petition is March 5, 2017.

    B. Notice and Comment Under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA)

    This document is a final agency action, but may not be subject to the notice-and-comment requirements of the APA, 5 U.S.C. 553(b). The EPA believes that, because of the limited time provided to make a determination, the deadline for action on the CAA section 126 petition should be extended. Congress may not have intended such a determination to be subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking. However, to the extent that this determination otherwise would require notice and opportunity for public comment, there is good cause within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) not to apply those requirements here. Providing for notice and comment would be impracticable because of the limited time provided for making this determination, and would be contrary to the public interest because it would divert agency resources from the substantive review of the CAA section 126 petition.

    C. Effective Date Under the APA

    This action is effective on August 23, 2016. Under the APA, 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), agency rulemaking may take effect before 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register if the agency has good cause to mandate an earlier effective date. This action—a deadline extension—must take effect immediately because its purpose is to extend by 6 months the deadline for action on the petition. As discussed earlier, the EPA intends to use the 6-month extension period to develop a proposal on the petition and provide time for public comment before issuing the final rule. It would not be possible for the EPA to complete the required notice and comment and public hearing process within the original 60-day period noted in the statute. These reasons support an immediate effective date.

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Orders 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. This good cause final action simply extends the date for the EPA to take action on a petition and does not impose any new obligations or enforceable duties on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. It does not contain any recordkeeping or reporting requirements.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    This action is not subject to the RFA. The RFA applies only to rules subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the APA, 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other statute. This rule is not subject to notice-and-comment requirements because the agency has invoked the APA “good cause” exemption under 5 U.S.C. 553(b).

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. This good cause final action simply extends the date for the EPA to take action on a petition. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The EPA believes that this action is not subject to Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) because it does not establish an environmental health or safety standard. This good cause final action simply extends the date for the EPA to take action on a petition and does not have any impact on human health or the environment.

    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. The CRA allows the issuing agency to make a rule effective sooner than otherwise provided by the CRA if the agency makes a good cause finding that notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures are impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest (5 U.S.C. 808(2)). The EPA has made a good cause finding for this rule as discussed in Section II.B of this document, including the basis for that finding.

    IV. Statutory Authority

    The statutory authority for this action is provided by sections 110, 126 and 307 of the CAA as amended (42 U.S.C. 7410, 7426 and 7607).

    V. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, judicial review of this final rule is available only by the filing of a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 24, 2016. Under section 307(b)(2) of the CAA, the requirements that are the subject of this final rule may not be challenged later in civil or criminal proceedings brought by us to enforce these requirements.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Administrative practices and procedures, Air pollution control, Electric utilities, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Ozone.

    Dated: August 15, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20140 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0075; FRL-9950-86-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Kenosha County 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Reasonable Further Progress Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving an Early Progress Plan and motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) for the Kenosha County, Wisconsin 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. Wisconsin submitted an Early Progress Plan for Kenosha County on January 16, 2015. This submittal was developed to establish MVEBs for the Kenosha 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. This approval of the Early Progress Plan for the Kenosha 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area is based on EPA's determination that Wisconsin has demonstrated that the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision containing these MVEBs, when considered with the emissions from all sources, shows progress toward attainment from the 2011 base year through a 2015 target year.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective October 24, 2016, unless EPA receives adverse comments by September 22, 2016. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0075 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, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, 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:

    Michael Leslie, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-6680, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section is arranged as follows:

    I. What is the background for this action? II. What are the criteria for early progress plans? III. What is EPA's analysis of the request? IV. What are the MVEBs for the Kenosha County 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area? V. What action is EPA taking? VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background for this action?

    EPA's final rule designating nonattainment areas and associated classifications for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2012 (77 FR 30088). A portion of Kenosha County was designated as marginal nonattainment. The Kenosha County 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area had been previously designated nonattainment as part of the larger Milwaukee area for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard and had MVEBs for NOX and VOC established in the Wisconsin 1997 8-hour maintenance plan SIP. Consequently, the transportation partners in the Kenosha area have to use the 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment MVEBs for the Milwaukee area to demonstrate transportation conformity for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard until new MVEBs are approved or found adequate, as required by the transportation conformity rule at 40 CFR 93.109(c)(2)(i). Wisconsin submitted this plan to establish new MVEBs for Kenosha County developed with EPA's MOVES2014 model.

    II. What are the criteria for early progress plans?

    EPA allows for the establishment of MVEBs for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard prior to a state submitting its first required 2008 8-hour ozone SIP that would include new MVEBs. Although voluntary, these “early” MVEBs must be established through a plan that meets all the requirements of a SIP submittal. This plan is known as the “Early Progress Plan.” Specifically and in reference to Early Progress Plans, the preamble of the July 1, 2004, final transportation conformity rule (see, 69 FR 40019) reads as follows:

    The first 8-hour ozone SIP could be a control strategy SIP required by the Clean Air Act (e.g., rate-of-progress SIP or attainment demonstration) or a maintenance plan. However, 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas `are free to establish, through the SIP process, a motor vehicle emissions budget or budgets that addresses the new NAAQS in advance of a complete SIP attainment demonstration. That is, a state could submit a motor vehicle emission budget that does not demonstrate attainment but is consistent with projections and commitments to control measures and achieves some progress toward attainment' (August 15, 1997, 62 FR 43799). A SIP submitted earlier than otherwise required can demonstrate a significant level of emissions reductions from current level of emissions, instead of a specific percentage required by the Clean Air Act for moderate and above ozone areas.

    The Early Progress Plan must demonstrate that the SIP revision containing the MVEBs, when considered with emissions from all sources, and when projected from the base year to a future year, shows progress toward attainment. EPA has previously indicated that a 5 percent to 10 percent reduction in emissions from all sources could represent a significant level of emissions reductions from current levels (69 FR 40019). This allowance is provided so that areas have an opportunity to use the budget test to demonstrate conformity as opposed to the interim conformity tests (i.e., 2002 baseline test and/or action versus baseline test). The budget test with an adequate or approved SIP budget is generally more protective of air quality and provides a more relevant basis for conformity determinations than the interim emissions test. (69 FR 40026).

    It should also be noted that the Early Progress Plan is not a required plan and does not substitute for required submissions such as an attainment demonstration or rate-of-progress plan, if such plans become required for the Kenosha 8-hour ozone area.

    III. What is EPA's analysis of the request?

    On January 16, 2015, the State submitted to EPA an Early Progress Plan for the sole purpose of establishing MVEBs for the Kenosha 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. The submittal utilizes a base year of 2011, and a projected year 2015 to establish NOX and VOC MVEBs. The planning assumptions used to develop the MVEBs were discussed and agreed to by the Kenosha interagency consultation group, which consists of the transportation and air quality partners in the Kenosha 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. Tables 1 and 2 below show the differences by source categories between the 2011 base year and 2015 forecast year. The NOX and VOC emissions in tons per day (tpd) within the Kenosha nonattainment area are expected to decrease significantly, 6.9 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, between 2011 and 2015. These emission trends demonstrate that progress will be made towards attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    Table 1—Kenosha County 2008 Ozone Nonattainment Area NOX Emissions [Kenosha County NOX Emissions] Source 2011 NOX
  • (tpd)
  • 2015 NOX
  • (tpd)
  • Point 8.80 6.15 Area 1.09 1.33 On-road Mobile 5.17 4.40 Non-Road Mobile 2.14 1.69 Total 17.17 15.98 Total Percent Reduction 6.9%
    Table 2—Kenosha County 2008 Ozone Nonattainment Area VOC Emissions [Kenosha County VOC Emissions] VOC Source 2011 VOC
  • (tpd)
  • 2015 VOC
  • (tpd)
  • Point 0.70 2.63 Area 4.78 4.72 On-road Mobile 2.38 1.99 Non-Road Mobile 1.46 1.08 Total 9.32 8.49 Total Percent Reduction 8.9%

    EPA found these MVEBs adequate for transportation conformity purposes in an earlier action (80 FR 17428, April 1, 2015). As of April 16, 2015, the effective date of EPA's adequacy finding for these MVEBs, conformity determinations in Kenosha County must meet the budget test using these 2008 8-hour ozone MVEBs, instead of the 1997 8-hour ozone MVEBs. Please note that this adequacy finding does not relate to the merits of the SIP submittal, nor does it indicate whether the submittal meets the requirements for approval. This EPA rulemaking action takes formal action on the Early Progress Plan SIP revision.

    IV. What are the MVEBs for the Kenosha 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area?

    Through this rulemaking, EPA is approving the 2015 regional MVEBs for NOX and VOC for the Kenosha County 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. EPA has determined that the MVEBs contained in the Early Progress Plan SIP revision are consistent with emission reductions from all sources within the nonattainment area and are showing progress toward attainment.

    The 2015 MVEBs in tpd for VOCs and NOX for the Kenosha County, Wisconsin nonattainment area are as follows:

    Area 2015 NOX
  • (tpd)
  • 2015 VOCs
  • (tpd)
  • Kenosha County 4.397 1.944
    V. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving Kenosha's Early Progress Plan, including the 2015 MVEBs for NOX and VOC. The Early Progress Plan demonstrates progress towards attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Kenosha nonattainment area. The NOX and VOC emissions reductions from 2011 to 2015 for Kenosha County nonattainment areas were 6.9 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively. These emission reductions are based on control measures that are permanent and enforceable and will continue to improve air quality in the region, thus demonstrating that the MVEBs are showing progress toward attainment.

    EPA issues this direct final rulemaking in response to Wisconsin's January 16, 2015 submittal of an Early Progress Plan. This revision is a voluntary SIP revision for the sole purpose of establishing MVEBs for the purpose of implementing transportation conformity in the Kenosha County 2008 8-hour ozone nonattainment area.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the State plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective October 24, 2016 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by September 22, 2016. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective October 24, 2016.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 24, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See CAA section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 5, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    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.

    2. Section 52.2585 is amended by adding paragraph (ee) to read as follows:
    § 52.2585 Control strategy; ozone.

    (ee) Approval—On January 16, 2015, the State of Wisconsin submitted a revision to its State Implementation Plan for Kenosha County, Wisconsin. The submittal established new Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets (MVEB) for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX) for the year 2015. The MVEBs for Kenosha County nonattainment area are now: 1.994 tons per day of VOC emissions and 4.397 tons per day of NOX emissions for the year 2015.

    [FR Doc. 2016-20002 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0418; FRL-9950-94-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Minor New Source Review—Nonroad Engines AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Commonwealth of Virginia state implementation plan (SIP). The revisions amend the definition of “nonroad engine” under Virginia's minor New Source Review (NSR) requirements to align with Federal requirements. EPA is approving these revisions to the Virginia SIP in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 24, 2016 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by September 22, 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-2016-0418 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, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Talley, (215) 814-2117, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On June 17, 2014, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ), on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, submitted a formal revision to its SIP. The SIP revision consists of amendments to the definition of “nonroad engine” under VADEQ's minor NSR regulations. Virginia has a SIP approved minor NSR program located in the Virginia Administrative Code (VAC) at 9VAC 5-80 which regulates certain modifications and construction of stationary sources within areas covered by its SIP as necessary to assure the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) are achieved.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision and EPA Analysis

    VADEQ's June 17, 2014 SIP submittal includes revisions to the definition of “nonroad engine” under the VAC, specifically 9VAC5-80-1110. The definition of “nonroad engine” was expanded to include portable and temporary engines. The revision to 9VAC5-80-1110 makes VADEQ's definition more consistent with the Federal definition at 40 CFR 89.2. According to VADEQ, Federal design standards for internal combustion engines and Federal fuel standards for engines are already more restrictive than permit requirements for portable and temporary engines in Virginia's minor NSR program. Virginia's amended definition adopts the Federal definition of “nonroad engine,” grouping portable engines and temporary engines together with other non-mobile engines. The revised definition will streamline Virginia's minor NSR program by no longer requiring VADEQ to issue minor NSR permits without meaningful additional emissions control requirements on those engines. Virginia asserted the amended definition does not increase emissions or otherwise affect air quality.

    EPA finds these revisions are appropriate and meet the Federal requirements of 40 CFR 51.160 and 51.161, and CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) for a minor NSR program. Additionally, the revision to 9VAC5-80-1110(and in particular the deletions in the revised regulation) are in accordance with section 110(l) of the CAA because they will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress, or any other applicable CAA requirement.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is approving VADEQ's June 17, 2014 SIP submittal and incorporating the revised regulation into Virginia's SIP. 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 24, 2016 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 22, 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.

    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 NSR 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 rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the VADEQ rules regarding definitions and permitting requirements discussed in section II of this preamble. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update of the SIP compilation.1 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region III Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    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 24, 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 Virginia's minor NSR program may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 8, 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 adding an entry for Article 6—Permits for New and Modified Stationary Sources after Article 5 in 9 VAC 5-80 and adding an entry for 5-80-1110 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 80 Permits for Stationary Sources [Part VIII] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Article 6—Permits for New and Modified Stationary Sources 5-80-1110 Definitions 3/27/14 8/23/16, [Insert Federal Register Citation]. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-19888 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0523; FRL-9950-84-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Shipbuilding Antifoulant Coatings AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving, as a revision to the Indiana State Implementation Plan (SIP), a submittal by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) dated July 17, 2015. The submittal contains a new volatile organic compound (VOC) limit for antifoulant coatings used in shipbuilding and ship repair facilities located in Clark, Floyd, Lake, and Porter counties. The submittal also includes a demonstration that this revision satisfies the anti-backsliding provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The submittal additionally removes obsolete dates and clarifies a citation.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective October 24, 2016, unless EPA receives adverse comments by September 22, 2016. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0523 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, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, 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:

    Eric Svingen, Environmental Engineer, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-4489, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section is arranged as follows:

    I. What is the background of this SIP revision? II. What is EPA's analysis of the State's submittal? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background of this SIP revision?

    On July 17, 2015, IDEM submitted to EPA a request to incorporate into Indiana's SIP a revised version of 326 Indiana Administrative Code (IAC) 8-12-4, “Volatile organic compound emissions limiting requirements,” with an effective date of June 21, 2015.

    Indiana's rulemaking adds, at 326 IAC 8-12-4(a)(1)(D), a VOC limit of 3.33 lbs VOC per gallon for antifoulant coatings used in shipbuilding and ship repair facilities located in Clark, Floyd, Lake, and Porter counties. In 326 IAC 8-12-3(22)(C), an “antifoulant specialty coating” is defined as any coating that is applied to the underwater portion of a vessel to prevent or reduce the attachment of biological organisms and that is registered with the EPA as a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The same definition is provided in EPA's Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Operations (Surface Coating) (61 FR 44050, August 27, 1996). Clark and Floyd counties are part of the Louisville, KY-IN maintenance area for the 1997 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), and Lake and Porter counties are part of the Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and the Chicago-Gary-Lake County, IL-IN maintenance area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS.

    Before IDEM added the revised VOC limit of 3.33 lbs VOC per gallon in 326 IAC 8-12-4(a)(1)(D), antifoulant coatings were limited by the specialty coating limit of 2.83 lbs VOC per gallon at 326 IAC 8-12-4(a)(1)(E), which IDEM has moved to 326 IAC 8-12-4(a)(1)(F) in this revision. The revised limit of 3.33 lbs VOC per gallon is consistent with the limit in Table 1-1 of EPA's Alternative Control Techniques (ACT) Document: Surface Coating Operations at Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facilities (EPA-453/R-94-032, April 1994). In addition, it is consistent with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (Surface Coating) at 40 CFR part 63, subpart II. EPA's CTG identifies the limit from the ACT as Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT), and states that the NESHAP can be used as a model rule for shipbuilding and ship repair facilities.

    In Indiana's rulemaking, 326 IAC 8-12-4 is also revised to remove obsolete dates and clarify a reference to EPA's NESHAP for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair (Surface Coating) at 40 CFR 63, subpart II.

    This SIP revision relies on offsets generated by the Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) coatings rule at 326 IAC 8-14 to compensate for the increase in allowable VOC emissions.

    II. What is EPA's analysis of the State's submittal?

    Revisions to SIP-approved control measures must meet the requirements of, among other statutory provisions, section 110(l) of the CAA in order to be approved by EPA. Section 110(l), known as EPA's anti-backsliding provision, states:

    “The Administrator shall not approve a revision of a plan if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress (as defined in section 171), or any other applicable requirement of this Act.”

    In the absence of an attainment demonstration, to demonstrate no interference with any applicable NAAQS or requirement of the CAA under section 110(l), states may substitute equivalent emissions reductions to compensate for any change to a SIP-approved program, as long as actual emissions are not increased. “Equivalent” emissions reductions mean reductions which are equal to or greater than those reductions achieved by the control measure approved in the SIP. To show that compensating emissions reductions are equivalent, modeling or adequate justification must be provided. The compensating, equivalent reductions must represent actual, new emissions reductions achieved in a contemporaneous time frame to the change of the existing SIP control measure, in order to preserve the status quo level of emissions in the air. As described in EPA's memorandum “Improving Air Quality with Economic Incentive Programs” published in January 2001 (EPA-452/R-01-001), the equivalent emissions reductions must also be permanent, enforceable, quantifiable, and surplus to be approved into the SIP.

    Indiana's revisions to 326 IAC 8-12-4 increase the allowable VOC content of antifoulant coatings used in shipbuilding or ship repair facilities from 2.83 lbs VOC per gallon to 3.33 lbs VOC per gallon. VOCs contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Thus, the potential increase in VOC needs to be offset with equivalent (or greater) emissions reductions from another VOC control measure in order to demonstrate non-interference with the 1997 ozone NAAQS or 2008 ozone NAAQS. Indiana's SIP submittal includes a 110(l) demonstration that relies on equivalent emission reductions to compensate for allowable emission increases resulting from the new VOC limit for antifoulant coatings.

    326 IAC 8-12-4(a)(1)(D) currently applies to only one source, Jeffboat LLC, which operates a stationary shipbuilding and repair facility at 1030 E. Market St., Jeffersonville, Indiana, and is permitted under Title V Operating Permit T019-29304-0006. Jeffboat is located within Clark County and the Louisville, KY-IN maintenance area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. IDEM's 110(l) demonstration consists of a calculation of the maximum possible increase in VOC emissions from this source under the revised emission limit, followed by an identification of available offsets from the AIM rule at 326 IAC 8-14.

    Indiana's submittal includes calculations illustrating the maximum possible increase in VOC emissions resulting from revisions to 326 IAC 8-12-4. Based on the maximum number of barges requiring antifoulant coatings, Jeffboat may use up to 2,580 gallons per year of coatings. At the original limit of 2.83 lbs VOC per gallon coating, the source may emit 3.65 tons VOC per year. In order to correctly determine the difference in resulting emissions, the original and revised limits must be compared on a solids basis; 2.83 lbs VOC per gallon coating equates to 4.6 lbs VOC per gallon solids, and 3.33 lbs VOC per gallon coating equates to 6.08 lbs VOC per gallon solids. From these figures, the revised limit is 32% higher than the original limit. A 32% increase from 3.65 tons VOC per year amounts to an increase in emissions of 1.17 tons VOC per year, or 0.004167 tons VOC per summer day. IDEM's section 110(l) demonstration states that offsets of this amount from Indiana's AIM coatings rule are needed to compensate for the increase in allowable emissions.

    IDEM's calculations are more conservative than the approach recommended by EPA. Because Jeffboat operates six days per week, or 312 days per year, 1.17 tons VOC per year amounts to 0.00375 tons VOC per summer day. However, in this rulemaking, IDEM has requested to offset the revised limit in 326 IAC 8-12-4 with credits from Indiana's AIM rule in the amount of 0.004167 tons VOC per summer day.

    Indiana's AIM rule goes above and beyond the Federal AIM rule by adopting a rule that is similar to the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) model rule “Architectural & Industrial Maintenance (AIM) Coatings” updated October 13, 2014. According to a 2006 Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) white paper, the OTC model rule provides an up to 60.5% reduction in VOC emissions compared to uncontrolled 2002 base case emissions, while the Federal AIM rule alone only provides a 20% reduction compared to base case.

    The Indiana AIM rule was approved into the SIP on August 30, 2012 (77 FR 52606). Indiana was not required to adopt an AIM coatings rule, but did so as a multi-state effort to help reduce ozone levels at the regional level. Indiana did not adopt the AIM rule to comply with any Indiana SIP planning requirements and has not taken credit for it in air quality plans, nor has it been included in maintenance year horizons or rate of further progress (RFP) inventories. Therefore, these SIP approved AIM limits can be used as offsets for other purposes, such as this SIP revision.

    Table 1 shows additional reductions available due to the OTC model rule and Indiana AIM rule. In the table, emission estimates are based on 2011 National Emission Inventory (NEI) data, which is the most recent NEI data currently available. Total reductions, as well as summer day calculations based on average daily emissions using a multiplier of 1.3, are based on the LADCO white paper. Indiana's 110(l) demonstration shows available offsets from the AIM rule of 0.292 tons VOC per summer day.

    Table 1—Clark and Floyd Counties Offset Analysis County Coating category Tons/year Ton/summday Total
  • reductions
  • (AIM and OTC)
  • Federal AIM reduction Additional
  • reduction
  • Offset
    Clark Architectural 128.97 0.4594 0.388 0.2 0.24 0.108 Clark Traffic Markings 0.14 0.0005 0.564 0.2 0.46 0.0002 Clark Industrial Maintenance 33.24 0.1184 0.605 0.2 0.51 0.060 Clark Special Purpose 3.53 0.0126 0.605 0.2 0.51 0.006 Floyd Architectural 87.26 0.3108 0.388 0.2 0.24 0.073 Floyd Traffic Markings 0.08 0.0003 0.564 0.2 0.46 0.000 Floyd Industrial Maintenance 22.49 0.0801 0.605 0.2 0.51 0.041 Floyd Special Purpose 2.39 0.0085 0.605 0.2 0.51 0.004 Total 0.292

    IDEM's section 110(l) demonstration identifies available offsets from Indiana's AIM rule of 0.292 tons VOC per summer day, and Indiana's revisions to 326 IAC 8-12-4 require offsets of less than 0.004167 tons VOC per summer day. Therefore, the VOC emissions increase associated with the revisions of 326 IAC 8-12-4 are more than offset by the VOC emission reductions attributed to reductions in AIM coatings emissions.

    In an earlier submittal, Indiana requested to use a separate portion of available offsets from Indiana's AIM rule to offset removal of Stage II gasoline vapor recovery requirements for the years 2014 and 2015. EPA finalized approval of that SIP submittal on June 9, 2016 (81 FR 37160). For the year 2014, EPA's final rulemaking relevant to the Stage II rule uses offsets from Indiana's AIM rule of 0.001829695 tons VOC per summer day, and for 2015, that same rulemaking uses offsets from Indiana's AIM rule of 0.002250149 tons VOC per summer day. That rulemaking relevant to Stage II uses no offsets for 2016 or future years.

    Indiana's revised version of 326 IAC 8-12-4 has an effective date of June 21, 2015, so offsets are necessary for 2015 and future years. For 2015, IDEM identifies available offsets from Indiana's AIM rule of 0.292 tons VOC per summer day, EPA's proposed rulemaking relevant to Stage II uses offsets of 0.002250149 tons VOC per summer day, and this rulemaking relevant to 326 IAC 8-12-4 uses offsets of 0.004167 tons VOC per summer day. Therefore, offsets from Indiana's AIM rule of 0.285582851 tons VOC per summer day remain available for future use. For 2016 and future years, IDEM identifies available offsets from Indiana's AIM rule of 0.292 tons VOC per summer day, EPA's proposed rulemaking relevant to Stage II uses no offsets, and this rulemaking relevant to 326 IAC 8-12-4 uses offsets of 0.004167 tons VOC per summer day. Therefore, offsets from Indiana's AIM rule of 0.287833 tons VOC per summer day remain available for future use.

    Based on the use of permanent, enforceable, contemporaneous, surplus emissions reductions achieved through the offsets from VOC reductions in AIM coatings emissions in Clark and Floyd counties, EPA has concluded that the revisions of 326 IAC 8-12-4 do not interfere with southeast Indiana's ability to demonstrate compliance with the 1997 ozone NAAQS or 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    EPA also examined whether the revisions of 326 IAC 8-12-4 will interfere with attainment of any other air quality standards. Lake and Porter counties are designated attainment for all standards other than ozone, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Clark and Floyd counties are designated attainment for all standards other than ozone and particulate matter.1 For the reasons discussed above, EPA has no reason to believe that the revisions will cause the areas to become nonattainment for any of these pollutants. In addition, EPA believes that the revisions will not interfere with the areas' ability to meet any other CAA requirement.

    1 Clark and Floyd counties are currently designated nonattainment for the 1997 Annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standard. While VOC is one of the precursors for particulate matter (NAAQS) formation, studies have indicated that in the southeast, which includes the Louisville, KY-IN maintenance area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS, emissions of direct PM2.5 and the precursor sulfur oxides are more significant to ambient summertime PM2.5 concentrations than emissions of nitrogen oxides and anthropogenic VOC. See, e.g., Journal of Environmental Engineering-Quantifying the sources of ozone, fine particulate matter, and regional haze in the Southeastern United States (June 24, 2009), available at: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-ofenvironmental-management. Currently, Clark and Floyd counties are not designated nonattainment for any of the other criteria pollutants (i.e. sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead or carbon monoxide) and those pollutants are not affected by the removal of Stage II requirements.

    Based on the above discussion and the state's section 110(l) demonstration, EPA has concluded that the revisions to 326 IAC 8-12-4 will not interfere with attainment or maintenance in the Louisville, KY-IN maintenance area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS, the Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, or the Chicago-Gary-Lake County, IL-IN maintenance area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS, and would not interfere with any other applicable requirement of the CAA, and thus, are approvable under CAA section 110(l). Also, as stated in the previous section, the antifouling coating limit satisfies RACT.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA finds that the revision will not interfere with any applicable CAA requirement. For that reason, EPA is approving, as a revision to the Indiana ozone SIP, a revised version of 326 IAC 8-12-4 submitted by IDEM on July 17, 2015.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective October 24, 2016 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by September 22, 2016. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective October 24, 2016.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the Indiana Regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.2 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 5 Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    2 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by October 24, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 5, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    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.

    2. In § 52.770 the table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising the entry for 8-12-4 under “Article 8. Volatile Organic Compound Rules” “Rule 12. Shipbuilding or Ship Repair Operations in Clark, Floyd, Lake, and Porter Counties” to read as follows:
    § 52.770 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Indiana Regulations Indiana citation Subject Indiana effective date EPA Approval date Notes *         *         *         *         *         *         * Article 8. Volatile Organic Compound Rules *         *         *         *         *         *         * Rule 12. Shipbuilding or Ship Repair Operations in Clark, Floyd, Lake, and Porter Counties: *         *         *         *         *         *         * 8-12-4 Volatile organic compound emissions limiting requirements 06/21/2015 08/23/2016, [insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-20016 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 79 [CG Docket No. 05-231; FCC 16-17] Closed Captioning of Video Programming; Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Petition for Rulemaking AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) allocates the responsibilities of video programming distributors (VPDs) and video programmers with respect to the provision and quality of closed captions on television programming, with each entity responsible for closed captioning issues that are primarily within its control; amends the Commission's captioning complaint procedures to include video programmers in the handling of complaints; and requires video programmers to register contact information and certify compliance with captioning obligations directly with the Commission.

    DATES:

    Effective September 22, 2016, except for 47 CFR 79.1(g)(1) through (9), (i)(1) through (3), (j)(1) and (4), (k)(1)(iv), and (m) of the Commission's rules, which contain information collection requirements that are not effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date for those sections.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eliot Greenwald, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at phone: (202) 418-2235 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Closed Captioning of Video Programming; Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Petition for Rulemaking Second Report and Order (Second Report and Order), document FCC 16-17, adopted on February 18, 2016, and released on February 19, 2016. The full text of document FCC 16-17 will be available for public inspection and copying via ECFS, and during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. Document FCC 16-17 can also be downloaded in Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) at: https://www.fcc.gov/general/disability-rights-office-headlines. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Final Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    Document FCC 16-17 contains new and modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, will invite the general public to comment on the information collection requirements contained in document FCC 16-17 as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, the Commission notes that, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission previously sought comment on how the Commission might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.” See Closed Captioning of Video Programming; Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Petition for Rulemaking, Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published at 79 FR 17093, March 27, 2014 (Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) and 79 FR 17911, March 31, 2014 (Report and Order) (references are to the Closed Captioning Quality Order when discussing parts of the Report and Order, and to the Closed Captioning Quality Further Notice when discussing parts of the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking).

    Synopsis

    1. Closed captioning is a technology that provides visual access to the audio content of video programs by displaying this content as printed words on the television screen. In 1997, the Commission, acting pursuant to section 713 of the Communications Act (the Act), 47 U.S.C. 713, adopted rules regarding closed captioning on television. On February 24, 2014, the Commission adopted the Closed Captioning Quality Order in which, among other things, it placed responsibility for compliance with the non-technical closed captioning quality standards on (VPDs) while simultaneously releasing the Closed Captioning Quality Further Notice to seek comment on, among other issues, extending some of the responsibilities for complying with the closed captioning quality standards to other entities involved in the production and delivery of video programming. On December 15, 2014, the Commission released a Second Further Notice seeking to supplement the record in this proceeding in response to comments received on the Closed Captioning Quality Further Notice. Closed Captioning of Video Programming; Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Petition for Rulemaking, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published at 79 FR 78768, December 31, 2014 (Closed Captioning Quality Second Further Notice).

    2. Responsibilities of VPDs and Video Programmers. In its 1997 Closed Captioning Report and Order, the Commission placed sole responsibility for compliance with its television closed captioning rules on VPDs. Closed Captioning and Video Description of Video Programming, Implementation of Section 305 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Video Programming Accessibility, Report and Order, published at 62 FR 48487, September 16, 1997 (1997 Closed Captioning Report and Order). At that time, the Commission concluded that holding VPDs responsible would most expeditiously increase the availability of television programming with closed captions and promote efficiency in the Commission's monitoring and enforcement of its captioning rules. At the same time, the Commission recognized the Commission's jurisdiction, under section 713 of the Act, over both video programming providers and owners to ensure the provision of closed captioning of video programming, and noted its expectation that both “owners and producers will be involved in the captioning process.”

    3. In the Closed Captioning Quality Order, the Commission similarly placed the responsibility for compliance with the non-technical closed captioning quality standards on VPDs. However, recognizing that the creation and delivery of quality closed captioning is not solely within the control of VPDs and that video programmers play a “critical role” in providing closed captions to viewers, the Commission stated that it would allow a VPD to satisfy its obligations with respect to the caption quality rules by obtaining or making best efforts to obtain certifications on captioning quality from its video programmers that such programmers are in compliance with the Commission's quality standards or related best practices. At the same time, as noted above, the Closed Captioning Further Notice sought comment on whether the Commission should revise its rules to allocate responsibilities for compliance with the television closed captioning obligations, including the obligation to provide quality captions, among various entities involved in the production and delivery of video programming. To this end, among other things, the Commission also sought comment on a specific proposal by Comcast/NBC Universal (Comcast) for a “burden-shifting enforcement model” that would place the initial burden of addressing captioning matters on VPDs, but then extend some captioning responsibilities to video programming owners (VPOs).

    4. The Commission concludes that the obligations associated with compliance with the Commission's closed captioning quality rules shall be divided between VPDs and video programmers, making each entity responsible for closed captioning quality issues that are primarily within its control. It further concludes that the responsibilities associated with ensuring the provision of closed captions on television shall remain primarily with VPDs, but amends its rules to also hold video programmers responsible for ensuring the insertion of closed captions on all their nonexempt programming. The Commission also concludes that the video programmer certifications that video programmers must now make widely available to VPDs should instead be filed with the Commission.

    5. Definitions of Video Programmers and Video Programming Owners. The Closed Captioning Quality Order defined a video programmer as “[a]ny entity that provides video programming that is intended for distribution to residential households including, but not limited to, broadcast or nonbroadcast television networks and the owners of such programming,” noting that such programmers are a subset of VPPs. The Closed Captioning Quality Further Notice also noted that the Commission has defined VPOs for purposes of requiring captions on video programming delivered via Internet protocol, in part, as “any person or entity that `[l]icenses the video programming to a video programming distributor or provider that makes the video programming available directly to the end user through a distribution method that uses Internet protocol.'” The Captioning Quality Further Notice sought comment on whether the definition of video programmer adopted in the Closed Captioning Quality Order is sufficiently broad in scope or whether the Commission should expand the definition to cover other categories of entities, and if so, which entities. The Commission also sought comment on whether and how the Commission should define VPOs with respect to the television closed captioning rules.

    6. Document FCC 16-17 applies the definition of video programmer adopted in the Closed Captioning Quality Order without change. That definition does not exclude entities that provide programming for distribution to locations other than the home; rather it merely makes the intent to distribute to residential households a criterion of the definition. In other words, if an entity intends for its programming to be distributed to residential households, the entity will meet the definition of a “video programmer” and will be covered by the Commission's captioning rules, even if the video programmer's programming also reaches devices, such as tablets and other mobile devices that can be used outside the home.

    7. Document FCC 16-17 defines VPO, for purposes of television captioning, as any person or entity that either (i) licenses video programming to a VPD or provider that is intended for distribution to residential households; or (ii) acts as the VPD or VPP, and also possesses the right to license video programming to a VPD or VPP that is intended for distribution to residential households. As is the case with video programmers, an entity will be considered a VPO if it licenses or possesses the right to license programming that is intended for distribution to residential households, even if the programming is also distributed to devices that are not located in the home. Accordingly, the captioning rules will cover video programming that is provided by such VPOs to VPPs and VPDs and distributed over VPD systems, even if the VPO's programming reaches devices, such as tablets and other mobile devices that may or may not be located in the home.

    8. Commission Authority under Section 713 of the Act. The Commission reaffirms determinations, made in the 1997 Closed Captioning Report and Order and the Closed Captioning Quality Order, that the Commission has authority under section 713 of the Act to impose obligations for compliance with the Commission's closed captioning rules on both VPDs and video programmers. Section 713 of the Act authorizes the Commission to ensure the provision of closed captioning of video programming by providers and owners of video programming. Section 713(b)(2) of the Act directs the Commission to prescribe regulations that “shall ensure” that “video programming providers or owners maximize the accessibility of video programming first published or exhibited prior to the effective date of such regulations through the provision of closed captions.” Additionally, various subsections of section 713(d) authorize exemptions for both VPPs and program owners. The legislative history of section 713 of the Act further reflects Congress's intent to extend the Commission's authority over captioning of video programming to various entities involved in the production and delivery of video programming, including the distributors and owners of such programs, recognizing that “[i]t is clearly more efficient and economical to caption programming at the time of production and to distribute it with captions than to have each delivery system or local broadcaster caption the program.”. H.R. Rep. No. 104-204, 104th Cong., 1st Sess. (1995) at 114.

    9. The Commission has long recognized its jurisdiction under section 713 of the Act to impose closed captioning obligations on both VPDs and video programmers. The Commission referenced its authority in the 1997 Closed Captioning Report and Order and the Closed Captioning Quality Order, and extended certain captioning responsibilities to VPOs in the IP Captioning Report and Order, which created requirements for captioned television programs to be displayed with captions when delivered via Internet protocol. Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, published at 77 FR 19480, March 30, 2012 (IP Captioning Report and Order). There, the Commission concluded that placing obligations on VPOs would ensure that the Commission could hold a responsible party accountable for violations of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Public Law 11-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010), technical corrections, Public Law 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010); IP Captioning Report and Order. Similarly, changes made to the Commission's requirements for the presentation of accessible emergency information on television added video programming providers, which includes program owners, as parties responsible (along with VPDs) for making such information accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The Commission ruled that the entity that creates the visual emergency information content and adds it to the programming stream is responsible for providing an aural representation of the information on a secondary audio stream, whether that entity is the VPD or VPP. In the Matter of Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published at 78 FR 31800, May 24, 2013 (2013 Emergency Information Order) (amending 47 CFR 79.2). Document FCC 16-17 reaffirms that section 713 of the Act gives the Commission jurisdiction to ensure the provision of closed captioning of video programming by both VPDs and video programmers.

    10. Responsibilities for Ensuring Captioning Quality. The Commission concludes that it is appropriate to allocate responsibility for compliance with the closed captioning quality rules between VPDs and video programmers by placing responsibility on each entity for those aspects of closed captioning quality over which they primarily have control. The Commission reaches this conclusion because video programmers exert the most direct control over the creation of closed captions, and thus, as compared to VPDs, can exercise greater control over the non-technical quality components of closed captioning. At the same time, VPDs primarily have control over the technical aspects of captioning quality related to the pass-through and distribution of programming to end users.

    11. There are a number of tasks associated with the provision of quality closed captions performed by video programmers. These entities “enter into contracts with captioning vendors, control when programming is delivered to captioning vendors to be captioned, and incorporate captioning with programming for delivery to VPDs.” See Closed Captioning Quality Order. The critical role that video programmers play in creating quality captioning justifies changing the allocation of responsibility for compliance with the caption quality requirements. The Commission thus affirms the finding made in the Closed Captioning Quality Order that “video programmers typically are the entities with the most direct control over the quality of closed captioning of their program.” It is for this reason that the Commission believes that assigning some responsibility for the quality of closed captioning directly to video programmers will more efficiently and effectively achieve compliance with the Commission's closed captioning quality requirements.

    12. VPDs receive programs with the embedded captions supplied by video programmers, and while VPDs have an obligation to ensure that their technical equipment is capable of passing through program signals with captions in a manner that does not adversely affect the non-technical quality components (accuracy, synchronicity, completeness and placement), the record shows that video programmers are responsible in the first instance for making sure that captions meet these quality components—i.e., at the time when programmers initially arrange for the inclusion and insertion of such captions on their programs. Video programmers thus have primary control over ensuring that the non-technical quality standards are met. In addition, allocating captioning quality responsibilities between VPDs and video programmers will be more efficient and effective than attempting to reach video programmers indirectly through their contracts with VPDs. The Commission concludes that the responsibilities imposed by the contractual arrangements between these entities will not be as effective or efficient as direct responsibility on the part of video programmers to achieve compliance with the Commission's new closed captioning quality obligations.

    13. First, the record shows that contractual arrangements between VPDs and video programmers may not be fully effective to ensure that video programmers will provide quality closed captions. Financial constraints and lack of influence may impede a VPD's ability to enforce agreements where violations of the captioning quality standards occur. Even in those instances in which a VPD is able to enforce its contractual agreement, the video programmer may decide to simply indemnify the VPD rather than correct the captioning quality problem.

    14. The Commission concludes that having VPDs and video programmers share captioning quality responsibilities is likely to improve the efficacy of the complaint process because it will assign responsibility to the entity most able to effectively resolve the complaint. In addition, by allowing the Commission to take enforcement action against video programmers as well as VPDs, it will create incentives for both entities to take actions within their control to resolve quality problems swiftly and to the satisfaction of consumers. The record in this proceeding reveals that captioning quality problems can stem from the actions or inactions of either VPDs or video programmers. The new procedures adopted in this order for resolving captioning quality complaints consider this fact, and utilize the established relationship between VPDs and programmers, as well as VPDs and consumers, to simplify the resolution of complaints for consumers. In this regard, to the extent that a VPD is responsible for captioning problems, under a regulatory scheme of divided responsibility, the VPD will remain responsible for rectifying those problems. Likewise, video programmers will remain responsible for addressing captioning problems primarily within their control.

    15. The Commission amends its rules to require video programmers to ensure that closed captioning data provided to VPDs complies with the Commission's closed captioning quality standards. The Commission will also continue to require VPDs to pass through programming with the original closed captioning data intact, in a format that can be recovered and displayed by consumers. Thus, under the new rules, video programmers will be responsible for closed captioning quality problems that stem from producing the captions, as well as transmission of the captions by the video programmers to the VPDs up to when the programming is handed off to the VPDs. VPDs will be responsible for closed captioning quality problems that are the result of faulty equipment or the failure to pass through closed captioning data intact. As a result, a VPD will be held responsible for a violation of the caption quality rules when the circumstances underlying the violation are primarily within the control of the VPD, and a video programmer will be held responsible for a violation of the caption quality rules when the circumstances underlying the violation are primarily within its control. Assigning liability in this manner will allow VPDs and video programmers to focus their resources on the captioning transmission processes over which they have the most control, thereby increasing their individual incentives to provide quality closed captions.

    16. Responsibilities for the Provision of Captioning. Section 79.1(b) of the Commission's rules currently places on VPDs the responsibility for ensuring the provision of closed captions on non-exempt television programs. The Closed Captioning Quality Further Notice sought comment on whether the Commission should revise this rule to allocate some of this responsibility to other programming entities, such as video programmers.

    17. The Commission concludes that the better approach for ensuring the provision of closed captions on television is to continue to hold VPDs primarily responsible for this obligation on the programming they carry, but to also hold video programmers responsible where they fail to provide captions on non-exempt programming. The Commission reaches this conclusion because it believes that its prior policy of placing sole responsibility on VPDs for the provision of closed captions on television programs failed to consider fully the significant role that video programmers play in the provision of captions on their video programming. Given that video programmers have control over the provision of closed captioning on programs they make available to VPDs for distribution to viewers, the Commission believes that it would be more effective and efficient to hold video programmers accountable for ensuring the insertion of closed captions on all of their programming that is not exempt, and the Commission amends § 79.1(b) of its rules to include the responsibilities of video programmers.

    18. Yet, because the VPDs have an important role in the distribution of captioned programming, the Commission will maintain its current rules requiring VPDs to remain primarily responsible for ensuring the provision of closed captions on their programming, including the obligation to pass through programming with the original closed captioning data intact, in a format that can be recovered and displayed by consumers. The Commission believes that allocating responsibilities for the provision of closed captioning in this manner will incentivize entities with the greatest control over each aspect of the closed captioning carriage, transmission and delivery processes to provide closed captions. It also believes that the approach adopted herein will maintain the current incentives for VPDs to ensure that the programming they carry is in compliance with the Commission's rules, while allowing the Commission to reach video programmers in instances where such entities have been non-compliant. The Commission concludes that the ability to hold both video programmers and VPDs responsible for the carriage of closed captions will encourage both parties to work together and thereby ensure greater access to television programming for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

    19. The Commission further concludes that this approach will respond to requests by commenters to eliminate a potential “liability gap” in the Commission's captioning rules, that they claim has arisen by permitting VPDs to rely on certifications from programming suppliers to demonstrate compliance with the Commission's rules. Under the current rules, a VPD may rely on a certification from the programming supplier, even when “a programming source falsely certifies that the programming delivered to the distributor meets the Commission's captioning requirements if the distributor is unaware that the certification is false.” 47 CFR 79.1(g)(6). Moreover, because the current rules do not assign responsibility to video programmers, they are not held accountable even where a video programmer either fails to provide a certification, provides a false certification, or simply fails to provide the required captioning. The Commission's decision to hold VPDs primarily responsible for the provision of closed captioning while allocating some responsibility to video programmers will ensure that the responsible entities are held accountable when closed captioning is not provided and will better enable the Commission to fulfill Congress's intent to ensure the accessibility of video programming.

    20. Video Programmer Certification. Because of the decision to allocate responsibility between video programmers and VPDs for the quality and provision of closed captioning, the Commission concludes that its rules governing these certifications should be amended to (1) make such certifications mandatory and (2) require video programmers to file these certifications with the Commission. At present, the Commission's rules provide for two separate types of video programmer certifications in the closed captioning context.

    21. The first type of certification is under § 79.1(g)(6) of the Commission's rules, which provides that VPDs may rely upon certifications from programming suppliers, including programming producers, programming owners, network syndicators and other distributors, to demonstrate a program's compliance with the captioning provision rules. This section goes on to state that VPDs will “not be held responsible for situations where a program source falsely certifies that programming delivered to the distributor meets [the Commission's] captioning requirements if the distributor is unaware that the certification is false.” 47 CFR 79.1(g)(6). Under the Commission's current rules, there is no affirmative obligation on the part of VPDs to obtain such certifications or on programming suppliers to provide them. Additionally, the Commission's rules simply permit a VPD to rely on these certifications to prove that there was no underlying obligation to caption the programming received. This is the case even if the certification received is false (unless the VPD was aware of such falsehood).

    22. The second type of programmer certification, which VPDs must make best efforts to obtain, was adopted by the Commission in the Closed Captioning Quality Order, and is contained in § 79.1(j)(1) of the Commission's rules. Under this rule, a VPD must exercise best efforts to obtain one of the following certifications from each video programmer with respect to the programming supplied to the VPD: (i) That the video programmer's programming satisfies the caption quality standards, see 47 CFR 79.1(j)(2) (stating the requirements with regard to captioning quality standards); (ii) that in the ordinary course of business, the video programmer has adopted and follows the Best Practices for video programmers with respect to captioning quality, see 47 CFR 79.1(k)(1) (stating the specific requirements with regard to Best Practices); or (iii) that the video programmer is exempt from the closed captioning rules, under one or more properly attained exemptions. If a video programmer claims an exemption from the captioning rules, it must also specify the exact exemption. 47 CFR 79.1(j)(1). In addition, § 79.1(k)(1)(iv) of the Commission's rules requires a video programmer that adopts Best Practices to certify to its VPDs that it has adopted and is following Best Practices for video programmers with respect to quality. Section 79.1(j)(1) and (k)(1)(iv) of the Commission's rules requires that the video programmer make this certification widely available, with § 79.1(j)(1) of the Commission's rules requiring that the video programmer do so within 30 days after receiving a written request to do so from a VPD.

    23. In the Closed Captioning Quality Second Further Notice the Commission sought comment on the need to alter its video programmer certification requirements if it extends some responsibilities for compliance with its closed captioning rules to video programmers. Specifically, the Commission asked whether it should amend § 79.1(j)(1) of its rules to require video programmers to file their certifications on caption quality with the Commission (rather than making such certifications widely available through other means) and whether it should amend § 79.1(k)(1)(iv) of its rules to make the filing of certifications with the Commission part of video programmers' Best Practices. The Commission also sought comment on whether it should amend § 79.1(g)(6) of its rules to require video programmers to file certifications with the Commission that they are in compliance with the Commission's rules for the provision of closed captioning.

    24. The Commission concluded that changing the certification processes to require video programmers to provide certifications to the Commission of their compliance with the Commission's rules regarding the provision and quality of closed captions is necessary to effectively implement the new apportionment of the closed captioning obligations. To better ensure compliance with the rules and simplify the certification process, the Commission revises its certification processes to collapse the certification requirements contained in § 79.1(g)(6), (j)(1), and (k)(1)(iv) of its rules into a single rule that, with respect to non-exempt programming, makes mandatory the obligation for each video programmer to submit to the Commission a certification that its programming (1) is in compliance with the obligation to provide closed captioning and (2) either complies with the captioning quality standards or adheres to the Best Practices for video programmers with respect to captioning quality. In the event that some or all of the programming in question is exempt under one or more of the exemptions set forth in the Commission's rules, in lieu of the above certification, the video programmer must submit a certification attesting to such exemption and specifying each category of exemption that is claimed. The Commission now requires video programmers to file their certifications with the Commission when they first launch and on an annual basis, on or before July 1 of each year, and to use the Commission's web form filing system for such submissions.

    25. By amending the Commission's rules to make certification as to the provision and quality of closed captions by video programmers mandatory, the Commission will hold video programmers accountable for their certifications, e.g., where a submitted certification is false or a programmer fails to provide the requisite certifications. A video programmer's failure to submit a certification or submission of a false certification will be deemed a violation of the Commission's rules that is separate from any violations related to the failure to provide quality captions.

    26. The Commission concludes that requiring video programmers to file their certifications with the Commission, rather than with VPDs (as currently required), also will create greater efficiencies because it will create a single repository for all video programmer certifications, providing greater transparency and ease of reference for video programmers, consumers and VPDs. Moreover, this approach eliminates the need to rely on VPDs to obtain certifications from video programmers, and for VPDs to undertake the task of locating and collecting such certifications.

    27. Because VPDs will remain primarily responsible for the provision of closed captioning on the non-exempt programming that they carry, certifications from video programmers will be necessary to inform VPDs of the extent to which the programming that they carry contained closed captions upon receipt. VPDs can then rely on these certifications to prove compliance, so long as they do not know or do not have reason to know a certification is false and so long as the VPDs pass through such captions intact to viewers. Requiring video programmers to provide certifications regarding their compliance with the closed captioning quality standards or Best Practices will help bring to their attention their new responsibilities, and thereby help to ensure quality closed captions. The process of having to prepare and provide the certification will help alert video programmers of the need to comply with the captioning quality standards or Best Practices.

    28. Compared to the prior certification procedures, the new certification regime (which imposes direct responsibilities on video programmers as well as VPDs) will enhance the Commission's ability to enforce the captioning rules against video programmers and VPDs, and thus ensure the needs of consumers are better served. First, because video programmers were not obligated to provide certifications under the Commission's prior rules (i.e., 47 CFR 79.1(g)(6), (j)(1), and (k)(1)(iv)), the Commission had limited enforcement ability against noncompliant video programmers. Second, some VPDs may be unable to negotiate contractual arrangements obligating video programmers to provide such certifications, due to disparities in negotiating power. Finally, because many video programmers already provide certifications to VPDs under § 79.1(g)(6) and (j)(1) of the Commission's rules, combining these certifications into a single certification to be filed with the Commission should not result in any significant additional burden. Moreover, even if this requirement were to create an added burden on video programmers who are not already providing certifications under the Commission's current rules, the rules the Commission now adopts minimize such burden by only requiring these certifications to be filed annually, on or before July 1 of each year, rather than every time there is a change in programming. In addition, any such burden will be outweighed by the benefits of requiring video programmers to provide certifications, as described in the preceding paragraphs.

    29. VPD Obligations with Respect to Video Programmer Certifications. The Closed Captioning Quality Second Further Notice sought comment on VPDs' obligations pertaining to such certifications, and, specifically, whether to require each VPD to alert its video programmers of the requirement to provide certifications to the Commission, to verify video programmers' compliance with the certification requirement, and to thereafter report to the Commission any failure by a video programmer to comply.

    30. Because the rules now adopted by the Commission will hold video programmers directly liable for their failure to provide the required certifications, it is not necessary to make VPDs responsible for informing video programmers about the need to provide certifications, or to require that VPDs check on and report noncompliant video programmers to the Commission. At the same time, VPDs should be allowed to rely upon the certifications from video programmers to fulfill their obligation to ensure the provision of closed captions on the programming they carry. Accordingly, the Commission will allow a VPD to demonstrate compliance with its captioning obligations where it relies on a programmer's certification as to the presence of captions on such programming or that such programming is exempt from the captioning requirements, so long as (1) the VPD passes through the closed captions intact to viewers; and (2) the VPD did not know or did not have reason to know that such certification was false. However, if a VPD carries non-exempt programming without captions from a video programmer that has not provided certification to the Commission, or from a video programmer that has provided a certification that the VPD knew or had reason to know was false, the VPD will be liable for failing to have provided closed captions on such programming, even if the lack of captions was not due to the VPD's failure to pass through closed captions intact. This will discourage the VPD from ignoring information that should warrant checking into the veracity of the certification, such as the VPD finding the absence of captioning on programming, and hold the VPD accountable for the failure to provide closed captioning on programming that it knows or has reason to know is not exempt from the Commission's rules.

    31. These new rules will reduce burdens resulting from compliance with the Commission's captioning quality rules on VPDs. At present, VPDs must search video programmer Web sites and other locations to find the video programmers' “widely available” certifications. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau's (CGB's) recent experience in verifying the availability of some of these certifications suggest that in some cases these searches have been difficult and have not yielded certifications that video programmers had placed on their Web sites. The new rules will enable VPDs to be able to easily find these certifications on the Commission's Web site.

    32. Complaint Handling. The Commission's decision in this order to allocate captioning responsibilities between VPDs and video programmers necessitates the establishment of an orderly process for the handling of complaints by each covered entity in order to prevent duplication of efforts, avoid potential confusion about responsibilities, and achieve overall efficiency to ensure the timely resolution of captioning complaints. The Commission concludes that a burden-shifting approach is appropriate for the handling of these complaints.

    33. Under the burden-shifting approach, upon receiving a complaint about the quality of captions, a VPD would have the initial burden of conducting an investigation into the source of the problem. The VPD would address the complaint if able to do so, but the burden of addressing the complaint would shift to the video programmer if the VPD learned, after its initial investigation, that the problems raised were not within its control. The Commission believes that this approach appropriately builds on existing video programmer and VPD practices, by which VPDs investigate complaints, determine whether their equipment is causing the problem, and confer with video programmers to identify and resolve closed captioning problems under the video programmers' control. This model can also ensure that the entity most able to remedy the captioning issue will have the responsibility to fix the problem, and the Commission therefore expects that this approach will expedite complaint resolution and result in more effective results for viewers who rely on captions to follow a program's content.

    34. The Commission further concludes that it is best to apply the same burden-shifting approach to all types of captioning complaints—rather than apply this approach only to complaints on captioning quality. Employing different processes in the handling of different types of complaints would require the Commission and covered entities to try to predict the source of each complaint's underlying issues before directing the complaint through the appropriate process. This would be difficult given that some complaints may raise both non-technical and technical problems, and ascertaining the underlying causes for such problems often becomes possible only after an investigation into those causes. As a result, attempts to predict the underlying problem at the outset might result in the complaint being referred to the wrong entity and thereby delay its resolution. Accordingly, a uniform complaint and enforcement model for all closed captioning issues on television programming will streamline the rules and clarify all parties' obligations. Under this approach, the video programmer and the VPD will each be responsible for resolving complaints that are the result of problems primarily within each entity's respective control.

    35. At present, the Commission's television closed captioning rules allow consumers to file captioning complaints with either the Commission or with the VPD responsible for the delivery and exhibition of video programming at issue, within sixty days after the consumer experiences a captioning problem. 47 CFR 79.1(g)(1). Because of the existing relationship that VPDs have with their subscribers, the approach provides a single point of contact for consumers and allows utilization of the existing VPD infrastructure for receiving, processing, and resolving closed captioning complaints. Allowing consumers to file complaints with either the VPD or the Commission eliminates the need for consumers to identify the video programmer with whom consumers generally have no direct relationship. It also eliminates the need for consumers to figure out the party responsible for the problem they are experiencing—for example, whether it was a pass through problem caused by the VPD or a non-technical quality problem caused by the video programmer. Accordingly, the captioning complaint process that the Commission adopts will continue to allow consumers to file closed captioning complaints either with the Commission or with the VPD. If the complainant chooses to file with the VPD, but fails to receive a timely response or is not satisfied with that response, the consumer may subsequently file his or her complaint with the Commission.

    36. Complaints Filed with the Commission—Complaint Content. In the Closed Captioning Quality Order, the Commission adopted a rule requiring the following information to be provided in an informal complaint regarding captioning quality as a prerequisite to the Commission forwarding such complaint to a VPD: (1) The channel number; (2) the channel name, network, or call sign; (3) the name of the multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), if applicable; (4) the date and time that the captioning problem occurred; (5) the name of the program involved; and (6) a detailed description of the problem. 47 CFR 79.1(j)(4). The Commission explained that this information is necessary to enable a programming entity to investigate and resolve the complaint. Because the same rationale applies to all closed captioning complaints, whether or not related to closed captioning quality, the Commission extends the requirement to provide this information to all television closed captioning complaints. The Commission directs CGB to provide assistance to consumers who may experience difficulties gathering any of this required information. It further clarifies that all complaints should contain the consumer's identifying information, including the consumer's name, postal address, and other contact information, if available, such as telephone number or email address, along with the consumer's preferred format or method of response to the complaint (such as letter, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), email, or some other method that would best accommodate the consumer).

    37. Complaints Filed with the Commission—Complaint Procedures. Under the burden-shifting approach that the Commission adopts, when the Commission receives a closed captioning complaint, it will serve the complaint on the named VPD and the appropriate video programmer simultaneously. If the Commission cannot determine the appropriate video programmer to serve, it will forward the complaint to the VPD and will inform the VPD that the Commission has been unable to determine the appropriate video programmer. Within ten days after the date of such notification, the VPD must respond to the Commission with the name and contact information for the appropriate video programmer, after which the Commission will forward the complaint to the video programmer as well.

    38. After being served with a consumer complaint, the VPD must conduct an initial investigation to determine whether the matters raised in the complaint are primarily within its control. Concurrently, the video programmer may voluntarily begin its own inquiry into the source of the captioning problem, but the video programmer is not required to take any action at that time. Forwarding the complaint to both the VPD and video programmer at the outset will help facilitate the swift resolution of complaints because it will allow the video programmer, if it so chooses, to take its own steps toward a resolution while the VPD investigates matters primarily under its control.

    39. VPDs will be given flexibility in conducting their initial investigations, in order to allow for differences in equipment and processes among VPDs; however, VPDs will be required to exercise due diligence in their efforts to identify the source of the issue and resolve all matters primarily within their control before shifting responsibility for addressing these matters to their video programmers. To meet this standard and to ensure a thorough investigation into closed captioning problems raised in complaints, the Commission will require VPDs, at a minimum, to take the following actions as part of their investigations: (1) Program Stream Check: Capture program streams of the programming network identified in the complaint and check the streams for any caption-related impairments that may have caused the reported problem and to prevent ongoing problems; (2) Processing Equipment Check: If there is an issue with the program stream, and there is not prior knowledge as to where the problem originated, check post-processing equipment at the relevant headend or other video distribution facility to determine whether the issue was introduced at the VPD level or was present in the stream when received by the VPD from the video programmer; (3) Consumer Premises Check: If the VPD's investigation indicates that the problem may lie with the consumer's customer premises equipment, including the set-top box, check the end user equipment, either remotely, or, if necessary, at the consumer's premises, to ensure there are no issues that might interfere with the pass through, rendering or display of closed captioning. The Commission will defer to the VPD's good faith judgment about whether there is an indication that the problem might lie with the consumer's customer premises equipment and whether it is necessary to go to the consumer's premises to check the equipment. However, in the event of a dispute or an enforcement proceeding, the VPD will have the burden of proving that it conducted a thorough investigation into the closed captioning problems raised in the complaint. Requiring VPDs to take these steps will ensure that a full and effective investigation occurs prior to shifting the complaint handling responsibilities to video programmers. This also is more likely to result in a speedier and efficient resolution of the problems raised in complaints, thereby helping to fulfill Congress's goal to make television programming fully accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

    40. If the VPD's investigation reveals that the closed captioning problem is within the control of the VPD, the VPD must correct the problem and provide a written response to the Commission, the video programmer and the consumer acknowledging such responsibility and describing the steps taken to correct the problem. A complaint must be resolved, and a written response sent, within 30 days after the date the Commission forwards the complaint to the VPD. As required by the Commission's current rules, the VPD's response must provide the Commission with sufficient evidence, including records and documentation, to demonstrate that the VPD is in compliance with the Commission's closed captioning rules. 47 CFR 79.1(g)(5). In this case, no burden-shifting to the video programmer will occur, and the VPD will retain liability for the problem.

    41. If the VPD's investigation reveals that the closed captioning problems raised in the complaint are not primarily within the VPD's control and appear to have been present in the program stream when received by the VPD, the burden for addressing the complaint will shift to the video programmer. To shift the burden, the VPD must certify to the Commission, the video programmer, and the consumer that it has exercised due diligence to identify and resolve the source of the captioning problem by conducting an investigation on the closed captioning complaint in accordance with the Commission's rules, and that the problems raised in the complaint are not within its control. In addition, if at any time during the complaint resolution process, the VPD's investigation reveals that the closed captioning problems raised in the complaint were the result of causes not within the VPD's control and also do not appear to be within the video programmer's control, such as a faulty third-party DVR, television, or other third-party device, the VPD must certify to the Commission, the video programmer, and the consumer that it has exercised due diligence to identify and resolve the source of the captioning problem by conducting an investigation on the closed captioning complaint in accordance with the Commission's rules, and that the problems raised in the complaint were caused by a third party device or other causes that appear not to be within the control of either the VPD or the video programmer. The applicable certification may be provided at any time during the VPD's investigation, but no later than 30 days after the date the Commission forwarded the complaint. The requirement for such certification is intended to alleviate concerns that VPDs might perform cursory investigations or inappropriately shift the burden of resolving complaints to video programmers in order to avoid fulfilling their captioning obligations. A VPD that fails to provide a certification or provides an untruthful certification may be subject to immediate enforcement action without first being subject to the compliance ladder. In addition, any video programmer may report to the Commission when, after receiving a certification from a VPD, the video programmer determines that the VPD did not follow all of the steps required by the Commission's rules for investigating a complaint or that the problem described in a complaint is in fact within the VPD's control.

    42. After the responsibility for resolving the complaint shifts to the video programmer, the video programmer must investigate and attempt to resolve the closed captioning problem to the extent that doing so is within the video programmer's control. After the responsibility for resolving the complaint shifts to the video programmer, the video programmer will have the burden of proving that the video programmer conducted a thorough investigation into the closed captioning problems raised in the complaint. In addition, while, at this point in the complaint resolution process, the video programmer will take on the primary responsibility for resolving the closed captioning problem, the Commission will require the VPD to continue to assist the video programmer with resolving the complaint, as needed. Requiring the VPD to remain involved throughout the complaint process will foster collaboration between VPDs and video programmers, and increase the likelihood that the complaint will be swiftly resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer and the Commission.

    43. Within 30 days after the date of certification from the VPD, the video programmer must provide a written response to the complaint that either describes the steps taken to rectify the problem or certifies that its investigation revealed that it has exercised due diligence to identify and resolve the source of the captioning problem by conducting an investigation on the closed captioning complaint in accordance with the Commission's rules, and that the problems raised in the complaint are not within its control. Such response must be submitted to the Commission, the VPD, and the consumer, and must provide the Commission with sufficient records and documentation to demonstrate that the video programmer is in compliance with the Commission's rules. See 47 CFR 79.1(g)(5). Requiring video programmers to respond within 30 days will ensure that video programmers promptly investigate complaints. If the video programmer reports that it has rectified the problem, this will enable the VPD to conduct additional checks of the program stream if needed to confirm the complaint's resolution, and keep the VPD, the Commission, and the consumer informed so the VPD can know when to close the complaint file.

    44. If the video programmer certifies that the program stream contained fully functioning captioning at the time the program stream was handed off to the VPD, and the VPD has not determined that the problem resulted from a third party source, the VPD and the video programmer must then work together to determine the source of the captioning problem. Once the source of the problem is determined, the VPD and video programmer shall each be required to correct those aspects of the problem within its control. The VPD is then required, after consultation with the video programmer, to report to the Commission and the complainant the steps taken to fix the captioning problem. The VPD must submit such information in writing within 30 days after the date that the video programmer certified that the cause of the problem was not within the video programmer's control. Further, the Commission may, during its review of a complaint or the pendency of an enforcement proceeding, request the VPD and the video programmer to provide sufficient documentation to demonstrate compliance with the Commission's rules. Accordingly, VPDs will remain responsible for resolving problems that are within their control, which will help prevent the wasteful duplication of efforts to resolve complaints.

    45. Complaints Filed with the VPD. Document FCC 16-17 preserves the consumers' long-standing option of filing their captioning complaints directly with their VPDs. See 47 CFR 79.1(g)(1) and (4). When a VPD receives a complaint from a consumer, the VPD should investigate the complaint with the same due diligence and in the same manner as required for complaints initially filed with the Commission and later served on VPDs, with a goal of initially determining whether the matter raised in the complaint is within the control of the VPD. If, after conducting its initial investigation, the VPD determines that the issue of the complaint is within its control, it shall take the necessary measures to resolve it, and notify the consumer of such resolution within 30 days after the date of the complaint. If (1) the consumer does not receive a response to the complaint within the 30-day period, or (2) the consumer is not satisfied with the VPD's response, the consumer may file the complaint with the Commission within sixty days after the time allotted for the VPD to respond to the consumer. The Commission believes that VPDs will have sufficient incentives to thoroughly investigate and promptly resolve the complaints that they receive directly from consumers, to reduce the need for such consumers to re-file their complaints with the Commission.

    46. In the event that the VPD determines that the issues raised in the complaint are not within its responsibilities, § 79.1(g)(3) of the Commission's rules as currently written requires the VPD to forward the complaint to the responsible programming entity. 47 CFR 79.1(g)(3). The Commission resolves a conflict between § 79.1(g)(3) of its rules and statutory provisions prohibiting the VPD from disclosing a consumer's personally identifiable information (PII) without the consumer's consent. See 47 CFR 79.1 (g)(3), 47 U.S.C. 551(c)(1), and 47 U.S.C. 338(i)(4)(A). The Commission will require that if a VPD determines that an issue raised in the complaint is not primarily within the VPD's control, the VPD, within 30 days after the date of the complaint, must either forward the complaint to the video programmer or other responsible entity, such as another VPD, with the consumer's PII—including the consumer's name, contact information, and other identifying information—redacted, or provide the video programmer or other responsible entity with information contained in the complaint sufficient to achieve its investigation and resolution. Such information should include the same type of information necessary for a complaint to be forwarded to a VPD when it is submitted to the Commission—i.e., (1) the channel number; (2) the channel name, network, or call sign; (3) the name of the multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD), if applicable; (4) the date and time that the captioning problem occurred; (5) the name of the program involved; and (6) a detailed description of the problem—to the extent the VPD is in possession of such information. In addition, the VPD must provide the video programmer or other responsible entity with an explanation of why the cause of the captioning problem is not primarily within the control of the VPD. The Commission expects that requiring a VPD to forward the complaint with the consumer's PII redacted or to forward a description of the complaint's material details will resolve the outstanding regulatory conflict without the need for back-and-forth communications between the VPD and the consumer that otherwise might have been needed for resolution of the complaint.

    47. When forwarding the complaint or a description of the complaint, the VPD must also assign a unique identifying number (“complaint ID number”) to the complaint, and transmit that number to the video programmer or other responsible entity along with the complaint or a description of the complaint. The Commission further requires the VPD to inform the consumer that the complaint has been forwarded, along with the complaint ID number and the name and contact information of the video programmer or other responsible entity to whom the complaint was forwarded, at the same time that the complaint is forwarded to the video programmer or other responsible entity. Providing information to consumers about the status of their complaints will enhance the transparency of the complaint resolution process, and avoid the situation in which a VPD responds to a complaint by shifting blame for a captioning problem to another entity while refusing to identify such entity publicly. Additionally, providing consumers with both the complaint ID number and the video programmer's or other responsible entity's contact information will enable the consumer to contact a video programmer or other responsible entity directly and inquire about the status of his or her complaint if so desired. The VPD must also explain to the consumer that if the consumer wishes to follow up with the video programmer, the consumer will need to provide the video programmer with the name of the VPD as well as the complaint identification number.

    48. Once a video programmer or other responsible entity receives a complaint and notification from a VPD that the issue described in the complaint is outside the VPD's control, the burden will shift to the video programmer or other responsible entity to investigate and resolve the complaint. However, as for complaints initially filed with the Commission, the Commission will require the VPD to continue to assist the video programmer or other responsible entity in resolving the complaint as needed and to conduct additional checks of the program stream to confirm resolution of the problem, upon notification from the video programmer or other responsible entity that the problem has been resolved.

    49. The video programmer or other responsible entity must respond in writing to the VPD within 30 days after the forwarding date of the complaint from the VPD, in a form that can be forwarded to the consumer. The VPD must then forward this response to the consumer within ten days after the date of the video programmer's or other responsible entity's response. If the video programmer or other responsible entity fails to respond to the VPD within 30 days after the forwarding date of the complaint from the VPD, the VPD must inform the consumer of the video programmer's or other responsible entity's failure to respond within 40 days after that forwarding date.

    50. If the video programmer or other responsible entity fails to respond to the VPD within the time allotted, or if the VPD fails to forward the video programmer's or other responsible entity's response to the consumer, or if the consumer is not satisfied with that response, the consumer may file the complaint with the Commission within sixty days after the time allotted for the VPD to either forward the video programmer's or other responsible entity's response to the consumer or inform the consumer of the video programmer's or other responsible entity's failure to respond. Upon receipt of the complaint from the consumer, the Commission will forward such complaints to the appropriate VPD and video programmer, and the VPD and video programmer shall handle such complaints, as governed by the rules applicable to complaints filed with the Commission.

    51. The Commission requires the VPD to remain involved in the resolution of complaints that are not within the VPDs' control because the VPD is the entity with which a complainant has a direct commercial relationship, and thus the VPD should remain the primary point of contact for the complainant even when the complaint is forwarded to the video programmer. Unlike video programmers, VPDs are the last link in the distribution chain and either receive direct payment from consumers for services rendered or provide programming over the public airwaves. Having VPDs forward responses from video programmers or other responsible entities to consumers will create a seamless process for consumers, allowing them to receive a response from the business entity with which they are familiar, and with which they initially filed their complaint. Also, as a practical matter, because the Commission requires the VPD to redact the consumer's PII, including the consumer's name and address, when forwarding a complaint to a video programmer or other responsible entity, the video programmer or other responsible entity will not have the necessary contact information to respond directly to the consumer. Finally, the Commission is imposing timelines on (1) the forwarding of complaints by VPDs, (2) the response by the video programmer or other responsible entity to the VPD, and (3) the forwarding of the response by the VPD to the consumer. The Commission therefore concludes that assigning to the VPD the responsibility of reporting the resolution to the consumer should not delay the provision of such notification.

    52. In the event that the video programmer, other responsible entity, or VPD fails to meet any deadlines for responses to the consumer's complaint or if such responses do not satisfy the consumer, the consumer may file the complaint with the Commission within 60 days after the time allotted either for the VPD to respond to the consumer or for the VPD to forward the video programmer's or other responsible entity's response to the consumer, whichever is applicable. If a consumer re-files the complaint with the Commission after initially filing the complaint with the VPD, the Commission will forward the complaint to the appropriate VPD and the video programmer, and each such entity must follow the complaint handling processes for complaints filed with the Commission as outlined above.

    53. Compliance Ladder. In the Closed Captioning Quality Order, the Commission adopted a “compliance ladder” that allows broadcast stations to take corrective actions to demonstrate compliance with new enhanced electronic newsroom technique (ENT) procedures prior to being subject to enforcement action. The Commission reasoned that this approach would provide these entities with “ample opportunities to improve their captioning, especially if their current practices are deficient.” Closed Captioning Quality Order. In the Closed Captioning Quality Further Notice, the Commission sought comment on whether to similarly allow VPDs and video programmers to assert a safe harbor to demonstrate compliance through corrective actions prior to being subject to enforcement action, in the event certain obligations for compliance with the captioning quality standards are placed on each of these entities.

    54. In document FCC 16-17, the Commission adopts a compliance ladder for the captioning quality rules, including rules addressing quality issues related to the pass-through of captions, which is similar to the ladder adopted for the enhanced ENT rules. It will not apply this compliance ladder to other captioning requirements, including the provision of captioning, equipment monitoring and maintenance, registration and certification. Rather, the Commission concludes that its current practice of addressing the latter types of concerns through the informal complaint process, while retaining the option to refer such matters for enforcement action as appropriate, has been effective in achieving resolution of these concerns.

    55. The Commission will continue to entertain individual informal complaints of noncompliance with the Commission's closed captioning quality rules in accordance with the complaint procedures outlined in document FCC 16-17. However, for captioning quality complaints received by the Commission that indicate a pattern or trend of noncompliance with its captioning quality rules, the Commission adopts a compliance ladder that is similar to that used for addressing noncompliance with its rules governing the enhanced ENT procedures. By focusing on patterns or trends rather than individual reports of closed captioning quality problems, use of this compliance mechanism will afford VPDs and video programmers opportunities to correct such problems without Commission enforcement action. In this manner, a compliance ladder will enable parties to more quickly address and remedy problems without worrying that in so doing they may be subject to fines or forfeitures.

    56. Accordingly, the Commission adopts the following compliance ladder to be applied when consumer complaints received by the Commission indicate a pattern or trend of noncompliance with the Commission's rules governing the quality of television closed captioning on the part of either the VPD or the video programmer. The Commission will apply a broad definition of “pattern or trend” when determining whether the compliance ladder is triggered. For example, a “pattern or trend” may be found when a particular entity is subject to a series of complaints over time about caption quality problems or failures or where a particular entity is subject to a large volume of complaints that suggests widespread quality problems or failures, even if they occur over a relatively short span of time. A pattern or trend of consumer complaints, even if about different programs or different types of captioning failures by the same entity, may reflect a system breakdown in that entity's processes sufficient to trigger this approach. In other words, the Commission may discern a pattern or trend in a series of complaints about the same or similar problems or in a multiplicity of complaints about unrelated problems.

    • If the Commission notifies a VPD or video programmer that the Commission has identified a pattern or trend of possible noncompliance with the Commission's rules governing the quality of closed captioning by the VPD or video programmer, the VPD or video programmer shall respond to the Commission within 30 days after the date of such notice regarding such possible noncompliance, describing corrective measures taken, including those measures the VPD or video programmer may have undertaken in response to informal complaints and inquiries from viewers. Multiple complaints about a single incident are not considered a pattern or trend.

    • If, after the date for a VPD or video programmer to respond to the above notification, the Commission subsequently notifies the VPD or video programmer that there is further evidence indicating a pattern or trend of noncompliance with the Commission's rules governing the quality of closed captioning, the VPD or video programmer shall submit to the Commission, within 30 days after the date of such subsequent notification, a written action plan describing additional measures it will take to bring the VPD's or video programmer's closed captioning performance into compliance with the Commission's regulations. For example, action plans involve the identification and implementation of longer term measures and may include, but are not limited to, a commitment to train the VPD's or video programmer's personnel, the use of improved equipment, more frequent equipment checks, improved monitoring efforts, and changes in closed captioning vendors or closed captioning procedures. In addition, the VPD or video programmer shall be required to conduct spot checks of its closed captioning performance and report to CGB on the results of such action plan and spot checks 180 days after submission of such action plan.

    • If, after the date for submission of the report on the results of an action plan, the Commission finds continued evidence of a pattern or trend of noncompliance with the Commission's rules governing the quality of closed captioning, the Commission will then consider, through its Enforcement Bureau, appropriate enforcement action, including admonishments, forfeitures, and other corrective actions as necessary.

    57. The Commission believes that this three-step ladder will provide VPDs and video programmers with the necessary incentives to take corrective action on their own. In particular, the Commission believes that the first step of the compliance ladder, once a pattern or trend of noncompliance is identified, should afford an opportunity for VPDs and video programmers to rectify captioning quality violations on their own and quickly, without the regulatory involvement that would be associated with the second step's required action plan or the third step's enforcement action. However, if the Commission finds that this approach is not effective in ensuring widespread compliance with its television closed captioning quality rules or fulfilling its goal of ensuring full access to television programming as required by section 713(b) of the Act, it may revisit this issue to the extent necessary.

    58. The Commission emphasizes that the compliance ladder will not relieve VPDs or video programmers of any of their obligations under the television closed captioning rules. However, to address this concern, the Commission adopts an additional rule allowing CGB to refer a captioning quality rule violation directly to the Enforcement Bureau for enforcement action, or for the Enforcement Bureau to pursue an enforcement action on its own, without first going through the compliance ladder, for a systemic closed captioning quality problem or an intentional and deliberate violation of the Commission's closed captioning quality standards. In making such a determination, CGB or the Enforcement Bureau shall take into consideration all relevant information regarding the nature of the violation or violations and the VPD or video programmer's efforts to correct them.

    59. VPD Registration. In the 2008 Closed Captioning Decision, the Commission amended its rules to add § 79.1(i)(3), which requires VPDs to submit contact information for the receipt and handling of both immediate requests to resolve captioning concerns by consumers while they are watching television and closed captioning complaints that consumers file after experiencing closed captioning issues. The 2008 Order explained that VPDs could satisfy this requirement by either filing a hard copy or sending an email. 2008 Closed Captioning Decision. In 2009, the Commission added an option to allow VPDs to file their contact information directly online via a web form located on the Commission's Web site, in a database called the “VPD Registry.” Closed Captioning of Video Programming, Order, published at 75 FR 7368, February 19, 2010. Recognizing in the Closed Captioning Quality Further Notice that such electronic filings into the VPD Registry would offer the most efficient and accurate means of collecting the requisite information, the Commission sought comment on a proposal to require all contact information required by § 79.1(i)(1) and (2) of its rules be submitted directly to the VPD Registry through the web form method. Closed Captioning Quality Further Notice.

    60. The Commission finds that requiring VPDs to submit their contact information into the VPD Registry through the web form would also be consistent with the 2011 Electronic Filing Report and Order, which adopted a policy to require the use of electronic filing whenever technically feasible. See Amendment of Certain of the Commission's Part 1 Rules of Practice and Procedure and Part 0 Rules of Commission Organization, Report and Order, published at 76 FR 24383, May 2, 2011. In light of such technical feasibility, as well as the accuracy and efficiency of this electronic filing method, the Commission amends § 79.1(i)(3) of its rules to require VPDs to submit their contact information required under § 79.1(i)(1) and (2) of its rules directly into the Commission's database through the web form method and to remove as options the alternate methods of submitting this information to the Commission.

    61. Video Programmer Registration. In document FCC 16-17, the Commission requires that video programmers file their contact information through a web form located on the Commission's Web site for the handling of written closed captioning complaints by the Commission and by VPDs, and as required for VPDs, to update such information within ten business days of any changes. The video programmer contact information shall include the name of the person with primary responsibility for captioning issues and who can ensure compliance with the captioning rules, and the person's title or office, telephone number, fax number (if there is one), postal mailing address, and email address. The Commission also directs video programmers to submit their required compliance certifications through a web form located on the Commission's Web site, so that such certifications will be readily available to consumers, VPDs, and the Commission. The Commission directs CGB to implement the development of one or more web forms (or to expand the existing VPD Registry) for the filing of video programmer contact information and certifications and to provide guidance to programming entities and the general public on the appropriate use of video programmer contact information found on the Commission's Web site. The Commission also directs CGB to issue a Public Notice to provide such guidance as well as procedures and deadlines for video programmers to file contact information and certifications once the rules go into effect and the Commission's Web site is ready to receive such contact information and certifications.

    62. The Commission concludes that it is important for video programmers to register their contact information with the Commission so that it is readily available to the Commission and to VPDs for the expedient and effective handling and resolution of complaints. In particular, for complaints filed directly with a VPD, under the new complaint handling rules, the VPD must have ready access to video programmer contact information so that the VPD can forward the complaint information to the correct video programmer when the VPD ascertains that the source of problem raised in a complaint originated with that programmer. If this information is not available to VPDs, and especially smaller VPDs, such entities may encounter challenges and delays in their efforts to resolve complaints. The filing of video programmer contact information will eliminate such challenges by enabling VPDs to obtain current contact information from a centralized location.

    63. Additionally, requiring video programmers to file their contact information with the Commission will help to expedite the resolution of complaints filed directly with the Commission. Because the complaint handling rules that the Commission adopts in this Order require the Commission to forward written complaints to both VPDs and their video programmers, the Commission needs access to video programmer contact information. The Commission also finds that the public availability of video programmers' contact information will increase transparency, aid the complaint process, and thereby facilitate high-quality captioning. For example, the complaint handling rules adopted in document FCC 16-17 require each VPD to inform a consumer when it has forwarded his or her complaint to a video programmer for resolution. If the consumer wishes to contact the video programmer directly regarding his or her complaint after it has been forwarded by the VPD, the Commission's Web site will provide the consumer with the necessary video programmer's contact information to do so.

    64. The Commission emphasizes that its actions taken herein are not intended to remove VPDs from the process of resolving consumer complaints. VPDs may be in the best position to take primary responsibility for complaint resolution given the more direct relationship they have with viewers and subscribers, the opportunity for consumers to utilize existing VPD processes for receiving, processing, and resolving closed captioning complaints, and the ability of VPDs to provide a single point of contact for consumers. The Commission's new requirement for video programmers to file contact information with the Commission is intended primarily for use by VPDs and Commission staff for complaint resolution and enforcement purposes, and to facilitate transparency for the public when VPDs forward complaints to programmers for resolution. The Commission encourages consumers to continue filing complaints about captioning with the Commission or VPDs in the interest of achieving faster resolution of their captioning concerns.

    65. Finally, the Commission does not think it is necessary, at this time, to require video programmers to make their contact information available on their Web sites or through other means in addition to filing this information in the Commission's database. The Commission finds that its requirement for video programmers to file contact information with the Commission is sufficient to serve its regulatory purposes of making such information available for use primarily by VPDs and Commission staff for complaint resolution and enforcement purposes, and to facilitate transparency for the public when VPDs forward complaints to programmers for resolution. If the Commission finds that its objectives are not effectively achieved by the publication of this information in the Commission's database, it may revisit this decision.

    66. Nonsubstantive Rule Amendments. More than 18 years have passed since the Commission adopted its regulations governing the closed captioning obligations. For purposes of clarity, the Commission makes two nonsubstantive editorial changes to the rules, which include eliminating certain outdated rule sections and updating the rule nomenclature. First, given that all benchmarks for the phase-in of the closed captioning requirements have passed, the Commission amends 47 CFR 79.1(b)(1) through (4) to eliminate these outdated benchmarks, so that only the fully phased-in captioning requirements remain in the rule. Second, the Commission amends 47 CFR 79.1(e)(9) to reflect the terminology used in this proceeding by making the nonsubstantive nomenclature change that VPDs “ensure the provision of closed captioning” rather than “provide closed captioning.”

    Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    67. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analyses (IRFAs) were incorporated in the FNPRMs contained in the Closed Captioning Quality Order and Further Notice and the Closed Captioning Quality Second Further Notice (Further Notices). The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the two Further Notices, including comment on the two IRFAs. No comments were received on the IRFAs incorporated in the two Further Notices. The Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.

    68. Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order. The purpose of the proceeding is to apportion the responsibilities of VPDs and video programmers with respect to the provision and quality of closed captions on television programming to ensure that people who are deaf and hard of hearing have full access to such programming. The Second Report and Order follows the Commission's adoption in 2014 of captioning quality standards for programming shown on television and makes certain modifications to the closed captioning rules after consideration of the comments and reply comments received in response to the Further Notices.

    69. In document FCC 16-17, the Commission amends its rules to assign responsibility for the quality of closed captioning to VPDs and video programmers, with each entity responsible for closed captioning issues that are primarily within its control. Additionally, the Commission maintains current rules that place primary responsibility for the provision of closed captioning on television programming on VPDs, but amends them to hold video programmers responsible for a lack of captions where they have failed to provide captions on non-exempt programs. Also, the Commission adopts rules to: (1) Require each video programmer to file with the Commission a certification that (a) the video programmer (i) is in compliance with the rules requiring the inclusion of closed captions, and (ii) either is in compliance with the captioning quality standards or has adopted and is following related Best Practices; or (b) is exempt from the captioning obligations; if the latter certification is submitted, the video programmer must specify the specific exemptions claimed; (2) allow each VPD to satisfy its obligations regarding the provision of closed captioning by ensuring that each video programmer whose programming it carries has certified its compliance with the Commission's closed captioning rules; (3) revise the procedures for receiving, serving, and addressing television closed captioning complaints in accordance with a burden-shifting compliance model; (4) establish a compliance ladder for the Commission's television closed captioning requirements that provides VPDs and video programmers with opportunities to take corrective action prior to enforcement action by the Commission; (5) require that each VPD use the Commission's web form when providing contact information to the VPD registry; and (6) require each video programmer to register with the Commission its contact information for the receipt and handling of written closed captioning complaints, and to use the Commission's web form for this purpose.

    70. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA. No comments were filed in response to the two IRFAs.

    71. Types of Small Entities Impacted:

    • Cable Television Distribution Services • Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service • Wireless Cable Systems—Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service • Open Video Services • Television Broadcasting • Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) • Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Shared-Tenant Service Providers, and Other Local Service Providers • Electric Power Distribution Companies • Cable and Other Subscription Programming • Motion Picture and Video Production • Closed Captioning Services—Teleproduction and Other Postproduction Services; and Court Reporting and Stenotype Services

    72. Description of Projected Reporting, Record Keeping and other Compliance Requirements.

    • Requires each video programmer to file with the Commission a certification that: (a) The video programmer is in compliance with the rules requiring the inclusion of closed captions, and either is in compliance with the captioning quality standards or has adopted and is following related Best Practices; or (b) is exempt from the captioning obligations; if the latter certification is submitted, the video programmer must specify the specific exemptions claimed;

    • Revises the procedures for receiving, serving, and addressing television closed captioning complaints in accordance with a burden-shifting compliance model;

    • Establishes a compliance ladder for certain of the Commission's television closed captioning requirements that provides VPDs and video programmers with opportunities to take corrective action prior to enforcement action by the Commission;

    • Requires that each VPD use the Commission's web form when providing contact information to the VPD registry; and

    • Requires each video programmer to register with the Commission its contact information for the receipt and handling of written closed captioning complaints, and to use the Commission's web form for this purpose.

    73. Although document FCC 16-17 modifies reporting and recordkeeping requirements with respect to video programmer certifications, it will impose no new or additional requirements in this regard because the new rules will require video programmers to file certifications with the Commission rather than making them widely available as required under the current rules.

    74. Document FCC 16-17 modifies the complaint process by adopting a burden-shifting compliance model, which is consistent with the newly adopted assignment of responsibilities to VPDs and video programmers. This model ensures that the party most able to remedy the captioning issue will have the responsibility to fix the problem. This will expedite complaint resolution and result in more effective results.

    75. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered. The Commission believes that it has minimized the effect on small entities while making television programming more accessible to persons who are deaf and hard of hearing. The Commission does not establish different compliance or reporting requirements or timetables with respect to small entities because the importance of ensuring that video programming is accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing outweighs the small burdens associated with the new or different regulatory requirements adopted in document FCC 16-17. The Commission already has in place twelve categorical exemptions from its closed captioning requirements, including exemptions intended to benefit small entities, and any entity, including a small entity, may file a request for exemption based upon economic burden. In addition, the Commission's captioning rules generally use performance rather than design standards, and the Commission will publish a compliance guide to explain the new rules to small businesses.

    76. The new rules assign responsibilities between VPDs and video programmers in a fair and equitable manner. Although assigning some direct responsibility for the provision and quality of closed captioning to video programmers imposes some new regulatory requirements on small entities that are video programmers, it will relieve burdens on small entities that are VPDs, because the Commission will be able to take direct compliance and enforcement action against video programmers rather than indirect action through VPDs.

    77. The requirement for video programmers to file certifications with the Commission regarding compliance with the Commission's rules on the provisioning and quality of closed captioning imposes different reporting and recordkeeping obligations than currently required of video programmers, including small entities. However, the new rules do not impose additional burdens, because video programmers are required under the existing rules to provide certifications to VPDs and to make such certifications widely available under the Commission's rules. The new rules may ease the burden on video programmers, because video programmers will know to go directly to the Commission's Web site to provide certification and will not need to determine how to make such certification widely available. In addition, the new rules will ease the burden on VPDs, including small entities, and consumers by having all certifications in one easy to find place.

    78. The revised procedures for receiving, serving, and addressing closed captioning complaints in accordance with a burden-shifting compliance model imposes different procedural requirements on VPDs, including small entities, and new procedural requirements on video programmers, including small entities. Because the burden-shifting model calls for VPDs and video programmers to each be responsible for closed captioning issues that are within their respective control instead of placing all responsibility on VPDs, the model will ease the burden on VPDs, including small entities, who will be able to shift the burden to video programmers when, after investigation, the VPD determines that the cause of the captioning problem was within the control of the video programmer. This approach will also allow the Commission to more directly and more easily address consumer complaints, thereby benefitting consumers.

    79. The establishment of a compliance ladder for the Commission's closed captioning quality requirements, a process that provides VPDs and video programmers, including small entities, with opportunities to take corrective action prior to enforcement action by the Commission for certain captioning violations, will ease the burden on VPDs and video programmers, including small entities, because use of the compliance ladder will be more informal and less time-consuming than a formal enforcement proceeding.

    80. The requirement that all contact information submitted by VPDs to the Commission for the VPD registry must be submitted using the Commission's web form system does not subject VPDs, including small entities, to additional reporting and recordkeeping requirements, because VPDs are already required to submit their contact information to the Commission. However, VPDs, including small entities, may be required to alter their reporting and recordkeeping associated with such submissions in order to comply with the rule. The Commission considers the cost for VPDs to transition to a mandatory web form method of filing to be minimal as compared with the ease and accuracy of filing and the benefits to the public derived from a mandatory web form system.

    81. The requirement for video programmers to register and file contact information with the Commission imposes new reporting and recordkeeping obligations on video programmers, including small entities. However, the new requirement takes into consideration the impact on small entities. The filing of contact information is a simple task that should take no more than a few minutes. In addition, such requirements may benefit other entities, such as VPDs, including small entities, and consumers, who will be able to search the registration information for contact information.

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

    Congressional Review Act

    83. The Commission sent a copy of document FCC 16-17 in a report to Congress and the Governmental Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    Ordering Clauses

    Pursuant to the authority contained in sections 4(i), 303(r) and 713 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 301(r) and 613, document FCC 16-17 is ADOPTED and the Commission's rules are AMENDED.

    The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of document FCC 16-17, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 79

    Individuals with disabilities, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telecommunications.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 79 as follows:

    PART 79—ACCESSIBILITY OF VIDEO PROGRAMMING 1. The authority citation for part 79 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 152(a), 154(i), 303, 307, 309, 310, 330, 554a, 613, 617.

    2. Amend § 79.1 as follows: a. Redesignate paragraph (a)(12) as paragraph (a)(13); b. Add a new paragraph (a)(12); c. Revise paragraphs (b), (c)(1), (e)(5), (e)(6), (e)(9), (g), and (i); d. Remove and reserve paragraph (j)(1); e. Revise paragraph (j)(3) introductory text; f. Remove paragraph (j)(4); g. Revise paragraph (k)(1)(iv); h. Add and reserve paragraph (l); and i. Add paragraph (m).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 79.1 Closed captioning of televised video programming.

    (a) * * *

    (12) Video programming owner. Any person or entity that either:

    (i) Licenses video programming to a video programming distributor or provider that is intended for distribution to residential households; or

    (ii) Acts as the video programming distributor or provider and also possesses the right to license linear video programming to a video programming distributor or provider that is intended for distribution to residential households.

    (b) Requirements for closed captioning of video programming—(1) Requirements for new programming. (i) Video programming distributors must ensure that 100% of new, nonexempt English language and Spanish language video programming that is being distributed and exhibited on each channel during each calendar quarter is closed captioned.

    (ii) Video programmers must provide closed captioning for 100% of new, nonexempt English language and Spanish language video programming that is being distributed and exhibited on each channel during each calendar quarter.

    (2) Requirements for pre-rule programming. (i) Video programming distributors must ensure that 75% of pre-rule, nonexempt English language and Spanish language video programming that is being distributed and exhibited on each channel during each calendar quarter is closed captioned.

    (ii) Video programmers must provide closed captioning for 75% of pre-rule, nonexempt English language and Spanish video programming that is being distributed and exhibited on each channel during each calendar quarter.

    (3) Video programming distributors shall continue to provide captioned video programming at substantially the same level as the average level of captioning that they provided during the first six (6) months of 1997 even if that amount of captioning exceeds the requirements otherwise set forth in this section.

    (c) * * *

    (1) All video programming distributors shall deliver all programming received from the video programmer containing closed captioning to receiving television households with the original closed captioning data intact in a format that can be recovered and displayed by decoders meeting the standards of this part unless such programming is recaptioned or the captions are reformatted by the programming distributor.

    (e) * * *

    (5) Video programming that is exempt pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section that contains captions, except that video programming exempt pursuant to paragraph (d)(5) of this section (late night hours exemption), can count towards compliance with the requirements for pre-rule programming.

    (6) For purposes of paragraph (d)(11) of this section, captioning expenses include direct expenditures for captioning as well as allowable costs specifically allocated by a video programmer through the price of the video programming to that video programming provider. To be an allowable allocated cost, a video programmer may not allocate more than 100 percent of the costs of captioning to individual video programming providers. A video programmer may allocate the captioning costs only once and may use any commercially reasonable allocation method.

    (9) Video programming distributors shall not be required to ensure the provision of closed captioning for video programming that is by law not subject to their editorial control, including but not limited to the signals of television broadcast stations distributed pursuant to sections 614 and 615 of the Communications Act or pursuant to the compulsory copyright licensing provisions of sections 111 and 119 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. 111 and 119); programming involving candidates for public office covered by sections 315 and 312 of the Communications Act and associated policies; commercial leased access, public access, governmental and educational access programming carried pursuant to sections 611 and 612 of the Communications Act; video programming distributed by direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services in compliance with the noncommercial programming requirement pursuant to section 335(b)(3) of the Communications Act to the extent such video programming is exempt from the editorial control of the video programming provider; and video programming distributed by a common carrier or that is distributed on an open video system pursuant to section 653 of the Communications Act by an entity other than the open video system operator. To the extent such video programming is not otherwise exempt from captioning, the entity that contracts for its distribution shall be required to comply with the closed captioning requirements of this section.

    (g) Complaint procedures—(1) Filing closed captioning complaints. Complaints concerning an alleged violation of the closed captioning requirements of this section shall be filed with the Commission or with the video programming distributor responsible for delivery and exhibition of the video programming within sixty (60) days after the problem with captioning.

    (2) Complaints filed with the Commission. A complaint filed with the Commission must be in writing, must state with specificity the alleged Commission rule violated, and must include:

    (i) The consumer's name, postal address, and other contact information, if available, such as telephone number or email address, along with the consumer's preferred format or method of response to the complaint (such as letter, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), email, or some other method that would best accommodate the consumer.

    (ii) The channel number; channel name, network, or call sign; the name of the multichannel video program distributor, if applicable; the date and time when the captioning problem occurred; the name of the program with the captioning problem; and a detailed description of the captioning problem, including specific information about the frequency and type of problem.

    (3) Process for forwarding complaints. The Commission will forward complaints filed first with the Commission to the appropriate video programming distributor and video programmer. If the Commission cannot determine the appropriate video programmer, the Commission will forward the complaint to the video programming distributor and notify the video programming distributor of the Commission's inability to determine the appropriate video programmer. The video programming distributor must respond in writing to the Commission with the name and contact information for the appropriate video programmer within ten (10) days after the date of such notification. The Commission will then forward the complaint to the appropriate video programmer.

    (4) Video programming distributor and video programmer responsibilities with respect to complaints forwarded by the Commission. (i) In response to a complaint, the video programming distributor must conduct an investigation to identify the source of the captioning problem and resolve all aspects of the captioning problem that are within its control. At a minimum, a video programming distributor must perform the following actions as part of its investigation:

    (A) Program stream check. The video programming distributor must capture program streams, defined as digitally encoded elementary streams such as video, audio, closed captioning, timing, and other data necessary for a viewer to receive a complete television viewing experience, of the programming network identified in the complaint and check the program streams for any caption-related impairments;

    (B) Processing equipment check. If the video programming distributor's investigation indicates a problem with the program stream, and there is not prior knowledge as to where the problem originated, the video programming distributor must check post-processing equipment at the relevant headend or other video distribution facility to see if the issue was introduced by the video programming distributor or was present in the program stream when received by the video programming distributor from the video programmer; and

    (C) Consumer premises check. If the video programming distributor's investigation indicates that the problem may lie with the consumer's customer premises equipment, including the set-top box, the video programming distributor must check the end user equipment, either remotely or, if necessary, at the consumer's premises, to ensure there are no issues that might interfere with the pass through, rendering, or display of closed captioning.

    (ii) After conducting its investigation, the video programming distributor shall provide a response to the complaint in writing to the Commission, the appropriate video programmer, and the complainant within thirty (30) days after the date the Commission forwarded the complaint. The video programming distributor's response must:

    (A) Acknowledge responsibility for the closed captioning problem and describe the steps taken to resolve the problem; or

    (B) Certify that the video programming distributor has conducted an investigation into the closed captioning problems in accordance with paragraph (g)(4)(i) of this section and that the closed captioning problem is not within the video programming distributor's control and appears to have been present in the program steam when received by the video programming distributor; or

    (C) Certify that the video programming distributor has conducted an investigation into the closed captioning problems in accordance with paragraph (g)(4)(i) of this section and that the closed captioning problem appears to have been caused by a third party DVR, television, or other third party device not within the video programming distributor's control.

    (iii) If the video programming distributor provides a certification in accordance with paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) of this section, the video programmer to whom the complaint was referred must conduct an investigation to identify the source of the captioning problem and resolve all aspects of the captioning problem that are within its control.

    (A) The video programmer may call upon the video programming distributor for assistance as needed, and the video programming distributor must provide assistance to the video programmer in resolving the complaint, as needed.

    (B) After conducting its investigation, the video programmer must provide a response to the complaint in writing to the Commission, the appropriate video programming distributor, and the complainant within thirty (30) days after the date of the video programming distributor's certification. Such response either must describe the steps taken by the video programmer to correct the captioning problem or certify that the video programmer has conducted an investigation into the closed captioning problems in accordance with paragraph (g)(4)(iii) of this section and that the captioning problem was not within its control, for example, because the program stream was not subject to the closed captioning problem at the time the program stream was handed off to the video programming distributor.

    (C) If the video programmer certifies pursuant paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(B) of this section that the captioning problem was not within its control, and it has not been determined by either the video programmer or the video programming distributor that the problem was caused by a third party device or other causes that appear not to be within the control of either the video programming distributor or the video programmer, the video programming distributor and video programmer shall work together to determine the source of the captioning problem. Once the source of the captioning problem is determined, the video programming distributor and video programmer shall each correct those aspects of the captioning problem that are within its respective control. Within thirty (30) days after the date of the video programmer's certification provided pursuant to paragraph (g)(4)(iii)(B) of this section, the video programming distributor, after consulting with the video programmer, shall report in writing to the Commission and the complainant on the steps taken to correct the captioning problem.

    (5) Complaints filed with video programming distributors. (i) If a complaint is first filed with the video programming distributor, the video programming distributor must respond in writing to the complainant with thirty (30) days after the date of the complaint. The video programming distributor's response must either:

    (A) Acknowledge responsibility for the closed captioning problem and describe to the complainant the steps taken to resolve the problem; or

    (B) Inform the complainant that it has referred the complaint to the appropriate video programmer or other responsible entity and provide the name and contact information of the video programmer or other responsible entity and the unique complaint identification number assigned to the complaint pursuant to paragraph (g)(5)(ii)(B) of this section; or

    (C) Inform the complainant that the closed captioning problem appears to have been caused by a third party DVR, television, or other third party device not within the video programming distributor's control.

    (ii) If the video programming distributor determines that the issue raised in the complaint was not within the video programming distributor's control and was not caused by a third party device, the video programming distributor must forward the complaint and the results of its investigation of the complaint to the appropriate video programmer or other responsible entity within thirty (30) days after the date of the complaint.

    (A) The video programming distributor must either forward the complaint with the complainant's name, contact information and other identifying information redacted or provide the video programmer or other responsible entity with sufficient information contained in the complaint to achieve the complaint's investigation and resolution.

    (B) The video programming distributor must assign a unique complaint identification number to the complaint and transmit that number to the video programmer with the complaint.

    (iii) If a video programming distributor forwards a complaint to a video programmer or other responsible entity pursuant to paragraph (g)(5)(ii) of this section, the video programmer or other responsible entity must respond to the video programming distributor in writing in a form that can be forwarded to the complainant within thirty (30) days after the forwarding date of the complaint.

    (A) The video programming distributor must forward the video programmer's or other responsible entity's response to the complainant within ten (10) days after the date of the response.

    (B) If the video programmer or other responsible entity does not respond to the video programming distributor within thirty (30) days after the forwarding date of the complaint, the video programming distributor must inform the complainant of the video programmer's or other responsible entity's failure to respond within forty (40) days after the forwarding date of the complaint.

    (iv) If a video programming distributor fails to respond to the complainant as required by paragraphs (g)(5)(i) of this section, or if the response received by the complainant does not satisfy the complainant, the complainant may file the complaint with the Commission within sixty (60) days after the time allotted for the video programming distributor to respond to the complainant. The Commission will forward such complaint to the video programming distributor and video programmer, and the video programming distributor and video programmer shall address such complaint as specified in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.

    (v) If a video programmer or other responsible entity fails to respond to the video programming distributor as required by paragraph (g)(5)(iii) of this section, or if a video programming distributor fails to respond to the complainant as required by paragraph (g)(5)(iii)(A) or (B) of this section, or if the response from the video programmer or other responsible entity forwarded by the video programming distributor to the complainant does not satisfy the complainant, the complainant may file the complaint with the Commission within sixty (60) days after the time allotted for the video programming distributor to respond to the complainant pursuant to paragraph (g)(5)(iii)(A) or (B) of this section. The Commission will forward such complaints to the appropriate video programming distributor and video programmer, and the video programming distributor and video programmer shall handle such complaints as specified in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.

    (6) Provision of documents and records. In response to a complaint, a video programming distributor or video programmer is obligated to provide the Commission with sufficient records and documentation to demonstrate that it is in compliance with the Commission's rules.

    (7) Reliance on certifications. Video programming distributors may rely on certifications from video programmers made in accordance with paragraph (m) of this section to demonstrate compliance with paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (b)(2)(i) of this section. Video programming distributors shall not be held responsible for situations where a video programmer falsely certifies under paragraph (m) of this section unless the video programming distributor knows or should have known that the certification is false.

    (8) Commission review of complaints. The Commission will review complaints filed with the Commission, including all supporting evidence, and determine whether a violation has occurred. The Commission will, as needed, request additional information from the video programming distributor or video programmer.

    (9) Compliance—(i) Initial response to a pattern or trend of noncompliance. If the Commission notifies a video programming distributor or video programmer of a pattern or trend of possible noncompliance with the Commission's rules for the quality of closed captioning by the video programming distributor or video programmer, the video programming distributor or video programmer shall respond to the Commission within thirty (30) days after the Commission's notice of such possible noncompliance, describing corrective measures taken, including those measures the video programming distributor or video programmer may have undertaken in response to informal complaints and inquiries from viewers.

    (ii) Corrective action plan. If, after the date for a video programming distributor or video programmer to respond to a notification under paragraph (g)(8)(i) of this section, the Commission subsequently notifies the video programming distributor or video programmer that there is further evidence indicating a pattern or trend of noncompliance with the Commission's rules for quality of closed captioning, the video programming distributor or video programmer shall submit to the Commission, within thirty (30) days after the date of such subsequent notification, a written action plan describing specific measures it will take to bring the video programming distributor's or video programmer's closed captioning performance into compliance with the Commission's closed captioning quality rules. In addition, the video programming distributor or video programmer shall conduct spot checks of its closed captioning quality performance and report to the Commission on the results of such action plan and spot checks 180 days after the submission of such action plan.

    (iii) Continued evidence of a pattern or trend of noncompliance. If, after the date for submission of a report on the results of an action plan and spot checks pursuant to paragraph (g)(8)(ii) of this section, the Commission finds continued evidence of a pattern or trend of noncompliance, additional enforcement actions may be taken, which may include admonishments, forfeitures, and other corrective actions.

    (iv) Enforcement action. The Commission may take enforcement action, which may include admonishments, forfeitures, and other corrective actions, without providing a video programming distributor or video programmer the opportunity for an initial response to a pattern or trend of noncompliance or a corrective action plan, or both, under paragraphs (g)(8)(i) and (ii) of this section, for a systemic closed captioning quality problem or an intentional and deliberate violation of the Commission's rules for the quality of closed captioning.

    (i) Contact information. (1) Receipt and handling of immediate concerns. Video programming distributors shall make publicly available contact information for the receipt and handling of immediate closed captioning concerns raised by consumers while they are watching a program. Video programming distributors must designate a telephone number, fax number (if the video programming distributor has a fax number), and email address for purposes of receiving and responding immediately to any closed captioning concerns. Video programming distributors shall include this information on their Web sites (if they have a Web site), in telephone directories, and in billing statements (to the extent the distributor issues billing statements). Video programming distributors shall keep this information current and update it to reflect any changes within ten (10) business days for Web sites, by the next billing cycle for billing statements, and by the next publication of directories. Video programming distributors shall ensure that any staff reachable through this contact information has the capability to immediately respond to and address consumers' concerns. To the extent that a distributor has personnel available, either on site or remotely, to address any technical problems that may arise, consumers using this dedicated contact information must be able to reach someone, either directly or indirectly, who can address the consumer's captioning concerns. This provision does not require that distributors alter their hours of operation or the hours during which they have staffing available; at the same time, however, where staff is available to address technical issues that may arise during the course of transmitting programming, they also must be knowledgeable about and be able to address closed captioning concerns. In situations where a video programming distributor is not immediately available, any calls or inquiries received, using this dedicated contact information, should be returned or otherwise addressed within 24 hours. In those situations where the captioning problem does not reside with the video programming distributor, the staff person receiving the inquiry shall refer the matter appropriately for resolution.

    (2) Complaints. Video programming distributors shall make contact information publicly available for the receipt and handling of written closed captioning complaints that do not raise the type of immediate issues that are addressed in paragraph (i)(1) of this section. The contact information required for written complaints shall include the name of a person with primary responsibility for captioning issues and who can ensure compliance with the Commission's rules. In addition, this contact information shall include the person's title or office, telephone number, fax number (if the video programming distributor has a fax number), postal mailing address, and email address. Video programming distributors shall include this information on their Web sites (if they have a Web site), in telephone directories, and in billing statements (to the extent the distributor issues billing statements). Video programming distributors shall keep this information current and update it within ten (10) business days for Web sites, by the next billing cycle for billing statements, and by the next publication of directories.

    (3) Providing contact information to the Commission. Video programming distributors and video programmers shall file contact information with the Commission through a web form located on the Commission's Web site. Such contact information shall include the name of a person with primary responsibility for captioning issues and ensuring compliance with the Commission's rules. In addition, such contact information shall include the person's title or office, telephone number, fax number (if the video programming distributor or video programmer has a fax number), postal mailing address, and email address. Contact information shall be available to consumers on the Commission's Web site or by telephone inquiry to the Commission's Consumer Center. Video programming distributors and video programmers shall notify the Commission each time there is a change in any of this required information within ten (10) business days.

    (j) * * *

    (1) [Reserved]

    (3) Application of captioning quality standards. Video Programmers shall ensure that captioning meet the standards of paragraph (j)(2) of this section for accuracy, synchronicity, completeness and placement, except for de minimis captioning errors. In determining whether a captioning error is de minimis, the Commission will consider the particular circumstances presented, including the type of failure, the reason for the failure, whether the failure was one-time or continuing, the degree to which the program was understandable despite the errors, and the time frame within which corrective action was taken to prevent such failures from recurring. When applying such standards to live and near-live programming, the Commission will also take into account, on a case-by-case basis, the following factors:

    (k) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iv) Certification procedures for video programmers. Video programmers adopting Best Practices will certify to the Commission that they adhere to Best Practices for video programmers, in accordance with paragraph (m) of this section.

    (l) [Reserved]

    (m) Video programmer certification. (1) On or before July 1, 2017, or prior to the first time a video programmer that has not previously provided video programming shown on television provides video programming for television for the first time, whichever is later, and on or before July 1 of each year thereafter, each video programmer shall submit a certification to the Commission through a web form located on the Commission's Web site stating that:

    (i) The video programmer provides closed captioning for its programs in compliance with the Commission's rules; and

    (ii) The video programmers' programs either satisfy the caption quality standards of paragraph (j)(2) of this section; or in the ordinary course of business, the video programmer has adopted and follows the Best Practices set forth in paragraph (k)(1) of this section.

    (2) If all of video programmer's programs are exempt from the closed captioning rules under one or more of the exemptions set forth in this section, in lieu of the certification required by paragraph (m)(1) of this section, the video programmer shall submit a certification to the Commission through a web form located on the Commission's Web site stating that all of its programs are exempt from the closed captioning rules and specify each category of exemption claimed by the video programmer.

    (3) If some of a video programmer's programs are exempt from the closed captioning rules under one or more of the exemptions set forth in this section, as part of the certification required by paragraph (m)(1) of this section, the video programmer shall include a certification stating that some of its programs are exempt from the closed captioning rules and specify each category of exemption claimed by the video programmer.

    (4) A television broadcast station licensed pursuant to part 73 of this chapter or a low power television broadcast station licensed pursuant to part 74, subpart G, of this chapter, or the owner of either such station, is not required to provide a certification for video programming that is broadcast by the television broadcast station.

    [FR Doc. 2016-19685 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 160617540-6702-02] RIN 0648-XE695 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues this final rule to implement annual management measures and harvest specifications to establish the allowable catch levels (i.e. annual catch limit (ACL)/harvest guideline (HG)) for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the West Coast for the fishing season of July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. This rule is implemented according to the Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The 2016-2017 HG for Pacific mackerel is 21,161 metric tons (mt). This is the total commercial fishing target level. NMFS is also implementing an annual catch target (ACT), of 20,161 mt. If the fishery attains the ACT, the directed fishery will close, reserving the difference between the HG (21,161 mt) and ACT as a 1,000 mt set-aside for incidental landings in other CPS fisheries and other sources of mortality. This final rule is intended to conserve and manage the Pacific mackerel stock off the U.S. West Coast.

    DATES:

    Effective September 22, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joshua Lindsay, West Coast Region, NMFS, (562) 980-4034, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    During public meetings each year, the estimated biomass for Pacific mackerel is presented to the Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) CPS Management Team (Team), the Council's CPS Advisory Subpanel (Subpanel) and the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), and the biomass and the status of the fishery are reviewed and discussed. The biomass estimate is then presented to the Council along with the recommended overfishing limit (OFL) and acceptable biological catch (ABC) calculations from the SSC, along with the calculated ACL, HG, and ACT recommendations, and comments from the Team and Subpanel. Following review by the Council and after reviewing public comment, the Council adopts a biomass estimate and makes its catch level recommendations to NMFS. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., NMFS manages the Pacific mackerel fishery in the U.S. EEZ off the Pacific coast (California, Oregon, and Washington) in accordance with the FMP. Annual Specifications published in the Federal Register establish the allowable harvest levels (i.e. OFL/ACL/HG) for each Pacific mackerel fishing year. The purpose of this action is to implement the 2016-2017 ACL, HG, ACT and other annual catch reference points, including an OFL and an ABC that take into consideration uncertainty surrounding the current estimate of biomass for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. EEZ off the Pacific coast.

    The CPS FMP and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set these annual catch levels for the Pacific mackerel fishery based on the annual specification framework and control rules in the FMP. These control rules include the HG control rule, which in conjunction with the OFL and ABC rules in the FMP, are used to manage harvest levels for Pacific mackerel, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. According to the FMP, the quota for the principal commercial fishery is determined using the FMP-specified HG formula. The HG is based, in large part, on the current estimate of stock biomass. The annual biomass estimates are an explicit part of the various harvest control rules for Pacific mackerel, and as the estimated biomass decreases or increases from one year to the next, the resulting allowable catch levels similarly trend. The harvest control rule in the CPS FMP is HG = [(Biomass-Cutoff) * Fraction * Distribution] with the parameters described as follows:

    1. Biomass. The estimated stock biomass of Pacific mackerel age one and above. For the 2016-2017 management season this is 118,968 mt.

    2. Cutoff. This is the biomass level below which no commercial fishery is allowed. The FMP established this level at 18,200 mt.

    3. Fraction. The harvest fraction is the percentage of the biomass above 18,200 mt that may be harvested.

    4. Distribution. The average portion of the Pacific mackerel biomass estimated in the U.S. EEZ off the Pacific coast is 70 percent and is based on the average historical larval distribution obtained from scientific cruises and the distribution of the resource according to the logbooks of aerial fish-spotters.

    At the June 2015 Council meeting, the Council adopted a new full stock assessment for Pacific mackerel completed by NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center and along with the Council's SSC, approved the resulting Pacific mackerel biomass estimate of 118,968 mt as the best available science for use in the 2016-2017 fishing year. Based on recommendations from its SSC and other advisory bodies, the Council recommended and NMFS is implementing, an OFL of 24,983 mt, an ABC and ACL of 22,822 mt, an HG of 21,161 mt, and an ACT of 20,161 mt for the fishing year of July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.

    Upon attainment of the ACT, the directed fishing would close, reserving the difference between the HG and ACT (1,000 mt) as a set aside for incidental landings in other CPS fisheries. For the remainder of the fishing year incidental landings would also be constrained to a 45 percent incidental catch allowance when Pacific mackerel are landed with other CPS (in other words, no more than 45 percent by weight of the CPS landed per trip may be Pacific mackerel), except that up to 3 mt of Pacific mackerel could be landed incidentally without landing any other CPS. Upon attainment of the HG (21,161 mt), no retention of Pacific mackerel would be allowed in CPS fisheries. In previous years, the incidental set-aside established in the mackerel fishery has been, in part, to ensure that if the directed quota for mackerel was reached that the operation of the Pacific sardine fishery was not overly restricted. There is no directed Pacific sardine fishery for the 2016-2017 season; therefore, the need for a high incidental set-aside is reduced. The purpose of the incidental set-aside and the allowance of an incidental fishery are to allow for restricted incidental landings of Pacific mackerel in other fisheries, particularly other CPS fisheries, when the directed fishery is closed to reduce potential discard of Pacific mackerel and allow for continued prosecution of other important CPS fisheries.

    The NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator would publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the date of any closure to either directed or incidental fishing. Additionally, to ensure the regulated community is informed of any closure, NMFS would also make announcements through other means available, including fax, email, and mail to fishermen, processors, and state fishery management agencies.

    On June 23, 2016, a proposed rule was published for this action and public comments solicited (81 FR 40844, as corrected by 81 FR 47154), with a comment period that ended on July 25, 2016. NMFS received no comments regarding the proposed Pacific mackerel specifications and no changes were made from the proposed rule. Detailed information on the fishery and the stock assessment are found in the report “Pacific Mackerel (Scomber japonicus) Stock Assessment for USA Management in the 2015-16 Fishing Year” (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Assistant Administrator, NMFS, has determined that this final rule is consistent with the CPS FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable law.

    These specifications are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    This action does not contain a collection-of-information requirement for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 12, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20056 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150916863-6211-02] RIN 0648-XE827 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reallocation.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from vessels using jig gear and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 meters) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.

    DATES:

    Effective August 22, 2016 through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The 2016 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) specified for vessels using jig gear in the BSAI is 1,394 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) and one inseason adjustment (81 FR 5627, February 3, 2016).

    The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that jig vessels will not be able to harvest 1,000 mt of the remaining 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(1). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A), NMFS apportions 1,000 mt of Pacific cod to the annual amount specified for catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear.

    The 2016 Pacific cod TAC specified for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear in the BSAI is 448 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016). The Regional Administrator has determined that catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear will not be able to harvest 448 mt of the remaining 2016 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(3). Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A), NMFS apportions 448 mt of Pacific cod to catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear.

    The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (81 FR 14773, March 18, 2016) and inseason adjustment (81 FR 5627, February 3, 2016) are revised as follows: 394 mt for vessels using jig gear, 0 mt for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line gear, and 7,674 mt to catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from other sectors to catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear. Since the fishery is currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of August 17, 2016.

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

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 18, 2016. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20105 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150916863-6211-02] RIN 0648-XE828 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; modification of a closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 meters) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). This action is necessary to fully use the 2016 total allowable catch of Pacific cod allocated to catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 1, 2016, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2016. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., September 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0118, by any 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-2015-0118, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    NMFS closed directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on February 5, 2016 (81 FR 7037, February 10, 2016).

    NMFS has determined that as of August 17, 2016, approximately 1,511 metric tons of Pacific cod remain in the 2016 Pacific cod apportionment for catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully use the 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific cod in the BSAI, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI. The Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the opening of directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet and processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of August 17, 2016.

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

    Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery for Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 feet LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until September 6, 2016.

    This action is required by § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 18, 2016. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20106 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 163 Tuesday, August 23, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 922 [Doc. No. AMS-SC-16-0050; SC16-922-1 PR] Apricots Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Increased Assessment Rate AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.75 to $1.40 per ton of Washington apricots handled under the marketing order. The Committee, which is composed of growers and handlers, locally administers the order which regulates the handling of apricots grown in designated counties in Washington. Assessments upon apricot handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins April 1 and ends March 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposed rule. Comments must be sent to 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: http://www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the document number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the internet at the address provided above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dale Novotny, Marketing Specialist, or Gary D. Olson, Regional Director, Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-2724, Fax: (503) 326-7440, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Antoinette Carter, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed rule is issued under Marketing Agreement and Order No. 922, both as amended (7 CFR part 922), regulating the handling of apricots grown in designated counties in Washington, hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this proposed rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13175.

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the order now in effect, apricot handlers in designated counties in Washington are subject to assessments. Funds to administer the order are derived from such assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate as proposed herein would be applicable to all assessable Washington apricots beginning April 1, 2016, and continue until amended, suspended, or terminated.

    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

    This proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Committee for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.75 to $1.40 per ton of Washington apricots handled under the order.

    The Washington apricots marketing order provides authority for the Committee, with the approval of USDA, to formulate an annual budget of expenses and collect assessments from handlers to administer the program. The members of the Committee are producers and handlers of apricots in designated counties in Washington. They are familiar with the Committee's needs, and with the costs for goods and services in their local area, and are thus in a position to formulate an appropriate budget and assessment rate. The assessment rate is formulated and discussed in a public meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have an opportunity to participate and provide input.

    For the 2015-16 and subsequent fiscal periods, the Committee recommended, and the USDA approved, an assessment rate that would continue in effect from fiscal period to fiscal period unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other information available to USDA.

    The Committee met on May 11, 2016, and unanimously recommended 2016-17 expenditures of $7,160 and an assessment rate of $1.40 per ton of apricots. In comparison, the previous fiscal period's budgeted expenditures were $7,610. The recommended assessment rate of $1.40 per ton is $0.65 per ton higher than the rate currently in effect.

    Last year at the May 12, 2015, meeting, Committee members voted to moderately increase the budget from $7,095 to $7,610, and to decrease the assessment rate from $1.50 to $0.75 per ton of apricots handled. The Committee was attempting to lower their excess reserve funds to approximately one fiscal period's operating expenses to remain in compliance with § 922.42(a)(2) of the order. The Committee based its recommendation on a crop estimate of 5,800 tons for the 2015-16 crop year. The actual crop yield for that period was 4,795 tons, 1,005 tons less than the 5,800 ton estimate used by the Committee for budgeting purposes. Low water supply and higher than average temperatures were reported by the industry at the May 11, 2016, meeting as the major factors for the short 2015-16 crop. As a result of the reduced crop size and related lower assessment revenue, the Committee was forced to use more funds from its reserve than previously anticipated. The Committee intends to fully fund ongoing operations and maintain adequate reserve funds through the implementation of the proposed assessment rate increase for the 2016-17 and future fiscal periods.

    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2016-17 fiscal period include $3,000 for the contracted management fee to the Washington State Fruit Commission, $1,200 for Committee travel, $2,000 for the annual audit, $500 for computer and technical services, and $250 for office supplies. Budgeted expenses for these items in the 2015-2016 fiscal period were $3,000 for the management fee, $1,200 for Committee travel, $2,500 for the annual audit, and $500 for office supplies, respectively.

    The assessment rate recommended by the Committee was derived by dividing anticipated expenses by expected shipments of Washington apricots, while also taking into account the Committee's monetary reserve. Washington apricot shipments for the year are estimated at 5,000 tons which should provide $7,000 in assessment income at the proposed rate of $1.40 per ton of Washington apricots handled. Income derived from handler assessments, along with interest income and funds from the Committee's authorized reserve, would be adequate to cover budgeted expenses for the 2016-17 fiscal period. Funds in the reserve (currently $7,301) would be kept within the maximum amount permitted by the order of approximately one fiscal period's operational expenses. Authority for maintaining a financial reserve is found in § 922.42(a)(2) of the order. The Committee expects its monetary reserve to decrease from $7,301 at the beginning of the 2016-17 fiscal period to approximately $7,141 at the end of the 2016-17 fiscal period. That amount would be within the provisions of the order and would provide the Committee with the ability to absorb fluctuations in assessment income and expenses into the future.

    The proposed assessment rate would continue in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated by USDA upon recommendation and information submitted by the Committee or other available information.

    Although this assessment rate would be in effect for an indefinite period, the Committee would continue to meet prior to or during each fiscal period to recommend a budget of expenses and consider recommendations for modification of the assessment rate. The dates and times of the Committee meetings are available from the Committee or the USDA. Committee meetings are open to the public and interested persons may express their views at these meetings. USDA would evaluate Committee recommendations and other available information to determine whether modification of the assessment rate is needed. Further rulemaking would be undertaken as necessary. The Committee's 2016-17 budget and those for subsequent fiscal periods would be reviewed and, as appropriate, approved by USDA.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this proposed rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

    There are approximately 100 growers and 17 handlers of Washington apricots subject to regulation under the marketing order in the regulated area. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,500,000 (13 CFR 121.201).

    The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that the 2015 total production and utilization (including both fresh and processed markets) of Washington apricots was approximately 8,000 tons, the average price was $1,050 per ton, and the total farm-gate value was approximately $8,400,000. Based on these reports and the number of apricot growers within the production area, it is estimated that the 2015 gross-average producer revenue from the sale of apricots was approximately $84,000.

    There are approximately 17 handlers under the order. According to information from the Committee, handlers shipped 4,795 tons of apricots during the 2015-16 fiscal period (approximately 400,000 24-pound containers), for an average of 282 tons (or 23,500 24-pound containers) of apricots shipped per handler.

    In addition, based on information from the USDA's Market News Service, 2015 freight-on-board prices for Washington No.1 apricots ranged from $20.00 to $26.00 per 24-pound container, with an average f.o.b price of $23.00 per container, for both loose-pack and 2-layer tray-pack containers. As such, the total value of apricots handled most likely ranged between $8,000,000 and $10,400,000, with most of the 17 handlers in the production area handling less than $1,000,000. Average handler revenue from the sale of apricots in 2015 is estimated at approximately $541,176. Using this information, it is determined that each of the Washington apricot handlers currently ship less than $7,500,000 worth of apricots on an annual basis. In view of the foregoing, it is concluded that the majority of handlers and growers of Washington apricots may be classified as small entities.

    This proposal would increase the assessment rate established for the Committee, and collected from handlers, for the 2016-17 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.75 to $1.40 per ton of Washington apricots handled. The proposed assessment rate of $1.40 is $0.65 higher than the 2015-16 rate. The quantity of assessable apricots for the 2016-17 fiscal period is estimated at 5,000 tons. Thus, the $1.40 rate should provide $7,000 in assessment income and, combined with the existing reserve fund, should be adequate to meet this year's budgeted expenses.

    The major expenditures recommended by the Committee for the 2016-17 fiscal period include $3,000 for the contracted management fee to the Washington State Fruit Commission, $1,200 for Committee travel, $2,000 for the annual audit, $500 for computer and technical services, and $250 for office supplies. Budgeted expenses for these items in the 2015-2016 fiscal period were $3,000 for the management fee, $1,200 for Committee travel, $2,500 for the annual audit, and $500 for office supplies.

    The Committee discussed alternatives to this action, including recommending alternative expenditure levels and assessment rates. Although lower assessment rates were considered, none were selected because they would not have generated sufficient income to administer the order.

    A review of historical data and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming 2016-17 fiscal period season indicates that the grower price for Washington apricots could range between $1,050 and $1,300 per ton. Therefore, the assessment revenue for the 2016-17 fiscal period, as a percentage of total grower revenue, could range between 0.133 and 0.108 percent.

    This action would increase the assessment obligation imposed on handlers. While assessments impose some additional costs on handlers, the costs are minimal and uniform on all handlers. However, these costs would be offset by the benefits derived by the operation of the order.

    In addition, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout the Washington apricot industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the May 11, 2016, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. Finally, interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule, including the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small businesses.

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB No. 0581-0189. No changes in those requirements as a result of this action are necessary. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.

    This proposed rule would not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large Washington apricot handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies.

    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.

    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap or conflict with this action.

    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Antoinette Carter at the previously-mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    A 30-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposed rule. Thirty days is deemed appropriate because: (1) The 2016-17 fiscal period began on April 1, 2016, and the marketing order requires that the rate of assessment for each fiscal period apply to all assessable Washington apricots handled during such fiscal period; (2) the Committee needs to have sufficient funds to pay its expenses, which are incurred on a continuous basis; (3) handlers are already shipping Washington apricots from the 2016 crop; and (4) handlers are aware of this action, which was unanimously recommended by the Committee at a public meeting and is similar to other assessment rate actions issued in past years.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 922

    Apricots, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 922 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 922—APRICOTS GROWN IN DESIGNATED COUNTIES IN WASHINGTON 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 922 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    2. Section 922.235 is revised to read as follows:
    § 922.235 Assessment rate.

    On or after April 1, 2016, an assessment rate of $1.40 per ton is established for Washington apricots handled in the production area.

    Dated: August 18, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20096 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1260 [No. AMS-LPS-15-0084] Amendment to the Beef Promotion and Research Rules and Regulations AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would amend the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Order) established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Act) to add six Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) codes for imported veal and veal products and update assessment levels for imported veal and veal products based on revised determinations of live animal equivalencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by October 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be posted online at www.regulations.gov. Comments received will be posted without change, including any personal information provided. All comments should reference the docket number AMS-LPS-15-0084; the date of submission; and the page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Comments may also be sent to Mike Dinkel, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, Research and Promotion Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2610-S, STOP 0249, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0249; or via fax (202) 720-1125. Comments will be made available for public inspection at the above address during regular business hours or via the Internet at www.regulations.gov. Comments must be received by October 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mike Dinkel, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, Research and Promotion Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2610-S, STOP 0249, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0249; fax (202) 720-1125; telephone (301) 352-7497; or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has waived the review process required by Executive Order 12866 for this action.

    Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have a retroactive effect.

    Section 11 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2910) provides that nothing in the Act may be construed to preempt or supersede any other program relating to beef promotion organized and operated under the laws of the United States or any State. There are no administrative proceedings that must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this rule.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic effect of this action on small entities and has determined that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities. The effect of the Order upon small entities was discussed in the July 18, 1986, Federal Register [51 FR 26132]. The purpose of RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly burdened.

    Based on conversations with importing companies, there are approximately 270 importers who import beef and beef products and veal and veal products into the U.S. and about 198 importers who import live cattle into the U.S. The majority of these operations subject to the Order are considered small businesses under the criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA) [13 CFR 121.201]. SBA defines small agricultural service firms as those having annual receipts of $7.5 million or less.

    The proposed rule will impose no significant burden on the industry. It will merely add six HTS codes for imported veal and veal products and update assessment levels for imported veal and veal products based on revised determinations of live animal equivalencies. The addition of HTS codes reflects an increase of imported veal and veal product into the U.S. Accordingly, the Administrator of AMS has determined that this action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with OMB regulations [5 CFR part 1320] that implement the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 [44 U.S.C. Chapter 35], the information collection and recordkeeping requirements contained in the Order and accompanying Rules and Regulations have previously been approved by OMB under OMB control number 0581-0093.

    Background

    The Act authorized the establishment of a national beef promotion and research program. The final Order was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 1986 (51 FR 21632), and the collection of assessments began on October 1, 1986. The program is administered by the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board (Board), appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) from industry nominations, and composed of 100 cattle producers and importers. The program is funded by a $1-per-head assessment on producers selling cattle in the U.S. as well as an equivalent assessment on importers of cattle, beef, and beef products.

    Importers pay assessments on imported cattle, beef, and beef products. U.S. Customs and Border Protection collects and remits the assessment to the Board. The term “importer” is defined as “any person who imports cattle, beef, or beef products from outside the United States.” Imported beef or beef products is defined as “products which are imported into the United States which the Secretary determines contain a substantial amount of beef including those products, which have been assigned one or more of the following numbers in the Tariff Schedule of the United States.”

    On March 16, 2016, AMS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (81 FR 14022) amending § 1260.172 of the Order to add six HTS codes for imported veal and veal products. On May 6, 2016, AMS announced in a Notice to the Trade that it was withdrawing the proposed rule because an error was discovered in the imported veal carcass weight. AMS also announced at that time that it intended to publish another proposed rule with the correct carcass weight and to include the formula and an explanation of how the calculations for the new assessment rates are calculated. On June 30, 2016, AMS published the withdrawal Notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 42576). This proposed rule replaces the March 16, 2016, version. In § 1260.172 of the Order, the table would be revised to include the new codes and assessment rates for imported veal and veal products.

    The Act requires that assessments on imported beef and beef products and veal and veal products be determined by converting such imports into live animal equivalents to ascertain the corresponding number of head of cattle. Carcass weight is the principle factor in calculating live animal equivalents.

    Prior to publishing the March 16, 2016, proposed rule, USDA received information from the Board regarding imported veal assessments. The Board requested expanding the number of HTS codes for imported veal and veal products in order to capture product that is not currently being assessed and to update the live animal equivalency rate on imported veal to reflect the same assessment as domestic veal and veal products. The Board also suggested that AMS update the dressed veal weight to better reflect current dressed veal weights. The Board recommended using an average dressed veal weight from 2010 to the most current data. The Board stated that establishing an average over this period of time takes into account short-term highs and lows due to the cattle cycle, weather effects, and feed prices. This average would be 154 pounds.

    In order to convert carcasses and cuts back to a live animal equivalency, conversion factors are used. The conversion factor takes into account what is lost (feet, head, tail, hide, internal organs, and bone for boneless product) as the veal is processed into carcasses, bone-in cuts, and boneless cuts.

    For bone-in carcasses and cuts, a one-to-one ratio is used to convert product weight to a live animal equivalent. For these items, a conversion factor of 1.00 is used.

    For boneless veal cuts, the conversion factor “adds back” the weight of the bones removed from the product. For boneless veal cuts, a conversion factor of 1.32 is used.

    To determine the conversion factor of boneless veal cuts to carcass weight equivalents, AMS used the latest boneless veal factor for pounds (0.685) from Table 7 of the Economic Research Service Agricultural Handbook Number 697, Weights, Measures, and Conversion Factors for Agricultural Commodities and Their Products (June 1992), subtracted this factor from “1,” and added “1” to the result, as follows:

    (1−0.685) + 1 = 1.315 (rounded to 1.32)

    The assessment per kilograms is determined by dividing the conversion factor by the carcass weight and multiplying it by the pounds-to-kilograms factor of 2.2046.

    Calculations:

    • Carcass and Bone-in Cuts

    EP23AU16.007

    • Boneless Cuts

    EP23AU16.003

    These rates appear as assessment rates in the HTS code tables in § 1260.172.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1260

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Agricultural research, Imports, Marketing agreement, Meat and meat products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, AMS proposes to amend 7 CFR part 1260 as follows:

    PART 1260—BEEF PROMOTION AND RESEARCH 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1260 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2901-2911 and 7 U.S.C. 7401.

    2. Amend § 1260.172 by revising paragraph (b) (2) to read as follows:
    § 1260.172 Assessments.

    (b) * * *

    (2) The assessment rates for imported cattle, beef, beef products, veal, and veal products are as follows:

    Imported Beef and Beef Products [Veal] HTS No. Item description Assessment
  • rate per kg
  • 0201.10.0510 Veal carcasses and half carcasses .01431558 0201.10.1010 Misc. Veal .01431558 0201.10.5010 Misc. Veal .01431558 0202.10.0510 Veal carcasses and half carcasses .01431558 0202.10.1010 Veal carcasses and half carcasses .01431558 0202.10.5010 Veal carcasses and half carcasses .01431558
    Imported Beef and Beef Products [Veal] HTS No. Item description Assessment
  • rate per kg
  • 0201.20.5010 Fresh or chilled bone in veal cuts .01431558 0201.20.5020 Other .01431558 0201.30.5010 Fresh or chilled boneless veal cuts .01889657 0201.30.5020 Other .01889657 0202.30.5010 Frozen boneless veal cuts .01889657 0202.30.5020 Other .01889657
    Dated: August 18, 2016 Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20098 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC-2016-0103] RIN 3150-AJ75 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Amendment No. 2 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend its spent fuel storage regulations by revising the “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks” to add Amendment No. 2 to the Certificate of Compliance (CoC) No. 1032 for the Holtec International (Holtec) HI-STORM Flood/Wind (FW) Multipurpose Canister (MPC) Storage. Amendment No. 2 adds new fuel types to the HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System, includes new criticality calculations, updates an existing fuel type description, and includes changes previously incorporated in Amendment No. 0 to CoC No. 1032, Revision 1, and revises CoC Condition No. 8 to provide additional clarity and guidance.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by September 22, 2016. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC staff is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0103. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vanessa Cox, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-8342 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0103 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0103.

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

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2016-0103 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

    II. Procedural Background

    This proposed rule is limited to the changes contained in Amendment No. 2 to CoC

    No. 1032 and does not include other aspects of the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design. Because the NRC considers this action noncontroversial and routine, the NRC is publishing this proposed rule concurrently with a direct final rule in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register. Adequate protection of public health and safety continues to be ensured. The direct final rule will become effective on November 7, 2016. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this proposed rule by September 22, 2016, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws the direct final rule. If the direct final rule is withdrawn, the NRC will address the comments received in response to these proposed revisions in a subsequent final rule. Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action in the event the direct final rule is withdrawn.

    A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:

    (1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient to require a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. For example, a substantive response is required when:

    (a) The comment causes the NRC staff to reevaluate (or reconsider) its position or conduct additional analysis;

    (b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or

    (c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously addressed or considered by the NRC staff.

    (2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable without incorporation of the change or addition.

    (3) The comment causes the NRC staff to make a change (other than editorial) to the rule, CoC, or Technical Specifications.

    For additional procedural information and the regulatory analysis, see the direct final rule published in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register.

    III. Background

    Section 218(a) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended, requires that “the Secretary [of the Department of Energy] shall establish a demonstration program, in cooperation with the private sector, for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel at civilian nuclear power reactor sites, with the objective of establishing one or more technologies that the [Nuclear Regulatory] Commission may, by rule, approve for use at the sites of civilian nuclear power reactors without, to the maximum extent practicable, the need for additional site-specific approvals by the Commission.” Section 133 of the NWPA states, in part, that “[the Commission] shall, by rule, establish procedures for the licensing of any technology approved by the Commission under Section 219(a) [sic: 218(a)] for use at the site of any civilian nuclear power reactor.”

    To implement this mandate, the Commission approved dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in NRC-approved casks under a general license by publishing a final rule which added a new subpart K in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) entitled, “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites” (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990). This rule also established a new subpart L in 10 CFR part 72 entitled, “Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks,” which contains procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of spent fuel storage cask designs. The NRC subsequently issued a final rule dated March 28, 2011 (76 FR 17019), that approved the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design and added it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in 10 CFR 72.214, “List of approved spent fuel storage casks,” as CoC No. 1032.

    IV. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, well-organized manner that also follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and the intended audience. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883). The NRC requests comment on the proposed rule with respect to clarity and effectiveness of the language used.

    V. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons as indicated.

    Document ADAMS
  • Accession No.
  • Letter and License Application ML15092A130 Supplement Letter ML15114A423 Package with the Transmittal and Request for Supplemental Information Responses Supporting HI-STORM FW CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2 ML15170A433 Supplement to HI-STORM FW CoC No. 1032, Amendment 2 ML15233A038 Proposed CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2 ML16054A625 Proposed CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2 —Appendix A ML16054A628 Proposed CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2—Technical Specifications, Appendix B ML16054A627 CoC No. 1032, Amendment No. 2—Preliminary Safety Evaluation Report ML16054A624

    The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal rulemaking Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2016-0103. The Federal rulemaking Web site allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2016-0103); (2) click the “Sign up for Email Alerts” link; and 3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 72

    Administrative practice and procedure, Criminal penalties, Hazardous waste, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Manpower training programs, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Occupational safety and health, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Spent fuel, Whistleblowing.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553; the NRC is adopting the following amendments to 10 CFR part 72.

    PART 72—LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDEPENDENT STORAGE OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL, HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE, AND REACTOR-RELATED GREATER THAN CLASS C WASTE 1. The authority citation for part 72 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 51, 53, 57, 62, 63, 65, 69, 81, 161, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 189, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2077, 2092, 2093, 2095, 2099, 2111, 2201, 2210e, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2238, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 117(a), 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 141, 145(g), 148, 218(a) (42 U.S.C. 10137(a), 10152, 10153, 10154, 10155, 10157, 10161, 10165(g), 10168, 10198(a)); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    2. In § 72.214, Certificate of Compliance 1032 is revised to read as follows:
    § 72.214 List of approved spent fuel storage casks.

    Certificate Number: 1032.

    Initial Certificate Effective Date: June 13, 2011, superseded by Amendment Number 0, Revision 1, on April 25, 2016.

    Amendment Number 0, Revision 1, Effective Date: April 25, 2016.

    Amendment Number 1 Effective Date: December 17, 2014, superseded by Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, on June 2, 2015.

    Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, Effective Date: June 2, 2015.

    Amendment Number 2, Effective Date: November 7, 2016.

    SAR Submitted by: Holtec International, Inc.

    SAR Title: Final Safety Analysis Report for the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System.

    Docket Number: 72-1032.

    Certificate Expiration Date: June 12, 2031.

    Model Number: HI-STORM FW MPC-37, MPC-89.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of August, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Victor M. McCree, Executive Director for Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20091 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Part 1272 RIN 2590-AA84 Federal Home Loan Bank New Business Activities AGENCY:

    Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The proposed rule would modify a part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) regulations, which addresses requirements for the Federal Home Loan Banks' (Banks) new business activities (NBAs). The proposed rule would reduce the scope of NBAs for which the Banks must seek approval from FHFA and would establish new timelines for agency review and approval of NBA notices. The proposed rule also would reorganize a part of our regulations to clarify the protocol for FHFA review of NBAs.

    DATES:

    FHFA must receive written comments on or before October 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments on the proposed rule, identified by regulatory information number (RIN) 2590-AA84 by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: www.fhfa.gov/open-for-comment-or-input.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. If you submit your comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please also send it by email to FHFA at [email protected] to ensure timely receipt by the agency. Please include “RIN 2590-AA84” in the subject line of the message.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: The hand delivery address is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA84, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, (OGC) Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The package should be delivered to the Seventh Street entrance Guard Desk, First Floor, on business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    U.S. Mail, United Parcel Service, Federal Express, or Other Mail Service: The mailing address for comments is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA84, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, (OGC) Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lara Worley, Principal Financial Analyst, [email protected], 202-649-3324, Division of Federal Home Loan Bank Regulation; or Winston Sale, Assistant General Counsel, [email protected], 202-649-3081 (these are not toll-free numbers), Office of General Counsel (OGC), Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Comments

    FHFA invites comment on all aspects of the proposed rulemaking, which FHFA is publishing with a 60-day comment period. After considering the comments, FHFA will develop a final regulation.

    Copies of all comments received will be posted without change on the FHFA Web site at http://www.fhfa.gov, and will include any personal information you provide, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number. Copies of the comments also will be available for public inspection and copying on government-business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. To make an appointment to inspect comments please call the Office of General Counsel at (202) 649-3804.

    II. Background

    FHFA is an independent agency of the federal government established to regulate and oversee the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (together, the Enterprises), the Banks (collectively with the Enterprises, the regulated entities), and the Bank System's Office of Finance.1 FHFA is the primary federal financial regulator of each regulated entity. FHFA's regulatory mission is to ensure, among other things, that each of the regulated entities “operates in a safe and sound manner” and that its “operations and activities . . . foster liquid, efficient, competitive and resilient national housing finance markets.” 2

    1 12 U.S.C. 4511.

    2 12 U.S.C. 4513(a)(1)(B).

    The eleven Banks are organized under the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (Bank Act) as cooperatives,3 meaning that only members may purchase the capital stock of a Bank, and only members or certain eligible housing associates (such as state housing finance agencies) may obtain access to secured loans, known as advances, or other products provided by a Bank.4 Each Bank is managed by its own board of directors and serves the public interest by enhancing the availability of residential mortgage and community lending credit through its member institutions.5

    3See 12 U.S.C. 1423 and 1432(a).

    4See 12 U.S.C. 1426(a)(4), 1430(a), and 1430b.

    5See 12 U.S.C. 1427.

    In 2000, the Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board), a predecessor to FHFA, adopted a rule (Modernization Rule) implementing certain statutory amendments made by the Federal Home Loan Bank System Modernization Act of 1999.6 Because the statutory amendments had expanded the types of collateral that the Banks may accept, the Finance Board established a prior review process through which the Finance Board could assess the risks to the Banks of accepting the new types of collateral. That process was codified in the NBA regulation at 12 CFR part 980, which also required the Banks to obtain Finance Board approval prior to undertaking any other NBAs that presented risks the Banks had not previously managed.7 In 2010, FHFA re-designated part 980 as part 1272 of its regulations.8 Aside from that re-designation, the NBA regulation has remained unchanged since 2000.

    6See 65 FR 44414 (July 18, 2000). The Federal Home Loan Bank System Modernization Act of 1999 is Title VI of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Pub. L. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338 (Nov. 12, 1999).

    7See 65 FR 44420 (July 18, 2000).

    8See 75 FR 76622 (Dec. 9, 2010).

    In April 2013, FHFA published a Notice of Regulatory Review (Review Notice) pursuant to its regulatory review plan published in 2012.9 The Review Notice requested the public's comment on FHFA's existing regulations for purposes of improving their effectiveness and reducing their burden.10 In response to the Review Notice, FHFA received a letter co-signed by all of the Banks (Request Letter) with comments on certain regulations, including part 1272.11 The Request Letter's comments on part 1272 focused on two issues: (1) The scope of the NBA rule; and (2) The length of time afforded to FHFA under the rule to respond to an NBA notice.

    9See 78 FR 23507 (April 19, 2013). See also Regulatory Review Plan, 77 FR 10351 (Feb. 22, 2012).

    10 78 FR 23508 (April 19, 2013).

    11 The Request Letter is available on FHFA's Web site, at the following link: https://www.fhfa.gov//SupervisionRegulation/Rules/Pages/Comment-Detail.aspx?CommentId=4012.

    Specifically, the Request Letter expressed concern that the broad scope of the rule requires the Banks to expend significant time and effort to determine whether a proposed activity is subject to the rule's purview. Further, the Banks expressed concern that the rule requires them to analyze the risks associated with a contemplated NBA to their member institutions, as well to the Banks themselves. The Banks noted that, if applied literally, that provision requires them to:

    evaluate whether risks from certain business activities are regularly managed by hundreds of member banks, credit unions and insurance companies of widely different sizes and locations, which have many different business and operational models and strategies.12

    12Id at 2-3.

    The Request Letter also noted that “the addition of a materiality concept would greatly enhance the FHLBanks' ability to assess the regulations' applicability.” With respect to the time frame for FHFA's response to NBA notices, the Banks expressed concern that the current regulation allows the review period to be extended indefinitely and that FHFA should revise the regulation to require more prompt decisions on NBA submissions. FHFA is now proposing to amend part 1272 to address the Banks' concerns. III. Consideration of Differences Between the Banks and the Enterprises

    When promulgating regulations relating to the Banks, section 1313(f) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 requires the Director of FHFA (Director) to consider the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises with respect to the Banks' cooperative ownership structure; mission of providing liquidity to members; affordable housing and community development mission; capital structure; and joint and several liability.13 The changes proposed in this rulemaking apply exclusively to the Banks and generally affect the scope and timing of their NBA notifications. Apart from those changes, the substance of the proposed rule is substantially similar to that of the existing NBA regulation. In preparing this proposed rule the Director has considered the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises as they relate to the above factors, and requests comments about any particular differences that the Director should consider when developing a final rule.

    13See 12 U.S.C. 4513(f).

    IV. Analysis of the Proposed Rule

    The Proposed Rule. The purposes of the proposed rule are to revise the scope of activities requiring submission of an NBA notice, specify the response time to an NBA notice, and reorganize and clarify the rule. Additional changes are clarifying or conforming in nature. The following paragraphs describe the proposed revisions.

    Definitions. In § 1272.1, FHFA proposes to revise the definition of “new business activity” and to add new definitions for two terms. In response to the Banks' request to narrow the scope of activities requiring prior FHFA approval under part 1272, FHFA is proposing to exclude from the definition of “new business activity” the acceptance of new types of advance collateral, i.e., types of collateral that are legally permissible but that a particular Bank has not previously accepted. Paragraphs (1) and (2) of the existing definition of new business activity, relating to the acceptance of “other real estate related collateral” (ORERC) and “community financial institution collateral” (CFI collateral), respectively, were included in the definition because prior to 1999 the Banks could only accept limited amounts of ORERC and were not authorized to accept CFI collateral at all. The Finance Board found that the Banks lacked sufficient experience with those new collateral types, and specifically included that collateral within the definition of new business activities so it could ensure that the Banks had processes in place to manage the risks associated with the new collateral.14 In the 16 years since the adoption of the Modernization Rule, most of the Banks have been approved to accept CFI collateral or some forms of ORERC and have developed significant experience in managing the risks associated with those collateral types. Those types of collateral are no longer new, and the remaining universe of new types of collateral that might potentially fall into the ORERC category is small. Thus, FHFA believes that there would be little risk associated with removing the references to these types of collateral from the definition of new business activity, which will allow the Banks to begin accepting any new types of collateral from their members and housing associates without prior regulatory review. Under the proposed rule, FHFA would assess the Banks' acceptance of new types of collateral through its examination process.

    14See 65 FR 44420 (July 18, 2000).

    The current definition of new business activity also includes any activity that entails risks not previously and regularly managed by the Bank or by the Bank's members. For the reasons articulated in the Banks' Request Letter, FHFA is proposing to delete from the definition the reference to the Banks' members. Nonetheless, FHFA requests comments from the public about whether such deletion could negatively impact the Banks' safety and soundness or mission.

    In the Request Letter, the Banks also asked FHFA to add a materiality concept to the rule. The Banks contended that doing so would “enhance [their] ability to assess the regulation's applicability” to particular activities. FHFA has considered this request and proposes to incorporate a materiality provision into the definition of “new business activity.” Under the proposed definition, the Banks would be required to submit a notice only for those activities that “entail material risks not previously and regularly managed by the Bank.” The scope of this proposed definition would address the agency's principal safety and soundness concerns with respect to NBAs, while also allowing the Banks greater flexibility to initiate those activities, including modifications to existing activities, without prior agency approval. Assessing the materiality of the risks associated with a new activity necessarily will entail some subjective judgments by the Banks. For those instances in which it is unclear whether the risks associated with a proposed activity would be material, FHFA expects that a Bank would discuss the contemplated activity with FHFA staff early in the process to determine whether the risks warrant the submission of an NBA notice. For those instances in which a Bank undertakes a new activity based on its own determination that the associated risks are not material, FHFA expects to assess those decisions as part of the regular examination process, and will address any safety and soundness concerns associated with such activities in the same manner that it addresses such concerns arising from other aspects of a Bank's operations. FHFA specifically requests public comment on whether the proposed inclusion of materiality language within the definition of new business activity is the most appropriate means of incorporating a materiality assessment into the regulation, whether materiality should be defined, and whether limiting the NBA review process to those activities presenting new material risks could present any safety and soundness concerns.

    FHFA is also proposing to add two new definitions to the NBA regulation. The proposed rule includes a definition of “business day” because deadlines set forth in the proposed rule would be measured by business days rather than calendar days, as is the case under the current rule. FHFA proposes the use of business days because that approach assures that the review periods for NBA notices will be the same in all cases, even if they are filed during periods of the year that have multiple legal holidays. Lastly, FHFA is proposing to define “NBA Notice Date” as the date on which FHFA receives an NBA notice. The purpose of this new term is to establish a unified start date against which the various deadlines in the proposed rule are to be measured.

    Filing Requirement. The proposed rule would not make any changes to § 1272.2, which prohibits the Banks from commencing any NBAs except in accordance with the requirements of the NBA regulations of part 1272.

    New Business Activity Notice Requirement. The proposed rule generally restructures part 1272 to clarify the protocol for notice and review of NBAs. Sections 1272.3 through 1272.7 have been reorganized into the Banks' notice requirements, FHFA's review process, requests for additional information, FHFA's examination authority, and delegation of approval authority, respectively. Functionally, most of the provisions are similar to the current regulation, but reorganized to better reflect the order in which they are performed.

    In § 1272.3, FHFA proposes retaining the NBA notice requirement with several changes that will limit its scope to describing the items that must be included as part of the notice. First, the proposed rule would relocate the timelines for commencement of an NBA to § 1272.4, as described in detail below. Second, FHFA proposes to replace the current itemized list of required notice contents with a revised list that includes more principles-based submission requirements. FHFA's intent is to provide the Banks greater flexibility in drafting notices that are appropriate to an NBA's scope. The proposed notice requirements are similar to the current requirements in that a notice must address FHFA's core legal and regulatory concerns. Thus, the proposed requirements would generally require that a Bank provide a thorough and complete description of the proposed activity. This approach is intended to afford the Banks additional discretion in tailoring notice contents to the nature of the proposed activity and its corresponding risks. FHFA would retain the authority to require the submission of additional information from the Banks as necessary to evaluate the risks associated with the new activity. See proposed §§ 1272.4(b), 1272.5.

    The proposed rule would elaborate on the existing requirement that a Bank provide an opinion of counsel relating to the proposed new activity. For NBAs raising legal questions of first impression, FHFA proposes requiring the opinion to provide a thorough analysis of the legal authority for the activity that not only cites the general legal authority, but clearly explains how the cited authority permits the proposed activity. This proposed language is intended to ensure that the Banks perform a robust analysis of each of the legal issues relating to the contemplated new activity at an early stage of the process and provide FHFA with that analysis. A simple statement that counsel has reviewed the proposed activity and concluded that it is legally permissible will not satisfy this requirement.

    FHFA proposes removing the itemized list of informational items found in § 1272.3(a)(3), and replacing it with a requirement that the submission provide a full and complete description of the proposed activity. FHFA expects that NBA notices, and especially those for activities not previously approved for any Bank, will need to discuss many of the items listed in the current regulation. However, FHFA recognizes that not all of the existing items in the regulation would be relevant to all notices, and that there will be some activities for which the current listing of items might be underinclusive. The more thorough and clear the submission, the more readily will FHFA be able to evaluate the request.

    The proposed notice requirements also specifically ask the Bank to inform FHFA whether the proposed activity represents a modification of an activity that FHFA has previously approved for that Bank, or whether it is an activity that FHFA has approved for any other Banks. Although FHFA generally will recognize when a proposed NBA has been previously approved for other Banks, the submitting Bank should provide this information to help expedite FHFA's decision on the notice. FHFA specifically requests public comment on whether the proposed notice description requirements appropriately balance the FHFA's informational needs with the associated compliance burden imposed on the Banks.

    The proposed rule would require a Bank to discuss how the proposed activity would support the Bank's housing finance and community investment mission. The current regulation requires a notice to describe the effect of a proposed activity on the housing or community development market, but does not affirmatively require the Banks to demonstrate how the proposed activity would support the Banks' statutory mission. FHFA's duties include ensuring that the Banks' activities foster such mission, see 12 U.S.C. 4513(a). The proposed rule elsewhere includes a related approval standard for NBA notices, which requires that FHFA approve notices only if the activity is conducted in a safe and sound manner and is consistent with the Banks' housing finance and community investment mission. This proposed requirement is also intended to dovetail with the general description requirement so that the submitting Bank produces a comprehensive picture of the proposed activity covering the range of its attributes, from technical production and risk concerns to the activity's potential effects on the Bank's mission.

    Paragraphs 1272.3(a)(4) and (5)—regarding the Bank's capacity to manage new risks and its assessment of the risks, respectively—have been combined into proposed § 1272.3(a)(4). FHFA believes that the proposed language captures the fundamental concepts in the current regulation's requirements while streamlining the rule text and reducing the Banks' overall compliance burden.

    With respect to the anticipated dollar volume of an activity, the proposed rule clarifies that a Bank is to estimate the volume over the activity's initial three years of operation. This is intended to narrow the scope of the current regulation, which requires an estimate of the dollar volume of the activity over the long- and short-term, and clarifies that the estimate is to be based on anticipated production once the activity begins, especially in cases where the Bank may not immediately implement the new activity.

    Finally, FHFA proposes eliminating § 1272.3(b), which addresses the submission requirements for NBAs relating to the acceptance of new types of advance collateral, because the acceptance of new types of collateral would no longer constitute an NBA, as described in the definitions discussion above.

    Agency Review. FHFA proposes revising § 1272.4 through § 1272.6 to collapse their respective concepts into a more concise, narrative format and to establish new timelines for agency review of NBA notices. Proposed § 1272.4 establishes FHFA's review process for NBA notices. Under the current regulation, a Bank may commence an NBA 60 days after FHFA's receipt of the associated notice unless FHFA disapproves the activity, instructs the Bank not to commence the activity pending further consideration by the agency, declares its intent to examine the Bank, or requests additional information. See § 1272.5(a)(1)-(4). In the Request Letter, the Banks expressed concern that the existing regulation allows FHFA to easily extend its review of NBA notices by either requesting additional information or by instructing the Banks not to commence a new activity shortly after receipt of the notice. See § 1272.4(a). The proposed rule would address the concerns by providing for the automatic approval of NBA notices if FHFA fails to act by certain deadlines, as described below. The proposed rule would establish two time periods for FHFA review: A 30 business-day period, generally intended for activities already approved for other Banks, and an 80 business-day period, generally intended for activities of first impression or that otherwise require significant agency examination. Under both proposed timelines, subject to certain extensions and caveats, the Bank would be able to commence the new activity at the end of each time period if FHFA failed to approve, deny, or respond to the Bank regarding the activity.

    Proposed § 1272.4(a) sets an initial 30 business-day period for FHFA to approve or deny an activity, or inform the Bank that the request raises legal, policy, or supervisory issues that require further evaluation. Requests raising new legal or policy issues or which pose significant safety and soundness issues would generally be processed under the 80 business-day timeline in proposed § 1272.4(b). If FHFA fails to take one of those three actions by the end of 30 business days from the NBA Notice Date, the proposed rule provides that the notice would be deemed to have been approved and the Bank could commence the activity for which the notice was submitted. If FHFA notifies the Bank that the activity requires further evaluation, then the proposed rule provides that FHFA must approve or deny the notice no later than 80 business days from the NBA Notice Date. If FHFA fails to approve or deny the notice by that date, then it would be deemed to be approved, and the Bank could commence the activity. For all submissions, FHFA intends to approve or deny the notice prior to the applicable deadline, and expects that it will act on many notices substantially before the deadline. FHFA believes that these time periods will afford it sufficient time to review, consider, and fully evaluate the merits of both routine and novel submissions. The proposed rule includes one exception to the automatic approval provisions, which pertains to NBA submissions that raise significant policy issues that the Director determines require additional time. Proposed § 1272.4(d) provides that the Director may extend the 80 business-day period by an additional 60 business days to facilitate such review. In such cases, FHFA will inform the Bank of the extension before the end of the 80 business-day period and the Bank may not commence the proposed activity until FHFA has affirmatively approved the notice. This proposed exception to the automatic approval provisions is intended to preserve the Director's oversight authority on notices deemed by the Director to be of sufficient consequence to merit an extended review period and also to prevent automatic approval of such notices during periods of transition between FHFA Directors or if the Director is otherwise unable to attend to the matter.

    Proposed § 1272.4(c) states that for purposes of calculating the number of days that make up the applicable review period, no days would be counted between the day FHFA communicates a request for additional information and the day the Bank responds to all questions asked. One purpose of the automatic approval provisions is to provide some certainty as to the date by which FHFA should act on a notice. In order for FHFA to act, however, it must have a complete notice, including responses to its requests for additional information. Because FHFA may be unable to continue processing a notice while it is awaiting receipt of additional information from a Bank, those days are not included within the applicable time periods. If a Bank's submitted notice is clear and thorough, FHFA expects that there will be less need to request additional information.

    FHFA proposes adding new § 1272.4(e), which would establish an explicit standard under which the agency will make determinations with respect to NBAs. The proposed standard considers whether the activity will be conducted in a safe and sound manner and whether the activity is consistent with the housing finance and community investment mission of the Banks and the cooperative nature of the Bank System. The policy considerations underlying this proposed standard stem from FHFA's statutory oversight duties and reflect current agency practice. See 12 U.S.C. 4513(a). The current regulation implies, but does not explicitly set forth, a standard for review, and FHFA now proposes a specific standard in keeping with its statutory mission and practice. Further, FHFA proposes to include in the same section a provision authorizing FHFA to impose conditions in connection with the approval of any NBA. This provision is similar to the current provision at § 1272.7(b)(2).

    FHFA proposes establishing a revised protocol for additional information requests in proposed § 1272.5. As with the current regulation, FHFA reserves the right to request additional information regarding a proposed NBA. However, FHFA proposes adding several conditions to such requests. Specifically, after FHFA makes an initial request for additional information, any subsequent requests for additional information must be limited to information that is necessary to fully respond to the initial request, i.e., for cases in which a Bank's response was not fully responsive or otherwise requires clarification, or because the Bank's response raises new legal or policy issues not evident based on the notice or the Bank's previous response. FHFA intends for these proposed conditions to facilitate the review process by limiting the scope and circumstances in which FHFA can make subsequent requests for additional information and to incent the Banks to provide clear and thorough submissions and responses to information requests. These limitations notwithstanding, the proposed rule also authorizes the Director to request any additional information regarding any NBA for which the Director has extended the review period. Ultimately, the Director is responsible for supervising the Banks and otherwise ensuring that they act in a safe and sound manner, and this provision of the proposed rule is intended to allow the Director to have whatever information the Director deems necessary to carry out those responsibilities when reviewing an NBA notice. See 12 U.S.C. 4513(a)(2)(B). FHFA specifically requests public comments on whether these proposed conditions on requests for additional information appropriately balance FHFA's regulatory duties with the Banks' compliance burden.

    Proposed § 1272.6 reorganizes and combines §§ 1272.7(a) and 1272.7(b)(2)(v) into one paragraph, reserving FHFA's right to examine the Banks with respect to their implementation of an NBA.

    Delegation of Authority. Proposed § 1272.7 includes a delegation of authority to the Deputy Director for Federal Home Loan Bank Regulation (Deputy Director) to approve NBA submissions, but further provides that the Director reserves the right to modify, rescind, or supersede any such approvals granted under this delegation of authority. The provision is modeled on a similar delegation of authority in 12 CFR 1211.3, which authorizes the Deputy Director to grant “approvals” in accordance with the procedures regulations of that part. Although the term “approval,” as defined in § 1211.1, arguably is broad enough to encompass NBA notices, when FHFA first included that delegation in the procedures regulations it explained in the Supplementary Information to the proposed rule that the provisions pertaining to “approvals” did not apply to NBA notices. See 79 FR 15257, 15258 (March 19, 2014) (because NBA notices “are subject to the procedural requirements of part 1272 . . . approvals for an NBA would not be subject to” the “approvals” provisions of § 1211.3). FHFA anticipates that most NBA notices will be approved by the Deputy Director pursuant to the proposed delegation of authority and that notices raising novel legal or policy questions will be referred to the Director for decision.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) requires that regulations involving the collection of information receive clearance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This rule contains no such collection of information requiring OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Consequently, no information has been submitted to OMB for review.

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The proposed rule applies only to the Banks, which do not come within the meaning of small entities as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). See 5 U.S.C. 601(6). Therefore, in accordance with section 605(b) of the RFA, FHFA certifies that this proposed rule, if adopted as a final rule, is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1272

    Federal home loan banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority and Issuance

    Accordingly, for reasons stated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 1431(a), 1432(a), 4511(b), 4513, 4526(a), FHFA proposes to amend subchapter D of chapter XII of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    CHAPTER XII—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY Subchapter D—Federal Home Loan Banks 1. Revise part 1272 to read as follows: PART 1272—NEW BUSINESS ACTIVITIES Sec. 1272.1 Definitions. 1272.2 Limitation on Bank authority to undertake new business activities. 1272.3 New business activity notice requirement. 1272.4 Review process. 1272.5 Additional information. 1272.6 Examinations. 1272.7 Approval of notices. Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1431(a), 1432(a), 4511(b), 4513, 4526(a).

    § 1272.1 Definitions.

    As used in this part:

    Business Day means any calendar day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal public holiday listed in 5 U.S.C. 6103.

    NBA Notice Date means the date on which FHFA receives a new business activity notice.

    New business activity (NBA) means any business activity undertaken, transacted, conducted, or engaged in by a Bank that entails material risks not previously managed by the Bank. A Bank's acceptance of a new type of advance collateral does not constitute a new business activity.

    § 1272.2 Limitation on Bank authority to undertake new business activities.

    No Bank shall undertake any NBA except in accordance with the procedures set forth in this part.

    § 1272.3 New business activity notice requirement.

    Prior to undertaking an NBA, a Bank shall submit a written notice of the proposed NBA that provides a thorough, meaningful, complete, and specific description of the activity such that FHFA will be able to make an informed decision regarding the proposed activity. At a minimum, the notice should include the following information:

    (a) A written opinion of counsel identifying the specific statutory, regulatory, or other legal authorities under which the NBA is authorized and, for submissions raising legal questions of first impression, a reasoned analysis explaining how the cited authorities can be construed to authorize the new activity;

    (b) A full description of the proposed activity, including, when applicable, infographics and definitions of key terms. In addition, the Bank shall indicate whether the proposed activity represents a modification to a previously approved activity in which the Bank is engaged or is an activity that FHFA has approved for any other Banks;

    (c) A discussion of why the Bank proposes to engage in the new activity and how the activity supports the housing finance and community investment mission of the Bank;

    (d) A discussion of the risks presented by the new activity and how the Bank will manage these risks; and

    (e) A good faith estimate of the anticipated dollar volume of the activity, and the income and expenses associated with implementing and operating the new activity, over the initial three years of operation.

    § 1272.4 Review process.

    (a) Within 30 business days of the NBA Notice Date, FHFA will take one of the following actions:

    (1) Approve the proposed NBA;

    (2) Deny the proposed activity; or

    (3) Inform the Bank that the activity raises policy, legal, or supervisory issues that require further evaluation. If FHFA fails to take any of those actions by the 30th business day following the NBA Notice Date, the NBA notice shall be deemed to have been approved and the Bank may commence the activity for which the notice was submitted.

    (b) In the case of any notice that FHFA has determined requires further evaluation, FHFA will approve or deny the notice by no later than the 80th business day following the NBA Notice Date. If FHFA fails to approve or deny a NBA notice by that date, and the Director has not extended the review period, the NBA notice shall be deemed to have been approved and the Bank may commence the activity for which the notice was submitted.

    (c) For purposes of calculating the review period, no days will be counted between the date that FHFA has requested additional information from the Bank pursuant to § 1272.5 and the date that the Bank responds to all questions communicated.

    (d) Notwithstanding anything contained in this part, the Director may extend the 80 business day review period by an additional 60 business days if the Director determines that additional time is required to consider the notice. In such a case, FHFA will inform the Bank of any such extension before the 80th business day following the NBA Notice Date, and the Bank may not commence the NBA until FHFA has affirmatively approved the notice.

    (e) In considering any NBA notice, FHFA will assess whether the proposed activity will be conducted in a safe and sound manner and is consistent with the housing finance and community investment mission of the Banks and the cooperative nature of the Bank System. FHFA may deny a NBA notice or may approve the notice, which approval may be made subject to the Bank's compliance with any conditions that FHFA determines are appropriate to ensure that the Bank conducts the new activity in a safe and sound manner and in compliance with applicable laws or regulations and the Bank's mission.

    § 1272.5 Additional information.

    FHFA may request additional information from a Bank necessary to issue a determination regarding an NBA. After an initial request for information, FHFA may make subsequent requests for information only to the extent that the information provided by the Bank does not fully respond to a previous request, the subsequent request seeks information needed to clarify the Bank's previous response, or the information provided by the Bank raises new legal, policy, or supervisory issues not evident based on the Bank's NBA notice or responses to previous requests for information. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall limit the Director's authority to request additional information from a Bank regarding an NBA for which the Director has extended the review period.

    § 1272.6 Examinations.

    Nothing in this part shall limit in any manner the right of FHFA to conduct any examination of any Bank relating to its implementation of an NBA, including pre- or post-implementation safety and soundness examinations, or review of contracts or other agreements between the Bank and any other party.

    § 1272.7 Approval of notices.

    The Deputy Director for Federal Home Loan Bank Regulation may approve requests from a Bank seeking approval of any NBA notice submitted in accordance with this part. The Director reserves the right to modify, rescind, or supersede any such approval granted by the Deputy Director, with such action being effective only on a prospective basis.

    Dated: August 16, 2016. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19858 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 740 [160519443-6443-01] RIN 0694-AG97 Temporary Exports to Mexico Under License Exception TMP AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would align the time limit of License Exception Temporary Imports, Exports, Reexports, and Transfers (in-country) (TMP), which authorizes, among other things, certain temporary exports to Mexico, with the time limit of Mexico's Decree for the Promotion of Manufacturing, Maquiladora and Export Services (IMMEX) program. Currently, TMP allows for the temporary export and reexport of various items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), as long as the items are returned no later than one year after export, reexport, or transfer if not consumed or destroyed during the period of authorized use. Other than a four-year period for certain personal protective equipment, the one-year limit extends to all items shipped under license exception TMP. However, the one-year period does not align with the time constraints of Mexico's IMMEX program, which allows imports of items for manufacturing operations on a time limit that may exceed 18 months. This rule proposes to amend TMP to complement the timeline of the IMMEX program. Under this proposed amendment, items temporarily exported or reexported under license exception TMP and imported under the provisions of the IMMEX program would be authorized to remain in Mexico for up to four years from the date of export or reexport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by October 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The identification number for this rulemaking is BIS-2016-0023.

    • By email directly to [email protected] Include RIN 0694-AG97 in the subject line.

    • By mail or delivery to Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 2099B, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Refer to RIN 0694-AG97.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Regulatory Policy Division, Office of Exporter Services, Bureau of Industry and Security, by telephone (202) 482-2440 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    Mexico's Decree for the Promotion of Manufacturing, Maquiladora and Export Services, known as IMMEX, is a platform used by U.S. and foreign manufacturers to lower production costs by temporarily importing production materials into Mexico. Created in 2006, IMMEX is the product of the merger of two previous Mexican economic policies: The Maquiladora program, which was designed to attract foreign investment by exempting temporary imports from taxes, and the Temporary Import Program to Promote Exports (PITEX), which incentivized Mexican companies to grow and compete in foreign markets by providing temporary import benefits. Under IMMEX, companies located in Mexico are not subject to quotas and do not have to pay taxes on items temporarily imported and manufactured, transformed, or repaired before reexport.

    Under IMMEX, the length of time that imports may remain in Mexico is commodity dependent, with some items allowed to remain in-country for 18 months or more. These time allotments are greater than the time limits for License Exception Temporary Imports, Exports, Reexports, and Transfers (in-country) (TMP) allowed under § 740.9(a)(14) of the EAR. With few exceptions, items exported under TMP, if not consumed or destroyed during the authorized use abroad, must be returned to the United States one year after the date of export. The discrepancy between the time periods of IMMEX and TMP reduces the efficacy of both policies, thereby hindering the shipment of items subject to the EAR to and from Mexico.

    U.S. companies that produce items subject to the EAR and ship those items to Mexico under IMMEX have notified the Bureau of Industry and Security of this discrepancy and have requested that BIS amend the EAR to increase compatibility with IMMEX. Considering the strength of Mexico's export control regimen, as exemplified by its accession as a member to the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, BIS proposes to amend § 740.9(a) to account for IMMEX's time limit. For the purpose of simplicity, BIS does not propose to match the various time periods instituted by IMMEX. Instead, this rule proposes to revise § 740.9(a)(8) to allow temporary exports and reexports to remain in Mexico for up to four years, which accommodates the maximum available time that temporarily imported items may remain in Mexico under IMMEX and is in parallel with the validity period of BIS's licenses. Additionally, this rule proposes to revise introductory paragraph § 740.9(a)(14) to include a reference to § 740.9(a)(8) as an exception to the one-year time limit of TMP.

    Export Administration Act

    Since August 21, 2001, the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended, has been in lapse. However, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013), and as extended by the Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015) has continued the EAR in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.). BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222 as amended by Executive Order 13637.

    Rulemaking Requirements

    1. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor is subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This rule does not contain any collections of information.

    3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    4. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to the notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or any other statute. Under section 605(b) of the RFA, however, if the head of an agency certifies that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the statute does not require the agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis. Pursuant to section 605(b), the Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Number of Small Entities

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) does not collect data on the size of entities that apply for and are issued export licenses. Although BIS is unable to estimate the exact number of small entities that would be affected by this rule, it acknowledges that this rule would affect some unknown number.

    Economic Impact

    BIS believes that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact because exporters are already using other provisions of the EAR to participate in IMMEX. Currently, exporters participating in IMMEX are using TMP for exports of a one-year duration. If the item is to remain in Mexico longer than one year, exporters are required to either use another license exception or apply for a license that will address a specific time limit. This proposed rule merely extends the eligibility period for TMP to four years to complement the lengthy IMMEX time limit which could be 18 months or more, depending on circumstances. Extending the time limit of TMP to four years provides exporters flexibility in complying with the EAR and allows them to take fuller advantage of the privileges granted by IMMEX. While such a provision should reduce the paperwork burden to exporters, BIS does not believe increasing the time limit will lead to a significant increase in exports to Mexico. Rather, this proposed rule is consistent with the principle of the EAR in easing the unnecessary regulatory burden to exporters.

    List of Subjects in 15 CFR Parts 740

    Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, 15 CFR part 740 of the EAR (15 CFR parts 730-774) is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 740—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 740 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Authority: 50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2015, 80 FR 48233 (August 11, 2015).

    2. Section 740.9 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(8) and introductory paragraph (a)(14) to read as follows:
    § 740.9 Temporary imports, exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) (TMP).

    (a) * * *

    (8) Assembly in Mexico. Commodities may be exported to Mexico under Customs entries that require return to the United States after processing, assembly, or incorporation into end products by companies, factories, or facilities participating in Mexico's in-bond industrialization program (IMMEX) under this paragraph (a)(8), provided that all resulting end-products (or the commodities themselves) are returned to the United States as soon as practicable but no later than four years after the date of export or reexport.

    (14) Return or disposal of items. With the exception of items described in paragraphs (a)(8) and (11) of this section, all items exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) under this section must, if not consumed or destroyed in the normal course of authorized temporary use abroad, be returned to the United States or other country from which the items were so transferred as soon as practicable but no later than one year after the date of export, reexport, or transfer (in-country). Items not returned shall be disposed of or retained in one of the following ways:

    Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19670 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Chapter IX [Docket No. FR-5650-N-13] Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996: Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Ninth Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting of negotiated rulemaking committee.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the ninth meeting of the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) negotiated rulemaking committee.

    DATES:

    The ninth meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 20, 2016, and Wednesday, September 21, 2016. On each day, the session will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m., and adjourn at approximately 5:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting is scheduled to take place at the Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at the Reed Conference Center, 5750 Will Rogers Rd, Midwest City, OK, 73110.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Heidi Frechette, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW., Room 4126, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number 202-401-7914 (this is not a toll-free number). Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Native American Housing and Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (25 U.S.C. 4101 et seq.) (NAHASDA) changed the way that housing assistance is provided to Native Americans. NAHASDA eliminated several separate assistance programs and replaced them with a single block grant program, known as the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program. The regulations governing the IHBG formula allocation are codified in subpart D of part 1000 of HUD's regulations in title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations. In accordance with section 106 of NAHASDA, HUD developed the regulations with active tribal participation using the procedures of the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990 (5 U.S.C. 561-570).

    Under the IHBG program, HUD makes assistance available to eligible Indian tribes for affordable housing activities. The amount of assistance made available to each Indian tribe is determined using a formula that was developed as part of the NAHASDA negotiated process. Based on the amount of funding appropriated for the IHBG program, HUD calculates the annual grant for each Indian tribe and provides this information to the Indian tribes. An Indian Housing Plan for the Indian tribe is then submitted to HUD. If the Indian Housing Plan is found to be in compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements, the grant is made.

    On June 5, 2013, HUD announced in the Federal Register the list of proposed members for the negotiated rulemaking committee, and requested additional public comment on the proposed membership.

    The first eight meetings of the negotiated rulemaking committee were held on the following dates:

    • August 27, 2013, and August 28, 2013;

    • Tuesday, September 17, 2013, Wednesday, September 18, 2013, and Thursday, September 19, 2013;

    • Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Thursday, April 24, 2014, and Friday, April 25, 2014;

    • Wednesday, June 11, 2014, Thursday, June 12, 2014, and Friday, June 13, 2014;

    • Tuesday, July 29, 2014, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, and Thursday, July 31, 2014;

    • Tuesday, August 26, 2014, Wednesday, August 27, 2014, and Thursday, August 28, 2014;

    • Tuesday, August 11, 2015, Wednesday, August 12, 2015, and Thursday, August 13, 2015; and

    • Tuesday, January 26, 2016, and Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

    II. Ninth Committee Meeting

    The ninth meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, and Wednesday, September 21, 2016. On each day, the session will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m., and adjourn at approximately 5:30 p.m. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at the Reed Conference Center, 5750 Will Rogers Rd, Midwest City, OK, 73110.

    The meetings will be open to the public without advance registration. Public attendance may be limited to the space available. Members of the public may make statements during the meetings, to the extent time permits, and file written statements with the committee for its consideration. Written statements should be submitted to the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Dated: August 17, 2016. Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20115 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0818] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Columbia River, Sand Island, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary safety zone for navigable waters of the Columbia River within a 500-yard radius of the small boat “Nessy,” while in the area of Sand Island, near Chinook, WA, and all involved associated vessels in support of Double-Crested Cormorant removal operations conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services. This proposed rulemaking would prohibit persons and vessels from being in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Columbia River, or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before September 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0818 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Mr. Kenneth Lawrenson, Waterways Management Division, Marine Safety Unit Portland, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 503-240-9319, email [email protected]

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

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services notified the Coast Guard that they intend to conduct federally permitted removal operations of the Double-Crested Cormorant starting September 21, 2016. This operation will involve the use of firearms and live ammunition. The Captain of the Port Sector Columbia River (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the removal operations will be a safety concern for anyone within a 500-yard radius of the small boat “Nessy,” and all involved associated support vessel(s). The safety zone is needed to protect personnel and vessels in the navigable waters within the safety zone.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and the navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled operations. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP proposes to establish a safety zone regulation from September 21, 2016, through October 21, 2016. The safety zone will cover all navigable waters of the Columbia River within 500 yards of the small boat “Nessy,” and all involved associated support vessels being used by personnel during the removal operation, conducted in the area encompassed by these points: 46°15′45″ N., 123°59′39″ W.; 46°15′24″ N., 123°59′42″ W.; 46°13′32″ N., 123°57′18″ W.; 46°15′9″ N., 123°55′24″ W.; and 46°15′54″ N., 123°58′6″ W. The 500 yard radius area of the safety zone is intended to protect persons and vessels from the dangerous combined effects of live gunfire, unpredictable animal behavior, and a highly dynamic marine environment characterized by strong tides, river currents and wind. This safety zone would be enforced only when the small boat “Nessy,” and all involved associated support vessels, are conducting the removal operations. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and activists wanting to protest the event in these navigable waters while the removal operations are being conducted. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative.

    We learned of the need for the safety zone regulation we are proposing on August 11 2016. We have provided an 18-day comment period for this proposed rule. If after considering comments we decide to issue a temporary final rule, we would need to make that rule effective less than 30 days after publication and would state our good cause for doing so under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the safety zone. Vessel traffic would be able to safely transit around this safety zone which would impact a small designated area of the Columbia River in the area encompassing these points: 46°15′45″ N., 123°59′39″ W.; 46°15′24″ N., 123°59′42″ W.; 46°13′32″ N., 123°57′18″ W.; 46°15′9″ N., 123°55′24″ W.; and 46°15′54″ N., 123°58′6″ W. Moreover, the Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule would allow vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

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

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves a safety zone lasting four weeks, for three days a week, that will prohibit entry within 500 yards of the small boat “Nessy” and all involved associated support vessels, while in the area encompassing these points: 46°15′45″ N., 123°59′39″ W.; 46°15′24″ N., 123°59′42″ W.; 46°13′32″ N., 123°57′18″ W.; 46°15′9″ N., 123°55′24″ W.; and 46°15′54″ N., 123°58′6″ W., while personnel are conducting the removal operations of the Double-Crested Cormorant. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist and Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

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

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add § 165.T13-0818 to read as follows:
    § 165.T13-0818 Safety Zone; Columbia River.

    (a) Location. The safety zone covered by this rule will cover all navigable waters of the Columbia River within 500 yards of the small boat “Nessy,” and all involved associated support vessels, while in the area encompassing these points: 46°15′45″ N., 123°59′39″ W.; 46°15′24″ N., 123°59′42″ W.; 46°13′32″ N., 123°57′18″ W.; 46°15′9″ N., 123°55′24″ W.; and 46°15′54″ N., 123°58′6″ W.

    (b) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in subpart C of this part, no person may enter or remain in the safety zone created in this section or bring, cause to be brought, or allow to remain in the safety zone created in this section any vehicle, vessel, or object unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative.

    (c) Enforcement. Any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer may enforce the rules in this section. In the navigable waters of the United States to which this section applies, when immediate action is required and representatives of the Coast Guard are not present or are not present in sufficient force to provide effective enforcement of this section, any Federal Law Enforcement Officer or Oregon Law Enforcement Officer or Washington Law Enforcement Officer may enforce the rules contained in this section pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 70118. In addition, the Captain of the Port may be assisted by members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services onboard the small boat “Nessy,” and other federal, state, or local agencies in enforcing this section.

    (d) Enforcement period. This section is effective from September 21, 2016, through October 21, 2016. It will be enforced when the small boat “Nessy,” and all involved associated support vessels, are conducting the removal operations of the Double-Crested Cormorant. The small boat “Nessy” is described as a 20-foot black and gray aluminum work skiff with an overhead light arch. The Coast Guard will inform mariners of any change to this period of enforcement via Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    Dated: August 17, 2016. W. R. Timmons, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20132 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0429; FRL-9951-16-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; SC; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of South Carolina, through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), on December 18, 2015, to demonstrate that the State meets the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2012 Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. SC DHEC certified that the South Carolina SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in South Carolina. EPA is proposing to determine that portions of South Carolina's infrastructure submission, submitted to EPA on December 18, 2015, satisfy certain required infrastructure elements for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0429 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tiereny Bell, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bell can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected] or via telephone at (404) 562-9088.

    I. Background and Overview

    On December 14, 2012 (78 FR 3086, January 15, 2013), EPA promulgated a revised primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The standard was strengthened from 15.0 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 12.0 μg/m3. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, States are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS to EPA no later than December 14, 2015.1

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

    This rulemaking is proposing to approve portions of South Carolina's PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submissions 2 for the applicable requirements of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, with the exception of the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), for which EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking regarding these requirements. For the aspects of South Carolina's submittal proposed for approval in this rulemaking, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that South Carolina's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    2 South Carolina's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission dated December 18, 2015, is referred to as “South Carolina's PM2.5 infrastructure SIP” in this action.

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

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

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for the “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned previously, these requirements include basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements that are the subject of this proposed rulemaking are summarized later on and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” 3

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

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System • 110(a)(2)(C): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources 4

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

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Powers • 110(a)(2)(H): SIP Revisions • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 5

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

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Visibility Protection

    • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data

    • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees

    • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities

    III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from South Carolina that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, and nonattainment new source review (NNSR) permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D. Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.6 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

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

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.7 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.8 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    7See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOX SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

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

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.9 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.10

    9See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

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

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.11

    11 For example, implementation of the 1997 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others. Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.12 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).13 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.14 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

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

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

    14 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations. On March 17, 2016, EPA released a memorandum titled, “Information on the Interstate Transport `Good Neighbor' Provision for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards under Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)” to provide guidance to states for interstate transport requirements specific to the PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

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

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

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.15 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

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

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

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's implementation plan is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.16 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.17 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.18

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

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

    18See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

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

    South Carolina's December 18, 2015, infrastructure SIP submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described later in this preamble.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires that each implementation plan include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements. Several regulations within South Carolina's SIP are relevant to air quality control regulations. The regulations described later have been federally-approved in the South Carolina SIP and include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, Ambient Air Quality Standards and Regulation 61-62.1, Definitions and General Requirements, provide enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means, and techniques. Section 48-1-50(23) of the 1976 South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, (S.C. Code Ann.) provides SC DHEC with the authority to “Adopt emission and effluent control regulations standards and limitations that are applicable to the entire state, that are applicable only within specified areas or zones of the state, or that are applicable only when a specified class of pollutant is present.” Collectively these regulations establish enforceable emissions limitations and other control measures, means or techniques, for activities that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in the ambient air and provide authority for SC DHEC to establish such limits and measures as well as schedules for compliance to meet the applicable requirements of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these State regulations and State statute are adequate for enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques, as well as schedules and timetables for compliance to satisfy the requirements of Section 110(a)(2(A) for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in the State.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state provisions with regard to excess emissions during start up, shut down and malfunction (SSM) operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.19

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

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

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to: (i) Monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator. South Carolina's Air Pollution Control Regulations, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, along with the South Carolina Network Description and Ambient Air Network Monitoring Plan, provide for an ambient air quality monitoring system in the State. S.C. Code Ann. § 48-1-50(14) provides the Department with the necessary authority to “[c]ollect and disseminate information on air and water control.” Annually, states develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.20 On July 20, 2015, South Carolina submitted its plan to EPA. On November 19, 2015, EPA approved South Carolina's monitoring network plan. South Carolina's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0429. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system requirements related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources: This element consists of three sub-elements: Enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources, and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). These requirements are met through Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, and Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, Nonattainment New Source Review, and 61-62.1, Section II, Permit Requirements, of South Carolina's SIP, which pertain to the construction of any new major stationary source or any modification at an existing major stationary source in an area designated as attainment or unclassifiable. These regulations enable SC DHEC to regulate sources contributing to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Enforcement: SC DHEC's above-described, SIP-approved regulations provide for enforcement of PM2.5 emission limits and control measures through construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources. South Carolina cites to statute 48-1-50(11), which provides SC DHEC the authority to administer penalties for violations of any order, permit, regulation or standards; and 48-1-50(10), which authorizes SCDHEC to require and approve construction plans for sources and inspect the construction thereof for compliance with the approved plan. Additionally, SCDHEC is authorized under 48-1-50(3) and (4) to issue orders requiring the discontinuance of the discharge of air contaminants into the ambient air that create an undesirable level, and seek an injunction to compel compliance with the Pollution Control Act and permits, permit conditions and orders.

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

    For the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, South Carolina's authority to regulate new and modified sources to assist in the protection of air quality in South Carolina is established in Regulations 61-62.1, Section II, Permit Requirements; 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration of South Carolina's SIP. These regulations pertain to the construction of any new major stationary source or any modification at an existing major stationary source in an area designated as attainment or unclassifiable. South Carolina also cites to 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, Nonattainment New Source Review. South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission demonstrates that new major sources and major modifications in areas of the State designated attainment or unclassifiable for the specified NAAQS are subject to a federally-approved PSD permitting program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA to satisfy the infrastructure SIP PSD elements.21

    21 More information concerning how the South Carolina infrastructure SIP submission currently meets applicable requirements for the PSD elements (110(a)(2)(C); (D)(i)(I), prong 3; and (J)) can be found in the technical support document in the docket for this rulemaking.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source preconstruction program that regulates emissions of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Regulation 61-62.1, Section II, Permit Requirements governs the preconstruction permitting of minor modifications and construction of minor stationary sources in South Carolina.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for enforcement of control measures, PSD permitting for major sources, and regulation of minor sources and modifications related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to the interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2). EPA will consider these requirements in relation to South Carolina's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), the PSD element, referred to as prong 3, this requirement may be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to: A PSD program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA, or (if the state contains a nonattainment area that has the potential to impact PSD in another state) a NNSR program. As discussed in more detail previously under section 110(a)(2)(C), South Carolina's SIP contains provisions for the State's PSD program that reflect the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the requirement of prong 3 and a NNSR program at 61-62.5, Standard No. 7.1, Nonattainment New Source Review. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP is adequate for interstate transport for PSD permitting of major sources and major modifications related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to provisions pertaining to visibility protection in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4) and will consider these requirements in relation to South Carolina's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. Regulation 61-62.5, Standards 7 and 7.1 (q)(2)(iv), Public Participation, requires SC DHEC to notify air agencies “whose lands may be affected by emissions” from each new or modified major source if such emissions may significantly contribute to levels of pollution in excess of a NAAQS in any air quality control region outside of South Carolina. Additionally, South Carolina does not have any pending obligation under section 115 and 126 of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

    With respect to section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), SC DHEC develops, implements and enforces EPA-approved SIP provisions in the State. S.C. Code Ann. Section 48, Title 1, as referenced in South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission, provides the SC DHEC's general legal authority to establish a SIP and implement related plans. In particular, S.C. Code Ann. Section 48-1-50(12) grants SC DHEC the statutory authority to “[a]ccept, receive and administer grants or other funds or gifts for the purpose of carrying out any of the purposes of this chapter; [and to] accept, receive and receipt for federal money given by the Federal government under any Federal law to the State of South Carolina for air or water control activities, surveys or programs.” S.C. Code Ann. Section 48, Title 2 grants SC DHEC statutory authority to establish environmental protection funds, which provide resources for SC DHEC to carry out its obligations under the CAA. Specifically, in Regulation 61-30, Environmental Protection Fees, SC DHEC established fees for sources subject to air permitting programs. SC DHEC implements the SIP in accordance with the provisions of S.C. Code Ann § 1-23-40 (the Administrative Procedures Act) and S.C. Code Ann. Section 48, Title 1. For Section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii), the submission states that South Carolina does not rely on localities for specific SIP implementation.

    The requirements of 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii) are further confirmed when EPA performs a completeness determination for each SIP submittal. This provides additional assurances that each submittal includes information addressing the adequacy of personnel, funding, and legal authority under State law used to carry out the State's implementation plan and related issues. This information is included in all prehearings and final SIP submittal packages for approval by EPA.

    As evidence of the adequacy of SC DHEC's resources with respect to sub-elements (i) and (iii), EPA submitted a letter to South Carolina on April 19, 2016, outlining 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2015. The letter EPA submitted to South Carolina can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0429. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. There were no outstanding issues in relation to the SIP for fiscal year 2015, therefore, SC DHEC's grants were finalized and closed out.

    Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that states comply with section 128 of the CAA. Section 128 of the CAA requires that states include provisions in their SIP to address conflicts of interest for state boards or bodies that oversee CAA permits and enforcement orders and disclosure of conflict of interest requirements. Specifically, CAA section 128(a)(1) necessitates that each SIP shall require that at least a majority of any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders shall be subject to the described public interest service and income restrictions therein. Subsection 128(a)(2) requires that the members of any board or body, or the head of an executive agency with similar power to approve permits or enforcement orders under the CAA, shall also be subject to conflict of interest disclosure requirements.

    With respect to 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), South Carolina satisfies the requirements of CAA section 128(a)(1) for the South Carolina Board of Health and Environmental Control, which is the “board or body which approves permits and enforcement orders” under the CAA in South Carolina, through S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-730. S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-730 provides that “[u]nless otherwise provided by law, no person may serve as a member of a governmental regulatory agency that regulates business with which that person is associated,” and S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-700(A) which provides in part that “[n]o public official, public member, or public employee may knowingly use his official office, membership, or employment to obtain an economic interest for himself, a member of his immediate family, an individual with whom he is associated, or a business with which he is associated.” S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-13-700(B)(1)-(5) provides for disclosure of any conflicts of interest by public official, public member or public employee, which meets the requirement of CAA Section 128(a)(2) that “any potential conflicts of interest . . . be adequately disclosed.” These State statutes—S.C. Code Ann. Sections 8-13-730, 8-13-700(A), and 8-13-700(B)(1)-(5)—have been approved into the South Carolina SIP as required by CAA section 128.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina has satisfied the requirements of 110(a)(2)(E) for implementation of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires SIPs to meet applicable requirements addressing (i) the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources, (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions related data from such sources, and (iii) correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this section, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection. SC DHEC's infrastructure SIP submission describes the establishment of requirements for compliance testing by emissions sampling and analysis, and for emissions and operation monitoring to ensure the quality of data in the State. SC DHEC uses these data to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, develop control and maintenance strategies, identify sources and general emission levels, and determine compliance with emission regulations and additional EPA requirements. These SIP requirements are codified at Regulation 61-62.1, Definitions and General Requirements, which provides for emission inventories and other emission monitoring and reporting requirements for stationary sources. R. 61-62.1, Section III, Emission Inventory, provides for an emission inventory plan that establishes reporting requirements for various pollutants from permitted facilities on annual or three year cycles, depending on emission levels and nonattainment area status. Further, S.C. Code Ann. § 48-1-22 provides the Department with the necessary authority to “Require the owner of operator of any source or disposal system to establish and maintain such operational records; make reports; install, use and maintain monitoring equipment or methods; samples and analyze emissions or discharges in accordance with prescribed methods, at locations, intervals, and procedures as the Department shall prescribe; and provide such other information as the Department reasonably may require.” Finally, R. 61-62.1, Section V, Credible Evidence, specifies that non-reference test data and other information already available and utilized for other purposes may be used to demonstrate compliance or noncompliance with emission standards. Accordingly, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the South Carolina SIP.

    Additionally, South Carolina is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and their associated precursors—NOX, SO2, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. South Carolina made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on April 8, 2014. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(F).

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency Powers: This section of the Act requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Regulation 61-62.3, Air Pollution Episodes, provides for contingency measures when an air pollution episode or exceedance may lead to a substantial threat to the health of persons in the state or region. S.C. Code Ann. Section 48-1-290 provides SC DHEC, with concurrent notice to the Governor, the authority to issue an order recognizing the existence of an emergency requiring immediate action as deemed necessary by SC DHEC to protect the public health or property. Any person subject to this order is required to comply immediately. Additionally, S.C. Code Ann. Section 1-23-130 provides SC DHEC with the authority to establish emergency regulations to address an imminent peril to public health, or welfare, and authorizes emergency regulations to protect natural resources if any natural resource related agency in the State finds that abnormal or unusual conditions, immediate need, or the State's best interest require such emergency action. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP, State laws, and practices are adequate for emergency powers related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(G).

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) SIP Revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H), in summary, requires each SIP to provide for revisions of such plan: (i) As may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard, and (ii) whenever the Administrator finds that the plan is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS or to otherwise comply with any additional applicable requirements. SC DHEC is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in South Carolina. The State has the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. S.C. Code Ann. Section 48, Title 1, provides SC DHEC with the necessary authority to revise the SIP to accommodate changes in the NAAQS and thus revise the SIP as appropriate. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina adequately demonstrates a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(H).

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection: EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that complies with the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, PSD and visibility protection. EPA's rationale for each sub-element is described later in this preamble.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, as well as the State's Regional Haze Implementation Plan (which allows for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding FLM), provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. South Carolina has SIP-approved state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity (see 69 FR 4245). Implementation of transportation conformity as outlined in the consultation procedures requires SC DHEC to consult with federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials on the development of motor vehicle emissions budgets. Additionally, S.C. Code Section 48-1-50(8) provides SC DHEC with the necessary authority to “Cooperate with the governments of the United States or other states or state agencies or organizations, official or unofficial, in respect to pollution control matters or for the formulation of interstate pollution control compacts or agreements.” EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with government officials related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) consultation with government officials.

    Public notification (127 public notification): Regulation 61-62.3, Air Pollution Episodes, requires that SC DHEC notify the public of any air pollution episode or NAAQS violation. S.C. Code Ann. § 48-1-60 establishes that “Classification and standards of quality and purity of the environment [are] authorized after notice and hearing.” Additionally, Regulation 61-62.5, Standard 7.1 (q), Public Participation, notifies the public by advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in each region in which a proposed plant or modifications will be constructed of the degree of increment consumption that is expected from the plant or modification, and the opportunity for comment at a public hearing as well as the opportunity to provide written public comment. An opportunity for a public hearing for interested persons to appear and submit written or oral comments on the air quality impact of the plant or modification, alternatives to the plant or modification, the control technology required, and other appropriate considerations is also offered.

    EPA also notes that SC DHEC maintains a Web site that provides the public with notice of the health hazards associated with PM2.5 NAAQS exceedances, measures the public can take to help prevent such exceedances, and the ways in which the public can participate in the regulatory process. See http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Air/MostCommonPollutants/ParticulateMatter/. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide public notification related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    PSD: With regard to the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J), this requirement is be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that the state has a SIP-approved PSD program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA for all NSR regulated pollutants. As discussed in more detail previously under the section discussing 110(a)(2)(C), South Carolina's SIP contains provisions for the State's PSD program that reflect required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP is adequate for PSD permitting of major sources and major modifications for the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J).

    Visibility protection: EPA's 2013 Guidance notes that it does not treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. SC DHEC referenced its regional haze program as germane to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Thus, EPA has determined that states do not need to address the visibility component of 110(a)(2)(J) in infrastructure SIP submittals so SC DHEC does not need to rely on its regional haze program to fulfill its obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J). As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS is approvable for the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) and that South Carolina does not need to rely on its regional haze program.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the EPA can be made. Regulations 61-62.5, Standard No. 2, Ambient Air Quality Standards, and Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, of the South Carolina SIP specify that required air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W, Guideline on Air Quality Models, as incorporated into the South Carolina SIP. Also, S.C. Code Ann. § 48-1-50(14) provides SC DHEC with the necessary authority to “Collect and disseminate information on air and water control.” Additionally, South Carolina participates in a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, for the southeastern states. Taken as a whole, South Carolina's air quality regulations and practices demonstrate that SC DHEC has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of any emissions of any pollutant for which a NAAQS had been promulgated, and to provide such information to the EPA Administrator upon request. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(K).

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

    S.C. Code Ann. Section 48-2-50 prescribes that SC DHEC charge fees for environmental programs it administers pursuant to federal and State law and regulations including those that govern the costs to review, implement and enforce PSD and NNSR permits. Regulation 61-30, Environmental Protection Fees22 prescribes fees applicable to applicants and holders of permits, licenses, certificates, certifications, and registrations, establishes procedures for the payment of fees, provides for the assessment of penalties for nonpayment, and establishes an appeals process for refuting fees. This regulation may be amended as needed to meet the funding requirements of the State's permitting program. Additionally, South Carolina has a federally-approved title V program, Regulation 61-62.70, Title V Operating Permit Program,23 which fees provide for the implementation and enforcement of the requirements of PSD and NNSR for facilities once they begin operating. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2012 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(L).

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

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

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) of the Act requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. Regulation 61-62.5, Standard No. 7, Prevention of Significant Deterioration, of the South Carolina SIP requires that SC DHEC notify the public, which includes local entities, of an application, preliminary determination, the activity or activities involved in the permit action, any emissions change associated with any permit modification, and the opportunity for comment prior to making a final permitting decision. Also, as noted previously, S.C. Code Ann. Section 48-1-50(8) allows SC DHEC to “Cooperate with the governments of the United States or other states or state agencies or organizations, officials, or unofficial, in respect to pollution control matters or for the formulation of interstate pollution control compacts or agreements.” By way of example, SC DHEC has recently worked closely with local political subdivisions during the development of its Transportation Conformity SIP, Regional Haze Implementation Plan, and Ozone Early Action Compacts. EPA has made the preliminary determination that South Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(M).

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states and visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), EPA is proposing to approve South Carolina's December 18, 2015, SIP submission for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for the previously described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to approve these portions of South Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS because these aspects of the submission are consistent with section 110 of the CAA.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this proposed action for the state of South Carolina does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). The Catawba Indian Nation Reservation is located within the State of South Carolina. Pursuant to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act, South Carolina statute 27-16-120, “all state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to the [Catawba Indian Nation] and Reservation and are fully enforceable by all relevant state and local agencies and authorities.” However, EPA has determined that because this proposed rule does not have substantial direct effects on an Indian Tribe because, as noted previously, this action is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that South Carolina's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements. EPA notes this action will not impose substantial direct costs on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 9, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20141 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2008-0486; EPA-R01-OAR-2008-0223; EPA-R01-OAR-2008-0447; EPA-R01-OAR-2009-0358; A-1-FRL-9950-96-Region 1] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; Interstate Transport of Air Pollution AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP), the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES), the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC). These SIP revisions address provisions of the Clean Air Act that require each state to submit a SIP to address emissions that may adversely affect another state's air quality through interstate transport. The EPA is proposing that all four States have adequate provisions to prohibit in-state emissions activities from significantly contributing to, or interfering with the maintenance of, the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in other states. The intended effect of this action is to propose approval of the SIP revisions submitted by Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by EPA-R01-OAR-2008-0486 for comments pertaining to our proposed action for Maine, EPA-R01-OAR-2008-0223 for comments pertaining to our proposed action for New Hampshire, EPA-R01-OAR-2008-0447 for comments pertaining to our proposed action for Rhode Island, or EPA-R01-OAR-2009-0358 for comments pertaining to our proposed action for Vermont, 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.

    Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, Air Programs Branch, 5 Post Office Square, Boston, Massachusetts. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. The interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least 24 hours in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard P. Burkhart, Air Quality Planning Unit, Air Programs Branch (Mail Code OEP05-02), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, Massachusetts, 02109-3912; (617) 918-1664; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Organization of this document. The following outline is provided to aid in locating information in this preamble.

    I. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA? II. Rulemaking Information III. Proposed Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    When submitting comments, remember to:

    1. Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date, and page number).

    2. Follow directions—EPA may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

    3. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    4. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    5. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    6. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    7. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    8. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    II. Rulemaking Information

    EPA is proposing to approve SIP submissions from the ME DEP, the NH DES, the RI DEM and the VT DEC. The SIP revisions were submitted on the following dates: October 26, 2015 (ME); November 17, 2015 (NH); June 23, 2015 (RI) and November 2, 2015 (VT). These SIP submissions address the requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.1

    1 We note that while the SIP revisions submitted by Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island address only the transport elements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, Vermont's submittal addresses all of the infrastructure elements of CAA section 110(a)(2) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Today's action, however, only addresses the transport elements of Vermont's submittal.

    On March 12, 2008, the EPA revised the levels of the primary and secondary 8-hour ozone standards from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to 0.075 ppm (73 FR 16436). The CAA requires states to submit, within three years after promulgation of a new or revised standard, SIPs meeting the applicable “infrastructure” elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). One of these applicable infrastructure elements, CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), requires SIPs to contain “good neighbor” provisions to prohibit certain adverse air quality effects on neighboring states due to interstate transport of pollution. There are four sub-elements, or “prongs,” within CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i). This action addresses the first two sub-elements of the good neighbor provisions, at CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), often referred to as “prong one” and “prong two.” These sub-elements require that each SIP for a new or revised standard contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity within the state from emitting air pollutants that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” (prong 1) or “interfere with maintenance” (prong 2) of the applicable air quality standard in any other state. We note that the EPA has addressed the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the eastern portion of the United States in several past regulatory actions.2 We most recently promulgated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which addressed CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) in the eastern portion of the United States.3 CSAPR addressed multiple national ambient air quality standards, but did not address the 2008 8-hour ozone standard.4 On December 3, 2015, the EPA proposed an update to CSAPR to address the 2008 ozone standard, referred to as the CSAPR Update.5

    2 NOX SIP Call, 63 FR 57371 (October 27, 1998); Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), 70 FR 25172 (May 12, 2005); Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011).

    3 76 FR 48208.

    4 CSAPR addressed the 1997 8-hour ozone, and the 1997 and 2006 fine particulate matter NAAQS.

    5 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS, 80 FR 75706 (Dec. 3, 2015).

    Each of the four states' SIP submissions cited modeling recently conducted by EPA to support the proposed CSAPR Update, asserting that, based on that modeling, emissions from the states did not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in any other state.

    In the original CSAPR rulemaking, the EPA used detailed air quality analyses to determine whether an eastern state's contribution to downwind air quality problems was at or above specific thresholds. If a state's contribution did not exceed the specified air quality screening threshold, the state was not considered “linked” to identified downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors and was therefore not considered to significantly contribute to, or interfere with maintenance of, the standard in those downwind areas. If a state exceeded that threshold, the state's emissions were further evaluated, taking into account both air quality and cost considerations, to determine what, if any, emissions reductions might be necessary. For the reasons stated below, we believe it is appropriate to use the same approach we used in CSAPR to establish an air quality screening threshold for the evaluation of interstate transport requirements for the 2008 ozone standard.

    In CSAPR, the EPA proposed an air quality screening threshold of one percent of the applicable NAAQS and requested comment on whether one percent was appropriate.6 The EPA evaluated the comments received and ultimately determined that one percent was an appropriately low threshold because there were important, even if relatively small, contributions to identified nonattainment and maintenance receptors from multiple upwind states. In response to commenters who advocated a higher or lower threshold than one percent, the EPA compiled the contribution modeling results for CSAPR to analyze the impact of different possible thresholds for the eastern United States. The EPA's analysis showed that the one-percent threshold captures a high percentage of the total pollution transport affecting downwind states, while the use of higher thresholds would exclude increasingly larger percentages of total transport. For example, at a five percent threshold, the majority of interstate pollution transport affecting downwind receptors would be excluded.7 In addition, the EPA determined that it was important to use the one-percent threshold because there are adverse health impacts associated with ambient ozone even at low levels.8 The EPA also determined that a lower threshold such as 0.5 percent would result in relatively modest increases in the overall percentages of fine particulate matter and ozone pollution transport captured relative to the amounts captured at the one-percent level. The EPA determined that a “0.5 percent threshold could lead to emission reduction responsibilities in additional states that individually have a very small impact on those receptors—an indicator that emission controls in those states are likely to have a smaller air quality impact at the downwind receptor. We are not convinced that selecting a threshold below one percent is necessary or desirable.” 9

    6 CSAPR proposal, 75 FR 45210, 45237 (August 2, 2010).

    7See also Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support Document, Appendix F, Analysis of Contribution Thresholds, Docket ID # EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0491.

    8 CSAPR, 76 FR 48208, 48236-37 (August 8, 2011)

    9 Id.

    In the final CSAPR, the EPA determined that one percent was a reasonable choice considering the combined downwind impact of multiple upwind states in the eastern United States, the health effects of low levels of fine particulate matter and ozone pollution, and the EPA's previous use of a one-percent threshold in CAIR. The EPA used a single “bright line” air quality threshold equal to one percent of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, or 0.08 ppm.10 The projected contribution from each state was averaged over multiple days with projected high modeled ozone, and then compared to the one-percent threshold. We concluded that this approach for setting and applying the air quality threshold for ozone was appropriate because it provided a robust metric, was consistent with the approach for fine particulate matter used in CSAPR, and because it took into account, and would be applicable to, any future ozone standards below 0.08 ppm.11

    10 Id.

    11 Id.

    On August 4, 2015, the EPA issued a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) containing air quality modeling data that applies the CSAPR approach to contribution projections for the year 2017 for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.12 This is the same modeling used to support the proposed CSAPR Update. The moderate area attainment date for the 2008 ozone standard is July 11, 2018. In order to demonstrate attainment by this attainment deadline, states will use 2015 through 2017 ambient ozone data. Therefore, 2017 is an appropriate future year to model for the purpose of examining interstate transport for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The EPA used photochemical air quality modeling to project ozone concentrations at air quality monitoring sites to 2017 and estimated state-by-state ozone contributions to those 2017 concentrations. This modeling used the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx version 6.11) to model the 2011 base year, and the 2017 future base case emissions scenarios to identify projected nonattainment and maintenance sites with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS in 2017. The EPA used nationwide state-level ozone source apportionment modeling (CAMx Ozone Source Apportionment Technology/Anthropogenic Precursor Culpability Analysis technique) to quantify the contribution of 2017 base case NOX and VOC emissions from all sources in each state to the 2017 projected receptors. The air quality model runs were performed for a modeling domain that covers the 48 contiguous United States and adjacent portions of Canada and Mexico. The NODA and the supporting technical documents have been included in the docket for this SIP action.

    12See 80 FR 46271 (August 4, 2015) (Notice of Availability of the Environmental Protection Agency's Updated Ozone Transport Modeling Data for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)).

    The modeling data released in the NODA and the proposed CSAPR Update are the most up-to-date information the EPA has developed to inform our analysis of upwind state linkages to downwind air quality problems. The EPA is proposing that states with contributions to downwind nonattainment and maintenance receptors less than one percent of the 2008 ozone NAAQS do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I).13

    13 The proposed CSAPR Update also proposes to use one percent as the screening threshold to identify upwind states that are “linked” to downwind air pollution problems. See 80 FR 75714.

    For purposes of the 2008 ozone NAAQS, each of the four states at issue in this action have contributions below this significance threshold. The NODA modeling indicates that Maine's ozone contribution to any projected downwind nonattainment site is 0.00 ppb (parts per billion) and Maine's largest contribution to any projected downwind maintenance-only site is 0.08 ppb. The NODA modeling indicates that New Hampshire's largest ozone contribution to any projected downwind nonattainment site is 0.02 ppb and New Hampshire's largest ozone contribution to any projected downwind maintenance-only site is 0.07 ppb. The NODA modeling indicates that Rhode Island's largest ozone contribution to any projected downwind nonattainment site is 0.02 ppb and Rhode Island's largest contribution to any projected downwind maintenance-only site is 0.08 ppb. The NODA modeling indicates that Vermont's largest ozone contribution to any projected downwind nonattainment site is 0.01 ppb and Vermont's largest contribution to any projected downwind maintenance-only site is 0.05 ppb. These ozone contribution values (for Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) are all well below the one percent screening threshold of 0.75 ppb and, therefore, there are no identified linkages between these four states and 2017 downwind projected nonattainment and maintenance sites.14

    14 Note that the EPA has not done an assessment to determine the applicability for the use of the one percent screening threshold for all western states that contribute above the one percent threshold to identified air quality problems. There may be additional considerations that may impact regulatory decisions regarding “potential” linkages in the west identified by the modeling.

    As noted earlier, Maine's October 25, 2015, New Hampshire's November 17, 2015, Rhode Island's June 23, 2015, and Vermont's November 2, 2015 SIP submittals all cite the CSAPR Update modeling discussed above and all conclude that each state neither significantly contributes to nonattainment, nor interferes with maintenance, in downwind states with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS. EPA agrees with these conclusions and is, therefore, proposing to approve these SIP revisions.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the SIP revisions submitted by the states on the following dates as meeting the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS: October 26, 2015 (Maine); November 7, 2015 (New Hampshire); June 23, 2015 (Rhode Island); and November 2, 2015 (Vermont). EPA has reviewed these SIP revisions and has found that they satisfy the relevant CAA requirements discussed above. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document, and will consider those comments before taking final action.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 1, 2016. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20022 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0624; FRL-9951-27-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; FL: Hillsborough Area; SO2 Attainment Demonstration AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision, submitted by the State of Florida through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP), to EPA on April 3, 2015, for the purpose of providing for attainment of the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in the Hillsborough County SO2 nonattainment area (hereafter referred to as the “Hillsborough Area” or “Area”). The Hillsborough Area is comprised of a portion of Hillsborough County in Florida surrounding the Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC Riverview plant (hereafter referred to as “Mosaic”). The attainment plan includes the base year emissions inventory, an analysis of the reasonably available control technology (RACT) and reasonably available control measures (RACM) requirements, a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, a modeling demonstration of SO2 attainment, and contingency measures for the Hillsborough Area. As a part of approving the attainment demonstration, EPA is also proposing to approve into the Florida SIP the SO2 emissions limits and associated compliance parameters. This action is being taken in accordance with Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA's guidance related to SO2 attainment planning.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0624 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    D. Brad Akers, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Akers can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected] or via telephone at (404) 562-9089.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. What action is EPA proposing to take? II. What is the background for EPA's proposed action? III. What is included in Florida's attainment plan for the Hillsborough Area? IV. What is EPA's analysis of Florida's attainment plan for the Hillsborough Area? A. Pollutants Addressed B. Emissions Inventory Requirements C. Air Quality Modeling D. RACM/RACT E. RFP Plan F. Contingency Measures G. Attainment Date V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action is EPA proposing to take?

    EPA is proposing to approve Florida's SIP revision for the Hillsborough Area, as submitted through FL DEP to EPA on April 3, 2015, for the purpose of demonstrating attainment of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Specifically, EPA is proposing to approve the base year emissions inventory, a modeling demonstration of SO2 attainment, an analysis of RACM/RACT, a RFP plan, and contingency measures for the Hillsborough Area. Additionally, EPA is proposing to approve specific SO2 emission limits and compliance parameters established for the two SO2 sources impacting the Hillsborough Area into the Florida SIP.

    EPA has preliminarily determined that Florida's SO2 attainment plan for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS for Hillsborough County meets the applicable requirements of the CAA and EPA's SO2 Nonattainment Guidance.1 Moreover, the Hillsborough Area is currently showing a design value below the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, having implemented most of the control measures included in the SIP submittal. Thus, EPA is proposing to approve Florida's attainment plan for the Hillsborough Area as submitted on April 3, 2015. EPA's analysis for this proposed action is discussed in Section IV of this proposed rulemaking.

    1 EPA's April 23, 2014 memorandum entitled “Guidance for the 1-Hour SO2 Nonattainment Area SIP Submissions,” hereafter referred to as the “SO2 Nonattainment Guidance.”

    II. What is the background for EPA's proposed action?

    On June 2, 2010, the EPA Administrator signed a final rule establishing a new SO2 NAAQS as a 1-hour standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb), based on a 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 35520 (June 22, 2010). This action also revoked the existing 1971 annual standard and 24-hour standards, subject to certain conditions.2 EPA established the NAAQS based on significant evidence and numerous health studies demonstrating that serious health effects are associated with short-term exposures to SO2 emissions ranging from 5 minutes to 24 hours with an array of adverse respiratory effects including narrowing of the airways which can cause difficulty breathing (bronchoconstriction) and increased asthma symptoms. For more information regarding the health impacts of SO2, please refer to the June 22, 2010 final rulemaking. See 75 FR 35520. Following promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, EPA is required by the CAA to designate areas throughout the United States as attaining or not attaining the NAAQS; this designation process is described in section 107(d)(1) of the CAA. On August 5, 2013, EPA promulgated initial air quality designations of 29 areas for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS (78 FR 47191), which became effective on October 4, 2013, based on violating air quality monitoring data for calendar years 2009-2011, where there was sufficient data to support a nonattainment designation.3

    2 EPA's June 22, 2010 final action revoked the two 1971 primary 24-hour standard of 140 ppb and the annual standard of 30 ppb because they were determined not to add additional public health protection given a 1-hour standard at 75 ppb. See 75 FR 35520. However, the secondary 3-hour SO2 standard was retained. Currently, the 24-hour and annual standards are only revoked for those areas the EPA has already designated for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS in August 2013 and June 30, 2016, including the Hillsborough Area. See 40 CFR 50.4(e).

    3 EPA is continuing its designation efforts for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Pursuant to a court-ordered consent decree finalized March 2, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, EPA must complete the remaining designations for the rest of the country on a schedule that contains three specific deadlines. By July 2, 2016, EPA must designate areas specified in the March 2, 2015 consent decree based on specific emission criteria. Sierra Club, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, 13-cv-03953-SI (2015). The last two deadlines for completing designations, December 2017 and December 2020 are expected to be informed by information required pursuant the “Data Requirements Rule for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS); Final Rule,” or “Data Requirements Rule.” See 80 FR 51052 (August 21, 2015). http://www.epa.gov/airquality/sulfurdioxide/designations/pdfs/201503Schedule.pdf. On June 30, 2016, EPA designated a total of 61 areas for the 2010 1-hour SO2 standard as part of the 2nd round of designations pursuant to the March 2, 2015 consent decree.

    Effective on October 4, 2013, the Hillsborough Area was designated as nonattainment for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS for an area that encompasses the primary SO2 emitting source Mosaic fertilizer plant and the nearby SO2 monitor (Air Quality Site ID: 12-057-0109). The October 4, 2013, final designation triggered a requirement for Florida to submit a SIP revision with a plan for how the Area would attain the 2010 SO2 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than October 4, 2018, in accordance with CAA section 172(b).

    The required components of a nonattainment plan submittal are listed in section 172(c) of part D of the CAA. The base year emissions inventory (section 172(c)(3)) is required to show a “comprehensive, accurate, current inventory” of all relevant pollutants in the nonattainment area. The nonattainment plan must identify and quantify any expected emissions from the construction of new sources to account for emissions in the area that might affect RFP toward attainment, or with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS, and provide for a nonattainment new source review (NNSR) program (section 172(c)(5)). The attainment demonstration must include a modeling analysis showing that the enforceable emissions limitations and other control measures taken by the state will provide for expeditious attainment of the NAAQS (section 172(c)). The nonattainment plan must include an analysis of the RACM considered, including RACT (section 172(c)(1)). RFP for the nonattainment area must be addressed in the submittal. Finally, the nonattainment plan must provide for contingency measures (section 172(c)(9)) to be implemented in the case that RFP toward attainment is not made, or the area fails to attain the NAAQS by the attainment date.

    III. What is included in Florida's attainment plan for the Hillsborough Area?

    In accordance with section 172(c) of the CAA, the Florida attainment plan for the Hillsborough Area includes: (1) An emissions inventory for SO2 for the plan's base year (2011); and (2) an attainment demonstration. The attainment demonstration includes: Technical analyses that locate, identify, and quantify sources of emissions contributing to violations of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS; a declaration that FL DEP is unaware of any future growth in the area that would be subject to CAA 173,4 and the assertion that the NNSR program approved in the SIP at Section 62-252.500, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) would account for any such growth; a modeling analysis of an emissions control strategy for the primary SO2 source, Mosaic, and a nearby source, the Tampa Electric Company's (TECO's) Big Bend electric generating facility (hereafter referred to as “TECO”), that attains the SO2 NAAQS by the October 4, 2018 attainment date; a determination that the control strategy for the primary SO2 source within the nonattainment areas constitutes RACM/RACT; adherence to a construction schedule to ensure emissions reductions are achieved as expeditiously as practicable; a request from FL DEP that emissions reduction measures including system upgrades and/or emissions limitations with schedules for implementation and compliance parameters be incorporated into the SIP; and contingency measures.

    4 The CAA new source review (NSR) program is composed of three separate programs: Prevention of significant deterioration (PSD), NNSR, and Minor NSR. PSD is established in part C of title I of the CAA and applies in areas that meet the NAAQS—“attainment areas”—as well as areas where there is insufficient information to determine if the area meets the NAAQS—“unclassifiable areas.” The NNSR program is established in part D of title I of the CAA and applies in areas that are not in attainment of the NAAQS—“nonattainment areas.” The Minor NSR program addresses construction or modification activities that do not qualify as “major” and applies regardless of the designation of the area in which a source is located. Together, these programs are referred to as the NSR programs. Section 173 of the CAA lays out the NNSR program for preconstruction review of new major sources or major modifications to existing sources, as required by CAA section 172(c)(5). The programmatic elements for NNSR include, among other things, compliance with the lowest achievable emissions rate and the requirement to obtain emissions offsets.

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of Florida's attainment plan for the Hillsborough Area?

    Consistent with CAA requirements (see, section 172), an attainment demonstration for a SO2 nonattainment area must include a showing that the area will attain the 2010 SO2 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. The demonstration must also meet the requirements of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 51.112 and Part 51, Appendix W, and include inventory data, modeling results, and emissions reduction analyses on which the state has based its projected attainment. In the case of the Hillsborough Area, 2013-2015 quality-assured and certified air quality data indicated a design value below the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. EPA is proposing that the attainment plan submitted by Florida is sufficient, and EPA is proposing to approve the plan to assure ongoing attainment.

    A. Pollutants Addressed

    Florida's SO2 attainment plan evaluates SO2 emissions for the area within the portion of Hillsborough County that is designated nonattainment for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. There are no significant precursors to consider for the SO2 attainment plan. SO2 is a pollutant that arises from direct emissions, and therefore concentrations are highest relatively close to the source(s) and much lower at greater distances due to dispersion. See SO2 Nonattainment Guidance. Thus, SO2 concentration patterns resemble those of other directly emitted pollutants like lead and differ from those of photochemically-formed (secondary) pollutants such as ozone. The two sources included in FL DEP's SIP to address the Hillsborough Area and their operations are briefly described later on in this preamble. As the Hillsborough Area includes one such major point source of SO2 and one source just outside the Area, it is expected that an attainment demonstration addressing SO2 emissions at these two sources will effectively ensure that the Area will attain by the attainment date of October 4, 2018.

    B. Emissions Inventory Requirements

    States are required under section 172(c)(3) of the CAA to develop comprehensive, accurate and current emissions inventories of all sources of the relevant pollutant or pollutants in the area. These inventories provide a detailed accounting of all emissions and emission sources by precursor or pollutant. In addition, inventories are used in air quality modeling to demonstrate that attainment of the NAAQS is as expeditious as practicable. The April 23, 2014, SO2 Nonattainment Guidance provides that the emissions inventory should be consistent with the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR) at Subpart A to 40 CFR part 51.5

    5 The AERR at Subpart A to 40 CFR part 51 cover overarching federal reporting requirements for the states to submit emissions inventories for criteria pollutants to EPA's Emissions Inventory System. The EPA uses these submittals, along with other data sources, to build the National Emissions Inventory.

    For the base year inventory of actual emissions, a “comprehensive, accurate and current,” inventory can be represented by a year that contributed to the three-year design value used for the original nonattainment designation. The final SO2 Nonattainment Guidance notes that the base year inventory should include all sources of SO2 in the nonattainment area as well as any sources located outside the nonattainment area which may affect attainment in the area. Florida elected to use 2011 as the base year. Actual emissions from all sources of SO2 in the Hillsborough Area were reviewed and compiled for the base year emissions inventory requirement. All stationary sources of SO2 emissions located in the Hillsborough Area were estimated and included in the inventory, and a source outside the Area that FL DEP determined caused or contributed to elevated SO2 concentrations within the nonattainment area was also included.

    The primary SO2-emitting point source located within the Hillsborough Area is the Mosaic fertilizer plant, which produces acids and fertilizers including sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, ammonium sulfate, diammonium phosphate, and monoammonium phosphate. Mosaic consists of three main SO2 emitters and six smaller emitters:

    • Emissions Unit (EU) 004 (Mosaic EU 004) is the No. 7 sulfuric acid plant, which burns sulfur and oxygen to form SO2, then catalytically converts the SO2 to SO3, finally absorbing the SO3 into sulfuric acid, and has a design capacity of 3,200 tons per day (tpd) of 100 percent sulfuric acid;

    • Mosaic EU 005 is the No. 8 sulfuric acid plant, which operates similar to Mosaic EU 004 and has a design capacity of 2,700 tpd of 100 percent sulfuric acid;

    • Mosaic EU 006 is the No. 9 sulfuric acid plant, which operates similar to Mosaic EU 004 and has a design capacity of 3,400 tpd of 100 percent sulfuric acid; and

    • Mosaic EUs 007, 043, 055, 066, 067, and 068 provide various services to other parts of the facility and combine for less than 1 ton per year (tpy); for more information on these miscellaneous units, see the April 3, 2015, submittal.

    The emissions at all units for the Mosaic facility were recorded using data collected from continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) and are quality-assured by FL DEP.

    The next largest SO2 source within the nonattainment area is the Ajax Paving Industries, Inc., Plant No. 6 (Ajax), which produces asphalt and recycles reclaimed asphalt. SO2 emissions from Ajax were 5.91 tons in 2011. Ajax asphalt plant consists of two main SO2 emitters:

    • Ajax EU 005 is a diesel engine and power generator for a crusher; and

    • Ajax EU 006 is the drum mix asphalt plant.

    The final SO2 source within the nonattainment area is Harsco Minerals (Harsco), which recycles minerals and byproducts from steel production. SO2 emissions from Harsco were 0.003 tons in 2011. Harsco consists of one SO2 emitter:

    • Harsco EU001 is a rotary slag dryer.

    The largest SO2 source within 25 kilometers (km) outside the Hillsborough Area is TECO, which is an electric generating facility. The TECO facility consists of four main SO2 emitters and four smaller SO2 emitters:

    • TECO EUs 001, 002, 003, and 004 are fossil fuel fired steam generators that fire coal or a coal-and-petroleum coke mixture with no more than 20 percent petroleum coke by weight, or coal blended with residual coal from the Polk Power Station and on-site generated fly ash, and which are rated at 445 MW electrical production for EUs 001-003, and 486 MW for EU 004;

    • TECO EUs 041, 042, 043, 044, provide energy via simple cycle combustion and diesel generators and combine for less than 1 tpy; for more information on these miscellaneous units, see the April 3, 2015, submittal.

    Emissions from the TECO facility were collected via CEMS or calculated. Specifically, TECO EUs 001—004, the only significant SO2 emitters at the facility, are equipped with CEMS, while the remaining units were estimated based on fuel use and actual hour of operation.

    Pursuant to Florida's SIP-approved regulations at Chapter 62-210.370, F.A.C., paragraph (3), FL DEP collects annual operating reports (AORs), incorporated by reference into the SIP at 62-210.900(5), from all major sources. These AORs were used to develop the base year inventory for actual emissions for the point sources and satisfy the AERR. FL DEP utilized EPA's 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI), Version 2 to obtain estimates of the area and nonroad sources. For onroad mobile source emissions, FL DEP utilized EPA's Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES2014). A more detailed discussion of the emissions inventory development for the Hillsborough Area can be found in Florida's April 3, 2015, submittal.

    Table 1 shows the level of emissions, expressed in tpy, in the Hillsborough Area for the 2011 base year by emissions source category. The point source category includes all sources within the nonattainment area as well as TECO, which is located outside the Hillsborough Area, but determined by FL DEP to contribute to nonattainment.

    Table 1—2011 Base Year Emissions Inventory for the Hillsborough Area [tpy] Year Point Onroad Nonroad Area Total 2011 12,145.90 1.96 8.88 2.63 12,159.37

    EPA has evaluated Florida's 2011 base year emissions inventory for the Hillsborough Area and has made the preliminary determination that this inventory was developed consistent with EPA's guidance. Therefore, pursuant to section 172(c)(3), EPA is proposing to approve Florida's 2011 base year emissions inventory for the Hillsborough Area.

    The attainment demonstration also provides for a projected attainment year inventory that includes estimated emissions for all emission sources of SO2 which are determined to impact the nonattainment area for the year in which the area is expected to attain the standard. This inventory must address any future growth in the Area. Growth means any potential increases in emissions of the pollutant for which the Hillsborough Area is nonattainment (SO2) due to the construction and operation of new major sources, major modifications to existing sources, or increased minor source activity. FL DEP included a statement in its April 3, 2015, submittal declaring that FL DEP is unaware of any plans for the growth of major sources in the Hillsborough Area, and that normal minor source growth should not significantly impact the Area. FL DEP further asserts that the NNSR program at Section 62-252.500, F.A.C., approved into the SIP and last updated on June 27, 2008 (see 73 FR 36435), would address any proposed new major sources or planned major modifications for SO2 sources. The NNSR program includes lowest achievable emissions rate, offsets, and public hearing requirements.

    FL DEP provided a 2018 projected emissions inventory for all known sources included in the 2011 base year inventory, discussed previously, that were determined to impact the Hillsborough County nonattainment area. The projected 2018 emissions in Table 2 are estimated actual emissions, representing a 49 percent reduction from the base year SO2 emissions. The point source emissions were estimated by multiplying the 2018 allowable emissions by the ratio of 2011 actual emissions to allowable emissions. Per the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, the allowable emissions limits that FL DEP is requesting EPA approve into the SIP as a control measure were modeled to show attainment. These allowable emission limits are higher than the projected actual emissions included in the future year inventory, and therefore offer greater level of certainty that the NAAQS will be protected under all operating scenarios. Emissions estimates for onroad sources were re-estimated with MOVES2014. The nonroad and area source emissions were scaled based on estimated population growth in the Hillsborough Area portion of Hillsborough County.

    Table 2—Projected 2018 SO2 Emissions Inventory for the Hillsborough Area [tpy] Year Point Onroad Nonroad Area Total 2011 12,145.90 1.96 8.88 2.63 12,159.37 2018 6,211.08 0.75 9.75 2.89 6,224.47 C. Air Quality Modeling

    The SO2 attainment demonstration provides an air quality dispersion modeling analysis to demonstrate that control strategies chosen to reduce SO2 source emissions will bring the area into attainment by the statutory attainment date of October 4, 2018. The modeling analysis, outlined in Appendix W to 40 CFR part 51 (EPA's Modeling Guidance),6 is used for the attainment demonstration to assess the control strategy for a nonattainment area and establish emission limits that will provide for attainment. The analysis requires five years of meteorological data to simulate the dispersion of pollutant plumes from multiple point, area, or volume sources across the averaging times of interest. The modeling demonstration typically also relies on maximum allowable emissions from sources in the nonattainment area. Though the actual emissions are likely to be below the allowable emissions, sources have the ability to run at higher production rates or optimize controls such that emissions approach the allowable emissions limits. A modeling analysis that provides for attainment under all scenarios of operation for each source must therefore consider the worst case scenario of both the meteorology (e.g., predominant wind directions, stagnation, etc.) and the maximum allowable emissions.

    6 40 CFR part 51 Appendix W (EPA's Guideline on Air Quality Models) (November 2005) located at http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/scram/guidance/guide/appw_05.pdf. EPA has proposed changes to Appendix W. See 80 FR 45340 (July 29, 2015).

    FL DEP's modeling analysis was developed in accordance with EPA's Modeling Guidance and the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, and was prepared using EPA's preferred dispersion modeling system, the American Meteorological Society/Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD) consisting of the AERMOD (version 14134) model and two data input preprocessors AERMET (version 14134) and AERMAP (version 11103). AERMINUTE meteorological preprocessor and AERSURFACE surface characteristics preprocessor were also used to develop inputs to AERMET. The Building Profile Input Program for Plume Rise Model Enhancements (BPIP-PRIME) was also used in the downwash-modeling. More detailed information on the AERMOD Modeling system, and other modeling tools and documents can be found on the EPA Technology Transfer Network Support Center for Regulatory Atmospheric Modeling (SCRAM) (http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/scram/) and in Florida's April 3, 2015 SIP submittal in the docket for this proposed action (EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0624) on www.regulations.gov. A brief description of the modeling used to support Florida's attainment demonstration is provided later on in this preamble.

    1. Modeling Approach

    The following is an overview of the air quality modeling approach used to demonstrate compliance with the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, as submitted in Florida's April 3, 2015, submittal. The basic procedures are outlined later on.

    i. FL DEP developed model inputs using the AERMOD modeling system and processors.

    The pre-processors AERMET and AERMINUTE were used to process five years (i.e., 2008-2012) of 1-minute meteorological data from the Tampa National Weather Service Office (NWS) at the Tampa International Airport, Tampa, Florida, surface level site, based on FL DEP's land use classifications, in combination with twice daily upper-air meteorological information from the same site. The Tampa International Airport is located approximately 20 km northwest from the Hillsborough Area. The AERMOD pre-processor AERMAP was used to generate terrain inputs for the receptors, based on a digital elevation mapping database from the National Elevation Dataset developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. FL DEP used AERSURFACE to generate direction-specific land-use surface characteristics for the modeling. The BPIP-PRIME preprocessor was used to generate direction-specific building downwash parameters. FL DEP developed a Cartesian receptor grid across the nonattainment boundary (extending up to 8.5 km away from the violating monitor), with 100 meter spacing in ambient air to ensure maximum concentrations are captured in the analysis. All other input options were also developed commensurate with the Modeling Guidance.

    Next, FL DEP selected a background SO2 concentration based on local SO2 monitoring data from monitoring station No. 12-057-0109 for the period January 2012 to December 2013. This background concentration from the nearby ambient air monitor is used to account for SO2 impacts from all sources that are not specifically included in the AERMOD modeling analysis. The data was obtained from the Florida Air Monitoring and Assessment System. This monitor is approximately 1.0 km to the southeast of Mosaic and 6.5 km north of TECO. This monitor is also the nonattainment monitor. Due to its close proximity to the Mosaic and TECO facilities, monitored concentrations at this station are strongly influenced by emissions from both facilities. As a result, the data was filtered to remove measurements where the wind direction could transport pollutants from Mosaic and TECO to the station. More specifically, the data was filtered to remove measurements where hourly wind direction was between 275° to 4° or 153° to 241°.

    ii. FL DEP performed current and post-control dispersion modeling using the EPA-approved AERMOD modeling system.

    iii. Finally, FL DEP derived the 99th percentile maximum 1-hour daily SO2 design value across the five year meteorological data period.

    EPA's SO2 nonattainment implementation guidance provides a procedure for establishing longer-term averaging times for SO2 emission limits (up to a 30-day rolling averaging time).7 In conjunction with states' CAA obligation to submit SIPs that demonstrate attainment, EPA believes that air agencies that consider longer term average times for a SIP emission limit should provide additional justification for the application of such limits. This justification involves determining the “critical emission value” 8 or the 1-hour emission limit that modeling found to provide for attainment and adjusting this rate downward to obtain a comparable stringency to the modeled 1-hour average emission limit. A comparison of the 1-hour limit and the proposed longer term limit, in particular an assessment of whether the longer term average limit may be considered to be of comparable stringency to a 1-hour limit at the critical emission value, is critical for demonstrating that any longer term average limits in the SIP will help provide adequate assurance that the plan will provide for attainment and maintenance of the 1-hour NAAQS. This allows states to develop control strategies that account for variability in 1-hour emissions rates through emission limits with averaging times that are longer than 1 hour, using averaging times as long as 30 days, and still demonstrate attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    7 FL DEP is following the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance on procedures for establishing emissions limits with averaging periods longer than 1 hour.

    8 The hourly emission rate that the model predicts would result in the 5-year average of the annual 99th percentile of daily maximum hourly SO2 concentrations at the level of the NAAQS.

    EPA's recommended procedure for determining longer term averaging times, including calculating the adjustment factor between the 1-hour critical emission value and the equivalent 30-day rolling average emissions limit, are provided in Appendices B and C of the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance. EPA is proposing to conclude that FL DEP completed this analysis for both Mosaic and TECO facilities to derive a SIP emission limit with a block 24-hour longer-term averaging time and a rolling 30-day longer-term averaging time, respectively, that are comparatively stringent to the 1-hour limit. For more details, see Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submittal and accompanying appendices.

    2. Modeling Results

    The SO2 NAAQS compliance results of the attainment modeling are summarized in Table 3. Table 3 presents the results from six sets of AERMOD modeling runs that were performed. The six modeling runs were the result of using an uncontrolled, or pre-modification, run and five different controlled, or post-modification, scenarios to account for the proposed control strategy that involves a two-unit and three-unit emissions cap at Mosaic, in addition to individual emissions caps. Maximum allowable permitted emissions limits were used for the Hillsborough Area modeling demonstration. These emissions limits and other control measures were established in construction permits issued by FL DEP, to be incorporated in title V operating permits upon renewal. FL DEP is requesting that these emissions limits and operating conditions, detailed in Section IV.D. of this proposed rulemaking, be adopted into the SIP to become federally enforceable upon approval of the nonattainment plan, prior to the renewal of the title V operating permits for both the Mosaic and TECO facilities. The five post-control runs help to identify the worst possible scenario of emissions distributions between the three units EUs 004-006, the sulfuric acid plants at the Mosaic facility. Under one modeling scenario, an emissions cap of 600 pounds per hour (lb/hr) SO2 for Mosaic EUs 004-006 is evaluated based on the highest possible impact based on catalyst limitations and maximum sulfuric acid production. This overall cap was then scaled as a 24-hour limit, maintaining comparative stringency with the 1-hour limit (577.8 lb/hr). FL DEP rounded down the limit for an additional buffer from the maximum impact, resulting in a 24-hour limit of 575 lb/hr, which compares to a 1-hour limit of 597 lb/hr. This three-unit emissions cap was then modeled in several configurations to mimic variability in emissions possible under this scenario, apportioning emissions based on each unit emitting at their current individual emissions limit with the remainder of the cap distributed to the other units based on their relative production capacities. The highest impact is presented as the three-unit emissions cap scenario. FL DEP also evaluated a two-unit emissions caps, assuming at any time that two units are operating. The six possible two-unit operating scenarios were evaluated by each unit operating at its current individual emission limit, while the remainder of the 597 lb/hr limit is distributed to the one remaining operating unit. Again, the highest possible impact is presented as the two-unit operating scenario. For the three remaining scenarios, each sulfuric acid plant is assumed to operate alone at its individual emissions cap.

    The modeling utilized five years (2008-2012) of meteorological data from the NWS site in Tampa, Florida, as processed through AERMET, AERMINTE and AERSURFACE. This procedure was used since this site represented the nearest site with complete data.

    Table 3 shows that the maximum 1-hour average across all five years of meteorological data (2008-2012) is less than or equal to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS of 75 ppb for the five post-control AERMOD modeling runs. For more details, see Florida's April 3, 2015 SIP submittal.

    Table 3—Maximum Modeled SO2 Impacts in the Hillsborough Area, Micrograms per Cubic Meter (ppb) Model scenario Averaging time Maximum predicted impact Mosaic TECO Background Total SO2 NAAQS Pre-modification 1-hour 425.50 (162.4) 0.82 (0.31) 20.40 (7.8) 446.72 (170.5) Three-unit 1-hour 118.90 (45.4) 55.90 (21.3) 21.44 (8.2) 196.24 (74.9) Two-unit 1-hour 123.59 (47.2) 52.22 (19.9) 18.83 (7.2) 194.65 (74.3) 196.4 (75) EU 004 only 1-hour 0.33 (0.12) 170.84 (65.2) 17.26 (6.6) 188.43 (71.9) EU 005 only 1-hour 0.25 (0.10) 170.84 (65.2) 17.26 (6.6) 188.35 (71.9) EU 006 only 1-hour 0.33 (0.12) 170.84 (65.2) 17.26 (6.6) 188.43 (71.9)

    The pre-control analysis resulted in a predicted impact of 170.5 ppb. The post-control analysis resulted in a worst-case predicted impact of 74.9 ppb. EPA is preliminarily determining that this data indicates sufficient reductions in air quality impact with the future implementation of the post-construction control plan for the Mosaic and TECO facilities. Furthermore, EPA is preliminarily concluding that this data also supports FL DEP's analysis that the controls for Mosaic represent RACM and RACT for the SIP. The control strategy for Mosaic, as reflected in its construction Air Permit No. 0570008-080-AC, includes eliminating fuel oil except during periods of natural gas curtailment or disruption; changing the catalyst used to convert SO2 to SO3 for improved performance; increasing stack heights for all three sulfuric acid plants from 150 feet (ft) to at least 213.25 ft; and restricting the collective SO2 emissions to 550 lb/hr under two-unit operating scenarios, and 575 lb/hr under three-unit operating scenarios. The result of increasing a stack height is that the plume has a better opportunity for greater dispersion across an area, minimizing stagnation and local impacts from higher concentrations, primarily due to the avoidance of building downwash effects.9 Mosaic's allowable SO2 emissions (total from all three controlled units) will be reduced from 1,140 lb/hr (based on total individual unit emission limits) to a maximum of 575 lb/hr, representing at least a 49 percent allowable emissions decrease. The State will issue a revised title V permit to incorporate the Mosaic construction permit, and meanwhile is proposing the stack height increases and emission limits and operating scenarios related to those various limits be adopted into the SIP for immediate effectiveness authorizing Mosaic to operate in accordance with those conditions.

    9 See EPA's June 1985 guidance document, “Guideline for Determination of Good Engineering Practice Stack Height (Technical Support Document For the Stack Height Regulations),” which can be found at: http://www3.epa.gov/scram001/guidance/guide/gep.pdf.

    The control strategy for TECO, as reflected in its construction Air Permit No. 0570039-074-AC, includes the following operational changes to the four largest SO2-emitting units: Switching fuel oil to natural gas during startup, shutdown and flame stabilization at all four fossil fuel fired steam generators; and a combined emission limit from all four units of 3,162 lb/hr, to become effective no later than June 1, 2016. Florida will incorporate the operational change for TECO into its title V permit upon renewal. TECO's new combined allowable SO2 emissions from TECO EUs 001-004 will be reduced from 6587.6 lb/hr (based on total individual unit emission limits) 10 to 3,162 lb/hr representing a 52 percent allowable emissions decrease. The modeling results included in Table 3 prove that TECO should be included in the considerations of controls because with several post-control modeling scenarios, TECO would contribute to over 90 percent of the total impact to the Hillsborough Area, and in the worst possible post-control modeling scenario, 28 percent of the total predicted impact on the Hillsborough Area would stem from TECO. Therefore, if no controls were implemented at TECO, the Area would not likely attain and maintain the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. The collective emission limit and related compliance parameters have been proposed for incorporation into the SIP to make these changes federally enforceable. More details on the pre- and post-construction operations at the facilities are included in Florida's SIP submission. FL DEP asserts that the proposed control strategy significantly lowers the modeled SO2 impacts from the TECO facility and is sufficient for the Hillsborough Area to attain 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    10 The individual emission limits were included in the April 3, 2015, submittal.

    EPA has reviewed the modeling that Florida submitted to support the attainment demonstration for the Hillsborough Area and has preliminarily determined that this modeling is consistent with CAA requirements, Appendix W and EPA's guidance for SO2 attainment demonstration modeling.

    D. RACM/RACT

    CAA section 172(c)(1) requires that each attainment plan provide for the implementation of all reasonably available control measures as expeditiously as practicable and attainment of the NAAQS. EPA interprets RACM, including RACT, under section 172, as measures that a state determines to be both reasonably available and contribute to attainment as expeditiously as practicable “for existing sources in the area.”

    Florida's analysis is found in Section 3 of the FL DEP attainment demonstration within the April 3, 2015, SIP submittal. The State determined that controls for SO2 emissions at Mosaic are appropriate in the Hillsborough Area for purposes of attaining the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. CAA section 172(c)(1) says that the plan shall provide for RACM, including RACT for “existing sources in the area.” Accordingly, Florida only completed a RACM/RACT analysis for Mosaic, since it is the only significant point source within the boundaries of the nonattainment area. The Ajax and Harsco sources resulted in less than 6 tpy between them. FL DEP included TECO in its attainment and impact modeling because of the source's proximity to the Hillsborough Area (within 5 km) and its likelihood of contributing to violations of the SO2 NAAQS within the area. In a modeling-based attainment demonstration, the means of considering impacts of sources outside the nonattainment area would depend on whether the sources cause significant concentration gradients. Florida proposed a control strategy for the TECO facility, but does not assert that those controls constitute “the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility” 11 because section 172(c)(1) provides for the implementation of RACT for existing sources in the area. However, an analysis of attainment needs to consider all potential sources, both inside and outside the nonattainment area that could reasonably cause or contribute to violations of the NAAQS within the area. FL DEP affirms the implementation of controls at TECO significantly lowers the modeled SO2 impact from the facility and is sufficient to attain 2010 SO2 NAAQS in the Hillsborough Area. The control measures at both sources are summarized later on in this preamble.

    11 Strelow, Roger. “Guidance for Determining the Acceptability of SIP Regulations in Non-Attainment Areas.” Memo to Regional Administrators. Office of Air and Waste Management, Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, DC December 9, 1976. Located at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/aqmguide/collection/cp2/19761209_strelow_ract.pdf.

    On January 15, 2015, FL DEP issued construction Air Permit No. 0570008-080-AC to Mosaic for additional proposed control measures to reduce SO2 emissions. The specified limits and conditions from this construction permit, which will be adopted into the title V operating permit upon renewal, reflecting RACT controls, are included in the April 3, 2015, SIP submittal for incorporation into the SIP. The title V permit renewal is currently under review at the State, and is expected to be final by the end of calendar year 2016. The SO2 Nonattainment Guidance discusses an anticipated control compliance date of January 1, 2017. Areas that implement attainment plan control strategies by this date are expected to be able to show a year of quality-assured air monitoring data showing attainment of the NAAQS and a year of compliance information, which when modeled, would also show attainment of the NAAQS. In accordance with the schedule in the construction permit, Mosaic is required to implement emissions limits by December 15, 2016, complete final increased stack height construction and catalyst changes by November 2017, and the elimination of fuel oil by January 1, 2018. This date, though later than the date suggested in the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, provides for 9 months of compliance information by the October 4, 2018 attainment date, including a semiannual compliance report in July 2018. Finally, the Hillsborough Area is currently showing an attaining design value for 2013-2015, which means that attainment of the NAAQS is as expeditious as practicable. FL DEP included in its SIP the required RACT controls listed in the permit and summarized in Table 4:

    Table 4—Summary of RACT Controls for Mosaic12 Description of measure Explanation Mosaic EUs 004-006: The sulfuric acid plants undergo construction and operational changes to: Increase stack heights; change catalysts for sulfuric acid production; and meet two-unit and three-unit enforceable emission limits Mosaic was authorized to construct at current stacks for each sulfuric acid plant, increasing the stack height from the existing level of 150 ft to at least 213.25 ft.
  • Mosaic was authorized to change catalysts and system augmentation to ensure compliance with new emission limits.
  • Mosaic has new emission limitations, lowering the allowable SO2 from all three sulfuric acid plants collectively from 1140 lb/hr to a maximum of 575 lb/hr as a block 24-hour average.13 These emission limits cover various operating scenarios, including individual unit emissions limits, which remain unchanged from the current permit, along with two-unit and three-unit total limits. All emission limits will be incorporated into the title V operating permit upon renewal and are proposed for incorporation into the SIP.
  • Plantwide: Mosaic is required to eliminate fuel oil use By January 1, 2018, Mosaic will not be authorized to use fuel oil, except during periods of natural gas curtailment or disruption. This condition is included in the construction permit.

    On February 26, 2015, construction Air Permit No. 0570039-074-AC was issued to TECO for additional proposed control measures to reduce SO2 emissions. The specified limits and conditions from this construction permit are to be adopted into the title V operating permit upon renewal, and are intended to supplement the RACT adopted for Mosaic in the Hillsborough Area to help with attainment and maintenance of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. These controls are included in the April 3, 2015, SIP submittal for incorporation into the SIP. TECO is required to implement the controls on or before June 1, 2016. The construction is complete and the emission limit is currently in effect. The title V permit renewal is under review at the State currently, and is expected to be final by the end of calendar year 2016. Therefore, the additional control strategy for TECO is in effect. The supplemental control measures at TECO are summarized in Table 4:

    12 The information was pulled from the April 3, 2015 submittal, in which the original construction permit is included. None of these changes authorize an increased production rate at the facility.

    13 See previous discussion on longer-term emission limits. For more information, see the April 3, 2015 submittal.

    Table 4—Summary of Supplemental Control Measures for TECO Description of measure Explanation TECO EUs 001-004 14: The fossil fuel fired steam generators undergo an operational change to meet a collective enforceable emission limit By June 1, 2016, TECO will comply with a 3,162 lb/hr SO2 emission limitation as a 30-day rolling average. This collective limit, or cap, will be incorporated into the title V operating permit upon scheduled renewal and is proposed for incorporation into the SIP.

    EPA is proposing to approve Florida's determination that the proposed controls for SO2 emissions at Mosaic constitute RACM/RACT for that source in the Hillsborough Area based on the analysis described previously. Additionally, EPA proposes to approve Florida's determination that the supplemental control measures initiated at TECO help to bring the area into attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. Further, EPA determines that no further controls would be required at Mosaic, and that the proposed controls are sufficient for RACM/RACT purposes for the Hillsborough Area at this time. EPA, therefore, proposes to approve Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submission as meeting the RACM/RACT requirements of the CAA.

    14 Additional controls not requested for incorporation into the SIP for TECO EUs 001-004 include the elimination of fuel oil usage as of 180 days prior to June 1, 2016.

    Based on FL DEPs modeling demonstration, the Hillsborough Area is projected to begin showing attaining monitoring values for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS by the 2018 attainment date. As noted previously, some of the control measures will not be in place a full year prior to the attainment date as recommended in the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance; a recommendation intended to provide data to evaluate the effect of the control strategy on air quality. Because the Area is currently attaining the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, EPA proposes to find that the full control strategy will be in place for an adequate time prior to the attainment date to ensure attainment of the NAAQS. In addition, by approving the RACM/RACT for Mosaic, and the supplemental controls for TECO, for the purposes of Florida's attainment planning, the control measures outlined in Tables 3 and 4 will become permanent and enforceable SIP measures to meet the requirements of the CAA.

    E. RFP Plan

    Section 172(c)(2) of the CAA requires that an attainment plan includes a demonstration that shows reasonable further progress for meeting air quality standards will be achieved through generally linear incremental improvement in air quality. Section 171(1) of the Act defines RFP as “such annual incremental reductions in emissions of the relevant air pollutant as are required by this part (part D) or may reasonably be required by EPA for the purpose of ensuring attainment of the applicable NAAQS by the applicable attainment date.” As stated originally in the 1994 SO2 Guideline Document 15 and repeated in the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, EPA continues to believe that this definition is most appropriate for pollutants that are emitted from numerous and diverse sources, where the relationship between particular sources and ambient air quality are not directly quantified. In such cases, emissions reductions may be required from various types and locations of sources. The relationship between SO2 and sources is much more defined, and usually there is a single step between pre-control nonattainment and post-control attainment. Therefore, EPA interpreted RFP for SO2 as adherence to an ambitious compliance schedule in both the 1994 SO2 Guideline Document and the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance. The control measures for attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS included in the State's submittal have been modeled to achieve attainment of the NAAQS. The permits and the adoption of specific emissions limits and compliance parameters require these control measures and resulting emissions reductions to be achieved as expeditiously as practicable. As a result of an ambitious compliance schedule, projected to yield a sufficient reduction in SO2 emissions from the Mosaic and TECO facilities, and resulting in modeled attainment of the SO2 NAAQS, EPA has preliminarily determined that FL DEP's SO2 attainment plan for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS fulfills the RFP requirements for the Hillsborough Area. Currently, the monitored SO2 design value for the Hillsborough Area is below the NAAQS, and because of the modeled attainment with the selected control strategies, EPA does not anticipate future nonattainment, or that the Area will not meet the statutory October 4, 2018, attainment date. EPA therefore proposes to approve Florida's attainment plan with respect to the RFP requirements.

    15 SO2 Guideline Document, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27711, EPA-452/R-94-008, February 1994. Located at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t1pgm.html.

    F. Contingency Measures

    In accordance with section 172(c)(9) of the CAA, contingency measures are required as additional measures to be implemented in the event that an area fails to meet the RFP requirements or fails to attain a standard by its attainment date. These measures must be fully adopted rules or control measures that can be implemented quickly and without additional EPA or state action if the area fails to meet RFP requirements or fails to meet its attainment date and should contain trigger mechanisms and an implementation schedule. However, SO2 presents special considerations. As stated in the final 2010 SO2 NAAQS promulgation on June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35520) and in the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, EPA concluded that because of the quantifiable relationship between SO2 sources and control measures, it is appropriate that state agencies develop a “comprehensive program to identify sources of violations of the SO2 NAAQS and undertake an aggressive follow-up for compliance and enforcement.”

    Based on all the control measures that are planned for Mosaic and completed for TECO, FL DEP believes that the 2010 SO2 NAAQS can be achieved on a consistent basis. However, if a fourth exceedance of the SO2 NAAQS occurs during any calendar year, or upon a determination that the Hillsborough Area has failed to attain the NAAQS by the attainment date, Mosaic and TECO will immediately undertake full system audits of controlled SO2 emissions. Within 10 days, each source will independently submit a report to FL DEP summarizing all operating parameters for four 10-day periods up to and including the dates of the exceedances. These sources are required to deploy provisional SO2 emission control strategies within this 10-day period and include “evidence that these control strategies have been deployed, as appropriate” in the report to FL DEP. FL DEP will then begin a 30-day evaluation of these reports to determine the cause of the exceedances, followed by a 30-day consultation period with the sources to develop and implement appropriate operational changes necessary to prevent any future violation of the NAAQS. Explicit measures addressed in Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submittal are:

    • Fuel switching to reduce or eliminate the use of sulfur-containing fuels; and/or

    • physical or operational reduction of production capacity.

    Florida may consider other options for additional controls if these measures are not deemed to be the most appropriate to address air quality issues in the Area.

    If a permit modification might be required to conform to applicable air quality standards, Florida will make use of the State's authority in Rule 62-4.080 to require permittees to comply with new or additional conditions. This authority would allow Florida to work directly with the source(s) expeditiously to make changes to permits. Subsequently, Florida would submit any relevant permit change to EPA as a source-specific SIP revision to make the change permanent and enforceable. EPA notes that a contingency measure involving a revised permit or source-specific SIP revision as an acceptable additional step, but according to CAA section 172(c)(9), a measure requiring further action by FL DEP or EPA (e.g., necessitating a revised permit and SIP revision) could not serve as the primary contingency measure.

    EPA is proposing to find that Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submittal includes a comprehensive program to expeditiously identify the source of any violation of the SO2 NAAQS and for aggressive follow-up. Therefore, EPA proposes that the contingency measures submitted by Florida follow the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance and meet the section 172(c)(9). EPA notes that Florida has further committed to pursue additional actions that may require a SIP revision if needed to address the exceedances.

    G. Attainment Date

    Florida's modeling indicates that the Hillsborough Area will begin attaining the 2010 SO2 NAAQS by January 1, 2018, once the control strategy is completely implemented. This modeling does not provide for an attaining three-year design value by the proposed attainment date of October 4, 2018. However, expeditious implementation of the additional controls for the TECO source, combined with the actual emissions and implementation of scheduled RACM/RACT for the Mosaic source, has already provided for an attaining design value of 66 ppb considering 2013-2015 data, and exhibited improved data in the years leading up to 2015.16 The recent design value is well under the NAAQS, and the ongoing compliance schedule for Mosaic control measures will help to assure that the area maintains the NAAQS in the future. Therefore, the area has attained the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, and is expected to continue to attain the NAAQS by the attainment date.

    16 The most recent quality-assured design values for each NAAQS are publicly available at https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values.

    V. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve Florida's SO2 attainment plan for the Hillsborough Area. EPA has preliminarily determined that the SIP meets the applicable requirements of the CAA. Specifically, EPA is proposing to approve Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submission, which includes the base year emissions inventory, a modeling demonstration of SO2 attainment, an analysis of RACM/RACT, a RFP plan, and contingency measures for the Hillsborough Area. Additionally, EPA is proposing to approve into the Florida SIP specific SO2 emission limits and compliance parameters established for the two SO2 point sources impacting the Hillsborough Area.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 15, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20118 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0335; FRL-9951-13-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Adoption of Control Techniques Guidelines for Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia). These revisions include amendments to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's (VADEQ) regulations and address the requirement to adopt Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for sources covered by EPA's Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) standards for the following categories: Offset lithographic printing and letterpress printing, industrial solvent cleaning operations, miscellaneous industrial adhesives, and miscellaneous metal and plastic parts coatings. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0335 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:

    On February 1, 2016, Virginia, through the VADEQ, submitted three revisions to the Virginia SIP concerning the adoption of EPA CTGs for offset lithographic printing and letterpress printing, industrial solvent cleaning operations, miscellaneous industrial adhesives, and miscellaneous metal and plastic parts coatings sources in the specific portion of Virginia known as the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area.

    I. Background

    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. Section 172(c)(1) of the CAA provides that SIPs for nonattainment areas must include reasonably available control measures (RACM), including RACT, for sources of emissions.1 However, 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)(1)(B) of the CAA, all areas in the OTR must implement RACT with respect to sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the state covered by a CTG issued before or after November 15, 1990. In addition, pursuant to CAA section 184(b)(2), stationary sources in states or portions of a state within the OTR that emit at least 50 tons per year of VOCs shall be considered major stationary sources subject to requirements applicable to major stationary sources if the area were classified as a Moderate nonattainment area including requirements for CTGs and RACT.

    1 EPA defines RACT as “the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility.” 44 FR 53761 (September 17, 1979).

    Thus, Virginia must implement for its SIP RACT with respect to sources of VOCs covered by CTGs in the northern portion of Virginia that is part of the Metropolitan Statistical Area of the District Columbia and within the OTR (which Virginia refers to as the “Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area”).2 CAA section 184(b)(1)(B) and (2).

    2 The northern portion of Virginia is defined as the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area in 9VAC5-20-206 (General Provisions).

    CTGs are documents issued by EPA intended to provide state and local air pollution control authorities information to assist them in determining RACT for VOC from various sources. Section 183(e)(3)(c) provides that EPA may issue a CTG in lieu of a national regulation as RACT for a product category where EPA determines that the CTG will be substantially as effective as regulations in reducing emissions of VOC in ozone nonattainment areas. The recommendations in the CTG are based upon available data and information and may not apply to a particular situation based upon the circumstances. States can follow the CTG and adopt state regulations to implement the recommendations contained therein, or they can adopt alternative approaches. In either case, states must submit their RACT rules to EPA for review and approval as part of the SIP process.

    In 1993, EPA published a draft CTG for offset lithographic printing (58 FR 59261). After reviewing comments on the draft CTG and soliciting additional information to help clarify those comments, EPA published an alternative control techniques (ACT) document in June 1994 that provided supplemental information for states to use in developing rules based on RACT for offset lithographic printing. In 1994, EPA developed an ACT document for industrial cleaning solvents. No previous EPA actions have been taken regarding miscellaneous industrial adhesives application operations. In 1978, EPA published a CTG for miscellaneous metal parts and products and in 1994 EPA published an ACT for the coating of automotive/transportation and business machine plastic parts surface coatings. After reviewing the 1978 and 1993 CTGs and 1994 ACTs for these industries, conducting a review of currently existing state and local VOC emission reduction approaches for these industries, and taking into account any information that has become available since then, EPA developed new CTGs entitled Control Techniques Guidelines for Offset Lithographic and Letterpress Printing (Publication No. EPA 453/R-06-002; September 2006); Control Techniques Guidelines for Industrial Cleaning Solvents (Publication No. EPA 453/R-06-001; September 2006); Control Techniques Guidelines for Miscellaneous Industrial Adhesives (Publication No. EPA 453/R-08-005; September 2008); and Control Techniques Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings (Publication No. EPA 453/R-08-003; September 2008). The CTG recommendations may not apply to a particular situation based upon the circumstances of a specific source. Regardless of whether a state chooses to implement the recommendations contained within the CTGs through state rules, or to issue state rules that adopt different approaches for RACT for VOCs, states must submit their RACT rules to EPA for review and approval as part of the SIP process.

    II. Summary of SIP Revisions and EPA Analysis

    On February 1, 2016, Virginia, through the VADEQ, submitted three revisions to the Virginia SIP concerning the adoption of the EPA CTGs for offset lithographic printing and letterpress printing, industrial solvent cleaning operations, miscellaneous industrial adhesives, and miscellaneous metal and plastic parts coatings in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area. These regulations are contained in the following Articles in regulation 9VAC5 Chapter 40, Existing Stationary Sources: Article 56, Emission Standards for Letterpress Printing Operations in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area, 8-Hour Ozone Standard; Article 56.1, Emission Standards for Offset Lithographic Printing Operations in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area, 8-Hour Ozone Standard; Article 57, Emission Standards for Industrial Solvent Cleaning Operations in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area, 8-Hour Ozone Standard; Article 58, Emission Standards for Miscellaneous Industrial Adhesive Application Processes in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area, 8-Hour Ozone Standard; and Article 59, Emission Standards for Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products Coating Application Systems in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area, 8-Hour Ozone Standard. These regulations: (1) Establish applicability for offset lithographic printing and letterpress printing, industrial cleaning solvent operations, miscellaneous industrial adhesives, and miscellaneous metal and plastic parts coatings at facilities; (2) establish exemptions; (3) establish emission limitations and work practice requirements; and (4) establish monitoring, notification, record-keeping and reporting requirements.

    The SIP revisions also amend regulations 9VAC5 Chapter 40, Existing Stationary Sources, Article 34 and Article 53. In regulation 9VAC5 Chapter 40, Article 34, Emission Standards for Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products Coating Application Systems, section 4760, was amended to exempt VOC sources in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area from its provisions. See 9VAC5-40-4760. On and after February 1, 2017, these sources are subject to Article 59, Emission Standards for Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products Coating Application Systems in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area, 8-Hour Ozone Standard. Regulation 9VAC5 Chapter 40, Article 53, Emission Standards for Lithographic Printing Processes, section 7800, was amended to exempt offset lithographic printing processes from its provisions and refers applicable facilities to the provisions in Article 56.1, Emission Standards for Offset Lithographic Printing Operations in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area, 8-Hour Ozone Standard. See 9VAC5-40-7800. Virginia has also amended supporting definitions in 9VAC5, Chapter 20, General Provisions which relate to the new CTG standards.

    EPA's review of the new and revised regulations submitted by VADEQ finds that the submitted revisions of regulation 9VAC5, Chapter 40, Existing Stationary Sources, and 9VAC5, Chapter 20, General Provisions, address the requirements to adopt RACT for sources located in Virginia covered by EPA's CTG recommendations for control of VOC emissions in accordance with CAA section 184(b)(1)(B) and (2) for the following categories: Offset lithographic printing and letterpress printing, industrial cleaning solvent operations, miscellaneous industrial adhesives, and miscellaneous metal and plastic parts coatings. EPA also finds the Virginia regulations, which adopt the equivalent of the specific EPA CTG recommendations, address CAA requirements for RACT in sections 172 and 182 as referenced by section 184. More detailed information on these provisions as well as a detailed summary of EPA's review and rationale for proposing to approve these SIP revisions can be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD) for this action which is available on line at www.regulations.gov, Docket number EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0335.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the Virginia SIP revisions submitted on February 1, 2016, which consist of amendments to regulation 9VAC5 Chapter 40, Existing Stationary Sources and 9VAC5 Chapter 20, General Provisions, and address the requirement to adopt RACT for sources located in the Northern Virginia VOC Emissions Control Area covered by EPA's CTG standards in accordance with CAA requirements in sections 172, 182 and 184 for the following categories: Offset lithographic printing and letterpress printing, industrial cleaning solvent operations, miscellaneous industrial adhesives, and miscellaneous metal and plastic parts coatings. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    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 Sec. 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 proposed rulemaking action, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule, regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the VADEQ regulations regarding control of VOC emissions from offset lithographic printing and letterpress printing, industrial solvent cleaning operations, miscellaneous industrial adhesives, and miscellaneous metal and plastic parts coatings in the Northern Virginia Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Control Area as described in section II of this proposed action. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through http://www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region III Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the 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 proposed action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land 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 RACT rules for sources in northern Virginia in this action do 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).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 10, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20143 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0418; FRL-9950-93-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Minor New Source Review—Nonroad Engines AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted on June 17, 2014 pertaining to preconstruction permitting requirements under Virginia's minor New Source Review (NSR) program. In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, 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 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2016-0418 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Talley, (215) 814-2117, 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.

    Dated: August 8, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19878 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0523; FRL-9950-83-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Indiana; Shipbuilding Antifoulant Coatings AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve, as a revision to the Indiana State Implementation Plan (SIP), a submittal by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management dated July 17, 2015. The submittal contains a new volatile organic compound limit for antifoulant coatings used in shipbuilding and ship repair facilities located in Clark, Floyd, Lake, and Porter counties. The submittal also includes a demonstration that this revision satisfies the anti-backsliding provisions of the Clean Air Act. The submittal additionally removes obsolete dates and clarifies a citation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0523 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, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, 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:

    Eric Svingen, Environmental Engineer, Attainment Planning and Maintenance Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-4489, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: August 5, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20011 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0075; FRL-9950-85-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Wisconsin; Kenosha County, 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Reasonable Further Progress Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve an Early Progress Plan and motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) for volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen for Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Wisconsin submitted an Early Progress Plan for Kenosha County on January 16, 2015. This submittal was developed to establish MVEBs for the Kenosha 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. This approval of the Early Progress Plan for the Kenosha 2008 8-Hour ozone nonattainment area is based on EPA's determination that Wisconsin has demonstrated that the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision containing these MVEBs, when considered with the emissions from all sources, shows some progress toward attainment from the 2011 base year through a 2015 target year.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0075 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, EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, 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:

    Michael Leslie, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-6680, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: August 5, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20008 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0623; FRL-9951-32-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; FL: Nassau Area; SO2 Attainment Demonstration AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision, submitted by the State of Florida through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP), to EPA on April 3, 2015, for the purpose of providing for attainment of the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in the Nassau County SO2 nonattainment area (hereafter referred to as the “Nassau Area” or “Area”). The Nassau Area is comprised of a portion of Nassau County in Florida surrounding the Rayonier Performance Fibers, LLC sulfite pulp mill (hereafter referred to as “Rayonier”). The attainment plan includes the base year emissions inventory, an analysis of the reasonably available control technology (RACT) and reasonably available control measures (RACM), a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, a modeling demonstration of SO2 attainment, and contingency measures for the Nassau Area. As a part of approving the attainment demonstration, EPA is also proposing to approve into the Florida SIP the SO2 emissions limits and associated compliance parameters. This action is being taken in accordance with Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and EPA's guidance related to SO2 attainment planning.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0623 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    D. Brad Akers, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Akers can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected] or via telephone at (404)562-9089.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. What action is EPA proposing to take? II. What is the background for EPA's proposed action? III. What is included in Florida's attainment plan for the Nassau Area? IV. What is EPA's analysis of Florida's attainment plan for the Nassau Area? A. Pollutants Addressed B. Emissions Inventory Requirements C. Air Quality Modeling D. RACM/RACT E. RFP Plan F. Contingency Measures G. Attainment Date V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action is EPA proposing to take?

    EPA is proposing to approve Florida's SIP revision for the Nassau Area, as submitted through FL DEP to EPA on April 3, 2015, for the purpose of demonstrating attainment of the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. Specifically, EPA is proposing to approve the base year emissions inventory, a modeling demonstration of SO2 attainment, an analysis of RACM/RACT, a RFP plan, and contingency measures for the Nassau Area. Additionally, EPA is proposing to approve specific SO2 emission limits and compliance parameters established for the two SO2 sources impacting the Nassau Area into the Florida SIP.

    EPA has preliminarily determined that Florida's SO2 attainment plan for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS for Nassau County meets the applicable requirements of the CAA and EPA's SO2 Nonattainment Guidance.1 Moreover, the Nassau Area is currently showing a design value below the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, having implemented most of the control measures included in the SIP submittal. Thus, EPA is proposing to approve Florida's attainment plan for the Nassau Area as submitted on April 3, 2015. EPA's analysis for this proposed action is discussed in Section IV of this proposed rulemaking.

    1 EPA's April 23, 2014 memorandum entitled “Guidance for the 1-Hour SO2 Nonattainment Area SIP Submissions,” hereafter referred to as the “SO2 Nonattainment Guidance.”

    II. What is the background for EPA's proposed action?

    On June 2, 2010, the EPA Administrator signed a final rule establishing a new SO2 NAAQS as a 1-hour standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb), based on a 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. See 75 FR 35520 (June 22, 2010). This action also revoked the existing 1971 annual standard and 24-hour standards, subject to certain conditions.2 EPA established the NAAQS based on significant evidence and numerous health studies demonstrating that serious health effects are associated with short-term exposures to SO2 emissions ranging from 5 minutes to 24 hours with an array of adverse respiratory effects including narrowing of the airways which can cause difficulty breathing (bronchoconstriction) and increased asthma symptoms. For more information regarding the health impacts of SO2, please refer to the June 22, 2010 final rulemaking. See 75 FR 35520. Following promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, EPA is required by the CAA to designate areas throughout the United States as attaining or not attaining the NAAQS; this designation process is described in section 107(d)(1) of the CAA. On August 5, 2013, EPA promulgated initial air quality designations of 29 areas for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS (78 FR 47191), which became effective on October 4, 2013, based on violating air quality monitoring data for calendar years 2009-2011, where there was sufficient data to support a nonattainment designation.3

    2 EPA's June 22, 2010 final action revoked the two 1971 primary 24-hour standard of 140 ppb and the annual standard of 30 ppb because they were determined not to add additional public health protection given a 1-hour standard at 75 ppb. See 75 FR 35520. However, the secondary 3-hour SO2 standard was retained. Currently, the 24-hour and annual standards are only revoked for those areas the EPA has already designated for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS in August 2013 and June 30, 2016, including the Nassau Area. See 40 CFR 50.4(e).

    3 EPA is continuing its designation efforts for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Pursuant to a court-ordered consent decree finalized March 2, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, EPA must complete the remaining designations for the rest of the country on a schedule that contains three specific deadlines. By July 2, 2016, EPA must designate areas specified in the March 2, 2015 consent decree based on specific emission criteria. Sierra Club, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, 13-cv-03953-SI (2015). The last two deadlines for completing designations, December 2017 and December 2020 are expected to be informed by information required pursuant the “Data Requirements Rule for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS); Final Rule,” or “Data Requirements Rule.” See 80 FR 51052 (August 21, 2015). http://www.epa.gov/airquality/sulfurdioxide/designations/pdfs/201503Schedule.pdf. On June 30, 2016, EPA designated a total of 61 areas for the 2010- 1-hour SO2 standard as part of the 2nd round of designations pursuant to the March 2, 2015 consent decree. See 81 FR 45039.

    Effective on October 4, 2013, the Nassau Area was designated as nonattainment for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS for an area that encompasses the primary SO2 emitting source Rayonier sulfite pulp mill and the nearby SO2 monitor (Air Quality Site ID: 12-089-0005). The October 4, 2013, final designation triggered a requirement for Florida to submit a SIP revision with a plan for how the Area would attain the 2010 SO2 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than October 4, 2018, in accordance with CAA section 172(b).

    The required components of a nonattainment plan submittal are listed in section 172(c) of part D of the CAA. The base year emissions inventory (section 172(c)(3)) is required to show a “comprehensive, accurate, current inventory” of all relevant pollutants in the nonattainment area. The nonattainment plan must identify and quantify any expected emissions from the construction of new sources to account for emissions in the area that might affect RFP toward attainment, or with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS, and provide for a nonattainment new source review (NNSR) program (section 172(c)(5)). The attainment demonstration must include a modeling analysis showing that the enforceable emissions limitations and other control measures taken by the state will provide for expeditious attainment of the NAAQS (section 172(c)). The nonattainment plan must include an analysis of the RACM considered, including RACT (section 172(c)(1)). RFP for the nonattainment area must be addressed in the submittal. Finally, the nonattainment plan must provide for contingency measures (section 172(c)(9)) to be implemented in the case that RFP toward attainment is not made, or the area fails to attain the NAAQS by the attainment date.

    III. What is included in Florida's attainment plan for the Nassau Area?

    In accordance with section 172(c) of the CAA, the Florida attainment plan for the Nassau Area includes: (1) An emissions inventory for SO2 for the plan's base year (2011); and (2) an attainment demonstration. The attainment demonstration includes: Technical analyses that locate, identify, and quantify sources of emissions contributing to violations of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS; a declaration that FL DEP is unaware of any future growth in the area that would be subject to CAA 173,4 and the assertion that the NNSR program approved in the SIP at Section 62-252.500, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) would account for any such growth; a modeling analysis of an emissions control strategy for the Rayonier sulfite pulp mill 5 and a nearby source, the WestRock CP, LLC kraft pulp mill (formerly RockTenn kraft pulp mill) 6 (hereafter referred to as “WestRock”), that attains the SO2 NAAQS by the October 4, 2018 attainment date; a determination that the control strategy for the primary SO2 source within the NAA constitutes RACM/RACT; adherence to a construction schedule to ensure emissions reductions are achieved as expeditiously as practicable; a request from FL DEP that emissions reduction measures including system upgrades and/or emissions limitations with schedules for implementation and compliance parameters be incorporated into the SIP; and contingency measures.7

    4 The CAA new source review (NSR) program is composed of three separate programs: Prevention of significant deterioration (PSD), NNSR, and Minor NSR. PSD is established in part C of title I of the CAA and applies in areas that meet the NAAQS—“attainment areas”—as well as areas where there is insufficient information to determine if the area meets the NAAQS—“unclassifiable areas.” The NNSR program is established in part D of title I of the CAA and applies in areas that are not in attainment of the NAAQS—“nonattainment areas.” The Minor NSR program addresses construction or modification activities that do not qualify as “major” and applies regardless of the designation of the area in which a source is located. Together, these programs are referred to as the NSR programs. Section 173 of the CAA lays out the NNSR program for preconstruction review of new major sources or major modifications to existing sources, as required by CAA section 172(c)(5). The programmatic elements for NNSR include, among other things, compliance with the lowest achievable emissions rate and the requirement to obtain emissions offsets.

    5 Rayonier processes high purity wood pulp used in manufacturing photographic films, filters, rayon fabric and other industrial and consumer products.

    6 The new company name of WestRock reflects the recent merger between companies MeadWestCo and RockTenn. FL DEP issued an administrative revision to the operating permit, revision number 0890003-048-AV, on August 19, 2015 to reflect this administrative change in company name. The April 3, 2015, final SIP submittal was prior to this merger, and therefore refers to WestRock as RockTenn. WestRock produces various containerboard products.

    7 General Conformity pursuant to CAA section 176(c) requires that actions by federal agencies do not cause new air quality issues or delay or interfere with attainment of a NAAQS. With respect to the Nassau nonattainment area federal agencies must work with the state to ensure that federal actions conform to the air quality plans established in the applicable SIP that ensures attainment of the SO2 NAAQS.

    IV. What is EPA's analysis of Florida's attainment plan for the Nassau Area?

    Consistent with CAA requirements (see, e.g., section 172), an attainment demonstration for a SO2 nonattainment area must include a showing that the area will attain the 2010 SO2 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. The demonstration must also meet the requirements of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 51.112 and Part 51, Appendix W, and include inventory data, modeling results, and emissions reduction analyses on which the state has based its projected attainment. In the case of the Nassau Area, 2013-2015 quality-assured and certified air quality data indicated a design value below the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. EPA is proposing that the attainment plan submitted by Florida is sufficient, and EPA is proposing to approve the plan to assure ongoing attainment.

    A. Pollutants Addressed

    Florida's SO2 attainment plan evaluates SO2 emissions for the portion of Nassau County that is designated nonattainment for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. There are no significant precursors to consider for the SO2 attainment plan. SO2 is a pollutant that arises from direct emissions, and therefore concentrations are highest relatively close to the source(s) and much lower at greater distances due to dispersion. See SO2 Nonattainment Guidance. Thus, SO2 concentration patterns resemble those of other directly emitted pollutants like lead and differ from those of photochemically-formed (secondary) pollutants such as ozone. The two sources included in FL DEP's SIP to address the Nassau Area and their operations are briefly described later in this preamble. As the Nassau Area includes one such major point source of SO2 and one source just outside the Area, it is expected that an attainment demonstration addressing SO2 emissions at these two sources will effectively ensure that the Area will attain by the attainment date of October 4, 2018.

    B. Emissions Inventory Requirements

    States are required under section 172(c)(3) of the CAA to develop comprehensive, accurate and current emissions inventories of all sources of the relevant pollutant or pollutants in the area. These inventories provide a detailed accounting of all emissions and emission sources by precursor or pollutant. In addition, inventories are used in air quality modeling to demonstrate that attainment of the NAAQS is as expeditious as practicable. The April 23, 2014, SO2 Nonattainment Guidance provides that the emissions inventory should be consistent with the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR) at Subpart A to 40 CFR part 51.8

    8 The AERR at Subpart A to 40 CFR part 51 cover overarching federal reporting requirements for the states to submit emissions inventories for criteria pollutants to EPA's Emissions Inventory System. The EPA uses these submittals, along with other data sources, to build the National Emissions Inventory.

    For the base year inventory of actual emissions, a “comprehensive, accurate and current,” inventory can be represented by a year that contributed to the three-year design value used for the original nonattainment designation. The final SO2 Nonattainment Guidance notes that the base year inventory should include all sources of SO2 in the nonattainment area as well as any sources located outside the nonattainment area which may affect attainment in the area. Florida elected to use 2011 as the base year. Actual emissions from all sources of SO2 in the Nassau Area were reviewed and compiled for the base year emissions inventory. Emissions from all stationary sources of SO2 located in the Nassau Area were estimated and included in the inventory, and a source outside the Area that FL DEP determined caused or contributed to elevated SO2 concentrations within the nonattainment area was also included.

    The primary SO2-emitting point source located within the Nassau Area is the Rayonier sulfite pulp mill, which produces films, fibers and fabrics among other consumer products. Rayonier consists of three main SO2 emitters:

    • Emissions Unit (EU) 005 (Rayonier EU 005) is the vent gas scrubbing system, which handles emissions from numerous vents from the cooking acid plant, the red stock washers, the unwashed stock tank, the spent sulfite liquor storage tanks, the spent sulfite liquor washer area, the digesters, and the blow pits;

    • Rayonier EU 006 is the sulfite recovery boiler, which fires spent liquor to produce combustion gases that contain recoverable SO2 and heat for steam generation;

    • Rayonier EU 022 is the power boiler, which fires biomass and No. 6 fuel oil to produce heat for steam generation; and

    • Rayonier EU 005 is itself a control technology, utilizing a wet alkaline absorbing section for SO2 removal, while Rayonier EU 006 and EU 022 each have wet alkaline scrubbers in place.

    The emissions at all units for the Rayonier facility were recorded using data collected from continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) and are quality-assured by FL DEP.

    The largest SO2 source within 25 kilometers (km) outside the Nassau Area is WestRock. The WestRock facilities consist of five main SO2 emitters:

    • Emissions Unit 006 (WestRock EU 006) is the No. 5 power boiler, which fires biomass and No. 6 fuel oil to produce heat for steam generation;

    • WestRock EUs 007 and 011 are recovery boilers, which fire black liquor solids to produce heat for steam generation and recover process chemicals;

    • WestRock EU 015 is the No. 7 power boiler, which fires coal, oil and/or natural gas to produce heat for steam generation; and

    • WestRock EU 021 is a lime kiln, which burns low volume, high density non-condensable gases (NCGs) from several units across the plant in addition to its primary purpose of converting calcium carbonate to lime.

    WestRock EU 006 currently serves as a backup control device for NCGs that pass through WestRock EU 021.

    Emissions from the WestRock facility were collected via CEMS or calculated. Specifically, WestRock EUs 007, 011, and 015 did not previously have CEMS installed. In this instance, the emission rates of SO2 were calculated, as shown in Appendix B of the April 3, 2015, submittal. For WestRock EU 015, the hourly feed rates of coal, fuel oil and/or natural gas burned are included along with the particular emission factors used to calculate the SO2 emissions rates. For WestRock EUs 007 and 011, the hourly rates of the black liquor solids and/or oil burned are included along with the particular emission factors used to calculate the SO2 emissions rates.

    Pursuant to Florida's SIP-approved regulations at Chapter 62-210.370, F.A.C., paragraph (3), FL DEP collects annual operating reports (AORs), incorporated by reference into the SIP at 62-210.900(5), from all major sources. These AORs were used to develop the base year inventory for actual emissions for the point sources and satisfy the AERR. FL DEP utilized EPA's 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI), Version 2 to obtain estimates of the area and nonroad sources. For onroad mobile source emissions, FL DEP utilized EPA's Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES2014). A more detailed discussion of the emissions inventory development for the Nassau Area can be found in Florida's April 3, 2015, submittal.

    Table 1 shows the level of emissions, expressed in tpy, in the Nassau Area for the 2011 base year by emissions source category. The point source category includes WestRock, outside the Nassau Area, but determined by FL DEP to contribute to nonattainment.

    Table 1—2011 Base Year Emissions Inventory for the Nassau Area [tpy] Year Point Onroad Nonroad Area Total 2011 4,278.64 0.08 0.09 0.39 4,279.20

    EPA has evaluated Florida's 2011 base year emissions inventory for the Nassau Area and has made the preliminary determination that this inventory was developed consistent with EPA's guidance. Therefore, pursuant to section 172(c)(3), EPA is proposing to approve Florida's 2011 base year emissions inventory for the Nassau Area.

    The attainment demonstration also provides for a projected attainment year inventory that includes estimated emissions for all emission sources of SO2 which are determined to impact the nonattainment area for the year in which the area is expected to attain the standard. This inventory must address any future growth in the Area. Growth means any potential increases in emissions of the pollutant for which the Nassau Area is nonattainment (SO2) due to the construction and operation of new major sources, major modifications to existing sources, or increased minor source activity. FL DEP included a statement in its April 3, 2015, submittal declaring that FL DEP is unaware of any plans for the growth of major sources in the Nassau Area, and that normal minor source growth should not significantly impact the Area. FL DEP further asserts that the NNSR program at Section 62-252.500, F.A.C., approved into the SIP and last updated on June 27, 2008 (see 73 FR 36435), would address any proposed new major sources or planned major modifications for SO2 sources.9 The NNSR program includes lowest achievable emissions rate, offsets, and public hearing requirements.

    9 FL DEP acknowledges a minor source permit to construct a natural gas-fired combustion turbine cogeneration system within the Nassau nonattainment area located on the Rayonier property. The turbine would produce process steam for the co-located Rayonier plant which would generate up to 21 megawatts provided to the electrical grid. Because the turbine is natural-gas fired, maximum annual SO2 emissions would be less than 7 tons per year (tpy) and not subject to NNSR. FL DEP determined that these small SO2 emissions resulting from the new facility would not interfere with the attainment plan for the Nassau Area.

    FL DEP provided a 2018 projected emissions inventory for all known sources included in the 2011 base year inventory, discussed previously, that were determined to impact the Nassau County NAA. The projected 2018 emissions in Table 2 are estimated actual emissions, representing a 21 percent reduction from the base year SO2 emissions. The point source emissions were estimated by multiplying the 2018 allowable emissions by the ratio of 2011 actual emissions to allowable emissions. Per the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, the allowable emission limits that FL DEP is requesting EPA approve into the SIP as a control measure were modeled to show attainment. These allowable emission limits are higher than the projected actual emissions included in the future year inventory, and therefore offer greater level of certainty that the NAAQS will be protected under all operating scenarios. Emissions estimates for onroad sources were re-estimated with MOVES2014. The nonroad and area source emissions were scaled based on estimated population growth in the Nassau Area portion of Nassau County.

    Table 2—Projected 2018 SO2 Emissions Inventory for the Nassau Area [tpy] Year Point Onroad Nonroad Area Total 2011 4,278.64 0.08 0.09 0.39 4,279.20 2018 3,376.26 0.03 0.10 0.41 3,376.80 C. Air Quality Modeling

    The SO2 attainment demonstration provides an air quality dispersion modeling analysis to demonstrate that control strategies chosen to reduce SO2 source emissions will bring the area into attainment by the statutory attainment date of October 4, 2018. The modeling analysis, outlined in Appendix W to 40 CFR part 51 (EPA's Modeling Guidance),10 is used for the attainment demonstration to assess the control strategy for a nonattainment area and establish emission limits that will provide for attainment. The analysis requires five years of meteorological data to simulate the dispersion of pollutant plumes from multiple point, area, or volume sources across the averaging times of interest. The modeling demonstration typically also relies on maximum allowable emissions from sources in the nonattainment area. Though the actual emissions are likely to be below the allowable emissions, sources have the ability to run at higher production rates or optimize controls such that emissions approach the allowable emissions limits. A modeling analysis that provides for attainment under all scenarios of operation for each source must therefore consider the worst case scenario of both the meteorology (e.g., predominant wind directions, stagnation, etc.) and the maximum allowable emissions.

    10 40 CFR part 51 Appendix W (EPA's Guideline on Air Quality Models) (November 2005) located at http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/scram/guidance/guide/appw_05.pdf. EPA has proposed changes to Appendix W. See 80 FR 45340 (July 29, 2015).

    FL DEP's modeling analysis was developed in accordance with EPA's Modeling Guidance and the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, and was prepared using EPA's preferred dispersion modeling system, the American Meteorological Society/Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD) consisting of the AERMOD (version 14134) model and two data input preprocessors AERMET (version 14134) and AERMAP (version 11103). AERMINUTE meteorological preprocessor and AERSURFACE surface characteristics preprocessor were also used to develop inputs to AERMET. The Building Profile Input Program for Plume Rise Model Enhancements (BPIP-PRIME) was also used in the downwash-modeling. More detailed information on the AERMOD Modeling system, and other modeling tools and documents can be found on the EPA Technology Transfer Network Support Center for Regulatory Atmospheric Modeling (SCRAM) (http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/scram/) and in Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submittal in the docket for this proposed action (EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0623) on www.regulations.gov. A brief description of the modeling used to support Florida's attainment demonstration is provided later on.

    1. Modeling Approach

    The following is an overview of the air quality modeling approach used to demonstrate compliance with the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, as submitted in Florida's April 3, 2015, submittal. The basic procedures are outlined later in this preamble.

    i. FL DEP developed model inputs using the AERMOD modeling system and processors.

    The pre-processors AERMET and AERMINUTE were used to process five years (i.e., 2008-2012) of 1-minute meteorological data from the Jacksonville National Weather Service Office (NWS) at the Jacksonville International Airport, Jacksonville, Florida, surface level site, based on FL DEP's land use classifications, in combination with twice daily upper-air meteorological information from the same site. The Jacksonville International Airport is located approximately 28 km southeast from Nassau Area. The AERMOD pre-processor AERMAP was used to generate terrain inputs for the receptors, based on a digital elevation mapping database from the National Elevation Dataset developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. FL DEP used AERSURFACE to generate direction-specific land-use surface characteristics for the modeling. The BPIP-PRIME preprocessor was used to generate direction-specific building downwash parameters. FL DEP developed a Cartesian receptor grid across the nonattainment boundary (approximately 2.4 km around the violating monitor), with 100 meter spacing in ambient air to ensure maximum concentrations are captured in the analysis. All other input options were also developed commensurate with the Modeling Guidance.

    Next, FL DEP selected a background SO2 concentration based on local SO2 monitoring data from monitoring station No. 12-089-0005 for the period January 2012 to December 2013. This background concentration from the nearby ambient air monitor is used to account for SO2 impacts from all sources that are not specifically included in the AERMOD modeling analysis. The data was obtained from the Florida Air Monitoring and Assessment System. This monitor is approximately 0.9 km to the southeast of Rayonier and 2.5 km south of WestRock. Due to its close proximity to the Rayonier facility, monitored concentrations at this station are strongly influenced by emissions from both facilities. As a result, the data was filtered to remove measurements where the wind direction could transport pollutants from Rayonier and WestRock to the station. More specifically, the data was filtered to remove measurements where hourly wind direction was between 263° to 61°.

    ii. FL DEP performed current and post-control dispersion modeling using the EPA-approved AERMOD modeling system.

    iii. Finally, FL DEP derived the 99th percentile maximum 1-hour daily SO2 design value across the five year meteorological data period.

    EPA's SO2 nonattainment implementation guidance provides a procedure for establishing longer-term averaging times for SO2 emission limits (up to a 30-day rolling averaging time).11 In conjunction with states' CAA obligation to submit SIPs that demonstrate attainment, EPA believes that air agencies that consider longer term average times for a SIP emission limit should provide additional justification for the application of such limits. This justification involves determining the “critical emission value” 12 or the 1-hour emission limit that modeling found to provide for attainment and adjusting this rate downward to obtain a comparable stringency to the modeled 1-hour average emission limit. A comparison of the 1-hour limit and the proposed longer term limit, in particular an assessment of whether the longer term average limit may be considered to be of comparable stringency to a 1-hour limit at the critical emission value, is critical for demonstrating that any longer term average limits in the SIP will help provide adequate assurance that the plan will provide for attainment and maintenance of the 1-hour NAAQS. This allows states to develop control strategies that account for variability in 1-hour emissions rates through emission limits with averaging times that are longer than 1 hour, using averaging times as long as 30-days, and still demonstrate attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    11 FL DEP is following the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance on procedures for establishing emissions limits with averaging periods longer than 1 hour.

    12 The hourly emission rate that the model predicts would result in the 5-year average of the annual 99th percentile of daily maximum hourly SO2 concentrations at the level of the NAAQS.

    EPA's recommended procedure for determining longer term averaging times, including calculating the adjustment factor between the 1-hour critical emission value and the equivalent 30-day rolling average emissions limit, is provided in Appendices B and C of the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance. EPA is proposing to conclude that FL DEP completed this analysis for both Rayonier and WestRock facilities to derive SIP emission limits with 3-hour longer-term averaging time that are comparatively stringent to the 1-hour limit. For more details, see Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submittal.

    2. Modeling Results

    The SO2 NAAQS compliance results of the attainment modeling are summarized in Table 3 later on in this preamble. Table 3 presents the results from four sets of AERMOD modeling runs that were performed. The four modeling runs were the result of using an uncontrolled, or pre-modification, run and three different controlled, or post-modification, scenarios. Maximum allowable permitted emissions limits were used for the Nassau Area modeling demonstration. These emissions limits and other control measures were established in construction permits issued by FL DEP. The conditions have been incorporated in the latest title V permit renewal for Rayonier, and will be incorporated for WestRock upon future title V renewal. FL DEP is requesting that these emissions limits and operating conditions, detailed in Section IV.D. of this proposed rulemaking, be adopted into the SIP to become federally enforceable upon approval of the nonattainment plan, prior to the renewal of the title V operating permit for the WestRock facility. The three post-control runs help to identify the worst possible scenario of emissions distributions between the two units EUs 007 and 011 (recovery boilers) at the WestRock facility. Under one modeling scenario, an emissions cap of 300 pounds per hour (lb/hr) SO2 for WestRock EUs 007 and 011 is allotted equally between the recovery boilers. For the two remaining scenarios, the entire 300 lb/hr cap is allotted totally for EU 007 or EU 011, assuming that only one recovery boiler is operating.

    The modeling utilized five years (2008-2012) of meteorological data from the NWS site in Jacksonville, Florida, as processed through AERMET, AERMINTE and AERSURFACE. This procedure was used since this site represented the nearest site with complete data.

    Table 3 shows that the maximum 1-hour average across all five years of meteorological data (2008-2012) is less than or equal to the 2010 SO2 NAAQS of 75 ppb for all three sets of AERMOD modeling runs. For more details, see Florida's April 3, 2015 SIP submittal.

    Table 3—Maximum Modeled SO2 Impacts in the Nassau Area, Micrograms per Cubic Meter (ppb)13 Model scenario Averaging time Maximum predicted impact Rayonier WestRock Background Total SO2 NAAQS Pre-modification 1-hour 14 0.0 2957.80 (1128) 4.19 (1.6) 2961.99 (1130) 196. 4 (75) Equal Cap Distribution 1-hour 114.45 (43.7) 67.69 (25.8) 10.72 (4.09) 192.87 (73.6) Entire Cap—EU 007 1-hour 110.93 (42.3) 71.56 (27.3) 9.16 (3.5) 191.65 (73.1) Entire Cap—EU 011 1-hour 117.51 (44.8) 63.79 (24.3) 12.82 (4.9) 194.11 (74.0)

    The pre-control analysis resulted in a predicted impact of 1130 ppb. The post-control analysis resulted in a worst-case predicted impact of 74.0 ppb. EPA is preliminarily determining that this data indicates sufficient reductions in air quality impact with the future implementation of the post-construction control plan for the Rayonier and WestRock facilities. Furthermore, EPA is preliminarily concluding that this data also supports FL DEP's analysis that the controls for Rayonier represent RACM and RACT for the SIP. The control strategy for Rayonier, as reflected in its Air Permit No. 0890004-036-AC, includes increasing a stack height for Rayonier EU 005, a vent scrubber, from 110 feet (ft) to at least 165 ft, and plans to extend another stack at a power boiler (Rayonier EU 022) if needed; 15 and lowering the allowable SO2 emissions for the power boiler (Rayonier EU 006), recovery boiler (Rayonier EU 022), and vent gas scrubber system (Rayonier EU 005). The result of increasing a stack height is that the plume has a better opportunity for greater dispersion across an area, minimizing stagnation and local impacts from higher concentrations, primarily due to the avoidance of building downwash effects.16 Rayonier's allowable SO2 emissions (total from all three controlled units) will be reduced from 836.5 lb/hr to 502.3 lb/hr representing a 40 percent emission decrease. The state issued a revised title V permit (No. 0890004-042-AV) to incorporate the Rayonier Permit and authorize Rayonier to operate in accordance with those conditions.

    13 The April 3, 2015, final submittal contained typographical errors in its summary modeling table. On April 8, 2016, FL DEP provided EPA Region 4 with corrected numbers. FL DEP in no way revised the modeling demonstration nor the results inherent in the April 3, 2015, submittal. The correspondence and clarifying information is provided in the Docket for this proposed action.

    14 The “0” impact from Rayonier indicates that the worst case scenario was at a time when WestRock was impacting the area of maximum concentration because the wind was coming from the direction of WestRock. Rayonier impacts other receptors in the nonattainment area and may impact this same receptor at other times, as can be seen with the remainder of the modeling demonstration.

    15 The final stack height for the vent gas scrubber system (Rayonier EU 005) is 180 ft. The construction permit contained options for the power boiler (Rayonier EU 022) to meet a moderately lower emission limit paired with an increased stack height, or an even lower emission limit on the unit and maintaining the existing stack height. The stack height for EU 022 was not increased, as Rayonier selected the lower emission limit option.

    16 See EPA's June 1985 guidance document, “Guideline for Determination of Good Engineering Practice Stack Height (Technical Support Document For the Stack Height Regulations),” which can be found at: http://www3.epa.gov/scram001/guidance/guide/gep.pdf.

    The control strategy for WestRock, as reflected in its Air Permit No. 0890003-046-AC, includes the following operational changes to the four largest SO2-emitting units: Improved combustion at WestRock EUs 007 and 011, the two recovery boilers, and emissions limits on WestRock EUs 006, 015, 007 and 011, the two power boilers and two recovery boilers. Florida will incorporate the new physical and operational changes for WestRock into its title V permit upon renewal. The title V permit is scheduled to be renewed by March 17, 2017. WestRock's allowable SO2 emissions from WestRock EU 006, the power boiler No. 5, will be reduced from 550 lb/hr to 15 lb/hr representing a 97 percent emission decrease. The modeling results included in Table 3 prove that WestRock should be included in the considerations of controls for the following reasons: (1) If both facilities were left uncontrolled, as presented in the first modeled scenario, WestRock would have the greater impact on the area of maximum concentration within the Nassau Area; and (2) with the worst possible post-control modeling scenario, 35 percent of the total predicted impact on the Nassau Area would stem from WestRock. Therefore, if no controls were implemented at WestRock, the Area would not likely attain and maintain the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. All emissions limits and related compliance parameters have been proposed for incorporation into the SIP to make these changes federally enforceable. More details on the pre- and post-construction operations at the facilities are included in the Florida SIP submission. FL DEP asserts that the proposed control strategy significantly lowers the modeled SO2 impacts from the WestRock facility and is sufficient for the Nassau Area to attain 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    EPA has reviewed the modeling that Florida submitted to support the attainment demonstration for the Nassau Area and has preliminarily determined that this modeling is consistent with CAA requirements, Appendix W and EPA's guidance for SO2 attainment demonstration modeling.

    D. RACM/RACT

    CAA section 172(c)(1) requires that each attainment plan provides for the implementation of all reasonably available control measures as expeditiously as practicable and attainment of the NAAQS. EPA interprets RACM, including RACT, under section 172, as measures that a state determines to be both reasonably available and contribute to attainment as expeditiously as practicable “for existing sources in the area.”

    Florida's analysis is found in Section 3 of the FL DEP attainment demonstration within the April 3, 2015, SIP submittal. The State determined that controls for SO2 emissions at Rayonier are appropriate in the Nassau Area for purposes of attaining the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Florida only completed a RACM/RACT analysis for Rayonier since it is the only such point source within the boundaries of the nonattainment area. FL DEP included WestRock in its attainment and impact modeling because of the source's proximity to the Nassau Area (within 5 km) and its likelihood of contributing to violations of the SO2 NAAQS within the area. In a modeling-based attainment demonstration, the means of considering impacts of sources outside the nonattainment area would depend on whether the sources cause significant concentration gradients. Florida proposed a control strategy for the WestRock facility, but does not assert that those controls constitute “the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility” 17 because section 172(c)(1) provides for the implementation of RACT for existing sources in the area. However, an analysis of attainment needs to consider all potential sources, both inside and outside the nonattainment area that could reasonably cause or contribute to violations of the NAAQS within the area. FL DEP affirms the implementation of controls at WestRock significantly lowers the modeled SO2 impact from the facility and is sufficient to attain 2010 SO2 NAAQS in the Nassau Area. The control measures at both sources are summarized later on in this preamble.

    17 Strelow, Roger. “Guidance for Determining the Acceptability of SIP Regulations in Non-Attainment Areas.” Memo to Regional Administrators. Office of Air and Waste Management, Environmental Protection Agency. Washington, DC December 9, 1976. Located at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/aqmguide/collection/cp2/19761209_strelow_ract.pdf.

    On April 12, 2012, FL DEP issued construction Air Permit No. 0890004-036-AC to Rayonier for additional proposed control measures to reduce SO2 emissions. The specified limits and conditions from this construction permit, adopted into the title V operating permit on May 30, 2014, reflecting RACT controls, are included in the April 3, 2015, SIP submittal for incorporation into the SIP. In accordance with the schedule in the permit, Rayonier was required to implement the controls on or before December 31, 2014. FL DEP reported in its SIP submittal that as of the second quarter of 2014, Rayonier has completed implementation of the RACT controls listed in the permit and summarized in Table 4:

    18 Information pulled from the April 3, 2015 submittal, in which the original construction permit is included. None of these changes authorize an increased production rate at the facility.

    19 See previous discussion on longer-term emission limits. For more information, see the April 3, 2015 submittal.

    20 Rayonier considered two emissions limits: 180 lb/hr SO2 at the current stack height of 190 ft; or 250 lb/hr SO2 if the stack height were increased to 210 ft. The final limit is 180 lb/hr as the stack height was not increased.

    Table 4—Summary of RACT Controls for Rayonier 18 Description of measure Explanation Rayonier EU 005: The vent gas scrubber system at this unit undergoes construction to increase the stack height and an operational change to meet an enforceable emission limit Rayonier was authorized to construct a new stack for the vent gas scrubber system, increasing the stack height from the existing level of 110 ft to at least 165 ft. The as-built stack height is 180 ft. Rayonier has a new emission limitation, lowering the allowable SO2 from 250 parts per million (ppm) to 100 ppm as a 3-hour rolling average.19 This emission limit was incorporated into the title V operating permit and is proposed for incorporation into the SIP. Rayonier EU 006: The recovery boiler undergoes an operational change to meet an enforceable emission limit Rayonier has a new emission limitation, lowering the allowable SO2 from 300 parts per million by volume, dry basis (ppmvd) to 250 ppmvd as a 3-hour rolling average. This emission limit was incorporated into the title V operating permit and is proposed for incorporation into the SIP. Rayonier EU 022: The power boiler undergoes an operational change to meet an enforceable emission limit Rayonier has a new emission limitation of 180 lb/hour SO2 as a 3-hour rolling average.20 This emission limit was incorporated into the title V operating permit and is proposed for incorporation into the SIP.

    On January 9, 2015, construction Air Permit No. 0890003-046-AC was issued to WestRock for additional proposed control measures to reduce SO2 emissions. The specified limits and conditions from this construction permit are to be adopted into the title V operating permit upon renewal, and are intended to supplement the RACT adopted for Rayonier in the Nassau Area to help with attainment and maintenance of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. These controls are included in the April 3, 2015, SIP submittal for incorporation into the SIP. The SO2 Nonattainment Guidance discusses an anticipated control compliance date of January 1, 2017. Areas that implement attainment plan control strategies by this date are expected to be able to show a year of quality-assured air monitoring data showing attainment of the NAAQS and a year of compliance information, which when modeled, would also show attainment of the NAAQS. In accordance with the schedule in the construction permit, WestRock is required to implement the controls on or before January 1, 2018. This date, though later than the date suggested in the SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, provides for 9 months of compliance information by the October 4, 2018 attainment date, including a semiannual compliance report in July 2018. Additionally, the Nassau Area is currently showing an attaining design value for 2013-2015, which means that attainment of the NAAQS is as expeditious as practicable. The supplemental control measures at WestRock are summarized in Table 4:

    Table 4—Summary of Supplemental Control Measures for WestRock Description of measure Explanation WestRock EU 006: 21 The power boiler undergoes an operational change to meet an enforceable emission limit As of January 1, 2016, WestRock is required to comply with a 15.0 lb/hr emission limitation as a 3-hour block average for SO2, except during times when this unit is operated as a back-up control device for NCGs. By December 1, 2017, WestRock will have a lower emission limitation of 15.0 lb/hr SO2 during all periods of operation as a 3-hour block average and the unit will no longer operate as a back-up control device for NCGs. This limit will be incorporated into the title V operating permit upon scheduled renewal and is proposed for incorporation into the SIP. WestRock EU 015: 22 The power boiler undergoes an operational change to meet an enforceable emission limit As of January 31, 2016, WestRock is required to comply with an emission limitation of 1225.20 lb/hr SO2 during all periods of operation as a 3-hour block average, determined via stack testing. By December 1, 2017, WestRock will show compliance with the 1225.20 lb/hr SO2 emission limitation via newly installed CEMS. This limit will be incorporated into the title V operating permit upon scheduled renewal and is proposed for incorporation into the SIP. WestRock EUs 007 and 011: The recovery boilers undergo operational changes to limit fuel oil use and meet individual and combined enforceable emissions limits By January 1, 2018, WestRock will only be allowed to use ultra-low sulfur diesel during periods of fuel oil usage. By this date, WestRock will have a new emission limitation of 150.0 lb/hr SO2 for each independent recovery boiler during all periods of operation as a 3-hour block average. Compliance with the SO2 emissions standard shall be demonstrated by data collected from a certified CEMS 23. Alternatively, WestRock can comply with a collective emissions limit across the two recovery boilers of 300.0 lb/hr SO2 as a 3-hour block average, as determined only by CEMS. The selected limit will be incorporated into the title V operating permit upon scheduled renewal and both options are proposed for incorporation into the SIP.

    EPA is proposing to approve Florida's determination that the proposed controls for SO2 emissions at Rayonier constitute RACM/RACT for that source in the Nassau Area based on the analysis described previously. Additionally, EPA proposes to approve Florida's determination that the supplemental control measures initiated at WestRock help to bring the area into attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. Further, EPA determines that no further controls would be required at Rayonier, and that the proposed controls are sufficient for RACM/RACT purposes for the Nassau Area at this time. EPA, therefore, proposes to approve Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submission as meeting the RACM/RACT requirements of the CAA. In addition, by approving the RACM/RACT for Rayonier, and the supplemental control measures for WestRock, for the purposes of Florida's attainment planning, the control measures outlined in Tables 3 and 4 will become permanent and enforceable SIP measures to meet the requirements of the CAA.

    21 Additional controls not requested for incorporation into the SIP for WestRock EU 006 include the elimination of fuel oil usage as of January 31, 2016, and the elimination of operation as a back-up control for NCGs. The latter is not a direct control measure for SO2, but means that the power boiler will not fire recovered process vapors.

    22 An additional control not requested for incorporation into the SIP for WestRock EU 015 is the installation of a white liquor scrubber system upstream to remove total reduced sulfur from the incoming NCG stream. WestRock EU 015 operates as a back-up control device for NCGs is not part of the SO2 attainment strategy, but compliance with 40 CFR 63, Subpart S. The addition of the scrubber system is to prevent any additional sulfur load to the power boiler. WestRock EU 015 will be required to comply with the SIP emission limit regardless of how it is used with respect to the control of NCGs.

    23 FL DEP also acknowledges that parametric methods other than CEMS may be considered, subject to approval, to demonstrate compliance with the individual boiler emission limit of 150 lb/hr SO2 limit.

    Based on FL DEP's modeling demonstration, the Nassau Area is projected to begin showing attaining monitoring values for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS by the 2018 attainment date. Currently, monitored design values are complying with the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. As noted previously, some of the control measures at WestRock will not be in place for a full year prior to the attainment date as recommended in the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance; a recommendation intended to provide data to evaluate the effect of the control strategy on air quality. Because the Area is currently attaining the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, EPA proposes to find that the full control strategy will be in place for an adequate time prior to the attainment date to ensure attainment of the NAAQS. Furthermore, FL DEP has already implemented RACT controls for sources within the Nassau Area, as the RACT project was completed at Rayonier in 2014, long before the suggested 2017 date.

    E. RFP Plan

    Section 172(c)(2) of the CAA requires that an attainment plan includes a demonstration that shows reasonable further progress for meeting air quality standards will be achieved through generally linear incremental improvement in air quality. Section 171(1) of the Act defines RFP as “such annual incremental reductions in emissions of the relevant air pollutant as are required by this part (part D) or may reasonably be required by EPA for the purpose of ensuring attainment of the applicable NAAQS by the applicable attainment date.” As stated originally in the 1994 SO2 Guideline Document 24 and repeated in the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, EPA continues to believe that this definition is most appropriate for pollutants that are emitted from numerous and diverse sources, where the relationship between particular sources and ambient air quality are not directly quantified. In such cases, emissions reductions may be required from various types and locations of sources. The relationship between SO2 and sources is much more defined, and usually there is a single step between pre-control nonattainment and post-control attainment. Therefore, EPA interpreted RFP for SO2 as adherence to an ambitious compliance schedule in both the 1994 SO2 Guideline Document and the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance. The control measures for attainment of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS included in the State's submittal have been modeled to achieve attainment of the NAAQS. The permits and the adoption of specific emissions limits and compliance parameters require these control measures and resulting emissions reductions to be achieved as expeditiously as practicable. As a result of an ambitious compliance schedule, projected to yield a sufficient reduction in SO2 emissions from the Rayonier and WestRock facilities, and resulting in modeled attainment of the SO2 NAAQS, EPA has preliminarily determined that FL DEP's SO2 attainment plan for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS fulfills the RFP requirements for the Nassau Area. Furthermore, currently the monitored SO2 design value for the Nassau Area is below the NAAQS, and because of the modeled attainment with the selected control strategies, EPA does not anticipate future nonattainment, or that the Area will not meet the statutory October 4, 2018, attainment date. EPA therefore proposes to approve Florida's attainment plan with respect to the RFP requirements.

    24 SO2 Guideline Document, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27711, EPA-452/R-94-008, February 1994. Located at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t1pgm.html.

    F. Contingency Measures

    In accordance with section 172(c)(9) of the CAA, contingency measures are required as additional measures to be implemented in the event that an area fails to meet the RFP requirements or fails to attain a standard by its attainment date. These measures must be fully adopted rules or control measures that can be implemented quickly and without additional EPA or state action if the area fails to meet RFP requirements or fails to meet its attainment date and should contain trigger mechanisms and an implementation schedule. However, SO2 presents special considerations. As stated in the final 2010 SO2 NAAQS promulgation on June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35520) and in the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance, EPA concluded that because of the quantifiable relationship between SO2 sources and control measures, it is appropriate that state agencies develop a “comprehensive program to identify sources of violations of the SO2 NAAQS and undertake an aggressive follow-up for compliance and enforcement.”

    Based on all the control measures that are completed for Rayonier and planned for WestRock, FL DEP believes that the 2010 SO2 NAAQS can be achieved on a consistent basis. However, if a fourth exceedance of the SO2 NAAQS occurs during any calendar year, or upon a determination that the Nassau Area has failed to attain the NAAQS by the attainment date, Rayonier and WestRock will immediately undertake full system audits of controlled SO2 emissions. Within 10 days, each source will independently submit a report to FL DEP summarizing all operating parameters for four 10-day periods up to and including the dates of the exceedances. These sources are required to deploy provisional SO2 emission control strategies within this 10-day period and include “evidence that these control strategies have been deployed, as appropriate” in the report to FL DEP. FL DEP will then begin a 30-day evaluation of these reports to determine the cause of the exceedances, followed by a 30-day consultation period with the sources to develop and implement appropriate operational changes needed to expeditiously to prevent any future violation of the NAAQS. Explicit measures addressed in Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submittal are:

    • Fuel switching to reduce or eliminate the use of sulfur-containing fuels;

    • combustion air system enhancement;

    • vent gas scrubber enhancement;

    • white liquor scrubber enhancement; and/or

    • physical or operational reduction of production capacity.

    Florida may consider other options for additional controls if these measures are not deemed to be the most appropriate to address air quality issues in the Area.

    Florida would implement the most appropriate control strategy to address the exceedances. If a permit modification might be required to conform to applicable air quality standards, Florida will make use of the State's authority in Rule 62-4.080, F.A.C. to require permittees to comply with new or additional conditions. This authority would allow Florida to work directly with the source(s) expeditiously to make changes to permits. Subsequently, Florida would submit any relevant permit change to EPA as a source-specific SIP revision to make the change permanent and enforceable. EPA recognizes this strategy as an acceptable additional step, but according to CAA section 172(c)(9), a measure requiring further action by FL DEP or EPA (e.g., necessitating a revised permit and SIP revision) could not serve as the primary contingency measure.

    EPA is proposing to find that Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submittal includes a comprehensive program to expeditiously identify the source of any violation of the SO2 NAAQS and for aggressive follow-up. Therefore, EPA proposes that the contingency measures submitted by Florida follow the 2014 SO2 Nonattainment Guidance and meet the section 172(c)(9) . EPA notes that Florida has further committed to pursue additional actions that may require a SIP revision if needed to address the exceedances.

    G. Attainment Date

    Florida's modeling indicates that the Nassau Area will begin attaining the 2010 SO2 NAAQS by January 1, 2018, once the control strategy is completely implemented. This modeling does not provide for an attaining three-year design value by the proposed attainment date of October 4, 2018. However, expeditious implementation of RACM/RACT for the Rayonier source, coupled with actual emissions from the WestRock source, has already provided for an attaining design value of 58 ppb considering 2013-2015 data, and in fact exhibited attaining data since 2011-2013 with a design value of 70 ppb.25 The recent design value is well under the NAAQS, and the ongoing compliance schedule for WestRock control measures will help to assure that the area maintains the NAAQS in the future. Therefore, the area is expected to attain the NAAQS by the attainment date.

    25 The most recent quality-assured design values for each NAAQS are publicly available at https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values.

    V. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve Florida's SO2 attainment plan for the Nassau Area. EPA has preliminarily determined that the SIP meets the applicable requirements of the CAA. Specifically, EPA is proposing to approve Florida's April 3, 2015, SIP submission, which includes the base year emissions inventory, a modeling demonstration of SO2 attainment, an analysis of RACM/RACT, a RFP plan, and contingency measures for the Nassau Area. Additionally, EPA is proposing to approve into the Florida SIP specific SO2 emission limits and compliance parameters established for the two SO2 point sources impacting the Nassau Area.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 15, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20119 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0425; FRL-9951-15-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; GA; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of Georgia, through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Environmental Protection Division (EPD), on December 14, 2015, to demonstrate that the State meets the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) for the 2012 Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. EPD certified that the Georgia SIP contains provisions to ensure the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in Georgia. EPA is proposing to determine that portions of Georgia's infrastructure submission, submitted to EPA on December 14, 2015, satisfy certain required infrastructure elements for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0425 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tiereny Bell, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bell can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9088 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    I. Background and Overview

    On December 14, 2012 (78 FR 3086, January 15, 2013), EPA promulgated a revised primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The standard was strengthened from 15.0 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 12.0 μg/m3. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS to EPA no later than December 14, 2015.1

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

    This rulemaking is proposing to approve portions of Georgia's PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submissions 2 for the applicable requirements of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, with the exception of the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), for which EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking regarding these requirements. For the aspects of Georgia's submittal proposed for approval in this rulemaking, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that Georgia's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    2 Georgia's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission dated December 14, 2015, is referred to as “Georgia's PM2.5 infrastructure SIP” in this action.

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

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

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned previously, these requirements include basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements are summarized later on in this preamble and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” 3

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

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures

    • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System

    • 110(a)(2)(C): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources 4

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

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution

    • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies

    • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting

    • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Powers

    • 110(a)(2)(H): SIP Revisions

    • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 5

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

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Visibility Protection

    • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data

    • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees

    • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities

    III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from Georgia that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

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

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.6 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

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

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.7 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.8 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

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

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

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.9 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.10

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

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

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.11

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

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

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

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.12 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).13 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.14 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

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

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

    14 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations. On March 17, 2016, EPA released a memorandum titled, “Information on the Interstate Transport ‘Good Neighbor' Provision for the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards under Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)” to provide guidance to states for interstate transport requirements specific to the PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

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

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

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.15 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

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

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

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

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's implementation plan is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.16 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.17 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.18

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

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

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

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

    The Georgia 2012 Annual PM2.5 infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A): Emission Limits and Other Control Measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires that each implementation plan include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means, or techniques (including economic incentives such as fees, marketable permits, and auctions of emissions rights), as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements. Several regulations within Georgia's SIP are relevant to air quality control regulations. The following State regulations include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures: 391-3-1-.01, “Definitions. Amended.”, 391-3-1-.02, “Provisions. Amended.”, and 391-3-1-.03, “Permits. Amended.” These regulations collectively establish enforceable emissions limitations and other control measures, means or techniques for activities that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in the ambient air, and provide authority for EPD to establish such limits and measures as well as schedules for compliance through SIP-approved permits to meet the applicable requirements of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these State rules are adequate to satisfy section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS in the State.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing state provisions with regard to excess emissions during SSM operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency is addressing such state regulations in a separate action.19

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

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

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient Air Quality Monitoring/Data System: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems, and procedures necessary to: (i) Monitor, compile, and analyze data on ambient air quality, and (ii) upon request, make such data available to the Administrator. Georgia's authority to monitor ambient air quality is found in the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6(b)(13)). Annually, states develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan, and includes a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.20 On June 15, 2015, EPA received Georgia's plan for FY 2016. On October 13, 2015, EPA approved Georgia's monitoring network plan. Georgia's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0425. This State statute, along with Georgia's Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan, provide for the establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors, the compilation and analysis of ambient air quality data, and the submission of these data to EPA upon request. EPD states that no specific statutory or regulatory authority is necessary for EPD to authorize data analysis or the submission of such data to EPA, or to provide data submissions in response to federal regulations. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system requirements related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources: This element consists of three sub-elements: Enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources, and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program).

    Enforcement: Georgia's Enforcement Program covers mobile and stationary sources, consumer products, and fuels. The enforcement requirements are met through two Georgia Rules for Air Quality: 391-3-1-.07—“Inspections and Investigations. Amended.” and 391-3-1-.09—“Enforcement. Amended.” Georgia also cites to enforcement authority found in Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-13) in its submittal. Collectively, these regulations and State statute provide for enforcement of PM2.5 emission limits and control measures.

    PSD Permitting for Major Sources: EPA interprets the PSD sub-element to require that a state's infrastructure SIP submission for a particular NAAQS demonstrate that the state has a complete PSD permitting program in place covering the structural PSD requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants. A state's PSD permitting program is complete for this sub-element (and prong 3 of D(i) and J related to PSD) if EPA has already approved or is simultaneously approving the state's implementation plan with respect to all structural PSD requirements that are due under the EPA regulations or the CAA on or before the date of the EPA's proposed action on the infrastructure SIP submission. The following Georgia Rules for Air Quality collectively establish a preconstruction, new source permitting program in the State that meets the PSD requirements of the CAA for PM2.5 emissions sources: 391-3-1-.02.—“Provisions. Amended,” which includes PSD requirements under 391-3-1-.02(7), and 391-3-1-.03.—“Permits. Amended,” which includes NNSR requirements under 391-3-l-.03(8)(c) and (g). Georgia's infrastructure SIP demonstrates that new major sources and major modifications in areas of the State designated attainment or unclassifiable for the specified NAAQS are subject to a federally-approved PSD permitting program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA to satisfy the infrastructure SIP PSD elements.21

    21 For more information on the structural PSD program requirements that are relevant to EPA's review of infrastructure SIPs in connection with the current PSD-related infrastructure SIP requirements, see the technical support document in the docket for this rulemaking.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source program that regulates emissions of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Georgia's SIP approved Air Quality Control Rule 391-3-1-.03(1)—“Construction (SIP) Permit.” governs the preconstruction permitting of modifications, construction of minor stationary sources, and minor modifications of major stationary sources. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP is adequate for program enforcement of control measures, PSD permitting for major sources, and regulation of new minor sources and modifications related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2: EPA is not proposing any action related to the provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”) of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) (prongs 1 and 2). EPA will consider these requirements in relation to Georgia's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3: With regard to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), the PSD element, referred to as prong 3, this requirement may be met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that new major sources and major modifications in the state are subject to: A PSD program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA, or (if the state contains a nonattainment area that has the potential to impact PSD in another state) to a NNSR program. As discussed in more detail previously under section 110(a)(2)(C), Georgia's SIP contains provisions for the State's PSD program that reflects the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the requirement of prong 3 of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Georgia addresses prong 3 through rules 391-3-1-.02.—“Provisions. Amended,” and 391-3-1-.03.—“Permits. Amended,” which include the PSD and NNSR requirements, respectively. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP is adequate for interstate transport for PSD permitting of major sources and major modifications related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 3).

    110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4: EPA is not proposing any action in this rulemaking related to provisions pertaining to visibility protection in other states of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prong 4) and will consider this requirement in relation to Georgia's 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS infrastructure submission in a separate rulemaking.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions ensuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. The following two Georgia Rules for Air Quality provide Georgia the authority to conduct certain actions in support of this infrastructure element: 391-3-1-.02(7) for the State's PSD regulation and 391-3-1-.03 for the State's permitting regulations. As described previously, Georgia Rules for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02.—“Provisions. Amended,” and 391-3-1-.03.—“Permits. Amended,” collectively require any new major source or major modification to undergo PSD or nonattainment new source review (NNSR) permitting and thereby provide notification to other potentially affected Federal, state, and local government agencies.

    Additionally, Georgia does not have any pending obligation under section 115 and 126 of the CAA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for ensuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

    In support of EPA's proposal to approve sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), Georgia's infrastructure SIP demonstrates that it is responsible for promulgating rules and regulations for the NAAQS, emissions standards and general policies, a system of permits, fee schedules for the review of plans, and other planning needs. In its SIP submittal, Georgia describes its authority for section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) as the CAA section 105 grant process, the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. 12-9-10), and Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.03(9) which establishes Georgia's Air Permit Fee System. For section 110(a)(2)(E)(iii), the State does not rely on localities in Georgia for specific SIP implementation. As evidence of the adequacy of EPD's resources with respect to sub-elements (i) and (iii), EPA submitted a letter to Georgia on April 19, 2016, outlining CAA section 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2015. The letter EPA submitted to EPD can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0425. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. There were no outstanding issues in relation to the SIP for fiscal year 2015, therefore, EPD's grants were finalized and closed out. In addition, the requirements of 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii) are evaluated when EPA performs a completeness determination for each SIP submittal. This determination ensures that each submittal includes information addressing the adequacy of personnel, funding, and legal authority under state law used to carry out the state's implementation plan and related issues. Georgia's authority is included in all prehearing and final SIP submittal packages for approval by EPA. EPD is responsible for submitting all revisions to the Georgia SIP to EPA for approval. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia has adequate resources for implementation of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that the state comply with section 128 of the CAA. Section 128 requires that the SIP provide: (1) The majority of members of the state board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permitting or enforcement orders under the CAA; and (2) any potential conflicts of interest by such board or body, or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed. With respect to the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) pertaining the state board requirements of CAA section 128, Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission cites Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-5) Powers and duties of Board of Natural Resources as to air quality generally) which provides the powers and duties of the Board of Natural Resources as to air quality and provides that at least a majority of members of this board represent the public interest and not derive any significant portion of income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders and that potential conflicts of interest will be adequately disclosed. This provision has been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP.

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

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires SIPs to meet applicable requirements addressing: (i) The installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources to monitor emissions from such sources, (ii) periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions related data from such sources, and (iii) correlation of such reports by the state agency with any emission limitations or standards established pursuant to this section, which reports shall be available at reasonable times for public inspection. Georgia's SIP submission identifies how the major source and minor source emission inventory programs collect emission data throughout the State and ensure the quality of such data. These data are used to compare against current emission limits and to meet requirements of EPA's Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR). The following State rules enable Georgia to meet the requirements of this element: Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(3)—“Sampling.”; 22 391-3-1-.02(6)(b)—“Source Monitoring.”; 391-3-1-.02(7)—“Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality.”; 391-3-1-.02(8)—“New Source Performance Standards.”; 391-3-1-.02(9)—“Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.”; 391-3-1-.02(11)—“Compliance Assurance Monitoring.”; and 391-3-1-.03—“Permits. Amended.” Also, the Georgia Air Quality Act Article I: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. 12-9-5(b)(6)) provides the State with the authority to conduct actions regarding stationary source emissions monitoring and reporting in support of this infrastructure element. These rules collectively require emissions monitoring and reporting for activities that contribute to PM2.5 concentrations in the air, including requirements for the installation, calibration, maintenance, and operation of equipment for continuously monitoring or recording emissions, and provide authority for EPD to establish such emissions monitoring and reporting requirements through SIP-approved permits and require reporting of 2012 Annual PM2.5 emissions.

    22 Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(3)—“Sampling.” is not approved into Georgia's federally-approved SIP.

    Additionally, Georgia is required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the AERR on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data (73 FR 76539). The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and their associated precursors—nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Georgia made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on December 12, 2014. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(F).

    Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(3), “Sampling,” 23 specifically, in “Procedures for Testing and Monitoring Sources of Air Pollutants” under Compliance with Standards and Maintenance Requirements allows the use of all available information to determine compliance, and EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Georgia SIP.24 EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the Georgia SIP.

    23 Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.02(3)—“Sampling.” is not approved into Georgia's federally-approved SIP.

    24 “Credible Evidence,” makes allowances for owners and/or operators to utilize “any credible evidence or information relevant” to demonstrate compliance with applicable requirements if the appropriate performance or compliance test had been performed, for the purpose of submitting compliance certification, and can be used to establish whether or not an owner or operator has violated or is in violation of any rule or standard.

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency Powers: Section 110(a)(2)(G) of the Act requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission cites air pollution emergency episodes and preplanned abatement strategies in the Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Sections 12-9-2 Declaration of public policy, 12-9-6 Powers and duties of director as to air quality generally, 12-9-12 Injunctive relief, 12-9-13 Proceedings for enforcement, and 12-9-14 Powers of director in situations involving imminent and substantial danger to public health), and Rule 391-3-1-.04 “Air Pollution Episodes.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-2 provides “[i]t is declared to be the public policy of the state of Georgia to preserve, protect, and improve air quality . . . to attain and maintain ambient air quality standards so as to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6(b)(10) provides the Director of EPD authority to “issue orders as may be necessary to enforce compliance with [the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A)] and all rules and regulations of this article.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-12 provides that “[w]henever in the judgment of the director any person has engaged in or is about to engage in any act or practice which constitutes or will constitute an unlawful action under [the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A)], he may make application to the superior court of the county in which the unlawful act or practice has been or is about to be engaged in, or in which jurisdiction is appropriate, for an order enjoining such act or practice or for an order requiring compliance with this article. Upon a showing by the director that such person has engaged in or is about to engage in any such act or practice, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order shall be granted without the necessity of showing lack of an adequate remedy of law.” O.C.G.A. Section 12-19-13 specifically pertains to enforcement proceedings when the Director of EPD has reason to believe that a violation of any provision of the Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A), or environmental rules, regulations or orders have occurred. O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-14 also provides that the Governor may issue orders as necessary to protect the health of persons who are, or may be, affected by a pollution source or facility after “consult[ation] with local authorities in order to confirm the correctness of the information on which action proposed to be taken is based and to ascertain the action which such authorities are or will be taking.”

    Rule 391-3-1-.04 “Air Pollution Episodes” provides that the Director of EPD “will proclaim that an Air Pollution Alert, Air Pollution Warning, or Air Pollution Emergency exists when the meteorological conditions are such that an air stagnation condition is in existence and/or the accumulation of air contaminants in any place is attaining or has attained levels which could, if such levels are sustained or exceeded, lead to a substantial threat to the health of persons in the specific area affected.” Collectively the cited provisions provide that Georgia demonstrates authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority in the State. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP, and State laws are adequate for emergency powers related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(G).

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) SIP Revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H), in summary, requires each SIP to provide for revisions of such plan: (i) As may be necessary to take account of revisions of such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard or the availability of improved or more expeditious methods of attaining such standard, and (ii) whenever the Administrator finds that the plan is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS or to otherwise comply with any additional applicable requirements. EPD is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in Georgia. The State has the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. Initially, eight areas in Georgia were designated deferred for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. See 80 FR 2205 (January 15, 2015). As of March 31, 2015, five areas in Georgia were designated unclassifiable/attainment. See 80 FR 18535 (April 7, 2015). Currently, based on early quality-assured, certified air quality monitoring data for 2013-2015, it appears that the remaining areas are attaining the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    The Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6(b)(12) and 12-9-6(b)(13)) provide Georgia the authority to conduct certain actions in support of this infrastructure element. Section 12-9-6(b)(12) of the Georgia Air Quality Act requires EPD to submit SIP revisions whenever revised air quality standards are promulgated by EPA. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia adequately demonstrates a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to section 110(a)(2)(H).

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation With Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection: EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that complies with the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, PSD and visibility protection. EPA's rationale for applicable consultation requirements of section 121, the public notification requirements of section 127, PSD, and visibility is described below.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations, and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. The following State rules and statutes, as well as the State's Regional Haze Implementation Plan (which allows for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding FLMs), provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities: Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-5(b)(17)); Georgia Administrative Procedures Act (O.C.G.A. § 50-13-4); and Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(7) as it relates to Class I areas. Section 12-9-5(b)(17) of the Georgia Air Quality Act states that the DNR Board is to “establish satisfactory processes of consultation and cooperation with local governments or other designated organizations of elected officials or federal agencies for the purpose of planning, implementing, and determining requirements under this article to the extent required by the federal act.”

    Additionally, Georgia adopted state-wide consultation procedures for the implementation of transportation conformity which includes the development of mobile inventories for SIP development.25 Required partners covered by Georgia's consultation procedures include federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with government officials related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) consultation with government officials.

    25 Georgia rule 391-3-1-.15, Georgia Transportation Conformity and Consultation Interagency Rule, is approved into the State's SIP. See 77 FR 35866.

    Public notification (127 public notification): EPD has public notice mechanisms in place to notify the public of instances or areas exceeding the NAAQS along with associated health effects through the Air Quality Index reporting system in required areas. EPD's Ambient Monitoring Web page (www.georgiaair.org/amp) provides information regarding current and historical air quality across the State. Daily air quality forecasts may be disseminated to the public in Atlanta through the Georgia Department of Transportation's electronic billboards. In its SIP submission, Georgia also notes that the non-profit organization in Georgia, “Clean Air Campaign,” disseminates statewide air quality information and ways to reduce air pollution. Georgia rule 391-3-1-.04 “Air Pollution Episodes” enables the State to conduct certain actions in support of this infrastructure element. In addition, the following State statutes provide Georgia the authority to make public declarations about air pollution episodes in support of this infrastructure element. OCGA 12-9-6(b)(8) provides authority to the Georgia Board of Natural Resources “To collect and disseminate information and to provide for public notification in matters relating to air quality . . .”. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide public notification related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(J) public notification.

    PSD: With regard to the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J), this requirement is met by a state's confirmation in an infrastructure SIP submission that it has a SIP-approved PSD program meeting all the current structural requirements of part C of title I of the CAA for all regulated NSR pollutants. As discussed in more detail previously in this preamble under section 110(a)(2)(C), Georgia's SIP contains provisions for the State's PSD program that reflect the required structural PSD requirements to satisfy the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices are adequate for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for the PSD element of section 110(a)(2)(J).

    Visibility protection: EPA's 2013 Guidance notes that it does not treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Thus, EPA has determined that states do not need to address the visibility component of 110(a)(2)(J) in infrastructure SIP submittals to fulfill its obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J). As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that it does not need to address the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) in Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the EPA can be made. The Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-6(b)(13)) provides EPD the authority to conduct modeling actions and to submit air quality modeling data to EPA in support of this element. EPD maintains personnel with training and experience to conduct source-oriented dispersion modeling with models such as AERMOD that would likely be used for modeling PM2.5 emissions from sources. The State also notes that its SIP-approved PSD program, which includes specific (dispersion) modeling provisions, provides further support of Georgia's ability to address this element. All such modeling is conducted in accordance with the provisions of 40 CFR part 51, Appendix W, “Guideline on Air Quality Models.”

    Additionally, Georgia supports a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, for the Southeastern states. Taken as a whole, Georgia's air quality regulations and practices demonstrate that Georgia has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality and modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(K).

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

    Georgia's PSD and NNSR permitting programs are funded with title V fees. The Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.03(9) “Permit Fees.” incorporates the EPA-approved title V fee program and fees for synthetic minor sources. Georgia's authority to mandate funding for processing PSD and NNSR permits is found in Georgia Air Quality Act Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. 12-9-10). The State notes that these title V operating program fees cover the reasonable cost of implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS, when necessary. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission with respect to section 110(a)(2)(L).

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) of the Act requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. Consultation and participation by affected local entities is authorized by the Georgia Air Quality Act: Article 1: Air Quality (O.C.G.A. 12-9-5(b)(17)) and the Georgia Rule for Air Quality 391-3-1-.15—“Transportation Conformity”, which defines the consultation procedures for areas subject to transportation conformity. Furthermore, EPD has demonstrated consultation with, and participation by, affected local entities through its work with local political subdivisions during the developing of its Transportation Conformity SIP and has worked with the FLMs as a requirement of the regional haze rule. EPA has made the preliminary determination that Georgia's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of interstate transport provisions pertaining to the contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in other states and visibility protection requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1, 2, and 4), EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's December 14, 2015, SIP submission, for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS for the above described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS because the submission is consistent with section 110 of the CAA.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: August 9, 2016. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20139 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 402, 420, and, 455 [CMS-6074-NC] RIN 0938-ZB31 Request for Information: Inappropriate Steering of Individuals Eligible for or Receiving Medicare and Medicaid Benefits to Individual Market Plans AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    This request for information seeks public comment regarding concerns about health care providers and provider-affiliated organizations steering people eligible for or receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits to an individual market plan for the purpose of obtaining higher payment rates. CMS is concerned about reports of this practice and is requesting comments on the frequency and impact of this issue from the public. We believe this practice not only could raise overall health system costs, but could potentially be harmful to patient care and service coordination because of changes to provider networks and drug formularies, result in higher out-of-pocket costs for enrollees, and have a negative impact on the individual market single risk pool (or the combined risk pool in states that have chosen to merge their risk pools). We are seeking input from stakeholders and the public regarding the frequency and impact of this practice, and options to limit this practice.

    DATES:

    To be assured consideration, comments must be received at one of the addresses provided below, no later than 5 p.m. on September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    In commenting, refer to file code CMS-6074-NC. Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission.

    You may submit comments in one of four ways (please choose only one of the ways listed):

    1. Electronically. You may submit electronic comments on this regulation to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the “Submit a comment” instructions.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address ONLY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-6074-NC, P.O. Box 8010, Baltimore, MD 21244-8010.

    Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period.

    3. By express or overnight mail. You may send written comments to the following address ONLY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-6074-NC, Mail Stop C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

    4. By hand or courier. Alternatively, you may deliver (by hand or courier) your written comments ONLY to the following addresses:

    a. For delivery in Washington, DC—

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Room 445-G, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20201.

    (Because access to the interior of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building is not readily available to persons without Federal government identification, commenters are encouraged to leave their comments in the CMS drop slots located in the main lobby of the building. A stamp-in clock is available for persons wishing to retain a proof of filing by stamping in and retaining an extra copy of the comments being filed.)

    b. For delivery in Baltimore, MD—

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

    If you intend to deliver your comments to the Baltimore address, call telephone number (410) 786-9994 in advance to schedule your arrival with one of our staff members.

    Comments erroneously mailed to the addresses indicated as appropriate for hand or courier delivery may be delayed and received after the comment period.

    For information on viewing public comments, see the beginning of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Morgan Burns, 301-492-4493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Inspection of Public Comments: All comments received before the close of the comment period are available for viewing by the public, including any personally identifiable or confidential business information that is included in a comment. We post all comments received before the close of the comment period on the following Web site as soon as possible after they have been received: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the search instructions on that Web site to view public comments.

    Comments received timely will also be available for public inspection as they are received, generally beginning approximately three weeks after publication of a document, at the headquarters of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244, Monday through Friday of each week from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment to view public comments, phone 1-800-743-3951.

    This is a request for information only. Respondents are encouraged to provide complete but concise responses to the questions listed in the sections outlined below. Please note that a response to every question is not required. This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes; it does not constitute a Request for Proposal, applications, proposal abstracts, or quotations. This RFI does not commit the Government to contract for any supplies or services or make a grant award. Further, CMS is not seeking proposals through this RFI and will not accept unsolicited proposals. Responders are advised that the U.S. Government will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFI; all costs associated with responding to this RFI will be solely at the interested party's expense. Not responding to this RFI does not preclude participation in any future procurement, if conducted. It is the responsibility of the potential responders to monitor this RFI announcement for additional information pertaining to this request. Please note that CMS will not respond to questions about the policy issues raised in this RFI. CMS may or may not choose to contact individual responders. Such communications would only serve to further clarify written responses. Contractor support personnel may be used to review RFI responses. Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract or issue a grant. Information obtained as a result of this RFI may be used by the Government for program planning on a non-attribution basis. Respondents should not include any information that might be considered proprietary or confidential. This RFI should not be construed as a commitment or authorization to incur cost for which reimbursement would be required or sought. All submissions become Government property and will not be returned. CMS may publically post the comments received, or a summary thereof.

    I. Background

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) believes that when health care providers or provider-affiliated organizations steer or influence people eligible for or receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits, it may not be in the best interests of the individual, it may have deleterious effects on the insurance market, including disruptions to the individual market risk pool, and it is likely to raise overall healthcare costs. Individuals eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits are not required to enroll in these programs.1 However, individuals eligible for Medicaid or Medicare Part A benefits are generally ineligible for the premium tax credit (PTC), including advance payments thereof (APTC), and for cost-sharing reductions (CSR) for their Qualified Health Plan (QHP) coverage for the months they have access to minimum essential coverage (MEC) through the Medicare or Medicaid programs.2

    1 Individuals eligible to receive premium free Medicare Part A benefits may not decline Medicare Part A entitlement if they accept Social Security benefits.

    2 See 26 U.S.C. 36B. In general, an individual who is eligible for minimum essential coverage (other than coverage in the individual market) for a month is ineligible for the premium tax credit for that month. Medicare part A and most Medicaid programs are minimum essential coverage. See 26 U.S.C. 5000A(f) and 26 CFR 1.5000A-2(b).

    We have heard anecdotal reports that individuals who are eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits are receiving premium and other cost-sharing assistance from a third party so that the individual can enroll in individual market plans for the provider's financial benefit. In some cases, a health care provider may estimate that the higher payment rate from an individual market plan compared to Medicare or Medicaid is sufficient to allow it to pay a patient's premiums and still financially gain from the higher reimbursement rates. Issuers are not required to accept such payments from health care providers or provider-affiliated organizations, as described below. Enrollment decisions should be made, without influence, by the individual based on their specific circumstances, and health and financial needs. CMS has established standards for enrollment assisters, including navigators, which prohibit gifts of any value as an inducement for enrollment, and require information and services to be provided in a fair, accurate, and impartial manner.3 Additionally, CMS has established standards for insurance agents and brokers that register with the Federal Marketplace, including training about the interaction of Medicare and Medicaid eligibility with eligibility for individual market plans and financial assistance, and has remedies for insurance agents that provide inaccurate or incorrect information to consumers, such as misinformation about the impact of not enrolling in Medicare when an individual first becomes eligible, including termination of the Marketplace agreement, civil monetary penalties, and denial of right to enter agreements in future years.4

    3 45 CFR 155.210.

    4 45 CFR 155.220.

    We believe there is potential for financial harm to a consumer when a health care provider or provider-affiliated organization (including a non-profit organization affiliated with the provider) steers people who could receive or are receiving benefits under Medicare and/or Medicaid to enroll in an individual market plan. The potential harm is particularly acute when the steering occurs for the financial gain of the health care provider through higher payment rates without taking into account the needs of these beneficiaries. People who are steered from Medicare and Medicaid to the individual market may also experience a disruption in the continuity and coordination of their care as a result of changes in access to their network of providers, changes in prescription drug benefits, and loss of dental care for certain Medicaid beneficiaries. If an individual receives the benefit of APTC for a month he or she is eligible for minimum essential coverage, the individual (or the person who claims the individual as a tax dependent) may be required to repay some or all of the APTC at the time such person files his or her federal income tax return. Moreover, it is unlawful to enroll an individual in individual market coverage if they are known to be entitled to benefits under Medicare Part A, enrolled in Medicare Part B, or receiving Medicaid benefits. Importantly, those eligible for Medicare may be subject to late enrollment penalties if they do not enroll in Medicare when first eligible to do so—a monthly premium for Part B may go up 10 percent for each full 12-month period an individual could have had Part B, but did not sign up for it.5 Individuals who become eligible for Medicare based on receipt of Social Security benefits based on age or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) must forgo and if received repay their Social Security cash benefits if they wish to decline Medicare Part A benefits.6 Additionally, individuals who are steered into an individual market plan for renal dialysis services and then have a kidney transplant while enrolled in the individual market plan will not be eligible for Medicare Part B coverage of their immunosuppressant drugs if they enroll in Medicare at a later date.7

    5https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/penalty/part-b-late-enrollment-penalty.html.

    6https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Find-Your-Provider-Type/Employers-and-Unions/Top-5-things-you-need-to-know-about-Medicare-Enrollment.html.

    7https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/prescription-drugs-outpatient.html.

    Federal regulations at 45 CFR 156.1250 require that issuers offering Qualified Health Plans (QHPs), including stand-alone dental plans, and their downstream entities, accept premium and cost-sharing payments on behalf of QHP enrollees from the following third-party entities (in the case of a downstream entity, to the extent the entity routinely collects premiums or cost sharing): (a) A Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program under title XXVI of the Public Health Service Act; (b) an Indian tribe, tribal organization, or urban Indian organization; and (c) a local, state, or Federal government program, including a grantee directed by a government program to make payments on its behalf.8 Issuers are not required to accept such payments from other entities. These regulations were finalized in the 2017 HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters Final Rule, which made several amendments to the regulations previously codified through a March 19, 2014, HHS Interim final rule (IFR) with comment period titled, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Third Party Payment of Qualified Health Plan Premiums (79 FR 15240).

    8 2017 HHS Payment Notice Final Rule.

    Prior to publishing the IFR, HHS issued two “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) documents regarding premium and cost-sharing payments made by third parties on behalf of individual market plan enrollees. In an FAQ issued on November 4, 2013 (the November FAQ), HHS discouraged QHP issuers from accepting third-party payments made on behalf of enrollees by hospitals, other health care providers, and other commercial entities due to concerns that such practices could skew the insurance risk pool and create an unlevel field in the Exchanges. The FAQ also noted that HHS intended to monitor this practice and to take appropriate action, if necessary.

    On February 7, 2014, HHS issued another FAQ (the February FAQ) clarifying that the November FAQ did not apply to third party premium and cost-sharing payments made on behalf of enrollees by Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations; state and Federal government programs (such as the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program); or private, not-for-profit foundations that base eligibility on financial status, do not consider enrollees' health status, and provide assistance for an entire year. In the February FAQ, HHS affirmatively encouraged QHP issuers to accept payments from Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations; and state and Federal government programs (such as the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program) given that Federal or state law or policy specifically envisions third party payment of premium and cost-sharing amounts by these entities.

    CMS seeks to clarify that offering premium and cost-sharing assistance in order to steer people eligible for or receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits to individual market plans for a provider's financial gain is an inappropriate action that may have negative impacts on patients. CMS is strongly encouraging any provider or provider-affiliated organization that may be currently engaged in such a practice to end the practice. As noted above, enrollment decisions should be made based on an individual's particular financial and health needs.

    As we assess the extent of potential steering activities, its impact on beneficiaries and enrollees and the individual market single risk pool, CMS reminds healthcare providers and other entities that may be engaged in such behavior that we have several regulatory and operational tools that we may use to discourage premium payments and routine waiver of cost-sharing for individual market plans by health care providers, including, but not limited to, revisions to Medicare and Medicaid provider conditions of participation and enrollment rules, and imposition of civil monetary penalties for individuals who failed to provide correct information to the Exchange when enrolling consumers into QHPs.9 CMS is also working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement to investigate instances of potential fraud and abuse, as well as collaborating with private and public health plans on provider fraud in the Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership.10 We are exploring ways to use our existing authorities to impose civil monetary penalties on health care providers when their actions result in late enrollment penalties for Medicare eligible individuals who were steered to an individual market plan and delayed Medicare enrollment.

    9 45 CFR 155.285 Bases and process for imposing civil penalties for provision of false or fraudulent information to an Exchange or improper use or disclosure of information.

    10 See https://hfpp.cms.gov/ for more information.

    II. Solicitation of Comments

    We are seeking information from the public about circumstances in which steering into individual market plans may be taking place and the extent of such practices. We are particularly interested in transparency around the current practices providers may be using to enroll consumers in coverage. Our goal is to protect consumers from inappropriate health care provider behavior. People eligible for or receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits should not be unduly influenced in their decisions about their health coverage options. We also seek to maintain continuity of care for these beneficiaries and ensure patient choice is the primary reason for any change in health coverage. We also want to ensure healthcare is being provided efficiently and affordably. Accordingly, to more fully understand the types of situations in which steering may occur as we develop regulatory or operational changes to address these problems, we request comments on the following:

    • In what types of circumstances are healthcare providers or provider-affiliated organizations in a position to steer people to individual market plans? How, and to what extent, are health care providers actively engaged in such steering?

    • What impact is there to the single risk pool and to rates when people enter the single risk pool who might not otherwise have been in the pool because they would normally be covered under another government program? Are issuers accounting for this uncertainty when they are setting rates?

    • Are there examples of steering practices that specifically target people eligible for or receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits to enroll in individual market plans? In what ways are people eligible for or receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits particularly vulnerable to steering? To what extent, if any, are providers steering people eligible for or receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid to individual market plans because they are prohibited from billing the Medicare and Medicaid programs, through exclusion by the HHS Office of Inspector General, termination from State Medicaid plans or the revocation of Medicare billing privileges?

    • Is the payment of premiums and cost-sharing commonly used to steer individuals to individual market plans, or are other methods leading to Medicare and Medicaid eligible individuals being enrolled in individual market plans? Specifically, how often are issuers receiving payments directly from health care providers and/or provider affiliated organizations? Are issuers capable of determining when third party payments are made directly to a beneficiary and then transferred to the issuer? What actions could CMS consider to add transparency to third party payments?

    • How are enrollees impacted by the practice of a health care provider or provider-affiliated organizations enrolling an individual into an individual market plan and paying premiums for that individual market plan, when the individual was previously or concurrently receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits? We are concerned about instances where individuals eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits may have been disadvantaged by unscrupulous practices aimed at increasing provider payments, including impacts to the enrollee's continuity of care. We would be interested in knowing more about these practices and the extent to which they may be more widespread or varied than we have identified.

    • How are enrollees impacted by the practice of a health care provider enrolling an individual into an individual market plan and paying premiums for individual market plans, when the individual was eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid, but not enrolled? We are particularly interested in information about how to measure negative impacts on beneficiaries and enrollees, and what data sources and measurement methodologies are available to assess the impact of this behavior described in this request for information on beneficiaries and enrollees. We are seeking information on any financial impacts that are in addition to Medicare late enrollment penalties. For example, differentials in copayments and deductibles paid by enrollees in individual market plans, Medicare or Medicaid, and the impact of individual market plan network limitations on the financial obligations of enrollees, such as increased copayments and deductibles where the enrollee's chosen provider is out-of-network to the individual market plan.

    • What remedies could effectively deter health care providers or provider-affiliated organizations from steering people eligible for or enrolled in Medicare and/or Medicaid to individual market plans and paying premiums for the provider's financial gain? CMS is considering modifying regulations regarding civil monetary penalties and authority related to individual market plans.

    • What steps do third party payers take to effectively screen for Medicare and/or Medicaid eligibility before offering premium assistance? What steps do these entities take to make sure that any such individuals understand the impact of signing up for an individual market plan if they are already eligible for or receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits?

    • For providers that offer premium assistance, who is interacting with beneficiaries to determine proper enrollment? What questions are asked of the consumer to determine eligibility pathways? How are consumers connected to foundations or others who are in the position to provide premium assistance? How are premiums paid by providers or foundations for consumers?

    • We seek comment on policies prohibiting providers from making offers of premium assistance and routine cost-sharing waivers for individual market plans when a beneficiary is currently enrolled or could become enrolled in Medicare Part A and other adjustments to federal policy on premium assistance programs in the individual market to prevent negative impact to beneficiaries and the single risk pool.

    • We seek comments on changes to Medicare and Medicaid provider enrollment requirements and conditions of participation that would potentially restrict the ability of health care providers to manipulate patient enrollment in various health plans for their own benefit. We are also interested in information on the extent steering is associated with other inappropriate behavior, such as billing for services not provided, or quality of care concerns. We seek comment on the advisability of such restrictions, as well as considerations of how such restrictions would affect health care providers and beneficiaries.

    • We seek comment on policies to require Medicare and Medicaid-enrolled providers to report premium assistance and cost-sharing waivers for individual market enrollees to CMS or issuers.

    • We seek comments on whether individual market plans considered limiting their payment to health care providers to Medicare-based amounts for particular services and items of care and on potential approaches that would allow individual market plans to limit their payment to health care providers to Medicare-based amounts for particular services and items of care.

    • We seek comment on policies that would allow individual market plans to make retroactive payment adjustments to providers, when health care providers are found to have steered Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries and enrollees to enroll in an individual market plan for the provider's financial gain.

    III. Collection of Information Requirements

    This request for information constitutes a general solicitation of public comments as stated in the implementing regulations of the Paperwork Reduction Act at 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(4). Therefore, this request for information does not impose information collection requirements, that is, reporting, recordkeeping or third-party disclosure requirements. Consequently, there is no need for review by the Office of Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Dated: August 16, 2016. Andrew M. Slavitt, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20034 Filed 8-18-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    81 163 Tuesday, August 23, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Chippewa National Forest Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Chippewa National Forest (NF) Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Walker Minnesota. 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. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/chippewa.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, at 9:00 a.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 The Chase Resort, Lower Conference Room, 502 Cleveland Boulevard, Walker, Minnesota. The public is welcome to attend in person or via teleconference. For anyone who would like to attend via teleconference, please visit the Web site listed in the SUMMARY section or contact Todd Tisler at [email protected] for further details.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Chippewa NF Supervisor's Office, 200 Ash Avenue Northwest, Cass Lake, Minnesota. Please call ahead at 218-335-8629 to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Todd Tisler, RAC Coordinator by phone at 218-335-8629, or by 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:

    1. Review the July meeting notes,

    2. Receive testimony from the public,

    3. Proposed RAC project application review and discussion, and

    4. Discuss RAC project funding recommendations.

    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 14, 2016, 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 Todd Tisler, RAC Coordinator, Chippewa NF Supervisor's Office, 200 Ash Avenue Northwest, Cass Lake, Minnesota 56633; or by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 218-335-8637.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation. For access to the facility or proceedings, please contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: August 17, 2016. Darla Lenz, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20078 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Rogue and Umpqua Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rogue and Umpqua Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Roseburg, Oregon. 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. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://tinyurl.com/qjkrxps.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held September 7 and 8, at 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 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 Umpqua National Forest Supervisor's Office, 2900 NW Stewart Parkway, Roseburg, Oregon.

    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 Umpqua National Forest Supervisor's Office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cheryl Caplan, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 541-957-3270 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:

    1. Review projects proposals;

    2. Make project recommendations for Title II funding; and

    3. Review the status of projects previously funded by Title II monies.

    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 6, 2016, 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 Cheryl Caplan, RAC Coordinator, Umpqua National Forest Supervisor's Office, 2900 NW Stewart Parkway, Roseburg, Oregon 97471; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 541-957-3495.

    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 3, 2016. Alice B. Carlton, Umpqua Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-19355 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request August 17, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by September 22, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Rural Housing Service

    Title: 7 CFR 1924-F, Complaints and Compensation Defects.

    OMB Control Number: 0575-0082.

    Summary of Collection: Section 509C of title V of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended, authorizes the Rural Housing Service (RHS) to pay the costs for correcting defects or compensate borrowers of section 502 Direct loan funds for expenses arising out of defects with respect to newly constructed dwellings and new manufactured housing units with authorized funds. This regulation provides instruction to all RHS personnel to enable them to implement a procedure to accept and process complaints from borrowers/owners against builders and dealers/contractors, to resolve the complaint informally. When the complaint involves structural defects which cannot be resolved by the cooperation of the builder or dealer/contractor, it authorizes expenditure to resolve the defect with grant funds. Resolution could involve expenditure for (1) repairing defects; (2) reimbursing for emergency repairs; (3) pay temporary living expenses or (4) convey dwelling to RHS with release of liability for the RHS loan.

    Need and Use of the Information: The information is collected from agency borrowers and the local agency office serving the county in which the dwelling is located. This information is used by Rural Housing Staff to evaluate the request and assist the borrower in identifying possible causes and corrective actions. The information is collected on a case-by-case basis when initiated by the borrower. Without this information, RHS would be unable to assure that eligible borrowers would receive compensation to repair defects to their newly constructed dwellings.

    Description of Respondents: Business or for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 100.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 40.

    Rural Housing Service

    Title: Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Revitalization Restructuring Demonstration Program (MPR).

    OMB Control Number: 0575-0190.

    Summary of Collection: The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (Pub. L. 109-97) provides funding for, and authorizes the Rural Housing Service (RHS) to conduct a demonstration program for the preservation and revitalization of the Section 515 Multi-Family Housing portfolio. Section 515 of the Housing Act of 1949 provides Rural Development the authority to make loans for low-income Multi-Family Housing and related facilities.

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, (Pub. L. 114-113) authorized USDA to conduct a demonstration program for the preservation and revitalization of the sections 514, 515, and 516 multi-family rental housing properties to restructure existing USDA/Multi-Family Housing (MFH) loans to ensure the project has sufficient resources to provide safe and affordable housing for low-income residents and farm laborers.

    Need and Use of the Information: RHS will collect information from the proposer to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses to which the proposal concept possesses or lacks to select the most feasible proposals that will enhances the Agency's chances in accomplishing the demonstration objective. The information will be utilized to sustain and modify RHS' current policies pertaining to revitalization and preservation of affordable rental housing in rural areas.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or Households; Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 1,500.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 27,365.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20012 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    Pursuant to Section 251 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2341 et seq.), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of these firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firm's workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    List of Petitions Received by EDA for Certification Eligibility to Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance [8/10/2016 through 8/18/2016] Firm name Firm address Date accepted for investigation Product(s) Drake Powderworks, LLC 1549 South, 1100 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105 8/17/2016 The firm is a manufacturer of snow skis, bindings, and related accessories. DSA Operating Company, LLC 1235 West Laurel Street, San Antonio, TX 78201 8/17/2016 The firm is a manufacturer of precision machines, fittings and components. Hill Equipment Manufacturing, Inc. 2333 W. Wichita, Broken Arrow, OK 74012 8/17/2016 The firm is a manufacturer of proprietary parts for the oil industry and other firms. National K Works, Inc. 1717 Brittmoore Road, Houston, TX 77043 8/17/2016 The firm is an OEM manufacturer of precision machines, fittings and components. Tedco, Inc. 70 Glen Road, Cranston, RI 02920 8/17/2016 The firm is a manufacturer of precision custom components from both flat and wire stock processed for a variety of industries. Tool Technology, Inc. 3 Ajootian Way, Building A, Middleton, MA 01949 8/17/2016 The firm is a manufacturer of high quality, ultra-precision manufactured components and sub-assemblies.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Dated: August 18, 2016. Miriam Kearse, Lead Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20133 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration First Responder Network Authority First Responder Network Authority Board and Finance Committee Special Meeting AGENCY:

    First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting of the First Responder Network Authority Board.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of the First Responder Network Authority (Board) and the Board Finance Committee will hold a Special Meeting via telephone conference (teleconference) on August 26, 2016.

    DATES:

    The Special Meeting of the Board and the Board Finance Committee of the First Responder Network Authority will be held on August 26, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Special Meeting will be conducted via teleconference. Members of the public may listen to the meeting by dialing toll free 1-800-369-1808 and using passcode 7322336.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Miller-Kuwana, Board Secretary, FirstNet, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M/S 243, Reston, VA 20192; telephone: (571) 665-6177; email: [email protected]. Please direct media inquiries to Ryan Oremland at (571) 665-6186.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96, Title VI, 126 Stat. 256 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.)) (Act) established FirstNet as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that is headed by a Board. The Act directs FirstNet to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network. The FirstNet Board is responsible for making strategic decisions regarding FirstNet's operations. The FirstNet Board held its first public meeting on September 25, 2012.

    Matters to be Considered: FirstNet will post a detailed agenda for the Special Meeting on its Web site, http://www.firstnet.gov, prior to the meeting. The agenda topics are subject to change. Please note that the subjects that will be discussed by the Board Finance Committee and the Board may involve commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential or other legal matters affecting FirstNet. As such, the Committee Chair and Board Chair may call for a vote to close the meetings only for the time necessary to preserve the confidentiality of such information, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 1424(e)(2).

    Time and Date of Meeting: The Special Meeting of the Board and the Board Finance Committee of the First Responder Network Authority will be held on August 26, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. EDT. The time and date are subject to change. Please refer to FirstNet's Web site at www.firstnet.gov for the most up-to-date information.

    Place: The Special Meeting will be conducted via teleconference. Members of the public may listen to the meeting by dialing toll free 1-800-369-1808 and using passcode 7322336.

    Other Information: These teleconference for the Special Meeting is open to the public. On the date and time of the Special Meeting, members of the public may call toll free 1-800-369-1808 and use passcode 7322336 to listen to the meeting. If you experience technical difficulty, please contact the Conferencing Center customer service at 1-866-900-1011. Public access will be limited to listen-only. Due to the limited number of ports, attendance via teleconference will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The Special Meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations are asked to notify Ms. Miller-Kuwana by telephone (571) 665-6177 or email at [email protected] at least five (5) business days before the applicable meeting.

    Records: FirstNet maintains records of all Board proceedings. Minutes of the Board Meeting and the Committee meetings will be available at www.firstnet.gov.

    Dated: August 18, 2016. Karen Miller-Kuwana, Board Secretary, First Responder Network Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20123 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-TL-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-78-2016] Approval of Subzone Status; Next Level Apparel; Ashford, Alabama

    On June 1, 2016, the Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board docketed an application submitted by the Dothan-Houston County Foreign Trade Zone, Inc., grantee of FTZ 233, requesting subzone status subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 233, on behalf of Next Level Apparel in Ashford, Alabama.

    The application was processed in accordance with the FTZ Act and Regulations, including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (81 FR 37571, June 10, 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's Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to establish Subzone 233A is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ 233's 1,451-acre activation limit.

    Dated: August 18, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20168 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-17-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 158—Vicksburg/Jackson, Mississippi; Authorization of Limited Production Activity; Max Home, LLC (Upholstered Furniture); Iuka and Fulton, Mississippi

    On March 17, 2016, the Greater Mississippi Foreign-Trade Zone, Inc., grantee of FTZ 158, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Max Home, LLC, within Subzone 158F, in Iuka and Fulton, Mississippi.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (81 FR 20617-20618, April 8, 2016). The FTZ Board has determined that further review of part of the proposed activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification, including indefinite extension of production authority, is authorized on a limited basis, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.14, and further subject to a restriction requiring that foreign status upholstery leather (HTSUS 4107.11, 4107.92 and 4107.99) be admitted to the subzone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41). The activity otherwise remains subject to the restrictions and conditions established under Board Order 1744.

    Dated: August 16, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20180 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-351-602, A-588-602, A-583-605, A-549-807, A-570-814] Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    As a result of the determinations by the Department of Commerce (Department) and the International Trade Commission (ITC) that revocation of the antidumping duty (AD) orders on carbon butt-weld pipe fittings (BWPF) from Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the People's Republic of China (PRC) would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, the Department is publishing a notice of continuation of the antidumping duty orders.

    DATES:

    Effective August 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matthew Renkey, AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2312.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 1, 2016, the Department published the notice of initiation of the fourth sunset reviews of the antidumping duty orders on BWPF from Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the PRC, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).1 As a result of its review, the Department determined that revocation of the AD orders would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping.2 The Department, therefore, notified the ITC of the magnitude of the margins likely to prevail should the AD orders be revoked. On August 8, 2016, the ITC published notice of its determination, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act, that revocation of the AD orders on BWPF from Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the PRC would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.3

    1See Initiation of Five-Year (”Sunset”) Reviews, 81 FR 10578 (March 1, 2016).

    2See Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders, 81 FR 44270 (July 7, 2016) (Final Results).

    3See Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from Brazil, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand: Investigation Nos. 731-TA-308-310 and 520-521 (Fourth Review), USITC Publication 4628 (August 2016); see also Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from Brazil, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand; Determination, 81 FR 52460 (August 8, 2016).

    Scope of the Orders

    The merchandise covered by the orders consists of certain carbon steel butt-weld type fittings, other than couplings, under 14 inches in diameter, whether finished or unfinished. These imports are currently classified under subheading 7307.93.30 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The HTSUS subheading is provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written product description remains dispositive.4

    4 For a full description of the scope of the orders, see the Final Results and accompanying memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Expedited Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders on Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the People's Republic of China,” dated June 28, 2016. The scope language varies slightly amongst the countries due to the fact the investigations and subsequent orders for the PRC and Thailand occurred after the investigations for the other three countries. Additionally, the scope language for Taiwan includes a reference to a scope decision.

    Continuation of the Orders

    As a result of the determinations by the Department and the ITC that revocation of the AD orders would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping and material injury to an industry in the United States, pursuant to section 751(d)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(a), the Department hereby orders the continuation of the AD orders on BWPF from Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the PRC. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to collect AD cash deposits at the rates in effect at the time of entry for all imports of subject merchandise.

    The effective date of the continuation of the orders will be the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of continuation. Pursuant to section 751(c)(2) of the Act, the Department intends to initiate the next five-year review of the orders not later than 30 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the effective date of continuation.

    This five-year sunset review and this notice are in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and published pursuant to section 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(f)(4).

    Dated: August 15, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20174 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT or Committee), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will meet in an open session on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time and Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time. The VCAT is composed of fifteen members appointed by the NIST Director who are eminent in such fields as business, research, new product development, engineering, labor, education, management consulting, environment, and international relations.

    DATES:

    The VCAT will meet on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time and Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Katharine Blodgett Gebbie Laboratory Conference Room, Room 81-1A106, at NIST, 325 Broadway Street, Boulder, Colorado 80305. Please note admittance instructions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Serena Martinez, VCAT, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1060, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-1060, telephone number 301-975-2661. Mrs. Martinez's email address is [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 278 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

    The purpose of this meeting is for the VCAT to review and make recommendations regarding general policy for NIST, its organization, its budget, and its programs within the framework of applicable national policies as set forth by the President and the Congress. The agenda will include an update on major NIST programs and a presentation reviewing safety trends at NIST. There will be presentations and discussion about the evolution of NIST's research and development agenda over the past eight years and how to prioritize NIST's research in the future, including a focused discussion on NIST's role in the Administration's National Strategic Computing Initiative. The agenda will also include discussions on the adequacy of NIST's research facilities and the importance of a collaborative research environment. The agenda may change to accommodate Committee business. The final agenda will be posted on the NIST Web site at http://www.nist.gov/director/vcat/agenda.cfm.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions related to the Committee's affairs are invited to request a place on the agenda.

    On Wednesday, October 19, approximately one-half hour in the morning will be reserved for public comments and speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received, but is likely to be about 3 minutes each. The exact time for public comments will be included in the final agenda that will be posted on the NIST Web site at http://www.nist.gov/director/vcat/agenda.cfm. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements to VCAT, NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, MS 1060, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, via fax at 301-216-0529 or electronically by email to [email protected]

    All visitors to the NIST site are required to pre-register to be admitted. Please submit your name, time of arrival, email address and phone number to Serena Martinez by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Non-U.S. citizens must submit additional information; please contact Mrs. Martinez. Mrs. Martinez's email address is [email protected] and her phone number is 301-975-2661. For participants attending in person, please note that federal agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver's license or identification card for access to federal facilities if such license or identification card is issued by a state that is compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-13), or by a state that has an extension for REAL ID compliance. NIST currently accepts other forms of federal-issued identification in lieu of a state-issued driver's license. For detailed information please contact Mrs. Martinez at 301-975-2661 or visit: http://nist.gov/public_affairs/visitor/.

    Kent Rochford, Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20121 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Genome in a Bottle Consortium—Progress and Planning Workshop AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public workshop.

    SUMMARY:

    NIST announces the Genome in a Bottle (GIAB) Consortium meeting to be held on Thursday and Friday, September 15 and 16, 2016. The Genome in a Bottle Consortium is developing the reference materials, reference methods, and reference data needed to assess confidence in human whole genome variant calls. A principal motivation for this consortium is to enable performance assessment of sequencing and science-based regulatory oversight of clinical sequencing. The purpose of this meeting is to update participants about progress of the consortium work, continue to get broad input from individual stakeholders to update or refine the consortium work plan, continue to broadly solicit consortium membership from interested stakeholders, and invite members to participate in work plan implementation. September 15 will be a new sample thinkshop to discuss new GIAB genomes in parallel with a data jamboree to develop high-confidence calls for difficult variants and difficult regions. September 16 will be the plenary session to present GIAB progress updates and emerging technical work.

    DATES:

    The Genome in a Bottle Consortium meeting will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time and Friday, September 16, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Attendees must register by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, September 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Lecture Room A, Lecture Room B, and the Green Auditorium, Building 101, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899. Please note admittance instructions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information contact Justin Zook by email at [email protected] or by phone at (301) 975-4133 or Marc Salit by email at [email protected] or by phone at (650) 350-2338. To register, go to: https://appam.certain.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x311041593.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Clinical application of ultra-high throughput sequencing for hereditary genetic diseases and oncology is rapidly growing. At present, there are no widely accepted genomic standards or quantitative performance metrics for confidence in variant calling. These standards and quantitative performance metrics are needed to achieve the confidence in measurement results expected for sound, reproducible research and regulated applications in the clinic. On April 13, 2012, NIST convened the workshop “Genome in a Bottle” to initiate a consortium to develop the reference materials, reference methods, and reference data needed to assess confidence in human whole genome variant calls (www.genomeinabottle.org). On August 16-17, 2012, NIST hosted the first large public meeting of the Genome in a Bottle Consortium, with about 100 participants from government, academic institutions, and industry. This meeting was announced in the Federal Register (77 FR 43237) on July 24, 2012. A principal motivation for this consortium is to enable science-based regulatory oversight of clinical sequencing.

    At the August 2012 meeting, the consortium established work plans for four technical working groups with the following responsibilities:

    (1) Reference Material (RM) Selection and Design: select appropriate sources for whole genome RMs and identify or design synthetic DNA constructs that could be spiked-in to samples for measurement assurance.

    (2) Measurements for Reference Material Characterization: design and carry out experiments to characterize the RMs using multiple sequencing methods, other methods, and validation of selected variants using orthogonal technologies.

    (3) Bioinformatics, Data Integration, and Data Representation: develop methods to analyze and integrate the data for each RM, as well as select appropriate formats to represent the data.

    (4) Performance Metrics and Figures of Merit: develop useful performance metrics and figures of merit that can be obtained through measurement of the RMs.

    The products of these technical working groups will be a set of well-characterized whole genome and synthetic DNA RMs along with the methods (documentary standards) and reference data necessary for use of the RMs. These products will be designed to help enable translation of whole genome sequencing to regulated clinical applications. The pilot NIST whole genome RM 8398 was released in May 2015 and is available at http://tinyurl.com/giabpilot. The consortium is currently analyzing and integrating data from two trios that are candidate NIST RMs. The consortium meets in workshops two times per year, in January at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, and in August at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD. At these workshops, including the last meetings at Stanford in January 2016 and at NIST in August 2015, participants in the consortium have discussed progress in developing well-characterized genomes for NIST Reference Materials and planned future experiments and analysis of these genomes (see https://federalregister.gov/a/2012-18064, https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-18934, https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-18841, https://federalregister.gov/a/2015-01158, and https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/01/05/2015-33140/genome-in-a-bottle-consortium-progress-and-planning-workshop for announcements of past workshops at NIST and Stanford). The January 2016 meeting was announced in the Federal Register (81 FR 226) on January 5, 2016, and the meeting is summarized at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VdP96SYCPcZZvXprowMq8rp6FURCxSh1uo4Dd1tTpJY/edit?usp=drive_web.

    There is no cost for participating in the consortium. No proprietary information will be shared as part of the consortium, and all research results will be in the public domain.

    All attendees are required to pre-register. Anyone wishing to attend this meeting must pre-register at https://appam.certain.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x311041593 by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, September 8, 2016, in order to attend.

    Kent Rochford, Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20120 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; South Pacific Tuna Act AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 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 24, 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 Tom Graham, (808) 725-5032 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects vessel license, vessel registration, catch, and unloading information from operators of United States (U.S.) purse seine vessels fishing within a large region of the western and central Pacific Ocean, which is governed by the Treaty on Fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America. The Treaty, along with its annexes, schedules and implementing agreements, was signed in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in 1987. This collection of information is required to meet U.S. obligations under the Treaty.

    The Treaty authorizes U.S. tuna vessels to fish within fishing zones of a large region of the Pacific Ocean. The South Pacific Tuna Act of 1988 (16 U.S.C. 973-973r) and U.S. implementing regulations (50 CFR part 300, subpart D) authorize the collection of information from participants in the Treaty fishery. Vessel operators who wish to participate in the Treaty Fishery must submit annual vessel license and registration (including registration of vessel monitoring system (VMS) units) applications and periodic written reports of catch and unloading of fish from licensed vessels. They are also required to ensure the continued operation of VMS units on board licensed vessels, which is expected to require periodic maintenance of the units. The information collected is submitted to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) through the U.S. government, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The license and registration application information is used by the FFA to determine the operational capability and financial responsibility of a vessel operator interested in participating in the Treaty fishery. Information obtained from vessel catch and unloading reports is used by the FFA to assess fishing effort and fishery resources in the region and to track the amount of fish caught within each Pacific island state's exclusive economic zone for fair disbursement of Treaty monies. Maintenance of VMS units is needed to ensure the continuous operation of the VMS units, which, as part of the VMS administered by the FFA, are used as an enforcement tool. If the information is not collected, the U.S. government will not meet its obligations under the Treaty, and the lack of fishing information will result in poor management of the fishery resources.

    II. Method of Collection

    All information should be submitted in hard copy via mail.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0218.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved collection).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 41.

    Estimated Time per Response: License application, 15 minutes; VMS registration application, 45 minutes; catch report, 1 hour; and unloading logsheet, 30 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 402.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $143,121 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    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 18, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20080 Filed 8-22-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE794 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Workshops AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; nominations for shark stock assessment Advisory Panel.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS solicits nominations for the “SEDAR Pool,” also known as the Advisory Panel for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) Workshops. The SEDAR Pool is comprised of a group of individuals who may be selected to consider data and advise NMFS regarding the scientific information, including but not limited to data and models, used in stock assessments for oceanic sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. Nominations are being sought for a 5-year appointment (2017-2022). Individuals with definable interests in the recreational and commercial fishing and related industries, environmental community, academia, and non-governmental organizations will be considered for membership on the SEDAR Pool.

    DATES:

    Nominations must be received on or before September 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit nominations and request the SEDAR Pool Statement of Organization, Practices, and Procedures by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail: Karyl Brewster-Geisz, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Include on the envelope the following identifier: “SEDAR Pool Nomination.”

    Fax: 301-713-1917.

    Additional information on SEDAR and the SEDAR guidelines can be found at http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/. The terms of reference for the SEDAR Pool, along with a list of current members, can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/SEDAR/SEDAR.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Delisse Ortiz, (240-681-9037) or Karyl Brewster-Geisz, (301) 425-8503.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 302(g)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., states that each Council shall establish such advisory panels as are necessary or appropriate to assist it in carrying out its functions under the Act. For the purposes of this section, NMFS applies the above Council provision to the HMS Management Division (See Section 304(g)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which provides that the Secretary will prepare fishery management plans for HMS and consult with Advisory Panels under section 302(g) for such FMPs). As such, NMFS has established the SEDAR Pool under this section. The SEDAR Pool currently consists of 27 individuals, each of whom may be selected to review data and advise NMFS regarding the scientific information, including but not limited to data and models, used in stock assessments for oceanic sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. While the SEDAR Pool was created specifically for Atlantic oceanic sharks, it may be expanded to include other HMS, as needed.

    The primary purpose of the individuals in the SEDAR Pool is to review, at SEDAR workshops, the scientific information (including but not limited to data and models) used in stock assessments that are used to advise NMFS, as a delegate to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), about the conservation and management of the Atlantic HMS, specifically but not limited to, Atlantic sharks. Individuals in the SEDAR Pool, if selected, may participate in the various data, assessment, and review workshops during the SEDAR process of any HMS stock assessment. In order to ensure that the peer review is unbiased, individuals who participated in a data and/or assessment workshop for a particular stock assessment will not be allowed to serve as reviewers for the same stock assessment. However, these individuals may be asked to attend the review workshop to answer specific questions from the reviewers concerning the data and/or assessment workshops. Members of the SEDAR Pool may serve as members of other Advisory Panels concurrent with, or following, their service on the SEDAR Pool.

    Procedures and Guidelines A. Participants

    The SEDAR Pool is comprised of individuals representing the commercial and recreational fishing communities for Atlantic sharks, the environmental community active in the conservation and management of Atlantic sharks, and the academic community that have relevant expertise either with sharks and/or stock assessment methodologies for marine fish species. Also, individuals who may not necessarily work directly with sharks, but who are involved in fisheries with similar life history, biology and fishery issues may be part of the SEDAR panel. Members of the SEDAR Pool must have demonstrated experience in the fisheries, related industries, research, teaching, writing, conservation, or management of marine organisms. The distribution of representation among the interested parties is not defined or limited.

    Additional members of the SEDAR Pool may also include representatives from each of the five Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Councils, each of the 18 Atlantic states, both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and each of the interstate commissions: the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

    If NMFS requires additional members to ensure a diverse pool of individuals for data or assessment workshops, NMFS may request individuals to become members of the SEDAR Pool outside of the annual nomination period.

    Panel members serve at the discretion of the Secretary. Not all members will attend each SEDAR workshop. Rather, NMFS will invite certain members to participate at specific stock assessment workshops dependent on their ability to participate, discuss, and recommend scientific decisions regarding the species being assessed.

    NMFS is not obligated to fulfill any requests (e.g., requests for an assessment of a certain species) that may be made by the SEDAR Pool or its individual members. Members of the SEDAR Pool who are invited to attend stock assessment workshops will not be compensated for their services but may be reimbursed for their travel-related expenses to attend such workshops.

    B. Nomination Procedures for Appointments to the SEDAR Pool

    Member tenure will be for 5 years. Nominations are sought for terms beginning early in 2017 and expiring in 2022. Nomination packages should include:

    1. The name, address, phone number, and email of the applicant or nominee;

    2. A description of the applicant's or nominee's interest in Atlantic shark stock assessments or the Atlantic shark fishery;

    3. A statement of the applicant's or nominee's background and/or qualifications; and

    4. A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall participate actively and in good faith in the tasks of the SEDAR Pool, as requested.

    C. Meeting Schedule

    Individual members of the SEDAR Pool meet to participate in stock assessments at the discretion of the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS. Stock assessment timing, frequency, and relevant species will vary depending on the needs determined by NMFS and SEDAR staff. In 2017, NMFS intends to update the Gulf of Mexico bl