Federal Register Vol. 81, No.171,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 171 (September 2, 2016)

Page Range60581-61098
FR Document

81_FR_171
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 60748 - Audit Committee Meeting; Sunshine ActPDF
81 FR 60581 - Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker Numerical Limitation for Fiscal Year 2017PDF
81 FR 60683 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
81 FR 60753 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 60764 - In the Matter of Luxeyard, Inc., and SuperDirectories, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 60767 - In the Matter of Multi-Corp. International, Inc., Pan American Goldfields Ltd., and Sky Harvest Energy Corp., File No. 500-1; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 60754 - Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of Governors; Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 60773 - Notice of Intent To Release Certain Properties From All Terms, Conditions, Reservations and Restrictions of a Quitclaim Deed Agreement Between the City of Vero Beach and the Federal Aviation Administration for the Vero Beach Regional Airport, Vero Beach, FLPDF
81 FR 60746 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-ODVA, Inc.PDF
81 FR 60747 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Cooperative Research Group on CHEDE-VIIPDF
81 FR 60698 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses; Correction and Reopening of Comment PeriodPDF
81 FR 60621 - Butanedioic Acid, 2-Methylene-, Polymer With 1,3-Butadiene, Ethylbenzene and 2-Hydroxyethyl-2-Propenoate; Tolerance ExemptionPDF
81 FR 60683 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 60694 - Alternative Method for Calculating Off-cycle Credits Under the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Volkswagen Group of AmericaPDF
81 FR 60617 - James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Reauthorization ActPDF
81 FR 60671 - Notice of 106th Commission MeetingPDF
81 FR 60727 - Notice of Application for Withdrawal Extension; Notice of Application for Withdrawal Expansion; and Opportunity for Public Meeting; Department of the Air Force, Nevada Test and Training Range, NevadaPDF
81 FR 60736 - Notice of Application for withdrawal extension; Notice of Application for Withdrawal Expansion; and Opportunity for Public Meeting; Naval Air Station, Fallon, NevadaPDF
81 FR 60671 - Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 60672 - Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 60713 - Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection-009 Electronic System for Travel Authorization System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 60680 - Procurement List; Additions and DeletionsPDF
81 FR 60681 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionsPDF
81 FR 60635 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota TransferPDF
81 FR 60777 - Hazardous Materials: California Meal and Rest Break RequirementsPDF
81 FR 60779 - Information Collection ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 60704 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 60648 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal ApportionmentsPDF
81 FR 60704 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 60697 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 60675 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management ActPDF
81 FR 60771 - City of Tacoma, Department of Public Utilities, Beltline Division-Discontinuance of Service Exemption-in Thurston County, WAPDF
81 FR 60677 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification WorkshopsPDF
81 FR 60666 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 16PDF
81 FR 60702 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
81 FR 60701 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 60679 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 60674 - North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 60675 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 60731 - Notice of Availability of the Proposed Resource Management Plans for the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas; Proposed Amendment to the St. George Field Office Resource Management Plan; and Abbreviated Final Environmental Impact Statement, UtahPDF
81 FR 60743 - Moose-Wilson Corridor Comprehensive Management Plan, Final Environmental Impact Statement, Grand Teton National Park, WyomingPDF
81 FR 60679 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 60691 - Proposed Agency Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 60692 - Secretary of Energy Advisory Board; Notice of RenewalPDF
81 FR 60781 - Art Advisory Panel-Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 60781 - Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee September 16, 2016, Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 60733 - Proposed Supplementary Rules for the Zortman Ranger Station and Buffington Day Use Area on Public Land in Phillips County Near Zortman, MTPDF
81 FR 60707 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act Cover SheetPDF
81 FR 60698 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0030, -0104 & -0122)PDF
81 FR 60663 - Security Zone; Potomac River and Anacostia River, and Adjacent Waters; Washington, DCPDF
81 FR 60620 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway (NJICW), Atlantic City, NJPDF
81 FR 60692 - Tilton Energy LLC v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
81 FR 60693 - Western Area Power Administration; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 60693 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 60720 - Endangered Species; Issuance of Recovery PermitsPDF
81 FR 60708 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Countermeasures Injury Compensation ProgramPDF
81 FR 60780 - Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee and Minority Depository Institutions Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 60748 - South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, South Carolina Public Service Authority; Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3; Diverse Actuation System Cabinet ChangesPDF
81 FR 60749 - Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3PDF
81 FR 60774 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project, Multnomah and Washington Counties, OregonPDF
81 FR 60691 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, NevadaPDF
81 FR 60706 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or Feed; Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant FeedPDF
81 FR 60635 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex; Framework Adjustment 3; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 60636 - Revisions to Framework Adjustment 55 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Updated Annual Catch Limits for Sectors and the Common Pool for Fishing Year 2016PDF
81 FR 60745 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
81 FR 60701 - Notice of Request for Additional InformationPDF
81 FR 60744 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
81 FR 60774 - Union Pacific Railroad's Request for Positive Train Control Safety Plan Approval and System CertificationPDF
81 FR 60585 - Access to Data Obtained by Security-Based Swap Data RepositoriesPDF
81 FR 60754 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 60755 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 60755 - Investment Company Act of 1940; Release No. 32242/August 29, 2016; Order Under Sections 26(c) and 17(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Act”)PDF
81 FR 60758 - Starboard Investment Trust and Cavalier Investments, Inc.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 60765 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Expand the Short Term Option Series ProgramPDF
81 FR 60756 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 1042A, Exercise of Options Contracts and Options Floor Procedure Advice G-1, Index Option Exercise Advice FormsPDF
81 FR 60768 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Adopt the Third Party Connectivity Service Under Rules 7034(b) and 7051PDF
81 FR 60759 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, Regarding Use of Rule 144A Securities by the Fidelity Corporate Bond ETF, Fidelity Investment Grade Bond ETF, Fidelity Limited Term Bond ETF, and Fidelity Total Bond ETFPDF
81 FR 60705 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Abbreviated New Animal Drug ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 60771 - Oklahoma Disaster Number OK-00105PDF
81 FR 60713 - Homeland Security Advisory Council-New TaskingPDF
81 FR 61068 - TRICARE; Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder TreatmentPDF
81 FR 60712 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 60711 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 60712 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 60712 - National Eye Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 60692 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 60710 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
81 FR 60710 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License: Development of Integrin αvβ3 Antagonists for Use in Imaging and TherapyPDF
81 FR 60669 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 60772 - Forty-Third Meeting of the SC-224 Airport Security Access Control SystemsPDF
81 FR 60747 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request for Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program Data Exchange StandardizationPDF
81 FR 60621 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; China Basin, San Francisco, CAPDF
81 FR 60772 - Notice of Intent To Release Certain Properties From All Terms, Conditions, Reservations and Restrictions of a Quitclaim Deed Agreement Between the City of Vero Beach and the Federal Aviation Administration for the Vero Beach Regional Airport, Vero Beach, FLPDF
81 FR 60718 - Announcement of Funding Awards for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program Fiscal Year 2015PDF
81 FR 60719 - Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Application Notice of Emergency Approval of an Information Collection, and 60-Day Notice To Commence Extended ApprovalPDF
81 FR 60746 - Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From Mexico and TurkeyPDF
81 FR 60702 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 60609 - Definition of Terms Relating to Marital StatusPDF
81 FR 60655 - Personal Commercial Solicitation on DoD InstallationsPDF
81 FR 60608 - PassportsPDF
81 FR 60773 - Notice of Availability for Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS), Department of Transportation Act of 1966 Section 4(f) Evaluation, and Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act Subsistence Evaluation for the Proposed Airport, Angoon, AlaskaPDF
81 FR 60676 - Solicitation for Members of the NOAA Science Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 60582 - Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines AG Turbofan EnginesPDF
81 FR 60676 - Notice of Public Hearing and Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Management Plan for the Proposed Designation of the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve in Hawai`iPDF
81 FR 60633 - Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 60669 - Tahoe National Forest; Placer County, California; Sugar Pine Project Water Right Permit 15375 Extension and Radial Gates InstallationPDF
81 FR 60996 - Secretarial Review and Publication of the National Quality Forum Annual Report to Congress and the Secretary Submitted by the Consensus-Based Entity Regarding Performance MeasurementPDF
81 FR 60651 - Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers: Ban on Third-Party Solicitation; Notice of Order With Respect to MSRB Rule G-37PDF
81 FR 60653 - Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers: Ban on Third-Party Solicitation; Notice of Order With Respect to FINRA Rule 2030PDF
81 FR 60625 - Improvements to Benchmarks and Related Requirements Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile HandsetsPDF
81 FR 60732 - Notice of Public Meetings for the John Day-Snake Resource Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 60878 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
81 FR 61032 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Act Compensatory Mitigation PolicyPDF
81 FR 60784 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Conventional Cooking ProductsPDF
81 FR 60649 - Filing of Complaints of Prohibited Personnel Practices or Other Prohibited Activities and Filing Disclosures of InformationPDF

Issue

81 171 Friday, September 2, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Membership Changes under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Cooperative Research Group on CHEDE-VII, 60747 2016-21222 ODVA, Inc., 60746-60747 2016-21223 Arctic Arctic Research Commission NOTICES Meetings, 60671 2016-21215 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60702-60704 2016-21103 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60704-60705 2016-21199 2016-21201 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: China Basin, San Francisco, CA, 60621 2016-21109 New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Atlantic City, NJ, 60620-60621 2016-21174 PROPOSED RULES Security Zones: Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Adjacent Waters, Washington, DC, 60663-60666 2016-21175 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 60680-60683 2016-21207 2016-21208 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 60683 2016-21323 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee; Minority Depository Institutions Advisory Committee, 60780-60781 2016-21167 Defense Department Defense Department RULES TRICARE: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment, 61068-61098 2016-21125 PROPOSED RULES Personal Commercial Solicitation on DoD Installations, 60655-60663 2016-21092 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Privacy Act; System of Records, 60683-60691 2016-21218 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program Data Exchange Standardization, 60747-60748 2016-21110 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Programs: Standards for Residential Conventional Cooking Products, 60784-60876 2016-20721 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60691-60692 2016-21182 Charter Renewals: Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, 60692 2016-21181 Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Nevada, 60691 2016-21158
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Tolerance Exemptions: Butanedioic Acid, 2-Methylene-, Polymer with 1,3-Butadiene, Ethylbenzene and 2-Hydroxyethyl-2-Propenoate, 60621-60625 2016-21219 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc., 60697-60698 2016-21198 Off-Cycle Credits under the Light-duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Application for Alternative Method of Calculation, BMW Group, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Volkswagen Group of America, 60694-60697 2016-21217 Pesticide Product Registrations: Applications for New Uses; Correction, 60698 2016-21220 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: International Aero Engines AG Turbofan Engines, 60582-60585 2016-21061 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Proposed Airport, Angoon, AK, 60773 2016-21083 Meetings: SC-224 Airport Security Access Control Systems, 60772 2016-21111 Release of Airport Property: Vero Beach Regional Airport, Vero Beach, FL, 60772-60774 2016-21108 2016-21225 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Improvements to Benchmarks and Related Requirements Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets, 60625-60633 2016-20871 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60698-60701 2016-21176 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 60692-60693 2016-21115 2016-21170 Complaints: Tilton Energy LLC v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., 60692-60693 2016-21172 Filings: Western Area Power Administration, 60693-60694 2016-21171 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 60701 2016-21141 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance; Correction, 60633-60634 2016-20927 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Positive Train Control Safety Plans: Union Pacific Railroad, 60774 2016-21139 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 60702 2016-21192 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 60701-60702 2016-21191 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project, Multnomah and Washington counties, OR, 60774-60777 2016-21160 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species Recovery Permits, 60720-60726 2016-21169 Endangered and Threatened Species: Endangered Species Act Compensatory Mitigation Policy, 61032-61065 2016-20757 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Abbreviated New Animal Drug Applications, 60705-60706 2016-21128 Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act Cover Sheet, 60707-60708 2016-21177 Substances Prohibited from Use in Animal Food or Feed; Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant Feed, 60706-60707 2016-21157 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60669 2016-21112 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Sugar Pine Project Water Right Permit 15375 Extension and Radial Gates Installation, Tahoe National Forest, Placer County, CA, 60669-60671 2016-20921 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES National Quality Forum Annual Report to Congress and the Secretary, 60996-61029 2016-20908
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, 60708-60710 2016-21168 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

RULES Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island-Only Transitional Worker Numerical Limitation for Fiscal Year 2017, 60581-60582 2016-21325 NOTICES New Taskings: Homeland Security Advisory Council, 60713 2016-21126 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 60713-60718 2016-21210
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Application, 60719-60720 2016-21106 Federal Property Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 60878-60993 2016-20792 Funding Awards: Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program; Fiscal Year 2015, 60718-60719 2016-21107 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Definition of Terms Relating to Marital Status, 60609-60617 2016-21096 NOTICES Meetings: Art Advisory Panel, 60781 2016-21180 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Taiwan; 2014-2015 Administrative Review, 60671-60672 2016-21212 Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea; 2014-2015 Administrative Review, 60672-60674 2016-21211 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from Mexico and Turkey, 60746 2016-21104 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

RULES James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Reauthorization Act, 60617-60620 2016-21216
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Applications for Withdrawal of Public Lands: Department of the Air Force, Nevada Test and Training Range, 60727-60730 2016-21214 Naval Air Station, Fallon, NV, 60736-60743 2016-21213 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas; St. George Field Office, Utah, 60731-60732 2016-21185 Meetings: John Day-Snake Resource Advisory Council, 60732-60733 2016-20819 Public Land Supplementary Rules: Zortman Ranger Station, Buffington Day Use Area, Phillips County near Zortman, MT, 60733-60736 2016-21178 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 60710-60711 2016-21114 Meetings: National Eye Institute, 60712-60713 2016-21116 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 60711-60712 2016-21117 2016-21118 2016-21119 2016-21120 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 60712 2016-21121 Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License: Development of Integrin a-v beta-3 Antagonists for use in Imaging and Therapy, 60710 2016-21113 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal Apportionments; Inseason Adjustment, 60648 2016-21200 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer, 60635-60636 2016-21206 Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 55; Revisions and Updates, 60636-60647 2016-21154 Northeast Skate Complex; Framework Adjustment 3; Correction, 60635 2016-21156 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 16, 60666-60668 2016-21193 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Exempted Fishing Permits for Longline Vessels within the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone, 60675-60676 2016-21196 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve, HI; Public Hearing, 60676 2016-21059 Meetings: Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops, 60677-60679 2016-21194 Fisheries of the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 60675 2016-21187 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 60679-60680 2016-21183 New England Fishery Management Council, 60679 2016-21190 North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 60674-60675 2016-21188 2016-21189 Requests for Nominations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board, 60676-60677 2016-21078 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Moose-Wilson Corridor Comprehensive Management Plan, Grand Teton National Park, WY, 60743-60744 2016-21184 National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 60744-60745 2016-21140 2016-21142 Neighborhood Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 60748 2016-21362 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Exemptions: South Carolina Electric and Gas Co., South Carolina Public Service Authority, Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3; Diverse Actuation System Cabinet Changes, 60748-60749 2016-21162 License Amendment Applications: Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3, 60749-60753 2016-21161 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 60753-60754 2016-21304 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 60779-60780 2016-21202 Hazardous Materials: California Meal and Rest Break Requirements, 60777-60779 2016-21205 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 60754 2016-21244 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission RULES Access to Data Obtained by Security-Based Swap Data Repositories, 60585-60608 2016-21137 PROPOSED RULES Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers; Ban on Third-Party Solicitation, 60651-60654 2016-20889 2016-20890 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 60754-60755 2016-21135 2016-21136 Applications: Starboard Investment Trust and Cavalier Investments, Inc., 60758-60759 2016-21133 Orders: Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, Allianz Life Variable Account A, et al, 60755 2016-21134 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: International Securities Exchange, LLC, 60765-60767 2016-21132 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 60756-60758 2016-21131 Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 60768-60771 2016-21130 NYSE Arca, Inc., 60759-60764 2016-21129 Suspension of Trading Orders: Luxeyard, Inc., and SuperDirectories, Inc., 60764-60765 2016-21301 Multi-Corp. International, Inc., Pan American Goldfields Ltd., and Sky Harvest Energy Corp., 60767 2016-21300 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Oklahoma; Amendment 1, 60771 2016-21127 Special Counsel Special Counsel Office PROPOSED RULES Types of Complaints, Filing of Complaints of Prohibited Personnel Practices or other Prohibited Activities, and Filing Disclosures of Information, 60649-60651 2016-20527 State Department State Department RULES Passports, 60608-60609 2016-21087 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Discontinuance of Service Exemptions: Department of Public Utilities, Beltline Division, Tacoma, WA, 60771-60772 2016-21195 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Internal Revenue Service

See

United States Mint

U.S. Mint United States Mint NOTICES Meetings: Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, 60781 2016-21179 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Energy Department, 60784-60876 2016-20721 Part III Housing and Urban Development Department, 60878-60993 2016-20792 Part IV Health and Human Services Department, 60996-61029 2016-20908 Part V Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 61032-61065 2016-20757 Part VI Defense Department, 61068-61098 2016-21125 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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81 171 Friday, September 2, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Part 214 [CIS No. 2586-16; DHS Docket No. USCIS-2012-0010] RIN 1615-ZB59 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker Numerical Limitation for Fiscal Year 2017 AGENCY:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION:

Notification of numerical limitation.

SUMMARY:

The Secretary of Homeland Security announces that the annual fiscal year numerical limitation for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) nonimmigrant classification for fiscal year (FY) 2017 (October 1, 2016—September 30, 2017) is set at 12,998. This notice announces the mandated annual reduction of the CW-1 numerical limitation and provides the public with additional information regarding the new CW-1 numerical limit. This notice ensures that CNMI employers and employees have sufficient information regarding the maximum number of foreign workers who may be granted CW-1 transitional worker status during FY 2017.

DATES:

Effective Date: September 2, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Paola Rodriguez Hale, Adjudications Officer (Policy), Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060. Contact telephone 202-272-8377.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

Title VII of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA) extended U.S. immigration law, with limited exception, to the CNMI and provided CNMI-specific provisions affecting foreign workers. See Public Law 110-229, 122 Stat. 754, 853-854. The CNRA provided for a “transition period” to phase out the CNMI's nonresident contract worker program and phase in the U.S. federal immigration system in a manner that minimizes adverse economic and fiscal effects and maximizes the CNMI's potential for future economic and business growth. See sections 701(b) and 702(a) of the CNRA.

The CNRA authorized the Secretary of Homeland Security to create a nonimmigrant classification that would ensure adequate employment in the CNMI during the transition period. See section 702(a) of the CNRA; 48 U.S.C. 1806(d). The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule on September 7, 2011, amending the regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(w) to implement a temporary, CNMI-only transitional worker nonimmigrant classification (CW classification, which includes CW-1 for principal workers and CW-2 for spouses and minor children). See Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Transitional Worker Classification, 76 FR 55502 (Sept. 7, 2011).

The CNRA mandated an annual reduction in the allocation of the number of permits issued per year and in 2014 Congress extended the sunset date to provide for the total elimination of the CW nonimmigrant classification by the December 31, 2019 sunset date. See 48 U.S.C. 1806(d)(2). At the outset of the transitional worker program, DHS set the CW-1 numerical limitation for FY 2011 at 22,417 and for FY 2012 at 22,416. DHS announced these annual numerical limitations in DHS regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(w)(1)(viii)(A) and (B).

DHS subsequently opted to publish any future annual numerical limitations by Federal Register notice. See 8 CFR 214.2(w)(1)(viii)(C). Instead of developing a numerical limit reduction plan, DHS determined that it would assess the CNMI's workforce needs on a yearly basis during the transition period. Id. This approach to the allocation system ensured that CNMI employers had an adequate supply of workers to better facilitate a smooth transition into the federal immigration system. It also provided DHS with the flexibility to adjust to the future needs of the CNMI economy and to assess the total foreign workforce needs based on the number of requests for transitional worker nonimmigrant classification received following implementation of the CW-1 program.

DHS followed this same rationale for the FY 2013 and FY 2014 numerical limitations. After assessing all workforce needs, including the opportunity for economic growth, DHS set the CW-1 numerical limitation at 15,000 and 14,000 respectively for FY 2013 and FY 2014. See CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Numerical Limitation for Fiscal Year 2013, 77 FR 71287 (Nov. 30, 2012); CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Numerical Limitation for Fiscal Year 2014, 78 FR 58867 (Sept. 25, 2013). DHS based the FY 2013 and FY 2014 numerical limitations on the actual demonstrated need for foreign workers in the CNMI during FY 2012. See 77 FR 71287, 78 FR 58867.

The CNRA directed that the U.S. Secretary of Labor must determine whether an extension of the CW program for an additional period of up to 5 years is necessary to ensure that an adequate number of workers will be available for legitimate businesses in the CNMI. The CNRA further provided the Secretary of Labor with the authority to provide for such an extension through notice in the Federal Register. On June 3, 2014, the Secretary of Labor extended the CW program for an additional 5 years, through December 31, 2019. See Secretary of Labor Extends the Transition Period of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands-Only Transitional Worker Program, 79 FR 31988 (June 3, 2014).

DHS based the FY 2015 numerical limitation on a number of factors, including:

• The Department of Labor's extension of the CW program;

• The CNMI's labor market needs; and

• The CNRA's mandate to annually reduce the number of transitional workers until the end of the extended transitional worker program.

See CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Numerical Limitation for Fiscal Year 2015, 79 FR 58241 (Sept. 29, 2014). Since the Secretary of Labor extended the CW program at least until December 31, 2019, DHS decided to preserve the status quo, or current conditions, rather than aggressively reduce CW-1 numbers for FY 2015. DHS therefore reduced the numerical limitation nominally by one, resulting in an FY 2015 limit of 13,999. See id.

On December 16, 2014, Congress amended the law to extend the transition period until December 31, 2019. See Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235, sec. 10, 128 Stat. 2130, 2134 (codified at 48 U.S.C. 1806(d)). Congress also eliminated the Secretary of Labor's authority to provide for future extensions of the CW-1 program, requiring the CW-1 program to end (or sunset) on December 31, 2019. See id.

For FY 2016, DHS reduced the numerical limitation by 1,000 to a limit of 12,999. See CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Numerical Limitation for Fiscal Year 2016, 80 FR 63911 (Oct. 22, 2015). On May 20, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notified the public that it had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the numerical limit (the “cap”) of 12,999 workers who may be issued CW-1 visas or otherwise provided with CW-1 status for FY 2016. The USCIS Update advised stakeholders that May 5, 2016 was the final receipt date for CW-1 worker petitions requesting an employment start date before October 1, 2016.1

1See “USCIS Reaches CW-1 Cap for Fiscal Year 2016,” available at https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-reaches-cw-1-cap-fiscal-year-2016.

II. Maximum Number of CW-1 Nonimmigrant Workers for Fiscal Year 2017

The CNRA requires an annual reduction in the number of transitional workers but does not mandate a specific numerical reduction. See 48 U.S.C. 1806(d)(2). In addition, DHS regulations provide that the numerical limitation for any fiscal year will be less than the number established for the previous fiscal year, and that the adjusted number will be reasonably calculated to reduce the number of CW-1 nonimmigrant workers to zero by the end of the program. 8 CFR 214.2(w)(1)(viii)(C). DHS may adjust the numerical limitation at any time by publishing a notice in the Federal Register, but the Department may only reduce the figure. See 8 CFR 214.2(w)(1)(viii)(D).

Because the CW-1 numerical limit was reached for FY 2016 on May 5, DHS has decided to preserve the status quo, or current conditions, rather than aggressively reduce CW-1 numbers for FY 2017. DHS recognizes that any numerical limitation must account for the fact that the CNMI economy continues to be based on a workforce composed primarily of foreign workers. DHS must reduce the annual numerical limitation as statutorily mandated. At the same time, DHS should ensure that there are enough CW-1 workers for future fiscal years until the end of the program. DHS therefore is reducing the numerical limitation nominally by one, resulting in an FY 2017 limit of 12,998.

This new numerical limitation preserves access to foreign labor in the CNMI. Accordingly, DHS is reducing the maximum number of transitional workers from the current fiscal year numerical limitation of 12,999 and establishing 12,998 as the maximum number of persons who may be granted CW-1 nonimmigrant status in FY 2017. DHS nonetheless emphasizes that the statute requires the Department to reduce the annual numerical limitation to zero no later than the end of calendar year 2019. It therefore may be prudent for CNMI employers and CW-1 workers to plan for more significant reductions in the annual numerical limitation in the years ahead.

The FY 2017 numerical limitation for CW-1 nonimmigrant workers will be in effect beginning on October 1, 2016. Consistent with the rules applicable to other nonimmigrant worker visa classifications, if the numerical limitation for the fiscal year is not reached, the unused numbers do not carry over to the next fiscal year. See 8 CFR 214.2(w)(1)(viii)(E).

Generally, each CW-1 nonimmigrant worker with an approved employment start date that falls within FY 2017 (October 1, 2016—September 30, 2017) will be counted against the new numerical limitation of 12,998. Counting each CW-1 nonimmigrant worker in this manner will help ensure that USCIS does not approve requests that would exceed the numerical limitation of 12,998 CW-1 nonimmigrant workers granted such status in FY 2017.

This notice does not affect the current immigration status of foreign workers who have CW-1 nonimmigrant status. Foreign workers, however, will be affected by this notice when their CNMI employers file:

• For an extension of their CW-1 nonimmigrant classification, or

• A change of status from another nonimmigrant status to that of CW-1 nonimmigrant status.

This notice does not affect the status of any individual currently holding CW-2 nonimmigrant status as the spouse or minor child of a CW-1 nonimmigrant worker. This notice also does not directly affect the ability of any individual to extend or otherwise obtain CW-2 status, as the numerical limitation applies to CW-1 principals only. This notice, however, may indirectly affect individuals seeking CW-2 status since their status depends on the CW-1 principal's ability to obtain or retain CW-1 status.

Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-21325 Filed 8-31-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-4123; Directorate Identifier 2016-NE-06-AD; Amendment 39-18640; AD 2016-18-10] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines AG Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain International Aero Engines AG (IAE) V2522-A5, V2524-A5, V2525-D5, V2527-A5, V2527E-A5, V2527M-A5, V2528-D5, V2530-A5, and V2533-A5 turbofan engines. This AD was prompted by the fracture of the high-pressure turbine (HPT) stage 2 hub during flight, which resulted in an in-flight shutdown (IFSD), undercowl fire, and smoke in the cabin. This AD requires inspecting the HPT stage 1 hub and HPT stage 2 hub, and, if necessary, their replacement with parts that are eligible for installation. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT stage 1 or HPT stage 2 hubs, which could result in uncontained HPT blade release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective October 7, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of October 7, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact International Aero Engines AG, 400 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://fleetcare.pw.utc.com. You may view this referenced 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-2016-4123.

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-2016-4123; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brian Kierstead, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7772; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain IAE V2522-A5, V2524-A5, V2525-D5, V2527-A5, V2527E-A5, V2527M-A5, V2528-D5, V2530-A5, and V2533-A5 turbofan engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2016 (81 FR 19516). The NPRM was prompted by the fracture of the HPT stage 2 hub during flight, which resulted in an IFSD, undercowl fire, and smoke in the cabin. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting the HPT stage 1 hub and HPT stage 2 hub, and, if necessary, their replacement with parts that are eligible for installation. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT stage 1 or HPT stage 2 hubs, which could result in uncontained HPT blade release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Add Credit for Previous Action

IAE and Cathay Pacific requested that we update this AD to refer to Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) V2500-ENG-72-0661 Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016, and allow credit for previous actions to include hubs inspected and cleared to IAE's NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Original issue, dated November 10, 2015; and Revision 1, dated February 5, 2016.

We agree. We updated this AD to refer to NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016. We are also including a Credit for Previous Actions paragraph that references IAE NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Original issue, dated November 10, 2015; and Revision 1, dated February 5, 2016.

Request To Change Compliance Time

IndiGo and Cathay Pacific stated that the NPRM uses hub cycles since new (CSN) to determine when hub inspections are required. However, the commenters requested that this AD be specific as to the date on which CSN of the hubs are established. The IAE NMSB, Compliance Section, Table 1 refers to a compliance time within “Hub cycles as of February 1, 2016”, but the NPRM does not mention any date. One commenter states that compliance to the February 1, 2016 date will not provide adequate planning time to operators for compliance.

We agree. This AD requires actions after the effective date of this AD. Therefore, we changed paragraphs (e)(1)(i), (ii), (iii), and (iv) of this AD to read “for hubs with [xxx] CSN on the effective date of this AD”.

Request To Change Compliance Time

Germanwings GmbH requested that the effective date of this AD be aligned with IAE NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016, which refers to “Hub cycles as of February 1, 2016.” The commenter states that the difference in time between the effective date of this AD and February 1, 2016 listed in the NMSB will cause a mismatch in the compliance time.

We disagree. Basing the compliance times on the effective date of this AD is less restrictive than the IAE NMSB, so complying with this AD based on hub CSN as of the earlier NMSB date, would satisfy this AD. We did not change this AD.

Request To Change Shop Visit Definition

Delta Airlines and one other commenter requested that we change the definition of shop visit from separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges, to either piece-part exposure, HPT flange separation, or disassembly of the HPT rotor and stator assemblies.

Delta Airlines stated that compliance at the next shop visit, as defined in this AD would result in unnecessary cost and extended shop time. The other commenter stated that changing the definition would allow more flexibility in fleet management. Both commenters state that inspection at the next shop visit is not needed, since removal of the suspect hubs within the proposed cycle limits will provide an acceptable level of safety.

We disagree. Allowing all engines to operate until their respective cycle limit would not provide an acceptable level of safety. By inspecting a specific quantity of engines that will be inducted into the shop before the cycle limit occurs, the safety risk assessment is satisfied. Therefore, waiting until the piece-part exposure, HPT flange separation, or the cycle threshold in lieu of inspection at the next shop visit, does not meet the requirement of this AD. We did not change this AD.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (81 FR 19516, April 5, 2016) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (81 FR 19516, April 5, 2016).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed IAE NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016. The NMSB describes procedures for inspecting the HPT stage 1 and stage 2 hubs. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 668 engines with 947 hubs installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. Some of the 668 engines have two hubs installed. We estimate that it would take about 8 hours per hub to perform the piece-part inspection. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. We estimate that 568 hubs will require replacement. We estimate the pro-rated cost to replace an HPT stage 1 hub to be $50,271 and the pro-rated cost to replace an HPT stage 2 hub to be $40,063. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $26,298,816.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-18-10 International Aero Engines AG: Amendment 39-18640; Docket No. FAA-2016-4123; Directorate Identifier 2016-NE-06-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective October 7, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to International Aero Engines AG (IAE) V2522-A5, V2524-A5, V2525-D5, V2527-A5, V2527E-A5, V2527M-A5, V2528-D5, V2530-A5, and V2533-A5 engines with either of the following installed:

(1) High-pressure turbine (HPT) stage 1 hub, part number (P/N) 2A5001, with a serial number (S/N) listed in Table 1, Appendix A, of IAE Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016; or

(2) HPT stage 2 hub, P/N 2A4802, with an S/N listed in Table 2, Appendix A, of IAE NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by the fracture of the HPT stage 2 hub during flight, which resulted in an in-flight shutdown, undercowl fire, and smoke in the cabin. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT stage 1 or HPT stage 2 hubs, which could result in uncontained HPT blade release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(1) Inspect the HPT stage 1 hub, P/N 2A5001, and HPT stage 2 hub, P/N 2A4802, at the next shop visit or as follows, whichever comes first:

(i) For hubs with 0 to 7,000 CSN on the effective date of this AD, before accumulating 13,000 CSN;

(ii) For hubs with 7,001 to 11,000 CSN on the effective date of this AD, within 6,000 cycles from the effective date of this AD or before accumulating 15,000 CSN, whichever occurs first;

(iii) For hubs with 11,001 to 15,500 CSN on the effective date of this AD, within 4,000 cycles from the effective date of this AD or before accumulating 17,000 CSN, whichever occurs first;

(iv) For hubs with 15,501 CSN or more on the effective date of this AD, within 1,500 cycles from the effective date of this AD.

(2) Use Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.A., 2.C., and 2.D., of IAE NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016, to inspect the HPT stage 1 hub, P/N 2A5001.

(3) Use Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.E., 2.G., and 2H., of IAE NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016 to inspect the HPT stage 2 hub, P/N 2A4802.

(4) Remove from service any HPT stage 1 hub, P/N 2A5001, or HPT stage 2 hub, P/N 2A4802, that fails the inspections required by paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this AD, and replace with a part that is eligible for installation.

(f) Definition

For the purpose of this AD, a “shop visit” is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges, except that the separation of engine flanges solely for the purposes of transportation without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

(g) Credit for Previous Actions

If you performed inspection and or replacement using IAE NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, original issue, dated November 10, 2015 or NMSB V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 1, dated February 5, 2016, you met the requirements of paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this AD.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, 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]

(i) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Brian Kierstead, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7772; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

(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 the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) International Aero Engines AG Non-Modification Service Bulletin V2500-ENG-72-0661, Revision 2, dated May 27, 2016.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For International Aero Engines AG service information identified in this AD, contact International Aero Engines AG, 400 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://fleetcare.pw.utc.com.

(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 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 Burlington, Massachusetts, on August 26, 2016. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-21061 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 240 [Release No. 34-78716; File No. S7-15-15] RIN 3235-AL74 Access to Data Obtained by Security-Based Swap Data Repositories AGENCY:

Securities and Exchange Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to section 763(i) of Title VII (“Title VII”) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is adopting amendments to rule 13n-4 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) related to regulatory access to security-based swap data held by security-based swap data repositories. The rule amendments would implement the conditional Exchange Act requirement that security-based swap data repositories make data available to certain regulators and other authorities.

DATES:

Effective November 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Carol McGee, Assistant Director, Joshua Kans, Senior Special Counsel, or Kateryna Imus, Special Counsel, at (202) 551-5870; Division of Trading and Markets, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-7010.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Commission is adding paragraphs (b)(9) and (b)(10) to Exchange Act rule 13n-4 to implement the statutory requirement that security-based swap data repositories conditionally provide data to certain regulators and other authorities. The Commission also is adding paragraph (d) to rule 13n-4 to specify the method to be used to comply with the associated statutory notification requirement.

I. Background A. Statutory Requirements for Access to Security-Based Swap Data Repository Information, as Amended

Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act amended the Exchange Act to provide a comprehensive regulatory framework for security-based swaps, including the regulation of security-based swap data repositories.1

1 Public Law 111-203, section 761(a) (adding Exchange Act section 3(a)(75) (defining “security-based swap data repository”)) and section 763(i) (adding Exchange Act section 13(n) (establishing a regulatory regime for security-based swap data repositories)).

References in this release to the terms “data repository,” “trade repository,” “repository” or “SDR” generally address security-based swap data repositories unless stated otherwise.

Those amendments, among other things, require that security-based swap data repositories make data available to certain regulators and other entities. In particular, the amendments conditionally require that security-based swap data repositories “on a confidential basis pursuant to section 24, upon request, and after notifying the Commission of the request, make available security-based swap data obtained by the security-based swap data repository, including individual counterparty trade and position data” to specified recipients.2 As provided by the statute, these recipients include “each appropriate prudential regulator” 3 ; the Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”); the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”); the Department of Justice; and “any other person that the Commission determines to be appropriate,” including foreign financial supervisors (including foreign futures authorities), foreign central banks, foreign ministries and other foreign authorities.4

2 Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G). The confidentiality requirements addressed by Exchange Act section 24, 15 U.S.C. 78x, are addressed below. See note 83, infra. As initially adopted, this provision addressed access to “all” data obtained by the security-based swap data repository. As amended by Congress in 2015, the reference to “all” was replaced by a reference to “security-based swap” data. See Public Law 114-94, section 86011(c)(1)(A) (striking “all” and adding “security-based swap” in the introductory part of Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G)).

3 As discussed below, the term “prudential regulator” encompasses the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and certain other regulators, with regard to certain categories of regulated entities. See note 26, infra.

4 Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G). As initially adopted this provision did not reference “other foreign authorities.” That provision was added by Congress in December 2015. See Public Law 114-94, section 86011(c)(1)(B) (adding paragraph (G)(v)(IV) to Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)).

Access to data pursuant to these provisions is conditioned on the repository receiving “a written agreement from each entity stating that the entity shall abide by the confidentiality requirements described in section 24 relating to the information on security-based swap transactions that is provided.” 5

5 Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(H), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(H).

As enacted in 2010, moreover, the data access provisions stated that before such data is shared, “each entity shall agree to indemnify the security-based swap data repository and the Commission for any expenses arising from litigation relating to the information provided under section 24.” 6 Congress repealed the indemnification requirement in December 2015.7

6See Dodd Frank Act section 763(i) (adding former Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(H)(ii)).

7See Public Law 114-94, section 86011(c)(2).

B. Proposed Rule Amendments

In 2015, prior to the legislative revision of the data access provisions, the Commission proposed rule amendments to implement the data access provisions.8 This proposal built upon two earlier Commission proposals,9 and specifically set forth proposed amendments to Exchange Act rule 13n-4—which the Commission previously adopted as part of a series of rules governing the registration process, duties and core principles applicable to security-based swap data repositories.10 Key elements of the proposal were:

8See Exchange Act Release No. 75845 (Sept. 4, 2015), 80 FR 55182 (Sept. 14, 2015) (“Proposing Release”).

9See generally Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55182-84 (discussing relevant provisions of 2010 proposed rules regarding security-based swap data repositories, and 2013 proposed rules regarding cross-border application of Title VII).

10See Exchange Act Release No. 74246 (Feb. 11, 2015), 80 FR 14438 (Mar. 19, 2015) (“SDR Adopting Release”). Those rules did not address the data access requirements applicable to data repositories, and the Commission stated that final resolution of the issue would benefit from further consideration and public comment. See SDR Adopting Release, 80 FR at 14487-88.

Designation of entities eligible to access data. The proposal: (i) Specifically identified each of the five applicable prudential regulators as being eligible to access data under these provisions 11 ; (ii) identified the Federal Reserve Banks and the Office of Financial Research (“OFR”) as being able to access data 12 ; and (iii) stated that the Commission would consider the presence of certain confidentiality-related protections in determining whether to permit other entities to access data pursuant to these provisions, and that the associated determination orders typically would incorporate conditions that “specify the scope of a relevant authority's access to data, and that limit this access in a manner that reflects the relevant authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.” 13

11See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55185-86. The Commission proposed those provisions so the ability of those regulators to access data would not vary depending on the registration status of the regulated entity, and on whether the regulator was acting in a “prudential” capacity. See id.

12See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55186-87. The Commission preliminarily concluded that access by these entities would be appropriate given the mandates of the Federal Reserve Banks and the OFR. See id.

13See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55187-88. The Commission noted that limiting access in this manner may help minimize the risk of unauthorized disclosure, misappropriation or misuse. See id.

Confidentiality condition. To implement the statutory confidentiality condition, the proposal stated that before a repository could provide access, there would have to be in effect an arrangement between the Commission and the entity (in the form of a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) or otherwise) to address the confidentiality of the information made available. This arrangement would be deemed to satisfy the statutory requirement that the repository receive a written confidentiality agreement from the recipient entity.14

14See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55189-90. The Commission stated that this proposed approach would: build upon the Commission's experience in negotiating MOUs with other regulators with regard to enforcement and supervision, help avoid the possibility of uneven and potentially inconsistent application of confidentiality protections, and appropriately implement the statutory reference to Exchange Act section 24. See id.

Notification requirement. To implement the statutory requirement that the Commission be notified of data access requests, the proposal provided that a repository must notify the Commission of the first request for data from a particular entity, and must maintain records of all information related to the initial and all subsequent request for data access from that entity.15

15See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55188-89. The Commission stated that this approach should place the Commission on notice that an entity has the ability to access data, and place the Commission in a position to examine such access as appropriate, while avoiding the inefficiencies that would accompany an approach that requires a repository to direct to the Commission information regarding each instance of access. See id.

Limitation to security-based swap data. The proposal specified that data access under the rules would apply only to “security-based swap data.” 16

16See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55189.

Scope of application of data access provisions. The proposal stated that the data access provisions and its associated conditions would not apply in certain circumstances, including when information is received directly from the Commission.17

17See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55193.

Indemnification exemption. The proposal set forth a conditional exemption to the then-extant indemnification requirement. The proposed exemption was conditioned in part on the applicable security-based swap information relating to persons or activities being within the recipient entity's “regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority.” 18

18See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55191-93. The indemnification exemption further would have been conditioned on there being one or more arrangements (in the form of an MOU or otherwise) between the Commission and the recipient entity that addressed the confidentiality of the security-based swap information provided and any other matters as determined by the Commission, and that also specified the types of information that would relate to persons or activities within the recipient entity's “regulatory mandate, legal responsibility or authority.” See id.

C. Commenter Views

A commenter criticized the inclusion of a notification requirement,19 suggesting that the scope of certain regulators' access to security-based swap data should be determined on a case-by-case basis,20 and supported elimination of the statutory indemnification requirement.21

19See Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. comment dated Oct. 29, 2015 (“DTCC comment”) at 4 (requesting that rulemaking not include a notification requirement; stating that requiring notice to the Commission of data access requests may cause other regulators to hesitate to make such requests, particularly in connection with investigations, and that a notice requirement could impede the real-time flow of information among regulators; adding that if any notification requirement is included, it should not require a repository to submit the identity of the requesting party).

20See DTCC comment at 5 (stating that for requests by entities other than the prudential regulators, “the Commission should determine on a case-by-case basis whether an SB SDR should make available confidential swap data based on the unique set of facts and circumstances of that request for information and address permissible uses and disclosures of such data, such as for research or publications,” and adding that such an approach would help ensure that “data access is granted based on an entity's regulatory mandate, responsibly balanc[ing] the need for efficient, timely information sharing, and avoid[ing] overly expansive access to confidential information”).

21See DTCC comment at 5-6.

One comment submitted to the comment file did not address the substance of the Commission's proposal. See Zeba Gomez comment dated Sept. 19, 2015. The public comments that the Commission received on the Proposing Release are available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/comments/s7-15-15/s71515.shtml.

The Commission reopened the comment period earlier this year to allow the public the opportunity to comment on the remainder of the proposal in light of the statutory changes, including removal of the statutory indemnification requirement.22 That release recognized that Congress eliminated the indemnification requirement discussed above, making unnecessary paragraph (d) of proposed rule 13n-4. The Commission received two additional comments in response.23

22See Exchange Act Release No. 76922 (Jan. 15, 2016), 81 FR 3354 (Jan. 21, 2016) (“Comment Reopening Release”).

23See Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. comment dated Feb. 22, 2016 (“DTCC 2016 comment”); Suzanne Shatto comment dated Jan. 20, 2016 (“Shatto comment”).

II. Final Data Access Rules

For the reasons discussed below, and after considering commenter concerns, the Commission is adopting final rules to implement the data access statutory provisions. The final rules largely are the same as those that were proposed, apart from eliminating the proposed indemnification exemption in response to the removal of the underlying statutory provision.24

24 As discussed below, the Commission also has revised the proposal regarding the designation of additional entities that may access data, for consistency with the statute as amended. See part II.C.2, infra.

Accordingly, should the confidentiality condition to data access be satisfied, security-based swap data repositories would be legally obligated to provide relevant authorities with access to security-based swap data, consistent with the parameters of any Commission orders, MOUs or other arrangements that are relevant to the availability and scope of access.25

25 We believe that the approach taken by the final rule is generally consistent with the principles expressed by a commenter that supported access, while also putting into effect the statutory conditions to data access for persons identified by statute or subject to a determination by the Commission. See Shatto comment.

A. Application to Prudential Regulators and Federal Reserve Banks 1. Proposed Approach

As noted above, the Exchange Act provides that a repository is conditionally obligated to make information available to, among others, “each appropriate prudential regulator.” 26 To implement this, the proposed rules identified, as being eligible to access data, each of the entities encompassed within the statutory “prudential regulator” definition: The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), the Farm Credit Administration, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.27 The proposed rules also included “any Federal Reserve Bank” among the entities conditionally eligible to access data,28 in accordance with the Exchange Act provision that extends data access to “any other person that the Commission determines to be appropriate.” 29

26See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G)(i), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G)(i). Exchange Act section 3(a)(74), 15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(74), defines “prudential regulator” by reference to the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”). The CEA, in turn, defines “prudential regulator” to encompass: (a) The Board, (b) the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, (c) the FDIC, (d) the Farm Credit Administration or (e) the Federal Housing Finance Agency—in each case with respect to swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers or major security-based swap participants (cumulatively, “dealers” or “major participants”) that fall within the regulator's authority. See CEA section 1a(39); 7 U.S.C. 1a(39).

For example, the definition provides that the Board is a prudential regulator with regard to, among others, certain dealers and major participants that are: State-chartered banks and agencies, foreign banks that do not operate insured branches, or members of bank holding companies. Also, for example, the definition provides that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is a prudential regulator with regard to, among others, certain dealers or major participants that are national banks, federally chartered branches or agencies of foreign banks or federal saving associations.

27See proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(i)-(v).

28See proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(i).

29See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G)(v), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G)(v).

No commenter addressed the proposal to specifically identify the prudential regulators or the Federal Reserve Banks as being eligible to access such data.30

30 As noted, one commenter suggested that data access by recipients other than the prudential regulators should be more circumscribed than the access afforded the prudential regulators, in that the access of the other recipients should be subject to case-by-case review by the Commission. See note 20, supra. As discussed below the Commission will have the ability to tailor access in accordance with each entity's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority. See parts II.C.2.a and II.F.2, infra.

2. Final Rule

The final rule incorporates the elements of proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(i)-(v), as discussed below, without change.31

31See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55185-86; Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(i)-(v).

The final rule accordingly identifies each of the five prudential regulators as being able to access data. Consistent with the discussion in the proposal, this is to specify that those regulators' ability to access security-based swap data would not vary depending on whether entities regulated by the regulators are acting as security-based swap dealers, as major security-based swap participants, or in some other capacity,32 or vary depending on whether the regulator acts in a “prudential” capacity in connection with the information, so long as the prerequisites to data access, including the confidentiality condition, have been met.33

32 This particularly addresses the fact that the statutory “prudential regulator” definition noted above specifically refers to those regulators in connection with dealers and major participants that fall within their authority. The Commission concludes that application of the data access provision should not vary depending on whether an entity regulated by the regulator is acting as a dealer or major participant, or in some other capacity. Such a reading would not further the purposes of Title VII, and the Dodd-Frank Act more generally, including facilitating regulator access to security-based swap information to help address the risks associated with those instruments.

33 Those regulators' ability to access security-based swap data accordingly would not be limited to situations in which they act in the capacity of a prudential supervisor. Thus, for example, the FDIC is conditionally authorized to access security-based swap data from a repository in connection with all of its statutory capacities, including its prudential supervisory capacity as well as other capacities such as the FDIC's resolution authority pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and the Orderly Liquidation Authority provisions of Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The final rules also include “any Federal Reserve Bank” among the entities conditionally eligible to access security-based swap data from repositories,34 in accordance with the Exchange Act provision that extends data access to “any other person that the Commission determines to be appropriate.” 35 The Commission believes that it is appropriate for the Federal Reserve Banks to be able to access security-based swap data, subject to the confidentiality condition and other applicable prerequisites. In part, this conclusion is based on the Commission's understanding that the Federal Reserve Banks occupy important oversight roles under delegated authority from the Board, including supervision of banks that are under the Board's authority, and gathering and analyzing information to inform the Federal Open Market Committee regarding financial conditions.36 The Commission further understands that the Federal Reserve Banks, as well as the Board, would use data from security-based swap data repositories to fulfill statutory responsibilities related to prudential supervision and financial stability.37 The Commission accordingly concludes that the Federal Reserve Banks should conditionally have access to the security-based swap data.38

34See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(i).

35See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G)(v), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G)(v). The CFTC has identified the Federal Reserve Banks as being “appropriate domestic regulators” that may access swap data from swap data repositories. See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55184 n.29. See 17 CFR 49.17(b)(1).

36 Section 11(k) of the Federal Reserve Act grants the Board authority “to delegate, by published order or rule . . . any of its functions, other than those relating to rulemaking or pertaining to monetary and credit policies to . . . members or employees of the Board, or Federal Reserve banks.” 12 U.S.C. 248(k). The Federal Reserve Banks carry out the Board's activities including the supervision, examination and regulation of financial institutions as directed by the Board and under its supervision. See the Board's Rules of Organization, section 3(j) FRRS 8-008 (providing that the Director of the Board's Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation “coordinates the System's supervision of banks and bank holding companies and oversees and evaluates the Reserve Banks' examination procedures”). The Board further has delegated extensive authority to the Reserve Banks with respect to numerous supervisory matters. See 12 CFR 265.11 (functions delegated by the Board to the Federal Reserve Banks).

37 We understand that the Board and the Federal Reserve Banks jointly would use the data in support of the prudential supervision of institutions under the Board's jurisdiction, such as state member banks, bank holding companies, and Edge Act corporations. See, e.g., section 9 of the Federal Reserve Act, 12 U.S.C. 321-338a (supervision of state member banks); the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1841-1852 (supervision of bank holding companies); the Edge Act, 12 U.S.C. 610 et seq. (supervision of Edge Act corporations). We also understand that the Board and the Federal Reserve Banks would use the data in support of the implementation of monetary policy, such as through market surveillance and research. See, e.g., section 12A of the Federal Reserve Act, 12 U.S.C. 263 (establishing the Federal Open Market Committee); and section 2A of the Federal Reserve Act, 12 U.S.C. 225a (setting monetary policy objectives). In addition, we understand that the Board and the Federal Reserve Banks would use the data in fulfilling the Board's responsibilities with respect to assessing, monitoring and mitigating systemic risk, such as supervision of systemically important institutions. See, e.g., section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5323 (SIFIs); and section 807 of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5466 (designated FMUs).

38 In permitting the Federal Reserve Banks to access security-based swap information pursuant to the data access provisions, the Commission concludes that the Federal Reserve Banks' access should not be limited to information regarding security-based swap transactions entered into by banks supervised by the Board, but should be available more generally with regard to security-based swap transaction data, subject to the confidentiality condition and other applicable prerequisites. This is consistent with the fact that Title VII does not limit the Board's access to data in such a way. This view also reflects the breadth of the Federal Reserve Banks' responsibilities regarding prudential supervision and financial stability, as addressed above. Their access, however, would be subject to the confidentiality condition, including all access limits incorporated as part of implementing that condition.

A Federal Reserve Bank's ability to access such data would be subject to conditions related to confidentiality, as would the ability of any other entity that is identified by statute or determined by the Commission to access such data.39 As discussed below, the Commission may consider the recipient entity's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, and tailor the entity's access in accordance with that regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.40

39 In this regard, the Commission notes that personnel of the Board and the Reserve Banks already are subject to a number of confidentiality requirements. See 18 U.S.C. 1905 (imposing criminal sanctions on U.S. government personnel who disclose non-public information except as provided by law), 18 U.S.C. 641 (imposing criminal sanctions on the unauthorized transfer of records), 5 CFR 2635.703 (Office of Government Ethics regulations prohibiting unauthorized disclosure of nonpublic information); see also Federal Reserve Bank Code of Conduct section 3.2 (requiring Reserve Bank employees to maintain the confidentiality of nonpublic information).

40See part II.F.2, infra.

B. FSOC, CFTC, Department of Justice and Office of Financial Research 1. Proposed Approach

The Exchange Act also states that FSOC, CFTC, and the Department of Justice may access security-based swap data,41 and the proposed rules accordingly identified those entities as being conditionally authorized to access such data.42 The proposed rules further stated that the OFR conditionally would be eligible to access such data,43 in accordance with the Exchange Act provision that extends data access to “any other person that the Commission determines to be appropriate.” 44

41See Exchange Act sections 13(n)(5)(G)(ii)-(iv), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G)(ii)-(iv).

42See proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(vi)-(viii).

43See proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(ix).

44See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G)(v), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G)(v).

No commenter addressed these aspects of the proposal.

2. Final Rule

The final rule incorporates these elements of the proposal without change.45 As discussed in the Proposing Release, the rule includes the FSOC, CFTC, and the Department of Justice among the entities that may access data.

45See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(vi)-(ix).

Moreover, the Commission believes that such access by the OFR is appropriate in light of the OFR's regulatory mandate and legal responsibility and authority.46 The OFR was established by Title I of the Dodd-Frank Act to support FSOC and FSOC's member agencies by identifying, monitoring and assessing potential threats to financial stability through the collection and analysis of financial data gathered from across the public and private sectors.47 In connection with this statutory mandate to monitor and assess potential threats to financial stability, the OFR's access to security-based swap transaction data may be expected to help assist it in examining the manner in which derivatives exposures and counterparty risks are distributed through the financial system, and in otherwise assessing those risks. The Commission accordingly concludes that the OFR should conditionally have access to the security-based swap data.48

46See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(ix). We note that the CFTC has identified the OFR as being an “appropriate domestic regulator” that may access swap data from swap data repositories. See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55184 n.29; see also 17 CFR 49.17(b)(1).

47See Dodd-Frank Act section 153(a) (identifying the purpose of the OFR as: (1) Collecting data on behalf of FSOC and providing such data to FSOC and its member agencies; (2) standardizing the types and formats of data reported and collected; (3) performing applied research and essential long-term research; (4) developing tools for risk measurement and monitoring; (5) performing other related services; (6) making the results of the activities of the Office available to financial regulatory agencies; and (7) assisting those member agencies in determining the types and formats of data authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act to be collected by the member agencies); Dodd-Frank Act section 154(c) (requiring that OFR's Research and Analysis Center, on behalf of FSOC, develop and maintain independent analytical capabilities and computing resources to: (A) Develop and maintain metrics and reporting systems for risks to U.S. financial stability; (B) monitor, investigate, and report on changes in systemwide risk levels and patterns to FSOC and Congress; (C) conduct, coordinate, and sponsor research to support and improve regulation of financial entities and markets; (D) evaluate and report on stress tests or other stability-related evaluations of financial entities overseen by FSOC member agencies; (E) maintain expertise in such areas as may be necessary to support specific requests for advice and assistance from financial regulators; (F) investigate disruptions and failures in the financial markets, report findings and make recommendations to FSOC based on those findings; (G) conduct studies and provide advice on the impact of policies related to systemic risk; and (H) promote best practices for financial risk management).

The OFR is also required to report annually to Congress its analysis of any threats to the financial stability of the United States. See Dodd-Frank Act section 154(d).

48 As discussed below, the proposed confidentiality condition could limit an entity's access to data by linking the scope of the access to information that related to persons or activities within an entity's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, as could be specified in an MOU or other arrangement between the Commission and the entity. See part II.F.2, infra.

As with the other entities that may access data pursuant to the data access provision, the OFR's ability to access such data would be subject to conditions related to confidentiality.49

49 Also, as U.S. government personnel, OFR personnel are subject to the same general confidentiality requirements that are addressed above in the context of the Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. See note 39, supra. In addition, the OFR is required to keep data collected and maintained by the OFR data center secure and protected against unauthorized disclosure. See Dodd-Frank Act section 154(b)(3); see also 12 CFR 1600.1 (ethical conduct standards applicable to OFR employees, including post-employment restrictions linked to access to confidential information); 31 CFR 0.206 (Treasury Department prohibition on employees disclosing official information without proper authority).

C. Future Commission Determination of Additional Entities 1. Proposed Approach

As noted, the Dodd-Frank Act amended the Exchange Act to provide that data access under these provisions would be available to “any other person that the Commission” determines to be appropriate, including foreign financial supervisors (including foreign futures authorities), foreign central banks and foreign ministries.50 To implement that requirement, the proposed rule provided that data access would be available to any other person that the Commission determines to be appropriate, conditionally or unconditionally, by order, including but not limited to foreign financial supervisors, foreign central banks and foreign ministries.51 The Commission noted that one or more self-regulatory organizations potentially may seek such access under this provision.52

50See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G)(v). As discussed below, the 2015 legislative change added to that provision. See note 58, infra.

51See proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(x).

52See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55187.

In the proposal, the Commission further stated that in connection with making such a determination, it would consider the presence of a confidentiality-related MOU or other arrangement between the Commission and a relevant authority, and whether the information would be subject to robust confidentiality safeguards. The Commission added that it would consider an authority's interest in access to security-based swap data based on the relevant authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, and that the Commission preliminarily expected that determination orders typically would incorporate conditions that specify the scope of a relevant authority's access to data, and that limit such access in a manner that reflects the relevant authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.53 In addition, the Commission anticipated that it would take into account any other factors appropriate to the determination, including whether the determination was in the public interest, and whether the relevant authority agrees to provide the Commission and other U.S. authorities with reciprocal assistance in matters within their jurisdiction.54

53See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55187-88.

54See id. at 55188.

As part of the proposal, the Commission noted that it may issue determination orders of a limited duration, and that the Commission may revoke a determination at any time.55 The Commission also stated the preliminary belief that it is not necessary to prescribe by rule specific processes to govern a repository's treatment of requests for access.56

55See id.

56See id.

As discussed below, one commenter addressed the Commission's future determination orders regarding data access.57

57See text accompanying notes 62 through 64.

2. Final Rule

To implement its determination authority the Commission largely is adopting these provisions as proposed, except that the final rule, consistent with the recent statutory change, also identifies “other foreign authorities” within the nonexclusive list of the types of entities that may be subject to a determination pursuant to this authority.58 The Commission will make such determinations through the issuance of Commission orders, and such determinations may be conditional or unconditional.59

58See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(x). The 2015 statutory amendment added the term “other foreign authorities” to the entities identified in Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G)(v). See note 7, supra. The addition of that term to the rule is consistent with the proposal, which, like the final rule, uses the phrase “including, but not limited to” when identifying the types of authorities that may be subject to a Commission determination.

59See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9)(x).

a. Determination Factors and Conditions

As stated in the proposal, the Commission expects that it would consider a variety of factors in connection with making such a determination, and that it may impose associated conditions in connection with the determination. In part, given the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of security-based swap data, the Commission expects to consider whether there is an MOU or other arrangement between the Commission and the relevant authority that is designed to protect the confidentiality of the security-based swap data provided to the authority.60 The Commission also expects to consider whether such data would be subject to robust confidentiality safeguards, such as safeguards set forth in the relevant jurisdiction's statutes, rules or regulations with regard to disclosure of confidential information by an authority or its personnel, and/or safeguards set forth in the authority's internal policies and procedures.

60 Such an MOU or other arrangement will also satisfy the statutory requirement that a security-based swap data repository obtain a confidentiality agreement from the authority. See part II.F.2, infra. To the extent that a relevant authority needs access to additional information, the relevant authority may request that the Commission consider revising its determination order, and MOU or other arrangement, as applicable. See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55187-88.

In addition, the Commission may consider the relevant authority's interest in access to security-based swap data based on the relevant authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority. Consistent with that factor, the Commission expects that such determination orders typically would incorporate conditions that specify the scope of a relevant authority's access to data, and that limit this access in a manner that reflects the relevant authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.61 Depending on the nature of the relevant authority's interest in the data, such conditions could address factors such as the domicile of the counterparties to the security-based swap, and the domicile of the underlying reference entity. Limiting the amount of information accessed by an authority in this manner should be expected to help minimize the risk of unauthorized disclosure, misappropriation or misuse of security-based swap data, as each relevant authority will only have access to information within its regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority.62

61See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55187-88. To appropriately limit a relevant authority's access to only security-based swap data that is consistent with the designation order, a repository may, for example, need to customize permissioning parameters to reflect each relevant authority's designated access to security-based swap data. See generally note 140, infra (discussing access criteria currently used by DTCC in connection with current voluntary disclosure practices).

62 As discussed below, the Commission will consider similar issues in connection with implementing the confidentiality condition. See also part II.F.2, infra.

The Commission continues to anticipate taking into account any other factors that are appropriate to the determination, including whether such a determination would be in the public interest, and whether the relevant authority agrees to provide the Commission and other U.S. authorities with reciprocal assistance in matters within their jurisdiction.

One commenter suggested that the ability of authorities (other than prudential regulators) to access data pursuant to these provisions should be subject to request-by-request Commission determinations that address permissible uses and disclosures of such data, to balance the need for information sharing against “overly expansive access to confidential information.” 63 That commenter subsequently expressed the view that the Commission should simplify its proposal to allow access to data by certain named entities, consistent with their interest based on their regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, “without further action needed to be taken by the requesting body or the [repository].” The commenter added that trade repositories needed “clear and specific guidance”—such as that expressed in the CPMI-IOSCO guidance regarding access to trade repository data—regarding the type of data that should be made accessible to each of the different requesting entities.” 64

63See note 20, supra.

64See DTCC 2016 comment at 2 (citing the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (“CPMI”) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions' (“IOSCO”) guidance on authorities access to trade repository data as an example of such guidance).

The Commission has considered these suggestions, but has determined not to change the approach of the proposal, either by implementing a request-by-request approach toward access for some entities, or by allowing data access to other entities without further action. The Commission concludes that a request-by-request approach for access generally would be impracticable in terms of resources and operational delays, as well as unnecessary in light of the final rule's approach of linking access under the Commission's determination authority in a manner that reflects an entity's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority. In our view, this approach reasonably achieves the goal of providing clear and specific guidance to repositories, as suggested by the commenter, in a manner that appropriately balances the benefits of information sharing with the need to protect the confidentiality of information. Moreover, with respect to the suggestion that data access may be allowed for certain entities without further action by these entities or the repository, in our view such an approach would not achieve the confidentiality benefits that will flow from using MOUs or other arrangements. The final rule's approach of using MOUs or other arrangements between the Commission and recipient entities to satisfy the confidentiality condition, in any event, addresses the commenter's suggestion in part by obviating the need for the repository (as opposed to the recipient entities) to take further action with respect to satisfying the confidentiality condition. In addition, this approach will provide a vehicle for the Commission to provide the type of “clear and specific guidance” requested by the commenter. Moreover, the use of the Commission-negotiated confidentiality arrangements will eliminate the need for each recipient entity to negotiate separate confidentiality arrangements with each trade repository.

b. Additional Matters Related to the Determinations

Consistent with the proposal, the Commission may take various approaches in deciding whether to impose additional conditions in connection with its consideration of requests for determination orders. For example, the Commission may issue a determination order that is of a limited duration. In addition, the Commission further may revoke a determination at any time, such as, for example, if a relevant authority fails to comply with the MOU or other arrangement by failing to keep confidential security-based swap data provided to it by a repository. Even absent such a revocation, an authority's access to data pursuant to these provisions also would cease upon the termination of the MOU or other arrangement used to satisfy the confidentiality condition.65

65See part II.F.2, infra.

The Commission continues to expect that repositories will provide relevant authorities with access to security-based swap data in accordance with the determination orders, and the Commission generally does not expect to be involved in reviewing, signing-off on or otherwise approving relevant authorities' requests for security-based swap data from repositories that are made in accordance with a determination order. The final rule also does not prescribe any specific processes to govern a repository's treatment of requests for access.66

66See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55188.

Finally, consistent with the proposal, the Commission notes that when it designates an authority to receive direct electronic access to data under section 13(n)(5)(D)—which states that a repository must provide such access to the Commission “or any designee of the Commission, including another registered entity”—the Commission may elect to apply these determination factors and consider applying protections similar to those in the data access provisions of Exchange Act sections 13(n)(5)(G) and (H).67

67See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55188. In practice, the Commission expects that security-based swap data repositories may satisfy their obligation to make available data pursuant to sections 13(n)(5)(G) and (H) by providing direct electronic access to appropriate authorities. To the extent a repository were to satisfy those requirements by some method other than electronic access, however, the Commission separately may consider whether to also designate particular authorities as being eligible for direct electronic access to the repository pursuant to section 13(n)(5)(D). In making such assessments under section 13(n)(5)(D), the Commission will have the ability to consider factors similar to the above determination factors, including the presence of confidentiality safeguards, and the authority's interest in the information based on its regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.

D. Notification Requirement 1. Proposed Approach

The Exchange Act states that a repository must notify the Commission when an entity requests the repository to make available security-based swap data.68 The Commission proposed to implement that notification requirement by requiring that the repository inform the Commission upon its receipt of the first request for data from a particular entity (which may include any request that the entity be provided ongoing online or electronic access to the data), and to maintain records of all information related to the initial and all subsequent requests for data access requests from that entity, including records of all instances of online or electronic access, and records of all data provided in connection with such requests or access.69

68See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G). As discussed below, see part III, infra, the notification requirement does not apply to circumstances in which the Commission provides security-based swap data to an entity.

69See proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(e).

In making this proposal, the Commission noted that one commenter had opposed any requirement that the Commission receive notice of a recipient's initial request, on the grounds that such notice may cause other authorities to hesitate to make such requests. The Commission explained, however, that it is necessary for the Commission to be informed of the initial request from a particular entity, and that commenter's concerns that other regulators may be reluctant to place the Commission on notice of such initial requests are mitigated by the Commission's long history of cooperation with other authorities in supervisory and enforcement matters.70 As discussed below, one commenter addressed the notification requirement.71

70See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55189.

71See text accompanying notes 78 through 80, infra.

2. Final Rule

The Commission is adopting as proposed the approach for implementing the notification requirement.72 Accordingly, a security-based swap data repository would be required to inform the Commission upon its receipt of the first request for data from a particular entity (which may include any request that the entity be provided ongoing online or electronic access to the data).73 A repository must keep such notifications and any related requests confidential.74

72See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(d). This provision has been redesignated as paragraph (d) in light of the elimination of the proposed indemnification exemption.

73 The rule does not require the repository to inform the Commission of subsequent requests.

74 Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G), and rule 13n-4(b)(9) both require that a repository must make data available “on a confidential basis.” Failure by a repository to treat such notifications and requests as confidential could have adverse effects on the underlying basis for the requests. If, for example, a regulatory use of the data is improperly disclosed, such disclosure could signal a pending investigation or enforcement action, which could have detrimental effects.

Under the final rule, the repository also must maintain records of all information related to the initial and all subsequent requests for data access requests from that entity, including records of all instances of online or electronic access, and records of all data provided in connection with such requests or access.75 For these purposes, we believe that “all information related to” such requests would likely include, among other things: The identity of the requestor or person accessing the data; the date, time and substance of the request or access; date and time access is provided; and copies of all data reports or other aggregations of data provided in connection with the request or access.76

75 We note that Exchange Act rule 13n-7(b)(1) requires security-based swap data repositories to maintain copies of “all documents and policies and procedures required by the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder, correspondence, memoranda, papers, books, notices, accounts and other such records as shall be made or received by it in the course of its business as such.” See also SDR Adopting Release, 80 FR at 14501 (“This rule includes all electronic documents and correspondence, such as data dictionaries, emails and instant messages, which should be furnished in their original electronic format.”). Exchange Act rule 13n-4(d) identifies specific types of records that must be maintained in the specific context of access requests to repositories.

76Cf. Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55189.

Consistent with the discussion accompanying the proposal, the Commission concludes that the final rule regarding the notification requirement appropriately accounts for the way in which entities are likely to access such data from repositories, by distinguishing steps that an entity takes to arrange access from subsequent electronic instructions and other means by which the recipient obtains data. By making relevant data available to the Commission in this manner, the approach would place the Commission on notice that a recipient has the ability to access security-based swap data, and place the Commission in a position to examine such access as appropriate, while avoiding the inefficiencies that would accompany an approach whereby a repository must direct to the Commission information regarding each instance of access by each recipient. The approach of the final rule accordingly is more consistent with the manner in which the Commission examines the records of other regulated entities under the Commission's authority.77

77See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55189.

In response to the proposal, one commenter reiterated its opposition to the Commission being provided notice of a recipient's initial request, on the grounds that such notice might cause other authorities to hesitate to make such requests.78 As we discussed at the time of the proposal, the Commission believes that it is necessary that it be informed of the initial request from a particular entity so that the Commission may assess whether the initial conditions to data access (i.e., MOUs or other arrangements as needed to satisfy the confidentiality condition 79 ) have been met at the time the repository first is requested to provide the entity with information pursuant to the data access provisions, and, more generally, to facilitate the Commission's ongoing assessment of the repository's compliance with the data access provisions. Also, as previously stated, the Commission believes that commenter concerns that other regulators may be reluctant to place the Commission on notice of such initial requests are mitigated by the Commission's long history of cooperation with other authorities in supervisory and enforcement matters.80 For the same reasons, we decline to follow that commenter's suggestion that a repository may comply with the notification requirement without submitting the identity of the requesting party to the Commission.

78See note 19, supra.

79See part II.F.2, infra.

80See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55189. As noted in conjunction with the proposal, moreover, data repositories can provide direct electronic access to relevant authorities under this approach. The requirement that the repository inform the Commission when the relevant authority first requests access to security-based swap data maintained by the repository, and to retain records of subsequent access, is designed to facilitate such direct electronic access. See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55189 n.80.

E. Limitation to “Security-Based Swap Data” 1. Proposed Approach

The proposed rule amendments specifically addressed access to “security-based swap data” obtained by a security-based swap data repository.81 In taking that approach, the Commission recognized that repositories that obtain security-based swap data may also obtain data regarding other types of financial instruments, such as swaps under the CFTC's jurisdiction,82 but preliminarily concluded that the relevant data access provisions should not be read to require a repository to make available data that does not involve security-based swaps.83

81See proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9).

82 Specifically, the Dodd-Frank Act provides that the CFTC will regulate “swaps,” the Commission will regulate “security-based swaps,” and both the CFTC and the Commission will regulate “mixed swaps.” See Dodd-Frank Act section 712.

83See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55189 (noting that those data access provisions were added by Subtitle B of Title VII, which focused on the regulatory treatment of security-based swaps, to the Exchange Act, which generally addresses the regulation of securities such as security-based swaps; also addressing the significance of language in the confidentiality condition).

No commenter addressed this limitation on the type of data made available by repositories.

2. Final Rule

The 2015 amendment to the data access provisions under the Exchange Act clarified that those provisions specifically addressed the disclosure of security-based swap data.84 This clarification is consistent with the proposal. The Commission accordingly is adopting this part of the rule as proposed.

84See note 7, supra.

F. Confidentiality Condition 1. Proposed Approach

As noted, the Exchange Act provides that, prior to providing data, a repository “shall receive a written agreement from each entity stating that the entity shall abide by the confidentiality requirements described in section 24 relating to the information on security-based swap transactions that is provided.” 85

85See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(H)(i), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(H)(i).

Exchange Act section 24, 15 U.S.C. 78x, generally addresses disclosures of information by the Commission and its personnel. In relevant part it provides that the Commission may, “in its discretion and upon a showing that such information is needed,” provide all records and other information “to such persons, both domestic and foreign, as the Commission by rule deems appropriate if the person receiving such records or information provides such assurances of confidentiality as the Commission deems appropriate.” See Exchange Act section 24(c), 15 U.S.C 78x(c); see also Exchange Act rule 24c-1(b) (providing that the Commission may, upon “such assurances of confidentiality as the Commission deems appropriate,” provide non-public information to persons such as domestic and foreign governments or their political subdivisions, authorities, agencies or instrumentalities, self-regulatory organizations and foreign financial authorities).

The proposed rule implementing this condition would require that, before a repository provides information to an entity pursuant to the data access provisions, the Commission and the entity shall have entered into an MOU or other arrangement addressing confidentiality. This arrangement would be deemed to satisfy the statutory requirement that the repository receive a written confidentiality agreement from the entity.86

86See proposed Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(10).

As discussed below, one commenter addressed the Commission's future determination orders regarding data access in response to the Comment Reopening Release.87

87See text accompanying note 92, infra.

2. Final Rule

The Commission is adopting as proposed the approach for implementing the confidentiality requirement. Accordingly, the final rule provides that “there shall be in effect an arrangement between the Commission and the entity (in the form of a memorandum of understanding or otherwise) to address the confidentiality of the security-based swap information made available to the entity,” and that this arrangement between the Commission and a regulator or other recipient entity will satisfy the statutory confidentiality condition. 88

88See Exchange Act rule13n-4(b)(10). As discussed below, see part III, infra, the confidentiality condition in Exchange Act sections 13(n)(5)(G) and (H) does not apply to circumstances in which the Commission provides security-based swap data to an entity.

As discussed in the proposal, in the Commission's view this approach should help obviate the need for each individual repository to negotiate and enter into multiple agreements and help avoid the possibility of uneven and potentially inconsistent application of confidentiality protections across data repositories and recipient entities. 89 This approach also should appropriately implement the statutory reference to the “confidentiality requirements described in section 24” of the Exchange Act, which articulates an approach whereby the Commission determines standards for confidentiality assurances.90

89 As discussed in the proposal, see Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55190 n. 87, the Commission notes that the Exchange Act does not require that the security-based swap data repository “agree” with the entity, “enter into” an agreement or otherwise be a party to the confidentiality agreement. The Exchange Act merely states that the repository “receive” such an agreement. See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(H)(i), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(H)(i). Accordingly, we believe that, at a minimum, the statutory language is ambiguous as to whether the data repository must itself be a party to the confidentiality agreement. In light of this ambiguity, we read the statute to permit the Commission to enter into confidentiality agreements with the entity, with the repository receiving the benefits of the agreement. The Commission further concludes that it is appropriate to view a security-based swap data repository as having received a confidentiality agreement when the entity enters into a confidentiality arrangement with the Commission and the arrangement runs to the benefit of the repository.

90See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55190.

Consistent with the importance of protecting confidentiality of the security-based swap data provided, MOUs or other arrangements may include a variety of means of safeguarding confidentiality. These may include, for example, restrictions regarding the personnel who may access the data provided, and limits on the distribution of that data to third parties. Moreover, such MOUs or other arrangements may incorporate conditions that specify the scope of the relevant authority's access to data, and that limit this access in a manner that reflects the relevant authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.

One commenter expressed the view that an MOU should help determine a regulatory body's interest in security-based swap data, notify the Commission of the intent to access the data and provide the Commission with “confirmation that an appropriate confidentiality agreement has been made by the requesting regulatory authority or that statutory confidentiality requirements are applicable to such requesting authority.” The commenter further requested that the rule permit repositories to require entities to certify their ability to keep such data confidential.91 Consistent with that commenter's view, we anticipate that, as appropriate, each MOU or other arrangement will set forth access provisions that reflect a recipient's interest in security-based swap data. We decline to adopt the commenter's suggestion that the MOU or other arrangement should be deemed to provide the Commission with notification of an entity's intent to access data, given that we are adopting separately a requirement with respect to notification from the repository to the Commission.92 While an SDR may seek additional confidentiality certifications from other regulatory authorities, consistent with the statute, an SDR may not decline the regulatory authority access to the data based on another regulatory authority's refusal to agree to these certifications. Allowing repositories to require additional confidentiality certifications, moreover, could lead to an uneven application of the data access provisions, potentially undermining the benefits of using arrangements between the Commission and recipient entities to satisfy the statutory confidentiality condition.

91See DTCC 2016 comment.

92See part II.D.2, infra.

III. Applicability of Exchange Act Data Access Provisions

In the Proposing Release, the Commission discussed how Exchange Act sections 13(n)(5)(G) and (H) 93 do not provide the exclusive means by which regulators or other authorities might access security-based swap data. In part, the Proposing Release suggested that regulators and other authorities may separately access security-based swap data directly from the Commission.94 The Commission preliminarily stated that the conditions associated with the data access provisions of sections 13(n)(5)(G) and 13(n)(5)(H) should not govern access in those circumstances. The Commission received no comments on that proposed interpretation.95

93 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G) and (H).

94See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55193.

95 In the Proposing Release, the Commission also discussed the application of data access provisions to access that is authorized by foreign law. In light of the repeal of the indemnification requirement, the Commission is not addressing data access in such circumstances.

The Exchange Act provides that relevant authorities may obtain security-based swap data from the Commission, rather than directly from data repositories.96 First, Exchange Act section 21(a)(2) 97 states that, upon request of a foreign securities authority, the Commission may provide assistance in connection with an investigation the foreign securities authority is conducting to determine whether any person has violated, is violating or is about to violate any laws or rules relating to securities matters that the requesting authority administers or enforces.98 That section further provides that, as part of this assistance, the Commission in its discretion may conduct an investigation to collect information and evidence pertinent to the foreign securities authority's request for assistance.99 In addition, the Commission may share “nonpublic information in its possession” with, among others, any “federal, state, local, or foreign government, or any political subdivision, authority, agency or instrumentality of such government . . . [or] a foreign financial regulatory authority,” subject to the recipient providing “such assurances of confidentiality as the Commission deems appropriate.” 100 Consistent with the Commission practice for many years, these sections provide the Commission with separate, additional authority to assist a domestic or a foreign authority in certain circumstances, such as, for example, by providing security-based swap data directly to the authority. At those times, the foreign authority would receive information not from the data repository, but instead from the Commission.

96See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55193.

97 15 U.S.C. 78u(a)(2).

98 Exchange Act section 3(a)(50), 15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(50), broadly defines “foreign securities authority” to include “any foreign government, or any governmental body or regulatory organization empowered by a foreign government to administer or enforce its laws as they relate to securities matters.”

99 Exchange Act section 21(a)(2), 15 U.S.C. 78u(a)(2), also states that the Commission may provide such assistance without regard to whether the facts stated in the request also would constitute a violation of U.S. law. That section further states that when the Commission decides whether to provide such assistance to a foreign securities authority, the Commission shall consider whether the requesting authority has agreed to provide reciprocal assistance in securities matters to the United States, and whether compliance with the request would prejudice the public interest of the United States.

100See Exchange Act rule 24c-1(c) (implementing Exchange Act section 24(c), 15 U.S.C. 78x(c), which states that the Commission may, “in its discretion and upon a showing that such information is needed,” provide records and other information “to such persons, both domestic and foreign, as the Commission by rule deems appropriate,” subject to assurances of confidentiality).

IV. Effective Date

These amendments to Exchange Act rule 13n-4 to implement the data access requirements will become effective 60 days following publication of the rule amendments in the Federal Register.

The obligation of a security-based swap data repository to provide data pursuant to the rules will be conditioned on the Commission and a relevant authority entering into an MOU or other arrangement addressing the confidentiality of the security-based swap information that is made available. A repository accordingly will have no disclosure obligation pursuant to these rules until such MOUs or other arrangements have been entered into and become effective.101

101 The Commission anticipates that any such MOU or other arrangement would not become immediately effective after the agreement of the parties, to allow repositories an appropriate amount of time to make any technical arrangements needed to provide access, potentially including electronic access, to the recipient.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

Certain provisions of the final rules contain “collection of information” requirements within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”).102 The Commission has submitted them to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3507 and 5 CFR 1320.11. The title of the new collection of information is “Security-Based Swap Data Repository Data Access Requirements.” An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has not yet assigned a control number to the new collection of information.

102 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

In the Proposing Release, the Commission solicited comment on the collection of information requirements and the accuracy of the Commission's statements.103 Although, as discussed above, one commenter addressed certain substantive issues with regard to the proposal,104 that commenter did not address the burden estimates in the Proposing Release related to the collection of information.

103See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55196.

104See notes 19 through 21, supra, and accompanying text.

Although the final rules have been changed from the proposal to reflect the removal of the proposed indemnification exemption, in the Commission's view this change does not alter the estimates from the Proposing Release. In particular, although the conditions to the proposed indemnification exemption would have caused the Commission and a relevant authority to enter into an MOU or other arrangement to address confidentiality, and to address the types of activities that would be within the regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority of that relevant authority, the Commission would still expect to enter into that type of MOU or other arrangement with the relevant authority in connection with the confidentiality condition. Accordingly, the Commission's estimates remain unchanged from the Proposing Release.

A. Summary of Collection of Information

The final rules would require security-based swap data repositories to make security-based swap data available to other parties, including certain government bodies. This data access obligation would be conditioned on a confidentiality requirement. The final rules further would require such repositories to create and maintain information regarding such data access.

B. Use of Information

The data access requirement and associated conditions would provide the regulators and other authorities that receive the relevant security-based swap data with tools to assist with the oversight of the security-based swap market and of dealers and other participants in the market, and to assist with the monitoring of risks associated with that market.

C. Respondents

The data access requirement will apply to every person required to be registered with the Commission as a security-based swap data repository—that is, every U.S. person performing the functions of a security-based swap data repository, and to every non-U.S. person performing the functions of a security-based swap data repository within the United States absent an exemption. The Commission continues to estimate, for PRA purposes, that ten persons might register with the Commission as security-based swap data repositories.105

105See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55194. The Commission used the same estimate when adopting final rules to implement statutory provisions related to the registration process, duties and core principles applicable to security-based swap data repositories. See SDR Adopting Release, 80 FR at 14521.

The conditions to data access under these rules further will affect all persons that may seek access to security-based swap data pursuant to these provisions. As discussed below, these may include up to 30 domestic entities.

D. Total Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden 1. Data Access Generally

The data access provisions may implicate various types of PRA burdens and costs: (i) Burdens and costs that regulators and other authorities incur in connection with negotiating MOUs or other arrangements with the Commission in connection with the data access provisions; (ii) burdens and costs that certain authorities that have not been determined by statute or Commission rule may incur in connection with requesting that the Commission grant them access to repository data; 106 (iii) burdens and costs associated with information technology systems that repositories develop in connection with providing data to regulators and other authorities; and (iv) burdens and costs associated with the requirement that repositories notify the Commission of requests for access to security-based swap data, including associated recordkeeping requirements.

106 These include MOUs and other arrangements in connection with: the determination of additional entities that may access security-based swap data (see part II.C.2.a, supra), and the confidentiality condition (see part II.F.2, supra). Although under the proposal these also would have included MOUs and other arrangements in connection with the indemnification exemption, as noted above we believe that the original PRA estimates associated with such MOUs or other arrangements remain appropriate.

a. MOUs and Other Arrangements

As discussed above, entities that access security-based swap data pursuant to these data access provisions would be required to enter into MOUs or other arrangements with the Commission to address the confidentiality condition. In some cases, any such entity also would enter into an MOU or other arrangement in connection with the Commission's determination of the entity as authorized to access such data (to the extent that the entity's access is not already determined by statute or by the final rules). For purposes of the PRA requirements, the Commission estimates that up to 30 domestic entities potentially might enter into such MOUs or other arrangements, reflecting the nine entities specifically identified by statute or the final rules, and up to 21 additional domestic governmental entities or self-regulatory organizations that may seek access to such data. Based on the Commission's experience in negotiating similar MOUs that address regulatory cooperation, including confidentiality issues associated with regulatory cooperation, the Commission believes that each regulator on average would expend 500 hours in negotiating such MOUs and other arrangements.107

107 It may be expected that the initial MOU or other arrangement that is entered into between the Commission and another regulator may take up to 1,000 hours for that regulator to negotiate. In practice, however, subsequent MOUs and other arrangements involving other recipient entities would be expected to require significantly less time on average, by making use of the prior MOUs as a basis for negotiation. Based on these principles, the Commission estimates that the average amount of time that domestic and foreign recipients of data would incur in connection with negotiating these arrangements would be 500 hours.

To the extent that each of those 30 domestic entities were to seek to access data pursuant to these provisions, and each of the applicable MOUs or other arrangements were to take 500 hours on average, the total burden would amount to 15,000 hours.

b. Requests for Access

Separately, certain entities that are not identified by statute and/or the final rules may request that the Commission determine that they may access such security-based swap data. For those entities, in light of the relevant information that the Commission may consider in connection with such determinations (apart from the MOU issues addressed above)—including information regarding how the entity would be expected to use the information, information regarding the entity's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, and information regarding reciprocal access—the Commission estimates that each such entity would expend 40 hours in connection with such request. As noted above, the Commission estimates that 21 domestic entities not encompassed in the final rule may seek access to the data. Accordingly, to the extent that 21 domestic entities were to request access (apart from the nine entities identified by statute or the final rule), the Commission estimates a total burden of 840 hours for these entities to prepare and submit requests for access.

c. Systems Costs

The Commission previously addressed the PRA costs associated with the Exchange Act's data access requirement in 2010, when the Commission initially proposed rules to implement those data access requirements in conjunction with other rules to implement the duties applicable to security-based swap data repositories. At that time, based on discussions with market participants, the Commission estimated that a series of proposed rules to implement duties applicable to security-based swap data repositories—including the proposed data access rules as well as other rules regarding repository duties (e.g., proposed rules requiring repositories to accept and maintain data received from third parties, to calculate and maintain position information, and to provide direct electronic access to the Commission and its designees)—together would result in an average one-time start-up burden per repository of 42,000 hours and $10 million in information technology costs for establishing systems compliant with all of those requirements. The Commission further estimated that the average per-repository ongoing annual costs of such systems would be 25,200 hours and $6 million.108

108See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55194-95 (citing Exchange Act Release No. 63347 (Nov. 19, 2010), 75 FR 77306, 77348-49 (Dec. 10, 2010) (“SDR Proposing Release”)). The Commission further estimated, for PRA purposes, that ten persons may register with the Commission as security-based swap data repositories. Based on the estimate of ten respondents, the Commission estimated total one-time costs of 420,000 hours and $100 million, and total annual ongoing systems costs of 252,000 and $60 million. See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55195 n. 120 (citing SDR Adopting Release, 75 FR at 14523).

The Commission incorporated those same burden estimates in 2015, when the Commission adopted final rules to implement the duties applicable to security-based swap data repositories, apart from the data access requirement.109

109See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55194-95 (citing SDR Adopting Release, 80 FR at 14523).

Subject to the connectivity issues addressed below, the Commission believes that the burden estimates associated with the 2010 proposed repository rules encompassed the costs and burdens associated with the data access requirements in conjunction with other system-related requirements applicable to security-based swap dealers. To comply with those other system-related requirements—including in particular requirements that repositories provide direct electronic access to the Commission and its designees—we believe that it is reasonable to expect that repositories may use the same systems as they would use to comply with the data access requirements at issue here, particularly given that both types of access requirements would require repositories to provide security-based swap information to particular recipients subject to certain parameters.110 As a result, subject to per-recipient connectivity burdens addressed below, the Commission believes that there would be no additional burdens associated with information technology costs to implement the data access requirements of the final rule.

110 The Commission also anticipates that repositories would use the same systems in connection with the Exchange Act data access requirements as they use in connection with the corresponding requirements under the CEA.

The Commission also recognizes, however, that once the relevant systems have been set up, repositories may be expected to incur additional incremental burdens and costs associated with setting up access to security-based swap data consistent with the recipient's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.111 The Commission believes that, for any particular recipient, security-based swap data repositories on average would incur a burden of 26 hours.112 As discussed below, and consistent with our estimates in the Proposing Release, based on the estimate that approximately 300 relevant authorities may make requests for data from security-based swap data repositories,113 the Commission estimates that each repository would incur a one-time burden of 7,800 hours in connection with providing that connectivity.114

111 In addressing those burdens, the Commission expects that the determination order will set forth objective criteria that delimit the scope of a recipient's ability to access security-based swap data. The Commission may also consider the recipient entity's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, and tailor the entity's access in accordance with that regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, when entering into MOUs or other arrangements with recipient entities. The Commission further expects that repositories would use those criteria to program their data systems to reflect the scope of the recipient's access to repository data. Absent such objective and programmable criteria, repositories would be expected to incur greater burdens to assess whether an authority's request satisfies the relevant conditions, particularly with regard to whether particular information relates to persons or activities within the entity's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.

112 This estimate is based on the view that, for each recipient requesting data, a repository would incur a 25 hour burden associated with programming or otherwise inputting the relevant parameters, encompassing 20 hours of programmer analyst time and five hours of senior programmer time. The estimate also encompasses one hour of attorney time in connection with each such recipient.

113See note 195, infra.

114 Across an estimated ten repositories, accordingly, the Commission estimates that repositories cumulatively would incur a one-time burden of 78,000 hours in connection with providing such connectivity.

d. Providing Notification of Requests, and Associated Records Requirements

Under the final rules, repositories would be required to inform the Commission when it receives the first request for security-based swap data from a particular entity.115 As discussed below, based on the estimate that approximately 300 relevant authorities may make requests for data from security-based swap data repositories, the Commission estimates that each repository would provide the Commission with actual notice approximately 300 times.116 Moreover, based on the estimate that ten persons may register with the Commission as security-based swap data repositories, the Commission estimates that repositories in the aggregate would provide the Commission with actual notice a total of 3,000 times. The Commission estimates that each such notice would take no more than one-half hour to make on average, leading to a cumulative estimate of 1,500 hours associated with the notice requirement.

115See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(d).

116See part VI.C.3.a.ii, infra; see also Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55195.

The final rules further require that repositories must maintain records of all information related to the initial and all subsequent requests for data access, including records of all instances of online or electronic access, and records of all data provided in connection with such access.117 Consistent with our estimates in the Proposing Release, the Commission estimates that there cumulatively may be 360,000 subsequent data requests or instances of direct electronic access per year across all security-based swap data repositories, for which repositories must maintain records as required by the final rule.118 Based on its experience with recordkeeping costs associated with security-based swaps generally, the Commission estimates that for each repository this requirement would create an initial burden of roughly 360 hours, and an annual burden of roughly 280 hours and $40,000 in information technology costs.119

117See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(d).

118See part VI.C.3.a.ii, infra; see also Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55195.

119 Across an estimated ten repositories, accordingly, the Commission preliminarily estimates that repositories cumulatively will incur an initial burden of roughly 3,600 hours in information technology costs, and an annual burden of roughly 2,800 hours and $400,000 in information technology costs.

2. Confidentiality Condition

The Commission does not believe that the confidentiality provision of the final rule will be associated with collections of information that would result in a reporting or recordkeeping burden for security-based swap data repositories. This is because, under the final rule, the confidentiality condition will be satisfied by an MOU or other arrangement between the Commission and the recipient entity (i.e., another regulatory authority) addressing confidentiality. We expect that repositories accordingly will not be involved in the drafting or negotiation of confidentiality agreements.

As discussed above, however, the confidentiality condition is expected to impose burdens on authorities that seek to access data pursuant to these provisions, as a result of the need to negotiate confidentiality MOUs or other arrangements.120

120See part V.D.1.a, supra.

E. Collection of Information is Mandatory

The conditional data access requirements of Exchange Act sections 13(n)(5)(G) and (H) and the underlying rules are mandatory for all security-based swap data repositories. The confidentiality condition is mandatory for all entities that seek access to data under those requirements.

F. Confidentiality

The Commission will make public requests for a determination that an authority is appropriate to conditionally access security-based swap data, as well as Commission determinations issued in response to such requests. The Commission expects that it will make publicly available the MOUs or other arrangements with the Commission used to satisfy the confidentiality condition.121

121 The Commission provides a list of MOUs and most other arrangements with foreign authorities on its public Web site, which are available at: http://www.sec.gov/about/offices/oia/oia_cooparrangements.shtml.

Initial notices of requests for access provided to the Commission by repositories will be kept confidential, subject to the provisions of applicable law. To the extent that the Commission obtains subsequent requests for access that would be required to be maintained by the repositories, such as in connection with an examination or investigation, the Commission also will keep those records confidential, subject to the provisions of applicable law.

VI. Economic Analysis

As discussed above, the Commission is adopting final rules to implement data access requirements for relevant authorities other than the Commission that the Dodd-Frank Act imposes on security-based swap repositories. To carry out their regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority, certain relevant entities other than the Commission may periodically need access to security-based swap data collected and maintained by SEC-registered security-based swap data repositories, and the final rules are intended to facilitate such access.

Although the final rules have been changed from the proposal to reflect the removal of the proposed indemnification exemption, in the Commission's view this change does not significantly alter the economic costs and benefits from the Proposing Release. In particular, although the conditions to the proposed indemnification exemption would have caused the Commission and a relevant authority to enter into an MOU or other arrangement to address confidentiality, and to address the types of activities that would be within the regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority of that relevant authority, such MOU or other arrangement will still be necessary in connection with the confidentiality condition. Accordingly, the Commission's assessment of the costs and benefits remain largely unchanged from the Proposing Release.

The Commission is sensitive to the economic effects of its rules, including the costs and benefits and the effects of its rules on efficiency, competition and capital formation. Section 3(f) 122 of the Exchange Act requires the Commission, whenever it engages in rulemaking pursuant to the Exchange Act and is required to consider or determine whether an action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, to also consider, in addition to the protection of investors, whether the action would promote efficiency, competition, and capital formation. In addition, section 23(a)(2) 123 of the Exchange Act requires the Commission, when promulgating rules under the Exchange Act, to consider the impact such rules would have on competition. Exchange Act section 23(a)(2) also provides that the Commission shall not adopt any rule which would impose a burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Exchange Act.

122 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

123 15 U.S.C. 78w(a)(2).

A. Economic Considerations 1. Title VII Transparency Framework

The security-based swap market prior to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act has been described as being opaque, in part because transaction-level data were not widely available to market participants or to regulators.124 To increase the transparency of the over-the-counter derivatives market to both market participants and regulatory authorities, Title VII requires the Commission to undertake a number of rulemakings, including rules the Commission adopted last year to address the registration process, duties and core principles applicable to security-based swap data repositories,125 and to address regulatory reporting and public dissemination of security-based swap information.126 Among other matters, those rules address market transparency by requiring security-based swap data repositories, absent an exemption, to collect and maintain accurate security-based swap transaction data, and address regulatory transparency by requiring security-based swap data repositories to provide the Commission with direct electronic access to such data.127

124 With respect to one type of security-based swap, credit default swaps (“CDS”), the Government Accountability Office found that “comprehensive and consistent data on the overall market have not been readily available,” “authoritative information about the actual size of the [CDS] market is generally not available” and regulators currently are unable “to monitor activities across the market.” Government Accountability Office, GAO-09-397T, Systemic Risk: Regulatory Oversight and Recent Initiatives to Address Risk Posed by Credit Default Swaps, at 2, 5, 27, (2009) available at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09397t.pdf; see also Robert E. Litan, The Derivatives Dealers' Club and Derivatives Market Reform: A Guide for Policy Makers, Citizens and Other Interested Parties, Brookings Institution (Apr. 7, 2010), http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2010/4/07%20derivatives%20litan/0407_derivatives_litan.pdf; Michael Mackenzie, Era of an Opaque Swaps Market Ends, Financial Times, June 25, 2010, available at: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f49f635c-8081-11df-be5a-00144feabdc0.html.

125See SDR Adopting Release.

126See Regulation SBSR—Reporting and Dissemination of Security-Based Swap Information, Exchange Act Release No. 74244 (Jan. 14, 2015), 80 FR 14564 (Mar. 19, 2015) (“Regulation SBSR Adopting Release”). In July 2016, the Commission adopted amendments and guidance to Regulation SBSR. See Exchange Act Release No. 78321 (Jul. 14, 2016), 81 FR 53546 (Aug. 12, 2016).

127See Exchange Act rule 13n-5 (requiring repositories to comply with data collection and data maintenance standards related to transaction and position data); Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(5) (requiring repositories to provide direct electronic access to the Commission and its designees).

Consistent with the goal of increasing transparency to regulators, the data access provisions at issue here set forth a framework for security-based swap data repositories to provide access to security-based swap data to relevant authorities other than the Commission. The final rules implement that framework for repositories to provide data access to other relevant entities in order to fulfill their regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority.

2. Transparency in the Market for Security-Based Swaps

The data access rules, in conjunction with the transparency-related requirements generally applicable to security-based swap data repositories, are designed, among other things, to make available to the Commission and other relevant authorities data that will provide a broad view of the security-based swap market and help monitor for pockets of risk and potential market abuses that might not otherwise be observed by those authorities.128 Unlike many other types of securities transactions, security-based swaps involve ongoing financial obligations between counterparties during the life of transactions that typically span several years. Counterparties to a security-based swap rely on each other's creditworthiness and bear this credit risk and market risk until the security-based swap terminates or expires. If a large market participant, such as a security-based swap dealer, major security-based swap participant, or central counterparty were to become financially distressed, a general lack of information about market participants' exposures to the distressed entity could contribute to uncertainty and ongoing market instability. In addition, the default of a large market participant could introduce the potential for sequential counterparty failure; the resulting uncertainty could reduce the willingness of market participants to extend credit, and substantially reduce liquidity and valuations for particular types of financial instruments.129

128See, e.g., Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(D), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(D), and rule 13n-4(b)(5) (requiring SDRs to provide direct electronic access to the Commission and its designees). See also 156 Cong. Rec. S5920 (daily ed. July 15, 2010) (statement of Sen. Lincoln) (“These new `data repositories' will be required to register with the CFTC and the SEC and be subject to the statutory duties and core principles which will assist the CFTC and the SEC in their oversight and market regulation responsibilities.”).

129See, e.g., Markus K. Brunnermeier and Lasse Heje Pedersen, Market Liquidity and Funding Liquidity, 22 Review of Financial Studies 2201 (2009); Denis Gromb and Dimitri Vayanos, A Model of Financial Market Liquidity Based on Intermediary Capital, 8 Journal of the European Economic Association 456 (2010).

A broad view of the security-based swap market, including information regarding aggregate market exposures to particular reference entities (or securities), positions taken by individual entities or groups, and data elements necessary to determine the market value of the transaction, may be expected to provide the Commission and other relevant authorities with a better understanding of the actual and potential risks in the market and promote better risk monitoring efforts. The information provided by security-based swap data repositories also may be expected to help the Commission and other relevant authorities investigate market manipulation, fraud and other market abuses.

3. Global Nature of the Security-Based Swap Market

As highlighted in more detail in the Economic Baseline below, the security-based swap market is a global market. Based on market data in the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation's Trade Information Warehouse (“DTCC-TIW”), the Commission estimates that only 12 percent of the global transaction volume that involves either a U.S.-domiciled counterparty or a U.S-domiciled reference entity (as measured by gross notional) between 2008 and 2015 was between two U.S.-domiciled counterparties, compared to 48 percent entered into between one U.S.-domiciled counterparty and a foreign-domiciled counterparty and 40 percent entered into between two foreign-domiciled counterparties.130

130 The data the Commission receives from DTCC-TIW does not include transactions between two non-U.S. domiciled counterparties that reference a non-U.S. entity or security. This is approximately 19 percent of global transaction volume. See note 143, infra. Therefore, factoring in these transactions, approximately 10 percent of global transaction volume involves two U.S.-domiciled counterparties, 39 percent involve one U.S.-domiciled counterparty and one foreign counterparty, and 51 percent are between two foreign-domiciled counterparties.

In light of the security-based swap market's global nature there is the possibility that regulatory data may be fragmented across jurisdictions, particularly because a large fraction of transaction volume includes at least one counterparty that is not a U.S. person 131 and the applicable U.S. regulatory reporting rules depend on the U.S. person status of the counterparties.132 As discussed further below, fragmentation of data can increase the difficulty in consolidating and interpreting security-based swap market data from repositories, potentially reducing the general economic benefits derived from transparency of the security-based swap market to regulators. Absent a framework for the cross-border sharing of data reported pursuant to regulatory requirements in various jurisdictions, the relevant authorities responsible for monitoring the security-based swap market may not be able to access data consistent with their regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.

131 This statement is based on staff analysis of voluntarily reported CDS transaction data to DTCC-TIW, which includes self-reported counterparty domicile. See note 154, infra. The Commission notes that DTCC-TIW entity domicile may not be completely consistent with the Commission's definition of “U.S. person” in all cases but believes that these two characteristics have a high correlation.

132See Regulation SBSR rule 908(a) (generally requiring regulatory reporting and public dissemination of a security-based swap transaction when at least one direct or indirect counterparty is a U.S. person). Note that current voluntary reporting considers the self-reported domicile of the counterparty but Regulation SBSR considers the counterparty's status as a U.S. person.

4. Economic Purposes of the Rulemaking

The data access requirements are designed to increase the quality and quantity of transaction and position information available to relevant authorities about the security-based swap market while helping to maintain the confidentiality of that information. The increased availability of security-based swap information may be expected to help relevant authorities act in accordance with their regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority, and to respond to market developments.

Moreover, by facilitating access to security-based swap data for relevant authorities, including non-U.S. authorities designated by the Commission, the Commission anticipates an increased likelihood that the Commission itself will have commensurate access to security-based swap data stored in trade repositories located in foreign jurisdictions.133 This may be particularly important in identifying transactions in which the Commission has a regulatory interest (e.g., transactions involving a U.S. reference entity or security) but may not have been reported to a registered security-based swap data repository due to the transactions occurring outside of the U.S. between two non-U.S. persons.134 This should assist the Commission in fulfilling its regulatory mandate and legal responsibility and authority, including by facilitating the Commission's ability to detect and investigate market manipulation, fraud and other market abuses, and by providing the Commission with greater access to security-based swap information than that provided under the current voluntary reporting regime.135

133 For example, EU law conditions the ability of non-EU authorities to access data from EU repositories on EU authorities having “immediate and continuous” access to the information they need. See EU regulation 648/2012 (“EMIR”), art. 75(2).

As discussed above, the Commission anticipates considering whether the relevant authority requesting access agrees to provide the Commission and other U.S. authorities with reciprocal assistance in matters within their jurisdiction when making a determination whether the requesting authority shall be granted access to security-based swap data held in registered SDRs. See part II.C.1 supra.

134 For example, it is possible to replicate the economic exposure of either a long or short position in a debt security that trades in U.S. markets by trading in U.S. treasury securities and CDS that reference that debt security. Transactions between two non-U.S. persons on a U.S. reference entity or novations between two non-U.S. persons that reduce exposure to a U.S. registrant may provide information to the Commission about the market's views concerning the financial stability or creditworthiness of the registered entity.

135See part VI.B, supra, for a description of the data the Commission receives from DTCC-TIW under the current voluntary reporting regime.

Such data access may be especially critical during times of market turmoil, by giving the Commission and other relevant authorities information to examine risk exposures incurred by individual entities or in connection with particular reference entities. Increasing the available data about the security-based swap market should further give the Commission and other relevant authorities better insight into how regulations are affecting or may affect the market, which may allow the Commission and other regulators to better craft regulations to achieve desired goals, and therefore increase regulatory effectiveness.

B. Economic Baseline

To assess the economic impact of the data access rules adopted herein, the Commission is using as a baseline the security-based swap market as it exists today, including applicable rules that have already been adopted and excluding rules that have been proposed but not yet finalized. Thus we include in the baseline the rules that the Commission adopted to govern the registration process, duties and core principles applicable to security-based swap data repositories, and to govern regulatory reporting and public dissemination of security-based swap transactions.136

136See SDR Adopting Release and Regulation SBSR Adopting Release.

There are not yet any registered security-based swap data repositories; therefore, the Commission does not yet have access to regulatory reporting data.137 Hence, our characterization of the economic baseline, including the quantity and quality of security-based swap data available to the Commission and other relevant authorities and the extent to which data are fragmented, considers the anticipated effects of the rules that govern the registration process, duties and core principles applicable to SDRs and Regulation SBSR. The Commission acknowledges limitations in the degree to which it can quantitatively characterize the current state of the security-based swap market. As described in more detail below, because the available data on security-based swap transactions do not cover the entire market, the Commission has developed an understanding of market activity using a sample that includes only certain portions of the market.

137See note 157, infra.

1. Regulatory Transparency in the Security-Based Swap Market

There currently is no robust, widely accessible source of information about individual security-based swap transactions. In 2006, a group of major dealers expressed their commitment in support of DTCC's initiative to create a central “industry utility trade contract warehouse” for credit derivatives.138 Moreover, in 2009, the leaders of the G20—whose members include the United States, 18 other countries, and the European Union—addressed global improvements in the over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives markets. They expressed their view on a variety of issues relating to OTC derivatives contracts, including, among other things, that OTC derivatives contracts should be reported to trade repositories.139 A single repository, DTCC-TIW, makes the data reported to it under the voluntary reporting regime available to the Commission and other relevant authorities in accordance with the guidance from the OTC Derivatives Regulatory Forum (“ODRF”), of which the Commission is a member, and similar subsequent guidance.140 Although many jurisdictions have implemented rules concerning reporting of security-based swaps to trade repositories,141 the Commission understands that many market participants continue to report voluntarily to DTCC-TIW.

138See Letter to Timothy Geithner, President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mar. 10, 2006, available at: https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/newsevents/news/markets/2006/industryletter2.pdf.

139See G20 Leaders Statement from the 2009 Pittsburgh Summit, available at: http://www.g20.utoronto.ca/2009/2009communique0925.html.

140See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55181, note 71. See also DTCC 2016 comment at 2 (“DTCC is strongly supportive of the work of the [CPMI], [IOSCO] and the Financial Stability Board (`FSB') to improve regulatory access to OTC derivatives data, including CPMI-IOSCO's guidance on authorities' access to trade repository data”).

141See OTC Derivatives Market Reforms: Tenth Progress Report on Implementation (Nov. 2015), available at: http://www.fsb.org/wp-content/uploads/OTC-Derivatives-10th-Progress-Report.pdf.

The data that the Commission receives from DTCC-TIW do not encompass CDS transactions that both: (i) Do not involve any U.S. counterparty, and (ii) are not based on a U.S. reference entity.142 Based on a comparison of weekly transaction volume publicly disseminated by DTCC-TIW with data provided to the Commission under the voluntary arrangement, we estimate that the transaction data provided to the Commission covers approximately 81 percent of the global single-name CDS market.143

142 The Commission notes that the identification of entity domicile in the voluntary data reported to DTCC-TIW may not be consistent with the Commission's definition of “U.S. person” in all cases. See note 154, infra.

143 In 2015, DTCC-TIW reported on its Web site new trades in single-name CDS with gross notional of $11.8 trillion. During the same period, data provided to the Commission by DTCC-TIW, which include only transactions with a U.S. counterparty or transactions written on a U.S. reference entity or security, included new trades with gross notional equaling $9.6 trillion, or 81% of the total reported by DTCC-TIW.

While DTCC-TIW generally provides detailed data on positions and transactions to regulators that are members of the ODRF, DTCC-TIW makes only summary information available to the public.144

144 DTCC-TIW publishes weekly transaction and position reports for single-name CDS. In addition, ICE Clear Credit provides aggregated volumes of clearing activity, and large multilateral organizations periodically further report measures of market activity. For example, the Bank for International Settlements (“BIS”) reports gross notional outstanding for single-name CDS and equity forwards and swaps semiannually.

2. Current Security-Based Swap Market

The Commission's understanding of the market is informed in part by available data on security-based swap transactions, though the Commission acknowledges that limitations in the data prevent the Commission from quantitatively characterizing certain aspects of the market.145 Because these data do not cover the entire market, the Commission has developed an understanding of market activity using a sample of transaction data that includes only certain portions of the market. The Commission believes, however, that the data underlying its analysis here provide reasonably comprehensive information regarding single-name CDS transactions and the composition of participants in the single-name CDS market.

145 The Commission also relies on qualitative information regarding market structure and evolving market practices provided by commenters, both in letters and in meetings with Commission staff, and knowledge and expertise of Commission staff.

Specifically, the Commission's analysis of the state of the current security-based swap market is based on data obtained from the DTCC-TIW, especially data regarding the activity of market participants in the single-name CDS market during the period from 2008 to 2015. According to data published by the Bank for International Settlements (“BIS”), the global notional amount outstanding in single-name CDS was approximately $7.18 trillion,146 in multi-name index CDS was approximately $4.74 trillion, and in multi-name, non-index CDS was approximately $373 billion. The total gross market value outstanding in single-name CDS was approximately $284 billion, and in multi-name CDS instruments was approximately $137 billion.147 The global notional amount outstanding in equity forwards and swaps as of December 2015 was $3.32 trillion, with total gross market value of $147 billion.148 As these figures show (and as the Commission has previously noted), although the definition of security-based swap is not limited to single-name CDS, single-name CDS make up a majority of security-based swaps in terms of notional amount, and the Commission believes that the single-name CDS data are sufficiently representative of the market to inform the Commission's analysis of the state of the current security-based swap market.149

146 The global notional amount outstanding represents the total face amount of the swap used to calculate payments. The gross market value is the cost of replacing all open contracts at current market prices.

147See Semi-annual OTC derivatives statistics (December 2015), Table D10.1, available at http://stats.bis.org/statx/toc/DER.html (last viewed May 24, 2016). For purposes of this analysis, the Commission assumes that multi-name index CDS are not narrow-based security index CDS, and therefore do not fall within the definition of security-based swap. See Exchange Act section 3(a)(68)(A), 15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(68)(A); see also Further Definition of “Swap,” “Security-Based Swap,” and “Security-Based Swap Agreement”; Mixed Swaps; Security-Based Swap Agreement Recordkeeping, Exchange Act Release No. 67453 (July 18, 2012), 77 FR 48207 (Aug. 13, 2012).

148 These totals include both swaps and security-based swaps, as well as products that are excluded from the definition of “swap,” such as certain equity forwards. See Semi-annual OTC derivatives statistics (December 2015), Table D8, available at http://stats.bis.org/statx/toc/DER.html (last viewed May 24, 2016). The Commission assumes that instruments reported as equity forwards and swaps include instruments such as total return swaps on individual equities that fall with the definition of security-based swap.

149See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55199, note 154.

Based on this information, our analysis below indicates that the current security-based swap market: (i) Is global in scope, and (ii) is concentrated among a small number of dealing entities. Although under the voluntary reporting regime discussed above there was a single repository, as various jurisdictions have implemented mandatory reporting rules in their jurisdictions the number of trade repositories holding security-based swap data has grown.150

150See, for example, the list of trade repositories registered by ESMA, available at: https://www.esma.europa.eu/supervision/trade-repositories/list-registered-trade-repositories. As of May 28, 2016, there were six repositories registered by ESMA, all of which are authorized to receive data on credit derivatives.

a. Security-Based Swap Market Participants

A key characteristic of security-based swap activity is that it is concentrated among a relatively small number of entities that engage in dealing activities.151 Based on the Commission's analysis of DTCC-TIW data, there were 1,957 entities engaged directly in trading CDS between November 2006 and December 2015.152 Table 1 below highlights that of these entities, there were 17, or approximately 0.9 percent, that were ISDA-recognized dealers.153 ISDA-recognized dealers executed the vast majority of transactions (83.7 percent) measured by the number of counterparties (each transaction has two counterparties or transaction sides). Many of these dealers are regulated by entities other than, or in addition to, the Commission. In addition, thousands of other market participants appear as counterparties to security-based swap transactions, including, but not limited to, investment companies, pension funds, private funds, sovereign entities and non-financial companies.

151See Exchange Act Release No. 72472 (Jun. 25, 2014), 79 FR 47278, 47293 (Aug. 12, 2014) (“Cross-Border Definitions Adopting Release”). All data in this section cites updated data from the Proposing Release. See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55196-202.

152 These 1,957 transacting agents represent over 10,000 accounts representing principal risk holders. See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55199, note 158.

As noted above, the data provided to the Commission by DTCC-TIW includes only transactions that either include at least one U.S.-domiciled counterparty or reference a U.S. entity or security. Therefore, any entity that is not domiciled in the U.S., never trades with a U.S.-domiciled entity and never buys or sells protection on a U.S. reference entity or security would not be included in this analysis.

153 For the purpose of this analysis, the ISDA-recognized dealers are those identified by ISDA as a recognized dealer in any year during the relevant period. Dealers are only included in the ISDA-recognized dealer category during the calendar year in which they are so identified. The complete list of ISDA recognized dealers during the applicable period was: JP Morgan Chase NA (and Bear Stearns), Morgan Stanley, Bank of America NA (and Merrill Lynch), Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays Capital, Citigroup, UBS, Credit Suisse AG, RBS Group, BNP Paribas, HSBC Bank, Lehman Brothers, Société Générale, Credit Agricole, Wells Fargo, and Nomura. See ISDA, Operations Benchmarking Surveys, available at: http://www2.isda.org/functional-areas/research/surveys/operations-benchmarking-surveys.

Table 1—The Number of Transacting Agents in the Single-Name CDS Market by Counterparty Type and the Fraction of Total Trading Activity, From November 2006 Through December 2015, Represented by Each Counterparty Type Transacting agents Number Percent Transaction
  • share
  • (%)
  • Investment Advisers 1,499 76.6 12.2 —SEC registered 603 30.8 8.1 Banks 253 12.9 3.6 Pension Funds 29 1.5 0.1 Insurance Companies 39 2.0 0.2 ISDA-Recognized Dealers 17 0.9 83.7 Other 120 6.1 0.2 Total 1,957 100 100

    Although the security-based swap market is global in nature, approximately 60 percent of the transaction volume reflected in DTCC-TIW data during the 2008-2015 period included at least one U.S.-domiciled entity (see Figure 1). Moreover, 48 percent of the single-name CDS transactions that include at least one U.S.-domiciled counterparty or a U.S. reference entity or security were between U.S.-domiciled entities and foreign-domiciled counterparties.

    ER02SE16.006

    The fraction of new accounts with transaction activity that are domiciled in the United States fell through the 2008-2015 period. Figure 2 below is a chart of: (1) The percentage of new accounts with a domicile in the United States,154 (2) the percentage of new accounts with a domicile outside the United States, and (3) the percentage of new accounts that are domiciled outside the United States but managed by a U.S. entity, foreign accounts that include new accounts of a foreign branch of a U.S. bank, and new accounts of a foreign subsidiary of a U.S. entity. Over time, a greater share of accounts entering DTCC-TIW data either have had a foreign domicile or have had a foreign domicile while being managed by a U.S. person. The increase in foreign accounts may reflect an increase in participation by foreign accountholders, and the increase in foreign accounts managed by U.S. persons may reflect the flexibility with which market participants can restructure their market participation in response to regulatory intervention, competitive pressures and other factors. There are, however, alternative explanations for the shifts in new account domicile in Figure 2. Changes in the domicile of new accounts through time may reflect improvements in reporting by market participants to DTCC-TIW. Additionally, because the data include only accounts that are domiciled in the United States, transact with U.S.-domiciled counterparties or transact in single-name CDS with U.S. reference entities or securities, changes in the domicile of new accounts may reflect increased transaction activity between U.S. and non-U.S. counterparties.

    154 The domicile classifications in DTCC-TIW are based on the market participants' own reporting and have not been verified by Commission staff. Prior to enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, account holders did not formally report their domicile to DTCC-TIW because there was no systematic requirement to do so. After enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, DTCC-TIW has collected the registered office location of the account. This information is self-reported on a voluntary basis. It is possible that some market participants may misclassify their domicile status because the databases in DTCC-TIW do not assign a unique legal entity identifier to each separate entity. It is also possible that the domicile classifications may not correspond precisely to the definition of “U.S. person” under the rules defined in Exchange Act rule 3a71-3(a)(4), 17 CFR 240.3a71-3(a)(4). Notwithstanding these limitations, the Commission believes that the cross-border and foreign activity demonstrates the nature of the single-name CDS market.

    We note that cross-border rules related to regulatory reporting and public dissemination of security-based swap transactions depend on, among other things, the U.S.-person status of the counterparties.155 The analyses behind Figures 1 and 2 show that the security-based swap market is global, with an increasing share of the market characterized by cross-border trade.

    155See note 132, supra.

    156 Following publication of the Warehouse Trust Guidance on CDS data access, DTCC-TIW surveyed market participants, asking for the physical address associated with each of their accounts (i.e., where the account is organized as a legal entity). This is designated the registered office location by DTCC-TIW. When an account does not report a registered office location, we have assumed that the settlement country reported by the investment adviser or parent entity to the fund or account is the place of domicile. This treatment assumes that the registered office location reflects the place of domicile for the fund or account.

    ER02SE16.007 b. Security-Based Swap Data Repositories

    No security-based swap data repositories are currently registered with the Commission.157 The Commission is aware of one entity in the market (i.e., DTCC-TIW) that has been accepting voluntary reports of single-name and index CDS transactions. In 2015, DTCC-TIW received approximately 2.5 million records of single-name CDS transactions, of which approximately 798,000 were price-forming transactions.158

    157 ICE Trade Vault, LLC (“ICE Trade Vault”) and DTCC Data Repository (U.S.) LLC (“DDR”) filed with the Commission Form SDRs seeking registration as a security-based swap data repository under Section 13(n) of the Exchange Act and the Commission's rules promulgated thereunder. See Notice of Filing of Application for Registration as a Security-Based Swap Data Repository, Release No. 77699 (Apr. 22, 2016), 81 FR 25475 (Apr. 28, 2016) and Notice of Filing of Application for Registration as a Security-Based Swap Data Repository, Release No. 78216 (Jun. 30, 2016), 81 FR 44379 (July 7, 2016).

    158 Price-forming CDS transactions include new transactions, assignments, modifications to increase the notional amounts of previously executed transactions and terminations of previously executed transactions. Transactions terminated or entered into in connection with a compression exercise, and expiration of contracts at maturity, are not considered price-forming and are therefore excluded, as are replacement trades and all bookkeeping-related trades.

    The CFTC has provisionally registered four swap data repositories.159 These swap data repositories are: BSDR LLC, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., DDR, and ICE Trade Vault. The Commission believes that some or all of these entities will likely register with the Commission as security-based swap data repositories and that other persons may seek to register with both the CFTC and the Commission as swap data repositories and security-based swap data repositories, respectively.160

    159 CFTC rule 49.3(b) provides for provisional registration of a swap data repository. 17 CFR 49.3(b).

    160 For the purpose of estimating PRA related costs, the number of security-based swap data repositories is estimated to be as high as ten. See part V.C, supra.

    Efforts to regulate the swap and security-based swap markets are underway not only in the United States, but also abroad. Consistent with the call of the G20 leaders for global improvements in the functioning, transparency and regulatory oversight of OTC derivatives markets,161 substantial progress has been made in establishing the trade repository infrastructure to support the reporting of OTC derivatives transactions.162 Currently, multiple trade repositories operate, or are undergoing approval processes to do so, in a number of different jurisdictions.163 Combined with the fact that the requirements for trade reporting differ across jurisdictions, the result is that security-based swap data is fragmented across many locations, stored in a variety of formats, and subject to many different rules for authorities' access. Authorities will be able to obtain a comprehensive and accurate view of the global OTC derivatives markets to the extent that means exist to aggregate data in these trade repositories.

    161See note 139, supra, and accompanying text.

    162See OTC Derivatives Market Reforms: Tenth Progress Report on Implementation (Nov. 2015), available at: http://www.fsb.org/wp-content/uploads/OTC-Derivatives-10th-Progress-Report.pdf.

    163Id.

    C. Economic Costs and Benefits, Including Impact on Efficiency, Competition and Capital Formation

    As discussed above, the security-based swap market to date largely has developed as an opaque OTC market with limited dissemination of transaction-level price and volume information.164 Accordingly, the Commission envisions that registered security-based swap data repositories, by maintaining security-based swap transaction data and positions, will become an essential part of the infrastructure of the market in part by providing the data to relevant authorities in accordance with their regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority.

    164See part VI.B.1, supra (addressing limited information currently available to market participants and regulators).

    In finalizing these rules to implement the Exchange Act data access requirement, the Commission has attempted to balance different goals. On the one hand, the Commission believes that these rules will facilitate the sharing of information held by repositories with relevant authorities, which should assist those authorities in acting in accordance with their regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority. At the same time, although regulatory access raises important issues regarding the confidentiality of the information, the Commission believes that the rules should appropriately reduce the risk of breaching the confidentiality of the data by providing for a reasonable assurance that confidentiality will be maintained before access is granted.

    Additionally, we note that the magnitude of the costs and benefits of these rules depend in part on the type of access granted to relevant authorities. Ongoing, unrestricted direct electronic access by relevant authorities may be most beneficial in terms of facilitating efficient access to data necessary for those authorities to act in accordance with their regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority, but at the cost of increasing the risk of improper disclosure of confidential information. Restricting each relevant authority's access to only that data consistent with that authority's regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority, reduces the quantity of data that could become subject to improper disclosure. On the other hand, restricting a relevant authority's access to data may make it more difficult for it to effectively act in accordance with its regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.

    The potential economic effects stemming from the final rules can be grouped into several categories. In this section, we first discuss the general costs and benefits of the final rules, including the benefits of reducing data fragmentation, data duplication and enhancing regulatory oversight, as well as the risks associated with potential breaches of data confidentiality. Next, we discuss the effects of the rules on efficiency, competition and capital formation. Finally, we discuss specific costs and benefits linked to the final rules.

    1. General Costs and Benefits

    As discussed above, the final rules would implement the statutory provisions that require a security-based swap data repository to disclose information to certain relevant authorities. Access under the final rules would be conditioned upon the authority entering into an MOU or other arrangement with the Commission addressing the confidentiality of the information provided.

    a. Benefits

    The final rules should facilitate access to security-based swap transaction and position data by entities that require such information to fulfill their regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority. Market participants accordingly should benefit from relevant domestic authorities other than the Commission having access to the data necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. In particular, such access could help promote stability in the security-based swap market particularly during periods of market turmoil,165 and thus could indirectly contribute to improved stability in related financial markets, including equity and bond markets.166

    165See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55202, note 171.

    166See Darrell Duffie, Ada Li, and Theo Lubke, Policy Perspectives of OTC Derivatives Market Infrastructure, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No. 424, dated January 2010, as revised March 2010 (“Transparency can have a calming influence on trading patterns at the onset of a potential financial crisis, and thus act as a source of market stability to a wider range of markets, including those for equities and bonds.”).

    Moreover, as noted in part II.C.1, the Commission anticipates, when making a determination concerning a relevant authority's access to security-based swap data, considering whether the relevant authority agrees to provide the Commission and other U.S. authorities with reciprocal assistance in matters within their jurisdiction. Allowing non-U.S. authorities access to security-based swap data held by registered security-based swap data repositories may be expected to help facilitate the Commission's own ability to access data held by repositories outside the United States.167 Accordingly, to the extent the Commission obtains such access, the rules further may be expected to assist the Commission in fulfilling its regulatory responsibilities, including by detecting market manipulation, fraud and other market abuses by providing the Commission with greater access to global security-based swap information.168

    167See note 133 supra, and accompanying text.

    168See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55203, note 174.

    The ability of other relevant authorities to access data held in trade repositories registered with the Commission, as well as the ability of the Commission to access data held in repositories registered with other regulators, may be especially crucial during times of market turmoil. Increased data sharing should provide the Commission and other relevant authorities more-complete information to monitor risk exposures taken by individual entities and exposures connected to particular reference entities, and should promote global stability through enhanced regulatory transparency. Security-based swap data repositories registered with the Commission are required to retain complete records of security-based swap transactions and maintain the integrity of those records.169 Based on discussions with other regulators, the Commission believes repositories registered with other authorities are likely to have analogous requirements with respect to the data maintained at the repositories. As a result, rules and practices to facilitate regulatory access to those records in line with the recipient authorities' regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority, are designed to help position the Commission and other authorities to: Detect market manipulation, fraud and other market abuses; monitor the financial responsibility and soundness of market participants; perform market surveillance and macroprudential supervision; resolve issues and positions after an institution fails; monitor compliance with relevant regulatory requirements; and respond to market turmoil.170

    169See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55293, note 175.

    170See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55203, note 176.

    Additionally, improving the availability of data regarding the security-based swap market should give the Commission and other relevant authorities improved insight into how regulations are affecting, or may affect, the market. This may be expected to help increase regulatory effectiveness by allowing the Commission and other regulators to better craft regulation to achieve desired goals.

    In addition, the Commission believes that providing relevant foreign authorities with access to data maintained by repositories may help reduce costs to market participants by reducing the potential for duplicative security-based swap transaction reporting requirements in multiple jurisdictions. The Commission notes that relevant foreign authorities have imposed their own reporting requirements on market participants within their jurisdictions.171 Given the global nature of the security-based swap market and the large number of cross-border transactions, the Commission recognizes that it is likely that such transactions are or may become subject to the reporting requirements of at least two jurisdictions.172 However, the Commission believes that if relevant authorities are able to access security-based swap data in trade repositories outside their jurisdiction, such as repositories registered with the Commission, as needed, then relevant authorities may be more inclined to permit market participants involved in such transactions to fulfill their reporting requirements by reporting the transactions to a single trade repository.173 If market participants can satisfy their reporting requirements by reporting transactions to a single trade repository rather than to separate trade repositories in each applicable jurisdiction, their compliance costs may be reduced. Similarly, to the extent that security-based swap data repositories provide additional ancillary services,174 if market participants choose to make use of such services, they would likely find such services that make use of all of their data held in a single trade repository more useful than services that are applied only to a portion of that market participant's transactions. Ancillary services applied to only a portion of a participant's transactions could result if data were divided across multiple repositories as a result of regulations requiring participants to report data to separate trade repositories in each applicable jurisdiction.

    171 For example, EU law requires that counterparties to derivatives contracts report the details of the contract to a trade repository, registered or recognized in accordance with EU law, no later than the working day following the conclusion, modification or termination of the contract. See EMIR art. 9; see also EC Delegated Regulation no. 148/2013 (regulatory technical standards implementing the reporting requirement).

    172 For example, as noted above, market data regarding single-name CDS transactions involving U.S.-domiciled counterparties and/or U.S.-domiciled reference entities indicates that 12 percent of such transactions involve two U.S.-domiciled counterparties, while 48 percent involve a U.S.-domiciled counterparty and a foreign-domiciled counterparty. See note 130, supra, and accompanying text.

    173 For example, EU law anticipates the possibility that market participants may be able to satisfy their EU reporting obligations by reporting to a trade repository established in a third country, so long as that repository has been recognized by ESMA. See EMIR art. 77; see also Regulation SBSR, rule 908(c) (providing that to the extent that the Commission has issued a substituted compliance order/determination, compliance with Title VII regulatory reporting and public dissemination requirements may be satisfied by compliance with the comparable rules of a foreign jurisdiction).

    174See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55204, note 181.

    b. Costs

    The Commission believes that although there are benefits to security-based swap data repositories providing access to relevant authorities to data maintained by the repositories, such access will likely involve certain costs and potential risks. For example, the Commission expects that repositories will maintain data that are proprietary and highly sensitive 175 and that are subject to strict privacy requirements.176 Extending access to such data to anyone, including relevant authorities, increases the risk that the confidentiality of the data maintained by repositories may not be preserved.177 A relevant authority's inability to protect the confidentiality of data maintained by repositories could erode market participants' confidence in the integrity of the security-based swap market and increase the overall risks associated with trading.178 As we discuss below, this may ultimately lead to reduced trading activity and liquidity in the market, hindering price discovery and impeding the capital formation process.179

    175See SDR Adopting Release, 80 FR at 14504.

    176See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(F), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(F) (requiring an SDR to maintain the privacy of security-based swap transaction information); Exchange Act rules 13n-4(b)(8) and 13n-9 (implementing Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(F)).

    177See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55204, note 184.

    178 For example, should it become generally known by market participants that a particular dealer had taken a large position in order to facilitate a trade by a customer and was likely to take offsetting positions to reduce its exposure, other market participants may seek to take positions in advance of the dealer attempting to take its offsetting positions.

    179See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55204, note 186.

    To help mitigate these risks and potential costs to market participants, the Exchange Act and the final data access rules impose certain conditions on relevant authorities' access to data maintained by repositories.180 In part, the Exchange Act and these final rules limit the authorities that may access data maintained by a security-based swap data repository to a specific list of domestic authorities and other persons, including foreign authorities, determined by the Commission to be appropriate,181 and further require that a repository notify the Commission when the repository receives an authority's initial request for data maintained by the repository.182 Restricting access to security-based swap data available to relevant authorities should reduce the risk of unauthorized disclosure, misappropriation or misuse of security-based swap data because each relevant authority will only have access to information within its regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority.

    180 Exchange Act sections 13(n)(5)(G) and (H), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G) and (H); see also Exchange Act rules 13n-4(b)(9) (implementing Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G)) and 13n-4(b)(10) (implementing Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(H)).

    181 As discussed above in part II.C, the Commission anticipates that such determinations may be conditioned, in part, by specifying the scope of a relevant authority's access to data, and may limit this access to reflect the relevant authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority.

    182See Exchange Act section 13(n)(5)(G), 15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(G); Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(9).

    The final rules further require that, before a repository shares security-based swap information with a relevant authority, there must be an arrangement (in the form of an MOU or otherwise) between the Commission and the relevant authority that addresses the confidentiality of the security-based swap information provided. The arrangement should reduce the likelihood of confidential trade or position data being inadvertently made public.

    2. Effects on Efficiency, Competition and Capital Formation

    The final rules described in this release are intended to facilitate access for relevant authorities to data stored in repositories registered with the Commission and therefore affect such repositories, but do not directly affect security-based swap market participants. As discussed below, access by relevant authorities to security-based swap data could indirectly affect market participants through the benefits that accrue from the relevant authorities' improved ability to fulfill their regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority as well as the potential impact of disclosure of confidential data. However, because these rules will condition access to security-based swap data on the agreement of the relevant authorities to protect the confidentiality of the data, the Commission expects these rules to have little effect on the structure or operations of the security-based swap market. Therefore, the Commission believes that effects of the final rules on efficiency, competition and capital formation will be small.183 Nevertheless, there are some potential effects, particularly with respect to efficiency and capital formation, which flow from efficient collection and aggregation of security-based swap data. We describe these effects below.

    183See part VI.C.1.b supra for a discussion of the potential impact on capital formation of inadequate data confidentiality protections. The Commission believes that its approach balances the need for data confidentiality and the need for regulatory transparency.

    In part VI.B of this release, the Commission describes the baseline used to evaluate the economic impact of the final rules, including the impact on efficiency, competition and capital formation. In particular, the Commission notes that the security-based swap data currently available from DTCC-TIW is the result of a voluntary reporting system and access to that data is made consistent with guidelines published by the ODRF.

    Under the voluntary reporting regime, CDS transaction data involving counterparties and reference entities from most jurisdictions is reported to a single entity, DTCC-TIW. DTCC-TIW, using the ODRF guidelines, then allows relevant authorities, including the Commission, to obtain data necessary to carry out their respective authorities and responsibilities with respect to OTC derivatives and the regulated entities that use derivatives.184 As various regulators implement reporting rules within their jurisdictions, counterparties within those jurisdictions may or may not continue to report to DTCC-TIW. As a result, the ability of the Commission and other relevant authorities to obtain the data required consistent with their regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority, may require the ability to access data held in a trade repository outside of their own jurisdictions. That is, because the market is global and interconnected, effective regulatory monitoring of the security-based swap market may require regulators to have access to information on the global market, particularly during times of market turmoil. The data access rules should facilitate access of relevant authorities other than the Commission to security-based swap data held in repositories, and may indirectly facilitate Commission access to data held by trade repositories registered with regulators other than the Commission. To the extent that the final data access rules facilitate the ability of repositories to collect security-based swap information involving counterparties across multiple jurisdictions, there may be benefits in terms of efficient collection and aggregation of security-based swap data.

    184See note 140, supra.

    To the extent that the final data access provisions increase the quantity of transaction and position information available to regulatory authorities about the security-based swap market, the ability of the Commission and other relevant authorities to respond in an appropriate and timely manner to market developments could enhance investor protection through improved detection, and facilitate the investigation of fraud and other market abuses. Moreover, as noted above, we do not anticipate that the final rules will directly affect market participants, and such enhancements in investor protections may decrease the risks and indirect costs of trading and could therefore encourage greater participation in the security-based swap market for a wider range of entities seeking to engage in a broad range of hedging and trading activities.185 While increased participation is a possible outcome of the Commission's transparency initiatives, including these rules, relative to the level of participation in this market if these initiatives were not undertaken, the Commission believes that the benefits that flow from improved detection, facilitating the investigation of fraud and other market abuses and more-efficient data aggregation are the more direct benefits of the rules.

    185 Indirect trading costs refer to costs other than direct transaction costs. Front running costs described above provide an example of indirect trading costs. In the context of investor protection, the risk of fraud represents a cost of trading in a market with few investor protections or safeguards.

    In addition, the improvement in the quantity of data available to regulatory authorities, including the Commission, should improve their ability to monitor concentrations of risk exposures and evaluate risks to financial stability and could promote the overall stability in the capital markets.186

    186See note 166, supra.

    Aside from the effects that the final data access rules may have on regulatory oversight and market participation, the Commission expects the rules potentially to affect how SDRs are structured. In particular, the data access rules could reduce the potential for SDRs to be established along purely jurisdictional lines. That is, effective data sharing may reduce the need for repositories to be established along jurisdictional lines, reducing the likelihood that a single security-based swap transaction must be reported to multiple swap-data repositories. As noted previously by the Commission, due to high fixed costs and increasing economies of scale, the total cost of providing trade repository services to the market for security-based swaps may be lower if the total number of repositories is not increased due to a regulatory environment that results in trade repositories being established along jurisdictional lines.187 To the extent that the final rules result in fewer repositories that potentially compete across jurisdictional lines, cost savings realized by fewer repositories operating on a larger scale could result in reduced fees, with the subsequent cost to market participants to comply with reporting requirements being lower. At the same time, the Commission acknowledges that fewer repositories operating on a larger scale could result in those repositories having the ability to take advantage of the reduced level of competition to charge higher prices.

    187See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55205, note 197.

    Furthermore, multiple security-based swap data repositories with duplication of reporting requirements for cross-border transactions increase data fragmentation and data duplication, both of which increase the potential for difficulties in data aggregation. To the extent that the data access rules facilitate the establishment of SDRs that accept transactions from multiple jurisdictions, there may be benefits in terms of efficient collection and aggregation of security-based swap data. To the extent that these rules allow relevant authorities to have better access to the data necessary to form a more complete picture of the security-based swap market—including information regarding risk exposures and asset valuations—these rules should help the Commission and other relevant authorities perform their oversight functions in a more effective manner.

    However, while reducing the likelihood of having multiple SDRs established along jurisdictional lines would resolve many of the challenges involved in aggregating security-based swap data, there may be costs associated with having fewer repositories. In particular, the existence of multiple repositories may reduce operational risks, such as the risk that a catastrophic event or the failure of a repository leaves no repositories to which transactions can be reported, impeding the ability of the Commission and relevant authorities to obtain information about the security-based swap market.

    Finally, as we noted above, a relevant authority's inability to protect the privacy of data maintained by repositories could erode market participants' confidence in the integrity of the security-based swap market. More specifically, confidentiality breaches, including the risk that trading strategies may no longer be anonymous due to a breach, may increase the overall risks associated with trading or decrease the profits realized by certain traders. Increased risks or decreased profits may reduce incentives to participate in the security-based swap markets which may lead to reduced trading activity and liquidity in the market. Depending on the extent of confidentiality breaches, as well as the extent to which such breaches lead to market exits, disclosures of confidential information could hinder price discovery and impede the capital formation process.188

    188See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55206, note 199.

    3. Additional Costs and Benefits of Specific Rules

    Apart from the general costs and benefits associated with the structure of the Exchange Act data access provisions and implementing rules, certain discrete aspects of the final rules and related interpretation raise additional issues related to economic costs and benefits.

    a. Benefits i. Determination of Recipient Authorities

    The Commission is adopting an approach to determining whether an authority, other than those expressly identified in the Exchange Act and the implementing rules,189 should be provided access to data maintained by SDRs. The Commission believes that this approach has the benefit of appropriately limiting relevant authorities' access to data maintained by repositories to protect the confidentiality of the data.190 The Commission expects that relevant authorities from a number of jurisdictions may seek to obtain a determination by the Commission that they may appropriately have access to repository data. Each of these jurisdictions may have a distinct approach to supervision, regulation or oversight of its financial markets or market participants and to the protection of proprietary and other confidential information. The Commission believes that the approach of the final rule—which among other things would consider whether an authority has an interest in access to security-based swap data based on the relevant authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, whether there is an MOU or other arrangement between the Commission and the relevant authority that addresses the confidentiality of the security-based swap data provided to the authority, and whether information accessed by the applicable authority would be subject to robust confidentiality safeguards 191 —appropriately condition an authority's ability to access data on the confidentiality protections the authority will afford that data. This focus further would be strengthened by the Commission's ability to revoke its determination where necessary, including, for example, if a relevant authority fails to keep such data confidential.192 This approach should increase market participants' confidence that their confidential trade data will be protected, reducing perceived risks of transacting in security-based swaps.

    189See parts II.A-B supra for a discussion of specific authorities included in the implementing rules.

    190See Proposing Release, 80 FR 55206, note 201.

    191See part II.C.1, supra.

    192See part II.C, supra.

    The Commission also believes that its approach in determining the appropriate relevant authorities would reduce the potential for fragmentation and duplication of security-based swap data among trade repositories by facilitating mutual access to the data. Narrower approaches such as allowing regulatory access to security-based swap data only to those entities specifically identified in the Exchange Act 193 may increase fragmentation and duplication, and hence increase the difficulty in consolidating and interpreting security-based swap market data from repositories, potentially reducing the general economic benefits discussed above.

    193See Exchange Act section 3(a)(74), 15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(74).

    Furthermore, the Commission believes that its approach in conditioning access to security-based swap data held in SDRs by requiring there to be in effect an arrangement between the Commission and the authority in the form of a MOU or other arrangement would promote the intended benefits of access by relevant authorities to data maintained by SDRs. Under this approach, rather than requiring regulatory authorities to negotiate confidentiality agreements with multiple SDRs, a single MOU or other arrangement between the Commission and the relevant authority can serve as the confidentiality agreement that will satisfy the requirement for a written agreement stating that the relevant authority will abide by the confidentiality requirements described in section 24 of the Exchange Act relating to the security-based swap data. The Commission routinely negotiates MOUs or other arrangements with relevant authorities to secure mutual assistance or for other purposes, and the Commission believes that this approach is generally consistent with existing practice.

    The Commission further believes that negotiating a single such agreement with the Commission will be less costly for the authority requesting data than negotiating directly with each registered SDR. This approach is intended to eliminate the need for each SDR to negotiate as many as 300 confidentiality agreements with requesting authorities. This approach would also avoid the difficulties that may be expected to accompany an approach that requires SDRs to enter into confidentiality agreements—particularly questions regarding the parameters of an adequate confidentiality agreement, and the presence of uneven and potentially inconsistent confidentiality protections across SDRs and recipient entities.

    ii. Notification Requirement

    The Commission is adopting an approach by which an SDR may satisfy the notification requirement by notifying the Commission upon the initial request for security-based swap data by a relevant authority and maintaining records of the initial request and all subsequent requests.194 The Commission estimates that approximately 300 relevant authorities may make requests for data from security-based swap data repositories.195 Based on the Commission's experience in making requests for security-based swap data from trade repositories, the Commission estimates that each relevant authority will access security-based swap data held in SDRs using electronic access. Such access may be to satisfy a narrow request concerning a specific counterparty or reference entity or security, to create a summary statistic of trading activity or outstanding notional or to satisfy a large request for detailed transaction and position data. Requests may occur as seldom as once per month if the relevant authority is downloading all data to which it has access in order to analyze it on its own systems, or may occur 100 or more times per month if multiple staff of the relevant authority are making specific electronic requests concerning particular counterparties or reference entities and associated positions or transactions. Therefore, under the Commission's approach to notification requirement compliance, the Commission estimates based on staff experience that each repository would provide the Commission with actual notice as many as 300 times, and that repositories cumulatively would maintain records of as many as 360,000 subsequent data requests per year.196 The final rule is expected to permit repositories to respond to requests for data by relevant authorities more promptly and at lower cost than if notification was required for each request for data access, while helping to preserve the Commission's ability to monitor whether the repository provides data to each relevant entity consistent with the applicable conditions.

    194See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(d).

    195See Exchange Act rules 13n-4(b)(9)(i)-(v) for a list of prudential regulators that may request data maintained by SDRs from SDRs. The Exchange Act also states that FSOC, the CFTC and the Department of Justice may access security-based swap data. See parts II.B.1, 2, supra. The rules further state that the OFR may access security-based swap data. See parts II.B.1,2, supra. The Commission also expects that certain self-regulatory organizations and registered futures associations may request security-based swap data from repositories. Therefore, the Commission estimates that up to approximately 30 relevant authorities in the United States may seek to access security-based swap data from repositories. The Commission believes that most requests will come from authorities in G20 countries, and estimates that each of the G20 countries will also have no more and likely fewer than 30 relevant authorities that may request data from SDRs. Certain authorities from outside the G20 also may request data. Accounting for all of those entities, the Commission estimates that there will likely be a total of no more than 300 relevant domestic and foreign authorities that may request security-based swap data from repositories.

    196 The annual estimate of 360,000 is calculated based on 300 recipient entities each making 100 requests per month cumulatively across all repositories. The estimate of 100 requests per authority is based on staff experience with similar data requests in other contexts.

    The Commission's final rule also is designed to simplify a relevant authority's direct access to security-based swap data needed in connection with its regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, because a repository would not be required to provide the Commission with actual notice of every request prior to providing access to the requesting relevant authority.

    iii. Use of Confidentiality Agreements Between the Commission and Recipient Authorities

    The final rules in part would condition regulatory access on there being an arrangement between the Commission and the recipient entity, in the form of an MOU or otherwise, addressing the confidentiality of the security-based swap information made available to the recipient. These rules add that those arrangements shall be deemed to satisfy the statutory requirement for a written confidentiality agreement.197

    197See Exchange Act rule 13n-4(b)(10).

    As discussed above, the Commission believes that this approach reflects an appropriate way to satisfy the interests associated with the confidentiality condition. The benefits associated with this approach include obviating the need for repositories to negotiate and enter into multiple confidentiality agreements, avoiding difficulties regarding the parameters of an adequate confidentiality agreement, and avoiding uneven and potentially inconsistent confidentiality protections. This approach also would build upon the Commission's experience in negotiating such agreements.198

    198See part II.F, supra.

    b. Costs

    The Commission recognizes that its approach to providing access to relevant authorities other than the Commission to security-based swap data held in repositories has the potential to involve certain costs and risks.

    The relevant authorities requesting security-based swap data would incur some costs in seeking a Commission order deeming the authority appropriate to receive security-based swap data. These costs would include the negotiation of an MOU or other arrangement to address the confidentiality of the security-based swap information it seeks to obtain and providing information to justify that the security-based swap data relates to the entity's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority. As discussed above, the Commission estimates that up to 300 entities potentially might enter into such MOUs or other arrangements.199 Based on the Commission staff's experience in negotiating MOUs that address regulatory cooperation, the Commission estimates the cost to each relevant authority requesting data associated with negotiating such an arrangement of approximately $208,300 per entity for a total of $62,490,000.200

    199See part VI.C.3.a.ii, supra.

    200 These figures are based on 300 entities each requiring 500 personnel hours on average to negotiate an MOU or other arrangement. See part V.D.1.a, supra. The cost per entity is 400 hours × attorney at $386 per hour + 100 hours × deputy general counsel at $539 per hour = $208,300, or a total of $62,490,000. We use salary figures from SIFMA's Management & Professional Earnings in the Securities Industry 2013, modified by Commission staff to account for an 1800-hour year-week, multiplied by 5.35 to account for bonuses, firm size, employee benefits and overhead, and adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    In addition, authorities that are not specified by the final rule may request that the Commission determine them to be appropriate to receive access to such security-based swap data. Given the relevant information that the Commission would consider in connection with such designations (apart from the MOU issues addressed above)—including information regarding how the authority would be expected to use the information, information regarding the authority's regulatory mandate or legal responsibility or authority, and information regarding reciprocal assistance—the Commission estimates the cost associated with such a request to be approximately $15,440 per requesting entity for a total of $4,632,000.201

    201 These figures are based on roughly 300 entities (noting that certain entities designated by statute or rule would not need to prepare such requests) requiring 40 personnel hours to prepare a request for access. See part V.D.1.b, supra. The cost per entity is 40 hours × attorney at $386 per hour = $15,440, or a total of $4,632,000. We use salary figures from SIFMA's Management & Professional Earnings in the Securities Industry 2013, modified by Commission staff to account for an 1800-hour year-week, multiplied by 5.35 to account for bonuses, firm size, employee benefits and overhead, and adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Security-based swap data repositories would incur some costs to verify that an entity requesting data entered into the requisite agreements concerning confidentiality with the Commission. The Commission generally expects that such verification costs would be minimal because information regarding such Commission arrangements would generally be readily available.202

    202 The Commission provides a list of MOUs and most other arrangements on its public Web site, which are available at: http://www.sec.gov/about/offices/oia/oia_cooparrangements.shtml.

    To the extent that the security-based swap data repository provides the requested data through direct electronic means, the repository may incur some cost in providing the requesting authority access to the system that provides such access and setting data permissions to allow access only to the information that relates to the authority's regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority. The Commission believes most of the costs associated with providing such access would be the fixed costs incurred in designing and building the systems to provide the direct electronic access required by rules the Commission adopted last year to address the registration process, duties and core principles applicable to security-based swap data repositories.203 The Commission believes the marginal cost of providing access to an additional relevant authority and setting the associated permissions is approximately $6,406.204 Based on an estimated 300 entities requesting access to each of ten registered SDRs, we estimate the total cost of connecting entities to SDRs to be approximately $19,218,000.

    203See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55208, n. 222.

    204 This figure is based on the view that, for each recipient requesting data, a repository would incur a 25-hour burden associated with programming or otherwise inputting the relevant parameters, encompassing 20 hours of programmer analyst time and five hours of senior programmer time. The estimate also encompasses one hour of attorney time in connection with each such recipient. See part V.D.1.c, supra. The cost per entity is 20 hours × programmer analyst at $224 per hour + 5 hours × senior programmer at $308 per hour + 1 hour × attorney at $386 per hour = $6,406. We use salary figures from SIFMA's Management & Professional Earnings in the Securities Industry 2013, modified by Commission staff to account for an 1800-hour year-week, multiplied by 5.35 to account for bonuses, firm size, employee benefits and overhead, and adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    In addition, under the Commission's notification compliance rule, SDRs would be required to notify the Commission of the initial request for data but would not have to inform the Commission of all relevant authorities' requests for data prior to a SDR fulfilling such requests. Based on the estimate that approximately 300 relevant authorities may make requests for data from security-based swap data repositories, the Commission estimates that a repository would provide the Commission with actual notice approximately 300 times.205 Moreover, based on the estimate that ten persons may register with the Commission as SDRs,206 this suggests that repositories in the aggregate would provide the Commission with actual notice up to a total of 3,000 times. The Commission estimates that the total cost of providing such notice to be $57,900 per SDR for a total of $579,000 for all SDRs.207

    205See part VI.C.3.a.ii, supra.

    206See note 105, supra, and accompanying text.

    207 These figures are based each of ten SDRs providing notice for each of 300 requesting entities. See part V.D.1.d, supra. The cost per SDR is 300 requesting entities × 0.5 hours × attorney at $386 per hour = $57,900, or a total of $579,000. We use salary figures from SIFMA's Management & Professional Earnings in the Securities Industry 2013, modified by Commission staff to account for an 1800-hour year-week, multiplied by 5.35 to account for bonuses, firm size, employee benefits and overhead, and adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Pursuant to the rule, SDRs would be required to maintain records of subsequent requests.208 Not receiving actual notice of all requests may impact the Commission's ability to track such requests, but the Commission believes that the benefits of receiving actual notice of each request would not justify the additional costs that repositories would incur in providing such notices and the potential delay in relevant authorities receiving data that they need to fulfill their regulatory mandate, or legal responsibility or authority. At the same time, providing notice of initial requests will help to preserve the Commission's ability to monitor whether the repository provides data to each relevant entity consistent with the applicable conditions. As discussed above, the Commission estimates that the average initial paperwork burden associated with maintaining certain records related to data requests or access would be roughly 360 hours, and that the annualized burden would be roughly 280 hours and $121,000 for each repository.209 Assuming a maximum of ten security-based swap data repositories, the estimated aggregate one-time dollar cost would be roughly $1 million,210 and the estimated aggregate annualized dollar cost would be roughly $1.21 million.211

    208See part V.D.1.d, supra. As noted above, existing rules require SDRs to maintain copies of all documents they make or receive in their course of business, including electronic documents. See note 75, supra.

    209See part V.D.1.d, supra.

    210 The Commission anticipates that a repository would assign the associated responsibilities primarily to a compliance manager and a senior systems analyst. The total estimated dollar cost would be roughly $102,240 per repository, reflecting the cost of a compliance manager at $288 per hour for 300 hours, and a senior systems analyst at $264 per hour for 60 hours. Across the estimated ten repositories, this equals $1,022,400.

    211 The Commission anticipates that a repository would assign the associated responsibilities primarily to a compliance manager. The total estimated dollar cost would be roughly $121,000 per repository, reflecting $40,000 annualized information technology costs, as well as a compliance manager at $288 per hour for 280 hours. Across the estimated ten repositories, this equals $1.21 million.

    D. Alternatives

    The Commission considered a number of alternative approaches to implementing the Exchange Act data access provisions, but, for the reasons discussed below, is not adopting any of them.

    1. Use of confidentiality arrangements directly between repositories and recipients

    The Commission considered the alternative approach of permitting confidentiality agreement between an SDR and the recipient of the information to satisfy the confidentiality condition to the data access requirement. The Commission believes, however, that the approach taken in the final rules, which would instead make use of confidentiality arrangements between the Commission and the recipients of the data, would avoid difficulties such as questions regarding the parameters of the confidentiality agreement, and the presence of uneven and inconsistent confidentiality protections.212 This also would avoid the need for SDRs to negotiate and potentially enter into hundreds of confidentiality agreements, as under the adopted approach such costs will be borne by the Commission.

    212See part II.A, supra.

    2. Notice of Individual Requests for Data Access

    Finally, the Commission considered requiring repositories to provide notice to the Commission of all requests for data prior to repositories fulfilling such requests, rather than the approach of requiring such notice only of the first request from a particular recipient, with the repository maintaining records of all subsequent requests.213 The Commission believes that the benefits of receiving actual notice for each request would not justify the additional costs that would be imposed on repositories to provide such notice, and providing notice of subsequent requests might not be feasible if data is provided by direct electronic access.

    213See part II.D, supra.

    VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    Section 3(a) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (“RFA”) 214 requires Federal agencies, in promulgating rules, to consider the impact of those rules on small entities. The Commission certified in the proposing release, pursuant to Section 605(b) of the RFA,215 that the proposed rule would not, if adopted, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of “small entities.” The Commission received no comments on this certification.

    214 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    215 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

    For purposes of Commission rulemaking in connection with the RFA, a small entity includes: (1) When used with reference to an “issuer” or a “person,” other than an investment company, an “issuer” or “person” that, on the last day of its most recent fiscal year, had total assets of $5 million or less; 216 or (2) a broker-dealer with total capital (net worth plus subordinated liabilities) of less than $500,000 on the date in the prior fiscal year as of which its audited financial statements were prepared pursuant to Rule 17a-5(d) under the Exchange Act,217 or, if not required to file such statements, a broker-dealer with total capital (net worth plus subordinated liabilities) of less than $500,000 on the last day of the preceding fiscal year (or in the time that it has been in business, if shorter); and is not affiliated with any person (other than a natural person) that is not a small business or small organization.218

    216See 17 CFR 240.0-10(a).

    217 17 CFR 240.17a-5(d).

    218See 17 CFR 240.0-10(c).

    For purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the definition of “small entity” also encompasses “small governmental jurisdictions,” which in relevant part means governments of locales with a population of less than fifty thousand. 5 U.S.C. 601(5), (6). Although the Commission anticipates that these final rules may be expected to have an economic impact on various governmental entities that access data pursuant to Dodd-Frank's data access provisions, the Commission does not anticipate that any of those governmental entities will be small entities.

    In initially proposing rules regarding the registration process, duties and core principles applicable to SDRs, the Commission stated that it preliminarily did not believe that any persons that would register as repositories would be considered small entities.219 The Commission further stated that it preliminarily believed that most, if not all, SDRs would be part of large business entities with assets in excess of $5 million and total capital in excess of $500,000, and, as a result, the Commission certified that the proposed rules would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities and requested comments on this certification.220 The Commission reiterated that conclusion in adopting final rules generally addressing repository registration, duties and core principles.221

    219See 75 FR at 77365.

    220See id. (basing the conclusions on review of public sources of financial information about the current repositories that are providing services in the OTC derivatives market).

    221See SDR Adopting Release, 80 FR at 14549 (noting that the Commission did not receive any comments that specifically addressed whether the applicable rules would have a significant economic impact on small entities).

    In the Proposing Release for these rule amendments, the Commission stated that it continued to hold the view that any persons that would register as SDRs would not be considered small entities. The Commission accordingly certified that the proposed rules would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for purposes of the RFA.222

    222See Proposing Release, 80 FR at 55210.

    We continue to believe that the entities that will register as SDRs will not be small entities. Accordingly, the Commission certifies that the final rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for purposes of the RFA.

    Statutory Basis and Text of Final Rules

    Pursuant to the Exchange Act, and particularly sections 3(b), 13(n), and 23(a) thereof, 15 U.S.C. 78c(b), 78m(n), and 78w(a), and section 752(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, 15 U.S.C 8325, the Commission is adopting amendments to rule 13n-4 under the Exchange Act by adding paragraphs (b)(9), (b)(10), and (d) to that rule.

    List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 240

    Confidential business information, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Securities.

    Text of Final Rules

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Commission is amending Title 17, Chapter II, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 240—GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS, SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 1. The authority citation for part 240 continues to read, in part, as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 77c, 77d, 77g, 77j, 77s, 77z-2, 77z-3, 77eee, 77ggg, 77nnn, 77sss, 77ttt, 78c, 78c-3, 78c-5, 78d, 78e, 78f, 78g, 78i, 78j, 78j-1, 78k, 78k-1, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78n-1, 78o, 78o-4, 78o-10, 78p, 78q, 78q-1, 78s, 78u-5, 78w, 78x, 78ll, 78mm, 80a-20, 80a-23, 80a-29, 80a-37, 80b-3, 80b-4, 80b-11, 7201 et seq., and 8302; 7 U.S.C. 2(c)(2)(E); 12 U.S.C. 5221(e)(3); 18 U.S.C. 1350; Pub. L. 111-203, 939A, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010); and Pub. L. 112-106, sec. 503 and 602, 126 Stat. 326 (2012), unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 240.13n-4 by removing the “and” after the semicolon in paragraph (b)(8), and adding paragraphs (b)(9), (b)(10), and (d) to read as follows:
    § 240.13n-4 Duties and core principles of security-based swap data repository.

    (b) * * *

    (9) On a confidential basis, pursuant to section 24 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78x), upon request, and after notifying the Commission of the request in a manner consistent with paragraph (d) of this section, make available security-based swap data obtained by the security-based swap data repository, including individual counterparty trade and position data, to the following:

    (i) The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and any Federal Reserve Bank;

    (ii) The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency;

    (iii) The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;

    (iv) The Farm Credit Administration;

    (v) The Federal Housing Finance Agency;

    (vi) The Financial Stability Oversight Council;

    (vii) The Commodity Futures Trading Commission;

    (viii) The Department of Justice;

    (ix) The Office of Financial Research; and

    (x) Any other person that the Commission determines to be appropriate, conditionally or unconditionally, by order, including, but not limited to—

    (A) Foreign financial supervisors (including foreign futures authorities);

    (B) Foreign central banks;

    (C) Foreign ministries; and

    (D) Other foreign authorities;

    (10) Before sharing information with any entity described in paragraph (b)(9) of this section, there shall be in effect an arrangement between the Commission and the entity (in the form of a memorandum of understanding or otherwise) to address the confidentiality of the security-based swap information made available to the entity; this arrangement shall be deemed to satisfy the requirement, set forth in section 13(n)(5)(H) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78m(n)(5)(H)), that the security-based swap data repository receive a written agreement from the entity stating that the entity shall abide by the confidentiality requirements described in section 24 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78x) relating to the information on security-based swap transactions that is provided; and

    (d) Notification requirement compliance. To satisfy the notification requirement of the data access provisions of paragraph (b)(9) of this section, a security-based swap data repository shall inform the Commission upon its receipt of the first request for security-based swap data from a particular entity (which may include any request to be provided ongoing online or electronic access to the data), and the repository shall maintain records of all information related to the initial and all subsequent requests for data access from that entity, including records of all instances of online or electronic access, and records of all data provided in connection with such requests or access.

    Dated: August 29, 2016.

    By the Commission.

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21137 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 51 [Public Notice: 9678] RIN 1400-AD97 Passports AGENCY:

    State Department.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule provides various changes and updates to the Department of State passport rules as a result of the passage of two laws: International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders (IML); and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The final rule incorporates statutory passport denial and revocation requirements for certain covered sex offenders under the IML, those persons with a seriously delinquent tax debt as defined by the FAST Act, and/or those persons who submit a passport application without a correct and valid Social Security number.

    DATES:

    The effective date of this regulation is September 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Traub, Office of Legal Affairs, Passport Services, (202) 485-6500. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons may use the Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) by contacting the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department is amending § 51.60 of subpart E within part 51 of title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The rules incorporate statutory passport denial and revocation requirements as codified at 22 U.S.C. 2714a for certain individuals who have seriously delinquent tax debt or submit passport applications without correct and valid Social Security numbers. The rules incorporate new provisions for denial and revocation of passport books that do not contain conspicuous identifiers for covered sex offenders as defined in 42 U.S.C. 16935a. The rule provides for denial of passport cards to these same covered sex offenders, as passport cards are not able to contain the unique identifier required by 22 U.S.C. 212b.

    The new § 51.60(a)(3) requires denial of a passport to an individual who is certified by the Secretary of the Treasury as having a seriously delinquent tax debt as described in 26 U.S.C. 7345.

    The new § 51.60(f) permits denial of a passport to an individual who does not include his or her Social Security number or willfully, intentionally, negligently, or recklessly includes an incorrect or invalid Social Security number on his or her passport application.

    The new § 51.60(g) requires denial of a passport card to an individual who is a covered sex offender as described in 42 U.S.C. 16935a.

    Regulatory Findings Administrative Procedure Act

    Because this rulemaking implements the Congressional mandates within the FAST Act and IML, the Department is publishing this rulemaking without notice and comment under the “good cause” exemption of 5 U.S.C. 553(b). The Department believes that public comment on this rulemaking would be unnecessary, impractical, and contrary to the public interest. In addition, for the same reasons, the effective date for this rulemaking is the date of publication in accordance with the “good cause” provision of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of State, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and, by approving it, certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any year and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based companies to compete with foreign based companies in domestic and import markets.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    The Department of State does not consider this rule to be an economically significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review. The Department has nevertheless reviewed the regulation to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in both Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563, and certifies that the benefits of this regulation outweigh any cost to the public.

    Executive Order 13132

    This regulation 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. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

    Executive Order 13175

    The Department has determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on tribal governments, and will not pre-empt tribal law. Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose any new reporting or record-keeping requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35. Prior to the passage of the FAST Act, passport applicants were already asked to provide their Social Security numbers to obtain or renew passports. With respect to the IML requirements, the applicant does not report his or her status as a covered sex offender to the Department during the application process; rather, the Department obtains that information from other government sources. Therefore, this rulemaking imposes no additional burden on the applicant.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 51

    Passports.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department has amended 22 CFR part 51 as follows:

    PART 51—PASSPORTS 1. The authority citation for part 51 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    8 U.S.C. 1504; 18 U.S.C. 1621; 22 U.S.C. 211a, 212, 212b, 213, 213n (Pub. L. 106-113 Div. B, Sec. 1000(a)(7) [Div. A, Title II, Sec. 236], 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A-430); 214, 214a, 217a, 218, 2651a, 2671(d)(3), 2705, 2714, 2714a, 2721, & 3926; 26 U.S.C. 6039E; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 652(k) [Div. B, Title V of Pub. L. 103-317, 108 Stat. 1760]; E.O. 11295, Aug. 6, 1966, FR 10603, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 570; Pub. L. 114-119, 130 Stat. 15; Sec. 1 of Pub. L. 109-210, 120 Stat. 319; Sec. 2 of Pub. L. 109-167, 119 Stat. 3578; Sec. 5 of Pub. L. 109-472, 120 Stat. 3554; Pub. L. 108-447, Div. B, Title IV, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 2809; Pub. L. 108-458, 118 Stat. 3638, 3823 (Dec. 17, 2004).

    2. Amend § 51.60 by adding paragraphs (a)(3) and (4), (f), and (g) to read as follows:
    § 51.60 Denial and restriction of passports.

    (a) * * *

    (3) The applicant is certified by the Secretary of the Treasury as having a seriously delinquent tax debt as described in 26 U.S.C. 7345.

    (4) The applicant is a covered sex offender as defined in 42 U.S.C. 16935a, unless the passport, no matter the type, contains the conspicuous identifier placed by the Department as required by 22 U.S.C. 212b.

    (f) The Department may refuse to issue a passport to an applicant who fails to provide his or her Social Security account number on his or her passport application or who willfully, intentionally, negligently, or recklessly includes an incorrect or invalid Social Security account number.

    (g) The Department shall not issue a passport card to an applicant who is a covered sex offender as defined in 42 U.S.C. 16935a.

    Dated: August 23, 2016. David T. Donahue, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21087 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 1, 20, 25, 26, 31, and 301 [TD 9785] RIN 1545-BM10 Definition of Terms Relating to Marital Status AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations that reflect the holdings of Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), Windsor v. United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), and Revenue Ruling 2013-17 (2013-38 IRB 201), and that define terms in the Internal Revenue Code describing the marital status of taxpayers for federal tax purposes.

    DATES:

    Effective date: These regulations are effective on September 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Shurtliff at (202) 317-3400 (not toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    This document contains amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1), the Estate Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 20), the Gift Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 25), the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 26), the Employment Tax and Collection of Income Tax at Source Regulations (26 CFR part 31), and the Regulations on Procedure and Administration (26 CFR part 301).

    On October 23, 2015, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the IRS published in the Federal Register (80 FR 64378) a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-148998-13), which proposed to amend the regulations under section 7701 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to provide that, for federal tax purposes, the terms “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife” mean an individual lawfully married to another individual, and the term “husband and wife” means two individuals lawfully married to each other. In addition, the proposed regulations provided that a marriage of two individuals will be recognized for federal tax purposes if that marriage would be recognized by any state, possession, or territory of the United States. Finally, the proposed regulations clarified that the term “marriage” does not include registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other similar relationships recognized under state law that are not denominated as a marriage under that state's law, and the terms “spouse,” “husband and wife,” “husband,” and “wife” do not include individuals who have entered into such a relationship.

    Written comments responding to the proposed regulations were received, and one person requested a public hearing. A public hearing was held on January 28, 2016; however, the individual who requested the hearing was not able to attend, but did submit supplemental comments. When given the opportunity, no one who attended the hearing asked to speak. After consideration of the comments, Treasury and the IRS adopt the proposed regulations as revised by this Treasury Decision.

    Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions

    The IRS received twelve comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. All comments were considered and are available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov. The comments are summarized and discussed in this preamble.

    I. Comments on the Proposed Regulations Generally

    The majority of commenters strongly supported the proposed regulations. Many commended Treasury and the IRS for publishing proposed regulations that reflect the holdings of Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), and Windsor v. United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), instead of relying on sub-regulatory guidance. In general, commenters applauded Treasury and the IRS for determining that, in light of the Windsor and Obergefell holdings, marriages of same-sex couples should be treated the same as marriages of opposite-sex couples for federal tax purposes.

    One commenter suggested that the regulations specifically reference “same-sex marriage” so that the definitions apply regardless of gender and to avoid any potential issues of interpretation. Treasury and the IRS believe that the definitions in the proposed regulations apply equally to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, and that no clarification is needed. Proposed § 301.7701-18(a) states, without qualification, that, “[f]or federal tax purposes, the terms spouse, husband, and wife mean an individual lawfully married to another individual,” and that the “term husband and wife means two individuals lawfully married to each other.” The language is specifically gender neutral, which reflects the holdings in Windsor and Obergefell and is consistent with Revenue Ruling 2013-17. Similarly, the language in proposed § 301.7701-18(b) refers to a marriage of two individuals, without specifying gender. Amending the regulations to specifically address a marriage of two individuals of the same sex would undermine the goal of these regulations to eliminate distinctions in federal tax law based on gender. For these reasons, the final regulations do not adopt this comment.

    One comment reflected an overall negative view of same-sex marriage. However, the comment did not recommend any specific amendment to the proposed regulations. Because this comment addresses issues outside the scope of these regulations, the final regulations do not address this comment.

    II. Comments on Proposed § 301.7701-18(a) Regarding the Definition of Terms Relating to Marital Status

    Section 301.7701-18(a) of the proposed regulations provides that for federal tax purposes, the terms “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife” mean an individual lawfully married to another individual. The term “husband and wife” means two individuals lawfully married to each other. The preamble to the proposed regulations explains that after Windsor and Obergefell, marriages of couples of the same sex should be treated the same as marriages of couples of the opposite sex for federal tax purposes, and therefore, the proposed regulations interpret these terms in a neutral way to include same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples.

    The overwhelming majority of commenters expressed support for proposed § 301.7701-18(a). However, one of the commenters recommended that the IRS update all relevant forms to use the gender-neutral term “spouse” instead of “husband and wife.” The commenter stated that updating the forms to use gender-neutral terms would be cost-neutral and would more accurately reflect the varied composition of today's families. The commenter further stated that updating the forms to be inclusive of same-sex couples would increase government efficiency by alleviating confusion, delays, and denials caused by current forms using outdated terms.

    The commenter's recommendation relates to forms and is therefore outside the scope of these final regulations. Nevertheless, Treasury and the IRS will consider the commenter's recommendation when updating IRS forms and publications.

    III. Comments on Proposed § 301.7701-18(b) Regarding Persons Who Are Married for Federal Tax Purposes

    Section 301.7701-18(b) of the proposed regulations provides that a marriage of two individuals is recognized for federal tax purposes if the marriage would be recognized by any state, possession, or territory of the United States. The comments received on paragraph (b) are summarized below.

    A. Comment That Proposed § 301.7701-18(b) is Redundant in Light of Obergefell and Should be Removed

    One commenter stated that proposed § 301.7701-18(b) is redundant and unnecessary in light of Obergefell. According to the commenter, after Obergefell, same-sex marriage should be recognized in every state. Therefore, the commenter states that there is no need for a definition of marriage for federal tax purposes and proposed § 301.7701-18 (b) should not be finalized.

    Treasury and the IRS disagree that proposed § 301.7701-18(b) is unnecessary in light of Obergefell. The purpose of publishing these regulations is to ensure that, regardless of the term used in the Code, a marriage between two individuals entered into in, and recognized by, any state, possession, or territory of the United States will be treated as a marriage for federal tax purposes. The majority of comments supporting the proposed regulations agree with this view and specifically applaud Treasury and the IRS for publishing regulations to make this clear rather than relying on sub-regulatory guidance. Accordingly, the comment is not adopted and a definition of marriage for federal tax purposes is included in the final regulations under § 301.7701-18(b). However, the definition in proposed § 301.7701-18(b) is amended by these final regulations, as described below.

    B. Comment That the Language in the Proposed Rule Should be Clarified To Eliminate Unintended Consequences

    Another commenter recommended amending § 301.7701-18(b) of the proposed regulations to simply state that the determination of an individual's marital status will be made under the laws of the relevant state, possession, or territory of the United States or, where appropriate, under the laws of the relevant foreign country (for example, the country where the marriage was celebrated or, if conflict of laws questions arise, another country). The commenter pointed out that this revision is needed to ensure that a couple's intended marital status is recognized by the IRS. Specifically, the commenter explains that the language in proposed § 301.7701-18(b) makes it possible for unmarried couples living in a state that does not recognize common-law marriage to be treated as married for federal tax purposes if the couple would be treated as having entered into a common-law marriage under the law of any state, possession, or territory of the United States.

    Next, the commenter explains that the language of the proposed regulations could result in questions about the validity of a divorce. Under Revenue Ruling 67-442, a divorce is recognized for federal tax purposes unless the divorce is invalidated by a court of competent jurisdiction. The language of the proposed regulations would undermine this longstanding revenue ruling if any state would recognize the couple as still married despite the divorce.

    Finally, the commenter states that the language of proposed § 301.7701-18(b) could create a conflict with proposed § 301.7701-18(c) if at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States recognizes a couple's registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship as marriage. The commenter points out that in such a situation, regardless of the couple's intention and where they entered into their alternative legal relationship, they could be treated as married for federal tax purposes under the language of proposed § 301.7701-18(b) if any state, possession, or territory recognizes their alternative legal relationship as a marriage.

    According to the commenter, these examples demonstrate that the language in proposed § 301.7701-18(b) could be interpreted to treat couples who divorce or who never intended to enter into a marriage under the laws of the state where they live or where they entered into an alternative legal relationship as married for federal tax purposes. Without a change to proposed § 301.7701-18(b), these couples would be required to analyze the laws of all the states, possessions, and territories of the United States to determine whether any of these laws would fail to recognize their divorce or would denominate their alternative legal relationship as a marriage

    This was not the intent of the proposed regulations. Rather, the proposed regulations were intended to recognize a marriage only when a couple entered into a relationship denominated as marriage under the law of any state, territory, or possession of the United States or under the law of a foreign jurisdiction if such a marriage would be recognized by any state, possession, or territory of the United States. To address these concerns, § 301.7701-18(b) is revised in the final regulations to provide a general rule for recognizing a domestic marriage for federal tax purposes and a separate rule for recognizing foreign marriages for federal tax purposes (discussed in section III.C. Comments on Marriages Entered Into in Foreign Jurisdictions of this preamble).

    Accordingly, under the general rule in § 301.7701-18(b)(1) of the final regulations, a marriage of two individuals is recognized for federal tax purposes if the marriage is recognized by the state, possession, or territory of the United States in which the marriage is entered into, regardless of the married couple's place of domicile. This revision addresses the concerns raised by the commenter and ensures that only couples entering into a relationship denominated as marriage, and who have not divorced, are treated as married for federal tax purposes. By relying on the place of celebration to determine which state, possession, or territory of the United States is the point of reference for determining whether a couple is married for federal tax purposes, this rule is consistent with the longstanding position of Treasury and the IRS regarding the determination of marital status for federal tax purposes. See Revenue Ruling 2013-17; Revenue Ruling 58-66 (1958-1 CB 60).

    C. Comments on Marriages Entered Into in Foreign Jurisdictions

    Section 301.7701-18(b) of the proposed regulations generally provides that a marriage of two individuals is recognized for federal tax purposes if the marriage would be recognized by any state, possession, or territory of the United States. The preamble to the proposed regulations explains that under this rule, as a matter of comity, a marriage conducted in a foreign jurisdiction will be recognized for federal tax purposes if that marriage would be recognized in at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States. The rule in § 301.7701-18(b) of the proposed regulations was intended to address both domestic and foreign marriages, regardless of where the couple is domiciled and regardless of whether the couple ever resides in the United States (or a possession or territory of the United States). One commenter suggested amending the proposed regulation to recognize marriages performed in any foreign jurisdiction, for federal tax purposes, if the marriage is recognized in at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States. Similarly, another commenter recommended amending the proposed regulation to reflect the discussion in the preamble to the proposed regulation regarding the recognition of marriages conducted in foreign jurisdictions. This commenter noted that the preamble to the proposed regulation states, “[W]hether a marriage conducted in a foreign jurisdiction will be recognized for federal tax purposes depends on whether that marriage would be recognized in at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States.” The commenter recommended that, rather than relying on the preamble, language should be included in the regulations' text making this recognition explicit.

    Proposed § 301.7701-18(b) was drafted to apply to both domestic and foreign marriages. In light of the comments, the proposed rule has been amended to be more explicit. To clarify how foreign marriages will be recognized for federal tax law, § 301.7701-18(b) has been amended to provide a specific rule for foreign marriages. Accordingly, a new paragraph (b)(2) has been added to § 301.7701-18 to provide that two individuals entering into a relationship denominated as marriage under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction are married for federal tax purposes if the relationship would be recognized as marriage under the laws of at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States. This rule enables couples who are married outside the United States to determine marital status for federal tax purposes, regardless of where they are domiciled and regardless of whether they ever reside in the United States. Although this rule requires couples to review the laws of the various states, possessions, and territories to determine if they would be treated as married, it is sufficient if they would be treated as married in a single jurisdiction and there is no need to consider the laws of all of the states, territories, and possessions of the United States. In addition, unlike the language in § 301.7701-18(b) of the proposed regulations, this rule incorporates the place of celebration as the reference point for determining whether the legal relationship is a marriage or a legal alternative to marriage, avoiding the potential conflict with § 301.7701-18(c) identified by the commenter, above. Finally, this rule avoids the concern that a couple intending to enter into a legal alternative to marriage will be treated as married because this rule recognizes only legal relationships denominated as marriage under foreign law as eligible to be treated as marriage for federal tax purposes. This separate rule for foreign marriages in § 301.7701-18(b)(2) is consistent with the proposed regulations' intent, as described in the preamble to the notice of proposed rulemaking, and provides the clarity commenters request.

    D. Comment on Common-Law Marriages

    One commenter stated that some states that recognize common-law marriage only do so in the case of opposite-sex couples. Accordingly, the commenter recommended amending the regulations to clarify that common-law marriages of same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes. The commenter further suggested that any same-sex couple that would have been considered married under the common law of a state but for the fact that the state's law prohibited same-sex couples from being treated as married under common law be allowed to file an amended return for any open tax year to claim married status.

    As discussed in the preamble to the proposed regulations, on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court in Windsor held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which generally prohibited the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples, is unconstitutional because it violates the principles of equal protection and due process. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held in Obergefell that state laws are “invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples” and “that there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.” Obergefell, 576 U.S. at _(slip op., at 23, 28).

    In light of these holdings, Treasury and the IRS determined that marriages of couples of the same sex should be treated the same as marriages of couples of the opposite sex for federal tax purposes. See 80 FR 64378, 64379. Neither the proposed regulations nor these final regulations differentiate between civil marriages and common-law marriages, nor is such differentiation warranted or required for federal tax purposes. See Revenue Ruling 58-66 (treating common-law marriage as valid, lawful marriage for federal tax purposes) and Revenue Ruling 2013-17 (reiterating that common-law marriages are valid, lawful marriages for federal tax purposes). Thus, the general rules regarding marital status for federal tax purposes provided in the proposed and final regulations address marital status regardless of whether the marriage is a civil marriage or a common-law marriage.

    Furthermore, even after the Obergefell decision, there are several states, including some states that recognize common-law marriage, that still have statutes prohibiting same-sex marriage. However, after Obergefell, we are unaware of any state enforcing such statutes or preventing a couple from entering into a common-law marriage because the couple is a same-sex couple. Accordingly, the commenter's suggestion has not been adopted.

    In addition, Revenue Ruling 2013-17 does not distinguish between civil marriages and common-law marriages of same-sex couples. Therefore, same-sex couples in common-law marriages may rely on Revenue Ruling 2013-17 for the purpose of filing original returns, amended returns, adjusted returns, or claims for credit or refund for any overpayment of tax resulting from the holdings of Revenue Ruling 2013-17 and the definitions provided in these regulations, provided the applicable limitations period for filing such claim under section 6511 has not expired.

    IV. Comments on Proposed § 301.7701-18(c) Regarding Persons Who are not Married for Federal Tax Purposes

    Section 301.7701-18(c) of the proposed regulations provides that the terms “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife” do not include individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship not denominated as marriage under the law of a state, possession, or territory of the United States. That section further provides that the term “husband and wife” does not include couples who have entered into such a relationship and that the term “marriage” does not include such relationship.

    The preamble to the proposed regulations provides several reasons for the rule in proposed regulation § 301.7701-18(c). First, except when prohibited by statute, the IRS has traditionally looked to states to define marriage. Second, regardless of rights accorded to relationships such as civil unions, registered domestic partnerships, and similar relationships under state law, states have intentionally chosen not to denominate those relationships as marriage. Third, some couples deliberately choose to enter into or remain in a civil union, registered domestic partnership, or similar relationship even when they could have married or converted these relationships to marriage, and these couples have an expectation that their relationship will not be treated as marriage for purposes of federal tax law. Finally, no Code provision indicates that Congress intended to recognize civil unions, registered domestic partnerships, or similar relationships as marriages. Several commenters submitted comments addressing this section of the proposed regulations. Many agreed with proposed § 301.7701-18(c), but three did not. These comments are discussed below.

    A. Comments That Specifically Agree With Proposed Regulation § 301.7701-18(c)

    In addition to the four commenters that expressed strong support for the proposed regulations generally, two commenters provided specific comments agreeing with the position taken in proposed § 301.7701-18(c). One of these commenters stated that because no Code section requires, or even permits, Treasury and the IRS to allow individuals in registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other similar relationships, to elect a married filing status under section 6013, any extension of section 6013 is a policy choice that Congress should make. This commenter also noted that to evaluate the rights and obligations created by various state legal relationships to determine if they are the same as relationships denominated as a marriage would be a significant drain on IRS resources. Finally, the commenter provided historical examples demonstrating how states have attempted to change state family law to reduce their residents' federal income tax obligations. Based on this historical analysis, the commenter concluded that if Treasury and the IRS were to reverse their position on the status of registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other similar relationships, there would be nothing to prevent states from permitting a private contract to create an equivalent state-law marriage to enable their residents to choose a filing status that reduces their federal income tax obligations.

    The second commenter that agreed with proposed § 301.7701-18(c) observed that the proposed regulations respect the choices made by couples who entered into a civil union or registered domestic partnership with the expectation that their relationship will not be treated as a marriage for federal law purposes. The commenter also observed that the proposed regulations recognize that couples deliberately remain in these relationships, rather than marry, for lawful reasons.

    B. Comments That Disagree With Proposed Regulation § 301.7701-18(c)

    Three commenters disagreed with the proposed regulations, stating that registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and similar formal relationships should be treated as marriage for federal tax purposes. Their comments are summarized below.

    1. Comments Regarding Relationships With the Same Rights and Responsibilities as Marriage

    Two of the commenters recommended that the substance of the legal rights and obligations of individuals in registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and similar relationships should control whether these relationships are recognized as marriage for federal tax purposes, rather than the label applied to the relationship. These commenters stated that regardless of whether a relationship is denominated as marriage, any relationship that has the same rights and responsibilities as marriage under state law should be treated as marriage for federal tax purposes. One commenter cited registered domestic partners in California as an example of a relationship not denominated as marriage but with the same rights and responsibilities as marriage under state law. Another commenter cited civil unions in New Jersey and Connecticut as an example of a relationship not denominated as marriage where the couple has the same rights and obligations as spouses.

    While some states extend the rights and responsibilities of marriage to couples in registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other similar relationships, as the commenters point out, these states also retain marriage as a separately denominated legal relationship. We also recognize that some states have permitted couples in those relationships to convert them to marriage under state law. Many of those states have continued to designate marriage separately from alternative legal relationships that are not a marriage, such as registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other similar relationships.

    The IRS has traditionally recognized a couple's relationship as a marriage if the state where the relationship was entered into denominates the relationship as a marriage. See Revenue Ruling 58-66 (if a state recognizes a common-law marriage as a valid marriage, the IRS will also recognize the couple as married for purposes of federal income tax filing status and personal exemptions). Similarly, the IRS has not traditionally evaluated the rights and obligations provided by a state to determine if an alternative legal relationship should be treated as marriage for federal tax purposes.

    Adopting the commenters' recommendation to treat registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and similar relationships as married for federal tax purposes if the couple has the same rights and responsibilities as individuals who are married under state law would be inconsistent with Treasury and the IRS's longstanding position to recognize the marital status of individuals as determined under state law in the administration of the federal income tax. This position is, moreover, consistent with the reasoning of the only federal court that has addressed whether registered domestic partners should be treated as spouses under the Code. See Dragovich v. U.S. Dept. of Treasury, 2014 WL 6844926 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 4, 2014) (on remand following dismissal of appeal by the Ninth Circuit, 12-16628 (9th Cir. Oct. 28, 2013)) (granting government's motion to dismiss claim that section 7702B(f) discriminates because it does not interpret the term spouse to include registered domestic partners).

    In addition, it would be unduly burdensome for the IRS to evaluate state laws to determine if a relationship not denominated as marriage should be treated as a marriage. It would be also be burdensome for taxpayers in these alternative legal relationships, to evaluate state law to determine marital status for federal tax purposes. Besides being burdensome, the determination of whether the relationship should be treated as a marriage could result in controversy between the IRS and the affected taxpayers. This can be avoided by treating a relationship as a marriage only if a state denominates the relationship as a marriage, as the IRS has traditionally done.

    2. Comments Regarding Deference to State Law

    Two of the commenters stated that by not recognizing registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other similar relationships as marriage for federal tax purposes, the IRS is disregarding the states' intent in creating these alternative legal relationships rather than deferring to state law.

    To illustrate, one of the commenters noted that Illinois affords parties to a civil union the same rights and obligations as married spouses, and that when Illinois extended marriage to same-sex couples, it enacted a statutory provision permitting parties to a civil union to convert their union to a marriage during the one-year period following the law's enactment. 750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Sec. 75/65 (2014). The Illinois law also provides that, for a couple converting their civil union to a marriage, the date of marriage relates back to the date the couple entered into the civil union. The commenter stated that the fact that couples could convert their civil union to a marriage, and that the date of their marriage would relate back to the date of their union, indicates that Illinois defines civil unions as marriages.

    The commenter further observed that when Delaware extended the right to marry to same-sex couples, it stopped allowing its residents to enter into civil unions. Following a one-year period during which couples could voluntarily convert their civil union into marriage, Delaware automatically converted into marriage all remaining civil unions (except those subject to a pending proceeding for dissolution, annulment or legal separation), with the date of each marriage relating back to the date that each civil union was established. The commenter concluded that the laws in Delaware and Illinois make it clear that by not recognizing civil unions and domestic partnerships as marriage, the IRS is not deferring to the state's judgment in defining marital status.

    Rather than support the commenter's position, these examples actually support proposed § 301.7701-18(c). As discussed in the preamble to the proposed regulations, states have carefully considered which legal relationships will be recognized as a marriage and which will be recognized as a legal alternative to marriage, and have enacted statutes accordingly. For instance, Illinois did not automatically convert all civil unions into marriages or include civil unions in the definition of marriage. Instead, it allowed couples affected by the new law to either remain in a civil union or convert their civil union into a marriage. Furthermore, under Illinois law, couples who waited longer than one year to convert their civil union into marriage must perform a new ceremony and pay a fee to have their civil union converted into and be recognized as a marriage. Moreover, Illinois continues to allow both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples to enter into civil unions, rather than marriages.

    The law in Delaware also demonstrates the care that states have taken to determine which legal relationships will be denominated as marriage. In 2014, Delaware law eliminated the separate designation of civil union in favor of recognizing only marriages for couples who want the legal status afforded to couples under state law. On July 1, 2014, Delaware automatically converted all civil unions to marriage by operation of law. Del. Code Ann. tit. 13, Sec. 218(c). Civil unions that were subject to a pending proceeding for dissolution, annulment, or legal separation as of the date the law went into effect, however, were not automatically converted. As a result, these couples are not treated as married under Delaware law, and the dissolution, annulment, or legal separation of their civil union is governed by Delaware law relating to civil unions rather than by Delaware law relating to marriage. Del. Code Ann. tit. 13, Sec. 218(d).

    As these examples demonstrate, states have carefully determined which relationships will be denominated as marriage. In addition, states may retain alternatives to marriage even after allowing couples to convert those relationships to marriage. IRS's reliance on a state's denomination of a relationship as marriage to determine marital status for federal tax purposes avoids inconsistencies with a state's intent regarding the status of a couple's relationship under state law.

    3. Comments Regarding Taxpayer Expectations

    As explained in the notice of proposed rulemaking, some couples have chosen to enter into a civil union or registered domestic partnership even when they could have married. In addition, some couples who are in civil unions or registered domestic partnerships have chosen not to convert those relationships into marriage when they had the opportunity to do so. In many cases, the choice not to enter into a relationship denominated as marriage was deliberate, and may have been made to avoid treating the relationship as marriage for purposes of federal law, including federal tax law.

    Two commenters stated that taxpayer expectations do not support § 301.7701-18(c). According to the commenters, many same-sex couples entered into a domestic partnership or civil union because at the time they were prohibited under state law from marrying. According to the commenters, now that they have the option to marry, some of these couples have remained in domestic partnerships or civil unions not by choice, but because one member of the couple has died, has become incapacitated, or otherwise lacks the capacity to enter into a marriage. One of the commenters stated that these couples are trapped in this alternative legal relationship and have no ability to marry, even if they have an expectation that their relationship be treated as a marriage for federal tax purposes. The other commenter pointed out that some taxpayers may have resisted entering into or converting their relationship into marriage because of a principled opposition to the marriage institution, but may still have an expectation of being treated as married for federal tax purposes. Thus, the commenters conclude, many taxpayers do not voluntarily enter into or remain in alternative legal relationships because of any particular expectation that they will not be treated as married for federal purposes.

    The commenters stated that even if the type of relationship entered into represents a decision not to be treated as married for federal purposes, taxpayer expectations should not be taken into account for purposes of determining whether alternative legal relationships are recognized as marriage for federal tax purposes. One commenter stated that taking taxpayer expectations into account encourages tax-avoidance behavior. The other commenter stated that it is inappropriate for the IRS to determine tax policy based on taxpayers' expectations of reaping nontax benefits, such as Social Security.

    However, another commenter, who also disagreed with proposed § 301.7701-18(c), stated the opposite, explaining that non-tax reasons support treating alternative legal relationships as marriage for federal tax purposes. According to this commenter, because nationwide protections for employment and housing are lacking, many same-sex couples remain at risk for termination at work or eviction from an apartment if their sexual orientation is discovered. Similarly, the commenter contends that individuals in the Foreign Service who work overseas may also feel unsafe entering into a same-sex marriage. Therefore, the commenter explained, in light of these realities, registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and similar relationships provide a level of stability and recognition for many couples through federal programs like Social Security, and, therefore, should be treated as marriages for federal tax purposes. Finally, the commentator stated that recognizing these relationships as marriages for federal tax purposes would not impede the IRS's ability to effectively administer the internal revenue laws.

    Treasury and the IRS disagree with the commenters and continue to believe that the regulation should not treat registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other similar relationships—entered into in states that continue to distinguish these relationships from marriages—as marriage for federal tax purposes. While not all same-sex couples in registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar relationships had an opportunity to marry when they entered into their relationship, after Obergefell, same-sex couples now have the option to marry under state law.

    In addition, the fact that some couples may not voluntarily enter into marriage because of a principled opposition to marriage supports not treating alternative legal relationships as marriages for federal tax purposes because this ensures that these couples do not risk having their relationship characterized as marriage. Further, as discussed in the preamble to the proposed regulations, treating alternative legal relationships as marriages for federal tax purposes may have legal consequences that are inconsistent with these couples' expectations. For instance, the filing status of a couple treated as married for federal tax purposes is strictly limited to filing jointly or filing as married filing separately, which often results in a higher tax liability than filing as single or head of household. After Obergefell, a rule that treats a couple as married for federal tax purposes only if their relationship is denominated as marriage for state law purposes allows couples in a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or similar relationship to make a choice: they may either stay in that relationship and avoid being married for federal tax purposes or they may marry under state law and be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The rule recommended by the commenters would eliminate this choice.

    4. Comments Regarding Difficulties Faced by Couples if Alternative Legal Relationships Are Not Treated as Marriage

    Two commenters stated that not recognizing registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other similar relationships as marriages for federal tax purposes makes it difficult for couples in these relationships to calculate their federal tax liability. One commenter explained that when these couples dissolve their relationships, they are required to go through the same processes that spouses go through in a divorce; alimony obligations are calculated in the same way, and property divisions occur in the same way as for spouses. Yet, because they are not treated as married for federal tax purposes, these couples cannot rely on the certainty of tax treatment associated with provisions under the Code such as sections 71 (relating to exclusion from income for alimony and separate maintenance), 215 (relating to the deduction for alimony or separate maintenance payments), 414(p) (defining qualified domestic relations orders), 1041 (relating to transfers of property between spouses incident to divorce), 2056 (relating to the estate tax marital deduction), and 2523 (relating to gifts to spouses).

    The purpose of these regulations is to define marital status for federal tax law purposes. The fact that the Code includes rules that address transfers of property between individuals who are or were married should not control how marriage is defined for federal tax purposes. Rather, as discussed in this preamble, the regulations are consistent with the IRS's longstanding position that marital status for federal tax purposes is determined based on state law. See Revenue Ruling 2013-17; Revenue Ruling 58-66. Accordingly, the proposed regulations have not been changed based on this comment. In addition, although not addressed specifically in the Code, guidance relating to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other similar relationships, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available at www.irs.gov.

    5. Comments Regarding the Fact That the Code Does Not Address the Status of Alternative Legal Relationships

    After describing the reasons for not treating civil unions, registered domestic partnerships, and similar relationships as marriage for federal tax purposes, the preamble to the proposed regulations states “Further, no provision of the Code indicates that Congress intended to recognize as marriages civil unions, registered domestic partnerships, or similar relationships.” That language makes clear that the Code is silent with respect to alternative legal relationships, and therefore, does not preclude the IRS from not recognizing these relationships as marriage for federal tax purposes.

    Two commenters took issue with this language and stated that the government should not interpret the lack of a Code provision specifically addressing the marital status of legal alternatives to marriage as an indication of Congressional intent that such relationships should not be recognized as marriage for federal tax purposes. In addition, the commenters explained that the reason Congress did not enact such a provision after DOMA is because it would have been inconsistent with DOMA's restriction on treating same-sex couples as married for federal law purposes.

    These comments are unpersuasive. Since DOMA was enacted on September 21, 1996, many states have allowed both same-sex and opposite-sex couples to enter into registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and similar relationships. Although it would have been inconsistent for Congress to recognize alternative legal relationships between same-sex couples as marriage under DOMA, nothing prevented Congress from recognizing these relationships as marriages for federal tax purposes in the case of opposite-sex couples. Yet, since DOMA was enacted nearly 20 years ago, Congress has passed no law indicating that opposite-sex couples in registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar relationships are recognized as married for federal tax purposes. Because no Code provision specifically addresses the marital status of alternative legal relationships for federal tax purposes, there is no indication that Congress intended to recognize registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar relationships as marriage for purposes of federal tax law.

    C. Final Regulations Under § 301.7701-18(c)

    In sum, Treasury and the IRS received twelve comments with respect to the proposed regulations. Only three of those comments disagreed with the approach taken in proposed § 301.7701-18(c), which provides that registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and similar relationships not denominated as marriage by state law are not treated as marriage for federal tax purposes. Of the nine comments that supported the proposed regulations, two provided specific reasons why they agreed with the approach taken in proposed § 301.7701-18(c). Accordingly, the majority of comments supported the approach taken in proposed § 301.7701-18(c).

    For the reasons discussed above, the points raised by the three comments that disagreed with the approach taken in proposed § 301.7701-18(c) are not persuasive. Treasury and the IRS believe that federal tax law should continue to defer to states for the determination of marital status, and the rule in proposed § 301.7701-18(c) does that. Any other approach would unduly burden the IRS and taxpayers by requiring an interpretation of multiple state laws and potential controversy when disagreements arise regarding this interpretation. In addition, Treasury and the IRS continue to believe that treating couples in registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and similar relationships not denominated as marriage under state law, as married for federal tax purposes could undermine taxpayer expectations regarding the federal tax consequences of these relationships. To provide a rule that concludes otherwise would leave those couples who choose alternative legal relationships over marriage without a remedy to avoid the federal tax consequences of being married. In contrast, couples who wish to be treated as married may do so after Windsor and Obergefell.

    While § 301.7701-18(c) of the regulations will continue to provide that registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, and other similar relationships not denominated as marriage under state law are not recognized as married for federal tax purposes, § 301.7701-18(c) is revised in the final regulations similar to revisions to § 301.7701-18(b) to account for the place of celebration. As discussed in section III. Comments on Proposed § 301.7701-18(b) Regarding Persons Who are Married for Federal Tax Purposes of this preamble, this change is necessary to ensure that there is a point of reference for which state law is applicable when determining whether the alternative legal relationship is recognized as marriage under state law. Accordingly, § 301.7701-18(c) is revised in the final regulations to provide that the terms “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife” and “husband and wife” do not include individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship not denominated as a marriage under the law of the state, possession, or territory of the United States where such relationship was entered into, regardless of domicile.

    V. Comment That the Final Regulations Should Address Community-Property Issues

    One commenter recommended amending the proposed regulations to make a clear connection between marital status and community property tax treatment under state law. These regulations provide definitions for purposes of determining marital status for federal tax law purposes. These regulations do not provide substantive rules for the treatment of married or non-married couples under federal tax law. Accordingly, because the federal tax treatment of issues that arise under community-property law involves resolution of issues under substantive tax law, which is outside the scope of these regulations, the commenter's recommendation is not adopted by these final regulations.

    Effect on Other Documents

    These final regulations will obsolete Revenue Ruling 2013-17 as of September 2, 2016. Taxpayers may continue to rely on guidance related to the application of Revenue Ruling 2013-17 to employee benefit plans and the benefits provided under such plans, including Notice 2013-61, Notice 2014-37, Notice 2014-19, Notice 2014-1, and Notice 2015-86 to the extent they are not modified, superseded, obsoleted, or clarified by subsequent guidance.

    Effective Date

    These regulations are effective on September 2, 2016.

    Statement of Availability for IRS Documents

    IRS Revenue Procedures, Revenue Rulings notices, notices and other guidance cited in this preamble are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (or Cumulative Bulletin) and are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov.

    Special Analyses

    Certain IRS regulations, including this one, are exempt from the requirements of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented and reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory impact assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations. In addition, because the regulations do not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6).

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Mark Shurtliff of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel, Procedure and Administration.

    List of Subjects 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    26 CFR Part 20

    Estate taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    26 CFR Part 25

    Gift taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    26 CFR Part 26

    Estate, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    26 CFR Part 31

    Employment taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Pensions, Railroad retirement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Social Security, Unemployment compensation.

    26 CFR Part 301

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

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR parts 1, 20, 25, 26, 31, and 301 are amended as follows:

    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 * * *

    Par 2. Section 1.7701-1 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.7701-1 Definitions; spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, marriage.

    (a) In general. For the definition of the terms spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, and marriage, see § 301.7701-18 of this chapter.

    (b) Applicability date. The rules of this section apply to taxable years ending on or after September 2, 2016.

    PART 20—ESTATE TAX; ESTATES OF DECEDENTS DYING AFTER AUGUST 16, 1954 Par. 3. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 4. Section 20.7701-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 20.7701-2 Definitions; spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, marriage.

    (a) In general. For the definition of the terms spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, and marriage, see § 301.7701-18 of this chapter.

    (b) Applicability date. The rules of this section apply to taxable years ending on or after September 2, 2016.

    PART 25—GIFT TAX; GIFTS MADE AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1954 Par. 5. The authority citation for part 25 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 6. Section 25.7701-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 25.7701-2 Definitions; spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, marriage.

    (a) In general. For the definition of the terms spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, and marriage, see § 301.7701-18 of this chapter.

    (b) Applicability date. The rules of this section apply to taxable years ending on or after September 2, 2016.

    PART 26—GENERATION-SKIPPING TRANSFER TAX REGULATIONS UNDER THE TAX REFORM ACT OF 1986 Par. 7. The authority citation for part 26 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 8. Section 26.7701-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 26.7701-2 Definitions; spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, marriage.

    (a) In general. For the definition of the terms spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, and marriage, see § 301.7701-18 of this chapter.

    (b) Applicability date. The rules of this section apply to taxable years ending on or after September 2, 2016.

    PART 31—EMPLOYMENT TAXES AND COLLECTION OF INCOME TAX AT THE SOURCE Par. 9. The authority citation for part 31 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 10. Section 31.7701-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 31.7701-2 Definitions; spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, marriage.

    (a) In general. For the definition of the terms spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, and marriage, see § 301.7701-18 of this chapter.

    (b) Applicability date. The rules of this section apply to taxable years ending on or after September 2, 2016.

    PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION Par. 11. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Par. 12. Section 301.7701-18 is added to read as follows:
    § 301.7701-18 Definitions; spouse, husband and wife, husband, wife, marriage.

    (a) In general. For federal tax purposes, the terms spouse, husband, and wife mean an individual lawfully married to another individual. The term husband and wife means two individuals lawfully married to each other.

    (b) Persons who are lawfully married for federal tax purposes—(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section regarding marriages entered into under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction, a marriage of two individuals is recognized for federal tax purposes if the marriage is recognized by the state, possession, or territory of the United States in which the marriage is entered into, regardless of domicile.

    (2) Foreign marriages. Two individuals who enter into a relationship denominated as marriage under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction are recognized as married for federal tax purposes if the relationship would be recognized as marriage under the laws of at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States, regardless of domicile.

    (c) Persons who are not lawfully married for federal tax purposes. The terms spouse, husband, and wife do not include individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar formal relationship not denominated as a marriage under the law of the state, possession, or territory of the United States where such relationship was entered into, regardless of domicile. The term husband and wife does not include couples who have entered into such a formal relationship, and the term marriage does not include such formal relationships.

    (d) Applicability date. The rules of this section apply to taxable years ending on or after September 2, 2016.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: August 12, 2016. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2016-21096 Filed 8-31-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 104 [Docket No. CIV 151] RIN 1105-AB49 James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Reauthorization Act AGENCY:

    Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule finalizes the Interim Final Rule published on June 15, 2016, which implemented recently-enacted statutory changes governing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (the “Fund”). After consideration of all of the public comments filed in response to the Interim Final Rule, the Special Master has concluded that no substantive changes to the Interim Final Rule are needed. Accordingly, this Final Rule adopts as final the provisions of the Interim Final Rule, with only two minor technical corrections.

    DATES:

    This final rule takes effect on September 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jordana H. Feldman, September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 290 Broadway, Suite 1300, New York, NY 10007, telephone 855-885-1555 (TTY 855-885-1558).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Reauthorization Act (the “Reauthorized Zadroga Act”), Public Law 114-113, Div. O, Title IV. The Act extends the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 (the “Fund”) which provides compensation to any individual (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or the rescue and recovery efforts during the immediate aftermath of such crashes or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes.

    On June 15, 2016, Special Master Sheila L. Birnbaum published an Interim Final Rule to revise the existing regulations to implement changes required by the Reauthorized Zadroga Act. (81 FR 38936). Since the issuance of the Interim Final Rule, Sheila Birnbaum has stepped down as Special Master and the Attorney General has appointed Rupa Bhattacharyya in her place, effective July 21, 2016.

    The Interim Final Rule took effect on the date of publication (June 15, 2016), but provided a 30-day period for interested persons to submit public comments. Special Master Bhattacharyya is issuing this Final Rule, which addresses the issues that have been raised. For the reasons described below, after consideration of all of the public comments, the Special Master has concluded that no substantive changes to the Interim Final Rule are needed. Accordingly, this Final Rule adopts the provisions of the Interim Final Rule without change, except for two minor technical corrections.

    Background

    The June 15, 2016, Interim Final Rule (81 FR 38936) provided a brief history of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Zadroga Act), and the regulations issued by the Special Masters pursuant to those statutes.

    On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law Public Law 114-113, providing for the reauthorization of the Zadroga Act. The Reauthorized Zadroga Act extends the time period during which eligible claimants may submit claims, increases the Fund's total funding available to pay claims, creates different categories of claims, directs the Special Master to issue full compensation to eligible claimants, and instructs the Special Master to implement certain changes to the policies and procedures used to evaluate and process claims.

    The Interim Final Rule addressed those changes mandated by the statute. The Interim Final Rule was published in the Federal Register (81 FR 38936) and became effective on June 15, 2016, and was followed by a 30-day public comment period. The Department received 31 comments since the publication of the Interim Final Rule. The Special Master's office has reviewed and evaluated each of these comments in preparing this Final Rule. Significant comments received in response to the Interim Final Rule are discussed below. After careful review and consideration, and for the reasons described below, the Special Master has concluded that no substantive changes to the Interim Final Rule are warranted.

    Accordingly, this Final Rule adopts the provisions of the Interim Final Rule without change, except for two technical corrections, as follows. These are not substantive changes and merely correct minor drafting errors in the wording of the Interim Final Rule as published.

    (1) In section 104.21, Presumptively covered conditions, this Final Rule corrects an unintended wording error in the second sentence of paragraph (a), by restoring the missing word “or,” in this sentence.

    (2) In section 104.62, Time limit for filing claims, in paragraph (b), this Final Rule restores the missing cross-reference to paragraph “(a)” of the section.

    Summary of Comments on the Interim Final Rule and the Special Master's Response Categories of Claims

    Many comments focused on the statutory definition of Group A claims and the decision by Congress to define the two categories of claims by reference to the date the Special Master “postmarks and transmits” a final award determination to the claimant. Several commenters argued that the “cut-off” date for inclusion in Group A should have been the date the claim was submitted or filed by the claimant, rather than the date the final award amount was determined by the Special Master. The commenters asserted that claims that had been submitted to the Fund on or before December 17, 2015, but did not have a loss determined by that time, should be considered Group A claims and subject to the standards in effect at the time of their submission.

    The Reauthorized Zadroga Act makes clear that the critical date is the date that the final award determination was postmarked and transmitted, not the date the claim was submitted. Therefore, under the plain language of the statute, claims that were pending but not determined as of December 17, 2015 cannot be considered Group A claims. Because Congress expressly set forth this definition in the statute, this definition cannot be changed by the Special Master.

    Some commenters asserted that the statutory definition is unfair or contrary to laws and principles that ensure that certain rights and benefits are not changed or compromised without notice. These comments focused on the unfairness of evaluating a claim submitted prior to reauthorization under the standards set forth in subsequently enacted legislation. In this regard, however, the Special Master is constrained by the law as Congress enacted it, and cannot disregard the clear language of the statute.

    One commenter suggested a change that would violate other applicable law. This commenter proposed that the Special Master backdate loss determination letters to December 17, 2015, for all claims or amendments that were pending at the time of reauthorization. Such an action would be in violation of the law and of generally accepted accounting principles. Therefore, the Special Master cannot accept that suggestion.

    Valuation of Claims $200,000 Annual Gross Income Cap

    Several commenters argued about the fairness of the statutory $200,000 cap on annual gross income. One commenter was concerned about the broad scope of the definition of “annual gross income” in computing economic loss. The Reauthorized Zadroga Act explicitly provides that the term “gross income” is defined as set forth in Section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 405(b)(7)(B), (C). There, the definition of “gross income” is broadly defined to include “all income from whatever source derived,” including (but not limited to) compensation for services, including fees, commissions, fringe benefits, and other similar items, pensions, annuities, interest, and other sources of income. Sections 104.43 and 104.45 of the Interim Final Rule, the provisions that address the determination of economic loss for decedents and for injured claimants who suffered an eligible physical harm respectively, were revised to account for the $200,000 annual gross income cap as required by the Reauthorized Zadroga Act. Because Congress explicitly provided this definition and annual income cap requirement in the statute, these requirements cannot be changed by the Special Master.

    One commenter noted that the cap may have unintended consequences for a claimant who is disabled at a young age and therefore has a long remaining work life. Another commenter suggested that the Special Master should mitigate the effect of the $200,000 annual gross income cap by adjusting certain components of the loss calculation methodology, such as extending work life, reducing the tax offset, or lowering the residual earnings deduction, in claims where the cap is implicated. The Special Master cannot make adjustments to the loss calculation methodology for the purpose of eliminating the effect of the annual gross income cap, as doing so would violate Congressional intent. The Special Master, however, intends to exercise her discretion to apply the cap in ways that are favorable to claimants, while consistent with the language and intent of the statute. For example, the VCF will apply the tax adjustment to earnings before computing the annual cap, rather than after computing the cap. By applying this adjustment before the annual cap is computed, the amount of gross income is reduced and thus the award reduction resulting from the application of the cap is reduced. This is consistent with the overall purpose of the loss computation which is to determine the amount of earnings—after all deductions—that is lost to the claimant as a result of the September 11th attacks. The Special Master will provide additional information concerning the Fund's valuation methodologies on the Fund's Web site in order to give claimants greater insight into, and confidence in, its decision-making process.

    Other comments questioned how the $200,000 annual gross income cap ended up in the statute. One commenter stated that a citizens group that advocated for the extension of the Zadroga Act in 2015 made no mention of such a cap. Another commenter asked whether the Fund advised Congress to designate the cap. The Fund took no such action. The Special Master cannot respond to questions about the process by which Congress develops legislation.

    Noneconomic Loss Caps

    The Reauthorized Zadroga Act imposes caps on the amount of noneconomic loss that may be awarded for a claim that results from any type of cancer at $250,000 and for a claim that does not result from any type of cancer at $90,000. The Interim Final Rule, sections 104.45 and 104.46, clarified that, in computing the total noneconomic loss, the Special Master has discretion to consider the effect of multiple cancer conditions or multiple cancer and non-cancer conditions, and that, in computing the amount of noneconomic loss for economic loss claims, the Special Master has discretion to consider the extent of disability and the fact that different eligible conditions may contribute to the disability. Several commenters commended the Special Master for interpreting the statutory noneconomic loss caps as not imposing an aggregate cap on noneconomic loss, noting that this interpretation is consistent with both the letter and spirit of the statute. One commenter stated that the Special Master's interpretation appropriately addresses the realities of the first responders who are diagnosed with multiple forms of cancer and non-cancer conditions and is therefore important in ensuring that claimants receive full compensation as contemplated by the Reauthorized Zadroga Act. This commenter also noted that the Interim Final Rule properly interpreted the statute as not affecting the noneconomic loss amounts for claims filed on behalf of decedents.

    Timing of Filing Claims

    The Zadroga Act defines the timing requirements for filing a claim as the date no later than two years after the claimant “knew (or reasonably should have known) . . . that the individual suffered a physical harm at a 9/11 crash site as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or as a result of debris removal,” and “knew (or should have known) . . . that the individual was eligible to file a claim” with the Fund. Section 405(c)(3)(A). The Reauthorized Zadroga Act does not change this requirement.

    One commenter suggested that the Special Master interpret the “knowledge” component to mean personal knowledge that the claimant's eligible physical condition was related to his/her 9/11-related exposure based on the date the claimant received a diagnosis from the WTC Health Program of an eligible physical harm. The commenter argued that it is not reasonable to assume that a clean-up worker, resident, or other “survivor” knew or reasonably should have known that his/her physical condition was related to his/her 9/11-related exposure until that time, given repeated assurances from public officials regarding the safety of the air quality around the WTC site, the lack of resources available to that community for medical screening and treatment until 2007, and the media's focus on the health-related impact on 9/11 responders.

    While these comments do not require changes in the regulations, they raise issues that merit consideration by the Special Master in evaluating the issue of “timeliness.” The Special Master will provide additional information concerning this issue on the Fund's Web site in order to give claimants greater insight into the decision-making process.

    Fees and Expenses

    Two comments were submitted regarding revisions or clarifications to the provisions on the amounts that a representative of a claimant may charge in connection with a claim to the Fund. One commenter suggested that the Special Master clarify that Section 104.81 be revised to make clear that the limitation on attorneys' fees applies to charges “to a claimant” and that expenses not charged to a claimant need not be approved by the Special Master. The Special Master believes that the existing language is sufficiently clear and that no change is needed.

    Another commenter suggested the addition of a provision to address how costs associated with the transfer of claimant files should be allocated if a claimant terminates counsel and retains new counsel. The commenter suggested that any costs for such a transfer should be borne solely by “incoming” counsel. The Special Master does not believe that this is an issue to be addressed in the regulations and therefore no changes to the Final Rule are made with respect to this issue.

    Other Comments

    The Special Master received a number of additional comments that, while not requiring changes to the regulations, raise important issues for the administration of the Fund. Former Special Master Birnbaum indicated from the reopening of the Fund in 2011 that her goal was to design, implement, and administer a program that is transparent and fair. Special Master Bhattacharyya is similarly committed to those goals in the administration of the Fund for the next five years.

    Comments stressed the importance of transparency so that claimants can understand the reasons for how their claims are handled. Some commenters suggested that certain claims were submitted months or years before the reauthorization and did not receive a loss calculation or other correspondence from the Fund requesting missing information or clarification of previously submitted information, and as a result, those claims will be unfairly subject to Group B statutory standards. These commenters did not identify specific claims and therefore the Special Master could not investigate the reasons why this may have happened or whether the loss amount in those claims would yield a different value under Group B standards. As a general matter, many claims that did not receive a loss calculation letter at the time of reauthorization had incomplete compensation forms, had an eligibility issue that precluded compensation review, were missing required supporting documents that were not submitted with the claim, or presented unique circumstances related to compensation that require additional research or third-party verification. Other claims may have submitted all of the paperwork necessary to process the claim but unfortunately were not fully evaluated and determined when Congress enacted the new legislation. The Fund has prioritized and granted expedited review for claimants suffering from a terminal illness or extreme financial hardship and undertook great efforts to review claims in the order in which they were submitted. The Fund continues its commitment to reviewing claims when they are fully submitted in a first in, first out order.

    The Special Master appreciates these comments. While these comments do not require changes in the regulations, they suggest ways that the Fund can better achieve its mission. The Special Master is attuned to these issues and will take them into account as she works to ensure that the Fund serves the 9/11 community as the Zadroga Act intended.

    Other commenters suggested changes that are outside the scope of this program. For example, two commenters called for the expansion of the New York State World Trade Center (WTC) Disability Law, which allows certain first responders to receive a disability pension due to injuries sustained as a result of 9/11 exposure, to include first responders who voluntarily left their employment or are not otherwise covered. Such an action would have to be addressed by the state legislature.

    One commenter objected to the definition of the “9/11 crash site” on the grounds that the northern boundary line does not encompass the full New York City exposure zone and is inconsistent with the boundary used in the WTC Health Program, but properly recognized that it would require an act of Congress to revise the boundary.

    Regulatory Certifications Administrative Procedure Act

    This Final Rule is being made effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register. The Special Master, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), finds that there is good cause to forgo a 30-day delayed effective date for this Final Rule. The Final Rule makes no change to the provisions of the Interim Final Rule (except for two minor technical corrections fixing unintended errors). The preamble of this Final Rule responds to the public comments and explains why no substantive changes to the Interim Final Rule are needed. In the interests of transparency, the Special Master has deferred the issuance of payments on pending claims until after the publication of this Final Rule, which serves to make clear the final standards applicable to the adjudication of claims under the Fund. Thus, a 30-day delay in the effective date of this Final Rule would also have had the effect of further delaying the issuance of payments on claims under the revised provisions of Part 104, which would be undesirable and contrary to sound public policy.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This Final Rule implements Public Law 114-113 which reauthorizes the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. In order to be able to evaluate claims and provide compensation, the Fund must collect information from an individual (or a personal representatives of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001 or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes. Accordingly, in connection with the approval of the Interim Final Rule, the Department of Justice, Civil Division, submitted an information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget for review and clearance in accordance with the emergency review procedures of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This request sought reinstatement of the prior information collection authorized under Public Law 111-347. The Department also published a Notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on the information collection associated with this rulemaking. 81 FR 20674 (April 8, 2016). The Office of Management and Budget approved the information collection on June 13, 2016. The information collection will be effective until June 30, 2019.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    These regulations set forth procedures by which the Federal government will award compensation benefits to eligible victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Under 5 U.S.C. 601(6), the term “small entity” does not include the Federal government, the party charged with incurring the costs attendant to the implementation and administration of the Victim Compensation Fund. This rule provides compensation to individuals, not to entities.

    Further, because a general notice of proposed rulemaking was not required for the Interim Final rule, and in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a)), a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis was not required.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563—Regulatory Review

    This Final Rule has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” section 1(b), Principles of Regulation and in accordance with Executive Order 13563 “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” section 1(b) General Principles of Regulation. The Office of Management and Budget had determined that the Interim Final Rule was an “economically significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), Regulatory Planning and Review, and accordingly the Interim Final Rule had been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This Final Rule, however, adopts as final the regulatory provisions promulgated by the Interim Final Rule, with no substantive change. Accordingly, the Department has determined that this Final Rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, and this rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Executive Order 13132—Federalism

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. This rule is substantively identical to the Interim Final Rule published on June 15, 2016, and the Department of Justice worked cooperatively with state and local officials in the affected communities, and notified national associations representing elected officials, in the preparation of the Interim Final Rule.

    Executive Order 12988—Civil Justice Reform

    This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more, a major increase in costs or prices, or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

    Congressional Review Act

    This rule adopts as final the provisions of the Interim Final Rule published on June 15, 2016 (81 FR 38936). Upon consideration of the public comments submitted in response to the Interim Final Rule, the Special Master has determined that no substantive changes need to be made in the regulations in 28 CFR part 104, which took effect on June 15, 2016. This rule makes no amendments to the existing regulations in 28 CFR part 104, except for two technical changes correcting minor drafting errors.

    The Special Master has determined that this Final Rule does not fall within the definition of a “rule” under the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(C), because it is a rule of agency practice or procedure that does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. Accordingly, the requirement to submit a report pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 801 is not applicable.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 104

    Disaster assistance, Disability benefits, Terrorism.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the interim rule amending 28 CFR part 104, which was published at 81 FR 38936, on June 15, 2016, is adopted as final with the following changes:

    PART 104—SEPTEMBER 11TH VICTIM COMPENSATION FUND 1. The authority citation for Part 104 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Title I V of Pub. L. 107-42, 115 Stat. 230, 49 U.S.C. 40101 note; Title II of Pub. L. 111-347, 124 Stat. 3623; Div. O, Title IV of Pub. L. 114-113, 129 Stat. 2242.

    2. In § 104.21, the last sentence of paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:
    § 104.21 Presumptively covered conditions.

    (a) * * * Group B claims shall be eligible for compensation only if the Special Master determines based on the evidence presented that a claimant who seeks compensation for physical harm has at least one WTC-Related Physical Health Condition, or, with respect to a deceased individual, the cause of such individual's death is determined at least in part to be attributable to a WTC-Related Physical Health Condition.

    3. In § 104.62, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:
    § 104.62 Time limit on filing claims.

    (b) Determination by Special Master. The Special Master or the Special Master's designee should determine the timeliness of all claims under paragraph (a) of this section.

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Rupa Bhattacharyya, Special Master.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21216 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0613] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway (NJICW), Atlantic City, NJ AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the US40-322 (Albany Avenue) Bridge across the NJICW (Inside Thorofare), mile 70.0, at Atlantic City, NJ. The deviation is necessary to facilitate the Atlantic City IRONMAN Triathlon. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

    DATES:

    The deviation is effective from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0613] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Michael Thorogood, Bridge Administration Branch Fifth District, Coast Guard, telephone 757-398-6557, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The DelMoSports, LLC, on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, who owns the US 40-322 (Albany Avenue) Bridge across the NJICW (Inside Thorofare), mile 70.0, at Atlantic City, NJ, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.733(f) to ensure the safety of the participants and spectators associated with the Atlantic City IRONMAN Triathlon.

    Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will be maintained in the closed-to-navigation position from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 18, 2016. The bridge is a double bascule bridge and has a vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position of 10 feet above mean high water.

    The NJICW (Inside Thorofare) is used by recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully considered the nature and volume of vessel traffic in publishing this temporary deviation.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open in case of an emergency. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

    In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

    Dated: August 23, 2016. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21174 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0851] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; China Basin, San Francisco, CA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the 3rd Street Drawbridge across China Basin, mile 0.0 at San Francisco, CA. The deviation is necessary to allow participants to cross the bridge during the San Francisco Giant Race at AT&T Park event. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the deviation period.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. on September 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0851], is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email David H. Sulouff, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The City of San Francisco has requested a temporary change to the operation of the 3rd Street Drawbridge, mile 0.0, over China Basin, at San Francisco, CA. The drawbridge navigation span provides a vertical clearance of 3 feet above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. The draw opens on signal if at least one hour notice is given, as required by 33 CFR 117.149. Navigation on the waterway is recreational.

    The drawspan will be secured in the closed-to-navigation position from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. on September 11, 2016, to allow participants to cross the bridge during the San Francisco Giant Race at AT&T Park event. This temporary deviation has been coordinated with the waterway users. No objections to the proposed temporary deviation were raised.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

    In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

    Dated: August 29, 2016. D.H. Sulouff, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21109 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0201; FRL-9950-63] Butanedioic Acid, 2-Methylene-, Polymer With 1,3-Butadiene, Ethylbenzene and 2-Hydroxyethyl-2-Propenoate; Tolerance Exemption AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate; when used as an inert ingredient (emulsifier or binder) in a pesticide chemical formulation. Keller and Heckman on behalf of Trinseo LLC submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate on food or feed commodities.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective September 2, 2016. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before November 1, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0201, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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

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

    C. Can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0201 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before November 1, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0201, by one of the following methods.

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

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

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

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Background and Statutory Findings

    In the Federal Register of May 19, 2016 (81) FR (31585) (FRL-9946-02), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, announcing the receipt of a pesticide petition (PP IN-10907) filed by Keller and Heckman (1001 G Street NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20001) on behalf of Trinseo LLC (1000 Chesterbrook Blvd., Berwyn, PA 19312-1084). The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.960 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate (CAS Reg. No. 36089-06-2). That document included a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner and solicited comments on the petitioner's request. The Agency did not receive any comments.

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

    III. Risk Assessment and Statutory Findings

    EPA establishes exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance only in those cases where it can be shown that the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide chemical residues under reasonably foreseeable circumstances will pose no appreciable risks to human health. In order to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide inert ingredients, the Agency considers the toxicity of the inert in conjunction with possible exposure to residues of the inert ingredient through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings. If EPA is able to determine that a finite tolerance is not necessary to ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the inert ingredient, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance may be established.

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action and considered its validity, completeness and reliability and the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. In the case of certain chemical substances that are defined as polymers, the Agency has established a set of criteria to identify categories of polymers expected to present minimal or no risk. The definition of a polymer is given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and the exclusion criteria for identifying these low-risk polymers are described in 40 CFR 723.250(d). Butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate conforms to the definition of a polymer given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and meets the following criteria that are used to identify low-risk polymers.

    1. The polymer is not a cationic polymer nor is it reasonably anticipated to become a cationic polymer in a natural aquatic environment.

    2. The polymer does contain as an integral part of its composition the atomic elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

    3. The polymer does not contain as an integral part of its composition, except as impurities, any element other than those listed in 40 CFR 723.250(d)(2)(ii).

    4. The polymer is neither designed nor can it be reasonably anticipated to substantially degrade, decompose, or depolymerize.

    5. The polymer is manufactured or imported from monomers and/or reactants that are already included on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory or manufactured under an applicable TSCA section 5 exemption.

    6. The polymer is not a water absorbing polymer with a number average molecular weight (MW) greater than or equal to 10,000 daltons.

    7. The polymer does not contain certain perfluoroalkyl moieties consisting of a CF3- or longer chain length as specified in 40 CFR 723.250(d)(6).

    Additionally, the polymer also meets as required the following exemption criteria specified in 40 CFR 723.250(e).

    8. The polymer's number average MW of 10,000 is greater than or equal to 10,000 daltons. The polymer contains less than 2% oligomeric material below MW 500 and less than 5% oligomeric material below MW 1,000.

    Thus, butanedioic acid, 2-methy-lene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate meets the criteria for a polymer to be considered low risk under 40 CFR 723.250. Based on its conformance to the criteria in this unit, no mammalian toxicity is anticipated from dietary, inhalation, or dermal exposure to butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate.

    IV. Aggregate Exposures

    For the purposes of assessing potential exposure under this exemption, EPA considered that the butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate could be present in all raw and processed agricultural commodities and drinking water, and that non-occupational non-dietary exposure was possible. The minimum number average MW of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate is 10,000 daltons. Generally, a polymer of this size would be poorly absorbed through the intact gastrointestinal tract or through intact human skin. Since butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate conforms to the criteria that identify a low-risk polymer, there are no concerns for risks associated with any potential exposure scenarios that are reasonably foreseeable. The Agency has determined that a tolerance is not necessary to protect the public health.

    V. Cumulative Effects From Substances With a Common Mechanism of Toxicity

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

    EPA has not found butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    VI. Additional Safety Factor for the Protection of Infants and Children

    Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the data base unless EPA concludes that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. Due to the expected low toxicity of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate, EPA has not used a safety factor analysis to assess the risk. For the same reasons the additional tenfold safety factor is unnecessary.

    VII. Determination of Safety

    Based on the conformance to the criteria used to identify a low-risk polymer, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposure to residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate.

    VIII. Other Considerations A. Existing Exemptions From a Tolerance

    There are no existing exemptions from the requirements of a tolerance.

    B. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes since the Agency is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance without any numerical limitation.

    C. International Residue Limits

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

    The Codex has not established a MRL for butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate.

    IX. Conclusion

    Accordingly, EPA finds that exempting residues of butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate from the requirement of a tolerance will be safe.

    X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

    XI. Congressional Review Act

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

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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

    Dated: August 17, 2016. Michael Goodis, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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

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

    2. In § 180.960, alphabetically add the polymer(s) to the table to read as follows:
    § 180.960 Polymers; exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance. Polymer CAS No. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Butanedioic acid, 2-methylene-, polymer with 1,3-butadiene, ethenylbenzene and 2-hydroxyethyl 2-propenoate, minimum number average molecular weight (in amu), 10,000 36089-06-2 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-21219 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 20 [WT Docket No. 15-285; FCC 16-103] Improvements to Benchmarks and Related Requirements Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission adopts this Report and Order to implement a historic consensus proposal for ensuring that people with hearing loss have full access to innovative handsets.

    DATES:

    These rules are effective October 3, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eli Johnson, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-1395, email [email protected], and Michael Rowan, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-1883, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Federal Communications Commission's Report and Order in WT Docket 15-285, adopted August 4, 2016, and released August 5, 2016. The document is available for download at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/. The complete text of this document is also available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. 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 & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Introduction

    1. In this Report and Order, the Commission takes several steps to implement a historic consensus proposal for ensuring that people with hearing loss have full access to innovative handsets. First, the Commission amends the hearing aid compatibility requirements that are generally applicable to wireless service providers and manufacturers of digital wireless handsets. Specifically, the Commission increases the number of hearing aid-compatible handsets that service providers and manufacturers are required to offer with two new percentage benchmarks: (1) 66 Percent of offered handset models must be compliant following a two-year transition period for manufacturers, with additional compliance time for service providers, and (2) 85 percent of offered handset models must be compliant following a five-year transition period for manufacturers, with additional compliance time for service providers. The Commission also expands the de minimis exception to provide a more limited obligation for entities offering four or five handsets.

    2. The Commission also reconfirms its commitment to pursuing 100 percent hearing aid compatibility to the extent achievable. The Commission therefore invites consensus plan stakeholders and other interested parties to make supplemental submissions over the next several years on the achievability of a 100 percent hearing aid compatibility deployment benchmark considering technical and market conditions. As part of this process, the Commission also expects stakeholders to make submissions on additional points of agreement regarding other unresolved issues raised in this proceeding, including using alternative technologies to achieve hearing aid compatibility and establishing a safe harbor for service providers based on a public clearinghouse that claims to identify compliant handsets.

    3. In order to advance towards the Commission's proposed 100 percent compatibility deployment benchmark, the Commission seeks to continue the productive collaboration between stakeholders and other interested parties so that it can obtain data and information about the technical and market conditions involving wireless handsets and hearing improvement technologies. In this regard, the Commission suggests a timeline identifying general milestones over the next several years when the consensus plan stakeholders and other interested parties may, at their election, make additional submissions. Based in significant part on the information it receives, the Commission intends to determine the achievability of a 100 percent compliance standard for wireless hearing aid compatibility by no later than 2024.

    Background

    4. The current hearing aid compatibility deployment benchmarks require that, subject to a de minimis exception described below, a handset manufacturer must meet, for each air interface over which its models operate, (1) at least an M3 rating for acoustic coupling for at least one-third of its models using that air interface (rounded down), with a minimum of two models, and (2) at least a T3 rating for inductive coupling for at least one-third of its models using that interface (rounded down), with a minimum of two models. Similarly, a service provider must meet, for each air interface over which its models operate, (1) at least an M3 rating for acoustic coupling for at least 50 percent of its models using that air interface (rounded up) or ten models, and (2) at least a T3 rating for inductive coupling for at least one-third of its models using that interface (rounded up) or ten models.

    5. In general, under the de minimis exception, most manufacturers and service providers that offer two or fewer digital wireless handset models operating over a particular air interface are exempt from the benchmark deployment requirements in connection with that air interface. Larger manufacturers with two or fewer handset models in an air interface have a limited obligation, as do service providers offering two or fewer models that obtain those models only from larger manufacturers. The provision further provides that any manufacturer or service provider that offers three digital wireless handset models operating over a particular air interface must offer at least one such handset model that meets the Commission's acoustic and inductive coupling requirements for that air interface.

    6. To help ensure compliance with these benchmarks, the Commission's hearing aid compatibility rules also require wireless handset manufacturers and wireless service providers to submit annual reports to the Commission detailing the covered handsets that they offer for sale, the models that are hearing aid-compatible (and the specific rating), and other information relating to the requirements of the rule. In June 2009, the Commission introduced the electronic FCC Form 655 as the mandatory form for filing these reports, and since that time, both service providers and manufacturers have filed reports using the electronic system. Service provider compliance filings are due January 15 each year and manufacturer reports are due July 15 each year.

    7. On November 12, 2015, three consumer advocacy organizations and three industry trade associations submitted a Joint Consensus Proposal (JCP) providing for a process for moving away from the current fractional benchmark regime. The parties to the JCP state that they “agree that hearing aid compatibility for all wireless handsets is the Commission's collective goal” and that “the Commission's regulations must balance this goal with the ability to encourage innovations that can benefit all people with disabilities.” With these principles in mind, the JCP proposes staged increases in the applicable deployment benchmarks, culminating in a 100 percent benchmark in eight years, subject to an assessment by the Commission of whether complete compatibility is achievable.

    8. Specifically, the JCP provides that within two years of the effective date of the new rules, 66 percent of wireless handset models offered to consumers should be compliant with the Commission's acoustic coupling (M rating) and inductive coupling (T rating) requirements. The proposal provides further that within five years of the effective date, 85 percent of wireless handset models offered to consumers should be compliant with the Commission's M and T rating requirements.

    9. In addition to these two-year and five-year benchmarks, the proposal provides that “[t]he Commission should commit to pursue that 100% of wireless handsets offered to consumers should be compliant with [the M and T rating requirements] within eight years.” The JCP conditions the transition to 100 percent, however, on a Commission determination within seven years of the rules' effective date that reaching the 100 percent goal is “achievable.” The JCP prescribes the following process for making that determination:

    A task force will be created, including all stakeholders, identifying questions for exploration in year four after the effective date that the benchmarks described above are established. After convening, the stakeholder task force will issue a report to the Commission within two years.

    The Commission, after review and receipt of the report described above, will determine whether to implement 100 percent compliance with [the M and T ratings requirements] based on concrete data and information about the technical and market conditions involving wireless handsets and the landscape of hearing improvement technology collected in years four and five. Any new benchmarks resulting from this determination, including 100 percent compliance, would go into effect no less than twenty-four months after the Commission's determination.

    Consumer groups and the Wireless Industry shall work together to hold meetings going forward to ensure that the process will include all stakeholders: At a minimum, consumer groups, independent research and technical advisors, wireless industry policy and technical representatives, hearing aid manufacturers and Commission representatives.

    10. The proposal provides that these new benchmarks should apply to manufacturers and service providers that offer six or more digital wireless handset models in an air interface, except that compliance dates for Tier I carriers and service providers other than Tier I carriers would be imposed six months and eighteen months, respectively, behind those for manufacturers, to account for the availability of handsets and inventory turn-over rates. The proposal recommends that the existing de minimis exception continue to apply for manufacturers and service providers that offer three or fewer handset models in an air interface and that manufacturers and service providers that offer four or five digital wireless handset models in an air interface should ensure that at least two of those handsets models are compliant with the Commission's M and T rating requirements. In addition, the proposal provides that these benchmarks should only be applicable if testing protocols are available for a particular air interface.

    11. On April 21, 2016 and July 29, 2016, the parties to the JCP filed ex parte letters supplementing their proposal and further addressing the proposed multi-stakeholder task force process.

    Adoption of Enhanced Benchmarks

    12. As proposed in the JCP and the Notice, in place of the current percentage and minimum number handset deployment obligations, the Commission adopts the 66 and 85 percent benchmarks for manufacturers and service providers who offer six or more handset models per air interface. Manufacturers must comply with these benchmarks following a transition period of two and five years, respectively, running from the effective date of the new rules. Each of these transition periods is further extended by six months for Tier I carriers and 18 months for service providers other than Tier I carriers. To satisfy these new benchmarks, handset models must meet both a rating of M3 or higher for reduced RF interference in acoustic coupling mode and T3 or higher for inductive coupling capability. The Commission will maintain its current rounding rules, which means that the Commission's rules will continue to allow manufacturers to round their fractional deployment obligations down and the Commission's rules will continue to require service providers to round their fractional deployment obligations up.

    13. Consistent with the JCP and the Notice, the Commission will also maintain the current de minimis exception that applies to manufacturers and service providers that offer three or fewer handset models in an air interface. In addition, as proposed in the Notice and the JCP, the Commission amends the de minimis rule to additionally provide that when the new benchmarks become applicable, a more limited obligation will apply to manufacturers and service providers that offer 4 or 5 handsets. Specifically, the Commission adopts, in most respects, the amendment proposed in the Notice and the JCP, and provide that (1) manufacturers and service providers that offer four wireless handset models in an air interface must ensure that at least two of those handset models are compliant with the Commission's M and T rating requirements; and (2) manufacturers who offer five wireless handset models in an air interface must similarly offer at least two that are compliant with the Commission's M and T rating requirements.

    14. The Commission modifies the JCP's proposed modification to the de minimis rule with regard to service providers that offer five wireless handset models in an air interface. Under the JCP, such service providers, like manufacturers offering that number of handset models, would in the future only have to offer two handset models that are compliant with the Commission's M and T rating requirements. Unlike in the cases discussed above, however, adoption of this requirement would result in a reduction of the obligations that such service providers have under the current rules. The Commission's current acoustic coupling deployment obligation for service providers offering five handset models in an air interface is 50 percent, or 2.5 handset models. Unlike manufacturers, service providers are required to round up when calculating their fractional deployment obligations and, therefore, under the Commission's existing rules the minimum number of models rated M3 or better for service providers offering five handset models in an air interface is three. No commenter argued that the Commission's current rounding rules should be revised, and considering the broader context—a transition toward universal handset compliance—the Commission is unwilling to reduce the existing obligation. The parties to the JCP argue that fractional obligations for both manufacturers and service providers should be rounded down, but they make this proposal solely on the grounds that it is “consistent with current requirements.” Further, the most recent submission from the parties to the JCP state their understanding that service providers offering five handset models will be required to offer three compatible handsets and raise no objection. Therefore, under the expanded de minimis exception, service providers who offer five handset models will have to ensure that at least three meet the Commission's M and T rating requirements. While this decision results in an increase in the number of T-rated handsets that a service provider who offers five handset models in an air interface currently must offer under the Commission's existing rules (i.e., from two to three), it is consistent with the JCP's proposal that handsets offered to satisfy the new benchmarks meet both an M3 and T3 rating (or better). It is also consistent with a general goal of moving toward 100 percent hearing aid compatibility.

    15. The expanded de minimis rule for manufacturers and service providers offering four or five handset models in an air interface will take effect for manufacturers, Tier I carriers, and service providers other than Tier I carriers at the same time in each case as the new 66 percent benchmark (e.g., it will take effect for manufacturers in two years, and for Tier I carriers in two years and six months). This implementation schedule will run from the effective date of the new rules. For enforcement purposes, however, the Commission will review compliance with the new benchmarks and de minimis requirements starting the first day of the month after the new benchmarks become effective. This approach will eliminate any partial month compliance issues that may arise with the new requirements.

    16. The Commission concludes that the changes it adopts today satisfy the Commission's statutory obligations. The Commission notes that the Section 710(b)(2)(b) four-part test for lifting an exemption does not apply here where the Commission is assessing benchmarks for services and equipment already within the scope of Section 20.19 of the rules. Section 710(e), however, requires the Commission to “consider costs and benefits to all telephone users, including persons with and without hearing loss,” and to “ensure that regulations adopted to implement [the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act] encourage the use of currently available technology and do not discourage or impair the development of improved technology.” Section 710(e) further directs that the Commission should use appropriate timetables and benchmarks to the extent necessary due to technical feasibility or to ensure marketability or availability of new technologies to users. As discussed below, considering the costs and benefits to all end users, including persons with and without hearing loss and the impact on the use and development of technology, the Commission finds the new benchmarks and implementation schedule to be appropriate, reasonable, and technically feasible, and therefore in the public interest. The Commission further finds, given the acceptance of these benchmarks by both industry and consumer stakeholders, there does not appear to be any suggestion or evidence that they would impede the marketability and availability of new technologies to users.

    17. As reflected in the wide and unanimous support in the record for revising the Commission's hearing aid compatibility requirements as described above, these changes strike an appropriate balance between the interests of handset manufacturers, large and small service providers, and consumers with hearing loss. The Commission's actions today will provide significant benefits by expanding access to hearing aid-compatible handsets, while preserving the flexibility that allows competition and innovation in devices to flourish. Consumers with hearing loss, including those who rely on hearing aids or cochlear implants, will have more compatible handsets from which to choose when purchasing new phones, and manufacturers and service providers will have the time they need to meet the Commission's new benchmark requirements. This approach properly accounts for the realities of technology constraints as well as the needs of those with hearing loss. Further, no commenting party has argued that the costs of complying with the new benchmarks and their related implementation provisions would be detrimental to any consumers, with or without hearing loss. In fact, commenters broadly support the new benchmarks, timelines, additional implementation periods, and related provisions.

    18. In addition to benefitting hearing aid users generally, raising the benchmarks to increase the percentage of handset models with at least a T3 rating will be particularly beneficial to wireless users in the deaf and hard of hearing community who rely on telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. Further, given that these benchmarks were agreed to by the parties to the JCP, the stakeholders have already agreed that the associated costs of meeting hearing aid compatibility requirements for a higher percentage of models are reasonable. In light of the support for these changes from both consumers and the industries that would bear the costs, and given the lack of any significant related opposition or evidence to the contrary, the Commission finds it reasonable, consistent with the mandate of Section 710(e), to conclude that the benefits of adopting these benchmarks will exceed their costs.

    19. Further, the Commission finds that the transition periods the Commission adopts today are reasonable and are in the public interest. The Commission notes in particular that the JCP stakeholders crafted and proposed them, signaling broad support for these timelines. Moreover, the Commission has previously determined that two years is an appropriate period to accommodate the typical handset industry product cycle. The Commission believes that the transition periods identified in the JCP provide adequate time for handset manufacturers and service providers to adjust handset portfolios to ensure compliance with the new benchmarks, and the Commission therefore adopts them.

    20. While RWA argues that the compliance deadline for small service providers should be 24 months beyond the end of the two and five year transition periods for manufacturers, the Commission finds that the additional 18 months proposed in the JCP and the Notice is sufficient to address their concerns. In the Fourth Report and Order, the Commission allowed such providers only an additional three months after the compliance date for manufacturers and Tier I carriers to meet new deployment benchmarks and related requirements. In prior hearing aid compatibility transitions, the Commission has consistently allowed service providers that are not Tier I carriers no more than three months' time beyond the transition period provided to Tier I carriers. Here, the Commission is allowing service providers other than Tier I carriers an additional 12 months beyond the compliance date for Tier I carriers before they must be in compliance, and 18 months after manufacturers have to meet the new benchmarks. Therefore, there should be sufficient hearing aid-compatible handsets available to small service providers to integrate into their product lines. The Commission also notes that other commenters—including commenters that represent small wireless service providers—support the transition period for small providers proposed in the JCP and the Notice. Taking into account that the latest hearing aid compatibility reports show a high rate of compliance for such providers, but also considering the significant increase the Commission is adopting in the applicable benchmarks, the Commission believes the agreed upon transition period for service providers other than Tier I carriers is reasonable.

    21. In addition, the Commission finds it in the public interest to continue to use the M3 and T3 ratings as the minimum that covered handsets must meet. The Commission declines to adopt ACI Alliance's proposal to put in place a benchmark or other mechanism that would require manufacturers to offer M4 and T4 rated handsets. The Commission believes this issue is better considered in the ANSI standards setting process or the ongoing stakeholder consensus process. Further, the Commission disagrees with ACI Alliance's assertion that the number of M4 and T4 rated handsets has been decreasing. In fact, manufacturers' compliance filings show the opposite. In light of this increase, it does not appear necessary to revise this component of the hearing aid compatibility requirements at this time.

    22. As proposed by the JCP and the Notice, meeting the new benchmarks of 66 and 85 percent will require offering handset models that have both an M3 rating (or higher) and a T3 rating (or higher). The current rules allow manufacturers and service providers to meet their M rating and T rating benchmarks with handset models that meet one rating but not the other. As a practical matter, however, all T3-rated handsets already meet the M3 rating standard as well. None of the comments the Commission received indicate that requiring manufacturers and service providers to meet their benchmarks only with handsets that meet both standards is technically infeasible or will affect the marketability of these handsets in the United States. The Commission's approach encourages the use of currently available technology by relying on existing M3 and T3 coupling standards. Further, handsets that are hearing aid-compatible in either acoustic or telecoil mode will further benefit consumers with hearing loss by reducing the need for consumers to research whether a handset works only in one mode or the other. Moreover, the Commission's approach will not discourage or impair the development of improved technology. The Commission notes that wireless technology has continued to evolve rapidly over the years that the hearing aid compatibility rules have been in effect. The Commission anticipates that such innovation will continue with these revised benchmarks in place.

    23. The JCP proposed that the new benchmarks apply only “if testing protocols are available for a particular interface.” The Commission notes that, as with the current deployment requirements and consistent with past Commission precedent, manufacturers and service providers will be required to meet the new benchmarks only for technologies operating in the frequency bands covered by the approved technical standards. Further, these approved technical standards specify testing protocols for determining M and T ratings for mobile devices operating within the frequency range covered by the standards. Accordingly, the Commission does not agree that testing protocols are unavailable for new technologies within the scope of the standards. The Commission acknowledges, however, that, there may be cases of new technologies for which additional guidance or clarification on the application of the procedures may be helpful, and that temporary relief may be appropriate pending such guidance. In the past, the Commission has considered such issues on a case-by-case basis as they are raised by parties, and the Commission finds no reason to depart from this approach, given that there is no indication that this approach has not been successful in addressing any industry concerns. Accordingly, to the extent that parties request further guidance on testing procedures in connection with a particular new technology deployed in those bands, the Commission will, as it has in the past, address such requests on a case-by-case basis and provide appropriate guidance, or tailored accommodations pending guidance from the Commission or appropriate standards-setting bodies, as needed. The Commission would not, however, want the development of such testing protocols to delay hearing aid compatibility for new air interfaces or equipment. Therefore, the Commission expects the timely development of such testing protocols, and caution against unnecessary delays.

    24. The Commission also finds that it is in the public interest to retain the existing de minimis exception for manufacturers and service providers that offer three handset models or less, and to expand it to manufacturers and service providers that offer four or five digital wireless handset models in an air interface. No commenter objects to retaining or expanding the current de minimis rule while the new benchmarks of 66 and 85 percent are in effect. The Commission's expansion of the de minimis rule is generally consistent with the JCP and will reduce the burden on small and new industry participants. As discussed above, however, the Commission will require service providers who offer five handset models in an air interface to ensure that at least three meet the Commission's M and T rating requirements. The Commission believes the de minimis rule as revised today appropriately balances the goal of facilitating widespread deployment of hearing aid-compatible devices to consumers while reducing burdens on small and new industry participants.

    25. The Commission finds it in the public interest to maintain the Commission's current rounding rules for fractional deployment obligations. Currently, when calculating the total number of handset models that must be offered over an air interface results in a fractional deployment obligation, manufacturers may round this number down, but service providers must round this number up. The Commission sees no reason to change this current practice.

    Advancement of a 100 Percent Compatibility Deployment Benchmark

    26. By no later than 2024, the Commission intends to make a determination regarding the Commission's proposed requirement that 100 percent of covered handsets be hearing aid-compatible. In consideration of the fact that both the hearing aid and mobile device markets will evolve during the time before the Commission makes this determination, the Commission will keep this docket open for all relevant submissions. The Commission anticipates that it will provide additional notice of wireless hearing aid compatibility proposals as they arise and become appropriate for more specific comment by manufacturers, service providers, consumer groups, and members of the public. The Commission believes this open process will afford all interested parties the same flexibility with which the Commission and stakeholders worked in the past to achieve consensus and establish the current hearing aid compatibility benchmarks and related requirements.

    27. In the discussion below, the Commission sets forth a process and timeline, consistent with the proposals in the JCP and the supplemental filings, for stakeholders to submit information individually or collectively, including from any independent task force or consensus group that they create. The Commission also identifies for specific consideration additional issues. Although the Commission is making a decision to leave many issues open and the Commission defers action on any final rule codifying a possible 100 percent compatibility deployment benchmark, the Commission sets a pathway of milestones for submissions over the next several years that will ensure a resolution of this proceeding within the timeframe agreed to by the parties to the JCP and consistent with the Commission's intent that the Commission revisit this issue. These submissions are purely voluntary, however; the Commission does not require any party to make them, or to make them in the timeframes discussed, and will take no enforcement or other action against any party for failure to file. Further, in making these submissions, parties are not expected to produce any confidential, proprietary, or work product documents, nor, prior to the final report on achievability, does the Commission ask parties to provide more than summary descriptions of activities or any information or data being collected. In addition, the Commission does not expect any submissions to be filed until an independent task force or other consensus group to implement the JCP's commitments is created, and the Commission primarily expects these submissions to be filed by or on behalf of such a group. The Commission welcomes submissions from other parties, however, as well as submissions prior to the creation of the task force to the extent parties find it appropriate, particularly if they experience unanticipated difficulties in convening such a group.

    Open Docket for Supplemental Submissions

    28. In the July Supplemental Filing, the parties to the JCP discussed “how the Commission can be kept apprised of the status of the Task force's progress once the Task Force is established.” Recognizing the need for transparency through the process, they “acknowledge that an annual report once the Task Force is established could satisfy the Commission's interest in the Task Force's activities.” They further recommend that, “[r]ather than prescribe the specific contents of any additional reports . . . the Commission should permit the Task Force the flexibility to work together to determine the best way to communicate the status of the determination process to the FCC and the public.” The consumer group signatories further suggest that “so long as the language is not proscriptive, they would not object to guidance from the Commission on the kind of information that could be included in the yearly reports.”

    29. Consistent with these proposals, and to allow stakeholders to reach further consensus on the various proposals set forth in the JCP and raised in the Commission's subsequent Notice, the Commission asks interested parties to file additional comments, reports, and other submissions in this docket in accordance with the timeline detailed below. The Commission will use this open docket to develop a record on whether and when a regime under which all wireless handsets are required to be hearing aid-compatible is “achievable.” The Commission will also use this docket to collect additional points of consensus on the question of a 100 percent wireless hearing aid compatibility deployment requirement, alternative hearing aid compatibility standards, and the other issues raised in the Commission's Notice.

    30. The Commission finds that maintaining an open docket is the best method to reach an outcome that reflects a consensus among all interested parties. Although the Commission's open docket will permit broad participation among many interested participants over the next several years, the Commission expects that parties will continue to work together to establish whatever task force and/or working groups are necessary to submit consensus filings. The Commission therefore does not expect that every party affected by the outstanding issues in this proceeding will file reports or other submissions, and anticipates that such filings will most likely be filed solely by the task force or other groups that are established. Stakeholders themselves are best positioned to work collectively to obtain and report the data necessary to craft a regime that ensures full hearing aid compatibility while protecting market incentives to innovate and invest. The Commission encourages the formation of groups that represent the broadest number of participants, including representatives of consumers who use hearing aid devices, research and technical advisors, wireless industry policy and technical representatives, and hearing aid manufacturers.

    31. With the assumption that interested parties will convene a task force to make submissions in this docket, the Commission notes that such a group would be established by the stakeholders themselves and would operate separate from the Commission. Although the Commission anticipates that any such task force group will use its best efforts to reach compromises that result in consensus positions, the Commission realizes that it may not be possible in all cases to achieve agreement among all participants or on all issues. Accordingly, by maintaining an open docket for submissions from all interested parties, the Commission also provides an opportunity for any individual, as well as any minority, positions to be presented to the Commission during the course of this proceeding.

    Timeline for Submissions

    32. The Commission asks interested parties to make submissions in accordance with the timeframes outlined below. These timeframes generally correspond to the timeline in the April 21, 2016 ex parte filing from the parties to the JCP, which describes the steps leading to a report helping to inform the Commission whether 100 percent hearing aid compatibility is “achievable considering technical and market conditions.” For example, it states that the signatories will determine appropriate task force participants “within two years, but no later than the start of year four.” The filing states that the parties will develop questions and explore the scope of the issues prior to year four, and that the official start of the achievability determination process will begin in year four. It also states that the task force will take all reasonable steps to file a report with the Commission by no later than the end of year six and, at that point, disband. The proposed submissions described below are intended to encourage transparency and to facilitate a collaborative process among hearing aid manufacturers, digital wireless handset manufacturers, consumer groups representing those with hearing loss, and wireless service providers.

    33. The Commission clarifies that the submissions described below are intended to be illustrative and that it will be up to any task force or consensus group to determine the best means of apprising the Commission of its activities. Guided by the additional data, information, and reports the Commission expects to receive, the Commission's intent is to make a final determination in this proceeding by no later than 2024. The Commission expects that interested parties will work independently and collectively to obtain valuable information and assist the Commission's ultimate achievability determination by making submissions as follows:

    Stakeholder Participation:

    By December 31, 2017 (end of Year 1)—

    Report on outreach efforts by or to relevant stakeholders to gain commitments to participate in a consensus group.

    Report on the formation of any stakeholder consensus group(s), including membership, leadership, and operations.

    By December 31, 2018 (end of Year 2)—

    Report on outreach efforts by or to relevant stakeholders to gain commitments to participate in a consensus group.

    Report on the formation of any stakeholder consensus group(s), including membership, leadership, and operations.

    Consensus Issues and Data:

    By December 31, 2019 (end of Year 3)—

    Report on any meetings, operations, and accomplishments to date of any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Report on the questions and scope of hearing aid compatibility issues to be evaluated by any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Report on any information and data planned to be collected by any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Report on any developments regarding the matters identified above under Stakeholder Participation (if applicable).

    By December 31, 2020 (end of Year 4)—

    Report on any meetings, operations, and accomplishments to date of any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Report on the information and data collected over Year 4 on those hearing aid compatibility issues being evaluated by any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    By December 31, 2021 (end of Year 5)—

    Report on any meetings, operations, and accomplishments to date of any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Report on the information and data collected over Year 5 on those hearing aid compatibility issues being evaluated by any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Determination and Report:

    By December 31, 2022 (end of Year 6)—

    Report on any meetings, operations, and accomplishments to date of any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Report on the information and data collected over Years 4 and 5 on those hearing aid compatibility issues being evaluated by any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Submit final report on the achievability of a 100 percent hearing aid compatibility deployment benchmark and on other hearing aid compatibility issues being evaluated by any stakeholder consensus group(s).

    Issues for Consensus

    34. Although the Commission has decided to generally leave matters open and defer action until a future proceeding, the Commission expects stakeholders and other interested parties to use their best efforts to reach consensus on the remaining issues and proposals set forth in the JCP filed on November 12, 2015 and raised in the subsequent Notice. The Commission encourages interested parties to address four issues in particular: (1) Whether 100 percent compatibility is achievable, with any analysis framed under the standard articulated in Section 710(e) of the Act, as appropriate; (2) how a 100 percent deployment benchmark could rely in part or in whole on alternative hearing aid compatibility technologies, bearing in mind the importance of ensuring interoperability between hearing aids and alternative technologies; (3) whether service providers should be able to legally rely on information in the Accessibility Clearinghouse in connection with meeting applicable benchmarks; and (4) whether the Commission should establish a fixed period of time or shot clock for the resolution of petitions for waiver of the hearing aid compatibility requirements. The Commission further discusses these issues below in the context of the record that has developed to date.

    35. The Commission's ultimate approach on the outstanding issues from the JCP and the subsequent Notice depends in many cases on the outcome of the achievability determination. Accordingly, in these cases, the Commission plans to defer specific action on final rules regarding compliance processes, legacy models, burden reduction, the appropriate transition period for any new deployment requirements the Commission adopts, and other alternatives and implementation issues until the point at which the Commission receives a final report on the achievability of a 100 percent hearing aid compatibility standard from the stakeholder consensus group(s) that the Commission anticipates will participate in this proceeding. As such issues are relevant to the milestones the Commission describes above, however, the Commission expects that interested parties will make submissions as appropriate, as these issues remain open for consideration within the scope of this proceeding. Moreover, as interested parties seek points of agreement on these issues separate from the aforementioned milestones, the Commission expects they will make submissions summarizing points of consensus.

    36. Determination of Achievability. The Commission intends to base the determination of the achievability of a 100 percent compatibility deployment benchmark on the factors identified in Section 710(e) of the Act. Section 710(e) requires the Commission to “consider costs and benefits to all telephone users, including persons with and without hearing loss,” and to “ensure that regulations adopted to implement [the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act] encourage the use of currently available technology and do not discourage or impair the development of improved technology.” Section 710(e) further directs that the Commission should use appropriate timetables and benchmarks to the extent necessary due to technical feasibility or to ensure marketability or availability of new technologies to users.

    37. The Commission notes that in response to the Notice, Wireless Associations and Consumer Groups recommend that the Commission use a Section 710 analysis (as opposed to the achievability requirements of Section 716 and 718) to determine whether a 100 percent standard is achievable. The Commission agrees with this recommendation, as it intends to rely on the factors identified in Section 710(e) of the Act. This approach is consistent with the analysis undertaken by the Commission in the 2008 First Report and Order when it adopted modifications to the then-current deployment benchmarks. The Commission does not plan to base its determination of achievability on certain other Section 710 provisions, however, such as Section 710(b)(2)(B) which directs the Commission to use a four-part test to periodically reassess exemptions from the hearing aid compatibility requirements for wireless handsets. Accordingly, as interested parties prepare a report on the achievability of a 100 percent hearing aid compatibility deployment benchmark, the Commission encourages them to submit conclusions based on the factors identified in Section 710(e), including cost/benefit, technical feasibility, marketability, and availability of new technologies.

    38. Alternative Hearing Aid Compatibility Technologies. In connection with the achievability assessment, the Commission encourages stakeholders to work towards consensus submissions on whether a 100 percent standard should permit technologies other than those designed to meet the current M and T rating requirements, and to “consider which data would be needed to determine if the existing definition of [hearing aid compatibility] is the most effective means for ensuring access to wireless handsets for consumers who use hearing aids while encouraging technological innovation.” The JCP provides that the Commission should consider “whether wireless handsets can be deemed compliant with the HAC rules through means other than by measuring RF interference and inductive coupling.” In the Notice, the Commission sought comment on whether any new benchmarks should specifically require both a minimum M3 and T3 rating, or whether manufacturers should be allowed to meet the requirement by incorporating other methods of achieving compatibility with hearing aids, such as Bluetooth®. In response to the Notice, Apple and ASTAC both support rules that recognize solutions such as Bluetooth as alternative hearing aid compatibility technologies, while HIA and other individual commenters oppose permitting certification of Bluetooth profiles that are not universally standardized in the same way as the telecoils found in hearing aids and cochlear implants. Wireless Associations, Consumer Groups, and T-Mobile state that the Commission should use the stakeholder process to evaluate new and innovative ways to consider the definition of hearing aid compatibility.

    39. As interested parties prepare a report on the achievability of a 100 percent hearing aid compatibility deployment benchmark, the Commission expects that they will consider alternative hearing aid compatibility technologies, along with emerging technologies and devices designed to assist in modifying or amplifying sound for individuals with hearing loss, such as personal sound amplification (PSA) products. The Commission also invites parties to explain how these technologies and devices should be incorporated into a future benchmark framework. Because telecoils may be comparable to analog technologies, the Commission invites submissions regarding the inclusion of digital technologies, such as Bluetooth, within the rules as alternatives for meeting some or all of any future deployment benchmark(s). The Commission emphasizes the importance of broad interoperability between hearing aids and compatibility technologies, and the Commission flags the costs the consumers could face if certain technologies work only with select hearing aids. The Commission is encouraged by the extent to which Apple's proprietary solutions may lead to further research towards more universal standards that can someday be recognized by a standards body like ANSI, particularly if they lead to interoperable alternative solutions that can be deployed more widely across all manufacturers' devices and can work reliably with more than just certain select hearing aid models.

    40. Relying on the Accessibility Clearinghouse. The Commission also sought comment in the Notice on whether and how compatibility information that manufacturers supply on Form 655 could be used to automatically supplement the Accessibility Clearinghouse database, and whether service providers should be able to rely on information in the Accessibility Clearinghouse or in manufacturers' Form 655 submissions as a compliance safe harbor. Very few commenters address these issues, and those that did offered only general support without input on how these measures could or should be implemented. The Commission notes that the existing Accessibility Clearinghouse database contains information gathered from and curated by third parties and, despite questions on this issue in the Notice, no commenters addressed whether the database reliably identifies devices that are in fact fully compliant with the hearing aid compatibility rules. The Commission therefore invites interested parties to address these issues regarding the Clearinghouse in supplemental submissions, and the Commission encourages them to offer consensus positions to the extent possible. Because these issues may become less impactful in the event the Commission transitions to 100 percent compatibility, it would be most beneficial to receive stakeholders' views toward the beginning of the timetable presented above.

    41. While the Commission reaches no conclusion at this time about a safe harbor based on the Accessibility Clearinghouse, it finds that the hearing aid compatibility rating information contained in manufacturers' Form 655 reports is reliable. In those reports, manufacturers must identify each handset model's hearing aid compatibility rating, which in turn must reflect the testing results produced by a Commission-approved Telecommunications Certification Body. Manufacturers are further required to certify that statements reported in the form “are accurate, true and correct.” Because the Commission concludes that this information is reliable, it will treat a service provider as compliant with the hearing aid compatibility rules to the extent that its compliance is based on its reasonable reliance on data contained in, or aggregated from, manufacturers' Form 655 submissions.

    42. Waiver Requests. The Commission also sought comment in the Notice on potential modifications to the Commission's compliance processes in the context of implementing the JCP, including how best to apply the Section 710(b)(3) waiver process. In particular, the Commission sought comment on whether it should establish a fixed time period within which the Commission must take action on waiver requests, and if so, whether 180 days or another amount of time would be appropriate considering both the need to develop a full record and the importance of avoiding delay in the introduction of new technologies. While some commenters recommend that a waiver process should continue to be available to provide relief in appropriate cases, no commenter addresses the adoption of such a time period. The Commission again invites interested parties to address in this proceeding the adoption of a shot clock on the resolution of hearing aid compatibility waiver requests involving new technologies or other circumstances, and the extent to which such a measure (or other modifications to the waiver process or the Commission's other compliance processes) may contribute to the achievability of a 100 percent requirement, to addressing the concerns of small entities, or to ensuring that hearing aid compatibility requirements do not hinder the development or deployment of new technologies.

    Procedural Matters A. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 1. Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order

    43. To ensure that a wide selection of digital wireless handset models are available to consumers with hearing loss, the Commission's rules require both manufacturers and service providers to meet defined benchmarks for offering hearing aid-compatible wireless phones.

    44. As proposed in the Joint Consensus Proposal (JCP) and the Notice, the Commission adopted the 66 and 85 percent benchmarks for manufacturers and service providers who offer six or more handset models per air interface, with the two and five year transition periods, respectively, for manufacturers and the additional transition periods of six months for Tier I carriers and 18 months for non-Tier I carriers. To satisfy these benchmarks, handset models must meet both a rating of M3 or higher for acoustic coupling and T3 or higher for inductive coupling capability. The Commission determined to maintain its current rounding rules that allow manufacturers to round their fractional deployment obligations down, but require service providers to round their fractional deployment obligations up.

    45. Consistent with the JCP, the Commission also determined to maintain the current de minimis exception that applies to manufacturers and service providers that offer three or fewer handset models in an air interface and provides that manufacturers and service providers that offer four wireless handset models in an air interface must ensure that at least two of those handsets models are compliant with the Commission's M and T rating requirements.

    46. In the Report and Order, the Commission also set forth a process and timeline, consistent with the proposals in the JCP, for interested parties to make submissions individually or collectively, including from any independent task force or consensus group that they create. The Commission determined to leave many hearing aid compatibility issues open and deferred action on a final rule codifying a 100 percent compatibility deployment benchmark. It also identified for specific consideration several issues raised by parties to the JCP and the Notice. The Commission explained that it will use submissions over the next several years to develop a record on whether and when a regime under which all wireless handsets are required to be hearing aid-compatible is “achievable.” The Commission further explained that it will use this docket to collect additional points of consensus that it anticipates will be the basis for a final rule that codifies a 100 percent wireless hearing aid compatibility deployment standard and addresses the other hearing aid compatibility requirements raised in the Notice.

    2. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

    47. There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the rules and policies proposed in the IRFA.

    3. Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration

    48. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rules as a result of those comments. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.

    4. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will Apply

    49. The following small entity licensees and regulatees may be affected by the rules changes adopted in the Report and Order: Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions; Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing; Part 15 Handset Manufacturers; Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except satellite); Internet Service Providers; and All Other Information and Telecommunications Services.

    4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    50. The current hearing aid compatibility regulations impose a number of obligations on covered wireless service providers and the manufacturers of digital wireless handsets used with those services, including: (1) Requirements to deploy a certain number or percentage of handset models that meet hearing aid compatibility standards, (2) “refresh” requirements on manufacturers to meet their hearing aid-compatible handset deployment benchmarks in part using new models, (3) a requirement that service providers offer hearing aid-compatible handsets with varying levels of functionality, (4) a requirement that service providers make their hearing aid-compatible models available to consumers for testing at their owned or operated stores, (5) point of sale disclosure requirements, (6) requirements to make consumer information available on the manufacturer's or service provider's Web site, and (7) annual reporting requirements. In the Report and Order, the Commission did not impose any additional reporting, record keeping, or other compliance requirements.

    5. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    51. In the Report and Order, the Commission adopted a number of provisions to help small businesses in meeting the new hearing aid compatibility deployment requirements. Specifically, the Commission decided to keep in place and expand the existing de minimis exception. In addition, the Commission allowed small business service providers an additional 18 months after the effective date of the new rules to comply with the new benchmarks.

    6. Federal Rules That Might Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Rules

    52. None.

    7. Report to Congress

    53. The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, in a report to Congress pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. In addition, the Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order, including this FRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. A copy of the Report and Order and FRFA (or summaries thereof) will also be published in the Federal Register.

    B. Final Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

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

    C. Congressional Review Act

    55. The Commission will include a copy of this Report and Order in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

    Ordering Clauses

    56. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to Sections 4(i), 303(r), and 710 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 303(r), and 610, this Report and Order is hereby adopted.

    57. It is further ordered that the rule amendments set forth in Appendix B will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    58. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer Information Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the Report and Order to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 20

    Communications common carriers, Communications equipment, Radio.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends part 20 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 20—COMMERCIAL MOBILE SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 152(a) 154(i), 157, 160, 201, 214, 222, 251(e), 301, 302, 303, 303(b), 303(r), 307, 307(a), 309, 309(j)(3), 316, 316(a), 332, 610, 615, 615a, 615b, 615c, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Section 20.19 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(1)(i)(C) and (D), (c)(2)(iii), (c)(3)(iii), (c)(3)(iv), (d)(1)(ii)(D) and (E), (d)(2)(iii), (d)(3)(iii), (d)(3)(iv), and (e)(3) to read as follows:
    § 20.19 Hearing aid-compatible mobile handsets.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) Beginning October 3, 2018, at least sixty-six (66) percent of those handset models (rounded down to the nearest whole number) must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (D) Beginning October 4, 2021, at least eighty-five (85) percent of those handset models (rounded down to the nearest whole number) must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) Beginning April 3, 2019, each Tier I carrier must ensure that at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide. Beginning April 4, 2022, each Tier I carrier must ensure that at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide.

    (3) * * *

    (iii) Beginning April 3, 2020, ensure that at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers.

    (iv) Beginning April 3, 2023, ensure that at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers.

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (D) Beginning October 3, 2018, at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models in that air interface, which must comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (E) Beginning October 4, 2021, at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models in that air interface, which must comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (2) * * *

    (iii) Beginning April 3, 2019, each Tier I carrier must ensure that at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide. Beginning April 4, 2022, each Tier I carrier must ensure that at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide.

    (3) * * *

    (iii) Beginning April 3, 2020, ensure that at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers;

    (iv) Beginning April 3, 2023, ensure that at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers.

    (e) * * *

    (3) Beginning October 3, 2018, manufacturers that offer four or five digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least two handset models compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface. Beginning April 3, 2019, Tier I carriers who offer four digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least two handsets compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface and Tier I carriers who offer five digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least three handsets compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface. Beginning April 3, 2020, service providers, other than Tier I carriers, who offer four digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least two handset models compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface and service providers, other than Tier I carriers, who offer five digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least three handsets compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface.

    [FR Doc. 2016-20871 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 393 and Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III [Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0176] RIN 2126-AB81 Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance; Correction AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice makes corrections to a final rule published in the Federal Register on July 22, 2016, regarding amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations in response to several petitions for rulemaking and NTSB recommendations. The Agency makes several minor clerical corrections regarding the rear license plate lamp requirements and the periodic inspection requirements for antilock brake systems (ABS).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective September 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    All background documents, comments, and materials related to this rule may be viewed in docket number FMCSA-2015-0176 using either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    • Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Mike Huntley, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, telephone: 202-366-5370; [email protected] Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation Viewing Documents

    To view comments submitted to previous rulemaking documents on this subject, go to http://www.regulations.gov and click on the “Read Comments” box in the upper right hand side of the screen. Then, in the “Keyword” box, insert “FMCSA-2015-0176” and click “Search.” Next, click “Open Docket Folder” in the “Actions” column. Finally, in the “Title” column, click on the document you would like to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Privacy Act

    All comments received were posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT previously solicited comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posted these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    Corrections

    FMCSA is making minor corrections to fix errors found in the final rule published on July 22, 2016. In § 393.11, the Agency corrects Footnote 11 of Table 1 to read “No rear license plate lamp is required on vehicles that do not display a rear license plate.” FMCSA inadvertently omitted the word “not” in this footnote.

    The Agency corrects section 1.l.(4)(b) of Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III, to read “only to the vehicle's stop lamp circuit.” FMCSA inadvertently omitted the phrase “vehicle's stop lamp circuit” in this section.

    As noted in the final rule, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had extended the compliance date for antilock brake systems (ABS) on hydraulic braked vehicles from March 1, 1999, to September 1, 1999, but that action was limited to an extension of the malfunction indicator lamp requirement in S5.3.3(b) of FMVSS No. 105—and not for the general requirement to equip hydraulic-braked vehicles with ABS. As such, all hydraulic-braked vehicles were still expected to be equipped with ABS effective March 1, 1999. While FMCSA included footnotes to help explain the different effective dates for the various ABS requirements in the Appendix G periodic inspection requirements, those footnotes are amended and repositioned to accurately reflect the effective dates for the various ABS requirements in Appendix G.

    Lastly, section 1.l.(5) is amended to note that it only applies to towed vehicles equipped with air brakes.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 393

    Highway safety, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety.

    Accordingly, for reasons set forth in the preamble, FMCSA amends 49 CFR part 393 and appendix G to subchapter B of chapter III as follows:

    PART 393—PARTS AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION 1. The authority citation for part 393 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 31136, 31151, and 31502; sec. 1041(b) of Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 1993 (1991); sec. 5524 of Pub. L. 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312, 1560; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    2. In § 393.11, revise Footnote 11 of Table 1 to read as follows:
    § 393.11 Lamps and reflective devices.

    Table 1 of § 393.11—Required Lamps and Reflectors on Commercial Motor Vehicles

    Footnote—11 To be illuminated when headlamps are illuminated. No rear license plate lamp is required on vehicles that do not display a rear license plate.

    3. In Appendix G to subchapter B of chapter III, revise Section 1.l to read as follows: Appendix G to Subchapter B of Chapter III—Minimum Periodic Inspection Standards

    1. Brake System

    l. Antilock Brake System1 2 3

    (1) Missing ABS malfunction indicator components (i.e., bulb, wiring, etc.).

    (2) ABS malfunction indicator that does not illuminate when power is first applied to the ABS controller (ECU) during initial power up.

    (3) ABS malfunction indicator that stays illuminated while power is continuously applied to the ABS controller (ECU).

    (4) ABS malfunction indicator lamp on a trailer or dolly does not cycle when electrical power is applied (a) only to the vehicle's constant ABS power circuit, or (b) only to the vehicle's stop lamp circuit.

    (5) With its brakes released and its ignition switch in the normal run position, power unit does not provide continuous electrical power to the ABS on any air-braked vehicle it is equipped to tow.

    (6) Other missing or inoperative ABS components.

    1 Power units manufactured after March 1, 2001, have two ABS malfunction indicators, one for the power unit and one for the units that they tow. Both malfunction indicators are required to be fully functional.

    2 Air-braked vehicles: Subsections (1)-(6) of this section are applicable to tractors with air brakes built on or after March 1, 1997, and all other vehicles with air brakes built on or after March 1, 1998.

    3 Hydraulic-braked vehicles: Subsections (1)-(3) of this section are applicable to vehicles over 10,000 lbs. GVWR with hydraulic brakes built on or after September 1, 1999. Subsection (6) of this section is applicable to vehicles over 10,000 lbs. with hydraulic brakes built on or after March 1, 1999.

    Issued under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87. August 25, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20927 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160301164-6694-02 ] RIN 0648-BF87 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Skate Complex; Framework Adjustment 3; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This action corrects two errors in the total allowable landing values specified in the final rule to implement Framework Adjustment 3 to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective September 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Whitmore, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone: 978-281-9182; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 17, 2016, we published a final rule for Framework Adjustment 3 to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan (81 FR 54744). That final rule included two errors in the 2016-2017 final specifications that are not consistent with the values included in Framework Adjustment 3 and the June 6, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 36251). The specifications in Framework Adjustment 3 and its proposed rule are correct and will remain.

    The final rule mistakenly stated that the skate complex total allowable landings (TAL) is 12,872 mt. A draft version of Framework 3 specified a TAL of 12,872 mt, but the TAL was later revised through an addendum to the Framework after the formula used to calculate the proportion of dead skate discards was revised. The correct skate TAL for fishing years 2016-2017 is 12,590 mt.

    A typographical error for the Season 1 skate wing TAL was included in Table 1 of the final rule. This correction rule adjusts the Season 1 skate wing TAL from 4,722 mt to the correct value of 4,772 mt, as specified in the Framework 3 proposed rule.

    Corrections

    In FR Doc. 2016-19601 appearing on page 54744 in the Federal Register of Wednesday, August 17, 2016, the following corrections are made:

    1. On page 54744, in the third column, the first paragraph under Specifications for Fishing Years 2016-2017 is corrected to read as follows:

    Specifications including the acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limit (ACL), annual catch target (ACT), and total allowable landings (TALs) for the skate wing and bait fisheries, as well as possession limits, may be specified for up to 2 years. The 2016-2017 skate complex ABC and ACL is 31,081 metric tons (mt). After removing management uncertainty from the ABC, the ACT that remains is 23,311 mt. After removing discards and state landings from the ACT, the TAL that remains is 12,590 mt. Tables 1 and 2 (below) detail TALs and possession limits for the skate wing and skate bait fisheries—there are no possession limit changes from last year. These specifications and possession limits remain in effect until they are replaced.

    2. On pages 54744 and 54745, Table 1 is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1—Total Allowable Landings for Fishing Years 2016-2017 Total allowable landings
  • (TAL)
  • mt
    Skate Wing Fishery: Season 1 (May 1-Aug 31) 4,772 Season 2 (Sept 1-Apr 30) 3,600 Skate Bait Fishery: Season 1 (May 1-Jul 31) 1,299 Season 2 (Aug 1-Oct 31) 1,565 Season 3 (Nov 1-Apr 30) 1,354
    Dated: August 24, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21156 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151130999-6225-01] RIN 0648-XE834 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; approval of quota transfer.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces its approval of the State of North Carolina transferring a portion of its 2016 commercial bluefish quota to the State of New York. This approval of the quota complies with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement also informs the public of the revised commercial quotas for North Carolina and New York.

    DATES:

    Effective September 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9112.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    New York and North Carolina have requested the transfer of 100,000 lb (45,359 kg) of Atlantic bluefish commercial quota from North Carolina to New York and have certified that the transfer meets all pertinent state requirements. This quota transfer was requested by the State of New York to ensure that its 2016 quota would not be exceeded. The Regional Administrator has approved this quota transfer based on his determination that the criteria set forth in § 648.162(e)(1)(i) through (iii) have been met. The revised bluefish quotas for calendar year 2016 are: North Carolina, 1,466,100 lb (665,012 kg); and New York, 687,289 lb (311,749 kg). These quota adjustments revise the quotas specified in the final rule implementing the 2016-2018 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications published on August 4, 2016 (81 FR 51370), and reflect all subsequent commercial bluefish quota transfers completed to date.

    Classification

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

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21206 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160516426-6426-01] RIN 0648-XE632 Revisions to Framework Adjustment 55 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan and Sector Annual Catch Entitlements; Updated Annual Catch Limits for Sectors and the Common Pool for Fishing Year 2016 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; adjustment to specifications.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, are adjusting the 2016 fishing year sub-annual catch limits for commercial groundfish vessels, including sector allocations based on the final Northeast multispecies sector rosters submitted as of May 1, 2016. The revisions to 2016 catch limits are necessary to account for changes in the number of participants electing to fish in either sectors or the common pool fishery. These adjustments are routine and formulaic, and are required to match allocations to sector enrollment.

    DATES:

    Effective September 2, 2016, through April 30, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Aja Szumylo, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9195.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We recently approved Framework Adjustment 55, which set annual catch limits for groundfish stocks and three jointly managed U.S./Canada stocks for the 2016 fishing year. This action became effective on May 1, 2016 (81 FR 26412). Framework 55 included allocations for the 19 sectors approved to operate in 2016 based on enrollment as of March 15, 2016. A sector receives an allocation of each stock, or annual catch entitlement (referred to as ACE, or allocation), based on its members' catch histories. State-operated permit banks also receive an allocation that can be transferred to qualifying sector vessels. The sum of all sector and state-operated permit bank allocations is referred to as the sector sub-annual catch limit (sub-ACL). The groundfish allocations remaining after sectors and state-operated permit banks receive their allocations are then allocated to the common pool (i.e., vessels not enrolled in a sector), which is referred to as the common pool sub-ACL.

    This rule adjusts the 2016 fishing year sector and common pool allocations based on final sector membership as of May 1, 2016. Permits enrolled in a sector and the vessels associated with those permits have until April 30, the last day prior to the beginning of a new fishing year, to withdraw from a sector and fish in the common pool. As a result, the actual sector enrollment for the new fishing year is unknown when the final specifications are published and sector enrollment from an earlier date is used until final enrollment is known. Consistent with regulatory requirements, each year we subsequently publish an adjustment rule modifying sector and common pool allocations based on final sector enrollment. The Framework 55 proposed and final rules both explained that sector enrollments may change and that there would be a need to adjust the sub-ACLs and sector ACEs accordingly.

    Adjustments to sector ACEs and the sub-ACLs for sectors and the common pool are typically minimal as there has been little change in sector enrollment since 2010. Vessels currently enrolled in sectors have accounted for approximately 99 percent of the historical groundfish landings. This year's sector final rule specified sector ACEs based on the 837 permits enrolled in sectors on March 15, 2016. As of May 1, 2016, there were 841 Northeast multispecies permits enrolled in sectors, which means four additional permits elected to join sectors for the 2016 fishing year. Tables 1, 2, and 3 explain the revised 2016 fishing year allocations. Table 4 compares the allocation changes between the Framework 55 final rule and this adjustment rule.

    This rulemaking also corrects transcription errors in the 2016-2018 Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) yellowtail flounder ACLs published in the Framework 55 final rule. Specifically, there were errors in the total groundfish fishery sub-ACL, the sector and common pool sub-ACLs, and the scallop fishery sub-ACL. Table 5 presents both the incorrect values presented in the Framework 55 final rule, as well as the corrected values. Although the values were listed incorrectly in the Framework 55 final rule, the total fishery ACLs for SNE/MA yellowtail flounder (255 mt) were listed correctly for all three years. In addition, the Environmental Assessment and supporting analysis for Framework 55 included the correct values. These adjustments are minor, and will not affect fishery operations.

    BILLING CODE 3510-22-P ER02SE16.008 ER02SE16.009 ER02SE16.010 ER02SE16.011 BILLING CODE 3510-22-C Table 5—Corrected Fishing Year 2016-2016 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Catch Limits (mt) 2016 Framework 55
  • final rule
  • sub-ACL
  • Corrected
  • sub-ACL
  • 2017 Framework 55
  • final rule
  • sub-ACL
  • Corrected
  • sub-ACL
  • 2018 Framework 55
  • final rule
  • sub-ACL
  • Corrected
  • sub-ACL
  • Total groundfish fishery 182 189 187 187 179 186 Sector 145 150 145 149 142 148 Common Pool 37 39 37 39 37 38 Scallop Fishery 39 32 39 34 38 37

    We have completed 2015 fishing year data reconciliation with sectors and determined final 2015 fishing year sector catch and the amount of allocation that sectors may carry over from the 2015 to the 2016 fishing year. With the exception of Georges Bank yellowtail flounder, a sector may carry over up to 10 percent of unused ACE for each stock from the end of 2015 to 2016. Table 6 includes the maximum amount of allocation that sectors may carry over from the 2015 to the 2016 fishing year. Because the amount of unused ACE combined with the overall sector sub-ACL may not exceed the acceptable biological catch (ABC) for each stock, the unused ACE is adjusted down when necessary to ensure the combined carryover of unused ACE and the sector sub-ACL do not exceed each stock's ABC.

    Table 7 includes the de minimis amount of carryover for each sector for the 2016 fishing year. If the overall ACL for any allocated stock is exceeded for the 2016 fishing year, the allowed carryover harvested by a sector, minus the pounds the sector's de minimis amount, will be counted against its allocation to determine whether an overage subject to an accountability measure occurred. Tables 8 and 9 list the final ACE available to sectors for the 2016 fishing year, including finalized carryover amounts for each sector, as adjusted down when necessary to equal each stocks ABC.

    BILLING CODE 3510-22-P ER02SE16.012 ER02SE16.013 ER02SE16.014 ER02SE16.015

    Common pool enrollment also changed after March 15, 2016, and also requires adjustments to applicable catch limits. The common pool sub-ACL for each stock (except for SNE/MA winter flounder, windowpane flounder, ocean pout, Atlantic wolffish, and Atlantic halibut) is divided into trimester total allowable catches (Trimester TACs). In addition, Framework 55 specified incidental catch limits (or incidental total allowable catches, “Incidental TACs”) applicable to the common pool and groundfish Special Management Programs for the 2016 fishing year, including the B day-at-sea (DAS) Program. Because the Trimester and incidental TACs are based on the common-pool allocation, they also must be revised to match current common pool enrollment allocation. Final common pool trimester quotas and incidental catch limits are included in Tables 10-14 below.

    ER02SE16.016 BILLING CODE 3510-22-C Table 11—Fishing Year 2016 Common Pool Incidental Catch TACs Stock Percentage of
  • common pool
  • sub-ACL
  • Incidental
  • catch TAC
  • (mt)
  • GB cod 2 0.229 GOM cod 1 0.09 GB yellowtail flounder 2 0.062 CC/GOM yellowtail flounder 1 0.14 American Plaice 5 1.00 Witch Flounder 5 0.39 SNE/MA winter flounder 1 0.62
    Table 12—Distribution of Common Pool Incidental Catch TACs to Each Special Management Program Stock Regular B
  • DAS program
  • (%)
  • Closed area I
  • hook gear
  • Haddock SAP
  • (%)
  • Eastern
  • U.S./CA
  • Haddock SAP
  • (%)
  • Southern
  • closed area II
  • Haddock SAP
  • (%)
  • GB cod 50 16 34 NA. GOM cod 100 NA NA NA. GB yellowtail flounder 50 NA 50 NA. CC/GOM yellowtail flounder 100 NA NA NA. American Plaice 100 NA NA NA. Witch Flounder 100 NA NA NA. SNE/MA winter flounder 100 NA NA NA.
    Table 13—Fishing Year 2016 Common Pool Incidental Catch TACs for Each Special Management Program (mt) Stock Regular B
  • DAS program
  • Closed area I
  • hook gear
  • Haddock SAP
  • Eastern
  • U.S./Canada
  • Haddock SAP
  • GB cod 0.11 0.04 0.08. GOM cod 0.09 NA NA. GB yellowtail flounder 0.03 NA 0.04. CC/GOM yellowtail flounder 0.14 NA NA. American Plaice 1.00 NA NA. Witch Flounder 0.39 NA NA. SNE/MA winter flounder 0.62 NA NA.
    Table 14—Fishing Year 2016 Common Pool Regular B DAS Program Quarterly Incidental Catch TACs (mt) Stock 1st quarter
  • (13%)
  • 2nd quarter
  • (29%)
  • 3rd quarter
  • (29%)
  • 4th quarter
  • (29%)
  • GB cod 0.01 0.03 0.03 0.03 GOM cod 0.01 0.03 0.03 0.03 GB yellowtail flounder 0.004 0.009 0.009 0.009 CC/GOM yellowtail flounder 0.02 0.04 0.04 0.04 American Plaice 0.13 0.29 0.29 0.29 Witch Flounder 0.05 0.11 0.11 0.11 SNE/MA winter flounder 0.08 0.18 0.18 0.18
    Classification

    The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this final rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.

    This action is exempt from the procedures of E.O. 12866 because this action contains no implementing regulations.

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), we find good cause to waive prior public notice and opportunity for public comment on the catch limit and allocation adjustments because allowing time for notice and comment is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. We also find good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), so that this final rule may become effective upon filing.

    There are several reasons that notice and comment are impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. First, the proposed and final rules for Framework 55 explained the need and likelihood for adjustments of sector and common pool allocations based on final sector rosters. These adjustments are routine and formulaic, required by regulation, and necessary to match allocations to sector enrollment. No comments were received on the potential for these adjustments, which provide an accurate accounting of a sector's or common pool's allocation. Furthermore, we have followed a similar process since Amendment 16 was implemented in 2010; this annual adjustment action is anticipated by industry. Second, these adjustments are based on either objective sector enrollment data or a pre-determined accountability measure and are not subject to NMFS' discretion, so there would be no benefit to allowing time for prior notice and comment. Data regarding final sector enrollment only became available after rosters were finalized in May 2016. In addition, reconciliation of final 2015 fishing year sector catch was completed in August 2016. This information allows us to determine the amount of allocation that sectors may carry over from the 2015 to the 2016 fishing year, and it was not practicable to finalize this information sooner. If this rule is not effective immediately, the sector and common pool vessels will be operating under incorrect information on the catch limits for each stock for sectors and the common pool. This could cause confusion and negative economic impacts to the both sectors and the common pool, depending on the size of the allocation, the degree of change in the allocation, and the catch rate of a particular stock.

    The catch limit and allocation adjustments are not controversial and the need for them was clearly explained in the proposed and final rules for Framework 55. Adjustments for overages are also explained in detail in the Amendment 16 proposed and final rules. As a result, Northeast multispecies permit holders are expecting these adjustments and awaiting their implementation. Fishermen may make both short- and long-term business decisions based on the catch limits in a given sector or the common pool. Any delays in adjusting these limits may cause the affected fishing entities to slow down, or speed up, their fishing activities during the interim period before this rule becomes effective. Both of these reactions could negatively affect the fishery and the businesses and communities that depend on them. Therefore, it is important to implement adjusted catch limits and allocations as soon as possible. For these reasons, we are waiving the public comment period and delay in effectiveness for this rule, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d), respectively.

    Also, because advanced notice and the opportunity for public comment are not required for this action under the Administrative Procedure Act, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., do not apply to this rule. Therefore, no new final regulatory flexibility analysis is required and none has been prepared.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21154 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 150818742-6210-02] RIN 0648-XE837 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Inseason Adjustment to the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pollock Seasonal Apportionments AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is adjusting the 2016 C seasonal apportionments of the total allowable catch (TAC) for pollock in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) by re-apportioning unharvested pollock TAC in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 of the GOA. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2016 pollock TAC, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), August 30, 2016, until 2400 hours A.l.t., December 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (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 annual pollock TACs in Statistical Areas 610, 620, and 630 of the GOA are apportioned among four seasons, in accordance with § 679.23(d)(2). Regulations at § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B) allow the underharvest of a seasonal apportionment to be added to subsequent seasonal apportionments, provided that any revised seasonal apportionment does not exceed 20 percent of the seasonal apportionment for a given statistical area. Therefore, NMFS is increasing the C season apportionment of pollock in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA to reflect the underharvest of pollock in those areas during the B season. In addition, any underharvest remaining beyond 20 percent of the originally specified seasonal apportionment in a particular area may be further apportioned to other statistical areas. Therefore, NMFS also is increasing the C season apportionment of pollock to Statistical Areas 610 and 630 based on the underharvest of pollock in Statistical Areas 620 of the GOA. These adjustments are described below.

    The C seasonal apportionment of the 2016 pollock TAC in Statistical Area 610 of the GOA is 24,421 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), hereby increases the C season apportionment for Statistical Area 610 by 4,873 mt to account for the underharvest of the TAC in Statistical Areas 620 in the B season. This increase is in proportion to the estimated pollock biomass and is not greater than 20 percent of the C seasonal apportionment of the TAC in Statistical Area 610. Therefore, the revised C seasonal apportionment of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 610 is 29,294 mt (24,421 mt plus 4,873 mt).

    The C seasonal apportionment of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 620 of the GOA is 15,404 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Regional Administrator hereby increases the C seasonal apportionment for Statistical Area 620 by 3,081 mt to account for the underharvest of the TAC in Statistical Areas 620 in the B season. This increase is not greater than 20 percent of the C seasonal apportionment of the TAC in Statistical Area 620. Therefore, the revised C seasonal apportionment of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 620 is 18,485 mt (15,404 mt plus 3,081 mt).

    The C seasonal apportionment of pollock TAC in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA is 19,822 mt as established by the final 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (81 FR 14740, March 18, 2016). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Regional Administrator hereby increases the C seasonal apportionment for Statistical Area 630 by 3,243 mt to account for the underharvest of the TAC in Statistical Areas 620 in the B season. This increase is in proportion to the estimated pollock biomass and is not greater than 20 percent of the C seasonal apportionment of the TAC in Statistical Area 630. Therefore, the revised C seasonal apportionment of pollock TAC in Statistical Area 630 is 23,065 mt (19,822 mt plus 3,243 mt).

    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 provide opportunity to harvest increased pollock seasonal apportionments. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of August 29, 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.

    Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21200 Filed 8-30-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 171 Friday, September 2, 2016 Proposed Rules OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL 5 CFR Part 1800 Filing of Complaints of Prohibited Personnel Practices or Other Prohibited Activities and Filing Disclosures of Information AGENCY:

    U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking and related information collection activity.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) proposes to revise its regulations regarding the filing of complaints and disclosures with OSC, and also to update the prohibited personnel practice provisions. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and implementing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, OSC has also requested approval from OMB for a new, dynamic electronic form to be used for filing complaints and disclosures. This new form will replace Forms OSC-11, OSC-12, and OSC-13, which were previously approved by OMB. Access to the new electronic form relevant to this proposed rule has been submitted to the OMB for review.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by November 1, 2016. Note, however, that OMB is required to act on the collection of information discussed in this proposed rule between 30 and 60 days after this notice's publication in the Federal Register. Therefore, comments are best assured of having full effect if received by OMB within 30 days of this notice's publication in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of methods listed below. Comments received may be posted to http://www.regulations.gov.

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

    • Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, by email via: [email protected]; or to

    • Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for OSC, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenneth Hendricks, Associate General Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, by telephone at 202-254-3600, by facsimile at (202) 254-3711, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The proposed rule makes minor changes to the existing language in 5 CFR 1800.1(c)(1) through (5) and (d), and 1800.2(b)(1) and (2) by replacing references to, and information about, the old OSC forms with references to, and information about, forms established by OSC. The language in the proposed rule refers to forms established by OSC, and it covers the new form that OSC submitted to OMB for approval. The proposed rule will enable us to revise our forms in the future, while still providing for public notice and OMB's review of future revisions. The proposed rule also updates the prohibited personnel practice provisions, at 5 CFR 1800.1(a)(13), based on the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(13) regarding nondisclosure forms, policies, or agreements. Comments are invited on the proposed rule and the new form.

    OSC is an independent agency responsible for, among other things, (1) investigation of allegations of prohibited personnel practices defined by law at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b), protection of whistleblowers, and certain other illegal employment practices under titles 5 and 38 of the U.S. Code, affecting current or former Federal employees or applicants for employment, and covered state and local government employees; and (2) the interpretation and enforcement of Hatch Act provisions on political activity in chapters 15 and 73 of title 5 of the U.S. Code.

    Procedural Determinations

    Administrative Procedure Act (APA): This action is taken under the Special Counsel's authority at 5 U.S.C. 1212(e) to publish regulations in the Federal Register.

    Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review): OSC does not anticipate that this proposed rule will have significant economic impact, raise novel issues, and/or have any other significant impacts. Thus this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under 6(a)(3) of the Order.

    Congressional Review Act (CRA): OSC has determined that this proposed rule is not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act, as it is unlikely to result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; is unlikely to result in a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies or geographic regions; and is unlikely to have a significant adverse effect on competition, employment, investment, productivity, or innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete in domestic and export markets.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA): The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply, even though this proposed rule is being offered for notice and comment procedures under the APA. This proposed rule will not directly regulate small entities. OSC therefore need not perform a regulatory flexibility analysis of small entity impacts.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA): This proposed revision does not impose any federal mandates on state, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector within the meaning of the UMRA.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): This proposed rule will have no physical impact upon the environment and therefore will not require any further review under NEPA.

    Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA): As noted above, OSC is submitting this proposed rule and collection to OMB for review pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of OSC functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of OSC's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; 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. The new form can be reviewed at https://dev.osc.gov/pages/osctest.aspx.

    Title of Collection: Form 14: Electronic Submission of Allegations and Disclosures Access to the new electronic form is available at: https://dev.osc.gov/pages/osctest.aspx.

    Type of Information Collection Request: Approval of new collection of information to replace previously-approved collection of information.

    Affected Public: Current and former Federal employees, applicants for Federal employment, state and local government employees, and their representatives, and the general public.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Estimated Annual Number of Form OSC-14 Respondents: 6000 (estimated prohibited personnel practice filers = 4000; estimated disclosure filers = 1835; and estimated Hatch Act filers = 165). These estimates are based on a review of recent Annual Reports and an analysis of developing trends for this year.

    Frequency of Use of Form OSC-14: Daily.

    Estimated Average Amount of Time for a Person To Respond Using Form OSC-14: For prohibited personnel practice allegations, one hour and 15 minutes; for whistleblower disclosures, one hour; and for Hatch Act allegations, 30 minutes to complete the form in each of the years covered by this request. These estimates are based on testing completed by OSC employees during the development of the collection form.

    Estimated Annual Burden for Filing Form OSC-14: 6917.5 hours.

    Abstract: The electronic form will be used by current and former Federal employees and applicants for Federal employment to submit allegations of possible prohibited personnel practices or other prohibited activity for investigation and possible prosecution by OSC, or review and possible referral to relevant Inspector General offices.

    Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): This proposed revision does not have new federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

    Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform): This proposed rule meets applicable standards of 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 1800

    Filing of complaints and allegations.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, OSC proposes to revise 5 CFR part 1800 as follows:

    PART 1800—FILING OF COMPLAINTS AND ALLEGATIONS 1. The authority citation for 5 CFR part 1800 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 1212(e).

    2. Section 1800.1 is revised to read as follows:
    § 1800.1 Filing complaints of prohibited personnel practices or other prohibited activities.

    (a) Prohibited personnel practices. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has investigative jurisdiction over the following prohibited personnel practices committed against current or former Federal employees and applicants for Federal employment:

    (1) Discrimination, including discrimination based on marital status or political affiliation (see § 1810.1 of this chapter for information about OSC's deferral policy);

    (2) Soliciting or considering improper recommendations or statements about individuals requesting, or under consideration for, personnel actions;

    (3) Coercing political activity, or engaging in reprisal for refusal to engage in political activity;

    (4) Deceiving or obstructing anyone with respect to competition for employment;

    (5) Influencing anyone to withdraw from competition to improve or injure the employment prospects of another;

    (6) Granting an unauthorized preference or advantage to improve or injure the employment prospects of another;

    (7) Nepotism;

    (8) Reprisal for whistleblowing (whistleblowing is generally defined as the disclosure of information about a Federal agency by an employee or applicant who reasonably believes that the information shows a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety);

    (9) Reprisal for:

    (i) Exercising certain appeal rights;

    (ii) Providing testimony or other assistance to persons exercising appeal rights;

    (iii) Cooperating with the Special Counsel or an Inspector General; or

    (iv) Refusing to obey an order that would require the violation of law;

    (10) Discrimination based on personal conduct not adverse to job performance;

    (11) Violation of a veterans' preference requirement;

    (12) Taking or failing to take a personnel action in violation of any law, rule, or regulation implementing or directly concerning merit system principles at 5 U.S.C. 2301(b); and

    (13) Implementing or enforcing nondisclosure policies, forms, or agreements that do not contain the statement required by 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(13).

    (b) Other prohibited activities. OSC also has investigative jurisdiction over allegations of the following prohibited activities:

    (1) Violation of the Federal Hatch Act at title 5 of the U.S. Code, chapter 73, subchapter III;

    (2) Violation of the state and local Hatch Act at title 5 of the U.S. Code, chapter 15;

    (3) Arbitrary and capricious withholding of information prohibited under the Freedom of Information Act at 5 U.S.C. 552 (except for certain foreign and counterintelligence information);

    (4) Activities prohibited by any civil service law, rule, or regulation, including any activity relating to political intrusion in personnel decision making;

    (5) Involvement by any employee in any prohibited discrimination found by any court or appropriate administrative authority to have occurred in the course of any personnel action (unless the Special Counsel determines that the allegation may be resolved more appropriately under an administrative appeals procedure); and

    (6) Violation of uniformed services employment and reemployment rights under 38 U.S.C. 4301, et seq.

    (c) Procedures for filing complaints alleging prohibited personnel practices or other prohibited activities (other than the Hatch Act). (1) Current or former Federal employees, and applicants for Federal employment, may file a complaint with OSC alleging one or more prohibited personnel practices, or other prohibited activities within OSC's investigative jurisdiction. The Form established by OSC must be used to file all such complaints (except those limited to an allegation or allegations of a Hatch Act violation—see paragraph (d) of this section for information on filing Hatch Act complaints).

    (2) Forms filed in connection with allegations of reprisal for whistleblowing must identify:

    (i) Each disclosure involved;

    (ii) The date of each disclosure;

    (iii) The person to whom each disclosure was made; and

    (iv) The type and date of any personnel action that occurred because of each disclosure.

    (3) Except for complaints limited to alleged violation(s) of the Hatch Act, OSC will not process a complaint filed in any format other than a completed OSC Form. If a filer does not use the OSC Form to submit a complaint, OSC will provide the filer with information about the Form. The complaint will be considered to be filed on the date on which OSC receives a completed Form.

    (4) The OSC Form is available:

    (i) Online, at: http://www.osc.gov (to complete online);

    (ii) By calling OSC, at: (800) 872-9855 (toll-free), or (202) 653-7188 (in the Washington, DC area); or

    (iii) By writing to OSC, at: U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Complaints Examining Unit, 1730 M Street NW., Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505.

    (5) A complainant can file a completed Form with OSC by any of the following methods:

    (i) Electronically, at: http://www.osc.gov (for completion and filing electronically);

    (ii) By fax, to: (202) 653-5151; or

    (iii) By mail, to: U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Complaints Examining Unit, 1730 M Street NW., Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505.

    (d) Procedures for filing complaints alleging violation of the Hatch Act. (1) Complaints alleging a violation of the Hatch Act may be submitted in any written form, but use of the Form established by OSC is encouraged. Complaints should include:

    (i) The complainant's name, mailing address, telephone number, and a time when OSC can contact that person about his or her complaint (unless the matter is submitted anonymously);

    (ii) The department or agency, location, and organizational unit complained of; and

    (iii) A concise description of the actions complained about, names and positions of employees who took the actions, if known to the complainant, and dates of the actions, preferably in chronological order, together with any documentary evidence that the complainant can provide.

    (2) The OSC Form for filing a complaint is available as described in paragraphs (c)(4)(i) through (iii) of this section.

    (3) A written Hatch Act complaint can be filed with OSC by any of the methods listed in paragraphs (c)(5)(i) through (iii) of this section.

    3. Section 1800.2 is revised to read as follows:
    § 1800.2 Filing disclosures of information.

    (a) General. OSC is authorized by law (at 5 U.S.C. 1213) to provide an independent and secure channel for use by current or former Federal employees and applicants for Federal employment in disclosing information that they reasonably believe shows wrongdoing by a Federal agency. OSC must determine whether there is a substantial likelihood that the information discloses a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. If it does, the law requires OSC to refer the information to the agency head involved for investigation and a written report on the findings to the Special Counsel. The law does not authorize OSC to investigate the subject of a disclosure.

    (b) Procedures for filing disclosures. Current or former Federal employees, and applicants for Federal employment, may file a disclosure of the type of information described in paragraph (a) of this section with OSC. Such disclosures must be filed in writing (including electronically—see paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section).

    (1) Filers are encouraged to use the Form established by OSC to file a disclosure of the type of information described in paragraph (a) of this section with OSC. The Form provides more information about OSC jurisdiction, and procedures for processing whistleblower disclosures. The Form is available:

    (i) Online, at: http://www.osc.gov (to complete online);

    (ii) By calling OSC, at: (800) 572-2249 (toll-free), or (202) 653-9125 (in the Washington, DC area); or

    (iii) By writing to OSC, at: U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Disclosure Unit, 1730 M Street NW., Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505.

    (2) Filers may use another written format to submit a disclosure to OSC, but the submission should include:

    (i) The name, mailing address, and telephone number(s) of the person(s) making the disclosure(s), and a time when OSC can contact that person about his or her disclosure;

    (ii) The department or agency, location and organizational unit complained of; and

    (iii) A statement as to whether the filer consents to disclosure of his or her identity by OSC to the agency involved, in connection with any OSC referral to that agency.

    (3) A disclosure can be filed in writing with OSC by any of the following methods:

    (i) Electronically, at: http://www.osc.gov (for completion and filing electronically);

    (ii) By fax, to: (202) 653-5151; or

    (iii) By mail, to: U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Disclosure Unit, 1730 M Street NW., Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505.

    Dated: August 22, 2016. Mark Cohen, Principal Deputy Special Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20527 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7405-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 275 [Release No. IA-4512; File No. S7-17-16] Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers: Ban on Third-Party Solicitation; Notice of Order With Respect to MSRB Rule G-37 AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to issue order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) intends to issue an order pursuant to section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”) and rule 206(4)-5 thereunder (the “SEC Pay to Play Rule”) finding that the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) rule G-37 (the “MSRB Pay to Play Rule”) imposes substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on municipal advisors than the SEC Pay to Play Rule imposes on investment advisers and is consistent with the objectives of the SEC Pay to Play Rule.

    DATES:

    Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on September 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sirimal R. Mukerjee, Senior Counsel, Melissa Roverts Harke, Senior Special Counsel, or Sara Cortes, Assistant Director, at (202) 551-6787 or [email protected], Investment Adviser Regulation Office, Division of Investment Management, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-8549.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Hearing or Notification of Hearing

    An order will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on September 19, 2016. Pursuant to rule 0-5 under the Advisers Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    The Commission intends to issue an order under the Advisers Act.1

    1 15 U.S.C. 80b. Unless otherwise noted, all references to statutory sections are to the Advisers Act, and all references to rules under the Advisers Act, including rule 206(4)-5, are to Title 17, Part 275 of the Code of Federal Regulations [17 CFR part 275].

    I. Background

    The Commission adopted the SEC Pay to Play Rule [17 CFR 275.206(4)-5] under the Advisers Act [15 U.S.C. 80b] to prohibit an investment adviser from providing advisory services for compensation to a government client for two years after the adviser or certain of its executives or employees (“covered associates”) make a contribution to certain elected officials or candidates.2 Rule 206(4)-5 also prohibits an adviser and its covered associates from providing or agreeing to provide, directly or indirectly, payment to any third-party for a solicitation of advisory business from any government entity on behalf of such adviser, unless such third-party is a “regulated person” (“third-party solicitor ban”).3 Rule 206(4)-5 defines a “regulated person” as an SEC-registered investment adviser,4 a registered broker or dealer subject to pay to play restrictions adopted by a registered national securities association that prohibit members from engaging in distribution or solicitation activities if certain political contributions have been made,5 or a registered municipal advisor subject to pay to play restrictions adopted by the MSRB that prohibit members from engaging in distribution or solicitation activities if certain political contributions have been made.6 In addition, in order for a broker-dealer or municipal advisor to be a regulated person under rule 206(4)-5, the Commission must find, by order, that these pay to play rules: (i) Impose substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on broker-dealers or municipal advisors than the SEC Pay to Play Rule imposes on investment advisers; and (ii) are consistent with the objectives of the SEC Pay to Play Rule.7

    2Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers, Investment Advisers Act Rel. No. 3043 (July 1, 2010) [75 FR 41018 (July 14, 2010)] (“SEC Pay to Play Rule Release”).

    3See id. at section II.B.2.(b). See also 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(a)(2)(i)(A).

    4See 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(f)(9)(i).

    5See 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(f)(9)(ii).

    6See 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(f)(9)(iii). On June 22, 2011, the Commission amended the SEC Pay to Play Rule to add municipal advisors to the definition of “regulated persons.” See Rules Implementing Amendments to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Investment Advisers Act Rel. No. 3221 (June 22, 2011) [76 FR 42950 (July 19, 2011)] (“Municipal Advisor Addition Release”). The Commission adopted final rules with respect to the registration of municipal advisors on September 20, 2013. See Registration of Municipal Advisors, Exchange Act Rel. No. 70462 (Sept. 20, 2013) [78 FR 67468 (Nov. 12, 2013)] (“Municipal Advisor Registration Release”).

    7See 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(f)(9).

    Rule 206(4)-5 became effective on September 13, 2010 and the compliance date for the third-party solicitor ban was set to September 13, 2011.8 When the Commission added municipal advisors to the definition of regulated person, the Commission also extended the third-party solicitor ban's compliance date to June 13, 2012.9 In the absence of a final municipal advisor registration rule, the Commission extended the third-party solicitor ban's compliance date from June 13, 2012 to nine months after the compliance date of the final rule,10 which was July 31, 2015.11 On June 25, 2015, the Commission issued notice of the July 31, 2015 compliance date.12

    8See SEC Pay to Play Rule Release, supra footnote 2, at section III.

    9See Municipal Advisor Addition Release, supra footnote 6, at section II.D.1.

    10See Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers: Ban on Third-Party Solicitation; Extension of Compliance Date, Investment Advisers Act Rel. No. 3418 (June 8, 2012) [77 FR 35263 (June 13, 2012)].

    11 The final date on which a municipal advisor must file a complete application for registration was October 31, 2014. See Municipal Advisor Registration Release, supra footnote 6, at section V.

    12See Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers: Ban on Third-Party Solicitation; Notice of Compliance Date, Investment Advisers Act Rel. No. 4129 (June 25, 2015) [80 FR 37538 (July 2, 2015)]. On June 25, 2015, the Division of Investment Management published an FAQ that provides that the Division would not recommend enforcement action to the Commission against any investment adviser or its covered associates for the payment to any third person to solicit a government entity for investment advisory services until the later of (i) the effective date of a pay to play rule adopted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or (ii) the effective date of a pay to play rule adopted by the MSRB. See http://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/pay-to-play-faq.htm#1.4.

    On December 16, 2015, the MSRB filed with the Commission proposed amendments to the MSRB Pay to Play Rule to extend its application to municipal advisors, which the Commission published for notice and comment on December 23, 2015 pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and rule 19b-4 thereunder.13 On February 17, 2016, the MSRB published a regulatory notice announcing that the proposed amendments to the MSRB Pay to Play Rule were deemed approved by the Commission under section 19(b)(2)(D) of the Exchange Act on February 13, 2016 and the effective date of the rule is August 17, 2016.14 Prior to its amendment, the MSRB Pay to Play Rule only applied to brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers.

    13See Self-Regulatory Organizations; Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Consisting of Proposed Amendments to Rule G-37, on Political Contributions and Prohibitions on Municipal Securities Business, Rule G-8, on Books and Records, Rule G-9, on Preservation of Records, and Forms G-37 and G-37x, Exchange Act Rel. No. 76763 (Dec. 24, 2015) [80 FR 81710 (Dec. 30, 2015)] (the “MSRB Pay to Play Release”).

    14 On August 4, 2016, the MSRB published a regulatory notice announcing that it filed with the Commission an amendment to the MSRB Pay to Play Rule, effective on August 17, 2016, to clarify that contributions by persons who become associated with a dealer and become municipal finance professionals of the dealer, if made prior to August 17, 2016, are subject to the two-year look-back and may subject a dealer to a prohibition on municipal securities business. This amendment does not change the rule's application to municipal advisors. See MSRB Files Amendment to Rule G-37 to Clarify its Application to Contributions before August 17, 2016, Regulatory Notice 2016-18, dated August 4, 2016, available at http://msrb.org/~/media/Files/Regulatory-Notices/Announcements/2016-18.ashx?n=1. A dealer may become subject to a ban on municipal securities business for a period of two years from the making of a contribution, even if the contribution is made by a person who, although not a municipal finance professional of the dealer at the time of the contribution, becomes a municipal financial professional of the dealer within two years of making the contribution (frequently referred to as the “two-year look-back”). See Proposed Rule Change to Clarify an Existing Requirement in Rule G-37 Regarding the Two-Year Look-Back, SR-MSRB-2016-10 (Aug. 4, 2016), available at http://msrb.org/~/media/Files/SEC-Filings/2016/MSRB-2016-10.ashx.

    II. Discussion of Order

    Pursuant to section 206 of the Advisers Act and rule 206(4)-5(f)(9)(iii)(B) thereunder, the Commission is providing notice 15 that the Commission intends to issue an order finding that the MSRB Pay to Play Rule (i) imposes substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on municipal advisors than the SEC Pay to Play Rule imposes on investment advisers and (ii) is consistent with the objectives of the SEC Pay to Play Rule. The MSRB Pay to Play Rule imposes substantially similar requirements for municipal advisors as the SEC Pay to Play Rule imposes on investment advisers. For example, the MSRB Pay to Play Rule will:

    15See section 211(c) of the Advisers Act (requiring the Commission to provide appropriate notice and opportunity for hearing for orders issued under the Advisers Act).

    • Prohibit a municipal advisor from engaging in municipal advisory business with a municipal entity for two years, subject to exceptions, following the making of a contribution to certain officials of the municipal entity by the municipal advisor, a municipal advisor professional of the municipal advisor, or a political action committee controlled by the municipal advisor or a municipal advisor professional of the municipal advisor; 16

    16 MSRB Pay to Play Release, supra footnote 13, at 81712.

    • Prohibit municipal advisors and municipal advisor professionals from soliciting contributions, or coordinating contributions, to certain officials of a municipal entity with which the municipal advisor is engaging, or seeking to engage, in municipal advisory business; 17

    17Id.

    • Prohibit municipal advisors and certain municipal advisor professionals from soliciting payments, or coordinating payments, to political parties of states and localities with which the municipal advisor is engaging in, or seeking to engage in, municipal advisory business; 18

    18Id.

    • Prohibit municipal advisors and municipal advisor professionals from committing indirect violations of the MSRB Pay to Play Rule; 19

    19Id.

    • Extend applicable interpretive guidance under the existing MSRB pay to play rule to municipal advisors; 20 and

    20Id.

    • Include a new defined term (“municipal advisor third-party solicitor”) for municipal advisors that undertake a solicitation of a municipal entity on behalf of a third-party dealer, municipal advisor or investment adviser. Certain aspects of the rule will apply to this distinct type of municipal advisor.

    The Commission believes that the rule imposes substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on municipal advisors than rule 206(4)-5 imposes on investment advisers and would be consistent with the objectives of rule 206(4)-5.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: August 25, 2016. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20890 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 275 [Release No. IA-4511; File No. S7-16-16] Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers: Ban on Third-Party Solicitation; Notice of Order With Respect to FINRA Rule 2030 AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to issue order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) intends to issue an order pursuant to section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”) and rule 206(4)-5 thereunder (the “SEC Pay to Play Rule”) finding that Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) rule 2030 (the “FINRA Pay to Play Rule”), which was approved by the Commission on August 25, 2016, imposes substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on brokers-dealers than the SEC Pay to Play Rule imposes on investment advisers and is consistent with the objectives of the SEC Pay to Play Rule.

    DATES:

    Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on September 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sirimal R. Mukerjee, Senior Counsel, Melissa Roverts Harke, Senior Special Counsel, or Sara Cortes, Assistant Director, at (202) 551-6787 or [email protected], Investment Adviser Regulation Office, Division of Investment Management, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-8549.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Hearing or Notification of Hearing

    An order will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on September 19, 2016. Pursuant to rule 0-5 under the Advisers Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    The Commission intends to issue an order under the Advisers Act.1

    1 15 U.S.C. 80b. Unless otherwise noted, all references to statutory sections are to the Advisers Act, and all references to rules under the Advisers Act, including rule 206(4)-5, are to Title 17, Part 275 of the Code of Federal Regulations [17 CFR part 275].

    I. Background

    The Commission adopted the SEC Pay to Play Rule [17 CFR 275.206(4)-5] under the Advisers Act [15 U.S.C. 80b] to prohibit an investment adviser from providing advisory services for compensation to a government client for two years after the adviser or certain of its executives or employees (“covered associates”) make a contribution to certain elected officials or candidates.2 Rule 206(4)-5 also prohibits an adviser and its covered associates from providing or agreeing to provide, directly or indirectly, payment to any third-party for a solicitation of advisory business from any government entity on behalf of such adviser, unless such third-party is a “regulated person” (“third-party solicitor ban”).3 Rule 206(4)-5 defines a “regulated person” as an SEC-registered investment adviser,4 a registered broker or dealer subject to pay to play restrictions adopted by a registered national securities association that prohibit members from engaging in distribution or solicitation activities if certain political contributions have been made,5 or a registered municipal advisor subject to pay to play restrictions adopted by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (the “MSRB”) that prohibit members from engaging in distribution or solicitation activities if certain political contributions have been made.6 In addition, in order for a broker-dealer or municipal advisor to be a regulated person under rule 206(4)-5, the Commission must find, by order, that these pay to play rules: (i) Impose substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on broker-dealers or municipal advisors than the SEC Pay to Play Rule imposes on investment advisers; and (ii) are consistent with the objectives of the SEC Pay to Play Rule.7

    2Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers, Investment Advisers Act Rel. No. 3043 (July 1, 2010) [75 FR 41018 (July 14, 2010)] (“SEC Pay to Play Rule Release”).

    3See id. at section II.B.2.(b). See also 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(a)(2)(i)(A).

    4See 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(f)(9)(i).

    5See 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(f)(9)(ii). While rule 206(4)-5 applies to any registered national securities association, FINRA is currently the only registered national securities association under section 19(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 [15 U.S.C. 78s(b)] (the “Exchange Act”). As such, for convenience, we will refer directly to FINRA in this Notice when describing the exception for certain broker-dealers from the third-party solicitor ban.

    6See 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(f)(9)(iii).

    7See 17 CFR 275.206(4)-5(f)(9).

    Rule 206(4)-5 became effective on September 13, 2010 and the compliance date for the third-party solicitor ban was set to September 13, 2011.8 When the Commission added municipal advisors to the definition of regulated person, the Commission also extended the third-party solicitor ban's compliance date to June 13, 2012.9 In the absence of a final municipal advisor registration rule, the Commission extended the third-party solicitor ban's compliance date from June 13, 2012 to nine months after the compliance date of the final rule,10 which was July 31, 2015.11 On June 25, 2015, the Commission issued notice of the July 31, 2015 compliance date.12

    8See SEC Pay to Play Rule Release, supra footnote 2, at section III.

    9See Rules Implementing Amendments to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Investment Advisers Act Rel. No. 3221 (June 22, 2011) [76 FR 42950 (July 19, 2011)], at section II.D.1.

    10See Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers: Ban on Third-Party Solicitation; Extension of Compliance Date, Investment Advisers Act Rel. No. 3418 (June 8, 2012) [77 FR 35263 (June 13, 2012)].

    11 The final date on which a municipal advisor must file a complete application for registration was October 31, 2014. See Registration of Municipal Advisors, Exchange Act Rel. No. 70462 (Sept. 20, 2013) [78 FR 67468 (Nov. 12, 2013)], at section V.

    12See Political Contributions by Certain Investment Advisers: Ban on Third-Party Solicitation; Notice of Compliance Date, Investment Advisers Act Rel. No. 4129 (June 25, 2015) [80 FR 37538 (July 2, 2015)]. On June 25, 2015, the Division of Investment Management published an FAQ that provides that the Division would not recommend enforcement action to the Commission against any investment adviser or its covered associates for the payment to any third person to solicit a government entity for investment advisory services until the later of (i) the effective date of the FINRA Pay to Play Rule or (ii) the effective date of a pay to play rule adopted by the MSRB. See http://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/pay-to-play-faq.htm#1.4.

    On December 16, 2015, FINRA filed with the Commission the proposed rule change relating to the FINRA Pay to Play Rule, which the Commission published for notice and comment in the Federal Register on December 30, 2015 pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Exchange Act and rule 19b-4 thereunder.13 The Commission received ten comment letters, from nine different commenters, in response to the FINRA Pay to Play Rule Notice. On February 8, 2016, FINRA extended the time period by which the Commission must approve or disapprove the FINRA Pay to Play Rule or institute proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove the rule change to March 29, 2016. On March 28, 2016, FINRA filed a letter with the Commission stating that it had considered the comments received by the Commission in response to the FINRA Pay to Play Rule Notice and that FINRA is not intending to make changes to the proposed rule text in response to comments received. On March 29, 2016, pursuant to delegated authority, the Commission published an order instituting proceedings under section 19(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act to determine whether to approve or disapprove the FINRA Pay to Play Rule, and solicited additional comment. The Commission received an additional four comments in response to the order instituting proceedings. On July 6, 2016, FINRA submitted a letter responding to all comments and to the order instituting proceedings. After considering the proposed rule change, the comments received and FINRA's responses to the comments, the Commission issued an order on August 25, 2016, approving the proposed rule change pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act.14

    13See Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt FINRA Rule 2030 and FINRA Rule 4580 To Establish “Pay-To-Play” and Related Rules, Exchange Act Rel. No. 76767 (Dec. 24, 2015) [80 FR 81650 (Dec. 30, 2015)] (the “FINRA Pay to Play Rule Notice”).

    14See Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change to Adopt FINRA Rule 2030 and FINRA Rule 4580 to Establish “Pay-To-Play” and Related Rules, Exchange Act Rel. No. 78683 (Aug. 25, 2016).

    II. Discussion of Order

    Pursuant to section 206 of the Advisers Act and rule 206(4)-5(f)(9)(ii)(B) thereunder, the Commission is providing notice 15 that the Commission intends to issue an order finding that the FINRA Pay to Play Rule (i) imposes substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on brokers-dealers than the SEC Pay to Play Rule imposes on investment advisers and (ii) is consistent with the objectives of the SEC Pay to Play Rule. The FINRA Pay to Play Rule imposes substantially similar requirements for its member firms as the SEC Pay to Play Rule imposes on investment advisers. For example, the FINRA Pay to Play Rule:

    15See section 211(c) of the Advisers Act (requiring the Commission to provide appropriate notice and opportunity for hearing for orders issued under the Advisers Act).

    • Prohibits a covered member from engaging in distribution or solicitation activities for compensation with a government entity on behalf of an investment adviser that provides or is seeking to provide investment advisory services to such government entity within two years after a contribution to an official of the government entity is made by the covered member or a covered associate (including a person who becomes a covered associate within two years or, under certain circumstances, six months after the contribution is made); 16

    16See FINRA Pay to Play Rule Notice, supra footnote 13, at 81651.

    • Prohibits a covered member or covered associate from coordinating or soliciting any person or political action committee to make any (i) contribution to an official of a government entity in respect of which the covered member is engaging in, or seeking to engage in, distribution or solicitation activities on behalf of an investment adviser or (ii) payment to a political party of a state or locality of a government entity with which the covered member is engaging in, or seeking to engage in, distribution or solicitation activities on behalf of an investment adviser; 17

    17See id. at 81653.

    • Provides that it shall be a violation of the rules for any covered member or any of its covered associates to do anything indirectly that, if done directly, would result in a violation of the rule; 18

    18See id. at 81654.

    • Provides that a covered member that engages in distribution or solicitation activities with a government entity on behalf of a covered investment pool in which a government entity invests or is solicited to invest shall be treated as though the covered member was engaging in or seeking to engage in distribution or solicitation activities with the government entity on behalf of the investment adviser to the covered investment pool directly; and 19

    19See id.

    • Provides exceptions under, and an exemption provision in respect of, the rule similar to those in rule 206(4)-5.20

    20See id. In addition, FINRA adopted rule 4580 that requires covered members to maintain books and records related to the FINRA Pay to Play Rule.

    The Commission believes that the rule imposes substantially equivalent or more stringent restrictions on broker-dealers than rule 206(4)-5 imposes on investment advisers and would be consistent with the objectives of rule 206(4)-5.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: August 25, 2016. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20889 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 50 [Docket ID: DOD-2015-OS-0075] RIN 0790-AJ39 Personal Commercial Solicitation on DoD Installations AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for personal commercial solicitation on DoD installations, and identifies prohibited practices that may cause withdrawal of personal commercial solicitation privileges on DoD installations and establishes notification requirements when privileges are withdrawn.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jane Westbay, 703-588-0953.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    DoD is establishing regulations governing access to DoD installations for purposes of commercial solicitation. This rule is needed to establish the procedures applicable to requests for personal commercial solicitors on DoD installations and identifies prohibited practices that may cause withdrawal of permission for such access.

    Section 577 of Public Law 109-163, “The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006,” requires DoD to prescribe regulations on policies and procedures for personal commercial solicitation on DoD installations. In addition, Public Law 109-290, “Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act,” specifies requirements for engaging military personnel in the sale of insurance, financial, and investment products.

    This rule informs commercial companies, agencies, and agents about the procedures for personal commercial solicitation activities on DoD installations. These procedures include the limitations on commercial solicitation by educational institutions, associations, and companies offering life insurance products and securities on DoD installations. The supervision of installation personal commercial solicitation activities; prohibited practices; advertising and commercial sponsorship; financial education programs; overseas life insurance registration procedures; and denial, suspension, and withdrawal of installation solicitation privileges are also discussed in this rule.

    In recent years, some financial educational institutions have attempted to gain access to installations for marketing purposes, even though they are not approved to operate as an educational institution (or school) on the installation. By including them as a regulated commercial solicitor, DoD aims to prevent circumvention of the system, which will ultimately help protect Service members from unscrupulous advertising and business practices that may harm them.

    This rule has minimal administrative costs to DoD for overseas life insurance registration as well as quarterly solicitation privileges reporting. There is no cost to the public and no cost to solicitors. The rule prevents circumvention of the system that is in place by prohibiting new commercial solicitors from advertising on an installation through a separate agreement with an organization that is already authorized to operate on the installation (e.g., a college or university enters into a partnership with a non-Federal entity that operates on an installation and tries to distribute marketing material on that installation through the non-Federal entity). The benefit of this rule is that it offers protection from unscrupulous solicitation practices to Service members on DoD installations, worldwide.

    Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

    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, distribute 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. It has been determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action. The rule does not: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.

    “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act” (2 U.S.C. Ch. 25)

    Section 1532 of title 2, U.S. Code, of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This rule will not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.

    “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

    The Department of Defense certifies that this proposed rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

    “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    It has been certified that 32 CFR part 50 does not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. This proposed rule will not have a substantial effect on State and local governments.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 50

    Consumer protection, Federal buildings and facilities, Government employees, Life insurance, Military personnel.

    Accordingly, 32 CFR part 50 is proposed to be revised to read as follows:

    PART 50—PERSONAL COMMERCIAL SOLICITATION ON DOD INSTALLATIONS Sec. 50.1 Purpose. 50.2 Applicability. 50.3 Definitions. 50.4 Policy. 50.5 Responsibilities. 50.6 Procedures. Appendix A to Part 50—Life Insurance Products and Securities Appendix B to Part 50—Overseas Life Insurance Registration Program Authority:

    Section 577 of Public Law 109-163, Public Law 109-290.

    § 50.1 Purpose.

    This part:

    (a) Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for personal commercial solicitation on DoD installations in accordance with the authority in Section 577 of Public Law 109-163, “The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006.”

    (b) Identifies prohibited practices that may cause withdrawal of personal commercial solicitation privileges on DoD installations and establishes notification requirements when privileges are withdrawn.

    § 50.2 Applicability.

    (a) Applies to Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this part as the “DoD Components.”)

    (b) Applies to all personal commercial solicitation on DoD installations, whether conducted individually or in conjunction with meetings on DoD installations involving private, nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations or educational institutions providing educational programs and services through the DoD Voluntary Education Program. Attendance at these meetings is voluntary and the time and place of such meetings are subject to the discretion of the installation commander or his or her designee.

    (c) Does not apply to services furnished by residential service companies, such as deliveries of milk, laundry, newspapers, and related services, to personal residences on the installation requested by the resident and authorized by the installation commander.

    § 50.3 Definitions.

    These terms and their definitions are for the purpose of this part.

    Agency. A business entity which represents one or more insurers or companies and is engaged in the business of selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance, securities, or other products.

    Agent. An individual who receives remuneration as a salesperson, registered representative, or whose remuneration is dependent on volume of sales of a product or products.

    Agreement. A formal contract or arrangement, either written or verbal, that is sometimes enforceable by law.

    Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Boards. Advisory boards established by installation commanders to make recommendations on matters which may negatively affect the health, safety, morals, welfare, morale, or discipline of Armed Forces personnel. Such boards ensure the establishment and maintenance of the highest degree of liaison and coordination between military commands and appropriate civil authorities.

    Combatant Command. A military command which has a broad, continuing mission and which is composed of forces from two or more Military Departments (unified combatant command) or a single Military Department (specified combatant command).

    Commercial sponsorship. The act of providing assistance, funding, goods, equipment (including fixed assets), or services to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) programs or events by an individual, agency, association, company, corporation, or other entity for a specified period of time in return for public recognition or advertising promotions. Commercial sponsorship is either unsolicited or solicited.

    Company. An insurer or business entity selling insurance, securities, or other products.

    Denial. Refusal to grant requested action.

    Disinterested third-party. An impartial person who does not have a vested interest in the outcome of the situation for which he or she is being consulted.

    DoD installation. A base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a Military Department, including any leased facility, or, in the case of an activity in a foreign country, under the operational control of the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of a Military Department, without regard to the duration of operational control. Such term does not include any facility used primarily for civil works or flood control projects.

    DoD personnel. All active duty officers (commissioned and warrant) and enlisted members of the Military Departments, including members of the Reserve Components, and all civilian employees of the DoD, including nonappropriated fund employees and special government employees.

    Education advisor. A professionally qualified subject matter expert or program manager in the Office of Personnel Management Education Services Series 1740 occupational group or possessing equivalent qualifications, and assigned to the installation education center. Synonymous with: Education Services Specialist, Education Services Officer, Voluntary Education Director, Navy College Office Director, and Education and Training Section Chief.

    Educational institution. A college, university, or other institution of higher education.

    Financial services. Those services commonly associated with financial institutions in the United States, such as electronic banking (e.g., automatic teller machines); in-store banking; checking, share and savings accounts; fund transfers; sale of official checks, money orders and travelers checks; loan services; safe deposit boxes; trust services; sale and redemption of U.S. Savings Bonds; and acceptance of utility payments and any other consumer-related banking services.

    Installation solicitation authorization documentation. A document issued by the installation commander that provides proof of authorization to engage in personal commercial solicitation on the installation.

    Insurance product. A policy, annuity, or certificate of insurance issued by an insurer or evidence of insurance coverage issued by a self-insured association, including those with savings and investment features.

    Insurer. Any business entity licensed by the appropriate governmental agency to act as an indemnitor, surety, or contractor which issues insurance, annuity or endowment contracts, or other contracts of insurance by whatever name called.

    Investment. Something in which money is spent with the goal of making a profit.

    Life insurance product. Any product, including individual and group life insurance, funding agreements, and annuities, that provides insurance for which the probabilities of the duration of human life or the rate of mortality is an element or condition of insurance.

    Market. Promote or advertise.

    MWR. The collection of DoD recreation, leisure, and entertainment programs and services provided on military installations to enhance mission readiness, provide community support, and engage authorized DoD personnel in activities that positively influence behavior and contribute to readiness and resilience.

    Non-federal entity. A self-sustaining person or organization, established, operated, and controlled by an individual or individuals acting outside the scope of any official capacity as officers, employees, or agents of the Federal Government. Non-federal entities may include elements of State, interstate, Indian tribal, and local government, as well as private organizations.

    Non-government, non-commercial organization. An organization that is neither an official agency of local, State, or federal government nor engaged in commerce or work intended for commerce.

    Normal home enterprise. Sales or services that are customarily conducted in a domestic setting and do not compete with an installation's officially sanctioned commerce.

    On-base financial institution. Banks or credit unions selected by the installation commander through open competitive solicitation to provide exclusive on-base delivery of financial services to the installation under a written operating agreement.

    Overseas. Areas other than the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

    PAS official. An official within DoD that is designated by statute to be appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

    Personal commercial solicitation. Personal contact, to include meetings, meals, or telecommunications, for the purpose of seeking private business or trade.

    Plain language. Communication an audience can understand the first time they read or hear it.

    Promotional item. Item for distribution that is printed with an advertiser's name, logo, message, or offer.

    Quasi-military association. An association that may be partly associated with the military but is not a military organization.

    Securities. Mutual funds, stocks, bonds, or any product registered with or otherwise regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission except for any insurance or annuity product issued by a corporation subject to supervision by State insurance authorities.

    Show cause. An opportunity for an aggrieved party to present facts on an informal basis for the consideration of the installation commander or the commander's designee.

    Suspension. Temporary termination of privileges pending completion of a commander's inquiry or investigation.

    Voluntary Education Program. The DoD entity that regulates and oversees implementation of continuing, adult, or postsecondary education programs of study on DoD installations.

    Withdrawal. Termination of privileges for a set period of time following completion of a commander's inquiry or investigation.

    § 50.4 Policy.

    It is DoD policy that:

    (a) This part will establish uniform rules for conducting all personal commercial solicitation on DoD installations to safeguard and promote the welfare of DoD personnel as consumers. Agents, agencies, and companies failing to follow the policy in this part may be restricted or denied the opportunity to solicit on installations.

    (b) Life insurance agents must register annually with the DoD to sell their products on DoD installations overseas.

    (c) Educational institutions authorized to provide education, guidance, and training opportunities or participate in education fairs on DoD installations, must comply with federal law, DoD Instruction 1322.19, “Voluntary Education Programs in Overseas Areas” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/132219p.pdf); DoD Instruction 1322.25, “Voluntary Education Programs” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/132225p.pdf), responsible Military Department policies and regulations, and this part.

    (d) Installation commanders will approve or prohibit any personal commercial solicitation covered by this part. Nothing in this part limits an installation commander's inherent authority to deny access to vendors or to establish time and place restriction on personal commercial solicitation activities at the installation.

    (e) Nothing in this part limits the authority of the installation commander or other appropriate authority to request or institute administrative or criminal action against any person, including those who violate the conditions and restrictions upon which installation entry is authorized.

    § 50.5 Responsibilities.

    (a) Under the authority, direction, and control of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)), and in accordance with DoD Directive 5124.09, “Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management (ASD(R&FM))” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/512409p.pdf), the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASD(M&RA)):

    (1) Identifies and publishes procedures implementing the policies in this part.

    (2) Maintains the current master file on agents, agencies, and companies whose personal commercial solicitation privileges have been withdrawn at any DoD installation.

    (3) Develops and maintains a list of all State insurance commissioner points of contact for DoD matters and forwards this list to the Military Departments.

    (4) Reviews and approves applications for the Overseas Life Insurance Registration Program, as outlined in Appendix B of this part.

    (b) The DoD Component heads:

    (1) Ensure implementation of this part on installations under their authority and compliance with its provisions.

    (2) Require installations under their authority to report each instance of withdrawal of personal commercial solicitation privileges.

    (3) Submit the Solicitation Privileges Report, listing all agents, agencies, and companies whose personal commercial solicitation privileges have been withdrawn at installations under the Component's authority, to the ASD(M&RA), in accordance with this part.

    § 50.6 Procedures.

    (a) Authority to solicit. No person has authority to enter a DoD installation to transact personal commercial solicitation as a matter of right. Personal commercial solicitation may be permitted only if the following requirements are met:

    (1) The solicitor is licensed under applicable federal, State, or municipal laws where the installation is located and has complied with installation regulations pursuant to Section 8 of Public Law 109-290, “Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act.”

    (2) The solicitor is entering the installation to attend a specific prearranged appointment with an individual, either in family quarters or another designated business appointment area.

    (3) Agents must identify themselves as working for a specific agency or company when scheduling their appointments with DoD personnel. Insurance agents must identify their agency and insurers. Securities agents must identify their registered brokers, dealers, or investment advisors.

    (4) Each scheduled meeting is conducted only in family quarters or in other areas designated by the installation commander.

    (5) The solicitor agrees to provide each person solicited a copy of DD Form 2885, “Personal Commercial Solicitation Evaluation,” (located on the DoD Forms Management Program Web site at www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/forms/index.htm) during the initial appointment. Completion of the evaluation by the solicited person is voluntary. If completed, evaluations should be sent to the installation commander or his or her designated representative.

    (6) The solicitor agrees to provide DoD personnel with a written reminder that free legal advice is available from the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate prior to accepting a financial commitment.

    (7) If overseas, solicitors also observe the applicable laws of the host country. Upon request, the solicitor must present documentation to the installation commander that the agency or company the solicitor represents, and its agents, meet the applicable licensing requirements of the host country.

    (b) Educational institutions. (1) Marketing firms or companies that own, operate, or represent educational institutions will not have access to DoD installations. The privilege is reserved only for educational institution representatives meeting the requirements in paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this section.

    (2) Educational institutions wishing to provide education, guidance, and training opportunities or participate in educational fairs on a DoD installation must obtain access approval from the installation education advisor, who will review and analyze requests on behalf of the installation commander. The installation education advisor and installation commander, in consultation with the installation's servicing ethics counselor, will approve requests in accordance with Sections 3-200, 3-206, and 3-211 of DoD 5500.07-R, “Joint Ethics Regulation (JER)” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/550007r.pdf) and Enclosure 3 of DoD Instruction 1322.25.

    (3) Only educational institutions participating in the Voluntary Education Program at DoD installations worldwide (to include enduring and contingency locations) may conduct or provide any type of education programs and services at those locations. The educational institutions must obtain access approval through the installation education advisor, or, for overseas locations, the contracting officer representative.

    (c) Associations. The recent growth and general acceptability of quasi-military associations offering various insurance plans to Service members is acknowledged. Regardless of the manner in which insurance is offered to Service members (e.g., for profit; not-for-profit, under Internal Revenue Service regulations; outside the supervision of insurance laws of either a State or the Federal Government), the management of the association is responsible for complying fully with the policies contained in this part.

    (d) Life insurance products and securities. (1) Life insurance products and securities offered and sold to DoD personnel will meet the prerequisites described in Appendix A of this part and comply with all applicable requirements set forth in Public Law 109-290.

    (2) Installation commanders may permit insurers and their agents to solicit on DoD installations if the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are met. Installation commanders will verify the agent's license status and complaint history with the appropriate regulatory authorities before granting the agent permission to solicit on the installation.

    (3) Before approving life insurance products and securities agents' requests for permission to solicit, installation commanders will review the Solicitation Privileges Report at www.militaryonesource.mil. In overseas areas, the DoD Components will limit life insurance solicitation to those insurers registered under the provisions of Appendix B of this part.

    (4) Installation commanders will make disinterested third-party insurance counseling available to any DoD personnel desiring counseling. Financial counselors will encourage DoD personnel to seek legal assistance or other advice from a disinterested third party before entering a contract for life insurance products or securities.

    (e) Supervision of installation personal commercial solicitation activities. Installation commanders will:

    (1) Designate authorized business appointment areas on the installation. Use of these areas will be extended to all solicitors on an equitable basis. The installation commander may develop and publish local policy for the reservation and use of this area, especially where space and other considerations limit availability.

    (2) Post installation personal commercial solicitation regulations in an easily accessible location for those conducting and receiving personal commercial solicitation on the installation.

    (3) Provide the following to anyone conducting personal commercial solicitation activities on the installation:

    (i) A copy of installation personal commercial solicitation regulations.

    (ii) A warning that failure to follow installation personal commercial solicitation regulations may result in the loss of personal commercial solicitation privileges.

    (4) The installation commander will investigate alleged violations of this part and installation personal commercial solicitation regulations, or questionable solicitation practices. Submitted DD Form 2885s are used as a means to monitor solicitation activities on the installation and bring potential violations to the attention of the command.

    (f) Prohibited practices. (1) The following personal commercial solicitation practices are prohibited on all DoD installations:

    (i) Soliciting recruits, trainees, and transient personnel in a group setting or mass audience or solicitation of any DoD personnel in a captive audience where attendance is not voluntary.

    (ii) Meeting with or soliciting DoD personnel during their normally scheduled duty hours.

    (iii) Soliciting in barracks, day rooms, unit areas, transient personnel housing, or other areas where the installation commander has not authorized solicitation.

    (iv) Gaining access to DoD installations with DoD or uniform service identification cards or DoD vehicle decals, for the purpose of soliciting, without presenting installation solicitation authorization documentation.

    (v) Procuring, attempting to procure, supplying, or attempting to supply non-public listings of DoD personnel for purposes of personal commercial solicitation, except for releases made in accordance with 32 CFR part 285.

    (vi) Offering unfair, improper, or deceptive inducements to purchase or trade.

    (vii) Using promotional incentives to facilitate transactions or eliminate competition.

    (viii) Using manipulative, deceptive, or fraudulent devices, schemes, or artifices, including misleading advertising and sales literature. All financial products that contain insurance features must clearly explain the insurance features of those products.

    (ix) Using oral or written representations to suggest or give the appearance that the DoD sponsors or endorses any particular agency, company, its agents, or the goods, services, and commodities it sells.

    (x) Soliciting to DoD personnel who are junior in rank or grade, or to the family members of such personnel, except as authorized in Sections 2-205 and 5-409 of DoD 5500.07-R.

    (xi) Entering an unauthorized or restricted area.

    (xii) Using any portion of installation facilities, including quarters, as a showroom or store for the sale of goods or services, except as specifically authorized by DoD Instruction 1330.09, “Armed Services Exchange Policy” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/133009p.pdf); DoD Instruction 1330.17, “DoD Commissary Program” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/133017p.pdf); DoD Instruction 1015.10, “Military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Programs” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/101510p.pdf); and DoD Instruction 1000.15, “Procedures and Support for Non-Federal Entities Authorized to Operate on DoD Installations” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/100015p.pdf). This does not apply to normal home enterprises that comply with applicable State and local laws and installation rules.

    (xiii) Soliciting door to door or without an appointment.

    (xiv) Using the following without authorization for personal commercial solicitation or advertising on the installation:

    (A) Personal addresses or telephone numbers.

    (B) Official positions, titles, or organization names, except as authorized in DoD 5500.07-R. Military grade and military service as part of an individual's name (e.g., Captain Smith, U.S. Marine Corps) may be used in the same manner as conventional titles, such as “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, or “Honorable.”

    (xv) Contacting DoD personnel by way of a government telephone, government fax machine, government computer, or any other government communication device unless a pre-existing relationship exists between the parties (e.g., the DoD member is a current client or requested to be contacted) and the DoD member has not asked for contact to be terminated.

    (2) In addition to the solicitation prohibitions listed in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the DoD Components will prohibit:

    (i) DoD personnel from representing any insurer; dealing directly or indirectly on behalf of any insurer or any recognized representative of any insurer on the installation; or, acting as an agent or in any official or business capacity, with or without compensation.

    (ii) Agents from:

    (A) Participating in any Military Department-sponsored education or orientation program.

    (B) Using any title that states or implies any type of endorsement from the U.S. Government, the Military Departments, or any State or federal agency or government entity (e.g., “Battalion Insurance Counselor,” “Unit Insurance Advisor,” “Servicemen's Group Life Insurance Conversion Consultant”).

    (C) Using desk space for anything other than a specific prearranged appointment. During such appointment, the agent will not be permitted to display desk signs or other materials announcing his or her name or agency or company affiliation.

    (D) Using an installation daily bulletin, marquee, newsletter, Web page, or other official notice to announce his or her presence or availability.

    (g) Denial, suspension, and withdrawal of installation solicitation privileges.

    (1) The installation commander will deny, suspend, or withdraw permission for an agency or company or its agents to conduct personal commercial solicitation activities on the installation if such action is in the best interests of the command. The grounds for taking these actions may include, but are not limited to:

    (i) Failure to meet the licensing and other regulatory requirements prescribed throughout this part, or violations of the State law where the installation is located. Commanders will request that appropriate State officials determine whether an agency, company or agent violated State law.

    (ii) Engaging in any prohibited practice in paragraph (f) of this section.

    (iii) Substantiated complaints or adverse reports regarding the quality of goods, services, or commodities, and the manner in which they are offered for sale.

    (iv) Knowing and willful violations of 15 U.S.C. 1601 with regard to use of consumer credit and personal property leases.

    (v) Knowing and willful violations of Public Law 109-290 with regard to financial services.

    (vi) Personal misconduct while on the installation.

    (vii) Possession or any attempt to obtain supplies of or use direct deposit forms or any other form or device used by Military Departments to direct a Service member's pay to a third party. This includes using a Service member's “MyPay” account or other similar internet medium for the purpose of establishing a direct deposit for the purchase of insurance or other investment products.

    (viii) Failure to incorporate and abide by the standards of fairness policies contained in DoD Instruction 1344.09, “Indebtedness of Military Personnel” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134409p.pdf).

    (2) Personal commercial solicitation privileges may be immediately suspended while an investigation is conducted, at the discretion of the installation commander. Upon suspending solicitation privileges, the installation commander will promptly inform the agent and the agency or company the agent represents, in writing.

    (3) The installation commander will determine whether to suspend or withdraw personal commercial solicitation privileges to the agent alone or extend it to the agency or company the agent represents. This decision is based on the circumstances of the particular case, including, but not limited to:

    (i) The nature and frequency of the violations.

    (ii) Whether other agents of the agency or company have engaged in such practices.

    (iii) Any other matters showing the culpability of an agent, the agency, or the company.

    (4) If the investigation determines an agent, agency, or company does not possess a valid license or the agent, agency, company, or product has failed to meet other State or federal regulatory requirements, the installation commander will immediately notify the appropriate regulatory authorities.

    (5) In a withdrawal action, the commander will:

    (i) Allow the agent, agency, or company an opportunity to show cause as to why the action should not be taken.

    (ii) Make a final decision regarding withdrawal based upon the entire record in each case.

    (6) The installation commander will report to his or her Military Department concerns or complaints involving the quality or suitability of products or concerns or complaints involving marketing methods used to sell those products.

    (7) The installation commander will report any withdrawal of insurance product or securities solicitation privileges to the appropriate regulatory authorities.

    (8) The installation commander will inform their Military Department of any withdrawal or reinstatement of an agent, agency, or company's personal commercial solicitation privileges and, if warranted, may recommend extending that action to other DoD installations.

    (i) The Secretary of the Military Department concerned will inform the USD(P&R) immediately of the withdrawal or reinstatement and may extend the action to other military installations in that Department.

    (ii) USD(P&R) will maintain a list of companies, agencies, and agents whose privileges have been withdrawn on any or all DoD installations. At a minimum, USD(P&R) will request review of the Solicitation Privileges Report from the Military Departments during the last month of each fiscal quarter. This list may be viewed at www.militaryonesource.mil. Following consultation with the Military Department concerned, the USD(P&R) may order restrictive actions extended to other Military Departments.

    (9) Withdrawal of privileges may be permanent or for a set period of time. If for a set period, the agent, agency, or company may reapply for permission to solicit through the installation commander or Military Department originally imposing the restriction when that period expires. The installation commander or Military Department reinstating permission to solicit will notify the USD(P&R) and appropriate State and federal regulatory agencies when such suspensions or withdrawals are lifted.

    (10) The Secretaries of the Military Departments may direct the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Boards in all geographical areas in which the grounds for withdrawal action have occurred to consider all applicable information and take action the Boards deem appropriate.

    (h) Advertising and commercial sponsorship. (1) The DoD expects commercial enterprises soliciting DoD personnel to observe the highest business ethics in advertisements in unofficial military publications when describing goods, services, commodities, and the terms of the sale (including guarantees, warranties, etc.).

    (2) The advertising of credit terms will conform to the provisions of 15 U.S.C. 1601 as implemented by Federal Reserve Board Regulation Z, in accordance with 12 CFR part 226.

    (3) Personal commercial solicitors may provide commercial sponsorship to DoD MWR programs or events in accordance with DoD Instruction 1015.10. However, sponsorship may not be used as a means to obtain personal contact information for any participant at these events without written permission from the individual participant. Additionally, commercial sponsors may not use sponsorship to advertise products or services not specifically agreed to in the sponsorship agreement.

    (4) Commercial sponsorship program personnel must obtain concurrence of the installation education advisor prior to accepting sponsorship from educational institutions. The installation educational advisor will ensure that all educational institutions desiring to serve as an MWR program or event sponsor meet the minimum eligibility requirements to enter into a Voluntary Education Partnership memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the DoD, as set forth in Enclosure 3 of DoD Instruction 1322.25, although such an MOU does not need to be in place. Additionally, if an educational institution enters into a partnership or agreement with a non-federal entity through an arrangement such as sponsorship or donation, the educational institution is not authorized to market on the installation or provide promotional items through that partnership or agreement. Only educational institutions participating in an education fair and granted access to the installation in accordance with DoD Instruction 1322.25 may provide promotional items on the installation during the education fair event.

    (5) The installation commander may permit organizations to display sales literature in designated locations, subject to command policies. In accordance with Volume 5 of DoD 7000.14-R, “Department of Defense Financial Management Regulations (FMRS)” (available at http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/Volume_05.pdf) distribution of competitive literature or forms by off-base financial institutions is prohibited on installations where on-base financial institutions exist.

    (i) Financial education programs. (1) The Military Departments will develop and disseminate information and provide educational programs for Service members on their personal financial affairs, including such subjects as insurance, government benefits, savings, budgeting, and other financial education and assistance requirements, as outlined in DoD Instruction 1342.22, “Military Family Readiness” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134222p.pdf). In addition, the installation commander will:

    (i) Ensure that all instructors are qualified as appropriate for the subject matter presented. See paragraphs (i)(3) and (i)(4) of this section for guidance on using on-base financial institutions or other non-government organization resources for financial education purposes.

    (ii) Make qualified personnel and facilities available for individual counseling on loans and consumer credit transactions in order to encourage thriftiness and financial responsibility and promote a better understanding of the wise use of credit, as prescribed in Chapter 34 of Volume 5 of DoD 7000.14-R.

    (iii) Encourage Service members to seek advice from a legal assistance officer, the installation financial counselor, their own lawyers, or a financial counselor before making a substantial loan or credit commitment.

    (iv) Provide advice and guidance to DoD personnel who have a complaint pursuant to DoD Instruction 1344.09 or who allege a criminal violation of its provisions, including referral to the appropriate regulatory agency for processing of the complaint.

    (2) On-base financial institutions must provide financial counseling services as an integral part of their financial services offerings.

    (3) Representatives of and materials provided by on-base financial institutions may be used to provide the financial education programs and information required by this part, subject to the following conditions:

    (i) If the on-base financial institution sells insurance products or securities or has any affiliation with an agency or company that sells or markets insurance or other financial products, the installation commander will consider that agency's or company's history of complying with this part before authorizing the on-base financial institution to provide financial education.

    (ii) On-base financial institution educators must agree to use appropriate disclaimers in their presentations and other educational materials. The disclaimers must clearly indicate that the educators do not endorse or favor any commercial supplier, product, or service or promote the services of a specific financial institution.

    (4) Use of other non-government organizations to provide financial education programs is limited as follows:

    (i) Under no circumstances will commercial agents, including employees or representatives of commercial loan, finance, insurance, or investment companies, be used.

    (ii) The limitation in paragraph (i)(4)(i) of this section does not apply to educational programs and information regarding the Survivor Benefits Program. It also does not apply to government benefits provided by tax-exempt organizations pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 501(c) or by organizations providing government benefits under a contract with the government.

    (iii) Expert educators in personal financial affairs from non-government, non-commercial organizations may provide the financial education programs and information required by this part. The presentations and materials used by the educators must contain appropriate disclaimers demonstrating no endorsement of the organization by DoD or the Military Departments concerned. Such expert educators and their materials must be approved by a Presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed (PAS) official of the Military Department concerned. The initial approval will last for three years; reauthorization for additional three-year periods is subject to review by such a PAS official that a continued need exists for the organization's services. The Military Department will use the following criteria when considering whether to permit a non-government, non-commercial organization to present a financial education program or provide materials on personal financial affairs:

    (A) The organization must qualify as a tax-exempt organization in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) or (c)(23) of 26 U.S.C. 501.

    (B) If the organization has any affiliation with an agency or company that sells or markets insurance or other financial products, the approval authority will consider that agency's or company's history of complying with this part.

    (C) Non-government organization educators must agree to use appropriate disclaimers in their presentations and other educational materials which clearly indicate that they and the DoD do not endorse or favor any commercial supplier, product, or service or promote the services of a specific financial institution.

    (iv) Presentations by approved non-government, non-commercial organizations will be conducted only at the express request of the installation commander.

    (v) Any educational institutions providing financial education programs must be approved by the installation education advisor and meet the criteria outlined in Enclosure 3 of DoD Instruction 1322.25 for offering educational programs on base.

    Appendix A to Part 50—Life Insurance Products and Securities

    (a) Life insurance product content prerequisites. In addition to the required disclosures listed in Section 10 of Public Law 109-290, the following prerequisites apply to the sale of life insurance products to Service members and their families on DoD installations:

    (1) Life insurance agencies and companies must provide a written description for each product or service they intend to market.

    (i) Descriptions must be written in plain language and must fully disclose the fundamental nature of the policy.

    (ii) All forms to be used must be approved by and filed with the insurance department of the State where the installation is located, where applicable.

    (iii) Life insurance products marketed on overseas installations must conform to the standards prescribed by the laws of the State where the agency or company is domiciled.

    (2) Life insurance products offered and sold worldwide, other than certificates or other evidence of insurance issued by a self-insured association, must:

    (i) Comply with the insurance laws of the State or country in which the installation is located and the requirements of this part.

    (ii) Contain no restrictions by reason of the insured's military service or military occupational specialty, unless such restrictions are clearly indicated on the face of the contract.

    (iii) Plainly indicate any extra premium charges imposed by reason of the insured's military service or military occupational specialty.

    (iv) Contain no variation in the amount of death benefit or premium based on the length of time the contract has been in force, unless all such variations are clearly described in the contract.

    (3) Life insurance policies must be written in plain language and use type font large enough to be easily read; all provisions of the policy must be in a font type that is at least as large as the font used for the majority of the policy. The policies must inform Service members of:

    (i) The availability and cost of government-subsidized Servicemen's Group Life Insurance.

    (ii) The address and phone number where consumer complaints are received by the State Insurance Commissioner for the State in which the insurance product is being sold. For policies sold overseas, the disclosure must include the address and phone number where the state insurance commissioner for the State which has issued the agent a resident license or where the agency or company is domiciled receives consumer complaints, as applicable.

    (iii) That the U.S. Government has in no way sanctioned, recommended, or encouraged the sale of the product being offered.

    (4) To comply with paragraphs (a)(2)(ii), (a)(2)(iii), and (a)(2)(iv) of this appendix, an appropriate reference stamped on the first page of the contract will draw the attention of the policyholder to any restrictions by reason of the insured's military service or military occupational specialty. The reference will describe any extra premium charges and any variations in the amount of death benefit or premium based upon the length of time the contract has been in force.

    (5) Variable life insurance products may be offered by appropriately licensed insurance agents or securities dealers, provided the products meet the criteria of the appropriate insurance regulatory agency and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    (6) Life insurance products will not be marketed or sold disguised as investments. If there is a savings component to a life insurance product, the agent will provide the customer written documentation which clearly explains how much of the premium goes to the savings component per year, broken down over the life of the policy. This document also must show the total amount per year allocated to life insurance premiums. The customer must receive a copy of this document signed by the insurance agent.

    (b) Sale of securities. In addition to requirements listed in Section 5 of Public Law 109-290, the following applies to the sale of securities on DoD installations:

    (1) All securities must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in accordance with the Securities Act of 1933, and all sales must comply with Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and the regulations of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

    (2) Where the accredited insurer's policy permits, an overseas accredited life insurance agent, if qualified to engage in security activities as a registered representative of a broker or dealer registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission, may offer life insurance products and securities for sale simultaneously. In cases of commingled sales, the allotment of pay for the purchase of securities cannot be made to the insurer.

    (c) Use of the allotment of pay system. (1) Allotments of military pay for life insurance products will be made in accordance with DoD 7000.14-R.

    (2) For personnel in pay grades E-4 and below to obtain financial counseling, at least 7 calendar days must elapse between the signing of a life insurance application and the certification of a military pay allotment for any supplemental commercial life insurance. Installation finance officers are responsible for ensuring this 7-day period is monitored and enforced. The purchaser's commanding officer may grant a waiver of the requirement for a 7-day period for good cause, such as the purchaser's imminent deployment or permanent change of station.

    Appendix B to Part 50—Overseas Life Insurance Registration Program

    (a) Registration criteria. (1) Initial registration. (i) Insurers must demonstrate continuous successful operation in the life insurance business for not less than 5 years as of December 31 of the year preceding the date of filing the application.

    (ii) Insurers must be listed in A.M. Best's Rating and Criteria Center and be assigned a financial strength rating of B+ (Very Good) or better, or an equivalent ranking from an independent insurance ranking agency, for the business year preceding the government's fiscal year for which registration is sought.

    (2) Re-registration. (i) Insurers must demonstrate continuous successful operation in the life insurance business, as described in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this appendix.

    (ii) Insurers must retain an A.M. Best financial strength rating of B+ or better, as described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this appendix.

    (iii) Insurers must demonstrate a record of compliance with the policies found in this part.

    (2) Waiver provisions. Waivers of the initial registration or re-registration provisions will be considered for those insurers demonstrating substantial compliance with paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this appendix.

    (b) Application instructions—(1) Annual application deadline. Insurers must apply by June 30 of each year for life insurance solicitation privileges on overseas U.S. military installations for the next fiscal year beginning October 1. Applications emailed, faxed, or postmarked after June 30 will not be considered.

    (2) Application prerequisites. (i) An application letter signed by the President, Vice President, or designated official of the insurance agency or company will be forwarded to the USD(P&R), Attention: MWR and Resale Policy Directorate, 4000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-4000. The insurance agency or company must meet the registration criteria in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this appendix, or must obtain a waiver, provided for in paragraph (a)(2) of this appendix, to satisfy application prerequisites.

    (ii) The application letter will contain the following information, submitted in the order listed (where criteria are not applicable, the letter will so state):

    (A) The overseas Combatant Commands (i.e., United States European Command, United States Pacific Command, United States Central Command, United States Southern Command and United States Africa Command) where the agency or company presently solicits, or plans to solicit, on U.S. military installations.

    (B) A statement that the agency or company complies with the applicable laws of the country or countries in which it proposes to solicit. This includes all national, provincial, city, or county laws or ordinances of any country, as applicable.

    (C) A statement that the products for sale conform to the standards prescribed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(6) of Appendix A and those products contain only the standard provisions, such as those prescribed by the laws of the State where the company's headquarters are located.

    (D) A statement that the agency or company will assume full responsibility for the acts of its agents with respect to solicitation. If warranted, the number of agents may be limited by the overseas command concerned.

    (E) A statement that the agency or company will use only agents licensed by the appropriate State and registered by the overseas command concerned to sell to DoD personnel on DoD installations.

    (F) A statement that the agency's or company's agents are appointed in accordance with the prerequisites established in paragraph (c) of this appendix.

    (G) Any explanatory or supplemental comments that will assist in evaluating the application.

    (iii) If requested by the MWR and Resale Policy Directorate, the agency or company will provide additional facts or statistics beyond those normally involved in registration.

    (3) Subsidiaries. If a company is a life insurance company subsidiary, it must be registered separately on its own merits.

    (c) Agent requirements. (1) An agent must possess a current State license. A Combatant Commander may waive this requirement for a registered agent continuously residing and successfully selling life insurance in foreign areas who, through no fault of his or her own and due to State or other jurisdiction law (or regulation) governing domicile or licensing requirements, forfeits eligibility for a State license. The request for a waiver will contain the name of the State or other jurisdiction that would not renew the agent's license.

    (2) Agents may represent only one registered commercial insurance agency or company. This principle may be waived by the overseas Combatant Commander if multiple representations are in the best interest of DoD personnel.

    (3) An agent must have at least 1 year of successful life insurance sales experience in the United States or its territories (including Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands), generally within the 5 years preceding the date of initial application, in order to be approved for overseas solicitation.

    (4) The overseas Combatant Commanders may exercise further agent control procedures as necessary.

    (5) Once registered in an overseas area, an agent may not change affiliation from the staff of one agency or company to another and retain his or her registration, unless the previous agency or company agrees in writing to retaining the registration. Overseas Combatant Commanders have final authority to determine whether the agent may retain his or her registration or will have to re-register.

    (d) Announcement of registration. (1) The DoD will announce approved Overseas Life Insurance Registration applicants as soon as practicable by notice to each applicant and by a list released annually in September to the appropriate overseas Combatant Commanders. Approval does not constitute DoD endorsement of the insurer or its products. Any advertising by insurers or verbal representation by their agents which suggests such endorsement is prohibited.

    (2) In the event registration is denied, specific reasons for the denial will be provided to the applicant.

    (i) The applicant will have 30 days from the receipt of notification of denial of registration (sent certified mail, return receipt requested) in which to request reconsideration of the original decision. This request must be in writing and accompanied by substantiating data or information in rebuttal of the specific reasons upon which the denial was based.

    (ii) Action by USD(P&R) on a request for reconsideration is final.

    (iii) An applicant that is presently registered as an insurer will have 90 calendar days from final action denying registration in which to close operations.

    (3) Upon receiving a registration approval letter, each insurance agency or company will send the applicable overseas Combatant Commander a verified list of agents currently registered for overseas solicitation. Where applicable, the agency or company also will include the names and prior military affiliation of new agents for whom original registration and permission to solicit on the installation is requested. The DoD will furnish issuance for agent registration procedures in overseas areas to these insurers.

    (4) Material changes affecting the corporate status and financial condition of the agency or company that occur during the fiscal year of registration must be reported to USD(P&R) at the address in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this appendix as they occur.

    (i) USD(P&R) reserves the right to terminate registration if such material changes appear to substantially affect the financial and operational standards described in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this appendix, on which registration was based.

    (ii) Failure to report such material changes may result in termination of registration, regardless of how it affects the standards.

    (5) If an analysis of information furnished by the agency or company indicates that unfavorable trends are developing that could adversely affect the agency's or company's future operations, USD(P&R) may opt to bring such matters to the attention of the agency or company and request a statement as to what action, if any, is considered to deal with such unfavorable trends.

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21092 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0675] RIN 1625-AA87 Security Zone; Potomac River and Anacostia River, and Adjacent Waters; Washington, DC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a series of security zones in the National Capital Region (NCR) on specified waters of the Potomac River and Anacostia River, and adjacent waters during increased security events. This action is necessary to prevent terrorist acts and incidents immediately before, during, and after events held within the NCR, whenever such an event exists, as determined by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. This rule prohibits vessels and persons from entering the security zone and requires vessels and persons in the security zone to depart the security zone, unless specifically exempt under the provisions in this rule or granted specific permission from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. The proposed regulations will enhance the safety and security of persons and property within the Nation's Capital, while minimizing, to the extent possible, the impact on commerce and legitimate waterway use.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before November 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0675 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. Ronald L. Houck, at Sector Maryland-National Capital Region Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 410-576-2674, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking §  Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    The Coast Guard has given each Coast Guard COTP the ability to implement comprehensive port security regimes designed to safeguard human life, vessels, and waterfront facilities while still sustaining the flow of commerce. A security zone is a tool available to the Coast Guard that may be used to control vessel movements in specified waters, which the Coast Guard has determined need additional security measures during certain situations. The COTP has made a determination that it is necessary to establish a series of security zones within the NCR. The purpose of this rulemaking is to enhance public and maritime safety and security in order to safeguard life, property, and the environment on specified navigable waters of the Potomac River and Anacostia River and adjacent waters during increased security events taking place in close proximity to navigable waterways within the COTP's Area of Responsibility.

    The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish regulated navigation areas and other limited access areas: 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    Whenever an event that requires increased security is taking place the proposed security zones will help ensure the safety and security of persons and property on or near the navigable waters of the United States. Accordingly, the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region proposes to establish a series of security zones to protect high-ranking United States officials, foreign dignitaries, and the public; mitigate potential terrorist acts; and enhance public and maritime safety and security in order to safeguard life, property, and the environment on specified waters of the Potomac River, Anacostia River and adjacent waters. The security zones would cover specified navigable waters within the NCR. The duration of the zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during, and after the event. No vessel or person would be permitted to enter the security zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The COTP Maryland-National Capital Region will notify the maritime community, via Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM), of the location and duration of the security zone as the increased security event dictates. The security zone established for a specific increased security event will consist of one or more of the security zones categorized below.

    Security zone one includes all navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by the Francis Scott Key (US-29) Bridge, at mile 113, and bounded to the south by a line drawn from the Virginia shoreline at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, at 38°51′21.3″ N., 077°02′00.0″ W., eastward across the Potomac River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., including the waters of the Boundary Channel, Pentagon Lagoon, Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin, and Roaches Run. Events that typically require enforcement of the zone include activities associated with the U.S. Presidential Inauguration and State funerals for former Presidents of the U.S.

    Security zone two includes all navigable waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by the John Philip Sousa (Pennsylvania Avenue) Bridge, at mile 2.9, and bounded to the south by a line drawn from the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., southward across the Anacostia River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Giesboro Point at position 38°50′52.4″ N., 077°01′10.9″ W., including the waters of the Washington Channel. Events that typically require enforcement of the zone include activities associated with the U.S. Presidential Inauguration and State funerals for former Presidents of the U.S.

    Security zone three includes all navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by a line drawn from the Virginia shoreline at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, at 38°51′21.3″ N., 077°02′00.0″ W., eastward across the Potomac River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., thence southward across the Anacostia River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Giesboro Point at position 38°50′52.4″ N., 077°01′10.9″ W., and bounded to the south by the Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95/I-495) Bridge, at mile 103.8. Events that typically require enforcement of the zone include activities associated with the U.S. Presidential Inauguration and State funerals for former Presidents of the U.S.

    The above zones may also be enforced for unplanned events requiring increased security, including but not limited to, presidential nominating conventions; international summits and conferences; and meetings of international organizations.

    Security zone four, currently described at 33 CFR 165.508, includes all navigable waters of the Georgetown Channel of the Potomac River, 75 yards from the eastern shore measured perpendicularly to the shore, between the Long Railroad Bridge (the most eastern bridge of the 5-span, Fourteenth Street Bridge Complex) to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge and all waters in between, totally including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin. This zone is enforced annually from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. local time on July 4. There are no proposed changes to this zone; it is retained and included in this rulemaking.

    Security zone five includes all navigable waters in the Potomac River, including the Boundary Channel and Pentagon Lagoon, bounded on the west by a line running north to south from points along the shoreline at 38°52′50″ N./077°03′25″ W., thence to 38°52′49″ N./077°03′25″ W.; and bounded on the east by a line running from points at 38°53′10″ N./077°03′30″ W., thence northeast to 38°53′12″ N./077°03′26″ W., thence southeast to 38°52′31″ N./077°02′34″ W., and thence southwest to 38°52′28″ N./077°02′38″ W. This zone will be enforced on three days each year: Memorial Day (observed), September 11, and November 11. Specifically, the zone will be enforced from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Memorial Day (observed); from 8 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. on September 11; and from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on November 11.

    Security zone six includes all navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the Francis Scott Key (U.S. Route 29) Bridge at mile 113.0, downstream to and bounded on the south by the Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95/I-495) Bridge, at mile 103.8, including the waters of the Boundary Channel, Pentagon Lagoon, Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin, and Roaches Run; and all waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded on the north by the John Philip Sousa (Pennsylvania Avenue) Bridge, at mile 2.9, downstream to and bounded on the south by its confluence with the Potomac River. This zone will be enforced annually for the State of the Union Address, starting at 9 a.m. on the day of the State of the Union Address through 2 a.m. the following day.

    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 year of the security zones. The Coast Guard determined that this rulemaking would not be a significant regulatory action for the following reasons: Security zones one, two and three are expected to be enforced for only a week or two at a time and on only a few occasions per year. Additionally, the Coast Guard designed the areas for security zones one, two and three to cover only a portion of the navigable waterways while still sustaining the flow of commerce, and mariners may request permission from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or the designated representative to transit the zone. Security zones four and five are expected to be enforced for only less than 24 hours at a time and on only a few occasions per year. Additionally, the Coast Guard designed the areas for security zones four and five to cover only a small portion of the navigable waterways, waterway users may transit the Potomac River around the areas, and mariners may request permission from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or the designated representative to transit the zone. Security zone six is expected to be enforced for only less than 24 hours at a time and on only on one occasion per year when vessel traffic is normally low. Additionally, the Coast Guard designed the area for security zone six to cover only a portion of the navigable waterways while still sustaining the flow of commerce, and mariners may request permission from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or the designated representative to transit the zone. 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 security zones that would prohibit entry on specified waters of the Potomac River and Anacostia River, and adjacent waters, during increased security events. 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, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Revise § 165.508 to read as follows:
    § 165.508 Security Zone; Potomac River and Anacostia River, and adjacent waters; Washington, DC.

    (a) Location. Coordinates used in this paragraph are based on NAD83. The following areas are security zones:

    (1) Zone 1. All navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by the Francis Scott Key (US-29) Bridge, at mile 113, and bounded to the south by a line drawn from the Virginia shoreline at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, at 38°51′21.3″ N., 077°02′00.0″ W., eastward across the Potomac River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., including the waters of the Boundary Channel, Pentagon Lagoon, Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin, and Roaches Run;

    (2) Zone 2. All navigable waters of the Anacostia River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by the John Philip Sousa (Pennsylvania Avenue) Bridge, at mile 2.9, and bounded to the south by a line drawn from the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., southward across the Anacostia River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Giesboro Point at position 38°50′52.4″ N., 077°01′10.9″ W., including the waters of the Washington Channel;

    (3) Zone 3. All navigable waters of the Potomac River, from shoreline to shoreline, bounded to the north by a line drawn from the Virginia shoreline at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, at 38°51′21.3″ N., 077°02′00.0″ W., eastward across the Potomac River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Hains Point at position 38°51′24.3″ N., 077°01′19.8″ W., thence southward across the Anacostia River to the District of Columbia shoreline at Giesboro Point at position 38°50′52.4″ N., 077°01′10.9″ W., and bounded to the south by the Woodrow Wilson Memorial (I-95/I-495) Bridge, at mile 103.8.

    (4) Zone 4. All navigable waters of the Georgetown Channel of the Potomac River, 75 yards from the eastern shore measured perpendicularly to the shore, between the Long Railroad Bridge (the most eastern bridge of the 5-span, Fourteenth Street Bridge Complex) to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge; and all waters in between, totally including the waters of the Georgetown Channel Tidal Basin.

    (5) Zone 5. All navigable waters in the Potomac River, including the Boundary Channel and Pentagon Lagoon, bounded on the west by a line running north to south from points along the shoreline at 38°52′50″ N., 077°03′25″ W., thence to 38°52′49″ N., 077°03′25″ W.; and bounded on the east by a line running from points at 38°53′10″ N., 077°03′30″ W., thence northeast to 38°53′12″ N., 077°03′26″ W., thence southeast to 38°52′31″ N., 077°02′34″ W., and thence southwest to 38°52′28″ N., 077°02′38″ W.

    (6) Zone 6. All navigable waters described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section.

    (b) Regulations. The general security zone regulations found in 33 CFR 165.33 apply to the security zones created by this section, § 165.508.

    (1) Entry into or remaining in a zone listed in paragraph (a) in this section is prohibited unless authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. Public vessels and vessels already at berth at the time the security zone is implemented do not have to depart the security zone. All vessels underway within the security zone at the time it is implemented are to depart the zone at the time the security zone is implemented.

    (2) Persons desiring to transit the area of the security zone must first obtain authorization from the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or his or her designated representative. To seek permission to transit the area, the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region and his or her designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio, VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel, by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region or his designated representative and proceed at the minimum speed necessary to maintain a safe course while within the zone.

    (3) The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the security zones listed in paragraph (a) in this section by Federal, State, and local agencies.

    (c) Definitions. As used in this section:

    Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port to act on his or her behalf.

    Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region to assist in enforcing the security zones described in paragraph (a) of this section.

    Public vessel means a vessel that is owned or demise-(bareboat) chartered by the government of the United States, by a State or local government, or by the government of a foreign country and that is not engaged in commercial service.

    (d) Enforcement. (1) In addition to the specified times in paragraphs (d)(2)-(4) of this section, the security zones created by this section will be enforced only upon issuance of a notice of enforcement by the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. The Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region will cause notice of enforcement of these security zones to be made by all appropriate means to the affected segments of the public of the enforcement dates and times of the security zones including publication in the Federal Register, in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7(a). Such means of notification may also include, but are not limited to Broadcast Notice to Mariners or Local Notice to Mariners.

    (2) Security Zone 4, established in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, will be enforced annually, from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4.

    (3) Security Zone 5, established in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, will be enforced annually on three dates: Memorial Day (observed), September 11, and November 11. Security Zone 5 will be enforced from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Memorial Day (observed); from 8 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. on September 11; and from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on November 11.

    (4) Security Zone 6, established in paragraph (a)(6) of this section, will be enforced annually on the day the State of the Union Address is delivered. Security Zone 6 will be enforced from 9 a.m. on the day of the State of the Union Address until 2 a.m. on the following day.

    (e) Suspension of enforcement. The Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region may suspend enforcement of the enforcement period in paragraphs (d)(1)-(4) in this section earlier than listed in the notice of enforcement. Should the Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region suspend the zone earlier than the duration listed, he or she will make the public aware of this suspension by Broadcast Notice to Mariners and/or on-scene notice by his or her designated representative.

    Dated: August 24, 2016. Lonnie P. Harrison, Jr., Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21175 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648-BG21 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 16 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of fishery management plan amendment; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has submitted Amendment 16 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan, incorporating the Environmental Assessment and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, for review by the Secretary of Commerce, and is requesting comments from the public. Amendment 16 would establish a deep-sea coral protection area in Mid-Atlantic waters where fishing vessels would be prohibited from using most fishing gear that contacts the ocean bottom. The Council developed Amendment 16 to protect deep-sea corals under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act's discretionary provision for deep-sea coral protection. The coral protection measures would prevent expansion of fisheries using ocean bottom-tending fishing gear in areas where there is a high likelihood of deep-sea coral presence and would prevent damage to deep-sea corals in areas where they been observed.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Council prepared an environmental assessment (EA) for Amendment 16 that describes the proposed action and other considered alternatives and provides a thorough analysis of the impacts of the proposed measures and alternatives. Copies of Amendment 16, including the EA, the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), are available from: Christopher Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 State Street, Dover, DE 19901. The EA/RIR/IRFA are accessible online at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0086, 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-2016-0086, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on MSB Amendment 16 NOA.”

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Christopher, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978-281-9288; fax 978-281-9135.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 16, 2013, the Council published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (78 FR 3401) for Amendment 16 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to consider measures to protect deep-sea corals from the impacts of commercial fishing gear in the Mid-Atlantic. The Council conducted scoping meetings during February 2013 to gather public comments on these issues. Following further development of Amendment 16 through 2013 and 2014, the Council conducted public hearings in January 2015. Following these public hearings, and with disagreement about the boundaries of the various alternatives, the Council held a workshop with various stakeholders on April 29-30, 2015, to further refine the deep-sea coral area boundaries. The workshop was an example of effective collaboration among fishery managers, the fishing industry, environmental organizations, and the public to develop management recommendations with widespread support. The Council adopted Amendment 16 on June 10, 2015. The Council submitted Amendment 16 on August 15, 2016, for final review by NMFS, acting on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. The Council developed the action, and the measures described in this notice, under the discretionary provisions for deep-sea coral protection in section 303(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Act. This provision gives the Regional Fishery Management Councils the authority to:

    • Designate zones where, and periods when, fishing shall be limited, or shall not be permitted, or shall be permitted only by specified types of fishing vessels or with specified types and quantities of fishing gear;

    • Designate such zones in areas where deep-sea corals are identified under section 408 (this section describes the deep-sea coral research and technology program), to protect deep-sea corals from physical damage from fishing gear or to prevent loss or damage to such fishing gear from interactions with deep-sea corals, after considering long-term sustainable uses of fishery resources in such areas; and

    • With respect to any closure of an area under the Magnuson-Stevens Act that prohibits all fishing, ensure that such closure

    o Is based on the best scientific information available;

    ○ Includes criteria to assess the conservation benefit of the closed area;

    ○ Establishes a timetable for review of the closed area's performance that is consistent with the purposes of the closed area; and

    ○ Is based on an assessment of the benefits and impacts of the closure, including its size, in relation to other management measures (either alone or in combination with such measures), including the benefits and impacts of limiting access to: Users of the area, overall fishing activity, fishery science, and fishery and marine conservation.

    Consistent with these provisions, the Council proposed the measures in Amendment 16 to balance the impacts of measures implemented under this discretionary authority with the management objectives of the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP and the value of potentially affected commercial fisheries. Measures recommended by the Council would:

    • Establish a deep-sea coral protection area that would be in Mid-Atlantic waters only. It would consist of a broad zone that would start at a depth contour of approximately 450 meters (m) and extend to the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone boundary, and to the north and south to the boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic waters (as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Act). In addition, the deep-sea coral protection area would include 15 discrete zones that outline deep-sea canyons on the continental shelf in Mid-Atlantic waters. The deep-sea coral area, including both broad and discrete zones, would be one continuous area.

    • Restrict the use of bottom-tending commercial fishing gear within the designated deep-sea coral area, including bottom-tending otter trawls; bottom-tending beam trawls; hydraulic dredges; non-hydraulic dredges; bottom-tending seines; bottom-tending longlines; sink or anchored gill nets; and pots and traps except those used to fish for red crab and American lobster;

    • Require the use of vessel monitoring systems for Illex squid moratorium permit holders to facilitate enforcement of the deep-sea coral area and gear restrictions;

    • Allow vessels to transit the deep-sea coral area protection area provided the vessels bring bottom-tending fishing gear onboard the vessel, and reel bottom-tending trawl gear onto the net reel; and

    • Expand framework adjustment provisions in the FMP for future modifications to the deep-sea coral protection measures.

    The Council recommended that the deep-sea coral protection area should be named in honor of the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. Senator Lautenberg was responsible for several important pieces of ocean conservation legislation and authored several provisions included in the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act, including the discretionary provision for coral. Therefore, the Council proposed that the combined broad and discrete zones be officially known as the “Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area.”

    The proposed geographic range and gear restrictions in this action overlap with several fisheries outside the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP and could potentially affect any federally permitted vessel intending to fish within the proposed deep-sea coral area. However, during the initiation and scoping of this action, the Council determined that this action would not apply to the American lobster fishery. Therefore, this action would not restrict the use of lobster pots in the proposed deep-sea coral area. Deep-sea red crab pots and traps would also be allowed in the deep-sea coral zone under the proposed action. The Council proposed the exemption for this gear because red crab fishing occurs entirely within the deep-sea coral protection zone. Prohibiting the gear in the area would eliminate a large portion of the red crab fishery, with likely disproportional negative impacts on the red crab fishery relative to other fisheries.

    Through this document, NMFS seeks comments on Amendment 16 and its incorporated documents through the end of the comment period stated in the DATES section of this notice of availability (NOA). Following NMFS's review of the amendment under the Magnuson-Stevens Act procedures, a rule proposing the implementation of measures in Amendment 16 is anticipated to be published in the Federal Register for public comment. Public comments must be received by the end of the comment period provided in this NOA of Amendment 16 to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All comments received by the end of the comment period on the NOA of Amendment 16, whether specifically directed to the NOA or the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision. Comments received after the end of the comment period for the NOA will not be considered in the approval/disapproval decision of Amendment 16.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21193 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 171 Friday, September 2, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request August 29, 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 October 3, 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), [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.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: State Agency (NSLP/SNAP) Direct Certification Rate Data Element Report (FNS-834).

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0577.

    Summary of Collection: Section 101(b) of the HHFKA (Pub. L. 111-296), amended section 9(b)(4) of the NSLA (42 U.S.C. 1758(b)(4)) to define required percentage benchmarks for directly certifying children in households that receive assistance SNAP and further amended the NSLA to require State agencies that do not meet the benchmark for a particular school year develop, submit, and implement a continuous improvement plan (CIP) to fully meet the benchmarks and to improve direct certification for the following school year. The purpose of the State Agency (NSLP/SNAP) Direct Certification Rate Data Element Report (FNS-834) is to collect direct certification data elements from SNAP State agencies and NSLP State agencies to calculate these direct certification rates.

    Need and Use of the Information: The data collection is necessary to monitor compliance with the requirements of Section 101(b) of Public Law 111-296. The form FNS-834, State Agency Direct Certification Rate Data Element Report, provides for the collection of data elements needed to compute each State's direct certification performance rate to compare with the benchmarks.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 106.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 53.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21112 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Tahoe National Forest; Placer County, California; Sugar Pine Project Water Right Permit 15375 Extension and Radial Gates Installation AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    Foresthill Public Utility District (Foresthill) has submitted an application to the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) to amend their existing Special Use Permit (Permit) for Sugar Pine Dam and Reservoir (Sugar Pine Project) to increase water storage capacity of the reservoir and improve the stability of Foresthill's water supply by installing radial steel gates in the spillway of the dam. Installation of the radial gates would increase water storage capacity by 3,950 acre-feet (AF) up from 6,922 AF currently to 10,872 AF after installation; the maximum surface elevation of the reservoir would rise 20 vertical feet and inundate approximately 44 additional acres of NFS lands. The surface area of the reservoir would increase from 160 acres to approximately 204 acres if the project is implemented. Important NFS resources would be impacted by the project; popular reservoir recreation facilities would be inundated along with habitat for plants and wildlife, including habitat for Forest Service Sensitive Species.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by October 3, 2016 for purposes of standing pursuant to Forest Service predecisional administrative review regulations at 36 CFR part 218; however, public input will be continue to be accepted and considered by the Forest Service throughout the course of the environmental analysis. The draft environmental impact statement is expected in winter 2016 and the final environmental impact statement is expected by fall of 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to: Eli Ilano, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor, c/o NEPA Contractor, 2525 Warren Drive, Rocklin, CA 95677. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected] Two public scoping meetings will be held during the scoping comment period:

    September 19, 2016 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Foresthill Veterans Memorial Hall, 24601 Harrison Street, Foresthill, CA 95631 And September 20, 2016 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at ECORP Consulting, 2529 Warren Drive, Rocklin, CA 95677 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Additional information concerning the proposed project can be obtained from the TNF projects Web page at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/tahoe/landmanagement/projects, or by contacting Tim Cardoza, Forest Land Use Program Manager, by phone (530) 478-6210 or email [email protected]s.

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action

    Applications for use and occupancy of NFS lands are required to be consistent with the Forest Plan. The TNF's purpose in responding to Foresthill's Permit amendment application is to achieve Forest Plan desired conditions for issuance of permits, or permit amendments, when such uses maximize public benefits and impacts to NFS resources are mitigated. The Forest Plan recognizes the importance of Sugar Pine Reservoir as a municipal water supply and describes the potential for installation of radial gates in the existing spillway of the dam. The Forest Plan emphasizes recreation management for the Sugar Pine Reservoir basin in conjunction with other uses.

    The TNF needs to respond to Foresthill's application in order to comply with Title V of the Federal Land Policy Management Act and related Forest Service land use regulations. Amendment of the Permit to authorize installation of the radial gates would be consistent with provisions of the Sugar Pine Dam and Reservoir Conveyance Act which require that changes in use or operation of reservoir facilities comply with all applicable laws and regulations at the time of the changes. Foresthill proposes to increase the water storage capacity of Sugar Pine Reservoir to ensure the availability of the reliable long term water supply for existing development and planned future land uses within the existing water right place of use for State Water Resources Control Board Permit Number 15375 and the Foresthill Divide Community Plan. The additional water storage provided by the proposed project is also intended to enhance water supply reliability needed to protect Foresthill from a prolonged drought; climate change concerns and state initiatives to increase water storage in California are also factors which support the need for action on Foresthill's requested permit amendment.

    Prior to full implementation of the Foresthill Divide Community Plan, or build-out, Foresthill may continue to carry out short-term transfers of stored reservoir water to reduce shortages in downstream communities, to provide ecological benefits or for other beneficial uses consistent with the California Water Code and State Water Resources Control Board's water transfer program. Foresthill used revenue generated from a 2015 water transfer to help fund replacement of an aging storage tank used to provide potable water for the Foresthill community and to maintain water system pressure necessary to comply with state requirements for firefighting; revenue generated by Foresthill from future water transfers may be used to fund similar water system infrastructure projects.

    Proposed Action

    The proposed action is to amend Foresthill's existing Permit to authorize an increase the size and water storage capacity of the reservoir. The proposed action has four components: (1) Installation of radial gates in the spillway of the existing dam, (2) changes in reservoir operations, (3) timber harvest and hazard tree abatement involving one to two million board feet (mmbf) of timber on lands affected by the project and (4) implementation of project design features and mitigation measures to avoid, minimize or compensate for projected impacts to NFS recreation and habitat resources; including replacement of recreation facilities affected by inundation of additional NFS lands.

    Lead and Cooperating Agencies

    The Tahoe National Forest is the lead federal agency for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Foresthill Public Utility District is a cooperating agency and the lead state agency for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pursuant to requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Tahoe National Forest and Foresthill Public Utility District will be preparing a joint environmental document (EIS/EIR) to meet NEPA and CEQA requirements.

    Responsible Official

    The Responsible Official is the Forest Supervisor of the Tahoe National Forest.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The decision to be made is whether to approve the Permit amendment as described above, to modify the project to meet the purpose and need while addressing issues raised in public scoping, or to take no action at this time.

    Permits or Licenses Required

    Amendment of Foresthill's Special Use Permit for Sugar Pine Dam and Reservoir.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. Two public scoping meetings will be held during the scoping comment period:

    September 19, 2016 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Foresthill Veterans Memorial Hall, 24601 Harrison Street, Foresthill, CA 95631 And September 20, 2016 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at ECORP Consulting, 2529 Warren Drive, Rocklin, CA 95677

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. The most useful comments to inform development of the environmetnal impact statement are those that identify issues in the context of a cause and effect relationship associated with the proposed action or alternatives to the proposed action.

    This project will be subject to 36 CFR 218 Project-level Predecisional Administrative Review Process (Parts A and B). Individuals and entities who have submitted timely, specific written comments regarding a proposed project or activity during public comment periods, including this 30-day public scoping period, may file an objection (36 CFR 218.5(a)). Written comments received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposal and will be available for public inspection (36 CFR 218.25(b)(2)). For purposes of meeting the 36 CFR 218.5 eligibility requirements, the public scoping period will end 30 days from the date this legal notice is published. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered.

    Dated: August 24, 2016. Eli Ilano, Forest Supervisor, Tahoe National Forest.
    [FR Doc. 2016-20921 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    ARCTIC RESEARCH COMMISSION Notice of 106th Commission Meeting

    A notice by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission on August 26, 2016

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Arctic Research Commission will hold its 106th meeting in Washington, DC, on September 29-30, 2016. The business sessions, open to the public, will convene at 8:30 a.m. at the U.S. Global Change Research Program, 1800 G St. NW., #9100, Conf. Rm. A, Washington, DC 20006. Photo identification is required to enter the building. Forms of acceptable identification are a driver's license, federal identification card, or passport. All attendees and visitors are required to go through a metal detector with the exception of pregnant women, and individuals with heart conditions. Security must be advised by those individuals with the above mentioned health conditions.

    The Agenda items include:

    (1) Call to order and approval of the agenda (2) Approval of the minutes from the 105th meeting (3) Commissioners and staff reports (4) Discussion and presentations concerning Arctic research activities

    The focus of this meeting will include reports and updates on programs and research projects affecting Alaska and the greater Arctic.

    The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (Title I Pub. L. 98-373) and the Presidential Executive Order on Arctic Research (Executive Order 12501) dated January 28, 1985, established the United States Arctic Research Commission.

    If you plan to attend this meeting, please notify us via the contact information below. Any person planning to attend, who requires special accessibility features and/or auxiliary aids, such as sign language interpreters, must inform the Commission of those needs in advance of the meeting.

    Contact person for further information: Kathy Farrow, Communications Specialist, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, 703-525-0111 or TDD 703-306-0090.

    Kathy Farrow, Communications Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21215 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-583-850] Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 13, 2016 the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from Taiwan. The period of review (POR) is July 18, 2014, through August 31, 2015. The review covers one producer/exporter of the subject merchandise, Tension Steel Industries Co., Ltd. (Tension Steel). We invited parties to comment on the preliminarily results. None were received. Accordingly, for the final results, we continue to find that Tension Steel did not make sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value.

    DATES:

    Effective September 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Schauer, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0410.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 13, 2016, the Department published the Preliminary Results of the administrative review.1 The Department gave interested parties an opportunity to comment on the Preliminary Results. None were received. The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    1See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015, 81 FR 38135 (June 13, 2016) (Preliminary Results).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order is certain OCTG, which are hollow steel products of circular cross-section, including oil well casing and tubing, of iron (other than cast iron) or steel (both carbon and alloy), whether seamless or welded, regardless of end finish (e.g., whether or not plain end, threaded, or threaded and coupled) whether or not conforming to American Petroleum Institute (API) or non-API specifications, whether finished (including limited service OCTG products) or unfinished (including green tubes and limited service OCTG products), whether or not thread protectors are attached. The scope of the order also covers OCTG coupling stock.

    Excluded from the scope of the order are: Casing or tubing containing 10.5 percent or more by weight of chromium; drill pipe; unattached couplings; and unattached thread protectors.

    The merchandise subject to the order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7304.29.10.10, 7304.29.10.20, 7304.29.10.30, 7304.29.10.40, 7304.29.10.50, 7304.29.10.60, 7304.29.10.80, 7304.29.20.10, 7304.29.20.20, 7304.29.20.30, 7304.29.20.40, 7304.29.20.50, 7304.29.20.60, 7304.29.20.80, 7304.29.31.10, 7304.29.31.20, 7304.29.31.30, 7304.29.31.40, 7304.29.31.50, 7304.29.31.60, 7304.29.31.80, 7304.29.41.10, 7304.29.41.20, 7304.29.41.30, 7304.29.41.40, 7304.29.41.50, 7304.29.41.60, 7304.29.41.80, 7304.29.50.15, 7304.29.50.30, 7304.29.50.45, 7304.29.50.60, 7304.29.50.75, 7304.29.61.15, 7304.29.61.30, 7304.29.61.45, 7304.29.61.60, 7304.29.61.75, 7305.20.20.00, 7305.20.40.00, 7305.20.60.00, 7305.20.80.00, 7306.29.10.30, 7306.29.10.90, 7306.29.20.00, 7306.29.31.00, 7306.29.41.00, 7306.29.60.10, 7306.29.60.50, 7306.29.81.10, and 7306.29.81.50.

    The merchandise subject to the order may also enter under the following HTSUS item numbers: 7304.39.00.24, 7304.39.00.28, 7304.39.00.32, 7304.39.00.36, 7304.39.00.40, 7304.39.00.44, 7304.39.00.48, 7304.39.00.52, 7304.39.00.56, 7304.39.00.62, 7304.39.00.68, 7304.39.00.72, 7304.39.00.76, 7304.39.00.80, 7304.59.60.00, 7304.59.80.15, 7304.59.80.20, 7304.59.80.25, 7304.59.80.30, 7304.59.80.35, 7304.59.80.40, 7304.59.80.45, 7304.59.80.50, 7304.59.80.55, 7304.59.80.60, 7304.59.80.65, 7304.59.80.70, 7304.59.80.80, 7305.31.40.00, 7305.31.60.90, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.90, 7306.50.50.50, and 7306.50.50.70.

    While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description is dispositive.

    Final Results of Review

    The Department made no changes to the Preliminary Results. As a result of this review, we determine that a weighted-average dumping margin of 0.00 percent exists for Tension Steel Industries Co., Ltd. for the period July 18, 2014, through August 31, 2015.

    Assessment

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b) and the Final Modification, 2 the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to liquidate all appropriate entries for Tension Steel without regard to antidumping duties.

    2See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101, 8103 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification).

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Tension Steel for which it did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction. We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of administrative review for all shipments of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Tension Steel will be 0.00 percent, the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the manufacturer of the merchandise; (4) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer has its own rate, the cash deposit rate will be 2.34 percent.3 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    3See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From India, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, the Republic of Turkey, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Antidumping Duty Orders; and Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 79 FR 53691, 53693 (September 10, 2014).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21212 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-867] Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on large power transformers (LPTs) from the Republic of Korea (Korea). The period of review is August 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015. The review covers five producers/exporters of the subject merchandise. We preliminarily determine that sales of subject merchandise by Hyosung Corporation (Hyosung) and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (Hyundai), the two companies selected for individual examination, were made at less than normal value during the period of review. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective September 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Drury or Edythe Artman, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0195 or (202) 482-3931, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The scope of this order covers large liquid dielectric power transformers having a top power handling capacity greater than or equal to 60,000 kilovolt amperes (60 megavolt amperes), whether assembled or unassembled, complete or incomplete. The merchandise subject to the order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States at subheadings 8504.23.0040, 8504.23.0080 and 8504.90.9540. This tariff classification is provided for convenience and Customs purposes; however, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.1

    1 The full text of the scope of the order is contained in the memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, entitled “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Large Power Transformers from the Republic of Korea; 2014-2015” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), which is issued concurrent with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). Access to ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Tolling of Deadline

    As explained in the memorandum from the Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, the Department exercised its discretion to toll all administrative deadlines due to a closure of the Federal Government. All deadlines in this segment of the proceeding have been extended by four business days. The revised deadline for the preliminary results of this review is now August 26, 2016.2

    2See Memorandum to the File from Ron Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, regarding “Tolling of Administrative Deadlines As a Result of the Government Closure During Snowstorm Jonas,” dated January 27, 2016.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Constructed export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    We preliminarily determine that, for the period August 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015, the following weighted-average dumping margins exist: 3

    3 As we did not have a publicly-ranged total U.S. sales value for Hyosung for the period August 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015, to calculate a weighted-average dumping margin for the non-examined companies (i.e., Iljin, Iljin Electric Co., Ltd, and LSIS Co., Ltd.), the rate applied to these companies is a simple average of the weighted-average dumping margins calculated for Hyosung and Hyundai.

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Hyosung Corporation 1.76 Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd 3.09 Iljin Electric Co., Ltd 2.43 Iljin 2.43 LSIS Co., Ltd 2.43
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department will disclose to parties to the proceeding any calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results of review within five days after the date of publication of this notice.4 The Department will announce the briefing schedule to interested parties at a later date. Interested parties may submit case briefs on the deadline that the Department will announce.5 Rebuttal briefs, the content of which is limited to the issues raised in the case briefs, must be filed within five days from the deadline date for the submission of case briefs.6

    4See 19 CFR 351.224(b)

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii) and (d)(1).

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1) and (2).

    Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.7 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.8 Case and rebuttal briefs must be served on interested parties.9 Executive summaries should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2).

    8See generally 19 CFR 351.303.

    9See 19 CFR 351.303(f).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues parties intend to discuss. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case and rebuttal briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a date and time to be determined.10 Parties should confirm the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    The Department intends to publish the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of issues raised in any case or rebuttal brief, no later than 120 days after publication of these preliminary results, unless extended.11

    11See section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act; 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of this administrative review, the Department shall determine, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. If a respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is not zero or de minimis in the final results of this review and the respondent reported reliable entered values, we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem assessment rates for the merchandise based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the examined sales made during the period of review to each importer to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). If the respondent has not reported reliable entered values, we will calculate a per-unit assessment rate for each importer by dividing the total amount of dumping for the examined sales made during the period of review to that importer by the total sales quantity associated with those transactions. Where an importer-specific ad valorem assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties in accordance with 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2). If the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis in the final results of review, we will instruct CBP not to assess duties on any of its entries in accordance with the Final Modification for Reviews, i.e., “{w}here the weighted-average margin of dumping for the exporter is determined to be zero or de minimis, no antidumping duties will be assessed.” 12

    12See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101, 8102 (February 14, 2012) (Final Modification for Reviews).

    Regarding entries of subject merchandise during the period of review that were produced by Hyosung and Hyundai and for which they did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate of 22.00 percent, as established in the less-than-fair-value investigation of the order, if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.13 For a full discussion of this matter, see Assessment Policy Notice. 14

    13See Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 53177 (August 31, 2012).

    14See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003) (Assessment Policy Notice).

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date of the final results of this administrative review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Hyosung and Hyundai and other companies listed above will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which they were reviewed; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or in the investigation but the producer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the producer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other producers or exporters will continue to be the all-others rate of 22.00 percent, the rate established in the investigation of this proceeding.15 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    15See Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Antidumping Duty Order, 77 FR 53177 (August 31, 2012).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing this notice in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Background 2. Companies Not Selected for Individual Examination 3. Deadline for Submission of Updated Sales and Cost Information 4. Scope of the Order 5. Comparisons to Normal Value A. Determination of Comparison Method B. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis 6. Product Comparisons 7. Date of Sale 8. Constructed Export Price 9. Normal Value A. Home Market Viability as Comparison Market B. Level of Trade C. Sales to Affiliates D. Cost of Production 1. Calculation of Cost of Production 2. Test of Comparison Market Sales Prices 3. Results of the Cost of Production Test E. Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices F. Price-to-Constructed Value Comparison 10. Currency Conversion 11. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-21211 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE855 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Crab Plan Team (CPT) will meet September 20 through September 23, 2016.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 through Friday, September 23, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Alaska Fishery Science Center Traynor Room 2076, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Building 4, Seattle, WA 98115.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Diana Stram, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Through Friday, September 23, 2016

    The CPT will review updated stock assessments to determine overfishing status and catch specifications for PIBKC (Pribilof Islands Blue King Crab), BBRKC (Bristol Bay Red King Crab), PIRKC (Pribilof Island Red King Crab), SMBKC (St. Matthew Blue King Crab), Bering Sea Snow Crab, and Bering Sea Tanner Crab. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271-2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21188 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE856 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Observer Advisory Committee (OAC) will meet in Seattle, WA.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, September 19, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be in the Observer Training Room, Building 4 at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 7700 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115. Please call (907) 271-2896.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Diana Evans, Council staff; telephone: (907)-271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda Monday, September 19 and Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    The agenda will include a review of the Draft 2017 Observer Annual Deployment Plan, the lead level 2 discussion paper, the EM (Electronic Monitoring) analysis and 2017 EM Plan, other analytic project priorities, and scheduling and other issues. The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/observer-program/

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271-2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21189 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE817 Fisheries of the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR Steering Committee will meet to discuss the SEDAR process and assessment schedule. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The SEDAR Steering Committee will meet from 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The Steering Committee meeting will be held at the Town and Country Inn, 2008 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29407; telephone: (843) 571-1000.

    SEDAR address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405; www.sedarweb.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Carmichael, Deputy Executive Director, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405; phone: (843) 571-4366 or toll free: (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The items of discussion are as follows:

    SEDAR Steering Committee Agenda, Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

    1. Review Assessment Projects Status Reports 2. Consider the Research Track Assessment Process and Changes in the SEDAR Standard Operating Procedures and Policies (SOPPs). 3. Review State-Sponsored Assessment Process: Goliath Grouper Benchmark Case Study 4. Address the SEDAR Assessment Schedule: Identify assessment capability, determine 2018 priorities and identify projects for 2019-20. 5. Review Data Best Practices Terms of References (TORs) and Charge statement. 6. Progress Report on the Stock Identification and Meristics workshop: Timing, TORs, and stocks list. 7. Update on the NOAA Fisheries Stock Assessment Prioritization Plan: Cooperator progress and SEDAR role.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the SAFMC office (see ADDRESSES) at least 10 business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21187 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE853 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has completed a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the potential impacts of authorizing an exempted fishing permit (EFP) for longline vessels to fish within the U.S. West Coast exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

    DATES:

    Written comments on the draft EA must be submitted by October 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments on the draft EA should be submitted to the Sustainable Fisheries Division, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. Comments may also be submitted by email to [email protected]

    The EA is available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following office: The Sustainable Fisheries Division, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802; or on NMFS' West Coast Region Web site: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/migratory_species/highly_migratory_species_rules_req.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amber Rhodes (ph: 562-980-3231; email: [email protected]) or Chris Fanning (ph: 562-980-4198; email: [email protected]), Long Beach, CA.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Draft EA was completed to consider potential impacts of issuing an EFP authorizing the applicants to fish with longline gear in the U.S. West Coast EEZ, under specific terms and conditions. According to regulations, a NMFS Regional Administrator may authorize “for limited testing, public display, data collection, exploratory, health and safety, environmental cleanup, and/or hazard removal purposes, the target or incidental harvest of species managed under an FMP [fishery management plan] or fishery regulations that would otherwise be prohibited” (50 CFR 600.745(b)). Issuance of an EFP, which is the proposed action analyzed in this EA, would provide such authorization as fishing with longline gear in the U.S. West Coast EEZ is currently prohibited under the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Highly Migratory Species Fisheries and Federal regulation at 550 CFR 660.712(a). The original application for the EFP was discussed during the March 2015 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting and published on the Council's Web site at: http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/H3a_Att1_Dupuy_etal_MAR2015BB.pdf. A revised application for the EFP and the Council's additional recommendations regarding EFP issuance were published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2015 (80 FR 29662).

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21196 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Notice of Public Hearing and Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Management Plan for the Proposed Designation of the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve in Hawai`i AGENCY:

    Office for Coastal Management (OCM), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Public Hearing and Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Management Plan for the proposed designation of the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve in Hawai`i.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management (OCM) is announcing a forty-five day public comment period and will hold a public hearing for the purpose of receiving comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Management Plan (DEIS/DMP) prepared for the proposed designation of the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve in Hawai`i. The DMP addresses research, monitoring, education, and stewardship/cultural resource needs for the proposed reserve, and the DEIS analyzes alternatives to the proposed action along with their potential environmental impacts. The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) is a federal-state partnership administered by NOAA. The system protects more than 1.3 million acres of estuarine habitat for long-term research, monitoring, education and stewardship throughout the coastal United States. Established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, each reserve is managed by a lead state agency or university, with input from local partners. NOAA provides funding and national programmatic guidance.

    DATES:

    NOAA is accepting public comments through 5:00 p.m. (HST), October 17, 2016. In addition, NOAA will also accept public comments, conveyed orally or through submitted written statements, during a public hearing held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on October 6, 2016, at He`eia State Park, 46-465 Kamehameha Highway, Kāne`ohe, HI 96744. NOAA is soliciting the views of interested persons and organizations on the adequacy of the DEIS/DMP. All relevant comments received at the hearing and during the 45-day public comment period ending 5:00 p.m. (HST), October 17, 2016, will be considered in the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Final Management Plan (FMP).

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any one of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NOS-2016-0114, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Joelle Gore, Stewardship Division, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, NOAA, 1305 East West Highway,N/ORM2, Room 10622 Silver Spring, MD 20910. 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 NOAA. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jean Tanimoto, Coastal Management Specialist, Policy, Planning, and Communications Division, Office for Coastal Management at (808) 725-5253 or via email at [email protected].

    Electronic copies of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Management Plan may be found on the OCM Web site at http://coast.noaa.gov/czm/compliance/ or may be obtained upon request from [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The requirements of 40 CFR parts 1500-1508 (Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations to implement the National Environmental Policy Act) apply to the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements. Specifically, 40 CFR 1506.6 requires agencies to provide public notice of the availability of environmental documents. Likewise, the NERRS implementing regulations at 15 CFR 921.13(d) require NOAA to provide notice, in the Federal Register, of the DEIS availability and the public hearing. This notice is part of NOAA's action to comply with these requirements.

    Dated: August 23, 2016. John R. King, Deputy Director, Office for Coastal Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21059 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Solicitation for Members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of solicitation for members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board.

    SUMMARY:

    NOAA is soliciting nominations for members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is the only Federal Advisory Committee with the responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator on long- and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. The SAB consists of approximately fifteen members reflecting the full breadth of NOAA's areas of responsibility and assists NOAA in maintaining a complete and accurate understanding of scientific issues critical to the agency's missions.

    Composition and Points of View: The Board will consist of approximately fifteen members, including a Chair, designated by the Under Secretary in accordance with FACA requirements.

    Members will be appointed for three-year terms, renewable once, and serve at the discretion of the Under Secretary. If a member resigns before the end of his or her first term, the vacancy appointment shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term, and shall be renewable twice if the unexpired term is less than one year. Members will be appointed as special government employees (SGEs) and will be subject to the ethical standards applicable to SGEs. Members are reimbursed for actual and reasonable travel and per diem expenses incurred in performing such duties but will not be reimbursed for their time. As a Federal Advisory Committee, the Board's membership is required to be balanced in terms of viewpoints represented and the functions to be performed as well as the interests of geographic regions of the country and the diverse sectors of U.S. society.

    The SAB meets in person three times each year, exclusive of teleconferences or subcommittee, task force, and working group meetings. Board members must be willing to serve as liaisons to SAB working groups and/or participate in periodic reviews of the NOAA Cooperative Institutes and overarching reviews of NOAA's research enterprise.

    Nominations: Interested persons may nominate themselves or third parties.

    Applications: An application is required to be considered for Board membership, regardless of whether a person is nominated by a third party or self-nominated. The application package must include: (1) The nominee's full name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information; (2) the nominee's area(s) of expertise; (3) a short description of his/her qualifications relative to the kinds of advice being solicited by NOAA in this Notice; and (4) a current resume (maximum length four [4] pages).

    DATES:

    Nominations should be sent to the web address specified below and must be received by October 17, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Applications should be submitted electronically to [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Cynthia Decker, Executive Director, Science Advisory Board, NOAA, Rm. 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301-734-1156, Fax: 301-713-1459, Email: [email protected]); or visit the NOAA SAB Web site at http://www.sab.noaa.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    At this time, individuals are sought with expertise in marine ecosystem science and `omics, formal and informal education, oceanography, risk management and resilience, and data science. Individuals with expertise in other NOAA mission areas are also welcomed to apply.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21078 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE790 Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public workshops.

    SUMMARY:

    Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in October, November, and December of 2016. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2017 and will be announced in a future notice.

    DATES:

    The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops will be held on October 13, November 10, and December 8, 2016.

    The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held on October 20, October 26, November 4, November 7, December 7, and December 16, 2016.

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops will be held in Somerville, MA; Mount Pleasant, SC; and Clearwater, FL.

    The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in Charleston, SC; Manahawkin, NJ; Kitty Hawk, NC; Panama City, FL; Key Largo, FL; and Ronkonkoma, NY.

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details on workshop locations.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Pearson by phone: (727) 824-5399, or by fax: (727) 824-5398.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The workshop schedules, registration information, and a list of frequently asked questions regarding these workshops are posted on the Internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/compliance/workshops/index.html.

    Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops

    Since January 1, 2008, Atlantic shark dealers have been prohibited from receiving, purchasing, trading, or bartering for Atlantic sharks unless a valid Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate is on the premises of each business listed under the shark dealer permit that first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully complete a workshop are issued a certificate for each place of business that is permitted to receive sharks. These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. Approximately 124 free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops have been conducted since January 2007.

    Currently, permitted dealers may send a proxy to an Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop. However, if a dealer opts to send a proxy, the dealer must designate a proxy for each place of business covered by the dealer's permit which first receives Atlantic sharks. Only one certificate will be issued to each proxy. A proxy must be a person who is currently employed by a place of business covered by the dealer's permit; is a primary participant in the identification, weighing, and/or first receipt of fish as they are offloaded from a vessel; and who fills out dealer reports. Atlantic shark dealers are prohibited from renewing a Federal shark dealer permit unless a valid Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate for each business location that first receives Atlantic sharks has been submitted with the permit renewal application. Additionally, trucks or other conveyances that are extensions of a dealer's place of business must possess a copy of a valid dealer or proxy Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate.

    Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations

    1. October 13, 2016, 12 p.m.-4 p.m., LaQuinta Inn, 23 Cummings Street, Somerville, MA 02145.

    2. November 10, 2016, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Hampton Inn, 1104 Isle of Palms Connector, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464.

    3. December 8, 2016, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. LaQuinta Inn, 5000 Lake Boulevard, Clearwater, FL 33760.

    Registration

    To register for a scheduled Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop, please contact Eric Sander at [email protected] or at (386) 852-8588.

    Registration Materials

    To ensure that workshop certificates are linked to the correct permits, participants will need to bring the following specific items to the workshop:

    • Atlantic shark dealer permit holders must bring proof that the attendee is an owner or agent of the business (such as articles of incorporation), a copy of the applicable permit, and proof of identification.

    • Atlantic shark dealer proxies must bring documentation from the permitted dealer acknowledging that the proxy is attending the workshop on behalf of the permitted Atlantic shark dealer for a specific business location, a copy of the appropriate valid permit, and proof of identification.

    Workshop Objectives

    The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops are designed to reduce the number of unknown and improperly identified sharks reported in the dealer reporting form and increase the accuracy of species-specific dealer-reported information. Reducing the number of unknown and improperly identified sharks will improve quota monitoring and the data used in stock assessments. These workshops will train shark dealer permit holders or their proxies to properly identify Atlantic shark carcasses.

    Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops

    Since January 1, 2007, shark limited-access and swordfish limited-access permit holders who fish with longline or gillnet gear have been required to submit a copy of their Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As such, vessel owners who have not already attended a workshop and received a NMFS certificate, or vessel owners whose certificate(s) will expire prior to the next permit renewal, must attend a workshop to fish with, or renew, their swordfish and shark limited-access permits. Additionally, new shark and swordfish limited-access permit applicants who intend to fish with longline or gillnet gear must attend a Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop and submit a copy of their workshop certificate before either of the permits will be issued. Approximately 238 free Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops have been conducted since 2006.

    In addition to certifying vessel owners, at least one operator on board vessels issued a limited-access swordfish or shark permit that uses longline or gillnet gear is required to attend a Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop and receive a certificate. Vessels that have been issued a limited-access swordfish or shark permit and that use longline or gillnet gear may not fish unless both the vessel owner and operator have valid workshop certificates onboard at all times. Vessel operators who have not already attended a workshop and received a NMFS certificate, or vessel operators whose certificate(s) will expire prior to their next fishing trip, must attend a workshop to operate a vessel with swordfish and shark limited-access permits that uses longline or gillnet gear.

    Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations

    1. October 20, 2016, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Hampton Inn, 678 Citadel Haven Drive, Charleston, SC 29414.

    2. October 26, 2016, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Holiday Inn, 151 Route 72 East, Manahawkin, NJ 08050.

    3. November 4, 2016, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 5353 North Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949.

    4. November 7, 2016, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 1101 US Highway 231, Panama City, FL 32405.

    5. December 7, 2016, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Holiday Inn, 99701 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037.

    6. December 16, 2016, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 3485 Veterans Memorial Highway, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779.

    Registration

    To register for a scheduled Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop, please contact Angler Conservation Education at (386) 682-0158.

    Registration Materials

    To ensure that workshop certificates are linked to the correct permits, participants will need to bring the following specific items with them to the workshop:

    • Individual vessel owners must bring a copy of the appropriate swordfish and/or shark permit(s), a copy of the vessel registration or documentation, and proof of identification.

    • Representatives of a business-owned or co-owned vessel must bring proof that the individual is an agent of the business (such as articles of incorporation), a copy of the applicable swordfish and/or shark permit(s), and proof of identification.

    • Vessel operators must bring proof of identification.

    Workshop Objectives

    The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops are designed to teach longline and gillnet fishermen the required techniques for the safe handling and release of entangled and/or hooked protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and smalltooth sawfish. In an effort to improve reporting, the proper identification of protected species will also be taught at these workshops. Additionally, individuals attending these workshops will gain a better understanding of the requirements for participating in these fisheries. The overall goal of these workshops is to provide participants with the skills needed to reduce the mortality of protected species, which may prevent additional regulations on these fisheries in the future.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21194 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE857 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Ecosystem Based Fishery Management (EBFM) Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Monday, September 19, 2016 at 10 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel, 50 Ferncroft Road, Danvers, MA 01923; telephone: (978) 777-2500; fax: (978) 750-7991.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The committee will discuss and provide feedback on a Draft Operating Model for the Georges Bank Ecosystem Production Unit description prepared by the EBFM Plan Development Team. This operating model will provide the foundation for a Georges Bank Fishery Ecosystem Plan and Management Strategy Evaluation. The committee will also review and draft comments on a Draft NOAA Fisheries EBFM Policy and Roadmap. Other business will be discussed if time permits.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21190 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE852 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a one and a half day meeting of its Standing, Reef Fish, Shrimp, Coastal Migratory Pelagics Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).

    DATES:

    The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, and end at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Gulf Council's Conference Room, and via Webinar. You may attend the meeting via Webinar by registering at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/816513104821884417.

    Council address: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steven Atran, Senior Fishery Biologist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; [email protected], telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda Tuesday, September 20, 2016 I. Introductions and Adoption of Agenda II. Election of Chair and Vice-chair III. Approval of minutes a. January 6-8, 2015 Standing, Reef Fish, and Mackerel SSC meeting b. June 1, 2016 Standing, Shrimp, and Socioeconomic SSC meeting c. Standing Reef Fish socioeconomic Shrimp and Spiny Lobster SSC meeting June 2016-verbatim minutes d. August 2, 2016 Standing and Reef Fish SSC Webinar IV. Selection of SSC representative at October 17-20, 2016 Council meeting Standing and Mackerel SSC Session V. Updated OFL and ABC yield streams for Gulf migratory group king mackerel for 2017/2018 to 2019/2020 fishing seasons Standing and Reef Fish SSC Session #1 VI. Goliath Grouper benchmark assessment VII. Evaluation of candidate species for future data-poor assessments Wednesday, September 21, 2016 Standing and Shrimp SSC Session VIII. Risk assessment for threshold permit numbers relative to sea turtle incidental take constraints Standing and Reef Fish SSC Session #2 a. Decision tools for gray triggerfish b. Commercial seasons and trip limits c. Recreational seasons, size limits, bag limits, and effort shifting IX. Evaluation of recreational red snapper split seasons X. Review of updated SEDAR schedule XI. Discussion on limit and target reference points and MSY proxies for reef fish a. Discussion of limit and target reference points b. Discussion of components of risk and uncertainty associated with the choice and estimation of reference points c. Discussion of the components of risk and uncertainty associated with choosing MSY proxies i. General discussion ii. Discussion specific to red snapper d. Ad Hoc Working Group on MSY proxies i. Charge to the working group ii. Recommendations for working group participants XII. Review of ABC Control Rule Alternatives a. Current ABC control rule b. Modified from the method described in Martel and Froese (2012) c. Fixed proportion of FMSY or MSY d. Bucket method for setting P* XIII. Dates for next SSC meeting XIV. Other Business —Meeting Adjourns—

    You may register for SSC Meeting: Standing, Reef Fish, Mackerel, and Shrimp on September 20 and 21, 2016 at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/816513104821884417.

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version along with other meeting materials will be posted on the Council's file server. To access the file server, the URL is https://public.gulfcouncil.org:5001/webman/index.cgi, or go to the Council's Web site and click on the FTP link in the lower left of the Council Web site (http://www.gulfcouncil.org). The username and password are both “gulfguest”. Click on the “Library Folder,” then scroll down to “SSC meeting-2016-09.”

    The meeting will be Webcast over the internet. A link to the Webcast will be available on the Council's Web site, at http://www.gulfcouncil.org.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Scientific and Statistical Committee for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Actions of the Scientific and Statistical Committee will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira, at the Gulf Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21183 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Additions to and Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by a nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products and a service from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Effective: October 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additions

    On 7/29/2016 (81 FR 49960-49961), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed additions to the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agencies to provide the products and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the products listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organizations that will furnish the products to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products are added to the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): MR 13001—Greensaver Produce Keeper, 1.6 Qt. MR 13002—Greensaver Produce Keeper, 4.3 Qt. MR 13004—Greensaver Crisper Insert Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Cincinnati Association for the Blind, Cincinnati, OH Mandatory Purchase for: The requirements of military commissaries and exchanges in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 51, 51-6.4. Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency Distribution: C-List Deletions

    On 5/6/2016 (81 FR 27419-27420) and 7/29/2016 (81 FR 49960-49961), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notices of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the products and service listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products and service to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products and service deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products and service are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8470-01-442-2990—Suspension Assembly for PASGT Helmet, Improved. Specification MIL-S-44097 8470-01-442-2995—Suspension Assembly for PASGT Helmet, Improved. Specification MIL-S-44097 8470-01-442-3001—Suspension Assembly for PASGT Helmet, Improved. Specification MIL-S-44097 8470-01-442-3021—Suspension Assembly for PASGT Helmet, Improved. Specification MIL-S-44097 Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Georgia Industries for the Blind, Bainbridge, GA; Travis Association for the Blind, Austin, TX; Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support NSN(s)—Product Name(s): MR 890—Barbecue, Display, 4 Tool Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Cincinnati Association for the Blind, Cincinnati, OH Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency NSN(s)—Product Name(s): MR 1032—Rag, Cleaning, White; MR 1145—Server, Gravy Boat Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6230-00-643-3562—Lantern, Electric, Head; 6230-01-493-7630—Lighting Pro VR-5AA Headlight Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Easter Seals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut, Inc., Windsor, CT Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6230-01-285-4396—Lantern, Electric, Fireman's Helmet Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Easter Seals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut, Inc., Windsor, CT Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Service Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: Veterans Center #402: 4161 Cass, Detroit, MI Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Jewish Vocational Service and Community Workshop, Southfield, MI Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21208 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed Additions to and Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by the nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products and services previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products listed below from the nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agency listed:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8465-01-608-7503—Bag, Sleeping, Outer, Extreme Cold Weather (ECW OSB) U.S. Marine Corps, Regular; 8465-01-623-2346—Bag, Sleeping, Outer, Extreme Cold Weather (ECW OSB) U.S. Marine Corps, Extra Long Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: ReadyOne Industries, Inc., El Paso, TX Mandatory Purchase for: 50% of the requirements of Department of Defense Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Distribution: C-List Deletions

    The following products and services are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 8415-01-519-7867—Jacket, Level 3, PCU, Marine Corps, Brown, L 8415-01-519-7868—Jacket, Level 3, PCU, Marine Corps, Brown, M 8415-01-519-8079—Jacket, Level 3, PCU, Marine Corps, Brown, L-L 8415-01-519-8083—Jacket, Level 3, PCU, Marine Corps, Brown, S 8415-01-519-8084—Jacket, Level 3, PCU, Marine Corps, Brown, XL-L 8415-01-519-8087—Jacket, Level 3, PCU, Marine Corps, Brown, XL Contracting Activities: Commander, Quantico, VA, Army Contracting Command—Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division 8415-01-535-7954—Shirt, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, XXL 8415-01-542-8541—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, XXLL 8415-01-542-8544—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, S 8415-01-542-8548—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, M 8415-01-542-8551—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, L 8415-01-542-8554—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, L-L 8415-01-542-8557—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, XL-L 8415-01-542-8558—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, XL 8415-01-542-8560—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, XXL 8415-01-542-8561—Jacket, Lightweight Extreme Cold Weather Insulating, Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, XS 8415-01-543-7040—Jacket, Extreme Cold Weather Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, M-L 8415-01-544-6756—Jacket, Extreme Cold Weather Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, XXXL 8415-01-544-6759—Jacket, Extreme Cold Weather Level 3, PCU, Army, Brown, XXXLL Contracting Activity: Army Contracting Command—Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 7930-01-436-7950—Phenolic Disinfectant Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Beacon Lighthouse, Inc., Wichita Falls, TX Contracting Activities: U.S. Postal Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 7530-01-354-2327—Envelope, Translucent, 41/2 x 11″, 7530-01-354-3982—Envelope, Translucent, 4 x 7″, 7530-01-354-3983—Envelope, Translucent, 91/2 x 11″ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Industries for the Blind, Inc., West Allis, WI Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 7520-00-255-7081—Clipboard, Arch, Brown, 9″ x 17″, 7520-00-191-1075—Clipboard, Arch, With Perforator, Brown, 9″ x 17″ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Industries of the Blind, Inc., Greensboro, NC Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 7520-01-424-4849—Marker, Permanent Ink (Colossal) (Black) Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., Dallas, TX Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 8415-01-487-5148—Cap, Baseball, embroidered, Navy, Blue Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: ReadyOne Industries, Inc., El Paso, TX Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Services Service Type: Interior Landscaping/Copier Operation Service Mandatory for: Department of Agriculture, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, MD Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Blind Industries & Services of Maryland, Baltimore, MD Contracting Activity: Dept of Agriculture, Procurement Operations Division Service Type: Mailing Service Mandatory for: Department of Housing and Urban Development, 7 7th St. NW., Washington, DC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Virginia Industries for the Blind, Charlottesville, VA Contracting Activity: Dept of Housing and Urban Development Service Type: ShadowBoarding Service Mandatory for: Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, P.O. Box 97, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Mississippi Industries for the Blind, Jackson, MS Contracting Activity: DOD/Department of the Navy Service Type: Order Processing Service Mandatory for: GSA, Northeast Distribution Center: Federal Supply Service (3FS), 1900 River Rd, Burlington, NJ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Bestwork Industries for the Blind, Inc., Cherry Hill, NJ Contracting Activity: GSA/FAS Tools Acquisition Division II Service Type: Microfilming Tax Forms Service Mandatory for: Internal Revenue Service, 312 Elm St #2300, Cincinnati, OH Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Blind Industries & Services of Maryland, Baltimore, MD Contracting Activity: Department of the Treasury Service Type: Assembly Service Mandatory for: U.S. Information Agency, 400 C Street SW., Washington, DC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Virginia Industries for the Blind, Charlottesville, VA Contracting Activity: Dept of State, Office of Acquisition Mgmt—MA Service Type: Duplicating Service Mandatory for: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 10 S Howard St, Baltimore, MD Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: North Central Sight Services, Inc., Williamsport, PA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION Contract Ofc Service Type: Employment Placement Service Mandatory for Defense Logistics Agency: National Human Resource Offices (HRO) Locations—Columbus, OH; Richmond, VA; Battle, Fort Belvoir, VA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Chester, PA Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Service Type: Administrative Service Mandatory for: General Services Administration, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Chester, PA Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, FPDS Agency Coordinator Service Type: Administrative/General Support Service Mandatory for: GSA, Southwest Supply Center, 819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth, TX Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: NewView Oklahoma, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, FPDS Agency Coordinator Service Type: Customer Service Representatives Service Mandatory for: GSA, Philadelphia Region 3: Federal Supply Service Bureau, Philadelphia, PA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Chester, PA Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, FPDS Agency Coordinator Service Type: Parts Machining Service Mandatory for: Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: West Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, San Angelo, TX Contracting Activity: DOD/Department of the Navy Service Type: Employment Placement Service Mandatory for: Defense Logistics Agency: National Human Resource Offices, 8725 John J Kingman Rd #2545, Fort Belvoir, VA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Washington, DC Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Service Type: Order Processing Service Mandatory for: Federal Prison Industries, Lexington, KY Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Cincinnati, OH Contracting Activity: Federal Prison System, Central Office Service Type: Medical Transcription Service Mandatory for: Patuxent River Naval Air Station: U.S. Naval Hospital, 47149 Buse Road, Unit 1370, Patuxent River, MD Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Lighthouse for the Blind of Houston, Houston, TX Contracting Activity: DOD/Department of the Navy Service Type: Photocopying Service Mandatory for: James E. Van Zandt Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 2907 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: North Central Sight Services, Inc., Williamsport, PA Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Service Type: HTML Coding of Forest Health Monitoring Service Mandatory for: USDA, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, St. Paul, MN Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: North Central Sight Services, Inc., Williamsport, PA Contracting Activity: Dept of Agriculture, Procurement Operations Division Service Type: Duplicating Service Mandatory for: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 100 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: North Central Sight Services, Inc., Williamsport, PA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W40M NORTHEREGION Contract Ofc Service Type: Medical Transcription Service Mandatory for: Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 150 S. Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Ferguson Industries for the Blind (Deleted), Malden, MA Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Service Type: Administrative/General Support Service Mandatory for: GSA, Northeast Distribution Center, Federal Supply Service (3FS), Burlington, NJ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Bestwork Industries for the Blind, Inc., Cherry Hill, NJ Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, FPDS Agency Coordinator Service Type: Administrative Support Service Mandatory for: Federal Bureau of Prisons, Old North Carolina Highway 75, Butner, NC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: RLCB, Inc., Raleigh, NC Contracting Activity: Federal Prison System, Terminal Island, FCI Service Type: Electronic Service Customer Representative Service Mandatory for: Securities & Exchange Commission Library, 2100 2nd St., SW., Rm. 110, Washington, DC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Washington, DC Contracting Activity: Securities and Exchange Commission Service Type: Fulfillment Service Mandatory for: Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation Center, 1 Freedom Way, Augusta, GA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Washington, DC Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Service Type: Administrative/General Support Service Mandatory for: Office of Personnel Management: Inspector General Office, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Washington, DC Contracting Activity: Office of Personnel Management Service Type: Sponge Rubber Mattress Rehabilitation Service Mandatory for: Requirements for GSA Region 3, 100 S Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Virginia Industries for the Blind, Charlottesville, VA Contracting Activity: DOD/Department of the Navy Service Type: Order Processing Service Mandatory for: McGuire Air Force Base, 2786 Mitchell Rd, McGuire AFB, NJ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Bestwork Industries for the Blind, Inc., Cherry Hill, NJ Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA7014 AFDW PK Service Type: Operation of Postal Service Center Service Mandatory for: Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, 1630 Martin St, Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Lions Industries for the Blind, Inc., Kinston, NC Contracting Activity: Dept of the Air Force, FA7014 AFDW PK Service Type: Janitorial/Custodial Service Mandatory for: Defense Supply Center Columbus, 3990 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Service Type: Administrative/General Support Service Mandatory for: GSA, Southwest Supply Center, 819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth, TX Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: New Mexico Industries for the Blind (Deleted), Santa Fe, NM Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, FPDS Agency Coordinator Service Type: Release of Information Copying Service Mandatory for: Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 421 North Main Street, Leeds, MA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Ferguson Industries for the Blind (Deleted), Malden, MA Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21207 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, September 9, 2016.

    PLACE:

    Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room.

    STATUS:

    Closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Surveillance, enforcement, and examinations matters. In the event that the time, date, or location of this meeting changes, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date, and/or place of the meeting will be posted on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202-418-5964.

    Natise Allen, Executive Assistant.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21323 Filed 8-31-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket ID ED-2016-FSA-0044] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an altered system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Privacy Act), the Chief Operating Officer for Federal Student Aid (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) publishes this notice to revise the system of records entitled “Common Services for Borrowers (CSB)” (18-11-16).

    The Department publishes this notice to supplement the description of the CSB system to include paper records obtained from guarantee agencies as part of the appeal of guarantee agencies' decisions to the Department and to revise the CSB system of records as a result of receiving multiple requests for documents from Federal, State, local, or tribal governmental entities seeking to verify Department contractors' compliance with consumer protection, debt collection, financial, and other applicable statutory, regulatory, or local requirements. To more easily accommodate these requests, FSA proposes to add a new routine use to allow the Department to make disclosures to governmental entities at the Federal, State, or local levels regarding the practices of Department contractors who have been provided with access to the CSB system (e.g., Federal Loan servicers, including not-for-profit servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan servicer, and private collection agencies) with regards to all aspects of loans and grants made under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), in order to permit these governmental entities to verify the contractor's compliance with debt collection, financial, and other applicable statutory, regulatory, or local requirements, thus allowing such contractors to continue with their contracted activities for loans and grants made under title IV of the HEA.

    DATES:

    Submit your comments on this altered system of records notice on or before October 3, 2016.

    The Department has filed a report describing the altered system of records covered by this notice with the Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on August 22, 2016. This altered system of records will become effective on the later date of: (1) The expiration of the 40-day period for OMB review on August 22, 2016; or (2) October 3, 2016, unless the altered system of records notice needs to be changed as a result of public comment or OMB review. The Department will publish any changes to the altered system of records notice that result from public comment or OMB review.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under the “help” tab.

    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about this altered system of records, address them to: William Leith, Director, Program Management Services, Business Operations, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, 830 First Street NE., Union Center Plaza (UCP), Room 111I1, Washington, DC 20202-5132.

    Privacy Note:

    The Department's policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.

    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request, we will supply an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Leith, Director, Program Management Services, Business Operations, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, UCP, 830 First Street NE., Room 111I1, Washington, DC 20202-5132. Telephone number: (202) 377-3676.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Introduction

    The CSB system of records covers records for all activities that the Department carries out with regard to making and servicing Federal title IV, HEA loans, and collecting or otherwise resolving obligations owed by an individual with respect to a Federal title IV, HEA loan or grant program. The CSB system contains records of an individual's Federal title IV, HEA loans or grants and of transactions performed by the Department to carry out the purposes of this notice.

    Authority to collect data to make and service title IV, HEA loans, and to otherwise resolve obligations owed by an individual with respect to a Federal title IV, HEA grant program, is provided by titles IV-A, IV-B, IV-D, and IV-E of the HEA.

    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) and (11)) requires Federal agencies to publish in the Federal Register this notice of an altered system of records. The Department's regulations implementing the Privacy Act are contained in part 5b of title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

    The Privacy Act applies to records about individuals that contain individually identifying information and that are retrieved by a unique identifier associated with each individual, such as a name or Social Security number. The information about each individual is called a “record,” and the system, whether manual or computer-based, is called a “system of records.”

    Whenever the Department makes a significant change to an established system of records, the Privacy Act requires the Department to publish a notice of an altered system of records in the Federal Register and to prepare and send a report to the Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, the Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB. These reports are intended to permit an evaluation of the probable effect of the proposal on the privacy rights of individuals.

    A change to a system of records is considered to be a significant change that must be reported whenever an agency expands the types or categories of information maintained, significantly expands the number, types, or categories of individuals about whom records are maintained, changes the purpose for which the information is used, changes the equipment configuration in a way that creates substantially greater access to the records, or adds a routine use disclosure to the system. The CSB system of records was first published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2006 (71 FR 3503), and subsequently updated on September 12, 2014 (79 FR 54685).

    This notice will add a new category of records to the categories of records in the CSB system. This category will include records obtained by the Department as part of the appeal of guarantee agency decisions. These records are kept by the Department in paper form and are not included in any electronic systems. Including these records in the CSB system will ensure the accurate description of the records used by the Department to carry out student loan-related activities.

    This notice will also add a new programmatic routine use (1)(r) to allow the Department to make disclosures to governmental entities at the Federal, State, local, or tribal levels regarding the practices of Department contractors who have been provided with access to the CSB system (e.g., Federal Loan servicers, including not-for-profit servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan servicer, and private collection agencies) with regards to all aspects of loans and grants made under title IV of the HEA in order to permit these entities to verify the contractors' compliance with debt collection, financial, and other applicable statutory, regulatory, or local requirements, which will allow such contractors to continue their work on title IV programs. Before making a disclosure to these Federal, State, local, or tribal governmental entities, the Department will require them to maintain Privacy Act safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of the disclosed records.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov.

    Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. James W. Runcie, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid (FSA), U.S. Department of Education (Department), publishes a notice of an altered system of records. The following amendment is made to the Notice of Altered and Deleted Systems of Records entitled “Common Services for Borrowers (CSB)” (18-11-16), as last published in the Federal Register on September 12, 2014 (79 FR 54685-54695):

    SYSTEM NUMBER: 18-11-16 SYSTEM NAME:

    Common Services for Borrowers (CSB).

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

    None.

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    Maximus Federal Services, Inc., 9651 Hornbaker Road, Manassas, VA 20109 [Department contractor—Debt Management Collection System (DMCS) Data Center].

    U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, 830 First Street NE., Union Center Plaza (UCP), Washington, DC 20202-5132.

    See Appendix II to this notice for the name and location of additional Department locations as well as those of Department contractors with access to this system of records.

    Federal Loan Servicers:

    • Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc., 2401 International Lane, Madison, WI 53704-3121;

    • Nelnet Servicing LLC, 1001 Fort Crook Road N., Suite 132, Bellevue, NE 68005, 6420 Southpoint Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32216-8009 and 3015 South Parker Road, Aurora, CO 80014-2906;

    • Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), 1200 North 7th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102-1419;

    and

    • Navient Corporation, 11100 USA Parkway, Fishers, IN 46037-9203.

    The Department contracts with the aforementioned four Federal Loan Servicers group to effectively manage the servicing and processing of the large number of Federal Family Education Loan Program loans purchased by the Department and as a result of the transition to 100 percent Direct Loans.

    The Department also contracts with Not-for-Profit (NFP) Servicers, which also serve as Federal Loan Servicers to support loan servicing. See Appendix II to this notice for the name and location of each NFP Servicer with which the Department contracts.

    In addition to the Federal Loan Servicers listed above, the Department contracts with Educational Computer Systems, Inc. (ECSI), 181 Montour Run Road, Coraopolis, PA 15108-9408, to service Federal Perkins Loans.

    The Department also contracts with Private Collection Agencies (PCAs) to collect delinquent or defaulted loans. See Appendix II to this notice for the name and location of each PCA with which the Department contracts.

    Other contractors that the Department contracts with to maintain this system of records are found in Appendix II to this notice along with the name of the system that they support.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    The CSB system contains records on those individuals who received a loan or who are otherwise obligated to repay a loan or grant made under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), held and collected by the Department, which was made under: (1) The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, including Stafford Loans, Federal Insured Student Loans (FISL), Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS), PLUS Loans (formerly Parental Loans for Undergraduate Students), and Consolidation Loans; (2) the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, including Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Subsidized Stafford/Ford Loans, Federal Direct Consolidation Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans; (3) the Federal Perkins Loan Program; (4) the Federal Pell Grant Program; (5) the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program; (6) the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program; (7) the Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (SLEAP) Program; (8) Academic Competiveness Grant (ACG) Program; (9) National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant Program; (10) Teach Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program; (11) the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant Program; (12) the Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (CLAARP); and (13) the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

    This system also contains records on individuals who apply for, but do not receive a Direct Loan, as well as individuals identified by the borrower or recipient of the Federal title IV, HEA loan or grant as references or as household members whose income and expenses are considered in connection with the making or the enforcement of the grant or loan.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    This system of records covers the records in all systems used by the Department to carry out activities with regard to making and servicing loans, including collecting or otherwise resolving obligations owed by an individual under title IV of the HEA. The following systems are covered by this system of records notice: DMCS, CLAARP system, PSLF system, systems operated by the Federal Loan Servicers to accomplish the purpose(s) of this system of records, systems operated by the Federal Perkins Loan Program Servicer to accomplish the purpose(s) of this system of records, systems operated by the PCAs to accomplish the purpose(s) of this system of records, and Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) system, as well as paper records obtained by the Department from guarantee agencies in the process of considering appeals by title IV loan borrowers of guarantee agency decisions.

    This system of records contains the employment information, educational status, family income, Social Security number (SSN), address(es), email address(es), and telephone number(s) of the individuals obligated on the debt or whose income and expenses are included in a financial statement submitted by the individual. This system also contains records including, but not limited to, the application for, agreement to repay, and disbursements on the loan, and loan guaranty, if any; the repayment history, including deferments and forbearances; claims by lenders on the loan guaranty; and cancellation or discharges on grounds of qualifying service, bankruptcy discharge, disability (including medical records submitted to support application for discharge by reason of disability), death, or other statutory or regulatory grounds for relief.

    Additionally, for title IV, HEA grant overpayments, the system contains records about the amount disbursed, the school that disbursed the grant, and the basis for overpayment; for all debts, the system contains demographic, employment, and other data on the individuals obligated on the debt or provided as references by the obligor, and the collection actions taken by any holder, including write-off amounts and compromise amounts.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    Titles IV-A, IV-B, IV-D, and IV-E of the HEA.

    PURPOSES:

    The information maintained in this system of records is used for the following purposes:

    (1) To verify the identity of an individual;

    (2) To determine program eligibility and benefits;

    (3) To facilitate default reduction efforts by program participants;

    (4) To enforce the conditions or terms of a loan or grant;

    (5) To make, service, collect, assign, adjust, transfer, refer, or discharge a loan or collect a grant obligation;

    (6) To counsel a debtor in repayment efforts;

    (7) To investigate possible fraud or abuse or verify compliance with program regulations;

    (8) To locate a delinquent or defaulted borrower or an individual obligated to repay a loan or grant;

    (9) To prepare a debt for litigation, provide support services for litigation on a debt, litigate a debt, or audit the results of litigation on a debt;

    (10) To prepare for, conduct, or enforce a limitation, suspension, termination, or debarment action;

    (11) To ensure that program requirements are met by educational and financial institutions, Federal Loan Servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, PCAs, and guaranty agencies;

    (12) To verify whether a debt qualifies for discharge, cancellation, or forgiveness;

    (13) To conduct credit checks or respond to inquiries or disputes arising from information on the debt already furnished to a credit-reporting agency;

    (14) To investigate complaints, update information, or correct errors contained in Department records;

    (15) To refund credit balances to the individual or loan holder;

    (16) To allow educational institutions, financial institutions, Federal Loan Servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, PCAs, and guaranty agencies to report information to the Department on all aspects of loans and grants made under title IV of the HEA in uniform formats to permit the Department directly to compare data submitted to the Department by individual educational institutions, financial institutions, third-party servicers, guaranty agencies, Federal Loan Servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, or PCAs; and

    (17) To report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information required by law to be reported, including, but not limited to, reports required by 26 U.S.C. 6050P and 6050S.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    The Department may disclose information contained in a record in this system of records under the routine uses listed in this system of records without the consent of the individual if the disclosure is compatible with the purposes for which the information in the record was collected. These disclosures may be made on a case-by-case basis, or, if the Department has complied with the computer matching requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Privacy Act), under a computer matching agreement. Return information that the Department obtains from the IRS (i.e., taxpayer mailing address) per a computer matching program (discussed in Appendix I to this notice) under the authority of 26 U.S.C. 6103(m)(2) or (m)(4) may be disclosed only as authorized by 26 U.S.C. 6103.

    (1) Program Disclosures. The Department may disclose records for the following program purposes:

    (a) To verify the identity of the individual whom records indicate has applied for or received the loan or grant, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, business and personal associates, and present and former employers; to creditors; to consumer reporting agencies; to adjudicative bodies; and to the individual whom the records identify as the party obligated to repay the debt;

    (b) To determine program eligibility and benefits, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, business and personal associates, and present and former employers; to creditors; to consumer reporting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (c) To facilitate default reduction efforts by program participants, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to consumer reporting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (d) To enforce the conditions or terms of the loan or grant, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, business and personal associates, and present and former employers; to creditors; to consumer reporting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (e) To permit making, servicing, collecting, assigning, adjusting, transferring, referring, or discharging a loan or collecting a grant obligation, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational institutions, or financial institutions that made, held, serviced, or have been assigned the debt, and their authorized representatives; to a party identified by the debtor as willing to advance funds to repay the debt; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, business and personal associates, and present and former employers; to creditors; to consumer reporting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (f) To counsel a debtor in repayment efforts, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; and to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives;

    (g) To investigate possible fraud or abuse or verify compliance with program regulations, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, present and former employers, and business and personal associates; to creditors; to consumer reporting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (h) To locate a delinquent or defaulted borrower, or an individual obligated to repay a loan or grant, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, business and personal associates, and present and former employers; to creditors; to consumer reporting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (i) To prepare a debt for litigation, to provide support services for litigation on a debt, to litigate a debt, or to audit the results of litigation on a debt, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (j) To prepare for, conduct, or enforce a limitation, suspension, and termination or a debarment action, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational or financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (k) To ensure that HEA program requirements are met by educational and financial institutions, guaranty agencies, Federal Loan Servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, and PCAs, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational or financial institutions, and their authorized representatives, and to auditors engaged to conduct an audit of a guaranty agency or an educational or financial institution; to Federal, State, or local agencies, their authorized representatives, or accrediting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (l) To verify whether a debt qualifies for discharge, forgiveness, or cancellation, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, present and former employers, and business and personal associates; to creditors; to consumer reporting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (m) To conduct credit checks or to respond to inquiries or disputes arising from information on the debt already furnished to a credit reporting agency, disclosures may be made to credit reporting agencies; to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, present and former employers, and business and personal associates; to creditors; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (n) To investigate complaints or to update information or correct errors contained in Department records, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, present and former employers, and business and personal associates; to creditors; to credit reporting agencies; and to adjudicative bodies;

    (o) To refund credit balances that are processed through the Department's systems, as well as the U.S. Department of the Treasury's (Treasury's) payment applications, to the individual or loan holder, disclosures may be made to guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, and their authorized representatives; to Federal, State, or local agencies, and their authorized representatives; to private parties, such as relatives, present and former employers, and business and personal associates; and to creditors;

    (p) To allow the reporting of information to the Department on all aspects of loans and grants made under title IV of the HEA in uniform formats and to permit the Department directly to compare data submitted to the Department by individual educational institutions, financial institutions, third-party servicers, guaranty agencies, Federal Loan Servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, or PCAs, disclosures may be made to educational institutions, financial institutions, guaranty agencies, Federal Loan Servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, and PCAs; and

    (q) To report information required by law to be reported, including, but not limited to, reports required by 26 U.S.C. 6050P and 6050S, disclosures may be made to the IRS.

    (r) To allow the Department to make disclosures to governmental entities at the Federal, State, local, or tribal levels regarding the practices of Department contractors who have been provided with access to the CSB system (e.g., Federal Loan servicers, including not-for-profit servicers, the Federal Perkins Loan servicer, and private collection agencies) with regards to all aspects of loans and grants made under title IV of the HEA, in order to permit these governmental entities to verify the contractor's compliance with debt collection, financial, and other applicable statutory, regulatory, or local requirements. Before making a disclosure to these Federal, State, local, or tribal governmental entities, the Department will require them to maintain Privacy Act safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of the disclosed records.

    (2) Feasibility Study Disclosure. The Department may disclose information from this system of records to other Federal agencies, and to guaranty agencies and to their authorized representatives, to determine whether computer matching programs should be conducted by the Department for purposes such as to locate a delinquent or defaulted debtor or to verify compliance with program regulations.

    (3) Disclosure for Use by Other Law Enforcement Agencies. The Department may disclose information to any Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign agency or other public authority responsible for enforcing, investigating, or prosecuting violations of administrative, civil, or criminal law or regulation if that information is relevant to any enforcement, regulatory, investigative, or prosecutorial responsibility within the receiving entity's jurisdiction.

    (4) Enforcement Disclosure. In the event that information in this system of records indicates, either alone or in connection with other information, a violation or potential violation of any applicable statutory, regulatory, or legally binding requirement, the Department may disclose the relevant records to an entity charged with the responsibility for investigating or enforcing those violations or potential violations.

    (5) Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Disclosure.

    (a) Introduction. In the event that one of the parties listed below is involved in judicial or administrative litigation or ADR, or has an interest in such litigation or ADR, the Department may disclose certain records to the parties described in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this routine use under the conditions specified in those paragraphs:

    (i) The Department or any of its components;

    (ii) Any Department employee in his or her official capacity;

    (iii) Any Department employee in his or her individual capacity where the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been requested to or agrees to provide or arrange for representation for the employee;

    (iv) Any Department employee in his or her individual capacity where the Department has agreed to represent the employee; and

    (v) The United States, where the Department determines that the litigation is likely to affect the Department or any of its components.

    (b) Disclosure to the DOJ. If the Department determines that disclosure of certain records to the DOJ is relevant and necessary to the judicial or administrative litigation or ADR, the Department may disclose those records as a routine use to the DOJ.

    (c) Adjudicative Disclosure. If the Department determines that disclosure of certain records to an adjudicative body before which the Department is authorized to appear or to an individual or an entity designated by the Department or otherwise empowered to resolve or mediate disputes is relevant and necessary to the judicial or administrative litigation or ADR, the Department may disclose those records as a routine use to the adjudicative body, individual, or entity.

    (d) Parties, Counsel, Representatives, and Witnesses. If the Department determines that disclosure of certain records to a party, counsel, representative, or witness is relevant and necessary to the judicial or administrative litigation or ADR, the Department may disclose those records as a routine use to the party, counsel, representative, or witness.

    (6) Employment, Benefit, and Contracting Disclosure.

    (a) For Decisions by the Department. The Department may disclose a record to a Federal, State, or local agency maintaining civil, criminal, or other relevant enforcement or other pertinent records, or to another public authority or professional organization, if necessary to obtain information relevant to a Department decision concerning the hiring or retention of an employee or other personnel action, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit.

    (b) For Decisions by Other Public Agencies and Professional Organizations. The Department may disclose a record to a Federal, State, local, or other public authority or professional organization, in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee or other personnel action, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit, to the extent that the record is relevant and necessary to the receiving entity's decision on the matter.

    (7) Employee Grievance, Complaint, or Conduct Disclosure. If a record is relevant and necessary to an employee grievance, complaint, or disciplinary action, the Department may disclose the record in this system of records in the course of investigation, fact-finding, or adjudication to any witness, designated fact-finder, mediator, or other person designated to resolve issues or decide the matter.

    (8) Labor Organization Disclosure. The Department may disclose a record from this system of records to an arbitrator to resolve disputes under a negotiated grievance procedure or to officials of a labor organization recognized under 5 U.S.C. chapter 71 when relevant and necessary to their duties of exclusive representation.

    (9) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act Advice Disclosure. The Department may disclose records to the DOJ or to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) if the Department determines that disclosure is desirable or necessary in determining whether particular records are required to be disclosed under the FOIA or the Privacy Act.

    (10) Disclosure to the DOJ. The Department may disclose records to the DOJ, or the authorized representative of DOJ, to the extent necessary for obtaining DOJ advice on any matter relevant to an audit, inspection, or other inquiry related to the programs covered by this system.

    (11) Contracting Disclosure. If the Department contracts with an entity for the purposes of performing any function that requires disclosure of records in this system to employees of the contractor, the Department may disclose the records to those employees. Before entering into such a contract, the Department shall require the contractor to maintain Privacy Act safeguards as required under 5 U.S.C. 552a(m) of the Privacy Act with respect to the records in the system.

    (12) Research Disclosure. The Department may disclose records to a researcher if the Department determines that the individual or organization to which the disclosure would be made is qualified to carry out specific research related to functions or purposes of this system of records. The Department may disclose records from this system of records to that researcher solely for the purpose of carrying out that research related to the functions or purposes of this system of records. The researcher shall be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to the disclosed records.

    (13) Congressional Member Disclosure. The Department may disclose the records of an individual to a Member of Congress in response to an inquiry from the Member made at the written request of that individual whose records are being disclosed. The Member's right to the information is no greater than the right of the individual who requested the inquiry.

    (14) Disclosure to OMB for Credit Reform Act (CRA) Support. The Department may disclose records to OMB as necessary to fulfill CRA requirements. These requirements currently include transfer of data on lender interest benefits and special allowance payments, defaulted loan balances, and supplemental pre-claims assistance payments information.

    (15) Disclosure in the Course of Responding to a Breach of Data. The Department may disclose records to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (a) the Department suspects or has confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in a system covered by this system of records notice has been compromised; (b) the Department has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other system or programs (whether maintained by the Department or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and (c) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with the Department's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    (16) Disclosure to Third Parties through Computer Matching Programs. Unless otherwise prohibited by other laws, any information from this system of records, including personal information obtained from other agencies through computer matching programs, may be disclosed to any third party through a computer matching program, which is conducted under a Computer Matching Agreement between the Department and the third party, and requires that the matching be conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Act. Purposes of these disclosures may be: (a) To establish or verify program eligibility and benefits, (b) to establish or verify compliance with program regulations or statutory requirements, such as to investigate possible fraud or abuse; and (c) to recoup payments or delinquent debts under any Federal benefit programs, such as to locate or take legal action against a delinquent or defaulted debtor. Appendix I to this notice includes a listing of the computer matching programs that the Department currently engages in or has recently engaged in with respect to this system of records.

    (17) Disclosure of Information to Treasury. The Department may disclose records of this system to (a) a Federal or State agency, its employees, agents (including contractors of its agents), or contractors, or (b) a fiscal or financial agent designated by the Treasury, including employees, agents, or contractors of such agent, for the purpose of identifying, preventing, or recouping improper payments to an applicant for, or recipient of, Federal funds, including funds disbursed by a State in a State-administered, Federally funded program; and disclosure may be made to conduct computerized comparisons for this purpose.

    DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:

    Disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12): The Department may disclose to a consumer reporting agency information regarding a valid overdue claim of the Department; such information is limited to: (1) The name, address, taxpayer identification number, and other information necessary to establish the identity of the individual responsible for the claim; (2) the amount, status, and history of the claim; and (3) the program under which the claim arose. The Department may disclose the information specified in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12) and the procedures contained in 31 U.S.C. 3711(e). A consumer reporting agency to which these disclosures may be made is defined in 15 U.S.C. 1681a(f) and 31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3).

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: STORAGE:

    The records are maintained in hardcopy, microfilm, magnetic storage, and optical storage media, such as tape, disk, etc.

    RETRIEVABILITY:

    Records in this system pertaining to a title IV, HEA loan borrower or grant recipient are retrieved by a single data element or a combination of the following data elements to include the SSN, name, address, randomly generated number, debt number, phone number, debt type reference, debt type extension debt number, commercial name, commercial contact name, legacy ID, driver's license number, American Bankers Association (ABA) routing number, bankruptcy docket number, debt placement date, debt user defined page (UDP), email address, last worked date, payment additional extension reference ID, payment extension reference ID, tag short name, total balance, credit bureau legacy ID, debt type group short name, debt type short name, department name, institution account number, judgment docket number, license-issuing State, next scheduled payment amount, next scheduled payment date, office name, original debt type name, PCA group short name, and PCA short name.

    SAFEGUARDS:

    All physical access to the Department's site, and to the sites of the Federal Loan Servicers, PCAs, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, and other contractors listed in Appendix II to this notice, where this system of records is maintained, is controlled and monitored by security personnel who check each individual entering the building for his or her employee or visitor badge.

    In accordance with the Department's Administrative Communications System Directive OM: 5-101 entitled “Contractor Employee Personnel Security Screenings,” all contract and Department personnel who have facility access and system access are required to undergo a security clearance investigation. Individuals requiring access to Privacy Act data are required to hold, at a minimum, a moderate-risk security clearance level. These individuals are required to undergo periodic screening at five-year intervals.

    In addition to conducting security clearances, contract and Department employees are required to complete security awareness training on an annual basis. Annual security awareness training is required to ensure that contract and Department users are appropriately trained in safeguarding Privacy Act data in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-130, Appendix III.

    The computer system employed by the Department offers a high degree of resistance to tampering and circumvention. This security system limits data access to Department and contract staff on a “need-to-know” basis, and controls individual users' ability to access and alter records within the system. All users of this system of records are given a unique user identification and password. The Department's FSA Information Security and Privacy Policy requires the enforcement of a complex password policy. In addition to the enforcement of a complex password policy, users are required to change their password at least every 60 to 90 days in accordance with the Department's Information Technology standards.

    At the system locations of the Federal Loan Servicers, PCAs, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, and other contractors, as listed in Appendix II entitled “Additional System Locations,” additional physical security measures are in place and access is monitored 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

    RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

    In accordance with the Department's record retention and disposition schedule, records for Pell Grant Program awards are retained for fifteen years after final payment or audit, whichever is sooner, and thereafter destroyed. Insured loans are retained for three years after repayment or cancellation of the loan and thereafter destroyed. The Department will work with the National Archives and Records Administration to develop a disposition schedule for the other records in this system of records. The records will be maintained until such a schedule has been established.

    SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS:

    Sue O'Flaherty, Director, Program Management Services, Business Operations, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, 830 First Street NE., Room 64E1, UCP, Washington, DC 20202-5132.

    NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

    If you wish to determine whether a record exists regarding you in this system of records, provide the system manager with your name, date of birth, and SSN. Requests must meet the requirements of the regulations in 34 CFR 5b.5 and 5b.7, including proof of identity.

    RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:

    If you wish to gain access to a record in this system, provide the system manager with your name, date of birth, and SSN. Requests by an individual for access to a record must meet the requirements of the regulations in 34 CFR 5b.5, including proof of identity.

    CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURE:

    If you wish to contest the content of a record in this system of records, contact the system manager with your name, date of birth, and SSN; identify the specific items to be changed; and provide a written justification for the change. Requests to amend a record must meet the requirements of the regulations in 34 CFR 5b.7.

    RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    The system includes information that the Department obtains from applicants and those individuals and their families who received, or who are otherwise obligated to repay, a loan or grant held and collected by the Department. The Department also obtains information from Federal Loan Servicers, PCAs, the Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, references, guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions and their authorized representatives, and Federal, State, and local agencies and their authorized representatives; private parties, such as relatives and business and personal associates; present and former employers; creditors; consumer reporting agencies; and adjudicative bodies.

    EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM:

    None.

    APPENDIX I TO 18-11-16 COMPUTER MATCHING PROGRAMS IN WHICH THE DEPARTMENT CURRENTLY ENGAGES OR HAS RECENTLY ENGAGED WITH RESPECT TO THIS SYSTEM:

    (1) The Department is performing, or has recently engaged in, computer matching programs involving a computerized comparison between this system of records and systems of records maintained by the following Federal agencies:

    (a) The U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS [matching notice last published on May 31, 2012 (77 FR 32085-32086)], as authorized under section 6103(m)(2) and (m)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6103(m)(2) and (m)(4)), to obtain taxpayer mailing addresses for use in locating individuals to collect or compromise Federal claims, in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711, 3717, and 3718, and in locating individuals who received overpayments of grants made under subpart 1 of part A of title IV of the HEA or who defaulted on loans made under part B, D, or E of title IV of the HEA;

    (b) The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS) [matching notice last published on July 5, 2011 (76 FR 39119-39120)] to allow program agencies to prescreen applicants for loans made or loans guaranteed by the Federal government to determine if the applicant is delinquent or has defaulted on a debt owed to, or insured by, the Federal government; and

    (c) The Department of Health and Human Services' National Directory of New Hires Data Base (NDNH) [matching notice last published on May 9, 2006 (71 FR 26934-26935)], as authorized under Section 453(j)(6) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 653(j)(6)), to obtain employment-related and address information on individuals who have defaulted on a loan made under title IV of the HEA or have an obligation to refund a grant overpayment awarded under title IV of the HEA.

    These computer matching programs are conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Privacy Act, including publishing in the Federal Register a notice describing the new or altered matching program and the entry into a Computer Matching Agreement between the Department and the Federal agencies listed above, which are approved by the Data Integrity Boards of the Department and the Federal agency with which the Department conducts the computer matching program.

    APPENDIX II TO 18-11-16 ADDITIONAL SYSTEM LOCATIONS The Department and its Contractors:

    U.S. Department of Education, 50 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

    U.S. Department of Education, 500 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60661.

    U.S. Department of Education, 61 Forsyth Street, Atlanta, GA 30303.

    Nelnet Servicing LLC, 1001 Fort Crook Road N., Suite 132, Bellevue, NE 68005 (Department contractor—TPD).

    PHEAA [FedLoan Servicing (FedLoan) & American Education Services (AES)], 1200 North 7th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102-1419 (FedLoan: Department contractor—TEACH Grant; AES: Department contractor—FFEL Program).

    Maximus Federal Services, Inc.:

    Maximus Federal Services, Inc., 5202 Presidents Court, Frederick, MD 21703 (Department contractor—DMCS Program Management and Help Desk).

    Maximus Federal Services, Inc., 1891 Metro Center Drive, Reston, VA 20190 (Department contractor—Help Desk Application).

    Maximus Federal Services, Inc., 11400 Westmoor Circle, Westminster, CO 80021 (Department contractor—DMCS Disaster Recovery Site).

    Maximus Federal Services, Inc., 501 Bleecker Street, Utica, NY 13501 (Department contractor—DMCS Business and Financial Operations Management).

    Maximus Federal Services, Inc., 6201 I-30, Greenville, TX 75403 (Department contractor—DMCS Financial Processing).

    MPM Communications, 3480 Catterton Place, Suite 102, Waldorf, MD 20602 (sub-contractor—Fulfillment Services for DMCS mailings).

    Call Centers:

    General Dynamics Information Technology, 2400 Oakdale Boulevard, Coralville, IA 52241 (Department contractor—DMCS).

    General Dynamics Information Technology, 1 Imeson Park Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32218 (Department contractor—DMCS).

    Not-For-Profit (NFP) Servicers:

    • Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA): 633 Spirit Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63005; 400 East Walnut Street, Columbia, MO 65201; 1001 N. 6th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102; 300 Long Meadow Road, Sterling Forest, NY 10979.

    • Education Servicers of America, Inc. (ESA)/Edfinancial: 298 N. Seven Oaks Drive, Knoxville, TN 37922; 120 N. Seven Oaks Drive, Knoxville, TN 37922; 5600 United Drive, Smyrna, GA 30082; 1001 Fort Crook Road N., Suite 132, Bellevue, NE 68005-4247; 700 East 54th Street North, Suite 200, Sioux Falls, SD 57104; 13271 North Promenade Boulevard, Stafford, TX 77477-3957; 2307 Directors Row, Indianapolis, IN 46241.

    • Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA)/Cornerstone Education Loan Services: 60 S. 400 W., Board Of Regents' Building, Gateway Two, Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1284; 350 S. 900 W., Richfield, UT 84701; 6279 East Little Cottonwood Road, Sandy, UT 84092; 1001 N. 6th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102.

    • Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA): 525 Central Park Drive, Suite 600, Oklahoma City, OK 73154; 7499 East Paradise Lane Suite 108, Scottsdale, AZ 85260; 11300 Partnership Drive #C, Oklahoma City, OK 73013; 1001 Fort Crook Road N., Suite 132, Bellevue, NE 68005; 700 East 54th Street North, Suite 200, Sioux Falls, SD 57104; 13100 North Promenade Boulevard, Stafford, TX 77477; 1601 Leavenworth Street, Omaha, NE 68102.

    • Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC): 10 East Allen Street, Winooski, VT 05404; 1001 Fort Crook Road N., Suite 132, Bellevue, NE 68005-4247; 700 East 54th Street North, Suite 200, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

    • ISL Service Corporation/Aspire Resources Inc.: 6775 Vista Drive, West Des Moines, IA 50266; 6955 Vista Drive, West Des Moines, IA 50266; 3096 104th Street, Urbandale, IA 50322; 1870 East Euclid Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50313; 1435 Northridge Cr., NE., Altoona, IA 50009; 1001 N. 6th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102; 300 Long Meadow Road, Sterling Forest, NY 10979.

    • New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation (NHHELCO)/Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R): 3 and 4 Barrell Court, Concord, NH 03301; 401 N. Broad Street, Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19108; 21 Terry Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; 1001 Fort Crook Road N., Suite 132, Bellevue, NE 68005-4247; 700 East 54th Street North, Suite 200, Sioux Falls, SD 57104; 13100 North Promenade Boulevard, Stafford, TX 77477; 1601 Leavenworth Street, Omaha, NE., 68102.

    • South Carolina Student Loan Corporation: 16 Berryhill Road, Ste. 121, Columbia, SC 29210; 401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19108; 2400 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

    • Tru Student, Inc.: 2500 Broadway, Helena, MT 59601; 680 E. Swedesford Road, Wayne, PA 19087; 1424 National Avenue, Helena, MT 59601; 1700 National Avenue, Helena, MT 59601; 1001 N. 6th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102; 300 Long Meadow Road, Sterling Forest, NY 10979.

    • Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation (KHESLC): 10180 Linn Station Road, Louisville, KY 40223; 2400 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem NC 27106; 6825 Pine Street, Omaha, NE 68106; 1001 Fort Crook Road N., Suite 132, Bellevue, NE 68005-4247.

    • College Foundation, Inc.: 2917 Highwoods Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27604; 3120 Poplarwood Court, Raleigh, NC 27604; 924 Ellis Road, Durham, NC 27703; 2400 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

    • Council for South Texas Economic Progress (COSTEP): 2540 W. Trenton Road, Edinburg, TX 78539; 1044 Liberty Park Drive, Austin, TX 78746; 2400 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

    • Georgia Student Finance Authority: 2082 East Exchange Place, Tucker, Georgia 30084; 401 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130; 5600 United Drive, Smyrna, GA 30082; 2400 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

    • New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation: 7400 Tiburon NE., Albuquerque, NM 87109; 123 Central Ave NW., Albuquerque, NM 87102; 1200 North Seventh Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102-1444; 300 Long Meadow Lane, Sterling Forest, NY 10979.

    • Connecticut (Campus Partners): 2400 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106; 8906 Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC 29223; 10180 Linn Station Road, Suite C200, Louisville, KY 40223; 2917 Highwoods Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27629; 1001 Fort Crook Road North, Suite 132, Bellevue, NE 68005; 11425 South 84th Street, Papillion, NE 68046; 20441 Century Boulevard, Germantown, MD 20874; 400 Perimeter Park Drive, Morrisville, NC 27560; 1600 Malone Street, Millville, NJ 08332; 123 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503.

    Private Collection Agencies (PCAs):

    • Collecto, Inc. Dba EOS CCA: 700 Longwater Drive, Norwell, MA 02061.

    • GC Services: 4326 N. Broadway Northgate Plaza, Knoxville, TN 37917.

    • Allied Interstate: 335 Madison Avenue, 27th floor, New York, NY 10017.

    • The CBE Group, Inc.: 1309 Technology Parkway, Cedar Falls IA 50613.

    • Diversified Collection Service (DCS): 333 North Canyons Parkway, Suite 100, Livermore, California 94551.

    • Financial Asset Management Systems, Inc. (FAMS): 1967 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 402, Tucker, GA 30084.

    • NCO Financial Systems, Inc.: 507 Prudential Road, Horsham, PA 19044.

    • Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc.: 26 Edward Street, Arcade, NY 14009.

    • Account Control Technology, Inc.: 6918 Owensmouth Avenue, Canoga Park, CA 91303.

    • Van Ru Credit Corporation: 1350 E. Touhy Avenue, Suite 300E, Des Plaines, IL 60018.

    • Progressive Financial Services: 1510 Chester Pike Suite 250, Eddystone, PA 19022.

    • West Asset Management Enterprises, Inc.: 2221 New Market Parkway, Suite 120, Marietta, GA 30067.

    • Premiere Credit of North America: 2002 Wellesley Boulevard, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46219.

    • ConServe: 200 CrossKeys Office Park, Fairport, NY 14450.

    • Financial Management Systems (FMS): 1000 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 102, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4728.

    • Collection Technology, Inc.: 1200 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 325, Monterey Park, CA 91754.

    • Enterprise Recovery Systems, Inc. (ERS): 2400 S. Wolf Road, Suite 200, Westchester, IL 60154.

    • Windham Professionals, Inc.: 380 Main Street, Salem, NH 03079.

    • Delta Management Associates, Inc.: 100 Everett Avenue Suite 6, Chelsea, MA 02150.

    • Immediate Credit Recovery, Inc.: 169 Myers Corners Road Suite 110, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590.

    • National Recoveries: 14735 Hwy. 65, Ham Lake, MN 55403.

    • Coast Professional, Inc.: 214 Expo Circle, West Monroe, LA 71292.

    [FR Doc. 2016-21218 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Nevada AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Nevada. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Frank H. Rogers Science and Technology Building, 755 East Flamingo, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara Ulmer, Board Administrator, 232 Energy Way, M/S 167, North Las Vegas, Nevada 89030. Phone: (702) 630-0522; Fax (702) 295-2025 or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda:

    1. Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan Development 2. Election of Officers 3. Recommendation Development for Communication Improvement Opportunities—Work Plan Item #10

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Nevada, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Barbara Ulmer at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral presentations pertaining to agenda items should contact Barbara Ulmer at the telephone number listed above. The request must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments can do so during the 15 minutes allotted for public comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing to Barbara Ulmer at the address listed above or at the following Web site: http://nv.energy.gov/nssab/MeetingMinutes.aspx.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 26, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21158 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Proposed Agency Information Collection AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for OMB review and comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) invites public comment on a proposed collection of information that DOE is developing for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this collection must be received on or before September 16, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, please advise the DOE Desk Officer at OMB of your intention to make a submission as soon as possible. The Desk Officer may be telephoned at 202-395-4718.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be sent to Kelly Yaker, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Attn: Recipient's Name Mail Stop: RSF034, 15013 Denver West Parkway, Golden, CO 80401, or by fax at 303-630-2108, or by email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to: Brian Naughton, Sandia National Laboratories, 505.844.4033, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. “New”; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Wind Technology to Market Industry Survey; (3) Type of Request: New collection; (4) Purpose: In an effort to improve technology transfer from the Department of Energy and the national labs, to the U.S. wind energy industry, this survey is necessary to collect data from industry members in order to identify:

    • New and improved research capabilities and tools that would be valuable to the wind industry.

    • Opportunities for, and barriers to, national laboratory and industry collaboration on technology development and transfer in those high-value areas.

    Currently, no such information is available to labs. The information collected in this survey will be published in a report and help to inform new possibilities for the national labs. (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 80; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 80; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 19.5 Hours; (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $200,000.

    Authority:

    Statutory Authority: DOE Org Act (42 U.S.C. 7373)

    Issued in Washington, DC on August 26, 2016. José Zayas, Office Director, Wind and Water Power Technologies Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21182 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Secretary of Energy Advisory Board; Notice of Renewal AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to Section 14(a)(2)(A) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, (Pub. L. 92-463), and in accordance with Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 102-3.65(a), and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) will be renewed for a two-year period beginning on August 29, 2016.

    The Committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy on a range of energy-related issues.

    Additionally, the renewal of the SEAB has been determined to be essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy and to be the in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Department of Energy, by law and agreement. The Committee will continue to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, adhering to the rules and regulations in implementation of that Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Gibson, Designated Federal Officer at (202) 586-3787.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on August 29, 2016. Amy Bodette, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21181 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1182-000.

    Applicants: Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: 2016 Penalties Assessed Compliance Filing of Colorado Interstate Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Filed Date: 8/22/16.

    Accession Number: 20160822-5143.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/6/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1183-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate—Bay State Release to BBPC 791947 to be effective 9/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/23/16.

    Accession Number: 20160823-5048.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/6/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-1184-000.

    Applicants: Guardian Pipeline, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Update to Pro Forma Service Agreements to be effective 9/23/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/23/16.

    Accession Number: 20160823-5164.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/6/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 25, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21115 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-108-000] Tilton Energy LLC v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on August 25, 2016, pursuant to sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824e and 825h (2012), and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206 (2015), Tilton Energy LLC (Complainant) filed a formal complaint against Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (Respondent) alleging that Respondent has been improperly charging Complainant certain congestion costs, all as more fully explained in the complaint.

    Complainant states that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for Respondent listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 26, 2016.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21172 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-173-000.

    Applicants: The Dayton Power and Light Company, AES Ohio Generation, LLC.

    Description: Application under FPA Section 203 of The Dayton Power and Light Company to transfer generation facilities and related assets to AES Ohio Generation, LLC.

    Filed Date: 8/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20160825-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/15/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG16-143-000.

    Applicants: Grand View PV Solar Two, LLC.

    Description: Grand View PV Solar Two LLC submits Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status.

    Filed Date: 8/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20160826-5212.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/16/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2364-000.

    Applicants: Algonquin SKIC 10 Solar, LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Supplement to Application for Order Accepting Initial Tariff to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 8/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20160824-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/14/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2491-000.

    Applicants: Elwood Energy LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Rate Schedule FERC No. 2 Compliance Filing to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 8/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20160825-5177.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/15/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2492-000.

    Applicants: Phoenix Energy New England, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Phoenix Energy New England LLC MBR Application to be effective 9/26/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20160826-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2493-000.

    Applicants: South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: SCPSA Interchange Agreement to be effective 8/26/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20160826-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2494-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Original Service Agreement No. 4515, Queue Position AB1-174 to be effective 7/27/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20160826-5193.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2495-000.

    Applicants: NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center, LLC Shared Facilities Agreement to be effective 8/26/2016.

    Filed Date: 8/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20160826-5219.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/16/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES16-42-000.

    Applicants: Trans Bay Cable LLC.

    Description: Informational Filing to July 12, 2016 Application for Authority to Issue Securities of Trans Bay Cable LLC.

    Filed Date: 8/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20160825-5200.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/6/16.

    Docket Numbers: ES16-54-000.

    Applicants: Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc.

    Description: Application of Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. for Authorization of the Assumption of Liabilities and the Issuance of Securities under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act.

    Filed Date: 8/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20160826-5059.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 9/16/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21170 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EF16-5-000] Western Area Power Administration; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on August 17, 2016, Western Area Power Administration submitted a tariff filing: RMR_WACM_LAP_CRSP_174-20160817 (Formula Rate Adjustment for Rocky Mountain Region Transmission Service, Ancillary Services, Transmission Losses, and Sales of Surplus Products—Western Area Power Administration—Rate Order No. WAPA-174), to be effective 10/1/2016.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on September 16, 2016.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21171 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9951-82-OAR] Alternative Method for Calculating Off-cycle Credits Under the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Volkswagen Group of America AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comment on applications from BMW of North American (BMW), Ford Motor Company (Ford), General Motors Corporation (GM), and Volkswagen Group of America (VW) for off-cycle carbon dioxide (CO2) credits under EPA's light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards. “Off-cycle” emission reductions can be achieved by employing technologies that result in real-world benefits, but where that benefit is not adequately captured on the test procedures used by manufacturers to demonstrate compliance with emission standards. EPA's light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas program acknowledges these benefits by giving automobile manufacturers several options for generating “off-cycle” carbon dioxide (CO2) credits. Under the regulations, a manufacturer may apply for CO2 credits for off-cycle technologies that result in off-cycle benefits. In these cases, a manufacturer must provide EPA with a proposed methodology for determining the real-world off-cycle benefit. These four manufacturers have submitted applications that describe methodologies for determining off-cycle credits. The off-cycle technologies vary by manufacturer and include active aerodynamics systems, active cabin ventilation, active seat ventilation, solar reflective glass/glazing, solar reflective surface coating (paint), active engine warmup, active transmission warmup, engine idle stop-start systems, and high efficiency lighting. Pursuant to applicable regulations, EPA is making descriptions of each manufacturer's off-cycle credit calculation methodologies available for public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before October 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ- OAR-2016-0503, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Roberts French, Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Compliance Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Telephone: (734) 214-4380. Fax: (734) 214-4869. Email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    EPA's light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) program provides three pathways by which a manufacturer may accrue off-cycle carbon dioxide (CO2) credits for those technologies that achieve CO2 reductions in the real world but where those reductions are not adequately captured on the test used to determine compliance with the CO2 standards, and which are not otherwise reflected in the standards' stringency. The first pathway is a predetermined list of credit values for specific off-cycle technologies that may be used beginning in model year 2014.1 This pathway allows manufacturers to use conservative credit values established by EPA for a wide range of technologies, with minimal data submittal or testing requirements, as long as the technologies meet EPA regulatory definitions. In cases where the off-cycle technology is not on the menu but additional laboratory testing can demonstrate emission benefits, a second pathway allows manufacturers to use a broader array of emission tests (known as “5-cycle” testing because the methodology uses five different testing procedures) to demonstrate and justify off-cycle CO2 credits.2 The additional emission tests allow emission benefits to be demonstrated over some elements of real-world driving not adequately captured by the GHG compliance tests, including high speeds, hard accelerations, and cold temperatures. These first two methodologies were completely defined through notice and comment rulemaking and therefore no additional process is necessary for manufacturers to use these methods. The third and last pathway allows manufacturers to seek EPA approval to use an alternative methodology for determining the off-cycle CO2 credits.3 This option is only available if the benefit of the technology cannot be adequately demonstrated using the 5-cycle methodology. Manufacturers may also use this option for model years prior to 2014 to demonstrate off-cycle CO2 reductions for technologies that are on the predetermined list, or to demonstrate reductions that exceed those available via use of the predetermined list.

    1 See 40 CFR 86.1869-12(b).

    2 See 40 CFR 86.1869-12(c).

    3 See 40 CFR 86.1869-12(d).

    Under the regulations, a manufacturer seeking to demonstrate off-cycle credits with an alternative methodology (i.e., under the third pathway described above) must describe a methodology that meets the following criteria:

    • Use modeling, on-road testing, on-road data collection, or other approved analytical or engineering methods;

    • Be robust, verifiable, and capable of demonstrating the real-world emissions benefit with strong statistical significance;

    • Result in a demonstration of baseline and controlled emissions over a wide range of driving conditions and number of vehicles such that issues of data uncertainty are minimized;

    • Result in data on a model type basis unless the manufacturer demonstrates that another basis is appropriate and adequate.

    Further, the regulations specify the following requirements regarding an application for off-cycle CO2 credits:

    • A manufacturer requesting off-cycle credits must develop a methodology for demonstrating and determining the benefit of the off-cycle technology, and carry out any necessary testing and analysis required to support that methodology.

    • A manufacturer requesting off-cycle credits must conduct testing and/or prepare engineering analyses that demonstrate the in-use durability of the technology for the full useful life of the vehicle.

    • The application must contain a detailed description of the off-cycle technology and how it functions to reduce CO2 emissions under conditions not represented on the compliance tests.

    • The application must contain a list of the vehicle model(s) which will be equipped with the technology.

    • The application must contain a detailed description of the test vehicles selected and an engineering analysis that supports the selection of those vehicles for testing.

    • The application must contain all testing and/or simulation data required under the regulations, plus any other data the manufacturer has considered in the analysis.

    Finally, the alternative methodology must be approved by EPA prior to the manufacturer using it to generate credits. As part of the review process defined by regulation, the alternative methodology submitted to EPA for consideration must be made available for public comment.4 EPA will consider public comments as part of its final decision to approve or deny the request for off-cycle credits.

    4 See 40 CFR 86.1869-12(d)(2).

    II. Off-Cycle Credit Applications A. BMW of North America

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, BMW of North America (BMW) is applying for credits for model years prior to 2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits became available. BMW has applied for off-cycle credits using the alternative demonstration methodology pathway for the following technologies: high efficiency exterior lighting, solar reflective glass/glazing, active seat ventilation, active cabin ventilation, and active engine warmup. With the exception of active cabin ventilation, EPA has already approved credits for these technologies for model years prior to 2014.5 BMW's request is consistent with previously approved methodologies and credits. The application covers 2009-2013 model year vehicles. All of these technologies are described in the predetermined list of credits available in the 2014 and later model years. The methodologies described by BMW are consistent with those used by EPA to establish the predetermined list of credits in the regulations, and would result in the same credit values as described in the regulations. The magnitude of these credits is determined by specification or calculations in the regulations based on vehicle-specific measurements (e.g., the area of glass or the lighting locations using the specified technologies), but would be no higher than the following established regulatory values:

    5 “EPA Decision Document: Off-cycle Credits for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.” Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-15-014, September 2015.

    Technology Off-cycle
  • credit—cars
  • (grams/mile)
  • Off-cycle
  • credit—trucks
  • (grams/mile)
  • High efficiency lighting 1.0 1.0 Solar reflective glass/glazing 2.9 3.9 Active seat ventilation 1.0 1.3 Active cabin ventilation 2.1 2.8 Active engine warmup 1.5 3.2
    B. Ford Motor Company

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, Ford Motor Company (Ford) is applying for credits for model years prior to 2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits became available. Ford has applied for off-cycle credits using the alternative demonstration methodology pathway for the following technologies: high efficiency exterior lighting, active seat ventilation, active aerodynamics, active transmission warmup, active engine warmup, and engine idle stop-start systems. EPA has already approved credits for these technologies for the 2012 and 2013 model years for Ford, and for some of these technologies for Fiat Chrysler for the 2009-2013 model years.6 Ford's request is consistent with previously approved methodologies and credits. The application covers the 2009-2011 model year vehicles, model years which were inadvertently omitted from Ford's previous request. All of these technologies are described in the predetermined list of credits available in the 2014 and later model years. The methodologies described by Ford are consistent with those used by EPA to establish the predetermined list of credits in the regulations, and would result in the same credit values as described in the regulations. The magnitude of these credits is determined by specification or calculations in the regulations based on vehicle-specific measurements (e.g., the area of glass or the lighting locations using the specified technologies), but would be no higher than the following established regulatory values:

    6 “EPA Decision Document: Off-cycle Credits for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.” Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-15-014, September 2015.

    Technology Off-cycle
  • credit—cars
  • (grams/mile)
  • Off-cycle
  • credit—trucks
  • (grams/mile)
  • high efficiency lighting 1.0 1.0 Active seat ventilation 1.0 1.3 Active aerodynamics Based on measured reduction in the coefficient of drag. Active transmission warm-up 1.5 3.2 Active engine warm-up 1.5 3.2 Engine idle start-stop 2.5 4.4
    C. General Motors Corporation

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, General Motors Corporation (GM) is applying for credits for model years prior to 2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits became available. GM has applied for off-cycle credits using the alternative demonstration methodology pathway for the following technologies: high efficiency exterior lighting, solar reflective glass/glazing, solar reflective paint, active seat ventilation, active aerodynamics, active engine warmup, and engine idle stop-start systems. EPA has already approved credits for these technologies for model years prior to 2014.7 GM's request is consistent with previously approved methodologies and credits. The application covers the 2009-2013 model year vehicles. All of these technologies are described in the predetermined list of credits available in the 2014 and later model years. The methodologies described by GM are consistent with those used by EPA to establish the predetermined list of credits in the regulations, and would result in the same credit values as described in the regulations. The magnitude of these credits is determined by specification or calculations in the regulations based on vehicle-specific measurements (e.g., the area of glass or the lighting locations using the specified technologies), but would be no higher than the following established regulatory values:

    7 “EPA Decision Document: Off-cycle Credits for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.” Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-15-014, September 2015.

    Technology Off-cycle
  • credit—cars
  • (grams/mile)
  • Off-cycle
  • credit—trucks
  • (grams/mile)
  • High efficiency lighting 1.0 1.0 Solar reflective glass/glazing 2.9 3.9 Solar reflective paint 0.4 0.5 Active seat ventilation 1.0 1.3 Active aerodynamics Based on measured reduction in the coefficient of drag. Active engine warm-up 1.5 3.2 Engine idle start-stop 2.5 4.4
    D. Volkswagen of America

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, Volkswagen of America (VW) is applying for credits for model years prior to 2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits became available. VW has applied for off-cycle credits using the alternative demonstration methodology pathway for the following technologies: Active aerodynamics systems, active seat ventilation, solar reflective glass/glazing, solar reflective surface coating (paint), active engine warmup, active transmission warmup, engine idle stop-start systems, and high efficiency lighting. EPA has already approved credits for these technologies for model years prior to 2014.8 VW's request is consistent with previously approved methodologies and credits. The application covers the 2012-2013 model year vehicles. All of these technologies are described in the predetermined list of credits available in the 2014 and later model years. The methodologies described by VW are consistent with those used by EPA to establish the predetermined list of credits in the regulations, and would result in the same credit values as described in the regulations. The magnitude of these credits is determined by specification or calculations in the regulations based on vehicle-specific measurements (e.g., the area of glass or the lighting locations using the specified technologies), but would be no higher than the following established regulatory values:

    8 “EPA Decision Document: Off-cycle Credits for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.” Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-15-014, September 2015.

    Technology Off-cycle
  • credit—cars
  • (grams/mile)
  • Off-cycle
  • credit—trucks
  • (grams/mile)
  • High efficiency lighting 1.0 1.0 Solar reflective glass/glazing 2.9 3.9 Solar reflective paint 0.4 0.5 Active seat ventilation 1.0 1.3 Active aerodynamics Based on measured reduction in the coefficient of drag. Active engine warm-up 1.5 3.2 Active transmission warm-up 1.5 3.2 Engine idle start-stop 2.5 4.4
    III. EPA Decision Process

    EPA has reviewed the applications for completeness and is now making the applications available for public review and comment as required by the regulations. The off-cycle credit applications submitted by BMW, Ford, GM, and VW (with confidential business information redacted) have been placed in the public docket (see ADDRESSES section above) and on EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/ld-hwy/greenhouse/ld-ghg.htm. EPA is providing a 30-day comment period on the applications for off-cycle credits described in this notice, as specified by the regulations. The manufacturers may submit a written rebuttal of comments for EPA's consideration, or may revise an application in response to comments. After reviewing any public comments and any rebuttal of comments submitted by manufacturers, EPA will make a final decision regarding the credit requests. EPA will make its decision available to the public by placing a decision document (or multiple decision documents) in the docket and on EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/ld-hwy/greenhouse/ld-ghg.htm. While the broad methodologies used by these manufacturers could potentially be used for other vehicles and by other manufacturers, the vehicle specific data needed to demonstrate the off-cycle emissions reductions would likely be different. In such cases, a new application would be required, including an opportunity for public comment.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Byron J. Bunker, Director, Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21217 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9028-8] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Office of Federal Activities, EPA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs).

    Filed 08/22/2016 Through 08/26/2016.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www.epa.gov/nepa

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9.

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/nepa/eisdata.html.

    EIS No. 20160193, Final, DOS, CA, Otay Mesa Conveyance and Disinfection System Project, Review Period Ends: 10/03/2016, Contact: Jill Reilly 202-647-9798. EIS No. 20160194, Final, FAA, AK, Angoon Airport Project, Review Period Ends: 10/03/2016, Contact: Leslie Grey 907-271-5453. EIS No. 20160195, Draft, FHWA, NC, I-4400/I-4700—I-26 Widening, Comment Period. Ends: 10/31/2016, Contact: Clarence Coleman 919-747-7014. EIS No. 20160196, Final, NPS, PRO, Revision of 9B Regulations Governing Non-Federal Oil and Gas Activities, Review Period Ends: 10/03/2016, Contact: Michael B. Edwards 303-969-2694. EIS No. 20160197, Draft, NOAA, HI, Heeia National Estuarine Research Reserve, Comment Period Ends: 10/17/2016, Contact: Jean Tanimoto 808-725-5253. EIS No. 20160198, Final, NOAA, USFWS, MI, Programmatic—Restoration Resulting from the Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Review Period Ends: 10/03/2016, Contact: Lisa Williams 517-351-8324. The U.S. Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are joint lead agencies for the above project. EIS No. 20160199, Final, BLM, UT, Proposed Resource Management Plans for the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas; Proposed Amendment to the St. George Field Office Resource Management Plan, Review Period Ends: 10/03/2016, Contact: Keith Rigtrup 435-865-3063. EIS No. 20160200, Draft, USACE, NY, Atlantic Coast of New York, East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, Comment Period Ends: 11/02/2016, Contact: Robert J. Smith 917-790-8729. Amended Notices EIS No. 20160188, Final, NHTSA, NAT, Phase 2 Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles, Contact: James Tamm 202-493-0515.

    Revision to FR Notice Published 08/26/2016; Change Review Period to No Review Period.

    Under 49 U.S.C. 304a(b), NHTSA has issued a Final EIS and ROD. Therefore, the 30-day wait/review period under NEPA does not apply to this action.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Dawn Roberts, Management Analyst, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21198 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0022 FRL-9949-89] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses; Correction and Reopening of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction and reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of July 22, 2016 (81 FR 47795) concerning Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses. The notice inadvertently identified the applications listed as being new active ingredients rather than new uses. This document corrects that error and also reopens the comment period for an additional 15 days.

    DATES:

    Comments, identified by the docket identification (ID) listed in the body of this document, must be received on or before September 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Follow the detailed instructions as provided in the Federal Register document of July 22, 2016 (81 FR 47795).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

    The Agency included in the July 22, 2016, notice a list of those who may be potentially affected by this action.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by the following docket identification (ID) number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0022 is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    C. Why is the comment period being reopened?

    This document reopens the public comment period for the Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses notice, which was published in the Federal Register of July 22, 2016 (81 FR 47795) (FRL-9947-94). EPA is hereby reopening the comment period for 15 days because EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients. Pursuant to the provision of FIFRA section 3(c)(4)(7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(4)), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Notice of receipt of these applications does not imply a decision by the Agency on these applications.

    II. What does this correction do?

    FR Doc. 2016-17407 published in the Federal Register of July 22, 2016, (81 FR 47795) (FRL-9941-24) is corrected as follows:

    First, on page 47795, in the first column, under SUMMARY, the first sentence is corrected to read “EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients.”

    Second, on page 47795, in the second column under the heading II. Registration Applications, the first sentence is corrected to read “EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients.”

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: August 19, 2016. Daniel J. Rosenblatt, Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21220 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request (3064-0030, -0104 & -0122) AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, 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 the renewal of existing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. On June 29, 2016, (81 FR 42353), the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the information collections described below. No comments were received. The FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of these collections, and again invites comment on this renewal.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before October 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    http://www.FDIC.gov/regulations/laws/federal/.

    Email: [email protected]. Include the name of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Manny Cabeza, (202.898.3767), Counsel, Room MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Manny Cabeza, at the FDIC address above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposal to renew the following currently-approved collections of information:

    1. Title: Securities of Insured Nonmember Banks and State Savings Associations.

    OMB Number: 3064-0030.

    Affected Public: Generally, any issuer of securities, reporting company, or shareholder of an issuer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 with respect to securities registered under 12 CFR part 335.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 396 separate respondents, some filing multiple forms, resulting in 535 estimated total annual responses.

    Burden Estimate:

    Estimated
  • number of
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Frequency of
  • response
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per year
  • Estimated
  • burden
  • Form 3—Initial Statement of Beneficial Ownership 58 1 On Occasion 1 58 Form 4—Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership 297 0.5 On Occasion 4 594 Form 5—Annual Statement of Beneficial Ownership 69 1 Annual 1 69 Form 8-A 2 3 On Occasion 2 12 Form 8-C 2 2 On Occasion 1 4 Form 8-K 21 2 On Occasion 4 168 Form 10 2 215 On Occasion 1 430 Form 10-C 1 1 On Occasion 1 1 Form10-K 21 140 Annual 1 2,940 Form 10-Q 21 100 Quarterly 3 6,300 Form 12b-25 6 3 On Occasion 1 18 Form 15 2 1 On Occasion 1 2 Form 25 2 1 On Occasion 1 2 Schedule 13D 2 3 On Occasion 1 6 Schedule 13E-3 2 3 On Occasion 1 6 Schedule 13G 2 3 On Occasion 1 6 Schedule 14A 21 40 Annual 1 840 Schedule 14C 2 40 On Occasion 1 80 Schedule 14D-1 (Schedule TO) 2 5 On Occasion 1 10 Totals 535 11,546

    General Description: Section 12(i) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the “Exchange Act”) grants authority to the Federal banking agencies to administer and enforce Sections 10A(m), 12, 13, 14(a), 14(c), 14(d), 14(f), and 16 of the Exchange Act and Sections 302, 303, 304, 306, 401(b), 404, 406, and 407 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Pursuant to Section 12(i), the FDIC has the authority, including rulemaking authority, to administer and enforce these enumerated provisions as may be necessary with respect to state nonmember banks and state savings associations over which it has been designated the appropriate Federal banking agency. Section 12(i) generally requires the FDIC to issue regulations substantially similar to those issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to carry out these responsibilities. Thus, Part 335 of the FDIC regulations incorporates by cross-reference the SEC rules and regulations regarding the disclosure and filing requirements of registered securities of state nonmember banks and state savings associations. This information collection includes the following:

    Beneficial Ownership Forms: FDIC Forms 3, 4, and 5 (FDIC Form Numbers 6800/03, 6800/04, and 6800/05.) Pursuant to Section 16 of the Exchange Act, every director, officer, and owner of more than ten percent of a class of equity securities registered with the FDIC under Section 12 of the Exchange Act must file with the FDIC a statement of ownership regarding such securities. The initial filing is on Form 3 and changes are reported on Form 4. The Annual Statement of beneficial ownership of securities is on Form 5. The forms contain information on the reporting person's relationship to the company and on purchases and sales of such equity securities. 12 CFR Sections 335.601 through 336.613 of the FDIC's regulations, which cross-reference 17 CFR 240.16a of the SEC's regulations, provide the FDIC form requirements for FDIC Forms 3, 4, and 5 in lieu of SEC Forms 3, 4, and 5, which are described at 17 CFR 249.103 (Form 3), 249.104 (Form 4), and 249.105 (Form 5).

    Forms 8-A and 8-C for Registration of Certain Classes of Securities. Form 8-A is used for registration of any class of securities of any issuer which is required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, pursuant to Section 12(b) or (g) of the Exchange Act, or pursuant to an order exempting the exchange on which the issuer has securities listed from registration as a national securities exchange. Form 8-C has been replaced by Form 8-A. Form 8-A is described at 17 CFR 249.208a.

    Form 8-K: Current Report. This is the current report that is used to report the occurrence of any material events or corporate changes that are of importance to investors or security holders and have not been reported previously by the registrant. It provides more current information on certain specified events than would Forms 10-Q and 10-K. The form description is at 17 CFR 249.308.

    Forms 10 and 10-C: Forms for Registration of Securities. Form 10 is the general reporting form for registration of securities pursuant to section 12(b) or (g) of the Exchange Act, of classes of securities of issuers for which no other reporting form is prescribed. It requires certain business and financial information about the issuer. Form 10-C has been replaced by Form 10. Form 10 is described at 17 CFR 249.210.

    Form 10-K: Annual Report. This annual report is used by issuers registered under the Exchange Act to provide information described in Regulation S-K, 17 CFR 229. The form is described at 17 CFR 249.310.

    Form 10-Q: Quarterly Reports. The Form 10-Q is a report filed quarterly by most reporting companies. It includes unaudited financial statements and provides a continuing overview of major changes in the company's financial position during the year, as compared to the prior corresponding period. The report must be filed for each of the first three fiscal quarters of the company's fiscal year and is due within 40 or 45 days of the close of the quarter, depending on the size of the reporting company. The description of Form 10-Q is at 17 CFR 249.308a.

    Form 12b-25: Notification of Late Filing. This notification extends the reporting deadlines for filing quarterly and annual reports for qualifying companies. The form is described at 17 CFR 249.322.

    Form 15: Certification and Notice of Termination of Registration. This form is filed by each issuer to certify that the number of holders of record of a class of security registered under section 12(g) of the Exchange Act is reduced to a specified level in order to terminate the registration of the class of security. For a bank, the number of holders of record of a class of registered security must be reduced to less than 1,200 persons. For a savings association, the number of record holders of a class of registered security must be reduced to (1) less than 300 persons or (2) less than 500 persons and the total assets of the issuer have not exceeded $10 million on the last day of each of the issuer's most recent three fiscal years. In general, registration terminates 90 days after the filing of the certification. This form is described at 17 CFR 249.323.

    Schedule 13D: Certain Beneficial Ownership Changes. This Schedule discloses beneficial ownership of certain registered equity securities. Any person or group of persons who acquire a beneficial ownership of more than 5 percent of a class of registered equity securities of certain issuers must file a Schedule 13D reporting such acquisition together with certain other information within ten days after such acquisition. Moreover, any material changes in the facts set forth in the Schedule generally precipitates a duty to promptly file an amendment on Schedule 13D. The SEC's rules define the term beneficial owner to be any person who directly or indirectly shares voting power or investment power (the power to sell the security). This schedule is described at 17 CFR 240.13d-101.

    Schedule 13E-3: Going Private Transactions by Certain Issuers or Their Affiliates. This schedule must be filed if an issuer engages in a solicitation subject to Regulation 14A or a distribution subject to Regulation 14C, in connection with a going private merger with its affiliate. An affiliate and an issuer may be required to complete, file, and disseminate a Schedule 13E-3, which directs that each person filing the schedule state whether it reasonably believes that the Rule 13e-3 transaction is fair or unfair to unaffiliated security holders. This schedule is described at 17 CFR 240.13e-100.

    Schedule 13G: Certain Acquisitions of Stock. Certain acquisitions of stock that are more than 5 percent of an issuer's stock must be reported to the public. Schedule 13G is a much abbreviated version of Schedule 13D that is only available for use by a limited category of persons (such as banks, broker/dealers, and insurance companies) and even then only when the securities were acquired in the ordinary course of business and not with the purpose or effect of changing or influencing the control of the issuer. This schedule is described at 17 CFR 240.13d-102.

    Schedule 14A: Proxy Statements. State law governs the circumstances under which shareholders are entitled to vote. When a shareholder vote is required and any person solicits proxies with respect to securities registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act, that person generally is required to furnish a proxy statement containing the information specified by Schedule 14A. The proxy statement is intended to provide shareholders with the proxy information necessary to enable them to vote in an informed manner on matters intended to be acted upon at shareholders' meetings, whether the traditional annual meeting or a special meeting. Typically, a shareholder is also provided with a proxy card to authorize designated persons to vote his or her securities on the shareholder's behalf in the event the holder does not vote in person at the meeting. Copies of preliminary and definitive (final) proxy statements and proxy cards are filed with the FDIC. The description of this schedule is at 17 CFR 240.14a-101.

    Schedule 14C: Information Required in Information Statements. An information statement prepared in accordance with the requirements of the SEC's Regulation 14C is required whenever matters are submitted for shareholder action at an annual or special meeting when there is no proxy solicitation under the SEC's Regulation 14A. This schedule is described at 17 CFR 240.14c-101.

    Schedule 14D-1: Tender Offer. This schedule is also known as Schedule TO. Any person, other than the issuer itself, making a tender offer for equity securities registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act, is required to file this schedule if acceptance of the offer would cause that person to own over 5 percent of that class of the securities. This schedule must be filed and sent to various parties, such as the issuer and any competing bidders. In addition, the SEC's Regulation 14D sets forth certain requirements that must be complied with in connection with a tender offer. This schedule is described at 17 CFR 240.14d-100.

    2. Title: Activities and Investments of Savings Associations.

    OMB Number: 3064-0104.

    Affected Public: Insured financial institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 19.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Estimated annual Burden Hours per Response: 12 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 228 hours.

    General Description of Collection: Section 28 of the FDI Act (12 U.S.C. 1831e) imposes restrictions on the powers of savings associations, which reduce the risk of loss to the deposit insurance funds and eliminate some differences between the powers of state associations and those of federal associations. Some of the restrictions apply to all insured savings associations and some to state chartered associations only. The statute exempts some federal savings banks and associations from the restrictions, and provides for the FDIC to grant exemptions to other associations under certain circumstances. In addition, Section 18(m) of the FDI Act (12 U.S.C. 1828(m)) requires that notice be given to the FDIC prior to an insured savings association (state or federal) acquiring, establishing, or conducting new activities through a subsidiary.

    3. Title: Forms Relating to FDIC Outside Counsel Legal Support and Expert Services Programs.

    OMB Number: 3064-0122.

    Affected Public: Entities providing legal and expert services to the FDIC.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Estimated Number of Respondents and Burden Hours:

    FDIC Document No. Estimated
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated
  • hours per
  • response
  • Hours of
  • burden
  • 5000/26 85 0.5 42.5 5000/31 376 0.5 188 5000/33 63 0.5 31.5 5000/35 722 0.5 361 5200/01 500 0.75 375 5210/01 100 0.5 50 5210/02 55 0.5 27.5 5210/03 50 1 50 5210/03A 50 1 50 5210/04 200 1 200 5210/04A 200 1 200 5210/06 100 1 100 5210/06(A) 100 1 100 5210/08 240 0.5 120 5210/09 100 1 100 5210/10 100 1 100 5210/10(A) 100 1 100 5210/11 100 1 100 5210/12 100 1 100 5210/12A 100 1 100 5210/14 100 0.5 50 5210/15 25 0.5 12.5 Total 3,556 2,558

    General Description: The information collected enables the FDIC to ensure that all individuals, businesses and firms seeking to provide legal support services to the FDIC meet the eligibility requirements established by Congress. The information is also used to manage and monitor payments to contractors, document contract amendments, expiration dates, billable individuals, minority law firms, and to ensure that law firms, experts, and other legal support services providers comply with statutory and regulatory requirements.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 30th day of August, 2016.

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21176 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Request for Additional Information

    The Commission gives notice that it has formally requested that the parties to the below listed agreement provide additional information pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 40304(d). This action prevents the agreement from becoming effective as originally scheduled. Interested parties may file comments within fifteen (15) days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Agreement No.: 012426.

    Title: OCEAN Alliance Agreement.

    Parties: COSCO Container Lines Co., Ltd.; CMA CGM S.A., APL Co. Pte Ltd, and American President Lines, Ltd. (acting as one party); Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan) Ltd. acting on its own behalf and/or on behalf of other members of the Evergreen Line Joint Service Agreement (ELJSA); and Orient Overseas Container Line Limited and OOCL (Europe) Limited (acting as one party).

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: August 30, 2016. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21141 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than September 30, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Adam M. Drimer, Assistant Vice President) 701 East Byrd Street, Richmond, Virginia 23261-4528. Comments can also be sent electronically to or [email protected]:

    1. South State Corporation, Columbia, South Carolina; to acquire 100 percent of the voting securities of Southeastern Bank Financial Corporation, Augusta, Georgia, and thereby indirectly acquire Georgia Bank and Trust Company of Augusta, Augusta, Georgia.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert L. Triplett III, Senior Vice President) 2200 North Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201-2272:

    1. Anchor Bancshares, Inc., Houston, Texas; to acquire First Bancshares of Texas, Inc., McGregor, Texas, and thereby indirectly acquire Security Bank of Crawford, Crawford, Texas.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 30, 2016. Michele Taylor Fennell, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21191 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than September 20, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Rhonda Rainforth, O'Neill, Nebraska; Steven Ott and Adam Ott, both of Wisner, Nebraska; Renee Cleveland and Robert Cheney, both of Norfolk, Nebraska; James Cheney, Charlotte, North Carolina; and John Cheney, Dekalb, Illinois; to acquire shares of Citizens National Corporation, Wisner, Nebraska, as members of the Kvols/Ott/Cheney Family Group. Citizens National Corporation controls Citizens State Bank, Wisner, Nebraska, and Cass County State Company, parent of Cass County Bank, Inc., both of Plattsmouth, Nebraska.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, August 30, 2016. Michele Taylor Fennell, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21192 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-16BBS; Docket No. CDC-2016-0088] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on the information collection request Airline and Traveler Information Collection: Domestic Manifests and the Passenger Locator Form. This information aligns with current activities with regard to the collection of manifests from domestic flights within the United States, as well as the collection of traveler information using the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) on both international and domestic flights, in the event that a communicable disease has been confirmed during travel that puts other passengers at risk.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before November 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0088 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note: All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Airline and Traveler Information Collection: Domestic Manifests and the Passenger Locator Form—Existing Information Collection in use without an OMB Control Number—National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Stopping a communicable disease outbreak—whether it is naturally occurring or intentionally caused—requires the use of the most rapid and effective public health tools available. Basic public health practices, such as collaborating with airlines in the identification and notification of potentially exposed contacts, are critical tools in the fight against the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases in the United States.

    The collection of timely, accurate, and complete contact information enables Quarantine Public Health Officers in CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) to notify state and local health departments in order for them to make contact with individuals who may have been exposed to a contagious person during travel and identify appropriate next steps.

    Under the Public Health Service Act (42 United States Code § 264) and under 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 70.2 CDC can order airlines traveling between states to submit a data set, including airline flight details, and passenger and crew member information, if CDC reasonably believes that a traveler exposed to or infected with a communicable disease of public health concern could have put other passengers at risk for a communicable disease.

    In order to collect this data set, aka a manifest, CDC seeking approval for domestic airline and traveler information orders under current authorities in 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 70.2. This activity is already current practice.

    Additionally, CDC requests to transition the Passenger Locator Form (PLF), previously included and approved by OMB in 0920-0134 Foreign Quarantine Regulations, into this Information Collection Request. Further, CDC is requesting approval for the use of the PLF for the collection of traveler information from individuals on domestic flights. The PLF, a formed developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in concert with its international member states and other aviation organizations, is used when there is a confirmation or strong suspicion that an individual(s) aboard a flight is infected with or exposed to a communicable disease that is a threat to co-travelers, and CDC is made aware of the individual(s) prior to arrival in the United States. This prior awareness can provide CDC with an opportunity to collect traveler contact information directly from the traveler prior to departure from the arrival airport. CDC conducts this information collection under its regulations at 42 CFR 70.6 for domestic flights and 71.32 and 71.33 for flights arriving from foreign countries.

    CDC is seeking three years of OMB clearance for this information collection request.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

    CDC estimates that for each set of airline and traveler information ordered, airlines require approximately six hours to review the order, search their records, and send those records to CDC. CDC anticipates that travelers will need approximately five minutes to complete the PLF. There is no cost to respondents other than their time to perform these actions. For manifest information, CDC does not have a specified format for these submissions, only that it is one acceptable to both CDC and the respondent.

    Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Airline Medical Officer or Equivalent/Computer and Information Systems Manager Domestic TB Manifest Template 1 1 360/60 6 Airline Medical Officer or Equivalent/Computer and Information Systems Manager Domestic Non-TB Manifest Template 28 1 360/60 168 Traveler Public Health Passenger Locator Form: Outbreak of public health significance (international flights) 2,700,000 1 5/60 225,000 Traveler Public Health Passenger Locator Form: Limited onboard exposure (international flights) 800 1 5/60 67 Traveler Public Health Passenger Locator Form (domestic flights) 800 1 5/60 67 Total 225,308
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21103 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10476] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; the accuracy of the estimated burden; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number __, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10476 Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Report for Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP)

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Report for Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP); Use: We will use the data collection of annual reports provided by plan sponsors for each contract to ensure that beneficiaries are receiving value for their premium dollar by calculating each contract's medical loss ratio (MLR) and any remittances due for the respective MLR reporting year. The recordkeeping requirements will be used to determine plan sponsors' compliance with the MLR requirements, including compliance with how plan sponsors' experience is to be reported, and how their MLR and any remittances are calculated. Form Number: CMS-10476 (OMB control number: 0938-1232); Frequency: Yearly; Affected Public: Private sector (Business or other for-profits and Not-for-profit institutions); Number of Respondents: 616; Total Annual Responses: 616; Total Annual Hours: 130,004. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Diane Spitalnic at 410-786-5745.)

    Dated: August 30, 2016. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21199 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-R-142 and CMS-10148] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; the accuracy of the estimated burden; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by October 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395-5806 OR, Email: [email protected]

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes the following proposed collection(s) of information for public comment:

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Examination and Treatment for Emergency Medical Conditions and Women in Labor; Use: Pursuant to regulation sections 488.18, 489.20 and 489.24, during Medicare surveys of hospitals and State agencies CMS will review hospital records for lists of on-call physicians, and will review and obtain the information which must be recorded on hospital medical records for individuals with emergency medical conditions and women in labor, and the emergency department reporting information Medicare participating hospitals and Medicare State survey agencies must pass on to CMS. Additionally, CMS will use the QIO Report assessing whether an individual had an emergency condition and whether the individual was stabilized to determine whether to impose a CMP or physician exclusion sanctions. Without such information, CMS will be unable to make the hospital emergency services compliance determinations that Congress expects CMS to make under sections 1154, 1866 and 1867 of the Act. Form Number: CMS-R-142 (OMB control number: 0938-0667); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Private Sector; Number of Respondents: 6,149; Total Annual Responses: 6,149; Total Annual Hours: 1. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Renate Dombrowski at 410-786-4645.)

    2. Type of Information Collection Request: Reinstatement with change of a previously approved collection; Title of Information Collection: HIPAA Administrative Simplification Complaint Form; Use: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) became law in 1996 (Pub. L. 104-191). Subtitle F of Title II of HIPAA, titled “Administrative Simplification,” (A.S.) requires the Secretary of HHS to adopt national standards for certain information-related activities of the health care industry. The HIPAA provisions, by statute, apply only to “covered entities” referred to in section 1320d-2(a)(1) of this title. Responsibility for administering and enforcing the HIPAA A.S. Transactions, Code Sets, Identifiers has been delegated to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This updated information collection will be used to initiate enforcement actions.

    This reinstatement request clarifies the removal of the HIPAA Security complaint category. Specifically, the information collection revisions clarify the “Identify the HIPAA Non-Privacy/Security complaint category” section of the complaint form. In this section, complainants are given an opportunity to check the “Unique Identifiers” and “Operating Rules” option to additionally categorize the type of HIPAA complaint being filed. The revised form now includes an option for identifying Unique Identifier and Operating Rules complaints. It also requests email information about filed against entities, if available. Form Number: CMS-10148 (OMB control number: 0938-0948); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Individuals; Number of Respondents: 500; Total Annual Responses: 500; Total Annual Hours: 500. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Cecily Austin at 410-786-0895.)

    Dated: August 30, 2016. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21201 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0450] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Abbreviated New Animal Drug Applications AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by October 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0669. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A63, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Abbreviated New Animal Drug Applications—Sections (b)(2) and (n)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360b(b)(2) and (n)(1))—OMB Control Number 0910-0669—Extension

    Under section 512(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), any person may file an abbreviated new animal drug application (ANADA) seeking approval of a generic copy of an approved new animal drug. The information required to be submitted as part of an ANADA is described in section 512(n)(1) of the FD&C Act. Among other things, an ANADA is required to contain information to show that the proposed generic drug is bioequivalent to, and has the same labeling as, the approved new animal drug. We use the information submitted, among other things, to assess bioequivalence to the originally approved drug and thus, the safety and effectiveness of the generic new animal drug. We allow applicants to submit a complete ANADA or to submit information in support of an ANADA for phased review. Applicants may submit Form FDA 356v with a complete ANADA or a phased review submission to ensure efficient and accurate processing of information.

    In the Federal Register of May 11, 2016 (81 FR 29273), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 FD&C Act sections 512(b)(2) and (n)(1) FDA Form Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden
  • per
  • response
  • Total
  • hours
  • ANADA 356v 18 1 18 159 2,862 Phased Review with Administrative ANADA 356v 3 5 15 31.8 477 Total 3,339 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    We base our estimates on our experience with ANADA submissions and requests for phased review. We estimate that we will receive 21 ANADA submissions per year over the next three years and that three of those submissions will request phased review. We estimate that each applicant that uses the phased review process will have approximately five phased reviews per application. We estimate that an applicant will take approximately 159 hours to prepare either an ANADA or the estimated 5 ANADA phased review submissions and the administrative ANADA.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21128 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0520] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or Feed; Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant Feed AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by October 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0339. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A63, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, 20852, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or Feed; Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant Feed—21 CFR 589.2000(e)(1)(iv) OMB Control Number 0910-0339—Extension

    This information collection was established because epidemiological evidence gathered in the United Kingdom suggested that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a progressively degenerative central nervous system disease, is spread to ruminant animals by feeding protein derived from ruminants infected with BSE. This regulation places general requirements on persons that manufacture, blend, process, and distribute products that contain, or may contain, protein derived from mammalian tissue, and feeds made from such products.

    Specifically, this regulation requires renderers, feed manufacturers, and others involved in feed and feed ingredient manufacturing and distribution to maintain written procedures specifying the cleanout procedures or other means, and specifying the procedures for separating products that contain or may contain protein derived from mammalian tissue from all other protein products from the time of receipt until the time of shipment. These written procedures are intended to help the firm formalize their processes, and then to help inspection personnel confirm that the firm is operating in compliance with the regulation. Inspection personnel will evaluate the written procedure and confirm it is being followed when they are conducting an inspection.

    These written procedures must be maintained as long as the facility is operating in a manner that necessitates the record, and if the facility makes changes to an applicable procedure or process the record must be updated. Written procedures required by this section shall be made available for inspection and copying by FDA.

    In the Federal Register of March 15, 2016 (81 FR 13803), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. FDA received one comment; however, it did not pertain to the information collection.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 21 CFR Section Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of
  • records per
  • recordkeeper
  • Total
  • annual
  • records
  • Average
  • burden per
  • recordkeeping
  • Total
  • hours
  • 589.2000(e)(1)(iv); written procedures 320 1 320 14 4,480 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    We base our estimate of the number of recordkeepers on inspectional data, which reflect a decline in the number of recordkeepers. We attribute this decline to a reduction in the number of firms handling animal protein for use in animal feed.

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21157 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0655] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act Cover Sheet AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the Agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal Agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the information collection requirements of the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act (AGDUFA) cover sheet.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on the collection of information by November 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submission): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0655 for “Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act Cover Sheet.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A63, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information,] before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Form FDA 3728, Animal Generic User Fee Act Cover Sheet—21 U.S.C. 379j-21 OMB Control Number 0910-0632—Extension

    Section 741 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 379j-21) establishes three different kinds of user fees: (1) Fees for certain types of abbreviated applications for generic new animal drugs; (2) annual fees for certain generic new animal drug products; and (3) annual fees for certain sponsors of abbreviated applications for generic new animal drugs and/or investigational submissions for generic new animal drugs (21 U.S.C. 379j-21(a)). Because concurrent submission of user fees with applications is required, the review of an application cannot begin until the fee is submitted. Form FDA 3728 is the AGDUFA Cover Sheet, which is designed to provide the minimum necessary information to determine whether a fee is required for review of an application, to determine the amount of the fee required, and to account for and track user fees.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Form FDA No. Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total
  • hours
  • 3728 20 2 40 .08 (5 min.) 3.2 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information

    Respondents to this collection of information are generic animal drug applicants. Based on FDA's data base system, there are an estimated 20 sponsors of new animal drugs potentially subject to AGDUFA.

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21177 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HRSA has submitted an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. Comments submitted during the first public review of this ICR will be provided to OMB. OMB will accept further comments from the public during the review and approval period.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, including the ICR Title, to the desk officer for HRSA, either by email to [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request a copy of the clearance requests submitted to OMB for review, email the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at [email protected] or call (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Information Collection Request Title: Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program OMB No. 0915-0334—Extension.

    Abstract: This is a request for an extension of OMB approval of the information collection requirements for the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). The CICP, within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), administers the compensation program specified by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act of 2005 (PREP Act). The CICP provides compensation to eligible individuals who suffer serious injuries directly caused by a covered countermeasure administered or used pursuant to a PREP Act Declaration, or to their estates and/or to certain survivors (all of these parties may be “requesters”). A declaration is issued by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (Secretary). The purpose of a declaration is to identify a disease, health condition, or a threat to health that is currently, or may in the future constitute, a public health emergency. In addition, the Secretary, through a declaration, may recommend and encourage the development, manufacturing, distribution, dispensing, and administration or use of one or more covered countermeasures to treat, prevent, or diagnose the disease, condition, or threat specified in the declaration.

    To determine whether a requester is eligible for CICP benefits (compensation) for the injury, the CICP must review the Request for Benefits Package, which includes the Request for Benefits Form and Authorization for Use or Disclosure of Health Information Form(s), as well as the injured countermeasure recipient's medical records and supporting documentation.

    A requester who is an injured countermeasure recipient may be eligible to receive benefits for unreimbursed medical expenses and/or lost employment income. The estate of a deceased countermeasure recipient may be eligible to receive medical benefits and/or benefits for lost employment income accrued prior to the injured countermeasure recipient's death. If death was the result of the administration or use of the countermeasure, certain survivor(s) of deceased eligible countermeasure recipients may be eligible to receive a death benefit, but not unreimbursed medical expenses or lost employment income benefits. 42 CFR 110.33. The death benefit is calculated using either the “standard calculation” or the “alternative calculation.” The “standard calculation” is based on the death benefit available under the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program. 42 CFR 110.82(b). The “alternative calculation” is based on the deceased countermeasure recipient's income and is only available to the recipient's dependent(s) younger than age 18 at the time of the countermeasure recipient's death. 42 CFR 110.82(c).

    Approval is requested for the required continued information collection via the Request for Benefits Package and for the continued use of CICP's mechanisms for obtaining medical documentation and supporting documentation collection. During the eligibility review, the CICP provides requesters with the opportunity to supplement their Request for Benefits with additional medical records and supporting documentation before a final determination is made. The CICP asks requesters to complete and sign a form indicating whether they intend to submit additional documentation prior to the final determination of their case.

    Approval is requested for the continued use of the benefits documentation package that the CICP sends to requesters who may be eligible for compensation, which includes certification forms and instructions outlining the documentation needed to determine the types and amounts of benefits. This documentation is required under 42 CFR 110.61-110.63 of the CICP's implementing regulation to enable the CICP to determine the types and amounts of benefits the requester may be eligible to receive.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The information collected from requesters provides data and documentation that is needed for the CICP to determine: (1) The requester's eligibility to receive benefits; and (2) if applicable, the type and amount of benefits that may be awarded.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • burden
  • hours
  • Request for Benefits Form and Supporting Documentation 100 1 100 11 1100 Authorization for Use or Disclosure of Health Information Form 100 1 100 2 200 Additional Documentation and Certification 30 1 30 .75 22.5 Benefits Package and Supporting Documentation 30 1 30 .125 3.75 Total * 100 100 1326.25 * The number 100 represents an estimate of individuals applying for Program benefits. The 4 documents are required of the same 100 individuals or subset of the 100 individuals.
    Jason E. Bennett, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21168 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License: Development of Integrin αvβ3 Antagonists for Use in Imaging and Therapy AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is notice, in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(c)(1) and 37 CFR part 404.7(a)(1)(i), that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Clinical Center (CC), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, are contemplating the grant of an exclusive license to Advanced Imaging Projects, LLC, a company having a place of business in Boca Raton, FL, to practice the inventions embodied in the following patent applications:

    Intellectual Property

    U.S. Patent No. 7,300,940, filed 4 August 2004, titled “Integrin α-v β-3 antagonists for use in imaging and therapy” (HHS Ref. No.: E-170-2004/0-US-01);

    PCT Application No. PCT/US2005/027868, filed 3 August 2005, now abandoned, titled “Integrin α-v β-3 antagonists for use in imaging and therapy” (HHS Ref. No.: E-170-2004/0-PCT-02);

    Switzerland Patent No. 1781622, titled “Integrin α-v β-3 antagonists for use in imaging and therapy” filed 4 March 2007, issued 18 May 2011 (HHS Ref. No.: E-170-2004/0-CH-04);

    Germany Patent No. 602005028137.1, titled “Integrin α-v β-3 antagonists for use in imaging and therapy” filed 4 March 2007, issued 18 May 2011 (HHS Ref. No.: E-170-2004/0-DE-05);

    France Patent No. 1781622, titled “Integrin α-v β-3 antagonists for use in imaging and therapy” filed 4 March 2007, issued 18 May 2011 (HHS Ref. No.: E-170-2004/0-FR-060); and

    Ireland Patent No. 1781622, titled “Integrin α-v β-3 antagonists for use in imaging and therapy” filed 4 March 2007, issued 18 May 2011 (HHS Ref. No.: E-170-2004/0-IE-07).

    The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned to the Government of the United States of America. The territory of the prospective exclusive license may be worldwide, and the field of use may be limited to “Conjugate of Alpha-V beta-3 antagonist NIH-CC-013 for theranostic application to diagnose, prevent and treat oncological, infectious, ocular and cardiovascular disorders.”

    DATES:

    Only written comments and/or applications for a license which are received by the NCI Technology Transfer Center on or before September 19, 2016 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patent application(s), inquiries, comments, and other materials relating to the contemplated exclusive license should be directed to: Jaime M. Greene, M.S., Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850; telephone: 240-276-6633; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This technology concerns small molecule compositions that are antagonists for the receptor integrin αvβ3. Integrins are functional molecules for cell adhesion activity that are expressed by the majority of normal and cancer cells. They are trans-membrane heterodimer receptors that include two subunits, α and β chains, that primarily allow cell adhesion to extracellular matrix components such as fibrillar collagen, vitronectin and osteopontin. This technology may be useful for the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for cancers and other conditions involving the integrin αvβ3.

    The prospective exclusive license will be royalty bearing and will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.7. The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice, the NIH receives written evidence and argument that establishes that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404.7.

    Complete applications for a license in the prospective field of use that are filed in response to this notice will be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated Exclusive Patent License Agreement. Comments and objections submitted to this notice will not be made available for public inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Richard U. Rodriguez, Associate Director, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21113 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and are available for licensing in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by writing to the indicated licensing contact at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Office of Technology Transfer and Development, National Institutes of Health, 31 Center Drive Room 4A29, MSC2479, Bethesda, MD 20892-2479; telephone: 301-402-5579. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement may be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology descriptions follow.

    Microscopy Systems for Instant Internal Reflection Fluorescence/Structured Illumination

    Description of Technology: Structured illumination microscopy (SIM) is a method that uses sharply patterned light and post-processing of images to enhance image resolution (in its linear form, doubling resolution). In traditional SIM, a series of images are acquired with a camera and computationally processed to improve resolution. This implementation of SIM has also been combined with total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF), but the implementation still requires raw images relative to normal TIRF microscopy, thereby slowing acquisition 9-fold relative to conventional, diffraction-limited imaging. This TIRF/SIM system includes a radial aperture block positioned at a plane conjugate to the back focal plane of the objective lens, thus allowing only high-angle marginal annular light beams from a laser source to excite the sample. The radial aperture block can be replaced with a digital micromirror device for varying the evanescent wave to allow nanometric localization of features in the axial direction. A spatial light modulator (SLM) can be used to alter the phase of the excitation to optimally induce evanescent, patterned excitation at the sample. Various embodiments of the TIRF/SIM system allows for high-speed, super-resolution microscopy at very high signal-to-noise (SNR) ratios for biological applications within ~200 nm (e.g., the evanescent wave decay length) distance of a coverslip surface.

    Potential Commercial Applications: • High speed microscopy.

    Competitive Advantages: • Low cost of manufacture.

    Development Stage: • Prototype.

    Inventors: Hari Shroff (NIBIB), Justin Taraska (NHBLI), John Giannini (NIBIB), Yicong Wu (NIBIB), Abhishek Kumar (NIBIB), Min Guo (NIBIB).

    Publications 1. Christensen RP, et al. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. Elife. 2015 Dec 3;4. [PMID: 26633880] 2. Curd A., et al. Construction of an instant structured illumination microscope. Methods. 2015 Oct 15;88:37-47. [PMID: 26210400]

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-006-2016/0.

    • US Provisional Patent Application No. 62/378,307 filed 23 Aug 2016.

    Licensing Contact: Michael Shmilovich, Esq, CLP; 301-435-5019; [email protected]

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Michael Shmilovich, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Office of Technology Transfer and Development, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21114 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel, NIAID Clinical Trial Implementation Cooperative Agreement (U01).

    Date: October 5, 2016.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Lynn Rust, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G42A, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, (240) 669-5069, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 29, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21117 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; NIAID Clinical Trial Implementation Cooperative Agreement (U01).

    Date: September 26, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Lynn Rust, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G42A, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, (240) 669-5069, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 29, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21119 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel NIAID Clinical Trial Implementation Cooperative Agreement (U01).

    Date: September 28, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Lynn Rust, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G42A, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, (240) 669-5069, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 29, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21120 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; NIAID Clinical Trial Implementation Cooperative Agreement (U01).

    Date: October 27, 2016.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Lynn Rust, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G42A National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, (240) 669-5069, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 29, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21118 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute on Drug Abuse Special Emphasis Panel; Identification of Genetic and Genomic Variants by Next-Gen Sequencing in Non-Human Animal Models (U01).

    Date: September 23, 2016.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Jagadeesh S. Rao, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Office of Extramural Policy and Review, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 4234, MSC 9550, Bethesda, MD 02892, 301-443-9511, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos.: 93.279, Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Programs, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 29, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21121 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Eye Institute; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Eye Council.

    The meeting will be open to the public as indicated below, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Advisory Eye Council.

    Date: October 20, 2016.

    Open: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Following opening remarks by the Director, NEI, there will be presentations by the staff of the Institute and discussions concerning Institute programs.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Terrace Level Conference Rooms, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Closed: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Terrace Level Conference Rooms, 5635 Fishers Lane, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Paul A. Sheehy, Ph.D., Director, Division of Extramural Affairs, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, 5635 Fishers Lane, Suite 12300, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-2020, [email protected]

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: www.nei.nih.gov, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.867, Vision Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: August 29, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21116 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [Docket No. DHS-2016-0062] Homeland Security Advisory Council—New Tasking AGENCY:

    The Office of Partnership and Engagement, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of tasking assignment for the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Jeh Johnson, tasked the Homeland Security Advisory Council to establish a subcommittee entitled the Privatized Immigration Detention Facilities Subcommittee on August 26, 2016. The Subcommittee will provide findings and recommendations to the Homeland Security Advisory Council on the Department's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) current policy and practices concerning privatized immigration detention facilities and evaluate whether they should be eliminated. This notice informs the public of the establishment of the Privatized Immigration Detention Facilities Subcommittee and is not a notice for solicitation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah E. Morgenthau, Executive Director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Office of Partnership and Engagement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security at (202) 447-3135 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Homeland Security Advisory Council provides organizationally independent, strategic, timely, specific, and actionable advice and recommendations for the consideration of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on matters related to homeland security. The Council is comprised of leaders of law enforcement, first responders, State and local government, the private sector, and academia.

    Tasking: The Subcommittee will develop actionable findings and recommendations for the Department of Homeland Security. The Subcommittee will address ICE's current policy and practices concerning the use of private immigration detention facilities and evaluate whether this practice should be eliminated. This evaluation should consider all factors concerning policy and practice with respect to ICE's detention facilities, including fiscal considerations.

    Schedule: The Subcommittee's findings and recommendations will be submitted to the Homeland Security Advisory Council for their deliberation and vote during a public meeting. Once the report is reviewed and voted on by the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Council will provide its advice to the Secretary for his review and acceptance.

    Dated: August 29, 2016. Sarah E. Morgenthau, Executive Director.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21126 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-9M-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Office of the Secretary [Docket No. DHS-2016-0054] Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection—009 Electronic System for Travel Authorization System of Records AGENCY:

    Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Privacy Act System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to update and reissue the DHS system of records titled, “DHS/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-009 Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) System of Records.” This system of records allows DHS/CBP to collect and maintain records on nonimmigrant aliens seeking to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and other persons, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, whose names are provided to DHS as part of a nonimmigrant alien's ESTA application or Form I-94W. The system is used to determine whether an applicant is eligible to travel to and enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by vetting his or her ESTA application information or Form I-94W information against selected security and law enforcement databases at DHS, including TECS (not an acronym) and the Automated Targeting System (ATS). In addition, ATS retains a copy of ESTA application and Form I-94W data to identify individuals from Visa Waiver Program countries who may pose a security risk to the United States. The ATS maintains copies of key elements of certain databases in order to minimize the impact of processing searches on the operational systems and to act as a backup for certain operational systems. DHS may also vet ESTA application information against security and law enforcement databases at other federal agencies to enhance DHS's ability to determine whether the applicant poses a security risk to the United States and is eligible to travel to and enter the United States under the VWP. The results of this vetting may inform DHS's assessment of whether the applicant's travel poses a law enforcement or security risk and whether the application should be approved.

    DHS/CBP is updating this system of records notice, last published on June 17, 2016, to clarify the category of individuals, expand a routine use, and expand the record source categories to include information collected from publicly available sources, such as social media.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before October 3, 2016. This updated system will be effective October 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-2016-0054 by one of the following methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Fax: 202-343-4010.

    Mail: Jonathan Cantor, Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528-0655.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, please visit http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general questions, please contact: Debra L. Danisek, (202) 344-1610, Acting CBP Privacy Officer, Privacy and Diversity Office, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20229. For privacy questions, please contact: Jonathan R. Cantor, (202) 343-1717, Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528-0655.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is updating and reissuing a current DHS system of records titled, “DHS/CBP-009 Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) System of Records.”

    In the wake of September 11, 2001, Congress enacted the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, Public Law 110-53. Section 711 of that Act sought to address the security vulnerabilities associated with Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers not being subject to the same degree of screening as other international visitors. As a result, section 711 required DHS to develop and implement a fully automated electronic travel authorization system to collect biographical and other information necessary to evaluate the security risks and eligibility of an applicant to travel to the United States under the VWP. The VWP is a travel facilitation program that has evolved to include more robust security standards that are designed to prevent terrorists and other criminal actors from exploiting the program to enter the country.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization is a web-based system that DHS/CBP developed in 2008 to determine the eligibility of foreign nationals to travel by air or sea to the United States under the VWP. Using the ESTA Web site, applicants submit biographic information and answer questions that permit DHS to determine eligibility for travel under the VWP. DHS/CBP uses the information submitted to ESTA to make a determination regarding whether the applicant is eligible to travel under the VWP, including whether his or her intended travel poses a law enforcement or security risk. If eligible individuals from VWP countries attempt to enter the United States without an ESTA, they must file a Form I-94W at the time of entry. DHS/CBP vets the ESTA applicant information and Form I-94W information against selected security and law enforcement databases, including TECS (DHS/CBP-011 U.S. Customs and Border Protection TECS, 73 FR 77778 (December 19, 2008)) and ATS (DHS/CBP-006 Automated Targeting System, 77 FR 30297 (May 22, 2012)).

    The ATS also retains a copy of the ESTA application and Form I-94W data to identify individuals who may pose a security risk to the United States. The ATS maintains copies of key elements of certain databases in order to minimize the impact of processing searches on the operational systems and to act as a backup for certain operational systems. DHS may also vet ESTA and Form I-94W application information against security and law enforcement databases at other federal agencies to enhance DHS's ability to determine whether the applicant poses a security risk to the United States or is otherwise eligible to travel to and enter the United States under the VWP. The results of this vetting may inform DHS's assessment of whether the applicant's travel poses a law enforcement or security risk. The ESTA eligibility determination is made prior to a visitor boarding a carrier en route to the United States.

    Due to the ongoing national security concerns surrounding foreign fighters exploiting the VWP, DHS/CBP is updating this system of records notice, last published on June 17, 2016 (81 FR 39680), to give notice of a clarification to the category of individuals to include individuals who are eligible for an ESTA but instead submit a Form I-94W (likely during a land border crossing) and an expanded category of records to include responses to a voluntary question requesting ESTA applicants provide their social media identifiers (such as username), to assist DHS/CBP in determining eligibility to travel under the VWP. DHS/CBP is also modifying the overall description of when information may be shared as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3), and expanding Routine Use G to include additional DHS/CBP requirements for information sharing. Lastly, DHS/CBP is also expanding the record source categories to include information collected from publicly available sources, such as social media.

    On June 23, 2016 DHS/CBP published in the Federal Register a notice of a proposed revision to ESTA and the I-94W under the Paperwork Reduction Act to add an optional data field to request social media identifiers (see 81 FR 40892). The 60-day public comment period on the proposed revision to ESTA and the I-94W closed on August 22, 2016. Individuals who submitted comments during the 60-day public comment period can find DHS/CBP response on www.reginfo.gov (Reference OMB Control Number 1651-0111). On August 31, 2016, DHS will publish a notice in the Federal Register that will give the public an additional 30 days to submit comments on the proposed revision to the ESTA and I-94W.

    DHS is publishing this revised system of records notice to include, among other things, the social media identifiers included in the proposed revision to ESTA and the I-94W. While this SORN will allow DHS to maintain the information described herein, DHS will not be able to collect social media identifiers using ESTA and I-94W until OMB approves the DHS/CBP's Information Collection Request under the Paperwork Reduction Act (OMB Control Number 1651-0111).

    Adding social media data will enhance the existing process, and provide DHS/CBP greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which DHS/CBP may use to make better informed eligibility determinations. DHS/CBP's collection of a subject's social media identifiers adds another layer of information to the analysis for eligibility determination by providing potential further leads to terrorism or criminal activity.

    DHS/CBP is modifying the overall description of when information may be shared as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3), to clarify that information covered by this system of records notice may be shared either in bulk, or on a case-by-case basis. DHS/CBP is expanding Routine Use G to clarify that DHS may share information when it determines that the information would assist in the enforcement of civil or criminal matters, and not only when the record itself facially indicates a violation or potential violation of law. DHS/CBP is frequently called upon to share information in connection with specific cases, DHS/CBP also shares data (including in bulk) that may be used by another agency to vet against the other agency's databases to identify violations proactively. The updated Routine Use G also clarifies that DHS/CBP is able to share information, consistent with its many international arrangements, relating to the enforcement of licenses or treaties.

    Consistent with DHS's information sharing mission, information stored in the “DHS/CBP-009 Electronic System for Travel Authorization System of Records” may be shared with other DHS Components that have a need to know the information to carry out their national security, law enforcement, immigration, intelligence, or other homeland security functions. In addition, DHS/CBP may share information stored in ESTA in bulk as well as on a case-by-case basis with appropriate federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, foreign, or international government agencies consistent with the routine uses set forth in this system of records notice. DHS/CBP documents ongoing, systematic sharing with partners, including documenting the need to know, authorized users and uses, and the privacy protections that will be applied to the data.

    DHS/CBP previously issued a Final Rule to exempt this system of records from certain provisions of the Privacy Act on August 31, 2009 (74 FR 45069). These regulations remain in effect. This updated system will be included in DHS's inventory of record systems.

    II. Privacy Act

    The Privacy Act embodies fair information practice principles in a statutory framework governing the means by which Federal Government agencies collect, maintain, use, and disseminate individuals' records. The Privacy Act applies to information that is maintained in a “system of records.” A “system of records” is a group of any records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual. In the Privacy Act, an individual is defined to encompass U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. As a matter of policy, DHS extends administrative Privacy Act protections to all individuals when systems of records maintain information on U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and visitors.

    Given the importance of providing privacy protections to international travelers, and because the ESTA application has generally solicited contact information about U.S. persons, DHS always administratively applied the privacy protections and safeguards of the Privacy Act to all international travelers subject to ESTA. The ESTA falls within the mixed system policy and DHS will continue to extend the administrative protections of the Privacy Act to information about travelers and non-travelers whose information is provided to DHS as part of the ESTA application.

    Below is the description of the DHS/U.S. Customs and Border Protection-009 Electronic System for Travel Authorization System of Records System of Records.

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), DHS has provided a report of this system of records to the Office of Management and Budget and to Congress.

    SYSTEM OF RECORDS:

    Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-009.

    System name:

    DHS/CBP-009 Electronic System for Travel Authorization System (ESTA).

    Security classification:

    Unclassified. The data may be retained on classified networks but this does not change the nature and character of the data until it is combined with classified information.

    System location:

    DHS/CBP maintains records at the CBP Headquarters in Washington, DC and field offices. Records are replicated from the operational system and maintained on the DHS unclassified and classified networks.

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Categories of individuals covered by this system include:

    1. Persons who seek to enter the United States under the VWP; and,

    2. Persons, including U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents, whose information is provided in response to ESTA application or Form I-94W questions.

    Categories of records in the system:

    Visa Waiver Program travelers may seek the required travel authorization by electronically submitting an application consisting of biographical and other data elements via the ESTA Web site. The categories of records in ESTA include:

    • Full name (first, middle, and last);

    • Other names or aliases, if available;

    • Date of birth;

    • City of birth;

    • Country of birth;

    • Gender;

    • Email address;

    • Social media identifiers, such as username(s) and platforms used;

    • Publicly available information from social media Web sites or platforms;

    • Telephone number (home, mobile, work, other);

    • Home address (address, apartment number, city, state/region);

    • Internet protocol (IP) address;

    • ESTA application number;

    • Global Entry Program Number;

    • Country of residence;

    • Passport number;

    • Passport issuing country;

    • Passport issuance date;

    • Passport expiration date;

    • Department of Treasury Pay.gov payment tracking number (i.e., confirmation of payment; absence of payment confirmation will result in a “not cleared” determination);

    • Country of citizenship;

    • Other citizenship (country, passport number);

    • National identification number, if available;

    • Address while visiting the United States (number, street, city, state);

    • Emergency point of contact information (name, telephone number, email address);

    • U.S. Point of Contact (name, address, telephone number);

    • Parents' names;

    • Current job title;

    • Current or previous employer name;

    • Current or previous employer street address; and

    • Current or previous employer telephone number.

    The c