Federal Register Vol. 81, No.175,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 175 (September 9, 2016)

Page Range62353-62602
FR Document

81_FR_175
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 62353 - Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for InflationPDF
81 FR 62601 - Labor Day, 2016PDF
81 FR 62481 - National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 62482 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 62500 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 62474 - Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 62367 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Black Warrior River, Eutaw, AlabamaPDF
81 FR 62533 - Notice of Proposed Supplementary Rules for Travel Management Limitations on Public Lands in Fremont County, WyomingPDF
81 FR 62488 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 62371 - Safety Zone; Tennessee River, Chattanooga, TNPDF
81 FR 62365 - Special Local Regulations; Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival, Cumberland River, Nashville, TNPDF
81 FR 62549 - Mississippi Southern Railroad, L.L.C.-Lease and Operation Exemption-The Kansas City Southern Railway CompanyPDF
81 FR 62531 - Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Rasmussen Valley Phosphate Mine, Caribou County, IdahoPDF
81 FR 62479 - National Broadband Research AgendaPDF
81 FR 62546 - Information Collection: NRC Form 850A, “Request for NRC Contractor Building Access Authorization,” NRC Form 850B, “Request for NRC Contractor Information Technology Access Authorization” and NRC Form 850C, “Request for NRC Contractor Security Clearance”PDF
81 FR 62500 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 62482 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 62472 - Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
81 FR 62366 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJPDF
81 FR 62478 - General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the General Advisory Committee; Conference Call AnnouncementPDF
81 FR 62433 - Radio Broadcasting Services; Pima, ArizonaPDF
81 FR 62557 - Petition for Special Approval of Alternate StandardPDF
81 FR 62547 - Certification Pursuant to Section 7045(a)(3)(B) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2016 (DIV. K, Pub. L. 114-113)PDF
81 FR 62368 - Regulated Navigation Area; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME and Portsmouth, NHPDF
81 FR 62547 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Self Certification and Ability To Perform In Emergencies (ESCAPE) ProgramPDF
81 FR 62484 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 62489 - Notice of Petition for Waiver of Dyson, Inc. From the Department of Energy Battery Chargers Test Procedures and Grant of Interim WaiverPDF
81 FR 62493 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Revised Schedule for Environmental Review of the Abandonment and Capacity Restoration ProjectPDF
81 FR 62496 - Prineville Energy Storage LLC, Ochoco Irrigation District; Notice of Competing Preliminary Permit Applications Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 62494 - Crown Hydro, LLC; Minnesota Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental AssessmentPDF
81 FR 62497 - The City of Logan, Utah; Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
81 FR 62493 - Total Peaking Services, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Vaporization Capacity Increase and Bog Compressor ProjectPDF
81 FR 62365 - Special Local Regulation; Louisville Dragon Boat Festival, Ohio RiverPDF
81 FR 62487 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 62499 - Washoe Project-Rate Order No. WAPA-176PDF
81 FR 62404 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands for the 2016-17 SeasonPDF
81 FR 62549 - Eleventh RTCA SC-228 Minimum Performance Standards (MPS) for UAS Plenary SessionPDF
81 FR 62471 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Indiana Advisory Committee To Discuss a Draft Report Regarding Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in IndianaPDF
81 FR 62482 - Procurement List DeletionsPDF
81 FR 62481 - Procurement List; Proposed DeletionsPDF
81 FR 62511 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Cost Reporting Pilot StudyPDF
81 FR 62512 - Health Resources and Services AdministrationPDF
81 FR 62477 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 62478 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 62477 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 62516 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Distribution of Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset to Affected Domestic ProducersPDF
81 FR 62517 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Foreign Assembler's DeclarationPDF
81 FR 62509 - Substantiation for Structure/Function Claims Made in Infant Formula Labels and Labeling: Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 62448 - Medical Review Board Task Report on Insulin Treated Diabetes Mellitus and Commercial Motor Vehicle DriversPDF
81 FR 62537 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Special Employment Under the Fair Labor Standards ActPDF
81 FR 62502 - Information Collection; Examination of Records by Comptroller General and Contract AuditPDF
81 FR 62553 - Denial of Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
81 FR 62556 - Denial of Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
81 FR 62552 - Denial of Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
81 FR 62554 - Denial of Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
81 FR 62555 - Denial of Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
81 FR 62551 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Epilepsy and Seizure DisordersPDF
81 FR 62470 - White River National Forest; Eagle County, CO; Withdrawal of Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Berlaimont Estates Access Route EISPDF
81 FR 62476 - North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
81 FR 62551 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Reduction of Fuel Tank Flammability on Transport Category AirplanesPDF
81 FR 62550 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and Aircraft DispatchersPDF
81 FR 62550 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Disposal of Aeronautical Property at Bowman Field Airport Louisville, KY (LOU)PDF
81 FR 62358 - Maximum Civil Money Penalty Amounts; Technical AmendmentPDF
81 FR 62529 - Receipt of Applications for Endangered Species PermitsPDF
81 FR 62548 - Grand Elk Railroad, Inc.-Acquisition of Incidental Trackage Rights Exemption-Norfolk Southern Railway CompanyPDF
81 FR 62470 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 62514 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
81 FR 62513 - Nominations to the National Toxicology Program for the Report on Carcinogens and Office of Health Assessment and Translation; Request for InformationPDF
81 FR 62471 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 62486 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 62535 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection Applicant Information Form (1-783)PDF
81 FR 62536 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution ActPDF
81 FR 62368 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Tacony, PA and Palmyra, NJPDF
81 FR 62538 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 62538 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 62506 - E17 General Principles for Planning and Design of Multi-Regional Clinical Trials; International Council for Harmonisation; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 62508 - Science Advisory Board to the National Center for Toxicological Research Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 62504 - Blood Products Advisory Committee Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 62505 - Health Document Submission Requirements for Tobacco Products; Revised Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 62499 - Caprock Solar I LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 62497 - Grand View PV Solar Two LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 62499 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 62495 - Southeastern Power Administration; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 62498 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Leach Xpress Project and Rayne Xpress Expansion ProjectPDF
81 FR 62496 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
81 FR 62494 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 62519 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application and Approval To Manipulate, Examine, Sample or Transfer GoodsPDF
81 FR 62518 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Lien NoticePDF
81 FR 62517 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Vessel Entrance or Clearance StatementPDF
81 FR 62501 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 62403 - Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 62515 - Conclusion of the National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) Test Concerning the Submission of Data Required by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)PDF
81 FR 62373 - Reconsideration Procedure for Refusals To Register: Revised DeadlinesPDF
81 FR 62541 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
81 FR 62542 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
81 FR 62540 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection Request: Community Catalyst: The Roles of Libraries and Museums as Enablers of Community Vitality and Co-Creators of Positive Community Change-A National Leadership Grants Special InitiativePDF
81 FR 62521 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request, Form G-639; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 62543 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
81 FR 62434 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Construction Contract AdministrationPDF
81 FR 62428 - National Priorities ListPDF
81 FR 62503 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 62397 - National Priorities ListPDF
81 FR 62445 - General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Federal Supply Schedule, Order-Level MaterialsPDF
81 FR 62381 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revisions to the General Definitions for Texas New Source Review and the Minor NSR Qualified Facilities ProgramPDF
81 FR 62375 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure or Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 62450 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Guadalupe FescuePDF
81 FR 62455 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Guadalupe FescuePDF
81 FR 62353 - Technical Corrections Relating to Issuance of Notices To Appear, Warrants of Removal, Exercise of Power by Immigration Officers, and Standards for Enforcement ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 62520 - Extension of and Addition to Employment Authorization for Syrian F-1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of Civil Unrest in Syria Since March 2011PDF
81 FR 62373 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Kansas; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2012 Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5PDF
81 FR 62522 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
81 FR 62387 - State of Iowa; Approval and Promulgation of the Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan, and 112(l) PlanPDF
81 FR 62426 - State of Iowa; Approval and Promulgation of the Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan, and 112(l) PlanPDF
81 FR 62393 - Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for MarylandPDF
81 FR 62427 - Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for MarylandPDF
81 FR 62390 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Indiana; Redesignation of the Indiana Portion of the Louisville Area to Attainment of the 1997 Annual Standard for Fine Particulate MatterPDF
81 FR 62419 - Diseases Associated With Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp LejeunePDF
81 FR 62378 - Air Plan Approval; Connecticut; NOXPDF
81 FR 62530 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on Bureau of Land Management Lands in 17 Western StatesPDF
81 FR 62359 - Modifications to Minimum Present Value Requirements for Partial Annuity Distribution Options Under Defined Benefit Pension PlansPDF
81 FR 62560 - Revisions to Rules Regarding the Evaluation of Medical EvidencePDF
81 FR 62395 - NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule Implementation GuidancePDF

Issue

81 175 Friday, September 9, 2016 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62470 2016-21700 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Army Army Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 62482-62484 2016-21768 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62503-62504 2016-21625 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Indiana Advisory Committee, 62471-62472 2016-21737 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for Inflation, 62353 C1--2016--15673 Drawbridge Operations: Black Warrior River, Eutaw, AL, 62367-62368 2016-21778 Delaware River, Tacony, PA and Palmyra, NJ, 62368 2016-21692 Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ, 62366-62367 2016-21766 Regulated Navigation Areas: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME and Portsmouth, NH, 62368-62371 2016-21757 Safety Zones: Tennessee River, Chattanooga, TN, 62371-62372 2016-21775 Special Local Regulations: Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival, Cumberland River, Nashville, TN, 62365 2016-21774 Louisville Dragon Boat Festival, Ohio River, 62365 2016-21743 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 62481-62482 2016-21735 2016-21736 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 62482 2016-21807 Copyright Office Copyright Office, Library of Congress RULES Reconsideration Procedure for Refusals to Register; Revised Deadlines, 62373 2016-21671 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62486-62487 2016-21695 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Examination of Records by Comptroller General and Contract Audit, 62502-62503 2016-21721 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 62484-62488 2016-21742 2016-21751
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 62488-62489 2016-21776 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

Western Area Power Administration

Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Petitions for Waivers: Dyson, Inc.; Battery Chargers Test Procedures, 62489-62493 2016-21749 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Connecticut; NOx Emission Trading Orders as Single Source SIP Revisions, 62378-62381 2016-21453 Indiana; Redesignation of Indiana Portion of Louisville Area to Attainment of 1997 Annual Standard for Fine Particulate Matter, 62390-62393 2016-21457 Iowa; Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan, and 112(1) Plan, 62387-62390 2016-21469 Kansas; 2012 Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 62373-62375 2016-21474 Texas; Infrastructure or Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 62375-62378 2016-21593 Texas; Revisions to the General Definitions for New Source Review and the Minor NSR Qualified Facilities Program, 62381-62387 2016-21594 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Electronic Reporting, 62395-62397 2016-21204 National Priorities List, 62397-62403 2016-21615 Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations: Maryland; Consistency Update, 62393-62395 2016-21460 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Iowa; Title V Operating Permits Program, 62426-62427 2016-21468 National Priorities List, 62428-62433 2016-21626 Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations: Maryland; Consistency Update, 62427-62428 2016-21459 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.; Weekly Receipts, 62500 2016-21769 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Qualification, Service, and Use of Crewmembers and Aircraft Dispatchers, 62550-62551 2016-21708 Reduction of Fuel Tank Flammability on Transport Category Airplanes, 62551 2016-21710 Airport Property Releases: Bowman Field Airport, Louisville, KY (LOU), 62550 2016-21706 Meetings: Eleventh RTCA SC-228 Minimum Performance Standards for UAS Plenary Session, 62549-62550 2016-21738 Federal Bureau Federal Bureau of Investigation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62535-62536 2016-21694 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Radio Broadcasting Services: Pima, AZ, 62433 2016-21764 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 62500 2016-21791 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 62494-62496, 62499 2016-21679 2016-21680 2016-21683 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Crown Hydro, LLC; Crown Mill Hydroelectric Project, 62494 2016-21746 Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., LLC; Abandonment and Capacity Restoration Project, 62493 2016-21748 Third Dam Facilities; Logan No. 2 Project; City of Logan, UT, 62497-62498 2016-21745 Total Peaking Services, LLC; Vaporization Capacity Increase and BOG Compressor Project, 62493-62494 2016-21744 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Columbia Gulf Transmission. LLC: Leach Xpress Project and Rayne Xpress Expansion Project, 62498-62499 2016-21681 Filings: Southeastern Power Administration, 62495-62496 2016-21682 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Caprock Solar I, LLC, 62499 2016-21685 Grand View PV Solar Two, LLC, 62497 2016-21684 Preliminary Permit Applications: Prineville Energy Storage LLC and Ochoco Irrigation District, 62496-62497 2016-21747 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Insulin Treated Diabetes Mellitus and Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers, 62448-62450 2016-21724 NOTICES Exemption Applications; Denials: Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 62552-62553, 62555-62556 2016-21716 2016-21718 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders, 62551-62557 2016-21715 2016-21717 2016-21719 2016-21720 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Petition for Special Approval of Alternate Standard, 62557 2016-21762 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62501-62502 2016-21675 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Migratory Bird Hunting: Certain Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands; 2016-17 Season, 62404-62418 2016-21739 PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Designation of Critical Habitat for Guadalupe Fescue, 62455-62469 2016-21587 Endangered Species Status for Guadalupe Fescue, 62450-62455 2016-21588 NOTICES Endangered Species Permit Applications, 62529-62530 2016-21702 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Maximum Civil Money Penalty Amounts; Technical Amendment, 62358 2016-21705 NOTICES Guidance for Industry: Substantiation for Structure/Function Claims Made in Infant Formula Labels and Labeling, 62509-62511 2016-21725 Guidance: E17 General Principles for Planning and Design of Multi-Regional Clinical Trials; International Council for Harmonisation, 62506-62508 2016-21689 Health Document Submission Requirements for Tobacco Products, 62505-62506 2016-21686 Meetings: Blood Products Advisory Committee Advisory Committee, 62504-62505 2016-21687 Science Advisory Board to the National Center for Toxicological Research Advisory Committee, 62508-62509 2016-21688 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Rasmussen Valley Phosphate Mine, Caribou County, Idaho, 62531-62533 2016-21772 White River National Forest; Eagle County, CO; Berlaimont Estates Access Route EIS; Withdrawal, 62470-62471 2016-21714 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES General Services Administration Acquisition Regulations: Construction Contract Administration, 62434-62445 2016-21629 Federal Supply Schedule, Order-Level Materials, 62445-62448 2016-21610 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Examination of Records by Comptroller General and Contract Audit, 62502-62503 2016-21721 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

RULES Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders, 62403-62404 2016-21674
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Cost Reporting Pilot Study, 62511-62512 2016-21734 Small Rural Hospital Transitions Project, 62512-62513 2016-21733 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for Inflation, 62353 C1--2016--15673 Issuance of Notices to Appear, Warrants of Removal, Exercise of Power by Immigration Officers, and Standards for Enforcement Activities; Corrections, 62353-62358 2016-21526 NOTICES Extension of and Addition to Employment Authorization for Syrian F-1 Nonimmigrant Students Experiencing Severe Economic Hardship as a Direct Result of Civil Unrest in Syria Since March 2011, 62520-62521 2016-21525
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Federal Properties Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 62522-62529 2016-21470 Institute of Museum and Library Services Institute of Museum and Library Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Community Catalyst: The Roles of Libraries and Museums as Enablers of Community Vitality and Co-Creators of Positive Community Change, 62540 2016-21667 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Modifications to Minimum Present Value Requirements for Partial Annuity Distribution Options under Defined Benefit Pension Plans, 62359-62365 2016-21393 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China, 62472-62474 2016-21767 Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China; Administrative Review 2014-2015, 62474-62476 2016-21782 Justice Department Justice Department See

Federal Bureau of Investigation

NOTICES Consent Decrees: Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act, 62536-62537 2016-21693
Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Special Employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 62537-62538 2016-21723 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Rasmussen Valley Phosphate Mine, Caribou County, Idaho, 62531-62533 2016-21772 Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides on Lands in 17 Western States; Availability of Record of Decision, 62530-62531 2016-21446 Supplementary Rules: Travel Management Limitations on Public Lands in Fremont County, Wyoming, 62533-62535 2016-21777 Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Office, Library of Congress

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Examination of Records by Comptroller General and Contract Audit, 62502-62503 2016-21721 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62471 2016-21696 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62538 2016-21691 Records Schedules; Availability, 62538-62539 2016-21690 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

Institute of Museum and Library Services

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 62514-62515 2016-21699 Requests for Information: National Toxicology Program, 62513-62514 2016-21698 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Meetings: General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the General Advisory Committee, 62478 2016-21765 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 62477-62479 2016-21728 2016-21729 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 62477-62478 2016-21730 North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 62476-62477 2016-21713 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Antarctic Conservation Act Permits, 62543-62546 2016-21655 National Broadband Research Agenda, 62479-62481 2016-21771 Permit Applications: Antarctic Conservation Act, 62541-62543 2016-21668 2016-21669 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES National Broadband Research Agenda, 62479-62481 2016-21771 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 62546-62547 2016-21770 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Meetings: National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee, 62481 2016-21871 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Labor Day (Proc. 9486), 62599-62602 2016-21924 Social Social Security Administration PROPOSED RULES Evaluation of Medical Evidence, 62560-62598 2016-21358 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Self Certification and Ability to Perform In Emergencies Program, 62547-62548 2016-21756 Certifications Under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 62547 2016-21761 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Lease and Operation Exemptions: Mississippi Southern Railroad, LLC from The Kansas City Southern Railway Co., 62549 2016-21773 Trackage Rights Exemptions: Grand Elk Railroad, Inc. from Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 62548-62549 2016-21701 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Security Transportation Security Administration RULES Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for Inflation, 62353 C1--2016--15673 Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request, 62521-62522 2016-21664 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application and Approval to Manipulate, Examine, Sample or Transfer Goods, 62519-62520 2016-21678 Distribution of Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset to Affected Domestic Producers, 62516 2016-21727 Foreign Assembler's Declaration, 62517-62518 2016-21726 Lien Notice, 62518-62519 2016-21677 Vessel Entrance or Clearance Statement, 62517 2016-21676 National Customs Automation Program Tests: Submission of Data Required by the Food Safety and Inspection Service in the Automated Commercial Environment, 62515-62516 2016-21673 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune, 62419-62426 2016-21455 Western Western Area Power Administration NOTICES Rate Orders: Washoe Project, 62499-62500 2016-21740 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Social Security Administration, 62560-62598 2016-21358 Part III Presidential Documents, 62599-62602 2016-21924 Reader Aids

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

To subscribe to the Federal Register Table of Contents electronic mailing list, go to https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USGPOOFR/subscriber/new, enter your e-mail address, then follow the instructions to join, leave, or manage your subscription.

81 175 Friday, September 9, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 6 CFR Part 27 8 CFR Parts 270, 274a, and 280 Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 27 Transportation Security Administration 49 CFR Part 1503 [Docket No. DHS-2016-0034] RIN 1601-AA80 Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for Inflation Correction

In rule document 2016-15673, appearing on pages 42987-43006 in the issue of Friday, July 1, 2016, make the following correction:

PART 274a—CONTROL OF EMPLOYMENT OF ALIENS [Corrected]

1. On page 43002, in the first column, on the nineteenth line, amendatory paragraph number 6, appearing in PART 274a, that reads “■  6. In § 4a.8, revise (b) to read as follows:” is corrected as set forth below:

6. In § 274a.8, revise (b) to read as follows:
[FR Doc. C1-2016-15673 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Parts 236, 238, 239, 240, 241, and 287 [CBP Dec. 16-14] Technical Corrections Relating to Issuance of Notices To Appear, Warrants of Removal, Exercise of Power by Immigration Officers, and Standards for Enforcement Activities AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations to update various provisions that list specific immigration officials who are authorized to perform various immigration functions, including the issuance of notices to appear, warrants of removal, and arrest warrants. The lists are outdated and do not reflect the current DHS organizational structure. DHS is updating the lists with the specific officials who are currently authorized to perform these various functions. DHS is also making some technical corrections to update nomenclature and outdated references in the affected provisions.

DATES:

Effective September 9, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Border Patrol Aspects: Cipriano Encinia, U.S. Border Patrol, [email protected]; Field Operations Aspects: James Ryan Hutton, Office of Field Operations, [email protected]; Air and Marine Aspects: Daniel Jordan, Air and Marine Operations, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established on January 24, 2003, pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, codified at 6 U.S.C. 101, et seq.

Section 441 of the HSA transferred from the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization Service to DHS all border security functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities. See 6 U.S.C. 251. Pursuant to section 1502 of the HSA, on November 25, 2002, the President submitted to Congress a reorganization plan. See 6 U.S.C. 542. On January 30, 2003, the President submitted a modified reorganization plan, which provided that the Customs Service, now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), would contain, among other things, the resources and missions relating to borders and ports of entry of the Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. This modified reorganization plan also provided that the Bureau of Border Security, now, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), would contain, among other things, the detention and removal program, the intelligence program, and the investigations program of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Additionally, section 451 of the HSA established the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, now, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and transferred to it from the Commissioner of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service all adjudications and benefit programs. See 6 U.S.C. 271.

Under sections 1101 and 1102 of the HSA, the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) retained its functions relating to the immigration and naturalization of aliens. See 6 U.S.C. 521.

On June 13, 2003 and November 4, 2005, DHS published two final rules in the Federal Register (68 FR 35273 and 70 FR 67087) to conform the text of title 8, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 236, 239, 241, and 287 to the organizational structures established by the HSA and reorganization plans. Subsequently, the DHS organizational structure has evolved, and this rule revises various sections in these parts to reflect DHS's current structure. The organizational structure described in 8 CFR parts 238, 240, 241, and 287 predates the creation of DHS, and this rule updates various sections in these parts. In addition, DHS is making some technical corrections to update nomenclature and outdated references in the affected provisions. We summarize below the provisions in title 8 CFR that we are updating.

A. Apprehension, Custody, and Detention

Title 8, CFR part 236, subpart A (8 CFR part 236, subpart A) describes the procedures for apprehending, detaining, and removing aliens under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Specifically, 8 CFR 236.1 refers to lists of immigration officials in § 287.5(e)(2) and (e)(3) of the chapter who are authorized to issue a warrant of arrest or to serve a warrant of arrest and lists officials authorized to make custody decisions.

B. Expedited Removal Proceedings

Title 8, CFR part 238 (8 CFR part 238) describes the procedures for expedited removal of aggravated felons under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Specifically, 8 CFR 238.1 defines a “deciding Service officer” and “issuing Service officer”. It also refers to a list of immigration officials in § 239.1 of the chapter who are authorized to issue notices to appear and refers to a list of immigration officials in § 287.5(e)(2) of the chapter who are authorized to issue warrants of arrest.

C. Notice To Appear

Title 8, CFR part 239 (8 CFR part 239) describes the procedures for the initiation of removal proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Specifically, 8 CFR 239.1 provides that any immigration officer, or supervisor thereof, performing an inspection of an arriving alien at a port-of-entry may issue a notice to appear to such alien, and lists the additional officers who are authorized to issue notices to appear.

D. Voluntary Departure—Authority of the Service

Title 8, CFR part 240, subpart C (8 CFR part 240, subpart C) describes procedures and conditions regarding the granting of voluntary departures from the United States. Specifically, 8 CFR 240.25 lists the officers who are authorized to permit aliens to depart voluntarily.

E. Warrant of Removal

Title 8, CFR part 241, subpart A (8 CFR part 241, subpart A) describes immigration post-hearing detention and removal procedures. Specifically, 8 CFR 241.2 lists the immigration officials who are authorized to issue warrants of removal.

F. Exercise of Power by Immigration Officers

Title 8, CFR part 287 (8 CFR part 287) describes the powers and duties of field officers. Specifically, 8 CFR 287.5 addresses the power and duties of immigration officers, including the power to interrogate and administer oaths, patrol the border, arrest, conduct searches, execute and issue warrants, and carry firearms, and lists the officials who are authorized to perform these functions. Also, 8 CFR 287.8 describes the standards for enforcement activities conducted by immigration officers.

G. Regulatory Amendment

The lists of immigration officials in 8 CFR 236.1, 238.1, 239.1, 240.25, 241.2, 287.5, and 287.8 have not been updated to reflect the current organizational structure of DHS. As such, these regulations include position titles that no longer exist in the DHS organization and do not include position titles that were established after the creation of DHS. Therefore, it is necessary to amend these regulations to authorize the appropriate officials within DHS to perform the listed functions and to remove outdated references to former position titles. To accurately reflect the current DHS organizational structure, this final rule amends 8 CFR 236.1, 238.1, 239.1, 240.25, 241.2, 287.5, and 287.8 by removing the outdated list of personnel authorized to perform various immigration functions, such as issuing notices to appear, warrants of removal, and arrest warrants and by adding language that authorizes the appropriate DHS officials to perform these functions.

DHS is also making several additional technical corrections to update outdated references in these sections. Specifically, DHS is updating 8 CFR 236.1 and 238.1 to replace several outdated references to sections in 8 CFR part 3 with sections in 8 CFR part 1003. As provided in 8 CFR 3.0, the regulations of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) relating to the adjudication of immigration matters before immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals are now located in 8 CFR chapter V, part 1003, rather than in part 3. In a final rule published in the Federal Register on February 28, 2003 (68 FR 9824), the Department of Justice moved the provisions to reflect the division of authority between DHS and EOIR after the enactment of the HSA. DHS is also removing the obsolete references to the title “Commissioner” and “Assistant Secretary for ICE” and replacing them with the current title “Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE” in 8 CFR 236.1, 287.5, and 287.8. These changes will reflect the current DHS structure.

II. Statutory and Regulatory Requirements A. Inapplicability of Public Notice and Delayed Effective Date Requirements

Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)), rulemakings generally require prior notice and comment, subject to specified exceptions. As provided in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A) and (B), this procedure does not apply to rules of agency organization, procedure, practice; or when the agency for good cause finds that notice and comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. This final rule amends the regulations to reflect the correct position titles for those officials who are authorized to issue notices to appear, warrants of removal, arrest warrants, and to perform various additional immigration functions and makes some technical corrections to update nomenclature and outdated references in the affected provisions. DHS finds that this is a rule of agency organization, procedure, or practice, which is not subject to notice and comment rulemaking. DHS also finds that good cause exists to issue the rule without prior notice and comment and that this procedure is not necessary because the rule has no substantive impact, is technical in nature, and it relates to management, organization, procedure, and practice. For the same reasons, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), a delayed effective date is not required.

B. The Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply. This amendment does not meet the criteria for a “significant regulatory action” as specified in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563.

List of Subjects 8 CFR Parts 236, 239, and 241

Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Immigration.

8 CFR Parts 238 and 240

Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens.

8 CFR Part 287

Immigration, Law enforcement officers.

Amendments to Regulations

For the reasons set forth above, parts 236, 238, 239, 240, 241, and 287 of title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR parts 236, 238, 239, 240, 241, and 287) are amended as set forth below.

PART 236—APPREHENSION AND DETENTION OF INADMISSIBLE AND DEPORTABLE ALIENS; REMOVAL OF ALIENS; REMOVAL OF ALIENS ORDERED REMOVED 1. The authority citation for part 236 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1103, 1182, 1224, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1231, 1362; 18 U.S.C. 4002, 4013(c)(4); 8 CFR part 2.

§ 236.1 [Amended]
2. Amend § 236.1 as follows: a. In paragraph (c)(7), remove the word “Commissioner” and add in its place “Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE”; b. In paragraph (c)(10), remove the reference to “§ 3.19” and add in its place “§ 1003.19”; c. In paragraph (c)(11), remove the reference to “§ 3.19(h)” and add in its place “§ 1003.19(h)”; d. In paragraph (d)(1), remove the reference to “§ 3.19” and add in its place “§ 1003.19”; e. In paragraph (d)(3)(i), remove the reference to “§ 3.38” and add in its place “§ 1003.38”; f. In paragraph (d)(4), remove the reference to “§ 3.19(i)” and add in its place “§ 1003.19(i)”. g. In paragraph (f), remove the reference to “§ 3.19(g)” and add in its place “§ 1003.19(g)”. PART 238—EXPEDITED REMOVAL OF AGGRAVATED FELONS 3. The authority citation for part 238 continues to read as follows: Authority:

8 U.S.C. 1228; 8 CFR part 2.

§ 238.1 [Amended]
4. In § 238.1 amend paragraph (b)(1)(iii) by removing the reference to “§ 3.41” and adding in its place “§ 1003.41”. PART 239—GENERAL PROVISIONS 5. The authority citation for part 239 continues to read as follows: Authority:

8 U.S.C. 1103, 1221, 1229; Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296; 8 CFR part 2.

6. Amend § 239.1 by revising paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(41) and adding paragraphs (a)(42) through (a)(46). The revisions and additions read as follows:
§ 239.1 Notice to appear.

(a) * * *

(1) District directors (except foreign);

(2) Deputy district directors (except foreign);

(3) Chief patrol agents;

(4) Deputy chief patrol agents;

(5) Division chiefs;

(6) Assistant chief patrol agents;

(7) Patrol agents in charge;

(8) Deputy patrol agents in charge;

(9) Border patrol watch commanders;

(10) Special operations supervisors;

(11) Supervisory border patrol agents;

(12) Directors of air operations;

(13) Directors of marine operations;

(14) Supervisory air and marine interdiction agents;

(15) Service center directors;

(16) Deputy service center directors;

(17) Assistant service center directors for examinations;

(18) Supervisory immigration services officers;

(19) Supervisory immigration officers;

(20) Supervisory asylum officers;

(21) Officers in charge (except foreign);

(22) Assistant officers in charge (except foreign);

(23) Special agents in charge;

(24) Deputy special agents in charge;

(25) Associate special agents in charge;

(26) Assistant special agents in charge;

(27) Resident agents in charge;

(28) Supervisory special agents;

(29) Directors of investigations;

(30) District directors for interior enforcement;

(31) Deputy or assistant district directors for interior enforcement;

(32) Director of enforcement and removal operations;

(33) Field office directors;

(34) Deputy field office directors;

(35) Supervisory deportation officers;

(36) Supervisory detention and deportation officers;

(37) Directors or officers in charge of detention facilities;

(38) Directors of field operations;

(39) Assistant directors of field operations;

(40) Port directors;

(41) Assistant port directors;

(42) Field operations watch commanders;

(43) Field operations chiefs;

(44) Unit Chief, Law Enforcement Support Center;

(45) Section Chief, Law Enforcement Support Center; or

(46) Other duly authorized officers or employees of the Department of Homeland Security or of the United States who are delegated the authority as provided by 8 CFR 2.1 to issue notices to appear, and who have successfully completed any required immigration law enforcement training.

PART 240—GENERAL PROVISIONS
7. The authority citation for part 240 continues to read as follows: Authority:

8 U.S.C. 1103, 1182, 1186a, 1224, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1251, 1252 note, 1252a, 1252b, 1362; secs. 202 and 203, Pub. L. 105-100 (111 Stat. 2160, 2193); sec. 902, Pub. L. 105-277 (112 Stat. 2681); 8 CFR part 2.

§ 240.25 [Amended]
8. Amend § 240.25 paragraph (a) by removing the words “Deputy Executive Associate Commissioner for Detention and Removal” and adding in their place “Deputy Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations”. PART 241—APPREHENSION AND DETENTION OF ALIENS ORDERED REMOVED 9. The authority citation for part 241 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a; 8 U.S.C. 1103, 1182, 1223, 1224, 1225, 1226, 1227, 1228, 1231, 1251, 1253, 1255, 1330, 1362; 18 U.S.C. 4002, 4013(c)(4); Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (6 U.S.C. 101, et seq.); 8 CFR part 2.

10. Amend § 241.2: a. By revising paragraph (a)(1); and b. In paragraph (a)(2), by removing the reference to “(xxv)” and adding in its place “(xxxi)”.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 241.2 Warrant of removal.

(a) Issuance of a warrant of removal—(1) In general. A Form I-205, Warrant of Removal, based on the final administrative removal order in the alien's case will be issued by any of the following immigration officials:

(i) Director, Enforcement and Removal Operations;

(ii) Deputy Assistant Director, Field Operations;

(iii) Field Office Directors;

(iv) Deputy Field Office Directors;

(v) Assistant Field Office Directors;

(vi) Officers in Charge;

(vii) Special Agents in Charge;

(viii) Deputy Special Agents in Charge;

(ix) Associate Special Agents in Charge;

(x) Assistant Special Agents in Charge;

(xi) Group Supervisors;

(xii) Resident Agents in Charge;

(xiii) District Field Officers;

(xiv) Chief Patrol Agents;

(xv) Deputy Chief Patrol Agents;

(xvi) Division Chiefs;

(xvii) Assistant Chief Patrol Agents;

(xviii) Patrol Agents in Charge;

(xix) Deputy Patrol Agents in Charge;

(xx) Watch Commanders, Border Patrol;

(xxi) Director of Air Operations;

(xxii) Director of Marine Operations;

(xxiii) Supervisory Air and Marine Interdiction Agents;

(xxiv) Unit Chief, Law Enforcement Support Center;

(xxv) Section Chief, Law Enforcement Support Center;

(xxvi) Port Directors;

(xxvii) Assistant Port Directors;

(xxviii) Directors, Field Operations;

(xxix) Assistant Directors, Field Operations;

(xxx) Watch Commanders, Field Operations;

(xxxi) Chiefs, Field Operations; and

(xxxii) Other duly authorized officers or employees of the Department of Homeland Security or the United States who are delegated the authority as provided in 8 CFR 2.1 to issue Warrants of Removal, and who have successfully completed any required immigration law enforcement training.

PART 287—GENERAL PROVISIONS 11. The authority citation for part 287 continues to read as follows: Authority:

8 U.S.C. 1103, 1182, 1225, 1226, 1251, 1252, 1357; Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296 (6 U.S.C. 1, et seq.); 8 CFR part 2.

12. Amend § 287.5 by: a. Revising paragraphs (b)(1) through (6); b. Revising paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (viii); c. Revising paragraphs (c)(2)(i) through (viii); d. Revising paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through (vii); e. Revising paragraphs (c)(4)(ii)(A) through (G); f. Revising paragraph (c)(4)(iii); g. Revising paragraphs (c)(5)(ii)(A) through (G); h. Revising paragraphs (d)(1) through (8); i. Revising paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (vi); j. Adding paragraphs (e)(1)(vii) through (viii), k. Revising paragraphs (e)(2)(i) through (l); l. Adding paragraphs (e)(2)(li) through (liii); m. Revising paragraphs (e)(3)(i) through (viii); n. Revising paragraphs (e)(4)(i) through (vi); o. Adding paragraphs (e)(4)(vii) through (viii); and p. Revising paragraphs (f)(1) through (8).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 287.5 Exercise of power by immigration officers.

(b) * * *

(1) Border patrol agents;

(2) Air and marine agents;

(3) Special agents;

(4) CBP officers;

(5) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(6) Immigration officers who need the authority to patrol the border under section 287(a)(3) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP, or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(c) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) Border patrol agents;

(ii) Air and marine agents;

(iii) Special agents;

(iv) Deportation officers;

(v) CBP officers;

(vi) Immigration enforcement agents;

(vii) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(viii) Immigration officers who need the authority to arrest aliens under section 287(a)(2) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP, the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE, or the Director of the USCIS.

(2) * * *

(i) Border patrol agents;

(ii) Air and marine agents;

(iii) Special agents;

(iv) Deportation officers;

(v) CBP officers;

(vi) Immigration enforcement agents;

(vii) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(viii) Immigration officers who need the authority to arrest persons under section 287(a)(4) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP, the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE, or the Director of the USCIS.

(3) * * *

(i) Border patrol agents;

(ii) Air and marine agents;

(iii) Special agents;

(iv) Deportation officers;

(v) CBP officers;

(vi) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(vii) Immigration officers who need the authority to arrest persons under section 287(a)(5)(A) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP, or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(4) * * *

(ii) * * *

(A) Border patrol agents;

(B) Air and marine agents;

(C) Special agents;

(D) Deportation officers;

(E) CBP officers;

(F) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(G) Immigration officers who need the authority to arrest persons under section 287(a)(5)(B) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(iii) Notwithstanding the authorization and designation set forth in paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section, no immigration officer is authorized to make an arrest for any felony under the authority of section 287(a)(5)(B) of the Act until such time as he or she has been certified as successfully completing a training course encompassing such arrests and the standards for enforcement activities are defined in 8 CFR 287.8. Such certification will be valid for the duration of the immigration officer's continuous employment, unless it is suspended or revoked by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE, or their respective designees, for just cause.

(5) * * *

(ii) * * *

(A) Border patrol agents;

(B) Air and marine agents;

(C) Special agents;

(D) Deportation officers;

(E) CBP officers;

(F) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(G) Immigration officers who need the authority to arrest persons under section 274(a) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(d) * * *

(1) Border patrol agents;

(2) Air and marine agents;

(3) Special agents;

(4) Deportation officers;

(5) CBP officers;

(6) Immigration enforcement agents;

(7) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(8) Immigration officers who need the authority to conduct searches under section 287(c) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP, the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE, or the Director of USCIS.

(e) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) Border patrol agents;

(ii) Air and marine agents;

(iii) CBP officers;

(iv) Special agents;

(v) Deportation officers;

(vi) Immigration enforcement agents;

(vii) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(viii) Immigration officers who need the authority to execute search warrants under section 287(a) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(2) * * *

(i) District directors (except foreign);

(ii) Deputy district directors (except foreign);

(iii) Assistant district directors for investigations;

(iv) Deputy assistant district directors for investigations;

(v) Assistant district directors for deportation;

(vi) Deputy assistant district directors for deportation;

(vii) Assistant district directors for examinations;

(viii) Deputy assistant district directors for examinations;

(ix) Officers in charge (except foreign);

(x) Assistant officers in charge (except foreign);

(xi) Chief patrol agents;

(xii) Deputy chief patrol agents;

(xiii) Division chiefs;

(xiv) Assistant chief patrol agents;

(xv) Patrol agents in charge;

(xvi) Deputy patrol agents in charge;

(xvii) Border Patrol watch commanders;

(xviii) Special operations supervisors;

(xix) Supervisory border patrol agents;

(xx) Directors of air operations;

(xxi) Directors of marine operations;

(xxii) Supervisory air and marine interdiction agents;

(xxiii) Executive Associate Director of Homeland Security Investigations;

(xxiv) Institutional Hearing Program directors;

(xxv) Director, Field Operations;

(xxvi) Assistant Director, Field Operations;

(xxvii) Port directors;

(xxviii) Assistant port directors;

(xxix) Field operations watch commanders;

(xxx) Field operations chiefs;

(xxxi) Supervisory deportation officers;

(xxxii) Supervisory detention and deportation officers;

(xxxiii) Group Supervisors;

(xxxiv) Director, Office of Detention and Removal Operations;

(xxxv) Special Agents in Charge;

(xxxvi) Deputy Special Agents in Charge;

(xxxvii) Associate Special Agents in Charge;

(xxxviii) Assistant Special Agents in Charge;

(xxxix) Field Office Directors;

(xl) Deputy Field Office Directors;

(xli) District Field Officers;

(xlii) Supervisory immigration services officers;

(xliii) Supervisory immigration officers;

(xliv) Supervisory asylum officers;

(xlv) Supervisory special agents;

(xlvi) Director of investigations;

(xlvii) Directors or officers in charge of detention facilities;

(xlviii) Directors of field operations;

(xlix) Deputy or assistant directors of field operations;

(l) Unit Chief, Law Enforcement Support Center;

(li) Section Chief, Law Enforcement Support Center;

(lii) Immigration Enforcement Agents; or

(liii) Other duly authorized officers or employees of the Department of Homeland Security or the United States who are delegated the authority as provided in 8 CFR 2.1 to issue warrants of arrest, and who have successfully completed any required immigration law enforcement training.

(3) * * *

(i) Border patrol agents;

(ii) Air and marine agents;

(iii) Special agents;

(iv) Deportation officers;

(v) Detention enforcement officers or immigration enforcement agents (warrants of arrest for administrative immigration violations only);

(vi) CBP officers;

(vii) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(viii) Immigration officers who need the authority to execute arrest warrants for immigration violations under section 287(a) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(4) * * *

(i) Border patrol agents;

(ii) Air and marine agents;

(iii) CBP officers

(iv) Special agents;

(v) Deportation officers;

(vi) Immigration enforcement agents;

(vii) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(viii) Immigration officers who need the authority to execute warrants of arrest for non-immigration violations under section 287(a) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(f) * * *

(1) Border patrol agents;

(2) Air and marine agents;

(3) Special agents;

(4) Deportation officers;

(5) Detention enforcement officers or immigration enforcement agents;

(6) CBP officers;

(7) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(8) Immigration officers who need the authority to carry firearms under section 287(a) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

13. Amend § 287.8 by: a. Revising paragraphs (a)(1)(iv)(A) through (H); b. Revising paragraphs (a)(2)(iii)(A) through (H); c. Revising paragraph (c)(1); d. Revising paragraphs (e)(2)(i) through (iii); and e. Adding paragraphs (e)(2)(iv) through (v).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 287.8 Standards for enforcement activities.

(a) * * *

(1) * * *

(iv) * * *

(A) Border patrol agents;

(B) Air and marine agents;

(C) Special agents;

(D) Deportation officers;

(E) Detention enforcement officers or immigration enforcement agents;

(F) CBP officers;

(G) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(H) Immigration officers who need the authority to use non-deadly force under section 287(a) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(2) * * *

(iii) * * *

(A) Border patrol agents;

(B) Air and marine agents;

(C) Special agents

(D) Deportation officers;

(E) Detention enforcement officers or immigration enforcement agents;

(F) CBP officers;

(G) Supervisory and managerial personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed above; and

(H) Immigration officers who need the authority to use deadly force under section 287(a) of the Act in order to effectively accomplish their individual missions and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

(c) Conduct of arrests—(1) Authority. Only designated immigration officers are authorized to make an arrest. The list of designated immigration officers may vary depending on the type of arrest as listed in § 287.5(c)(1) through (c)(5).

(e) * * *

(2) * * *

(i) Border patrol agents;

(ii) Air and marine agents;

(iii) CBP officers;

(iv) Supervisory personnel who are responsible for supervising the activities of those officers listed in this paragraph; and

(v) Immigration officers who need the authority to initiate a vehicular pursuit in order to effectively accomplish their individual mission and who are designated, individually or as a class, by the Commissioner of CBP or the Assistant Secretary/Director of ICE.

Dated: August 30, 2016. Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-21526 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-1745] Maximum Civil Money Penalty Amounts; Technical Amendment AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule; technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is amending its regulations to remove the maximum civil money penalties table associated with statutory provisions. This information will be included in the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) regulations. We are taking this action to comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015.

DATES:

This rule is effective September 9, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jarilyn Dupont, Office of Policy, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 32, Rm. 4248, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-4830.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the Federal Register of February 3, 2014 (79 FR 6088), FDA issued a new regulation in 21 CFR 17.2 to adjust for inflation the maximum civil money penalty amounts for the various civil money penalty authorities within our jurisdiction and other matters.

FDA is amending 21 CFR 17.2 to remove the maximum civil money penalties table associated with statutory provisions authorizing civil money penalties under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) or the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-74, November 2, 2015) requires each Agency to adjust each civil money penalty provided by law within the jurisdiction of that Agency in one regulation. In accordance with this requirement, HHS is issuing a regulation that, in a consolidated table, adjusts the maximum civil money penalties associated with statutory provisions authorizing such penalties for all HHS Agencies. Because this consolidated table of these maximum civil money penalties, including those authorized under the FD&C Act and the PHS Act, can be found at 45 CFR 102.3, we are including a cross-reference to 45 CFR 102.3 in our regulations. We are taking this action to comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015.

Publication of this document constitutes final action under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553). FDA has determined that notice and public comments are unnecessary because the amendments to the regulations provide only technical changes to remove and update information and are nonsubstantive.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 17

Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties.

Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Public Health Service Act, and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 17 is amended as follows:

PART 17—CIVIL MONEY PENALTIES HEARINGS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 331, 333, 337, 351, 352, 355, 360, 360c, 360f, 360i, 360j, 371; 42 U.S.C. 262, 263b, 300aa-28; 5 U.S.C. 554, 555, 556, 557.

2. Revise § 17.2 to read as follows:
§ 17.2 Maximum penalty amounts.

The maximum civil money penalties associated with the statutory provisions authorizing civil money penalties under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Public Health Service Act can be found at 45 CFR part 102. The table of these maximum civil money penalties can be found at 45 CFR 102.3.

Dated: July 26, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2016-21705 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9783] RIN 1545-BJ55 Modifications to Minimum Present Value Requirements for Partial Annuity Distribution Options Under Defined Benefit Pension Plans AGENCY:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION:

Final regulations.

SUMMARY:

This document contains final regulations providing guidance relating to the minimum present value requirements applicable to certain defined benefit pension plans. These regulations change the regulations regarding the minimum present value requirements for defined benefit plan distributions to permit plans to simplify the treatment of certain optional forms of benefit that are paid partly in the form of an annuity and partly in a single sum or other more accelerated form. These regulations affect participants, beneficiaries, sponsors, and administrators of defined benefit pension plans.

DATES:

Effective date: These regulations are effective on September 9, 2016.

Applicability date: These regulations apply to distributions with annuity starting dates in plan years beginning on or after on or after January 1, 2017. In addition, a taxpayer can elect to apply these regulations with respect to any earlier period.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Neil S. Sandhu or Linda S. F. Marshall at (202) 317-6700 (not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

This document contains amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) under section 417(e) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). These final regulations amend § 1.417(e)-1 of the Treasury regulations.

Section 401(a)(11) of the Code provides that, in order for a defined benefit plan to qualify under section 401(a), and except as provided under section 417, in the case of a vested participant who does not die before the annuity starting date, the accrued benefit payable to such participant must be provided in the form of a qualified joint and survivor annuity (QJSA), as defined in section 417(b).

Section 417(e)(1) provides that a plan may provide that the present value of a QJSA or a qualified preretirement survivor annuity (QPSA), as defined in 417(c), will be immediately distributed if that present value does not exceed the amount that can be distributed without the participant's consent under section 411(a)(11). Section 417(e)(2) provides that, if the present value of the QJSA or QPSA exceeds the amount that can be distributed without the participant's consent under section 411(a)(11), then a plan may immediately distribute the present value of that annuity only if the participant and the spouse of the participant (or if the participant has died, the surviving spouse) consent in writing to the distribution.

Section 417(e)(3)(A) provides that the present value shall not be less than the present value calculated by using the applicable mortality table and the applicable interest rate.1 Section 417(e)(3)(B) and (C) define the terms “applicable mortality table” and “applicable interest rate,” respectively.

1 Under section 411(a)(11)(B), the same applicable mortality table and applicable interest rate are used for purposes of determining whether the present value of a participant's nonforfeitable accrued benefit exceeds the maximum amount that can be immediately distributed without the participant's consent.

Section 411(a)(13) of the Code, as added by section 701(b) of PPA '06, provides that an “applicable defined benefit plan,” as defined by section 411(a)(13)(C), is not treated as failing to meet the requirements of section 417(e) with respect to accrued benefits derived from employer contributions solely because the present value of a participant's accrued benefit (or any portion thereof) may be, under the terms of the plan, equal to the amount expressed as the hypothetical account balance or as an accumulated percentage of such participant's final average compensation.

Section 411(d)(6)(B) provides that a plan amendment that has the effect of eliminating or reducing an early retirement benefit or a retirement-type subsidy, or eliminating an optional form of benefit, with respect to benefits attributable to service before the amendment is treated as impermissibly reducing accrued benefits. However, the last sentence of section 411(d)(6)(B) provides that the Secretary may by regulations provide that section 411(d)(6)(B) does not apply to a plan amendment that eliminates an optional form of benefit (other than a plan amendment that has the effect of eliminating or reducing an early retirement benefit or a retirement-type subsidy).

Final regulations under section 417 relating to the QJSA and QPSA requirements were issued on August 22, 1988. The final regulations were amended on April 3, 1998, to reflect changes enacted by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, Public Law 103-465 (108 Stat. 4809 (1994)).

Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(1) provides that a defined benefit plan generally must provide that the present value of any accrued benefit and the amount of any distribution, including a single sum, must not be less than the amount calculated using the specified applicable interest rate and the specified applicable mortality table. The present value of any optional form of benefit cannot be less than the present value of the accrued benefit determined in accordance with the preceding sentence.

Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(6) provides an exception from the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e) and § 1.417(e)-1(d). This exception applies to the amount of a distribution paid in the form of an annual benefit that either does not decrease during the life of the participant (or, in the case of a QPSA, the life of the participant's spouse), or that decreases during the life of the participant merely because of the death of the survivor annuitant (but only if the reduction is to a level not below 50 percent of the annual benefit payable before the death of such survivor annuitant) or the cessation or reduction of Social Security supplements or qualified disability benefits.

Sections 204(g) and 205(g) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, Public Law 93-406 (88 Stat. 829 (1974)), as amended (ERISA), contain rules that are parallel to Code sections 411(d)(6) and 417(e), respectively. Under section 101 of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978 (43 FR 47713), the Secretary of the Treasury has interpretive jurisdiction over the subject matter addressed in these regulations for purposes of ERISA, as well as the Code. Thus, these regulations apply for purposes of the Code and the corresponding provisions of ERISA.

In the case of a defined benefit plan that offers a single-sum distribution or other form of accelerated distribution as an optional form of benefit in addition to the required QJSA, many participants have been reluctant to elect lifetime payments to insure against unexpected longevity, choosing instead an accelerated distribution form in order to maximize their liquidity. However, participants who elect a single sum or other accelerated form of distribution may face greater challenges in protecting against the risk of outliving their retirement savings. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that many participants are better served by having the opportunity to elect to receive a portion of their retirement benefits in annuity form (which provides financial protection against unexpected longevity) while receiving accelerated payments for the remainder of their benefits to provide increased liquidity during retirement.

In order to permit plans to simplify the treatment of certain optional forms of benefit that are paid partly in the form of an annuity and partly in a more accelerated form, the IRS issued proposed regulations under section 417(e)(3) (77 FR 5454) on February 3, 2012, that would have modified existing final regulations regarding the minimum present value requirements for defined benefit plan distributions. A number of comments were received on the proposed regulations, and a public hearing was held on June 1, 2012. After consideration of the comments received, the Treasury Department and the IRS are issuing these final regulations to adopt the rules set forth in the proposed regulations with modifications in response to the comments received.

Explanation of Provisions Treatment of Bifurcated Accrued Benefits

In order to facilitate the payment of benefits partly in the form of an annuity and partly as a single sum (or other accelerated form), this document amends the regulations under section 417(e) to permit plans to simplify the treatment of certain optional forms of benefit that are paid to a participant partly in the form of an annuity that is excepted from the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) pursuant to § 1.417(e)-1(d)(6) and partly in a more accelerated form. Like the proposed regulations, these final regulations provide rules under which the participant's accrued benefit can be bifurcated so that the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) and § 1.417(e)-1(d) apply to only the portion of the participant's accrued benefit that is paid in an accelerated form.

The proposed regulations would have provided for three different approaches to bifurcating the accrued benefit so that the minimum present value requirements apply to only a portion of the accrued benefit. Under the first approach in the proposed regulations, a plan could have provided for two separate portions of the accrued benefit that were determined without regard to any election of optional form of benefit and permitted a participant to select different distribution options with respect to each of those portions of the accrued benefit. Under the second approach, a plan could have provided for proportionate benefits with respect to each distribution option equal to the pro rata portion of the amount of the distribution that would be determined if that distribution option had been applied to the entire accrued benefit. Finally, under the third approach, a plan could have provided for a specified amount to be distributed as a single sum, but only if the plan satisfied a minimum benefit requirement with respect to the distribution that was not paid in a single sum.

Commenters generally supported the adoption of the rules in the proposed regulations, but raised several specific issues. Several commenters stated that it was sometimes difficult to determine which approach for bifurcating the accrued benefit applied to a particular plan design. These commenters suggested that certain plan designs appeared to fit within more than one approach, while other plan designs that were consistent with the intent of the proposed regulations did not seem to fit within any approach. In response to comments received, the rules providing for the bifurcation of the accrued benefit have been simplified and clarified in these final regulations.

The final regulations combine the first two bifurcation approaches from the proposed regulations into a single, more broadly applicable rule. Under the rule in these final regulations, a plan is permitted to explicitly bifurcate the accrued benefit so that the plan provides that the requirements of § 1.417(e)-1(d) apply to a specified portion of a participant's accrued benefit as if that portion were the participant's entire accrued benefit. This rule does not impose any requirements with respect to the distribution options for the remaining portion of the accrued benefit.

An alternative rule is provided in the final regulations under which a plan that distributes a specified single-sum amount to a participant satisfies the requirements of § 1.417(e)-1(d) with respect to that payment, provided the remaining portion of the participant's accrued benefit satisfies a minimum requirement. This rule is essentially the same as the third bifurcation approach from the proposed regulations. Under this alternative rule, the portion of the participant's accrued benefit, expressed in the normal form of benefit under the plan and commencing at normal retirement age (or at the current date, if later), that is not settled by the single-sum payment must be no less than the excess of: (1) The participant's total accrued benefit expressed in that form; over (2) the annuity payable in that form that is actuarially equivalent to the single-sum payment, determined using the applicable interest rate and the applicable mortality table. Thus, the portion of the participant's accrued benefit that is settled by the payment of a specified single-sum amount is implicitly determined as the actuarial equivalent of that single-sum amount.

The regulations provide a number of rules of operation that apply to one or both of the rules for bifurcating the accrued benefit. In particular, the regulations provide that if a participant selects different distribution options with respect to two separate portions of the participant's accrued benefit that were determined under the rules in these regulations, then the two different distribution options are treated as two separate optional forms of benefit for purposes of applying the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and § 1.417(e)-1(d), even if the distribution options have the same annuity starting date. Thus, if one of those separate optional forms of benefit is exempt from the requirement to use the section 417(e)(3) assumptions, the plan is required to apply the section 417(e)(3) assumptions only to the other optional form of benefit. This would permit a plan to use its usual annuity equivalence factors for the annuity portion (rather than being required to make a special calculation of the annuity portion using the section 417(e)(3) assumptions). The approach set forth in these regulations is simpler than applying the section 417(e)(3) assumptions to the entire optional form of benefit, and yields an intuitive result that is consistent with plan sponsor and participant expectations.

The regulations provide that explicit bifurcation must be used in specified cases. One such case is the situation in which a plan has been amended to eliminate an optional form of benefit (but, in accordance with section 411(d)(6), retains the optional form of benefit with respect to benefits accrued as of the applicable amendment date). Commenters indicated that it was unclear which bifurcation approach would apply to this situation under the proposed regulations. In response to these comments, the final regulations specify that if the amount of a distribution in an optional form of benefit to which § 1.417(e)-1(d) applies is determined by reference to the portion of a participant's accrued benefit as of the applicable amendment date, then the plan is not permitted to use the alternative rule under which the amount of the benefit that is settled by the single-sum payment is implicitly determined but could use the explicit bifurcation rule in order to avoid application of section 417(e) to both optional forms of benefit. The implicit bifurcation rule also is not available in a situation in which a single-sum distribution is available to settle a participant's entire accrued benefit and the plan permits a portion of the benefit to be paid as a lump sum.

Under the regulations, if a plan provides for an early retirement benefit, a retirement-type subsidy, an optional form of benefit, or an ancillary benefit, that applies only to a portion of a participant's accrued benefit, and the plan provides for an accelerated form of distribution that settles some, but not all, of the participant's accrued benefit, then the plan must specify which portion of the participant's total accrued benefit is settled by that distribution. This is necessary in order to determine the extent to which the early retirement benefit, retirement-type subsidy, optional form of benefit, or ancillary benefit applies with respect to the remaining portion of the accrued benefit. For example, if a plan had one set of early retirement factors that applied to the accrued benefit as of December 31, 2005, but a different set of early retirement factors that applied to benefit accruals earned after that date, and the plan provides for a single-sum distribution that settles only a portion of a participant's accrued benefit, then the plan must specify which portion of the accrued benefit is settled by that distribution (in order to determine which early retirement factors apply to the remaining portion of the accrued benefit).

The regulations provide for limited section 411(d)(6) relief in the case of a plan that, for plan years beginning before January 1, 2017, uses the section 417(e)(3) applicable interest rate and applicable mortality table to calculate the amount of a distribution that is made to settle a portion of the accrued benefit if, pursuant to these final regulations, the requirements of section 417(e)(3) need not apply to the distribution. In such a case, section 411(d)(6) is not violated solely because, in accordance with these final regulations, the plan is amended on or before December 31, 2017, to provide that the amount of the distribution described in the preceding sentence to which the requirements of section 417(e)(3) need not apply is determined for an annuity starting date on or after the applicable amendment date (within the meaning of § 1.411(d)-3(g)(4)) using the same actuarial assumptions that would apply to calculate the amount of a distribution in that same form of benefit if the participant elected to receive the entire accrued benefit in that form.

The final regulations include a number of examples in order to illustrate the bifurcation rules of the regulations and the rules of operation with respect to these rules.

Effective/Applicability Date

These regulations are effective on September 9, 2016.

The changes under these regulations apply to distributions with annuity starting dates in plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2017. However, taxpayers may apply these rules to earlier periods.

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 assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations, and because the regulation does not impose a collection of information on small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) does not apply. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, the proposed regulations preceding these final regulations were submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

Drafting Information

The principal authors of these regulations are Neil S. Sandhu and Linda S. F. Marshall, Office of Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in the development of these regulations.

List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is 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 1.417(e)-1 is amended by: 1. Redesignating paragraph (d)(1) as paragraph (d)(1)(i) and revising the heading of the newly redesignated paragraph (d)(1)(i). 2. Adding a heading for paragraph (d)(1). 3. In the first sentence of newly redesignated paragraph (d)(1)(i), removing “A defined benefit plan” and adding “Except as provided in section 411(a)(13) and the regulations thereunder, a defined benefit plan” in its place. 4. Adding paragraph (d)(1)(ii). 5. Revising paragraph (d)(7), the heading for paragraph (d)(8), and paragraph (d)(8)(i). 6. Adding paragraph (d)(8)(v).

The additions and revisions read as follows:

§ 1.417(e)-1 Restrictions and valuations of distributions from plans subject to sections 401(a)(11) and 417.

(d) Present value requirement—(1) General rule—(i) Defined benefit plans. * * *

(ii) Defined contribution plans. Because the accrued benefit under a defined contribution plan equals the account balance, a defined contribution plan is not subject to the requirements of this paragraph (d), regardless of whether the requirements of section 401(a)(11) apply to the plan.

(7) Application to portion of a participant's benefit—(i) In general. This paragraph (d)(7) provides rules under which the requirements of this paragraph (d) apply to the distribution of only a portion of a participant's accrued benefit. Paragraph (d)(7)(ii) of this section provides rules for how a participant's accrued benefit may be bifurcated into separate components for purposes of applying this paragraph (d). Paragraph (d)(7)(iii) of this section provides rules of application. Paragraph (d)(7)(iv) of this section provides certain limited section 411(d)(6) relief, and paragraph (d)(7)(v) of this section provides examples of the application of the rules of this paragraph (d)(7).

(ii) Bifurcation of accrued benefit—(A) Explicit plan-specified bifurcation. A plan is permitted to provide that the requirements of this paragraph (d) apply to a specified portion of a participant's accrued benefit as if that portion were the participant's entire accrued benefit. For example, a plan is permitted to provide that a distribution in the form of a single-sum payment described in this paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) is made to settle a specified percentage of the participant's accrued benefit. As another example, a plan is permitted to provide that a distribution in the form of a single-sum payment described in this paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) is made to settle the accrued benefit derived from contributions made by an employee. In both examples, the distribution must satisfy the requirements of this paragraph (d) with respect to the specified portion of the accrued benefit, and the remaining portion of the accrued benefit (the participant's total accrued benefit less the portion of the accrued benefit settled by the single-sum payment) can be paid in some other form of distribution that is available under the plan.

(B) Distribution of specified amount. A plan that provides for a distribution of a single-sum payment that is not described in paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section satisfies the requirements of this paragraph (d) with respect to that distribution if the portion of the participant's accrued benefit, expressed in the normal form of benefit under the plan and commencing at normal retirement age (or at the current date, if later), that is not settled by the distribution is no less than the excess of—

(1) The participant's total accrued benefit expressed in that form; over

(2) The annuity payable in that form that is actuarially equivalent to the single-sum payment, determined using the applicable interest rate and the applicable mortality table.

(iii) Rules of operation—(A) Multiple distribution options. If a participant selects different distribution options with respect to two separate portions of the participant's accrued benefit that were determined in accordance with paragraph (d)(7)(ii) of this section, then the two different distribution options are treated as two separate optional forms of benefit for purposes of applying the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d), even if the distribution options have the same annuity starting date. Thus, if the exception from the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d) that is contained in paragraph (d)(6) of this section applies to one of those optional forms of benefit, then this paragraph (d) applies only to the other optional form of benefit.

(B) Repeated application of rule. If a participant's accrued benefit has been bifurcated in accordance with paragraph (d)(7)(ii) of this section, then the provisions of paragraph (d)(7)(ii) of this section may be applied again to bifurcate the remaining accrued benefit.

(C) Requirement to use explicit plan-specified bifurcation in certain cases—(1) Section 411(d)(6)—protected optional form. If the amount of a distribution in an optional form of benefit to which this paragraph (d) applies is determined by reference to the portion of a participant's accrued benefit as of the applicable amendment date for an amendment that eliminates that optional form of benefit (but, in accordance with section 411(d)(6), retains the optional form of benefit with respect to benefits accrued as of the applicable amendment date), then the plan must provide for explicit bifurcation of the accrued benefit as described in paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section.

(2) Single-sum available with respect to entire accrued benefit. If a plan provides that a single-sum distribution is available to settle a participant's entire accrued benefit, then, in order to also provide for a distribution in the form of a single-sum payment that settles only a portion of a participant's accrued benefit, the plan must provide for explicit bifurcation of the accrued benefit as described in paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section.

(D) Application of different factors to different portions of the accrued benefit. If a plan provides for an early retirement benefit, a retirement-type subsidy, an optional form of benefit, or an ancillary benefit, that applies only to a portion of a participant's accrued benefit, and the plan provides for a distribution that settles some, but not all, of the participant's accrued benefit, then the plan must specify which portion of the participant's total accrued benefit is settled by that distribution. For example, if a plan had one set of early retirement factors that applied to the accrued benefit as of December 31, 2005, but a different set of early retirement factors that applied to benefit accruals earned after that date, and the plan provides for a single-sum distribution that settles only a portion of a participant's accrued benefit, then the plan must specify which portion of the accrued benefit is settled by that distribution (in order to determine which early retirement factors apply to the remaining portion of the accrued benefit).

(iv) Limited section 411(d)(6) anti-cutback relief. This paragraph (d)(7)(iv) applies in the case of a plan that, for plan years beginning before January 1, 2017, uses the section 417(e)(3) applicable interest rate and applicable mortality table to calculate the amount of a distribution that is made to settle a portion of the accrued benefit if, pursuant to this paragraph (d)(7), the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d) need not apply to the distribution. In such a case, section 411(d)(6) is not violated merely because, in accordance with this paragraph (d)(7), the plan is amended on or before December 31, 2017, to provide that the amount of a distribution described in the preceding sentence is determined for an annuity starting date on or after the applicable amendment date (within the meaning of § 1.411(d)-3(g)(4)) using the same actuarial assumptions that apply to calculate the amount of a distribution in the same form of benefit that is made to settle the participant's entire accrued benefit.

(v) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this paragraph (d)(7). Unless otherwise indicated, these examples are based on the following assumptions: The taxpayers elect to apply the rules of this paragraph (d)(7) in 2016; each plan is a noncontributory defined benefit plan with a calendar-year plan year and a normal retirement age of age 65; a one-year stability period coinciding with the calendar year and a two-month lookback are used for determining the applicable interest rate; and all participant elections are made with proper spousal consent. The November 2015 segment rates are 1.76%, 4.15% and 5.13%.

Example 1.

(i) Plan A offers a number of optional forms of payment, including a qualified joint and survivor annuity and a single-sum payment. The single-sum payment is equal to the present value of the participant's immediate benefit (but not less than the present value of the participant's accrued benefit payable at normal retirement age) using the applicable interest and mortality rates under section 417(e)(3). The amount of the joint and survivor annuity is determined using plan factors that are not based on the applicable interest and mortality rates under section 417(e)(3). Plan A permits a participant to elect to receive a percentage of the accrued benefit as a single sum and the remainder in any annuity form provided under the plan, with the amount of the single-sum payment determined by multiplying the amount that would be payable if the entire benefit were paid as a single sum by the percentage of the accrued benefit settled by the single-sum payment.

(ii) Participant S retires at age 62 in 2016, with an accrued benefit of $1,000 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age. Participant S is eligible for an unreduced early retirement benefit and can therefore collect a straight life annuity benefit of $1,000 per month beginning immediately. Alternatively, Participant S can elect to receive the benefit in other forms, including a single-sum payment of $168,516 (based on the applicable interest and mortality rates under section 417(e), which are the November 2015 segment rates and the 2016 applicable mortality table), or a 100% joint and survivor annuity of $850 per month (based on the plan's actuarial equivalence factors). Participant S elects to receive 25% of the accrued benefit in the form of a single-sum payment and the remaining 75% of the accrued benefit as a 100% joint and survivor annuity.

(iii) Participant S receives a single-sum payment with respect to 25% of the accrued benefit. Accordingly, this single-sum payment is equal to 25% of the full single-sum amount, or $42,129. The remaining portion of the accrued benefit is 75% of the total accrued benefit, or $750 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age.

(iv) To settle the remaining portion of the accrued benefit, in addition to the single-sum payment of $42,129, Participant S receives a 100% joint and survivor annuity in the amount of $637.50 per month, which is determined by applying the plan's unreduced early retirement and actuarial equivalence factors to the remaining portion of the accrued benefit of $750 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age. The joint and survivor annuity benefit is not subject to the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) because it is treated as a separate optional form of benefit under paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(A) of this section.

Example 2.

(i) Plan B is a contributory defined benefit plan that permits a participant to elect a single sum distribution equal to the participant's employee contributions, accumulated with interest, with the remainder payable as an annuity. Plan B provides that the probability of death before normal retirement age is not taken into account for purposes of determining actuarial equivalence between the single-sum payment and an annuity at normal retirement age. Based on the applicable mortality table for 2016 and the November 2015 segment rates, the deferred annuity factor at age 60 for lifetime payments commencing at age 65 (determined without taking mortality before age 65 into account) is 10.209.

(ii) Participant T retires at age 60 in 2016 with an accrued benefit of $1,500 per month payable as a straight life annuity commencing at normal retirement age. For benefits commencing at age 60, Plan B provides for an early retirement reduction factor of 75% and an actuarial equivalence factor of 98% for adjusting a straight life annuity to a 10-year certain and life annuity, neither of which is based on the applicable interest and mortality rates under section 417(e)(3). Participant T's benefit commencing at age 60 in the form of a 10-year certain and life annuity would be $1,500 × 75% × 98% = $1,102.50 per month. Participant T elects to receive a single sum payment of $32,000 equal to T's accumulated contributions with interest, and the remainder as a 10-year certain and life annuity.

(iii) The single-sum payment elected by Participant T is a distribution that is determined by reference to Participant T's contributions and interest, and not by reference to a specified portion of the participant's accrued benefit. Therefore, the single-sum payment is not described in paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section. In order to satisfy paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(B) of this section, the portion of the participant's accrued benefit that is not settled by the single-sum payment must be no less than the excess of (A) the participant's total accrued benefit over (B) the annuity that is actuarially equivalent to the single-sum payment, (determined using the applicable interest and mortality rates under section 417(e)(3) as applicable), both expressed in the normal form of benefit commencing at normal retirement age. The amount of that actuarially equivalent annuity is determined by dividing Participant T's single-sum payment of $32,000 by the deferred annuity factor for lifetime payments commencing at age 65 under the terms of Plan B (10.209, not considering mortality for the deferral period) and dividing by 12 for an actuarially equivalent monthly benefit commencing at age 65 of $261.21. Thus, in order to satisfy paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(B) of this section, the remaining portion of T's accrued benefit must be at least $1,238.79 per month ($1,500.00−$261.21) payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age.

(iv) Based on Plan B's early retirement and optional form factors applied to the remaining portion, the annuity benefit payable to Participant T in the form of a 10-year certain and life annuity beginning at age 60 cannot be less than $910.51 per month ($1,238.79 × 75% × 98%). Participant T receives this in addition to the single-sum payment of $32,000. The 10-year certain and life benefit is not subject to the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) because it is treated as a separate optional form of benefit under paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(A) of this section.

(v) If, instead, Plan B's terms had provided for a single-sum payment equal to the present value of the participant's employee-provided accrued benefit as determined under section 411(c)(3), then the plan is determining the single-sum payment as the present value of a specified portion of the accrued benefit. In such a case, the plan is using explicit bifurcation as described in paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section and the single-sum payment would have to be set equal to the present value, determined under Plan B's terms, of T's employee-provided accrued benefit (which may or may not be equal to T's accumulated contributions and interest, depending on the plan's terms). The remaining annuity benefit payable to Participant T would have been based on an accrued benefit equal to $1,500 per month minus the amount of T's employee-provided accrued benefit.

Example 3.

(i) The facts are the same as in Example 2 of this paragraph (d)(7)(v), except that Plan B also offers a single-sum payment option with respect to a participant's entire benefit. The single-sum payment is determined as the present value of the participant's early retirement benefit (but no less than the present value of the participant's accrued benefit) using the applicable interest and mortality rates under section 417(e)(3). Based on the applicable mortality table for 2016 and the November 2015 segment rates, the immediate annuity factor for lifetime payments commencing at age 60 is 14.632. Under the terms of the plan, the early retirement benefit payable as a straight life annuity to Participant T at age 60 with respect to T's full accrued benefit is $1,125 ($1,500 × 75%), and the corresponding single-sum amount payable to T is $1,125 × 14.632 × 12 = $197,532. (Note that this amount is larger than the age-60 present value of T's accrued benefit without taking mortality before age 65 into account, $1,500 × 10.209 × 12 = $183,762.) Participant T elects to receive a partial single-sum payment of $32,000, equal to T's accumulated contributions with interest and to take the remaining accrued benefit in the form of a 10-year certain and life annuity commencing at age 60.

(ii) Because the plan also provides for a single-sum payment option with respect to a participant's entire benefit, pursuant to paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(C)(2) of this section the partial single-sum payment must be determined pursuant to the explicit bifurcation rules of paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section.

(iii) The portion of the participant's accrued benefit that is settled by the single-sum payment of $32,000 is determined as the amount that bears the same ratio to the total accrued benefit as that single-sum payment bears to the single-sum payment with respect to the entire accrued benefit (($32,000 ÷ $197,532) × $1,500), which is $243 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age. Thus, the remaining portion of the accrued benefit is $1,257.00 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age.

(iv) Based on Plan B's early retirement and optional form factors applied to the remaining portion, the annuity benefit payable to Participant T in the form of a 10-year certain and life annuity beginning at age 60 is $923.90 per month ($1,257 × 75% × 98%). Participant T receives this benefit in addition to the single sum payment of $32,000. The 10-year certain and life benefit is not subject to the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) because it is treated as a separate optional form of benefit under paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(A) of this section.

Example 4.

(i) Plan C was amended to freeze benefits under a traditional defined benefit formula as of December 31, 2016, and to provide benefits under a cash balance formula beginning January 1, 2017. The plan provides that participants may elect separate distribution options for the portion of the benefit accrued under the traditional formula as of December 31, 2016, and the portion of the benefit earned under the cash balance formula. Furthermore, the plan provides that a participant may elect to receive a single-sum payment only with respect to the portion of the benefit earned under the cash balance formula.

(ii) In accordance with paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section, Plan C provides for an explicitly bifurcated accrued benefit because the portion of the accrued benefit settled by a distribution is determined separately for the portion under the traditional formula and the portion under the cash balance formula. As provided under paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(A) of this section, a single-sum payment under the cash balance formula and a distribution option under the traditional formula are treated as two separate optional forms of benefit for purposes of applying the provisions of the plan implementing the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d). Therefore, whether a participant elects to receive a single-sum payment of the portion of the benefit earned under the cash balance formula does not affect whether the distribution elected with respect to the portion of the benefit earned as of December 31, 2016, is subject to the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3).

Example 5.

(i) The facts are the same as in Example 4 of this paragraph (d)(7)(v), except that Plan C also permits a participant to elect, with respect to the cash balance portion of the benefit, to receive a percentage of that portion as a single sum and the remainder in any annuity form provided under the plan, with the amount of the single-sum payment determined by multiplying the amount that would be payable if the entire cash balance portion were paid as a single sum by the percentage of the cash balance portion settled by the single-sum payment. Participant W retires at age 65, with an accrued benefit under the traditional defined benefit formula (earned as of December 31, 2016) of $500 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age and a cash balance hypothetical account balance of $45,000. Based on Plan C's actuarial equivalence factors, Participant W's accrued benefit derived from the cash balance hypothetical account is $320 per month, payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age. Participant W elects to receive 1/3 or $15,000 of the current hypothetical account balance in the form of a single sum and to receive the remainder of the total accrued benefit as a straight life annuity.

(ii) Under the analysis set forth in Example 4 of this paragraph (d)(7)(v), Plan C provides for an explicitly bifurcated accrued benefit with respect to the traditional defined benefit portion and the cash balance portion because the portion of the accrued benefit settled by a distribution is determined separately for the portion under the traditional formula and the portion under the cash balance formula. As provided under paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(A) of this section, a single-sum payment under the cash balance formula and a distribution option under the traditional formula are treated as two separate optional forms of benefit for purposes of applying the provisions of the plan implementing the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d). Thus, a separate distribution option may be chosen for each of these two portions, and section 417(e)(3) applies separately to each portion.

(iii) In accordance with paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section, Plan C also provides for an explicitly bifurcated accrued benefit with respect to the cash balance benefit because the plan provides that a distribution in the form of a single-sum payment is made to settle a specified percentage of the cash balance benefit. As provided under paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(A) of this section, the single-sum payment and the annuity selected by Participant W with respect to the cash balance benefit are treated as two separate optional forms of benefit for purposes of applying the provisions of the plan implementing the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d). Thus, in accordance with paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section, 1/3 of the cash balance hypothetical account is settled by the distribution paid out as a single sum (that is, $15,000 ÷ $45,000). After the single-sum payment, the remaining portion of the accrued benefit derived from the cash balance account is 2/3 of the initial accrued benefit derived from the cash balance account, or a straight life annuity at normal retirement age of $213.33 per month (2/3 × $320).

(iv) To settle the remaining portion of the entire accrued benefit (the portion of the benefit attributable to service as of December 31, 2016 plus the remaining portion of the cash balance benefit), Participant W receives a monthly life annuity of $713.33 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age (equal to the $500 straight life annuity at normal retirement age earned as of December 31, 2016 plus the remaining benefit derived from the cash balance portion of a straight life annuity payable at normal retirement age of $213.33 per month). Participant W's election to receive a single-sum payment of part of the benefit earned under the cash balance formula does not affect whether the remainder of Participant W's distribution is subject to the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3).

Example 6.

(i) Plan D permits participants to elect a single-sum payment of up to $10,000 with the remaining benefit payable in the form of an annuity. Participant X retires in 2016 at age 55 with an accrued benefit of $1,000 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age. Participant X is eligible for an unreduced early retirement benefit of $1,000 per month payable as a straight life annuity. Alternatively, based on Plan D's definition of actuarial equivalence (which is not based on the applicable interest and mortality rates under section 417(e)(3)), Participant X can receive an immediate benefit in the form of a 100% joint and survivor annuity of $800 per month. Participant X elects to receive a single-sum payment of $10,000, with the balance of the benefit payable as a 100% joint and survivor annuity beginning at age 55. Based on the applicable mortality table for 2016 and the November 2015 segment rates, the deferred annuity factor at age 55 for lifetime payments commencing at age 65 is 7.602.

(ii) Plan D provides for a single-sum distribution of a portion of the participant's accrued benefit but, because the plan initially specifies the amount of the single-sum distribution (rather than the portion of the accrued benefit that is being settled by that distribution), Plan D is described in paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(B) of this section. As provided under paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(A) of this section, the single-sum payment and the joint-and-survivor annuity selected by Participant X are treated as two separate optional forms of benefit for purposes of applying the provisions of the plan implementing the requirements of section 417(e)(3) and this paragraph (d).

(iii) A straight life annuity of $109.62 per month payable at normal retirement age is actuarially equivalent to the $10,000 single-sum payment, determined using the applicable mortality table for 2016 and the November 2015 segment rates ($10,000 ÷ 12 ÷ 7.602). Therefore, pursuant to paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(B) of this section, in order to satisfy this paragraph (d) the remaining portion of the accrued benefit after the single-sum payment of $10,000 must be no less than $890.38 per month payable as a straight life annuity at normal retirement age ($1,000.00−$109.62).

(iv) Based on Plan D's early retirement and optional form factors, in order to satisfy this paragraph (d), the annuity benefit payable to Participant X in the form of a 100% joint-and-survivor annuity beginning at age 55 must be no less than $712.30 per month ($890.38 × .8). Participant X receives this benefit in addition to the single sum payment of $10,000. The joint and survivor annuity benefit is not subject to the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) because it is treated as a separate optional form of benefit under paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(A) of this section.

Example 7.

(i) Plan E provides for an unreduced early retirement benefit for participants who have met certain age and service requirements. Prior to amendment, Plan E permitted participants to elect a single-sum payment equal to the present value of the participant's unreduced early retirement benefit, determined using the applicable interest rate and applicable mortality table under section 417(e)(3). Plan E did not permit participants to elect a single-sum payment with respect to only a portion of their benefits. Effective December 31, 2012, Plan E was amended to eliminate the single-sum payment with respect to benefits accrued after that date.

(ii) Participant Y retires on December 31, 2016, at age 60, after meeting Plan E's age and service requirements for an unreduced early retirement benefit. Participant Y's accrued benefit is $1,000 per month payable as a straight life annuity commencing at normal retirement age, of which $800 per month was accrued as of December 31, 2012. Participant Y elects to take a single-sum payment based on the benefit accrued as of December 31, 2012, with the remainder paid as a lifetime annuity commencing at age 60. Based on the applicable mortality table for 2016 and the November 2015 segment rates, the immediate annuity factor for lifetime payments commencing at age 60 is 14.632, so Y's single-sum payment is $800 × 12 × 14.632 = $140,467.20.

(iii) In accordance with paragraph (d)(7)(iii)(C)(1) of this section, Plan E provides for explicit bifurcation of the accrued benefit as described in paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(A) of this section. Therefore, Participant Y must receive an annuity of $200 earned after December 31, 2012 in addition to the single-sum payment of $140,467. Plan E is not permitted to use the approach described in paragraph (d)(7)(ii)(B) of this section to reduce or eliminate the $200 annuity earned after December 31, 2012.

(8) Effective/applicability date—(i) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (d)(8), this paragraph (d) applies to distributions with annuity starting dates in plan years beginning on or after January 1, 1995.

(v) Effective date for special rules applicable to the payment of a portion of a participant's benefit. Paragraph (d)(7) of this section applies to distributions with annuity starting dates in plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2017. However, taxpayers may elect to apply the rules of paragraph (d)(7) of this section to earlier periods.

John M. Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: August 3, 2016. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
[FR Doc. 2016-21393 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0829] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Louisville Dragon Boat Festival, Ohio River AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation for the Louisville Dragon Boat Festival on the Ohio River, from mile marker 603.0 and ending at 603.5. This rule is effective from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on September 9, 2016 and from 7 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on September 10, 2016. During the enforcement period, no vessel may transit this regulated area unless registered with the sponsor as a participant or an official patrol vessel, or unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley.

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 100.801, Table No. 1, Line no. 12 will be enforced for the Louisville Dragon Boat Festival as identified in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below with dates and times.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email James Robinson, Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard at telephone 502-779-5347, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation for the Louisville Dragon Boat Festival listed in 33 CFR 100.801, Table no. 1, Line no. 12, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on September 9, 2016 and from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on September 10, 2016. This action is necessary to protect persons, property, and infrastructure from potential damage and safety hazards associated with the Louisville Dragon Boat Festival. These regulations can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, under 33 CFR 100.801. During the enforcement period no vessel may transit this regulated area unless registered with the sponsor as a participant or official patrol vessel, or unless authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP). If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP or designated representative.

This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 33 CFR part 100 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard plans to provide the maritime community with advanced notification of this enforcement period via Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) and Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM). If the COTP Ohio Valley determines that the special local regulation need not be enforced for the full duration, a BNM to grant general permission to enter the regulated area may be used.

Dated: September 6, 2016. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Ohio Valley.
[FR Doc. 2016-21743 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0718] Special Local Regulations; Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival, Cumberland River, Nashville, TN AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce a special local regulation for the “Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival” on the Cumberland River from mile marker 190.0 to mile marker 192.0 on September 10, 2016, to provide for the safety of life on these navigable waters during the Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival. Our regulation for Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Ohio Valley Zone identifies the regulated area for this event. During the enforcement period, no vessel may enter into, transit through or anchor in the regulated area unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Ohio Valley or a designated representative.

DATES:

The regulations in 33 CFR 100.801, Table 1, no. 34, will be enforced from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m., on September 10, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about this notice of enforcement, call or email Petty Officer Ashley Schad, Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Nashville at 615-736-5421 or [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulations in 33 CFR 100.801, Table 1, no. 34 from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. on September 10, 2016, for the “Cumberland Dragon Boat Festival” on the Cumberland River between mile markers 190.0 and 192.0. This action is being taken to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the event. Our regulation for Recurring Marine Events in Captain of the Port Ohio Valley Zone, § 100.801, Table 1, no. 34 specifies the location of the regulated area for this 2 mile bank to bank course. As provided in § 100.801, during the enforcement period, no vessel may transit this regulated area without approval from the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley (COTP) or a COTP designated representative.

This notice of enforcement is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a), and 33 U.S.C. 1233. In addition to this notice of enforcement in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via Local Notice to Mariners and Marine Information Broadcasts.

Dated: September 6, 2016. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Ohio Valley.
[FR Doc. 2016-21774 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0173] RIN 1625-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is temporarily modifying the operating schedule that governs the Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge across the Hackensack River, mile 2.0, Jersey City, New Jersey. The bridge owner, New Jersey Department of Transportation, submitted a request to restrict bridge openings during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods to alleviate traffic congestion resulting from area roadway closures. It is expected that this change to the regulations would provide relief to vehicular traffic while continuing to meet the reasonable needs of navigation.

DATES:

This rule is effective October 11, 2016 to midnight on September 30, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type [USCG-2061-0173] in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary final rule, call or email Mr. Joe Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, 212-668-7165, [email protected]

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

On June 1, 2016, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ in the Federal Register (81 FR 34932). We received no comments on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested and none was held.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority 33 U.S.C. 499. The Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge at mile 2.0, across the Hackensack River between Kearny and Jersey City, New Jersey, has a vertical clearance of 40 feet at mean high water and 45 feet at mean low water. The drawbridge operation regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.5.

The waterway users are predominantly recreational vessels and commercial vessels.

The owner of the bridge, New Jersey Department of Transportation, submitted a request to the Coast Guard to temporarily change the drawbridge operating regulations at 33 CFR 117.723 by adding paragraph (k). This change will facilitate additional vehicular traffic detoured from the Pulaski Skyway Bridge which is expected to be under construction through September 30, 2017.

The existing regulations presently require the bridge to open on signal at all times.

Under this temporary final rule the draw shall open on signal; except that, the draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Tide dependent deep draft vessels may request bridge openings during the two rush hour closure periods provided at least a twelve hour advance notice is given.

IV. Discussion of Comments, Changes and the Temporary Final Rule

The Coast Guard provided a comment period of 60 days and no comments were received. As a result, no changes have been made to the rule as proposed.

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

E.O.s 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. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

This regulatory action determination is based on the ability that vessels can still transit the bridge before and after rush hours and deep draft vessels can still transit the bridge during hours provided that at least a twelve hours advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

B. Impact on Small Entities

The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard received no comments from the Small Business Administration on this rule. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the bridge may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section V.A above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

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

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

C. Collection of Information

This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Government

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

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

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a determination that this action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule simply promulgates the operating regulations or procedures for drawbridges. This action is categorically excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction.

Under figure 2-1, paragraph (32)(e), of the Instruction, an environmental analysis checklist and a categorical exclusion determination are not required for this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 117

Bridges.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 117 as follows:

PART 117—DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 117 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 499; 33 CFR 1.05-1; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

2. Amend § 117.723 by adding paragraph (k) to read as follows:
§ 117.723 Hackensack River.

(k) The draw of the Route 1 & 9 (Lincoln Highway) Bridge, mile 2.0, between Kearny and Jersey City, shall open on signal; except that, the draw need not open for the passage of vessel traffic between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Tide dependent deep draft vessels may request bridge openings between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. provided at least a twelve hour advance notice is given by calling the number posted at the bridge.

Dated: August 26, 2016. S.D. Poulin, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-21766 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0858] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Black Warrior River, Eutaw, Alabama AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Norfolk Southern Railroad vertical lift span bridge across the Black Warrior River, mile 267.8, at Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama. This deviation is necessary to install drive motors necessary for the continued safe operation of the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed for two (2) three-hour periods daily, Monday through Thursday for two consecutive weeks. Additionally, this deviation allows the bridge to be closed continuously eight hours nightly on the following week, Monday evening through Friday morning. This deviation is necessary to install new bushings to the primary drive axle.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from September 19, 2016 through October 7, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0682] 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 Donna Gagliano, Bridge Administration Branch, Coast Guard; telephone 504-671-2128, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Norfolk Southern Corporation requested a temporary deviation in order to perform maintenance on the Norfolk Southern Railroad vertical lift span bridge across the Black Warrior River, mile 267.8, at Eutaw, Greene County, Alabama. This deviation allows the bridge owner to install drive motors necessary to improve reliability and safe operation of the movable bridge and install new bushings to the primary drive axle. This temporary deviation allows the bridge to remain closed-to-navigation from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. daily, Monday through Thursday, September 19, 2016 through September 22, 2016 and September 26, 2016 through September 29, 2016. The following week of October 3, 2016 through October 7, 2016 the deviation will allow the bridge to remain closed-to-navigation from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. daily Monday evening through Friday morning.

The Norfolk Southern Railroad vertical lift span drawbridge currently operates in accordance with 33 CFR 117.5, which states the general requirement that the drawbridge shall open on signal. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 18.3 feet above Bridge Reference Elevation for Navigation Clearance (BRENC), elevation 99.2 feet, in the closed-to-navigation position and 72 feet above BRENC in the open-to-navigation position. Navigation on the waterway consists primarily of tugs with tows and occasional recreational craft. The Coast Guard has coordinated this temporary deviation with the Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway Association (WTWA). The WTWA representative indicated that the vessel operators will be able to schedule transits through the bridge such that operations will not significantly be hindered. Thus, it has been determined that this temporary deviation will not have a significant effect on these vessels.

Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime and should pass at the slowest safe speed. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there are no immediate alternate routes for vessels to pass.

The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge.

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: September 6, 2016. David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-21778 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0855] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Delaware River, Tacony, PA and Palmyra, 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 SR 73/Tacony-Palmyra bridge, across the Delaware River, mile 107.2, at Tacony, PA and Palmyra, NJ. The deviation is necessary to facilitate bridge maintenance and repairs. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position.

DATES:

The deviation is effective from 6 a.m. on Monday, September 12, 2016 through 6 p.m. on Friday, September 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0855] 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 Burlington County Bridge Commission, who owns and operates the SR 73/Tacony-Palmyra bridge, has requested a temporary deviation from the current operating regulations set out in 33 CFR 117.716, to facilitate electrical maintenance and repairs to the bridge.

Under this temporary deviation, the bridge will remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, September 12, 2016 through September 16, 2016 and September 19, 2016 through September 23, 2016. The bridge will also remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on alternative work dates from September 26, 2016 through September 30, 2016. The bridge is a double bascule bridge and has a vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position of 50 feet above mean high water.

The Delaware River is used by a variety of vessels including U.S. government and public vessels, large commercial vessels, tug and barge traffic and recreational vessels. The Coast Guard has carefully coordinated the restrictions with waterway users in publishing this temporary deviation.

Vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at any time. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternative 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 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: September 2, 2016. Hal R. Pitts, Bridge Program Manager, Fifth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-21692 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0513] RIN 1625-AA11 Regulated Navigation Area; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME and Portsmouth, NH AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary regulated navigation area (RNA) on the Piscataqua River near the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME between Henderson Point Light on Seavey Island and the Memorial Bridge. This RNA establishes speed restrictions to eliminate vessel wake which could endanger the lives of divers and support crews working at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The speed restrictions apply to all vessels transiting the regulated area unless authorized by the First Coast Guard District Commander or the Captain of the Port (COTP), Sector Northern New England.

DATES:

This rule is effective from 12:01 a.m. on September 19, 2016 through 11:59 p.m. on November 2, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0513 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Craig Lapiejko, Waterways Management, First Coast Guard District; telephone (617) 223-8351, email [email protected] You may also call or email Chief Petty Officer Chris Bains, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Northern New England; telephone (207) 347-5003, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because doing so would be impracticable. The Coast Guard was recently notified of the need for this rule. This late notice did not give the Coast Guard enough time to publish a NPRM, take public comments, and issue a final rule before the rule is necessary. Delaying implementation of this rule would be impracticable and inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to provide for the safety of divers and workers completing ship construction at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Without the rule, wake from passing vessels could cause the ship to move erratically and unexpectedly, potentially injuring divers and support crews.

We are issuing this rule, and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making it effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For reasons stated in the preceding paragraph, delaying the implementation of this rule would be impracticable and would endanger workers.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

Under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, the Coast Guard has the authority to establish regulated navigation areas in defined water areas that are determined to have hazardous conditions and in which vessel traffic can be regulated in the interest of safety. See 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, and 160.5; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

As part of a ship construction project at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, divers will be working on the hull of a vessel from September 19, 2016 through November 2, 2016. The Coast Guard First District Commander has determined that unexpected and uncontrolled movement of the vessel and associated equipment due to a wake puts the divers and their support crews at significant risk for serious injury or death. In order to ensure the safety of workers during the construction period, the Coast Guard is establishing an RNA to limit the speed, thus wake, of all vessels operating near the shipyard.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule places speed restrictions on all vessels transiting the navigable waters of the Piscataqua River, Kittery, ME near the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard between Henderson Point Light on Seavey Island and the Memorial Bridge from 12:01 a.m. on September 19, 2016 through 11:59 p.m. on November 2, 2016. The vessels operating within the RNA are subject to a “Slow-No Wake” speed limit. More specifically, vessels may not produce a wake and may not attain speeds greater than five (5) knots unless a higher minimum speed is necessary to maintain bare steerageway.

The COTP Sector Northern New England will cause notice of enforcement or suspension of enforcement of this regulated navigation area to be made by all appropriate means in order to affect the widest distribution among the affected segments of the public. Such means of notification will include, but are not limited to, Broadcast Notice to Mariners and Local Notice to Mariners. In addition, COTP Northern New England maintains a telephone line that is staffed at all times. The public can obtain information concerning enforcement of the regulated navigation area by contacting the Sector Northern New England Command Center at (207) 767-0303.

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-year of the regulated navigation area. The public impact of this rule will be minimal as the temporary speed restrictions only apply to a small designated area of the Piscataqua River, causing minimal delay to a vessel's transit.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves an RNA lasting 45 days that will limit vessel speed on the Piscataqua River in vicinity of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard while construction work is being completed. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination will be available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T01-0513 to read as follows:
§ 165.T01-0513 Regulated Navigation Area; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME and Portsmouth, NH.

(a) Location. The following area is a regulated navigation area (RNA): All navigable waters on the Piscataqua River, Kittery, ME and Portsmouth, NH near Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from a line drawn between Henderson Point Light “10” (LLNR 8375) at 43°04′29.3″ N., 070°44′10.2″ W. on Seavey Island and Pierce Island Range Front Light (LLNR 8355) at 43°04′25.4″ N., 070°44′25.2″ W. to the Memorial Bridge at 43°04′46.8″ N., 070°45′09.6″ W.

(b) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.10, 165.11 and 165.13 apply.

(2) In accordance with the general regulations, vessel movement within the RNA is subject to a “Slow-No Wake” speed limit. No vessel may produce a wake and may not attain speeds greater than five (5) knots unless a higher minimum speed is necessary to maintain steerageway.

(3) All vessels operating within the RNA must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector Northern New England or his on-scene representative. The “on-scene representative” of the COTP is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been designated by the COTP to act on his behalf. The on-scene representative may be on a Coast Guard vessel, state marine patrol vessel, another other designated craft, or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM radio or loudhailer. Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary or Naval Harbor Security Patrol may be present to inform vessel operators of this regulation.

(4) All other relevant regulations, including but not limited to the Inland Navigation Rules (33 CFR subchapter E), remain in effect within the RNA and must be strictly followed at all times.

(c) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced 24 hours a day from September 19, 2016 through November 2, 2016.

(d) Notifications. Violations of this section may be reported to the COTP at (207) 767-0303 or on VHF-Channel 16.

Dated: August 19, 2016. S.D. Poulin, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-21757 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0722] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Tennessee River, Chattanooga, TN AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for the waters of the Tennessee River beginning at mile marker 463.7 and ending at mile marker 464.5, extending bank to bank near Chattanooga, Tennessee. This temporary safety zone is necessary to protect persons and property from potential damage and safety hazards during a fireworks display on or over the navigable waterway. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley or a designated representative.

DATES:

This rule is effective and will be enforced through actual notice from 9:00 p.m. through 9:30 p.m., on September 10, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0722 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Petty Officer Vera Max, Marine Safety Detachment Nashville, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 615-736-5421, email [email protected]

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

The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the event sponsor submitted the event application on July 19, 2016. This late submission did not give the Coast Guard enough time to complete the full NPRM process. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to the public interest because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with the fireworks display over the subject waterway.

III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule

The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231. The Captain of the Port Ohio Valley (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with the fireworks display on September 10, 2016, will be a safety concern for all waters of the Tennessee River, beginning at mile marker 463.7 and ending at 464.5. This rule is needed to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in the navigable waters within the safety zone during the fireworks display.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

This rule establishes a temporary safety zone on September 10, 2016. The temporary safety zone will cover all waters of the Tennessee River, beginning at mile marker 463.7 and ending at 464.5, extending bank to bank. Transit into and through this area is prohibited from 9:00 to 9:30 p.m. on September 10, 2016. The duration of the temporary safety zone is intended to ensure the safety of vessels and these navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled fireworks displays. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the temporary safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Deviation requests will be considered and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

V. Regulatory Analyses

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

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, duration, and time-of-day of the temporary safety zone. The temporary safety zone will only be in effect for 30 minutes, during late evening hours, and covers an area of the waterway stretching less than one mile. The Coast Guard expects minimum adverse impact to mariners from the temporary safety zone activation as the event has been advertised to the public. Also, mariners may request authorization from the COTP Ohio Valley or a designated representative to transit the temporary safety zone. Moreover, the Coast Guard will issue Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone and the rule allows vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

B. Impact on Small Entities

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

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

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

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

C. Collection of Information

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

D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

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

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

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

F. Environment

We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a temporary safety zone lasting 30 minutes that will prohibit entry on all waters of the Tennessee River from mile 463.7 to mile 464.5. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

2. Add § 165.T08-0722 to read as follows:
§ 165.T08-0722 Safety Zone; Tennessee River, Miles 463.7 to 464.5, Chattanooga, TN.

(a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: all waters of the Tennessee River, bank to bank, beginning at mile marker 463.7 and ending at mile marker 464.5.

(b) Enforcement period. This temporary safety zone will be enforced through actual notice from 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on September 10, 2016.

(c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Ohio Valley (COTP) or designated personnel. Persons or vessels desiring to enter into or pass through the zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF-FM radio channel 16 or phone at 1-800-253-7465.

(2) Persons and vessels permitted to deviate from this safety zone regulation and enter the restricted area must transit at the slowest safe speed and comply with all lawful directions issued by the COTP or a designated representative.

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

Dated: August 31, 2016. M.B. Zamperini, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Ohio Valley.
[FR Doc. 2016-21775 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS U.S. Copyright Office 37 CFR Part 202 [Docket No. 2016-6] Reconsideration Procedure for Refusals To Register: Revised Deadlines AGENCY:

U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Copyright Office is altering the deadline for submitting requests to reconsider refusals to register a copyright claim. Previously, a reconsideration request had to be received by the Office, via mail, no later than three months after the Office issued its decision to refuse registration. This rule has led to confusion, as it can be difficult to predict when a request will physically be received by the Office, particularly given security-screening-related delays in the processing of mail. Accordingly, to provide greater certainty to applicants, the amended rule provides that reconsideration requests only need to be postmarked or dispatched no later than three months after a refusal is issued.

DATES:

Effective September 9, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Regan A. Smith, Associate General Counsel, [email protected]; John R. Riley, Attorney-Advisor, [email protected] Each person can be reached by telephone at 202-707-8040.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Congress tasked the Register of Copyrights with the responsibility to assess the validity of copyright claims submitted for registration. 17 U.S.C. 408(a); 410(b). While the Office registers the majority of copyright claims, in some cases the applications do not meet statutory or regulatory requirements and, after examination, the Office refuses to register the claimed works. If an applicant disagrees with the Office's determination, he or she may appeal the decision within the Office. This administrative procedure is known as a “request for reconsideration.” A first request for reconsideration is reviewed within the Registration Program. See 37 CFR 202.5(b)(1)-(3). If the Registration Program again refuses to register the work, it will send the applicant a written notification stating the reasons for refusal. 37 CFR 202.5(b)(4). An applicant can appeal that refusal via a second request for reconsideration to the Copyright Office Review Board. See 37 CFR 202.5(c)(1)-(3).

The current regulation requires both first and second requests for reconsideration to be mailed to the Copyright Office. 37 CFR 202.5(d).1 Prior to the amendment made here, both first and second requests for reconsideration would be considered untimely if they were received by the Copyright Office more than three months after the date of the preceding refusal to register. See 37 CFR 202.5(b)(3), (c)(3). This regulation permits the Register of Copyrights to suspend or waive, in whole or in part, the time requirements for submitting a request for reconsideration, though only upon a showing of good cause. 37 CFR 202.5(e).

1 The Office at this time is not allowing for electronic submission of requests for reconsideration, although it will consider implementing such a procedure as part of future information technology modernization efforts.

The Office recognizes that applicants requesting reconsideration of a refusal to register a copyright claim may benefit from a rule that requires an appeal to be postmarked within the prescribed time period, rather than a deadline based upon when the appeal is received by the Office. In particular, the Office understands that it can be difficult to predict how long it will take for a reconsideration request to actually be received by the Office, particularly given security screening related delays. Accordingly, the Office has decided to adopt a “mailbox” or “postal” rule for requests for reconsideration delivered by the United States Postal Service or dispatched by a commercial carrier, courier, or messenger, which will offer applicants greater certainty while continuing to ensure that appeals are considered in a timely fashion. This rule will apply to any appeals that are postmarked or dispatched after the rule's effective date; for appeals postmarked or dispatched prior to that date, the previous regulation will apply.

The Copyright Office is publishing this amendment as a final rule without first publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking, as it constitutes a change to a “rule[ ] of agency . . . procedure, or practice.” 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). The rule does not “alter the rights or interests of parties,” but merely “alter[s] the manner in which the parties present themselves or their viewpoints to the agency.” JEM Broad. Co. v. F.C.C., 22 F.3d 320, 326 (D.C. Cir. 1994). Other provisions that relate to submissions of reconsideration requests remain unaffected.

List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 202

Copyright, Legal process.

Final Regulations

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Copyright Office amends 37 CFR part 202 as follows:

PART 202—PREREGISTRATION AND REGISTRATION OF CLAIMS TO COPYRIGHT 1. The authority citation for part 202 continues to read as follows: Authority:

17 U.S.C. 408(f), 702.

2. Amend § 202.5 as follows: a. In paragraph (b)(3), remove the phrase “received by the Copyright Office” and add in its place the phrase “postmarked or dispatched by a commercial carrier, courier, or messenger”. b. In paragraph (c)(3), remove the phrase “received in the Copyright Office” and add in its place the phrase “postmarked or dispatched by a commercial carrier, courier, or messenger”. Dated: September 2, 2016. Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. Approved by: David S. Mao, Acting Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 2016-21671 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-30-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0313; FRL-9951-87-Region 7] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Kansas; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2012 Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Kansas addressing the applicable requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110 for the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Section 110 requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP to support the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each new or revised NAAQS promulgated by the EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on October 11, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0313. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically at www.regulations.gov and at EPA Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. Please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

I. What is being addressed in this document? II. What action is EPA taking? III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is being addressed in this document?

EPA is approving the infrastructure SIP submission received from the State of Kansas on November 25, 2015. The infrastructure SIP submission addressed the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. A Technical Support Document (TSD) is included as part of the docket to discuss the details of this rulemaking.

The proposal to approve the infrastructure SIP submission was published on July 11, 2016, in the Federal Register. 81 FR 44830. The comment period ended August 10, 2016. There were no comments on the proposal.

II. What action is EPA taking?

EPA is approving the November 25, 2015, infrastructure SIP submission from the State of Kansas which addresses the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in those submissions or referenced in Kansas' SIP, EPA believes that Kansas' SIP meets all applicable required elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) with respect to the 2012 annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

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

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register.

A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 8, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: August 24, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.

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

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart R—Kansas 2. In § 52.870(e) the table is amended by adding entry (44) in numerical order to read as follows:
§ 52.870 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved Kansas Nonregulatory SIP Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP revision Applicable geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (44) Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS Statewide 11/16/15 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). 110(a)(2)(I) is not applicable. [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0313; FRL- ]
    [FR Doc. 2016-21474 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953; FRL-9950-77-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure or Requirements for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions from the State of Texas for Ozone (O3) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These submittals address how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS (infrastructure SIPs or i-SIPs). These i-SIPs ensure that the State's SIP is adequate to meet the State's responsibilities under the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sherry Fuerst, telephone (214) 665-6454, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” means the EPA.

    I. Background

    The background for this action is discussed in detail in our February 8, 2016, proposal (81 FR 6483). In that document we proposed to approve elements of SIP submittals from the State of Texas for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. These submittals address how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 i-SIPs.

    We received comments on the proposal submitted jointly from two organizations. Our response to the comments are below.

    II. Response to Comments

    Comment: We received one set of comments—submitted jointly by the Sierra Club and Downwinders at Risk—on the February 8, 2016 proposal to approve certain elements of Texas's SIP submissions for the 2008 ozone and 2010 NO2 NAAQS. These comments are provided in the docket for today's rulemaking action. The commenters contend that EPA cannot approve the section 110(a)(2)(A) portion of Texas's 2008 ozone infrastructure SIP submission because of Fifth Circuit “binding precedent” purportedly holding this portion of the submission must “prohibit upwind sources in Texas from significantly contributing to nonattainment in downwind areas” in Texas. Specifically, the commenters contend that there are five coal-fired power plants in East Texas that “significantly contribute” to Dallas-Fort Worth's ozone nonattainment problem and that the Texas i-SIP fails to address those emissions.

    Response: We disagree with the commenters that infrastructure SIPs must include detailed attainment and maintenance plans for all areas of the state and must be disapproved if air quality data and modeling show current and future nonattainment. We believe that section 110(a)(2)(A) is reasonably interpreted to require states to submit SIPs that reflect the first step in their planning for attaining and maintaining a new or revised NAAQS and that they contain enforceable control measures and demonstration that the state has the available tools and authority to develop and implement plans to attain and maintain the NAAQS.

    The commenters suggest that EPA must disapprove the Texas ozone infrastructure SIP because of the fact that areas in Texas have air quality data and modeling projections above or forecasting above the standard, which proves that the infrastructure SIP is inadequate. We disagree with the commenters because EPA does not believe that section 110(a)(2)(A) requires detailed planning SIPs demonstrating either attainment or maintenance for specific geographic areas of the state. The infrastructure SIP is triggered by promulgation of the NAAQS, not designation. Moreover, infrastructure SIPs are due three years following promulgation of the NAAQS. Thus, during a significant portion of the period that a state has available for developing the infrastructure SIP, it does not know what the designation will be for individual areas of the state. In light of the structure of the CAA, our long-standing position regarding infrastructure SIPs is that they are general planning SIPs to ensure that the state has adequate resources and authority to implement a NAAQS in general throughout the state and not detailed attainment and maintenance plans for each individual area of the state.

    Our interpretation that infrastructure SIPs are more general planning SIPs is consistent with the statute as understood in light of its history and structure. When Congress enacted the CAA in 1970, it did not include provisions requiring states and the EPA to label areas as attainment or nonattainment. Rather, states were required to include all areas of the state in “air quality control regions” (AQCRs) and section 110 set forth the core substantive planning provisions for these AQCRs. At that time, Congress anticipated that states would be able to address air pollution quickly pursuant to the very general planning provisions in section 110 and could bring all areas in compliance with the NAAQS within five years. Moreover, at that time, section 110(a)(2)(A)(i) specified that the section 110 plan provide for “attainment” of the NAAQS and section 110(a)(2)(B) specified that the plan must include “emission limitations, schedules, and timetables for compliance with such limitations and such other measures as may be necessary to insure attainment and maintenance [of the NAAQS].” In 1977, Congress recognized that the existing structure was not sufficient and many areas were still violating the NAAQS. At that time, Congress for the first time added provisions requiring states and EPA to identify whether areas of the state were violating the NAAQS (i.e., were nonattainment) and established specific planning requirements in section 172 for areas not meeting the NAAQS. In 1990, many areas still had air quality not meeting the NAAQS and Congress again amended the CAA and added yet another layer of more prescriptive planning requirements for each of the NAAQS, with the primary provisions for ozone in section 182. At that same time, Congress modified section 110 to remove references to the section 110 SIP providing for attainment, including removing pre-existing section 110(a)(2)(A) in its entirety and renumbering subparagraph (B) as section 110(a)(2)(A). Additionally, Congress replaced the clause “as may be necessary to insure attainment and maintenance [of the NAAQS]” with “as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements of this chapter.” Thus, the CAA has significantly evolved in the more than 40 years since it was originally enacted. While at one time section 110 did provide the only detailed SIP planning provisions for states and specified that such plans must provide for attainment of the NAAQS, under the structure of the current CAA, section 110 is only the initial stepping-stone in the planning process for a specific NAAQS. More detailed, later-enacted provisions govern the substantive planning process, including planning for attainment of the NAAQS.

    For all of these reasons, EPA disagrees with the commenters that we must disapprove an infrastructure SIP revision if there are monitored or forecasted violations of the standard in the state and the section 110(a)(2)(A) revision does not have detailed plans for demonstrating how the state will bring that area into attainment. Rather we believe that the proper inquiry at this juncture is whether the state has met the basic structural SIP requirements appropriate at the point in time we are acting upon the submittal.

    Further, we disagree with the commenters' suggestion that the Texas SIP does not adequately address the CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) requirement for enforceable emission limits based on Sierra Club v. EPA, 314 F.3d 735 (5th Cir. 2002). The commenters contend that the Fifth Circuit's opinion in Sierra Club mandates disapproval by EPA of this i-SIP because Texas has areas measuring nonattainment of the NAAQS at issue. The Fifth Circuit's opinion is not “binding precedent” on this point, and mandates no such disapproval.

    To the extent the Fifth Circuit discussed section 110(a)(2)(A) at all in Sierra Club, it was in dicta. The Fifth Circuit's Sierra Club opinion primarily concerned the distinct issue of whether EPA's “extension of the statutory date” for Beaumont, Texas to attain the one-hour ozone NAAQS (and approval of Texas's attainment SIP based on that extension) complied with the CAA.1 The court's lone citation to CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) appears in a portion of the opinion titled, “Factual and Procedural Background,” following a brief discussion of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). Read in full context, it is clear that the court's mention of section 110(a)(2)(A) is merely a recitation of the regulatory background, not a holding:

    1See Sierra Club v. EPA, 314 F.3d 735, 739-43 (5th Cir. 2002). The case also addressed whether EPA had reasonably concluded that no additional Reasonably Available Control Measures were required for the Beaumont area. See id. at 743-45.

    Under the CAA, states must adopt SIPs specifying emission limitations applicable to pollution sources in order to maintain and enforce each NAAQS. 42 U.S.C. 7410(a). SIPs are submitted to the EPA, which may approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the SIPs in full or in part. Id. § 7410(k). Significantly, the CAA has a provision that requires SIPs to contain provisions regulating emissions that “contribute significantly to nonattainment in, or interfere with maintenance by, any other State with respect to any such national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard.” Id. § 7410(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In addition, as noted in the challenged final action, the EPA has interpreted 42 U.S.C. 7410 (a)(2)(A) as incorporating a similar requirement that an upwind area be prohibited from contributing significantly to nonattainment in a downwind area within the same state. See 66 FR 26,917.2

    2Id. at 737.

    This lone mention of CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) was likely because EPA had invoked its interpretation of that section as one justification for why it was reasonable to read the Act as permitting the relevant deadline extension. While this passing mention of CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) was dicta, the Fifth Circuit's decision invalidating EPA's extension policy was not: Regardless of the merits of EPA's proffered interpretation of CAA section 110(a)(2)(A), the court held at Chevron step one that the CAA did not authorize EPA to grant extensions of the attainment date.3

    3Id. at 740-41.

    The EPA interpretation mentioned off-hand in the Sierra Club opinion—i.e., that section 110(a)(2)(A) incorporates a similar requirement for intrastate transport as section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) does for interstate transport—is no longer the Agency's interpretation and has not been so for quite some time.4 EPA's prior interpretation is not “carved in stone”; agencies are permitted to change their interpretations.5 EPA's most recent interpretation of CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) can be found in the 2013 Infrastructure SIP Guidance,6 as well as relatively recent regulatory actions.7

    4 Likewise, the details of the Agency's interpretation of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) have also changed, in part guided by U.S. Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit case law evaluating EPA's rulemakings under that provision. See, e.g., North Carolina v. EPA, 531 F.3d 896 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (evaluating EPA's Clean Air Interstate Rule, 70 FR 25,162 (May 12, 2005); EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012), rev'd 134 S. Ct. 1584 (2014), remanded to 795 F.3d 118 (D.C. Cir. 2015) (evaluating EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, 76 FR 48208 (Aug. 8 2011)).

    5See Nat'l Cable and Telecomms. Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Servs., 545 U.S. 967, 981-82 (2005) (quoting Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 863-64 (1984)).

    6 Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).

    7See, e.g., 80 FR 33840.

    Even if the Fifth Circuit had not reversed the EPA's extension policy at Chevron step one (which it did), and even if the EPA had not subsequently changed its interpretation of CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) (which it has), the commenters would still be incorrect in their contention that EPA must use the same “significant contribution” analysis for intrastate emissions that EPA has recently used for interstate emissions under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). That analysis is based in part on an evaluation of “the total `collective contribution' ” of multiple upwind interstate sources that is captured at various significance thresholds; 8 it was never intended to apply in the intrastate context. Nor does the relevant statutory phrase, “significant contribution,” appear in CAA section 110(a)(2)(A).

    8See, e.g., 76 FR 48208, 48236-37 (Aug. 8, 2011).

    Section 110(a)(2)(A) of the CAA requires enforceable emission limits and control measures. As noted in the 2012 Infrastructure SIP Guidance, a different part of the CAA, part D, outlines the process, timeframe, and substantive requirements for states to bring their nonattainment areas into attainment. The Fifth Circuit's Sierra Club opinion says nothing to the contrary. The court in no way ruled that infrastructure SIPs must contain provisions prohibiting upwind intrastate areas from “significantly contributing” to nonattainment in downwind intrastate areas, or that EPA must apply the same technical analysis to intrastate emissions as it does for interstate emissions under a different subsection. Commenters' reliance on the Fifth Circuit's opinion as setting forth that precedent is misplaced. In short, we disagree that the Sierra Club opinion constitutes “binding precedent” requiring us to disapprove the infrastructure SIP for CAA section 110(a)(2)(A).

    III. Final Action

    We are approving elements of the (1) December 13, 2012, SIP submittal for the State of Texas pertaining to the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of the 2008 ozone NAAQS, and; (2) December 7, 2012, SIP submittal pertaining to the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of the 2010 nitrogen dioxide NAAQS as outlined in our February 8, 2016, proposal. Specifically, EPA is approving the following infrastructure elements or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i) (portions pertaining to PSD for 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 and portions pertaining to nonattainment and interference with maintenance for 2010 NO2), D(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (K), (L) and (M).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011); • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.); • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4); • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999); • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997); • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001); • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 8, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 31, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart SS—Texas 2. In § 52.2270(e), the table titled “EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP” is amended by adding entries at the end for “Infrastructure and Transport SIP Revisions for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide Standard” and “Infrastructure and Transport SIP Revisions for the 2008 Ozone Standard” to read as follows.
    § 52.2270 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP Name of SIP provision Applicable geographic or nonattainment area State
  • submittal/
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Infrastructure and Transport SIP Revisions for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide Standard Statewide 12/7/2012 9/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Approval for 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i) (portions pertaining to nonattainment and interference with maintenance), D(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (K), (L) and (M). Infrastructure and Transport SIP Revisions for the 2008 Ozone Standard Statewide 12/13/2012 9/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Approval for 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i) (portion pertaining to PSD), D(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (K), (L) and (M).
    [FR Doc. 2016-21593 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0238; FRL-9951-94-Region 1] Air Plan Approval; Connecticut; NOX Emission Trading Orders as Single Source SIP Revisions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Connecticut. This revision continues to allow facilities to create and/or use emission credits using NOX Emission Trading and Agreement Orders (TAOs) to comply with the NOX emission limits required by Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA) section 22a-174-22 (Control of Nitrogen Oxides). The intended effect of this action is to approve the individual trading orders to allow facilities to determine the most cost-effective way to comply with the state regulation. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on October 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0238. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Dahl, Air Permits, Toxics, and Indoor Programs Unit, Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, (OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, phone number (617) 918-1657, fax number (617) 918-0657, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

    Table of Contents I. Summary of SIP Revision II. Final Action III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Summary of SIP Revision

    On November 15, 2011, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) submitted a formal revision to its State Implementation Plan (SIP). This SIP revision consists of eighty-nine source-specific Trading Agreement and Orders (TAOs) that allow twenty-four individual stationary sources of nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions to create and/or trade NOX emission credits in order to ensure more effective compliance with EPA SIP-approved state regulations for reducing NOX emissions. We previously approved source-specific TAOs of the same kind issued by CT DEEP under this program for these same sources on September 28, 1999 (64 FR 52233), March 23, 2001 (66 FR 16135), and September 9, 2013 (78 FR 54962). The November 15, 2011 SIP submittal also includes Consent Order 8029A issued to Hamilton Sundstrand which addresses Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions.

    On June 15, 2016 (81 FR 38999) EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the State of Connecticut's 2011 SIP revision submittal, proposing approval of the TAOs, except for Consent Order 8029A. The NPR also proposed approval of the revised TAO 8110A issued to Yale University. This TAO was originally submitted as part of a July 1, 2004 SIP revision from Connecticut, and was modified by CT DEEP on May 29, 2015.

    The rationale supporting EPA's proposed rulemaking action is explained in the published NPR. The NPR is available in the docket for this rulemaking at www.regulations.gov, Docket ID Number EPA-R01-OAR-2015-0238. EPA did not receive any public comments on the NPR.

    II. Final Action

    The EPA is approving into the Connecticut SIP the 89 TAOs contained in the State of Connecticut's 2011 SIP revision request as well as the revised TAO 8110A for Yale University.

    III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. Section 804, however, exempts from section 801 the following types of rules: Rules of particular applicability; rules relating to agency management or personnel; and Rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice that do not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. 5 U.S.C. 804(3). Because this is a rule of particular applicability, EPA is not required to submit a rule report regarding this action under section 801.

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 8, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: August 17, 2016. H. Curtis Spalding, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

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

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart H—Connecticut 2. Section 52.377 is amended by adding paragraph (m)(2) to read as follows:
    § 52.377 Control Strategy: Ozone.

    (m) * * *

    (2) Revisions to the State Implementation Plan submitted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on November 15, 2011 and July 1, 2004. The revisions consist of 90 single source emission trading orders necessary for satisfying Reasonable Available Control Technology requirements for nitrogen oxides during specific time periods.

    (i) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8093C, Modification No. 2 issued to Pfizer in Groton.

    (ii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8093C, Modification No. 3 issued to Pfizer in Groton.

    (iii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8136A, Modification No. 1 issued to Pfizer in Groton.

    (iv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8136A, Modification No. 2 issued to Pfizer in Groton.

    (v) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8296 issued to Pfizer in Groton.

    (vi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8109, Modification No. 1 issued to Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation in Windsor Locks.

    (vii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8109, Modification No. 2 issued to Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation in Windsor Locks.

    (viii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8109, Modification No. 3 issued to Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation in Windsor Locks.

    (ix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8291 issued to Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation in Windsor Locks.

    (x) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8291, Modification No. 1 issued to Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation in Windsor Locks.

    (xi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8114A, Modification No. 1 issued to Cytec Industries, Inc. in Wallingford.

    (xii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8114A, Modification No. 2 issued to Cytec Industries, Inc. in Wallingford.

    (xiii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8115B, Modification No. 1 issued to University of Connecticut in Storrs.

    (xiv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8115B, Modification No. 2 issued to University of Connecticut in Storrs.

    (xv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8115B, Modification No. 3 issued to University of Connecticut in Storrs.

    (xvi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8116B, Modification No. 1 issued to Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority in Hartford.

    (xvii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8116B, Modification No. 2 issued to Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority in Hartford.

    (xviii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8302 issued to Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority in Hartford.

    (xix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8119A, Modification No. 2 issued to City of Norwich, Department of Public Utilities in Norwich.

    (xx) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8119A, Modification No. 3 issued to City of Norwich, Department of Public Utilities in Norwich.

    (xxi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8304 issued to City of Norwich, Department of Public Utilities in Norwich.

    (xxii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8120A, Modification No. 1 issued to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford.

    (xxiii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8120A, Modification No. 2 issued to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford.

    (xxiv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8293 issued to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford.

    (xxv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8293, Modification No. 1 issued to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford.

    (xxvi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8123A, Modification No. 1 issued to Algonquin Gas Transmission Company in Cromwell.

    (xxvii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8123A, Modification No. 2 issued to Algonquin Gas Transmission Company in Cromwell.

    (xxviii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8134A, Modification No. 1 issued to United Technologies Corporation in East Hartford.

    (xxix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8134A, Modification No. 2 issued to United Technologies Corporation in East Hartford.

    (xxx) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8289 issued to United Technologies Corporation in East Hartford.

    (xxxi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8154A, Modification No. 1 issued to Combustion Engineering, Inc. in Windsor.

    (xxxii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8154A, Modification No. 2 issued to Combustion Engineering, Inc. in Windsor.

    (xxxiii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8180A, Modification No. 2 issued to Connecticut Jet Power LLC in Branford, Greenwich, and Torrington.

    (xxxiv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8180A, Modification No. 3 issued to Connecticut Jet Power LLC in Branford, Greenwich, and Torrington.

    (xxxv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8181A, Modification No. 2 issued to Devon Power LLC in Milford.

    (xxxvi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8181A, Modification No. 3 issued to Devon Power LLC in Milford.

    (xxxvii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8219A, Modification No. 2 issued to Devon Power LLC in Milford.

    (xxxviii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8251A, Modification No. 2 issued to Devon Power LLC in Milford.

    (xxxix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8251A, Modification No. 3 issued to Devon Power LLC in Milford.

    (xl) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8182A, Modification No. 2 issued to Middleton Power LLC in Middleton.

    (xli) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8182A, Modification No. 3 issued to Middleton Power LLC in Middleton.

    (xlii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8213A, Modification No. 2 issued to Middleton Power LLC in Middleton.

    (xliii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8213A, Modification No. 3 issued to Middleton Power LLC in Middleton.

    (xliv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8214A, Modification No. 2 issued to Middleton Power LLC in Middleton.

    (xlv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8214A, Modification No. 3 issued to Middleton Power LLC in Middleton.

    (xlvi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8215A, Modification No. 2 issued to Middleton Power LLC in Middleton.

    (xlvii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8215A, Modification No. 3 issued to Middleton Power LLC in Middleton.

    (xlviii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8183A, Modification No. 2 issued to Montville Power LLC in Montville.

    (xlix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8183A, Modification No. 3 issued to Montville Power LLC in Montville.

    (l) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8216A, Modification No. 2 issued to Montville Power LLC in Montville.

    (li) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8216A, Modification No. 3 issued to Montville Power LLC in Montville.

    (lii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8217A, Modification No. 2 issued to Montville Power LLC in Montville.

    (liii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8217A, Modification No. 3 issued to Montville Power LLC in Montville.

    (liv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8184A, Modification No. 2 issued to Norwalk Power LLC in Norwalk.

    (lv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8184A, Modification No. 3 issued to Norwalk Power LLC in Norwalk.

    (lvi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8218A, Modification No. 2 issued to Norwalk Power LLC in Norwalk.

    (lvii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8218A, Modification No. 3 issued to Norwalk Power LLC in Norwalk.

    (lviii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8221A, Modification No. 1 issued to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. in Waterford.

    (lix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8221A, Modification No. 2 issued to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. in Waterford.

    (lx) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8222A, Modification No. 1 issued to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. in Waterford.

    (lxi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8222A, Modification No. 2 issued to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. in Waterford.

    (lxii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8288 issued to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. in Waterford.

    (lxiii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8288, Modification No. 1 issued to Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. in Waterford.

    (lxiv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8240, Modification No. 2 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in New Haven.

    (lxv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8240, Modification No. 3 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in New Haven.

    (lxvi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8243, Modification No. 1 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in New Haven.

    (lxvii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8243, Modification No. 2 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in New Haven.

    (lxviii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8241, Modification No. 2 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in Bridgeport.

    (lxix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8241, Modification No. 3 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in Bridgeport.

    (lxx) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8244, Modification No. 2 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in Bridgeport.

    (lxxi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8244, Modification No. 3 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in Bridgeport.

    (lxxii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8253, Modification No. 2 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in Bridgeport.

    (lxxiii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8253, Modification No. 3 issued to PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in Bridgeport.

    (lxxiv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8301 issued to PSEG Power LLC, PSEG Fossil LLC, and PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in Bridgeport.

    (lxxv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8305 issued to PSEG Power LLC, PSEG Fossil LLC, and PSEG Power Connecticut LLC in New Haven and Bridgeport.

    (lxxvi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8249, Modification No. 2 issued to Capitol District Energy Center Cogeneration Associates in Hartford.

    (lxxvii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8249, Modification No. 3 issued to Capitol District Energy Center Cogeneration Associates in Hartford.

    (lxxviii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8298 issued to Capitol District Energy Center Cogeneration Associates in Hartford.

    (lxxix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8261, Modification No. 1 issued to Algonquin Power Windsor Locks LLC in Windsor Locks.

    (lxxx) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8261, Modification No. 2 issued to Algonquin Power Windsor Locks LLC in Windsor Locks.

    (lxxxi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8299 issued to Algonquin Power Windsor Locks LLC in Windsor Locks.

    (lxxxii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8269 issued to Cascades Boxboard Group Connecticut LLC in Versailles.

    (lxxxiii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8269, Modification No. 1 issued to Cascades Boxboard Group Connecticut LLC in Versailles.

    (lxxxiv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8297 issued to Cascades Boxboard Group Connecticut LLC in Versailles.

    (lxxxv) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8272 issued to NE Hydro Generating Company in Preston.

    (lxxxvi) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8279 issued to First Light Hydro Generating Company in Preston.

    (lxxxvii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8303 issued to First Light Hydro Generating Company in Preston.

    (lxxxviii) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8300 issued to NRG Energy, Inc., Middletown Power LLC, NRG Middletown Operations Inc., Montville Power LLC, NRG Montville Operations Inc., Norwalk Power LLC, NRG Norwalk Harbor Operations Inc., and Connecticut Jet Power LLC in Branford, Greenwich, Torrington, Middletown, Norwalk, Milford, and Montville.

    (lxxxix) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8306 issued to NRG Energy, Inc., Middletown Power LLC, NRG Middletown Operations Inc., Montville Power LLC, NRG Montville Operations Inc., Norwalk Power LLC, and NRG Norwalk Harbor Operations Inc. in Middletown, Montville, and Norwalk.

    (xc) Trading Agreement and Order No. 8110A issued to Yale University in New Haven.

    [FR Doc. 2016-21453 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2010-0861; FRL-9950-32-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Revisions to the General Definitions for Texas New Source Review and the Minor NSR Qualified Facilities Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving and disapproving portions of revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) pertaining to the Texas New Source Review (NSR) program submitted on March 13, 1996; July 22, 1998; September 11, 2000; September 4, 2002; and October 5, 2010. Specifically, the EPA is approving the severable portions of the amendments to the General Definitions for the Texas NSR program, and the Minor NSR Qualified Facilities Program. The EPA is disapproving a severable portion of the General Definition of “modification of existing facility” submitted on October 5, 2010. We are taking these actions under section 110, parts C and D of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on October 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2010-0861. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Adina Wiley, (214) 665-2115, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” means the EPA.

    I. Background

    The background for this action is discussed in detail in our May 2, 2016 proposal. See 81 FR 26180. In that document we proposed to approve the Texas Qualified Facilities Program as a component of the Texas Minor NSR program as submitted on October 5, 2010. We also proposed to approve several updates to the General Definitions for Permitting submitted from July 22, 1998 through October 5, 2010, with one exception. We proposed to disapprove the severable portion of the definition of “modification of existing facility” pertaining to modifications made at natural gas processing facilities without a case-by-case permit as submitted on October 5, 2010. We received comments from three parties; our response to the comments received on our proposed action are summarized below.

    II. Response to Comments

    Comment: We received two supportive comment letters from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Chemical Council, wherein the commenters reiterated the objectives of the proposed rulemaking and expressed support for the EPA finalizing as proposed.

    Response: The EPA appreciates the support of the commenters. No changes were made to the proposed rule as a result of these comments.

    Comment: The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club submitted several comments regarding anti-backsliding requirements of the CAA. First, the commenter generally opposed any weakening in the Texas SIP if it fails to meet the anti-backsliding requirements of the CAA section 110(l) and stated that backsliding must not be allowed by the EPA in the Texas SIP. Second, the commenter provided a link to the TCEQ Agenda Item Request for the SIP Revision Adoption of the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) Area Redesignation Substitute for the 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The commenter stated that “If Sierra Club understands this Texas SIP change correctly, part of the proposal would significantly change the threshold for emissions that would trigger such controls/trading. The netting trigger would increase substantially (from 5 to 40), a major source would change from 25 to 100, and a major modification would go from 25 to 40. Companies would be able to break a modification into multiple, smaller modifications and effectively avoid controls. Texas urban air quality would suffer death from 1000 cuts. This unacceptable backsliding change could be devastating to air quality. Companies that were planning major air quality control projects in hopes of trading credits for profit are choosing not to make those improvements, because their potential market would disappear because of the proposed loophole.”

    Response: The EPA understands the commenter's concern about backsliding. We evaluate proposed revisions to a SIP under CAA section 110(l). This evaluation under section 110(l) is generally referred to as an “anti-backsliding demonstration” because it analyzes whether a proposed change to the SIP will result in “backsliding”; i.e., the scenario where a change to the Texas SIP would result in worsening air quality that could interfere with an area's ability to attain or maintain the NAAQS or interfere with any other applicable requirements of the CAA. We believe that the commenter has three main concerns: (1) The commenter is generally concerned that approval of the Texas Qualified Facilities Program will result in backsliding in the Texas SIP; (2) the commenter is concerned that approval of the redesignation substitute for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the HGB nonattainment area will result in backsliding; and (3) the commenter is concerned that the Texas Qualified Facilities Program will result in backsliding upon the approval of the redesignation substitute for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the HGB nonattainment area. We address each of these three concerns below.

    First, as we explained in our proposed approval of the Texas Qualified Facilities Program at 81 FR 26180, 26182—26183, we have evaluated the program as a revision to the Texas Minor NSR SIP and with respect to the requirements of CAA section 110(l). Our evaluation shows that the program is designed to allow an existing permitted facility to increase allowable emissions, provided that another permitted facility has a corresponding decrease in permitted allowables.1 The program requires enforceable changes be made to the underlying permits or authorizations to reflect the new allowable emission rate for each facility, and prohibits any net increase in permitted allowable emissions. The relevant TCEQ authorizations and permitting programs have all been SIP approved; each of these programs require the TCEQ to issue an authorization or permit that will be protective of the NAAQS and air quality consistent with the general permitting requirements at 40 CFR 51.160-51.164. As such, any existing permitted allowables have been issued at levels protective of air quality.2 Therefore if permitted facilities trade permitted allowable emission rates, there will be no backsliding in permitted allowable emissions. The inclusion of the qualified facilities changes into the relevant permits or authorizations further ensures that the changes are federally enforceable and will not violate Texas control strategies or interfere with attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, control measures, or PSD increment. See 35 TexReg 8944, 8960. The EPA continues to find that the Qualified Facilities Program will not result in backsliding of air quality requirements because the program is limited to permitted facilities and permitted emission allowables. No changes have been made to the proposed rule as a result of this comment.

    1 The TCEQ has clarified in the preamble to the final adoption of the Qualified Facilities program that the term “facility” is consistent with the EPA's use of the term “emissions unit.” See 35 TexReg 8944, 8960, October 1, 2010.

    2 Throughout this final rule, we use “permitted allowables” and “permitted facilities” to collectively refer to the allowable emission rates established via a SIP-approved authorization or permit program.

    Regarding the commenter's second concern, that the proposed approval of the redesignation substitute in HGB for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS will result in backsliding, the EPA finds that this general concern is not relevant to the proposed approval of the Texas Qualified Facilities program into the Texas Minor NSR SIP. The EPA has proposed a separate action on the redesignation substitute request for the 8-hour ozone NAAQS for HGB and invited the public to submit comments specifically on the effect of the redesignation substitute in this separate action. See the separate rulemaking docket EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0609 and our proposed rulemaking at 81 FR 33166. We will address all comments received on the proposed redesignation substitute, including any comments received regarding the applicable major source and major modification thresholds in HGB, in this separate rulemaking action. No changes have been made to the proposed rule as a result of this comment.

    While we are not addressing general concerns about the impact of the redesignation substitute in the HGB area in this action, we do believe it is appropriate to address the commenter's final concern that the use of the Qualified Facilities Program in HGB after the approval of the redesignation substitute will result in backsliding. The commenter is correct that if and when the redesignation substitute is effective, the major source and major modification thresholds in HGB will increase because the only applicable nonattainment area designation in HGB will be the marginal designation for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 40 CFR 81.344. The EPA believes it is likely that more new sources and modifications will be permitted under the SIP-approved Texas Minor NSR mechanisms as a result of the increased thresholds. While we anticipate an increase in the number of Minor NSR permitting actions and a correlative decrease in Major NSR permitting actions, we cannot predict whether more changes will occur using the Qualified Facilities Program versus other SIP-approved Minor NSR mechanisms. However, we disagree that any increase in usage of the Qualified Facilities Program under the applicable thresholds will result in backsliding of air quality requirements in the HGB nonattainment area. The Texas SIP includes a suite of approved permitting regulations for both Minor and Major NSR, which will continue to apply in the event of approval of the redesignation substitute in the HGB area. Each of these programs has been evaluated and approved by EPA as consistent with the requirements of the CAA and protective of air quality, including the requirements at 40 CFR 51.160 whereby the TCEQ cannot issue a permit or authorize an activity that will result in a violation of applicable portions of the control strategy or that will interfere with attainment or maintenance of a national standard. So moving forward to a time when the HGB area has a marginal designation as the only applicable nonattainment designation, new sources and modifications will continue to be permitted and authorized under the existing SIP requirements if they are determined to be protective of air quality. As explained in our proposed rulemaking, the Qualified Facilities Program can only be used by facilities with existing permits or authorizations—that means participating facilities were either permitted and authorized under the 1997 8-hour ozone requirements or will have to be authorized/permitted under the new 2008 8-hour ozone requirements before a qualified change occurs. Regardless, each participating facility will have a permitted allowable emission rate that may be increased commensurate with a simultaneous decrease in another permitted allowable emission rate; resulting in no net allowable increase. As explained in our proposed approval, relying on permitted allowable emissions is appropriate for a Minor NSR program. Further, a source can only use netting under the Qualified Facilities Program to the extent that any net increase in actual emissions is below the applicable major source threshold. Because the permitted allowable emission rates are established, or will be established, by the TCEQ as protective of air quality and the NAAQS, we continue to maintain that the use of the Qualified Facilities Program will function as proposed and will not result in backsliding. No changes have been made to the proposed rule as a result of this comment.

    We also disagree that companies could legally break what would otherwise be major modifications into multiple, smaller changes using the Qualified Facilities Program to effectively avoid controls. The EPA views this practice as circumvention of Major NSR requirements. Based on our regulations, policy and guidance, any company circumventing Major NSR requirements by breaking modifications into multiple, smaller modifications or changes would be subject to possible enforcement actions.3

    3See 54 FR 27274, June 28, 1989. See also, EPA's June 13, 1989, Guidance on Limiting Potential to Emit in New Source Permitting; EPA's September 18, 1989, Response to the Request for Clarification of Policy Regarding the “Net Emissions Increase”; EPA's June 23, 1993, Memorandum on the Applicability of New Source Review Circumvention Guidance to 3M, Maplewood Minnesota; 75 FR 19570-71, April 15, 2010 (proposed rule); and EPA's August 26, 2011 Letter from Stephen Page, OAQPS, to David Isaacs, Semiconductor Industry Association, pages 6-8. All of these documents are included in the docket for this rulemaking.

    III. Final Action

    Section 110(k)(3) of the Act states that the EPA may partially approve and partially disapprove a SIP submittal if we find that only a portion of the submittal meets the requirements of the Act. We find that the majority of the October 5, 2010 revision to the Texas SIP is approvable because the submitted rules are adopted and submitted in accordance with the CAA and are consistent with the EPA's regulations regarding NSR and Minor NSR. Therefore, the EPA approves the following as a revision to the Texas SIP under section 110 and parts C and D of the CAA:

    • Substantive and non-substantive revisions to the General Definitions at 30 TAC Section 116.10, as initially adopted on June 17, 1998 and submitted on July 22, 1998 and revised through the October 5, 2010 submittal, with the exception of 30 TAC Section 116.10(9)(F). Note that 30 TAC Section 116.10(5)(F) has not been submitted or proposed for inclusion in the Texas SIP.

    • New section 30 TAC Section 116.17 establishing the definitions for the Minor NSR Qualified Facilities Program as adopted by the State on September 15, 2010 and submitted on October 5, 2010.

    • Substantive revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.116(e)(1)-(e)(11) creating the Texas Minor NSR Qualified Facilities Program as adopted by the State on September 15, 2010 and submitted on October 5, 2010.

    • New section 30 TAC Section 116.117 establishing the documentation and notification requirements for the Minor NSR Qualified Facilities Program as adopted by the State on September 15, 2010 and submitted on October 5, 2010. Note that 30 TAC Section 116.117(a)(4)(B) has not been submitted or proposed for inclusion in the Texas SIP.

    • Revisions to 30 TAC Section 116.311(a)(2), providing that revisions authorized under the Qualified Facilities Program are not subject the permit renewal provisions 4 under 30 TAC Section 116.311, as adopted by the State on June 17, 1998 and submitted on July 22, 1998; and further revised by the adoption of August 21, 2002 and submitted on September 4, 2002.

    4 Note that the federal regulations under the CAA do not require a permit renewal process for an approved NSR program. See 40 CFR 51.160-51.166.

    • The SIP narrative titled “Revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) Concerning the Qualified Facility Program as Authorized by Senate Bill 1126” as submitted on October 5, 2010.

    The EPA's approval does not make federally enforceable any Qualified Facility actions that were authorized by the State before the effective date of the EPA's final approval of the Qualified Facilities Program. Additionally, as a result of today's final approval, we are revising the existing provisions in 40 CFR 52.2270(c) and (e) to show the correct approval status of the Texas Minor NSR Qualified Facilities program. We are also deleting the provisions codifying our prior disapproval of the Texas Minor NSR Qualified Facilities program at 40 CFR 52.2273(b)(1)(iii), (b)(1)(iv), and (b)(2)-(4), and our prior disapproval of the definition of “BACT” at 40 CFR 52.2273(d)(1)(i).

    We are also disapproving the severable portion of the definition of “modification of existing facility” at 30 TAC Section 116.10(9)(F) pertaining to natural gas processing facilities as submitted on October 5, 2010. The EPA previously disapproved this provision on November 17, 2011, as promulgated at 30 TAC Section 116.10(11)(G) in the March 13, 1996; July 22, 1998 and the September 4, 2002 Texas SIP submittals. The state resubmitted the provision on October 5, 2010, unchanged with the exception of changing the numbering to 30 TAC Section 116.10(9)(F) and provided no additional evidence to substantiate inclusion in the Texas Minor NSR program or to address the anti-backsliding requirements under CAA section 110(l). As such, we find that this provision is not clearly limited to Minor NSR and is disapprovable as inconsistent with the requirements of section 110 of the Act and the EPA's regulations under 40 CFR 51.160-51.164 regarding Minor NSR. The provision in subparagraph (F) in the definition of “modification of existing facility” that we are disapproving was not submitted to meet a mandatory requirement of the CAA. Therefore, EPA is not imposing any sanctions and no Federal Implementation Plan clocks will be triggered. See CAA section 179(a).

    At this time the EPA is also finalizing several unrelated corrections to the Texas SIP to accurately reflect recent federal final actions.

    • We are correcting 40 CFR 52.2270(c) to include 30 TAC Section 116.112 as part of the Texas SIP. On December 7, 2005, the EPA approved 30 TAC Section 116.112—Distance Limitations as adopted by the TCEQ on January 14, 2004. See 70 FR 72720. As a result of this final approval, we included this provision in the table of EPA-Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP at 40 CFR 52.2270(c). 30 TAC Section 116.112 was inadvertently removed from 40 CFR 52.2270(c) due to a typographical error in a later final rulemaking. We have taken no action to remove the Distance Limitation provisions at 30 TAC Section 116.112 from the Texas SIP; therefore, we are merely correcting a clerical error.

    • The EPA is also correcting 40 CFR 52.2270(c) to include the date and Federal Register citation for the EPA's final approval of 30 TAC Section 116.760 into the Texas SIP. This section was included in our final approval of the Texas Flexible Permits Program on July 14, 2014; however, the table in 40 CFR 52.2270(c) does not include the date or citation of EPA's approval. We are correcting this inadvertent omission.

    • The EPA is clarifying the SIP status of 30 TAC Section 116.110(c). This section was returned to the TCEQ on June 29, 2011, as it was inappropriately submitted for inclusion in the Texas SIP. As such, we are revising 40 CFR 52.2270(c) to specify that 30 TAC Section 116.110(c) is not part of Texas' approved SIP.

    • Additionally, the EPA is substantially revising 40 CFR 52.2273 to accurately reflect the disapproval status of the Texas SIP. We are deleting the following existing provisions; as a result of the deletions to 40 CFR 52.2273 described here, we are renumbering this section to improve readability.

    ○ 40 CFR 52.2273(d)(4)(viii) because of our January 6, 2014 final approval. See 79 FR 00551.

    ○ 40 CFR 52.2273(d)(5)(i) because of our November 10, 2014 final approval. See 79 FR 66626.

    ○ 40 CFR 52.2273(d)(5)(ii) because of our April 1, 2014 final approval. See 79 FR 18183.

    ○ 40 CFR 52.2273(f)(1) because of our April 1, 2014 final approval. See 79 FR 18183.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, we are finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are finalizing the incorporation by reference of the revisions to the Texas regulations as described in the Final Action section above. We have made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 office.

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

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. There is no burden imposed under the PRA because this action merely proposes to approve state permitting provisions that are consistent with the CAA and disapprove state permitting provisions that are inconsistent with the CAA.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as identified in the RFA. This action merely proposes to approve state permitting provisions that are consistent with the CAA and disapprove state permitting provisions that are inconsistent with the CAA; therefore this action will not impose any requirements on small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. This action merely approves state permitting provisions that are consistent with the CAA and disapproves state permitting provisions that are inconsistent with the CAA; and therefore will have no impact on small governments.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This action does not apply on any Indian reservation land or any other area of Indian country where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it merely proposes to approve state permitting provisions that are consistent with the CAA and disapprove state permitting provisions that are inconsistent with the CAA.

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes that this action is not subject to Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) because it does not establish an environmental health or safety standard. This action merely proposes to approve state permitting provisions that are consistent with the CAA and disapprove state permitting provisions that are inconsistent with the CAA.

    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    L. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 8, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See CAA section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 1, 2016. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart SS—Texas 2. In § 52.2270: a. In paragraph (c), the table titled “EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP” is amended by: i. Revising the entries for Sections 116.10, 116.110, 116.116, 116.311, and 116.760. ii. Adding entries for Sections 116.17, 116.112, and 116.117. b. In paragraph (e), the table titled “EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP” is amended by adding the entry “Revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) Concerning the Qualified Facility Program as Authorized by Senate Bill 1126” at the end of the table.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 52.2270 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP State citation Title/subject State approval/
  • submittal date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 116 (Reg 6)—Control of Air Pollution by Permits for New Construction or Modification Subchapter A—Definitions Section 116.10 Definitions 9/15/2010 9/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP does not include 30 TAC Section 116.10(5)(F) or 116.10(9)(F). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.17 Qualified Facility Definitions 9/15/2010 9/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subchapter B—New Source Review Permits Division 1—Permit Application Section 116.110 Applicability 8/9/2000 7/14/2014, 79 FR 40666 SIP includes 30 TAC Section 116.110(a)(3) adopted on 6/17/1998.
  • SIP does not include 30 TAC Sections 116.110(a)(5), 116.110(c), or 116.110(d).
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.112 Distance Limitations 1/14/2004 12/7/2005, 70 FR 72720 *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.116 Changes to Facilities 9/15/2010 9/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP does not include 30 TAC Section 116.116(b)(3). Section 116.117 Documentation and Notification of Changes to Qualified Facilities 9/15/2010 9/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP does not include 30 TAC Section 116.117(a)(4)(B). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subchapter D—Permit Renewals *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.311 Permit Renewal Application 8/21/2002 9/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] SIP does not include 30 TAC Section 116.311(a)(6). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subchapter G: Flexible Permits *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 116.760 Flexible Permit Renewal 11/16/1994 7/20/2015, 80 FR 42729 *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP Name of SIP
  • provision
  • Applicable geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal/
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) Concerning the Qualified Facility Program as Authorized by Senate Bill 1126 Statewide 9/15/2010 9/9/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation]
    3. Section 52.2273 is revised to read as follows:
    § 52.2273 Approval status.

    (a) With the exceptions set forth in this subpart, the Administrator approves Texas' plan for the attainment and maintenance of the national standards.

    (b) The EPA is disapproving the following Texas SIP revisions submittals under 30 TAC Chapter 35—Emergency and Temporary Orders and Permits; Temporary Suspension or Amendment of Permit Conditions as follows:

    (1) The following provisions under 30 TAC Chapter 35, Subchapter A—Purpose, Applicability and Definitions:

    (i) 30 TAC Section 35.1—Purpose—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (ii) 30 TAC Section 35.2—Applicability—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (iii) 30 TAC Section 35.3—Definitions—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (2) The following provisions under 30 TAC Chapter 35, Subchapter B—Authority of the Executive Director:

    (i) 30 TAC Section 35.11—Purpose and Applicability—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (ii) 30 TAC Section 35.12—Authority of the Executive Director—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (iii) 30 TAC Section 35.13—Eligibility of the Executive Director—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (3) The following provisions under 30 TAC Chapter 35, Subchapter C—General Provisions:

    (i) 30 TAC Section 35.21—Action by the Commission or Executive Director—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (ii) 30 TAC Section 35.22—Term and Renewal of Orders—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (iii) 30 TAC Section 35.23—Effect of Orders—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (iv) 30 TAC Section 35.24—Application for Emergency or Temporary Orders—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998. No action is taken on subsection (b) and paragraphs (e)(6)-(7) which are outside the scope of the SIP.

    (v) 30 TAC Section 35.25—Notice and Opportunity for Hearing—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998. No action is taken on paragraphs (e)(1)-(8) and (11)-(15) which are outside the scope of the SIP.

    (vi) 30 TAC Section 35.26—Contents of Emergency or Temporary Order—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (vii) 30 TAC 35.27—Hearing Required—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (viii) 30 TAC Section 35.28—Hearing Requests—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (ix) 30 TAC Section 35.29—Procedures for a Hearing—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (x) 30 TAC Section 35.30—Application Fees—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998.

    (4) The following provisions under 30 TAC Chapter 35, Subchapter K—Air Orders:

    (i) 30 TAC Section 35.801—Emergency Orders Because of a Catastrophe—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998; revised June 28, 2006 and submitted July 17, 2006.

    (ii) 30 TAC Section 35.802—Applications for an Emergency Order—adopted August 16, 1993 and submitted August 31, 1993 (as 30 TAC 116.411); revised November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998 (as redesignated to 30 TAC 35.802); revised June 28, 2006 and submitted July 17, 2006.

    (iii) 30 TAC Section 35.803—Public Notification—adopted August 16, 1993 and submitted August 31, 1993 (as 30 TAC 116.412); revised November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998 (as redesignated to 30 TAC 35.803).

    (iv) 30 TAC Section 35.804—Issuance of an Emergency Order—adopted November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998; revised June 28, 2006 and submitted July 17, 2006.

    (v) 30 TAC Section 35.805—Contents of an Emergency Order—adopted August 16, 1993 and submitted August 31, 1993 (as 30 TAC 116.415); revised November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998 (as redesignated to 30 TAC 35.805); revised June 28, 2006 and submitted July 17, 2006.

    (vi) 30 TAC Section 35.806—Requirement to Apply for a Permit or Modification—adopted August 16, 1993 and submitted August 31, 1993 (as 30 TAC 116.416); revised November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998 (as redesignated to 30 TAC Section 35.806).

    (vii) 30 TAC Section 35.807—Affirmation of an Emergency Order—adopted August 16, 1993 and submitted August 31, 1993 (as 30 TAC 116.414); revised November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998 (as redesignated to 30 TAC Section 35.807); revised June 28, 2006 and submitted July 17, 2006.

    (viii) 30 TAC Section 35.808—Modification of an Emergency Order—adopted August 16, 1993 and submitted August 31, 1993 (as 30 TAC Section 116.417); revised November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998 (as redesignated to 30 TAC Section 35.808); revised June 28, 2006 and submitted July 17, 2006.

    (ix) 30 TAC Section 35.809—Setting Aside an Emergency Order—adopted August 16, 1993 and submitted August 31, 1993 (as 30 TAC Section 116.418); revised November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998 (as redesignated to 30 TAC Section 35.809).

    (c) The EPA is disapproving the Texas SIP revision submittals under 30 TAC Chapter 101—General Air Quality Rules as follows:

    (1) The following provisions under 30 TAC Chapter 101, Subchapter F—Emissions Events and Scheduled Maintenance, Startup, and Shutdown Activities:

    (i) 30 TAC Section 101.222 (Demonstrations): Sections 101.222(h), 101.222(i), and 101.222(j), adopted December 14, 2005, and submitted January 23, 2006.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (2) [Reserved]

    (d) The EPA is disapproving the following Texas SIP revisions submittals under 30 TAC Chapter 116—Control of Air Pollution by Permits for New Construction and Modification as follows:

    (1) The following provisions under 30 TAC Chapter 116, Subchapter A—Definitions:

    (i) Definition of “actual emissions” in 30 TAC Section 116.10(1), submitted March 13, 1996 and repealed and re-adopted June 17, 1998 and submitted July 22, 1998;

    (ii) Definition of “allowable emissions” in 30 TAC Section 116.10(2), submitted March 13, 1996; repealed and re-adopted June 17, 1998 and submitted July 22, 1998; and submitted September 11, 2000.

    (iii) Definition of “modification of existing facility” pertaining to oil and natural gas processing facilities adopted February 14, 1996 and submitted on March 13, 1996 at 30 TAC Section 116.10(11)(G); repealed and re-adopted June 17, 1998, submitted July 22, 1998; adopted August 21, 2002, and submitted September 4, 2002.

    (iv) Definition of “modification of existing facility” pertaining to oil and natural gas processing facilities adopted September 15, 2010, and submitted October 5, 2010, as 30 TAC Section 116.10(9)(F).

    (2) The following provisions under 30 TAC Chapter 116, Subchapter B—New Source Review Permits:

    (i) 30 TAC Section 116.118 submitted March 13, 1996 and repealed and re-adopted June 17, 1998 and submitted July 22, 1998.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (3) The following provision under 30 TAC Chapter 116, Subchapter K—Emergency Orders: 30 TAC Section 116.1200—Applicability, adopted August 16, 1993 and submitted August 31, 1993 (as 30 TAC Section 116.410); revised November 18, 1998 and submitted December 10, 1998; revised January 11, 2006 and submitted February 1, 2006 (as redesignated to 30 TAC Section 116.1200).

    (e) The EPA is disapproving the attainment demonstration for the Dallas/Fort Worth Serious ozone nonattainment area under the 1997 ozone standard submitted January 17, 2012. The disapproval applies to the attainment demonstration, the determination for reasonably available control measures, and the attainment demonstration motor vehicle emission budgets for 2012.

    [FR Doc. 2016-21594 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 70 [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0453; FRL-9951-86-Region 7] State of Iowa; Approval and Promulgation of the Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan, and 112(l) Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Iowa Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan (SIP), and the 112(l) plan. The submission revises the Title V Operating Permits Program to include a new chapter to address fees for services by the air quality program. Administrative revisions made with this rulemaking to the SIP and 112(l) plan are associated with the new chapter.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective November 8, 2016, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by October 11, 2016. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0453, to http://www.regulations.gov. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. What is being addressed in this document? II. What part 70 revision is EPA approving? III. What part 52 revision is EPA approving? IV. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met? V. What action is EPA taking? I. What is being addressed in this document?

    This direct final action approves revisions to the Iowa Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan (SIP), and the 112(l) plan. The submission revises the Title V Operating Permits Program to include a new chapter to address fees for services by the air quality program. Administrative revisions made with this rulemaking to the SIP and 112(l) plan are associated with the new chapter.

    Additional information for this rulemaking can be found in the Technical Support Document located in this docket.

    II. What part 70 revision is EPA approving?

    The State of Iowa implements an operating permits program applicable to certain sources of air pollution in the state. One EPA requirement for a Title V program is that the permitting state must establish a fee structure sufficient to cover the costs of the program (40 CFR 70.9(b)). Due to decreased emissions, and therefore, decreased Title V emission fees, Iowa analyzed program costs and determined that a new fee structure was necessary. The State increased the fixed dollar amount of $56 per ton to $70 per ton as the maximum Title V Operating Permit fee established on the first 4,000 tons of actual emissions for each regulated pollutant emitted from a source subject to the Title V operating permit program. The state determined the fee cap in order to accommodate greater flexibility in setting future Title V fees by estimating program expenses associated with projected actual emissions for fiscal year 2017. The submission package demonstrated compliance with 40 CFR 70.9(c), Fee Demonstration, and 40 CFR 70.9(d), Use of Required Fee Revenue.

    The new fee structure prompted the State of Iowa to add a new Chapter to the Iowa Administrative Code (IAC), 567-IAC Chapter 30, “Fees”.1

    1 Iowa has requested approval of 567-IAC Subrule 30.4(2), “Payment of Title V annual emission fee,” as part of its Part 70 Operating Permits program. The remainder of Chapter 30 has not been submitted to EPA for approval.

    Revisions with regard to fees in the Title V Operating Permits Program in 567-IAC Chapter 22, makes reference to 567-IAC Chapter 30, “Fees” in the following rules:

    • 22.100 “Definitions for Title V Permits”;

    • 22.101 “Applicability of Title V Operating Permit Requirements”;

    • 22.103 “Insignificant Activities”;

    • 22.105 “Title V Permit Applications”;

    • 22.106 “Title V Permit Fees”;

    • 22.108 “Permit Content”.

    Subrule 30.4(2), “Payment of Title V annual emission fee,” was added to Iowa's Title V Operating Program, and addresses fees required, documentation due dates, Phase I acid rain sources, exempted stationary sources and insignificant activities.

    Details of Iowa's Title V Operating Program revisions can be found in the Technical Support Document located in this docket.

    III. What part 52 revision is EPA approving?

    As previously stated, the new chapter in the Iowa Administrative Code that addresses the revised fee structure initiated administrative revisions to the Iowa State Implementation Plan (SIP) and 112(l) Plan.

    Revisions in the SIP amends the following rules to make reference to 567-IAC Chapter 30, “Fees” as follows:

    • Chapter 20—Scope of Title—Definitions—Forms—Rules of Practice;

    • Chapter 22—Controlling Pollution;

    • Chapter 31—Nonattainment Areas;

    • Chapter 33—Special Regulations and Construction Permit Requirements for Major Stationary Sources—Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) of Air Quality. The state's 112(l) plan is revised to include, Chapter 22, subrule 22.8(1) that applies to permit-by-rule for spray booths.

    Details of Iowa's SIP and 112(l) revisions can be found in the Technical Support Document located in this docket.

    IV. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met?

    The state submission has met the public notice requirements for SIP submissions in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102. The submission also satisfied the completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V. In addition, as explained above and in more detail in the technical support document which is part of this docket, the revision meets the substantive SIP requirements of the CAA, including section 110 and implementing regulations.

    V. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving the request to amend the Iowa Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan and the 112(l) plan. As noted previously in this document, the revision is consistent with applicable EPA requirements. The revision meets the requirements of the CAA, and implementing regulations. This revision is consistent with applicable EPA requirements in Title V of the CAA, 40 CFR part 70, and 40 CFR part 52.

    EPA is processing this action as a direct final action because the revisions make routine changes to the existing rules which are noncontroversial. Therefore, we do not anticipate any adverse comments.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the EPA-Approved Iowa Regulations described in the direct final amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully Federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.2 EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    2 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 8, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Part 70

    Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Operating permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: August 24, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR parts 52 and 70 as set forth below:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart Q-Iowa 2. In § 52.820, the table in paragraph (c) is amended by revising the entries “567-20.1”, “567-22.1”, “567-22.4”, “567-22.5”, “567-22.8”, “567-22.10”, “567-31.1”, and “567-33.1” to read as follows:
    § 52.820 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Iowa Regulations Iowa
  • citation
  • Title State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    Iowa Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Commission [567] Chapter 20—Scope of Title—Definitions—Forms—Rules of Practice 567-20.1 Scope of Title 3/15/16 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] This rule is a non-substantive description of the Chapters contained in the Iowa rules. EPA has not approved all of the Chapters to which this rule refers. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 22-Controlling Pollution 567-22.1 Permits Required for New or Existing Stationary Sources 3/15/16 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] None. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 567-22.4 Special Requirements for Major Stationary Sources Located in Areas Designated Attainment or Unclassified (PSD) 3/15/16 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] None. 567-22.5 Special Requirements for Nonattainment Areas 3/15/16 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] None. 567-22.8 Permit by Rule 3/15/16 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] None. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 567-22.10 Permitting Requirements for Country Grain Elevators, Country Grain Terminal Elevators, Grain Terminal Elevators and Feed Mill Equipment 3/15/16 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] None. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 31—Nonattainment Areas 567-31.1 Permit Requirements Relating to Nonattainment Areas 3/15/16 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] None. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 33—Special Regulations and Construction Permit Requirements for Major Stationary Sources—Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) of Air Quality 567-33.1 Purpose 3/15/16 9/9/16, [Insert Federal Register citation] None. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    PART 70—STATE OPERATING PERMIT PROGRAMS 3. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

    4. Appendix A to part 70 is amended by adding paragraph (q) under the heading “Iowa” to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 70—Approval Status of State and Local Operating Permits Programs Iowa

    (q) The Iowa Department of Natural Resources submitted for program approval a revision to rules 567-22.100, 567-22.101, 567-22.103, 567-22.105, 567-22.106, 567-22.108, and added 567-30.4(2) on March 31, 2016. The State effective date is March 15, 2016. This revision to the Iowa program is approved effective November 8, 2016.

    [FR Doc. 2016-21469 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R05-OAR-2011-0698; FRL-9951-95-Region 5] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Indiana; Redesignation of the Indiana Portion of the Louisville Area to Attainment of the 1997 Annual Standard for Fine Particulate Matter AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is granting Indiana's request to redesignate, under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the state of Indiana portion of the Louisville (KY-IN) (Madison Township in Jefferson County and Clark and Floyd Counties) nonattainment area to attainment of the 1997 annual standard for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). EPA determined that the Louisville area has attained the 1997 annual standard, and proposed on July 11, 2013, with a supplemental proposal on June 23, 2016, to approve Indiana's request to redesignate the area. EPA is taking final action today on the proposal and supplemental proposal. EPA is also taking final action in this rulemaking on several related proposals.

    Along with granting the change in the area's designation status, EPA is also approving Indiana's PM2.5 maintenance plan for the Louisville area as a revision to the Indiana state implementation plan (SIP) as meeting the requirements of section 175A of the CAA. EPA is approving the 2008 emissions inventory for primary PM2.5, nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and ammonia as satisfying the requirement of the CAA for a comprehensive, current emission inventory. Finally, EPA finds adequate and is approving 2015 and 2025 primary PM2.5 and NOX motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) for the Louisville area. These MVEBs will be used in future transportation conformity analyses for the area. These actions were proposed for approval in EPA's initial action on July 11, 2013. EPA received no comments in response to the above proposals.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on September 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2011-0698. All documents in these dockets are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either through www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Carolyn Persoon at (312) 353-8290 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carolyn Persoon, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5,77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-8290, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. What is the background for the actions? II. What actions is EPA taking? III. What is EPA's response to comments? IV. Why is EPA taking these actions? V. Final Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background for the actions?

    On June 16, 2011, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) submitted its request to redesignate the Indiana portion of the Louisville nonattainment area to attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, and for EPA approval of the state's SIP revision containing a maintenance plan for the area. On July 11, 2013, (78 FR 41735), EPA proposed to grant Indiana's redesignation request and its plan for maintaining the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA also proposed approval of Indiana's MVEBs for PM2.5 and NOX for 2025 for the area. EPA also proposed the 2008 emissions inventory for primary PM2.5, NOX, SO2, VOC and ammonia as satisfying the requirement in section 172(c)(3) of the CAA for a comprehensive, current emission inventory. Additional background for this action is set forth in EPA's July 11, 2013 (78 FR 41735), proposed rulemaking. EPA published a supplement to its July 11, 2013, proposed rulemaking on June 23, 2016 (81 FR 40834). The supplement was based on valid design values for the 2013-2015 period, demonstrating attainment of the standard for the entire Louisville area using the most recent three years of data. Previous data from 2012 and beginning of 2013 had been invalidated through a technical systems audit, which is described in the supplemental proposal.

    II. What actions is EPA taking?

    EPA has determined that the entire Louisville area is attaining the 1997 annual PM2.5 standards (81 FR 40834) and that the Indiana portion of the Louisville area has met the requirements for redesignation under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA. Thus, EPA is granting the request from the state of Indiana to change the legal designation of the Indiana portion of the Louisville area from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA is also taking several additional actions related to Indiana's PM2.5 redesignation request, as discussed below.

    EPA is approving the 2008 emissions inventory for primary PM2.5, NOX, SO2, VOC and ammonia as satisfying the requirement in section 172(c)(3) of the CAA for a comprehensive, current emission inventory.

    EPA is approving Indiana's PM2.5 maintenance plan for the Indiana portion of the Louisville area as a revision to the Indiana SIP (such approval being one of the CAA criteria for redesignation to attainment status). The maintenance plan is designed to keep the Louisville area in attainment of the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS through 2026.

    EPA also finds adequate and is approving Indiana's 2025 primary PM2.5 and NOX MVEBs for the Louisville area. These MVEBs will be used in future transportation conformity analyses for the area.

    III. What is EPA's response to comments?

    EPA received no comments on either its proposed or supplemental rulemaking.

    IV. Why is EPA taking these actions?

    EPA has determined that the Louisville area has attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA has also determined that all other criteria have been met for the redesignation of the Indiana portion of the Louisville area from nonattainment to attainment of the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and for approval of Indiana's maintenance plan for the area. See CAA sections 107(d)(3)(E) and 175A. EPA is also approving the 2008 emissions inventory for primary PM2.5, NOX, SO2, VOC and ammonia as satisfying the requirement in section 172(c)(3) of the CAA for a comprehensive, current emission inventory. The detailed rationale for EPA's findings and actions is set forth in the proposed rule on July 11, 2013, and a supplemental proposal on June 23, 2016.

    V. Final Action

    EPA is determining that the Indiana portion of the Louisville area has attained the standards and that the area meets the requirements for redesignation to attainment of that standard under sections 107(d)(3)(E) and 175A of the CAA. Thus, EPA is granting the request from Indiana to change the legal designation of the Indiana portion of the Louisville area from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA is also approving Indiana's 1997 annual PM2.5 maintenance plan for the Indiana portion of the Louisville area as a revision to the SIP because the plan meets the requirements of section 175A of the CAA. EPA is approving the 2008 emissions inventory for primary PM2.5, NOX, SO2, VOC and ammonia as satisfying the requirement in section 172(c)(3) of the CAA for a comprehensive, current emission inventory. Finally, EPA finds adequate and is approving Indiana's 2025 primary PM2.5 and NOX MVEBs for the Indiana portion of the Louisville area. These MVEBs will be used in future transportation conformity analyses for the area after the effective date for the adequacy finding and approval.

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(d), EPA finds there is good cause for this action to become effective immediately upon publication. This is because a delayed effective date is unnecessary due to the nature of a redesignation to attainment, which relieves the area from certain CAA requirements that would otherwise apply to it. The immediate effective date for this action is authorized under both 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1), which provides that rulemaking actions may become effective less than 30 days after publication if the rule grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction, and section 553(d)(3), which allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule. The purpose of the 30-day waiting period prescribed in section 553(d) is to give affected parties a reasonable time to adjust their behavior and prepare before the final rule takes effect. This rule, however, does not create any new regulatory requirements such that affected parties would need time to prepare before the rule takes effect. Rather, this rule relieves Indiana of various requirements for the Indiana portion of the Louisville area. For these reasons, EPA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) for this action to become effective on the date of publication of this action.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment and the accompanying approval of the maintenance plan under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) are actions that affect the status of geographical area and do not impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those required by state law. A redesignation to attainment does not in and of itself impose any new requirements, but rather results in the application of requirements contained in the CAA for areas that have been redesignated to attainment. Moreover, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For these reasons, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 8, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Robert A. Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR parts 52 and 81 are amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. In § 52.770, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding an entry for “Louisville 1997 Annual PM2.5 Maintenance Plan” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 52.770 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Indiana Nonregulatory and Quasi-Regulatory Provisions Title Indiana date EPA approval Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Louisville 1997 Annual PM2.5 Maintenance Plan 6/16/2011 9/9/2016, [insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    3. Section 52.776 is amended by adding paragraphs (v)(6) and (w)(5) to read as follows:
    § 52.776 Control strategy: Particulate matter.

    (v) * * *

    (6) Approval—The 1997 annual PM2.5 maintenance plan for the Indiana portion of the Louisville (KY-IN) (Madison Township, Jefferson County and Clark and Floyd Counties), has been approved as submitted on June 16, 2011. The maintenance plan establishes 2025 motor vehicle emissions budgets for the Louisville area to be 324.04 tpy for primary PM2.5 and 9,311.76 tpy for NOX.

    (w) * * *

    (5) Indiana's 2008 NOX, directly emitted PM2.5, SO2, VOC, and ammonia emissions inventory satisfies the emission inventory requirements of section 172(c)(3) for the Louisville area.

    PART 81—DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 4. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

    5. Section 81.315 is amended by revising the entry for “Louisville, KY-IN” in the table entitled “Indiana—1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS [Primary and secondary]” to read as follows:
    § 81.315 Indiana. Indiana—1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS [Primary and secondary] Designated area Designation a Date 1 Type Classification Date 2 Type *         *         *         *         *         *         * Louisville, KY-IN 9/9/2016 Attainment Moderate. Clark County Floyd County Jefferson County (part) Madison Township *         *         *         *         *         *         * a Includes Indian Country located in each county or area, except as otherwise specified. 1 This date is 90 days after January 5, 2005, unless otherwise noted. 2 This date is July 2, 2014, unless otherwise noted.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21457 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 55 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568; FRL-9950-98-Region 3] Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for Maryland AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve an update to a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Air Regulations for Maryland. Requirements applying to OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries must be updated periodically to remain consistent with the requirements of the corresponding onshore area (COA), as mandated by the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act). The portion of the OCS air regulations that is being updated pertains to the requirements for OCS sources for which Maryland is the designated COA. The intended effect of approving the OCS requirements for the Maryland Department of the Environment is to regulate emissions from OCS sources in accordance with the requirements for onshore sources.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on November 8, 2016 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by October 11, 2016. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On September 4, 1992, EPA promulgated 40 CFR part 55 which established requirements to control air pollution from OCS sources in order to attain and maintain federal and state ambient air quality standards and to comply with the provisions of part C of title I of the CAA. Forty CFR part 55 applies to all OCS sources offshore of the states except those locations in the Gulf of Mexico west of 87.5 degrees longitude. Section 328 of the CAA requires that for such source locations within 25 miles of a state's seaward boundary, the requirements shall be the same as would be applicable if the source were located in the COA. Because the OCS requirements are based on onshore requirements, and onshore requirements may change, section 328(a)(1) requires that EPA update the OCS requirements as necessary to maintain consistency with onshore requirements.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 55.12 of the OCS rule, consistency reviews will occur: (1) At least annually; (2) upon receipt of a Notice of Intent under 40 CFR 55.4; or, (3) when a state or local agency submits a rule to EPA to be considered for incorporation by reference in 40 CFR part 55. This action is being taken in response to requirements submitted by Maryland on May 6, 2016. Section 328(a) of the Act requires that EPA establish requirements to control air pollution from OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries that are the same as the corresponding onshore requirements. To comply with this statutory mandate, EPA must incorporate applicable onshore rules into 40 CFR part 55 as they exist for onshore sources. This limits EPA's flexibility in deciding which requirements will be incorporated into 40 CFR part 55 and prevents EPA from making substantive changes to the requirements it incorporates. As a result, EPA may be incorporating rules into 40 CFR part 55 that do not conform to all of EPA's state implementation plan (SIP) guidance or certain requirements of the Act. Consistency updates may result in the inclusion of state or local rules or regulations into 40 CFR part 55, even though the same rules may ultimately be disapproved for inclusion as part of the SIP. Inclusion in the OCS rule does not imply that a rule meets the requirements of the Act for SIP approval, nor does it imply that the rule will be approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP.

    II. EPA's Evaluation

    EPA reviewed Maryland's rules for inclusion in 40 CFR part 55 to ensure that they are rationally related to the attainment or maintenance of federal or state ambient air quality standards or part C of title I of the CAA; that they are not designed expressly to prevent exploration and development of the OCS; and, that they are applicable to OCS sources. EPA has also evaluated the rules to ensure they are not arbitrary or capricious. In addition, EPA has excluded administrative or procedural rules 1 and requirements that regulate toxics which are not related to the attainment and maintenance of federal and state ambient air quality standards. EPA finds that Maryland's rules meet these requirements.

    1 Each COA that has been delegated the authority to implement and enforce 40 CFR part 55 will use its administrative and procedural rules as if onshore. However, in those instances where EPA has not delegated authority to implement and enforce 40 CFR part 55, EPA will use its own administrative and procedural requirements to implement the substantive requirements.

    III. Final Action

    EPA is taking direct final action to incorporate the applicable provisions of the Code of Maryland Regulations into 40 CFR part 55 as required under section 328(a)(1) of the CAA. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the update to Maryland's OCS regulations if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on November 8, 2016 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by October 11, 2016. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of Maryland Regulations described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 55 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to establish requirements to control air pollution from OCS sources located within 25 miles of states' seaward boundaries that are the same as the corresponding onshore air quality control requirements. To comply with this statutory mandate, EPA must incorporate applicable onshore rules into 40 CFR part 55. 42 U.S.C. 7627(a)(1); 40 CFR 55.12. Thus, in promulgating OCS consistency updates, EPA's role is to maintain consistency between OCS regulations and the corresponding regulations for onshore areas, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action simply updates the existing OCS requirements to make them consistent with the requirements for onshore areas, without the exercise of any policy discretion by EPA. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the OCS requirements are not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 8, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking action.

    This action pertaining to OCS sources in Maryland may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 55

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

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, 40 CFR part 55 is amended as follows:

    PART 55—OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF AIR REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 55 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Section 328 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.) as amended by Public Law 101-549.

    2. Section 55.14 is amended by revising paragraph (e)(10)(i)(A) to read as follows:
    § 55.14 Requirements that apply to OCS sources located within 25 miles of States' seaward boundaries, by State.

    (e) * * *

    (10) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) State of Maryland Requirements Applicable to OCS Sources, May 6, 2016.

    3. In appendix A to part 55, the entry for Maryland is revised to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 55—Listing of State and Local Requirements Incorporated by Reference Into Part 55, by State

    Maryland:

    (a) State Requirements.

    (1) The following State of Maryland requirements are applicable to OCS Sources, May 6, 2016, State of Maryland—Department of the Environment. The following sections of Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 26 Subtitle 11:

    COMAR 26.11.01—General Administrative Provisions (Effective as of February 15, 2016) COMAR 26.11.02—Permits, Approvals, and Registrations (Effective as of December 10, 2015) COMAR 26.11.03—Permits, Approvals, and Registration—Title V Permits (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.05—Air Pollution Episode System (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.06—General Emission Standards, Prohibitions, and Restrictions (Effective as of July 08, 2013) COMAR 26.11.07—Open Fires (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.08—Control of Incinerators (Effective as of February 15, 2016) COMAR 26.11.09—Control of Fuel-Burning Equipment, Stationary Internal Combustion Engines and Certain Fuel-Burning Installations (Effective as of July 20, 2015) COMAR 26.11.13—Control of Gasoline and Volatile Organic Compound Storage and Handling (Effective as of July 21, 2014) COMAR 26.11.15—Toxic Air Pollutants (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.16—Procedures Related to Requirements for Toxic Air Pollutants (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.17—Nonattainment Provisions for Major New Sources and Major Modifications (Effective as of July 08, 2013) COMAR 26.11.19—Volatile Organic Compounds from Specific Processes (Effective as of September 28, 2015, 2012) COMAR 26.11.20—Mobile Sources (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.26—Conformity (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.33—Architectural Coatings (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.35—Volatile Organic Compounds from Adhesives and Sealants (Effective as of November 12, 2010) COMAR 26.11.36—Distributed Generation (Effective as of June 13, 2011) COMAR 26.11.39—Architectural and Industrial Maintenance (AIM) Coatings (Effective as of April 2016)
    [FR Doc. 2016-21460 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 127 [FRL-9951-76-OECA] NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule Implementation Guidance AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of guidance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently promulgated the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule (“final rule”) to modernize Clean Water Act reporting for municipalities, industries, and other facilities by converting to an electronic data reporting system. This final rule requires regulated entities and state and Federal regulators to use existing, available information technology to electronically report data required by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program instead of filing written paper reports.

    This action will save time and resources for permittees, states, tribes, territories, and the U.S. Government while increasing data accuracy, improving compliance, and supporting EPA's goal of providing better protection of the nation's waters. This regulation will help provide greater clarity on who is and who is not in compliance and enhances transparency by providing a timelier, complete, more accurate, and nationally-consistent set of data about the NPDES program.

    The final rule requires EPA to publish in the Federal Register a listing of the initial recipients for electronic NPDES information from NPDES-regulated facilities by state, tribe, and territory and by NPDES data group. This listing must identify for NPDES-regulated facilities the initial recipient of their NPDES electronic data submissions and the due date for these NPDES electronic data submissions. This Federal Register document provides an overview of the “initial recipient” term as well as the listing of the initial recipients by state, tribe, and territory and by NPDES data group and the due date for NPDES electronic data submissions. In accordance with the final rule, EPA will update this listing on its Web site and in the Federal Register if there are any changes.

    DATES:

    September 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information, please contact Mr. Carey A. Johnston (202-566-1014), Office of Compliance (mail code 2222A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Overview of the Initial Recipient Designation Process

    Under the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule (“final rule”), NPDES-regulated entities are required to submit NPDES program data to the designated initial recipient, as defined in 40 CFR 127.2(b) (see 22 October 2015; 80 FR 64064). For the final rule, the term “initial recipient” means the governmental entity, either the authorized state, territory, or tribe, or EPA, who first receives the NPDES program data listed in Appendix A to 40 CFR 127. The initial recipient designation is made separately for each state and by each NPDES data group, which is defined in 40 CFR 127.2(c). EPA is using the initial recipient term to help NPDES-regulated entities properly identify the recipient for their electronic NPDES program data submissions. The initial recipient provision will also help ensure that authorized NPDES programs and EPA are properly sharing these NPDES program data with each other. EPA is required by the rule to maintain the initial recipient list for each state and by each NPDES data group and publish this list on its Web site and in the Federal Register [see 40 CFR 127.27(c)]. Identification of the initial recipient for each NPDES data group is also included as a new NPDES permit standard condition, which authorized NPDES programs must include in NPDES permits [see 40 CFR part 122.41(l)(9)].

    As necessary, the initial recipient designation can switch back and forth between the authorized state, tribe, or territory NPDES programs and EPA. EPA's goal is to help all authorized NPDES programs be the initial recipient for any data group (e.g., DMRs) for which they would like to first receive the data. Below is the process for identifying the initial recipient.

    • As of the effective date of the final rule (21 December 2015), the initial recipient determination is an `opt-out' process for authorized state, tribe, or territory NPDES programs. Per section 127.27(a), an authorized NPDES program must notify EPA within 120 days of the effective date of the final rule (19 April 2016) if it wishes EPA to be the initial recipient for a particular NPDES data group. EPA received six such notices from authorized NPDES programs. For all other authorized NPDES programs, EPA is designating the authorized state, tribe, or territorial NPDES program as the initial recipient for all NPDES data groups.

    • An authorized NPDES program can initially elect for EPA to be the initial recipient and then, at a later date, seek EPA approval to change the initial recipient status for one or all of the NPDES data groups from EPA to the authorized state, tribe, or territory. To make this switch, the authorized state, tribe, or territory must send a request to EPA. This request shall identify the specific NPDES data groups for which the state, tribe, or territory would like to be the initial recipient of electronic NPDES information, include a description of how its data system will be compliant with 40 CFR part 3 (including, in all cases, subpart D) and 40 CFR part 127, and the date or dates when the state, tribe, or territory will be ready to start receiving this information. Section 127.27 outlines the process for requesting the designation of initial recipient. After EPA approval of the request, EPA will update the initial recipient list and will publish the revised initial recipient listing on its Web site and in the Federal Register.

    • An authorized NPDES program can initially elect to be the initial recipient for one or all of the NPDES data groups and then at a later date request that EPA become the initial recipient for one or all of the NPDES data groups. To make this switch the authorized state, tribe, or territory will send a request to EPA. After coordination with the state, EPA will update the initial recipient list and will publish the revised initial recipient listing on its Web site and in the Federal Register [see 127.27(c)].

    • There is also a process in Section 127.27(d) for ensuring that authorized NPDES programs share the minimum set of NPDES program data with EPA (see Appendix A to 40 CFR part 127). This process will switch the initial recipient status from the authorized state, tribe, or territory to EPA if the authorized NPDES program is not sharing the minimum set of NPDES program data with EPA. Section 127.27(d)(4) states that, “EPA will work with the Director of the authorized NPDES program to remediate all issues identified by EPA that prevent the authorized NPDES program from being the initial recipient.” When the issues identified by EPA are satisfactorily resolved, EPA must update the initial recipient listing and publish the revised initial recipient listing on its Web site and in the Federal Register.

    It should be noted that authorized NPDES programs will continue to retain their responsibilities to facilitate electronic reporting even when an authorized NPDES program elects for EPA be the initial recipient for one or more NPDES data groups. Regardless of the initial recipient status, EPA does not take over any permitting, compliance monitoring, or enforcement activities from the authorized NPDES program. In particular, the authorized NPDES program will:

    • Maintain the primary roles and responsibility for implementing and enforcing the NPDES program;

    • Retain the responsibility for outreach and training NPDES-regulated entities on how to register and use the appropriate electronic reporting tools;

    • Retain data steward responsibilities (including review and processing error correction requests); and

    • Retain the responsibility for review and processing electronic reporting waiver requests.

    EPA will continue to assist authorized NPDES programs with their training and outreach needs as well as provide other support so that authorized NPDES programs can fully understand and use EPA's electronic reporting systems and thereby provide effective support to NPDES-regulated entities.

    The interaction between the CROMERR requirements and the initial recipient requirements in the final rule should be noted.1 For example, if the initial recipient status for a particular state for a particular data group switches from the state to EPA, then the NPDES-regulated entities in that data group in that state would need to ensure they register with the appropriate CROMERR-compliant system. In this example, NPDES-regulated entities will switch from using the state electronic reporting systems to EPA's electronic reporting systems (e.g., NetDMR, NeT). This means that these regulated entities will need to register and obtain the necessary signing credentials for EPA's electronic reporting systems. Similarly, if the initial recipient status for a particular state, territory, or tribe for a particular data group switches from EPA to the state, then those NPDES-regulated entities in that data group in that state, territory, or tribe would switch from using an EPA electronic reporting system to a state electronic reporting system. Under this scenario, regulated entities will need to register and obtain the necessary signing credentials for the authorized NPDES program's electronic reporting systems. However, if a state, territory, or tribe is already using EPA's electronic reporting systems, the regulated entities would not need to register again as the NPDES-regulated entity will be using the same electronic reporting tool (i.e., no change in the subscriber agreement that accompanies the electronic reporting tool).

    1 EPA seeks to ensure that electronic reporting has at least the same level of legal defensibility and dependability as information that EPA would obtain through hard-copy paper submission. The Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Regulation (CROMERR), promulgated October 13, 2005, provides the legal framework for electronic reporting requirements established under all EPA environmental regulations (40 CFR part 3). See the proposed rule for more background detail on CROMERR (30 July 2013; 78 FR 46035).

    II. Listing of the Initial Recipients for NPDES Electronic Reporting

    The final rule requires EPA to publish in the Federal Register a listing of the initial recipients for electronic NPDES information from NPDES-regulated facilities by state, tribe, and territory and by NPDES data group [see 40 CFR 127.27(c)]. This listing must identify for NPDES-regulated facilities the initial recipient of their NPDES electronic data submissions and the due date for these NPDES electronic data submissions. The final rule requires authorized NPDES programs to send EPA an opt-out notice by 19 April 2016. The following is a list of the six states that sent an opt-out notice to EPA. These notices are posted on EPA's Web site that provides implementation information.

    State State elected for EPA to be initial
  • recipient for general permit reports
  • (NPDES Data Group No. 2)
  • State elected for
  • EPA to be initial
  • recipient for DMRs
  • (NPDES Data Group No. 3)
  • State elected for EPA to be initial
  • recipient for program reports
  • (NPDES Data Group Nos. 4 through 10)
  • Georgia Yes (All) Yes Yes (All). Nebraska Yes (All) Yes Yes (All). New Jersey No No Yes (only for CAFO Annual Program Report). North Carolina Yes (only for Low Erosivity Waivers and No Exposure Certifications) No No. Oregon Yes (All) Yes Yes (All). Rhode Island Yes (All) Yes Yes (All). Note: Although not required as the initial recipient process is an `opt-out' process, Tennessee sent notice to EPA that they intend to be the Initial Recipient for all NPDES data groups.

    State that have elected for EPA to be the Initial Recipient for all of the NPDES data groups will be using EPA's electronic reporting tools (e.g., NetDMR, NeT) and NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES). It should be noted that Georgia and Rhode Island elected to use EPA's NetDMR and NPDES data system (ICIS-NPDES) prior to the effective date of the final rule. Consequently, NPDES-regulated entities in these two states that are already using NetDMR will not need to take any additional actions in response to Georgia and Rhode Island designating EPA as the Initial Recipient for DMRs (NPDES Data Group No. 3). In accordance with the final rule (see 40 CFR 127.16), NPDES-regulated entities in Nebraska and Oregon will need to register and start using NetDMR prior to the Phase 1 electronic reporting deadline (21 December 2016). New Jersey has elected for EPA to be the Initial Recipient for the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Annual Program Report [see 40 CFR 122.42(e)(4)]. In accordance with the final rule, CAFOs in New Jersey will need to register and start using NeT to submit their CAFO Annual Program Report prior to the Phase 2 electronic reporting deadline (21 December 2020). Finally, North Carolina has elected for EPA to be the Initial Recipient for Low Erosivity Waivers (LEWs) [see Exhibit 1 to 40 CFR 122.26(b)(15)] and No Exposure Certifications (NOEs) [see 122.26(g)]. In accordance with the final rule, facilities in North Carolina will need to register and start using NeT to submit their LEWs and NOEs prior to the Phase 2 electronic reporting deadline (21 December 2020).

    For all other authorized NPDES programs not in the above table, the authorized state, tribe, or territorial NPDES program is the initial recipient for the NPDES programs and NPDES permits that it administers. For example, Arkansas will be the initial recipient for all NPDES Data Groups except for the Sewage Sludge/Biosolids Annual Program Reports [40 CFR part 503], as Arkansas is not authorized for the Federal Biosolids NPDES program. Likewise, Colorado will be the initial recipient for all NPDES Data Groups except for:

    • Sewage Sludge/Biosolids Annual Program Reports [40 CFR part 503],

    • Pretreatment Program Reports [40 CFR 403.12(i)],

    • Significant Industrial User Compliance Reports in Municipalities Without Approved Pretreatment Programs [40 CFR 403.12(e) and (h)], and

    • All NPDES reporting for Federal facilities.

    Colorado is not authorized for the Federal Biosolids or Pretreatment NPDES programs and Colorado is not the NPDES permitting authority for Federal facilities in Colorado. It should be noted that EPA will be the initial recipient for all NPDES-regulated entities where EPA is the permitting authority or authorized NPDES program. A full listing of NPDES program authorization for each state is available on EPA's Web site (https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-state-program-information).

    Dated: August 24, 2016. David Hindin, Director, Office of Compliance, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21204 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 300 [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0151, 0152, 0154, 0155, 0156, 0157 and 0158; EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0139, 0575 and 0576; FRL-9952-06-OLEM] National Priorities List AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA” or “the Act”), as amended, requires that the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”) include a list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the United States. The National Priorities List (“NPL”) constitutes this list. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the Environmental Protection Agency (“the EPA” or “the agency”) in determining which sites warrant further investigation. These further investigations will allow the EPA to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with the site and to determine what CERCLA-financed remedial action(s), if any, may be appropriate. This rule adds ten sites to the General Superfund section of the NPL.

    DATES:

    The document is effective on October 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Contact information for the EPA Headquarters:

    • Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., William Jefferson Clinton Building West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004, 202-566-0276.

    The contact information for the regional dockets is as follows:

    • Holly Inglis, Region 1 (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT), U.S. EPA, Superfund Records and Information Center, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912; 617/918-1413.

    • Ildefonso Acosta, Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI), U.S. EPA, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866; 212/637-4344.

    • Lorie Baker (ASRC), Region 3 (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV), U.S. EPA, Library, 1650 Arch Street, Mailcode 3HS12, Philadelphia, PA 19103; 215/814-3355.

    • Cathy Amoroso, Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN), U.S. EPA, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Mailcode 9T25, Atlanta, GA 30303; 404/562-8637.

    • Todd Quesada, Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), U.S. EPA Superfund Division Librarian/SFD Records Manager SRC-7J, Metcalfe Federal Building, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604; 312/886-4465.

    • Brenda Cook, Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX), U.S. EPA, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Mailcode 6SFTS, Dallas, TX 75202-2733; 214/665-7436.

    • Brian Mitchell, Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE), U.S. EPA, 11201 Renner Blvd., Mailcode SUPR/SPEB, Lenexa, KS 66219; 913/551-7633.

    • Victor Ketellapper, Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY), U.S. EPA, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Mailcode 8EPR-B, Denver, CO 80202-1129; 303/312-6578.

    • Sharon Murray, Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, AS, GU, MP), U.S. EPA, 75 Hawthorne Street, Mailcode SFD 6-1, San Francisco, CA 94105; 415/947-4250.

    • Ken Marcy, Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA), U.S. EPA, 1200 6th Avenue, Mailcode ECL-112, Seattle, WA 98101; 206/463-1349.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Terry Jeng, phone: (703) 603-8852, email: [email protected] Site Assessment and Remedy Decisions Branch, Assessment and Remediation Division, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (Mailcode 5204P), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; or the Superfund Hotline, phone (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810 in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background A. What are CERCLA and SARA? B. What is the NCP? C. What is the National Priorities List (NPL)? D. How are sites listed on the NPL? E. What happens to sites on the NPL? F. Does the NPL define the boundaries of sites? G. How are sites removed from the NPL? H. May the EPA delete portions of sites from the NPL as they are cleaned up? I. What is the Construction Completion List (CCL)? J. What is the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure? K. What is state/tribal correspondence concerning NPL Listing? II. Availability of Information to the Public A. May I review the documents relevant to this final rule? B. What documents are available for review at the EPA headquarters docket? C. What documents are available for review at the EPA regional dockets? D. How do I access the documents? E. How may I obtain a current list of NPL sites? III. Contents of This Final Rule A. Additions to the NPL B. What did the EPA do with the public comments it received? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations K. Congressional Review Act I. Background A. What are CERCLA and SARA?

    In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675 (“CERCLA” or “the Act”), in response to the dangers of uncontrolled releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, and releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial danger to the public health or welfare. CERCLA was amended on October 17, 1986, by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (“SARA”), Public Law 99-499, 100 Stat. 1613 et seq.

    B. What is the NCP?

    To implement CERCLA, the EPA promulgated the revised National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”), 40 CFR part 300, on July 16, 1982 (47 FR 31180), pursuant to CERCLA section 105 and Executive Order 12316 (46 FR 42237, August 20, 1981). The NCP sets guidelines and procedures for responding to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, or releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial danger to the public health or welfare. The EPA has revised the NCP on several occasions. The most recent comprehensive revision was on March 8, 1990 (55 FR 8666).

    As required under section 105(a)(8)(A) of CERCLA, the NCP also includes “criteria for determining priorities among releases or threatened releases throughout the United States for the purpose of taking remedial action and, to the extent practicable, taking into account the potential urgency of such action, for the purpose of taking removal action.” “Removal” actions are defined broadly and include a wide range of actions taken to study, clean up, prevent or otherwise address releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants (42 U.S.C. 9601(23)).

    C. What is the National Priorities List (NPL)?

    The NPL is a list of national priorities among the known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the United States. The list, which is appendix B of the NCP (40 CFR part 300), was required under section 105(a)(8)(B) of CERCLA, as amended. Section 105(a)(8)(B) defines the NPL as a list of “releases” and the highest priority “facilities” and requires that the NPL be revised at least annually. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The NPL is of only limited significance, however, as it does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken.

    For purposes of listing, the NPL includes two sections, one of sites that are generally evaluated and cleaned up by the EPA (the “General Superfund section”) and one of sites that are owned or operated by other federal agencies (the “Federal Facilities section”). With respect to sites in the Federal Facilities section, these sites are generally being addressed by other federal agencies. Under Executive Order 12580 (52 FR 2923, January 29, 1987) and CERCLA section 120, each federal agency is responsible for carrying out most response actions at facilities under its own jurisdiction, custody or control, although the EPA is responsible for preparing a Hazard Ranking System (“HRS”) score and determining whether the facility is placed on the NPL.

    D. How are sites listed on the NPL?

    There are three mechanisms for placing sites on the NPL for possible remedial action (see 40 CFR 300.425(c) of the NCP): (1) A site may be included on the NPL if it scores sufficiently high on the HRS, which the EPA promulgated as appendix A of the NCP (40 CFR part 300). The HRS serves as a screening tool to evaluate the relative potential of uncontrolled hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants to pose a threat to human health or the environment. On December 14, 1990 (55 FR 51532), the EPA promulgated revisions to the HRS partly in response to CERCLA section 105(c), added by SARA. The revised HRS evaluates four pathways: Ground water, surface water, soil exposure and air. As a matter of agency policy, those sites that score 28.50 or greater on the HRS are eligible for the NPL. (2) Each state may designate a single site as its top priority to be listed on the NPL, without any HRS score. This provision of CERCLA requires that, to the extent practicable, the NPL include one facility designated by each state as the greatest danger to public health, welfare or the environment among known facilities in the state. This mechanism for listing is set out in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(c)(2). (3) The third mechanism for listing, included in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(c)(3), allows certain sites to be listed without any HRS score, if all of the following conditions are met:

    • The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Public Health Service has issued a health advisory that recommends dissociation of individuals from the release.

    • The EPA determines that the release poses a significant threat to public health.

    • The EPA anticipates that it will be more cost-effective to use its remedial authority than to use its removal authority to respond to the release.

    The EPA promulgated an original NPL of 406 sites on September 8, 1983 (48 FR 40658) and generally has updated it at least annually.

    E. What happens to sites on the NPL?

    A site may undergo remedial action financed by the Trust Fund established under CERCLA (commonly referred to as the “Superfund”) only after it is placed on the NPL, as provided in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(b)(1). (“Remedial actions” are those “consistent with a permanent remedy, taken instead of or in addition to removal actions” (40 CFR 300.5)). However, under 40 CFR 300.425(b)(2), placing a site on the NPL “does not imply that monies will be expended.” The EPA may pursue other appropriate authorities to respond to the releases, including enforcement action under CERCLA and other laws.

    F. Does the NPL define the boundaries of sites?

    The NPL does not describe releases in precise geographical terms; it would be neither feasible nor consistent with the limited purpose of the NPL (to identify releases that are priorities for further evaluation), for it to do so. Indeed, the precise nature and extent of the site are typically not known at the time of listing.

    Although a CERCLA “facility” is broadly defined to include any area where a hazardous substance has “come to be located” (CERCLA section 101(9)), the listing process itself is not intended to define or reflect the boundaries of such facilities or releases. Of course, HRS data (if the HRS is used to list a site) upon which the NPL placement was based will, to some extent, describe the release(s) at issue. That is, the NPL site would include all releases evaluated as part of that HRS analysis.

    When a site is listed, the approach generally used to describe the relevant release(s) is to delineate a geographical area (usually the area within an installation or plant boundaries) and identify the site by reference to that area. However, the NPL site is not necessarily coextensive with the boundaries of the installation or plant, and the boundaries of the installation or plant are not necessarily the “boundaries” of the site. Rather, the site consists of all contaminated areas within the area used to identify the site, as well as any other location where that contamination has come to be located, or from where that contamination came.

    In other words, while geographic terms are often used to designate the site (e.g., the “Jones Co. Plant site”) in terms of the property owned by a particular party, the site, properly understood, is not limited to that property (e.g., it may extend beyond the property due to contaminant migration), and conversely may not occupy the full extent of the property (e.g., where there are uncontaminated parts of the identified property, they may not be, strictly speaking, part of the “site”). The “site” is thus neither equal to, nor confined by, the boundaries of any specific property that may give the site its name, and the name itself should not be read to imply that this site is coextensive with the entire area within the property boundary of the installation or plant. In addition, the site name is merely used to help identify the geographic location of the contamination, and is not meant to constitute any determination of liability at a site. For example, the name “Jones Co. plant site,” does not imply that the Jones Company is responsible for the contamination located on the plant site.

    EPA regulations provide that the remedial investigation (“RI”) “is a process undertaken . . . to determine the nature and extent of the problem presented by the release” as more information is developed on site contamination, and which is generally performed in an interactive fashion with the feasibility study (“FS”) (40 CFR 300.5). During the RI/FS process, the release may be found to be larger or smaller than was originally thought, as more is learned about the source(s) and the migration of the contamination. However, the HRS inquiry focuses on an evaluation of the threat posed and therefore the boundaries of the release need not be exactly defined. Moreover, it generally is impossible to discover the full extent of where the contamination “has come to be located” before all necessary studies and remedial work are completed at a site. Indeed, the known boundaries of the contamination can be expected to change over time. Thus, in most cases, it may be impossible to describe the boundaries of a release with absolute certainty.

    Further, as noted previously, NPL listing does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Thus, if a party does not believe it is liable for releases on discrete parcels of property, it can submit supporting information to the agency at any time after it receives notice it is a potentially responsible party.

    For these reasons, the NPL need not be amended as further research reveals more information about the location of the contamination or release.

    G. How are sites removed from the NPL?

    The EPA may delete sites from the NPL where no further response is appropriate under Superfund, as explained in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(e). This section also provides that the EPA shall consult with states on proposed deletions and shall consider whether any of the following criteria have been met:

    (i) Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all appropriate response actions required;

    (ii) All appropriate Superfund-financed response has been implemented and no further response action is required; or

    (iii) The remedial investigation has shown the release poses no significant threat to public health or the environment, and taking of remedial measures is not appropriate.

    H. May the EPA delete portions of sites from the NPL as they are cleaned up?

    In November 1995, the EPA initiated a policy to delete portions of NPL sites where cleanup is complete (60 FR 55465, November 1, 1995). Total site cleanup may take many years, while portions of the site may have been cleaned up and made available for productive use.

    I. What is the Construction Completion List (CCL)?

    The EPA also has developed an NPL construction completion list (“CCL”) to simplify its system of categorizing sites and to better communicate the successful completion of cleanup activities (58 FR 12142, March 2, 1993). Inclusion of a site on the CCL has no legal significance.

    Sites qualify for the CCL when: (1) Any necessary physical construction is complete, whether or not final cleanup levels or other requirements have been achieved; (2) the EPA has determined that the response action should be limited to measures that do not involve construction (e.g., institutional controls); or (3) the site qualifies for deletion from the NPL. For more information on the CCL, see the EPA's Internet site at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-remedial-performance-measures#cc_anchor.

    J. What is the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure?

    The Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure represents important Superfund accomplishments and the measure reflects the high priority the EPA places on considering anticipated future land use as part of the remedy selection process. See Guidance for Implementing the Sitewide Ready-for-Reuse Measure, May 24, 2006, OSWER 9365.0-36. This measure applies to final and deleted sites where construction is complete, all cleanup goals have been achieved, and all institutional or other controls are in place. The EPA has been successful on many occasions in carrying out remedial actions that ensure protectiveness of human health and the environment for current and future land uses, in a manner that allows contaminated properties to be restored to environmental and economic vitality. For further information, please go to https://www.epa.gov/superfund/about-superfund-cleanup-process#tab-9.

    K. What is state/tribal correspondence concerning NPL listing?

    In order to maintain close coordination with states and tribes in the NPL listing decision process, the EPA's policy is to determine the position of the states and tribes regarding sites that the EPA is considering for listing. This consultation process is outlined in two memoranda that can be found at the following Web site: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/statetribal-correspondence-concerning-npl-site-listing.

    The EPA has improved the transparency of the process by which state and tribal input is solicited. The EPA is using the Web and where appropriate more structured state and tribal correspondence that (1) explains the concerns at the site and the EPA's rationale for proceeding; (2) requests an explanation of how the state intends to address the site if placement on the NPL is not favored; and (3) emphasizes the transparent nature of the process by informing states that information on their responses will be publicly available.

    A model letter and correspondence between the EPA and states and tribes where applicable, is available on the EPA's Web site at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/statetribal-correspondence-concerning-npl-site-listing.htm.

    II. Availability of Information to the Public A. May I review the documents relevant to this final rule?

    Yes, documents relating to the evaluation and scoring of the sites in this final rule are contained in dockets located both at the EPA headquarters and in the EPA regional offices.

    An electronic version of the public docket is available through http://www.regulations.gov (see table below for docket identification numbers). Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the docket facilities identified in section II.D.

    Docket Identification Numbers by Site Site name City/county, State Docket ID No. Argonaut Mine Jackson, CA EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0151 Bonita Peak Mining District San Juan County, CO EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0152 West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination Indianapolis, IN EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0575 SBA Shipyard Jennings, LA EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0576 Anaconda Aluminum Co Columbia Falls Reduction Plant Columbia Falls, MT EPA-HQ-SFUND-2015-0139 Wappinger Creek Dutchess County, NY EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0155 Valley Pike VOCs Riverside, OH EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0154 Dorado Ground Water Contamination Dorado, PR EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0156 Eldorado Chemical Co., Inc. Live Oak, TX EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0157 North 25th Street Glass and Zinc Clarksburg, WV EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0158 B. What documents are available for review at the EPA headquarters docket?

    The headquarters docket for this rule contains the HRS score sheets, the documentation record describing the information used to compute the score and a list of documents referenced in the documentation record for each site.

    C. What documents are available for review at the EPA regional dockets?

    The EPA regional dockets contain all the information in the headquarters docket, plus the actual reference documents containing the data principally relied upon by the EPA in calculating or evaluating the HRS score. These reference documents are available only in the regional dockets.

    D. How do I access the documents?

    You may view the documents, by appointment only, after the publication of this rule. The hours of operation for the headquarters docket are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. Please contact the regional dockets for hours. For addresses for the headquarters and regional dockets, see “Addresses” section in the beginning portion of this preamble.

    E. How may I obtain a current list of NPL sites?

    You may obtain a current list of NPL sites via the Internet at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/national-priorities-list-npl-sites-site-name or by contacting the Superfund docket (see contact information in the beginning portion of this document).

    III. Contents of This Final Rule A. Additions to the NPL

    This final rule adds the following ten sites to the General Superfund section of the NPL. These sites are being added to the NPL based on HRS score.

    General Superfund section:

    State Site name City/county CA Argonaut Mine Jackson. CO Bonita Peak Mining District San Juan County. IN West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination Indianapolis. LA SBA Shipyard Jennings. MT Anaconda Aluminum Co Columbia Falls Reduction Plant Columbia Falls. NY Wappinger Creek Dutchess County. OH Valley Pike VOCs Riverside. PR Dorado Ground Water Contamination Dorado. TX Eldorado Chemical Co., Inc Live Oak. WV North 25th Street Glass and Zinc Clarksburg. B. What did the EPA do with the public comments it received?

    The EPA reviewed all comments received on the sites in this rule and responded to all relevant comments. The EPA is adding ten sites to the NPL in this final rule, all to the General Superfund section. Comments on the Bonita Peak Mining District (San Juan County, CO), West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination (Indianapolis, IN), SBA Shipyard (Jennings, LA) and Anaconda Aluminum Co Columbia Falls Reduction Plant (Columbia Falls, MT) sites are addressed in a response to comment support document available in the public docket concurrently with this rule.

    The remaining six sites being added to the NPL in this rule did not receive any comments urging specific changes to the HRS score. The Valley Pike VOCs (Riverside, OH) site received no comments. The Dorado Ground Water Contamination (Dorado, PR) and Eldorado Chemical Co., Inc. (Live Oak, TX) sites both received only erroneous comments that were meant for other sites but were directed to incorrect docket numbers.

    The Argonaut Mine (Jackson, CA) site received two comments urging EPA to list, one from a citizen and one from the Mayor of the City of Jackson. In response, EPA is placing the Argonaut Mine site on the NPL.

    The Wappinger Creek (Dutchess County, NY) site received three comments, all urging EPA to list the site, one from a citizen, one anonymous and one from Senator Gillibrand. In response, EPA is placing the Wappinger Creek site on the NPL.

    The North 25th Street Glass and Zinc (Clarksburg, WV) site received nine comments. Three of those comments were erroneous comments directed toward the incorrect docket. Three of the comments urged EPA to list the site and two urged EPA to clean up the site. One comment raised objections to tax payer money being wasted on hazardous waste lawsuits. In response, nothing raised in this comment impacted the HRS score or the decision to list the site on the NPL. Therefore, EPA is adding the North 25th Street Glass and Zinc site to the NPL.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. This rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require approval of the OMB.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This rule listing sites on the NPL does not impose any obligations on any group, including small entities. This rule also does not establish standards or requirements that any small entity must meet, and imposes no direct costs on any small entity. Whether an entity, small or otherwise, is liable for response costs for a release of hazardous substances depends on whether that entity is liable under CERCLA 107(a). Any such liability exists regardless of whether the site is listed on the NPL through this rulemaking.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. Listing a site on the NPL does not itself impose any costs. Listing does not mean that the EPA necessarily will undertake remedial action. Nor does listing require any action by a private party, state, local or tribal governments or determine liability for response costs. Costs that arise out of site responses result from future site-specific decisions regarding what actions to take, not directly from the act of placing a site on the NPL.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. Listing a site on the NPL does not impose any costs on a tribe or require a tribe to take remedial action. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because this action itself is procedural in nature (adds sites to a list) and does not, in and of itself, provide protection from environmental health and safety risks. Separate future regulatory actions are required for mitigation of environmental health and safety risks.

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. As discussed in Section I.C. of the preamble to this action, the NPL is a list of national priorities. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The NPL is of only limited significance as it does not assign liability to any party. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken.

    K. Congressional Review Act

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Provisions of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) or section 305 of CERCLA may alter the effective date of this regulation. Under 5 U.S.C. 801(b)(1), a rule shall not take effect, or continue in effect, if Congress enacts (and the President signs) a joint resolution of disapproval, described under section 802. Another statutory provision that may affect this rule is CERCLA section 305, which provides for a legislative veto of regulations promulgated under CERCLA. Although INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919,103 S. Ct. 2764 (1983), and Bd. of Regents of the University of Washington v. EPA, 86 F.3d 1214,1222 (D.C. Cir. 1996), cast the validity of the legislative veto into question, the EPA has transmitted a copy of this regulation to the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

    If action by Congress under either the CRA or CERCLA section 305 calls the effective date of this regulation into question, the EPA will publish a document of clarification in the Federal Register.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Hazardous waste, Intergovernmental relations, Natural resources, Oil pollution, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: September 1, 2016. Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, Office of Land and Emergency Management.

    40 CFR part 300 is amended as follows:

    PART 300—NATIONAL OIL AND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES POLLUTION CONTINGENCY PLAN 1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1321(d); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 13626, 77 FR 56749, 3CFR, 2013 Comp., p. 306; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p.351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p.193.

    2. Table 1 of appendix B to part 300 is amended by adding entries for “Argonaut Mine”, “Bonita Peak Mining District”, “West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination”, “SBA Shipyard”, “Anaconda Aluminum Co Columbia Falls Reduction Plant”, “Wappinger Creek”, “Valley Pike VOCs”, “Dorado Ground Water Contamination”, “Eldorado Chemical Co., Inc.”, and “North 25th Street Glass and Zinc” in alphabetical order by state to read as follows: Appendix B to Part 300—National Priorities List Table 1—General superfund section State Site name City/county Notes a *         *         *         *         *         *         * CA Argonaut Mine Jackson *         *         *         *         *         *         * CO Bonita Peak Mining District San Juan County *         *         *         *         *         *         * IN West Vermont Drinking Water Contamination Indianapolis *         *         *         *         *         *         * LA SBA Shipyard Jennings MT Anaconda Aluminum Co Columbia Falls Reduction Plant Columbia Falls NY Wappinger Creek Dutchess County *         *         *         *         *         *         * OH Valley Pike VOCs Riverside *         *         *         *         *         *         * PR Dorado Ground Water Contamination Dorado *         *         *         *         *         *         * TX Eldorado Chemical Co., Inc. Live Oak WV North 25th Street Glass and Zinc Clarksburg a A = Based on issuance of health advisory by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (if scored, HRS score need not be greater than or equal to 28.50).
    [FR Doc. 2016-21615 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 8 [Docket No. 2016-0001] RIN-0930-AA22 Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders; Correction AGENCY:

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is correcting a final rule that appeared in the Federal Register on July 8, 2016. The final rule increased the maximum number of patients to whom an individual practitioner may dispense or prescribe certain medications, including buprenorphine, from 100 to 275. Practitioners are eligible for the increased patient limit if they have prescribed covered medications to up to 100 patients for at least one year pursuant to secretarial approval, provided that they meet certain criteria and adhere to several additional requirements aimed at ensuring that patients receive the full array of services that comprise evidence-based medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and minimize the risks that medications provided for treatment are misused or diverted. One pathway through which practitioners may become eligible to increase their patient limit is by obtaining additional credentialing from one of several credentialing bodies. In the final rule, the name of one of the credentialing bodies listed was incorrect. This action provides the correct name.

    DATES:

    Effective on September 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jinhee Lee, Division of Pharmacologic Therapies, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, SAMHSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, (240) 276-2700, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On July 8, 2016 (81 FR 44711), HHS published a final rule in the Federal Register, which increased the maximum number of patients to whom an individual practitioner may dispense or prescribe certain medications, including buprenorphine, from 100 to 275. One of the pathways through which practitioners can become eligible to increase their patient limit is by receiving additional credentialing.

    In the final rule, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM), which provides training but not certification, was mistakenly included in the definition for “additional credentialing.” HHS intended to include the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) in this definition, not AOAAM. This intention was evident in HHS's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), published on March 30, 2016, which proposed defining “board certification” so as to include “subspecialty board certification in addiction medicine from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) . . . .” AOAAM, on the other hand, was not referenced within the NPRM. Accordingly, HHS gave the public notice and an opportunity to comment on its proposal to include AOA board certification as one of the credentials that would make practitioners eligible to practice at the higher patient cap. No public comments were received that related to AOA's role in the proposed rule.

    HHS's intention to reference AOA (not AOAAM) was also reflected in the preamble of the final rule; AOA board certification was referenced in Section B of the Regulatory Impact Analysis, which stated that “[t]he training requirement may be satisfied in several ways: One may hold board certification in . . . addiction medicine from the American Osteopathic Association . . . .” HHS also explained in the preamble of the final rule that, “HHS removed the term `board certification' and added `additional credentialing' to clarify that all practitioners who currently qualify to treat up to 100 patients are eligible for the higher patient limit if they are included as specialists as described in 21 U.S.C. 823 (g)(2)(G)(ii)(I)-(III).” Notably, AOA board certification is specifically listed in 21 U.S.C. 823(g)(2)(G)(ii)(III), as amended by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA), Public Law 114-198. As a result, the listing of AOAAM instead of AOA was the result of a technical error that needs to be corrected immediately.

    If this error is not immediately corrected, practitioners who have received training from AOAAM, and who do not satisfy any of the other “additional credentialing” requirements under the final rule, may argue that they are eligible to increase their patient limit even though they do not possess the qualifications that HHS has deemed necessary to dispense or prescribe relevant medications safely and effectively at the higher patient cap. In addition, the error has resulted in SAMHSA receiving numerous questions seeking clarification regarding the credentials that osteopathic providers need to have in order to be eligible for the higher patient limit. Failure to correct this error could, therefore, significantly compromise the quality of care delivered to patients in need of MAT and could pose a substantial threat to public safety.

    The technical error at issue will therefore be fixed by removing the reference to the “American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine” in the final rule's definition of “additional credentialing,” and inserting a reference to the “American Osteopathic Association.” It should be noted that although reference was made to “subspecialty board certification” by AOA in the NPRM, the term “subspecialty” will not be included in the final rule's definition of “additional credentialing” because CARA amended the Controlled Substances Act by removing the term “subspecialty” from the description of AOA board certification under 21 U.S.C. 823(g)(2)(G)(ii)(III). CARA was enacted on July 22, 2016, after the final rule was published on July 8, 2016. As explained in the preamble of the final rule, HHS's reason for changing the definition of “board certification” in the NPRM to “additional credentialing” in the final rule was to ensure that the training credentials described in 21 U.S.C. 823(g)(2)(G)(ii)(I)-(III) (which include AOA board certification) were included as eligible pathways for practicing at the higher patient cap. Therefore, the technical fix made to the definition of “additional credentialing” in the final rule reflects HHS's continuing intention to include the type of training described in 21 U.S.C. 823(g)(2)(G)(ii)(I)-(III), as amended by CARA.

    List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 8

    Health professions, Methadone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, 42 CFR part 8 is corrected by making the following correcting amendment:

    PART 8—MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT FOR OPIOID USE DISORDERS 1. The authority citation for part 8 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 823; 42 U.S.C. 257a, 290bb-2a, 290aa(d), 290dd-2, 300x-23, 300x-27(a), 300y-11.

    2. In § 8.2, revise the definition of Additional Credentialing to read as follows:
    § 8.2 Definitions.

    Additional Credentialing means board certification in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry by the American Board of Addiction Medicine, the American Board of Medical Specialties, or the American Osteopathic Association or certification by the American Board of Addiction Medicine, or the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

    Dated: September 2, 2016. Wilma Robinson, Deputy Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21674 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2015-0034; FF09M21200-167-FXMB1231099BPP0] RIN 1018-BA70 Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands for the 2016-17 Season AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule prescribes special migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and ceded lands. This rule responds to tribal requests for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter Service or we) recognition of their authority to regulate hunting under established guidelines. This rule allows the establishment of season bag limits and, thus, harvest at levels compatible with populations and habitat conditions.

    DATES:

    This rule takes effect on September 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may inspect comments received on the special hunting regulations and Tribal proposals during normal business hours at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Headquarters, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803, or at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2015-0034.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ron W. Kokel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, MS: MB, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; (703) 358-1967.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of July 3, 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.), authorizes and directs the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, having due regard for the zones of temperature and for the distribution, abundance, economic value, breeding habits, and times and lines of flight of migratory game birds, to determine when, to what extent, and by what means such birds or any part, nest, or egg thereof may be taken, hunted, captured, killed, possessed, sold, purchased, shipped, carried, exported, or transported.

    In the May 27, 2016, Federal Register (81 FR 34226), we proposed special migratory bird hunting regulations for the 2016-17 hunting season for certain Indian tribes, under the guidelines described in the June 4, 1985, Federal Register (50 FR 23467). The guidelines respond to tribal requests for Service recognition of their reserved hunting rights, and for some tribes, recognition of their authority to regulate hunting by both tribal members and nonmembers on their reservations. The guidelines include possibilities for:

    (1) On-reservation hunting by both tribal members and nonmembers, with hunting by nontribal members on some reservations to take place within Federal frameworks but on dates different from those selected by the surrounding State(s);

    (2) On-reservation hunting by tribal members only, outside of usual Federal frameworks for season dates and length, and for daily bag and possession limits; and

    (3) Off-reservation hunting by tribal members on ceded lands, outside of usual framework dates and season length, with some added flexibility in daily bag and possession limits. In all cases, the regulations established under the guidelines must be consistent with the March 10-September 1 closed season mandated by the 1916 Migratory Bird Treaty with Canada.

    In the August 6, 2015, Federal Register (80 FR 47388), we requested that tribes desiring special hunting regulations in the 2016-17 hunting season submit a proposal including details on:

    (1) Harvest anticipated under the requested regulations;

    (2) Methods that would be employed to measure or monitor harvest (such as bag checks, mail questionnaires, etc.);

    (3) Steps that would be taken to limit level of harvest, where it could be shown that failure to limit such harvest would adversely impact the migratory bird resource; and

    (4) Tribal capabilities to establish and enforce migratory bird hunting regulations.

    No action is required if a tribe wishes to observe the hunting regulations established by the State(s) in which an Indian reservation is located. We have successfully used the guidelines since the 1985-86 hunting season. We finalized the guidelines beginning with the 1988-89 hunting season (August 18, 1988, Federal Register [53 FR 31612]).

    The final rule described here is the final in the series of proposed and final rulemaking documents for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands for the 2016-17 Season. It sets hunting seasons, hours, areas, and limits for migratory game bird species on reservations and ceded territories. This final rule is the culmination of the rulemaking process for the Tribal migratory game bird hunting seasons, which started with the August 6, 2015, proposed rule. As discussed elsewhere in this document, we proposed special migratory bird hunting regulations for the 2016-17 hunting season for certain Indian tribes, on May 27, 2016. This final rule sets the Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands for the 2016-17 Season.

    Status of Populations

    Information on the status of waterfowl and information on the status and harvest of migratory shore and upland game birds, including detailed information on methodologies and results, was discussed in the December 11, 2015, Federal Register (80 FR 77088) and is available at the address indicated under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html.

    Comments and Issues Concerning Tribal Proposals

    For the 2016-17 migratory bird hunting season, we proposed regulations for 23 Tribes or Indian groups that followed the 1985 guidelines and were considered appropriate for final rulemaking. We noted in the May 27 proposed rule that we were proposing seasons for seven Tribes who have submitted proposals in past years but from whom we had not yet received proposals this year. We did not receive proposals from five of those Tribes and, therefore, have not included them in this final rule. No other changes were made to this final rule.

    The comment period for the May 27 proposed rule closed on June 27, 2016. We received nine comments on our May 27 proposed rule, which announced proposed seasons for migratory bird hunting by American Indian Tribes. Similar comments were combined below.

    Written Comments: The Village of Hobart requested we explore Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource (WIDNR) guidelines for hunting and fishing, and consider the following: (1) Cease our Migratory Bird Program as an unnecessary and costly replication of State hunting and fishing guidelines; and/or (2) rescind section (p) of the proposed rule specific to the Oneida Nation where their tribal lands are significantly less than 10 percent of the municipal boundary. The Village also expressed concern that during the hunting season tribal members could potentially trespass on land in the Village or on/around the Austin Straubel Airport.

    Service Response: We have approved of Oneida Nation's proposed regulations, or regulations similar to those proposed, since 1991. To our knowledge, this is only the second time that the Village has opposed these special migratory bird hunting regulations. Also, to our knowledge, there have been no indications of conflicts (e.g., arrests for trespass, etc.) on these lands during Oneida Nation's hunting season since their inception in 1991. Similarly, we note that the Airport property is a fenced and secured facility so potential conflict is unlikely. Lastly, we disagree with the Village's assertions that the Oneida Reservation has been disestablished or diminished. Our position is consistent with the Department calling an election for the Oneida Nation under Section 18 of the Indian Reorganization Act (“IRA”) and the Department's subsequent approval of its constitution under the IRA in 1936. Most recently in May 2016, the Department's Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) reaffirmed its earlier ruling that the Oneida Nation was organized in accordance with the IRA. Dillenburg v. Midwest Regional Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs,63 IBIA 56, (2016); see also, Village of Hobart v. Acting Midwest Regional Director,57 IBIA 4, (2013). For these reasons, we have decided to finalize Oneida's regulations as proposed. We encourage both the Village and Oneida to meet with us before special tribal regulations for the 2017-18 season are proposed in early 2017 if they still have questions related to the status of Oneida reservation and treaty rights; and to address any perceived conflicts with Oneida's hunting activity.

    Written Comments: We received one comment from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) on the May 27 proposed rule. GLIFWC comments that we have maintained that confusion on the part of the public, law enforcement, and other reasons justify our denial of the tribes' proposal to use electronic calls to hunt migratory birds, and GLIFWC contends that the courts have ruled that tribal treaty rights can be limited only when and if they can be shown to be detrimental to the conservation of natural resources or represent a threat to human health and safety. GLIFWC believes that, contrary to case law, we continue to apply inappropriate constraints and an unfounded rationale in our consideration of the tribes' proposal. GLFWC gives specific examples of this from the commentary in the proposed rule, which included:

    • In the discussion regarding the proposed use of electronic calls, we state, “we do not believe that allowing the use of electronic calls . . . is in the best interest of the conservation of migratory birds.” This statement is made without providing any evidence of the negative impacts to migratory bird resource that might be caused by the highly limited application of this technique that the tribes proposed.

    • We also state that electronic calls “are not generally considered a legitimate component of hunting.” This is a cultural statement made through a lens that views the harvest of migratory birds as a sport activity. It has no place in the evaluation of tribal subsistence regulations (as “legitimacy” is an ethical consideration that is not consistent with biological impact), and this language continues to be offensive to the tribes.

    • We also state that we remain very concerned that the use of electronic calls would “lead to confusion on the part of the public, wildlife management agencies, and law enforcement officials.” Again, no evidence is provided to support this concern (and the fact that a wide range of tribal harvesting regulations have differed from those for State hunters for decades without “confusion” is overlooked). It also disregards the case law on treaty rights that “confusion” is not a valid reason to restrict the treaty-rights exercise, even if it should exist.

    GLFWC also believes the proposed rule falls short of meeting the Service's responsibility to the tribes in other ways as well. For example, we state that the Service “continue[s] to be concerned about the large biological uncertainty surrounding any widespread use of electronic calls,” and yet rejected a very limited experimental application of electronic calls that could provide the very evidence needed to reduce that uncertainty. No acceptable alternative to the tribes' proposal was suggested. The Service indicated that “discussions are ongoing” with the tribes over various management issues; however, the Service made no effort to engage in government-to-government consultation with the tribes about the season proposal before publishing the proposed rule. Lack of government-to-government consultation on a regulation directly affecting tribal interests constitutes an agency action contravening Executive Order 13175, a memorandum to Federal agencies by President Obama reaffirming Executive Order 13175, and official policy of the Department of the Interior and the Service, and is contrary to the 2011 Service Tribal Consultation Handbook.

    Notably, the Service rejected provisions regarding baiting, trapping, and hunting at night without providing any discussion, any evidence of biological or safety impacts, or making any effort to consult with the tribes on these issues—despite the recent ruling by the Seventh Circuit in the Lac Courte Oreille case and the above-mentioned Executive Order and department- and agency-level policies.

    GLIFWC requests that we issue a final rule that approves the tribes' original proposal for migratory bird harvesting in the 1837 and 1842 ceded territories. If we have legitimate natural resource, or public health or safety, concerns about the tribes' proposal, the tribes would welcome the opportunity to discuss those concerns in greater detail. However, as described above, GLIFWC asserts that the justification provided in the proposed rule does not appear to support a denial of the tribes' proposal.

    Service Response: The GLIFWC 2016-17 proposal has one specific proposed change from regulations approved last season: in the 1837 and 1842 Treaty Areas, the GLIFWC proposal would allow the use of electronic calls. GLIFWC's proposal also mentions developing regulations to allow for the night hunting and baiting of waterfowl, and the trapping of migratory birds. However, no specificity or development timetable is contained in their proposal. Thus, we will largely defer our response to those latter items until the appropriate time. However, we hope to continue discussions with GLIFWC in the near future on these important issues.

    GLIFWC states that the specific proposed regulatory changes are intended to provide tribal members a harvest opportunity within the scope of rights reserved in their various treaties and increase tribal subsistence harvest opportunities, while protecting migratory bird populations. Under the GLIFWC's proposed regulations, GLIFWC expects total ceded territory harvest to be approximately 1,650 ducks, 375 geese, 20 sandhill cranes, and 20 swans, which is roughly similar to anticipated levels in previous years for those species for which seasons were established. GLIFWC further anticipates that tribal harvest will remain low given the small number of tribal hunters and the limited opportunity to harvest more than a small number of birds on most hunting trips.

    Recent GLIFWC harvest surveys (1996-98, 2001, 2004, 2007-08, 2011, and 2012) indicate that tribal off-reservation waterfowl harvest has averaged fewer than 1,100 ducks and 250 geese annually. Two sandhill cranes were reported harvested in each of the first three tribal crane seasons (2014-16). In the latest survey year for which we have specific results (2012), an estimated 86 hunters took an estimated 1,090 trips and harvested 1,799 ducks (1.7 ducks per trip) and 822 geese. Analysis of hunter survey data over 1996-2012 indicates a general downward trend in both harvest and hunter participation. We note that GLIFWC also mentions a 2015 hunter survey that has not yet been completed.

    GLIFWC cites United States v. Bresette (D.Minn. 1991) and Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Wisconsin (7th Cir. 2014) as cases that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not abrogate their treaty rights, and that the Service should permit the use of electronic calls, baiting, night hunting, and trapping as they have either specifically proposed this year (electronic calls) or have proposed developing regulations allowing for future implementation (baiting, night hunting, and trapping). While we agree that the MBTA does not abrogate the tribe's treaty rights, we disagree with GLIFWC's conclusion that the tribe is therefore entitled to use electronic calls, baiting, night hunting, and trapping. We still retain the authority to reasonably regulate the manner of take for migratory bird hunting on ceded lands. For example, the Bresette case involved a defense to a criminal prosecution and did not address the issue of the manner in which tribal members were permitted to take birds.

    Similarly in the Lac Courte Oreilles case, the 7th Circuit required the State of Wisconsin to justify its rationale for safety concerns prohibiting the night hunting of deer when other surrounding States allowed for deer night hunting. We believe this case is distinguishable in that no night waterfowl hunting is currently allowed anywhere, nor has it ever been allowed in the past. Further, night deer hunting uses spotlights that enable hunters to specifically identify intended targets. Waterfowl are much smaller targets than deer, and hunters should be required to reasonably identify their target to avoid the unintentional take of non-game species. Shooting at night makes target identification impractical and would significantly increase the potential take of non-game and other protected birds, including the potential take of threatened and endangered species.

    In addition to conservation concerns relating to the unintentional take of protected species, we have also continually cited significant safety concerns related to migratory bird hunting outside of the normal allowed shooting hours. Normally, shooting hours for migratory game birds are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Potential impacts to hunter safety, difficulty of identifying birds, retrieval of downed birds, and impacts on law enforcement are some of the concerns we have raised when discussing potential expansions of shooting hours. In 2012, in deference to tribal traditions and in the interest of cooperation, and in spite of our previously identified concerns regarding species identification, retrieval of downed birds, hunter safety, and law enforcement impacts, we approved shooting 30 minutes after sunset (an extension of 15 minutes from the then-current 15 minutes after sunset) (77 FR 54451, September 5, 2012). This was consistent with other Tribes in the general area (Fond du Lac, Leech Lake, Oneida, Sault Ste Marie, and White Earth). However, we stated in 2014 (79 FR 52226, September 3, 2014) that any further extension of shooting hours on either the front end or the back end of the day would be contrary to public safety and would only heighten our previously identified safety and conservation concerns. We are unaware of any other migratory bird hunting that occurs more than 30 minutes after sunset. Thus, we conclude that for safety and conservation concerns, it is appropriate for us to deny GLIFWC's proposed request to develop regulations allowing the night hunting of waterfowl.

    Regarding GLIWFC's request to develop regulations allowing the baiting of waterfowl and the trapping of migratory birds, as we noted above, the lack of specificity or a development timetable in their proposal makes this request difficult to adequately respond to at this time. We do not believe that a large-scale discussion of the merits and practicality, or lack thereof, of such practices is appropriate at this time, but would rather have further discussions with GLIFWC on these issues. Thus, we will defer our response to these items until such appropriate time. Further discussion on allowing the use of electronic calls is contained below.

    Allowing Electronic Calls

    As we have stated the last 5 years (76 FR 54676, September 1, 2011; 77 FR 54451, September 5, 2012; 78 FR 53218, August 28, 2013; 79 FR 52226, September 3, 2014; 80 FR 52663, September 1, 2015), the issue of allowing electronic calls and other electronic devices for migratory game bird hunting has been highly debated and highly controversial over the last 40 years, similar to other prohibited hunting methods such as baiting. Electronic calls, i.e., the use or aid of recorded or electronic amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds to lure or attract migratory game birds to hunters, was Federally prohibited in 1957, because of their effectiveness in attracting and aiding the harvest of ducks and geese and are generally not considered a legitimate component of hunting. In 1999, after much debate, the migratory bird regulations were revised to allow the use of electronic calls for the take of light geese (lesser snow geese and Ross geese) during a light-goose-only season when all other waterfowl and crane hunting seasons, excluding falconry, were closed (64 FR 7507, February 16, 1999; 64 FR 71236, December 20, 1999; 73 FR 65926, November 5, 2008). The regulations were also changed in 2006, to allow the use of electronic calls for the take of resident Canada geese during Canada-goose-only September seasons when all other waterfowl and crane seasons, excluding falconry, were closed (71 FR 45964, August 10, 2006). In both instances, these changes were made in order to significantly increase the take of these species due to serious population overabundance, habitat degradation due to high populations, depredation issues, or public health and safety issues, or a combination of these.

    In our previous responses on this issue, we discussed available information from the use of electronic calls during the special light-goose seasons its applicability to most waterfowl species. We have also provided information to GLIWFC regarding the availability of using electronic calls for resident Canada geese in early-September or during special light-goose seasons when all other waterfowl seasons are closed. To our knowledge, GLIFWC members have not utilized electronic calls during either the special light-goose season or the early-September resident Canada goose season. We note that these opportunities would seem to provide a perfect opportunity to gauge not only hunter interest and participation, but the effectiveness of the methodology.

    Further, given available evidence on the effectiveness of electronic calls, we continue to be concerned about the large biological uncertainty surrounding any widespread use of electronic calls. The Treaty areas of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin covered by GLIWFC's proposal are a large area subject to widely varying degrees of hunting pressure. These factors logically lead us to a large degree of uncertainty surrounding any widespread use of electronic calls in such an area.

    Additionally, we remained concerned that tribal waterfowl hunting covered by GLIFWC's proposal would occur on ceded lands that are not in the ownership of the Tribes. We continue to believe that the use of electronic calls to take waterfowl would likely lead to significantly increased confusion on the part of the public, wildlife-management agencies, and law-enforcement officials in implementing the requirements of 50 CFR part 20. Further, similar to the impacts of baiting, uncertainties concerning the zone of influence attributed to the use of electronic calls could potentially increase harvest from nontribal hunters operating within areas electronic calls are being used during the dates of the general hunt.

    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, GLIFWC has repeatedly stated that tribal hunter participation is low, and that the proposals for electronic calls are intended to increase migratory bird hunting participation and harvest by tribal members. While we also have concerns over hunter-participation numbers and a common desire to increase hunter recruitment and retention of not only tribal hunters but migratory bird sport hunters, GLIFWC has not defined these goals nor presented any evidence that their proposals would help achieve this intended goal. Further, GLIWFC has provided no evidence or data that tribal migratory bird hunting has increased because of recently proposed and implemented harvest liberalizations over the past few years (increased bag limits; removal of species restrictions; increased shooting hours; longer seasons; implementation of tundra swan, sandhill crane, and dove seasons; removal of possession limits; and removal of shot-shell limits); nor any evidence that the cause of low tribal hunter interest in hunting migratory birds is due to restrictive harvest regulations. Likewise, GLIFWC has not shown that they have utilized electronic calls for existing goose seasons where they may be used (discussed above) in an effort to increase hunter interest, participation, and harvest.

    Many State and Federal wildlife agencies, as well as other nongovernmental organizations, have devoted considerable resources to the topic of hunter recruitment and retention. However, the most recent research indicates that changes in hunting regulations are not very effective in recruiting hunters. Thus, given this research information and the lack of evidence that GLIFWC's proposals will help achieve their stated objective, we cannot justify the acceptance of the inherent risks to migratory bird conservation associated with this proposal at this time. However, we would be glad to review any data or information GLIWFC may have that would help address these concerns and we would welcome opportunities to work with GLIFWC on our common desire to increase hunter recruitment and retention.

    Notwithstanding our concerns, we understand GLIFWC's position on this issue, their desire to increase tribal hunter opportunity, harvest, and participation, and the importance that GLIFWC has ascribed to these issues. In our recent discussions with them over the past year or more, they have expressed a willingness to work with us to further discuss these issues, all the uncertainties and difficulties surrounding them, and the overall Federal-Tribal process for addressing these and other such issues. As a first step in this process, we have begun work on a memorandum of understanding that further defines and clarifies the overall process, the administrative roles and responsibilities, and the communications process between us. However, this process is only the first step and we are not yet at a point in these discussions that would allow our approval of this proposal, or any such proposal. Further, it would be premature at this time to approve such a measure, or any such measure, until we finalize the Federal-Tribal process, roles, and responsibilities for addressing this and other such issues. It is our hope that over the next year, we can continue these discussions. We remain hopeful that we can reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

    Thus, at this time, removal of the electronic-call prohibition, even with the GLIFWC's proposed limited and experimental design, would be inconsistent with our long-standing conservation concerns, and we do not support allowing the use of electronic calls in the 1837 and 1842 Treaty Areas for any open waterfowl season

    Written Comments: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR) and the Mississippi Flyway Council (MFC) expressed opposition to GLIFWC's proposal allowing the use of electronic calls, night hunting and baiting for waterfowl, and the trapping of migratory birds. Both expressed continued concerns about the potential negative impacts to local waterbird populations, the increased potential for take of nongame species, the incompatibility with Federal and State waterfowl management, public safety, potential user conflicts, law-enforcement problems, and the potential to place non-tribal hunters in violation of migratory game bird hunting regulations. Both further questioned GLIFWC's justification for proposed additional hunting methods to achieve an objective of increased migratory-bird-hunting participation by tribal members in the absence of evidence. However, the MFC welcomed opportunities to work with GLIFWC on their common desire to increase hunter recruitment and retention.

    Service Response: We agree with the MFC and the WIDNR about continuing concerns over declining hunter participation and our common desire to increase hunter recruitment and retention of not only tribal hunters but migratory bird sport hunters. Many State and Federal wildlife agencies, as well as other nongovernmental organizations, have devoted considerable resources to this topic. However, we agree with the MFC that the most recent research indicates that changes in hunting regulations are not very effective in recruiting hunters.

    As we stated earlier, GLIFWC has repeatedly stated that tribal participation is low, but presents no evidence that tribal migratory bird hunting has increased because of recent liberalizations over the past few years, nor that tribal members have stated that restrictive regulations are the cause of low tribal hunter interest in hunting migratory birds. Given the lack of evidence that GLIFWC's proposals will help achieve their stated objective, we agree that there is no justification to accept the inherent risks to migratory bird conservation and public safety associated with GLIFWC's proposals. However, like the MFC, we would welcome opportunities to work with GLIFWC on our common desire to increase hunter recruitment and retention.

    Written Comments: Three commenters protested the entire migratory bird hunting regulations process, the killing of all migratory birds, and the status and habitat data on which the migratory bird hunting regulations are based. Two commenters believed certain migratory bird species such as sandhill cranes, woodcock, and mourning doves should not ever be hunted.

    Service Response: Our long-term objectives continue to include providing opportunities to harvest portions of certain migratory game bird populations and to limit harvests to levels compatible with each population's ability to maintain healthy, viable numbers. Further, there exists a long history of establishing hunting seasons for migratory game bird species such as waterfowl, cranes, woodcock, doves, and migratory shore and upland game birds. Tribes, such as those included in this final rule, have hunted these species before and since the inception of our establishment of migratory game bird hunting seasons. These seasons are culturally important to them, and applicable treaties allow for hunting of these species.

    Having taken into account the zones of temperature and the distribution, abundance, economic value, breeding habits, and times and lines of flight of migratory game birds, we believe that the hunting seasons provided for herein are compatible with the current status of migratory bird populations and long-term population goals. Additionally, we are obligated to, and do, give serious consideration to all information received as public comment. We continue to believe that the current Flyway-Council system of migratory bird management is one of the most longstanding, successful examples of State-Federal cooperative management since its establishment in 1952. Likewise, the establishment of special tribal migratory bird hunting regulations has been a successful Federal-Tribal partnership since 1988. However, as always, we continue to seek new ways to improve the process.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    The programmatic document, “Second Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement: Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Sport Hunting of Migratory Birds (EIS 20130139),” filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 24, 2013, addresses NEPA compliance by the Service for issuance of the annual framework regulations for hunting of migratory game bird species. We published a notice of availability in the Federal Register on May 31, 2013 (78 FR 32686), and our Record of Decision on July 26, 2013 (78 FR 45376). We also address NEPA compliance for waterfowl hunting frameworks through the annual preparation of separate environmental assessments, the most recent being “Duck Hunting Regulations for 2016-17,” with its corresponding January 2016 finding of no significant impact. In addition, an August 1985 environmental assessment entitled “Guidelines for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands” is available from the person indicated under the caption FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), provides that, “The Secretary shall review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this Act” (and) shall “insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out * * * is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat. * * *.” Consequently, we conducted formal consultations to ensure that actions resulting from these regulations would not likely jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of their critical habitat. Findings from these consultations are included in a biological opinion, which concluded that the regulations are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species. Additionally, these findings may have caused modification of some regulatory measures previously proposed, and the final frameworks reflect any such modifications. Our biological opinions resulting from this section 7 consultation are public documents available for public inspection at the address indicated under ADDRESSES.

    Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has reviewed this rule and has determined that this rule is significant because it would have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    An updated economic analysis was prepared for the 2013-14 season. This analysis was based on data from the newly released 2011 National Hunting and Fishing Survey, the most recent year for which data are available (see discussion in Regulatory Flexibility Act section below). This analysis estimated consumer surplus for three alternatives for duck hunting (estimates for other species are not quantified due to lack of data). The alternatives were: (1) Issue restrictive regulations allowing fewer days than those issued during the 2012-13 season, (2) issue moderate regulations allowing more days than those in alternative 1, and (3) issue liberal regulations identical to the regulations in the 2012-13 season. For the 2013-14 season, we chose Alternative 3, with an estimated consumer surplus across all flyways of $317.8-$416.8 million. For the 2016-17 season, we have also chosen alternative 3. We also chose alternative 3 for the 2009-10, the 2010-11, the 2011-12, the 2012-13, the 2014-15, and the 2015-16 seasons. The 2013-14 analysis is part of the record for this rule and is available at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2015-0034.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The annual migratory bird hunting regulations have a significant economic impact on substantial numbers of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). We analyzed the economic impacts of the annual hunting regulations on small business entities in detail as part of the 1981 cost-benefit analysis. This analysis was revised annually from 1990-95. In 1995, the Service issued a Small Entity Flexibility Analysis (Analysis), which was subsequently updated in 1996, 1998, 2004, 2008, and 2013. The primary source of information about hunter expenditures for migratory game bird hunting is the National Hunting and Fishing Survey, which is conducted at 5-year intervals. The 2013 Analysis was based on the 2011 National Hunting and Fishing Survey and the U.S. Department of Commerce's County Business Patterns, from which it was estimated that migratory bird hunters would spend approximately $1.5 billion at small businesses in 2013. Copies of the Analysis are available upon request from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds, or at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2015-0034.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. For the reasons outlined above, this rule will have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. However, because this rule establishes hunting seasons, we are not deferring the effective date under the exemption contained in 5 U.S.C. 808(1).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not contain any new information collection that requires approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. OMB has reviewed and approved the information collection requirements associated with migratory bird surveys and assigned the following OMB control numbers:

    • 1018-0019—North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey (expires 5/31/2018).

    • 1018-0023—Migratory Bird Surveys (expires 6/30/2017). Includes Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program, Migratory Bird Hunter Surveys, Sandhill Crane Survey, and Parts Collection Survey.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    We have determined and certify, in compliance with the requirements of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that this rulemaking will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or State government or private entities. Therefore, this rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

    Civil Justice Reform—Executive Order 12988

    The Department, in promulgating this rule, has determined that this rule will not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

    Takings Implication Assessment

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, this rule, authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-711), does not have significant takings implications and does not affect any constitutionally protected property rights. This rule will not result in the physical occupancy of property, the physical invasion of property, or the regulatory taking of any property. In fact, this rule allows hunters to exercise otherwise unavailable privileges and, therefore, reduces restrictions on the use of private and public property.

    Energy Effects—Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. While this rule is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, it is not expected to adversely affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated possible effects on Federally recognized Indian tribes and have determined that there are no effects on Indian trust resources. However, in the August 6, 2015, Federal Register (80 FR 47388), we solicited proposals for special migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and ceded lands for the 2016-17 migratory bird hunting season. The resulting proposals were contained in a separate May 27, 2016, proposed rule (81 FR 34226). By virtue of these actions, we have consulted with affected Tribes.

    Federalism Effects

    Due to the migratory nature of certain species of birds, the Federal Government has been given responsibility over these species by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. We annually prescribe frameworks from which the States make selections regarding the hunting of migratory birds, and we employ guidelines to establish special regulations on Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands. This process preserves the ability of the States and tribes to determine which seasons meet their individual needs. Any State or Indian tribe may be more restrictive than the Federal frameworks at any time. The frameworks are developed in a cooperative process with the States and the Flyway Councils. This process allows States to participate in the development of frameworks from which they will make selections, thereby having an influence on their own regulations. These rules do not have a substantial direct effect on fiscal capacity, change the roles or responsibilities of Federal or State governments, or intrude on State policy or administration. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, these regulations do not have significant federalism effects and do not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

    Regulation Promulgation

    The rulemaking process for migratory game bird hunting must, by its nature, operate under severe time constraints. However, we intend that the public be given the greatest possible opportunity to comment. Thus, when the preliminary proposed rulemaking was published, we established what we believed were the longest periods possible for public comment. In doing this, we recognized that when the comment period closed, time would be of the essence. That is, if there were a delay in the effective date of these regulations after this final rulemaking, Tribes would have insufficient time to publicize the necessary regulations and procedures to their hunters. We therefore find that “good cause” exists, within the terms of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act, and this rule will, therefore, take effect immediately upon publication.

    Accordingly, with each participating Tribe having had an opportunity to participate in selecting the hunting seasons desired for its reservation or ceded territory on those species of migratory birds for which open seasons are now prescribed, and consideration having been given to all other relevant matters presented, certain sections of title 50, chapter I, subchapter B, part 20, subpart K, are hereby amended as set forth below.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    Accordingly, part 20, subchapter B, chapter I of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 20—MIGRATORY BIRD HUNTING 1. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 40 Stat. 755, 16 U.S.C. 703-712; Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. 742a-j; Public Law 106-108, 113 Stat. 1491, Note Following 16 U.S.C. 703.

    Note:

    The following hunting regulations provided for by 50 CFR 20.110 will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations because of their seasonal nature.

    2. Section 20.110 is revised to read as follows:
    § 20.110 Seasons, limits, and other regulations for certain Federal Indian reservations, Indian Territory, and ceded lands.

    Unless specifically provided for below, all of the regulations contained in 50 CFR part 20 apply to the seasons listed herein.

    (a) [Reserved.]

    (b) Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Flathead Indian Reservation, Pablo, Montana (Tribal Members and Nontribal Hunters).

    Tribal Members Only Ducks (Including Mergansers)

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 9, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: The Tribe does not have specific bag and possession restrictions for Tribal members. The season on harlequin duck is closed.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Same as ducks.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Same as ducks.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Same as ducks.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Same as ducks.

    Nontribal Hunters Ducks (Including Mergansers)

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through January 8, 2017, and open January 14 through 18, 2017.

    Scaup

    Season Dates: Open October 1 through December 25, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Seven ducks, including no more than two hen mallards, two pintail, three scaup (when open), two canvasback, and two redheads. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Same as ducks.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 25 and 25, respectively.

    Geese Dark Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through January 8, 2017, and open January 14 through 18, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 4 and 12, respectively.

    Light Geese

    Season Dates: Same as for dark geese.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 20 and 60, respectively.

    General Conditions: Tribal and nontribal hunters must comply with all basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations contained in 50 CFR part 20 regarding manner of taking. In addition, shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, and each waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must carry on his/her person a valid Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) signed in ink across the stamp face. Special regulations established by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes also apply on the reservation.

    (c) Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Cloquet, Minnesota (Tribal Members Only).

    Ducks 1854 and 1837 Ceded Territories

    Season Dates: Begin September 10 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 18 ducks, including no more than 12 mallards (only 3 of which may be hens), 9 black ducks, 9 scaup, 9 wood ducks, 9 redheads, 9 pintails, and 9 canvasbacks.

    Reservation

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 12 ducks, including no more than 8 mallards (only 2 of which may be hens), 6 black ducks, 6 scaup, 6 redheads, 6 pintails, 6 wood ducks, and 6 canvasbacks.

    Mergansers 1854 and 1837 Ceded Territories

    Season Dates: Begin September 10 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 15 mergansers, including no more than 6 hooded mergansers.

    Reservation

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 mergansers, including no more than 4 hooded mergansers.

    Canada Geese 1854 and 1837 Ceded Territories

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 geese.

    Reservation

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 geese.

    Coots and Common Moorhens (Common Gallinules) 1854 and 1837 Ceded Territories

    Season Dates: Begin September 10 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 coots and common moorhens, singly or in the aggregate.

    Reservation

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 coots and common moorhens, singly or in the aggregate.

    Sandhill Cranes: 1854 and 1837 Ceded Territories

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: Two sandhill cranes. Crane carcass tags are required prior to hunting.

    Sora and Virginia Rails All Areas

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 25 sora and Virginia rails, singly or in the aggregate.

    Common Snipe All Areas

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: Eight common snipe.

    Woodcock All Areas

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: Three woodcock.

    Mourning Doves All Areas

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 30 mourning doves.

    General Conditions

    1. While hunting waterfowl, a tribal member must carry on his/her person a valid Ceded Territory License.

    2. Shooting hours for migratory birds are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

    3. Except as otherwise noted, tribal members will be required to comply with tribal codes that will be no less restrictive than the provisions of Chapter 10 of the Model Off-Reservation Code. Except as modified by the Service rules adopted in response to this proposal, these amended regulations parallel Federal requirements in 50 CFR part 20 as to hunting methods, transportation, sale, exportation, and other conditions generally applicable to migratory bird hunting.

    4. Band members in each zone will comply with State regulations providing for closed and restricted waterfowl hunting areas.

    5. There are no possession limits for migratory birds. For purposes of enforcing bag limits, all migratory birds in the possession or custody of band members on ceded lands will be considered to have been taken on those lands unless tagged by a tribal or State conservation warden as having been taken on-reservation. All migratory birds that fall on reservation lands will not count as part of any off-reservation bag or possession limit.

    (d) Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Suttons Bay, Michigan (Tribal Members Only).

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 15, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 25 ducks, which may include no more than 6 pintail, 4 canvasback, 6 black ducks, 1 hooded merganser, 6 wood ducks, 5 redheads, and 12 mallards (only 6 of which may be hens).

    Canada and Snow Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 geese.

    Other Geese (White-Fronted Geese and Brant)

    Season Dates: Open September 20 through December 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: Five geese.

    Sora Rails, Common Snipe, and Woodcock

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 14, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 rails, 10 snipe, and 5 woodcock.

    Mourning Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 14, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 mourning doves.

    Sandhill Crane

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 14, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: Two sandhill crane, with a season limit of six.

    General Conditions: A valid Grand Traverse Band Tribal license is required and must be in possession before taking any wildlife. Shooting hours for migratory birds are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. All other basic regulations contained in 50 CFR part 20 are valid. Other tribal regulations apply, and may be obtained at the tribal office in Suttons Bay, Michigan.

    (e) Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Odanah, Wisconsin (Tribal Members Only).

    The 2016-17 waterfowl hunting season regulations apply to all treaty areas (except where noted):

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 50 ducks in the 1837 and 1842 Treaty Area; 30 ducks in the 1836 Treaty Area.

    Mergansers

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 mergansers.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end December 31, 2016. In addition, any portion of the ceded territory that is open to State-licensed hunters for goose hunting outside of these dates will also be open concurrently for tribal members.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 geese in aggregate.

    Other Migratory Birds Coots and Common Moorhens (Common Gallinules)

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 coots and common moorhens (common gallinules), singly or in the aggregate.

    Sora and Virginia Rails

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 20, singly, or in the aggregate, 25.

    Common Snipe

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 16 common snipe.

    Woodcock

    Season Dates: Begin September 6 and end December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 woodcock.

    Mourning Dove 1837 and 1842 Ceded Territories Only

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end November 29, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 15 mourning doves.

    Sandhill Cranes 1837 and 1842 Ceded Territories Only

    Season Dates: Begin September 1 and end December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 2 cranes.

    Swans 1837 and 1842 Ceded Territories Only

    Season Dates: Begin November 1 and end December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 2 swans. All harvested swans must be registered by presenting the fully-feathered carcass to a tribal registration station or GLIFWC warden. If the total number of trumpeter swans harvested reaches 10, the swan season will be closed by emergency tribal rule.

    General Conditions

    A. All tribal members are required to obtain a valid tribal waterfowl hunting permit.

    B. Except as otherwise noted, tribal members are required to comply with tribal codes that are no less restrictive than the model ceded territory conservation codes approved by Federal courts in the Lac Courte Oreilles v. State of Wisconsin (Voigt) and Mille Lacs Band v. State of Minnesota cases. Chapter 10 in each of these model codes regulates ceded territory migratory bird hunting. Both versions of Chapter 10 parallel Federal requirements as to hunting methods, transportation, sale, exportation, and other conditions generally applicable to migratory bird hunting. They also automatically incorporate by reference the Federal migratory bird regulations.

    C. Particular regulations of note include:

    1. Nontoxic shot is required for all waterfowl hunting by tribal members.

    2. Tribal members in each zone must comply with tribal regulations providing for closed and restricted waterfowl hunting areas. These regulations generally incorporate the same restrictions contained in parallel State regulations.

    3. There are no possession limits, with the exception of 2 swans (in the aggregate) and 25 rails (in the aggregate). For purposes of enforcing bag limits, all migratory birds in the possession and custody of tribal members on ceded lands are considered to have been taken on those lands unless tagged by a tribal or State conservation warden as taken on reservation lands. All migratory birds that fall on reservation lands do not count as part of any off-reservation bag or possession limit.

    4. The baiting restrictions included in the respective section 10.05(2)(h) of the model ceded territory conservation codes will be amended to include language which parallels that in place for nontribal members as published at 64 FR 29799, June 3, 1999.

    5. There are no shell limit restrictions.

    6. Hunting hours are from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

    (f) Jicarilla Apache Tribe, Jicarilla Indian Reservation, Dulce, New Mexico (Tribal Members and Nontribal Hunters).

    Ducks (Including Mergansers)

    Season Dates: Open October 8 through November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: The daily bag limit is seven, including no more than two hen mallards, two pintail, two redheads, two canvasback, and three scaup. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 8 through November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and six, respectively.

    General Conditions: Tribal and nontribal hunters must comply with all basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20 regarding shooting hours and manner of taking. In addition, each waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must carry on his/her person a valid Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) signed in ink across the stamp face. Special regulations established by the Jicarilla Tribe also apply on the reservation.

    (g) Kalispel Tribe, Kalispel Reservation, Usk, Washington (Tribal Members and Nontribal Hunters).

    Nontribal Hunters on Reservation Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 10 through September 11, 2016; open September 17 through September 18, 2016; and open October 1, 2016, through January 20, 2017. During these period, days to be hunted are specified by the Kalispel Tribe. Nontribal hunters should contact the Tribe for more detail on hunting days.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 5 Canada geese for the early season, and 3 light geese and 4 dark geese, for the late season. The daily bag limit is 2 brant (when the State's season is open) and is in addition to dark goose limits for the late-season. The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 24, 2016, through January 8, 2017.

    Scaup

    Season Dates: Open September 24, 2016, through December 18, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 7 ducks, including no more than 2 female mallards, 2 pintail, 1 canvasback, 3 scaup (when open), and 2 redheads. The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Tribal Hunters Within Kalispel Ceded Lands Ducks

    Season Dates: Open October 10, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 7 ducks, including no more than 2 female mallards, 2 pintail, 1 canvasback, 3 scaup, and 2 redheads. The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 10, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 6 light geese and 4 dark geese. The daily bag limit is 2 brant and is in addition to dark goose limits.

    General: Tribal members must possess a validated Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp and a tribal ceded lands permit.

    (h) [Reserved.]

    (i) Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Cass Lake, Minnesota (Tribal Members Only).

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 17 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: 10 ducks, including no more than 5 pintail, 5 canvasback, and 5 black ducks.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: 10 geese.

    General: Possession limits are twice the daily bag limits. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Nontoxic shot is required. Use of live decoys, bait, and commercial use of migratory birds are prohibited. Waterfowl may not be pursued or taken while using motorized craft.

    (j) Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Manistee, Michigan (Tribal Members Only).

    1836 Ceded Territory and Tribal Reservation: Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 9, 2016, through January 22, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 12 ducks, including no more than 6 mallards (2 of which may be hens), 3 black ducks, 3 redheads, 3 wood ducks, 2 pintail, 1 hooded merganser, and 2 canvasback.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through February 5, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: Five.

    White-fronted Geese, Brant, and Snow Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 7 through December 4, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: Five.

    Woodcock, Mourning Doves, Snipe, and Sora and Virginia Rails

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 13, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 5 woodcock and 10 each of the other species.

    General conditions are as follows:

    A. All tribal members will be required to obtain a valid tribal resource card and 2016-17 hunting license.

    B. Except as modified by the Service rules adopted in response to this proposal, these amended regulations parallel all Federal regulations contained in 50 CFR part 20. Shooting hours will be from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

    C. Particular regulations of note include:

    (1) Nontoxic shot will be required for all waterfowl hunting by tribal members.

    (2) Tribal members in each zone will comply with tribal regulations providing for closed and restricted waterfowl hunting areas. These regulations generally incorporate the same restrictions contained in parallel State regulations.

    D. Tribal members hunting in Michigan will comply with tribal codes that contain provisions parallel to Michigan law regarding duck blinds and decoys.

    E. Possession limits are twice the daily bag limits.

    (k) The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Petoskey, Michigan (Tribal Members Only).

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 20 ducks, including no more than 5 hen mallards, 5 black ducks, 5 redheads, 5 wood ducks, 5 pintail, 5 scaup, and 5 canvasback.

    Mergansers

    Season Dates: Open September 15, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 10 mergansers, including no more than 5 hooded mergansers.

    Coots and Gallinules

    Season Dates: Open September 15 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through February 8, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 in the aggregate.

    Sora and Virginia Rails

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20.

    Snipe

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 16.

    Mourning Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 14, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 15.

    Woodcock

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 1, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10.

    Sandhill Cranes

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 1, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 1.

    General: Possession limits are twice the daily bag limits.

    (l) Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Reservation, Lower Brule, South Dakota (Tribal Members and Nontribal Hunters).

    Tribal Members Ducks, Mergansers, and Coots

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Six ducks, including no more than two hen mallard and five mallards total, two pintail, two redheads, two canvasback, three wood ducks, three scaup, two bonus teal during the first 16 days of the season, and one mottled duck Coot daily bag limit is 15. Merganser daily bag limit is five, including no more than two hooded mergansers. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 6 and 18, respectively.

    White-Fronted Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and six, respectively.

    Light Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20.

    Nontribal Hunters Ducks (Including Mergansers and Coots)

    Season Dates: Open October 8, 2016, through January 12, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Six ducks, including five mallards (no more of which can be two hen mallard), three scaup, two canvasback, two redheads, three wood ducks, one mottled duck, and two pintail. Coot daily bag limit is 15. Merganser daily bag limit is five, including no more than two hooded mergansers. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 29, 2016, through February 12, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 6 and 18, respectively.

    White-Fronted Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 29, 2016, through January 24, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and six, respectively.

    Light Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 29, 2016, through February 12, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 50 and no possession limit.

    General Conditions: All hunters must comply with the basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20, including the use of steel shot and shooting hours. Nontribal hunters must possess a validated Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe has an official Conservation Code that hunters must adhere to when hunting in areas subject to control by the Tribe.

    (m) [Reserved.]

    (n) Makah Indian Tribe, Neah Bay, Washington (Tribal Members).

    Band-Tailed Pigeons

    Season Dates: Open September 17 through October 23, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: Two band-tailed pigeons.

    Ducks and Coots

    Season Dates: Open September 24, 2016, through January 29, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: Seven ducks including no more than five mallards (only two of which can be a hen), one redhead, one pintail, three scaup, and one canvasback. The seasons on wood duck and harlequin are closed. The coot daily bag limit is 25.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 24, 2016, through January 29, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: Four, including no more than one brant. The seasons on Aleutian and dusky Canada geese are closed.

    General Conditions

    All other Federal regulations contained in 50 CFR part 20 apply. The following restrictions also apply:

    1. As per Makah Ordinance 44, only shotguns may be used to hunt any species of waterfowl. Additionally, shotguns must not be discharged within 0.25 miles of an occupied area.

    2. Hunters must be eligible, enrolled Makah tribal members and must carry their Indian Treaty Fishing and Hunting Identification Card while hunting. No tags or permits are required to hunt waterfowl.

    3. The Cape Flattery area is open to waterfowl hunting, except in designated wilderness areas, or within 1 mile of Cape Flattery Trail, or in any area that is closed to hunting by another ordinance or regulation.

    4. The use of live decoys and/or baiting to pursue any species of waterfowl is prohibited.

    5. Steel or bismuth shot only for waterfowl is allowed; the use of lead shot is prohibited.

    6. The use of dogs is permitted to hunt waterfowl.

    7. Shooting hours for all species of waterfowl are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

    8. Open hunting areas are: GMUs 601 (Hoko), a portion of the 602 (Dickey) encompassing the area north of a line between Norwegian Memorial and east to Highway 101, and 603 (Pysht).

    (o) Navajo Nation, Navajo Indian Reservation, Window Rock, Arizona (Tribal Members and Nontribal Hunters).

    Band-Tailed Pigeons

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through September 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 5 and 10 pigeons, respectively.

    Mourning Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through September 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 and 20 doves, respectively.

    Ducks (Including Mergansers and Coots)

    Season Dates: Open September 24, 2016, through January 8, 2017.

    Scaup

    Season Dates: Open September 24 through December 18, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Seven ducks, including no more than two hen mallards, one mottled duck, two canvasback, three scaup (when open), two redheads, and two pintail. Coot daily bag limit is 25. Merganser daily bag limit is seven. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 24, 2016, through January 8, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 4 and 12, respectively.

    General Conditions: Tribal and nontribal hunters will comply with all basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20, regarding shooting hours and manner of taking. In addition, each waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or over must carry on his/her person a valid Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) signed in ink across the face. Special regulations established by the Navajo Nation also apply on the reservation.

    (p) Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, Oneida, Wisconsin (Tribal Members Only).

    Ducks (Including Mergansers)

    Season Dates: Open September 17 through December 4, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Six, including no more than six mallards (three hen mallards), six wood ducks, one redhead, two pintail, and one hooded merganser. The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 5 Canada geese with a possession limit of 10. A seasonal quota of 500 birds is adopted. If the quota is reached before the season concludes, the season will be closed at that time.

    Woodcock

    Season Dates: Open September 3 through November 6, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and four woodcock, respectively.

    Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 3 through November 6, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 and 20 doves, respectively.

    General Conditions: Tribal member shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Nontribal members hunting on the Reservation or on lands under the jurisdiction of the Tribe must comply with all State of Wisconsin regulations, including season dates, shooting hours, and bag limits, which differ from tribal member seasons. Tribal members and nontribal members hunting on the Reservation or on lands under the jurisdiction of the Tribe will observe all basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations found in 50 CFR part 20, with the following exceptions: Tribal members are exempt from the purchase of the Migratory Waterfowl Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp); and shotgun capacity is not limited to three shells.

    (q) Point No Point Treaty Council, Kingston, Washington (Tribal Members Only).

    Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Seven ducks, including no more than two hen mallards, one pintail, one canvasback, four scoters, and two redheads. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit. Bag and possession limits for harlequin ducks is one per season.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 9, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Four geese, and may include no more than three light geese. The season on dusky Canada geese is closed. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Brant

    Season Dates: Open January 10 through January 25, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and four, respectively.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Open September 13, 2016, through February 1, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 25 and 50 coots, respectively.

    Mourning Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 13, 2016, through January 18, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 and 20 doves, respectively.

    Snipe

    Season Dates: Open September 13, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 8 and 16 snipe, respectively.

    Band-Tailed Pigeons

    Season Dates: Open September 13, 2016, through January 18, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and four pigeons, respectively.

    Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Seven ducks, including no more than two hen mallards, one pintail, one canvasback, four scoters, and two redheads. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit. Bag and possession limits for harlequin ducks is one per season.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Four geese, and may include no more than three light geese. The season on dusky Canada geese is closed. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Brant

    Season Dates: Open November 9, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and four, respectively.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 7 and 14 coots, respectively.

    Mourning Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 and 20 doves, respectively.

    Snipe

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 8 and 16 snipe, respectively.

    Band-Tailed Pigeons

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and four pigeons, respectively.

    General: Tribal members must possess a tribal hunting permit from the Point No Point Tribal Council pursuant to tribal law. Hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Hunters must observe all other basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20.

    (r) The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, Isabella Reservation, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (Tribal Members Only)

    Mourning Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 25 doves.

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 20, including no more than 5 hen mallard, 5 wood duck, 5 black duck, 5 pintail, 5 redhead, 5 scaup, and 5 canvasback.

    Mergansers

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10, including no more than 5 hooded mergansers.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 in the aggregate.

    Coots and Gallinule

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 in the aggregate.

    Woodcock

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 10.

    Common Snipe

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 16.

    Sora and Virginia Rails

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 20 in the aggregate.

    Sandhill Crane

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: One.

    General: Possession limits are twice the daily bag limits except for rails, of which the possession limit equals the daily bag limit (20). Tribal members must possess a tribal hunting permit from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe pursuant to tribal law. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. Hunters must observe all other basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20.

    (s) Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (Tribal Members Only).

    Mourning Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 14, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 doves.

    Teal

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: 20 in the aggregate

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 15 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: 20, including no more than 10 mallards (only 5 of which may be hens), 5 canvasback, 5 black duck, and 5 wood duck.

    Mergansers

    Season Dates: Open September 15 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 in the aggregate.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 in the aggregate.

    Coots and Gallinule

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 in the aggregate.

    Woodcock

    Season Dates: Open September 2 through December 1, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: 10.

    Common Snipe

    Season Dates: Open September 15 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: 16.

    Sora and Virginia Rails

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: 20 in the aggregate.

    General: Possession limits are twice the daily bag limits except for rails, of which the possession limit equals the daily bag limit (20). Tribal members must possess a tribal hunting permit from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe pursuant to tribal law. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. Hunters must observe all other basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20.

    (t) Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall Indian Reservation, Fort Hall, Idaho (Nontribal Hunters).

    Ducks, Including Scaup

    Duck Season Dates: Open October 8, 2016, through January 20, 2017.

    Scaup Season Dates: Open October 8, 2016, through January 1, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Seven ducks and mergansers, including no more than two hen mallards, two pintail, three scaup, two canvasback, and two redheads. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Same as ducks.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 25 coots. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Common Snipe

    Season Dates: Same as ducks.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 8 and 24 snipe, respectively.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 8, 2016, through January 20, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 4 and 12, respectively.

    White-Fronted Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 8, 2016, through January 20, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 and 30, respectively.

    Light Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 8, 2016, through January 20, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 20 and 60, respectively

    General Conditions: Nontribal hunters must comply with all basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20 regarding shooting hours and manner of taking. In addition, each waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must possess a valid Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) signed in ink across the stamp face. Other regulations established by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes also apply on the reservation.

    (u) [Reserved.]

    (v) Spokane Tribe of Indians, Spokane Indian Reservation and Ceded Lands, Wellpinit, Washington (Tribal Members Only).

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 2, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Seven ducks, including no more than two hen mallards, two pintail, two canvasback, three scaup, and two redheads. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 2, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Four dark geese and six light geese. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    General Conditions: All tribal hunters must have a valid Tribal identification card on his or her person while hunting. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, and steel shot is required for all migratory bird hunting. Hunters must observe all other basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20.

    (w) [Reserved.]

    (x) Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Arlington, Washington (Tribal Members Only).

    Common Snipe

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through January 31, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 and 30, respectively.

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 ducks. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 25 coots. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through March 10, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 6 and 18, respectively. The season on brant is closed.

    General Conditions: Tribal members hunting on lands will observe all basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations found in 50 CFR part 20, which will be enforced by the Stillaguamish Tribal Law Enforcement. Tribal members are required to use steel shot or a nontoxic shot as required by Federal regulations.

    (y) Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, LaConner, Washington (Tribal Members Only). Ceded Territory and Swinomish Reservation

    Ducks and Mergansers

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 9, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 20 and 40, respectively.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 9, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 and 20 geese, respectively.

    Brant

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 9, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 5 and 10 brant, respectively.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 9, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 25 and 75 coots, respectively.

    Mourning Dove

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 9, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 15 and 30 mourning dove, respectively.

    Band-Tailed Pigeon

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through March 9, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Three and six band-tailed pigeon, respectively.

    (z) The Tulalip Tribes of Washington, Tulalip Indian Reservation, Marysville, Washington (Tribal Members Only).

    Ducks and Mergansers

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Seven ducks, including no more than two hen mallards, two pintail, two canvasback, three scaup, and two redheads. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Seven geese, including no more than four cackling and dusky Canada geese. Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

    Brant

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and four brant, respectively.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 25 and 25 coots, respectively.

    Snipe

    Season Dates: Open September 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 8 and 16 snipe, respectively.

    General Conditions: All tribal hunters must have a valid Tribal identification card on his or her person while hunting. All nontribal hunters must obtain and possess while hunting a valid Tulalip Tribe hunting permit and be accompanied by a Tulalip Tribal member. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, and steel shot is required for all migratory bird hunting. Hunters must observe all other basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20.

    (aa) Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, Sedro Woolley, Washington (Tribal Members Only).

    Mourning Doves

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 31, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 12 and 15 mourning doves, respectively.

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 15 and 20, respectively.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through February 15, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 20 and 30, respectively.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 7 and 10 geese, respectively.

    Brant

    Season Dates: Open November 1 through 10, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Two and two, respectively.

    General Conditions: Tribal members must have the tribal identification and harvest report card on their person to hunt. Tribal members hunting on the Reservation will observe all basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations found in 50 CFR part 20, except shooting hours would be 15 minutes before official sunrise to 15 minutes after official sunset.

    (bb) Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah, Massachusetts (Tribal Members Only).

    Teal

    Season Dates: Open October 10, 2016, through February 18, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 10 teal.

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open October 10, 2016, through February 18, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: Six ducks, including no more than four hen mallards, six black ducks, four mottled ducks, one fulvous whistling duck, four mergansers, three scaup, two hooded merganser, three wood ducks, one canvasback, two redheads, and two pintail. The season is closed for harlequin ducks.

    Sea Ducks

    Season Dates: Open October 3, 2016, through February 18, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: Seven ducks including no more than four of any one species (only one of which may be a hen eider).

    Woodcock

    Season Dates: Open October 10 through November 26, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: Three woodcock.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through 17, 2016, and open October 24, 2016, through February 18, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: Eight Canada geese.

    Snow Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through 17, 2016, and open November 21, 2016, through February 20, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: 15 snow geese.

    Sora and Virginia Rails

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 5, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: 5 sora and 10 Virginia rails.

    Snipe

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 8, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limits: Eight snipe.

    General Conditions: Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Nontoxic shot is required. All other basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations contained in 50 CFR part 20 will be observed.

    (cc) White Earth Band of Ojibwe, White Earth, Minnesota (Tribal Members Only).

    Ducks

    Season Dates: Open September 10 through December 18, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit for Ducks: 10 ducks, including no more than 2 female mallards, 1 pintail, and 1 canvasback.

    Mergansers

    Season Dates: Open September 10 through December 18, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit for Mergansers: Five mergansers, including no more than two hooded mergansers.

    Geese

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through December 15, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 12 geese through September 23, and 5 thereafter.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 20 coots.

    Snipe

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 snipe.

    Mourning Dove

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 25 mourning dove.

    Woodcock

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 10 woodcock.

    Rail

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through November 30, 2016.

    Daily Bag Limit: 25 rail.

    General Conditions: Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Nontoxic shot is required. All other basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations contained in 50 CFR part 20 will be observed.

    (dd) White Mountain Apache Tribe, Fort Apache Indian Reservation, Whiteriver, Arizona (Tribal Members and Nontribal Hunters).

    Band-Tailed Pigeons (Wildlife Management Unit 10 and Areas South of Y-70 and Y-10 in Wildlife Management Unit 7, Only)

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through 15, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Three and six pigeons, respectively.

    Mourning Doves (Wildlife Management Unit 10 and Areas South of Y-70 and Y-10 in Wildlife Management Unit 7, Only)

    Season Dates: Open September 1 through 15, 2016.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 10 and 20 doves, respectively.

    Ducks and Mergansers

    Season Dates: Open October 15, 2016, through January 29, 2017.

    Scaup

    Season Dates: Open November 5, 2016, through January 29, 2017.

    Daily Bag Limits: Seven including no more than two redheads, two pintail, three scaup (when open), seven mallards (including no more than two hen mallards), and two canvasback. Possession Limits: Twice the daily bag limit.

    Coots

    Season Dates: Open October 15, 2016, through January 29, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: 25 and 50, respectively.

    Canada Geese

    Season Dates: Open October 15, 2016, through January 29, 2017.

    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Three and six Canada geese, respectively.

    General Conditions: All nontribal hunters hunting band-tailed pigeons and mourning doves on Reservation lands shall have in their possession a valid White Mountain Apache Daily or Yearly Small Game Permit. In addition to a small game permit, all nontribal hunters hunting band-tailed pigeons must have in their possession a White Mountain Special Band-tailed Pigeon Permit. Other special regulations established by the White Mountain Apache Tribe apply on the reservation. Tribal and nontribal hunters will comply with all basic Federal migratory bird hunting regulations in 50 CFR part 20 regarding shooting hours and manner of taking.

    Dated: August 31, 2016. Karen Hyun, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21739 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    81 175 Friday, September 9, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 3 RIN 2900-AP66 Diseases Associated With Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its adjudication regulations relating to presumptive service connection to add certain diseases associated with contaminants present in the base water supply at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (Camp Lejeune), North Carolina, from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987. The chemical compounds involved have been associated by various scientific organizations with the development of certain diseases. This proposed rule would establish that veterans, former reservists, and former National Guard members, who served at Camp Lejeune for no less than 30 days (consecutive or nonconsecutive) during this period, and who have been diagnosed with any of eight associated diseases, are presumed to have a service-connected disability for purposes of entitlement to VA benefits. In addition, VA proposes to establish a presumption that these individuals were disabled during the relevant period of service, thus establishing active military service for benefit purposes. Under this proposed presumption, affected former reservists and National Guard members would have veteran status for purposes of entitlement to some VA benefits. This proposed amendment would implement a decision by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that service connection on a presumptive basis is warranted for claimants who served at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period and for the requisite amount of time and later develop certain diseases. The Secretary's decision is supported by the conclusions of internationally recognized scientific authorities that strong evidence exists establishing a relationship between exposure to certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that were in the water at Camp Lejeune and later development of certain disabilities.

    DATES:

    Comment Date: Comments must be received on or before October 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “RIN 2900-AP66—Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune.” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1068, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Mandle, Policy Analyst, Regulations Staff (211D), Compensation Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9700. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In the early 1980s, in response to new Environmental Protection Agency standards, the Marine Corps monitored its water quality for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In 1982, the Marine Corps discovered elevated levels of the VOCs trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser, and perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning agent, in two of the eight on-base water supply systems at Camp Lejeune. U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Health Care: Activities Related to Past Drinking Water Contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (2007) (GAO 2007). Subsequent investigations found that the main source of TCE contamination was on-base industrial activities, while the main source of PCE was an off-base dry cleaning facility. Id. Benzene and vinyl chloride were also found in the water supply systems. Committee on Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune; National Research Council, Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune, Assessing Potential Health Effects 4 (National Academies Press, 2009) (NRC 2009). These water systems served housing, administrative, and recreational facilities, as well as the base hospital. GAO 2007. The contaminated wells supplying the water systems were shut down by February 1985. Id.

    Although the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, conducted an initial Public Health Assessment of Camp Lejeune in 1997, additional information led ATSDR to conduct a number of follow-up studies focused on a variety of specific aspects of potential exposure and their implications for specific health endpoints (see: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/activities.html). Potentially exposed individuals who served at Camp Lejeune are encouraged to participate in a registry to receive information from new health-related scientific studies initiated by the Navy. See Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water, U.S. Marine Corps, https://clnr.hqi.usmc.mil/clwater/Home.aspx (last visited Aug. 12, 2016).

    II. Scientific Evidence and VA's Presumptive Analysis A. The National Research Council Review of 2009

    Based on a congressional mandate in section 318 of Public Law 109-364, the Navy requested that the National Research Council (NRC) undertake a study to assess the potential long-term health effects for individuals who served at Camp Lejeune during the period of water contamination. In generating its 2009 report, “Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune, Assessing Potential Health Effects”, the NRC evaluated scientific studies regarding the potential health conditions associated with TCE, PCE, and other VOCs. NRC 2009 at 5. NRC also examined information relating to exposures at Camp Lejeune, including research conducted by ATSDR. Id. at 195.

    The NRC categorized fourteen health conditions that have limited/suggestive evidence of an association with TCE, PCE, or a solvent mixture. Id. at 8. Limited/suggestive evidence of an association was defined as: “[e]vidence from available studies suggests an association between exposure to a specific agent and a specific health outcome in human studies, but the body of evidence is limited by the inability to rule out chance and bias, including confounding, with confidence” (emphasis added). Id. at 6. The fourteen diseases categorized by the NRC report as having limited/suggestive evidence of an association with the VOCs at issue at Camp Lejeune are:

    • Esophageal cancer (PCE) • lung cancer (PCE) • breast cancer (PCE) • bladder cancer (PCE) • kidney cancer (PCE and TCE) • adult leukemia (solvent mixtures) • multiple myeloma (solvent mixtures) • myelodysplastic syndromes (solvent mixtures) • renal toxicity (solvent mixtures) • hepatic steatosis (solvent mixtures) • female infertility (with concurrent exposure to solvent mixtures) • miscarriage, with exposure during pregnancy (PCE) • scleroderma (solvent mixtures) • neurobehavioral effects (solvent mixtures). Id. at 8.

    The NRC based this categorization on its conclusion that “the epidemiologic studies give some reason to be concerned that sufficiently high levels of the chemical may cause the disease, but the studies do not provide strong evidence that they actually do so”. Id. at 7. Specific to the research studies conducted by the ATSDR, the NRC stated that they may not have produced definitive results because of the difficulties inherent in attempting to reconstruct past events and determine the amount of exposure experienced by any given individual. Id. at 195.

    B. Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012

    On August 6, 2012, Congress enacted the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, Public Law 112-154 (hereinafter “Camp Lejeune Act”). Section 102 of the Camp Lejeune Act established health care entitlement for veterans who served on active duty at Camp Lejeune for at least thirty days during the period between January 1, 1957, through December 31, 1987, for treatment of the fourteen conditions identified by the NRC as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, Public Law 112-154, section 102(a), 126 Stat. 1165, 1167 (2012) (codified at 38 U.S.C. 1710(e)(1)(F)). Congress later amended this time period to expand health care eligibility to those serving at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987. Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235, Div. I, Title II, section 243. The Camp Lejeune Act also extended healthcare benefits in the form of reimbursements to certain family members of veterans who also resided at Camp Lejeune during the qualifying period. Camp Lejeune Act, section 102(b) (codified at 38 U.S.C. 1787).

    The Camp Lejeune Act noted that medical care is being afforded “notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such illnesses or conditions are attributable to such service” or “residence.” Id. Section 102(a) and (b) (codified at 38 U.S.C. 1710(e)(1)(F) and 1787(a)). Despite the NRC's report noting the difficulty of establishing direct scientific evidence of causation between the contaminated drinking water and the development of disease over time, Congress sought a policy that “gives sick veterans and their families the benefit of the doubt their illness or condition was caused by the water at Camp Lejeune so they can finally get the healthcare they need.” Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, Proceedings and Debates of the 112 Congress, Second Session, 158 Cong. Rec. S5154-04, 2012 WL 2923422 (2012) (statement of Sen. Murray). This law, however, is limited to the provision of healthcare for the named disabilities. It does not establish a presumption of service connection for purposes of entitlement to VA disability compensation and other benefits.

    C. VA's Method of Analysis

    On August 3, 2015, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs announced that he had met with members of Congress, as well as the Director of ATSDR, to discuss the possibility of creating presumptions of service connection for those who served at Camp Lejeune and may have been exposed to the contaminated water supply. News Release, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Expands Review of Chemical Exposure in Drinking Water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (August 3, 2015). Following that announcement, VA began a deliberative process to determine whether available scientific evidence was sufficient to support a presumption of service connection for any health conditions as a result of exposure to the chemicals found in the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

    At VA's request, ATSDR collaborated with VA's Camp Lejeune Science Liaison Team (CLSLT). The CLSLT was chaired by the Chief Medical Officer of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and consisted of representatives from VHA's Post-Deployment Health Services (Office of Patient Care Services) and the Veterans Benefits Administration's Compensation Service. The purpose of ATSDR's collaboration with the CLSLT was to provide VA with its evaluation of the scientific literature regarding the potential hazards generally associated with the contaminants found in the water at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period (but not specifically associated with exposures at Camp Lejeune). The CLSLT presented its hazard evaluation to a newly formed VA Technical Workgroup (TWG), represented by subject matter experts in disability compensation, health care, environmental medicine, toxicology, epidemiology, Federal rulemaking, communications, and veterans benefits law. The CLSLT presented the VA TWG with its findings based on the CLSLT's independent review of the scientific literature and discussions with ATSDR staff. In this review, the CLSLT summarized the weight of evidence for all health conditions for which an association with the chemicals of interest has been suggested. The environmental health experts on the TWG then conducted their own assessment of the scientific evidence.

    The TWG's assessment focused on the strength of the evidence that a chemical is capable of causing a given health condition (commonly referred to as a hazard evaluation); the TWG's assessment did not take into account the estimated levels of contamination in the water during the period of contamination at Camp Lejeune. As such, the TWG did not attempt to characterize the risk associated with the estimated exposures of those who resided at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination.

    The TWG evaluation relied upon comprehensive hazard evaluations conducted by the following internationally respected expert bodies: The Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System (EPA/IRIS), the National Institute of Health's National Toxicology Program (NIH/NTP), the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO/IARC), and the National Academies of Sciences' National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (NAS/NRC/IOM). These organizations were chosen for their rigorous expert selection and peer review processes to ensure objective and nuanced conclusions.

    As previously discussed, the findings of a report on the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune published by the NRC in 2009 reviewed the health effects associated with TCE, PCE, and solvent mixtures and were the basis of the 2012 Camp Lejeune Act. Starting with the findings of the 2009 NRC study, the TWG analyzed additional scientific data to determine if additional evidence existed to support a causal relationship between various conditions and the contaminants found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. The TWG review evaluated the hazards associated with not only these chemicals, but benzene and vinyl chloride as well, thus broadening the scope beyond that of the 2009 NRC assessment. The TWG was particularly interested in weight of evidence evaluations conducted since the 2009 study, as they incorporate scientific information that was not available when the NRC's 2009 report was being developed. Furthermore, because each of these expert bodies reviewed the literature through different scientific perspectives, this approach provided the TWG with increased confidence in its conclusions.

    The TWG examined the results of EPA's Toxicological Reviews for the IRIS program (TCE, 2011; PCE, 2012; benzene, 2002; and vinyl chloride, 2000), the WHO's IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans (TCE, 2014; PCE, 2014; benzene, 2012; and vinyl chloride, 2013), and the NIH's NTP Report on Carcinogens (TCE, 2015; PCE, 2014; benzene, 2014; and vinyl chloride, 2014). In addition to the 2009 NRC report, the TWG drew on two other NAS reports, both published by the IOM: Gulf War and Health, vol. 2: Insecticides and Solvents (2003) and Review of the VA Clinical Guidance for Health Conditions Identified by the Camp Lejeune Legislation (2015). Section E below contains full references for all scientific literature reviewed by the TWG.

    D. Results of the TWG Analysis

    The TWG found that at least one of the internationally recognized scientific authorities cited above recently concluded that there is strong evidence supporting a causal relationship between kidney cancer and TCE (EPA 2011, IARC 2014, NTP 2015), adult leukemia and benzene (EPA 2002, IARC 2012, IOM 2003, NTP 2014), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and TCE (NTP 2015), and liver cancer and vinyl chloride (EPA 2000, IARC 2012, NTP 2014). Note that this list includes liver cancer, which was not named in the Camp Lejeune Act. Liver cancer was included in the list of health conditions as studies have established a causal relationship exists between liver cancer and vinyl chloride, and because the effects of vinyl chloride were not included in the 2009 NRC report's review of adverse health effects resulting from exposure, although it was identified in the water at Camp Lejeune.

    The TWG also noted that both the EPA (2002) and the IOM (2003) concluded that there is evidence supporting a causal relationship between aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes and benzene, which appears to be supported by NTP (2012). The TWG also found that at least one of the internationally recognized scientific authorities cited above recently concluded that there is a positive association between bladder cancer and PCE (EPA 2012, IARC 2014, IOM 2003) and between multiple myeloma and PCE (EPA 2012) and benzene (IARC 2012).

    In the context of providing VA with clinical guidance for implementing the 2012 Camp Lejeune Act, the IOM (2015) identified four published scientific analyses that address solvent exposure that had not been available during the NAS 2009 study. The IOM committee concluded that “Parkinson's disease is a neurobehavioral effect that may have resulted from consumption of contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.” IOM (2015) at 39.

    Although the CLSLT recommended to VA that they propose the creation of a presumption for scleroderma, additional reviews by the TWG concluded that the evidence is currently not strong enough to establish a positive association between any of the VOCs of interest and the development of scleroderma. Evaluations conducted by EPA (2011), IARC (2014), and NRC/IOM (2009) discuss a probable link between exposure to TCE and autoimmune diseases in general; however, none of the internationally recognized scientific authorities cited above concluded that there is positive association between scleroderma and the VOCs of interest, due in part to insufficient sample sizes and uncertainties about the cause of gender-specific differences. Therefore, the TWG did not recommend the creation of a presumption for scleroderma at this time, even though it was included in the Camp Lejeune Act.

    Likewise, none of the internationally recognized scientific authorities cited above concluded that there is a positive association between breast cancer, lung cancer, or esophageal cancer and the VOCs of interest. As such, the TWG concluded that the evidence was not strong enough to support recommending the creation of presumptions for these conditions at this time, even though they were included in the Camp Lejeune Act.

    Because the TWG analysis was conducted in the context of a rulemaking to establish presumptions of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to the VOCs of interest, the TWG did not recommend establishing presumptions for health effects that are not themselves diagnosed diseases or clearly associated with a specific diagnosis and therefore do not represent a disability for the purposes of VA compensation benefits. See 38 U.S.C. 1110. This is consistent with VA's practice in establishing presumptions of service connection for diseases arising potentially years after exposures of interest. For the purposes of entitlement to disability compensation and related benefits, the health endpoint must be associated with a diagnosis of a chronic disability. The TWG concluded that, at this time, there is not a specific or generalizable diagnosis of a disability related to renal toxicity or hepatic steatosis that may have been caused by exposure to the contaminants. Similarly, neither female infertility nor miscarriage, in and of themselves, are disabilities for which VA can provide disability compensation. Further, the NRC findings regarding female infertility and miscarriage were limited to exposure concurrent with those health effects and therefore would not provide a basis for presuming current health effects of this type to be associated with past exposure.

    E. Weight-of-Evidence Analyses Considered by the TWG • EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Benzene. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/635/R-02/001F, 2002. (EPA 2002) • EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Tetrachloroethylene. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/635/R-08/011F, 2012. (EPA 2012) • EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Trichloroethylene. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/635/R-09/011F, 2011. (EPA 2011) • EPA. IRIS Toxicological Review of Vinyl Chloride. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/635R-00/004, 2000. (EPA 2000) • IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans. Chemical Agents and Related Occupations. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2012. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 100F.) (IARC 2012) • IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans. Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, and Some Other Chlorinated Agents. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 106.) (IARC 2014) • Institute of Medicine. Gulf War and Health: Volume 2. Insecticides and Solvents. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003. (IOM 2003) • Institute of Medicine. Review of VA Clinical Guidance for the Health Conditions Identified by the Camp Lejeune Legislation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2015. (IOM 2015) • National Research Council. Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing Potential Health Effects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2009. • National Toxicology Program. 2014. Report on Carcinogens, Thirteenth Edition. Research Triangle Park, NC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/pubhealth/roc/roc13/ • National Toxicology Program. 2015. Report on Carcinogens, Monograph on Trichloroethylene. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/monographs/finaltce_508.pdf III. Secretary's Proposal A. Secretary's Authority

    Section 501(a)(1) of title 38, United States Code, provides that “[t]he Secretary has authority to prescribe all rules and regulations which are necessary or appropriate to carry out the laws administered by [VA] and are consistent with those laws, including . . . regulations with respect to the nature and extent of proof and evidence and the method of taking and furnishing them in order to establish the right to benefits under such laws.” This broad authority encompasses the establishment of an evidentiary presumption of service connection and exposure under specified circumstances, provided there is a rational basis for the presumptions. In this case, the Secretary has determined that proof of qualifying service at Camp Lejeune, consistent with the statute providing health care coverage for Camp Lejeune veterans, and the subsequent development of one or more of the eight disabilities identified by the TWG is sufficient to support proposing a presumption that the resulting disability was incurred in the line of duty during active military, naval, or air service, to include qualifying reserve or National Guard service, to establish entitlement to service connection. See 38 U.S.C. 1110.

    VA notes it is well-established that the Secretary's authority under 38 U.S.C. 501(a)(1) includes issuing discretionary regulations for presumptive service connection, as evidenced by past rulemakings (issued in response to National Academy of Sciences' studies of exposures) to establish presumptive service connection for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (see 73 FR 54691), presumptive service connection for exposure to herbicides for certain qualifying individuals aboard C-123 aircraft (see 80 FR 35246), and presumptive service connection for various diseases in veterans with exposure to specified vesicant agents (see 59 FR 42497).

    B. Presumptive Conditions

    Based upon the results of the TWG analysis, the Secretary proposes that VA acknowledge the relationship between exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune (in unknown quantities) and the subsequent development of the following health conditions: Kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, adult leukemia, liver cancer, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, Parkinson's disease, and aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes.

    Because these health conditions represent a disability, VA proposes to amend 38 CFR 3.307 to establish presumptions of service connection associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. VA also proposes to amend 38 CFR 3.309 to prescribe the conditions that are subject to presumptive service connection in relation to exposure to the contaminants in the Camp Lejeune water supply. At this time, VA does not propose to establish presumptions of service connection for any other conditions. VA may consider additional rulemaking in the future, consistent with the available science at that time.

    C. Exposure Requirements

    VA proposes to presume exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune for all active duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel who served for no less than 30 days (consecutive or nonconsecutive) at Camp Lejeune during the period beginning August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987. VA proposes to include both consecutive and nonconsecutive days in the calculation of the 30-day requirement to clarify that VA will presume exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune for veterans who may have served at Camp Lejeune on multiple occasions that total no less than 30 days.

    VA based its determination to require no less than 30 days of service at Camp Lejeune to establish a presumption of exposure to contaminants in the water supply based on both the available scientific evidence and prior implementation of the provisions of section 102 of the Camp Lejeune Act. As previously discussed, the TWG's assessment relied on a hazard evaluation model, focusing on the conclusions of internationally respected expert scientific bodies. The TWG did not take into account the estimated levels of contamination in the water at Camp Lejeune and therefore could not characterize any risk associated with a specific level of exposure to contaminated water. As the available scientific evidence does not provide specific data on exposure levels, VA proposes to use its prior implementation of the health care provisions of Public Law 112-154 as a guide.

    While section 102 of Public Law 112-154 requires that the veteran served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, it does not specify whether these days must be consecutive. VA's implementation of the provisions of section 102, contained in 38 CFR 17.400, requires that a veteran served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune to establish entitlement to health care. 78 FR 55671. Section 17.400 specifically notes that the 30 days may be consecutive or non-consecutive. While VA is not bound by Public Law 112-154 or 38 CFR 17.400 in proposing the current presumptions of exposure and service connection, VA has determined that inclusion of the 30-day requirement would ensure consistency and parity with both its healthcare regulations and the statute.

    However, the enactment of Public Law 112-154, by itself, does not provide a legal requirement for prescribing a 30-day service requirement for the purposes of disability compensation. Further, Congress did not provide any scientific references for prescribing a 30-day service requirement when it enacted Public Law 112-154. VA acknowledges that current science establishes a link between exposure to certain chemicals found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune and later development of one of the proposed presumptive conditions. However, VA experts agree that there is no science to support a specific minimum exposure level for any of the conditions. Therefore, VA welcomes comments on this requirement and will consider other practical alternatives when drafting the final rule.

    VA also notes that the proposed 30-day requirement serves to establish eligibility for service connection on a presumptive basis; nothing in this proposed regulation prohibits consideration of service connection on a non-presumptive basis. Veterans without the requisite 30 days of service at Camp Lejeune may still establish service connection for any disease or disability on a direct basis. Direct service connection for any disease alleged to have been caused by contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune requires evidence of a current disease or disability, evidence of exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, and a medical nexus between the two, supported by a sufficient scientific explanation.

    D. Application to Reservists and National Guard

    Basic eligibility for VA benefits requires that an individual be a “veteran” as that term is defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(2): “The term `veteran' means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.” Reserve or National Guard service during a period of active duty for training or inactive duty training generally does not qualify an individual as a “veteran” because it does not constitute “active military, naval or air service,” unless the individual is disabled or dies during that period of service as prescribed by 38 U.S.C. 101(24)(B) and (C).

    This proposed rule would establish presumptions that former reservists and National Guard members were exposed to contaminants in the water supply between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, if their military personnel record includes orders or other records of no less than 30 days service (consecutive or nonconsecutive) at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period, and would allow them to establish veteran status by presuming that a covered disability was incurred in the line of duty and arose during the qualifying period of service.

    Although 38 U.S.C. 101(24) requires a period of active duty for training or inactive duty training “during which the individual concerned was disabled or died” for a period of active duty for training or inactive duty training to constitute “active military, naval, or air service,” the latent effects of exposures to certain harmful chemicals were unrecognized when section 101(24) was enacted in 1958. The legislative history regarding the enactment of section 101(24) does not specifically explain Congress' intent in requiring that the individual “was disabled or died” during the period of service. It is probable that Congress required a reserve component member to have been disabled “during” training because the medical science of the time understood that, if an in-service injury were to result in disability, at least some aspect of that disability generally would be manifest contemporaneous with the injury. However, subsequent developments with regard to medical understanding of the health effects of harmful chemical exposures, such as the VOCs that contaminated the Camp Lejeune water supply, raise a question regarding the application of section 101(24) to disability associated with such exposure.

    Viewing the generally beneficial purpose of section 101(24) in light of an evolved medical understanding, the Secretary believes it is reasonable to propose a factual presumption that disability occurred during the period of service as required under section 101(24) when an individual has a present disability from: Kidney cancer, liver cancer, adult leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, and Parkinson's disease. Specifically, the proposed disease presumptions enumerated in 38 CFR 3.309, coupled with the potential for clinical uncertainty regarding when such diseases first manifested, provide a reasonable basis for presuming that disability occurred during a period of reserve or National Guard service for purposes of satisfying the requirements under section 101(24)(B) or (C) in order to ensure compensation and health care for reservists and National Guard personnel disabled as a result of exposure to the contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune on qualifying reserve and National Guard duty.

    IV. Application of Rulemaking to Previously Adjudicated Claims

    This proposed rule would apply to claims received by VA on or after the date of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register and to claims pending before VA on that date. This proposed rule would not apply retroactively to claims previously adjudicated. VA would adhere to the provisions of its change of law regulation, 38 CFR 3.114, which states, “[w]here pension, compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, . . . is awarded or increased pursuant to a liberalizing law, or a liberalizing VA issue approved by the Secretary or by the Secretary's direction, the effective date of such award or increase shall be fixed in accordance with the facts found, but shall not be earlier than the effective date of the act or administrative issue.” See also 38 U.S.C. 5110(g).

    This proposed regulation is based on the Secretary's broad authority under 38 U.S.C. 501(a) to “prescribe all rules and regulations which are necessary or appropriate to carry out the laws administered by the Department and are consistent with those laws, including— . . . regulations with respect to the nature and extent of proof and evidence . . . in order to establish the right to benefits under such laws.” This rulemaking authority does not explicitly afford the Secretary authority to assign retroactive effect to the regulations created thereunder. It is well-settled that “[r]etroactivity is not favored in the law. . . . [A] statutory grant of legislative rulemaking authority will not, as a general matter, be understood to encompass the power to promulgate retroactive rules unless that power is conveyed by Congress in express terms.” Bowen v. Georgetown Univ. Hosp., 488 U.S. 204, 208 (1988). As there is no explicit statutory authority to apply this proposed regulation retroactively, the Secretary, based on the current state of the scientific evidence, will take into consideration the evidentiary burden on claimants for certain Camp Lejeune contaminated water related claims pending (for the diseases specified in the proposed regulation) at the time of publication of the final rule and for all future claims.

    Although this proposed regulation would not apply retroactively, a claimant whose claim was previously and finally denied may file a new claim to obtain a new determination of entitlement under the final regulation. See Spencer v. Brown, 17 F.3d 368, 372 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (“`When a provision of law or regulation creates a new basis of entitlement to benefits, as through liberalization of the requirements for entitlement to a benefit, an applicant's claim of entitlement under such law or regulation is a claim separate and distinct from a claim previously and finally denied prior to the liberalizing law or regulation.'”) (quoting Spencer v. Brown, 4 Vet. App. 283, 288-89 (1993)).

    V. Regulation Amendments

    VA proposes to amend the § 3.307 heading to read “Presumptive service connection for chronic, tropical or prisoner-of-war related disease, disease associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents, or disease associated with the contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune; wartime and service on or after January 1, 1947.” Likewise, VA proposes to revise paragraph (a) of § 3.307 to add the phrase “, or disease associated with the contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune” after the words “herbicide agents.” Both of these proposed amendments are necessary to inform the public that certain diseases associated with contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune are now included among those covered by VA's proposed presumptive service connection regulations. Paragraph (a)(1) of § 3.307 establishes service criteria necessary to establish entitlement to presumptive treatment of a disease related to particular types of exposure. VA proposes to amend this paragraph to specify that any period of service is sufficient for purposes of presumptive service connection of conditions associated with service at Camp Lejeune, as long as the service also satisfies the requirements to establish a presumption of exposure to contaminants in the water supply at that facility under § 3.307(a)(7)(iii).

    As noted above, VA previously implemented health care benefits for veterans who served on active duty at Camp Lejeune for at least thirty days (consecutive or nonconsecutive) during the contamination period through 38 CFR 17.400. To maintain consistency and parity with VA's interpretation of Public Law 112-154 in implementing its healthcare regulations, VA proposes that a veteran, or former reservist or National Guard member, must have a record of no less than 30 days of service (consecutive or nonconsecutive) at Camp Lejeune for any period between the prescribed dates to establish service connection on a presumptive basis for the eight conditions addressed in this proposed rule. Service at Camp Lejeune, for the purpose of establishing service connection on a presumptive basis, means that the veteran, or former reservist or National Guard member, as established by military orders or other official service department records, lived or worked within the confines of the Camp Lejeune border. Any such veteran, or former reservist or National Guard member, could have been exposed to contaminants in the water supply through drinking, bathing or other activities. We believe that military orders or other official service department records documenting no less than 30 days of service at Camp Lejeune provide a rational basis for presuming that the individual likely had more than isolated and minimal opportunity for contact with the relevant VOCs.

    VA also proposes adding paragraph (a)(7) to § 3.307 to describe entitlement criteria for diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. Paragraph (a)(7)(i) defines “contaminants in the water supply” to mean the on-base water-supply systems located at Camp Lejeune that were contaminated with TCE, PCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride during the period beginning August 1, 1953, and ending December 31, 1987. Proposed paragraph (a)(7)(ii) cross-references proposed § 3.309(f), which lists the diseases that are presumptively service connected based on exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, and requires that they manifest to a compensable degree at any time after service for VA to award presumptive service connection. Proposed paragraph (a)(7)(iii) describes the population covered by the presumption of exposure.

    Proposed paragraph (a)(7)(iii) applies the presumption of exposure to a veteran, reservist, or National Guard member who had no less than 30 days of service (consecutive or nonconsecutive) at Camp Lejeune at any time during the period beginning August 1, 1953, and ending December 31, 1987. Such individuals are presumed to have been exposed to the contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, unless there is affirmative evidence to establish that there was no such exposure. Affirmative evidence showing that there was no exposure is likely to be rare, but if there is evidence showing that the veteran was not actually exposed to contaminants in the water supply, the veteran must establish that the disability is related to military service in some other way (e.g., had its onset during service). The disability will not be presumed to have been caused by contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune.

    VA proposes to prescribe the same contamination period as 38 U.S.C. 1710(e)(1)(F). As noted above, section 1710(e)(1)(F) was amended by Public Law 113-235 to change the Camp Lejeune contamination period to August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987. The legislative history does not explain why Congress selected this contamination period, but it is likely based on some of the earliest assessments of the Camp Lejeune water supply noted in the NRC report. Contaminated Water Supplies, at 60. This period represents the ATSDR's best estimate of the period of contamination at Camp Lejeune and likely captures all potentially affected veterans.

    Paragraph (a)(7)(iii) also defines “service at Camp Lejeune” as any service within the borders of the entirety of the United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, during the relevant period, as established by military orders or other service department records. Neither the statute nor the legislative history of Public Law 112-154 indicates Congress' intent as to the geographic area covered by reference to “Camp Lejeune, North Carolina” in 38 U.S.C. 1710(e)(1)(F). VA acknowledges that it would be too difficult to determine with specificity which residential or workplace facilities were serviced with the contaminated water, or whether and to what degree the veteran would have come into contact with that facility during active service. Therefore, this proposed rule covers any veteran, reservist, or member of the National Guard, whose military orders or records establish their presence within the borders of the entirety of the United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune border, which includes Marine Corps Air Station New River, for no less than 30 days (consecutive or nonconsecutive) and therefore could potentially have come into physical contact (e.g., by drinking or bathing) with contaminants in the water supply on more than an isolated and minimal basis. VA specifically included Marine Corps Air Station New River in the definition of service Camp Lejeune to clarify that official military records indicating service at Marine Corps Air Station New River are sufficient to establish service at Camp Lejeune for the purposes of this rulemaking. This would ensure consistency with the definition of Camp Lejeune in 38 CFR 17.400(b) for purposes of health care.

    Proposed paragraph (a)(7)(iv) prescribes that the presumed exposure to contaminants in the water supply is an “injury” under section 101(24)(B) and (C). In turn, if an individual develops a presumptive disease listed in 38 CFR 3.309(f), “VA will presume that the individual concerned became disabled during that service for purposes of establishing that the individual served in the active military, naval, or air service.” As explained previously, this is consistent with section 101(24) because exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune is associated with latent adverse health effects that were largely unrecognized in 1958. Covered individuals may therefore establish veteran status for purposes of VA's disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, medical care, and burial benefits related to any Camp Lejeune-related presumptive condition.

    VA also proposes to amend 38 CFR 3.309 by adding paragraph (f). This proposed paragraph is titled “Disease associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune.” The primary purpose of this proposed amendment is to list the diseases that are presumptively service connected based on exposure to contaminants in the water supplies at Camp Lejeune during the exposure period. For the reasons described above, the diseases are as follows: Kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, adult leukemia, multiple myeloma, Parkinson's disease, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, and bladder cancer. Proposed paragraph (f) notes that the provisions of 38 CFR 3.307(d), regarding circumstances in which presumptions of service connection may be rebutted, apply to these presumptions.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is providing a 30 day period for public comment. Kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, adult leukemia, multiple myeloma, Parkinson's disease, bladder cancer, and aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes are debilitating and life-threatening illnesses, and any delay in implementing a final rule could have severe detrimental impact on Veterans exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune now suffering from these diseases. Based on the age of the individuals affected by this proposed rule and the severity of the disabilities associated with their exposure, it is likely that affected individuals would have significant and urgent financial and medical needs. In the absence of a shortened public comment period and publication of a final rule, these Veterans may not receive proper health care or assistance with daily functions due to financial hardship or the absence of service-connected status for their disability.

    While VA believes the severity of the conditions and the age of the individuals affected themselves justify a 30 day period for public comment, there is an even more acute basis for the Secretary's decision. VA is aware of roughly thirty individuals who are terminally ill, and would be covered by the presumptions in the event they become effective. Provision of a 60-day comment period would increase the likelihood that some affected veterans who have incurred or will incur one or more of the covered illnesses will die from the disease before a final rule could be issued. In order for these individuals to have access to VA health care, some for the first time, and disability compensation benefits, it is critical that VA establish these presumptions as soon as possible. Therefore, the Secretary is providing a public comment period of 30 days. VA invites public comments on this proposed rule and notes that it will fully consider and address any comments received.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action,” requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), unless OMB waives such review, as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (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 this Executive Order.”

    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 because it is likely to result in a rule that may have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more and may raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of this rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published from FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.”

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612). This proposed rule would directly affect only individuals and would not directly affect small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rulemaking is exempt from the regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521).

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are 64.109, Veterans Compensation for Service-Connected Disability; 64.110, Veterans Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for Service-Connected Death.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on August 30, 2016, for publication.

    Dated: September 1, 2016. Michael Shores, Acting Director, Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs. List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 3

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Disability benefits, Veterans.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Veterans Affairs proposes to amend 38 CFR part 3 as follows:

    PART 3—ADJUDICATION Subpart A—Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation 1. The authority citation for part 3, subpart A continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501(a), unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 3.307 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (a) introductory text and (a)(1), and adding paragraph (a)(7) to read as follows:
    § 3.307 Presumptive service connection for chronic, tropical or prisoner-of-war related disease, disease associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents, or disease associated with contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune; wartime and service on or after January 1, 1947.

    (a) General. A chronic, tropical, prisoner of war related disease, a disease associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents, or a disease associated with contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune listed in § 3.309 will be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated by service under the circumstances outlined in this section even though there is no evidence of such disease during the period of service. No condition other than one listed in § 3.309(a) will be considered chronic.

    (1) Service. The veteran must have served 90 days or more during a war period or after December 31, 1946. The requirement of 90 days' service means active, continuous service within or extending into or beyond a war period, or which began before and extended beyond December 31, 1946, or began after that date. Any period of service is sufficient for the purpose of establishing the presumptive service connection of a specified disease under the conditions listed in § 3.309(c) and (e). Any period of service is sufficient for the purpose of establishing the presumptive service connection of a specified disease under the conditions listed in § 3.309(f), as long as the period of service also satisfies the requirements to establish a presumption of exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune under paragraph (a)(7)(iii) of this section.

    (7) Diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. (i) For the purposes of this section, contaminants in the water supply means the volatile organic compounds trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene and vinyl chloride, that were in the on-base water-supply systems located at United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987.

    (ii) The diseases listed in § 3.309(f) shall have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more at any time after service.

    (iii) A veteran, or former reservist or member of the National Guard, who had no less than 30 days (consecutive or nonconsecutive) of service at Camp Lejeune during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, shall be presumed to have been exposed during such service to the contaminants in the water supply, unless there is affirmative evidence to establish that the individual was not exposed to contaminants in the water supply during that service. The last date on which such a veteran, or former reservist or member of the National Guard, shall be presumed to have been exposed to contaminants in the water supply shall be the last date on which he or she served at Camp Lejeune during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987. For purposes of this section, service at Camp Lejeune means any service within the borders of the entirety of the United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, during the period beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, as established by military orders or other official service department records.

    (iv) Exposure described in paragraph (a)(7)(iii) of this section is an injury under 38 U.S.C. 101(24)(B) and (C). If an individual described in paragraph (a)(7)(iii) of this section develops a disease listed in 38 CFR 3.309(f), VA will presume that the individual concerned became disabled during that service for purposes of establishing that the individual served in the active military, naval, or air service.

    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a))
    3. Add § 3.309(f) to read as follows:
    § 3.309 Disease subject to presumptive service connection.

    (f) Disease associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. If a veteran, or former reservist or member of the National Guard, was exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune during military service and the exposure meets the requirements of § 3.307(a)(7), the following diseases shall be service-connected even though there is no record of such disease during service, subject to the rebuttable presumption provisions of § 3.307(d).

    (1) Kidney cancer.

    (2) Liver cancer.

    (3) Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    (4) Adult leukemia.

    (5) Multiple myeloma.

    (6) Parkinson's disease.

    (7) Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes.

    (8) Bladder cancer.

    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a))
    [FR Doc. 2016-21455 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 70 [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0453; FRL-9951-85-Region 7] State of Iowa; Approval and Promulgation of the Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan, and 112(l) Plan AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Iowa Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan (SIP), and the 112(l) plan. The submission revises the Title V Operating Permits Program to include a new chapter to address fees for services by the air quality program. Administrative revisions made with this rulemaking to the SIP and 112(l) plan are associated with the new chapter.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by October 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0453, to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document proposes to take action to approve revisions to the Iowa Title V Operating Permits Program, the State Implementation Plan (SIP), and the 112(l) plan. We have published a direct final rule approving the State's SIP revision(s) in the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no relevant adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this action in the preamble to the direct final rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information, please see the information provided in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Part 70

    Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Operating permits, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: August 24, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21468 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 55 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568; FRL-9950-97-Region 3] Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations Consistency Update for Maryland AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to update a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Air Regulations. Requirements applying to OCS sources located within 25 miles of States' seaward boundaries must be updated periodically to remain consistent with the requirements of the corresponding onshore area (COA), as mandated by the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990 (the Act). The portion of the OCS air regulations that is being updated pertains to the requirements for OCS sources for which Maryland is the designated COA. In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, EPA is taking this action as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by October 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0568 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, that is located in the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register publication.

    Dated: August 2, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21459 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 300 [EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0428, 0430, 0432, 0433, 0434, 0435, 0436 and 0437; FRL-9952-05-OLEM] National Priorities List AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “the Act”), as amended, requires that the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”) include a list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the United States. The National Priorities List (“NPL”) constitutes this list. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or “the agency”) in determining which sites warrant further investigation. These further investigations will allow the EPA to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with the site and to determine what CERCLA-financed remedial action(s), if any, may be appropriate. This rulemaking proposes to add eight sites to the General Superfund section of the NPL.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding any of these proposed listings must be submitted (postmarked) on or before November 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Identify the appropriate docket number from the table below.

    Docket Identification Numbers by Site Site name City/county, state Docket ID number Post and Lumber Preserving Co. Inc Quincy, FL EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0428 Microfab Inc (Former) Amesbury, MA EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0430 Old HWY 275 and N 288th Street Valley, NE EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0432 Anaconda Copper Mine Yerington, NV EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0433 Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Village of Hoosick Falls, NY EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0434 The Battery Recycling Company Bo. Cambalache, PR EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0435 Former Custom Cleaners Memphis, TN EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0436 Highway 18 Ground Water Kermit, TX EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0437

    Submit your comments, identified by the appropriate docket number, at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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 https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. To send a comment via the United States Postal Service, use the following address:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Superfund Docket Center, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    Use the Docket Center address below if you are using express mail, commercial delivery, hand delivery or courier. Delivery verification signatures will be available only during regular business hours:

    EPA Superfund Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    For additional docket addresses and further details on their contents, see section II, “Public Review/Public Comment,” of the Supplementary Information portion of this preamble.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Terry Jeng, phone: (703) 603-8852, email: [email protected], Site Assessment and Remedy Decisions Branch, Assessment and Remediation Division, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (Mailcode 5204P), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; or the Superfund Hotline, phone (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810 in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background A. What are CERCLA and SARA? B. What is the NCP? C. What is the National Priorities List (NPL)? D. How are sites listed on the NPL? E. What happens to sites on the NPL? F. Does the NPL define the boundaries of sites? G. How are sites removed from the NPL? H. May the EPA delete portions of sites from the NPL as they are cleaned up? I. What is the Construction Completion List (CCL)? J. What is the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure? K. What is state/tribal correspondence concerning NPL listing? II. Public Review/Public Comment A. May I review the documents relevant to this proposed rule? B. How do I access the documents? C. What documents are available for public review at the EPA Headquarters docket? D. What documents are available for public review at the EPA regional dockets? E. How do I submit my comments? F. What happens to my comments? G. What should I consider when preparing my comments? H. May I submit comments after the public comment period is over? I. May I view public comments submitted by others? J. May I submit comments regarding sites not currently proposed to the NPL? III. Contents of This Proposed Rule A. Proposed Additions to the NPL IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations I. Background A. What are CERCLA and SARA?

    In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675 (“CERCLA” or “the Act”), in response to the dangers of uncontrolled releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, and releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial danger to the public health or welfare. CERCLA was amended on October 17, 1986, by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (“SARA”), Public Law 99-499, 100 Stat. 1613 et seq.

    B. What is the NCP?

    To implement CERCLA, the EPA promulgated the revised National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (“NCP”), 40 CFR part 300, on July 16, 1982 (47 FR 31180), pursuant to CERCLA section 105 and Executive Order 12316 (46 FR 42237, August 20, 1981). The NCP sets guidelines and procedures for responding to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances or releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial danger to the public health or welfare. The EPA has revised the NCP on several occasions. The most recent comprehensive revision was on March 8, 1990 (55 FR 8666).

    As required under section 105(a)(8)(A) of CERCLA, the NCP also includes “criteria for determining priorities among releases or threatened releases throughout the United States for the purpose of taking remedial action and, to the extent practicable taking into account the potential urgency of such action, for the purpose of taking removal action.” “Removal” actions are defined broadly and include a wide range of actions taken to study, clean up, prevent or otherwise address releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants (42 U.S.C. 9601(23)).

    C. What is the National Priorities List (NPL)?

    The NPL is a list of national priorities among the known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants throughout the United States. The list, which is appendix B of the NCP (40 CFR part 300), was required under section 105(a)(8)(B) of CERCLA, as amended. Section 105(a)(8)(B) defines the NPL as a list of “releases” and the highest priority “facilities” and requires that the NPL be revised at least annually. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The NPL is only of limited significance, however, as it does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken.

    For purposes of listing, the NPL includes two sections, one of sites that are generally evaluated and cleaned up by the EPA (the “General Superfund section”), and one of sites that are owned or operated by other federal agencies (the “Federal Facilities section”). With respect to sites in the Federal Facilities section, these sites are generally being addressed by other federal agencies. Under Executive Order 12580 (52 FR 2923, January 29, 1987) and CERCLA section 120, each federal agency is responsible for carrying out most response actions at facilities under its own jurisdiction, custody or control, although the EPA is responsible for preparing a Hazard Ranking System (“HRS”) score and determining whether the facility is placed on the NPL.

    D. How are sites listed on the NPL?

    There are three mechanisms for placing sites on the NPL for possible remedial action (see 40 CFR 300.425(c) of the NCP):

    (1) A site may be included on the NPL if it scores sufficiently high on the HRS, which the EPA promulgated as appendix A of the NCP (40 CFR part 300). The HRS serves as a screening tool to evaluate the relative potential of uncontrolled hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants to pose a threat to human health or the environment. On December 14, 1990 (55 FR 51532), the EPA promulgated revisions to the HRS partly in response to CERCLA section 105(c), added by SARA. The revised HRS evaluates four pathways: Ground water, surface water, soil exposure and air. As a matter of agency policy, those sites that score 28.50 or greater on the HRS are eligible for the NPL.

    (2) Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 9605(a)(8)(B), each state may designate a single site as its top priority to be listed on the NPL, without any HRS score. This provision of CERCLA requires that, to the extent practicable, the NPL include one facility designated by each state as the greatest danger to public health, welfare or the environment among known facilities in the state. This mechanism for listing is set out in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(c)(2).

    (3) The third mechanism for listing, included in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(c)(3), allows certain sites to be listed without any HRS score, if all of the following conditions are met:

    • The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Public Health Service has issued a health advisory that recommends dissociation of individuals from the release.

    • The EPA determines that the release poses a significant threat to public health.

    • The EPA anticipates that it will be more cost-effective to use its remedial authority than to use its removal authority to respond to the release.

    The EPA promulgated an original NPL of 406 sites on September 8, 1983 (48 FR 40658) and generally has updated it at least annually. E. What happens to sites on the NPL?

    A site may undergo remedial action financed by the Trust Fund established under CERCLA (commonly referred to as the “Superfund”) only after it is placed on the NPL, as provided in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(b)(1). (“Remedial actions” are those “consistent with permanent remedy, taken instead of or in addition to removal actions. * * * ” 42 U.S.C. 9601(24).) However, under 40 CFR 300.425(b)(2) placing a site on the NPL “does not imply that monies will be expended.” The EPA may pursue other appropriate authorities to respond to the releases, including enforcement action under CERCLA and other laws.

    F. Does the NPL define the boundaries of sites?

    The NPL does not describe releases in precise geographical terms; it would be neither feasible nor consistent with the limited purpose of the NPL (to identify releases that are priorities for further evaluation), for it to do so. Indeed, the precise nature and extent of the site are typically not known at the time of listing.

    Although a CERCLA “facility” is broadly defined to include any area where a hazardous substance has “come to be located” (CERCLA section 101(9)), the listing process itself is not intended to define or reflect the boundaries of such facilities or releases. Of course, HRS data (if the HRS is used to list a site) upon which the NPL placement was based will, to some extent, describe the release(s) at issue. That is, the NPL site would include all releases evaluated as part of that HRS analysis.

    When a site is listed, the approach generally used to describe the relevant release(s) is to delineate a geographical area (usually the area within an installation or plant boundaries) and identify the site by reference to that area. However, the NPL site is not necessarily coextensive with the boundaries of the installation or plant, and the boundaries of the installation or plant are not necessarily the “boundaries” of the site. Rather, the site consists of all contaminated areas within the area used to identify the site, as well as any other location where that contamination has come to be located, or from where that contamination came.

    In other words, while geographic terms are often used to designate the site (e.g., the “Jones Co. Plant site”) in terms of the property owned by a particular party, the site, properly understood, is not limited to that property (e.g., it may extend beyond the property due to contaminant migration), and conversely may not occupy the full extent of the property (e.g., where there are uncontaminated parts of the identified property, they may not be, strictly speaking, part of the “site”). The “site” is thus neither equal to, nor confined by, the boundaries of any specific property that may give the site its name, and the name itself should not be read to imply that this site is coextensive with the entire area within the property boundary of the installation or plant. In addition, the site name is merely used to help identify the geographic location of the contamination, and is not meant to constitute any determination of liability at a site. For example, the name “Jones Co. Plant site,” does not imply that the Jones Company is responsible for the contamination located on the plant site.

    The EPA regulations provide that the remedial investigation (“RI”) “is a process undertaken . . . to determine the nature and extent of the problem presented by the release” as more information is developed on site contamination, and which is generally performed in an interactive fashion with the feasibility Study (“FS”) (40 CFR 300.5). During the RI/FS process, the release may be found to be larger or smaller than was originally thought, as more is learned about the source(s) and the migration of the contamination. However, the HRS inquiry focuses on an evaluation of the threat posed and therefore the boundaries of the release need not be exactly defined. Moreover, it generally is impossible to discover the full extent of where the contamination “has come to be located” before all necessary studies and remedial work are completed at a site. Indeed, the known boundaries of the contamination can be expected to change over time. Thus, in most cases, it may be impossible to describe the boundaries of a release with absolute certainty.

    Further, as noted previously, NPL listing does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Thus, if a party does not believe it is liable for releases on discrete parcels of property, it can submit supporting information to the agency at any time after it receives notice it is a potentially responsible party.

    For these reasons, the NPL need not be amended as further research reveals more information about the location of the contamination or release.

    G. How are sites removed from the NPL?

    The EPA may delete sites from the NPL where no further response is appropriate under Superfund, as explained in the NCP at 40 CFR 300.425(e). This section also provides that the EPA shall consult with states on proposed deletions and shall consider whether any of the following criteria have been met:

    (i) Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all appropriate response actions required;

    (ii) All appropriate Superfund-financed response has been implemented and no further response action is required; or

    (iii) The remedial investigation has shown the release poses no significant threat to public health or the environment, and taking of remedial measures is not appropriate.

    H. May the EPA delete portions of sites from the NPL as they are cleaned up?

    In November 1995, the EPA initiated a policy to delete portions of NPL sites where cleanup is complete (60 FR 55465, November 1, 1995). Total site cleanup may take many years, while portions of the site may have been cleaned up and made available for productive use.

    I. What is the Construction Completion List (CCL)?

    The EPA also has developed an NPL construction completion list (“CCL”) to simplify its system of categorizing sites and to better communicate the successful completion of cleanup activities (58 FR 12142, March 2, 1993). Inclusion of a site on the CCL has no legal significance.

    Sites qualify for the CCL when: (1) Any necessary physical construction is complete, whether or not final cleanup levels or other requirements have been achieved; (2) the EPA has determined that the response action should be limited to measures that do not involve construction (e.g., institutional controls); or (3) the site qualifies for deletion from the NPL. For more information on the CCL, see the EPA's Internet site at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-remedial-performance-measures#cc_anchor.

    J. What is the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure?

    The Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure (formerly called Sitewide Ready-for-Reuse) represents important Superfund accomplishments and the measure reflects the high priority the EPA places on considering anticipated future land use as part of the remedy selection process. See Guidance for Implementing the Sitewide Ready-for-Reuse Measure, May 24, 2006, OSWER 9365.0-36. This measure applies to final and deleted sites where construction is complete, all cleanup goals have been achieved, and all institutional or other controls are in place. The EPA has been successful on many occasions in carrying out remedial actions that ensure protectiveness of human health and the environment for current and future land uses, in a manner that allows contaminated properties to be restored to environmental and economic vitality. For further information, please go to https://www.epa.gov/superfund/about-superfund-cleanup-process#tab-9.

    K. What is state/tribal correspondence concerning NPL listing?

    In order to maintain close coordination with states and tribes in the NPL listing decision process, the EPA's policy is to determine the position of the states and tribes regarding sites that the EPA is considering for listing. This consultation process is outlined in two memoranda that can be found at the following Web site: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/statetribal-correspondence-concerning-npl-site-listing.

    The EPA is improving the transparency of the process by which state and tribal input is solicited. The EPA is using the Web and where appropriate more structured state and tribal correspondence that (1) explains the concerns at the site and the EPA's rationale for proceeding; (2) requests an explanation of how the state intends to address the site if placement on the NPL is not favored; and (3) emphasizes the transparent nature of the process by informing states that information on their responses will be publicly available.

    A model letter and correspondence from this point forward between the EPA and states and tribes where applicable, is available on the EPA's Web site at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/statetribal-correspondence-concerning-npl-site-listing.

    II. Public Review/Public Comment A. May I review the documents relevant to this proposed rule?

    Yes, documents that form the basis for the EPA's evaluation and scoring of the sites in this proposed rule are contained in public dockets located both at the EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC, and in the regional offices. These documents are also available by electronic access at http://www.regulations.gov (see instructions in the ADDRESSES section above).

    B. How do I access the documents?

    You may view the documents, by appointment only, in the Headquarters or the regional dockets after the publication of this proposed rule. The hours of operation for the Headquarters docket are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday excluding federal holidays. Please contact the regional dockets for hours.

    The following is the contact information for the EPA Headquarters Docket: Docket Coordinator, Headquarters, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CERCLA Docket Office, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., William Jefferson Clinton Building West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004; 202/566-0276. (Please note this is a visiting address only. Mail comments to the EPA Headquarters as detailed at the beginning of this preamble.)

    The contact information for the regional dockets is as follows:

    • Holly Inglis, Region 1 (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT), U.S. EPA, Superfund Records and Information Center, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912; 617/918-1413.

    • Ildefonso Acosta, Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI), U.S. EPA, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007-1866; 212/637-4344.

    • Lorie Baker (ASRC), Region 3 (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV), U.S. EPA, Library, 1650 Arch Street, Mailcode 3HS12, Philadelphia, PA 19103; 215/814-3355.

    • Cathy Amoroso, Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN), U.S. EPA, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Mailcode 9T25, Atlanta, GA 30303; 404/562-8637.

    • Todd Quesada, Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), U.S. EPA Superfund Division Librarian/SFD Records Manager SRC-7J, Metcalfe Federal Building, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604; 312/886-4465.

    • Brenda Cook, Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX), U.S. EPA, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Mailcode 6SFTS, Dallas, TX 75202-2733; 214/665-7436.

    • Brian Mitchell, Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE), U.S. EPA, 11201 Renner Blvd., Mailcode SUPRERNB, Lenexa, KS 66219; 913/551-7633.

    • Victor Ketellapper, Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY), U.S. EPA, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Mailcode 8EPR-B, Denver, CO 80202-1129; 303/312-6578.

    • Sharon Murray, Region 9 (AZ, CA, HI, NV, AS, GU, MP), U.S. EPA, 75 Hawthorne Street, Mailcode SFD 6-1, San Francisco, CA 94105; 415/947-4250.

    • Ken Marcy, Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA), U.S. EPA, 1200 6th Avenue, Mailcode ECL-112, Seattle, WA 98101; 206/463-1349.

    You may also request copies from the EPA Headquarters or the regional dockets. An informal request, rather than a formal written request under the Freedom of Information Act, should be the ordinary procedure for obtaining copies of any of these documents. Please note that due to the difficulty of reproducing oversized maps, oversized maps may be viewed only in-person; since the EPA dockets are not equipped to both copy and mail out such maps or scan them and send them out electronically.

    You may use the docket at http://www.regulations.gov to access documents in the Headquarters docket (see instructions included in the ADDRESSES section). Please note that there are differences between the Headquarters docket and the regional dockets and those differences are outlined in this preamble, Sections II.C and D.

    C. What documents are available for public review at the EPA Headquarters docket?

    The Headquarters docket for this proposed rule contains the following for the sites proposed in this rule: HRS score sheets; documentation records describing the information used to compute the score; information for any sites affected by particular statutory requirements or the EPA listing policies; and a list of documents referenced in the documentation record.

    D. What documents are available for public review at the EPA regional dockets?

    The regional dockets for this proposed rule contain all of the information in the Headquarters docket plus the actual reference documents containing the data principally relied upon and cited by the EPA in calculating or evaluating the HRS score for the sites. These reference documents are available only in the regional dockets.

    E. How do I submit my comments?

    Comments must be submitted to the EPA Headquarters as detailed at the beginning of this preamble in the ADDRESSES section. Please note that the mailing addresses differ according to method of delivery. There are two different addresses that depend on whether comments are sent by express mail or by postal mail.

    F. What happens to my comments?

    The EPA considers all comments received during the comment period. Significant comments are typically addressed in a support document that the EPA will publish concurrently with the Federal Register document if, and when, the site is listed on the NPL.

    G. What should I consider when preparing my comments?

    Comments that include complex or voluminous reports, or materials prepared for purposes other than HRS scoring, should point out the specific information that the EPA should consider and how it affects individual HRS factor values or other listing criteria (Northside Sanitary Landfill v. Thomas, 849 F.2d 1516 (D.C. Cir. 1988)). The EPA will not address voluminous comments that are not referenced to the HRS or other listing criteria. The EPA will not address comments unless they indicate which component of the HRS documentation record or what particular point in the EPA's stated eligibility criteria is at issue.

    H. May I submit comments after the public comment period is over?

    Generally, the EPA will not respond to late comments. The EPA can guarantee only that it will consider those comments postmarked by the close of the formal comment period. The EPA has a policy of generally not delaying a final listing decision solely to accommodate consideration of late comments.

    I. May I view public comments submitted by others?

    During the comment period, comments are placed in the Headquarters docket and are available to the public on an “as received” basis. A complete set of comments will be available for viewing in the regional dockets approximately one week after the formal comment period closes.

    All public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper form, will be made available for public viewing in the electronic public docket at http://www.regulations.gov as the EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Once in the public dockets system, select “search,” then key in the appropriate docket ID number.

    J. May I submit comments regarding sites not currently proposed to the NPL?

    In certain instances, interested parties have written to the EPA concerning sites that were not at that time proposed to the NPL. If those sites are later proposed to the NPL, parties should review their earlier concerns and, if still appropriate, resubmit those concerns for consideration during the formal comment period. Site-specific correspondence received prior to the period of formal proposal and comment will not generally be included in the docket.

    III. Contents of This Proposed Rule A. Proposed Additions to the NPL

    In this proposed rule, the EPA is proposing to add eight sites to the NPL, all to the General Superfund section. All of the sites in this proposed rulemaking are being proposed based on HRS scores of 28.50 or above.

    The sites are presented in the table below.

    General Superfund Section State Site name City/county FL Post and Lumber Preserving Co. Inc Quincy. MA Microfab Inc (Former) Amesbury. NE Old HWY 275 and N 288th Street Valley. NV Anaconda Copper Mine Yerington. NY Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Village of Hoosick Falls. PR The Battery Recycling Company Bo. Cambalache. TN Former Custom Cleaners Memphis. TX Highway 18 Ground Water Kermit. IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. This rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require approval of the OMB.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This rule listing sites on the NPL does not impose any obligations on any group, including small entities. This rule also does not establish standards or requirements that any small entity must meet, and imposes no direct costs on any small entity. Whether an entity, small or otherwise, is liable for response costs for a release of hazardous substances depends on whether that entity is liable under CERCLA 107(a). Any such liability exists regardless of whether the site is listed on the NPL through this rulemaking.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. Listing a site on the NPL does not itself impose any costs. Listing does not mean that the EPA necessarily will undertake remedial action. Nor does listing require any action by a private party, state, local or tribal governments or determine liability for response costs. Costs that arise out of site responses result from future site-specific decisions regarding what actions to take, not directly from the act of placing a site on the NPL.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. Listing a site on the NPL does not impose any costs on a tribe or require a tribe to take remedial action. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because this action itself is procedural in nature (adds sites to a list) and does not, in and of itself, provide protection from environmental health and safety risks. Separate future regulatory actions are required for mitigation of environmental health and safety risks.

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. As discussed in Section I.C. of the preamble to this action, the NPL is a list of national priorities. The NPL is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The NPL is of only limited significance as it does not assign liability to any party. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Hazardous waste, Intergovernmental relations, Natural resources, Oil pollution, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water supply.

    Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1321(d); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 13626, 77 FR 56749, 3 CFR, 2013 Comp., p. 306; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p.351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p.193.

    Dated: September 1, 2016. Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, Office of Land and Emergency Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21626 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 73 [DA 16-975; MB Docket No. 16-270; RM-11772] Radio Broadcasting Services; Pima, Arizona AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document proposes to amend the FM Table of Allotments, by substituting noncommercial educational Channel *278A for Channel *296A at Pima, Arizona to accommodate the hybrid application, requesting modification of the license for Station KIKO(FM) to specify operation on Channel 243C2 rather than Channel 247C2 at Claypool, Arizona. A staff engineering analysis indicates that Channel *278A can be allotted to Pima consistent with the minimum distance separation requirements of the Commission's rules with a site restriction 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) southeast of the community. The reference coordinates are 32-49-46 NL and 109-45-16 WL.

    DATES:

    Comments must be filed on or before October 17, 2016, and reply comments on or before November 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. In addition to filing comments with the FCC, interested parties should serve the rule making petitioner and the counter proponent as follows: John F. Garziglia, Esq., Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, 1200 19th Street NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nazifa Sawez, Media Bureau, (202) 418-2700.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a synopsis of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rule Making, MB Docket No. 16-270, adopted August 25, 2016, and released August 26, 2016. The full text of this Commission decision is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC's Reference Information Center at Portals II, CY-A257, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The full text is also available online at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. This document does not contain proposed information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any proposed 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).

    Provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 do not apply to this proceeding.

    Members of the public should note that from the time a Notice of Proposed Rule Making is issued until the matter is no longer subject to Commission consideration or court review, all ex parte contacts are prohibited in Commission proceedings, such as this one, which involve channel allotments. See 47 CFR 1.1204(b) for rules governing permissible ex parte contacts.

    For information regarding proper filing procedures for comments, see 47 CFR 1.415 and 1.420.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 73

    Radio, Radio broadcasting.

    Federal Communications Commission. Nazifa Sawez, Assistant Chief, Audio Division, Media Bureau.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 73 as follows:

    PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES 1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 334, 336 and 339.

    § 73.202 [Amended]
    2. Section 73.202(b), the Table of FM Allotments under Arizona, is amended by removing Channel *296A at Pima; and by adding Channel *278A at Pima.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21764 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 501, 511, 517, 532, 536, 543, 546, and 552 [GSAR Case 2015-G503; Docket No. 2016-0015; Sequence No. 1] RIN 3090-AJ63 General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Construction Contract Administration AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The General Services Administration (GSA) is issuing a proposed rule amending the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) coverage on construction contracts, including provisions and clauses for solicitations and resultant contracts, to clarify, update, and incorporate existing construction contract administration procedures.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat Division on or before November 8, 2016 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by GSAR case 2015-G503 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by inputting “GSAR Case 2015-G503” under the heading “Comment or Submission”. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with GSAR Case 2015-G503. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “GSAR Case 2015-G503” on all attached document(s).

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division, 1800 F Street NW., ATTN: Ms. Flowers, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite GSAR Case 2015-G503 in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will generally be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For clarification about content, contact Ms. Christina Mullins, General Services Acquisition Policy Division, GSA, by phone at 202-969-4066 or by email at [email protected] For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division by mail at 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, or by phone at 202-501-4755. Please cite the GSAR Case 2015-G503, Construction Contract Administration.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The General Services Administration (GSA) is amending the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to revise sections of GSAR part 536, Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts, and related parts, to maintain consistency with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and to clarify, update and incorporate existing construction contract administration guidance previously implemented through internal Public Building Service (PBS) policies.

    The proposed rule changes fall into five categories: (1) Incorporating existing agency policy previously issued through other means, (2) reorganizing to better align with the FAR, (3) incorporating agency unique clauses, (4) incorporating supplemental material, and (5) editing for clarity. Bringing existing policy into the GSAR will allow for greater transparency and an opportunity for the public to comment on these longstanding procedures. The proposed rule includes a total of five new agency unique provisions and clauses, six new supplemental clauses, and revision and reorganization of eight existing provisions and clauses.

    A GSAR rewrite initiative was undertaken by GSA to revise the GSAR starting in 2008. A proposed rule to update GSAR part 536, Construction and Architect-Engineer Contracts was initially published as GSAR Case 2008-G509 in the Federal Register at 73 FR 73199 on December 2, 2008. Due to the variety of issues addressed in the GSAR 536 rewrite, and internal stakeholder interest, the agency re-evaluated the implementation plan for the GSAR 536 rewrite and withdrew this initial proposed rule. The initial proposed rule withdrawal was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 6944, on February 9, 2015. GSAR Case 2015-G503 is the second of several new GSAR cases to separately address the issues and update the GSAR 536 text.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    The changes to the GSAR included in the proposed rule are summarized in this section.

    1. Eight new clauses for construction contracts previously issued through other means are incorporated into GSAR parts 211, 232, and 236. The new clauses and a brief description are as follows:

    Name and No. Requirements Prescription 552.211-10 Commencement, Prosecution, and Completion of Work Supplemental clause to FAR 52.211-10 to address notice to proceed, substantial completion, and phased work Same prescription as FAR clause. 552.211-12 Liquidated Damages—Construction Supplemental clause to FAR 52.211-12 to address substantial completion and phased work Same prescription as FAR clause. 552.211-13 Time Extensions Supplemental clause to FAR 52.211-13 to address the project schedule as a baseline Same prescription as FAR clause. 552.211-70 Substantial Completion Agency unique clause to define the term and address related requirements Prescription consistent with that for FAR 52.211-10. 552.232-5 Payments under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts Supplemental clause to FAR 52.232-5 to address pre-invoice payment meetings and clarify certification documentation required for payment Same prescription as FAR clause. 552.236-6 Superintendence by the Contractor Supplemental clause to FAR 52.236-6 to address project management resources and responsibilities Clause prescription has no dollar threshold, which is more inclusive than the FAR clause that is only required at above simplified, in order to satisfy GSA specific contracting requirements. 552.236-15 Schedules for Construction Contracts Supplemental clause to FAR 52.236-15 to address milestone events, cost breakdown, and requirements for different project delivery methods Clause prescription has no dollar threshold, which is more inclusive than the FAR clause that is only required at above simplified, in order to satisfy GSA specific contracting requirements. The base clause provides guidance for any type of construction project. Alternate I of the clause provides guidance specific to a design-bid-build construction project. Alternate II of the clause provide guidance specific to a design-build construction project. A third alternate is contemplated for a construction-manager-as-constructor project delivery method and may appear in a separate case to update the GSAR 536 text. 552.236-71 Contractor Responsibilities Agency unique clause to address requirements for different project delivery methods The base clause provides guidance for any type of construction project. Alternate I of the clause provides guidance specific to a design-build construction project. A second alternate is contemplated for a construction-manager-as-constructor project delivery method and may appear in a separate case to update the GSAR 536 text.

    2. Seven existing clauses for construction contracts in GSAR parts 236 and 243 are revised and reorganized to better align with the FAR and to streamline the GSAR. The clauses and a brief description of the changes are as follows:

    Name and No. Requirements Prescription 552.236-11 Use and Possession Prior to Completion Supplemental language to address unfinished work
  • Replaces previous GSAR 552.236-81, Use of Equipment by the Government, and is now better aligned with the FAR
  • Clause prescription revised for general construction. Clause prescription also has no dollar threshold, which is more inclusive than the FAR clause that is only required at above simplified, in order to satisfy GSA specific contracting requirements.
    552.236-21 Specifications and Drawings for Construction Supplemental language to address inconsistencies, and clarify definition of terms for different project delivery methods Clause prescription has no dollar threshold, which is more inclusive than the FAR clause that is only required at above simplified, in order to satisfy GSA specific contracting requirements. Revised title and clause numbering to better align with the FAR, previously was GSAR 552.236-77, Specifications and Drawings The base clause provides guidance for any type of construction project. Alternate I of the clause provides guidance specific to a design-build construction project. A second alternate is contemplated for a construction-manager-as-constructor project delivery method and may appear in a separate case to update the GSAR 536 text. 552.236-70 (Existing) Definitions Clause deleted as it is not necessary Clause deleted as it is not necessary. 552.236-70 (Revised) Authorities and Limitations Clause renumbered to streamline GSAM part 536. Previously was GSAR 552.236-71, Authorities and Limitations Clause prescription revised to include simplified acquisitions in order to be more consistent with current contracting practices. Revised text to address non-compliance 552.236-72 Submittals Revised title and clause numbering to better align the content and to streamline GSAR part 536. Previously was GSAR 552.236-78, Shop Drawings, Coordination Drawings, and Schedules Clause prescription revised to include simplified acquisitions in order to be more consistent with current contracting practices. Revised to provide a broader definition of the term and to address response times, notice to proceed, and deviations 552.236-73 Subcontracts Clause renumbered to streamline GSAR part 536. Previously was GSAR 552.236-82, Subcontracts Clause prescription revised to include simplified acquisitions in order to be more consistent with current contracting practices. 552.243-71 Equitable Adjustments Clause text remains unchanged Prescription for this existing agency unique clause is revised to include the changes clause for simplified acquisitions and the differing site conditions clause.

    3. GSAR section 536.270 is added to provide agency regulations for options in construction contracts, as required by FAR part 17.2, Options. GSAR subpart 517.2 is revised to move all construction contract option requirements to GSAR section 536.270. In addition, procedures from the existing GSAR section 536.213 for construction options are incorporated into GSAR section 536.270 and are revised to better align with the FAR and to provide general application to both negotiated procurements and sealed bidding. Bringing these instructions into one area ensures consistency and provides better guidance to contracting officers when developing construction solicitations and contracts. As a result, one revised and three new provisions and clauses are incorporated into GSAR section 552.236. The provisions and clauses and a brief description are as follows:

    Name and No. Requirements Prescription 552.236-74 Evaluation of Options Agency unique provision for construction options Prescription written in plain language for ease of understanding. 552.236-75 Evaluation Exclusive of Options Agency unique provision for construction options Prescription written in plain language for ease of understanding. 552.236-76 Basis of Award-Sealed Bidding Construction Revised title and provision numbering to better align the content. Previously was GSAR 552.236-73, Basis of Award-Construction Contracts Provision prescription revised to provide clarity. 552.236-77 Government's Right to Exercise Options Agency unique clause for construction options Prescription written in plain language for ease of understanding.

    4. GSAR section 546.704 is added to provide agency approval for use of FAR clause 52.246-21, Warranty of Construction.

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 of September 30, 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review, directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Section 6(b) of the E.O. requires the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to review regulatory actions that have been identified as significant regulatory actions by the promulgating agency or OIRA. This proposed rule has not been determined to be a significant regulatory action and was therefore not subject to OIRA review. However, this rule is not a “major rule,” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804.

    E.O. 13563 of January 18, 2011, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, supplements and reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 of September 30, 1993. Section 1(c) of E.O. 13563 directs agencies to “use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” Accordingly, GSA offers the following summary of the costs and benefits associated with this proposed rule.

    Construction Contract Administration Costs

    The total costs associated with this rule are $895 thousand per year for contractors and $224 thousand per year for the Federal Government. These costs are attributable to GSA contracts for construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements. The estimated costs for contractors affected by this rule are limited to the time needed to comply with clause requirements as follows:

    GSA construction contracts will be subject to GSAR clause 552.236-72, Submittals. This clause provides guidance to contractors regarding preparation, submission and resubmission of required contract submittal documents such as shop drawings, coordination drawings, and schedules. Compliance costs include the time needed to research and identify the required information, perform quality assurance checks, and transmit the documents. However, contractors will not necessarily have to acquire information technology tools or hire additional personnel to comply as these have been longstanding procedures in use in GSA construction contracts and contractors are familiar with and are currently complying with these practices. In addition, the clause is simplified, including removing the requirement for a specific number of prints and copies of various submittals. GSA estimates the costs for vendors holding these contracts to be around $895 thousand per year.

    There are no other costs associated with this rule as no additional burden is imposed for other clause requirements.

    Construction Contract Administration Benefits

    This rule will save taxpayer dollars because it provides clarification on and consolidation of existing requirements for construction contracts that will allow for more consistency and efficiency in contracting for both businesses and contracting officers.

    Much of the content in GSAR part 536 has not been updated since the 1980s, and does not reflect current contracting practices. For example, sealed bidding as detailed in GSAR 536.213 is rarely used now. This rule provides several updates to clarify procedures relevant to today's construction administration practices. This will in turn provide greater consistency across contracts and lower administrative costs for contractors.

    In addition, GSAR coverage does not currently include internal policy and guidance issued in other forms such as Procurement Instructional Bulletins (PIBs) and Procurement Informational Letters (PILs). This rule brings these longstanding practices into the GSAR, consolidating policy into one area. As a result, contractors can expend less time and fewer resources to read, reconcile, and understand all the regulations relevant to their contract in order to fully comply with the requirements.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    GSA does not expect this proposed rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, at 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the proposed rule will incorporate clauses that are currently in use in GSA construction solicitations and contracts and contractors are familiar with and are currently complying with these practices. However, since this is the first time these existing policies and procedures that impact the public are being published, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) has been prepared. The IRFA has been prepared consistent with the criteria of 5 U.S.C. 604 and is summarized as follows:

    The proposed rule changes will apply to approximately 3,900 GSA construction contracts. Of these, approximately 3,500 (90 percent) construction contracts are held by small businesses. The proposed rule is unlikely to affect small businesses awarded GSA construction contracts as it implements clauses currently in use in construction solicitations and contracts. The proposed rule does not pose any new reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements. The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. The agency determined that supplemental language is necessary for eight FAR clauses. No alternatives were determined that will accomplish the objectives of the rule. Bringing these regulations into the GSAR provides for transparency and allows for public comment. Bringing these regulations into the GSAR also consolidates policy into one area, allowing for more consistency and efficiency in contracting for both businesses and contracting officers.

    The Regulatory Secretariat Division has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat Division. GSA invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this proposed rule on small entities.

    GSA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this proposed rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., (GSAR 2015-G503), in correspondence.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) applies because the proposed rule contains information collection requirements. However, no additional burden is imposed on the public for most clauses, and there is some burden reduction.

    One clause involves an existing information collection requirement that has never been previously recognized or vetted for public comment. Accordingly, the Regulatory Secretariat Division has submitted a request for approval of the existing information collection requirements to the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

    The information collected is used by PBS to evaluate a contractor's proposals, negotiate contract modifications, review required submittals, evaluate a contractor's progress, and review payment requests during contract administration.

    The impacts to the public for the following clauses are as follows:

    The new clause at GSAR 552.211-13, Time Extensions, requires the contractor to submit a written request detailing an analysis to justify a time extension. However, the clause does not add burden to what is already estimated by a previous information collection for FAR clause 52.243-4, Changes (see OMB Control Number 9000-0026).

    The new clause at GSAR 552.211-70, Substantial Completion, requires the contractor to submit a written notice of proposed substantial completion date for the construction work. However, the clause does not add burden to what is already estimated by a previous information collection for FAR clause 52.236-15, Schedules for Construction Contracts (see OMB Control Number 9000-0058).

    The new clause at GSAR 552.232-5, Payments under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts, requires the contractor to use certain GSA forms to submit the information necessary for a complete payment request. However, the clause does not add burden to what is already estimated by previous information collections for GSAR 532.905-70, FAR clause 52.232-5, Payments under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts, and FAR clause 52.232-27, Prompt Payment for Construction Contracts (see OMB Control Numbers 3090-0080, 9000-0070, and 9000-0102).

    The new clause at GSAR 552.236-15, Schedules for Construction Contracts, requires the contractor to identify a schedule of values, to provide updates specifically weekly or monthly, and to follow a critical path method in some cases. However, the clause does not add burden to what is already estimated by a previous information collection for FAR clause 52.236-15, Schedules (see OMB Control Number 9000-0058).

    The new clause at 552.236-72, Submittals, represents a reduction in burden. The clause was previously GSAR 552.236-78, Shop Drawings, Coordination Drawings, and Schedules. The clause is simplified, including removing the requirement for a specific number of prints and copies of various submittals such as shop drawings, coordination drawings, and schedules. This simplification will ease the compliance burden for the contractor during contract administration. However, an information collection was never previously filed for this clause.

    Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 8 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

    The annual reporting burden is estimated as follows:

    Respondents: 3,758.

    Responses per respondent: 1.

    Total annual responses: 3.758.

    Preparation hours per response: 8.

    Total response burden hours: 30,064.

    The new provision at GSAR 552.236-76, Basis of Award-Sealed Bidding Construction, removes the use of alternates in sealed bidding. The provision was previously GSAR 552.236-73, Basis of Award-Construction Contracts. The provision title and prescription are revised to provide clarity, and the provision regulations are simplified. This provision change will reduce the complexity to businesses during contract solicitation as bid sheet line items will be more clearly understood for pricing.

    VI. Request for Comments Regarding Paperwork Burden

    Submit comments, including suggestions for reducing this burden, not later than November 8, 2016 to: GSAR Desk Officer, OMB, Room 10102, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503, and a copy to the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405.

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Requesters may obtain a copy of the justification from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control Number 3090-00XX, Construction Contract Administration, in all correspondence.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 501, 511, 517, 532, 536, 543, 546, and 552.

    Government procurement.

    Dated: September 9, 2016. Jeffrey A. Koses, Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy. PART 501—GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ACQUISITION REGULATION SYSTEM

    Therefore, GSA proposes to amend 48 CFR parts 501, 511, 517, 532, 536, 543, 546, and 552 as set forth below:

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 501 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    501.106 [Amended]
    2. Amend section 501.106 in the table by— a. Removing GSAR reference “532.111(c)” and its corresponding OMB control number “3090-0080”; b. Removing from GSAR Reference “532.905-70” OMB control number “9000-0102” and adding “3090-0080” in its place; c. Removing GSAR Reference “532.905-71” and its corresponding OMB control number “3090-0080”; d. Adding, in numerical sequence, GSAR references “552.211-13(a)” and “552.211-70(b)” and their corresponding OMB control numbers “9000-0026” and “9000-0058”, respectively; e. Adding, in numerical sequence, GSAR reference “552.232-5” and its corresponding OMB control numbers “3090-0080”, “9000-0070”, and “9000-0102”; and f. Adding, in numerical sequence, GSAR references “552.236-15” and “552.236-72” and their corresponding OMB control numbers “9000-0058” and “3090-XXXX”, respectively. PART 511—DESCRIBING AGENCY NEEDS 3. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 511 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    4. Revise section 511.404 to read as follows:
    511.404 Contract clauses.

    (a) Supplies or services—(1) Shelf-life items. The contracting officer shall use the following clauses in solicitations and contracts that require delivery of shelf-life items within a specified number of months from the date of manufacture or production:

    (i) The contracting officer shall insert 552.211-79, Acceptable Age of Supplies, if the required shelf-life period is 12 months or less, and lengthy acceptance testing may be involved. For items having a limited shelf-life, substitute Alternate I when required by the program director.

    (ii) The contracting officer shall insert 552.211-80, Age on Delivery, if the required shelf-life period is more than 12 months, or when source inspection can be performed within a short time period.

    (2) Stock replenishment contracts. The contracting officer shall insert 552.211-81, Time of Shipment, in solicitations and stock replenishment contracts that do not include the Availability for Inspection, Testing, and Shipment/Delivery clause at 552.211-83 and require shipment within 45 calendar days after receipt of the order. If shipment is required in more than 45 days, the contracting officer shall use Alternate I.

    (3) Indeterminate testing time. The contracting officer shall insert 552.211-83, Availability for Inspection, Testing, and Shipment/Delivery, in solicitations and contracts that provide for source inspection by Government personnel and that require lengthy testing for which time frames cannot be determined in advance. If the contract is for stock items, the contracting officer shall use Alternate I.

    (4) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.211-94, Time of Delivery, in solicitations and contracts for supplies for the Stock Program when neither of the FAR delivery clauses (FAR 52.211-8 or 52.211-9) is suitable.

    (b) Construction. (1) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.211-10, Commencement, Prosecution, and Completion of Work, in solicitations and contracts when a fixed-price construction contract is contemplated.

    (2) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.211-70, Substantial Completion in solicitations and contracts when a fixed-price construction contract is contemplated.

    5. Add subpart 511.5, consisting of section 511.504, to read as follows: Subpart 511.5—Liquidated Damages
    511.504 Contract clauses.

    (a) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.211-12, Liquidated Damages-Construction, in solicitations and contracts for construction, other than cost-plus-fixed-fee, when the contracting officer determines that liquidated damages are appropriate (see FAR 11.501(a)).

    (b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.211-13, Time Extensions, in solicitations and contracts for construction that use the clause at 552.211-12, Liquidated Damages—Construction.

    PART 517—SPECIAL CONTRACTING METHODS 6. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 517 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    7. Revise section 517.200 to read as follows:
    517.200 Scope of subpart.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this subpart applies to contracts for supplies and services, including architect-engineer services.

    (b) Policies and procedures for the use of options in solicitation provisions and contract clauses for services involving construction, alteration, or repair (including dredging, excavating, and painting) of buildings, bridges, roads, or other kinds of real property are prescribed in 536.270. FAR subpart 17.2 and this subpart 517.2 do not apply to the use of options in solicitation provisions and contract clauses for services involving construction, alteration, or repair (including dredging, excavating, and painting) of buildings, bridges, roads, or other kinds of real property.

    8. Revise section 517.202 to read as follows:
    517.202 Use of options.

    (a) Options may be used when they meet one or more of the following objectives:

    (1) Reduce procurement lead time and associated costs.

    (2) Ensure continuity of contract support.

    (3) Improve overall contractor performance.

    (4) Facilitate longer term contractual relationships with those contractors that continually meet or exceed quality performance expectations.

    (b) An option is normally in the Government's interest in the following circumstances:

    (1) There is an anticipated need for additional supplies or services during the contract term.

    (2) When there is both a need for additional supplies or services beyond the basic contract period and the use of multi-year contracting authority is inappropriate.

    (3) There is a need for continuity of supply or service support.

    (c) An option shall not be used if the market price is likely to change substantially and an economic price adjustment clause inadequately protects the Government's interest.

    PART 532—CONTRACT FINANCING 9. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 532 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    10. Revise section 532.111 to read as follows:
    532.111 Contract clauses for non-commercial purchases.

    Insert the clause at 552.232-5, Payments under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts, in solicitations and contracts when a fixed-price construction contract is contemplated.

    PART 536—CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS 11. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 536 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    12. Revise subpart 536.2 to read as follows: Subpart 536.2—Special Aspects of Contracting for Construction 536.270 Options in construction contracting. 536.270-1 Use of options. 536.270-2 Solicitations. 536.270-3 Evaluation. 536.270-4 Exercise of options. 536.270-5 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.”
    536.270 Options in construction contracting.
    536.270-1 Use of options.

    (a) Subject to the limitations in this subsection, contracting officers may include options in contracts when it is in the Government's interest.

    (b) The scope of work in the base contract at award shall require the contractor to provide a discrete and fully functional deliverable. Options shall not be used to incrementally deliver work required to fulfill the requirements of the scope of work for the base contract.

    (c) Contracting officers shall justify in writing the use of options.

    (d) Including an option may be in the Government's interest when, in the judgment of the contracting officer—

    (1) Additional work beyond the base contract is reasonably foreseeable;

    (2) It would not be advantageous to award a separate contract;

    (3) It would not be advantageous to permit an additional contractor to work on the same site;

    (4) Services arising out of or relating to the underlying construction contract may be required during or after substantial completion of the scope of work. For instance, if building equipment (e.g., mechanical and electrical equipment) will be installed under the construction contract, it may be advantageous to have the construction contractor maintain and service the equipment. In such an instance, the services performed may be included as an option to the underlying construction contract. Contracting officers shall ensure that the applicable clauses are included in any such option (e.g., Service Contract Act); or

    (5) It is otherwise justified.

    (e) Options for construction work may provide for an economic price adjustment based on cost or price indexes of labor or materials (see FAR 16.203-4(d)). Subject to the approval of the HCA, the contracting officer may develop and insert a project-specific price adjustment clause into the solicitation.

    536.270-2 Solicitations.

    Solicitations containing options shall—

    (a) Include appropriate option provisions and clauses when resulting contracts will provide for the exercise of options (see 536.270-5);

    (b) State the period within which the options may be exercised; and

    (c) State whether the basis of evaluation is inclusive or exclusive of the options (if exclusive, see 536.270-4(c)).

    536.270-3 Evaluation.

    For sealed bidding that includes options—

    (a) The low bidder for purposes of award is the responsible bidder offering the lowest aggregate price for the base bid and all options designated to be evaluated; and

    (b) Before opening bids that include options, the contracting officer must determine, and record in the contract file, the amount of funds available for the project. The amount recorded must be announced at the beginning of the bid opening. This amount may be increased later when determining the items to be awarded to the low bidder if the following condition is met: the award amount of the base bid and evaluated options does not exceed the amount offered for the base bid, the evaluated options, and the same combination of items by any other responsible bidder whose bid conforms to the solicitation. This requirement prevents the displacement of the low bidder by manipulating the options to be used.

    536.270-4 Exercise of options.

    (a) The contracting officer shall exercise options in writing within the time period specified in the contract.

    (b) The contracting officer may exercise options only after determining, in writing, that all the following conditions exist:

    (1) Funds are available.

    (2) The requirement covered by the option fulfills an existing Government need.

    (3) Exercising the option is the most advantageous method of satisfying the Government's need, price and other factors considered.

    (4) The contractor is not listed in the System for Award Management Exclusions (see FAR 9.405-1).

    (5) The contractor's performance under the contract met or exceeded the Government's expectation for quality performance, unless another circumstance justifies an extended contractual relationship.

    (6) Exercising the option is in accordance with the terms of the option.

    (7) The option price is fair and reasonable, unless already determined as such (e.g., at time of award).

    (c) The contract modification, or other written document which notifies the contractor of the exercise of the option, must cite the option clause as authority. If exercising an unpriced or unevaluated option, cite the statutory authority permitting the use of other than full and open competition (see FAR 6.302).

    (d) When the contract provides for economic price adjustment and the contractor requests a revision of the price, the contracting officer shall determine the effect of the adjustment on prices under the option before the option is exercised.

    536.270-5 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    (a) Insert a provision substantially the same as the provision at 552.236-74, Evaluation of Options, in solicitations for fixed-price construction contracts when the solicitation contains an option clause and options will be included in the evaluation for award purposes.

    (b) Insert a provision substantially the same as the provision at 552.236-75, Evaluation Exclusive of Options, in solicitations for fixed-price construction contracts when the solicitation includes an option clause and options will not be included in the evaluation for award purposes.

    (c) Insert a provision substantially the same as the provision at 552.236-76, Basis of Award-Sealed Bidding Construction, in solicitations for fixed-price construction contracts when contracting by sealed bidding. Use the provision with its Alternate I when the solicitation contains an option clause.

    (d) Insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 552.236-77, Government's Right to Exercise Options, in solicitations and contracts for construction that include options.

    13. Revise subpart 536.5 to read as follows: Subpart 536.5—Contract Clauses 536.506 Superintendence by the contractor. 536.511 Use and possession prior to completion. 536.515 Schedules for construction contracts. 536.521 Specifications and drawings for construction. 536.570 Authorities and limitations. 536.571 Contractor responsibilities. 536.572 Submittals. 536.573 Subcontracts.
    536.506 Superintendence by the contractor.

    Insert the clause at 552.236-6, Superintendence by the Contractor, in solicitations and contracts if construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements is contemplated.

    536.511 Use and possession prior to completion.

    Insert the clause at 552.236-11, Use and Possession Prior to Completion, in solicitations and contracts if construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements is contemplated.

    536.515 Schedules for construction contracts.

    Insert the clause at 552.236-15, Schedules for Construction Contracts, in solicitations and contracts if construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements is contemplated. Use the clause—

    (a) With its Alternate I when the contract amount is expected to be above the simplified acquisition threshold and a design-bid-build project delivery method will be followed; or

    (b) With its Alternate II when the contract amount is expected to be above the simplified acquisition threshold and a design-build project delivery method will be followed.

    536.521 Specifications and drawings for construction.

    Insert the clause at 552.236-21, Specifications and Drawings for Construction, in solicitations and contracts if construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements is contemplated. Use the clause with its Alternate I when a design-build project delivery method will be followed.

    536.570 Authorities and limitations.

    Insert the clause at 552.236-70, Authorities and Limitations, in solicitations and contracts if construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements is contemplated.

    536.571 Contractor responsibilities.

    Insert the clause at 552.236-71, Contractor Responsibilities, in solicitations and contracts if construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements is contemplated. Use the clause with its Alternate I when a design-build project delivery method will be followed.

    536.572 Submittals.

    Insert the clause at 552.236-72, Submittals, in solicitations and contracts if construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements is contemplated. Use the clause with its Alternate I when a design-build project delivery method will be followed.

    536.573 Subcontracts.

    Insert the clause at 552.236-73, Subcontracts, in solicitations and contracts if construction, dismantling, demolition, or removal of improvements is contemplated.

    PART 543—CONTRACT MODIFICATIONS 14. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 543 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    15. Revise section 543.205 to read as follows:
    543.205 Contract clauses.

    The contracting officer shall insert 552.243-71, Equitable Adjustments, in solicitations and contracts containing FAR 52.243-4, Changes, FAR 52.243-5, Changes and Changed Conditions, or FAR 52.236-2, Differing Site Conditions.

    PART 546—QUALITY ASSURANCE 16. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 546 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    17. Add section 546.704 to read as follows:
    546.704 Authority for use of warranties.

    FAR clause 52.246-21, Warranty of Construction, is approved by the agency for use in solicitations and contracts when a fixed-price construction contract is contemplated.

    PART 552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 18. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 552 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    19. Add section 552.211-10 to read as follows:
    552.211-10 Commencement, Prosecution, and Completion of Work.

    As prescribed in 511.404, insert the following clause:

    Commencement, Prosecution, and Completion of Work (DATE)

    FAR 52.211-10, Commencement, Prosecution, and Completion of Work, is supplemented as follows:

    (a) The Contractor shall not commence work until the Contracting Officer issues a notice to proceed.

    (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) above, the Contractor must submit any required safety plans before commencing any construction work.

    (c) The Contractor shall diligently prosecute the work so as to achieve substantial completion of the work within the time specified in the contract. If the contract specifies different completion dates for different phases or portions of the work, the Contractor shall diligently prosecute the work so as to achieve substantial completion of such phases or portions of the work within the times specified.

    (End of clause)
    20. Add sections 552.211-12 and 552.211-13 to read as follows:
    552.211-12 Liquidated Damages—Construction.

    As prescribed in 511.504, insert the following clause:

    Liquidated Damages (DATE)

    FAR 52.211-12, Liquidated Damages-Construction, is supplemented as follows:

    (a) If the Contractor fails to achieve substantial completion of the work within the time specified in the contract, the Contractor shall be liable to the Government for liquidated damages at the rate specified for each calendar day following the required completion date that the work is not substantially complete.

    (b) If the contract requires different completion dates for different phases or portions of the work, the Contractor shall be liable for liquidated damages at the specified rate for each calendar day following the required completion date that the phase or portion of work is not substantially complete. If a single rate is specified, the specified rate shall be apportioned between the different phases or portions of the work.

    (c) If the Government elects to accept any portion of the work not specifically designated as a phase or portion of work with its own required completion date, the liquidated damage rate shall be apportioned between accepted work and uncompleted work, and the Contractor's liability for liquidated damages shall be computed accordingly.

    (End of clause)
    552.211-13 Time Extensions.

    As prescribed in 511.504, insert the following clause:

    Time Extensions (DATE)

    FAR 52.211-13, Time Extensions, is supplemented as follows:

    (a) If the Contractor requests an extension of the time for substantial completion, the Contractor shall base its request on an analysis of time impact using the project schedule as its baseline, and shall propose as a new substantial completion date to account for the impact. The Contractor shall submit a written request to the Contracting Officer setting forth facts and analysis in sufficient detail to enable the Contracting Officer to evaluate the Contractor's entitlement to an extension of time.

    (b) The Contractor shall only be entitled to an extension of time to the extent that—

    (1) Substantial completion of the work is delayed by causes for which the Contractor is not responsible under this contract; and

    (2) The actual or projected substantial completion date is later than the date required by this contract for substantial completion.

    (c) The Contractor shall not be entitled to an extension of time if the Contractor has not updated the project schedule in accordance with the contract.

    (d) The Government shall not be liable for any costs to mitigate time impacts incurred by the Contractor that occur less than 30 calendar days after the date the Contractor submits a request for extension of time in compliance with this clause.

    (End of clause)
    21. Add section 552.211-70 to read as follows:
    552.211-70 Substantial Completion.

    As prescribed in 511.404, insert the following clause:

    Substantial Completion (DATE)

    (a) General. (1) For the purposes of FAR 52.211-10, Commencement, Prosecution and Completion of Work, and FAR 52.211-12, Liquidated Damages-Construction, the work shall be deemed complete when it is “substantially complete.”

    (2) There may be different completion dates required for different phases or portions of the work, as established in the contract. However, the work shall be deemed “substantially complete” if and only if the Contractor has completed the work and related contract obligations in accordance with the contract documents, such that the Government may enjoy the intended access, occupancy, possession, and use of the entire work without impairment due to incomplete or deficient work, and without interference from the Contractor's completion of remaining work or correction of deficiencies in completed work.

    (3) In no event shall the work be deemed “substantially complete” if all fire and life safety systems are not tested and accepted by the authority having jurisdiction, where such acceptance is required under the contract.

    (4) Unless otherwise specifically noted, or otherwise clear from context, all references in the contract to “acceptance” shall refer to issuance of a written determination of substantial completion by the Contracting Officer.

    (b) Notice of Substantial Completion. (1) With reasonable advance notice, the Contractor shall submit to the Contracting Officer a written proposal recommending a substantial completion date.

    (2) If the Contracting Officer takes exception to the notice of substantial completion, the Contractor shall be entitled to a written notice of conditions precluding determination of substantial completion. The Contractor shall only be entitled to an extension of time to address such conditions if, and to the extent that, the Contracting Officer provides notice of such conditions more than 30 calendar days after receipt of the notice of substantial completion.

    (c) Acceptance of Substantial Completion. (1) The Contracting Officer shall conduct inspections and make a determination of substantial completion within a reasonable time.

    (2) Substantial Completion shall be established by the Contracting Officer's issuance of a written determination specifying the date upon which the work is substantially complete.

    (d) Contract Completion. (1) The Contract is complete if and only if the Contractor has completed all work and related contract obligations, corrected all deficiencies and all punch list items, and complied with all conditions for final payment.

    (2) The Contractor shall not be entitled to final payment or release of any retainage held by the Government until after contract completion. If the Contractor does not achieve contract completion within the time required by this contract, the Government shall be entitled, after providing notice to the Contractor, to complete any work remaining unfinished. The Contractor shall be liable to the Government for all costs incurred by the Government to complete such work.

    (End of clause)
    22. Add sections 552.232-5 and 552.232-6 to read as follows:
    552.232-5 Payments under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts.

    As prescribed in 532.111, insert the following clause:

    Payments Under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts (DATE)

    FAR 52.232-5, Payments Under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts, is supplemented as follows:

    (a) Before submitting a request for payment, the Contractor shall, unless directed otherwise by the Contracting Officer, attend pre-invoice payment meetings, as scheduled, with the designated Government representative for the purpose of facilitating review and approval of payment requests. Payment meetings will be conducted and may be in person. The Contractor shall provide documentation to support the prospective payment request.

    (b) The Contractor shall submit its invoices to the Contracting Officer, unless directed otherwise by the Contracting Officer. Separate payment requests shall be submitted for progress payments, payments of retainage, and partial or final payments.

    (c) The Contractor shall use GSA Form 2419 Certification of Progress Payments Under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts to provide the certification required under FAR 52.232-5(c).

    (d) The Contractor shall use GSA Form 1142 Release of Claims to provide the certification required under FAR 52.232-5(h).

    (e) If an invoice does not meet the requirements of FAR 52.232-27 and GSAM 552.232-27, the Contracting Officer may return the invoice to the Contractor without payment for correction. If the Contracting Officer disputes the requested payment amount, the Government may pay the portion of the requested payment that is undisputed.

    (f) GSA will not be obligated to issue final payment unless the Contractor has furnished to the Contracting Officer a release of claims against the Government relating to the contract, and submitted all required product warranties, as-built drawings, operating manuals, and other items as specified in the contract. The Contractor may reserve from the release specific claims only if such claims are explicitly identified with stated claim amounts.

    (End of clause)
    552.236-6 Superintendence by the Contractor.

    As prescribed in 536.506, insert the following clause:

    Superintendence by the Contractor (DATE)

    The requirements of the clause entitled “Superintendence by the Contractor” at FAR 52.236-6, are supplemented as follows:

    (a) The Contractor shall employ sufficient management and contract administration resources, including personnel responsible for project management, field superintendence, change order administration, estimating, coordination, inspection, and quality control, to ensure the proper execution and timely completion of the contract. The Contractor shall designate a principal of the firm or other senior management official to provide executive oversight and problem resolution resources to the project for the life of the contract.

    (b) The Contractor shall employ, and require its subcontractors to employ, qualified personnel to perform the contract. The Government reserves the right to exclude, or remove from the site or building, any personnel for reasons of incompetence, carelessness, or insubordination, who violate rules and regulations concerning conduct on federal property, or whose continued employment on the site is otherwise deemed by the Government to be contrary to the public interest.

    (c) The Contractor shall be responsible for coordinating all activities of subcontractors, including all of the following activities:

    (1) Preparation of shop drawings produced by different subcontractors where their work interfaces or may potentially conflict or interfere.

    (2) Scheduling of work by subcontractors.

    (3) Installation of work by subcontractors.

    (4) Use of the project site for staging and logistics.

    (d) Repeated failure or excessive delay to meet the superintendence requirements by the Contractor may be deemed a default for the purposes of the termination for default clause.

    (End of clause)
    23. Add section 552.236-11 to read as follows:
    552.236-11 Use and Possession Prior to Completion.

    As prescribed in 536.511, insert the following clause:

    Use and Possession Prior to Completion (DATE)

    Exercise by the Government of the right conferred by FAR 52.236-11 shall not relieve the Contractor of responsibility for completing any unfinished components of the work.

    (End of clause)
    24. Add section 552.236-15 to read as follows:
    552.236-15 Schedules for Construction Contracts.

    As prescribed in 536.515, insert the following clause:

    Schedules for Construction Contracts (DATE)

    The requirements, of the clause entitled “Schedules for Construction Contracts” at FAR 52.236-15, are supplemented as follows:

    (a) Purpose. The project schedule shall be a rational, reasonable, and realistic plan for completing the work, and conform to the requirements specified in this clause and elsewhere in the contract. The Contractor understands and acknowledges that the preparation and proper management of the project schedule is a material component of the contract.

    (b) Use of the schedule. The Contracting Officer shall be entitled, but not required, to rely upon the project schedule to evaluate the Contractor's progress, evaluate entitlement to extensions of time, and determine the criticality or float of any activities described in such project schedule.

    (c) Submission. Prior to notice to proceed, or such other time as may be specified in the contract, the Contractor shall submit the project schedule.

    (d) Milestones. The project schedule shall incorporate milestone events specified in the contract, including, as applicable, notice to proceed, substantial completion, and milestones related to specified work phases and site restrictions. The project schedule shall also include Contractor-defined milestones to identify target dates for critical events, based upon the Contractor's chosen sequence of work.

    (e) Activities. The project schedule shall depict all major activities necessary to complete the work.

    (f) Schedule of values. (1) The Contractor shall prepare and submit for approval a cost breakdown of the Contract price, to be referred to as the “schedule of values”, assigning values to each major activity necessary to complete the work.

    (2) Values must include all direct and indirect costs, although a separate value for bond costs may be established.

    (3) The schedule of values must contain sufficient detail to enable the Contracting Officer to evaluate applications for payment.

    (g) Conflicting terms. (1) If at any time the Contracting Officer finds that the project schedule does not comply with any contract requirement, the Contracting Officer will provide written notice to the Contractor.

    (2) Within 30 calendar days of written notice, or such other time as may be specified, from the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall take one of the following actions:

    (i) Revise the project schedule.

    (ii) Adjust activity progress.

    (iii) Provide sufficient information demonstrating compliance.

    (3) If the Contractor fails to sufficiently address the Contracting Officer's exceptions to the project schedule, the Contracting Officer may—

    (i) Withhold retainage until the project is substantially complete or until such time as the Contractor has complied with project schedule requirements; or

    (ii) Terminate the contract for default.

    (h) Revisions to the schedule. If the Contractor revises the project schedule after initial approved submission, the Contractor shall provide in writing a narrative describing the substance of the revision, the rationale for the revision, and the impact of the revision on the projected substantial completion date and the available float for all activities. The addition of detail to prospective activities shall not be deemed a revision if the overall duration of the detailed activity does not change.

    (i) Updates. Unless a different period for updates is specified elsewhere, the Contractor shall update the project schedule weekly to reflect actual progress in completing the work, and submit the updated project schedule by the following Monday.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I (DATE). As prescribed in 536.515(a), substitute the following paragraphs (c), (e), (h), and (i) for paragraphs (c), (e), (h), and (i) of the basic clause:

    (c) Submission. Within 30 calendar days of notice to proceed, or such other time as may be specified in the contract, the Contractor shall submit the project schedule, together with a written narrative describing the major work activities, activities on the critical path, and major constraints underlying the sequence and logic of the project schedule.

    (e) Activities. (1) The Contractor shall use a critical path method project schedule to plan, coordinate, and perform the work.

    (2) The project schedule shall depict all activities necessary to complete the work, including, as applicable, all submittal and submittal review activities, all procurement activities, and all field activities, including mobilization, construction, start-up, testing, balancing, commissioning, and punchlist.

    (3) Activities shall be sufficiently detailed and limited in duration to enable proper planning and coordination of the work, effective evaluation of the reasonableness and realism of the project schedule, accurate monitoring of progress, and reliable analysis of schedule impacts.

    (4) Activity durations shall be based upon reasonable and realistic allocation of the resources required to complete each activity, given physical and logistical constraints on the performance of the work. All logic shall validly reflect physical or logistical constraints on relationships between activities. Except for the first and last activities in the project schedule, each activity shall have at least one predecessor and one successor relationship to form a logically connected network plan from notice to proceed to the contract completion date.

    (h) Revisions to the schedule. (1) The Contractor should anticipate that the initial submittal of the project schedule will be subject to review and may require revision. The Contractor shall devote sufficient resources for meetings, revisions, and resubmissions of the project schedule to address any exceptions taken to the initial submittal. The Contractor understands and acknowledges that the purpose of the initial review and resolution of exceptions is to maximize the usefulness of the project schedule for contract performance.

    (2) If the Contractor revises the project schedule after initial approved submission, the Contractor shall provide in writing a narrative describing the substance of the revision, the rationale for the revision, and the impact of the revision on the projected substantial completion date and the available float for all activities. The addition of detail to prospective activities shall not be deemed a revision if the overall duration of the detailed activity does not change.

    (i) Updates. Unless a different period for updates is specified elsewhere, the Contractor shall update the project schedule monthly to reflect actual progress in completing the work, and submit the updated project schedule within 5 working days of the end of each month.

    Alternate II (DATE). As prescribed in 536-515(b), substitute the following paragraphs (c), (e), and (i) for paragraphs (c), (e), and (i) of the basic clause:

    (c) Submission. (1) Within 30 calendar days of notice to proceed, or such other time as may be specified in the contract, the Contractor shall submit the project schedule, together with a written narrative describing the major design and construction activities. The project schedule may indicate construction activities in summary form prior to completion of final design documents.

    (2) Within 30 calendar days of completion of final design documents, the Contractor shall submit a revised project schedule depicting all activities necessary to complete construction work activities, together with a written narrative describing the major work activities, activities on the critical path, and major constraints underlying the sequence and logic of the project schedule.

    (e) Activities. (1) The Contractor shall use a critical path method project schedule to plan, coordinate, and perform the work.

    (2) Activities shall be sufficiently detailed and limited in duration to enable proper planning and coordination of the work, effective evaluation of the reasonableness and realism of the project schedule, accurate monitoring of progress, and reliable analysis of schedule impacts.

    (3) Activity durations shall be based upon reasonable and realistic allocation of the resources required to complete each activity, given physical and logistical constraints on the performance of the work. All logic shall validly reflect physical or logistical constraints on relationships between activities. Except for the first and last activities in the project schedule, each activity shall have at least one predecessor and one successor relationship to form a logically connected network plan from notice to proceed to the contract completion date.

    (i) Updates. Unless a different period for updates is specified elsewhere, the Contractor shall update the project schedule monthly to reflect actual progress in completing the work, and submit the updated project schedule within 5 working days of the end of each month.

    25. Add section 552.236-21 to read as follows:
    552.236-21 Specifications and Drawings for Construction.

    As prescribed in 536.521, insert the following clause:

    Specifications and Drawings for Construction (DATE)

    The requirements of the clause entitled “Specifications and Drawings for Construction” at FAR 52.236-21, are supplemented as follows:

    (a) In case of difference between small and large-scale drawings, the large-scale drawings shall govern.

    (b) Schedules on any contract drawing shall take precedence over conflicting information on that or any other contract drawing.

    (c) On any of the drawings where a portion of the work is detailed or drawn out and the remainder is shown in outline, the parts detailed or drawn out shall apply also to all other like portions of the work.

    (d) Where the word “similar” occurs on the drawings, it shall have a general meaning and not be interpreted as being identical, and all details shall be worked out in relation to their location and their connection with other parts of the work.

    (e) Standard details or specification drawings are applicable when listed, bound with the specifications, noted on the drawings, or referenced elsewhere in the specifications.

    (1) Where notes on the specification drawings indicate alterations, such alterations shall govern.

    (2) In case of difference between standard details or specification drawings and the specifications, the specifications shall govern.

    (3) In case of difference between the standard details or specification drawings and the drawings prepared specifically for this contract, the drawings prepared specifically for this contract shall govern.

    (f) Different requirements within the contract documents shall be deemed inconsistent only if compliance with both cannot be achieved.

    (g) Unless otherwise noted, the drawings shall be interpreted to provide for a complete construction, assembly, or installation of the work, without regard to the detail with which material components are shown in the drawings.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I (DATE). As prescribed in 536.521, add the following paragraph to the basic clause:

    (h) For the purposes of this clause, specifications and drawings refer only to those included among the contract documents, and not to those produced by the Contractor pursuant to its responsibilities under the contract.

    552.236-70 [Removed]
    26. Remove section 552.236-70.
    552.236-71 [Redesignated as 552.236-70]
    27. Redesignate section 552.236-71 as section 552.236-70 and revise it to read as follows:
    552.236-70 Authorities and Limitations.

    As prescribed in 536.570, insert the following clause:

    Authorities and Limitations (DATE)

    (a) All work shall be performed under the general direction of the Contracting Officer. The Contracting Officer alone shall have the power to bind the Government and to exercise the rights, responsibilities, authorities and functions vested in him by the contract documents. The Contracting Officer may designate contracting officer's representatives (CORs) to act for him. Wherever any provision in this contract specifies an individual (such as, but not limited to, Construction Engineer, Resident Engineer, Inspector or Custodian) or organization, whether Governmental or private, to perform any act on behalf of or in the interests of the Government, that individual or organization shall be deemed to be the COR under this contract but only to the extent so specified. The Contracting Officer may, at any time during the performance of this contract, vest in any such COR additional power and authority to act for him or designate additional CORs, specifying the extent of their authority to act for him. A copy of each document vesting additional authority in a COR or designating an additional COR shall be furnished to the Contractor.

    (b) The Contractor shall perform the contract in accordance with any order (including but not limited to instruction, direction, interpretation, or determination) issued by a COR in accordance with his authority to act for the Contracting Officer; but the Contractor assumes all the risk and consequences of performing the contract in accordance with any order (including but not limited to instruction, direction, interpretation, or determination) of anyone not authorized to issue such order.

    (c) If the Contractor receives written notice from the Contracting Officer of non-compliance with any requirement of this contract, the Contractor must initiate action as may be appropriate to comply with the specified requirement as defined in the notice. In the event the Contractor fails to initiate such action within a reasonable period of time as defined in the notice, the Contracting Officer shall have the right to order the Contractor to stop any or all work under the contract until the Contractor has complied or has initiated such action as may be appropriate to comply within a reasonable period of time. The Contractor will not be entitled to any extension of contract time or payment for any costs incurred as a result of being ordered to stop work for such cause.

    (End of clause)
    28. Add new section 552.236-71 to read as follows:
    552.236-71 Contractor Responsibilities.

    As prescribed in 536.571, insert the following clause:

    Contractor Responsibilities (DATE)

    (a) The Contractor shall be responsible for compliance with applicable codes, standards and regulations pertaining to the health and safety of personnel during performance of the contract.

    (b) Unless expressly stated otherwise in the contract, the Contractor shall be responsible for all means and methods employed in the performance of the contract.

    (c) The Contractor shall immediately bring to the Contracting Officer's attention any hazardous materials or conditions not disclosed in the contract documents discovered by or made known to the Contractor during the performance of the contract.

    (d) The Contractor shall be responsible for providing professional design services in connection with performance of the work or portions of the work only if this responsibility is expressly stated in the contract, and the contract documents provide the performance and design criteria that such services will be required to satisfy. In the performance of such work, the Contractor shall be responsible for retaining licensed design professionals, who shall sign and seal all drawings, calculations, specifications and other submittals that the licensed professional prepares. The Contractor shall be responsible for, and GSA shall be entitled to rely upon, the adequacy and completeness of all professional design services provided under the contract.

    (e) Where installation of separate work components as shown in the contract will result in conflict or interference between such components or with existing conditions, including allowable tolerances, it is the Contractor's responsibility to bring such conflict or interference to the attention of the Contracting Officer and seek direction before fabrication, construction, or installation of any affected work. If the Contractor fabricates, constructs, or installs any work prior to receiving such direction, the Contractor shall be responsible for all cost and time incurred to resolve or mitigate such conflict or interference.

    (f) Where drawings show work without specific routing, dimensions, locations, or position relative to other work or existing conditions, and such information is not specifically defined by reference to specifications or other information supplied in the contract, the Contractor is responsible for routing, dimensioning, and locating such work in coordination with other work or existing conditions in a manner consistent with contract requirements.

    (g) It is not the Contractor's responsibility to ensure that the contract documents comply with applicable laws, statutes, building codes and regulations. If it comes to the attention of the Contractor that any of the contract documents do not comply with such requirements, the Contractor shall promptly notify the Contracting Officer in writing. If the Contractor performs any of the work prior to notifying and receiving direction from the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall assume full responsibility for correction of such work, and any fees or penalties that may be assessed for non-compliance.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I (DATE). As prescribed in 536.571, delete paragraphs (d), (e), (f), and (g) of the basic clause, and insert paragraphs (d), (e), (f), and (g) as follows:

    (d) The Contractor shall be responsible for providing professional design services unless this responsibility is expressly excluded from the contract. In the performance of such work, the Contractor shall be responsible for retaining licensed design professionals, who shall sign and seal all drawings, calculations, specifications and other submittals that the licensed professional prepares. The Contractor shall be responsible for, and GSA shall be entitled to rely upon, the adequacy and completeness of all professional design services provided under the contract.

    (e) The Contractor's responsibilities include the responsibilities of the Architect-Engineer Contractor, as specified in FAR 52.236-23.

    (f) The Contractor shall include in all subcontracts that require professional design services express terms establishing GSA as a third party beneficiary. No other person shall be deemed a third party beneficiary of the contract.

    (g) The Contractor shall determine whether the information contained in the contract documents complies with applicable laws, statutes, building codes and regulations. If it comes to the attention of the Contractor that any of the contract documents do not comply with such requirements, the Contractor shall promptly notify the Contracting Officer in writing. If the Contractor performs any of the work prior to notifying and receiving direction from the Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall assume full responsibility for correction of such work, and any fees or penalties that may be assessed for non-compliance.

    29. Add section 552.236-72 to read as follows:
    552.236-72 Submittals.

    As prescribed in 536.572, insert the following clause:

    Submittals (DATE)

    (a) The Contractor shall prepare and submit all submittals as specified in the contract or requested by the Contracting Officer.

    (1) Submittals may include: safety plans, schedules, shop drawings, coordination drawings, samples, calculations, product information, or mockups.

    (2) Shop drawings may include fabrication, erection and setting drawings, manufacturers' scale drawings, wiring and control diagrams, cuts or entire catalogs, pamphlets, descriptive literature, and performance and test data.

    (b) Unless otherwise provided in this contract, or otherwise directed by the Contracting Officer, submittals shall be submitted to the Contracting Officer.

    (c) The Contractor shall be entitled to receive notice of action on submittals within a reasonable time, given the volume or complexity of the submittals and the criticality of the affected activities to substantial completion as may be indicated in the project schedule.

    (d) Review of submittals will be general and shall not be construed as permitting any departure from the contract requirements.

    (e) The Contractor shall not proceed with construction work or procure products or materials described or shown in submittals until the submittal is reviewed. Any work or activity undertaken prior to review shall be at the Contractor's risk. Should the Contracting Officer subsequently determine that the work or activity does not comply with the contract, the Contractor shall be responsible for all cost and time required to comply with the Contracting Officer's determination. The Contracting Officer shall have the right to order the Contractor to cease execution of work for which submittals have not been reviewed. The Government shall not be liable for any cost or delay incurred by the Contractor attributable to the proper exercise of this right.

    (f) The Contractor shall identify, in writing, all deviations or changes in resubmitted submittals. In the absence of such written notice, review of a resubmission shall not include or apply to such deviations or changes.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I (DATE). As prescribed in 536.572, add the following paragraph to the basic clause:

    (g) The Contractor shall submit design documents for review in accordance with PBS-P100. The Government shall review submittals for the limited purpose of verifying that the documents conform to the design criteria expressed in the contract documents.

    552.236-73 through 81 [Removed]
    30. Remove sections 552.236-73 through 81.
    552.236-82 [Redesignated as 552.236-73]
    31. Redesignate section 552.236-82 as section 552.236-73 and revise the introductory text to read as follows:
    552.236-73 Subcontracts.

    As prescribed in 536.573, insert the following clause:

    32. Add new sections 552.236-74 through 552.236-77 to read as follows:
    552.236-74 Evaluation of Options.

    As prescribed in 536.270-5(a), insert the following provision:

    Evaluation of Options (DATE)

    The Government will evaluate offers for award purposes by adding the total price for all options to the total price for the basic requirement. Evaluation of options will not obligate the Government to exercise the option(s).

    (End of provision)

    552.236-75 Evaluation Exclusive of Options.

    As prescribed in 536.270-5(b), insert the following provision:

    Evaluation Exclusive of Options (DATE)

    The Government will evaluate offers for award purposes by including only the price for the basic requirement. Options will not be included in the evaluation for award purposes.

    (End of provision)
    552.236-76 Basis of Award—Sealed Bidding Construction

    As prescribed in 536.270-5(c), insert the following provision:

    Basis of Award—Sealed Bidding Construction (DATE)

    A bid may be rejected as nonresponsive if the bid is materially unbalanced as to bid prices. A bid is unbalanced when the bid is based on prices significantly less than cost for some work and significantly overstated for other work.

    (End of provision)

    Alternate I (DATE). As prescribed in 536.270-5(c), designate the basic provision as paragraph (a) and add the following paragraph to the basic provision:

    (b) The low bidder for purposes of award is the responsible bidder offering the lowest aggregate price for (1) the base requirement plus (2) all options designated to be evaluated. The evaluation of options will not obligate the Government to exercise the options.

    552.236-77 Government's Right to Exercise Options.

    As prescribed in 536.270-5(d), insert the following clause:

    Government's Right to Exercise Options (DATE)

    (a) The Government may exercise any option in writing in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract within _____ [insert the period of time within which the Contracting Officer may exercise the option]. Unless otherwise specified, options may be exercised within 90 calendar days of contract award.

    (b) If the Government exercises the option, the contract shall be considered to include this option clause.

    (End of clause)
    33. Amend section 552.243-71 by— a. Revising the date of the clause, b. Removing from paragraph (a) “FAR 52.243-4” and adding “FAR 52.243-4, the “Changes and Changed Conditions” clause prescribed by FAR 52.243-5,” in its place; and c. Revising paragraph (c).

    The revisions read as follows:

    552.243-71 Equitable Adjustments.

    As prescribed in 543.205, insert the following clause:

    Equitable Adjustments (DATE)

    (c) The proposal shall be submitted within the time specified in the “Changes”, “Changes and Changed Conditions”, or “Differing Site Conditions” clause, as applicable, or such other time as may reasonably be required by the Contracting Officer.

    [FR Doc. 2016-21629 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 515, 538, and 552 [GSAR Case 2016-G506; Docket No. 2016-0016; Sequence No. 1] RIN 3090-AJ75 General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Federal Supply Schedule, Order-Level Materials AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The General Services Administration (GSA) is proposing to amend the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to clarify the authority to acquire order-level materials when placing a task order or establishing a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) against a Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contract. This proposed rule seeks to provide clear and comprehensive implementation of the ability to acquire order-level materials through the FSS program to create parity between FSS contracts and commercial indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts, reduce the need to conduct less efficient procurement transactions, lower barriers of entry to the federal marketplace and make it easier to do business the federal government.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat Division at one of the addressees shown below on or before November 8, 2016 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments in response to GSAR Case 2016-G506 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments by searching for “GSAR Case 2016-G506.” Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with GSAR Case 2016-G506. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “GSAR Case 2016-G506” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F Street NW., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite GSAR Case 2016-G506, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will generally be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Leah Price, Procurement Analyst, at 703-605-2558, or Mr. Curtis Glover, Sr., Procurement Analyst, at 202-501-1448, for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202-501-4755. Please cite GSAR Case 2016-G506.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    GSA is proposing to amend the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to establish special ordering procedures (per FAR 8.403(b)). These special ordering procedures clarify the authority to acquire order-level materials when placing an order or establishing a BPA against an FSS contract. Currently, most commercial indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts provide the flexibility to easily acquire order-level materials; however the FSS program does not. This proposed rule aims to create parity between the FSS program and other commercial IDIQs while also ensuring an appropriate set of controls or safeguards are put in place.

    Improving the acquisition of order level materials through the FSS program was expressly cited in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy's roadmap for simplifying the federal procurement process. (See Transforming the Marketplace: Simplifying Federal Procurement to Improve Performance, Drive Innovation, and Increase Savings, available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/memo/simplifying-federal-procurement-to-improve-performance-drive-innovation-increase-savings.pdf.) Providing the same flexibilities in the FSS program that are currently authorized for commercial IDIQ vehicles will help to reduce contract duplication and the associated administrative costs and inefficiencies for agencies. Simultaneously, it will reduce transaction costs for contractors, including small businesses, by eliminating the need for FSS contract holders to compete for and enter into additional contracts for this ancillary work. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports the costs of being on multiple contract vehicles ranged from $10,000 to $1,000,000 due to increased bid and proposal, and administrative costs.

    This proposed rule would achieve parity for the FSS program by providing further clarification in the GSAR of regulatory changes made by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council in years past to overcome the holdings in a Court of Federal Claims decision, ATA Defense Industries, Inc. v. United States, 38 Fed. Cl. 489 (1997) and a GAO opinion, Pyxis Corporation, B-282469; B-282469.2 . These decisions were issued at a time when there was no guidance in the FAR about open market items and served as impetus for opening Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Case 1999-614, bringing the guidance from the FSS Contractor Guide into the FAR. The FAR Case stated:

    It had been common practice to add “incidental” non-FSS items to FSS orders for administrative convenience. However, on July 15, 1999, the General Accounting Office (GAO) ruled in a protest that agencies “may no longer rely on the `incidentals' test to justify the purchase of non-FSS items in connection with an FSS buy; where an agency buys non-FSS items, it must follow applicable acquisition regulations” (Pyxis Corporation, B-282469; B-282469.2). Therefore, it is proposed that a paragraph (d) be added to FAR 8.401, General, which would permit the addition of “open market (noncontract)” items to a FSS blanket purchase agreement or task or delivery order only if “(1) all applicable acquisition regulations have been followed (e.g., publicizing ([FAR] Part 5), competition requirements ([FAR] Part 6), acquisition of commercial items ([FAR] Part 12), and contracting methods ([FAR] Parts 13, 14, and 15)); (2) the ordering office contracting officer has determined the price for the open market items is reasonable; and (3) the items are clearly labeled as open market (noncontract) items on the order.”

    This FAR Case was finalized and included in Federal Acquisition Circular 2001-08, effective July 29, 2002. With subsequent changes, this text moved from FAR 8.401 to its present location in FAR 8.402.

    Separately, FAR case 2003-027, Additional Commercial Contract Types, published in the Federal Register at 71 FR 74667 on December 12, 2006, expressly provided the authority to acquire order-level materials under commercial contracts. The case extended this authority to all commercial IDIQ contract vehicles, including contracts awarded pursuant to FAR part 12 and orders awarded pursuant to FAR subparts 16.5 and 8.4.

    Alternate I of FAR clause 52.212-4 Contract Terms and Conditions—Commercial Items was explicitly developed for contract vehicles where Time and Materials (T&M) or Labor-Hour (L-H) orders are contemplated. It defines “materials” to include direct materials, other direct costs, subcontracts, and indirect costs, and provides a means to acquire these materials within the scope of the FSS contract. It includes detailed instructions for the handling of each, none of which involves the competitive procedures required by FAR 8.402(f).

    Despite this clarification, FAR 8.402(f), which addresses “open market items” that are not on FSS, has been widely interpreted to mean that ordering activity Contracting Officers must conduct a separate open market competition for any and all materials not specifically awarded on the underlying FSS contract. As a result, FSS ordering activities have struggled with how to properly handle orders for which the exact items and quantities of materials is unknown. Years of confusion have, in turn, led to the creation of elaborate workarounds and the application of inconsistent policies and procedures.

    Providing clear and comprehensive implementation of this authority in the GSAR will result in parity regarding the ability to acquire order level materials from the FSS program and other commercial IDIQs. As a result, agencies will be able to further utilize the FSS program to meet their requirements rather than conducting separate open market procurements or further contributing to contract duplication through creating new commercial IDIQs that have a similar scope to existing FSS offerors, but that allow for order level materials.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    Amendments to GSAR parts 515, 538, and 552 are proposed by this rule. Specifically, GSA is proposing the following amendments:

    • Add to GSAR 515.408(c) that “offerors are not required to complete the commercial sales practices disclosure for order-level materials.

    • Add a new GSAR subpart 538.71, Order-Level Materials, which clarifies the authority to acquire order-level materials when placing a task order or establishing a BPA against an FSS contract. This subpart defines order-level materials and lists the applicable Federal Supply Schedules that authorized the use of order-level materials. GSA will issue guidance to its contracting officers outlining the procedures for structuring these Federal Supply Schedules and how to administer FSS contracts where order-level materials are authorized.

    • Add instructions in new GSAR subpart 538.71 for GSA contracting officers to use FAR clause 52.212-4 Alternate I in Federal Supply Schedules authorizing the use of order-level materials, with the following instructions for the clause fill-ins:

    ○ Insert “Each order must list separately subcontracts for services excluded from the FSS Schedule Hourly Rates” in FAR clause 52.212-4(e)(iii)(D).

    ○ Insert “Each order must list separately elements of other direct charge(s) for that order.” in FAR clause 52.212-4(i)(1)(ii)(D)(1).

    ○ Insert “none” in FAR clause 52.212-4(i)(1)(ii)(D)(2).

    ○ GSA is especially interested in comments on the clause fill-in instructions.

    • Add a new GSAR clause 552.238-XX, Special Ordering Procedures for the Acquisition of Order-Level Materials, which clarifies the authority to acquire order-level materials when placing a task order or establishing a BPA against an FSS contract. This new clause should be read as a special ordering procedure, as authorized in FAR 8.403(b). Operationally, it should be understood as an addition to the ordering procedures outlined in FAR 8.404(h). This new clause includes the special ordering procedures to be used when order-level materials are authorized controls that GSA is establishing when authorizing the use of “order-level materials”. These controls include—

    • Prohibiting order-level materials from being the primary basis of the order;

    • Limiting the total value of order-level materials to 33 percent of the overall order value;

    • Requiring order-level materials to be purchased under a separate Special Item Number (SIN) to enable GSA to monitor the sales for order-level materials and evaluate the appropriate usage;

    • Requiring the ordering activity to follow FAR 8.404(h) prior to placing an order including order-level materials;

    • Requiring contractors proposing order-level materials as part of a solution to submit a minimum of three quotes for each order-level material above the micro-purchase threshold. One of these three quotes may include materials furnished by the contractor under FAR 52.212-4 Alternate I (i)(1)(ii)(A). The contractor shall submit the information to the ordering activity contracting officer or provide rationale for why three quotes cannot be obtained;

    • Requiring the ordering activity contracting officer to determine all prices for order-level materials are fair and reasonable prior to placing an order; and

    • Including controls to ensure any ceiling increase has been appropriately justified and approved in accordance with FAR 8.405-6.

    III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    GSA does not expect this proposed rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S. 601, et seq., because the rule merely clarifies the authority to acquire order-level materials when placing a task order or establishing a BPA against an FSS contract; however, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) has been prepared consistent with 5 U.S.C. 603, and is summarized as follows:

    This proposed rule amends the GSAR to clarify the authority to acquire order-level materials when placing a task order or establishing a BPA against an FSS contract. Currently, most commercial indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts provide the flexibility to easily acquire order-level materials; however the FSS program does not.

    Currently there are 13,850 small businesses that have GSA Schedule contracts. While the rule is expected to have a beneficial impact on these contractors by reducing bid and proposal preparation costs and simplifying the process for selling order-level materials to FSS customers, GSA does not expect this proposed rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the rule merely clarifies the authority to acquire order-level materials when placing a task order or establishing a BPA against an authorized FSS contract.

    The proposed rule imposes no reporting, recordkeeping, or other information collection requirements.

    The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules.

    There are no known significant alternatives to the rule. The impact of this rule on small business is not expected to be significant.

    The Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting a copy of the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat Division. GSA invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

    GSA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (GSAR Case 2016-G506) in correspondence.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 515, 538, and 552

    Government procurement.

    Dated: September 2, 2016. Jeffrey A. Koses, Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy, General Services Administration.

    Therefore, GSA proposes to amend 48 CFR parts 515, 538, and 552 as set forth below:

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 515, 538, and 552 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c).

    PART 515—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION 2. Amend section 515.408 by adding a sentence to the end of paragraph (c) introductory text to read as follows:
    515.408 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    (c) * * * Offerors are not required to complete the commercial sales practices disclosure for order-level materials (See subpart 538.71).

    PART 538—FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE CONTRACTING 3. Add subpart 538.71 to read as follows: Subpart 538.71—Order-Level Materials 538.7100 Definitions. 538.7101 Applicability. 538.7103 Contract clauses. Subpart 538.71—Order-Level Materials
    538.7100 Definitions.

    Order-level materials means supplies and/or services acquired in direct support of an individual task or delivery order placed against a Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contract, when the supplies and/or services are not known at the time of Schedule contract award. The prices of order-level materials are not established in the FSS contract. Order-level materials are not open market items discussed in FAR 8.402(f).

    538.7101 Applicability.

    Order-level materials are authorized under all of the following:

    (a) Federal Supply Schedule 03 FAC.

    (b) Federal Supply Schedule 56.

    (c) Federal Supply Schedule 70.

    (d) Federal Supply Schedule 71.

    (e) Federal Supply Schedule 84.

    (f) Professional Services Schedule 99.

    (g) Federal Supply Schedule 738X.

    538.7103 Contract clauses.

    (a) Use FAR clause 52.212-4 Alternate I in all Federal Supply Schedules authorized for the acquisition of order-level materials (see 538.7101). Use the following language for the clause fill-in:

    (1) Insert “Each order must list separately subcontracts for services excluded from the FSS Hourly.

    (2) Insert “Each order must list separately the elements of other direct charge(s) for that order” in (i)(1)(ii)(D)(1).

    (3) Insert “none” in (i)(1)(ii)(D)(2).

    (b) Use 552.238-XX, Special Ordering Procedures for the Acquisition of Order-Level Materials in all Federal Supply Schedules authorized for the acquisition of order-level materials (see 538.7101).

    PART 552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 4. Add section 552.238-XX to read as follows:
    552.238-XX Special Ordering Procedures for the Acquisition of Order-Level Materials.

    As prescribed in 538.7103(b), insert the following clause:

    Special Ordering Procedures for the Acquisition of Order-Level Materials (DATE)

    (a) Order-level materials means supplies and/or services acquired in direct support of an individual task or delivery order placed against a Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contract or FSS BPA, when the supplies and/or services are not known at the time of Schedule contract award. The prices of order-level materials are not established in the FSS contract. Order-level materials that are acquired following the procedures in paragraph (d) of this clause are not open market items discussed in FAR 8.402(f).

    (b) FAR 8.403(b) provides that GSA may establish special ordering procedures for a particular FSS or for some Special Item Numbers (SINs) within a Schedule.

    (c) The procedures in FAR Subpart 8.4 apply to this contract, with the exceptions listed in this clause. If a requirement in this clause is inconsistent with FAR Subpart 8.4, this clause takes precedence.

    (d) Procedures for including order-level materials when placing an individual task or delivery order against an FSS contract or FSS Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA).

    (1) The procedures discussed in FAR 8.402(f) do not apply when placing task and delivery orders for order-level materials.

    (2) Order-level materials are included in the definition of the term “materials” in GSAR clause 552.212-4 Alternate I, and therefore all provisions of clause 552.212-4 Alternate I that apply to “materials” also apply to order-level materials. The ordering activity shall follow procedures under the Federal Travel Regulation and FAR Part 31 when order-level materials include travel.

    (3) Order-level materials shall only be acquired in direct support of an order and not as the primary basis.

    (4) The cumulative value of order-level materials awarded under an FSS order shall not exceed 33 percent of the total value of the order.

    (5) All order-level materials shall be placed under the Order-Level Materials SIN.

    (6) Prior to the placement of an order that includes order-level materials, the ordering activity shall follow procedures in FAR 8.404(h).

    (7) To support the price reasonableness of order-level materials, the contractor proposing order-level materials as part of a solution shall submit a minimum of three quotes obtained by the contractor for each order-level material above the micro-purchase threshold. One of these three quotes may include materials furnished by the contractor under FAR 52.212-4 Alternate I (i)(1)(ii)(A) If the contractor cannot obtain three quotes, the contractor shall provide the rationale for why they cannot obtain three quotes to support the contracting officer's determination in (d)(7) of this section.

    (8) The ordering activity contracting officer must make a determination that prices for all order-level materials are determined fair and reasonable. The ordering activity contracting officer may base their determination on a comparison of the quotes received in response to the task or delivery order solicitation or other relevant pricing information available.

    (9) Prior to an increase in the ceiling price of order-level materials above the micro-purchase threshold, the ordering activity contracting officer shall—

    (i) Conduct an analysis of pricing and other relevant factors to determine if the action is in the best interest of the Government and obtain the approval at the levels described in FAR 8.405-6(d); or

    (ii) Follow the procedures at FAR 8.405-6 for a change that modifies the general scope of the order.

    (10) In accordance with GSAR clause 552.215-71 Examination of Records by GSA, GSA has the authority to examine the contractor's records for compliance with the pricing provisions in FAR clause 52.212-4 Alternate I, to include examination of any books, documents, papers, and records involving transactions related to the contract for overbillings, billing errors, and compliance with the IFF and the Sales Reporting clauses of the contract.

    (11) Order-level materials are exempt from the following clauses:

    (i) 552.216-70 Economic Price Adjustment—FSS Multiple Award Schedule Contracts.

    (ii) 552.238-71 Submission and Distribution of Authorized FSS Schedule Pricelists.

    (iii) 552.238-75 Price Reductions.

    (End of Clause)
    [FR Doc. 2016-21610 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 391 [Docket No. FMCSA-2005-23151] RIN 2126-AA95 Medical Review Board Task Report on Insulin Treated Diabetes Mellitus and Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In May 2015, FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register to allow drivers with stable, well-controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to be qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. The comment period closed on July 6, 2015 and the Agency received over 1,250 comments. In that same month, FMCSA requested the Medical Review Board (MRB) to provide the Agency with advice by reviewing and analyzing the comments and providing recommendations to FMCSA for its consideration. The Agency announces the availability of the MRB's report and requests comments on the MRB recommendations. The Final MRB Task 15-01 Report is posted in the docket at FMCSA-2005-23151.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket No. FMCSA-2005-23151 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.

    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

    Each submission must include FMCSA and docket number FMCSA-2005-23151. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The on-line FDMS is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments on-line.

    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Christine A. Hydock, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, or by phone at (202) 366-4001 or by email at [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and related materials.

    Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (FMCSA-2005-23151), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, put the docket number, FMCSA-2005-23151, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” When the new screen appears, click on the “Comment Now!” button and type your comment into the text box on the following screen. Choose whether you are submitting your comment as an individual or on behalf of a third party and then submit. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

    FMCSA will consider these comments, in addition to the comments submitted in response to the NPRM, in determining how to proceed with this rulemaking.

    Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this notice as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Insert the docket number, FMCSA-2005-23151, in the keyword box, and click “Search.” Next, click the “Open Docket Folder” button and choose the document 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., E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    II. Background

    Diabetes mellitus is a disease manifested by the body's inability to maintain normal function of insulin, a substance that controls glycemic levels in the blood. Diabetes presents a major health challenge, particularly those who drive CMVs in interstate commerce. Under 49 CFR 391.41(b)(3), a person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control. Since 2003, FMCSA has maintained an exemption program for individuals that use insulin to treat their diabetes mellitus, that allows them to drive in interstate commerce if their diabetes is stable and they meet criteria of the program. 68 FR 52441 (Sept. 3, 2003), as revised, 70 FR 67777 (Nov. 8, 2005).

    In May 2015, FMCSA issued an NPRM in the Federal Register to allow drivers with stable, well-controlled ITDM to be qualified to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. The NPRM would enable individuals with ITDM to obtain a Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) from a Certified Medical Examiner (CME) at least annually in order to operate in interstate commerce as long as evidence is presented by the treating clinician who prescribes insulin documenting that the driver's condition is stable and well-controlled. The comment period on the NPRM closed on July 6, 2015, and the Agency received more than 1,250 comments.

    MRB Tasking

    The MRB was established to provide FMCSA with medical advice and recommendations on medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of operators of CMVs, medical examiner education, and medical research. 49 U.S.C. 31149(a)(1). The MRB, in view of its statutory creation and advisory function, is chartered by the Department of Transportation as an advisory committee under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. 5 U.S.C. App. See http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/committee.aspx?cid=2084&aid=47. See also Announcement of Establishment of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Medical Review Board, 70 FR 57642 (Oct. 3, 2005). The members of the MRB are appointed by the Secretary to reflect expertise in a variety of medical specialties relevant to the driver fitness requirements of FMCSA. 49 U.S.C. 31149(a)(2).

    In an effort to assist in the development of the final rule, on July 15, 2015, FMCSA requested advice from the MRB for the Agency to consider. Specifically, FMCSA asked the members to review and analyze all comments from medical professionals and associations, and identify factors the Agency should consider when making a decision about the next steps in the diabetes rulemaking. A public meeting to discuss this matter was held by the MRB on July 21 and 22, 2015. The Agency received the MRB's final report on September 1, 2015. Details of the meeting, including the original task, final report and supporting materials used by the MRB are posted on the Agency's public Web site: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical-review-board-mrb-meeting-topics.

    MRB Final Report

    The MRB's final report is available in the docket for this rulemaking (in addition to being available on the Agency's public Web site). The final report contains a number of detailed recommendations for FMCSA to consider as it develops a final rule. The Agency believes that public comment on the recommendations will assist it in evaluating the advice it has received from the MRB. Comments must be limited to addressing the recommendations in the MRB final report. A summary of the report's major recommendations is set out below:

    The MRB recommended that ITDM drivers be medically disqualified unless they meet the following requirements demonstrating their stable, well-controlled ITDM:

    1. The driver must provide an FMCSA Drivers With Insulin Treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment Form (set out in the recommendations) to a medical examiner that has been completed and signed by the treating clinician. The treating clinician must be a Doctor of Medicine, a Doctor of Osteopathy, a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician's Assistant who prescribed insulin to the driver and is knowledgeable regarding the treatment of diabetes.

    2. The driver must receive a complete ophthalmology or optometry exam, including dilated retinal exam, at least every 2 years documenting the presence or absence of retinopathy/macular edema and the degree of retinopathy and/or macular edema if present (using the International Classification of Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema).

    The MRB recommended that medical examiners be allowed to certify an ITDM driver as medically qualified for a time period of no longer than 1 year only if the driver has not experienced any of the 8 disqualifying factors below (which the MRB believes should be listed in 49 CFR 391.46):

    1. Any episode of severe hypoglycemia within the previous 6 months.

    2. Blood sugar less than 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) demonstrated in current glucose logs.

    3. Hypoglycemia appearing in the absence of warning symptoms (i.e., hypoglycemic unawareness).

    4. An episode of severe hypoglycemia, blood sugar less than 60 mg/dl, or hypoglycemic unawareness within the previous 6 months; the driver should be medically disqualified and must remain disqualified for at least 6 months.

    5. Uncontrolled diabetes, as evidenced by Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level greater than 10 percent. A driver could be reinstated when HbA1c level is less than or equal to 10 percent.

    6. Stage 3 or 4 diabetic retinopathy; a driver should be permanently disqualified.

    7. Signs of target organ damage; a driver should be disqualified until the matter is resolved by treatment, if possible.

    8. Inadequate record of self-monitoring of blood glucose; a driver should be disqualified for inadequate records until the driver can demonstrate adequate evidence of glucose records (minimum 1 month).

    In addition, the MRB stated that, if a driver is medically disqualified due to not meeting the ITDM criteria listed above, the driver should remain disqualified for at least 6 months.

    Comments Requested

    Comments are requested on any and all of the recommendations provided in the advisory final report from the Medical Review Board but only on those recommendations. To the extent possible, comments should include supporting materials, such as, for example, data analyses, studies, reports, or journal articles. FMCSA will consider these comments, in addition to the comments submitted in response to the NPRM, in determining how to proceed with this rulemaking.

    Issued on: August 30, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21724 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0099; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BA74 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Guadalupe Fescue AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list Festuca ligulata (Guadalupe fescue), a plant species from the Chihuahuan Desert of west Texas and Mexico, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this species.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before November 8, 2016. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by October 24, 2016

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by one of the following methods: (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS-R2-ES-2016-0099, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then click on the Search button. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2016-0099, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Public Comments, below, for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Rd., Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; telephone 512-490-0057; or facsimile 512-490-0974. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Information Requested Public Comments

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best available scientific and commercial data and will be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) Guadalupe fescue's biology, range, and population trends, including:

    (a) Biological or ecological requirements of the species, including habitat requirements for soils, reproduction, and associated species;

    (b) Genetics and taxonomy;

    (c) Historical and current range, including distribution patterns;

    (d) Historical and current population levels, and current and projected trends; and

    (e) Past and ongoing conservation measures for the species, its habitat, or both.

    (2) Factors that may affect the continued existence of the species, which may include habitat modification or destruction, overutilization, disease, predation, the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms, or other natural or manmade factors.

    (3) Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to this species and existing regulations that may be addressing those threats.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include.

    Please note that submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered or threatened species must be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed above in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received by the date specified above in DATES. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing.

    Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we are seeking the expert opinions of three appropriate and independent specialists regarding this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our listing determination is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. The peer reviewers have expertise in the natural history, habitats, distribution, and ecology of Guadalupe fescue. The peer reviewers are currently reviewing the Species Status Assessment (SSA Report) for Guadalupe fescue, which will inform our determination.

    Previous Federal Action

    On January 9, 1975, as directed by the Act, the Secretary for the Smithsonian Institution submitted a report to Congress on potential endangered and threatened plant species of the United States (Smithsonian 1975, entire). The report identified more than 3,000 plant species as potentially either endangered or threatened, including Festuca ligulata (Guadalupe fescue). On July 1, 1975, we published in the Federal Register (40 FR 27824) our notification that we considered this report to be a petition to list the identified plants as either endangered or threatened under the Act. The 1975 notice solicited information from Federal and State agencies, and the public, on the status of the species.

    On December 15, 1980, we published a comprehensive notice of review of native plants (45 FR 82480) that included Guadalupe fescue as a Category 2 candidate species. Category 2 candidates were taxa for which information then in the possession of the Service indicated that proposing to list as endangered or threatened species was possibly appropriate, but for which sufficient data on biological vulnerability and threats were not then available to support proposed rules. We retained the Category 2 status for Guadalupe fescue in updated notices of review of vascular plant taxa on September 27, 1985 (50 FR 39526), and February 21, 1990 (55 FR 6184). In a notice of review published on September 30, 1993 (58 FR 51144), we revised the status of Guadalupe fescue to a Category 1 candidate, meaning that the Service had on file sufficient information on biological vulnerability and threat(s) to support a proposal to list it as an endangered or threatened species, but that a proposed rule had not yet been issued because this action was precluded at that time by other listing activities. The candidate notice of review published on February 28, 1996 (61 FR 7596), eliminated categories within candidate species, and Guadalupe fescue was included as a candidate with a listing priority number of 8. The listing priority number was revised to 11 on October 25, 1999 (64 FR 57534), based on the commitment of Big Bend National Park to manage habitat for the species through a candidate conservation agreement (CCA). On May 4, 2004 (69 FR 24876), we indicated that Guadalupe fescue remained a candidate following a re-submitted petition. We have retained the candidate status for Guadalupe fescue, with a listing priority number of 11, in all subsequent notices of review (70 FR 24870, May 11, 2005; 71 FR 53756, September 12, 2006; 72 FR 69034, December 6, 2007; 73 FR 75176, December 10, 2008; 74 FR 57804, November 9, 2009; 75 FR 69222, November 10, 2010; 76 FR 66370, October 26, 2011; 77 FR 69994, November 21, 2012; 78 FR 70104, November 22, 2013; 79 FR 72450, December 5, 2014; 80 FR 80584, December 24, 2015).

    Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, we propose to designate critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue under the Act.

    Background

    Staff of the Austin Ecological Services Field Office developed the SSA Report for Guadalupe fescue, which is an evaluation of the best available scientific and commercial data on the status of the species, including the past, present, and future threats to this species and the effect of conservation measures. The SSA Report and other materials related to this proposal are available online at http://www.regulations.gov, under Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0099, and on the Southwest Region Ecological Services Web site at: https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/ESA_Our_species.html.

    The SSA Report (Service 2016) is based on a thorough review of the natural history, habitats, ecology, populations, and range of Guadalupe fescue. The SSA Report analyzes individual, population, and species requirements; factors affecting the species' survival; and current conditions to assess the species' current and future viability in terms of resiliency, redundancy, and representation. We define viability as the ability of a species to maintain populations over a defined period of time.

    Resiliency refers to the population size necessary to endure stochastic environmental variation (Shaffer and Stein 2000, pp. 308-310). Resilient populations are better able to recover from losses caused by random variation, such as fluctuations in recruitment (demographic stochasticity), variations in rainfall (environmental stochasticity), or changes in the frequency of wildfires.

    Redundancy refers to the number and geographic distribution of populations or sites necessary to endure catastrophic events (Shaffer and Stein 2000, pp. 308-310). As defined here, catastrophic events are rare occurrences, usually of finite duration, that cause severe impacts to one or more populations. Examples of catastrophic events include tropical storms, floods, prolonged drought, and unusually intense wildfire. Species that have multiple resilient populations distributed over a larger landscape are more likely to survive catastrophic events, since not all populations would be affected.

    Representation refers to the genetic diversity, both within and among populations, necessary to conserve long-term adaptive capability (Shaffer and Stein 2000, pp. 307-308). Species with greater genetic diversity are more able to adapt to environmental changes and to colonize new sites.

    Summary of Biological Status and Threats

    Guadalupe fescue is a short-lived perennial grass species found only in a few high mountains of the Chihuahuan Desert, west of the Pecos River in Texas and in the State of Coahuila, Mexico. These “sky island” habitats are conifer-oak woodlands above 1,800 meters (m) (5,905 feet (ft)) elevation. The species has been reported in only six sites. It was first collected in 1931, in the Guadalupe Mountains, Culberson County, Texas, and in the Chisos Mountains, Brewster County, Texas; these sites are now within Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Big Bend National Park, respectively. Guadalupe fescue was documented near Fraile, southern Coahuila, in 1941; in the Sierra la Madera, central Coahuila, in 1977; and at two sites in the Maderas del Carmen Mountains of northern Coahuila in 1973 and 2003. The last three sites are now within protected natural areas (“areas naturales protegidas” (ANP)) designated by the Mexican federal government.

    In the United States, known populations of Guadalupe fescue have experienced significant declines. Guadalupe fescue was last observed in the Guadalupe Mountains in 1952; this population is presumed extirpated. Researchers from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Big Bend National Park have quantitatively monitored plots within the Chisos Mountains population over a 22-year period. Our analysis of these data indicates that the population within the plots (about 25 to 50 percent of the total population) has decreased significantly over time, from a high of 125 and 127 individuals in 1993 and 1994, to 47 individuals in 2013 and 2014. Little information is available for the known populations in Mexico. Valdes-Reyna (2009, pp. 13, 15) confirmed that one population in the Maderas del Carmen mountains is extant. This population had several hundred individuals in 2003 (Big Bend National Park and Service 2008), and is protected within ANP Maderas del Carmen. The status of the other three Coahuilan populations remains unknown.

    To estimate the amount and distribution of potential Guadalupe fescue habitat, we created maps of conifer-oak forests in the Chihuahuan Desert at elevations greater than 1,800 m. Since larger habitat areas may be more suitable, we restricted this model to areas greater than 200 hectares (ha) (494 acres (ac)). This model reveals that northern Mexico has 283 areas of potential habitat totaling 537,998 ha (over 1.3 million ac), compared to 20 such areas totaling 27,881 ha (68,894 ac) in Texas. Thus, about 95 percent of the potential habitat is in Mexico. However, we do not have information confirming that any of these areas actually contain Guadalupe fescue.

    Monitoring suggests that the Chisos Mountains population has decreased in size; however the data indicate that survival rates within this monitored population have increased. These inverse trends may be explained by a recruitment rate (establishment of new individuals) that is too low to sustain the population. We do not know why the recruitment rate at the Chisos population is low. We have no information about the species' genetic viability, within-population and within-species genetic differentiation, chromosome number, or breeding system. However, since grasses are wind-pollinated, small, widely-scattered populations produce few if any seeds from out-crossing (pollination by unrelated individuals). Many perennial grasses, including some Festuca species, are obligate out-crossers. If Guadalupe fescue is an obligate out-crosser, the sparse Chisos population would produce few seeds; if it is not an obligate out-crosser, it is probably highly inbred and may suffer from inbreeding depression. Although the minimum viable population (MVP) size has not yet been calculated for Guadalupe fescue, we can estimate its MVP by comparison to species with similar life histories (i.e., surrogates) for which MVPs have been calculated, using the following guideline adapted from Pavlik (1996, p. 137). Through this comparison, we estimate that populations of Guadalupe fescue should have at least 500 to 1,000 individuals for long-term population viability (SSA Report, pp. 17-18).

    One factor potentially negatively affecting the existing population in the Chisos Mountains is the loss of regular wildfires. Periodic wildfire and leaf litter reduction may be necessary for long-term survival of Guadalupe fescue populations, although this has not been investigated. Historically, wildfires occurred in the vicinity of the Chisos population at least 10 times between 1770 and 1940 (Moir and Meents 1981, p. 7; Moir 1982, pp. 90-98; Poole 1989, p. 8; Camp et al. 2006, pp. 3-6, 14-23, 59-61). However, the last major fire there was more than 70 years ago, due to fire suppression within the National Park. The long absence of fire and the resulting accumulation of fuels also increase the risk of more intense wildfire, which could result in the loss of the remaining Guadalupe fescue population in the United States.

    Other factors that may affect the continued survival of Guadalupe fescue include the genetic and demographic consequences of small population sizes and isolation of its known populations; livestock grazing; trail runoff; competition from invasive species; effects of climate change, such as higher temperatures and changes in the amount and seasonal pattern of rainfall; and fungal infection of seeds. Big Bend National Park has minimized the potential threat of trampling from humans and pack animals by restricting visitors and trail maintenance crews to established trails and through visitor outreach.

    The Service, Big Bend National Park, and Guadalupe Mountains National Park established CCAs for the Guadalupe fescue in 1998 and 2008. The objectives of these 10-year agreements include monitoring and surveys, seed and live plant banking, fire and invasive species management, trail management, staff and visitor education, establishment of an advisory team of species experts, and cooperation with Mexican agencies and researchers to conserve the known populations of Guadalupe fescue and search for new ones. Research objectives include investigations of fire ecology, habitat management, genetic structure, reproductive biology, and reintroduction.

    Based on the best available information, we know of only two extant populations of Guadalupe fescue. The Chisos Mountains population is far smaller than our estimated MVP level, and despite protection, appropriate management, and periodic monitoring by the National Park Service, it has declined between 1993 and 2014. The other extant population, at ANP Maderas del Carmen in northern Coahuila, Mexico, may have exceeded our estimated MVP level as recently as 2003, and the site is managed for natural resources conservation. Unfortunately, we possess very little information about the current status of the species at Maderas del Carmen and throughout Mexico. Our analysis revealed that a large amount of potential habitat exists in northern Mexico. Thus, it is possible that other undiscovered populations of Guadalupe fescue exist in northern Mexico, and that the overall status of the species is more secure than we now know. Nonetheless, the Service has to make a determination based on the best available scientific data, which currently confirm only one extant population in Mexico.

    Determination Standard for Review

    Section 4 of the Act, and its implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 424, set forth the procedures for adding species to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Under section 4(b)(1)(a) of the Act, the Secretary is to make endangered or threatened determinations required by section 4(a)(1) solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available to her after conducting a review of the status of the species and after taking into account conservation efforts by States or foreign nations. The standards for determining whether a species is endangered or threatened are provided in section 3 of the Act. An endangered species is any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” A threatened species is any species that is “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” Per section 4(a)(1) of the Act, in reviewing the status of the species to determine if it meets the definition of endangered or of threatened, we determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any of the following five factors: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Our determination must also consider certain conservation measures for the species.

    The fundamental question before the Service is whether the species warrants protection as endangered or threatened under the Act. To make this determination, we evaluated the projections of extinction risk, described in terms of the condition of current and future populations and their distribution (taking into account the risk factors and their effects on those populations). For any species, as population condition declines and distribution shrinks, the species' extinction risk increases and overall viability declines.

    Summary of Analysis

    We documented in our SSA Report that only two extant populations of Guadalupe fescue are currently known. The only extant population in the United States, in the Chisos Mountains at Big Bend National Park, has declined in abundance since 1993. Only 47 individuals were observed there in 2014, which is far less than an estimated MVP size of 500 to 1,000 individuals based on species with similar life histories. The other extant population, in the ANP Maderas del Carmen in Coahuila, had several hundred individuals in 2003, and was confirmed extant in 2009 with no population estimate. Three other historically known populations in remote areas of Coahuila, Mexico, have not been monitored in at least 39 years, and their statuses remain unknown.

    We find that several factors reduce the viability of Guadalupe fescue, including: Changes in the wildfire cycle and vegetation structure of its habitats, trampling from humans and pack animals, trail runoff, and competition from invasive species (Factor A); grazing by livestock and feral animals of Guadalupe fescue plants (Factor C); and the genetic and demographic consequences of small population sizes, isolation of its known populations, and potential impacts of climate changes, such as higher temperatures and changes in the amount and seasonal pattern of rainfall (Factor E). Although trampling, trail runoff, invasive species, and grazing are likely to be ameliorated by ongoing and future conservation efforts on Federal lands in the United States, the effects of small population size, geographic isolation, and climate change are all rangewide threats and expected to continue into the foreseeable future. There is limited information available regarding the known populations of Guadalupe fescue in Mexico; however, most of the above factors are likely to be widespread and ongoing threats throughout the potential habitats in Mexico (Service 2016).

    The Act defines an endangered species as any species that is “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range” and a threatened species as any species “that is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range within the foreseeable future.” We find that Guadalupe fescue is currently in danger of extinction throughout all of its range, and therefore warrants a determination that it is an endangered species. There are only two known extant populations of Guadalupe fescue, one each in Texas and in Coahuila, Mexico. We have no recent observations of three additional populations reported from Mexico, and their statuses are unknown. A second population reported from the United States has not been seen in more than 60 years, despite extensive surveys, and is presumed extirpated. Based on monitoring conducted in 2013 and 2014, the Chisos Mountains population in the United States is estimated to have in the range of about 100 and 200 individuals, well below the estimated MVP of 500 to 1,000 individuals, and the monitored population has declined from 127 individuals in 1993, to 47 individuals in 2014 (Service 2016, Appendix B). Therefore, this population is considered to have low resiliency. The Maderas del Carmen population in Mexico may have held the estimated MVP as recently as 2003, but the current population status is unknown, and thus the population is considered to have limited resilience (Service 2016). With only two known populations, both with limited resiliency, the species has extremely low redundancy and representation. However, if there are additional extant populations in Mexico, we would expect the redundancy and representation of the species would be greater. Based on the best available information, therefore, the species' overall risk of extinction is such that we find it meets the definition of an endangered species. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial information, we propose listing the Guadalupe fescue as an endangered species in accordance with sections 3(6) and 4(a)(1) of the Act. We find that a threatened species status is not appropriate for Guadalupe fescue because of the immediacy of threats facing the species with only two known populations, one of which is declining in abundance.

    Under the Act and our implementing regulations, a species may warrant listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. We have determined that Guadalupe fescue is endangered throughout all of its range, so an evaluation of any “significant” portion of the range is unnecessary. See the Final Policy on Interpretation of the Phrase “Significant Portion of Its Range” in the Endangered Species Act's Definitions of “Endangered Species” and “Threatened Species” (79 FR 37578; July 1, 2014).

    Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened species under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. Recognition through listing results in public awareness, as well as conservation by Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies; private organizations; and individuals. The Act encourages cooperation with the States and other countries, and calls for recovery actions to be carried out for listed species. The protection required by Federal agencies and the prohibitions against certain activities are discussed, in part, below.

    The primary purpose of the Act is the conservation of endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. The ultimate goal of such conservation efforts is the recovery of these listed species, so that they no longer need the protective measures of the Act. Subsection 4(f) of the Act calls for the Service to develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. The recovery planning process involves the identification of actions that are necessary to halt or reverse the species' decline by addressing the threats to its survival and recovery. The goal of this process is to restore listed species to a point where they are secure, self-sustaining, and functioning components of their ecosystems.

    Recovery planning includes the development of a recovery outline shortly after a species is listed and preparation of a draft and final recovery plan. The recovery outline guides the immediate implementation of urgent recovery actions and describes the process to be used to develop a recovery plan. Revisions of the plan may be done to address continuing or new threats to the species, as new substantive information becomes available. The recovery plan also identifies recovery criteria for review of when a species may be ready for downlisting or delisting, and methods for monitoring recovery progress. Recovery plans also establish a framework for agencies to coordinate their recovery efforts and provide estimates of the cost of implementing recovery tasks. Recovery teams (composed of species experts, Federal and State agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders) are often established to develop recovery plans. Should the Guadalupe fescue be listed as an endangered or a threatened species in a final rule, the completed recovery outline, draft recovery plan, and the final recovery plan will be available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/endangered), or from our Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Implementation of recovery actions generally requires the participation of a broad range of partners, including other Federal agencies, States, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and private landowners. Examples of recovery actions include habitat restoration (e.g., restoration of native vegetation), research, captive propagation and reintroduction, and outreach and education. The recovery of many listed species cannot be accomplished solely on Federal lands because their range may occur primarily or solely on non-Federal lands. To achieve recovery of these species requires cooperative conservation efforts on private, State, and Tribal lands. If this species is listed, funding for recovery actions could be available from a variety of sources, including Federal budgets, State programs, and cost share grants for non-Federal landowners, the academic community, and nongovernmental organizations. In addition, pursuant to section 6 of the Act, the State of Texas would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of Guadalupe fescue. Information on our grant programs that are available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants.

    Although Guadalupe fescue is only proposed for listing under the Act at this time, please let us know if you are interested in participating in recovery efforts for this species. Additionally, we invite you to submit any new information on this species whenever it becomes available and any information you may have for recovery planning purposes (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Section 7(a) of the Act requires Federal agencies to evaluate their actions with respect to any species that is proposed or listed as an endangered or threatened species and with respect to its critical habitat, if any is designated. Regulations implementing this interagency cooperation provision of the Act are codified at 50 CFR part 402. Section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a species proposed for listing or result in destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat. If a species is listed subsequently, section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies to ensure that activities they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat. If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency must enter into consultation with the Service.

    Federal agency actions within the species' habitat that may require conference or consultation or both as described in the preceding paragraph are limited to the land management activities by the National Park Service within Big Bend National Park.

    With respect to endangered plants, prohibitions outlined at 50 CFR 17.61 make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to import or export, transport in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of a commercial activity, sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce, or to remove and reduce to possession any such plant species from areas under Federal jurisdiction. In addition, for endangered plants, the Act prohibits malicious damage or destruction of any such species on any area under Federal jurisdiction, and the removal, cutting, digging up, or damaging or destroying of any such species on any other area in knowing violation of any State law or regulation, or in the course of any violation of a State criminal trespass law. Exceptions to these prohibitions are outlined in 50 CFR 17.62.

    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving endangered plants under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.62. With regard to endangered plants, the Service may issue a permit authorizing any activity otherwise prohibited by 50 CFR 17.61 for scientific purposes or for enhancing the propagation or survival of endangered plants.

    It is our policy, as published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34272), to identify to the maximum extent practicable at the time a species is listed, those activities that would or would not constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act. The intent of this policy is to increase public awareness of the effect of a proposed listing on proposed and ongoing activities within the range of the species proposed for listing. Based on the best available information, the following actions are unlikely to result in a violation of section 9, if these activities are carried out in accordance with existing regulations and permit requirements; this list is not comprehensive:

    (1) Normal agricultural and silvicultural practices conducted on privately owned lands, including herbicide and pesticide use, which are carried out in accordance with any existing regulations, permit and label requirements, and best management practices;

    (2) Recreation and management at National Parks that is conducted in accordance with existing National Park Service regulations and policies; and

    (3) Normal residential landscape activities.

    Based on the best available information, the following activities may potentially result in a violation of section 9 of the Act; this list is not comprehensive:

    (1) Unauthorized damage or collection of Guadalupe fescue from lands under Federal jurisdiction;

    (2) Destruction or degradation of the species' habitat on lands under Federal jurisdiction, including the intentional introduction of nonnative organisms that compete with, consume, or harm Guadalupe fescue;

    (3) Livestock grazing on lands under Federal jurisdiction; and

    (4) Pesticide applications on lands under Federal jurisdiction in violation of label restrictions.

    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    We have determined that environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), need not be prepared in connection with listing a species as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Austin Ecological Services Field Office.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 17.12(h) by adding an entry for “Festuca ligulata” to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants in alphabetical order under FLOWERING PLANTS to read as follows:
    § 17.12 Endangered and threatened plants.

    (h) * * *

    Scientific name Common name Where listed Status Listing citations and
  • applicable rules
  • Flowering Plants *         *         *         *         *         *         * Festuca ligulata Guadalupe fescue Wherever found E [Federal Register citation of the final rule] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: August 18, 2016. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21588 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0100; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BA75 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Guadalupe Fescue AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to designate critical habitat for Festuca ligulata (Guadalupe fescue) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In total, approximately 7,815 acres (3,163 hectares) in Brewster County, Texas, located entirely in Big Bend National Park, fall within the boundaries of the proposed critical habitat designation. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this species' critical habitat. We also announce the availability of a draft economic analysis (DEA) of the proposed designation of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments on the proposed rule or DEA that are received or postmarked on or before November 8, 2016. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by October 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule or DEA by one of the following methods:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Keyword box, enter Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0100, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then click on the Search button. On the resulting page, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R2-ES-2016-0100, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We request that you send comments only by the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Information Requested, below, for more information).

    Document availability: The DEA is available at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/ESA_Our_species.html, at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0100, and at the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    The coordinates or plot points or both from which the maps are generated are included in the administrative record for this proposed critical habitat designation and are available: at https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/ESA_Our_species.html, at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0100, and at the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Any additional tools or supporting information that we may develop for this critical habitat designation will also be available at the Fish and Wildlife Service Web site and Field Office set out above, and may also be included in the preamble and/or at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adam Zerrenner, Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office, 10711 Burnet Rd., Suite 200, Austin, TX 78758; telephone 512-490-0057; facsimile 512-490-0974. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Information Requested

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and as effective as possible. Therefore, we request comments or information from other concerned government agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested party concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as “critical habitat” under section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), including whether there are threats to the species from human activity, the degree of which can be expected to increase due to the designation, and whether that increase in threat outweighs the benefit of designation such that the designation of critical habitat may not be prudent.

    (2) Specific information on:

    (a) The amount and distribution of Guadalupe fescue habitat;

    (b) What areas occupied at the time of listing, and that contain features essential to the conservation of the species, should be included in the designation and why;

    (c) Special management considerations or protection that may be needed in critical habitat areas we are proposing, including managing for the potential effects of climate change;

    (d) What areas not occupied at the time of listing are essential for the conservation of the species and why; and

    (e) Current habitat information within McKittrick Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and whether any potential habitat areas there may be essential to the conservation of the Guadalupe fescue.

    (3) Land use designations and current or planned activities in the subject areas and their possible impacts on proposed critical habitat.

    (4) Information on the projected and reasonably likely impacts of climate change on Guadalupe fescue and proposed critical habitat.

    (5) Any probable economic, national security, or other relevant impacts of designating any area that may be included in the final designation; in particular, we seek information on any impacts on small entities or families, and the benefits of including or excluding areas that exhibit these impacts.

    (6) Information on the extent to which the description of economic impacts in the DEA is a reasonable estimate of the likely economic impacts.

    (7) The likelihood of adverse social reactions to the designation of critical habitat, as discussed in the associated documents of the DEA, and how the consequences of such reactions, if likely to occur, would relate to the conservation and regulatory benefits of the proposed critical habitat designation.

    (8) Whether any specific areas we are proposing for critical habitat designation should be considered for exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, and whether the benefits of potentially excluding any specific area outweigh the benefits of including that area under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

    (9) Whether we could improve or modify our approach to designating critical habitat in any way to provide for greater public participation and understanding, or to better accommodate public concerns and comments.

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only by the methods described in ADDRESSES.

    We will post your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—on http://www.regulations.gov. You may request at the top of your document that we withhold personal information such as your street address, phone number, or email address from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Previous Federal Actions

    All previous Federal actions are described in the proposal to list Guadalupe fescue as an endangered species under the Act, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    Background

    Critical habitat is defined in section 3 of the Act as:

    (1) The specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical or biological features

    (a) Essential to the conservation of the species, and

    (b) Which may require special management considerations or protection; and

    (2) Specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.

    Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.02 define the geographical area occupied by the species as an area that may generally be delineated around species' occurrences, as determined by the Secretary (i.e., range). Such areas may include those areas used throughout all or part of the species' life cycle, even if not used on a regular basis (e.g., migratory corridors, seasonal habitats, and habitats used periodically, but not solely by vagrant individuals).

    Conservation, as defined under section 3 of the Act, means to use and the use of all methods and procedures that are necessary to bring an endangered or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to the Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with scientific resources management such as research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplantation, and, in the extraordinary case where population pressures within a given ecosystem cannot be otherwise relieved, may include regulated taking.

    Critical habitat receives protection under section 7 of the Act through the requirement that Federal agencies ensure, in consultation with the Service, that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. The designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge, wilderness, reserve, preserve, or other conservation area. Such designation does not allow the government or public to access private lands. Such designation does not require implementation of restoration, recovery, or enhancement measures by non-Federal landowners. Where a landowner requests Federal agency funding or authorization for an action that may affect a listed species or critical habitat, the consultation requirements of section 7(a)(2) of the Act would apply, but even in the event of a destruction or adverse modification finding, the obligation of the Federal action agency and the landowner is not to restore or recover the species, but to implement reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.

    Under the first prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat, areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it was listed are included in a critical habitat designation if they contain physical or biological features (1) which are essential to the conservation of the species and (2) which may require special management considerations or protection. For these areas, critical habitat designations identify, to the extent known using the best scientific and commercial data available, those physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species (such as space, food, cover, and protected habitat). In identifying those physical or biological features within an area, we focus on the specific features that support the life-history needs of the species, including but not limited to, water characteristics, soil type, geological features, prey, vegetation, symbiotic species, or other features. A feature may be a single habitat characteristic, or a more complex combination of habitat characteristics. Features may include habitat characteristics that support ephemeral or dynamic habitat conditions. Features may also be expressed in terms relating to principles of conservation biology, such as patch size, distribution distances, and connectivity.

    Under the second prong of the Act's definition of critical habitat, we can designate critical habitat in areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. For example, an area currently occupied by the species but that was not occupied at the time of listing may be essential to the conservation of the species and may be included in the critical habitat designation.

    Section 4 of the Act requires that we designate critical habitat on the basis of the best scientific data available. Further, our Policy on Information Standards Under the Endangered Species Act (published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34271)), the Information Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Pub. L. 106-554; H.R. 5658)), and our associated Information Quality Guidelines, provide criteria, establish procedures, and provide guidance to ensure that our decisions are based on the best scientific data available. They require our biologists, to the extent consistent with the Act and with the use of the best scientific data available, to use primary and original sources of information as the basis for recommendations to designate critical habitat.

    When we are determining which areas should be designated as critical habitat, our primary source of information is generally the information developed during the listing process for the species. Information sources may include the species status assessment; any generalized conservation strategy, criteria, or outline that may have been developed for the species; the recovery plan for the species; articles in peer-reviewed journals; conservation plans developed by States and counties; scientific status surveys and studies; biological assessments; other unpublished materials; or experts' opinions or personal knowledge.

    Habitat is dynamic, and species may move from one area to another over time. We recognize that critical habitat designated at a particular point in time may not include all of the habitat areas that we may later determine are necessary for the recovery of the species. For these reasons, a critical habitat designation does not signal that habitat outside the designated area is unimportant or may not be needed for recovery of the species. Areas that are important to the conservation of the species, both inside and outside the critical habitat designation, will continue to be subject to: (1) Conservation actions implemented under section 7(a)(1) of the Act, (2) regulatory protections afforded by the requirement in section 7(a)(2) of the Act for Federal agencies to ensure their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species, and (3) section 9 of the Act's prohibitions on taking any individual of the species, including taking caused by actions that affect habitat. Federally funded or permitted projects affecting listed species outside their designated critical habitat areas may still result in jeopardy findings in some cases. These protections and conservation tools would continue to contribute to recovery of this species. Similarly, critical habitat designations made on the basis of the best available information at the time of designation will not control the direction and substance of future recovery plans, habitat conservation plans (HCPs), or other species conservation planning efforts if new information available at the time of these planning efforts calls for a different outcome.

    Prudency Determination

    Section 4(a)(3) of the Act, as amended, and implementing regulations (50 CFR 424.12), require that, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, the Secretary shall designate critical habitat at the time the species is determined to be an endangered or threatened species. Our regulations (50 CFR 424.12(a)(1)) state that the designation of critical habitat is not prudent when one or both of the following situations exist:

    (1) The species is threatened by taking or other human activity, and identification of critical habitat can be expected to increase the degree of threat to the species, or

    (2) Such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species. In determining whether a designation would not be beneficial, the factors the Service may consider include but are not limited to: Whether the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of a species' habitat or range is not a threat to the species, or whether any areas meet the definition of “critical habitat.”

    As stated in the proposed listing rule published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, there is currently no imminent threat of take attributed to collection or vandalism for Guadalupe fescue, and identification and mapping of critical habitat is not expected to initiate any such threat. In the absence of finding that the designation of critical habitat would increase threats to a species, we determine if such designation of critical habitat would not be beneficial to the species. In our proposed listing rule, we determined that the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of a species' habitat or range is a threat to Guadalupe fescue. Therefore, because we have determined that the designation of critical habitat will not likely increase the degree of threat to the species and would be beneficial, we find that designation of critical habitat is prudent for Guadalupe fescue.

    Critical Habitat Determinability

    Having determined that designation is prudent, under section 4(a)(3) of the Act we must find whether critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue is determinable. Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(a)(2) state that critical habitat is not determinable when one or both of the following situations exist:

    (i) Data sufficient to perform required analyses are lacking, or

    (ii) The biological needs of the species are not sufficiently well known to identify any area that meets the definition of “critical habitat.”

    When critical habitat is not determinable, the Act allows the Service an additional year to publish a critical habitat designation (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(6)(C)(ii)).

    We reviewed the available information pertaining to the biological needs of the species and habitat characteristics where this species is located. This and other information represent the best scientific data available and led us to conclude that the designation of critical habitat is determinable for Guadalupe fescue.

    Physical or Biological Features

    In accordance with section 3(5)(A)(i) of the Act and regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b), in determining which areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing to designate as critical habitat, we consider the physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species and which may require special management considerations or protection. These include, but are not limited to:

    (1) Space for individual and population growth and for normal behavior;

    (2) Food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements;

    (3) Cover or shelter;

    (4) Sites for breeding, reproduction, or rearing (or development) of offspring; and

    (5) Habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the historic geographical and ecological distributions of a species.

    We conducted a Species Status Assessment (SSA Report) for Guadalupe fescue, which is an evaluation of the best available scientific and commercial data on the status of the species. The SSA Report (Service 2016; available at: https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/ESA_Our_species.html) is based on a thorough review of the natural history, habitats, ecology, populations, and range of Guadalupe fescue. The SSA Report provides the scientific information upon which this proposed critical habitat determination is based (Service 2016).

    Space for Individual and Population Growth and for Normal Behavior

    The size of suitable habitat areas for Guadalupe fescue is likely to be important, although we do not know how large an area must be to support a viable population. However, we do know that many plant species in the Chihuahuan Desert have migrated to different elevations and latitudes, or were extirpated, since the end of the late Wisconsinan glaciation (about 11,000 years ago). Larger habitat areas provide more opportunities for populations to migrate, as plant communities and weather patterns change, and therefore may be more suitable. Larger habitats are also expected to support larger populations and greater genetic diversity. We provisionally estimate that habitats of at least 494 ac (200 ha) are more likely to support long-term viability of Guadalupe fescue. Therefore, we determine that relatively large habitat areas that are at least 494 ac (200 ha) are important to provide the necessary space to support the physical or biological feature for this species.

    Food, Water, Air, Light, Minerals, or Other Nutritional or Physiological Requirements

    Precipitation is important to Guadalupe fescue, as flowering and survival rates are positively correlated with rainfall amount and timing. The amount of rainfall over longer periods, such as the previous 21 months, appears to have more influence on flowering, which occurs from August to October, than rainfall during the previous 9 months or the previous February through May (Service 2016, Appendix B). Population size may be positively correlated with rainfall over relatively long (33-month) periods. Rainfall (or drought) over shorter time frames appears to have less effect on population size. Precipitation amounts and patterns are weather conditions that support the physical or biological features for Guadalupe fescue.

    All historic and extant populations of Guadalupe fescue occur above about 1,800 meters (m) (5,905 feet (ft)) in the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico and Texas, although we do not know the actual elevation tolerance of this species. Many plant species occur at relatively lower elevations in mountains where habitats are relatively cool and moist, such as in narrow ravines, north-facing slopes (in the northern hemisphere), or windward slopes where there is a pronounced rain shadow (higher rainfall on prevailing windward slopes). Larger habitat areas provide more opportunities for populations to migrate, as plant communities and weather patterns change, and therefore may be more suitable. Nevertheless, the 1,800-m elevation contour represents the best available information regarding the elevation tolerance of this species.

    Habitat areas do not need to be contiguous to be considered occupied, provided that they are not separated by wide, low-elevation gaps. This rational is based on expected long-distance dispersal of viable seeds of Guadalupe fescue by Carmen white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus carminis), the most common ungulate in the Chisos Mountains. The diet of Carmen white-tailed deer consists of up to 12 percent grasses. Carmen white-tailed deer use habitats with dense stands of oak and the presence of free-standing water, and the range is restricted to elevations above 906 to 1,220 m (2,970 to 4,000 ft). The estimated home range is a radius of 1.1 to 2.4 kilometers (km) (0.7 to 1.5 miles (mi)). Hence, we expect that Carmen white-tailed deer are able to disperse viable seeds of Guadalupe fescue to potential habitats that are not separated by gaps that are below about 1,000 m (3,208 ft) and more than 2.4 km (1.5 mi) wide.

    All known populations of Guadalupe fescue occur in rocky or talus soils of partially shaded sites in the understory of conifer-oak woodlands within the Chihuahuan Desert. The associated vegetation consists of relatively open stands of both conifer and oak trees in varying proportions. Conifer-oak woodlands may occur in areas classified as pine, conifer, pine-oak, or conifer-oak, and as forest or woodland, on available vegetation classification maps. The conifer species typically include one or more of the following: Mexican pinyon (Pinus cembroides), Arizona pine (P. arizonica), southwestern white pine (P. strobiformis), alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana), drooping juniper (J. flaccida), and Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica). Characteristic oaks include one or more of the following: Chisos red oak (Quercus gravesii), gray oak (Q. grisea), Lacey oak (Q. laceyi), and silverleaf oak (Q. hypoleucoides). Other broadleaf trees, such as bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum), may also occur in this element. Therefore, we consider areas of rocky or talus soils of partially shaded sites in the understory of conifer-oak woodlands above elevations of 1,800 m (5,905 ft) within the Chihuahuan Desert to be a physical or biological feature of Guadalupe fescue.

    Habitats That Are Protected From Disturbance or Are Representative of the Historic Geographical and Ecological Distributions of a Species

    The role of fire is very likely important to maintaining Guadalupe fescue habitat for two reasons. First, many grass and forb understory species are stimulated during the years immediately following wildfire, but they decline during long periods without fire. Second, relatively frequent forest wildfires tend to be relatively cool because large amounts of dry fuel, such as dead trees, fallen branches, and leaf litter, have not accumulated; such fires do not kill large numbers of trees or radically change the vegetation structure and composition. Conversely, wildfires that burn where fuels and small dead trees have accumulated for many years can be very hot, catastrophic events that not only kill entire stands of trees, but also kill the seeds and beneficial microorganisms in the soil, such as mycorrhizal fungi. Fire is probably inevitable in the conifer and conifer-oak forests of the Chihuahuan Desert. Thus, more frequent, relatively cool fires may be essential for the long-term sustainability of these forested ecosystems and of Guadalupe fescue populations.

    Summary of Essential Physical or Biological Features

    We derive the specific physical or biological features essential for Guadalupe fescue from studies of this species' habitat, ecology, and life history, as described above. Additional information can be found in the proposed listing rule, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, and in the SSA Report (Service 2016). We have determined that the following physical or biological features are essential to the conservation of Guadalupe fescue:

    (1) Areas within the Chihuahuan Desert:

    (a) Above elevations of 1,800 m (5,905 ft), and

    (b) That contain rocky or talus soils.

    (2) Associated vegetation characterized by relatively open stands of both conifer and oak trees in varying proportions. This may occur in areas classified as pine, conifer, pine-oak, or conifer-oak, and as forest or woodland, on available vegetation classification maps.

    Special Management Considerations or Protection

    When designating critical habitat, we assess whether the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing contain features which are essential to the conservation of the species and which may require special management considerations or protection. The features essential to the conservation of this species may require special management considerations or protection to reduce the following threats: Changes in wildfire frequency; livestock grazing; erosion and trampling by visitors hiking off the trails; and invasive species.

    Management activities that could ameliorate these threats and protect the integrity of the conifer oak habitat include, but are not limited to: (1) Conducting prescribed burns under conditions that favor relatively cool burn temperatures; (2) removing livestock, including stray and feral livestock, from Guadalupe fescue habitats; (3) appropriately maintaining trails to reduce the incidence of trampling and erosion, and informing visitors of the need to remain on trails; and (4) controlling and removing introduced invasive plants, such as horehound (Marrubium vulgare) and King Ranch bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum).

    Criteria Used To Identify Critical Habitat

    As required by section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we use the best scientific and commercial data available to designate critical habitat. In accordance with the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b), we review available information pertaining to the habitat requirements of the species and identify specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing and any specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species to be considered for designation as critical habitat. We are proposing to designate critical habitat in areas within the United States that are occupied by Guadalupe fescue at the time of proposed listing in 2016. Occupied habitat for Guadalupe fescue is defined as areas with positive survey records since 2009 (when the Maderas del Carmen population in Mexico was last documented), and habitat areas around sites with positive survey records that contain conifer-oak woodlands and that are not separated by gaps of lower-elevation (<1,000 m) terrain and are within the maximum distance that seed dispersal is expected to occur (about 2.4 km (1.5 mi)).

    Habitat areas do not need to be contiguous to be considered occupied, provided that they are not separated by wide, low-elevation gaps. This rational is based on expected long-distance dispersal of viable seeds of Guadalupe fescue by Carmen white-tailed deer, the most common ungulate in the Chisos Mountains. The diet of Carmen white-tailed deer consists of up to 12 percent grasses. Carmen white-tailed deer use habitats with dense stands of oak and the presence of free-standing water, and the range is restricted to elevations above 906 to 1,220 m (2,970 to 4,000 ft). The estimated home range is a radius of 1.1 to 2.4 km (0.7 to 1.5 mi). Hence, we expect that Carmen white-tailed deer are able to disperse viable seeds of Guadalupe fescue to potential habitats that are not separated by gaps that are below about 1,000 m (3,208 ft) and not more than 2.4 km (1.5 mi) wide.

    Sources of data on Guadalupe fescue occurrences include: The Texas Natural Diversity Database; herbarium records from the University of Texas, Missouri Botanical Garden, and University of Arizona; a survey report by Valdés-Reyna (2009); a status survey (Poole 1989); and monitoring data from Big Bend National Park (Sirotnak 2014). We obtained information on ecology and habitat requirements from the candidate conservation agreement (Big Bend National Park and Service 2008), scientific reports (Camp et al. 2006; Moir and Meents 1981; Zimmerman and Moir 1998), and Rare Plants of Texas (Poole et al. 2007). Big Bend National Park (2015) provided a recently revised vegetation classification map of the Park. We used Digital Elevation Models created by the U.S. Geological Service. We documented a review and analysis of these data sources in the SSA Report (Service 2016).

    Areas Occupied at the Time of Listing

    The proposed critical habitat designation includes the only known extant population of Guadalupe fescue in the United States, within the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park, which has retained the physical or biological features that will allow for the maintenance and expansion of the existing population (criteria described above). Guadalupe fescue historically occupied one additional site in the United States in McKittrick Canyon within Guadalupe Mountains National Park. However, we are not proposing critical habitat there because the species has not been observed since 1952, and it is unlikely that the area is occupied at the time of listing (Armstrong 2016; Poole 2016; Sirotnak 2016). The best available information indicates that Guadalupe fescue is extirpated from McKittrick Canyon, and the habitat would no longer support the species due to the abundance of invasive grasses such as King Ranch bluestem, and, therefore, we do not consider the area within McKittrick Canyon to be essential for the conservation of the species.

    We are proposing a single unit of critical habitat consisting of five subunits totaling 7,815 acres (ac) (3,163 hectares (ha)). Although currently Guadalupe fescue plants have only been found in Subunit 1, we consider all subunits to be occupied because they are not separated by gaps of lower-elevation (<1,000 m) terrain greater than 2.4 km (1.5 mi) wide. All subunits are within the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park (see map in the Proposed Regulation Promulgation section, below). See Table 1, below, for summaries of land ownership and areas. No units or portions of units are being considered for exclusion or exemption.

    When determining proposed critical habitat boundaries, we made every effort to avoid including developed areas such as lands covered by buildings, pavement, and other structures because such lands lack physical or biological features necessary for Guadalupe fescue. The scale of the maps we prepared under the parameters for publication within the Code of Federal Regulations may not reflect the exclusion of such developed lands. Any such lands inadvertently left inside critical habitat boundaries shown on the maps of this proposed rule have been excluded by text in the proposed rule and are not proposed for designation as critical habitat. Therefore, if the critical habitat is finalized as proposed, a Federal action involving these lands would not trigger section 7 consultation with respect to critical habitat and the requirement of no adverse modification unless the specific action would affect the physical or biological features in the adjacent critical habitat.

    We are proposing for designation of critical habitat lands that we have determined are occupied at the time of listing and contain sufficient elements of physical or biological features to support life-history processes essential to the conservation of the Guadalupe fescue. We propose to designate one critical habitat unit, consisting of five subunits within the Chisos Mountains, that contains all of the identified physical or biological features to support the life-history processes of Guadalupe fescue.

    This proposed critical habitat designation is defined by the map or maps, as modified by any accompanying regulatory text, presented at the end of this document in the Proposed Regulation Promulgation section. We include more detailed information on the boundaries of the critical habitat designation in the preamble of this document. We will make the coordinates or plot points or both on which each map is based available to the public on http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0100, on our Internet site (https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/ESA_Our_species.html), and at the field office responsible for the designation (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above).

    Proposed Critical Habitat Designation

    We are proposing to designate approximately 7,815 ac (3,163 ha) in one unit containing five subunits as critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue. The critical habitat area we describe below constitutes our current best assessment of areas that meet the definition of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue. The area we propose as critical habitat is shown in Table 1.

    Table 1—Occupancy, Land Ownership, and Size of Guadalupe Fescue Proposed Critical Habitat Chisos Mountains Unit and Subunits [Amounts may not total due to rounding] Subunit Occupied at time of listing? Currently occupied? Ownership Size (ha) Size (ac) 1 Yes Yes National Park Service 2,648 6,542 2 Yes Yes National Park Service 391 966 3 Yes Yes National Park Service 100 248 4 Yes Yes National Park Service 13 32 5 Yes Yes National Park Service 10 25 Total 3,163 7,815

    Below, we present a brief description of the Chisos Mountains Unit (including all subunits) and reasons why it meets the definition of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue.

    Unit 1: Chisos Mountains

    Unit 1 consists of 7,815 ac (3,163 ha) in the Chisos Mountains of Big Bend National Park. This unit is within the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing and contains all of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of Guadalupe fescue. The habitat within Unit 1 consists of elevations of 1,800 m (5,905 ft) or greater, and the associated vegetation is classified as pine, pine-oak, juniper-oak, or conifer-oak. The geographic delineation of the unit resulted in five subunits that are separated from each other by narrow gaps of lower-elevation terrain, but are otherwise similar with respect to vegetation, geological substrate, and soils. The physical or biological features in this unit may require special management considerations or protection to address threats from changes in wildfire frequency, livestock grazing, erosion and trampling by visitors hiking off the trail, and invasive species.

    Effects of Critical Habitat Designation Section 7 Consultation

    Section 7(a)(2) of the Act requires Federal agencies, including the Service, to ensure that any action they fund, authorize, or carry out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. In addition, section 7(a)(4) of the Act requires Federal agencies to confer with the Service on any agency action which is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any species proposed to be listed under the Act or result in the destruction or adverse modification of proposed critical habitat.

    On February 11, 2016, we published a final rule (81 FR 7214) that sets forth a new definition of destruction or adverse modification. Destruction or adverse modification means a direct or indirect alteration that appreciably diminishes the value of critical habitat for the conservation of a listed species. Such alterations may include, but are not limited to, those that alter the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of a species or that preclude or significantly delay development of such features.

    If a Federal action may affect a listed species or its critical habitat, the responsible Federal agency (action agency) must enter into consultation with us. Examples of actions that are subject to the section 7 consultation process are actions on State, tribal, local, or private lands that require a Federal permit (such as a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or a permit from the Service under section 10 of the Act) or that involve some other Federal action (such as funding from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency). Federal actions not affecting listed species or critical habitat, and actions on State, tribal, local, or private lands that are not federally funded or authorized, do not require section 7 consultation.

    As a result of section 7 consultation, we document compliance with the requirements of section 7(a)(2) through our issuance of:

    (1) A concurrence letter for Federal actions that may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat; or

    (2) A biological opinion for Federal actions that may affect and are likely to adversely affect, listed species or critical habitat.

    When we issue a biological opinion concluding that a project is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species and/or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat, we provide reasonable and prudent alternatives to the project, if any are identifiable, that would avoid the likelihood of jeopardy and/or destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. We define “reasonable and prudent alternatives” (at 50 CFR 402.02) as alternative actions identified during consultation that:

    (1) Can be implemented in a manner consistent with the intended purpose of the action,

    (2) Can be implemented consistent with the scope of the Federal agency's legal authority and jurisdiction,

    (3) Are economically and technologically feasible, and

    (4) Would, in the Director's opinion, avoid the likelihood of jeopardizing the continued existence of the listed species and/or avoid the likelihood of destroying or adversely modifying critical habitat.

    Reasonable and prudent alternatives can vary from slight project modifications to extensive redesign or relocation of the project. Costs associated with implementing a reasonable and prudent alternative are similarly variable.

    Regulations at 50 CFR 402.16 require Federal agencies to reinitiate consultation on previously reviewed actions in instances where we have listed a new species or subsequently designated critical habitat that may be affected and the Federal agency has retained discretionary involvement or control over the action (or the agency's discretionary involvement or control is authorized by law). Consequently, Federal agencies sometimes may need to request reinitiation of consultation with us on actions for which formal consultation has been completed, if those actions with discretionary involvement or control may affect subsequently listed species or designated critical habitat.

    Application of the “Adverse Modification” Standard

    The key factor related to the adverse modification determination is whether, with implementation of the proposed Federal action, the affected critical habitat would continue to serve its intended conservation role for the species. Activities that may destroy or adversely modify critical habitat are those that result in a direct or indirect alteration that appreciably diminishes the value of critical habitat for the conservation of Guadalupe fescue. Such alterations may include, but are not limited to, those that alter the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of these species or that preclude or significantly delay development of such features. As discussed above, the role of critical habitat is to support physical or biological features essential to the conservation of a listed species and provide for the conservation of the species.

    Section 4(b)(8) of the Act requires us to briefly evaluate and describe, in any proposed or final regulation that designates critical habitat, activities involving a Federal action that may destroy or adversely modify such habitat, or that may be affected by such designation.

    Activities that may affect critical habitat, when carried out, funded, or authorized by a Federal agency, should result in consultation for Guadalupe fescue. These activities include, but are not limited to:

    (1) Actions that would remove or significantly alter the conifer-oak woodland vegetation. Such actions could include, but are not limited to, cutting or killing trees and shrubs to an extent that a site is no longer suitable to Guadalupe fescue, due to increased levels of sunlight, exposure to wind, or other factors. Fire suppression has changed the natural wildfire cycle and may have altered the conifer-oak woodland habitat to an extent that it is no longer optimal for Guadalupe fescue due to increased tree and shrub densities. Hence, pruning or thinning of woody vegetation may be prescribed to benefit Guadalupe fescue if it is deemed that the tree canopy is too dense; prescribed pruning or thinning would, therefore, not be considered adverse modification. The introduction of invasive plants could also adversely affect Guadalupe fescue through increased competition for light, water, and nutrients, or through an allelopathic effect.

    (2) Actions that disturb the soil, or lead to increased soil erosion. Such actions could include, but are not limited to, excavation of the soil; removal of vegetation and litter; or construction of roads, trails, or structures that channel runoff and form gullies. The loss or disturbance of soil could deplete the soil seed bank of Guadalupe fescue or alter soil depth and composition to a degree that is no longer suitable for Guadalupe fescue. However, some actions that affect soil or litter may be prescribed to improve habitat conditions for Guadalupe fescue, such as prescribed burning, and would, therefore, not be considered adverse modifications.

    Exemptions Application of Section 4(a)(3) of the Act

    Section 4(a)(3)(B)(i) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)(3)(B)(i)) provides that: “The Secretary shall not designate as critical habitat any lands or other geographical areas owned or controlled by the Department of Defense, or designated for its use, that are subject to an integrated natural resources management plan [INRMP] prepared under section 101 of the Sikes Act (16 U.S.C. 670a), if the Secretary determines in writing that such plan provides a benefit to the species for which critical habitat is proposed for designation.” There are no Department of Defense lands with a completed INRMP within the proposed critical habitat designation.

    Consideration of Impacts Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act states that the Secretary shall designate and make revisions to critical habitat on the basis of the best available scientific data after taking into consideration the economic impact, national security impact, and any other relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary may exclude an area from critical habitat if she determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying such area as part of the critical habitat, unless she determines, based on the best scientific data available, that the failure to designate such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species. In making that determination, the statute on its face, as well as the legislative history, are clear that the Secretary has broad discretion regarding which factor(s) to use and how much weight to give to any factor.

    When considering the benefits of exclusion, we consider, among other things, whether exclusion of a specific area is likely to result in conservation; the continuation, strengthening, or encouragement of partnerships; or implementation of a management plan. In the case of Guadalupe fescue, the benefits of critical habitat include public awareness of the presence of Guadalupe fescue and the importance of habitat protection, and, where a Federal nexus exists, increased habitat protection for Guadalupe fescue due to protection from adverse modification or destruction of critical habitat. In practice, situations with a Federal nexus exist primarily on Federal lands or for projects undertaken by Federal agencies. Because Guadalupe fescue critical habitat is located exclusively on National Park Service lands, a Federal nexus exists for any action.

    We have not considered any areas for exclusion from critical habitat. However, the final decision on whether to exclude any areas will be based on the best scientific data available at the time of the final designation, including information obtained during the comment period and information about the economic impact of designation. Accordingly, we have prepared a draft economic analysis (DEA) concerning the proposed critical habitat designation, which is available for review and comment (see ADDRESSES, above).

    Consideration of Economic Impacts

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act and its implementing regulations require that we consider the economic impact that may result from a designation of critical habitat. To assess the probable economic impacts of a designation, we must first evaluate specific land uses or activities and projects that may occur in the area of the critical habitat. We then must evaluate the impacts that a specific critical habitat designation may have on restricting or modifying specific land uses or activities for the benefit of the species and its habitat within the areas proposed. We then identify which conservation efforts may be the result of the species being listed under the Act versus those attributed solely to the designation of critical habitat for this particular species. The probable economic impact of a proposed critical habitat designation is analyzed by comparing scenarios both “with critical habitat” and “without critical habitat.” The “without critical habitat” scenario represents the baseline for the analysis, which includes the existing regulatory and socioeconomic burden imposed on landowners, managers, or other resource users potentially affected by the designation of critical habitat (e.g., under the Federal listing as well as other Federal, State, and local regulations). The baseline, therefore, represents the costs of all efforts attributable to the listing of the species under the Act (i.e., conservation of the species and its habitat incurred regardless of whether critical habitat is designated). The “with critical habitat” scenario describes the incremental impacts associated specifically with the designation of critical habitat for the species. The incremental conservation efforts and associated impacts would not be expected without the designation of critical habitat for the species. In other words, the incremental costs are those attributable solely to the designation of critical habitat, above and beyond the baseline costs. These are the costs we use when evaluating the benefits of inclusion and exclusion of particular areas from the final designation of critical habitat should we choose to conduct a discretionary section 4(b)(2) exclusion analysis.

    For this particular designation, we developed an incremental effects memorandum (IEM) considering the probable incremental economic impacts that may result from this proposed designation of critical habitat. The information contained in our IEM was then used to develop a screening analysis of the probable effects of the designation of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue (IEc 2016, entire). We began by conducting a screening analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat in order to focus our analysis on the key factors that are likely to result in incremental economic impacts. The purpose of the screening analysis is to filter out the geographic areas in which the critical habitat designation is unlikely to result in probable incremental economic impacts. In particular, the screening analysis considers baseline costs (i.e., absent critical habitat designation) and includes probable economic impacts where land and water use may be subject to conservation plans, land management plans, best management practices, or regulations that protect the habitat area as a result of the Federal listing status of the species. The screening analysis filters out particular areas of critical habitat that are already subject to such protections and are, therefore, unlikely to incur incremental economic impacts. Ultimately, the screening analysis allows us to focus our analysis on evaluating the specific areas or sectors that may incur probable incremental economic impacts as a result of the designation. The screening analysis also assesses whether units are unoccupied by the species and may require additional management or conservation efforts as a result of the critical habitat designation for the species which may incur incremental economic impacts. This screening analysis, combined with the information contained in our IEM, is what we consider our DEA of the proposed critical habitat designation for Guadalupe fescue and is summarized in the narrative below.

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct Federal agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives in quantitative (to the extent feasible) and qualitative terms. Consistent with the E.O.s' regulatory analysis requirements, our effects analysis under the Act may take into consideration impacts to both directly and indirectly affected entities, where practicable and reasonable. If sufficient data are available, we assess, to the extent practicable, the probable impacts to both directly and indirectly affected entities. As part of our screening analysis, we considered the types of economic activities that are likely to occur within the areas likely to be affected by the critical habitat designation. In our evaluation of the probable incremental economic impacts that may result from the proposed designation of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue, first we identified, in the IEM dated February 23, 2016, probable incremental economic impacts associated with the following categories of activities: Federal lands management (National Park Service, Big Bend National Park).

    We considered each industry or category individually. Additionally, we considered whether their activities have any Federal involvement. Critical habitat designation generally will not affect activities that do not have any Federal involvement; under the Act, designation of critical habitat only affects activities conducted, funded, permitted, or authorized by Federal agencies. In areas where Guadalupe fescue is present, Federal agencies will be required to consult with the Service under section 7 of the Act on activities they fund, permit, or implement that may affect the species, should the species be listed as an endangered species. If we finalize the proposed listing and critical habitat designation, consultations to avoid the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat would be incorporated into the existing consultation process. Therefore, disproportionate impacts to any geographic area or sector are not likely as a result of this critical habitat designation.

    In our IEM, we attempted to clarify the distinction between the effects that will result from the species being listed and those attributable to the critical habitat designation (i.e., difference between the jeopardy and adverse modification standards) for Guadalupe fescue's critical habitat. Because the designation of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue was proposed concurrently with the listing, it has been our experience that it is more difficult to discern which conservation efforts are attributable to the species being listed and those which will result solely from the designation of critical habitat. However, the following specific circumstances in this case help to inform our evaluation: (1) The essential physical or biological features identified for critical habitat are the same features essential for the life requisites of the species, and (2) any actions that would result in sufficient harm or harassment to constitute jeopardy to Guadalupe fescue would also likely adversely affect the essential physical or biological features of critical habitat. The IEM outlines our rationale concerning this limited distinction between baseline conservation efforts and incremental impacts of the designation of critical habitat for this species. This evaluation of the incremental effects has been used as the basis to evaluate the probable incremental economic impacts of this proposed designation of critical habitat.

    The proposed critical habitat designation for Guadalupe fescue consists of a single unit composed of five subunits, all of which are currently occupied by the species. We are not proposing to designate any units of unoccupied habitat. The proposed Chisos Mountains critical habitat unit totals 7,815 ac (3,163 ha) and is entirely contained within federally owned land at Big Bend National Park. We have not identified any ongoing or future actions that would warrant additional recommendations or project modifications to avoid adversely modifying critical habitat above those we would recommend for avoiding jeopardy.

    Regarding projects that would occur in occupied habitat outside known population locations, we will recommend that Big Bend National Park first conduct surveys for Guadalupe fescue within the project impact area. If the species is found, we would recommend the same modifications previously described for avoiding jeopardy to the species. If the species is not found, we will recommend only that Big Bend National Park follow its established land management procedures.

    We anticipate minimal change in behavior at Big Bend National Park if we designate critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue. The only change we foresee is conducting surveys in areas of critical habitat based on our recommendation for surveys. Based on Big Bend National Park's history of consultation under section 7 of the Act and on the consultation history of the most comparable species, Zapata bladderpod (Lesquerella thamnophila), we anticipate that this critical habitat designation may result in a maximum of two additional consultations per decade.

    As we stated earlier, we are soliciting data and comments from the public on the DEA, as well as all aspects of the proposed rule. We may revise the proposed rule or supporting documents to incorporate or address information we receive during the public comment period. In particular, we may exclude an area from critical habitat if we determine that the benefits of excluding the area outweigh the benefits of including the area, provided the exclusion will not result in the extinction of this species.

    Exclusions Exclusions Based on Economic Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider the economic impacts of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. In order to consider economic impacts, we prepared an analysis of the economic impacts of the proposed critical habitat designation and related factors. In our DEA, we did not identify any ongoing or future actions that would warrant additional recommendations or project modifications to avoid adversely modifying critical habitat above those we would recommend for avoiding jeopardy to the species, and we anticipate minimal change in behavior at Big Bend National Park due to the designation of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue (IEc 2016).

    At this time, we are not proposing any exclusions based on economic impacts from the proposed designation of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue. During the development of a final designation, we will consider any additional economic impact information received through the public comment period, and as such areas may be excluded from the final critical habitat designation under section 4(b)(2) of the Act and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR 424.19.

    Exclusions Based on National Security Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider whether there are lands where a national security impact might exist. In preparing this proposal, we have determined that the lands within the proposed designation of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue are not owned or managed by the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security. In addition, the locations of the proposed critical habitat areas are at high elevations in remote areas of Big Bend National Park and not close enough to the international border with Mexico to raise any border maintenance concerns. Therefore, we anticipate no impact on national security. Consequently, the Secretary is not intending to exercise her discretion to exclude any areas from the final designation based on impacts on national security.

    Exclusions Based on Other Relevant Impacts

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, we consider any other relevant impacts, in addition to economic impacts and impacts on national security. We consider a number of factors, including whether the landowners have developed any HCPs or other management plans for the area, or whether there are conservation partnerships that would be encouraged by designation of, or exclusion from, critical habitat. In addition, we look at any tribal issues, and consider the government-to-government relationship of the United States with tribal entities. We also consider any social impacts that might occur because of the designation.

    In preparing this proposal, we have determined that there are currently no HCPs or other management plans for Guadalupe fescue, and the proposed designation does not include any tribal lands or trust resources. We anticipate no impact on tribal lands, partnerships, or HCPs from this proposed critical habitat designation. Accordingly, the Secretary does not intend to exercise her discretion to exclude any areas from the final designation based on other relevant impacts.

    Peer Review

    In accordance with our joint policy on peer review published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we will seek the expert opinions of at least three appropriate and independent specialists regarding this proposed rule. The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our critical habitat designation is based on scientifically sound data and analyses. We have invited these peer reviewers to comment during this public comment period.

    We will consider all comments and information we receive during this comment period on this proposed rule during our preparation of a final determination. Accordingly, the final decision may differ from this proposal.

    Public Hearings

    Section 4(b)(5) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. Requests must be received by the date specified above in DATES. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register and local newspapers at least 15 days before the hearing.

    Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA; 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effects of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBREFA amended the RFA to require Federal agencies to provide a certification statement of the factual basis for certifying that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    According to the Small Business Administration, small entities include small organizations such as independent nonprofit organizations; small governmental jurisdictions, including school boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 residents; and small businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500 employees, wholesale trade entities with fewer than 100 employees, retail and service businesses with less than $5 million in annual sales, general and heavy construction businesses with less than $27.5 million in annual business, special trade contractors doing less than $11.5 million in annual business, and agricultural businesses with annual sales less than $750,000. To determine if potential economic impacts to these small entities are significant, we considered the types of activities that might trigger regulatory impacts under this designation as well as types of project modifications that may result. In general, the term “significant economic impact” is meant to apply to a typical small business firm's business operations.

    The Service's current understanding of the requirements under the RFA, as amended, and following recent court decisions, is that Federal agencies are only required to evaluate the potential incremental impacts of rulemaking on those entities directly regulated by the rulemaking itself, and, therefore, are not required to evaluate the potential impacts to indirectly regulated entities. The regulatory mechanism through which critical habitat protections are realized is section 7 of the Act, which requires Federal agencies, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by the Agency is not likely to adversely modify critical habitat. Therefore, under section 7, only Federal action agencies are directly subject to the specific regulatory requirement (avoiding destruction and adverse modification) imposed by critical habitat designation. Consequently, it is our position that only Federal action agencies will be directly regulated by this designation. Moreover, Federal agencies are not small entities. Therefore, because no small entities are directly regulated by this rulemaking, the Service certifies that, if made final, the proposed critical habitat designation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    In summary, we have considered whether the proposed designation would result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. For the above reasons and based on currently available information, we certify that, if made final, the proposed critical habitat designation would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities. Therefore, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use—Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 (Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use) requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. In our economic analysis, we did not find that the designation of this proposed critical habitat will significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use, because the proposed critical habitat unit is entirely contained within Big Bend National Park. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required. However, we will further evaluate this issue as we conduct our economic analysis, and review and revise this assessment as warranted.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.)

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), we make the following findings:

    (1) This rule would not produce a Federal mandate. In general, a Federal mandate is a provision in legislation, statute, or regulation that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments, or the private sector, and includes both “Federal intergovernmental mandates” and “Federal private sector mandates.” These terms are defined in 2 U.S.C. 658(5)-(7). “Federal intergovernmental mandate” includes a regulation that “would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local, or tribal governments” with two exceptions. It excludes “a condition of Federal assistance.” It also excludes “a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program,” unless the regulation “relates to a then-existing Federal program under which $500,000,000 or more is provided annually to State, local, and tribal governments under entitlement authority,” if the provision would “increase the stringency of conditions of assistance” or “place caps upon, or otherwise decrease, the Federal Government's responsibility to provide funding,” and the State, local, or tribal governments “lack authority” to adjust accordingly. At the time of enactment, these entitlement programs were: Medicaid; Aid to Families with Dependent Children work programs; Child Nutrition; Food Stamps; Social Services Block Grants; Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants; Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Independent Living; Family Support Welfare Services; and Child Support Enforcement. “Federal private sector mandate” includes a regulation that “would impose an enforceable duty upon the private sector, except (i) a condition of Federal assistance or (ii) a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program.”

    The designation of critical habitat does not impose a legally binding duty on non-Federal Government entities or private parties. Under the Act, the only regulatory effect is that Federal agencies must ensure that their actions do not destroy or adversely modify critical habitat under section 7. While non-Federal entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency. Furthermore, to the extent that non-Federal entities are indirectly impacted because they receive Federal assistance or participate in a voluntary Federal aid program, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act would not apply, nor would critical habitat shift the costs of the large entitlement programs listed above onto State governments.

    (2) We do not believe that this rule would significantly or uniquely affect small governments because we are designating only a single critical habitat unit that is entirely owned by the National Park Service. Therefore, a Small Government Agency Plan is not required.

    Takings—Executive Order 12630

    In accordance with E.O. 12630 (“Government Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Private Property Rights”), we have analyzed the potential takings implications of designating critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue in a takings implications assessment. The Act does not authorize the Service to regulate private actions on private lands or confiscate private property as a result of critical habitat designation. Designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership, or establish any closures or restrictions on use of or access to the designated areas. Furthermore, the designation of critical habitat does not affect landowner actions that do not require Federal funding or permits, nor does it preclude development of habitat conservation programs or issuance of incidental take permits to permit actions that do require Federal funding or permits to go forward. However, Federal agencies are prohibited from carrying out, funding, or authorizing actions that would destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. A takings implications assessment has been completed and concludes that, if adopted, the designation of critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue would not pose significant takings implications for lands within or affected by the designation.

    Federalism—Executive Order 13132

    In accordance with E.O. 13132 (Federalism), this proposed rule does not have significant Federalism effects. A federalism summary impact statement is not required. In keeping with Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce policy, we request information from, and coordinated development of this proposed critical habitat designation with, appropriate State resource agencies in Texas. From a federalism perspective, the designation of critical habitat directly affects only the responsibilities of Federal agencies. The Act imposes no other duties with respect to critical habitat, either for States and local governments, or for anyone else. As a result, this proposed rule does not have substantial direct effects either on the States, or on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of powers and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The designation may have some benefit to these governments because the areas that contain the features essential to the conservation of the species are more clearly defined, and the physical and biological features of the habitat necessary to the conservation of the species are specifically identified. This information does not alter where and what federally sponsored activities may occur. However, it may assist these local governments in long-range planning (because these local governments no longer have to wait for case-by-case section 7 consultations to occur).

    Where State and local governments require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for actions that may affect critical habitat, consultation under section 7(a)(2) of the Act would be required. While non-Federal entities that receive Federal funding, assistance, or permits, or that otherwise require approval or authorization from a Federal agency for an action, may be indirectly impacted by the designation of critical habitat, the legally binding duty to avoid destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat rests squarely on the Federal agency.

    Civil Justice Reform—Executive Order 12988

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform), the Office of the Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. We have proposed designating critical habitat in accordance with the provisions of the Act. To assist the public in understanding the habitat needs of the species, the rule identifies the elements of physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species. The proposed areas of critical habitat are presented on maps, and this document provides several options for the interested public to obtain more detailed location information, if desired.

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

    This proposed rule does not contain any new collections of information that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This rule will not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. 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.

    National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)

    It is our position that, outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, we do not need to prepare environmental analyses pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) in connection with designating critical habitat under the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244). This position was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Douglas County v. Babbitt, 48 F.3d 1495 (9th Cir. 1995), cert. denied 516 U.S. 1042 (1996)). Because all of the proposed critical habitat lies outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, we will not prepare a NEPA analysis.

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994 (Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal Governments; 59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments), and the Department of the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to tribes.

    We determined that Guadalupe fescue does not occur on any tribal lands at the time of listing, and no tribal lands unoccupied by Guadalupe fescue are essential for the conservation of the species. Therefore, we are not proposing to designate critical habitat for Guadalupe fescue on tribal lands. In addition, no tribes have expressed interest in either the species or the areas proposed as critical habitat, and no further tribal coordination will be conducted unless requested during the public comment period for this proposed rule.

    Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (1) Be logically organized;

    (2) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (3) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (4) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (5) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    References Cited

    A complete list of references cited in this rulemaking is available in the SSA Report (Service 2016) on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Austin Ecological Services Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rulemaking are the staff members of the Austin Ecological Services Field Office.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 17.96(a) by adding an entry for “Festuca ligulata (Guadalupe fescue)” in alphabetical order under Family Poaceae to read as follows:
    § 17.96 Critical habitat—plants.

    (a) Flowering plants.

    Family Poaceae: Festuca ligulata (Guadalupe fescue)

    (1) Critical habitat units are depicted for Brewster County, Texas, on the map below.

    (2) Within these areas, the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of Guadalupe fescue consist of:

    (i) Areas within the Chihuahuan Desert:

    (A) Above elevations of 1,800 m (5,905 ft), and

    (B) That contain rocky or talus soils.

    (ii) Associated vegetation characterized by relatively open stands of both conifer and oak trees in varying proportions. This may occur in areas classified as pine, conifer, pine-oak, or conifer-oak, and as forest or woodland, on available vegetation classification maps.

    (3) Critical habitat does not include manmade structures (such as buildings, aqueducts, runways, roads, and other paved areas) and the land on which they are located existing within the legal boundaries on the effective date of this rule.

    (4) Critical habitat map units. We defined the critical habitat unit using the following Geographic Information System data layers: A Digital Elevation Model produced by U.S. Geological Survey; and a Shapefile of vegetation classifications at Big Bend National Park, created and provided to us by Park personnel. The map in this entry, as modified by any accompanying regulatory text, establishes the boundaries of the critical habitat designation. The coordinates or plot points or both on which the map is based are available to the public at the Service's Internet site (https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/AustinTexas/ESA_Our_species.html), at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R2-ES-2016-0100, and at the field office responsible for this designation. You may obtain field office location information by contacting one of the Service regional offices, the addresses of which are listed at 50 CFR 2.2.

    (5) Map of Unit 1, Big Bend National Park, Brewster County, Texas, follows:

    BILLING CODE 4333-15-P EP09SE16.000
    Dated: August 22, 2016. Karen Hyun, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21587 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-C
    81 175 Friday, September 9, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request September 6, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture will submit the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 on or after the date of publication of this notice. 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 should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC; New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by October 11, 2016. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    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.

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News.

    OMB Control Number: 0581-0033.

    Summary of Collection: The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, (60 Stat. 1087-1091, as amended: 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627, (AMA) legislates that USDA shall “collect and disseminate marketing information . . .” and “. . . collect, tabulate, and disseminate statistics on marketing agricultural products, including, but not restricted to statistics on marketing supplies, storage, stocks, quantity, quality, and condition of such products in various positions in the marketing channel, use of such products, and shipments and unloads thereof.” The mission of Market New is to provide current unbiased, factual information to all members of the Nation's agricultural industry, from farm to retailer.

    Need and use of the Information: Information is used by the private sector to make economic decisions to establish market values for application in contracts or settlement value, and to address specific concerns or issues related to trade agreements and disputes as well as being used by educational institutions, specifically, agricultural colleges and universities. Government agencies such as the Foreign Agricultural Service, Economic Research Service and the National Agricultural Statistics Service use market news data in the performance of their missions. LPGMN reports provide interested segments of the market chain and the general public with unbiased comprehensive livestock, poultry, meat, eggs, wool, grain market data which helps equalize the competitive position of all market participants. The absence of these data would deny primary and secondary users information that otherwise would be available to aid them in their production and marketing decisions, analyses, research and knowledge of current market conditions. The omission of these data could adversely affect prices, supply, and demand.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Farms.

    Number of Respondents: 2,990.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Weekly; Monthly.

    Total Burden Hours: 16,038.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21700 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service White River National Forest; Eagle County, CO; Withdrawal of Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Berlaimont Estates Access Route EIS AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, White River National Forest, is withdrawing the August 18, 2016, Federal Register notice (81 FR 55173) which announced their intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 (NEPA), to analyze Berlaimont Estates LLC (Berlaimont) application for an easement to improve access to their 680-acre private inholding within the White River National Forest to the north of Interstate 70 in the vicinity of Edwards, Colorado.

    After further review, the Forest has found that elements of this proposal may have been in conflict with the White River National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan—2002 Revision.

    DATES:

    This withdrawal of the Notice of Intent is effective on the date of this publication in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Matt Klein, Realty Specialist, White River National Forest, P.O. Box 190, Minturn, CO 81645.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Klein, Realty Specialist, Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District, 24747 U.S. Hwy. 24, P.O. Box 190, Minturn, Colorado 81645. Mr. Klein can be reached by phone at (970) 827-5182 or by email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scoping Process

    This Notice of Withdrawal cancels the scoping process initiated on August 18, 2016. The Forest Service is reevaluating how to proceed with this proposal.

    The public open house meeting scheduled on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. has been CANCELED.

    Dated: September 2, 2016. Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21714 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request September 6, 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; (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 11, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    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.

    National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Title: Nursery and Christmas Tree Production Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0244.

    Summary of Collection: The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is charged with the responsibility of providing reliable, up-to-date information concerning the Nation's crop and livestock production, prices, and disposition, as well as environmental statistics. This includes estimates of production and value of key nursery products and production operations. Due to budget cuts the Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use Survey was discontinued. The Nursery and Christmas Tree Production Survey that was conducted in seventeen States has been discontinued due to the reinstatement of the Census of Horticultural Specialties. Only the two State surveys which are conducted in Oregon will be renewed at this time. NASS will collect the information using surveys. The authority for these data collection activities is granted under U.S.C. Title 7, Section 2204.

    Need and Use of the Information: Nursery and Christmas tree production data will continue to be collected by NASS and used by State governments, universities and other organizations under external project agreements. Christmas tree and nursery growers are a very important part of Oregon's agricultural production. According to the 2014 Census of Horticultural Specialties, Oregon producers of Christmas trees sold just under 35 percent of the U.S. total.

    Description of Respondents: Farms; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 1,400.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 689.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21696 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Indiana Advisory Committee To Discuss a Draft Report Regarding Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Indiana AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Indiana Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Monday, September 19, 2016, from 3:00 p.m-4:00 p.m. EDT. The Committee will discuss findings and recommendations, as well as a draft report regarding school discipline policies and practices which may facilitate disparities in juvenile justice involvement and youth incarceration rates on the basis of race, color, disability, or sex, in what has become known as the “School to Prison Pipeline,” in preparation to issue a report to the Commission on the topic.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday September 19, 2016, from 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. EDT.

    Public Call Information:

    Dial: 888-352-6798 Conference ID: 7001515 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is open to the public vial the following toll free call in number 888-352-6798 conference ID 7001515. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Members of the public are invited to make statements during the designated open comment period. In addition, members of the public may submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and following the meeting at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=247 and following the links for “Meeting Details” and then “Documents.” Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda 1. Welcome and Roll Call 2. Draft Report: “Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Indiana” a. Committee discussion b. Findings and Recommendations 3. Open Comment 4. Adjournment

    Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Management Regulations (41 CFR 102-3.150), the notice for this meeting is given fewer than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting due to exceptional circumstances of Committee availability and publication schedule.

    Dated: September 6, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21737 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-954] Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of the 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 Magnesia Carbon Bricks (“MCBs”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”), for the period of review (“POR”) September 1, 2014, to August 31, 2015. The Department preliminarily determines that Fengchi Imp. and Exp. Co., Ltd. of Haicheng City (“Fengchi”) and RHI Refractories Liaoning, Co. Ltd. (“RHI”) had no reviewable shipments of subject merchandise during the POR. The Department is also preliminarily rescinding this review with respect to Fedmet Resources Corporation (“Fedmet”). Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective September 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenneth Hawkins, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6491.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 1, 2015, the Department published in the Federal Register an opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on MCBs from the PRC.1 On September 30, 2015, the Department received a request from Petitioner 2 to conduct an administrative review of Dashiqiao City Guancheng Refractor Co., Ltd.; Fedmet; Fengchi; Fengchi Mining Co., Ltd. of Haicheng City; Fengchi Refractories Co., of Haicheng City; Jiangsu Sujia Group New Materials Co., Ltd.; Liaoning Fucheng Refractories Group Co., Ltd.; Liaoning Fucheng Special Refractory Co., Ltd.; Liaoning Jiayi Metals & Minerals Co., Ltd.; Puyang Refractories Group Co., Ltd.; RHI; Yingkou Bayuquan Refractories Co., Ltd. (“BRC”); Yingkou Dalmond Refractories Co., Ltd.; Yingkou Guangyang Co., Ltd.; Yingkou Jiahe Refractories Co. Ltd.; Yingkou Kyushu Refractories Co., Ltd.; Yingkou New Century Refractories Ltd.; and Yingkou Wonjin Refractory Material Co., Ltd.3 On November 9, 2015, the Department initiated this review based on these review requests.4 On December 8 and 9, 2015, RHI, Fengchi, Fengchi Mining Co., Ltd. of Haicheng City, Fengchi Refractories Co., of Haicheng City, Fedmet, and BRC submitted no shipments letters, stating they made no entries, exports, or sales of subject merchandise into the United Stated during the POR.5

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 52741 (Sept. 1, 2015).

    2 The Petitioner is the Magnesia Carbon Bricks Fair Trade Committee (“the Committee”), an ad hoc association comprised of the following three U.S. producers of magnesia carbon bricks: Resco Products, Inc.; Magnesita Refractories Company; and Harbison Walker International, Inc. (hereinafter “Petitioner”).

    3See “Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China: Request for Administrative Review,” dated September 30, 2015.

    4See Initiation of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 69193 (November 9, 2015) (“Initiation Notice”).

    5See No Shipments Certification from RHI, dated December 8, 2015, and No Shipment Certifications from Fengchi, Fengchi Mining Co., Ltd. of Haicheng City, Fengchi Refractories Co., of Haicheng City, Fedmet and BRC, dated December 9, 2015.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order includes certain MCBs. Certain MCBs that are the subject of this investigation are currently classifiable under subheadings 6902.10.1000, 6902.10.5000, 6815.91.0000, 6815.99.2000, and 6815.99.4000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description is dispositive.6

    6 For a full description of the scope of the order, see Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the 2014-2015 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China,” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”) dated concurrently with and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Partial Rescission of the Administrative Review

    In its No Shipment Certification, Fedmet stated that it is not a PRC producer or exporter of the subject merchandise but a U.S. importer.7 Fedmet cited its entry of appearance and application for business proprietary access to demonstrate its status as an importer.8 Based on the information available, the Department preliminarily determines that Fedmet's entries will be subject to the appropriate exporter's cash deposit requirements and assessment rates, as outlined below. Accordingly, we are preliminarily rescinding this review for Fedmet.

    7See Fedmet's No Shipments Certification, dated December 9, 2015.

    8Id. See also “Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China, Case No. A-570-954: Entry of Appearance and APO Application,” dated November 10, 2015.

    Separate Rate Status

    For the 17 companies for whom we are not rescinding this review, we preliminarily determine that only Fengchi and RHI demonstrated their continued eligibility for a separate rate because, as discussed below, they demonstrated that they had no shipments during the POR and thus will maintain their separate rate status from the date of initiation of this administrative review.

    The remaining companies did not submit a separate rate application or certification. Therefore, the following companies have not established their eligibility for a separate rate, and the Department preliminarily determines that they are considered part of the PRC-wide entity: Dashiqiao City Guancheng Refractor Co., Ltd.; Fengchi Mining Co., Ltd. of Haicheng City; Fengchi Refractories Co., of Haicheng City; Jiangsu Sujia Group New Materials Co., Ltd.; Liaoning Fucheng Refractories Group Co., Ltd.; Liaoning Fucheng Special Refractory Co., Ltd.; Liaoning Jiayi Metals & Minerals Co., Ltd.; Puyang Refractories Group Co., Ltd.; BRC; 9 Yingkou Dalmond Refractories Co., Ltd.; Yingkou Guangyang Co., Ltd.; Yingkou Jiahe Refractories Co. Ltd.; Yingkou Kyushu Refractories Co., Ltd.; Yingkou New Century Refractories Ltd.; and Yingkou Wonjin Refractory Material Co., Ltd.

    9 Although BRC submitted a no shipments certification, it remains part of the PRC-wide entity. See Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2010-2011, 78 FR 22230, 22231 (April 15, 2013).

    The Department's policy regarding conditional review of the PRC-wide entity applies to this administrative review.10 Under this policy, the PRC-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity in this review, the PRC-wide entity is not under review and therefore its rate is not subject to change. The rate previously established for the PRC-wide entity in this proceeding is 236 percent.11

    10See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013).

    11See Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Partial Rescission of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 80 FR 19961, 19962 (April 14, 2015).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Fengchi and RHI submitted timely-filed certifications that they had no shipments of subject merchandise to the United States during the POR.12 The Department sent inquiries to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to confirm the no shipments responses received from these companies.13 We received no contradictory information from CBP indicating that there were suspended entries of subject merchandise into the United States exported by these companies. Therefore, we preliminarily determine that Fengchi and RHI had no shipments of subject merchandise during the POR.

    12See No Shipment Certification from RHI, dated December 8, 2015, and No Shipment Certifications from Fengchi, dated December 9, 2015.

    13See Customs No Shipments Inquiry, dated February 12, 2016.

    Consistent with the Department's practice in nonmarket economy cases, the Department finds that it is appropriate not to rescind the review, in part, in these circumstances, but rather to complete the review with respect to these companies and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.14

    14See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65694-95 (October 24, 2011) (NME Assessment Policy).

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”). For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.15 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at 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://www.trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    15 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is provided at Appendix I to this notice.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists for the period September 1, 2014, through August 31, 2015:

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • PRC-Wide Entity 236.00
    Public Comment and Opportunity To Request a Hearing 16

    Interested parties may submit case briefs within 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.17 Rebuttals to case briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs, must be filed within five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.18 Parties who submit arguments are requested to submit with the argument (a) a statement of the issue, (b) a brief summary of the argument, and (c) a table of authorities.19 Parties submitting briefs should do so pursuant to the Department's electronic filing system, ACCESS.

    16 Normally, the Department discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with the preliminary results of review within five days of the date of publication of the notice of preliminary results in the Federal Register, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because the Department has preliminarily determined to rescind this review with respect to Fedmet and that Fengchi and RHI had no shipments during the POR, and because all other companies subject to this review are receiving the PRC-wide entity rate, there are no calculations to disclose.

    17See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii).

    18See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    19See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2), (d)(2).

    Any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice.20 Hearing requests should contain the following information: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral presentations will be limited to issues raised in the briefs.21 If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the time and date for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.22

    20See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    21Id.

    22See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of our analysis of any issues raised in case briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, unless extended, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”).

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.23 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review. We intend to instruct CBP to liquidate entries containing subject merchandise exported by the PRC-wide entity at the current rate for the PRC-wide entity (i.e., 236 percent).

    23See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    The Department announced a refinement to its assessment practice in NME cases. Pursuant to this refinement in practice, for entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales data submitted by companies individually examined during the administrative review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries for the PRC-wide entity. Additionally, if the Department determines that an exporter had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's cash deposit rate) will be liquidated at the rate for the PRC-wide entity.24 The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future cash deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    24 For a full discussion of this practice, see NME Assessment Policy.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this review for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by sections 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For any companies listed that have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that for the PRC-wide entity; and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary 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 the POR. 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.

    These preliminary results are being issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: September 1, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Case History 3. Scope of the Order 4. Discussion of the Methodology a. Non-Market Economy Status b. Companies That Did Not Establish Their Eligibility for a Separate Rate c. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments d. Preliminary Partial Rescission of Review 5. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-21767 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-929] Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On March 9, 2016, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on small diameter graphite electrodes (SDGEs) from the People's Republic of China (the PRC). The period of review (POR) is February 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015. For the final results, we find that certain companies sold subject merchandise at less than normal value.

    DATES:

    Effective September 9, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dmitry Vladimirov or Michael A. Romani, 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) 482-0665 or (202) 482-0198, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On March 9, 2016, the Department published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on SDGEs from the PRC.1 We received case and rebuttal briefs with respect to the Preliminary Results. On June 7, 2016, the Department extended the deadline for the final results by 60 days to September 6, 2016.2 The Department conducted this administrative review in accordance with section 751 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).

    1See Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Rescission of Review In Part; 2014-2015, 81 FR 12468 (March 9, 2016) (Preliminary Results), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2See Memorandum from Dmitry Vladimirov, International Trade Compliance Analyst, Office I, Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Deputy Assistant Secretary Christian Marsh entitled, “Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China: Extension of Deadline for Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated June 7, 2016.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order includes all small diameter graphite electrodes with a nominal or actual diameter of 400 millimeters (16 inches) or less and graphite pin joining systems for small diameter graphite electrodes. Small diameter graphite electrodes and graphite pin joining systems for small diameter graphite electrodes that are subject to the order are currently classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 8545.11.0010, 3801.10, and 8545.11.0020. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Issues and Decision Memorandum.3

    3See Memorandum from Deputy Assistant Secretary Christian Marsh to Assistant Secretary Paul Piquado entitled, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China; 2014-2015,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum), at 2-3.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties to this administrative review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as Appendix I. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    Based on our analysis of comments received, we made revisions, including the valuation of certain factors of production, which changed the results for one individually examined company, the Fangda Group,4 but did not change the results for the other individually examined company, Fushun Jinly Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (Fushun Jinly). For further details on the changes we made for these final results, see the company-specific analysis memoranda, the Issues and Decision Memorandum, and the final surrogate value memorandum, dated concurrently with this notice.

    4 We refer to the Fangda Group as a single entity pursuant to 19 CFR 351.401(f)(1). See Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 73 FR 49408, 49411-12 (August 21, 2008) (where we collapsed the individual members of the Fangda Group: Beijing Fangda Carbon Tech Co., Ltd., Chengdu Rongguang Carbon Co., Ltd., Fangda Carbon New Material Co., Ltd., Fushun Carbon Co., Ltd., and Hefei Carbon Co., Ltd.), unchanged in Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China, 74 FR 2049 (January 14, 2009).

    Rate for Non-Examined Separate Rate Respondent

    In these final results of the review, we calculated a zero or de minimis weighted-average dumping margin for Fushun Jinly, and a weighted-average dumping margin above de minimis for the Fangda Group. Accordingly, we used the weighted-average dumping margin calculated for the Fangda Group, which is 11.49 percent, as the rate for Xuzhou Jianglong Carbon Products Co., Ltd. (Xuzhou Jianglong), a company that was not individually examined and is eligible for a separate rate.5

    5See Issues and Decision Memorandum at 3-4 for a full discussion.

    Final Results of the Review

    As a result of this administrative review, we determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period February 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015:

    Company Margin
  • (percent)
  • Fangda Group 11.49 Fushun Jinly Petrochemical Carbon Co., Ltd 0.00 Xuzhou Jianglong Carbon Products Co., Ltd 11.49
    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the final results, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Assessment Rates

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), the Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of this review. For entries of subject merchandise during the period of review produced by Fushun Jinly, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties because Fushun Jinly's weighted-average dumping margin in these final results is de minimis. 6 For customers or importers of the the Fangda Group for which we do not have entered values, we will calculate customer- (or importer-) specific per unit duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the customer's (or importer's) examined sales of subject merchandise to the total sales quantity associated with those sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). For certain customers or importers of the Fangda Group for which we received entered-value information, we will calculate an antidumping duty assessment rate based on customer-/importer-specific ad valorem rate in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). For Xuzhou Jianglong, the assessment rate is equal to the weighted average dumping margin calculated for the Fangda Group, or 11.49 percent. For entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by companies individually examined during this review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the PRC-wide rate of 159.64 percent.7

    6See Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    7See Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China, 74 FR 2049, 2054-55.

    We intend to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of 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 from the PRC 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) No cash deposit will be required for subject merchandise exported by Fushun Jinly; (2) for subject merchandise exported by the Fangda Group and Xuzhou Jianglong, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established in these final results of review for each exporter as listed above; (3) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed above that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate; (4) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that for the PRC-wide entity, which is 159.64 percent; (5) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    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 POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of the antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition 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.

    These final results of review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: September 2, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Separate Rates V. Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Eligibility for Separate Rate (Fangda Group and Xuzhou Jianglong) Comment 2: Whether Xuzhou Jianglong's Sale is Bona Fide Comment 3: Consumption of Needle Coke (Fangda Group and Fushin Jinly) Comment 4: Whether U.S. Sales are Bona Fide (Fangda Group and Fushin Jinly) Comment 5: Universe of Sales (Fangda Group) Comment 6: Reporting of Forming Scrap (Fangda Group) Comment 7: Claim for Silicon Carbide By-Product Offset (Fushin Jinly) Comment 8: Valuation of Certain By-Products/Scrap Items (Fangda Group and Fushin Jinly) Comment 9: Date of Sale (Fangda Group and Fushin Jinly) Comment 10: Tolling Data (Fangda Group) Comment 11: VAT Adjustment Calculation (Fangda Group) VI. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2016-21782 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE872 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory committees.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will meet October 3, 2016 through October 11, 2016, in Anchorage, AK.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held October 3, 2016 through October 11, 2016. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for specific dates and times.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel, 500 W. 3rd Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501.

    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:

    David Witherell, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council will begin its plenary session at 8 a.m. in the Aleutian Room on Wednesday, October 5 continuing through Tuesday, October 11, 2016. The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will begin at 8 a.m. in the King Salmon/Iliamna Room on Monday, October 3 and continue through Thursday, October 6, 2016. The Council's Advisory Panel (AP) will begin at 8 a.m. in the Dillingham/Katmai Room on Tuesday, October 4 and continue through Saturday, October 8, 2016. The Ecosystem Committee will meet on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (room to be determined). The Halibut Management Committee will meet on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (room to be determined). The Enforcement Committee will meet on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (room to be determined).

    Agenda Monday, October 3, 2016 Through Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Council Plenary Session: The agenda for the Council's plenary session will include the following issues. The Council may take appropriate action on any of the issues identified.

    (1) Executive Director's Report (including ROA, allocation policy directive, legislative update; 40th Anniversary celebration update) (2) NMFS Management Report (3) ADF&G Report (4) U.S. CG Report (5) U.S. FWS Report (6) Protected Species Report (7) BSAI Crab Harvest Specifications for 6 Stocks (8) Groundfish Harvest Specifications; Stock Structure Report; Chinook Salmon 3-River Index (9) Electronic Monitoring Integration (10) 2017 Observer Program Annual Deployment Plan (11) Observer Lead Level 2 (12) Halibut/Sablefish IFQ Program (13) Area 4 Halibut IFQ Leasing (14) BSAI Halibut Abundance-Based PSC (15) Halibut DMR's Methodology (16) EFH Descriptions (17) EFH Non-Fishing Effects (18) EFH Fishing Effects Methods/Criteria (19) Staff Tasking

    The Advisory Panel will address most of the same agenda issues as the Council except B reports.

    The SSC agenda will include the following issues:

    (1) BSAI Crab Harvest Specifications for 6 Stocks (2) Groundfish Harvest Specifications; Stock Structure Report; 3-River Index (3) Electronic Monitoring Integration (4) 2017 Observer Program Annual Deployment Plan (5) BSAI Halibut Abundance-Based PSC (6) Halibut/Sablefish IFQ Program (7) Area 4 Halibut IFQ Leasing (8) Halibut DMR's Methodology (9) EFH Descriptions (10) EFH Non-Fishing Effects (11) EFH Fishing Effects Methods/Criteria

    In addition to providing ongoing scientific advice for fishery management decisions, the SSC functions as the Councils primary peer review panel for scientific information as described by the Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(e), and the National Standard 2 guidelines (78 FR 43066). The peer review process is also deemed to satisfy the requirements of the Information Quality Act, including the OMB Peer Review Bulletin guidelines. 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: September 6, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21713 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE864 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 via webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a public hearing to solicit public comments on Electronic Reporting Requirements for For-Hire Vessels via webinar.

    DATES:

    The meeting will convene Wednesday, September 28, 2016, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar; you may register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3181204175348645889.

    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:

    Dr. John Froeschke, Fishery Biologist-Statistician, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; [email protected]; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The agenda for the following webinar is as follows: Council staff will brief the public on the Generic For-Hire Reporting Amendment. This Amendment would require electronic reporting for federally permitted for-hire vessels harvesting species managed in the Reef Fish and Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) species in the Gulf of Mexico. Following the presentation, Council staff will open the meeting for questions and public comments.

    Meeting Adjourns

    Please register for Public Hearing: Generic Amendment to Require Electronic Reporting For-hire Vessels on September 28, 2016, 6 p.m. EDT at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3181204175348645889.

    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 File Server 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 “Generic For-Hire Electronic Reporting”.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the staff 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 staff 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.

    Dated: September 6, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21728 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE874 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (MAFMC) Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel (NTAP) will hold a meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Courtyard Marriott Boston Logan Airport, 225 William McClellan Highway, Boston, MA 02128; telephone: (617) 569-5250.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255. The Council's Web site, www.mafmc.org will also have details on the proposed agenda and briefing materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The NTAP is a joint advisory panel of the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils composed of Council members, fishing industry, academic, and government and non-government fisheries experts. The NTAP was established to bring commercial fishing, fisheries science, and fishery management professionals in the northeastern U.S. together to identify concerns about regional research survey performance and data, to identify methods to address or mitigate these concerns, and to promote mutual understanding and acceptance of the results of this work among their peers and in the broader community. Topics to be discussed at the meeting include membership changes; report of the NTAP Working Group meeting (August 2, 2016); results of witch flounder gear efficiency study and next steps for stock assessment; results of research on increasing the number of survey stations; group discussion on initial planning for 10 to 20-day field program; introduction of NEFSC Working Group on transition options (i.e., to transition to industry based sampling platforms—in full or in part); and next steps for NTAP including discussion about additional funding for future meetings.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: September 6, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21730 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE779 General Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Scientific Advisory Subcommittee to the General Advisory Committee; Conference Call Announcement AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces a conference call of the General Advisory Committee (GAC) to the U.S. Section to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the Scientific Advisory Subcommittee (SAS) to the GAC on September 23, 2016. The meeting and call topics are described under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    DATES:

    The conference call with the GAC and SAS will be held on September 23, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (or until business is concluded).

    ADDRESSES:

    The call will be held via conference line: 1-888-790-6181, passcode: 55049.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Taylor Debevec, West Coast Region, NMFS, at [email protected], or at (562) 980-4066.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the Tuna Conventions Act (16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.), as amended, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in consultation with the Department of State (the State Department), appoints a GAC to the U.S. Section to the IATTC, and a SAS that advises the GAC. The U.S. Section consists of four U.S. Commissioners to the IATTC and representatives of the State Department, NOAA, Department of Commerce, other agencies of the U.S. Government, and other stakeholders. The purpose of the GAC is to advise the U.S. Section with respect to scientific research about, and management of, tuna and tuna-like species in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean conducted by the IATTC, with particular reference to development of U.S. policies, positions, and negotiating tactics. The purpose of the SAS is to advise the GAC on matters of science. NMFS West Coast Region provides administrative support for the GAC and SAS. The meetings of the GAC and SAS shall generally be open to the public, unless the meetings go into executive session for specific topics. The time and manner of public comment will be at the discretion of the chairs for the GAC and SAS.

    The 90th meeting of the IATTC was held in La Jolla, CA, from June 27 to July 1, 2016, but not all agenda items were addressed and the meeting was temporarily adjourned. As such, the 90th meeting of the IATTC will be resumed from October 12 to October 14, 2016, in La Jolla, CA. For more information on the resumed meeting, please visit the IATTC's Web site: https://www.iattc.org/MeetingsENG.htm.

    GAC and SAS Call Topics

    The call topics will include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. Formulation of advice on issues that may arise at the resumed 90th meeting of the IATTC, including the IATTC staff's recommended conservation measures, U.S. proposals, and proposals from other IATTC members; and

    2. Other issues as they arise.

    Special Accommodations

    Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Taylor Debevec (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) by September 16, 2016.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.

    Dated: September 6, 2016. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21765 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE865 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 via webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting via webinar of its Data Collection Technical Committee.

    DATES:

    The meeting will convene Thursday, September 29, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via webinar; you may register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5388009774335661059.

    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:

    Dr. John Froeschke, Fishery Biologist-Statistician, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; [email protected]; telephone: (813) 348-1630.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The items of discussion on the agenda are as follows:

    The Data Collection Technical Committee will meet to discuss the minimum data elements necessary to implement electronic reporting of for-hire fisheries data in the Gulf of Mexico. The Technical Committee will review data elements collected by existing for-hire programs in the Gulf and other regions as well as the data elements recommended for consideration by the National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office. The objectives are to improve timeliness and data quality of fisheries data from the federal for-hire sector that will be used to support fisheries science and management. The Technical Committee is expected to discuss and provide recommendations to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council regarding about the minimum data elements to achieve the goals of the program.

    Meeting Adjourns

    Please register for Data Collection Technical Committee meeting on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 9 a.m. EDT at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5388009774335661059.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    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 File Server 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 “Data Collection Technical Committee”.

    The meeting will be webcast over the internet. A link to the webcast will be available on the Council's Web site, http://www.gulfcouncil.org.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Technical 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 Technical 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.

    Dated: September 6, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21729 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION [Docket No. 160831803-6803-01] RIN 0660-XC031 National Broadband Research Agenda AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; National Science Foundation.

    ACTION:

    Notice, request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In furtherance of the Broadband Opportunity Council's recommendation to improve data collection, analysis and research on broadband, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) request public comments to inform the development of a National Broadband Research Agenda (Agenda) in collaboration with the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program and other agencies that form the Council. This Agenda will reflect the most significant opportunities for data collection, analysis, and research to keep pace with, and take advantage of, the massive digital changes that permeate our economy and society.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted by email to: [email protected] Include “National Broadband Research Agenda” in the subject line of the message. Comments submitted by email should be machine-readable and should not be copy-protected. Written comments may also be submitted by mail to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4887, Attn: National Broadband Research Agenda, Washington DC 20230. Responders should include the name of the person or organization filing the comment, as well as a page number on each page of the submission. Enclose a CD or DVD version of your submission labeled with the name and organization of the filer. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2016/comments-national-broadband-research-agenda without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by commenters may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NTIA will accept anonymous comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Francine Alkisswani, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4621, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5560; email: [email protected]; or Jack T. Brassil, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 1175.31N, Arlington, VA 22230; telephone: (703) 292-8950; email: [email protected] Please direct media inquiries to NTIA's Office of Public Affairs; email: [email protected]; telephone: (202) 482-7002.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In March 2015, President Obama created the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), composed of 25 federal departments and agencies, to determine actions that the federal government could take to eliminate barriers to broadband deployment, competition, and adoption and encourage investment through executive actions within the scope of existing agency programs, missions, and budgets.1 The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Agriculture co-chaired the Council.

    1 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Presidential Memorandum—Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging Investment and Training (March 23, 2015), available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/23/presidential-memorandum-expanding-broadband-deployment-and-adoption-addr.

    In September 2015, the White House released the Council's report, which described 36 concrete steps the member agencies would take to reduce barriers, incentivize investment, promote best practices, align funding policies and decisions, and support broadband deployment and adoption.2 One of the actions in the report called for NTIA and NSF to develop a national broadband research agenda with input from other federal agencies and the broader research community. This Notice seeks recommendations from all members of the research community to support the development of the Agenda. This input will supplement input received through an NSF-sponsored visioning workshop.3

    2 Broadband Opportunity Council, Report and Recommendations Pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum on Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging Investment and Training (Aug. 20, 2015) at 12, available at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/broadband_opportunity_council_report_final.pdf.

    3 The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the Pennsylvania State University, Institute of Information Policy (IIP) to organize a visioning workshop with leading experts in academia, industry, and government on June 16-17, 2016, at the NSF in Arlington, Virginia. See the details of the “Broadband 2021” workshop at https://broadband.ist.psu.edu/.

    II. Objectives of This Notice

    This Notice seeks input to improve data collection, analysis, research, and their applications for the benefit of broadband policy development, program implementation, and program evaluation. A robust broadband research agenda will also help external stakeholders, especially those whose research initiatives rely on federal data, reporting, funding, coordination, and other federal resources and support. This Notice seeks such input in four specific areas: (i) Broadband technology; (ii) broadband deployment, adoption, and utilization by individual, business, and institutional users; (iii) assessment of economic and social impacts; and (iv) opportunities for federal leadership in data collection, research, and overall coordination.

    The success of the Agenda requires not only high-impact, cutting-edge proposals across data collection, analysis, and research, but also an overall strategic plan that is achievable. Thus, through this Notice, NTIA and NSF seek recommendations, best practices, and solutions to current challenges with regard to: Promising research and analytical methodologies; effective approaches for data collection and sharing; opportunities for better alignment and coordination for these research efforts across all federal and external stakeholders; funding strategies with suggestions for prioritization and public-private resource sharing; and possible changes to federal policies and programs that could enhance broadband research. NTIA and NSF also encourage interested parties to recommend any other suggestions (e.g., research topics, implementation approaches) if the concepts are not articulated in this Notice.

    III. Request for Comments

    Instructions for Commenters: Commenters are encouraged to address any or all of the following questions. Commenters responding to specific questions should label the response with a question number. Comments that contain references to studies, research, and other empirical data that are not widely published should include copies of (or links to) the referenced materials with the submitted comments.

    For any response, commenters may wish to consider describing specific goals and action(s) that NTIA and/or NSF, or other federal agencies, may take (independently or in conjunction with the private sector) to achieve those goals; the benefits and costs associated with the action(s); whether the proposal is agency-specific or interagency; the rationale and evidence to support the proposal; and the roles of other stakeholders.

    A. Broadband Technology

    Comments under this heading should address research and evaluation as related to broadband technology development and innovation. The broadband technology landscape continues to reflect rapid innovation and advancement, across all levels of the broadband technology value chain, e.g., platforms, networks, devices, services, applications. These advances have yielded a myriad of new products and services, and improved the quality and performance of existing ones. Questions related to technology research follow:

    1. What are the critical data and research needs in the areas of broadband technology and innovation?

    2. What specific technology research proposals, and associated methodologies, should be prioritized to support the advancement of broadband technology? And why?

    3. What specific technology research proposals can support federal efforts to foster the access and adoption of broadband technology across rural areas, and other unserved and underserved segments, such as population groups that have traditionally under-utilized broadband technology (e.g., seniors, low-income families, persons with disabilities)?

    B. Broadband Access and Adoption

    Comments under this heading should address research and evaluation as related to programs, services, and applications that drive broadband access, adoption, and utilization for individuals and their families, businesses, and institutions. Questions related to broadband deployment and adoption follow:

    4. What are the critical data and research needs in the areas of broadband deployment and access?

    5. What specific research proposals, and associated methodologies, regarding broadband access should be prioritized? And why?

    6. What are specific areas for federally-supported research as related to key market trends that impact broadband deployment, including business models, public-private partnerships, sustainability drivers, the removal of regulatory barriers?

    7. What are the critical data and research needs in the areas of broadband adoption and utilization?

    8. What specific research proposals, and associated methodologies, regarding broadband adoption and utilization should be prioritized? And why?

    9. What specific research and data are needed to understand how rural residents and other population groups that have traditionally under-utilized broadband technology (e.g., seniors, low-income families, persons with disabilities) can better adopt and use broadband?

    C. Socioeconomic Impacts

    Comments under this heading should address research and evaluation as related to measuring the social and economic impacts of deploying and/or using broadband. Understanding the economic and social impact of broadband on the American society influences the prioritization, design, and evaluation of federal policies and programs. Questions related to socioeconomic impact follow:

    10. What are the critical data and research needs in the area of broadband and its economic and social impact?

    11. What specific research proposals, and associated methodologies, regarding the socioeconomic impact of broadband should be prioritized?

    12. Are there specific socioeconomic research areas that can help measure the effectiveness of federal programs seeking to foster broadband access, adoption, or competition?

    D. Opportunities for Federal Leadership in Data Collection and Research

    Comments under this heading should address proposals for implementing the suggestions and recommendations discussed above. The Agenda will include a strategic plan that includes specific initiatives, measurable goals, and identification of the key resources necessary for implementation. Resources and leadership will be required across a multitude of stakeholders (e.g., federal government, industry, academia). Questions related to opportunities for federal leadership and engagement with stakeholders follow:

    13. What opportunities exist to improve the sharing of research from federal research programs with external stakeholders (e.g., industry, academia)? Likewise, how can external stakeholders better share their research with federal agencies?

    14. What are suggestions for enhancing cross-disciplinary collaboration in broadband research?

    15. Given limited federal budgets and existing research efforts led by industry, academia, and other external groups, what specific role should the federal government play in the area of broadband research (e.g., funding, data gathering, coordination)?

    16. Are there opportunities to collect new broadband-related data or expand current data sets within federal programs that fund and/or produce research?

    17. What data (whether public or commercial/proprietary) would facilitate ground-breaking research related to broadband, if that data were to become available?

    18. What are possible changes to federal policies and programs that could enhance broadband research?

    19. What are recommendations for standardizing broadband and commonly-used demographic terms across the research community? How can these terms be operationalized to ensure comparability of data?

    Dated: September 6, 2016. Kathy D. Smith, Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Suzanne H. Plimpton, Management Analyst, Office of the General Counsel, National Science Foundation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21771 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket ID: PTO-C-2016-0033; Docket Type: Nonrulemaking; Docket Phase: Notice] National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    ACTION:

    Notice of closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) Nomination Evaluation Committee will meet in closed session on September 9, 2016. The primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss the relative merits of persons, teams, and companies nominated for the 2015 NMTI.

    DATES:

    The meeting will convene on September 9, 2016, at approximately 9 a.m., and adjourn at approximately 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Palafoutas, Program Manager, National Medal of Technology and Innovation Program, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box, Alexandria, VA 22313; telephone (571) 272-9821; or by electronic mail: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. app. 2, notice is hereby given that the NMTI Nomination Evaluation Committee, chartered to the United States Department of Commerce, will meet at the United States Patent and Trademark Office campus in Alexandria, Virginia.

    The Secretary of Commerce is responsible for recommending to the President prospective NMTI recipients. The NMTI Nomination Evaluation Committee evaluates the nominations received pursuant to public solicitation and makes its recommendations for the Medal to the Secretary. Committee members are distinguished experts in the fields of science, technology, business, and patent law drawn from both the public and private sectors and are appointed by the Secretary for three-year terms.

    In order to complete the 2015 NMTI selection process prior to the next cycle of awards, USPTO asked the members of the Evaluation Committee to meet as soon as possible. Because the committee is newly formed and has multiple scheduling conflicts, September 9, 2016 is the best date available for the committee to meet in order to make timely recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce.

    The NMTI Nomination Evaluation Committee was established in accordance with the FACA. The Committee meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the FACA and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6) and (9)(B), because the discussion of the relative merit of the Medal nominations is likely to disclose information of a personal nature that would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and premature disclosure of the Committee's recommendations would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of the Medal Program.

    The Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration, United States Department of Commerce, formally determined on September 6, 2016 pursuant to Section 10(d) of the FACA, that the meeting may be closed because Committee members are concerned with matters that are within the purview of 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(6) and (9)(B). Due to closure of this meeting, copies of any minutes of the meeting will not be available. A copy of the determination is available for public inspection at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    Dated: September 7, 2016. Russell Slifer, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21871 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to delete products and a service from the Procurement List that was previously furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before 10/9/2016.

    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 OR TO SUBMIT COMMENTS 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.

    Deletions

    The following products and service are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 6530-01-163-3704—Cup, Specimen Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 6532-00-914-3069—Shirt, Operating, Surgical 6532-00-914-3070—Shirt, Operating, Surgical 6532-00-914-3071—Shirt, Operating, Surgical Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Product Name(s)—NSN(s): 7350-01-138-0022—Pitcher, Water Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs Service Service Type: Administrative/General Support Service Mandatory for: GSA, Southwest Supply Center, 819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth, TX Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Travis Association for the Blind, Austin, TX Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, FPDS Agency Coordinator Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations,
    [FR Doc. 2016-21735 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action deletes products and services from the Procurement List previously furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: 10/9/2016.

    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:

    Deletions

    On 8/5/2016 (81 FR 51865-51866) and 8/26/2016 (81 FR 58913-58917), 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 services 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 services 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 services deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products and services are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8415-00-NSH-0376—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, XS-XS 8415-00-NSH-0377—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, XS-S 8415-00-NSH-0378—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, XS-R 8415-00-NSH-0379—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, SX-XS 8415-00-NSH-0380—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, S-XS 8415-00-NSH-0381—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, SS 8415-00-NSH-0382—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, SR 8415-00-NSH-0383—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, SL 8415-00-NSH-0384—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, SXL 8415-00-NSH-0385—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, M-XXS 8415-00-NSH-0386—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, M-XS 8415-00-NSH-0387—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, M-S 8415-00-NSH-0388—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, M-R 8415-00-NSH-0389—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, M-L 8415-00-NSH-0390—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, M-XL 8415-00-NSH-0391—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, L-XS 8415-00-NSH-0392—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, L-S 8415-00-NSH-0393—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, L-R 8415-00-NSH-0394—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, L-L 8415-00-NSH-0395—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, L-XL 8415-00-NSH-0396—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, XL-R 8415-00-NSH-0397—Coat, Combat, BDU, Army, Urban Camouflage, XL-LL Contracting Activity: Army Contracting Command—Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division Services Service Type: Mess Attendant Service Mandatory for: 185th Air Refueling Wing Dining Hall, Building 263, 2920 Headquarters Avenue, Sioux City, IA Service Type: Custodial Service Mandatory for: 185th Air Refueling Wing, Buildings 234 and 241, 2920 Headquarters Avenue, Sioux City, IA Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Goodwill Community Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Sioux City, IA Contracting Activity: Dept of the Army, W7M8 USPFO ACTIVITY IA ARNG Service Type: Administrative/General Support Service Mandatory for: GSA, Southwest Supply Center, 819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth, TX Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, San Antonio, TX Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, FPDS Agency Coordinator Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21736 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting TIME AND DATE:

    Wednesday September 14, 2016, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

    PLACE:

    Hearing Room 420, Bethesda Towers, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland.

    STATUS:

    Commission Meeting—Open to the Public.

    Matter To Be Considered:

    Decisional Matter: Changing Tables: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

    A live webcast of the Meeting can be viewed at www.cpsc.gov/live.

    TIME AND DATE:

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016; 10:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

    PLACE:

    Hearing Room 420, Bethesda Towers, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland.

    STATUS:

    Commission Meeting—Closed to the Public.

    Matter To Be Considered:

    Compliance Matters: The Commission staff will brief the Commission on the status of various compliance matters.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Todd A. Stevenson, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, (301) 504-7923.

    Dated: September 6, 2016. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2016-21807 Filed 9-7-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID: USA-2016-HQ-0032] Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Department of the Army, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice to alter a System of Records.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-130, notice is hereby given that the Department of the Army proposes to alter a system of records, A0001-20 SALL, entitled “Congressional Inquiry File,” last published at 66 FR 13054, March 2, 2001. The system of records exists to respond to inquiries from members of Congress who request information from the Department of Defense on behalf of their constituents.

    This update reflects considerable administrative changes that in sum warrant an alteration to the systems of records notice. The applicable DoD Routine Uses have been incorporated in the notice to provide clarity for the public. There are also modifications to the system location, categories of individuals, categories of records, authority, purpose, routine uses, storage, retrievability, safeguards, retention and disposal, system managers and address, notification and record access procedures, and contesting record procedures to improve readability and update the notice to meet current departmental standards.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted on or before October 11, 2016. This proposed action will be effective on the day following the end of the comment period unless comments are received which result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket 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 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:

    Tracy Rogers, Department of the Army, Privacy Office, U.S. Army Records Management and Declassification Agency, 7701 Telegraph Road, Casey Building, Suite 144, Alexandria, VA 22315-3827 or by phone at 703-428-7499.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of the Army systems of records notices subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, have been published in the Federal Register and are available from the address in FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at the Defense Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency Division Web site at http://dpcld.defense.gov/. The proposed system report, as required by 5 U.S.C 552a(r) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, was submitted on August 19, 2016, to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to paragraph 4 of Appendix I of OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records About Individuals,” revised November 28, 2000 (December 12, 2000 65 FR 77677).

    Dated: September 6, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. A0001-20 SALL System name:

    Congressional Inquiry File (March 2, 2001, 66 FR 13054)

    Changes: System location:

    Delete entry and replace with “Chief, Congressional Inquiry Division, Office of the Chief of the Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Army, 1600 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-1600.”

    Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals who write to a Member of Congress requesting that the Member solicit information from the Department of the Army on their behalf.”

    Categories of records in the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individual's name and correspondence to the Member of Congress, Congressional Member's name, date of the Member's correspondence or email to the Army, Department of the Army's correspondence in response to the inquiry, inquiry tracking number, and relevant supporting documentation.

    Records may include personally identifiable information (PII) as volunteered by the individual in correspondence or documentation received from the Congressional Member. Such information is not requested by or disclosed from the department in administration of these records.”

    Authority for maintenance of the system:

    Delete entry and replace with “10 U.S.C. 1034, Protected Communications; Prohibition of Retaliatory Personnel Actions; 10 U.S.C. 3013, Secretary of the Army; DoD Instruction 5400.04, Provision of Information to Congress; Army Regulation 1-20, Legislative Liaison.”

    Purpose(s):

    Delete entry and replace with “To conduct necessary research and/or investigations to provide information responsive to Congressional inquiries.”

    Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purpose of such uses:

    Delete entry and replace with “In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, these records contained therein may specifically be disclosed outside the DoD as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    Congressional Inquiries Disclosure Routine Use: Disclosure from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual.

    Law Enforcement Routine Use: If a system of records maintained by a DoD Component to carry out its functions indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or by regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the agency concerned, whether federal, state, local, or foreign, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto.

    Disclosure to the Department of Justice for Litigation Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to any component of the Department of Justice for the purpose of representing the Department of Defense, or any officer, employee or member of the Department in pending or potential litigation to which the record is pertinent.

    Disclosure of Information to the National Archives and Records Administration Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a DoD Component may be disclosed as a routine use to the National Archives and Records Administration for the purpose of records management inspections conducted under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

    Data Breach Remediation Purposes Routine Use: A record from a system of records maintained by a Component may be disclosed to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) The Component suspects or has confirmed that the security or confidentiality of the information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) the Component 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 systems or programs (whether maintained by the Component or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with the Components efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    The DoD Blanket Routine Uses set forth at the beginning of the Army's compilation of systems of records notices may apply to this system. The complete list of DoD Blanket Routine Uses can be found online at: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/BlanketRoutineUses.aspx.”

    Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system: Storage:

    Delete entry and replace with “Electronic storage media.”

    Retrievability:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individual's full name, date of the Congressional Member's correspondence, Congressional Member's name, and subject of the inquiry.”

    Safeguards:

    Delete entry and replace with “Records are maintained on a password protected network accessible to authorized personnel only. Approved users ensure that electronic records used are maintained in controlled areas accessible only to authorized personnel. Access to electronic files is restricted by use of common access cards (CACs) and is accessible only by users with an authorized account. The systems are maintained in controlled facilities that employ physical restrictions and safeguards such as security guards, identification badges, key cards and locks.”

    Retention and disposal:

    Delete entry and replace with “Information on congressional inquiries on all matters within the scope and activity of the Department of the Army are maintained for two years, then purged from the system.”

    System manager(s) and address:

    Delete entry and replace with “Chief, Congressional Inquiry Division, Office of the Chief of the Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Army, 1600 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-1600.”

    Notification procedure:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking to determine if information about themselves is contained in this system should address written inquiries to the Chief, Congressional Inquiry Division, Office of the Chief of the Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Army, 1600 Army Pentagon, Washington, DC 20310-1600.

    For verification purposes requests should include the individual's full name, the Congressional Member's name, and subject of the inquiry.

    In addition, the requester must provide a notarized statement or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    If executed outside the United States: `I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).'

    If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: 'I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).' ”

    Record access procedures:

    Delete entry and replace with “Individuals seeking access to information about themselves contained in this system should address written inqui