Federal Register Vol. 81, No.182,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 182 (September 20, 2016)

Page Range64345-64758
FR Document

81_FR_182
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 64757 - National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2016PDF
81 FR 64749 - Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2017PDF
81 FR 64563 - In the Matter of All Energy Corp., and As Seen On TV, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
81 FR 64577 - Multiemployer Pension Plan Application To Reduce BenefitsPDF
81 FR 64464 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 64464 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
81 FR 64448 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
81 FR 64368 - Proposed Expansion of the Outer Coastal Plain Viticultural AreaPDF
81 FR 64459 - Meetings of the Local Government Advisory Committee and the Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS)PDF
81 FR 64501 - Public Outreach Regarding Oil, Gas and Coal Data for Montana and LouisianaPDF
81 FR 64575 - General Motors LLC, Receipt of Petition To Amend Takata DIR SchedulePDF
81 FR 64439 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 64431 - Temporary Suspension of the Special Census ProgramPDF
81 FR 64459 - Settlement Agreement for Recovery of Past Response Costs: Empire State Oil Co.-Refinery Superfund Site, Thermopolis, Hot Springs County, WyomingPDF
81 FR 64559 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 64560 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 1, and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendments No. 1 and No. 2, to BZX Rule 14.1(i), Managed Fund Shares, To List and Trade Shares of the ProShares Crude Oil Strategy ETFPDF
81 FR 64574 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change To Revise the ICC Risk Management Model Description Document and the ICC Risk Management FrameworkPDF
81 FR 64448 - Application To Export Electric Energy; Tenaska Power Services Co.PDF
81 FR 64447 - Application To Rescind and Issue and Authorization To Export Electric Energy; Emera MainePDF
81 FR 64441 - National Sea Grant Advisory Board (NSGAB)PDF
81 FR 64356 - Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2016 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana IslandsPDF
81 FR 64503 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art (Gilcrease Museum), Tulsa, OKPDF
81 FR 64505 - Notice of Inventory Completion: San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego, CAPDF
81 FR 64443 - Science Advisory Board (SAB); MeetingPDF
81 FR 64518 - New Postal ProductsPDF
81 FR 64436 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, India, and the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order (the Republic of Korea) and Countervailing Duty Orders (Brazil and India)PDF
81 FR 64432 - Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, India, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determinations for Brazil and the United Kingdom and Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
81 FR 64502 - Renewal of Approved Information Collection; OMB Control No. 1004-0042PDF
81 FR 64345 - Special Local Regulation; International Jet Sports Boating Association; Lake Havasu City, AZPDF
81 FR 64446 - International Energy Agency MeetingsPDF
81 FR 64435 - Meeting of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 64576 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13224PDF
81 FR 64456 - City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 64455 - City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 64450 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Mountaineer XPress Project and the Gulf XPress ProjectPDF
81 FR 64450 - Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 64457 - City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 64453 - Windham Solar, LLC, Allco Finance Limited; Notice of Petition for EnforcementPDF
81 FR 64453 - Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Gulf Coast Expansion Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
81 FR 64451 - Mary Ann Gaston; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
81 FR 64455 - Implementation Issues Under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978; Notice Inviting Post-Technical Conference CommentsPDF
81 FR 64452 - Appalachian Power Company, Eagle Creek Reusens Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application for Transfer of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
81 FR 64458 - Sabine River Authority of Texas, Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
81 FR 64507 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-National Spectrum ConsortiumPDF
81 FR 64475 - Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Assessment Tool for Public Housing Agencies-Information Collection: Solicitation of Comment 30-Day Notice Under Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995PDF
81 FR 64507 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-3D PDF Consortium, Inc.PDF
81 FR 64414 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for the Iiwi (Drepanis coccinea)PDF
81 FR 64507 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-National Armaments ConsortiumPDF
81 FR 64508 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Members of SGIP 2.0, Inc.PDF
81 FR 64506 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Pistoia Alliance, Inc.PDF
81 FR 64508 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993-Medical Technology Enterprise ConsortiumPDF
81 FR 64445 - Defense Innovation Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 64440 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Russian River Estuary Management ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 64442 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Northeast Fisheries Science Center Fisheries ResearchPDF
81 FR 64497 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Implementation Phase Review of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Youth Homelessness Prevention InitiativePDF
81 FR 64428 - Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection-Subpart U-Ineligibility for Programs Under the Federal Crop Insurance ActPDF
81 FR 64429 - Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection-Area Risk Protection InsurancePDF
81 FR 64463 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10316, Gulf State Community Bank, Carrabelle, FloridaPDF
81 FR 64444 - Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the West Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network and Notice of Public MeetingsPDF
81 FR 64464 - Privacy Act of 1974PDF
81 FR 64465 - Privacy Act of 1974; Effective Date-April 2, 2016; Expiration Date-October 2, 2017PDF
81 FR 64499 - Endangered and Threatened Species Permit ApplicationsPDF
81 FR 64356 - Civil Penalties Inflation AdjustmentsPDF
81 FR 64372 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Reasonable Further Progress Plan and Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets for the Dallas/Fort Worth 2008 Ozone Nonattainment AreaPDF
81 FR 64364 - List of Rules To Be Reviewed Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility ActPDF
81 FR 64519 - SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging CompaniesPDF
81 FR 64377 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Oklahoma; Infrastructure for the Lead, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 64517 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Model Employer Children's Health Insurance Program NoticePDF
81 FR 64574 - Twenty Fourth Meeting of SC-217 Aeronautical DatabasesPDF
81 FR 64467 - Risk Communication Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 64430 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 64472 - Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 64467 - Announcement of Requirements and Registration for the 2016 Food and Drug Administration Naloxone App CompetitionPDF
81 FR 64512 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS); FCS Complaint and Consent FormPDF
81 FR 64347 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Willamette River, Portland, ORPDF
81 FR 64360 - Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 787-10 Airplane; Aeroelastic Stability Requirements, Flaps-Up Vertical Modal-Suppression SystemPDF
81 FR 64505 - Certain Stainless Steel Products, Certain Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same, and Certain Products Containing Same; Notice of the Issuance of an Advisory OpinionPDF
81 FR 64498 - Proposed Information Collection; Electronic Duck Stamp ProgramPDF
81 FR 64574 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 64534 - Global X Funds, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 64519 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 64520 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Bylaws TitlePDF
81 FR 64552 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of the Direxion Daily Municipal Bond Taxable Bear 1X Fund Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3)PDF
81 FR 64521 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Price Protection Mechanisms and Risk ControlsPDF
81 FR 64566 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Describe Changes to System Functionality Necessary To Implement the Tick Size Pilot ProgramPDF
81 FR 64544 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Describe Changes to System Functionality Necessary To Implement the Tick Size Pilot ProgramPDF
81 FR 64564 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 12403 (Cases With Three Arbitrators) of the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes Relating to the Panel Selection Process in ArbitrationPDF
81 FR 64552 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Describe Changes to System Functionality Necessary To Implement the Tick Size Pilot ProgramPDF
81 FR 64536 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Advance Notice Concerning the Options Clearing Corporation's Escrow Deposit ProgramPDF
81 FR 64473 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, Form I-693; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 64471 - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 64471 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 64463 - Second Meeting of the World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 64510 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Euticals Inc.PDF
81 FR 64509 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Patheon API Manufacturing, Inc.PDF
81 FR 64509 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: R & D Systems, Inc.PDF
81 FR 64460 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 64461 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 64460 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
81 FR 64470 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 64474 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, Form N-648; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 64518 - New Postal ProductPDF
81 FR 64513 - Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, Notice of Rate Change in Effect as of January 1, 2017PDF
81 FR 64472 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application To Pay Off or Discharge an Alien CrewmanPDF
81 FR 64511 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 64510 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
81 FR 64501 - Notice of Public Meeting, Pecos District Resource Advisory Council Meeting, New MexicoPDF
81 FR 64347 - Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Implementation Plans; State of Iowa; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)PDF
81 FR 64431 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Illinois Advisory Committee To Discuss a Project Proposal To Study Civil Rights and Voter Participation in the StatePDF
81 FR 64430 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Kansas Advisory Committee for a New Committee Orientation Meeting, To Discuss Civil Rights Issues in the State, and To Plan Future ActivitiesPDF
81 FR 64350 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Department of Pesticide RegulationsPDF
81 FR 64403 - Updates to Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands Regulations To Implement Executive Order 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management StandardPDF
81 FR 64426 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC); Public HearingsPDF
81 FR 64357 - Indemnification PaymentsPDF
81 FR 64728 - Impact Aid ProgramPDF
81 FR 64349 - Approval of Iowa's Air Quality Implementation Plans; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 64354 - Air Plan Approval; Tennessee; Revision and Removal of Stage I and II Gasoline Vapor Recovery ProgramPDF
81 FR 64700 - Missing ParticipantsPDF
81 FR 64383 - Medicaid; Revisions to State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit RulesPDF
81 FR 64401 - Freedom of Information Act RegulationsPDF
81 FR 64405 - Preliminary Theft Data; Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention StandardPDF
81 FR 64656 - Wassenaar Arrangement 2015 Plenary Agreements Implementation, Removal of Foreign National Review Requirements, and Information Security UpdatesPDF
81 FR 64694 - Revisions to the Entity ListPDF
81 FR 64580 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Dedicated-Purpose Pool PumpsPDF

Issue

81 182 Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation

See

Forest Service

Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau PROPOSED RULES Viticultural Areas: Outer Coastal Plain; Proposed Expansion, 64368-64372 2016-22635 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: 3D PDF Consortium, Inc., 64507 2016-22593 Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, 64508 2016-22586 National Armaments Consortium, 64507-64508 2016-22591 National Spectrum Consortium, 64507 2016-22595 Pistoia Alliance, Inc., 64506-64507 2016-22588 SGIP 2.0, Inc., 64508-64509 2016-22590 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Temporary Suspensions: Special Census Program, 64431-64432 2016-22629 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services PROPOSED RULES Medicaid Program: State Medicaid Fraud Control Units, 64383-64401 2016-22269 NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 64464-64466 2016-22567 2016-22568 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Illinois Advisory Committee, 64431 2016-22502 Kansas Advisory Committee, 64430-64431 2016-22501 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Willamette River, Portland, OR, 64347 2016-22548 Special Local Regulations: International Jet Sports Boating Association; Lake Havasu City, AZ, 64345-64347 2016-22611 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

First Responder Network Authority

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Meetings: Defense Innovation Board, 64445-64446 2016-22585 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: R and D Systems, Inc., 64509 2016-22525 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Euticals, Inc., 64510 2016-22527 Patheon API Manufacturing, Inc., 64509 2016-22526 Education Department Education Department RULES Impact Aid Program, 64728-64745 2016-22407 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pumps, 64580-64654 2016-21310 NOTICES Applications to Export Electric Energy: Emera Maine, 64447-64448 2016-22621 Tenaska Power Services Co., 64448 2016-22622 Meetings: International Energy Agency, 64446-64447 2016-22610
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California Air Plan Revisions, Department of Pesticide Regulations, 64350-64354 2016-22499 Iowa, 64349-64350 2016-22398 Iowa; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 64347-64349 2016-22503 Tennessee; Revision and Removal of Stage I and II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Program, 64354-64355 2016-22368 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Oklahoma; Infrastructure for the Lead, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 64377-64383 2016-22560 Texas; Reasonable Further Progress Plan and Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets for the Dallas/Fort Worth 2008 Ozone Nonattainment Area, 64372-64377 2016-22564 NOTICES Meetings: Local Government Advisory Committee and Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee, 64459 2016-22633 Proposed Settlements: Empire State Oil Co. Refinery Superfund Site, Thermopolis, Hot Springs County, WY, 64459 2016-22628 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 787-10 Airplane; Aeroelastic Stability Requirements, Flaps-Up Vertical Modal-Suppression System, 64360-64364 2016-22547 NOTICES Meetings: Twenty Fourth Meeting of SC-217 Aeronautical Databases, 64574-64575 2016-22556 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2016-22521 64460-64463 2016-22522 2016-22523 Meetings: World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee, 64463 2016-22528 Federal Crop Federal Crop Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Area Risk Protection Insurance, 64429-64430 2016-22577 Subpart U—Ineligibility for Programs under the Federal Crop Insurance Act, 64428-64429 2016-22579 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: 10316, Gulf State Community Bank, Carrabelle, FL, 64463-64464 2016-22576 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 64464 2016-22716 2016-22725 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency PROPOSED RULES Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands, 64403-64404 2016-22496 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Appalachian Power Co.; Eagle Creek Reusens Hydro, LLC, 64452-64453 2016-22597 Holyoke Gas and Electric Department, 64455-64458 2016-22602 2016-22605 2016-22606 Sabine River Authority of Texas; Sabine River Authority, Louisiana, 64458-64459 2016-22596 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Proposed Gulf Coast Expansion Project, 64453-64455 2016-22600 Environmental Reviews: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC; Mountaineer XPress Project, Gulf XPress Project, 64450-64451 2016-22604 Meetings: Implementation Issues under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, 64455 2016-22598 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 64448-64450 2016-22686 Permit Applications: Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, 64450 2016-22603 Petitions for Enforcement: Windham Solar LLC; Allco Finance Ltd., 64453 2016-22601 Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facilities: Mary Ann Gaston, 64451-64452 2016-22599 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency PROPOSED RULES Indemnification Payments, 64357-64360 2016-22483 FIRSTNET First Responder Network Authority NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: West Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, 64444-64445 2016-22575 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species: Iiwi (Drepanis coccinea), 64414-64426 2016-22592 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Electronic Duck Stamp Program, 64498-64499 2016-22544 Endangered and Threatened Species Permit Applications, 64499-64501 2016-22566 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES 2016 Naloxone Software Application Competition, 64467-64470 2016-22550 Meetings: Risk Communication Advisory Committee, 64467 2016-22553 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 64576-64577 2016-22607 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64430 2016-22552 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Inspector General Office, Health and Human Services Department

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64470-64471 2016-22520
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing; Assessment Tool for Public Housing Agencies, 64475-64496 2016-22594 Implementation Phase Review of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative, 64497-64498 2016-22580 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Entity List, 64694-64698 2016-21543 Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary Agreements Implementation, Removal of Foreign National Review Requirements, and Information Security Updates, 64656-64692 2016-21544 Inspector General Health Inspector General Office, Health and Human Services Department PROPOSED RULES Medicaid Program: State Medicaid Fraud Control Units, 64383-64401 2016-22269 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

RULES Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustments, 64356 2016-22565 PROPOSED RULES Freedom of Information Act, 64401-64403 2016-22166 NOTICES Meetings: Oil, Gas and Coal Data for Montana and Louisiana, 64501 2016-22632
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, India, and the Republic of Korea, etc., 64436-64439 2016-22614 Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, India, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom, etc., 64432-64435 2016-22613 Meetings: United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, 64435-64436 2016-22608 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Stainless Steel Products, Certain Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same, and Certain Products Containing Same, 64505-64506 2016-22545 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64510-64512 2016-22511 2016-22512 2016-22513 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Coordination and Compliance Section Complaint and Consent Form, 64512-64513 2016-22549
Labor Department Labor Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Model Employer Children's Health Insurance Program, 64517-64518 2016-22559 Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, Notice of Rate Change in Effect as of January 1, 2017, 64513-64517 2016-22515 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64502-64503 2016-22612 Meetings: Pecos District Resource Advisory Council, New Mexico, 64501-64502 2016-22509 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard: Preliminary Theft Data, 64405-64414 2016-22064 NOTICES Receipts of Petitions: General Motors, LLC; Takata Defect Information Report Amendment, 64575-64576 2016-22631 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 64471-64472 2016-22530 National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 64471 2016-22531 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries: 2016 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 64356 2016-22619 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Omnibus Amendment Public Hearings, 64426-64427 2016-22493 NOTICES Meetings: New England Fishery Management Council, 64439-64440 2016-22626 2016-22630 Science Advisory Board, 64443-64444 2016-22616 Requests for Nominations: National Sea Grant Advisory Board, 64441-64442 2016-22620 Takes and Imports of Marine Mammals: Northeast Fisheries Science Center Fisheries Research, 64442-64443 2016-22582 Russian River Estuary Management Activities, 64440-64441 2016-22583 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego, CA, 64505 2016-22617 Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, OK, 64503-64505 2016-22618 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: West Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, 64444-64445 2016-22575 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation PROPOSED RULES Missing Participants, 64700-64726 2016-22278 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 2016-22516 64518-64519 2016-22615 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Editorial Note:

Proclamation number 9494 will not be used because a proclamation numbered 9494 appeared on the Public Inspection List on Friday September 16, 2016, but was withdrawn by the issuing agency before publication in the Federal Register.

Special Observances: National POW/MIA Recognition Day (Proc. 9495), 64755-64758 2016-22828
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Narcotics and Drugs: Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries (Presidential Determination No. 2016-10 of September 12, 2016), 64747-64753 2016-22823
Securities Securities and Exchange Commission PROPOSED RULES List of Rules to be Reviewed Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 64364-64368 2016-22563 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 64519-64520, 64559-64560, 64574 2016-22541 2016-22543 2016-22625 Applications: Global X Funds, et al., 64534-64535 2016-22542 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies, 64519 2016-22562 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc., 64560-64563 2016-22624 C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 64520-64521 2016-22540 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 64521-64534 2016-22538 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 64564-64566 2016-22535 ICE Clear Credit LLC, 64574 2016-22623 NASDAQ BX, Inc., 64566-64573 2016-22537 NASDAQ PHLX, LLC, 64552-64559 2016-22534 NYSE Arca, Inc., 64552 2016-22539 Options Clearing Corp., 64536-64544 2016-22533 The Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC, 64544-64551 2016-22536 Suspension of Trading Orders: All Energy Corp., and As Seen On TV, Inc., 64563 2016-22731 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment National Advisory Council, 64472 2016-22551 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

NOTICES Multiemployer Pension Plan Application To Reduce Benefits, 64577 2016-22728
U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, 64474-64475 2016-22519 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, 64473-64474 2016-22532 Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application to Pay Off or Discharge an Alien Crewman, 64472-64473 2016-22514 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Energy Department, 64580-64654 2016-21310 Part III Commerce Department, Industry and Security Bureau, 64656-64692 2016-21544 Part IV Commerce Department, Industry and Security Bureau, 64694-64698 2016-21543 Part V Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 64700-64726 2016-22278 Part VI Education Department, 64728-64745 2016-22407 Part VII Presidential Documents, 64747-64753 2016-22823 Part VIII Presidential Documents, 64755-64758 2016-22828 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.

81 182 Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0733] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; International Jet Sports Boating Association; Lake Havasu City, AZ AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Temporary final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the enforcement date of the special local regulation for the annual International Jet Sports Boating Association event held on the navigable waters of the Colorado River near Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The change of enforcement date for the special local regulation is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during the event. This action will restrict vessel traffic in the waters of the Colorado River near Lake Havasu, Arizona, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from October 1, 2016, to October 9, 2016. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

DATES:

This rule is effective from October 1, 2016, through October 9, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2016-0733 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 Randolph Pahilanga, Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego, Coast Guard; telephone 619-278-7656, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking TFR Temporary Final Rule BNM Broadcast Notice to Mariners LNM Local Notice to Mariners COTP Captain of the Port II. Regulatory Information

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 finds good cause 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 as there is not enough time to complete notice and comment rulemaking before the event is scheduled to take place. For this reason, publishing an NPRM would be impracticable.

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. This rule is necessary for the safety of life during the high-speed boat race on these navigable waters. For the reasons above, it would be impracticable to delay this rule to provide a full 30 days notice.

III. Background, Purpose and Legal Basis

The International Jet Sports Boating Association race is an annual recurring event listed in Table 1, Item 10 of 33 CFR 100.1102, Annual Marine Events on the Colorado River for the San Diego COTP Zone. Special local regulations exist for the marine event to allow for special use of the Colorado River waterway for ten days. 33 U.S.C. 1233, authorizes the Coast Guard to establish and define special local regulations to promote the safety of life on navigable waters during regattas or marine parades. The enforcement date and regulated location for this marine event are listed in Table 1, Item 10 of Section 100.1102. While the date listed in the Table indicates that the marine event will occur on the second Saturday to the third Sunday in October, the dates for the event this year are Saturday, October 1, 2016 through Sunday, October 9, 2016. Therefore, a temporary rule change is needed to reflect the actual date of the event.

IV. Discussion of Proposed Rule

In this temporary final rule, the regulations in 33 CFR 100.1102 will be temporarily suspended for Table 1, Item 10 of that Section and a temporary regulation will be inserted as Table 1, Item 20 of that Section in order to reflect that the special local regulation will be effective and enforced from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from October 1, 2016 to October 9, 2016. This change is needed to accommodate the sponsor's event plan and to ensure that adequate regulations are in place to protect the safety vessels and individuals that may be present in the regulated area. No other portion of Table 1 of Section 100.1102 or other provisions in Section 100.1102 shall be affected by this regulation.

The special local regulations are necessary to provide for the safety of the crew, spectators, participants, and other vessels and users of the Colorado River waterway. Persons and vessels will be prohibited from anchoring, blocking, loitering, or impeding within this regulated waterway unless authorized by the COTP, or his designated representative, during the proposed times. Before the effective period, the Coast Guard will publish information on the event in the weekly LNM. The proposed regulatory text appears at the end of this document.

V. Regulatory Analysis

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, the rule 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 special local regulation. Vessel traffic will be able to safely transit around this area which would impact a small designated area of the Colorado River. Moreover, the Coast Guard would publish a Local Notice to Mariners about the zone, and the rule will allow vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

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 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. This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in the impacted portion of the Colorado River, Lake Havasu, Arizona, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from October 1, 2016 to October 9, 2016.

This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: Vessel traffic will be allowed to pass through the zone with permission of the COTP, or his designated representative and the special local regulation is limited in size and duration. The Coast Guard will issue maritime advisories widely available to all waterway users. Before the effective period, the Coast Guard will publish event information on the Internet in the weekly LNM marine information report. If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

This 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 E.O. 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 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 would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this 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 establishment of marine event special local regulations on the navigable waters of the Colorado River. It is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

G. Protest Activities

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

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

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

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

33 U.S.C. 1233.

2. In § 100.1102, in Table 1 to § 100.1102, suspend item “10” and add temporary item “20” to read as follows:
§ 100.1102 Annual Marine Events on the Colorado River, between Davis Dam (Bullhead City, Arizona) and Headgate Dam (Parker, Arizona). Table 1 to § 100.1102 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 20. IJSBA World Finals Sponsor International Jet Sporting Association (IJSBA). Event Description Personal Watercraft Race. Date October 1, 2016 through October 9, 2016. Location Lake Havasu City, AZ. Regulated Area The navigable waters of Lake Havasu, AZ in the area known as Crazy Horse Campgrounds.
Dated: September 6, 2016. E.M. Cooper, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting, Captain of the Port San Diego.
[FR Doc. 2016-22611 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0877] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Willamette River, Portland, OR 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 three Multnomah County, Oregon bridges: the Broadway Bridge; the Burnside Bridge; and the Hawthorne Bridge; all crossing the Willamette River at Portland, OR. The deviation is necessary to accommodate the Portland Marathon foot race event. This deviation allows the bridges to remain in the closed-to-navigation position to allow for the safe movement of event participants.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 9, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0877] 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. Steven Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District; telephone 206-220-7282, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Multnomah County, Oregon has requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule for the Broadway Bridge, mile 11.7; Burnside Bridge, mile 12.4; and Hawthorne Bridge, mile 13.1; all crossing the Willamette River at Portland, OR. The deviation is necessary to accommodate Portland Marathon participants' safe movement over the bridges. To facilitate this event, the draws of theses bridges will be maintained as follows: The Broadway Bridge provides a vertical clearance of 90 feet in the closed-to-navigation position; the Burnside Bridge provides a vertical clearance of 64 feet in the closed-to-navigation position; and the Hawthorne Bridge provides a vertical clearance of 49 feet in the closed-to-navigation position; all clearances are referenced to the vertical clearance above Columbia River Datum 0.0. The normal operating schedule for all three bridges is in 33 CFR 117.897.

The deviation period is from 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. on October 9, 2016. Waterway usage on the Willamette River ranges from commercial tug and barge to small pleasure craft. Vessels able to pass through the Broadway Bridge, the Burnside Bridge, and the Hawthorne Bridge in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at anytime. These bridges will be able to open for emergency vessels in route to a call. The Willamette River has no immediate alternate route 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 so that vessels 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 designated time period. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Dated: September 9, 2016. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-22548 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0407; FRL-9952-55-Region 7] Partial Approval and Partial Disapproval of Implementation Plans; State of Iowa; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to partially approve and partially disapprove elements of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission from the State of Iowa addressing the applicable requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110 for the 2008 ozone 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 21, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0407. 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,” and “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 taking final action to partially approve and partially disapprove the infrastructure SIP submission received from the State of Iowa on January 17, 2013. EPA is approving the following elements of section 110(a)(2): (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prong 3 only, (E) through (H), and (J) through (M).

EPA is disapproving element 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4. EPA did not act on sections 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2, and 110(a)(2)(I).

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 Friday July 29, 2016, in the Federal Register. 81 FR 49911. The comment period ended August 29, 2016. There were no comments on the proposal.

II. What action is EPA taking?

The EPA is taking final action to partially approve and partially disapprove the January 17, 2013 submission from the State of Iowa which addresses the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

Based on review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in those submissions or referenced in Iowa's SIP, EPA believes that Iowa's SIP meets the elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) with respect to the 2008 ozone NAAQS. EPA is taking final action to partially approve and partially disapprove the infrastructure SIP submission received from the State of Iowa on January 17, 2013. EPA is approving the following elements of section 110(a)(2): (A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prong 3 only, (E) through (H), and (J) through (M). EPA is disapproving element 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4. The EPA is not required to take further action with respect to prong 4 because the CSAPR Federal Implementation Plan already in place achieves the necessary emission reductions. EPA did not act on sections 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2, and 110(a)(2)(I).

The EPA's analysis of these submissions 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 (Public Law 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 21, 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, Ozone, Prevention of significant deterioration, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: September 8, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.

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

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart Q—Iowa 2. In section 52.820(e), the table is amended by adding entry (43) in numerical order to read as follows:
§ 52.820 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved Iowa Nonregulatory SIP Provisions Name of
  • non-regulatory
  • SIP revision
  • Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State submittal date EPA Approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (43) Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements 2008 Ozone NAAQS Statewide 1/17/13 9/20/16 and [Insert Federal Register citation] This action approves the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—prong 3 only, (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4 is disapproved. 110(a)(2)(I) is not applicable. [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0407; FRL-9952-55-Region 7]. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-22503 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0501; FRL-9952-44-Region 7] Approval of Iowa's Air Quality Implementation Plans; Correction AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inadvertently approved and codified incorrect entries for final rule actions published in the Federal Register. This technical amendment corrects the entries.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on September 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jan Simpson at (913) 551-7089, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    EPA inadvertently approved and codified incorrect entries in paragraph (c) to 40 CFR 52.820 for three separate final rule actions published in the Federal Register. The first published on June 11, 2015, the second published on August 14, 2015, and the third published on June 17, 2016.

    The June 11, 2015 (80 FR 33192), Federal Register direct final action approving revisions to chapter 22 rule 567-22.3 “Issuing Permits” omitted the following sentence in the explanation column on page 33194 “Subrule 22.3(6) has not been approved as part of the SIP. Subrule 22.3(6), Limits on Hazardous Air Pollutants, has been approved under Title V and section 112(l). The remainder of the rule has not been approved pursuant to Title V and section 112(l)”. Therefore we are correcting page 33194 of the June 11, 2015, Federal Register direct final rule to add the missing language to the explanation column in table section 52.820 (c). The August 14, 2015 (80 FR 48718), Federal Register final rule codification of this same rule, chapter 22 rule 567-22.3 “Issuing Permits”, state effective date and the citation information in the EPA approval date column is incorrect. Therefore, we are correcting page 48720 of the August 14, 2015, Federal Register final rule to reflect the most current Federally-approved information by changing the state effective date and the EPA approval date column information.

    The June 17, 2016 (81 FR 39585), Federal Register direct final action approving revisions to chapter 20 rule 567.20.2 “Definitions” state effective date of May 7, 2008, on page 39587 is correct, however the state effective date April 22, 2015, published on June 11, 2015 (80 FR 33192) is the most current chronological effective date of this rule. By using the most current chronological effective date, we provide the reader a clear understanding of the Federally-approved state effective date of this rule. Therefore, we are correcting page 39587 of the June 17, 2016, Federal Register direct final action to reflect the information of the most chronological effective and EPA approval dates.

    Dated: September 6, 2016. Mark Hague, Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    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 Q—Iowa 2. Amend § 52.820(c) by revising the entries for 567-20.2 and 567-22.3 to read as follows:

    (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—Rule of Practice *         *         *         *         *         *         * 567-20.2 Definitions 4/22/15 6/17/16; 81 FR 39585 The definitions for “anaerobic lagoon,” “odor,” “odorous substance,” “odorous substance source” are not SIP approved. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 22—Controlling Pollution 567-22.3 Issuing Permits 4/22/15 6/11/15; 80 FR 33192 Subrule 22.3(6) has not been approved as part of the SIP. Subrule 22.3(6), Limits on Hazardous Air Pollutants, has been approved under Title V and section 112(l). The remainder of the rule has not been approved pursuant to Title V and section 112(l). *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-22398 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0807; FRL-9951-19-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Department of Pesticide Regulations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve revisions to the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (CDPR) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from pesticides. The overall purpose of the new and revised regulations is to restrict the use of certain nonfumigant pesticide products applied to certain crops in the San Joaquin Valley ozone nonattainment area when VOC emissions meet or exceed 95% of the 18.1 tons per day limit on VOC emissions, or 17.2 tons per day. The rules establish limits on the sale and use of high-VOC formulations of nonfumigant pesticide products that contain any of four specified primary active ingredients for use on seven specified crops grown in the San Joaquin Valley. We are approving these rules that regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

    DATES:

    These rules will be effective on October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0807. 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 through http://www.regulations.gov, or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nancy Levin, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3848, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Table of Contents I. Proposed Action II. Public Comments and EPA Responses III. EPA Action IV. Incorporation by Reference V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Proposed Action

    On February 8, 2016 (81 FR 6481), the EPA proposed to approve the following rules into the California SIP.

    Local agency Rule # Rule title Adopted/
  • amended/
  • revised
  • Submitted
    CDPR 3 CCR 6452 Reduced VOC Emissions Field Fumigation Methods 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6452.2 VOC Emission Limits 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6558 Recommendations for Use of Nonfumigants in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) Ozone Nonattainment Area (NAA) 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6577 Sales of Nonfumigants for Use in the SJV Ozone NAA 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6864 Criteria for Identifying Pesticides as Toxic Air Contaminants 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6880 Criteria to Designate Low-VOC or High-VOC Nonfumigant Pesticide Products 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6881 Annual VOC Emissions Inventory Report 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6883 Recommendation Requirements in the SJV Ozone NAA 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6884 SJV Ozone NAA Use Prohibitions 05/23/13 02/04/15 CDPR 3 CCR 6886 Dealer Responsibilities for the SJV Ozone NAA 05/23/13 02/04/15

    The overall purpose of the new and revised regulations is to restrict the use of certain nonfumigant pesticide products applied to certain crops in the San Joaquin Valley ozone nonattainment area when VOC emissions meet or exceed 95% of the 18.1 tons per day limit on VOC emissions, or 17.2 tons per day. CDPR added or revised the rules specified above largely to establish limits on the sale and use of high-VOC formulations of nonfumigant pesticide products that contain abamectin, chlorpyrifos, gibberellins, or oxyfluorfen as their primary active ingredient, for use on any of the following seven crops: Alfalfa, almond, citrus, cotton, grape, pistachio, and walnut. We proposed to approve these rules because we determined that they complied with the relevant CAA requirements. Our proposed action contains more information on the rules and our evaluation.

    II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    The EPA's proposed action provided a 30-day public comment period. During this period, we received one comment.1 The commenter supported EPA approval of these rules because they are in line with California's efforts to reduce smog and improve the health of the environment, which improves the quality of life of its residents.

    1 See http://www.regulations.gov; Docket ID “EPA-R09-OAR-2015-0807-0076.”

    III. EPA Action

    No adverse comments were submitted. Therefore, as authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA is fully approving these rules into the California SIP.

    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 the California rules described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State Implementation Plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation.2 The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region IX Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    2 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the 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. The EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 21, 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, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: August 9, 2016. Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    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 F—California 2. Section 52.220a in paragraph (c), table 1, is amended by: a. Revising the entries for “6452” and “6452.2”; b. Removing the entry for “6452.4”; c. Adding a table entry titled “Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 3 (Pest Control Operations), Subchapter 1 (Licensing), Article 5 (Agricultural Pest Control Adviser Licenses)” after the entry for “6452.3”; and under it, adding an entry for “6558”; d. Adding a table entry titled “Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 3 (Pest Control Operations), Subchapter 1 (Licensing), Article 6 (Pest Control Dealer Licenses)” after the new entry “6558”; and under it, adding an entry for “6577”; e. Adding a table entry titled “Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 4 (Environmental Protection), Subchapter 2 (Air), Article 1 (Toxic Air Contaminants)” after the entry “6626”; and under it, adding an entry for “6864”; and f. Adding a table entry titled “Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 4 (Environmental Protection), Subchapter 2 (Air), Article 2 (Volatile Organic Compounds)” after the new entry “6864”; and under it, adding entries for “6880”, “6881”, “6883”, “6884”, and “6886”.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 52.220a Identification of plan—partial.

    (c) * * *

    Table 1—EPA-Approved Statutes and State Regulations 1 State citation Title/Subject State effective date EPA Approval date Additional explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 2 (Pesticides), Subchapter 4 (Restricted Materials), Article 4 (Field Fumigant Use Requirements) *         *         *         *         *         *         * 6452 Reduced Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Field Fumigation Methods November 1, 2013 81 FR 6481, February 8, 2016 Amends previous version of rule approved at 77 FR 65294 (October 26, 2012). Amended rule adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 6452.2 Volatile Organic Compound Emission Limits November 1, 2013 81 FR 6481, February 8, 2016 Amends previous version of rule approved at 77 FR 65294 (October 26, 2012). Amended rule adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 3 (Pest Control Operations), Subchapter 1 (Licensing), Article 5 (Agricultural Pest Control Adviser Licenses) 6558 Recommendations for Use of Nonfumigants in the San Joaquin Valley Ozone Nonattainment Area November 1, 2013 81 FR 6481, February 8, 2016 Adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 3 (Pest Control Operations), Subchapter 1 (Licensing), Article 6 (Pest Control Dealer Licenses) 6577 Sales of Nonfumigants for Use in the San Joaquin Valley Ozone Nonattainment Area November 1, 2013 81 FR 6481, February 8, 2016 Adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 4 (Environmental Protection), Subchapter 2 (Air), Article 1 (Toxic Air Contaminants) 6864 Criteria for Identifying Pesticides as Toxic Air Contaminants November 1, 2013 81 FR 6481, February 8, 2016 Adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. Title 3 (Food and Agriculture), Division 6 (Pesticides and Pest Control Operations), Chapter 4 (Environmental Protection), Subchapter 2 (Air), Article 2 (Volatile Organic Compounds) 6880 Criteria to Designate Low-Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) or High-VOC Nonfumigant Pesticide Products November 1, 2013 September 20, 2016, [insert Federal Register citation] Adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. 6881 Annual Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Inventory Report November 1, 2013 September 20, 2016, [insert Federal Register citation] Amends and renumbers previous version of rule approved at 77 FR 65294 (October 26, 2012) as 3 CCR § 6452.4. Amended and renumbered rule adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. 6883 Recommendation Requirements in the San Joaquin Valley Ozone Nonattainment Area November 1, 2013 September 20, 2016, [insert Federal Register citation] Adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. 6884 San Joaquin Valley Ozone Nonattainment Area Use Prohibitions November 1, 2013 September 20, 2016, [insert Federal Register citation] Adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. 6886 Dealer Responsibilities for the San Joaquin Valley Ozone Nonattainment Area November 1, 2013 September 20, 2016, [insert Federal Register citation] Adopted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation on May 23, 2013. Submitted on February 4, 2015. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 Table 1 lists EPA-approved California statutes and regulations incorporated by reference in the applicable SIP. Table 2 of paragraph (c) lists approved California test procedures, test methods and specifications that are cited in certain regulations listed in table 1. Approved California statutes that are nonregulatory or quasi-regulatory are listed in paragraph (e).
    [FR Doc. 2016-22499 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0011; FRL-9952-50-Region 4] Air Plan Approval; Tennessee; Revision and Removal of Stage I and II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of Tennessee through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), for parallel processing on February 8, 2016, and in final form on July 15, 2016. This SIP revision seeks to lower applicability thresholds for certain sources subject to Federal Stage I requirements, remove the Stage II vapor control requirements, and add requirements for decommissioning gasoline dispensing facilities, as well as requirements for new and upgraded gasoline dispensing facilities in the Nashville, Tennessee Area. EPA has determined that Tennessee's July 15, 2016, SIP revision is approvable because it is consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0011. 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., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Sheckler, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Sheckler's phone number is (404) 562-9222. She can also be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On July 15, 2016, Tennessee submitted a SIP revision to EPA seeking modifications of the Stage II and Stage I requirements in the State. First, in relation to Stage II, TDEC seeks the removal of the Stage II vapor recovery requirements from TAPCR 1200-3-18-.24 through the addition of requirements for decommissioning, and the phase out of the Stage II vapor recovery systems over a 3-year period from January 1, 2016, to January 1, 2019, in Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson Counties. Second, TDEC seeks to amend the Stage I requirements for gasoline dispensing facilities by adopting by reference the federal requirements of 40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC and removing most of the State-specific language for Stage I vapor recovery. EPA published a proposed rulemaking through parallel processing on June 1, 2016 (81 FR 34940), to approve TDEC's February 8, 2016, draft SIP revision. The details of Tennessee's submittal and the rationale for EPA's action are explained in the proposed rule. The comment period for this proposed rulemaking closed on July 1, 2016. EPA did not receive any comments, adverse or otherwise, related to this rulemaking during the public comment period.1 EPA noted in its June 1, 2016, proposed rulemaking that the Agency would take final action based on that proposed rulemaking only if no substantive changes were made to Tennessee's submission when it was provided to EPA in final form. On July 15, 2016, Tennessee provided its final SIP revision for the aforementioned changes and no substantive changes had been made between the submission for which EPA proposed approval and the submission that TDEC provided in final form on July 15, 2016.

    1 EPA received a comment unrelated to the subject of this rulemaking. See the docket for today's rulemaking for this comment in its entirety.

    II. 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 TDEC Regulation TAPCR 1200-3-18-.24, entitled “Gasoline Dispensing Facilities,” effective July 14, 2016. 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 The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information).

    2See 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    III. Final Action

    EPA is taking final action to approve Tennessee's July 15, 2016, SIP revision that changes Tennessee Gasoline Dispensing Facilities, Stage I and II Vapor Recovery, TAPCR rule 1200-03-18-.24. to: (1) Allow for the removal of the Stage II requirement and the orderly decommissioning of Stage II equipment; and (2) incorporate by reference Federal rule 40 CFR part 63, subpart CCCCCC, and remove certain non-state-specific requirements for the Stage I. EPA has determined that Tennessee's July 15, 2016, SIP revision related to the State's Stage I and II rules is consistent with the CAA and EPA's regulations and guidance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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 21, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 7, 2016. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

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

    Subpart (RR)—Tennessee 2. Section 52.2220(c), is amended under CHAPTER 1200-3-18 VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS by revising the entry for “Section 1200-3-18-.24” to read as follows:
    § 52.2220 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Tennessee Regulations State citation Title/subject State effective date EPA approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * CHAPTER 1200-3-18 VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 1200-3-18-.24 Gasoline Dispensing Facilities 7/14/16 9/20/16 [Insert citation of publication] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2016-22368 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary of the Interior 43 CFR Part 10 [NPS-WASO-NAGPRA-20860; PPWOCRADN0-PCU00RP14.R50000] RIN 1024-AE28 Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustments AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Secretary of the Interior published a document in the Federal Register on June 28, 2016, adjusting the level of civil monetary penalties contained in U.S. Department of the Interior regulations implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act with an initial “catch-up” adjustment under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 and Office of Management and Budget guidance. This document corrects the final regulations by fixing a mistake in the amount of one of the adjusted civil penalties.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective on September 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jay Calhoun, Regulations Program Specialist, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is the second correction to the interim final rule published on June 28, 2016 (81 FR 41858). The first set of corrections was published on August 8, 2016 (81 FR 52352). These corrections were administrative and procedural relating to process for submitting comments. This second correction fixes a mistake in the amount of the civil penalty for continued failure to comply with requirements of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The rule stated the adjusted penalty was $1,268. The correct amount of the adjusted penalty is $1,286.

    List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 10

    Administrative practice and procedure, Hawaiian Natives, Historic preservation, Indians-claims, Indians-lands, Museums, Penalties, Public lands, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, 43 CFR part 10 is corrected by making the following correcting amendment:

    PART 10—NATIVE AMERICAN GRAVES PROTECTION AND REPATRIATION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 10 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 470dd; 25 U.S.C. 9, 3001 et seq.

    § 10.12 [Corrected]
    2. In § 10.12(g)(3), remove “$1,268” and add in its place “$1,286”. Dated: September 13, 2016. Michael Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22565 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EJ-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 RIN 0648-XE284 Pacific Island Pelagic Fisheries; 2016 U.S. Territorial Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Announcement of a valid specified fishing agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces a valid specified fishing agreement that allocates up to 1,000 metric tons of the 2016 bigeye tuna limit for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to identified U.S. longline fishing vessels. The agreement supports the long-term sustainability of fishery resources of the U.S. Pacific Islands, and fisheries development in the CNMI.

    DATES:

    September 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of a 2015 environmental assessment (EA), a 2016 supplemental EA (2016 SEA), and a finding of no significant impact, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0140, are available from www.regulations.gov, or from Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    Copies of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (Pelagic FEP) are available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel. 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or www.wpcouncil.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jarad Makaiau, NMFS PIRO Sustainable Fisheries, 808-725-5176.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In a final rule published on September 14, 2016, NMFS specified a 2016 limit of 2,000 metric tons (mt) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for the U.S. Pacific Island territories of American Samoa, Guam and the CNMI (81 FR 63145). Of the 2,000 mt limit, NMFS allows each territory to allocate up to 1,000 mt to U.S. longline fishing vessels identified in a valid specified fishing agreement.

    On September 9, 2016, NMFS received from the Council, a specified fishing agreement between the CNMI and Quota Management, Inc. (QMI). In the transmittal memorandum, the Council's Executive Director advised that the specified fishing agreement was consistent with the criteria set forth in 50 CFR 665.819(c)(1). NMFS reviewed the agreement and determined that it is consistent with the Pelagic FEP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, implementing regulations, and other applicable laws.

    In accordance with 50 CFR 300.224(d) and 50 CFR 665.819(c)(9), vessels identified in the agreement may retain and land bigeye tuna in the western and central Pacific Ocean under the CNMI limit.

    NMFS began attributing bigeye tuna caught by vessels identified in the agreement to the CNMI starting on September 9, 2016. If NMFS determines the fishery will reach the 1,000 mt attribution limit, we would restrict the retention of bigeye tuna caught by vessels identified in the agreement.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22619 Filed 9-16-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 182 Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Proposed Rules FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Part 1231 RIN 2590-AA68 Indemnification Payments AGENCY:

    Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would establish standards for identifying whether an indemnification payment by the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, any of the Federal Home Loan Banks (regulated entities), or the Federal Home Loan Bank System's Office of Finance (OF) to an entity-affiliated party in connection with an administrative proceeding or civil action instituted by FHFA is prohibited or permissible. This proposed rule would not apply to a regulated entity operating in conservatorship or receivership, or to a limited-life regulated entity. It would apply to all regulated entities, each Federal Home Loan Bank, the OF, the Federal National Mortgage Association, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association, when not in conservatorship or receivership. This proposed rule takes into account public comments received by FHFA at various stages of the regulation's rulemaking process, including after the initial proposal published in 2009.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 21, 2016. For additional information, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments on the proposed rule, identified by regulatory information number (RIN) 2590-AA68, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: www.fhfa.gov/open-for-comment-or-input.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. If you submit your comment to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please also send it by email to FHFA at [email protected] to ensure timely receipt by the agency. Please include Comments/RIN 2590-AA68 in the subject line of the message.

    Courier/Hand Delivery: The hand delivery address is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA68, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219. Deliver the package to the Seventh Street entrance Guard Desk, First Floor, on business days between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    U.S. Mail, United Parcel Service, Federal Express or Other Mail Service: The mailing address for comments is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA68, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark D. Laponsky, Deputy General Counsel, [email protected], (202) 649-3054 (this is not a toll-free number), Office of General Counsel (OGC), Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf is (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Comments

    FHFA invites comments on all aspects of this 2016 proposed rulemaking and will take all comments into consideration before issuing the final rule. Copies of all comments will be posted without change, including any personal information you provide, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number, on the FHFA Web site at http://www.fhfa.gov. In addition, copies of all comments received will be available for examination by the public on business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20219. To make an appointment to inspect comments, please call the Office of General Counsel at (202) 649-3804.

    II. Background

    FHFA published an Interim Final Rule on Golden Parachute and Indemnification Payments in the Federal Register on September 16, 2008 (73 FR 53356). Subsequently, it published corrections rescinding that portion of the regulation that addressed indemnification payments on September 19, 2008 (73 FR 54309) and on September 23, 2008 (73 FR 54673). On November 14, 2008, a proposed amendment to the Interim Final Rule was published in the Federal Register (73 FR 67424). FHFA specifically requested comments on whether it would be in the best interests of the regulated entities to permit indemnification of first and second tier civil money penalties where the administrative proceeding or civil action related to conduct occurring while the regulated entity was in conservatorship. The public notice and comment period closed on December 29, 2008. On January 29, 2009 (74 FR 5101), FHFA published a final rule on Golden Parachute Payments. On June 29, 2009 (74 FR 30975), FHFA published a proposed amendment to that 2009 Golden Parachute final rule. At the same time, FHFA re-proposed the November 14, 2008 proposed amendment on indemnification payments (2009 re-proposal). The 2009 re-proposal noted that comments received in response to the November 14, 2008 publication on indemnification payments would be considered along with comments received in response to the 2009 re-proposal. The golden parachute provisions of the rule were re-proposed in 2013 (78 FR 28452, May 14, 2013), adopted in final form in 2014 (79 FR 4394, Jan. 28, 2014), and codified as 12 CFR 1231.1, 1231.2, and 1231.5.

    In this 2016 proposed rulemaking, FHFA redrafted the proposed indemnification payments rule to make it simpler and easier to understand. The substance of this 2016 proposed rulemaking has not changed since the 2009 re-proposal, other than to replace a provision concerning indemnification payments by regulated entities in conservatorship with one that clearly states that the regulation does not apply to such entities. FHFA further desires to clarify that it does not consider indemnification payments to be subject to FHFA rules and procedures related to compensation, including 12 CFR part 1230.

    The 2009 re-proposal structured its indemnification provisions in a manner similar to the indemnification provisions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) regulation. 12 CFR part 369. This 2016 proposed rulemaking generally carries over the structure from the 2009 re-proposal, but clarifies several provisions. Consistent with the Director's statutory discretion to “prohibit or limit any . . . indemnification payment,” 1 the 2009 re-proposal defined most indemnification payments to entity-affiliated parties as impermissible. Like the FDIC's regulation, it also identified exceptions to that definition based on stated standards and criteria and defined the characteristics required for a payment to be permissible. These criteria and standards, as they are carried over into this 2016 proposed rulemaking, constitute the “factors” that would be used for the Director to “prohibit or limit” indemnification payments by this regulation. In application, each regulated entity would be required to ensure that no indemnification payments under this rule were made unless the criteria and standards were met.

    1 12 U.S.C. 4518(e)(1).

    III. Comments on the 2009 Re-Proposal

    In response to the 2009 re-proposal, FHFA received comments from the following: The 12 Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks); 2 the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks, the Banks' Office of Finance (OF); Fannie Mae; and Freddie Mac. FHFA gave careful consideration to all issues raised by the commenters.

    2 In 2015, the Seattle and Des Moines Federal Home Loan Banks merged. There are now 11 Federal Home Loan Banks.

    In response to FHFA's request for comments regarding indemnification of first and second tier civil money penalties under section 1376(b)(1) and (2) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act (the Safety and Soundness Act) (12 U.S.C. 4636(b)(1) and (2)) where the administrative proceeding or civil action initiated by FHFA relates to conduct occurring while the regulated entity was in conservatorship, several Banks requested that FHFA expand indemnification authority for first and second tier civil money penalties to all regulated entities, not just those that are in conservatorship (currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). The commenters assert that, by not extending the indemnification authority to all regulated entities, healthy, solvent institutions would be penalized by the regulation. FHFA has considered the comments and determined not to extend first and second tier civil money penalties indemnification to all regulated entities. The basis for the 2009 re-proposal's provision for regulated entities in conservatorship was that such regulated entities are operating with directors and some executives who govern and manage the entities in accordance with conservator or receiver instructions of varying levels of specificity and have significant limitations on their ability to take independent action. Given these circumstances, FHFA concluded that it was appropriate that regulated entities in conservatorship or receivership (or a limited-life regulated entity) and their entity-affiliated parties be subject to a different indemnification regime. FHFA continues to be of this view and has decided that they should be excluded from the rulemaking to avoid restricting a conservator's or receiver's options. In this 2016 proposed rulemaking, new § 1231.4(d) 3 would provide that the regulation does not apply to regulated entities in conservatorship or receivership or to limited-life regulated entities. In each circumstance, FHFA's power over such a regulated entity is sufficiently extensive that FHFA as conservator itself can directly require the adoption of an indemnification regime appropriate to administrating the conservatorship or receivership (or limited-life regulated entity) in the circumstances and environment actually encountered by that regulated entity.4

    3 This 2016 proposed rulemaking includes changes to the numbering of several sections. In this Supplementary Information, the sections affected by this 2016 proposed rulemaking are identified by numbers used in the current proposal rather than those used in the 2009 re-proposal. Where necessary, a cross-reference to the 2009 re-proposal is provided in a footnote at the first appearance of an affected section number.

    4See 12 U.S.C. 4617(b)(2)(A) (powers of FHFA as conservator or receiver), 4617(i)(2)(D), and 4617(i)(2)(E) (FHFA appoints the directors of a limited-life regulated entity and must approve its bylaws, in which an institution's indemnification policies commonly are embodied).

    The 2009 re-proposal would have permitted partial indemnification when there has been a final adjudication, settlement, or finding favorable to the entity-affiliated party on some, but not all, charges, unless the proceeding or action resulted in a final prohibition order. Several Banks requested clarification of this provision with a definition of the term “final prohibition order.” FHFA has considered the comment. The 2016 proposal clarifies that a final prohibition order is an order under section 1377 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 4636a) prohibiting an entity-affiliated party from continuing or commencing to hold any office in, or participate in any manner in the conduct of the affairs of, a regulated entity, which order has become and remains effective as described in section 1377(c)(5) of the Safety and Soundness Act (12 U.S.C. 4636a(c)(5)).

    One commenter noted that, as a practical matter, most settlements do not include affirmative findings of non-violation; instead settlements typically include broad language stating that the settlement is entered into without admission. That commenter therefore requested that FHFA revise the language of the exception to “prohibited indemnification payment” in the previously proposed § 1231.2 to state that, unless the proceeding results in a final prohibition order, indemnification is permissible in connection with a settlement in which the entity-affiliated party does not admit wrongdoing. FHFA has considered the comment. This 2016 proposed rulemaking would permit payment of expenses of defending an action, subject to the entity-affiliated party's agreeing to repay those expenses if the entity-affiliated party: Is not exonerated of the charges to which the expenses specifically relate; enters into a settlement of those charges in which the entity-affiliated party admits culpability with respect to them; or is subject to a final order prohibiting the entity-affiliated party from participating in the affairs of the regulated entity. FHFA believes that within these reasonably flexible boundaries for permissible and impermissible indemnification, the parties involved will be able to negotiate an appropriate resolution of legal expenses, which may itself bar or significantly limit indemnification. This flexibility, in FHFA's view, is preferable to strictly dictating a result in a regulation.

    Several Banks requested clarification of the scope of § 1231.4, in the 2009 re-proposal, with respect to application of its process involving specific findings by the regulated entity's board of directors after a good faith inquiry, reflected in § 1231.4(c). Specifically, the Banks sought clarity about whether the process was considered a precondition to the advancement of legal or professional expenses by a third-party insurer under insurance or bonds purchased by the regulated entity pursuant to the definition of “prohibited indemnification payments” in § 1231.4(b)(2)(i) of the 2009 re-proposal.5 Under this 2016 proposed rulemaking, FHFA would not require a board of directors' inquiry and findings as a precondition for legal and professional expense advances paid directly to the entity-affiliated party by a third-party insurer under such insurance or bonds purchased by the regulated entity.

    5 This provision was designated in the 2009 re-proposal as § 1231.2(2)(i).

    Several Banks requested confirmation that the issuance of a notice of charges in an administrative action and the filing of a complaint in a civil action would be the triggers for the indemnification provisions of § 1231.4(a), in these respective circumstances. These Banks are correct. Section 1231.4(a) is triggered by the Director issuing a notice of charges; or by the filing of a complaint in a civil action.

    In connection with partial indemnification, one commenter requested a revision to the provision on “prohibited indemnification payments” in § 1231.4(b)(2)(i) 6 to provide that legal and professional fees incurred may be reimbursed on a proportional basis using the ratio of charges as to which the entity-affiliated party is entitled to reimbursement to the total charges. FHFA has considered the requested revision and has determined not to accept it. In many cases the appropriate amount of partial indemnification will be difficult to ascertain with certainty. The value of each charge may not equal each other charge. Services provided often will relate to multiple charges or all charges and cannot conveniently be segregated. FHFA believes that the appropriate amount of any partial indemnification is best determined on a case-by-case basis rather than by applying a predetermined formula.

    6 This provision was designated in the 2009 re-proposal as § 1231.2(2)(i).

    The OF requested that the restriction on indemnification payments not apply to the OF; and further, confirmation that there is no intention by FHFA to assert that any funding provided by a Bank to the OF that might ultimately be used to indemnify an OF director or officer would be considered to be an indemnification payment by the Bank for purposes of the rule. FHFA considered the comment in connection with the Golden Parachute Final Rule (79 FR 4395) and determined that the OF is appropriately included in that final rule and for reasons of prudential supervision this 2016 proposed rulemaking also extends to the OF. In the Golden Parachute Final Rule, the definition of “entity-affiliated party,” applying to all of part 1231, reads: “(1) With respect to the Office of Finance, any director, officer, or manager of the Office of Finance.” 12 CFR 1231.2. This definition is appropriate because of those persons' participation in the conduct of the affairs of the Banks, specifically their funding activities.

    Only the OF, including its board of directors, is responsible for OF's compliance; Banks themselves are not responsible for any improper indemnification payments by OF simply because the OF draws its funding from the Banks. However, a majority of the OF's board comprises the 11 Bank presidents, who would be responsible in their capacity as OF directors for approving indemnification payments in violation of this regulation. The issue does not require additional examination in the context of this 2016 proposal.

    One commenter requested that the grandfathering provision relating to existing indemnification agreements (now reflected in § 1231.4(b)(4) of this 2016 proposed rulemaking) also be applicable to bylaw indemnification provisions that are asserted to be contractual in nature. The commenter also sought confirmation that any person who is covered by such an existing indemnification bylaw provision, which may be considered contractual, or an existing separate indemnification agreement will not be subject to any new restrictions contained in a final indemnification rule. FHFA considered the comment and determined that the grandfathering provisions are applicable only to specific indemnification agreements entered into by a regulated entity or the OF with a named entity-affiliated party on or before the day this 2016 proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register. In FHFA's view, only agreements of that type present equities that justify grandfathering. Accepting the argument that a Bank's bylaws are contractual in nature and that general indemnification provisions contained in them should be considered specific agreements and grandfathered could immunize a Bank's entire corps of managers and directors from the effect of this regulation in perpetuity.7

    7 The restriction, of course, will not apply until a final rule reflecting it is adopted. FHFA considers it important to the integrity of indemnification regulation that bylaws are not routinely converted to individualized contracts, and therefore grandfathered, before a final rule becomes effective. FHFA believes it best to set the date of this 2016 proposed rulemaking's publication as the grandfathering date for individualized indemnification agreements.

    One commenter raised the issue of the standard to be used by a board of directors in conducting an investigation and making findings with respect to an entity-affiliated party. The comment suggested that for an entity-affiliated party to be eligible for advancement of expenses to the individual, the board of directors should find that the entity-affiliated party acted in good faith and in a manner that he or she believed to be in the best interests of the regulated entity. FHFA confirms that this 2016 proposed rulemaking intends that the board of directors conclude, after a good faith inquiry based on the information reasonably available to it and before agreeing to advance expenses, that the individual acted in a way that he or she believed to be in the best interest of the regulated entity or the OF. FHFA reminds the regulated entities and the OF that in addition to the standard set forth in this 2016 proposed rulemaking, they also have a concurrent obligation to follow proper corporate governance procedures in conducting their investigations.

    A commenter asked about the selection of applicable state law for purposes of corporate governance practices and procedures, and indemnification consistent with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Corporate Governance Rule.8 After considering the comment, FHFA has determined not to address the subject in this rulemaking. FHFA published a final rule on corporate governance that addresses this issue.9 The regulated entities are reminded that an OF rule 10 authorizes the OF to select an appropriate body of governance law and to follow it with respect to practices and procedures related to indemnification, which would apply to the extent not inconsistent with this regulation.

    8 12 CFR 1710.10, relocated and consolidated with revisions at 80 FR 72327 (Nov. 19, 2015), recodified at 12 CFR 1239.3.

    9 12 CFR 1239.3, 80 FR 72327 (Nov. 19, 2015).

    10 12 CFR 1273.7(i)(2).

    FHFA considered a request by one Bank to allow indemnification by a ruling from the judge before whom the underlying case was heard, asserting that some jurisdictions recognize this as an alternative means by which a person may obtain indemnification. FHFA has determined not to accept the suggestion. FHFA believes that in actions brought by the Agency, the standards prescribed in this rule, within the framework of the Safety and Soundness Act, are the appropriate standards.

    IV. Consideration of Differences between the Banks and the Enterprises

    Section 1313(f) of the Safety and Soundness Act, as amended, requires the Director, when promulgating regulations relating to the Banks, to consider the differences between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively, the Enterprises) and the Banks with respect to: the Banks' cooperative ownership structure; mission of providing liquidity to members; affordable housing and community development mission; capital structure; joint and several liability; and any other differences the Director considers appropriate. See 12 U.S.C. 4513(f). In preparing this 2016 proposed rulemaking, the Director considered the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises as they relate to the above factors, and determined that the Banks should not be treated differently from the Enterprises for purposes of this 2016 proposed rulemaking. Any regulated entity in conservatorship (or receivership or a limited-life regulated entity), whether a Bank or an Enterprise, would be outside the scope of the proposed rule.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rulemaking does not contain any information collection requirement that requires the approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Therefore, FHFA has not submitted any information to OMB for review.

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that a regulation that has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, small businesses, or small organizations must include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing the regulation's impact on small entities. Such an analysis need not be undertaken if the agency has certified that the regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of the 2016 proposed rulemaking under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The General Counsel of FHFA certifies that this 2016 proposed rulemaking, if adopted as a final rule, is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it would apply primarily to the regulated entities and the OF, which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1231

    Indemnification payments, Government-sponsored enterprises.

    Accordingly, for reasons stated in the preamble, under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 4518(e) and 4526, FHFA proposes to amend part 1231 of subchapter B of chapter XII of title 12 of the CFR as follows:

    PART 1231—GOLDEN PARACHUTE AND INDEMNIFICATION PAYMENTS 1. The authority citation for part 1231 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 4518(e), 4518a, 4526.

    2. In § 1231.2 add the definitions of “Indemnification payment” and “Liability or legal expense” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 1231.2 Definitions.

    Indemnification payment means any payment (or any agreement to make any payment) by any regulated entity or the OF for the benefit of any current or former entity-affiliated party, to pay or reimburse such person for any liability or legal expense.

    Liability or legal expense means—

    (1) Any legal or other professional expense incurred in connection with any claim, proceeding, or action;

    (2) The amount of, and the cost incurred in connection with, any settlement of any claim, proceeding, or action; and

    (3) The amount of, and any cost incurred in connection with, any judgment or penalty imposed with respect to any claim, proceeding, or action.

    3. Add § 1231.4 to read as follows:
    § 1231.4 Indemnification payments.

    (a) Prohibited indemnification payments. Except as permitted in paragraph (b) of this section, a regulated entity or the OF may not make indemnification payments with respect to an administrative proceeding or civil action that has been initiated by FHFA.

    (b) Permissible indemnification payments. A regulated entity or the OF may pay:

    (1) Premiums for professional liability insurance or fidelity bonds for directors and officers, to the extent that the insurance or fidelity bond covers expenses and restitution, but not a judgment in favor of FHFA or a civil money penalty.

    (2) Expenses of defending an action, subject to the entity-affiliated party's agreement to repay those expenses if the entity-affiliated party either:

    (i) When the proceeding results in an order, is not exonerated of the charges that the expenses specifically relate to; or

    (ii) Enters into a settlement of those charges in which the entity-affiliated party admits culpability with respect to them; or

    (iii) Is subject to a final prohibition order under 12 U.S.C. 4636a.

    (3) Amounts due under an indemnification agreement entered into with a named entity-affiliated party on or prior to [DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER].

    (c) Process; factors. With respect to payments under paragraph (b)(2) of this section:

    (1) The board of directors of the regulated entity or the OF must conduct a due investigation and make a written determination in good faith that:

    (i) The entity-affiliated party acted in good faith and in a manner that he or she reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the regulated entity or the OF; and

    (ii) Such payments will not materially adversely affect the safety and soundness of the regulated entity or the OF.

    (2) The entity-affiliated party may not participate in the board's deliberations or decision.

    (3) If a majority of the board are respondents in the action, the remaining board members may approve payment after obtaining written opinion of outside counsel that the conditions of this regulation have been met.

    (4) If all of the board members are respondents, they may approve payment after obtaining written opinion of outside counsel that the conditions of this regulation have been met.

    (d) Scope. This section does not apply to a regulated entity operating in conservatorship or receivership or to a limited-life regulated entity.

    Dated: September 13, 2016. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22483 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6137; Notice No. 25-16-05-SC] Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 787-10 Airplane; Aeroelastic Stability Requirements, Flaps-Up Vertical Modal-Suppression System AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed special conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes special conditions for the Boeing Company (Boeing) Model 787-10 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes. This design feature is a flaps-up vertical modal-suppression system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    Send your comments on or before November 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2016-6137 using any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wael Nour, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2143; facsimile 425-227-1320.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

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

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

    Background

    On July 30, 2013, Boeing applied for an amendment to type certificate no. T00021SE to include the new Model 787-10 airplane. This airplane is a stretched-fuselage derivative of the 787-9, currently approved under type certificate no. T00021SE, with maximum single-class seating capacity of 440 passengers. The 787-10 has a maximum takeoff weight of 560,000 lbs and is powered by two General Electric GEnx-1B/P2 or Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

    Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Boeing must show that the Model 787-10 airplane meets the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in type certificate no. T00021SE or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

    In addition, the certification basis includes other regulations, special conditions, and exemptions that are not relevant to these proposed special conditions. Type certificate no. T00021SE will be updated to include a complete description of the certification basis for this airplane model.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Model 787-10 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model 787-10 airplane must comply with the fuel-vent and exhaust-emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34, and the noise-certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

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

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Model 787-10 airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features:

    A flaps-up vertical modal suppression system.

    Discussion

    The Boeing Model 787-10 will add a new flaps-up vertical modal-suppression (F0VMS) system to the Normal mode of the primary flight-control system (PFCS). The F0VMS system is needed to satisfy the flutter-damping margin requirements of § 25.629 and the means-of-compliance provisions in advisory circular (AC) 25.629-1B. This system will be used in lieu of typical methods of improving the flutter characteristics of an airplane, such as increasing the torsional stiffness of the wing or adding wingtip ballast weights.

    The F0VMS system is an active modal-suppression system that will provide additional damping to an already stable, but low-damped, 3Hz symmetric wing, nacelle, and body aeroelastic mode of the airplane. This feedback-control system will compensate for a flutter-damping margin deficiency of the airplane and maintain adequate damping margins to flutter. The F0VMS system accomplishes this by oscillating the elevators, and, when needed, the flaperons.

    Because Boeing's flutter analysis shows that the 3Hz mode is stable and does not flutter, the F0VMS system is not an active flutter-suppression system, but, rather, a damping-augmentation system. At this time, the FAA is not prepared to accept an active flutter-suppression system that suppresses a divergent flutter mode in the operational or design envelope of the airplane.

    This will be the first time an active modal-suppression system will be used to compensate for a flutter-damping margin deficiency for § 25.629 compliance, and the FAA intends to take a conservative approach in the technology's application. The FAA considers the use of this new active modal-suppression system for flutter compliance to be novel or unusual when compared to the technology envisioned in the current airworthiness standards. Consequently, special conditions are required in consideration of the effects of this new system on the aeroelastic stability of the airplane, both in the normal and failed state, to maintain the level of safety intended by § 25.629.

    The stretched body of the 787-10 degrades the 3Hz symmetric wing, nacelle, and body aeroelastic mode relative to the 787-9. The 3Hz aeroelastic mode of the 787-10 airplane without the F0VMS system does not meet the damping margin criteria of AC 25.629-1B within the operational envelope, as well as the design envelope, of the airplane. The 3Hz mode is not predicted to flutter, but has a lack of adequate flutter-damping margin for the airplane. Boeing has determined that typical methods of improving the flutter characteristics of the airplane, such as increasing the torsional stiffness of the wing or adding wingtip ballast weights, do not meet their business objectives. Consequently, Boeing is adding a new F0VMS system to the Normal mode of the Model 787-10 airplane PFCS to satisfy the flutter-damping margin requirements of § 25.629, and means-of-compliance provisions contained in AC 25.629-1B. The F0VMS system will be active in certain parts of the flight envelope when the flaps are retracted. The F0VMS system is a feedback-control system that adds damping to the system's 3Hz mode by oscillating the elevators symmetrically. When the elevators are expected to be ineffective due to blowdown or other limitations, the flaperons are applied to augment or supplant elevator-control input. However, the flaperons are not as effective as the elevators in providing additional damping to the 3Hz mode.

    The F0VMS system will be an integral part of the PFCS Normal mode and use existing hardware, including inertial and air-data sensors. As such, the F0VMS system is expected to be as reliable as the Normal mode itself. In other words, any failures that would cause a loss of the F0VMS function would also cause a loss of the Normal mode. FAA issue paper SA-17, “Command Signal Integrity,” requires that the probability of an automatic change from Normal mode to a degraded mode of the PFCS should occur with a frequency less than 10−7 per flight hour, irrespective of flight phase. This reliability is acceptable for the F0VMS system meeting the flutter-damping margins of § 25.629 and AC 25.629-1B, and the requirements of these special conditions. The F0VMS function is only available in the PFCS Normal mode, and not available in the Secondary or Direct modes. However, the PFCS Secondary and Direct modes include a simplified modal-suppression function, which provides additional damping margin.

    In addition to the Model 787-10 airplane needing the F0VMS functionality for flutter compliance, this functionality will also be used for active nacelle gust-load alleviation (NGLA), because the low damping exhibited by the 3Hz mode adversely affects nacelle gust loads. Therefore, the Boeing Model 787-9 airplane NGLA system will not need to be carried over to the Model 787-10 airplane.

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

    Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Boeing Model 787-10 airplane. Should Boeing apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model series of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority:

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

    The Proposed Special Conditions Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Boeing Model 787-10 airplanes.

    The following special conditions are proposed to address the aeroelastic stability of the 787-10 airplane with the F0VMS system as an integral part of the PFCS Normal mode:

    Analytical Flutter-Clearance Requirements

    1. The airplane in the PFCS Normal mode (which includes F0VMS) must meet the nominal (no failures) flutter and aeroelastic stability requirements of § 25.629(b)(1), and the damping-margin criteria of AC 25.629-1B, Section 7.1.3.3. Figure 1, below, illustrates the Damping versus Airspeed plot.

    a. The aeroservoelastic analysis must take into account the effect of the following items:

    i. Significant structural and aerodynamic nonlinearities.

    ii. Significant F0VMS nonlinearities, including control-surface rate and displacement saturation, and blowdown.

    iii. The range of design maneuver load factors.

    iv. Control surface freeplay.

    v. Any other items that may affect the performance of the F0VMS system in maintaining adequate modal damping margins.

    EP20SE16.024

    2. The airplane in the PFCS Normal mode, but with the F0VMS system inoperative, must exhibit a damping margin to flutter of 0.015g within the VD/MD envelope, linearly decreasing (in KEAS) to zero damping margin to flutter at 1.15 VD/1.15 MD, limited to Mach 1.0. That is, the 3Hz mode should not cross the g = 0.015 line below VD, or the g = 0.03 line below 1.15 VD, assuming the use of analysis Method 1 of AC 25.629-1B, Section 7.1.3.3. Figure 2, below, illustrates the Damping versus Airspeed plot.

    EP20SE16.025

    3. The airplane in the PFCS Normal mode (which includes F0VMS) must meet the fail-safe flutter and aeroelastic stability requirements of § 25.629(b)(2), and the damping-margin criteria of AC 25.629-1B, Section 7.1.3.5.

    4. The airplane in the PFCS Secondary and Direct modes must meet the fail-safe flutter and aeroelastic-stability requirements of § 25.629(b)(2), and the damping-margin criteria of AC 25.629-1B, Section 7.1.3.5.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 9, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Assistant Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22547 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Chapter II [Release Nos. 33-10209, 34-78845, 39-2511, IA-4530, IC-32263; File No. S7-21-16] List of Rules To Be Reviewed Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission.

    ACTION:

    Publication of list of rules scheduled for review.

    SUMMARY:

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is publishing a list of rules to be reviewed pursuant to Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The list is published to provide the public with notice that these rules are scheduled for review by the agency and to invite public comment on whether the rules should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of such small entities.

    DATES:

    Comments should be submitted by October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/other.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number [S7-21-16] on the subject line; or

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

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments to Brent Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File No. S7-21-16. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help us process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/other.shtml). Comments also are available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. All comments received will be posted without change; we do not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anne Sullivan, Office of the General Counsel, 202-551-5019.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”), codified at 5 U.S.C. 600-611, requires an agency to review its rules that have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities within ten years of the publication of such rules as final rules. 5 U.S.C. 610(a). The purpose of the review is “to determine whether such rules should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded . . . to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of such small entities.” 5 U.S.C. 610(a). The RFA sets forth specific considerations that must be addressed in the review of each rule:

    • The continued need for the rule;

    • the nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule from the public;

    • the complexity of the rule;

    • the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other federal rules, and, to the extent feasible, with state and local governmental rules; and

    • the length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule. 5 U.S.C. 610(c).

    The Securities and Exchange Commission, as a matter of policy, reviews all final rules that it published for notice and comment to assess not only their continued compliance with the RFA, but also to assess generally their continued utility. When the Commission implemented the Act in 1980, it stated that it “intend[ed] to conduct a broader review [than that required by the RFA], with a view to identifying those rules in need of modification or even rescission.” Securities Act Release No. 6302 (Mar. 20, 1981), 46 FR 19251 (Mar. 30, 1981). The list below is therefore broader than that required by the RFA, and may include rules that do not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Where the Commission has previously made a determination of a rule's impact on small businesses, the determination is noted on the list.

    The Commission particularly solicits public comment on whether the rules listed below affect small businesses in new or different ways than when they were first adopted. The rules and forms listed below are scheduled for review by staff of the Commission during the next 12 months. The list includes 11 rules adopted by the Commission in 2005.

    Title: XBRL Voluntary Financial Reporting Program on the EDGAR System.

    Citation: 17 CFR 229.601; 17 CFR 232.401; 17 CFR 232.402; 17 CFR 232.11; 17 CFR 232.305; 17 CFR 240.13a-14; 17 CFR 240.15d-14; 17 CFR 249.220f; 17 CFR 249.306; 17 CFR 270.8b-1; 17 CFR 270.8b-2; 17 CFR 270.8b-33; and 17 CFR 270.30a-2.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 77c, 77d, 77e, 77f, 77g, 77h, 77j, 77k, 77s, 77s(a), 77z-2, 77z-3, 77aa(25), 77aa(26), 77ddd, 77eee, 77ggg, 77hhh, 77iii, 77jjj, 77nnn, 77sss, 77sss(a), 77ttt, 78c, 78c(b), 78d, 78e, 78f, 78g, 78i, 78j, 78j-1, 78k, 78k-1, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78o, 78o(d), 78p, 78q, 78s, 78u-5, 78w, 78w(a), 78x, 78ll, 78ll(d), 78mm, 79e, 79j, 79n, 79q, 79t, 79t(a), 80a-1, 80a-8, 80a-9, 80a-20, 80a-23, 80a-29, 80a-30, 80a-31(c), 80a-34, 80a-37, 80a-38(a), 80a-39, 80b-3, 80b-4, 80b-11, and 7201 et seq.; and 18 U.S.C. 1350.

    Description: The amendments enable registrants to submit voluntarily supplemental tagged financial information using the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format as exhibits to specified EDGAR filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and the Investment Company Act of 1940. Registrants choosing to participate in the voluntary program also will continue to file their financial information in HTML or ASCII format, as currently required. To participate in the program, volunteers are required to submit their XBRL formatted information in accordance with the amendments. The voluntary program is intended to help the Commission evaluate the usefulness of data tagging and XBRL to registrants, investors, the Commission and the marketplace.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 601: A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the Commission's adoption of Release No. 33-8529 (Feb. 3, 2005). The Commission considered comments received on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in the proposing release, Release No. 33-8496 (Sept. 27, 2004), at that time.

    Title: Mutual Fund Redemption Fees, request for additional comment.

    Citation: 17 CFR 270.22c-2; 17 CFR 270.11a-3.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 80a-6(c), 80a-11(a), 80a-22(c) and 80a-37(a).

    Description: The Commission adopted a new rule that allows registered open-end investment companies (“funds”) to impose a redemption fee, not to exceed two percent of the amount redeemed, to be retained by the fund. The redemption fee is intended to allow funds to recoup some of the direct and indirect costs incurred as a result of short-term trading strategies, such as market timing. The new rule also requires most funds to enter into written agreements with intermediaries (such as broker-dealers and retirement plan administrators) that hold shares on behalf of other investors, under which the intermediaries must agree to provide funds with certain shareholder identity and transaction information at the request of the fund and carry out certain instructions from the fund.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 610: A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the Commission's adoption of Release No. IC-26782 (Mar. 11, 2005). The Commission considered comments received on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in the proposing release, Release No. IC-26375A (Mar. 5, 2004), at that time.

    Title: First-Time Application of International Financial Reporting Standards.

    Citation: 17 CFR 249.220f.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq., and 7201 et seq.; and 18 U.S.C. 1350.

    Description: The Commission adopted amendments to Form 20-F to provide a one-time accommodation relating to financial statements prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) for foreign private issuers registered with the SEC. This accommodation applies to foreign private issuers that adopt IFRS prior to or for the first financial year starting on or after January 1, 2007. The accommodation permits eligible foreign private issuers for their first year of reporting under IFRS to file two years rather than three years of statements of income, changes in shareholders' equity and cash flows prepared in accordance with IFRS, with appropriate related disclosure. In addition, the Commission amended Form 20-F to require certain disclosures of all foreign private issuers that change their basis of accounting to IFRS.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 601: Pursuant to Section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Commission certified that amending Exchange Act Form 20-F would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The certification was incorporated in the proposing release, Release No. 33-8397 (Mar. 11, 2004). As stated in the adopting release, Release No. 33-8567 (Apr. 12, 2005), the Commission received no comments concerning the impact on small entities or the Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification.

    Title: Regulation NMS: Final Rules and Amendments to Joint Industry Plans.

    Citation: 17 CFR 200.30-3, 17 CFR 200.800, 17 CFR 201.101, 17 CFR 230.144, 17 CFR 240.0-10, 17 CFR 240.3a51-1, 17 CFR 240.3b-16, 17 CFR 240.10a-1, 17 CFR 240.10b-10, 17 CFR 10b-18, 17 CFR 240.11Aa2-1-Ac1-6, 17 CFR 240.12a-7, 17 CFR 240.12f-1, 17 CFR 240.12f-2, 17 CFR 240.15b9-1, 17 CFR 240.15c2-11, 17 CFR 240.19c-3, 17 CFR 240.19c-4, 17 CFR 240.31, 17 CFR 242.100, 17 CFR 242.300, 17 CFR 242.301, 17 CFR 242.600-612, 17 CFR 249.1001, 17 CFR 270.17a-7.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 78b, 78c(b), 78e, 78f, 78k-1, 78o, 78o-3, 78q(a) and (b), 78s; 78w(a), and 78mm, and Rules 11Aa3-2(b)(2) and 11Aa3-2(c)(1) thereunder, 17 CFR 240.11Aa3-2(b)(2) and 17 CFR 240.11Aa3-2(c)(1).

    Description: The Commission adopted rules under Regulation NMS and two amendments to the joint industry plans for disseminating market information. The new rules were designed to modernize and strengthen the regulatory structure of the U.S. equity markets. The “Order Protection Rule” requires trading centers to establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent the execution of trades at prices inferior to protected quotations displayed by other trading centers, subject to an applicable exception. The “Access Rule” requires fair and non-discriminatory access to quotations, establishes a limit on access fees to harmonize the pricing of quotations across different trading centers, and requires each national securities exchange and national securities association to adopt, maintain, and enforce written rules that prohibit their members from engaging in a pattern or practice of displaying quotations that lock or cross automated quotations. The “Sub-Penny Rule” prohibits market participants from accepting, ranking, or displaying orders, quotations, or indications of interest in a pricing increment smaller than a penny, except for orders, quotations, or indications of interest that are priced at less than $1.00 per share. The Commission also adopted amendments to the “Market Data Rules” that updated the requirements for consolidating, distributing, and displaying market information, as well as amendments to the joint industry plans for disseminating market information that modified the formulas for allocating plan revenues (the “Allocation Amendment”) and broadened participation in plan governance (the “Governance Amendment”). Finally, the Commission redesignated the national market system rules previously adopted under Section 11A of the Exchange Act.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 610: With respect to the Order Protection Rule, pursuant to Section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Commission certified that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification was incorporated into the reproposing release.1 As stated in Release No. 34-51808 (June 9, 2005) (adopting release), the Commission received no comments concerning the impact on small entities or the Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification. With respect to the Access Rule (Rule 610 and the amendments to Rule 301 of Regulation ATS), pursuant to Section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Commission certified that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification was incorporated into the reproposing release. As stated in the adopting release, the Commission considered one comment it received regarding the certification in the reproposing release with respect to the Access Rule at that time. With respect to the Sub-Penny Rule, a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the adopting release. As stated in the adopting release, the Commission received no comments addressing the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis prepared in the proposing release or the substantially identical one set forth in the reproposing release. With respect to the Allocation Amendment, pursuant to Section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Commission certified that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification was incorporated into the reproposing release. As stated in the adopting release, the Commission received no comments concerning the impact on small entities or the Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification. Finally, with respect to the Governance Amendment (amending Exchange Act Rules 11Aa3-1 and 11Ac-12 by redesignating them as Rules 601 and 603), a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the Adopting Release. As stated in the adopting release, the Commission received no comments addressing the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis prepared in the proposing release or the substantially identical one set forth in the reproposing release.

    1 The Commission originally proposed Regulation NMS in February 2004, Release No. 34-49325 (Feb. 26, 2004) (proposing release). It issued a supplemental request for comment in May 2004. Release No. 34-49749 (May 20, 2004). On December 16, 2004, the Commission reproposed Regulation NMS in its entirety for public comment. Release No. 34-50870 (Dec. 16, 2004) (reproposing release).

    Title: Amendments to the Penny Stock Rules.

    Citation: 17 CFR 240.3a51-1, 240.15g-2, 240.15g-9, and 240.15g-100.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(51)(B), 78c(b), 78o(c), 78o(g), and 78w(a).

    Description: The Commission amended the definition of “penny stock” as well as the requirements for providing certain information to penny stock customers. The amendments were designed to address market changes, evolving communications technology and legislative developments.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 610: Pursuant to Section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Commission certified that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification was incorporated into the proposing release, Release No. 34-49037 (Jan. 8, 2004). As stated in the adopting release, Release No. 34-51983 (July 7, 2005), the Commission received no comments concerning the impact on small entities or the Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification.

    Title: Removal from Listing and Registration of Securities Pursuant to Section 12(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

    Citation: 17 CFR 232.101; 17 CFR 240.12d2-2; 17 CFR 240.19d-1; 17 CFR 249.25.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 77c, 77d, 77f, 77g, 77h, 77j, 77s, 77s(a), 77sss(a), 77z-2, 77z-3, 77eee, 77ggg, 77nnn, 77sss, 77ttt, 78a, 78c, 78c(b), 78d, 78e, 78f, 78g, 78i, 78j, 78j-1, 78k, 78k-1, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78o, 78o(d), 78p, 78q, 78s, 78u-5, 78w, 78w(a), 78x, 78ll, 78ll(d), 78mm, 79q, 79t, 79t(a), 80a-8, 80a-20, 80a-23, 80a-29, 80a-30, 80a-37, 80b-3, 80b-4, 80b-11, and 7201 et seq.; and 18 U.S.C. 1350.

    Description: The Commission adopted amendments to its rules and Form 25 to streamline the procedures for removing from listing, and withdrawing from registration, securities under Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act. The final rules require all issuers and national securities exchanges seeking to delist and/or deregister a security in accordance with the rules of an exchange and the Commission to file the amended Form 25 in an electronic format with the Commission on the EDGAR database. The final rules also provide that Form 25 serves as an exchange's notice to the Commission under Section 19(d) of the Exchange Act. Finally, the final rules exempt, on a permanent basis, standardized options and security futures products traded on a national securities exchange from Section 12(d) of the Exchange Act.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 601: Pursuant to Section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Commission certified that amending Rule 12d2-2 and Rule 25 would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The certification was incorporated in the proposing release, Release No. 34-49858 (June 15, 2004). As stated in the adopting release, Release No. 34-52029 (July 14, 2005), the Commission received no comments concerning the impact on small entities or the Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification.

    Title: Use of Form S-8, Form 8-K, and Form 20-F by Shell Companies.

    Citation: 17 CFR 230.405; 239.16b; 240.12b-2; 240.13a-14; 240.13a-19; 240.15d-14; 240.15d-19; 249.220f; 249.308; 249.308a; and 249.310.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 77b, 77c, 77d, 77f, 77g, 77h, 77j, 77r, 77s, 77z-2, 77z-3, 77eee, 77ggg, 77nnn, 77sss, 77ttt, 78a et seq., 78c, 78d, 78e, 78f, 78g, 78i, 78j, 78j-1, 78k, 78k-1, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78o, 78o(d), 78p, 78q, 78s, 78t, 78u-5, 78w, 78w(a), 78x, 78ll, 78ll(d), 78mm, 78q, 78s, 78u-5, 78w, 78x, 79e, 79f, 79g, 79j, 79l, 79m, 79n, 79q, 79t, 80a-8, 80a-20, 80a-23, 80a-24, 80a-26, 80a-28, 80a-29, 80a-30, 80a-37, 80b-3, 80b-4, 80b-11, 7201 et seq., and 18 U.S.C. 1350.

    Description: The Commission adopted rules and rule amendments relating to filings by reporting shell companies. The rule and rule amendments define a “shell company” as a registrant with no or nominal operations and either no or nominal assets, assets consisting solely of cash and cash equivalents, or assets consisting of any amount of cash and cash equivalents and nominal other assets. The rules and rule amendments prohibit the use of Form S-8 under the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) by shell companies. In addition, they require a shell company that is reporting an event that causes it to cease being a shell company to disclose the same type of information that it would be required to provide in registering a class of securities under the Exchange Act. These provisions are intended to protect investors by deterring fraud and abuse in our securities markets through the use of reporting shell companies.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 610: A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the adoption of Release No. 33-8587 (July 15, 2005). The Commission requested comment on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis prepared in Release No. 33-8407 (Apr. 15, 2004), but as stated in the adopting release, received no comments in response to this request.

    Title: Rulemaking for EDGAR System.

    Citation: 17 CFR 232.11; 17 CFR 232.101; 17 CFR 232.102; 17 CFR 232.201; 17 CFR 232.311; 17 CFR 232.313; 17 CFR 239.64; 17 CFR 249.444; 17 CFR 259.603; 17 CFR 269.8; 17 CFR 274.403; 17 CFR 239.65; 17 CFR 249.447; 17 CFR 259.604; 17 CFR 269.10; 17 CFR 274.404.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 77f, 77g, 77h, 77j, 77s(a), 77sss, 78c, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78o(d), 78w(a), 78ll, 79c, 79e, 79f, 79g, 79j, 79l, 79m, 79n, 79q, 79t, 80a-8, 80a- 29, 80a-30, and 80a-37.

    Description: The Commission adopted amendments requiring that certain open-end management investment companies and insurance company separate accounts identify in their Electronic Data Gathering Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) submissions information relating to their series and classes (or contracts, in the case of separate accounts). In addition, the Commission added two investment company filings to the list of those that must be filed electronically and made several minor and technical amendments to rules governing the electronic filings through EDGAR.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 610: A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the Commission's adoption of Release No. IC-26990 (July 18, 2005). The Commission solicited comment on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis prepared in the proposing release, Release No. IC-26388 (Mar. 6, 2004), but, as stated in the adopting release, received no comments on that analysis.

    Title: Securities Offering Reform.

    Citation: 17 CFR 200.30-1; 17 CFR 229.512; 17 CFR 230.134; 17 CFR 230.137; 17 CFR 230.138; 17 CFR 230.139; 17 CFR 230.153; 17 CFR 230.158; 17 CFR 230.159; 17 CFR 230.159A; 17 CFR 230.163; 17 CFR 230.163A; 17 CFR 230.164; 17 CFR 230.168; 17 CFR 230.169; 17 CFR 230.172; 17 CFR 230.173; 17 CFR 230.174; 17 CFR 230.401; 17 CFR 230.405; 17 CFR 230.408; 17 CFR 230.412; 17 CFR 230.413; 17 CFR 230.415; 17 CFR 230.418; 17 CFR 230.424; 17 CFR 230.426; 17 CFR 230.430A; 17 CFR 230.430B; 17 CFR 230.430C; 17 CFR 230.433; 17 CFR 230.439; 17 CFR 230.456; 17 CFR 230.457; 17 CFR 230.462; 17 CFR 230.473; 17 CFR 230.497; 17 CFR 230.902; 17 CFR 239.11; 17 CFR 239.13; 17 CFR 239.25; 17 CFR 239.31; 17 CFR 239.33; 17 CFR 239.34; 17 CFR 240.14a-2; 17 CFR 243.100; 17 CFR 249.210; 17 CFR 249.220f; 17 CFR 249.308a; 17 CFR 249.310; 17 CFR 239.14; and 17 CFR 274.11a-1.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 77b, 77c, 77d, 77e, 77f, 77g, 77h, 77j, 77k, 77s, 77o, 77r, 77s, 77sss, 77z-2, 77z-3, 77aa(25), 77aa(26), 77ddd, 77eee, 77ggg, 77hhh, 77iii, 77jjj, 77nnn, 77sss, 77ttt, 78a, 78c, 78c(b), 78d, 78d-1, 78d-2, 78e, 78f, 78g, 78i, 78j, 78j-1, 78k, 78k-1, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78o, 78o(d), 78p, 78q, 78s, 78t, 78u-5, 78w, 78w(a); 78x, 78ll, 78ll(d), 78mm,79e, 79f, 79g, 79j, 79l, 79m, 79n, 79q, 79t, 80a-2(a), 80a-3, 80a-8, 80a-9, 80a-10, 80a-13, 80a-20, 80a-23, 80a-24, 80a-26, 80a-28, 80a-29, 80a-30, 80a-31(c), 80a-37, 80a-38(a), 80a-39, 80b-3, 80b-4, 80b-11, 7201, 7202, and 18 U.S.C. 1350.

    Description: The Commission adopted rules to modify and advance significantly the registration, communications, and offering processes under the Securities Act. The rules eliminate unnecessary and outmoded restrictions on offerings. In addition, the rules provide more timely investment information to investors without mandating delays in the offering process that the Commission believes would be inconsistent with the needs of issuers for timely access to capital. The rules also continue the Commission's long-term efforts toward integrating disclosure and processes under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act. The rules further these goals by addressing communications related to registered securities offerings, delivery of information to investors, and procedural aspects of the offering and capital formation processes.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 601: A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the Commission's adoption of Release No. 33-8591 (July 19, 2005). The Commission considered comments received on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in the proposing release, Release No. 33-8501 (Nov. 3, 2004), at that time.

    Title: Ownership Reports and Trading by Officers, Directors and Principal Security Holders.

    Citation: 17 CFR 229.405; 17 CFR 240.16b-3; and 17 CFR 240.16b-7.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 77c, 77d, 77e, 77f, 77g, 77h, 77j, 77k, 77s, 77z-2, 77z-3, 77aa(25),77aa(26), 77ddd, 77eee, 77ggg, 77hhh, 77iii, 77jjj, 77nnn, 77sss, 77ttt, 78c, 78d, 78e, 78f, 78g, 78i, 78j, 78j-1, 78k, 78k-1, 78l, 78m,78n, 78o, 78p, 78q, 78s, 78u-5, 78w, 78x, 78ll, 78mm, 79e, 79j, 79n, 79q, 79t, 80a-8, 80a-9, 80a-20, 80a-23, 80a-29, 80a-30, 80a-31(c), 80a-37, 80a-38(a), 80a-39, 80b-3, 80b-4, 80b-11, and 7201 et seq.; and 18 U.S.C. 1350.

    Description: The Commission adopted amendments to two rules that exempt certain transactions from the private right of action to recover short-swing profit provided by Section 16(b) of the Exchange Act. The amendments were intended to clarify the exemptive scope of these rules, consistent with statements in previous Commission releases. The Commission also amended Item 405 of Regulation S-K to harmonize this item with the two-business day Form 4 due date and mandated electronic filing and Web site posting of Section 16 reports.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 601: A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the Commission's adoption of Release No. 33-8600 (Aug. 3, 2005). The Commission considered comments received on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in the proposing release, Release No. 34-49895 (June 21, 2004), at that time.

    Title: Revisions to Accelerated Filer Definition and Accelerated Deadlines for Filing Periodic Reports.

    Citation: 17 CFR 210.3-01; 17 CFR 210.3-09; 17 CFR 210.3-12; 17 CFR 229.101; 17 CFR 240.12b-2; 17 CFR 240.13a-10; 17 CFR 240.15d-10; 17 CFR 249.308a; 17 CFR 249.310; and 17 CFR 249.220f.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 77c, 77d, 77e, 77f, 77g, 77h, 77j, 77k, 77s, 77z-2, 77z-3, 77aa(25), 77aa(26), 77ddd, 77eee, 77ggg, 77hhh, 77iii, 77jjj, 77nnn, 77sss, 77ttt, 78a, 78c, 78d, 78e, 78f, 78g, 78i, 78j, 78j-1, 78k, 78k-1, 78l, 78m, 78n, 78o, 78o(d), 78q, 78s, 78u-5, 78w, 78w(a), 78x, 78ll, 78mm, 79e, 79e(b), 79j, 79j(a), 79n, 79q, 79t, 79t(a), 80a-8, 80a-9, 80a-20, 80a-23, 80a-29, 80a-30, 80a-31, 80a-31(c), 80a-37, 80a-37(a), 80a-38(a), 80a-39, 80b-3, 80b-4, 80b-11, 7201, 7202, 7262; and 18 U.S.C. 1350.

    Description: The Commission adopted amendments to the accelerated filing deadlines that apply to periodic reports so that a “large accelerated filer” (an Exchange Act reporting company with a worldwide market value of outstanding voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of $700 million or more) became subject to a 60-day Form 10-K annual report filing deadline, beginning with the annual report filed for its first fiscal year ending on or after December 15, 2006. Prior to that date, large accelerated filers were subject to a 75-day annual report deadline. Under the amendments, accelerated filers and large accelerated filers continue to be required to file their Form 10-Q quarterly reports under a 40-day deadline, rather than the 35-day deadline that was scheduled to apply under the previously existing rules. Further, the amendments revise the definition of the term “accelerated filer” to permit an accelerated filer that has voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of less than $50 million to exit accelerated filer status at the end of the fiscal year in which its equity falls below $50 million and to file its annual report for that year and subsequent periodic reports on a non-accelerated basis. Finally, the amendments permit a large accelerated filer that has voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of less than $500 million to exit large accelerated filer status at the end of the fiscal year in which its equity falls below $500 million and to file its annual report for that year and subsequent periodic reports as an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer, as appropriate.

    Prior Commission Determination Under 5 U.S.C. 601: A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was prepared in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 604 in conjunction with the Commission's adoption of Release No. 33-8644 (Dec. 21, 2005). The Commission considered comments received on the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in the proposing release, Release No. 33-8617 (Sept. 22, 2005), at that time.

    By the Commission.

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22563 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2016-0008; Notice No. 162] RIN 1513-AC32 Proposed Expansion of the Outer Coastal Plain Viticultural Area AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to expand the approximately 2.25 million-acre “Outer Coastal Plain” viticultural area in southeastern New Jersey by approximately 32,932 acres. The established Outer Coastal Plain viticultural area and the proposed expansion area do not lie within any other viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed addition to its regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this notice to one of the following addresses:

    Internet: http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for this notice as posted within Docket No. TTB-2016-0008 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

    U.S. Mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; or

    Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    See the Public Participation section of this notice for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or obtain copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013 (superseding Treasury Order 120-01, dated January 24, 2003), to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of these laws.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth the standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved American viticultural areas.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing the establishment of an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Petitioners may use the same procedures to request changes involving existing AVAs. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes standards for petitions for modifying established AVAs. Petitions to expand an established AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the region within the proposed expansion area boundary is nationally or locally known by the name of the established AVA;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed expansion area;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed expansion area affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed expansion area similar to the established AVA and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the established AVA boundary;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed expansion area, with the boundary of the proposed expansion area clearly drawn thereon; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed expansion area boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Petition To Expand the Outer Coastal Plain AVA

    TTB received a petition from John and Jan Giunco, owners of 4JG's Orchards and Vineyards in Colts Neck, New Jersey, proposing to expand the established “Outer Coastal Plain” AVA in southeastern New Jersey. The Outer Coastal Plain AVA (27 CFR 9.207) was established by T.D. TTB-58, which published in the Federal Register on February 9, 2007 (72 FR 6165). The Outer Coastal Plain AVA covers approximately 2.25 million acres in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Monmouth, Ocean, and Salem Counties, New Jersey. The Outer Coastal Plain AVA and the proposed expansion area are not located within any other AVA.

    The proposed expansion area is located in Monmouth County, adjacent to the western edge of the existing Outer Coastal Plain AVA boundary, and covers approximately 32,932 acres. One commercial vineyard covering a total of 30 acres is located within the proposed expansion area. The vineyard also has its own winery. The vineyard and the winery both existed at the time the Outer Coastal Plain AVA was established in 2007. The petitioners for the expansion of the AVA claim that when the AVA was established, the region of the proposed expansion was intended to be included in the AVA but was inadvertently omitted. The petitioners state that they only recently learned that they are not within the AVA's boundaries. The petition includes a letter from the current president of the Outer Coastal Plain Vineyard Association stating that the petitioners are vineyard owners who have been members of that Association since 2006. The letter also states that the association supports the proposed expansion.

    According to the petition, the soils, elevation, and climate of the proposed expansion area are similar to those of the established AVA. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed expansion area contained in this document come from the petition and its supporting exhibits.

    Name Evidence

    T.D. TTB-58, which established the Outer Coastal Plain AVA, states that New Jersey has five defined physiographic regions, and the physiographic region in which the established AVA is located is called the “Outer Coastal Plain.” The expansion petition includes several items that directly associate the proposed expansion area with the Outer Coastal Plain region. A Web site dedicated to the botany of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut features a listing of recreational areas titled “New Jersey Natural Areas: Outer Coastal Plain.” 1 Included on this list are parks within the proposed expansion area, including Dorbrook Recreation Area in Colts Neck and the Durand Park Memorial Arboretum in Freehold Township. An article prepared by the Monmouth County Health Department, titled “Natural and Cultural Features of Monmouth County,” states that the Mount Pleasant Hills extend “from Keyport southwest through Imlaystown to the Delaware Bay in Salem County, and [form] the drainage divide between the Inner and Outer Coastal Plain.” 2 The petitioner notes that because Imlaystown is west of the proposed expansion area, this definition of the divide between the Inner and Outer Coastal Plains places the proposed expansion area within the Outer Coastal Plain. A geological and water survey map from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection shows the location of a well within Colts Neck Township near the western limits of the Outer Coastal Plain.3 Finally, a visitors' guide for southern New Jersey, compiled by the South Jersey Tourism Corporation, includes a section on the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. The 4JG's Vineyards, which is owned by the petitioner, is included in a listing of wineries within the AVA. TTB notes that although the petitioner's vineyard is not technically within the boundaries of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA, its inclusion in the listing demonstrates that tourism organizations and visitors currently associate the proposed expansion area with the AVA.

    1http://nynjctbotany.org/njouter/njoptofc.html.

    2http://co.monmouth.nj.us/documents/121%5CNaturalFeatures.pdf.

    3http://www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/pricelst/gmseries/gms13-1.pdf.

    Boundary Evidence

    The current Outer Coastal Plain AVA spans the southeastern portion of New Jersey, from the Cape May Peninsula to just south of Raritan Bay. The Atlantic Ocean forms the eastern boundary. The southwestern boundary follows the shore of Delaware Bay. The western boundary follows a belt of low hills called cuestas, which separate the physiographic region known as the Outer Coastal Plain from the region known as the Inner Coastal Plain. A small portion of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA's current western boundary forms a rough angle bracket shape (“>”), where the land between the upper and lower arms of the “>” is not within the AVA. The townships of Colts Neck, Freehold, Holmdel, and Marlboro, as well as the unincorporated community of Crawford Corners, are located within this sharp angle in the AVA boundary.

    The proposed expansion area is located within this sharp angle in the Outer Coastal Plain AVA's boundary, with the angle forming the northern, eastern, and southern edges of the proposed expansion area. The proposed changes would eliminate the “>” in the AVA's current western boundary by moving the AVA's boundary westward to incorporate the land within the “>” into the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. The proposed boundary change would begin in Freehold, at the intersection of Colts Neck Road, West Main Street, and State Route 79, which is the beginning point of the bottom segment of the “>” in the current AVA boundary. However, instead of following Colts Neck Road eastward to form the bottom segment of the “>”, the proposed boundary would instead follow State Route 79 northeasterly, then northerly, to the unincorporated community of Wickatunk. The proposed boundary would then proceed generally east along a series of roads, reconnecting with the current AVA boundary at the Garden State Parkway near the community of Crawford Corners, which is near the tip of the top segment of the “>” in the current boundary.

    The proposed expansion area is surrounded by the current Outer Coastal Plain AVA to the north, east, and south. The Inner Coastal Plain physiographic region of New Jersey, marked by the belt of cuestas, begins west of the proposed expansion area. Elevations west of the proposed expansion area begin to increase, as shown on the elevation map included with the proposed expansion petition.

    Distinguishing Features

    According to the proposed expansion petition, the soil, elevation, and climate of the proposed expansion area are similar to those of the established Outer Coastal Plain AVA.

    Soil

    According to T.D. TTB-58, which established the Outer Coastal Plain AVA, the soils of the AVA are primarily well-drained, sandy soils derived from unconsolidated sediments. The soils are described as having low pH levels and low fertility. T.D. TTB-58 did not include the names of the most common soil types in the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. The proposed expansion petition states that soils within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA generally have lower levels of clay than soils outside the AVA.

    The expansion petition included soil survey maps from two sample sites within the proposed expansion area. The first sample area is located in the northwestern portion of the proposed expansion area near the proposed new boundary, and the second sample area is in the southeastern portion of the proposed expansion area near the current AVA's western boundary. The following table, compiled by TTB from data provided in the petition, lists the four most common soil types in each of the two sample areas and the percentage of the sample area covered by each soil type.

    Soils of the Proposed Expansion Area Soil type Percentage of sample area First Sample Area Freehold sandy loam 45.3 Collington sandy loam 11.9 Tinton loamy sand 9.5 Colts Neck sandy loam 6.9 Second Sample Area Tinton loamy sand 19.2 Collington sandy loam 16.8 Freehold sandy loam 15.9 Colts Neck sandy loam 9.3

    According to the soil survey information, these four soil types all contain large amounts of sand and/or gravel, similar to the soils within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA, as described in T.D. TTB-58. Additionally, all four of these soils are moderately well-drained to well-drained, which is also a characteristic of soils of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. Well-drained soils shed excess water quickly, reducing the risk of rot and disease in the vines.

    Topography

    T.D. TTB-58 states that the elevations within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA are less than 280 feet above sea level. West of the AVA are the cuestas, which separate the Outer Coastal Plain from the Inner Coastal Plain. Elevations west of this belt of cuestas are higher than those within the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. Elevations northwest of the AVA can reach as high as 1,680 feet.

    The petition includes a map of elevations within and surrounding the proposed expansion area. Within both the proposed expansion area and the established AVA, elevations primarily range from 6 feet to 150 feet. The map shows a small region along the western edge of the proposed expansion area that reaches elevations of 250 feet. Similar elevations are also shown in small regions along the Outer Coastal Plain AVA's current western boundary, where the transition to the cuestas begins. The map shows that the elevations within the proposed expansion area are within the range of elevations established for the Outer Coastal Plain AVA by T.D. TTB-58. The low elevations allow marine air from the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay to enter both the AVA and the proposed expansion area and moderate the temperatures.

    Climate

    According to T.D. TTB-58, the maritime influence from the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay makes the Outer Coastal Plain AVA generally warmer than the regions farther inland. As a result of warmer temperatures, the growing season within the AVA is also longer than in the surrounding regions and averages between 190 and 217 days.

    The proposed expansion petition includes a map that shows the length of the growing season within the proposed expansion area and the surrounding regions. Within the majority of the proposed expansion area, the growing season ranges from 188 to 192 days. The same map shows that the majority of the portion of the AVA adjacent to the proposed expansion area has a growing season which is also within the range of 188 to 192 days. Immediately to the west of the proposed expansion area, outside of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA where the cuestas begin, the growing season is only between 185 and 188 days. The petition states that farther to the north and west, in the higher elevations outside both the proposed expansion area and the AVA, the growing season length drops to between 163 to 179 days. Because of the longer growing season, vineyards within the AVA and the proposed expansion area can grow varietals of grapes that require a longer time to mature.

    TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to expand the boundaries of the established Outer Coastal Plain AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for expansion area in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule.

    Maps

    To document the existing and proposed boundaries of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA, the petitioner provided a copy of the required maps, which are listed below in the proposed regulatory text.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    For a wine to be labeled with a viticultural area name or with a brand name that includes an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details.

    The approval of the proposed expansion of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA would not affect any other existing viticultural area. The expansion of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA would allow vintners to use “Outer Coastal Plain” as an appellation of origin for wines made primarily from grapes grown within the proposed expansion area if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.

    Public Participation Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should expand the Outer Coastal Plain AVA as proposed. TTB is specifically interested in receiving comments on the similarity of the proposed expansion area to the established Outer Coastal Plain AVA. Please provide specific information in support of your comments.

    Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking by using one of the following three methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this notice within Docket No. TTB-2016-0008 on “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 162 on the TTB Web site at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the “Help” tab.

    U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this notice. Your comments must reference Notice No. 162 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals.

    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the “Organization” blank of the online comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's comment on letterhead.

    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

    Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2016-0008 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB Web site at https://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 162. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at http://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the site's “Help” tab.

    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting.

    You may also view copies of this notice of proposed rulemaking, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5- x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's information specialist at the above address or by telephone at 202-453-2265 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of an AVA name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

    Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Section 9.207 is amended by revising paragraph (b) introductory text, adding paragraphs (b)(8) through (10), revising paragraphs (c)(16) and (17), redesignating paragraph (c)(18) through (22) as paragraphs (c)(21) through (25), and adding new paragraphs (c)(18) through (20).

    The revisions and additions read as set forth below:

    § 9.207 Outer Coastal Plain.

    (b) Approved maps. The appropriate maps for determining the boundary of the Outer Coastal Plain viticultural area are 10 United States Geological Survey topographic maps. They are titled:

    (8) Freehold, New Jersey, 2014, 1: 24,000 scale;

    (9) Marlboro, New Jersey, 2014, 1:24,000 scale; and

    (10) Keyport, New Jersey-New York, 2014, 1:24,000 scale.

    (c) * * *

    (16) Continue northeasterly on CR 537, crossing onto the Freehold, New Jersey, map, to the intersection of CR 537 (known locally as W. Main Street) and State Route 79 (known locally as S. Main Street) in Freehold; then

    (17) Proceed northeasterly, then northerly, along State Route 79, crossing onto the Marlboro, New Jersey, map to the intersection of State Route 79 and Pleasant Valley Road in Wickatunk; then

    (18) Proceed northeasterly, then southeasterly along Pleasant Valley Road to the road's intersection with Schank Road, south of Pleasant Valley; then

    (19) Proceed easterly along Schank Road to the road's intersection with Holmdel Road; then

    (20) Proceed northerly along Holmdel Road, crossing onto the Keyport, New Jersey-New York map, to the road's intersection with the Garden State Parkway, north of Crawford Corners; then

    Dated: September 14, 2016. John J. Manfreda, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22635 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0495; FRL-9951-38-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Reasonable Further Progress Plan and Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets for the Dallas/Fort Worth 2008 Ozone Nonattainment Area AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Texas Reasonable Further Progress (RFP) State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the DFW moderate nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS or standard). The SIP revision was submitted to the EPA on July 10, 2015 and supplemented on April 22, 2016. We also are proposing to approve revisions to the 2011 base year emissions inventory for the DFW moderate nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS standard, the 2017 transportation conformity motor vehicle emissions budgets, and the required contingency measures for failure to meet RFP. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0495], at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] 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, please contact Ms. Wendy Jacques, (214) 665-7395, [email protected] 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.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Wendy Jacques, (214) 665-7395, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Wendy Jacques or Mr. Bill Deese at (214) 665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    The EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the Texas SIP, submitted to EPA on July 10, 2015 and supplemented on April 22, 2016 to meet certain requirements under section 182(b) of the CAA for the DFW Moderate nonattainment area (NAA) under the 2008 ozone standard. We are proposing to approve the DFW RFP SIP that includes the RFP plan, contingency measures for failure to meet RFP milestone requirements, and the 2017 transportation conformity motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs). We are also proposing to approve the 2011 base year emissions inventory (EI).

    On March 12, 2008, the EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour ozone standard of 0.075 parts per million (ppm) 1 and on April 30, 2012, the EPA designated and classified the DFW area (consisting of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties) 2 as a Moderate NAA under the 2008 ozone standard with an attainment date of July 20, 2018.3 Accordingly, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was required to submit revisions to the DFW SIP to meet requirements under section 182(b) of the CAA for the Moderate NAA. A brief history of the DFW area under the prior 1-hour and 1997 8-hour ozone standards, as well as additional background information, is provided in the Technical Support Document (TSD), which is in the docket for this rulemaking.

    1 See 73 FR 16436, published March 27, 2008. In this action we refer to the 2008 8-hour ozone standard as “the 2008 ozone NAAQS” or “the 2008 ozone standard.”

    2 See 77 FR 30088, published May 21, 2012. We refer to the DFW nonattainment area for the 2008 ozone standard as “the 10-county NAA.”

    3 See 80 FR 12264, published March 6, 2015.

    A. The Reasonable Further Progress (RFP) Plan

    The CAA requires that areas designated as nonattainment for ozone and classified as Moderate or worse demonstrate RFP in reducing emissions of ozone precursors (nitrogen oxides or NOX and volatile organic compounds or VOCs) 4 over a specific period of time. The RFP plan generally is designed to achieve progress toward meeting the ozone NAAQS through annual reductions in emissions of NOX and/or VOCs. In our final rule to implement the 2008 ozone standard (referred to as the SIP Requirements Rule or SRR) we addressed, among other things, the RFP requirements as they apply to areas designated nonattainment and classified as Moderate for the 2008 ozone standard. For the purposes of the 2008 ozone NAAQS, the EPA in the SRR interpreted CAA section 182(b)(1)(A)(ii) to require such Moderate areas to obtain 15 percent ozone precursor emission reductions over the first 6 years after the baseline year for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (see 80 FR 12264, March 6, 2015 and 40 CFR 51.1110).

    4 For additional information on ozone, please see the TSD and visit www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone.

    RFP plans must also include a MVEB, which provides the allowable on-road mobile emissions an area can produce and continue to demonstrate RFP. The State's RFP submittal included MVEBs for the DFW area for the year 2017 (see Chapter 5 of the State's submittal and page 13 of our TSD). The MVEBs are discussed in detail later in this rulemaking.

    Pursuant to section 172(c)(9) of the CAA, nonattainment plan provisions must also provide for the implementation of contingency measures, that is, specific measures to be undertaken if a nonattainment area fails to make reasonable further progress, or to attain the national primary ambient air quality standard by the applicable attainment date. Such contingency measures shall take effect without further action by the State or EPA, which include additional controls that would be implemented if the area fails to reach, in this case, its RFP milestones. While the CAA does not specify the type of measures or quantity of emissions reductions required, EPA has interpreted the CAA to mean that implementation of these contingency measures would provide additional emissions reductions of up to 3% of the adjusted base year inventory (or a lesser percentage that will make up the identified shortfall) in the year following the RFP milestone year. For more information on contingency measures, see the April 16, 1992 General Preamble (57 FR 13498, 13510) and the SRR (80 FR 12264, 12285). The State provided emissions reductions in excess of those needed for RFP as contingency measures (see Chapter 4, pages 15-17 of the State's submittal and Tables 6 and 7 in our TSD). The submitted contingency measures include, but are not limited to, (1) mobile source emission reductions addressing engine and fuel rules; and (2) fleet turnover.

    In addition, section 182(a)(1) of the CAA requires an inventory of actual emissions from all sources of relevant pollutants in the nonattainment area. Such emissions inventories are used, among other things, in the calculations concerning RFP in such areas. In the SRR, the EPA recommended using 2011 as the base year emission inventory. Texas submitted a revised 2011 base year inventory for area and mobile source emissions in the ten-county NAA to meet this requirement.

    II. The EPA's Evaluation

    The SIP revision submitted by the TCEQ on July 10, 2015 and supplemented on April 22, 2016 includes: (1) A revised 2011 base year EI for area and mobile sources; (2) the RFP plan (which must demonstrate NOX and/or VOC emissions reductions of at least fifteen percent through 2017 for nine of the ten counties and VOC-only emissions reductions for Wise County); (3) contingency measures to be implemented in 2018 if the 2017 RFP target is not met; and (4) the MVEBs for 2017.5

    5 A technical supplement to the RFP submittal was provided by the TCEQ on April 22, 2016, showing how Wise County meets the 15% emission reduction requirement described elsewhere in this proposal. The data provided in the technical supplement was included in the July 10, 2015 SIP submittal, but was not used in the State's calculations because the TCEQ calculated the 15% emission reduction using all 10 counties and did not realize the requirement for Wise County to meet a 15% emission reduction by itself. For more detail, see our TSD and the TCEQ's April 22, 2016 technical supplement in the docket for this rulemaking.

    We reviewed the submittal for consistency with the requirements of the CAA, EPA regulations, and EPA guidance. A summary of our analysis and findings are provided below. For a more detailed discussion of our evaluation, please see our TSD.

    A. The DFW Base Year Emissions Inventory

    An emissions inventory is a comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of actual emission from all sources. It is required by sections 172(c)(3) and 182(b)(1) of the CAA that require that nonattainment plan provisions include an inventory of NOX and VOC emissions from all sources in the nonattainment area. The EPA previously approved the 2011 base year inventory (see 80 FR 9204, February 20, 2015). Since that submittal, several improvements have been made, including, but not limited to, improvements to the models used to calculate the mobile source categories within the inventory. Because of these refinements, revisions to more accurately reflect the EI were made by the TCEQ. We have determined that the revised inventory was developed in accordance with EPA guidance and regulations 6 and therefore, we propose to approve the revised 2011 base year EI. For reference, the previously approved base year EI (80 FR 9204) is provided in Table 1, reported in tons per day (tpd), along with the revised 2011 base year EI, also reported in tpd. Details on how each of the emissions categories was revised and emissions totals for each county are included in the TSD.

    6 Under sections 172(c)(3) and 182(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit EI information for all relevant sources for areas that are designated nonattainment for any of the NAAQS. See also https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories for more information on air emission inventories, including regulations and EPA guidance.

    Table 1—Previously Approved (80 FR 9204) and Revised RFP Base Year EIs Source type NOX Approved at 80 FR 9204 Submitted
  • revisions *
  • VOC Approved at 80 FR 9204 Submitted
  • revisions *
  • 2011 Base Year Inventory for the DFW Ten-County Nonattainment Area (tpd) Point 39.95 39.95 29.80 29.80 Area 42.64 50.98 292.49 291.31 Non-road Mobile 120.61 116.95 55.00 54.63 On-road Mobile 238.87 241.13 98.36 104.12 Total 442.07 449.01 475.65 479.86 * Submitted to EPA by the TCEQ on July 10, 2015.
    B. The DFW RFP SIP Revision 1. The Adjusted Base Year Inventory and RFP Target Levels for 2017 and 2018

    The 2011 base year EI is the starting point for calculating RFP. The “adjusted” emissions are what we would expect to see if the on-road fleet did not implement the low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) gasoline and pre-1990 automobile emission controls. Such controls are not creditable under section 182(b)(1)(D) of the CAA, but are no longer required to be calculated for exclusion in RFP analyses because the Administrator determined that due to the passage of time the effect of these exclusions would be de minimis (40 CFR 51.1110). The State has chosen these non-creditable reductions to represent a more accurate accounting, which is acceptable. The result, after subtracting the non-creditable reductions, is known as the adjusted base year inventory. The RFP target levels and emissions reductions required to meet those targets are calculated from the adjusted base year inventory.

    To achieve the RFP target levels, section 182(c)(2)(B) of the CAA allows for substitution of NOX emission reductions for VOC emission reductions in certain circumstances. See 80 FR 12264, 12271 and 40 CFR 51.1110.7 For example, the DFW ten-county NAA includes nine counties that have already met the 15 percent emission reduction requirement for VOC under the 1-hour ozone NAAQS (Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant, see 70 FR 18993) and under the 1997 ozone NAAQS (Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker and Rockwall, see 73 FR 58475). Therefore, these nine counties may rely upon NOX and VOC emissions reductions to achieve the RFP target levels. Wise County however, must meet the 15 percent VOC emission reduction requirement because this is its first time to be covered under the ozone nonattainment SIP requirements. This also means that these VOC emission reductions are calculated separately from the other nine counties (see the TSD for a more detailed explanation). The RFP submittal provides emission reductions of NOX and VOC whose combined total is 15 percent for nine of the ten counties (all but Wise County). As explained in more detail in the State's April 22, 2016 “Technical Supplement to the 2008 Ozone DFW RFP SIP Revision,” the TCEQ provided a technical supplement to EPA to correct the 2017 RFP demonstration for Wise County as well as a corrected RFP spreadsheet that removed the transfer of VOC reductions to Wise County and credits emissions reductions from drilling rig controls that were available but not credited in its July 10, 2015 submittal. The technical supplement shows that Wise County meets the 15% VOC-only reduction requirement from the 2011 base year through the 2017 attainment year based solely on reductions from within Wise County. All the data used to meet this requirement within Wise County was included in the original submitted SIP RFP revision but was not used in the RFP calculations because TCEQ did not think it was needed at that time.

    7 See also our December 1993 NOX Substitution Guidance at www.epa.gov/ttn/caaa/t1/memoranda/noxsubst.pdf and www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t1/memoranda/clarisub.pdf.

    Tables 2 and 3 provide an accounting of the emissions targets through 2017. Table 2 shows the calculations and reductions required for nine of the ten counties (all but Wise County) to achieve RFP and Table 3 provides the calculations and reductions required for Wise County to achieve RFP.8

    8 To cross-reference the calculations in these two tables, please see Tables 3, 4 and 5 in the TSD for this proposal.

    Table 2—Calculation of NOX and VOC Reductions for Nine Counties (All but Wise County) Through 2017 [tpd] Description NOX VOC a. 2011 Emissions Inventory 414.52 445.79 b. Non-creditable on-road reductions 2011-2017 2.87 −4.45 c. 2017 Adjusted Base Year EI (row a minus row b) 411.65 450.24 d. Percent of NOX and VOC to meet 15% reduction 10.0% 5.0% e. 15% NOX and VOC reduction, 2011-2017 [(row c) × (row d)] 41.17 22.51 f. 2017 Target Level of Emission (row c minus row e) 370.48 427.73 Table 3—Calculation of NOX and VOC Reductions for Wise County Through 2017 [tpd] Description NOX VOC a. 2011 Emissions Inventory 34.49 34.07 b. Non-creditable on-road reductions, 2011-2017 0.21 −0.08 c. 2017 Adjusted Base Year EI (row a minus row b) 34.28 34.15 d. Percent of NOX and VOC to meet 15% reduction N/A 15.0% e. 15% VOC reduction, through 2017 [(row d) × (row e)] N/A 5.12 f. 2017 Target Level of Emissions (row c minus row e) 34.28 29.03

    We find the calculations are mathematically correct and approvable.

    2. The Projected Emissions Inventories and How the Required Emissions Reductions Are Achieved

    Section 182(b)(1)(A) of the CAA requires that States provide sufficient control measures in their RFP plans to offset growth in emissions. To do this, the State must estimate the amount of growth that will occur between 2011 and the end of 2017. The State's approach is consistent with our guidelines in estimating the growth in emissions.9 The projections of growth are labeled as the “Uncontrolled Emissions” for 2017 under (b) in the table below and are described in greater detail in our TSD.10

    9 Our EI guidance documents are posted at https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/emissions-inventory-guidance-documents.

    10 See also Tables 8 and 9 in the TSD for this proposal.

    Texas then estimated emission reductions from State and federal control measures in place in 2011 and expected to continue through 2017. The list of State and federal control measures relied upon is provided in our TSD and includes, but is not limited to, on-road and non-road mobile source emission reductions from engine and fuel rules and fleet turnover.11 Texas appropriately estimated the emission reductions from controls in place in 2011 and appropriately projected the emission reductions out to 2017 (see more details in the TSD) that are found on line (c) in Table 4. Texas then applied these current and future estimated reductions to the appropriate uncontrolled inventories. The results are the projected emissions listed in line “d” in Tables 4 and 5 of this proposal. The total amount of VOC and NOX emissions in the controlled inventories for 2017 must be equal to or less than the corresponding RFP target inventories to demonstrate RFP.

    11 See Tables 6 and 7 in the TSD for this proposal.

    Table 4—Summary of RFP Demonstration for the DFW Area Through 2017 [tpd] Description NOX VOC NOX VOC 9 Counties Wise County a. 2017 Target 370.48 427.73 34.28 29.03 b. 2017 Uncontrolled Emissions 1139.93 830.38 49.33 34.68 c. Projected Emission Reductions through 2017 839.50 428.85 20.29 5.73 d. Projected Emissions after Reductions (b-c) 300.43 401.53 29.04 28.95 2017 RFP Targets 370.48 427.73 34.28 29.03 RFP Met? yes yes yes yes Surplus or (shortfall) 70.05 26.20 5.24 0.08

    As shown in Table 4, the projected emissions in line “d” for NOX and VOC for all counties in the DFW ten-county NAA are less than the RFP targets and therefore meet the RFP requirement (target or milestone) for 2017. Therefore, the EPA is proposing that the emissions reductions projected for 2017 are sufficient to meet the 2017 RFP targets.

    3. The RFP Contingency Measures

    Section 172(c)(9) of the CAA requires that an RFP plan for a Moderate nonattainment area include contingency measures, which are additional controls to be implemented if the area fails to make reasonable further progress, i.e., fails to reach the 2017 RFP target. Contingency measures are intended to achieve reductions over and beyond those relied on in the RFP demonstration to achieve the 2017 milestones and could include federal and State measures already scheduled for implementation. The CAA does not preclude a State from implementing such measures before they are triggered. Texas used federal and State measures expected to be implemented to meet the contingency measure requirement for the RFP. These measures provide reductions through 2018 that are in excess of those needed to achieve the 2017 RFP milestones. Tables 5 and 6 provide an accounting of the emissions targets through 2018. Table 5 shows the calculations and reductions required to meet the contingency requirement for nine of the ten counties (all but Wise County) and Table 6 provides the calculations and reductions required for Wise County to meet the contingency requirement. Regarding the content of the contingency measures, the 3 percent emissions reductions for contingency measures may be based entirely on NOX controls if the area has completed the initial 15 percent rate-of-progress VOC reduction required by CAA section 182(b)(1)(A)(i) 12 and the State showed that NOX substitution would be most effective in bringing the area into attainment. The State demonstrated that the DFW rural and northwestern monitors located on the periphery of the DFW area have continued to measure NOX-limited conditions, meaning that ozone formation is more sensitive to the amount of NOX present in the atmosphere. The State also shows that the DFW monitors in the urban core measure more transitional conditions (not strongly limited by either NOX or VOC) and controlling either VOC or NOX emissions in these regions would reduce ozone concentrations.13 For the RFP contingency measures, the State chose a mix of NOX and VOC emission reductions for all but Wise County and chose just NOX emission reductions for Wise County. The State chose to separately account for contingency measures for Wise County and to be consistent, we have done the same.

    12 See 80 FR 12264, 12285.

    13 The TCEQ established long ago that DFW area ozone levels are sensitive to NOX emissions and we are aware of the transition in the urban core. See Appendix D (the conceptual model) for the State's Attainment Demonstration for the DFW area under the 2008 ozone standard, which is posted on the TCEQ Web site at https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/sip/dfw/dfw-latest-ozone.

    Table 5—Demonstration of 2018 Contingency Measures (tpd) for Nine Counties [All but Wise County] Description NOX VOC A. 2017 Adjusted Base Year EI 411.65 450.24 B. Percent of NOX and VOC to meet 3% contingency 2% 1% C. Required reduction to provide contingency (A × B) 8.23 4.50 D. Reduction to meet RFP in 2017 (Table 2, line e) 41.17 22.51 E. 2018 on-road mobile non-creditable reductions 0.58 0.23 F. 2018 Target Level of Emissions (line A-C-D-E) 361.67 423.00 Excess reductions to meet contingency requirement G. 2018 Uncontrolled Emissions 1157.47 833.75 H. Total Reductions Projected through 2018 878.29 445.64 J. Projected emissions after reductions (line G minus line H) 279.18 388.11 Add line C 8.23 4.50 K. Projected emissions, accounting for contingency measures 287.41 392.61 Total surplus or shortfall Line K is less than line F. Subtract line K from line F for surplus 74.26 30.39 Is the contingency measure requirement met? Yes Yes Table 6—Demonstration of 2018 Contingency Measures for Wise County [tpd] Description NOX VOC A. 2017 Adjusted Base Year EI 34.28 34.15 B. Percent of NOX and VOC to meet 3% contingency 3% C. Required reduction to provide contingency (A × B) 1.03 D. Reduction to meet RFP in 2017 0 5.12 E. 2018 on-road mobile non-creditable reductions 0 0 F. 2018 Target Level of Emissions (line A-C-D-E) 33.25 29.03 Excess reductions to meet contingency requirement G. 2018 Uncontrolled Emissions 46.24 29.71 H. Total Reductions Projected through 2018 20.95 5.97 J. Projected emissions after reductions (line G minus line H) 25.29 23.74 Add line C 1.03 0 K. Projected emissions, accounting for contingency measures 26.32 23.74 Total surplus or shortfall Line K is less than line F. Subtract line K from line F for surplus 6.93 5.29 Is the contingency measure requirement met? Yes

    As shown in Tables 5 and 6, the NOX and VOC emission reductions through 2018 are sufficient to provide at least 3 percent emission reductions and thus we find that the contingency measures requirement are met for RFP.

    4. The Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets (MVEBs)

    According to the transportation conformity rule, an RFP plan must establish MVEBs for transportation conformity purposes. See 40 CFR 93.118(b)(1)(i). The MVEB is the mechanism to ensure that future transportation activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, delay reaching RFP milestones, or delay timely attainment of the NAAQS. A MVEB establishes the maximum amount of emissions allowed in the SIP for on-road motor vehicles.

    As part of the July 10, 2015, SIP revision submittal, the TCEQ included VOC and NOX MVEBs for 2017; these budgets are provided in Table 7. For the budgets to be approvable, they must meet, at a minimum, EPA's adequacy criteria (40 CFR 93.118(e)(4)). The availability of these budgets was posted on our Web site on August 25, 2015, for the purpose of soliciting public comments on their adequacy. The comment period closed on September 24, 2015, and we received no comments. On January 11, 2016, we published the Notice of Adequacy Determination for these MVEBs (81 FR 1184). As a result of such adequacy determination, these MVEBs must be used by state and Federal agencies in determining whether proposed transportation projects conform to the SIP as required by section 176(c) of the CAA. The adequacy determination represents a preliminary finding by EPA of the acceptability of the MVEBs. Today we are proposing that these MVEBs are fully consistent with RFP, as it sets the allowable on-road mobile emissions the DFW area can produce and continue to demonstrate RFP.

    Table 7—RFP Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets for DFW (tpd) Year NOX VOC 2017 148.36 77.18 III. Proposed Action

    The EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the Texas SIP to meet certain requirements under section 182(b) of the CAA for the DFW Moderate nonattainment area under the 2008 ozone standard that were submitted to EPA on July 10, 2015 and supplemented on April 22, 2016. We are proposing to approve the revised base year emission inventory, the RFP plan, the 2017 MVEBs; and RFP contingency measures.

    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, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve 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 proposed rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22564 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0812; FRL-9951-36-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Oklahoma; Infrastructure for the Lead, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA or Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions from the State of Oklahoma regarding the 2008 Lead (Pb), 2008 Ozone, 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS or standards). The four submittals address how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of these four NAAQS (infrastructure SIP or i-SIP). These i-SIPs ensure that the Oklahoma SIP is adequate to meet the State's responsibilities under the Act, including the CAA requirements for interstate transport of Pb and NO2 emissions.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0812, at http:// www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Carrie Paige, (214) 665-6521, [email protected] 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.

    Docket: The docket index and publicly available docket materials for this action are available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carrie Paige, 214-665-6521, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with her or Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs that provide for the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within 3 years following the promulgation of such new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific requirements that SIPs must include to adequately address such new or revised NAAQS, as applicable.1

    1See EPA guidance documents: http://www3.epa.gov/airquality/lead/pdfs/20111014infrastructure.pdf and http://epa.gov/air/urbanair/sipstatus/docs/Guidance_on_Infrastructure_SIP_Elements_Multipollutant_FINAL_Sept_2013.pdf.

    On March 27, 2008, following a periodic review of the NAAQS for ozone, EPA revised the primary and secondary 8-hour NAAQS for ozone: the level of the primary and secondary standards was revised to 0.075 parts per million (ppm), expressed to three decimal places, based on a 3-year average of the fourth-highest maximum 8-hour average concentration (see 73 FR 16436).2 Likewise, on November 12, 2008, we revised the primary and secondary NAAQS for Pb to 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter (see 73 FR 66964). Similarly, on February 9, 2010, EPA revised the primary NAAQS for NO2 to establish a new 1-hour standard at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb), based on the 3-year average of the 98th percentile of the yearly distribution of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations, to supplement the existing annual standard (see 75 FR 6474).3 Also, on June 22, 2010, we revised the primary NAAQS for SO2 to establish a new 1-hour standard at a level of 75 ppb, based on the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations (see 75 FR 35520.) We refer to each of these NAAQS by the year promulgated, e.g., “the 2008 ozone standard.” For more information on these standards, please visit https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants.

    2 On October 1, 2015, EPA strengthened the primary and secondary ozone standards to 70 parts per billion (80 FR 65292, October 26, 2015). The submittals under evaluation in this proposal do not address such standards. For more information on the 2015 ozone standards, please visit our Web site: https://www.epa.gov/ozone-pollution/2015-national-ambient-air-quality-standards-naaqs-ozone.

    3 EPA also established requirements for the NO2 monitoring network that includes monitors at locations where maximum NO2 concentrations are expected to occur, including within 50 meters of major roadways, as well as monitors sited to measure the area-wide NO2 concentrations that occur more broadly across communities.

    Our technical evaluation of the Oklahoma submittals is provided in the Technical Support Document (TSD), which is in the docket for this rulemaking.4 With the exception of three sub-elements (or “prongs”) that pertain to interstate transport and visibility protection, EPA is proposing to approve the Oklahoma i-SIP submittals for the 2008 Pb and ozone NAAQS, as well as the 2010 NO2 and SO2 NAAQS as meeting the requirements of an i-SIP. The exceptions are: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), prongs 1 and 2, which address the contribution to nonattainment and interfere with maintenance of the 2008 ozone and 2010 SO2 NAAQS in other states; and section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—the prong that specifically addresses visibility protection for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. We will take separate action on these three prongs for the 2008 ozone and 2010 SO2 NAAQS submittals.

    4 Additional information on: EPA's approach for reviewing i-SIPs; the details of the SIP submittal and EPA's evaluation; the effect of recent court decisions on i-SIPs; the statute and regulatory citations in the Oklahoma SIP specific to this review; the specific applicable CAA and EPA regulatory citations; Federal Register citations for Oklahoma SIP approvals; Oklahoma minor New Source Review program and EPA approval activities; and Oklahoma Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program can be found in the TSD.

    II. EPA's Evaluation of the Oklahoma i-SIP and Interstate Transport Submittals

    The State's submittals on October 5, 2012; February 28, 2014; and January 28, 2015 demonstrate how the existing Oklahoma SIP meets the infrastructure requirements for the 2008 Pb and ozone NAAQS and the 2010 NO2 and SO2 NAAQS. A summary of our evaluation of the Oklahoma SIP for each applicable element of CAA section 110(a)(2)(A)-(M) follows. These SIP submissions became complete by operation of law on April 5, 2013, August 28, 2014, and July 18, 2015, respectively, pursuant to CAA section 110(k)(1)(B).

    (A) Emission limits and other control measures: CAA section 110(a)(2)(A) requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means or techniques, as well as schedules and timetables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements of the Act, and other related matters as needed to implement, maintain and enforce each of the NAAQS.5 The Oklahoma Clean Air Act (OCAA) provides the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) with broad legal authority, to establish and implement air quality programs and enforce regulations it has promulgated. The ODEQ has authority to adopt emission standards and compliance schedules applicable to regulated entities; other measures necessary for attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS; enforce applicable laws, regulations, standards and compliance schedules; and seek injunctive relief. The approved SIP for Oklahoma is documented at 40 CFR part 52.1920, Subpart LL. Most of the State's air quality rules and standards are codified at Title 252, Chapter 100 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code (denoted OAC 252:100). A detailed list of the applicable rules at OAC 252:100 and elsewhere in the OAC, along with the citations for approval into the SIP, is provided in Table 1 of the TSD.

    5 The specific nonattainment area plan requirements of section 110(a)(2)(I) are subject to the timing requirements of section 172, not the timing requirement of section 110(a)(1). Thus, section 110(a)(2)(A) does not require that states submit regulations or emissions limits specifically for attaining the NAAQS. Those SIP provisions are due as part of each state's attainment plan, and will be addressed separately from the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A). In the context of an i-SIP, we are not evaluating the existing SIP provisions for this purpose. Instead, EPA is only evaluating whether the Oklahoma SIP has basic structural provisions for the implementation of the NAAQS.

    (B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: CAA section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to provide for establishment and implementation of ambient air quality monitors, collection and analysis of monitoring data, and providing such data to EPA upon request. The OCAA provides the authority allowing the ODEQ to collect air monitoring data, quality-assure the results, and report the data. The ODEQ maintains and operates a monitoring network to measure ambient levels of the pollutants in accordance with EPA regulations which specify siting and monitoring requirements. All monitoring data is measured using EPA approved methods and subject to EPA quality assurance requirements. The ODEQ submits all required data to EPA, following EPA regulations. The monitoring network was approved into the SIP and undergoes annual review by EPA.6 In addition, 40 CFR 58.10(d) requires that state assess their monitoring network every five years. The ODEQ submitted their 5-year monitoring network assessments to us on April 11, 2016. Our comments on the 5-year assessment, dated July 22, 2016, are in the docket for this rulemaking.7 The ODEQ Web site identifies Oklahoma's ambient monitor locations, and provides past and current concentrations of criteria pollutants measured by the State's monitors.8

    6 A copy of the 2016 Annual Air Monitoring Network Plan and EPA's approval letter are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    7 A copy of the ODEQ's 5-year monitoring network assessment and EPA's evaluation are included in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.

    8see http://www.ODEQ.Oklahoma.gov/airquality/monops/sites/mon_sites.html and http://www17.ODEQ.Oklahoma.gov/tamis/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.welcome.

    (C) Program for enforcement: CAA section 110(a)(2)(C) requires SIPs to include the following three elements: (1) A program providing for enforcement of the measures in paragraph A above; (2) a program for the regulation of the modification and construction of stationary sources as necessary to protect the applicable NAAQS (i.e., state-wide permitting of minor sources); and (3) a permit program to meet the major source permitting requirements of the CAA (for areas designated as attainment or unclassifiable for the NAAQS in question).9

    9See TSD, beginning on page 6.

    (1) Enforcement of SIP Measures. As noted earlier in section 110(a)(2)(A), the ODEQ and its Executive Director have the authority to enforce the requirements of the OCAA and any regulations, permits, or final compliance orders. This statute also provides the ODEQ and its Executive Director with general enforcement powers. Among other things, they can investigate regulated entities; issue field citations and compliance orders; file lawsuits to compel compliance with the statutes and regulations; commence civil actions; pursue criminal prosecutions; collect criminal and civil penalties; enter into remediation agreements; and issue emergency orders to cease operations. The OCAA also provides additional enforcement authorities and funding mechanisms.

    (2) Minor New Source Review (NSR). The CAA requires the SIP to include measures to regulate construction and modification of stationary sources to protect the NAAQS. The Oklahoma minor NSR permitting requirements have been approved in the SIP.10

    10 EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove the existing Oklahoma minor NSR program to the extent that it may be inconsistent with EPA's regulations governing this program. EPA has maintained that the CAA does not require that new infrastructure SIP submissions correct any defects in existing EPA-approved provisions of minor NSR programs in order for EPA to approve the infrastructure SIP for element C (e.g., 76 FR 41076-41079). EPA believes that a number of states may have minor NSR provisions that are contrary to the existing EPA regulations for this program. The statutory requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) provide for considerable flexibility in designing minor NSR programs. Citations for the Oklahoma NSR program are provided in our TSD for this action.

    (3) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit program. Oklahoma's PSD program covers all NSR regulated pollutants, as well as the NAAQS subject to our review contained herein, and has been approved by EPA into the SIP.11

    11 See 79 FR 66626, November 10, 2014 and the TSD for further discussion.

    (D)(i) Interstate Pollution Transport: There are four requirements the SIP must include relating to interstate transport. The SIP must prohibit emissions within Oklahoma from contributing significantly to the nonattainment of the NAAQS in other states, and from interfering with the maintenance of the NAAQS in other states (section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)). The SIP must also prohibit emissions within Oklahoma both from interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration in other states and from interfering with measures required to protect visibility in other states (section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)).

    Lead: We propose to approve the portion of the submittal that addresses the requirement that emissions within Oklahoma are prohibited from contributing to nonattainment of the Pb NAAQS in other states, and from interfering with maintenance of the Pb NAAQS in other states. The physical properties of Pb, which is a basic metal element and very dense, prevent Pb emissions from experiencing a significant degree of travel in the ambient air. No complex chemistry is needed to form Pb or Pb compounds in the ambient air, thus, ambient concentrations of Pb are typically highest near Pb sources. There are no areas within the State of Oklahoma designated as nonattainment with respect to the 2008 lead NAAQS. The ODEQ 2016 ambient monitoring plan provided information on lead sources: there are two significant sources of Pb emissions within the state that emit Pb in amounts equal to or exceeding 0.5 tons per year and no sources within two miles of a neighboring state line.12

    12 Both sources are located in the Tulsa area; see the FY2016 Oklahoma annual network monitoring plan in the docket for this rulemaking.

    We are also proposing to approve the portion pertaining to the prevention of significant deterioration in other states for lead, as Oklahoma has an approved PSD program. The program regulates all NSR pollutants, (including greenhouse gas or GHG), which prevents significant deterioration in nearby States. In addition, as described earlier in this section, significant impacts from Pb emissions from stationary sources are limited to short distances from such sources, so visibility is not effected by lead emissions. Thus, we propose to approve the portion of the Oklahoma SIP related to the protection of visibility in other states for the Pb NAAQS.

    Nitrogen Dioxide: We propose to approve the portion of the submittal which addresses the prevention of emissions which significantly contribute to the nonattainment of the NO2 NAAQS in other states and interfere with the maintenance of the NO2 NAAQS in other states. On February 17, 2012, EPA designated the entire country as “unclassifiable/attainment” for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS.13 As listed in our NO2 Design Values report, only one maintenance area exists for the prior annual NO2 NAAQS (Los Angeles, California).14 With no nonattainment or maintenance areas in surrounding states, Oklahoma does not significantly contribute to nonattainment or maintenance of these NAAQS in any of the contiguous states. Furthermore, during the three most recent design value periods (2011 through 2013, 2012 through 2014, and 2013 through 2015) we found no monitors violating the 2010 NO2 NAAQS in the US.

    13 77 FR 9532, February 17, 2012.

    14 See https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values#Design Value Reports and the docket for this rulemaking.

    We are also proposing to approve the portion of the submittal related to the prevention of significant deterioration in other states, as Oklahoma has an approved PSD program. The program regulates all NSR pollutants, including GHG, which prevents significant deterioration in nearby states. In addition, on December 28, 2011 we finalized a FIP that in combination with the controls required by the portion of the Oklahoma Regional Haze (RH) submittal approved in the same rulemaking, would serve to prevent sources in Oklahoma from emitting pollutants in amounts that would interfere with efforts to protect visibility in other states (see 76 FR 81728). On March 7, 2014, we withdrew the FIP and finalized our approval of the revised Oklahoma RH plan and interstate transport affecting visibility. Thus, the Oklahoma SIP includes provisions that satisfy the CAA interstate pollution abatement requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    Ozone: At this time we are not taking action on the infrastructure submittal regarding the prevention of emissions which significantly contribute to nonattainment of the ozone NAAQS in other states, and interference with the maintenance of the ozone NAAQS in other states. We plan to act on this sub-element in a separate action.

    We are proposing to approve the portion of the submittal addressing the prevention of significant deterioration in other states, as Oklahoma has an approved PSD program. The program regulates all NSR pollutants (including GHG), which prevents significant deterioration in nearby states. In addition and as discussed earlier in this rulemaking, on March 7, 2014, we finalized our determination that Oklahoma's Regional Haze Implementation Plan Revision meets the CAA provisions concerning non-interference with programs to protect visibility in other states, consistent with section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) of the CAA (see 79 FR 12944). Thus, the Oklahoma SIP includes provisions that satisfy the CAA interstate pollution abatement requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

    Sulfur Dioxide: At this time we are not taking action on the infrastructure submittal regarding the prevention of emissions which significantly contribute to nonattainment of the SO2 NAAQS in other states, and interference with the maintenance of the SO2 NAAQS in other states (prongs 1 and 2). We are also not taking action on the portion of the submittal addressing visibility protection (prong 4). We plan to act on these three sub-elements in a separate action.

    We are proposing to approve only the sub-element addressing the prevention of significant deterioration in other states, as Oklahoma has an approved PSD program. The program regulates all NSR pollutants (including GHG), which prevents significant deterioration in nearby states.

    (D)(ii)Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Pursuant to section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii)), states must comply with the requirements listed in sections 115 and 126 of the CAA which were designed to aid in the abatement of interstate and international pollution. Section 126(a) requires new or modified sources to notify neighboring states of potential impacts from the source. Oklahoma's PSD program contains the element pertaining to notification of neighboring states of the issuance of PSD permits. Section 115 relates to international pollution abatement. There are no findings by EPA that air emissions originating in Oklahoma affect other countries. Thus, the Oklahoma SIP satisfies the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) for the four NAAQS discussed herein.

    (E) Adequate authority, resources, implementation, and oversight: The SIP must provide for the following: (1) Necessary assurances that the state (and other entities within the state responsible for implementing the SIP) will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state or local law to implement the SIP, and that there are no legal impediments to such implementation; (2) compliance with requirements relating to state boards as explained in section 128 of the CAA; and (3) necessary assurances that the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of any plan provision for which it relies on local governments or other entities to carry out that portion of the plan.

    Sections 110(a)(2)(A) and (C), discussed earlier in this rulemaking, also require that the state have adequate authority to implement and enforce the SIP without legal impediments. The State's submittals describe the Oklahoma statutes and SIP regulations governing the various functions of personnel within the ODEQ, including the administrative, technical support, planning, enforcement, and permitting functions of the program. See the TSD for further detail.

    With respect to funding, the OCAA and the SIP provide the ODEQ with authority to hire and compensate employees; accept and administer grants or other funds; require the ODEQ to establish an emissions fee schedule for sources in order to fund the reasonable costs of administering various air pollution control programs; and authorizes the ODEQ to collect additional fees necessary to cover reasonable costs associated with processing air permit applications. The EPA conducts periodic program reviews to ensure that the state has adequate resources and funding to, among other things, implement and enforce the SIP.

    As required by the CAA, the Oklahoma statutes and the SIP stipulate that any board or body that approves permits or enforcement orders must have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive any “significant portion” of their income from persons subject to permits and enforcement orders; and the members of the board or body, or the head of an agency with similar powers, are required to adequately disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

    Oklahoma has not delegated authority to implement any of the provisions of its plan to local governmental entities—the ODEQ acts as the primary air pollution control agency.

    (F) Stationary source monitoring system: The SIP must provide for the establishment of a system to monitor emissions from stationary sources and to submit periodic emission reports. It must require the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources, to monitor emissions from sources. The SIP shall also require periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from sources, and require that the state correlate the source reports with emission limitations or standards established under the CAA. These reports must be made available for public inspection at reasonable times.

    The OCAA and SIP require stationary sources to monitor or test emissions and to file reports containing information relating to the nature and amount of emissions. There also are SIP-approved State regulations pertaining to sampling and testing and requirements for reporting of emissions inventories. In addition, SIP-approved rules establish general requirements for maintaining records and reporting emissions.15 The ODEQ uses this information, in addition to information obtained from other sources, to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, developing control and maintenance strategies, identifying sources and general emission levels, and determining compliance with SIP-approved regulations and additional EPA requirements. The SIP requires this information be made available to the public. Provisions concerning the handling of confidential data and proprietary business information are included in the SIP-approved regulations. These rules specifically exclude from confidential treatment any records concerning the nature and amount of emissions reported by sources.

    15 A list of such rules and SIP approval dates are provided in Table 4 of the TSD.

    (G) Emergency authority: The SIP must provide the ODEQ with authority to restrain any source from causing imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare or the environment. The SIP must include an adequate contingency plan to implement the ODEQ's emergency authority.

    The OCAA provides the ODEQ with authority to address environmental emergencies. The ODEQ has an “Emergency Episode Plan,” which includes contingency measures and these provisions are in the SIP (see 56 FR 5656, February 12, 1991). The ODEQ has general emergency powers to address any possible dangerous air pollution episode if necessary to protect the environment and public health.

    (H) Future SIP revisions: States must have the authority to revise their SIPs in response to changes in the NAAQS, availability of improved methods for attaining the NAAQS, or in response to an EPA finding that the SIP is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS. The OCAA authorizes the ODEQ to revise the Oklahoma SIP as necessary, to account for revisions to an existing NAAQS, establishment of a new NAAQS, to attain and maintain a NAAQS, to abate air pollution, to adopt more effective methods of attaining a NAAQS, and to respond to EPA SIP calls concerning NAAQS adoption or implementation.

    (I) Nonattainment areas: Section 110(a)(2)(I) of the Act requires that in the case of a plan or plan revision for areas designated as nonattainment, states must meet applicable requirements of part D of the CAA, relating to SIP requirements for designated nonattainment areas. There are no areas designated as nonattainment in Oklahoma. In addition, as noted earlier, EPA believes that nonattainment area requirements should be treated separately from the infrastructure SIP requirements. The specific SIP submissions for designated nonattainment areas, as required under CAA title I, part D, are subject to different submission schedules than those for section 110 infrastructure elements. Instead, EPA will take action on any part D attainment plan SIP submissions through a separate rulemaking process governed by the requirements for nonattainment areas, as described in part D.

    (J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD and visibility protection: The SIP must meet the following three CAA requirements: (1) Section 121, relating to interagency consultation; (2) section 127 relating to public notification of NAAQS exceedances and related issues; and, (3) prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection.

    (1) Interagency consultation: As required by the OCAA and the Oklahoma SIP, there must be a public hearing before the adoption of any regulations or emission control requirements, and all interested persons must be given a reasonable opportunity to review the action that is being proposed and to submit data or arguments, and to examine the testimony of witnesses from the hearing. In addition, the OCAA provides the ODEQ the power and duty to advise, consult and cooperate with other agencies of the State, towns, cities, counties, industries, other states, and the federal government regarding the prevention and control of new and existing air contamination sources in the State. Furthermore, the Oklahoma PSD SIP rules mandate that the ODEQ shall provide for public participation and notification regarding permitting applications to any other state or local air pollution control agencies, local government officials of the city or county where the source will be located, tribal authorities, and Federal Land Managers (FLMs) whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification. Additionally, the State's PSD SIP rules require the ODEQ to consult with FLMs regarding permit applications for sources with the potential to impact Class I Federal Areas. The SIP also includes a commitment to consult continually with the FLMs on the review and implementation of the visibility program, and the State recognizes the expertise of the FLMs in monitoring and new source review applicability analyses for visibility and has agreed to notify the FLMs of any advance notification or early consultation with a major new or modifying source prior to the submission of a permit application.

    (2) Public Notification: The ODEQ regularly notifies the public of instances or areas in which any NAAQS are exceeded. Included in the SIP are the rules for ODEQ to advise the public of the health hazard associated with such exceedances, enhance public awareness of measures that can prevent such exceedances, and inform the public on how it can participate in regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality. In addition, as described in the discussion of section 110(a)(2)(B) earlier in this rulemaking, the ODEQ air monitoring Web site provides quality data for each of the monitoring stations in Oklahoma; this data is provided instantaneously for certain pollutants, such as ozone. The Web site also provides information on the health effects of all six criteria pollutants.

    (3) PSD and Visibility Protection: The PSD requirements for this element are the same as those addressed under 110(a)(2)(C) earlier in this rulemaking—the State has a SIP-approved PSD program, so this requirement has been met. The Oklahoma SIP requirements relating to visibility and regional haze are not affected when EPA establishes or revises a NAAQS. Therefore, EPA believes that there are no new visibility protection requirements due to the revision of the Pb and ozone NAAQS in 2008, and the NO2 and SO2 NAAQS in 2010, and consequently there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations here.

    (K) Air quality and modeling/data: The SIP must provide for performing air quality modeling, as prescribed by EPA, to predict the effects on ambient air quality of any emissions of any NAAQS pollutant, and for submission of such data to EPA upon request.

    The ODEQ has the authority and duty under the OCAA to conduct air quality research and assessments, including the causes, effects, prevention, control and abatement of air pollution. Past modeling and emissions reductions measures have been submitted by the State and approved into the SIP. Additionally, the ODEQ has the ability to perform modeling for the NAAQS on a case-by-case permit basis consistent with their SIP-approved PSD rules and EPA guidance. Furthermore, the OCAA empowers the ODEQ to cooperate with the federal government and others concerning matters of common interest in the field of air quality control, thereby allowing the agency to make such submissions to the EPA.

    (L) Permitting Fees: The SIP must require each major stationary source to pay permitting fees to the permitting authority as a condition of any permit required under the CAA. The fees cover the cost of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and, if the permit is issued, the costs of implementing and enforcing the terms of the permit. The fee requirement applies until such a time when a fee program is established by the state pursuant to Title V of the CAA, and is submitted to and is approved by EPA. The State has met this requirement as it has a fully developed fee system in place and approved in the SIP. See also the discussion of section 110(a)(2)(E) earlier in this rulemaking action.

    (M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: The SIP must provide for consultation and participation by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP.

    See the discussion of section 110(a)(2)(J)(1) and (2) earlier in this rulemaking for a description of the SIP's public participation process, the authority to advise and consult, and the PSD SIP public participation requirements. Additionally, the OCAA requires cooperative action between itself and other agencies of the State, towns, cities, counties, industry, other states, affected groups, and the federal government in the prevention and control of air pollution.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve in part the October 5, 2012, February 28, 2014 and January 28, 2015, infrastructure SIP submissions from Oklahoma, which address the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 2008 Pb, 2008 ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS. Table 1 outlines the specific actions we are proposing to take.

    Table 1—Proposed Action on Oklahoma Infrastructure SIP Submittals for Various NAAQS 110(a)(2) Element 2008 ozone 2008 Pb 2010 NO2 2010 SO2 (A): Emission limits and other control measures PR PR PR PR (B): Ambient air quality monitoring and data system PR PR PR PR (C)(i): Enforcement of SIP measures PR PR PR PR (C)(ii): PSD program for major sources and major modifications PR PR PR PR (C)(iii): Permitting program for minor sources and minor modifications PR PR PR PR (D)(i)(I): Contribute to nonattainment/interfere with maintenance of NAAQS (requirements 1 and 2) SA PR PR SA (D)(i)(II): PSD (requirement 3) PR PR PR PR (D)(i)(II): Visibility Protection (requirement 4) PR PR PR SA (D)(ii): Interstate and International Pollution Abatement PR PR PR PR (E)(i): Adequate resources PR PR PR PR (E)(ii): State boards PR PR PR PR (E)(iii): Necessary assurances with respect to local agencies PR PR PR PR (F): Stationary source monitoring system PR PR PR PR (G): Emergency power PR PR PR PR (H): Future SIP revisions PR PR PR PR (I): Nonattainment area plan or plan revisions under part D NG NG NG NG (J)(i): Consultation with government officials PR PR PR PR (J)(ii): Public notification PR PR PR PR (J)(iii): PSD PR PR PR PR (J)(iv): Visibility protection PR PR PR PR (K): Air quality modeling and data PR PR PR PR (L): Permitting fees PR PR PR PR (M): Consultation and participation by affected local entities PR PR PR PR Key to Table 1: NG—Element is not germane to infrastructure SIPs. PR—Proposing to approve in this action. SA—Acting on this infrastructure requirement in a separate rulemaking.

    Based upon review of these infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in the Oklahoma SIP, we believe Oklahoma has the infrastructure in place to address all applicable required elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) (except as noted in Table 1) to ensure that the 2008 Pb, 2008 Ozone, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS are implemented in the State.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve 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 proposed rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Interstate transport of pollution, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 13, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22560 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 455 Office of Inspector General 42 CFR Part 1007 RIN 0936-AA07 Medicaid; Revisions to State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Rules AGENCIES:

    Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would amend the regulation governing State Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs or Units). The proposed rule would incorporate statutory changes affecting the MFCUs as well as policy and practice changes that have occurred since the regulation was initially issued in 1978. These changes include a codification of OIG's delegated authority, MFCU authority, functions, and responsibilities; disallowances; and issues related to organization, prosecutorial authority, staffing, recertification, and the MFCUs' relationship with Medicaid agencies.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, comments must be delivered to the address provided below by no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    In commenting, please reference file code OIG-406-P. Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission. However, you may submit comments using one of two ways (no duplicates, please):

    1. Electronically. We strongly encourage you to submit your comments via the Internet. You may submit electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. (Attachments should be in Microsoft Word, if possible.)

    2. By regular, express, or overnight mail. Because of potential delays in our receipt and processing of mail, we encourage respondents to submit comments electronically to ensure timely receipt. However, you may mail your printed or written submissions to the following address:

    Patrice Drew, Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: OIG-406-P, Cohen Building, 330 Independence Avenue SW, Room 5269, Washington, DC 20201.

    Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period. Comments received after the end of the comment period may not be considered.

    Inspection of Public Comments: All comments received before the end of the comment period will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov for public viewing. Hard copies will also be available for public inspection at the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, Cohen Building, 330 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment to view public comments, phone (202) 619-1368.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Burbach, (202) 708-9789 or Richard Stern, (202) 205-0572, Office of Inspector General, for questions relating to the proposed rule.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary A. Need for Regulatory Action

    We propose to amend this regulation for two reasons. First, we want to incorporate into the rule the statutory changes that have occurred since the 1977 enactment of the Medicare-Medicaid Anti-Fraud and Abuse Amendments (Pub. L. 95-142), which amended section 1903(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) to provide for Federal participation in the costs attributable to establishing and operating a State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU or Unit). Second, we want to align the rule with practices and policies that have developed and evolved since the initial version of the rule was issued in 1978, 43 FR 32078 (July 24, 1978), codified at 42 CFR part 1007. Because of the extensive nature of our proposal, we have republished the entirety of part 1007 and incorporated our proposed changes as part of that publication. However, for some sections within part 1007, we are not proposing substantive changes.

    B. Legal Authority

    The legal authority for this regulatory action is found in the Act as follows: 1007: SSA §§ 1902(a)(61), 1903(a)(6), 1903(b)(3), 1903(q), and 1102. 455: SSA §§ 1902(a)(4), 1903(i)(2), 1909.

    C. Summary of Major Provisions

    (1) Statutory Changes. We propose to incorporate statutory changes that have occurred since 1977, including (1) raising the Federal matching rate for ongoing operating costs from 50 percent to 75 percent, (2) establishing a Medicaid State plan requirement that a State must operate an effective MFCU, (3) establishing standards under which Units must be operated, (4) allowing MFCUs to seek approval from the relevant Inspector General to investigate and prosecute violations of State law related to fraud in any aspect of the provision of health care services and activities of providers of such services under any Federal health care program, including Medicare, as long as the fraud is primarily related to Medicaid, and (5) giving MFCUs the option to investigate and prosecute patient abuse or neglect in board and care facilities, regardless of whether the facilities receive Medicaid payments.

    (2) Office of Inspector General Authority. We propose to amend the regulation to codify that the authority for certification and recertification of the MFCUs as well as the administration of the grant award was transferred from the predecessor agency of CMS (Health Care Financing Administration) to OIG on July 27, 1979. 44 FR 47811 (August 15, 1979).

    (3) Unit Authority. We propose to add definitions to clarify key issues related to Unit authority under the grant to conduct fraud investigations as well as patient abuse and neglect and misappropriation of patient funds investigations. Specifically, we propose to add definitions for fraud, abuse of patients, board and care facility, health care facility, misappropriation of patient funds, neglect of patients, and program abuse. We also propose to modify the definition of provider.

    (4) Organizational Requirements. We propose to clarify what it means to be considered a single identifiable entity of State government.

    (5) Prosecutorial Authority Requirements. We propose to make technical amendments to the prosecutorial authority requirement options to include the prosecution of patient abuse and neglect and to include referrals to other offices with statewide prosecutorial authority, in addition to the State Attorney General.

    (6) Agreement with Medicaid agency. We propose that the agreement with the Medicaid agency must include establishing regular communication, procedures for coordination, including those involving payment suspension and acceptance or declination of cases. We also propose that the parties review and, if needed, update the agreement no less frequently than every 5 years.

    (7) Functions and Responsibilities. In addition to the proposed statutory amendments that expand the Units' functions and responsibilities, we propose to require that Units submit all convictions to OIG for purposes of program exclusion within 30 days of sentencing or as soon as practicable if a Unit encounters delays from the courts. We propose to further clarify the requirement that a Unit make information available to, and coordinate with, OIG investigators and attorneys, other Federal investigators, and Federal prosecutors on Medicaid fraud information and investigations involving the same suspects or allegations.

    (8) Staffing Requirements. We propose to clarify that Units may choose to employ professional employees as full- or part-time employees so long as they devote their “exclusive effort” to MFCU functions. We also propose that a Unit must employ a director and that all MFCU employees must be under the direction and supervision of the Unit director. We propose that MFCU professional employees may also obtain outside employment with some restriction and may perform temporary assignments that are not a required function of the Unit so long as the grant is not charged for those duties. We also propose to clarify that Units may employ employees or consultants with specialized knowledge and skills, as well as administrative and support staff, on a full- or part-time basis. We further propose to clarify that investigation and prosecution functions may not be outsourced through consultant agreements or other contracts. We propose to require that Units provide training for professional employees on Medicaid fraud and patient abuse and neglect matters. Finally, we propose to add definitions for full- and part-time employee, professional employee, director, and exclusive effort.

    (9) Recertification Requirements. We propose to amend the regulation to reflect the Unit recertification process. This includes describing what is required annually by OIG as part of recertification, including submission of a reapplication, including certain requested information, as well as a statistical report. We also propose to modify the annual report requirements. We also propose to clarify the factors, such as performance standards, that OIG considers when recertifying a MFCU. We also propose to notify the Unit of approval or denial of recertification and to create procedures for reconsideration should OIG deny recertification.

    (10) Federal Financial Participation (FFP). We propose to clarify that, except for Units with OIG approval to conduct data mining under this part, the prohibition of FFP for data mining activities extends only to the cost of activities that duplicate surveillance and utilization review responsibilities of State Medicaid agencies. We also propose to clarify that efforts to increase referrals through program outreach activities are eligible for FFP.

    (11) Disallowance Procedures. We propose to amend the regulations to set forth procedures for OIG disallowances of FFP and for Unit requests for reconsideration and appeal of disallowances.

    (12) CMS Companion Regulation. To ensure that both the MFCU and the State Medicaid agency are required to have an agreement with each other, we are including amendments to the CMS regulation at 42 CFR 455.21 of this section to require that the State Medicaid agency have an agreement with the MFCU. The regulations at 42 CFR 455.21 are enforced by CMS. However, we are including amendments to part 455 here to ensure a comprehensive regulatory package that sets forth in one location the Department's regulations related to MFCUs.

    D. Costs and Benefits

    There are no significant costs associated with the proposed regulatory revisions that would impose any mandates on State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector.

    I. Background A. Statutory Changes Since 1977 Implemented by this Rulemaking

    (1) Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-499). In order to provide a continuing incentive for operation of State MFCUs, the Omnibus Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1980, amended section 1903(a)(6) of the Act and raised the Federal matching rate for ongoing operating costs (i.e., for all years after the initial 3 years of operations) from 50 percent to 75 percent.

    (2) Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-66). The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 added § 1902(a)(61) to the Act, establishing a Medicaid State plan requirement that a State must operate an effective MFCU, unless the State demonstrates that effective operation of a Unit would not be cost effective and that, in the absence of a Unit, beneficiaries will be protected from abuse and neglect. The statute further requires that the Units be operated in accordance with standards established by the Secretary.

    (3) Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-170). In the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (TWWIIA), Congress amended section 1903(q) of the Act to extend the authority of MFCUs in two ways. First, the Units may now seek approval from the relevant Inspector General (in most circumstances the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate and prosecute violations of State law related to any aspect of fraud in connection with “the provision of health care services and activities of providers of such services under any Federal health care program,” including Medicare, “if the suspected fraud or violation of State law is primarily related to” Medicaid. Second, the law gives Units the option to investigate and prosecute patient abuse or neglect in board and care facilities, regardless of whether those facilities receive Medicaid payments.

    B. Regulatory, Practice, and Policy Changes to the MFCU Program Since 1978

    The regulation has been amended on two occasions. First, the regulation was amended at § 1007.9(e)-(g) to implement payment suspension provisions found in the Affordable Care Act (76 FR 5970 (February 2, 2011)). Second, the regulation was modified at § 1007.20 to allow FFP for data mining under certain circumstances (78 FR 29055 (May 17, 2013)). With the exception of these two revisions, the regulation has not received a wholesale revision since it was originally published in 1978. In the ensuing years, growth of the MFCU program to 50 Units (49 States and the District of Columbia) as well as changes in MFCU practice, health care, and the workplace have led to the need for many amendments to the regulation. Further, in 1994, pursuant to section 1902(a)(61) of the Act, OIG, in consultation with the MFCUs, developed 12 performance standards to be used in assessing the operations of MFCUs. These performance standards have since been revised and republished at 77 FR 32645 (June 1, 2012). OIG uses the performance standards in annually recertifying each Unit and in determining if a Unit is effectively and efficiently carrying out its duties and responsibilities.

    I. Provisions of the Proposed Rule Subpart A—General Provisions and Definitions

    We propose to add a new subpart A of this part entitled “General Provisions and Definitions” which includes § 1007.1, “Definitions,” and § 1007.3, “What is the statutory basis and organization of this rule?”

    1007.1 Definitions

    Current § 1007.1 defines four terms: “data mining,” “employ or employee,” “provider,” and “Unit.” We propose to modify the current definition of “provider,” eliminate the definition of “employ or employee,” and add definitions for “full-time employee,” “part-time employee,” “professional employee” and “exclusive effort.” We propose to add a definition of the term “director.” We also propose to add several additional terms to clarify the scope of the Units' duties and responsibilities: “fraud,” “abuse of patients,” “board and care facility,” “health care facility,” “misappropriation of patient funds,” “neglect of patients,” and “program abuse.”

    1. Full-Time Employee, Part-Time Employee, and Exclusive Effort

    Existing regulations at § 1007.19 preclude FFP in expenditures for any management function for the Unit, any audit or investigation, any professional legal function, or any criminal, civil or administrative prosecution that is not performed by a “full time employee of the Unit.” As a matter of policy and practice, OIG has permitted professional employees (attorneys, auditors, and investigators) to work on a part-time basis, provided that the part-time employee work exclusively on MFCU matters while on duty for the Unit. Consistent with this policy, we propose to replace the term “employ or employee” with definitions for the terms “full-time employee,” “part-time employee,” and “exclusive effort” to help clarify the staffing requirements for MFCUs. We also propose to define professional employee to mean an investigator, attorney, or auditor.

    In § 1007.1, we propose to define “full-time employee” to mean an employee of the Unit who has full-time status as defined by the State. Similarly, we propose to define “part-time employee” to mean an employee of the Unit who has part-time status as defined by the State. In § 1007.13(d), we propose to require that professional employees, whether full time or part time, devote “exclusive effort” to the work of the Unit, consistent with OIG's longstanding policy. We therefore also propose to add a definition of “exclusive effort” to mean that professional employees devote their efforts exclusively to the functions and responsibilities of a Unit, as described in this part. As under the current definition of “employee,” the proposed definition for “exclusive effort” requires that duty with the Unit be intended to last for at least one year and would include arrangements in which an employee is on detail or assignment from another government agency, but only if the detail or arrangement is intended to last for at least one year. An employee detailed to the Unit from another government agency would need to work exclusively for the Unit on MFCU matters and would not be able to allocate time to both the home agency and the Unit. As discussed more fully in 1007.13 Staffing Requirements, OIG believes that “exclusive effort” should ensure that professional employees do not engage in outside employment that might jeopardize the distinct nature and specialized skills of the Unit.

    These proposed definitions are consistent with OIG existing policy as found in State Fraud Policy Transmittal 2014-1 (March 14, 2014).

    We also discuss these proposed definitions in section 1007.13 Staffing.

    2. Director

    Under proposed § 1007.13 paragraph (c), we specify that each Unit must employ a director who supervises all Unit employees. We propose to add the term “director” to § 1007.1 to mean an employee of the MFCU who supervises the operations of the Unit, either directly or through other MFCU managers.

    3. Fraud

    We propose to add a definition of fraud at § 1007.1 to clarify that the scope of MFCU authority to investigate “any and all aspects of fraud” encompasses any action for which civil or criminal penalties may be imposed under State law. This definition is similar to the definition of fraud contained in CMS program integrity regulations at 42 CFR 455.2, but, consistent with the MFCUs' responsibility for both criminal and civil fraud, incorporates the definition of intent that applies in a civil case.

    The primary mission for MFCUs has been the investigation and prosecution (or referral for prosecution) of criminal violations related to the operation of a Medicaid program and of patient abuse and neglect in Medicaid-funded facilities and in board and care facilities. However, State and Federal health care prosecutors commonly use both criminal and civil remedies, and OIG attorneys use administrative remedies, to achieve a full resolution of provider fraud cases. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-171) added § 1909 to the Act to provide a financial incentive for States to enact their own false claims acts establishing liability to the State for the submission of false or fraudulent claims to the State's Medicaid program.

    Further, OIG has issued policy guidance that civil actions, including imposition of penalties and damages, are an appropriate outcome of investigations by MFCUs, particularly when providers lack the specific intent required for prosecution under criminal fraud statutes. (State Fraud Policy Transmittal No. 99-01, December 9, 1999). Specifically, OIG stated that meritorious civil cases that are declined criminally should be tried under State law or referred to the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. Attorney's Office, as well as the OIG Office of Investigations. As discussed in section 1007.11 Functions and Responsibilities of the Unit, we propose to require at new § 1007.11(e)(4) that appropriate referrals of civil actions be made to Federal investigators or prosecutors, or OIG attorneys.

    4. Program Abuse

    We propose to define the term “program abuse” at § 1007.1 to make clear that, for purposes of FFP in MFCU expenditures, program abuse includes only improper provider practices that fall short of acts for which civil or criminal penalties are warranted. Current regulations at § 1007.19(e)(1) prohibit FFP in MFCU expenditures for investigation of cases involving program abuse or other failures to comply with applicable laws and regulations, if these cases do not involve “substantial allegations or other indications of fraud.”

    Congress has expanded the range of Federal civil and administrative sanctions available when false and fraudulent provider practices do not reach the level of intent required for criminal prosecution. In addition, Congress encouraged States to enact their own false claims laws. Our policy continues to be that FFP is available to MFCUs for investigations involving reasonable indications of either civil or criminal fraud. Where an overpayment has been identified in a matter in which the MFCU has determined that neither civil nor criminal enforcement action is warranted, the MFCU should refer the matter to the State Medicaid agency for collection.

    5. Abuse or Neglect of Patients

    Section 1903(q)(4) of the Act requires that, to be certified by the Secretary, MFCUs must have procedures for reviewing complaints of abuse or neglect of patients in health care facilities that receive Medicaid payments. In addition, the Act requires that Units have procedures for acting on these complaints under the criminal laws of the State or for referring the complaints to other State agencies for action. To clarify the scope of Units' duties and responsibilities, we propose to amend § 1007.1 to add definitions of the terms “abuse of patients” and “neglect of patients.” We propose to define the term “abuse of patients” to mean willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or punishment with resulting physical or financial harm, pain or mental anguish. We propose to define the term “neglect of patients” to mean willful failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness. With regard to each of the terms, we propose to include within the definitions a recognition that the scope of what constitutes “abuse of patients” and “neglect of patients” includes those acts (and, with regard to the crime of neglect, omissions) that may constitute a criminal violation under applicable State law.

    6. Misappropriation of Patient Funds

    The Department included “misappropriation of [a] patient's private funds” as part of the scope of MFCUs' investigative authority when it issued current § 1007.11(b)(1). In the notice of final rulemaking, the Department explained that investigating “misuse of private funds being held for patients by health care facilities” would be “a natural outgrowth of an investigation of the facility for program fraud or patient abuse or neglect” and would fall under a MFCU's authority to investigate any and all aspects of provider fraud. (43 FR 32078, 32080 (July 24, 1978)).

    We are maintaining this authority in the revised regulation and are including a definition of the term “misappropriation of patient funds” to mean the wrongful taking or use, as defined under applicable State law, of funds or property of a patient residing in a health care facility or board and care facility.

    We chose not to specify that the patient's funds have to be held in the facility, given that misappropriation of a patient's funds may include financial fraud regarding a patient's assets that are maintained in financial accounts in any location. We also chose not to specify that the perpetrator of the misappropriation of patient's funds has to be an employee of the facility where the patient resides. Because of the many scenarios that exist with respect to misappropriation of patient funds, we invite comment on the rule not specifying the location of the patient funds or the possible perpetrator of the misappropriation.

    7. Board and Care Facility

    Congress, in the initial MFCU legislation, required MFCUs to investigate patient abuse or neglect only in health care facilities receiving Medicaid payments. In 1999, as part of TWWIIA, Congress amended section 1903(q)(4) of the Act to give Units the option to investigate patient abuse or neglect in non-Medicaid “board and care” facilities, as defined in the statute.

    We are proposing to amend § 1007.11 to incorporate the statutory authority for MFCUs to choose to investigate complaints of abuse or neglect in board and care facilities, regardless of the source of payment, and to add the statutory definition of “board and care facility” to the definitions at § 1007.1. Such facilities include assisted living facilities in current terminology.

    8. Health Care Facility

    We are proposing to add a definition of “health care facility” to clarify the scope of MFCU-required functions and responsibilities in connection with the investigation of complaints of neglect or abuse of patients in such facilities, consistent with section 1903(q)(4)(A) of the Act and with Medicaid program regulations.

    Specifically, 42 CFR 447.10(b) defines a “facility” as “an institution that furnishes health care services to inpatients” and 42 CFR 435.1010 defines an “institution” as “an establishment that furnishes (in single or multiple facilities) food, shelter, and some treatment or services to four or more persons unrelated to the proprietor,” and “in an institution” as an individual who is admitted to live there and receive treatment or services provided there that are appropriate to his requirements.” Consistent with these definitions, we propose to add a definition at § 1007.1 to clarify that a “health care facility” is “a provider that receives payments under Medicaid and furnishes food, shelter, and some treatment or services to four or more persons unrelated to the proprietor in an inpatient setting.”

    9. Provider

    We propose to modify the definition of provider to include those who are required to enroll in a State Medicaid program, such as ordering and referring physicians. While we believe the regulation's longstanding definition of provider includes managed care and other types of providers that operate in the current healthcare environment, we think that including ordering and referring physicians in the definition clarifies that providers who are not furnishing items or services for which payment is claimed under Medicaid can be the subject of a MFCU investigation and prosecution.

    1007.3 Statutory Basis and Scope

    The Secretary delegated to OIG the authority under sections 1903(a)(6) and (b)(3) to pay the FFP amounts of State expenditures for the establishment and operation of a MFCU and, under section 1903(q), to determine whether a MFCU meets the statutory requirements to be certified as eligible for Federal payments. We propose to revise § 1007.3 to more comprehensively set forth the statutory basis and organization of this rule, and to explicitly reference OIG's authority to certify whether a Unit has demonstrated that it is effectively carrying out its required functions under this part.

    We also propose to revise § 1007.3 to reflect current law at § 1902(a)(61) of the Act requiring a State to provide in its Medicaid State plan that it operates a MFCU that “effectively carries out the functions and requirements” described in Federal law, as determined in accordance with standards established by OIG, unless the State demonstrates that a Unit would not be cost-effective because of minimal Medicaid fraud and that the State adequately protects Medicaid patients from abuse and neglect without the existence of a Unit. CMS retains the authority to determine a State's compliance with Medicaid State Plan requirements in accordance with § 1902 of the Act.

    Congress initially established a matching rate of 90 percent for 12 quarters to give States an incentive to develop a MFCU. Later, as a continuing incentive, Congress provided that after the initial 12 quarters of 90 percent Federal matching, MFCUs would receive Federal matching of 75 percent of the ongoing costs of operating a MFCU.

    Regulations at both § 1007.3 and § 1007.19(a) provide that a State will receive Federal reimbursement for 90 percent of the costs of establishing and operating a State MFCU. To eliminate redundancy, and to reflect the current statute's FFP provisions, we propose to remove the statement regarding 90 percent Federal funding at § 1007.3. We propose to retain the provision at current § 1007.19(a) and to amend it to reflect the current statute's limitation of 75 percent FFP for the operation of a MFCU after the initial 12 quarters.

    Subpart B—Requirements for Certification

    We propose to add a new Subpart B “Requirements for Certification,” containing sections 1007.5 through 1007.17.

    1007.5 Single Identifiable Entity Requirement

    Section 1903(q) of the Act defines the term “State Medicaid fraud control unit” to mean “a single identifiable entity of the State government which the Secretary certifies (and recertifies) as meeting” statutory requirements. This basic requirement is reflected in current § 1007.5 and is widely accepted as a prerequisite for establishing and operating a Unit. We propose to amend the MFCU regulations to define the phrase “single identifiable entity” and to clarify that Units must satisfy the definition to be certified and recertified.

    We propose that Units have the following characteristics to be considered a “single identifiable entity in State government” and to be eligible for certification and recertification. Units must: (1) Be a single organization reporting to the single Unit director; (2) operate under its own budget that is separate from that of its parent division or agency; and (3) have the headquarters office and any field offices each in their own contiguous space.

    We believe that each of these three characteristics is necessary to ensure that Unit is able to operate independently of its parent agency and to maintain its independent character as a single, identifiable entity. We believe that these characteristics are consistent with the statement at time of enactment by the Senate Committee on Finance that “a separate Statewide investigative entity” substantially increases the rate of prosecutions and convictions (Senate Report 95-453 (September 26, 1977), page 35). We also believe, on the basis of our observation and knowledge of the 50 existing Units, that Units generally share these characteristics and operate under the assumption that each of the characteristics is required for certification purposes. We invite comment on these newly articulated requirements for determining whether a Unit would be considered a single identifiable entity.

    Specifically, we believe that all Unit employees reporting to a single Unit director provides the most efficient management structure and helps to ensure that the Unit can act independently of its parent agency. Secondly, to ensure that a Unit has the resources to undertake its mission, to operate efficiently and effectively, and to continue as an ongoing operation, we believe a Unit should operate under its own budget that is separate from that of its parent agency.

    Finally, we also believe that having headquarters and any field offices each in their own contiguous space leads to the most efficient conduct of Unit business by fostering a Unit's multidisciplinary approach of investigators, attorneys, auditors, and other employees working together on cases and helps ensure that employees devote their exclusive effort to MFCU purposes. Further, we believe that allowing MFCU employees to work in non-contiguous space alongside other State employees would undermine the ability of MFCU management to monitor whether MFCU employees are devoted exclusively to the mission of the MFCU. Headquarters or field offices would be considered duty stations, and telework and other “out of duty office” work arrangements are not precluded, if permitted under State policies. We believe that all Unit offices currently operate in contiguous space, although in certain larger Units the contiguous space may, for example, be on separate floors of the same building. We believe that such arrangements qualify as “contiguous” as long as the separation permits the Unit's three professional groups to interact effectively in the course of their duties. For example, OIG does not believe that an office arrangement would be contiguous if all or groups of Unit investigators, or attorneys, were located in a different space from the rest of the Unit.

    1007.7 Prosecutorial Authority Requirement

    Section 1903(q)(1) of the Act provides for three alternative prosecutorial arrangements for a State MFCU, depending on the location of criminal prosecuting authority in the State. Current § 1007.7(b) states that if there is no State agency with Statewide authority and capability for criminal fraud prosecutions, the Unit must establish formal procedures that ensure that the Unit refers suspected cases of criminal fraud to the appropriate prosecuting authorities. We propose that § 1007.7(b) be amended to also include such procedures for patient abuse and neglect prosecutions, consistent with the language of the statute.

    Section 1007.7(c) requires a formal working relationship with the office of the State Attorney General. We propose that § 1007.7(c) be amended to reference the office of the State Attorney General “or another office with Statewide prosecutorial authority.” We also propose to amend §§ 1007.7(b) and 1007.7(c) to clarify that the formal procedures be written. Finally, we propose to make a minor wording change to emphasize the requirement that a Unit be organized according to one of three prosecutorial arrangements and to change the name of § 1007.7 to “What are the prosecutorial authority requirements for a Unit?” to more accurately describe its contents.

    1007.9 Relationship to, and Agreement with, the Medicaid Agency

    Current § 1007.9(d) requires that the MFCU enter into an agreement with the Medicaid agency to ensure the Unit has access to fraud case referrals and case information. Companion regulations governing fraud control activities of the Medicaid agency impose obligations on the Medicaid agency to identify, investigate, and refer suspected fraud cases, but do not explicitly require an agreement with the Unit. CMS enforces the regulations at 42 CFR part 455 (See September 30, 1986 final rule (51 FR 34787)). Given the importance of the working relationship between the MFCU and Medicaid agency, in this joint proposed rule, OIG and CMS propose to add additional guidance at § 1007.9, and through the addition of a new § 455.21(c), to clarify that both the Medicaid agency and the MFCU must enter into a written agreement, such as a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

    We also propose to add to both § 1007.9(d)(3) and to the new § 455.21(c) that the MOU include the following required elements. First, we propose that the MOU must include an agreement to establish a practice of regular communication or meetings between the MFCU and the Medicaid agency to discuss such matters as case updates, new complaints and possible referrals, documentation and data requests, policy changes, fraud trends, and joint activities. Second, we propose that the MOU must establish procedures for how the MFCU and the Medicaid agency will coordinate their efforts as they carry out their respective responsibilities. Third, we propose that the MOU must establish procedures related to payment suspension and notification of acceptance or declination of cases, as found at §§ 1007.9(e) through 1007.9(h). Finally, we propose that the MOU must be reviewed and, if needed, updated by both the MFCU and the Medicaid agency at least every 5 years to ensure that it reflects current law and practice.

    We also propose a minor amendment at § 1007.9(f) which requires that any request by the Unit to the Medicaid agency to delay notification to the provider of a payment suspension under § 455.23 must be made in writing. We propose to add the word “promptly” to that provision. In order to avoid the risk of jeopardizing a MFCU investigation, we think it is important for Units to provide prompt written notice to a Medicaid agency if a provider is the subject of an investigation. Further, we also propose a similar amendment to § 1007.9(g) which requires the Unit to notify the Medicaid agency in writing as to whether the Unit accepts or declines a case referred by the Medicaid agency. We propose that the Unit should make this decision in a timely manner and promptly inform the Medicaid agency of its decision. Again, prompt notification by the MFCU allows the Medicaid agency to uphold a payment suspension, or in the case of a declination, re-establish payments to the provider. Additionally, if a referral is declined by the Unit, the Medicaid agency may pursue administrative actions against the provider in a timely manner.

    We propose an amendment at § 1007.9(h) to require the MFCU to provide certification to the Medicaid agency, upon request on a quarterly basis, that any matter accepted on the basis of a referral continues to be under investigation and thus warranting continuation of payment suspension. Under § 455.23(d)(3)(ii), the Medicaid agency must request this certification from the MFCU, but the regulations do not require the MFCU to comply with this request. Placing this responsibility on the MFCU is consistent with the temporary nature of the payment suspension process.

    1007.11 Functions and Responsibilities of the Unit

    MFCU regulations, in describing the duties and responsibilities of a Unit for patient abuse or neglect, provide in paragraph 1007.11(b)(1): “The unit will also review complaints alleging abuse or neglect of patients in health care facilities receiving payments under the State Medicaid plan and may review complaints of the misappropriation of patient's private funds in such facilities.” In implementing a Unit's statutory responsibility for patient abuse or neglect, the Department thus expanded responsibility for abuse or neglect to the financial crime of “misappropriation of [a] patient's private funds,” but made such cases optional (“may review complaints. . . .”). Cases involving private funds have become a substantial part of MFCU caseloads, reflecting the significance of financial abuse in crimes against seniors and other facility residents.

    In our proposed definition in paragraph 1007.1 of “abuse of patients,” we have included “financial harm” as one element. Consistent with this definition and with the recognized importance of financial abuse as a type of patient abuse or neglect, we propose to revise the regulation at 1007.11(b)(1) to require the Unit to review complaints involving misappropriation of funds. We believe that making the review of such complaints mandatory is consistent with the broad statutory responsibility for patient abuse or neglect.

    The TWWIIA amended section 1903(q) of the Act to allow MFCUs to receive FFP for the investigation and prosecution of Medicare or other Federal health care cases that are primarily related to Medicaid, with the approval of the Inspector General of the relevant Federal agency (most typically, the Inspector General for HHS). We propose to revise § 1007.11 to specify that the MFCU must obtain written permission from the relevant Federal Inspector General to investigate cases of provider fraud in health care programs other than Medicaid. OIG issued guidance for seeking approval for this extended investigative authority from HHS-OIG in State Fraud Policy Transmittal No. 2000-1 (September 7, 2000). In order for OIG to effectively monitor these approvals, we propose to codify at § 1007.17(a)(1)(i) the requirement from the policy transmittal that Units report annually to OIG of any approvals for extended investigative authority from any Federal Inspector General.

    TWWIIA also gave MFCUs the option to review complaints of patient abuse or neglect in non-Medicaid board and care facilities, as defined in the statute, and to have procedures for acting on such complaints. For the regulation, we interpret the law's requirement to have “procedures for acting on such complaints” to mean that Units can investigate cases arising from those complaints. Consistent with our proposal to permit investigation of misappropriation of patient funds in health care facilities, we also propose to permit such investigations in board and care facilities.

    At new § 1007.11(a)(3), we propose that applicable State laws pertaining to Medicaid fraud include criminal statutes as well as civil false claims statutes or other civil authorities. Further, at new § 1007.11(e)(4), we propose that if no State civil fraud statute exists, MFCUs should make appropriate referrals of meritorious civil cases to Federal investigators or prosecutors, such as the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S Attorney's Office, as well as to the HHS-OIG Office of Investigations and Office of Counsel to the Inspector General. OIG believes that assessing civil penalties and damages is an appropriate law enforcement tool when providers lack the specific intent required for criminal conviction but satisfy the applicable civil standard of liability. This proposal is consistent with State Fraud Policy Transmittal No. 99-01 (December 9, 1999) which encouraged MFCUs to pursue potential civil remedies when no potential criminal remedy exists. Additionally, as discussed in Section B, we propose to add a definition of “fraud” that clarifies MFCU authority to investigate and prosecute both criminal and civil fraud.

    At § 1007.11(c), we propose to clarify that when a Unit discovers that overpayments have been made to a provider or facility, the Unit must either recover the overpayment as part of its resolution of a fraud case or refer the matter to the proper State agency for collection.

    At § 1007.11(e)(1) and (2), we propose to retain the current requirement that a Unit make available to Federal investigators and prosecutors and OIG attorneys all information in its possession concerning Medicaid fraud and that the Unit coordinate with such officials any Federal and State investigations or prosecutions involving the same suspects or allegations. The Federal and State governments share responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of Medicaid provider fraud, and Federal agencies may need to coordinate an action in a particular State with other Federal law enforcement efforts.

    We also propose to expand paragraph (e) in three other ways to further ensure the effective collaboration between the Units, OIG investigators and attorneys, other Federal investigators and prosecutors.

    First, we propose in paragraph (e)(3) to specify that a MFCU establish a practice of regular meetings or communication with OIG investigators and Federal prosecutors. In States in which OIG does not have the resources to maintain a regular presence, such communication could be by telephone or video conference. Given OIG's coordinating role on Federal health care fraud cases, we believe that regular contact with OIG investigators is critical in each of the States. For Federal prosecutors, the Unit should establish a schedule of meetings or regular communication with one or more of the U.S. Attorneys' Offices with jurisdiction in the State. In most jurisdictions, it is standard practice for the U.S. Attorney to operate a health care fraud task force, and regular communication can be achieved through regular participation by the Unit on the health care fraud task forces.

    We believe that requiring regular meetings or communication with OIG investigators and with Federal prosecutors will strengthen relationships, enhance the effectiveness of fraud investigations and prosecutions, and ultimately improve the integrity of the Medicaid program. We believe that such communication is routine in most of the Units, but we also know through our onsite reviews that there are Units with a lack of communication with OIG investigators and Federal prosecutors.

    Second, we propose to specify in paragraph (e)(4) that Units make appropriate referrals to OIG investigators and attorneys, other Federal investigators, and Federal prosecutors. It is not unusual for Units to investigate cases of Medicaid fraud that involve Medicare or other Federal programs, and such cases should be referred to OIG investigators, unless the MFCU receives authority under § 1007.11(a)(2) to investigate the Medicare or other program fraud itself. Many such referred cases will be investigated jointly by the MFCU and the Federal Government, and the investigation will benefit from the combined skills and resources of both offices. Also, health care fraud cases often involve both criminal fraud as well as the possibility of a civil recovery through application of a civil false claims act. As a matter of policy, we have for many years requested MFCUs to refer such civil cases to Federal investigators or prosecutors for possible application of the Federal civil false claims act. Many States have the ability to pursue civil actions either through State civil false claims acts or other State authority, but other States may lack the ability to prosecute such cases. Also, in many States, there may be a lack of investigative resources to pursue such cases even if the State has the authority to do so.

    Finally, we further propose in paragraph (e)(5) that Units develop written procedures for those items addressed in paragraphs (1)through(4). We believe that most Units comply with each of these steps as a routine part of their process, but we also believe that it is important to formalize them as part of the Unit's written procedures because of the critical importance of case coordination. This will also permit OIG, in its oversight of the Units, to verify that coordination procedures are in place. Our proposal does not specify what the procedures should be, but would allow the MFCU and its Federal partners to tailor procedures to most effectively meet the needs in their State. An example of an established procedure for paragraph (e)(3) would be the sharing between the Unit and OIG's Office of Investigations weekly or monthly reports describing newly opened cases as well as a schedule of monthly or quarterly meetings.

    We propose to revise § 1007.11(f) to require a Unit to provide adequate safeguards to protect sensitive information and data under the Unit's control. Under the current regulation at § 1007.11(f), MFCUs have been required to safeguard privacy rights and to prevent the misuse of information under their control. In the past, this requirement largely referred to paper case files and other case-related materials, such as evidence. Many MFCUs now maintain case information in an electronic format and do not rely exclusively on paper case files. Because Unit electronic record and data systems may contain personally identifiable and other sensitive information, Units need to protect that information with a robust data security program. Such a program should guard against unauthorized access or release of case information as well as unauthorized intrusions from external sources.

    Finally, consistent with the MFCU mission to prosecute Medicaid provider fraud and patient abuse or neglect, we propose to amend the regulations at new § 1007.11(g) to require that a Unit transmit to OIG, for purposes of excluding convicted individuals and entities from participation in Federal health care programs under section 1128 of the Act, pertinent documentation on all convictions obtained by the Unit, including those cases investigated jointly with another law enforcement agency, as well as those prosecuted by another agency at the local, State, or Federal level. This requirement would be consistent with the longstanding published performance standard for MFCUs that such referrals be made. By referring convicted individuals or entities to OIG for exclusion, MFCUs help to ensure that such individuals and entities do not have the opportunity to defraud Medicaid and other Federal health programs or to commit patient abuse or neglect. Historically, referrals by MFCUs have constituted a significant part of the exclusions imposed each year by OIG.

    We propose that such information be provided within 30 days of sentencing or, if MFCUs are unable to obtain pertinent information from the sentencing court within 30 days, as soon as reasonably practicable. We propose this “reasonableness” provision because we are aware that courts may on occasion not provide pertinent documents to MFCUs in a timely manner. In assessing whether such additional time is reasonable, OIG will assess the steps the MFCU has taken to obtain the court documents in a timely manner.

    Finally, at § 1007.11(a) through (c), in describing the activities for which a Unit is responsible, we propose to revise references to “the State [Medicaid] plan” to instead refer to “Medicaid,” and to refer to a “provider” (defined in section § 1007.1 in relationship to Medicaid), rather than “provider of medical assistance under the State Medicaid plan.” This reflects the reality that many States operate under State plan waiver programs and that provider activities in waiver programs were not intended to be excluded from a Unit's responsibility. This is consistent with the statute's broad description of a Unit's function as extending to “any and all aspects of fraud in connection with . . . any aspect of the provision of medical assistance. . . .” Section 1903(q)(3) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 1396b(q)(3).

    1007.13 Staffing Requirements Full-Time and Part-Time Employees and Exclusive Effort

    Current regulations at § 1007.19(e)(4) prohibit FFP for “any management function for the Unit, any audit or investigation, any professional legal function, or any criminal, civil or administrative prosecution of suspected providers that is not performed by a full-time employee of the Unit.” (Emphasis added.) Similarly, the current definitions at § 1007.1 define “employ” or “employee” to mean “full-time duty intended to last at least a year.” In recognition of changes to the modern workplace, OIG has taken a flexible approach with respect to the employment of professional employees who may wish to have part-time schedules. OIG has thus also interpreted the “full-time” rule to permit FFP for professional employees who are employed on a part-time basis, as long as their professional activities are devoted “exclusively” to MFCU purposes.

    We therefore propose to revise the regulations to clarify that MFCU professional employees do not need to be “full time” to receive FFP, but to retain the longstanding policy and practice that FFP is permitted only for MFCU professional employees who are devoted “exclusively” to the MFCU mission except for limited circumstances that are specifically described in the regulation. Therefore, we propose to add definitions in 1007.1 of “part-time employee,” “full-time employee,” “professional employee,” and “exclusive effort.”

    We thus propose to add a new § 1007.13(d) that describes the requirements for professional employees to receive FFP. Paragraph (d)(1) would require that, for professional employees to be eligible for FFP, they must devote their “exclusive effort” to the work of the Unit. This proposal is also reflected in § 1007.19(e)(4), which would prohibit FFP for “the performance of any audit or investigation, any professional legal function, or any criminal, civil or administrative prosecution of suspected providers by a person other than an employee who devotes exclusive effort to the Unit's work.”

    New § 1007.13(d) would also describe, in paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(3), two circumstances in which professional employees may perform limited non-MFCU activities: Outside employment during non-duty hours and temporary non-MFCU assignments. These proposals, discussed separately, are consistent with longstanding MFCU practice and OIG policy as expressed in State Fraud Policy Transmittal No. 2014-1 (June 3, 2014).

    As also stated in the preamble to the regulations regarding the prohibition of FFP for other than a professional “full time employee,” we believe that “exclusive effort” by professional employees is necessary because the employment of temporary staff, or the occasional pursuit of isolated cases by different investigators and prosecutors, will undermine a Unit's ability to create an effective team with specialized knowledge of health care fraud and patient abuse or neglect. 43 FR 32078 (July 24, 1978). We also believe that the character of a MFCU as a “single identifiable entity,” and the development of specialized expertise in Medicaid fraud and patient abuse or neglect, would be frustrated by the employment of professional employees whose responsibilities are split between the MFCU and another agency. We believe that the long-standing policy and practice of MFCUs employing professional employees devoted exclusively to the MFCU mission has been key to the success of MFCUs.

    One limitation on the use of part-time professional employees is the certification requirement found at § 1007.13(a), retained in this rulemaking, that MFCUs “will employ sufficient professional, administrative, and support staff to carry out its duties and responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner.” For example, Unit management may want to consider whether employing key staff, such as the director or chief investigator, on a part-time basis would undermine the Unit's effectiveness and efficiency.

    Outside Employment

    We further propose, in § 1007.13(d)(2), to reflect the restrictions contained in our current policy regarding outside employment of professional employees during non-duty hours. Specifically, in subsection (d)(2), we propose that, to be eligible for FFP, professional employees may not be employed by other State agencies during non-duty hours. As stated previously, we believe it is important to maintain the separate nature of the MFCU because of the potential compromise between the MFCU mission and other missions of the State.

    We do not have the same concerns about employment outside of State government. As part of paragraph (d)(2), we also propose that professional employees may obtain employment outside of State government, if State law allows it, but only if the outside employment presents no conflict of interest to Unit activities. A common example of such employment would be a MFCU auditor working as a tax accountant during his or her off-hours. The Unit should follow its State's process to ensure that any proposed outside employment is in accordance with applicable professional standards and State ethics rules or policies. In the absence of a State process, the MFCU should develop its own process to avoid conflicts of interest between a professional employee's outside employment and the work of the MFCU.

    Temporary Non-MFCU Assignments

    In proposed § 1007.13(d)(3), we reflect the current policy and practice regarding temporary, non-MFCU assignments. Paragraph (d)(3) would permit MFCU professional employees to engage in temporary assignments that are not within the functions and responsibilities of a MFCU only if such assignments are truly limited in duration. As with other non-MFCU activities, such assignments would not be funded by the Federal MFCU grant. For example, MFCU professional employees have been deployed to assist in maintaining order during natural disasters and other Statewide emergencies.

    We expect that such situations will be unusual and infrequent, so MFCU directors should assess each on a case-by-case basis and may consult with OIG in determining whether the assignments are appropriate. Before directing staff to take a temporary assignment, a Unit should determine whether the assignment has a limited and defined duration and whether the assignment would pose any conflict with MFCU operations. The Unit may also want to consider whether the skills and expertise of the employees(s) are necessary for the assignment. If a MFCU permits temporary non-MFCU assignments, the Unit must document all hours spent on the assignment and ensure that the hours are excluded from the MFCU's financial status reports for purposes of receiving FFP.

    Direction and Supervision of the Unit

    We propose to add a requirement at § 1007.13(c) that the Unit must employ a director who supervises all Unit employees. Regulations do not specify that a MFCU must have a director, although all MFCUs for many years have operated with a director. We have found that having a director to whom all Unit employees ultimately report is critical to the successful management and operation of a MFCU. We also propose to define “director.” We further note that in some small Units, the director is the Unit's only attorney and can be considered the one required attorney under § 1007.13(b).

    Proposed § 1007.13(d)(4) would further require that professional employees must be under the direction and supervision of the MFCU director (or, in larger Units, a subordinate Unit manager). This requirement has been a part of OIG's longstanding interpretation of the full-time rule and the statutory definition of a Unit as a “single, identifiable entity.” Allowing attorneys or investigators to report to supervisory officials outside the Unit would both undermine the ability of the Unit director to effectively manage the Unit and would interfere with the ability of MFCU professional employees to collaborate as a team.

    Use of Consultants and Other Contracts

    Consistent with the proposal to require exclusive effort by professional employees to receive FFP, we also propose to clarify, in § 1007.13(g)(2), that the Unit may not receive FFP when it relies on individuals not employed directly by the MFCU for the investigation or prosecution of cases, including through consultant agreements or other contractual arrangements. As with the exclusive effort rule, we believe that the contracting out of investigative or legal functions would undermine the character of MFCUs as single, identifiable entities. This proposal is consistent with a longstanding practice of not allowing the contracting out of the investigation or prosecution of cases. We note that this proposal does not affect those MFCUs contained in state entities that lack the authority to prosecute fraud or patient abuse or neglect. Such MFCUs rely on non-MFCU prosecutors in other government agencies, who are not paid on the grant, to bring MFCU cases to trial.

    However, we also propose to clarify at § 1007.13(g)(1) that Units may receive FFP for the employment of, or have available through consultant agreements or other arrangements, individuals with particular knowledge, skills, and/or expertise that a Unit believes will support the Unit in the investigation or prosecution of cases. For example, Units may have consultant agreements with expert witnesses or other forensics experts or may employ nurses to support investigations and prosecutions.

    MFCU Employee Training

    Regulations do not address training of MFCU professional employees. Because of the importance of training for MFCU professionals, we propose to add a requirement at § 1007.13(h) that a Unit must provide training for its professional employees for the purpose of establishing and maintaining proficiency in the investigation and prosecution of Medicaid fraud and patient abuse and neglect. This requirement is consistent with MFCU performance standards, which state that a Unit “conduct training that aids in the mission of the Unit.”

    Other Staffing Issues

    We propose to clarify several staffing issues by this regulation, including requiring a director; allowing part-time administrative and support staff; and clarifying the qualifications of attorneys, auditors, and the senior investigator.

    We clarify at § 1007.13(e) that a Unit may hire administrative and support staff on a part-time basis. Part-time administrative and support staff, unlike professional employees in the new § 1007.13(d)(2), may hold another part-time State job or allocate their time between two offices within the Office of the Attorney General, for example. In those instances, we will continue to require that all claims for Federal reimbursement for part-time support staff be supported with proper documentation of hours worked.

    We also propose minor clarifications at § 1007.13(b) of the qualifications of attorneys, auditors, and the senior investigator. For attorneys, we propose that they must be capable of prosecuting health care fraud or criminal cases. For auditors, we propose a minor change, that an auditor be capable of reviewing financial records, rather than the current language, that an auditor is “capable of supervising the review of financial records.” We also propose to expand requirements to include that an auditor be capable of advising or assisting in the investigation of patient abuse and neglect. For the senior investigator, we propose to eliminate the prerequisite of “substantial experience in commercial or financial investigations,” and propose instead only that the senior investigator be capable of supervising and directing the investigative activities of the Unit. Further, consistent with 1007.13(a), requiring that a Unit hire sufficient staff to carry out its duties and responsibilities effectively and efficiently, we propose the requirement that Units hire one “or more investigators.”

    1007.15 Certification

    We propose at § 1007.15(b) to clarify that initial certification will be based on the information and documentation specified at § 1007.15(a). To receive Federal reimbursement, a MFCU must be certified and annually recertified by OIG, consistent with section 1903(a)(6) of the Act. For initial certification, a Unit must meet the basic requirements established in section 1903(q) as implemented in this part. Basic certification requirements include organization, location, relationships with the Medicaid agency, Unit duties and responsibilities, and staffing. We also propose to eliminate the requirement at § 1007.15(a)(6) that an initial application include a projection of caseload. We believe that it is unrealistic for State or territory preparing an initial application to provide any meaningful caseload projection.

    1007.17 Recertification

    A MFCU must be recertified annually by OIG to receive Federal reimbursement for a portion of its costs. Forty-nine States and the District of Columbia have established and operate a Unit. We propose to revise regulations to reflect the recertification process that has evolved since the program began. The proposed regulation at § 1007.17 would: (1) Describe the information that must be provided to OIG, including the recertification reapplication and statistical reporting; (2) describe other information considered for recertification; (3) clarify the basis for recertification by OIG; (4) create a procedure in which OIG notifies the Unit whether the reapplication is approved or denied by the Unit's recertification date; (5) clarify that an approved reapplication may be subject to special conditions; and (6) establish basic procedures for reconsideration of an OIG denial of recertification.

    Requirements for Recertification

    Section 1903(q)(7) of the Act requires a Unit to submit to the Secretary an application and “annual report containing such information as the Secretary determines, by regulations, to be necessary to determine whether the entity meets the other requirements of this paragraph.” Current regulations at § 1007.17 describe the content of the “annual report,” including certain statistical data and budget information, a narrative evaluating performance, any specific problems that have arisen over the year, and other matters that have impaired the Unit's effectiveness.

    We propose to revise § 1007.17(a) to describe the information that Units must submit annually to OIG to fulfill the statutory mandate that Units provide “annual reports” to the Secretary. Under our proposal, Units may choose to no longer submit a document labeled “annual report,” so long as the items described in the proposed regulation are submitted to OIG on an annual basis in the timeframes established for each Unit as part of its annual reapplication. Such information includes statistical and other information provided to OIG in an electronic format. We describe below the items that must be submitted by each MFCU over the course of the year that satisfy the requirement for an annual report.

    Narrative and approved data mining activities. First, as part of the reapplication, at the new § 1007.17(a)(1), we would continue to require the narrative from current § 1007.17(h) that evaluates the Unit's performance, describes any specific problems it has had in connection with the procedures and agreements under this part, and discusses other matters that have impaired its effectiveness. The narrative should also include any extended investigative approvals, pursuant to proposed § 1007.11(a)(2). Second, for Units that have received OIG approval to conduct data mining under § 1007.20, we would also continue to require that they submit information on their data mining activities.

    Information Request. At the new § 1007.17(a)(1)(iii), we propose an annual requirement that Units provide information to OIG addressing their compliance with this part and adherence to MFCU performance standards. This proposed provision would align the regulation with current practice in which the Units, as part of their reapplication, provide information requested by OIG for that year. We have also included in the proposed regulation a requirement that Units advise OIG of significant changes since the prior year's recertification. This would replace a provision contained in § 1007.15(c)(1), requiring the Unit to advise the Secretary of any significant changes in the information and documentation submitted with the initial MFCU application. However, we think it is more appropriate for a Unit to advise OIG of significant changes that occurred during the prior year, rather than since its initial application, which for some Units could be 30 years or more. The information requested by OIG prompts a Unit to answer questions about all aspects of its operations, which should lead to responses that describe any significant changes.

    Statistical report. Under the new § 1007.17(a)(2), we propose to amend the regulations to include the requirement that MFCUs submit an annual statistical report by November 30 of each year for the prior Federal fiscal year (FFY), containing the required data elements developed by OIG in collaboration with the MFCUs. Units submit to OIG statistical reports that include information on staffing, investigations, criminal prosecutions and civil actions, and other case outcomes. The statistical reports would be used, along with other information, to evaluate MFCUs for recertification. The statistical data provided by the Units would also enable OIG to assess performance and identify trends for all MFCUs.

    We propose that the requirement for a separate annual statistical report replace the statistics that are required as part of the current annual report at § 1007.17(a) through (e). This would eliminate duplication of reported statistics and provide a standard timeframe (the FFY) for reporting rather than the current annual report requirement, which is tied to the recertification period of each Unit and is often a different year period than the FFY. Further, the current regulation requires the Unit to submit projected performance statistics for the upcoming recertification period. We no longer require this level of detail because of the difficulty of providing projected statistics. Finally, the current regulation requires a Unit to submit its costs incurred for the recertification period. Because a Unit submits an official Federal financial form (SF-425) reporting its costs to OIG for the FFY, we do not need an unofficial accounting of costs for the recertification period which, as noted, is often different from the FFY.

    We also propose at the new § 1007.17(b) to include other information not submitted by the MFCU, but which, when appropriate, is reviewed for recertification. This would include information obtained during periodic onsite reviews and other information OIG deems necessary or warranted. It may also include obtaining feedback from stakeholders, such as the Medicaid program integrity director and the OIG special agent-in-charge, on their working relationships and business processes with the MFCU.

    Basis for Recertification

    Section 1007.15(d) describes items that OIG considers when recertifying a MFCU, including the information on the MFCU's reapplication, the annual report, the effective use of resources in investigating and prosecuting fraud, and “other reviews or information” deemed necessary or warranted. We propose to describe at the new § 1007.17(c) OIG's basis for recertifying a MFCU, including specifying the “other reviews or information” OIG deems necessary or warranted. To determine whether a Unit has demonstrated that it effectively carries out the functions and responsibilities of this part for purposes of recertification, OIG examines a Unit's compliance with this part and other applicable Federal regulations as well as with OIG policy transmittals. OIG consults with MFCU stakeholders. OIG also uses the statutory performance standards that Units must satisfy under § 1902(a)(61) of the Act as a guideline in evaluating whether a Unit is effectively and efficiently carrying out its duties and responsibilities.

    Further, as described in § 1007.11, in addition to the responsibility of having a Statewide program for investigating and prosecuting (or referring for prosecution) Medicaid fraud, MFCUs are also responsible for reviewing complaints alleging abuse or neglect of patients in health care facilities receiving payments under the State Medicaid plan and either investigating the complaints or referring them to the appropriate authority, which we interpret to mean that Units can investigate and prosecute cases arising from those complaints. At § 1007.17(c)(5), we propose to also include effective performance of the latter responsibility as an additional consideration in OIG's recertification review. OIG is aware that Units apportion their resources between the two responsibilities in different ways but believes that Units should not neglect one type of case.

    Recertification Notification and Denial of Recertification

    Section 1007.15(d)(l) provides that a Unit will be notified promptly whether its reapplication has been approved. We propose to modify the notice procedure at proposed § 1007.17(d) to state that OIG will provide notice of approval or denial of recertification by the Unit's recertification date. We also propose that the recertification approval may be subject to special conditions or restrictions, as provided in 45 CFR 75.207, and may require corrective action. Further, if an application for recertification is denied, we propose in the new § 1007.17(e) that a Unit may request reconsideration of a denial by providing written information addressing the findings on which the denial was based. Within 30 days of receipt of the request for reconsideration, OIG provides a final decision, and its basis, in writing to the Unit and notifies CMS if the Unit does not meet the requirements for recertification. Under section 1903(a)(6), the Federal Government may not provide FFP in costs incurred by a Unit that is not certified by OIG as meeting the requirements for operating a Unit as found at section 1903(q).

    Subpart C—Federal Financial Participation 1007.19 FFP Rate and Eligible Costs

    In the initial legislation establishing MFCUs, Congress provided that Federal funds would reimburse States for 90 percent of their MFCU costs for 12 quarters in order to encourage the development of State MFCUs. In 1980, Congress amended section 1903(a)(6) to provide a continuing incentive by authorizing ongoing Federal reimbursement at 75 percent of a MFCU's allowable costs after the first 12 quarters of operation.

    We propose to modify § 1007.19(a) to reflect that, under law, FFP is available at the rate of 90 percent during the first 12 quarters of a Unit's operation and at 75 percent thereafter, beginning with the 13th quarter of a Unit's operation. We also propose other modifications to clarify that each quarter of reimbursement at the 90 percent matching rate is counted in determining when the 13th quarter begins. Quarters of MFCU operation do not have to be consecutive to accumulate for purposes of determining when the 90 percent matching period has ended.

    We also propose to amend § 1007.19(d) to clarify in regulation that a Unit may receive FFP for its efforts to increase referrals through program outreach activities. These are activities that most Units currently undertake as a part of their responsibilities under the grant but are not addressed in the program regulations in part 1007. Permissible program outreach activities by the Units may include efforts to educate Medicaid providers, law enforcement entities, and the public about Medicaid fraud, patient abuse or neglect, and MFCU authority and jurisdiction. Program outreach activities may also include the dissemination of outreach and educational materials specifically designed to increase awareness of the MFCU mission that could lead to referrals to the Unit. These outreach materials must be of a de minimus cost and be useful and practical.

    We propose to amend § 1007.19(e)(2) to clarify the prohibition on the ability of Units to receive FFP to “identify situations in which a question of fraud may exist.” Specifically, the provision prohibits FFP “for expenditures attributable to: [. . .], except as provided under § 1007.20 [allowing Units to seek OIG approval to conduct data mining], efforts to identify situations in which a question of fraud may exist, including the screening of claims and analysis of patterns and practice that involve data mining as defined in § 1007.1.” We are proposing to replace “including the screening of claims . . .” with “by the screening of claims . . .” to clarify the ability of Units to engage in activities, other than data mining, to identify potential civil or criminal fraud in the Medicaid program.

    We believe that this revision to the Unit's permissible activities is supported by the following: MFCUs have the ability to work with a variety of State agencies and private referral sources to identify possible fraud and to undertake sophisticated detection activities, such as undercover operations. None of these activities interferes with the program integrity activities of the State Medicaid agency, which we believe was the initial intended purpose of the prohibition. Our proposal would remove from the Medicaid agency the sole burden of identifying potential fraud and would allow MFCUs to be less dependent on referrals from Medicaid agencies.

    1007.21 Disallowance Procedures

    We propose to amend the regulation in the new § 1007.21 to establish procedures for taking formal disallowances of FFP, for Units to request reconsideration of disallowances and to appeal to the HHS Departmental Appeals Board. The proposal is similar to CMS's requirements for the appeal of disallowances by State Medicaid agencies found at 42 CFR 430.42.

    Subpart D—Other Provisions 1007.23 Other Applicable HHS Regulations

    We propose to update the listing, contained in § 1007.21, of other applicable HHS regulations that were amended after the current MFCU regulations were promulgated. Specifically, we have updated the reference to the Department's award administration regulations now contained in 45 CFR part 75. 45 CFR part 75 establishes the HHS specific regulations for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) interim final rule of the Uniform Guidance (UG) at 2 CFR part 200, published on December 26, 2014. We are also updating references to regulations governing HHS Departmental Appeals Board procedures and HHS nondiscrimination policies.

    III. Regulatory Impact Statement

    We have examined the impact of this rule, as required by Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (September 30, 1993), Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review (January 18, 2011), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (September 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), section 1102(b) of the Social Security Act, section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (March 22, 1995; Pub. L. 104-4), Executive Order 13132 on Federalism (August 4, 1999) and the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2)).

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year). This rule does not reach the economic threshold, and thus is not considered a major rule. Since the proposed regulation would only implement current practice and policy, we believe the economic impact to be negligible.

    The RFA requires agencies to analyze options for regulatory relief of small entities. For purposes of the RFA, small entities include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Most hospitals and most other providers and suppliers are small entities, either by nonprofit status or by having revenues of $7.5 million to $38.5 million in any 1 year. Individuals and States are not included in the definition of a small entity. We are not preparing an analysis for the RFA because we have determined, and the Secretary certifies, that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    In addition, section 1102(b) of the Act requires us to prepare a regulatory impact analysis if a rule may have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals. This analysis must conform to the provisions of section 604 of the RFA. For purposes of section 1102(b) of the Act, we define a small rural hospital as a hospital that is outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area for Medicare payment regulations and has fewer than 100 beds. We are not preparing an analysis for section 1102(b) of the Act because we have determined, and the Secretary certifies, that this final rule will not have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals.

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 also requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2015, that threshold is approximately $144 million. This rule will have no consequential effect on State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector.

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain principles and criteria that an agency must follow when it implements a regulation or other policy that has Federalism implications, defined in the Order to mean that the regulation or policy has 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. The Order also requires a level of consultation with State or local officials when an agency formulates and implements a regulation that has Federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments, and that is not required by statute.

    We do not believe that this proposed regulation has Federal implications as it would not have a substantial direct effect on the States or on the relationship or distribution of power and responsibilities among levels of government. We also do not believe that the proposed regulation would impose substantial direct compliance costs on States. Rather, the regulation would reflect certain statutory changes governing operation of the MFCUs that have already been implemented and would codify policy and practice involving the organization and operation of the Units. We believe that the content of the regulation is consistent with the partnership between the Federal and State governments that has been established for the financing and administration of the larger Medicaid program. We further believe that any costs related to compliance with the proposed regulation are minimal and not substantial.

    However, to the extent that that the proposed regulation is seen as having Federal implications, the proposed regulation is consistent with the principles and criteria established in the Order. The proposed regulation would strictly adhere to constitutional principles and would be deferential to the States with respect to the policymaking and administration of State operations related to the investigation and prosecution of Medicaid provider fraud and patient abuse or neglect. With regard to consultation, the policies contained in the proposed regulation were developed in consultation and collaboration with the States.

    In accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866, this regulation was reviewed by OMB.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, before a collection-of-information requirement is submitted to OMB for review and approval, we are required to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register and solicit public comment. We propose to revise the scope of our annual collection of information as part of this NPRM to revise the MFCU oversight regulations contained in 42 CFR part 1007. The collection would contain certain mandatory information required annually as outlined at proposed 42 CFR 1007.17 which includes a reapplication of a brief narrative, data mining outcomes, and an information request as well as an annual statistical report. All of these items would replace the “Annual Report” required at current § 1007.17. Specifically, the proposed reapplication contains several elements. First, it would include a brief narrative that evaluates the Unit's performance, describes any specific problems it has had, and discusses any other matters that have impaired its effectiveness. This narrative could be in any format, as determined by each MFCU.

    Second, those MFCUs approved by OIG to conduct data mining under 42 CFR 1007.20 are required by the current regulation to submit the costs expended by the MFCU on data mining activities, the amount of staff time devoted to data mining activities, the number of cases generated from those activities, the outcome and status of those cases, and any other relevant indicia of return on investment from data mining activities. The reporting format for data mining activities is determined by each reporting MFCU.

    Third, the proposed reapplication would also include an information request concerning compliance with the statute, regulations, and policy transmittals as well as adherence to the MFCU performance standards. The information request would be in a standard question and answer format and has always been a part of the reapplication.

    Fourth, and separate from the reapplication, we propose that MFCUs provide a Federal fiscal year (FFY) annual statistical report containing data points found at proposed 42 CFR 1007.17(b). This is consistent with the MFCU performance standard that a Unit have a case management system that (1) allows efficient access to case information and other performance data from initiation to resolution and (2) allows for reporting of case information. Units maintain case management systems on an ongoing basis and would upload the proposed data to a secure web portal through a Federal service provider, OMB MAX by November 30 of each year. This annual statistical report would replace the statistical information that we propose to no longer require in an “Annual Report,” as at 42 CFR 1007.17(a) through (e), although some of the data points are the same or similar to the statistics proposed in the annual statistical report. The proposed new data points would be an enhancement to our current information and would, on a FFY basis, more completely and accurately describe Unit staffing, caseload, criminal and civil case outcomes, collections, and referrals.

    We estimate that the burden for these proposed collections would be similar to the burden approved under OMB approval No. 0990-0162. First, the currently approved burden estimate for the “Annual Report” is 88 hours per respondent. Because the burden previously assigned to the “Annual Report” would shift to the separate annual statistical report provided at the end of the FFY, we have re-estimated that preparing the brief narrative would take 3 hours per respondent. Based on reports from MFCU officials, providing information on data mining activities, if required, would require 1 hour of additional burden, as is currently approved. We have then shifted most of the balance of the current “Annual Report” burden (80 hours) to the proposed annual statistical report. We believe that most of the burden for preparing the annual statistical report consists of the ongoing updating of the Unit's case management system and not for the uploading of the actual report, so we believe the estimate is accurate. Second, the recertification reapplication information request has not changed from current practice and is approved under OMB No. 0990-0162. However, based on reports from MFCU officials, we have increased the reapplication information request burden estimate by 4 hours per respondent to 9 hours. Thus, we estimate that after shifting the burden between collections, the total burden would be the same as currently approved.

    Based on our knowledge of MFCU staff hourly rates and which MFCU staff person would prepare each collection, we estimate a MFCU official would spend approximately 29 hours at an estimated $38 per hour preparing the reapplication and annual statistical report. We estimate that a MFCU support staff person would spend approximately 64 hours of effort at an estimated hourly rate of $16 per hour to develop draft products, fulfill data entry activities, complete all required administrative functions, and confer with the MFCU supervising official, all of which are necessary to finalize the collection for submission to OIG. Based on these estimated hours and staff wage rates, the weighted average wage rate is $22.85 per hour. Thus, identical to the estimate that was approved under OMB No. 0990-0162, our best estimate is that about 93 burden hours would be expended by each of the 50 MFCUs.

    OIG would use the information collected to determine the MFCUs' compliance with Federal requirements and eligibility for continued Federal financial participation (FFP) under the Federal MFCU grant program, as part of the annual recertification process for each MFCU. The collection would also allow OIG to assess performance and trends in Medicaid fraud and patient abuse and neglect across all MFCUs.

    In order to evaluate fairly whether this information collection should be approved by OMB, section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires that we solicit comment on the following issues:

    • The need for the information collection and its usefulness in carrying out the proper functions of our agency;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the information collection burden;

    • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Recommendations to minimize the information collection burden on the affected public, including automated collection techniques.

    Under the PRA, the time, effort, and financial resources necessary to meet the information collection requirements referenced in this section are to be considered. We explicitly seek, and will consider, public comment on our assumptions as they relate to the PRA requirements summarized in this section. Comments on these information collection activities should be sent to the following address within 60 days following the Federal Register publication of this proposed rule: OIG Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20053.

    List of Subjects 42 CFR Part 455—Program integrity: Medicaid.

    Fraud, Grant programs-health, Health facilities, Health professions, Investigations, Medicaid, Reporting and recordkeeping requirement.

    42 CFR Part 1007—State Medicaid fraud control units.

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fraud, Grant programs-health, Medicaid, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) respectively, propose to amend 42 CFR part 455 and 1007 as follows:

    CHAPTER IV—CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 1. The Authority citation for part 455 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sec. 1102 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302).

    2. Section 455.21 is amended by adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 455.21 Cooperation with State Medicaid fraud control units.

    (c) The agency must enter into a written agreement with the unit under which—

    (1) The agency will agree to comply with all requirements of § 455.21(a);

    (2) The unit will agree to comply with the requirements of 42 CFR 1007.11(c); and

    (3) The agency and the unit will agree to—

    (i) Establish a practice of regular meetings or communication between the two entities;

    (ii) Establish a set of procedures for how they will cooperate and coordinate their efforts; and

    (iii) Establish procedures for 42 CFR 1007.9(e) through 1007.9(h).

    (iv) Review and, as necessary, update the agreement no less frequently than every 5 years to ensure that the agreement reflects current law and practice.

    CHAPTER V—OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL-HEALTH CARE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 3. Part 1007 is revised to read as follows: PART 1007—STATE MEDICAID FRAUD CONTROL UNITS Subpart-A—General Provisions and Definitions 1007.1 Definitions. 1007.3 What is the statutory basis for and organization of this rule? Subpart-B—Requirements for Certification 1007.5 What are the single identifiable entity requirements for a Unit? 1007.7 What are the prosecutorial authority requirements for a Unit?
    § 1007.9 What is the relationship to the Medicaid agency, and what should be included in the agreement with the agency? 1007.11 What are the functions and responsibilities of a Unit? 1007.13 What are the staffing requirements of a Unit? 1007.15 How does a State apply to establish a Unit and how is a Unit initially certified? 1007.17 How is a Unit recertified annually?
    Subpart-C—Federal Financial Participation 1007.19 What is the Federal financial participation (FFP) rate and what costs are eligible for FFP? 1007.20 Under what circumstances is data mining permissible? 1007.21 What is the procedure for disallowance of claims for FFP? Subpart-D—Other Provisions 1007.23 What other HHS regulations apply to a Unit?
    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 1302, 1396a(a)(61), 1396b(a)(6), 1396b(b)(3) and 1396b(q).

    Subpart-A—General Provisions and Definitions
    § 1007.1 Definitions.

    As used in this part, unless otherwise indicated by the context:

    Abuse of patients means any act that constitutes abuse of a patient under applicable criminal State law, including the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical or financial harm, pain or mental anguish.

    Board and care facility means a residential setting that receives payment (regardless of whether such payment is made under Title XIX of the Social Security Act) from or on behalf of two or more unrelated adults who reside in such facility, and for whom one or both of the following is provided:

    (1) Nursing care services provided by, or under the supervision of, a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or licensed nursing assistant. (2) A substantial amount of personal care services that assist residents with the activities of daily living, including personal hygiene, dressing, bathing, eating, toileting, ambulation, transfer, positioning, self-medication, body care, travel to medical services, essential shopping, meal preparation, laundry, and housework.

    Data mining means the practice of electronically sorting Medicaid or other relevant data, including, but not limited to, the use of statistical models and intelligent technologies, to uncover patterns and relationships within that data to identify aberrant utilization, billing, or other practices that are potentially fraudulent.

    Director means a professional employee of the Unit who supervises all Unit employees, either directly or through other MFCU managers.

    Exclusive effort means that professional Unit employees, except as otherwise permitted in § 1007.13, dedicate their efforts “exclusively” to the functions and responsibilities of a Unit as described in this part. Exclusive effort requires that duty with the Unit be intended to last for at least 1 year and includes an arrangement in which an employee is on detail or assignment from another government agency, but only if the detail or arrangement is intended to last for at least 1 year.

    Fraud means any act that constitutes criminal or civil fraud under applicable State law. It includes a deception, concealment of a material fact, or misrepresentation made by a person intentionally, in deliberate ignorance of the truth, or in reckless disregard of the truth.

    Full-time employee means an employee of the Unit who has full-time status as defined by the State.

    Health care facility means a provider that receives payments under Medicaid and furnishes food, shelter, and some treatment or services to four or more persons unrelated to the proprietor in an inpatient setting.

    Misappropriation of patient funds means the wrongful taking or use, as defined under applicable State law, of funds or property of a patient residing in a health care facility or board and care facility.

    Neglect of patients means any act that constitutes abuse of a patient under applicable criminal State law, including the willful failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness.

    Part-time employee means an employee of the Unit who has part-time status as defined by the State.

    Professional employee means an investigator, attorney, or auditor.

    Program abuse means provider practices that fall short of acts which constitute civil or criminal fraud under applicable Federal and State law, including those that are inconsistent with sound fiscal, business, or medical practices. Program abuse may result in an unnecessary cost to the Medicaid program, inappropriate charges to beneficiaries or in reimbursement for services that are not medically necessary.

    Provider means an individual or entity that furnishes items or services for which payment is claimed under Medicaid, or an individual or entity that is required to enroll in a State Medicaid program, such as an ordering or referring physician.

    Unit means the State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

    § 1007.3 What is the statutory basis for and organization of this rule?

    (a) Statutory basis. This part codifies sections 1903(a)(6) and 1903(b)(3) of the Social Security Act (the Act), which establish the amounts and conditions of Federal matching payments for expenditures incurred in establishing and operating a State MFCU. This part also implements section 1903(q) of the Act, which establishes the basic requirements and standards that Units must meet to demonstrate that they are effectively carrying out the functions of the State MFCU in order to be certified by OIG as eligible for FFP under title XIX. Section 1902(a)(61) of the Act requires a State to provide in its Medicaid State plan that it operates a MFCU that effectively carries out the functions and requirements described in this part, as determined in accordance with standards established by OIG, unless the State demonstrates that a Unit would not be cost-effective because of minimal Medicaid fraud in the covered services under the plan and that beneficiaries under the plan will be protected from abuse and neglect in connection with the provision of medical assistance under the plan without the existence of such a Unit. CMS retains the authority to determine a State's compliance with Medicaid State plan requirements in accordance with Section 1902(a) of the Act.

    (b) Organization of the rule. Subpart A of this part defines terms used in this part and sets forth the statutory basis and organization of this part. Subpart B specifies the certification requirements that a Unit must meet to be eligible for FFP, including requirements for applying and reapplying for certification. Subpart C specifies FFP rates, costs eligible and not eligible for FFP, and FFP disallowance procedures. Subpart D specifies other HHS regulations applicable to the MFCU grants.

    Subpart B—Requirements for Certification
    § 1007.5 What are the single identifiable entity requirements for a Unit?

    (a) A Unit must be a single identifiable entity of the State government.

    (b) To be considered a single identifiable entity of the State government the Unit must:

    (1) Be a single organization reporting to the Unit director;

    (2) Operate under a budget that is separate from that of its parent agency; and

    (3) Have the headquarters office and any field offices each in their own contiguous space.

    § 1007.7 What are the prosecutorial authority requirements of a Unit?

    A Unit must be organized according to one of the following three options related to a Unit's prosecutorial authority:

    (a) The Unit is in the office of the State Attorney General or another department of State government that has Statewide authority to prosecute individuals for violations of criminal laws with respect to fraud in the provision or administration of medical assistance under a State plan implementing title XIX of the Act;

    (b) If there is no State agency with Statewide authority and capability for criminal fraud or patient abuse and neglect prosecutions, the Unit has established formal written procedures ensuring that the Unit refers suspected cases of criminal fraud in the State Medicaid program or of patient abuse and neglect to the appropriate prosecuting authority or authorities, and provides assistance and coordination to such authority or authorities in the prosecution of such cases; or

    (c) The Unit has a formal working relationship with the office of the State Attorney General, or another office with Statewide prosecutorial authority, and has formal written procedures for referring to the Attorney General or other office suspected criminal violations and for effective coordination of the activities of both entities relating to the detection, investigation and prosecution of those violations relating to the State Medicaid program. Under this working relationship, the office of the State Attorney General, or other office, must agree to assume responsibility for prosecuting alleged criminal violations referred to it by the Unit. However, if the Attorney General finds that another prosecuting authority has the demonstrated capacity, experience and willingness to prosecute an alleged violation, he or she may refer a case to that prosecuting authority, so long as the Attorney General's Office maintains oversight responsibility for the prosecution and for coordination between the Unit and the prosecuting authority.

    § 1007.9 What is the relationship to the Medicaid agency, and what should be included in the agreement with the agency?

    (a) The Unit must be separate and distinct from the Medicaid agency.

    (b) No official of the Medicaid agency will have authority to review the activities of the Unit or to review or overrule the referral of a suspected criminal violation to an appropriate prosecuting authority.

    (c) The Unit will not receive funds paid under this part either from or through the Medicaid agency.

    (d) The Unit must enter into a written agreement with the Medicaid agency under which:

    (1) The Medicaid agency will agree to comply with all requirements of § 455.21(a) of this title;

    (2) The Unit will agree to comply with the requirements of § 1007.11(c) of this title; and

    (3) The Medicaid agency and the Unit will agree to:

    (i) Establish a practice of regular meetings or communication between the two entities;

    (ii) Establish procedures for how they will coordinate their efforts; and

    (iii) Establish procedures for §§ 1007.9(e) through 1007.9(h).

    (iv) Review and, if needed, update the agreement no less frequently than every 5 years to ensure that the agreement reflects current law and practice.

    (e)(1) The Unit may refer any provider with respect to which there is pending an investigation of a credible allegation of fraud under the Medicaid program to the Medicaid agency for payment suspension in whole or part under § 455.23 of this title.

    (2) Referrals may be brief, but must be in writing and include sufficient information to allow the Medicaid agency to identify the provider and to explain the credible allegations forming the grounds for the payment suspension.

    (f) Any request by the Unit to the Medicaid agency to delay notification to the provider of a payment suspension under § 455.23 of this title must be made promptly in writing.

    (g) The Unit should reach a decision on whether to accept a case referred by the Medicaid agency in a timely fashion. When the Unit accepts or declines a case referred by the Medicaid agency, the Unit promptly notifies the Medicaid agency in writing of the acceptance or declination of the case.

    (h) Upon request from the Medicaid agency on a quarterly basis under § 455.23(d)(3)(ii), the Unit will certify that any matter accepted on the basis of a referral continues to be under investigation thus warranting continuation of the payment suspension.

    § 1007.11 What are the functions and responsibilities of a Unit?

    (a) The Unit must conduct a Statewide program for investigating and prosecuting (or referring for prosecution) violations of all applicable State laws pertaining to the following:

    (1) Fraud in the administration of the Medicaid program, the provision of medical assistance, or the activities of providers.

    (2) Fraud in any aspect of the provision of health care services and activities of providers of such services under any Federal health care program (as defined in section 1128B(f)(1)of the Act), if the Unit obtains the written approval of the Inspector General of the relevant agency and the suspected fraud or violation of law in such case or investigation is primarily related to the State Medicaid program.

    (3) Such State laws include criminal statutes as well as civil false claims statutes or other civil authorities.

    (b)(1) The Unit must also review complaints alleging abuse or neglect of patients, including complaints of the misappropriation of a patient's funds, in health care facilities receiving payments under Medicaid.

    (2) At the option of the Unit, it may review complaints of abuse or neglect of patients, including misappropriation of patient funds, residing in board and care facilities, regardless of whether payment to such facilities is made under Medicaid.

    (3) If the initial review of the complaint indicates substantial potential for criminal prosecution, the Unit must investigate the complaint or refer it to an appropriate criminal investigative or prosecutorial authority.

    (4) If the initial review does not indicate a substantial potential for criminal prosecution, the Unit must, if appropriate, refer the complaint to the proper Federal, State, or local agency.

    (c) If the Unit, in carrying out its duties and responsibilities under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, discovers that overpayments have been made to a health care facility or other provider, the Unit must either recover such overpayment as part of its resolution of a fraud case or refer the matter to the proper State agency for collection.

    (d) Where a prosecuting authority other than the Unit is to assume responsibility for the prosecution of a case investigated by the Unit, the Unit must ensure that those responsible for the prosecutorial decision and the preparation of the case for trial have the fullest possible opportunity to participate in the investigation from its inception and must provide all necessary assistance to the prosecuting authority throughout all resulting prosecutions.

    (e)(1) The Unit, if requested, will make available to OIG investigators and attorneys, other Federal investigators, and prosecutors, all information in the Unit's possession concerning investigations or prosecutions conducted by the Unit.

    (2) The Unit will coordinate with OIG investigators and attorneys, other Federal investigators, and prosecutors on any Unit cases involving the same suspects or allegations.

    (3) The Unit will establish a practice of regular Unit meetings or communication with OIG investigators and Federal prosecutors.

    (4) When the Unit lacks the authority or resources to pursue a case, including for allegations of Medicare fraud and for civil false claims actions in a State without a civil false claims act or other State authority, the Unit will make appropriate referrals to OIG investigators and attorneys or other Federal investigators or prosecutors.

    (5) The Unit will establish written procedures for items described in paragraphs (e)(1) through (4) of this section.

    (f) The Unit will guard the privacy rights of all beneficiaries and other individuals whose data is under the Unit's control and will provide adequate safeguards to protect sensitive information and data under the Unit's control.

    (g)(1) The Unit will transmit to OIG pertinent information on all convictions, including charging documents, plea agreements, and sentencing orders, for purposes of program exclusion under section 1128 of the Act.

    (2) Convictions include those obtained either by Unit prosecutors or non-Unit prosecutors in any case investigated by the Unit.

    (3) Such information will be transmitted to OIG within 30 days of sentencing, or as soon as practicable if the Unit encounters delays in receiving the necessary information from the sentencing court.

    § 1007.13 What are the staffing requirements of a Unit?

    (a) The Unit will employ sufficient professional, administrative, and support staff to carry out its duties and responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner.

    (b) The Unit must employ individuals from each of the following categories of professional employees, whose exclusive effort, as defined in § 1007.1, is devoted to the work of the Unit:

    (1) One or more attorneys capable of prosecuting health care fraud or criminal cases and capable of giving informed advice on applicable law and procedures and providing effective prosecution or liaison with other prosecutors;

    (2) One or more experienced auditors capable of reviewing financial records and advising or assisting in the investigation of alleged fraud and patient abuse and neglect; and

    (3) One or more investigators, including a senior investigator who is capable of supervising and directing the investigative activities of the Unit.

    (c) The Unit must employ a director, as defined in § 1007.1, who supervises all Unit employees.

    (d) Professional employees:

    (1) Must devote their exclusive effort to the work of the Unit, as defined in § 1007.1 and except as provided in paragraphs(d)(2) and (d)(3) of this section;

    (2) May be employed outside the Unit during non-duty hours, only if the employee is not:

    (i) Employed with a State agency (other than the Unit itself) or its contractors; or

    (ii) Employed with an entity whose mission poses a conflict of interest with Unit function and duties;

    (3) May perform non-MFCU assignments for the State government only to the extent that such duties are limited in duration; and

    (4) Must be under the direction and supervision of the Unit director.

    (e) The Unit may employ administrative and support staff, such as paralegals, information technology personnel, interns, and secretaries, who may be full-time or part-time employees and must report to the director or other Unit supervisor.

    (f) The Unit will employ, or have available to it, individuals who are knowledgeable about the provision of medical assistance under title XIX and about the operations of health care providers.

    (g)(1) The Unit may employ, or have available through consultant agreements or other contractual arrangements, individuals who have forensic or other specialized skills that support the investigation and prosecution of cases.

    (2) The Unit may not, through consultant agreements or other contractual arrangements, rely on individuals not employed directly by the Unit for the investigation or prosecution of cases.

    (h) The Unit must provide training for its professional employees for the purpose of establishing and maintaining proficiency in Medicaid fraud and patient abuse and neglect matters.

    § 1007.15 How does a State apply to establish a Unit, and how is a Unit initially certified?

    (a) Initial application. In order to demonstrate that it meets the requirements for certification, the State or territory must submit to OIG, an application approved by the Governor or chief executive, containing the following:

    (1) A description of the applicant's organization, structure, and location within State government, and a statement of whether it seeks certification under § 1007.7 (a), (b), or (c);

    (2) A statement from the State Attorney General that the applicant has authority to carry out the functions and responsibilities set forth in Subpart B. If the applicant seeks certification under § 1007.7(b), the statement must also specify either that—

    (i) There is no State agency with the authority to exercise Statewide prosecuting authority for the violations with which the Unit is concerned, or

    (ii) Although the State Attorney General may have common law authority for Statewide criminal prosecutions, he or she has not exercised that authority;

    (3) A copy of whatever memorandum of agreement, regulation, or other document sets forth the formal procedures required under § 1007.7(b), or the formal working relationship and procedures required under § 1007.7(c);

    (4) A copy of the agreement with the Medicaid agency required under § 1007.9 and § 455.21(c);

    (5) A statement of the procedures to be followed in carrying out the functions and responsibilities of this part;

    (6) A proposed budget for the 12-month period for which certification is sought; and

    (7) Current and projected staffing, including the names, education, and experience of all senior professional employees already employed and job descriptions, with minimum qualifications, for all professional positions.

    (b) Basis for, and notification of certification.

    (1) OIG will make a determination as to whether the initial application under paragraph (a) meets the requirements of §§ 1007.5 through 1007.13 and whether a Unit will be effective in using its resources in investigating Medicaid fraud and patient abuse and neglect.

    (2) OIG will certify a Unit only if OIG specifically approves the applicant's formal written procedures under § 1007.7 (b) or (c), if either of those provisions is applicable.

    (3) If the application is not approved, the applicant may submit a revised application at any time.

    (4) OIG will certify a Unit that meets the requirements of this Subpart B for 12 months.

    § 1007.17 How is a Unit recertified annually?

    (a) Information required annually for recertification. To continue receiving payments under this part, a Unit must submit to OIG:

    (1) Reapplication for recertification. Reapplication is due at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the 12-month certification period. A reapplication must include:

    (i) A brief narrative that evaluates the Unit's performance, describes any specific problems it has had in connection with the procedures and agreements required under this part, and discusses any other matters that have impaired its effectiveness. The narrative should include any extended investigative authority approvals obtained pursuant to § 1007.11(a)(2).

    (ii) For those MFCUs approved to conduct data mining under § 1007.20, all costs expended by the MFCU attributed to data mining activities; the amount of staff time devoted to data mining activities; the number of cases generated from those activities; the outcome and status of those cases, including the expected and actual monetary recoveries (both Federal and non-Federal share); and any other relevant indicia of return on investment from such activities.

    (iii) Information requested by OIG to assess compliance with this part and adherence to MFCU performance standards, including any significant changes in the information or documentation provided to OIG in the previous reporting period.

    (2) Statistical Reporting. By November 30 of each year, the Unit will submit statistical reporting for the Federal fiscal year that ended on the prior September 30 containing the following statistics—

    (i) Unit staffing. The number of Unit employees, categorized by attorneys, investigators, auditors, and other employees on board; and total number of approved Unit positions;

    (ii) Caseload. The number of open, new, and closed cases categorized by type of case; the number of open criminal and civil cases categorized by type of provider;

    (iii) Criminal case outcomes. The number of criminal convictions and indictments categorized by type of case and by type of provider; the number of acquittals, dismissals, referrals for prosecution, sentences, and other non-monetary penalties categorized by type of case; the amount of total ordered criminal recoveries categorized by type of provider; the amount of ordered Medicaid restitution, fines ordered, investigative costs ordered, and other monetary payment ordered categorized by type of case

    (iv) Civil case outcomes. The number of civil settlements and judgments and recoveries categorized by type of provider; the number of global (coordinated among a group of States) civil settlements and successful judgments; the amount of global civil recoveries to the Medicaid program; and the amount of other global civil monetary recoveries; the number of other civil cases opened, filed, or referred for filing; the number of other civil case settlements and successful judgments; the amount of other civil case recoveries to the Medicaid program; the amount of other monetary recoveries; and the number of other civil cases declined or closed without successful settlement or judgment;

    (v) Collections. The monies actually collected on criminal and civil cases categorized by type of case; and

    (vi) Referrals. The number of referrals received categorized by source of referral and type of case; the number of cases opened categorized by source of referral and type of case; and the number of referrals made to other agencies categorized by type of case.

    (b) Other information reviewed for recertification. In addition to reviewing information required at § 1007.17(a), OIG will review, as appropriate, the following information when considering recertification of a Unit:

    (1) Information obtained through onsite reviews; and

    (2) Other information OIG deems necessary or warranted.

    (c) Basis for recertification. In reviewing the information described at sections § 1007.17(a) and (b), OIG will evaluate whether the Unit has demonstrated that it effectively carries out the functions and requirements described in section 1903(q) of the Act as implemented by this Part. In making that determination, OIG will take into consideration the following factors:

    (1) Unit's compliance with this part and other Federal regulations, including those specified in § 1007.23;

    (2) Unit's compliance with OIG policy transmittals;

    (3) Unit's adherence to MFCU performance standards as published in the Federal Register;

    (4) Unit's effectiveness in using its resources in investigating cases of possible fraud in the administration of the Medicaid program, the provision of medical assistance, or the activities of providers of medical assistance under the State Medicaid plan, and in prosecuting cases or cooperating with the prosecuting authorities; and

    (5) Unit's effectiveness in using its resources in reviewing and investigating, referring for investigation or prosecution, or for criminally prosecuting complaints alleging abuse or neglect of patients in health care facilities receiving payments under the State Medicaid plan and, at the Unit's option, in board and care facilities.

    (d) Notification. OIG will notify the Unit by the Unit's recertification date of approval or denial of the recertification reapplication.

    (1) Approval subject to conditions. OIG may impose special conditions or restrictions and may require corrective action, as provided in 45 CFR 75.207, before approving a reapplication for recertification.

    (2) If the reapplication is denied, OIG will provide a written explanation of the findings on which the denial was based.

    (e) Reconsideration of denial of recertification.

    (1) A Unit may request that OIG reconsider a decision to deny recertification by providing written information contesting the findings on which the denial was based.

    (2) Within 30 days of receipt of the request for reconsideration, OIG will provide a final decision in writing, explaining its basis for approving or denying the reconsideration of recertification.

    Subpart C—Federal Financial Participation
    § 1007.19 What is the FFP rate and what costs are eligible for FFP?

    (a) Rate of FFP. (1) Subject to the limitation of this section, the Secretary must reimburse each State by an amount equal to 90 percent of the allowable costs incurred by a certified Unit during the first 12 quarters of operation that are attributable to carrying out its functions and responsibilities under this part.

    (2) Beginning with the 13th quarter of operation, the Secretary must reimburse 75 percent of costs incurred by a certified Unit. Each quarter of operation must be counted in determining when the Unit has accumulated 12 quarters of operation and is, therefore, no longer eligible for a 90 percent matching rate. Quarters of operation do not have to be consecutive to accumulate.

    (b) Retroactive certification. OIG may grant certification retroactive to the date on which the Unit first met all the requirements of the statute and of this part. For any quarter with respect to which the Unit is certified, the Secretary will provide reimbursement for the entire quarter.

    (c) Total amount of FFP. FFP for any quarter must not exceed the higher of $125,000 or one-quarter of 1 percent of the sums expended by the Federal, State, and local governments during the previous quarter in carrying out the State Medicaid program.

    (d) Costs eligible for FFP. (1) FFP is allowable under this part for the expenditures attributable to the establishment and operation of the Unit, including the cost of training personnel employed by the Unit and efforts to increase referrals to the Unit through program outreach. Reimbursement is allowable only for costs attributable to the specific responsibilities and functions set forth in this part and if the Unit has been certified and recertified by OIG.

    (2) Establishment costs are limited to clearly identifiable costs of personnel that meet the requirements of § 1007.13 of this part.

    (e) Costs not eligible for FFP. FFP is not allowable under this part for expenditures attributable to—

    (1) The investigation of cases involving program abuse or other failures to comply with applicable laws and regulations, if these cases do not involve substantial allegations or other indications of fraud, as described in § 1007.11(a) of this part;

    (2) Routine verification with beneficiaries of whether services billed by providers were actually received, or, except as provided in § 1007.20, efforts to identify situations in which a question of fraud may exist by the screening of claims and analysis of patterns and practice that involve data mining as defined in § 1007.1.

    (3) The routine notification of providers that fraudulent claims may be punished under Federal or State law;

    (4) The performance of any audit or investigation, any professional legal function, or any criminal, civil or administrative prosecution of suspected providers by a person who does not meet the professional employee requirements in § 1007.13(d);

    (5) The investigation or prosecution of cases involving a beneficiary's eligibility for benefits, unless the suspected fraud also involves conspiracy with a provider;

    (6) Any payment, direct or indirect, from the Unit to the Medicaid agency, other than payments for the salaries of employees on detail to the Unit; or

    (7) Temporary duties performed by professional employees that are not required functions and responsibilities of the Unit, as described at § 1007.13(d)(3).

    § 1007.20 Under what circumstances is data mining permissible?

    (a) Notwithstanding § 1007.19(e)(2), a MFCU may engage in data mining as defined in this part and receive FFP only under the following conditions:

    (1) The MFCU identifies the methods of coordination between the MFCU and Medicaid agency, the individuals serving as primary points of contact for data mining, as well as the contact information, title, and office of such individuals;

    (2) MFCU employees engaged in data mining receive specialized training in data mining techniques;

    (3) The MFCU describes how it will comply with paragraphs(a)(1) and (2) of this section as part of the agreement required by § 1007.9(d); and

    (4) OIG, in consultation with CMS, approves in advance the provisions of the agreement as defined in paragraph (a)(3)of this section.

    (i) OIG will act on a request from a MFCU for review and approval of the agreement within 90 days after receipt of a written request, or the request shall be considered approved if OIG fails to respond within 90 days after receipt of the written request.

    (ii) If OIG requests additional information in writing, the 90-day period for OIG action on the request begins on the day OIG receives the information from the MFCU.

    (iii) The approval is for 3 years.

    (iv) A MFCU may request renewal of its data mining approval for additional 3-year periods by submitting a written request for renewal to OIG, along with an updated agreement with the Medicaid agency.

    § 1007.21 What is the procedure for disallowance of claims for FFP?

    (a) Notice of disallowance. When OIG determines that a Unit's claim or portion of a claim for FFP is not allowable, OIG shall send to the Unit notification that meets the requirements listed at 42 CFR 430.42(a).

    (b) Reconsideration of disallowance. (1) The Principal Deputy Inspector General will reconsider MFCU disallowance determinations made by OIG.

    (2) To request a reconsideration from the Principal Deputy Inspector General, the Unit must follow the requirements in 42 CFR 430.42(b)(2) and submit all required information to the Principal Deputy Inspector General. Copies should be sent via registered or certified mail to the Principal Deputy Inspector General.

    (3) The Unit may request to retain FFP during the reconsideration of the disallowance under section 1116(e) of the Act, in accordance with 42 CFR 433.38.

    (4) The Unit is not required to request reconsideration before seeking review from the Departmental Appeals Board.

    (5) The Unit may also seek reconsideration, and following the reconsideration decision, request a review from the Departmental Appeals Board.

    (6) If the Unit elects reconsideration, the reconsideration process must be completed or withdrawn before requesting review by the Departmental Appeals Board.

    (c) Procedures for reconsideration of a disallowance. (1) Within 60 days after receipt of the disallowance letter, the Unit shall, in accordance with (b)(2) of this section, submit in writing to the Principal Deputy Inspector General any relevant evidence, documentation, or explanation.

    (2) After consideration of the policies and factual matters pertinent to the issues in question, the Principal Deputy Inspector General shall, within 60 days from the date of receipt of the request for reconsideration, issue a written decision or a request for additional information as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

    (3) At the Principal Deputy Inspector General's option, OIG may request from the Unit any additional information or documents necessary to make a decision. The request for additional information must be sent via registered or certified mail to establish the date the request was sent by OIG and received by the Unit.

    (4) Within 30 days after receipt of the request for additional information, the Unit must submit to the Principal Deputy Inspector General all requested documents and materials.

    (i) If the Principal Deputy Inspector General finds that the materials are not in readily reviewable form or that additional information is needed, he or she shall notify the Unit via registered or certified mail that it has 15 business days from the date of receipt of the notice to submit the readily reviewable or additional materials.

    (ii) If the Unit does not provide the necessary materials within 15 business days from the date of receipt of such notice, the Principal Deputy Inspector General shall affirm the disallowance in a final reconsideration decision issued within 15 days from the due date of additional information from the Unit.

    (5) If additional documentation is provided in readily reviewable form under paragraph (c)(4) of this section, the Principal Deputy Inspector General shall issue a written decision, within 60 days from the due date of such information.

    (6) The final written decision shall constitute final OIG administrative action on the reconsideration and shall be (within 15 business days of the decision) mailed to the Unit via registered or certified mail to establish the date the reconsideration decision was received by the Unit.

    (7) If the Principal Deputy Inspector General does not issue a decision within 60 days from the date of receipt of the request for reconsideration or the date of receipt of the requested additional information, the disallowance shall be deemed to be affirmed.

    (8) No section of this regulation shall be interpreted as waiving OIG's right to assert any provision or exemption under the Freedom of Information Act.

    (d) Withdrawal of a request for reconsideration of a disallowance. (1) A Unit may withdraw the request for reconsideration at any time before the notice of the reconsideration decision is received by the Unit without affecting its right to submit a notice of appeal to the Departmental Appeals Board. The request for withdrawal must be in writing and sent to the Principal Deputy Inspector General via registered or certified mail.

    (2) Within 60 days after OIG's receipt of a Unit's withdrawal request, a Unit may, in accordance with (f)(2) of this section, submit a notice of appeal to the Departmental Appeals Board.

    (e) Implementation of decisions for reconsideration of a disallowance. (1) After undertaking a reconsideration, the Principal Deputy Inspector General may affirm, reverse, or revise the disallowance and shall issue a final written reconsideration decision to the Unit in accordance with 42 CFR 430.42(c)(5) and (c)(3) of this section.

    (2) If the reconsideration decision requires an adjustment of FFP, either upward or downward, a subsequent grant action will be made in the amount of such increase or decrease.

    (3) Within 60 days after receipt of a reconsideration decision from OIG, a Unit may, in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section, submit a notice of appeal to the Departmental Appeals Board.

    (f) Appeal of disallowance. (1) The Departmental Appeals Board reviews disallowances of FFP under title XIX, including disallowances issued by OIG to the Units.

    (2) A Unit that wishes to appeal a disallowance to the Departmental Appeals Board must follow the requirements in 42 CFR 430.42(f)(2).

    (3) The appeals procedures are those set forth in 45 CFR part 16 for Medicaid and for many other programs, including the MFCUs, administered by the Department.

    (4) The Departmental Appeals Board may affirm the disallowance, reverse the disallowance, modify the disallowance, or remand the disallowance to OIG for further consideration.

    (5) The Departmental Appeals Board will issue a final written decision to the Unit consistent with 45 CFR part 16.

    (6) If the appeal decision requires an adjustment of FFP, either upward or downward, a subsequent grant action will be made in the amount of increase or decrease.

    Subpart-D—Other Provisions
    § 1007.23 What other HHS regulations apply to a Unit?

    The following regulations from 45 CFR subtitle A apply to grants under this part:

    Part 16—Procedures of the Departmental Grant Appeals Board;

    Part 75—Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards;

    Part 80—Nondiscrimination under Programs Receiving Federal Assistance through HHS, Effectuation of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

    Part 81—Practice and Procedure for Hearings under 45 CFR part 80;

    Part 84—Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs and Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance;

    Part 91—Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance from HHS.

    Dated: June 16, 2016. Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General. Approved: June 23, 2016. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary. Editor's Note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of Federal Register on September 12, 2016.

    [FR Doc. 2016-22269 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4152-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary 43 CFR Part 2 [No. DOI-2016-0006; 16XD4523WS DS10200000 DWSN00000.000000 WBS DP10202] RIN 1093-AA21 Freedom of Information Act Regulations AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rulemaking would revise the regulations that the Department of the Interior (Department) follows in processing records under the Freedom of Information Act in part to comply with the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The revisions would clarify and update procedures for requesting information from the Department and procedures that the Department follows in responding to requests from the public.

    DATES:

    Comments on the rulemaking must be submitted on or before November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the rulemaking by either of the methods listed below. Please use Regulation Identifier Number 1093-AA21 in your message.

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the “Search” bar, enter DOI-2016-0006 (the docket number for this rule) and then click “Search.” Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments.

    2. U.S. mail, courier, or hand delivery: Executive Secretariat—FOIA regulations, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cindy Cafaro, Office of Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs, 202-208-5342.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Why We're Publishing This Proposed Rule and What It Does

    In late 2012, the Department published a final rule updating and replacing the Department's previous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. In early 2016, the Department updated that final rule, primarily to authorize the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to process their own FOIA appeals. On June 30, 2016, the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Pub. L. 114-185, 130 Stat. 538 (the Act) was enacted. The Act specifically requires all agencies to review and update their FOIA regulations in accordance with its provisions, and the Department is making changes to its regulations accordingly. Finally, the Department has received feedback from its FOIA practitioners and requesters and identified areas where it would be possible to further update, clarify, and streamline the language of some procedural provisions. Therefore, the Department is proposing to make the following changes:

    • Section 2.4(e) would be amended to provide additional guidance on how bureaus handle misdirected requests.

    • Section 2.15 would be amended to bring attention to the Department's existing FOIA Request Tracking Tool (https://foia.doi.gov/requeststatus).

    • Section 2.19 would be amended to bring further attention to the services provided by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

    • Section 2.21 would be amended to reflect that the OGIS would be defined earlier in the regulations than it previously had been.

    • Section 2.24 would be amended to require a foreseeable harm analysis, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and to require bureaus to provide an explanation to the requester when an estimate of the volume of any records withheld in full or in part is not provided.

    • Section 2.37(f) would be amended to reflect the provisions of the Act.

    • Section 2.39 would be amended to remove what would be superfluous language, after the changes to section 2.37(f).

    • Section 2.58 would be amended to provide more time for requesters to appeal, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

    II. Compliance With Laws and Executive Orders 1. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rulemaking 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 proposed rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    2. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this rulemaking will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

    3. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

    a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

    b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

    c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    4. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rulemaking does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. This rulemaking does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

    5. Takings (E.O. 12630)

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, this rulemaking does not have significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    6. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    In accordance with Executive Order 13132, this proposed rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. It would not substantially and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and state governments. A federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    7. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has determined that this rulemaking does not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Executive Order.

    8. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated this proposed rule and determined that it has no potential effects on federally recognized Indian tribes. This rulemaking does not have tribal implications that impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian Tribal governments.

    9. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required.

    10. National Environmental Policy Act

    This rulemaking does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. (NEPA), is not required. Pursuant to 43 CFR 46.205(b) and 43 CFR 46.210(i), the Department of the Interior NEPA implementing procedures exclude from preparation of an environmental assessment or impact statement “[p]olicies, directives, regulations, and guidelines: that are of an administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature. . . .” None of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 exists for this rulemaking. Accordingly, this proposed rule is categorically excluded from environmental analysis under 43 CFR 46.210(i).

    11. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This rulemaking is not a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required. This rulemaking will not have a significant effect on the nation's energy supply, distribution, or use.

    12. Clarity of This Proposed Regulation

    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:

    (a) Be logically organized;

    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (e) 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 the ADDRESSES section. 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 you find unclear, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    13. Public Availability of Comments

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

    List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 2

    Freedom of information.

    Kristen J. Sarri, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of the Interior proposes to amend part 2 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 2—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT; RECORDS AND TESTIMONY 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 553; 31 U.S.C. 3717; 43 U.S.C. 1460, 1461.

    Subpart B—How to Make a Request 2. In § 2.4, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 2.4 Does where you send your request affect its processing?

    (e) If your request is received by a bureau that believes it is not the appropriate bureau to process your request, the bureau that received your request will attempt to contact you (if possible, via telephone or email) to confirm that you deliberately sent your request to that bureau for processing. If you do not confirm this, the bureau will deem your request misdirected and route the misdirected request to the appropriate bureau to respond under the basic time limit outlined in § 2.17 of this part.

    Subpart D—Timing of Responses to Requests
    § 2.15 [Amended]
    3. In § 2.15, add paragraph (g) to read as follows:
    § 2.15 What is multitrack processing and how does it affect your request?

    (g) You may track the status of your request, including its estimated processing completion date, at https://foia.doi.gov/requeststatus/.

    § 2.19 [Amended]
    4. In § 2.19(b)(2), add the words “, and notify you of your right to seek dispute resolution from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)” after the words “you and the bureau”. Subpart E—Responses to Requests
    § 2.21 [Amended]
    5. In § 2.21(a), the second sentence, remove the words “Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)” and add in their place “the OGIS”.
    § 2.24 [Amended]
    6. Amend § 2.24 by:

    a. In paragraph (b)(3), adding the words “, along with a statement that the bureau reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by the applied exemption(s) or disclosure is prohibited by law” after the words “or in part”; and

    b. In paragraph (b)(4), adding the word “including” after the word “unless” and adding the words “and the bureau explains this harm to you” after the words “withhold the records”.

    Subpart G—Fees
    § 2.37 [Amended]
    7. In § 2.37, revise paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 2.37 What general principles govern fees?

    (f) If the bureau does not comply with any time limit in the FOIA:

    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the bureau cannot assess any search fees (or, if you are in the fee category of a representative of the news media or an educational and noncommercial scientific institution, duplication fees).

    (2)(i) If the bureau has determined that unusual circumstances apply (as the term is defined in § 2.70 of this part) and the bureau provided you a timely written notice to extend the basic time limit in accordance with § 2.19 of this part, the noncompliance is excused for an additional 10 calendar days. If the bureau fails to comply with the extended time limit, the bureau may not assess any search fees (or, if you are in the fee category of a representative of the news media or an educational and noncommercial scientific institution, duplication fees).

    (ii) If the bureau has determined that unusual circumstances apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the request, the noncompliance is excused if, in accordance with § 2.19 of this part, the bureau has provided you a timely written notice and has discussed with you via written mail, email, or telephone (or made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how you could effectively limit the scope of the request.

    (iii) If a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist (as that term is defined in § 2.70 of this part), the noncompliance is excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

    § 2.39 [Amended]
    8. In § 2.39, remove the paragraph (a) designation and remove paragraph (b). Subpart H—Administrative Appeals
    § 2.58 [Amended]
    9. In § 2.58(a) and (b), remove the number “30” and add in its place the number “90”.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22166 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency 44 CFR Part 9 [Docket ID: FEMA-2015-0006] RIN 1660-AA85 Updates to Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands Regulations To Implement Executive Order 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; notice of data availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is issuing this Notice of Data Availability (NODA) in connection with the proposed rule titled, “Updates to Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands Regulations to Implement Executive Order 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard” that was published on August 22, 2016. Through this NODA, FEMA is making available to the public, and soliciting comment on, a draft report, 2016 Evaluation of the Benefits of Freeboard for Public and Nonresidential Buildings in Coastal Areas. The draft report has been added to the docket for the proposed rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received no later than October 21, 2016. Late comments will not be accepted.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket ID: FEMA-2015-0006, by one of the following methods:

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

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 8NE-1604, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472-3100.

    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these methods. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. If you submit a comment, identify the agency name and the Docket ID for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of the document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristin Fontenot, Director, Office of Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, DHS/FEMA, 400 C Street SW., Suite 313, Washington, DC 20472-3020. Phone: 202-646-2741; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 22, 2016, at 81 FR 57402, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) proposed to amend its regulations on “Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands” and proposed a supplementary policy that would further clarify how FEMA applies the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. Through this Notice of Data Availability (NODA), FEMA is making available to the public, and soliciting comment on, a draft report, 2016 Evaluation of the Benefits of Freeboard for Public and Nonresidential Buildings in Coastal Areas that became available after publication of the proposed rule.

    As part of the rulemaking process, FEMA included in the docket a Regulatory Evaluation to estimate the potential costs and benefits of the proposed rule. The evaluation accompanying the proposed rule addressed costs associated with elevating and floodproofing FEMA Federally Funded Projects to specified freeboard levels. Cost and benefit estimates were made using the 2008 Supplement to the 2006 Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program's Building Standards (2008 report), which evaluated the costs and benefits associated with elevating newly constructed residential structures, located in coastal areas.

    While the 2008 report was the best available data at the time, it was limited in scope to single-family residential structures. The proposed rule primarily affects non-residential structures owned by local government agencies and private non-profit organizations. The 2008 report is also limited to new construction projects. Most of the projects affected by the proposed rule would be retrofitted structures. The draft report includes data and analysis specific to some of the types of projects most likely to be affected by the proposed rule.

    The purpose of this 2016 draft report, which is part of a broader effort related to FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program, was to determine if increased freeboard requirements would result in sufficient reductions in damages to be considered cost-effective. The results of this analysis provide some insight into the potential costs and benefits associated with constructing nonresidential and public buildings with higher freeboard requirements. The draft report provides cost and benefit estimates for elevating new construction buildings, as well as the costs and benefits of dry floodproofing both new and existing structures. The Regulatory Evaluation for the proposed rule discussed the differences in potential costs and benefits associated with elevation and floodproofing of new construction and existing buildings. However, because of a lack of data available to FEMA at the time that FEMA published the Regulatory Evaluation, the Evaluation does not quantify these costs separately. Additionally, the draft report includes significant additional discussion of the effects of sea level rise on the benefit-cost ratios of freeboard elevation. FEMA notes for the public's awareness that similar to the 2008 report, the draft report is limited, as riverine areas were not included in the analysis. Moreover, the report is still in draft form and is not peer-reviewed. FEMA welcomes comments on these and other aspects of the draft report. In particular, FEMA requests comments on whether the draft report contains enough information on which the public can base a conclusion on its use to quantify benefits for the proposed rule. For example, the study describes its methodology, outlines its basic assumptions, and provides summary statistics and overall benefit-cost ratios, but it does not show the inputs used for many of its calculations and assumptions.

    Because of the above-referenced differences between the 2008 report and the draft report, FEMA welcomes comment on whether it would be more appropriate to use the draft report to estimate the costs and benefits in a future regulatory evaluation of a final rule on this topic. FEMA seeks comments from the public about all aspects of the applicability of this draft report to the rulemaking, including how the data in this draft report may be applied in estimating costs and benefits associated with elevating and floodproofing structures to the proposed freeboard levels in the final rule.

    For example, data and analysis from the draft report could be used to estimate the costs and benefits associated with elevating and floodproofing FEMA Federally Funded projects involving nonresidential structures. The draft report includes data and analysis relevant to the following building types in coastal areas: elementary schools, hospitals, police stations, retail stores, and office buildings. The analysis suggests that for the above-referenced building types, evaluated costs could range from $1.03 to $16.29 per square foot, depending on the type of structure.

    In addition, FEMA did not monetize the benefits of the freeboard value approach in the Regulatory Evaluation, but FEMA did provide the cost-benefit ratios that the 2008 study described for various freeboard levels. The draft report includes updated cost-benefit ratios that might more accurately depict the benefits of freeboard levels for different types of non-residential structures in coastal areas. FEMA specifically requests comments from the public about the potential applicability of these cost-benefit ratios and whether and how they should be incorporated into the Regulatory Evaluation of a final rule.

    List of Subjects in 44 CFR Part 9

    Flood plains and Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority: E.O. 11988 of May 24, 1977. 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 117; E.O. 11990 of May 24 1977, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp. p. 121; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, 43 FR 41943, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 329; E.O. 12127 of March 31, 1979, 44 FR 19367, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 376; E.O. 12148 of July 20, 1979, 44 FR 43239, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 412, as amended.; E.O. 12127; E.O. 12148; 42 U.S.C. 5201.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22496 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-66-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 541 [Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0073] Preliminary Theft Data; Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard AGENCY:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation.

    ACTION:

    Publication of preliminary theft data; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This document requests comments on data about passenger motor vehicle thefts that occurred in calendar year (CY) 2014, including theft rates for existing passenger motor vehicle lines manufactured in model year (MY) 2014. The preliminary theft data indicate that the vehicle theft rate for MY/CY 2014 vehicles (1.1525 thefts per thousand vehicles) decreased by 0.32 percent from the theft rate for MY/CY 2013 vehicles (1.1562 thefts per thousand vehicles).

    Publication of these data fulfills NHTSA's statutory obligation to periodically obtain accurate and timely theft data, and publish the information for review and comment.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0073 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Public Participation heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Deborah Mazyck, Office of International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., NRM-310, Washington, DC 20590. Ms. Mazyck's telephone number is (202) 366-4139. Her fax number is (202) 493-2990.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NHTSA administers a program for reducing motor vehicle theft. The central feature of this program is the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard, 49 CFR part 541. The standard specifies performance requirements for inscribing or affixing vehicle identification numbers (VINs) onto certain major original equipment and replacement parts of high-theft lines of passenger motor vehicles.

    NHTSA obtains, from the most reliable source, accurate and timely theft data, and publishes the data for review and comment in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 33104(b)(4). This document reports the preliminary theft data for CY 2014, the most recent calendar year for which data are available.

    In calculating the 2014 theft rates, NHTSA followed the same procedures it has used since publication of the MY/CY 1983/1984 theft rate data (50 FR 46669, November 12, 1985). The MY/CY 2014 theft rate for each vehicle line was calculated by dividing the number of reported thefts of MY 2014 vehicles of that line stolen during calendar year 2014 by the total number of vehicles in that line manufactured for MY 2014, as reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As in all previous reports, NHTSA's data were based on information provided to NHTSA by the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The NCIC is a government system that receives vehicle theft information from approximately 23,000 criminal justice agencies and other law enforcement authorities throughout the United States. The NCIC data also include reported thefts of self-insured and uninsured vehicles, not all of which are reported to other data sources.

    The preliminary MY/CY 2014 theft data show a decrease in the vehicle theft rate when compared to the theft rate experienced in MY/CY 2013 (For 2013 theft data, see 80 FR 72929 November 23, 2015). The preliminary theft rate for MY 2014 passenger vehicles stolen in calendar year 2014 decreased to 1.1525 thefts per thousand vehicles produced, a decrease of 0.32 percent from the rate of 1.1562 thefts per thousand vehicles experienced by MY 2013 vehicles stolen in CY 2013. For MY 2014 vehicles, out of a total of 236 vehicle lines, five lines had a theft rate higher than 3.5826 per thousand vehicles, the median theft rate established for MYs 1990/1991 (See 59 FR 12400, March 16, 1994). Of the five vehicle lines with a theft rate higher than 3.5826, four are passenger car lines, one is a multipurpose passenger vehicle line, and none are light-duty truck lines.

    The data presented in this publication reflect a slight decrease in the overall vehicle theft rate for MY/CY 2014 which is consistent with the general theft rate trend over the past several years.

    EP20SE16.028

    In Table I, NHTSA has tentatively ranked each of the MY 2014 vehicle lines in descending order of theft rate. Public comment is sought on the accuracy of the data, including the data for the production volumes of individual vehicle lines.

    Comments must not exceed 15 pages in length (49 CFR 553.21). Attachments may be appended to these submissions without regard to the 15 page limit. This limitation is intended to encourage commenters to detail their primary arguments in a concise fashion.

    If a commenter wishes to submit certain information under a claim of confidentiality, three copies of the complete submission, including purportedly confidential business information, should be submitted to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the street address given in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, and two copies from which the purportedly confidential information has been deleted should be submitted to the docket. A request for confidentiality should be accompanied by a cover letter setting forth the information specified in the agency's confidential business information regulation. 49 CFR part 512.

    All comments received before the close of business on the comment closing date indicated above for this document will be considered, and will be available for examination in the docket at the above address both before and after that date. To the extent possible, comments filed after the closing date will also be considered. Comments on this document will be available for inspection in the docket. NHTSA will continue to file relevant information as it becomes available for inspection in the docket after the closing date, and it is recommended that interested persons continue to examine the docket for new material.

    Those persons desiring to be notified upon receipt of their comments in the rules docket should enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard in the envelope with their comments. Upon receiving the comments, the docket supervisor will return the postcard by mail.

    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

    BILLING CODE 4910-59-P EP20SE16.029 EP20SE16.030 EP20SE16.031 EP20SE16.032 EP20SE16.033 EP20SE16.034 EP20SE16.035 Issued in Washington, DC, September 8, 2016 under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95. Raymond R. Posten, Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22064 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2016-0057; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB54 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for the Iiwi (Drepanis coccinea) AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    12-Month petition finding; proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the iiwi (Drepanis coccinea), a bird species from the Hawaiian Islands, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (Act). After review of all best available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the iiwi as a threatened species under the Act is warranted. Accordingly, we propose to list the iiwi as a threatened species throughout its range. If we finalize this rule as proposed, it would extend the Act's protections to this species. The effect of this regulation will be to add this species to the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before November 21, 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 November 4, 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-R1-ES-2016-0057, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, 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-R1-ES-2016-0057; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, 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:

    Mary Abrams, Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu, HI 96850; by telephone (808-792-9400); or by facsimile (808-792-9581). Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document consists of: (1) A 12-month petition finding that listing the iiwi under the Act is warranted; and (2) a proposed rule to list the iiwi as a threatened species under the Act.

    Executive Summary

    Why we need to publish a rule. Under the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., a species or subspecies may warrant protection through listing if it is endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Critical habitat shall be designated, to the maximum extent prudent and determinable, for any species determined to be an endangered or threatened species under the Act.

    We are proposing to list the iiwi (Drepanis coccinea) as threatened under the Act because of current and future threats, and listing can only be done by issuing a rule. The iiwi no longer occurs across much of its historical range, and faces a variety of threats in the form of diseases and impacts to its remaining habitat.

    Delineation of critical habitat requires, within the geographical area occupied by the species, identification of the physical or biological features essential to the species' conservation. A careful assessment of the biological needs of the species and the areas that may have the physical or biological features essential for the conservation of the species and that may require special management considerations or protections, and thus qualify for designation as critical habitat, is particularly complicated in this case by the ongoing and projected effects of climate change and will require a thorough assessment. We require additional time to analyze the best available scientific data in order to identify specific areas appropriate for critical habitat designation and to analyze the impacts of designating such areas as critical habitat. Accordingly, we find designation of critical habitat for the iiwi to be “not determinable” at this time.

    What this document does. This document proposes the listing of the iiwi as a threatened species. We previously published a 90-day finding for the iiwi, and this document includes a 12-month finding and proposed listing rule, which assesses all available information regarding status of and threats to the iiwi.

    The basis for our action. Under the Act, we can determine that a species is an endangered or threatened species based on any of 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; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. We have determined that the primary threats to the iiwi are its susceptibility to avian malaria (Factor C) and the expected reduction in disease-free habitat as a result of increased temperatures caused by climate change (Factor E). Although not identified as primary threat factors, rapid ohia death, a disease that affects the tree species required by iiwi for nesting and foraging, and impacts from nonnative invasive plants and feral ungulates, contribute to the degradation and curtailment of the iiwi's remaining, disease-free native ohia forest habitat, exacerbating threats to the species' viability.

    We will seek peer review. We will seek comments from independent specialists to ensure that our designation is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. We will invite these peer reviewers to comment on our listing proposal. Because we will consider all comments and information received during the comment period, our final determination may differ from this proposal.

    A species status report for the iiwi was prepared by a team of Service biologists, with the assistance of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Pacific Islands Ecosystems Research Center and the Service's Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative. We also obtained review and input from experts familiar with avian malaria and avian genetics. The species status report represents a compilation of the best scientific and commercial data available concerning the status of the species, including the past, present, and future threats to the iiwi. We will invite at least three scientists with expertise in Hawaiian forest bird biology, avian malaria, and climate change to conduct an independent peer review of the species status report. The species status report and other materials relating to this proposal can be found at http://www.regulations.gov, at Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2016-0057, or by contacting the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Information Requested Public Comments

    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 the public, including land owners and land managers, other concerned governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule. We particularly seek comments concerning:

    (1) The iiwi's biology, range, and population trends, including:

    (a) Biological or ecological requirements of the species, including habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering;

    (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.

    (4) Additional information concerning the historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of this species, including the locations of any additional populations of the iiwi.

    (5) Specific information on:

    • What areas currently occupied, and that contain the necessary physical or biological features essential for the conservation of the iiwi, we should include in any future designation of critical habitat and why;

    • Whether special management considerations or protections may be required for the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the iiwi; and

    • What areas not currently occupied are essential to the conservation of the iiwi and why.

    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 directs that determinations as to whether any species is a threatened or endangered 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 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, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife 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 within 45 days after the date of publication of this proposed rule in the Federal Register. Such requests must be sent to the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will schedule one or more 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 will seek the expert opinions of appropriate and independent specialists regarding this proposed rule and the accompanying draft species status report (see Status Assessment for the Iiwi, below). The purpose of peer review is to ensure that our listing determination is based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analyses. Peer reviewers have expertise in the iiwi's life history, habitat, physical and biological requirements, avian diseases including malaria, and climate change, and are currently reviewing the draft species status report, which will inform our determination. We invite comment from the peer reviewers during this public comment period.

    Background

    Section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act requires that, for any petition to revise the Federal Lists of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife and Plants (Lists) that contains substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing a species may be warranted, we make a finding within 12 months of the date of receipt of the petition that the petitioned action is either: (a) Not warranted; (b) warranted; or (3) warranted, but the immediate proposal of a regulation implementing the petitioned action is precluded by pending proposals to determine whether other species are endangered or threatened, and expeditious progress is being made to add or remove qualified species from the Lists. With this publication, we have determined that the petitioned action to list the iiwi is warranted, and we are proposing to list the species.

    Previous Federal Actions

    On August 25, 2010, we received a petition dated August 24, 2010, from Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, and Dr. Tony Povilitis, Life Net, requesting that the iiwi be listed as an endangered or threatened species and that critical habitat be designated under the Act. In a September 10, 2010, letter to the petitioners, we responded that we had reviewed the information presented in the petition and determined that issuing an emergency regulation temporarily listing the species under section 4(b)(7) of the Act was not warranted. We also stated that we were required to complete a significant number of listing and critical habitat actions in Fiscal Year 2010, including complying with court orders and court-approved settlement agreements with specific deadlines, listing actions with absolute statutory deadlines, and high-priority listing actions. Our listing and critical habitat funding for Fiscal Year 2010 was committed to complying with these court orders, settlement agreements, and statutory deadlines. Therefore, we were unable to further address the petition to list the iiwi at that time.

    We published a 90-day finding for the iiwi in the Federal Register on January 24, 2012 (77 FR 3423). Based on that review, we found that the petition presented substantial information indicating that listing the iiwi may be warranted, and we initiated a status review of the species. With the publication of this notice, we provide our 12-month finding and a proposal to list the iiwi as a threatened species under the Act.

    Status Assessment for the Iiwi

    A thorough review of the taxonomy, life history, and ecology of the iiwi (Drepanis coccinea) is presented in the draft Iiwi (Drepanis coccinea) Species Status Report, available online at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2016-0057. The species status report documents the results of our comprehensive biological status review for the iiwi, including an assessment of the potential stressors to the species. The species status report does not represent a decision by the Service on whether the iiwi should be proposed for listing as a threatened or endangered species under the Act. It does, however, provide the scientific basis that informs our regulatory decision, which involves the further application of standards within the Act and its implementing regulations and policies. The following is a summary of the key results and conclusions from the species status report.

    Summary of Biological Status

    A medium-sized forest bird notable for its iconic bright red feathers, black wings and tail, and a long, curved bill (Hawaii Audubon Society 2011, p. 97), the iiwi belongs to the family Fringillidae and the endemic Hawaiian honeycreeper subfamily, Drepanidinae (Pratt et al. 2009, pp. 114, 122). Iiwi songs are complex with variable creaks (often described as sounding like a “rusty hinge”), whistles, or gurgling sounds, and they sometimes mimic other birds (Hawaii Audubon Society 2011, p. 97). The species is found primarily in closed canopy, montane wet or montane mesic forests composed of tall stature ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees or ohia and koa (Acacia koa) tree mixed forest. The iiwi's diet consists primarily of nectar from the flowers of ohia and mamane (Sophora chrysophylla), various plants in the lobelia (Campanulaceae) family (Pratt et al. 2009, p. 193), and occasionally, insects and spiders (Pratt et al. 2009, p. 193; Hawaii Audubon Society 2011, p. 97).

    Although iiwi may breed anytime between October and August (Hawaii Audubon Society 2011, p. 97), the main breeding season occurs between February and June, which coincides with peak flowering of ohia (Fancy and Ralph 1997, p. 2). Iiwi create cup-shaped nests typically within the upper canopy of ohia (Hawaii Audubon Society 2011, p. 97), and breeding pairs defend a small area around the nest and disperse after the breeding season (Fancy and Ralph 1997, p. 2). An iiwi clutch typically consists of two eggs, with a breeding pair raising one to two broods per year (Hawaii Audubon Society 2011, p. 97).

    Well known for their seasonal movements in response to the availability of flowering ohia and mamane, iiwi are strong fliers that move long distances following their breeding season to locate nectar sources (Fancy and Ralph 1998, p. 3; Kuntz 2008, p. 1; Guillamet et al. 2015, pp. EV-8—EV-9). The iiwi's seasonal movement to lower elevation areas in search of nectar sources is an important factor in the exposure of the species to avian diseases, particularly malaria (discussed below).

    Although historical abundance estimates are not available, the iiwi was considered one of the most common of the native forest birds in Hawaii by early naturalists, described as “ubiquitous” and found from sea level to the tree line across all the major islands (Banko 1981, pp. 1-2). Today the iiwi is no longer found on Lanai and only a few individuals may be found on Oahu, Molokai, and west Maui. Remaining populations of iiwi are largely restricted to forests above approximately 3,937 feet (ft) (1,200 meters (m)) in elevation on Hawaii Island (Big Island), east Maui, and Kauai. As described below, the present distribution of iiwi corresponds with areas that are above the elevation at which the transmission of avian malaria readily occurs (“disease-free” habitats). The current abundance of iiwi rangewide is estimated at a mean of 605,418 individuals (range 550,972 to 659,864). Ninety percent of all iiwi now occur on Hawaii Island, followed by east Maui (about 10 percent), and Kauai (less than 1 percent) (Paxton et al. 2013, p. 10).

    Iiwi population trends and abundance vary across the islands. The population on Kauai appears to be in steep decline, with a modeled rate of decrease equivalent to a 92 percent reduction in population over a 25-year period (Paxton et al. 2013, p. 10); the total population on Kauai is estimated at a mean of 2,551 birds (range 1,934 to 3,167) (Paxton et al. 2013, p. 10). Trends on Maui are mixed, but populations there generally appear to be in decline; East Maui supports an estimated population of 59,859 individuals (range 54,569 to 65,148) (Paxton et al. 2013, p. 10). On Hawaii Island, which supports the largest remaining numbers of iiwi at an estimated average of 543,009 individuals (range 516,312 to 569,706), there is evidence for stable or declining populations on the windward side of the island, while trends are strongly increasing on the leeward (Kona) side. As noted above, iiwi have been extirpated from Lanai, and only a few individual birds have been sporadically detected on the islands of Oahu, Molokai, and on west Maui in recent decades. Of the nine iiwi population regions for which sufficient information is available for quantitative inference, five of those show strong or very strong evidence of declining populations; one, a stable to declining population; one, a stable to increasing population; and two, strong evidence for increasing populations. Four of the nine regions show evidence of range contraction. Overall, based on the most recent surveys (up to 2012), approximately 90 percent of remaining iiwi are restricted to forest within a narrow band between 4,265 and 6,234 ft (1,300 and 1,900 m) in elevation (Paxton et al. 2013, pp. 1, 10-11, and Figure 1) (See the Population Status section of the draft species status report for details).

    Summary of Factors Affecting the Species

    The Act directs us to determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any of five various factors affecting its continued existence. Our species status report evaluated many potential stressors to iiwi, particularly direct impacts on the species from introduced diseases, as well as predation by introduced mammals, competition with nonnative birds, climate change, ectoparasites, and the effects of small population size. We also assessed stressors that may affect the extent or quality of the iiwi's required ohia forest habitat, including ohia dieback, ohia rust, drought, fires, volcanic eruptions, climate change, and particularly rapid ohia death and habitat alteration by nonnative plants and feral ungulates.

    All species experience stressors; we consider a stressor to rise to the level of a threat to the species if the magnitude of the stressor is such that it places the current or future viability of the species at risk. In considering what stressors or factors might constitute threats to a species, we must look beyond the exposure of the species to a particular stressor to evaluate whether the species may respond to that stressor in a way that causes impacts to the species now or is likely to cause impacts in the future. If there is exposure to a stressor and the species responds negatively, the stressor may be a threat. We consider the stressor to be a threat if it drives, or contributes to, the risk of extinction of the species such that the species warrants listing as endangered or threatened as those terms are defined in the Act. However, the identification of stressors that could affect a species negatively may not be sufficient to compel a finding that the species warrants listing. The information must include evidence sufficient to suggest that these stressors are operative threats that act on the species to the point that the species may meet the definition of endangered or threatened under the Act.

    Our species status report examines all of the potential stressors to iiwi in detail. Here we describe those stressors that we conclude rise to the level of a threat to the long-term viability of iiwi.

    Based on our comprehensive assessment of the status of the iiwi in our species status report, we conclude that the best scientific data available consistently identifies avian malaria as the primary driver of declines in abundance and distribution of iiwi observed since the turn of the 20th century. This conclusion is supported by the extremely high mortality rate of iiwi (approximately 95 percent) in response to avian malaria, and the disappearance of iiwi from low-elevation ohia forest where it was formerly common and where malaria is prevalent today. Both the life cycle of the mosquito vector and the development and transmission of the malaria parasite are temperature-limited, thus iiwi are now found primarily in high elevation forests above 3,937 ft (1,200 m) where malaria prevalence and transmission is only brief and episodic, or nonexistent, under current conditions. Iiwi have not demonstrated any substantial sign of developing resistance to avian malaria to date and do not appear to be genetically predisposed to evolve resistance (Jarvi et al. 2004, pp. 2,164-2,166). As the prevalence of avian malaria increases in association with warmer temperatures (e.g., LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 217), the extent and impact of avian diseases upon iiwi are projected to become greatly exacerbated by climate change during this century.

    Additionally, on Hawaii Island where 90 percent of the iiwi currently occur, the disease rapid ohia death was identified as an emergent source of habitat loss and degradation that has the potential to exacerbate other stressors to ohia forest habitat, as well as reduce the amount of habitat remaining for iiwi in an already limited, disease-free zone contained within a narrow elevation band. Rapid ohia death, a recently discovered tree disease that leads to significant mortality of the ohia that iiwi depend upon for nesting and foraging, is quickly becoming a matter of urgent concern. If rapid ohia death continues to spread across the native ohia forests, it will directly threaten iiwi by eliminating the limited, malaria-free native forest areas that remain for the species.

    Based on the analysis in our species status report, invasive, nonnative plants and feral ungulates have major, adverse impacts on ohia forest habitat. Although we did not find that the historical and ongoing habitat alteration by nonnative species is the primary cause of the significant observed decline in iiwi's abundance and distribution, the cumulative impacts to iiwi's habitat, and in particular the activities of feral ungulates, are not insignificant and likely exacerbate the effects of avian malaria. Feral ungulates, particularly pigs (Sus scrofa), goats (Capra hircus), and axis deer (Axis axis), degrade ohia forest habitat by spreading nonnative plant seeds and grazing on and trampling native vegetation, and contributing to erosion (Mountainspring 1986, p. 95; Camp et al. 2010, p. 198). Invasive nonnative plants, such as strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum) and albizia trees (Falcataria moluccana), prevent or retard regeneration of ohia forest used by iiwi for foraging and nesting. The combined effects of drought and nonnative, invasive grasses have resulted in increased fire frequency and the conversion of mesic ohia woodland to exotic grassland in many areas of Hawaii ((D'Antonio and Vitousek 1992, p. 67; Smith and Tunison 1992, pp. 395-397; Vitousek et al. 1997, pp. 7-8; D'Antonio et al. 2011, p. 1,617). Beyond alteration of ohia forest, feral pig activities that create mosquito habitat in ohia forest where there would otherwise be very little to none is identified as an important compounding stressor that acts synergistically with the prevalence of malaria and results in iiwi mortality. Although habitat loss and degradation is not, by itself, considered to be a primary driver of iiwi declines, the habitat impacts described above contribute cumulatively to the vulnerability of the species to the threat of avian malaria by degrading the quality and quantity of the remaining disease-free habitat upon which the iiwi depends. In this regard, rapid ohia death, discussed above, is quickly becoming a matter of urgent concern as it can further exacerbate and compound effects from the suite of stressors that impact iiwi (see below).

    Avian Diseases

    The introduction of avian diseases transmitted by the introduced southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus), including avian malaria (caused by the protozoan Plasmodium relictum) and avian pox (Avipoxvirus sp.), has been a key driving force in both extinctions and extensive declines over the last century in the abundance, diversity, and distribution of many Hawaiian forest bird species, including declines of the iiwi and other endemic honeycreepers (e.g., Warner 1968, entire; Van Riper et al. 1986, entire; Benning et al. 2002, p. 14,246; Atkinson and LaPointe 2009a, p. 243; Atkinson and LaPointe 2009b, pp. 55-56; Samuel et al. 2011, p. 2,970; LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 214; Samuel et al. 2015, pp. 13-15). Nonnative to Hawaii, the first species of mosquitoes were accidentally introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1826, and spread quickly to the lowlands of all the major islands (Warner 1968, p. 104; Van Riper et al. 1986, p. 340). Early observations of birds with characteristic lesions suggest that avian poxvirus was established in Hawaii by the late 1800s (Warner 1968, p. 106; Atkinson and LaPointe 2009a, p. 55), and later genetic analyses indicate pox was present in the Hawaiian Islands by at least 1900 (Jarvi et al. 2008, p. 339). Avian malaria had arrived in Hawaii by at least 1920 (Warner 1968, p. 107; Van Riper et al. 1986, pp. 340-341; Atkinson and LaPointe 2009, p. 55; Banko and Banko 2009, p. 52), likely in association with imported cage birds (Yorinks and Atkinson 2000, p. 731), or through the deliberate introduction of nonnative birds to replace the native birds that had by then disappeared from the lowlands (Atkinson and LaPointe 2009a, p. 55).

    Avian Malaria

    As noted above, avian malaria is a disease caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium relictum; the parasite is transmitted by the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus, and invades the red blood cells of birds. Birds suffering from malaria infection undergo an acute phase of the disease during which parasitemia, a quantitative measure of the number of Plasmodium parasites in the circulating red blood cells, increases steadily. Because the parasite destroys the red blood cells, anemia and decline of physical condition can quickly result. In native Hawaiian forest birds, death may result either directly from the effects of anemia, or indirectly when anemia-weakened birds become vulnerable to predation, starvation, or a combination of other stressors (LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 213). Studies have demonstrated that native Hawaiian birds that survive avian malaria remain chronically infected, thus becoming lifetime reservoirs of the disease (Samuel et al. 2011, p. 2,960; LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 216) and remaining capable of further disease transmission to other native birds. In contrast, nonnative birds in Hawaii are little affected by avian malaria and later become incapable of disease transmission (LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 216).

    Wild iiwi infected with malaria are rarely captured, apparently because the onset of infection leads to rapid mortality, precluding their capture (Samuel et al. 2011, p. 2,967; LaPointe et al. 2016, p. 11). However, controlled experiments with captive birds have demonstrated the susceptibility of native Hawaiian honeycreepers to avian malaria; mortality is extremely high in some species, including iiwi, experimentally infected with the disease. As early as the 1960s, experiments with Laysan finches (Telespiza cantans) and several other species of native Hawaiian honeycreepers demonstrated 100 percent mortality from malaria in a very short period of time (Warner 1968, pp. 109-112, 118; Fig. 426). In a study specific to iiwi, Atkinson et al. (1995, entire) demonstrated that the species suffers approximately 95 percent mortality when infected with malaria (Atkinson et al. 1995, p. S65). In that study, iiwi and a nonnative control species were exposed to avian malaria through infective mosquito bites, and subjected to different dosages of infection (single vs. multiple bites). Following exposure to biting mosquitoes, food consumption, weight, and parasitemia were monitored for all test groups. None of the nonnative birds developed malarial infections, while all of the exposed iiwi developed infections within 4 days. Mortality of the high-dose iiwi reached 100 percent by day 29, and mortality of the low-dose birds reached 90 percent by day 37, an average of 95 percent mortality between the two groups (Atkinson et al. 1994, p. S63). A single male iiwi survived the initial infection and, following re-exposure with the same Plasmodium isolate, no subsequent increase in parasitemia was detected, suggesting a possible development of some immunity (Atkinson et al. 1995, p. S66). The authors suggested that iiwi may lack sufficient diversity in the major histocompatibility complex or genetically based immunity traits capable of recognizing and responding to malarial antigens, an important factor in iiwi's susceptibility to introduced disease (Atkinson et al. 1995, pp. S65-S66).

    Despite extremely high mortality of iiwi from avian malaria in general, the aforementioned study as well as two other studies have demonstrated that a few individuals are capable of surviving the infection (Van Riper et al. 1986, p. 334; Atkinson et al. 1995, p. S63; Freed et al. 2005, p. 759). If a genetic correlation were identified, it is possible that surviving individuals could serve as a potential source for the evolution of genetic resistance to malaria, although evidence of this is scant to date. Eggert et al. (2008, p. 8) reported a slight but detectable level of genetic differentiation between iiwi populations located at mid and high elevation, potentially the first sign of selection acting on these populations in response to disease. Additionally, the infrequent but occasional sighting of iiwi on Oahu indicates a possible developed resistance or tolerance to avian malaria.

    Despite these observations, there is, as of yet, no indication that iiwi have developed significant resistance to malaria such that individuals can survive in areas where the disease is strongly prevalent, including all potential low-elevation forest habitat and most mid-elevation forest habitat (Foster et al. 2007, p. 4,743; Eggert et al. 2008, p. 2). In one study, for example, 4 years of mist-netting effort across extensive areas of Hawaii Island resulted in the capture of a substantial number of iiwi, yet no iiwi were captured in low-elevation forests and only a few were captured in mid-elevation forests (Samuel et al. 2015, p. 11). In addition, the results of several studies indicate that iiwi have low genetic variability, and even genetic impediments to a possible evolved resistance to malaria in the future (Jarvi et al. 2001, p. 255; Jarvi et al. 2004, Table 4, p. 2,164; Foster et al. 2007, p. 4,744; Samuel et al. 2015, pp. 12-13). For example, Eggert et al. (2008, p. 9) noted that gene variations that may confer resistance appear to be rare in iiwi. Three factors—the homogeneity of a portion of the iiwi genome, the high mortality rate of iiwi in response to avian malaria, and high levels of gene flow resulting from the wide-ranging nature of the species—suggest that iiwi would likely require a significant amount of time for development of genetic resistance to avian malaria, assuming the species retains a sufficiently large reservoir of genetic diversity for a response to natural selection. Genetic studies of iiwi have also noted a dichotomy between the lack of variation in mitochondrial DNA (Tarr and Fleischer 1993, 1995; Fleischer et al. 1998; Foster et al. 2007, p. 4,743), and maintenance of variation in nuclear DNA (Jarvi et al. 2004, p. 2,166; Foster et al. 2007, p. 4,744); both attributes suggest that iiwi may have historically experienced a drastic reduction in population size that led to a genetic bottleneck. Studies have also found low diversity in the antigen-binding sites of the iiwi's major histocompatibility complex (that part of an organism's immune system that helps to recognize foreign or incompatible proteins (antigens) and trigger an immune response).

    The relationship between temperature and avian malaria is of extreme importance to the current persistence of iiwi and the viability of the species in the future. The development of the Plasmodium parasite that carries malaria responds positively to increased temperature, such that malaria transmission is greatest in warm, low-elevation forests with an average temperature of 72 °F (22 °C), and is largely absent in high-elevation forests above 4,921 ft (1,500 m) with cooler mean annual temperatures around 57 °F (14 °C) (Ahumada et al. 2004, p. 1,167; LaPointe et al. 2010, p. 318; Liao et al. 2015, p. 4,343). High-elevation forests thus currently serve as disease-free habitat zones for Hawaiian forest birds, including iiwi. Once one of the most common birds in forests throughout the Hawaiian islands, iiwi are now rarely found at lower elevations, and are increasingly restricted to high-elevation mesic and wet forests where cooler temperatures limit both the development of the malarial parasite and mosquito densities (Scott et al. 1986, pp. 367-368; Ahumada et al. 2004, p. 1,167; LaPointe et al. 2010, p. 318; Samuel et al. 2011, p. 2,960; Liao et al. 2015, p. 4,346; Samuel et al. 2015, p. 14).

    Temperature also affects the life cycle of the malaria mosquito vector, Culex quinquefasciatus. Lower temperatures slow the development of larval stages and can affect the survival of adults (Ahumada et al. 2005, pp. 1,165-1,168; LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 217). Although closely tied to altitude and a corresponding decrease in temperature, the actual range of mosquitoes varies with season. Generally, as temperature decreases with increasing elevation, mosquito abundance drops significantly at higher altitudes. In the Hawaiian Islands, the mosquito boundary occurs between 4,921 and 5,577 ft (1,500 and 1,700 m) (VanRiper et al. 1986, p. 338; LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 218). Areas above this elevation are at least seasonally relatively free of mosquitoes, thus malaria transmission is unlikely at these high elevations under current conditions.

    Early on, Ralph and Fancy (1995, p. 741) and Atkinson et al. (1995, p. S66) suggested that the seasonal movements of iiwi to lower elevation areas where ohia is flowering may result in increased contact with malaria-infected mosquitoes, which, combined with the iiwi's high susceptibility to the disease, may explain their observed low annual survivorship relative to other native Hawaiian birds. Compounding the issue, other bird species, which overlap with iiwi in habitat, including Apapane (Himatione sanguinea), are relatively resistant to the diseases and carry both Plasmodium and avian pox virus. As reservoirs, they carry these diseases upslope where mosquitoes are less abundant but still occur in numbers sufficient to facilitate and continue transmission to iiwi (Ralph and Fancy 1995, p. 741). Subsequent studies have confirmed the correlation between risk of malaria infection and iiwi altitudinal migrations, and suggest upper elevation forest reserves in Hawaii may not adequately protect mobile nectarivores such as iiwi. Kuntz (2008, p. 3) found iiwi populations at upper elevation study sites (6,300 ft (1,920 m)) declined during the non-breeding season when birds departed for lower elevations in search of flowering ohia, traveling up to 12 mi (19.4 km) over contiguous mosquito-infested wet forest. Guillamet et al. (2015, p. 192) used empirical measures of seasonal movement patterns in iiwi to model how movement across elevations increases the risk of disease exposure, even affecting breeding populations in disease-free areas. La Pointe et al. (unpublished data 2015) found that, based on malaria prevalence in all Hawaiian forest birds, species migrating between upper elevations to lower elevations increased their risk of exposure to avian malaria by as much as 27 times. The greater risk was shown to be due to a much higher abundance of mosquitoes at lower elevations, which in turn was attributable at least in part to the higher abundance of pigs and their activities in lower elevation forests (discussed further below).

    Avian Pox

    Avian pox (or bird pox) is an infection caused by the virus Avipoxvirus, which produces large, granular, and eventually necrotic lesions or tumors on exposed skin or diphtheritic lesions on the mouth, trachea, and esophagus of infected birds. Avian pox can be transmitted through cuts or wounds upon physical contact or through the mouth parts of blood-sucking insects such as the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus, the common vector for both the pox virus and avian malaria (LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 221). Tumors or lesions caused by avian pox can be crippling for birds, and may result in death. Although not extensively studied, existing data suggest that mortality from avian pox may range from 4 to 10 percent observed in Oahu Elepaio (Chasiempis ibidis) (for birds with active lesions (VanderWerf 2009, p. 743) to 100 percent in Laysan finches (Warner 1968, p. 108). VanderWerf (2009, p. 743) has also suggested that mortality levels from pox may correlate with higher rainfall years, and at least in the case of the Elepaio, observed mortality may decrease over time with a reduction in susceptible birds.

    As early as 1902 native birds suffering from avian pox were observed in the Hawaiian Islands, and Warner (1968, p. 106) described reports that epizootics of avian pox “were so numerous and extreme that large numbers of diseased and badly debilitated birds could be observed in the field.” As the initial wave of post-European extinctions of native Hawaiian birds was largely observed in the late 1800s, prior to the introduction of avian malaria (Van Riper et al. 1986, p. 342), it is possible that avian pox played a significant role, although there is no direct evidence (Warner 1968, p. 106). Molecular work has revealed two genetically distinct variants of the pox virus affecting forest birds in Hawaii that differ in virulence (Jarvi et al. 2008, p. 347): One tends to produce fatal lesions, and the other appears to be less severe, based on the observation of recurring pox infections in birds with healed lesions (Atkinson et al. 2009, p. 56).

    The largest study of avian pox in scope and scale took place between 1977 and 1980, during which approximately 15,000 native and nonnative forest birds were captured and examined for pox virus lesions from 16 different locations on transects along Mauna Loa on Hawaii Island (Van Riper et al. 2002, pp. 929-942). The study made several important determinations, including that native forest birds were indeed more susceptible than introduced species, that all species were more likely to be infected during the wet season, and that pox prevalence was greatest at mid-elevation sites approximately 3,937 ft (1,200 m) in elevation, coinciding with the greatest overlap between birds and the mosquito vector. Of the 107 iiwi captured and examined during the study, 17 percent showed signs of either active or inactive pox lesions (Van Riper et al. 2002, p. 932). Many studies of avian pox have documented that native birds are frequently infected with both avian pox and avian malaria (Van Riper et al. 1986, p. 331; Atkinson et al. 2005, p. 537; Jarvi et al. 2008, p. 347). This may be due to mosquito transmission of both pathogens simultaneously, because documented immune system suppression by the pox virus renders chronically infected birds more vulnerable to infection by, or a relapse of, malaria (Jarvi et al. 2008, p. 347), or due to other unknown factors. The relative frequency with which the two diseases co-occur makes it challenging to disentangle the independent impact of either stressor acting alone (LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 221), and we lack any indication of the degree to which pox may be a specific threat to iiwi or contributing to its decline.

    Compounded Impacts—Feral Ungulates Create Habitat for Culex quinquefasciatus Mosquitoes and Exacerbate Impacts of Disease

    It has been widely established that damage to native tree ferns (Cibotium spp.) and rooting and wallowing activity by feral pigs create mosquito larval breeding sites in Hawaiian forests where they would not otherwise occur. The porous geology and relative absence of puddles, ponds, and slow-moving streams in most Hawaiian landscapes precludes an abundance of water-holding habitat sites for mosquito larvae; however, Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, the sole vector for avian malaria in Hawaii, now occur in great density in many wet forests where their larvae primarily rely on habitats created by pig activity (LaPointe 2006, pp. 1-3; Ahumada et al. 2009, p. 354; Atkinson and LaPointe 2009, p. 60; Samuel et al. 2011, p. 2,971). Pigs compact volcanic soils and create wallows and water containers within downed, hollowed-out tree ferns, knocked over and consumed for their starchy pith (Scott et al. 1986, pp. 365-368; Atkinson et al. 1995, p. S68). The abundance of C. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes is also much greater in suburban and agricultural areas than in undisturbed native forest, and the mosquito is capable of dispersing up to 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) within closed-canopy native forest, including habitat occupied by the iiwi (LaPointe 2006, p. 3; LaPointe et al. 2009, p. 409).

    In studies of native forest plots where feral ungulates (including pigs) were removed by trapping and other methods, researchers have demonstrated a correlation in the abundance of Culex spp. mosquitoes when comparing pig-free, fenced areas to adjacent sites where feral pig activity is unmanaged. Aruch et al. 2007 (p. 574), LaPointe 2006 (pp. 1-3) and LaPointe et al. (2009, p. 409; 2012, pp. 215, 219) assert that management of feral pigs may be strategic to managing avian malaria and pox, particularly in remote Hawaiian rain forests where studies have documented that habitats created by pigs are the most abundant and productive habitat for larval mosquitoes. Studies suggest that reduction in mosquito habitat must involve pig management across large landscapes due to the tremendous dispersal ability of C. quinquefasciatus and the possibility of the species invading from adjacent areas lacking management (LaPointe 2006, pp. 3-4). The consequences of feral pig activities thus further exacerbate the impacts to iiwi from avian malaria and avian pox, by creating and enhancing larval habitats for the mosquito vector, thereby increasing exposure to these diseases.

    Avian Diseases—Summary

    The relatively recent introduction of avian pox and avian malaria, in concert with the introduction of the mosquito disease vector, is widely viewed as one of the key factors underlying the loss and decline of native forest birds throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Evolving in the absence of mosquitoes and their vectored pathogens, native Hawaiian forest birds, particularly honeycreepers such as iiwi, lack natural immunity or genetic resistance, and thus are more susceptible to these diseases than are nonnative bird species (van Riper et al. 1986, pp. 327-328; Yorinks and Atkinson 2000, p. 737). Researchers consider iiwi one of the most vulnerable species, with studies showing an average of 95 percent mortality in response to infection with avian malaria (Atkinson et al. 1995, p. S63; Samuel et al. 2015, p. 2). Many native forest birds, including iiwi, are now absent from warm, low-elevation areas that support large populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes, and these birds persist only in relatively disease-free zones in high-elevation forests, above roughly 4,921 to 5,577 ft (1,500 to 1,700 m), where both the development of the malarial parasite and the density of mosquito populations are held in check by cooler temperatures (Scott et al. 1986, pp. 85, 100, 365-368; Woodworth et al. 2009, p. 1,531; Liao et al. 2015, pp. 4,342-4,343; Samuel et al. 2015, pp. 11-12). Even at these elevations, however, disease transmission may occur when iiwi move downslope to forage on ephemeral patches of flowering ohia in the nonbreeding season, encountering disease-carrying mosquitoes in the process (Ralph and Fancy 1995, p. 741; Fancy and Ralph 1998, p. 3; Guillaumet et al. 2015, p. EV-8; LaPointe et al. 2015, p. 1). Iiwi have not demonstrably developed resistance to avian malaria, unlike related honeycreepers including Amakihi (Hemignathus spp.) and Apapane. Due to the known extreme mortality rate of iiwi when exposed to avian malaria, we consider avian malaria in particular to pose a threat to iiwi. Having already experienced local extinctions and widespread population declines, it is possible that the species may not possess sufficient genetic diversity to adapt to these diseases (Atkinson et al. 2009, p. 58).

    Climate Change

    Based on the assessment of the best scientific data available in our species status report, we concluded that climate change exacerbates the impacts to iiwi from mosquito-borne disease, and this effect is likely to continue and worsen in the future. Air temperature in Hawaii has increased in the past century and particularly since the 1970s, with the greatest increases at higher elevations, and several conservative climate change models project continued warming in Hawaii into the future. As a result, the temperature barrier to the development and transmission of avian malaria will continue to move up in elevation in response to warmer conditions, leading to the curtailment or loss of disease-free habitats for iiwi. We briefly discuss below three climate studies that conservatively predict the iiwi will lose between 60 and 90 percent of its current (and already limited) disease-free range by the end of this century, with significant effects occurring by mid-century.

    Climate Change Effects on Iiwi

    Climate change is a stressor that is likely to significantly exacerbate the effects of avian malaria on iiwi both directly through increased prevalence and mortality, and indirectly through the loss of disease-free habitat. Air temperature in Hawaii has increased in the past century and particularly since the 1970s, with greater increases at high elevation (Giambelluca et al. 2008, pp. 2-4; Wang et al. 2014, pp. 95, 97). Documented impacts of increased temperature include the prevalence of avian malaria in forest birds at increasing elevation, including high-elevation sites where iiwi are already declining, for example, on Kauai (Paxton et al. 2013, p. 13). Several projections for future climate in Hawaii describe a continued warming trend, especially at high elevations. In our species status report, we analyzed in particular three climate studies (summarized below) that address the future of native forest birds, including iiwi, in the face of the interactions between climate change and avian malaria.

    Benning et al. (2002) concluded that under optimistic assumptions (i.e., 3.6 °F (2 °C) increase in temperature by the year 2100), malaria-susceptible Hawaiian forest birds, including iiwi, will lose most of their disease-free habitat in the three sites they considered in their projection of climate change impacts. For example, current disease-free habitat at high elevation within the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) on the island of Hawaii (where the environment is still too cold for development of the malarial parasite) would be reduced by 96 percent by the end of the century.

    Fortini et al. (2015) conducted a vulnerability assessment for 20 species of Hawaiian forest birds based on a projected increase of 6.1 °F (3.4 °C) under the A1B emissions scenario at higher elevations by 2100. Even under this relatively optimistic scenario, in which emissions decline after mid-century (IPCC 2007, p. 44), all species were projected to suffer range loss as the result of increased transmission of avian malaria at higher elevations with increasing temperature. Iiwi was predicted to lose 60 percent of its current range by the year 2100, and climate conditions suitable for the species will shift up in elevation, including into areas that are not currently forested, such as lava flows and high-elevation grasslands. Most of the remaining habitat for iiwi would be restricted to a single island, Hawaii Island.

    Liao et al. (2015) generated temperature and precipitation projections under three alternative emissions scenarios and projected future malaria risk for Hawaiian forest birds. Irrespective of the scenario modeled, by mid-century (roughly 2040), malaria transmission rates and impacts to bird populations began increasing at high elevations. By 2100, the increased annual malaria transmission rate for iiwi was projected to result in population declines of 70 to 90 percent for the species, depending on the emissions scenario.

    All three of these studies consistently predict a significant loss of disease-free habitat for iiwi with consequent severe reductions in population size and distribution by the year 2100, with significant changes likely to be observed as early as 2040. As the iiwi's numbers and distribution continue to decline, the remaining small, isolated populations become increasingly vulnerable to loss of ohia forest habitat from other stressors such as rapid ohia death, as well as other environmental catastrophes and demographic stochasticity, particularly should all remaining iiwi become restricted to a single island (Hawaii Island), as some scenarios suggest.

    Climate change will likely exacerbate other stressors to iiwi in addition to disease. Changes in the amount and distribution of rainfall in Hawaii likely will affect the quality and extent of mesic and wet forests on which iiwi depend. However, changes in the trade wind inversion (which strongly influences rainfall) and other aspects of precipitation with climate change are difficult to model with confidence (Chu and Chen 2005, pp. 4,801-4,802; Cao et al. 2007, pp. 1,158-1,159; Timm et al. 2015, p. 107; Fortini et al. 2015, p. 5; Liao et al. 2015, p. 4,345). In addition, potential increases in storm frequency and intensity in Hawaii as a result of climate change may lead to an increase in direct mortality of individual iiwi and a decline in the species' reproductive success. Currently, no well-developed projections exist for these possible cumulative effects.

    Climate Change—Summary

    The natural susceptibility of native forest birds to introduced diseases, in combination with the observed restriction of Hawaiian honeycreepers to high-elevation forests, led Atkinson et al. (1995, p. S68) to predict two decades ago that a shift in the current mosquito distribution to higher elevations could be “disastrous for those species with already reduced populations.” Thus, climate change has significant implications for the future of Hawaiian forest birds, as predictions suggest increased temperatures may largely eliminate the high-elevation forest currently inhospitable to the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases (Benning et al. 2002, pp. 14,247-14,249; LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 219; Fortini et al. 2015, p. 9). Samuel et al. (2015, p. 15) predict further reductions and extinctions of native Hawaiian birds as a consequence, noting that the iiwi is particularly vulnerable due to its high susceptibility to malaria. Several independent studies project consistently significant negative impacts to the iiwi as a result of climate change and the increased exposure to avian malaria as disease-free habitats shrink. As iiwi are known to exhibit 95 percent mortality on average as a result of avian malaria, the current numbers of iiwi are of little consequence should all or most of the remaining individuals become exposed to the disease in the future.

    Rapid Ohia Death

    Our species status report identified rapid ohia death (ROD), a type of Ceratosystis spp. vascular wilt (fungal) disease, as a factor with the potential to exacerbate the impacts currently affecting iiwi habitat and reduce the amount of disease-free habitat remaining by destroying high-elevation ohia forest. ROD was first detected in 2012 as ohia trees began mysteriously dying within lowland forests of the Puna Region of Hawaii Island. In June 2015, researchers identified the disease as ROD with an estimated area at the time of 15,000 ac (6,070 ha) of infected ohia trees (Keith et al. 2015, pp. 1-2). ROD affects non-contiguous ohia forest stands ranging in size from <1 ac (<0.4 ha) up to 247 ac (100 ha) with nearly all trees in these areas infected. At present the disease remains restricted to Hawaii island, with the largest affected area within the Puna District, where infected trees have been observed within approximately 4,000 discontinuous acres (1,619 ha) (Hughes 2016, pers. comm.). Based upon the most recent research, ROD-infected stands of ohia often initially show greater than 50 percent mortality, and within 2 to 3 years nearly 100 percent of trees in a stand succumb to the disease (College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources 2016 (http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/forestry/disease/ohia_wilt.html)).

    Affected trees are found at elevations ranging from sea level up to approximately 5,000 ft (1,524 m), including at Wailuku Forest near Hakalau Forest NWR (Hughes 2016, pers. comm.), which contains a stable to increasing iiwi population (Paxton et al. 2013, p. 12). As of March 2016, the amount of forest area affected on Hawaii Island is estimated to be approximately 34,000 ac (13,759 ha) (Hughes 2016, pers. comm.). Two different strains of the virus appear to be responsible for ROD (Hughes 2016, pers. comm.). These estimates demonstrate that the amount of ohia forest on Hawaii Island infected by ROD more than doubled between 2015 and 2016. While ROD is presently reported only from the island of Hawaii, it has spread across a large portion of the island, which is home to 90 percent of the current iiwi population. In some areas, affected trees have been observed within the range of iiwi (Hughes 2016, pers. comm.). Hawaii Island is particularly important for the future of iiwi, as iiwi are predicted to be largely if not entirely restricted to that island under some future climate change projections (Fortini et al. 2015, p. 9, Supplement 6).

    Evaluation of Existing Regulatory Mechanisms and Conservation Measures

    Our species status report evaluated several regulatory and other measures in place today that might address or are otherwise intended to ameliorate the stressors to iiwi. Our analysis concluded that forest habitat protection, conservation, and restoration has the potential to benefit iiwi by protecting and enhancing breeding and foraging areas for the species while simultaneously reducing the abundance of mosquito breeding sites, despite the disease vector's (Culex quinquefasciatus) 1-mi (1.6-km) dispersal ability (LaPointe et al. 2009, pp. 408; 411-412; LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 215).

    Efforts to restore and manage large, contiguous tracts of native forests have been shown to benefit iiwi, especially when combined with fencing and ungulate removal (LaPointe et al. 2009, p. 412; LaPointe et al. 2012, p. 219). While forest restoration and ungulate management at the Hakalau Forest NWR on Hawaii Island are excellent examples of what is needed to increase iiwi abundance, many similar large-scale projects would be necessary rangewide to simply reduce mosquito abundance and protect the species from current habitat threats alone. However, even wide-scale landscape habitat management would be unable to fully address the present scope of the threat of disease, and sufficient high-elevation forest is not available to provide disease-free habitat for iiwi in the face of future climate change. Even if disease-free habitat within managed areas could be restored and protected now, much of this habitat will lose its disease-free status as avian malaria moves upward in elevation in response to warming temperatures, as is occurring already within the Alakai Wilderness on the island of Kauai.

    New opportunities are emerging, such as large-scale vector control using new genetics technology, that have the potential to assist Hawaiian forest birds (LaPointe et al. 2009, pp. 416-417; Reeves et al. 2014, p. e97557; Gantz et al. 2015, pp. E6736-E6743). These tools include the potential introduction of sterile male mosquitoes and transgenic insect techniques that introduce new genetic material into mosquito populations, including self-sustaining genes that will help drive an increase of the new desirable trait, i.e., inability or decreased ability to transmit diseases throughout a mosquito population, thereby improving long-term transmission control. While promising, our report concludes that these new technologies for achieving large-scale control or eradication of mosquitoes in Hawaii are still in the research and planning stage and have yet to be implemented or proven effective.

    Our species status report also evaluated several regulations and agreements pertaining to climate change. Although the United States and some other countries have passed some regulations specifically intended to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, the scope and effect of such regulations are limited. Indeed, during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in December 2015, the UNFCCC indicated that, even if all the member countries' intended contributions to greenhouse gas reductions were fully implemented and targets met, the goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to 2 °C (3.6 °F) by the year 2100 would not be achieved.

    Many of the efforts to tackle the primary stressors to iiwi are still in the research and development stage, or are implemented only on a small or limited scale. Because the primary stressor, avian malaria, continues to have negative impacts, and these impacts are exacerbated by climate change, we must conclude that no current conservation measures or regulations are sufficient to offset these impacts to the species.

    Summary of Biological Status and Threats

    We have reviewed the best scientific and commercial data available regarding iiwi populations and the stressors that affect the species. This information includes, notably, a recent comprehensive analysis of iiwi abundance, distribution, and population trends (Paxton et al. 2013); numerous studies that provide information on the particularly high mortality of iiwi in response to avian malaria; and recent models examining the current relationship between climate and malaria, as well as the likely future consequences of climate change for iiwi and other Hawaiian forest birds (including Benning et al. 2002, Fortini et al. 2013, and Liao et al. 2015). Our review also reflects the expert opinion of the species' status report team members, and input provided by specialists familiar with avian malaria and iiwi genetics. We direct the reader to the draft iiwi species status report for our detailed evaluation of the biological status of the iiwi and the influences that may affect its continued existence.

    Once one of the most common of the native Hawaiian forest birds, the iiwi has declined across large portions of its range, has been extirpated or nearly so from some islands, and many of the few remaining populations are declining. The iiwi's range is contracting upslope in most areas, and population declines and range contraction are concurrent with increasing prevalence of avian malaria. Clear evidence exists that the iiwi is highly susceptible to avian malaria, and that the prevalence of this disease is moving upslope in Hawaiian forests correlated with temperature increases associated with global climate change. The evidence suggests this disease and its trend of increasing prevalence at increasing elevation are the chief drivers of observed iiwi population declines and range contraction. Although habitat management to reduce breeding habitat for mosquitoes may have slowed the decline of iiwi and other forest birds to some degree in a few locations, no landscape-scale plans or strategies exist for eradicating mosquitoes or otherwise reducing the risk posed by avian malaria to iiwi and other susceptible Hawaiian bird species.

    The documented trend of temperature increase, which is greatest at high elevation, is projected to continue at least through the 21st century. The transmission of avian malaria is currently limited or absent at higher elevations, where temperatures are too cool for the development of the malaria parasite. However, multiple independent modeling efforts consistently project that the prevalence of avian malaria will continue to increase upslope with increasing temperature, eventually eliminating most or all remaining disease-free habitat in the islands. These models, which incorporate data on the distribution of forest birds and on disease transmission, project moderate to high avian malaria transmission at the highest elevations of the iiwi's current range by the end of this century, with some significant effects predicted within the next few decades. As a consequence, significant declines in iiwi populations are projected, on the order of 70 to 90 percent by 2100, depending on the future climate scenario.

    The impacts of other stressors to iiwi, such as loss or degradation of native forest by nonnative species (disturbance or destruction by feral ungulates; invasion by nonnative plants; impacts from nonnative pathogens such as ROD), predation by rats and other nonnative predators, and small-population stressors such as demographic stochasticity and loss of genetic diversity, have not been well documented or quantified. However, any stressors that result in further degradation or fragmentation of the forests on which the iiwi relies for foraging and nesting, or result in increased mortality or reduced reproductive success, are likely to exacerbate the impacts of disease on the species. The effects of climate change are likely to exacerbate these other stressors to iiwi as well.

    As the number and distribution of iiwi continue to decline, the remaining small, isolated populations become increasingly vulnerable to environmental catastrophes and demographic stochasticity; this will particularly be the case should all remaining iiwi become restricted to Hawaii Island, as some modeling scenarios suggest. Ninety percent of the rangewide iiwi population is already restricted to Hawaii Island, where ROD has recently emerged as a fast-moving threat to the already limited ohia forest habitat required by iiwi.

    In consideration of all of this information, we conclude that avian malaria, as exacerbated by the ongoing effects of climate change, poses a threat to iiwi, and the action of these stressors places the species as a whole at an elevated risk of extinction. Because the vast majority of the remaining iiwi population is restricted to the island of Hawaii, we consider rapid ohia death to pose a threat to the future viability of iiwi as well, as it may result in major loss of forest within the iiwi's remaining range on that island.

    Determination

    Section 4 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1533), and its implementing regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal 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(a)(1) of the Act, we may list a species based on (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; or (E) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence. Listing actions may be warranted based on any of the above threat factors, singly or in combination.

    We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats to the iiwi. As described in the species status report, in considering the five listing factors, we evaluated many potential stressors to iiwi, including but not limited to: Stressors that may affect the extent or quality of the bird's ohia forest habitat (ohia dieback, ohia rust, ROD, drought, fires, volcanic eruptions, nonnative plants, and feral ungulates), introduced diseases, predation by introduced mammals, competition with nonnative birds, ectoparasites, climate change, and the effects of small population size. Based on our assessment, disease—particularly avian malaria—is the primary driver in the ongoing declines in abundance and range of iiwi, and climate change substantially exacerbates the impact of disease on the species and will continue to do so into the future.

    The greatest current threat to iiwi comes from exposure to introduced diseases carried by nonnative mosquitoes (Factor C). Avian malaria in particular has been clearly demonstrated to result in extremely high mortality of iiwi; avian pox may have significant effects on iiwi as well, although the evidence is not as clear or measurable. These diseases have resulted in significant losses of the once ubiquitous iiwi, which remains highly susceptible and, as of present, shows no clear indication of having developed substantial resistance or tolerance. Exposure to these diseases is ongoing, and is expected to increase as a consequence of the effects of climate change (Factor E).

    Several climate model projections predict that continued increases in temperature due to climate change will greatly exacerbate the impacts of avian diseases upon iiwi due to loss of disease-free habitat. Several iiwi populations, including those on Molokai, Kauai, West Maui, and possibly Oahu—all lower in elevation than East Maui and Hawaii Island—are already extremely small in size or are represented by only a few occasional individuals, probably owing to the loss of disease-free habitat. Iiwi may face extirpation in these places due to the inability to overcome the effects of malaria. The species is expected to first become restricted to Hawaii Island, perhaps by the year 2040. By the end of the century, the existence of iiwi is uncertain due to the ongoing loss of disease-free habitat; the potential impacts to ohia forests from ROD and other stressors could increase the risk to iiwi as well. These threats to iiwi are ongoing, most are rangewide, are expected to increase in the future, and are significant because they will likely result in increased mortality of iiwi and loss of remaining populations, as well as further decreases in the availability and amount of disease-free habitat at high elevation. As discussed above, current regulatory mechanisms are not sufficient to address these threats (Factor D).

    Some of the other stressors contributed to past declines in iiwi, or negatively affect the species or its habitat today; however, of the additional stressors considered, we found no information to suggest that any is currently a key factor in the ongoing declines in abundance and range of iiwi, although they may be contributing or exacerbating factors. Habitat loss and alteration (Factor A) caused by nonnative plants and ungulates is occurring rangewide, has resulted in degraded ohia forest habitat, and is not likely to be reduced in the future. While ohia forests still comprise the majority of native forest cover on most of the main Hawaiian Islands, climate change and its likely effects, such as increased drought frequency, are expected to further affect ohia forest habitat and compound other impacts, including the spread of invasive plants and perhaps the severity and frequency of ohia diseases. In particular, the rapidly spreading and highly lethal disease, rapid ohia death, poses an increasing risk to the native forest habitat of iiwi on Hawaii Island, where 90 percent of remaining iiwi occur. This emerging factor has the potential to exacerbate avian disease and other stressors in the future by accelerating the loss and degradation of iiwi's habitat. If this disease becomes widespread, it could further increase the vulnerability of the iiwi by eliminating the native forest it requires for foraging and nesting.

    We do not have any information that overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes (Factor B) poses a threat to iiwi.

    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 considered whether the iiwi meets either of these definitions, and find that the iiwi meets the definition of a threatened species for the reasons described below.

    We considered whether the iiwi is presently in danger of extinction and determined that proposing endangered status is not appropriate. Although the species has experienced significant reductions in both abundance and range, at the present time the species is still found on multiple islands and the species as a whole still occurs in relatively high numbers. Additionally, disease-free habitat currently remains available for iiwi in high-elevation ohia forests with temperatures sufficiently cool to prevent the development of the malarial parasite. For these reasons, we do not consider the iiwi to be in imminent danger of extinction, although this formerly common species has experienced threats of such severity and magnitude that it has now become highly vulnerable to continued decline and local extirpation, such that the species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future, as explained below.

    Based on our review of the best scientific and commercial data available, we expect that additional iiwi population declines will be observed range-wide within the next few decades, and indications are that declines are already taking place on Kauai and in some Maui and Hawaii Island populations as a result of increasing temperatures and consequent exposure to avian malaria at some elevations where the disease is uncommon or absent today. Iiwi has a very high observed mortality rate when exposed to avian malaria, and the warming effects of climate change will result in increased exposure of the remaining iiwi populations to this disease, especially at high elevation. Peer-reviewed results of modeling experiments project that malaria transmission rates and effects on iiwi populations will begin increasing at high elevations by mid-century, and result in population declines of 70 to 90 percent by the year 2100. We thus conclude that the iiwi is likely to become in danger of extinction throughout all of its range within the foreseeable future. Because the iiwi is not in imminent danger of extinction, but is likely to become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future, it meets the definition of a threatened species. Therefore, on the basis of the best available scientific and commercial information, we propose listing the iiwi as threatened in accordance with sections 3(20) and 4(a)(1) of the Act.

    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. Because we have determined that the iiwi is threatened throughout all of its range, no portion of its range can be “significant” for purposes of the definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species.” 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 37577; 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 from listing will result in public awareness and 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 other qualified persons) are often established to develop recovery plans. When completed, the recovery outline, draft recovery plan, and the final recovery plan for iiwi will be available on our Web site (http://www.fws.gov/endangered), or from our Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). The public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft recovery plan, and the Service will consider all information presented during the public comment period prior to approval of the plan.

    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 will 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 Hawaii would be eligible for Federal funds to implement management actions that promote the protection or recovery of the iiwi. Information on our grant programs that are available to aid species recovery can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/grants.

    Although the iiwi 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 iiwi's habitat that may require a conference or consultation or both as described in the preceding paragraph, include but are not limited to, management and any other landscape-altering activities on Federal lands administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service; actions within the jurisdiction of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and branches of the Department of Defense (DOD); and activities funded or authorized under the Federal Highway Administration, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, and DOD construction activities related to training or other military missions.

    Under section 4(d) of the Act, the Service has discretion to issue regulations that we find necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of threatened species. We are not proposing to issue a special rule pursuant to section 4(d) for this species. Therefore, the provisions of 50 CFR 17.31(a) and (b) would apply. These regulatory provisions apply the prohibitions of section 9(a)(1) of the Act to threatened wildlife and make it illegal for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to take (which includes harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or to attempt any of these) threatened wildlife within the United States or on the high seas. In addition, it is unlawful to import; export; deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce in the course of commercial activity; or sell or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any listed species. It is also illegal to possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any such wildlife that has been taken illegally. Certain exceptions apply to employees of the Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, other Federal land management agencies, and State conservation agencies.

    We may issue permits to carry out otherwise prohibited activities involving threatened wildlife under certain circumstances. Regulations governing permits are codified at 50 CFR 17.32. With regard to threatened wildlife, a permit may be issued for the following purposes: For scientific purposes, to enhance the propagation or survival of the species, or for incidental take in connection with otherwise lawful activities. There are also certain statutory exemptions from the prohibitions, which are found in sections 9 and 10 of the Act.

    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, actions that may result in a violation of section 9 include but are not limited to:

    (1) Development of land or the conversion of native ohia forest, including the construction of any infrastructure (e.g., roads, bridges, railroads, pipelines, utilities) in occupied iiwi habitat;

    (2) Unauthorized collecting, handling, possessing, selling, delivering, carrying, or transporting of the species, including import or export across State lines and international boundaries, except for properly documented antique specimens of this species at least 100 years old, as defined by section 10(h)(1) of the Act;

    (3) Introduction of nonnative species that compete with or prey upon the iiwi, such as the new introduction of nonnative predators or competing birds to the State of Hawaii; and

    (4) Certain research activities: Collection and handling of iiwi for research that may result in displacement or death of individuals.

    Questions regarding whether specific activities would constitute a violation of section 9 of the Act should be directed to the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 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 at Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2016-0057 and upon request from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife 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; 4201-4245; unless otherwise noted.

    2. In § 17.11(h), add an entry for “Iiwi (honeycreeper)” to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in alphabetical order under BIRDS to read as set forth below:
    § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.

    (h) * * *

    Common name Scientific name Where listed Status Listing citations and applicable rules *         *         *         *         *         *         * Birds *         *         *         *         *         *         * Iiwi (honeycreeper) Drepanis coccinea Wherever found T [Federal Register citation when published as a final rule]. *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: September 2, 2016. Bryan Arroyo, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22592 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648-XE888 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC); Public Hearings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public hearings; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils are developing an omnibus amendment to allow for industry-funded monitoring. This amendment includes omnibus alternatives that would modify all the fishery management plans managed by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils to allow for standardized and streamlined development of future industry-funded monitoring programs. Additionally, this amendment includes alternatives for new industry-funded monitoring programs for the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan and the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the Industry-Funded Monitoring Omnibus Amendment (IFM Amendment) will be accepted from Friday, September 23, 2016, until Monday, November 7, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit written comments by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0125, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments;

    Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on IFM Omnibus Amendment;”

    • Comments may also be provided verbally at any of the five public hearings. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for dates, times, and locations.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel Luers, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 282-8457. The IFM Amendment will be available on the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Office Web site (www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov) and the Council Web sites (www.mafmc.org, www.nefmc.org) starting on September 23, 2016. In addition, please visit any of the Web sites for details on meeting locations, webinar listen-in access, and public hearing materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Mid-Atlantic and the New England Fishery Management Councils have initiated an amendment to allow for industry-funded monitoring in all of the fishery management plans managed by the Councils. The industry-funded monitoring would be used to assess the amount and type of catch, more precisely monitor annual catch limits, and provide other information for management. This increased monitoring would be above coverage required under the standardized bycatch reporting methodology, the Endangered Species Act, or the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The amount of available Federal funding to support additional monitoring and legal constraints associated with sharing the costs of industry-funded monitoring between NMFS and the fishing industry have recently prevented NMFS from approving proposals for industry-funded monitoring in some fisheries.

    The Omnibus Alternatives consider the following for new industry-funded monitoring programs: (1) Standard cost responsibilities associated with industry-funded monitoring for NMFS and the fishing industry; (2) a process for fishery management plan-specific industry-funded monitoring to be implemented via a future framework adjustment action; (3) standard administrative requirements for industry-funded monitoring service providers; (4) a process to prioritize industry-funded monitoring programs in order to allocate available Federal resources across all fishery management plans; and (5) a process for monitoring set-aside programs to be implemented via a future framework adjustment action.

    This amendment also includes industry-funded monitoring coverage target alternatives for the Atlantic herring and mackerel fisheries. Specifically, this amendment considers a variety of monitoring types and coverage targets to address the following goals: (1) Accurate estimates of catch (retained and discarded); (2) accurate catch estimates for incidental species for which catch caps apply; and (3) effective and affordable monitoring for the herring and mackerel fisheries.

    Public Hearings

    The dates and locations of the public hearings are as follows.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 6-8 p.m., Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, telephone: (978) 281-9300;

    Monday, October 17, 2016, 5-7 p.m., Internet webinar, connection information to be available at (http://mafmc.adobeconnect.com/ifm-hearing/) or by contacting NMFS or either Council at the above addresses.

    Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6-8 p.m., Double Tree by Hilton Hotels, 363 Maine Mall Road, Portland, ME 04106, telephone: (207) 775-6161;

    Thursday, October 27, 2016, 5-7 p.m., Congress Hall, 200 Congress Place, Cape May, NJ 08204, telephone: (888) 944-1816;

    Tuesday, November 1, 2016, 6-8 p.m., Corless Auditorium, Watkins Building University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, 218 Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI 02874.

    Special Accommodations

    These public hearings are accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aid should be directed to Dr. Fiona Hogan (NEFMC) at [email protected], (978) 465-0492 (x121), or Jason Didden (MAFMC) at [email protected], (302) 526-5254, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22493 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 182 Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Federal Crop Insurance Corporation [Docket No. FCIC-16-0005] Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection—Subpart U—Ineligibility for Programs Under the Federal Crop Insurance Act AGENCY:

    Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a public comment period on the information collection requests (ICRs) associated with the Subpart U— Ineligibility for Programs under the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

    DATES:

    Comments that we receive on this notice will be accepted until close of business November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    FCIC prefers that comments be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. You may submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. FCIC-16-0005, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Director, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64133-6205.

    All comments received, including those received by mail, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, and can be accessed by the public. All comments must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rule. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information, see http://www.regulations.gov. If you are submitting comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal and want to attach a document, we ask that it be in a text-based format. If you want to attach a document that is a scanned Adobe PDF file, it must be scanned as text and not as an image, thus allowing FCIC to search and copy certain portions of your submissions. For questions regarding attaching a document that is a scanned Adobe PDF file, please contact the RMA Web Content Team at (816) 823-4694 or by email at [email protected]

    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received for any dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the complete User Notice and Privacy Notice for Regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov/#!privacyNotice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tim Hoffmann, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, Beacon Facility, Stop 0812, Room 421, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64141-6205, telephone (816) 926-7730.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Subpart U—Ineligibility for Programs under the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

    OMB Control Number: 0563-0085.

    Expiration Date of Approval: March 31, 2017.

    Type of Request: Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection.

    Abstract: The following mandates require FCIC to identify persons who are ineligible to participate in the Federal crop insurance program administered under the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

    (1) Section 1764 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (Pub. L. 99-198);

    (2) 21 U.S.C., Chapter 13;

    (3) Section 14211 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246);

    (4) Executive Order 12549; and

    (5) 7 U.S.C. 1515.

    The FCIC and Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) use the information collected to determine whether persons seeking to obtain Federal crop insurance coverage are ineligible for such coverage according to the aforementioned mandates. The purpose of collecting the information is to ensure persons that are ineligible for benefits under the Federal crop insurance program are accurately identified as such and do not obtain benefits to which they are not eligible.

    FCIC and RMA do not obtain information used to identify a person as ineligible for benefits under the Federal crop insurance program directly from the ineligible person. AIPs notify RMA of persons with a delinquent debt electronically through a secure automated system. RMA (1) sends written notification to the person informing them they are ineligible for benefits under the Federal crop insurance program; and (2) places that person on the RMA Ineligible Tracking System until the person regains eligibility for such benefits.

    RMAs Office of General Counsel notifies RMA in writing of persons convicted of controlled substance violations. RMA (1) sends written notification to the person informing them they are ineligible for benefits under the Federal crop insurance program; and (2) places that person on RMAs Ineligible Tracking System until the person regains eligibility for such benefits.

    Persons debarred, suspended or disqualified by RMA are (1) notified, in writing, they are ineligible for benefits under the Federal crop insurance program; and (2) placed on RMAs Ineligible Tracking System until the person regains eligibility for such benefits. Information identifying persons who are ineligible for benefits under the Federal crop insurance program is made available to all AIPs through RMAs Ineligible Tracking System. The Ineligible Tracking System is an electronic system, maintained by RMA, which identifies persons who are ineligible to participate in the Federal crop insurance program. The information must be made available to all AIPs to ensure ineligible persons cannot circumvent the mandates by switching from one AIP to another.

    In addition, information identifying persons who are debarred, suspended or disqualified by RMA is provided to the General Services Administration to be included in the Excluded Parties List System, an electronic system maintained by the General Services Administration that provides current information about persons who are excluded or disqualified from covered transactions.

    Additionally, due to the Agricultural Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642; Pub. L. 113-79) there is an increase in reporting of information from those producers who are determined to be ineligible and who submit a request for reinstatement to the Administrator of the Risk Management Agency, for their inadvertent failure to pay their crop insurance debt timely to the applicable Approved Insurance Provider.

    Estimate of burden: Reporting burden for the collection and transmission of information by AIPs is estimated to average 19 minutes per response.

    Respondents: Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs).

    Estimated number of respondents: 18 AIPs.

    Estimated number of forms per respondent: All information is obtained electronically from AIPs.

    Estimated total annual responses: 9,270 total from all respondents.

    Estimated total annual respondent burden: 2,948 total from all respondents.

    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help us to:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agencies, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on September 14, 2016. Timothy J. Gannon, Acting Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22579 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Federal Crop Insurance Corporation [Docket No. FCIC-16-0004] Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection—Area Risk Protection Insurance AGENCY:

    Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a public comment period on the information collection requests (ICRs) associated with the Area Risk Protection Insurance.

    DATES:

    Comments that we receive on this notice will be accepted until close of business November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    FCIC prefers that comments be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. You may submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. FCIC-16-0004, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Director, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64133-6205.

    All comments received, including those received by mail, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, and can be accessed by the public. All comments must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rule. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information, see http://www.regulations.gov. If you are submitting comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal and want to attach a document, we ask that it be in a text-based format. If you want to attach a document that is a scanned Adobe PDF file, it must be scanned as text and not as an image, thus allowing FCIC to search and copy certain portions of your submissions. For questions regarding attaching a document that is a scanned Adobe PDF file, please contact the RMA Web Content Team at (816)823-4694 or by email at [email protected]

    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received for any dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the complete User Notice and Privacy Notice for Regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov/#!privacyNotice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tim Hoffmann, Product Administration and Standards Division, Risk Management Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, Beacon Facility, Stop 0812, Room 421, P.O. Box 419205, Kansas City, MO 64141-6205, telephone (816) 926-7730.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Area Risk Protection Insurance.

    OMB Number: 0563-0083.

    Expiration Date of Approval: March 31, 2017.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The information collection requirements for this renewal package are necessary to administer the Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) Basic Provisions and affected Crop Provisions to determine insurance coverage, premiums, subsidies, payments and indemnities. ARPI is an insurance plan that provides coverage based on the experience of an entire county. Producers are required to report specific data when they apply for ARPI such as acreage and yields. Insurance companies accept applications; issue policies; establish and provide insurance coverage; compute liability, premium, subsidies, and losses; indemnify producers; and report specific data to FCIC as required in Appendix III/M13 Handbook. Commodities for which ARPI is available are included in this information collection package.

    FCIC is requesting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to extend the approval of this information collection for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public concerning this information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;

    (2) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information;

    (3) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses).

    Estimate of Burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.65 of an hour per response.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Producers and insurance providers reinsured by FCIC.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 25,432.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 5.9.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses: 150,173.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 98,332.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on September 14, 2016. Timothy J. Gannon, Acting Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22577 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request September 15, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by October 20, 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. Commentors 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.

    Forest Service

    Title: Application and Permit for Non-Federal Commercial Use of Roads, Trails and Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0016.

    Summary of Collection: Authority for permits for use of National Forest System (NFS) roads, trails, and areas on NFS lands restricted by order or regulation drives from the National Forest Roads and Trails Act (16 U.S.C. 532-538). The authority for the Road Use Permit process comes from 36 CFR 212.5, 36 CFR 212.9 and 36 CFR 261.54 Section 212.9 authorizes the Forest Service (FS) to develop a road system with private holders that is mutually beneficial to both parties. The FS transportation system includes approximately 380,000 miles of roads. These roads are grouped into five maintenance levels. Level one includes roads, which are closed and maintained only to protect the environment to level five, which is maintained for safe passenger car use. The roads usually provide the only access to commercial products including timber and minerals found on both Federal and private lands within and adjacent to National Forests. Annual maintenance not performed becomes a backlog that creates a financial burden for the FS. To remedy the backlog and pay for needed maintenance the FS requires commercial users to apply and pay for a permit to use the FS Road System. Maintenance resulting from commercial use is accomplished through collection of funds or requiring the commercial users to perform the maintenance.

    Need and Use of the Information: Information is collected from individuals, corporations, or organizations on the FS-7700-40 “Application for a Permit for Use of Roads, Trails and Areas Restricted by Regulation or Order” along with FS-7700-40a “Commercial Use Attachment” or FS-7700-40b “Oversize Vehicle Attachment” if applicable. The forms provide identifying information about the applicant such as, the name; address; and telephone number; description of mileage of roads; purpose of use; use schedule; and plans for future use. FS will use the information to prepare the applicant's permit, FS-7700-41 or FS-7700-48, to identify the road maintenance that is the direct result of the applicant's traffic, to calculate any applicable collections for recovery of past Federal investments in roads and assure that the requirements are met. Without the Road Use Permit, the backlog of maintenance would increase and the FS would have great difficulty providing the transportation system necessary to meet our mission.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Individuals or households; State, Local or Tribal Government; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 1,100.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 163.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22552 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Kansas Advisory Committee for a New Committee Orientation Meeting, To Discuss Civil Rights Issues in the State, and To Plan Future Activities 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 Kansas Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. CDT. The meeting will include an orientation for new members, a discussion of completion and publication of the Committee's report regarding voting rights in the state, and a discussion of other current civil rights concerns in Kansas for future consideration.

    DATES:

    The meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. CDT Public Call Information: Dial: 888-601-3864, Conference ID: 7006235.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-601-3864, conference ID: 7006235. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. 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 also entitled to 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 Corrine Sanders at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Kansas Advisory Committee link (http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=249). 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: Welcome and Introductions New Member Orientation Discussion of Committee Report: Voting Rights in Kansas Public Comment Civil Rights in Kansas Future Plans and Actions Adjournment Dated: September 14, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22501 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Illinois Advisory Committee To Discuss a Project Proposal To Study Civil Rights and Voter Participation in the State 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 Illinois Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Friday, October 14, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. CDT for the purpose of discussing a draft project proposal for a study regarding civil rights and voter participation in the state.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Friday, October 14, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. CDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Public call information: Dial: 888-466-4462, Conference ID: 9902935.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at [email protected] or 312-353-8311.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-466-4462, conference ID: 9902935. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. 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 also entitled to 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 Midwestern Regional Office, 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 Midwestern Regional Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Midwestern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Illinois Advisory Committee link (http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=246). Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda: Welcome and Introductions Discussion of Project Proposal: Voting Rights in Illinois Public Comment Future Plans and Actions Adjournment Dated: September 14, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22502 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of the Census [Docket Number 160831809-6809-01] Temporary Suspension of the Special Census Program AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Temporary Suspension of the Special Census Program.

    SUMMARY:

    This document serves as notice to state and local governments and to other federal agencies that, beginning on September 30, 2018, the Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) will temporarily suspend the Special Census Program for five years—the two years preceding the decennial census, the decennial census year and the two years following it to accommodate the taking of the 2020 Decennial Census.

    The Census Bureau will announce, in a future Federal Register notice, the date that the program resumes. The Census Bureau plans to resume the program in the year 2022, after the 2020 Census data becomes available, for those entities that desire the service, provided that any and all costs associated with this work are borne by the local governmental entity.

    DATES:

    As of September 30, 2018, the Special Census Program will be temporarily suspended. Governmental units wishing to conduct a special census prior to the temporary suspension must submit the necessary Cost Estimate Package by June 15, 2017. An approved Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), along with the required funding, must be received no later than September 30, 2017 to complete the jurisdiction's Special Census by September 30, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Hector Merced, Field Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233, by telephone at (301) 763-1429 or email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A Special Census is a basic enumeration of population, housing units, group quarters and transitory locations, conducted by the Census Bureau at the request of a governmental unit. They are conducted on a cost-reimbursable basis. The Census Bureau's authority to conduct Special Censuses is specified in Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 196. For Special Census purposes, a governmental unit is defined as the government of any state, county, city, or other political subdivision within a state, or the government of the District of Columbia or the government of any possession or area including political subdivisions, American Indian Reservations or Alaskan Native villages.

    A Special Census may be conducted on any subject covered by the censuses as provided for in Title 13, U.S.C. Special Censuses are conducted on a cost reimbursable basis. The cost of a Special Census varies depending on the governmental unit's housing and population counts and whether a government requests a full or partial Special Census. To begin the Special Census process, a governmental unit must request an official cost estimate. There is a $200 fee to request an estimate. The cost estimate outlines the anticipated costs to the sponsoring government for staffing, materials, data processing and tabulation. Included with the cost estimate is a MOA. Once a signed MOA and initial payment are transmitted to the Census Bureau, the Special Census process will begin. When data collection, processing, and tabulation have been completed, the governmental unit receives official census statistics on the population and housing unit counts for the entire jurisdiction or parts of the jurisdiction, as defined in the MOA at the beginning of the Special Census process. This typically occurs within seven (7) months after the MOA is signed and returned to the Census Bureau by the requesting government. The official census statistics are communicated to the jurisdiction through a signed letter from the Director of the Census Bureau. The official census statistics can be used by the jurisdiction for any purpose provided through law, as specified in Title 13, U.S.C., Section 196.

    Local officials frequently request a Special Census when there has been a significant population change in their community due to annexation, growth, or the addition of new group quarters facilities. Communities may also consider a Special Census if there was a significant number of vacant housing units during the previous Decennial Census that are now occupied.

    Governmental units wishing to conduct a special census prior to the temporary suspension must submit the necessary Cost Estimate Package by June 15, 2017. An approved MOA, along with the required funding, must be received no later than September 30, 2017 to complete the jurisdiction's Special Census by September 30, 2018. Additional information about the Special Census Program is located at the following Web site address: www.census.gov/programs-surveys/specialcensus.html.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. John H. Thompson, Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22629 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-351-843, A-533-865, A-580-881, A-412-824] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, India, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom: Amended Final Affirmative Antidumping Determinations for Brazil and the United Kingdom and Antidumping Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (the Department) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (the ITC), the Department is issuing antidumping duty (AD) orders on certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from Brazil, India, the Republic of Korea (Korea), and the United Kingdom. In addition, the Department is amending its final determinations of sales at less-than-fair value (LTFV) from Brazil and the United Kingdom, to correct ministerial errors.

    DATES:

    Effective September 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hermes Pinilla at (202) 482-3477 (Brazil); Patrick O'Connor at (202) 482-0989 (India); Victoria Cho at (202) 482- 5075 (Korea); or Thomas Schauer at (202) 482-0410 (the United Kingdom), AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), on July 29, 2016, the Department made final determinations that cold-rolled steel from Brazil, India, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom is being sold in the United States at less-than-fair value.1

    1See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 81 FR 44946 (July 29, 2016) (Brazil Final); Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From India: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value; 81 FR 49938 (July 29, 2016) (India Final); Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 81 FR 49953 (July 29, 2016) (Korea Final); Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Russian Federation: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, 81 FR 49950 (July 29, 2016) (Russia Final); and Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the United Kingdom: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 81 FR 49929 (July 29, 2016) (UK Final).

    On July 29, 2016, U.S. Steel, one of the petitioners,2 submitted a timely filed allegation that the Department made certain ministerial errors in calculating the weighted-average dumping margin for Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) in the Brazil Final. We reviewed U.S. Steel's allegations and determined that we made certain ministerial errors. See “Amendment to the Brazil and United Kingdom Final Determinations” section below for further discussion.

    2 AK Steel Corporation (AK Steel), ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Nucor Corporation, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel) (collectively, the petitioners).

    On July 27 and 29, 2016, Tata Steel UK Ltd. (TSUK) and AK Steel, one of the petitioners, submitted timely filed allegations that the Department made certain ministerial errors in calculating the weighted-average dumping margin for TSUK in the UK Final. We reviewed the allegations and determined that we made certain ministerial errors. See “Amendment to the Brazil and United Kingdom Final Determinations” section below for further discussion.

    On September 12, 2016, the ITC notified the Department of its affirmative determinations that an industry in the United States is materially injured within the meaning of section 735(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, by reason of the LTFV imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom.3 In the same letter, the ITC notified the Department of its negative determination that an industry in the United States is materially injured within the meaning of section 735(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, by reason of the LTFV imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Russia.4

    3See Letter to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, from Irving A. Williamson, Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, regarding certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom (September 12, 2016) (ITC Letter). See also Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, India, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom (Investigation Nos. 701-TA-540-544 and 731-TA-1283-1290 (Final), USITC Publication 4564, September 2016).

    4Id.

    Scope of the Orders

    The product covered by these orders is certain cold-rolled steel flat products. For a complete description of the scope of these orders, see Appendix I.

    Amendment to the Brazil and United Kingdom Final Determinations

    As discussed above, after analyzing the comments received from U.S. Steel, we determined, in accordance with section 735(e) of the Act and and 19 CFR 351.224(f), that we made ministerial errors with regard to CSN's margin program by incorrectly referencing two variable names in revising the company's further manufacturing cost for its U.S. sales. This amended final AD determination corrects these ministerial errors. In addition, because the Department used CSN's final margin as the all-others rate, the amended final AD determination also revises the “all-others” rate accordingly. The dumping margins reported in this notice reflect the correction of these ministerial errors.

    As discussed above, after analyzing the comments received from TSUK and AK Steel, we determined, in accordance with section 735(e) of the Act and and 19 CFR 351.224(f), that we made ministerial errors with respect to the calculation of a partial adverse facts available market price used for the transactions disregarded analysis of TSUK's affiliated electricity purchases. This amended final AD determination corrects those errors. In addition, because the Department calculated the “all-others” rate based on a weighted average of the respondents' margins using publicly-ranged quantities for their sales of subject merchandise, this amended final AD determination also revises the all-others rate accordingly. The dumping margins reported in this notice reflect the correction of these ministerial errors.

    Antidumping Duty Orders

    In accordance with sections 735(b)(1)(A)(i) and 735(d) of the Act, the ITC has notified the Department of its final determinations that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of LTFV imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom.5 Therefore, in accordance with section 735(c)(2) of the Act, we are publishing these AD orders. Because the ITC determined that LTFV imports of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom are materially injuring a U.S. industry, unliquidated entries of such merchandise from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, are subject to the assessment of antidumping duties.

    5See ITC Letter.

    Therefore, in accordance with section 736(a)(1) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties equal to the amount by which the normal value of the merchandise exceeds the export price (or constructed export price) of the merchandise, for all relevant entries of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom. Antidumping duties will be assessed on unliquidated entries of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after March 7, 2016, the date of publication of the preliminary determinations,6 but will not include entries occurring after the expiration of the provisional measures period and before publication of the ITC's final injury determination, as further described below.

    6See Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Brazil: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures, 81 FR 11754 (March 7, 2016) (Brazil Prelim); Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From India: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures, 81 FR 11741 (March 7, 2016) (India Prelim); Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 81 FR 11757 (March 7, 2016) (Korea Prelim); and Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the United Kingdom: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures, 81 FR 11744 (March 7, 2016) (UK Prelim).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, we will instruct CBP to suspend liquidation on all relevant entries of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom. These instructions suspending liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

    We will also instruct CBP to require cash deposits equal to the amounts as indicated below, adjusted for certain countervailable subsidies, where appropriate. Accordingly, effective on the date of publication of the ITC's final affirmative injury determinations, CBP will require, at the same time as importers would normally deposit estimated duties on this subject merchandise, a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margins listed below.7 The relevant all-others rates apply to all producers or exporters not specifically listed. For the purpose of determining cash deposit rates, the estimated weighted-average dumping margins for imports of subject merchandise from Brazil, India, and Korea, have been adjusted, as appropriate, for export subsidies found in the final determination of the companion countervailing duty investigations of this merchandise imported from Brazil, India, and Korea.8

    7See section 736(a)(3) of the Act.

    8See Brazil Final, 81 FR at 49947-8, India Final, 81 FR at 49939, and Korea Final, 81 FR at 49954-5. See also section 772(c)(1)(C) of the Act.

    Brazil Exporter/Producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Cash-deposit
  • rate (percent) 9
  • Companhia Siderurgica Nacional 19.58 15.49 Usiminas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. (Usiminas) 35.43 31.66 All-Others 19.58 15.49
    India Exporter/Producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Cash-deposit
  • rate (percent) 9
  • JSW Steel Limited/JSW Coated Products Limited 7.60 6.70 All-Others 7.60 6.70
    Republic of Korea Exporter/Producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Cash-deposit
  • rate 9
  • Hyundai Steel Company 34.33 34.33 POSCO and Daewoo International Corporation 6.32 0.00 All-Others 20.33 20.33
    United Kingdom Exporter/Producer Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Caparo Precision Strip, Ltd./Liberty Performance Steels Ltd. 5.40 Tata Steel UK Ltd. 25.17 All-Others 22.58
    Provisional Measures

    Section 733(d) of the Act states that instructions issued pursuant to an affirmative preliminary determination may not remain in effect for more than four months, except where exporters representing a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise request the Department to extend that four-month period to no more than six months. At the request of exporters that account for a significant proportion of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom, we extended the four-month period to six months in each case.10 In the underlying investigations, the Department published the preliminary determinations on March 7, 2016. Therefore, the extended period, beginning on the date of publication of the preliminary determinations, ended on September 2, 2016. Furthermore, section 737(b) of the Act states that definitive duties are to begin on the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determination.

    9 The cash deposit rates are adjusted to account for the applicable export subsidy rates.

    10See Brazil Prelim, India Prelim, Korea Prelim, and UK Prelim.

    Therefore, in accordance with section 733(d) of the Act and our practice, we will instruct CBP to terminate the suspension of liquidation and to liquidate, without regard to antidumping duties, unliquidated entries of certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption after September 2, 2016, until and through the day preceding the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determinations in the Federal Register. Suspension of liquidation will resume on the date of publication of the ITC's final determination in the Federal Register.

    Notifications to Interested Parties

    This notice constitutes the AD orders with respect to cold-rolled steel from Brazil, India, Korea, and the United Kingdom, pursuant to section 736(a) of the Act. Interested parties may contact the Department's Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Commerce building, for copies of an updated listed of AD orders currently in effect.

    These orders are published in accordance with section 736(a) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.211(b).

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Orders

    The products covered by these orders are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of these orders are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or • 3.30 percent of silicon, or • 1.50 percent of copper, or • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or • 1.25 percent of chromium, or • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or • 0.40 percent of lead, or • 2.00 percent of nickel, or • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the orders if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of these orders unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of these orders:

    • Ball bearing steels; 11

    11 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels; 12

    12 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel; 13

    13 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland.14

    14See Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42501, 42503 (July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan.15

    15See Non-Oriented Electrical Steel From the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71741, 71741-42 (December 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to these orders are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050. The products subject to these orders may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the orders is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-22613 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Meeting of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (Board) will hold an open meeting via teleconference on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. The Board was re-chartered in August 2015 and advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the U.S. travel and tourism industry. The purpose of the meeting is for Board members to review and discuss proposed recommendations related to travel security and the customer experience, visa facilitation, and the collection of international visitation data to the United States. The final agenda will be posted on the Department of Commerce Web site for the Board at http://trade.gov/ttab, at least one week in advance of the meeting.

    DATES:

    Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. EDT. The deadline for members of the public to register, including requests to make comments during the meeting and for auxiliary aids, or to submit written comments for dissemination prior to the meeting, is 5 p.m. EDT on September 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held by conference call. The call-in number and passcode will be provided by email to registrants. Requests to register (including to speak or for auxiliary aids) and any written comments should be submitted to: U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 4043, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, [email protected] Members of the public are encouraged to submit registration requests and written comments via email to ensure timely receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Li Zhou, the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, Room 4043, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: 202-482-4501, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Board advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

    Public Participation: The meeting will be open to the public and will be accessible to people with disabilities. All guests are required to register in advance by the deadline identified under the DATES caption. Requests for auxiliary aids must be submitted by the registration deadline. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. There will be fifteen (15) minutes allotted for oral comments from members of the public joining the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments may be limited to three (3) minutes per person. Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must submit a request at the time of registration, as well as the name and address of the proposed speaker. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, the International Trade Administration may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers. Speakers are requested to submit a written copy of their prepared remarks by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, for inclusion in the meeting records and for circulation to the members of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

    In addition, any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the Board's affairs at any time before or after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to Li Zhou at the contact information indicated above. To be considered during the meeting, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 27, to ensure transmission to the Board prior to the meeting. Comments received after that date and time will be distributed to the members but may not be considered on the call. Copies of Board meeting minutes will be available within 90 days of the meeting.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Li Zhou, Executive Secretary, United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22608 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-351-844, C-533-866, C-580-882] Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, India, and the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Countervailing Duty Order (the Republic of Korea) and Countervailing Duty Orders (Brazil and India) AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce

    SUMMARY:

    Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (the Department) and the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Department is issuing countervailing duty (CVD) orders on certain cold-rolled steel flat products (cold-rolled steel) from Brazil, India, and the Republic of Korea (Korea). In addition, the Department is amending its final affirmative determination with respect to Korea to correct the rates assigned to Hyundai Steel Co., Ltd. (Hyundai Steel), POSCO, and All Others.

    DATES:

    Effective September 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sergio Balbontin at (202) 482-6478 (Brazil); Robert Bolling at (202) 482-3434 (India); and Emily Maloof at (202) 482-5649 (Korea); AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    In accordance with sections 705(a) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), on July 20, 2016, the Department made final determinations that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of cold-rolled steel from Brazil, India, and Korea. Pursuant to section 705(d) of the Act, the Department published the affirmative final determinations on July 29, 2016.1

    1See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil: Final Affirmative Determination, 81 FR 49940 (July 29, 2016) (Brazil CVD Final Determination); Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from India: Final Affirmative Determination, 81 FR 49932 (July 29, 2016) (India CVD Final Determination); and Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea: Final Affirmative Determination, 81 FR 49943 (July 29, 2016) (Korea CVD Final Determination).

    On July 27, 2016, Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. (Usiminas) timely filed ministerial error comments, alleging that the Department made errors in the final determination of the CVD investigation of cold-rolled steel from Brazil. No other interested party submitted ministerial error allegations or rebuttals to Usiminas' submission. We analyzed the allegations submitted by Usiminas and determined that only one of the three alleged errors is a ministerial error, as defined by section 705(e) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.224(f).2 However, we determined that correcting the ministerial error within the calculations does not change the overall rate for Usiminas.3

    2See Department Memorandum regarding “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil: Ministerial Error Allegation for the Final Determination,” dated August 24, 2016 (Brazil Ministerial Error Decision Memorandum).

    3Id.

    On July 27, 2016, Hyundai Steel and POSCO timely filed ministerial error comments, alleging that the Department made errors in the final determination of the CVD investigation of cold-rolled steel from Korea. No other interested party submitted ministerial error allegations or rebuttals to Hyundai Steel's and POSCO's submissions. We analyzed the allegations submitted by Hyundai Steel and POSCO, and determined that ministerial errors exist, as defined by section 705(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f).4 See “Amendment to the Korea Final Determination” section below for further discussion.

    4See Department Memorandum regarding “Countervailing Duty Investigation: Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea: Response to Ministerial Error Comments filed by Hyundai Steel Co., Ltd. and POSCO,” dated August 24, 2016 (Korea Ministerial Error Decision Memorandum).

    On September 12, 2016, the ITC notified the Department of its final determinations that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of subsidized imports of subject merchandise from Brazil and Korea, within the meaning of section 705(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, and is threatened with material injury by reason of subsidized imports of subject merchandise from India, within the meaning of section 705(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act.5

    5See Letter to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, from Irving A. Williamson, Chairman, U.S. International Trade Commission, regarding certain cold-rolled steel flat products from Brazil, India, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom (September 12, 2016) (ITC Letter); see also Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil, India, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom, USITC Investigation Nos. 701-TA-540, 542-544 and 731-TA-1283, 1285, 1287, and 1289-1290 (Final), USITC Publication 4637 (September 2016). The Department also issued an affirmative final CVD determination with regard to cold-rolled steel flat products from the Russian Federation, see Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Russian Federation: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Negative Critical Circumstances Determination, 81 FR 49935 (July 29, 2016), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum. However, the ITC notified the Department that imports of cold-rolled steel from Russia that are subsidized by the Government of Russia are negligible.

    Scope of the Orders

    The products covered by these orders are certain cold-rolled steel flat products. For a complete description of the scope of the orders, see Appendix I.

    Amendment to the Korea CVD Final Determination

    As discussed above, after analyzing the comments received from Hyundai Steel and POSCO, we determined, in accordance with section 705(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f), that we made ministerial errors with regard to certain calculations in the Korea CVD Final Determination with respect to Hyundai Steel and POSCO. This amended final CVD determination corrects these errors and revises the ad valorem subsidy rate for Hyundai Steel to 3.89 percent (from 3.91 percent), for POSCO to 59.72 percent (from 58.36 percent), and for the All Others rate to 3.89 percent (from 3.91 percent).6

    6See Korea Ministerial Error Decision Memorandum. See also Department Memorandum regarding “Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Determination Calculation Memorandum for POSCO,” dated August 24, 2016. The All Others rate has changed because it was determined by the rate calculated for Hyundai Steel, which has now been corrected. POSCO's final subsidy rate was excluded from the All Others rate because it was determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. See section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act.

    Countervailing Duty Orders

    In accordance with sections 705(b)(1)(A)(i), 705(b)(1)(A)(ii), and 705(d) of the Act, the ITC has notified the Department of its final determinations that the industry in the United States producing cold-rolled steel is materially injured by reason of subsidized imports of cold-rolled steel from Brazil and Korea, and is threatened with material injury by reason of subsidized imports of cold-rolled steel from India.7 Therefore, in accordance with section 705(c)(2) of the Act, we are publishing these CVD orders.

    7See ITC Letter.

    Brazil

    As a result of the ITC's final determinations, in accordance with section 706(a) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, countervailing duties on unliquidated entries of cold-rolled steel from Brazil entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after December 22, 2015, the date on which the Department published its preliminary affirmative countervailing duty determinations in the Federal Register,8 and before April 20, 2016, the date on which the Department instructed CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation in accordance with section 703(d) of the Act. Section 703(d) of the Act states that the suspension of liquidation pursuant to a preliminary determination may not remain in effect for more than four months. Therefore, entries of cold-rolled steel from Brazil made on or after April 20, 2016, and prior to the date of publication of the ITC's final determination in the Federal Register, are not liable for assessment of countervailing duties due to the Department's discontinuation, effective April 20, 2016, of the suspension of liquidation.

    8See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from Brazil: Preliminary Affirmative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 79569 (December 22, 2015) (Brazil CVD Preliminary Determination).

    India

    According to section 706(b)(2) of the Act, countervailing duties shall be assessed on subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the ITC's notice of final determination if that determination is based upon the threat of material injury, other than threat of material injury as described in section 706(b)(1) of the Act. Section 706(b)(1) of the Act states, “{i}f the Commission, in its final determination under section 705(b), finds material injury or threat of material injury which, but for the suspension of liquidation under section 703(d)(2), would have led to a finding of material injury, then entries of the merchandise subject to the countervailing duty order, the liquidation of which has been suspended under section 703(d)(2), shall be subject to the imposition of countervailing duties under section 701(a).” In addition, section 706(b)(2) of the Act requires CBP to refund any cash deposits of estimated countervailing duties posted before the date of publication of the ITC's final affirmative determination, if the ITC's final determination is based on threat other than the threat described in section 706(b)(1) of the Act. Because the ITC's final determination with regard to imports of cold-rolled steel from India is based on the threat of material injury and is not accompanied by a finding that injury would have resulted but for the imposition of suspension of liquidation of entries since the publication of the Department's India CVD Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register,9 section 706(b)(2) of the Act applies.

    9See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from India: Preliminary Affirmative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 79562 (December 22, 2015) (India CVD Preliminary Determination).

    Korea

    Because the Department's preliminary determination in the Korea CVD investigation was negative, we did not instruct CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation with regard to entries of cold-rolled steel from Korea. 10 Therefore, with regard to Korea, we will direct CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, countervailing duties on unliquidated entries of cold-rolled steel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after July 29, 2016, the date on which the Department published the Korea CVD Final Determination in the Federal Register.

    10See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Cold-Rolled Steel Flat Products from the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Negative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 79567 (December 22, 2015) (Korea CVD Preliminary Determination).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 706 of the Act, we will direct CBP to reinstitute the suspension of liquidation of cold-rolled steel from Brazil and India effective on the date of publication of the ITC's notice of final determinations in the Federal Register, and to continue the suspension of liquidation of cold-rolled steel from Korea, effective on the date of publication of the Department's notice of final determination in the Federal Register. We will also direct CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, pursuant to section 706(a)(1) of the Act, countervailing duties for each entry of the subject merchandise in an amount based on the net countervailable subsidy rates for the subject merchandise.

    On or after the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determinations in the Federal Register, CBP must require, at the same time as importers would normally deposit estimated duties on this merchandise, a cash deposit equal to the rates noted below:

    Exporter/Producer from Brazil Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) 11.31 Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A. (Usiminas) 11.09 All Others 11.20
    Exporter/Producer from India Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • JSW Steel Limited and JSW Steel Coated Products Limited 10.00 All Others 10.00
    Exporter/Producer from Korea Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • POSCO 59.72 Hyundai Steel Co., Ltd. 3.89 All Others 3.89
    Termination of the Suspension of Liquidation

    The Department will instruct CBP to terminate the suspension of liquidation for entries of cold-rolled steel from India, entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption prior to the publication of the ITC's notice of final determination. The Department will also instruct CBP to refund any cash deposits made with respect to entries of cold-rolled steel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after December 22, 2015 (i.e., the date of publication of the India CVD Preliminary Determination), but before April 20, 2016, (i.e., the date suspension of liquidation was discontinued in accordance with section 703(d) of the Act).

    Notifications to Interested Parties

    This notice constitutes the CVD orders with respect to cold-rolled steel from Brazil, India, and Korea, pursuant to section 706(a) of the Act. Interested parties may contact the Department's Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Commerce building, for copies of an updated listed of CVD orders currently in effect.

    These orders are issued and published in accordance with section 706(a) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.211(b).

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I

    The products covered by these orders are certain cold-rolled (cold-reduced), flat-rolled steel products, whether or not annealed, painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other non-metallic substances. The products covered do not include those that are clad, plated, or coated with metal. The products covered include coils that have a width or other lateral measurement (“width”) of 12.7 mm or greater, regardless of form of coil (e.g., in successively superimposed layers, spirally oscillating, etc.). The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness less than 4.75 mm and a width that is 12.7 mm or greater and that measures at least 10 times the thickness. The products covered also include products not in coils (e.g., in straight lengths) of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more and a width exceeding 150 mm and measuring at least twice the thickness. The products described above may be rectangular, square, circular, or other shape and include products of either rectangular or non-rectangular cross-section where such cross-section is achieved subsequent to the rolling process, i.e., products which have been “worked after rolling” (e.g., products which have been beveled or rounded at the edges). For purposes of the width and thickness requirements referenced above:

    (1) Where the nominal and actual measurements vary, a product is within the scope if application of either the nominal or actual measurement would place it within the scope based on the definitions set forth above, and

    (2) where the width and thickness vary for a specific product (e.g., the thickness of certain products with non-rectangular cross-section, the width of certain products with non-rectangular shape, etc.), the measurement at its greatest width or thickness applies.

    Steel products included in the scope of these orders are products in which: (1) Iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; (2) the carbon content is 2 percent or less, by weight; and (3) none of the elements listed below exceeds the quantity, by weight, respectively indicated:

    • 2.50 percent of manganese, or

    • 3.30 percent of silicon, or

    • 1.50 percent of copper, or

    • 1.50 percent of aluminum, or

    • 1.25 percent of chromium, or

    • 0.30 percent of cobalt, or

    • 0.40 percent of lead, or

    • 2.00 percent of nickel, or

    • 0.30 percent of tungsten (also called wolfram), or

    • 0.80 percent of molybdenum, or

    • 0.10 percent of niobium (also called columbium), or

    • 0.30 percent of vanadium, or

    • 0.30 percent of zirconium

    Unless specifically excluded, products are included in this scope regardless of levels of boron and titanium.

    For example, specifically included in this scope are vacuum degassed, fully stabilized (commonly referred to as interstitial-free (IF)) steels, high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, motor lamination steels, Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS), and Ultra High Strength Steels (UHSS). IF steels are recognized as low carbon steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as titanium and/or niobium added to stabilize carbon and nitrogen elements. HSLA steels are recognized as steels with micro-alloying levels of elements such as chromium, copper, niobium, titanium, vanadium, and molybdenum. Motor lamination steels contain micro-alloying levels of elements such as silicon and aluminum. AHSS and UHSS are considered high tensile strength and high elongation steels, although AHSS and UHSS are covered whether or not they are high tensile strength or high elongation steels.

    Subject merchandise includes cold-rolled steel that has been further processed in a third country, including but not limited to annealing, tempering, painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, punching, and/or slitting, or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the cold-rolled steel.

    All products that meet the written physical description, and in which the chemistry quantities do not exceed any one of the noted element levels listed above, are within the scope of this order unless specifically excluded. The following products are outside of and/or specifically excluded from the scope of these orders:

    • Ball bearing steels;11

    11 Ball bearing steels are defined as steels which contain, in addition to iron, each of the following elements by weight in the amount specified: (i) Not less than 0.95 nor more than 1.13 percent of carbon; (ii) not less than 0.22 nor more than 0.48 percent of manganese; (iii) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of sulfur; (iv) none, or not more than 0.03 percent of phosphorus; (v) not less than 0.18 nor more than 0.37 percent of silicon; (vi) not less than 1.25 nor more than 1.65 percent of chromium; (vii) none, or not more than 0.28 percent of nickel; (viii) none, or not more than 0.38 percent of copper; and (ix) none, or not more than 0.09 percent of molybdenum.

    • Tool steels;12

    12 Tool steels are defined as steels which contain the following combinations of elements in the quantity by weight respectively indicated: (i) More than 1.2 percent carbon and more than 10.5 percent chromium; or (ii) not less than 0.3 percent carbon and 1.25 percent or more but less than 10.5 percent chromium; or (iii) not less than 0.85 percent carbon and 1 percent to 1.8 percent, inclusive, manganese; or (iv) 0.9 percent to 1.2 percent, inclusive, chromium and 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, inclusive, molybdenum; or (v) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 3.5 percent molybdenum; or (vi) not less than 0.5 percent carbon and not less than 5.5 percent tungsten.

    • Silico-manganese steel;13

    13 Silico-manganese steel is defined as steels containing by weight: (i) Not more than 0.7 percent of carbon; (ii) 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.9 percent of manganese, and (iii) 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon.

    • Grain-oriented electrical steels (GOES) as defined in the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel from Germany, Japan, and Poland. 14

    14See Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel from Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, 79 FR 42501, 42503 (July 22, 2014). This determination defines grain-oriented electrical steel as “a flat-rolled alloy steel product containing by weight at least 0.6 percent but not more than 6 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, not more than 1.0 percent of aluminum, and no other element in an amount that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel, in coils or in straight lengths.”

    • Non-Oriented Electrical Steels (NOES), as defined in the antidumping orders issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Non-Oriented Electrical Steel from the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan. 15

    15See Non-Oriented Electrical Steel from the People's Republic of China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan: Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 71741, 71741-42 (December 3, 2014). The orders define NOES as “cold-rolled, flat-rolled, alloy steel products, whether or not in coils, regardless of width, having an actual thickness of 0.20 mm or more, in which the core loss is substantially equal in any direction of magnetization in the plane of the material. The term `substantially equal' means that the cross grain direction of core loss is no more than 1.5 times the straight grain direction (i.e., the rolling direction) of core loss. NOES has a magnetic permeability that does not exceed 1.65 Tesla when tested at a field of 800 A/m (equivalent to 10 Oersteds) along (i.e., parallel to) the rolling direction of the sheet (i.e., B800 value). NOES contains by weight more than 1.00 percent of silicon but less than 3.5 percent of silicon, not more than 0.08 percent of carbon, and not more than 1.5 percent of aluminum. NOES has a surface oxide coating, to which an insulation coating may be applied.”

    The products subject to these orders are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under item numbers: 7209.15.0000, 7209.16.0030, 7209.16.0060, 7209.16.0070, 7209.16.0091, 7209.17.0030, 7209.17.0060, 7209.17.0070, 7209.17.0091, 7209.18.1530, 7209.18.1560, 7209.18.2510, 7209.18.2520, 7209.18.2580, 7209.18.6020, 7209.18.6090, 7209.25.0000, 7209.26.0000, 7209.27.0000, 7209.28.0000, 7209.90.0000, 7210.70.3000, 7211.23.1500, 7211.23.2000, 7211.23.3000, 7211.23.4500, 7211.23.6030, 7211.23.6060, 7211.23.6090, 7211.29.2030, 7211.29.2090, 7211.29.4500, 7211.29.6030, 7211.29.6080, 7211.90.0000, 7212.40.1000, 7212.40.5000, 7225.50.6000, 7225.50.8080, 7225.99.0090, 7226.92.5000, 7226.92.7050, and 7226.92.8050.

    The products subject to the orders may also enter under the following HTSUS numbers: 7210.90.9000, 7212.50.0000, 7215.10.0010, 7215.10.0080, 7215.50.0016, 7215.50.0018, 7215.50.0020, 7215.50.0061, 7215.50.0063, 7215.50.0065, 7215.50.0090, 7215.90.5000, 7217.10.1000, 7217.10.2000, 7217.10.3000, 7217.10.7000, 7217.90.1000, 7217.90.5030, 7217.90.5060, 7217.90.5090, 7225.19.0000, 7226.19.1000, 7226.19.9000, 7226.99.0180, 7228.50.5015, 7228.50.5040, 7228.50.5070, 7228.60.8000, and 7229.90.1000.

    The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and U.S. Customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the orders is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-22614 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE892 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Skate Advisory Panel to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Hotel, One Thurber Street, Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 734-9600.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Advisory Panel will review and discuss the draft scoping document for the upcoming limited access amendment to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan. They will also develop recommendations to the Skate Committee for 2017 Council priorities as well as discuss other business, as necessary.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22630 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE893 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a joint public meeting of its Monkfish Advisory Panel to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, One Thurber Street, Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 734-9600.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Monkfish Advisory Panel will receive an overview from the Monkfish Plan Development Team on draft alternatives for Framework 10 regarding specifications for FY 2017-19 and days-at-sea allocation and/or possession limit alternatives. They will also develop recommendations to the Monkfish Committee regarding Framework 10 alternatives as well as discuss other business, as necessary.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22626 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE877 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Russian River Estuary Management Activities AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application for Letters of Authorization; request for comments and information.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received a request from the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting estuary management activities in the Russian River, CA, over the course of five years. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of SCWA's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on SCWA's application and request.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to [email protected]

    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Availability

    Electronic copies of SCWA's application and separate monitoring plan may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above.

    Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) if certain findings are made and regulations are issued.

    Incidental taking shall be allowed if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) affected and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for taking for subsistence uses, and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking are set forth.

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.” Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: “any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].”

    Summary of Request

    On September 2, 2016, NMFS received an adequate and complete application from SCWA requesting authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to Russian River estuary management activities in Sonoma County, California. The requested regulations would be valid for five years, from April 21, 2017, through April 20, 2022. The proposed action requires the use of heavy equipment (e.g., bulldozer, excavator) and increased human presence, as well as the use of small boats. As a result, pinnipeds hauled out on the beach or at peripheral haul-outs in the estuary may exhibit behavioral responses that indicate incidental take by Level B harassment under the MMPA. Therefore, SCWA requests authorization to incidentally take marine mammals.

    NMFS has previously issued seven consecutive one-year incidental harassment authorizations (IHA) to SCWA, for take of marine mammals incidental to similar specified activities. SCWA was first issued an IHA, effective on April 1, 2010 (75 FR 17382), and was subsequently issued one-year IHAs for incidental take associated with the same activities, effective on April 21, 2011 (76 FR 23306), April 21, 2012 (77 FR 24471), April 21, 2013 (78 FR 23746), April 21, 2014 (79 FR 20180), April 21, 2015 (80 FR 24237), and April 21, 2016 (81 FR 22050). Monitoring reports submitted to NMFS as a condition of previously-issued IHAs are available online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/construction.htm.

    Specified Activities

    SCWA plans to manage the naturally-formed barrier beach at the mouth of the Russian River in order to minimize potential for flooding adjacent to the estuary and to enhance habitat for juvenile salmonids, as well as to conduct biological and physical monitoring of the barrier beach and estuary. Flood control-related breaching of barrier beach at the mouth of the river may include artificial breaches, as well as construction and maintenance of a lagoon outlet channel. The latter activity, an alternative management technique conducted to mitigate impacts of flood control on rearing habitat for Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed salmonids, occurs only from May 15 through October 15 (the “lagoon management period”). Artificial breaching and monitoring activities may occur at any time during the period of validity of the proposed regulations.

    Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning SCWA's request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the request during the development of proposed regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by SCWA, if appropriate.

    Dated: September 13, 2016. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22583 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Sea Grant Advisory Board (NSGAB) AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of solicitation for nominations for the National Sea Grant Advisory Board and notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice responds to Section 209 of the Sea Grant Program Improvement Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-461, 33 U.S.C. 1128), which requires the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to solicit nominations at least once a year for membership on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board (Board), a Federal Advisory Committee that provides advice on the implementation of the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP). To apply for membership to the Board, applicants should submit a current resume to Mrs. Jennifer Hinden using the methods under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. A cover letter highlighting specific areas of expertise relevant to the purpose of the Board is helpful, but not required. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an equal opportunity employer.

    This notice also sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda of a forthcoming meeting of the Board. Board members will discuss and provide advice on the NSGCP in the areas of program evaluation, strategic planning, education and extension, science and technology programs, and other matters as described in the agenda found on the National Sea Grant College Program Web site at http://seagrant.noaa.gov/WhoWeAre/Leadership/NationalSeaGrantAdvisoryBoard/UpcomingAdvisoryBoardMeetings.aspx.

    DATES:

    Solicitation of nominations is open ended. Resumes may be sent to Mrs. Jennifer Hinden using the methods under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, at any time.

    The announced meeting is scheduled for Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT, and Monday, October 10, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EDT.

    Individuals Selected for Federal Advisory Committee Membership: Upon selection and agreement to serve on the Board, you become a Special Government Employee (SGE) of the United States Government. According to 18 U.S.C. 202(a), an SGE is an officer or employee of an agency who is retained, designated, appointed, or employed to perform temporary duties, with or without compensation, not to exceed 130 days during any period of 365 consecutive days, either on a fulltime or intermittent basis. Please be aware that after the selection process is complete, applicants selected to serve on the Board must complete the following actions before they can be appointed as a Board member: (a) Security clearance (on-line background security check process and fingerprinting), and other applicable forms, both conducted through NOAA Workforce Management; and (b) Confidential Financial Disclosure Report—As an SGE, you are required to file a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report annually to avoid involvement in a real or apparent conflict of interest. You may find the Confidential Financial Disclosure Report at the following Web site: https://www.oge.gov/Web/oge.nsf/0/98A9E45F947BE66B85257EC10064B655/$FILE/oge450%20(June%202015)%20(fillable).pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nominations will be accepted by email or mail. They should be sent to the attention of Mrs. Jennifer Hinden, National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC 3, Room 11717, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, or [email protected] If you need additional assistance, call 301-734-1083.

    For any additional questions concerning the meeting, please contact Mrs. Hinden using the contact information above.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Newport Marriott Hotel located at 25 America's Cup Avenue, Newport, RI 02840.

    Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15-minute public comment period on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 11:45 a.m. Check the agenda on the Web site to confirm time.

    The Board expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of three (3) minutes. Written comments should be received by Mrs. Jennifer Hinden using the methods under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by Friday, September 30, 2016 to provide sufficient time for the Board review. Comments received after the deadline will be distributed to the Board, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Special Accomodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mrs. Jennifer Hinden using the methods under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by Monday, September 26, 2016.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Established by Section 209 of the Act and as amended the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-394), the duties of the Board are as follows:

    (1) In general. The Board shall advise the Secretary and the National Sea Grant College Program Director (Director) concerning:

    (A) Strategies for utilizing the Sea Grant College Program to address the Nation's highest priorities regarding the understanding, assessment, development, management, utilization, and conservation of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources;

    (B) The designation of Sea Grant Colleges and Sea Grant Institutes; and

    (C) Such other matters as the Secretary refer to the Board for review and advice.

    (2) Biennial Report. The Board shall report to the Congress every two years on the state of the National Sea Grant College Program. The Board shall indicate in each such report the progress made toward meeting the priorities identified in the strategic plan in effect under section 204(c). The Secretary shall make available to the Board such information, personnel, and administrative services and assistance as it may reasonably require carrying out its duties under this title.

    The Board shall consist of 15 voting members who will be appointed by the Secretary for a 4-year term. The Director and a director of a Sea Grant program who is elected by the various directors of Sea Grant programs shall serve as nonvoting members of the Board. Not less than 8 of the voting members of the Board shall be individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are especially qualified in one or more of the disciplines and fields included in marine science. The other voting members shall be individuals who, by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are especially qualified in, or representative of, education, marine affairs and resource management, coastal management, extension services, State government, industry, economics, planning, or any other activity which is appropriate to, and important for, any effort to enhance the understanding, assessment, development, management, utilization, or conservation of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. No individual is eligible to be a voting member of the Board if the individual is (A) the director of a Sea Grant College or Sea Grant Institute; (B) an applicant for, or beneficiary (as determined by the Secretary) of, any grant or contract under section 205 [33 U.S.C. 1124]; or (C) a full-time officer or employee of the United States.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22620 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KA-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE883 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Northeast Fisheries Science Center Fisheries Research AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of issuance of Letter of Authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a Letter of Authorization (LOA) has been issued to the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) for the take of marine mammals incidental to fisheries research conducted in the Atlantic coast region.

    DATES:

    Effective through September 9, 2021.

    ADDRESSES:

    The LOA and supporting documentation is available online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].

    Summary of Request

    On December 17, 2014, we received an adequate and complete request from NEFSC for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to fisheries research activities. On July 9, 2015 (80 FR 39542), we published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register, requesting comments and information related to the NEFSC request for thirty days. We subsequently published corrections to the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on August 6, 2015 (80 FR 46939), and August 17, 2015 (80 FR 49196), including an extension of the comment period. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2016 (81 FR 53061). For detailed information on this action, please refer to those documents. The regulations include mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements for the incidental take of marine mammals during fisheries research activities in the specified geographic region.

    NEFSC conducts fisheries research using pelagic trawl gear used at various levels in the water column, bottom-contact trawl gear, pelagic and demersal longlines with multiple hooks, gillnets, fyke nets, dredges, pots, traps, and other gear. If a marine mammal interacts with gear deployed by NEFSC, the outcome could potentially be Level A harassment, serious injury (i.e., any injury that will likely result in mortality), or mortality. We pooled the estimated number of incidents of take resulting from gear interactions and assessed the potential impacts accordingly. NEFSC also uses various active acoustic devices in the conduct of fisheries research, and use of these devices has the potential to result in Level B harassment of marine mammals. Level B harassment of pinnipeds hauled out on land may also occur as a result of visual disturbance from vessels conducting NEFSC research.

    The NEFSC conducts fisheries research surveys in the Atlantic coast region which spans the United States-Canadian border to Florida. This specified geographic region includes the following subareas: the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, Southern New England waters, the Mid-Atlantic Bight, and the coastal waters of northeast Florida. The NEFSC is authorized to take individuals of 10 species by Level A harassment, serious injury, or mortality (hereafter referred to as M/SI + Level A) and of 19 species by Level B harassment.

    Authorization

    We have issued an LOA to NEFSC authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to fisheries research activities, as described above. Take of marine mammals will be minimized through implementation of the following mitigation measures: (1) Required monitoring of the sampling areas to detect the presence of marine mammals before deployment of pelagic trawl nets, bottom-contact trawl gear, pelagic or demersal longline gear, gillnets, fyke nets, pots, traps, and other gears; (2) Required implementation of standard tow durations of not more than 30 minutes to reduce the likelihood of incidental take of marine mammals; (3) Required implementation of the mitigation strategy known as the “move-on rule,” which incorporates best professional judgment, when necessary during trawl and longline operations; (4) Required compliance with applicable vessel speed restrictions; and (5) Required compliance with applicable and relevant take reduction plans for marine mammals. Additionally, the rule includes an adaptive management component that allows for timely modification of mitigation or monitoring measures based on new information, when appropriate. The NEFSC will submit reports as required.

    Based on these findings and the information discussed in the preamble to the final rule, the activities described under these LOAs will have a negligible impact on marine mammal stocks and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the affected marine mammal stock for subsistence uses.

    Dated: September 13, 2016. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22582 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board (SAB); Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum dated September 25, 1997, and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management.

    Time and Date: The meeting will be held Thursday November 17, 2016 from 9:45 a.m. EST to 5:45 p.m. EST and on Friday November 18, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. EST to 1:45 p.m. EST. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Please refer to the Web page www.sab.noaa.gov/SABMeetings.aspx for the most up-to-date meeting times and agenda.

    Place: The meeting will be held at The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, Virginia 22203.

    Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15-minute public comment period on November 17 from 5:30-5:45 p.m. EST (check Web site to confirm time). The SAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of two (2) minutes. Individuals or groups planning to make a verbal presentation should contact the SAB Executive Director by November 10, 2016 to schedule their presentation. Written comments should be received in the SAB Executive Director's Office by November 10, 2016, to provide sufficient time for SAB review. Written comments received by the SAB Executive Director after November 10, 2016, will be distributed to the SAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seating at the meeting will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Special Accommodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations may be directed no later than 12:00 p.m. on November 10, 2016, to Dr. Cynthia Decker, SAB Executive Director, SSMC3, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; Email: [email protected]

    Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) Report from the Review of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES); (2) Updates from the NOAA Administrator and Chief Scientist; (3) Discussion on the Ecosystem Services Valuation Report; (4) Discussion on the GOES-R Level 0 Data report; (5) Discussion on RESTORE Act Metrics and Communication report; (6) SAB Strategy Discussion and Implications for NOAA; and (7) Discussion of the SAB Working Group Concept of Operations.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Cynthia Decker, Executive Director, Science Advisory Board, NOAA, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Email: [email protected]; or visit the NOAA SAB Web site at http://www.sab.noaa.gov.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22616 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration First Responder Network Authority [Docket Number: 160830796-6796-01] RIN 0660-XC030 Notice of Availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the West Region of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network and Notice of Public Meetings AGENCY:

    First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of availability of a draft programmatic environmental impact statement and of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) announces the availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the West Region (“Draft PEIS”). FirstNet also announces a series of public meetings to be held throughout the West Region to receive comments on the Draft PEIS. The Draft PEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the proposed nationwide public safety broadband network in the West Region, composed of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on the Draft PEIS for the West Region on or before November 15, 2016. FirstNet will also hold public meetings in each of the six states. See SUPPLMENTARY INFORMATION section for meeting dates.

    ADDRESSES:

    At any time during the public comment period, members of the public, public agencies, and other interested parties are encouraged to submit written comments, questions, and concerns about the project for FirstNet's consideration or to attend any of the public meetings. Written comments may be submitted electronically via www.regulations.gov, FIRSTNET-2016-0004, or by mail to Genevieve Walker, Director of Environmental Compliance, First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M/S 243, Reston, VA 20192. Comments received will be made a part of the public record and may be posted to FirstNet's Web site (www.firstnet.gov) without change. Comments should be machine readable and should not be copy-protected. All personally identifiable information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. The Draft PEIS is available for download from www.regulations.gov, FIRSTNET-2016-0004. A CD containing the electronic files of this document is also available at public libraries (see Chapter 14 of the Draft PEIS for the complete distribution list). See SUPPLMENTARY INFORMATION section for public meeting addresses.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For more information on the Draft PEIS, contact Genevieve Walker, Director of Environmental Compliance, First Responder Network Authority, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, M/S 243, Reston, VA 20192.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Meetings

    Attendees can obtain information regarding the project and/or submit a comment in person during public meetings. The meeting details are as follows:

    • Olympia, Washington: October 3, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Olympia, 415 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501.

    • Los Angeles, California: October 4, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, 251 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

    • Sacramento, California: October 5, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Hyatt Regency Sacramento, 1209 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

    • Carson City, Nevada: October 6, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Courtyard Carson City, 3870 South Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701.

    • Salem, Oregon: October 12, 2016, from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Salem, Oregon, 1590 Weston Court NE., Salem, OR 97301.

    • Phoenix, Arizona: October 18, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 100 North 1st Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

    • Pocatello, Idaho: October 20, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Red Lion Hotel Pocatello, 1555 Pocatello Creek Road, Pocatello, ID 83201.

    Background

    The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96, Title VI, 126 Stat. 156 (codified at 47 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.)) (the “Act”) created and authorized FirstNet to take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of an interoperable, nationwide public safety broadband network (“NPSBN”) based on a single, national network architecture. The Act meets a longstanding and critical national infrastructure need, to create a single, nationwide network that will, for the first time, allow police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical service professionals, and other public safety entities to effectively communicate with each other across agencies and jurisdictions. The NPSBN is intended to enhance the ability of the public safety community to perform more reliably, effectively, and safely; increase situational awareness during an emergency; and improve the ability of the public safety community to effectively engage in those critical activities.

    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) (“NEPA”) requires federal agencies to undertake an assessment of environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making a final decision and implementing the action. NEPA requirements apply to any federal project, decision, or action that may have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. NEPA also establishes the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”), which issued regulations implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (see 40 CFR parts 1500-1508). Among other considerations, CEQ regulations at 40 CFR 1508.28 recommend the use of tiering from a “broader environmental impact statement (such as a national program or policy statements) with subsequent narrower statements or environmental analysis (such as regional or basin wide statements or ultimately site-specific statements) incorporating by reference the general discussions and concentrating solely on the issues specific to the statement subsequently prepared.”

    Due to the geographic scope of FirstNet (all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories) and the diversity of ecosystems potentially traversed by the project, FirstNet has elected to prepare five regional PEISs. The five PEISs were divided into the East, Central, West, South, and Non-Contiguous Regions. The West Region consists of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The Draft PEIS analyzes potential impacts of the deployment and operation of the NPSBN on the natural and human environment in the West Region, in accordance with FirstNet's responsibilities under NEPA.

    Next Steps

    All comments received by the public and any interested stakeholders will be evaluated and considered by FirstNet during the preparation of the Final PEIS. Once a PEIS is completed and a Record of Decision (ROD) is signed, FirstNet will evaluate site-specific documentation, as network design is developed, to determine if the proposed project has been adequately evaluated in the PEIS or warrants a Categorical Exclusion, an Environmental Assessment, or an Environmental Impact Statement.

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Elijah Veenendaal, Attorney—Advisor, First Responder Network Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22575 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-TL-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Innovation Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The DoD is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Defense Innovation Board (“the Board”). This meeting is partially closed to the public.

    DATES:

    The public meeting of the Board will be held on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. The open portion of the meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. (Escort required; see guidance in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, “Public's Accessibility to the Meeting.”)

    The closed portion of the meeting of the Board will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The open portion of the meeting will be held in the Pentagon Conference Center Room B6 in the Pentagon, Washington, DC (Escort required; See guidance in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, “Public's Accessibility to the Meeting.”)

    The closed portion of the meeting will be held at various locations in the Pentagon.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Board's Designated Federal Officer (DFO) is Roma Laster, Defense Innovation Board, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Room 5B1088A, Washington, DC 20301-1155, [email protected]. The Board's Executive Director is Joshua Marcuse, Defense Innovation Board, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Room 3A1078, Washington, DC 20301-1155, [email protected]. For meeting information and to submit written comments or questions to the Board, send via email to mailbox address: [email protected]. Please include in the Subject line “DIB October 2016 Meeting.”

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.140.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The mission of the Board is to examine and provide the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense independent advice and recommendations on innovative means to address future challenges in terms of integrated change to organizational structure and processes, business and functional concepts, and technology applications. The Board focuses on (a) technology and capabilities, (b) practices and operations, and (c) people and culture.

    Meeting Agenda: During the open portion of the meeting on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, the Board will present and discuss their observations and recommendations on how to expand and advance innovation across the Department of Defense. Time permitting, the Board will discuss and deliberate on interim findings and recommendations regarding the challenges of: (a) Promoting innovative practices and culture in the conventional forces; (b) barriers to innovation and collaboration in the civilian workforce; (c) barriers to information sharing and the processing, exploitation, dissemination, and interoperability of data; (d) enabling workforce-driven innovation using crowdsourcing methodologies and techniques; (e) the lack of adequate organic capability and capacity for software development and rapid prototyping of software solutions; (f) approaches to increasing collaboration with entities outside the federal government; (g) recommendations on how to improve the digital infrastructure that supports command and control; (h) streamlining of rapid fielding processes, particularly for unmanned systems; (i) the lack of a dedicated computer science core in the workforce; and (j) potential application of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomy, and man-machine teaming.

    During the closed portion of the meeting on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, the Board will hold discussions of innovation with senior leaders from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of Net Assessment, and the Office of the Secretary of the Army. Discussion topics will include, but are not limited to, strategic platforms and technological advancements, briefings on emerging threats, future military capabilities, and observations from research sessions involving classified material. All presentations and resulting discussions are classified.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to Federal statutes and regulations (5 U.S.C., Appendix, 5 U.S.C. 552b, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165) and the availability of space, the meeting is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Seating is on a first-come basis. Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting should contact the Executive Director to register and make arrangements for a Pentagon escort, if necessary, no later than five business days prior to the meeting, at the email address noted in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    Public attendees requiring escort should arrive at the Pentagon Visitor's Center, located near the Pentagon Metro Station's south exit (the escalators to the left upon exiting through the turnstiles) and adjacent to the Pentagon Transit Center bus terminal, with sufficient time to complete security screening no later than 8:30 a.m. on October 5, 2016. Note: Pentagon tour groups enter through the Visitor's Center, so long lines could form well in advance. To complete security screening, please come prepared to present two forms of identification of which one must be a picture identification card. While some Government and military DoD Common Access Card holders are not required to have an escort, they may be required to pass through the Visitor's Center to gain access to the Pentagon.

    Special Accommodations: Individuals requiring special accommodations to access the public meeting should contact the Executive Director at least five business days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1), the DoD has determined that the portion of the meeting from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. shall be closed to the public. The Assistant Deputy Chief Management Officer, in consultation with the Office of the DoD General Counsel, has determined in writing that this portion of the committee's meeting will be closed as the discussions will involve classified matters of national security. Such classified material is so inextricably intertwined with the unclassified material that it cannot reasonably be segregated into separate discussions without disclosing matters that are classified SECRET or higher.

    Procedures for Providing Public Comments: Pursuant to section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 and 41 CFR 102-3.140, the public or interested organizations may submit written comments to the Board about its approved agenda pertaining to this meeting or at any time regarding the Board's mission. Individuals submitting a written statement must submit their statement to the Executive Director at the address listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Written statements that do not pertain to a scheduled meeting of the Board may be submitted at any time. However, if individual comments pertain to a specific topic being discussed at the planned meeting, then these statements must be received at least five business days prior to the meeting, otherwise, the comments may not be provided to or considered by the Board until a later date. The Executive Director will compile all timely submissions with the Board's Chair and ensure such submissions are provided to Board Members before the meeting.

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22585 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY International Energy Agency Meetings AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will meet on September 27-29, 2016, at the Conference Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27, Rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris, France, in connection with a joint meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM) on September 27, 2016, in connection with a meeting of the SEQ on that day and on September 28, 2016. There will also be a meeting involving members of the IAB in connection with the IEA's 8th Emergency Response Exercise (ERE8) for SEQ delegates only to be held at the same location on September 29, 2016.

    DATES:

    September 27-29, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    27, Rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris, France.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Reilly, Assistant General Counsel for International and National Security Programs, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, 202-586-5000.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with section 252(c)(1)(A)(i) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6272(c)(1)(A)(i)) (EPCA), the following notice of meetings is provided:

    A meeting of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will be held at the Conference Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27, Rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris, France, commencing at 9:30 a.m. on September 28, 2016. The purpose of this notice is to permit attendance by representatives of U.S. company members of the IAB at a meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ), which is scheduled to be held at the same location and time. The IAB will also hold a preparatory meeting among company representatives at the same location at 8:30 a.m. on September 28. The agenda for this preparatory meeting is to review the agenda for the SEQ meeting.

    The agenda of the SEQ meeting is under the control of the SEQ. It is expected that the SEQ will adopt the following agenda:

    Draft Agenda of the 149th Meeting of the SEQ to be held at the Conference Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27, Rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris, France, 13 September 2016, beginning at 9:30 a.m.:

    1. Adoption of the Agenda 2. Approval of the Summary Record of the 148th Meeting 3. Status of Compliance with IEP Agreement Stockholding Obligations 4. Australia Return to Compliance Update 5. Bilateral Stockholding in non-OECD Countries Report 6. “Oil Umbrella” Concept Next Steps 7. Oral Reports by Administration 8. Gas Resiliency Assessment of Japan 9. Emergency Response Review of Switzerland 10. ERR Programme & Preparations for New 2018-23 ERR Cycle 11. Changes to the IDR process 12. Industry Advisory Board Update 13. Mid-Term Review of Belgium 14. Report on ERE8 Main Exercise 15. Review of EU Oil Stocks Directive 16. Mexican Accession & Outreach Activities 17. Legal Study Update 18. Other Business Schedule of SEQ and SOM Meetings, 2017 Provisional Dates: —21-23 March 2017 —13-15 June 2017 —12-14 September 2017

    A meeting of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will be held at the Conference Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27, Rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris, France, commencing at 14:00 on September 27, 2016. The purpose of this notice is to permit attendance by representatives of U.S. company members of the IAB at a joint meeting of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM), which is scheduled to be held at the same location and time.

    The agenda of the meeting is under the control of the SEQ and the SOM. It is expected that the SEQ and the SOM will adopt the following agenda:

    Draft Agenda of the Joint Session of the SEQ and the SOM to be held at the Conference Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27, Rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris, France, 27 September 2016, beginning at 14:00:

    Introduction 19. Adoption of the Agenda 20. Approval of Summary Record of 31 May 2016 21. Reports on Recent Oil Market and Policy Developments in IEA Countries 22. Report by EIO on the “World Energy Investment—2016” followed by Q & A 23. The Current Oil Market Situation “Presentation of OMR SEP 2016” followed by Q & A 24. Presentation on “Panama Canal Expansion”, followed by Q & A 25. Presentation on the “WEO Energy and Air Pollution special report” followed by Q & A. 26. Other Business —Tentative schedule of upcoming SEQ and SOM meetings on: —21-23 March 2017, location TBC

    A meeting involving members of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in connection with the IEA's 8th Emergency Response Exercise (ERE8) for SEQ Delegates Only (EXSEQ) will be held at the Conference Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27, Rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris, France, on September 29, 2016. ERE8 will be held from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on September 29, 2016. The purpose of ERE8 is to train IEA Government delegates in the use of IEA emergency response procedures by reacting to a hypothetical oil and gas supply disruption scenario.

    ERE8 will involve break-out groups, the constitution of which is under the control of the IEA. The IEA anticipates that individual break-out groups will not include multiple IAB or Reporting Company representatives that would qualify them as separate “meetings” within the meaning of the Voluntary Agreement, and accordingly attendance by additional full-time federal employees to monitor individual break-out groups is not expected to be required.

    The agenda for ERE8 is under the control of the IEA. It is expected that the IEA will adopt the following agenda:

    Draft Agenda of the 2016 Eighth Emergency Response Exercise (ERE8) for SEQ Delegates Only (EXSEQ), 29 September 2016, Conference Centre of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27, Rue de la Convention, 75015 Paris, France:

    Introduction to Supply Disruption Scenario 1 —Introduction & presentation of oil and gas scenario Discussion/Analysis of Expected Market Reactions Discussion/Analysis of Expected Market Reactions Breakout Discussion Plenary Discussion Closing Remarks End of Exercise

    As provided in section 252(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6272(c)(1)(A)(ii)), the meetings of the IAB are open to representatives of members of the IAB and their counsel; representatives of members of the IEA's Standing Group on Emergency Questions and the IEA's Standing Group on the Oil Markets; representatives of the Departments of Energy, Justice, and State, the Federal Trade Commission, the General Accounting Office, Committees of Congress, the IEA, and the European Commission; and invitees of the IAB, the SEQ, the SOM, or the IEA. Meetings for ERE8 are open only to SEQ delegates, as well as to representatives of the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission and representatives of members of the IEA Group of Reporting Companies may attend the meeting as observers. The meeting will also be open to representatives of the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission severally, to any United States Government employee designated by the Secretary of Energy, and to the representatives of Committees of the Congress.

    Issued in Washington, DC, September 15, 2016. Thomas Reilly, Assistant General Counsel for International and National Security Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22610 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-427] Application To Rescind and Issue and Authorization To Export Electric Energy; Emera Maine AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Emera Maine (Applicant or Emera Maine) has applied for authority to rescind Export Authorization Order E-6751 and for the coincident issuance of an authorization to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed to: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code: OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by facsimile to 202-586-8008.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b), 7172(f)) and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)).

    On March 31, 2016, DOE received an application from Emera Maine to rescind DOE Order E-6751 issued to Maine Public Service Company on December 5, 1963 for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada and to issue a new Export Authorization to Emera Maine. Emera Maine is a new company formed when Maine Public Service Company and Bangor Hydro Electric Company merged. Emera Maine is requesting to export electric energy over facilities currently covered by Presidential permit that they own as well as any facilities at the U.S.-Canada border appropriate for third party access. In its application, Emera Maine states that it will make all necessary commercial arrangements and will obtain any and all other regulatory approvals required in order to export electric energy. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by the Applicant have previously been authorized by Presidential permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

    Procedural Matters: Any person desiring to be heard in this proceeding should file a comment or protest to the application at the address provided above. Protests should be filed in accordance with Rule 211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.211). Any person desiring to become a party to these proceedings should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Five copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above.

    Comments and other filings concerning Emera Maine's application to export electric energy to Canada should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-427. An additional copy is to be provided to Tim Pease, Director, Legal & Regulatory Affairs AND Chad Wilcox, Manager, Rates, Emera Maine, P.O. Box 932, Bangor, ME 04401 AND Bonnie A. Suchman, Suchman Law LLC, 8104 Paisley Place, Potomac, MD 20854.

    A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE's National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) and after a determination is made by DOE that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system.

    Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program Web site at http://energy.gov/node/11845, or by emailing Angela Troy at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 14, 2016. Christopher Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22621 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-243-C] Application To Export Electric Energy; Tenaska Power Services Co. AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Tenaska Power Services Co. (Applicant or TPS) has applied to renew its authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed to: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code: OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by facsimile to 202-586-8008.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b), 7172(f)) and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)).

    On January 19, 2012, DOE issued Order No. EA-243-B to TPS, which authorized the Applicant to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities. That authority expires on March 1, 2017. On September 1, 2016, TPS filed an application with DOE for renewal of the export authority contained in Order No. EA-243 for an additional five-year term.

    In its application, TPS states that it does not own or operate any electric generation or transmission facilities, and it does not have a franchised service area. The electric energy that TPS proposes to export to Canada would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by TPS have previously been authorized by Presidential Permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

    Procedural Matters: Any person desiring to be heard in this proceeding should file a comment or protest to the application at the address provided above. Protests should be filed in accordance with Rule 211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.211). Any person desiring to become a party to these proceedings should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Five copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above.

    Comments and other filings concerning TPS's application to export electric energy to Canada should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-243-C. An additional copy is to be provided directly to both Norma Rosner Iacovo, Tenaska Power Services Co., 1701 E. Lamar Blvd., Suite 100, Arlington, TX 76006 and Neil L. Levy, King & Spalding LLP, 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20006.

    A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE's National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) and after a determination is made by DOE that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system.

    Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program Web site at http://energy.gov/node/11845, or by emailing Angela Troy at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 14, 2016. Christopher Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22622 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Sunshine Act Meeting Notice

    The following notice of meeting is published pursuant to section 3(a) of the government in the Sunshine Act (Pub. L. 94-409), 5 U.S.C. 552b:

    AGENCY HOLDING MEETING:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    DATE AND TIME:

    September 22, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    Room 2C, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    STATUS:

    Open.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Agenda.

    * Note—Items listed on the agenda may be deleted without further notice.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Telephone (202) 502-8400.

    For a recorded message listing items struck from or added to the meeting, call (202) 502-8627.

    This is a list of matters to be considered by the Commission. It does not include a listing of all documents relevant to the items on the agenda. All public documents, however, may be viewed on line at the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link, or may be examined in the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    1030th—Meeting [Regular Meeting; September 22, 2016; 10:00 a.m.] Item No. Docket No. Company ADMINISTRATIVE A-1 AD16-1-000 Agency Administrative Matters. A-2 AD16-7-000 Customer Matters, Reliability, Security and Market Operations. ELECTRIC E-1 RM01-8-000 Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements. RM10-12-000 Electricity Market Transparency Provisions of Section 220 of the Federal Power Act. RM12-3-000 Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process. ER02-2001-000 Electric Quarterly Reports. E-2 RM16-21-000 Modifications to Commission Requirements for Review of Transactions under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Market-Based Rate Applications under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act. E-3 EL14-34-003 Public Service Commission of Wisconsin v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. ER14-1242-005, ER14-1243-007, ER14-1724-003, ER14-1725-003, ER14-2176-003, ER14-2180-003, ER14-2860-002, ER14-2862-002, ER14-2952-002, ER14-2952-005 Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. EL15-7-001 Michigan Public Service Commission v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. E-4 RM15-11-000 Reliability Standard for Transmission System Planned Performance for Geomagnetic Disturbance Events. E-5 RM16-13-000 Balancing Authority Control, Inadvertent Interchange, and Facility Interconnection Reliability Standards. E-6 RD16-6-000 North American Electric Reliability Corporation. E-7 ER12-1266-005, ER12-1266-006 Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. E-8 ER12-1265-005, ER12-1265-006 Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. E-9 ER16-197-002 Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. E-10 ER11-1844-001, ER11-1844-002 Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. E-11 ER14-1831-003 PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Virginia Electric and Power Company. E-12 ER10-1350-006 Entergy Services, Inc. E-13 ER10-1350-005 Entergy Services, Inc. E-14 ER16-1169-000 Ameren Illinois Company. E-15 EC16-135-000 AEP Texas Central Company, AEP Texas North Company, AEP Utilities, Inc. E-16 AC15-174-001 Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, Duke Energy Progress, LLC, Duke Energy Florida, LLC. E-17 EL13-41-001 Occidental Chemical Corporation v. Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. GAS G-1 OMITTED G-2 RP16-299-000, RP16-1137-000 (not consolidated) Tuscarora Gas Transmission Company. G-3 RP16-302-000 Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC. G-4 PR15-5-002, RP15-238-000 Washington Gas Light Company. G-5 RP16-1082-000 Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC. HYDRO H-1 EL16-50-000 Percheron Power, LLC. H-2 P-12715-008 Fairlawn Hydroelectric Company, LLC. H-3 P-2212-049 Domtar Paper Company, LLC. CERTIFICATES C-1 CP16-64-000 ANR Pipeline Company. C-2 CP16-78-000 Kinetica Deepwater Express, LLC. Dated: September 15, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.

    A free webcast of this event is available through www.ferc.gov. Anyone with Internet access who desires to view this event can do so by navigating to www.ferc.gov's Calendar of Events and locating this event in the Calendar. The event will contain a link to its webcast. The Capitol Connection provides technical support for the free webcasts. It also offers access to this event via television in the DC area and via phone bridge for a fee. If you have any questions, visit www.CapitolConnection.org or contact Danelle Springer or David Reininger at 703-993-3100.

    Immediately following the conclusion of the Commission Meeting, a press briefing will be held in the Commission Meeting Room. Members of the public may view this briefing in the designated overflow room. This statement is intended to notify the public that the press briefings that follow Commission meetings may now be viewed remotely at Commission headquarters, but will not be telecast through the Capitol Connection service.

    [FR Doc. 2016-22686 Filed 9-16-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14798-000] Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On August 15, 2016, Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of the Coon Rapids Hydroelectric Project (Coon Rapids Project or project) located on the Mississippi River at River Mile 866.2, about 11.5 miles north of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following facilities: (1) An existing reservoir with a surface area of 600 square miles at normal pool elevation of 830.1 National Geodetic Vertical Datum with no storage capacity; (2) the existing 1,455-foot-long, 30.8-foot-high Coon Rapids Dam with nine intermediate piers and ten spans with crest gates; (3) an array of micro-turbines placed in front of two cast in place powerhouses; (4) a 97-foot-long, 18-foot-wide, 19-foot-high reinforced concrete powerhouse located immediately downstream of the span 9 spillway section and a 103-foot-long, 18-foot-wide, 19-foot-high reinforced concrete powerhouse located immediately downstream of the span 10 spillway section with each powerhouse divided in half resulting in four bays in which the micro-turbines would be installed; (5) two crane rails spanning the length of each powerhouse to remove the micro-turbine units for maintenance and lower them in place for generation; (6) a tailrace made of steel draft tubes discharging directly into the Mississippi River; (7) a third powerhouse 60-foot-wide by 80-foot-long containing the controls for the dam's crest gates and necessary electrical and mechanical equipment to support the micro-turbines; (8) a 550-foot-long, 13.8 kilo-volt underground transmission line connecting to an Xcel Energy substation; and (9) appurtenant facilities. The estimated annual generation of the proposed Coon Rapids Project would be 62,790 megwatt-hours.

    Applicant Contact: Raymond J. Wahle, P.E., Missouri River Energy Services, 3724 W. Avera Drive, P.O. Box 88920, Sioux Falls, SD 57109; phone: (605) 330-6963; fax: (605) 978-3960; email: [email protected].

    FERC Contact: Sergiu Serban; phone: (202) 502-6211; email: [email protected].

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14798-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14798) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: September 12, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22603 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-357-000; Docket No. CP16-361-000] Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Mountaineer XPress Project and the Gulf XPress Project

    On April 29, 2016, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia Gas) and Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC (Columbia Gulf) filed applications in Docket Nos. CP16-357-000 and CP16-361-000, respectively, requesting Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct, operate, and maintain certain natural gas pipeline facilities. Columbia Gas' proposed Mountaineer XPress Project in West Virginia would transport up to 2,700,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of natural gas from receipt points in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, to markets on the Columbia Pipeline Group system. Columbia Gulf's proposed Gulf XPress Project in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi would expand the capacity of Columbia Gulf's existing system to allow for an additional 860,000 Dth/d of natural gas delivery to high-demand markets in the Gulf Coast region. Because these are interrelated projects, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) deemed it was appropriate to analyze them in a single environmental impact statement (EIS).

    FERC issued respective Notices of Application for the Mountaineer XPress and Gulf XPress Projects on May 13, 2016. Among other things, those notices alerted other agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on the request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's final EIS for the two projects. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for completion of the final EIS for the projects, which is based on an issuance of the draft EIS in November 2016.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of Notice of Availability of the final EIS—April 28, 2017 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—July 27, 2017

    If a schedule change becomes necessary for the final EIS, an additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the projects' progress.

    Project Description

    The Mountaineer XPress Project consists of new pipeline and compression facilities, all in the state of West Virginia. The major proposed facilities include 163.9 miles of new 36-inch-diameter pipeline in Marshall and Cabell Counties; 5.8 miles of new 24-inch-diameter pipeline in Doddridge County; 0.4 mile of replacement 30-inch-diameter pipeline on segments of Columbia Gas' SM80 and SM80 loop pipelines in Cabell County; three new compressor stations (totaling 106,300 horsepower) in Doddridge, Calhoun, and Jackson Counties; two new regulating stations in Ripley and Cabell Counties; and added compression at three existing compressor stations in Marshall, Wayne, and Kanawha Counties.

    The Gulf XPress Project consists of construction and operation of seven new compressor stations, and upgrades at one existing meter station and one pending compressor station (under Docket No. CP15-539) on Columbia Gulf's existing system, spread across Kentucky (Carter, Boyd, Rowan, Garrard, and Metcalfe Counties), Tennessee (Davidson and Wayne Counties), and Mississippi (Union and Grenada Counties).

    Background

    On September 16, 2015, the Commission staff granted Columbia Gas' request to use the FERC's Pre-filing environmental review process and assigned the Mountaineer XPress Project temporary Docket No. PF15-31-000. On November 18, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Mountaineer XPress Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings. The Gulf XPress Project did not utilize the FERC's Pre-filing environmental process, and on June 2, 2016, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Gulf XPress Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting.

    The Notices of Intent were sent to our environmental mailing list that include federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; affected landowners; regional environmental groups and nongovernmental organizations; Native Americans and Indian tribes; local libraries and newspapers; and other interested parties. Major environmental issues raised during scoping included karst terrain; impacts on groundwater and surface waterbodies; impacts on forests; impacts on special status species; impacts on property values and the use of eminent domain; impacts on the local economy; impacts on historic properties and districts; visual impacts from compressor stations; impacts on land use; impacts on air quality and noise from construction and operation of pipeline facilities; and public health and safety.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection; and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EIS and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription (http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp). Additional data about the projects can be obtained electronically through the Commission's Internet Web site (www.ferc.gov). Under “Dockets & Filings,” use the “eLibrary” link, select “General Search” from the menu, enter the docket numbers excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-357 or CP16-361), and the search dates. Questions about the projects can be directed to the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22604 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CD16-21-000] Mary Ann Gaston; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To Intervene

    On September 1, 2016, as supplemented on September 13, 2016, Mary Ann Gaston filed a notice of intent to construct a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, pursuant to section 30 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), as amended by section 4 of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (HREA). The proposed Gaston Hydro Facility would have an installed capacity of 4 kilowatts (kW), and would be located near the end of an existing irrigation pipeline on the applicant's land. The project would be located near the Town of Norwood in San Miguel County, Colorado.

    Applicant Contact: Mary Ann Gaston, 1280 CR44ZN, Norwood, CO 81423 Phone No. (970) 327-0333.

    FERC Contact: Christopher Chaney, Phone No. (202) 502-6778, email: [email protected]

    Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Description: The proposed project would consist of: (1) A barrel housing containing one 4-jet Turgo turbine/generating unit with an installed capacity of 4 kW; (2) 4 short, 2-inch-diameter intake manifold pipes; (3) one 8-inch-diameter tailrace pipe discharging water to an existing irrigation pond; and (4) appurtenant facilities. The proposed project would have an estimated annual generating capacity of 6,382 kilowatt-hours.

    A qualifying conduit hydropower facility is one that is determined or deemed to meet all of the criteria shown in the table below.

    Table 1—Criteria for Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility Statutory provision Description Satisfies
  • (Y/N)
  • FPA 30(a)(3)(A), as amended by HREA The conduit the facility uses is a tunnel, canal, pipeline, aqueduct, flume, ditch, or similar manmade water conveyance that is operated for the distribution of water for agricultural, municipal, or industrial consumption and not primarily for the generation of electricity Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(i), as amended by HREA The facility is constructed, operated, or maintained for the generation of electric power and uses for such generation only the hydroelectric potential of a non-federally owned conduit Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(ii), as amended by HREA The facility has an installed capacity that does not exceed 5 megawatts. Y FPA 30(a)(3)(C)(iii), as amended by HREA On or before August 9, 2013, the facility is not licensed, or exempted from the licensing requirements of Part I of the FPA Y

    Preliminary Determination: The proposed addition of the hydroelectric project along the existing irrigation pipeline will not alter its primary purpose. Therefore, based upon the above criteria, Commission staff preliminarily determines that the proposal satisfies the requirements for a qualifying conduit hydropower facility, which is not required to be licensed or exempted from licensing.

    Comments and Motions to Intervene: Deadline for filing comments contesting whether the facility meets the qualifying criteria is 45 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Deadline for filing motions to intervene is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    Anyone may submit comments or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210 and 385.214. Any motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified deadline date for the particular proceeding.

    Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the “COMMENTS CONTESTING QUALIFICATION FOR A CONDUIT HYDROPOWER FACILITY” or “MOTION TO INTERVENE,” as applicable; (2) state in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) state the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of sections 385.2001 through 385.2005 of the Commission's regulations.1 All comments contesting Commission staff's preliminary determination that the facility meets the qualifying criteria must set forth their evidentiary basis.

    1 18 CFR 385.2001-2005 (2016).

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Locations of Notice of Intent: Copies of the notice of intent can be obtained directly from the applicant or such copies can be viewed and reproduced at the Commission in its Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number (i.e., CD16-21) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22599 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2376-049] Appalachian Power Company, Eagle Creek Reusens Hydro, LLC; Notice of Application for Transfer of License and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    On September 1, 2016, Appalachian Power Company (transferor) and Eagle Creek Reusens Hydro, LLC (transferee) filed an application for the transfer of license of the Reusens Project No. 2376. The project is located on the James River in Amherst and Bedford counties, Virginia.

    The applicants seek Commission approval to transfer the license for the Reusens Project from Appalachian Power Company to Eagle Creek Reusens Hydro, LLC.

    Applicants Contact: For transferor: Ms. Noelle J. Coates, American Electric Service Corporation, Three James Center, 1051 E. Cary Street, Suite 1100, Richmond, VA 23219, Phone: 804-698-5541, Email: [email protected]; Ms. Amanda R. Connor, American Electric Service Corporation, 801 Pennsylvania Ave NW., Suite 735, Washington, DC 20004-2615, Phone: 202-383-3436, Email: [email protected]; and Mr. John A. Whittaker, IV and Ms. Kimberly Ognisty, Winston & Strawn LLP, 1700 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006, Phones: 202-282-5766 and 202-282-5217, Emails: [email protected] and [email protected] For transferee: Mr. Bernard Cherry, Eagle Creek Reusens Hydro, LLC, 65 Madison Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-998-8400, Email: [email protected]; and Mr. Donald H. Clarke and Mr. Joshua E. Adrian, Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke, P.C., 1615 M Street NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036, Emails: [email protected] and [email protected]

    FERC Contact: Patricia W. Gillis, (202) 502-8735, [email protected]

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: 30 days from the date that the Commission issues this notice. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2376-049.

    Dated: September 12, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22597 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. EL16-115-000] Windham Solar, LLC, Allco Finance Limited; Notice of Petition for Enforcement

    Windham Solar, LLC: QF16-362-002, QF16-363-002, QF16-364-002, QF16-365-002, QF16-366-002, QF16-367-002, QF16-368-002, QF16-369-002, QF16-370-002, QF16-371-002, QF16-372-002, QF16-373-002, QF16-374-002, QF16-375-002, QF16-376-002, QF16-377-002, QF16-378-002, QF16-379-002, QF16-380-002, QF16-381-002, QF16-382-002, QF16-383-002, QF16-384-002, QF16-385-002, QF16-386-002, QF16-387-002

    Take notice that on September 12, 2016, pursuant to section 210(h)(2)(B) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), 16 U.S.C. 824a-3(h), Windham Solar LLC and Allco Finance Limited filed a Petition for Enforcement requesting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) exercise its authority and initiate enforcement action against the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to remedy its implementation of PURPA, all as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 3, 2016.

    Dated: September 13, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22601 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No.CP16-488-000] Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Gulf Coast Expansion Project, and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Gulf Coast Expansion Project involving construction and operation of facilities by Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, LLC (Natural) in Cass and Wharton Counties, Texas. The Commission will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the Project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before October 14, 2016.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on August 1, 2016, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. CP16-488-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    Natural provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings. It is also available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov).

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP16-488-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Summary of the Proposed Project

    Natural proposes to construct and operate a new compressor station, identified as Compressor Station 394 (CS 394), and a new approximately 4,000-foot-long, 30-inch-diameter lateral, with connections to Natural's existing Gulf Coast Line and A/G Line in Cass County, Texas. Natural is also requesting authorization to abandon two compressor units at its Compressor Station 301 (CS 301) located in Wharton County, Texas. The Project would provide about 460,000 dekatherms of incremental southbound transportation capacity from existing receipt points on Natural's Gulf Coast System to delivery points in Natural's South Texas Zone.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Construction of the proposed facilities would disturb about 39.9 acres of land for the aboveground facilities and the pipeline. Following construction, Natural would maintain about 27.3 acres for permanent operation of the project's facilities. The remaining 12.6 acres would only be used for construction and be allowed to revegetate.

    The EA Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 2 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as “scoping.” The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    2 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:

    • geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • air quality and noise;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts.

    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary (for directions on the use of eLibrary, please see the additional page 6). Depending on the comments received during the scoping process, we may also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.3 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice.

    3 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable Texas State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.4 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    4 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed project.

    Copies of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene.

    Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site at www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP16-488-000). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22600 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD16-16-000] Implementation Issues Under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978; Notice Inviting Post-Technical Conference Comments

    On June 29, 2016, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) staff conducted a technical conference to discuss implementation issues related to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).1 The Commission invites post-technical conference comments on the following two matters: (1) The use of the “one-mile rule” to determine the size of an entity seeking certification as a small power production qualifying facility (QF); and (2) minimum standards for PURPA-purchase contracts.

    1 16 U.S.C. 2601 et seq. (2012).

    All interested persons are invited to file post-technical conference comments on these two matters, including the questions listed in the attachment to this Notice. Commenters need not respond to all questions asked. Commenters may reference material previously filed in this docket, including the technical conference transcript, but are encouraged to submit new or additional information rather than reiterate information that is already in the record. In particular, Commenters are encouraged, when possible, to provide examples in support of their answers. These comments are due on or before November 7, 2016.

    For further information about this Notice, please contact:

    Adam Alvarez (Technical Information), Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6734, [email protected]. Loni Silva (Legal Information), Office of General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6233, [email protected]. Dated: September 6, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22598 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2387-003] City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New License.

    b. Project No.: 2387-003.

    c. Date filed: August 31, 2016.

    d. Applicant: City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department.

    e. Name of Project: Holyoke Number 2 Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: Between the first and second level canals on the Holyoke Canal System adjacent to the Connecticut River, in the city of Holyoke in Hampden County, Massachusetts. The project does not occupy federal land.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Paul Ducheney, Superintendent, City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department, 99 Suffolk Street, Holyoke, MA 01040, (413) 536-9340 or [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Kyle Olcott, (202) 502-8963 or [email protected]

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item l below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See, 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

    k. Pursuant to section 4.32(b)(7) of 18 CFR of the Commission's regulations, if any resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person believes that an additional scientific study should be conducted in order to form an adequate factual basis for a complete analysis of the application on its merit, the resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person must file a request for a study with the Commission not later than 60 days from the date of filing of the application, and serve a copy of the request on the applicant.

    l. Deadline for filing additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status: October 31, 2016.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2387-003.

    m. The application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    n. The existing Holyoke Number 2 project consists of: (1) An intake at the wall of the First Level Canal fed by the Holyoke Canal System (licensed under FERC Project No. 2004) with three trash rack screens (one 16-foot-2-inch tall by 26-foot-2-inch-wide and two 14-foot-9-inch tall by 21-foot-10-inch long) with 3-inch clear spacing; (2) two 9-foot-diameter, 240-foot-long penstocks; (3) a 17-foot-high by 10-foot-diameter surge tank; (4) a 60-foot-long by 40-foot-wide by 50-foot high powerhouse with one 800-kilowatt vertical turbine generator unit; (4) two parallel 9-foot-wide, 10-foot-high, 120-foot-long brick arched tailrace conduits discharging into the Second Level Canal; (5) an 800-foot-long, 4.8-kilovolt transmission line; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The project is estimated to generate 4,710,000 kilowatt-hours annually.

    o. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    p. Procedural schedule and final amendments: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule will be made as appropriate.

    Issue Acceptance or Deficiency Letter October 2016. Request Additional Information October 2016. Issue Acceptance Letter January 2017. Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments February 2017. Request Additional Information (if necessary) April 2017. Issue Scoping Document 2 (if necessary) May 2017. Notice that application is ready for environmental analysis May 2017. Notice of the availability of the draft EA November 2017. Notice of the availability of the final EA February 2018.

    Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22605 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2388-004] City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New License.

    b. Project No.: 2388-004.

    c. Date filed: August 31, 2016.

    d. Applicant: City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department.

    e. Name of Project: Holyoke Number 3 Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: Between the second and third level canals on the Holyoke Canal System adjacent to the Connecticut River, in the city of Holyoke in Hampden County, Massachusetts. The project does not occupy federal land.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Paul Ducheney, Superintendent, City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department, 99 Suffolk Street, Holyoke, MA 01040, (413) 536-9340 or [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Kyle Olcott, (202) 502-8963 or [email protected]

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item l below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See, 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

    k. Pursuant to section 4.32(b)(7) of 18 CFR of the Commission's regulations, if any resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person believes that an additional scientific study should be conducted in order to form an adequate factual basis for a complete analysis of the application on its merit, the resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person must file a request for a study with the Commission not later than 60 days from the date of filing of the application, and serve a copy of the request on the applicant.

    l. Deadline for filing additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status: October 31, 2016.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineS[email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2388-004.

    m. The application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    n. The existing Holyoke Number 3 project consists of: (1) A 52-foot-3-inch long by 14-foot-high intake trashrack covering an opening in the Second Level Canal fed by the Holyoke Canal System (licensed under FERC Project No. 2004); (2) two 11-foot-high by 11-foot-wide headgates; (3) two 85-foot-long, 93-square-foot in cross section low pressure brick penstocks; (4) a 42-foot-long by 34-foot-wide by 28-foot-high reinforced concrete powerhouse with one 450-kilowatt turbine generator unit; (5) a 29.7-foot-wide, 10-foot-deep, 118-foot-long open tailrace discharging into the Third Level Canal; and, (6) 4.8-kilovolt generator leads that connect directly to the 4.8-kilovolt area distribution system; and (7) appurtenant facilities. The project is estimated to generate 2,119,000 kilowatt-hours annually.

    o. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    p. Procedural schedule and final amendments: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule will be made as appropriate.

    Issue Acceptance or Deficiency Letter—October 2016 Request Additional Information—October 2016 Issue Acceptance Letter—January 2017 Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments—February 2017 Request Additional Information (if necessary)—April 2017 Issue Scoping Document 2 (if necessary)—May 2017 Notice that application is ready for environmental analysis—May 2017 Notice of the availability of the draft EA—November 2017 Notice of the availability of the final EA—February 2018

    Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22606 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2386-004] City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and a Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: New License.

    b. Project No.: 2386-004.

    c. Date filed: August 31, 2016.

    d. Applicant: City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department.

    e. Name of Project: Holyoke Number 1 Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: Between the first and second level canals on the Holyoke Canal System adjacent to the Connecticut River, in the city of Holyoke in Hampden County, Massachusetts. The project does not occupy federal land.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Paul Ducheney, Superintendent, City of Holyoke Gas and Electric Department, 99 Suffolk Street, Holyoke, MA 01040, (413) 536-9340 or [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Kyle Olcott, (202) 502-8963 or [email protected]

    j. Cooperating agencies: Federal, state, local, and tribal agencies with jurisdiction and/or special expertise with respect to environmental issues that wish to cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document should follow the instructions for filing such requests described in item l below. Cooperating agencies should note the Commission's policy that agencies that cooperate in the preparation of the environmental document cannot also intervene. See, 94 FERC ¶ 61,076 (2001).

    k. Pursuant to section 4.32(b)(7) of 18 CFR of the Commission's regulations, if any resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person believes that an additional scientific study should be conducted in order to form an adequate factual basis for a complete analysis of the application on its merit, the resource agency, Indian Tribe, or person must file a request for a study with the Commission not later than 60 days from the date of filing of the application, and serve a copy of the request on the applicant.

    l. Deadline for filing additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status: October 31, 2016.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2386-004.

    m. The application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    n. The existing Holyoke Number 1 project consists of: (1) An intake at the wall of the First Level Canal fed by the Holyoke Canal System (licensed under FERC Project No. 2004) with two 14-foot-8-inch-tall by 24-foot-7.5-inch wide trash rack screens with 3.5-inch clear spacing; (2) two parallel 10-foot-diameter, 36.5-foot-long penstocks; (3) a 50-foot-long by 38-foot-wide brick powerhouse with two 240-kilowatt and two 288-kilowatt turbine generator units; (4) two parallel 20-foot-wide, 328.5-foot-long brick arched tailrace conduits discharging into the Second Level Canal; and, (5) appurtenant facilities. There is no transmission line associated with the project as it is located adjacent to the substation of interconnection. The project is estimated to generate 2,710,000 kilowatt-hours annually.

    o. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    p. Procedural schedule and final amendments: The application will be processed according to the following preliminary Hydro Licensing Schedule. Revisions to the schedule will be made as appropriate.

    Issue Acceptance or Deficiency Letter—October 2016 Request Additional Information—October 2016 Issue Acceptance Letter—January 2017 Issue Scoping Document 1 for comments—February 2017 Request Additional Information (if necessary)—April 2017 Issue Scoping Document 2 (if necessary)—May 2017 Notice that application is ready for environmental analysis—May 2017 Notice of the availability of the draft EA—November 2017 Notice of the availability of the final EA—February 2018

    Final amendments to the application must be filed with the Commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of ready for environmental analysis.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22602 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2305-056] Sabine River Authority of Texas, Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Temporary Variance of License.

    b. Project No.: 2305-056.

    c. Date Filed: July 29, 2016.

    d. Applicants: Sabine River Authority of Texas, Sabine River Authority, State of Louisiana.

    e. Name of Project: Toledo Bend Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border in Panola, Shelby, Sabine, and Newton counties in Texas, and DeSoto, Sabine, and Vernon parishes in Louisiana.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Jim Brown, Compliance Officer, Toledo Bend Project Joint Operation, Sabine River Authority, Texas, P.O. Box 579, Orange, TX 77631-0579, (409) 746-2192, [email protected].

    i. FERC Contact: Steve Sachs, (202) 502-8666, [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests is 14 days from the issuance of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, motions to intervene, and protests using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/doc-sfiling/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2305-056.

    k. Description of Request: The applicants request a temporary variance of the continuous flow releases required by Article 402 of the license. Specifically, the applicants request that the Commission grant them a temporary variance to continue the 144 cubic feet per second release from the existing bypass conduits until the applicants complete the spillway refurbishment project. The ongoing refurbishment project necessitates vehicular access to the spillway apron and releasing the required continuous flows from the spillway gates, as proposed in their Spillway Flow Release Plan would prevent the vehicular access. The applicants expect to complete the work by October 31, 2016, but state that they would implement the targeted continuous flows immediately if they are able to complete construction sooner.

    l. Locations of the Applications: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Motions to Intervene, or Protests: Anyone may submit comments, a motion to intervene, or a protest in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, motions to intervene, or protests must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “MOTION TO INTERVENE”, or “PROTEST” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to project works which are the subject of the temporary variance request. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: September 12, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22596 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9952-66-Region 8] Settlement Agreement for Recovery of Past Response Costs: Empire State Oil Co.—Refinery Superfund Site, Thermopolis, Hot Springs County, Wyoming AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed agreement; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the requirements of section 122(h)(1) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (“CERCLA”), 42 U.S.C. 9604, 9606(a), 9607 and 9622, notice is hereby given of the proposed settlement under section 122 (h)(1) of CERCLA, between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Sinclair Casper Refining Company (“Settling Party”). The proposed Settlement Agreement requires the Settling Party to reimburse the EPA for past response costs. The Settling Party will pay ($655,000.00) within 30 days after the effective date of the Proposed Agreement to the EPA. The Settling Party consents to and will not contest the authority of the United States to enter into the Agreement or to implement or enforce its terms. The Settling Party recognizes that the Agreement has been negotiated in good faith and that the Agreement is entered into without the admission or adjudication of any issue of fact or law.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before October 20, 2016. For thirty (30) days following the date of publication of this notice, the Agency will receive written comments relating to the agreement. The Agency will consider all comments received and may modify or withdraw its consent to the agreement if comments received disclose facts or considerations that indicate that the agreement is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate.

    ADDRESSES:

    The proposed agreement and additional background information relating to the agreement, as well as the Agency's response to any comments are or will be available for public inspection at the EPA Superfund Record Center, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado, by appointment. Comments and requests for a copy of the proposed agreement should be addressed to Shawn McCaffrey, Enforcement Specialist, Environmental Protection Agency-Region 8, Mail Code 8ENF-RC, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202-1129, and should reference the Empire State Oil Co—Refinery Superfund Site, EPA Docket No. CERCLA-08-2016-0006.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Douglas Naftz, Enforcement Attorney, Legal Enforcement Program, Environmental Protection Agency-Region 8, Mail Code 8ENF-L, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado 80202, (303) 312-6942.

    Dated: August 26, 2016. Suzanne Bohan, Assistant Regional Administrator, Office of Enforcement, Compliance and Environmental Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region VIII.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22628 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9952-60-OA] Meetings of the Local Government Advisory Committee and the Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Small Communities Advisory Subcommittee (SCAS) will meet via teleconference on Friday, October 7, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.. (ET). The Subcommittee will discuss recommendations for EPA's development of a national action plan on drinking water, with a focus on issues affecting agricultural, rural, and other small communities. This is an open meeting and all interested persons are invited to participate. The Subcommittee will hear comments from the public between 10:40 a.m.-10:55 a.m. on October 7, 2016. Individuals or organizations wishing to address the Subcommittee will be allowed a maximum of five minutes to present their point of view. Also, written comments should be submitted electronically to [email protected] Please contact the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the number listed below to schedule a time on the agenda. Time will be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, and the total period for comments may be extended if the number of requests for presentations requires it.

    The Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) will meet via teleconference on Friday, October 7, 2016, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (ET). The Committee will discuss recommendations of the subcommittee and LGAC workgroups, including recommendations on EPA's development of a national action plan on drinking water.

    + This is an open meeting and all interested persons are invited to participate. The Committee will hear comments from the public between 11:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, October 7, 2016. Individuals or organizations wishing to address the Committee will be allowed a maximum of five minutes to present their point of view. Also, written comments should be submitted electronically to [email protected] Please contact the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the number listed below to schedule a time on the agenda. Time will be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis, and the total period for comments may be extended if the number of requests for presentations requires it.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA's Local Government Advisory Committee meetings will be held via teleconference. Meeting summaries will be available after the meeting online at www.epa.gov/ocir/scas_lgac/lgac_index.htm and can be obtained by written request to the DFO.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) contact Frances Eargle at (202) 564-3115 or email at [email protected]

    Information Services for Those With Disabilities: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Frances Eargle at (202) 564-3115 or [email protected] To request accommodation of a disability, please request it 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Jack Bowles, Director, State and Local, EPA's Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22633 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0394] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before November 21, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0394.

    Title: Section 1.420, Additional Procedures in Proceedings for Amendment of FM, TV or Air-Ground Table of Allotments.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 30 respondents; 30 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.33 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 10 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $13,500.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: 47 CFR 1.420(j) requires a petitioner seeking to withdraw or dismiss its expression of interest in allotment proceedings to file a request for approval. This request would include a copy of any related written agreement and an affidavit certifying that neither the party withdrawing its interest nor its principals has received any consideration in excess of legitimate and prudent expenses in exchange for dismissing/withdrawing its petition, the exact nature and amount of consideration received or promised, an itemization of the expenses for which it is seeking reimbursement, and the terms of any oral agreement. Each remaining party to any written or oral agreement must submit an affidavit within five (5) days of petitioner's request for approval stating that it has paid no consideration to the petitioner in excess of the petitioner's legitimate and prudent expenses and provide the terms of any oral agreement relating to the dismissal or withdrawal of the expression of interest.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22521 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1167] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before November 21, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1167.

    Title: Accessible Telecommunications and Advanced Communications Services and Equipment.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Individuals or households; Businesses or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,541 respondents; 54,064 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: .50 hours (30 minutes) to 35 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual, one time, and on occasion reporting requirements; recordkeeping requirement; third-party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1-4, 255, 303(r), 403, 503, 716, 717, and 718 of the Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 255, 303(r), 403, 503, 617, 618, and 619.

    Total Annual Burden: 155,419 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $17,510.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Confidentiality is an issue to the extent that individuals and households provide personally identifiable information, which is covered under the FCC's system of records notice (SORN), FCC/CGB-1, “Informal Complaints, Inquiries and Requests for Dispute Assistance”, which became effective on September 24, 2014. In addition, upon the service of an informal or formal complaint, a service provider or equipment manufacturer must produce to the Commission, upon request, records covered by 47 CFR 14.31 of the Commission's rules and may assert a statutory request for confidentiality for these records. All other information submitted to the Commission pursuant to Subpart D of Part 14 of the Commission's rules or to any other request by the Commission may be submitted pursuant to a request for confidentiality in accordance with 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: The FCC completed a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) on June 28, 2007. The PIA may be reviewed at http://www.fcc.gov/omd/privacyact/Privacy_Impact_Assessment.html. The FCC is in the process of updating the PIA to incorporate various revisions made to the SORN.

    Needs and Uses: On October 7, 2011, in document FCC 11-151, the FCC released a Report and Order adopting final rules to implement sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act), as amended, which were added to the Act by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). See Pub. L. 111-260, 104. Section 716 of the Act requires providers of advanced communications services and manufacturers of equipment used for advanced communications services to make their services and equipment accessible to individuals with disabilities, unless doing so is not achievable. 47 U.S.C. 617. Section 717 of the Act establishes new recordkeeping requirements and enforcement procedures for service providers and equipment manufacturers that are subject to sections 255, 716, and 718 of the Act. 47 U.S.C. 618. Section 255 of the Act requires telecommunications and interconnected VoIP services and equipment to be accessible, if readily achievable. 47 U.S.C. 255. Section 718 of the Act requires Web browsers included on mobile phones to be accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or have a visual impairment, unless doing so is not achievable. 47 U.S.C. 619. On April 29, 2013, in document FCC 13-57, the FCC released a Second Report and Order adopting final rules to implement section 718 of the Act. On March 12, 2015, in document FCC 15-24, the FCC released a Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order reclassifying broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a telecommunications service that is subject to the Commission's regulatory authority under Title II of the Act and applying section 255 of the Act and the Commission's implementing rules to providers of BIAS and manufacturers of equipment used for BIAS.

    Among other things, the FCC established procedures in document FCC 11-151 to facilitate the filing of formal and informal complaints alleging violations of sections 255, 716, or 718 of the Act. Those procedures include a nondiscretionary pre-filing notice procedure to facilitate dispute resolution. As a prerequisite to filing an informal complaint, complainants must first request dispute assistance from the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau's Disability Rights Office.

    The filing of a request for dispute assistance is used to initiate a 30-day period which must precede the filing of an informal complaint. The burdens associated with filing requests for dispute assistance and informal complaints are contained in the collection found in OMB control number 3060-0874. Therefore, the Commission extracted those burdens from the collection found in OMB control number 3060-1167. In addition, the Commission has revised its estimate of the number of requests for dispute assistance and the number of informal complaints that it expects to receive and the burdens associated with the processing and handling of those requests and complaints.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22523 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-XXXX] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before October 20, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

    Title: National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: New collection.

    Respondents: Individuals or households; businesses or other for-profit entities; not-for-profit institutions; state, local, or tribal governments.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 78 respondents; 3,631 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5 hours (30 minutes) to 40 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual, semiannual, quarterly, monthly, one time, and on occasion reporting requirements; recordkeeping requirement; third-party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefit. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), and 719 of the Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), and 620.

    Total Annual Burden: 7,995 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $600.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Confidentiality is an issue to the extent that individuals and households provide personally identifiable information, which is covered under the Commission's system of records notice (SORN), FCC/CGB-3, “National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program,” which became effective on February 28, 2012.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: The Commission completed a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) on December 31, 2012. The PIA may be reviewed at http://www.fcc.gov/omd/privacyact/Privacy_Impact_Assessment.html. The Commission is in the process of updating the PIA with respect to the Commission's adoption of rules in document FCC 16-101 on August 4, 2016, which converted the pilot program to a permanent program without change to the PII covered by these information collections.

    Needs and Uses: Section 105 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) added section 719 to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act). Pub. L. 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010); Pub. L. 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010) (making technical corrections); 47 U.S.C. 620. Section 719 of the Act requires the Commission to establish rules that define as eligible for up to $10,000,000 of support annually from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund) those programs that are approved by the Commission for the distribution of specialized customer premises equipment designed to make telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, accessible by low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. 47 U.S.C. 620(a), (c). Accordingly, on April 6, 2011, the Commission released a Report and Order, document FCC 11-56, adopting rules to establish the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) as a pilot program. See 47 CFR 64.610(a) through (k). The FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau) launched the pilot program on July 1, 2012. In an Order released on May 27, 2016, document FCC 11-69, the Commission extended the pilot program to June 30, 2017, at which time distributing equipment and providing related services under the pilot program will cease.

    On August 5, 2016, the Commission released a Report and Order, document FCC 16-101, adopting rules to establish the NDBEDP, also known as “iCanConnect,” as a permanent program. See 47 CFR 64.6201 through 64.6219. In document FCC 16-101, the Commission clarified that the pilot program will not terminate until after all reports have been submitted, all payments and adjustments have been made, and all wind-down activities have been completed, and no issues with regard to the NDBEDP pilot program remain pending. Information collections related to NDBEDP pilot program activities are included in OMB Control Number 3060-1146, Implementation of the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, CG Docket No. 10-210, which will expire June 30, 2018.

    Rules for the NDBEDP permanent program that are subject to the PRA will become effective on the date specified in a notice published in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval. At that time, in accordance with document 16-101, the Bureau will announce the timing of the 60-day period for new and incumbent entities to apply for certification to participate in the permanent NDBEDP. To minimize any disruption of service in the transition between the pilot program and the permanent program, the Bureau will announce its selection of the entities certified to participate in the NDBEDP permanent program as soon as possible, but certifications to participate in the NDBEDP permanent program will not become effective before July 1, 2017.

    Because the information collection burdens related to NDBEDP pilot program activities overlap in time with the information collection burdens related to NDBEDP permanent program activities, the Commission is seeking approval for a new collection for the information burdens associated with the permanent NDBEDP.

    In document FCC 16-101, the Commission adopted rules requiring the following:

    (a) Entities must apply to the Commission for certification to receive reimbursement from the TRS Fund for NDBEDP activities.

    (b) A program wishing to relinquish its certification before its certification expires must provide written notice of its intent to do so.

    (c) Certified programs must disclose to the Commission actual or potential conflicts of interest.

    (d) Certified programs must notify the Commission of any substantive change that bears directly on its ability to meet the qualifications necessary for certification.

    (e) A certified entity may present written arguments and any relevant documentation as to why suspension or revocation of certification is not warranted.

    (f) When a new entity is certified as a state's program, the previously certified entity must take certain actions to complete the transition to the new entity.

    (g) Certified programs must require an applicant to provide verification that the applicant is deaf-blind.

    (h) Certified programs must require an applicant to provide verification that the applicant meets the income eligibility requirement.

    (i) Certified programs must re-verify the income and disability eligibility of an equipment recipient under certain circumstances.

    (j) Certified programs must permit the transfer of an equipment recipient's account when the recipient relocates to another state.

    (k) Certified programs must include an attestation on consumer application forms.

    (l) Certified programs must conduct annual audits and submit to Commission-directed audits.

    (m) Certified programs must document compliance with NDBEDP requirements, provide such documentation to the Commission upon request, and retain such records for at least five years.

    (n) Certified programs must submit reimbursement claims as instructed by the TRS Fund Administrator, and supplemental information and documentation as requested. In addition, the entity selected to conduct national outreach will submit claims for reimbursement on a quarterly basis.

    (o) Certified programs must submit reports every six months as instructed by the NDBEDP Administrator. In addition, the entity selected to conduct national outreach will submit an annual report.

    (p) Informal and formal complaints may be filed against NEDBEDP certified programs, and the Commission may conduct such inquiries and hold such proceedings as it may deem necessary.

    (q) Certified programs must include the NDBEDP whistleblower protections in appropriate publications.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22522 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [IB Docket No. 16-185; DA 16-1033] Second Meeting of the World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice advises interested persons that the second meeting of the World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) will be held on October 24, 2016, at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Advisory Committee will consider any preliminary views introduced by the Advisory Committee's Informal Working Groups.

    DATES:

    October 24, 2016; 11:00 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Room TW-C305, Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Mullinix, Designated Federal Official, World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee, FCC International Bureau, Global Strategy and Negotiation Division, at (202) 418-0491.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FCC established the Advisory Committee to provide advice, technical support and recommendations relating to the preparation of United States proposals and positions for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19).

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, this notice advises interested persons of the second meeting of the Advisory Committee. Additional information regarding the Advisory Committee is available on the Advisory Committee's Web site, www.fcc.gov/wrc-19. The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live Web page at www.fcc.gov/live. Comments may be presented at the Advisory Committee meeting or in advance of the meeting by email to: [email protected]

    Open captioning will be provided for this event. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via email to [email protected] or by calling the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY). Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. In addition, please include a way for the FCC to contact the requester if more information is needed to fill the request. Please allow at least five days' advance notice; last minute requests will be accepted, but may not be possible to accommodate.

    The proposed agenda for the second meeting is as follows:

    Agenda Second Meeting of the World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Room TW-C305, Washington, DC 20554 October 24, 2016; 11:00 a.m. 1. Opening Remarks 2. Approval of Agenda 3. Approval of the Minutes of the First Meeting 4. NTIA Draft Preliminary Views and Proposals 5. IWG Reports and Documents Relating to Preliminary Views 6. Future Meetings 7. Other Business Federal Communications Commission. Troy F. Tanner, Deputy Chief, International Bureau.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22528 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10316, Gulf State Community Bank, Carrabelle, Florida AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Termination of Receivership.

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Gulf State Community Bank, Carrabelle, Florida (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Gulf State Community Bank on November 19, 2010. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22576 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    DATE AND TIME:

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    999 E Street NW., Washington, DC.

    STATUS:

    This meeting will be closed to the public.

    FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE OF PREVIOUS ANNOUNCEMENT:

    81 FR 62500.

    CHANGE IN THE MEETING:

    This meeting was continued on September 15, 2016.

    This meeting also discussed:

    Internal personnel rules and internal rules and practices.

    Investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes or information which if written would be contained in such records.

    Information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to have a considerable adverse effect on the implementation of a proposed Commission action.

    PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION:

    Judith Ingram, Press Officer, Telephone: (202) 694-1220.

    Shelley E. Garr, Deputy Secretary .
    [FR Doc. 2016-22725 Filed 9-16-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission

    DATE and TIME:

    Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    999 E Street NW., Washington, DC (Ninth Floor).

    STATUS:

    This meeting will be open to the public.

    FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE OF PREVIOUS ANNOUNCEMENT:

    81 FR 62889.

    THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE ALSO DISCUSSED:

    Promoting Voluntary Compliance Proposed Statement of Policy on the Application of the Foreign National Prohibition to Domestic Corporations Owned or Controlled by Foreign Nationals Statement of Vice Chairman Steven T. Walther Regarding Proposal to Rescind Advisory Opinion 2006-15 (TransCanada) and to Open a Rulemaking to Ensure that U.S. Political Spending is Free from Foreign Influence PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION:

    Judith Ingram, Press Officer, Telephone: (202) 694-1220.

    Shawn Woodhead Werth, Secretary and Clerk of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22716 Filed 9-16-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Privacy Act of 1974

    CMS Computer Match No. 2016-08; HHS Computer Match No. 1606; Effective Date—April 2, 2016; Expiration Date—October 2, 2017

    AGENCY:

    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

    ACTION:

    Corrected Notice of Computer Matching Program (CMP).

    SUMMARY:

    This notice is being republished in its entirety to correct the expiration date published in the heading of the notice at 81 FR, 8075, February 17, 2016. The expiration date should read October 2, 2017 instead of October 2, 2016. In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, this notice announces the re-establishment of a CMP that CMS plans to conduct with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a Bureau of the Department of the Treasury.

    DATES:

    Effective Dates: The matching program described in the matching notice published on February 17, 2016 became effective on April 2, 2016, based on that notice; this notice, correcting the expiration date of the matching program and republishing the full text of the matching notice, is effective upon publication. The effective date of the Computer Matching Agreement (CMA) is April 2, 2016. The following review periods elapsed prior to April 2, 2016: thirty (30) days from the date CMS published the February 17, 2016 Notice of Computer Matching in the Federal Register; thirty (30) days from the date the matching program report was transmitted to the Congressional committees of jurisdiction consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), (o)(2)(A), and (o)(2)(B); and forty (40) days from the date the matching program report was sent to OMB, consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) and OMB Circular A-130, Revised (Transmittal Memorandum No. 4), November 28, 2000, Appendix I, entitled “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records about Individuals” (A-130 Appendix I).

    ADDRESSES:

    The public may send comments to: CMS Privacy Officer, Division of Security, Privacy Policy & Governance, Information Security & Privacy Group, Office of Enterprise Information, CMS, Room N1-24-08, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. Comments received will be available for review at this location, by appointment, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Eastern Time zone.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Kane, Acting Director, Verifications Policy & Operations Division, Eligibility and Enrollment Policy and Operations Group, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, CMS, 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814, Office Phone: (301) 492-4418, Facsimile: (443) 380-5531, e-mail: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Public Law (Pub. L.) 100-503), amended the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) by describing the manner in which computer matching involving Federal agencies could be performed and adding certain protections for individuals applying for and receiving Federal benefits. Section 7201 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-508) further amended the Privacy Act regarding protections for such individuals. The Privacy Act, as amended, regulates the use of computer matching by Federal agencies when records in a system of records are matched with other Federal, state, or local government records. It requires Federal agencies involved in computer matching programs to:

    1. Negotiate written agreements with the other agencies participating in the matching programs;

    2. Obtain the Data Integrity Board approval of the match agreements;

    3. Furnish detailed reports about matching programs to Congress and OMB;

    4. Notify applicants and beneficiaries that the records are subject to matching; and,

    5. Verify match findings before reducing, suspending, terminating, or denying an individual's benefits or payments.

    This matching program meets the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

    Walter Stone, Privacy Act Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS Computer Match No. 2016-08 HHS Computer Match No. 1606 NAME:

    “Computer Matching Agreement between the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, for the Verification of Household Income and Family Size for Insurance Affordability Programs and Exemptions”.

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

    Unclassified.

    PARTICIPATING AGENCIES:

    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

    AUTHORITY FOR CONDUCTING MATCHING PROGRAM:

    Sections 1411 and 1413 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152) (collectively, the ACA) require the Secretary of HHS to establish a program for determining eligibility for certain state health subsidy programs, and certifications of exemption; and authorize use of secure, electronic interfaces and an on-line system for the verification of eligibility.

    Section 1414 of the ACA amended 26 U.S.C. § 6103 to add paragraph (l)(21), which authorizes the disclosure of certain items of return information as part of the Eligibility Determination process for enrollment in the following state health subsidy programs: advance payments of the premium tax credit (APTC) under Sections 1401, 1411 and 1412 of the ACA; cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) under Section 1402 of the ACA; Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), under titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act, pursuant to Section 1413 of the ACA; or a State's Basic Health Program (BHP), if applicable, under Section 1331 of the ACA.

    PURPOSE(S) OF THE MATCHING PROGRAM:

    The purpose of the Computer Matching Agreement (CMA) is to re-establish the terms, conditions, safeguards, and procedures governing the disclosures of return information by IRS to CMS and by CMS to entities administering Medicaid, CHIP, or Basic Health Programs, and state-based Exchanges (also, called Marketplaces) through the CMS Data Services Hub to support the verification of household income and family size for an applicant receiving an eligibility determination under the ACA.

    Return information will be matched by CMS in its capacity as the Federally-facilitated Exchange (also, known as the Federally-facilitated Marketplace) or by an administering entity for the purpose of determining eligibility for state health subsidy programs (APTC, CSR, Medicaid, CHIP or a BHP). Return information will also be matched for determining eligibility for certain certificates of exemption.

    DESCRIPTION OF RECORDS TO BE USED IN THE MATCHING PROGRAM:

    The matching program will be conducted with data maintained by CMS in the Health Insurance Exchanges System (HIX), CMS System No. 09-70-0560, as amended, published at 78 Federal Register (FR) 8538 (Feb. 6, 2013), 78 FR 32256 (May 29, 2013) and 78 FR 63211 (October 23, 2013).

    The matching program will also be conducted with specified Return Information maintained by IRS in the Customer Account Data Engine (CADE) Individual Master File, Treasury/IRS 24.030, published at 77 FR 47948 (August 10, 2012).

    INCLUSIVE DATES OF THE MATCH:

    The effective date of the CMA is April 2, 2016, provided that the following review periods have lapsed: Thirty (30) days from the date CMS publishes a Notice of Computer Matching in the Federal Register; thirty (30) days from the date the matching program report is transmitted to the Congressional committees of jurisdiction consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. §§ 552a (r), (o)(2)(A), and (o)(2)(B); and forty (40) days from the date the matching program report is sent to OMB, consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. § 552a (r) and OMB Circular A-130, Revised (Transmittal Memorandum No. 4), November 28, 2000, Appendix I, entitled “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records about Individuals” (A-130 Appendix I). The matching program will continue for 18 months from the effective date and may be extended for an additional 12 months thereafter, if certain conditions are met.

    [FR Doc. 2016-22568 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS Computer Match No. 2016-10: HHS Computer Match No. 1607] Privacy Act of 1974; Effective Date—April 2, 2016; Expiration Date—October 2, 2017 AGENCY:

    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

    ACTION:

    Corrected Notice of Computer Matching Program (CMP).

    SUMMARY:

    This notice is being republished in its entirety to correct the expiration date published in the heading of the notice at 81 FR, 8074, February 17, 2016. The expiration date should read October 2, 2017 instead of October 2, 2016. In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, this notice announces the re-establishment of a CMP that CMS plans to conduct with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    DATES:

    Effective Dates: The matching program described in the matching notice published on February 17, 2016 became effective on April 2, 2016, based on that notice; this notice, correcting the expiration date of the matching program and republishing the full text of the matching notice, is effective upon publication. The effective date of the Computer Matching Agreement (CMA) is April 2, 2016. The following review periods elapsed prior to April 2, 2016: Thirty (30) days from the date CMS published the February 17, 2016 Notice of Computer Matching in the Federal Register; Thirty (30) days from the date the matching program report was transmitted to the Congressional committees of jurisdiction consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a (r), (o)(2)(A), and (o)(2)(B); and forty (40) days from the date the matching program report was sent to OMB, consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a (r) and OMB Circular A-130, Revised (Transmittal Memorandum No. 4), November 28, 2000, Appendix I, entitled “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records about Individuals” (A-130 Appendix I).

    ADDRESSES:

    The public may send comments to: CMS Privacy Officer, Division of Security, Privacy Policy & Governance, Information Security & Privacy Group, Office of Enterprise Information, CMS, Room N1-24-08, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. Comments received will be available for review at this location, by appointment, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Eastern Time zone.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Kane, Acting Director, Verifications Policy & Operations Division, Eligibility and Enrollment Policy and Operations Group, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, CMS, 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814, Office Phone: (301) 492-4418, Facsimile: (443) 380-5531, EMail: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (Public Law (Pub. L.) 100-503), amended the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) by describing the manner in which computer matching involving Federal agencies could be performed and adding certain protections for individuals applying for and receiving Federal benefits. Section 7201 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-508) further amended the Privacy Act regarding protections for such individuals. The Privacy Act, as amended, regulates the use of computer matching by Federal agencies when records in a system of records are matched with other Federal, state, or local government records. It requires Federal agencies involved in computer matching programs to:

    1. Negotiate written agreements with the other agencies participating in the matching programs;

    2. Obtain the Data Integrity Board approval of the match agreements;

    3. Furnish detailed reports about matching programs to Congress and OMB;

    4. Notify applicants and beneficiaries that the records are subject to matching; and,

    5. Verify match findings before reducing, suspending, terminating, or denying an individual's benefits or payments.

    This matching program meets the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

    Walter Stone, CMS Privacy Act Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS Computer Match No. 2016-10 HHS Computer Match No. 1607 NAME:

    “Computer Matching Agreement between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, for the Verification of United States Citizenship and Immigration Status Data for Eligibility Determinations”

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

    Unclassified

    PARTICIPATING AGENCIES:

    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

    AUTHORITY FOR CONDUCTING MATCHING PROGRAM:

    Sections 1411 and 1413 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152) (collectively, the ACA) require the Secretary of HHS to establish a program for determining eligibility for certain state health subsidy programs, and certifications of Exemption; and authorize use of secure, electronic interfaces and an on-line system for the verification of eligibility.

    PURPOSE(S) OF THE MATCHING PROGRAM:

    The purpose of the Computer Matching Agreement is to re-establish the terms, conditions, safeguards, and procedures under which USCIS will provide records, information, or data to CMS under the ACA. CMS will access USCIS data needed to make eligibility determinations in its capacity as a Federally-facilitated Exchange, and state agencies that administer Medicaid, a Basic Health Program, or the Children's Health Insurance Program, and State-based Exchanges will receive the results of verifications using USCIS data accessed through CMS Data Services Hub to make eligibility determinations.

    Data will be matched by CMS for the purpose for determining eligibility for enrollment in state health subsidy programs and eligibility determinations for exemptions. Specifically, USCIS will provide CMS with electronic access to immigrant, nonimmigrant, and naturalized or derived citizen status information contained within or accessed by the USCIS Verification Information System. Access to this information will assist CMS in determining whether an applicant is lawfully present, a qualified non-citizen, a naturalized or derived citizen, and whether the 5 year bar applies and has been met in order to determine eligibility for the previously mentioned programs.

    DESCRIPTION OF RECORDS TO BE USED IN THE MATCHING PROGRAM:

    The matching program will be conducted with data maintained by CMS in the Health Insurance Exchanges System (HIX), CMS System No. 09-70-0560, as amended, published at 78 FR 8538 (Feb. 6, 2013), 78 FR 32256 (May 29, 2013) and 78 FR 63211 (October 23, 2013).

    The matching program will also be conducted with data maintained by DHS in the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) System of Records Notice (SAVE SORN): DHS/USCIS-004 Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program System of Records Notice, 77 FR 47415 (August 8, 2012).

    INCLUSIVE DATES OF THE MATCH:

    The effective date of the CMA is April 2, 2016, provided that the following review periods have lapsed: Thirty (30) days from the date CMS publishes a Notice of Computer Matching in the Federal Register; Thirty (30) days from the date the matching program report is transmitted to the Congressional committees of jurisdiction consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a (r), (o)(2)(A), and (o)(2)(B); and forty (40) days from the date the matching program report is sent to OMB, consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a (r) and OMB Circular A-130, Revised (Transmittal Memorandum No. 4), November 28, 2000, Appendix I, entitled “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records about Individuals” (A-130 Appendix I). The matching program will continue for 18 months from the effective date and may be extended for an additional 12 months thereafter, if certain conditions are met.

    [FR Doc. 2016-22567 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-0001] Risk Communication Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces a forthcoming public advisory committee meeting of the Risk Communication Advisory Committee. The general function of the committee is to provide advice and recommendations to the Agency on FDA's regulatory issues. The meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on November 7, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    FDA White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31, Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503), Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Answers to commonly asked questions including information regarding special accommodations due to a disability, visitor parking, and transportation may be accessed at: http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm408555.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Natasha Facey, Office of the Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 32, Rm. 3354, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5290, [email protected], or FDA Advisory Committee Information Line, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington, DC area). A notice in the Federal Register about last minute modifications that impact a previously announced advisory committee meeting cannot always be published quickly enough to provide timely notice. Therefore, you should always check the Agency's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/default.htm and scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link, or call the advisory committee information line to learn about possible modifications before coming to the meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda: On November 7, 2016, the committee will discuss and make recommendations on FDA's draft Strategic Plan for Risk Communication and Health Literacy. The purpose of the Strategic Plan for Risk Communication and Health Literacy is to clarify how the Agency can communicate the benefits and risks of FDA-regulated products to target audiences more effectively, and so promote better informed decision making. The committee will also hear presentations on some of FDA's external communications and how these communications relate to the draft Strategic Plan for Risk Communication and Health Literacy.

    FDA intends to make background material available to the public no later than 2 business days before the meeting. If FDA is unable to post the background material on its Web site prior to the meeting, the background material will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on FDA's Web site after the meeting. Background material is available at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/default.htm. Scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link.

    Procedure: Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions may be made to the contact person on or before November 1, 2016. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between approximately 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Those individuals interested in making formal oral presentations should notify the contact person and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants, and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation on or before October 21, 2016. Time allotted for each presentation may be limited. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public hearing session, FDA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers for the scheduled open public hearing session. The contact person will notify interested persons regarding their request to speak by October 25, 2016.

    Persons attending FDA's advisory committee meetings are advised that the Agency is not responsible for providing access to electrical outlets.

    FDA welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities. If you require accommodations due to a disability, please contact Sheryl Clark at [email protected] or 240-402-5273 at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

    FDA is committed to the orderly conduct of its advisory committee meetings. Please visit our Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm111462.htm for procedures on public conduct during advisory committee meetings.

    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app. 2).

    Dated: September 13, 2016. Janice Soreth, Acting Associate Commissioner, Special Medical Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22553 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-2648] Announcement of Requirements and Registration for the 2016 Food and Drug Administration Naloxone App Competition AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the 2016 FDA Naloxone App Competition (Competition), a prize competition under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (COMPETES Act). The Competition is an effort to help reduce deaths associated with prescription opioid and heroin overdose by seeking innovative approaches to help reduce preventable harm associated with opioids. Specifically, the goal of this Competition is to spur innovation around the development of a low-cost, scalable, crowd-sourced mobile phone application that helps increase the likelihood that opioid users, their immediate personal networks, and first responders are able to identify and react to an overdose by administering naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose.

    DATES:

    The Competition begins September 20, 2016.

    1. Registration for the Competition: September 23 to October 7, 2016 2. Naloxone App Code-a-Thon: October 19 and October 20, 2016 3. Submission Period: September 23 to November 7, 2016 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marisa Cruz at [email protected], or 240-402-6628.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In 2014, nearly 2 million Americans aged 12 years or older either abused or were dependent on opioid painkillers (Ref. 1). In 2014, 61 percent of drug overdose deaths involved either an opioid painkiller or heroin. Between 2013 and 2014, deaths from any opioid increased 14 percent (Ref. 2). Naloxone is an antidote for an opioid overdose, whether from prescription opioids or heroin. It is a prescription drug, with generally minimal side effects, that is frequently used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose in emergency rooms and on ambulances. Over recent years, many States have taken steps to make it easier for both first responders and laypersons, including family and friends of opioid users, to carry and administer naloxone (Ref. 3).

    Even with naloxone increasingly available in the community, however, persons carrying naloxone may not be on hand when an opioid overdose occurs. There is still the practical need to connect the individual experiencing the opioid overdose quickly and effectively with an individual carrying naloxone. Mobile phone applications (apps) have been developed to educate laypersons on opioid overdose and administration of naloxone (Refs. 4 and 5), and to connect bystanders with individuals in need of other medical services (Ref. 6). In a randomized, controlled trial, researchers demonstrated that a mobile-phone positioning system to dispatch laypersons trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was associated with significantly increased numbers of bystander-initiated CPR procedures on persons with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (Ref. 7). To date, however, we are not aware of an app that has been developed to connect carriers of naloxone with nearby opioid overdose victims.

    II. Subject of Competition

    The Competition encourages computer programmers, public health advocates, clinical researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators from all disciplines to create teams focused on the development of innovative strategies to combat the rising epidemic of opioid overdose. Specifically, the Competition invites submissions for an app that increases the likelihood of timely naloxone administration by connecting opioid users experiencing an overdose with nearby naloxone carriers. FDA is most interested in concepts that are readily scalable, free or low-cost to the end-user, and take advantage of existing systems for naloxone distribution and use. FDA's expectation is that any app developed through the Competition will be used with FDA-approved naloxone products. For additional background information on the Competition, participants can access http://www.Challenge.gov.

    Interested parties may register for the Competition at http://www.Challenge.gov beginning on September 23, 2016; participants are highly encouraged to register as teams, but individual applicants will also be accepted. The Competition will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 will consist of a code-a-thon hosted at the FDA campus in Silver Spring, Maryland, for registered entrants to develop their concepts and initial prototypes for an app that alerts carriers of naloxone to a nearby opioid overdose. Entrants are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the code-a-thon. The code-a-thon will occur on October 19 and October 20, 2016. All code developed through the code-a-thon will be made open-source and publicly accessible on the GitHub platform, a Web-based code repository. The code-a-thon event space is limited to the first 50 individuals who indicate interest in onsite participation during the registration process (see Section IV). There will be a virtual component to the code-a-thon for the first 100 individuals who indicate interest in remote participation during the registration process. In Phase 2, all registered entrants will refine their concepts and develop a functional prototype, a video of which will be submitted on http://www.YouTube.com by the submission deadline. The video will be accompanied by a short summary of the prototype, as detailed in this document, which will be submitted on http://www.Challenge.gov.

    Federal Agency subject matter experts will provide background and technical information to entrants on topics including, but not limited to, the opioid epidemic, uses of approved formulations of naloxone, and regulatory science considerations. During all phases of app development, all entrants should consider strategies to minimize legal risk and maximize regulatory compliance, including for the developer and the end-user. To ensure adequate consideration of potential liability, privacy, and regulatory concerns, FDA strongly encourages all entrants to obtain independent legal counsel.

    FDA is sponsoring the Competition and will be providing entrants with technical expertise from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Specifically, NIDA and SAMHSA will each provide one judge with experience in relevant fields including drug use and misuse, clinical trial design, development of mobile medical applications, and public health. Additionally, NIDA and SAMHSA will provide information to Competition entrants at the code-a-thon on key issues, including (1) patterns of opioid use and misuse, (2) characteristics of populations at risk of opioid overdose, and (3) data collection and evaluation considerations.

    Entrants may not test or evaluate their app using real people, including opioid users and naloxone carriers, during the Competition. Following the Competition, entrants may consider seeking grant funding from the NIDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to further develop and bring to scale Competition concepts through testing and evaluation. As with all other National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding applications, NIDA staff will provide dedicated assistance and guidance about the NIH grant submission process, including submissions for the NIDA SBIR grants. The SBIR grant program is open to all small businesses (which may include Competition entrants) that meet applicable eligibility requirements set forth in the SBIR funding opportunity announcement. More information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-16-302.html. For Competition entrants and projects that meet all applicable SBIR requirements, the NIDA SBIR program may provide the opportunity to further develop Competition concepts through field testing and evaluation.

    The primary goal of the Competition is to reduce death from opioid overdoses by expanding access to naloxone, in support of the Federal Government's mission to protect and advance public health. The secondary goals of the Competition are:

    • To increase public awareness about naloxone and its role in reducing death from opioid overdoses; and

    • To promote open government and citizen participation to improve innovation in the Federal Government.

    III. Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Competition

    To be eligible to win a prize under this Competition, an entrant (individual or entity):

    • Shall have registered and entered a submission on http://www.Challenge.gov and http://www.YouTube.com under the rules promulgated by FDA;

    • Shall have complied with all the requirements under this section;

    • Shall be (1) an individual or team of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States, each of whom is 18 years of age and over; or (2) an entity incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States. Foreign citizens can participate as employees of an entity that is properly incorporated in the United States and maintains a primary place of business in the United States;

    • May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment. An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis.

    • Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award. Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a COMPETES Act challenge submission.

    • Employees of FDA, NIDA, SAMHSA, and/or any other individual or entity associated with the development, evaluation, or administration of the Competition as well as members of such persons' immediate families (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the Competition.

    • Entrants must agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in the Competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

    • Entrants must also agree to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to competition activities. Entrants are not required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in the Competition.

    • By participating in the Competition, each entrant agrees to comply with and abide by the rules of the Competition and the decisions of FDA and/or the individual judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

    • Each entrant agrees to follow all applicable local, State, and Federal laws and regulations.

    IV. Registration Process for Participants

    Registration for this Competition will open on September 23, 2016. To register, visit http://www.Challenge.gov, search for the 2016 FDA Naloxone App Competition, and follow the instructions. Entrants will receive an email confirming registration and participation in the code-a-thon, if applicable.

    V. Submission Requirements

    All written, digital, or recorded materials must be in English.

    Submissions are required to include:

    1. A video of the functional app prototype, not more than 5 minutes in duration, uploaded to http://www.YouTube.com; and

    2. A written summary of the app, not to exceed three pages, submitted on http://www.Challenge.gov. This document should detail:

    • A description of the entrant(s), including relevant fields of expertise;

    • A summary of the concept for the app, including identification of the target audience;

    • A general description of the proposed technical design, including an explanation of any planned interfaces between the app and existing systems or datasets; and

    • The URL for the uploaded YouTube video.

    To submit the written summary of the app, visit http://www.Challenge.gov, search for the 2016 FDA Naloxone App Competition, click on Submit Solution, and follow the instructions. For additional detail on required components of a submission, and the minimum requirements for the proposed app, participants may access the rules for the Competition posted at http://www.Challenge.gov.

    VI. Amount of the Prize

    At the conclusion of judging after Phase 2 of the Competition, the highest-scoring entrant will receive an award of $40,000.

    The award approving official for this Competition is the FDA Associate Commissioner for Public Health Strategy and Analysis (Peter Lurie). Following the Competition, all entrants eligible for SBIR grants may also apply for a NIDA SBIR award, as announced in the NIH SBIR funding opportunity announcement, in order to research, develop, and evaluate app performance and utility.

    VII. Payment of the Prize

    The prize awarded under this competition will be paid by electronic funds transfer and may be subject to Federal income taxes. FDA will comply with the Internal Revenue Service withholding and reporting requirements, where applicable.

    VIII. Basis Upon Which Winner Will Be Selected

    A panel of judges with experience in the fields of mobile medical application development, public health, and/or regulatory science chosen by FDA will select the highest-performing entrant from the pool of eligible submissions.

    Judging of eligible submissions will be fair and impartial, and based upon the following evaluation criteria, with equal weighting.

    Innovation: Uniqueness and innovation in use of software and data analytics to fulfill the mandatory requirements; variety and value of additional features (weight 25 percent).

    Usability: Use of design elements to increase utilization among both people at risk of opioid overdose and naloxone carriers; ease of navigation; appropriate use of an interface to support the app in achieving desired outcome (weight 25 percent).

    Functionality: Potential to enhance the frequency and speed of naloxone administration by the carriers to the overdose victims (weight 25 percent).

    Adaptability: Potential for app to be tailored to the practical environment (e.g., urban, rural) of an individual community (weight 25 percent).

    IX. Additional Information

    FDA reserves the right to suspend, postpone, terminate, or otherwise modify the Competition, or any entrant's participation in the Competition, at any time at the discretion of the Agency. FDA also reserves the right to not award a prize if no submission is deemed worthy. All decisions by FDA regarding adherence to Competition rules are final.

    To receive the prize, entrants will not be required to transfer their intellectual property rights to FDA. Each entrant retains any applicable intellectual property rights to their submission. By participating in the Competition, each entrant hereby grants to FDA, and any third-parties acting on FDA's behalf an irrevocable, paid up, non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide license and right to reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, and use the entrant's submission for government purposes, and to publicly perform and publicly display the entrant's submission video, including, without limitation, for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Competition.

    Additionally, each participant at the code-a-thon will be required to provide FDA with an open source version of the code written by the participant at the code-a-thon to be posted on the GitHub source code repository and made publicly available under the Creative Commons license, CCO 1.0 Universal (CCO 1.0, Public Doman Dedication). For a summary and full text of the CCO 1.0 Universal license, see https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/. The GitHub source code repository is accessible at https://github.com.

    X. Statutory Authority To Conduct the Challenge

    FDA is conducting this Challenge under section 105 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-358).

    XI. References

    The following references are on display in the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852, and are available for viewing by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; they are also available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. FDA has verified the Web site addresses, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but Web sites are subject to change over time.

    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Prescription Drug Overdose Data.” Accessed September 9, 2016, at http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html. 2. Rudd, R.A., N. Aleshire, J.E. Zibbell, and R.M. Gladden. “Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths—United States, 2000-2014.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2015;64: 1-5. Accessed September 9, 2016, at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm64e1218a1.htm. 3. Network for Public Health Law. “Legal Interventions to Reduce Overdose Mortality: Naloxone Access and Overdose Good Samaritan Laws.” Accessed September 9, 2016, at https://www.networkforphl.org/_asset/qz5pvn/network-naloxone-10-4.pdf. 4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit.” Accessed September 9, 2016, at http://www.samhsa.gov/capt/tools-learning-resources/opioid-overdose-prevention-toolkit. 5. U-turn. http://www.u-turntraining.com/apps/. Accessed September 9, 2016. 6. PulsePoint. http://www.pulsepoint.org. Accessed September 9, 2016. 7. Ringh, M., M. Rosenqvist, J., Hollenberg, et al. “Mobile-Phone Dispatch of Laypersons for CPR in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.” New England Journal of Medicine, 2015; 372:2316-2325. Dated: September 13, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22550 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary [Document Identifier: 0937-0191-60D] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of Health and Human Services, announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ICR is for extending the use of the approved information collection assigned OMB control number 0937-0191, which expires on December 31, 2016. Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, OS seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on the ICR must be received on or before November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or by calling (202) 690-5683.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the document identifier 0937-0191-60D for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Information Collection Request Title: Application packets for Real Property for Public Health Purposes.

    Abstract: The Office of Assistant Secretary for Administration, Program Support Center, Federal Property Assistance Program requesting OMB approval on a previously approved information collection, 0937-0191. The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (Pub. L. 81-152), as amended, provides authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to convey or lease surplus real property to States and their political subdivisions and instrumentalities, to tax-supported institutions, and to nonprofit institutions which (except for institutions which lease property to assist the homeless) have been held exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the 1954 Internal Revenue Code, and 501(c)(19) for veterans organizations, for public health and homeless assistance purposes. Transfers are made to transferees at little or no cost.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: State and local governments and non-profit institutions use these applications to apply for excess/surplus, underutilized/unutilized and off-site government real property. These applications are used to determine if institutions/organizations are eligible to purchase, lease or use property under the provisions of the surplus real property program.

    Likely Respondents: State, local, or tribal units of government or instrumentalities thereof; not-for-profit organizations.

    The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    Applications for surplus Federal real property 15 1 200 3,000 Total 15 1 200 3,000

    OS specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Terry S. Clark, Asst Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22520 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Special Emphasis Panel; P41 BTRC Review.

    Date: October 6-8, 2016.

    Time: 06:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hotel Deca, 4507 Brooklyn Ave. NE. I, Seattle, WA 98105.

    Contact Person: Manana Sukhareva, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 959, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 451-4773, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Special Emphasis Panel; 2017-01 Mentored Career Development Award (K) Application Review.

    Date: November 4, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Two Democracy Plaza, Suite 920, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Ruixia Zhou, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Democracy Two Building, Suite 957, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 496-4773, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Special Emphasis Panel; JHU Translational Immuno-Engineering BTRC (2017/01).

    Date: November 20-22, 2016.

    Time: 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, 700 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.

    Contact Person: John K. Hayes, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 959, Democracy Two, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 451-3398, [email protected]

    Dated: September 13, 2016. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22531 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Healthcare Delivery and Methodologies Integrated Review Group; Nursing and Related Clinical Sciences Study Section.

    Date: October 6-7, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton San Diego Mission Valley, 901 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego, CA 92108.

    Contact Person: Sung Sug Yoon, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3152, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Oncology 2—Translational Clinical Integrated Review Group; Cancer Biomarkers Study Section.

    Date: October 13, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Bethesda Marriott, 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Lawrence Ka-Yun Ng, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6152, MSC 7804, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-357-9318, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences Integrated Review Group; Cardiac Contractility, Hypertrophy, and Failure Study Section.

    Date: October 13-14, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Marriott Courtyard Gaithersburg Washingtonian Ctr., 204 Boardwalk Place, Gaithersburg, MD 20878.

    Contact Person: Olga A. Tjurmina, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4030B, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 451-1375, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Endocrinology, Metabolism, Nutrition and Reproductive Sciences Integrated Review Group; Cellular Aspects of Diabetes and Obesity Study Section.

    Date: October 13-14, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hotel Solamar, 435 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101.

    Contact Person: Antonello Pileggi, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6166, Bethesda, MD 20892-7892, (301) 402-6297, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Cardiovascular Disorders.

    Date: October 14, 2016.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Margaret Chandler, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4126, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1743, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Hypertension and Microcirculation.

    Date: October 14, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Washington Marriott at Metro Center, 775 12th Street NW., Washington, DC 20005.

    Contact Person: Katherine M. Malinda, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4140, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-0912, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes Integrated Review Group; Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging Study Section.

    Date: October 17-18, 2016.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Lorien Hotel & Spa, 1600 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: Serena Chu, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, BBBP IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3178, MSC 7848, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 500-5829, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Endocrinology, Metabolism, Nutrition and Reproductive Sciences Integrated Review Group; Integrative Physiology of Obesity and Diabetes Study Section.

    Date: October 18-19, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Washington/Rockville, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Contact Person: Raul Rojas, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6185, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 451-6319, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Bioengineering Sciences & Technologies Integrated Review Group; Nanotechnology Study Section.

    Date: October 18-19, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: James J. Li, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5148, MSC 7849, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-806-8065, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Bioengineering Sciences & Technologies Integrated Review Group; Modeling and Analysis of Biological Systems Study Section.

    Date: October 18, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: The William F. Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD 20854.

    Contact Person: Craig Giroux, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, BST IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5150, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-2204.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; RFA-LM-16-002: BD2K Predoctoral Training in Biomedical Big Data Science.

    Date: October 18, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Raj K. Krishnaraju, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6190, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1047, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Collaborative Applications: Adult Psychopathology.

    Date: October 18, 2016.

    Time: 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Lorien Hotel & Spa, 1600 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Contact Person: Serena Chu, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, BBBP IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3178, MSC 7848, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-500-5829, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: September 14, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22530 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to Public Law 92-463, notice is hereby given that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) National Advisory Council (NAC) will meet on October 12, 2016, 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (EDT). This open session will be a continued discussion on Treatment Quality Issues from the August 24, 2016 open session meeting.

    The meeting will be held via teleconference. This open meeting session may be accessed by the public via telephone. Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the Council. Written submissions should be forwarded to the contact person on or before October 5, 2016. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled at the conclusion of the meeting. Individuals interested in making oral presentations are encouraged to notify the contact person on or before October 5, 2016. Five minutes will be allotted for each presentation. To obtain the call-in number and access code, submit written or brief oral comments, or request special accommodations for persons with disabilities, please register on-line at http://nac.samhsa.gov/Registration/meetingsRegistration.aspx, or communicate with the CSAT national Advisory Council Designated Federal Officer; Tracy Goss (see contact information below). Meeting information and a roster of Council members may be obtained by accessing the SAMHSA Committee Web site at http://www.samhsa.gov/about-us/advisory-councils/csat-national-advisory-council or by contacting the CSAT National Advisory Council Designated Federal Officer; Tracy Goss (see contact information below).

    Council Name: SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, National Advisory Council.

    Date/Time/Type: October 12, 2016, 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. EDT, Open.

    Place: SAMHSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857.

    Contact: Tracy Goss, Designated Federal Officer, CSAT National Advisory Council, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857 (mail), Telephone: (240) 276-0759, Fax: (240) 276-2252, Email: [email protected]

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Carlos Castillo, Committee Management Officer, SAMHSA.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22551 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0106] Agency Information Collection Activities: Application To Pay Off or Discharge an Alien Crewman AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; Extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: Application to Pay Off or Discharge an Alien Crewman (Form I-408). CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected. This document is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before October 20, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, or via email ([email protected]). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. Individuals seeking information about other CBP programs please contact the CBP National Customer Service Center at 877-227-5511, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339, or CBP Web site at https://www.cbp.gov/. For additional help: https://help.cbp.gov/app/home/search/1.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (81 FR 33542) on May 26, 2016, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10. CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507). The comments should address: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden, including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology; and (e) the annual costs to respondents or record keepers from the collection of information (total capital/startup costs and operations and maintenance costs). The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the CBP request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. In this document, CBP is soliciting comments concerning the following information collection:

    Title: Application to Pay Off or Discharge an Alien Crewman.

    OMB Number: 1651-0106.

    Form Number: I-408.

    Abstract: CBP Form I-408, Application to Pay Off or Discharge an Alien Crewman, is used as an application by the owner, agent, consignee, charterer, master, or commanding officer of any vessel or aircraft arriving in the United States to obtain permission from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to pay off or discharge an alien crewman. This form is submitted to the CBP officer having jurisdiction over the area in which the vessel or aircraft is located at the time of application. CBP Form I-408 is authorized by Section 256 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1286) and provided for 8 CFR 252.1(h). This form is accessible at: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/publications/forms.

    Current Actions: CBP proposes to extend the expiration date of this information collection with no change to the burden hours or to the information collected.

    Type of Review: Extension (without change).

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 85,000.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 25 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 35,360.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Seth Renkema, Branch Chief, Economic Impact Analysis Branch U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22514 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0033] Agency Information Collection Activities: Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, Form I-693; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection notice was previously published in the Federal Register on May 10, 2016, at 81 FR 28884, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. USCIS did receive 17 comments from 6 commenters in connection with the 60-day notice.

    DATES:

    The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until October 20, 2016. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, must be directed to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer via email at [email protected] Comments may also be submitted via fax at (202) 395-5806. All submissions received must include the agency name and the OMB Control Number [1615-0033].

    You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make. For additional information please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140, Telephone number (202) 272-8377 (This is not a toll-free number. Comments are not accepted via telephone message). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283; TTY (800) 767-1833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2006-0074 in the search box. Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: I-693, USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. Form I-693 is necessary for USCIS to determine the eligibility of an applicant for lawful permanent resident status, creating a potential public health risk or denying the applicant an immigration benefit to which he or she may be legally entitled.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I-693 is 574,000 and the estimated hour burden per response is 2.5 hours.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 1,435,000 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $283,412,500.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22532 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [OMB Control Number 1615-0060] Agency Information Collection Activities: Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, Form N-648; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection AGENCY:

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment upon this proposed extension of a currently approved collection of information. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the information collection notice is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments regarding the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e. the time, effort, and resources used by the respondents to respond), the estimated cost to the respondent, and the actual information collection instruments.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    All submissions received must include the OMB Control Number 1615-0060 in the subject box, the agency name and Docket ID USCIS-2008-0021. To avoid duplicate submissions, please use only one of the following methods to submit comments:

    (1) Online. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under e-Docket ID number USCIS-2008-0021;

    (2) Email. Submit comments to [email protected];

    (3) Mail. Submit written comments to DHS, USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division, Samantha Deshommes, Chief, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140, Telephone number (202) 272-8377 (This is not a toll-free number. Comments are not accepted via telephone message). Please note contact information provided here is solely for questions regarding this notice. It is not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check Case Status Online, available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283; TTY (800) 767-1833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments

    You may access the information collection instrument with instructions, or additional information by visiting the Federal eRulemaking Portal site at: http://www.regulations.gov and enter USCIS-2008-0021 in the search box. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make to DHS. DHS may withhold information provided in comments from public viewing that it determines may impact the privacy of an individual or is offensive. For additional information, please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of http://www.regulations.gov.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: N-648; USCIS.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. USCIS uses the Form N-648 to substantiate a claim for an exception to the requirements of section 312(a) of the Act. Only medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, or clinical psychologists licensed to practice in the United States are authorized to certify Form N-648.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection N-648 is 17,302 and the estimated hour burden per response is 2 hours.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 34,604 hours.

    (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $912,681.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22519 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-97-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5173-N-09-B] Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Assessment Tool for Public Housing Agencies—Information Collection: Solicitation of Comment 30-Day Notice Under Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice solicits public comment for a period of 30 days, consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), on the Public Housing Agencies (PHA) Assessment Tool. On March 23, 2016, HUD solicited public comment for a period of 60 days on the PHA Assessment Tool. The 60-day notice commenced the notice and comment process required by the PRA in order to obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information proposed to be collected by the PHA Assessment Tool. This 30-day notice takes into consideration the public comments received in response to the 60-day notice, and completes the public comment process required by the PRA. With the issuance of this notice, and following consideration of additional public comments received in response to this notice, HUD will seek approval from OMB of the PHA Assessment Tool and assignment of an OMB control number. In accordance with the PRA, the assessment tool will undergo this public comment process every 3 years to retain OMB approval. HUD is committed to issuing a separate Assessment Tool for Qualfied PHAs (QPHAs) that choose to conduct and submit an individual AFH or for use by Qualified PHAs that collaborate among multiple QPHAs to conduct and submit a joint AFH. For this reason, this Assessment Tool will be for use by non-Qualified PHAs, and for collaborations among non-Qualified PHAs and QPHAs.

    DATES:

    Comment Due Date: October 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this notice to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500.

    Communications must refer to the above docket number and title. There are two methods for submitting public comments. All submissions must refer to the above docket number and title.

    1. Submission of Comments by Mail. Comments may be submitted by mail to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500.

    2. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, ensures timely receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make them immediately available to the public. Comments submitted electronically through the www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other commenters and interested members of the public. Commenters should follow the instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.

    Note:

    To receive consideration as public comments, comments must be submitted through one of the two methods specified above. Again, all submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the notice.

    No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (FAX) comments are not acceptable.

    Public Inspection of Public Comments. All properly submitted comments and communications submitted to HUD will be available for public inspection and copying between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the above address. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the public comments must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at 202-708-3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals with speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Copies of all comments submitted are available for inspection and downloading at www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George D. Williams, Sr., Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 5249, Washington, DC 20410; telephone number 866-234-2689 (toll-free). Individuals with hearing or speech impediments may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service during working hours at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. The 60-Day Notice for the PHA Assessment Tool

    On March 23, 2016, at 81 FR 15549, HUD published its 60-day notice, the first notice for public comment required by the PRA, to commence the process for approval of the PHA Assessment Tool. The PHA Assessment Tool was modeled on the Local Government Assessment Tool, approved by OMB on December 31, 2015, but with modifications to address the differing authority that PHAs have from local governments, and how fair housing planning may be undertaken by PHAs in a meaningful manner. As with the Local Government Assessment Tool, the Assessment Tool for PHA allows for collaboration with other PHAs. The 60-day public comment period ended on May 23, 2016, and HUD received 39 public comments. The following section, Section II, refers to submission requirements for Moving to Work (MTW) Public Housing Agencies. Section III highlights changes made to the PHA Assessment Tool in response to public comment received on the 60-day notice, and further consideration of issues by HUD, and Section IV provides guidance on the PHA region and regional analysis. Lastly, Section V responds to the significant issues raised by public commenters during the 60-day comment period, and Section IV provides HUD's estimation of the burden hours associated with the PHA Assessment Tool, and further solicits issues for public comment, those required to be solicited by the PRA, and additional issues which HUD specifically solicits public comment.

    II. Submission Requirements for Moving to Work (MTW) Public Housing Agencies

    For MTW PHAs submitting an individual AFH, the first AFH shall be submitted no later than 270 calendar days prior to the start of:

    (A) For MTW PHAs whose service areas are located within the jurisdictional boundaries of a local government subject to the submission requirements outlined in § 5.160 of the AFFH rule, and are completing the AFH by themselves using the Assessment Tool for Public Housing Agencies, the program year that begins on or after January 1, 2019 for which the local government's new consolidated plan is due as provided in 24 CFR 91.125(b)(2).

    (B) For MTW PHAs whose service ares are not located within the jurisdictional boundaries of a local government subject to the submission requirements outlined in § 5.160 of the AFFH rule, and are completing the AFH by themselves using the Assessment Tool for Public Housing Agencies, the fiscal year that begins on or after January 1, 2019 for which a new Annual MTW Plan is due as provided in the Moving To Work Standard Agreement (The Standard Agreement). The Standard Agreements are available at: www.hud.gov/mtw.

    If either of the submission deadlines would result in the MTW PHA not having 9 calendar months with the final Assessment Tool for Public Housing Agencies, HUD will establish a new submission date for those MTW PHAs. MTW PHAs are encouraged to partner with their local governments and conduct a joint or regional AFH using the Assessment Tool for Local Governments and/or with a PHA, in which case the MTW PHA would follow the lead submitter's submission date. HUD intends on providing additional guidance to MTW PHAs on how to incorporate actions and strategies into Annual MTW Plans that address AFH goals.

    Second and Subsequent AFHs

    (A) After the first AFH, subsequent AFHs shall be submitted no later than 195 calendar days prior to the start of the fiscal year that begins five years after the fiscal year for which the prior AFH applied. All MTW PHAs shall submit an AFH no less frequently than once every 5 years, or at such time agreed upon in writing by HUD and the MTW PHA. 24 CFR 5.160(d). Given that MTW PHAs submit annual MTW Plans, the MTW PHA should only submit an AFH prior to the fiscal year that is 5 years after the prior AFH submission.

    III. Changes Made to the PHA Assessment Tool

    The following highlights changes made to the Assessment Tool for Public Housing Agencies in response to public comment and further consideration of issues by HUD.

    Qualified PHA (QPHA) Insert. HUD has added an insert for use by QPHAs that collaborate with non-qualified PHAs. The insert is meant to cover the analysis required for the QPHA's service area. In addition to the QPHA insert, HUD is committed to creating a separate QPHA assessment tool.

    Contributing factors. HUD has added several contributing factors based on recommendations from the comments from the public. HUD has also made slight changes to the descriptions of some of the existing contributing factors in light of comments received. These include: Inaccessible public or private infrastructure; Involuntary displacement of survivors of domestic violence; Lack of local or regional cooperation; Lack of public and private investment in specific neighborhoods, including services or amenities; Laws, policies, regulatory barriers to providing housing and supportive services for persons with disabilities; Nuisance laws; Restrictions on landlords accepting vouchers; Siting selection policies, practices and decisions for publicly supported housing; Source of income discrimination. The following contributing factors were removed from the appendix as they were not listed in any of the AFH sections: Inaccessible buildings, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, or other infrastructure; Lack of assistance for housing accessibility modifications; Lending discrimination; Local restrictions or requirements for landlords renting to voucher holders

    Disparities in Access to Opportunity. HUD has made changes to the structure of the questions in the Disparities in Access to Opportunity section, such as reducing the number of questions in the Disparities in Access to Opportunity section, making the use of the table that includes the opportunity indices optional, and removing portions of questions that referenced PHAs' waiting lists. HUD no longer specifically calls out the protected class groups for which it is providing data in the questions themselves. Instead, the specific protected class groups will be called out in the instructions for the particular question. HUD has also limited these questions to the protected class groups for which HUD is providing data. Furthermore, HUD has made clear that the policy-related questions at the end of each subsection should be informed by community participation, any consultation with other relevant government agencies, and the PHA's own local data and local knowledge.

    Disability and Access. HUD has added two new questions to the Disability and Access section of the Assessment Tool. These questions relate to the PHA's interaction with individuals with disabilities.

    Instructions. HUD has made clarifying changes to the instructions to the Assessment Tool, including with respect to the use of local data and local knowledge, additional examples of groups to consult during the community participation process, and additional clarifying instructions in the disparities in access to opportunity section based on the changes made to the questions in that section. In the instructions related to the Disparities in Access to Opportunity section of the Assessment Tool, regarding the HUD-provided data, HUD has also made clear that PHAs should only rely on the maps, rather than the opportunity index table; however, the table will still be provided should PHAs wish to make use of its contents. HUD has also included additional guidance in the instructions with respect to data sources that may be particularly relevant for assessing disability and access issues in the PHA's service area and region. HUD has also provided general and question-by-question instructions for the QPHA insert.

    Fair Housing Analysis of Rental Housing. HUD has clarified the analysis for this section that the analysis applies to PHAs that administer Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. This will reduce burden for public housing to only PHAs.

    Enhancements for PHAs in the Data and Mapping Tool. While the AFFH Data and Mapping Tool will remain substantially similar in most respects for PHAs as currently provided for local governments, there are some specific enhancements that are planned. These include the addition of maps and tables specifically designed for PHAs as well as enhanced functionality for displaying information on the maps.

    The enhanced functionality will allow a PHA to view the location of its own public housing developments and housing choice vouchers. Users will be able to identify individual PHAs and use the relevant maps to show the locations of the public housing developments and HCVs for that PHA, or to view all such HUD assisted units that are already currently provided in the tool (In the current Data and Mapping Tool, these are Maps 5 and 6. Map 5 shows the location of individual housing developments in four program categories (public housing, project-based section 8, Other HUD Multifamily (Section 202 and 811) and LIHTC). Map 6 shows the location of Housing Choice Vouchers by concentration).

    PHAs and the public should be aware that program participants will not be required to begin conducting their assessments until the full array of online resources, including both the Data and Mapping Tool and the User Interface are complete and operational for PHAs.

    To assist PHAs in their assessments, HUD will be adding two additional maps and two additional tables that are designed to assist with specific questions in the assessment tool. One map will show the percent of housing units that are occupied by renters (by census tract). This first map is based on existing maps in the CPD-Maps tool (https://egis.hud.gov/cpdmaps/). This map is being added for both local governments and for PHAs. A second map map will show the locations of private rental housing that is affordable for very low-income families. This is intended to inform the analysis of the location, or lack thereof, of private affordable rental housing. Finally, two new tables will be provided showing tenant demographics for the PHA's own assisted residents. Examples of these tables, showing the intended type and format of the information to be provided was included as part of the 60-Day PRA release.

    IV. PHA Region

    Please note that a regional analysis is required for all program participants. Under the AFFH rule, the region is larger than the jurisdiction. For PHAs, under the AFFH rule, the jurisdiction is the service area. Unlike local governments and States, PHAs, including QPHAs, have service areas that range from the size of a town to match the boundaries of a State. The region that PHAs will analyze under the AFFH rule thus depends on the service area. For purposes of conducting a regional analysis, HUD identifies the following potential approach regarding geographies as regions for PHAs:

    PHA jurisdiction/
  • service area
  • PHA region
    Within a CBSA CBSA. Outside of a CBSA and Smaller than a County or Statistically Equivalent (e.g., Parish) County or Statistically Equivalent (e.g., Parish). Outside of a CBSA and Boundaries Consistent with the County All Contiguous Counties. State State and Areas that Extend into Another State or Broader Geographic Area.

    A regional analysis is of particular importance for PHAs' fair housing analyses because fair housing issues are often not constrained by service area boundaries. Additionally, PHAs may be limited by their available housing stock, and, in order to afford full consideration of fair housing choice and access to opportunity for residents in the service area, a larger regional analysis is necessary. For example, one PHA may identify segregation as a fair housing issue because their housing stock, and therefore their residents, who are members of a particular protected class group, are located in only one part of the service area. The PHA therefore may identify the location and type of affordable housing as a contributing factor for this issue because the only affordable housing in the jurisdiction is located in that particular part of the City. For the PHA to understand the options for addressing this fair housing issue, the PHA must not only assess where other affordable housing is located in the region, but also consider the regional patterns of segregation, racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty, disparities in access to opportunity and disproportionate housing needs, by protected class. In the context of public housing agencies, regional coordination can be especially important to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities. When considering a regional approach to addressing fair housing issues the PHA may consider Housing Choice Voucher portability and shared waiting lists; mobility counseling, increasing use of Small Area Fair Market Rents to set payment standards at the sub-market level; use of Project-Based Vouchers as siting mechanism in higher opportunity areas, including in conjunction with LIHTC; and use of expanded PHA jurisdictional authority to administer vouchers outside its boundaries. The public is invited to provide feedback on this proposed approach.

    V. Public Comments on the PHA Assessment Tool and HUD's Responses General Comments

    General comments offered by the commenters included the following:

    The structure of the tool is not suitable for PHAs. A commenter stated that the assessment tool for PHAs too closely mimics the Assessment Tool for local jurisdictions in the burden that it will place on entities that must use it to complete their AFHs. Another commenter stated that if a PHA partners with local housing PHAs across the State, ranging from very rural areas to urban areas, to administer day-to-day operations of the HCV program, the structure of the Assessment Tool is very complex and would require an analysis of a vast portion of the State. Another commenter stated that the tool is a centralized directive that does not take into account a community's local needs or priorities in how the PHA or community wants to allocate its scarce resources. The commenter stated that PHAs have a mandate to continue meeting local needs but this forces them to prioritize fair housing activities. Another commenter stated that the tool ignores the real-world constraints under which entities operate. A commenter asked HUD to have PHAs identify and prioritize portions of the tool so that over a number of cycles, the entire tool could be completed. Another commenter stated that the tool should be a streamlined document that provides a broad overview of the AFH process to PHAs, illustrate their various options among the other tools, clarify that the AFH duty applies to Moving to Work Agencies, and do a quick walkthrough of the process of completing the PHA tool.

    HUD Response: HUD appreciates the commenters' views and input. HUD will continue to evaluate ways to reduce burden for PHAs while also providing guidance, technical assistance and training to support PHAs in affirmatively further fair housing under the Fair Housing Act and complying with other fair housing and civil rights requirements. As such, HUD has made revisions to the Publicly Supported Housing, Disparaties in Access to Opportunity, and Disability and Access sections of the PHA Assessment Tool to guide PHAs in conducting a meaningful fair housing analysis while still being tailored to the operations and programmatic focus of PHAs and their respective service areas. HUD believes these revisions have eliminated duplicate analysis within the PHA tool.

    Terminology clarification. Several comments focused on certain terms in the tool that commenters advised needed clarification. A commenter asked what is meant by “proximity to employment.” A commenter asked what is an “adequate supply” of accessible housing. A commenter stated that the word “siting” should only be used in reference to new developments, and not used to refer to existing developments. The commenter stated that therefore, the description of the contributing factor “Siting selection policies, practices, and decisions for publicly supported housing, including discretionary aspects of Qualified Allocation Plans and other programs” should not use “siting” to reference “acquisition with rehabilitation of previously unsubsidized housing.”

    HUD Response: HUD thanks these commenters for requesting clarification. HUD's AFFH Rule Guidebook, available at https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/4866/affh-rule-guidebook/, may provide some clarification on terms commenters felt needed clarification. HUD also notes that past siting decisions may be contributing factors to a fair housing issue—and is included as part of the explanation of the contributing factor “Location and type of affordable housing.” HUD agrees with the commenter that the siting selection policies contributing factor is meant to focus on new developments, but also includes the consideration of how those policies might target the “acquisition and rehabilition of previously unsubsidized housing” because it results in the creation of new affordable housing opportunities for which location should be considered. HUD notes that with regards to past siting decisions, the goal to overcome that contributing factor may not involve “re-siting” that development. In order to understand the fair housing issues affecting a community, it is important that past siting decisions be taken into consideration. While the past siting and zoning ordinances may have contributed to the concentration of Publicly Suported Housing in certain neighborhoods in a jurisdiction that are experiencing racial and ethnic concentration, the AFFH rule outlines how PHAs may undertake a balanced approach in considering place-based investments and mobility to deconcentate neighborhoods and help protected class group members that use PSH move into low-povery and integrated neighorhoods of opportunity. HUD's description of contributing factors in the appendix clarifies that existing publicly supported housing developments may be considered under the contributing factor “Location and type of affordable housing.”

    The tool is too burdensome. Commenters stated that the tool is too burdensome and PHAs do not have enough resources to complete an AFH. Commenters stated that PHAs will have to hire consultants because the assessment is too complex (which includes the analysis of the data and dissimilarity index) to be effectively completed by staff without specific statistical and mapping knowledge, and that it is hard to get a true estimate from a consultant at this point or figure out which consultant will provide high quality services. The commenters stated that this is an ineffective use of staff time. The commenters stated that resources that could be put into housing related tasks are being funneled into completing this tool. Another commenter stated that PHAs do not have the resources and run the risk of putting all of their energy and resources into doing the assessments, leaving nothing left to address the identified Fair Housing Issues. Another commenter asked that during the six weeks it will take to prepare the tool, how clients will be served, and what will happen if a PHA's high performance status drops because of the time being spent on the AFH.

    HUD Response: HUD is sympathetic to all program participants who have limited capacity to conduct an AFH, and will continue to evaluate ways to reduce burden for PHAs, and all program participants, while still ensuring a meaningful fair housing analysis is conducted such that goals that will result in a material, positive change can be established. While HUD encourages PHAs and QPHAs to partner with Local Governments to jointly share the workload associated with the AFH fair housing analysis and planning requirements, HUD proposes a streamlined set of QPHA questions for analysis of their service areas independently and in collaboration with States, Local Governments and other PHAs in their vicinity whether they are within or outside of a CBSA. Moreover, HUD recognizes potential concerns program participants may experience due to devoting resources toward the AFH, and it is HUD's priority to provide guidance, technical assistance, and training to PHAs and all program participants as they workto conduct their AFHs as well as providing as much help it can in allaying other worries as a result of completing the AFH.

    Funding is needed to complete the tool. Commenters stated that PHAs need funding to complete their AFHs. Commenters stated that the AFH does not recognize the zero-sum nature of a PHA's resource allocation, and that the President's FY 2017 budget proposal did not request additional money for PHAs and other participating entities to complete their AFH tools. Another commenter stated that it will have to spend subsidy or Capital Fund Program (CFP) money to complete the tool and this will take away from being able to maintain properties. A commenter stated that if HUD cannot provide additional funding, HUD needs to find ways to provide additional resources to all that need to complete an AFH.

    HUD Response: HUD understands that program participants have limited resources and will continue to try to reduce burden. In addition, HUD will continue to provide guidance, technical assistance, and training to assist all program participants to as they work to conduct their assessments of fair housing. Additoinally, HUD will provide guidance, technical assistance, and training to assist PHAs, as well as other program participants, in compliance with their fair housing and civil rights obligations.

    Allow waivers of the AFH if the PHA has insufficient funding or staff. A commenter suggested that without additional funding, HUD should accept waivers from PHAs to provide time to complete AFHs, especially those seeking to join efforts with neighboring PHAs and local governments.

    HUD Response: Unfortunately, HUD cannot provide waivers for certain program participants with respect to the submission of an AFH. However, HUD has built in flexibility for program participants to collaborate to submit a joint or regional AFH, provided for at 24 CFR 5.156 of the AFFH Rule. Program participants may be able to adjust their program or fiscal years to align with other program participants in order to collaborate on an AFH.

    Exempt small and qualified PHAs (QPHAs) from submitting an AFH. A commenter stated that QPHAs should be exempt because they lack funds and staff. Another commenter stated that slightly more than half of all PHAs manage fewer than 250 units and nearly 88 percent manage fewer than 500. The commenter stated that small PHAs have become leaner over the years and do not have the capacity to undertake the requirements of an AFH. Another commenter stated that if HUD will not exempt small and qualified PHAs, HUD should offer a significantly streamlined and simplified AFH tool for use by agencies with 550 combined units or fewer that will be of some use to them as they analyze steps they can take to AFFH.

    HUD Response: HUD recognizes the challenges small PHAs in undertaking the requirements of completing the Assessment of Fair Housing. In keeping with this, HUD has added an insert to the PHA and Local Government Assessment Tools that may be used by QPHAs that are conducting a joint AFH with other non-qualified PHAs and local governments. Use of this insert may reduce burden for the QPHA in completing an Assessment of Fair Housing. As HUD has stated previously, HUD will continue to evaluate ways to reduce burden for all program participants, including smaller PHAs and QPHAs in complying with fair housing and civil rights requirements. HUD also notes that it is committed to creating a separate QPHA tool.

    Concerns with the use of local data. A commenter suggested local data that PHAs need to rely on may not exist, and cited as examples, education and school proficiency data that the commenter stated can be difficult to obtain because some PHAs serve in areas where students can attend schools in multiple school jurisdictions across the entire metropolitan region, including outside the jurisdiction of the PHA. The commenter stated that HUD does not include protections for PHAs that claim they cannot compile or obtain local data. Another commenter stated that local data should be optional because the burden of collecting it is immense. A commenter suggested that HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research provide greater technical assistance to PHAs to help them complete the AFH, including training and webinars on data analysis, along with a cadre of experts who can assist PHAs in meeting this requirement.

    HUD Response: HUD appreciates these comments. HUD notes that program participants need only use local data when it meets the criteria set forth in the AFFH rule at 24 CFR 5.152 and in the instructions to the Assessment Tool. HUD has also included clarification in the instructions to the Assessment Tool to make clear when local data must be used and HUD's expectations with respect to the use of such data. Specifically, HUD states in the instructions that program participants must use reasonable judgment in deciding what supplemental information from among the numerous sources available would be most relevant to their analysis. HUD later explains in the instructions that where HUD has not provided data for a specific question in the Assessment Tool and program participants do not have local data or local knowledge that would assist in answering the question, PHAs should note this, rather than leaving the question blank.

    Define the boundaries of a region. A commenter stated that when HUD finalizes the regional data, it should clearly define the boundaries of the regions so that PHAs know exactly the regional area that must be covered in their analyses and therefore the extent of the data necessary to answer the template questions.

    HUD Response: HUD appreciates this comment and will work to ensure the final data provides these boundaries.

    Burden estimates are too low. Commenters stated that HUD's estimate that it will take one person working 40 hours a week for 6 weeks to complete, is far too low due to the complexity of the AFH. A commenter stated that PHA staff are knowledgeable on program regulations and laws pertaining to Fair Housing and 504 requirements, but not providing complex statistical data analysis. A commenter stated that it estimates that it will take three or four times as much as the 240-hour estimate, equivalent to almost one full time staff person when only four staff members are dedicated to the entire Section 8 program. The commenter stated that it is not reasonable for the AFH to take up to 25 percent of the administrative budget, but this is likely to happen if the State cannot combine efforts with its CPD formula programs. Another commenter stated that it estimates that it will take 1,4440 hours or 180 working days to complete the AFH. Another commenter stated that it estimates that completing the AFH will take longer than 240 hours and collaborating will not save any time due to the need for meetings, identifying responsibilities, and coming to agreement on the meaning of data.

    A commenter stated that since HUD funding is at an all-time shortage, current staff have too many responsibilities to maintain the level of effectiveness as is, and the challenge to stay as viable as possible under these circumstances (with the lack of ability to use funds as effectively as Moving to Work PHAs), the burden of proposed collection places the burden “on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the backbreaker), 10!” Another commenter stated that program participants will commit a total of just under 1,000,000 person hours to AFH completion every five years or so, and that based on the estimates given in the notice of how many PHAs will submit and how much time each one takes, this will consume more than 100 person years annually. A commenter stated that the outreach portion alone can easily take more than 100 hours. The commenter stated that 5 public meetings with 5 staff in attendance for three hours (set up and staying after to answer questions) is already 75 hours, and that does not include preparing materials, marketing, arranging space, etc. Another commenter stated that HUD has revised the estimates and has estimated without evidence the populations of PHAs that will collaborate and submit independently. The commenter stated that if only half the PHAs choose to collaborate, the estimated burden would rise by almost 50,000 hours to 150 of HUD's current estimate. The commenter stated that HUD does not know how long it will take to prepare an AFH using any of the 3 tools published so far, and that HUD's assumptions about collaboration are not based in fact, and so HUD's estimate of burden is unsupported and probably inadequate.

    HUD Response: HUD understands the concerns of these commenters, and will continue to evaluate ways to reduce burden for all program participants, including PHAs. In addition, HUD will also continue to provide guidance, technical assistance, and training as needed and appropriate, in an effort to build the capacity of program participants to undertake an Assessment of Fair Housing. In light of revisions being proposed for the AFH tools, HUD will continue to evaluate potential adjustments to burden estimates that are necessary for the applicable AFH Tools.

    Electronic submission will help eliminate burden. Commenters stated that electronic submission is the only answer to eliminate any potential burden to provide the information by the agency. The commenters stated that this analysis seems to address all the areas of concern with the quality of information being asked for the agency to provide, but that too much information being asked could be a potential setback as in reviewing the maps in the tools, information can be confusing and difficult to find the information being sought because the maps become hard to read.

    HUD Response: HUD agrees with these commenters and is continuing to work to provide PHAs with an electronic submission mechanism. HUD will continue to provide guidance, technical assistance, and training as needed and appropriate, to aid program participants in understanding how to read the HUD-provided maps.

    Eliminate the local knowledge requirement. Commenter stated that it is a costly burden to obtain local knowledge and data because the PHA's service area covers most of the State. A commenter expressed concern about data availability or meaningfulness in rural areas. The commenter stated that the requirement to use local data here is burdensome. The commenter stated that there needs to be explicit instructions about what to do when there is no HUD provided data or no meaningful HUD provided data and local data or knowledge is not particularly useful.

    HUD Response: HUD appreciates this commenter's suggestion, however, HUD notes that local knowledge is critical information that can provide context and clarity for the HUD-provided data, to supplement the HUD-provided data, and illuminate fair housing issues affecting a jurisdiction or region. However, HUD notes that the instructions to the Assessment Tool explain that where HUD has not provided data for a specific question in the Assessment Tool and program participants do not have local data or local knowledge that would assist in answering the question, PHAs should explain this, rather than leaving the question blank.

    The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program does not fit an AFH analysis. Commenters stated that PHAs that primarily operate a voucher program, which promotes tenant choice and, under the HCV program, households ultimately choose their own housing, so many of the considerations of siting of future housing that could be addressed through a tool would not be germane. Another commenter stated that a PHA administering an HCV program can educate and provide information to voucher households about the characteristics of a neighborhood but that does not appear sufficient per the AFFH rule. The commenter stated that voucher households have the right to choose preferred rental housing unit despite information.

    Other commenters stated that the HCV data is limited and does not allow AFH submitters to assess which PHAs have vouchers placed within a jurisdiction. The commenters stated that alternative data sets that include the number of vouchers by PHA is missing data for Moving to Work jurisdictions, which are often the larges PHAs in their region. Commenters stated that this data should be made available in the AFH data tool to permit a complete analysis of concentration patterns in the HCV program. The commenters stated that if a PHA jurisdiction contains a concentration of vouchers from other PHAs, this may be an important indicator of source of income discrimination in the other PHAs jurisdiction, and also that a PHA's mobility program is inadequate or that the PHA is steering voucher holders to specific areas in violation of the Fair Housing Act and its obligation to AFFH.

    HUD Response: HUD respectfully disagrees with the commenters' assertion that the HCV program does not fit in the AFH analysis. HUD notes that program participants that are required to conduct and submit an AFH to HUD are specified by the AFFH rule at 24 CFR 5.154(b) and include PHAs receiving assistance under Sections 8 or 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937. However, HUD will continue to evaluate different ways to portray data relating to the HCV program to assist PHAs in conducting a meaningful fair housing analysis. To operate the HCV program within a jurisdiction, PHAs undertake market analyses and rental reasonableness tests to understand the supply of available quality affordable housing units that are feasible for lease-up using the payment standards PHAs may set within the overall jurisdiction or in smaller FMR areas or neighborhoods within the PHA's jurisdiction.

    The AFH has no practical utility. Commenters stated that the information asked by the PHA tool and required by the AFFH rule does not have practical utility and that it is not necessary to further the FHA's mandate to affirmatively further fair housing. A commenter stated that as an agency where the affordable housing has been in place for many, many years and the lack of funding to develop in areas of opportunity, the collection of data is not needed. The commenter stated that the PHA already understands the lack of affordable housing in areas of opportunity and obstacles to develop in these areas; any data collection will just support this argument for the need to develop in these areas. Commenters stated that the AFH requires PHAs to set fair housing goals for activities that are out of their control. Commenters stated that it does not make sense to have an entity that does not have authority to achieve these goals conduct the analysis both because the entity would not have specialized knowledge of the field and because equitable considerations would stress that the entity responsible for achieving the goals should be the one conducting the analysis. Commenters stated that the AFH requires them to set goals outside of their scope of control, and they may misjudge the extent to which achieving these goals is feasible since these goals may be in areas outside of their day-to-day experience. Other commenters stated that the tool requires PHAs to analyze factors that may have been decided decades ago (like siting decisions) and make conclusions about impediments to fair housing (like zoning and permitting) that are out of their control. Commenters advised that the following areas are outside of a PHA's experience or control: School assignment policy (HCV programs will need to create tools to discover the schools voucher holders' children attend to investigate, large agencies' participant households sent their children to a large number of school districts), employment opportunities (PHAs may know where participants work but do not have knowledge of access to employment opportunities and do not influence where employers choose to locate or where skillsets match up), access to transportation (PHA's have little to say in establishing or changing transit routes or schedules), geographic distribution of people with disabilities (HUD has acknowledged a lack of data), whether Olmstead plans have been implemented (PHAs exercise little or no influence over institutions where people with disability may be housed and lack the expertise to evaluate appropriateness, and have no more control over the contents of a plan than any member of the public), and whether people with disabilities have access to public infrastructure (PHAs are in the same position as other members of the public when it comes to infrastructure outside of their physical assets).

    HUD Response: HUD respectfully disagrees with these commenters. HUD acknowledges that PHAs may already understand the fair housing issues and contributing factors afffecting in their service areas, and have limited control over certain areas of analysis contained in the AFH; however, those areas are part of the community in which the PHA is located and may have an affect or impact on fair housing in the PHA's service area and region. In order to best understand the fair housing issues affecting the PHA's service area and region, PHAs must take a holistic approach in analyzing their fair housing landscape in order to set appropriate goals that will allow the PHA to take meaningful actions that affirmatively further fair housing, including identifying policies and activities that may or may not be within their control. HUD also notes that the community participation process that is part of conducting an AFH may yield important information from members of the community about these issues for the PHA to consider as it conducts its AFH. HUD encourages PHAs to think creatively in approaching goals. HUD will provide some examples of goals specifically for PHAs when it updates the AFFH Rule Guidebook, and will provide guidance, technical assistance, and training to support all program participants as they work to conduct their AFHs.

    The tool should facilitate a broad range of approaches to affirmatively furthering fair housing. Commenters stated that the rule emphasizes the importance of a balanced approach, but does not allow for the assessment and inclusion of community revitalization efforts. The commenters stated that a two-pronged approach that both increases access to areas of opportunity and improves neighborhood conditions is best. The commenters stated that HUD should honor the value and even necessity of preservation of affordable housing, wherever it is located, to prevent displacement and further racial and economic segregation in cities with substantially tightening rental markets. Other commenters stated that the lack of preservation related questions and guidance in the PHA tool suggests that development in non-impacted areas is simply a more legitimate goal than preservation of existing housing that is not within an “area of opportunity.” The commenters stated that, for example, the PHA tool does not have questions directly assessing the preference of residents to remain in their own neighborhoods, even if segregated, or that help a PHA document that preservation and rehabilitation is the most appropriate way for the PHA to further fair housing while also respecting the rights of residents to remain in their homes and communities. The commenters stated that, in contrast, there is a preponderance of questions related to moving families away from the communities where they live, suggesting that HUD believes that preservation cannot be an important part of an acceptable strategy for meeting fair housing obligations. The commenters encouraged HUD to modify the tool to include more questions about preservation strategies and acknowledge that moving residents to areas of opportunity need not take precedence over providing existing, underserved communities with decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing and improving neighborhood quality. The commenters stated that questions could include requests for information about community reinvestment and site-specific projects to restore deteriorated housing, and the instructions should also acknowledge that preservation is an appropriate fair housing tool for PHAs.

    Another commenter stated that HUD should provide clearer directions in each of the “additional information” subsections to foster a more balanced assessment pertinent to the fair housing issue under consideration. The commenter stated that positive assets that should be listed include affordable housing preservation organizations and community-based development organizations that have long worked with residents to improve publicly supported housing and/or community living conditions. The commenter stated that fair housing choice must include residents' ability to choose to remain in their homes and communities, even if these are racially or economically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs).

    A commenter stated that in Part V.D., questions for both the “Public Housing Agency Program Analysis” and the “Other Publicly Supported Housing Programs,” ask PHAs to compare the demographics of developments to the demographics of the service area and region. The commenter expressed concern on how this will be interpreted because sensitivity to the wishes of existing residents must be paramount. The commenter stated that PHAs should describe the actions taken to determine residents' desire to move and the resources (and in what amounts) that have been used to improve the neighborhood in which the public supported housing development is located. The commenter stated that the “Additional Information” questions should require PHAs to describe efforts that have been made, are underway, or are planned to preserve Project Based Section 8 at risk of opting out of the program or prepaying the mortgage and exiting the program, or of other HUD multi-family assisted developments leaving the affordable housing stock due to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage maturity. The commenter stated that PHAs should describe efforts that are made, underway, or planned to preserve Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) developments, including at Year 15 and beyond Year 30.

    HUD Response: HUD appreciates the commenters' recommendations and will consider adding questions on how to evaluate tenant viewpoints on relocation and mobility from neighborhoods of concentration to more integrated areas. This will include HCV families and residents living in publicly supported housing properties in R/ECAPs and segregated neighborhoods.

    HUD encourages a balanced approach to fair housing planning, as it stated in the preamble to the final AFFH rule, which may include a variety of strategies to affirmatively further fair housing, as appropriate, depending on local circumstances. HUD includes questions and contributing factors in the Assessment Tool that relate to both place-based and mobility strategies in order to assist program participants in determining how to set goals that will lead to the program participant ultimately affirmatively furthering fair housing. Conducting an analylsis that compares the demographics of the residents of publicly supported housing to the area in which it is located is necessary for a fair housing anlaysis. Specifically, for this Assessment Tool, conducting a development-by-development analysis and comparing the demographics of developments to the areas in which they are located is critical when a PHA is conducting a fair housing analysis of its jurisdiction.

    Finally, HUD appreciates the suggestions of commenters relating to particular subjects that should be added to the “Additional Information” questions. HUD believes that these are all important areas of analysis, and will continue to consider whether they should be added to the questions, included in instructions, or provided for in guidance. HUD will consider questions on how to evaluate tenant viewpoints on relocation and mobility from neighborhoods of concentration to more integrated areas. HUD will also consider giving instructions in the PHA and Local Government Tools on community participation to solicit feedback on preservation of properties and resident relocation and mobility from R/ECAPs to more integrated neighborhoods of opportunity. These are issues PHAs may solicit feedback on in surveys, community participation meetings with residents of impacted developments, and public hearings.

    The analysis of data is burdensome. A commenter stated that the sheer volume of data to be analyzed and the breadth of responsibility placed upon housing authorities are very troubling. The commenter stated that although there is discussion of housing authorities under 550 units, size alone cannot be the determining factor for the burden the rule will place; that PHAs with more units that operate in rural counties should be considered. The commenter also stated that the analysis and process is for naught when there is one high school and no public transportation, and the commenter asked about what happens if the town is under one census tract? The commenter stated that very rural towns and cities are not entitlement cities so there is no CDBG funding, and that many of these rural areas were hit hard in the recession and lost manufacturing jobs that are not coming back. The commenter stated that PHAs in these situations have limited resources and so do the communities, and that this time and money could be better spent addressing housing issues. Commenters stated that the instructions to Section VI of the tool acknowledge that PHAs may not be able to control all of these factors. The commenters asked HUD not to burden PHAs with extensive data collection and goal development for factors they cannot control and instead focus on those they can control. A commenter expressed concern that HUD provided data is not detailed enough to assess fair housing issues between rural and urban areas throughout its State and to complete the AFH. Another commenter expressed concern that there are significant gaps in HUD-provided national data that will impede PHAs in adequately assessing and addressing the fair housing needs of people with disabilities. The commenters stated that HUD should provide Federal data from the Medicaid program and from its own data collection. The commenter stated that while there may not be “uniform” data concerning people with disabilities similar to the data concerning race and ethnicity (especially those persons with disabilities who live in institutions or group homes), consideration of major sources of information should still be considered in order to include their consideration in fair housing planning.

    Some commenters stated that much of the information requested through the tool exhibits practical utility but the significant data limitations (e.g. the ability to disaggregate ethnic groups, neighborhood level data, local data, etc.) preclude the ability to easily describe contextual factors that may demonstrate impacts to particular groups.

    Sever