Federal Register Vol. 81, No.187,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 187 (September 27, 2016)

Page Range66179-66486
FR Document

81_FR_187
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 66274 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 66322 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Kemang Wa Lehulere: In All My Wildest Dreams” ExhibitionPDF
81 FR 66275 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
81 FR 66257 - Reorganization and Expansion of Foreign-Trade Zone 82 Under Alternative Site Framework; Mobile, AlabamaPDF
81 FR 66259 - Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court DecisionPDF
81 FR 66257 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 21-Dorchester County, South Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Volvo Car US Operations, Inc. (Motor Vehicles and Related Parts); Ridgeville, South CarolinaPDF
81 FR 66272 - Notice of New Streamlined Approval Process for Non-Regulatory Methods in SW-846PDF
81 FR 66271 - Adequacy Status of the Cleveland-Akron-Lorain and Columbus, Ohio Areas and the Ohio and Indiana Portions of the Cincinnati Indiana-Ohio-Kentucky Area Submitted 8-Hour Ozone Redesignation Requests and Maintenance Plans for Transportation Conformity PurposesPDF
81 FR 66299 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 66322 - Notice of Receipt of Borrego Crossing Pipeline, LLC's Application for a Presidential Permit To Construct, Connect, Operate, and Maintain Pipeline Facilities on the Border of the United States and MexicoPDF
81 FR 66320 - Notice of Receipt of Application for an Amended Presidential Permit for the Presidio-Ojinaga International Bridge on the U.S.-Mexico Border at Presidio, Texas and Ojinaga, Chihuahua, MexicoPDF
81 FR 66321 - Delegation by the Secretary of State to the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs U.S. Participation in “Astana Expo 2017”PDF
81 FR 66184 - Passports; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 66274 - Notice of Termination, 10009 First Heritage Bank, N.A., Newport Beach, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 66275 - Notice of Termination; 10261 Turnberry Bank, Aventura, FloridaPDF
81 FR 66285 - Meeting of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 66191 - Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting RequirementsPDF
81 FR 66322 - CSX Transportation, Inc.-Abandonment Exemption-in Logan County, W. Va.PDF
81 FR 66253 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 66285 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects:PDF
81 FR 66266 - Application To Export Electric Energy; Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc.PDF
81 FR 66326 - Designation of 12 Individuals, 25 Entities, and 1 Blocked Property Pursuant to Executive Order 13581, “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations”PDF
81 FR 66199 - Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage Contingent Cost AllocationPDF
81 FR 66227 - Freedom of Information Act RegulationsPDF
81 FR 66324 - Commercial Activities on Interstate Rest AreasPDF
81 FR 66255 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Wisconsin Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss Findings and Recommendations Resulting From the Committee's Study of Hate Crime in the StatePDF
81 FR 66275 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 66265 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Measures and Methods for the National Reporting System for Adult EducationPDF
81 FR 66325 - Nashville and Eastern Railroad Corporation's Positive Train Control Development Plan, Revision 2.5, Dated June 22, 2016PDF
81 FR 66264 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle Launch OperationsPDF
81 FR 66288 - Notice of a Federal Advisory Committee Meeting Manufactured Housing Consensus CommitteePDF
81 FR 66274 - Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petition for Objection to State Operating Permit for Yuhuang Chemical Company, Inc. Methanol Plant in LouisianaPDF
81 FR 66253 - Notice of Proposed New Fee Sites; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Title VIII, Pub. L. 108-447)PDF
81 FR 66243 - Lease and Interchange of Vehicles; Motor Carriers of PassengersPDF
81 FR 66277 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
81 FR 66323 - Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
81 FR 66240 - Determination of Nonattainment and Reclassification of the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area; TexasPDF
81 FR 66300 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
81 FR 66314 - U.S.-EU Communities of Research on Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues Related to Nanomaterials; Notice of Public MeetingsPDF
81 FR 66295 - Certain Portable Electronic Devices and Components Thereof; Commission Determination Not To Review the 100-Day Initial Determination Finding the Asserted Claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433 Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. 101; Termination of InvestigationPDF
81 FR 66299 - NASA International Space Station Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
81 FR 66328 - Revision to a Previously Approved Information Collection (Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Voice of the Veteran Customer Satisfaction Continuous Measurement Survey) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 66330 - Proposed Information Collection (State Cemetery Data Sheet and Cemetery Grant Document)PDF
81 FR 66260 - Announcement of Requirements and Registration for National Institute of Standards and Technology Prize Competition-Federal Impact Assessment ChallengePDF
81 FR 66266 - Vote Solar and Montana Environmental Information Center; Notice of Petition for EnforcementPDF
81 FR 66268 - Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, Equitrans LP; Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mountain Valley Project and Equitrans Expansion ProjectPDF
81 FR 66271 - Williamson, Belvin, Jr.; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 66268 - Hastings, Michael W.; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 66271 - Burke, John J., Jr.; Notice of FilingPDF
81 FR 66267 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 66275 - Notice of Designated Reserve Ratio for 2017PDF
81 FR 66289 - Receipt of Applications for Endangered Species PermitsPDF
81 FR 66244 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Atlantic Coastal Migratory Pelagic Fishery; Atlantic Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery; and South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery; Control DatePDF
81 FR 66318 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Advance Notice of and No Objection to the Options Clearing Corporation's Proposal To Enter Into a New Credit Facility AgreementPDF
81 FR 66315 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Equities Schedule of Fees and Charges for Exchange ServicesPDF
81 FR 66290 - Submission of Information Collections Under the Paperwork Reduction ActPDF
81 FR 66254 - Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 66255 - Notice of Intent To Give Fourth Funding Priority to Loan Application Packages Received via an Intermediary Under the Certified Loan Application Packaging Process Within the Section 502 Direct Single Family Housing ProgramPDF
81 FR 66245 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 16PDF
81 FR 66197 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; 2016-2018 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 66282 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
81 FR 66284 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
81 FR 66256 - Proposed Revised Information Collection; Comment Request; Limited Access Death Master File Subscriber Certification FormPDF
81 FR 66294 - Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar (Rebar) From Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase InvestigationsPDF
81 FR 66277 - Depository Library Council to the Director; MeetingPDF
81 FR 66181 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Three Synthetic Phenethylamines Into Schedule IPDF
81 FR 66224 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Furanyl Fentanyl Into Schedule IPDF
81 FR 66287 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 66286 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 66296 - Section 1201 Study: Request for Additional CommentsPDF
81 FR 66189 - Extension of Deadline for Action on the August 2016 Section 126 Petition From DelawarePDF
81 FR 66180 - Modification of Colored Federal Airway B-1; AlaskaPDF
81 FR 66179 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Tekamah, NEPDF
81 FR 66221 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Ohio Towns; Findlay, OH; Ashland, OH; Celina, OH; Circleville, OH; Columbus, OH; Defiance, OH; Hamilton, OH; Lima, OH; and London, OHPDF
81 FR 66301 - Establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; Tennessee Valley AuthorityPDF
81 FR 66301 - Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards ConsiderationsPDF
81 FR 66293 - Notice of October 6, 2016, Meeting of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park CommissionPDF
81 FR 66461 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revisions to the Regulations for PetitionsPDF
81 FR 66199 - Small Business Timber Set-Aside ProgramPDF
81 FR 66331 - Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Arkansas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation PlanPDF
81 FR 66185 - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) ProgramPDF
81 FR 66423 - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program ProceduresPDF

Issue

81 187 Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Contents Agency Agency for International Development PROPOSED RULES Freedom of Information Act Regulations, 66227-66240 2016-23270 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Forest Service

See

Rural Housing Service

Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Statements of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, 66277-66285 2016-23212 2016-23213 2016-23252 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66285 2016-23274 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Wisconsin Advisory Committee, 66255-66256 2016-23267 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Limited Access Death Master File Subscriber Certification Form, 66256-66257 2016-23208
Copyright Office Copyright Office, Library of Congress NOTICES Meetings: Section 1201 Study, 66296-66299 2016-23167 Defense Department Defense Department RULES Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, 66185-66189, 66424-66460 2016-21875 2016-21874 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration RULES Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Three Synthetic Phenethylamines into Schedule I, 66181-66184 2016-23185 PROPOSED RULES Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Furanyl Fentanyl into Schedule I, 66224-66227 2016-23183 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Measures and Methods for the National Reporting System for Adult Education, 66265-66266 2016-23265 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Convention on Supplementary Compensation: Nuclear Damage Contingent Cost Allocation, 66199 2016-23271 NOTICES Applications to Export Electric Energy: Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc., 66266 2016-23273
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Arkansas; Regional Haze and Interstate Visibility Transport Federal Implementation Plan, 66332-66421 2016-22508 Extension of Deadline for Action on the August 2016 Section 126 Petition from Delaware, 66189-66191 2016-23155 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Texas; Nonattainment and Reclassification of Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 2008 8-hour Ozone Nonattainment Area, 66240-66243 2016-23247 NOTICES Adequacy Status of Reasonable Further Progress Budget for Volatile Organic Compounds: Cleveland-Akron-Lorain and Columbus, OH Areas, etc., 66271-66272 2016-23295 Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program: Petition for Objection to State Operating Permit for Yuhuang Chemical Co., Inc. Methanol Plant in Louisiana, 66274 2016-23255 New Streamlined Approval Process: Non-Regulatory Methods in SW-846, 66272-66274 2016-23299 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Class E Airspace; Amendments: Tekamah, NE, 66179-66180 2016-23114 Federal Airways; Modifications: B-1, Alaska, 66180-66181 2016-23116 PROPOSED RULES Class E Airspace; Amendments: Findlay, OH; Ashland, OH; Celina, OH, etc., 66221-66224 2016-23113 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66274 C1--2016--22522 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Designated Reserve Ratio for 2017, 66275 2016-23232 Terminations of Receivership: First Heritage Bank, N.A., Newport Beach, CA, 66274-66275 2016-23282 Turnberry Bank, Aventura, FL, 66275 2016-23281 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 66275 2016-23336 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 66267-66268 2016-23233 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC; Equitrans, LP, 66268-66271 2016-23237 Filings: Burke, John J., Jr., 66271 2016-23234 Michael W. Hastings, 66268 2016-23235 Williamson, Belvin, Jr., 66271 2016-23236 Petitions for Enforcement: Vote Solar and Montana Environmental Information Center, 66266-66267 2016-23238 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Commercial Activities on Interstate Rest Areas, 66324-66325 2016-23269 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Lease and Interchange of Vehicles: Motor Carriers of Passengers; Meeting, 66243-66244 2016-23253 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Positive Train Control Development Plans: Nashville and Eastern Railroad Corp., 66325-66326 2016-23262 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66275-66276 2016-23266 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Regulations for Petitions, 66462-66486 2016-23003 NOTICES Endangered Species Permit Applications, 66289-66290 2016-23231 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 66326-66328 2016-23272 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: Foreign-Trade Zone 21, Dorchester County, SC; Volvo Car U.S. Operations, Inc. (Motor Vehicles and Related Parts) Ridgeville, SC, 66257-66259 2016-23303 Reorganizations and Expansions under Alternative Site Frameworks: Trade Zone 82; Mobile, AL, 66257 2016-23308 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66253 2016-23275 New Fee Sites: Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, 66253-66254 2016-23254 Government Printing Government Publishing Office NOTICES Meetings: Depository Library Council to the Director, 66277 2016-23186 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

RULES Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements, 66191-66196 2016-23277 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66286-66287 2016-23171 Meetings: 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, 66285-66286 2016-23280
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Meetings: Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, 66288-66289 2016-23256 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Indian Gaming Commission

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Scope Rulings: Aluminum Extrusions fromthe People's Republic of China, 66259 2016-23305 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar from Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey, 66294-66295 2016-23207 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Portable Electronic Devices and Components Thereof, 66295-66296 2016-23243 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Office, Library of Congress

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: NASA International Space Station Advisory Committee, 66299 2016-23242 National Indian National Indian Gaming Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66290-66293 2016-23221 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Requirements and Registration for Prize Competition: Federal Impact Assessment Challenge, 66260-66264 2016-23239 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Regulations for Petitions, 66462-66486 2016-23003 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; 2016-2018 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications; Correction, 66197-66198 2016-23216 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Atlantic Coastal Migratory Pelagic Fishery; Atlantic Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery; and South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery; Control Date, 66244-66245 2016-23226 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 16, 66245-66252 2016-23217 NOTICES Takes of Marine Mammals: Incidental to Space Vehicle Launch Operations, 66264-66265 2016-23257 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Meetings: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission, 66293-66294 2016-23035 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66299-66300 2016-23290 Antarctic Conservation Act Permits, 66300-66301 2016-23246 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Establishments of Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards: Tennessee Valley Authority, Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Units 1, 2, and 3, 66301 2016-23104 Facility Operating and Combined Licenses: Applications and Amendments Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations, 66301-66314 2016-23097 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66254-66255 2016-23220 Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program, 66255 2016-23218 Science Technology Science and Technology Policy Office NOTICES Meetings: U.S.-EU Communities of Research on Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues Related to Nanomaterials, 66314 2016-23245 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: NYSE Arca, Inc., 66315-66317 2016-23222 The Options Clearing Corp., 66318-66320 2016-23223 Small Business Small Business Administration PROPOSED RULES Small Business Timber Set-Aside Program, 66199-66221 2016-22861 State Department State Department RULES Passports; Correction, 66184-66185 2016-23283 NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Kemang Wa Lehulere: In All My Wildest Dreams, 66322 2016-23457 Delegations of Authority: Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, 66321 2016-23286 Presidential Permits: Crossing Pipeline, LLC; Pipeline Facilities on the Border of the United States and Mexico, 66322 2016-23288 Presidio-Ojinaga International Bridge on the U.S.-Mexico border at Presidio, TX and Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico, 66320-66321 2016-23287 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 66287-66288 2016-23181 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: CSX Transportation, Inc., Logan County, WV, 66322-66323 2016-23276 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water, 66323-66324 2016-23248 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Cemetery Data sheet and Cemetery Grant Document, 66330 2016-23240 Veterans Benefits Administration Voice of the Veteran Customer Satisfaction Continuous Measurement Survey, 66328-66330 2016-23241 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 66332-66421 2016-22508 Part III Defense Department, 66424-66460 2016-21874 Part IV Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 66462-66486 2016-23003 Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 66462-66486 2016-23003 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.

81 187 Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-6989; Airspace Docket No. 16-ACE-7] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Tekamah, NE AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action modifies Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Tekamah Municipal Airport, Tekamah, NE. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate standard instrument approach procedures (SIAP) at Tekamah Municipal Airport for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at airport.

DATES:

Effective 0901 UTC, January 5, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11A at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies Class E airspace at Tekamah Municipal Airport, Tekamah, NE.

History

On June 28, 2016, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), (81 FR 41899) Docket No. FAA-2016-6989, to amend Class E airspace at Tekamah Municipal Airport, Tekamah, NE. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.11A, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Tekamah Municipal Airport, Tekamah, NE, with a segment extending from the 6.5-mile radius to 9.7 miles southeast of the airport. Airspace reconfiguration is necessary to accommodate the SIAPs at Tekamah Municipal Airport for compliance with FAA Joint Order 7400.2K, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 5-6.5.a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for Part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ACE NE E5 Tekamah, NE [Amended]

Tekamah Municipal Airport, NE.

(Lat 41°45′49″ N., long. 96°10′41″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Tekamah Municipal Airport, and within 4 miles each side of the 154° bearing from the airport extending from the 6.5-mile radius of the airport to 9.7 miles southeast of the airport.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 19, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2016-23114 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-4648; Airspace Docket No. 16-AAL-1] RIN 2120-AA66 Modification of Colored Federal Airway B-1; Alaska AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action renames Blue Federal airway B-1 in Alaska to B-12. This is necessary due to an automation issue that conflicts with an identically named airway in Taiwan. No air traffic services with be affected by this action.

DATES:

Effective date 0901 UTC, January 5, 2017. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA, Order 7400.11A and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES:

FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11A at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Colby Abbott, Airspace Policy Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies the air traffic service route structure in the northwest United States to maintain the efficient flow of air traffic.

History

Recently, Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) automation was rejecting certain flight plans. The FAA discovered that the rejected flight plans contained the airway in Taiwan, B-1. This number is also used to identify a route in southern Alaska. When Anchorage ARTCC automation tried to parse the route, it would attempt to reconcile the filed Taiwanese airway, B-1, with the fixes stored in the Anchorage database. The fixes would not match and the flight plan would fail the logic check and be rejected, resulting in labor-intensive manual coordination.

Colored Federal airways are published in paragraph 6009 of FAA Order 7400.11 dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Colored Federal airway listed in this document will be subsequently amended in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

This document amends FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

The Rule

The FAA is amending Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by removing Colored Federal airway B-1 and adding the identical Colored Federal airway B-12, effectively renaming it. This action does not affect any air traffic services. Therefore, notice and public procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Environmental Review

The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, and its agency implementing regulations in FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” regarding categorical exclusions for procedural actions at paragraph 5-6.5k, which categorically excludes from full environmental impact review actions that include, “Publication of existing air traffic control procedures that do not essentially change existing tracks, create new tracks, change altitude, or change concentration of aircraft on these tracks.” Since this procedural action consists only of a name change from Blue Federal airway B-1 in Alaska to B-12 to de-conflict with an identically named airway in Taiwan, this name change action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts. In accordance with FAAO 1050.1F, paragraph 5-2 regarding Extraordinary Circumstances, this action has been reviewed for factors and circumstances in which a normally categorically excluded action may have a significant environmental impact requiring further analysis, and it is determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

§ 71.1 [Amended]
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016 and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6009(d)—Blue Federal airways. B-1 [Removed] B-12 [New]

From Woody Island, AK, NDB to Iliamna, AK, NDB.

Issued in Washington, DC, on September 19, 2016. Leslie M. Swann, Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
[FR Doc. 2016-23116 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-423] Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Three Synthetic Phenethylamines Into Schedule I AGENCY:

Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

With the issuance of this final rule, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration places three synthetic phenethylamines: 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe; 2C-I-NBOMe; 25I; Cimbi-5), 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe; 2C-C-NBOMe; 25C; Cimbi-82), and 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe; 2C-B-NBOMe; 25B; Cimbi-36), including their optical, positional, and geometric isomers, salts and salts of isomers, whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible, into schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. This scheduling action is pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act which requires that such actions be made on the record after opportunity for a hearing through formal rulemaking. This action continues the application of the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, reverse distribute, import, export, engage in research, conduct instructional activities or chemical analysis, or possess), or propose to handle 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe.

DATES:

Effective: October 27, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael J. Lewis, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Legal Authority

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purposes of this action. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II.

The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring an adequate supply is available for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety.

Under the CSA, each controlled substance is classified into one of five schedules based upon its potential for abuse, its currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the degree of dependence the substance may cause. 21 U.S.C. 812. The initial schedules of controlled substances established by Congress are found at 21 U.S.C. 812(c), and the current list of all scheduled substances is published at 21 CFR part 1308.

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(a)(1), the Attorney General may, by rule, “add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he * * * finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and * * * makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed * * *.” The Attorney General has delegated scheduling authority under 21 U.S.C. 811 to the Administrator of the DEA, 28 CFR 0.100, who in turn has redelegated that authority to the Deputy Administrator of the DEA. 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

The CSA provides that proceedings for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of the scheduling of any drug or other substance may be initiated by the Attorney General (1) on her own motion; (2) at the request of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),1 or (3) on the petition of any interested party. 21 U.S.C. 811(a). This action was initiated on the Attorney General's own motion, as delegated to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and is supported by, inter alia, a recommendation from the Assistant Secretary for Health of the HHS 2 and an evaluation of all relevant data by the DEA. This action continues the application of the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions of schedule I controlled substances on any person who handles, or proposes to handle, 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe.

1 As discussed in a memorandum of understanding entered into by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the FDA acts as the lead agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in carrying out the Secretary's scheduling responsibilities under the CSA, with the concurrence of NIDA. 50 FR 9518, Mar. 8, 1985. The Secretary of the HHS has delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Health of the HHS the authority to make domestic drug scheduling recommendations. 58 FR 35460, July 1, 1993.

Background

On October 10, 2013, the DEA published a notice of intent to temporarily place 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe; 2C-I-NBOMe; 25I; Cimbi-5), 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe; 2C-C-NBOMe; 25C; Cimbi-82), and 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe; 2C-B-NBOMe; 25B; Cimbi-36) into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the CSA. 78 FR 61991. On November 15, 2013, the DEA published a final order amending 21 CFR 1308.11(h) to temporarily place these three synthetic phenethylamines into schedule I of the CSA. 78 FR 68716. That final order was effective on the date of publication, and was based on findings by the Deputy Administrator of the DEA that the temporary scheduling of these three synthetic phenethylamine substances was necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). Section 201(h)(2) of the CSA requires that the temporary scheduling of a substance expire two years from the effective date of the scheduling order, or on or before November 14, 2015. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(2). However, the CSA also provides that the temporary scheduling may be extended for up to one year during the pendency of proceedings under 21 U.S.C. 811(a)(1). Id. Accordingly, on November 13, 2015, the DEA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to permanently control 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe in schedule I of the CSA. 80 FR 70649. Specifically, the DEA proposed to add these substances to 21 CFR 1308.11(d), hallucinogenic substances. Also, on November 13, 2015, the DEA extended the temporary scheduling of 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe by one year, until November 13, 2016. 80 FR 70658.

DEA and HHS Eight Factor Analyses

On August 12, 2015, the HHS provided the DEA with three scientific and medical evaluation documents prepared by the FDA entitled “Basis for the Recommendation to Place 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe) and its Salts in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA);” “Basis for the Recommendation to Place 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe) and its Salts in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA);” and “Basis for the Recommendation to Place 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe) and its Salts in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).” After considering the eight factors in 21 U.S.C. 811(c), including consideration of each substance's abuse potential, legitimate medical use, and dependence liability, the Assistant Secretary of the HHS recommended that 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe be controlled in schedule I of the CSA. In response, the DEA conducted its own eightfactor analysis of 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe. Both the DEA and HHS analyses are available in their entirety under the tab “Supporting Documents” of the public docket of this action at http://www.regulations.gov under FDMS Docket ID: DEA-2015-0019 (Docket Number DEA-423).

Determination to Schedule 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe

After a review of the available data, including the scientific and medical evaluations and the scheduling recommendations from the HHS, the DEA published an NPRM entitled “Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Three Synthetic Phenethylamines into Schedule I,” proposing to control 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe in schedule I of the CSA. 80 FR 70649, November 13, 2015. The proposed rule provided an opportunity for interested persons to file a request for hearing in accordance with DEA regulations on or before December 14, 2015. No requests for such a hearing were received by the DEA. The NPRM also provided an opportunity for interested persons to submit written comments on the proposal on or before December 14, 2015.

Comments Received

The DEA received no comments on the proposed rule to schedule 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe.

Scheduling Conclusion

After consideration of the scientific and medical evaluations and accompanying recommendations of the HHS, and the DEA's consideration of its own eight-factor analyses, the DEA finds that these facts and all other relevant data constitute substantial evidence of potential for abuse of 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe. As such, the DEA is permanently scheduling 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe as controlled substances under the CSA.

Determination of Appropriate Schedule

The CSA establishes five schedules of controlled substances known as schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. The CSA also outlines the findings required to place a drug or other substance in any particular schedule. 21 U.S.C. 812(b). After consideration of the analysis and recommendation of the Assistant Secretary for HHS and review of all other available data, the Administrator of the DEA, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(a) and 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1), finds that:

(1) 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe have a high potential for abuse that is comparable to other schedule I substances such as 2C-I, 2C-C, 2C-B, LSD and DOM;

(2) 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and

(3) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe under medical supervision.

Based on these findings, the Administrator of the DEA concludes that 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe; 2C-I-NBOMe; 25I; Cimbi-5), 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe; 2C-C-NBOMe; 25C; Cimbi-82), and 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe; 2C-B-NBOMe; 25B; Cimbi-36), including their optical, positional, and geometric isomers, salts and salts of isomers, whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible, warrant control in schedule I of the CSA. 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1).

Requirements for Handling 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe

25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe are currently scheduled on a temporary basis in schedule I 2 and are therefore currently subject to the CSA regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to the manufacture, distribution, reverse distribution, importation, exportation, engagement in research, conduct of instructional activities or chemical analysis, and possession of schedule I controlled substances, including those listed below. These controls will continue on a permanent basis:

2 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe are currently subject to schedule I controls on a temporary basis, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(h). 80 FR 70658, Nov. 13, 2015.

1. Registration. Any person who handles (manufactures, distributes, reverse distributes, imports, exports, engages in research, or conducts instructional activities or chemical analysis with, or possesses) 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe, or who desires to handle 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe must be registered with the DEA to conduct such activities pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 822, 823, 957, and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1301 and 1312.

2. Disposal of Stocks. 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe must be disposed of in accordance with 21 CFR part 1317, in addition to all other applicable federal, state, local, and tribal laws.

3. Security. 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25B-NBOMe continue to be subject to schedule I security requirements and must be handled and stored pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821, 823, and 871(b), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.71-1301.93.

4. Labeling and Packaging. All labels, labeling, and packaging for commercial containers of 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe must be in compliance with 21 U.S.C. 825 and 958(e), and be in accordance with 21 CFR part 1302.

5. Quota. Only registered manufacturers are permitted to manufacture 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe in accordance with a quota assigned pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 826 and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1303.

6. Inventory. Every DEA registrant required to keep records and who possesses any quantity of 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and/or 25B-NBOMe is required to maintain an inventory of all stocks of NBOMes on hand, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.03, 1304.04, and 1304.11.

7. Records and Reports. Every DEA registrant must maintain records and submit reports with respect to 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and/or 25B-NBOMe pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and 958, and in accordance with 21 CFR parts 1304 and 1317. Manufacturers and distributors must submit reports regarding 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and/or 25B-NBOMe to the Automation of Reports and Consolidated Order System (ARCOS) pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 827 and in accordance with 21 CFR 1304.33.

8. Order Forms. Every DEA registrant who distributes 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe must continue to comply with the order form requirements, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 828, and in accordance with 21 CFR part 1305.

9. Importation and Exportation. All importation and exportation of 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe must be in compliance with 21 U.S.C. 952, 953, 957, and 958, and be in accordance with 21 CFR part 1312.

10. Liability. Any activity involving 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe not authorized by, or in violation of, the CSA or its implementing regulations continues to be unlawful, and may subject the person to administrative, civil, and/or criminal sanctions.

Regulatory Analyses Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, Regulatory Planning and Review, and 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

In accordance with 21 U.S.C. 811(a), this scheduling action is subject to formal rulemaking procedures done “on the record after opportunity for a hearing,” which are conducted pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. The CSA sets forth the criteria for scheduling a drug or other substance. Such actions are exempt from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to section 3(d)(1) of Executive Order 12866 and the principles reaffirmed in Executive Order 13563.

Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

This regulation meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize litigation, provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, and promote simplification and burden reduction.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

This rulemaking does not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. The rule does not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This rule does not have tribal implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13175. It does not have substantial direct effects 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.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Administrator, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-602, has reviewed this rule and by approving it, certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. On November 15, 2013, the DEA published a final order to temporarily place these three synthetic phenethylamines into schedule I of the CSA pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of 21 U.S.C. 811(h). 78 FR 68716. On November 13, 2015, the DEA published a final order extending the temporary placement of these substances in schedule I of the CSA for up to one year pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(2). 80 FR 70658. The DEA estimates that all entities handling or planning to handle 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe are currently registered to handle these substances. There are currently 18 registrations authorized to handle 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe, as well as a number of registered analytical labs that are authorized to handle schedule I controlled substances generally. These 18 registrations represent 13 entities, of which 6 are small entities Therefore, the DEA estimates six small entities are affected by this rule.

A review of the 18 registrations indicates that all entities that currently handle 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe handle other schedule I controlled substances, and have established and implemented (or currently maintain) the systems and processes required to handle 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, or 25B-NBOMe. Therefore, the DEA anticipates that this rule will impose minimal or no economic impact on any affected entities; and thus, will not have a significant economic impact on any of the six affected small entities. Therefore, the DEA has concluded that this rule will not have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

On the basis of information contained in the “Regulatory Flexibility Act” section above, the DEA has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., that this action would not result in any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year. Therefore, neither a Small Government Agency Plan nor any other action is required under provisions of the UMRA of 1995.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This action does not impose a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521. This action would not impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements on State or local governments, individuals, businesses, or organizations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Congressional Review Act

This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Congressional Review Act (CRA)). This rule will not result in: An annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based companies to compete with foreign based companies in domestic and export markets. However, pursuant to the CRA, the DEA has submitted a copy of this final rule to both Houses of Congress and to the Comptroller General.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set out above, 21 CFR part 1308 is amended to read as follows:

PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for part 1308 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), unless otherwise noted.

2. Amend § 1308.11 by: a. Adding paragraphs (d)(55) through (57); and b. Removing paragraphs (h)(1) through (3) and redesignating paragraphs (h)(4) through (20) as (h)(1) through (17), respectively.

The additions read as follows:

§ 1308.11 Schedule I.

(d) * * *

(55) 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe, 2C-I-NBOMe) (7538)

(56) 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe, 2C-C-NBOMe) (7537)

(57) 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe, 2C-B-NBOMe) (7536)

Dated: September 15, 2016. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-23185 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 51 [Public Notice: 9715] RIN 1400-AD97 Passports; Correction AGENCY:

Department of State.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction; correcting amendments.

SUMMARY:

The Department of State published a final rule in the Federal Register on September 2, 2016 (81 FR 60608), amending the passport rules for the Department of State (the Department). The document requires certain corrections: A correction to a statutory citation; and adds a paragraph to the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION relating to implementation of the rule.

DATES:

This rule is effective on September 27, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Department of State published a final rule on September 2, 2016 (81 FR 60608). This document corrects the final rule by changing “42 U.S.C. 16935a” to “22 U.S.C. 212b(c)(1)”, wherever it occurs; and by adding a paragraph to the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, regarding implementation of the rule.

Correction

In the FR Doc 2016-21087, appearing on page 60608, in the Federal Register of September 2, 2016 (81 FR 60608) the following corrections are made:

1. Remove “42 U.S.C. 16935a” and add in its place “22 U.S.C. 212b(c)(1)” in the following places:

a. On page 60608, in the second column, first paragraph, of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION; and

b. On page 60608, in the third column, first full paragraph.

2. Add the following paragraph on page 60608, third column, after the first full paragraph and prior to “Regulatory Findings”:

Pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 212b(f), § 51.60(a)(4) and (g) shall not be applied until the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Attorney General certify to Congress that the process they developed and reported to Congress has been successfully implemented. Updates regarding the implementation of these sections as well as § 51.60(a)(3) will be posted on http://travel.state.gov.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 51

Passports.

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, 22 CFR part 51 is corrected by making the following correcting amendments:

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

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

§ 51.60 [Amended]
2. Amend § 51.60 in paragraphs (a)(4) and (g) by removing “42 U.S.C. 16935a” and adding in its place “22 U.S.C. 212b(c)(1)”. Dated: September 20, 2016. Michele Thoren Bond, Assistant Secretary Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2016-23283 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 103 [DOD-2008-OS-0124; 0790-AJ40] Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program AGENCY:

Department of Defense.

ACTION:

Interim final rule; amendment.

SUMMARY:

This rule amends as a final rule published on April 5, 2013 to implement Department of Defense's SAPR Program. The Department seeks to establish a culture free of sexual assault through prevention, education and training, response capability, victim support, reporting procedures, and accountability to enhance the safety and well-being of all persons covered by this regulation.

DATES:

This rule is effective September 27, 2016. Comments must be received by November 28, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or RIN number and title, by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Diana Rangoussis, Senior Policy Advisor, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), 571-372-2648.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Retrospective Review

This rule will be reported in future status updates as part of DoD's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed in August 2011. DoD's full plan can be accessed at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=DOD-2011-OS-0036.

Justification for an Interim Final Rule

The Department of Defense is publishing this rule as interim to maintain and enhance the current SAPR program which elucidates the prevention, response, and oversight of sexual assaults involving members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Reserve Component, to include the National Guard.

Until this interim final rule is published:

—Sexual assault victims do not have the ability to receive individualized legal assistance from a Special Victims Counsel (SVC) and Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC) to help navigate the complex military justice system. Additionally, the SVC/VLC can advise the victim of the ramifications associated with the option (Unrestricted or Restricted) selected. —Military members who are sexually assaulted cannot receive the ability to request an Expedited Transfer as a means to enhance their safety or well-being. —Preemption of state and local laws requiring disclosure of personally identifiable information of the service member (or adult military dependent) victim or alleged perpetrator to state or local law enforcement agencies, unless such reporting is necessary to prevent or mitigate a serious and imminent threat to the health and safety of an individual, as determined by an authorized Department of Defense official, cannot be implemented. Summary of the Major Amendments to the Final Rule

This rule amends a final rule published in the Federal Register on April 5, 2013 (78 FR 20443-20451) by incorporating congressional mandates from Section 113 of Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), Public Laws 112-81, 113-66, and 114-92. Additionally, these amendments include statutory provisions and policy recommendations from the Secretary of Defense specifiying:

• CMG Chair inquiries into incidents of retaliation involving the victim, witnesses, bystanders (who intervened), SARC, SAPR VA, or responders;

• Specialized training for all supervisors (officer, enlisted, civilian) that explain requirement to protect victim from retaliation, reprisal, ostracism, and maltreatment;

• What constitutes retaliation, reprisal, ostracism, and maltreatment;

• List of resources available for victims to report instances of retaliation, reprisal, ostracism, or maltreatment.

• Further policy mandates as stated in the Response System Panel's (RSP) recommendation #61 and subsection 1716 of National Defense Authorization Act Fiscal Year 2014 include the establishment of the requirement that service member victims of sexual assault be informed of the availability of legal assistance and the right to consult with a Special Victim's Counsel (SVC) and Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC). The RSP was a Congressionally mandated independent review body established to review the progress of sexual assault initiatives within the Department of Defense.

Additional changes from the April 2013 rule include:

• Requirement to prescribe training and certification protocol for sexual assault medical forensic examiners in accordance with section 1725 of NDAA FY14.

• Requirement to notify sexual assault victims to answer “no” to Question 21 on Standard Form 86, if consultation with health care professional meets outlined criteria per section 1747 of NDAA FY14.

• Establishment of a confidential process by which a sexual assault victim may challenge the terms or the characterization of their discharge on the grounds that the terms or characterization were adversely affected by being a sexual assault victim per section 547 of NDAA FY15.

• Requiring the installation SARC and the installation Family Advocacy Program (FAP) staff to coordinate when a sexual assault occurs as a result of domestic abuse or domestic violence or involves child abuse.

• Providing SAPR policy guidance and procedures for the National Guard through direction of the Chief, National Guard Board (NGB).

• Establishing the Expedited Transfer (E.T.) program for service member victims of sexual assault.

Background

The SAPR program authorities are based on the following:

• 10 U.S.C. 136 and DoD Directive 5124.02 (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/512402p.pdf), where the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD (P&R)) may:

—Establish and allocate civilian personnel authorizations of the DoD Components and review and approve military and civilian personnel authorization changes during program execution. —Exercise the authorities of the Secretary of Defense, whenever vested, relating to civilian personnel, whether established by law, regulation, or other actions.

• 10 U.S.C. 113 which states:

—The Secretary of Defense is head of the Department of Defense appointed by the President. —The Secretary of Defense shall report annually in writing to the President and the Congress on the expenditures, work, and accomplishments of the Department of Defense.

• Public Law 112-81, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 which:

—Reforms offenses relating to rape, sexual assault, and other sexual misconduct under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. —Compels production of documentary evidence.

• Public Law 113-66, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 which requires:

—Temporary administrative reassignment or removal of alleged offender. —Retention of forms in connection with Restricted Reports for 50 years. —Elevating oversight to senior leadership through an eight-day incident report in response to an Unrestricted Report in which the victim is a member of the Armed Forces. —Discharge or dismissal for certain sex-related offenses and trial of such offenses by general courts-martial.

• Public Law 114-92, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 which:

—In cases involving restricted reporting, preempts any State law or regulation requiring disclosure of PII of an adult military victim (or adult military dependent victim) or alleged perpetrator of a sexual assault to a state or local law enforcement agency except when reporting is necessary to prevent or mitigate a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of an individual. Discussion of Costs and Benefits

The Fiscal Year 2015 Operation and Maintenance funding for DoD SAPRO was $24.3 million. There is an additional Congressional allocation of $25.0 million designated for the Special Victims' Counsel program and the Special Victims' Investigation and Prosecution capability reprogrammed to the Military Services and the National Guard Bureau. Additionally, each of the Military Services establishes its own SAPR budget for the programmatic costs arising from the implementation of the training, prevention, reporting, response, and oversight requirements established by this rule.

The benefits of these amendments are the following:

• Preempts state and local laws requiring disclosure of personally identifiable information of the service member (or adult military dependent) victim or alleged perpetrator to state or local law enforcement agencies, unless such reporting is necessary to prevent or mitigate a serious and imminent threat to the health and safety of an individual, as determined by an authorized Department of Defense official.

• Protects victims of sexual assault from coercion, retaliation, and reprisal in accordance with DoD Directive 7050.06, “Military Whistleblower Protection” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/705006p.pdf).

• Requires notification to victims of their right to speak to an SVC before providing a statement to a Military Criminal Investigative Office (MCIO) or trial counsel interview.

• Insures victims are aware of their rights related to speaking with defense counsel by requiring counsel to request the interview through the SVC, or other counsel for the victim as the victim choses.

• Expands access to SVC to DoD Civilians thus affording them the same legal counseling given to service members.

• Eliminates the five-year statute of limitations on trial by court-martial for additional offenses involving sex-related crimes.

• Requires all forms related to the reporting and forensic examination to be retained for 50 years to insure victims access to historical documentation.

• Includes consultation and assisting victims with complaints against the government, FOIA requests, and correspondence or communications with Congress as discussed in DoD Directive 7050.06

• Requires evidence to be retained for 5 years, or until the completion of related proceedings to allow victims the opportunity to proceed forward in the investigative process at their own pace.

• Elevates oversight to senior leadership by an 8-day incident reporting requirement in response to Unrestricted Report of sexual assault when victim is a military member.

• Tracks a commanding officer's compliance in conducting organizational climate assessments for purposes of preventing and responding to sexual assaults with all assessments to be completed within 120 days of taking command and annually thereafter.

• Requires review of information on sex-related offenses in personnel service records of members of the Armed Forces (for members who were not “convicted” but received disciplinary action for sexual assault-related act). This will assist in insuring the proper assignment of individuals in those “positions of special trust and responsibilities” within the military.

• Authorizes members of the Reserve Component to be represented by a Special Victims' Counsel, even when the member is not authorized to receive legal assistance, if the member is the victim of an alleged sex-related offense with a nexus to the member's military service.

Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

It has been determined that this rule is not an economically significant regulatory action.

The rule does not:

1. Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribal governments or communities.

2. Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency.

3. Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof.

However, it has been determined that 32 CFR part 103 does raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.

Sec. 202, Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

It has been determined that this rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year.

Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

It has been certified that this rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule provides SAPR Program guidance only.

Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

It has been determined that this rule does impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. OMB has approved these requirements under OMB Control Number 0704-0482 “Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database. The System of Records Notice for DHRA 06, Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database is available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-11-04/pdf/2015-28081.pdf. The Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is available at http://www.dhra.mil/webfiles/docs/Privacy/PIA/DHRA.06.SAPRO.DSAID.7.15.2015.pdf; or http://www.dhra.mil/website/headquarters/info/pia.shtml.

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

It has been certified that this rule does have federalism implications, as set forth in Executive Order 13132. This rule does have substantial direct effects on:

1. The States;

2. The relationship between the National Government and the States; or

3. The distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of Government.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 103

Crime, Health, Military personnel, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, 32 CFR part 103 is amended to read as follows:

PART 103—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 103 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

10 U.S.C. 113; secs. 541 and 542, Pub. L. 112-81, 125 Stat. 1298; secs. 1705, 1713, 1723, and 1743, Pub. L. 113-66, 127 Stat. 672; and sec. 536, Pub. L. 114-92, 129 Stat. 817.

2. Amend § 103.1 by: a. Removing paragraph (a)(6) and redesignating paragraphs (a)(7) through (16) as (a)(6) through (15). b. Revising newly redesignated paragraph (a)(14). c. Removing paragraph (a)(17) and redesignating paragraph (a)(18) as (a)(16). e. Redesignating paragraph (a)(19) as (a)(17) and removing “and” from the end of newly redesignated paragraph (a)(17). d. Removing paragraph (a)(20). e. Adding paragraphs (a)(18) through (23).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 103.1 Purpose.

(a) * * *

(14) “Department of Defense 2014-2016 Sexual Assault Prevention Strategy,” April 30, 2014.

(18) Public Law 113-66, “The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014,” December 2013;

(19) Public Law 110-417, “The Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009,” October 14, 2008;

(20) DoD Instruction 5545.02, “DoD Policy for Congressional Authorization and Appropriations Reporting Requirement,” December 19, 2008;

(21) Title 32, United States Code;

(22) Public Law 112-81, “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012,” December 31, 2011; and

(23) Public Law 114-92, “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016”, November 25, 2015.

3. Amend § 103.2 by: a. In paragraph (b), removing “medical” and adding in its place “healthcare.” b. Revising paragraph (c). c. In paragraph (d) introductory text, removing the first occurrence of “medical” and adding in its place “healthcare (medical and mental),” and removing the two other occurrences in the third and fourth sentences of “medical” and adding in their place “healthcare.” d. Redesignating paragraph (f) as (g), and adding new paragraph (f).

The revision and addition read as follows:

§ 103.2 Applicability.

(c) Military dependents 18 years of age and older who are eligible for treatment in the military healthcare system, at installations in the continental United States and outside of the continental United States (OCONUS), and who were victims of sexual assault perpetrated by someone other than a spouse or intimate partner.

(f) Does not apply to victims of sexual assault perpetrated by a spouse or intimate partner, or military dependents under the age of 18 who are sexually assaulted. The Family Advocacy Program (FAP), as described in DoDI 6400.06, provides the full range of services to victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence, and to military dependents under the age of 18 who are sexually assaulted.

4. Amend § 103.3 by: a. Revising the definition of “Consent.” b. Adding the definitions of “Family Advocacy Program (FAP),” “Healthcare,” and “Healthcare provider” in alphabetical order. c. In the definition of “Official investigative process,” removing “commander or.” d. Revising the definition of “Restricted reporting.” e. Adding the definition of “Special Victims' Counsel (SVC)” in alphabetical order. f. In the definition of “Victim,” removing “Program” and adding in its place “Option” in the second sentence. g. Adding the definition of “Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC)” in alphabetical order.

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 103.3 Definitions.

Consent. A freely given agreement to the conduct at issue by a competent person. An expression of lack of consent through words or conduct means there is no consent. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear does not constitute consent. A current or previous dating or social or sexual relationship by itself or the manner of dress of the person involved with the accused in the conduct at issue shall not constitute consent. A sleeping, unconscious, or incompetent person cannot consent.

Family Advocacy Program (FAP). A DoD program designated to address child abuse and domestic abuse in military families in cooperation with civilian social service agencies and military and civilian law enforcement agencies. Prevention, advocacy, and intervention services are provided to individuals who are eligible for treatment in military medical treatment facilities.

Healthcare. Medical (physical) and mental health care.

Healthcare provider. Those individuals who are employed or assigned as healthcare professionals, or are credentialed to provide healthcare services at a medical treatment facility (MTF), or who provide such care at a deployed location or otherwise in an official capacity. This also includes military personnel, DoD civilian employees, and DoD contractors who provide healthcare at an occupational health clinic for DoD civilian employees or DoD contractor personnel. Healthcare providers may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Licensed physicians practicing in the military healthcare system (MHS) with clinical privileges in obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, urology, general medical officer, undersea medical officer, flight surgeon, psychiatrists, or those having clinical privileges to perform pelvic examinations or treat mental health conditions.

(2) Licensed advanced practice registered nurses practicing in the MHS with clinical privileges in adult health, family health, midwifery, women's health, mental health, or those having clinical privileges to perform pelvic examinations.

(3) Licensed physician assistants practicing in the MHS with clinical privileges in adult, family, women's health, or those having clinical privileges to perform pelvic examinations.

(4) Licensed registered nurses practicing in the MHS who meet the requirements for performing a SAFE as determined by the local privileging authority. This additional capability shall be noted as a competency, not as a credential or privilege.

(5) A psychologist, social worker or psychotherapist licensed and privileged to provide mental health care or other counseling services in a DoD or DoD-sponsored facility.

Restricted reporting. Reporting option that allows sexual assault victims to confidentially disclose the assault to specified individuals (i.e., SARC, SAPR VA, or healthcare personnel), in accordance with 32 CFR 105.3 and 105.8, and receive medical treatment, including emergency care, counseling, and assignment of a SARC and SAPR VA, without triggering an official investigation. The victim's report provided to healthcare personnel (including the information acquired from a SAFE Kit), SARC's, or SAPR VAs at DoD installations will not be reported to law enforcement or to the command to initiate the official investigative process unless the victim consents to such reporting or an established exception applies in accordance with DoDI 6495.02 or as provided for in 32 CFR part 105. The Restricted Reporting Program applies to Service Members and their adult military dependent 18 years of age and older.

Special Victims' Counsel (SVC). Attorneys who are assigned to provide legal assistance in accordance with section 1716 of Public Law 113-66 and Service regulations. The Air Force, Army, National Guard, and Coast Guard refer to these attorneys as SVC. The Navy and Marine Corps refer to these attorneys as VLC.

Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC). Attorneys who are assigned to provide legal assistance in accordance with section 1716 of Public Law 113-66 and Service regulations. The Air Force, Army, National Guard, and Coast Guard refer to these attorneys as SVC. The Navy and Marine Corps refer to these attorneys as VLC.

5. Amend § 103.4 by: a. In paragraph (i), removing “comprehensive medical treatment” and adding in its place “comprehensive healthcare (medical and mental health) treatment.” b. In paragraph (j), removing “medical” and adding in its place “health” in the first sentence. c. In paragraph (k) introductory text, removing “Complete,” at the beginning of the second sentence. d. In paragraph (k)(1): i. Removing “medical treatment” and adding in its place “healthcare” in the first sentence. ii. Removing “medical” and adding in its place “health” in the second sentence. e. In paragraph (k)(2) introductory text: i. Removing “medical” and adding in its place “healthcare” in the first sentence. ii. Adding “, state laws, or federal regulations” at the end of second sentence. iii. Removing “medical care” and adding in its place “healthcare” in the last sentence. f. In paragraph (k)(2)(i), removing “Program” and adding in its place “option” in the first sentence. g. In paragraph (k)(2)(ii), removing “complete” in the fourth sentence. h. In paragraph (k)(2)(v), revising the third sentence. i. Adding paragraph (n).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 103.4 Policy.

(k) * * *

(2) * * *

(v) * * * Improper disclosure of confidential communications protected under Restricted Reporting, improper release of healthcare information, and other violations of this policy or other laws and regulations are prohibited and may result in discipline pursuant to the UCMJ, or other adverse personnel or administrative actions.

(n) Victims must be informed of the availability of legal assistance and the right to consult with a Special Victims' Counsel (SVC)/Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC) in accordance with section 1716 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Pub. L. 113-66).

6. Amend § 103.5 by: a. In paragraph (a)(1), adding “, and the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps” after “Military Departments.” b. Revising paragraph (a)(6) introductory text. c. In paragraph (a)(6)(i), adding “, and the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps” after “Military Departments.” d. In paragraph (a)(6)(iii), adding “, and the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps” after “Military Departments.” e. Adding paragraph (a)(6)(vi). f. Revising paragraph (f)(5). g. In paragraph (f)(6), removing “medical treatment” and adding in its place “healthcare.” h. Revising paragraph (f)(12). i. In paragraph (f)(16), adding “the requirements in” after “accordance with.” j. Redesignating paragraphs (f)(17) through (19) as (f)(18) through (20), and adding a new paragraph (f)(17). k. Redesignating paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) as (h), (i), and (j), and adding a new paragraph (g). l. In newly redesignated paragraph (i)(2), removing “medical” and adding in its place “healthcare.” m. In newly redesignated paragraph (i)(5), removing “medical treatment” and adding in its place “that healthcare.” n. Adding paragraph (i)(12).

The revisions and additions read as follows:

§ 103.5 Responsibilities.

(a) * * *

(6) Oversee the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO). Serving as the DoD single point of authority, accountability, and oversight for the SAPR program, SAPRO provides recommendations to the USD(P&R) on the issue of DoD sexual assault policy matters on prevention, response, and oversight. The SAPRO Director will be appointed from among general or flag officers of the Military Services or DoD employees in a comparable Senior Executive Service position in accordance with Public Law 112-81 . The SAPRO Director is responsible for:

(vi) Overseeing development of strategic program guidance and joint planning objectives for resources in support of the SAPR Program, and making recommendations on modifications to policy, law, and regulations needed to ensure the continuing availability of such resources (Pub. L. 113-66).

(f) * * *

(5) Align Service prevention strategies with the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention Strategy.

(12) Submit required data to DSAID. Require confirmation that a multi-disciplinary case management group (CMG) tracks each open Unrestricted Report, is chaired by the installation commander (or the deputy installation commander), and that CMG meetings are held monthly for reviewing all Unrestricted Reports of sexual assaults in accordance with DoD Instruction 6495.02.

(17) Require the installation SARC and the installation FAP staff to coordinate together when a sexual assault occurs as a result of domestic abuse or domestic violence or involves child abuse to ensure the victim is directed to FAP.

(g) On behalf and with the approval of the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force, and in coordination with DoD SAPRO and the State Adjutants General, the Chief, NGB establishes and implements SAPR policy and procedures for National Guard members on duty pursuant to Title 32, U.S.C.

(i) * * *

(12) Establish guidance for when an Expedited Transfer has been requested in accordance with DoD Instruction 6495.02.

Dated: September 7, 2016. Patricia L. Toppings, OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 2016-21875 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0509; FRL-9952-97-OAR] Extension of Deadline for Action on the August 2016 Section 126 Petition From Delaware AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

In this action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is determining that 60 days is insufficient time to complete the technical and other analyses and public notice-and-comment process required for our review of a petition submitted by the state of Delaware pursuant to section 126 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The petition requests that the EPA make a finding that Harrison Power Station, located near Haywood, Harrison County, West Virginia, emits air pollution that significantly contributes to nonattainment and interferes with maintenance of the 2008 and 2015 ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in the state of Delaware. Under section 307(d)(10) of CAA, the EPA is authorized to grant a time extension for responding to a petition if the EPA determines that the extension is necessary to afford the public, and the agency, adequate opportunity to carry out the purposes of the section 307(d) notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements. By this action, the EPA is making that determination. The EPA is therefore extending the deadline for acting on the petition to no later than April 7, 2017.

DATES:

This final rule is effective on September 27, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0509. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

This is a procedural action to extend the deadline for the EPA to respond to a petition from the state of Delaware filed pursuant to CAA section 126(b). The EPA received the petition on August 8, 2016. The petition requests that the EPA make a finding under section 126(b) of the CAA that the Harrison Power Station, located near Haywood, Harrison County, West Virginia, is operating in a manner that emits air pollutants in violation of the provisions of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA with respect to the 2008 and 2015 ozone NAAQS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II. Final Rule A. Rule

In accordance with CAA section 307(d)(10), the EPA is determining that the 60-day period afforded by CAA section 126(b) for responding to the petition from the state of Delaware is not adequate to allow the public and the agency the opportunity to carry out the purposes of CAA section 307(d). Specifically, the 60-day period is insufficient for the EPA to complete the necessary technical review, develop an adequate proposal, and allow time for notice and comment, including an opportunity for public hearing, on a proposed finding regarding whether the Harrison Power Plant identified in the CAA section 126 petition contributes significantly to nonattainment or interferes with maintenance of the 2008 ozone NAAQS or the 2015 ozone NAAQS in Delaware. Moreover, the 60-day period is insufficient for the EPA to review and develop response to any public comments on a proposed finding, or testimony supplied at a public hearing, and to develop and promulgate a final finding in response to the petition. The EPA is in the process of determining an appropriate schedule for action on the CAA section 126 petition. This schedule must afford the EPA adequate time to prepare a proposal that clearly elucidates the issues to facilitate public comment, and must provide adequate time for the public to comment and for the EPA to review and develop responses to those comments prior to issuing the final rule. As a result of this extension, the deadline for the EPA to act on the petition is April 7, 2017.

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

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

C. Effective Date Under the APA

This action is effective on September 27, 2016. Under the APA, 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), agency rulemaking may take effect before 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register if the agency has good cause to mandate an earlier effective date. This action—a deadline extension—must take effect immediately because its purpose is to extend by 6 months the deadline for action on the petition. As discussed earlier, the EPA intends to use the 6-month extension period to develop a proposal on the petition and provide time for public comment before issuing the final rule. It would not be possible for the EPA to complete the required notice and comment and public hearing process within the original 60-day period noted in the statute. These reasons support an immediate effective date.

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

This action is exempt from review by the Office of Management and Budget because it simply extends the date for the EPA to take action on a petition.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

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

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

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

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

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

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

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

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

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

IV. Statutory Authority

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

V. Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, judicial review of this final rule is available only by the filing of a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 28, 2016. Under section 307(b)(2) of the CAA, the requirements that are the subject of this final rule may not be challenged later in civil or criminal proceedings brought by us to enforce these requirements.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

Dated: September 19, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2016-23155 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 8 RIN 0930-AA22 Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements AGENCY:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule outlines annual reporting requirements for practitioners who are authorized to treat up to 275 patients with covered medications in an office-based setting. This final rule will require practitioners to provide information on their annual caseload of patients by month, the number of patients provided behavioral health services and referred to behavioral health services, and the features of the practitioner's diversion control plan. These reporting requirements will help the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ensure compliance with the requirements of the final rule, “Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders,” published in the Federal Register on July 8, 2016.

DATES:

Effective Date: This final rule is effective on October 27, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jinhee Lee, Pharm.D., Public Health Advisor, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 240-276-2700

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access

This Federal Register document is also available from the Federal Register online database through Federal Digital System (FDsys), a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office. This database can be accessed via the Internet at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys.

I. Background

On July 8, 2016, HHS issued a final rule entitled “Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders” in the Federal Register (81 FR 44712). That final rule increases access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with covered medications,1 in an office-based setting, by allowing eligible physicians to request approval to treat up to 275 patients if certain conditions are met. The final rule also includes requirements to help ensure that patients receive the full array of services that comprise evidence-based MAT and minimize the risk that the medications provided for treatment are misused or diverted. HHS issued a supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) along with the final rule, which included reporting requirements for practitioners who increase their patient limit to 275.

1 Covered medications means the drugs or combination of drugs that are covered under 21 U.S.C. 823(g)(2)(C).

A. Regulatory History

On March 30, 2016, HHS issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, “Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.” On July 8, 2016, HHS issued a final rule which finalized the regulation with the exception of sections relating to the requirement to provide reports to SAMHSA (§ 8.630(b)) and the reporting requirements (§ 8.635). Also on July 8, 2016, HHS published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) in the Federal Register which proposed reporting requirements for practitioners whose Request for Patient Limit Increase is approved under Section 8.625. The purpose of the reporting requirements is to help HHS assess practitioner compliance with the additional responsibilities of practitioners who are authorized to treat up to the highest patient limit, as outlined in the final rule, “Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.” Reporting is an integral component of HHS's approach to increase access to MAT while helping to ensure that patients receive the full array of services that comprise evidence-based MAT and minimize the risk that the medications provided for treatment are misused or diverted.

The comment period for the SNPRM ended on August 8, 2016. HHS received 37 comments electronically and nine additional comments from a public listening session which was held on August 2, 2016. Additionally, HHS received 27 comments about the reporting requirements during the comment period for the Medication Assisted Treatment Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued in March 2016. Comments primarily came from individuals who currently prescribe covered medications and national organizations representing practitioners and public health agencies. HHS also received several comments during conversations with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs and incorporated this feedback into this final rule.

B. Overview of Final Rule

This final rule adopts the same basic structure and framework as the supplemental proposed rule. Subpart F, Section 8.635 describes what the reporting requirements are for practitioners whose Request for Patient Limit Increase application is approved.

HHS has made some changes to the proposed reporting requirements based on the comments we received with respect to the SNPRM. HHS has also updated Section 8.630 by adding the requirement proposed in the NPRM that practitioners need to provide reports to SAMHSA as specified in Section 8.635 to maintain their approval to treat up to 275 patients.

HHS has responded to the comments received in response to the March 2016 NPRM and this SNPRM, and provided an explanation of each of the changes made to the proposed rule in the preamble.

II. Provisions of the Proposed Rule and Analysis and Reponses to Public Comments A. General Comments

HHS received numerous comments providing support for the proposed reporting requirements. Commenters stated that the requirements would be particularly valuable in minimizing diversion and improving access to and quality of care. However, other commenters expressed concerns that the reporting requirements were too burdensome and would limit the number of practitioners who apply for the increased patient limit, particularly for individual practitioners or small group practices. Others expressed that the reporting requirements should be consistent for all practitioners prescribing buprenorphine for MAT. Some commenters also stated that there was no evidence that the reporting requirements would improve the quality of patient care or minimize misuse or diversion. Other commenters noted that other areas of medicine do not have reporting requirements.

HHS has modified the reporting requirements in response to the comments. Given the importance of ensuring practitioners comply with the Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Disorders requirements while minimizing their reporting burden, we believe that the updated reporting requirements as outlined in §  8.635 and further specified in report form instructions to be issued after finalization of this rule, strike the appropriate balance. Additional detail regarding these reporting requirements will be provided in the practitioner reporting form which will be available for public comment shortly after finalization of this rule.

HHS also received a variety of comments related to the issue of MAT that did not specifically relate to the SNPRM but generally fell into five main categories. The categories and comments are described below.

Need for Clarification

Comment: HHS received a comment requesting clarification on how the information collected will be used.

Response: The information collected through these reporting requirements will enable HHS to assess compliance with the requirements of 42 CFR part 8, subpart F.

Comment: HHS received a comment requesting clarification on how to calculate the numbers for each reporting requirement.

Response: Guidance on how to calculate the numbers for each reporting requirement will be issued by HHS.

Comment: HHS received a comment requesting clarification on whether the requirements apply to all practitioners approved for the higher limit, or only those who qualify with the qualified practice setting criteria.

Response: The reporting requirements apply to all practitioners who are approved for the higher patient limit of 275.

Comment: HHS received a comment requesting clarification about what, if any, supporting data and documentation will be required along with the annual report.

Response: Practitioners may be required to submit supporting data and documentation along with the annual report. Future guidance will be provided for more information.

Comment: HHS received a comment asking whether there are specific benchmarks practitioners are required to meet when they report percentages.

Response: HHS is not requiring practitioners to meet specific benchmarks.

Comment: HHS received a comment inquiring about the implications of 42 CFR part 2, and how information obtained through the reporting requirements will be used if patients do not provide consent to use their information.

Response: 42 CFR part 2 protects the identity of individuals as substance use disorder patients and prohibits the disclosure of any information that would identify an individual as a substance use disorder patient. The reporting requirements do not seek patient identifying information; therefore, the requirements are not in conflict with the restrictions of 42 CFR part 2.

Final Rule To Increase Patient Limit

HHS received several comments regarding the final rule, “Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders,” published in the Federal Register on July 8, 2016. One commenter stated that the highest patient limit should be higher than 275. Another commenter recommended that there be no additional requirements associated with increasing the patient limit from 100 to 275. Other commenters expressed concerns that the final rule does not require practitioners to ensure patients receive the full array of services, prevent diversion, or follow nationally recognized evidence-based guidelines. An additional commenter recommended that SAMHSA audit practitioners to ensure that they are in compliance with the rule. A final commenter requested clarification regarding whether hospitalists who work in an acute inpatient hospital facility are eligible for the higher patient limit because they do not track patients after they are discharged.

Response: Comments related to the final rule, Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders, that do not directly relate to the proposed reporting requirements which were the subject of the SNPRM, are outside the scope of this final rule and will not be addressed in this preamble.

Access to Buprenorphine

HHS received several comments pertaining to access to buprenorphine. One comment expressed concerns about the impact of workforce shortages on access, and another commenter stated that clinical pharmacists should be allowed to prescribe buprenorphine, which would increase access. An additional commenter recommended that HHS work with stakeholders to explore mechanisms to address systemic barriers.

Response: These comments do not relate to the reporting requirements under 42 CFR part 8, subpart F, and therefore, will not be addressed in this preamble.

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016

Comments: HHS received a small number of comments about the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA). One commenter asked whether physician assistants and nurse practitioners are required to report quality and patient outcomes data. Another commenter requested additional information on training requirements.

Response: Comments related to CARA do not relate to the reporting requirements, and therefore, will not be addressed in this preamble.

Other Comments

Comments: HHS received a number of comments that did not relate to reporting requirements, including a comment about the impact of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEAs) narcotic prescribing guidelines on the rights of people living with chronic pain, a comment about the impact of negative perceptions on individuals who receive MAT, a comment about the importance of ensuring that Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) patients receive behavioral support services, a comment that the proposed reporting requirements would also be beneficial for those practitioners who are not seeking the higher patient limit increase but treat individuals with opioid use disorders, a comment to combine the existing opioid treatment program reporting requirements with those stated in this final rule, and a comment about the importance of coordination across HHS.

Response: These comments do not relate to the reporting requirements, and therefore, will not be addressed in this preamble.

B. Subpart F

The average monthly caseload of patients receiving buprenorphine-based MAT, per year.

Comments: HHS received a comment recommending that the first proposed reporting requirement, “The average monthly caseload of patients receiving buprenorphine-based MAT, per year” be replaced with the following two questions: “(1) For the final 3 months of the reporting year, what was the average monthly caseload of patients receiving buprenorphine-based MAT? and (2) Are you currently accepting new opioid use disorder patients requiring MAT?”

An additional commenter recommended that HHS collect the following baseline data points: Total number of patients admitted that year, total number of patients carried over from the previous year, and total number of patients discharged.

Response: HHS recognized that asking practitioners to calculate and report averages could be burdensome and has, therefore, changed this reporting requirement. The revised text now asks practitioners to report annual caseloads of patients by month. By seeking information on the annual caseload of patients by month, HHS believes this updated reporting requirement, as further elaborated upon in the proposed report form instructions, will strike the appropriate balance between collecting valuable information needed to assess compliance with the rule and avoiding undue burden to practitioners.

Summary of Regulatory Changes

For the reasons set forth in the proposed rule and considering the comments received, HHS replaced this reporting requirement with one that asks the practitioner to report annual caseload of patients by month.

Percentage of active buprenorphine patients (patients in treatment as of reporting date) that received psychosocial or case management services (either by direct provision or by referral) in the past year due to: (1) Treatment initiation and (2) Change in clinical status.

Comments: HHS received numerous comments about the second proposed reporting requirement, “Percentage of active buprenorphine patients (patients in treatment as of reporting date) that received psychosocial or case management services (either by direct provision or by referral) in the past year due to: (1) Treatment initiation and (2) Change in clinical status.” One commenter requested clarification on how psychosocial and case management services are defined and another commenter requested clarification on how clinical status is defined. Another commenter stated that psychosocial or case management services are not required or normative according to the evidence base. Another commenter expressed concerns that this reporting requirement will require patients to receive behavioral health services, but many will be unable to do so and will, therefore, refuse treatment. An additional commenter stated that this proposed requirement is irrelevant because so many patients receive services from a 12-step program.

Commenters provided several suggestions for alternative reporting requirements about psychosocial and case management services. One commenter suggested that practitioners be required to report the percentage of patients who had one hour of counseling in the past month. Another commenter recommended that the reporting requirement be divided into two separate measures: “(1) The number referred to psychosocial or case management services, and (2) the number who actually received psychosocial or case management services.” An additional commenter recommended that the proposed reporting requirement be replaced with the following two questions: “(1) The percentage of patients receiving psychosocial counseling and/or other appropriate support services; and (2) The percentage of patients receiving case management services.” Another commenter recommended that the proposed reporting requirement be replaced with: “(1) The number of patients who were provided psychosocial or case management services at the same location as the practitioner, and how frequently those patients utilized the services; and (2) the number of patients the practitioner referred for psychosocial or case management services at a different location.” An additional commenter recommended that practitioners be required to report on the number of patients who were provided counseling services at the same location as the practitioner and how frequently those patients utilized the counseling services. One commenter also recommended that practitioners be required to provide information on the frequency, location, and type of psychosocial services provided. Another commenter recommended that practitioners be required to report whether the referral was to a more intensive or less intensive level of care. Finally, one commenter recommended HHS collect data on referrals and behavioral health service provision using a six-point Likert scale.

Response: This reporting requirement has been revised and now asks the practitioner to report on the number of patients provided behavioral health services and referred to behavioral health services. By seeking information on the number of patients that were provided services and referred for behavioral health services, HHS believes this updated reporting requirement, as further elaborated upon in the report form instructions, will strike the appropriate balance between collecting valuable information needed to assess compliance with the rule and avoiding undue burden to practitioners.

Summary of Regulatory Changes

For the reasons set forth in the proposed rule and considering the comments received, HHS replaced the second reporting requirement with one that requires the practitioner to report on the number of patients provided behavioral health services and referred to behavioral health services.

Percentage of patients who had a prescription drug monitoring program query in the past month.

Comments: HHS received several comments about the proposed reporting requirement, “Percentage of patients who had a PDMP query in the past month.” One commenter stated that this data would not be informative because his practice conducts these queries for all patients. This commenter also stated that the state PDMP should provide this information instead. Another commenter suggested that the PDMP query should take place quarterly. An additional commenter stated that HHS should identify a way to collect similar data in Missouri, which does not have a PDMP. One commenter recommended that practitioners also be asked about the number of patients who had a PDMP query before the prescriptions were filled.

Another commenter stated that practitioners receive alerts from local pharmacies and the State if a patient receiving buprenorphine attempts to fill another opioid prescription by any practitioner, and asked whether this information could be used as a response for this reporting requirement. The commenter noted that they do not routinely run PDMP data on patients receiving buprenorphine, but do query PDMP data for every controlled substance refilled by phone.

HHS also received several comments focused more broadly on diversion control. One commenter recommended that SAMHSA provide guidelines for practitioners to develop diversion control plans. Another commenter suggested that HHS require practitioners with a waiver under DATA 2000 to participate in PDMPs. Several commenters also recommended that HHS ask about the number of patients who received urine drug screens, the results of drug screens, and the number of patients who received call-backs for pill counts. Several commenters noted that not every practitioner has access to a PDMP and encouraged HHS to use language that would apply in those situations. Finally, one commenter recommended that HHS ask about PDMP use and drug-use monitoring screening tests using a six-point Likert scale.

Response: The intention of including PDMP queries was to assess a practitioner's compliance with the rule's requirements related to a diversion control plan. In light of the comments received, which focused more broadly on various aspects of diversion control, HHS determined that the best way to satisfy the intent of the proposal and assess compliance is to seek information about the features of the practitioner's diversion control plan, as required in § 8.620, more generally.

Summary of Regulatory Changes

For the reasons set forth in the proposed rule and considering the comments received, HHS modified the third reporting requirement to require the practitioner to report on the features of his or her diversion control plan.

Number of patients at the end of the reporting year who: (1) Have completed an appropriate course of treatment with buprenorphine in order for the patient to achieve and sustain recovery; (2) Are not being seen by the practitioner due to referral by the practitioner to a more or less intensive level of care; (3) No longer desire to continue use of buprenorphine; and (4) Are no longer receiving buprenorphine for reasons other than 1-3.

Comments: HHS received numerous comments about the proposed reporting requirement, “Number of patients at the end of the reporting year who: (1) Have completed an appropriate course of treatment with buprenorphine in order for the patient to achieve and sustain recovery; (2) Are not being seen by the practitioner due to referral by the practitioner to a more or less intensive level of care; (3) No longer desire to continue use of buprenorphine; and (4) Are no longer receiving buprenorphine for reasons other than 1-3.” A large number of commenters expressed concern with the first item, noting that it suggests that buprenorphine treatment is temporary and/or that individuals who receive it are not in recovery. One commenter expressed concern with the third and fourth item, noting that it is difficult to differentiate between these two subsets of patients. Some commenters expressed that it is difficult to determine what number of patients “sustain recovery” and that SAMHSA should provide guidance on what constitutes an appropriate course of treatment. Another commenter stated that a practitioner is unable to control whether a patient follows through on a referral.

Other commenters recommended alternative questions to ask for this proposed reporting requirement, including: The percentage of patients who are prescribed an average dose of 16 mg or less; the percentage of patients who left treatment because the practitioner terminated treatment due to non-compliance; patient mortality rates; the number of patients who left treatment because of the financial cost of treatment; and the number of patients who left treatment to receive treatment in an either higher or lower intensity setting or were deemed successful.

Another commenter stated that the data collected in this reporting requirement should not include those lost to follow-up or relapse. Finally, an additional commenter stated that some patients at the commenter's facility graduate from treatment and only use counselors as needed. The commenter stressed that these patients should not be counted as patients not receiving treatment.

Response: HHS determined that the proposed requirement will be too burdensome for practitioners. Therefore, HHS is not including this reporting requirement in Subpart F.

Additional Reporting Requirements

Comments: HHS received several comments recommending additional reporting requirements for practitioners. One commenter recommended that the reporting requirements focus on quality measures rather than process measures. Another commenter recommended that HHS create a core set of requirements that practitioners attest to on an annual basis, which could include both quality and process measures.

Other commenters recommended HHS collect data on: The amount of buprenorphine that patients receive; the number of times they receive buprenorphine; the number of active patients for whom third party reimbursement was provided; patient mortality rates; frequency of patient visits; and the percentage of prescriptions written for less than 30 days, 30-59 days, 60-89 days, and 90 days or more.

Response: Because HHS aims to strike the appropriate balance between collecting valuable information to assess compliance with Subpart F and minimizing the burden on practitioners, these proposed reporting requirements will not be added. HHS believes that the requirements included in this final rule are sufficient to ensure compliance with the assurances to which the practitioner attests to in the Request for Patient Limit Increase.

Alternative Ways To Meet and Provide Reporting Requirements

Comments: HHS received a number of comments proposing alternative ways to collect data from practitioners. One commenter suggested that HHS obtain information by adding questions about psychosocial treatment to DEA's questions as an alternative to the proposed reporting requirements. Another commenter stated that the DEA audit program should be sufficient to ensure compliance. Other commenters suggested that data could be obtained from the state PDMP, from electronic medical record systems, or from insurance claims data. Finally one commenter recommended HHS incorporate these reporting requirements into the set of measures associated with financial incentives under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new Medicare Incentive Payment System's program.

Response: The proposed alternative ways to collect data from practitioners will not generate all of the information HHS is seeking through the proposed reporting requirements. Therefore, HHS will not collect the data using any of these approaches.

Comments: HHS received several comments recommending that there be an electronic form through which practitioners can submit the required data.

Response: HHS will explore developing a form that can be submitted electronically through which practitioners can submit the required data.

Comments: HHS received several comments recommending HHS convene an expert panel to review and re-evaluate the reporting requirements either prior to adoption or after the first reporting period.

Response: HHS received numerous public comments regarding the reporting requirements during the comment period for the Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders NPRM (published in March 2016), and during the comment period for the reporting requirements proposed in the SNPRM (published in July 2016). These comments were received from a variety of stakeholders, including experts in the field. Therefore, HHS does not believe that convening an expert panel is necessary to ensure that the reporting requirements are appropriate.

Comment: HHS received a comment recommending that reporting requirements be voluntary.

Response: HHS believes that making these requirements voluntary would dramatically compromise the quality and amount of data received. Therefore, HHS will make these requirements mandatory in order to ensure that HHS is able to assess compliance with the requirements of 42 CFR part 8, subpart F.

Comment: HHS received a comment recommending using the reporting requirement information to determine whether practitioners with the 100-patient waiver should be able to increase their patient limit to 275.

Response: Practitioners who are subject to the 100-patient limit are not required to report data.

Comments: HHS received comments recommending collecting reporting data from practitioners more than once per year.

Response: HHS believes that requiring practitioners to submit data more than once per year would be unduly burdensome.

III. Collection of Information Requirements

The SNPRM called for new collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The final rule calls for much of the same collections of information as the SNPRM. As defined in implementing regulations, “collection of information” comprises reporting, recordkeeping, monitoring, posting, labeling, and other similar actions. In this section, HHS first identifies and describes the types of information waivered practitioners must collect and report and then HHS provides an estimate of the total annual burden. The estimate covers the employees' time for reviewing and posting the collections required.

Title: Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements.

Reporting, 42 CFR 8.635: Reporting will be required annually to assess compliance with the requirements of 42 CFR part 8, subpart F. Reporting requirements will include a request for information regarding: (1) Annual caseload of patients by month; (2) number of patients provided behavioral health services and referred to behavioral health services; and (3) features of the practitioner's diversion control plan. These requirements will be further specified in the report form instructions to be issued after finalization of this rule.

Annual burden estimates for these requirements are summarized in the following table:

42 CFR
  • citation
  • Purpose of submission Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses/
  • respondent
  • Burden/
  • response
  • (hr.)
  • Total burden (hrs.) Hourly wage cost
  • ($)
  • Total wage cost
  • ($)
  • 8.635 Annual Report 1,350 1 3 4,050 $64.47 $261,104

    Comment: HHS received a comment stating that the estimated burden of three hours per year is inaccurate.

    Response: While the commenter stated that the estimated burden of three hours per year is inaccurate, the commenter did not provide evidence to support their claim. As a result, HHS retains the original estimate of three hours per year. More information on this estimate can be found below in the Regulatory Impact Analysis.

    IV. Regulatory Impact Analysis

    HHS has examined the impact of this final rule under 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 of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354, September 19, 1980), the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, March 22, 1995), and Executive Order 13132 on Federalism (August 4, 1999). HHS has determined that this final rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866, and will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although the reporting requirements have changed since the proposed rule, they have not done so in a way that would alter their estimated impact. As described below, the estimated costs associated with this final rule are below one million dollars each year, and the estimated per-practitioner burden is three hours annually, supporting the conclusion that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Under this final rule practitioners approved to treat up to 275 patients will have to submit information about their practice annually to SAMHSA for purposes of monitoring regulatory compliance. The goal of the reporting requirement is to ensure that practitioners are providing buprenorphine treatment in compliance with the final rule Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders (81 FR 44711). It is anticipated that the data for the reporting requirement can be pulled directly from an electronic or paper health record, and that practitioners will not have to update their record-keeping practices after receiving approval to treat up to 275 patients. We estimate that compiling and submitting the report would require approximately 1 hour of physician time and 2 hours of administrative time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average medical and health services manager's hourly pay in 2014 was $49.84, and the average hourly wage for a physician was $93.74. After adjusting upward by 100 percent to account for overhead and benefits, these wages correspond to a cost of $99.68 and $187.48 per hour, respectively. The cost of this reporting requirement per practitioner approved for the 275-patient limit is estimated to be the cost of 1 hour of a practitioner's time plus 2 hours of an administrator's time.

    As noted above, using the mid-point estimate, we estimate that 1,150 practitioners will request approval for the 275-patient limit in year 1 and 200 practitioners will request a 275-patient waiver in subsequent years. We assume that all of these requests will be approved. The costs associated with this reporting requirement are reported below. In addition, it is estimated that SAMHSA will incur a cost of $100 per practitioner approved for the 275-patient limit to process the practitioner data reporting requirement. These costs are reported below as well.

    We assume DEA will not incur additional costs in association with this final rule as DEA will incorporate site visits for practitioners with the 275-patient limit into their regular site visit schedule.

    Number of
  • physician reports
  • Physician costs SAMHSA costs
    Year 1 1,150 $445,000 $115,000 Year 2 1,350 522,000 135,000 Year 3 1,550 600,000 155,000 Year 4 1,750 677,000 175,000 Year 5 1,950 754,000 195,000
    List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 8

    Health professions, Methadone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, HHS amends 42 CFR part 8 as follows:

    PART 8—MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT FOR OPIOID USE DISORDERS 1. The authority citation for part 8 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 823; 42 U.S.C. 257a, 290bb-2a, 290aa(d), 290dd-2, 300x-23, 300x-27(a), 300y-11.

    2. Amend § 8.630 by adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 8.630 What must practitioners do in order to maintain their approval to treat up to 275 patients?

    (b) All practitioners whose Request for Patient Limit Increase has been approved under §  8.625 must provide reports to SAMHSA as specified in §  8.635.

    3. Add § 8.635 to read as follows:
    § 8.635 What are the reporting requirements for practitioners whose Request for Patient Limit Increase is approved?

    (a) General. All practitioners whose Request for Patient Limit Increase is approved under §  8.625 must submit to SAMHSA annually a report along with documentation and data, as requested by SAMHSA, to demonstrate compliance with applicable provisions in §§  8.610, 8.620, and 8.630.

    (b) Schedule. The report must be submitted within 30 days following the anniversary date of a practitioner's Request for Patient Limit Increase approval under § 8.625, and during this period on an annual basis thereafter or on another annual schedule as determined by SAMHSA.

    (c) Content of the Annual Report. The report shall include information concerning the following, as further detailed in report form instructions issued by the Secretary:

    (1) The annual caseload of patients by month.

    (2) Numbers of patients provided behavioral health services and referred to behavioral health services.

    (3) Features of the practitioner's diversion control plan.

    (d) Discrepancies. SAMHSA may check reports from practitioners prescribing under the higher patient limit against other data sources to the extent allowable under applicable law. If discrepancies between reported information and other data are identified, SAMHSA may require additional documentation from the practitioner.

    (e) Noncompliance. Failure to submit reports under this section, or deficient reports, may be deemed a failure to satisfy the requirements for a patient limit increase, and may result in the withdrawal of SAMHSA's approval of the practitioner's Request for Patient Limit Increase.

    Dated: September 21, 2016. Kana Enomoto, Principal Deputy Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Approved: September 22, 2016. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23277 Filed 9-23-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 151130999-682603] RIN 0648-XE336 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; 2016-2018 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This action corrects the recreational harvest limit value published in the 2016-2018 Atlantic bluefish specifications final rule, which is effective August 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018. This action is necessary and intended to ensure the correct 2016-2018 bluefish recreational harvest limit values are provided to the public.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective September 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Information on the August 4, 2016, final rule (81 FR 51370), which includes an Environmental Assessment and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (EA/IRFA) and other supporting documents for the specifications, are available via the Internet at www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9112.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The August 4, 2016, final rule (81 FR 51370) set catch limit specifications (i.e., commercial and recreational fishery quotas) for the 2016-2018 Atlantic bluefish fishery, and is effective August 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018. As part of that final rule, consistent with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) specification setting process, specific recreational harvest limits were derived and provided to the public.

    Classification

    The Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries, NOAA, finds that pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice and comment are unnecessary and would be contrary to the public interest. This correcting amendment implements regulations as recommended by the Council and as described in the preambles to the harvest specification and management measures proposed rule (81 FR 18559, March 31, 2016) and final rule (81 FR 51370, August 4, 2016). The derivation process was correctly described in the proposed and final rules; however, the recreational harvest limit (RHL) was inadvertently published incorrectly at page 51371 of the final rule in “Table 1, Final 2016-1018 Bluefish Specifications.” There would be no value in soliciting further comment on the corrected value in this rule, as the public has already had opportunity to review and comment on the process used to derive the RHL. It would be contrary to the public interest to delay implementation of the correction in this rule, because it will cause public confusion. For the reasons above, the AA also finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness and makes this rule effective immediately upon publication.

    Need for Correction

    The August 4, 2016, final rule outlined the calculations for the final specifications in a table, but one line of the table was inadvertently incorrectly updated when the most up to date recreational landings data for 2015 became available during the final processing stage of the rule. The table titled “Final 2016-2018 Bluefish Specifications”, as published on page 51371 of the final rule incorrectly indicated in the last row that the recreational harvest limit (RHL) was 13,158,843 lb (1,500 mt) for 2016; 14,143,295 lb (6,414 mt) for 2017; and 15,116,768 lb (6,857 mt) for 2018. The corrected RHL for all three years is 11,581,548 lb (5,253 mt).

    Correction

    On page 51371 of the August 4, 2016, final rule (81 FR 51370), table 1 is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 1—Corrected Final 2016-2018 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications 2016 lb mt 2017 lb mt 2018 lb mt OFL 25,763,220 11,686 26,444,448 11,995 27,972,252 12,688 ABC 19,455,796 8,825 20,641,883 9,363 21,814,742 9,895 ACL 19,455,796 8,825 20,641,883 9,363 21,814,742 9,895 Management Uncertainty 0 0 0 0 0 0 Commercial ACT 3,307,485 1,500 3,509,120 1,592 3,708,506 1,682 Recreational ACT 16,148,311 7,325 17,132,763 7,770 18,106,236 8,213 Commercial Discards 0 0 0 0 0 0 Recreational Discards 2,989,468 1,356 2,989,468 1,356 2,989,468 1,356 Commercial TAL 3,307,485 1,500 3,509,120 1,592 3,708,506 1,682 Recreational TAL 13,158,843 5,969 14,143,295 6,414 15,116,768 6,857 Combined TAL 16,466,328 7,469 17,652,415 8,006 18,825,274 8,539 Expected Recreational Landings 11,581,548 5,253 11,581,548 5,253 11,581,548 5,253 Transfer 1,577,295 715 2,561,747 1,161 3,535,220 1,604 Commercial Quota 4,884,780 2,215 6,070,867 2,753 7,243,726 3,286 Recreational Harvest Limit 11,581,548 5,253 11,581,548 5,253 11,581,548 5,253 Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 16, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23216 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 187 Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 951 [Docket Number DOE-HQ-2014-0021] RIN 1990-AA39 Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage Contingent Cost Allocation AGENCY:

    Office of General Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 3, 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued in the Federal Register a notice and request for comments on a proposed information collection developed in connection with its proposed rulemaking under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The notice stated that comments on the proposed information collection were to be submitted by October 3, 2016. At a public workshop held on September 16, 2016, to discuss the information collection proposal, and in written comments thereafter, members of the public requested an extension of time within which to submit comments. This document announces that the period for submitting comments on the proposed information collection is extended to November 7, 2016.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the document published in the proposed rule section on August 3, 2016 (81 FR 51140) is extended. DOE will accept comments on the proposed information collection received no later than November 7, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons may submit comments on the proposed information collection identified by docket number DOE-HQ-2014-0021 and/or regulatory information number (RIN) 1990-AA39. Comments may be submitted using any of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Mail: Ms. Sophia Angelini, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, Mailstop GC-72, Section 934 Rulemaking, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Please submit one signed original and three copies of all comments submitted by mail.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, or the DOE Web site specifically established for this proceeding: http://www.energy.gov/gc/convention-supplementary-compensation-rulemaking. To obtain a copy of the proposed information collection instrument and instructions, you may go to the same Web site.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sophia Angelini, Attorney-Adviser, Office of General Counsel for Civilian Nuclear Programs, GC-72, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; Telephone (202) 586-0319.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On December 17, 2014, DOE published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) in the Federal Register (79 FR 75076) in which it proposed regulations under section 934 of EISA to establish a retrospective risk pooling program whereby, in the event of certain nuclear incidents, nuclear suppliers would pay for any contribution by the United States government to the international supplementary fund created by the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC). On August 3, 2016, DOE published in the Federal Register a notice and request for comments (81 FR 51193) on a proposed collection of information that it is developing in connection with the NOPR for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice stated that comments regarding the proposed information collection were to be submitted by October 3, 2016. Also on August 3, 2016, DOE published in the proposed rules section of the Federal Register a notice of a public workshop (81 FR 51140) to discuss the proposed information collection. At the workshop held on September 16, 2016, several entities commented requesting additional time in which to submit further comments on issues raised at the workshop and in comments submitted in advance of the workshop. After the workshop, one commenter submitted a written request for an extension of the public comment period, until at least November 3, 2016. In response to public comment, DOE has determined that the request for an extension of time should be granted, and the public comment period will close on November 7, 2016.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 21, 2016. Samuel T. Walsh, Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy, Office of General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23271 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Part 121 RIN 3245-AG69 Small Business Timber Set-Aside Program AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA or Agency) seeks comments on a proposed amendment to its regulations governing the small business timber set-aside program (hereafter referred to as the “timber program”) so that appraisals on small business set-aside sales be made to the nearest small business mill. Timber sale appraisals are performed for small business qualifying set-aside and non-set-aside sales. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Forest Service (FS) offers timber for sale, it appraises its potential market value and sets the minimum bid that it will accept based on that appraisal. Currently, appraisals in small business set-aside timber sales take into account the haul costs to the nearest mill regardless of that mill's size. Since set-aside timber sales require the use of small business mills, SBA proposes that the appraisal on set-aside timber sales be made to the nearest small business mill in order to accurately reflect the estimated cost to an eligible bidder. SBA is also requesting comment on a possible policy alternative that would use a weighted approach to appraising.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN: 3245-AG69, by any of the following methods:

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

    For mail, paper, disk, or CD/ROM submissions: Brenda J. Fernandez, Procurement Analyst, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Brenda J. Fernandez, Procurement Analyst, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416.

    SBA will post all comments on www.regulations.gov. If you wish to submit confidential business information (CBI) as defined in the User Notice at www.regulations.gov, please submit the information to: Brenda J. Fernandez, Procurement Analyst, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416, or send an email to [email protected] Highlight the information that you consider to be CBI and explain why you believe SBA should hold this information as confidential. SBA will review the information and make the final determination on whether it will publish the information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda J. Fernandez, Procurement Analyst, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416; (202) 205-7337; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background and Rationale for Proposed Rule

    In cooperation with SBA, the FS manages the timber program. The timber program was designed for small businesses whose product needs are timber. Throughout the country, the FS offers timber sales that are composed of multi-products for which the purchaser pays different rates for each product. Multi-product sales may be composed of sawlogs, pulp logs, biomass, or other products not generally processed into sawlogs. Timber sales that have substantial sawlog volume are targeted for the set-aside program. Small independent loggers, often called gypos, are identified as small non-manufacturers, and are eligible to purchase the set-aside timber sale and have to adhere to the contract rules of where the timber can be milled. The volume purchased by these non-manufacturers is credited, under the set-aside program, to the small business market share.

    Section 15(a) of the Small Business Act authorizes small businesses to receive any contract which would “assur[e] that a fair proportion of the total purchases and contracts for property and services for the Government in each industry category are placed with small-business concerns” and which would “assur[e] that a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property be made to small-business concerns.” 15 U.S.C. 644(a). Contracts for the sale of government owned timber are, therefore, required to be set aside for small businesses in order to assure that small businesses receive a fair proportion of such sales. While the Small Business Act does not define “fair proportion,” SBA interpreted “fair proportion” in adopting the market share system used today and detailed below. The D.C. District Court upheld this interpretation in 1974 in Duke City Lumber Co. v. Butz, 382 F. Supp. 362 (D.D.C., 1974), aff'd, 539 F.2d 220 (D.C. Cir., 1976).

    Congress further decreed in section 2 of the Small Business Act that the “economic well-being [and] security of this Nation . . . cannot be realized unless the actual and potential capacity of small business is encouraged and developed.” 15 U.S.C. 631. To that end, Congress directed all ends of the Government to “maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the Nation” by assuring that small businesses receive a fair proportion of total government contracts and total government sales. Through sections 2 and 15 of the Small Business Act, SBA is entrusted with keeping Federal government agencies accountable on their collective obligation to deliver a fair proportion of contracts and sales to small businesses. SBA's regulations, however, currently do not address how SBA calculates “fair proportion” in the context of government-owned timber sales. SBA's regulations also do not address how goods-for-services stewardship timber sales should be treated in the context of the small business fair proportion or market share calculation.

    Establishing Hauling Cost Appraisals That Are Accurate

    SBA proposes to amend its regulations to include instructions on how hauling costs are to be estimated in developing the appraised price for small business set-aside sales under the timber program. SBA's current regulations provide that on a set-aside sale the small business may not resell more than 30% of the advertised sawtimber volume to a large business concern in all FS regions outside of Alaska. As such, at least 70% of the advertised sawtimber volume must be processed at a small mill. This provision is known as the “30/70 rule.” When the FS offers a timber program sale as a set-aside, it appraises its potential market value and sets the minimum bid that it will accept based on that appraisal. One factor in the appraisal is the haul cost that the purchaser (small or large) will have to absorb to bring the timber to a manufacturing facility. Currently, appraisals are made to the nearest mill regardless of that mill's size. Because of the locations and sparse number of remaining small sawmills, the current appraisal points used for calculating hauling costs may have prevented small mills from bidding on set-aside sales, since fuel and non-fuel costs for transporting the timber from the forest to the processing location may negate the bidder's profit margin of the purchase when the 30/70 rule is also applied.

    In order to provide small businesses an ability to meet the requirements of the law as required under set-aside provisions, and to encourage small business competition, SBA is proposing that small business set-aside timber sales be appraised to the nearest small business mill to accurately reflect the haul costs to eligible bidders. As an alternative, SBA is also requesting comments on whether the requirement to appraise the set-aside timber sales to the nearest small mill should have some reasonable distance or haul cost limitation, such as 60 miles (from the sale area to the nearest mill), because it may not be economically feasible to haul timber over large distances. In addition, SBA is also requesting comments on whether all 100% of the hauling costs should be appraised to the nearest small business mill, or, when the nearest mill is a large business, whether 70% of the hauling costs should be appraised to the nearest small mill and remaining 30% appraised to the nearest large mill in accordance with the 70/30 ratio under the set-aside rule.

    The proposed regulatory amendment would affect the FS timber program only. As noted below, FS and the Department of Interior's (DOI) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are the primary timber “sales agencies.” However, BLM's small business set-aside sales, which are limited to eight markets in Oregon (FS Region 6), are made in accordance with the terms of a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SBA and BLM. Rather than setting forth considerations for small business market share computation methods, SBA's MOU with BLM affords SBA the opportunity to review BLM's annual timber sale plans prior to publication and to request set-aside sales under the authority of the Small Business Act. When BLM agrees to set-aside certain timber sales for small businesses, BLM consults with SBA concerning financial and other performance qualifications to be included in the conditions of sale. Accordingly, the proposed amendment to the timber program would have no impact on BLM's timber sale program since BLM's current policy is to appraise the hauling costs on its set-aside sales to the closest mill that qualifies as a small business under SBA's regulations. While SBA is also considering an amendment stewardship contracting to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation, this possible policy change would not impact BLM's use of stewardship sales since BLM already credits/counts the stewardship sawtimber volume in administering its set-aside program.

    SBA invites comments on all aspects of this proposed rule, the timber program, and other policy changes currently under consideration. In particular, SBA requests comments on the proposed change to appraising the haul costs to the small business set-aside sales and the alternative weighted approach to appraising the haul costs using the 30/70 rule. SBA is also interested in comments on whether there should be a reasonableness test for distance from the sale area to the nearest qualifying small business mill and how this test should be applied. In addition, SBA invites comments on impacts of the potential inclusion of the stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business “fair proportion” calculation that SBA is currently considering but not proposing in this rule.

    The federal government regularly sells timber and non-timber products from the federal forests managed by the USDA's FS, the DOI's BLM, the DOI's Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Collectively, these agencies are referred to as the “sales agencies” with FS and BLM being the primary sales agencies.

    This proposed rule intends to amend SBA's regulations governing the timber program. As mandated by the Small Business Act, SBA and the sales agencies jointly set-aside timber program sales for exclusive bidding by small business concerns when market conditions demonstrate that small businesses are not receiving their fair share of timber volume under full-and-open competition or unrestricted sales. When the small business share of the timber market falls below a certain level, a small business set-aside sale is triggered.

    In order to determine the small business market share that triggers a set-aside sale, FS calculates the current small business market share based on small business purchases of sawtimber volume sold under the timber program over a five-year period. This percentage, based upon historical purchases of sawtimber in the market area, sets the framework for what constitutes small businesses' fair proportion of the total sales volume. If at any time, the small business market share falls below this percentage, subsequent timber program sales would be set-aside for preferential bidding by small businesses. Set-aside sales in the timber program will continue until such time that the small business market share rises above the triggering percentage.

    Currently, only the advertised sawtimber volume sold under the timber program is used to calculate the small business market share, which establishes whether or not a timber sale should be set-aside for preferential bidding by small business. Sawtimber volume sold under stewardship contracting is not presently considered in this calculation. SBA is considering a change to the calculation of the small business market share using the volume of sawtimber sold under both the timber program and stewardship contracting. By counting all sawtimber volume, regardless of which way it's sold, the triggers for set-aside procedures under the timber program could more accurately reflect the small business market for FS timber. However, SBA recognizes that including sawtimber volume sold through stewardship contracting in the small business market share calculation could, under some circumstances, result in there not being a set-aside sale where there otherwise would have been a set-aside had stewardship sawtimber not been included in the calculation and vice versa. SBA requests comment on the possible impacts to small businesses should SBA propose to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation of small business fair proportion. The Agency further requests comment on the need for transparency in the timber market as well as additional data in order to help SBA further analyze the impacts of including stewardship sawtimber volume in determining the small business fair proportion of the market used in triggering set-aside sales under the timber program.

    It is also important to note that under this potential policy change, although the volume of sawtimber sold through the timber program and stewardship contracting would be used in the calculation of the size of the small business market share that triggers a set-aside sale, set-aside sales would only continue to occur under the timber program. Since set-aside sales are not provided for under stewardship contracting, such a policy change would not affect the FS's implementation of the stewardship process.

    The following is an illustration of how including stewardship sawtimber may result in a more accurate depiction of the market that small businesses are operating in:

    Example A. The target market share for small business is 47%. A timber program sale is conducted through full-and-open procedures. A small business wins the award which contains 1,000 CCF (one hundred cubic feet) of sawtimber. Since small business has attained 80% of the sawtimber market share (large business is allotted 20% of the offered timber program sale volume per FS regulations), unless that share drops below 37% (trigger occurs when small business market share is 10 percentage points or more below the established baseline market share) through subsequent timber sales, there will be no trigger for set-aside sales and future timber program sales will continue under full-and-open competition.

    Example B. In the same market area, there have also been four (4) stewardship sawtimber sales. These are always conducted as full-and-open competition sales, because set-asides for small business are not provided for in implementing stewardship contracting projects. These four (4) awards have all gone to large businesses, each for 1,000 CCF. The next timber program sawtimber sale is for another 1,000 CCF, but because stewardship sawtimber volume is not counted, the attained small business market share, from example A, is still reflected as 80%. As a result, the next timber program sawtimber sale will be advertised as a full-and-open sale. Had the previous stewardship sawtimber volume been counted, the attained small business market share would have been reflected as only 20% (1,000 out of 5,000 CCF sold) and this next timber program sawtimber sale would have triggered a small business set-aside since the 20% small business attainment is more than 10 percentage points below the minimum established for the market share of 47% in that market area.

    Example C. Even if two (2) of the stewardship sawtimber sales in example B had been previously won by small businesses the trigger for a set-aside of the next timber program sawtimber sale would not have occurred as small business would have been shown to have purchased a total market share of 60% (3,000 out of 5,000 CCF) which is better than the minimum established 47% share for that market area.

    The FS received authority to implement pilot stewardship contracting projects in section 347 of the FY1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 105-277, sec. 347). Similarly, BLM was authorized to use stewardship contracting in 2003 (Pub. L. 108-7, 16 U.S.C. 2104). The purpose of stewardship contracting was to help achieve land management goals in National Forests and in the public lands managed by BLM, in addition to helping meet the needs of local and rural communities. Initially, stewardship contracting was scheduled to expire in 2003 and then again in 2013. The Agricultural Act of 2014 established stewardship contracting as a permanent authority (Pub. L. 113-79, sec. 8205).

    Stewardship contracting is a goods-for-services arrangement that requires timber companies who cut trees on federal (FS and BLM) lands to perform other service work in exchange for the timber volume. Stewardship contracts fall into two general categories, Integrated Resource Timber Contract (IRTC) formats, which were developed for exclusive use in implementing stewardship contracting projects when the value of goods exceeds the value of services and Integrated Resource Service Contract (IRSC) formats, which were developed for exclusive use in implementing stewardship contracting projects when the value of services exceeds the value of the goods.

    Developments in the Timber Industry

    The entire wood products industry in the U.S. has undergone dramatic changes in the past three decades. The sale of timber from the National Forest System (NFS) has decreased from an annual timber volume of approximately 10 billion board feet in 1990 to approximately 2.9 billion board feet in 2015. While the reasons for this decline are not relevant to this proposed rule, the significance of this decline shows that all mills, both small and large, and the communities that they support have struggled to cope with the diminished supply of timber to sustain their operations. Coupled with other economic factors, such as the recession of 2008-2009 which saw a reduction in finished product markets, particularly the new single family home construction market, the decline in the timber industry has resulted in the closure of a significant number of small and large mills. The segment of the U.S. timber industry that derives its timber from the NFS does not operate in a vacuum but in the overall market for timber. In the United States, in the late 1990s, over 90% of the timber harvest volume came from private lands and only about 5% came from USFS sales. During the recession, the drop in new residential construction from 1.7 million units annually to 450,000 and a decline in home remodeling as residential mortgages tightened and home sales dropped combined to impact wood manufacturing. From 2005 to 2009, over 1,000 sawmills closed, comprising nearly 19% of all domestic mills in the forest sector. Many other mills operated at limited capacity. All mills, both large and small, have been forced to adapt and retool in response to these changes, including mills of all sizes that do not rely on timber supplied from NFS lands. Competition from overseas markets for private timber also complicates the ability for U.S. markets to compete. Thus, the importance of timber supply from FS lands may have increased, however the impacts to businesses may be attributed to a combination of supply, demand and global market changes. The closure of small mills of all sizes has had and continues to have an adverse effect on employment and the overall economy in rural timber communities where the timber industry is the leading provider of employment and income. Small mills depend on the SBA Timber Set-Aside Program to purchase their fair share of timber offered for sale by the FS.

    SBA conducted annual field visits in different regions of the country and from interviews with small businesses in the logging, sawmill and other wood manufacturing industries has learned they have suffered immensely due to a diminished supply of timber. Based on the data from the U.S. Census Bureau's County (CBP) Business Patterns Reports available at www.census.gov/econ/cbp/, from 1997 to 2012, the number of small businesses (i.e., fewer than 500 employees) in the logging industry, classified under North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 113310 (Logging), decreased 40%. Similarly, based on the data from U.S. Bureau's Economic Censuses available at www.census.gov/econ/census/, the number of small businesses (i.e., fewer than 500 employees) in the sawmills industry, NAICS 321113, decreased 34% in the same period. The number of employees of small businesses fell by 40% for the logging industry and by 39% for the sawmills industry. The majority of remaining industries in NAICS Subsector 321 (Wood Product Manufacturing) also saw significant reductions in numbers of small businesses and workers employed by them.

    The data also confirms that the number of large business firms (i.e., with more than 500 employees) and number of people employed by them in those industries also decreased. For example, from 1997 to 2012, the number of larger firms decreased 44% in the logging industry and 42% in the sawmills industry. The number of employees hired by large businesses decreased 48% and 52%, respectively. Many other wood product manufacturing industries also saw similar decreases in number of firms and employment.

    While total employment fell across both small and large firms in those industries, the proportion of employees that is employed by small businesses increased from 1997 to 2012. For example, as a percentage of total industry's employment, employment by small logging firms increased from 94% to 95%. Likewise, employment by small sawmills increased from 67% of total industry's employment in 1997 to 72% of total industry employment in 2012. This increase in the proportion of workers employed by small businesses has coincided with the significant decrease in the number of small businesses. This indicates that, even if they have decreased in number, small businesses are increasingly responsible for supporting employment in those industries.

    As demonstrated in Tables 1, 2, and 3 below, stewardship timber volume (i.e., sawtimber plus non-saw timber) accounted for a steadily increasing percentage of FS's total timber sales from 2004 to 2013. These tables provide data on total and stewardship timber sales for each of the nine FS regions, numbered Region 1 (R-1) through Region 10 (R-10). Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 when the current Eastern Region was created from the former Eastern and North Central Regions. The nine FS regions that exist today are as follows:

    Region 1 (Northern) Montana, North Dakota, NW corner South Dakota, and Idaho Panhandle. Region 2 (Rocky Mountain) Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. Region 3 (Southwestern) Arizona and New Mexico. Region 4 (Intermountain) Utah, Nevada, Western Wyoming, Southern Idaho, and a small portion of California. Region 5 (Pacific Southwest) California. Region 6 (Pacific Northwest) Oregon and Washington. Region 8 (Southern) Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Region 9 (Eastern) Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine. Region 10 Alaska.

    In Fiscal Year 2013, stewardship timber sales accounted for 31% of all timber volume (timber plus non-timber) sold by the FS, up from only 5% a decade earlier. It should be noted that stewardship sawtimber volume is different from the total stewardship timber volume, and that all tables/references are based using the timber volume data only.

    Table 1—Total Timber Volumes Sold by Each of the 9 FS Regions * (R-1 to R-10) FY 2004-FY 2013 Year (FY) R-1 R-2 R-3 R-4 R-5 R-6 R-8 R-9 R-10 All FS All Sales, Sawtimber + Non-sawtimber (Volumes in Millions of Board Feet (MMbf)) 2004 159 163 49 107 208 434 359 319 85 1,883 2005 243 132 72 49 386 392 414 364 54 2,105 2006 189 165 69 68 228 470 858 381 83 2,511 2007 135 198 57 69 272 489 501 352 29 2,101 2008 186 201 43 70 109 525 539 349 4 2,026 2009 216 199 21 41 236 498 476 319 6 2,011 2010 180 196 46 60 252 424 540 358 45 2,100 2011 149 159 54 46 212 464 556 379 37 2,056 2012 144 196 32 53 219 512 521 419 41 2,137 2013 115 210 129 71 229 527 475 393 13 2,162 * Region 7 (R-7) was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. Source: Timber Data Company; November 19, 2013. Table 2—Stewardship Timber Volume Sold by Each of the 9 FS Regions * (R-1 to R-10), FY 2004-FY 2013 Year (FY) R-1 R-2 R-3 R-4 R-5 R-6 R-8 R-9 R-10 All FS Stewardship Timber/Service Sales (Volumes in Millions of Board Feet (MMbf)) 2004 7 9 25 12 23 19 0 0 0 96 2005 12 9 17 7 23 30 4 2 1 105 2006 48 16 18 15 24 64 42 4 0 231 2007 44 16 28 9 62 91 34 23 1 308 2008 64 35 21 12 14 100 28 10 1 284 2009 45 38 15 11 54 96 62 22 0 343 2010 56 70 26 38 75 120 50 50 0 486 2011 43 33 31 21 47 105 62 50 33 427 2012 41 35 19 22 102 175 92 67 40 592 2013 36 39 107 51 75 202 90 61 0 661 * Region 7 (R-7) was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. Source: Timber Data Company; November 19, 2013. Table 3—Stewardship Timber Sales as a Percentage of Total Timber Sold by Region, FY 2004-FY 2013 Year (FY) R-1 R-2 R-3 R-4 R-5 R-6 R-8 R-9 R-10 All FS % Stewardship 2004 4 5 51 12 11 4 0 0 0 5 2005 5 7 23 13 6 8 1 1 1 5 2006 25 10 26 22 11 14 5 1 0 9 2007 33 8 49 14 23 19 7 6 2 15 2008 35 17 49 17 13 19 5 3 27 14 2009 21 19 72 27 23 19 13 7 0 17 2010 31 36 56 64 30 28 9 14 0 23 2011 29 21 59 47 22 23 11 13 9 21 2012 28 18 58 42 47 34 18 16 96 28 2013 32 19 83 72 33 38 19 16 0 31 * Region 7 (R-7) was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. Source: Timber Data Company; November 19, 2013.

    According to historical sales data, the average number of bidders is 1.02 for stewardship timber sales and 1.97 for timber program sales; a statistically significant difference. This suggests that stewardship timber contracting may have fewer competitors. On average, stewardship timber sales are substantially larger than timber program sales, especially those awarded to small businesses. According to the analyses of both timber program and stewardship sales data provided by FS, as shown below in Table 4, compared to timber program volume, small businesses acquired a larger percentage of stewardship timber volume in Region 2 (100%), Region 4 (100%), Region 8 (94%), and Region 9 (87%) where stewardship timber volumes are quite minimal relative to total volumes sold. However, small businesses received a lower percentage of stewardship timber sales in Region 1 (70%), Region 5 (49%), and Region 6 (56%) where stewardship timber sales are generally fairly large relative to total sales. While small businesses received a larger percentage of stewardship timber volume in five regions individually, in aggregate (i.e. when all regions combined) the small business share was substantially lower at about 62% under stewardship contracting, as compared to nearly 71% under the timber sales program. Thus, based on these data, SBA is concerned that small businesses may be less successful in getting their fair share of government timber sales under stewardship contracting projects than under the timber program in certain FS regions and markets and that this situation may get worse over time as more and more FS timber is sold through stewardship contracting, as indicated by recent trends shown above in Table 2. Accordingly, to address this issue, SBA is considering a policy change to include the stewardship timber volume in the calculation of small business market shares. SBA seeks comments on the potential impacts of this change in the methodology, and how any impacts to small businesses may vary across regions or across market areas within the region.

    Table 4—Total Timber Volumes Sold Under Timber Program and Stewardship Sales and Shares of Timber Sold to Small Businesses by Region * Region Total timber volume sold (1,000 CCF) Timber Total Small Stewardship Total Small Total timber sales Total Small Share of timber sold to small businesses (%) Timber Stewardship Total Region 1 1,949 1,454 304 213 2,253 1,667 74.6 70.0 74.0 Region 2 2,471 1,910 121 120 2,591 2,031 77.3 100.0 78.4 Region 3 615 615 62 62 677 677 100.0 100.0 100.0 Region 4 859 588 29 29 888 618 68.5 100.0 69.6 Region 5 2,484 1,261 230 113 2,715 1,373 50.7 48.9 50.6 Region 6 8,206 5,369 2,067 1,152 10,273 6,520 65.4 55.7 63.5 Region 8 4,434 3,546 139 131 4,572 3,677 80.0 94.4 80.4 Region 9 1,614 1,533 59 51 1,673 1,584 94.9 86.6 94.7 All Regions 22,632 16,275 3,011 1,871 25,643 18,146 71.9 62.2 70.8 * Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of redesignation of FS regions. Region 10 was not included in FS calculations. Source: FS calculations based on the Timber Data Company data for FY 2002-2010 for Regions 2 through 5, 8 and 9, and FY 2002-2015 for Regions 1 and 6.

    Still, SBA faces data challenges in analyzing the impact on small businesses from a potential policy change to include the stewardship sawtimber in the calculation of small business fair proportion or market share used to establish a set-aside sale within the timber program. The FS conducted an analysis with FY 2002-2010 data for Regions 2 through 5, 8 and 9 and with FY 2002-2015 data for Regions 1 and 6. To bridge these gaps in the data, SBA evaluated the percentages of timber program and stewardship sales awarded to small businesses using the data from the SBA's Timber Sales System (TSS) for FY 2004-2014. These results, as shown below in Table 5, also showed fairly similar patterns as in the FS analysis in Table 4, with small businesses generally acquiring a relatively larger percentage of stewardship timber in most regions where stewardship contracting is limited and a smaller percentage in regions where stewardship timber sales are substantial relative to total sales, such as Regions 1, 5 and 6.

    Table 5—Share (%) of Total Timber Volume Sold to Small Businesses by Type of Sale—Timber Program (T) and Stewardship (S)—by FS Region, FY 2004-2014 * Year Region Region 1 T S Total Region 2 T S Total Region 3 T S Total 2004 70.2 70.2 57.3 57.3 100.0 100.0 2005 81.9 100.0 82.2 73.5 100.0 75.2 100.0 100.0 100.0 2006 81.3 89.4 83.5 82.1 54.5 79.6 100.0 100.0 100.0 2007 84.9 94.0 87.8 75.6 100.0 77.8 100.0 100.0 100.0 2008 89.3 85.5 88.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2009 60.4 64.3 61.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 90.9 100.0 96.4 2010 86.6 38.5 66.9 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2011 68.8 50.6 63.7 96.1 100.0 97.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2012 90.8 15.2 69.8 93.6 100.0 94.8 100.0 100.0 100.0 2013 41.2 34.8 39.4 88.2 100.0 89.6 100.0 100.0 100.0 2014 48.5 100.0 54.1 44.4 100.0 53.4 100.0 100.0 100.0 All years 74.9 55.4 69.9 83.0 97.7 85.4 99.8 100.0 99.9 Year Region Region 4 T S Total Region 5 T S Total Region 6 T S Total 2004 66.5 66.5 78.3 77.7 71.2 71.2 2005 94.2 100.0 94.6 28.6 17.6 28.0 54.3 15.2 50.8 2006 77.1 81.5 78.0 28.1 57.4 30.8 57.8 67.7 59.3 2007 74.6 88.9 76.5 58.8 45.6 55.8 62.4 41.3 58.7 2008 76.9 91.3 79.3 86.6 95.7 87.4 63.7 59.5 62.9 2009 79.7 100.0 85.2 71.4 74.7 72.1 75.4 59.5 72.0 2010 100.0 66.7 79.8 62.8 56.4 60.5 64.7 61.2 63.7 2011 100.0 44.3 68.5 54.4 87.9 62.6 66.4 60.3 65.0 2012 96.8 100.0 98.1 79.2 40.6 62.7 64.6 57.6 62.1 2013 95.0 100.0 98.4 68.5 55.6 64.1 65.8 72.8 68.6 2014 100.0 42.4 65.1 37.6 86.0 44.6 70.5 70.1 70.3 All years 82.0 75.5 79.9 56.3 57.8 56.6 65.1 61.6 64.3 Year Region Region 8 T S Total Region 9 T S Total Region 10 T S Total 2004 89.3 89.3 78.8 78.8 100.0 100.0 2005 86.9 100.0 87.0 79.3 100.0 79.4 100.0 100.0 100.0 2006 74.1 100.0 75.3 92.7 100.0 92.7 100.0 100.0 2007 80.1 100.0 81.3 85.3 74.3 84.6 100.0 100.0 2008 85.3 97.9 86.0 89.4 100.0 89.6 100.0 100.0 100.0 2009 93.2 94.6 93.3 92.2 100.0 92.8 100.0 100.0 2010 85.4 95.7 86.4 87.8 95.7 88.8 100.0 100.0 2011 86.8 96.7 88.1 85.7 89.9 86.3 100.0 100.0 100.0 2012 91.3 78.8 89.1 88.4 98.2 90.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 2013 91.6 100.0 93.1 90.4 90.9 90.5 100.0 100.0 2014 77.2 89.9 80.4 84.3 80.2 83.6 100.0 100.0 100.0 All years 84.7 92.9 85.5 86.8 90.6 87.1 100.0 100.0 100.0 * Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. Source: Timber Sales System.

    As shown below in Table 6, the data further indicates that, during FY 2004—2014, more than two-thirds of businesses (68% of all businesses and 67% of small businesses) that receive stewardship timber contracts also acquired timber through the timber program. Likewise, 87% of stewardship timber volumes sold to all firms and 83% of stewardship timber volumes sold to small firms was acquired by businesses that purchase timber through both stewardship and timber program sales (see Table 7 below). Except for Region 4 with respect to the number of firms and Region 3 with respect to timber volume (in both cases the percentages are less than 50%), the results are more or less similar across regions. The majority of stewardship timber purchasers successfully compete in both markets.

    Table 6—Number of Firms Getting Timber Program (T), Stewardship (S), and Both (T & S) Types of Timber Sales by Region, FY 2004-2014 Region * T only S only Both (T & S) Total S (T&S)/total S
  • (%)
  • Number of All Firms 1 558 10 34 44 77.3 2 432 14 30 44 68.2 3 272 17 17 34 50.0 4 313 24 20 44 45.5 5 540 11 44 55 80.0 6 464 28 54 82 65.9 8 918 18 56 74 75.7 9 692 37 85 122 69.7 10 99 1 6 7 85.7 Total 4,288 160 346 506 68.4 Number of Small Firms 1 546 9 28 37 75.7 2 407 14 28 42 66.7 3 268 17 16 33 48.5 4 300 21 17 38 44.7 5 516 9 38 47 80.9 6 447 26 40 66 60.6 8 861 17 49 66 74.2 9 645 34 78 112 69.6 10 97 1 6 7 85.7 Total 4,087 148 300 448 67.0 * Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. Source: Timber Sales System.
    Table 7—Volume of Timber Sold to Firms Getting Timber Program (T), Stewardship (S), and Both (C & S) Types of Sales by Region, FY 2004-2014 Region *
  • (1)
  • T only
  • (2)
  • S only
  • (3)
  • Both (T & S) T
  • (4)
  • S
  • (5)
  • Total S
  • (6 = (3 + 5))
  • S Under both/total S (5/6)
  • (%)
  • Timber Acquired by All Firms (in 1,000 CCF) 1 1,193 156 2,370 1,045 1,201 87.0 2 2,675 56 1,642 769 825 93.2 3 297 212 499 186 397 46.7 4 605 179 604 310 489 63.4 5 1,241 40 4,843 1,235 1,276 96.8 6 2,610 188 6,247 2,489 2,677 93.0 8 6,069 257 4,434 967 1,224 79.0 9 3,400 107 3,415 583 690 84.5 10 491 6 456 375 381 98.5 Total 18,580 1,201 24,510 7,959 9,160 86.9 Timber Acquired by Small Firms (in 1,000 CCF) 1 1,114 152 1,311 531 683 77.8 2 2,177 56 1,337 649 704 92.1 3 289 212 417 127 338 37.4 4 497 115 476 206 321 64.2 5 1,045 26 2,097 592 618 95.7 6 2,179 139 4,148 1,345 1,483 90.7 8 4,927 253 4,004 800 1,053 76.0 9 2,727 97 2,957 419 516 81.2 10 251 6 832 375 381 98.5 Total 15,207 1,055 17,580 5,043 6,097 82.7 * Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. Source: Timber Sales System.
    The Timber Program

    The FS sells logs in accordance with the National Forest Management Act, which describes the process for buying, paying for, harvesting, and removing wood from NFS lands. Pursuant to the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(a)), SBA established the timber program in 1958. At that time, the timber program was a mechanism for the USDA to set aside timber sales. In 1971, SBA and USDA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which established the guidelines for determining “fair proportion,” created a five-year re-computation period for determining the base average shares of timber purchases, and established a “trigger” mechanism for initiating set-aside timber sales. Currently, FS has 9 Regions comprised of 140 market areas, of which 139 are active as shown in Table 11. See http://www.fs.fed.us/. The FS sells timber through both the timber program and stewardship contracting. With respect to timber program sales, each FS market area has a distinct small business market share. This percentage, based upon historical sawtimber volume acquired by small businesses, sets the framework for what constitutes small businesses' fair proportion of the total timber program sawtimber sales volume. Whenever the small businesses market share drops 10 percentage points or more below the established small business market share for a market area, a set-aside sale is “triggered” and FS is required to offer set-aside sales to increase the small business market share. If small businesses do not submit bids, the set-aside sale is converted to a full-and-open sale in which other-than-small businesses can also compete.

    Currently, FS does not consider the sawtimber volume from IRTC and IRSC stewardship contracting in calculating the small business market share. The omission of the stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation may affect small business market shares in either direction relative to the current policy. For example, FS' Mt. Hood market area (located in Region 6) has an established small business market share of 80% (as calculated during the 2010 re-computation of small business market shares). Because 20% of FS' timber program sales must be competed as full and open in order to ensure that large businesses also have the opportunity to compete, 80% is the maximum allowable small business share and indicates a robust small business timber purchase market. Over the period from November 2010 through March 2015, twenty-six (26) timber sales were offered in the Mt. Hood market area. Of those 26 sales, sixteen (16) were stewardship timber contracts which included timber volume. Twelve (12) of these were awarded to small businesses under full and open conditions. Ten (10) of the 26 sales were timber program sales. Eight (8) were awarded as full-and-open sales, and two (2) were small business set-aside sales.

    This data suggests that small businesses have been successfully obtaining timber volume in this market area, but because stewardship sawtimber volume is not included in determining what the correct small business market share calculation should be, the small business fair market share has dropped from 80% to 72%. This is one example of how not counting stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation can influence what the small business established fair share should be. Based on the limited data available, as it appears, it is also possible that including the stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation of fair proportion could have the reverse effect in some regions, increasing the five-year fair market share relevant to the current policy.

    Public Comments in Response to SBA's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    In response to requests from timber industry stakeholders, SBA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register on March 25, 2015 (80 FR 15697) inviting the public to submit comments on or before May 26, 2015. Specifically, the ANPRM requested detailed comments addressing the possible inclusion of the stewardship contracting sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculations and the possible appraisal of small business set-aside sales to the nearest qualifying small business mill. SBA received responses from 842 commenters. The summary of comments is provided in the following sections.

    Comments on the State of the Timber Industry

    The ANPRM presumed that the U.S. timber industry has undergone dramatic changes in the past decades. As stated in the ANPRM, the supply of timber from the FS timber program decreased significantly over the past three decades impacting both large and small businesses.

    Comments to the ANPRM provided more insights into the state of the timber industry. For example, according to comments from a trade group representing small timber products companies, Timber Products Manufacturers Association (TPMA), since stewardship contracting was first piloted, small sawmills' share of Federal timber has declined by 71%. For example, in 1993, 146 small sawmills shared access to the FS timber in the Western regions; in 2014, that number had decreased to 43 firms. According to comments, remaining small business sawmills have made changes in their processes and the way they do business to remain competitive and stay in business.

    TPMA also commented that, as the number of small businesses declines, large firms are increasingly able to raise costs through anti-competitive means. That is, as the number of potential buyers for timber gets smaller, dominant firms are enabled to set the price. TPMA pointed to a study published by the SBA's Office of Advocacy. Innovation & Information Consultants, Inc., 2008, Analyzing the Impacts of Antitrust Laws and Enforcement on Small Business, prepared for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy under contract no. SBAHQ-06-M-0476, available at www.sba.gov. The study found evidence of harmful anti-competitive behavior in the timber industry; however industry-wide trends indicated macroeconomic factors were equally important in the decline of small businesses. Specifically, the study indicated that a particular global forest products company made efforts to monopolize the red alder timber market in the Pacific Northwest by employing anti-competitive strategies. Still, antitrust litigation in the Northwest did not deter new entry into the market during this time. Thirty-one Washington and Oregon hardwood mills closed between 1980 and 2001, when the large company was suspected of anti-competitive behavior in those states.

    In response to the ANPRM, other-than-small industry participants submitted data showing that, as the FS reduced its timber harvest by over 90%, the majority of sawmills in the western United States that existed in 1971 have now closed. According to a regional trade association representing large business operations, the Public Timber Purchasers Group (PTPG), between 1990 and 2010, 207 mills closed in Oregon (a decrease of 66%) causing a loss of 21,000 jobs. PTPG asserted that these economic forces have caused small sawmills to merge or be purchased. As a result, according to PTPG, there is only one operating small business sawmill capable of purchasing federal timber in some FS areas—and in some other areas, there are no longer small business purchasers at all. Additionally, a union representing manufacturing workers observed that, in Oregon, virtually all organized labor in the lumber manufacturing sector is found in mills with consolidated ownership.

    Commenters also provided localized observations and data. In Bonner County, Idaho, according to the Bonner County Board of Commissioners, 800 logging and sawmill jobs have been lost and only one small sawmill remains. According to a commenter from Coos Bay, Oregon, one of the largest mill sites has been converted to a casino. An executive from a small lumber products company in Clarkston, Washington, spoke at a May 7, 2015 regulatory fairness hearing in Spokane about closing the company's Clarkston mill in 2009 because of the recession. However, partly because of small business set-aside timber sales from the Umatilla National Forest, the company has been able to reopen the Clarkston mill and support 80 jobs. It now operates two sawmills and employs 240 workers. Conversely, two small business sawmills in Montana initiated layoffs of between one-third and one-half of their workers.

    Comments on the Current Timber Set-Aside Program

    In response to SBA's invitation for comments on the current Program, 221 commenters expressed general support for the current Program. Commenters generally asserted that small mills depend on the Program to purchase their fair share of timber offered for sale by the FS. By contrast, large business mills appear to make greater use of private land as a reserve for harvesting timber.

    TPMA commented that in addition to supporting small firms and their surrounding communities, small business set-asides do not significantly reduce federal revenues. The group's comment pointed to a government analysis showing that set-aside sales take in only two percent less than open sales. A study published in 2013 found that set-asides reduce FS revenue by 5%, and the effect of reducing competition by excluding large businesses is partially offset by increased small business participation. Athey, Susan, Dominic Coey, and Jonathan Levin. 2013. “Set-Asides and Subsidies in Auctions.” American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 5(1): 1-27, available at www.aeaweb.org. The commenter also posited that if small sawmills are pushed from the market, large firms would be able to drive down federal revenues from timber sales. The commenter pointed to revenue data from the Panhandle National Forest to assert that market competition from small businesses stabilize prices for government timber sales. TPMA asserted that because stewardship contracting is not part of the fair proportion calculation in the small business set-aside Program, small timber product manufacturing companies have sustained a market decline of 71% since the stewardship contracting was launched. The small business trade group observed that, in 2014, one-third of the timber volume offered by FS was distributed through stewardship contracting, including 38% in the western United States. In some regions, stewardship contracting exceeds 70% of FS timber volume transactions. According to the commenter, failure to include the volume of timber associated with stewardship contracting lowers the market share for small business set-aside sales.

    SBA also received comments from a variety of local legislators who described how the timber set-aside program operates in their areas. According to the comments, in Klamath County, Oregon, the only operating sawmill is an other-than-small business, so instituting set-asides would impact the county's budget. By contrast, a legislator from Marion County, Oregon, commented that smaller mills that rely on set-asides support much of the county's employment. Fifteen years ago, the milling industry supported 63.5% of the employment in the North Santiam Canyon communities; because of the downturn in the industry, the industry now supports 41% of employment.

    The Commissioners of Powell County, Montana, noted that the trend toward increasing stewardship contracts in three national forests—Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Helena and Lolo National Forests—has reduced the potential amount of funding to the county because stewardship contracting does not feature revenue sharing as timber program sales do. From 2001 to 2013, the percentage of stewardship contracting on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Lolo National Forests accounted for over 23% of the sawlog volume sold during that period.

    A commenter from Salem, Oregon, responded that the local community has suffered a devastating impact because of the reduction in revenues from timber sales. According to the commenter, declining timber revenues has meant fewer jobs, less revenue for county services, and less revenue to support families.

    Several private business commenters remarked that failure to include the volume of timber associated with stewardship contracting lowers the market share for small business set-aside sales. A lumber company in Lyons, Oregon, that employs 430 people commented that 38% of its federal timber was bought on a small business set-aside basis. The commenter expressed concern that half of the sales volume available to it is being distributed through stewardship contracting, which limits the volume available through timber program open and set-aside timber sales. A 93-year-old lumber company in southwest Oregon stated that 100% of its federal timber under contract was purchased through small business set-asides. The commenters worried that, without the small business set-aside program in place, large businesses would starve small businesses out of public timber.

    Another small business lumber company in north central Idaho remarked that the small business set-aside program is non-existent in Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest because in excess of 80% of the forest's timber volume is sold through stewardship contracts. The commenter stated that, because the stewardship program is not subject to set-asides, its business could not avoid bidding against large businesses.

    From Montana, a family-owned sawmill and forest management company commented that 15 million board feet of logs from the Flathead National Forest has been made available through stewardship contracting, rather than through the timber sales program. The commenter observed that this volume would be enough to run its mill for nearly six months.

    Comments With Requests for Government Action

    A substantial number of commenters asserted that agency action is required to avoid irreparable harm to the competitive timber market in the United States, leading to the closure of many small timber manufacturers. Many commenters from small business mills are the primary employers in their rural communities, and they believe that the lack of action will result in thousands of jobs lost and the destruction of many of these communities. The small business industry group commented specifically that failing to include stewardship contracts in the small business timber set-aside program has decimated small timber manufacturers.

    Several commenters also noted that large multinational companies have begun to aggressively pursue both timber program full-and-open and stewardship sales in an attempt to drive small businesses from the playing field. For example, a third-generation small business logging operation in Washington and Oregon found that stewardship contracting is replacing the timber sale program. The commenter purchases most of its federal timber from the Mt. Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forests, but has seen a 90% reduction in available timber volume since 1990. The commenter observed that there are very few small business set-aside sales because of the predominance of stewardship sales, and speculated that large forest products companies have worked to drive small family-owned companies out of business in order to consolidate the market share.

    A small business lumber company from Deer Lodge, Montana, operating in an area where the FS owns over 60% of timber lands, commented that it is dependent on the small business timber set-aside program. The commenter stated that it initially supported stewardship contracting, but did not expect that it would be a major part of FS's timber offerings. As the percentage of stewardship offerings has become a third of the overall timber program volume, the commenter predicted that it would only be able to continue operations if it has an opportunity to bid on a fair share of federal timber sales without interference from large businesses. The Mayor and City Council of Deer Lodge, Montana, also support the set-aside program, stating that the sawmill industry made up the cultural and economic basis for the community.

    A small sawmill in Kamiah, Idaho, commented that it had been shut down during the 2008 recession, but started up again with 65 employees after it was auctioned off. The commenter responded that it has found predatory bidding in non-set-aside sales and, as a result, has not been able to purchase public logs in two years. The commenter stated that it is surviving only on private landowner logs, and it believes that its sawmill will fail and 65 jobs will be lost if the set-aside program is not amended. The Mayor of Kamiah commented that the city has one of the highest unemployment rates in Idaho. The Mayor wrote that losing the local sawmill industry would devastate the area economically.

    A substantial number of commenters from across the western United States commented that their communities and families relied on the local sawmills. One commenter from Colville, Washington, responded that he has been on unemployment twice in the past three years because of timber shortages. An individual commenter from St. Regis, Montana, added that small family-owned forest product companies need the SBA set-aside program to ensure stable access to government timber. Similarly, an individual from Lyons, Oregon, commented that the set-aside program supported a stable environment for small-town families. A commenter from Weippe, Idaho, remarked that the sawmill that was founded there in 1947 has relied on set-aside sales to compete with large sawmills.

    A union group commented that it opposes any government action and believes that agencies should craft a solution that does not disproportionately punish organized labor.

    Several commenters pointed to Congressional efforts to force agency action. Congress has urged the Administration to address this issue through multiple bills and correspondence. In 2014, Congress included the following report language in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying Public Law 113-235, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (160 Cong. Rec. H9768, Daily ed. Dec. 11, 2014):

    The Forest Service is strongly encouraged to expeditiously prepare and publish draft rulemaking to establish a small business set‐aside program for timber contracts undertaken using stewardship contracting authority that is consistent with previous commitments made by the Service and the Department of Agriculture on this matter.

    Similar language on the need for either SBA or the FS to address the issue through regulation is included in the FY2016 appropriations bills or in Congressional correspondence to the agencies.

    Comments on Including Stewardship Contracting Sawtimber Volume in Small Business Market Share Calculations

    Over 300 commenters urged SBA to include stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation, while 15 commenters opposed it. Based on SBA's analysis of both the available data and comments received in response to the ANPRM, SBA is considering including the stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation of small business market shares. SBA's ANPRM requested comments on how the inclusion of stewardship sawtimber might impact future market share calculations, stumpage prices, land management activities, retained receipts, and sale values. SBA also requested comments on whether an increase in the utilization of stewardship contracts in a market area might result in a lower representation of small businesses successfully bidding for timber sales in that market area and whether this should lead to lowering the market share for small business set-aside sales in that market area when the FS and SBA compute small business participation. Commenters provided a wide range of views on these topics.

    Of the 842 commenters, 327 suggested that stewardship sawtimber sales should be included in the calculation of set-aside trigger points. Further, 14 commenters urged SBA and FS to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the upcoming (now recent) five-year re-computation of small business shares to ensure accurate representation of small business participation. TPMA, the small business trade group, commented that increasing use of stewardship contracting, in particular IRTCs, creates a “loophole” in the small business market share calculation. According to TPMA, as IRTC contracting becomes more prevalent, the calculated small business market shares become distorted because they are only computed based on a handful of sales. This is because one-third of the market volume is being transacted through stewardship contracts and is currently excluded from the small business market share calculation. TPMA asserted that the omission of stewardship contracts understates the volume of timber being transacted and thus results in the inflation of the calculation of the small business market share. TPMA pointed to the Payette market area, where there were only two standard timber sales contracts. TPMA asserted that excluding stewardship volumes from the calculation prevents small businesses from achieving a representative re-computation that is consistent with the Small Business Act.

    Fifteen commenters stated that stewardship timber volume should not be included in the calculation. The PTPG commented that the goal of the stewardship program is to accomplish forest health, watershed improvement and similar projects with the sold timber offsetting some or all of the costs. Because the selection of stewardship contractors is a subjective process that uses a “best-value” process, PTPG asserted that stewardship contracting should be excluded because re-computations of market shares for set-aside sales should be based upon objective timber sale data. Also, PTPG commented that, if stewardship sales were included in the set-aside timber sale program, the number of potential contractors would be significantly limited for any stewardship sale designated as a set-aside.

    Thirty-nine commenters expressed that failure to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation will adversely affect the small businesses which rely on the federal timber supply. These commenters suggested that the trend towards stewardship contracting negates the positive impacts of the small business timber set-aside program. In particular, a small business sawmill in Deer Lodge, Montana, and the largest private employer in Deer Lodge, commented that stewardship contracting has been increasing in use, both in terms of number of sales and sawlog volume. Although the business has promoted stewardship contracting as a positive method of resolving resource conflicts on National Forest Land, it supports including the stewardship sawtimber volume in the SBA set-aside calculations.

    Similarly, a trade group in Idaho representing logging and wood hauling contracting businesses supported including stewardship contracting sawtimber in the calculation of shares of timber program sales acquired by small businesses. The trade group observed that, in some Idaho forests, the stewardship timber volume has exceeded over 80% of total timber sales in four of the last five years.

    The comments from a small business trade group emphasized that adding the stewardship sawtimber would add transparency and diligence to the recordkeeping process. These commenters observed that, even within the timber program, the volume in transactions with small businesses is inaccurate because the calculations are based on volumes advertised and awarded, and does not include volumes added through contract modifications.

    SBA's ANPRM requested comments as to how the stewardship sawtimber volume should be accounted for in calculating the small business market share. Six commenters suggested that FS simply use existing timber program sale rules and norms to count sawtimber volume from stewardship projects. TPMA asserted that adding stewardship sawtimber volumes to the calculation would not be difficult. According to TPMA, FS develops an appraisal for each stewardship opportunity to decide the value of the timber available to be exchanged for services. These volumes and values could be tracked and used to adjust proportions used in the Program. Additionally, TPMA commented that FS provides upon the requests of the Timber Data Company with Reports of Timber Sales (FS 2400-17) which contain timber volume data for all timber sale contracts.

    Three commenters asserted that, depending on the market area, inclusion of the stewardship timber volume may increase small business participation in both stewardship contracting and the timber program. Five commenters felt that increased competition from the inclusion of stewardship sales would increase stumpage rates. The same number of commenters stated that inclusion of the stewardship sawtimber volume would reduce the number of bidders and decrease stumpage rates.

    Six commenters felt that any financial impact on sales value is less important than the socioeconomic benefits. These commenters also suggested that while timber prices may increase with the inclusion of stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation, it would have no impact to the treasury. Conversely, four commenters stated that inclusion of the stewardship sawtimber volume would reduce treasury revenue and the value of public timber.

    Seven commenters felt that the impact on small market shares of including the stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation would vary by market area. One commenter expressed that inclusion of the stewardship sawtimber volume would have a beneficial impact on future market shares.

    Eleven commenters suggested that if stumpage rates were decreased, restoration activities, retained receipts and local employment would be negatively impacted. A small, second-generation, family-owned lumber manufacturing business in Eugene, Oregon, supported including stewardship sawtimber volume to prevent circumvention of the set-aside program.

    Nineteen commenters went so far as to state SBA and FS have a legal obligation to include the stewardship contracting sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation to ensure small businesses purchase a fair proportion of sawtimber volume. Under section 15(a) of the Small Business Act, SBA bears the responsibility of ensuring that small businesses receive a fair proportion of “total sales” of Government property. SBA believes that sawtimber transacted through stewardship contracting should be properly included as an element of “total sales” under the Small Business Act, because much of stewardship contracting is done through IRTC contracts where FS receives cash from the transaction.

    While several commenters believed that the small business market share is overstated, overall small business base market share may actually be understated because small business' high share of the stewardship contracting sawtimber volume is not included in the base market share calculation. As noted above, stewardship sales account for approximately one-third of total timber sold by the FS. In the majority of FS regions, small businesses purchase the majority of the stewardship contracting timber volume. However, large businesses capture the majority of the stewardship contracting timber volume in some market areas. For example, according to comments, large businesses captured 75% of the stewardship volume in the St. Joe Market Area, presenting a challenge to two small sawmills in the area.

    SBA's is considering a potential policy change to include stewardship contracting sawtimber volume in the calculation of small business market shares. SBA's analysis shows that failure to include stewardship contracting sawtimber volume may either favorably, unfavorably, or negligibly skew the base small business market shares used to determine when FS must set aside timber program sales in some market areas. Inclusion of stewardship contracting sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation could also more accurately capture small business participation and ensure transparency of the Program, another justification under consideration.

    SBA welcomes additional comments on the possibility of including the stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation of base small business market shares. Specifically, SBA requests additional comments and data related to the calculation methodology and analysis set forth in this rule. SBA requests comments as to whether those regions or market areas where small businesses purchase a large percentage of sawtimber through stewardship contracting should receive different treatment in the computation of small business market shares and, if so, what that alternative treatment should be. Likewise, SBA requests comments as to whether those market areas where the stewardship contracting represents a large percentage of overall sawtimber volume should receive different treatment. Additionally, SBA seeks comments as to whether the inclusion of the stewardship sawtimber volume should be subject to any caps or other special considerations. SBA also seeks comment on its authority under section 15(a) of the Small Business Act to treat all stewardship sawtimber sales as an element of “total sales” and whether there are alternative treatments—including whether to consider some or all stewardship contracts as an element of “total purchases and contracts” under section 15(a). In order to have the most robust picture possible, SBA is further requesting additional data regarding the potential impact of including the stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation. SBA is particularly interested in any data suggesting potential impacts on future market shares and stumpage rates.

    Comments on Changing Appraisal Point in Calculating Minimum Acceptable Bid for Set-Aside Timber Sales

    SBA's ANPRM requested comments on several issues related to the appraisal methodology FS uses to appraise set-aside timber sales under the timber program: How to best reflect the actual haul costs to eligible small business timber set-aside purchasers; whether there should be special considerations in those market areas that do not have mills that would qualify as “small” under the SBA's criteria; how to account for the “30/70 rule” in the appraisal process; and whether trust funds would be impacted by changing the appraisal point in set-aside sales.

    Regarding the appropriate appraisal point, 28 commenters stated that appraisal of haul costs should be made to the nearest small mill in set-aside sales while 12 commenters expressed that the appraisal should be made to the nearest mill regardless of size. Those in support of changing the appraisal point in set-aside sales to the nearest small mill believed that such an approach would more accurately reflect the realities faced by small businesses. Several commenters observed that, for its set-aside sales, the BLM appraises haul costs to the nearest small business facility capable of handling the timber volume in BLM's eight markets in Oregon. A small business commenter responded that the current process of appraising set-aside timber sales to a large business defeats the purpose of the set-aside program. The small business trade group commented that the appraisal of a set-aside sale should include a haul-cost adjustment to account for the actual cost of hauling. The same commenter pointed to the FS Timber Sale Preparation Handbook, Chapter 40, section 45.11 (FSH 2409.18), available to the public at http://www.fs.fed.us/cgi-bin/Directives/get_dirs/fsh?2409.18, which provides that the FS chooses an appraisal point where the manufacturing facility “is capable of” processing the end product being appraised.” Because of the 30/70 rule, applying the Handbook approach should result in the FS appraising for haul costs to a small manufacturer, rather than the closest large business facility. SBA agrees that appraisal to a small business mill more accurately captures the cost to eligible bidders. As such, SBA is proposing to appraise haul costs to the nearest qualifying small mill in set-aside sales.

    Ten commenters felt that a change in the appraisal process would require haul cost subsidies and lead to reduced revenue and reinvestment opportunities. The PTPG, for example, commented that changing the appraisal point would cause the FS to divert stewardship funds to subsidize long hauls to distant mills. Some set-aside sales could result in negative appraised value, according to the PTPG comments. Another commenter responded that a change to the appraisal point would divert federal timber away from union workers and would reduce federal timber receipt-sharing for rural communities.

    Four commenters stated that a change in the appraisal point will not impact trust fund collections, while three commenters believed that trust fund deposits would be reduced. The large business trade group in particular commented that, if the appraisals resulted in below-cost timber sales, rural communities would be harmed by the reduction in federal timber payments. The same commenter responded that a change in the appraisal point would cause inefficiency by allowing distant mills to purchase set-aside logs.

    Thirteen commenters felt that FS and SBA should take greater steps to enforce the 30/70 rule in set-aside sales. Fifteen commenters felt that appraisal should be made to the nearest small mill only if it is located within a reasonable distance from the sale. These commenters believed that FS should suspend the set-aside or waive the 30/70 rule if no small mills are located within a reasonable distance of the sale. Seven commenters expressed that the 30/70 rule should either be eliminated altogether or waived for non-manufacturers when no small mill is present. Eleven commenters felt that inclusion of the 30/70 rule in appraisal point calculations would unnecessarily complicate the process, increase risks, and reduce stumpage rates and revenue.

    Although commenters to the ANPRM proposed various alternatives as to how haul costs should be appraised in small business set-aside sales, none of the commenters provided any data that would adequately support one alternative over the other. As such, SBA requests additional comments regarding the other alternatives identified in comments to the ANPRM. Specifically, SBA requests comments as to whether haul cost adjustments should be made for non-manufacturers. Further, as noted above, several commenters recommended appraisal to the nearest small mill only if it is a “reasonable distance” from the sale. SBA requests comments as to what constitutes a reasonable distance. SBA also requests examples of market areas where the recommended reasonable distance would make a significant difference in the appraisal price. Understanding that any sale price accepted by the government must be “fair and reasonable,” SBA requests comments as to why an increased appraisal cost to the nearest small mill would still support such a finding.

    SBA is also aware that certain market areas do not have small mills located within their geographic boundaries. Accordingly, SBA requests additional comments regarding potential geographic exceptions for market areas with no small mills.

    Finally, with respect to appraising haul costs with respect to the 30/70 rule, SBA requests comments as to whether SBA should consider, when the nearest mill is a large business, appraising 70% of the haul costs to the nearest small mill and 30% of the haul costs to the nearest large mill. SBA specifically requests comments as to whether such an approach is or is not favorable, given that it may accurately reflect the true costs to haul the timber, but may unnecessarily complicate the process.

    SBA notes that a number of commenters interpreted SBA's ANPRM to propose a change of the appraisal point in all timber program sales. This is not SBA's intent. As noted above, SBA is proposing that the appraisal be made to the nearest small mill only in the case of set-aside sales.

    Comments on Other Issues

    SBA notes that a number of commenters interpreted SBA's ANPRM as a proposal to subject stewardship contracting to the procedures of the small business timber set-aside program. For example, a large business trade group stated that, if stewardship sales were included in the set-aside timber sale program, the number of potential contractors would be significantly limited for any stewardship sale designated as set-aside. The same commenter remarked that stewardship set-aside sales would complicate the application of the 30/70 rule. The commenter also noted that if a stewardship sale is designated by the SBA as set-aside and there are no local small business mills, local labor would not be involved in the processing of those logs. Another industry commenter predicted that fewer acres of at-risk forest would be restored if stewardship contracts were subject to the set-aside requirement, and this would be contrary to congressional authorization of local preference and best-value contracting. A union commenter responded that the inclusion of stewardship contracts in the set-aside program would circumvent an award to the most local and economic mill in favor of a small business that could potentially be hundreds of miles away. Six commenters felt that small businesses already purchase a substantial share of the federal sawtimber. Conversely, the small business trade group stated that stewardship sales should be set aside, and the result would be preservation of competition for government sales.

    It is not the intent of this proposed rule, however, to apply the set-aside rules to stewardship contracting. The intent of this rule is only to define, under authority of section 15(a) of the Small Business Act, what procedures SBA should use to calculate the proportion of “total sales” of timber flowing to small businesses. SBA is considering whether to include the stewardship sawtimber volume purchased by small businesses in the calculation of small business base market shares used in triggering timber program sale set-asides, but SBA is seeking comments and data before moving forward with such a policy change.

    Approximately 45 commenters urged SBA and FS to conduct a comprehensive review of small business timber sale set-aside program procedures before implementing any changes. These commenters observed that SBA and FS rules for the set-aside timber sale program have not been updated to reflect the changing industry infrastructure or federal timber supply. Other commenters disagreed, urging SBA to make these changes prior to the October 1, 2015 re-computation. These commenters also emphasized that they have been seeking these changes for many years and saw further reviews or studies merely as another delaying tactic.

    An additional five commenters felt that the re-computation period should be shortened to ensure continued accurate representation of market shares. Three commenters suggested that the structural re-computation method should be eliminated altogether. One commenter suggested carrying forward market area deficits into the next five-year period. SBA believes these issues are more appropriately addressed through negotiations between SBA and FS.

    Potential Changes to the Timber Program Currently Under Consideration

    As discussed in detail above, SBA is considering including the volume of sawtimber sold through stewardship contracting in developing the 5-year re-computation of small business market shares which are used to determine when timber program sales must be set aside for small businesses in the FS regions. SBA recognizes that in some regions, small businesses are successfully competing for full-and-open sales under the stewardship contracts. This possible policy would not likely alter that fact. SBA also recognizes that in some regions, small business may be successfully winning under timber program sales without set-asides. Again, this policy would not be intended to alter that fact. In some regions, counting the stewardship sawtimber volume may result in triggering a set-aside opportunity that might not otherwise occur without this new policy in place. In others, counting the stewardship sawtimber volume may result in removing a set-aside opportunity where one previously existed. In still other regions, including the stewardship sawtimber may have no impact relative to the status quo. Regardless, this policy under consideration would establish a transparent process across all FS regions.

    Compliance With Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 12988, 13132, the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Ch. 35), and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5.U.S.C. 601-612) Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this proposed rule is a significant regulatory action for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the SBA's Regulatory Impact Analysis can be found below. This is not a major rule, however, under the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 80, et seq.

    Regulatory Impact Analysis 1. Is there a need for this regulatory action?

    The proposed rule furthers statutory intent that small business concerns receive a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property. See Section 2(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631(a)); Section 15(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(a)).

    Because of the locations and sparse number of the remaining sawmills, current appraisal points used for assessing hauling costs may have prevented many small sawmills from bidding on set-aside timber sales, since fuel costs for transporting the timber from the forest to the processing location may negate the profit margin of the purchase. As such, the proposal to appraise set-aside haul costs to the nearest small business mill is necessary to accurately reflect the costs to eligible bidders.

    As noted above, SBA is also considering a potential policy change, but not proposing in this rule, to include the stewardship sawtimber volume (from both the IRTC and IRSC contracts) for the calculation of the small business fair proportion market share of timber program sales. To assess the trends on timber program l and stewardship timber sales and impacts to small businesses from such a policy change, SBA conducted multiple analyses with the limited data available. The results showed that timber program set-aside sales have declined since stewardship contracting began and that each FS region has steadily increased the availability of stewardship contracting during the period from 2004 through 2014. In addition, in several FS regions, especially those where timber sold through stewardship contracting is large relative to total timber sold, and in aggregate (i.e., all regions combined) the percentage of timber purchased by small businesses is lower under the stewardship program than under the timber program. Thus, the failure to include the volume of sawtimber sold through stewardship contracting could overstate or understate the small business market share for set-aside sales under the timber program. The available data indicates that, with the omission of the stewardship sawtimber, small business market shares could be understated for regions where small mills dominate the stewardship market and overstated for regions where large businesses dominate that market. Further, including the stewardship sawtimber volume could more accurately reflect small business participation rates for purposes of calculating the set-aside trigger point in the timber program, regardless of the direction of the impact on small businesses. While SBA is not proposing in this rule to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business fair proportion or market share calculation, the Agency is seeking public comment on impacts of this potential policy change in the future.

    2. What are the potential benefits and costs of this regulatory action?

    SBA's proposal to appraise small business set-aside timber sales to the nearest small business mill would enable small businesses to comply with existing laws affecting set-aside timber sales while promoting an atmosphere more conducive for them to participate in the overall FS timber market. Using the appraisal data received from FS, SBA estimated total sales to be about 2,900 for FY 2009-2014, of which 86% were sales to small businesses. Using the same data, excluding special salvage timber set-aside sales, SBA identified 156 small business set-aside sales (or 5.3% of all sales and 6.2% of all small business sales) that were appraised to a large business mill. A regional breakdown of these data is provided below in Table 9, below. Based on the data obtained from SBA's Timber Sales System (TSS), SBA estimated total average receipts FS received for FY 2002-2014 for all Regions to estimate the cost (i.e., receipt loss) to FS from the SBA's proposed change.

    The FS conducted an econometric study to assess the impacts of SBA's proposal to appraise hauling costs of all set-aside timber sales to the nearest small mill and potential policy change to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business fair proportion or market share calculation. Specifically, FS estimated a stumpage equation for each FS region outside of Region 10 (Alaska) with a bid premium (i.e., difference between bid price paid and reserve/minimum bid price set by FS) as a function of a number of variables, including the number of bidders, total haul miles, logging costs, total volume harvested, time trend, and a series of dummy variables indicating whether the sale was a small business set-aside sale, a salvage sale, or a stewardship sale. These results are provided in Table 8, below.

    As can be seen from the results in Table 8, the estimated equations explained about 35% of total variation in bid premiums for Regions 1, 3, and 5, followed by 16% for Region 6 and less than 10% for remaining affected FS regions. Thus, the results suggest that several other relevant factors may have been needed to explain the variation in bid premiums.

    Table 8—Stumpage Price Equations Estimated for Regions 1 to 9 by Forest Service Dependent Variable [Bid premium, a difference in the winning stumpage price minus the reserve price ($/CCF)] Regions Region
  • 1
  • Region
  • 2
  • Region
  • 3
  • Region
  • 4
  • Region
  • 5
  • Region
  • 6
  • Region
  • 8
  • Region
  • 9
  • Independent Variables Parameter Estimates Intercept * −15.41 100.19 −0.02 −28.19 ** −15.74 ** −30.67 −78.19 807.06 Lumber Price Index ** 0.07 −0.14 0.00 0.17 * 0.02 0.06 Hardwood Price Index 0.09 −4.22 Softwood Price Index 0.24 −1.7 Number of Bidders ** 8.54 6.6 ** 4.66 ** 12.97 ** 10.67 ** 9.79 ** 18.99 * 70.01 Total Volume Harvested (1,000 CCF) −0.58 −0.65 −0.20 ** −1.59 0.15 ** −0.58 ** −5.7 ** −117.93 Logging Costs ($/CCF) −0.59 0.00 * −0.16 * 0.06 ** 0.21 −4.55 Contract Costs ($/CCF) 0.19 0.29 0.06 0.02 −0.08 ** −2.18 −0.56 Distance to the Nearest Mill (miles) −0.02 0.35 0.004 −0.01 ** −0.04 ** −0.06 −0.02 Hauling Costs ($/CCF) 2.89 Logging Index * −2.38 Sealed Bid Dummy (0, 1) 0.84 29.59 −2.58 −12.43 ** 5.35 ** 7.52 * 28.44 ** 153.32 Set-Aside Dummy (0, 1) ** −7.88 −5.87 −12.84 −1.04 * −4.77 ** −12.29 ** −131.51 Salvage Sale Dummy (0,1) 0.75 1.77 0.11 7.94 ** 6.48 ** 6.26 ** −25.66 * 175.88 Stewardship Dummy (0,1) −1.38 −2.75 * −3.05 −14.97 * 5.75 * 5.44 8.96 90.06 Time Trend −0.31 −5.32 −0.01 2.011 −0.42 0.46 1.73 14.38 R2 0.38 0.04 0.37 0.06 0.36 0.17 0.09 0.03 R2-Adjusted 0.37 0.01 0.34 0.03 0.35 0.16 0.08 0.02 Mean of Dependent Variable 29.85 20.16 3.70 23.55 16.83 22.62 34.92 168.38 No. of Observations 554 627 245 487 973 2,117 2,627 1,883 No. of Observations Used 544 480 210 364 727 1,731 2,273 1,628 Source: USDA Forest Service Econometric Study. * Significant at the 5% level. ** Significant at the 1% level. Note: The significance levels are based on the Heteroscedasticity consistent standard errors. The USDA/FS results didn't include Region 10 (Alaska). Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions.
    Impact of SBA's Proposal To Appraise Any Small Business Set Aside Timber Sale to the Nearest Small Business Mill

    To assess the impact of changing the appraisal point for the small business set-aside sales to the nearest small business mill, SBA analyzed the appraisal data provided by FS and timber sales data from TSS. Specifically, SBA received eight different tables from FS with appraisal data for Regions 1 through 9 (the data did not include Region 10). Each table included the appraisal point for each sale during fiscal years 2009-2015, by region. SBA merged the eight tables into one, and then cleaned and reformatted several variables. For example, the numerical value for distance to the nearest small mill was cleaned by taking out the character values (e.g. “mi.” = miles). Likewise, the number and size of bidders were separated or reformatted as characters (type of the bidder such as small non-manufacturer, small manufacturer, etc.) or number of bidders, as appropriate. For example, if the original variable included 1-SN and 4-SM in one cell, then one variable was created for SN (small non-manufacturer) and another variable for SM (small manufacturer) and 1 was assigned to the former and 4 to the latter. The cleaned data were then filtered to identify all small business set-aside sales (i.e., set aside = Yes) that were appraised to a large mill (i.e., appraisal point = LM (LM = Large mill/manufacturer)), because these are the cases that will be impacted by the SBA's proposal. When compared with the TSS data, the FS appraisal data for fiscal year 2015 were found to be incomplete and was not included in the analysis.

    As shown in Table 9 (below), the results from the FS appraisal data indicate that the SBA's proposal to appraise the small business set-aside sales to the nearest small business mill would impact 5.3% of all sales and 6.2%of all small business sales. On an annual basis, the proposed change would benefit approximately 65-70 small businesses that participate in set-aside timber sales.

    Table 9—Count of Total and Set-Aside Sales and Average Number of Bidders Participating in Set-Aside Sales Appraised to a Large Mill, FY 2009-2014 FS Region * Total number of sales All sales ** Sales to small businesses Set-asides appraised to a large mill Count of sales Share of all sales
  • (%)
  • Average historical participation/number of bidders affected
    1 159 129 12 7.5 4.8 2 256 238 2 0.8 0.3 3 42 42 0 0.0 0 4 112 110 1 0.9 1 5 195 146 32 16.4 10.7 6 397 292 41 10.3 18 8 858 772 41 4.8 16 9 897 787 27 3.0 17.2 Total 2,916 2,516 156 5.3 68.0 * Region 10 (Alaska) was not included in the FS appraisal data and Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. ** Includes sales for which size/type of the purchaser was missing but excludes sales for which region was not specified. Salvage timber sales were also excluded. Source: FS appraisal data and SBA calculations.

    Using the FS appraisal data, SBA was also able to estimate distance to the nearest small mill from the nearest large mill for each set aside sale that was appraised to a large mill and some key summary statistics for the same. These results are provided in Table 10, below. The median distance to the nearest small mill is about 62 miles and the mean distance about 66 miles. This analysis does not reflect the more appropriate analysis of the distance from the sale to the nearest mill and small mill, for which data were not readily available.

    Table 10—Summary Statistics of Distance Between the Nearest Small Mills and the Current Large Mill Appraisal Points (in miles), FY 2009-2014 Region * First
  • quartile
  • (25%)
  • Median
  • (50%)
  • Third
  • quartile
  • (75%)
  • Mean Standard
  • deviation
  • Minimum Maximum Number of
  • observations
  • 1 37.0 42.0 65.0 52.8 29.1 22 108 12 2 132.0 132.0 132.0 132.0 0.0 132 132 2 3 (no Region 3 set-aside sales appraised to a large mill) 4 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 0.0 6 6 1 5 89.0 101.0 136.0 108.6 54.0 1 195 32 6 30.0 65.0 90.0 66.5 44.6 0 163 41 8 30.0 97.0 97.0 63.9 34.8 10 97 41 9 10.0 15.0 25.0 22.2 18.3 5 70 27 Overall 23.5 62.2 97.0 66.2 48.2 0 195 156 * Region 10 was not included in the FS appraisal data and Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. Source: FS appraisal data and SBA calculations.

    With respect to the impacts of the proposed change on bid/stumpage price and on FS receipts from timber sales, FS econometric/stumpage equations included two variables related to hauling costs, namely distance to the nearest mill (for Regions 1 through 8) and total hauling costs ( for Region 9) (see Table 8). While FS, based on its conceptual analysis of relationships among reserve price, bid price, bid premium and hauling costs, expected these variables to have a negative impact on bid premium, the results were rather mixed. Specifically, the estimated coefficients associated with distance to the nearest mill were negative for Regions 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8, and positive for Regions 2 and 3. The estimated coefficient for hauling costs was also positive for Region 9. Among the regions with a negative coefficient for distance to the nearest mill, the coefficient was significant only for Regions 5 and 6.

    Amid these results, FS concluded that, conceptually, both FS receipts and money flowing into the trust funds from timber receipts will decrease under the SBA's proposal to appraise the set-aside timber sales to the nearest small mill, but without information on the number of set-aside sales that would be affected and additional hauling costs incurred in each affected sale, it is not possible to quantify the financial impacts. However, SBA was able to fill these gaps in the FS analysis by estimating cost (receipts loss) to FS from the SBA's proposal to change the appraisal point for set-aside sales to the nearest mill by combining the results from the FS appraisal data (i.e., number of set-aside sales affected and distance from the current appraisal point to the nearest small business mill for those sales), FS econometric results (i.e., the estimated coefficients associated with distance to the nearest mill and hauling costs), and TSS timber sales data. This analysis is done only for Regions 5 and 6 because these are the only two regions where the estimated coefficient for the distance to the nearest mill was significant and had the FS expected negative sign.

    Accordingly, SBA estimates cost or receipt loss to FS due to the proposed change to use the nearest small business mill to appraise the set aside sales as follows:

    Receipt loss = regression coefficient for distance to the nearest mill (Table 8) × median distance to the nearest small mill (in miles) (Table 10) × number of set-asides appraised to a large mill (Table 9) × average volume of set-aside sale (CCF) from TSS.

    The average volume of set-aside sales was based on the FY 2009-2014 data from TSS. Accordingly, receipt loss for Region 6 is estimated to be about $1.07 million (−0.057 × 65 × 41 × 6,979 = −1,066,439), which is about 0.9 percent of total FS timber receipts for Region 6, estimated at about $124 million (i.e., total volume times average bid price) for FY 2009-2014. Similarly, for Region 5, receipt loss is estimated at about $0.91 million (−0.045 × 101 × 32 × 6,261 = −908,634), which is about 2.4 percent of total FS timber receipts for Region 5, estimated at about 38 million (i.e., total volume times average bid price) for FY 2009-2014. These receipts losses to the FS are benefits to small businesses in the form of lowered hauling costs to transport their set-aside timber purchases to a small mill. With lower hauling costs to small businesses, they are likely to bid more for the set-aside timber sales, which would offset some of the receipts losses to the FS due to the proposed change.

    FS expressed concerns that by limiting the receipt impact assessment to only Regions 5 and 6, SBA's regulatory impact analysis of the proposed change is incomplete. FS argued that the two regions examined are not representative of all regions and the results cannot be generalized across the country. As shown in Table 8 (above), the FS econometric results do not support a similar analysis for all affected FS regions. For example, the estimated coefficients for distance to the nearest mill (Regions 2 and 3) and hauling costs (Region 9) were positive, although not significant. Additionally, there were no set-aside sales in Region 3 that were appraised to a large mill. Thus, the proposed change would have no impact in Region 3. Using a positive coefficient for Region 2 would yield a counter-intuitive result of positive receipt impact to FS from the SBA's proposal to appraise the hauling costs for set-aside sales to the nearest small mill, which would make no sense. The same is also true for Region 9. Additionally, SBA has no data to convert the mileage to hauling costs to estimate the impact in Region 9. Similarly, the relationships between bid premiums and the mileage to the nearest mill were not significant for Regions 1, 4 and 8, although they had expected negative signs. The impact estimates based on these results would not mean much on a statistical sense. Given the lack of alternative data to assess the FS receipt impacts from the SBA's proposal for regions for which estimated relationships between bid premium and the distance or hauling costs and were either not significant or had opposite signs, SBA's regulatory impact analysis is limited to Regions 5 and 6 only.

    While SBA agrees with FS that every region is different, but because Regions 5 and 6 together account for nearly half (47%) of all set-aside sales and two-thirds (67%) of timber volume appraised to a large mill in all FS regions (excluding unaffected Region 3), the results based on these two regions provide fairly robust indications on the magnitude of impacts the proposed change might have across other regions, as well as the overall FS market.

    With respect to benefits to small businesses from the proposed change, as shown in Table 9 (above), based on the historical data, about 65-70 firms (68 to be exact) would benefit from the SBA's proposal to appraise all set-aside timber sales to the nearest small mill. This figure is likely to be higher because some previous set-aside sales that received no bids from small businesses and were subsequently re-offered as full and open sales may become economically attractive for small businesses to bid when they are appraised to the nearest small mill. The SBA's proposal would benefit small businesses by lowering costs in hauling the set-aside timber purchases to the nearest mill

    SBA believes that these positive impacts to small businesses justify some losses to FS receipts (0.9% in Region 6 and 2.4% in Region 5) under the proposed change. SBA notes that it did not evaluate the impacts reductions in receipts may have on the Forest Service's forest management and restoration goals or on payments made to counties for schools, roads, community wildfire protection planning or other purposes as authorized.

    The main purpose of the SBA's proposal to appraise the set-aside sale to the nearest small business mill is to more accurately reflect the hauling cost to eligible small business bidders. Based on the historical data, up to 65-70 small business bidders will benefit from this proposed change. As discussed above, SBA expects more small businesses to participate in the timber set-aside program under the proposed change as some small firms that do not bid for set-aside sales appraised to a large business mill currently may decide to participate. SBA believes that the number of set-aside sales that receive no bid from small businesses and become full and open sales will decrease, thereby increasing the number of sales to small businesses. These all will help small businesses keep their business economically viable and to support or create jobs in their communities. Small business employees receive and spend wages within the communities and taxes they pay to local and state governments. These effects, although difficult to quantify, will further offset the impacts of decreases in flows of money to trust funds due to declines in FS timber receipts.

    Overall, the proposed change to appraise the small business set-aside timber sales to the nearest small mill is consistent with SBA's statutory mandate to assist small businesses.

    Impacts of A Potential Policy Change Under Consideration To Include the Stewardship Sawtimber Volume in the Calculation of the Small Business “Fair Proportion” To Establish Small Business Set-Aside Sales Under the Timber Program

    A possible regulatory action to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation of small business fair market share could provide transparency to the process of determining whether or not small businesses are receiving the statutorily mandated fair proportion of timber sale contracts offered by FS. It could provide a market share that would more accurately reflect the small business participation in the government owned timber market and provide the public with more accurate information on functioning of the market. However, at this time, based on the currently available data, SBA's analysis indicates this policy option could have disparate impacts to small timber businesses both within and across regions. Based on the data and cross-tabulations provided by the FS, stewardship sales account for approximately one-third of total timber sold by the FS. As shown in Table 4 (earlier), the FS analysis suggests that, compared to timber program volumes, small businesses acquired a larger percentage of stewardship timber volume in Regions 2, 4, 8 and 9, where stewardship volumes are quite minimal relative to total timber volumes sold. However, small businesses received a lower percentage of stewardship timber sales in Regions 1, 5, and 6 where stewardship sales are generally fairly large relative to total sales. As discussed above, when all regions are combined, the small business share was substantially lower at about 62% under stewardship contracting, as compared to nearly 72% under the timber program.

    In addition, in considering the possibility of including the stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation of small business fair proportion used for determining small business set-aside sales within the timber program market, SBA also re-computed the latest five-year small business market share used to trigger a small business set aside sale by including the stewardship sawtimber volume. (Every five years base small business market shares are re-computed by including the timber sales data for the previous five years and remain valid until the next re-computation.) The re-computation results are shown in Table 11. As can be seen from the table, the inclusion of the stewardship sawtimber in calculation would result in an increase to the recomputed small market share in eight (12) market areas, a decrease in eleven (14) market areas, and no change in the remaining 113 market areas. The increase in the small business share would range from 1% to 39% and decrease from −1% to −22%. If the recent trend continues, it is possible that with the inclusion of the stewardship sawtimber volume the future small business market shares could be lower or higher in those or more market areas.

    Region 10 (Alaska) has an agreement with SBA that small businesses will have a market share of at least 50%. The current market share was determined, via the 5-year re-computation process in agreement with SBA, to be 50% of the planned sale volume for the Region. Over the previous five-year period 100% of both timber and stewardship sales went to small businesses in Region 10. As shown in Table 11, with the inclusion of the stewardship timber volume, an 80% market share would be achievable in Region 10. The Region would have to consult with interested parties, provide notice, and revise the existing agreement with SBA to allow for inclusion of 80% of the Region's planned sale volume in the market (see FSH 2409.18, 91.21.). All re-computed shares reflect the limitations on share movement for the five-year period, except Regions 8 & 9 which do not have limitations on share movement. All shares are limited in movement to no lower than one-half the original base share. Eighty percent is the maximum small business share utilized on any market area, meaning that at least 20% of timber sales have to go to large businesses.

    Table 11—Five-Year Small Business Market Share Comparisons 2010-2015, Impacted Market Areas With and Without Stewardship Timber Region Market area Current five year share
  • (%)
  • Recomputed share
  • (most recent years)
  • (%)
  • Recomputed
  • share
  • stewardship
  • included
  • (%)
  • Change in market share if stewardship included No change
  • (%)
  • Increase
  • (%)
  • Decrease
  • (%)
  • 1 Beaverhead-Deerlodge 49 41 41 0 Bitterroot 80 80 80 0 Clearwater 74 80 67 −13 Custer 62 62 56 −6 Flathead 60 64 63 −1 Gallatin 44 34 34 0 Helena 56 50 50 0 Kootenai 55 60 60 0 Lewis and Clark 56 50 50 0 Lolo 56 62 62 0 Nez Perce 40 31 30 −1 Coeur D Alene 14 13 13 0 Kaniksu 13 14 12 −2 St. Joe 51 46 46 0 2 Arapaho Roosevelt 80 80 80 0 Bighorn 72 65 65 0 Black Hills 80 80 80 0 GM UNC GUNN 80 80 80 0 Medicine Bow 80 80 80 0 Pike San Isabel 80 80 80 0 Rio Grande 80 80 80 0 Routt 80 80 80 0 San Juan 80 72 80 8 Shoshone* 29 31 31 0 White River 80 80 80 0 3 Apache 80 80 80 0 Carson 80 80 80 0 Cibola 73 80 80 0 Coconino 80 80 80 0 Coronado ** 71 71 71 0 Gila 55 61 61 0 Kaibab North 56 62 62 0 Kaibab South 80 80 80 0 Lincoln 80 80 80 0 Prescott 80 80 80 0 Santa Fe 56 62 62 0 Sitgreaves 80 80 80 0 Tonto 70 77 77 0 4 Ashley 80 80 80 0 Boise 55 61 58 −3 Bridger Teton 56 62 62 0 Caribou 80 80 80 0 Dixie 80 80 80 0 Fishlake 80 80 80 0 Manti La Sal 80 80 80 0 Payette 63 69 67 −2 Salmon Challis 72 79 79 0 Sawtooth 63 69 69 0 Targhee ** 57 57 57 0 Toiyabe ** 58 58 58 0 Uinta 80 80 80 0 Wasatch Cache 80 80 80 0 5 Eldorado 60 54 54 0 Inyo ** 66 66 66 0 Klamath 49 39 42 3 Lassen 29 39 39 0 Mendocino 48 38 48 10 Modoc 80 72 72 0 Plumas 20 18 18 0 Sequoia 80 80 80 0 Shasta 30 30 31 1 Trinity 67 74 74 0 Sierra 80 80 80 0 Gasquet 80 80 80 0 Six Rivers Other 67 60 60 0 Stanislaus 20 10 10 0 Tahoe 22 20 20 0 6 Colville 70 77 77 0 Deschutes 23 33 33 0 Fremont Klamath 34 44 24 −20 Gifford Pinchot North 62 60 64 4 Gifford Pinchot South 72 79 79 0 Malheur 80 80 80 0 Mt Hood 80 72 72 0 Ochoco Prineville 67 69 71 2 Okanogan 51 46 46 0 Puget Sound 57 51 51 0 Rogue River 34 31 31 0 Siskiyou East 55 49 49 0 Siskiyou West 80 73 73 0 Siuslaw 40 50 50 0 Umatilla North 47 37 37 0 Umatilla South 56 62 62 0 Umpqua North 63 69 69 0 Umpqua South 45 40 40 0 Wallowa Whitman 59 53 53 0 Wenatchee 45 55 55 0 Willamette Middle 72 79 79 0 Willamette North 71 78 78 0 Willamette South 80 79 79 0 Winema 40 31 31 0 8 Alabama North 80 80 80 0 Alabama South 80 80 80 0 Andrew Pickens 77 65 43 −22 Bienville 80 80 80 0 Chattahoochee 74 63 66 3 Croatan 80 80 80 0 Davy Crockett 80 25 64 39 Delta 80 80 80 0 Desoto 64 68 71 Enoree 59 57 55 −2 Florida Forests 79 80 80 0 Francis Marion * 26 39 39 0 George Washington 80 80 80 0 Holly Springs 80 80 80 0 Homochitto 80 80 80 0 Jefferson * 80 61 61 0 Kisatchie 40 41 38 −3 Kentucky North 80 80 80 0 Kentucky South 80 80 80 0 Land Between the Lakes 80 80 80 0 Long Cane 80 80 80 0 Nantahala 80 80 80 0 Oconee 80 80 80 0 Ouachita 62 47 43 −4 Ozark 65 69 70 1 Pisgah 80 80 80 0 Sam Houston 80 80 80 0 Saint Francis 80 80 80 0 Tennessee North 80 80 80 0 Tennessee South 71 80 80 0 Tombigbee 80 80 80 0 Texas East Side 49 27 47 20 Uwharrie 80 80 80 0 9 Alleghany 80 80 80 0 Chequamegon 80 80 80 0 Chippewa 80 80 80 0 Green Mountain 80 80 80 0 Hiawatha 80 80 80 0 Huron Manistee 80 80 80 0 Mark Twain 80 80 80 0 Monongahela 66 76 55 −21 Nicolet 80 80 80 0 Ottawa 80 80 80 0 Shawnee 37 80 80 0 Superior 75 69 68 −1 Wayne Hoosier 77 80 80 0 White Mountain 80 80 80 0 10 Tongass 50 50 80 30 * Indicates market areas with no stewardship sales and ** denotes market areas with no SBA's timber program or stewardship sales. Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions. The table doesn't include the Chugach Market Area in Region 10 (Alaska).

    The FS econometric results showed a significant positive relationship between stewardship sales and bid premiums in Regions 5 and 6, a significant negative relationship in Region 3, and those relationships were not significant in other regions. Based on these results, FS argued that in Regions 5 and 6 where bid premiums are significantly higher for stewardship sales than for timber program sales, stewardship contracting will have a positive impact on retained receipts, land management activities and receipts to the treasury. Similarly, in Region 3 where the results showed a significant negative relationship between stewardship sales and bid premiums, FS believed that stewardship contracting will have a negative impact on retained receipts, land management activities and receipts to the treasury. Since SBA is not currently considering to subject stewardship contracts to set-aside sales for small business nor to reduce stewardship contracting as a result of any change in the small business market share by including the stewardship sawtimber in the calculation, SBA expects very little or no impact on FS receipts because of this possible change under consideration. The current analysis indicates including the stewardship sawtimber volume could either benefit small businesses by triggering additional set-aside sales within the timber program when the overall small business market share falls below the certain level or could lead to fewer small business set-aside sales than under the current policy of calculating fair proportion based only on the timber program volume. Due to the lack of data, it is difficult to estimate the number of additional or reduced set-aside sales that would be triggered or disappear, or the number of small businesses that would benefit or be harmed from this possible policy change.

    In its response to the ANPRM questions and impacts of the SBA's proposed changes, FS noted that although historical shares of timber awarded to small businesses under the timber sales program and total sales including stewardship sales are similar, this could change if stewardship sales increase significantly as a proportion of total timber sales. Independent of small business impacts, the inclusion of the stewardship sawtimber, which accounts for one-third of the total timber sales, could provide a more accurate representation of what proportion of FS timber is acquired by small businesses. This could not only provide more transparency of the FS timber program, but also more accurate assessment of if small businesses are getting a statutorily mandated fair proportion of Government timber sales.

    3. What are the alternatives to this proposed rule?

    Besides the proposal to change the appraisal of the hauling costs on set-aside timber sales, SBA is also requesting comment on various alternatives to this proposal, as discussed in this proposed rule. SBA invites comments on these alternatives as well as suggestions for other alternatives to this proposed change.

    Regarding appraising haul costs for set-aside sales, SBA considered imposing haul cost adjustments for non-manufacturers. Because both manufacturers and non-manufacturers must agree to manufacture at least 70% of the sawtimber purchased through a set-aside sale at a small mill, SBA does not believe additional adjustments for non-manufacturers are warranted.

    SBA also considered waiving the30/70 rule if no small mills are located within a reasonable distance of a set-aside sale. Such an alternative would allow small businesses to participate in the set-aside timber sales without requiring them to look for and use small mills. Although this approach would not increase hauling costs (and hence decrease receipts to the FS), since small businesses would not have to seek out and use small mills located further away, it could lead to inconsistent results. What might not be considered a “reasonable distance” for one sale might be so considered for another.

    Instead of appraising 100% of the hauling to the nearest small business mill, SBA also considered appraising, when the nearest mill is a large business, 70% of the haul costs to the nearest small mill and 30% of the haul costs to the nearest large mill. The FS also suggested this as an alternative to SBA's proposal to avoid overstating the haul costs when the purchaser sells 30% of the sawtimber to the nearest largest mill. This alternative may accurately reflect the true costs to haul the timber if every winning bidder always sells 30% of sawtimber to the nearest large mill and 70% to the nearest small mill. However, SBA's reviews of all set-aside sales as well as those appraised to the nearest large mill do not support this. Majority of small manufacturers that purchase timber under the FS set-aside sales either use 100% of the purchase themselves or sell 100% to another small mill. More importantly, even a large proportion of non-manufacturer purchasers (i.e., loggers) also sell 100% of set-aside to the nearest mill. For example, of 156 set-aside sales that were appraised to the nearest large mill during FY 2009-2014, 95 were acquired by small non-manufacturers of which 38 (or 40%) sold 100% of timber to a small mill. Unless the FS is certain that the purchaser is going to sell 30% of sawtimber to the nearest large mill and 70% to the nearest small mill, the application of the 30/70 appraisal alternative will always lead to understatement of the hauling costs to the eligible bidders. This approach will also be complicated to implement.

    SBA also considered appraising to the nearest small mill only when that mill is located no more than 60 miles from the large mill which would be used as the appraisal point under the current rules. Data suggests that 62 miles is the median distance between a small mill and the large mill NFS used to appraise the historical set-aside sales (see Table 10, above). Historical sales data suggests that appraising to the nearest small mill only when that mill is located no more than 60 miles from the current appraisal point would affect 2.7% of set-aside sales and benefit approximately 35 small businesses annually (see Table 12). The estimated revenue losses to NFS will be reduced to about $0.53 million (or 0.4% of total) in Region 6 and $0.15 million (0.4% of total) in Region 5 if the appraisal is done to the nearest mill that is within 60 miles.

    Table 12—Count of Sales and Average Number of Bidders Participating in Set-Aside Sales Where a Small Mill (SM) Is Located Within Sixty Miles of the Large Mill Appraisal Point (AP), FY 2009-2015 FS region * Total count of sales included Set-asides appraised to a large mill Count of sales where a SM is <60 miles from AP Share of total sales
  • (%)
  • Average historical participation/number of bidders affected
    1 159 8 5.0 2.3 2 256 0 0.0 0 3 42 0 0.0 0 4 112 1 0.9 0.7 5 195 6 3.1 1.8 6 397 18 4.5 7.2 8 858 20 2.3 7.7 9 897 24 2.7 15.3 Total 2,916 77 2.6 35.0 * Region 7 was eliminated in 1965 as part of re-designation of FS regions and Region 10 was not included in the FS appraisal data. Source: FS appraisal data and SBA calculations.

    SBA did not propose this approach in the proposed regulatory text as the required step of determining whether a small mill is located within 60 miles of the nearest large mill could unnecessarily complicate the process. This approach would impact fewer set-aside sales, but it would also benefit fewer small businesses. Overall, the proposed change to appraise the hauling costs for the set-aside timber sales to the nearest small mill is consistent with SBA's statutory mandate to assist small businesses.

    With respect to a potential policy amendment to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation, SBA considered including stewardship sawtimber only in those market areas where small businesses are particularly likely to be underrepresented if the stewardship sawtimber volume is excluded. Specifically, SBA is considering including the stewardship sawtimber volume only in market areas where small businesses purchase a large percentage of stewardship timber volume or where the stewardship timber volume represents a high percentage of Overall timber volume. However, the purpose of such a possible regulatory amendment is to more transparently and accurately reflect small business participation for purposes of calculating small business market share for set-aside triggers. SBA believes that it is necessary for fairness across the country to have a consistent policy that is not subject to interpretation. While SBA cannot estimate with certainty the actual outcome of the gains and losses among small and large businesses, it can identify several probable impacts. The historical data shows that the inclusion of IRTC and IRSC stewardship sawtimber volume could have a substantial negative or positive impact in the computation of small business market share in many of the 139 active market areas. SBA invites comments and data on how such a policy change would impact small businesses, the stumpage prices, number of set-aside sales, and FS receipts. SBA also welcomes comments on any potential impacts of reduced receipts to county payment programs or other areas affecting small business economic development.

    Executive Order 13563

    SBA has conducted significant outreach to the affected public for many years. Between 1996 and 2002, SBA visited a number of small mills throughout the country to discuss the impact of stewardship contracting on the timber program and their ongoing operations. During this time period, SBA was also contacted by a small business timber association regarding the impact of stewardship contracting on small mills located in Western states. During the 2000 and 2005 re-computations, SBA and FS discussed the impacts of the stewardship program on small business market shares and the possibility of including the stewardship sawtimber volume in the five-year re-computation of the small business fair proportion. In 2006, FS issued a proposed policy directive to include stewardship contracting sawtimber volume in the calculation of small business market shares. At the 2010 re-computation, SBA and FS again discussed the topic of including stewardship sawtimber volume in the calculation. SBA continued to meet with small mills regarding the impact of stewardship contracting between 2005 and 2012. In 2010, SBA held a “town hall meeting” with small mills to discuss the impacts of stewardship contracting. In 2012, small business timber groups submitted complaints to SBA's Ombudsman and Office of Advocacy regarding FS' failure to finalize the proposed policy directive to include stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculations. In 2013, SBA began discussions with FS regarding the current proposed rulemaking which resulted in the 2014 publication of the ANPRM. SBA received 842 comments in response to the ANPRM. During the comment review process, SBA again met with industry stakeholders regarding ongoing impacts of stewardship contracting and the current method of appraising small business set-aside sales.

    Executive Order 12988

    For purposes of Executive Order 12988, SBA has drafted this proposed rule, to the extent practicable, in accordance with the standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of that Executive Order, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. This rule has no preemptive or retroactive effect.

    Executive Order 13132

    For the purpose of Executive Order 13132, SBA has determined that this proposed rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, SBA has determined that this proposed rule has no federalism implications warranting preparation of a federalism assessment.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    For purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, SBA has determined that this proposed rule would not impose new reporting requirements. Stewardship sales will be tracked and recorded using the same method currently set forth in the Forest Service Manual (FSM 2400)—Commercial Timber Sales Manual (FSM 2430) and the Forest Service Handbook (FSH)—Timber Sale Preparation Handbook (FSH 2409.18). FS does not currently make any collections related to tracking this data and no additional information will be collected. The difference would be that the stewardship sawtimber volume would be included in the calculation. The appraisal point calculation performed by the FS will also be conducted using the same methodology with the exception of the mill location used in set-aside sales.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612

    According to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601, when an agency issues a rulemaking, it must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis to address the impact of the rule on small entities. In accordance with this requirement, SBA has prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis addressing the impact of this proposed rule and alternatives, including a possible policy change under consideration.

    1. What is the need for and objective of this proposed rule?

    The proposal to appraise set-aside haul costs to the nearest small mill is necessary to accurately reflect the costs to eligible bidders.

    2. What is the legal basis for this proposed rule?

    Section 2(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631(a)) provides that it is the declared policy of the Congress that the Government should aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small business concerns in order to ensure that a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property be made to such enterprises. Section 15(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(a)) further provides that small business concerns shall receive any contract for the sale of Government property where it is in the interest of ensuring that a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property be made to small business concerns.

    3. What is SBA's description and estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule will apply?

    SBA estimates there are approximately 362 small business firms that may benefit from this rule. SBA estimates these firms will benefit to the extent small business timber sale set-aside bid prices are calculated using the actual hauling costs the bidders will incur. Approximately 5.3% of sales would be impacted, benefiting 65-70 small businesses. No large business would be impacted as they are not eligible to participate in small business set-aside timber sales.

    4. What are the projected reporting, recordkeeping, Paperwork Reduction Act, and other compliance requirements?

    SBA has determined that this rule does not impose additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements. Stewardship sales will be tracked and recorded using the same method currently set forth in the Forest Service Manual (FSM 2400)—Commercial Timber Sales Manual (FSM 2430) and the Forest Service Handbook (FSH)—Timber Sale Preparation Handbook (FSH 2409.18). FS does not currently make any collections related to tracking this data and no additional information will be collected. The appraisal point calculation performed by the FS will be conducted using the same methodology with the exception of the mill location used in set-aside sales.

    5. What relevant federal rules may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule?

    We are not aware of any rules that duplicate, overlap or conflict with this rule. The FS Timber Sale Preparation Handbook would conflict with the proposed rule, if adopted as proposed. Concomitant with the SBA's rule, the FS would revise its directives, including FSH 2409.18.

    6. What significant alternatives did SBA consider that accomplish the stated objectives and minimize significant economic impact on small entities?

    Regarding appraising haul costs, SBA considered imposing haul cost adjustments for non-manufacturers. Because both manufacturers and non-manufacturers must agree to manufacture at least 70% of the sawtimber purchased through a set-aside sale at a small mill, SBA does not believe additional adjustments for non-manufacturers are warranted. SBA also considered waiving the 30/70 rule if no small mills are located within a reasonable distance of the sale. Such an alternative would allow small businesses to participate in set-aside timber sales without requiring them to look for and use small mills. Although this approach would not increase hauling costs (and hence not increase the cost to the Government), since small businesses would not have to seek out and use small mills located further away, it could lead to inconsistent results. What might not be considered a “reasonable distance” for one sale might be so considered for another sale. Moreover, without specific data as to what hauling distance leads to a sales price that is not fair and reasonable to the Government, this approach could be challenged as being arbitrary.

    In addition, with respect to the 30/70 rule, instead of appraising 100% of the hauling to the nearest small mill, SBA also considered appraising, when the nearest mill is a large business, 70% of the haul costs to small mills and 30% of the haul costs to large mills. Although this approach may accurately reflect the true costs to haul the timber, SBA felt that it could unnecessarily complicate the process.

    SBA also considered appraising to the nearest small mill only when that mill is located no more than 60 miles from the large mill which would be used as the appraisal point under the current rules. The median distance between a small mill and the large mill FS used to appraise historical set-aside sales is about 62 miles (see Table 10). Historical sales data suggests that appraising to the nearest small mill only when that mill is located no more than 60 miles from the current appraisal point would affect 2.7% of set-aside sales and benefit approximately 35 small businesses annually (see Table 10). SBA did not adopt this approach in the proposed regulatory text as the required step of determining whether a small mill is located within 60 miles of the nearest large mill could unnecessarily complicate the process. This approach would impact fewer set-aside sales, but it would also benefit fewer small businesses. Overall, the proposed change tis consistent with SBA's statutory mandate to assist small businesses.

    As an alternative to a potential policy change, although not included in this proposed rule, to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in the small business market share calculation, SBA also is also considering to include the stewardship sawtimber volume in that calculation only in those market areas where small business participation is particularly likely to be underrepresented if stewardship sawtimber volume is excluded. Specifically, SBA is considering whether to include the stewardship sawtimber volume only in market areas where small businesses purchase a large percentage of stewardship contracting timber volume or where stewardship contracting timber volume represents a high percentage of overall timber volume. However, the purpose of such a regulatory amendment is to more accurately reflect small business participation rates for purposes of calculating the set-aside trigger point.

    List of Subjects in 13 CFR Part 121

    Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Small businesses.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, SBA proposes to amend part 121 of title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 121—SMALL BUSINESS SIZE REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 632, 634(b)(6), 662, and 694a(9).

    2. Amend § 121.506 by redesignating paragraphs (a) through (e), as paragraphs (b) through (f) respectively, adding new paragraph (a), and adding paragraphs (g), and (h).

    The additions read as follows:

    § 121.506 What definitions are important for sales or leases of Government-owned timber?

    (a) Computation of market share is the small business market share, expressed as a percentage for a small business timber sale market area based on the purchase by small business in the timber sale program market over the preceding 5-year period. The computation is done every five years by the U.S. Forest Service in collaboration with the SBA.

    (g) Small business market share is the calculated share of sawtimber that small businesses are expected to purchase within a market area, expressed as a whole percent.

    (h) Small business timber sale market areas are physical locations throughout the United States including National Forests used in the administration of the Timber Sale Set-Aside program.

    3. Amend § 121.507 by adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 121.507 What are the size standards and other requirements for the purchase of Government-owned timber (other than Special Salvage Timber)?

    (d) In setting minimum bids for small business timber sale set-asides, the appraisal point to calculate the cost of transportation and hauling shall be the nearest small business manufacturing facility where the raw materials may be legally processed as determined by the U.S. Forest Service.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22861 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-8839; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-19] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace for the Following Ohio Towns; Findlay, OH; Ashland, OH; Celina, OH; Circleville, OH; Columbus, OH; Defiance, OH; Hamilton, OH; Lima, OH; and London, OH AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify Class E airspace designated as a surface area at Findlay Airport, Findlay, OH; and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Ashland County Airport, Ashland, OH; Lakefield Airport, Celina, OH; Pickaway County Memorial Airport, Circleville, OH; Ross County Airport, Chillicothe, OH; Fairfield County Airport, Lancaster, OH; Defiance Memorial Airport, Defiance, OH; Findlay Airport; Bluffton Airport, Findlay, OH; Butler County Airport-Hogan Field, Hamilton, OH; Lima Allen County Airport, Lima, OH; and Madison County Airport, London, OH. Decommissioning of non-directional radio beacon (NDB), cancellation of NDB approaches, and implementation of area navigation (RNAV) procedures have made this action necessary for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at these airports. Additionally, the geographic coordinates at Port Columbus International Airport; Findlay Airport; Ashland County Airport; Samaritan Hospital Heliport, Ashland, OH; Lakefield Airport; Ross County Airport; Defiance Regional Medical Center Heliport, Defiance, OH; Bluffton Airport; Lima Allen County Airport; and St. Rita's Medical Center Heliport, Lima, OH, would be adjusted to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database. Also, the names of Samaritan Hospital Heliport (formerly Samaritian Regional Health System), Defiance Regional Medical Center Heliport (formerly Defiance Hospital), and Butler County Regional Airport-Hogan Field (formerly Butler County Regional Airport) would be updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 14, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826, or 1-800-647-5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-8839; Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-19, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11A at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part, A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace designated as a surface area at Findlay Airport, Findlay, OH; and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Ashland County Airport, Ashland, OH; Lakefield Airport, Celina, OH; Pickaway County Memorial Airport, Circleville, OH; Ross County Airport, Chillicothe, OH; Fairfield County Airport, Lancaster, OH; Defiance Memorial Airport, Defiance, OH; Findlay Airport; Bluffton Airport, Findlay, OH; Butler County Airport-Hogan Field, Hamilton, OH; Lima Allen County Airport, Lima, OH; and Madison County Airport, London, OH.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2016-8839/Airspace Docket No. 16-AGL-19.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.regulations.gov.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016. FAA Order 7400.11A is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11A lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by modifying:

    Class E airspace designated as a surface area at Findlay Airport, Findlay, OH, by removing the segments extending from the 4.3-mile radius 7.4 miles south and northeast of the airport, and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    And Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface:

    By updating the geographic coordinates of Ashland County Airport and noting the name change of Samaritan Hospital Heliport (formerly Samaritian Regional Health System), Ashland, OH, to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Within a 6.4-mile radius (reduced from a 7-mile radius) of Lakefield Airport, Celina, OH, and updating the geographic coordinates of the airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Within a 6.4-mile radius (reduced from a 10-mile radius) of Pickaway County Memorial Airport, Circleville, OH, with an extension from the 6.4-mile radius to 10.5 miles north of the airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius (reduced from a 9.1-mile radius) of Ross County Airport, Chillicothe, OH, and updating the geographic coordinates of the Ross County Airport to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    By updating the geographic coordinates of Port Columbus International Airport, Columbus, OH, removing the Don Scott NDB from the boundary description, and within a 7.0-mile radius (increased from a 6.4-mile radius) of Fairfield County Airport, Lancaster, OH; Within a 6.4-mile radius (reduced from a 7-mile radius) of Defiance Memorial Airport, Defiance, OH, and updating the geographic coordinates and name of Defiance Regional Medical Center Heliport (formerly Defiance Hospital), Defiance, OH, to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Within a 6.8-mile radius (reduced from a 7.4-mile radius) of Findlay Airport, Findlay, OH, and within a 7.2-mile radius (increased from a 6.6-mile radius) of Bluffton Airport, Findlay, OH, and updating the geographic coordinates of these airports to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    Within a 6.9-mile radius (increased from a 6.6-mile radius) of Butler County Regional Airport-Hogan Field, Hamilton, OH, and updating the name of the airport (formerly Butler County Regional Airport) to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    By removing the Allen County VOR from the boundary description of Lima Allen County Airport, Lima, OH, and updating the name of St. Rita's Medical Center Heliport (formerly Saint Rita's Medical Center), Lima, OH, and updating the geographic and point in space coordinates of these airports to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database;

    And by removing the segment extending from the 6.4-mile radius 7.4 miles west of Madison County Airport, London, OH.

    Airspace reconfiguration is necessary due to the decommissioning of NDBs, cancellation of NDB approaches, and implementation of RNAV procedures at these airports. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of standard instrument approach procedures for IFR operations at the airports.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6002 and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11A, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR Part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11A, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2016, and effective September 15, 2016, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6002 Class E Airspace Designated as Surface Areas. AGL OH E2 Findlay, OH [Amended] Findlay Airport, OH (Lat. 41°00′43″ N., long. 83°40′07″ W.) Lutz Airport (Lat. 40°57′42″ N., long. 83°35′43″ W.)

    Within a 4.3-mile radius of the Findlay Airport excluding that portion within a 1-mile radius of the Lutz Airport.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AGL OH E5 Ashland, OH [Amended] Ashland County Airport, OH (Lat. 40°54′11″ N., long. 82°15′20″ W.) Samaritan Hospital Heliport, OH, Point in Space Coordinates (Lat. 40°51′34″ N., long. 82°18′30″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.3-mile radius of Ashland County Airport, and within a 6-mile radius of the Point in Space serving Samaritan Hospital Heliport, excluding that airspace which lies within the Mansfield, OH, Class E airspace area.

    AGL OH E5 Celina, OH [Amended] Lakefield Airport, OH (Lat. 40°29′03″ N., long. 84°33′30″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Lakefield Airport, excluding that airspace within the Wapakoneta, OH, Class E airspace area.

    AGL OH E5 Circleville, OH [Amended] Circleville, Pickaway County Memorial Airport, OH (Lat. 39°30′58″ N., long. 82°58′56″ W.) Chillicothe, Ross County Airport, OH (Lat. 39°26′26″ N., long. 83°01′23″ W.) Yellow Bud VOR (Lat. 39°31′2637″ N., long. 82°58′41″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Pickaway County Memorial Airport, and within 2.9 miles either side of the 345° radial from the Yellow Bud VOR extending from the 6.4-mile radius to 10.5 miles north of the airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of the Ross County Airport, excluding that airspace within the Waverly, OH, Class E Airspace area.

    AGL OH E5 Columbus, OH [Amended] Columbus, Port Columbus International Airport, OH (Lat. 39°59′49″ N., long. 82°53′32″ W.) Columbus, Rickenbacker International Airport, OH (Lat. 39°48′50″ N., long. 82°55′40″ W.) Columbus, Ohio State University Airport, OH (Lat. 40°04′47″ N., long. 83°04′23″ W.) Columbus, Bolton Field Airport, OH (Lat. 39°54′04″ N., long. 83°08′13″ W.) Columbus, Darby Dan Airport, OH (Lat. 39°56′31″ N., long. 83°12′18″ W.) Lancaster, Fairfield County Airport, OH (Lat. 39°45′20″ N., long. 82°39′26″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Port Columbus International Airport, and within 3.3 miles either side of the 094° bearing from Port Columbus International Airport extending from the 7-mile radius to 12.1 miles east of the airport, and within a 7-mile radius of Rickenbacker International Airport, and within 4 miles either side of the 045° bearing from Rickenbacker International Airport extending from the 7-mile radius to 12.5 miles northeast of the airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of Ohio State University Airport, and within a 7.4-mile radius of Bolton Field Airport, and within a 7-mile radius of Fairfield County Airport, and within a 6.5-mile radius of Darby Dan Airport, excluding that airspace within the London, OH, Class E airspace area.

    AGL OH E5 Defiance, OH [Amended] Defiance Memorial Airport, OH (Lat. 41°20′15″ N., long. 84°25′44″ W.) Defiance Regional Medical Center Heliport, OH, Point in Space Coordinates (Lat. 41°17′53″ N., long. 84°22′40″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Defiance Memorial Airport, and within a 6-mile radius of the Point in Space serving Defiance Regional Medical Center Heliport.

    AGL OH E5 Findlay, OH [Amended] Findlay Airport, OH (Lat. 41°00′43″ N., long. 83°40′07″ W.) Bluffton Airport, OH (Lat. 40°53′08″ N., long. 83°52′07″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.8-mile radius of Findlay Airport and within a 7.2-mile radius of Bluffton Airport.

    AGL OH E5 Hamilton, OH [Amended] Butler County Regional Airport-Hogan Field, OH (Lat. 39°21′50” N., long. 84°31′19” W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.9-mile radius of Butler County Regional Airport-Hogan Field.

    AGL OH E5 Lima, OH [Amended] Lima Allen County Airport, OH (Lat. 40°42′27″ N., long. 84°01′37″ W.) St. Rita's Medical Center Heliport, OH, Point in Space Coordinates (Lat. 40°44′26″ N., long. 84°07′06″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.6-mile radius of Lima Allen County Airport, and within a 6-mile radius of the Point in Space serving St. Rita's Medical Center Heliport, excluding the airspace within the Findlay, OH, Class E airspace area.

    AGL OH E5 London, OH [Amended] Madison County Airport, OH (Lat. 39°55′58″ N., long. 83°27′43″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.4-mile radius of Madison County Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 19, 2016. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23113 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-448] Schedules of Controlled Substances: Temporary Placement of Furanyl Fentanyl Into Schedule I AGENCY:

    Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration is issuing this notice of intent to temporarily schedule the synthetic opioid, N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylfuran-2-carboxamide (furanyl fentanyl), into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act. This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of this synthetic opioid into schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. Any final order will impose the administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions and regulatory controls applicable to schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act on the manufacture, distribution, possession, importation, exportation, research, and conduct of, instructional activities of this synthetic opioid.

    DATES:

    September 27, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael J. Lewis, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Any final order will be published in the Federal Register and may not be effective prior to October 27, 2016.

    Legal Authority

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implements and enforces titles II and III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended. 21 U.S.C. 801-971. Titles II and III are referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” and the “Controlled Substances Import and Export Act,” respectively, and are collectively referred to as the “Controlled Substances Act” or the “CSA” for the purpose of this action. The DEA publishes the implementing regulations for these statutes in title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter II. The CSA and its implementing regulations are designed to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while providing for the legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States. Controlled substances have the potential for abuse and dependence and are controlled to protect the public health and safety.

    Under the CSA, each controlled substance is classified into one of five schedules based upon its potential for abuse, its currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the degree of dependence the drug or other substance may cause. 21 U.S.C. 812. The initial schedules of controlled substances established by Congress are found at 21 U.S.C. 812(c), and the current list of all scheduled substances is published at 21 CFR part 1308.

    Section 201 of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811, provides the Attorney General with the authority to temporarily place a substance into schedule I of the CSA for two years without regard to the requirements of 21 U.S.C. 811(b) if she finds that such action is necessary to avoid imminent hazard to the public safety. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). In addition, if proceedings to control a substance are initiated under 21 U.S.C. 811(a)(1), the Attorney General may extend the temporary scheduling for up to one year. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(2).

    Where the necessary findings are made, a substance may be temporarily scheduled if it is not listed in any other schedule under section 202 of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 812, or if there is no exemption or approval in effect for the substance under section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), 21 U.S.C. 355. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). The Attorney General has delegated scheduling authority under 21 U.S.C. 811 to the Administrator of the DEA. 28 CFR 0.100.

    Background

    Section 201(h)(4) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4), requires the Administrator to notify the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of his intention to temporarily place a substance into schedule I of the CSA.1 The Administrator transmitted notice of his intent to place furanyl fentanyl in schedule I on a temporary basis to the Assistant Secretary by letter dated June 22, 2016. The Assistant Secretary responded to this notice by letter dated July 8, 2016, and advised that based on review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are currently no investigational new drug applications or approved new drug applications for furanyl fentanyl. The Assistant Secretary also stated that the HHS has no objection to the temporary placement of furanyl fentanyl into schedule I of the CSA. Furanyl fentanyl is not currently listed in any schedule under the CSA, and no exemptions or approvals are in effect for furanyl fentanyl under section 505 of the FDCA, 21 U.S.C. 355. The DEA has found that the control of furanyl fentanyl in schedule I on a temporary basis is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety.

    1 As discussed in a memorandum of understanding entered into by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the FDA acts as the lead agency within the HHS in carrying out the Secretary's scheduling responsibilities under the CSA, with the concurrence of NIDA. 50 FR 9518, Mar. 8, 1985. The Secretary of the HHS has delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Health of the HHS the authority to make domestic drug scheduling recommendations. 58 FR 35460, July 1, 1993.

    To find that placing a substance temporarily into schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, the Administrator is required to consider three of the eight factors set forth in section 201(c) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(c): The substance's history and current pattern of abuse; the scope, duration and significance of abuse; and what, if any, risk there is to the public health. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3). Consideration of these factors includes actual abuse, diversion from legitimate channels, and clandestine importation, manufacture, or distribution. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3).

    A substance meeting the statutory requirements for temporary scheduling may only be placed in schedule I. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1). Substances in schedule I are those that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1).

    Furanyl Fentanyl

    Furanyl fentanyl was first described in 1986 in the patent literature. The scientific literature reported overdose events involving furanyl fentanyl, among other fentanyl analogues in 2015 in Sweden. No approved medical use has been identified for furanyl fentanyl, nor has it been approved by the FDA for human consumption. The recent identification of furanyl fentanyl in drug evidence and the identification of this substance in association with fatal overdose events indicate that this substance is being abused for its morphine-like properties.

    Available data and information for furanyl fentanyl, summarized below, indicate that this synthetic opioid has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. The DEA's three-factor analysis is available in its entirety under the public docket of this action as a supporting document at www.regulations.gov under Docket Number DEA-448.

    Factor 4. History and Current Pattern of Abuse

    On October 1, 2014, the DEA implemented STARLiMS (a web-based, commercial laboratory information management system) to replace the System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence (STRIDE) as its laboratory drug evidence data system of record. DEA laboratory data submitted after September 30, 2014, are reposited in STARLiMS; data from STRIDE and STARLiMS were queried on July 11, 2016. STARLiMS registered 36 reports containing furanyl fentanyl, all reported in 2016, from California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The DEA is not aware of any laboratory identifications of furanyl fentanyl prior to 2015.

    The National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) is a national drug forensic laboratory reporting system that systematically collects results from drug chemistry analyses conducted by other federal, state and local forensic laboratories across the country. According to NFLIS, the first report of furanyl fentanyl at other federal, state, or local forensic laboratories was recorded in January 2016 in Ohio. From January through May 2016, a total of 80 submissions involving furanyl fentanyl were reported in NFLIS as a result of law enforcement encounters in Iowa, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin (query date: July 11, 2016).

    Evidence suggests that the pattern of abuse of fentanyl analogues, including furanyl fentanyl, parallels that of heroin and prescription opioid analgesics. Seizures of furanyl fentanyl have been encountered in powder form. Furanyl fentanyl has also been encountered in drug paraphernalia commonly associated with heroin or other opioid abuse including glassine bags, and as a residue on spoons and bottle caps. Furanyl fentanyl has been encountered as a single substance as well as in combination with other substances of abuse, including heroin, fentanyl, butyryl fentanyl, and U-47700. Furanyl fentanyl has caused fatal overdoses, in which intravenous routes of administration are documented.

    Factor 5. Scope, Duration and Significance of Abuse

    The DEA is currently aware of at least 128 confirmed fatalities associated with furanyl fentanyl. The information on these deaths occurring in 2015 and 2016 was collected from personal communications or toxicology and medical examiner reports received by the DEA. These deaths were reported from five states—Illinois (36), Maryland (41), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (49), and Ohio (1). STARLiMS and NFLIS have a total of 116 drug reports in which furanyl fentanyl was identified in drug exhibits submitted to forensic laboratories in 2016 from law enforcement encounters in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. It is likely that the prevalence of furanyl fentanyl in opioid analgesic-related emergency room admissions and deaths is underreported as standard immunoassays may not differentiate this substance from fentanyl.

    The population likely to abuse furanyl fentanyl overlaps with the population abusing prescription opioid analgesics and heroin. This is evidenced by the routes of drug administration and drug use history documented in furanyl fentanyl fatal overdose cases. Because abusers of furanyl fentanyl are likely to obtain this substance through unregulated sources, the identity, purity, and quantity are uncertain and inconsistent, thus posing significant adverse health risks to the end user. Individuals who initiate (i.e. use an illicit drug for the first time) furanyl fentanyl abuse are likely to be at risk of developing substance use disorder, overdose, and death similar to that of other opioid analgesics (e.g., fentanyl, morphine, etc.).

    Factor 6. What, if Any, Risk There Is to the Public Health

    Furanyl fentanyl exhibits pharmacological profiles similar to that of fentanyl and other µ-opioid receptor agonists. The toxic effects of furanyl fentanyl in humans are demonstrated by overdose fatalities involving this substance. Abusers of furanyl fentanyl may not know the origin, identity, or purity of this substance, thus posing significant adverse health risks when compared to abuse of pharmaceutical preparations of opioid analgesics, such as morphine and oxycodone.

    Based on the documented case reports of overdose fatalities, the abuse of furanyl fentanyl leads to the same qualitative public health risks as heroin, fentanyl and other opioid analgesic substances. The public health risks attendant to the abuse of heroin and opioid analgesics are well established and have resulted in large numbers of drug treatment admissions, emergency department visits, and fatal overdoses.

    Furanyl fentanyl has been associated with numerous fatalities. At least 128 confirmed overdose deaths involving furanyl fentanyl abuse have been reported throughout Illinois (36), Maryland (41), New Jersey (1), North Carolina (49), and Ohio (1) between 2015 and 2016.

    Finding of Necessity of Schedule I Placement To Avoid Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

    In accordance with 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(3), based on the available data and information, summarized above, the continued uncontrolled manufacture, distribution, reverse distribution, importation, exportation, conduct of research and chemical analysis, possession, and abuse of furanyl fentanyl poses an imminent hazard to the public safety. The DEA is not aware of any currently accepted medical uses for furanyl fentanyl in the United States. A substance meeting the statutory requirements for temporary scheduling, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1) may only be placed in schedule I. Substances in schedule I are those that have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Available data and information for furanyl fentanyl indicate that this substance has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. As required by section 201(h)(4) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4), the Administrator, through a letter dated June 22, 2016, notified the Assistant Secretary of the DEA's intention to temporarily place this substance in schedule I.

    Conclusion

    This notice of intent initiates an expedited temporary scheduling action and provides the 30-day notice pursuant to section 201(h) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h). In accordance with the provisions of section 201(h) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h), the Administrator considered available data and information, herein set forth the grounds for his determination that it is necessary to temporarily schedule furanyl fentanyl in schedule I of the CSA, and finds that placement of this synthetic opioid substance into schedule I of the CSA is necessary in order to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.

    Because the Administrator hereby finds that it is necessary to temporarily place furanyl fentanyl into schedule I to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, any subsequent final order temporarily scheduling this substance will be effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register, and will be in effect for a period of two years, with a possible extension of one additional year, pending completion of the regular scheduling process. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1) and (2). It is the intention of the Administrator to issue such a final order as soon as possible after the expiration of 30 days from the date of publication of this notice. Furanyl fentanyl will then be subject to the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to the manufacture, distribution, reverse distribution, importation, exportation, research, conduct of instructional activities and chemical analysis, and possession of a schedule I controlled substance.

    The CSA sets forth specific criteria for scheduling a drug or other substance. Regular scheduling actions in accordance with 21 U.S.C. 811(a) are subject to formal rulemaking procedures done “on the record after opportunity for a hearing” conducted pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. 21 U.S.C. 811. The regular scheduling process of formal rulemaking affords interested parties with appropriate process and the government with any additional relevant information needed to make a determination. Final decisions that conclude the regular scheduling process of formal rulemaking are subject to judicial review. 21 U.S.C. 877. Temporary scheduling orders are not subject to judicial review. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(6).

    Regulatory Matters

    Section 201(h) of the CSA, 21 U.S.C. 811(h), provides for an expedited temporary scheduling action where such action is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety. As provided in this subsection, the Attorney General may, by order, schedule a substance in schedule I on a temporary basis. Such an order may not be issued before the expiration of 30 days from (1) the publication of a notice in the Federal Register of the intention to issue such order and the grounds upon which such order is to be issued, and (2) the date that notice of the proposed temporary scheduling order is transmitted to the Assistant Secretary of HHS. 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(1).

    Inasmuch as section 201(h) of the CSA directs that temporary scheduling actions be issued by order and sets forth the procedures by which such orders are to be issued, the DEA believes that the notice and comment requirements of section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553, do not apply to this notice of intent. In the alternative, even assuming that this notice of intent might be subject to section 553 of the APA, the Administrator finds that there is good cause to forgo the notice and comment requirements of section 553, as any further delays in the process for issuance of temporary scheduling orders would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest in view of the manifest urgency to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.

    Although the DEA believes this notice of intent to issue a temporary scheduling order is not subject to the notice and comment requirements of section 553 of the APA, the DEA notes that in accordance with 21 U.S.C. 811(h)(4), the Administrator will take into consideration any comments submitted by the Assistant Secretary with regard to the proposed temporary scheduling order.

    Further, the DEA believes that this temporary scheduling action is not a “rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 601(2), and, accordingly, is not subject to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The requirements for the preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis in 5 U.S.C. 603(a) are not applicable where, as here, the DEA is not required by section 553 of the APA or any other law to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Additionally, this action is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), section 3(f), and, accordingly, this action has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    This action will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132 (Federalism) it is determined that this action does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 1308

    Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set out above, the DEA proposes to amend 21 CFR part 1308 as follows:

    PART 1308—SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES 1. The authority citation for part 1308 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), unless otherwise noted.

    2. In § 1308.11, add paragraph (h)(21) to read as follows:
    § 1308.11 Schedule I

    (h) * * *

    (21) N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylfuran-2-carboxamide, its isomers, esters, ethers, salts and salts of isomers, esters and ethers (Other names: Furanyl fentanyl) . . . (9834).

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23183 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 22 CFR Part 212 Freedom of Information Act Regulations AGENCY:

    Agency for International Development (USAID).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation prescribes the procedures and standards USAID follows in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. 552. The Act requires agencies to review their FOIA regulations, and no later than 180 days after enactment, directed the head of each agency to issue regulations on various elements of its FOIA program.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before November 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lynn P. Winston, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Information Records Division, U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, DC 20523-6601; tel. 202-712-0960, fax: 202-216-3070.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The Act addresses a range of procedural issues that affect agency FOIA regulations, including requirements that agencies establish a minimum of 90 days for requesters to file an administrative appeal, and that they provide dispute resolution services at various times throughout the FOIA process. The Act also, among other things, codifies the Department of Justice's “foreseeable harm” standard, amends Exemption 5, creates a new “Chief FOIA Officer Council,” and adds two new elements to agency Annual FOIA Reports.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 212

    Freedom of information.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, USAID proposes to revise 22 CFR part 212 to read as follows:

    PART 212—PUBLIC INFORMATION Subpart A—General Provisions 212.1 Purpose and scope. 212.2 Policy. 212.3 Records available on the Agency's Web site. Subpart B—Proactive Disclosures of Agency Records 212.4 Materials available for public inspection and copying. Subpart C—Requirements for Making Requests 212.5 How to make a request for records. Subpart D—Responsibility for Responding to Requests 212.6 Designation of authorized officials. 212.7 Processing of request. Subpart E—Reasons for Withholding Some Records 212.8 General policy. 212.9 Exemption 1: National defense and foreign policy. 212.10 Exemption 2: Internal personnel rules and practices. 212.11 Exemption 3: Records exempted by other statutes. 212.12 Exemption 4: Trade secrets and confidential commercial or financial information. 212.13 Exemption 5: Internal memoranda. 212.14 Exemption 6: Clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. 212.15 Exemption 7: Law enforcement. 212.16 Exemption 8: Records on financial institutions. 212.17 Exemption 9: Records concerning geological information. 212.18 Exclusions one through three. Subpart F—Timing of Responses to Requests 212.19 Time limits. Subpart G—Responses to Requests 212.20 Responsibility for responding to requests. Subpart H—Confidential Commercial Information 212.21 Policy and procedures. Subpart I—Administrative Appeals 212.22 Appeal procedures. 212.23 Mediation and dispute services. Subpart J—Preservation of Records 212.24 Policy and procedures. Subpart K—Fees 212.25 Fees to be charged—general. 212.26 Fees to be charged—requester categories. Subpart L—Annual Reporting Requirements 212.27 Annual Report. 212.28 Chief FOIA Officer's Report. Subpart M—FOIA Definitions 212.29 Glossary. Subpart N—Other Rights and Services 212.30 Rights and services qualified by the FOIA statute. Subpart O—Privacy Act Provisions 212.31 Purpose and scope. 212.32 Privacy definitions. 212.33 Request for access to records. 212.34 Request to amend or correct records. 212.35 Appeals from denials of PA amendment requests. 212.36 Request for accounting of record disclosures. 212.37 Specific exemptions. Subpart A—General Provisions
    § 212.1 Purpose and scope.

    This subpart contains the rules that the United States Agency of International Development (hereinafter “USAID” or “the Agency”) follows in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. 552. The rules in this subpart should be read in conjunction with the text of the FOIA. Requests made by individuals for records about themselves under the Privacy Act of 1974, are processed under Subpart O. Definitions of FOIA terms are referenced in Subpart L. As a matter of policy, the Agency makes discretionary disclosures of records or information exempt from disclosure under the FOIA whenever disclosure would not foreseeably harm an interest protected by a FOIA exemption, but this policy does not create any right enforceable in court.

    § 212.2 Policy.

    (a) As a general policy, USAID follows a balanced approach in administering the FOIA. USAID recognizes the right of the public to access information in the possession of the Agency. USAID also recognizes the legitimate interests of organizations or persons who have submitted records to the Agency or who would otherwise be affected by release of records. USAID has no discretion to release certain records, such as trade secrets and confidential commercial information, prohibited from release by law. USAID's policy calls for the fullest responsible disclosure consistent with those requirements of administrative necessity and confidentiality which are recognized under the FOIA.

    (b) Definitions. For purposes of subparts A through K, M, and O of this part, record means information regardless of its physical form or characteristics including information created, stored, and retrievable by electronic means that is created or obtained by the Agency and under the control of the Agency at the time of the request, including information maintained for the Agency by an entity under Government contract for records management purposes. It does not include records that are not already in existence and that would have to be created specifically to respond to a request. Information available in electronic form shall be searched and compiled in response to a request unless such search and compilation would significantly interfere with the operation of the Agency's automated information systems.

    § 212.3 Records available on the Agency's Web site.

    Information that is required to be published in the Federal Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1) is regularly updated by the Agency and found on its public Web site: www.usaid.gov/foia-requests. Records that are required by the FOIA to be made available for public inspection and copying under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) also are available on the Agency's public Web site.

    Subpart B—Proactive Disclosures of Agency Records
    § 212.4 Materials available for public inspection and copying.

    (a) In accordance with this subpart, the Agency shall make the following materials available for public inspection and copying:

    (1) Operational policy in USAID's Automated Directives System (ADS) which have been adopted by the Agency and are not published in the Federal Register;

    (2) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect any member of the public; and

    (3) Copies of all records, regardless of form or format, which have been released pursuant to a FOIA request, and which have been requested three (3) or more times, or because of the nature of their subject matter, have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records. The Agency shall decide on a case by case basis whether records fall into this category, based on the following factors:

    (i) Previous experience with similar records;

    (ii) The particular characteristics of the records involved, including their nature and the type of information contained in them; and

    (iii) The identity and number of requesters and whether there is widespread media, historical, academic, or commercial interest in the records.

    Subpart C—Requirements for Making Requests
    § 212.5 How to make a request for records.

    (a) General information. USAID has a centralized system for responding to FOIA requests. The Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Information and Records Division (M/MS/IRD) is the central processing point for requests for USAID records contained in Washington, DC, and its overseas missions. All FOIA requests must be submitted to this office. To make a request for the Agency's records, a requester may send request via one of the following mediums:

    (1) By Email: [email protected] Please include your mailing address, email address and phone number with your request. While our FOIA Specialists are happy to answer questions about the FOIA Program and/or help you formulate your request over the phone, please be advised that FOIA requests cannot accept by phone.

    (2) Online Portal: To submit your request online, please click the subsequent link: https://foiarequest.usaid.gov/index.aspx.

    (3) By US Postal Mail: United States Agency of International Development, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Services, Information and Records Division, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20523-2701, Room 2.7C RRB, (202) 712-0960.

    (4) By Fax: (202) 216-3070.

    (b) Third party requests. Where a request for records pertains to a third party, a requester may receive greater access by submitting either a notarized authorization signed by that individual or a declaration made in compliance with the requirements set forth in the FOIA by that individual authorizing disclosure of the records to the requester, or by submitting proof that the individual is deceased (e.g., a copy of a death certificate or an obituary). As an exercise of administrative discretion, the agency can require a requester to supply additional information if necessary in order to verify that a particular individual has consented to disclosure.

    (c) Description of records sought. Requesters must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable the Agency's personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. To the extent possible, requesters should include specific information that may assist in identifying the requested records, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, subject matter of the record, case number, file designation, or reference number. In general, requesters should include as much detail as possible about the specific records or the types of records that they are seeking. Before submitting their requests, requesters may contact the Agency's FOIA contact or FOIA Public Liaison to discuss the records they are seeking and to receive assistance in describing the records. If, after receiving a request and the Agency determines that it does not reasonably describe the records sought, the Agency shall inform the requester what additional information is needed or why the request is otherwise insufficient. Requesters who are attempting to reformulate or modify such a request may discuss their request with the Agency's designated FOIA Specialist or its FOIA Public Liaison, each of whom is available to assist the requester in reasonably describing the records sought. If a request does not reasonably describe the records sought, the Agency's response to the request may be delayed or denied.

    Subpart D—Responsibility for Responding to Requests
    § 212.6 Designation of authorized officials.

    (a) The Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Management (M) serves as the USAID Chief FOIA Officer. The Chief FOIA Officer has overall responsibility for USAID compliance with the FOIA. The Chief FOIA Officer provides high level oversight and support to USAID's FOIA programs, and recommends adjustments to agency practices, personnel, and funding as may be necessary to improve FOIA administration, including through an annual Chief FOIA Officers Report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Chief FOIA Officer is responsible for offering training to agency staff regarding their FOIA responsibilities; serves as the primary liaison with the Office of Government Information Services and the Office of Information Policy; and reviews, not less frequently than annually, all aspects of the Agency's administration of the FOIA to ensure compliance with the FOIA's requirements.

    (b) The Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Information Records Division (M/MS/IRD) is the centralized FOIA office that receives, tracks, and processes all of USAID's FOIA requests to ensure transparency within the Agency.

    (c) The Director, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services (M/MS/OD) serves as the USAID FOIA Appeals Officer. The FOIA Appeals Officer is responsible for receiving and acting upon appeals from requesters whose initial FOIA requests for USAID records have been denied, in whole or in part.

    (d) The Chief, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services, Information and Records Division (M/MS/IRD) serves as USAID's FOIA Officer and FOIA Public Liaison. The FOIA Officer is responsible for program direction, original denials, and policy decisions required for effective implementation of USAID's FOIA program. The FOIA Public Liaison serves as a supervisory official to whom a FOIA requester can raise concerns about the services received, following an initial response from the FOIA staff. In addition, the FOIA Public Liaison assists, as appropriate, in reducing delays, increasing transparency and understanding of the status of requests, and resolving disputes.

    (e) The FOIA Team Leader is the Principal Operations Officer within USAID for the processing of FOIA requests and release determinations.

    (f) The FOIA Specialist also known as the Government Information Specialist (GIS) is responsible for processing requests and preparing records for release when such releases are authorized by the FOIA. They do not have the authority to make denials, including “no records” responses.

    (g) The General Counsel (GC), FOIA Backstop Attorney Advisor has responsibility for providing legal advice on all USAID matters regarding or resulting from the FOIA. Upon request, GC advises M/MS/IRD on release and denial decisions, and apprises the FOIA Office of all significant developments with respect to the FOIA.

    (h) Each Attorney Advisor designated to provide legal advice to USAID Bureaus/Independent Offices (B/IOs) is responsible for providing, at M/MS/IRD's request, legal advice on FOIA requests assigned to those B/IOs.

    (i) The designated FOIA Liaison Officer (FLO) in each USAID Bureau and Office is responsible for tasking and facilitating the collection of responsive records and monitoring the production of records to M/MS/IRD.

    § 212.7 Processing of request.

    (a) In general. In determining which records are responsive to a request, the Agency ordinarily will include only records in its possession as of the date that it begins its search. If any other date is used, the Agency shall inform the requester of that date.

    (b) Authority to grant or deny requests. The FOIA Officer is authorized to grant or to deny any requests for records that are maintained by the Agency.

    (c) Consultation, referral, and coordination. When reviewing records located by the Agency in response to a request, USAID shall determine whether another agency of the Federal Government is better able to determine whether the record is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA and, if so, whether it should be released as a matter of discretion. As to any such record, USAID shall proceed in one of the following ways:

    (1) Consultation. When records originated with USAID, but contain within them information of interest to another agency, or other Federal Government office, USAID should consult with that other agency prior to making a release determination.

    (2) Referral. (i) When USAID believes that a different agency, or other Federal Government office is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, USAID should refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that record, as long as the referral is to an agency that is subject to the FOIA. Ordinarily, the agency that originated the record will be presumed to be best able to make the disclosure determination. However, if USAID and the originating agency jointly agree that the former is in the best position to respond regarding the record, then the record may be handled as a consultation.

    (ii) Whenever USAID refers any part of the responsibility for responding to a request to another agency, it shall document the referral, maintain a copy of the record that it refers, and notify the requester of the referral and inform the requester of the name(s) of the agency to which the record was referred, including that agency's FOIA contact information.

    (e) Furnishing records. USAID shall furnish copies only of records that the Agency has in its possession. The Agency is not compelled to create new records. The Agency is not required to perform research for a requester. The Agency is required to furnish only one copy of a record. If information exists in different forms, the Agency will provide the record in the form that best conserves government resources. Requests may specify the preferred form or format (including electronic formats) for the records sought by the requester. USAID will accommodate the form or format request if the record is readily reproducible in that form or format.

    (f) Archival records. The Agency ordinarily transfers records in accordance with its retirement authority, included in ADS 502, to the National Archives. These records become the physical and legal custody of the National Archives. Accordingly, requests for retired Agency records should be submitted to the National Archives by mail addressed to Special Access and FOIA Staff (NWCTF), 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500, College Park, MD 20740; by fax to (301) 837-1864; or by email to [email protected]

    (g) Records previously released. If USAID has released a record, or a part of a record, to a requester in the past, the Agency will ordinarily release it to a new requester. However, the Agency will not release it to the new requester if a statute forbids this disclosure, or if an exemption applies that did not apply earlier, or was applied differently in the previous situations.

    (h) Unauthorized disclosure. The principle stated in paragraph (f) of this section, does not apply if the previous release was unauthorized.

    (i) Poor copy. If USAID cannot make a legible copy of a record to be released, the Agency is not required to reconstruct it. Instead, the Agency will furnish the best copy possible and note its poor quality in the Agency's reply.

    Subpart E—Reasons for Withholding Some Records
    § 212.8 General policy.

    (a) Section 552(b) of the Freedom of Information Act contains nine exemptions to the mandatory disclosure of records. Information obtained by the Agency from any individual or organization, furnished in reliance on a provision for confidentiality authorized by applicable statute or regulation, will not be disclosed, to the extent it can be withheld under one of these exemptions. This section does not itself authorize the giving of any pledge of confidentiality by any officer or employee of the Agency.

    (b) USAID shall:

    (1) Withhold information under the FOIA only if the agency reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption or disclosure is prohibited by law.

    (2) Consider whether partial disclosure of information is possible whenever the agency determines that a full disclosure of a requested record is not possible.

    (3) Take reasonable steps necessary to segregate and release nonexempt information.

    § 212.9 Exemption 1: National defense and foreign policy.

    Exemption 1 of the FOIA permits the withholding of matters specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and which are in fact properly classified under such Executive Order.

    § 212.10 Exemption 2: Internal personnel rules and practices.

    Exemption 2 of the FOIA covers matters related solely to USAID's internal personnel rules and practices of the Agency.

    § 212.11 Exemption 3: Records exempted by other statutes.

    (a) Exemption 3 of the FOIA incorporates the various nondisclosure provisions that are contained in other federal statutes. Exemption 3 allows the withholding of information prohibited from disclosure by another statute only if one of two disjunctive requirements are met. The statute either:

    (1) Requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or

    (2) Establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld.

    (b) A statute thus falls within Exemption 3 coverage if it satisfies any one of its disjunctive requirements.

    § 212.12 Exemption 4: Trade secrets and confidential commercial or financial information.

    Exemption 4 of the FOIA protects trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtain for a person [that is] privilege or confidential.

    (a) A trade secret has been narrowly defined by the courts under the FOIA as a commercially valuable plan, formula, process, or device that is used for making, preparing, compounding or processing trade commodities and that can be said to be the end product of either innovation or substantial effort.

    (b) Confidential commercial or financial information is information that relates to business or trade that has been obtained from a person (other than a federal employee), and has not been shared or made available to the public.

    § 212.13 Exemption 5: Internal memoranda.

    Exemption 5 of the FOIA applies to inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the Agency. This includes internal advice, recommendations, and subjective evaluations, as opposed to factual matters contained in records that pertain to the decision-making process of an agency, whether within or among agencies. The three primary privileges incorporated in Exemption 5 are the deliberative process privilege, the attorney work-product privilege, and the attorney-client privilege.

    (a) The deliberative process privilege allows the Agency to withhold documents which reflect deliberative, pre-decisional communications. This privilege protects the integrity of agencies' decision-making processes. There are two requirements that must be met to withhold under the deliberative process privilege: Information must be pre-decisional and deliberative. The Agency has an obligation to segregate out and release factual portions. The deliberative process privilege shall not apply to records created 25 years or more before the date on which the records were requested.

    (b) The attorney work-product privilege only applies when the document was created by or at the direction of an attorney; and created in reasonable anticipation of litigation. This privilege covers both factual and deliberative materials, therefore, the Agency is not required to segregate out and release factual portions of attorney work-product documents.

    (c) The attorney-client privilege protects confidential communications between an attorney and his/her client relating to a legal matter for which the client has sought professional advice. This privilege is not limited to litigation and includes protection for facts provided by the client as well as the attorney's opinions. This privilege covers both factual and deliberative materials.

    § 212.14 Exemption 6: Clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Exemption 6 of the FOIA applies to personnel, medical, and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. This exemption protects the privacy interests of individuals by allowing USAID to withhold personal data kept in its files where there is an expectation of privacy. Once it has been determined that a personal privacy interest is threatened by a requested disclosure, the exemption requires agencies to strike a balance between an individual's privacy interest and the public's interest in disclosure.

    § 212.15 Exemption 7: Law enforcement.

    Exemption 7 of the FOIA allows agencies to withhold records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such records would cause one of the following harms of Exemption 7 described below:

    (a) Exemption (7)(A) allows the withholding of a law enforcement record that could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.

    (b) Exemption (7)(B) allows the withholding of law enforcement information that would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication.

    (c) Exemption (7)(C) recognizes that individuals have a privacy interest in information maintained in law enforcement files. If the disclosure of information could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the information may be exempt from disclosure.

    (d) Exemption (7)(D) protects the identity of confidential sources. Information that could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of a confidential source is exempt. A confidential source can include a state, local, or foreign agency or authority, or a private institution that furnished information on a confidential basis. In addition, the exemption protects information furnished by a confidential source if the data was compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority during a criminal investigation.

    (e) Exemption (7)(E) protects from disclosure information that would reveal techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions or that would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.

    (f) Exemption (7)(F) protects law enforcement information that could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.

    § 212.16 Exemption 8: Records on financial institutions.

    Exemption 8 of the FOIA protects information that is contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions (such as Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve, or similar agencies).

    § 212.17 Exemption 9: Records concerning geological information.

    Exemption 9 of the FOIA covers geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.

    § 212.18 Exclusions one through three.

    (a) The FOIA contains three special protection provisions that expressly authorize federal law enforcement agencies, for especially sensitive records under certain specified circumstances, to treat the records as not subject to the FOIA. USAID may not be required to confirm the existence of these categories of records. If these records are requested, USAID may respond that there are no records responsive to the request. However, these exclusions do not broaden the authority of the USAID to withhold documents from the public. The exclusions are only applicable to information that is otherwise exempt from disclosure.

    (1) Exclusion 1. (i) The first exclusion may be used when a request seeks information described in the FOIA, subsection (b)(7)(A), and meets the following requirements:

    (A) The investigation in question must involve a possible violation of criminal law.

    (B) There must be reason to believe that the subject of the investigation is not already aware that the investigation is underway.

    (C) Disclosure of the existence of the records could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.

    (ii) USAID may respond to a FOIA request for investigatory records as if the records are not subject to the requirements of the FOIA when all of these conditions exist. In other words, the USAID response does not have to reveal that it is conducting an investigation.

    (2) Exclusion 2. Informant records maintained by USAID criminal law enforcement filed under the informant's name or personal identifier are covered by Exclusion 2. USAID is not required to confirm the existence of these records unless the informant's status has been officially confirmed. This exclusion helps agencies to protect the identity of confidential informants.

    (3) Exclusion 3. The third exclusion only applies to records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which pertain to foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, or international terrorism. When the existence of these types of records is classified, the FBI may treat the records as not subject to the requirements of FOIA.

    (b) Requesters who believe that records were improperly withheld because of the exclusions can seek judicial review by filing suit in Federal District Court.

    Subpart F—Timing of Responses to Requests
    § 212.19 Time limits.

    (a) In general. The Agency ordinarily will respond to requests according to their order of receipt. In instances involving misdirected requests that are re-routed, the response time will commence on the date that the request is received by the FOIA office that is designated to receive requests.

    (b) Multitrack processing. (1) When the Agency has a significant number of requests, the nature of which precludes a determination within 20 working days, the requests may be processed in a multitrack processing system, based on the date of receipt, the amount of work and time involved in processing the request, and whether the request qualifies for expedited processing.

    (2) The Agency may establish as many processing tracks as appropriate; processing within each track shall ordinarily be based on a “first-in, first-out” concept, and rank-ordered by the date of receipt of the request.

    (3) The Agency may provide a requester whose request does not qualify for the fastest track an opportunity to limit the scope of the request in order to qualify for a faster track. This multitrack processing system does not lessen agency responsibility to exercise due diligence in processing requests in the most expeditious manner possible.

    (4) The Agency shall process requests in each track on a “first-in, first-out” basis, unless there are unusual circumstances as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, or the requester is entitled to expedited processing as set forth paragraph (e) of this section.

    (c) Unusual circumstances. Whenever the statutory time limit for processing a request cannot be met because of “unusual circumstances,” as defined in the FOIA, and the Agency extends the time limit on that basis, the Agency shall, before expiration of the 20-day period to respond, notify the requester in writing of the unusual circumstances involved and of the date by which processing of the request can be expected to be completed. Where the extension exceeds 10 working days, the Agency shall, in the written notice, notify the requester of right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). In addition, the Agency shall, as described by the FOIA, provide the requester with an opportunity to modify the request or arrange an alternative time period for processing.

    (d) Aggregating requests. For the purposes of satisfying unusual circumstances under the FOIA, the Agency may aggregate requests in cases where it reasonably appears that multiple requests, submitted either by a requester or by a group of requesters acting in concert, constitute a single request that would otherwise involve unusual circumstances. The Agency shall not aggregate multiple requests that involve unrelated matters.

    (e) Expedited processing. (1) Requests and appeals shall be processed on an expedited basis whenever it is determined that they involve:

    (i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited processing could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

    (ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged Federal Government activity, if made by a person who is primarily engaged in disseminating information;

    (iii) The loss of substantial due process rights; or

    (iv) A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity that affect public confidence.

    (2) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct, explaining in detail the basis for making the request for expedited processing. For example, under paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section, a requester who is not a full-time member of the news media must establish that the requester is a person whose primary professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be the requester's sole occupation. Such a requester also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request—one that extends beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The existence of numerous articles published on a given subject can be helpful in establishing the requirement that there be an “urgency to inform” the public on the topic. As a matter of administrative discretion, the Agency may waive the formal certification requirement.

    (3) The Agency shall notify the requester within 10 calendar days of the receipt of a request for expedited processing of its decision whether to grant or deny expedited processing. If expedited processing is granted, the request shall be given priority, placed in the processing track for expedited requests, and shall be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any appeal of that decision shall be acted on expeditiously.

    Subpart G—Responses to Requests
    § 212.20 Responsibility for responding to requests.

    (a) In general. USAID should, to the extent practicable, communicate with requesters having access to the Internet using electronic means, such as email or web portal.

    (b) Acknowledgments of requests. USAID shall acknowledge the request and assign it an individualized tracking number. The Agency shall include in the acknowledgment a brief description of the records sought to allow requesters to more easily keep track of their requests.

    (c) Grants of requests. Once the Agency makes a determination to grant a request in full or in part, it shall notify the requester in writing. The Agency also shall inform the requester of any fees charged and shall disclose the requested records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fees.

    (d) Adverse determinations of requests. If the Agency has made an adverse determination denying a request in any respect, the Agency shall notify the requester of that determination in writing. Adverse determinations, or denials of requests, include decisions that: The requested record is exempt, in whole or in part; the request does not reasonably describe the records sought; the information requested is not a record subject to the FOIA; the requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has been destroyed; or the requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester. Adverse determinations also include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters or denials of requests for expedited processing.

    (e) Information furnished. All denials are in writing and describe in general terms the material withheld; state the reasons for the denial, including, as applicable, a reference to the specific exemption of the FOIA authorizing the withholding; explain your right to appeal the decision and identify the official to whom you should send the appeal; and are signed by the person who made the decision to deny all or part of the request.

    (f) Conducting searches. USAID performs a diligent search for records to satisfy your request. Nevertheless, the Agency may not be able to find the records requested using the information provided, or the records may not exist. If the Agency advises the requester that the Agency has been unable to find the records despite a diligent search, this does not constitute a denial of the request and preserves the right to appeal.

    Subpart H—Confidential Commercial Information
    § 212.21 Policy and procedure.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Confidential commercial information means commercial or financial information obtained by the Agency from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

    (2) Business submitter means any person or entity, including a corporation, State, or foreign government, but not including another Federal Government entity, that provides information, either directly or indirectly to the Federal Government.

    (b) Designation of confidential commercial information. A submitter of confidential commercial information must use good faith efforts to designate by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or within a reasonable time thereafter, any portion of its submission that it considers to be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4. These designations shall expire 10 years after the date of the submission unless the submitter requests and provides justification for a longer designation period.

    (c) When notice to business submitters is required. (1) The Agency shall promptly provide written notice to a business submitter of confidential commercial information whenever records containing such information are requested under the FOIA if, after reviewing the request, the responsive records, and any appeal by the requester, the Agency determines that it may be required to disclose the records, provided:

    (i) The requested information has been designated in good faith by the business submitter as information considered protected from disclosure under Exemption 4; or

    (ii) The Agency has a reason to believe that the requested information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4, but has not yet determined whether the information is protected from disclosure under that exemption or any other applicable exemption.

    (2) The notice shall either describe the commercial information requested or include a copy of the requested records or portions of records containing the information. In cases involving a voluminous number of submitters, notice may be made by posting or publishing the notice in a place or manner reasonably likely to accomplish it.

    (d) Exceptions to business submitter notice requirements. The notice requirements of this section shall not apply if:

    (1) The Agency determines that the information is exempt under the FOIA;

    (2) The information has been lawfully published or has been officially made available to the public;

    (3) Disclosure of the information is required by a statute other than the FOIA or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600 of June 23, 1987; or

    (4) The designation made by the business submitter appears obviously frivolous, except that, in such a case, the Agency shall give the business submitter written notice of any final decision to disclose the information and must provide that notice within a reasonable number of days prior to a specified disclosure date.

    (e) Opportunity to object to disclosure. (1) The Agency shall specify a reasonable time period within which the business submitter must respond to the notice referenced above. If a business submitter has any objections to disclosure, the business submitter should:

    (i) Provide the Agency with a detailed written statement that specifies all grounds for withholding the particular information under any exemption of the FOIA. In order to rely on Exemption 4 as basis for nondisclosure, the business submitter must explain why the information constitutes a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.

    (ii) Designate by appropriate markings, either at the time a record is submitted to the Agency or within a reasonable period time thereafter, those portions of the record which it deems to contain confidential commercial information. The designation shall be accompanied by a certification made by the business submitter, its agent or designee that to the best of the business submitter's knowledge, information and belief, the record does, in fact, contain confidential commercial information that has not previously been disclosed to the public.

    (2) A business submitter who fails to respond within the time period specified in the notice shall be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information. Information received by the Agency after the date of any disclosure decision shall not be considered by the Agency. Any information provided by a business submitter under this subpart may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.

    (f) Analysis of objections. The Agency shall consider a business submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure in deciding whether to disclose the requested information.

    (g) Notice of intent to disclose. Whenever the Agency decides to disclose information over the objection of a business submitter, the Agency shall provide the business submitter written notice, which shall include:

    (1) A statement of the reasons why each of the business submitter's disclosure objections was not sustained;

    (2) A description of the information to be disclosed; and

    (3) A specified disclosure date, which shall be a reasonable time subsequent to the notice.

    (h) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel the disclosure of confidential commercial information, the Agency shall promptly notify the business submitter.

    Subpart I—Administrative Appeals
    § 212.22 Appeal procedures.

    USAID must inform the requester of the reasons for the denial and the requester's right to appeal the denial to the FOIA Appeals Officer whenever a FOIA request is denied.

    (a) What a requester can appeal. A requester may appeal the withholding of a document or denial of a fee waiver request. A requester may contest the type or amount of fees that were charged, or may appeal any other type of adverse determination under the FOIA. A requester may also appeal because USAID failed to conduct an adequate search for the documents requested. However, a requester may not file an administrative appeal for the lack of a timely response. A requester may administratively appeal any portion denied when their request is granted in part and denied in part. An appeal does not affect the release of the documents that may be disclosed if the Agency has agreed to disclose some but not all requested documents.

    (b) Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determinations to USAID. The requester must make the appeal in writing. To be considered timely, the appeal must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, within 90 calendar days after the date of the response. The appeal should clearly identify the Agency's determination that is being appealed and the assigned request number. To facilitate handling, the requester should mark both the appeal letter and envelope, or subject line of the electronic transmission, “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”

    (c) Adjudication of appeals. (1) The Director of the Bureau for Management Services or designee will conduct de novo review and make the final determination on the appeals.

    (2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.

    (d)) Decisions on appeals. A decision on an appeal must be made in writing. A decision that upholds the Agency's determination will contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision will provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and will inform the requester of the mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If the Agency's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the requester will be notified of that determination in writing. The Agency will thereafter further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and respond directly to the requester.

    (e) When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of the Agency's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.

    (f) Where to file an appeal. An appeal may be filed by sending a letter to: FOIA Appeals Officer, Bureau for Management Director, Office of Management Services, U.S. Agency for International Development Room 2.12-010, RRB, Washington, DC 20523-4601. There is no charge for filing an administrative appeal.

    § 212.23 Mediation and dispute services.

    The Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration (OGIS) is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) resource for the public and the government. Congress has charged OGIS with reviewing FOIA policies, procedures and compliance of Federal agencies and to recommend changes to the FOIA. OGIS' mission also includes resolving FOIA disputes between Federal agencies and requesters. In the Administrative appeal process, OGIS works as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation.

    When USAID makes a determination on a request, the Agency shall offer the services of the FOIA Public Liaison, and will notify requesters of the mediation services provided by OGIS. Specifically, USAID will include in the Agency's notification to the requester;

    (a) The right of the requester to seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison of the Agency, and in the case of an adverse determination;

    (b) The right of the requester to seek dispute resolution services from the FOIA Public Liaison of the agency or the Office of Government Information Services.

    Subpart J—Preservation of Records
    § 212.24 Policy and procedures.

    The Agency shall preserve all correspondence relating to the requests it receives under this subpart, and all records processed pursuant to such requests, until such time as the destruction of such correspondence and records is authorized pursuant to Title 44 of the United States Code, and appropriate records disposition authority granted by NARA. Under no circumstances shall records be sent to a Federal Records Center, transferred to the permanent custody of NARA, or destroyed while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal, or civil action under the FOIA.

    Subpart K—Fees
    § 212.25 Fees to be charged—general.

    (a) In general. USAID shall charge for processing requests under the FOIA in accordance with the provisions of this section and with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidelines. In order to resolve any fee issues that arise under this section, the Agency may contact a requester for additional information. The Agency shall ensure that search, review, and duplication are conducted in the most efficient and the least expensive manner. USAID ordinarily will collect all applicable fees before sending copies of records to a requester. Requesters must pay fees by check or money order made payable to the Treasury of the United States.

    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

    (1) Commercial use request is a request that asks for information for a use or a purpose that furthers a commercial, trade, or profit interest, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. The Agency's decision to place a requester in the commercial use category will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the requester's intended use of the information.

    (2) Direct costs are those expenses that the Agency incurs in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial use requests, reviewing) records in order to respond to a FOIA request. Direct costs do not include overhead expenses such as the costs of space, and of heating or lighting a facility.

    (3) Duplication is reproducing a copy of a record, or of the information contained in it, necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Copies can take the form of paper, audiovisual materials, or electronic records, among others.

    (4) Educational institution is any school that operates a program of scholarly research. A requester in this fee category must show that the request is authorized by, and is made under the auspices of, an educational institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use, but rather are sought to further scholarly research. To fall within this fee category, the request must serve the scholarly research goals of the institution rather than an individual research goal.

    (5) Noncommercial scientific institution is an institution that is not operated on a “commercial” basis, as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. A requester in this category must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are sought to further scientific research and are not for a commercial use.

    (6) Representative of the news media is any person or entity organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public that actively gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations that broadcast “news” to the public at large and publishers of periodicals that disseminate “news” and make their products available through a variety of means to the general public, including news organizations that disseminate solely on the Internet. A request for records supporting the news-dissemination function of the requester shall not be considered to be for a commercial use. “Freelance” journalists who demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication through a news media entity shall be considered as a representative of the news media. A publishing contract would provide the clearest evidence that publication is expected; however, components shall also consider a requester's past publication record in making this determination.

    (7) Review is the examination of a record located in response to a request in order to determine whether any portion of it is exempt from disclosure. Review time includes processing any record for disclosure, such as doing all that is necessary to prepare the record for disclosure, including the process of redacting the record and marking the appropriate exemptions. Review costs are properly charged even if a record ultimately is not disclosed. Review time also includes time spent both obtaining and considering any formal objection to disclosure made by a confidential commercial information submitter, but it does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

    (8) Search is the process of looking for and retrieving records or information responsive to a request. Search time includes page-by-page or line-by-line identification of information within records and the reasonable efforts expended to locate and retrieve information from electronic records.

    (c) Charging fees. In responding to FOIA requests, the Agency shall charge the following fees unless a waiver or reduction of fees has been granted under paragraph (k) of this section.

    (1) Search. (i) Requests made by educational institutions, noncommercial scientific institutions, or representatives of the news media are not subject to search fees. Search fees shall be charged for all other requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d) of this section. The Agency may properly charge for time spent searching even if they do not locate any responsive records or if they determine that the records are entirely exempt from disclosure.

    (2) Duplication. Duplication fees shall be charged to all requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d) of this section. The Agency shall honor a requester's preference for receiving a record in a particular form or format where it is readily reproducible by the agency in the form or format requested. Where photocopies are supplied, the Agency shall provide one copy per request at a cost of twenty cents per page. For copies of records produced on tapes, disks, or other media, the direct costs of producing the copy, including operator time shall be charged. Where paper documents must be scanned in order to comply with a requester's preference to receive the records in an electronic format, the requester shall pay the direct costs associated with scanning those materials. For other forms of duplication, the Agency shall charge the direct costs.

    (3) Review. Review fees shall be charged to requesters who make commercial use requests. Review fees shall be assessed in connection with the initial review of the record, i.e., the review conducted by the agency to determine whether an exemption applies to a particular record or portion of a record. No charge will be made for review at the administrative appeal stage of exemptions applied at the initial review stage. However, if a particular exemption is deemed to no longer apply, any costs associated with the Agency re-review of the records in order to consider the use of other exemptions may be assessed as review fees.

    (d) Restrictions on charging fees. (1) No search fees will be charged for requests by educational institutions (unless the records are sought for a commercial use), noncommercial scientific institutions, or representatives of the news media.

    (2) When the Agency determines that unusual circumstances apply to the processing of a request, and the Agency has provided timely written notice to the requester, the delay is excused for an additional 10 days. If the Agency fails to comply with the extended time limit, it may not charge search fees (or for requesters with preferred fee status, may not charge duplication fees).

    (i) Exception: If unusual circumstances apply and “more than 5000 pages are necessary to respond to the request,” the Agency may charge search fees (or, for requesters in preferred fee status, may charge duplication fees) if timely written notice has been made to the requester and the Agency has discussed with the requester via written mail, electronic mail, or telephone (or made not less than 3 good-faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively limit the scope of the request.

    (ii) Court Determination that exceptional circumstances exist: If a court determines that exceptional circumstances exist, the Agency's failure to comply with a time limit shall be excused for the length of time provided by the court order.

    (3) If the Agency fails to comply with the time limits in which to respond to a request, and if no unusual or exceptional circumstances, as those terms are defined by the FOIA, apply to the processing of the request, it may not charge search fees, or, in the instances of requests from requesters described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, may not charge duplication fees.

    (4) No search or review fees will be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for search or review.

    (5) Except for requesters seeking records for a commercial use, the Agency shall provide without charge:

    (i) The first 100 pages of duplication (or the cost equivalent for other media); and

    (ii) The first two hours of search.

    (6) When, after first deducting the 100 free pages (or its cost equivalent) and the first two hours of search, a total fee calculated under paragraph (c) of this section is $25.00 or less for any request, no fee will be charged.

    (e) Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $25.00. (1) When the Agency determines or estimates that the fees to be assessed in accordance with this section will exceed $25.00, the Agency shall notify the requester of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, including a breakdown of the fees for search, review or duplication, unless the requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. If only a portion of the fee can be estimated readily, the agency shall advise the requester accordingly. If the requester is a noncommercial use requester, the notice shall specify that the requester is entitled to the statutory entitlements of 100 pages of duplication at no charge and, if the requester is charged search fees, two hours of search time at no charge, and shall advise the requester whether those entitlements have been provided.

    (2) In cases in which a requester has been notified that the actual or estimated fees are in excess of $25.00, the request shall not be considered received and further work will not be completed until the requester commits in writing to pay the actual or estimated total fee, or designates some amount of fees the requester is willing to pay, or in the case of a noncommercial use requester who has not yet been provided with the requester's statutory entitlements, designates that the requester seeks only that which can be provided by the statutory entitlements. The requester must provide the commitment or designation in writing, and must, when applicable, designate an exact dollar amount the requester is willing to pay. The Agency is not required to accept payments in installments.

    (3) If the requester has indicated a willingness to pay some designated amount of fees, but the Agency estimates that the total fee will exceed that amount, the Agency shall toll the processing of the request when it notifies the requester of the estimated fees in excess of the amount the requester has indicated a willingness to pay. The Agency shall inquire whether the requester wishes to revise the amount of fees the requester is willing to pay or modify the request. Once the requester responds, the time to respond will resume from where it was at the date of the notification.

    (4) The Agency shall make available their FOIA Public Liaison or other FOIA Specialists to assist any requester in reformulating a request to meet the requester's needs at a lower cost.

    (f) Charges for other services. Although not required to provide special services, if the Agency chooses to do so as a matter of administrative discretion, the direct costs of providing the service shall be charged. Examples of such services include certifying that records are true copies, providing multiple copies of the same document, or sending records by means other than first class mail.

    (g) Charging interest. The Agency may charge interest on any unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following the date of billing the requester. Interest charges shall be assessed at the rate provided in 31 U.S.C. 3717 and will accrue from the billing date until payment is received by the agency. The Agency shall follow the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365, 96 Stat. 1749), as amended, and its administrative procedures, including the use of consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, and offset.

    (h) Aggregating requests. When the Agency reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in concert is attempting to divide a single request into a series of requests for the purpose of avoiding fees, the Agency may aggregate those requests and charge accordingly. The Agency may presume that multiple requests of this type made within a 30-day period have been made in order to avoid fees. For requests separated by a longer period, the Agency will aggregate them only where there is a reasonable basis for determining that aggregation is warranted in view of all the circumstances involved. Multiple requests involving unrelated matters shall not be aggregated.

    (i) Advance payments. (1) For requests other than those described in paragraphs (i)(2) or (i)(3) of this section, the agency shall not require the requester to make an advance payment before work is commenced or continued on a request. Payment owed for work already completed (i.e., payment before copies are sent to a requester) is not an advance payment.

    (2) When the Agency determines or estimates that a total fee to be charged under this section will exceed $250.00, it may require that the requester make an advance payment up to the amount of the entire anticipated fee before beginning to process the request. The Agency may elect to process the request prior to collecting fees when it receives a satisfactory assurance of full payment from a requester with a history of prompt payment.

    (3) Where a requester has previously failed to pay a properly charged FOIA fee to the agency within 30 calendar days of the billing date, the Agency may require that the requester pay the full amount due, plus any applicable interest on that prior request, and the Agency may require that the requester make an advance payment of the full amount of any anticipated fee before the Agency begins to process a new request or continues to process a pending request or any pending appeal. If the Agency has a reasonable basis to believe that a requester has misrepresented the requester's identity in order to avoid paying outstanding fees, it may require that the requester provide proof of identity.

    (4) In cases in which the Agency requires advance payment, the request shall not be considered received and further work will not be completed until the required payment is received. If the requester does not pay the advance payment within 30 calendar days after the date of the Agency's fee determination, the request will be closed.

    (j) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. The fee schedule of this section does not apply to fees charged under any statute that specifically requires an agency to set and collect fees for particular types of records. In instances where records responsive to a request are subject to a statutorily-based fee schedule program, the Agency shall inform the requester of the contact information for that program.

    (k) Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees. (1) Records responsive to a request shall be furnished without charge or at a reduced rate below the rate established under paragraph (c) of this section, where the Agency determines, based on all available information, that the requester has demonstrated that:

    (i) Disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, and

    (ii) Disclosure of the information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

    (2) In deciding whether disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of operations or activities of the government, the Agency shall consider all four of the following factors:

    (i) The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations or activities of the Federal Government, with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.

    (ii) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully informative about government operations or activities in order to be “likely to contribute” to an increased public understanding of those operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical form, would not contribute to such understanding where nothing new would be added to the public's understanding.

    (iii) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's expertise in the subject area as well as the requester's ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public shall be considered. It shall be presumed that a representative of the news media will satisfy this consideration.

    (iv) The public's understanding of the subject in question must be enhanced by the disclosure to a significant extent. However, the Agency shall not make value judgments about whether the information at issue is “important” enough to be made public.

    (3) To determine whether disclosure of the requested information is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, the Agency shall consider the following factors:

    (i) The Agency shall identify any commercial interest of the requester, as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, that would be furthered by the requested disclosure. Requesters shall be given an opportunity to provide explanatory information regarding this consideration.

    (ii) A waiver or reduction of fees is justified where the public interest is greater than any identified commercial interest in disclosure. The Agency ordinarily shall presume that where a news media requester has satisfied the public interest standard, the public interest will be the interest primarily served by disclosure to that requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return shall not be presumed to primarily serve the public interest.

    (4) Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver shall be granted for those records.

    (5) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when the request is first submitted to the Agency and should address the criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is denied, the requester shall be required to pay any costs incurred up to the date the fee waiver request was received. A requester may appeal the denial of a fee waiver.

    § 212.26 Fees to be charged—requester categories.

    (a) The following specific fees are charged for services rendered:

    (1) Commercial Use

    Search: $40.00 per hour.

    Search costs will be assessed even though no records may be found or even if, after review, there is no disclosure or records.

    Review: $55.00 per hour.

    Duplication: 20¢ per page.

    (2) Educational & Non-Commercial Scientific Institutions

    Search: No fee.

    Review: No fee.

    Duplication: 20¢ per page after the first 100 pages.

    (3) Representatives of the News Media

    Search: No fee.

    Review: No fee.

    Duplication: 20¢ per page after the first 100 pages.

    (4) All Others

    Search: Same as “Commercial Users” except the first two hours shall be furnished without charge.

    Review: No fee.

    Duplication: 20¢ per page after the first 100 pages.

    (b) If copies of records are provided in other than paper format (such as on microfiche, video tape, or as electronic data files), or other than first-class mail is requested or required, the requester is charged the actual cost of providing these additional services.

    Subpart L—Annual Reporting Requirements
    § 212.27 Annual Report.

    The FOIA requires each federal agency to submit an Annual Report to the Attorney General each year. The Annual Report contains detailed statistics on the numbers of requests received and processed by the Agency, the time taken to respond, and the outcome of each request, as well as many other vital statistics regarding the administration of the FOIA.

    § 212.28 Chief FOIA Officer's Report.

    The Attorney General's 2009 FOIA Guidelines require the Chief FOIA Officer for each federal agency to submit a report to the Attorney General containing a detailed description of the steps taken by the Agency to improve FOIA compliance and transparency. These reports contain details of FOIA administration, as well as the steps taken to implement the Attorney General's 2009 FOIA Guidelines during each reporting year.

    Subpart M—FOIA Definitions
    § 212.29 Glossary.

    As used in this part:

    Administrative FOIA Appeal is an independent review of the initial determination made in response to a FOIA request. Requesters who are dissatisfied with the response made on their initial request have a statutory right to appeal the initial determination made by the Agency.

    Agency is any executive agency, military agency, government corporation, government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Federal Government, or any independent regulatory agency. Thus, USAID is an agency.

    Backlog is the number of requests or administrative appeals that are pending beyond the statutory time period for a response.

    Complex request is a request that typically seeks a high volume of material or requires additional steps to process such as the need to search for records in multiple locations.

    Consultation is when USAID locates a record that contains information of interest to another agency, and USAID asks for the views of that other agency on the disclosablity of the records before any final determination is made.

    Discretionary disclosure is information that the Agency releases even though it could have been withheld under one of the FOIA's exemptions. Agencies release information as a matter of discretion when there is no foreseeable harm in disclosure.

    Duplication is reproducing a copy of a record, or of the information contained in it, necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Copies can take the form of paper, audiovisual materials, or electronic records, among others.

    Electronic record is any information that is recorded in a form that only a computer can process and that satisfies the definition of a Federal record per the Federal Records Act. Federal electronic records are not necessarily kept in a “recordkeeping system” but may reside in a generic electronic information system or are produced by an application such as word processing or electronic mail.

    Exemptions are nine categories of information that are not required to be released in response to a FOIA request because release would be harmful to a government or private interest. These categories are called “exemptions” from disclosures.

    Expedited processing is the FOIA response track granted in certain limited situations, specifically when a FOIA request is processed ahead of other pending requests.

    FOIA Library is an online page on the Agency's FOIA Web site, where certain categories of records are proactively disclosed. The FOIA Library contains both operational documents about the Agency as well as records that have been frequently requested under the FOIA.

    Freedom of Information Act or FOIA is a United States federal law that grants the public access to information possessed by government agencies. Upon written request, U.S. government agencies are required to release information unless it falls under one of nine exemptions listed in the Act.

    Frequently requested records are records that have been requested three (3) or more times from the Agency.

    Multi-track processing is a system that divides in-coming FOIA requests according to their complexity so that simple requests requiring relatively minimal review are placed in one processing track and more complex requests are placed in one or more other tracks. Requests granted expedited processing are placed in yet another track. Requests in each track are processed on a first in/first out basis.

    Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and agencies as an alternative to litigation. OGIS also reviews agency FOIA compliance, policies, and procedures and makes recommendations for improvement. The Office is a part of the National Archives and Records Administration, and was created by Congress as part of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which amended the FOIA.

    Proactive disclosures are records made publicly available by agencies without waiting for a specific FOIA request. Agencies now post on their Web sites material concerning their functions and mission. The FOIA itself requires agencies to make available certain categories of information, including final opinions and orders, specific policy statements, certain administrative staff manuals and frequently requested records.

    Record means information regardless of its physical form or characteristics including information created, stored, and retrievable by electronic means that is created or obtained by the Agency and under the control of the Agency at the time of the request, including information maintained for the Agency by an entity under Government contract for records management purposes. It does not include records that are not already in existence and that would have to be created specifically to respond to a request. Information available in electronic form shall be searched and compiled in response to a request unless such search and compilation would significantly interfere with the operation of the Agency's automated information systems.

    Referral occurs when an agency locates a record that originated with, or is of otherwise primary interest to another agency. It will forward that record to the other agency to process the record and to provide the final determination directly to the requester.

    Simple request is a FOIA request that an agency anticipates will involve a small volume of material or which will be able to be processed relatively quickly.

    Subpart N—Other Rights and Services
    § 212.30 Rights and services qualified by the FOIA statute.

    Nothing in this subpart shall be construed to entitle any person, as a right, to any service or to the disclosure of any record to which such person is not entitled under the FOIA.

    Subpart O—Privacy Act Provisions
    § 212.31 Purpose and scope.

    This subpart contains the rules that the USAID follows under the Privacy Act of 1974 (PA), 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended. These rules should be read together with the text of the statute, which provides additional information about records maintained on individuals. The rules in this subpart apply to all records in systems of records maintained by the agency that are retrieved by an individual's name or personal identifier. They describe the procedures by which individuals may request access to records about themselves, request amendment or correction of those records, and request an accounting of disclosures of those records by the agency. If any records retrieved pursuant to an access request under the PA are found to be exempt from access under that Act, they will be processed for possible disclosure under the FOIA, as amended. No fees shall be charged for access to or amendment of PA records.

    § 212.32 Privacy definitions.

    As used in this subpart, the following definitions shall apply:

    (a) Individual means a citizen or a legal permanent resident alien (LPR) of the United States.

    (b) Maintain includes maintain, collect, use, or disseminate.

    (c) Record means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by the agency and that contains the individual's name or the identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or photograph.

    (d) System of records means a group of any records under the control of the agency from which information is retrieved by the name of an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to an individual.

    § 212.33 Request for access to records.

    (a) In general. Requests for access to records under the PA must be made in writing and mailed to the Bureau for Management Services, Information and Records Division at the address given in § 212.7.

    (b) Description of records sought. Requests for access should describe the requested record(s) in sufficient detail to permit identification of the record(s). At a minimum, requests should include the individual's full name (including maiden name, if appropriate) and any other names used, current complete mailing address, and date and place of birth (city, state and country). Helpful data includes the approximate time period of the record and the circumstances that give the individual reason to believe that the agency maintains a record under the individual's name or personal identifier, and, if known, the system of records in which the record is maintained. In certain instances, it may be necessary for the Agency to request additional information from the requester, either to ensure a full search, or to ensure that a record retrieved does in fact pertain to the individual.

    (c) Verification of personal identity. The Agency will require reasonable identification of individuals requesting records about themselves under the PA's access provisions to ensure that records are only accessed by the proper persons. Requesters must state their full name, current address, citizenship or legal permanent resident alien status, and date and place of birth (city, state, and country). The request must be signed, and the requester's signature must be either notarized or made under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746. If the requester seeks records under another name the requester has used, a statement, under penalty of perjury, that the requester has also used the other name must be included.

    (d) Authorized third party access. The Agency shall process all properly authorized third party requests, as described in this section, under the PA. In the absence of proper authorization from the individual to whom the records pertain, the Agency will process third party requests under the FOIA. The Agency's form, AID 507-1, may be used to certify the identity and provide third party authorization.

    (1) Parents and guardians of minor children. Upon presentation of acceptable documentation of the parental or guardian relationship, a parent or guardian of a U.S. citizen or LPR minor (an unmarried person under the age of 18) may, on behalf of the minor, request records under the PA pertaining to the minor. In any case, U.S. citizen or LPR minors may request such records on their own behalf.

    (2) Guardians. A guardian of an individual who has been declared by a court to be incompetent may act for and on behalf of the incompetent individual upon presentation of appropriate documentation of the guardian relationship.

    (3) Authorized representatives or designees. When an individual wishes to authorize another person or persons access to his or her records, the individual may submit, in addition to the identity verification information described in paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) of this section. The designated third party must submit identity verification information described in paragraph (c).

    (e) Referrals and consultations. If the Agency determines that records retrieved as responsive to the request were created by another agency, it ordinarily will refer the records to the originating agency for direct response to the requester. If the agency determines that records retrieved as responsive to the request are of interest to another agency, it may consult with the other agency before responding to the request. The Agency may make agreements with other agencies to eliminate the need for consultations or referrals for particular types of records.

    (f) Records relating to civil actions. Nothing in this subpart entitles an individual to access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.

    (g) Time limits. The Agency will acknowledge the request promptly and furnish the requested information as soon as possible thereafter.

    § 212.34 Request to amend or correct records.

    (a) An individual has the right to request that the Agency amend a record pertaining to the individual that the individual believes is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete.

    (b) Requests to amend records must be in writing and mailed or delivered to the Bureau for Management, Management Services, Information Records Division at the address given in § 212.7, with ATTENTION: PRIVACY ACT AMENDMENT REQUEST written on the envelope. IRD will coordinate the review of the request with the appropriate offices of the Agency. The Agency will require verification of personal identity before it will initiate action to amend a record. Amendment requests should contain, at a minimum, identifying information needed to locate the record in question, a description of the specific correction requested, and an explanation of why the existing record is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete. The request must be signed, and the requester's signature must be either notarized or made under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746. The requester should submit as much pertinent documentation, other information, and explanation as possible to support the request for amendment.

    (c) All requests for amendments to records shall be acknowledged within 10 working days.

    (d) In reviewing a record in response to a request to amend, the Agency shall review the record to determine if it is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete.

    (e) If the Agency agrees with an individual's request to amend a record, it shall:

    (1) Advise the individual in writing of its decision;

    (2) Amend the record accordingly; and

    (3) If an accounting of disclosure has been made, advise all previous recipients of the record of the amendment and its substance.

    (f) If the Agency denies an individual's request to amend a record, it shall advise the individual in writing of its decision and the reason for the refusal, and the procedures for the individual to request further review. See § 171.25 of this chapter.

    § 212.35 Appeals from denials of PA amendment requests.

    (a) How made. Except where accountings of disclosures are not required to be kept, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, or where accountings of disclosures do not need to be provided to a requesting individual pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), an individual has a right to request an accounting of any disclosure that the Agency has made to another person, organization, or agency of any record about an individual. This accounting shall contain the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure as well as the name and address of the recipient of the disclosure. Any request for accounting should identify each particular record in question and may be made by writing directly to the Appeals Officer, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services at the address given in § 212.19.

    (b) Where accountings not required. The Agency is not required to keep an accounting of disclosures in the case of:

    (1) Disclosures made to employees within the Agency who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties; and

    (2) Disclosures required under the FOIA.

    § 212.36 Request for accounting of record disclosures.

    (a) If the Agency denies a request for amendment of such records, the requester shall be informed of the reason for the denial and of the right to appeal the denial to the Appeals Review Panel. Any such appeal must be postmarked within 60 working days of the date of the Agency's denial letter and sent to: Appeals Officer, Bureau for Management, Office of Management Services at the address given in § 212.19.

    (b) Appellants should submit an administrative appeal of any denial, in whole or in part, of a request for access to the PA at the above address. The Agency will assign a tracking number to the appeal.

    (c) The Appeals Review Panel will decide appeals from denials of PA amendment requests within 30 business days, unless the Panel extends that period for good cause shown, from the date when it is received by the Panel.

    (d) Appeals Review Panel decisions will be made in writing, and appellants will receive notification of the decision. A reversal will result in reprocessing of the request in accordance with that decision. An affirmance will include a brief statement of the reason for the affirmance and will inform the appellant that the decision of the Panel represents the final decision of the Department and of the right to seek judicial review of the Panel's decision, when applicable.

    (e) If the Panel's decision is that a record shall be amended in accordance with the appellant's request, the Chairman shall direct the office responsible for the record to amend the record, advise all previous recipients of the record of the amendment and its substance (if an accounting of previous disclosures has been made), and so advise the individual in writing.

    (f) If the Panel's decision is that the amendment request is denied, in addition to the notification required by paragraph (d) of this section, the Chairman shall advise the appellant:

    (1) Of the right to file a concise Statement of Disagreement stating the reasons for disagreement with the decision of the Department;

    (2) Of the procedures for filing the Statement of Disagreement;

    (3) That any Statement of Disagreement that is filed will be made available to anyone to whom the record is subsequently disclosed, together with, at the discretion of the Agency, a brief statement by the Agency summarizing its reasons for refusing to amend the record;

    (4) That prior recipients of the disputed record will be provided a copy of any statement of disagreement, to the extent that an accounting of disclosures was maintained.

    (g) If the appellant files a Statement of Disagreement under paragraph (f) of this section, the Agency will clearly annotate the record so that the fact that the record is disputed is apparent to anyone who may subsequently access the record. When the disputed record is subsequently disclosed, the Agency will note the dispute and provide a copy of the Statement of Disagreement. The Agency may also include a brief summary of the reasons for not amending the record. Copies of the Agency's statement shall be treated as part of the individual's record for granting access; however, it will not be subject to amendment by an individual under this part.

    § 212.37 Specific exemptions.

    (a) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k), the Director or the Administrator may, where there is a compelling reason to do so, exempt a system of records, from any of the provisions of subsections (c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I); and (f) of the Act if a system of records is:

    (1) Subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1); (2) Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than material within the scope of subsection (j)(2) of the Act: Provided, however, That if any individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit to which he or she would otherwise be eligible, as a result of the maintenance of such material, such material shall be provided to such individual, except to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or prior to the effective date of this section, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence;

    (2) Maintained in connection with providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056;

    (3) Required by statute to be maintained and used solely as statistical records;

    (4) Investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to the effective date of this section, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence;

    (5) Testing or examination material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service, the disclosure of which would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process; or

    (6) Evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to the effective date of this section, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

    (b) Each notice of a system of records that is the subject of an exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) will include a statement that the system has been exempted, the reasons therefore, and a reference to the Federal Register, volume and page, where the exemption rule can be found.

    (c) The systems of records to be exempted under section (k) of the Act, the provisions of the Act from which they are being exempted, and the justification for the exemptions, are set forth below:

    (1) Criminal Law Enforcement Records. If the 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) exemption claimed under paragraph (c) of (216 22 CFR Ch. II-§ 215.13) and on the notice of systems of records to be published in the Federal Register on this same date is held to be invalid, then this system is determined to be exempt, under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(k) (1) and (2) of the Act, from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4); (G); (H); (I); and (f). The reasons for asserting the exemptions are to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of the national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect their identities and the confidentiality of information and to avoid endangering these sources and law enforcement personnel.

    (2) Personnel Security and Suitability Investigatory Records. This system is exempt under U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(5) from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4); (G); (H); (I); and (f). These exemptions are claimed to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information, to avoid endangering those sources and, ultimately, to facilitate proper selection or continuance of the best applicants or persons for a given position or contract. Special note is made of the limitation on the extent to which this exemption may be asserted.

    (3) Litigation Records. This system is exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552(k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(5) from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4) (G), (H), (I); and (f). These exemptions are claimed to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information.

    (4) Employee Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Investigatory Records. This system is exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1) and (k)(2) from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4) (G), (H), (I); and (f). These exemptions are claimed to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information, to avoid endangering these sources.

    (5) The following systems of records are exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) from the provision of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4) (G), (H), (I); and (f): (i) Employee Conduct and Discipline Records. (ii) Employee Relations Records.

    NOTE TO PARAGRAPH (c)(5): This exemption is claimed for these systems of records to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information, to avoid endangering these sources and, ultimately, to facilitate proper selection or continuance of the best applicants or persons for a given position or contract. Special note is made of the limitation on the extent to which this exemption may be asserted. The existence and general character of the information exempted will be made known to the individual to whom it pertains.

    (6) Partner Vetting System. This system is exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(5) from the provision of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4)(G), (H), (I); and (f). These exemptions are claimed to protect the materials required by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, to prevent subjects of investigation from frustrating the investigatory process, to insure the proper functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the ability to obtain candid and necessary information, to fulfill commitments made to sources to protect the confidentiality of information, to avoid endangering these sources, and to facilitate proper selection or continuance of the best applicants or persons for a given position or contract.

    Dated: September 21, 2016. Lynn P. Winston, Chief, Information and Records Division, FOIA Public Liaison/Agency Records Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23270 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 81 [EPA-R06-OAR-2016-0275; FRL-9952-67-Region 6] Determination of Nonattainment and Reclassification of the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area; Texas AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to determine that the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria ozone nonattainment area (HGB area) failed to attain the 2008 8hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) by the applicable attainment deadline of July 20, 2016, and thus is classified by operation of law as “Moderate”. In this action, EPA is also proposing January 1, 2017 as the deadline by which Texas must submit to the EPA the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions that meet the CAA statutory and regulatory requirements that apply to 2008 ozone NAAQS nonattainment areas reclassified as Moderate.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before October 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2016-0275, 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. Nevine Salem, (214) 665-7222, [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 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. Nevine Salem, (214) 665-7222, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    In 2008 we revised the 8-hour ozone primary and secondary NAAQS to a level of 0.075 parts per million (ppm) annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average concentration, averaged over three years to provide increased protection of public health and the environment (73 FR 16436, March 27, 2008). The HGB area was classified as a “Marginal” ozone nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and initially given an attainment date of no later than December 31, 2015 (77 FR 30088, May 21, 2012). The HGB area consists of Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties.

    On December 23, 2014, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision rejecting, among other things, our attainment deadlines for the 2008 ozone nonattainment areas, finding that we did not have statutory authority under the CAA to extend those deadlines to the end of the calendar year. NRDC v. EPA, 777 F.3d 456, 464-69 (D.C. Cir. 2014). Consistent with the court's decision we modified the attainment deadlines for all nonattainment areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, and set the attainment deadline for all 2008 ozone nonattainment areas, including the HGB area as July 20, 2015 (80 FR 12264, March 6, 2015). As the HGB area qualified for a 1-year extension of the attainment deadline we revised the attainment deadline to July 20, 2016 (81 FR 26697, May 4, 2016).

    Classifications for ozone nonattainment areas range from “Marginal” (for areas with monitored ozone levels just exceeding the level of the NAAQS) to “Extreme” (for areas with monitored ozone levels well above the levels of the NAAQS). CAA section 182 stipulates the specific attainment planning and additional requirements that apply to each ozone nonattainment area based on its classification. CAA section 182, as interpreted by the EPA's implementation regulations at 40 CFR 51.1108-1117, also establishes the timeframes by which air agencies must submit SIP revisions to address the applicable attainment planning elements, and the timeframes by which ozone nonattainment areas must attain the relevant NAAQS.

    CAA section 181(b)(2) requires us to (1) determine whether the HGB area attained the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the attainment deadline, (2) reclassify the HGB area if the attainment deadline is not met, and (3) publish a Federal Register notice within 6 months of the attainment deadline identifying the new classification if the area failed to attain by the attainment deadline. The determination of attainment is based on the area's “design value” (DV), which for the 8-hour ozone NAAQS is the highest 3-year average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration of all regulatory monitors in the area. The 2008 ozone NAAQS is met when the DV is less than or equal to 0.075 ppm based on complete, consecutive calendar years of certified, quality assured ambient air monitoring data (40 CFR 50.15; 40 CFR 50, appendix P). A determination of attainment by the attainment deadline of July 20, 2016 is based on data from the consecutive calendar years of 2013-2015.

    II. EPA Analysis

    Ozone air quality data from monitoring sites in the HGB area is presented in Table 1. This data has been quality assured and certified by the State of Texas. The data is available in the EPA Air Quality System (AQS) database and also in the electronic docket for this action. The Manvel monitoring site (48-039-1004) recorded the highest 2013-2015 design value (0.080 ppm), which is also the DV for the area. Although the HGB air trends show overall progress in reducing ozone concentrations over the past 15 years, the HGB area is not eligible for an additional one-year attainment date extension 1 because, at 0.078 ppm, the average of the 2014 and 2015 2 annual fourth highest daily maximum eight-hour average ozone concentrations for the monitor in the area is greater than 0.075 ppm, the data for 2014-2015 indicates the area does not qualify for a second 1-year extension of the attainment deadline (40 CFR 51.1107).

    1 The area would be eligible for the second 1-year extension if the area's 4th highest daily maximum 8-hour value, averaged over both the original attainment year and the first extension year, is at or below 0.075 ppm.

    2 2014 and 2015 are the last two full years of complete air quality data prior to the July 20, 2016, attainment date.

    Table 1—HGB Area Fourth Highest 8-Hour Ozone Concentrations and Design Values (ppm), 2013-2015 Site name and No. 4th Highest daily maximum value 2013 2014 2015 Design value
  • (2013-2015)
  • Garth (48-201-1017) 0.061 0.067 0.077 0.068 Deer Park (48-201-1039) 0.069 0.063 0.077 0.069 Aldine (48-201-0024) 0.074 0.068 0.095 0.079 Clinton Drive (48-201-1035) 0.067 0.058 0.084 0.069 Croquet (48-201-0051) 0.079 0.067 0.079 0.075 Monroe (48-201-0062) 0.074 0.065 0.073 0.070 NW Harris Co. (48-201-0029) 0.080 0.063 0.078 0.073 Westhollow (48-201-0066) 0.077 0.070 0.079 0.075 Lang (48-201-0047) 0.079 0.064 0.091 0.078 Wayside (48-201-0046) 0.070 0.062 0.078 0.070 Houston East (48-201-1034) 0.069 0.066 0.088 0.074 Bayland Park (48-201-0055) 0.081 0.067 0.080 0.076 Seabrook (48-201-1050) 0.067 0.065 0.083 0.071 Channelview (48-201-0026) 0.061 0.064 0.081 0.068 Lynchburg (48-201-1015) 0.064 0.059 0.079 0.067 Park Place (48-201-0416) 0.079 0.066 0.087 0.077 Galveston (48-167-1034) 0.064 0.071 0.084 0.073 Conroe (48-339-0078) 0.075 0.072 0.073 0.073 Manvel (48-039-1004) 0.084 0.071 0.086 0.080 Lake Jackson (48-039-1016) 0.067 0.061 0.065 0.064

    CAA section 181(b)(2)(A) provides that a marginal nonattainment area shall be reclassified by operation of law upon a determination by the EPA that such area failed to attain the relevant NAAQS by the applicable attainment date. Based on quality-assured ozone monitoring data from 2013-2015, as shown in Table 1, the new classification applicable to the HGB area would be the next higher classification of “moderate” under the CAA statutory scheme. Moderate nonattainment areas are required to attain the standard “as expeditiously as practicable” but no later than six years after the initial designation as nonattainment (which, in the case of the HGB area, is July 20, 2018). The attainment deadlines associated with each classification are prescribed by the CAA and codified at 40 CFR 51.1103.

    In determining the deadline for the Moderate area SIP revisions, the EPA has discretion, per CAA section 182(i), to adjust the statutory deadline for submitting required SIP revisions for reclassified Moderate ozone nonattainment areas. CAA section 182(i) requires that reclassified areas meet the applicable plan submission requirements “according to the schedules prescribed in connection with such requirements, except that the Administrator may adjust any applicable deadlines (other than attainment dates) to the extent such adjustment is necessary or appropriate to assure consistency among the required submissions.” Under the Moderate area plan requirements of CAA section 182(b)(1) and 40 CFR 51.1108, states with ozone nonattainment areas classified as Moderate are provided 3 years (or 36 months) from the date of designation to submit a SIP revision complying with the Moderate ozone nonattainment plan requirements. For areas designated nonattainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and originally classified as Moderate, that deadline was July 20, 2015, a date that has already passed.

    The EPA, therefore, interprets CAA section 182(i) as providing the authority to adjust the applicable deadlines for the HGB area “as necessary or appropriate to assure consistency among the required submissions.” In determining a SIP submission deadline, we note that pursuant to 40 CFR 51.1108(d), for each nonattainment area the state must provide for implementation of all control measures needed for attainment no later than the beginning of the attainment year ozone season. The attainment year ozone season is the ozone season immediately preceding a nonattainment area's attainment date, in this case it is the 2017 ozone season (40 CFR 51.1100(h)). The ozone season is the ozone monitoring season as defined in 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.1, table D-3. For the purpose of this HGB area reclassification, January 1st is the beginning of the ozone monitoring season. Therefore, the beginning of the Moderate attainment year ozone season for the HGB area is January 1, 2017. This date is also the latest date that would be compatible with the deadline for Moderate area reasonably available control technology (RACT) to be in place (i.e., begin no later than January 1 of the 5th year after the effective date of designation for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, which is, in this case, January 1, 2017).3 Also, January 1, 2017 is the SIP submission deadline the EPA established for all other Marginal nonattainment areas in the country that were recently reclassified to Moderate.4

    3See 40 CFR 51.112(a)(3).

    4See 81 FR 26697, May 4, 2016.

    Accordingly, the EPA proposes that the required SIP revisions be submitted by Texas no later than January 1, 2017. This deadline also calls for implementation of applicable controls no later than January 1, 2017. Texas must submit a Moderate Area SIP that addresses the CAA's Moderate nonattainment area requirements as described in 40 CFR 51.1100. Those requirements include, (1) An attainment demonstration (CAA section 182(b) and 40 CFR 51.1108); (2) reasonable further progress (RFP) reductions in volatile organic compound (VOC) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions (CAA sections 172 (c)(2) and 182(b)(1) and 40 CFR 51.1110); (3) provisions for reasonably available control technology (RACT) (CAA section 182(b)(2) and 40 CFR 51.1112(a)-(b)) and reasonably available control measures (RACM) (CAA section 172(c)(1) and 40 CFR 51.1112(c)); and (4) contingency measures to be implemented in the event of failure to meet a milestone or attain the standard (CAA 172(c)(9)); (5) a vehicle inspection and maintenance program (CAA section 181(b)(4) and 40 CFR 51.350); and (6) NOX and VOC emission offsets at a ratio of 1.15 to 1 for major source permits (CAA section 182(b)(5) and 40 CFR 51.165 (a)) See also the requirements for moderate ozone nonattainment areas set forth in CAA section 182(b) and the general nonattainment plan provisions required under CAA section 172(c).

    Should the State's analysis find that the area will not meet the Moderate area attainment deadline of July 20, 2018, the State can seek a voluntary reclassification to a higher classification category, which would provide additional time for attainment. We believe that voluntary reclassification for areas that are not likely to attain by their attainment date is an appropriate action that will facilitate focus on developing the attainment plans required (80 FR 12264, 12268, March 6, 2015). A voluntary reclassification to the Serious classification would set an attainment deadline of July 20, 2021 (40 CFR 51.1103).

    III. Proposed Action

    In accordance with CAA 181(b)(2), we are proposing to determine that the HGB ozone nonattainment area failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment deadline of July 20, 2016, and to reclassify the area as Moderate. We are also proposing that Texas must submit to us the SIP revisions to address the Moderate ozone nonattainment area requirements of the CAA by January 1, 2017.

    The EPA acknowledges that for the HGB area reclassified from Marginal to Moderate nonattainment, meeting the SIP submittal deadline of January 1, 2017 may be challenging. The EPA is working closely with TCEQ to support their SIP submittal in a timely manner. As discussed previously in section II of this notice, January 1, 2017 is a SIP submission deadline that is consistent for all Marginal nonattainment areas that are reclassified to Moderate for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, and is consistent with the timeframes in the CAA as codified in the EPA's implementing regulations.

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

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This proposed action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA because it does not contain any information collection activities.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action merely proposes to determine that the HGB area failed to meet an ozone NAAQS attainment deadline, reclassify the area and set the date when a revised SIP is due to EPA.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

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

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

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

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

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

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

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it merely proposes to determine that the HGB area failed to meet an ozone NAAQS attainment deadline, reclassify the area and set the date when a revised SIP is due to EPA.

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

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

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations. This action merely proposes to determine that the HGB area failed to meet an ozone NAAQS attainment deadline, reclassify the area and set the date when a revised SIP is due to EPA.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: September 21, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23247 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 390 [Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0103] RIN 2126-AB90 Lease and Interchange of Vehicles; Motor Carriers of Passengers AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA announces it will hold a roundtable discussion on October 31, 2016, as a follow-up to its August 31, 2016, notice of intent concerning the petitions for reconsideration of the final rule, titled “Lease and Interchange of Vehicles; Motor Carriers of Passengers,” which published May 27, 2015. The meeting will be open to the public. Individuals with diverse experience, expertise, and perspectives are encouraged to attend. If all comments have been exhausted before the end of the session, the session may conclude early.

    DATES:

    The roundtable discussion will be held on Monday, October 31, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time (ET) at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Media Center, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590. The entire proceedings will be public.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System Docket ID (FMCSA-2012-0103) using 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.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

    Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The online Federal document management system is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you would like acknowledgment that the Agency received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online. The docket FMCSA-2016-0102 will remain open indefinitely.

    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Loretta G. Bitner, (202) 385-2428, [email protected], Chief, Commercial Passenger Carrier Safety Division, Office of Enforcement and Compliance, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. FMCSA office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For information about the public meeting: Ms. Shannon L. Watson, Senior Policy Advisor, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, by telephone at 202-366-2551, or by email at [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services at 202-366-9826. Business hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background:

    On August 31, 2016, FMCSA published a notice of intent concerning the lease and interchange of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) (81 FR 59951). The purpose of the notice of intent was to inform the public about the Agency's decision concerning the 37 petitions for reconsideration which have been filed in the public docket referenced above. Upon review of these petitions, FMCSA concluded that some have merit. FMCSA, therefore, extended the compliance date of the final rule from January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2018 (82 FR 13998; March 16, 2016), to allow the Agency time to complete any rulemaking action to amend the rule where necessary.

    FMCSA Decision

    FMCSA plans to issue a rulemaking notice to address the four areas of concern in the August 31, 2016, notice of intent:

    (1) Exclusion of “chartering” (i.e., subcontracting) from the leasing requirements;

    (2) Amending the CMV requirements for the location of temporary markings for leased/interchanged vehicles;

    (3) Changing the requirement that carriers notify customers within 24 hours when they subcontract service to other carriers; and

    (4) Expanding the 48-hour delay in preparing a lease to include emergencies when passengers are not actually on board a bus.

    The Agency believes that less burdensome regulatory alternatives that would not adversely impact safety could be adopted before the January 1, 2018, compliance date.

    Public Roundtable

    FMCSA will hold a public roundtable on Monday, October 31, 2016, to discuss these four issue areas. The public will have an opportunity to speak about these issues and provide the Agency with information on how to address them. All public comments will be placed in the docket of this rulemaking. The agenda for this meeting will be posted on the FMCSA Web site www.fmcsa.dot.gov in the near future.

    Issued on: September 15, 2016. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23253 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 160815741-6741-01] RIN 0648-BG30 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Atlantic Coastal Migratory Pelagic Fishery; Atlantic Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery; and South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery; Control Date AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking; consideration of a control date.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule announces the establishment of a control date of June 15, 2016. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) may use this control date if it decides to create restrictions limiting participation in the exclusive economic zone for the Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) component of the recreational sectors of the coastal migratory pelagics fishery in the Atlantic, dolphin and wahoo fishery in the Atlantic, and snapper-grouper fishery in the South Atlantic. Anyone obtaining a Federal for-hire permit for these recreational sectors after the control date will not be assured of future access should a management regime that limits participation in the sector be prepared and implemented. This announcement is intended, in part, to promote awareness of the potential eligibility criteria for future access so as to discourage speculative entry into the Federal for-hire component of the recreational sectors of the Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fisheries, while the Council and NMFS consider whether and how access to these recreational sector components should be managed. NMFS invites comments on the establishment of this control date.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by October 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2016-0121” by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0121, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Mary Janine Vara, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Janine Vara, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The coastal migratory pelagics fishery in the Atlantic is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (CMP FMP). The dolphin and wahoo fishery in the Atlantic is managed under the FMP for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery off the Atlantic States (Dolphin and Wahoo FMP). The snapper-grouper fishery in the South Atlantic is managed under the FMP for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Snapper-Grouper FMP). The CMP FMP was prepared jointly by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. The Dolphin and Wahoo and Snapper-Grouper FMPs were prepared by the Council. The FMPs are implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) through regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

    The Council voted at the June 2016 meeting to establish a control date of June 15, 2016, for the Federal for-hire component of the recreational sectors of the Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, and South Atlantic snapper-grouper fisheries. The Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for these recreational for-hire components is currently open access, available to anyone with a valid vessel registration. The control date enables the Council to inform current and potential participants that it is considering whether to create restrictions that limit fishery participation in the Federal for-hire component of the recreational sectors for Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, and South Atlantic snapper-grouper.

    This proposed rule informs current and potential fishery participants in the Federal for-hire component of the recreational sectors for Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, and South Atlantic snapper-grouper that begin participating after June 15, 2016, they may not be ensured participation under future management of these fisheries. If the Council decides to amend the FMPs to restrict participation in the Federal for-hire component of the recreational sectors of the Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or South Atlantic snapper-grouper fisheries in relation to this control date, an analysis of the specific administrative, biological, economic, and social effects will be prepared at that time.

    Publication of the control date in the Federal Register informs participants of the Council's considerations, and gives notice to anyone obtaining a Federal for-hire permit for the Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or South Atlantic snapper-grouper recreational sectors after the control date that they would not be assured of future access to the recreational sector components should management changes be implemented that would restrict participation. Implementation of any such management changes by the Council would require preparation of amendments to the respective FMPs and publication of a notice of availability and proposed rule in the Federal Register with public comment periods, and if approved by the Secretary of Commerce, issuance of a final rule.

    Fishermen are not guaranteed future participation in a fishery, sector, or component within a sector regardless of when they obtained their permits or their level of participation in the fishery, sector, or component within a sector before or after the control date under consideration. The Council subsequently may choose a different control date or they may choose different management approaches without using a control date. The Council also may choose to take no further action to control entry or access to the Federal for-hire component of the recreational sectors of the Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or South Atlantic snapper-grouper fisheries, in which case the control date may be rescinded.

    This notification also gives the public notice that interested participants should locate and preserve records that substantiate and verify their participation in the Federal for-hire component of the recreational sectors of the Atlantic coastal migratory pelagics, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, or South Atlantic snapper-grouper fisheries.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: September 20, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23226 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 160706587-6814-01] RIN 0648-BG21 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries; Amendment 16 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule, request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes regulations to implement measures in Amendment 16 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council developed Amendment 16 to protect deep-sea corals from the impacts of commercial fishing gear in the Mid-Atlantic. Amendment 16 management measures include: A deep-sea coral protection area; a prohibition on the use of bottom-tending commercial fishing gear within the deep-sea coral protection area; an exemption for American lobster and deep-sea red crab pots and traps from the gear prohibition; a vessel monitoring system requirement for limited access Illex squid moratorium permit holders; provisions for vessels transiting through the deep-sea coral area; and expanded framework adjustment provisions for future modifications to the deep-sea coral protection measures. These proposed management measures are intended to protect deep-sea coral and deep-sea coral habitat while promoting the sustainable utilization and conservation of several different marine resources managed under the authority of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

    DATES:

    Public comments must be received by November 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of supporting documents used by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, including the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Regulatory Impact Review (RIR)/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), are available from: Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 North State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901, telephone (302) 674-2331. The EA/RIR/IRFA is also accessible online at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0086, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0086, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope “Comments on MSB Amendment 16 Proposed Rule.”

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Christopher, Supervisory Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9288, fax (978) 281-9135.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On January 16, 2013, the Council published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (78 FR 3401) for Amendment 16 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to consider measures to protect deep-sea corals from the impacts of commercial fishing gear in the Mid-Atlantic. The Council conducted scoping meetings during February 2013 to gather public comments on these issues. Following further development of Amendment 16 through 2013 and 2014, the Council conducted public hearings in January 2015. Following public hearings, and with disagreement about the boundaries of the various alternatives, the Council held a workshop with various stakeholders on April 29-30, 2015, to further refine the deep-sea coral area boundaries. The workshop was an example of effective collaboration among fishery managers, the fishing industry, environmental organizations, and the public to develop management recommendations with widespread support. The Council adopted Amendment 16 on June 10, 2015, and submitted Amendment 16 on August 15, 2016, for final review by NMFS, acting on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce.

    The Council developed the action, and the measures described in this notice, under the discretionary provisions for deep-sea coral protection in section 303(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). This provision gives the Regional Fishery Management Councils the authority to:

    (A) Designate zones where, and periods when, fishing shall be limited, or shall not be permitted, or shall be permitted only by specified types of fishing vessels or with specified types and quantities of fishing gear;

    (B) Designate such zones in areas where deep-sea corals are identified under section 408 (this section describes the deep-sea coral research and technology program), to protect deep-sea corals from physical damage from fishing gear or to prevent loss or damage to such fishing gear from interactions with deep-sea corals, after considering long-term sustainable uses of fishery resources in such areas; and

    (C) With respect to any closure of an area under the Magnuson-Stevens Act that prohibits all fishing, ensure that such closure:

    (i) Is based on the best scientific information available;

    (ii) Includes criteria to assess the conservation benefit of the closed area;

    (iii) Establishes a timetable for review of the closed area's performance that is consistent with the purposes of the closed area; and

    (iv) Is based on an assessment of the benefits and impacts of the closure, including its size, in relation to other management measures (either alone or in combination with such measures), including the benefits and impacts of limiting access to: Users of the area, overall fishing activity, fishery science, and fishery and marine conservation.

    Consistent with these provisions, the Council proposed the measures in Amendment 16 to balance the impacts of measures implemented under this discretionary authority with the management objectives of the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP and the value of potentially affected commercial fisheries.

    Proposed Measures Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area

    Amendment 16 would establish a deep-sea coral protection area that would be in Mid-Atlantic waters only. It would consist of a broad zone that would start at a depth contour of approximately 450 meters (m) and extend to the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary, and to the north and south to the boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic waters (as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Act). In addition, the deep-sea coral protection area would include 15 discrete zones that outline deep-sea canyons on the continental shelf in Mid-Atlantic waters. The deep-sea coral area, including both broad and discrete zones, would be one continuous area.

    The Council proposed the broad coral zone designation to be precautionary in nature and to freeze the footprint of fishing to protect corals from future expansion of fishing effort into deeper waters. The broad coral zone would be designated with the landward boundary drawn between the 400 m contour as a hard landward boundary and the 500 m contour as a hard seaward boundary. The line created using this technique would focus on the center point (450 m) between the hard landward and seaward boundaries, with a 50-m depth tolerance in either direction as a guide used to draw this line as straight as possible without crossing the hard boundaries. In areas where there is conflict or overlap between this broad zone and any designated discrete zone boundaries, the discrete zone boundaries would be prioritized. From the landward boundary, the broad zone boundaries would extend along the northern and southern boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic management region, and to the edge of the EEZ as the eastward boundary.

    The discrete coral zones would be specific submarine canyons and slope areas located in Mid-Atlantic waters. The boundaries were developed collaboratively by participants at the Council's April 29-30, 2015, Deep-sea Corals Workshop in Linthicum, MD. Participants included the Council's Squid, Mackerel, and Butterfish Advisory Panel, the Ecosystems and Ocean Planning Advisory Panel, members of the Deep-sea Corals Fishery Management Action Team, invited deep-sea coral experts, additional fishing industry representatives, and other interested stakeholders. The canyons and slope areas were identified as areas with observed coral presence or highly likely coral presence indicated by modeled suitable habitat. Therefore, prohibiting bottom-tending fishing gear in these areas would prevent interaction with and damage to deep-sea corals that either are known through observation to live in these areas or that are likely to live there. The discrete coral zones are: Block Canyon; Ryan and McMaster Canyons; Emery and Uchupi Canyons; Jones and Babylon Canyons; Hudson Canyon; Mey-Lindenkohl Slope; Spencer Canyon; Wilmington Canyon; North Heyes and South Wilmington Canyons; South Vries Canyon; Baltimore Canyon; Warr and Phoenix Canyon Complex; Accomac and Leonard Canyons; Washington Canyon; and Norfolk Canyon.

    Gear Restrictions in the Deep-Sea Coral Area

    This action would prohibit the use of bottom-tending commercial fishing gear within the designated deep-sea coral area, including: Bottom-tending otter trawls; bottom-tending beam trawls; hydraulic dredges; non-hydraulic dredges; bottom-tending seines; bottom-tending longlines; sink or anchored gill nets; and pots and traps except those used to fish for red crab and American lobster. The prohibition on these gears would protect deep-sea corals from interaction with and damage from bottom-tending fishing gear.

    Vessels would be allowed to transit the deep-sea coral area protection area provided the vessels bring bottom-tending fishing gear onboard the vessel, and reel bottom-tending trawl gear onto the net reel. The Council proposed these slightly less restrictive transiting provisions because the majority of transiting will be through the very narrow canyon heads (i.e., the narrow tips of the canyons that extend landward of the broad coral zone landward boundary). The Council determined that the normal gear stowage requirements, and requirements that gear be unavailable for immediate use, (at 50 CFR 648.2) would be too burdensome for commercial vessels within the narrow areas of some of the discrete coral zones.

    Administrative Measures

    Vessels issued an Illex squid moratorium permit would be required to have a vessel monitoring system (VMS) installed and vessel operators of these vessels would have to declare Illex squid trips on which 10,000 lb (4.53 mt) or more of Illex squid would be harvested. The Illex squid fishery currently does not have a requirement to install and operate VMS. By requiring Illex squid vessels to have VMS and declare Illex fishing trips prior to leaving port, this measure would facilitate enforcement of the deep-sea coral area and gear restrictions. NMFS notes that all Illex vessels currently have VMS installed and that all of these vessels are already required to declare trips. Therefore, this provision does not create any new operational requirement for Illex squid vessel owners or operators.

    This action would expand the framework adjustment provisions in the FMP to facilitate future modifications to the deep-sea coral protection measures. The framework measures would include:

    Modifications to coral zone boundaries via framework action;

    Modifications to the boundaries of broad or discrete deep-sea coral zones through a framework action; and

    Modification of management measures within deep-sea coral protection areas. This alternative would give the Council the option to modify fishing restrictions, exemptions, monitoring requirements, and other management measures within deep-sea coral zones through a framework action, including measures directed at gear and species not currently addressed in the FMP, with the purpose of such measures being to further the FMP's goal of protecting deep-sea corals from physical damage from fishing gear or to prevent loss or damage to such fishing gear from interactions with deep-sea corals. This would also include the ability to add a prohibition on anchoring in deep-sea coral protection areas;

    Addition of discrete coral zones; and

    Implementation of special access program for deep-sea coral protection area. This alternative would give the Council the option to design and implement a special access program for commercial fishery operations in deep-sea coral zones through a framework action.

    Formal Naming of the Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area

    The Council recommended that the deep-sea coral protection area should be named in honor of the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. Senator Lautenberg was responsible for several important pieces of ocean conservation legislation and authored several provisions included in the most recent reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act (2007), including the discretionary provision for corals. Therefore, the Council proposed that the combined broad and discrete zones be officially known as the “Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area.”

    A Notice of Availability (NOA) for Amendment 16, as submitted by the Council for review by the Secretary of Commerce, was published in the Federal Register on September 2, 2016 (81 FR 60666). The comment period on the Amendment 16 NOA ends on November 1, 2016. Comments submitted on the NOA and/or this proposed rule prior to November 1, 2016, will be considered in NMFS's decision to approve, partially approve, or disapprove Amendment 16. NMFS will consider comments received by the end of the comment period for this proposed rule (November 1, 2016) in its decision regarding measures to be implemented.

    The proposed regulations are based on the measures in Amendment 16 that would establish a deep-sea coral protection zone and management measures to limit commercial fishing gear interactions with deep-sea corals. On August 3, 2016, the Council deemed the regulations included in this proposed rule as necessary and appropriate to implement the Council's recommended deep-sea coral protection measures included in Amendment 16.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendment 16 to the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

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

    The Council prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A summary of the analysis follows. A copy of this analysis is available from the Council or NMFS (see ADDRESSES) or via online at www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    Description of the Reasons Why Action by the Agency Is Being Considered and Statement of the Objectives of, and Legal Basis for, This Proposed Rule

    This action proposes to implement measures to protect deep-sea corals from fishing gear. The preamble to this proposed rule includes a complete description of the reasons why this action is being considered, and the objectives of and legal basis for this action, and these are not repeated here.

    Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which This Proposed Rule Would Apply

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

    The Council prepared the IRFA under the SBA standards and submitted the action for initial NMFS review in March 2016, prior to the July 1, 2016, effective date of NMFS' new size standard for commercial fishing businesses, under the assumption that the proposed rule would also publish prior to the July 1, 2016, effective date. However, NMFS has reviewed the analyses prepared for this regulatory action in light of the new size standard. The new size standard could result in some of the large businesses being considered small, but, as explained below, this does not affect the conclusions of the analysis. The following summarizes the IRFA using the SBA definitions of small businesses.

    The proposed deep-sea coral zones measures in association with other management measures within the coral zones could affect any business entity that has an active federal fishing permit and fishes in the proposed zone/gear restricted areas. In order to identify firms, vessel ownership data, which have been added to the permit database, were used to identify all the individuals who own fishing vessels. With this information, vessels were grouped together according to common owners. The resulting groupings were then treated as a fishing business (firm, affiliate, or entity), for purposes of identifying small and large firms. According to the ownership database a total of 113 finfish firms (all small entities) fished in the Council's preferred broad and discrete zones during 2014. Also in 2014, there were 184 small and 16 large shellfish entities. The ownership database shows that small finfish firms that operated in the Council's preferred broad and discrete zones generated average revenues that ranged from $18,344 (in 2013) to $21,055 (in 2014). The ownership database shows that small shellfish firms that operated in the Council's preferred broad and discrete zones generated average revenues that ranged from $35,276 (in 2014) to $58,723 (in 2012). The ownership database shows that large shellfish firms that operated in the Council's preferred broad and discrete zones generated average revenues that ranged from $146,901 (in 2013) to $314,223 (in 2012).

    Description of the Projected Reporting, Record-Keeping, and Other Compliance Requirements of This Proposed Rule

    The proposed action contains no new collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This action requires Illex squid vessels to install and operate VMS, and to declare Illex squid trips. However, NMFS has determined that all Illex squid vessels that would be affected by this action already have VMS. Because every Illex vessel has VMS, they are already required to enter a trip declaration for every trip. Therefore, there is no additional reporting burden imposed by this action.

    Federal Rules Which May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With This Proposed Rule

    This action does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal law.

    Description of Significant Alternatives to the Proposed Action Which Accomplish the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statues and Which Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    The Council considered one alternative under the broad coral zone proposed measures that may have had less economic impact on small businesses and that met the Council's objective of protecting deep-sea corals. Using the same landward boundary as the proposed action, but prohibiting fishing with all mobile bottom-tending fishing gear (instead of the proposed prohibition on all bottom-tending gear, both mobile and static), may have had marginally lower overall average revenue reduction when compared to the proposed action because some bottom-tending gears would be allowed in the area.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: September 20, 2016. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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

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

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.10, add paragraph (b)(11) and (p) to read as follows:
    § 648.10 VMS and DAS requirements for vessel owners/operators.

    (b) * * *

    (11) Vessels issued an Illex squid moratorium permit.

    (p) Illex squid VMS notification requirement. A vessel issued an Illex squid moratorium permit intending to declare into the Illex squid fishery must notify NMFS by declaring an Illex squid trip prior to leaving port at the start of each trip in order to harvest, possess, or land 10,000 lb (4,535.9 kg) or more of Illex squid on that trip.

    3. In § 648.14, add paragraph (b)(10) and revise paragraphs (g)(2)(v) introductory text and (g)(2)(v)(A) to read as follows:
    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (b) * * *

    (10) Fish with bottom-tending gear within the Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-sea Coral Protection Area described at § 648.27, unless transiting pursuant to § 648.27(d), fishing lobster trap gear in accordance § 697.21, or fishing red crab trap gear in accordance with § 648.264. Bottom-tending gear includes but is not limited to bottom-tending otter trawls, bottom-tending beam trawls, hydraulic dredges, non-hydraulic dredges, bottom-tending seines, bottom longlines, pots and traps, and sink or anchored gill nets.

    (g) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (v) Reporting requirements in the limited access Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid/butterfish, and Illex squid moratorium fisheries. (A) Fail to declare via VMS into the mackerel, longfin squid/butterfish, or Illex squid fisheries by entering the fishery code prior to leaving port at the start of each trip, if the vessel will harvest, possess, or land Atlantic mackerel, more than 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of longfin squid, or more than 10,000 lb (4,535.9 kg) of Illex squid, and is issued a Limited Access Atlantic mackerel permit, longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit, or Illex squid moratorium permit, pursuant to § 648.10.

    4. In § 648.25, revise paragraph (a)(1), redesignate paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(4) as paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5), and add paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
    § 648.25 Atlantic Mackerel, squid, and butterfish framework adjustments to management measures.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Adjustment process. The MAFMC shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two MAFMC meetings. The MAFMC must provide the public with advance notice of the availability of the recommendation(s), appropriate justification(s) and economic and biological analyses, and the opportunity to comment on the proposed adjustment(s) at the first meeting and prior to and at the second MAFMC meeting. The MAFMC's recommendations on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories:

    (i) Adjustments within existing ABC control rule levels;

    (ii) Adjustments to the existing MAFMC risk policy;

    (iii) Introduction of new AMs, including sub-ACTs;

    (iv) Minimum and maximum fish size;

    (v) Gear restrictions, gear requirements or prohibitions;

    (vi) Permitting restrictions;

    (vii) Recreational possession limit, recreational seasons, and recreational harvest limit;

    (viii) Closed areas;

    (ix) Commercial seasons, commercial trip limits, commercial quota system, including commercial quota allocation procedure and possible quota set-asides to mitigate bycatch;

    (x) Annual specification quota setting process;

    (xi) FMP Monitoring Committee composition and process;

    (xii) Description and identification of EFH (and fishing gear management measures that impact EFH);

    (xiii) Description and identification of habitat areas of particular concern;

    (xiv) Overfishing definition and related thresholds and targets;

    (xv) Regional gear restrictions, regional season restrictions (including option to split seasons), regional management;

    (xvi) Restrictions on vessel size (LOA and GRT) or shaft horsepower;

    (xvii) Changes to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs;

    (xviii) Set aside quota for scientific research;

    (xix) Process for inseason adjustment to the annual specification;

    (xx) Mortality caps for river herring and shad species, time/area management for river herring and shad species, and provisions for river herring and shad incidental catch avoidance program, including adjustments to the mechanism and process for tracking fleet activity, reporting incidental catch events, compiling data, and notifying the fleet of changes to the area(s);

    (xxi) The definition/duration of `test tows,' if test tows would be utilized to determine the extent of river herring incidental catch in a particular area(s);

    (xxii) The threshold for river herring incidental catch that would trigger the need for vessels to be alerted and move out of the area(s), the distance that vessels would be required to move from the area(s), and the time that vessels would be required to remain out of the area(s);

    (xxiii) Modifications to the broad and discrete deep-sea coral zone boundaries and the addition of discrete deep-sea coral zones;

    (xxiv) Modifications to the management measures within the Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-sea Coral Protection Area and implementation of special access programs to the Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-sea Coral Protection Area; and

    (xxv) Any other management measures currently included in the FMP.

    (2) Measures contained within this list that require significant departures from previously contemplated measures or that are otherwise introducing new concepts may require amendment of the FMP instead of a framework adjustment.

    5. Add § 648.27 to read as follows:
    § 648.27 Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area.

    (a) No vessel may fish with bottom-tending gear within the Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area described in this section, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, fishing lobster trap gear in accordance § 697.21, or fishing red crab trap gear in accordance with § 648.264. Bottom-tending gear includes but is not limited to bottom-tending otter trawls, bottom-tending beam trawls, hydraulic dredges, non-hydraulic dredges, bottom-tending seines, bottom longlines, pots and traps, and sink or anchored gillnets. The Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area consists of the Broad and Discrete Deep-Sea Coral Zones defined in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

    (b) Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone. The Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone is bounded on the east by the outer limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, and bounded on all other sides by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Discrete Zone column means the point is shared with a Discrete Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (c) of this section.

    Broad Zone Point Latitude Longitude Discrete zone 1 36°33.02′ N. 71°29.33′ W. 2 36°33.02′ N. 72°00′ W. 3 36°33.02′ N. 73°00′ W. 4 36°33.02′ N. 74°00′ W. 5 36°33.02′ N. 74°42.14′ W. 6 36°34.44′ N. 74°42.23′ W. 7 36°35.53′ N. 74°41.59′ W. 8 36°37.69′ N. 74°41.51′ W. 9 36°42.09′ N. 74°39.07′ W. 10 36°45.18′ N. 74°38′ W. 11 36°45.69′ N. 74°38.55′ W. 12 36°49.17′ N. 74°38.31′ W. 13 36°49.56′ N. 74°37.77′ W. 14 36°51.21′ N. 74°37.81′ W. 15 36°51.78′ N. 74°37.43′ W. 16 36°58.51′ N. 74°36.51′ W. (*) 17 36°58.62′ N. 74°36.97′ W. (*) 18 37°4.43′ N. 74°41.03′ W. (*) 19 37°5.83′ N. 74°45.57′ W. (*) 20 37°6.97′ N. 74°40.8′ W. (*) 21 37°4.52′ N. 74°37.77′ W. (*) 22 37°4.02′ N. 74°33.83′ W. (*) 23 37°4.52′ N. 74°33.51′ W. (*) 24 37°4.4′ N. 74°33.11′ W. (*) 25 37°7.38′ N. 74°31.95′ W. 26 37°8.32′ N. 74°32.4′ W. 27 37°8.51′ N. 74°31.38′ W. 28 37°9.44′ N. 74°31.5′ W. 29 37°16.83′ N. 74°28.58′ W. 30 37°17.81′ N. 74°27.67′ W. 31 37°18.72′ N. 74°28.22′ W. 32 37°22.74′ N. 74°26.24′ W. (*) 33 37°22.87′ N. 74°26.16′ W. (*) 34 37°24.44′ N. 74°28.57′ W. (*) 35 37°24.67′ N. 74°29.71′ W. (*) 36 37°25.93′ N. 74°30.13′ W. (*) 37 37°27.25′ N. 74°30.2′ W. (*) 38 37°28.6′ N. 74°30.6′ W. (*) 39 37°29.43′ N. 74°30.29′ W. (*) 40 37°29.53′ N. 74°29.95′ W. (*) 41 37°27.68′ N. 74°28.82′ W. (*) 42 37°27.06′ N. 74°28.76′ W. (*) 43 37°26.39′ N. 74°27.76′ W. (*) 44 37°26.3′ N. 74°26.87′ W. (*) 45 37°25.69′ N. 74°25.63′ W. (*) 46 37°25.83′ N. 74°24.22′ W. (*) 47 37°25.68′ N. 74°24.03′ W. (*) 48 37°28.04′ N. 74°23.17′ W. 49 37°27.72′ N. 74°22.34′ W. 50 37°30.13′ N. 74°17.77′ W. 51 37°33.83′ N. 74°17.47′ W. 52 37°35.48′ N. 74°14.84′ W. 53 37°36.99′ N. 74°14.01′ W. 54 37°37.23′ N. 74°13.02′ W. 55 37°42.85′ N. 74°9.97′ W. 56 37°43.5′ N. 74°8.79′ W. 57 37°45.22′ N. 74°9.2′ W. 58 37°45.15′ N. 74°7.24′ W. (*) 59 37°45.88′ N. 74°7.44′ W. (*) 60 37°46.7′ N. 74°5.98′ W. (*) 61 37°49.62′ N. 74°6.03′ W. (*) 62 37°51.25′ N. 74°5.48′ W. (*) 63 37°51.99′ N. 74°4.51′ W. (*) 64 37°51.37′ N. 74°3.3′ W. (*) 65 37°50.63′ N. 74°2.69′ W. (*) 66 37°49.62′ N. 74°2.28′ W. (*) 67 37°50.28′ N. 74°0.67′ W. (*) 68 37°53.68′ N. 73°57.41′ W. (*) 69 37°55.07′ N. 73°57.27′ W. (*) 70 38°3.29′ N. 73°49.1′ W. (*) 71 38°6.19′ N. 73°51.59′ W. (*) 72 38°7.67′ N. 73°52.19′ W. (*) 73 38°9.04′ N. 73°52.39′ W. (*) 74 38°10.1′ N. 73°52.32′ W. (*) 75 38°11.98′ N. 73°52.65′ W. (*) 76 38°13.74′ N. 73°50.73′ W. (*) 77 38°13.15′ N. 73°49.77′ W. (*) 78 38°10.92′ N. 73°50.37′ W. (*) 79 38°10.2′ N. 73°49.63′ W. (*) 80 38°9.26′ N. 73°49.68′ W. (*) 81 38°8.38′ N. 73°49.51′ W. (*) 82 38°7.59′ N. 73°47.91′ W. (*) 83 38°6.96′ N. 73°47.25′ W. (*) 84 38°6.51′ N. 73°46.99′ W. (*) 85 38°5.69′ N. 73°45.56′ W. (*) 86 38°6.35′ N. 73°44.8′ W. (*) 87 38°7.5′ N. 73°45.2′ W. (*) 88 38°9.24′ N. 73°42.61′ W. (*) 89 38°9.41′ N. 73°41.63′ W. 90 38°15.13′ N. 73°37.58′ W. 91 38°15.25′ N. 73°36.2′ W. (*) 92 38°16.19′ N. 73°36.91′ W. (*) 93 38°16.89′ N. 73°36.66′ W. (*) 94 38°16.91′ N. 73°36.35′ W. (*) 96 38°17.63′ N. 73°35.35′ W. (*) 97 38°18.55′ N. 73°34.44′ W. (*) 98 38°18.38′ N. 73°33.4′ W. (*) 99 38°19.04′ N. 73°33.02′ W. (*) 100 38°25.08′ N. 73°34.99′ W. (*) 101 38°26.32′ N. 73°33.44′ W. (*) 102 38°29.72′ N. 73°30.65′ W. (*) 103 38°28.65′ N. 73°29.37′ W. (*) 104 38°25.53′ N. 73°30.94′ W. (*) 105 38°25.26′ N. 73°29.97′ W. (*) 106 38°23.75′ N. 73°30.16′ W. (*) 107 38°23.47′ N. 73°29.7′ W. (*) 108 38°22.76′ N. 73°29.34′ W. (*) 109 38°22.5′ N. 73°27.63′ W. (*) 110 38°21.59′ N. 73°26.87′ W. (*) 111 38°23.07′ N. 73°24.11′ W. 112 38°25.83′ N. 73°22.39′ W. 113 38°25.97′ N. 73°21.43′ W. 114 38°34.14′ N. 73°11.14′ W. (*) 115 38°35.1′ N. 73°10.43′ W. (*) 116 38°35.94′ N. 73°11.25′ W. (*) 117 38°37.57′ N. 73°10.49′ W. (*) 118 38°37.21′ N. 73°9.41′ W. (*) 119 38°36.72′ N. 73°8.85′ W. (*) 120 38°43′ N. 73°1.24′ W. (*) 121 38°43.66′ N. 73°0.36′ W. (*) 122 38°45′ N. 73°0.27′ W. (*) 123 38°46.68′ N. 73°1.07′ W. (*) 124 38°47.54′ N. 73°2.24′ W. (*) 125 38°47.84′ N. 73°2.24′ W. (*) 126 38°49.03′ N. 73°1.53′ W. (*) 127 38°48.45′ N. 73°1′ W. (*) 128 38°49.15′ N. 72°58.98′ W. (*) 129 38°48.03′ N. 72°56.7′ W. (*) 130 38°49.84′ N. 72°55.54′ W. (*) 131 38°52.4′ N. 72°52.5′ W. (*) 132 38°53.87′ N. 72°53.36′ W. (*) 133 38°54.17′ N. 72°52.58′ W. (*) 134 38°54.7′ N. 72°50.26′ W. (*) 135 38°57.2′ N. 72°47.74′ W. (*) 136 38°58.64′ N. 72°48.35′ W. (*) 137 38°59.3′ N. 72°47.86′ W. (*) 138 38°59.22′ N. 72°46.69′ W. (*) 139 39°0.13′ N. 72°45.47′ W. (*) 140 39°1.69′ N. 72°45.74′ W. (*) 141 39°1.49′ N. 72°43.67′ W. (*) 142 39°3.9′ N. 72°40.83′ W. (*) 143 39°7.35′ N. 72°41.26′ W. (*) 144 39°7.16′ N. 72°37.21′ W. (*) 145 39°6.52′ N. 72°35.78′ W. (*) 146 39°11.73′ N. 72°25.4′ W. (*) 147 39°11.76′ N. 72°22.33′ W. 148 39°19.08′ N. 72°9.56′ W. (*) 149 39°25.17′ N. 72°13.03′ W. (*) 150 39°28.8′ N. 72°17.39′ W. (*) 151 39°30.16′ N. 72°20.41′ W. (*) 152 39°31.38′ N. 72°23.86′ W. (*) 153 39°32.55′ N. 72°25.07′ W. (*) 154 39°34.57′ N. 72°25.18′ W. (*) 155 39°34.53′ N. 72°24.23′ W. (*) 156 39°33.17′ N. 72°24.1′ W. (*) 157 39°32.07′ N. 72°22.77′ W. (*) 158 39°32.17′ N. 72°22.08′ W. (*) 159 39°30.3′ N. 72°15.71′ W. (*) 160 39°29.49′ N. 72°14.3′ W. (*) 161 39°29.44′ N. 72°13.24′ W. (*) 162 39°27.63′ N. 72°5.87′ W. (*) 163 39°28.26′ N. 72°2.2′ W. (*) 164 39°29.88′ N. 72°3.51′ W. (*) 165 39°30.57′ N. 72°3.47′ W. (*) 166 39°31.28′ N. 72°2.63′ W. (*) 167 39°31.46′ N. 72°1.41′ W. (*) 168 39°37.15′ N. 71°55.85′ W. (*) 169 39°39.77′ N. 71°53.7′ W. (*) 170 39°41.5′ N. 71°51.89′ W. 171 39°43.84′ N. 71°44.85′ W. (*) 172 39°48.01′ N. 71°45.19′ W. (*) 173 39°49.97′ N. 71°39.29′ W. (*) 174 39°55.08′ N. 71°18.62′ W. (*) 175 39°55.99′ N. 71°16.07′ W. (*) 176 39°57.04′ N. 70°50.01′ W. 177 39°55.07′ N. 70°32.42′ W. 178 39°50.24′ N. 70°27.78′ W. 179 39°42.18′ N. 70°20.09′ W. 180 39°34.11′ N. 70°12.42′ W. 181 39°26.04′ N. 70°4.78′ W. 182 39°17.96′ N. 69°57.18′ W. 183 39°9.87′ N. 69°49.6′ W. 184 39°1.77′ N. 69°42.05′ W. 185 38°53.66′ N. 69°34.53′ W. 186 38°45.54′ N. 69°27.03′ W. 187 38°37.42′ N. 69°19.57′ W. 188 38°29.29′ N. 69°12.13′ W. 189 38°21.15′ N. 69°4.73′ W. 190 38°13′ N. 68°57.35′ W. 191 38°4.84′ N. 68°49.99′ W. 192 38°2.21′ N. 68°47.62′ W.

    (c) Discrete Deep-Sea Coral Zones.

    (1) Block Canyon. Block Canyon discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Block Canyon Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 39°55.08′ N. 71°18.62′ W. (*) 2 39°55.99′ N. 71°16.07′ W. (*) 3 39°49.51′ N. 71°12.12′ W. 4 39°38.09′ N. 71°9.5′ W. 5 39°37.4′ N. 71°11.87′ W. 6 39°47.26′ N. 71°17.38′ W. 7 39°52.6′ N. 71°17.51′ W. 1 39°55.08′ N. 71°18.62′ W. (*)

    (2) Ryan and McMaster Canyons. Ryan and McMaster Canyons discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Ryan and McMaster Canyons Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 39°43.84′ N. 71°44.85′ W. (*) 2 39°48.01′ N. 71°45.19′ W. (*) 3 39°49.97′ N. 71°39.29′ W. (*) 4 39°48.29′ N. 71°37.18′ W. 5 39°42.96′ N. 71°35.01′ W. 6 39°33.43′ N. 71°27.91′ W. 7 39°31.75′ N. 71°30.77′ W. 8 39°34.46′ N. 71°35.68′ W. 9 39°40.12′ N. 71°42.36′ W. 1 39°43.84′ N. 71°44.85′ W. (*)

    (3) Emery and Uchupi Canyons. Emery and Uchupi Canyons discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Emery and Uchupi Canyons Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 39°37.15′ N. 71°55.85′ W. (*) 2 39°39.77′ N. 71°53.7′ W. (*) 3 39°39.55′ N. 71°47.68′ W. 4 39°30.78′ N. 71°36.24′ W. 5 39°27.26′ N. 71°39.13′ W. 6 39°28.99′ N. 71°45.47′ W. 7 39°33.91′ N. 71°52.61′ W. 1 39°37.15′ N. 71°55.85′ W. (*)

    (4) Jones and Babylon Canyons. Jones and Babylon Canyons discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Jones and Babylon Canyons Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 39°28.26′ N. 72°2.2′ W. (*) 2 39°29.88′ N. 72°3.51′ W. (*) 3 39°30.57′ N. 72°3.47′ W. (*) 4 39°31.28′ N. 72°2.63′ W. (*) 5 39°31.46′ N. 72°1.41′ W. (*) 6 39°30.37′ N. 71°57.72′ W. 7 39°30.63′ N. 71°55.13′ W. 8 39°23.81′ N. 71°48.15′ W. 9 39°23′ N. 71°52.48′ W. 1 39°28.26′ N. 72°2.2′ W. (*)

    (5) Hudson Canyon. Hudson Canyon discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Hudson Canyon Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 39°19.08′ N. 72°9.56′ W. (*) 2 39°25.17′ N. 72°13.03′ W. (*) 3 39°28.8′ N. 72°17.39′ W. (*) 4 39°30.16′ N. 72°20.41′ W. (*) 5 39°31.38′ N. 72°23.86′ W. (*) 6 39°32.55′ N. 72°25.07′ W. (*) 7 39°34.57′ N. 72°25.18′ W. (*) 8 39°34.53′ N. 72°24.23′ W. (*) 9 39°33.17′ N. 72°24.1′ W. (*) 10 39°32.07′ N. 72°22.77′ W. (*) 11 39°32.17′ N. 72°22.08′ W. (*) 12 39°30.3′ N. 72°15.71′ W. (*) 13 39°29.49′ N. 72°14.3′ W. (*) 14 39°29.44′ N. 72°13.24′ W. (*) 15 39°27.63′ N. 72°5.87′ W. (*) 16 39°13.93′ N. 71°48.44′ W. 17 39°10.39′ N. 71°52.98′ W. 18 39°14.27′ N. 72°3.09′ W. 1 39°19.08′ N. 72°9.56′ W. (*)

    (6) Mey-Lindenkohl Slope. Mey-Lindenkohl Slope discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Mey-Lindenkohl Slope Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 38°43′ N. 73°1.24′ W. (*) 2 38°43.66′ N. 73°0.36′ W. (*) 3 38°45′ N. 73°0.27′ W. (*) 4 38°46.68′ N. 73°1.07′ W. (*) 5 38°47.54′ N. 73°2.24′ W. (*) 6 38°47.84′ N. 73°2.24′ W. (*) 7 38°49.03′ N. 73°1.53′ W. (*) 8 38°48.45′ N. 73°1′ W. (*) 9 38°49.15′ N. 72°58.98′ W. (*) 10 38°48.03′ N. 72°56.7′ W. (*) 11 38°49.84′ N. 72°55.54′ W. (*) 12 38°52.4′ N. 72°52.5′ W. (*) 13 38°53.87′ N. 72°53.36′ W. (*) 14 38°54.17′ N. 72°52.58′ W. (*) 15 38°54.7′ N. 72°50.26′ W. (*) 16 38°57.2′ N. 72°47.74′ W. (*) 17 38°58.64′ N. 72°48.35′ W. (*) 18 38°59.3′ N. 72°47.86′ W. (*) 19 38°59.22′ N. 72°46.69′ W. (*) 20 39°0.13′ N. 72°45.47′ W. (*) 21 39°1.69′ N. 72°45.74′ W. (*) 22 39°1.49′ N. 72°43.67′ W. (*) 23 39°3.9′ N. 72°40.83′ W. (*) 24 39°7.35′ N. 72°41.26′ W. (*) 25 39°7.16′ N. 72°37.21′ W. (*) 26 39°6.52′ N. 72°35.78′ W. (*) 27 39°11.73′ N. 72°25.4′ W. (*) 28 38°58.85′ N. 72°11.78′ W. 29 38°32.39′ N. 72°47.69′ W. 30 38°34.88′ N. 72°53.78′ W. 1 38°43′ N. 73°1.24′ W. (*)

    (7) Spencer Canyon. Spencer Canyon discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Spencer Canyon Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 38°34.14′ N. 73°11.14′ W. (*) 2 38°35.1′ N. 73°10.43′ W. (*) 3 38°35.94′ N. 73°11.25′ W. (*) 4 38°37.57′ N. 73°10.49′ W. (*) 5 38°37.21′ N. 73°9.41′ W. (*) 6 38°36.72′ N. 73°8.85′ W. (*) 7 38°36.59′ N. 73°8.25′ W. 8 38°28.94′ N. 72°58.96′ W. 9 38°26.45′ N. 73°3.24′ W. 1 38°34.14′ N. 73°11.14′ W. (*)

    (8) Wilmington Canyon. Wilmington Canyon discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Wilmington Canyon Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 38°19.04′ N. 73°33.02′ W. (*) 2 38°25.08′ N. 73°34.99′ W. (*) 3 38°26.32′ N. 73°33.44′ W. (*) 4 38°29.72′ N. 73°30.65′ W. (*) 5 38°28.65′ N. 73°29.37′ W. (*) 6 38°25.53′ N. 73°30.94′ W. (*) 7 38°25.26′ N. 73°29.97′ W. (*) 8 38°23.75′ N. 73°30.16′ W. (*) 9 38°23.47′ N. 73°29.7′ W. (*) 10 38°22.76′ N. 73°29.34′ W. (*) 11 38°22.5′ N. 73°27.63′ W. (*) 12 38°21.59′ N. 73°26.87′ W. (*) 13 38°18.52′ N. 73°22.95′ W. 14 38°14.41′ N. 73°16.64′ W. 15 38°13.23′ N. 73°17.32′ W. 16 38°15.79′ N. 73°26.38′ W. 1 38°19.04′ N. 73°33.02′ W. (*)

    (9) North Heyes and South Wilmington Canyons. North Heyes and South Wilmington Canyons discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    North Heyes and South Wilmington Canyons Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 38°15.25′ N. 73°36.2′ W. (*) 2 38°16.19′ N. 73°36.91′ W. (*) 3 38°16.89′ N. 73°36.66′ W. (*) 4 38°16.91′ N. 73°36.35′ W. (*) 5 38°17.63′ N. 73°35.35′ W. (*) 6 38°18.55′ N. 73°34.44′ W. (*) 7 38°18.38′ N. 73°33.4′ W. (*) 8 38°19.04′ N. 73°33.02′ W. (*) 9 38°15.79′ N. 73°26.38′ W. 10 38°14.98′ N. 73°24.73′ W. 11 38°12.32′ N. 73°21.22′ W. 12 38°11.06′ N. 73°22.21′ W. 13 38°11.13′ N. 73°28.72′ W. 1 38°15.25′ N. 73°36.2′ W. (*)

    (10) South Vries Canyon. South Vries Canyon discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    South Vries Canyon Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 38°6.35′ N. 73°44.8′ W. (*) 2 38°7.5′ N. 73°45.2′ W. (*) 3 38°9.24′ N. 73°42.61′ W. (*) 4 38°3.22′ N. 73°29.22′ W. 5 38°2.38′ N. 73°29.78′ W. 6 38°2.54′ N. 73°36.73′ W. 1 38°6.35′ N. 73°44.8′ W. (*)

    (11) Baltimore Canyon. Baltimore Canyon discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Baltimore Canyon Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 38°3.29′ N. 73°49.1′ W. (*) 2 38°6.19′ N. 73°51.59′ W. (*) 3 38°7.67′ N. 73°52.19′ W. (*) 4 38°9.04′ N. 73°52.39′ W. (*) 5 38°10.1′ N. 73°52.32′ W. (*) 6 38°11.98′ N. 73°52.65′ W. (*) 7 38°13.74′ N. 73°50.73′ W. (*) 8 38°13.15′ N. 73°49.77′ W. (*) 9 38°10.92′ N. 73°50.37′ W. (*) 10 38°10.2′ N. 73°49.63′ W. (*) 11 38°9.26′ N. 73°49.68′ W. (*) 12 38°8.38′ N. 73°49.51′ W. (*) 13 38°7.59′ N. 73°47.91′ W. (*) 14 38°6.96′ N. 73°47.25′ W. (*) 15 38°6.51′ N. 73°46.99′ W. (*) 16 38°5.69′ N. 73°45.56′ W. (*) 17 38°6.35′ N. 73°44.8′ W. (*) 18 38°2.54′ N. 73°36.73′ W. 19 37°59.19′ N. 73°40.67′ W. 1 38°3.29′ N. 73°49.1′ W. (*)

    (12) Warr and Phoenix Canyon Complex. Warr and Phoenix Canyon Complex discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Warr and Phoenix Canyon Complex Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 37°53.68′ N. 73°57.41′ W. (*) 2 37°55.07′ N. 73°57.27′ W. (*) 3 38°3.29′ N. 73°49.1′ W. (*) 4 37°59.19′ N. 73°40.67′ W. 5 37° 52.5′ N. 73° 35.28′ W. 6 37°50.92′ N. 73°36.59′ W. 7 37°49.84′ N. 73°47.11′ W. 1 37°53.68′ N. 73°57.41′ W. (*)

    (13) Accomac and Leonard Canyons. Accomac and Leonard Canyons discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Accomac and Leonard Canyons Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 37°45.15′ N. 74°7.24′ W. (*) 2 37°45.88′ N. 74°7.44′ W. (*) 3 37°46.7′ N. 74°5.98′ W. (*) 4 37°49.62′ N. 74°6.03′ W. (*) 5 37°51.25′ N. 74°5.48′ W. (*) 6 37°51.99′ N. 74°4.51′ W. (*) 7 37°51.37′ N. 74°3.3′ W. (*) 8 37°50.63′ N. 74°2.69′ W. (*) 9 37°49.62′ N. 74°2.28′ W. (*) 10 37°50.28′ N. 74°0.67′ W. (*) 11 37°50.2′ N. 74°0.17′ W. 12 37°50.52′ N. 73°58.59′ W. 13 37°50.99′ N. 73°57.17′ W. 14 37°50.4′ N. 73°52.35′ W. 15 37°42.76′ N. 73°44.86′ W. 16 37°39.96′ N. 73°48.32′ W. 17 37°40.04′ N. 73°58.25′ W. 18 37°44.14′ N. 74°6.96′ W. 1 37°45.15′ N. 74°7.24′ W. (*)

    (14) Washington Canyon. Washington Canyon discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Washington Canyon Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 37°22.74′ N. 74°26.24′ W. (*) 2 37°22.87′ N. 74°26.16′ W. (*) 3 37°24.44′ N. 74°28.57′ W. (*) 4 37°24.67′ N. 74°29.71′ W. (*) 5 37°25.93′ N. 74°30.13′ W. (*) 6 37°27.25′ N. 74°30.2′ W. (*) 7 37°28.6′ N. 74°30.6′ W. (*) 8 37°29.43′ N. 74°30.29′ W. (*) 9 37°29.53′ N. 74°29.95′ W. (*) 10 37°27.68′ N. 74°28.82′ W. (*) 11 37°27.06′ N. 74°28.76′ W. (*) 12 37°26.39′ N. 74°27.76′ W. (*) 13 37°26.3′ N. 74°26.87′ W. (*) 14 37°25.69′ N. 74°25.63′ W. (*) 15 37°25.83′ N. 74°24.22′ W. (*) 16 37°25.68′ N. 74°24.03′ W. (*) 17 37°25.08′ N. 74°23.29′ W. 18 37°16.81′ N. 73°52.13′ W. 19 37° 11.27′ N. 73° 54.05′ W. 20 37° 15.73′ N. 74° 12.2′ W. 1 37° 22.74′ N. 74° 26.24′ W. (*)

    (15) Norfolk Canyon. Norfolk Canyon discrete deep-sea coral zone is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request). An asterisk (*) in the Broad Zone column means the point is shared with the Broad Deep-Sea Coral Zone, as defined in part (b) of this section.

    Norfolk Canyon Point Latitude Longitude Broad zone 1 36°58.51′ N. 74°36.51′ W. (*) 2 36°58.62′ N. 74°36.97′ W. (*) 3 37°4.43′ N. 74°41.03′ W. (*) 4 37°5.83′ N. 74°45.57′ W. (*) 5 37°6.97′ N. 74°40.8′ W. (*) 6 37°4.52′ N. 74°37.77′ W. (*) 7 37°4.02′ N. 74°33.83′ W. (*) 8 37°4.52′ N. 74°33.51′ W. (*) 9 37°4.4′ N. 74°33.1′ W. (*) 10 37°4.16′ N. 74°32.37′ W. 11 37°4.4′ N. 74°30.5′ W. 12 37°3.65′ N. 74°3.66′ W. 13 36°57.75′ N. 74°3.61′ W. 14 36°59.77′ N. 74°30′ W. 15 36°58.23′ N. 74°32.95′ W. 16 36°57.99′ N. 74°34.18′ W. 1 36°58.51′ N. 74°36.51′ W. (*)

    (d) Transiting. Vessels may transit the Broad and Discrete Deep-Sea Coral Zones defined in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, provided bottom-tending trawl nets are out of the water and stowed on the reel and any other fishing gear that is prohibited in these areas is onboard, out of the water, and not deployed. Fishing gear is not required to meet the definition of “not available for immediate use” in § 648.2 of this part, when a vessel transits the Broad and Discrete Deep-Sea Coral Zones.

    [FR Doc. 2016-23217 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 187 Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request September 22, 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 27, 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: Forest Industries Data Collection System.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-0010.

    Summary of Collection: The Forest and Range Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-278), National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1600), and the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-307) amended by the Energy Security Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 8701) require the Forest Service (FS) to evaluate trends in the use of logs and wood chips, to forecast anticipated levels of logs and wood chips, and to analyze changes in the harvest of the resources. Forest product and other wood-using industries are important to state, regional, and national economies. In most southern states, the value of rounded timber products is ranked either first or second in relation to other major agricultural crops. The importance and value of the timber products industry is significant in other regions of the United States as well. The FS will collect information using questionnaires.

    Need and Use of the Information: To monitor the types, species, volumes, sources, and prices of the timber products harvested throughout the Nation. Using the “Primary Mill Questionnaire” FS will collect industrial round wood information from the primary wood-using industries throughout the United States and from mills in Canada that directly receive wood from the United States. FS will also use the “Pulp & Board Forest Industries Questionnaire.” The data will be used to develop specific economic development plans for a new forest-related industry in a State and to assist existing industries in identifying raw material problems and opportunity. The “Loggers Survey” will track information pertaining to the logging company to determine changes in the logging contractor workforce as a whole, not by individual company. This type of data is important in understanding the logging industry and its response to outside influences. If the information were not collected, data would not be available for sub-state, state, regional and national policy makers and program developers to make decisions related to the forestland on a scientific basis.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents: 2,170.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 1,131.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23275 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of Proposed New Fee Sites; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Title VIII, Pub. L. 108-447) AGENCY:

    Ottawa National Forest, USDA Forest Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed new fee sites.

    SUMMARY:

    The Ottawa National Forest is proposing new recreation fee sites. The Ottawa's proposal includes: A $100 day use fee for Clark Lake and Lake Ottawa group picnic buildings; a $5 daily or $30 annual fee for Black River picnic area and the Lake Ottawa day use area; and a $400 day use option for group use of Camp Nesbit, an organizational camp.

    Fees are assessed based on the level of amenities and services provided, cost of operations and maintenance, and market assessment. These fees are proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment. Funds from fees would be used for the continued operation and maintenance and improvements to the facilities within the recreation areas.

    An analysis of nearby recreation facilities with similar amenities shows that the proposed fees are reasonable and typical of similar sites in the area.

    DATES:

    Comments will be accepted through November 30, 2016. New fees would begin May 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Linda L. Jackson, Forest Supervisor, Ottawa National Forest, E6248 Hwy. 2 East, Ironwood, MI 49938.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Klaus, Public Affairs Officer, 906-932-1330 extension 328. Information about these and other proposed fee changes can also be found on the Ottawa National Forest Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/ottawa.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Recreation Lands Enhancement Act (Title VII, Pub. L. 108-447) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a six month advance notice in the Federal Register whenever new recreation fee areas are established.

    Clark Lake and Lake Ottawa group picnic sites are fully enclosed buildings that each hold up to 75 people. Both have recently been renovated with Clark Lake receiving new bathrooms and showers, and Lake Ottawa receiving updates to the water and wastewater systems.

    Black River picnic area is a public access point for boaters to Lake Superior and is one of the most highly visited sites on the Forest. It has received a renovation to its water and wastewater systems with a renovation of the pavilion to be completed in 2016.

    The day use fee for Camp Nesbit would cover use of the dining hall, recreation hall, beach, restroom and shower facilities, and archery range. Season dates for Camp Nesbit vary annually based on use and weather conditions, but generally range from mid-April through mid-October. Once public involvement is complete, these new fees will be reviewed by a Recreation Resource Advisory Committee prior to a final decision and implementation.

    Dated: September 21, 2016. David M. Birdsall, Acting Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23254 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Housing Service (RHS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested. The intention is to request a revision for a currently approved information collection in support of the program for 7 CFR part 1927-B, Real Estate Title Clearance and Loan Closing.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by November 28, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrea Birmingham, Loan Specialist, USDA Rural Housing Service, Single Family Housing, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0783, Washington, DC 20250-0783, Telephone: (202) 720-1489. Fax: 1 (844) 496-7795. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR part 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) required that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RHS is submitting to OMB for approval. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to:

    Title: Real Estate Title Clearance and Loan Closing.

    OMB Number: 0575-0147.

    Expiration Date: February 28, 2017.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Section 501 of Title V of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended, authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to extend financial assistance to construct, improve, alter, repair, replace or rehabilitate dwellings, farm buildings, and/or related facilities to provide decent, safe, and sanitary living conditions and adequate farm buildings and other structures in rural areas. Title clearance is required to assure the Agency(s) that the loan is legally secured and has the required lien priority.

    RHS will be collecting information to assure that those participating in this program remain eligible to proceed with loan closing and to ensure that loans are made with Federal funds are legally secured. The respondents are individuals or households, businesses and non-profit institutions. The information required is used by the USDA personnel to verify that the required lien position has been obtained. The information is collected at the field office responsible for processing a loan application through loan closing. The information is also used to ensure the program is administered in manner consistent with legislative and administrative requirements. If not collected, the Agency would be unable to determine if the loan is adequately and legally secure. RHS continually strives to ensure that information collection burden is kept to a minimum.

    Estimate of Burden: Public burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.25 hours per response.

    Respondents: Individuals or Households, Businesses, Closing agents/Attorneys and the field office staff.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 13,500.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 3.

    Estimate Number of Responses: 40,450.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 3,925 hours.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of RHS, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the RHS' estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Jeanne Jacobs, Regulation and Paperwork Management Branch, Support Services Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, STOP 0742, Washington, DC 20250-0742. 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.

    Dated: September 19, 2016. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23220 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Intent To Give Fourth Funding Priority to Loan Application Packages Received via an Intermediary Under the Certified Loan Application Packaging Process Within the Section 502 Direct Single Family Housing Program AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 19, 2016, the final rule for the certified loan application packaging process for the direct single family housing loan program became effective. See 80 FR 23673 (April 29, 2015) and 81 FR 8389 (February 19, 2016). The Administrator has the ability to temporarily reclassify applications received through the certified loan application packaging process as fourth funding priority when funds are insufficient to serve all program-eligible applicants, when determined appropriate. See 7 CFR 3550.55(c)(5).

    In accordance with this regulatory allowance, the Administrator will grant fourth funding priority to loan application packages received via an Agency-approved intermediary when funds are insufficient to serve all program-eligible applicants. This reclassification will remain in effect until further notice via Federal Register notice. This reclassification does not apply to certified packaging bodies working without an intermediary.

    DATES:

    This funding priority reclassification for loan application packages received via an Agency-approved intermediary is effective on September 27, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tammy Repine, Finance and Loan Analyst, Single Family Housing Direct Loan Division, USDA Rural Development, 3625 93rd Avenue SW., Olympia, Washington 98512, Telephone: 360-753-7677. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This action is deemed appropriate since the activities performed by the Agency-approved intermediaries (e.g. quality assurance reviews on packaged loan applications; recruitment of certified packaging bodies; and supplemental training, technical assistance, and support to certified packaging bodies) enhance the work and goals of the Agency and benefit the low- and very low-income people who wish to achieve homeownership in rural areas by increasing awareness of the Agency's housing program, increasing specialized support available to complete the application for assistance, and improving the quality of loan application packages.

    USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

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

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

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

    (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW. 4, Washington, DC 20250-9410;

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

    (3) email: [email protected]

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

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23218 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Wisconsin Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss Findings and Recommendations Resulting From the Committee's Study of Hate Crime 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 Wisconsin Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Monday, November 07, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. CST for the purpose of discussing testimony received regarding hate crime in the state, in preparation to issue a civil rights report to the Commission on the topic.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, November 07, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. CST.

    Public Call Information: Dial: 888-397-5335, Conference ID: 8996006.

    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: 888-397-5335, conference ID: 8996006. 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, Wisconsin Advisory Committee link (http://www.facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=282). 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 civil rights testimony: Hate Crime in Wisconsin Public Comment Future Plans and Actions Adjournment Dated: September 22, 2016. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23267 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Proposed Revised Information Collection; Comment Request; Limited Access Death Master File Subscriber Certification Form AGENCY:

    National Technical Information Service, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before November 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to John W. Hounsell, Business and Industry Specialist, Office of Product and Program Management, National Technical Information Service, Department of Commerce, 5301 Shawnee Road, Alexandria, VA 22312, email: [email protected] or telephone: 703-605-6184.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This notice informs the public that the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) is requesting approval of a revised information collection described in Section II for use in connection with the final rule for the “Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File.” The final rule was published on June 1, 2016 (81 FR 34882), with the rule to become effective on November 28, 2016. The revised information collection described in Section II, if approved, will become effective on the effective date of the final rule.

    II. Method of Collection

    Title of Information Collection: “Limited Access Death Master File Subscriber Certification Form” (Certification Form).

    Description of the need for the information and the proposed use: NTIS issued a final rule establishing a program through which persons may become eligible to obtain access to Death Master File (DMF) information about an individual within three years of that individual's death. The final rule was promulgated under Section 203 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, Public Law 113-67 (Act). The Act prohibits the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) from disclosing DMF information during the three-year period following an individual's death (Limited Access DMF), unless the person requesting the information has been certified to access the Limited Access DMF pursuant to certain criteria in a program that the Secretary establishes. The Secretary delegated the authority to carry out Section 203 to the Director of NTIS.

    Initially, on March 26, 2014, NTIS promulgated an interim final rule, establishing a temporary certification program (79 FR 16668) for persons who seek access to the Limited Access DMF. Subsequently, on December 30, 2014, NTIS issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (79 FR 78314). NTIS adjudicated the comments received, and, on June 1, 2016, published a final rule (81 FR 34822).

    NTIS created the Certification Form used with the interim final rule for Persons and Certified Persons to provide information to NTIS describing the basis upon which they are seeking certification. In the notice of proposed rulemaking, NTIS discussed proposed revisions to the Certification Form (79 FR 78314 at 78320-21). The final rule requires that Persons and Certified Persons provide additional information to improve NTIS's ability to determine whether a Person or Certified Person meets the requirements of the Act (81 FR 34882).

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0692-0013.

    Form Number(s): NTIS FM161.

    Type of Review: Revised information collection.

    Affected Public: Members of the public seeking certification or renewal of certification for access to the Limited Access Death Master File under the final rule for the “Certification Program for Access to the Death Master File.”

    Estimated Number of Respondents: NTIS expects to receive approximately 560 applications and renewals for certification every year.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.5 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,400 (560 applications × 2.5 hours = 1,400 hours).

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: NTIS expects to receive up to 560 applications annually at a fee of $1,575 per application, for a total cost of $882,000. This total annual cost reflects the cost to the Federal Government, which consists of the expenses associated with NTIS personnel reviewing and processing the revised Certification Form. In addition, NTIS expects that preparation of the application will require a senior administrative staff person 2.5 hours at a rate of $100/hour, for a total cost to the public of $140,000 (1,400 total burden hours × $100/hour = $140,000). NTIS estimates the total annual cost to the public to be $1,022,000 ($882,000 in fees + $140,000 in staff time = $1,022,000).

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sheleen Dumas, PRA Departmental Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23208 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [Order No. 2014] Reorganization and Expansion of Foreign-Trade Zone 82 Under Alternative Site Framework; Mobile, Alabama

    Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) adopts the following Order:

    Whereas, the Board adopted the alternative site framework (ASF) (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)) as an option for the establishment or reorganization of zones;

    Whereas, the City of Mobile, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 82, submitted an application to the Board (FTZ Docket B-30-2015, docketed May 1, 2015, revised September 1, 2016) for authority to reorganize and expand under the ASF with a service area of Mobile, Baldwin, Butler (portion), Choctaw (portion), Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Monroe, Washington and Wilcox (portion) Counties, in and adjacent to the Mobile Customs and Border Protection port of entry, to restore 80 acres at Site 1, and FTZ 82's existing Sites 1 (as modified), 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 13 and 18 would be categorized as magnet sites and Sites 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19 would be categorized as usage-driven sites;

    Whereas, notice inviting public comment was given in the Federal Register (80 FR 26538-26539, May 8, 2015) and the revised application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations; and,

    Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendations of the examiner's report and addendum report, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations are satisfied;

    Now, therefore, the Board hereby orders:

    The revised application to reorganize and expand FTZ 82 under the ASF is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, to the Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for the zone, to an ASF sunset provision for magnet sites that would terminate authority for Sites 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 13 and 18 if not activated within five years from the month of approval, and to an ASF sunset provision for usage-driven sites that would terminate authority for Sites 14, 15, 16, 17 and 19 if no foreign-status merchandise is admitted for a bona fide customs purpose within three years from the month of approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 21st day of September 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, Alternate Chairman, Foreign-Trade Zones Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23308 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-64-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 21—Dorchester County, South Carolina; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Volvo Car US Operations, Inc. (Motor Vehicles and Related Parts); Ridgeville, South Carolina

    Volvo Car US Operations, Inc. (Volvo) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in Ridgeville, South Carolina. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on September 9, 2016.

    A separate application by the South Carolina State Ports Authority, grantee of FTZ 21, for subzone designation at the Volvo facility will be submitted and processed under Section 400.31 of the Board's regulations. The facility is currently under construction and will be used for the production of motor vehicles and related parts. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Volvo from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, Volvo would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to passenger motor vehicles, lithium-ion batteries for passenger motor vehicles, passenger motor vehicle bodies and stamped motor vehicle body parts (duty rates range between 2.5% and 3.4%) for the foreign-status inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: First aid kits; acrylic/vinyl paints; adhesives; polyurethane profile shapes/seals/plates/sheets/film; acoustic foams; foam absorbers; plastic connectors/fittings/tapes/decals/plates/sheets/film/caps/covers/plugs/anchors/handles/brackets/clamps/clips/covers/fasteners/guides/hinges/mountings/locks/knob handles/o-rings/cable ties/clamps/clips/cushions/emblems/nuts/plates/retainers/rivets/tubing/door lock parts; rubber tire sealants/threads/cords/plates/sheets/strip/gaskets/hoses/air filter ducts/tubes/belts/tires/mats/o-rings/seals/mouldings/absorbers/cushions/rings/bellows//mounts/rods/bushings; upholstery leather; leather cases/bags; felt paper and paperboards; light-weight coated paper; cardboard boxes; printed books/brochures/leaflets/manuals; felt strips; manmade fiber felt shapes; felt damping strips; netting of twines/ropes; manmade fiber twine, cordage, or rope nettings; nylon carpets; tufted other manmade textile carpets/mats; felt carpets; manmade fiber tufted and non-tufted carpets/mats; velcro straps; vent pads (polyester fleece); umbrellas; mineral wools; asbestos brake linings/pads; graphite or other carbon gaskets; glass; mirrors; sun visors; glass lenses; sound absorber/insulating articles of fiberglass; platinum catalysts; wood screws; steel butt weld fittings/flanges/gas containers; iron or steel coupling locks/wire/ropes/cables/roller chains/nails/screws/bolts/studs/sockets/nuts/rivets/cotter pins/valves/keys/springs/hangers/clamps/clips/gaskets/o-rings; copper and steel pipe; copper suppression band assemblies/o-rings/nuts/screws/earthing strap hinge hatch assemblies; aluminum plates/sheets/strips/foil/rivets/blinds/nuts/exhaust gaskets/decals; wrenches; locks; blank keys; hinges; base metal gas springs/mountings/anchors/handles/braces/brackets/clips/locks/clamps/flange seals/gaskets/o-rings/cradles/throttle caps/frames/guide rails/nuts/plates/spacers; internal combustion engines; diesel engines; engine blocks/caps/valves/plugs/rings/rods/cylinder heads; telescoping linear acting hydraulic cylinders; linear acting cylinders; pumps (fuel injection, engine oil, transmission and coolant); brake fluid reservoirs; air conditioning (A/C) compressors; fan shrouds; vacuum pump inlet connectors; turbocharger pipes; heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) units; air conditioner parts; HVAC heat exchangers; oil coolers; oil filters; motor vehicle A/C accumulators; engine air filters; catalytic converters; filters; air filter inlets/housings/covers; fire extinguishers; washer fluid nozzles/reservoirs; jacks; winches; trunk lid spindle drives; cranks; USB hubs; dynamic stability or variable damper control devices; auxiliary air valves; solenoid valves; throttle housing/thermostat valves; plastic drain cocks; engine cooling system housings/thermostats; valve bodies and related parts; fuel injector valve parts; bearings; speedometer cables; crankshafts; camshafts; bearings; flywheels; engine belt tensioners; automatic transmission flexplates; carburetor repair kits; engine support mounts; liquid filled engine mounts; wiper motors; mirror drive units; wiper motors; electric motors; alternators; parts of fuel pumps; electric converters; electric chargers; power supplies; inductors; flexible permanent magnets; clutches with solenoid actuators; solenoids; lithium manganese dioxide batteries; primary batteries; lead-acid batteries; electric storage batteries; lithium-ion batteries/cell module parts; vacuum cleaners; spark plugs; starter motors; glow plugs; air conditioning generators/distributors/covers/traps; lights; reflectors; electric signals; motor vehicle horns; siren sensors; windshield wiper systems; headlight frames/inserts/mountings; baffles; control units; headlights; wiper arms; lamps; heater assemblies; electric heaters; seat cushion heaters; air inlets for intake air filters; cellular/wireless telephones; telematic infotainment head units and control modules; telematics assemblies; global positioning system (GPS) assemblies; microphones; loudspeakers; earphone module assemblies; amplifiers; speakers; speaker parts; CD changers/players; TV modules/assemblies; DVD ROMs; cameras; forward looking radar sensors; radio navigation equipment; radio remote controls; radios; tape players; CD players; video monitors; monitor assemblies; antennas; TV tuner modules; signal modules; active sound display modules; remote control key shells/covers; alarm systems; electromagnetic interference filter assemblies; suppression filter assemblies; electrical resistors and related parts; power units/sensors; spark plug connectors; fuses; cables; grounds; relays; switches; lamp holders; connectors; elbows; connectors/boxes terminals; control switches; housings for electrical/fuse boxes; bulbs; lamps; electrical filaments; parts of electrical filaments/lamps; light emitting diodes; diode parts; integrated circuits; cable harnesses; electric cables; harness cables; optic fiber cables; ignition lead holders; insulating fittings; trunk lid noise suppression filters; chassis fitted with engines; motor vehicle bodies; bumper covers/frames/grills/panels/rails/trims; door assemblies/shells/panels/guides/frames; dashboard assemblies; bracket assemblies; door lock rods; cross members; lower arms; panel supports; cargo partitions; brake drums/rotors/discs/pads/shoes/calipers/covers/shields; gear boxes; oil sumps; axles; shafts; aluminum wheels; steel wheels; wheel cap rings; shock absorbers; suspension anti-roll bars/baffles/struts/control arms/frames/springs/knobs/levers/supports/arms/knuckles/rollers; radiators and related parts; mufflers; exhaust pipes; clutches and related parts; steering wheels/columns/boxes; airbag modules; shafts; gear selectors; cables; carriers; flanges; knobs; sleeves; oil dipstick tubes; gear shifts; absorbers; air ducts/guides/inlets/shields/vents; anchors; battery boxes/casings/components/covers/shelves/trays; cables; brake pedals; brake lines; differential carriers; casings; textile child seat protector covers; plastic child seat protector covers; clutch pedals/assemblies; drive shafts; pedals; coolant pipes/coils; engine covers; textile sun shade curtains; plastic sun shade curtains; tow bars/hitches/hooks; dipsticks; drain plugs; engine casings/coolant pipes/feed lines/caps; plastic/aluminum/rubber floor mats; fuel feed lines/pipes/fillers/caps/hoses/housing filters/shields/rails/tanks/hoses; heat shields; hitches; manmade fiber cargo nets; pedal pads; lenses; signals; optical night vision camera; temperature sensors; fuel sensors/gauges; HVAC sensors; air flow sensors; gas temperature sensors; gas pressure sensors; oxygen sensors; exhaust sensors; night vision modules; sensor parts; instrument clusters; heads up display modules; instrument cluster parts; battery sensors; accelerometers; sensor rods; power take off (PTO) control units; voltage regulators/control units; dashboard clocks; seat sliding blocks; leather seats/arm rests/head rests and related parts; textile seats/arm rests/head rests and related parts; plastic seats/arm rests/head rests and related parts; textile child safety seat covers; illuminated signs; zipper sliders/zipper fasteners; and, cigarette lighters (duty rates range from duty-free to 12.5%).

    The following foreign-sourced materials/components will be admitted to the proposed subzone in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41), thereby precluding inverted tariff benefits on such items: felt strips (HTSUS 5602.10); manmade fiber felt shapes (HTSUS 5602.90); felt damping strips (HTSUS 5602.90); netting of twines or ropes (HTSUS 5608.19); manmade fiber twine/cordage/rope nettings (HTSUS 5608.90); nylon carpets (HTSUS 5703.20); tufted other manmade textile carpets/mats (HTSUS 5703.30); felt carpets (HTSUS 5704.90); manmade fiber tufted and non-tufted carpets/mats (HTSUS 5705.00); velcro straps (HTSUS 5806.10); vent pads (polyester fleece) (HTSUS 5911.90); textile child seat protector covers (HTSUS 8708.99); textile sun shade curtains (HTSUS 8708.99); manmade fiber cargo nets (HTSUS 8708.99); textile seats/arm rests/head rests and related parts (HTSUS 9401.90); and, textile child safety seat covers (HTSUS 9401.90).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is November 7, 2016.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: September 20, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23303 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-967; C-570-968] Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court Decision AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On August 26, 2016, the United States Court of International Trade (CIT or Court) sustained the Department of Commerce's (Department) final results of redetermination in which the Department determined, under protest, that Whirlpool Corporation's (Whirlpool) kitchen appliance door handles with plastic end caps (handles with end caps) are not covered by the scope of the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders on aluminum extrusions from the People's Republic of China.

    DATES:

    Effective: September 5, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Terpstra, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-3965.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On August 4, 2014, the Department issued a final scope ruling in which it determined that two types of kitchen appliance door handles imported by Whirlpool are within the scope of the Orders1 and did not meet the scope exclusion for “finished merchandise” or “finished goods kits.” 2 Whirlpool challenged the Department's final scope ruling at the CIT.

    1See Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order, 76 FR 30650 (May 26, 2011) and Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 76 FR 30653 (May 26, 2011) (the Orders).

    2See “Final Scope Ruling on Whirlpool Kitchen Appliance Door Handles,” dated August 4, 2014 (Whirlpool Kitchen Appliance Door Handles Scope Ruling).

    On February 1, 2016, in Whirlpool I the Court issued an opinion and order sustaining the Department's findings in the original scope ruling that Whirlpool's kitchen appliance door handles consisting of a single piece of extruded aluminum are within the scope of the Orders based on a plain reading of the scope language.3 However, the Court remanded the Department's determination that the scope of the Orders covers handles consisting of a single piece of aluminum extrusion with plastic end caps fastened on with screws. The Court found that the general language of the scope did not support the Department's determination.4 The Court further found that, assuming arguendo that Whirlpool's handles with end caps were covered by the general scope language, the Department erred in finding that the products did not satisfy the “finished merchandise” exclusion.5

    3See Whirlpool Corporation v. United States, Court No. 14-00199, Slip Op. 16-8 (Whirlpool I), at 16-17.

    4Id., at 8-11.

    5Id., at 11-14.

    On April 18, 2016, the Department issued its Final Results of Redetermination, in which it found that although it respectfully disagreed with the Court that Whirlpool's handles with end caps were not covered by the general scope language, it found under protest that Whirlpool's handles with end caps were outside the scope of the Orders. 6 As a result, the Department did not consider whether Whirlpool's handles with end caps were subject to the exclusion for “finished merchandise.” 7

    6See Results Of Redetermination Pursuant To Court Remand, Whirlpool Corp. v. United States, Court No. 14-000199, Slip Op. 16-08 (CIT February 1, 2016) (Final Results of Redetermination).

    7Id.

    On August 26, 2016, in Whirlpool II the Court sustained the Department's finding in the Final Results of Redetermination that Whirlpool's handles with plastic end caps are not covered by the scope of the Orders. 8 Consistent with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) in Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken), as clarified by Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (CAFC 2010) (Diamond Sawblades), the Department is notifying the public that the final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the Department's final scope ruling and is amending the final scope ruling to find that the handles with end caps imported by Whirlpool are not covered by the scope of the Orders.

    8See Whirlpool Corporation v. United States, Court No. 14-00199, Slip Op. 16-81 (Whirlpool II).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, 893 F.2d at 341, as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, the Federal Circuit held that, pursuant to section 516A(e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department must publish a notice of a court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The CIT's August 26, 2016, judgment in Whirlpool II sustaining the Department's finding in the Final Results of Redetermination that Whirlpool's handles with end caps are not covered by the scope of the Orders constitutes a final decision of the Court that is not in harmony with the Whirlpool Kitchen Appliance Door Handles Scope Ruling. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken. Accordingly, the Department will continue the suspension of liquidation of Whirlpool's handles with end caps at issue pending expiration of the period for appeal or, if appealed, pending a final and conclusive court decision.

    Amended Final Scope Ruling

    Because there is now a final court decision with respect to the Whirlpool Kitchen Appliance Door Handles Scope Ruling, the Department amends its final scope ruling and finds that the scope of the Orders does not cover Whirlpool's handles with end caps. The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that the cash deposit rate will be zero percent for Whirlpool's handles with end caps. In the event the CIT's ruling is not appealed, or if appealed, upheld by the Federal Circuit, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries of Whirlpool's handles with end caps without regard to antidumping and/or countervailing duties, and to lift suspension of liquidation of such entries.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with section 516A(c)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: September 15, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23305 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket Number: 160914846-6846-01] Announcement of Requirements and Registration for National Institute of Standards and Technology Prize Competition—Federal Impact Assessment Challenge AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In 2011, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum—Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth Businesses—which called on Federal agencies to establish performance goals, metrics, evaluation methods, and implementation plans to improve the effectiveness of Federal technology transfer activities. The President's charge has stimulated agency interest in studies that assess the impact of technologies transferred from Federal laboratories.

    In an effort to encourage research in this area, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Journal of Technology Transfer present a Federal Impact Assessment (FIA) Challenge for researchers to develop impact studies of Federal technology transfer activities.

    The FIA Challenge calls on researchers to perform original retrospective studies that assess the impact of federally developed technologies that (1) have been developed completely or in part by Federal researchers working at any Federal agency at any time over the past 30 years, and (2) have been transferred to an entity other than the agency which developed the technology.

    DATES:

    Submission Period: September 27, 2016-March 31, 2017.

    Announcement of Winners: April 28, 2017.

    The Submission Period begins September 27, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) and ends March 31, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Prize competition dates are subject to change at the discretion of NIST. Entries submitted before or after the Submission Period will not be reviewed or considered for award.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Changes or updates to the prize competition rules will be posted and can be viewed at the Event Web site, https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/federal-impact-assessment-challenge.

    Questions about the prize competition can be directed to NIST via the Event Web site, https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/federal-impact-assessment-challenge or by email to Michael Walsh at [email protected], phone 301-975-5455.

    Results of the prize competition will be announced on the Event Web site, https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/federal-impact-assessment-challenge and on the NIST Web site, www.nist.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FIA Challenge Sponsors

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; www.nist.gov) is a non-regulatory Federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce. Founded in 1901, NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST's Technology Partnerships Office (TPO) is part of NIST's Innovation and Industry Services directorate that is responsible for the NIST suite of partnership programs. TPO works with regional, state and local economic development organizations, technology incubation centers, public-private business development initiatives, and other organizations and partnerships, to facilitate the transfer of technologies developed within NIST laboratories to the private and nonprofit sectors through licensing and/or collaboration. NIST scientists conduct measurement science research, create technologies and make discoveries in nearly every scientific and technological field.

    The Journal of Technology Transfer (http://link.springer.com/journal/10961), the official journal of the Technology Transfer Society, provides an international forum for the exchange of ideas that enhance and build an understanding of the practice of technology transfer. In particular, it emphasizes research on management practices and strategies for technology transfer. Moreover, the journal explores the external environment that affects these practices and strategies, including public policy developments, regulatory and legal issues, and global trends.

    Eligibility Rules for Participating in the FIA Challenge

    At the time of Entry, participants must meet the following Eligibility Rules:

    The FIA Challenge is open to all individuals over the age of 18 that are residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, and to for-profit or non-profit corporations, institutions, or other validly formed legal entities organized or incorporated in, and which maintain a primary place of business in, any of the preceding jurisdictions. An individual, whether participating singly or with a group, must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

    Federal employees are not eligible to participate. Any individuals or legal entities that have received Federal funds for the development of any part of a submission are ineligible. Any other individuals or legal entities involved with the design, production, execution, distribution or evaluation of the FIA Challenge are also not eligible to participate.

    A Participant shall not be deemed ineligible because the Participant consulted with Federal employees or used Federal facilities in preparing its submission to the FIA Challenge if the employees and facilities are made available to all Participants on an equitable basis. Note that while Federal employees may provide information to Participants, they are not obligated to respond to information requests within the time frame of this Challenge. The task of gathering information for this Challenge in a timely manner is the sole responsibility of the Participant.

    To be eligible to win a Cash Award, a Participant (whether an individual or legal entity) must have registered to participate and must have complied with all requirements under section 3719 of title 15, United States Code (“Prize competitions”).

    Multiple entries are permitted. Each entry will be reviewed independently. Multiple individuals and/or legal entities may collaborate as a group to submit a single entry, in which case all members of the group must satisfy the eligibility requirements, and a single individual from the group must be designated as an official representative for each entry. That designated individual will be responsible for meeting all entry and evaluation requirements. Participation is subject to all U.S. federal, state and local laws and regulations. Individuals entering on behalf of or representing a company, institution or other legal entity are responsible for confirming that their entry does not violate any policies of that company, institution or legal entity.

    Entry Process for Participants

    To enter, visit the Event Web site, https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/federal-impact-assessment-challenge. Submit a Federal Impact Assessment (hereafter, “Paper”) that meets the selection criteria described below.

    The FIA Challenge calls on Participants to write an original Paper describing a retrospective assessment of the economic and/or societal impacts resulting from the transfer of a Federal technology developed completely or in part by Federal researchers working at any Federal agency at any time over the past 30 years.

    For this FIA Challenge, “Federal technologies” are those techniques, machines, articles of manufacture, compositions of matter, methods, processes, tools, or works of authorship, whether or not patentable or copyrightable, that were invented or developed in whole or in part by one or more Federal employees during the course of their employment duties.

    Transfer of a Federal technology (technology transfer) is the use of that technology by an entity outside of the agency where the Federal employee(s) was assigned. There are many different means by which the Federal government seeks to transfer technologies. Technologies can be transferred through formal agreements (e.g., licenses, or Cooperative Research and Development Agreements) or through informal exchanges (e.g., publications, conference presentations or informal collaborations).

    Eligible technologies must meet two criteria, namely (1) the technology must have been developed in whole or in part by a Federal employee(s) during the course of his or her employment duties at any time over the past 30 years, and (2) the technology must have been transferred outside the Federal agency in a manner that can be traced back to that Federal agency. Technologies that have been developed entirely outside of a Federal agency or that have been developed entirely by non-Federal employees (even though with federal funding) are not eligible. Technologies that have not been transferred by a Federal agency are also not eligible. Information about federally transferred technologies and technology transfer success stories can be found on the Federal Laboratories Consortium (FLC) Web site at www.federallabs.org. For a list of Federal agencies that prepare annual technology transfer reports, see http://nist.gov/tpo/publications/agency-technology-transfer-reports.cfm.

    For the FIA Challenge, it is envisioned that impacts of a given Federal technology(ies) are determined by an assessment of repercussions that have accrued to those who have either utilized Federal technologies in research or development activities, and/or consumed goods or services enabled by Federal technologies. The objective of the FIA Challenge is to develop metrics that measure economic and societal impacts. These metrics will then be available to stakeholders and policy makers to evaluate the net impact of federally developed technologies (i.e., impact less development costs).1 Impacts may be assessed at the local, regional, national, or global levels using economic data or other societal data (e.g., measures of health, safety, or security). A variety of assessment methodologies could be used by Participants in this Challenge. Examples of commonly used approaches can be found in the citations provided by NIST online at http://nist.gov/tpo/publications/other-economic-impact-related-studies.cfm.

    1 Note that the assessment of an agency's development cost for a given technology is not part of the FIA Challenge.

    Papers submitted to this challenge that have previously been published or that have been prepared using Federal funds are not eligible (e.g., Federal agency reports, reports prepared by Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, or reports prepared by funded intermediaries on behalf of Federal agencies.)

    A complete Entry includes your Paper (including any figures, tables, and references), the email address of the Participant who is officially representing the Entry, and confirmation that you have read and agree to the Competition Rules contained in this Notice. Participants may provide submissions beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on September 27, 2016, to the Event Web site. Submissions can be made no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on March 31, 2017, to the Event Web site.

    Submissions before the start date and time, or after the end date and time, will not be evaluated or considered for award. Entries sent to NIST in any manner other than through the Event Web site will not be evaluated or considered for award. Entries that do not comply with the formatting requirements set forth in this Notice will not be evaluated or considered for award.

    Entries must be complete, must contain no confidential information and must be in English.

    In general, each Entry:

    (a) must affirmatively represent that the Participant (and each Participant if more than one) has read and consents to be governed by the Competition rules and meets the eligibility requirements;

    (b) must include an original Paper not prepared using Federal funds. Specifically, the Paper must:

    1. Include the Participant(s) and the email address of the Participant who is officially representing the Entry.

    2. include text, figures, tables and references that describes a retrospective impact assessment of a federally developed technology(ies),

    3. be an original work not previously published in any media (i.e., including but not limited to printed or otherwise reproduced text/graphics for sale or distribution to the public),

    4. be a single file submitted in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format with text, figures, tables, and references contained within the Paper. There is no page limit,

    5. provide an assessment of the economic and/or societal impacts of a technology or technologies that have been developed completely or in part by Federal researchers working at any Federal agency at any time over the past 30 years, and must have been transferred from a Federal agency,

    6. provide a complete description of the impact methodology, including a description of the metrics used for the impact assessment. Citations of Federal technologies must be provided, for example by listing patent numbers, as well as citations of the transfer of the technologies to the private sector, for example by listing products and companies using licensed Federal technologies,

    7. meet the Evaluation Criteria described below in the Evaluation, Judging, and Selection of Winner(s) sections, and

    8. include original figures, tables, and text passages or, if any of these have been published elsewhere, Participants must have obtained written permission, at Participants' sole expense, from the copyright owner(s) for both the irrevocable use and distribution by NIST of the figure, tables, or text passages, in both print and online formats and evidence that such permission has been granted must be provided in the Paper. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors;

    (c) must include in a separate section on the title page of the Paper, an acknowledgement of any individuals, grants, funds, or other entities that provided support for the Paper. Participants must disclose all relationships or interests that could have direct or potential influence or impart bias on the work.

    FIA Challenge Award(s)

    The Prize Purse for the FIA Challenge is a total of $20,000. The Prize Purse may increase, but will not decrease. Any increases in the Prize Purse will be posted on the Event Web site and published in the Federal Register. The Prize Purse will be used to fund one or more awards.

    NIST will announce via the Event Web site any Entry(ies) as to which the Judges have made a cash award (each, an “Award”). The anticipated number and amount of the Awards that will be awarded for this Competition is set forth in this Federal Register Notice; however, the Judges are not obligated to make all or any Awards, and reserve the right to award fewer than the anticipated number of Awards in the event an insufficient number of eligible Entries meet any one or more of the Judging Criteria for this Competition, based on the Judges' evaluation of the quality of Entries and in their sole discretion. Awards will be made based on the Judges' evaluation of an Entry's compliance with the Judging Criteria for this Competition. All potential winners will be notified by the email address provided in the submission document and may be required to complete further documentation confirming their eligibility. Return of any notification as “undeliverable” will result in disqualification. After verification of eligibility, Awards will be distributed in the form of a check or electronic funds transfer addressed to the official representative specified in the winning Entry. That official representative will have sole responsibility for further distribution of any Award among Participants in a group Entry or within a company or institution that has submitted an Entry through that representative. Each list of Entries receiving Awards for the Competition will be made public according to the timeline outlined on the Event Web site.

    Winners are responsible for all taxes and reporting related to any Award received as part of the Competition.

    All costs incurred in the preparation of Competition Entries are to be borne by Participants.

    Evaluation, Judging, and Selection of Winner(s) Submission Evaluation Criteria

    This section discusses how Participant submissions will be evaluated.

    Entry Submission and Review

    The requirements for submission of a complete Entry are detailed in the section “Entry Process for Participants.” Each Paper will be reviewed by up to three subject matter experts. Each subject matter expert will assess how well the Paper addressed each of the following evaluation criteria. For each criterion, subject matter experts will assign a numerical score and will provide a brief (50 to 100 word) assessment of how well that criterion was met.

    Evaluation Criteria

    1. Description of the technology. (20 points)

    Papers must include a description of the technology being analyzed. In addition to describing the function and purpose of the technology, the description must also identify where and when the technology was developed, when the technology was transferred, and how the technology was transferred. Papers will be evaluated based on the presentation of a clear and adequate description of the technology being assessed.

    2. Description of the demand environment. (30 points)

    Papers must include a description of the demand environment. The demand environment is the environment in which the technology is utilized after it has been transferred from the agency. Papers should describe the types and number of individuals and/or organizations that utilize the technology. This should include researchers, consumers, and companies that make up the markets and industries affected. Papers will be evaluated based on the presentation of a clear and adequate description of the demand environment.

    3. Description of methodologies used to gather and assess impact data. (20 points)

    Papers must include a description of how impact data was gathered and assessed. This includes a description of all data sources, techniques used to clean, adjust or normalize data, and statistical methods employed. Papers will be evaluated based on the creativity and appropriateness of the methodology used to gather data and assess impacts.

    4. Description of the economic and/or societal impacts that resulted from the technology transferred from the Federal agency. (30 points)

    Papers must describe the economic and/or societal impact that resulted from the utilization of the technology once transferred from the agency. The description must be based on the evidence gathered and the statistical method(s) used to assess impacts in the demand environment. The description must include clearly defined metrics that allow for the benchmarking of impacts over time. Papers will be evaluated based on the degree to which reported impacts are presented in an accurate, unbiased, comprehensive, and convincing manner.

    Up to 15 Papers will be selected for evaluation by the Judges. Selected papers will be the lesser of either (1) all papers with an average subject matter expert score of 70 or higher, or (2) the top 15 papers with the highest average subject matter expert scores.

    A panel of three judges will then be convened to rank the selected Papers.

    Judges will review each of the selected Papers and the corresponding reviews provided by subject matter experts. Judges will deliberate and then rank them using the following equally weighted Judging Criteria.

    • Novelty of the Approach—The extent to which each Paper describes a new, creative, or innovative approach to capturing the impact of a Federally funded technology(ies).

    • Scope of the Assessment—The extent to which each Paper addresses the scope of impact from the transfer of a Federally funded technology.

    • Quality of the Paper—The extent to which each Paper present a high-quality, well-reasoned and compelling argument for capturing the impact of a federal funded technology(ies).

    Participant(s) who submitted a Paper that is among the top four Papers ranked by the Judges will receive $5,000 and an invitation to have the Paper considered for publication in a special issue of

    The Journal of Technology Transfer (“Journal”), or another issue as determined by the Journal's editorial board. Participants accepting this invitation who submit their Paper to the Journal must comply with the Journal's “Instructions for Authors.” (See: http://www.springer.com/business+%26+management/journal/10961)

    Papers submitted will be peer-reviewed using the processes of the Journal, and acceptance for publication is wholly within the Journal's discretion, and is not guaranteed.

    Subject Matter Experts and Judging Panel

    Subject Matter Experts, to be selected by NIST, will, as a body, represent a high degree of experience with impact assessment and federally funded technologies. Subject Matter Experts will consist of Federal employees and will be subject matter experts in the technology field. Subject Matter Experts will not select winners of any awards.

    The NIST Director will appoint a panel of highly qualified Judges. The Judging Panel will consist of three individuals who are experts in the field of assessing economic or societal impacts. Judges will deliberate and rank proposals according to the Judging Criteria described above. The top four proposals ranked by the Judges will be selected to receive an Award. Judges may not have personal or financial interests in, or be an employee, officer, director, or agent of, any entity that is a registered Participant in this Competition and may not have a familial or financial relationship with an individual who is a registered Participant. In the event of such a conflict, a Judge must recuse himself or herself. Should this occur a new Judge may be appointed to the panel.

    Intellectual Property Rights

    Other than as set forth herein, NIST does not make any claim to ownership of your Entry or any of your intellectual property or third party intellectual property that it may contain. By participating in the Competition, you are not granting any rights in any patents or pending patent applications related to your Entry; provided that by submitting an Entry, you are granting NIST certain limited rights as set forth herein.

    By submitting an Entry, you grant to NIST the right to review your Entry as described above in the section “Entry Submission and Review,” to describe your Entry in connection with any materials created in connection with the Competition and to have the Subject Matter Experts, Judges, Competition administrators, and the designees of any of them, review your Entry.

    By submitting an Entry, you grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, paid up right and license to NIST to use your name, likeness, biographical information, image, any other personal data submitted with your Entry and the contents in your Entry, in connection with the Federal Impact Assessment Challenge for any purpose, including promotion and advertisement of the Challenge and future challenges.

    You agree that nothing in this Notice grants you a right or license to use any names or logos of NIST or the Department of Commerce, or any other intellectual property or proprietary rights of NIST or the Department of Commerce or their employees or contractors. You grant to NIST the right to include your name and your company or institution name and logo (if your Entry is from a company or institution) as a Participant on the Event Web site and in materials from NIST announcing winners of or Participants in the Competition. Other than these uses or as otherwise set forth herein, you are not granting NIST any rights to your trademarks.

    If your Entry is selected as a Winner, you will be invited to submit your Paper for publication in the Journal of Technology Transfer. If you opt to submit your Paper to the Journal, you will enter into an agreement with the Journal and nothing in this Notice alters the peer review, publication, and other processes practiced by the Journal.

    Entries containing any matter which, in the sole discretion of NIST, is indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, which demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct, which promotes discrimination in any form, which shows unlawful acts being performed, which is slanderous or libelous, or which adversely affects the reputation of NIST, will not be accepted. If NIST, in its sole discretion, finds any Entry to be unacceptable, then such Entry shall be deemed disqualified and will not be evaluated or considered for award. NIST shall have the right to remove any content from the Event Web site in its sole discretion at any time and for any reason, including, but not limited to, any online comment or posting related to the Competition.

    Confidential Information

    By making a submission to the FIA Challenge, you agree that no part of your submission includes any confidential or proprietary information, ideas or products, including but not limited to information, ideas or products within the scope of the Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. 1905. Because NIST will not receive or hold any submitted materials “in confidence,” it is agreed that, with respect to your Entry, no confidential or fiduciary relationship or obligation of secrecy is established between NIST and you, your Entry team, the company or institution you represent when submitting an Entry, or any other person or entity associated with any part of your Entry.

    Warranties

    By submitting an Entry, you represent and warrant that all information you submit is true and complete to the best of your knowledge, that you have the right and authority to submit the Entry on your own behalf or on behalf of the persons and entities that you specify within the Entry, and that your Entry (both the information and software submitted in the Entry and the underlying technologies or concepts described in the Entry):

    (a) Is your own original work, or is submitted by permission with full and proper credit given within your Entry;

    (b) does not contain confidential information or trade secrets (yours or anyone else's);

    (c) does not knowingly, after due inquiry (including, by way of example only and without limitation, reviewing the records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and inquiring of any employees and other professionals retained with respect to such matters), violate or infringe upon the patent rights, industrial design rights, copyrights, trademarks, rights in technical data, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity;

    (d) does not contain malicious code, such as viruses, malware, timebombs, cancelbots, worms, Trojan horses or other potentially harmful programs or other material or information;

    (e) does not and will not violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance, rule or regulation, including, without limitation, United States export laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and the Department of Commerce Export Regulations; and

    (f) does not trigger any reporting or royalty or other obligation to any third party; and

    (g) does not contain any statement that is abusive, defamatory, libelous, obscene, fraudulent, or is in any other way unlawful or in violation of applicable laws.

    Limitation of Liability

    By participating in the FIA Challenge, you agree to assume any and all risks and to release, indemnify and hold harmless NIST and the Journal of Technology Transfer from and against any injuries, losses, damages, claims, actions and any liability of any kind (including attorneys' fees) resulting from or arising out of your participation in, association with or submission to the FIA Challenge (including any claims alleging that your Entry infringes, misappropriates or violates any third party's intellectual property rights). In addition, you agree to 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 your participation in the FIA Challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

    NIST is not responsible for any miscommunications such as technical failures related to computer, telephone, cable, and unavailable network or server connections, related technical failures, or other failures related to hardware, software or virus, or incomplete or late Entries. Any compromise to the fair and proper conduct of the FIA Challenge may result in the disqualification of an Entry or Participant, termination of the FIA Challenge, or other remedial action, at the sole discretion of NIST. NIST reserves the right in its sole discretion to extend or modify the dates of the FIA Challenge, and to change the terms set forth herein governing any phases taking place after the effective date of any such change. By entering, you agree to the terms set forth herein and to all decisions of NIST and/or all of their respective agents, which are final and binding in all respects.

    NIST is not responsible for: (1) Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by a Participant, printing errors, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or used in the FIA Challenge; (2) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the Entry Process for the FIA Challenge; (3) technical or human error that may occur in the administration of the FIA Challenge or the processing of Entries; or (4) any injury or damage to persons or property that may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from a Participant's participation in the FIA Challenge or receipt or use or misuse of an Award. If for any reason an Entry is confirmed to have been deleted erroneously, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, the Participant's sole remedy is to submit another Entry in the FIA Challenge.

    Termination and Disqualification

    NIST reserves the authority to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the FIA Challenge, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond NIST's reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the FIA Challenge, as determined by NIST in its sole discretion.

    NIST reserves the right to disqualify any Participant or Participant team it believes to be tampering with the Entry process or the operation of the FIA Challenge or to be acting in violation of any applicable rule or condition.

    Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the FIA Challenge may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, NIST reserves the authority to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

    Verification of Potential Winner(s)

    All potential winners are subject to verification by NIST, whose decisions are final and binding in all matters related to the FIA Challenge.

    Potential winner(s) must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of the FIA Challenge Rules described in this notice, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. In the event that a potential winner, or an announced winner, is found to be ineligible or is disqualified for any reason, NIST may make an award, instead, to another Participant.

    Privacy and Disclosure Under FOIA

    Except as provided herein, information submitted throughout the FIA Challenge will be used only to communicate with Participants regarding Entries and/or the FIA Challenge. Participant Entries and submissions to the FIA Challenge may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3719.

    Phillip Singerman, Associate Director for Innovations and Industry Services.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23239 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [0648-XE710] Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Space Vehicle Launch Operations 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 Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting space vehicle launch operations over the course of five years, from February 1, 2017 through January 31, 2022. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of the AAC's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the AAC's application and request.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than October 27, 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. 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3225 and electronic comments should be sent [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 sent via email, 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 to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/research.htm without change. All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) 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:

    Stephanie Egger, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Availability

    An electronic copy of the AAC's application may be obtained online at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm. In case of problems accessing the document, 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 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 14, 2016, NMFS received an adequate and complete application from the AAC requesting authorization for the take of marine mammals incidental to space vehicle and missile launch activities from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) for a period of five years. Space vehicle and missile launch activities have the potential to result in take of pinnipeds on nearby haul outs. Therefore, AAC requests authorization to take marine mammals that may occur in these areas, including Steller sea lions (Eumatopias jubatus) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii).

    Specified Activities

    AAC is proposing to launch small to medium space launch vehicles from the PSCA. PSCA may also launch a number of smaller missile systems, such as tactical or target vehicles. AAC anticipates the ability to accommodate nine launches per year.

    Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning AAC's request (see ADDRESSES). Comments should be supported by data or literature citations as appropriate. We will consider all relevant information, suggestions, and comments related to the request during the development of proposed regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by AAC, if appropriate.

    Dated: September 20, 2016. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23257 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0104] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Measures and Methods for the National Reporting System for Adult Education AGENCY:

    Department of Education (ED), Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE)

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before November 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0104. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-349, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact John LeMaster, 202-245-6218.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Measures and Methods for the National Reporting System for Adult Education.

    OMB Control Number: 1830-0027.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 57.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 5,700.

    Abstract: Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA—Pub. L. 113-128), entitled the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), was enacted on July 22, 2014. AEFLA creates a partnership among the Federal government, States, and localities to provide, on a voluntary basis, adult education and literacy services. Section 116 of WIOA requires States and Local Areas that operate the six core programs of the workforce development system to comply with common performance accountability requirements for those programs. In addition to the WIOA Joint Performance ICR, ED's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) has modified its previously-approved ICR, used by States for performance reporting under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) through the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS ICR), to conform to the new requirements under WIOA. The NRS ICR obtains aggregate data annually from States using a set of data tables developed by ED (OMB Control No. 1830-0027).

    Through this proposal, the Department is submitting a revised NRS ICR to include additional data collection elements consistent with the WIOA performance accountability requirements for the AEFLA program. These new requirements will become effective July 1, 2017. Thus, for purposes of the AEFLA program, States will be required to complete and submit annually to OCTAE the WIOA Annual Statewide Performance Report Template (in the Joint Performance ICR) and the aggregate data tables in the revised NRS ICR under OMB Control No. 1830-0027.

    This revised NRS ICR contains 17 tables, two of which are required only for States that offer distance education; one optional table; two financial reports; one narrative report; and one data quality checklist. These tables and report forms are included in the document titled “Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) Reporting Tables.” States include in the tables all participants in programs (1) that meet the purposes of AEFLA, and (2) for which expenditures are reported on the Federal Financial Report. In June 2016, OMB approved the data collection required by AEFLA (OMB 1830-0027) by approving non-substantive changes that conformed to the performance accountability requirements in WIOA section 116. OCTAE is requesting an extension of this approval, with proposed minor changes in order to obtain a more accurate reporting of participants served in the various AEFLA activities, services, and programs that support the purposes of AEFLA. These minor enhancements will increase the efficiency of the data collection process and ensure the quality of the data that States report.

    Dated: September 22, 2016. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23265 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-184-C] Application To Export Electric Energy; Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. (Applicant or MSCG) has applied to renew its authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before October 27, 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 December 7, 2011, DOE issued Order No. EA-184-B to MSCG, which authorized the Applicant to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico as a power marketer for a five-year term using existing international transmission facilities. That authority expires on December 7, 2016. On September 14, 2016, MSCG filed an application with DOE for renewal of the export authority contained in Order No. EA-184 for an additional five-year term.

    In its application, MSCG 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 MSCG proposes to export to Mexico 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 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 MSCG's application to export electric energy to Mexico should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-184-C. An additional copy is to be provided directly to Edward J. Zabrocki, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, 1585 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036 and Allison E. Speaker, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, 700 Sixth Street NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001.

    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 21, 2016. Christopher Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23273 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-117-000] Vote Solar and Montana Environmental Information Center; Notice of Petition for Enforcement

    Take notice that on September 19, 2016, Vote Solar and Montana Environment Information Center (collectively, Vote Solar) filed a petition for enforcement pursuant to section 210 of Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), 16 U.S.C. 824a-3. Vote Solar asserts that Montana Public Service Commission violated PURPA by suspending the standard rate for solar qualifying facilities with a nameplate capacity between 100 kW and 3 MW, 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 11, 2016.

    Dated: September 20, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23238 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP16-498-000; PF16-4-000] Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on September 9, 2016, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia), 5151 San Felipe, Suite 2500, Houston, Texas 77056, filed an application pursuant to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) requesting authorization to: (i) Abandon in place 17.5 miles of its Line B-105, (ii) replace 14 miles of its Line B-111, (iii) replace 0.1 miles of its Line B-121, (iv) replace 0.5 miles of its Line B-130, (v) install 7.6 miles of Line K-270 pipeline, and (vi) remove or install various appurtenances, all located in Fairfield and Franklin Counties, Ohio. Columbia states that there will be no change in certificated capacity. Columbia estimates the cost of the proposed project to be approximately $182,773,707, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site web 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 at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning these applications may be directed to Tyler R. Brown, Senior Counsel, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 5151 San Felipe, Suite 2500, Houston, Texas 77056, by telephone at (713) 386-3797.

    On March 10, 2016, the Commission staff granted Columbia's request to utilize the Pre-Filing Process and assigned Docket No. PF16-4-000 to staff activities involved in the above referenced project. Now, as of the filing of the September 9, 2016 application, the Pre-Filing Process for this project has ended. From this time forward, this proceeding will be conducted in Docket No. CP16-498-000 as noted in the caption of this Notice.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit seven copies of filings made in the proceeding with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, 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 7 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: October 12, 2016.

    Dated: September 21, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23233 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ID-8008-000] Hastings, Michael W.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on September 19, 2016, Michael W. Hastings submitted for filing, an application for authority to hold interlocking positions, pursuant to section 305(b) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 825d(b), Part 45 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR part 45, and Order No. 664.1

    1Commission Authorization to Hold Interlocking Positions, 112 FERC ¶ 61,298 (2005) (Order No. 664); order on reh'g, 114 FERC ¶ 61,142 (2006) (Order No. 664-A).

    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 electronic 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 11, 2016.

    Dated: September 19, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23235 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-10-000; Docket No. CP16-13-000] Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, Equitrans LP; Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mountain Valley Project and Equitrans Expansion Project

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the projects proposed by Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (Mountain Valley) and Equitrans LP (Equitrans) in the above-referenced dockets. Mountain Valley requests authorization to construct and operate certain interstate natural gas facilities in West Virginia and Virginia, known as the Mountain Valley Project (MVP) in Docket Number CP16-10-000. The MVP is designed to transport about 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas from production areas in the Appalachian Basin to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. Equitrans requests authorization to construct and operate certain natural gas facilities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, known as the Equitrans Expansion Project (EEP) in Docket No. CP16-13-000. The EEP is designed to transport about 0.4 Bcf/d of natural gas, to improve system flexibility and reliability, and serve markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast, through interconnections with various other interstate systems, including the proposed MVP.

    The draft EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the MVP and EEP in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the MVP and EEP would have some adverse environmental impacts; however, these impacts would be reduced with the implementation of Mountain Valley's and Equitrans' proposed mitigation measures, and the additional measures recommended by the FERC staff in the EIS.

    The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (FS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by the proposals and participated in the NEPA analysis. The BLM, COE, and FS may adopt and use the EIS when they consider the issuance of a Right-of-Way Grant to Mountain Valley for the portion of the MVP that would cross federal lands. Further, the FS may use the EIS when it considers amendments to its Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) for the proposed crossing of the Jefferson National Forest. Although the cooperating agencies provided input to the conclusions and recommendations presented in the draft EIS, the agencies will present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective permit authorizations and Records of Decision (ROD) for the projects.

    Proposed Facilities

    The draft EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the proposed facilities. For the MVP, facilities include:

    • About 301 miles of new 42-inch-diameter pipeline extending from the new Mobley Interconnect in Wetzel County, West Virginia to the existing Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company LLC (Transco) Station 165 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia;

    • 3 new compressor stations (Bradshaw, Harris, Stallworth) in West Virginia, totaling about 171,600 horsepower (hp);

    • 4 new meter and regulation stations and interconnections (Mobley, Sherwood, WB, and Transco);

    • 2 new taps (Webster and Roanoke);

    • 5 pig 1 launchers and receivers; and

    1 A “pig” is a device used to clean or inspect the interior of a pipeline.

    • 36 mainline block valves.

    For the EEP, facilities include:

    • About 8 miles total of new various diameter pipelines in six segments;

    • new Redhook Compressor Station, in Greene County, Pennsylvania, with 31,300 hp of compression;

    • 4 new taps (Mobley, H-148, H-302, H-306) and 1 new interconnection (Webster);

    • 4 pig launchers and receivers; and

    • decommissioning and abandonment of the existing 4,800 hp Pratt Compressor Station in Greene County, Pennsylvania.

    Actions of the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service

    The BLM's purpose and need for the proposed action is to respond to a Right-of-Way Grant application submitted by Mountain Valley on April 5, 2016. Under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 the Secretary of the Interior has delegated authority to the BLM to grant a right-of-way in response to the Mountain Valley application for natural gas transmission on federal lands under the jurisdiction of two or more federal agencies. Before issuing the Right-of-Way Grant, the BLM must receive the written concurrence of the other surface managing federal agencies (i.e., FS and COE) in accordance with Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 2882.3(i). Through this concurrence process, the FS and COE would submit to the BLM any specific stipulations applicable to their lands, facilities, waterbodies, and easements for inclusion in the Right-of-Way Grant.

    The FS's purpose and need for the proposed action is to consider issuing a concurrence to the BLM for the Right-of-Way Grant and to evaluate the amendments to the LRMP for the Jefferson National Forest that would make provision for the MVP pipeline if the FS decides to concur and BLM decides to issue a Right-of-Way Grant.

    The first type of LRMP amendment would be a “plan-level amendment” that would change land allocations. This would change future management direction for the lands reallocated to the new management prescription (Rx) and is required by LRMP Standard FW-248.

    Proposed Amendment 1: The LRMP would be amended to reallocate 186 acres to the Management Prescription 5C—Designated Utility Corridors from these Rxs: 4J—Urban/Suburban Interface (56 acres); 6C—Old Growth Forest Communities-Disturbance Associated (19 ac); and 8A1—Mix of Successional Habitats in Forested Landscapes (111 acres).

    Rx 5C—Designated Utility Corridors contain special uses which serve a public benefit by providing a reliable supply of electricity, natural gas, or water essential to local, regional, and national economies. The new Rx 5C land allocation would be 500 feet wide (250 feet wide on each side of the pipeline), with two exceptions: (1) The area where the pipeline crosses Rx 4A—Appalachian National Scenic Trail Corridor would remain in Rx 4A; and (2) the new 5C area would not cross into Peters Mountain Wilderness so the Rx 5C area would be less than 500 feet wide along the boundary of the Wilderness.

    The second type of amendment would be a “project-specific amendment” that would apply only to the construction and operation of this pipeline. The following amendments would grant a temporary `waiver' to allow the project to proceed. These amendments would not change LRMP requirements for other projects or authorize any other actions.

    Proposed Amendment 2: The LRMP would be amended to allow construction of the MVP pipeline to exceed restrictions on soil conditions and riparian corridor conditions as described in LRMP standards FW-5, FW-9, FW-13, FW-14 and 11-017, provided that mitigation measures or project requirements agreed upon by the Forest Service are implemented as needed.

    Proposed Amendment 3: The LRMP would be amended to allow the removal of old growth trees within the construction corridor of the MVP pipeline. (reference LRMP Standard FW-77)

    Proposed Amendment 4: The LRMP would be amended to allow the MVP pipeline to cross the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST) on Peters Mountain. The Scenic Integrity Objective (SIO) for the Rx 4A area and the ANST will be changed from High to Moderate. This amendment also requires the SIO of Moderate to be achieved within five to ten years following completion of the project to allow for vegetation growth. (reference LRMP Standards 4A-021 and 4A-028).

    The decision for a Right-of-Way Grant across federal lands would be documented in a ROD issued by the BLM. The BLM's decision to issue, condition, or deny a right-of-way would be subject to BLM administrative review procedures established in 43 CFR 2881.10 and Section 313(b) of the Energy Policy Act. The FS concurrence to BLM to issue the Right-of-Way Grant would not be a decision subject to NEPA, and therefore would not be subject to FS administrative review procedures. The FS would issue its own ROD for the LRMP amendments. The Forest Supervisor for the Jefferson National Forest would be the Responsible Official for the LRMP amendments. Proposed Amendment 1 was developed in accordance to 36 CFR 219 (2012 version) regulations and would be subject to the administrative review procedures under 36 CFR 219 Subpart B. Proposed Amendments 2, 3 and 4 were developed in accordance to 36 CFR 219 (2012) regulations but would be subject to the administrative review procedures under 36 CFR 218 regulations Subparts A and B, per 36 CFR 219.59(b).

    The BLM is requesting public comments on the issuance of a Right-of-Way Grant that would allow the MVP pipeline to be constructed on federal lands managed by the FS and COE. The FS is requesting public comments on the consideration of submitting a concurrence to BLM and the draft amendments of the LRMP to allow the MVP pipeline to cross the Jefferson National Forest. All comments must be submitted to the FERC, the lead federal agency, within the timeframe stated in this Notice of Availability. Refer to Docket CP16-10-000 (MVP) in all correspondence to ensure that your comments are correctly filed in the record. You may submit comments to the FERC using one of the four methods listed below in this notice. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that the entire text of your comments—including your personal identifying information—would be publicly available through the FERC eLibrary system, if you file your comments with the Secretary of the Commission.

    Distribution and Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the draft EIS to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; regional environmental groups and non-governmental organizations; potentially interested Native Americans and Indian tribes; affected landowners; local newspapers and libraries; parties to this proceeding; and members of the public who submitted comments about the projects. Paper copy versions of this draft EIS were mailed to those specifically requesting them; all others received a compact-disc version. In addition, the draft EIS is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov).2 A limited number of copies are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    2 Go to “Documents & Filings,” click on “eLibrary,” use “General Search” and put in the Docket numbers (CP16-10 or CP16-13) and date of issuance (09/16/16).

    Any person wishing to comment on the draft EIS may do so. To ensure consideration of your comments on the proposal in the final EIS, it is important that the Commission receive your comments on or before December 22, 2016.

    For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form or provided verbally. 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 & 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 & 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 (CP16-10-000 or CP16-13-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    (4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend one of the public sessions its staff will conduct in the project area to receive verbal comments on the draft EIS. To ensure that interested parties have ample opportunity to attend, the FERC staff has arranged for seven public sessions, at venues spaced a reasonable driving distance apart, and scheduled as listed below.

    There will not be a formal presentation by Commission staff at any of the seven public comment sessions, although a format outline handout will be made available. All public sessions will begin at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. If you wish to provide verbal comments, the Commission staff will hand out numbers in the order of your arrival, and will discontinue handing them out at 8:00 p.m. Comments will be taken until 10:00 p.m. However, if no additional numbers have been handed out and all individuals who wish to provide comments have had an opportunity to do so, staff may conclude the session at 8:00 p.m.

    The primary goal of the public sessions is to allow individuals to provide verbal comments on the draft EIS. Individual verbal comments will be taken on a one-on-one basis with a stenographer (with FERC staff or representative present), called up in the order of the numbers received. Because we anticipate considerable interest from concerned citizens, this format is designed to receive the maximum amount of verbal comments, in a convenient way during the timeframe allotted. If many people are interested in providing verbal comments in the one-on-one setting at any particular session, a time limit of 3 minutes may be implemented for each commenter.

    Your verbal comments will be recorded by the stenographer. Transcripts of all comments from the sessions will be placed into the dockets for the projects, which are accessible for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (at www.ferc.gov) through our eLibrary system.

    FERC Sponsored Public Sessions in the Project Area To Take Comments on the Draft EIS Date Location a Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Chatham High School, 100 Cavalier Circle, Chatham, VA 24531, 434-432-8305. Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Lewis County High School, 205 Minuteman Drive, Weston, WV 26452, 304-269-8315. Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Franklin County High School, 700 Taynard Road, Rocky Mount, VA 24151, 540-483-0221. Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Nicholas County High School, 30 Grizzly Road, Summersville, WV 26651, 304-872-2141. Thursday, November 3, 2016 Sheraton Hotel, 2801 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24017, 540-563-9300. Thursday, November 3, 2016 Peterstown Elementary School, 108 College Drive, Peterstown, WV 24963, 304-753-4328. Wednesday, November 9, 2016 California Area High School, 11 Trojan Way, Coal Center, PA 15423, 724-785-5800. a While we have agreements with the venues, contracts have not yet been finalized with the individual Boards of Education. If a School Board declines to sign the contract, the venue may change and the FERC would issue a revised notice to announce the replacement venue.

    Commission staff will be available at each venue of the public sessions to answer questions about our environmental review process. It is important to note that written comments mailed to the Commission and those submitted electronically are reviewed by staff with the same scrutiny and consideration as the verbal comments given at the public sessions.

    Any person seeking to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR part 385.214).3 Only intervenors have the right to seek rehearing of the Commission's decision. The Commission grants affected landowners and others with environmental concerns intervenor status upon showing good cause by stating that they have a clear and direct interest in this proceeding which no other party can adequately represent. Simply filing environmental comments will not give you intervenor status, but you do not need intervenor status to have your comments considered.

    3 See the previous discussion on the methods for filing comments.

    Questions?

    Additional information about the projects is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). The eLibrary link provides access to all documents filed in a docket, in addition to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings. Go to “Documents & Filings,” click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the field (i.e., CP16-10). 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; for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription that 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.

    Dated: September 16, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23237 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ID-8007-000] Burke, John J., Jr.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on September 19, 2016, John J. Burke, Jr. submitted for filing, an application for authority to hold interlocking positions, pursuant to section 305(b) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 825d(b), Part 45 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR part 45, and Order No. 664.1

    1Commission Authorization to Hold Interlocking Positions, 112 FERC ¶ 61,298 (2005) (Order No. 664); order on reh'g, 114 FERC ¶ 61,142 (2006) (Order No. 664-A).

    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 electronic 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 11, 2016.

    Dated: September 19, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23234 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ID-8009-000] Williamson, Belvin, Jr.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on September 19, 2016, Belvin Williamson, Jr. submitted for filing, an application for authority to hold interlocking positions, pursuant to section 305(b) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 825d(b), Part 45 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR part 45, and Order No. 664.1

    1Commission Authorization to Hold Interlocking Positions, 112 FERC ¶ 61,298 (2005) (Order No. 664); order on reh'g, 114 FERC ¶ 61,142 (2006) (Order No. 664-A).

    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 electronic 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 11, 2016.

    Dated: September 19, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23236 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0135; EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0269; EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0372; EPA-R05-OAR-2016-0396; FRL-9953-10-Region 5] Adequacy Status of the Cleveland-Akron-Lorain and Columbus, Ohio Areas and the Ohio and Indiana Portions of the Cincinnati Indiana-Ohio-Kentucky Area Submitted 8-Hour Ozone Redesignation Requests and Maintenance Plans for Transportation Conformity Purposes AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of adequacy.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is notifying the public that we have found that the motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) in the Cleveland-Akron-Lorain and Columbus, Ohio ozone nonattainment areas, and the Indiana and Ohio portions of the Cincinnati Indiana-Ohio-Kentucky ozone nonattainment area are adequate for use in transportation conformity determinations under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Ohio submitted redesignation requests and maintenance plans for the Cleveland-Akron-Lorain and Columbus areas on July 6, 2016 and June 16, 2016, respectively. Ohio submitted a redesignation request and maintenance plan for the Ohio portion of the Cincinnati area on April 21, 2016. Indiana submitted a redesignation request and maintenance plan for the Indiana portion of the Cincinnati area on February 23, 2016. As a result of our finding, these areas must use their submitted MVEBs for future transportation conformity determinations.

    DATES:

    This finding is effective October 12, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony Maietta, Life Scientist, Control Strategies Section (AR-18J), Air Programs Branch, Air and Radiation Division, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-8777, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Background

    Today's notice is an announcement of a finding that we have already made. On August 23, 2016, EPA sent letters to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency transmitting our determination that the 2020 and 2030 MVEBs contained in the redesignations and maintenance plans for the Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio areas and Indiana and Ohio portions of the Cincinnati area are adequate for transportation conformity purposes. These MVEBs were announced on EPA's transportation conformity Web site, and no comments were submitted in response. The information is available at EPA's conformity Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm.

    The Cleveland-Akron-Lorain ozone nonattainment area consists of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit Counties. The Columbus ozone nonattainment area consists of Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking, and Madison Counties. The Indiana portion of the Cincinnati ozone nonattainment area consists of Lawrenceburg Township (located within Dearborn County, Indiana). The Ohio portion of the Cincinnati area consists of Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, and Warren Counties. For transportation conformity purposes, the MVEBs for the Indiana and Ohio portions of the Cincinnati area are combined. The 2020 and 2030 MVEBs, in tons per day (tpd), for VOCs and NOX for the Indiana and Ohio portions of Cincinnati, and the Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio areas are as follows:

    Area 2020 NOX
  • (tpd)
  • 2020 VOCs
  • (tpd)
  • 2030 NOX
  • (tpd)
  • 2030 VOCs
  • (tpd)
  • Indiana and Ohio Portions of the Cincinnati—Indiana/Ohio/Kentucky Area 30.79 30.00 16.22 18.22 Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, Ohio 61.56 38.85 43.82 30.80 Columbus, Ohio 99.54 50.66 85.13 44.31

    Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the CAA. EPA's conformity rule requires that transportation plans, programs, and projects conform to state air quality implementation plans and establishes the criteria and procedures for determining whether or not they conform. Conformity to a State Implementation Plan (SIP) means that transportation activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the national ambient air quality standards.

    The criteria by which we determine whether a SIP's MVEBs are adequate for transportation conformity purposes are outlined in the regulation at 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). As set forth above, EPA determined that these MVEBs are adequate under the applicable standards set forth in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). Please note that an adequacy review is separate from EPA's completeness review, and it also should not be used to prejudge EPA's ultimate approval of the SIP. Even if we find a budget adequate, the SIP could later be disapproved.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.

    Dated: September 19, 2016. Robert Kaplan, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23295 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9953-22-OLEM] Notice of New Streamlined Approval Process for Non-Regulatory Methods in SW-846 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) is providing notice of a new streamlined approval process for non-regulatory methods in the “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods” manual, also known as SW-846. This new process will employ the use of Web site postings and an extensive email list to notify the SW-846 scientific community of methods being released for public comment, which differs from the traditional Federal Register publication. All methods beginning with Update VI to SW-846 will utilize the new process. This new process only applies to SW-846 methods published as guidance, where there are no changes to the hazardous waste regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The process for updating or publishing SW-846 analytical methods that are required in the RCRA regulations (referred to as Method Defined Parameters or MDPs) will not change. EPA is not requesting public comment on this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina Langlois-Miller, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (5304P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460-0002; telephone number: 703-308-0744; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This notice is directed to the public in general. It may, however, be of particular interest to those conducting waste sampling and analysis for RCRA-related activities. This universe might include any entity that generates, treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous or non-hazardous solid waste and might also include any laboratory that conducts waste sampling and analyses for such entities.

    B. How can I get additional information about the new process?

    You may access this Federal Register document electronically from the Government Printing Office under the “Federal Register” listings at FDSys (http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR) or at the SW-846 Methods Web site (https://www.epa.gov/hw-sw846/epas-streamlined-procedure-publishing-non-regulatory-sw-846-methods).

    II. What is the subject and purpose of this notice?

    The Agency is announcing a new streamlined process for adding non-regulatory methods to “Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods,” EPA publication SW-846. The SW-846 compendium consists of over 200 analytical methods for sampling and analyzing waste and other matrices. Most methods are intended as guidance (i.e., non-regulatory methods) with the exception of what EPA refers to as “method defined parameters” or MDPs, that are required in the RCRA regulations for compliance purposes. In the interest of releasing new and updated SW-846 methods more quickly in order to respond to emergencies and issues such as emerging contaminants and keeping up with the speed of scientific advancements, EPA will be using a new process to release validated non-regulatory methods for public comment and to incorporate these methods into the official SW-846 compendium. This notice serves to notify the public of the new process, which EPA will begin using for its next set of updates to SW-846. Under the new process, EPA will no longer employ the Federal Register as a vehicle for adding non-regulatory methods and guidance to SW-846. However, the Agency will continue to use the regulatory development process for adding MDP methods to SW-846 (see https://www.epa.gov/hw-sw846/final-rule-methods-innovation-rule-mir#mdp for a list of MDPs). Non-regulatory methods and guidance will be released using EPA's SW-846 Web site, which can be found at https://www.epa.gov/hw-sw846, and a dedicated SW-846 electronic mailing list.

    III. Background

    Over the years, the regulated community has expressed concern that the Agency has not made available in a timely manner the use of analytical methods that take advantage of technological advancements. In an attempt to address the public's concern, the Agency published the Methods Innovation Rule (MIR), on June 14, 2005 (see 70 FR 34538-34592 or https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2005-06-14/pdf/05-10197.pdf), which provided flexibility to laboratories regarding method selection for waste characterization in support of RCRA, as appropriate. In addition, the rule allowed modification to most SW-846 methods and substitution of non-SW-846 methods, provided the modified or substituted method meets the defined quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) parameters established in the method or defined for the project and falls within EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment.

    Since most SW-846 methods are guidance and not required by the RCRA regulations, EPA sought a more efficient approach to announce the availability of methods for public use and to solicit comment prior to incorporating new or revised methods in the SW-846 compendium.

    IV. What is the new process?

    EPA receives requests to add or update SW-846 methods from various sources (e.g., EPA Regions, other federal and state government agencies, analytical method developers, commercial laboratories, and other scientific groups). These requests are considered if the new method or revision:

    • Addresses a national emergency (e.g., oil spill);

    • Is essential for continuing the EPA mission (e.g., regulatory change);

    • Is needed by EPA Regions/program offices (e.g., bioavailability of lead)

    • Addresses an emerging environmental contaminant (e.g., perfluorinated compounds)

    • Makes available a new or updated technology (e.g., collision cell mass spectrometry)

    • Is a collaborative effort with other federal agencies (e.g., DOD, USGS, FDA)

    • Provides an opportunity for greener chemistry or increased safety (e.g., decreased solvent use)

    Once EPA selects a method for possible revision or inclusion in SW-846, the method will be sent to the SW-846 method workgroup, made up of chemists and technical experts with knowledge of and experience with the specific methodology and/or technology, for further evaluation.

    Listed below are the new steps that EPA will follow for publication of non-regulatory SW-846 methods, beginning with final review from the SW-846 method workgroup. EPA will:

    1. Obtain Agency organic and/or inorganic workgroup approval of new and/or revised methods.

    a. Agency workgroups consist of EPA scientists from the Regions and program offices.

    2. Post methods on the “Validated Methods” Web page at https://www.epa.gov/hw-sw846/validated-test-methods-recommended-waste-testing and link to the Hazardous Waste Test Methods landing page, at https://www.epa.gov/hw-sw846.

    3. Notify the SW-846 analytical community via emails and web posting of the comment-period initiation date. The comment period will be set for a minimum of 30 days, depending on the number and complexity of methods.

    a. The Web pages will also indicate that the methods are drafts and that comments are being accepted until the end date of the comment period.

    4. Catalog and respond to public comments in a “Response to Comments” document.

    5. Revise methods based on EPA's review of comments.

    6. Post the new and/or revised methods, the “Response to Comments” background document(s), and other supporting documents permanently on the “SW-846 Compendium” Web page at https://www.epa.gov/hw-sw846/sw-846-compendium.

    7. Email the SW-846 mailing list, notifying all entities of the incorporation of the new additions to the SW-846 compendium.

    V. How can I sign up for the SW-846 mailing list?

    If you would like to receive information regarding new policies, guidance related to SW-846 methods, announcements of open comment periods, and final changes or updates to methods in SW-846, it is important to sign up for the SW-846 mailing list. The form to sign up for the SW-846 mailing list is located at https://www.epa.gov/hw-sw846/forms/contact-us-about-hazardous-waste-test-methods. To sign up, fill out the form at the bottom of the page, including the “Name” and “Email Address” sections, and click the “Yes” button for Email List Sign-up before submitting.

    The Agency also plans to find the email addresses of previous commenters on Updates to SW-846 to notify them of the new process and to see if they would like to be placed on the SW-846 mailing list.

    VI. Summary

    This new approach to announcing SW-846 methods for public comment will allow EPA to make available new advancements in technologies in a timely manner and provide increased accessibility to analytical procedures, guidance, and Updates to SW-846, while still employing a mechanism to request public comment and incorporate comments into the final methods. In addition, the new process will result in a cost savings for the Agency since it removes the burden of unnecessary steps in releasing guidance to the public while retaining the appropriate steps to ensure EPA's standard of quality and integrity.

    Dated: September 20, 2016. Barnes Johnson, Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23299 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9952-56-Region 6] Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petition for Objection to State Operating Permit for Yuhuang Chemical Company, Inc. Methanol Plant in Louisiana AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of final action.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 505(b)(2) and 40 CFR 70.8(d), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator signed an Order, dated August 31, 2016, denying in part and granting in part a petition asking EPA to object to the operating permit issued by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) to Yuhuang Chemical Company, Inc. for its Methanol Plant (Title V operating permit 1560-00295-V0). The EPA's August 31, 2016 Order responds to a petition submitted by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and Sierra Club (Collectively the Petitioners) on May 18, 2015. Sections 307(b) and 505(b)(2) of the Act provide that a petitioner may ask for judicial review of those portions of the Orders that deny objections raised in the petitions in the appropriate United States Court of Appeals. Any petition for review shall be filed by November 28, 2016, pursuant to section 307(b) of the Act.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may review copies of the final Order, the petition, and other supporting information at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view copies of the final Order, petition, and other supporting information. You may view the hard copies Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. If you wish to examine these documents, you should make an appointment at least 24 hours before the visiting day. Additionally, the final Order signed on August 31, 2016 is available electronically at: https://www.epa.gov/title-v-operating-permits/title-v-petition-database.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brad Toups at (214) 665-7258, email address: [email protected] or the above EPA, Region 6 address.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CAA affords EPA a 45-day period to review, and object, as appropriate, to a title V operating permit proposed by a state permitting authority. Section 505(b)(2) of the CAA authorizes any person to petition the EPA Administrator, within 60 days after the expiration of this review period, to object to a title V operating permit if EPA has not done so. Petitions must be based only on objections to the permit that were raised with reasonable specificity during the public comment period provided by the state, unless the petitioner demonstrates that it was impracticable to raise these issues during the comment period or unless the grounds for the issue arose after this period.

    EPA received the petition from the Petitioners on May 18, 2015 for the operating permit issued on May 5, 2015 to Yuhuang Chemical Facility located in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

    The Petitioner requested that the Administrator object to the proposed operating permit issued by the LDEQ to Yuhuang on several bases. In total, the Petitioner raised four primary claims in the Petition. The claims are described in detail in Section IV of the Order. In summary, the issues raised are that: (1, claim III) the permit fails to comply with the Act's requirements for public participation; (2, claim IV) the permit fails to meet PSD requirements; (3, claim V) a tank design is hazardous and there are additional unaccounted for emissions; and (4, claim VI) the LDEQ failed to adequately respond to EPA's comments. The Order issued on August 31, 2016 responds to claims III, IV, V, and VI (pp. 6-30).

    Pursuant to sections 505(b) and 505(e) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7661d(b) and (e)) and 40 CFR 70.7(g) and 70.8(d), the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has 90 days from the receipt of the Administrator's order to resolve the objections identified in Claim IV of the Order and submit a proposed determination or termination, modification, or revocation and reissuance of the Yuhuang Chemical Company, Inc. title V permit in accordance with the EPA's objection. The Order issued on August 31, 2016 responds to the Petition and explains the basis for EPA's decision.

    Dated: September 21, 2016. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23255 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-XXXX] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Correction

    In notice document 2016-22522 beginning on page 64461 in the issue of Tuesday, September 20, 2016, make the following correction:

    On page 63361, in the third column, under the DATES heading, in the second line “October 20, 2016” should read “November 21, 2016”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2016-22522 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination, 10009 First Heritage Bank, N.A., Newport Beach, California

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10009 First Heritage Bank, N.A., Newport Beach, California (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of First Heritage Bank, N.A. (Receivership Estate). The Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments, and deeds.

    Effective September 1, 2016, the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: September 22, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23282 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination; 10261 Turnberry Bank, Aventura, Florida

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10261 Turnberry Bank, Aventura, Florida (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of Turnberry Bank (Receivership Estate). The Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments, and deeds.

    Effective September 1, 2016, the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: September 22, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23281 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Designated Reserve Ratio for 2017 AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Designated Reserve Ratio for 2017.

    Pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation designates that the Designated Reserve Ratio (DRR) for the Deposit Insurance Fund shall remain at 2 percent for 2017.1 The Board is publishing this notice as required by section 7(b)(3)(A)(i) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(b)(3)(A)(i)).

    1 Section 327.4(g) of the FDIC's regulations sets forth the DRR, 12 CFR 327.4(g). There is no need to amend this provision because the DRR for 2017 is the same as the current DRR.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Munsell St. Clair, Chief, Banking and Regulatory Policy Section, Division of Insurance and Research, (202) 898-8967; Robert Grohal, Chief, Fund Analysis and Pricing Section, Division of Insurance and Research, (202) 898-6939; or, Sheikha Kapoor, Senior Counsel, Legal Division, (202) 898-3960.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 20th day of September, 2016.

    By order of the Board of Directors.

    Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23232 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    DATE AND TIME:

    Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    999 E Street NW., Washington, DC (Ninth Floor).

    STATUS:

    This Meeting Will Be Open to the Public.

    ITEMS TO BE DISCUSSED:

    Draft Advisory Opinion 2016-10: Caroline Goodson Parker REG 2013-01: Draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Technological Modernization REG 2011-02: Internet Communication Disclaimers Proposed Amendments to Directive 52 Promoting Voluntary Compliance Presidential Public Financing Legislative Recommendations Proposal to Attack Scam PACs Second Proposal to Launch Rulemaking To Ensure that U.S. Political Spending is Free from Foreign Influence Proposed Final Audit Report on Freedomworks for America (A13-18) Management and Administrative Matters

    Individuals who plan to attend and require special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should contact Shawn Woodhead Werth, Secretary and Clerk, at (202) 694-1040, at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

    PERSON TO CONTACT FOR INFORMATION:

    Judith Ingram, Press Officer, Telephone: (202) 694-1220

    Shawn Woodhead Werth, Secretary and Clerk of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23336 Filed 9-23-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment regarding the Federal Reserve proposal to extend with revision, the clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act for the following information collection activity.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board or Federal Reserve) invites comment on a proposal to extend, with revision, the Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices (Policy Statement).

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) its approval authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), to approve of and assign OMB numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the PRA Submission, supporting statements and approved collection of information instruments are placed into OMB's public docket files. The Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before November 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by OMWI Policy Statement, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx.

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

    Email: [email protected] Include OMB number in the subject line of the message.

    FAX: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments are available from the Board's Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street (between 18th and 19th Streets NW) Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

    Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the PRA OMB submission, including the proposed reporting form and instructions, supporting statement, and other documentation will be placed into OMB's public docket files, once approved. These documents will also be made available on the Federal Reserve Board's public Web site at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer, whose name appears below.

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Request for Comment on Information Collection Proposal

    The following information collection, which is being handled under this delegated authority, has received initial Board approval and is hereby published for comment. At the end of the comment period, the proposed information collection, along with an analysis of comments and recommendations received, will be submitted to the Board for final approval under OMB delegated authority. Comments are invited on the following:

    a. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions; including whether the information has practical utility;

    b. The accuracy of the Federal Reserve's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    c. Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    d. Ways to minimize the burden of information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

    e. Estimates of capital or start up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    Proposal To Approve Under OMB Delegated Authority the Extension for Three Years, With Revision, of the Following Report

    Report title: Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices.

    Agency form number: FR 2100.

    OMB control number: 7100-0368.

    Frequency: Annual.

    Respondents: Financial institutions regulated by the Federal Reserve.

    Estimated annual burden hours: 3,912 hours.

    Estimated average hours per response: 8 hours.

    Number of respondents: 488.

    General description of report: Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) requires the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (the Agencies) each to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) to be responsible for all matters of the Agency relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities. Section 342 requires each OMWI director to develop standards for “assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the agency.” The Policy Statement, published jointly by the Agencies in June 2015, contain those standards.

    Legal authorization and confidentiality: The Board's Legal Division has determined that the information collections contained within the Policy Statement are authorized by section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires the Board's OMWI director to develop standards for assessing regulated entities' diversity policies and practices and are voluntary.

    The Standard regarding transparency, and a portion of the self-assessment Standard, call for regulated entities to provide information to the public, so confidentiality is not an issue with respect to those aspects of the Policy. A regulated entity may provide self-assessment material to the Board that contains confidential commercial information protectable under exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), and may request that the information be kept confidential on a case-by-case basis. The Federal Reserve will determine whether the information is entitled to confidential treatment on an ad hoc basis in connection with such a request. As noted in the Policy Statement, an entity's primary federal regulator may share information obtained from regulated entities with other Agencies, but will publish information disclosed to them only in a form that does not identify a particular entity or individual or disclose confidential business information.

    Current Actions: The Federal Reserve previously received OMB approval for a voluntary information collection with respect to the Policy Statement, pursuant to which entities regulated by the Federal Reserve voluntarily self-assess their diversity policies and practices.1 This proposed revision to that collection would add the Diversity Self-Assessment Template to assist with the self-assessment. The Template (1) asks for general information about a respondent; (2) includes a checklist of the standards set forth in the Policy Statement; (3) seeks additional diversity data; and (4) provides an opportunity for a respondent to provide other information regarding or comment on the self-assessment of its diversity policies and practices.

    1 80 FR 33016 (June 10, 2015).

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 22, 2016. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23266 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE Depository Library Council to the Director; Meeting

    The Depository Library Council (DLC) to the Director, Government Publishing Office (GPO) will meet on Monday, October 17, 2016 through Wednesday, October 19, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. The sessions will take place from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday and Tuesday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Wednesday. The meeting will be held at the Doubletree Hotel, 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, Virginia. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the Federal Depository Library Program. All sessions are open to the public. The United States Government Publishing Office is in compliance with the requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and meets all Fire Safety Act regulations.

    Davita Vance-Cooks, Director, Government Publishing Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23186 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1520-01-M
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority

    Part C (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) of the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (45 FR 67772-76, dated October 14, 1980, and corrected at 45 FR 69296, October 20, 1980, as amended most recently at 81 FR 54091-54094, dated August 15, 2016) is amended to reflect the reorganization of the Office of Safety, Security and Asset Management, Office of the Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Section C-B, Organization and Functions, is hereby amended as follows:

    Delete and replace the title and the mission and function statements for the Office of Safety, Security and Asset Management (CAJS) and insert the following:

    Office of Safety, Security and Asset Management (CAJS). The Office of Safety, Security and Asset Management (OSSAM) serves as the lead organizational entity for providing a safe, secure, functional, and healthy workplace environment for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) staff while ensuring environmental stewardship and appropriate management of CDC assets.

    Office of the Director (CAJS1). (1) Directs, manages, coordinates and evaluates the programs and activities of OSSAM service offices; (2) develops goals and objectives, and provides leadership, policy formulation, and guidance in program planning and development; and (3) provides advice and counsel to the CDC Director, the Chief Operating Officer, and other senior Office of the Director (OD) and Centers/Institute/Offices (CIO) officials on all OSSAM programs and activities.

    Office of Operations (CAJS13). (1) Oversees technical programs to ensure a safe, secure, and healthy workplace while ensuring all worksite issues are properly addressed and brought to closure; (2) provides oversight and guidance to CIOs through OSSAM liaison officers who support programs as the key contact for matters related to safety, security, facilities, logistics, and sustainability, and (3) manages space requests and provides recommendations to the Chief Operating Officer for approval for all CDC CIOs.

    Office of Financial, Administrative, and Information Services (CAJS13B). (1) Provides administrative guidance, advice, and support to OSSAM employees; (2) manages OSSAM information technology support, including system development, maintenance, design, and implementation; (3) provides direction, strategy, analysis, and operational support in all aspects of OSSAM's human capital management and administrative operations; (4) develops and implements internal policies and procedures, including developing related communications; (5) provides employee and labor relations support; (6) serves as the point of contact between OSSAM OD and each of the CDC Business Service Offices; (7) provides overall budgetary support and oversight for OSSAM, including budget planning, execution, monitoring, and reporting; (8) provides oversight, guidance and approval for the procurement process OSSAM-wide; (9) provides oversight of property accountability, including appointing an OSSAM property accountability officer; (10) provides guidance and oversight related to the records management requirements and process; and (11) establishes and enforces OSSAM-related travel policies.

    Office of Policy, Performance, and Communications (CAJS13C). (1) Provides technical and managerial direction for the development of organizational and CDC-wide policies as it relates to safety, security, and asset management to support CDC's public health science and programs; (2) participates with senior management in program planning, policy determinations, evaluations, and decisions concerning escalation points for safety, security, and asset management; (3) provides leadership, coordination, and collaboration on issues management and triaging, and ensures the process of ongoing issues identification, management, and resolution; (4) conducts policy analysis, tracking, review, and clearance as it relates to safety, security, and asset management to support CDC's public health science and programs; (5) coordinates with CDC-Washington on authorizations; (6) coordinates with the CDC Office of Financial Resources regarding budget justifications and appropriation matters; (7) manages and responds to Congressional inquiries and media requests as it relates to safety, security, and asset management to support CDC's public health science and programs; (8) serves as the point of contact for the policy analysis, technical review, and final clearance of executive correspondence and policy documents that require approval from the CDC Director, CDC Leadership Team, or officials; (9) leads OSSAM performance management, including the development of strategic plans, performance metrics, dashboards, Quarterly Program Review materials, and Office of the Chief Operating Officer performance management initiatives; (10) provides OSSAM-wide communications support which includes presentations, messages, clearances, emergency notifications, and meetings; (11) ensures accurate and consistent information dissemination, including Freedom Of Information Act requests and CDC's Division of Issues Management, Analysis, and Coordination controlled correspondence; (12) ensures consistent application of CDC correspondence standards and styles; and (13) provides leadership, technical assistance, and consultation in establishing best practices in internal and external business communication and implements external communication strategies to promote and protect CDC's brand (e.g., employee communications, intranet, internet and other communication platforms).

    Public Health Intelligence Office (CAJS14). (1) Provides leadership and operational and technical support for development, and implementation of intelligence activities; (2) analyzes and disseminates intelligence related to public health, medical and scientific intelligence, counterintelligence, insider threat, and global security; (3) researches, compiles, produces, and provides classified and unclassified briefings; (4) performs prepublication review of classified and sensitive information; (5) serves as the CDC liaison with U.S. intelligence community agencies; (6) provides global security oversight in coordination with U.S. government agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations; (7) identifies training needs and recommends specific training objectives to be met and the methods to achieve them (i.e. Security Awareness, Counterintelligence Awareness, Foreign Travel Safety Brief); (8) develops, implements, and presents sound and well-grounded training programs to prepare CDC staff members pending deployments or travel abroad; (9) performs security assessments of and technical assistance to CDC international facilities; (10) supports CDC international operational goals through membership on the Department of State Overseas Security Policy Board; (11) provides oversight of the Defensive Counterintelligence and Insider Threat program; (12) processes non-United States citizen requests for physical or logical access; (13) provides guidance over all security issues related to foreign travel matters; (14) provides policy and implementation guidance on all standards and requirements related to the processing and storing of controlled unclassified information; (15) manages and operates CDC's Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) and its secure communications systems; (16) maintains accreditation of CDC's SCIF; (17) manages and operates collateral-level secure facilities nationally; (18) provides policy and implementation guidance on the standards for using classified document control for CDC; (19) provides policy and implementation guidance on all standards and requirements related to the processing and storing of classified information by CDC; (20) develops and administers a physical protection plan for all national security information and material held or processed by CDC in accordance with established laws, mandates, and government-wide policies; (21) acts as Communications Security Custodian for all classified matters involving the National Security Agency; (22) maintains CDC's emergency destruction plan for classified material and equipment; (23) conducts preliminary investigations of security violations relative to the loss or compromise/suspected compromise of sensitive, classified, or crypto-logic materials or devices throughout CDC; (24) ensures proper destruction of classified documents that are no longer required; (25) conducts security inspections and audits of all national security information storage and processing areas; (26) responsible for implementing, maintaining, and updating of CDC's Continuity Of Operations (COOP) communication vehicles; and (27) provides deployable unclassified and classified communication platforms to support high-level deploying staff to natural or manmade disaster areas in support of COOP plans.

    Quality and Sustainability Office (CAJS15). (1) Provides quality assurance and continuous improvement by establishing a framework for process improvement associated with all OSSAM functions; (2) ensures accountability and environmental stewardship of CDC assets in order to protect CDC's ability to carry out its health mission today and in the future; (3) conducts quality improvement audits on all OSSAM program areas of responsibility; (4) assembles technical advisory teams, as needed, to conduct audits/reviews of OSSAM program areas; and (5) provides oversight of CDC's sustainability programs.

    Asset Management Services Office (CAJSB). The Asset Management Services Office (AMSO) provides a safe, secure, healthy, and functional workplace environment for CDC staff by ensuring that assets are managed effectively while maintaining efficient operations and logistical support, customer satisfaction, and environmental stewardship.

    Office of the Director (CAJSB1). (1) Plans, directs, and coordinates the functions and activities of AMSO; (2) provides management and administrative direction for budget planning and execution, property management, and personnel management within AMSO; (3) provides leadership and strategic support to senior managers in the determination of CDC's long-term facility needs; (4) coordinates the operations of AMSO staff involved in the planning, evaluation, design, construction, and management of facilities and acquisition of property; (5) provides centralized value engineering services, policy development and coordination, and global acquisition planning for AMSO; (6) assists and advises senior CDC officials in the development, coordination, direction, and assessment of facilities and real property activities throughout CDC's facilities and operations, and assures consideration of facilities management implications in program decisions; (7) provides collaboration and centralized consolidation of division reporting requirements and other deliverables to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Financial Resources (OFR), and other internal and external entities; and (8) oversees functions of the campus portfolio managers who prepare the capital and repair and improvements (R&I), CDC and HHS-level Facility Project Approval Agreements, asset business plans, campus master plans, and special studies, monitors performance indicators to identify/address portfolio deficiencies, serves on project core teams including, Historic Preservation, Green Building, International Facilities, Real Property Acquisition, Asset Management Team and Security Liaison Activities, and administers the National Environmental Policy Act,.

    Leased Property Management Services (CAJSB12). (1) Conducts real estate activities throughout CDC, including the acquisition of leased space, and the purchase and disposal of real property for CDC nationwide, with emphasis on current and long- range planning for the utilization of existing and future real property resources; (2) performs space management (assignment and utilization) of all CDC space, both owned and leased, nationwide; (3) provides technical assistance in space planning to meet programmatic needs; (4) executes all easements for owned property, in coordination with campus liaison officers; (5) administers day-to-day management of leased facilities and ensures contract compliance by lessors; (6) provides technical assistance and prepares contract specifications for all repair and improvement projects in leased space; (7) maintains liaison with the General Services Administration regional offices; (8) performs all functions relating to leasing and/or acquisition of real property under CDC's delegation of authority for leasing, including direct lease actions; and (9) coordinates the relocation of CDC personnel within owned and leased space.

    Engineering, Maintenance, and Operations Services Office (CAJSBB). The Engineering, Maintenance, and Operations Services Office (EMOSO) manages facilities engineering, engineering controls, security systems engineering, fire alarm and life safety, and monitors, operates, and maintains owned buildings, central utility plants, systems, equipment, and performs systems/building commissioning. Specifically, EMOSO: (1) Operates, maintains, repairs, and modifies CDC's Atlanta-area office buildings, laboratories, and plant facilities, and other designated CDC facilities throughout the U.S. and other geographic areas, and conducts a maintenance and repair program for CDC's program support equipment; (2) develops services for new, improved, and modified equipment to meet program needs; (3) provides technical assistance, reviews maintenance and operation programs, and recommends appropriate action for all Atlanta-area facilities and other designated CDC facilities throughout the U.S. and other geographic areas; (4) provides recommendations, priorities, and services for new, improved, or modified equipment to meet program needs; (5) provides maintenance and operation of the central energy plant including structures, utilities production and distribution systems, and equipment; (6) conducts a program of custodial services, waste disposal, incinerations, disposal of biological waste and chemical hazardous waste, and other building services at all CDC Atlanta-area facilities and other designated CDC facilities throughout the U.S. and other geographic areas; (7) provides landscape development, repair, and maintenance at all Atlanta-area facilities and other designated CDC facilities throughout the U.S. and other geographic areas; (8) provides hauling and moving services for CDC in the Atlanta-area; (9) provides an Integrated Pest Management Program to control insect and rodents for CDC in Atlanta-area facilities; (10) develops required contractual services and provides supervision for work performed; (11) establishes and maintains a computerized system for maintenance services, for stocking and ordering supplies, and replacement parts; (12) provides for pick-up and delivery of supplies and replacement parts to work sites; (13) maintains adequate stock levels of supplies and replacement parts; (14) prepares design and contract specifications, and coordinates completion of contract maintenance projects; (15) manages CDC's Energy Conservation Program for all CDC facilities; (16) reviews all construction documents for energy conservation goals and compliance with applicable CDC construction standards; (17) participates on all core teams and value engineering teams; (18) provides maintenance and inspection for fire extinguishers and fire sprinkler systems; (19) provides services for the procurement of natural gas; (20) develops and maintains a standard equipment list for all CDC facilities; (21) assists the other AMSO offices with facility-related issues, as needed; (22) provides building coordinators to interface with program personnel to keep the building and equipment functioning; (23) functions as the CDC waste and recycling services manager and (24) coordinates the commissioning of new buildings, structures, systems and components, as necessary.

    Projects and Construction Management Services Office (CAJSBC). The Projects and Construction Management Services Office (PCMSO) manages capital improvement projects, repair and improvement projects, and construction services. Specifically, PCMSO: (1) Provides professional architectural/engineering capabilities, and technical and administrative project support to CDC and CIOs for renovations and improvements to CDC- owned facilities and construction of new facilities; (2) develops project management requirements, including determination of methods, means of project completion, and selection of resources; (3) provides critical path method scheduling support for all large capital construction projects and all R&I projects; and (4) provides central cost estimating support for all large capital construction projects, all R&I projects, special projects, feasibility studies, as requested, and certain work orders, as requested.

    Logistics Management Services Office (CAJSBD). (1) Develops and implements CDC-wide policies, procedures, and criteria necessary to comply with Federal and departmental regulations governing inventory management, property administration, property reutilization and disposal, supply management, and receiving and distribution; (2) determines, recommends, and implements procedural changes needed to maintain effective management of CDC property, including but not limited to inventory control, property records, and property reutilization and disposal; (3) provides audits, training and technical assistance to CDC CIOs on inventory management, property administration, property reutilization and disposal, supply management, and property receiving; (4) determines the requirement for and serves as the functional proponent for the design, test, and implementation of logistics management systems; (5) represents CDC on inter- and intra- departmental committees relevant to logistical functions; (6) serves as the CDC liaison to HHS and other Federal agencies on logistical matters such as inventory management, property administration, property reutilization and disposal including chemical hazardous waste, supply management, and receiving and distribution; (8) provides medical maintenance management support for CDC's personal property; (9) provides logistics and movement planning support for CDC CIOs; and (10) establishes branch goals, objectives, priorities, and assures consistency and coordination with overall OSSAM logistical goals and objectives.

    Design, Engineering and Management Services Office (CAJSBE). The Design, Engineering and Management Services Office (DEMSO) provides architectural, engineering design, project management services, and interior design services, and manages facility plans, drawings and technical documents, and ensures proper configuration control. Specifically, DEMSO: (1) Prepares architectural and engineering designs, and specifications for construction of modifications and renovations to CDC-owned facilities; (2) provides architectural and engineering technical expertise and is the technical authority on new facilities, and modifications and renovations on facility project designs; (3) provides furniture, fixture, and equipment designs, and project management services for all CDC facilities; (4) provides record and guideline document support services to all AMSO offices; and (5) maintains CDC Design Standards and Guidelines for use as basis of design for construction of new facilities, and modifications and renovations in CDC-owned facilities.

    Occupational Health and Safety Office (CAJSC). The Occupational Health and Safety Office (OHSO) creates and maintains a safe environment for all CDC staff, contractors, and visitors; prepares CDC staff for working in hazardous conditions domestically and abroad; and maintains compliance with relevant health, safety and environmental laws and regulations.

    Office of the Director (CAJSC1). (1) Provides leadership and direction for OHSO to proactively ensure safe and healthy workplaces at CDC worksites for CDC employees, contractors, and visitors, including deployed personnel; (2) serves as the principal advisor to the Director, OSSAM, with responsibility for the CDC health and safety program; (3) plans, identifies and requests required resources for OHSO; (4) directs, manages and evaluates the operations and programs of OHSO; (5) assures compliance with applicable Federal, state, and local health, safety, and environmental laws and regulations; (6) provides the tools, knowledge, and resources needed for workers to be safe and healthy and to protect the communities adjacent to CDC-owned and leased facilities; (7) promotes healthy and safe work practices to help prevent and mitigate the cause of injuries and illnesses within CDC workplaces; (8) provides advice and counsel to the CDC Director and CIO Leadership, CDC Safety Officers, and nationally and internationally assigned CDC staff on health, safety, and environment-related matters; (9) collaborates with domestic and global partners on CDC staff health and safety issues; (10) plans, organizes and directs OHSO health communication strategies and activities; (11) collaborates with CIOs to provide safety training; (12) provides leadership and oversight to the Quality and Compliance Branch; the Industrial Hygiene and Safety Branch, and the Clinic Branch; (13) supports management and operations by providing administrative and financial services; and (14) provides leadership and direction to ensure medical surveillance and response for CDC staff, contractor and visitor injury, illness, occupational exposure and for the preparation for temporary duty and deployment to hazardous locations.

    Quality and Compliance Branch (CAJSCB). (1) Provides coordination and expertise in program planning, policy development, quality assurance, evaluation, data management, information technology, and risk management to assure compliance; (2) ensures accurate record keeping, reporting, data analysis, and trend identification to improve safety at CDC; (3) provides leadership to ensure completion, updates, and continuous improvement of all required manuals and standard operating procedures; (4) develops and maintains annual quality and safety improvement plans and assessments; (5) conducts continuous quality improvement of data collection through a data management plan which includes comprehensive systems review and improvement to support service enhancements; (6) identifies CDC and/or government policy priorities for implementation; (7) serves as a primary source of information and expertise regarding policies, activities, and issues related to safety and health; (8) develops quality improvement strategies for customer service and service enhancements that will be incorporated in OHSO program, strategic, and performance plans; and (9) provides ongoing assessments and analysis to identify continuous quality improvement to ensure all OHSO staff provide consistent and accurate information to stakeholders and CDC.

    Industrial Hygiene and Safety Branch (CAJSCC). (1) Identifies, assesses, mitigates, and monitors hazards in the workplace; (2) provides leadership, expertise, and training on safety/occupational health and industrial hygiene; (3) provides occupational health and safety technical and consultative services to all (owned and leased) CDC campuses to assure compliance with Federal Occupational Health and Safety Standards, and to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards; (4) supports safety activities of domestic and global staff through the establishment of a safety and occupational health plan, the development and implementation of the risk management policy, and coordination of standard operating procedures with the CIOs; (5) conducts comprehensive safety reviews through safety surveys and audits to ensure that CDC workplaces are free from potential and identified hazards; (6) provides coordinated responses to requests that reflect OHSO policy and compliance standards; and (7) conducts health and safety surveys, accident/illness investigations, safety help desk response/investigations, ergonomic evaluations and follow-ups, employee and workplace monitoring for chemical exposures, noise, indoor air quality and other chemical and physical hazards, job hazard/job safety assessments and use of personal protective equipment, lock-out tag-out procedures, environmental audits and compliance, contractor health and safety plan review, and requested safety support services.

    Occupational Health Clinic (CAJSCD). (1) Provides occupational health services to maintain a healthy domestic and global CDC workforce through occupational health clinics and contracted health services; (2) manages CDC occupational health services to ensure CDC compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Standards and to support the occupational requirements of CDC; (3) serves as the CDC resource for routine and emergency response occupational health services; (4) prepares CDC staff to work in hazardous conditions in response to domestic and international public health threats or concerns; (5) provides medical evaluations and consultation for personal protective equipment; (6) assures the safety and health of the CDC workforce for during deployments; (7) supports deployment processes through health screenings and physical examinations, administration of vaccinations and medications, and respiratory clearance; (8) conducts and documents ongoing medical surveillance, as needed, for post-exposures or deployed staff; (9) ensures a prepared and resilient workforce; and (10) develops and maintains procedures that support the occupational health of the CDC workforce.

    Worklife Wellness Office (CAJSD). The Worklife Wellness Office (WWO) provides an environment that promotes a culture that improves the health and well-being of workers by integrating effective policies, programs, and processes accessible to all staff to sustain and improve performance, increase readiness, and support healthy choices and behaviors. Specifically, WWO: (1) Provides a core set of services and resources related to health and wellness including preventive screenings, health education and campaigns, health consults, personalized evaluation, counseling, and follow-up care/referrals; (2) engages in holistic organizational wellness efforts such as benchmarking best practices, implementing or maintaining proper policy, systems, linkages, physical environment, social environment, and external partners/coalitions outreach; (3) oversees the lifestyle fitness centers; (4) directs the employee assistance program; and (5) manages the vending and food services for Atlanta campuses.

    Security Services Office (CAJSE). The Security Services Office (SSO) serves as the lead organizational entity for providing the overall framework, direction, coordination, implementation, oversight and accountability for CDC's infrastructure protection, and personnel security program. Specifically, SSO: (1) Serves as the primary liaison for homeland security activities; (2) provides a secure work environment for CDC/ATSDR personnel, visitors and contractors; and (3) plans and implements CDC's crisis management activities which ensure a continued public health response to the nation.

    Office of the Director (CAJSE1). (1) Directs, manages, coordinates and evaluates the programs and activities of SSO; (2) develops goals and objectives, and provides leadership, policy formulation and guidance in program planning and development; (3) prepares, reviews, and coordinates budgetary, informational, and programmatic documents; (4) provides oversight and comprehensive security services to CDC's Strategic National Stockpile program; and (5) serves as a liaison to local, state, and Federal law enforcement entities and security personnel within other HHS Operating Divisions.

    Physical Security Laboratory and Technical Branch (CAJSEB). (1) Provides coordination, guidance, and security operations to all facilities CDC, including all owned and leased sites; (2) provides campus-wide access control for all the Atlanta leased sites, the Chamblee and Lawrenceville campuses, Anchorage, Alaska, and Fort Collins, Colorado, and all other CDC laboratories; (3) provides management and oversight of contract guard force and local police; (4) responsible for physical security during emergency operations; (5) promotes theft prevention, provides training and conducts investigations; (6) conducts site surveys to assess all physical security activities and correct deficiencies and implement improvement as necessary; (7) manages and maintains the emergency alert system; (8) maintains 24-hour emergency notification procedures for Fort Collins, Colorado, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Anchorage, Alaska; (9) manages and operates CDC's Security Operations Centers (SOC) 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Roybal, Ft. Collins, and other sites as constructed; (10) manages the Locksmith Office; (11) maintains inventory controls and measures, and implements, installs, repairs, and re-keys all locks with emphasis on the overall physical security of CDC and its owned and leased facilities; (12) provides security recommendations to CDC programs regarding capabilities and limitations of locking devices; (13) provides combination change services to organizations equipped with cipher locking devices; (14) coordinates with engineers and architects on CDC lock and keying requirements for new construction; (15) improves and expands video monitoring to ensure the security of all employees, visitors, contractors and the general public while at the CDC; (16) manages and coordinates Select Agent security and the CDC Safety and Security Plan; (17) manages and maintains the Intrusion Detection Automated system, including P2000; and (18) provides coordination, guidance, and security operations for all CDC laboratories nationwide.

    Physical Security Operations Branch (CAJSEC). The Physical Security Operations Branch (PSOB) coordinates and implements security operations, including access control and crisis management, for the CDC Headquarters campus and directs and oversees the security guard contract for Atlanta facilities. Specifically, PSOB: (1) Provides coordination, guidance, and security operations; (2) provides campus-wide access control; (3) provides management and oversight of contract guard force and local police; (4) conducts physical security during emergency operations; (5) promotes theft prevention, provides training and conducts investigations; (6) conducts site surveys to assess all physical security activities and correct deficiencies, and implement improvements as necessary; (7) manages and operates CDC's SOC 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Roybal campus, and other sites as constructed; (8) coordinates nationwide security operations through the Roybal campus SOC; (9) maintains 24-hour emergency notification procedures; (10) manages and maintains the emergency alert system; (11) improves and expands video monitoring to ensure the security of all employees, visitors, contractors and the general public while at the CDC; (12) provides coordination, guidance, and security operations for all Global Communication Center events and visits; and (13) manages and coordinates the security of all visitors and guests to all Atlanta-area CDC campuses.

    Personnel Security Branch (CAJSED). (1) Conducts background investigations and personnel suitability adjudications for employment with CDC in accordance with 5 CFR 731, Executive Order 12968 and Executive Order 10450; (2) submits documentation for security clearances, and maintains an access roster in a security clearance database; (3) implements high risk investigations such as Public Trust Investigations for employees GS-13s and above who meet HHS criteria standards for employees working in Public Trust positions; (4) conducts adjudications for National Agency Check with Inquiries cases and assists HHS in adjudicating security clearance cases; (5) provides personnel security services for full time employees, guest researchers, visiting scientists, students, contract employees, fellows, and the commissioned corps; (6) conducts initial “Security Education Briefing” and annual Operational Security Training; (7) coordinates employee drug testing; (8) provides identification badges and cardkey access for personnel within all CDC metro Atlanta area facilities as well as some out-of-state CDC campuses; (9) enrolls individuals with a security clearance or approval in the biometric encoding system; (10) maintains hard copy records of all individuals' requests and authorizations for access control readers; and (11) manages and operates cardkey systems.

    Internal Emergency Management Branch (CAJSEE). (1) Leads a comprehensive internal emergency management program that efficiently coordinates CDC resources to, first and foremost, protect lives, then to safeguard the environment and property through mitigation, preparedness training, response, continuity and recovery from all natural, man-made and technological hazards that may impact CDC facilities; (2) Implements, maintains, and updates CDC's Occupant Emergency Plan/Program; (3) conducts and evaluates annual tabletop, functional, and full-scale exercises for all CDC facilities with Designated Officials and Occupant Emergency Organizations; (4) recommends future emergency management and emergency response-related programs, policies, and/or procedures; (5) provides leadership and coordination in planning and implementation for internal emergencies; and (6) provides leadership and coordination in planning and implementation for internal emergency incidents affecting the CDC facilities, including incident response and support.

    Transportation Services Office (CAJSG). The Transportation Services Office (TSO) develops and provides CDC-wide transportation policies, procedures and services ensuring a safe, secure and healthy workplace is established and maintained in accordance with federal and departmental regulations. Specifically, TSO: (1) Provides oversight, expertise, guidance, and program support for transportation related activities; (2) provides subject matter expertise on transit initiatives, facility master planning, and liaise with the community regarding transportation planning; (3) provides fleet management and shipping operations; (4) performs parking administration, commuter assistance, manages the Transportation Choices Program, employee housing and relocation services, and coordinates transportation services; (5) develops and implements CDC-wide policies, procedures, and criteria necessary to comply with Federal and departmental regulations governing transportation and fleet management; (6) determines, recommends, and implements procedural changes needed to maintain effective management of CDC transportation services, including but not limited to, shipping and return of CDC materiel, transportation of freight, and CDC's vehicle fleet; (7) represents CDC on inter- and intra-departmental committees relevant to transportation and traffic management; and (8) establishes branch goals, objectives, and priorities, and assures consistency and coordination with overall OSSAM goals and objectives.

    Sherri Berger, Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23252 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority

    Part C (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) of the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (45 FR 67772-76, dated October 14, 1980, and corrected at 45 FR 69296, October 20, 1980, as amended most recently at 81 FR 54091-54094, dated August 15, 2016) is amended to reflect the reorganization of the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Section C-B, Organization and Functions, is hereby amended as follows:

    Delete and replace the title and the mission and function statements for the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion (CVLD) and insert the following:

    Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (CVLD). Protects patients and healthcare personnel, and promotes safety, quality, and value in both national and international healthcare delivery systems. In carrying out its mission, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP): (1) Measures, validates, interprets, and responds to data relevant to healthcare-associated infections (HAI); antimicrobial use and resistant infections, sepsis, adverse drug events, blood, organ and tissue safety, immunization safety, and other related adverse events or medical errors in healthcare affecting patients and healthcare personnel; (2) investigates and responds to emerging infections, antimicrobial resistance, and related adverse events among patients and healthcare personnel; (3) develops and maintains the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), a tool for monitoring healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial use and resistance, measuring healthcare outcomes and processes, and monitoring healthcare worker vaccination and selected health measures in healthcare facilities; (4) assesses local, regional, national scope and burden of infections caused by resistant-bacteria in the U.S. through surveillance and special studies, review of national healthcare data sets, and laboratory surveillance programs; (5) conducts epidemiologic, and basic and applied laboratory research to identify new strategies to monitor and prevent infections/antimicrobial resistance, and related adverse events or medical errors, especially those associated with medical or surgical procedures, indwelling medical devices, contaminated products, dialysis, healthcare environment, and water; (6) collaborates with academic and public health partners to design, develop, and evaluate new approaches to monitoring infections and the efficacy of interventions for preventing infections, improving antibiotic use, and reducing antimicrobial resistance, and related adverse events or medical errors; (7) develops and disseminates evidence-based guidelines and recommendations to prevent and control HAI, antimicrobial resistance (AR), and related adverse events or medical errors; (8) collaborates with Federal, state, and local public health and private partners to promote nationwide implementation of CDC guidelines and other evidence-based interventions to prevent HAI, antimicrobial resistance, and related adverse events or medical errors among patients and healthcare personnel; (9) evaluates the impact of evidence-based recommendations and interventions across the spectrum of healthcare delivery sites; (10) serves as the Designated Federal Official for the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC); (11) serves as the National Reference Laboratory for the identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of staphylococci, anaerobic bacteria, non-tuberculous mycobacterial, and those gram-negative bacilli causing healthcare-associated infections; (12) serves as the technical reference laboratory for detection and characterization of other pathogens related to healthcare, and for characterizing the contribution of the healthcare environment to HAI and antimicrobial resistant infections; (13) serves as a global resource for HAI, antimicrobial resistance, and device-associated HAI; (14) coordinates guidance and research related to infection control across CDC and with national and international partners; (15) monitors vaccine safety and conducts research to evaluate the safety of available and new vaccines; (16) trains EIS Officers and other trainees; (17) coordinates antimicrobial resistance activities at CDC; (18) works in a national leadership capacity with public and private organizations to enhance antimicrobial resistance prevention and control, surveillance and response, and applied research; (19) coordinates blood, organ, and other tissue safety at CDC; and (20) provides expertise and assistance to HHS, other Federal agencies, and global partners on efforts and activities related to safe healthcare.

    Office of the Director (CVLD1). (1) Manages, directs, and coordinates the activities of DHQP; (2) provides leadership and guidance on policy impacting patient and healthcare safety; (3) leads targeted patient safety communication campaigns coordinated with release of CDC surveillance data, infection control guidelines, research publications, and prevention tools; (4) fosters strategic partnerships with clinical professional organizations to advance implementation of CDC's recommendations and best clinical practices; (5) leads communication/media outreach to include social media platforms and CDC's patient and healthcare safety Web sites; (6) works with Federal agencies, international organizations, and other partners on activities related to safe healthcare; (7) coordinates state and local activities to monitor and prevent HAI and antimicrobial resistance; (8) coordinates activities related to infection control in healthcare and related settings including, guideline development and maintenance, interim guidance development, training, consultation, and international activities across DHQP, CDC, and with national and international partners; (9) coordinates DHQP activities and collaborates with the CDC EOC for emergency response to emerging infections in healthcare; (10) coordinates DHQP activities and collaborates with other CIOs and Federal agencies to prepare healthcare to respond to emerging threats; (11) oversees the quality of DHQP research activities and identifies research gaps; (12) leads CDC's activities on blood, organ, and other tissue safety; (13) represents CDC on the Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability, and the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation; (14) works with other Federal agencies, state governments, and other public and private organizations to enhance blood, organ, and other tissue safety through coordination of investigation, prevention, response, surveillance, applied research, health communication, and public policy; (15) provides leadership and guidance for program planning and development, program management, and operations; (16) provides DHQP-wide administrative and program services, and coordinates or ensures coordination with the appropriate CIOs and CDC staff offices on administrative and program matters including, budget formulation and execution, and human resource management; (17) oversees the coordination of Federal and state programs and new initiatives to prevent HAI and antimicrobial resistance; (18) interprets general program and administrative policy directives for implications on management and execution of DHQP's programs; (19) serves as lead, primary contact, and liaison with relevant CDC Staff Offices on all matters pertaining to DHQP's procurement needs and activities; (20) provides management and coordination for DHQP-occupied space and facilities including laboratory space and facilities; (21) provides oversight and management of the distribution, accountability, and maintenance of CDC property and equipment including laboratory property and equipment; (22) provides program and administrative support for HICPAC; and (23) advises the Director, NCEZID, on science, policy and communication matters concerning DHQP activities.

    Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination and Strategy Unit (CVLD13). (1) Oversees the coordination of AR activities at CDC to meet national goals; (2) represents CDC in interagency activities on AR including the President's Advisory Committee for Combatting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (PAC-CARB); (3) coordinates with other agencies, state governments, medical societies, and other public and private organizations to enhance AR prevention and control, surveillance and response, and applied research; (4) represents CDC at the Transatlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance; (5) oversees CDC AR budget to implement AR activities as part of the Federal Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria; (6) coordinates policies and communications associated to CDC-wide programs related to AR; (7) ensures coordination with appropriate CIOs and CDC staff offices on AR program matters, including budget formulation and execution; (8) provides updates and reports about CDC AR activities and progress to the CDC Director, HHS, and the White House; and (9) oversees coordination of CDC collaborations and new Federal initiatives to detect, respond and prevent antimicrobial resistance.

    International Infection Control Activity (CVLD14). (1) Leads, in collaboration with the appropriate CIO and CDC components, global health activities related to the prevention of HAI, antimicrobial resistance, and related adverse events or medical errors; (2) coordinates international efforts to establish and improve infection prevention and control policies, programs, and coordination; (3) assists countries to improve infection prevention and control capacity toward prevention and control of HAI disease outbreaks and device-associated HAIs; (4) collaborates with ministries of health, CDC country offices, and implementing partners, to develop country-specific national policies and action plans to reduce the global burden of antimicrobial resistance associated with healthcare delivery; and (5) provides technical assistance to partners in building antimicrobial resistance laboratory capacity and surveillance systems.

    Clinical and Environmental Microbiology Branch (CVLDB). (1) Leads national laboratory characterization of HAI-related threats in partnership with state and regional laboratories; (2) provides comprehensive laboratory support and expertise for investigations of recognized and emerging pathogens in healthcare settings, such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and Clostridium difficile; (3) provides laboratory response to outbreaks and emerging threats associated with infections/antimicrobial resistance and related adverse events throughout the healthcare delivery system; (4) develops methods to assess contamination of environmental surfaces; (5) investigates novel and emerging mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance among targeted pathogens found in healthcare settings; (6) conducts research in collaboration with partners to develop new, accurate methods of detecting antimicrobial resistance in bacteria and to improve reporting of antimicrobial susceptibility test results to physicians to improve antimicrobial use; (7) conducts laboratory research to identify new strategies to prevent infections/antimicrobial resistance, related adverse events, and medical errors, especially those associated with invasive medical devices, contaminated products, dialysis, and water; (8) maintains capacity to evaluate commercial microbial identification, antimicrobial susceptibility testing systems and products, and facilitates their improvement to provide accurate patient test results; (9) investigates the role of biofilms, particularly those detected in indwelling medical devices and medical water systems, in medicine and public health, and identifies novel methods to eliminate colonization and biofilm formation on foreign bodies; (10) investigates the role of microbiome in the prevention of infections and antimicrobial resistance; (11) investigates the role of the water distribution systems in healthcare facilities in order to understand and prevent transmission of healthcare-associated infections due to water; and (12) provides expertise, research opportunities, training, and laboratory support for investigations of infections and related adverse events to other CDC CIOs and to our partners in areas related to quality clinical microbiology laboratory practices, investigation of emerging pathogens, and environmental microbiology.

    Prevention and Response Branch (CVLDC). Across the healthcare continuum, including acute, long-term, ambulatory, and chronic care settings: (1) Develops, promotes, and monitors implementation of evidence-based recommendations, standards, policies, strategies and related educational materials to prevent and control HAI, and related adverse events, and healthcare personnel safety events associated with antibiotic resistance, device, and procedure associated infections, poor adherence to quality standards and safety, and emerging infectious diseases; (2) develops, promotes, and monitors implementation of and adherence to evidence-based recommendations, standards and related educational materials, policies and strategies to increase adherence to appropriate antimicrobial use and stewardship; (3) uses data from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and other sources to target and improve the prevention and control healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance in the U.S. in specific regions, settings and institutions; (4) supports local, state, and national efforts to prevent HAI, antimicrobial resistance, and related adverse events by providing leadership and consultative services, including monitoring adherence to CDC-recommended practices; (5) provide leadership and epidemiologic support for the investigation, monitoring, and control of both recognized and emerging healthcare pathogens, including antimicrobial resistant bacteria; (6) leads response and control of outbreaks and emerging threats involving HAI and related adverse events, contaminated medical products and devices, and adverse drug events; (7) communicates the results of response activities with Federal and state agencies, healthcare providers, and the public, with recommendations to prevent similar adverse events in the future; and (8) provides leadership and expert consultation, guidance, and technical support to and collaborates with other CDC CIOs and divisions, other HHS Operating Divisions, and extramural domestic partners, on the epidemiology, prevention, and control of HAI, AR, and related adverse events; (9) implements state activities to prevent HAI and AR across healthcare; and (10) leads CDC activities to promote antimicrobial stewardship in all healthcare settings.

    Surveillance Branch (CVLDD). (1) Monitors and evaluates on the national level the extent, distribution, and impact of HAI, antimicrobial use and resistance, adverse drug events, healthcare worker safety events, and adherence to clinical processes and intervention programs designed to prevent or control adverse exposures or outcomes in healthcare; (2) provides services, including leadership, consultation, and analysis support, for statistical methods and analysis to investigators in the branch, division, and other organizations responsible for surveillance, research studies, and prevention and control of HAI and other healthcare-associated adverse events; (3) works with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other partners to develop new metrics and support maintenance of National Quality Forum-approved metrics; (4) collaborates with public and private sector partners to further standardize, integrate, and streamline systems by which healthcare organizations collect, manage, analyze, report, and respond to data on clinical guideline adherence, HAI, including transmission of multi-drug resistant organisms, and other HAI; (5) coordinates, further develops, enables wider use, and maintains NHSN to obtain scientifically valid clinical performance indices that promote healthcare quality and value at the facility, state, and national levels; (6) develops and implements new NHSN modules and provides enrollment and user support for NHSN; (7) improves surveillance systems by utilizing new technology; (8) generates and provides NHSN surveillance reports and analyses, which include collaborative analytic projects with partners; and (9) leads CDC's national adverse drug events surveillance activities and seeks to translate population-based surveillance data into evidence-based policies and targeted, innovative and collaborative interventions.

    Immunization Safety Office (CVLDE). Assesses the safety of new and currently available vaccines received by children, adolescents and adults using a variety of strategies: (1) Conducts ongoing surveillance for the timely detection of possible adverse events following immunization (AEFI) in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through coordination and management of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, the national reporting system that acts as an early-warning system to detect health conditions that may be associated with immunization; (2) coordinates, further develops, maintains and directs activities of the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a collaborative effort with integrated healthcare organizations, to conduct surveillance and investigate possible AEFI to assess causality and determine risk factors; (3) conducts epidemiologic research on causality of AEFI using the VSD and other data sources, and provides national estimates of incidence of AEFI and background rates of health conditions; (4) leads the nation in developing biostatistical methods for research of AEFI using large linked databases and other data sources, and shares methods for use by other Agencies and public and private entities; (5) conducts clinical research to identify causes of adverse events after immunization, specific populations susceptible to specific adverse events, and prevention strategies through the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment network, a national network of medical research centers, and other efforts; (6) applies findings from epidemiologic and clinical studies to develop strategies for prevention of AEFI; (7) provides global consultation and leadership for the development, use, and interpretation of vaccine safety surveillance systems, and for the development of shared definitions of specific health outcomes through participation in the Brighton Collaboration and other international organizations; (8) provides data for action to HHS, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the FDA's Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, Health Resources and Services Administration's Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, and collaborators around the globe including the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety; and (9) provides timely, accurate communication and education to partners and the public on vaccine safety concerns.

    Epidemiology Research and Innovations Branch (CVLDG). (1) Identifies and evaluates the efficacy of interventions to prevent HAI and related adverse events or medical errors across the spectrum of healthcare delivery sites including acute and long-term inpatient care, dialysis, and ambulatory settings; (2) identifies gaps in HAI-related knowledge, and conducts prevention research through the Prevention Epicenters cooperative agreements program and Safety and Healthcare Epidemiology Prevention Research Development research contracts; (3) conducts and supports research and evaluates impact of public health practices to prevent HAI, antimicrobial resistance, and related adverse events; (4) improves methods and enables wider use of clinical performance measurements by healthcare facilities and public health entities for specific interventions and prevention strategies designed to safeguard patients and healthcare workers from risk exposures and adverse outcomes through collaborations with extramural partners; (5) conducts applied research to identify and develop innovative methods to detect and monitor HAI and antimicrobial resistance; (6) conducts special studies to identify key risk factors for and provides national estimates of targeted, healthcare-associated adverse events, antimicrobial use and resistance patterns, and the extent to which prevention and control safeguards are in use to protect at-risk patients across the spectrum of healthcare delivery sites; (7) develops new ways to assess the impact of HAI prevention programs; (8) conducts analysis of the return on investment and costs related to prevention efforts and impact of HAI prevention programs; and (9) works with the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) and other partners to identify emerging issues.

    Sherri Berger, Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23213 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority

    Part C (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) of the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (45 FR 67772-76, dated October 14, 1980, and corrected at 45 FR 69296, October 20, 1980, as amended most recently at 81 FR 54091-54094, dated August 15, 2016) is amended to reflect the reorganization of the Office of the Director, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Section C-B, Organization and Functions, is hereby amended as follows:

    Insert item (10) ensures compliance with and manages the infectious diseases Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) unit within the Office of Infectious Diseases (CV), and renumber remaining items accordingly.

    Delete item (5) ensures scientific quality and ethical and regulatory compliance of center activities within the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CVL), Office of the Director (CVL1), and renumber remaining items accordingly.

    Sherri Berger, Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23212 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects:

    Title: Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity and Required Data Elements for Paternity Establishment Affidavits.

    OMB No.: 0970-0171.

    Description: Section 466(a)(5)(C) of the Social Security Act requires States to enact laws ensuring a simple civil process for voluntarily acknowledging paternity via an affidavit. The development and use of an affidavit for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity would include the minimum requirements of the affidavit specified by the Secretary under section 452(a)(7) and give full faith and credit to such an affidavit signed in any other State according to its procedures. The State must provide that, before a mother and putative father can sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, the mother and putative father must be given notice, orally and in writing of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights (including any rights, if one parent is a minor, due to minority status) and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity. The affidavits will be used by hospitals, birth record agencies, and other entities participating in the voluntary paternity establishment program to collect information from the parents of nonmarital children.

    Respondents: The parents of nonmarital children and State and Tribal IV-D agencies, hospitals, birth record agencies and other entities participating in the voluntary paternity establishment program.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents/partner
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent/partner
  • Average
  • burden hours per response
  • Total burden hours
    Training 130,330 1 1 130,300 Paternity Acknowledgment Process 2,606,596 1 0.17 443,121 Data Elements 54 1 1 54 Ordering Brochures 2,606,596 1 .08 208,528

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 782,003.

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chap 35) Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 330 C Street SW., Washington DC 20201. Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23274 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Meeting of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hereby giving notice that a meeting of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (2018 PAGAC or Committee) will be held. This meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on October 27, 2016, from 2:15 p.m. E.D.T. to 5 p.m. E.D.T. and on October 28, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. E.D.T. to 3:30 p.m. E.D.T.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be accessible by webcast on the Internet or by attendance in-person. For in-person participants, the meeting will take place in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Masur Auditorium, NIH Clinical Center, Building 10. The facility is located on the NIH Main Campus at 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Designated Federal Officer, 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, Richard D. Olson, M.D., M.P.H. and/or Alternate Designated Federal Officer, Katrina L. Piercy, Ph.D., R.D., Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), HHS; 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite LL-100; Rockville, MD 20852; Telephone: (240) 453-8280. Additional information is available at www.health.gov/paguidelines.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The inaugural Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG), issued in 2008, represents the first comprehensive guidelines on physical activity issued by the federal government. The PAG serves as the benchmark and primary, authoritative voice of the federal government for providing science-based guidance on physical activity, fitness, and health for Americans. Five years after the first edition was released, ODPHP, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (PCFSN) led development of the PAG Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth. The second edition of the PAG will build upon the first edition and provide a foundation for federal recommendations and education for physical activity programs for Americans, including those at risk for chronic disease.

    Appointed Committee Members: The Secretary of HHS appointed 17 individuals to serve as members of the 2018 PAGAC in June 2016. Information on Committee membership is available at www.health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/committee/.

    Committee's Task: The work of the 2018 PAGAC will be time-limited and solely advisory in nature. The Committee will develop recommendations based on the preponderance of current scientific and medical knowledge using a systematic review approach. The Committee will examine the current PAG, take into consideration new scientific evidence and current resource documents, and develop a scientific report to the Secretary of HHS that outlines its science-based advice and recommendations for development of the second edition of the PAG. The Committee will hold approximately five public meetings to review and discuss recommendations. The first meeting was held in July 2016, and it is anticipated that future meetings will be held in the third weeks of March 2017, July 2017, and October 2017. Meeting dates, times, locations, and other relevant information will be announced at least 15 days in advance of each meeting via Federal Register notice. As stipulated in the charter, the Committee will be terminated after delivery of its report to the Secretary of HHS or two years from the date the charter was filed, whichever comes first.

    Purpose of the Meeting: In accordance with FACA and to promote transparency of the process, deliberations of the Committee will occur in a public forum. At this meeting, the Committee will continue its deliberations from the last public meeting.

    Meeting Agenda: The meeting agenda will include (a) opportunity for the public to give oral testimony, (b) review of Committee work since the last public meeting, and (c) plans for future Committee work.

    Meeting Registration: The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will be accessible by webcast or by attendance in-person; pre-registration is required for either option. To pre-register, please visit www.health.gov/paguidelines. To request a special accommodation, please email [email protected]

    Webcast Public Participation: After pre-registration, individuals participating by webcast will receive webcast access information via email.

    In-Person Public Participation and Building Access: For in-person participants, the meeting will be held within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Masur Auditorium, NIH Clinical Center, Building 10, as noted above in the ADDRESSES section. Details regarding registration capacity and directions will be posted on www.health.gov/paguidelines. For in-person participants, check-in at the registration desk onsite at the meeting is required and will begin at 1:45 p.m. E.D.T. on October 27 and 7:30 a.m. E.D.T. on October 28. Please note that all visitors must enter through the NIH Gateway Center, which opens at 6:00 a.m. E.D.T. You will be asked to submit to a vehicle or personal inspection and provide a government-issued ID.

    Public Comments and Meeting Documents: Written comments from the public will be accepted throughout the Committee's deliberative process; an opportunity to present oral comments to the Committee will be provided at this meeting. Those wishing to present oral comment must pre-register at www.health.gov/paguidelines no later than October 20. Written public comments can be submitted and/or viewed at www.health.gov/paguidelines/pcd/. Documents pertaining to Committee deliberations, including meeting agendas and summaries will be available on www.health.gov/paguidelines. Meeting information, thereafter, will continue to be accessible online and upon request at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, OASH/HHS; 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite LL100 Tower Building; Rockville, MD 20852; Telephone: (240) 453-8280; Fax: (240) 453-8281.

    Dated: September 14, 2016. Don Wright, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, (Disease Prevention and Health Promotion).
    [FR Doc. 2016-23280 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary [Document Identifier: HHS-OS-0990-0001-60D] 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 0990-0001, 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 28, 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 HHS-OS-0990-0001-60D for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Application for waiver of the two- year foreign residence requirement of the Exchange Visitor Program.

    OMB No.: 0990-0001.

    Abstract: The Office of Global Affairs (OGA) requests that OMB approves an extension on a previous approved collection, OMB # 0990-0001. The HHS program deals with both research and clinical care waivers. Applicant institutions apply to this Department to request a waiver on behalf of research scientists or foreign medical graduates to work as clinicians in HHS designated health shortage areas doing primary care in medical facilities. The instructions request a copy of Form G-28 from applicant institutions represented by legal counsel outside of the applying institution. United States Department of Justice Form G-28 ascertains that legal counsel represents both the applicant organization and the exchange visitor.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: Required as part of the application process to collect basic information such as name, address, family status, sponsor and current visa information.

    Likely Respondents: Research scientists and research facilities.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    Application Waiver/Supplemental A Research HHS 426 45 1 10 450 Application Waiver/Supplemental B Clinical Care HHS 426 35 1 10 350 Total 800

    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.

    Darius Taylor, Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23171 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-38-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

    In compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning opportunity for public comment on proposed collections of information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the information collection plans, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (240) 276-1243.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Proposed Project: National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS) (OMB No. 0930-0119)—Revision

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ) is requesting a revision to the National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS) (OMB No. 0930-0119), which expires on February 28, 2017. The N-MHSS provides annual national and state-level data on the number and characteristics of mental health treatment facilities in the United States and biennial national and state-level data on the number and characteristics of persons treated in these facilities.

    The N-MHSS will provide updated information about facilities for SAMHSA's online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator (see: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov), which was last updated with information from the abbreviated N-MHSS (N-MHSS-Locator Survey) in 2015. An abbreviated N-MHSS (N-MHSS-Locator Survey) will be conducted in 2017 and 2019 to update the information about facilities in the online Locator. A full-scale N-MHSS will be conducted in 2018 to collect (1) information about facilities needed for updating the online Locator, such as the facility name and address, specific services offered, and special client groups served and (2) additional information about client counts and the demographics of persons treated in these facilities. Three small surveys are proposed for adding new facilities to the online Locator as they become known to SAMHSA. Both the 2017 N-MHSS-Locator Survey and the addition of new facilities to the online Locator will use the same N-MHSS-Locator Survey instrument.

    This request for a revision seeks to change the content of the currently approved abbreviated N-MHSS (i.e., N-MHSS-Locator) survey instrument, and the previously approved 2014 and 2016 full-scale N-MHSS (OMB No. 0930-0119) to accommodate two related N-MHSS activities:

    (1) Collection of information from the total N-MHSS universe of mental health treatment facilities during 2017, 2018, and 2019; and

    (2) collection of information on newly identified facilities throughout the year as they are identified so that new facilities can quickly be added to the online Locator.

    The survey mode for both data collection activities will be web with telephone follow-up. A paper questionnaire will also be available to facilities who request one.

    The database resulting from the N-MHSS will be used to update SAMHSA's online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator and to produce an electronic version of a national directory of mental health facilities, for use by the general public, behavioral health professionals, and treatment service providers. In addition, a data file derived from the survey will be used to produce a summary report providing national and state-level outcomes. The summary report and a public-use data file will be used by researchers, mental health professionals, State governments, the U.S. Congress, and the general public.

    The request for OMB approval will include a request to conduct an abbreviated N-MHSS-Locator survey in 2017 and 2019, and the full-scale N-MHSS in 2018.

    The following table summarizes the estimated annual response burden for the N-MHSS:

    Estimated Annual Response Burden for the N-MHSS Type of respondent Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Average hours per response Total burden
  • hours
  • Facilities in N-MHSS-Locator Survey universe in 2017 and 2019 17,000 1 0.42 7,140 Newly identified facilities in Between-Survey Update in 2017, 2018, and 2019 1 1,700 1 0.42 714 Facilities in full-scale N-MHSS universe in 2018 17,000 1 0.75 12,750 Average Annual Total 18,700 1 0.62 9,724 1 Collection of information on newly identified facilities throughout the year, as they are identified, so that new facilities can quickly be added to the Locator.

    Send comments to Summer King, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15E57-B, Rockville, MD 20857 OR email a copy at [email protected] Written comments should be received by November 28, 2016.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23181 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5849-N-08] Notice of a Federal Advisory Committee Meeting Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    ACTION:

    Notice of a Federal Advisory committee meeting: Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed agenda for a meeting of the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC). The meeting is open to the public and the site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. The agenda provides an opportunity for citizens to comment on the business before the MHCC.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on October 25 thru October 27, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) daily.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Washington—Capitol, 550 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Beck Danner, Administrator, Office of Manufactured Housing Programs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 9166, Washington, DC 20410, telephone (202) 708-6423 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons who have difficulty hearing or speaking may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Notice of this meeting is provided in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5. U.S.C. App. 10(a)(2) through implementing regulations at 41 CFR 102-3.150. The MHCC was established by the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. 5403(a)(3), as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, (Pub. L. 106-569). According to 42 U.S.C. 5403, as amended, the purposes of the MHCC are to:

    • Provide periodic recommendations to the Secretary to adopt, revise, and interpret the Federal manufactured housing construction and safety standards in accordance with this subsection;

    • Provide periodic recommendations to the Secretary to adopt, revise, and interpret the procedural and enforcement regulations, including regulations specifying the permissible scope and conduct of monitoring in accordance with subsection (b);

    • Be organized and carry out its business in a manner that guarantees a fair opportunity for the expression and consideration of various positions and for public participation. The MHCC is deemed an advisory committee not composed of Federal employees.

    II. Public Comments

    Citizens wishing to comment on the business of the MHCC are encouraged to register by or before October 19, 2016, by contacting Home Innovation Research Labs; Attention: Kevin Kauffman, 400 Prince Georges Blvd., Upper Marlboro, MD 20774, or email to [email protected] or call (888) 602-4663. Written comments are encouraged. The MHCC strives to accommodate citizen comments to the extent possible within the time constraints of the meeting agenda. Advance registration is strongly encouraged. The MHCC will also provide an opportunity for public comment on specific matters before the MHCC.

    III. Tentative Agenda Tuesday, October 25, 2016 I. Call to Order—Chair & Designated Federal Officer (DFO) II. Opening Remarks—Chair A. Roll Call—Administering Organization (AO) B. Introductions i. HUD Staff ii. Guests C. Administrative Announcements—DFO and AO III. Approve draft minutes from August 9, 2016, MHCC Meeting IV. Update on approved proposals—HUD Staff V. Subcommittee Reports to MHCC A. Technical Systems Subcommittee i. Log 113—NFPA 54 National Fuel Gas Code ii. Log 114—UL 60335-2-40, Safety of Household and Similar Electrical Appliances, Part 2-34: Particular Requirements for Motor-Compressors iii. Update about NFPA 70 Task Group recommendation VI. Break VII. Technical Systems Subcommittee Report—continued VIII. Public Comment Period IX. Lunch X. Final Rule on Formaldehyde Presentation XI. Break XII. EPA final formaldehyde rule A. Log 80—Secondary method testing, and HUD's draft proposed rule incorporating the EPA rule XIII. Daily Wrap Up—DFO/AO XIV. Adjourn Wednesday, October 26, 2016 I. Reconvene Meeting—Chair & Designated Federal Officer (DFO) II. Remarks—Chair A. Roll Call—Administering Organization (AO) III. Continue Review Current Log & Action Items (AI)—See Appendix A IV. Break V. HUD's recommended guidelines on foundation system requirements in freezing climates. VI. Public Comment VII. Lunch VIII. Regulatory Enforcement Subcommittee A. Log 135—Water supply testing procedures. IX. Continue review of EPA final formaldehyde rule A. Log 80—Secondary method testing, and HUD's draft proposed rule incorporating the EPA rule X. Break XI. Subcommittee Task Group Meeting Time Slot (only if necessary after MHCC has reviewed all Current Log and Action Items) XII. Daily Wrap Up—DFO/AO XIII. Adjourn Thursday, October 27, 2016 I. Reconvene Meeting—Chair & Designated Federal Officer (DFO) II. Remarks—Chair A. Roll Call—Administering Organization (AO) III. Review Current Log and Action Items (AI)—See Appendix A IV. Break V. Continue review of HUD's recommended guidelines for foundation systems in freezing climates. VI. Lunch VII. MHCC recommendations for foundation systems in freezing climates. VIII. Public Comment IX. Daily Wrap Up—DFO/AO X. Adjourn Dated: September 21, 2016. Pamela Beck Danner, Administrator, Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23256 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R6-ES-2016-N165; FXES11130600000-167-FF06E00000] Receipt of Applications for Endangered Species Permits AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications for a permit to conduct activities intended to enhance the survival of endangered species. Federal law prohibits certain activities with endangered species unless a permit is obtained.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, please send your written comments by October 27, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents and other information submitted with the applications are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, by any party who submits a written request for a copy of such documents to the following office within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice. You may use one of the following methods to request hard copies or a CD-ROM of the documents. Please specify the permit you are interested in by number (e.g., Permit No. TE-XXXXXX).

    Email: [email protected] Please refer to the respective permit number (e.g., Permit No. TE-XXXXXX) in the subject line of the message.

    U.S. Mail: Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486-DFC, Denver, CO 80225.

    In-Person Drop-off, Viewing, or Pickup: Call (719) 628-2670 to make an appointment during regular business hours at 134 Union Blvd., Suite 645, Lakewood, CO 80228.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kathy Konishi, Recovery Permits Coordinator, Ecological Services, (719) 628-2670 (phone); [email protected] (email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) prohibits certain activities with endangered and threatened species unless authorized by a Federal permit. The Act and our implementing regulations in part 17 of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) provide for the issuance of such permits and require that we invite public comment before issuing permits for activities involving endangered species.

    A permit granted by us under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act authorizes the permittees to conduct activities with U.S. endangered or threatened species for scientific purposes, enhancement of propagation or survival, or interstate commerce (the latter only in the event that it facilitates scientific purposes or enhancement of propagation or survival). Our regulations implementing section 10(a)(1)(A) for these permits are found at 50 CFR 17.22 for endangered wildlife species, 50 CFR 17.32 for threatened wildlife species, 50 CFR 17.62 for endangered plant species, and 50 CFR 17.72 for threatened plant species.

    Applications Available for Review and Comment

    We invite local, State, and Federal agencies and the public to comment on the following applications. Documents and other information the applicants have submitted with their applications are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).

    Permit Application Number TE047250

    Applicant: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, MT.

    The applicant requests the renewal of their permit to continue surveying and monitoring activities for black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) and pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) in Montana for the purpose of enhancing the species' survival. The applicant further requests that the pallid sturgeon portion of the permit be assigned a new number to separate the aquatic activities from the terrestrial activities.

    Permit Application Number TE06447C

    Applicant: Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, MT.

    The applicant requests the renewal and assignment of a new recovery permit number for presence/absence surveys of pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus). Presence/absence surveys for the species are currently authorized under recovery permit TE047250. The request for a new permit number allows the applicant to separate authorized aquatic survey/monitoring activities and reporting from the authorized terrestrial activities. Newly assigned permit number TE06447C would allow for the continuation of presence/absence surveys for pallid sturgeon in Montana for the purpose of enhancing the species' survival.

    Permit Application Number TE052627

    Applicant: Toledo Zoological Gardens, Toledo, OH.

    The applicant requests a renewal to propagate and rear Wyoming toad (Bufo hemiophrys ssp. baxteri) for reintroduction purposes to enhance the species' survival.

    Permit Application Number TE04585C

    Applicant: Fort Belknap Fish and Wildlife Department, Harlem, MT.

    The applicant requests the renewal of their permit to continue presence/absence surveys for black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) in Montana for the purpose of enhancing the species' survival.

    Permit Application Number TE056003

    Applicant: Detroit Zoological Society, Royal Oak, MI.

    The applicant requests a renewal to propagate and rear Wyoming toad (Bufo hemiophrys ssp. baxteri) for reintroduction purposes to enhance the species' survival.

    Permit Application Number TE06556C

    Applicant: Bowen Collins and Associates, Draper, UT.

    The applicant requests a recovery permit for presence/absence surveys for Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) in Utah to enhance the species' survival.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    The proposed activities in the requested permits qualify as categorical exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act, as provided by Department of the Interior implementing regulations in part 46 of title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR 46.205, 46.210, and 46.215).

    Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive in response to these requests will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the address listed above in ADDRESSES.

    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.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Michael G. Thabault, Assistant Regional Director, Mountain-Prairie Region.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23231 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Indian Gaming Commission Submission of Information Collections Under the Paperwork Reduction Act AGENCY:

    National Indian Gaming Commission, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Second notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC or Commission) is announcing its submission, concurrently with the publication of this notice or soon thereafter, of the following information collection requests to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.

    The Commission is seeking comments on the renewal of information collections for the following activities: (i) Compliance and enforcement actions under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act as authorized by OMB Control Number 3141-0001; (ii) tribal gaming ordinance approvals, background investigations, and issuance of licenses as authorized by OMB Control Number 3141-0003; (iii) National Environmental Policy Act submissions as authorized by OMB Control Number 3141-0006; and (iv) issuance to tribes of certificates of self-regulation for class II gaming as authorized by OMB Control Number 3141-0008. These information collections all expire on October 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    The OMB has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove the information collection requests, but may respond after 30 days. Therefore, public comments should be submitted to OMB by no later than October 27, 2016 in order to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments directly to OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Policy Analyst/Desk Officer for the National Indian Gaming Commission. Comments can also be emailed to [email protected], include reference to “NIGC PRA Renewals” in the subject line.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information, including copies of the proposed collections of information and supporting documentation, contact Tim Osumi at (202) 632-7054; fax (202) 632-7066 (not toll-free numbers). You may also review these information collection requests by going to http://www.reginfo.gov (Information Collection Review, Currently Under Review, Agency: National Indian Gaming Commission).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The gathering of this information is in keeping with the purposes of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA or the Act), Public Law 100-497, 25 U.S.C. 2701, et seq., which include: Providing a statutory basis for the operation of gaming by Indian tribes as a means of promoting tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments; ensuring that the Indian tribe is the primary beneficiary of the gaming operation; and declaring that the establishment of independent federal regulatory authority for gaming on Indian lands, the establishment of federal standards for gaming on Indian lands, and the establishment of the Commission, are necessary to meet congressional concerns regarding gaming and to protect such gaming as a means of generating tribal revenue. 25 U.S.C. 2702. The Act established the Commission and laid out a comprehensive framework for the regulation of gaming on Indian lands.

    II. Data

    Title: Indian Gaming Compliance and Enforcement.

    OMB Control Number: 3141-0001.

    Brief Description of Collection: Although IGRA places primary responsibility with the tribes for regulating their gaming activities, 25 U.S.C. 2706(b) directs the Commission to monitor gaming conducted on Indian lands on a continuing basis. Amongst other actions necessary to carry out the Commission's statutory duties, the Act authorizes the Commission to access and inspect all papers, books, and records relating to gross revenues of a gaming operation. The Act also requires tribes to provide the Commission with annual independent audits of their gaming operations, including audits of all contracts in excess of $25,000. 25 U.S.C. 2710(b)(2)(C), (D); 2710(d)(1)(A)(ii). The Act also authorizes the Commission to “promulgate such regulations and guidelines as it deems appropriate to implement” IGRA. 25 U.S.C. 2706(b)(10). Part 571 of title 25, Code of Federal Regulations, implements these statutory requirements.

    Section 571.7(a) requires Indian gaming operations to keep/maintain permanent books of account and records sufficient to establish the amount of gross and net income, deductions and expenses, receipts and disbursements, and other relevant financial information. Section 571.7(c) requires that these records be kept for at least five years. Under § 571.7(b), the Commission may require a gaming operation to submit statements, reports, accountings, and specific records that will enable the NIGC to determine whether or not such operation is liable for fees payable to the Commission (and in what amount). Section 571.7(d) requires a gaming operation to keep copies of all enforcement actions that a tribe or a state has taken against the operation.

    Section 571.12 requires tribes to prepare comparative financial statements covering all financial activities of each class II and class III gaming operation on the tribe's Indian lands, and to engage an independent certified public accountant to provide an annual audit of the financial statements of each gaming operation. Section 571.13 requires tribes to prepare and submit to the Commission two paper copies or one electronic copy of the financial statements and audits, together with management letter(s) and other documented auditor communications and/or reports as a result of the audit, setting forth the results of each fiscal year. The submission must be sent to the Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year of each gaming operation, including when a gaming operation changes its fiscal year or when gaming ceases to operate. Section 571.14 requires tribes to reconcile quarterly fee reports with audited financial statements and to keep/maintain this information to be available to the NIGC upon request in order to facilitate the performance of compliance audits.

    This information collection is mandatory and allows the Commission to fulfill its statutory responsibilities under IGRA to regulate gaming on Indian lands.

    Respondents: Indian tribal gaming operations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 931.

    Estimated Annual Responses: 931.

    Estimated Time per Response: Depending on the type of information collection, the range of time can vary from 40 burden hours to 1,105 burden hours for one item.

    Frequency of Responses: 1 per year.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 406,905.

    Estimated Total Non-hour Cost Burden: $34,349,884.

    Title: Approval of Class II and Class III Ordinances, Background Investigations, and Gaming Licenses.

    OMB Control Number: 3141-0003.

    Brief Description of Collection: The Act sets standards for the regulation of gaming on Indian lands, including requirements for the approval or disapproval of tribal gaming ordinances. Specifically, § 2705(a)(3) requires the NIGC Chair to review all class II and class III tribal gaming ordinances. Section 2710 sets forth the specific requirements for the tribal gaming ordinances, including the requirement that there be adequate systems in place: To cause background investigations to be conducted on individuals in key employee and primary management official (PMO) positions (§ 2710(b)(2)(F)(i)); and to provide two prompt notifications to the Commission, including one containing the results of the background investigations before the issuance of any gaming licenses, and the other one of the issuance of such gaming licenses to key employees and PMOs (§ 2710(b)(2)(F)(ii)). In addition, § 2710(d)(2)(D)(ii) requires tribes who have, in their sole discretion, revoked any prior class III ordinance or resolution to submit a notice of such revocation to the NIGC Chair. The Act also authorizes the Commission to “promulgate such regulations and guidelines as it deems appropriate to implement” IGRA. 25 U.S.C. 2706(b)(10). Parts 519, 522, 556, and 558 of title 25, Code of Federal Regulations, implement these statutory requirements.

    Sections 519.1 and 519.2 require a tribe, management contractor, and a tribal operator to designate an agent for service of process, and § 522.2(g) requires it to be submitted by written notification to the Commission. Section 522.2(a) requires a tribe to submit a copy of an ordinance or resolution certified as authentic, and that meets the approval requirements in 25 CFR 522.4(b) or 522.6. Sections 522.10 and 522.11 require tribes to submit, respectively, an ordinance for the licensing of individually owned gaming operations other than those operating on September 1, 1986, and for the licensing of individually owned gaming operations operating on September 1, 1986. Section 522.3(a) requires a tribe to submit an amendment to an ordinance or resolution within 15 days after adoption of such amendment.

    Section 522.2(b)-(h) requires tribes to submit to the Commission: (i) Procedures that the tribe will employ in conducting background investigations on key employees and PMOs, and to ensure that key employees and PMOs are notified of their rights under the Privacy Act; (ii) procedures that the tribe will use to issue licenses to key employees and PMOs; (iii) copies of all tribal gaming regulations; (iv) a copy of any applicable tribal-state compact or procedures as prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior; (v) procedures for resolving disputes between the gaming public and the tribe or the management contractor; and (vi) the identification of the law enforcement agent that will take fingerprints and the procedures for conducting criminal history checks, including a check of criminal history records information maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Section 522.3(b) requires a tribe to submit any amendment to these submissions within 15 days after adoption of such amendment. Section 522.12(a) requires a tribe to submit to the Commission a copy of an authentic ordinance revocation or resolution.

    Section 556.4 requires tribes to mandate the submission of the following information from applicants for key employee and PMO positions: (i) Name(s), Social Security number(s), date and place of birth, citizenship, gender, and languages; (ii) present and past business and employment positions, ownership interests, business and residential addresses, and driver's license number(s); (iii) the names and addresses of personal references; (iv) current business and personal telephone numbers; (v) a description of any existing and previous business relationships with Indian tribes, including ownership interests; (vi) a description of any existing and previous business relationships with the gaming industry generally, including ownership interests; (vii) the name and address of any licensing/regulatory agency with which the person has filed an application for a license or permit related to gaming, even if the license or permit was not granted; (viii) for each ongoing felony prosecution or conviction, the charge, the name and address of the court, and the date and disposition, if any; (ix) for each misdemeanor conviction or ongoing prosecution within the past 10 years, the name and address of the court and the date and disposition; (x) for each criminal charge in the past 10 years that is not otherwise listed, the criminal charge, the name and address of the court, and the date and disposition; (xi) the name and address of any licensing/regulatory agency with which the person has filed an application for an occupational license or permit, even if the license or permit was not granted; (xii) a photograph; and (xiii) fingerprints. Sections 556.2 and 556.3 require tribes to place a specific Privacy Act notice on their key employee and PMO applications, and to warn applicants regarding the penalty for false statements by also placing a specific false statement notice on their applications.

    Sections 556.6(a) and 558.3(e) require tribes to keep/maintain the individuals' complete application files, investigative reports, and eligibility determinations during their employment and for at least three years after termination of their employment. Section 556.6(b)(1) requires tribes to create and maintain an investigative report on each background investigation that includes: (i) The steps taken in conducting a background investigation; (ii) the results obtained; (iii) the conclusions reached; and (iv) the basis for those conclusions. Section 556.6(b)(2) requires tribes to submit, no later than 60 days after an applicant begins work, a notice of results of the applicant's background investigation that includes: (i) The applicant's name, date of birth, and Social Security number; (ii) the date on which the applicant began or will begin work as a key employee or PMO; (iii) a summary of the information presented in the investigative report; and (iv) a copy of the eligibility determination.

    Section 558.3(b) requires a tribe to notify the Commission of the issuance of PMO and key employee licenses within 30 days after such issuance. Section 558.3(d) requires a tribe to notify the Commission if the tribe does not issue a license to an applicant, and requires it to forward copies of its eligibility determination and notice of results to the Commission for inclusion in the Indian Gaming Individuals Record System. Section 558.4(e) requires a tribe, after a gaming license revocation hearing, to notify the Commission of its decision to revoke or reinstate a gaming license within 45 days of receiving notification from the Commission that a specific individual in a PMO or key employee position is not eligible for continued employment.

    These information collections are mandatory and allow the Commission to carry out its statutory duties.

    Respondents: Indian tribal gaming operations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,597.

    Estimated Annual Responses: 202,509.

    Estimated Time per Response: Depending on the type of information collection, the range of time can vary from 1.0 burden hour to 1,483 burden hours for one item.

    Frequency of Response: Varies.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 1,121,340.

    Estimated Total Non-hour Cost Burden: $3,070,189.

    Title: NEPA Compliance.

    OMB Control Number: 3141-0006.

    Brief Description of Collection: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq., and the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) implementing regulations, require federal agencies to prepare (or cause to be prepared) environmental documents for agency actions that may have a significant impact on the environment. Under NEPA, an Environmental Assessment (EA) must be prepared when the agency action cannot be categorically excluded, or the environmental consequences of the agency action will not result in a significant impact or the environmental impacts are unclear and need to be further defined. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be prepared when the agency action will likely result in significant impacts to the environment.

    Amongst other actions necessary to carry out the Commission's statutory duties, the Act requires the NIGC Chair to review and approve third-party management contracts that involve the operation of tribal gaming facilities. 25 U.S.C. 2711. The Commission has taken the position that the NEPA process is triggered when a tribe and a potential contractor seek approval of a management contract. Normally, an EA or EIS and its supporting documents are prepared by an environmental consulting firm and submitted to the Commission by the tribe. In the case of an EA, the Commission independently evaluates the NEPA document, verifies its content, and assumes responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained therein. In the case of an EIS, the Commission directs and is responsible for the preparation of the NEPA document, but the tribe or potential contractor is responsible for paying for the preparation of the document. The information collected includes, but is not limited to, maps, charts, technical studies, correspondence from other agencies (federal, tribal, state, and local), and comments from the public. These information collections are mandatory and allow the Commission to carry out its statutory duties.

    Respondents: Tribal governing bodies, management contractors.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 3.

    Estimated Annual Responses: 3.

    Estimated Time per Response: Depending on whether the response is an EA or an EIS, the range of time can vary from 2.5 burden hours to 12.0 burden hours for one item.

    Frequency of Response: Varies.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 26.5.

    Estimated Total Non-hour Cost Burden: $14,846,686.

    Title: Issuance of Certificates of Self-Regulation to Tribes for Class II Gaming.

    OMB Control Number: 3141-0008.

    Brief Description of Collection: The Act sets the standards for the regulation of Indian gaming, including a framework for the issuance of certificates of self-regulation for class II gaming operations to tribes that meet certain qualifications. Specifically, 25 U.S.C. 2710(c) authorizes the Commission to issue a certificate of self-regulation if it determines that a tribe has: (i) Conducted its gaming activity in a manner that has resulted in an effective and honest accounting of all revenues, in a reputation for safe, fair, and honest operation of the activity, and has been generally free of evidence of criminal or dishonest activity; (ii) adopted and is implementing adequate systems for the accounting of all revenues from the activity, for the investigation, licensing, and monitoring of all employees of the gaming activity, and for the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of violations of its gaming ordinance and regulations; and (iii) conducted the operation on a fiscally and economically sound basis. The Act also authorizes the Commission to “promulgate such regulations and guidelines as it deems appropriate to implement” IGRA. 25 U.S.C. 2706(b)(10). Part 518 of title 25, Code of Federal Regulations, implements these statutory requirements.

    Section 518.3(e) requires a tribe's gaming operation(s) and the tribal regulatory body (TRB) to have kept all records needed to support the petition for self-regulation for the three years immediately preceding the date of the petition submission. Section 518.4 requires a tribe petitioning for a certificate of self-regulation to submit the following to the Commission, accompanied by supporting documentation: (i) Two copies of a petition for self-regulation approved by the tribal governing body and certified as authentic; (ii) a description of how the tribe meets the eligibility criteria in § 518.3; (iii) a brief history of each gaming operation, including the opening dates and periods of voluntary or involuntary closure(s); (iv) a TRB organizational chart; (v) a brief description of the criteria that individuals must meet before being eligible for employment as a tribal regulator; (vi) a brief description of the process by which the TRB is funded, and the funding level for the three years immediately preceding the date of the petition; (vii) a list of the current regulators and TRB employees, their complete resumes, their titles, the dates that they began employment, and if serving limited terms, the expiration date of such terms; (viii) a brief description of the accounting system(s) at the gaming operation that tracks the flow of the gaming revenues; (ix) a list of the gaming activity internal controls at the gaming operation(s); (x) a description of the recordkeeping system(s) for all investigations, enforcement actions, and prosecutions of violations of the tribal gaming ordinance or regulations, for the three-year period immediately preceding the date of the petition; and (xi) the tribe's current set of gaming regulations, if not included in the approved tribal gaming ordinance. Section 518.10 requires each Indian gaming tribe that has been issued a certificate of self-regulation to submit to the Commission the following information by April 15th of each year following the first year of self-regulation, or within 120 days after the end of each gaming operation's fiscal year: (i) An annual independent audit; and (ii) a complete resume for all TRB employees hired and licensed by the tribe subsequent to its receipt of a certificate of self-regulation.

    Submission of the petition and supporting documentation is voluntary. Once a certificate of self-regulation has been issued, the submission of certain other information is mandatory.

    Respondents: Tribal governments.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7.

    Estimated Annual Responses: 7.

    Estimated Time per Response: Depending on the information collection, the range of time can vary from 3.66 burden hours to 1,940 burden hours for one item.

    Frequency of Responses: One per year.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 2,092.

    Estimated Total Non-hour Cost Burden: $821,545.

    III. Request for Comments

    Regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, require that interested members of the public have an opportunity to comment on an agency's information collection and recordkeeping activities. See 5 CFR 1320.8(d). To comply with the public consultation process, the Commission previously published its 60-day notice of its intent to submit the above-mentioned information collection requests to OMB for approval. See 81 FR 36322 (June 6, 2016). The Commission did not receive any comments in response to that notice and request for comments.

    The Commission will submit the preceding requests to OMB to renew its approval of the information collections. The Commission is requesting a three-year term of approval for each of these information collection and recordkeeping activities.

    You are again invited to comment on these collections concerning: (i) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burdens (including the hours and cost) of the proposed collections of information, including the validity of the methodologies and assumptions used; (iii) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (iv) ways to minimize the burdens of the information collections on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other collection techniques or forms of information technology. It should be noted that as a result of the Commission reviewing its own records that track the number of tribal and/or management contractor submissions and after surveying tribal gaming operators, tribal gaming regulatory authorities, and/or management contractors regarding the Commission's submission and recordkeeping requirements, many of the previously published burden estimates have changed since the publication of the Commission's 60-day notice on June 6, 2016. If you wish to comment in response to this notice, you may send your comments to the office listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice by October 27, 2016.

    Comments submitted in response to this second notice will be summarized and become a matter of public record. The NIGC will not request nor sponsor a collection of information, and you need not respond to such a request, if there is no valid OMB Control Number.

    Dated: September 21, 2016. Shannon O'Loughlin, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23221 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7565-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-NCR-CHOH-21883]; [PPNCCHOHS0-PPMPSPD1Z.YM0000] Notice of October 6, 2016, Meeting of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the meeting date of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission.

    DATES:

    The public meeting of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. (EASTERN).

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting of the Commission will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2016, at 9:00 a.m., in the second floor conference room at park headquarters, 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin D. Brandt, Superintendent and Designated Federal Officer, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, Maryland, 21740-6620, or by email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission is established by Section 6 of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Development Act (16 U.S.C. 410y-4), Public Law 91-664, 84 Stat. 1978 (1971), as amended, and is regulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 1-16. The purpose of the Commission is to consult with the Secretary of the Interior, or her designee, with respect to matters relating to the development of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, and with respect to carrying out the provisions of section 6 establishing the Canal.

    The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

    1. Welcome and Introductions 2. History of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission 3. Review of Commission Charter 4. Review of Federal Advisory Committee Act 5. Discussion of General Policies and Specific Matters Related to the Administration of the Park

    The meeting is open to the public. It is expected that 15 persons will be able to attend the meeting in addition to Commission members. Interested persons may make oral/written presentations to the Commission during the business meeting or file written statements. Such requests should be made to the park superintendent prior to the meeting. Before including your address, telephone 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 may 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.

    Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Management Regulations (41 CFR 102-3.150), the notice for this meeting is given less than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting due to exceptional circumstances. Given the exceptional urgency of the events, the agency and advisory committee deemed it important for the advisory committee to meet on the date given to discuss policies and specific matters related to the administration of the park.

    Alma Ripps, Chief, Office of Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23035 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EE-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation Nos. 701-TA-564 and 731-TA-1338-1340 (Preliminary)] Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar (Rebar) From Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase Investigations AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the institution of investigations and commencement of preliminary phase antidumping and countervailing duty investigation Nos. 701-TA-564 and 731-TA-1338-1340 (Preliminary) pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”) to determine whether there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States is materially injured or threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States is materially retarded, by reason of imports of steel concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) from Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey, provided for in subheadings 7213.10.00, 7214.20.00, and 7228.30.80 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, that are alleged to be sold in the United States at less than fair value and alleged to be subsidized by the Government of Turkey. Unless the Department of Commerce extends the time for initiation, the Commission must reach a preliminary determination in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations in 45 days, or in this case by November 4, 2016. The Commission's views must be transmitted to Commerce within five business days thereafter, or by November 14, 2016.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: September 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joanna Lo (202-205-1888 or [email protected]), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (https://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—These investigations are being instituted, pursuant to sections 703(a) and 733(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1671b(a) and 1673b(a)), in response to petitions filed on September 20, 2016, by the Rebar Trade Action Coalition and its individual members: Bayou Steel Group, LaPlace, LA; Byer Steel Group, Inc., Cincinnati, OH; Commercial Metals Company, Irving, TX; Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc., Tampa, FL; Nucor Corporation, Charlotte, NC; and Steel Dynamics, Inc., Pittsboro, IN.

    For further information concerning the conduct of these investigations and rules of general application, consult the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, part 201, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 201), and part 207, subparts A and B (19 CFR part 207).

    Participation in the investigations and public service list.—Persons (other than petitioners) wishing to participate in the investigations as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in sections 201.11 and 207.10 of the Commission's rules, not later than seven days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Industrial users and (if the merchandise under investigation is sold at the retail level) representative consumer organizations have the right to appear as parties in Commission antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations. The Secretary will prepare a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to these investigations upon the expiration of the period for filing entries of appearance.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and BPI service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI gathered in these investigations available to authorized applicants representing interested parties (as defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(9)) who are parties to the investigations under the APO issued in the investigations, provided that the application is made not later than seven days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Conference.—The Commission's Director of Investigations has scheduled a conference in connection with these investigations for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC. Requests to appear at the conference should be emailed to [email protected] and [email protected] (DO NOT FILE ON EDIS) on or before October 6, 2016. Parties in support of the imposition of countervailing and antidumping duties in these investigations and parties in opposition to the imposition of such duties will each be collectively allocated one hour within which to make an oral presentation at the conference. A nonparty who has testimony that may aid the Commission's deliberations may request permission to present a short statement at the conference.

    Written Submissions.—As provided in sections 201.8 and 207.15 of the Commission's rules, any person may submit to the Commission on or before October 14, 2016, a written brief containing information and arguments pertinent to the subject matter of the investigations. Parties may file written testimony in connection with their presentation at the conference. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's rules; any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6, 207.3, and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. The Commission's Handbook on E-Filing, available on the Commission's Web site at https://edis.usitc.gov, elaborates upon the Commission's rules with respect to electronic filing.

    In accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the rules, each document filed by a party to the investigations must be served on all other parties to the investigations (as identified by either the public or BPI service list), and a certificate of service must be timely filed. The Secretary will not accept a document for filing without a certificate of service.

    Certification.—Pursuant to section 207.3 of the Commission's rules, any person submitting information to the Commission in connection with these investigations must certify that the information is accurate and complete to the best of the submitter's knowledge. In making the certification, the submitter will acknowledge that any information that it submits to the Commission during these investigations may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this/these or related investigations or reviews, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel, solely for cybersecurity purposes. All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    Authority:

    These investigations are being conducted under authority of title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.12 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: September 21, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23207 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-994] Certain Portable Electronic Devices and Components Thereof; Commission Determination Not To Review the 100-Day Initial Determination Finding the Asserted Claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433 Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. 101; Termination of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined not to review the 100-day initial determination (“ID”) of the presiding administrative law judge (“ALJ”) finding the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433 invalid under 35 U.S.C. 101. The investigation is terminated.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Houda Morad, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 708-4716. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission instituted Investigation No. 337-TA-994 on May 11, 2016, based on a complaint filed by Creative Technology Ltd. of Singapore and Creative Labs, Inc. of Milpitas, California (collectively, “Creative”). See 81 FR 29307 (May 11, 2016). The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain portable electronic devices and components thereof by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433 (“the '433 patent”). The notice of investigation named the following respondents: ZTE Corporation of Guangdong, China; ZTE (USA) Inc. of Richardson, Texas; Sony Corporation of Tokyo, Japan; Sony Mobile Communications, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan; Sony Mobile Communications AB of Lund, Sweden; Sony Mobile Communications (USA), Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Seoul, Republic of Korea; Samsung Electronics America, Inc. of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey; LG Electronics, Inc. of Seoul, Republic of Korea; LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey; LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A., Inc. of San Diego, California; Lenovo Group Ltd. of Beijing, China; Lenovo (United States) Inc. of Morrisville, North Carolina; Motorola Mobility LLC of Chicago, Illinois; HTC Corporation of Taoyuan, Taiwan; HTC America, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington; Blackberry Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; and Blackberry Corporation of Irving, Texas (collectively, “Respondents”). In addition, on May 19, 2016, the ALJ issued an initial determination granting Google Inc.'s (“Intervenor”) motion to intervene as a party in the investigation. See Order No. 5, unreviewed, Comm'n Notice (U.S.I.T.C. June 21, 2016). The Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII) is also a party to the investigation.

    The notice of investigation also directed the ALJ to “hold an early evidentiary hearing, find facts, and issue an early decision, as to whether the asserted claims of the '433 patent recite patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101” (i.e., the 100-day pilot program). See 81 FR 29307 (May 11, 2016).

    Accordingly, the ALJ conducted an evidentiary hearing on July 6-7, 2016, and on August 19, 2016, within 100 days of institution, the ALJ issued his ID finding that the asserted claims are directed to ineligible subject matter (i.e., invalid) under 35 U.S.C. 101. In addition, although the ID noted that construction of the disputed term “portable media player” was not necessary to decide patent-eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101, the ALJ construed the term to mean “portable media playback device, as distinguished from a general-purpose device such as a handheld computer or a personal digital assistant.”

    On August 29, 2016, Creative filed a petition for review and on September 1, 2016, Respondents, Intervenor, and OUII filed replies in opposition to Creative's petition.

    The Commission has determined not to review the ID. The investigation is terminated.

    The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and in Part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR part 210).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: September 21, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23243 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS U.S. Copyright Office [Docket No. 2015-8] Section 1201 Study: Request for Additional Comments AGENCY:

    U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Inquiry.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Copyright Office is requesting additional written comments in connection with its ongoing study on the operation of the statutory provisions regarding the circumvention of copyright protection systems. This request provides an opportunity for interested parties to address certain issues raised by various members of the public in response to the Office's initial Notice of Inquiry.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 27, 2016. Written reply comments must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on November 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Copyright Office is using the regulations.gov system for the submission and posting of public comments in this proceeding. All comments are therefore to be submitted electronically through regulations.gov. Specific instructions for submitting comments are available on the Copyright Office Web site at http://copyright.gov/policy/1201/commentsubmission/. If electronic submission of comments is not feasible, please contact the Office using the contact information below for special instructions.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kevin R. Amer, Senior Counsel for Policy and International Affairs, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 202-707-8350; or Regan A. Smith, Associate General Counsel, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 202-707-8350.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    At the request of the Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, the Copyright Office is conducting a study to assess the operation of section 1201 of title 17. In December 2015, the Office issued a Notice of Inquiry identifying several aspects of the statutory and regulatory framework that the Office believes are ripe for review, and inviting public comment on those and any other pertinent issues.1 The Notice provided for two rounds of written comments. In response, the Office received sixty-eight initial comments and sixteen reply comments.2 The Office then announced public roundtables on the topics addressed in the Notice and comments.3 These sessions, held in Washington, DC and San Francisco, California in May 2016, involved participation by more than thirty panelists, representing a wide range of interests and perspectives. Transcripts of the roundtables are available at http://copyright.gov/policy/1201/, and video recordings will be available at that location at a later date.

    1 Section 1201 Study: Notice and Request for Public Comment, 80 FR 81369 (Dec. 29, 2015).

    2 All comments may be accessed from the Copyright Office Web site at http://copyright.gov/policy/1201/ by clicking the “Public Comments” tab, followed by the “Comments” link.

    3 Software-Enabled Consumer Products Study and Section 1201 Study: Announcement of Public Roundtables, 81 FR 17206 (Mar. 28, 2016).

    In the written comments and during the roundtables, parties expressed a variety of views regarding whether legislative amendments to section 1201 may be warranted. Among other suggested changes, commenters discussed proposals to update the statute's permanent exemption framework and to amend the anti-trafficking provisions to permit third-party assistance with lawful circumvention activities. At this time, as explained below, the Office is interested in receiving additional stakeholder input on particular aspects of those proposals. In addition, parties submitted numerous and varied views regarding the triennial rulemaking process under section 1201(a)(1)(C); while the Office continues to thoroughly evaluate these comments in conducting its study, this second Notice of Inquiry does not specifically address those issues.

    A party choosing to respond to this Notice of Inquiry need not address every topic below, but the Office requests that responding parties clearly identify and separately address those subjects for which a response is submitted. Parties also are invited to address any other pertinent issues that the Office should consider in conducting its study.

    II. Subjects of Inquiry 1. Proposals for New Permanent Exemptions

    a. Assistive Technologies for Use by Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Print Disabled. The written comments and roundtable discussions revealed widespread support for adoption of a permanent exemption to facilitate access to works in electronic formats by persons who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled. The Office invites comment regarding specific provisions that commenters believe should be included in legislation proposing such an exemption. For example, the exemption for this purpose granted in the 2015 rulemaking permits circumvention of access controls applied to literary works distributed electronically, where the access controls “either prevent the enabling of read-aloud functionality or interfere with screen readers or other applications or assistive technologies.” 4 The exemption applies in the following circumstances:

    4 Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, 80 FR 65944, 65950 (Oct. 28, 2015) (“2015 Final Rule”).

    (i) When a copy of such a work is lawfully obtained by a blind or other person with a disability, as such a person is defined in 17 U.S.C. 121; provided, however, that the rights owner is remunerated, as appropriate, for the price of the mainstream copy of the work as made available to the general public through customary channels, or

    (ii) When such work is a nondramatic literary work, lawfully obtained and used by an authorized entity pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 121.5

    5Id.

    The Office is interested in commenters' views on whether this language would be appropriate for adoption as a permanent exemption, or whether there are specific changes or additional provisions that Congress may wish to consider.

    b. Device Unlocking. Some commenters advocated the adoption of a permanent exemption to permit circumvention of access controls on wireless devices for purposes of “unlocking” such devices—i.e., enabling them to connect to the network of a different mobile wireless carrier. Since 2006, the rulemaking process has involved consideration of exemptions permitting unlocking of cellphones, and in the 2015 rulemaking, pursuant to Congress's direction,6 the Register considered whether to extend the exemption to other categories of wireless devices. At the conclusion of the 2015 proceeding, the Librarian, upon the Register's recommendation, adopted an unlocking exemption that applies to used wireless devices of the following types:

    6See Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, Public Law 113-144, sec. 2(b), 128 Stat. 1751, 1751 (2014).

    (A) Wireless telephone handsets (i.e., cellphones);

    (B) All-purpose tablet computers;

    (C) Portable mobile connectivity devices, such as mobile hotspots, removable wireless broadband modems, and similar devices; and

    (D) Wearable wireless devices designed to be worn on the body, such as smartwatches or fitness devices.7

    7 2015 Final Rule, 80 FR at 65952.

    The Office invites comment on whether an unlocking exemption would be appropriate for adoption as a permanent exemption or whether such activities are more properly considered as part of the triennial rulemaking. For commenters who favor consideration of a permanent exemption, the Office is interested in commenters' views on whether the language of the 2015 unlocking exemption would be appropriate for adoption as a permanent exemption, or whether there are specific changes or additional provisions that Congress may wish to consider.

    c. Computer Programs. Several commenters expressed concern over the scope of section 1201 in the context of copyrighted computer programs that enable the operation of a machine or device. These commenters suggested that by prohibiting the circumvention of access controls on such programs, the statute prevents the public from engaging in legitimate activities, such as the repair of automobiles or the use of third-party device components, that seem far removed from the protection of creative expression that section 1201 was intended to address. To respond to this concern, some commenters argued that Congress should establish a statutory exemption that would permit circumvention of technological protection measures (“TPM”s) controlling access to such software in appropriate circumstances. The Office is interested in additional views on such proposals.

    For purposes of focusing the discussion, the Office invites comment on whether there are specific formulations of such an exemption that could serve as helpful starting points for further consideration of legislation. For example, Congress could consider adoption of a permanent exemption for purposes of diagnosis, maintenance, and repair. Such legislation could provide that a person who has lawfully obtained the right to use a computer program may circumvent a TPM controlling access to that program, so long as the circumvention is undertaken for purposes of diagnosis, maintenance, or repair. Are existing legal doctrines or statutes, such as the current language addressing machine maintenance and repair in section 117(c),8 the doctrine of repair and reconstruction in patent law,9 case law addressing refurbishment under trademark law,10 or “right to repair” bills introduced into various state legislatures,11 helpful to inform the appropriate scope of repair in this context? To what extent would the combination of such an exemption with the current language of 1201(f) 12 —which allows circumvention for purposes of facilitating interoperability under certain circumstances—adequately address users' concerns regarding section 1201's impact on consumer activities?

    8 17 U.S.C. 117(c).

    9See Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co., 365 U.S. 336 (1961); see also Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement Co., 377 U.S. 476 (1964).

    10See Champion Spark Plug Co. v. Sanders, 331 U.S. 125 (1947); see also Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Inc. v. Fiber Tech Med., Inc., 4 F. App'x 128, 131-32 (4th Cir. 2001) (“[T]he Lanham Act does not apply in the narrow category of cases where a trademarked product is repaired, rebuilt or modified at the request of the product's owner,” so long as “the owner is not, to the repairer's knowledge, merely obtaining modifications or repairs for purposes of resale.”).

    11See, e.g., H.R. 3383, 189th Gen. Ct. (Mass. 2015); S. 3998B, 2015 Leg., Reg. Sess. (N.Y. 2015); Assemb. 6068A, 2015 Leg., Reg. Sess. (N.Y. 2015); Legis. B. 1072, 104th Leg., 2d Sess. (Neb. 2016); H.R. 1048, 89th Leg., Reg. Sess. (Minn. 2015); see also Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93K (2013).

    12 17 U.S.C. 1201(f).

    Please also comment upon whether it would be advisable to consider, in addition to diagnosis, maintenance, or repair, an exemption to explicitly permit circumvention for purposes of engaging in any lawful modification of a computer program. Such an exemption could allow circumventions undertaken to make non-infringing adaptations, including, for example, uses permitted under section 117(a) and/or the fair use doctrine.13 Please address whether this broader formulation would, or would not, be likely to result in economically harmful unauthorized uses of copyrighted works.

    13See 17 U.S.C. 117(a), 107.

    With either formulation, would concerns over enabling unauthorized uses be mitigated by conditioning the exemption on the circumventing party not engaging in any unauthorized use of a copyrighted work other than the accessed computer program, or by limiting the exemption to computer programs that are “not a conduit to protectable expression”—i.e., those that do “not in turn create any protected expression” when executed? 14 In the United Kingdom, for example, the prohibition on circumvention specifically excludes TPMs applied to computer programs, but does apply in at least some circumstances where copyrighted content is generated by a computer program (e.g., graphical content in video games).15 The Office is particularly interested in any information or perspectives on the impact of the UK law and how operating under it contrasts or not with the U.S. experience. Alternatively, should the exemption be limited to computer programs in particular categories of devices?

    14Lexmark Int'l, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., 387 F.3d 522, 548 (6th Cir. 2004).

    15 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, c. 48, § 296ZA (UK); see Nintendo Co. Ltd. v. Playables Ltd. [2010] EWHC 1932 (Ch) (Eng.) (construing related anti-trafficking provision).

    The Office is interested in commenters' views on the advisability of these various approaches. Which of these models, if any, would facilitate users' ability to engage in permissible uses of software, while preserving congressional intent in supporting new ways of disseminating copyrighted materials to users? 16 Responding parties are also encouraged to suggest alternate formulations, keeping in mind the Office's goal of focusing discussion on this topic.

    16See Staff of H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong., Section-by-Section Analysis of H.R. 2281 as Passed by the United States House of Representatives on August 4th, 1998, at 6 (Comm. Print 1998).

    d. Obsolete Technologies. In prior rulemakings, the Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress have considered multiple petitions to permit circumvention of an access control mechanism protecting a given class of works that fails to permit access because of malfunction, damage, or obsoleteness.17 The Office has recommended, and the Librarian has adopted, multiple exemptions after finding that the definition of “obsolete” in section 108 captures the circumstances under which such an exemption was justified, i.e., where the access control “is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.” 18 The Office is interested in commenters' views on whether Congress should consider a legislative amendment to permit circumvention of such faulty access controls, or whether there are other specific changes or additional provisions that Congress may wish to consider to address this issue.

    17See, e.g., Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, 65 FR 64556, 64564-66, 64574 (Oct. 27, 2000) (“2000 Recommendation and Final Rule”); Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, Final Rule, 68 FR 62011, 62013-16 (Oct. 31, 2003) (“2003 Final Rule”); Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, 71 FR 68472, 68474-75, 68480 (Nov. 27, 2006) (“2006 Final Rule”); Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, 75 FR 43825, 43833-34, 43839 (July 27, 2010) (“2010 Final Rule”); 2015 Final Rule, 80 FR at 65955, 65961.

    18 17 U.S.C. 108(c); see, e.g., 2000 Recommendation and Final Rule, 65 FR at 64565-66; Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights in RM 2002-4; Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies 40 (Oct. 27, 2003); 2003 Final Rule, 68 FR at 62013-14; Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights in RM 2005-11; Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies 36 & n.105 (Nov. 17, 2006); 2006 Final Rule, 71 FR at 68475.

    e. International Considerations. In addition to the questions on specific proposals provided above, please discuss the interaction of these proposals with existing international obligations of the United States, including free trade agreements.

    2. Proposed Amendments to Existing Permanent Exemptions

    Some parties expressed the view that the existing permanent exemptions for security testing, encryption research, and reverse engineering 19 do not adequately accommodate good-faith research into malfunctions, security flaws, and vulnerabilities in computer programs.20 The Office invites comment on whether legislation to address this concern may be warranted, and if so, on specific changes that should be considered. In particular, the Office requests commenters' views on the following topics:

    19 17 U.S.C. 1201(f), (g), (j).

    20 Similarly, in the 2015 rulemaking, the Register noted that section 1201(j) “does not seem sufficiently robust in light of the perils of today's connected world.” U.S. Copyright Office, Section 1201 Rulemaking: Sixth Triennial Proceeding to Determine Exemptions to the Prohibition on Circumvention 3 (2015), http://copyright.gov/1201/2015/registersrecommendation.pdf (“2015 Recommendation”).

    a. In the 2015 rulemaking, the Register recommended, and the Librarian of Congress adopted, an exemption that permits circumvention of TPMs controlling access to computer programs in the following circumstances:

    (i) . . . the circumvention is undertaken on a lawfully acquired device or machine on which the computer program operates solely for the purpose of good-faith security research and does not violate any applicable law, including without limitation the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, as amended and codified in title 18, United States Code; . . . and the device or machine is one of the following:

    (A) A device or machine primarily designed for use by individual consumers (including voting machines);

    (B) A motorized land vehicle; or

    (C) A medical device designed for whole or partial implantation in patients or a corresponding personal monitoring system, that is not and will not be used by patients or for patient care.

    (ii) For purposes of this exemption, “good-faith security research” means accessing a computer program solely for purposes of good-faith testing, investigation and/or correction of a security flaw or vulnerability, where such activity is carried out in a controlled environment designed to avoid any harm to individuals or the public, and where the information derived from the activity is used primarily to promote the security or safety of the class of devices or machines on which the computer program operates, or those who use such devices or machines, and is not used or maintained in a manner that facilitates copyright infringement.21

    21 2015 Recommendation at 319-20; 2015 Final Rule, 80 FR at 65956.

    The Office is interested in commenters' views on whether this language would be appropriate for adoption as a permanent exemption, or whether there are specific changes or additional provisions that Congress may wish to consider.

    b. The exemption for security testing under section 1201(j) is limited to activities undertaken “with the authorization of the owner or operator of [the] computer, computer system, or computer network.” 22 In the 2015 rulemaking, the Register noted that in some cases “it may be difficult to identify the relevant owner” for purposes of this requirement and that “it may not be feasible to obtain authorization even where there is an identifiable owner.” 23 Echoing those concerns, one group of commenters argued that the authorization requirement should be eliminated, while another urged Congress to provide greater clarity in situations involving multiple owners. Please assess whether legislation may be appropriate in this area and discuss any specific legislative proposals that you believe should be considered.

    22 17 U.S.C. 1201(j)(1).

    23 2015 Recommendation at 309.

    c. Section 1201(j) provides a two-factor framework to determine whether a person qualifies for the security testing exemption.24 In the 2015 rulemaking, the Register noted that these factors “would appear to be of uncertain application to at least some” security research activities.25 Some commenters advocated the removal of one or both of these factors from the statute.26 Please assess the advisability of such changes, or discuss any other specific legislative proposals you believe should be considered.

    24 17 U.S.C. 1201(j)(3).

    25 2015 Recommendation at 309.

    26 The proposed Breaking Down Barriers to Innovation Act of 2015 would eliminate the two-factor framework, as well as the multifactor framework under section 1201(g)(3). H.R. 1883, 114th Cong. sec. 3(c)(3), 3(e)(2) (2015); S. 990, 114th Cong. sec. 3(c)(3), 3(e)(2) (2015).

    d. The exemption for encryption research in section 1201(g) is similarly limited to activities qualifying under a four-factor framework that includes making “a good faith effort to obtain authorization” before the circumvention.27 In the 2015 rulemaking, the Register noted that meeting these requirements “may not always be feasible” for researchers.28 Please assess whether legislation may be appropriate in this area and discuss any specific legislative proposals that you believe should be considered.

    27 17 U.S.C. 1201(g)(2)(C).

    28 2015 Recommendation at 307.

    e. Section 1201(f) permits circumvention for the “sole purpose” of identifying and analyzing elements of computer programs necessary to achieve interoperability.29 In the 2015 rulemaking, the Register noted that “section 1201(f)(1) is limited to circumvention solely for the identification and analysis of program elements necessary for interoperability, and does not address circumvention after that analysis has been performed.” 30 Please assess whether legislation may be appropriate in this area and discuss any specific legislative proposals that you believe should be considered.

    29 17 U.S.C. 1201(f).

    30 2015 Recommendation at 337 n.2295.

    3. Anti-Trafficking Provisions

    Commenters offered differing views regarding the role of the anti-trafficking provisions under sections 1201(a)(2) and 1201(b). User groups expressed concern that, to the extent these provisions prohibit third parties from providing assistance to beneficiaries of exemptions, or prohibit the making and distribution of necessary tools, they undermine beneficiaries' practical ability to engage in the permitted conduct. Copyright owners, however, cautioned against amendment of the anti-trafficking provisions, arguing that because circumvention tools may be used for lawful and unlawful purposes alike, it would be impossible to ensure that tools manufactured and distributed pursuant to an exemption, once available in the marketplace, would be employed solely for authorized uses. The Office is interested in receiving additional views on this topic, and specifically invites comment on the following issues:

    a. A few parties argued that section 1201 contains an implied right permitting a beneficiary of a statutory or administrative exemption to make a tool for his or her own use in engaging in the permitted circumvention. What are commenters' views regarding this interpretation of the statute? To what extent, if any, does the statutory prohibition on the “manufacture” of circumvention tools affect the analysis? 31 If such a right is not currently implied, or the question is uncertain, should Congress consider amending the statute to expressly permit such activity, while maintaining the prohibition against trafficking in such tools?

    31See 17 U.S.C. 1201(a)(2), (b)(1).

    b. Some parties suggested that, in certain circumstances, third-party assistance may fall outside the scope of the anti-trafficking provisions and therefore may be permissible under current law. What are commenters' views regarding this interpretation of the statute? Are there forms of third-party assistance that do not qualify as a “service” within the meaning of sections 1201(a)(2) and 1201(b)(1)? If so, what considerations are relevant to this analysis?

    Dated: September 21, 2016. Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23167 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-30-P
    NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: (16-068)] NASA International Space Station Advisory Committee; Meeting AGENCY:

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a meeting of the NASA International Space Station (ISS) Advisory Committee. The purpose of the meeting is to review all aspects related to the safety and operational readiness of the ISS, and to assess the possibilities for using the ISS for future space exploration.

    DATES:

    Monday, October 31, 2016, 2:00-3:00 p.m., Local Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    NASA Headquarters, Glennan Conference Room (1Q39), 300 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20546. Note: 1Q39 is located on the first floor of NASA Headquarters.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Patrick Finley, Office of International and Interagency Relations, (202) 358-5684, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting will be open to the public up to the seating capacity of the room. This meeting is also accessible via teleconference. To participate telephonically, please contact Mr. Finley at (202) 358-5684 before 4:30 p.m., Local Time, October 26, 2016. You will need to provide your name, affiliation, and phone number.

    Attendees will be requested to sign a register and to comply with NASA security requirements, including the presentation of a valid picture ID to Security before access to NASA Headquarters. Due to the Real ID Act, Public Law 109-13, any attendees with driver's licenses issued from non-compliant states/territories must present a second form of ID. [Federal employee badge; passport; active military identification card; enhanced driver's license; U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card; Native American tribal document; school identification accompanied by an item from LIST C (documents that establish employment authorization) from the “List of the Acceptable Documents” on Form I-9]. Non-compliant states/territories are: American Samoa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Washington. Foreign nationals attending this meeting will be required to provide a copy of their passport and visa in addition to providing the following information no less than 10 working days prior to the meeting: Full name; gender; date/place of birth; citizenship; passport information (number, country, telephone); visa information (number, type, expiration date); employer/affiliation information (name of institution, address, country, telephone); title/position of attendee; and home address to Mr. Finley via email at [email protected] or by telephone at (202) 358-5684. U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) can provide full name and citizenship status 3 working days prior to the meeting to Mr. Finley. It is imperative that the meeting be held on this date to accommodate the scheduling priorities of the key participants.

    Patricia D. Rausch, Advisory Committee Management Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23242 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    National Science Foundation.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has submitted the following information collection requirement to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. This is the second notice for public comment; the first was published in the Federal Register at 81 FR 36962, and no comments were received. NSF is forwarding the proposed renewal submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance simultaneously with the publication of this second notice. The full submission (including comments) may be found at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Comments regarding (a) 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; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation, 725 17th Street NW., Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, and to Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1265, Arlington, Virginia 22230 or send email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including federal holidays).

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling 703-292-7556.

    NSF 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.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments: As required by 5 CFR 1320.8(d), comments on the information collection activities as part of this study were solicited through publication of a 60-Day Notice in the Federal Register on April 17, 2013, at 78 FR 22917. We received one comment, to which we here respond.

    Commenter: The Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) raised a general concern that additional reporting requirements presented added burden on their members.

    Response: The reporting requirements and estimates on the hourly burden were discussed with the management of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers. Center Directors and their management staff, the primary respondents to this data collection, were consulted for feedback on the availability of data, frequency of data collection, the clarity of instructions, and the data elements. Their feedback confirmed that the frequency of data collection was appropriate and that they did not provide these data in other data collections.

    After consideration of this comment, we are moving forward with our submission to OMB.

    Title of Collection: Grantee Reporting Requirements for Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSECs).

    OMB Approval Number: 3145-0229.

    Type of Request: Intent to renew, without change, an information collection.

    Abstract: The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSECs) Program supports innovation in the integrative conduct of research, education, and knowledge transfer. NSECs build intellectual and physical infrastructure within and between disciplines, weaving together knowledge creation, knowledge integration, and knowledge transfer. NSECs conduct world-class research through partnerships of academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities. New knowledge thus created is meaningfully linked to society.

    NSECs enable and foster excellent education, integrate research and education, and create bonds between learning and inquiry so that discovery and creativity more fully support the learning process. NSECs capitalize on diversity through participation in center activities and demonstrate leadership in the involvement of groups underrepresented in science and engineering.

    NSECs are required to submit annual reports on progress and plans, which are used as a basis for performance review and determining the level of continued funding. To support this review and the management of a Center, NSECs are required to develop a set of management and performance indicators for submission annually to NSF via the Research Performance Project Reporting module in Research.gov and an external technical assistance contractor that collects programmatic data electronically. These indicators are both quantitative and descriptive and may include, for example, the characteristics of center personnel and students; sources of financial support and in-kind support; expenditures by operational component; characteristics of industrial and/or other sector participation; research activities; education activities; knowledge transfer activities; patents, licenses; publications; degrees granted to students involved in Center activities; descriptions of significant advances and other outcomes of the NSEC effort. Such reporting requirements are included in the cooperative agreement which is binding between the academic institution and the NSF.

    Each Center's annual report addresses the following categories of activities: (1) Research, (2) education, (3) knowledge transfer, (4) partnerships, (5) diversity, (6) management, and (7) budget issues.

    For each of the categories the report will describe overall objectives for the year, problems the Center has encountered in making progress towards goals, anticipated problems in the following year, and specific outputs and outcomes.

    NSECs are required to file a final report through the RPPR and external technical assistance contractor. Final reports contain similar information and metrics as annual reports, but are retrospective.

    Use of the Information: NSF will use the information to continue funding of the Centers, and to evaluate the progress of the program.

    Estimate of Burden: 200 hours per center for thirteen centers for a total of 2,600 hours.

    Respondents: Non-profit institutions.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Report: One from each of the thirteen NSECs.

    Dated: September 22, 2016. Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23290 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 AGENCY:

    National Science Foundation.

    ACTION:

    Notice of permit applications received under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978, Public Law 95-541.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is required to publish a notice of permit applications received to conduct activities regulated under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978. NSF has published regulations under the Antarctic Conservation Act at Title 45 Part 671 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This is the required notice of permit applications received.

    DATES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written data, comments, or views with respect to this permit application by October 27, 2016. This application may be inspected by interested parties at the Permit Office, address below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be addressed to Permit Office, Room 755, Division of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nature McGinn, ACA Permit Officer, at the above address or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The National Science Foundation, as directed by the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-541), as amended by the Antarctic Science, Tourism and Conservation Act of 1996, has developed regulations for the establishment of a permit system for various activities in Antarctica and designation of certain animals and certain geographic areas as requiring special protection. The regulations establish such a permit system to designate Antarctic Specially Protected Areas.

    Application Details Permit Application: 2017-011 1. Applicant: Brandon Harvey, Director Expedition Operations, Polar Latitudes, Inc., 2206 Jericho Street, White River Junction, VT 05001. Activity for Which Permit Is Requested: Waste Permit

    For Coastal Camping: The applicant seeks permission for no more than 30 campers and two expedition staff to camp overnight at select locations for a maximum of 10 hours ashore. Camping would be away from vegetated sites and >150m from wildlife concentrations or lakes, protected areas, historical sites, and scientific stations. Tents would be pitched on snow, ice, or bare smooth rock, at least 15m from the high water line. No food, other than emergency rations, would be brought onshore and all wastes, including human waste, would be collected and returned to the ship for proper disposal. The applicant is seeking a Waste Permit to cover any accidental releases that may result from camping.

    For Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Commercial Filming: The applicant wishes to fly small, battery operated, remotely controlled copters equipped with a camera to take scenic photos and film of the Antarctic. The UAVs would not be flown over concentrations of birds or mammals or over Antarctic Specially Protected Areas. The UAVs would only be flown by operators with extensive experience (>20 hours), who are pre-approved by the Expedition Leader. Several measures would be taken to prevent against loss of the UAV including painting them a highly visible color; only flying when the wind is less than 25 knots; flying for only 15 minutes at a time to preserve battery life; having prop guards on propeller tips, a flotation device if operated over water, and a “go home” feature in case of loss of control link or low battery; having an observer on the lookout for wildlife, people, and other hazards; and ensuring that the separation between the operator and UAV does not exceed an operational range of 500 meters. The applicant is seeking a Waste Permit to cover any accidental releases that may result from flying a UAV.

    Location

    Camping: Possible locations include Damoy Point/Dorian Bay, Danco Island, Rongé Island, the Errera Channel, Paradise Bay (including Almirante Brown/Base Brown or Skontorp Cove), the Argentine Islands, Andvord Bay, Pleneau Island, Hovgaard Island, Orne Harbour, Leith Cove, Prospect Point and Portal Point.

    UAV filming: Western Antarctic Peninsula region.

    Dates

    October 31, 2016 to March 13, 2017.

    Nadene G. Kennedy, Polar Coordination Specialist, Division of Polar Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23246 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50-259, 50-260, & 50-296-LA; ASLBP No. 16-948-03-LA-BD01] Establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; Tennessee Valley Authority

    Pursuant to delegation by the Commission, see 37 FR 28710 (Dec. 29, 1972), and the Commission's regulations, see, e.g., 10 CFR 2.104, 2.105, 2.300, 2.309, 2.313, 2.318, 2.321, notice is hereby given that an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (Board) is being established to preside over the following proceeding: Tennessee Valley Authority (Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Units 1, 2, and 3).

    This proceeding involves a challenge to an application by Tennessee Valley Authority for an amendment to the operating licenses for the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Units 1, 2, and 3, located in Athens, Alabama. In response to a Federal Register Notice, “Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information,” published on July 5, 2016, see 81 FR 43661-43669, the Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team/Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation (BEST/MATRR) filed a Petition to Intervene and Request for Hearing on September 9, 2016.

    The Board is comprised of the following Administrative Judges:

    Paul S. Ryerson, Chairman, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001 Dr. Gary S. Arnold, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001 Nicholas G. Trikouros, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001

    All correspondence, documents, and other materials shall be filed in accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule. See 10 CFR 2.302.

    Rockville, Maryland, September 20, 2016. E. Roy Hawkens, Chief Administrative Judge, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23104 Filed 9-26-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2016-0202] Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Biweekly notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to Section 189a.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing this regular biweekly notice. The Act requires the Commission to publish notice of any amendments issued, or proposed to be issued, and grants the Commission the authority to issue and make immediately effective any amendment to an operating license or combined license, as applicable, upon a determination by the Commission that such amendment involves no significant hazards consideration, notwithstanding the pendency before the Commission of a request for a hearing from any person.

    This biweekly notice includes all notices of amendments issued, or proposed to be issued, from August 30, 2016, to September 12, 2016. The last biweekly notice was published on September 13, 2016.

    DATES:

    Comments must be filed by October 27, 2016. A request for a hearing must be filed by November 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0202. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Janet Burkhardt, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1384, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to NRC-2016-0202, facility name, unit number(s), plant docket number, application date, and subject when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0202.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document.

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2016-0202 facility name, unit number(s), plant docket number, application date, and subject in your comment submission.

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

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

    II. Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses and Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination

    The Commission has made a proposed determination that the following amendment requests involve no significant hazards consideration. Under the Commission's regulations in § 50.92 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated, or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The basis for this proposed determination for each amendment request is shown below.

    The Commission is seeking public comments on this proposed determination. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination.

    Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-day period provided that its final determination is that the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period if circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example in derating or shutdown of the facility. If the Commission takes action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. If the Commission makes a final no significant hazards consideration determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

    A. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petition for Leave To Intervene

    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, any persons (petitioner) whose interest may be affected by this action may file a request for a hearing and a petition to intervene (petition) with respect to issuance of the amendment to the subject facility operating license or combined license. Petitions shall be filed in accordance with the Commission's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If a petition is filed within 60 days, the Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the petition; and the Secretary or the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will issue a notice of a hearing or an appropriate order.

    As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following general requirements: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the petitioner; (2) the nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest. The petition must also set forth the specific contentions which the petitioner seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.

    Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the petitioner shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the contention and on which the petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The petitioner must also provide references to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware and on which the petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion to support its position on the issue. The petition must include sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to matters within the scope of the amendment under consideration. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to satisfy these requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.

    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that person's admitted contentions, including the opportunity to present evidence and to submit a cross-examination plan for cross-examination of witnesses, consistent with the NRC's regulations, policies, and procedures.

    Petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(iii).

    If a hearing is requested, and the Commission has not made a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment unless the Commission finds an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, in which case it will issue an appropriate order or rule under 10 CFR part 2.

    A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof, may submit a petition to the Commission to participate as a party under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(1).

    The petition should state the nature and extent of the petitioner's interest in the proceeding. The petition should be submitted to the Commission by November 28, 2016. The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in the “Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)” section of this document, and should meet the requirements for petitions set forth in this section, except that under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(2) a State, local governmental body, or Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof does not need to address the standing requirements in 10 CFR 2.309(d) if the facility is located within its boundaries. A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof may also have the opportunity to participate under 10 CFR 2.315(c).

    If a hearing is granted, any person who does not wish, or is not qualified, to become a party to the proceeding may, in the discretion of the presiding officer, be permitted to make a limited appearance pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.315(a). A person making a limited appearance may make an oral or written statement of position on the issues, but may not otherwise participate in the proceeding. A limited appearance may be made at any session of the hearing or at any prehearing conference, subject to the limits and conditions as may be imposed by the presiding officer. Details regarding the opportunity to make a limited appearance will be provided by the presiding officer if such sessions are scheduled.

    B. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

    All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene (hereinafter “petition”), and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007, as amended at 77 FR 46562; August 3, 2012). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

    To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at [email protected], or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a petition (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

    Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/getting-started.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/adjudicatory-sub.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the Web site, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.

    Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit a petition. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF). Additional guidance on PDF submissions is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/electronic-sub-ref-mat.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

    A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email to [email protected], or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk is available between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

    Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing stating why there is good cause for not filing electronically and requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

    Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at http://ehd1.nrc.gov/ehd/, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. However, in some instances, a petition will require including information on local residence in order to demonstrate a proximity assertion of interest in the proceeding. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

    The Commission will issue a notice or order granting or denying a hearing request or intervention petition, designating the issues for any hearing that will be held and designating the Presiding Officer. A notice granting a hearing will be published in the Federal Register and served on the parties to the hearing.

    For further details with respect to these license amendment applications, see the application for amendment which is available for public inspection in ADAMS and at the NRC's PDR. For additional direction on accessing information related to this document, see the “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” section of this document.

    Energy Northwest, Docket No. 50-397, Columbia Generating Station (Columbia), Benton County, Washington

    Date of amendment request: July 14, 2016. A publicly-available version is in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16196A419.

    Description of amendment request: The amendment would change Technical Specification (TS) 5.5.6, “Inservice Testing [IST] Program,” to remove requirements duplicated in American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code for Operations and Maintenance of Nuclear Power Plants (OM Code), Case OMN-20, “Inservice Test Frequency.” This change, thereby, will then adopt Technical Specification Task Force (TSTF) TSTF-545, Revision 3, “TS Inservice Testing Program Removal & Clarify SR [Surveillance Requirement] Usage Rule Application to Section 5.5 Testing.”

    Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration determination: As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

    1. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change revises TS Chapter 5, “Administrative Controls,” Section 5.5, “Programs and Manuals,” by eliminating the “Inservice Testing Program” specification. Most requirements in the Inservice Testing Program are removed, as they are duplicative of requirements in the ASME OM Code, as clarified by Code Case OMN-20, “Inservice Test Frequency,” which has been approved for use at Columbia. The remaining requirements in the Section 5.5 IST Program are eliminated because the NRC has determined their inclusion in the TS is contrary to regulations. A new defined term, “Inservice Testing Program,” is added to the TS, which references the requirements of 10 CFR 50.55a(f).

    Performance of inservice testing is not an initiator to any accident previously evaluated. As a result, the probability of occurrence of an accident is not significantly affected by the proposed change. Inservice test frequencies under Code Case OMN-20 are equivalent to the current testing period allowed by the TS with the exception that testing frequencies greater than 2 years may be extended by up to 6 months to facilitate test scheduling and consideration of plant operating conditions that may not be suitable for performance of the required testing. The testing frequency extension will not affect the ability of the components to mitigate any accident previously evaluated as the components are required to be operable during the testing period extension. Performance of inservice tests utilizing the allowances in OMN-20 will not significantly affect the reliability of the tested components. As a result, the availability of the affected components, as well as their ability to mitigate the consequences of accidents previously evaluated, is not affected.

    Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

    2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change does not alter the design or configuration of the plant. The proposed change does not involve a physical alteration of the plant; no new or different kind of equipment will be installed. The proposed change does not alter the types of inservice testing performed. In most cases, the frequency of inservice testing is unchanged. However, the frequency of testing would not result in a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated since the testing methods are not altered.

    Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

    3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

    Response: No.

    The proposed change eliminates some requirements from the TS in lieu of requirements in the ASME Code, as modified by use of Code Case OMN-20. Compliance with the ASME Code is required by 10 CFR 50.55a. The proposed change also allows inservice tests with frequencies greater than 2 years to be extended by 6 months to facilitate test scheduling and consideration of plant operating conditions that may not be suitable for performance of the required testing. The testing frequency extension will not affect the ability of the components to respond to an accident as the components are required to be operable during the testing period extension. The proposed change will eliminate the existing TS SR 3.0.3 allowance to defer performance of missed inservice tests up to the duration of the specified testing frequency, and instead will require an assessment of the missed test on equipment operability. This assessment will consider the effect on a margin of safety (equipment operability). Should the component be inoperable, the Technical Specifications provide actions to ensure that the margin of safety is protected. The proposed change also eliminates a statement that nothing in the ASME Code should be construed to supersede the requirements of any TS. The NRC has determined that statement to be incorrect. However, elimination of the statement will have no effect on plant operation or safety.

    Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.

    Attorney for licensee: William A. Horin, Esq., Winston & Strawn, 1700 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20006-3817.

    NRC Branch Chief: Robert J. Pascarelli.

    Energy Northwest, Docket No. 50-397, Columbia Generating Station (Columbia), Benton County, Washington

    Date of amendment request: July 28, 2016. A publicly-available version is in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16210A528.

    Description of amendment request: The amendment would revise the current Columbia Emergency Plan Emergency Action Level scheme to one based on Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) guidance established in NEI 99-01, “Development of Emergency Action Levels for Non-Passive Reactors,” Revision 6, which has been endorsed by the NRC.

    Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration determination: As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

    1. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed amendment affects the Columbia Generating Station (Columbia) Emergency Plan (EP) and associated Emergency Action Levels (EALs); it does not alter the Operating License or the Technical Specifications. The proposed amendment does not change the design function of any system, structure, or component and does not change the way the plant is maintained or operated. The proposed amendment does not affect any accident mitigating feature or increase the likelihood of malfunction for plant structures, systems, and components.

    The proposed amendment will not change any of the analyses associated with the Columbia Final Safety Analysis Report Chapter 15 accidents because plant operation, structures, systems, components, accident initiators, and accident mitigation functions remain unchanged.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

    2. Does the proposed amendment create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.

    The proposed amendment affects the Columbia EP and associated EALs; it does not change the design function of any system, structure, or component and does not change the way the plant is operated or maintained. The proposed amendment does not create a credible failure mechanism, malfunction, or accident initiator not already considered in the design and licensing basis.

    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

    3. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

    Response: No.

    Margin of safety is associated with the ability of the fission product b