Federal Register Vol. 81, No.195,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 195 (October 7, 2016)

Page Range69659-69997
FR Document

81_FR_195
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 69716 - 2016-2017 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing RegulationsPDF
81 FR 69993 - Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the National Security WorkforcePDF
81 FR 69991 - National Youth Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder Prevention Month, 2016PDF
81 FR 69844 - Statement of Findings: Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement ActPDF
81 FR 69814 - Draft General Permit Under the Federal Indian Country Minor New Source Review ProgramPDF
81 FR 69782 - Corporation for Travel Promotion (dba Brand USA)PDF
81 FR 69813 - Information Session; Implementation of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014PDF
81 FR 69783 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset ReviewsPDF
81 FR 69801 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 69826 - Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)PDF
81 FR 69790 - Procurement List; Addition and DeletionsPDF
81 FR 69789 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionsPDF
81 FR 69818 - Notice of Termination; 10281 Independent National Bank; Ocala, FloridaPDF
81 FR 69818 - Notice of Termination; 10159 Valley Capital Bank, N.A.; Mesa, ArizonaPDF
81 FR 69780 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 82-Mobile, Alabama; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Airbus Americas, Inc. (Commercial Passenger Jet Aircraft); Mobile, AlabamaPDF
81 FR 69786 - 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a) From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value and Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
81 FR 69784 - Notice of Scope RulingsPDF
81 FR 69782 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 44H-East Hanover, New Jersey; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Givaudan Flavors Corporation (Flavor Products); East Hanover, New JerseyPDF
81 FR 69845 - Notice of Availability of the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendments for Segments 8 and 9 of the Gateway West 500-kV Transmission Line Project, IdahoPDF
81 FR 69819 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69902 - Proposed Collection of Information: Offering of U.S. Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Company Tax and Loss BondsPDF
81 FR 69901 - Proposed Collection of Information: Agreement and Request for Disposition of a Decedent's Treasury SecuritiesPDF
81 FR 69902 - Proposed Collection of Information: Special Bond of Indemnity to the United States of AmericaPDF
81 FR 69822 - National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) DNA Specimens: Guidelines for Proposals To Use Specimens and Cost SchedulePDF
81 FR 69827 - 2018 National Health Interview Survey Questionnaire RedesignPDF
81 FR 69717 - International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2016 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Reopening in the Eastern Pacific OceanPDF
81 FR 69820 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69663 - Special Conditions: Beechcraft, Model A36, Bonanza Airplanes; as Modified by Avionics Design Services, Ltd.; Installation of Rechargeable Lithium BatteryPDF
81 FR 69828 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69840 - Public Assistance Program Minimum StandardsPDF
81 FR 69840 - Technical Mapping Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 69850 - Notice of Availability for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan for the Operation of Glen Canyon Dam, Page, ArizonaPDF
81 FR 69800 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69841 - Announcement of the Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee Appointment of Members and Notice of Public MeetingPDF
81 FR 69813 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 69774 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 37PDF
81 FR 69668 - Additions and Modifications to the List of Drug Products That Have Been Withdrawn or Removed From the Market for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
81 FR 69903 - Additional Designations, Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation ActPDF
81 FR 69795 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
81 FR 69896 - Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corporation-Abandonment Exemption-in Scott County, IowaPDF
81 FR 69779 - Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation ServicePDF
81 FR 69799 - Judicial Proceedings Since Fiscal Year 2012 Amendments Panel (Judicial Proceedings Panel); Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
81 FR 69677 - Certifications and Exemptions Under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972PDF
81 FR 69845 - Notice of Filing of Plats of Survey; ColoradoPDF
81 FR 69873 - Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee; Cancellation of Upcoming MeetingPDF
81 FR 69843 - Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force MeetingPDF
81 FR 69873 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69897 - Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Company-Change in Operator Exemption-Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd.PDF
81 FR 69859 - National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH); Charter RenewalPDF
81 FR 69859 - Data Users Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting and AgendaPDF
81 FR 69782 - Emerging Technology and Research Advisory Committee; Notice of Open MeetingPDF
81 FR 69659 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC International MAGNASTOR® Cask System; Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment No. 6PDF
81 FR 69719 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC International MAGNASTOR® Cask System; Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment No. 6PDF
81 FR 69795 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69896 - Arkansas Southern Railroad, L.L.C.-Lease Exemption Containing Interchange Commitment-The Kansas City Southern Railway CompanyPDF
81 FR 69663 - FCA Organization; Updates and Technical CorrectionsPDF
81 FR 69803 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview, LLC Shipping Terminal, in the Columbia River, Near Longview, Cowlitz County, WashingtonPDF
81 FR 69778 - Ozark-Ouachita Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 69721 - Rulemaking Petition: Political Party RulesPDF
81 FR 69722 - Rulemaking Petition: Implementing the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015PDF
81 FR 69856 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
81 FR 69898 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel Southern Cross; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 69899 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel Salty Dawg; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 69900 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel Between Shores; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
81 FR 69789 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Applications and Reports for Registration as a Tanner or AgentPDF
81 FR 69855 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension Without Change, of a Previously Approved Collection Procedures for the Administration of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965PDF
81 FR 69834 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request; Data Use Agreement and Supplement for 2014 Health Center Patient SurveyPDF
81 FR 69871 - Notice of Centennial Challenges 3D-Printed Habitat Structural Member ChallengePDF
81 FR 69803 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Survey 2017-2019PDF
81 FR 69816 - Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board; Regular MeetingPDF
81 FR 69856 - Native American Employment and Training CouncilPDF
81 FR 69857 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Notice Requirements of the Health Care Continuation Coverage ProvisionsPDF
81 FR 69858 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Application for a Permit To Fire More Than 20 Boreholes and/or for the Use of Nonpermissible Blasting Units, Explosives, and Shot-Firing Units; Posting Notices of MisfiresPDF
81 FR 69855 - Notice of Lodging of Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
81 FR 69817 - Final Notice of Intent To Declare the International Section 214 Authorization of Redes Modernas de la Frontera SA de CV TerminatedPDF
81 FR 69678 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, New Orleans, LAPDF
81 FR 69819 - Notice of Termination; 10082 Temecula Valley Bank, Temecula, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 69900 - Model Minimum Uniform Crash CriteriaPDF
81 FR 69778 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69887 - Legg Mason Global Asset Management Trust, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 69884 - Legg Mason Global Asset Management Trust, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 69878 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Partial Amendment No. 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Partial Amendment No. 2, To Amend Rule 67 Relating to the Tick Size Pilot ProgramPDF
81 FR 69874 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing of Partial Amendment No. 2 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Partial Amendment No. 2, To Amend Rule 67-Equities Relating to the Tick Size Pilot ProgramPDF
81 FR 69885 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Revise The Options Clearing Corporation's Schedule of FeesPDF
81 FR 69889 - Self Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rules To Describe Changes Necessary To Implement the Tick Size Pilot ProgramPDF
81 FR 69893 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend FINRA Rule 6191 To Modify the Quoting and Trading Requirements Relating to the Block Size Exception and the Use of Intermarket Sweep Orders and Trade-at Intermarket Sweep OrdersPDF
81 FR 69881 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Modify Rule IM-5900-7 To Adjust the Entitlement to Services of Acquisition CompaniesPDF
81 FR 69892 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 1017, Openings in OptionsPDF
81 FR 69877 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt a New Exception in Exchange Rule 1000(f) for Sub-MPV Split-Priced OrdersPDF
81 FR 69816 - Information Collection Requirement Being Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for Emergency Review and ApprovalPDF
81 FR 69809 - Utilization In the Organized Markets of Electric Storage Resources as Transmission Assets Compensated Through Transmission Rates, for Grid Support Services Compensated in Other Ways, and for Multiple Services; Notice of Technical ConferencePDF
81 FR 69805 - Driftwood LNG, LLC and Driftwood LNG Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Driftwood LNG Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping SessionsPDF
81 FR 69808 - California Department of Water Resources; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document, and Approving Use of the Traditional Licensing ProcessPDF
81 FR 69808 - Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
81 FR 69812 - California Department of Water Resources and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; Notice of Intent To File License Application, Filing of Pre-Application Document (PAD), Commencement of Pre-Filing Process, and Scoping; Request for Comments on the PAD and Scoping Document, and Identification of Issues and Associated Study RequestsPDF
81 FR 69804 - National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 69810 - Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Marshall County Mine Panel 17w Project Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
81 FR 69872 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Fidelity Bond and Insurance Coverage for Federal Credit UnionsPDF
81 FR 69837 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69838 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69836 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 69822 - Interagency Per Diem Working Group Meeting Concerning Boundaries To Set Continental United States Lodging and Meals and Incidental Per Diem Reimbursement RatesPDF
81 FR 69849 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
81 FR 69848 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
81 FR 69854 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Agreement and Order Regarding Modification of the Consent Decree With Respect to TESI Under the Clean Water ActPDF
81 FR 69835 - Office of the Director; Amended Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 69836 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 69836 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 69835 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 69844 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Permit ApplicationPDF
81 FR 69853 - Certain Memory Modules and Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same; Institution of InvestigationPDF
81 FR 69873 - Data PortabilityPDF
81 FR 69904 - Proposed Information Collection (VA Health Professional Scholarship and Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professional Scholarship Programs) Activity: Comment Request.PDF
81 FR 69903 - Proposed Information Collection (VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program)PDF
81 FR 69794 - Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive Patent LicensePDF
81 FR 69788 - Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality AwardPDF
81 FR 69871 - Request for Comments on Proposed OMB Circular No. A-108, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Review, Reporting, and Publication Under the Privacy Act”PDF
81 FR 69780 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the West Virginia Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 69829 - Medical Device User Fee Amendments; Public Meeting; Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 69896 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 69723 - Rules of Procedure Governing Cases Before the Office of Hearings and AppealsPDF
81 FR 69729 - Proposed Amendment of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes; Eastern United StatesPDF
81 FR 69740 - Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company; Filing of Color Additive PetitionPDF
81 FR 69752 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Inspection and MaintenancePDF
81 FR 69679 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Inspection and MaintenancePDF
81 FR 69752 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure Requirements for Consultation With Government Officials, Public Notification and Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Visibility Protection for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 69685 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure Requirements for Consultation With Government Officials, Public Notification and Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Visibility Protection for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 69693 - Approval of Nebraska's Air Quality Implementation Plans; Nebraska Air Quality Regulations and State Operating Permit ProgramsPDF
81 FR 69752 - Approval of Nebraska's Air Quality Implementation Plans; Nebraska Air Quality Regulations and State Operating Permit ProgramsPDF
81 FR 69753 - Uniform National Discharge Standards for Vessels of the Armed Forces-Phase II Batch TwoPDF
81 FR 69860 - Category ManagementPDF
81 FR 69842 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
81 FR 69908 - Pilot Professional DevelopmentPDF
81 FR 69740 - Additional PortaCount® Quantitative Fit-Testing Protocols: Amendment to Respiratory Protection StandardPDF
81 FR 69696 - Connect America Fund, Connect America Fund-Alaska Plan, Universal Service Reform-Mobility FundPDF
81 FR 69772 - Connect America Fund, Connect America Fund-Alaska Plan; Universal Service Reform-Mobility FundPDF
81 FR 69687 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Philadelphia County Reasonably Available Control Technology Under the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
81 FR 69898 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on Proposed Highway Project in WisconsinPDF
81 FR 69731 - Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements; Electricity Market Transparency; Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process; Electric Quarterly ReportsPDF
81 FR 69950 - Miscellaneous Changes to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of PracticePDF
81 FR 69666 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF

Issue

81 195 Friday, October 7, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

Natural Resources Conservation Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Exclusive Patent Licenses: The Regents of the University of Michigan, 69794-69795 2016-24241 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69778 2016-24287 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES 2018 National Health Interview Survey Questionnaire Redesign, 69827-69828 2016-24348 Meetings: Advisory Committee to the Director, 69826-69827 2016-24365 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; DNA Specimens: Guidelines for Proposals to Use Specimens and Cost Schedule, 69822-69826 2016-24349 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69828-69829 2016-24341 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: West Virginia Advisory Committee, 69780 2016-24238 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, New Orleans, LA, 69678-69679 2016-24290 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 69789-69794 2016-24364 2016-24363 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Engineers Corps

See

Navy Department

PROPOSED RULES Uniform National Discharge Standards for Vessels of the Armed Forces--Phase II Batch Two, 69753-69772 2016-24079 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69795, 69800 2016-24315 2016-24337 Meetings: Federal Advisory Committee Meeting, 69799-69800 2016-24328 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 69795-69799, 69801-69803 2016-24331 2016-24369
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Longitudinal Data System Survey 2017-2019, 69803-69804 2016-24298 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Meetings: Native American Employment and Training Council, 69856-69857 2016-24295 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Millennium Bulk Terminals—Longview, LLC shipping terminal, in the Columbia River, near Longview, Cowlitz County, WA, 69803 2016-24312 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Nebraska; Air Quality Regulations and State Operating Permit Programs, 69693-69696 2016-24088 Pennsylvania; Philadelphia County Reasonably Available Control Technology under the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 69687-69693 2016-23840 Texas; Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance, 69679-69685 2016-24205 Texas; Infrastructure Requirements for Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification and Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Visibility Protection for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 69685-69687 2016-24115 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Nebraska; Air Quality Regulations and State Operating Permit Programs, 69752-69753 2016-24087 Texas; Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance, 69752 2016-24206 Texas; Infrastructure Requirements for Consultation with Government Officials for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 69752 2016-24117 Uniform National Discharge Standards for Vessels of the Armed Forces--Phase II Batch Two, 69753-69772 2016-24079 NOTICES Draft General Permit under the Federal Indian Country Minor New Source Review Program, 69814-69816 2016-24380 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Weekly Receipts, 69813 2016-24335 Meetings: Implementation of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, 69813-69814 2016-24377 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration RULES Organization; Updates and Technical Corrections, 69663 2016-24313 Farm Credit System Insurance Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation NOTICES Meetings: Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Board, 69816 2016-24297 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 69666-69668 2016-22707 Special Conditions: Beechcraft, Model A36, Bonanza Airplanes; As Modified by Avionics Design Services, Ltd.; Installation of Rechargeable Lithium Battery, 69663-69666 2016-24343 PROPOSED RULES Amendment of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes: Northeast United States, 69729-69730 2016-24209 Pilot Professional Development, 69908-69948 2016-23961 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Connect America Fund: Alaska Plan, Universal Service Reform—Mobility Fund, 69696-69716 2016-23918 PROPOSED RULES Connect America Fund: Alaska Plan; Universal Service Reform—Mobility Fund, 69772-69774 2016-23917 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69816-69817 2016-24275 International Section 214 Authorization Orders; Terminations: Redes Modernas de la Frontera SA de CV, 69817-69818 2016-24291 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: 10159, Valley Capital Bank, N.A. Mesa, AZ, 69818-69819 2016-24361 10281, Independent National Bank, Ocala, FL, 69818 2016-24362 Temecula Valley Bank, Temecula, CA, 69819 2016-24289 Federal Election Federal Election Commission PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Rulemaking: Implementation of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, 69722-69723 2016-24309 Rulemaking Petitions: Political Party Rules, 69721-69722 2016-24310 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Meetings: Technical Mapping Advisory Council; Conference Call, 69840 2016-24339 Public Assistance Program Minimum Standards, 69840-69841 2016-24340 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Electric Quarterly Reports, 69731-69739 2016-23447 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: FFP Missouri 16, LLC FFP Missouri 15, LLC Solia 8 Hydroelectric, LLC, et al., 69808-69809 2016-24271 Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Marshall County Mine Panel 17W Project, 69810-69811 2016-24268 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Driftwood LNG, LLC and Driftwood LNG Pipeline Company, LLC, 69805-69807 2016-24273 License Applications: California Department of Water Resources, 69808 2016-24272 California Department of Water Resources and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, 69812-69813 2016-24270 Meetings: Utilization In the Organized Markets of Electric Storage Resources as Transmission Assets Compensated Through Transmission Rates, for Grid Support Services Compensated in Other Ways, and for Multiple Services, 69809-69810 2016-24274 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., 69804-69805 2016-24269 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Final Federal Agency Actions: Proposed Highway Project in Wisconsin, 69898 2016-23785 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69819-69822 2016-24345 2016-24353 Federal Procurement Federal Procurement Policy Office NOTICES Category Management, 69860-69871 2016-24054 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Agreement and Request for Disposition of a Decedent's Treasury Securities, 69901-69902 2016-24351 Offering of U.S. Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Company Tax and Loss Bonds, 69902 2016-24352 Special Bond of Indemnity to the United States of America, 69902-69903 2016-24350 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES 2016-2017 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations, 69716-69717 C1--2016--23190 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Permit Applications, 69844 2016-24253 Meetings: Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, 69843 2016-24324 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Drug Products That Have Been Withdrawn or Removed From the Market for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness; Additions and Modifications, 69668-69677 2016-24333 PROPOSED RULES Color Additive Petitions: Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., 69740 2016-24208 NOTICES Meetings: Medical Device User Fee Amendments, 69829-69834 2016-24237 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 69903 2016-24332 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activities: Givaudan Flavors Corp., Foreign-Trade Zone 44H, East Hanover, NJ, 69782 2016-24355 Proposed Production Activities: Airbus Americas, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 82, Mobile, AL, 69780-69782 2016-24359 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Ozark-Ouachita Resource Advisory Committee, 69778-69779 2016-24311 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Interagency Per Diem Working Group, 69822 2016-24263 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Data Use Agreement and Supplement for 2014 Health Center Patient Survey, 69834-69835 2016-24300 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Federal Properties Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 69842-69843 2016-23980 Meetings: Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee, 69841-69842 2016-24336 Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Emerging Technology and Research Advisory Committee, 69782 2016-24318 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Reclamation Bureau

NOTICES Statements of Findings: Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement Act, 69844-69845 2016-24416
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews, 69783-69784 2016-24371 Applications for Memberships: Corporation for Travel Promotion dba Brand USA, 69782-69783 2016-24378 Determinations of Sales at Less than Fair Value: 1, 1, 1, 2-Tetrafluoroethane from the People's Republic of China, 69786-69788 2016-24358 Scope Rulings, 69784-69786 2016-24357 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Memory Modules and Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same, 69853-69854 2016-24247 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Procedures for the Administration of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 69855 2016-24301 Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act, 69854 2016-24258 Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act, 69855-69856 2016-24292 2016-24306 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Labor Statistics Bureau

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69858-69859 2016-24293 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Notice Requirements of the Health Care Continuation Coverage Provisions, 69857-69858 2016-24294
Labor Statistics Labor Statistics Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Data Users Advisory Committee, 69859 2016-24319 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Gateway West 500-kV Transmission Line Project, Idaho, 69845-69848 2016-24354 Plats of Surveys: Colorado, 69845 2016-24326 Management Management and Budget Office See

Federal Procurement Policy Office

NOTICES Federal Agency Responsibilities for Review, Reporting, and Publication under the Privacy Act, 69871 2016-24239
Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel BETWEEN SHORES, 69900 2016-24303 Vessel SALTY DAWG, 69899 2016-24304 Vessel SOUTHERN CROSS, 69898-69899 2016-24305 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Centennial Challenges 3D-Printed Habitat Structural Member Challenge, 69871-69872 2016-24299 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Fidelity Bond and Insurance Coverage for Federal Credit Unions, 69872-69873 2016-24267 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria, 69900-69901 2016-24288 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, 69788-69789 2016-24240 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 69835 2016-24254 Clinical Center Research Hospital Board, 69835-69836 2016-24257 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel, 69836 2016-24255 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Special Emphasis Panel, 69836 2016-24256 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES International Fisheries: Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2016 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Reopening in Eastern Pacific Ocean, 69717-69718 2016-24347 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 37, 69774-69777 2016-24334 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Applications and Reports for Registration as a Tanner or Agent, 69789 2016-24302 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan for the Operation of Glen Canyon Dam, Page, AZ, 69850-69853 2016-24338 National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Actions, 69848-69850 2016-24259 2016-24260 National Resources Natural Resources Conservation Service NOTICES Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices, 69779-69780 2016-24329 Navy Navy Department RULES Certifications and Exemptions under the International Regulations: Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, 69677-69678 2016-24327 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC International MAGNASTOR Cask System; Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment No. 6, 69659-69663 2016-24317 PROPOSED RULES List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC International MAGNASTOR Cask System; Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment No. 6, 69719-69721 2016-24316 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration PROPOSED RULES Respiratory Protection Standard: PortaCount Quantitative Fit-Testing Protocols, 69740-69751 2016-23928 NOTICES Charter Renewals: National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, 69859-69860 2016-24320 Patent Patent and Trademark Office RULES Miscellaneous Changes to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of Practice, 69950-69988 2016-23092 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Meetings: Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee; Cancellation, 69873 2016-24325 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Youth Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder Prevention Month (Proc. 9514), 69989-69992 2016-24581 ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Government Agencies and Employees: National Security Workforce; Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion (Memorandum of October 5, 2016), 69993-69997 2016-24582 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69873 2016-24323 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan for the Operation of Glen Canyon Dam, Page, AZ, 69850-69853 2016-24338 Science Technology Science and Technology Policy Office NOTICES Data Portability, 69873-69874 2016-24246 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: Legg Mason Global Asset Management Trust, et al., 69887-69889 2016-24286 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., 69889-69892 2016-24281 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 69893-69896 2016-24280 NASDAQ PHLX LLC, 69877-69878, 69892-69893 2016-24277 2016-24278 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 69878-69881 2016-24284 NYSE MKT LLC, 69874-69877 2016-24283 The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, 69881-69884 2016-24279 The Options Clearing Corp., 69885-69887 2016-24282 Small Business Small Business Administration PROPOSED RULES Rules of Procedure Governing Cases before the Office of Hearings and Appeals, 69723-69729 2016-24231 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69896 2016-24236 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 69836-69840 2016-24264 2016-24265 2016-24266 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Abandonment Exemptions: Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad Corp. in Scott County, IA, 69896-69897 2016-24330 Lease Exemptions Containing Interchange Commitments: Arkansas Southern Railroad, L.L.C. from Kansas City Southern Railway Co., 69896 2016-24314 Operation Exemptions: Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Co. from Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd., 69897-69898 2016-24322 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: VA Health Professional Scholarship, Visual Impairment and Orientation and Mobility Professional Scholarship Programs, 69904-69905 2016-24244 VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program, 69903-69904 2016-24243 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Transportation Department, Federal Aviation Administration, 69908-69948 2016-23961 Part III Commerce Department, Patent and Trademark Office, 69950-69988 2016-23092 Part IV Presidential Documents, 69989-69997 2016-24581 2016-24582 Reader Aids

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81 195 Friday, October 7, 2016 Rules and Regulations NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC-2016-0137] RIN 3150-AJ77 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC International MAGNASTOR® Cask System; Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment No. 6 AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its spent fuel storage regulations by revising the NAC International (NAC), MAGNASTOR® Cask System listing within the “List of approved spent fuel storage casks” to include Amendment No. 6 to Certificate of Compliance (CoC) No. 1031. Amendment No. 6 revises NAC-MAGNASTOR technical specifications (TSs) to align with the NAC Multi-Purpose Canister (MPC) and NAC Universal MPC System (UMS) TSs. The CoC No. 1031 TSs require that a program be established and maintained for loading, unloading, and preparing fuel for storage without any indication of duration for the program. Amendment No. 6 limits maintenance of this program until all spent fuel is removed from the spent fuel pool and transport operations are completed. Related training and radiation protection program requirements are modified accordingly. Additionally, Amendment No. 6 incorporates the change to Limiting Condition for Operation (LCO) 3.1.1 previously approved by the NRC in CoC No. 1031 Amendment No. 4.

DATES:

The direct final rule is effective December 21, 2016, unless significant adverse comments are received by November 7, 2016. If the direct final rule is withdrawn as a result of such comments, timely notice of the withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. Comments received on this direct final rule will also be considered to be comments on a companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0137. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

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

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

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Keith McDaniel, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5252 or email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0137 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-2016-0137.

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

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

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2016-0137 in your comment submission.

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

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

II. Procedural Background

This rule is limited to the changes contained in Amendment No. 6 to CoC No. 1031 and does not include other aspects of the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System design. The NRC is using the “direct final rule procedure” to issue this amendment because it represents a limited and routine change to an existing CoC that is expected to be noncontroversial. Adequate protection of public health and safety continues to be ensured. The amendment to the rule will become effective on December 21, 2016. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this direct final rule by November 7, 2016, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws this action and will subsequently address the comments received in a final rule as a response to the companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rule section of this issue of the Federal Register.

Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

III. Background

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

To implement this mandate, the Commission approved dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in NRC-approved casks under a general license by publishing a final rule which added a new subpart K in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) entitled, “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites” (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990). This rule also established a new subpart L in 10 CFR part 72 entitled, “Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks,” which contains procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of spent fuel storage cask designs. The NRC subsequently issued a final rule on November 21, 2008 (73 FR 70587), that approved the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System design and added it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in 10 CFR 72.214 as CoC No. 1031.

IV. Discussion of Changes

By letter dated December 11, 2015, NAC submitted a request to the NRC to amend CoC No. 1031. As documented in the Preliminary Safety Evaluation Report (PSER) and described further below, the NRC staff performed a detailed safety evaluation of the proposed CoC Amendment 6 request. This direct final rule revises the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System listing in 10 CFR 72.214 by adding Amendment No. 6 to CoC No. 1031. The amendment consists of the changes described below, as set forth in the revised CoC and TSs. The revised TSs are identified in the PSER.

Amendment No. 6 revises NAC-MAGNASTOR TSs to align with the NAC-MPC and NAC-UMS TSs. The CoC No. 1031 TSs currently require that a program be established and maintained for loading, unloading, and preparing fuel for storage without any indication of duration for the program. Amendment No. 6 clarifies the applicability of TS requirements depending on the status of operations, limiting maintenance of certain programs until all spent fuel is removed from the spent fuel pool and transport operations are completed. Additionally, Amendment No. 6 incorporates the change to LCO 3.1.1 that was previously reviewed and approved by the NRC in Amendment No. 4. The NRC staff determined that Amendment No. 6 does not include changes to cask design requirements and does not reflect a change in design or fabrication of the cask. The NRC staff found that the TS and operating limit changes do not impact the casks ability to continue to safely store spent fuel in accordance with part 72 requirements.

The amended NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System design, when used under the conditions specified in the CoC, the TSs, and the NRC's regulations, will meet the requirements of 10 CFR part 72; therefore, adequate protection of public health and safety will continue to be ensured. When this direct final rule becomes effective, persons who hold a general license under 10 CFR 72.210 may load spent nuclear fuel into the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System casks that meet the criteria of Amendment No. 6 to CoC No. 1031 under 10 CFR 72.212.

V. Voluntary Consensus Standards

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113) requires that Federal agencies use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies unless the use of such a standard is inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. In this direct final rule, the NRC will revise the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System design listed in 10 CFR 72.214, “List of approved spent fuel storage casks.” This action does not constitute the establishment of a standard that contains generally applicable requirements.

VI. Agreement State Compatibility

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

VII. Plain Writing

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

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

The action is to amend 10 CFR 72.214 to revise the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System listing within the “List of approved spent fuel storage casks” to include Amendment No. 6 to CoC No. 1031. Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the NRC's regulations in subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,” the NRC has determined that this rule, if adopted, would not be a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required. The NRC has made a finding of no significant impact on the basis of this environmental assessment.

B. The Need for the Action

This direct final rule amends the CoC for the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System design within the list of approved spent fuel storage casks that power reactor licensees can use to store spent fuel at reactor sites under a general license. Specifically, Amendment No. 6 revises NAC-MAGNASTOR TSs to align with the NAC-MPC and NAC-UMS TSs. The CoC No. 1031 TSs require that a program be established and maintained for loading, unloading, and preparing fuel for storage without any indication of duration for the program. Amendment No. 6 limits maintenance of this program until all spent fuel is removed from the spent fuel pool and transport operations are completed. Related training and radiation protection program requirements are modified accordingly. Additionally, Amendment No. 6 incorporates the change to LCO 3.1.1 previously approved by the NRC in CoC No. 1031 Amendment No. 4.

C. Environmental Impacts of the Action

On July 18,1990 (55 FR 29181), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 to provide for the storage of spent fuel under a general license in cask designs approved by the NRC. The potential environmental impact of using NRC-approved storage casks was initially analyzed in the environmental assessment for the 1990 final rule. The environmental assessment for this Amendment No. 6 tiers off of the environmental assessment for the July 18, 1990, final rule. Tiering on past environmental assessments is a standard process under the National Environmental Policy Act.

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

Considering the specific design requirements for each accident condition, the design of the cask would prevent loss of confinement, shielding, and criticality control. If there is no loss of confinement, shielding, or criticality control, the environmental impacts would be insignificant. This amendment does not reflect a change in design or fabrication of the cask. There are no changes to cask design requirements in the proposed CoC amendment. In addition, because there are no design or significant process changes, any resulting occupational exposure or offsite dose rates from the implementation of Amendment No. 6 would remain well within the 10 CFR part 20 limits. Therefore, the proposed CoC changes will not result in any radiological or non-radiological environmental impacts that differ significantly from the environmental impacts evaluated in the environmental assessment supporting the July 18, 1990, final rule. There will be no significant change in the types or revisions in the amounts of any effluent released, no significant increase in the individual or cumulative radiation exposure and no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents. The NRC staff documented its safety findings in a PSER.

D. Alternative to the Action

The alternative to this action is to deny approval of Amendment No. 6 and end the direct final rule. Consequently, any 10 CFR part 72 general licensee that seeks to load spent nuclear fuel into the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System in accordance with the changes described in proposed Amendment No. 6 would have to request an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212 and 72.214. Under this alternative, an interested licensee would have to prepare, and the NRC would have to review, a separate exemption request, thereby increasing the administrative burden upon the NRC and the costs to each licensee. Therefore, the environmental impacts would be the same or less than the action.

E. Alternative Use of Resources

Approval of Amendment No. 6 to CoC No. 1031 would result in no irreversible commitments of resources.

F. Agencies and Persons Contacted

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

G. Finding of No Significant Impact

The environmental impacts of the action have been reviewed under the requirements in 10 CFR part 51. Based on the foregoing environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that this direct final rule entitled, “List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System, Amendment No. 6” will not have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, the NRC has determined that an environmental impact statement is not necessary for this direct final rule.

IX. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

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

Public Protection Notification

The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a request for information or an information collection requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

X. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

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

XI. Regulatory Analysis

On July 18, 1990 (55 FR 29181), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 to provide for the storage of spent nuclear fuel under a general license in cask designs approved by the NRC. Any nuclear power reactor licensee can use NRC-approved cask designs to store spent nuclear fuel if it notifies the NRC in advance, the spent fuel is stored under the conditions specified in the cask's CoC, and the conditions of the general license are met. A list of NRC-approved cask designs is contained in 10 CFR 72.214. On November 21, 2008 (73 FR 70587), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 that approved the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System design by adding it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in 10 CFR 72.214.

By letter dated December 11, 2015, NAC submitted an application to amend the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System as described in Section IV, “Discussion of Changes,” of this document.

The alternative to this action is to withhold approval of Amendment No. 6 and to require any 10 CFR part 72 general licensee seeking to load spent nuclear fuel into the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System under the changes described in Amendment No. 6 to request an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 72.212 and 72.214. Under this alternative, each interested 10 CFR part 72 licensee would have to prepare, and the NRC would have to review, a separate exemption request, thereby increasing the administrative burden upon the NRC and the costs to each licensee.

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

XII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

The NRC has determined that the backfit rule (10 CFR 72.62) does not apply to this direct final rule. Therefore, a backfit analysis is not required. This direct final rule revises CoC No. 1031 for the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System, as currently listed in 10 CFR 72.214, “List of approved spent fuel storage casks.” Amendment No. 6 revises NAC-MAGNASTOR TSs to align with the NAC-MPC and NAC-UMS TSs. The CoC No. 1031 TSs require that a program be established and maintained for loading, unloading, and preparing fuel for storage without any indication of duration for the program. Amendment No. 6 limits maintenance of this program until all spent fuel is removed from the spent fuel pool and transport operations are completed. Related training and radiation protection program requirements are modified accordingly. Additionally, Amendment No. 6 incorporates the change to LCO 3.1.1 previously approved by the NRC in CoC No. 1031 Amendment No. 4.

Amendment No. 6 to CoC No. 1031 for the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System was initiated by NAC and was not submitted in response to new NRC requirements, or an NRC request for amendment. Amendment No. 6 applies only to new casks fabricated and used under Amendment No. 6. These changes do not affect existing users of the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System, and Amendment Nos. 1-3, Revisions 1, as well as Revision 1 of the Initial Certificate, and Amendments Nos. 4-5 continue to be effective for existing users. While current CoC users may comply with the new requirements in Amendment No. 6, this would be a voluntary decision on the part of current users. For these reasons, Amendment No. 6 to CoC No. 1031 does not constitute backfitting under 10 CFR 72.62, 10 CFR 50.109(a)(1), or otherwise represent an inconsistency with the issue finality provisions applicable to combined licenses in 10 CFR part 52. Accordingly, no backfit analysis or additional documentation addressing the issue finality criteria in 10 CFR part 52 has been prepared by the NRC staff.

XIII. Congressional Review Act

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

XIV. Availability of Documents

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

Document ADAMS
  • Accession No.
  • NAC License Amendment Request, Letter Dated December 11, 2015 ML15349A941 Proposed CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 6 ML16119A101 Proposed CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 6—Technical Specifications, Appendix A ML16119A110 Proposed CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 6—Technical Specifications, Appendix B ML16119A118 CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 6—Preliminary Safety Evaluation Report ML16119A123

    The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal rulemaking Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2016-0137. The Federal rulemaking Web site allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2016-0137); (2) Click the “Sign up for Email Alerts” link; and (3) Enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 72

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

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

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

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

    2. In § 72.214, Certificate of Compliance 1031 is revised to read as follows:
    § 72.214 List of approved spent fuel storage casks.

    Certificate Number: 1031.

    Initial Certificate Effective Date: February 4, 2009, superseded by Initial Certificate, Revision 1, on February 1, 2016.

    Initial Certificate, Revision 1, Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 1 Effective Date: August 30, 2010, superseded by Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, on February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 2 Effective Date: January 30, 2012, superseded by Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, on February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 3 Effective Date: July 25, 2013, superseded by Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, on February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 4 Effective Date: April 14, 2015.

    Amendment Number 5 Effective Date: June 29, 2015.

    Amendment Number 6 Effective Date: December 21, 2016.

    SAR Submitted by: NAC International, Inc.

    SAR Title: Final Safety Analysis Report for the MAGNASTOR® System.

    Docket Number: 72-1031.

    Certificate Expiration Date: February 4, 2029.

    Model Number: MAGNASTOR®.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of September, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Glenn M. Tracy, Acting Executive Director for Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24317 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Parts 600, 602, 603, and 606 RIN 3052-AD17 FCA Organization; Updates and Technical Corrections AGENCY:

    Farm Credit Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, Agency or our) amended our regulations to reflect changes to the FCA's organizational structure and correct the zip code for the field office located in Irving, TX. In addition, references in our regulations to various FCA offices, which have changed, have been revised. We also re-ordered the list of FCA offices into a more logical progression that is consistent with FCA's organizational chart. In accordance with the law, the effective date of the rule is no earlier than 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register during which either or both Houses of Congress are in session.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: Under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 2252, the regulation amending 12 CFR parts 600, 602, 603, and 606 published on July 22, 2016 (81 FR 47691) is effective October 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael T. Wilson, Policy Analyst, Office of Regulatory Policy, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4124, TTY (703) 883-4056, or Autumn Agans, Attorney-Advisor, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4020, TTY (703) 883-4056. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Farm Credit Administration amended our regulations to reflect changes to the FCA's organizational structure and correct the zip code for the field office located in Irving, TX. In addition, references in our regulations to various FCA offices, which have changed, have been revised. We also re-ordered the list of FCA offices into a more logical progression that is consistent with FCA's organizational chart. In accordance with 12 U.S.C. 2252, the effective date of the final rule is no earlier than 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register during which either or both Houses of Congress are in session. Based on the records of the sessions of Congress, the effective date of the regulations is October 7, 2016.

    (12 U.S.C. 2252(a)(9) and (10)) Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board. [FR Doc. 2016-24313 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9224; Special Conditions No. 23-277-SC] Special Conditions: Beechcraft, Model A36, Bonanza Airplanes; as Modified by Avionics Design Services, Ltd.; Installation of Rechargeable Lithium Battery AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final special conditions; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    These special conditions are issued for the Beechcraft, Model A36, Bonanza airplane. This airplane, as modified by Avionics Design Services, Ltd., will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with the use of a replacement option of a lithium battery instead of nickel-cadmium and lead-acid rechargeable batteries. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    The effective date of these special conditions is October 7, 2016.

    We must receive your comments by November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2016-9224 using any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Quentin Coon, Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE-112, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO; telephone (816) 329-4168; facsimile (816) 329-4090.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FAA has determined that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay issuance of the approval design and thus delivery of the affected aircraft. In addition, the FAA has determined, in accordance with 5 U.S. C. 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary because the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance.

    Special conditions No. Company/airplane model 23-15-01-SC 1 Kestrel Aircraft Company/Model K-350. 23-09-02SC 2 Cessna Aircraft Company/Model 525C (CJ4). 23-08-05-SC 3 Spectrum Aeronautical, LLC/Model 40. Comments Invited

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

    1http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgSC.nsf/0/39B156C006EB842E86257EF3004BB13C?OpenDocument&Highlight=installation%20of%20rechargeable%20lithium%20battery.

    2http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgSC.nsf/0/902232309C19F0D4862575CB0045AC0D?OpenDocument&Highlight=installation%20of%20rechargeable%20lithium%20battery.

    3http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgSC.nsf/0/28E630294DCC27B986257513005968A3?OpenDocument&Highlight=installation%20of%20rechargeable%20lithium%20battery.

    We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

    Background

    On September 17, 2015, Avionics Design Services, Ltd., (Avionics) applied for a supplemental type certificate (STC) to install a rechargeable lithium battery on the Model A36 Bonanza airplane. The Model A36 airplane is a normal category airplane, powered by a single-piston engine that drives an aircraft propeller, with passenger seating up to six (6) and a maximum takeoff weight of 3600 pounds.

    The current regulatory requirements for part 23 airplanes do not contain adequate requirements for the application of rechargeable lithium batteries in airborne applications. This type of battery possesses certain failure and operational characteristics with maintenance requirements that differ significantly from that of the nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) and lead-acid rechargeable batteries currently approved in other normal, utility, acrobatic, and commuter category airplanes. Therefore, the FAA is proposing this special condition to address (1) all characteristics of the rechargeable lithium batteries and their installation that could affect safe operation of the modified Model A36 airplane, and (2) appropriate Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAW) that include maintenance requirements to ensure the availability of electrical power from the batteries when needed.

    Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 21.101, Avionics must show that the Model A36 airplane, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate Data Sheet No. 3A15 4 or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change.

    4http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgMakeModel.nsf/0/360C62B668F4C1878625801B0069FB5F?OpenDocument.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 23) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Model A36 airplane because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model A36 airplane must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36.

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

    Special conditions are initially applicable to the models for which they are issued. Should the applicant apply for an STC to modify any other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The Beechcraft Model A36 airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features:

    The installation of a rechargeable lithium battery as a main or engine start aircraft battery.

    Discussion

    The applicable part 23 airworthiness regulations governing the installation of batteries in general aviation airplanes, including § 23.1353, were derived from Civil Air Regulations (CAR) 3 as part of the recodification that established 14 CFR part 23. The battery requirements, which are identified in § 23.1353, were a rewording of the CAR requirements that did not add any substantive technical requirements. An increase in incidents involving battery fires and failures that accompanied the increased use of Ni-Cd batteries in aircraft resulted in rulemaking activities on the battery requirements for small airplanes. These regulations were incorporated into § 23.1353(f) and (g), which apply only to Ni-Cd battery installations.

    The introduction of lithium batteries into aircraft raises some concern about associated battery or cell monitoring systems and the impact to the electrical system when monitoring components fail. Associated battery or cell monitoring systems (e.g., temperature, state of charge, etc.) should be evaluated with respect the expected extremes in the aircraft operating environment.

    Lithium batteries typically have different electrical impedance characteristics than Ni-Cd or lead-acid batteries. Avionics needs to evaluate other components of the aircraft electrical system with respect to these characteristics.

    Presently, there is limited experience with use of rechargeable lithium batteries and rechargeable lithium battery systems in applications involving commercial aviation. However, other users of this technology, ranging from personal computers, wireless telephone manufacturers to the electric vehicle industry, have noted safety problems with rechargeable lithium batteries. These problems include overcharging, over-discharging, flammability of cell components, cell internal defects, and during exposure to extreme temperatures that are described in the following paragraphs.

    1. Overcharging: In general, rechargeable lithium batteries are significantly more susceptible than their Ni-Cd or lead-acid counterparts to thermal runway, which is an internal failure that can result in self-sustaining increases in temperature and pressure. This is especially true for overcharging which causes heating and destabilization of the components of the cell, leading to the formation (by plating) of highly unstable metallic lithium. The metallic lithium can ignite, resulting in a self-sustaining fire or explosion. Finally, the severity of thermal runaway due to overcharging increases with increasing battery capacity due to the higher amount of electrolyte in large batteries.

    2. Over-discharging: Discharge of some types of rechargeable lithium battery cells beyond the manufacturer's recommended specification can cause corrosion of the electrodes of the cell, resulting in loss of battery capacity that cannot be reversed by recharging. This loss of capacity may not be detected by the simple voltage measurements commonly available to flight crews as a means of checking battery status—a problem shared with Ni-Cd batteries. In addition, over-discharging has the potential to lead to an unsafe condition (creation of dendrites that could result in internal short circuit during the recharging cycle).

    3. Flammability of Cell Components: Unlike Ni-Cd and lead-acid batteries, some types of rechargeable lithium batteries use liquid electrolytes that are flammable. The electrolyte can serve as a source of fuel for an external fire, if there is a breach of the battery container.

    4. Cell Internal Defects: The rechargeable lithium batteries and rechargeable battery systems have a history of undetected cell internal defects. These defects may or may not be detected during normal operational evaluation, test and validation. This may lead to an unsafe condition during in service operation.

    5. Extreme Temperatures: Exposure to an extreme temperature environment has the potential to create major hazards. Care must be taken to ensure that the lithium battery remains within the manufacturer's recommended specification.

    These problems experienced by users of lithium batteries raise concern about the use of lithium batteries in aviation. The intent of the proposed special condition is to establish appropriate airworthiness standards for lithium battery installations in the Model A36 airplanes and to ensure, as required by §§ 23.1309 and 23.601, that these battery installations are not hazardous or unreliable.

    Applicability

    The special conditions are applicable to the Model A36 airplane. Should Avionics apply at a later date for an STC to modify any other model included on Type Certificate No. 3A15, to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on the Model A36 airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

    The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the subject contained herein. Therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary and the FAA finds good cause, in accordance with 5 U.S. Code §§ 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3), making these special conditions effective upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

    Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

    Citation The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113 and 44701; 14 CFR 21.16 and 21.101; and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19.

    The Special Conditions

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the supplemental type certification basis for Beechcraft, Model A36 airplanes modified by Avionics Design Services, Ltd.

    1. Installation of Lithium Battery

    The FAA adopts that the following special conditions be applied to lithium battery installations on the Model A36 airplanes in lieu of the requirements § 23.1353(a)(b)(c)(d)(e), amendment 49.

    Lithium battery installations on the Model A36 airplanes must be designed and installed as follows:

    a. Safe cell temperatures and pressures must be maintained during any probable charging or discharging condition, or during any failure of the charging or battery monitoring system not shown to be extremely remote. The lithium battery installation must be designed to preclude explosion or fire in the event of those failures.

    b. Lithium batteries must be designed to preclude the occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrolled increases in temperature or pressure.

    c. No explosive or toxic gasses emitted by any lithium battery in normal operation or as the result of any failure of the battery charging or monitoring system, or battery installation not shown to be extremely remote, may accumulate in hazardous quantities within the airplane.

    d. Lithium batteries that contain flammable fluids must comply with the flammable fluid fire protection requirements of 14 CFR 23.863(a) through (d).

    e. No corrosive fluids or gases that may escape from any lithium battery may damage airplane structure or essential equipment.

    f. Each lithium battery installation must have provisions to prevent any hazardous effect on structure or essential systems that may be caused by the maximum amount of heat the battery can generate during a short circuit of the battery or of its individual cells.

    g. Lithium battery installations must have—

    (1) A system to control the charging rate of the battery automatically to prevent battery overheating or overcharging, or

    (2) A battery temperature sensing and over-temperature warning system with a means for automatically disconnecting the battery from its charging source in the event of an over-temperature condition or,

    (3) A battery failure sensing and warning system with a means for automatically disconnecting the battery from its charging source in the event of battery failure.

    h. Any lithium battery installation functionally required for safe operation of the airplane, must incorporate a monitoring and warning feature that will provide an indication to the appropriate flight crewmembers, whenever the capacity and state of charge of the batteries have fallen below levels considered acceptable for dispatch of the airplane.

    i. The ICAW must contain recommended manufacturer's maintenance and inspection requirements to ensure that batteries, including single cells, meet a functionally safe level essential to the aircraft's continued airworthiness.

    (1) The ICAW must contain operating instructions and equipment limitations in an installation maintenance manual.

    (2) The ICAW must contain installation procedures and limitations in a maintenance manual, sufficient to ensure that cells or batteries, when installed according to the installation procedures, still meet safety functional levels essential to the aircraft's continued airworthiness. The limitations must identify any unique aspects of the installation.

    (3) The ICAW must contain corrective maintenance procedures to check battery capacity at manufacturer's recommended inspection intervals.

    (4) The ICAW must contain scheduled servicing information to replace batteries at manufacturer's recommended replacement time.

    (5) The ICAW must contain maintenance and inspection requirements how to check visually for battery and charger degradation.

    j. Batteries in a rotating stock (spares) that have degraded charge retention capability or other damage due to prolonged storage must be checked at manufacturer's recommended inspection intervals.

    k. If the lithium battery application contains software and/or complex hardware, in accordance with AC 20-115 5 and AC 20-152,6 they should be developed to the standards of DO-178 for software and DO-254 for complex hardware.

    5http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/E35FBC0060E2159186257BBE00719FB3?OpenDocument&Highlight=ac%2020-115b.

    6http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/6D4AE0BF1BDE3579862570360055D119?OpenDocument&Highlight=ac%2020-152.

    Compliance with the requirements of this Special Condition must be shown by test or analysis, with the concurrence of the New York Aircraft Certification Office.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri on September 28, 2016. William Schinstock, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24343 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-3986; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-147-AD; Amendment 39-18661; AD 2016-19-12] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-400, 747-400D, and 747-400F series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a determination that a certain fastener type in the fuel tank walls has insufficient bond to the structure, and an electrical wiring short could cause arcing to occur at the ends of fasteners in the fuel tanks. This AD requires the installation of new clamps and polytetrafluoroethylene (TFE) sleeves on the wire bundles of the front spars and rear spars of the wings. This AD also requires inspecting the existing TFE sleeves under the wire bundle clamps for correct installation, and replacement if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent potential ignition sources in the fuel tank in the event of a lightning strike or high-powered short circuit, and consequent fire or explosion.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective November 14, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 14, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3986.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3986; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tung Tran, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6505; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-400, 747-400D, and 747-400F series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 1, 2016 (81 FR 10537) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that a certain fastener type in the fuel tank walls has insufficient bond to the structure, and an electrical wiring short could cause arcing to occur at the ends of fasteners in the fuel tanks. The NPRM proposed to require the installation of new clamps and TFE sleeves on the wire bundles of the front spars and rear spars of the wings. The NPRM also proposed to require inspecting the existing TFE sleeves under the wire bundle clamps for correct installation, and replacement if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent potential ignition sources in the fuel tank in the event of a lightning strike or high-powered short circuit, and consequent fire or explosion.

    Comments

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

    Support for the NPRM

    Boeing supported the content of the NPRM. United Airlines had no objection to the NPRM.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-28-2324, Revision 1, dated July 27, 2015. The service information describes procedures for installing new clamps and TFE sleeves on the wire bundles of the front spars and rear spars of the wings. The service information also describes procedures for inspecting TFE sleeves under the wire bundle clamps that were installed using the procedures specified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-28-2324, dated November 3, 2014, for correct installation, and replacing them if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 135 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Installation of wire bundle clamps Up to 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595 $138 Up to $733 Up to $98,955. Inspection Up to 5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425 0 Up to $425 Up to $57,375.

    We have received no definitive data that enables us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2016-19-12 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18661; Docket No. FAA-2016-3986; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-147-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective November 14, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-400, 747-400D, and 747-400F series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-28-2324, Revision 1, dated July 27, 2015.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a determination that a certain fastener type in the fuel tank walls has insufficient bond to the structure, and an electrical wiring short could cause arcing to occur at the ends of fasteners in the fuel tanks. We are issuing this AD to prevent potential ignition sources in the fuel tank in the event of a lightning strike or high-powered short circuit, and consequent fire or explosion.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Installation/Inspection

    Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes on which the modification specified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-28-2324, dated November 3, 2014, has not been done as of the effective date of this AD: Install new clamps and polytetrafluoroethylene (TFE) sleeves on the wire bundles of the front spars and rear spars of the wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-28-2324, Revision 1, dated July 27, 2015.

    (2) For airplanes on which the modification specified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-28-2324, dated November 3, 2014, has been done as of the effective date of this AD: Do a detailed inspection of the TFE sleeves under the wire bundle clamps for correct installation, and replace the sleeves if not correctly installed, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-28-2324, Revision 1, dated July 27, 2015.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, alteration, or modification required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (i) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Tung Tran, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6505; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-28-2324, Revision 1, dated July 27, 2015.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (4) You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 13, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-22707 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 216 [Docket No. FDA-1999-N-0194 (Formerly 99N-4490)] RIN 0910-AH08 Additions and Modifications to the List of Drug Products That Have Been Withdrawn or Removed From the Market for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) is amending its regulations to revise the list of drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because the drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective. Drugs appearing on this list may not be compounded under the exemptions provided by sections 503A and 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act). Specifically, the rule adds 24 entries to this list of drug products, modifies the description of one entry on this list, and revises the list's title and introductory language. These revisions are necessary because information has come to the Agency's attention since March 8, 1999, when FDA published the original list as a final rule.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 7, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edisa Gozun, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (HFD-310), Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 5199, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3110.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents Executive Summary Purpose of the Regulatory Action Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action in Question Costs and Benefits I. Background: The Provisions of 503A and 503B Pertaining to the Withdrawn or Removed List II. Proposed Rule and Final Rule A. The Proposed Rule B. Presentation to the Advisory Committee C. The Final Rule III. Comments on the Proposed Rule and FDA's Responses A. Comments on Proposed Entries for Inclusion on the List B. Comments on Other Issues C. Comments on Updating the List D. Miscellaneous Comments IV. Legal Authority V. Analysis of Environmental Impact VI. Economic Analysis of Impacts VII. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 VIII. Federalism IX. References Executive Summary Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    FDA is amending its regulations to revise the list of drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because the drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective (referred to as “the withdrawn or removed list” or “the list”) (§ 216.24 (21 CFR 216.24)). Drugs appearing on the withdrawn or removed list may not be compounded under the exemptions provided by sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act. In this final rulemaking, the Agency is finalizing in part the proposed amendments to § 216.24 set forth in the proposed rule published in the Federal Register of July 2, 2014 (79 FR 37687).

    Section 503A of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 353a) refers to a list published by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Federal Register of drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because such drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective. Furthermore, section 503A(c)(1) of the FD&C Act states that the Secretary shall issue regulations to implement section 503A and that before issuing regulations to implement section 503A(b)(1)(C) pertaining to the withdrawn or removed list, among other sections, the Secretary shall convene and consult an advisory committee on compounding unless the Secretary determines that the issuance of such regulations before consultation is necessary to protect the public health.

    In addition, section 503B of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 353b) refers to a list published by the Secretary of drugs that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because such drugs or components of such drugs have been found to be unsafe or not effective.

    After soliciting public comments and consulting with the Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee), FDA is issuing this final rule revising and updating the list in § 216.24 for purposes of both sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act. FDA may update this list in the future as necessary when information comes to the Agency's attention indicating that changes to the list are needed.

    Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action in Question

    The final rule: (1) Adds 24 entries to the list of drug products in § 216.24 that cannot be compounded for human use under the exemptions provided by either section 503A or 503B of the FD&C Act because they have been withdrawn or removed from the market because such drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective, (2) modifies one entry already on the list to add an exception that allows a drug product to be compounded under certain circumstances, and (3) modifies the title of part 216 and the introductory text of § 216.24.

    Costs and Benefits

    The Agency is not aware of any routine compounding for human use of the drug products that are the subject of this rule, and therefore does not estimate any compliance costs or loss of sales as a result of finalizing regulations making these drugs ineligible for exemptions under sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act. The Agency has determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866.

    I. Background: The Provisions of 503A and 503B Pertaining to the Withdrawn or Removed List

    Section 503A of the FD&C Act describes the conditions that must be satisfied for human drug products compounded by a licensed pharmacist or licensed physician to be exempt from the following three sections of the FD&C Act: (1) Section 501(a)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B)) (concerning current good manufacturing practice); (2) section 502(f)(1) (21 U.S.C. 352(f)(1)) (concerning the labeling of drugs with adequate directions for use); and (3) section 505 (21 U.S.C. 355) (concerning the approval of drugs under new drug applications (NDAs) or abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs)).

    Section 503B of the FD&C Act created a new category of “outsourcing facilities.” Outsourcing facilities, as defined in section 503B of the FD&C Act, are facilities that meet certain conditions described in section 503B, including registering with FDA as an outsourcing facility. If these conditions are satisfied, a drug compounded for human use by or under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist in an outsourcing facility is exempt from three sections of the FD&C Act: (1) Section 502(f)(1), (2) section 505, and (3) section 582 (21 U.S.C. 360eee-1) (concerning drug supply chain security), but not from section 501(a)(2)(B).

    One of the conditions that must be satisfied to qualify for the exemptions under both sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act is that the compounder does not compound a drug product that appears on a list published by the Secretary of drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because such drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective (withdrawn or removed list) (see sections 503A(b)(1)(C) and 503B(a)(4) of the FD&C Act).

    II. Proposed Rule and Final Rule A. The Proposed Rule

    In the Federal Register of July 2, 2014, FDA proposed to revise the list of drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because the drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective (the July 2014 proposed rule). Drugs appearing on this list may not be compounded under the exemptions provided by sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act. Specifically, FDA proposed to add 25 entries to this list of drug products and to modify the description of one entry on this list to add an exception for products compounded under certain circumstances. The preamble of the proposed rule explained that these revisions are necessary to ensure the list of drug products in § 216.24 reflects information that has come to the Agency's attention since FDA published the original list in the 1999 final rule. Given that nearly identical criteria apply for a drug product to be included on the list referred to in section 503A(b)(1)(C) and the list referred to in section 503B(a)(4) of the FD&C Act, FDA proposed revising and updating the list at § 216.24 for purposes of both sections 503A and 503B.

    As with the original list, the primary focus of the July 2014 proposed rule and this final rule is on drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because they have been found to be unsafe. FDA may propose at a later date to add other drug products to the list that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because they have been found to be not effective, or to update the list as information becomes available to the Agency regarding products that were withdrawn or removed from the market because they have been found to be unsafe.

    In the preamble of the July 2014 proposed rule, FDA also invited comments on the appropriate procedure to update the list in the future. FDA described the provisions of sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act regarding how the Agency is to create and update the list, and noted the differences between the procedures set forth in sections 503A and 503B. The Agency explained that it believes that the timely sharing of information about safety concerns relating to compounding drugs for human use is essential to the protection of public health. FDA also explained that it is concerned that consulting with the Advisory Committee and completing the rulemaking process are likely to contribute to substantial delay in updating the list to reflect current safety information. FDA therefore announced that the Agency was seeking an alternative procedure to update the withdrawn or removed list in the future and solicited public comment. FDA also stated that it would specify in the final rule the procedure it will use to update the list in the future.

    B. Presentation to the Advisory Committee

    At a meeting held on February 23 and 24, 2015 (see the Federal Register of January 26, 2015 (80 FR 3967)), FDA presented to the Advisory Committee the 25 entries it proposed to include on the list and the proposed modification to the listing for one entry. The Advisory Committee voted in favor of including each drug product entry on the list as proposed by FDA. In addition, because FDA had received a comment on the July 2014 proposed rule requesting that FDA clarify the entry for adenosine phosphate, FDA presented a potential modification to the Advisory Committee and the Committee voted in favor of the modification.

    C. The Final Rule 1. List of Drug Products

    The Agency has considered the record of the February 2015 Advisory Committee deliberations, that Advisory Committee's votes, and the comments submitted on the July 2014 proposed rule (see section III). Based on the information before FDA and its own knowledge and expertise, FDA is:

    • Adding 24 entries to the withdrawn or removed list in § 216.24 as written in the proposed rule; and

    • Modifying the description of one drug product entry already on this list, bromfenac sodium, to add an exception when the product is compounded under certain circumstances as written in the proposed rule.

    At this time, FDA is not finalizing the entry in the proposed rule for all extended-release drug products containing oxycodone hydrochloride that have not been determined by FDA to have abuse-deterrent properties. The addition of an entry to the withdrawn or removed list for oxycodone hydrochloride remains under consideration by FDA. 2. A Single Withdrawn or Removed List Will Apply for the Purposes of Both Sections 503A and 503B

    Given that nearly identical criteria apply for a drug to be included on the list referred to in section 503A(b)(1)(C) and the list referred to in section 503B(a)(4) of the FD&C Act, FDA is revising and updating the list at § 216.24 for purposes of both sections 503A and 503B. The list in § 216.24 applies to compounders seeking to qualify for the exemptions under section 503A and outsourcing facilities seeking to qualify for the exemptions under section 503B. Drug products that appear on this list have been withdrawn or removed from the market because they have been found to be unsafe or not effective and may not be compounded for human use under the exemptions provided by either section 503A or 503B of the FD&C Act.

    3. Procedure for Updating the List Going Forward

    After consideration of the comments submitted on the July 2014 proposed rule (see section III of this document), at this time FDA intends to continue updating the list through notice and comment rulemaking, and we are therefore not proposing or adopting an alternative process with the publication of this final rule. We recognize that adding drug products to the list may limit their availability, and the notice and comment process informs interested members of the public of how the Agency proposes to revise the list and gives them an opportunity to contribute to the process. Additionally, we intend to create a Web page, described in more detail in the paragraphs that follow, that contains information about any drugs that we are considering proposing or that we have proposed for addition to the withdrawn or removed list. We believe that the Web page will be a valuable source of timely information for patients, prescribers, and compounders.

    In the following paragraphs, FDA discusses its current thinking about the procedures we intend to use to revise the withdrawn or removed list as needed. This discussion does not create rights or impose binding obligations on the Agency. In section III, we respond further to specific comments about whether the Agency should adopt alternative procedures.

    We intend to propose regulations to revise the withdrawn or removed list periodically, as appropriate, as we identify drugs that we tentatively determine should be listed. We would also propose regulations when we tentatively determine that changes to the status of drug products already on the list should result in a revision to their listing, for example, if some version of a drug on the list has been approved for marketing. As FDA identifies drugs that it is considering for a future rule proposal, we intend to collect and post together on a single page of the Agency's Web site relevant information about those drugs. The information may include, for example, Federal Register notices announcing withdrawal of approval of a drug application and accompanying safety communications or information, Federal Register notices announcing an Agency determination that a drug product was removed from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness, or other relevant FDA Alerts, FDA Drug Safety Communications, FDA News Releases, Public Health Advisories, Dear Healthcare Practitioner Letters, Citizen Petitions, and Sponsor Letters.

    If FDA determines that issuing proposed and then final regulations to add a drug product to the withdrawn or removed list before consulting the Advisory Committee is necessary to protect the public health, then it will do so as permitted under section 503A(c)(1) of the FD&C Act. Based on the Agency's experience to date, we expect that this will rarely be necessary, and that we will instead generally consult the Advisory Committee before adding a drug product to the withdrawn or removed list.

    When FDA consults the Advisory Committee in the ordinary course, FDA may issue a proposed rule announcing proposed updates to the list prior to convening the Advisory Committee, or it may convene the Advisory Committee first to discuss potential updates and then publish a proposed rule. The order will depend on the timing of the Advisory Committee meetings, the priority of matters that may be brought before the Advisory Committee, and the status of other compounding-related rulemakings. There are numerous steps that must be completed before holding an FDA advisory committee meeting, which make it difficult to schedule a meeting on short notice. For instance: (1) Meeting participants must be contacted to determine their availability, and travel and lodging arrangements must be made; (2) conflict of interest screening and review must be completed before an advisory committee member can participate in a particular matter; (3) a Federal Register notice must be published for each meeting to announce to the public that a meeting will be held, and it must generally be published no later than 15 days prior to the meeting; (4) a meeting location must be secured; (5) meeting materials for the committee must be compiled for committee members, and a redacted version must be created for posting on the FDA Web site; numerous other logistical steps must be completed.

    Regardless of the order in which FDA holds the Advisory Committee meeting and issues a proposed rule, and with the exception noted previously of the likely to be rare instances where FDA determines that it is necessary to revise the list in § 216.24 prior to consultation with the Advisory Committee to protect the public health, FDA will only finalize any additions or modifications to the list after consulting the Advisory Committee about the relevant drug or drugs, and after FDA has provided an opportunity for public comments to be submitted on the proposed rule. In addition to having an opportunity to submit comments on any specific proposals to the docket of the proposed rule, members of the public will also have an opportunity to comment on any potential updates to the list at the Advisory Committee meetings as well. An open public hearing session will be scheduled at each of these meetings, during which interested persons will have an opportunity to submit their views.

    In instances where FDA first consults the Advisory Committee about a drug product and subsequently proposes regulations to update the list with a new or modified entry for the drug product, FDA generally does not expect to convene the Advisory Committee a second time before deciding whether to finalize the entry. The Agency may bring the entry back to the Advisory Committee if that is warranted. We do not expect this will occur very often given the opportunity to submit views to the Advisory Committee before the rule is proposed and as evidenced by the fact that we received no comments on 25 of the 26 entries that were proposed for addition or modification to the list in the July 2014 proposed rule.

    III. Comments on the Proposed Rule and FDA's Responses

    Seven comments were submitted on the July 2014 proposed rule. Comments were received from two pharmacists; two health professionals; an organization representing health care practitioners, as well as food and dietary supplement companies and consumer advocates; and two organizations representing pharmacists. FDA has summarized and responded to these comments in the following paragraphs.

    To make it easier to identify the comments and FDA's responses, the word “Comment,” in parentheses, appears before the comment's description, and the word “Response,” in parentheses, appears before the Agency's response. We have numbered each comment to help distinguish between different comments. Similar comments are grouped together under the same number, and, in some cases, different subjects discussed in the same comment are separated and designated as distinct comments for purposes of FDA's response. The number assigned to each comment or comment topic is purely for organizational purposes and does not signify the comment's value or importance or the order in which the comments were received.

    A. Comments on Proposed Entries for Inclusion on the List 1. General

    (Comment 1) One comment supported the list in the proposed rule and recommended that FDA finalize the list as soon as possible.

    (Response) FDA agrees with the comment.

    2. Specific Drug Entries for Inclusion on the List

    a. Oral Chloramphenicol (Comment 2). FDA received one comment on the proposal to include all oral drug products containing chloramphenicol on the withdrawn or removed list. The comment requested that FDA “reconsider and reclassify Chloramphenicol 250 mg tablets labeling for tropical [sic] medical use and packaging changes; rather than withdraw from the marketplace for developing nations [World Health Organization,] WHO list of drug use.” The comment stated that chloramphenicol 250 milligrams (mg) is used to control hemorrhagic fever-like illnesses (e.g., Lassa Fever, Ebola) and also stated that control and survival benefits outweigh the risks of thrombocytopenia and aplastic anemia in the already anemic patient when used in the short term appropriately.

    (Response) FDA disagrees with the suggested revisions. For the reasons that follow, FDA will add all oral drug products containing chloramphenicol to the list in § 216.24.

    In the Federal Register of February 11, 2009 (74 FR 6896), FDA announced that it was withdrawing approval of ANDA 60-591 for Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) Capsules 50 mg, 100 mg, and 250 mg, effective March 13, 2009. Armenpharm, Ltd., submitted a citizen petition dated February 7, 2011 (Docket No. FDA-2011-P-0081), under § 10.30 (21 CFR 10.30), requesting that the Agency determine whether Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) Capsules, 250 mg, were withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. After considering the citizen petition, FDA determined that the drug product was withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. With the approval of additional therapies with less severe adverse drug effects, FDA determined that the risks associated with Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) Capsules, 250 mg, as then labeled, outweighed the benefits. Furthermore, Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) Capsules, 250 mg, may cause a number of adverse reactions, the most serious being bone marrow depression (anemia, thrombocytopenia, and granulocytopenia temporally associated with treatment). Additionally, prior to the removal of the capsule drug product from the market, a boxed warning in the prescribing information for both chloramphenicol sodium succinate injection and chloramphenicol capsules stated that serious hypoplastic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and granulocytopenia are known to occur after administration of chloramphenicol. The boxed warning also described fatal aplastic anemia associated with administration of the drug and aplastic anemia attributed to chloramphenicol that later terminated in leukemia. There is published literature that suggests that the risk of fatal aplastic anemia associated with the oral formulation of chloramphenicol may be higher than the risk associated with the intravenous formulation (see the Federal Register of July 13, 2012 (77 FR 41412)).

    In December 2015, FDA initiated the process to suspend chloramphenicol ANDA 60-851, which was held by Armenpharm. FDA sent a letter to Armenpharm notifying the company of the Agency's initial determination that Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) Capsules, 250 mg were withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness and of the Agency's initial decision to suspend approval of ANDA 60-851 (See Docket No. FDA-2011-P-0081). Under § 314.153(b)(2) (21 CFR 314.153(b)(2)), Armenpharm had 30 days from that notification in which to present written comments or information bearing on the initial decision. On December 17, 2016, Armenpharm submitted comments requesting an oral hearing under § 314.153(b)(4). On March 17, 2016, however, Armenpharm withdrew its oral hearing request.

    FDA issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing the suspension of ANDA 60-851 (see 81 FR 64914, September 21, 2016). In the same notice, FDA announced the following drug products were withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness: Chloromycetin (chloramphenicol) Capsules, 50 mg and 100 mg; Amphicol (chloramphenicol) Capsules, 100 mg; and Chloromycetin Palmitate (chloramphenicol palmitate), oral suspension 150 mg/5 mL as currently labeled.

    After reviewing the comment regarding the proposed oral chloramphenicol entry, FDA reassessed whether to include oral chloramphenicol on the list, and if so, how to describe the entry. FDA's January 2015 review on oral chloramphenicol (available as Tab 8 of Ref. 1 of the briefing document for the February 2015 Advisory Committee meeting) determined that oral chloramphenicol formulations, regardless of the specific oral forms and strengths, are expected to have a safety profile similar to that of chloramphenicol capsules, 250 mg. Furthermore, FDA's January 2015 review on oral chloramphenicol noted that the Agency was not aware of any evidence that chloramphenicol has antiviral activity against causative agents of viral hemorrhagic fever, including Ebola. Chloramphenicol's mechanism of antibacterial action is by binding to the 50S subunit of the bacterial ribosome, a structure not found in viruses. Therefore, there is no putative mechanism to expect antiviral activity.

    This FDA review on oral chloramphenicol was presented to the Advisory Committee on February 23, 2015, and the Advisory Committee voted in favor of the Agency's proposal to include all oral drug products containing chloramphenicol on the list.

    b. Adenosine Phosphate (Comment 3). FDA received one comment asking that FDA clarify whether the entry for adenosine phosphate that was part of the original list finalized in 1999 is intended to include all three forms of adenosine phosphate (mono-, di-, and triphosphate).

    (Response) For the reasons that follow, FDA declines to modify the entry for adenosine phosphate on the list in § 216.24 at this time.

    The preamble of the 1998 proposed rule to establish the original list (see 63 FR 54082, October 8, 1998) stated that adenosine phosphate, formerly marketed as a component of Adeno for injection, Adco for injection, and other drug products, was determined to be neither safe nor effective for its intended uses as a vasodilator and an anti-inflammatory. FDA directed the removal of these drug products from the market in 1973.

    After reviewing the comment to the docket of the July 2014 proposed rule regarding the adenosine phosphate entry, FDA began to assess whether to modify the adenosine phosphate entry and, if so, how.

    FDA prepared a review on adenosine phosphate (available as Tab 7 of Ref. 1 of the briefing document for the February 2015 Advisory Committee meeting) and consulted with the Advisory Committee on February 23, 2015 on the comment, as discussed in section II.B.

    Ultimately, FDA determined that it is unnecessary to modify the entry for adenosine phosphate on the list in § 216.24 at this time. None of the substances raised in the comment (adenosine 5′-monophosphate (AMP), adenosine 5′-diphosphate (ADP), and adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP)) satisfy the requirements for a bulk drug substance that may be used in compounding under either section 503A or section 503B.1 Consequently, at this time, a drug product compounded with AMP, ADP, or ATP would be ineligible for the exemptions provided under either section 503A or section 503B.

    1 These substances are not the subject of an applicable United States Pharmacopeia or National Formulary monograph, a component of an FDA-approved drug, on a list of bulk drug substances established by FDA that may be used in compounding, or on a drug shortage list in effect under section 506E of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 356e). See section 503A(b)(A)(i) and section 503B(a)(2)(A) of the FD&C Act.

    c. Propoxyphene. No comments were submitted regarding propoxyphene. Since the time the proposed rule was published, however, FDA announced in the Federal Register of September 12, 2014 (79 FR 54729) that it was withdrawing approval of three propoxyphene products. The holders of the applications for the three products had been given notice of opportunity for a hearing in the Federal Register of March 10, 2014 (79 FR 13308) (the March 10, 2014, notice), and no timely request for a hearing on the matter was received. In addition, FDA announced in the Federal Register of April 15, 2016 (81 FR 22283), that it was correcting a notice that appeared in the Federal Register of March 10, 2014 (79 FR 13308). The March 10, 2014, notice announced the withdrawal of approval of 54 propoxyphene products with agreement from holders of the affected applications. The April 15, 2016, notice added one additional propoxyphene product, NDA 017507, held by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, to the table of products for which approval was withdrawn with agreement from the holders of the affected applications.

    B. Comments on Other Issues 1. Ripeness of Proposed Rule

    (Comment 4) FDA received two comments suggesting that the issuance of the July 2014 proposed rule was premature. The comments expressed concern that FDA had proposed adding drug products to the previously existing list of drug products withdrawn from the market for safety and efficacy reasons without first obtaining input from the Advisory Committee. One of the comments further suggested that the proposed rule be withdrawn until such time as the drug products, proposed to be added, could be reviewed by the Advisory Committee.

    (Response) FDA notes that the July 2014 Federal Register notice was a notice of proposed rulemaking, not a final rule. Section 503A(c)(1) of the FD&C Act states that before issuing regulations to implement section 503A(b)(1)(C) pertaining to the withdrawn or removed rule (among other sections), the Secretary shall convene and consult an advisory committee on compounding unless the Secretary determines that the issuance of such regulations before consultation is necessary to protect the public health. The changes in a proposed rule are not effective or implemented unless and until a proposed rule is finalized. Because the Agency convened and consulted the Advisory Committee on February 23, 2015, regarding each of the amendments to the list we are finalizing in the present rule, the Agency has satisfied the statutory requirements of section 503A(c)(1) of the FD&C Act.

    2. Single List

    (Comment 5) One comment suggested that the Agency should finalize its proposal to publish one list for both section 503A and section 503B of the FD&C Act.

    (Response) FDA agrees with this comment.

    C. Comments on Updating the List

    FDA received comments from five different submitters on the procedure for updating the list.

    (Comment 6) FDA received two comments regarding a specific alternative approach to the current process of issuing first a proposed rule followed by a final rule before adopting any additions or modifications to the list. One comment recommended use of an interim final rule or final rule with comment to allow for the flexibility to review public input, yet incorporate the latest safety information into the practice of compounding. Another comment recommended that in instances where public health may be of significant concern, the Agency convene an emergency meeting of the Advisory Committee within 5 business days to obtain specific input and recommendations to the Secretary for immediate inclusion of a drug product on the list.

    (Response) As noted previously in section II.C.3, there are numerous steps that must be completed before holding an FDA advisory committee meeting, which make it difficult to schedule a meeting on short notice. In the likely to be rare instances where FDA determines that it is necessary to revise the list in § 216.24 prior to consultation with the Advisory Committee to protect the public health, FDA will add the drug to the list prior to consultation with the Advisory Committee under section 503A(c)(1) of the FD&C Act.

    With respect to issuing interim final rules or final rules with comment, the Agency's current thinking is that the process described in section II.C.3 will allow the Agency to provide timely public notice of emerging safety information and appropriate opportunity for interested persons to comment before FDA revises the withdrawn or removed list.

    (Comment 7) FDA received a comment suggesting that upon receipt of a notice to withdraw a product from the market for safety and efficacy reasons by the NDA or ANDA holder, FDA inform the Advisory Committee and include a review of that request on the Committee's next scheduled meeting agenda.

    (Response) FDA does not agree that it should inform the Advisory Committee when it is advised by an NDA or ANDA holder that the NDA or ANDA holder has removed a drug from the market for safety or efficacy reasons, or that such a drug should necessarily be included on the Advisory Committee's next scheduled meeting agenda. FDA considers but does not rely solely on an NDA or ANDA holder's assertions or representations to determine whether a drug has been withdrawn or removed from the market because it has been found to be unsafe or not effective. Rather, the Agency considers a range of information before the Agency, such as information provided by the NDA or ANDA holder, information contained in the Agency's files, and the Agency's independent evaluation of relevant literature and data on possible postmarketing adverse events. When the Agency decides to propose a change, it will proceed as described previously in section II.C. The timing of any consultation with the Advisory Committee will also depend on, among other things, the timing of the Advisory Committee meetings and the relative priority of matters that may be brought before the Advisory Committee.

    (Comment 8) Another comment recommended soliciting public input specifically on how to incorporate the “do not compound” list when publishing intent to withdraw a drug.

    (Response) FDA does not believe it is necessary or that it would be efficient to separately solicit public input every time the Agency publishes a notice in the Federal Register of its intent to withdraw approval of a drug.

    When the Agency publishes a notice in the Federal Register of its intent to withdraw approval of a drug, it does so to give a particular party or parties notice and an opportunity for a hearing on the proposed withdrawal. This process may or may not result in a withdrawal of approval of the application, and even if the application is withdrawn the reasons may not relate to the safety or efficacy of the drug. Whether or how a drug should be included on the withdrawn or removed list under sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act is a separate question. In general, as discussed previously in this document in section II.C.3, interested members of the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on any proposals to add a drug to or revise an entry for a drug already on the withdrawn or removed list.

    (Comment 9) FDA received several comments opposing any approach to updating the withdrawn or removed list that would eliminate public review from the process. One comment stated that FDA already has the ability to remove from the market any drug that is dangerous and claimed that this does not justify completely eliminating public involvement in the process of making additions to the withdrawn or removed list. Another suggested that additions and changes to the withdrawn or removed list be made through notice and comment rulemaking, observing that such a notice and comment period will allow stakeholders to review FDA's safety and efficacy concerns for a particular drug product prior to addition to the withdrawn or removed list. One comment recommended incorporating public discussion about how to address a drug on the list when convening a drug advisory committee. One suggested all additions to the list go through an advisory committee that is open to public comment. One suggested that no revisions to the list occur without the input and review of the Advisory Committee.

    (Response) We appreciate these comments, and as explained in section II.C.3., at this time we have decided not to adopt or propose an alternative process to notice and comment rulemaking for revising the withdrawn or removed list. Additionally, FDA intends to consult the Advisory Committee prior to placing a drug on the withdrawn or removed list unless we determine that the issuance of such regulations before consultation is necessary to protect the public health. These procedures provide ample opportunity for public input regarding additions or modifications to the list, including: (1) An opportunity to present relevant information at an open public hearing held when the Advisory Committee meets to consider proposed revisions to the list and (2) an opportunity to submit comments on each proposed rule before it is finalized.

    (Comment 10) One comment recommended that all drug products currently on the list be reviewed by the Advisory Committee on an annual basis to determine whether any change in therapy or use of those drugs necessitates either removal or the clarification of certain salts, dosage forms, or other clinical application to assure accessibility of medications for patients.

    (Response) FDA has considered this comment and does not believe it is necessary to require an annual review by the Advisory Committee of all drug products on the list. Such a review is not necessary, practical, or feasible. Once a drug has been added to the list, FDA does not expect that there will frequently be a need to revise the entry for that drug. FDA intends to monitor future approvals, withdrawals, or removals of listed drugs, to consult other relevant information that may suggest a need for revisions to the list, and to propose modifications as appropriate. In addition, members of the public can submit a citizen petition at any time under § 10.30 requesting that FDA modify or remove an entry on the list (with adequate data to support their request), and FDA will consider and respond to the petition.

    (Comment 11) One comment recommended that FDA issue an annual request in the Federal Register for submissions by the public of drug products to be reviewed and considered for inclusion on the list, inform the Advisory Committee of any submitted drug products, and include a review of those submissions on the Advisory Committee's next scheduled meeting agenda.

    (Response) FDA disagrees with the suggestion to issue an annual request in the Federal Register for submissions by the public of drug products to be reviewed and considered for inclusion on the list. We welcome suggestions by the public of drug products to consider and review for inclusion on the list, or of a modification to an entry in the list, at any time through the citizen petition process (see response to comment 10). We do not wish to restrict the submissions of such suggestions to just once a year. FDA does intend to consult with Advisory Committee as described in section II.C.3.

    D. Miscellaneous Comments

    (Comment 12) One comment stated that nowhere within the proposed rule is there a formal process for reviewing, updating, and informing the compounding community of changes or updates to the list of drugs withdrawn or removed from the market for safety and efficacy reasons. The comment contends this is of grave concern to the pharmacy community and one which must be addressed.

    (Response) FDA agrees that the compounding community should be informed of and have an opportunity to review and comment on proposed revisions to the list of drugs at § 216.24, that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because they have been found to be unsafe or not effective. The process outlined in section II.C.3 provides notice and an opportunity to comment to the compounding community and to the general public. Further, as noted elsewhere, members of the compounding community and other members of the public can submit a citizen petition at any time under § 10.30, requesting that FDA modify or remove an entry on the list (with adequate data to support their request), and FDA will consider and respond to the petition.

    (Comment 13) One comment suggested that the Secretary establish minimum criteria that must be met before any drug product may be added to the withdrawn or removed list.

    (Response) FDA disagrees with this comment. The criteria that must be met to place a drug on the withdrawn or removed list are laid out in the statute. Under sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act, drug products on the withdrawn or removed list are those that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because such drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective. At this time, FDA does not believe it would be helpful to issue guidance or regulations to further define or interpret this standard. Instead, FDA intends to discuss in any rulemaking the basis for the Agency's proposal to add a drug product to the list or to modify an entry on the list.

    (Comment 14) One comment observed that under both sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act, drugs may be added to the list if they have been found to be not effective. The comment went on to note that without the crucial check in the rulemaking process afforded by public review, FDA would be able to ban from compounding any drug on the pretext of it being “not effective.”

    (Response) As described in section II.C.3, FDA intends to revise the list by using notice-and-comment rulemaking and, generally, to consult the Advisory Committee. Interested members of the public will have the opportunity to submit their views through this process. In addition, in the preamble to the July 2014 proposed rule, FDA observed that as with the original list, the primary focus of the July 2014 proposed rule was on drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because they have been found to be unsafe. FDA further stated that FDA may propose at a later date to add to the list other drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because they have been found to be not effective, or to update the list as information becomes available to the Agency regarding products that have been removed from the market because they have been found to be unsafe.

    (Comment 15) One comment suggested that when updating the list, a process be considered by which FDA will consider exemptions (for example, when a drug or drug component may be compounded for a specific formulation, strength, or route of administration).

    (Response) FDA agrees that sometimes it may be appropriate to except a specific formulation (including strength), dosage form, or route of administration of a drug on the list. Indeed, as discussed further in FDA's response to the following comment, FDA has already engaged in this practice when it deems such exceptions appropriate. Going forward, when FDA is considering an addition or modification to the list, FDA will continue to consider the appropriateness of such exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

    (Comment 16) One comment advised that ingredients should be banned completely and absolutely with great caution.

    (Response) With respect to whether drugs on the withdrawn or removed list may be used in compounding, as FDA indicated in the preamble to the July 2014 proposed rule, most drugs on the list may not be compounded in any form. There are, however, two categories of exceptions. In the first category, a particular formulation, indication, dosage form, or route of administration of a drug is explicitly excluded from an entry on the list because an approved drug containing the same active ingredient(s) has not been withdrawn or removed from the market because it has been found to be unsafe or not effective. For such drugs, the formulation, indication, dosage form, or route of administration expressly excluded from the list may be eligible for the exemptions provided in sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act. In the second category, some drugs are listed only with regard to certain formulations, concentrations, indications, routes of administration, or dosage forms because they have been found to be unsafe or not effective in those particular formulations, concentrations, indications, routes of administration, or dosage forms.

    In addition, FDA notes that just because a drug is on the withdrawn or removed list does not mean it is banned completely and absolutely from compounding. In certain circumstances, if warranted, drugs that have been withdrawn or removed from the market could be made available for use under FDA regulations on expanded access at 21 CFR part 312, subpart I. If conditions in the regulations are met, expanded access programs allow the use of a drug in a clinical setting to treat patients with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease or a condition that has no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapies to diagnose, monitor, or treat the patient's disease or condition (see Guidance for Industry, Expanded Access to Investigational Drugs for Treatment Use—Questions and Answers (June 2016), available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM351261.pdf).

    FDA will apply the statutory standard for placing drugs on the withdrawn or removed list, and intends to follow the process described in section II.C.3 to consult with the Advisory Committee and provide the public with notice and opportunity for comment.

    IV. Legal Authority

    Sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act provide the principal legal authority for this final rule. As described in section I of this document, section 503A of the FD&C Act describes the conditions that must be satisfied for human drug products compounded by a licensed pharmacist or licensed physician to be exempt from three sections of the FD&C Act (sections 501(a)(2)(B), 502(f)(1), and 505). One of the conditions that must be satisfied to qualify for the exemptions under section 503A of the FD&C Act is that the licensed pharmacist or licensed physician does not compound a drug product that appears on a list published by the Secretary in the Federal Register of drug products that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because such drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective (see section 503A(b)(1)(C) of the FD&C Act). Section 503A(c)(1) of the FD&C Act also states that the Secretary shall issue regulations to implement section 503A, and that before issuing regulations to implement section 503A(b)(1)(C) pertaining to the withdrawn or removed rule, among other sections, the Secretary shall convene and consult an advisory committee on compounding unless the Secretary determines that the issuance of such regulations before consultation is necessary to protect the public health.

    Section 503B of the FD&C Act describes the conditions that must be satisfied for a drug compounded for human use by or under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist in an outsourcing facility to be exempt from three sections of the FD&C Act (sections 502(f)(1), 505, and 582). One of the conditions in section 503B of the FD&C Act that must be satisfied to qualify for the exemptions is that the drug does not appear on a list published by the Secretary of drugs that have been withdrawn or removed from the market because such drugs or components of such drugs have been found to be unsafe or not effective (see section 503B(a)(4)). To be eligible for the exemptions in section 503B, a drug must be compounded in an outsourcing facility in which the compounding of drugs occurs only in accordance with section 503B, including as provided in section 503B(a)(4).

    Therefore, sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act and our general rulemaking authority in section 701(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 371(a)) together serve as our principal legal authority for this final rule revising FDA's regulations on drug products withdrawn or removed from the market because the drug product or a component of the drug product have been found to be unsafe or not effective in § 216.24.

    V. Analysis of Environmental Impact

    FDA has determined under 21 CFR 25.30(h) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    VI. Economic Analysis of Impacts

    FDA has examined the impacts of the rule under Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct Agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Agency believes that this rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866.

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires Agencies to analyze regulatory options that would minimize any significant impact of a rule on small entities. Because small businesses are not expected to incur any compliance costs or loss of sales due to this regulation, we certify that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Section 202(a) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires that Agencies prepare a written statement, which includes an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits, before issuing “any rule that includes 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 annually for inflation) in any one year.” The current threshold after adjustment for inflation is $146 million, using the most current (2015) Implicit Price Deflator for the Gross Domestic Product. We do not expect this rule to result in any 1-year expenditure that would meet or exceed this amount.

    This rule amends § 216.24 concerning human drug compounding. Specifically, the rule adds to and modifies the list of drug products that may not be compounded under the exemptions provided by sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act because the drug products have been withdrawn or removed from the market because such drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective (see section II). The rule adds 24 entries to the list and modifies the description of one drug entry on the list. The Agency is not aware of any routine compounding of these drug products and, therefore, does not estimate any compliance costs or loss of sales as a result of the prohibition against compounding these drugs for human use.

    Unless an Agency certifies that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires Agencies to analyze regulatory options to minimize any significant economic impact of a regulation on small entities. Most pharmacies meet the Small Business Administration definition of a small entity, which is defined as having annual sales less than $25.5 million for this industry. The Agency is not aware of any routine compounding of these drug products and does not estimate any compliance costs or loss of sales to small businesses as a result of the prohibition against compounding these drugs. Therefore, the Agency certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    VII. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The submission of comments on this rule were submissions in response to a Federal Register notice, in the form of comments, which are excluded from the definition of “information” under 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(4) of Office of Management and Budget regulations on the Paperwork Reduction Act (i.e., facts or opinions submitted in response to general solicitations of comments from the public, published in the Federal Register or other publications, regardless of the form or format thereof, provided that no person is required to supply specific information pertaining to the commenter, other than that necessary for self-identification, as a condition of the Agency's full consideration of the comment). The rule contains no other collection of information.

    VIII. Federalism

    FDA has analyzed this final rule in accordance with the principles set forth in Executive Order 13132. FDA has determined that this final rule does not contain policies that 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. Accordingly, the Agency concludes that the rule does not contain policies that have federalism implications as defined in the Executive order and, consequently, a federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    IX. References

    In addition to the references placed on display in the Division of Dockets Management for the proposed rule under Docket No. FDA-1999-N-0194 (formerly 99N-4490), the following reference is on display in the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852 under Docket No. FDA-1999-N-0194 (formerly 99N-4490) and is available for viewing by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; it is also available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. (FDA has verified the Web site address in this reference section as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but Web sites are subject to change over time.)

    1. Briefing Information for the February 23-24, 2015, Meeting of the Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee (available at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/PharmacyCompoundingAdvisoryCommittee/ucm433803.htm).

    For the convenience of the reader, the regulatory text of § 216.24 provided with this final rule includes the drug products described in this final rule and the drug products codified by the 1999 final rule.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 216

    Drugs, Prescription drugs.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 216 is amended as follows:

    PART 216—HUMAN DRUG COMPOUNDING 1. The authority citation for part 216 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 351, 352, 353a, 353b, 355, and 371.

    2. The heading for part 216 is revised to read as set forth above. 3. Section 216.24 is revised to read as follows:
    § 216.24 Drug products withdrawn or removed from the market for reasons of safety or effectiveness.

    The following drug products were withdrawn or removed from the market because such drug products or components of such drug products have been found to be unsafe or not effective. The following drug products may not be compounded under the exemptions provided by section 503A(a) or section 503B(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act:

    Adenosine phosphate: All drug products containing adenosine phosphate.

    Adrenal cortex: All drug products containing adrenal cortex.

    Alatrofloxacin mesylate: All drug products containing alatrofloxacin mesylate.

    Aminopyrine: All drug products containing aminopyrine.

    Astemizole: All drug products containing astemizole.

    Azaribine: All drug products containing azaribine.

    Benoxaprofen: All drug products containing benoxaprofen.

    Bithionol: All drug products containing bithionol.

    Bromfenac sodium: All drug products containing bromfenac sodium (except ophthalmic solutions).

    Butamben: All parenteral drug products containing butamben.

    Camphorated oil: All drug products containing camphorated oil.

    Carbetapentane citrate: All oral gel drug products containing carbetapentane citrate.

    Casein, iodinated: All drug products containing iodinated casein.

    Cerivastatin sodium: All drug products containing cerivastatin sodium.

    Chloramphenicol: All oral drug products containing chloramphenicol.

    Chlorhexidine gluconate: All tinctures of chlorhexidine gluconate formulated for use as a patient preoperative skin preparation.

    Chlormadinone acetate: All drug products containing chlormadinone acetate.

    Chloroform: All drug products containing chloroform.

    Cisapride: All drug products containing cisapride.

    Cobalt: All drug products containing cobalt salts (except radioactive forms of cobalt and its salts and cobalamin and its derivatives).

    Dexfenfluramine hydrochloride: All drug products containing dexfenfluramine hydrochloride.

    Diamthazole dihydrochloride: All drug products containing diamthazole dihydrochloride.

    Dibromsalan: All drug products containing dibromsalan.

    Diethylstilbestrol: All oral and parenteral drug products containing 25 milligrams or more of diethylstilbestrol per unit dose.

    Dihydrostreptomycin sulfate: All drug products containing dihydrostreptomycin sulfate.

    Dipyrone: All drug products containing dipyrone.

    Encainide hydrochloride: All drug products containing encainide hydrochloride.

    Esmolol hydrochloride: All parenteral dosage form drug products containing esmolol hydrochloride that supply 250 milligrams/milliliter of concentrated esmolol per 10-milliliter ampule.

    Etretinate: All drug products containing etretinate.

    Fenfluramine hydrochloride: All drug products containing fenfluramine hydrochloride.

    Flosequinan: All drug products containing flosequinan.

    Gatifloxacin: All drug products containing gatifloxacin (except ophthalmic solutions).

    Gelatin: All intravenous drug products containing gelatin.

    Glycerol, iodinated: All drug products containing iodinated glycerol.

    Gonadotropin, chorionic: All drug products containing chorionic gonadotropins of animal origin.

    Grepafloxacin: All drug products containing grepafloxacin.

    Mepazine: All drug products containing mepazine hydrochloride or mepazine acetate.

    Metabromsalan: All drug products containing metabromsalan.

    Methamphetamine hydrochloride: All parenteral drug products containing methamphetamine hydrochloride.

    Methapyrilene: All drug products containing methapyrilene.

    Methopholine: All drug products containing methopholine.

    Methoxyflurane: All drug products containing methoxyflurane.

    Mibefradil dihydrochloride: All drug products containing mibefradil dihydrochloride.

    Nitrofurazone: All drug products containing nitrofurazone (except topical drug products formulated for dermatologic application).

    Nomifensine maleate: All drug products containing nomifensine maleate.

    Novobiocin sodium: All drug products containing novobiocin sodium.

    Oxyphenisatin: All drug products containing oxyphenisatin.

    Oxyphenisatin acetate: All drug products containing oxyphenisatin acetate.

    Pemoline: All drug products containing pemoline.

    Pergolide mesylate: All drug products containing pergolide mesylate.

    Phenacetin: All drug products containing phenacetin.

    Phenformin hydrochloride: All drug products containing phenformin hydrochloride.

    Phenylpropanolamine: All drug products containing phenylpropanolamine.

    Pipamazine: All drug products containing pipamazine.

    Polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, potassium chloride, and bisacodyl: All drug products containing polyethylene glycol 3350, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium chloride for oral solution, and 10 milligrams or more of bisacodyl delayed-release tablets.

    Potassium arsenite: All drug products containing potassium arsenite.

    Potassium chloride: All solid oral dosage form drug products containing potassium chloride that supply 100 milligrams or more of potassium per dosage unit (except for controlled-release dosage forms and those products formulated for preparation of solution prior to ingestion).

    Povidone: All intravenous drug products containing povidone.

    Propoxyphene: All drug products containing propoxyphene.

    Rapacuronium bromide: All drug products containing rapacuronium bromide.

    Reserpine: All oral dosage form drug products containing more than 1 milligram of reserpine.

    Rofecoxib: All drug products containing rofecoxib.

    Sibutramine hydrochloride: All drug products containing sibutramine hydrochloride.

    Sparteine sulfate: All drug products containing sparteine sulfate.

    Sulfadimethoxine: All drug products containing sulfadimethoxine.

    Sulfathiazole: All drug products containing sulfathiazole (except for those formulated for vaginal use).

    Suprofen: All drug products containing suprofen (except ophthalmic solutions).

    Sweet spirits of nitre: All drug products containing sweet spirits of nitre.

    Tegaserod maleate: All drug products containing tegaserod maleate.

    Temafloxacin hydrochloride: All drug products containing temafloxacin hydrochloride.

    Terfenadine: All drug products containing terfenadine.

    3,3′,4′,5-tetrachlorosalicylanilide: All drug products containing 3,3′,4′,5-tetrachlorosalicylanilide.

    Tetracycline: All liquid oral drug products formulated for pediatric use containing tetracycline in a concentration greater than 25 milligrams/milliliter.

    Ticrynafen: All drug products containing ticrynafen.

    Tribromsalan: All drug products containing tribromsalan.

    Trichloroethane: All aerosol drug products intended for inhalation containing trichloroethane.

    Troglitazone: All drug products containing troglitazone.

    Trovafloxacin mesylate: All drug products containing trovafloxacin mesylate.

    Urethane: All drug products containing urethane.

    Valdecoxib: All drug products containing valdecoxib.

    Vinyl chloride: All aerosol drug products containing vinyl chloride.

    Zirconium: All aerosol drug products containing zirconium.

    Zomepirac sodium: All drug products containing zomepirac sodium.

    Dated: October 3, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24333 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy 32 CFR Part 706 Certifications and Exemptions Under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy (DoN) is amending its certifications and exemptions under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS), to reflect that the Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (DAJAG) (Admiralty and Maritime Law) has determined that USS SIOUX CITY (LCS 11) is a vessel of the Navy which, due to its special construction and purpose, cannot fully comply with certain provisions of the 72 COLREGS without interfering with its special function as a naval ship. The intended effect of this rule is to warn mariners in waters where 72 COLREGS apply.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective October 7, 2016 and is applicable beginning September 23, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Commander Theron R. Korsak, JAGC, U.S. Navy, Admiralty Attorney, (Admiralty and Maritime Law), Office of the Judge Advocate General, Department of the Navy, 1322 Patterson Ave. SE., Suite 3000, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066, telephone number: 202-685-5040.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the authority granted in 33 U.S.C. 1605, the DoN amends 32 CFR part 706.

    This amendment provides notice that the DAJAG (Admiralty and Maritime Law), under authority delegated by the Secretary of the Navy, has certified that USS SIOUX CITY (LCS 11) is a vessel of the Navy which, due to its special construction and purpose, cannot fully comply with the following specific provisions of 72 COLREGS without interfering with its special function as a naval ship: Annex I paragraph 2 (a)(i), pertaining to the location of the forward masthead light; Annex I, paragraph 3(a), pertaining to the location of the forward masthead light, and the horizontal distance between the forward and after masthead light. The DAJAG (Admiralty and Maritime Law) has also certified that the lights involved are located in closest possible compliance with the applicable 72 COLREGS requirements.

    Moreover, it has been determined, in accordance with 32 CFR parts 296 and 701, that publication of this amendment for public comment prior to adoption is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public interest since it is based on technical findings that the placement of lights on this vessel in a manner differently from that prescribed herein will adversely affect the vessel's ability to perform its military functions.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 706

    Marine safety, Navigation (water), and Vessels.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the DoN amends part 706 of title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 706—CERTIFICATIONS AND EXEMPTIONS UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA, 1972 1. The authority citation for part 706 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1605.

    2. Section 706.2 is amended by: a. In Table One, adding, in alpha numerical order, by vessel number, an entry for USS SIOUX CITY (LCS 11); and b. In Table Five, adding, in alpha numerical order, by vessel number, an entry for USS SIOUX CITY (LCS 11).
    § 706.2 Certifications of the Secretary of the Navy under Executive Order 11964 and 33 U.S.C. 1605. Table One Vessel Number Distance in meters
  • of forward masthead
  • light below minimum
  • required height.
  • § 2(a)(i) Annex I
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * USS SIOUX CITY LCS 11 5.98 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Table Five Vessel Number Masthead lights
  • not over all other
  • lights and
  • obstructions.
  • Annex I, sec. 2(f)
  • Forward
  • masthead light not
  • in forward quarter
  • of ship.
  • Annex I, sec. 3(a)
  • After masthead
  • light less than
  • 1/2 ship's length
  • aft of forward
  • masthead light.
  • Annex I, sec. 3(a)
  • Percentage
  • horizontal
  • separation
  • attained
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * USS SIOUX CITY LCS 11 X X 23 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Approved: September 23, 2016. A.S. Janin, Captain, USN, JAGC, Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate, General (Admiralty and Maritime Law). Dated: October 3, 2016. C. Mora, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24327 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0920] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, New Orleans, LA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Leon C. Simon Blvd. (Seabrook) (aka Senator Ted Hickey) bascule bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, mile 4.6, at New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The deviation is necessary to accommodate The USA Triathlon National Championships, a New Orleans event. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed-to-navigation for ten hours on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on November 5, 2016 through 3 p.m. on November 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0920] is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Donna Gagliano, Bridge Administration Branch, Coast Guard, telephone (504) 671-2128, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Premier Event Management, through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD), requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule of the Leon C. Simon Blvd. (Seabrook) (aka Senator Ted Hickey) bascule bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, mile 4.6, at New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The deviation was requested to accommodate The USA Triathlon National Championships, a New Orleans two-day event. The vertical clearance of the Leon C. Simon Blvd. (Seabrook) (aka Senator Ted Hickey) bascule bridge is 46 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position and unlimited in the open-to-navigation position. The bridge is governed by 33 CFR 117.458(c).

    This deviation is effective on November 5, 2016 through November 6, 2016. The bridge over the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal will be closed to marine traffic from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 7 a.m. through 3 p.m. on Sunday. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed-to-navigation for the duration of the event on each day.

    Navigation on the waterway consists of small tugs with and without tows, commercial vessels, and recreational craft, including sailboats.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at any time. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies, and there is no immediate alternate route. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24290 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0425; FRL-9952-27-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP). The revisions to the SIP were submitted in 2015. These revisions are related to the implementation of the state's motor vehicle emissions Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program. The EPA is approving these revisions pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective on December 6, 2016 without further notice unless EPA receives relevant adverse comments by November 7, 2016. If EPA receives such comments, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0425, 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 John Walser, 214-665-7128, [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: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index 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:

    Mr. John Walser (6PD-L), (214) 665-7128, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background A. What is a SIP?

    Section 110 of the CAA requires states to develop air pollution regulations and control strategies to ensure that air quality meets the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) established by EPA. The NAAQS are established under section 109 of the CAA and currently address six criteria pollutants: Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, lead, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. A SIP is a set of air pollution regulations, control strategies, other means or techniques, and technical analyses developed by the state, to ensure that air quality in the state meets the NAAQS. It is required by section 110 and other provisions of the CAA. A SIP protects air quality primarily by addressing air pollution at its point of origin. SIPs can be extensive, containing state regulations or other enforceable documents, and supporting information such as city and county ordinances, monitoring networks, and modeling demonstrations. Each state must submit any SIP revision to EPA for approval and incorporation into the federally-enforceable SIP.

    The Texas SIP includes a variety of control strategies, including the regulations that outline requirements for the motor vehicle I/M program for applicable areas of the state.

    B. What is vehicle inspection and maintenance?

    The 1990 CAA required ozone nonattainment areas classified moderate and higher to have vehicle inspection and maintenance programs to ensure that emission controls on vehicles are properly maintained. CAA sections 182 (b)(4); (c)(3). The Texas motor vehicleI/M program, which is referred to as the Texas Motorist Choice (TMC) Program, was approved by EPA in the Federal Register on November 14, 2001 (66 FR 57261).1

    1 Previous actions taken toward full approval of the TMC Program include: a proposed conditional interim approval on October 3, 1996 (61 FR 51651); an interim final conditional approval on July 11, 1997 (62 FR 37138); a direct final action on April 23, 1999 (64 FR 19910) to remove the conditions; and a final action to approve various revisions on July 25, 2014 (79 FR 43264).

    The State's TMC Program requires that gasoline powered light-duty vehicles, and light and heavy-duty trucks between two and twenty-four years old, that are registered or required to be registered in the I/M program area, including fleets, are subject to annual inspection and testing. Vehicles in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, and Rockwall counties in the DFW area, and Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend, and Montgomery in the HGB nonattainment area that are 1995 and older are subject to an ASM-2 tailpipe test. Vehicles in those counties that are 1996 and newer receive the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) test in place of the tailpipe test.

    El Paso, Travis and Williamson County I/M programs are similar and require, in conjunction with the annual safety inspection, for all I/M program vehicles (gasoline powered vehicles from 2 through 24 years old) the administration of the two-speed idle tailpipe test if they are model year 1995 or older, or an OBD test if they are model year 1996 or newer.2 Vehicles in all program areas are also currently subject to a gas cap pressure check and an anti-tampering inspection as part of the statewide annual safety inspection.

    2 Travis and Williamson counties were added as part of an Early Action Compact (EAC) for the Austin area. The EAC was a program to encourage permanent proactive measures to prevent nonattainment area designations under the 1997 ozone standard.

    C. What is the low income vehicle repair assistance, retrofit, and accelerated vehicle retirement program (LIRAP)?

    The LIRAP is a voluntary program that any county participating in the Texas I/M program may elect to implement to enhance the objectives of the Texas I/M program. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) adopted the LIRAP rules on March 27, 2002 at 27 Tex. Reg. 3194. The LIRAP provides funding to assist eligible vehicle owners with emissions-related repairs, retrofits, or the option to retire the vehicle. The LIRAP is funded through a portion of the emissions inspection fee. Vehicle owners who have failed a recent emissions test and who meet the low-income criteria may be eligible. The LIRAP also provides funding for local projects targeted at improving air quality in the counties implementing the LIRAP.

    Although the LIRAP is not required by the CAA, certain provisions relating to the program fees have been approved into the Texas SIP to allow for full implementation of the State's I/M program.3 These provisions strengthen the SIP.

    3 Please see 70 FR 45542, dated August 8, 2005.

    II. Overview of the June 9 and 11, 2015 State Submittals A. June 9, 2015 Submittal

    On June 9, 2015, the TCEQ submitted SIP revisions to EPA that amended rules related to the implementation of the state's motor vehicle emission I/M program. These revisions are related to replacing the duel windshield sticker system for vehicle inspection and registration with a single vehicle registration insignia sticker and modifying the method used to collect the state portion of the vehicle safety and emissions inspection fee, in addition to minor non-programmatic updates to rule language to correct outdated references and for general clarity.4

    4 House Bill (HB) 2305 was passed during the 83rd legislative session (2013). This bill eliminated the inspection sticker resulting in a single-sticker system and makes vehicle registration dependent on obtaining a passing vehicle inspection.

    DPS implemented the changes on March 1, 2015 in all program areas. At present the program areas are: Dallas-Fort Worth area (DFW), Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area (HGB), El Paso area, and the Austin area.

    B. June 11, 2015 Submittal

    On June 11, 2015, the TCEQ submitted SIP revisions to EPA that amended rules related to the LIRAP. TCEQ amended the state regulations to incorporate a new procedure for counties to opt out of LIRAP and to be released from program obligations, including remittance of the fee to fund the LIRAP. At the time the LIRAP was established, the rules did not specify such a procedure. The revisions define counties participating in, in the process of opting out, and not participating in the LIRAP, and details the fees associated with each county category. It also makes other minor non-programmatic updates to rule language for clarity.

    The June 11, 2015 revisions to the SIP change the fee and definitions sections of the LIRAP portion of the I/M rules. These revisions are approvable into the SIP as components of the State's fee structure to implement it's I/M program.

    III. Plan Requirements and Our Evaluation

    The revisions we are approving address 30 TAC 114, Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles, Subchapter A: Definitions; and Subchapter C, Low Income Vehicle Repair Assistance, Retrofit, and Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program, Division 1: Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance; and Division 3: Early Action Compact Counties. We have prepared a Technical Support Document (TSD) for this action which details our evaluation. Our TSD may be accessed on-line at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0425.

    To determine the approvability of these I/M revisions, we must determine whether these revisions comply with our Federal I/M requirements at 40 CFR part 51, subpart S, and 40 CFR 85.2222 (Federal I/M Rules) and CAA section182 regarding I/M program requirements.

    A. The June 9, 2015 Submittal

    The June 9, 2015 SIP narrative discusses how the Program meets the above requirements, and we agree with the State's analysis. See 38 Tex. Reg. 7068; 7074-75. Further explanation of our analysis of the adequacy of this submission with respect to I/M requirements can be found in the TSD for this action.

    On June 9, 2015, the State adopted revisions to 30 TAC Chapter 114, Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles, Subchapter A, Definitions, Sections 114.1 and 114.2; and Subchapter B: Motor Vehicle Anti-Tampering Requirements, Section 114.21,5 and Subchapter C, Division 1: Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance, Sections 114.50-114.53, and Subchapter C, Division 3: Early Action Compact Counties, Sections 114.82-114.84, and 114.87, and corresponding revisions to the SIP. The SIP revisions contain a revised narrative, rules, and supporting documentation as outlined in the requirements of the Federal I/M rules. The SIP revisions will modify the administrative aspects of the existing Texas I/M program in order to implement Texas House Bill 2305, which replaces the current dual inspection and registration sticker system with a single sticker registration sticker and modifies the method used to collect the state's portion of the vehicle emissions inspections fee. Registrations for non-compliant vehicles would be denied under the single sticker system as under the dual sticker system. 38 Tex. Reg. 7068. We find that the single sticker system is approvable because this change to Texas's I/M program does not affect the program's compliance with any federal requirements for I/M.

    5 Please see the discussion later in this rulemaking regarding Section 114.21.

    The I/M rules require the TCEQ to implement the I/M program in conjunction with the Texas DPS. The I/M rules also authorize the collection of the state's portion of the vehicle emissions inspection fee by the DPS at the time that vehicle emissions inspection station owners purchase safety and emissions inspection windshield stickers.

    30 TAC Chapter 114 Sections 114.1 and 114.2 identify and define the terms used in the State's I/M regulations. Section 114.1(4) is revised to add the phrase “Beginning on the single sticker transition date as defined in this section, the safety inspection certificates will no longer be used” for clarity regarding the single-sticker program. Section 114.1(5) is added to define first vehicle registration. There is no federal definition of the term “first vehicle registration”; but this definition does not conflict with any federal requirement. Sections 114.1(6)—(21) are renumbered to account for the new subsections and contain other non-substantive changes.

    Section 114.1(15), is modified to add new text as follows: “Single sticker transition date—The transition date of the single sticker system is the later of March 1, 2015 or the date that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Texas DPS concurrently implement the single sticker system required by the Texas Transportation Code, Section 502.047.” 6 This text ensures that the terminology “Single sticker transition date” is well-defined and consistent with the Texas Transportation Code and with federal requirements, as applicable. Additionally, Section 114.1(19) and (20) are modified to add new text that define vehicle registration and vehicle registration insignia sticker terminology.

    6 DPS implemented the revisions on March 1, 2015.

    Section 114.2(1)(A) and (B) are modified to clarify the definitions of accelerated simulation mode (ASM-2) phases, specifically the 50/15 and 25/25 modes. For example, the 25/25 mode tests the vehicle at 25 mile per hour (mph) using 25 percent of the vehicle available horsepower. Section 114.2(12)—Testing Cycle is revised to define the annual testing cycle under the single-sticker program and add the phrase “or beginning on the single sticker transition date, the annual cycle commencing with the first vehicle registration expiration date for which a motor vehicle is subject to a vehicle emissions inspection”. Also, revisions to 114.2(14)—Uncommon Part and addition of 114.2(14)(A)-(C) add additional clarity exceeding remaining time prior to expiration of the safety inspection certificate and the vehicle registration.

    These revisions to Sections 114.1 and 114.2 modify the I/M definitions as needed to implement the single-sticker program or are ministerial and add clarification. We therefore find that they are approvable.

    Section 114.21—Anti-tampering Exemptions is also revised. However, at the request of TCEQ,7 we are not taking action on Section 114.21, Anti-tampering Exemptions at this time.8 We do not need to act on this section to approve the remaining revisions to the I/M program in the June 9 and June 11, 2015 submittals because the Anti-tampering program is not part of the currently approved SIP. Therefore, the revisions to Section 114.21 are separable, meaning that the action we are taking will not result in the approved SIP being more stringent than the State anticipated. See Bethlehem Steel Corp. v. Gorsuch, 742 F. 2d 1028 (7th Cir. 1984); Indiana and Michigan Elec. Co., v. EPA, 733 F. 2d 489 (7th Cir. 1984).

    7 Email from TCEQ dated July 18, 2016 requesting EPA postpone review of Section 114.21 at this time. This document is contained in the docket for this rulemaking.

    8 Section 110(k)(3) of the CAA provides the EPA the authority to approve a SIP submittal in part.

    The SIP submittal contains revisions to Subchapter C, Division 1: Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance. Specifically, Section 114.50—Vehicle Emissions Inspection Requirements, includes numerous revisions to Section 114.50(a)(1)-(4), (b)(1)-(6), (c) and (d)(1)-(6) 9 and makes non-substantive changes to other provisions in this section. The revisions implement the single-sticker program, and add rule clarity. Revisions to Section 114.50(d)(2) add the following text: “Beginning on the single sticker transition date, no person may allow or participate in the preparation, duplication, sale, distribution, or false, counterfeit, or stolen vehicle registration insignia stickers, VIRs, VRFs,10 vehicle emissions repair documentation, or other documents that may be used to circumvent applicable vehicle emissions I/M requirements and to commit an offense specified in Texas Transportation Code, § 548.603.” These revisions define rule prohibitions, including activities that are fraudulent. As a result, these revisions strengthen the rule and are approvable.

    9 Please see our TSD for a more detailed listing/discussion of these revisions.

    10 VIRs—Vehicle Inspection Reports; VRFs—Vehicle Repair Forms.

    The submittal contains revisions to Section114.53 (a), (a)(1)-(3), (b)-(d), and (d)(1)-(3) that would exempt emission inspection stations from being required to remit the state's portion of the vehicle emissions inspection fees to the DPS effective March 1, 2015. The revisions also would lower the maximum inspection fee collected by the emissions inspection stations in the DFW, HGB, El Paso and Austin I/M program areas. Effective March 1, 2015, the maximum inspection fee would be lowered by the amount of the state's portion of the vehicle emissions inspection fee that would be collected by the DMV or county tax assessor-collector at the time of registration. Specifically, revisions to Section 114.53—Inspection and Maintenance Fees clarify the fees that must be paid, and timing for an emissions inspection of a vehicle at an inspection station. For example, Section 114.53(a)(2) clarifies the timing of when an emission inspection station required to conduct an emission test may collect fees and the amount. Beginning on the single sticker transition date in the DFW and extended DFW program areas, any emissions inspection station required to conduct an emissions test in accordance with Section 114.50(a)(1)(A) or (B) and (2)(A) or (B) of this title must collect a fee not to exceed $24.50 for each ASM-2 test and $18.50 for each OBD test. Section 114.53 also further defines the timing and fees for each program area in Texas (i.e., El Paso County and the HGB areas) subject to emissions inspection. New Section 114.53(d)(1)-(3) defines the process, beginning on the single-sticker transition date, for vehicle owners to remit the vehicle emissions inspection fee as part of the annual vehicle registration fee collected by the Texas DMV. These changes to the rule add clarity and further refine the single-sticker program requirements. The revisions are approvable and consistent with federal law.

    Revisions to Section 114.82—Control Requirements include renumbering and the addition of the following text in Section 114.82(a)(2): “Beginning on the single sticker transition date, all applicable air pollution emission control-related requirements included in the annual vehicle safety inspection requirements administered by DPS as evidenced by a current valid registration insignia sticker affixed to the vehicle windshield or a current valid VIR [vehicle inspection report], or other form of proof authorized by the DPS.” Also, Section 114.84—Prohibitions includes revisions prohibiting the circumvention of the vehicle emissions I/M requirements and procedures contained in the Austin Area Early Action Compact Ozone SIP. These revisions strengthen the rule, are consistent with the Texas SIP, and are approvable.

    Section 114.87—Inspection and Maintenance Fees, Subsection (a), is revised to include text that states: “In Travis and Williamson counties beginning on the single sticker transition date, any emissions inspection station required to conduct an emissions test in accordance with Section 114.80 of this title must collect a fee not to exceed $11.50 for each on-board diagnostic and two-speed idle test.” Section 114.87(d) is revised as follows: “Effective on the single sticker transition date as defined in Section 114.1 of this title in Travis and Williamson counties, vehicle owners shall remit $4.50 for motor vehicles subject to vehicle emissions inspections to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles or county tax assessor-collector at the time of the annual vehicle registration as part of the vehicle emission inspection fee.” These revisions define the fees applicable in the Austin Area Early Action Compact area under the single-sticker program, are consistent with the Texas SIP, and are approvable.

    B. The June 11, 2015 Submittal

    The June 11, 2015 SIP narrative discusses how the LIRAP meets the above requirements, and we agree with the State's analysis. Further explanation of our analysis of the adequacy of this submission with respect to I/M requirements can be found in the TSD for this action. The TCEQ had already finalized the revisions in the June 9, 2015 SIP submittal to EPA described in Section III.A of this document, prior to finalizing the revisions in the June 11, 2015 SIP submittal to EPA. Thus, the revisions in the June 11, 2015 submittal to EPA already included the changes that we described in Section III.A, and use that language as a starting point.

    On June 11, 2015, the State adopted revisions to 30 TAC Chapter 114, Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles, Subchapter A, Definitions, Section 114.2; Subchapter C, Division 1: Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance, Section 114.53; and Subchapter C, Division 3: Early Action Compact Counties, Sections 114.87, and corresponding revisions to the SIP. The SIP revisions contain a revised narrative, rules, and supporting documentation as outlined in the requirements of the Federal I/M rules.11

    11 The TCEQ published the notice of the proposed revisions to the SIP for the June 11, 2015 submittal on December 5, 2014 (39 Tex. Reg. 9468) and published the final revision on May 15, 2015 (40 Tex. Reg. 2670), finalizing the proposal without revision. In that rulemaking, Texas adopted amendments to other sections that are not submitted as revisions to the SIP.

    Section 114.2 identifies and defines the terms used in Subchapter A for the I/M program. In Section 114.2, LIRAP, the acronym for the Low Income Vehicle Repair Assistance, Retrofit, and Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program, is replaced with the full program title to be consistent with the title of the referenced subchapter and Texas Register requirements. In Section 114.2 (12) “Related” is changed to “Relating.” The revisions to Section 114.2 are ministerial, and/or add clarification and are approvable.

    Section 114.53 details Inspection and Maintenance Fees in nonattainment areas. In Section 114.53(d) “as specified by the following requirements:” is deleted and a period is added after “state”; and in Section 114.53(d)(1) “the following requirements apply” is added after “El Paso County,” and the rest of the paragraph is deleted. These changes are ministerial, add clarification, are necessary for the additions to Section 114.53 described below, and are therefore approvable.

    The submittal contains additional substantive changes to Section 114.53, Inspection and Maintenance Fees, that are later mirrored in Section 114.87. Section 114.53(d)(1), (2), and (3) are amended to more fully describe the LIRAP fee as it relates to the vehicleI/M programs in El Paso County and the DFW and HGB area counties. Subparagraphs are added to these subsections to explain remittance of I/M fees, including the LIRAP fee, for the following categories of counties: A county participating in the LIRAP, a participating county that is in the process of opting out of the LIRAP, and a county that is not participating in the LIRAP and is not subject to the LIRAP fee.

    The submittal deletes language from Section 114.53(d)(1) regarding the I/M fees for El Paso County in the event that it passed a resolution to participate in the LIRAP, and replaced it with “(1) In El Paso County, the following requirements apply.”, and added new Sections 114.53(d)(1)(A), (B), and (C) which detail the I/M fees for El Paso County for the three LIRAP county categories outlined above.

    The submittal deletes language from Section 114.53(d)(2) regarding the I/M fees for DFW and the extended DFW program areas and replaced it with “(2) In the Dallas-Fort Worth and the extended Dallas-Fort Worth program areas, the following requirements apply.” and added new Sections 114.53(d)(2)(A), (B), and (C) which detail the I/M fees for the DFW and the extended DFW program areas for the three county categories outlined above.

    The submittal deletes language from Section 114.53(d)(3) regarding the I/M fees for the HGB program area and replaced it with “(2) In the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria program area, the following requirements apply.” and added new sections 114.53(d)(3)(A), (B), and (C) which detail the I/M fees for HGB program area for the three county categories outlined above.

    Section 114.87 details I/M fees in Early Action Compact (EAC) areas. The submittal amends Section 114.87 to apply the same changes for nonattainment counties adopted in Section 114.53 to early action compact counties. Section 114.87(d)(1)(2) and (3) explains remittance of I/M fees, including the LIRAP fee, in a county participating in the LIRAP, a participating county that is in the process of opting out of the LIRAP, and a county that is not participating in the LIRAP and not subject to the LIRAP fee.

    Section 114.87(d)(1) includes the description of state LIRAP fees vehicle owners pay during vehicle registration in participating EAC counties. Section 114.87(d)(2) describes the state fees vehicle owners pay during vehicle registration in participating EAC counties that are in the process of opting out of the LIRAP, and includes the LIRAP fee until the effective LIRAP fee termination date, after which state fees do not include the LIRAP fee. Section 114.87(d)(3) describes the state fees vehicle owners pay during vehicle registration in non-participating EAC counties, which does not include the LIRAP fee.

    As stated previously, the LIRAP is not required by the CAA, but certain provisions relating to the program and program fees have been approved into the Texas SIP to allow for full implementation of the State's I/M program and strengthen the SIP. The changes in the submittal to Sections 114.53 and 114.87 provide further delineation and clarification regarding which parts of the fees are for LIRAP. We find the more detailed breakdown of the LIRAP fees in counties participating, in the process of opting out, and not participating in the LIRAP, approvable because they do not conflict with any federal requirement, and the LIRAP is voluntary.

    C. Section 110(l)

    Section 110(l) of the Act provides that a SIP revision must be adopted by a State after reasonable notice and public hearing. Additionally, section 110(l) states that the EPA cannot approve a SIP revision if that revision would interfere with any applicable requirement regarding attainment, reasonable further progress (RFP) or any other applicable requirement established in the CAA. Our evaluation of the submittals found that the SIP revisions were adopted by the State after reasonable notice and public hearing, and that approval of the revisions would not interfere with any CAA requirement. The revisions related to the single vehicle registration insignia sticker implement legislative changes that may improve the enforcement and compliance aspects of the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program. These changes replace the sticker-based enforcement strategy with the preferred registration denial enforcement strategy, which improves the overall effectiveness of the program. This denial enforcement strategy has been in effect for more than one year now. These revisions do not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or any other applicable requirement in the CAA.

    The revisions that create the new opt-out process for the LIRAP do not interfere with any applicable requirement in the CAA, because the LIRAP is not relied upon to meet any required component of the current SIP. Those counties that continue to participate in the LIRAP contribute to air quality improvements with the related LIRAP emission reductions. Even though fewer counties may be participating in the LIRAP due to the opt-out process, the revisions do enhance the current SIP by providing for additional rule clarification.

    IV. Final Action

    Pursuant to Sections 110 and 182 of the Act, EPA is approving, through a direct final action, revisions to the Texas SIP that were submitted on June 9, 2015 and June 11, 2015. We are approving revisions to the following sections within Chapter 114 of 30 TAC: 114.1, 114.2, 114.50, 114.53, 114.82-84, and 114.87. We evaluated the state's submittals and determined that they meet the applicable requirements of the CAA. Also, in accordance with CAA section 110(l), the revisions will not interfere with attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the CAA.

    EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because we view these as non-controversial amendments and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if relevant adverse comments are received. This rule will be effective on December 6, 2016 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse comments by November 7, 2016. If we receive relevant adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final rulemaking in the Federal Register informing the public that the direct final rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so now. Please note that if we receive adverse comments on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

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

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 6, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    Samuel Coleman was designated the Acting Regional Administrator on September 30, 2016, through the order of succession outlined in Regional Order R6-1110.1, a copy of which is included in the docket for this action.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 30, 2016. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart SS—Texas 2. In § 52.2270: a. In paragraph (c), the table entitled “EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP” is amended by revising entries for Sections 114.1, 114.2, 114.50, 114.53, 114.82, 114.83, 114.84, and 114.87. b. In paragraph (e), the second table entitled “EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP” is amended by revising the entry for “Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance” and adding an entry at the end of the table for the “Austin Early Action Compact area Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance.”

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 52.2270 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved Regulations in the Texas SIP State citation Title/subject State
  • approval/
  • submittal date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Chapter 114 (Reg 4)—Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles Subchapter A—Definitions Section 114.1 Definitions 2/12/2014 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Section 114.2 Inspection and Maintenance Definitions 4/29/2015 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Subchapter C—Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance; Low Income Vehicle Repair Assistance, Retrofit, and Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program; and Early Action Compact Counties Division 1: Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance 114.50 Vehicle Emissions Inspection Requirements 2/12/2014 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 114.53 Inspection and Maintenance Fees 4/29/2015 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Division 3: Early Action Compact Counties *         *         *         *         *         *         * 114.82 Control Requirements 2/12/2014 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] 114.83 Waivers and Extensions 2/12/2014 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] 114.84 Prohibitions 2/12/2014 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 114.87 Inspection and Maintenance Fees 4/29/2015 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP Name of SIP provision Applicable geographic or
  • non-attainment area
  • State
  • submittal/effective date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso County and Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 6/11/2015 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * Austin Early Action Compact area Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Travis and Williamson Counties 6/11/2015 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation]
    [FR Doc. 2016-24205 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953; FRL-9952-76-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure Requirements for Consultation With Government Officials, Public Notification and Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Visibility Protection for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving portions of State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittals from the State of Texas pertaining to Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Visibility Protection for the 2008 Ozone (O3) and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These submittals address how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS (infrastructure SIPs or i-SIPs). These i-SIPs ensure that the SIP is adequate to meet the State's responsibilities under the CAA. This direct final rule and the accompanying proposal will complete the rulemaking process started in our February 8, 2016, proposal, approve Section 110(a)(2)(J), and confirm that the SIP has adequate infrastructure to implement, maintain and enforce this section of the CAA with regard to the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on December 6, 2016 without further notice, unless the EPA receives relevant adverse comment by November 7, 2016. If EPA receives such comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected] Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact Sherry Fuerst, (214) 665-6454, [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:

    Sherry Fuerst, 214-665-6454, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Ms. Fuerst or Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    I. Background

    On March 12, 2008, EPA revised the levels of the ozone (hereafter the 2008 O3) NAAQS (73 FR 16436, March 27, 2008). Likewise, on January 22, 2010, we revised the nitrogen dioxide NAAQS (hereafter the 2010 NO2) (75 FR 6474, February 9, 2010). The CAA requires states to submit, within three years after promulgation of a new or revised standard, SIPs meeting the applicable “infrastructure” elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). We issued guidance addressing the i-SIP elements for NAAQS.1 One of these applicable infrastructure elements, CAA section 110(a)(2)(J), requires the SIP must meet the following three CAA requirements: (1) Section 121, relating to interagency consultation regarding certain CAA requirements; (2) section 127, relating to public notification of NAAQS exceedances and related issues; and (3) prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection.

    1 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality submitted i-SIP demonstrations of how the existing Texas SIP meets the requirements of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS on December 7, 2012, and for the 2008 O3 NAAQS on December 13, 2012. A detailed discussion of our evaluation of how the Texas submittals meet 110(a)(2)(J) is provided in our February 8, 2016 proposal (81 FR 6483 at 6486)) and in the Technical Support Document (TSD) for that action. The TSD can be accessed through www.regulations.gov (Document EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953-002). We proposed to approve elements of the i-SIP submittals from the State of Texas for the O3 and NO2 NAAQS but for element (J) and subsequently, we took final action to approve all but element (J) on September 9, 2016 (81 FR 62375). However, through inadvertent errors, we neglected to complete the rulemaking process for CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) for both O3 and NO2 NAAQS in the proposal and final documents.

    II. EPA's Evaluation

    In the proposal, we discussed how the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) for both NO2 and O3 NAAQS were met. However, we neglected to explicitly propose approval of the specific provisions of Section 110(a)(2)(J) anywhere in the Preamble and definitely not in our “Proposed Action” section at 81 FR 6487. The public had the opportunity to review and comment on our evaluation of this provision in the Preamble but we never formally proposed this provision for approval. As such, we could not finalize approval of section 110(a)(2)(J) for the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS at 81 FR 62375.

    Please see EPA's proposed approval at 81 FR 6483 for our technical evaluation. The evaluation of all subsections of CAA section 110(a)(2)(J) can be found at 81 FR 6483, page 6486. The TSD for 81 FR 6483 is available in the docket, provides additional details to support our determination that this element meets the federal requirements and is fully approvable. We incorporate our previous evaluation of this element into this action. EPA did receive and respond to comments on the proposed action, but none of the comments received were specific to element (J) of CAA section 110(a)(2). See 81 FR 62375 September 9, 2016. Our evaluation and preliminary determination of approvability did not change as a result of these comments.

    This final action is merely correcting our previous error in failing to propose approval of this element on the basis of our previous technical evaluation and preliminary determination. EPA has not changed its rationale. We therefore are approving the portions of the December 13, 2012, and December 7, 2012, i-SIP submissions from Texas as meeting the infrastructure element (J) for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. We continue to assert that Texas' existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    III. Final Action

    We are approving portions of the following SIP submittals pertaining to CAA section 110(a)(2)(J): (1) December 13, 2012, SIP submittal for the State of Texas pertaining to the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of the 2008 ozone NAAQS, and; (2) December 7, 2012, SIP submittal pertaining to the implementation, maintenance and enforcement of the 2010 nitrogen dioxide NAAQS as outlined in our February 8, 2016, proposal.

    EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because we view this as a non-controversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if relevant adverse comments are received. This rule will be effective on December 6, 2016 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse comment by November 7, 2016. If we receive relevant adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so now. Please note that if we receive relevant adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 6, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    Samuel Coleman was designated the Acting Regional Administrator on September 30, 2016, through the order of succession outlined in Regional Order R6-1110.1, a copy of which is included in the docket for this action.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone.

    Dated: September 30, 2016. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

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

    (e) * * *

    EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP Name of SIP provision Applicable
  • geographic or
  • nonattainment area
  • State
  • submittal/
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Infrastructure and Transport SIP Revisions for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide Standard Statewide 12/7/2012 9/9/2016, 81 FR 62375 Approval for 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i) (portions pertaining to nonattainment and interference with maintenance), D(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (K), (L) and (M). Approval for 110(a)(2)(J) on 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation]. Infrastructure and Transport SIP Revisions for the 2008 Ozone Standard Statewide 12/13/2012 9/9/2016, 81 FR 62375 Approval for 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i) (portion pertaining to PSD), D(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (K), (L) and (M). Approval for 110(a)(2)(J) 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation].
    [FR Doc. 2016-24115 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2008-0603; FRL-9953-52-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Philadelphia County Reasonably Available Control Technology Under the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania). The revisions pertain to a demonstration that Philadelphia County (Philadelphia) meets the requirements for reasonably available control technology (RACT) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) as ozone precursors for the 1997 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). In this rulemaking action, EPA is approving three separate SIP revisions addressing RACT under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for Philadelphia; approving portions of two previously submitted RACT SIP revisions, which EPA had found deficient and conditionally approved; and converting the prior conditional approval of the Philadelphia RACT demonstration for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS to full approval. EPA is approving these revisions to the Pennsylvania SIP addressing 1997 8-hour ozone RACT for Philadelphia in accordance with the requirements of the CAA.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on November 7, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2008-0603. 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 (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through http://www.regulations.gov or please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section for additional availability information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emlyn Vélez-Rosa, (215) 814-2038, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On June 15, 2016 (81 FR 38992), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In the NPR, EPA proposed approval of five revisions to the Pennsylvania SIP to satisfy the RACT requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for Philadelphia. The formal SIP revisions were submitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), on behalf of Philadelphia Air Management Services (AMS), on September 29, 2006, June 22, 2010, June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015, and April 26, 2016.

    Pursuant to section 110(k)(4) of the CAA, on December 13, 2013 (78 FR 75902), EPA conditionally approved the Philadelphia 1997 8-hour ozone RACT demonstration, as provided in the 2006 and 2010 SIP revisions, with the condition that PADEP, on behalf of AMS, submitted additional SIP revisions addressing the source-specific RACT requirements for major sources of NOX and/or VOC in Philadelphia under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA had identified two deficiencies in the 1997 8-hour ozone Philadelphia RACT demonstration, as provided in the 2006 SIP revision and the 2010 SIP revision, which precluded EPA's approval. These deficiencies relied on Pennsylvania's NOX SIP Call SIP provisions to address RACT for electric generating units (EGUs),1 2 which cannot meet RACT based on a 2009 decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit); 3 and not sufficiently addressing source-specific RACT requirements for certain major sources of NOX and VOC under the Pennsylvania SIP approved regulation in 25 Pa Code sections 129.91-92. Altogether, the RACT SIP revisions submitted to EPA on June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015, and April 26, 2016 are intended to fulfill the conditions in EPA's December 13, 2013 conditional approval. This rulemaking action addresses all five SIP revisions concerning Philadelphia RACT requirements under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.4

    1 In October 1998, EPA finalized the “Finding of Significant Contribution and Rulemaking for Certain States in the Ozone Transport Assessment Group Region for Purposes of Reducing Regional Transport of Ozone”—commonly called the NOX SIP Call. See 63 FR 57356 (October 27, 1998).

    2 The Philadelphia 2006 RACT SIP revision certified the following NOX SIP Call related provisions, as previously approved by EPA into the Pennsylvania SIP: 25 Pa Code sections 145.1-145.100 (66 FR 43795, August 21, 2001), 25 Pa Code sections 145.111-145.113 (71 FR 40048, July, 14, 2006), and 25 Pa Code sections 145.141-144 (71 FR 40048, July, 14, 2006.

    3See NRDC v. EPA, 571 F.3d 1245 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

    4 The five SIP submittals include the submissions on September 29, 2006, June 22, 2010, June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015, and April 26, 2016.

    II. Summary of SIP Revisions

    On September 29, 2006, PADEP submitted, on behalf of AMS, a SIP revision purporting to address the RACT requirements for Philadelphia under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The 2006 SIP revision consisted of a RACT demonstration for Philadelphia, including a certification that previously adopted RACT regulations approved by EPA in Pennsylvania's SIP under the 1-hour ozone NAAQS continue to represent RACT for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS implementation purposes; and a negative declaration that certain VOC source categories that would be covered by Control Technique Guideline (CTG) documents 5 do not exist in Philadelphia. The 2006 SIP revision also included federally enforceable permits that represented RACT control for four major VOC sources, but these particular requirements were later addressed by the 2010 SIP revision, thus superseding this portion of the 2006 SIP revision.6

    5 Section 182(b)(2) of the CAA requires states with moderate, or worse, ozone nonattainment areas to implement RACT controls on each VOC stationary source category covered by a CTG document issued by EPA.

    6 EPA determined that the provisions in the 2006 and 2010 SIP revisions were related in addressing Philadelphia's 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS RACT obligation and were not separable for approval purposes as each SIP submittal contained provisions addressing RACT obligations.

    Another SIP revision addressing RACT requirements for certain VOC source categories covered by CTGs in Philadelphia was submitted by PADEP, on behalf of AMS, on June 22, 2010. The 2010 SIP revision consisted of two new CTG regulations, Air Management Regulation (AMR) V section XV (“Control of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from Marine Vessel Coating Operations”) and AMR V section XVI (“Synthetic Organic Manufacturing Industry (SOCMI) Air Oxidation, Distillation, and Reactor Processes”), and related amendments to AMR V Section I (“Definitions”), as adopted by AMS on April 26, 2010, effective upon adoption. The 2010 SIP revision also included a negative declaration for the CTG source category of natural gas and gasoline processing plants.

    On June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015, and April 26, 2016, PADEP submitted to EPA, on behalf of AMS, three separate SIP revisions pertaining to the Philadelphia 1997 8-hour ozone RACT demonstration to fulfill the conditions in EPA's December 13, 2013 conditional approval. The three latest RACT SIP revisions include a RACT evaluation for each major source of NOX and/or VOC in Philadelphia.

    AMS evaluated a total of 25 major NOX and/or VOC sources in Philadelphia for 1997 8-hour ozone RACT, from which 16 major sources were subject to Pennsylvania's source-specific RACT requirements in 25 Pa Code 129.91-92. The new or additional controls or the revised existing controls resulting from the source-specific RACT determinations were specified as requirements in new or revised federally enforceable permits (RACT permits) issued by AMS for each source. These RACT permits are included as part of the Philadelphia RACT SIP revisions for EPA's approval in the Pennsylvania SIP under 40 CFR 52.2020(d)(1), and are specified in Table 1.

    Table 1—New or Revised Source-Specific RACT Determinations for Major NOX and/or VOC Sources in Philadelphia Under the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS Source Major source pollutant New or revised RACT permit
  • (effective date)
  • Exelon Generating Company—Richmond Station NOX PA-51-4903 (02/09/16). Honeywell International—Frankford Plant [formerly, Sunoco Chemical—Frankford Plant] NOX and VOC PA-51-1151 (02/09/16). Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals, LLC [formerly, GATX Terminals Corp.] VOC PA-51-5003 (02/09/16). Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station (NSWCCD-SSES) NOX PA-51-9724 (02/09/16). Paperworks Industries, Inc. [formerly, Jefferson Smurfit, Corp./Container Corp. of America] NOX PA-51-1566 (01/09/15). Philadelphia Energy Solutions—Refining and Marketing, LLC [formerly, Sunoco Inc. (R&M)—Philadelphia] NOX and VOC PA-51-01501 and PA-51-01517 (02/09/16). Philadelphia Gas Works—Richmond Plant NOX PA-51-4922 (01/09/15). Philadelphia Prison System NOX PA-51-9519 (02/09/16). Plain Products Terminals, LLC [formerly, Maritank Philadelphia, Inc. and Exxon Company, USA] VOC PA-51-05013 (02/09/16). Temple University—Health Sciences Campus NOX PA-51-8906 (01/09/15). Temple University—Main Campus NOX PA-51-8905 (01/09/15). Veolia Energy Philadelphia—Edison Station [formerly TRIGEN—Edison Station] NOX PA-51-4902 (01/09/15). Veolia Energy Philadelphia—Schuylkill Station [TRIGEN—Schuylkill Station]/Grays Ferry Cogeneration Partnership—Schuylkill Station/Veolia Energy Efficiency, LLC a NOX PA-51-4942 (02/09/16)/PA-51-4944 (01/09/15)/PA-51-10459 (01/09/15). a Grays Ferry Cogeneration, Veolia Schuylkill, and Veolia Energy Efficiency are treated as a single major source after the 1-hour RACT determination was issued. AMS submitted RACT documentation for each facility separately, although considering RACT applicability as a single major source of NOX.

    As part of the source-specific RACT determinations, AMS also certified for certain emissions units at major sources subject to previously approved source-specific RACT determinations, that the existing RACT controls approved under the 1-hour ozone NAAQS continued to represent RACT for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Furthermore, AMS addressed another 27 NOX and/or VOC sources in Philadelphia that were previously subject to source-specific RACT determinations for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS in the Pennsylvania SIP, by certifying that these sources are no longer subject to RACT for purposes of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS because they are either no longer major sources of NOX and/or VOC or have shutdown. AMS requested to remove from the SIP source-specific RACT determinations approved under the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, as codified in 40 CFR 52.2020(d)(1), for 18 sources that have shutdown, as listed in Table 2.

    Table 2—Shutdown Major Sources of NOX and/or VOC in Philadelphia Subject to Previous Source-Specific RACT Determinations Source SIP approved RACT permit
  • (effective date)
  • EPA's approval date
    Aldan Rubber Company PA-51-1561 (07/21/00) 10/30/01, 66 FR 54691. Amoco Oil Company PA-51-5011 (05/29/15) 10/31/01, 66 FR 54936. Arbill Industries, Inc PA-51-3811 (07/27/99) 10/30/01, 66 FR 54691. Braceland Brothers, Inc PA-51-3679 (07/14/00) 10/30/01, 66 FR 54691. Budd Company PA-51-1564 (12/28/95) 12/15/00, 65 FR 78418. Eastman Chemical [formerly, McWhorter Technologies, Inc.] PA-51-3542 (07/27/99) 10/30/01, 66 FR 54691. Graphic Arts, Incorporated PA-51-2260 (07/14/00) 10/30/01, 66 FR 54691. Interstate Brands Corporation PA-51-5811 (04/10/95) 12/15/00, 65 FR 78418. Kurz Hastings, Inc PA-51-1585 (05/29/95) 10/31/01, 66 FR 54936. Lawrence McFadden, Inc PA-51-2074 (06/11/97) 10/31/01, 66 FR 54936. O'Brien (Philadelphia) Cogeneration, Inc.—Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant PA-51-1533 (07/21/00) 10/30/01, 66 FR 54691. O'Brien (Philadelphia) Cogeneration, Inc.—Southwest Water Pollution Control Plant PA-51-1534 (07/21/00) 10/30/01, 66 FR 54691. Pearl Pressman Liberty PA-51-7721 (07/24/00) 10/30/01, 66 FR 54691. Philadelphia Baking Company PA-51-3048 (04/10/95) 10/31/01, 66 FR 54936. Rohm and Haas Company—Philadelphia PA-51-1531 (07/27/99) 10/31/01, 66 FR 54942. Tasty Baking Co PA-51-2054 (04/04/95) 10/31/01, 66 FR 54942. Transit America, Inc PA-51-1563 (06/11/97) 11/5/01, 66 FR 55880. SBF Communications PA-51-2197 (07/21/00) 10/31/01, 66 FR 54942.

    On April 26, 2016, PADEP submitted a letter, on behalf of AMS, withdrawing from the 2006 SIP revision the certification of the Pennsylvania rules related to the NOX SIP Call as 19978-hour ozone RACT, specifically 25 Pa Code sections 145.1-145.100, 25 Pa Code sections 145.111-145.113, and 25 Pa Code sections 145.141-144. In the letter, PADEP reaffirms that AMS is no longer relying on the SIP approved provisions related to the NOX SIP Call as 1997 8-hour ozone RACT for any sources in Philadelphia.

    III. EPA's Rationale for Final Action

    After review and evaluation, EPA determined that AMS provided adequate documentation in the September 29, 2006, June 22, 2010, June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015 and April 26, 2016 Philadelphia RACT SIP revisions to support that RACT has been met for all major sources of NOXand/or VOC in Philadelphia, including sources subject to source-specific RACT determinations, in accordance with the Phase 2 Ozone Implementation Rule and latest available information.7 EPA finds that the June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015, and April 26, 2016 SIP revisions satisfy the December 15, 2013 conditional approval, and thus adequately correct the deficiencies in the Philadelphia RACT demonstration EPA identified from reviewing the 2006 and 2010 SIP revisions. EPA also determined that the certified and recently adopted NOX and VOC regulations and the negative declarations included in the September 29, 2006 and June 22, 2010 SIP revisions, with exception of the withdrawn portions of the 2006 SIP revision, meet all other remaining CAA RACT requirements under the 19978-hour ozone NAAQS for Philadelphia. For further discussion on EPA's rationale for its final rulemaking action are explained in the NPR and in the technical support document (TSD), both available in the docket for this rulemaking action, and thus will not be restated here. No public comments were received on the NPR.

    7 “Final Rule to Implement the 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Phase 2,” 70 FR 71612-71705 (November 29, 2005).

    IV. Final Action

    In this final rulemaking action, EPA determines that the Philadelphia 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS RACT demonstration, included within the September 29, 2006, June 22, 2010, June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015, and April 26, 2016 SIP revisions, satisfies all applicable RACT requirements under the CAA for Philadelphia for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA is taking various actions on the revisions to the Pennsylvania SIP addressing Philadelphia 1997 8-hour ozone RACT. EPA is approving as RACT under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for Philadelphia the certified and recently adopted NOX and VOC regulations and CTG negative declarations included in the September 29, 2006 and June 22, 2010 SIP revisions, with exception of the portions of the 2006 SIP submittal that were withdrawn by PADEP on April 26, 2016. Specifically, EPA is finalizing approval of the CTG RACT requirements in AMR V sections I, XV, and XVI, as amended or adopted in April 26, 2010 and effective upon adoption. EPA is approving as RACT under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for Philadelphia the source-specific RACT determinations provided in the June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015, and April 26, 2016 SIP revisions. EPA is also removing the conditional nature of the December 13, 2013 conditional approval and granting full approval to the Philadelphia 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS RACT demonstration, based on EPA's determination that the June 27, 2014, February 18, 2015, and April 26, 2016 RACT SIP revisions satisfy the conditions established in its conditional approval.

    V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of source-specific RACT determinations under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for certain major sources of NOX and VOC emissions and Philadelphia CTG RACT regulations of AMR V sections I, XV, and XVI, as amended or adopted in April 26, 2010 and effective upon adoption. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the SIP, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the next update to the SIP compilation. 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997). EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through http://www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region III Office (please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble for more information).

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    In addition, section 804 exempts from section 801 the following types of rules: Rules of particular applicability; rules relating to agency management or personnel; and rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice that do not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties. 5 U.S.C. 804(3). Because a portion of this rule is a rule of particular applicability, EPA is not required to submit a rule report regarding the portion of this action which is of particular applicability under section 801, but will submit the remainder of the rule.

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 6, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action approving the Philadelphia RACT requirements under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: September 21, 2016. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart NN—Pennsylvania 2. In § 52.2020: a. In the table in paragraph (c)(3), under “Regulation V—Control of Emissions of Organic Substances From Stationary Sources”: i. Revise the first entry “Section I (Except for definitions related to paragraphs V.C. & V.D.)”. ii. Remove the second entry “Section I”. iii. Add entries “Section XV” and “Section XVI” in numerical order. b. In the table in paragraph (d)(1): i. Remove the following entries: “Aldan Rubber Company”; “Amoco Oil Company”; “Arbill Industries, Inc”; “Braceland Brothers, Inc”; “Budd Company”; “Exelon Generation Company—(PECO)—Richmond Generating Station”; “Exxon Company, USA”; “GATX Terminals Corporation”; “Graphic Arts, Incorporated”; “Interstate Brands Corporation”; “Jefferson Smurfit Corp./Container Corp. of America”; “Kurz Hastings, Inc”; “Lawrence McFadden, Inc”; “Maritank Philadelphia, Inc”; “McWhorter Technologies, Inc”; “Naval Surface Warfare Center, Caderock Division Ship Systems Engineering Station”; “O'Brien (Philadelphia) Cogeneration, Inc.—Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant”; “O'Brien (Philadelphia) Cogeneration, Inc.—Southwest Water Pollution Control Plant”; “Pearl Pressman Liberty”; “Philadelphia Baking Company”; “Philadelphia Gas Works—Richmond Plant”; “Rohm and Haas Company—Philadelphia Plant”; “SBF Communications”; “Sunoco Chemical, Frankford Plant”; “Sunoco Inc. (R&M)—Philadelphia”; “Tasty Baking Co”; “Temple University, Health Sciences Center”; “Transit America, Inc”; “TRIGEN—Edison Station”; “TRIGEN—Schuylkill Station”; and “U.S. Navy, Naval Surface Warfare Center—Carderock Division”. ii. Add the following entries at the end of the table: “Exelon Generating Company—Richmond Generating Station”; “Grays Ferry Cogeneration Partnership—Schuylkill Station”; “Honeywell International—Frankford Plant”; “Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals, LLC”; “Naval Surface Warfare Center—Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station (NSWCCD-SSES)”; “Paperworks Industries, Inc.”; “Philadelphia Energy Solutions—Refining and Marketing, LLC”; “Philadelphia Gas Works—Richmond Plant”; “Philadelphia Prison System”; “Plains Products Terminals, LLC”; “Temple University—Health Sciences Campus”; “Temple University—Main Campus”; “Veolia Energy Efficiency, LLC”; “Veolia Energy Philadelphia—Edison Station”; and “Veolia Energy Philadelphia—Schuylkill Station”.

    c. In the table in paragraph (e)(1), add the entry “Philadelphia 1997 8-Hour Ozone RACT Demonstration” at the end of the table.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 52.2020 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    Rule citation Title/subject State
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Additional explanation/
  • § 52.2063 citation
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Regulation V—Control of Emissions of Organic Substances From Stationary Sources Section I (Except for definitions related to section V, paragraphs C and D) Definitions 4/26/2010 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Amended to include definitions related to AMR V Sections XV and XVI. Exempted definitions were addressed in a previous approval. See 58 FR 33200 (June 16, 1993). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section XV Control of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from Marine Vessel Coating Operations 4/26/2010 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses RACT requirements for the ozone NAAQS under EPA's CTGs. Section XVI Synthetic Organic Manufacturing Industry (SOCMI) Air Oxidation, Distillation, and Reactor Processes 4/26/2010 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses RACT requirements for the ozone NAAQS under EPA's CTGs. *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Name of source Permit No. County State
  • effective date
  • EPA approval date Additional explanation/
  • § 52.2063 citation
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Exelon Generation Company—Richmond Generating Station PA-51-4903 Philadelphia 02/09/16 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Grays Ferry Cogeneration Partnership—Schuylkill Station PA-51-4944 Philadelphia 01/09/15 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Source is aggregated with Veolia Energy Efficiency, LLC and Veolia Energy—Schuylkill Station. Honeywell International—Frankford Plant PA-51-1151 Philadelphia 02/09/16 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Source was formerly Sunoco Chemicals, Frankford Plant. Kinder Morgan Liquid Terminals, LLC PA-51-5003 Philadelphia 02/09/16 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Source was formerly GATX Terminal Corporation. Naval Surface Warfare Center—Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station (NSWCCD-SSES) PA-51-9724 Philadelphia 02/09/16 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permits. Source was formerly U.S. Navy, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD). Paperworks Industries, Inc PA-51-1566 Philadelphia 01/09/15 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Source was formerly Jefferson Smurfit, Corp./Container Corp. of America. Philadelphia Energy Solutions—Refining and Marketing, LLC PA-51-01501; PA-51-01517 Philadelphia 02/09/16 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Source was formerly Sunoco Inc. (R&M)—Philadelphia. Philadelphia Gas Works—Richmond Plant PA-51-4922 Philadelphia 01/09/15 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Philadelphia Prison System PA-51-9519 Philadelphia 02/09/16 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Plains Products Terminals, LLC PA-51-05013 Philadelphia 02/09/16 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Source was formerly Maritank Philadelphia, Inc. and Exxon Company, USA. Temple University—Health Sciences Campus PA-51-8906 Philadelphia 01/09/15 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Temple University—Main Campus PA-51-8905 Philadelphia 01/09/15 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Veolia Energy Efficiency, LLC PA-51-10459 Philadelphia 01/09/15 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Source is aggregated with Grays Ferry Cogeneration Partnership and Veolia Energy—Schuylkill Station. Veolia Energy Philadelphia—Edison Station PA-51-4902 Philadelphia 01/09/15 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Source was formerly TRIGEN—Edison Station. Veolia Energy Philadelphia—Schuylkill Station PA-51-4942 Philadelphia 02/09/16 10/07/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Supersedes previously approved RACT permit. Source was formerly TRIGEN—Schuylkill Station. Source is aggregated with Grays Ferry Cogeneration Partnership and Veolia Energy Efficiency, LLC.

    (e) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Name of non-regulatory SIP revision Applicable geographic area State submittal date EPA approval date Additional explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Philadelphia 1997 8-Hour Ozone RACT Demonstration Philadelphia County 9/29/2006, 6/22/2010, 6/27/2014, 7/18/2015, 4/26/2016 10/7/2016, [Insert Federal Register citation] Addressing all applicable RACT requirements for Philadelphia under the 1997 8-hour ozone standards. This rulemaking action converts the prior conditional approval of RACT demonstration to full approval.
    § 52.2023 [Amended]
    3. In § 52.2023, remove paragraph (l).
    [FR Doc. 2016-23840 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 70 [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0555; FRL-9953-59-Region 7] Approval of Nebraska's Air Quality Implementation Plans; Nebraska Air Quality Regulations and State Operating Permit Programs AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the State of Nebraska. This action will amend the SIP to include revisions to title 129 of the Nebraska Air Quality Regulations, chapter 5, “Operating Permits—When Required”; chapter 9, “General Operating Permits for Class I and Class II Sources”; chapter 22, “Incinerators; Emission Standards”; chapter 30, “Open Fires”; and chapter 34 “Emission Sources; Testing; Monitoring. These revisions were requested by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) in three submittals, submitted on May 1, 2003, November 8, 2011, and July 14, 2014. The May 1, 2003, submittal revised chapters 5 and 9, to address changes in regard to the permits-by-rule provisions of Title 129. The November 8, 2011, submittal allows for the issuance of multiple operating permits to major sources through revisions to chapter 5. In addition, revisions to chapters 22 and 30 encourage the use of air curtain incinerators over open burning; and changes to chapter 34 clarify the authority of NDEQ to order emission sources to do testing when NDEQ deems it necessary. The July 14, 2014, submittal further revises chapter 34, by updating the reference to allowable test methods for evaluating solid waste, changing the amount of time allowed to submit test results, and allowing the Department to approve a request for testing with less than 30 days notification.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective December 6, 2016, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 7, 2016. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0555, to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Greg Crable, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at 913-551-7391, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    EPA is approving revisions into the SIP to include amendments to title 129 of the Nebraska Air Quality Regulations, chapters 5, 22, 30 and 34, as submitted on November 8, 2011. The EPA is also approving additional revisions to chapter 34, as submitted on July 14, 2014, and to chapters 5 and 9, as submitted on May 1, 2003. Revisions to chapter 5 allows for the issuance of multiple operating permits to major sources. The revisions to chapters 22 and 30 encourage the use of air curtain incinerators over open burning and the revisions to chapter 34 as submitted on November 8, 2011, clarify NDEQ's authority to require emission sources to test for contaminant emissions. The revisions to chapter 34 requested in the July 14, 2014, submittal updates the reference to allowable test methods for evaluating solid waste; makes changes to the amount of time allowed to submit test results; and allows NDEQ to approve a request to test with less than 30 days notification.

    The revisions to chapter 5 submitted on May 1, 2003, allows a source otherwise subject to the Class II operating permit program to be covered instead by the permits-by-rule provisions, provided the source qualifies. The May 1, 2003 submittal, also revised chapter 9 to allow a source covered for some activities under a general permit be covered for other facilities or activities by a permits-by-rule. Revisions to chapter 5 “Operating Permits—When Required”, submitted on November 8, 2011, clarifies the process for issuing operating permits to major sources comprised of different regulated entities or “persons”. The changes allow each regulated entity more options in applying for operating permits and NDEQ more flexibility in issuing the permits. The revisions to chapter 5 are worded such that sources permitted under the changed language will not avoid other major source obligations. The revisions to chapter 22, “Incinerators; Emission Standards”, establish requirements regarding opacity for air curtain incinerators while revisions to chapter 30, “Open Fires”, allow burning in an air curtain incinerator with a general or community open fire permit issued by NDEQ. Title 129, chapter 34, “Emission Sources; Testing; Monitoring”, as submitted on November 8, 2011, is being revised to clarify NDEQ's authority to order emission sources to make or have tests made to determine the rate of contaminant emissions from the source. The July 14, 2014, submittal further revises chapter 34, by updating the reference to allowable test methods for evaluating solid waste, changes the amount of time allowed to submit test results, and allows NDEQ to approve a request for testing with less than 30 days notification. For additional information on the revisions to chapter 5, 9, 22, 30 and 34 see the detail discussion table in the docket.

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

    The state submittals have met the public notice requirements for SIP submissions in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102. The submittals also satisfied the completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V. In addition, the revision meets the substantive SIP requirements of the CAA, including section 110 and implementing regulations.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving the state's request to revise the SIP to include amendments to title 129, of the Nebraska Air Quality Regulations, chapter 5, “Operating Permits—When Required”; chapter 22, “Incinerators; Emission Standards”; chapter 30, “Open Fires”; and chapter 34, “Emission Sources; Testing; Monitoring”, as submitted by NDEQ on November 8, 2011. Also, EPA is approving NDEQ's July 14, 2014, submittal involving additional revisions to chapter 34 and revisions to chapters 5 and 9, “General Operating Permits for Class I and II Sources”, as submitted on May 1, 2003.

    We are publishing this direct final rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. EPA does not anticipate adverse comment because the revisions to the existing rules are routine and consistent with the Federal regulations, thereby, strengthening the SIP. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposed rule to revise title 129 of the Nebraska Air Quality Regulations, chapter 5, “Operating Permits—When Required”; chapter 9, “General Operating Permits for Class I and II Sources”; chapter 22, “Incinerators; Emission Standards”; chapter 30, “Open Fires”; and chapter 34, “Emission Sources; Testing; Monitoring” if adverse comments are received on this direct final rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information about commenting on this rule, see the ADDRESSES section of this document. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule.

    Incorporation by Reference

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

    1 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

    Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 6, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 70

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

    Dated: September 27, 2016. Mike Brincks, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

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

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart CC—Nebraska 2. Section 52.1420(c) is amended by revising the entries for 129-5, 129-9, 129-22, 129-30, and 129-34 to read as follows:
    § 52.1420 Identification of Plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Nebraska Regulations Nebraska citation Title State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    State of Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Title 129—Nebraska Air Quality Regulations *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129-5 Operating Permits—When Required 2/16/08 10/7/16 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129-9 General Operating Permits for Class I and II Sources 11/20/02 10/7/16 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129-22 Incinerators; Emission Standards 7/3/10 10/7/16 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129-30 Open Fires 7/3/10 10/7/16 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129-34 Emission Sources; Testing; Monitoring 5/13/14 10/7/16 [Insert Federal Register citation] *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    PART 70—STATE OPERATING PERMIT PROGRAMS 3. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    4. Amend appendix A to part 70 by adding paragraphs (m) and (n) under “Nebraska; City of Omaha; Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department” to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 70—Approval Status of State and Local Operating Permits Programs Nebraska; City of Omaha; Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department

    (m) The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality approved revisions to Nebraska Air Quality Regulations, Title 129, Chapter 5, “Operating Permits—When Required”, and Chapter 9, “General Operating Permits for Class I and II Sources”, on September 5, 2002. The State's effective date is November 20, 2002. The revisions were submitted to EPA on May 1, 2003. This revision is effective on December 6, 2016.

    (n) The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality approved revisions to Nebraska Air Quality Regulations, Title 129, Chapter 5, “Operating Permits—When Required”, on December 7, 2007. The State's effective date is February 16, 2008. The revisions were submitted to EPA on November 8, 2011. This revision is effective on December 6, 2016.

    [FR Doc. 2016-24088 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 54 and 69 [WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 16-271; WT Docket No. 10-208; FCC 16-115] Connect America Fund, Connect America Fund—Alaska Plan, Universal Service Reform—Mobility Fund AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) adopts an integrated plan to address both fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost areas of the state of Alaska, building on a proposal submitted by the Alaska Telephone Association.

    DATES:

    Effective November 7, 2016, except for §§ 54.313(f)(1)(i), 54.313(f)(3), 54.313(l), 54.316(a)(1), 54.316(a)(5) and (6), 54.316(b)(6), 54.320(d), and 54.321 which contain new or modified information collection requirements that will not be effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The Federal Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date for those sections.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alexander Minard, Wireline Competition Bureau, (202) 418-7400 or TTY: (202) 418-0484, Matthew Warner of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-2419, or Audra Hale-Maddox of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-0794.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Report and Order in WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 16-271, WT Docket No. 10-208; FCC 16-115, adopted on August 23, 2016 and released on August 31, 2016. The full text of this document is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, or at the following Internet address: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-115A1.docx.

    The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that was adopted concurrently with the Report and Order is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    I. Introduction

    1. In this Order, the Commission adopts an integrated plan to address both fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost areas of the state of Alaska, building on a proposal submitted by the Alaska Telephone Association. In February 2015, the Alaska Telephone Association (ATA) proposed a consensus plan designed to maintain, extend, and upgrade broadband service across all areas of Alaska served by rate-of-return carriers and their wireless affiliates. Given the unique climate and geographic conditions of Alaska, the Commission finds that it is in the public interest to provide Alaskan carriers with the option of receiving fixed amounts of support over the next ten years to deploy and maintain their fixed and mobile networks. If each of the Alaska carriers elects this option, the Commission expects this plan to bring broadband to as many as 111,302 fixed locations and 133,788 mobile consumers at the end of this 10-year term.

    II. Alaska Plan for Rate-of-Return Carriers

    2. Today the Commission adopts ATA's proposed consensus plan for rate-of-return carriers serving Alaska, subject to the minor modifications described herein. Alaskan rate-of-return carriers face unique circumstances including Alaska's large size, varied terrain, harsh climate, isolated populations, shortened construction season, and lack of access to infrastructure that make it challenging to deploy voice and broadband-capable networks. Not only do Alaskan rate-of-return carriers face conditions that are unique to the state, unlike challenges in the Lower 48, the circumstances and challenges can also vary widely from carrier to carrier depending on where their service areas are located within Alaska.

    3. Accordingly, the Commission adopts the Alaska Plan to provide Alaskan rate-of-return carriers with the option to obtain a fixed level of funding for a defined term in exchange for committing to deployment obligations that are tailored to each Alaska rate-of-return carrier's circumstances. Specifically, the Commission will provide a one-time opportunity for Alaskan rate-of-return carriers to elect to receive support frozen at adjusted 2011 levels for a 10-year term in exchange for meeting individualized performance obligations to offer voice and broadband services meeting the service obligations the Commission adopts in this Order at specified minimum speeds by five-year and 10-year service milestones to a specified number of locations. As proposed by ATA, the Commission delegates to the Wireline Competition Bureau authority to approve such plans if consistent with the public interest and in compliance with the requirements adopted in this Order.

    4. As a result of today's action, Alaska rate-of-return carriers have the option of receiving support pursuant to the Alaska Plan, electing to receive support calculated by A-CAM, or remaining on the reformed legacy rate-of-return support mechanisms. Like all other Connect America programs, Alaska Plan participants will report on their progress in meeting their deployment obligations throughout the 10-year term, allowing the Commission, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, and other interested stakeholders to monitor their progress.

    5. ATA represents that collectively, as of year-end 2015, the Alaska rate-of-return carriers served 124,166 remote locations, with 49,062 of those locations lacking broadband at speeds of 10/1 Mbps or above. If all Alaska rate-of-return carriers that have submitted proposed performance plans participate in the Alaska Plan, and those performance plans are approved as submitted, over 36,000 locations will become newly served with broadband at speeds of 10/1 Mbps or above, and the number of locations with 25/3 Mbps service will increase from 8,823 to 77,516 locations. Moreover, under ATA's proposed plan, the 24,138 locations that were unserved by any benchmark at the end of 2015 would be reduced from 24,138 locations to only 758 locations over the term of the Plan.

    6. As proposed by ATA, each carrier with an approved performance plan in the Alaska Plan will receive annually an amount of support equal to its HCLS and ICLS frozen at 2011 levels, subject to certain adjustments, as was determined by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) on January 31, 2012. This support will be provided in monthly installments over the 10-year term that the Commission adopts below. The frozen support that participants receive will be adjusted downward to account for the $3,000 per line annual support cap and for the corporate operations expense limits on ICLS.

    7. Our decision to freeze support at 2011 levels for Alaska Plan participants is consistent with our decision in 2014 to permit price cap carriers serving non-contiguous areas, such as Alaska Communications Systems (ACS), to elect to receive support that has been frozen at 2011 levels, recognizing the unique circumstances and challenges such carriers face. The Commission is persuaded by the Alaska rate-of-return carriers that making available the adjusted 2011 support levels will provide carriers participating in the Alaska Plan the certainty they need to commit to investing in maintaining and deploying voice and broadband-capable networks in Alaska. The Commission also notes that the average annual support amounts for locations that would be covered under the Alaska Plan is $449, which is within the range of the model-based support offers to the price cap carriers for Phase II.

    8. Recognizing the unique, individualized challenges faced by each rate-of return carrier serving Alaska, the Commission addresses here the general public interest obligations that would apply to individual carriers electing to participate in the Alaska Plan. The Commission also adopts general parameters for deployment obligations in this Order. As initially proposed by ATA, rate-of-return carriers wishing to participate in the Alaska Plan must submit a performance plan, and the Wireline Competition Bureau will have delegated authority to review and approve each carrier's performance plan. Since submitting the initial filing regarding the Alaska Plan, ATA has submitted proposed performance plans for its individual members. The Commission authorizes the Wireline Competition Bureau to approve performance plans that adhere to the requirements the Commission has adopted in this Order and that serve the public interest.

    9. To merit approval by the Wireline Competition Bureau, these plans shall commit, to the extent possible, to offer at least one voice service and one broadband service that meets these minimum service requirements to a specified number of locations served by the submitting carrier. Carriers must make a binding commitment to serve a specific number of locations in their service area with such minimum speed(s) by the five-year and 10-year service milestones the Commission adopts below. This approach will advance our statutory mandate of using Connect America support to maintain and advance the deployment of voice and broadband services that are reasonably comparable to those offered in urban areas, while at the same time providing individualized flexibility for the distinctive geographic, climate, and infrastructure challenges of deploying and maintaining voice and broadband services in Alaska.

    10. Below the Commission provides more specific descriptions of our expectations for the general parameters with respect to speed, latency, data usage, and reasonably comparable prices.

    11. Speed. The Commission recognizes that there is a significant disparity today among the Alaska carriers in terms of the different speed of services that they can offer and propose to offer in the future. The Commission seeks to advance to the extent possible the number of locations in Alaska that have access to at least 10/1 Mbps service. The Commission also recognizes that some carriers may be able to upgrade service to provide speeds greater than 10/1 Mbps. Therefore, the Commission requires carriers to report the number of locations in their service areas that will receive broadband at speeds of 25/3 Mbps or higher, as well as 10/1 Mbps, as a result of their deployment. The Commission also grants the flexibility for participants in the Alaska plan to relax the speed requirements to a specified number of locations to account for limitations due to geography, climate, and access to infrastructure, as discussed below.

    12. The Commission has adopted a minimum speed standard of 10/1 Mbps for price cap carriers receiving Phase II model-based support, winning bidders in the Phase II auction, and rate-of-return carriers receiving A-CAM and legacy support. At the same time, the Commission also is requiring recipients of A-CAM support to offer 25 Mbps/3 Mbps service in more dense areas and have established a baseline speed for the Phase II auction of 25/3 Mbps. The Commission sees nothing in the record to suggest that a fundamentally different approach should be followed here, and accordingly they find it reasonable for Alaska carriers to commit to offer service at these speeds where feasible. But the Commission recognizes that not all carriers in Alaska will be able to offer service meeting these speeds due to the unique limitations they face in access to backhaul. While the Commission has noted that their minimum requirements for such carriers is likely to evolve over the next decade and that our policies should take into account evolving standards in the future, they have also recognized that it is difficult to plan network deployment not knowing the performance obligations that might apply by the end of the 10-year term.

    13. Given that the Commission also adopts a 10-year support term for rate-of-return carriers electing to participate in the Alaska Plan, they conclude that the same principles described above apply here, subject to modifications that account for the unique circumstances and challenges faced by each Alaskan carrier. Accordingly, the Commission authorizes the Wireline Competition Bureau to approve performance plans submitted by carriers that maximize the number of locations that receive broadband at speeds of at least 10/1 Mbps and that also identify a set number of locations that will receive broadband at speeds at a minimum 25/3 Mbps as a result of the carrier's deployment, to the extent feasible based on each carrier's individual circumstances. Consistent with the Commission's goal of ensuring access to reasonably comparable broadband service to as many unserved consumers as possible, the Commission expects that Alaska Plan recipients will prioritize their deployment of broadband at speeds of 10/1 Mbps before upgrading speeds for locations that are already served with 10/1 Mbps, to the extent feasible.

    14. At the same time, the Commission recognizes that due to limitations in access to middle mile infrastructure and the variable terrain, Alaskan carriers may not be able to serve all of their locations at the current minimum speeds for Connect America Fund recipients of 10/1 Mbps speeds with the support they are provided through the Alaska Plan. Accordingly, the Commission authorizes the Wireline Competition Bureau to approve performance plans that propose to offer Internet service at relaxed speeds to a set number of locations to the extent carriers face such limitations. The Commission concludes it will serve the public interest to balance our goal of deploying reasonably comparable voice and broadband services with our goals of maintaining existing voice service and of ensuring that universal service support is used efficiently and remains within the budgeted amount for each carrier. This approach is also consistent with the approach the Commission has taken for other Connect America funding mechanisms. For example, for rate-of-return carriers that elect to receive A-CAM support, the Commission requires that such carriers offer Internet access at speeds of at least 4/1 Mbps to locations that are not fully funded, to the extent they are unable to do better. And as discussed below, for areas that lack terrestrial backhaul, the Commission has permitted ETCs serving such areas to certify that they are providing speeds of at least 1 Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream.

    15. Finally, as the Commission discusses in more detail below, they acknowledge that in some limited cases Alaska Plan recipients may face circumstances such that at the beginning of their support terms they can only commit to maintaining Internet service at then-existing speeds below 10/1 Mbps. In such circumstances, carriers will be required to explain why they are unable to commit to upgrade their existing services or deploy service to new locations and the status of these limitations will be revisited throughout the support term.

    16. Latency. The Commission adopts a roundtrip provider network latency requirement of 100 milliseconds or less for participants in the Alaska Plan. This is consistent with the latency standard the Commission adopted for price cap carriers accepting Phase II model-based support, rate-of-return carriers electing A-CAM support, and for purposes of identifying competitive overlap in rate-of-return served areas. Based on the record before us, the Commission does not see any reason to apply a different standard to Alaska Plan participants.

    17. Accordingly, Alaska Plan carriers will be required to certify that 95 percent or more of all peak period measurements of network round-trip latency are at or below 100 milliseconds. Consistent with the standards the Wireline Competition Bureau adopted for price cap carriers serving non-contiguous areas, Alaska Plan participants should conduct their latency network testing from the customer location to a point at which traffic is consolidated for transport to an Internet exchange point in the continental United States. The measurements should be conducted over a minimum of two consecutive weeks during peak hours for at least 50 randomly selected customer locations within the census blocks for which the provider is receiving frozen support using existing network management systems, ping tests, or other commonly available network measurement tools.

    18. Data Usage. Participants in the Alaska Plan will be required to provide a usage allowance that evolves over time to remain reasonably comparable to usage by subscribers in urban areas, similar to the approach adopted for price cap carriers and other rate-of-return carriers.

    19. In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, 76 FR 73830, November 29, 2011, the Commission adopted the requirement that to the extent an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) imposes a usage limit on its Connect America-supported broadband offering, that usage limit must be reasonably comparable to usage limits for comparable broadband offerings in urban areas. Today, rate-of-return carriers must offer a minimum usage allowance of 150 GB per month, or a usage allowance that reflects the average usage of a majority of consumers, using Measuring Broadband America data or a similar data source, whichever is higher.

    20. The Commission sees nothing in the record that suggests that participants in the Alaska Plan should not be held to the same standards. Accordingly, such carriers will be required to certify that they offer a minimum usage allowance of 150 GB per month, or a usage allowance that reflects the average usage of a majority of consumers, using Measuring Broadband America data or a similar data source, whichever is higher. As is the case for other ETCs subject to broadband performance obligations, the Wireline Competition Bureau will announce annually the relevant minimum usage allowance.

    21. Satellite Backhaul Exception. Consistent with the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission will exempt from the speed, latency, and data usage standards they adopt above those areas where the carriers rely exclusively on the use of performance-limiting satellite backhaul to deliver service because they lack the ability to obtain terrestrial backhaul or satellite backhaul service providing middle mile service with technical characteristics comparable to at least microwave backhaul. This exception will be implemented via an annual certification by such carriers. The Commission has recognized that satellite backhaul “may limit the performance of broadband networks as compared to terrestrial backhaul” and noted that the Regulatory Commission of Alaska had reported “for many areas of Alaska, satellite links may be the only viable option to deploy broadband.” Some Alaska Plan recipients have proposed to offer Internet access service speeds of at least 1 Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream to some or all locations within the areas served by exclusively satellite middle mile facilities. As noted below, the Wireline Competition Bureau is authorized to approve performance plans where a carrier does not even commit to offer speeds of at minimum 1 Mbps/256 kbps to locations that are served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite backhaul, but where it does commit to upgrade or newly deploy service at higher minimum speeds to areas served by terrestrial or microwave backhaul. The data usage allowance and latency standards will not apply to those locations that are served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite backhaul.

    22. Under our existing rules, to the extent that new terrestrial backhaul facilities are constructed, or existing facilities improve sufficiently to meet the public interest obligations, ETCs are generally required to satisfy the public interest obligations in full within 12 months of the new backhaul facilities becoming commercially available. The Commission similarly expects Alaska Plan recipients to meet latency and data usage requirements for these locations within 12 months. But given that other limiting factors, such as cost or transport limits, in addition to the lack of access to infrastructure, may make it challenging for Alaska carriers to offer a minimum of 10/1 Mbps speeds once they gain access to new backhaul, the Commission does not require carriers participating in the Alaska Plan to meet the 10/1 Mbps speed minimum within the usual 12-month timeframe. The Commission instead directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to consider adopting revised minimum speeds for these carriers when it reassesses their performance plans half way through the 10-year term. The Commission concludes that adjusting speed obligations at that time will alleviate the administrative burden of re-examining performance plans every time backhaul becomes commercially available. The Commission directs the Bureau to work with carriers that seek to participate in the Alaska Plan to include objective metrics for determining when backhaul is available at a price point that would enable the carrier to offer 10/1 Mbps service. The Commission also anticipates that they will consider any additional backhaul that becomes available in determining next steps after the 10-year support term.

    23. Reasonably Comparable Rates. Participants in the Alaska Plan will be subject to the same obligations as all other recipients of high-cost universal service support to provide voice and broadband service at rates that are reasonably comparable to those offered in urban areas.

    24. For voice service, ETCs are required to make an annual certification that the rates for their voice service are in compliance with the reasonable comparability benchmark. For broadband, an ETC has two options for demonstrating that its rates comply with this statutory requirement: certifying compliance with reasonable comparability benchmarks or certifying that it offers the same or lower rates in rural areas as it does in urban areas.

    25. Consistent with our other Connect America programs, the Commission adopts this approach for the Alaska Plan. However, due to the unique challenges in deploying voice and broadband-capable networks in Alaska, those carriers that elect to receive Alaska Plan support will be subject to an Alaska-specific reasonable comparability benchmark to be established by the Wireline Competition Bureau. The Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to establish a benchmark using data from its urban rate survey or other sources, as appropriate.

    26. The Commission concludes that the public interest obligations the Commission adopts strike the appropriate balance of ensuring that as many Alaska consumers as feasible receive reasonably comparable voice and broadband service while also allowing Alaska Plan participants, who are most familiar with the limitations in access to infrastructure and the climate and geographies they serve, the flexibility to provide service in a way that is logical, maximizes the reach of their network, and is reasonable considering the unique circumstances of each individual carrier's service territory. For price cap carriers serving non-contiguous areas, the Commission determined that due to the circumstances and challenges faced by such carriers that were unique to the areas they serve, a “one-size-fits-all” approach would leave some of those carriers potentially unable to fulfill their deployment obligations. Accordingly, the Commission concluded that “tailoring specific service obligations to the individual circumstances” of each of these carriers “will best ensure that Connect America funding is put to the best possible use.” The Commission concludes that the same principles apply here where the potential recipients within the state of Alaska face their own unique challenges and circumstances due to the variable terrain and their varying levels of access to infrastructure.

    27. Intermediate Milestones. Consistent with the framework proposed by ATA members, participants in the Alaska Plan will commit to upgrade or deploy new voice and broadband service to a specified number of locations by the end of the fifth year of their support term and complete their deployment to the required number of locations as specified in their approved performance plan by the end of the 10th year of their support term. This is similar to the approach adopted for rate-of-return carriers that remain on legacy support mechanisms.

    28. Based on the shortened construction season for Alaska and the limited availability of personnel to construct networks, the Commission concludes that ATA's proposal to have one service milestone at the mid-point of the term and one service milestone at the end of the support term is reasonable. This will give carriers the flexibility to build out their networks based on the unique conditions and challenges they face and give the Commission an objective measure halfway through the term to monitor the carrier's progress. This data will also be useful for the Bureau to consider when reassessing Alaska Plan recipients' individual deployment obligations halfway through the term of support. The Commission finds that because they give participants the flexibility to propose in their performance plans the number of locations that they commit to offering specified speeds by the five- and 10-year milestones, they will be able to set achievable milestones for themselves based on their individual circumstances. The Commission also notes that while carriers are required to meet these service milestones at a minimum, they anticipate that some carriers will complete their deployment in a shorter timeframe. Carriers will still be required to report their progress on an annual basis, as described below.

    29. Consistent with the framework proposed by ATA, the Commission adopts a support term of 10 years for carriers that are authorized to receive support through the Alaska Plan. In the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order, 81 FR 24282, April 25, 2016, the Commission adopted a 10-year term for carriers that elected to receive A-CAM support. The Commission concludes that a 10-year support term for the Alaska carriers that elect to participate in this plan is in the public interest. The Commission acknowledges ATA's position that 10 years of frozen support “will create stability which will assure continued service in remote Alaska and allow deployment to underserved and unserved areas.”

    30. Before the 10-year support term has ended, the Commission expects that the Commission will conduct a rulemaking to decide how support will be determined after the end of the 10-year support term for Alaska Plan participants. As the Commission noted in the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order, they expect that prior to the end of the 10-year term, the Commission will have adjusted its minimum broadband performance standards for all ETCs, and other changes may well be necessary then to reflect marketplace realities at that time.

    31. Like rate-of-return carriers electing A-CAM support, Alaska Plan recipients will be permitted to use their Alaska Plan support for both operating expenses and capital expenses for new deployment, upgrades, and maintenance of voice and broadband-capable networks. Like recipients of model-based support, they may use that support anywhere in their network to upgrade their ability to offer improved service; they are not limited to using the support only for last mile facilities that traditionally have been supported through the HCLS and ICLS support mechanisms. They no longer will be required to submit line counts; support will be provided for the entire network. An Alaska Plan recipient will be deemed to be offering service if it is willing and able to provide qualifying service to a requesting customer within 10 business days.

    32. Alaska Plan participants—like all other ETCs—remain subject to limitations on the appropriate use of universal service support. The Commission recently released a public notice in which it reminded ETCs of their obligation to use high-cost support only for its intended purpose of maintaining and extending communications services to rural, high-cost areas. The public notice listed a number of expenses ETCs are not permitted to recover through high-cost support. These restrictions apply to recipients of frozen support, not just to those who receive support based on traditional cost-of-service rate-of-return principles. In addition, to the extent the Commission revises its expectations for appropriate expenditures in the future, carriers participating in the Alaska Plan will of course be subject to those new rules.

    33. Focusing Deployment on Unserved Areas. Like our other Connect America programs, the Commission will not dictate the specific locations Alaska Plan participants must serve, but Alaska Plan recipients will generally not be permitted to use Alaska Plan support to upgrade or deploy new broadband service to locations that are located in census blocks that are served by a qualifying unsubsidized competitor. To determine which census blocks are competitively served, the Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to conduct a challenge process similar to the challenge process they adopted for rate-of-return carriers receiving Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) support. The Commission will allow them, however, to count towards their deployment obligation unserved locations in partially served census blocks in specific circumstances, as explained more fully below.

    34. In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission adopted reforms to eliminate inefficiencies and instances in which “universal service support provides more support than necessary to achieve our goals,” by eliminating certain support in areas that are served by a qualifying unsubsidized competitor. In the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order, the Commission adopted a rule to eliminate CAF BLS in competitive areas, finding that “[p]roviding support to a rate-of-return carrier to compete against an unsubsidized provider distorts the marketplace, is not necessary to advance the principles in section 254(b), and is not the best use of our finite resources.” Specifically, under the new rule, a census block is deemed to be served by a qualifying unsubsidized competitor if the competitor holds itself out to the public as offering “qualifying voice and broadband service” to at least 85 percent of the residential locations in a given census block. The Commission established a robust challenge process to determine which census blocks are competitively served.

    35. The Commission adopt the same general approach for determining the presence of a qualifying unsubsidized competitor for the Alaska Plan that they adopted for purposes of determining competitive overlap for CAF BLS. Specifically, a census block will be deemed to be served by an unsubsidized competitor if that competitor offers a qualifying voice and broadband service to at least 85 percent of the residential locations within a given census block. To qualify, the unsubsidized competitor must be a facilities-based provider of residential fixed voice service with the ability to port numbers in the relevant census block, and must offer a broadband service at speeds of at least 10/1 Mbps, at a latency of 100 milliseconds or less, with a usage allowance of at least 150 GB at reasonably comparable rates, utilizing the Alaska-specific benchmark. For purposes of implementing this requirement, the Commission notes that there are certain areas where GCI currently is receiving support for its wireline competitive ETC, but has committed to relinquishing that support as part of the overall Alaska Plan. In implementing this requirement, therefore, the Commission will treat GCI as an unsubsidized competitor in those study areas where it has committed to relinquish its support, to the extent it meets all of the requisite requirements. Like with our other Connect America programs, the Commission finds that it would be an inefficient use of Alaska Plan support to permit recipients to use that support to upgrade or deploy new voice and broadband services where unsubsidized competitors already offer services that meet our standards.

    36. Accordingly, the Commission adopts a challenge process for identifying which census blocks that are in Alaska rate-of-return carriers' service areas are served by qualifying unsubsidized competitors and delegate authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau to take any necessary steps to conduct the challenge process. The challenge process shall be conducted using the same general format and rules adopted by the Commission for the challenge process for CAF-BLS recipients. In summary, the Wireline Competition Bureau will publish a public notice with a link to the preliminary list of unsubsidized competitors serving the relevant census blocks according to the most recent publicly available Form 477 data. There will then be a comment period in which unsubsidized competitors, which carry the burden of persuasion, must certify that they offer qualifying voice and broadband services to 85 percent of locations in the relevant census blocks, accompanied by supporting evidence. The Wireline Competition Bureau will then accept submissions from the incumbent or other interested parties seeking to contest the showing made by the competitor. After the conclusion of the comment cycle, the Wireline Competition Bureau will make a final determination of which census blocks are competitively served, weighing all of the evidence in the record.

    37. Once the challenge process results have been announced, Alaska Plan participants may petition the Wireline Competition Bureau if they believe adjustments to their approved performance plans are warranted. That is, to the extent an Alaska Plan recipient committed to upgrade or deploy new service to locations that are located in census blocks that are determined to be served as a result of the challenge process, they may need to identify other locations that they can serve in eligible census blocks in order to offer service to the requisite number of locations that they have committed to serve at the specified minimum speeds. In those circumstances, the Commission concludes it would serve the public interest to allow Alaska Plan participants to deploy service to unserved locations in partially served census blocks. In particular, if a carrier seeks to adjust its deployment obligations in its approved performance plan because certain census blocks are deemed competitively served at the conclusion of the challenge process, the Bureau has delegated authority to work with such carriers to determine whether there are unserved locations in partially served blocks that could count towards their deployment obligations. To the extent they are unable to identify additional locations, the Wireline Competition Bureau has delegated authority to modify the obligations in their performance plans consistent with the approach the Commission adopts today.

    38. In addition, the Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to reassess the competitive landscape prior to the beginning of the Alaska Plan recipients' fifth year of support. This will provide refreshed competitive coverage data to consider when the Wireline Competition Bureau reassesses whether any adjustments in the Alaska Plan recipients' performance plans should be made for the second half of the 10-year term.

    39. Alaskan rate-of-return carriers will have a one-time opportunity to elect to participate in the Alaska Plan. Those carriers that choose not to participate have the option of electing to receive A-CAM support by the applicable deadline or remaining on the reformed legacy support mechanisms.

    40. Consistent with the Commission's other programs that provide a fixed support amount for a set term, they will require rate-of-return carriers choosing to participate in the Alaska Plan to do so on a state-level basis rather than at the study area level. The Commission has required price cap carriers and rate-of-return carriers electing model-based support to do so at the state-level to prevent carriers from cherry-picking the study areas that would receive more money from the relevant model and to allow carriers to make business decisions about managing different operating companies on a more consolidated basis. Given Alaska's large size and variable terrain, the Commission recognizes that there may be major differences in the geographic conditions and infrastructure availability for a carrier's various study areas. However, carriers will have the flexibility to take these factors into account when they specify how many locations they will be able to serve and at what broadband speeds in their performance plans at the state-level. Given that this extra flexibility is already provided to carriers electing to participate in the Alaska Plan, the Commission is not convinced that carriers serving Alaska should be given even more flexibility than other rate-of-return carriers by having the ability to choose different funding mechanisms for each of their study areas.

    41. The Commission notes that 18 Alaska rate-of-return carriers have already submitted 17 proposed performance plans to the Wireline Competition Bureau. Given that this Order is consistent with ATA's proposal, subject to minor modifications, the Commission presumptively considers these plan commitments to constitute an election to participate in the plan. Alaskan rate-of-return carriers that have already submitted proposed performance plans that choose to update their proposed performance commitments or not participate in the plan in light of this Order should file such updates or provide such notice no later than 30 days from the effective date of this Order. Carriers that have already submitted proposed performance plans should submit any such updated performance plans or provide such notice in WC Docket No. 16-271. Also in light of this Order, the Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to further review the proposed performance commitments on file (or any timely update). While review of their performance plan is pending, carriers will remain on the revised legacy support mechanisms.

    42. If the Wireline Competition Bureau concludes that a proposed performance plan meets the applicable requirements and will serve the public interest, it will release a public notice approving the performance plan. The public notice will authorize the carrier to begin receiving support and directing USAC to obligate and disburse Alaska Plan support once certain conditions are met. Support will be conditioned on an officer of the company submitting a letter in WC Docket No. 16-271 certifying that the carrier will comply with the public interest obligations adopted in this Order and the deployment obligations set forth in the adopted performance plan within five days of the release of the public notice or such longer period of time, not to exceed fifteen days, as the Bureau's public notice specifies.

    43. Because carriers that are authorized to begin receiving Alaska Plan support will be receiving a frozen support amount for a specified term, like carriers that elected A-CAM support, they must refile their special access tariffs removing the costs of consumer broadband-only loops from the Special Access category, consistent with the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order. The costs that would be included in the revenue requirement for the Common Line category will be removed from rate-of-return regulation. The carriers are permitted—but not required—to assess a wholesale consumer broadband-only loop charge that does not exceed $42 per line per month. Alternatively, they may detariff such a charge. Alaska Plan recipients must also exit the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) common line pool, and they have the option of continuing to use NECA to tariff their end-user charges. Once USAC confirms that these steps have been taken, support under the Alaska Plan may be disbursed.

    44. If all 19 Alaskan rate-of-return carriers were to participate in the Alaska Plan, this would result in approximately $55.7 million being disbursed annually. This represents an increase over their current support levels, in the aggregate. As described below, to the extent that Alaska Plan recipients' adjusted 2011 frozen support exceeds their 2015 support levels, the excess will be funded using funds that are saved through the phasing down of the competitive ETC support that is currently used to provide service in non-Remote Alaska.

    45. Because carriers participating in the Alaska Plan will be receiving a set amount of support over a defined support term in exchange for defined performance obligations over that term, their support will not be subject to the budget controls that the Commission has adopted for HCLS and CAF BLS. This is consistent with our approach for rate-of-return carriers electing A-CAM support. For the purpose of determining the budget amount available for rate-of-return carriers not electing A-CAM support or participating in the Alaska plan, USAC shall treat Alaska Plan support in the same manner as A-CAM support.

    46. Consistent with the action taken when price cap carriers' support was frozen at 2011 levels and the recent decision with respect to rate-of-return carriers that elect A-CAM support, the Commission also directs NECA to rebase the cap on HCLS once Alaska Plan support is authorized for electing rate-of-return carriers that formerly received HCLS. In the first annual HCLS filing following the initial disbursement of Alaska Plan support, NECA shall calculate the amount of HCLS that those carriers would have received in absence of their election, subtract that amount from the HCLS cap, and then recalculate HCLS for the remaining carriers using the rebased amount.

    47. ATA proposes that participants be subject to the recordkeeping and compliance requirements set forth in section 54.320(d) of the Commission's rules. The Commission builds on that proposal and require participants in the Alaska Plan to comply with our existing high-cost reporting and oversight mechanisms, unless otherwise modified as described below.

    48. Annual Reporting Requirements. Pursuant to section 54.313 of the Commission's rules, Alaska Plan participants must continue to file their FCC Form 481 on July 1 each year. Further, consistent with the relief granted to other rate-of-return carriers in the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order, the Commission eliminates the requirement that Alaska Plan participants file annual updates to their five-year service quality improvement plans once they receive Paperwork Reduction Act approval for the geocoded location reporting requirement the Commission adopts below.

    49. The Commission adds a reporting requirement to the Form 481 for Alaska Plan recipients to help the Commission monitor the availability of infrastructure for these carriers. For Alaska Plan recipients that have identified in their adopted performance plans that they rely exclusively on performance-limiting satellite backhaul for certain number of locations, the Commission will require that they certify whether any terrestrial backhaul, or any new generation satellite backhaul service providing middle mile service with technical characteristics comparable to at least microwave backhaul, became commercially available in the previous calendar year in areas that were previously served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite backhaul If a recipient certifies that such new backhaul has become available, it must provide a description of the backhaul technology, the date on which that backhaul was made commercially available to the carrier and the number of locations that are newly served by such new backhaul. Within twelve months of the new backhaul facilities becoming commercially available, funding recipients must certify that they are offering broadband service with latency suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban areas at reasonably comparable rates (using the Alaska-specific reasonable comparability benchmark). Given that the Commission will be adopting tailored deployment obligations for Alaska Plan providers, they exempt them for the requirement that ETCs certify they are offering Internet service at speeds of at least 1 Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream to areas served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite backhaul.

    50. The Wireline Competition Bureau will be able to consider this data at the mid-point in the 10-year term when it reviews carriers' minimum speed commitments in light of the current marketplace. This data will also be useful for the Commission in determining what steps to take after the 10-year support term for Alaska Plan participants. The Commission concludes that the benefits to the public interest of this oversight will outweigh any potential burdens on Alaska Plan participants, particularly given that they expect Alaska Plan carriers will be monitoring available backhaul to ensure they are maximizing their Alaska Plan support in deploying voice and broadband services.

    51. Additionally, consistent with the requirements that apply to all ETCs subject to broadband public interest obligations, the Commission will require each Alaska Plan recipient to certify on an annual basis that it is commercially offering voice and broadband services that meet the public interest obligations they have adopted in this Order at the speeds committed to in its own performance plan, to the locations they reported as required below. This requirement will ensure that the Commission is able to monitor that Alaska Plan recipients are continuing to use their Alaska Plan support for its intended use throughout their support term, and they are continuing to offer service meeting the relevant minimum requirements.

    52. For Alaska Plan recipients that propose to maintain their existing networks throughout the 10-year support term without newly deploying or upgrading service to locations within their service areas, the Commission requires that such carriers retain documentation on how much of their Alaska Plan support was spent on capital expenses and operating expenses and be prepared to produce such documentation upon request. Given that these recipients will not be able to demonstrate that they are meeting new service milestones, the Commission concludes that it is reasonable to require them to be prepared to produce documentation to demonstrate how they are using Alaska Plan support. The Commission expects that this requirement will not impose an undue burden on these recipients because they track their capital and operating expenditures in the regular course of business.

    53. Finally, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska will submit the annual section 54.314 intended use certification on behalf of Alaska Plan participants, like all ETCs subject to the jurisdiction of a state commission.

    54. Location Reporting Requirements. In the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order, the Commission adopted geocoded location reporting requirements that they now extend to Alaska Plan participants. Specifically, starting on March 1, 2018, and on a recurring basis thereafter, the Commission will require all Alaska Plan participants to submit to USAC the geocoded locations for which they have newly deployed or upgraded broadband meeting the minimum speeds in their approved performance plans and their associated speeds. The geocoded location information should reflect those locations that are broadband-enabled where the company is prepared to offer voice and broadband service meeting the speeds committed to in the deployment plan and the relevant public interest obligations, within 10 business days.

    55. Alaska Plan participants will be required to submit geocoded location information for their newly offered and upgraded broadband locations starting March 1, 2018 and then by March 1 following each support year. However, like other ETCs subject to this reporting obligation, the Commission expects that Alaska Plan participants will report the information on a rolling basis. A best practice would be to submit the information no later than 30 days after service is initially offered to locations in satisfaction of their deployment obligations.

    56. Like other high-cost recipients that are required to meet service milestones for broadband public interest obligations, Alaska Plan participants will also be required to file certifications with their location submission to ensure their compliance with their public interest obligations. Each participant must certify that it has met its five-year service milestone by March 1 following its fifth year of support and certify that it has met its 10-year service milestone by March 1 following its 10th year of support. Participants that fail to file their geolocation data and associated deployment certifications on time will be subject to the penalties described in section 54.316(c) of our rules.

    57. The Commission also adopts a reporting requirement for newly deployed backhaul. The Commission will require Alaska Plan participants to submit fiber network maps or microwave network maps in a format specified by the Bureaus covering eligible areas and to update such maps if they have deployed middle-mile facilities in the prior calendar year that are or will be used to support their service in eligible areas.

    58. Reassessment. The Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to reassess the deployment obligations in the approved performance plans before the end of the fifth year of support. The Commission therefore requires that participating carriers update their end-of-term commitments no later than the end of the fourth year of support, and they delegate to the Wireline Competition Bureau the authority to review and approve modifications that serve the public interest. This will be an opportunity to assess whether local conditions have changed, and any adjustments to the performance plan might be appropriate. A number of Alaska rate-of-return carriers have represented that they cannot offer broadband services at 10/1 Mbps speeds at the present time due to limitations in access to middle mile infrastructure. To the extent such conditions have improved, the Commission delegates authority to the Wireline Competition Bureau to adopt modifications to approved performance plans to ensure that Alaska Plan support is being maximized to offer reasonably comparable services to the carrier's service area.

    59. The Commission acknowledges that certain Alaska rate-of-return carriers may only be able to commit at this point to maintaining existing Internet access at speeds below 10/1 Mbps due to limitations in their access to infrastructure. To the extent that a carrier faces such limitations, it should specify in its performance plan the number of locations where it commits to maintain its existing voice and Internet access service and provide a justification for why it cannot commit to upgrading Internet access to faster speeds within in its service area. The Commission directs the Wireline Competition to monitor these carriers more closely to determine when it is feasible to implement specific deployment obligations. The Commission expects that to the extent such limiting conditions have changed, the Wireline Competition Bureau will revise the carrier's deployment obligations to require that they upgrade their existing service or deploy service to new locations. The Commission concludes that reviewing such carrier's performance plans on a biennial basis rather than at the mid-point of the term will serve the public interest. The Wireline Competition Bureau will be able to monitor that such carriers are effectively utilizing their Alaska Plan support instead of only maintaining the status quo throughout the support term, rather than at a point when they have already received half of their support.

    60. Monitoring. To ensure that Connect America support is used as effectively as possible, the Commission must be able to measure and monitor the service commitments in each Alaska Plan recipient's performance plan. The Commission expects to monitor the progress of all rate-of-return carriers in meeting their respective deployment obligations, including those participating in the Alaska Plan, and are willing to make future adjustments where warranted. In addition to the reassessment, the Commission delegates to the Wireline Competition Bureau the authority to approve changes to the deployment obligations in the adopted performance plans during the support term if such changes are due to circumstances that did not exist at the time the performance plans were adopted and are consistent with the public interest and the requirements adopted in this Order.

    61. Reductions in support. The Commission has generally adopted a five-year and 10-year service milestone for the Alaska Plan that will be more specifically defined based on each participant's approved performance plan. Based on the record before the Commission, they find no reason to relax our compliance standards for Alaska Plan participants, and indeed, they note that ATA proposes that participants in the plan be subject to the existing rule. Thus, Alaska Plan participants that fail to meet these milestones will be subject to the same potential reductions in support as any other carrier subject to defined obligations. If, by the end of the 10-year term an Alaska Plan participant is unable to meet its final service milestone, it will be required to repay 1.89 times the average amount of support per location received over the 10-year term for the relevant number of locations that the carrier has failed to deploy to, plus 10 percent of its total Alaska Plan support received over the 10-year term.

    62. Audits. Like all ETCs, Alaska carriers will be subject to ongoing oversight to ensure program integrity and to deter and detect waste, fraud and abuse. All ETCs that receive high-cost support are subject to compliance audits and other investigations to ensure compliance with program rules and orders. Our decision today to provide frozen support based on past support amounts does not limit the Commission's ability to recover funds or take other steps in the event of waste, fraud or abuse.

    III. Alaska Plan for Mobile Carriers

    63. In this section, the Commission adopts that part of ATA's integrated plan that addresses high-cost support for competitive ETCs providing mobile service in remote areas of Alaska, subject to the minor modifications described herein. The Commission has previously recognized that competitive ETCs in Alaska's remote regions face conditions unique to the state, and much of Alaska's remote areas remain unserved or underserved by mobile carriers. The Alaska Plan includes a consensus plan among the mobile providers in remote areas of Alaska that provides predictable, stable support to those providers, frozen at 2014 levels for a term of 10 years. As in the Alaska Plan for rate-of-return carriers, the Commission will provide a one-time opportunity for Alaskan competitive ETCs to elect to participate in the Alaska Plan for mobile carriers. Eligible competitive ETCs who elect not to participate in the Alaska Plan will have their support phased out over a period of three years, as proposed by ATA.

    64. The Commission requires that participating competitive ETCs submit individual performance plans with deployment commitments at the end of year five and year 10 meeting the requirements adopted in this Order, discussed below. The Commission delegates to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau authority to approve proposed performance plans if they are consistent with the public interest and comply with the requirements the Commission adopts in this Order. The Commission will require progress reports of the Alaska Plan participants throughout the 10-year term, and they will establish specific measures to help ensure verifiability and compliance. In addition, the Commission delegates authority to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to approve minor revisions in each carrier's commitments throughout the plan term when in the public interest and to effectuate plan implementation and administration as detailed below. The Commission also requires that each carrier revisit its 10-year deployment commitments no later than the end of year four, as described in detail below.

    65. The Commission adopts the Alaska Plan for mobile carriers, subject to certain conditions and modifications herein, for the provision of high cost support to competitive ETCs offering mobile service to consumers in remote Alaska. In the course of eliminating the identical support rule, the Commission observed that carriers in remote Alaska had unique concerns and recognized that Mobility Funds needed to be flexible enough to accommodate special conditions in places like Alaska, to account for “its remoteness, lack of roads, challenges and costs associated with transporting fuel, lack of scalability per community, satellite and backhaul availability, extreme weather conditions, challenging topography, and short construction season.” These challenges can drive up costs while the low population bases in these areas strain revenue. The Commission expressed particular concern that “[o]ver 50 communities in Alaska have no access to mobile voice service today, and many remote Alaskan communities have access to only 2G services.” The Commission finds that, given these unique concerns, the Alaska Plan, as modified, is a reasonable approach to promote the provision of mobile voice and broadband service in Alaska. The plan will freeze at current levels the funds that are currently going to mobile providers in remote Alaska in return for specified network deployment commitments. The plan will also create a separate fund that will reallocate a majority of the annual funding currently dedicated to mobile providers in non-remote areas of Alaska and create a reverse auction to expand service in unserved areas of remote Alaska. The Commission finds that the plan they adopt will enable competitive ETCs offering service in remote Alaska to continue operating their current services and to extend and upgrade their existing networks.

    66. ATA represents that as of December 31, 2014, the competitive ETCs serving remote Alaska served a population of 143,991 in the areas eligible for frozen support, with only 13,452 of that population receiving 4G LTE service and 66,025 receiving only 2G/voice service. The remaining 64,514 of the population received only 3G service as of that date. If all eight of the competitive ETCs serving remote Alaska that have submitted proposed performance plans participate in the Alaska Plan, by the end of the 10-year term the population receiving 4G LTE service in eligible areas will increase from 9 percent as of December 2014 to 85 percent, or 122,119. Alaskans receiving only 2G/voice will decrease from 46 to 7 percent of the population, or 10,202, while those receiving 3G service only will drop from 45 to 8 percent or 11,669. Moreover, additional support of up to approximately $22 million will be redirected to a reverse auction in which competitive ETCs may bid to receive annual support for 10 years to extend service to areas that do not have any commercial mobile radio service.

    67. In adopting the Alaska Plan, the Commission declines to instead adopt ACS's proposed alternative plan involving the creation of a State or non-profit provider of middle mile. As an initial matter, the ACS proposal would require changes to several different universal service mechanisms outside the scope of this proceeding, such as the rural health care and E-Rate mechanisms. The Commission also finds that the alternative plan would involve significant implementation and operational issues regarding the proposed middle mile provider that, at a minimum, would lead to substantial delay and may well not be practical. In addition, the Commission takes into account that the Alaska Plan was developed and presented as a part of an integrated plan for competitive ETCs serving remote Alaska and their affiliated rate-of-return carriers, and that it represents a consensus approach supported by all mobile carriers providing subsidized service in remote Alaska, whereas the ACS alternative appears to have the support of only ACS itself, which does not provide any mobile service in Alaska. Further, while the ACS plan seeks to address the critical need in remote Alaska for new terrestrial middle-mile deployment, it does not provide any specific plan for the high cost support of retail mobile voice and broadband services to consumers—which is the ultimate goal of this proceeding. The Commission also notes that service providers are entitled to use support to construct the facilities required for them to meet their deployment obligations, including using support for improved backhaul and middle mile. Accordingly, the Commission rejects ACS's proposed alternative plan. For the reasons discussed below, the Commission declines to adopt the conditions proposed by ACS, but do provide that the phase down of competitive ETC support of mobile carriers who were not signatories of the Alaska Plan will begin no earlier than 12 months after release of this Order.

    68. Each qualifying mobile carrier that elects to participate in the Alaska Plan will receive annually an amount of support equal to their competitive ETC support frozen at December 2014 levels, and participating carriers shall no longer be required to file line counts. This support will be frozen at these levels for 10 years and replaces the identical support phase down schedule for participating competitive ETCs. Our decision to freeze support at December 31, 2014 levels for mobile carriers participating in the Alaska Plan is consistent with our determination that certain areas require ongoing support in order for mobile service to continue to be offered and our goal to ensure universal availability of voice and broadband to homes in rural, insular, and high-cost areas. If the eight eligible competitive ETCs participate in the Alaska Plan, this would result in approximately $74 million being dispersed annually for each of the 10 years that the plan is in effect.

    69. The Commission adopts certain public interest obligations for the mobile services that are supported by the Alaska Plan.

    70. Provision of Service. At a minimum, the Commission finds that mobile carriers in remote Alaska must provide a stand-alone voice service and, at a minimum, offer to maintain the level of data service they were providing as of the respective dates their individual plans are adopted by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and to improve service consistent with their approved performance plans.

    71. Reasonably Comparable Rates. Section 254(b)(3) provides the universal service principle that consumers in all regions in the nation, including “rural, insular, and high cost areas,” should have access to advanced communications that are reasonably comparable to those services and rates available in urban areas. The Commission requires participating carriers to certify their compliance with this obligation in their annual compliance filings described below, and to demonstrate compliance at the end of the five-year milestone and 10-year milestone, also described below. Further, consistent with the conclusions in Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, the Commission provides that a carrier may demonstrate compliance by showing that its required stand-alone voice plan, and one service plan that offers broadband data services, if it offers such plans, are (1) substantially similar to a service plan offered by at least one mobile wireless service provider in the cellular market area (CMA) for Anchorage, Alaska, and (2) offered for the same or a lower rate than the matching plan in the CMA for Anchorage. Because of the unique conditions in remote Alaska, however, and the variety of circumstances and costs of the affected carriers, the Commission authorizes the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to employ alternative benchmarks appropriate for specific competitive ETCs under the Alaska Plan in assessing carrier offerings.

    72. The Commission reject ACS's request that they require recipients to ensure reasonably comparable rates in their middle mile offerings. While recipients of the plan are free to invest in middle mile to bolster their last-mile mobile offerings, this support is not directly for improving middle-mile offerings to other carriers. As noted above, our overarching goal is to preserve and enhance the provision of broadband service to consumers.

    73. The Commission adopts a support term of 10 years for recipients of the Alaska Plan. Given the conditions faced by carriers specifically in remote Alaska, including the vast distance, the extreme weather, and the very short construction seasons, the Commission concludes that a 10-year term of support will serve the public interest. The provision of predictable support over this timeframe will enable providers to undertake long-term plans to invest in and upgrade their mobile network services, while the requirement to file updated proposed deployment obligations during the 10-year term, as discussed below, will ensure that participating competitive ETCs are using their support in a manner that furthers universal service goals.

    74. Alaska Plan recipients will be permitted to use their Alaska Plan support for both operating expenses and capital expenses for new deployment, upgrades, and maintenance of mobile voice and broadband-capable networks, including middle-mile improvements needed to those ends. As long as an Alaska Plan participant is offering service in an eligible area, as defined below, and consistent with the public interest obligations delineated in this Order, service in that area will be eligible for support.

    75. The Commission reject ACS's request that the Commission condition support under the plan by requiring recipients “to spend at least 70% of their support to deploy and operate terrestrial middle-mile facilities on routes where such facilities do not exist with sufficient capacity to meet demand based on speed and usage benchmarks the Commission has adopted across its universal service mechanisms.” The Commission is not persuaded that requiring that each recipient dedicate 70% of its support to this specific task would best serve the interest of Alaskan consumers. For instance, the Quintillion Subsea Cable System could provide high speed broadband access to mobile providers along the west coast of Alaska, such as for ASTAC and OTZ Wireless, without those carriers having to spend 70% of their support to invest in separate middle-mile buildout. The Commission finds that allowing recipients to invest in middle-mile facilities as needed based on their respective situations would allow these carriers to better target the support that they receive in accordance with their circumstances to meet their deployment obligations.

    76. Moreover, the Commission determine that it is not in the public interest to regulate carriers that choose to build middle-mile facilities using support from the plan under dominant carrier regulations. ACS requests that “[c]arriers constructing and operating middle mile facilities where there is no unaffiliated competitive terrestrial service provider . . . be regulated as dominant telecommunications carriers on those routes.” It is not clear what ACS intends to be the consequences of such a condition, or that such a condition is either necessary or in the public interest. The Commission notes that GCI has already indicated that its provision of middle-mile service on the TERRA network is a Title II service provided subject to the common carriage requirements of sections 201 and 202 of the Act.

    77. Finally, the Commission declines to adopt ACS's proposed condition to deny transfer of support received by a competitive ETC participating in the Alaska Plan in all instances of transfer of customers or other affiliation or acquisition of one participating carrier by another. The Commission instead delegates to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to determine in the context of a particular proposed transaction involving a competitive ETC that is an Alaska Plan participant the extent to which a transfer of a proportionate amount of the transferring carrier's Alaska Plan support, along with what specific performance obligations, would serve the public interest.

    78. Performance Plans. The Commission appreciates the particular challenges that providing mobile service in Alaska presents to wireless carriers, and at this time they choose to adopt general, rather than specific, deployment parameters. The Commission adopts ATA's proposal that remote competitive ETCs that choose to participate in the Alaska Plan must submit a performance plan consistent with the requirements found in this Order. Each competitive ETC that would like to participate in the Alaska Plan must identify in its performance plan: (1) the types of middle mile used on that carrier's network; (2) the level of technology (2G, 3G, 4G LTE, etc.) that carrier provides service at for each type of middle mile used; (3) the delineated eligible populations served, as described below, at each technology level by each type of middle mile as they stand currently and at years five and 10 of the support term; and (4) the minimum download and upload speeds at each technology level by each type of middle mile as they stand currently and at years five and 10 of the support term. Accordingly, each performance plan must specify the population covered by the five-year and 10-year milestones the Commission adopts below, broken down for each type of middle mile, and within each type of middle mile, for each level of data service offered. The proposed performance plans must reflect any improvements to service, through improved middle mile, improved technology, or both. The Commission expects participants in the Alaska Plan for mobile carriers to offer service meeting the deployment standard described below. Alaska Plan participants must offer service meeting the milestones they commit to in their adopted service plans. The Commission delegates to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau authority to require additional information, including during the Bureau's review of the proposed performance plans, from individual participants that it deems necessary to establish clear standards for determining whether or not they meet their five- and 10-year commitments, which may include geographic location of delineated-eligible populations, as well as specific requirements for demonstrating that they have met their commitments regarding broadband speeds. This approach allows Alaska Plan participants the ability to deploy service and technology achievable and tailored to the challenges faced by the carriers. The Commission also requires, however, that participating carriers update their end-of-term commitments no later than the end of year four, and they delegate authority to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to review these updates in light of any new developments, including newly available infrastructure, and require revised commitments if it serves the public interest.

    79. Deployment Standard. The Commission expects that Alaska Plan participants will work to extend 4G LTE service to populations who are currently served by 2G or 3G. However, the Commission recognizes that there are unique limitations to extending 4G LTE—and in certain locations 3G—in remote Alaska due to infrastructure and the cost of upgraded middle mile. Participants may also be permitted in particular circumstances to maintain lower levels of technology to a subset of locations due to such limitations as difficult terrain or lack of access to either terrestrial middle mile infrastructure or satellite backhaul providing middle-mile service with technical characteristics comparable to at least microwave backhaul. The Commission therefore authorizes the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to approve plans in particular circumstances that may propose not to provide 4G LTE service, but only to maintain service at 2G or 3G or to upgrade to service from 2G to 3G. The Commission has determined that it will serve the public interest to balance our goal of deploying reasonably comparable voice and broadband service with our goal of ensuring that universal service support is used efficiently and remains within the amounts budgeted to each participating competitive ETC. This approach is also consistent with our stated goal of ensuring that funding is “focused on preserving service that otherwise would not exist and expanding access to 4G LTE in those areas that the market otherwise would not serve,” while accounting for the special challenges faced by mobile carriers in remote Alaska.

    80. Coverage. The Commission provides that frozen support provided to mobile carriers pursuant to the Alaska Plan may only be used to provide mobile voice and broadband service in those census blocks in remote Alaska where, as of December 31, 2014, less than 85% of the population was covered by the 4G LTE service of providers that are either unsubsidized or not eligible for frozen support in Alaska and accordingly subject to a phase down of all current support. Thus, mobile carriers receiving frozen support may only satisfy their performance commitments through service coverage in the eligible areas.

    81. The Commission finds that the ATA plan's refocus of competitive ETC support in Alaska to the remote areas is reasonable and in the public interest. First, the vast majority of the population of non-remote Alaska is already receiving 4G LTE from a nationwide CMRS provider. Further, while a very small number of people within non-remote Alaska are covered by only subsidized 4G LTE service from a nationwide CMRS provider—AT&T—the Commission is persuaded that AT&T does not need the support that it receives for this small area to continue providing service, given the success of both Verizon and AT&T in providing unsubsidized 4G LTE throughout the majority of non-remote Alaska and the willingness of GCI to forgo future support for its 4G LTE service in that area as well. The Commission notes also that AT&T makes no claim to needing support for this small area and that its own proposed standard of ineligibility would terminate support throughout non-remote Alaska. In addition, while non-remote Alaska is already extensively covered by LTE, numerous small communities in remote Alaska lack adequate or even the most basic mobile service. Under the plan the Commission adopted, funds will be allocated to help improve service and extend deployment to these remote areas, which they find will better serve the goals of universal service than further investment in the significant level of service already enjoyed by consumers living in non-remote Alaska.

    82. For this purpose, the Commission will treat a carrier's service in remote areas of Alaska as equivalent to service provided in non-remote areas (and accordingly subject to a three-year phase down in support) if in connection with this service, the carrier did not previously claim the “covered locations” exception to the interim cap on competitive ETC support that the Commission established in 2008. In so doing, the Commission is guided by their approach to high cost support in remote Alaska in the 2011 USF/ICC Transformation Order, which provided remote Alaskan carriers with a two-year delay in the phase down of legacy support applicable to carriers elsewhere, but only if the Alaskan carriers had previously claimed the covered locations exception. As a result, a carrier serving remote areas that had been eligible for the covered locations exception (which would have included any competitive ETC in remote Alaska) but that chose not to claim it was treated the same as providers in non-remote areas, for whom the Commission found “no evidence . . . that any accommodation is necessary to preserve service or protect consumers. . . .” Consistent with the eligibility for the remote Alaska delayed phase down established in the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission restricts competitive ETC eligibility for frozen support in remote Alaska to those competitive ETCs that both serve remote Alaska and claimed the covered locations exception, and the Commission provides that support going to carriers in remote Alaska who did not claim the covered locations exception will, like support in non-remote areas, be phased out and reallocated.

    83. The Commission further provides that, in remote Alaska, eligible areas will include only those census blocks where, as of December 31, 2014, less than 85% of the population was covered by the 4G LTE service of providers that are either currently unsubsidized under the high cost mechanism or subject to a phase down of all current mobile support in the relevant census block. The Commission finds that excluding blocks where there is 4G LTE service being provided that is either unsubsidized or subject to a phase down of support will further our goal of targeting universal service support to areas that will not be served by the market without such support. The Commission also finds the proposed 85% coverage threshold reasonable for remote Alaska. As GCI notes, the use of an 85% threshold is analogous to the threshold used to determine competitive census blocks for rate-of-return carriers in the 2016 Rate-of-Return Reform Order. Further, because census blocks in Alaska are quite large, it would not be surprising that a part of the census block would need further support even when another part of the block does not.

    84. The Commission declines to adopt AT&T's proposal that all areas covered by 4G LTE service, including remote areas receiving only subsidized 4G LTE service, should be ineligible for support absent a case-by-case waiver. The Commission finds, on the current record, including the unique costs and challenges of service in remote Alaska, the specific cost evidence submitted in the Brattle Group study, the limited extent of 4G LTE deployment in remote Alaska, and the consensus support for the ATA plan, that the approach the Commission adopts will better advance universal service in that region. In sum, the Commission concludes that it is in the public interest to allow competitive ETCs participating in the Alaska Plan to use support provided by the Alaska Plan to provide service in remote census blocks where, as of December 31, 2014, less than 85% of the population received 4G LTE service from providers that are either unsubsidized or not eligible for frozen support in Alaska and accordingly subject to a phase down of all current support.

    85. Duplicative funding. As a general policy, since the reforms of the Commission's high cost support mechanisms adopted in 2011, the Commission has sought to eliminate the provision of high-cost support to more than one competitive ETC in the same area. The Alaska Plan as proposed by ATA makes no provisions, however, for addressing the potential for high-cost funds to support overlapping networks in remote Alaska at any time over the plan's 10-year term. The Commission is particularly concerned that it does not address the potential that high-cost funds could be used to support more than one 4G LTE deployment in the same area. The analysis of overlap submitted by the ATA signatories and independent staff analysis of the parties' Form 477 submissions indicates that there is no current overlap of 4G LTE service provided by the eligible carriers. The same data suggest, however, that there is a potential for such overlap as eligible carriers upgrade their networks to 4G LTE to meet their performance commitments. At this time, however, the Commission cannot know with certainty whether such overlap will occur and, if so, in which locations and to what extent.

    86. Today, the Commission concludes that support provided to overlapped areas in the future should be redistributed to eliminate any instances of duplicate support for 4G LTE service in the manner to be determined once 4G LTE overlap is reevaluated during the fifth year of the plan. As discussed below and in the concurrently adopted FNPRM, the Commission therefore adopts a process for revisiting whether and to what extent there is duplicative funding for 4G LTE service during the first part of the 10-year term, and seek comment on mechanisms for eliminating any such duplicative funding, and for determining how to redistribute any such funds.

    87. The Commission will maintain the support levels they adopt today for the first five years of the term to spur 4G LTE deployment in remote Alaska, consistent with the carriers' performance commitments, in order to further our goal of promoting mobile broadband deployment in areas where such deployment has seriously lagged behind the rest of the Nation. To address the potential for duplicative support over time, however, the Commission will evaluate whether there is any overlap in subsidized 4G LTE coverage areas in the fifth year, with the expectation of eliminating any such duplicative support during the second half of the Plan's 10-year term. To do so, the Commission will assess 4G LTE deployment and any overlap in subsidized areas as of December 31, 2020, as reflected in the March 2021 Form 477 filing. Thereafter, based on that assessment as well as additional information in the record in response to the concurrently adopted FNPRM and in the resulting Order, the Commission will implement a process, at the beginning of the sixth year, to eliminate duplicative support to areas where there is more than one provider offering subsidized 4G LTE service. The Commission finds that this approach strikes the appropriate balance in promoting the deployment of 4G LTE services in remote Alaska, where such service has lagged significantly, while providing a mechanism to eliminate any duplicative support that may arise, consistent with our principles of fiscal responsibility and maximizing the impact of limited universal service funds.

    88. Timeline. The Commission will require competitive ETCs participating in the Alaska Plan to meet one interim milestone by the end of their fifth year of their support term and complete their deployment to the required population in their eligible service areas by the end of the tenth year of their support term.

    89. The Alaska Plan is limited to support of remote areas of Alaska, given the unique challenges faced by providers in those areas. A competitive ETC will be eligible for frozen support pursuant to the Alaska Plan if it serves remote areas in Alaska, and it certified that it served covered locations anywhere in remote areas in Alaska in its September 30, 2011 filing of line counts with the USAC. Competitive ETCs eligible for frozen support under the Alaska Plan will have a one-time opportunity to elect to participate in the Plan.

    90. The Commission notes that eight Alaskan mobile carriers have submitted proposed performance plans to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Given that this Order is consistent with ATA's proposal, subject to minor modifications, the Commission presumptively considers these plan commitments to constitute an election to participate in the plan. Alaskan carriers that choose to update their proposed performance commitments or not participate in the plan in light of this Order should file such updates or provide such notice no later than 30 days from the effective date of this Order. Competitive ETCs should submit any such updated performance plans or provide such notice in WC Docket No. 16-271. Also in light of this Order, the Commission directs the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to further review the proposed performance plans on file (or any timely filed update). While review of their performance plan is pending, carriers will remain on the revised legacy support mechanism. If the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau concludes that a proposed performance plan meets the applicable requirements the Commission adopts in this Order and will serve the public interest, it will release a public notice approving the relevant performance plan. The public notice will authorize the carrier to begin receiving support and direct USAC to obligate and disburse Alaska Plan support once the conditions are met. Support will be conditioned on an officer of the company submitting a letter in WC Docket No. 16-271 certifying that the carrier will comply with the public interest obligations adopted in this Order and the deployment obligations set forth in the adopted performance plan within five days of the release of the Bureau's public notice or such longer period of time, not to exceed fifteen days, as the Bureau's public notice specifies.

    91. Competitive ETCs that are eligible but choose not to participate in the Alaska Plan, will have their current support phased down over a three-year period, as proposed in the Alaska Plan, beginning January 1, 2017. Competitive ETCs who are participants in the proposed Alaska Plan and who receive support in non-remote areas of Alaska will have such support phased down over the same period. Because the Commission adopts the Alaska Plan for mobile carriers as an Alaska-specific comprehensive substitute mechanism for mobile high-cost support, they further provide that there will be no support provided under Mobility Fund Phase II or Tribal Mobility Fund Phase II for mobile service within Alaska.

    92. The Commission provides a 12-month period from the release date of the Report and Order before the commencement of the three-year phase down of competitive ETC support insofar as it applies to carriers that are not signatories to the Alaska Plan, i.e., AT&T/Dobson. Specifically, the phase down will commence on the beginning of the month that immediately follows the expiration of the 12-month period. The Commission finds this accommodation to be reasonable, as such a carrier may require additional transition time to reduce any disruptions.

    93. ATA proposes that, like the rate-of-return participants, competitive ETC participants be subject to the reporting requirements set forth in 54.313 and the recordkeeping and compliance requirements set forth in section 54.320(d) of the Commission's rules. The Commission adopts and build on that proposal, as described below.

    94. Annual Reporting Requirements. Pursuant to section 54.313 of the Commission's rules, competitive ETCs that participate in the Alaska Plan must continue to file FCC Form 481 on July 1 each year. Alaska Plan participants, like all ETCs subject to the jurisdiction of a State, are also required to have Alaska submit the section 54.314 intended use certification on their behalf. Alaska Plan participants will no longer be required to file line counts as required by section 54.307.

    95. As with the reporting requirements of Alaskan rate-of-return carriers, the Commission also establishes certain additional reporting requirements for carriers receiving support under the Alaska Plan. First, the Commission adds a reporting requirement to the Form 481 for competitive ETCs that participate in the Alaska Plan to help the Commission monitor the availability of infrastructure for these carriers. For Alaska Plan recipients that have identified in their adopted performance plans that they rely exclusively on performance-limiting satellite backhaul for a certain portion of the population in their service area, the Commission will require that they certify whether any terrestrial backhaul, or any new-generation satellite backhaul service providing middle-mile service with technical characteristics comparable to at least microwave backhaul, became commercially available in the previous calendar year in areas that were previously served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite backhaul. If a recipient certifies that such new backhaul has become available, it must provide a description of the backhaul technology, the date on which that backhaul was made commercially available to the carrier, and the number of the population served by the new backhaul option. Further, the Commission requires those Alaska Plan providers that have not already committed to providing 4G LTE at 10/1 Mbps speeds to the population served by the newly available backhaul by the end of the plan term to submit revised performance commitments factoring in the availability of the new backhaul option no later than the due date of the Form 481 in which they have certified that such backhaul became commercially available. The Commission has not been persuaded to adopt ACS's first three proposed conditions and accordingly also decline to adopt reporting conditions related to these conditions. The Commission does find it appropriate, however, to impose a requirement that all competitive ETCs receiving support under the plan must retain documentation on how much of their Alaska Plan support was spent on capital expenses and operating expenses and be prepared to produce such documentation upon request, which will assist the Commission in enforcing the terms of the plan and ensuring funds are spent efficiently and in the public interest. The Commission expects that this requirement will not impose an undue burden on these recipients because they track their capital and operating expenditures in the regular course of business. Moreover, while the Commission rejects ACS's particular proposal that competitive ETCs should state by December 31, 2017 where they intend to deploy broadband and what middle-mile facilities they will build or lease, the Commission will require Alaska Plan participants to submit fiber network maps or microwave network maps in a format specified by the Bureaus covering eligible areas and to update such maps if they have deployed middle-mile facilities in the prior calendar year that are or will be used to support their service in eligible areas. The Commission finds it will be more helpful to our ongoing assessment of the performance commitments of the recipients to have information on middle mile actually deployed rather than information regarding planned middle-mile deployment.

    96. Milestone Reporting Requirements. The Commission further determines that like other high-cost recipients that are required to meet milestones, each Alaska Plan participant will also be required to file certifications that it has met its milestones, including minimum download and upload speeds as stated in the approved performance plans. Each participant must certify that it has met its five-year milestone by the second month following its fifth year of support and certify that it has met its 10-year milestone by the second month following its tenth year of support. The Commission will rely on participating carriers' Form 477 submissions in determining whether each carrier's five-year and 10-year milestones have been met. Additionally, the Commission requires minimum upload and download speed certifications from carriers receiving more than $5 million annually in high cost funding to be supported by data from drive tests showing mobile transmissions to and from the network meeting or exceeding the speeds delineated in the approved performance plans. Based on the unique circumstances of remote Alaska, the Commission will not require drive-testing data from participating carriers receiving less than this amount. As with Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I, the Commission concludes that the required drive tests may be conducted by means other than in automobiles on roads, recognizing the unique terrain and lack of road networks in remote Alaska. Providers may demonstrate coverage of an area with a statistically significant number of tests in the vicinity of residences being covered. Equipment used to conduct the testing may be transported by off-road vehicles, such as snow-mobiles or other vehicles appropriate to local conditions.

    97. Reductions in support. The Commission has generally adopted a five-year and 10-year build-out milestone for the Alaska Plan that will be more specifically defined based on each participant's approved performance plan. Once a carrier's performance plan is approved by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the carrier is required to meet the performance benchmarks of the plan. Alaska Plan participants that fail to meet these milestones will be subject to the same potential reductions in support as any other carrier subject to defined obligations. If, by the end of the 10-year term an Alaska Plan participant is unable to meet its final build-out milestone, it will be required to repay 1.89 times the average amount of support per location received over the 10-year term for the relevant number of locations that the carrier has failed to deploy to, plus 10 percent of its total Alaska Plan support received over the 10-year term.

    98. Audits. Like all ETCs, Alaska mobile carriers will be subject to ongoing oversight to ensure program integrity and to deter and detect waste, fraud and abuse. All ETCs that receive high-cost support are subject to compliance audits and other investigations to ensure compliance with program rules and orders. Our decision today to provide frozen support based on past support amounts does not limit the Commission's ability to recover funds or take other steps in the event of waste, fraud or abuse.

    99. The Commission adopts ATA's proposal to reallocate that support subject to the phase down under the Alaska Plan to support the provision of mobile service in currently unserved Alaskan remote areas, less an amount that they reallocate to Alaska rate-of-return carriers to adjust their support levels, and the Commission provides that the new funding for unserved areas will be distributed through a reverse auction process. The Commission finds that allocating this additional support to fund the deployment of service to currently unserved areas will further the goal of ensuring “universal availability of modern networks capable of providing mobile voice and broadband service where Americans live, work, and travel.” As support to non-remote competitive ETCs phases down, up to approximately $22 million of support annually will be available to support mobile service in currently unserved remote areas, with such support to be awarded through a reverse auction. Any competitive ETC, including competitive ETCs that do not otherwise receive support for mobile service in remote Alaska, may bid in the auction to receive annual support through the remainder of the Plan term to extend service to areas that do not have commercial mobile radio service as of December 31, 2014. The Commission provides that, for the purposes of this support, “unserved” areas are those census blocks where less than 15% of the population within the census block was within any mobile carrier's coverage area. The Commission further provides that the reverse auction will be subject to the competitive bidding rules codified at Part 1 Subpart AA of the Commission's rules and delegate to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau authority to otherwise determine the applicable procedures and performance requirements to implement the reverse auction as established today.

    IV. Procedural Matters

    100. This document contains new information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the new information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, the Commission notes that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), they previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The Commission describes impacts that might affect small businesses, which includes most businesses with fewer than 25 employees, in the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) in Appendix B, infra.

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

    102. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), as amended, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analyses (IRFA) was incorporated in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted in November 2011 (USF/ICC Transformation FNPRM, 76 FR 78384, December 16, 2011) and the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted in April 2014 (April 2014 Connect America FNPRM, 79 FR 39196, July 9, 2016). The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the USF/ICC Transformation FNPRM and April 2014 Connect America FNPRM, including comment on the IRFAs. The Commission did not receive any relevant comments in response to these IRFAs. This Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.

    103. In the Report and Order, the Commission adopts the Alaska Plan for rate-of-return carriers and competitive eligible telecommunications carriers serving Alaska to support the deployment of voice and broadband-capable wireline and mobile networks in Alaska.

    104. The Commission provides Alaskan rate-of-return carriers with the option to obtain a fixed level of funding for a defined term in exchange for committing to deployment obligations that are tailored to each Alaska rate-of-return carrier's unique circumstances. Specifically, the Commission will provide a one-time opportunity for Alaskan rate-of-return carriers to elect to receive support in an amount equal to adjusted 2011 levels for a 10-year term. The Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to review proposed performance commitments. Alaskan rate-of-return carriers can elect to participate in the Alaska Plan, or can choose to receive support from the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) or remain on the reformed legacy mechanisms. Like all other Connect America programs, the Commission will monitor Alaska Plan participants' progress in meeting their deployment obligations throughout the 10-year term.

    105. The Commission additionally provides competitive ETCs serving remote areas of Alaska the option to obtain a fixed level of funding for a defined term in exchange for committing to performance obligations that are tailored to each competitive ETC's unique circumstances. Specifically, the Commission will provide a one-time opportunity for competitive ETCs serving remote areas of Alaska to elect to receive support frozen, for a majority of the carriers, at the levels the carriers received as of December 2014, and for one carrier at its March 2015 level. The Commission requires mobile carriers that wish to elect to participate in the Alaska Plan to submit performance plans indicating the population in their service area to which they will offer mobile service, the type of technology for last mile and middle mile, and minimum upload and download speeds meeting the public interest obligations the Commission adopt in this Order at five-year and ten-year service milestones. The Commission delegates to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau authority to approve such plans if the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau determines they are consistent with the public interest and comply with the requirements adopted in this Order. Competitive ETCs serving remote areas of Alaska that are not signatories to Alaska Plan and competitive ETCs that serve non-remote areas of Alaska will have their support phased down over a three-year period. Competitive ETC support insofar as it applies to carriers that are not signatories to the Alaska Plan will be subject to a 12 month period from the release date of the Report and Order before the commencement of the three-year phase down. Alaskan providers will not be eligible for any additional support for mobile services under our proposed Mobility Fund Phase II and Tribal Mobility Fund Phase II programs. Like all other high-cost programs, the Commission will monitor Alaska Plan participants' progress in meeting their deployment obligations throughout the 10-year term.

    106. There were no comments raised that specifically addressed the proposed rules and policies presented in the USF/ICC Transformation FNRPM IRFA or April 2014 Connect America FNPRM IRFA. Nonetheless, the Commission considered the potential impact of the rules proposed in the IRFA on small entities and reduced the compliance burden for all small entities in order to reduce the economic impact of the rules enacted herein on such entities.

    107. Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which amended the RFA, the Commission is required to respond to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and to provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rule(s) as a result of those comments.

    108. The Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rule(s) in this proceeding.

    109. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small-business concern” under the Small Business Act. A small-business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    110. Total Small Entities. Our proposed action, if implemented, may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. The Commission therefore describes here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards. First, nationwide, there are a total of approximately 28.2 million small businesses, according to the SBA, which represents 99.7% of all businesses in the United States. In addition, a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,215 small organizations. Finally, the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” Census Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 90,056 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States. The Commission estimates that, of this total, as many as 89,327 entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.” Thus, the Commission estimates that most governmental jurisdictions are small.

    111. In the Report and Order, for rate-of-return carriers, the Commission directs the Wireline Competition Bureau to review proposed performance plans from Alaskan rate-of-return carriers interested in participating in the Alaska Plan that specify the number of locations they commit to serve and the minimum speeds. The Wireline Competition Bureau will release a public notice approving the plan.

    112. Alaska Plan rate-of-return participants will be given a 10-year term of support and will be required to offer voice and broadband service meeting certain latency, data usage, and reasonably comparable rate obligations. In their performance plans, Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients will commit to offer such service to a certain number of locations in their service areas at specified minimum speeds by the end of the fifth year of their support term and by the end of the 10th year of their support term, or in the alternative maintain existing voice and broadband service meeting the relevant public interest obligations to a specified number of locations. Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients that fail to meet their service milestones will be subject to certain non-compliance measures, including support reductions and reporting. No later than the end of the fourth year of support, Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients must update their end-of-term commitments, which will be reviewed by the Wireline Competition Bureau, taking into account such factors as improved access to middle mile infrastructure and updated competitive coverage. The Wireline Competition Bureau will reassess the approved performance plans of carriers that commit to maintain existing service more frequently.

    113. Carriers electing to participate will be required to submit a letter from an officer of the company certifying that they will comply with the required public interest obligations and performance obligations set forth in their approved performance plan. To monitor Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients' use of support to ensure it is used for its intended purpose, the Commission has imposed several reporting requirements. Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients must file annual FCC Form 481s and must also certify and report certain data regarding the availability of backhaul and certify compliance with the relevant public interest obligations and their adopted performance plan. They must also submit fiber network maps and microwave network maps.

    114. Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients are also required to submit certain geocoded location data for the locations where they deploy new service. The Commission expects such information will be submitted on a rolling basis, but must be submitted by no later than March 1, 2018 and then March 1 following each support year. Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients must also certify that they have met their five-year and 10-year service milestones. Finally, Alaska Plan recipients are required to comply with all other existing high-cost reporting and oversight mechanisms, unless otherwise modified by the Order.

    115. Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients will only be able to count toward new deployment obligations locations in areas that are unserved by qualifying unsubsidized competitors. The Commission will rely on Form 477 data to preliminarily identify areas that are served by competitors. A challenge process will be held where competitors, which carry the burden of persuasion, must certify that they offer qualifying voice and broadband services to 85 percent of the locations in the relevant census blocks, accompanied by evidence. The incumbent and other interested parties will then be able to contest the showing made by the competitor. The Wireline Competition Bureau will make a final determination of which census blocks are competitively served, weighing all of the evidence in the record.

    116. Each competitive ETC that participates in the Alaska Plan must identify in its performance plan: (1) the types of middle mile used on that carrier's network; (2) the level of technology (2G, 3G, 4G LTE, etc.) that carrier provides service at for each type of middle mile used; (3) the delineated eligible populations served at each technology level by each type of middle mile as they stand currently and at years five and 10 of the support term; and 4) the minimum download and upload speeds at each technology level by each type of middle mile as they stand currently and at years five and 10 of the support term. Accordingly, each performance plan must specify the level of data service by each type of middle mile on a per person basis that will be offered by the five-year and 10-year milestones the Commission adopted. The proposed performance plans must reflect any improvements to service, through improved middle mile, improved technology, or both. Alaska Plan participants must offer service meeting the milestones they commit to in their adopted service plans. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau may require additional information, including during the Bureau's review of the proposed performance plans, from individual participants that it deems necessary to establish clear standards for determining whether or not they meet their five- and 10-year commitments, which may include geographic location of delineated-eligible populations, as well as specific requirements for demonstrating that competitive ETCs have met their commitments regarding broadband speeds. Competitive ETC participants are also required to update their end-of-term commitments no later than the end of year four, and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will review these updates in light of any new developments, including newly available infrastructure, and require revised commitments if it serves the public interest.

    117. Carriers electing to participate will be required to submit a letter from an officer of the company certifying that they will comply with the required public interest obligations and performance obligations set forth in their approved performance plan. Competitive ETCs participating in the Alaska Plan will be given a 10-year term of support and will be required to offer mobile service consistent with the public interest obligations set forth in this Order. Alaska Plan participants that fail to meet their service milestones will be subject to certain non-compliance measures, including support reductions and reporting. To monitor Alaska Plan recipients' use of support to ensure it is used for its intended purpose, the Commission has imposed several reporting requirements. Alaska Plan recipients must file annual FCC Form 481s and must also certify and report certain data regarding the availability of backhaul and certify compliance with the relevant public interest obligations and their adopted performance plans. Alaska Plan recipients must also submit fiber network maps and microwave network maps. Alaska Plan recipients must certify that they have met their five-year and ten-year service milestones, including any obligations pursuant to revised approved performance plans, and that they have met the requisite public interest obligations contained in this Order. Additionally, for mobile carriers receiving more than $5 million annually in support, these certifications must be accompanied by data received or used from drive tests analyzing network coverage for mobile service covering the population for which support was received and showing mobile transmissions to and from the carrier's network meeting or exceeding the minimum expected download and upload speeds delineated in the approved performance plans. The Commission expects such information will be submitted no later than March 1, 2022, and March 1, 2027.

    118. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include (among others) the following four alternatives: (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities. The Commission has considered all of these factors subsequent to receiving substantive comments from the public and potentially affected entities. The Commission has considered the economic impact on small entities, as identified in comments filed in response to the USF/ICC Transformation NPRM and FNRPM and their IRFAs, in reaching its final conclusions and taking action in this proceeding.

    119. The Commission is providing small Alaskan rate-of-return carriers with the certainty they need to invest in voice and broadband-capable networks by offering 10 years of adjusted 2011 frozen support. Recognizing the unique conditions and challenges they face, the Commission is giving them the flexibility to submit performance plans where they set the number of locations that will be upgraded in their service area and the minimum speeds they commit to serve. If the Wireline Competition Bureau approves the plan, they have the opportunity to elect to receive Alaska Plan support or instead they can elect model-based support or choose to remain on the reformed legacy support mechanisms. The Commission also adopted two service milestones—one halfway through the support term and the other at the end of the support term—to give more flexibility to Alaska Plan recipients to account for the fact that they have a shortened construction season and face other challenges in building infrastructure that are unique to Alaska.

    120. The Commission also takes steps to prohibit Alaska Plan rate-of-return recipients from using Alaska Plan support to upgrade or deploy new broadband in areas that are served by a qualifying unsubsidized competitor. However, the Commission removes from eligibility only those census blocks where an unsubsidized competitor offers service to at least 85 percent of their locations.

    121. The Commission notes that the reporting requirements they adopt for Alaskan rate-of-return carriers are tailored to ensuring that Alaska Plan support is used for its intended purpose and so that the Commission can monitor the progress of recipients in meeting their service milestones. The Commission finds that the importance of monitoring the use of the public's funds outweighs the burden of filing the required information on Alaska Plan recipients, particularly because much of the information that the Commission requires they report is information they expect they will already be collecting to ensure they comply with the terms and conditions of Alaska Plan support and they will be able to submit their location data on a rolling basis to help minimize the burden of uploading a large number of locations at once.

    122. The Commission is additionally providing small competitive ETCs serving remote Alaska with the certainty they need to invest in mobile service to remote areas by offering 10 years of adjusted December 2014 frozen support. Recognizing the unique conditions and challenges they face, the Commission is giving them the flexibility to submit performance plans where they set the number of the population that will be upgraded in their service area, the middle mile technology they commit to use, and minimum speeds at which they commit to offer service. If the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau approves the plan, they have the opportunity to elect to receive Alaska Plan support or have their support phase down over a three year term. The Commission also adopted two service milestones—one halfway through the support term and the other at the end of the support term—to give more flexibility to Alaska Plan recipients to account for the fact that they have a shortened construction season and face other challenges in building infrastructure that are unique to Alaska.

    123. The Commission removes from eligibility for support those census blocks where there is 4G LTE service being provided that is either unsubsidized or subject to a phase down of support.

    124. The Commission notes that the reporting requirements they adopt for competitive ETCs serving remote Alaska are tailored to ensuring that Alaska Plan support is used for its intended purpose and so that the Commission can monitor the progress of recipients in meeting their service milestones. The Commission finds that the importance of monitoring the use of the public's funds outweighs the burden of filing the required information on Alaska Plan recipients, particularly because much of the information that the Commission requires they report is information the Commission expects they will already be collecting to ensure they comply with the terms and conditions of Alaska Plan support.

    125. People with Disabilities. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    V. Ordering Clauses

    126. Accordingly, It is ordered, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 5, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, and 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 155, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, and 1302 that this Report and Order IS ADOPTED.

    127. It is further ordered that Part 54 and Part 69, of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR parts 54 and 69, ARE AMENDED as set forth below.

    128. It is further ordered that the rules adopted herein WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE November 7, 2016, except for §§ 54.313(f)(1)(i), 54.313(f)(3), 54.313(l), 54.316(a)(1), 54.316(a)(5) and(6), 54.316(b)(6), 54.320(d), and 54.321, which contain new or modified information collection requirements that require approval by the OMB. The Commission will publisha document in the Federal Register announcing such approval and the relevant effective date.

    List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 54

    Communications common carriers, Health facilities, Infants and children, Internet, Libraries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Schools, Telecommunications, Telephone.

    47 CFR Part 69

    Communications common carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telephone.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 54 and 69 as follows:

    PART 54—UNIVERSAL SERVICE 1. The authority citation for part 54 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 155, 201, 205, 214, 219, 220, 254, 303(r), 403, and 1302 unless otherwise noted.

    2. Section 54.306 is added to read as follows:
    § 54.306 Alaska Plan for Rate-of-Return Carriers Serving Alaska.

    (a) Election of support. For purposes of subparts A, B, C, D, H, I, J, K and M of this part, rate-of-return carriers (as that term is defined in § 54.5) serving Alaska have a one-time option to elect to participate in the Alaska Plan on a state-wide basis. Carriers exercising this option shall receive the lesser of;

    (1) Support as described in paragraph (c) of this section or

    (2) $3,000 annually for each line for which the carrier is receiving support as of the effective date of this rule.

    (b) Performance plans. In order to receive support pursuant to this section, a rate-of-return carrier must be subject to a performance plan approved by the Wireline Competition Bureau. The performance plan must indicate specific deployment obligations and performance requirements sufficient to demonstrate that support is being used in the public interest and in accordance with the requirements adopted by the Commission for the Alaska Plan. Performance plans must commit to offer specified minimum speeds to a set number of locations by the end of the fifth year of support and by the end of the tenth year of support, or in the alternative commit to maintaining voice and Internet service at a specified minimum speeds for the 10-year term. The Bureau may reassess performance plans at the end of the fifth year of support. If the specific deployment obligations and performance requirements in the approved performance plan are not achieved, the carrier shall be subject to § 54.320(c) and (d).

    (c) Support amounts and support term. For a period of 10 years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, at a date set by the Wireline Competition Bureau, each Alaska Plan participant shall receive monthly Alaska Plan support in an amount equal to:

    (1) One-twelfth (1/12) of the amount of Interstate Common Line Support disbursed to that carrier for 2011, less any reduction made to that carrier's support in 2012 pursuant to the corporate operations expense limit in effect in 2012, and without regard to prior period adjustments related to years other than 2011 and as determined by USAC on January 31, 2012; plus

    (2) One-twelfth (1/12) of the total expense adjustment (high cost loop support) disbursed to that carrier for 2011, without regard to prior period adjustments related to years other than 2011 and as determined by USAC on January 31, 2012.

    (d) Transfers. Notwithstanding any provisions of § 54.305 or other sections in this part, to the extent an Alaska Plan participant (as defined in § 54.306 or § 54.317) transfers some or all of its customers in Alaska to another eligible telecommunications carrier, it may also transfer a proportionate amount of its Alaska Plan support and any associated performance obligations as determined by the Wireline Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau if the acquiring eligible telecommunications carrier certifies it will meet the associated obligations agreed to in the approved performance plan.

    3. Section 54.308 is amended by adding paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 54.308 Broadband public interest obligations for recipients of high-cost support.

    (c) Alaskan rate-of-return carriers receiving support from the Alaska Plan pursuant to § 54.306 are exempt from paragraph (a) of this section and are instead required to offer voice and broadband service with latency suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban areas, at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates for comparable offerings in urban areas, subject to any limitations in access to backhaul as described in § 54.313(g). Alaska Plan recipients' specific broadband deployment and speed obligations shall be governed by the terms of their approved performance plans as described in § 54.306(b). Alaska Plan recipients must also comply with paragraph (b) of this section.

    (d) Mobile carriers that are receiving support from the Alaska Plan pursuant to § 54.317(e) shall certify in their annual compliance filings that their rates are reasonably comparable to rates for comparable offerings in urban areas. The mobile carrier must also demonstrate compliance at the end of the five-year milestone and 10-year milestone and may do this by showing that its required stand-alone voice plan, and one service plan that offers broadband data services, if it offers such plans, are:

    (1) Substantially similar to a service plan offered by at least one mobile wireless service provider in the cellular market area (CMA) for Anchorage, Alaska, and

    (2) Offered for the same or a lower rate than the matching plan in the CMA for Anchorage.

    4. Section 54.313 is amended by revising paragraph (f)(1)(i), adding paragraph (f)(3), revising paragraph (g), and adding paragraph (l) to read as follows:
    § 54.313 Annual reporting requirements for high-cost recipients.

    (f) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) A certification that it is taking reasonable steps to provide upon reasonable request broadband service at actual speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream, with latency suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban areas as determined in an annual survey, and that requests for such service are met within a reasonable amount of time; or if the rate-of-return carrier is receiving Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306, a certification that it is offering broadband service with latency suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban areas, and at speeds committed to in its approved performance plan to the locations it has reported pursuant to § 54.316(a), subject to any limitations due to the availability of backhaul as specified in paragraph (g) of this section.

    (3) For rate-of-return carriers participating in the Alaska Plan, funding recipients must certify as to whether any terrestrial backhaul or other satellite backhaul became commercially available in the previous calendar year in areas that were previously served exclusively by performance-limiting satellite backhaul. To the extent that such new terrestrial backhaul facilities are constructed, or other satellite backhaul become commercially available, or existing facilities improve sufficiently to meet the relevant speed, latency and capacity requirements then in effect for broadband service supported by the Alaska Plan, the funding recipient must provide a description of the backhaul technology, the date at which that backhaul was made commercially available to the carrier, and the number of locations that are newly served by the new terrestrial backhaul or other satellite backhaul. Within twelve months of the new backhaul facilities becoming commercially available, funding recipients must certify that they are offering broadband service with latency suitable for real-time applications, including Voice over Internet Protocol, and usage capacity that is reasonably comparable to comparable offerings in urban areas. Funding recipients' minimum speed deployment obligations will be reassessed as specified by the Commission.

    (g) Areas with no terrestrial backhaul. Carriers without access to terrestrial backhaul that are compelled to rely exclusively on satellite backhaul in their study area must certify annually that no terrestrial backhaul options exist. Any such funding recipients must certify they offer broadband service at actual speeds of at least 1 Mbps downstream and 256 kbps upstream within the supported area served by satellite middle-mile facilities. To the extent that new terrestrial backhaul facilities are constructed, or existing facilities improve sufficiently to meet the relevant speed, latency and capacity requirements then in effect for broadband service supported by the Connect America Fund, within twelve months of the new backhaul facilities becoming commercially available, funding recipients must provide the certifications required in paragraphs (e) or (f) of this section in full. Carriers subject to this paragraph must comply with all other requirements set forth in the remaining paragraphs of this section. These obligations may be modified for carriers participating in the Alaska Plan.

    (l) In addition to the information and certifications in paragraph (a) of this section, any competitive eligible telecommunications carrier participating in the Alaska Plan must provide the following:

    (1) Funding recipients that have identified in their approved performance plans that they rely exclusively on satellite backhaul for a certain portion of the population in their service area must certify as to whether any terrestrial backhaul or other satellite backhaul became commercially available in the previous calendar year in areas that were previously served exclusively by satellite backhaul. To the extent that new terrestrial backhaul facilities are constructed or other satellite backhaul become commercially available, the funding recipient must:

    (i) Provide a description of the backhaul technology;

    (ii) Provide the date on which that backhaul was made commercially available to the carrier;

    (iii) Provide the number of the population within their service area that are served by the newly available backhaul option; and

    (iv) To the extent the funding recipient has not already committed to providing 4G LTE at 10/1 Mbps to the population served by the newly available backhaul by the end of the plan term, submit a revised performance commitment factoring in the availability of the new backhaul option no later than the due date of the Form 481 in which they have certified that such backhaul became commercially available.

    (2) [Reserved]

    5. Section 54.316 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) and adding paragraphs (a)(5) and (6) and (b)(6) to read as follows:
    § 54.316 Broadband deployment reporting and certification requirements for high-cost recipients.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Recipients of high-cost support with defined broadband deployment obligations pursuant to § 54.308(a), 54.308(c), or § 54.310(c) shall provide to the Administrator on a recurring basis information regarding the locations to which the eligible telecommunications carrier is offering broadband service in satisfaction of its public interest obligations, as defined in either § 54.308 or § 54.309.

    (5) Recipients subject to the requirements of § 54.308(c) shall report the number of newly deployed and upgraded locations and locational information, including geocodes, where they are offering service providing speeds they committed to in their adopted performance plans pursuant to § 54.306(b).

    (6) Recipients subject to the requirements of § 54.308(c) or § 54.317(e) shall submit fiber network maps or microwave network maps covering eligible areas. At the end of any calendar year for which middle-mile facilities were deployed, these recipients shall also submit updated maps showing middle-mile facilities that are or will be used to support their services in eligible areas.

    (b) * * *

    (6) A rate-of-return carrier authorized to receive Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306 shall provide:

    (i) No later than March 1, 2022 a certification that it fulfilled the deployment obligations and is offering service meeting the requisite public interest obligations as specified in § 54.308(c) to the required number of locations as of December 31, 2021.

    (ii) No later than March 1, 2027 a certification that it fulfilled the deployment obligations and is offering service meeting the requisite public interest obligations as specified in § 54.308(c) to the required number of locations as of December 31, 2026.

    6. Section 54.317 is added to read as follows:
    § 54.317 Alaska Plan for competitive eligible telecommunications carriers serving remote Alaska.

    (a) Election of support. Subject to the requirements of this section, certain competitive eligible telecommunications carriers serving remote areas in Alaska, as defined in § 54.307(e)(3)(i), shall have a one-time option to elect to participate in the Alaska Plan. Carriers exercising this option with approved performance plans shall have their support frozen for a period of ten years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, at a date set by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, notwithstanding § 54.307.

    (b) Carriers eligible for support. A competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall be eligible for frozen support pursuant to the Alaska Plan if that carrier serves remote areas in Alaska as defined by § 54.307(e)(3)(i) and if that carrier certified that it served covered locations in Alaska in its September 30, 2011, filing of line counts with the Administrator and submitted a performance plan by August 23, 2016.

    (c) Interim support for remote areas in Alaska. From January 1, 2012, until December 31, 2016, competitive eligible telecommunications carriers subject to the delayed phase down for remote areas in Alaska pursuant to § 54.307(e)(3) shall receive support as calculated in § 54.307(e)(3)(v).

    (d) Support amounts and support term. For a period of 10 years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, at a date set by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, notwithstanding § 54.307, each Alaska Plan participant shall receive monthly Alaska Plan support in an amount equal to the annualized monthly support amount it received for December 2014. Alaska Plan participants shall no longer be required to file line counts.

    (e) Use of frozen support. Frozen support allocated through the Alaska Plan may only be used to provide mobile voice and mobile broadband service in those census blocks in remote areas of Alaska, as defined in § 54.307(e)(3)(i), that did not, as of December 31, 2014, receive 4G LTE service directly from providers that were either unsubsidized or ineligible to claim the delayed phase down under § 54.307(e)(3) and covering, in the aggregate, at least 85 percent of the population of the block. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit the use of frozen support to build or upgrade middle-mile infrastructure outside such remote areas of Alaska if such middle mile infrastructure is necessary to the provision of mobile voice and mobile broadband service in such remote areas. Alaska Plan participants may use frozen support to provide mobile voice and mobile broadband service in remote areas of Alaska served by competitive eligible telecommunications carrier partners of ineligible carriers if those areas are served using the competitive eligible telecommunications carrier's infrastructure.

    (f) Performance plans. In order to receive support pursuant to this section, a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier must be subject to a performance plan approved by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. The performance plan must indicate specific deployment obligations and performance requirements sufficient to demonstrate that support is being used in the public interest and in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section and the requirements adopted by the Commission for the Alaska Plan. For each level of wireless service offered (2G/Voice, 3G, and 4G LTE) and each type of middle mile used in connection with that level of service, the performance plan must specify minimum speeds that will be offered to a specified population by the end of the fifth year of support and by the end of the tenth year of support. Alaska Plan participants shall, no later than the end of the fourth year of the ten-year term, review and modify their end-of-term commitments in light of any new developments, including newly available infrastructure. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau may require the filing of revised commitments at other times if justified by developments that occur after the approval of the initial performance commitments. If the specific performance obligations are not achieved in the time period identified in the approved performance plans the carrier shall be subject to § 54.320(c) and (d).

    (g) Phase down of non-participating competitive eligible telecommunications carrier high-cost support. Notwithstanding § 54.307, and except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, support distributed in Alaska on or after January 1, 2017 to competitive eligible telecommunications carriers that serve areas in Alaska other than remote areas of Alaska, that are ineligible for frozen support under paragraphs (b) or (e) of this section, or that do not elect to receive support under this section, shall be governed by this paragraph. Such support shall be subject to phase down in three years as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, except that carriers that are not signatories to the Alaska Plan will instead be subject to a three-year phase down commencing on September 1, 2017, and competitive eligible telecommunications carriers that are signatories to the Alaska Plan but did not submit a performance plan by August 23, 2016 shall not receive support in remote areas beginning January 1, 2017.

    (1) From January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, each such competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall receive two-thirds of the monthly support amount the carrier received for December 2014 for the relevant study area.

    (2) From January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, each such competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall receive one-third of the monthly support amount the carrier received for December 2014 for the relevant study area.

    (3) Beginning January 1, 2019, no such competitive eligible telecommunications carrier shall receive universal service support for the relevant study area pursuant to this section or § 54.307.

    (h) Support for unserved remote areas of Alaska. Beginning January 1, 2017, support that, but for paragraph (g) of this section, would be allocated to carriers subject to paragraph (g) of this section shall be allocated for a reverse auction, with performance obligations established at the time of such auction, for deployment of mobile service to remote areas of Alaska, as defined in § 54.307(e)(3)(i), that are without commercial mobile radio service as of December 31, 2014.

    7. Section 54.320 is amended by revising paragraphs (d)(1) through (3) to read as follows:
    § 54.320 Compliance and recordkeeping for the high-cost program.

    (d) * * *

    (1) Interim build-out milestones. Upon notification that an eligible telecommunications carrier has defaulted on an interim build-out milestone after it has begun receiving high-cost support, the Wireline Competition Bureau—or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in the case of mobile carrier participants—will issue a letter evidencing the default. For purposes of determining whether a default has occurred, a carrier must be offering service meeting the requisite performance obligations. The issuance of this letter shall initiate reporting obligations and withholding of a percentage of the eligible telecommunication carrier's total monthly high-cost support, if applicable, starting the month following the issuance of the letter:

    (i) Tier 1. If an eligible telecommunications carrier has a compliance gap of at least five percent but less than 15 percent of the number of locations that the eligible telecommunications carrier is required to have built out to or, in the case of Alaska Plan mobile-carrier participants, population covered by the specified technology, middle mile, and speed of service in the carrier's approved performance plan, by the interim milestone, the Wireline Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, will issue a letter to that effect. Starting three months after the issuance of this letter, the eligible telecommunications carrier will be required to file a report every three months identifying the geocoded locations to which the eligible telecommunications carrier has newly deployed facilities capable of delivering broadband meeting the requisite requirements with Connect America support in the previous quarter, or, in the case of Alaska Plan mobile-carrier participants, the populations to which the competitive eligible telecommunications carrier has extended or upgraded service meeting their approved performance plan and obligations. Eligible telecommunications carriers that do not file these quarterly reports on time will be subject to support reductions as specified in § 54.313(j). The eligible telecommunications carrier must continue to file quarterly reports until the eligible telecommunications carrier reports that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than five percent of the required number of locations (or population, if applicable) for that interim milestone and the Wireline Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issues a letter to that effect.

    (ii) Tier 2. If an eligible telecommunications carrier has a compliance gap of at least 15 percent but less than 25 percent of the number of locations that the eligible telecommunications carrier is required to have built out to or, in the case of Alaska Plan mobile-carrier participants, population covered by the specified technology, middle mile, and speed of service in the carrier's approved performance plan, by the interim milestone, USAC will withhold 15 percent of the eligible telecommunications carrier's monthly support for that state and the eligible telecommunications carrier will be required to file quarterly reports. Once the eligible telecommunications carrier has reported that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than 15 percent of the required number of locations (or population, if applicable) for that interim milestone for that state, the Wireline Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will issue a letter to that effect, USAC will stop withholding support, and the eligible telecommunications carrier will receive all of the support that had been withheld. The eligible telecommunications carrier will then move to Tier 1 status.

    (iii) Tier 3. If an eligible telecommunications carrier has a compliance gap of at least 25 percent but less than 50 percent of the number of locations that the eligible telecommunications carrier is required to have built out to by the interim milestone, or, in the case of Alaska Plan mobile-carrier participants, population covered by the specified technology, middle mile, and speed of service in the carrier's approved performance plan, USAC will withhold 25 percent of the eligible telecommunications carrier's monthly support for that state and the eligible telecommunications carrier will be required to file quarterly reports. Once the eligible telecommunications carrier has reported that it has reduced the compliance gap to less than 25 percent of the required number of locations (or population, if applicable) for that interim milestone for that state, the Wireline Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will issue a letter to that effect, the eligible telecommunications carrier will move to Tier 2 status.

    (iv) Tier 4. If an eligible telecommunications carrier has a compliance gap of 50 percent or more of the number of locations that the eligible telecommunications carrier is required to have built out to or, in the case of Alaska Plan mobile-carrier participants, population covered by the specified technology, middle mile, and speed of service in the carrier's approved performance plan, by the interim milestone:

    (A) USAC will withhold 50 percent of the eligible telecommunications carrier's monthly support for that state, and the eligible telecommunications carrier will be required to file quarterly reports. As with the other tiers, as the eligible telecommunications carrier reports that it has lessened the extent of its non-compliance, and the Wireline Competition Bureau or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issues a letter to that effect, it will move down the tiers until it reaches Tier 1 (or no longer is out of compliance with the relevant interim milestone).

    (B) If after having 50 percent of its support withheld for six months the eligible telecommunications carrier has not reported that it is eligible for Tier 3 status (or one of the other lower tiers), USAC will withhold 100 percent of the eligible telecommunications carrier's monthly support and will commence a recovery action for a percentage of support that is equal to the eligible telecommunications carrier's compliance gap plus 10 percent of the ETC's support that has been disbursed to that date.

    (v) If at any point during the support term, the eligible telecommunications carrier reports that it is eligible for Tier 1 status, it will have its support fully restored, USAC will repay any funds that were recovered or withheld, and it will move to Tier 1 status.

    (2) Final milestone. Upon notification that the eligible telecommunications carrier has not met a final milestone, the eligible telecommunications carrier will have twelve months from the date of the final milestone deadline to come into full compliance with this milestone. If the eligible telecommunications carrier does not report that it has come into full compliance with this milestone within twelve months, the Wireline Competition Bureau—or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in the case of mobile carrier participants—will issue a letter to this effect. In the case of Alaska Plan mobile carrier participants, USAC will then recover the percentage of support that is equal to 1.89 times the average amount of support per location received by that carrier over the 10-year term for the relevant percentage of population. For other recipients of high-cost support, USAC will then recover the percentage of support that is equal to 1.89 times the average amount of support per location received in the state for that carrier over the term of support for the relevant number of locations plus 10 percent of the eligible telecommunications carrier's total relevant high-cost support over the support term for that state.

    (3) Compliance reviews. If subsequent to the eligible telecommunications carrier's support term, USAC determines in the course of a compliance review that the eligible telecommunications carrier does not have sufficient evidence to demonstrate that it is offering service to all of the locations required by the final milestone or, in the case of Alaska Plan participants, did not provide service consistent with the carrier's approved performance plan, USAC shall recover a percentage of support from the eligible telecommunications carrier as specified in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

    8. Section 54.321 is added to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 54.321 Reporting and certification requirements for Alaska Plan participants.

    Any competitive eligible telecommunications carrier authorized to receive Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.317 shall provide:

    (a) No later than 60 days after the end of each participating carrier's first five-year term of support, a certification that it has met the obligations contained in the performance plan approved by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, including any obligations pursuant to a revised approved performance plan and that it has met the requisite public interest obligations contained in the Alaska Plan Order. For Alaska Plan participants receiving more than $5 million annually in support, this certification shall be accompanied by data received or used from drive tests analyzing network coverage for mobile service covering the population for which support was received and showing mobile transmissions to and from the carrier's network meeting or exceeding the minimum expected download and upload speeds delineated in the approved performance plan.

    (b) No later than 60 days after the end of each participating carrier's second five-year term of support, a certification that it has met the obligations contained in the performance plan approved by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, including any obligations pursuant to a revised approved performance plan, and that it has met the requisite public interest obligations contained in the Alaska Plan Order. For Alaska Plan participants receiving more than $5 million annually in support, this certification shall be accompanied by data received or used from drive tests analyzing network coverage for mobile service covering the population for which support was received and showing mobile transmissions to and from the carrier's network meeting or exceeding the minimum expected download and upload speeds delineated in the approved performance plan.

    PART 69—ACCESS CHARGES 9. The authority citation for part 69 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 201, 202, 203, 205, 218, 220, 254, 403.

    10. Section 69.104 is amended by revising paragraph (s) to read as follows:
    § 69.104 End user common line for non-price cap incumbent local exchange carriers.

    (s) End User Common Line Charges for incumbent local exchange carriers not subject to price cap regulation that elect model-based support pursuant to § 54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306 of this chapter are limited as follows:

    (1) The maximum charge a non-price cap local exchange carrier that elects model-based support pursuant to § 54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306 of this chapter may assess for each residential or single-line business local exchange service subscriber line is the rate in effect on the last day of the month preceding the month for which model-based support or Alaska Plan support, as applicable, is first provided.

    (2) The maximum charge a non-price cap local exchange carrier that elects model-based support pursuant to § 54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306 of this chapter may assess for each multi-line business local exchange service subscriber line is the rate in effect on the last day of the month preceding the month for which model-based support or Alaska Plan support, as applicable, is first provided.

    11. Section 69.115 is amended by revising paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 69.115 Special access surcharges.

    (f) The maximum special access surcharge a non-price cap local exchange carrier that elects model-based support pursuant to § 54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306 of this chapter may assess is the rate in effect on the last day of the month preceding the month for which model-based support or Alaska Plan support, as applicable, is first provided.

    12. Section 69.130 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 69.130 Line port costs in excess of basic analog service.

    (b) The maximum charge a non-price cap local exchange carrier that elects model-based support pursuant to § 54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306 of this chapter may assess is the rate in effect on the last day of the month preceding the month for which model-based support or Alaska Plan support, as applicable, is first provided.

    13. Section 69.132 is amended by revising paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 69.132 End user Consumer Broadband-Only Loop charge for non-price cap incumbent local exchange carriers.

    (c) For carriers not electing model-based support pursuant to § 54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306 of this chapter, the single-line rate or charge shall be computed by dividing one-twelfth of the projected annual revenue requirement for the Consumer Broadband-Only Loop category (net of the projected annual Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support attributable to consumer broadband-only loops) by the projected average number of consumer broadband-only service lines in use during such annual period.

    (d) The maximum monthly per line charge for each Consumer Broadband-Only Loop provided by a non-price cap local exchange carrier that elects model-based support pursuant to § 54.311 of this chapter or Alaska Plan support pursuant to § 54.306 of this chapter shall be $42.

    [FR Doc. 2016-23918 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 32 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-NWRS-2016-0007; FXRS12650900000-167-FF09R26000] RIN 1018-BB31 2016-2017 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations Correction

    In rule document 2016-23190 appearing on pages 68874-68921 in the issue of Tuesday, October 4, 2016, make the following correction:

    § 32.25 [Corrected]

    On page 68893, beginning in the first column, in the ninth line, amendatory instruction 7. should read as follows.

    7. Amend § 32.25 by:

    a. Revising paragraphs A, B, and C under the entry Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge;

    b. Adding, in alphabetical order, an entry for Baca National Wildlife Refuge; and

    c. Revising paragraphs A, B, and C under the entry Monte Vista National Refuge.

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 32.25 Colorado. Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of geese, ducks, coots, snipe, Eurasian collared-doves, and mourning doves on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State and Federal regulations, and subject to the following conditions:

    1. We allow Eurasian collared-dove hunting only during the mourning dove season.

    2. You may possess only approved nontoxic shot for hunting (see § 32.2(k)).

    3. The only acceptable methods of take are shotguns, hand-held bows, and hawking/falconry.

    4. Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on national wildlife refuges must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (see § 27.42 of this chapter and specific refuge regulations in this part 32).

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of cottontail rabbit, and black-tailed and whitetailed jackrabbit, on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Conditions A2, A3 and A4 apply.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of elk on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Condition A4 applies.

    2. You must possess a valid State license and a refuge-specific permit from the State, or a valid State license issued specifically for the refuge, to hunt elk. State license selection will be made via the Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt selection process.

    Baca National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of Eurasian collared-doves and mourning doves only in designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State and Federal regulations, and subject to the following conditions:

    1. We allow Eurasian collared-dove hunting only during the mourning dove season.

    2. You may possess only approved nontoxic shot for hunting (see § 32.2(k)).

    3. The only acceptable methods of take are shotguns, hand-held bows, and hawking/falconry.

    4. Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on national wildlife refuges must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (see § 27.42 of this chapter and specific refuge regulations in this part 32).

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of cottontail rabbit, and black-tailed and whitetailed jackrabbit, on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Conditions A2 and A4 apply.

    2. We prohibit handguns for hunting.

    3. Shotguns, rifles firing rim-fire cartridges less than .23 caliber, hand-held bows, pellet guns, slingshots, and hawking/falconry are the only acceptable methods of take.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of elk on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Condition A4 applies.

    2. You must possess a valid State license and a refuge-specific permit from the State, or a valid State license issued specifically for the refuge, to hunt elk. State license selection will be made via the Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt selection process.

    D. Sport Fishing. [Reserved]

    Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

    A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of geese, ducks, coots, snipe, Eurasian collared-doves, and mourning doves on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State and Federal regulations, and subject to the following conditions:

    1. We allow Eurasian collared-dove hunting only during the mourning dove season.

    2. You may possess only approved nontoxic shot for hunting (see § 32.2(k)).

    3. The only acceptable methods of take are shotguns, hand-held bows, and hawking/falconry.

    4. Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on national wildlife refuges must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (see § 27.42 of this chapter and specific refuge regulations in this part 32).

    B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of cottontail rabbit, and black-tailed and whitetailed jackrabbit, on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Conditions A2, A3, and A4 apply.

    C. Big Game Hunting. We allow hunting of elk on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations and subject to the following conditions:

    1. Condition A4 applies.

    2. You must possess a valid State license and a refuge-specific permit from the State, or a valid State license issued specifically for the refuge, to hunt elk. State license selection will be made via the Colorado Parks and Wildlife hunt selection process.

    3. During firearms elk seasons, hunters must follow State law for use of hunter orange.

    [FR Doc. C1-2016-23190 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1301-00-D
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 130717632-4285-02] RIN 0648-XE902 International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2016 Bigeye Tuna Longline Fishery Reopening in the Eastern Pacific Ocean AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; fishery reopening.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is temporarily reopening the U.S. pelagic longline fishery for bigeye tuna for vessels over 24 meters in overall length in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) because part of the 500 metric ton (mt) catch limit remains available after NMFS closed the fishery on July 25, 2016. This action will allow U.S. vessels to access the remainder of the catch limit, which was established by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) in Resolution C-13-01.

    DATES:

    The reopening is effective October 4, 2016 until the effective date of a notice of closure which will be published in the Federal Register, or through 11:59 p.m. local time December 31, 2016, whichever comes first.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Taylor Debevec, NMFS West Coast Region, 562-980-4066.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States is a member of the IATTC, which was established under the Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission signed in 1949 (Convention). The Convention provides an international agreement to ensure the effective international conservation and management of highly migratory species of fish in the IATTC Convention Area. The IATTC Convention Area, as amended by the Antigua Convention, includes the waters of the EPO bounded by the coast of the Americas, the 50° N. and 50° S. parallels, and the 150° W. meridian.

    Pelagic longline fishing in the EPO is managed, in part, under the Tuna Conventions Act as amended (Act), 16 U.S.C. 951-962. Under the Act, NMFS must publish regulations to carry out recommendations of the IATTC that have been approved by the Department of State (DOS). In 2013, the IATTC adopted Resolution C-13-01, which establishes an annual catch limit of bigeye tuna for longline vessels over 24 meters. For calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016, the catch of bigeye tuna by longline gear in the IATTC Convention Area by fishing vessels of the United States that are over 24 meters in overall length is limited to 500 mt per year. With the approval of the DOS, NMFS implemented this catch limit by notice-and-comment rulemaking under the Act (79 FR 19487, April 9, 2014, and codified at 50 CFR 300.25).

    NMFS, through monitoring retained catches of bigeye tuna noted in logbook data submitted by vessel captains and other available information from the longline fisheries in the IATTC Convention Area, determined that the 2016 catch limit would be reached by July 25, 2016, and published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the closure of the fishery (81 FR 46614, July 18, 2016). However, after reviewing the catch data, NMFS determined that approximately 250 mt of the catch limit remains available. Therefore, NMFS is publishing this notice to reopen the fishery so that the remainder of the catch limit may be caught. All fishing for the remaining catch limit must be done in accordance with regulations at 50 CFR 300.25. NMFS will continue to monitor bigeye tuna catch and publish a notice of closure if the catch limit will be reached before the catch limit regulations expire on December 31, 2016. Notice of a fishery closure will be published 7 calendar days in advance of the effective date.

    Classification

    NMFS has determined there is good cause to waive prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Compliance with the notice and comment requirement would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest because this action is simply a correction to a premature closure and is of benefit to fishermen since they cannot currently access the fishery. Moreover, NMFS previously solicited and considered public comments on the rule that established the catch limit (79 FR 19487, April 9, 2014). For the same reasons, NMFS has also determined there is good cause to waive the requirement for a 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    This action is required by § 300.25(b) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.

    Dated: October 4, 2016 Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24347 Filed 10-4-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 195 Friday, October 7, 2016 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC-2016-0137] RIN 3150-AJ77 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC International MAGNASTOR® Cask System; Certificate of Compliance No. 1031, Amendment No. 6 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend its spent fuel storage regulations by revising the NAC International (NAC), MAGNASTOR® Cask System listing within the “List of approved spent fuel storage casks” to include Amendment No. 6 to Certificate of Compliance (CoC) No. 1031. Amendment No. 6 revises NAC-MAGNASTOR technical specifications (TSs) to align with the NAC Multi-Purpose Canister (MPC) and NAC Universal MPC System TSs. The CoC No. 1031 TSs require that a program be established and maintained for loading, unloading, and preparing fuel for storage without any indication of duration for the program. Amendment No. 6 limits maintenance of this program until all spent fuel is removed from the spent fuel pool and transport operations are completed. Related training and radiation protection program requirements are modified accordingly. Additionally, Amendment No. 6 incorporates the change to Limiting Condition for Operation 3.1.1 previously approved by the NRC in CoC No. 1031 Amendment No. 4.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by November 7, 2016. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC staff is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0137. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keith McDaniel, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5252 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0137 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-2016-0137.

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

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

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2016-0137 in your comment submission. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

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

    II. Procedural Background

    This proposed rule is limited to the changes contained in Amendment No. 6 to CoC No. 1031 and does not include other aspects of the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System design. Because the NRC considers this action noncontroversial and routine, the NRC is publishing this proposed rule concurrently with a direct final rule in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register. Adequate protection of public health and safety continues to be ensured. The direct final rule will become effective on December 21, 2016. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on this proposed rule by November 7, 2016, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws the direct final rule. If the direct final rule is withdrawn, the NRC will address the comments received in response to these proposed revisions in a subsequent final rule. Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action in the event the direct final rule is withdrawn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For additional procedural information and the regulatory analysis, see the direct final rule published in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register.

    III. Background

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

    To implement this mandate, the Commission approved dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in NRC-approved casks under a general license by publishing a final rule which added a new subpart K in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) entitled, “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites” (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990). This rule also established a new subpart L in 10 CFR part 72 entitled, “Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks,” which contains procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of spent fuel storage cask designs. The NRC subsequently issued a final rule on November 21, 2008 (73 FR 70587), that approved the NAC MAGNASTOR® Cask System design and added it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in 10 CFR 72.214 as CoC No. 1031.

    IV. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, well-organized manner that also follows other best practices appropriate to the subject or field and the intended audience. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883). The NRC requests comment on the proposed rule with respect to clarity and effectiveness of the language used.

    V. Availability of Documents

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

    Document ADAMS
  • Accession No.
  • NAC License Amendment Request, Letter Dated December 11, 2015 ML15349A941. Proposed CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 6 ML16119A101. Proposed CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 6—Technical Specifications, Appendix A ML16119A110. Proposed CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 6—Technical Specifications, Appendix B ML16119A118. CoC No. 1031, Amendment No. 6—Preliminary Safety Evaluation Report ML16119A123.

    The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal rulemaking Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2016-0137. The Federal rulemaking Web site allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2016-0137); (2) click the “Sign up for Email Alerts” link; and (3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 72

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

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

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

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

    2. In § 72.214, Certificate of Compliance 1031 is revised to read as follows:
    § 72.214 List of approved spent fuel storage casks.

    Certificate Number: 1031.

    Initial Certificate Effective Date: February 4, 2009, superseded by Initial Certificate, Revision 1, on February 1, 2016.

    Initial Certificate, Revision 1, Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 1 Effective Date: August 30, 2010, superseded by Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, on February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 1, Revision 1, Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 2 Effective Date: January 30, 2012, superseded by Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, on February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 2, Revision 1, Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 3 Effective Date: July 25, 2013, superseded by Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, on February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 3, Revision 1, Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    Amendment Number 4 Effective Date: April 14, 2015.

    Amendment Number 5 Effective Date: June 29, 2015.

    Amendment Number 6 Effective Date: December 21, 2016.

    SAR Submitted by: NAC International, Inc.

    SAR Title: Final Safety Analysis Report for the MAGNASTOR® System.

    Docket Number: 72-1031.

    Certificate Expiration Date: February 4, 2029.

    Model Number: MAGNASTOR®.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of September, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Glenn M. Tracy, Acting Executive Director for Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24316 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION 11 CFR Parts 100, 106, and 109 [Notice 2016-11] Rulemaking Petition: Political Party Rules AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    ACTION:

    Rulemaking Petition: Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 15, 2016, the Federal Election Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking asking the Commission to revise existing rules regarding the use of federal funds to pay for certain activities of state, district, or local committees of a political party. The Commission seeks comments on this petition.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    All comments must be in writing. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically via the Commission's Web site at http://www.fec.gov/fosers, reference REG 2016-03, or by email to [email protected] Alternatively, commenters may submit comments in paper form, addressed to the Federal Election Commission, Attn.: Mr. Neven F. Stipanovic, Acting Assistant General Counsel, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463.

    Each commenter must provide, at a minimum, his or her first name, last name, city, state, and zip code. All properly submitted comments, including attachments, will become part of the public record, and the Commission will make comments available for public viewing on the Commission's Web site and in the Commission's Public Records room. Accordingly, commenters should not provide in their comments any information that they do not wish to make public, such as a home street address, personal email address, date of birth, phone number, social security number, or driver's license number, or any information that is restricted from disclosure, such as trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Neven F. Stipanovic, Acting Assistant General Counsel, or Mr. Joseph P. Wenzinger, Attorney, Office of General Counsel, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694-1650 or (800) 424-9530.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 2016, the Federal Election Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking from the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and its Chair, Ken Martin, requesting that the Commission amend several regulations applicable to political parties.

    First, the Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101-46 (the “Act”), as amended by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (“BCRA”), and Commission regulations provide that a state, district, or local committee of a political party must pay for “Federal election activity” with either entirely federal funds or, in other instances, a mix of federal funds and “Levin funds.” See 52 U.S.C. 30125(b); 11 CFR 300.32. Under Commission regulations, “Federal election activity” includes certain activities that urge, encourage, or assist people to register to vote or to vote. See 11 CFR 100.24; Definition of Federal Election Activity, 75 FR 55257, 55260 (Sept. 10, 2010). The petitioners request that the Commission narrow this definition.

    Second, Commission regulations provide that political parties must use a federal account to pay the salary, wages, and fringe benefits of an employee who spends more than 25 percent of that individual's time on “Federal election activities” or on conduct “in connection with a Federal election.” See 11 CFR 106.7(d)(1)(i)-(ii). The petitioners ask the Commission to amend this rule to omit “Federal election activities” from the calculation, covering only activities “in connection with a Federal election.”

    Finally, the petitioners ask the Commission to consider additional regulatory modifications listed in Commission Agenda Document No. 15-54-A, a proposed resolution that recommended amending several rules to (1) allow political parties “to discuss issue advertisements with candidates,” “republish parts of candidate materials in party materials,” and “distribute volunteer campaign materials without triggering coordination limits,” see 11 CFR 109.37; (2) “[e]xpand political party freedom to engage in volunteer activities such as volunteer mail drives, phone banks, and literature distribution,” see id. 100.87, 100.147; and (3) modify the definition of “Federal election activity” to permit “political parties to register voters and urge citizens to vote on behalf of state and local candidates free from FEC regulation” and to “employ people to engage in state and local get-out-the-vote activities with state funds,” see id. 100.24.

    The Commission seeks comments on the petition. The public may inspect the Petition for Rulemaking on the Commission's Web site at http://www.fec.gov/fosers, or in the Commission's Public Records Office, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Interested persons may also obtain a copy of the petition by dialing the Commission's Faxline service at (202) 501-3413 and following its instructions. Request document #283.

    The Commission will not consider the petition's merits until after the comment period closes. If the Commission decides that the petition has merit, it may begin a rulemaking proceeding. The Commission will announce any action that it takes in the Federal Register.

    On behalf of the Commission,

    Dated: September 29, 2016. Matthew S. Petersen, Chairman, Federal Election Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24310 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION 11 CFR Parts 102, 104, 106, 109, 110, 9008, and 9012 [Notice 2016-10] Rulemaking Petition: Implementing the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    ACTION:

    Rulemaking Petition: Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Election Commission has received a Petition for Rulemaking that asks the Commission to amend its regulations to implement amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act made by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which established certain new accounts for national party committees. The petition also asks the Commission to amend its regulations regarding convention committees. The Commission seeks comments on this petition.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 30, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    All comments must be in writing. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically via the Commission's Web site at http://www.fec.gov/fosers, reference REG 2014-10, or by email to [email protected] Alternatively, commenters may submit comments in paper form, addressed to the Federal Election Commission, Attn.: Neven F. Stipanovic, Acting Assistant General Counsel, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463.

    Each commenter must provide, at a minimum, his or her first name, last name, city, state, and zip code. All properly submitted comments, including attachments, will become part of the public record, and the Commission will make comments available for public viewing on the Commission's Web site and in the Commission's Public Records room. Accordingly, commenters should not provide in their comments any information that they do not wish to make public, such as a home street address, personal email address, date of birth, phone number, social security number, or driver's license number, or any information that is restricted from disclosure, such as trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Neven F. Stipanovic, Acting Assistant General Counsel, or Mr. Tony Buckley or Ms. Esther D. Gyory, Attorneys, Office of General Counsel, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694-1650 or (800) 424-9530.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On January 8, 2016, the Federal Election Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking from the Perkins Coie LLP Political Law Group. The petition asks the Commission to adopt new regulations, and to revise its current regulations, to implement amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101-46 (“FECA”), made by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Pub. L. 113-235, 128 Stat. 2130, 2772 (2014) (the “Appropriations Act”). The petition also asks the Commission to adopt new regulations, and to amend its current regulations, regarding convention committees.

    The Appropriations Act amended FECA by establishing separate limits on contributions to three types of segregated accounts of national party committees (collectively “party segregated accounts”). The party segregated accounts are for expenses incurred with respect to (1) presidential nominating conventions; (2) party headquarters buildings; and (3) election recounts or contests and other legal proceedings. 52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(9). The Appropriations Act permits a national party committee to maintain the party segregated accounts in addition to any other federal accounts that the committee may lawfully maintain.

    Under the Appropriations Act, a national party committee may use its presidential nominating convention account “solely to defray expenses incurred with respect to a presidential nominating convention (including the payment of deposits) or to repay loans the proceeds of which were used to defray such expenses, except that the aggregate amount of expenditures the national committee of a political party may make from such account may not exceed $20,000,000 with respect to any single convention.” 52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(9)(A). A committee may use its party headquarters building account “solely to defray expenses incurred with respect to the construction, purchase, renovation, operation, and furnishing of one or more headquarters buildings of the party or to repay loans the proceeds of which were used to defray such expenses, or otherwise to restore funds used to defray such expenses.” 52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(9)(B). Finally, a national party committee may use its election recounts or contests and other legal proceedings account to “defray expenses incurred with respect to the preparation for and the conduct of election recounts and contests and other legal proceedings.” 52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(9)(C). The petition asks the Commission to adopt a “new regulatory framework” for each type of party segregated account and to amend current regulations, or adopt new regulations, that would apply to all such accounts.

    The petition also addresses convention committees. Until recently, national party committees were entitled to receive public funds to defray the costs of their presidential nominating conventions. See 26 U.S.C. 9001-9013 (2012); 11 CFR part 9008. Commission regulations therefore established convention committees “as a necessary requirement in order to enable the Commission to know who has initial responsibility for handling public funds and incurring expenditures.” Presidential Election Campaign Fund and Federal Financing of Presidential Nominating Conventions, 44 FR 63036, 63038 (Nov. 1, 1979). In 2014, however, Congress terminated the public funding of presidential nominating conventions, while leaving in place most of the statutory framework that had implemented that funding system. See Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, Pub. L. 113-94, 128 Stat. 1085 (2014) (the “Research Act”). Shortly after the Research Act was passed, in response to a request filed by two national party committees, the Commission issued an advisory opinion concluding that the requestors could establish convention committees to “us[e] privately-raised funds solely to pay for the same types of convention expenses for which public funds were previously used.” Advisory Opinion 2014-12 (Democratic National Committee et al.) at 5 (internal quotation marks omitted). The petition asks the Commission to adopt new regulations, and amend its current regulations, to address convention committees, as well as to remove related regulations that are now “obsolete.”

    The Commission seeks comments on the petition. The public may inspect the petition on the Commission's Web site at http://www.fec.gov/fosers, or in the Commission's Public Records Office, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Interested persons may also obtain a copy of the petition by dialing the Commission's Faxline service at (202) 501-3413 and following its instructions. Request document #282.

    The Commission will not consider the petition's merits until after the comment period closes. If the Commission decides that the petition has merit, it may begin a rulemaking proceeding. The Commission will announce any action that it takes in the Federal Register.

    Dated: September 29, 2016.

    On behalf of the Commission.

    Matthew S. Petersen, Chairman, Federal Election Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24309 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Parts 121 and 134 RIN 3245-AG82 Rules of Procedure Governing Cases Before the Office of Hearings and Appeals AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is proposing to amend the rules of practice of its Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) to implement Section 869 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. This legislation authorizes OHA to decide Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards. This rule also proposes to revise the rules of practice for OHA appeals of agency employee grievances.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN: 3245-AG82 by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail, Hand Delivery/Courier: Delorice Price Ford, Assistant Administrator for Hearings and Appeals, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., 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 Linda (Lin) DiGiandomenico, Attorney Advisor, Office of Hearings and Appeals, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., 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 whether it will publish the information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda (Lin) DiGiandomenico, Attorney Advisor, at (202) 401-8206 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed rule would amend the rules of practice for the SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) in order to implement section 869(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, Public Law 114-92, 129 Stat. 726, November 25, 2015 (NDAA 2016). This legislation added a provision to section 3(a) of the Small Business Act to authorize OHA to hear and decide Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards (Size Standard Petitions or Petitions). A Size Standard Petition may be filed at OHA after SBA publishes a final rule in the Federal Register to revise, modify, or establish a size standard. This proposed rule would create a new subpart I in OHA's regulations (13 CFR part 134) to set out detailed rules of practice for Size Standard Petitions, revise OHA's general rules of practice in subparts A and B of part 134 as required by the new legislation, and amend SBA's small business size regulations (13 CFR part 121) to include Size Standard Petitions as part of SBA's process for establishing size standards.

    This proposed rule also would revise the rules of practice for OHA appeals of agency employee grievances, in concert with SBA's revisions of its Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 37 71, The Employee Dispute Resolution Process.

    Section-by-Section Analysis A. Part 121

    SBA proposes to amend § 121.102, the rules for establishing size standards, to provide for Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards (Size Standard Petitions or Petitions), pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 632(a)(9). New paragraph (e) would require SBA to include instructions for filing a Size Standard Petition in any final rule revising, modifying, or establishing a size standard. The rule would inform the public that, as stated in the NDAA 2016, any Petition for reconsideration of a size standard must be filed no later than 30 days after the final rule is published. New paragraph (f) would require SBA to publish a notice in the Federal Register within 14 calendar days after a Size Standard Petition is filed. Among other things, the notice would let interested parties know that they may intervene in the dispute. New paragraph (g) would require SBA to publish notice in the Federal Register where SBA grants a petition for reconsideration of a size standard that had been revised or modified.

    B. Part 134, Subpart A

    In § 134.101, SBA proposes to revise the definition for “AA/OHA” to include the new statutory title “Chief Hearing Officer”. SBA also proposes to add definitions for “Administrative Judge” (including the new statutory title “Hearing Officer”), “Petitioner” (as the party who initially files a petition), and “Size Standard Petition” (citing 15 U.S.C. 632(a)(9) and subpart I of part 134).

    Section 134.102 lists the cases in which OHA has authority to conduct proceedings. In paragraph (r), on Employee Disputes, SBA proposes to remove the reference to “Appropriate Management Official” (AMO), a term being eliminated from the EDRP. Paragraph (t) permits the Administrator to refer matters to OHA through a SOP, Directive, Procedural Notice, or individual request. Section 869(a)(3) of the NDAA 2016, repealed this regulatory provision. As a result, SBA proposes to amend paragraph (t) by removing the current text and adding in its place, the authority for OHA to accept Size Standard Petitions.

    Part 134, Subpart B

    Section 134.201 would be amended to redesignate paragraph (7) as paragraph (8) and to add a new paragraph (7), which would state that the rules of practice governing Size Standard Petitions cases are at new subpart I of part 134.

    Section 134.227 would be amended to list Size Standard Petitions as a type of case in which OHA would issue a final decision. To effect this change, the rule proposes to redesignate paragraph (b)(4) as paragraph (b)(5) and adding a new paragraph (b)(4).

    C. Part 134, Subpart H

    The rules of practice governing Employee Dispute appeals would be revised to correspond to revisions being made to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 37 71.

    Section 134.801 lists the rules in subparts A and B that also apply to Employee Dispute appeals. SBA proposes to remove paragraph (b)(11) from the list because this rule proposes to include all rules of practice governing the review of initial decisions in § 134.809.

    Section 134.803 governs the commencement of appeals. SBA proposes to revise the section heading and paragraphs (a) and (b) to reflect the elimination of the term “AMO” from the EDRP, and to shorten the Employee's deadline for filing the appeal in the event the Agency declines to issue an appealable “Step Two” decision. The current rule requires the employee to file an appeal “no sooner than 16 days and no later than 55 days from the date on which the Employee filed the original Statement of Dispute.” The proposed rule would revise that time to “no later than 15 calendar days from the date the Step Two decision was due.” This change would simplify the Employee's deadline for filing an appeal.

    SBA proposes to revise § 134.804, which sets out the requirements for filing an appeal petition, including the contents of the petition, the supporting information to be submitted with it, as well as the requirements for service of the petition. The rule proposes to amend paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) and paragraph (b) to conform the descriptions of the required information to the terms used in the EDRP. Specifically, the term “Statement of Dispute” would be replaced with “SBA Dispute Form 2457”; and references to “AMO's decision” and “AMO Official” would be replaced with “Step One decision” and/or “Step Two decision” or “Step Two Official” as applicable. The rule would also remove paragraph (a)(6), which currently requires the Employee to provide fax numbers, home mailing addresses and other contact information. In addition, because SBA Form 2457 contains a certificate of service, the rule proposes to remove paragraph (c), which requires employees to file a separate certificate of service. Revised § 134.805(d) would provide that email, rather than U.S. Mail, is the default method by which OHA serves orders and the decision.

    Section 134.807(a) currently requires SBA to file the “Dispute File.” In place of that, the proposed rule would require SBA to file “any documentation, not already filed by the Employee, that it wishes OHA to consider,” thus reducing wasteful duplication of paper. In paragraph (b), SBA proposes to shorten the deadline for filing the response to an Employee's appeal from “no later than 15 days from the conclusion of mediation or 45 days from the filing of the appeal petition, whichever is later” to “15 calendar days” in place of “15 days” and “45 days.” This change would simplify the deadline for filing a response to an Employee's appeal. Revised paragraph (c) would eliminate the reference to the “Dispute File.”

    Section 134.808(a), on the decision, would be revised to update terminology.

    Section 134.809 concerns review of OHA's initial decision. The revised rule would allow only certain SBA officials to request a review of OHA's initial decision. The official would be required to request the OHA file within five calendar days after receiving the decision. OHA would have five days to provide copies to both the official and to the Employee, and the official would have 15 calendar days from receipt of the file to state his or her objections to the OHA decision. As before, the Employee does not have the right to request a review of OHA's initial decision.

    D. Part 134, Subpart I

    SBA proposes to add Subpart I setting forth the rules of practice before OHA for Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 632(a)(9).

    Proposed § 134.901 states that the provisions of subparts A and B also apply to Size Standard Petitions, except where inconsistent with rules set out in subpart I.

    As proposed in Section 134.902(a), any person “adversely affected” by a new, revised, or modified size standard would have standing to file a Petition within 30 days from the date of publication of the final rule promulgating that size standard. Paragraph (b) would provide that a business entity is not “adversely affected” unless it conducts business in the industry associated with the size standard being challenged and either it qualified as a small business concern before the size standard was revised or modified, or it would be qualified as a small business concern under the size standard as revised or modified.

    Section 134.903(a) would reiterate the statutory deadline for filing a Petition, which is “not later than 30 days after” the final rule is published in the Federal Register that revises, modifies, or establishes a new size standard; would clarify that the days counted are calendar days; and would authorize OHA to dismiss an untimely Petition. Paragraph (b) would require OHA to dismiss as premature a Petition filed in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking. The retention of an existing size standard is not considered to be the revision, modification, or establishment of a standard and is not subject to these procedures. Paragraph (c) would require OHA to dismiss challenges to the retention of an existing size standard.

    Section 134.904(a) would require a Petition to identify the challenged size standard or standards and include the following: A copy of the final rule being challenged or an electronic link to the rule; a statement as to why the process used by SBA to revise, modify, or establish the size standard is alleged to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law, together with supporting argument; a copy of any comments on the challenged size standard(s) that Petitioner had submitted in response to notice of proposal rulemaking on the size standard being petitioned (or a statement that none were submitted); and basic contact information for Petitioner or its attorney. Section 134.904(b) would permit multiple size standards from the same final rule to be challenged in a single Petition, but the Petitioner must demonstrate standing for each challenged size standard. Section 134.904(c) would require the same formatting standards as are required for size appeals under Section 134.305. Section 134.904(d) would require the Petitioner to serve a copy of the Petition on SBA's Office of Size standards as well as the Office of General Counsel. Section 134.904(e) would require a signed certificate of service similar to that required by 134.204(d) for size appeals.

    Section 134.905 would set out OHA's procedures on receipt of a Petition. These include assignment to a Judge, initial review, and issuance of a notice and order setting the deadline for SBA to send the administrative record (typically seven calendar days after issuance of the notice and order) and setting the close of record (typically 45 calendar days from filing).

    Section 134.906 would permit interested persons with a direct stake in the outcome of the case to intervene and obtain a copy of the Petition. Where a Petition contains confidential information, the intervener's attorney may obtain a complete copy under the terms of a protective order, similar to the procedures used in size appeals.

    Section 134.907 would establish the same filing and service rules as apply to other OHA proceedings.

    Section 134.908 would require SBA to submit to OHA a copy of the documentation and analysis supporting the revision, modification, or establishment of the challenged size standard, and would permit the Petitioner and any intervener, on request, to review this information.

    Section 134.909 would provide the standard of review, which is whether the process employed by SBA to arrive at the size standard “was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.” Also, the Petitioner would bear the burden of proof, and OHA would not adjudicate arguments for a different size standard.

    Section 134.910 would require OHA to dismiss a Petition if: (i) It does not allege facts that, if proven true, would warrant remand of the size standard; (ii) the Petitioner is not adversely affected by the challenged size standard; (iii) the Petition is untimely, premature, or is not otherwise filed according to the requirements; or (iv) the matter has been decided by or is currently before a court of competent jurisdiction.

    Section 134.911 would allow an intervener to file a response to the Petition, presenting argument, before the close of record. SBA also may intervene.

    Section 134.912 would not permit discovery, and would permit oral hearings only if the Judge determines that the case cannot be resolved without live testimony and the confrontation of witnesses. These rules are similar to the rules in size appeals.

    Under § 134.913, cases would be decided based on the pleadings and the administrative record. The Judge may admit new evidence on motion establishing good cause.

    Section 134.914 would require OHA to issue a decision within 45 calendar days after close of record, as practicable. The rule would also establish that the decision is final and will not be reconsidered.

    Under § 134.915, if OHA grants a Size Standard Petition, OHA would not assign a size standard to the industry in question. Rather, the case would be remanded to the Office of Size Standards for further analysis. Once remanded, OHA no longer has jurisdiction over the case unless a new Petition is filed as a result of a new final rule.

    Section 134.916 would require SBA to rescind the challenged size standard if OHA grants a Petition. The size standard in effect prior to the final rule would be restored until a new final rule is issued. If OHA denied a Petition, the size standard in the final rule would remain.

    Section 134.917 would state that because Size Standard Petition proceedings are not required to be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge, attorney's fees are not available under the Equal Access to Justice Act.

    Section 134.918 would reiterate the statutory provision in NDAA 2016 that, for purposes of seeking judicial review of a new size standard, the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register to revise, modify, or establish size standards is considered the final agency action. This section would also make it clear that the filing of a Size Standard Petition would not be required before seeking judicial review.

    Compliance With Executive Orders 12866, 12988, 13175 and 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

    OMB has determined that this rule does not constitute a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. This rule is also not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 800. This rule establishes the procedures for Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards at SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) and revises procedural rules at OHA for agency employee grievances. As such, the rule has no effect on the amount or dollar value of any Federal contract requirements or of any financial assistance provided through SBA. Therefore, the rule is not likely to have an annual economic effect of $100 million or more, result in a major increase in costs or prices, or have a significant adverse effect on competition or the United States economy. In addition, this rule does not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency, materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, loan programs or the rights and obligations of such recipients, nor raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

    Executive Order 12988

    This action meets applicable standards set forth in section 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. The action does not have retroactive or preemptive effect.

    Executive Order 13175

    For the purposes of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, SBA has determined that this proposed rule will 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. Therefore, SBA determines that this proposed rule does not require consultations with tribal officials or warrant the publication of a Tribal Summary Impact Statement.

    Executive Order 13132

    This rule does not have Federalism implications as defined in Executive Order 13132. 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, as specified in the Executive Order. As such it does not warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The SBA has determined that this rule does not impose additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. Small entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Section 605 of the RFA allows an agency to certify a rule, in lieu of preparing an analysis, if the rulemaking is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This proposed rule would revise the regulations governing cases before SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA), SBA's administrative tribunal. These regulations are procedural by nature. Specifically, the proposed rule would establish rules of practice for Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards (Size Standard Petitions), a new type of administrative litigation mandated by § 869(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. This legislation provides a new statutory right to challenge a size standard revised, modified, or established by the SBA through a final rule. Further, this legislation requires OHA to hear any Size Standard Petitions that are filed. This proposed rule merely provides the rules of practice for the orderly hearing and disposition of Size Standard Petitions at OHA. While SBA does not anticipate that this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on any small business, we do welcome comments from any small business setting out how and to what degree this proposed rule would affect it economically.

    The Small Business Size Regulations provide that persons requesting to change existing size standards or to establish new size standards may address these requests to SBA's Office of Size Standards. 13 CFR 121.102(d). Over the past five years, fewer than ten letters concerning size standards have been submitted per year, supporting SBA's belief that this proposed rule will not affect a substantial number of small entities. Further, a business adversely affected by a final rule revising a size standard has always had (and would continue to have) the option of judicial review in Federal court, yet the SBA knows of no such lawsuit ever having been filed.

    In addition to establishing rules of practice for Size Standard Petitions, this proposed rule would revise OHA's rules of practice for SBA Employee Disputes. This rulemaking is procedural, would impose no significant additional requirements on small entities, and would have minimal, if any, effect on small entities.

    Therefore, the Administrator of SBA certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    List of Subjects 13 CFR Part 121

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government procurement, Government property, Grant programs—business, Individuals with disabilities, Loan programs—business, Small businesses.

    13 CFR Part 134

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Equal access to justice, Lawyers, Organization and functions (Government agencies).

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, SBA proposes to amend 13 CFR parts 121 and 134 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 § 121.102 by adding paragraphs (e), (f), and (g) to read as follows:
    § 121.102 How does SBA establish size standards?

    (e) When SBA publishes a final rule in the Federal Register revising, modifying, or establishing a size standard, SBA will include in the final rule, an instruction that interested persons may file a petition for reconsideration of a revised, modified, or established size standard at SBA's Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) within 30 calendar days after publication of the final rule in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 632(a)(9) and part 134, subpart I of this chapter. The instruction will provide the mailing address, facsimile number, and email address of OHA.

    (f) Within 14 calendar days after a petition for reconsideration of a size standard is filed, unless it appears OHA will dismiss the petition for reconsideration, SBA will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing a size standard or standards that have been challenged, the Federal Register citation of the final rule, the assigned OHA docket number, and the date of the close of record. The notice will further state that interested parties may contact OHA to intervene in the dispute pursuant to § 134.906 of this chapter.

    (g) Where OHA grants a petition for reconsideration of a size standard that had been revised or modified, SBA will publish a notice in the Federal Register meeting the requirements of § 134.916(a) of this chapter.

    PART 134—RULES OF PROCEDURE GOVERNING CASES BEFORE THE OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND APPEALS 3. The authority citation for part 134 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 504; 15 U.S.C. 632, 634(b)(6), 634(i), 637(a), 648(l), 656(i), and 687(c); E.O. 12549, 51 FR 6370, 3 CFR, 1986 Comp., p. 189.

    4. Amend § 134.101 by revising the definitions of “AA/OHA” and “Judge”; and by adding definitions for “Administrative Judge”, “Petitioner”, and “Size Standard Petition” in alphabetical order, to read as follows:
    § 134.101 Definitions.

    AA/OHA means the Assistant Administrator for OHA, who is also the Chief Hearing Officer.

    Administrative Judge means a Hearing Officer, as described at 15 U.S.C. 634(i), appointed by OHA to adjudicate cases.

    Judge means the Administrative Judge or Administrative Law Judge who decides an appeal or petition brought before OHA, or the AA/OHA when he or she acts as an Administrative Judge.

    Petitioner means the person who initially files a petition before OHA.

    Size Standard Petition means a petition for reconsideration of a revised, modified, or established size standard filed with OHA pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 632(a)(9) and subpart I of this part.

    5. Amend § 134.102 by revising paragraphs (r) and (t) to read as follows:
    § 134.102 Jurisdiction of OHA.

    (r) Appeals from SBA Employee Dispute Resolution Process cases (Employee Disputes) under Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 37 71 (available at http://www.sba.gov/tools/resourcelibrary/sops/index.html or through OHA's Web site http://www.sba.gov/oha) and subpart H of this part;

    (t) Petitions for reconsideration of revised, modified, or established size standards pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 632(a)(9).

    6. Amend § 134.201 by: a. Removing the word “and” in paragraph (b)(6); b. Redesignating paragraph (b)(7) as paragraph (b)(8); and c. Adding a new paragraph (b)(7).

    The addition to read as follows:

    § 134.201 Scope of the rules in this subpart B.

    (b) * * *

    (7) For Size Standard Petitions, in subpart I of this part (§ 134.901 et seq.); and

    7. Amend § 134.227 by: a. Removing the word “and” in paragraph (b)(3); b. Redesignating paragraph (b)(4) as paragraph (b)(5); and c. Adding a new paragraph (b)(4).

    The addition to read as follows:

    § 134.227 Finality of decisions.

    (b) * * *

    (4) Size Standard Petitions; and

    § 134.801 [Amended]
    8. Amend § 134.801 by adding the word “and” at the end of paragraph (b)(9); by removing the word “and” at the end of paragraph (b)(10) and adding a period in its place; and by removing paragraph (b)(11). 9. Amend § 134.803 by: a. Revising the section heading; and b. Revising paragraphs (a) and (b).

    The revisions to read as follows:

    § 134.803 Commencement of appeals from SBA Employee Dispute Resolution Process cases (Employee Disputes).

    (a) An appeal from a Step Two decision must be commenced by filing an appeal petition within 15 calendar days from the date the Employee receives the Step Two decision.

    (b) If the Step Two Official does not issue a decision within 15 calendar days of receiving the SBA Dispute Form from the Employee, the Employee must file his/her appeal petition at OHA no later than 15 calendar days from the date the Step Two decision was due.

    10. Amend § 134.804 by a. Revising paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3), b. Adding the word “and” after the semicolon in paragraph (a)(5); b. Removing paragraph (a)(6); c. Redesignating paragraph (a)(7) as paragraph (a)(6); d. Revising paragraph (b)(1); e. Removing paragraph (c); and f. Redesignating paragraphs (d) and (e) as paragraphs (c) and (d).

    The revisions to read as follows:

    § 134.804 The appeal petition.

    (a) * * *

    (1) The completed SBA Dispute Form;

    (2) A copy of the Step One and Step Two decisions, if any;

    (3) Statement of why the Step Two decision (or Step One decision, if no Step Two decision was received), is alleged to be in error;

    (b) * * *

    (1) The Step Two Official;

    § 134.805 [Amended]
    11. Amend § 134.805 by removing from paragraph (d) the term “U.S. Mail” and adding in its place the term “email”.
    § 134.807 [Amended]
    12. Amend 134.807 as follows: a. By removing from paragraph (a), the words “a copy of the Dispute File” and adding, in their place, the words “any documentation, not already filed by the Employee, that it wishes OHA to consider”; b. By removing from paragraph (b), the words “15 days” and “45 days” and adding, in both their places, the words “15 calendar days”; and c. By removing from paragraph (c), the words “and the Dispute File are normally the last submissions” and by adding, in their place, the words “is normally the last submission”.
    § 134.808 [Amended]
    13. Amend § 134.808(a) by removing the word “AMO's” and adding in its place the words “Step One or Step Two”. 14. Revise § 134.809 to read as follows:
    § 134.809 Review of initial decision.

    (a) If the Chief Human Capital Officer, General Counsel for SBA, or General Counsel for the IG believes OHA's decision is contrary to law, rule, regulation, or SBA policy, that official may file a Petition for Review (PFR) of the decision with the Deputy Administrator (or IG for disputes by OIG employees) for a final SBA Decision. Only the Chief Human Capital Officer, General Counsel, or IG may file a PFR of an OHA decision; the Employee may not.

    (b) To file a PFR, the official must request a complete copy of the dispute file from the Assistant Administrator for OHA (AA/OHA) within five calendar days of receiving the decision. The AA/OHA will provide a copy of the dispute file to the official, the Employee, and the Employee's representative within five calendar days of the official's request. The official's PFR is due no later than 15 calendar days from the date the official receives the dispute file. The PFR must specify the objections to OHA's decision.

    15. Add subpart I to read as follows: Subpart I—Rules of Practice for Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards Sec. 134.901 Scope of the rules in this subpart I. 134.902 Standing. 134.903 Commencement of cases. 134.904 Requirements for the Size Standard Petition. 134.905 Notice and order. 134.906 Intervention. 134.907 Filing and service. 134.908 The administrative record. 134.909 Standard of review. 134.910 Dismissal. 134.911 Response to the Size Standard Petition. 134.912 Discovery and oral hearings. 134.913 New evidence. 134.914 The decision. 134.915 Remand. 134.916 Effects of OHA's decision. 134.917 Equal Access to Justice Act. 134.918 Judicial review. Subpart I—Rules of Practice for Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards
    § 134.901 Scope of the rules in this subpart I.

    (a) The rules of practice in this subpart I apply to Size Standard Petitions.

    (b) Except where inconsistent with this subpart, the provisions of subparts A and B of this part apply to Size Standard Petitions listed in paragraph (a) of this section.

    § 134.902 Standing.

    (a) A Size Standard Petition may be filed with OHA by any person that is adversely affected by the Administrator's decision to revise, modify, or establish a size standard.

    (b) A business entity is not adversely affected unless it conducts business in the industry associated with the size standard that is being challenged and:

    (1) The business entity qualified as a small business concern before the size standard was revised or modified; or

    (2) The business entity qualifies as a small business under the size standard as revised or modified.

    § 134.903 Commencement of cases.

    (a) A Size Standard Petition must be filed at OHA not later than 30 calendar days after the publication in the Federal Register of the final rule that revises, modifies, or establishes the challenged size standard. An untimely Size Standard Petition will be dismissed.

    (b) A Size Standard Petition filed in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking is premature and will be dismissed.

    (c) A Size Standard Petition challenging a size standard that has not been revised, modified, or established through publication in the Federal Register will be dismissed.

    § 134.904 Requirements for the Size Standard Petition.

    (a) Form. There is no required form for a Size Standard Petition. However, it must include the following information:

    (1) A copy of the final rule published in the Federal Register to revise, modify, or establish a size standard, or an electronic link to the final rule;

    (2) A full and specific statement as to which size standard(s) in the final rule the Petitioner is challenging and why the process that was used to revise, modify, or establish each challenged size standard is alleged to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law, together with argument supporting such allegation;

    (3) A copy of any comments the Petitioner submitted in response to the proposed notice of rulemaking that pertained to the size standard(s) in question, or a statement that no such comments were submitted; and

    (4) The name, mailing address, telephone number, facsimile number, email address, and signature of the Petitioner or its attorney.

    (b) Multiple size standards. A Petitioner may challenge multiple size standards that were revised, modified, or established in the same final rule in a single Size Standard Petition, provided that the Petitioner demonstrates standing for each of the challenged size standards.

    (c) Format. The formatting provisions of § 134.203(d) apply to Size Standard Petitions.

    (d) Service. In addition to filing the Size Standard Petition at OHA, the Petitioner must serve a copy of the Size Standard Petition upon each of the following:

    (1) SBA's Office of Size Standards, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC 20416, facsimile number (202) 205-6390; or [email protected]; and

    (2) SBA's Office of General Counsel, Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; facsimile number (202) 205-6873; or [email protected]

    (e) Certificate of Service. The Petitioner must attach to the Size Standard Petition a signed certificate of service meeting the requirements of § 134.204(d).

    § 134.905 Notice and order.

    Upon receipt of a Size Standard Petition, OHA will assign the matter to a Judge in accordance with § 134.218. Unless it appears that the Size Standard Petition will be dismissed under § 134.910, the presiding Judge will issue a notice and order initiating the publication required by § 121.102(f) of this chapter; specifying a date for the Office of Size Standards to transmit to OHA a copy of the administrative record supporting the revision, modification, or establishment of the challenged size standard(s); and establishing a date for the close of record. Typically, the administrative record will be due seven calendar days after issuance of the notice and order, and the record will close 45 calendar days from the date of OHA's receipt of the Size Standard Petition.

    § 134.906 Intervention.

    In accordance with § 134.210(b), interested persons with a direct stake in the outcome of the case may contact OHA to intervene in the proceeding and obtain a copy of the Size Standard Petition. In the event that the Size Standard Petition contains confidential information and the intervener is not a governmental entity, the Judge may require that the intervener's attorney be admitted to a protective order before obtaining a complete copy of the Size Standard Petition.

    § 134.907 Filing and service.

    The provisions of § 134.204 apply to the filing and service of all pleadings and other submissions permitted under this subpart unless otherwise indicated in this subpart.

    § 134.908 The administrative record.

    The Office of Size Standards will transmit to OHA a copy of the documentation and analysis supporting the revision, modification, or establishment of the challenged size standard by the date specified in the notice and order. The Chief, Office of Size Standards, will certify and authenticate that the administrative record, to the best of his or her knowledge, is complete and correct. The Petitioner and any interveners may, upon request, review the administrative record submitted to OHA. The administrative record will include the documentation and analysis supporting the revision, modification, or establishment of the challenged size standard.

    § 134.909 Standard of review.

    The standard of review for deciding a Size Standard Petition is whether the process employed by the Administrator to revise, modify, or establish the size standard was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law. OHA will not adjudicate arguments that a different size standard should have been selected. The Petitioner bears the burden of proof.

    § 134.910 Dismissal.

    The Judge must dismiss the Size Standard Petition if:

    (a) The Size Standard Petition does not, on its face, allege specific facts that if proven to be true, warrant remand of the size standard;

    (b) The Petitioner is not adversely affected by the final rule revising, modifying, or establishing a size standard;

    (c) The Size Standard Petition is untimely or premature pursuant to § 134.903 or is not otherwise filed in accordance with the requirements in subparts A and B of this part; or

    (d) The matter has been decided or is the subject of adjudication before a court of competent jurisdiction over such matters.

    § 134.911 Response to the Size Standard Petition.

    Although not required, any intervener may file and serve a response supporting or opposing the Size Standard Petition at any time prior to the close of record. SBA may intervene as of right at any time in any case until 15 days after the close of record, or the issuance of a decision, whichever comes first. The response must present argument.

    § 134.912 Discovery and oral hearings.

    Discovery will not be permitted. Oral hearings will not be held unless the Judge determines that the dispute cannot be resolved except by the taking of live testimony and the confrontation of witnesses.

    § 134.913 New evidence.

    Disputes under this subpart ordinarily will be decided based on the pleadings and the administrative record. The Judge may admit additional evidence upon a motion establishing good cause.

    § 134.914 The decision.

    The Judge will issue his or her decision within 45 calendar days after close of the record, as practicable. The Judge's decision is final and will not be reconsidered.

    § 134.915 Remand.

    If OHA grants a Size Standard Petition, OHA will remand the matter to the Office of Size Standards for further analysis. Once remanded, OHA no longer has jurisdiction over the matter unless a new Size Standard Petition is filed as a result of a new final rule published in the Federal Register.

    § 134.916 Effects of OHA's decision.

    (a) If OHA grants a Size Standard Petition of a modified or revised size standard, the Administrator will promptly publish a Federal Register notice to suspend the size standard in question and restore the size standard that was in effect before being challenged in the Size Standard Petition, until such time as a new final rule is published in the Federal Register. The OHA decision does not affect the validity of actions issued under the modified or revised size standard prior to the effective date of the notice suspending the size standard. If the size standard in question was newly established, the Administrator keeps the challenged size standard in effect while conducting further analysis on remand.

    (b) If OHA denies a Size Standard Petition, the size standard remains as published in the Federal Register.

    § 134.917 Equal Access to Justice Act.

    A prevailing Petitioner is not entitled to recover attorney's fees. Size Standard Petitions are not proceedings that are required to be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge under § 134.603.

    § 134.918 Judicial review.

    The publication of a final rule in the Federal Register is considered the final agency action for purposes of seeking judicial review.

    Dated: September 29, 2016. Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24231 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2016-9086; Airspace Docket No. 15-AEA-7] RIN 2120-AA66 Proposed Amendment of Air Traffic Service (ATS) Routes; Eastern United States AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to modify area navigation (RNAV) routes Q-39 and Q-67, in the eastern United States. The modifications would provide a more efficient airway design within a portion of the airspace assigned to the Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before November 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1 (800) 647-5527 or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-9086 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AEA-7 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. The Docket Office (telephone: 1 (800) 647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    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:

    Paul Gallant, 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 Q-39 and Q-67 in the eastern United States to maintain the efficient flow of air traffic.

    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 (FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-9086 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AEA-7) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management Facility (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA-2016-9086 and Airspace Docket No. 15-AEA-7.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received on or before the specified comment closing date will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the comment closing date. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRM's

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

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for 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 office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 210, 1701 Columbia Ave., College Park, GA 30337.

    Availability and Summary of Documents 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 proposed rule. 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 to modify the alignment of RNAV routes Q-39 and Q-67 in the eastern United States. The proposed modifications would expand the availability of area navigation routes and provide a more efficient airway design within Indianapolis ARTCC's airspace. The proposed route changes are outlined below.

    Q-39 RNAV route Q-39 extends between the CLAWD, NC waypoint (WP) and the WISTA, WV, WP. The FAA proposes to shift the alignment of the route slightly to the east bypassing the WISTA WP to cross the TARCI, WV, WP (located at lat. 38°16′36.08 N., long. 081°18′34.08 W.); then the route would continue northward to a new ASERY, WV, WP (located at lat. 38°28′35.97 N., long. 081°17′34.14″ W.).

    Q-67 RNAV route Q-67 extends between the SMTTH, TN, WP to the COLTZ, OH, fix. In its current alignment, the route proceeds from the JONEN, KY, WP northward to the COLTZ, OH, fix. The FAA proposes to eliminate the segment between the JONEN WP and the CLOTZ fix and replace it with a segment from the JONEN WP to the DARYN, WV, WP (located at lat. 38°46′07.80″ N., long. 082°00′57.92″ W.). The DARYN WP is located near the Henderson, WV VORTAC.

    These route modifications are being proposed to enhance the efficiency of the route structure.

    RNAV routes are published in paragraph 2006 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 RNAV routes listed in this document will be subsequently published in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed 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 will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will 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

    In consideration of the foregoing, 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 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 2006 United States Area Navigation Routes. Q-39 CLAWD, NC to ASERY, WV [Amended] CLAWD, NC WP (Lat. 36°25′08.98″ N., long. 081°08′49.75″ W.) TARCI, WV WP (Lat. 38°16′36.08″ N., long. 081°18′34.08″ W.) ASERY, WV WP (Lat. 38°28′35.97″ N., long. 081°17′34.14″ W.) Q-67 SMTTH, TN to DARYN, WV [Amended] SMTTH, TN WP (Lat. 35°54′41.57″ N., long. 084°00′19.74″ W.) CEMEX, KY WP (Lat. 36°45′44.94″ N., long. 083°23′33.58″ W.) IBATE, KY WP (Lat. 36°59′12.36″ N., long. 083°13′40.36″ W.) TONIO, KY FIX (Lat. 37°15′15.20″ N., long. 083°01′47.53″ W.) JONEN, KY WP (Lat. 37°59′08.91″ N., long. 082°32′46.19″ W.) DARYN, WV WP (Lat. 38°46′07.80″ N., long. 082°00′57.92″ W.) Issued in Washington, DC, on September 29, 2016. M. Randy Willis, Acting Manager, Airspace Policy Group.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24209 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 35 [Docket Nos. RM01-8-000, RM10-12-000, RM12-3-000, ER02-2001-000] Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements; Electricity Market Transparency; Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process; Electric Quarterly Reports AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Proposed revisions to electric quarterly report reporting requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, pursuant to sections 205 and 220 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) seeks comments on proposed revisions and clarifications of Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) reporting requirements and corresponding updates to the EQR Data Dictionary. In particular, this document proposes to: Require transmission providers to report ancillary services transaction data, to require filers to submit in the EQR certain tariff-related information that they submit in the e-Tariff system, and to require filers to submit time zone information in connection with transmission capacity reassignment transactions. This document also proposes to clarify how filers should report booked out transactions and seeks comments on issues relating to booked out transactions.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposal are due December 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donald Callow (Technical Information), Office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8838. Maria Vouras (Legal Information), Office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8062.
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    1. In this document, pursuant to sections 205 and 220 of the Federal Power Act,1 the Commission requests comments on proposed revisions and clarifications of certain Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) reporting requirements and corresponding updates to the EQR Data Dictionary. Specifically, the Commission seeks comments on whether to: (1) Require transmission providers to report ancillary services transaction data; (2) require filers to submit into the FERC Tariff Reference fields in the EQR certain tariff-related information that they currently submit in the e-Tariff system; and (3) require filers to submit time zone information in connection with transmission capacity reassignment transactions. The Commission also proposes to clarify how booked out transactions should be reported in the EQR.

    1 16 U.S.C. 824d, 824t.

    I. Background

    2. In Order No. 2001,2 the Commission amended its filing requirements to require companies subject to Commission regulations under FPA section 205 to electronically file EQRs summarizing the contractual terms and conditions in their agreements for all jurisdictional services, including cost-based sales, market-based rate sales, and transmission service, as well as transaction information for short-term and long-term market-based power sales and cost-based power sales. In Order No. 768,3 the Commission, among other things, revised the EQR filing requirement to include non-public utilities 4 with more than a de minimis market presence.

    2Revised Public Utility Filing Requirements, Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs.¶ 31,127, reh'g denied, Order No. 2001-A, 100 FERC ¶ 61,074, reh'g denied, Order No. 2001-B, 100 FERC ¶ 61,342, order directing filing, Order No. 2001-C, 101 FERC ¶ 61,314 (2002), order directing filing, Order No. 2001-D, 102 FERC ¶ 61,334, order refining filing requirements, Order No. 2001-E, 105 FERC ¶ 61,352 (2003), order on clarification, Order No. 2001-F, 106 FERC ¶ 61,060 (2004), order revising filing requirements, Order No. 2001-G, 120 FERC ¶ 61,270, order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 2001-H, 121 FERC ¶ 61,289 (2007), order revising filing requirements, Order No. 2001-I, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,282 (2008).

    3Electricity Market Transparency Provisions of Section 220 of the Federal Power Act, Order No. 768, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,336 (2012), order on reh'g, Order No. 768-A, 143 FERC ¶ 61,054 (2013), order on reh'g, Order No. 768-B, 150 FERC ¶ 61,075 (2015).

    4 Order No. 768, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,336 at P 19. See also 16 U.S.C. 824(f).

    3. On June 16, 2016, the Commission issued an order implementing certain clarifications to the EQR reporting requirements and updating the EQR Data Dictionary.5 Specifically, the June 16 Order clarified reporting requirements related to “Increment Name” and “Commencement Date of Contract Terms;” affirmed the requirement that transmission providers must report transmission-related data in their EQRs; made certain updates to the EQR Data Dictionary; and clarified that future minor or non-material changes to EQR reporting requirements and the EQR Data Dictionary, such as those outlined in the June 16 Order, will be posted directly to the Commission's Web site and EQR users will be alerted via email of these changes. The June 16 Order further clarified that “significant changes to the EQR reporting requirements and the EQR Data Dictionary will be proposed in a Commission order or rulemaking, which would provide an opportunity for comment.” 6

    5Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements, 155 FERC ¶ 61,280 (2016) (June 16 Order).

    6Id. P 5.

    4. The Commission proposes to make further revisions and clarifications to the existing EQR reporting requirements based on a review of existing EQR data and reporting practices. Unlike the minor or non-material changes implemented in the June 16 Order, the revisions and clarifications proposed in this document may be more significant for EQR filers to implement. Accordingly, the Commission seeks comments on the revisions and clarifications proposed in this document.

    II. Discussion A. Ancillary Services Transaction Data

    5. In Order No. 888, the Commission adopted six ancillary services to be included in the Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT).7 The six ancillary services established in Order No. 888 are now offered under the Order No. 890 pro forma OATT. In Order No. 890, the Commission also adopted “generator imbalance” as a new ancillary service.8

    7Promoting Wholesale Competition Through Open Access Non-discriminatory Transmission Services by Public Utilities; Recovery of Stranded Costs by Public Utilities and Transmitting Utilities, Order No. 888, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,036 (1996), order on reh'g, Order No. 888-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,048 (1997), order on reh'g, Order No. 888-B, 81 FERC 61,248, order on reh'g, Order No. 888-C, 82 FERC ¶ 61,046 (1998), aff'd in relevant part sub nom. Transmission Access Policy Study Group v. FERC, 225 F.3d 667 (D.C. Cir. 2000), aff'd sub nom. New York v. FERC, 535 U.S. 1 (2002). The ancillary services available under the Order No. 888 OATT were Scheduling, System Control and Dispatch (Schedule 1), Reactive Supply and Voltage Control (Schedule 2), Regulation and Frequency Response (Schedule 3), Energy Imbalance (Schedule 4), Operating Reserve-Spinning Reserve (Schedule 5), Operating Reserve-Supplemental Reserve (Schedule 6).

    8Preventing Undue Discrimination and Preference in Transmission Service, Order No. 890, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,241, at PP 667-68, order on reh'g, Order No. 890-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,261 (2007), order on reh'g, Order No. 890-B, 123 FERC ¶ 61,299 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 890-C, 126 FERC ¶ 61,228, order on clarification, Order No. 890-D, 129 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2009).

    6. In Order No. 697,9 the Commission revised its standards for market-based rate authority for sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services. Among other things, Order No. 697 addressed the posting and reporting requirements for third-party sellers of ancillary services at market-based rates. In particular, the Commission required third-party sellers of ancillary services at market-based rates to provide information about their ancillary services transactions in the EQR.10 The Commission concluded that the EQR filing requirement for third-party sellers of ancillary services at market-based rates provides an adequate means to monitor ancillary services sales by third parties.11

    9Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252, clarified, 121 FERC ¶ 61,260 (2007), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,268, clarified, 124 FERC ¶ 61,055, order on reh'g, Order No. 697-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,285 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-C, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,291 (2009), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-D, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,305 (2010), aff'd sub nom. Mont. Consumer Counsel v. FERC, 659 F.3d 910 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 26 (2012).

    10 Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at PP 1057-58.

    11Id. P 1058.

    7. Following the issuance of Order No. 697, in Order No. 2001-I, the Commission clarified that third-party providers of ancillary services must submit information about their ancillary services associated with unbundled sales of transmission services in the Transaction Data section of the EQR, and that information about ancillary services reported by transmission providers should only be reported in the Contract Data section of the EQR.12 The Commission based its clarifications on Order No. 2001, in which the Commission determined that ancillary services transaction data associated with transmission need not be reported when the transmission services are provided on an unbundled basis whereas ancillary services transaction data associated with power sales would need to be reported.13 Accordingly, the Commission revised the EQR Data Dictionary definitions for ancillary services-related product names in Appendix A 14 to state: “For Contracts, reported if the contract provides for sale of the product. For Transactions, sales by third-party providers (i.e., non-transmission function) are reported.” 15

    12 Order No. 2001-I, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,282 at PP 29-30.

    13Id. P 29 (citing Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs. 31,127 at P 271).

    14 These product names include “Energy Imbalance,” “Generator Imbalance,” “Regulation & Frequency Response,” “Spinning Reserve,” and “Supplemental Reserve.”

    15 Order No. 2001-I, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,282.

    8. As stated above, unlike third-party providers of ancillary services, which must report information about their ancillary services in both the Contract Data and Transaction Data sections of the EQR, the Commission has required transmission providers to report only information about their ancillary services agreements in the Contract Data section if the contract provides for the sale of the ancillary services product. We propose to require transmission providers to report information about transactions made under their ancillary services agreements in the Transaction Data section of the EQR. Although transmission providers currently report information about their ancillary services agreements, without information about the transactions taking place under those agreements, there is inadequate visibility into the actual sales and rates being charged for ancillary services, especially where transmission providers have increased their reliance on markets to meet their ancillary services obligations. Therefore, we propose to obtain additional information about ancillary services from transmission providers to help the Commission, the public, and the industry determine the actual rates being charged for service under these agreements and to increase price transparency into the wholesale ancillary services markets. In addition, this information would enable the Commission to better evaluate the competitiveness of these markets and strengthen its ability to monitor them.

    9. We seek comments on this proposal and on our proposal to revise the definitions of ancillary services-related product names in Appendix A to delete: “For Transactions, sales by third-party providers (i.e., non-transmission function) are reported.”

    B. FERC Tariff Reference (Field Numbers 19 and 48)

    10. The “FERC Tariff Reference” in Field Numbers 19 and 48 must be reported in both the Contract Data and Transaction Data sections of the EQR. Based on a review of EQR data, the tariff-related information submitted in these fields can be inconsistent or inaccurate. As a result, we propose that sellers input in Field Numbers 19 and 48 a subset of the tariff information that sellers currently use to report their tariff-related data in the e-Tariff system. In particular, we propose to require sellers to submit, in Field Numbers 19 and 48, four of the Business Names associated with their tariff (i.e., Tariff Identifier, Filing Identifier, Tariff Record Identifier, and Option Code) in the same format that they currently provide this data in the e-Tariff system. This approach would allow greater consistency between the tariff designations used by sellers in the EQR and e-Tariff system. We seek comments on this proposal and on our proposal to revise the definitions in Field Numbers 19 and 48 to add: “The FERC tariff reference must include four of the Business Names currently submitted in the e-Tariff system: Tariff Identifier, Filing Identifier, Tariff Record Identifier, and Option Code.”

    C. Time Zone Field in Contract Data Section

    11. In Order No. 768, the Commission eliminated “Time Zone” (previously listed as Field Number 45) from the Contract Data Section of the EQR.16 However, since the issuance of Order No. 768, the Commission has determined that, while time zone information may not be necessary with respect to the contract-related information captured in the Contract Data Section of the EQR, it may be necessary for accurately reporting transmission capacity reassignment transactions, which are reported in the Contract Data Section of the EQR. As a result, the Commission proposes to add options related to time zone information in Field Number 30 in the Contract Data Section of the EQR, and seeks comments on this proposal.

    16See Order No. 768, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,336 at P 121.

    D. Booked Out Transactions

    12. “Booked Out Power” is a product currently defined in Appendix A of the EQR Data Dictionary as “[e]nergy or capacity contractually committed bilaterally for delivery but not delivered due to some offsetting or countervailing trade (Transaction only).” As stated in Order No. 2001, the power sales that make up book out transactions are typically for the sale for resale of electric energy in interstate commerce.17 The Commission noted that the price, quantity and other agreement details in such agreements are indistinguishable from those in any other power sale agreement and that the agreements obligate the seller to provide power and obligate the buyer to pay the agreed-on prices.18 Furthermore, the Commission noted that such book out transactions plainly affect or relate to those transactions and prices paid for power sales that go to delivery.19

    17 Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,127 at P 282.

    18Id.

    19Id. P 285.

    13. Based on a review of EQR data, it appears that submissions related to “Booked Out Power” frequently contain inconsistent or inaccurate information. Without accurate reporting of booked out transactions, it is difficult to determine how much power is being traded compared to how much power is actually being delivered. Moreover, such inconsistencies or inaccuracies in reporting booked out transactions can distort the price and volume information related to power sales that is reported in the EQR. As a result, the Commission proposes to further clarify below what should be considered booked out transactions and provides several examples of how to properly report this information.

    14. In addition, we find that, based on the current EQR database configuration, it is not possible to differentiate book outs of energy or capacity because EQR filers do not have the option to distinguish between the two products. As a result, we propose to replace the existing product name “Booked Out Power” in Appendix A of the EQR Data Dictionary with the product names “Booked Out Energy” and “Booked Out Capacity.” Accordingly, if the booked out transaction involves a book out of energy, the EQR filer should report it under the product name “Booked Out Energy,” and if the booked out transaction involves a book out of capacity, the EQR filer should report it under the product name “Booked Out Capacity.” “Booked Out Energy” will be defined in Appendix A as: “Energy contractually committed for delivery but not actually delivered due to some offsetting or countervailing trade (Transaction only).” “Booked Out Capacity” will be defined in Appendix A as: “Capacity contractually committed for delivery but not actually delivered due to some offsetting or countervailing trade (Transaction only).” We seek comments on the burden and impact of these proposals.

    15. With respect to our proposed clarifications on how EQR filers should report booked out transactions, we note that, in Order No. 2001, the Commission explained that booked out transactions occur “when the cumulative effect of a number of separate sales between two parties is such that they mutually agree to exchange their obligations to physically deliver power to each other, while maintaining all their other obligations, including payment.” 20 In Order No. 2001-A, the Commission also explained that book outs are the offsetting of opposing buy-sell transactions at the same time and place and gave examples of how to report booked out transactions, which involved Company A and Company B.21

    20Id. P 8 n.9 (emphasis added).

    21 Order No. 2001-A, 100 FERC ¶ 61,074 at P 22.

    16. Some of the inaccuracies or inconsistencies in reporting booked out transactions may stem from filers' confusion as to whether booked out transactions need only be reported when they involve the same two counterparties rather than multiple parties. The Commission hereby proposes to clarify that booked out transactions must be reported in the EQRs regardless of the number of parties involved in these transactions. In an effort to further clarify which booked out transactions should be reported, we provide the following examples and seek comment on whether they are sufficiently clear. First, we note that a booked out transaction can be set forth as a direct countervailing transaction that occurs when two companies, both of whom are selling physical energy to each other for the same delivery period, mutually agree to exchange their physical delivery obligations to each other, but maintain all of their other obligations, including payment. In practice, this would look like the following: Company A is contractually committed to sell 100 megawatt hours (MWh) to Company B on 5/5/15 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for $50/MWh. When scheduling and tagging, the scheduler notices that Company B is contractually committed to sell 50 MWh to Company A on 5/5/15 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for $40/MWh. Because there is no need to pay for transmission of both complete transactions (i.e., 100 MWh from Company A to Company B and 50 MWh from Company B to Company A), Company A and Company B agree to book the overlapping sale out and settle that portion financially.

    17. Company A and Company B should report this booked out transaction in the EQR as shown in the table below:

    EP07OC16.007

    18. Second, a booked out transaction as a curtailment occurs when one company is selling energy to another company and, in real time, the company buying the energy signals the seller to reduce the amount of energy it is providing to the buyer, in exchange for a curtailment payment commensurate with the reduced production. In practice, this would look like the following: Company C is contractually committed to sell 100 MWh to Company D on 5/5/15 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for $30/MWh. On 5/5/15, just prior to 11:00 a.m., Company C is signaled to curtail its transmission of energy from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. from 100 MWh to 50 MWh. Company C will receive a curtailment payment based on its contract with Company D equal to $35/MWh times the difference between Company C's curtailed level of production (i.e., 50 MWh) and the level of production it would have otherwise had (100 MWh). Because Company C received payment for 50 MWh of physically scheduled energy which was not delivered, Company C would book out that amount at the contractually set rate of $35/MWh and Company D would not report the transaction in the EQR.

    19. Company C should report this transaction as shown in the table below:

    EP07OC16.008

    20. Finally, a booked out transaction known as a daisy chain occurs when there are at least three companies in a chain of energy sales and at least one company appears twice in that chain (e.g., as a seller and as a buyer). It could be considered as an “indirect countervailing transaction” if compared to the direct countervailing transaction. In practice, this would look like the following: Company E is contractually committed to sell 100 MWh to Company F on 5/5/15 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. for $30/MWh. Company F is contractually committed to sell 50 MWh to Company G on 5/5/15 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. for $30/MWh. Company G is contractually committed to sell 20 MWh to Company E on 5/5/15 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. for $30/MWh. Because there is no need to pay for transmission of each complete transaction (i.e., 100 MWh from Company E to Company F, 50 MWh from Company F to Company G, and 20 MWh from Company G to Company E), they agree to book out and settle the overlapping portion financially.

    21. Company E, Company F, and Company G should report this booked out transaction in the EQR as shown in the table below:

    EP07OC16.009

    22. We also seek comments on whether there are other aspects of booked out transactions that have caused filers confusion and that the Commission should clarify.

    III. Information Collection Statement

    23. The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 22 requires each federal agency to seek and obtain Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval before undertaking a collection of information directed to ten or more persons or contained in a rule of general applicability. OMB regulations 23 require approval of certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rules. Upon approval of a collection of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of these proposals will not be penalized for failing to respond to this collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid OMB control number.

    22 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    23 5 CFR 1320.

    24. We solicit comments on the Commission's need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the provided burden estimates, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and any suggested methods for minimizing respondents' burden, including the use of automated information techniques.

    25. The proposals in this document will affect public utilities and certain non-public utilities. The proposals would require transmission providers to report ancillary services transaction data; require filers to submit into the FERC Tariff Reference fields in the EQR certain tariff-related information that they currently submit in the e-Tariff system; and require EQR filers to submit time zone information in connection with transmission capacity reassignment transactions. The proposals in this document also clarify how booked out transactions should be reported in the EQR.

    26. There are approximately 2,196 public utilities and about 40 non-public utilities that currently file EQRs. About 405 of the 2,196 public utilities only submit data in the ID Data section of the EQR 24 because they have no data to report in the Contract or Transaction Data sections of the EQR. We estimate there are about 266 public utilities and 14 non-public utilities that would be impacted by the proposal to report ancillary service transaction data, based on the number of public utility and non-public utility transmission providers that are currently reporting ancillary services in the Contract Data section of the EQR. Of the total 2,196 public utilities, approximately 1,791 have e-Tariffs on file and submit data in the Contract and/or Transaction Data sections of the EQR and would, therefore, be impacted by the proposal to submit additional tariff-related information in their EQRs. Similarly, about 14 non-public utilities have e-Tariffs on file and submit data in the Contract and/or Transaction Data sections of the EQR and would, therefore, be impacted. We also estimate that approximately 29 public utilities and 3 non-public utilities are currently reporting transmission capacity reassignment transactions and would be affected by the proposal to include the time zone information in connection with these transactions. Finally, we estimate that about 20 public utilities and 5 non-public utilities would need to distinguish between booked out energy and booked out capacity and, therefore, would be impacted by the proposal to separately identify and report these transactions.

    24 The ID Data section generally captures contact information identifying the seller company and the agent who prepared the company's filing, along with the applicable filing quarter.

    27. Burden Estimate: The estimated burden and cost 25 for the requirements proposed in this document follow. With respect to the burden and cost estimate associated with booked out transactions, our estimate is limited to the proposal to require EQR filers to distinguish between and separately report booked out energy and booked out capacity. The Commission previously provided burden and cost estimates for complying with the requirement to report booked out transactions when the requirement was initially set forth in Order No. 2001.26

    25 The estimated hourly cost (salary plus benefits) are based on the figures for May 2015 posted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Utilities sector (available at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm) and updated March 2016 for benefits information (at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm). The hourly estimates for salary plus benefits are: (a) Legal (code 23-0000), $128.94; (b) Computer and mathematical (code 15-0000), $60.54; (c) Information systems manager (code 11-3021), $91.63; (d) IT security analyst (code 15-1122), $58.00; (e) Auditing and accounting (code 13-2011), $53.78; and (f) Information and record clerk (code 43-4199), $37.69.

    26See Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs.¶ 31,127 at PP 368-378.

    EP07OC16.010

    For public and non-public utilities, the hourly cost (rounded, for salary plus benefits) for one-time implementation are computed as follows:

    • For “Reporting Ancillary Service Transactions,” “Reporting e-Tariff Data Fields,” and “Reinstating `Time Zone' Field in Contracts,” the estimated cost is $71/hour.27

    27 This estimate is based on the following percentages (rounded) of time spent: (a) Legal, 12.5%; (b) Computer and mathematical, 37.5%; (c) Information systems manager, 16.7%; (d) IT security analyst, 12.5%; (e) Auditing and accounting, 12.5%; and (f) Information and record clerk, 8.3%.

    • For “Distinguishing Booked Out Transactions,” the estimated cost is $80/hour.28

    28 This estimate is based on the following percentages of time spent: (a) Legal, 28.6%; (b) Computer and mathematical, 14.3%; (c) Information systems manager, 14.3%; (d) IT security analyst, 14.3%; (e) Auditing and accounting, 14.3%; and (f) Information and record clerk, 14.3%.

    For public and non-public utilities, the ongoing hourly costs (rounded, for salary plus benefits) are computed as follows.

    • For the “Reporting Ancillary Service Transactions” and “Submitting Four Unique Data Fields Associated with Tariff in e-Tariff,” the estimated cost is $53/hour.29

    29 This estimate is based on the following percentages (rounded) of time spent: (a) Computer and mathematical, 25%; (b) IT security analyst, 25%; (c) Auditing and accounting, 25%; and (d) Information and record clerk, 25%.

    • For “Reinstating `Time Zone' Field in Contracts,” the estimated cost is $61/hour.30

    30 This estimate is based on the following percentage of time spent: Computer and mathematical, 100%.

    • For “Distinguishing Booked Out Transactions,” there is no additional ongoing cost.

    Title: FERC-920, Electric Quarterly Report (EQR).

    Action: Revision of currently approved collection of information.

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0255.

    Respondents: Public Utilities and Certain Non-Public Utilities.

    Frequency of Information: Initial implementation and quarterly updates.

    28. Necessity of Information: The Commission's EQR reporting requirements must keep pace with market developments and technological advancements. Collecting and formatting data as discussed in this document will provide the Commission with the necessary information to identify and address potential exercises of market power and better inform Commission policies and regulations.

    29. Internal Review: The Commission has made a preliminary determination that the proposed revisions are necessary in light of technological advances in data collection processes. The Commission has assured itself, by means of its internal review, that there is specific, objective support for the burden estimate associated with the information requirements.

    30. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the Executive Director, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, email: [email protected], phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].

    31. Comments concerning the information collections proposed in this document, and the associated burden estimates, should be sent to the Commission in this docket and may also be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Office for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at the following email address: [email protected] Please reference FERC-920 and OMB Control No. 1902-0255 (FERC-920) in your submission.

    IV. Environmental Analysis

    32. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.31 The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from these requirements as not having a significant effect on the human environment.32 The actions proposed here fall within a categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations, i.e., they involve information gathering, analysis, and dissemination.33 Therefore, environmental analysis is unnecessary and has not been performed.

    31Regulations Implementing National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    32Id.

    33 18 CFR 380.4 (2016).

    V. Comment Procedures

    33. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues posted in this document, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due December 6, 2016. Comments must refer to Docket Nos. RM01-8, RM10-12, RM12-3, or ER02-2001 and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    34. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    35. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VI. Document Availability

    36. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    37. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    38. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during the Commission's normal business hours from Commission's Online Support services at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued September 22, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    Attachment—Proposed Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Data Dictionary BILLING CODE 6717-01-P EP07OC16.011 EP07OC16.012 EP07OC16.013
    [FR Doc. 2016-23447 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-C
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FDA-2016-C-2767] Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company; Filing of Color Additive Petition AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of petition.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that we have filed a petition, submitted by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, proposing that the color additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of calcium carbonate to color hard and soft candy, mints, and chewing gum.

    DATES:

    The color additive petition was filed on September 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Celeste Johnston, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-265), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740-3835, 240-402-1282.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under section 721(d)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 379e(d)(1)), we are giving notice that we have filed a color additive petition (CAP 6C0307), submitted by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, c/o Exponent, 1150 Connecticut Ave. NW., Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036. The petition proposes to amend the color additive regulations in part 73 (21 CFR part 73) Listing of Color Additives Exempt From Certification, to provide for the safe use of calcium carbonate to color hard and soft candy, mints, and chewing gum.

    We have determined under 21 CFR 25.32(k) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    Dated: October 3, 2016. Dennis M. Keefe, Director, Office of Food Additive Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24208 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1910 [Docket No. OSHA-2015-0015] RIN 1218-AC94 Additional PortaCount® Quantitative Fit-Testing Protocols: Amendment to Respiratory Protection Standard AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    OSHA is proposing to add two modified PortaCount® quantitative fit-testing protocols to its Respiratory Protection Standard. The proposed protocols would apply to employers in general industry, shipyard employment, and the construction industry. Both proposed protocols are variations of the existing OSHA-accepted PortaCount® protocol, but differ from it by the exercise sets, exercise duration, and sampling sequence. If approved, the modified PortaCount® protocols would be alternatives to the existing quantitative fit-testing protocols already listed in an appendix of the Respiratory Protection Standard. In addition, OSHA is proposing to amend an appendix to clarify that PortaCount® fit test devices equipped with the N95-CompanionTM Technology are covered by the approved PortaCount® protocols.

    DATES:

    Submit comments to this proposal, including comments to the information collection (paperwork) requirements, by December 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments. You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2015-0015, by any of the following methods:

    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for making electronic submissions.

    Fax: If your submissions, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: You must submit your comments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2015-0015, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, or courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., ET.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-2015-0015). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions you about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and birthdates.

    If you submit scientific or technical studies or other results of scientific research, OSHA requests (but does not require) that you also provide the following information where it is available: (1) Identification of the funding source(s) and sponsoring organization(s) of the research; (2) the extent to which the research findings were reviewed by a potentially affected party prior to publication or submission to the docket, and identification of any such parties; and (3) the nature of any financial relationships (e.g., consulting agreements, expert witness support, or research funding) between investigators who conducted the research and any organization(s) or entities having an interest in the rulemaking. If you are submitting comments or testimony on the Agency's scientific and technical analyses, OSHA requests (but does not require) that you disclose: (1) The nature of any financial relationships you may have with any organization(s) or entities having an interest in the rulemaking; and (2) the extent to which your comments or testimony were reviewed by an interested party prior to its submission. Disclosure of such information is intended to promote transparency and scientific integrity of data and technical information submitted to the record. This request is consistent with Executive Order 13563, issued on January 18, 2011, which instructs agencies to ensure the objectivity of any scientific and technological information used to support their regulatory actions. OSHA emphasizes that all material submitted to the rulemaking record will be considered by the Agency to develop the final rule and supporting analyses.

    Docket: To read or download comments and materials submitted in response to this Federal Register notice, go to Docket No. OSHA-2015-0015 at http://www.regulations.gov or to the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All comments and submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through that Web site. All comments and submissions are available for inspection and, where permissible, copying at the OSHA Docket Office.

    Electronic copies of this Federal Register document are available at http://regulations.gov. Copies also are available from the OSHA Office of Publications, Room N-3101, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1888. This document, as well as news releases and other relevant information, is also available at OSHA's Web site at http://www.osha.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general information and press inquiries, contact Frank Meilinger, Director, Office of Communications, Room N-3647, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-1999; email [email protected] For technical inquiries, contact Natalia Stakhiv, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Room N-3718, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2272; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Summary and Explanation of Proposal III. Issues for Public Comment IV. Procedural Determinations V. References I. Background

    Appendix A of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, currently includes four quantitative fit-testing protocols using the following challenge agents: A non-hazardous generated aerosol such as corn oil, polyethylene glycol 400, di-2-ethyl hexyl sebacate, or sodium chloride; ambient aerosol measured with a condensation nuclei counter (CNC), also known as the standard PortaCount® protocol; controlled negative pressure; and controlled negative pressure REDON. Appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard also specifies the procedure for adding new fit-testing protocols to this standard. Under that procedure, if OSHA receives an application for a new fit-testing protocol meeting certain criteria, the Agency must commence a rulemaking proceeding to consider adopting the proposal. These criteria include: (1) A test report prepared by an independent government research laboratory (e.g., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Institute for Standards and Technology) stating that the laboratory tested the protocol and found it to be accurate and reliable; or (2) an article published in a peer-reviewed industrial-hygiene journal describing the protocol and explaining how the test data support the protocol's accuracy and reliability. OSHA considers such proposals under the notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures specified in section 6(b)(7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the “Act”) (29 U.S.C. 655(b)(7)). Using this procedure, OSHA added one fit-testing protocol (i.e., the controlled negative pressure REDON quantitative fit-testing protocol) to appendix A of its Respiratory Protection Standard (69 FR 46986, Aug. 4, 2004).

    In 2006, TSI Incorporated (hereinafter referred to as TSI) submitted two quantitative fit-testing protocols for acceptance under the Respiratory Protection Standard. OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for those protocols on January 21, 2009 (74 FR 3526-01). The proposed protocols used the same fit-testing requirements and instrumentation specified for the standard PortaCount® protocol in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Part I.C.3 of appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard, except:

    • Revised PortaCount® QNFT protocol 1 reduced the duration of the eight fit-testing exercises from 60 seconds to 30 seconds; and

    • Revised PortaCount® QNFT protocol 2 eliminated two of the eight fit-testing exercises, with each of the remaining six exercises having a duration of 40 seconds; in addition, this proposed protocol increased the minimum pass-fail fit-testing criterion (i.e., reference fit factors) from a fit factor of 100 to 200 for half masks, and from 500 to 1000 for full facepieces.

    OSHA withdrew the NPRM on January 27, 2010 (75 FR 4323-01). In withdrawing the NPRM, the Agency concluded that the study data failed to adequately demonstrate that these protocols were sufficiently accurate or as reliable as the quantitative fit-testing protocols already listed in appendix A. OSHA found that the studies submitted with the application did not differentiate between results for half-mask and full-facepiece respirators. OSHA also determined that TSI had not demonstrated that these protocols would accurately determine fit for filtering facepiece respirators.

    II. Summary and Explanation of the Proposal A. Introduction

    One of the OSHA-accepted quantitative fit test protocols listed in appendix A is the standard PortaCount® protocol. The standard PortaCount® protocol and instrumentation was introduced by TSI in 1987, and the use of the standard PortaCount® protocol was originally allowed by OSHA under a compliance interpretation published in 1988, until it was incorporated into appendix A in 1998.

    In a letter dated July 10, 2014, Darrick Niccum of TSI submitted an application requesting that OSHA approve three additional PortaCount® quantitative fit test protocols to add to appendix A (TSI, 2014a). These three additional protocols are modified versions of the standard PortaCount® protocol. Mr. Niccum included a copy of three peer-reviewed articles from the industrial-hygiene journal, entitled Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection, describing the accuracy and reliability of these proposed protocols (Richardson et al., 2013; Richardson et al., 2014a; Richardson et al., 2014b). The application letter also included a copy of the ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010 standard (ANSI/AIHA, 2010) and a discussion about how the ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010, Annex 2 methodology was utilized by TSI to conduct a statistical comparison of fit test methods.

    For consistency with the terminology used in the three peer-reviewed articles, OSHA will, in this section of the NPRM (i.e., Summary and Explanation of the Proposal), refer to the three new modified PortaCount® protocols as “Fast-Full method” for full-facepiece elastomeric respirators, “Fast-Half method” for half-mask elastomeric respirators, and “Fast-FFR method” for filtering-facepiece respirators (FFR). It should be noted that the “Fast-Full” method and the “Fast-Half” method are identical protocols, but were evaluated for method performance separately in two peer-reviewed articles. Since TSI's “Fast-Full” and “Fast-Half” methods are identical protocols, OSHA is proposing that only two new protocols be added to appendix A: A modified PortaCount® protocol for both full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators and a modified PortaCount® protocol for filtering-facepiece respirators.

    All three of TSI's modified PortaCount® protocols use the same fit-testing requirements and instrumentation specified for the standard PortaCount® protocol in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Part I.C.3 of appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard, except that they differ from the standard PortaCount® protocol by the exercise sets, exercise duration, and sampling sequence. The major difference between the proposed Fast-Full and Fast-Half methods and the standard PortaCount® protocol is they include only 3 of the 7 current test exercises (i.e., bending, head side-to-side, and head up-and-down) plus a new exercise (i.e., jogging-in-place), and reduce each exercise duration, thereby reducing the total test duration from 7.2 minutes to 2.5 minutes. The peer-reviewed articles describe studies comparing the fit factors for the new modified PortaCount® protocols to a reference method based on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI/AIHA) Z88.10-2010 Annex A2 “Criteria for Evaluating New Fit Test Methods” approach. This approach requires the performance evaluation study administer sequential paired tests using the proposed fit-test method and reference method during the same respirator donning.

    B. Evaluation of Fast-Half Method 1. Study Methods

    The peer-reviewed article entitled “Evaluation of a Faster Fit Testing Method for Elastomeric Half-Mask Respirators Based on the TSI PortaCount®,” appeared in a 2014 issue (Volume 31, Number 1) of the Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection (Richardson et al., 2014a). The study authors selected three models of NIOSH-approved, half-mask air-purifying respirators from “leading U.S. mask manufacturers” equipped with P100 filters. Each model was available in three sizes. Respirators were probed with a flush sampling probe located between the nose and mouth. Twenty-five participants (9 female; 16 male) were included in the study; face sizes were predominantly in the smaller and central cells (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8) of the NIOSH bivariate panel; no subjects were in cells 6, 9 or 10 (those with longer—nose to chin—face sizes).

    Test subjects donned the respirator for a five-minute comfort assessment and then performed two sets of fit-test exercises, either using the Reference method or the Fast-Half method. The order of the two sets of fit-test exercises was randomized. The Reference method consisted of the eight standard OSHA exercises listed in Section I.A.14 of appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard, minus the grimace exercise, in the same order as described in the standard (i.e., normal breathing, deep breathing, head side-to-side, head up-and-down, talking, bending over, normal breathing). Each exercise was performed for 60 seconds.

    According to TSI, the study authors chose not to include the grimace exercise because little or no support was found for the grimace exercise among respirator fit-test experts (TSI, 2015a). TSI explained that “[t]he most common fault expressed by a number of experienced fit testers and industry experts was that the grimace cannot be consistently applied or even defined (TSI, 2015a).” They further commented that the grimace is intended to break the face seal and may not reseal in the same way for subsequent exercises. As a result, the shift in the respirator can potentially confound comparison of the fit-test methods. TSI also noted that the fit factor from the grimace (if measured) is not used to calculate the overall fit factor test result under the standard PortaCount® method (TSI, 2015a).

    The Fast-Half method included four exercises—bending, jogging in place, head side-to-side and head up-and-down. Two breaths were taken at each extreme of the head side-to-side and head up-and-down exercises and at the bottom of the bend in the bending exercise.

    Although not discussed in the peer-reviewed journal article, TSI explained their rationale for selecting the exercises that were the most rigorous for (i.e., the best at) identifying poor fitting respirators in two documents submitted to the Agency (TSI, 2014b; TSI, 2015a). TSI selected the exercises based on a literature review, informal conversations with industry fit test experts, and in-house pilot studies. “Talking out loud,” “bending,” and “moving head up/down” were determined to be the three most critical exercises in determining the overall fit factor for abbreviated respirator fit test methods by Zhuang et al. (Zhuang et al., 2004). TSI's in-house pilot collected fit-test data on subjects using consecutive sets of the seven-exercise Reference method described above (TSI, 2014b). TSI analyzed the frequency with which each exercise produced the lowest fit factor. Fit test data was separated into three groups: All fit tests, good-fitting fit tests, and poor-fitting fit tests. A poor-fitting fit test was defined as any test where at least one exercise failed. The results showed that normal breathing, deep breathing, and talking rarely produced the lowest fit factor (frequency ≤3 percent) for poor-fitting full-facepiece respirators. On this basis, these three less rigorous exercises were eliminated for both the Fast-Full and Fast-Half methods. The bending exercise was the most rigorous exercise for poor-fitting full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators. Talking was the exercise that most often had the lowest fit factor for good-fitting full-facepiece and half-mask respirators in the pilot study. None of the other exercises stood out for half-mask respirators, but TSI reasoned that there was a lack of data suggesting that half-mask respirator fit tests should use different exercises than full-facepiece respirators (TSI, 2015a). The study added jogging-in-place for a fourth rigorous test exercise as part of the protocol. Jogging is an alternate (i.e., elective as opposed to required) exercise in Annex 2—“Criteria for Evaluating New Fit Test Methods of the Respiratory Protection” of the ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010 standard.

    A single CPC instrument, PortaCount® Model 8030 (TSI Incorporated, Shoreview MN), was used throughout the Fast-Half method validation experiments. The instrument was connected to two equal-length sampling tubes for sampling inside-facepiece and ambient particle concentrations. TSI software was used to switch between sampling lines and record concentration data. The experiments were conducted in a large chamber to which a NaCl aerosol was added to augment particle concentrations, which were expected to range between 5,000 and 20,000 particles/cm3 (target = 10,000 p/cm3).

    During the Reference method, for each exercise, the ambient sampling tube was first purged for 4 seconds before an ambient sample was taken for 5 seconds, followed by an 11-second purge of the in-facepiece sampling tube and a 40-second in-facepiece sample. The Reference method took a total of 429 seconds (7 minutes 9 seconds) to complete.

    During the first exercise of the Fast-Half method (bending over), the ambient sampling tube was first purged for 4 seconds before an ambient sample was taken for 5 seconds; the in-facepiece sampling tube was then purged for 11 seconds and a sample was then taken from inside the mask for 30 seconds. No ambient sample was taken during the next two exercises (jogging and head side-to-side)—just one 30-second in-facepiece sample was collected for each exercise. For the last exercise (head up-and-down), a 30-second in-facepiece sample was taken, after which a 4-second ambient purge and 5-second ambient sample were conducted. The Fast-Half method took a total of 149 seconds (2 minutes 29 seconds) to complete.

    For the Reference method, the authors calculated a fit factor for each exercise by dividing the in-facepiece concentration taken during that exercise by the mean ambient concentration for that exercise (average of the ambient measurements pre- and post-exercise). The overall fit factor was determined by taking a harmonic mean of the seven exercise fit factors.

    For the Fast-Half method, the ambient concentration was calculated by taking the mean of two measurements—one before the first exercise and one after the last exercise. The authors calculated fit factors for each exercise by dividing the in-facepiece concentration taken during that exercise by the mean ambient concentration. As with the Reference method, the harmonic mean of the four exercise fit factors represented the overall fit factor. A minimum fit factor of 100 is required in order to be regarded as an acceptable fit for half-mask respirators under appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard.

    To ensure that respirator fit was not significantly altered between the two sets of exercises, a 5-second normal breathing fit factor assessment was included before the first exercise set, between the two sets of exercises and at the completion of the second exercise set. If the ratio of the maximum to minimum of these three fit factors was greater than 100, this experimental trial was excluded from data analysis.

    2. Study Results

    The ANSI/AIHA standard specifies that an exclusion zone within one coefficient of variation for the Reference method must be determined. The exclusion zone is the range of measured fit factors around the pass/fail fit factor of 100 which cannot be confirmed to be greater than 100 or less than 100 with adequate confidence and, therefore, should not be included in evaluating performance. TSI determined the variability associated with the Reference method using 48 pairs of fit factors from 16 participants. The exclusion zone was defined as fit factor measurements within one standard deviation of the 100 pass/fail value. Six pairs of fit factors were omitted because the normal breathing fit factor ratio exceeded 100 and 5 pairs of fit factors were omitted because they were identified as outliers (>3 standard deviations from the mean of the remaining data points). The exclusion zone calculated by the study authors ranged from 82-123 and did not include the five outliers. During review of the study methods, OSHA felt that omitting outliers to define a variability-based exclusion zone deviated from the usual scientific practice. Therefore, OSHA recalculated the exclusion zone with the outlier data included in the analysis (Brosseau and Jones, 2015). The recalculated exclusion zone was somewhat wider, ranging from 68 to 146.

    The final dataset for the ANSI/AIHA Fast-Half performance evaluation included 134 pairs of fit factors from 25 participants. Equivalent fractions of each respirator and model were included. Eleven pairs were omitted because the ratio of maximum to minimum normal breathing fit factors was greater than 100 and 1 pair was omitted due to a methodological error; 122 pairs were included in the data analysis.

    According to the statistical procedures utilized in the study, the Fast-Half method, even utilizing the wider OSHA-recalculated exclusion zone, met the required acceptance criteria for test sensitivity, predictive value of a pass, predictive value of a fail, test specificity, and kappa statistic 1 as defined in ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010 (see Table 1). The study authors concluded that the results demonstrated that the new Fast-Half method can identify poorly fitting respirators as well as the reference method.

    1 The kappa statistic is a measure of agreement between the proposed and reference fit-test methods. It compares the observed proportion of fit tests that are concordant with the proportion expected if the two tests were statistically independent. Kappa values can vary from −1 to +1. Values close to +1 indicate good agreement. ANSI/AIHA recommends kappa values >0.70.

    C. Evaluation of Fast-Full Method 1. Study Methods

    The peer-reviewed article entitled “Evaluation of a Faster Fit Testing Method for Full-Facepiece Respirators Based on the TSI PortaCount®,” appeared in a 2013 issue (Volume 30, Number 2) of the Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection (Richardson et al., 2013). The study authors selected three models of NIOSH-approved, full-facepiece air-purifying respirators from “leading U.S. mask manufacturers” equipped with P100 filters. Each model was available in three sizes. Respirators were probed with a non-flush sampling probe inside the nose cup, extending 0.6 into the breathing zone. Twenty-seven participants (11 female; 16 male) were included in the study; face sizes were predominantly in the central cells (2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9) of the NIOSH bivariate panel; 1 subject had a face size in cell 6 and none were in cells 1 (very small) or 10 (very large). The Reference method, choice of exercises, PortaCount® instrument, test aerosol, and sampling sequence were exactly the same as those used for the Fast-Half method. A minimum fit factor of 500 is required in order to be regarded as an acceptable fit for full-facepiece respirators under appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard.

    2. Study Results

    TSI determined the variability associated with the Reference method using 54 pairs of fit factors from 17 participants. The exclusion zone was defined as fit factor measurements within one standard deviation of the 500 pass/fail value. Five pairs of fit factors were omitted because the normal breathing fit factor ratio exceeded 100, and three pairs of fit factors were omitted because they were identified as outliers (>3 standard deviations from the mean of the remaining data points). The exclusion zone calculated by the study authors ranged from 345-726 and did not include the three outliers. OSHA recalculated the exclusion zone with the outlier data included in the analysis (Brosseau and Jones, 2015). The recalculated exclusion zone determined by OSHA was somewhat wider ranging from 321-780.

    The final dataset for the ANSI/AIHA Fast-Full performance evaluation included 148 pairs of fit factors from 27 participants. Equivalent fractions of each respirator and model were included. Eleven pairs were omitted because the ratio of maximum to minimum normal breathing fit factors was greater than 100; 1 pair was omitted due to an observational anomaly; 136 pairs were included in the data analysis.

    According to the statistical procedures utilized in the study, the Fast-Full method, even utilizing the wider OSHA-recalculated exclusion zone, met the required acceptance criteria for test sensitivity, predictive value of a pass, predictive value of a fail, test specificity, and kappa statistic as defined in ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010 (see Table 1). The authors concluded that the results demonstrated that the new Fast-Full method can identify poorly fitting respirators as well as the reference method.

    D. Evaluation of Fast-FFR Method 1. Study Methods

    The peer-reviewed article, entitled “Evaluation of a Faster Fit Testing Method for Filtering Facepiece Respirators Based on the TSI PortaCount®,” appeared in a 2014 issue (Volume 31, Number 1) of the Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection (Richardson et al., 2014b). Ten models of NIOSH-approved N95 FFRs from six “leading U.S. mask manufacturers” were selected for study. The different models were selected to represent a range of styles—6 cup-shaped, 2 horizontal flat-fold, and 2 vertical flat-fold models. No information was provided in the publication about whether models were available in different sizes. However, at the Agency's request, TSI submitted additional information regarding the choice of respirators via a letter (TSI, 2015b). The letter states:

    The study plan for FFR called for 10 N95 FFR. Unlike elastomeric respirators, FFR designs vary widely and are typically not offered in different sizes. The authors felt it was important to use a variety of designs that represent the styles currently available in the US. Of the 10 models used, 6 were cup-shaped, 2 were vertical-fold, and 2 were horizontal-fold designs. The cup-shaped style is by far the most common, which is why 6 of the 10 model selected have that fundamental design. Four flat-fold designs (2 vertical-fold and 2 horizontal-fold) models are also included.

    Respirators were probed with a flush sampling probe located between the nose and mouth. Lightweight sample tubing and neck straps were used to ensure the tubing did not interfere with respirator fit. Twenty-nine participants (11 female; 18 male) were included in the study; face sizes were predominantly in the smaller and central cells (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8) of the NIOSH bivariate panel; 1 subject was in cell 6 and no subjects were in cells 9 or 10 (those with longer—nose to chin—face sizes). The Reference method, test aerosol, and most other study procedures were analogous to those used for the Fast-Half and Fast-Full methods. However, the Fast-FFR method employed these four exercises: Bending, talking, head side-to-side and head up-and-down with the same sampling sequence and durations as the other test protocols. The talking exercise replaces the jogging exercise used in the Fast-Half and Fast-Full methods. TSI decided not to eliminate the talking exercise for FFRs even though their pilot study indicated that it rarely produces the lowest fit factor (TSI, 2015a). They felt from their own experience that jogging does not represent the kind of motions that FFR wearers do when using the respirator (TSI, 2015a). TSI also indicated that the sampling probe configured on lightweight FFR respirators caused the respirator to pull down and away from the face during jogging creating unintentional leakage. A PortaCount® Model 8038 operated in the N95 mode (TSI Inc., Shoreview MN), was used to measure aerosol concentrations throughout the experiments. The particle concentrations in the test chamber were expected to be greater than 400 p/cm3. A minimum fit factor of 100 is required in order to be regarded as an acceptable fit for these types of respirators under appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard.

    2. Study Results

    The study administered sequential paired fit tests using the Fast-FFR method and a reference method according to the ANSI/AIHA standard. TSI determined the variability associated with the Reference method using 63 pairs of fit factors from 14 participants. The exclusion zone was defined as fit factor measurements within one standard deviation of the 500 pass/fail value. Two pairs of fit factors were omitted because the normal breathing fit factor ratio exceeded 100, and six pairs of fit factors were omitted because they were identified as outliers (>3 standard deviations from the mean of the remaining data points). The exclusion zone calculated by the study authors ranged from 78-128 and did not include the six outliers. OSHA recalculated the exclusion zone with the outlier data included in the analysis (Brosseau and Jones, 2015). The recalculated exclusion zone was somewhat wider ranging from 69-144.

    The final dataset for the ANSI/AIHA Fast-FFR performance evaluation included 114 pairs from 29 participants. Equivalent fractions of each respirator and model were included. Two pairs were omitted because the ratio of maximum to minimum normal breathing fit factors was greater than 100; 112 pairs were included in the data analysis.

    According to the statistical procedures utilized in the study, the Fast-FFR method, even utilizing the wider OSHA-recalculated exclusion zone, met the required acceptance criteria for test sensitivity, predictive value of a pass, predictive value of a fail, test specificity, and kappa statistic as defined in ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010 (see Table 1). The authors concluded that the results demonstrated that the new Fast-FFR method can identify poorly fitting respirators as well as the reference method.

    Table 1—Comparison of TSI Fit Test Protocols With ANSI Criteria ANSI Z88.10 Fast-full Fast-half Fast-FFR Sensitivity ≥0.95 0.98 0.96 1.00 PV Pass ≥0.95 0.98 0.97 1.00 Specificity ≥0.50 0.98 0.97 0.85 PV Fail ≥0.50 0.98 0.93 0.93 Kappa ≥0.70 0.97 1 0.89 1 0.89 1 The kappa values in the table are those determined using the OSHA recalculated exclusion zone. The kappa values reported by the journal authors using a narrower exclusion zone were 0.90 and 0.87, respectively, for the Fast-Half and Fast-FFR methods. Other statistical values were the same for both OSHA and study author exclusion zone determinations. E. Conclusions

    OSHA believes that the information submitted by TSI in the July 10, 2014 letter from Mr. Niccum in support of the modified PortaCount® quantitative fit test protocols meets the criteria for determining whether OSHA must publish fit-test protocols for notice-and-comment rulemaking established by the Agency in Part II of appendix A of its Respiratory Protection Standard. Therefore, the Agency is initiating this rulemaking to determine whether to approve these proposed protocols for inclusion in Part I.C of appendix A of its Respiratory Protection Standard.

    Each proposed protocol is a variation of the standard OSHA-accepted PortaCount® protocol, but differs from it by the exercise sets, exercise duration, and sampling sequence. The major difference between the proposed Fast-Full and Fast-Half methods and the standard OSHA-accepted PortaCount® protocol is they include only 3 of the 7 current test exercises (i.e., bending, head side-to-side, and head up-and-down) plus a new exercise (i.e., jogging-in-place), and reduce the total test duration from 7.2 minutes to 2.5 minutes. The major difference between the proposed Fast-FFR method and the standard OSHA-accepted PortaCount® protocol is it includes 4 of the 7 current test exercises (i.e., bending, talking, head side-to-side, and head up-and-down), and it reduces the total test duration from 7.2 minutes to 2.5 minutes.

    The Agency is proposing to add two modified PortaCount® protocols to appendix A (see section V of this preamble titled “Proposed Amendment to the Standard”). If approved, the new protocols would be alternatives to the existing quantitative fit-testing protocols already listed in the Part I.C of appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard; employers would be free to select these alternatives or to continue using any of the other protocols currently listed in the appendix.

    F. N95-CompanionTM Technology

    OSHA is also taking the opportunity of this rulemaking to make a clarifying change to appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard to reflect a technological development. The original PortaCount® model could only fit test elastomeric respirators (i.e., full-facepiece and half-mask) and filtering facepiece respirators equipped with ≥99% efficient filter media. In 1998, TSI introduced the N95-CompanionTM Technology, which enables newer PortaCount® models to quantitatively fit test elastomeric respirators (i.e., full-facepiece and half-mask) and filtering facepiece respirators equipped with <99% efficient filter media (e.g., N95 filters). The N95-CompanionTM Technology does not alter the fit-testing protocol; it merely enables the fit testing of respirators with <99% efficient filter media. Therefore, OSHA has proposed text to appendix A, Part I.C.3 to clarify the difference between the existing PortaCount® models with and without the N95-CompanionTM Technology.

    III. Issues for Public Comment

    OSHA invites comments from the public regarding the accuracy and reliability of the proposed protocols, their effectiveness in detecting respirator leakage, and their usefulness in selecting respirators that will protect employees from airborne contaminants in the workplace. Specifically, the Agency invites public comment on the following issues:

    • Were the three studies described in the peer-reviewed journal articles well controlled and conducted according to accepted experimental design practices and principles?

    • Were the results of the three studies described in the peer-reviewed journal articles properly, fully, and fairly presented and interpreted?

    • Did the three studies treat outliers appropriately in determination of the exclusion zone?

    • Will the two proposed protocols generate reproducible fit-testing results?

    • Will the two proposed protocols reliably identify respirators with unacceptable fit as effectively as the quantitative fit-testing protocols, including the OSHA-approved standard PortaCount® protocol, already listed in appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard?

    • Did the protocols in the three studies meet the sensitivity, specificity, predictive value, and other criteria contained in the ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010, Annex A2, Criteria for Evaluating Fit Test Methods?

    • Are the specific respirators selected in the three studies described in the peer-reviewed journal articles representative of the respirators used in the United States?

    • Does the elimination of certain fit-test exercises (e.g., normal breathing, deep breathing, talking) required by the existing OSHA-approved standard PortaCount® protocol impact the acceptability of the proposed protocols?

    • Is the test exercise, jogging-in-place, that has been added to the Fast-Full and Fast-Half protocols appropriately selected and adequately explained? Should the jogging exercise also be employed for the Fast-FFR protocol? Is the reasoning for not replacing the talking exercise with the more rigorous jogging exercise in the Fast-FFR protocol (as was done in Fast-Full and Fast-Half) adequately explained?

    • Was it acceptable to omit the grimace from the Reference method employed in the studies evaluating performance of the proposed fit-testing protocols? Is it appropriate to exclude the grimace completely from the proposed protocols, given that it is not used in the calculation of the fit factor result specified under the existing or proposed test methods? If not, what other criteria could be used to assess its inclusion or exclusion?

    • The protocols in the three studies specify that participants take two deep breaths at the extreme of the head side-to-side and head up-and-down exercises and at the bottom of the bend in the bend-forward exercise. According to the developers of these protocols, the deep breaths are included to make the exercises more rigorous and reproducible from one subject to the next. Are these additional breathing instructions adequately explained in the studies and in the proposed amendment to the standard? Are they reasonable and appropriate?

    • Does OSHA's proposed regulatory text for the two new protocols offer clear instructions for implementing the protocols accurately?

    IV. Procedural Determinations A. Legal Authority

    The purpose of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“the Act”; 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) is “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources” (29 U.S.C. 651(b)). To achieve this goal, Congress authorized the Secretary of Labor to promulgate and enforce occupational safety and health standards (29 U.S.C. 655(b)).

    Under the Act, a safety or health standard is a standard that “requires conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes, reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment or places of employment” (29 U.S.C. 652(8)). A standard is reasonably necessary or appropriate within the meaning of section 652(8) of the Act when it substantially reduces or eliminates a significant workplace risk, and is technologically and economically feasible, cost effective, consistent with prior Agency action or supported by a reasoned justification for departing from prior Agency action, and supported by substantial evidence; it also must effectuate the Act's purposes better than any national consensus standard it supersedes (see International Union, UAW v. OSHA (LOTO II), 37 F.3d 665 (D.C. Cir. 1994); and 58 FR 16612-16616 (March 30, 1993)). Rules promulgated by the Agency must be highly protective (see 58 FR 16612, 16614-15 (March 30, 1993); LOTO II, 37 F.3d 665, 669 (D.C. Cir. 1994)). Moreover, section 8(g)(2) of the Act authorizes OSHA “to prescribe such rules and regulations as [it] may deem necessary to carry out its responsibilities under the Act” (see 29 U.S.C. 657(g)(2)). OSHA adopted the respirator standard in accordance with these requirements (63 FR 1152).

    Appendix A, part II of the respirator standard requires OSHA to commence a rulemaking to adopt an alternative fit test protocol where an applicant provides a detailed description the protocol supported by a test report from an independent laboratory or a published study in a peer-reviewed industrial hygiene journal showing that the protocol is accurate and reliable. In such cases, OSHA relies on the authority in section 6(b)(7) of the OSH Act. This provision allows the Agency to make updates to technical monitoring, measuring, and medical examination requirements in a standard to reflect newly developed information using the informal rulemaking notice and comment procedures of section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act, rather than the more elaborate procedures of section 6(b) of the Act. In this case, TSI's proposed protocols are supported by three articles in a peer-reviewed industrial hygiene journal. Each article described one of the proposed protocols and explained how test data support the protocol's accuracy and reliability. Section 6(b)(7) also requires consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and here OSHA has consulted informally with NIOSH about TSI's proposed protocols. OSHA anticipates that NIOSH will submit formal comments in response to this proposal.

    Based on all the submitted information, and after consultation with NIOSH, OSHA has preliminarily determined that the modified PortaCount® protocols provide employees with protections comparable to protections afforded them by the standard PortaCount® protocol already approved by the Agency. OSHA has also made a preliminary finding that the proposed rule is technologically feasible because the protective measures it requires already exist.

    As OSHA has explained before, Congress adopted section 6(b)(7) to provide a simple, expedited process to update technical requirements in Agency standards to ensure that they reflect current experience and technological developments (see 77 FR 17602). OSHA believes that the provision of an expedited process to provide technical updates to existing standards shows Congress's intent that new findings of significant risk are unnecessary in such circumstances (see id.). But even if OSHA was proceeding under its normal standard setting requirements, it would need to make no new showing of significant risk because the new protocols would not replace existing fit-testing protocols, but instead would be alternatives to them. OSHA believes that the proposal would not directly increase or decrease the protection afforded to employees, nor would it increase employers' compliance burdens. As demonstrated in the following section, the proposal may reduce employers' compliance burdens by decreasing the time required to fit test respirators for employee use.

    B. Preliminary Economic Analysis and Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    The proposal is not economically significant within the context of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735), or a “major rule” under Section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 804). The proposal would impose no additional costs on any private- or public-sector entity, and does not meet any of the criteria for a significant or major rule specified by Executive Order 12866 or other relevant statutes. This rulemaking allows employers increased flexibility in choosing fit-testing methods for employees, and the final rule does not require an employer to update or replace its current fit-testing method(s) as a result of this rule if the fit-testing method(s) currently in use meets existing standards. Furthermore, as discussed, because the proposed rule offers additional options that employers would select only if those options imposed no net cost burden on them, the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    The Agency is proposing to supplement the quantitative fit-testing (QNFT) protocols currently in appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard, including the standard PortaCount® protocol, with the proposed modified protocols. This would provide employers additional options to fit test their employees for respirator use. Employers already using the standard PortaCount® protocol would have a choice between the existing standard PortaCount® protocol, which consists of eight exercises lasting one minute each, or the proposed protocols, which OSHA estimates would save 4.8 minutes per fit test. This time saving would provide a corresponding cost saving to the employer.

    According to TSI, the PortaCount® manufacturer, “[e]xisting owners of the PortaCount® Respirator Fit Tester Pro Model 8030 and/or PortaCount® Pro+ Model 8038 will be able to utilize the new protocols without additional expense. It will be necessary to obtain a firmware and FitPro software upgrade, which TSI will be providing as a free download. As an alternative to the free download, PortaCount® Models 8030 and 8038 returned for annual service will be upgraded without additional charge. Owners of the PortaCount® Plus Model 8020 with or without the N95-CompanionTM Technology (both discontinued in 2008) will be limited to the current 8-exercise OSHA fit test protocol” (TSI, 2015b). There are approximately 12,000 Model 8030 or 8038 units in the field, significantly more than the discontinued Model 8020. The time required to adopt the new proposed protocols is expected to be minimal for existing PortaCount® users. The users will be able to update the firmware and software, which is estimated to take less than 5 minutes, and the fit tester would be able to select the proposed protocol or the currently existing test in 29 CFR 1910.134. The updates can be installed at the establishment's location; they do not need to be sent into the manufacturer to load. For the individual being fit tested, it is also likely to take minimal time to gain an understanding of the new protocols. The existing respiratory protection rule contains an annual training component, and information about the new protocol could be imparted during that time, thus adding no additional burden to the employer or employee (TSI, 2015c). OSHA anticipates that the proposed protocols would be adopted by many employers who currently use the standard PortaCount® protocol for their employees. These employers would adopt the proposed protocols because they would take less time to administer than the standard PortaCount® protocol, thereby decreasing the labor cost required for fit testing their employees.

    Other establishments use either some other form of quantitative fit testing or qualitative fit testing. The Agency expects that the proposed protocols are less likely to be adopted by employers who currently perform fit testing using other quantitative or qualitative fit tests because of the significant equipment and training investment they already will have made to administer these fit tests. For example, it is estimated that switching from qualitative to quantitative fit testing would require an upfront investment of between $8,000 and $12,000 (TSI, 2015c).

    While the Agency has estimates of the number of users of the PortaCount® technology at the establishment level, both from the manufacturer and from the 2001 NIOSH Respirator Survey, what is not known is how many respirator wearers, that is, employees, are fit tested using a PortaCount® device. The Agency expects that economies of scale would apply in this situation—larger establishments would be more likely to encounter situations needing QNFT, but would also have more employees over which to spread the capital costs. Once employers have invested capital in a quantitative fit-testing device, they are likely to perform QNFT on a number of other devices and users, even if not all those devices require QNFT. If sufficiently large, some employers apparently choose to invest in a QNFT device, even though none of the respirator users may technically be required to use a QNFT. Also, some QNFT devices are acquired by third parties, or “fit-testing houses,” that provide fit-testing services to employers. In short, employers using PortaCount® QNFT will not be average size establishments for the purpose of estimating the number of respirator wearers. Some of these establishments might use them for hundreds or possibly thousands of respirator wearers in the course of a year. Alternately, one could look at the number of respirator users estimated to be using respirators that would presumably require QNFT, although it is uncertain what percentage of the QNFT market utilizes the PortaCount® technology currently; also uncertain is the percentage of users of optional QNFT devices using QNFT currently.

    Nonetheless, it is possible to develop a plausible estimate of the number of potentially affected respirator wearers, in which these two sets of data converge. For example, if one starts with an estimate of 12,000 establishments using PortaCount® models 8030 and 8038 annually for all of their employees and assumes an average of 100 respirator wearers fit tested annually per establishment, this would yield an estimate of 1.2 million respirator wearers that could potentially benefit from the new QNFT protocol.2 Alternately, a similar estimate can be obtained if one assumes that 50 percent of the devices requiring QNFT (such as full-facepiece elastomeric negative pressure respirators) use PortaCount® currently, as well as 25 percent of half-mask elastomeric respirators, and 10 percent of filtering facepieces.3 At a loaded wage rate of $33.81 and assuming savings of 5 minutes per respirator wearer per year, this would imply an annual savings for respirator wearers of approximately $3.4 million.4 There would also likely be some time savings for the person administering the fit tests. The time saved may potentially be as much as a one-to-one ratio between the tester and those being tested. The Agency solicits comment on the practical experience of employers and others administering fit tests as to the likely effects on total labor productivity (or potentially other cost elements) from being able to expedite the fit-testing process. As discussed, this does not include potential conversions from other types of fit-testing methods currently being used. Alternately, it is possible that some of these assumptions could be overestimates or that some employers are simply comfortable with the existing method and would continue to use the existing protocol despite the potential time savings.

    2 TSI estimated the number of users of their devices at over 12,000 establishments (TSI, 2015c). This is consistent with data from the 2001 NIOSH respirator survey (NIOSH, 2003), which, if benchmarked to a 2012 count of establishments (Census Bureau, 2012) and containing fit-testing methods to include ambient aerosol, generated aerosol, and a proportionally allocated percentage of the “don't know” respondents, would provide an estimate of 12,458 establishments using PortaCount® currently. Based on information from TSI, the large majority of these are estimated to be the newer 8030 and 8038 devices.

    3 NIOSH respirator survey (NIOSH, 2003), benchmarked to 2012 County Business Patterns (Census Bureau, 2012). These estimates are based only on private employers. Governmental entities would account for an even larger number of respirator users.

    4 Mean wage rate of $23.23 (BLS, 2016a), assuming fringe benefits are 31.3 percent of total compensation (BLS, 2016b).

    Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (as amended), OSHA has examined the regulatory requirements of the proposed rule to determine whether these proposed requirements would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule would impose no required costs and could provide a cost savings in excess of $3 million per year to regulated entities. The Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health therefore certifies that the proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., include enhancing the quality and utility of information the Federal government requires and minimizing the paperwork burden on affected entities. The PRA requires certain actions before an agency can adopt or revise a collection of information (paperwork), including publishing a summary of the collection of information and a brief description of the need for and proposed use of the information.

    A Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it is approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB control number; the public is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. When a NPRM includes an information collection, the sponsoring agency must submit a request to the OMB in order to obtain PRA approval. OSHA is submitting an Information Collection Request (ICR), concurrent with the publication of this NPRM. A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation, including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden, may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201511-1218-005 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, Room N-3609, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222.

    The proposed protocols of this NPRM would revise the information collection in a way that reduces existing burden hours and costs. In particular, the paperwork requirement specified in paragraph (m)(2) of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard, at 29 CFR 1910.134, specifies that employers must document and maintain the following information on quantitative fit tests administered to employees: The name or identification of the employee tested; the type of fit test performed; the specific make, model, style, and size of respirator tested; the date of the test; and the test results. The employer must maintain this record until the next fit test is administered. While the information on the fit-test record remains the same, the time to obtain the necessary information for the fit-test record could be reduced since some of the proposed protocols would take an employer less time to administer that those currently approved in appendix A. OSHA accounts for this burden under the Information Collection Request, or paperwork analysis, for the Respiratory Protection Standard (OMB Control Number 1218-0099).

    OSHA has estimated that the addition of a new protocol, which takes less time to administer, will result in a burden hour reduction of 150,432 hours. OSHA has submitted a revised Respiratory Protection ICR reflecting this reduction to OMB. As required by 5 CFR 1320.5(a)(1)(iv) and 1320.8(d)(2), OSHA is providing the following summary information about the Respiratory Protection information collection:

    Title: Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134).

    Number of respondents: 616,035.

    Frequency of responses: Various.

    Number of responses: 23,443,707.

    Average time per response: Various.

    Estimated total burden hours: 6,971,401.

    Estimated costs (capital-operation and maintenance): $296,098,562.

    The Agency solicits comments on these determinations. In addition, the Agency is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and cost) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Evaluate the quality, utility and clarity of the information collected; and

    • Evaluate ways to minimize the compliance burden on employers, for example, by using automated or other technological techniques for collecting and transmitting information.

    Members of the public who wish to comment on the Agency's collection of information may send their written comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Desk Officer for DOL-OSHA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington DC 20503. You may also submit comments to OMB by email at [email protected] (please reference control number 1218-0099 in order to help ensure proper consideration). The Agency encourages commenters also to submit their comments related to the Agency's clarification of the collection of information requirements to the rulemaking docket (Docket Number OSHA-2015-0006) along with their comments on other parts of the proposed rule. For instructions on submitting these comments to the rulemaking docket, see the sections of this Federal Register notice titled DATES and ADDRESSES. You also may obtain an electronic copy of the complete ICR by visiting the Web page at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain and scrolling under “Currently Under Review” to “Department of Labor (DOL)” to view all of the DOL's ICRs, including those ICRs submitted for proposed rulemakings. To make inquiries, or to request other information, contact Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, Room N-3609, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222; email [email protected]

    D. Federalism

    OSHA reviewed the proposal according to the Executive Order on Federalism (E.O. 13132, 64 FR 43255, Aug. 10, 1999), which requires that Federal agencies, to the extent possible, refrain from limiting state policy options, consult with states before taking actions that would restrict states' policy options and take such actions only when clear constitutional authority exists and the problem is of national scope. The Executive Order provides for preemption of state law only with the expressed consent of Congress. Federal agencies must limit any such preemption to the extent possible.

    Under section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the “Act,” 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.), Congress expressly provides that states may adopt, with Federal approval, a plan for the development and enforcement of occupational safety and health standards (29 U.S.C. 667). OSHA refers to states that obtain Federal approval for such a plan as “State Plan states.” Occupational safety and health standards developed by State Plan states must be at least as effective in providing safe and healthful employment and places of employment as the Federal standards. Subject to these requirements, State Plan states are free to develop and enforce under state law their own requirements for occupational safety and health standards.

    With respect to states that do not have OSHA-approved plans, the Agency concludes that this proposed rule conforms to the preemption provisions of the Act. Section 18 of the Act prohibits states without approved plans from issuing citations for violations of OSHA standards. The Agency finds that the proposed rulemaking does not expand this limitation. Therefore, for States that do not have approved occupational safety and health plans, this proposed rule would not affect the preemption provisions of Section 18 of the Act.

    OSHA's proposal for additional fit-testing protocols under its Respiratory Protection Standard at 29 CFR 1910.134 is consistent with Executive Order 13132 because the problems addressed by these fit-testing requirements are national in scope. The Agency preliminarily concludes that the fit-testing protocols proposed by this rulemaking would provide employers in every state with procedures that would assist them in protecting their employees from the risks of exposure to atmospheric hazards. In this regard, the proposal offers thousands of employers across the nation an opportunity to use additional protocols to assess respirator fit among their employees. Therefore, the proposal would provide employers in every state with an alternative means of complying with the fit-testing requirements specified by paragraph (f) of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard.

    Should the Agency adopt a proposed standard in a final rulemaking, Section 18(c)(2) of the Act (29 U.S.C. 667(c)(2)) requires State Plan states to adopt the same standard, or to develop and enforce an alternative standard that is at least as effective as the OSHA standard. However, the new fit-testing protocols proposed in this rulemaking would only provide employers with alternatives to the existing fit-testing protocols specified in the Respiratory Protection Standard; therefore, the alternative is not, itself, a mandatory standard. Accordingly, states with OSHA-approved State Plans would not be obligated to adopt the final provisions that may result from this proposed rulemaking. Nevertheless, OSHA strongly encourages them to adopt the final provisions to provide additional compliance options to employers in their states.

    In summary, this proposal complies with Executive Order 13132. In states without OSHA-approved State Plans, this proposed rule limits state policy options in the same manner as other OSHA standards. In State Plan states, this rulemaking does not significantly limit state policy options.

    E. State-Plan States

    Section 18(c)(2) of the Act (29 U.S.C. 667(c)(2)) requires State-Plan states to adopt mandatory standards promulgated by OSHA. However, as noted in the previous section of this preamble, states with OSHA-approved State Plans would not be obligated to adopt the final provisions that may result from this proposed rulemaking. Nevertheless, OSHA strongly encourages them to adopt the final provisions to provide compliance options to employers in their States. In this regard, OSHA preliminarily concludes that the fit-testing protocols proposed by this rulemaking would provide employers in the State-Plan states with procedures that would protect the safety and health of employees who use respirators against hazardous airborne substances in their workplace at least as well as the existing quantitative fit-testing protocols in appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard.

    There are 28 states and U.S. territories that have their own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health programs called State Plans. The following 22 State Plans cover state and local government employers and private-sector employers: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. The following six State Plans cover state and local government employers only: Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin Islands.

    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    OSHA reviewed this notice of proposed rulemaking according to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 2 U.S.C. 1501-1507 and Executive Order 12875, 58 FR 58093 (1993). As discussed above in section B of this preamble (“Preliminary Economic Analysis and Regulatory Flexibility Certification”), OSHA preliminarily determined that the proposed rule imposes no additional costs on any private-sector or public-sector entity. The substantive content of the proposed rule applies only to employers whose employees use respirators for protection against airborne contaminants, and compliance with the protocols contained in the proposed rule would be strictly optional for these employers. Accordingly, the proposed rule would require no additional expenditures by either public or private employers. Therefore, this proposal is not a significant regulatory action within the meaning of Section 202 of the UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1532.

    As noted above under Section E (“State Plan States”) of this preamble, OSHA standards do not apply to state or local governments except in states that have voluntarily elected to adopt an OSHA-approved State Plan. Consequently, this notice of proposed rulemaking does not meet the definition of a “Federal intergovernmental mandate” (see 2 U.S.C. 658(5)). Therefore, for the purposes of the UMRA, the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health certifies that this proposal does not mandate that state, local, or tribal governments adopt new, unfunded regulatory obligations, or increase expenditures by the private sector of more than $100 million in any year.

    G. Applicability of Existing Consensus Standards

    Section 6(b)(8) of the Act (29 U.S.C. 655(b(8)) requires OSHA to explain “why a rule promulgated by the Secretary differs substantially from an existing national consensus standard,” by publishing “a statement of the reasons why the rule as adopted will better effectuate the purposes of the Act than the national consensus standard.” In this regard, when OSHA promulgated its original respirator fit-testing protocols under appendix A of its final Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134), no national consensus standards addressed these protocols. Later, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) developed a national consensus standard on fit-testing protocols (“Respirator Fit Testing Methods,” ANSI Z88.10-2001) as an adjunct to its national consensus standard on respiratory protection programs. ANSI/AIHA updated the Z88.10 standard in 2010 (“Respirator Fit Testing Methods,” ANSI Z88.10-2010).

    Paragraph 7.2 of ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010 specifies the requirements for conducting a particle-counting instrument (e.g., PortaCount®) quantitative fit test, which differ substantially from the standard PortaCount® protocol provided in appendix A of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard. These protocols differ in terms of both the fit-testing exercises required and the duration of these exercises. The proposed modified PortaCount® protocols are variations of the ANSI/AIHA particle-counting instrument quantitative fit test protocol, in that they require the same 30 second duration for fit-testing exercises, but they do not require the same exercises required by ANSI/AIHA. However, Annex A2 of ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010 recognizes that a universally accepted measurement standard for respirator fit testing does not exist and provides a specific procedure and criteria for evaluating new fit-testing methods. The Agency is requiring that in order to be adopted by the Agency, TSI statistically show that its proposed modified PortaCount® protocols meet the ANSI/AIHA Annex A2 performance requirements. The Agency believes that if the proposed modified PortaCount® protocols meet the criteria outlined in ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010, Annex A2, then they would be as accurate and reliable as the ANSI/AIHA protocol, but shorter in duration and less costly to administer.

    H. Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) Review of the Proposed Standard

    The proposal to add two quantitative fit-test protocols to appendix A of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard would affect the construction industry because it revises the fit-testing procedures specified by the standard, which is applicable to the construction industry (see 29 CFR 1926.103). Whenever the Agency proposes a rule involving construction activities, the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (Construction Safety Act) (40 U.S.C. 3704), OSHA regulations governing the Advisory Committee for Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) (i.e., 29 CFR 1912.3), and provisions governing OSHA rulemaking (i.e., 29 CFR 1911.10) require OSHA to consult with the ACCSH. Specifically, 29 CFR 1911.10 requires that the Assistant Secretary provide the ACCSH with “any proposal of his own,” together with “all pertinent factual information available to him, including the results of research, demonstrations, and experiments.” Accordingly, OSHA provided the ACCSH members with copies of Mr. Niccum's application letter and its supporting documents, along with other relevant information, prior to the December 4, 2014 ACCSH meeting. OSHA staff presented a slide presentation to the ACCSH at that meeting to explain the proposal. At the end of this session, the ACCSH unanimously recommended to proceed with the initiation of a notice-and comment rulemaking under Section 6(b)(7) of the OSH Act to seek public comment on adding proposed new fit-test protocols into appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard.

    V. References [ANSI/AIHA] American National Standards Institute, Inc./American Industrial Hygiene Association. (2010). ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2010. American National Standard-Respirator Fit Testing Methods. American Industrial Hygiene Association, Fairfax, VA. [BLS] Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016a). News Release, March 30, 2016. Occupational Employment and Wages—May 2015. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ocwage.pdf [See Table 1]. [BLS] Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016b). News Release, March 10, 2016. Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, December 2015. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecec_03102016.pdf [See Table A] Brosseau, LM and Jones RM. (2015). Evaluation of three new condensation nuclei counter (CNC) fit testing protocols. February 22, 2015. Census Bureau. (2012). County Business Patterns. File downloaded 6/3/2014 http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/download/ [See 2012 See “Complete U.S. File”] [NIOSH] National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2003). Respirator Usage in Private Sector Firms, 2001. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, September 2003. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/respsurv/pdfs/respsurv2001.pdf Richardson, AW, Hofacre, KC, Weed, J, Holm, R, and Remiarz, R. (2013). Evaluation of a faster fit testing method for full-facepiece respirators based on the TSI PortaCount®. Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection. 30(2): 116-128. Richardson, AW, Hofacre, KC, Weed, J, Holm, R, and Remiarz, R. (2014a). Evaluation of a faster fit testing method for elastomeric half-mask respirators based on the TSI PortaCount®. Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection. 31(1): 9-22. Richardson, AW, Hofacre, KC, Weed, J, Holm, R, and Remiarz, R. (2014b). Evaluation of a faster fit testing method for filtering facepiece respirators based on the TSI PortaCount®. Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection. 31(1): 43-56. TSI. (2014a). Application letter submitted to OSHA by Darrick Niccum of TSI, July 10, 2014a. TSI. (2014b). TSI White Paper: Analysis of the talking exercise used for respirator fit testing, July 10, 2014b. TSI. (2015a). Exercise Rational Cover Letter and Exercise Selection Rationale White Paper submitted to OSHA by Gregory Olson of TSI, February 6, 2015. TSI. (2015b). Letter submitted to OSHA by TSI (Gregory Olson), April 2, 2015. TSI. (2015c). Phone conversation between TSI and Labor Department employees, April 6, 2015. Zhuang, Z, Coffey, CC and Lawrence, RB. (2004). The effect of ambient aerosol concentration and exercise on PortaCount® quantitative fit factors. Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection 21: 11-20. List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 1910

    Fit testing, Hazardous substances, Health, Occupational safety and health, Respirators, Respiratory protection, Toxic substances.

    Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210 directed the preparation of this notice. Accordingly, the Agency issues this notice under the following authorities: 29 U.S.C. 663, 655 and 656, 40 U.S.C. 3701, et seq., Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), and 29 CFR part 1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on September 26, 2016. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Proposed Amendment to the Standard

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Agency proposes to amend 29 CFR part 1910 as follows:

    PART 1910—OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS Subpart I—Personal Protective Equipment 1. Revise the authority citation for subpart I of part 1910 to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 3-2000 (65 FR 50017), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable, and 29 CFR part 1911.

    2. Amend appendix A to § 1910.134 as follows: a. Revise the introductory text of paragraph 14(a) in Part I.A. b. In Part I.C.3, revise the introductory paragraph and remove the terms “PortacountTM” and “Portacount” and add in their place the term “PortaCount®” wherever they occur. c. In Part I.C, redesignate protocol 4, “Controlled negative pressure (CNP) quantitative fit testing protocol.” as protocol 6. d. In Part I.C, redesignate protocol 5, “Controlled negative pressure (CNP) REDON quantitative fit testing protocol.” as protocol 7. e. Add new protocols 4 and 5. f. Revise paragraphs (a) and (b) in newly redesignated Part I.C.7.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 1910.134 Respiratory protection. Appendix A to § 1910.134—Fit Testing Procedures (Mandatory) Part I. OSHA-Accepted Fit Test Protocols A. Fit Testing Procedures—General Requirements

    14. * * *

    (a) Employers must perform the following test exercises for all fit testing methods prescribed in this appendix, except for the two modified CNC quantitative fit testing protocols, the CNP quantitative fit testing protocol, and the CNP REDON quantitative fit testing protocol. For the modified CNC quantitative fit testing protocols, employers shall ensure that the test subjects (i.e., employees) perform the exercise procedure specified in Part I.C.4(b) of this appendix for full facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators, or the exercise procedure specified in Part I.C.5(b) of this appendix for filtering facepiece respirators. Employers shall ensure that the test subjects (i.e., employees) perform the exercise procedure specified in Part I.C.6(b) of this appendix for the CNP quantitative fit testing protocol, or the exercise procedure described in Part I.C.7(b) of this appendix for the CNP REDON quantitative fit testing protocol. For the remaining fit testing methods, employers shall ensure that the test exercises are performed in the appropriate test environment in the following manner:

    C. Quantitative Fit Test (QNFT) Protocols 3. Ambient Aerosol Condensation Nuclei Counter (CNC) Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol

    The ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit testing (PortaCount®) protocol quantitatively fit tests respirators with the use of a probe. The probed respirator is only used for quantitative fit tests. A probed respirator has a special sampling device, installed on the respirator, that allows the probe to sample the air from inside the mask. A probed respirator is required for each make, style, model, and size that the employer uses and can be obtained from the respirator manufacturer or distributor. The CNC instrument manufacturer, TSI Incorporated, also provides probe attachments (TSI mask sampling adapters) that permit fit testing in an employee's own respirator. A minimum fit factor pass level of at least 100 is necessary for a half-mask respirator (elastomeric or filtering facepiece), and a minimum fit factor pass level of at least 500 is required for a full facepiece elastomeric respirator. Two PortaCount® Respirator Fit Tester models are available. One model is used to fit test elastomeric respirators (i.e., full facepiece and half-mask) and filtering facepiece respirators using ≥99% efficient filter media, and another model, with the N95-CompanionTM Technology capability, is used to fit test elastomeric respirators (i.e., full facepiece and half-mask) and filtering facepiece respirators with any type of filter media, including those equipped with <99% efficient filter media. The entire screening and testing procedure shall be explained to the test subject prior to the conduct of the screening test.

    4. Modified Ambient Aerosol Condensation Nuclei Counter (CNC) Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol for Full Facepiece and Half-Mask Elastomeric Respirators

    (a) When administering this protocol to test subjects, employers shall comply with the requirements specified in Part I.C.3 of this appendix (ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit testing protocol), except they shall use the test exercises described below in paragraph (b) of this protocol instead of the test exercises specified in section I.C.3(a)(6) of this appendix.

    (b) Employers shall ensure that each test subject being fit tested using this protocol follows the exercise and duration procedures, including the order of administration, described below in Table A-1 of this appendix.

    Table A-1—Modified CNC Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol for Full Facepiece and Half-Mask Elastomeric Respirators Exercises 1 Exercise procedure Measurement procedure Bending Over The test subject shall bend at the waist, as if going to touch his/her toes for 50 seconds and inhale 2 times at the bottom 2 A 20 second ambient sample, followed by a 30 second mask sample. Jogging-in Place The test subject shall jog in place comfortably for 30 seconds A 30 second mask sample. Head Side-to-Side The test subject shall stand in place, slowly turning his/her head from side to side for 30 seconds and inhale 2 times at each extreme 2 A 30 second mask sample. Head Up-and-Down The test subject shall stand in place, slowly moving his/her head up and down for 39 seconds and inhale 2 times at each extreme 2 A 30 second mask sample followed by a 9 second ambient sample. 1 Exercises are listed in the order in which they are to be administered. 2 It is optional for test subjects to take additional breaths at other times during this exercise. 5. Modified Ambient Aerosol Condensation Nuclei Counter (CNC) Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol for Filtering Facepiece Respirators

    (a) When administering this protocol to test subjects, employers shall comply with the requirements specified in Part I.C.3 of this appendix (Ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit testing protocol), except they shall use the test exercises described below in paragraph (b) of this protocol instead of the test exercises specified in section I.C.3(a)(6) of this appendix.

    (b) Employers shall ensure that each test subject being fit tested using this protocol follows the exercise and duration procedures, including the order of administration, described below in Table A-2 of this appendix.

    Table A-2—Modified CNC Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol for Filtering Facepiece Respirators Exercises 1 Exercise procedure Measurement procedure Bending Over The test subject shall bend at the waist, as if going to touch his/her toes for 50 seconds and inhale 2 times at the bottom.2 A 20 second ambient sample, followed by a 30 second mask sample. Talking The test subject shall talk out loud slowly and loud enough so as to be heard clearly by the test conductor for 30 seconds. He/she will either read from a prepared text such as the Rainbow Passage, count backward from 100, or recite a memorized poem or song A 30 second mask sample. Head Side-to-Side The test subject shall stand in place, slowly turning his/her head from side to side for 30 seconds and inhale 2 times at each extreme.2 A 30 second mask sample. Head Up-and-Down The test subject shall stand in place, slowly moving his/her head up and down for 39 seconds and inhale 2 times at each extreme.2 A 30 second mask sample followed by a 9 second ambient sample. 1 Exercises are listed in the order in which they are to be administered. 2 It is optional for test subjects to take additional breaths at other times during this exercise. 7. Controlled Negative Pressure (CNP) REDON Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol

    (a) When administering this protocol to test subjects, employers must comply with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a) and (c) of part I.C.6 of this appendix (“Controlled negative pressure (CNP) quantitative fit testing protocol,”) as well as use the test exercises described below in paragraph (b) of this protocol instead of the test exercises specified in paragraph (b) of part I.C.6 of this appendix.

    (b) Employers must ensure that each test subject being fit tested using this protocol follows the exercise and measurement procedures, including the order of administration described below in Table A-3 of this appendix.

    Table A-3—CNP REDON Quantitative Fit Testing Protocol Exercises 1 Exercise procedure Measurement procedure Facing Forward Stand and breathe normally, without talking, for 30 seconds Face forward, while holding breath for 10 seconds. Bending Over Bend at the waist, as if going to touch his or her toes, for 30 seconds Face parallel to the floor, while holding breath for 10 seconds. Head Shaking For about three seconds, shake head back and forth vigorously several times while shouting Face forward, while holding breath for 10 seconds. REDON 1 Remove the respirator mask, loosen all facepiece straps, and then redon the respirator mask Face forward, while holding breath for 10 seconds. REDON 2 Remove the respirator mask, loosen all facepiece straps, and then redon the respirator mask again Face forward, while holding breath for 10 seconds. 1 Exercises are listed in the order in which they are to be administered.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23928 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953; FRL-9952-77-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Infrastructure Requirements for Consultation With Government Officials, Public Notification and Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Visibility Protection for the 2008 Ozone and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittals from the State of Texas pertaining to Clean Air Act (CAA) section 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Visibility Protection for the 2008 Ozone (O3) and 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These submittals address how the existing SIP provides for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS (infrastructure SIPs or i-SIPs). These i-SIPs ensure that the State's SIP is adequate to meet the State's responsibilities under the CAA. Today's proposal and the accompanying direct final action will complete the rulemaking process started in our February 8, 2016, proposal, approve the SIP submittals as meeting CAA section 110(a)(2)(J), and confirm that the SIP has adequate infrastructure to implement, maintain and enforce this section of the CAA with regard to the 2008 O3 and 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before November 7, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by EPA-R06-OAR-2012-0953, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected]. For additional information on how to submit comments see the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's i-SIP submittal as a direct rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: September 30, 2016. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24117 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0425; FRL-9952-45-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP). The revisions to the SIP were submitted in 2015. These revisions are related to the implementation of the state's motor vehicle emissions Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program. The EPA is proposing to approve these revisions pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before November 7, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by EPA-R06-OAR-2015-0425, at http://www.regulations.gov or via email to [email protected]. For additional information on how to submit comments see the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. John Walser, (214) 665-7128, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of this Federal Register, the EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action no further activity is contemplated. If the EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: September 30, 2016. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24206 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 70 [EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0555; FRL-9953-60-Region 7] Approval of Nebraska's Air Quality Implementation Plans; Nebraska Air Quality Regulations and State Operating Permit Programs AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Nebraska. This proposed action will amend the SIP to include revisions to title 129 of the Nebraska Air Quality Regulations, chapter 5, “Operating Permits—When Required”; chapter 9, “General Operating Permits for Class I and II Sources”; chapter 22, “Incinerators; Emission Standards”; Chapter 30, “Open Fires”; and chapter 34 “Emission Sources; Testing; Monitoring”. These revisions were requested by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) in three submittals, submitted on May 1, 2003, November 8, 2011, and July 14, 2014. The May 1, 2003, submittal revised chapters 5 and 9, to address changes in regard to the permits-by-rule provisions of Title 129. The November 8, 2011, submittal allows for the issuance of multiple operating permits to major sources through revisions to chapter 5. In addition, revisions to chapters 22 and 30 encourage the use of air curtain incinerators over open burning; and changes to chapter 34 clarify the authority of NDEQ to order emission sources to do testing when NDEQ deems it necessary. The July 14, 2014, submittal further revises chapter 34, by updating the reference to allowable test methods for evaluating solid waste, changing the amount of time allowed to submit test results, and allowing NDEQ to approve a request for testing with less than 30 days notification. For additional information on the revisions to chapters 5, 9, 22, 30 and 34 see the detailed discussion table in the docket.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by November 7, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2016-0555, to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Greg Crable, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at 913-551-7391, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document proposes to take action on the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Nebraska. We have published a direct final rule approving the State's SIP revision(s) in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no relevant adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this action in the preamble to the direct final rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information, please see the information provided in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 70

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

    Dated: September 27, 2016. Mike Brincks, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24087 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 40 CFR Part 1700 [EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0351; FRL-9949-12-OW] RIN 2040-AF53 Uniform National Discharge Standards for Vessels of the Armed Forces—Phase II Batch Two AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) propose discharge performance standards for 11 discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces into the navigable waters of the United States, the territorial seas, and the contiguous zone. When implemented, the proposed discharge performance standards would reduce the adverse environmental impacts associated with the vessel discharges, stimulate the development of improved vessel pollution control devices, and advance the development of environmentally sound vessels of the Armed Forces. The 11 discharges addressed by the proposed rule are the following: catapult water brake tank and post-launch retraction exhaust, controllable pitch propeller hydraulic fluid, deck runoff, firemain systems, graywater, hull coating leachate, motor gasoline and compensating discharge, sonar dome discharge, submarine bilgewater, surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent, and underwater ship husbandry.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before December 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0351, at http://www.regulation.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine B. Weiler, Marine Pollution Control Branch (4504T), U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; (202) 566-1280; [email protected], or Mike Pletke, Chief of Naval Operations (N45), 2000 Navy Pentagon (Rm. 2D253), Washington, DC 20350-2000; (703) 695-5184; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This supplementary information is organized as follows:

    I. General Information A. Legal Authority for the Proposed Rule B. Purpose of the Proposed Rule C. What vessels are potentially affected by the Proposed Rule? D. What is the geographic scope of the Proposed Rule? E. Rulemaking Process F. Summary of Public Outreach and Consultation With Federal Agencies, States, Territories, and Tribes G. Supporting Documentation H. What should I consider as I prepare my comments? II. UNDS Performance Standards Development A. Nature of the Discharge B. Environmental Effects C. Cost, Practicability, and Operational Impacts D. Applicable U.S. and International Law E. Definitions III. UNDS Discharge Analysis and Performance Standards A. Catapult Water Brake Tank and Post-Launch Retraction Exhaust B. Controllable Pitch Propeller Hydraulic Fluid C. Deck Runoff D. Firemain Systems E. Graywater F. Hull Coating Leachate G. Motor Gasoline and Compensating Discharge H. Sonar Dome Discharge I. Submarine Bilgewater J. Surface Vessel Bilgewater/Oil-Water Separator Effluent (OWSE) K. Underwater Ship Husbandry IV. Additional Information of the Proposed Rule V. Related Acts of Congress and Executive Orders A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act C. Regulatory Flexibility Act as Amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act J. Executive Order 13112: Invasive Species K. Executive Order 13089: Coral Reef Protection L. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations VI. Appendix A. Description of Vessels of the Armed Forces I. General Information A. Legal Authority for the Proposed Rule

    The EPA and DoD propose this rule under the authority of Clean Water Act (CWA) section 312 (33 U.S.C. 1322). Section 325 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1996 (“NDAA”), entitled “Discharges from Vessels of the Armed Forces” (Pub. L. 104-106, 110 Stat. 254), amended CWA section 312, to require the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Administrator) and the Secretary of Defense of the U.S. Department of Defense (Secretary) to develop uniform national standards to control certain discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces. The term Uniform National Discharge Standards or UNDS is used in this preamble to refer to the provisions in CWA section 312(a)(12) through (14) and (n) (33 U.S.C. 1322(a)(12) through (14) and (n)).

    B. Purpose of the Proposed Rule

    UNDS are intended to enhance the operational flexibility of vessels of the Armed Forces domestically and internationally, stimulate the development of innovative vessel pollution control technology, and advance the development of environmentally sound ships. Section 312(n)(3)(A) of the CWA requires the EPA and DoD to promulgate uniform national discharge standards for certain discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces (CWA section 312(a)(12)), unless the Secretary finds that compliance with UNDS would not be in the national security interests of the United States (CWA section 312(n)(1)).

    The proposed rule would amend title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 1700 to establish discharge performance standards for 11 discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces from among the 25 discharges for which the EPA and DoD previously determined (64 FR 25126, May 10, 1999) that it is reasonable and practicable to require a marine pollution control device (MPCD). The 11 discharges addressed by the proposal are the following: Catapult water brake tank and post-launch retraction exhaust, controllable pitch propeller hydraulic fluid, deck runoff, firemain systems, graywater, hull coating leachate, motor gasoline and compensating discharge, sonar dome discharge, submarine bilgewater, surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent, and underwater ship husbandry.

    The proposed discharge performance standards would not become enforceable until after promulgation of a final rule, as well as promulgation of regulations by DoD under CWA section 312(n)(5)(C) to govern the design, construction, installation, and use of a MPCD.

    UNDS do not apply to the following discharges from vessels of the Armed Forces: Overboard discharges of rubbish, trash, garbage, or other such materials; sewage; air emissions resulting from the operation of a vessel propulsion system, motor-driven equipment, or incinerator; or discharges that require permitting under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program, including operational discharges and other discharges that are not incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces.

    C. What vessels are potentially affected by the proposed rule?

    The proposed rule would apply to vessels of the Armed Forces. For the purposes of the rulemaking, the term “vessel of the Armed Forces” is defined at CWA section 312(a)(14). Vessel of the Armed Forces means any vessel owned or operated by the U.S. Department of Defense (i.e., U.S. Navy, Military Sealift Command, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force), other than a time- or voyage-chartered vessel, as well as any U.S. Coast Guard vessel designated by the Secretary of the Department in which the U.S. Coast Guard is operating. The preceding list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for the reader regarding the vessels of the Armed Forces to be regulated by the proposed rule. The proposed rule would not apply to commercial vessels; private vessels; vessels owned or operated by state, local, or tribal governments; vessels under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; certain vessels under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Transportation; vessels preserved as memorials and museums; vessels under construction; vessels in drydock; amphibious vehicles; and, as noted above, time- or voyage-chartered vessels. For answers to questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular vessel, consult one of the contacts listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    D. What is the geographic scope of the proposed rule?

    The proposed rule would be applicable to discharges from a vessel of the Armed Forces operating in the navigable waters of the United States, territorial seas, and the contiguous zone (CWA section 1322(n)(8)(A)). The proposed rule applies in both fresh and marine waters and can include bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. Together, the preamble refers to these waters as “waters subject to UNDS.”

    Sections 502(7), 502(8), and 502(9) of the CWA define the term “navigable waters,” “territorial seas,” and “contiguous zone,” respectively. The term “navigable waters” means waters of the United States including the territorial seas, where the United States includes the states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands. The term “territorial seas” means the belt of seas that generally extends three miles seaward from the line of ordinary low water along the portion of the coast in direct contact with the open sea and the line marking the seaward limit of inland waters. The term “contiguous zone” means the entire zone established or to be established by the United States under Article 24 of the Convention of the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone. Generally, the contiguous zone extends seaward for the next nine miles (i.e., from three to 12 miles from the U.S. coastline). The proposed rule would not be applicable seaward of the contiguous zone.

    E. Rulemaking Process

    The UNDS rulemaking is a joint rulemaking between the EPA and DoD and is under development in three phases. The first two phases reflect joint rulemaking between the EPA and DoD; the third phase is a DoD-only rule.

    Phase I

    The EPA and DoD promulgated the Phase I regulations on May 10, 1999 (64 FR 25126), and these existing regulations are codified at 40 CFR part 1700. During Phase I, the EPA and DoD identified the discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces for which it is reasonable and practicable to require control with a MPCD to mitigate potential adverse impacts on the marine environment (CWA section 312(n)(2)), as well as those discharges for which it is not. Section 312(a)(13) of the CWA defines a MPCD as any equipment or management practice, for installation or use on a vessel of the Armed Forces, that is designed to receive, retain, treat, control, or discharge a discharge incidental to the normal operation of a vessel; and determined by the Administrator and the Secretary to be the most effective equipment or management practice to reduce the environmental impacts of the discharge consistent with the considerations set forth by UNDS.

    During Phase I, the EPA and DoD identified the following 25 discharges as requiring control with a MPCD: Aqueous Film-Forming Foam; Catapult Water Brake Tank and Post-Launch Retraction Exhaust; Chain Locker Effluent; Clean Ballast; Compensated Fuel Ballast; Controllable Pitch Propeller Hydraulic Fluid; Deck Runoff; Dirty Ballast; Distillation and Reverse Osmosis Brine; Elevator Pit Effluent; Firemain Systems; Gas Turbine Water Wash; Graywater; Hull Coating Leachate; Motor Gasoline and Compensating Discharge; Non-Oily Machinery Wastewater; Photographic Laboratory Drains; Seawater Cooling Overboard Discharge; Seawater Piping Biofouling Prevention; Small Boat Engine Wet Exhaust; Sonar Dome Discharge; Submarine Bilgewater; Surface Vessel Bilgewater/Oil-Water Separator Effluent; Underwater Ship Husbandry; and Welldeck Discharges (40 CFR 1700.4).

    During Phase I, the EPA and DoD identified the following 14 discharges as not requiring control with a MPCD: Boiler Blowdown; Catapult Wet Accumulator Discharge; Cathodic Protection; Freshwater Layup; Mine Countermeasures Equipment Lubrication; Portable Damage Control Drain Pump Discharge; Portable Damage Control Drain Pump Wet Exhaust; Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Condensate; Rudder Bearing Lubrication; Steam Condensate; Stern Tube Seals and Underwater Bearing Lubrication; Submarine Acoustic Countermeasures Launcher Discharge; Submarine Emergency Diesel Engine Wet Exhaust; and Submarine Outboard Equipment Grease and External Hydraulics.

    As of the effective date of the Phase I rule (June 9, 1999), neither states nor political subdivisions of states may adopt or enforce any state or local statutes or regulations with respect to the 14 discharges that were identified as not requiring control, except to establish no-discharge zones (CWA sections 312(n)(6)(A) and 312(n)(7)). However, section 312(n)(5)(D) of the CWA authorizes a Governor of any state to submit a petition to DoD and the EPA requesting the re-evaluation of a prior determination that a MPCD is required for a particular discharge (40 CFR 1700.4) or that a MPCD is not required for a particular discharge (40 CFR 1700.5), if there is significant new information not considered previously, that could reasonably result in a change to the determination (CWA section 312(n)(5)(D) and 40 CFR 1700.11).

    Phase II

    Section 312(n)(3) of the CWA provides for Phase II and requires the EPA and DoD to develop federal discharge performance standards for each of the 25 discharges identified in Phase I as requiring control. In doing so, the EPA and DoD are required to consult with the Department in which the U.S. Coast Guard is operating, the Secretary of Commerce, interested states, the Secretary of State, and other interested federal agencies. In promulgating Phase II discharge performance standards, CWA section 312(n)(2)(B) directs the EPA and DoD to consider seven factors: The nature of the discharge; the environmental effects of the discharge; the practicability of using the MPCD; the effect that installation or use of the MPCD would have on the operation or the operational capability of the vessel; applicable U.S. law; applicable international standards; and the economic costs of installation and use of the MPCD. Section 312(n)(3)(C) of the CWA further provides that the EPA and DoD may establish discharge standards that (1) distinguish among classes, types, and sizes of vessels; (2) distinguish between new and existing vessels; and (3) provide for a waiver of applicability of standards as necessary or appropriate to a particular class, type, age, or size of vessel.

    The EPA and DoD developed a process to establish the Phase II discharge performance standards in three batches (three separate rulemakings). The first batch of discharge performance standards was published on February 3, 2014 (79 FR 6117) and addressed 11 of the 25 discharges identified as requiring control (64 FR 25126). The second batch of discharge performance standards, the subject of this proposed rule, addresses 11 additional discharges identified as requiring control (64 FR 25126). The third batch of discharge performance standards that will address the remaining three discharges will be proposed in a separate rule.

    In developing the Phase II discharge performance standards, the EPA and DoD reference the 2013 NPDES Vessel General Permit and the 2014 NPDES Small Vessel General Permit (hereinafter referred to collectively as the NPDES VGPs) as the baseline for each comparable discharge incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces (78 FR 21938, April 12, 2013 and 79 FR 53702, September 10, 2014). The NPDES VGPs provide for CWA authorization of discharges incidental to the normal operation of non-military and non-recreational vessels extending to the outer reach of the three-mile territorial sea as defined in CWA section 502(8). The NPDES VGPs include effluent limits that are based on both the technology available to treat pollutants (i.e., technology-based effluent limitations), and limits that would be protective of the designated uses of the receiving waters (i.e., water quality-based effluent limits), including both non-numeric and numeric limitations. Vessels covered under the NPDES VGPs vary widely by type, size, and activity and similarly, the contents and volume of the waste streams can vary dependent upon seas, cargo carried, and age of the vessel. Though the 2013 NPDES VGP was remanded to EPA after a judicial challenge, NRDC v. EPA, 808 F.3d 556 (2d Cir. 2015), the contested issues remanded to EPA are specific to the CWA NPDES permit program and thus are not relevant to the development of the proposed UNDS discharge performance standards. Numeric effluent limitations were used when feasible but due to the variety of vessel types, sizes, and activities, the EPA also used non-numeric effluent limitations to regulate vessel discharges covered by the NPDES VGPs. Additional information on NPDES permitting can be found on-line at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/.

    Using the NPDES VGPs as a baseline for developing the performance standards for discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces allowed the EPA and DoD to maximize the use of the EPA's scientific and technical work developed to support the NPDES VGPs. The NPDES VGPs technology-based and water quality-based effluent limitations were then adapted, as appropriate, for the relevant discharges from vessels of the Armed Forces.

    Phase III

    Phase III of UNDS requires DoD, in consultation with the EPA and the Secretary of the Department in which the U.S. Coast Guard is operating, within one year of finalization of the Phase II standards, to promulgate regulations governing the design, construction, installation, and use of MPCDs necessary to meet the discharge performance standards. DoD will implement the Phase III regulations under the authority of the Secretary as a DoD publication. The Phase III regulations will be publicly released and are expected to be made available on the Defense Technical Information Center Web site: http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives. Similar to Phase II, Phase III will be promulgated in three batches.

    Following the effective date of regulations under Phase III, it will be unlawful for a vessel of the Armed Forces to operate within waters subject to UNDS if the vessel is not equipped with a MPCD that meets the final Phase II standards (CWA section 312 (n)(7)). It also will be unlawful for a vessel of the Armed Forces to discharge a regulated UNDS discharge into an UNDS no-discharge zone (i.e., waters where a prohibition on a discharge has been established) (CWA section 312(n)(8)). Any person in violation of this requirement shall be liable to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation (CWA section 312(j)). The Secretary of the Department in which the U.S. Coast Guard is operating shall enforce these provisions and may utilize law enforcement officers, EPA personnel and facilities, other federal agencies, or the states to carry out these provisions. States may also enforce these provisions (CWA section 312(k) and (n)(9)).

    In addition, as of the effective date of the Phase III regulations, neither States nor political subdivisions of States may adopt or enforce any state or local statute or regulation with respect to discharges identified as requiring control, except to establish no-discharge zones (CWA section 312(n)(7)). CWA section 312(n)(7) provides for the establishment of no-discharge zones either (1) by State prohibition after application and a determination by the EPA, or (2) directly by EPA prohibition. The Phase I UNDS regulations established the criteria and procedures for establishing UNDS no-discharge zones (40 CFR 1700.9 and 40 CFR 1700.10).

    If a state determines that the protection and enhancement of the quality of some or all of its waters require greater environmental protection, the state may prohibit one or more discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces, whether treated or not, into those waters (40 CFR 1700.9). A state prohibition does not apply until after the Administrator determines that (1) the protection and enhancement of the quality of the specified waters within the state require a prohibition of the discharge into the waters; (2) adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal of the discharge incidental to the normal operation of a vessel are reasonably available for the waters to which the prohibition would apply; and (3) the prohibition will not have the effect of discriminating against a vessel of the Armed Forces by reason of the ownership or operation by the federal government, or the military function, of the vessel (40 CFR 1700.9(b)(2)).

    Alternatively, a State may request that the EPA prohibit, by regulation, the discharge of one or more discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces, whether treated or not, into specified waters within a state (40 CFR 1700.10). In this case, the EPA would make a determination that the protection and enhancement of the quality of the specified waters requires a prohibition of the discharge. As with the application of a state prohibition described above, the Administrator would need to determine that (1) the protection and enhancement of the quality of the specified waters within the state require a prohibition of the discharge into the waters; (2) adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal of the discharge incidental to the normal operation of a vessel are reasonably available for the waters to which the prohibition would apply; and (3) the prohibition will not have the effect of discriminating against a vessel of the Armed Forces by reason of the ownership or operation by the federal government, or the military function, of the vessel (40 CFR 1700.9(b)(2)). The EPA may not, however, disapprove a state application for this latter type of prohibition for the sole reason that there are not adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal of such discharges (CWA section 312(n)(7)(B)(ii) and 40 CFR 1700.10(b)).

    The statute also requires the EPA and DoD to review the determinations and standards every five years and, if necessary, to revise them based on significant new information. Specifically, CWA section 312(n)(5)(A) and (B) contain provisions for reviewing and modifying both of the following determinations: (1) Whether control should be required for a particular discharge, and (2) the substantive standard of performance for a discharge for which control is required. A Governor also may petition the Administrator and the Secretary to review a UNDS determination or standard if there is significant new information, not considered previously, that could reasonably result in a change to the determination or standard (CWA section 312(n)(5)(D) and 40 CFR 1700.11).

    F. Summary of Public Outreach and Consultation With Federal Agencies, States, Territories, and Tribes

    During the development of the proposed rule, the EPA and DoD consulted with other federal agencies, states, and tribes regarding the reduction of adverse environmental impacts associated with discharges from vessels of the Armed Forces; development of innovative vessel pollution control technology; and advancement of environmentally sound vessels of the Armed Forces. In addition, the EPA and DoD reviewed comments on the NPDES VGPs.

    G. Supporting Documentation

    The proposed rule is supported by “Technical Development Document (TDD) Phase I Uniform National Discharge Standards (UNDS) for Vessels of the Armed Forces,” the UNDS Phase I rules, the “Final 2013 Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels (VGP),” the “Vessel General Permit (VGP) Fact Sheet,” the “Final Small Vessel General Permit for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels Less Than 79 Feet (sVGP),” the “Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) Fact Sheet,” the “Economics and Benefits Analysis of the Final 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP),” the “Economics and Benefits Analysis of the Final 2013 Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP),” the “February 2014 Uniform National Discharge Standards for Vessels of the Armed Forces—Phase II,” the “Report to Congress: Study of Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Commercial Fishing Vessels and Other Non-Recreational Vessels Less than 79 Feet,” and the “Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants.” These documents are available from the EPA Water Docket, Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0351 (Email: [email protected]; Phone Number: (202) 566-2426; Mail: Water Docket, Mail Code: 2822-IT, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460; or Online: http://www.regulations.gov). The NPDES VGPs background documents also are available online: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels.

    H. What should I consider as I prepare my comments?

    The public may submit comments in written or electronic form. Electronic comments must be identified by the docket number EPA-HQ-OW-2016-0351. These electronic submissions will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF. If your comment cannot be read due to technical difficulties and you cannot be contacted for clarification, the EPA and DoD may not be able to consider your comment. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption.

    Tips for Preparing Comments. Please follow these guidelines as you prepare your comments so that the EPA and DoD can better address them in a timely manner.

    1. Identify the proposed rule by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date, and page number).

    2. Explain why you agree or disagree with any proposed discharge performance standards; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

    3. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information or data that you used.

    4. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and suggest alternatives.

    5. Explain your views as clearly as possible.

    Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline. The EPA and DoD are not obligated to accept or consider late comments.

    II. UNDS Performance Standards Development

    During the development of the proposed discharge performance standards, the EPA and DoD analyzed the information from the Phase I of UNDS, considered the relevant language in the NPDES VGPs effluent limitations, and took into the consideration the seven statutory factors listed in CWA section 312(n)(2)(B). These seven statutory factors are: The nature of the discharge; the environmental effects of the discharge; the practicability of using the MPCD; the effect that installation or use of the MPCD would have on the operation or operational capability of the vessel; applicable U.S. law; applicable international standards; and the economic costs of the installation and use of the MPCD. The EPA and DoD determined that the NPDES VGPs effluent limitations, which include technology-based and water quality-based effluent limitations, provide a sound basis to serve as a baseline for developing the discharge performance standards for the 11 discharges in this proposed rule. The subsections below outline the EPA and DoD's approach to considering the seven statutory factors listed in CWA section 312(n)(2)(B).

    A. Nature of the Discharge

    During Phase I, the EPA and DoD gathered information on the discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces and developed nature of the discharge reports. The nature of the discharge reports discuss how the discharge is generated, volumes and frequencies of the generated discharge, where the discharge occurs, and the constituents present in the discharge. In addition, the EPA and DoD reviewed relevant discharge information in the supporting documentation of the NPDES VGPs. The EPA and DoD briefly describe the nature of each of the 11 discharges below; however, the complete nature of the discharge reports can be found in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    B. Environmental Effects

    Discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces have the potential to negatively impact the aquatic environment. The discharges contain a wide variety of constituents that have the potential to negatively impact aquatic species and habitats. These discharges can cause thermal pollution and can contain aquatic nuisance species (ANS), nutrients, bacteria or pathogens (e.g., E. coli and fecal coliforms), oil and grease, metals, most conventional pollutants (e.g., organic matter, bicarbonate, and suspended solids), and other toxic and non-conventional pollutants with toxic effects. While it is unlikely that these discharges would cause an acute or chronic exceedance of the EPA recommended water quality criteria across a large water body, these discharges have the potential to cause adverse environmental impacts on a more localized scale due to the end-of-pipe nature of the discharges. For each of the 11 discharges below, the EPA and DoD discuss the constituents of concern released into the environment and potential water quality impacts. The proposed discharge performance standards would reduce the discharge of constituents of concern and mitigate the environmental risks to the receiving waters.

    C. Cost, Practicability, and Operational Impacts

    The universe of vessels of the Armed Forces affected by the proposed rule encompasses more than 6,000 vessels distributed among the U.S. Navy, Military Sealift Command, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. These vessels range in design and size from small boats with lengths of less than 20 feet for coastal operations, to aircraft carriers with lengths of over 1,000 feet for global operations. Approximately 80 percent of the vessels of the Armed Forces are less than 79 feet in length. Larger vessels (i.e., vessels with length greater than or equal to 79 feet) comprise 20 percent of the vessels of the Armed Forces. The EPA and DoD considered vessel class, type, and size when developing the proposed discharge standards as not all vessels of the Armed Forces have the same discharges. For more information on the various vessel classes, characteristics, and missions, see Appendix A.

    The EPA and DoD assessed the relative costs, practicability, and operational impacts of the proposed rule by comparing current operating conditions and practices of vessels of the Armed Forces with the anticipated operating conditions and practices that would be required to meet the proposed discharge performance standards. The EPA and DoD determined that the proposed discharge performance standards applicable to operating conditions and practices for the 11 discharges would only result in a marginal increase in performance costs, practicability, and operational impacts.

    D. Applicable U.S. and International Law

    The EPA and DoD reviewed U.S. laws and international standards that would be relevant to discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces. A number of U.S. environmental laws include specific provisions for federal facilities and properties that may result in different environmental requirements for federal and non-federal entities. Similarly, many international treaties do not apply to vessels of the Armed Forces either because vessels of the Armed Forces are entitled to sovereign immunity under international law or because any particular treaty may apply different approaches to the adoption of appropriate environmental control measures consistent with the objects and purposes of such treaties. The EPA and DoD incorporated any relevant information in the development of the proposed discharge standards after reviewing the requirements of the following treaties and domestic implementing legislation, as well as other relevant and potentially applicable U.S. environmental laws: International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (also referred to as MARPOL); International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships; Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships; CWA section 311, as amended by the Oil Pollution Control Act of 1990; CWA section 402 and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Vessel General Permit and small Vessel General Permit; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); Hazardous Materials Transportation Act; Title X of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010; National Marine Sanctuaries Act; Antiquities Act of 1906; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; Toxic Substances Control Act; and the St. Lawrence Seaway Regulations. The EPA and DoD invite comment on the application of the laws and international standards considered in the development of the proposed discharge performance standards.

    E. Definitions

    The EPA and DoD propose adding UNDS definitions to 40 CFR part 1700. Specifically, the proposal would establish new definitions or revise proposed definitions found in UNDS Phase II Batch One (79 FR 6117, February 3, 2014) for the following terms: Bioaccumulative; Biodegradable; environmentally acceptable lubricants; Great Lakes; minimally-toxic; minimally-toxic soaps, cleaners, and detergents; not bioaccumulative; phosphate free soaps, cleaners, and detergents; and state. The EPA and DoD propose defining these terms in order to support the proposal of the discharge performance standards described in the following section. These definitions are intended to clarify, simplify, or improve understanding of the proposed discharge performance standards. Some of the definitions are slightly different from the definitions established under the NPDES VGPs in order to increase clarity and understanding. The EPA and DoD invite comment on these definitions as applied to the specific proposed discharge performance standards for vessels of the Armed Forces.

    III. UNDS Discharge Analysis and Performance Standards

    This section describes the nature of the discharge, the environmental effects of the discharge, and the proposed discharge performance standards determined to be reasonable and practicable to mitigate the adverse impacts to the marine environment for the 11 discharges. In developing these standards, the EPA and DoD considered the information from Phase I of UNDS, Phase II of UNDS, the NPDES VGPs effluent limitations, and the seven statutory factors listed in CWA section 312(n)(2)(B). For more information on each discharge included in this proposed rule, please see the Phase I Uniform National Discharge Standards for Vessels of the Armed Forces: Technical Development Document; EPA 821-R-99-001.

    The 11 proposed discharge performance standards described in each section below apply to vessels of the Armed Forces operating within waters subject to UNDS, except as otherwise expressly excluded in the “exceptions” in 40 CFR 1700.39. In addition, if two or more regulated discharge streams are combined prior to discharge, then the resulting discharge would need to meet the discharge performance standards applicable to each of the discharges that are being combined (40 CFR 1700.40). Furthermore, recordkeeping (40 CFR 1700.41) and non-compliance reporting (40 CFR 1700.42) apply generally to each proposed discharge performance standard unless expressly provided in a particular discharge performance standard.

    A. Catapult Water Brake Tank and Post-Launch Retraction Exhaust 1. Nature of Discharge

    Catapult water brake tank and post-launch retraction exhaust is the oily water skimmed from the water brake tank and the condensed steam discharged during catapult operations. Catapult water brakes stop the forward motion of an aircraft carrier catapult system used to launch various aircraft from Navy aircraft carriers. In waters subject to UNDS, the catapult water brake is primarily used for testing catapults on recently constructed aircraft carriers, following major drydock overhauls, or after major catapult modifications. Most flight operations occur outside of waters subject to UNDS. The catapult water brake tank serves as the water supply for the catapult water brake system. During each aircraft launch or test, lubricating oil is introduced to the catapult water brake tank by the catapult pistons; as the water is recirculated through the catapult water brake and the water brake tank, oil accumulates in the tank. The testing alone of the catapult water brake does not generate a sufficient accumulation of oily water in the catapult water brake tank to generate a discharge. However, during flight operations the oily water from the catapult water brake tank is discharged above the waterline.

    During the post-launch retraction of the catapult piston, the condensed steam remaining in the power cylinder and a small amount of residual oil from the catapult cylinder are discharged overboard through the catapult exhaust piping. Catapult flight operations (including qualification and operational training) and testing both generate the post-launch retraction exhaust discharge.

    Only Navy aircraft carriers, which represent less than one percent of vessels of the Armed Forces, are likely to produce catapult water brake tank and post-launch retraction exhaust discharge.

    For more information regarding catapult water brake tank and post-launch retraction exhaust discharge, please see the catapult water brake tank and post-launch retraction exhaust nature of the discharge report in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    The catapult water brake tank and post-launch retraction exhaust discharges could negatively impact receiving waters due to the presence of lubricating oil and small amounts of metals generated within the catapult system itself. Additionally, the post-launch retraction exhaust discharge contains oil and water (in the condensed steam), nitrogen (in the form of ammonia, nitrates and nitrites, and total nitrogen), and metals such as copper and nickel from the piping systems. Among the constituents, oil, copper, lead, nickel, nitrogen, ammonia, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, phosphorus, and benzidine could be present in concentrations that exceed the EPA recommended water quality criteria.

    Prohibiting the discharge of catapult water brake tank effluent and limiting the number of post-launch retraction exhaust discharges to only those required to support necessary testing and training operations would significantly limit the potential for release of the associated constituents of concern and protect the quality of the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to prohibit the discharge of catapult water brake tank effluent and to minimize post-launch retraction exhaust discharges by limiting the number of launches required to test and validate the system and conduct qualification and operational training.

    B. Controllable Pitch Propeller Hydraulic Fluid 1. Nature of Discharge

    Controllable pitch propeller (CPP) hydraulic fluid is the hydraulic fluid that discharges into the receiving waters from propeller seals as part of normal operation, and the hydraulic fluid released during routine maintenance of the propellers. CPPs are used to control a vessel's speed or direction while maintaining a constant propulsion plant output (i.e., varying the pitch or “bite” of the propeller blades without varying the propulsion shaft speed). High-pressure hydraulic oil is used throughout the CPP system of pumps, pistons, crossheads, and crank rings. The hydraulic fluid might be discharged into the surrounding water due to leaks associated with CPP seals and during routine maintenance or replacement of the propellers.

    Leakage through CPP seals is most likely to occur while the vessel is underway because the CPP system operates under higher pressure when underway than at pierside or at anchor. CPP assemblies are typically designed to operate at 400 pounds per square inch (psi) without leaking. Typical CPP internal pressures while pierside range from 6 to 8 psi. CPP seals are designed to last five to seven years, which is the longest period between scheduled dry-dock cycles, and are inspected quarterly for damage or excessive wear. As a result of the hub design and frequent CPP seal inspections, leaks of hydraulic fluid from CPP hubs are expected to be negligible.

    CPP blade maintenance or replacement, which occurs in port on an as-needed basis when dry-docking is unavailable or impractical, also might result in the discharge of hydraulic fluid.

    U.S. Coast Guard patrol ships, Navy surface combatants and some amphibious support ships, and some Military Sealift Command auxiliary ships might produce this discharge. Those ships represent approximately five percent of the vessels of the Armed Forces.

    For more information regarding discharges from CPP systems, please see the CPP hydraulic fluid nature of the discharge report in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document— EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    The amount of hydraulic fluid released during underwater CPP maintenance could cause a sheen in the receiving waters. Constituents of the discharge include paraffins, olefins, and metals such as copper, aluminum, tin, nickel, and lead. Metal concentrations are expected to be insignificant because hydraulic fluid is not corrosive to metal piping, and the hydraulic fluid is continually filtered to protect against system failures. The use of shore facilities for CPP maintenance activities when possible would reduce the discharge of hydraulic fluid. The use of spill containment measures would minimize any adverse environmental effects, should the release of oil occur. Reducing the likelihood of discharge of CPP hydraulic fluid and the associated constituents of concern would protect the quality of the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that the protective seals on CPPs be maintained in good operating order to minimize the leakage of hydraulic fluid. To the greatest extent practicable, maintenance activities on CPPs should be conducted when a vessel is in drydock. If maintenance and repair activities must occur when the vessel is not in drydock, appropriate spill response equipment (e.g., oil booms) must be used to contain and clean any oil leakage. The discharge of CPP hydraulic fluid must not contain oil in quantities that: Cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or contain an oil content above 15 parts per million (ppm) as measured by EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States.

    C. Deck Runoff 1. Nature of Discharge

    Deck runoff is an intermittent discharge generated from precipitation, freshwater washdowns, wave action, or seawater spray falling on the weather deck or the flight deck that is discharged overboard through deck openings. Deck runoff contains any residues that may be present on the deck surface.

    Residues and contaminants present on the deck originate from topside equipment components as well as the varied activities that take place on the deck. Some or all of these pollutants can be introduced to the deck from shipboard activities, storage of material on the deck, maintenance activities, and the decking material itself. Deck runoff has the potential to contain a variety of pollutants, including oil and grease, petroleum hydrocarbons, surfactants, soaps and detergents, glycols, solvents, and metals. Constituents and volumes of deck runoff vary widely depending on the purpose, service, and practices of the vessel.

    All vessels of the Armed Forces generate deck runoff and the discharge occurs whenever the deck surface is exposed to water. Only vessels of the Armed Forces that support flight operations have flight decks. The proposed standards distinguish between flight decks and other vessel decks.

    For more information regarding deck runoff, please see the deck runoff nature of the discharge report in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    Deck runoff could negatively impact receiving waters due to the possible presence of oil and grease, petroleum hydrocarbons, surfactants, soaps and detergents, glycols, solvents, and metals. These constituents may be present in concentrations that could potentially contribute to an exceedance of the EPA recommended water quality criteria. Existing DoD management practices provide for the clean-up of oil and other substances spilled during routine maintenance. These practices reduce the environmental effects of the discharge. Prohibiting the washdown of flight decks and restricting the discharge of deck runoff and the associated constituents of concern would protect the quality of the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that vessels prohibit flight deck washdowns and minimize deck washdowns while in port and in federally-protected-waters. Additionally, before deck washdowns occur, exposed decks must be broom cleaned and on-deck debris, garbage, paint chips, residues, and spills must be removed, collected, and disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable solid waste or hazardous waste management and disposal requirements. If a deck washdown or above water line hull cleaning would create a discharge, the washdown or above water line cleaning must be conducted with minimally-toxic and phosphate free soaps, cleaners, and detergents. The use of soaps that are labeled as toxic is prohibited. All soaps and cleaners must be used as directed by the label. Furthermore, soaps, cleaners, and detergents should not be caustic and must be biodegradable. Where feasible, machinery on deck must have coamings or drip pans where necessary to collect any oily discharge that may leak from machinery and prevent spills. The drip pans must be drained to a waste container for proper disposal onshore in accordance with any applicable oil and hazardous substance management and disposal requirements. The presence of floating solids, visible foam, halogenated phenol compounds, and dispersants and surfactants in deck washdowns must be minimized. Topside surfaces and other above-water-line portions of the vessel must be well-maintained to minimize the discharge of rust and other corrosion by-products, cleaning compounds, paint chips, non-skid material fragments, and other materials associated with exterior topside surface preservation. Residual paint droplets entering the water must be minimized when conducting maintenance painting. The discharge of unused paint is prohibited. Paint chips and unused paint residues must be collected and disposed of onshore in accordance with applicable solid waste and hazardous substance management and disposal requirements. When vessels conduct underway fuel replenishment, scuppers must be plugged to prevent the discharge of oil. Any oil spilled must be cleaned, managed, and disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable onshore oil and hazardous substance management and disposal requirements.

    D. Firemain Systems 1. Nature of Discharge

    Firemain system discharges consist of the surrounding water pumped through the firemain system for testing, maintenance, and training, as well as secondary uses for the operation of certain vessel systems. Firemain systems are essential to the safety of a vessel and crew and therefore, require testing and maintenance. The firefighting equipment served by a vessel's firemain system includes fire hose stations, seawater sprinkling systems, and foam proportioning stations. Any foam discharges associated with firemain systems are not covered under this performance standard but would need to meet the requirements of 40 CFR 1700.14 (aqueous film-forming foam). The secondary uses of wet firemain systems may include deck washdowns, cooling water for auxiliary machinery, eductors, ship stabilization and ballast tank filling, and flushing for urinals, commodes, firemain loop recirculation, and pulpers.

    Firemain systems for vessels of the Armed Forces fall into two categories: Wet and dry firemains. Wet firemains are continuously pressurized so that the system has the capacity to provide water immediately upon demand. Dry firemains are not charged with water and, as a result, do not supply water upon demand. Most Navy surface vessels operate wet firemains and most Military Sealift Command vessels, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Army vessels use dry firemains.

    The firemain system includes all components between the fire pump suction sea chest and the cutout valves to the various services including sea chests, fire pumps, valves, piping, fire hoses, and heat exchangers. The water passed through the firemain system is drawn from the sea and returned to the sea by either discharge over the side from fire hoses or through submerged pipe outlets. The seawater discharged overboard from the firemain system can contain entrained or dissolved materials, principally metals, from natural degradation of the internal components of the firemain system itself. Some traces of oil or other lubricants may also enter the seawater from valves or pumps. If the firemain system is used for a secondary use and a performance standard does not exist for that secondary use, then the performance standard for the firemain system applies.

    Most vessels of the Armed Forces greater than or equal to 79 feet in length are expected to discharge from firemain systems. Most boats and service craft that are less than 79 feet in length do not generate firemain systems discharge because smaller boats and craft typically use portable fire pumps or fire extinguishers. Approximately 20 percent of vessels of the Armed Forces produce firemain systems discharge.

    For more information regarding firemain systems, please see the firemain systems nature of the discharge report in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    Discharges from the firemain system could negatively impact receiving waters due to the possible presence of copper, zinc, nickel, aluminum, tin, silver, iron, titanium, and chromium. Many of these constituents can be traced to the corrosion and erosion of the firemain piping system, valves, or pumps. Consequently, when feasible, the maintenance and training discharges from the firemain should occur outside of ports or other shallow waters. Restricting the discharge from firemain systems and the associated constituents of concern would protect the quality of the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    Firemain systems may be discharged for testing and inspections of the firemain system. The EPA and DoD propose to require that to the greatest extent practicable, firemain system maintenance and training be conducted outside of port and as far away from shore as possible. In addition, firemain systems must not be discharged in federally-protected waters except when needed to comply with anchor washdown requirements in Subpart 1700.16 (Chain locker effluent). Firemain systems may be used for secondary uses if the intake comes directly from the surrounding waters or potable water supplies.

    E. Graywater 1. Nature of Discharge

    Graywater is galley, bath, and shower water, as well as wastewater from lavatory sinks, laundry, interior deck drains, water fountains, and shop sinks. On vessels of the Armed Forces, graywater is distinct from blackwater. Blackwater is the sewage generated by toilets and urinals and is regulated separately. Graywater discharges can contain oil and grease, detergent and soap residue, bacteria, pathogens, metals (e.g., cadmium, chromium, lead, copper, zinc, silver, nickel, and mercury), solids, and nutrients.

    Vessels of the Armed Forces have different methods for collecting and discharging graywater. Most vessels are designed to direct graywater to the vessel's sewage tanks while pierside for transfer to a shore-based treatment facility. These vessels are not generally designed to hold graywater for extended periods of time and must drain or pump their graywater overboard while operating away from the pier in order to preserve holding capacity for sewage tanks. Some vessels with either larger graywater holding capacity or U.S. Coast Guard-certified marine sanitation devices (MSDs) have the capacity to hold or treat graywater for longer periods of time.

    Approximately 20 percent of the vessels of the Armed Forces (i.e., aircraft carriers, surface combatants, amphibious support ships, submarines, patrol ships, and some auxiliary ships, boats, and service craft) generate graywater.

    For more information regarding graywater, please see the graywater nature of the discharge in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    Graywater discharges may contain soaps and detergents; oil and grease from foods; food residue; nutrients and oxygen demand from food residues and detergents; hair; bleach and other cleaners and disinfectants; pathogens; and a variety of additional personal care products such as moisturizer, deodorant, perfume, and cosmetics. Graywater discharge could negatively impact receiving waters due to the possible presence of bacteria, pathogens, oil and grease, detergent and soap residue, metals (e.g., cadmium, chromium, lead, copper, zinc, silver, nickel, and mercury), solids, and nutrients (e.g., phosphates from the detergents). Of these constituents, the EPA and DoD have found ammonia, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, and zinc in concentrations that may exceed the EPA recommended water quality criteria. Restricting the discharge of graywater and the associated constituents of concern would protect the quality of the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that large quantities of cooking oils (e.g., from deep fat fryers), including animal fats and vegetable oils, must not be added to graywater systems. The EPA and DoD further propose to require that the addition of smaller quantities of cooking oils (e.g., from pot and dish rinsing) to the graywater system must be minimized when the vessel is within three miles of shore. The EPA and DoD propose to require that graywater discharges must not contain oil in quantities that cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States. In addition, minimally-toxic soaps, cleaners and detergents and phosphate free soaps, cleaners, and detergents must be used in the galley, scullery, and laundry. These soaps, cleaners, and detergents should also be free from bioaccumulative compounds and not lead to extreme shifts in the receiving water pH (i.e., pH to fall below 6.0 or rise above 9.0).

    For vessels designed with the capacity to hold graywater, EPA and DoD propose to require that graywater must not be discharged in federally-protected waters or the Great Lakes. In addition, such vessels would be prohibited from discharging graywater within one mile of shore if an onshore facility is available and use of such a facility is reasonable and practicable. When an onshore facility is either not available or when use of such a facility is not reasonable and practicable, production and discharge of graywater must be minimized within one mile of shore.

    For vessels that do not have the capacity to hold graywater, EPA and DoD propose to require that graywater production must be minimized in federally-protected waters or the Great Lakes. In addition, such vessels would be prohibited from discharging graywater within one mile of shore if an onshore facility is available and use of such a facility is reasonable and practicable. When an onshore facility is either not available or use of such a facility is not reasonable and practicable, production and discharge of graywater must be minimized within one mile of shore.

    F. Hull Coating Leachate 1. Nature of Discharge

    Hull coating leachate is defined as the constituents that leach, dissolve, ablate, or erode from the paint on the vessel hull into the surrounding seawater. Antifouling hull coatings are often used on vessel hulls to prevent or inhibit the attachment and growth of aquatic life or biofouling and contain biocides which are used to prevent biofouling growth on the hull by continuous leaching of biocides into the surrounding water. The primary biocide in most antifouling hull coatings is copper, although zinc is also used. Copper ablative coatings, which are designed to wear or ablate away as a result of water flow over a hull, and vinyl antifouling hull coatings, which release copper as a result of copper leaching and hydrolysis of rosin particles, are the most predominantly used copper-containing coatings. Tributyltin (TBT)-based coatings were historically used on vessel hulls; however, antifouling coatings with organotin (e.g., TBT) compounds used as active ingredients are no longer authorized for use in the United States and as such are no longer applied to vessels of the Armed Forces.

    Approximately 50 percent of the vessels of the Armed Forces use antifouling hull coatings and contribute to the hull coating leachate discharge when they are waterborne.

    For more information regarding hull coating leachate, please see the hull coating leachate nature of the discharge report in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    The discharge of hull coating leachate could negatively impact receiving waters due to the presence of copper and zinc that are used as biocides. While the rate at which the metals leach from coatings is relatively slow (4-17 micrograms per square centimeter-day (μg/cm2/day)), metal-leaching coatings can account for significant accumulations of metals in receiving waters of ports where numerous vessels are present. The adverse impact could be significant in waters already classified as impaired due to elevated metal levels, for example, copper. While the purpose of antifouling hull coatings is to prevent marine organisms from growing on the hull, an effective antifoulant should minimize the attachment and transport of non-indigenous species, decrease fuel usage, and reduce gaseous emissions. Restricting the discharge of hull coating leachate and the associated constituents of concern would protect the quality of the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that antifouling hull coatings subject to FIFRA (7 U.S.C 136 et seq.) must be applied, maintained, and removed in a manner consistent with requirements on the coatings' FIFRA labels. The EPA and DoD also propose to prohibit the use of biocides or toxic materials banned for use in the United States (including those on EPA's List of Banned or Severely Restricted Pesticides). This proposed requirement would apply to all vessels, including vessels with a hull coating applied outside of the United States. Antifouling hull coatings must not contain TBT or other organotin compounds as a hull coating biocide. Antifouling hull coatings may contain small quantities of organotin compounds when the organotin is used as a chemical catalyst and is not present above 2,500 milligrams of total tin per kilogram of dry paint film. Also, any such antifouling hull coatings used must be designed to not slough or peel from the vessel hull. In addition, the proposed standard would encourage the use of non-biocidal alternatives to copper coatings to the greatest extent practicable. The EPA and DoD also recommend to the greatest extent practicable, the use of antifouling hull coatings with the lowest effective biocide release rates, rapidly biodegradable components (once separated from the hull surface), or use of non-biocidal alternatives, such as silicone coatings. Finally, to the greatest extent practicable, avoid the use of anti-fouling hull coatings on vessels that are regularly removed from the water and unlikely to accumulate hull growth.

    G. Motor Gasoline and Compensating Discharge 1. Nature of Discharge

    Motor gasoline and compensating discharge is the seawater taken into, and discharged from, motor gasoline tanks to eliminate free space where vapors could accumulate. Seawater, which is less buoyant than gasoline, occupies the free space to prevent potentially explosive gasoline vapors from forming. The retained seawater is then discharged when the vessel refills the tanks with gasoline in port or when performing maintenance. Motor gasoline and compensating effluent is likely to contain residual oils and soluble traces of gasoline components and additives, as well as metals. Only U.S. Navy amphibious support ships, which represent less than one percent of the vessels of the Armed Forces, produce motor gasoline and compensating discharge.

    For more information regarding motor gasoline and compensating discharge, please see the motor gasoline and compensating discharge nature of the discharge in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    Motor gasoline and compensating discharge could negatively impact receiving waters due to the presence of residual oil. The discharge may contain traces of gasoline constituents, which generally contain alkanes, alkenes, aromatics (e.g., benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, phenol, and naphthalene), metals, and additives. Analyses of compensating discharge have shown that benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, phenol, and naphthalene may exceed the EPA recommended water quality criteria. Restricting the discharge of motor gasoline and compensating discharge and the associated constituents of concern would protect the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that the discharge of motor gasoline and compensating effluent must not contain oil in quantities that: Cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by the EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the IMO (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States. In addition, if an oily sheen is observed, the EPA and DoD propose to require that any spill or overflow of oil must be cleaned up, recorded, and reported to the National Response Center immediately. The discharge of motor gasoline and compensating discharge must be minimized in port and is prohibited in federally-protected waters.

    H. Sonar Dome Discharge 1. Nature of Discharge

    Sonar dome discharge occurs from the leaching of antifouling materials into the surrounding seawater and the release of seawater or freshwater retained within the sonar dome. Sonar domes are structures located on the hull of ships and submarines, used for the housing of electronic equipment for detection, navigation, and ranging. The shape and design pressure in sonar domes are maintained by filling them with water. Antifouling materials are used on the exterior of the sonar dome to prevent fouling which degrades sonar performance. Navy surface ship domes are made of rubber with an exterior layer that is impregnated with TBT. On submarines and Military Sealift Command surface ships, the sonar domes are made of steel or glass reinforced plastic and do not contain TBT but are covered with an antifouling coating.

    The discharge of the water from the interior of the sonar domes primarily occurs when the vessel is pierside and is intermittent depending on when the dome is emptied for maintenance. On average, sonar domes on surface vessels are emptied twice a year and sonar domes on submarines are emptied once a year. The discharge of sonar dome water can range between 300 gallons to 74,000 gallons depending on the size of the sonar dome and the type of maintenance event.

    Approximately ten percent of vessels of the Armed Forces generate sonar dome discharge. These vessel types include auxiliary ships, submarines, and surface combatants.

    For more information regarding sonar dome discharge, please see the sonar dome nature of the discharge report in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    Sonar dome discharge could negatively impact receiving waters due to the possible presence of antifouling agents on the exterior rubber boots of the sonar dome, as well as from tin, zinc, copper, nickel, and epoxy paint from a sonar dome interior. The concentrations of some of these components are estimated to exceed the EPA recommended water quality criteria. Restricting the sonar dome discharge and the associated constituents of concern would protect the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that the water inside the sonar dome not be discharged for maintenance activities unless the use of a drydock for the maintenance activity is not feasible. The water inside the sonar dome may be discharged for equalization of pressure between the interior and exterior of the dome. This would include the discharge of water required to protect the shape, integrity, and structure of the sonar dome due to internal and external pressures and forces. The EPA and DoD also propose to require that a biofouling chemical that is bioaccumulative should not be applied to the exterior of a sonar dome when a non-bioaccumulative alternative is available.

    I. Submarine Bilgewater 1. Nature of Discharge

    Submarine bilgewater is the wastewater from a variety of sources that accumulates in the lowest part of the submarine (i.e., bilge). Submarine bilgewater consists of a mixture of discharges and leakage from a wide variety of sources (e.g., seawater accumulation, normal water leakage from machinery, and fresh water washdowns), and includes all the wastewater collected in the bilge compartment, oily waste holding tank, or any other oily water or holding tank. Consequently, the discharge can contain a variety of constituents including cleaning agents, solvents, fuel, lubricating oils, and hydraulic oils. Submarines have a drain system consisting of a series of oily bilge collecting tanks and a waste oil collecting tank or tank complex to collect oily wastewater. Discharges from these tanks occur from the bottom of the tank after gravity separation. Some submarines have baffles to enhance the separation of oil and water.

    Approximately one percent of the vessels of the Armed Forces are submarines and generate submarine bilgewater. Most submarines do not discharge bilgewater while in transit within waters subject to UNDS and instead hold and transfer submarine bilgewater to a shore-based facility. However, one class of submarines (SSN 688) discharges some of the water phase of the separated bilgewater collecting tank, as necessary.

    For more information regarding submarine bilgewater, please see the submarine bilgewater nature of the discharge report in the Technical Development Document—EPA-821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    Submarine bilgewater discharge could negatively impact receiving waters due to the possible presence of oil and grease, volatile and semivolatile organic compounds, and metals. These constituents occur in cleaning agents, solvents, fuel, lubricating oils, and hydraulic oils used on submarines and may be present in concentrations that could contribute to an exceedance of the EPA recommended water quality criteria. Restricting the discharge of submarine bilgewater and the associated constituents of concern would help to protect the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that the discharge of submarine bilgewater must not contain oil in quantities that cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by the EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the IMO (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States. In addition, the discharge of submarine bilgewater must not contain dispersants, detergents, emulsifiers, chemicals, or other substances to remove the appearance of a visible sheen. The proposed performance standard would not, however, prohibit the use of these materials in machinery spaces for the purposes of cleaning and maintenance activities associated with vessel equipment and structures. The discharge of submarine bilgewater also must only contain substances that are produced in the normal operation of a vessel. Oil solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives (excluding any dispersants or surfactants) may be used to enhance oil/water separation during processing in an oil-water separator only if such solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives are minimized in the discharge and do not alter the chemical composition of the oils in the discharge. Solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives must not be directly added, or otherwise combined with, the water in the bilge.

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that submarine bilgewater discharges must not occur while the submarine is in port, when the port has the capability to collect and transfer the bilgewater to an onshore facility. If the submarine is not in port, then any such discharge must be minimized and discharged as far from shore as technologically feasible. The EPA and DoD also propose to require that submarine bilgewater discharges be minimized in federally-protected waters. Finally, submarines would need to employ management practices to minimize leakage of oil and other harmful pollutants into the bilge.

    J. Surface Vessel Bilgewater/Oil-Water Separator Effluent (OWSE) 1. Nature of Discharge

    Surface vessel bilgewater is the wastewater from a variety of sources that accumulates in the lowest part of the vessel (the bilge) and the oil-water separator effluent is produced when the wastewater is processed by an oil-water separator. Bilgewater consists of water and other residue that accumulates in a compartment of the vessel's hull or is collected in the oily waste holding tank or any other oily water holding tank. The primary sources of drainage into the bilge are the main engine room(s) and auxiliary machinery room(s), which house the vessel's propulsion system and auxiliary systems (i.e., steam boilers and water purification systems), respectively.

    The composition of bilgewater varies from vessel-to-vessel and from day-to-day on the same vessel. The propulsion and auxiliary systems use fuels, lubricants, hydraulic fluid, antifreeze, solvents, and cleaning chemicals as part of routine operation and maintenance. Small quantities of these materials enter the bilge as leaks and spills in the engineering spaces. Bilgewater generation rates vary by vessel and by vessel class because of the differences in vessel age, shipboard equipment (e.g., type of propulsion system), operations, whether the vessel segregates its non-oily wastewater from the bilge, and other procedures.

    Approximately 75 percent of vessels of the Armed Forces generate surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent; submarines and some of the smaller boats and service craft do not generate surface vessel bilgewater discharge/oil-water separator effluent. Oil-water separator systems are installed on most vessels of the Armed Forces to collect the waste oil for onshore disposal. Some smaller vessels are not outfitted with oil-water separator systems; thus, bilgewater is stored for onshore disposal.

    For more information regarding surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent, please see the surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator nature of the discharge report in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    Surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent could negatively impact receiving waters due to the possible presence of oil and grease, volatile and semivolatile organic compounds, and metals. These constituents exist in cleaning agents, solvents, fuel, lubricating oils, and hydraulic oils and may be present in concentrations that could potentially contribute to an exceedance of the EPA recommended water quality criteria. Restricting the discharge of surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent and the associated constituents of concern would protect the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that surface vessels equipped with an oil-water separator must not discharge bilgewater and must only discharge oil-water separator effluent through an oil-content monitor. All surface vessels greater than 400 gross tons must be equipped with an oil-water separator. If measurements for gross tonnage are not available for a particular vessel, full displacement measurements may be used instead. The EPA and DoD also propose to require that the discharge of oil-water separator effluent not occur in port if the port has the capability to collect and transfer oil-water separator effluent to an onshore facility. In addition, the discharge of oil-water separator effluent must be minimized within one mile of shore, must occur at speeds greater than six knots if the vessel is underway, and must be minimized in federally-protected waters.

    For surface vessels not equipped with an oil-water separator, the EPA and DoD propose to require that bilgewater must not be discharged if the vessel has the capability to collect, hold, and transfer to an onshore facility.

    In addition, the discharge of bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent must not contain dispersants, detergents, emulsifiers, chemicals, or other substances to remove the appearance of a visible sheen. The proposed performance standard would not, however, prohibit the use of these materials in machinery spaces for the purposes of cleaning and maintenance activities associated with vessel equipment and structures. The discharge of bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent must contain substances that are produced in the normal operation of a vessel. For the discharge of oil-water separator effluent, oil solidifiers, flocculants or other additives (excluding any dispersants or surfactants) may be used to enhance oil/water separation during processing only if such solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives are minimized and do not alter the chemical composition of the oils in the discharge. Solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives must not be directly added, or otherwise combined with, the water in the bilge.

    The discharge of surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent must not contain oil in quantities that cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by the EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States.

    When a visible sheen is observed as a result of a surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent discharge, the discharge must be suspended immediately until the problem is corrected. Any spill or overflow of oil or other engine fluids must be cleaned up, recorded, and reported immediately to the National Response Center. The surface vessel must also employ management practices to minimize leakage of oil and other harmful pollutants into the bilge. Such practices may include regular inspection and maintenance of equipment and remediation of oil spills or overflows into the bilge using oil-absorbent or other spill clean-up materials.

    K. Underwater Ship Husbandry 1. Nature of Discharge

    Underwater ship husbandry discharges occur during the inspection, maintenance, cleaning, and repair of hulls and hull appendages while a vessel is waterborne. Underwater ship husbandry includes activities such as hull cleaning, fiberglass repair, welding, sonar dome repair, propeller lay-up, non-destructive testing/inspections, masker belt repairs, and painting operations. Underwater ship husbandry operations are normally conducted pierside, and could result in the release of metals (copper or zinc) or the introduction of non-indigenous species.

    All vessels of the Armed Forces greater than or equal to 79 feet in length and some boats and service craft less than 79 feet in length, comprising 60 percent of the vessels, are expected to generate underwater ship husbandry discharge. While underwater ship husbandry discharges occur during the maintenance of all classes of vessels, many vessels less than 79 feet in length are regularly pulled from the water for hull maintenance or stored on land.

    For more information regarding underwater ship husbandry, please see the underwater ship husbandry nature of the discharge report in Appendix A of the Technical Development Document—EPA 821-R-99-001.

    2. Environmental Effects

    Underwater ship husbandry could negatively impact receiving waters due to the possible presence of metals and non-indigenous species. With the exception of underwater hull cleaning, other underwater ship husbandry discharges have a low potential for causing an adverse environmental effect. Metals, such as copper and zinc from antifouling coatings, are released during underwater hull cleaning in concentrations that have the potential to cause an adverse environmental effect and could contribute to an exceedance of the EPA recommended water quality criteria. The potential also exists for release of non-indigenous species during hull cleaning. Restricting the discharge from underwater ship husbandry activities and the associated constituents of concern would protect the receiving waters.

    3. Selection of Marine Pollution Control Device Performance Standard

    The EPA and DoD propose to require that to the greatest extent practicable, vessel hulls with antifouling hull coatings must not be cleaned within 90 days after the antifouling coating application. Vessel hulls must be inspected, maintained, and cleaned to minimize the removal and discharge of antifouling hull coatings and transport of fouling organisms. To the greatest extent practicable, rigorous vessel hull cleanings must take place in drydock or at a land-based facility where the removed fouling organisms or spent antifouling hull coatings can be disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable solid waste or hazardous substance management and disposal requirements. The proposed performance standard would also require that vessel hull cleanings be conducted in a manner that minimizes the release of antifouling hull coatings and fouling organisms (e.g., less abrasive techniques and softer brushes to the greatest extent practicable). Vessel hull cleanings must also adhere to any applicable cleaning requirements found on the coatings' FIFRA label. For vessels less than 79 feet in length, the proposed standard would require inspection of vessels before overland transport to a different body of water to control invasive species. For vessels greater than 79 feet in length, the proposed standard would require that to the greatest extent practicable, vessel hulls with a copper-based antifouling coating must not be cleaned within 365 days after the antifouling coating application.

    IV. Additional Information of the Proposed Rule

    This section provides an overview of the additional amendments proposed for 40 CFR part 1700. These proposed changes include the reservation of sections for the remaining discharge standards.

    1. Reservation of Sections

    As noted previously, the EPA and DoD are proposing the Phase II standards in three batches. For the purpose of proposing the remaining batches, the proposal reserves the following sections for those future rulemaking actions:

    Section 1700.17 Clean Ballast; Section 1700.18 Compensated Fuel Ballast; Section 1700.21 Dirty Ballast V. Related Acts of Congress and Executive Orders

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

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

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

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden, as the EPA and DoD have determined that Phase II of UNDS does not create any additional collection of information beyond that already mandated under the Phase I of UNDS. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has previously approved the information collection requirements contained in the existing regulations (40 CFR part 1700) under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and has assigned OMB control number 2040-0187. The OMB control numbers for the EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    We certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities.

    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 implements mandates specifically and explicitly set forth in CWA section 312 without the exercise of any policy discretion by EPA.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    The EPA and DoD concluded that the proposed rule, once finalized in Phase III, will have federalism implications. Once the proposed discharge performance standards are promulgated in Phase III by DoD, adoption and enforcement of new or existing state or local regulations for the discharges will be preempted.

    Accordingly, the EPA and DoD provide the following federalism summary impact statement. During Phase I of UNDS, the EPA and DoD conducted two rounds of consultation meetings (i.e., outreach briefings) to allow states and local officials to have meaningful and timely input into the development of the rulemaking. Twenty-two states accepted the offer to be briefed on UNDS and discuss state concerns. The EPA and DoD provided clarification on the technical aspects of the UNDS process, including preliminary discharge determinations and analytical information supporting decisions to control or not control discharges. State representatives were provided with discharge summaries containing the description, analysis, and preliminary determination of each of the 39 discharges from vessels of the Armed Forces—25 of which were determined to require control.

    During Phase II, the EPA and DoD consulted again with state representatives early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. On March 9, 2016, the EPA held a Federalism consultation in Washington, DC, and invited representatives from states and political subdivisions of states in order to obtain meaningful and timely input in the development of the proposed discharge standards. The EPA and DoD informed the state representatives that the two agencies planned to use the NPDES VGPs effluent limitations as a baseline for developing the proposed discharge performance standards for the 25 discharges identified in Phase I as requiring control. During the Federalism consultation period, the EPA and DoD did not receive any substantive comments from state and local government entities.

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

    This action does not have tribal implication as specified in Executive Order 13175. The UNDS rulemaking will not impact vessels operated by tribes because the rule only regulates discharges from vessels of the Armed Forces. However, tribes may be interested in this action because vessels of the Armed Forces, including U.S. Coast Guard vessels, may operate in or near tribal waters. The EPA hosted a National Teleconference on March 23, 2016, in order to obtain meaningful and timely input during the development of the proposed discharge standards. The EPA and DoD informed the representatives that the two agencies planned to use the NPDES VGPs effluent limitations as a baseline for developing the discharge performance standards for the 25 discharges identified in Phase I as requiring control. During the Tribal consultation period, the EPA and DoD did not receive any substantive comments from the Indian Tribal Governments.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the EPA and DoD do not believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. The 11 proposed discharge standards are designed to control discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel of the Armed Forces that could adversely affect human health and the environment. The standards reduce the impacts to the receiving waters and any person using the receiving waters, regardless of age.

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 1321, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    This action involves technical standards. The EPA and DoD propose to use ISO Method 9377—determination of hydrocarbon oil index. ISO Method 9377 is a voluntary consensus standard developed by an independent, non-governmental international organization.

    J. Executive Order 13112: Invasive Species

    Executive Order 13112, entitled “Invasive Species” (64 FR 6183, February 8, 1999), requires each federal agency, whose actions may affect the status of invasive species, to identify such actions, and, subject to the availability of appropriations, use relevant programs and authorities to, among other things, prevent, detect, control, and monitor the introduction of invasive species. As defined by this Executive Order, “invasive species” means an alien species whose introduction causes, or is likely to cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

    As part of the environmental effects analyses, the EPA and DoD considered the control of invasive species when developing the proposed discharge performance standards for all 11 discharges (See Section II). For example, the underwater ship husbandry discharge performance standard requires the inspection of all vessels under 79 feet in length for the detection and removal of invasive species prior to transport overland from one body of water to another. This requirement as well as others within the proposed discharge standards would help to prevent or control the introduction of invasive species into the receiving waters.

    K. Executive Order 13089: Coral Reef Protection

    Executive Order 13089, entitled “Coral Reef Protection” (63 FR 32701, June 16, 1998), requires all federal agencies to identify actions that may affect U.S. coral reef ecosystems; utilize their programs and authorities to protect the conditions of such ecosystems; and to the extent permitted by law, ensure that any actions they authorize, fund, or carry out will not degrade the conditions of such ecosystems. The proposed discharge standards are designed to control or eliminate the discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels of the Armed Forces, ultimately minimizing the potential for causing adverse impacts to the marine environment including coral reefs.

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

    The EPA and DoD believe that this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, low-income populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February, 16, 1994). The proposed discharge performance standards only apply to vessels of the Armed Forces and ultimately increase environmental protection.

    VI. Appendix A—Description of Vessels of the Armed Forces EP07OC16.006

    Table A-1 provides information regarding the composition of vessels of the Armed Forces by vessel type and vessel size.

    Aircraft Carriers: These are the largest vessels of the Armed Forces. They are designed primarily for conducting combat operations by fixed wing aircraft that are launched with catapults. Nuclear energy powers all vessels in this group. Aircraft carriers exceed 1,000 feet in length, and have crews of 4,000 to 6,000. Except during transit in and out of port, these vessels operate predominantly seaward of waters subject to UNDS.

    Amphibious Support Ships: These are large vessels, ranging in length from 569 feet to 847 feet, designed to support amphibious assault operations. Many of these vessels have large clean ballast tanks used to lower and raise the hull during amphibious operations, and welldecks to support the recovery of landing crafts and amphibious vehicles. These large ocean-going vessels may operate within waters subject to UNDS during training and testing of equipment.

    Auxiliary Ships: This is a large and diverse group of self-propelled vessels with lengths equal to or greater than 79 feet in length and designed to provide general support to either combatant forces or shore-based establishments. These ships fulfill multiple duties including, but are not limited to, transporting supplies (e.g., fuel, ammunitions) and troops to and from the theater of operations, executing mine countermeasures operations, conducting research, maintaining navigations systems (e.g., buoys), and recovering targets and drones. This vessel class has crew sizes ranging from 10 to 200 people. Depending on mission and operation requirements, these vessels operate both within and seaward of waters subject to UNDS.

    Boats: This type of vessel encompasses 81 percent of the vessels of the Armed Forces and includes all self-propelled vessels less than 79 feet in length. These vessels are used for such roles as security, combat operations, rescue, and training. Because of their relatively small size, these vessels have small crews that range from 1 to 19, and produce limited sources of liquid discharges. These vessels operate predominantly within waters subject to UNDS, but may operate seaward of waters subject to UNDS when deployed from larger ships.

    Patrol Ships: These are self-propelled vessels with lengths equal to or greater than 79 feet in length, and are designed to conduct patrol duties (i.e., maritime homeland security, law enforcement, and national defense missions). Vessels in this group have crew sizes ranging from 10 to 200. Some vessels in this group may operate seaward of waters subject to UNDS, but the majority predominantly operate within waters subject to UNDS conducting security patrol missions.

    Service Craft: This is a diverse group of non-self-propelled vessel classes designed to provide general support to other vessels in the Armed Forces fleet or shore-based establishments. Vessel classes in this group have an average length of 155 feet with more than 95 percent of them being between 40 feet and 310 feet. While most of these vessels have a very limited crew or no crew, barracks craft can provide sleeping accommodations for 100 to 1,200 crew members. These vessels include multiple barges and lighter designs, dredges, floating dry-docks, floating cranes, floating causeway ferries, floating roll-on-off discharge facilities, dry deck shelters, floating workshops, and floating barracks. These vessels operate predominantly within waters subject to UNDS.

    Submarines: These submersible combat vessels powered with nuclear energy can fulfill combatant, auxiliary, or research and development roles. Except during transit in and out of port, these vessels operate predominantly seaward of waters subject to UNDS.

    Surface Combatants: These are surface ships designed primarily to engage in attacks against airborne, surface, sub-surface, and shore targets. Vessel classes in this group range in length from 378 feet to 567 feet, and have crew sizes that range from 40 for the Littoral Combat Ship to under 400 for a Guided Missile Destroyer or Cruiser. Except during transit in and out of port, these vessels operate predominantly seaward of waters subject to UNDS.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 1700

    Environmental protection, Armed Forces, Vessels, Coastal zone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Water pollution control.

    Dated: September 16, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency. Dated: September 26, 2016. Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy, Installations, and Environment.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, title 40, chapter VII, of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 1700—UNIFORM NATIONAL DISCHARGE STANDARDS FOR VESSELS OF THE ARMED FORCES 1. The authority citation for 40 CFR part 1700 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1322, 1361.

    Subpart A—Scope 2. Section 1700.3 is amended by adding in alphabetical order definitions for “Bioaccumulative”, “Biodegradable”, “Environmentally acceptable lubricants”, “Great Lakes”, “Minimally-toxic”, “Minimally-toxic soaps, cleaners, and detergents”, “Not bioaccumulative”, “Phosphate free soaps, cleaners, and detergents”, and “State” to read as follows:
    § 1700.3 Definitions.

    Bioaccumulative means the opposite of not bioaccumulative.

    Biodegradable means the following for purposes of the standards:

    (1) Regarding environmentally acceptable lubricants and greases, biodegradable means lubricant formulations that contain at least 90% (weight in weight concentration or w/w) or grease formulations that contain at least 75% (w/w) of a constituent substance or constituent substances (only stated substances present above 0.10% must be assessed) that each demonstrate either the removal of at least 70% of dissolved organic carbon, production of at least 60% of the theoretical carbon dioxide, or consumption of at least 60% of the theoretical oxygen demand within 28 days. Test methods include: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Test Guidelines 301 A-F, 306, and 310, ASTM 5864, ASTM D-7373, OCSPP Harmonized Guideline 835.3110, and International Organization for Standardization 14593:1999. For lubricant formulations, the 10% (w/w) of the formulation that need not meet the above biodegradability requirements, up to 5% (w/w) may be non-biodegradable, but not bioaccumulative, while the remaining 5-10% must be inherently biodegradable. For grease formulations, the 25% (w/w) of the formulation that need not meet the above biodegradability requirement, the constituent substances may be either inherently biodegradable or non-biodegradable, but may not be bioaccumulative. Test methods to demonstrate inherent biodegradability include: OECD Test Guidelines 302C (>70% biodegradation after 28 days) or OECD Test Guidelines 301 A-F (>20% but <60% biodegradation after 28 days).

    (2) Regarding cleaning products, biodegradable means products that demonstrate either the removal of at least 70% of dissolved organic carbon, production of at least 60% of the theoretical carbon dioxide, or consumption of at least 60% of the theoretical oxygen demand within 28 days. Test methods include: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Test Guidelines 301 A-F, 306, and 310, and International organization for Standardization 14593:1999.

    (3) Regarding biocidal substances, biodegradable means a compound or mixture that yields 60% of theoretical maximum carbon dioxide and demonstrate a removal of at least 70% of dissolved organic carbon within 28 days as described in EPA 712-C-98-075 (OPPTS 835.3100 Aerobic Aquatic Biodegradation).

    Environmentally acceptable lubricants means lubricants that are biodegradable, minimally-toxic, and not bioaccumulative as defined in this subpart. The following labeling programs and organizations meet the definition of being environmentally acceptable lubricants: Blue Angel, European Ecolabel, Nordic Swan, the Swedish Standards SS 155434 and 155470, Safer Choice, and the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) requirements.

    Great Lakes means waters of the United States extending to the international maritime boundary with Canada in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron (including Lake St. Clair), Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior, and the connecting channels (Saint Mary's River, Saint Clair River, Detroit River, Niagara River, and Saint Lawrence River to the international maritime boundary with Canada).

    Minimally-toxic means a substance must pass either OECD 201, 202, and 203 for acute toxicity testing, or OECD 210 and 211 for chronic toxicity testing. For purposes of the standards, equivalent toxicity data for marine species, including methods ISO/DIS 10253 for algae, ISO TC147/SC5/W62 for crustacean, and OSPAR 2005 for fish, may be substituted for OECD 201, 202, and 203. If a substance is evaluated for the formulation and main constituents, the LC50 of fluids must be at least 100 mg/L and the LC50 of greases, two-stroke oils, and all other total loss lubricants must be at least 1000 mg/L. If a substance is evaluated for each constituent substance, rather than the complete formulation and main compounds, then constituents comprising less than 20% of fluids can have an LC50 between 10-100 mg/L or a no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) between 1-10 mg/L, constituents comprising less than 5% of fluids can have an LC50 between 1-10 mg/L or a NOEC between 0.1-1 mg/L, and constituents comprising less than 1% of fluids, can have an LC50 less than 1 mg/L or a NOEC between 0-0.1 mg/L.

    Minimally-toxic soaps, cleaners, and detergents means any substance or mixture of substances which has an acute aquatic toxicity value (LC50) corresponding to a concentration greater than 10 ppm and does not produce byproducts with an acute aquatic toxicity value (LC50) corresponding to a concentration less than 10 ppm. Minimally-toxic soaps, cleaners, and detergents typically contain little to no nonylphenols.

    Not bioaccumulative means any of following: the partition coefficient in the marine environment is log Kow <3 or >7 using test methods OECD 117 and 107; molecular mass > 800 Daltons; molecular diameter > 1.5 nanometer; bioconcentration factor (BCF) or bioaccumulation factor (BAF) is < 100 L/kg, using OECD 305, OCSPP 850.1710, OCSPP 850.1730, or a field-measured BAF; or polymer with molecular weight fraction below 1,000 g/mol is <1%.

    Phosphate free soaps, cleaners, and detergents means any substance or mixture of substances which contain, by weight, 0.5% or less of phosphates or derivatives of phosphates.

    State means a state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

    3. Revise subpart D to read as follows: Subpart D—Marine Pollution Control Device (MPCD) Performance Standards Sec. 1700.14 [Reserved] 1700.15 Catapult water brake tank and post launch retraction exhaust. 1700.16 through 1700.18 [Reserved] 1700.19 Controllable pitch propeller hydraulic fluid. 1700.20 Deck runoff. 1700.21 through 1700.23 [Reserved] 1700.24 Firemain systems. 1700.25 [Reserved]. 1700.26 Graywater. 1700.27 Hull coating leachate. 1700.28 Motor gasoline and compensating discharge. 1700.29 through 1700.33 [Reserved] 1700.34 Sonar dome discharge. 1700.35 Submarine bilgewater. 1700.36 Surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent. 1700.37 Underwater ship husbandry. 1700.38 through 1700.42 [Reserved] Subpart D—Marine Pollution Control Device (MPCD) Performance Standards
    § 1700.14 [Reserved]
    § 1700.15 Catapult water brake tank & post-launch retraction exhaust.

    (a) Discharges of catapult water brake tank effluent are prohibited.

    (b) The number of post-launch retractions must be limited to the minimum number required to test and validate the system and conduct qualification and operational training.

    § 1700.16 through 1700.18 [Reserved]
    § 1700.19 Controllable pitch propeller hydraulic fluid.

    (a) The protective seals on controllable pitch propellers must be maintained to minimize the leaking of hydraulic fluid.

    (b) To the greatest extent practicable, maintenance activities on controllable pitch propellers must be conducted when a vessel is in drydock. If maintenance and repair activities must occur when the vessel is not in drydock, appropriate spill response equipment (e.g., oil booms) must be used to contain and clean any oil leakage.

    (c) The discharge of controllable pitch propeller hydraulic fluid must not contain oil in quantities that:

    (1) Cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or

    (2) Cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or

    (3) Contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or

    (4) Otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States.

    § 1700.20 Deck runoff.

    (a) Flight deck washdowns are prohibited.

    (b) Minimize deck washdowns while in port and in federally-protected waters.

    (c) Prior to performing a deck washdown, exposed decks must be broom cleaned and on-deck debris, garbage, paint chips, residues, and spills must be removed, collected, and disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable solid waste or hazardous substance management and disposal requirements.

    (d) If a deck washdown or above water line hull cleaning will result in a discharge, it must be conducted with minimally-toxic and phosphate free soaps, cleaners, and detergents. The use of soaps that are labeled toxic is prohibited. Furthermore, soaps, cleaners, and detergents should not be caustic and must be biodegradable. All soaps and cleaners must be used as directed by the label.

    (e) Where feasible, machinery on deck must have coamings or drip pans, where necessary, to prevent spills and collect any oily discharge that may leak from machinery. The drip pans must be drained to a waste container for disposal onshore in accordance with any applicable oil and hazardous substance management and disposal requirements. The presence of floating solids, visible foam, halogenated phenol compounds, dispersants, and surfactants in deck washdowns must be minimized.

    (f) Topside surfaces and other above water line portions of the vessel must be well maintained to minimize the discharge of rust (and other corrosion by-products), cleaning compounds, paint chips, non-skid material fragments, and other materials associated with exterior topside surface preservation. Residual paint droplets entering the water must be minimized when conducting maintenance painting. The discharge of unused paint is prohibited. Paint chips and unused paint residues must be collected and disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable solid waste and hazardous substance management and disposal requirements.

    (g) When vessels conduct underway fuel replenishment, scuppers must be plugged to prevent the discharge of oil. Any oil spilled must be cleaned, managed, and disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable oil and hazardous substance management and disposal requirements.

    § 1700.21 through 1700.23 [Reserved]
    § 1700.24 Firemain systems

    (a) Firemain systems may be discharged for testing and inspections of the firemain system. To the greatest extent practicable, conduct maintenance and training outside of port and as far away from shore as possible. Firemain systems may be discharged in port for certification, maintenance, and training requirements if the intake comes directly from the surrounding waters or potable water supplies and there are no additions (e.g., aqueous film-forming foam) to the discharge.

    (b) Firemain systems must not be discharged in federally-protected waters except when needed to washdown the anchor chain to comply with anchor washdown requirements in § 1700.16.

    (c) Firemain systems may be used for secondary uses if the intake comes directly from the surrounding waters or potable water supplies.

    § 1700.25 [Reserved]
    § 1700.26 Graywater.

    (a) For discharges from vessels that have the capacity to hold graywater:

    (1) Graywater must not be discharged in federally-protected waters or the Great Lakes.

    (2) Graywater must not be discharged within one mile of shore if an onshore facility is available and disposal at such a facility is reasonable and practicable.

    (3) Production and discharge of graywater must be minimized within one mile of shore when an onshore facility is either not available or use of such a facility is not reasonable and practicable.

    (b) For discharges from vessels that do not have the capacity to hold graywater:

    (1) Production and discharge of graywater must be minimized in federally-protected waters or the Great Lakes.

    (2) Graywater must not be discharged within one mile of shore if an onshore facility is available and disposal at such a facility is reasonable and practicable.

    (3) Production and discharge of graywater must be minimized within one mile of shore when an onshore facility is either not available or use of such a facility is not reasonable and practicable.

    (c) Large quantities of cooking oils (e.g., from a deep fat fryer), including animal fats and vegetable oils, must not be added to the graywater system. Small quantities of cooking oils (e.g., from pot and dish rinsing) must be minimized if added to the graywater system within three miles of shore.

    (d) Minimally-toxic soaps, cleaners, and detergents and phosphate free soaps, cleaners, and detergents must be used in the galley, scullery, and laundry. These soaps, cleaners, and detergents should also be free from bioaccumulative compounds and not lead to extreme shifts in the receiving water pH. For purposes of this subparagraph, extreme shifts means causing the receiving water pH to fall below 6.0 or rise above 9.0 as a direct result of the discharge.

    (e) The discharge of graywater must not contain oil in quantities that:

    (1) Cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or

    (2) Cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or

    (3) Contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or

    (4) Otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States.

    § 1700.27 Hull coating leachate.

    (a) Antifouling hull coatings subject to registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C 136 et seq.) must be applied, maintained, and removed in a manner consistent with requirements on the coatings' FIFRA label.

    (b) Antifouling hull coatings not subject to FIFRA registration (i.e., exempt or not produced for sale and distribution in the United States) must not contain any biocides or toxic materials banned for use in the United States (including those on EPA's List of Banned or Severely Restricted Pesticides). This performance standard applies to all vessels, including vessels with a hull coating applied outside the United States.

    (c) Antifouling hull coatings must not contain tributyltin (TBT).

    (d) Antifouling hull coatings must not contain any organotin compounds when the organotin is used as a biocide. Antifouling hull coatings may contain small quantities of organotin compounds other than TBT (e.g., dibutyltin) when the organotin is acting as a chemical catalyst and not present above 2,500 milligrams total tin per kilogram of dry paint film. In addition, any such antifouling hull coatings must be designed to not slough or peel from the vessel hull.

    (e) Antifouling hull coatings that contain TBT or other organotin compounds that are used as a biocide must be removed or an overcoat must be applied.

    (f) Incidental amounts of antifouling hull coating discharged after contact with other hard surfaces (e.g., moorings) are permissible.

    (g) To the greatest extent practicable, use non-copper based and less toxic antifouling hull coatings. To the greatest extent practicable, use antifouling hull coatings with the lowest effective biocide release rates, rapidly biodegradable components (once separated from the hull surface), or use non-biocidal alternatives, such as silicone coatings.

    (h) To the greatest extent practicable, avoid use of antifouling hull coatings on vessels that are regularly removed from the water and unlikely to accumulate hull growth.

    § 1700.28 Motor gasoline and compensating discharge.

    (a) The discharge of motor gasoline and compensating effluent must not contain oil in quantities that:

    (1) Cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or

    (2) Cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or

    (3) Contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or

    (4) Otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States.

    (b) The discharge of motor gasoline and compensating effluent must be minimized in port. If an oily sheen is observed, any spill or overflow of oil must be cleaned up, recorded, and reported to the National Response Center immediately.

    (c) The discharge of motor gasoline and compensating effluent is prohibited in federally-protected waters.

    § 1700.29 through 1700.33 [Reserved]
    § 1700.34 Sonar dome discharge.

    (a) The water inside the sonar dome must not be discharged for maintenance activities unless the use of a drydock for the maintenance activity is not feasible.

    (b) The water inside the sonar dome may be discharged for equalization of pressure between the interior and exterior of the dome.

    (c) A biofouling chemical that is bioaccumulative should not be applied to the exterior of a sonar dome when a non-bioaccumulative alternative is available.

    § 1700.35 Submarine bilgewater.

    The discharge of submarine bilgewater:

    (a) Must not contain oil in quantities that:

    (1) Cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or

    (2) Cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or

    (3) Contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or

    (4) Otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States.

    (b) Must not contain dispersants, detergents, emulsifiers, chemicals, or other substances to remove the appearance of a visible sheen. This performance standard does not prohibit the use of these materials in machinery spaces for the purposes of cleaning and maintenance activities associated with vessel equipment and structures.

    (c) Must only contain substances that are produced in the normal operation of a vessel. Oil solidifiers, flocculants or other additives (excluding any dispersants or surfactants) may be used to enhance oil-water separation during processing in an oil-water separator only if such solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives are minimized in the discharge and do not alter the chemical make-up of the oils being discharged. Solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives must not be directly added, or otherwise combined with, the water in the bilge.

    (d) Must not occur in port if the port has the capability to collect and transfer the submarine bilgewater to an onshore facility.

    (e) Must be minimized and, if technologically feasible, discharged as far from shore as possible.

    (f) Must be minimized in federally-protected waters.

    (g) Must employ management practices that will minimize leakage of oil and other harmful pollutants into the bilge.

    § 1700.36 Surface vessel bilgewater/oil-water separator effluent.

    (a) All surface vessels must employ management practices that will minimize leakage of oil and other harmful pollutants into the bilge.

    (b) Surface vessels equipped with an oil-water separator must not discharge bilgewater and must only discharge oil-water separator effluent through an oil-content monitor consistent with paragraph (c) of this section. All surface vessels greater than 400 gross tons must be equipped with an oil-water separator. Surface vessels not equipped with an oil-water separator must only discharge bilgewater consistent with paragraph (d) of this section.

    (c) The discharge of oil-water separator effluent:

    (1) Must not contain oil in quantities that:

    (i) Cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or

    (ii) Cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or

    (iii) Contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or

    (iv) Otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States.

    (2) Must not contain dispersants, detergents, emulsifiers, chemicals, or other substances to remove the appearance of a visible sheen. This performance standard does not prohibit the use of these materials in machinery spaces for the purposes of cleaning and maintenance activities associated with vessel equipment and structures.

    (3) Must only contain substances that are produced in the normal operation of a vessel. Oil solidifiers, flocculants or other additives (excluding any dispersants or surfactants) may be used to enhance oil-water separation during processing in an oil-water separator only if such solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives are minimized in the discharge and do not alter the chemical make-up of the oils being discharged. Solidifiers, flocculants, or other additives must not be directly added, or otherwise combined with, the water in the bilge.

    (4) Must not occur in port if the vessel has the capability to collect and transfer oil-water separator effluent to an onshore facility.

    (5) Must be minimized within one mile of shore.

    (6) Must occur while sailing at speeds greater than six knots, if the vessel is underway.

    (7) Must be minimized in federally-protected waters.

    (d) The discharge of bilgewater (i.e., wastewater from the bilge that has not been processed through an oil-water separator):

    (1) Must not occur if the vessel has the capability to collect, hold, and transfer bilgewater to an onshore facility.

    (2) Notwithstanding the prohibition of the discharge of bilgewater from vessels that have the capability to collect, hold, and transfer bilgewater to an onshore facility; the discharge of bilgewater:

    (i) Must not contain dispersants, detergents, emulsifiers, chemicals, or other substances to remove the appearance of a visible sheen. This performance standard does not prohibit the use of these materials in machinery spaces for the purposes of cleaning and maintenance activities associated with vessel equipment and structures.

    (ii) Must only contain substances that are produced in the normal operation of a vessel. Routine cleaning and maintenance activities associated with vessel equipment and structures are considered to be normal operation of a vessel.

    (iii) Must not contain oil in quantities that:

    (A) Cause a film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or adjoining shorelines; or

    (B) Cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines; or

    (C) Contain an oil content above 15 ppm as measured by EPA Method 1664a or other appropriate method for determination of oil content as accepted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (e.g., ISO Method 9377) or U.S. Coast Guard; or

    (D) Otherwise are harmful to the public health or welfare of the United States.

    (iv) Must be suspended immediately if a visible sheen is observed. Any spill or overflow of oil or other engine fluids must be cleaned up, recorded, and reported to the National Response Center immediately.

    § 1700.37 Underwater ship husbandry.

    (a) For discharges from vessels that are less than 79 feet in length:

    (1) To the greatest extent practicable, vessel hulls with an antifouling hull coating must not be cleaned within 90 days after the antifouling coating application.

    (2) Vessel hulls must be inspected, maintained, and cleaned to minimize the removal and discharge of antifouling coatings and the transport of fouling organisms. To the greatest extent practicable, rigorous vessel hull cleanings must take place in drydock or at a land-based facility where the removed fouling organisms or spent antifouling coatings can be disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable solid waste or hazardous substance management and disposal requirements.

    (3) Prior to the transport of the vessel overland from one body of water to another, vessel hulls must be inspected for any visible attached living organisms. If fouling organisms are found, they must be removed and disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable solid waste and hazardous substance management and disposal requirements.

    (4) Vessel hull cleanings must be conducted in a manner that minimizes the release of antifouling hull coatings and fouling organisms, including:

    (i) Adhere to any applicable cleaning requirements found on the coatings' FIFRA label.

    (ii) Use soft brushes or less abrasive cleaning techniques to the greatest extent practicable.

    (iii) Use hard brushes only for the removal of hard growth.

    (iv) Use a vacuum or other collection/control technology, when available and feasible.

    (b) For discharges from vessels that are greater than or equal to 79 feet in length:

    (1) To the greatest extent practicable, vessel hulls with an antifouling hull coating must not be cleaned within 90 days after the antifouling coating application. To the greatest extent practicable, vessel hulls with copper-based antifouling coatings must not be cleaned within 365 days after coating application.

    (2) Vessel hulls must be inspected, maintained, and cleaned to minimize the removal and discharge of antifouling coatings and the transport of fouling organisms. To the greatest extent practicable, rigorous vessel hull cleanings must take place in drydock or at a land-based facility where the removed fouling organisms or spent antifouling coatings can be disposed of onshore in accordance with any applicable solid waste or hazardous substance management and disposal requirements.

    (3) Vessel hull cleanings must be conducted in a manner that minimizes the release of antifouling hull coatings and fouling organisms, including:

    (i) Adhere to any applicable cleaning requirements found on the coatings' FIFRA label.

    (ii) Use soft brushes or less abrasive cleaning techniques to the greatest extent practicable.

    (iii) Use hard brushes only for the removal of hard growth.

    (iv) Use a vacuum or other collection/control technology, when available and feasible.

    § 1700.38 through 1700.42 [Reserved]
    [FR Doc. 2016-24079 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 16-271; WT Docket No. 10-208; FCC 16-115] Connect America Fund, Connect America Fund—Alaska Plan; Universal Service Reform—Mobility Fund AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks comment on various specific issues involved in implementing a process of eliminating the provision of high-cost support to more than one competitive Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) in the same geographic area. The Commission specifically seeks comment on how best to eliminate duplicative funding consistent with our universal service goals, should the evaluation of Form 477 data reveal areas where more than one carrier is receiving support for the provision of 4G LTE service. The Commission also seeks comment on how to address a carrier's performance obligations and support payments to the extent it loses funding eligibility as a consequence of the elimination of duplicative support.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before December 6, 2016 and reply comments are due on or before January 5, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this document, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by WC Docket No. 10-90, WC Docket No. 16-271 and WT Docket No. 16-208, by any of the following methods:

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

    Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. Because more than one docket number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket number.

    • Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    ○ All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

    U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: (202) 418-0530 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alexander Minard, Wireline Competition Bureau, (202) 418-7400 or TTY: (202) 418-0484, Matthew Warner of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-2419, or Audra Hale-Maddox of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-0794.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a synopsis of the Commission's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in WC Docket Nos. 10-90, 16-271 and WT Docket No. 16-208; FCC 16-115, adopted on August 23, 2016 and released on August 31, 2016. The full text of this document is available for public inspection during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th St. SW., Washington, DC 20554 or at the following Internet address: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-115A1.docx.

    The Report and Order that was adopted concurrently with the FNPRM is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    I. Introduction

    1. In the concurrently adopted Report and Order, the Commission adopts an integrated plan to address both fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost areas of the state of Alaska, building on a proposal submitted by the Alaska Telephone Association. In February 2015, the Alaska Telephone Association (ATA) proposed a consensus plan designed to maintain, extend, and upgrade broadband service across all areas of Alaska served by rate-of-return carriers and their wireless affiliates. Given the unique climate and geographic conditions of Alaska, the Commission finds that it is in the public interest to provide Alaskan carriers with the option of receiving fixed amounts of support over the next ten years to deploy and maintain their fixed and mobile networks. If each of the Alaska carriers elects this option, the Commission expects this plan to bring broadband to as many as 111,302 fixed locations and 133,788 mobile consumers at the end of this 10-year term.

    II. Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    2. The Commission's policy has been to eliminate the provision of high-cost support to more than one competitive ETC in the same geographic area. Although there currently is no duplicative support for 4G LTE service in remote Alaska, the Commission has established a process in the Report and Order to identify the existence of any such overlap mid-way through the 10-year term, and to take steps to eliminate duplicative support levels in the second half of the 10-year term of the Plan. This FNPRM seeks comment on various specific issues involved in implementing that process.

    3. In the concurrently adopted Report and Order, the Commission adopts, for purposes of identifying where duplicative support is occurring, a definition that includes those areas where there is subsidized 4G LTE service provided by more than one carrier. The Commission will identify such areas and evaluate the extent of overlap, if any, based on the Form 477 data filed by the carriers in March, 2021, which will represent deployment as of December 31, 2020.

    4. The Commission seeks comment on how best to eliminate duplicative funding consistent with our universal service goals, should the evaluation of that Form 477 data reveal areas where more than one carrier is receiving support for the provision of 4G LTE service. How should the Commission identify the relevant amount of support to attribute to any overlap area? Once the amount of support is identified, what mechanism should the Commission apply to eliminate the duplicative funding? For example, should the Commission eliminate support to all carriers receiving duplicative support in any given area? To the extent the Commission continues to provide support to one provider in any such area, how should the amount of support, and the recipient of that support, be determined? For example, should the Commission award support by auction in areas receiving duplicative support? Alternatively, should it award support to whichever provider serves the larger service area? If so, how should the relevant service area be defined? Should the Commission adopt an approach that would award support for any overlap area to the carrier that builds out 4G LTE in an area first? Are there other mechanisms the Commission could use to eliminate any identified overlap in 4G LTE supported service? If any of these or other proposals would result in an area being served by one subsidized provider and one unsubsidized provider, how should the Commission address that, consistent with our general policy of not providing funding where there is an unsubsidized provider?

    5. Given the distinct needs and unique nature of Alaska, and the extent to which it lags much of the rest of the Nation in 4G LTE deployment, the Commission proposes that any funds no longer provided as a result of the elimination of duplicative support be used to support other mobile services in high-cost areas of Alaska. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal and, more specifically, on how any affected funds should best be used.

    6. The Commission also seeks comment on how to address a carrier's performance obligations and support payments to the extent it loses funding eligibility as a consequence of the elimination of duplicative support. In such instances, the Commission proposes that a carrier amend its performance plan and that it should neither be required nor permitted to include the population in the relevant overlap area in order to meet its performance commitments. The Commission also seeks comment on whether, for carriers losing support, they should provide a phase down of support for such carriers, such as over two or three years.

    7. As discussed above, the Commission will not evaluate whether there is any duplicative support or make adjustments to support payments until year five of the Alaska Plan. Given the important role of high-cost support in bringing mobile broadband service to remote Alaska, however, the Commission thinks that it is critical to engage in this process now in order to ensure a smooth transition should any modifications to the Plan be necessary to address duplicative support. Commenters are invited to address the proposals set forth above. In addition, are there other issues or alternatives that the Commission should consider in defining or eliminating duplicative competitive ETC support in Alaska?

    III. Procedural Matters

    8. The FNPRM contains proposed new information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and OMB to comment on the proposed information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the PRA. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act, the Commission seeks specific comment on how they might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    9. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), the Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM). Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments on the FNPRM provided on the first page of this document. The Commission will send a copy of the FNPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition, the FNPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.

    10. The FNPRM is needed to ensure fiscal responsibility and maximize limited support for the support going to ensure universal service in remote areas of Alaska. The FNPRM seeks comment about duplicative support under the Alaska Plan and how such support should be addressed. The FNPRM proposes that duplicative areas be defined as those areas where there is subsidized 4G LTE service provided by more than one carrier in a service area and proposes that this would be determined by using March 2021 Form 477 data. The FNPRM seeks comment on options for addressing this issue during the course of the 10-year support period under the Alaska Plan and seeks comment on eliminating duplicative support in years six through ten of the Alaska Plan, as adopted (e.g., from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2026).

    11. The legal basis for any action that may be taken pursuant to the FNPRM is contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 5, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, and 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 155, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, and 1302.

    12. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small-business concern” under the Small Business Act. A small-business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.

    13. Total Small Entities. Our proposed action, if implemented, may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. The Commission therefore describes here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards. First, nationwide, there are a total of approximately 28.2 million small businesses, according to the SBA, which represents 99.7% of all businesses in the United States. In addition, a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,215 small organizations. Finally, the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” Census Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 90,056 local governmental jurisdictions in the United States. The Commission estimates that, of this total, as many as 89,327 entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.” Thus, the Commission estimates that most governmental jurisdictions are small.

    14. Permit-But-Disclose. The proceeding that this Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    15. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 5, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, and 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 155, 201-206, 214, 218-220, 251, 252, 254, 256, 303(r), 332, 403, and 1302 that this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is adopted.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-23917 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 RIN 0648-BG33 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region; Amendment 37 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability (NOA); request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council) has submitted Amendment 37 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, Amendment 37 would modify the management unit boundaries for hogfish in the South Atlantic by establishing two hogfish stocks off (1) Georgia through North Carolina and (2) Florida Keys/East Florida; establish a rebuilding plan for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock; specify fishing levels and accountability measures (AMs), and modify or establish management measures for the Georgia through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida stocks of hogfish. The purpose of Amendment 37 is to manage hogfish using the best scientific information available while ending overfishing and rebuilding the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by December 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on Amendment 37 identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2016-0068” by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0068, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit all written comments to Nikhil Mehta, NMFS Southeast Regional Office (SERO), 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).

    Electronic copies of Amendment 37 may be obtained from www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. Amendment 37 includes a final environmental impact statement, initial regulatory flexibility analysis, regulatory impact review, and fishery impact statement.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nikhil Mehta, NMFS SERO, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each regional fishery management council to submit any fishery management plan or amendment to NMFS for review and approval, partial approval, or disapproval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving an FMP or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying the public that the FMP or amendment is available for review and comment.

    The FMP being revised by Amendment 37 was prepared by the South Atlantic Council, and Amendment 37, if approved, would be implemented by NMFS through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    Background

    Currently, hogfish is managed under the FMP as a single stock in the South Atlantic from the jurisdictional boundary between the South Atlantic Council and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) (approximately the Florida Keys) to a line extending seaward from the North Carolina and Virginia state border. The current status determination criteria such as maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and minimum stock size threshold (MSST), annual catch limits (ACLs), recreational annual catch targets (ACTs), AMs, and management measures in the FMP are established for a single stock of hogfish for the South Atlantic region. The most recent stock assessment for hogfish was completed in 2014 through the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review assessment process (SEDAR 37). SEDAR 37 identified two separate stocks of hogfish in the South Atlantic region under the jurisdiction of the South Atlantic Council, and one stock of hogfish in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) under the jurisdiction of the Gulf Council. In the South Atlantic region, one stock of hogfish was identified to exist off North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia; and a separate stock of hogfish was identified to exist off the Florida Keys and East Florida. The South Atlantic Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) did not consider the SEDAR 37 results for the Georgia through North Carolina stock as sufficient to determine stock status and inform South Atlantic Council management decisions, and the South Atlantic Council concurred. NMFS agreed and determined that the overfishing and overfished status determination of the Georgia through North Carolina stock is unknown. Based on SEDAR 37 and the South Atlantic Council's SSC recommendation for the Florida Keys/East Florida stock, NMFS determined that the Florida Keys/East Florida stock is currently undergoing overfishing and is overfished. Based on SEDAR 37, NMFS also determined that the West Florida hogfish stock in the Gulf identified by SEDAR 37, which occurs off the west coast of Florida to Texas, is neither overfished, nor undergoing overfishing. NMFS notified the South Atlantic Council of its determinations via letter on February 17, 2015.

    Actions Contained in the Amendment 37

    Amendment 37 includes actions to revise the hogfish fishery management unit in the FMP by establishing two hogfish stocks, one in Federal waters off Georgia through North Carolina and one in Federal waters off the Florida Keys/East Florida; establish a rebuilding plan for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock; specify fishing levels and accountability measures (AMs), and modify or establish management measures for the Georgia through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida stocks of hogfish. All weights of hogfish are described in round weight.

    Fishery Management Unit for Hogfish

    Currently, hogfish is managed as a single stock in Federal waters in the South Atlantic region from the jurisdictional boundary between the South Atlantic and Gulf Councils to the North Carolina/Virginia border. Amendment 37 would establish new stock boundaries and create two stocks of hogfish under the jurisdiction of the South Atlantic Council. The first stock would be the Georgia through North Carolina stock, with a southern boundary extending from the Florida/Georgia state border, and a northern border extending from the North Carolina/Virginia state border. The second stock would be the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock, with a southern boundary extending from 25°09′ N. lat. near Cape Sable on the west coast of Florida. The management area would extend south and east around the Florida Keys and have a northern border extending from the Florida/Georgia state border.

    The Gulf Council has approved Amendment 43 to the FMP for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf, and has selected the same boundary near Cape Sable on the west coast of Florida to separate the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock from the hogfish stock in the Gulf (West Florida hogfish stock). In accordance with Section 304(f) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Gulf Council requested that the Secretary designate the South Atlantic Council as the responsible Council for management of this hogfish stock in Gulf Federal waters south of 25°09′ N. lat. near Cape Sable on the west coast of Florida. If the Gulf Council's request is approved, the Gulf Council would continue to manage the West Florida hogfish stock in Federal waters in the Gulf, except in Federal waters south of this boundary. Therefore, the South Atlantic Council, and not the Gulf Council, would establish the management measures for the entire range of the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock, including in Federal waters south of 25°09′ N. lat. near Cape Sable in the Gulf. Commercial and recreational for-hire vessels fishing for hogfish in Gulf Federal waters, i.e., north and west of the jurisdictional boundary between the Gulf and South Atlantic Councils, would still be required to have the appropriate Federal Gulf reef fish permits, and vessels fishing for hogfish in South Atlantic Federal waters, i.e., south and east of the jurisdictional boundary, would still be required to have the appropriate Federal South Atlantic snapper-grouper permits. Those permit holders would still be required to follow the sale and reporting requirements associated with the respective permits.

    As described in Amendment 37, the proposed stock boundary near Cape Sable, Florida, would be a good demarcation point because it coincides with an existing State of Florida management boundary for Florida's Pompano Endorsement Zone and, therefore, would aid in simplifying regulations across management jurisdictions. NMFS specifically seeks public comment regarding the revised stock boundaries and the manner in which the Councils would have jurisdiction over these stocks if both Amendment 37 for the South Atlantic and Amendment 43 for the Gulf are approved and implemented.

    MSY and MSST for the Georgia Through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stocks

    Currently, MSY for the single hogfish stock in the South Atlantic is the yield produced by the fishing mortality rate at MSY (FMSY) or the FMSY proxy, and MSST is equal to the spawning stock biomass at MSY (SSBMSY)*(1-M) or 0.5, whichever is greater (where M equals natural mortality). However, MSY and MSST values for the single hogfish stock are unknown because hogfish were unassessed until recently. Amendment 37 would specify the MSY for the Georgia through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida stocks of hogfish as equal to the yield produced by FMSY or the FMSY proxy, with the MSY and FMSY proxy recommended by the most recent stock assessment. Based on SEDAR 37, the resulting MSY for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock is 346,095 lb (156,986 kg), and is unknown for the Georgia through North Carolina hogfish stock. Amendment 37 would specify the MSST for these two stocks of hogfish at 75 percent of SSBMSY, which results in an unknown MSST value for the Georgia through North Carolina hogfish stock, and an MSST for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock of 1,725,293 lb (782,580 kg). The proposed MSST for hogfish is consistent with how the South Atlantic Council has defined MSST for other snapper-grouper stocks with low natural mortality estimates.

    Rebuilding Plan for the Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stock

    Because the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock is overfished, Amendment 37 would establish a rebuilding plan that would set the acceptable biological catch (ABC) equal to the yield at a constant fishing mortality rate and rebuild the stock in 10 years with a 72.5 percent probability of success. Year 1 of the rebuilding plan would be 2017, and 2027 would be the last year. The South Atlantic Council's SSC indicated that harvest levels proposed in the Amendment 37 rebuilding plan are sustainable and would achieve the goal of rebuilding the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock. As explained below, the ABC for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock would be 17,930 fish in 2017 and would increase annually through 2027 when the ABC would be 63,295 fish.

    ACLs and OY for the Georgia Through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stocks

    Currently, the total ABC for the single hogfish stock (equal to ACL and OY) is 134,824 lb (61,155 kg), with a commercial ACL sector allocation (36.69 percent) of 49,469 lb (22,439 kg), and recreational ACL sector allocation (63.31 percent) of 85,355 lb (38,716 kg). For the Georgia through North Carolina hogfish stock, Amendment 37 would specify an ABC of 35,716 lb (16,201 kg), a total ACL and OY (equal to 95 percent of the ABC) of 33,930 lb (15,390 kg), and commercial and recreational ACLs based on re-calculated sector allocations of 69.13 percent to the commercial sector and 30.87 percent to the recreational sector. It was necessary to re-calculate the sector allocations based on the existing formula from the Comprehensive ACL Amendment, based on the appropriate landings from the relevant geographic region of the new stock. The commercial ACL would be 23,456 lb (10,639 kg) and the recreational ACL would be 988 fish.

    For the Florida Keys/East Florida stock of hogfish, Amendment 37 would specify an ABC of 17,930 fish which would increase annually through 2027 when the ABC would be 63,295 fish. The total ACL and OY would be equal to 95 percent of the ABC, and the commercial and recreational ACLs would be based on re-calculated sector allocations of 9.63 percent to the commercial sector and 90.37 percent to the recreational sector. In 2017, the total ACL (and OY) would be 17,034 fish, the commercial ACL would be 3,510 lb (1,592 kg), and the recreational ACL would be 15,689 fish and would increase annually through 2027 as the stock rebuilds. In 2027, the total ACL (and OY) for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock would be 60,130 fish, the commercial ACL would be 17,018 lb (7,719 kg), and recreational ACL would be 53,610 fish.

    Recreational ACTs for the Georgia Through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stocks

    The recreational ACT for the current hogfish stock is 59,390 lb (26,939 kg). Amendment 37 would specify a recreational ACT (equal to 85 percent of the recreational ACL) of 840 fish for the Georgia through North Carolina stock, and 13,335 fish for the Florida Keys/East Florida stock in 2017. The recreational ACTs for the Florida Keys/East Florida stock would increase annually from 2017 through 2027 as the stock rebuilds. NMFS notes that the recreational ACT is currently used only for monitoring.

    AMs for the Commercial and Recreational Sectors for Both the Georgia Through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stocks

    The current South Atlantic commercial AMs for the single hogfish stock consist of an in-season closure of the commercial sector if the commercial ACL is met or projected to be met; and if the commercial ACL is exceeded, a post-season AM that would reduce the commercial ACL by the amount of the commercial ACL overage during the following fishing year, only if the total ACL is also exceeded and hogfish are overfished. Amendment 37 would retain the current South Atlantic in-season and post-season AMs for the commercial sector, and apply them to both the Georgia through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stocks.

    The current South Atlantic recreational AMs for the single hogfish stock consist of an in-season closure of the recreational sector if the recreational ACL is met or is projected to be met. If the recreational ACL is exceeded, then during the following fishing year, NMFS will monitor for a persistence in increased landings. The post-season AM would reduce the length of the recreational season and the recreational ACL by the amount of the recreational ACL overage, only if the total ACL is also exceeded and hogfish are overfished. Amendment 37 would retain these current South Atlantic recreational AMs for both the Georgia through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stocks.

    Minimum Size Limits for the Georgia Through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stocks

    The current minimum size limit for the single hogfish stock in the South Atlantic is 12 inches (30.5 cm), fork length (FL), for both the commercial and recreational sectors. For both the commercial and recreational sectors, Amendment 37 would increase the minimum size limit to 17 inches (43.2 cm), FL, for the Georgia through North Carolina hogfish stock, and 16 inches (40.6 cm), FL, for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock. The South Atlantic Council determined these minimum size limits could serve as a precautionary approach to address population stability, considering life history characteristics for hogfish off Georgia through North Carolina, and reduce disruption to spawning, avoid recruitment overfishing, and benefit the spawning populations off the Florida Keys and East Florida.

    Commercial Trip Limit for the Georgia Through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stocks

    Currently, there is no commercial trip limit for hogfish in the South Atlantic. Amendment 37 would establish a commercial trip limit of 500 lb (227 kg) for the Georgia through North Carolina stock, and 25 lb (11 kg) for the Florida Keys/East Florida stock. As described in Amendment 37, few fishermen catch more than 500 lb (227 kg) of hogfish per trip off Georgia through North Carolina, and the proposed commercial ACL is not expected to be met. However, because restrictions on commercial harvest of hogfish from the Florida Keys/East Florida stock could be large, there was some concern that fishermen may shift effort to Georgia and the Carolinas. Therefore, the South Atlantic Council proposed a 500-lb (227-kg) commercial trip limit for the Georgia through North Carolina stock to enable commercial harvest in that geographic sub-region to take place year-round. The South Atlantic Council determined that implementing a trip limit of 25 lb (11 kg) for the Florida Keys/East Florida stock would restrict harvest and help to extend the commercial fishing season.

    Recreational Bag Limits for the Georgia Through North Carolina and Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stocks

    The current recreational bag limit for hogfish in the South Atlantic is five fish per person per day in Federal waters off Florida, with no recreational bag limits in Federal waters off Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Amendment 37 would set a recreational bag limit of one fish per person per day in Federal waters off the Florida Keys and East Florida, and a recreational bag limit of two fish per person per day in Federal waters off Georgia through North Carolina. The South Atlantic Council determined that these bag limits would reduce harvest and help to extend the recreational fishing season.

    Recreational Fishing Season for the Florida Keys/East Florida Hogfish Stock

    Currently, hogfish is available for the recreational sector to harvest year-round, as long as the recreational ACL has not been met. Amendment 37 would establish a recreational fishing season from May through October for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock. As described in Amendment 37, hogfish spawning activity occurs predominantly during the months of December through April, and begins (and ends) slightly earlier in the Florida Keys than on the West Florida shelf (e.g., from the Florida panhandle south along the west coast of Florida to Naples, Florida). Analysis in Amendment 37 showed that based on the proposed recreational ACLs, minimum size limits, and recreational bag limits, a recreational fishing season that is open for 6 months would help constrain recreational landings below the recreational ACL for the Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock. The South Atlantic Council determined that specifying a May through October fishing season would protect the overfished Florida Keys/East Florida hogfish stock during the peak spawning season, and the proposed ACLs and AMs would help ensure overfishing does not occur. The South Atlantic Council decided not to establish a recreational fishing season for the Georgia through North Carolina hogfish stock, because that stock does not seem to be experiencing heavy fishing pressure, and the average recreational landings in recent years have been well below the proposed recreational ACL.

    Proposed Rule for Amendment 37

    A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 37 has been drafted. In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating the proposed rule to determine whether it is consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws. If that determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for public review and comment.

    Consideration of Public Comments

    The South Atlantic Council has submitted Amendment 37 for Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. Comments on Amendment 37 must be received by December 6, 2016. Comments received during the respective comment periods, whether specifically directed to Amendment 37 or the proposed rule will be considered by NMFS in the decision to approve, disapprove, or partially approve Amendment 37. Comments received after the comment periods will not be considered by NMFS in this decision. All comments received by NMFS on the amendment or the proposed rule during their respective comment periods will be addressed in the final rule.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 4, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24334 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    81 195 Friday, October 7, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request October 4, 2016.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by November 7, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    Title: Importation of Live Poultry, Poultry Meat, and Other Poultry Products from Specified Regions.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0228.

    Summary of Collection: The Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA) of 2002 is the primary Federal law governing the protection of animal health. Veterinary Services of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for administering regulations intended to prevent the introduction of animal diseases into the United States. The regulations in 9 CFR part 93 and 94 allow the export of live poultry, poultry meat and other poultry products from Argentina and the Mexican States of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan under certain conditions. APHIS will collect information through the use of a health certification statement that must be completed by Mexican veterinary authorities prior to export and three APHIS forms VS 17-129, VS 17-29, and VS 17-30.

    Need and Use of the Information: The information collected from the health certificate and forms will provide APHIS with critical information concerning the origin and history of the items destined for importation in the United States. Without the information APHIS would be unable to establish an effective defense against the incursion of HPAI and END from import poultry and poultry products.

    Description of Respondents: Federal Government; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 22.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total burden hours: 224.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24287 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Ozark-Ouachita Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Ozark-Ouachita Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcwBAAS.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held November 1, 2016, beginning at 1:00 p.m. (CST). In the event of unavoidable circumstances, alternate dates for the meeting are November 2 and November 3, 2016.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, 8300 Wells Lake Road, Fort Smith, Arkansas.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under Supplementary Information. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at 100 Reserve Street, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caroline Mitchell, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 501-321-5318 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    1. To review Title II proposals.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by October 28, 2016, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Caroline Mitchell, Committee Coordinator, PO Box 1270, Hot Springs, Arkansas, or via facsimile to 501-321-5399.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: September 30, 2016. Bill Pell, Designated Federal Official.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24311 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS-2016-0008] Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service AGENCY:

    Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of proposed changes in the NRCS National Handbook of Conservation Practices (NHCP) for public review and comment.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in NHCP. These standards include Brush Management (Code 314), Herbaceous Weed Treatment (Code 315), Lined Waterway or Outlet (Code 468), Prescribed Grazing (Code 528), and Restoration of Rare or Declining Natural Communities (Code 643). NRCS State Conservationists who choose to adopt these practices for use within their States will incorporate them into section IV of their respective electronic Field Office Technical Guide. These practices may be used in conservation systems that treat highly erodible land (HEL), or on land determined to be a wetland. Section 343 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 requires NRCS to make available for public review and comment all proposed revisions to conservation practice standards used to carry out HEL and wetland provisions of the law.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This is effective October 7, 2016.

    Comment Date: Submit comments on or before November 7, 2016. Final versions of these new or revised conservation practice standards will be adopted after the close of the 30-day period and after consideration of all comments.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be submitted, identified by Docket Number NRCS-2016-0008, using any of the following methods:

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

    Mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attention: Regulatory and Agency Policy Team, Strategic Planning and Accountability, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Building 1-1112D, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.

    NRCS will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. In general, personal information provided with comments will be posted. If your comment includes your address, telephone number, email, or other personal identifying information, your comments, including personal information, may be available to the public. You may ask in your comment that your personal identifying information be withheld from public view, but this cannot be guaranteed.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Terri Ruch, acting national agricultural engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 6133 South Building, Washington, DC 20250.

    Electronic copies of the proposed revised standards are available from http://go.usa.gov/TXye. Requests for paper versions or inquiries may be directed to Emil Horvath, national practice standards review coordinator, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central National Technology Support Center, 501 West Felix Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76115.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The amount of the proposed changes varies considerably for each of the conservation practice standards addressed in this notice. To fully understand the proposed changes, individuals are encouraged to compare these changes with each standard's current version as shown at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/technical/cp/ncps/?cid=nrcs143_026849 .To aid in this comparison, following are highlights of some of the proposed revisions to each standard:

    Brush Management (Code 314): The brush management standard was reviewed and updated to reflect current agency policy and science. Changes also were made to bring the standard up to date on current ecological site descriptions. Added statement to the “purpose” that when standard is applied successively, it facilitates the process to achieve the desired plant community. “Criteria” section was changed to add statement to ensure practice area has the correct plant diversity for the desired plant community after completion.

    Herbaceous Weed Treatment (Code 315): The herbaceous weed control standard was reviewed and updated to reflect current agency policy and science. Changes also were made to bring standard up to date on current ecological site descriptions. “Purpose” was adjusted to focus on consideration of reducing wildfire fuel loading. Two “purposes” were added that reflect agency consideration and focus on improving rangeland health, and that when the standard is applied successively, it facilitates the process to achieve the desired plant community.

    Lined Waterway or Outlet (Code 468): The entire document is edited for clarity. Restriction for maximum capacity is removed. Criteria for minimum capacity is modified to include provisions for minimal slopes and downstream conveyance capacities. Specific “n” values and design criteria are replaced with references to NRCS National Engineering Handbook. References and citations are updated to the current editions.

    Prescribed Grazing (Code 528): The prescribed grazing standard was reviewed and updated to reflect current agency policy and science. Changes were made to clarify and recognize the benefits of prescribed grazing on soil health. Clarified “practice description” by adding “. . . with the intent to achieve specific ecological, economic, and management objectives.” In “purpose,” the concept of plant community “structure” was added when addressing plant communities, and added verbiage identifying the benefits of this practice to soil health.

    Restoration of Rare or Declining Natural Communities (Code 643): Changed title from Restoration and Management of Rare and Declining Habitats to Restoration of Rare or Declining Natural Communities. The term “habitats” is changed to “natural communities” to encompass not only wildlife resource concerns, but also activities targeting a unique plant community. Unique to restoration efforts of rare and declining natural communities, the restoration of the abiotic conditions is typically necessary, prior to restoration of biotic conditions. Broadened the scope to include abiotic restoration and restoration of plant communities.

    Dated: September 29, 2016. Jason A. Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24329 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-16-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the West Virginia Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of monthly planning meetings.

    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 (FACA), that meetings of the West Virginia Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will convene by conference call at 12:00 p.m. (EST) on. The purpose of meetings are to discuss and vote on the Committee's report regarding Mental Health and discuss topics for the Committee's future civil rights review.

    DATES:

    Friday, November 4, 2016; Friday, December 2, 2016; and Friday, January 6, 2017.

    TIME:

    12:00 p.m. (EST).

    PUBLIC CALL-IN INFORMATION:

    Conference call-in number: 1-888-601-3861 and password: 636552.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ivy L. Davis, at [email protected] or by phone at 202-376-7533

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following toll-free conference call-in number: 1-888-601-3861 and password: 636552. Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and 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 conference call-in number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1- 800-977-8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1-888-601-3861 and password: 636552.

    Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376-7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376-7533.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=281; click the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone numbers, email or street address.

    Agenda I. Welcome and Introductions —Rollcall Planning Meeting —Discuss Mental Health Project and Other Topics for Civil Right Project II. Other Business III. Open Comment IV. Adjournment Dated: October 3, 2016. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24238 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-67-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 82—Mobile, Alabama; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Airbus Americas, Inc. (Commercial Passenger Jet Aircraft); Mobile, Alabama

    The City of Mobile, Alabama, grantee of FTZ 82, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Airbus Americas, Inc. (Airbus), located in Mobile, Alabama. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on September 29, 2016.

    Airbus already has authority to produce commercial passenger jet aircraft within Site 1 of FTZ 82. The current request would add additional foreign status materials/components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials/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 Airbus from customs duty payments on the foreign-status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, Airbus would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to commercial passenger jet aircraft (duty rate free) for the foreign-status materials/components noted below and in the existing scope of authority. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The materials/components sourced from abroad include: Talcum powder; oil-based preservatives; engine, turbine and gear box oils; petroleum jelly; glycerol; non-aqueous paints and lacquers; paints and coatings in non-aqueous dispersions; paints and coatings in aqueous dispersions; epoxy top coat lacquers; adhesives and sealants; greases and anti-corrosion preparations; lubricants and anticorrosion preparations; glues and adhesives; transfer tape and adhesives; cartridge detonators for fire extinguishing systems; paint thinners and activators; hydraulic fluids; wash primers and adhesion promoters; epoxy resins; HDI chemical compound hardeners; foam profile shapes; plastic tubes and sleeves; plastic flexible hoses; plastic hose fittings and unions; plastic self-adhesive tape and strip; plastic self-adhesive tape, labels, placards and plate; plastic sheet and strip for insulation; plastic plate and non-adhesive tape; plastic non-adhesive tape for packing electrical connectors; foam plate; plastic panels; plastic bobbins; plastic caps and plugs; plastic brackets covers, caps and other fittings; plastic spacers, clips, fasteners and other aircraft parts; cellular rubber sheet and tape; rubber tape and foam; rubber shims; rubber profile shapes; rubber hoses; rubber landing gear tires; rubber O-rings, seals and gaskets; rubber bushings, spacers, grommets and other aircraft parts; Prepreg Nomex rigid flight accessory cases; plywood stowage trunks for maintenance equipment; leather cases and pouches for equipment storage; textile pouches for airline demonstration equipment; plastic cases for equipment; leather pockets; thermal transfer paper; aircraft marking decals; unlighted placards and signs; twill tape for aircraft carpet; linen sewing yarn for aircraft carpet installation; synthetic sewing yarn for threading insulation blankets; water absorbent felt for cabin bracket installation; synthetic braided cordage; synthetic emergency escape rope and retaining cords; finished aircraft carpet assemblies; rubberized fabric aircraft carpet tape; shim plates and insulating washers; synthetic fireproof gloves; finished aircraft curtain and class divider assemblies; life vests; probe and sensor covers and protection sleeves; glass cords for aircraft insulation installation; fiberglass batting assemblies; flexible fiberglass sheets; fiberglass hook and loop strip, pressure-sensitive adhesive strip and heat protection webbing; fiberglass gaskets and shims; fiberglass door caps and other aircraft parts; stainless steel sheet; stainless steel layered foil; stainless steel round bars; stainless steel rods; stainless steel wire; stainless steel pipe connections and flanges; stainless steel unions, couplings and sleeves; stainless steel elbows; stainless steel tees; threaded and non-threaded steel pipe unions; steel pipe fittings; oxygen cylinder assemblies; steel self-tapping screws; steel bolts, machine screws and studs; steel screws, steel nuts; steel blind bolts, hi-lok fasteners and threaded pins and inserts; steel washers; steel rivets; steel helical springs; steel wire springs, spring plates and spring retainers; steel rings and clips; steel repair bushings, shims, clamps, stops and other aircraft parts; refined copper wire; copper tube fittings; copper round and flat braid assemblies; copper washers; copper and brass cotter pins and circlips; copper screws; copper bushings and couplings; nickel alloy fasteners and clamps; aluminum profiles and shims; aluminum rods, bars and shafts; aluminum plates and sheets; aluminum foils; aluminum tubes; aluminum pipe fittings; aluminum oxygen and gas cylinders; aluminum clamps, shims, spacers, bushings and other aircraft parts; zinc stud receptacles; titanium bolts, rivets, screws, pins and other fasteners; titanium pipe and tube for fluid and gasses; crash axes; opening tools; door lock assemblies; steel and aluminum hinges and hinge components; steel flexible tubing; aluminum blanking caps; unlighted metal placards; hydraulic actuators and servo controls; RAM air turbines; horizontal stabilizer actuators; hydraulic pumps; fuel pumps; jet pump eductors; pump components; circulation and cooling fans; air chillers; beverage maker and food preparation equipment parts; fluid and fuel filter assemblies; air filter elements and assemblies; inert gas generators; fire extinguisher parts and rain repellant cans; data printers; hydraulic accumulators and wiper blade assemblies; pressure regulators and bleed valves; tire fill valves; flow control, solenoid, regulator, fuel, suction and other valve assemblies; levers, caps, plugs and other valve parts; spherical roller bearings; bushings; gear boxes; travel limiters and actuators; generators; auxiliary power units and generators; lamp ballasts; static inverters, power supplies and adapters; power supply and static inverter parts; door lock magnets; spare batteries; NICAD storage batteries; flashlights; inner line heaters; heater bridges and heating elements; communication handsets; megaphones; cockpit voice recorders; floppy disks; CD-ROMS; flash memory cards; VHF radios and transceivers; air traffic control equipment and weather radar; directional receivers, emergency locator transmitters, traffic management computers and other avionics; LCD monitors; antennas for avionics equipment; waveguides; static discharger wicks; LED/LCD indicator and information panels; warning lights, indicators, strobes and intercommunication directors; lens plates, indicators, housings, detection units, decoders/encoders and passenger service information units; dimmer units; relays and contactors; electrical connectors and sockets; solder sleeves, terminals and splices; junction modules; control panels and units, circuit breaker panels and keypad assemblies; receptacles, back shells, contacts and other electrical parts; incandescent lamps; fluorescent lamps; flight data recorders and transducer units; control boxes, interface units and mixing units; coaxial cable and cable harnesses; cable splices and insulators; landing gear and landing gear parts, wheels hubcaps and other parts; life raft assemblies; standby compasses; data concentrators, slat/flap control computers and air data inertial reference units; multipurpose control display units/parts and other navigational equipment; stencils for painting; oxygen masks, container assemblies and protective breathing equipment; demonstrational safety equipment; temperature sensors; fuel level probes and indicators; pitot probes and pressure indicators; electronic smoke detectors; vibration monitoring units, accelerometers, control units, sensors and interface/management units; display management computers and other parts of measuring/checking equipment; pressure controllers; system controllers and control units, ventilation and heating computers; aircraft clocks; lighting fixtures for cabins; exterior lighting assemblies; lighted placards and signs; lamp lenses and housings; light assembly components; and, snap fasteners (duty rate ranges from duty free to 20%).

    The applicant has elected to admit the following components into the zone site in privileged foreign status: Textile pouches (4202.92); twill tape (5208.39); synthetic sewing yarn (5401.10); water absorbent felt (5602.10); synthetic braided cordage (5607.50); synthetic emergency escape rope and retaining cords (5609.00); synthetic fireproof gloves (6116.93); and, finished aircraft curtain and class divider assemblies (6303.92).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is November 16, 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 Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Christopher Kemp at [email protected] or (202) 482-0862.

    Dated: October 3, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24359 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-66-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 44H—East Hanover, New Jersey; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Givaudan Flavors Corporation (Flavor Products); East Hanover, New Jersey

    Givaudan Flavors Corporation (Givaudan) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility in East Hanover, New Jersey within Subzone 44H. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on September 20, 2016.

    The Givaudan facility is used for the production of flavor compounds. Givaudan's notification seeks to add additional finished products using the components previously authorized for the facility. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Givaudan from customs duty payments on the foreign status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign status components in the existing scope of authority, Givaudan would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to: Cocoa food preparations; dairy food preparations; coffee food preparations; seasonings; sauces; other food preparations with dairy; confectionary without sugar; other food preparations; food articles containing sugar; other cyclanes, cyclenes and cycloterpenes; other cyclic hydrocarbons; acyclic terpene alcohols; butanoic acids; pentanoic acids their salts and esters; aqueous distillates and aqueous solutions of essential oils; and, terpenic by-products of the deterpenation of essential oils (duty rate ranges from free to 70.4 cents/kg +8.50%). Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

    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 16, 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 Kathleen Boyce at [email protected] or (202) 482-1346.

    Dated: September 30, 2016. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24355 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Emerging Technology and Research Advisory Committee; Notice of Open Meeting

    The Emerging Technology and Research Advisory Committee (ETRAC) will meet on October 27, 2016, 8:30 a.m., Room 3884, at the Herbert C. Hoover Building, 14th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues NW., Washington, DC. The Committee advises the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration on emerging technology and research activities, including those related to deemed exports.

    Agenda Open Session

    1. Welcome and Opening Remarks.

    2. Update on Export Control Reform, Bureau of Industry and Security.

    3. Issues for discussion: Atom-based sensing; International Summit on Human Gene Editing; Nanotechnology; Advanced Materials; Emerging Technology issues at recent events; State of Emerging Technologies-ETRAC members: Cutting edge technology development; Where and who is doing the research; Potential unclassified applications; and Status of issues at International Control Regimes meetings.

    4. Presentation: Emerging Technologies Strategic Studies Quarterly—An Air Force Sponsored Strategic Forum on National and International Security.

    5. Presentation: Deemed Export Control Interactive Tool Demonstration

    6. Review of Research: Emerging Technologies being conducted by U.S. Army as presented at Association of the U.S. Army Annual Conference October 3-5, 2016.

    7. Comments from the Public.

    The open sessions will be accessible via teleconference to 25 participants on a first come, first serve basis. To join the conference, submit inquiries to Ms. Yvette Springer at [email protected] no later than, October 20, 2016.

    A limited number of seats will be available for the public session. Reservations are not accepted. To the extent that time permits, members of the public may present oral statements to the Committee. The public may submit written statements at any time before or after the meeting. However, to facilitate the distribution of public presentation materials to the Committee members, the Committee suggests that presenters forward the public presentation materials prior to the meeting to Ms. Springer via email.

    For more information, call Yvette Springer at (202) 482-2813.

    Dated: October 4, 2016. Yvette Springer, Committee Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24318 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JT-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Corporation for Travel Promotion (dba Brand USA) AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an opportunity for travel and tourism industry leaders to apply for membership on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce is currently seeking applications from travel and tourism leaders from specific industries for membership on the Board of Directors (Board) of the Corporation for Travel Promotion (dba Brand USA). The purpose of the Board is to guide the Corporation for Travel Promotion on matters relating to the promotion of the United States and communication of travel facilitation issues, among other tasks. On August 3, 2016 we published in the Federal Register a “Notice of an opportunity for travel and tourism industry leaders to apply for membership on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion” (78 FR 44531), announcing membership opportunities on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion. The application period closed on September 23, 2016. We are now reopening the application period to solicit additional applications. This notice supplements the notice of August 3, 2016. Interested parties who have already applied in response to that Federal Register notice do not need to re-apply.

    DATES:

    All applications must be received by the National Travel & Tourism Office by close of business on October 21, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic applications may be sent to: [email protected] Written applications can be submitted to Isabel Hill, Director, National Travel & Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mail Stop 10003, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: 202.482.0140. Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Heizer, Deputy Director, National Travel & Tourism Office, Mail Stop 10003, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: 202.482.4904. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (TPA) was signed into law by President Obama on March 4, 2010, and was amended in July 2010 and December 2014. The TPA established the Corporation for Travel Promotion (the Corporation), as a non-profit corporation charged with the development and execution of a plan to (A) provide useful information to those interested in traveling to the United States; (B) identify and address perceptions regarding U.S. entry policies; (C) maximize economic and diplomatic benefits of travel to the United States through the use of various promotional tools; (D) ensure that international travel benefits all States and the District of Columbia, and (E) identify opportunities to promote tourism to rural and urban areas equally, including areas not traditionally visited by international travelers.

    The Corporation (doing business as Brand USA) is governed by a Board of Directors, consisting of 11 members with knowledge of international travel promotion or marketing, broadly representing various regions of the United States. The TPA directs the Secretary of Commerce (after consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State) to appoint the Board of Directors for the Corporation.

    On August 3, 2016, we published in the Federal Register a “Notice of an opportunity for travel and tourism industry leaders to apply for membership on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion” (FR Doc. 2016-18531), announcing membership opportunities on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion. The application period closed on September 23, 2016. We are now reopening the application period to solicit additional applications from:

    (A) 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in the attractions or recreation sector;

    (B) 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in immigration policy/law;

    (C) 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience in land or sea passenger transportation; and

    (D) 1 shall have appropriate expertise and experience as an official in the passenger air transportation sector.

    This notice supplements the notice of August 3, 2016. Interested parties who have already applied in response to that Federal Register notice do not need to re-apply.

    To be eligible for Board membership, individuals must have international travel and tourism marketing experience, be a current or former chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or chief marketing officer or have held an equivalent management position. Additional consideration will be given to individuals who have experience working in U.S. multinational entities with marketing budgets, and/or who are audit committee financial experts as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (in accordance with section 407 of PL 107-204 [15 U.S.C. 7265]). Individuals must be U.S. citizens, and in addition, cannot be federally-registered lobbyists or registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended.

    Those selected for the Board must be able to meet the time and effort commitments of the Board.

    Board members serve at the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce (who may remove any member of the Board for good cause). The terms of office of each member of the Board appointed by the Secretary shall be three (3) years. Board members can serve a maximum of two consecutive full three-year terms. Board members are not considered Federal government employees by virtue of their service as a member of the Board and will receive no compensation from the Federal government for their participation in Board activities. Members participating in Board meetings and events may be paid actual travel expenses and per diem when away from their usual places of residence by the Corporation.

    Individuals who want to be considered for appointment to the Board should submit:

    1. Name, title, and personal resume of the individual requesting consideration, including address, email address and phone number;

    2. A brief statement of why the person should be considered for appointment to the Board. This statement should also address the individual's relevant international travel and tourism marketing experience and indicate clearly the sector or sectors enumerated above in which the individual has the requisite expertise and experience. Individuals who have the requisite expertise and experience in more than one sector can be appointed for only one of those sectors. Appointments of members to the Board will be made by the Secretary of Commerce; and

    3. An affirmative statement that the applicant is a U.S. citizen and further, is not required to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended.

    Dated: October 3, 2016. Isabel Hill, Director, National Travel & Tourism Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24378 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Reviews AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    Background

    Every five years, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) and the International Trade Commission automatically initiate and conduct a review to determine whether revocation of a countervailing or antidumping duty order or termination of an investigation suspended under section 704 or 734 of the Act would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or a countervailable subsidy (as the case may be) and of material injury.

    Upcoming Sunset Reviews for November 2016

    The following Sunset Reviews are scheduled for initiation in November 2016 and will appear in that month's Notice of Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Review (“Sunset Review”).

    Department contact Antidumping Duty Proceedings Helical Spring Lock Washers from the PRC (A-570-822) (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Multilayered Wood Flooring from the PRC (A-570-970) (1st Review) Matthew Renkey (202) 482-2312. Gray Portland Cement and Cement Clinker from Japan (A-588-815) (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Welded ASTM A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe from Republic of Korea (A-580-810) (4th Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith (202) 482-5255. Solid Urea from Russia (A-821-801) (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Helical Spring Lock Washers from Taiwan (A-583-820) (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Welded ASTM A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe from Taiwan (A-583-815) (4th Review) Jacqueline Arrowsmith (202) 482-5255. Solid Urea from Ukraine (A-823-801) (4th Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-5255. Countervailing Duty Proceedings Multilayered Wood Flooring from the PRC (C-570-971) (1st Review) David Goldberger (202) 482-4136. Suspended Investigations No Sunset Review of suspended investigations is scheduled for initiation in November 2016

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in 19 CFR 351.218. The Notice of Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews provides further information regarding what is required of all parties to participate in Sunset Reviews.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(c), the Department will maintain and make available a service list for these proceedings. To facilitate the timely preparation of the service list(s), it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding contact the Department in writing within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Please note that if the Department receives a Notice of Intent to Participate from a member of the domestic industry within 15 days of the date of initiation, the review will continue. Thereafter, any interested party wishing to participate in the Sunset Review must provide substantive comments in response to the notice of initiation no later than 30 days after the date of initiation.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: September 22, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24371 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Notice of Scope Rulings AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective October 7, 2016.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) hereby publishes a list of scope rulings and anticircumvention determinations made between October 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015, inclusive. We intend to publish future lists after the close of the next calendar quarter.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: 202-482-4735.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department's regulations provide that the Secretary will publish in the Federal Register a list of scope rulings on a quarterly basis.1 Our most recent notification of scope rulings was published on March 17, 2016.2 This current notice covers all scope rulings and anticircumvention determinations made by Enforcement and Compliance between October 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015, inclusive. Subsequent lists will follow after the close of each calendar quarter.

    1See 19 CFR 351.225(o).

    2See Notice of Scope Rulings, 81 FR 14421 (March 17, 2016).

    Scope Rulings Made Between October 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 People's Republic of China A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Agilent Technologies, Inc.; Agilent's KF 16 Hose Adapter consists entirely of extruded aluminum. Therefore, it does not meet the definition of “finished merchandise” and is within the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders; October 27, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Clam Corporation; aluminum spreader poles which may be used to support and stabilize the frames of various ice fishing shelters are outside the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders; October 28, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Carrand Companies Inc.; wash poles that include two (2) aluminum poles of differing dimensions, a two-part polypropylene locking collar, foam comfort grips, a threaded polypropylene end for attachment of a garden hose, and a locking head mechanism or threaded tip (made of plastic or metal) that allows the Telescoping Wash Poles to be used with a variety of attachments are outside the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders; November 4, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Immediate Response Technology; IRT Scissor Strut, IRT Scissor Strut—29” Tube with Holes, and IRT Scissor Strut—29” Tube without Holes products are within the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders; November 18, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Dometic Corporation; lateral arm assemblies for supporting recreational vehicle awnings are “finished merchandise” and are outside the scope of the antidumping duty and countervailing duty orders; November 23, 2015.

    A-5A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Delphi Tube and Block Assemblies; aluminum tube and block assemblies for automotive heating and cooling systems consist entirely of extruded aluminum. Therefore, they do not meet the definition of “finished merchandise” and are within the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders; November 24, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Poolmaster, Inc.; Poolmaster's telescoping aluminum poles, aluminum skimmers, aluminum rakes and life hook are “finished merchandise” and are outside the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders. Poolmaster's aluminum leaf skimmer kits, pool vacuums, spa vacuums and telescopic pole with brush are “finished goods kits” and are outside the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders; November 24, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Liberty Hardware Manufacturing Co.; shower door kits including extruded aluminum frames and tracks, glass door panels, and assorted non-aluminum parts are “finished goods kits” and are outside the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders; December 9, 2015.

    A-570-967 and C-570-968: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Bridging China International Ltd.; telescoping pool poles comprising extruded aluminum tubing with non-aluminum components are “finished merchandise” outside the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders; December 28, 2015.

    A-570-018 and C-570-019: Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Rankam VDG Industries Ltd. and Rankam (China) Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (collectively, “Rankam”); Rankam's four bolted steel shelving units are outside the scope of the orders because the shelving units require bolts to assemble and hold the units upright in a fixed, weight-loading position; December 3, 2015.

    A-570-018 and C-570-019: Boltless Steel Shelving Units Prepackaged for Sale From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: ACCO Brands USA LLC (“ACCO”); ACCO's locker shelves are outside the scope of the orders because the decking is necessary for the structural integrity of the unit; December 10, 2015.

    A-570-901: Certain Lined Paper Products From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: DaySpring Cards, Inc.; the “Live Beautifully” journal, a 10 inch by 7.5 inch journal that contains approximately 160 pages, is pre-printed with horizontal lines, contains inspirational quotes on each page, and whose cover is affixed to a text block made from a binders board and spine strip is outside the scope because it meets the exclusion criteria for printed books and other books that are case bound through the inclusion of binders board, a spine strip, and cover wrap; November 18, 2015.

    A-570-504: Certain Petroleum Wax Candles From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: PriceSmart, Inc. (“PriceSmart”); PriceSmart's LED candles are outside the scope of the order because they have plastic wicks; October 9, 2015.

    A-570-972: Certain Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From the People's Republic China

    Requestor: Procter & Gamble; Products—Aako FB-71C and Fluorescent Brighter 351; P&G's Aako FB-71C meets the exclusion language of the Order, and P&G's Fluorescent Brighter 351 is not covered by the Order as it is not a triazinylaminostilbene or a derivative chemical; October 16, 2015.

    A-570-010 and C-570-011: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Aireko Construction, LLC; solar modules assembled in the People's Republic of China using solar cells produced in the United States are within the scope of the antidumping duty orders because the scope of these orders explicitly includes solar modules assembled in the People's Republic of China consisting of solar cells produced in a third-country; November 12, 2015.

    A-570-970: Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Jiangsu Keri Wood Co., Ltd.; Product—two-layer engineered wood flooring; Keri's two-layer wood flooring is not within the scope because it lacks the requisite “two or more layers of plies of wood veneer in combination with a core”; October 16, 2015.

    A-570-970: Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Zhejiang Fuma Warm Technology Co., Ltd.; Product—two-layer engineered wood flooring; Fuma's two-layer wood flooring is not within the scope because it lacks the requisite “two or more layers of plies of wood veneer in combination with a core”; October 16, 2015.

    A-570-886: Polyethylene Retail Carrier Bags From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Grand A International Company, Inc.; Certain bags identified as “Green T-Shirt Bags Reusable” are within the scope of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene carrier bags from the People's Republic of China; December 16, 2015.

    A-570-928: Uncovered Innerspring Units From the People's Republic of China

    Requestor: Leggett & Platt Incorporated; exports to the United States of uncovered innerspring units completed and assembled in Malaysia by Goldon Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. from PRC-origin innerspring components are circumventing the antidumping duty order; November 30, 2015.

    Interested parties are invited to comment on the completeness of this list of completed scope and anticircumvention inquiries. Any comments should be submitted to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., APO/Dockets Unit, Room 1870, Washington, DC 20230.

    This notice is published in accordance with 19 CFR 351.225(o).

    Dated: September 22, 2016. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24357 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-044] 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a) From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value and Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective October 7, 2016.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) preliminarily determines that 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (“R-134a”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”). The period of investigation (“POI”) is July 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. The estimated margins of sales at LTFV are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. The final determination will be issued 75 days after publication of this preliminary determination in the Federal Register. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keith Haynes or Paul Stolz, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5139 or, (202) 482-4474 respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Investigation

    The product subject to this investigation is 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane, R-134a. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). We calculated export prices in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because the PRC is a non-market economy within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, normal value (“NV”) was calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum hereby adopted by this notice.1 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Determination for the Antidumping Duty Investigation of 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a) from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with this notice (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”).

    Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances

    On September 9, 2016, Petitioners filed a timely critical circumstances allegation pursuant to section 733(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206 with respect to imports of the subject merchandise.2 We preliminarily determine that critical circumstances exist for the non-selected separate rate respondents and the PRC-wide entity, but do not exist for the mandatory respondent, Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.3 For a full description of the methodology and the results of our analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    2See Petitioners' letter, “1.1.1.2 Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a) from the People's Republic of China: Critical Circumstances Allegation,” dated September 9, 2016.

    3See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at “Application of Facts Available and Adverse Inferences.”

    Use of Adverse Facts Available

    The Department preliminarily finds that the PRC-wide entity, which includes certain PRC exporters and/or producers that did not respond to the Department's requests for information, withheld information requested by the Department and significantly impeded this proceeding by not submitting requested information. Specifically, 26 companies within the PRC-wide entity failed to respond to the Department's request for quantity and value (“Q&V”) information.4 Furthermore, the Department finds that the PRC-wide entity's lack of participation, including the failure of certain parts of the PRC-wide entity to submit Q&V information, constitutes circumstances under which it is reasonable to conclude that the PRC-wide entity as a whole failed to cooperate to the best of its ability to comply with the Department's request for information.5

    4Id.

    5See Nippon Steel Corporation v. United States, 337 F.3d 1373, 1383 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (noting that the Department need not show intentional conduct existed on the part of the respondent, but merely that a “failure to cooperate to the best of a respondent's ability” existed (i.e., information was not provided “under circumstances in which it is reasonable to conclude that less than full cooperation has been shown.”)).

    Therefore, we preliminarily find that an adverse inference is warranted in selecting from among the facts otherwise available with respect to the PRC-wide entity in accordance with sections 776(a) and 776(b) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.308(a). As adverse facts available, we have preliminarily assigned the PRC-wide entity a rate of 187.71 percent. Further, with respect to critical circumstances, we have preliminarily determined, again, based on adverse facts available, that the PRC-wide entity dumped “massive imports” over a “relatively short period.” For further explanation and analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, 6 the Department stated that it would calculate combination rates for the respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation. Policy Bulletin 05.1 describes this practice.7

    6See 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a) from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 81 FR 18830 (April 1, 2016) (“Initiation Notice”).

    7See Enforcement and Compliance's Policy Bulletin No. 05.1, regarding, “Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigations involving Non-Market Economy Countries,” (April 5, 2005) (“Policy Bulletin 05.1”), available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf.

    Preliminary Determination

    The preliminary weighted-average antidumping duty (“AD”) margin percentages are as follows:

    Exporter Producer Weighted-
  • Average
  • Margin
  • (percent)
  • Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. and Jiangsu Sanmei Chemicals Co., Ltd 137.23 Jiangsu Bluestar Green Technology Co., Ltd Jiangsu Bluestar Green Technology Co., Ltd 137.23 T.T. International Co., Ltd Electrochemical Factory of Zhejiang Juhua Co., Ltd 137.23 T.T. International Co., Ltd Sinochem Environmental Protection Chemicals (Taicang) Co., Ltd 137.23 T.T. International Co., Ltd Zhejiang Quzhou Lianzhou Refrigerants Co., Ltd 137.23 T.T. International Co., Ltd Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Ind. Co., Ltd 137.23 T.T. International Co., Ltd Zhejiang Zhonglan Refrigeration Technology Co., Ltd 137.23 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd Sinochem Environmental Protection Chemicals (Taicang) Co., Ltd 137.23 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd 137.23 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd Zhejiang Organic Fluor-Chemistry Plant, Zhejiang Juhua Co., Ltd 137.23 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd Zhejiang Quhua Fluor-Chemistry Co., Ltd 137.23 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd Zhejiang Quhua Juxin Fluorochemical Industry Co., Ltd 137.23 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd 137.23 PRC-Wide Entity 188.94

    As detailed further in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, Zhejiang Quzhou Lianzhou Refrigerants Co., Ltd., a mandatory respondent in this investigation, did not demonstrate that it was entitled to a separate rate. Accordingly, we consider this company to be part of the PRC-wide entity.

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d) of the Act the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of R-134a from the PRC, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” in Appendix I, entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Section 733(e)(2) of the Act provides that, given an affirmative determination of critical circumstances, any suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the later of (a) the date which is 90 days before the date on which the suspension of liquidation was first ordered, or (b) the date on which notice of initiation of the investigation was published. We preliminarily find that critical circumstances exist for imports of R-134a from the PRC produced and exported by the separate rate respondents, and the PRC-wide entity. Accordingly, for the separate rate respondents and the PRC-wide entity, in accordance with section 733(e)(2)(A) of the Act, the suspension of liquidation shall apply to unliquidated entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date which is 90 days before the publication of this notice.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 8 equal to the weighted-average amount by which NV exceeds U.S. price as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the exporter/producer combinations listed in the table above will be the rate the Department determines in this preliminary determination; (2) for all combinations of PRC exporters/producers of merchandise under consideration that have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate established for the PRC-wide entity; and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of merchandise under consideration which have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate applicable to the PRC exporter/producer combination that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    8See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days after public announcement of the preliminary determination in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.9 A table of contents, list of authorities used, and an executive summary of issues should accompany any briefs submitted to the Department.

    9See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically at Enforcement and Compliance's electronic records system, ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.10 Hearing requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues you intend to present at the hearing. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Section 735(a)(2) of the Act provides that a final determination may be postponed until not later than 135 days after the date of the publication of the preliminary determination if, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by exporters who account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise, or in the event of a negative preliminary determination, a request for such postponement is made by Petitioners. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final antidumping determination be accompanied by a request for extension of provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not more than six months in duration.

    On September 29, 2016, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.210(b) and (e), Sanmei requested that, contingent upon an affirmative preliminary determination of sales at LTFV for the respondents, the Department postpone the final determination and that provisional measures be extended to a period not to exceed six months.11

    11See Letter from Sanmei, “1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R134a) from the People's Republic of China: Request for Extension to Supplemental Section C&D Response,” dated September 29, 2016.

    In accordance with section 735(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2)(ii), because (1) our preliminary determination is affirmative; (2) the requesting exporter accounts for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.12

    12See also 19 CFR 351.210(e).

    International Trade Commission (“ITC”) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we notified the ITC of our preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Section 735(b)(2) of the Act requires the ITC to make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of R-134a, or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation, of the merchandise under consideration within 45 days of our final determination.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: September 29, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary, for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Scope of the Investigation

    The product subject to this investigation is 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane, R-134a, or its chemical equivalent, regardless of form, type, or purity level. The chemical formula for 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane is CF3-CH2F, and the Chemical Abstracts Service registry number is CAS 811-97-2.13

    13 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane is sold under a number of trade names including Klea 134a and Zephex 134a (Mexichem Fluor); Genetron 134a (Honeywell); FreonTM 134a, Suva 134a, Dymel 134a, and Dymel P134a (Chemours); Solkane 134a (Solvay); and Forane 134a (Arkema). Generically, 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane has been sold as Fluorocarbon 134a, R-134a, HFC-134a, HF A-134a, Refrigerant 134a, and UN3159.

    Merchandise covered by the scope of this investigation is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) at subheading 2903.39.2020. Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Selection of Respondents IV. Period of Investigation V. Scope Comments VI. Scope of the Investigation VII. Postponement of Preliminary Determination VIII. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures IX. Product Characteristics X. Critical Circumstances XI. Affiliation Determination XII. Discussion of the Methodology A. Non-Market Economy Country B. Separate Rates C. Separate Rate Recipients D. Companies Not Receiving a Separate Rate E. Margin for the Separate Rate Companies F. Combination Rates G. The PRC-wide Entity H. Application of Facts Available and Adverse Facts Available I. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Data J. Date of Sale K. Fair Value Comparisons L. Export Price M. Value-Added Tax N. Normal Value O. Factor Valuations P. Comparisons to Normal Value Q. Currency Conversion XIII. Verification XIV. U.S. International Trade Commission Notification XV. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-24358 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of closed meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Judges Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Judges Panel) will meet in closed session Sunday, October 30, 2016 through Friday, November 4, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Eastern time each day. The purpose of this meeting is to review recommendations from site visits, and recommend 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipients. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed at the meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Sunday, October 30, 2016 through Friday, November 4, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Eastern time each day. The entire meeting will be closed to the public.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Fangmeyer, Director, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 1020, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020, telephone number (301) 975-2360, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3711a(d)(1) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the Judges Panel will meet Sunday, October 30, 2016 through Friday, November 4, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Eastern time each day. The Judges Panel is composed of twelve members, appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, chosen for their familiarity with quality improvement operations and competitiveness issues of manufacturing companies, service companies, small businesses, health care providers, and educational institutions. Members are also chosen who have broad experience in for-profit and nonprofit areas. The purpose of this meeting is to review recommendations from site visits and recommend 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (Award) recipients. The meeting is closed to the public in order to protect the proprietary data to be examined and discussed at the meeting.

    The Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the concurrence of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration and Transactions, formally determined on May 19, 2016 and amended on September 26, 2016, pursuant to Section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended by Section 5(c) of the Government in Sunshine Act, P.L. 94-409, that the meeting of the Judges Panel may be closed to the public in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4) because the meeting is likely to disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential; and 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B) because for a government agency the meeting is likely to disclose information that could significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed agency action. The meeting, which involves examination of current Award applicant data from U.S. organizations and a discussion of these data as compared to the Award criteria in order to recommend Award recipients, will be closed to the public.

    Kevin Kimball, NIST Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24240 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Applications and Reports for Registration as a Tanner or Agent AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before December 6, 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 Les Cockreham, (907) 271-3021 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The Marine Mammal Protection Act exempts Alaskan natives from the prohibitions on taking, killing, or injuring marine mammals if the taking is done for subsistence or for creating and selling authentic native articles of handicraft or clothing. The natives need no permit, but non-natives who wish to act as a tanner or agent for such native products must register with NOAA and maintain and submit certain records. The information is necessary for law enforcement purposes.

    II. Method of Collection

    Paper documentation is submitted to meet the requirements found at 50 CFR 216.23(c).

    III. Data

    OMB Number: 0648-0179.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 10.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours for an application and 2 hours for a report.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 20.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $20.00 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: October 4, 2016. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-24302 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed additions to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products and service to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and to delete products previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before: 11/6/2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO SUBMIT COMMENTS CONTACT:

    Patricia Briscoe, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to furnish the products and service listed below from the nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products and service are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for provision by the nonprofit agencies listed:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6530-00-NIB-0186—Cap, Pharmaceutical bottle, 38/400, White, CRC, Foil liner, VA Logo 6530-00-NIB-0268—Cap, Pharmaceutical bottle, 38/400, White, CRC, Foam liner, VA Logo Mandatory for: Department of Veteran's Affairs Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Alphapointe, CA Contracting Activity: NCO15 CMOP Acquisitions Division Distribution: C-List Service Service Type: Custodial Service Service is Mandatory for: Architect of the Capitol, Capitol Power Plant & Coal Yard, 25 E Street, SE & 42 I Street, Washington, DC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Anchor Mental Health Association, Washington, DC Contracting Activity: Architect of the Capitol, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC

    The Commission is publishing corrections to its Notice published in the Federal Register on Friday, September 30, 2016 for Service Type: Document Control and Conversion Support Service as follows. The corrections are changing the Mandatory Source(s) of Supply to Linden Resources, Inc., Arlington, VA and the Mandatory for to Federal Communications Commission, FCC HQ, Washington, DC, but do not change the date published for public comments to be submitted to the U.S. AbilityOne Commission.

    Service Type: Document Control and Conversion Support Service Mandatory for: Federal Communications Commission, FCC HQ, Washington, DC Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Linden Resources, Inc., Arlington, VA Contracting Activity: U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Office of Managing Director, Enterprise Acquisition Center, Washington, DC Deletions

    The following products are proposed for deletion from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 1670-01-062-6303—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 12′ 1670-01-062-6304—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 9′ 1670-01-062-6305—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 9′ 1670-01-062-6306—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 3′ 1670-01-062-6308—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 16′ 1670-01-062-6312—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 120′ 1670-01-062-6313—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 60′ 1670-01-063-7760—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 11′ 1670-01-064-4451—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 36′ 1670-01-064-4452—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 60′ 1670-01-107-7652—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 160′ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: UNKNOWN Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Aviation NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 1670-01-062-6301—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 3′ 1670-01-062-6302—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 20′ 1670-01-062-6309—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 28′ 1670-01-064-4453—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 20′ 1670-01-064-4454—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 60′ 1670-01-107-7651—Line, Multi-Loop, low altitude parachute extraction system, 140′ Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: UNKNOWN Contracting Activity: Army Contracting Command—Aberdeen Proving Ground, Natick Contracting Division NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7920-00-297-1511—Brush, Scrub Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Industries for the Blind, Inc., West Allis, WI Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 3990-01-415-6951—Pallet, Runner Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Tarrant County Association for the Blind, Fort Worth, TX Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7520-00-543-7149—Pen, Ballpoint, with Chain, Blue, Medium Pt Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Industries of the Blind, Inc., Greensboro, NC; Industries for the Blind, Inc., West Allis, WI Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8520-00-NIB-0110—PURELL/SKILCRAFT Instant Hand Sanitizer Value Pack 8520-00-NIB-0111—PURELL/SKILCRAFT 1200mL Anitbacterial Hand Wash 8520-00-NIB-0120—Purell-Skilcraft, Instant Hand Sanitizer—foam Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Travis Association for the Blind, Austin, TX Contracting Activity: Department of Veterans Affairs NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 6532-00-122-0468—Cap, Operating, Surgical, Blue or Green Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: UNKNOWN Contracting Activity: Strategic Acquisition Center, Fredericksburg, VA NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8455-00-985-7336—Scarf, Branch of Service, Aviation Units, USAF and USA, Blue Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: UNKNOWN Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Patricia Briscoe, Deputy Director, Business Operations (Pricing and Information Management).
    [FR Doc. 2016-24363 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Addition and Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Addition to and deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds a service to the Procurement List that will be provided by nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes products and services from the Procurement List previously furnished by such agencies.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: 11/6/2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patricia Briscoe, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Addition

    On 5/20/2016 (81 FR 31917-31918), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed additions to the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agency to provide the service and impact of the addition on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the service listed below is suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organization that will provide the service to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to provide the service to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the service proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following service is added to the Procurement List:

    Service Service Type: Warehouse Support Service Service Mandatory For: Health and Human Services, Program Support Center, Supply Service Center, Perry Point, MD and North East, MD Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Didlake, Inc., Manassas, VA Contracting Activity: Department of Health and Human Services, Perry Point, MD Deletions

    On 8/26/2016 (81 FR 58913-58917), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the products and services listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products and services to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products and services deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products and services are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8405-01-540-1280—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-SMALL X-SHORT 8405-01-540-1318—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-SMALL SHORT 8405-01-540-1328—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-SMALL REGULAR 8405-01-540-1339—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-SMALL LONG 8405-01-540-1350—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, SMALL X-SHORT 8405-01-540-1356—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, SMALL SHORT 8405-01-540-1363—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, SMALL REGULAR 8405-01-540-1375—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, SMALL X-LONG 8405-01-540-1430—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, SMALL LONG 8405-01-540-1464—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, LARGE XX-LONG 8405-01-540-1475—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-LARGE XX-LONG 8405-01-540-1436—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, MEDIUM X-SHORT 8405-01-540-1467—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-LARGE SHORT 8405-01-540-1471—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-LARGE REGULAR 8405-01-540-1446—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, MEDIUM SHORT 8405-01-540-1447—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, MEDIUM REGULAR 8405-01-540-1450—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, MEDIUM LONG 8405-01-540-1451—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, MEDIUM X-LONG 8405-01-540-1472—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-LARGE LONG 8405-01-540-1473—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, X-LARGE X-LONG 8405-01-540-1455—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, MEDIUM XX-LONG 8405-01-540-1496—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, XX-LARGE REGULAR 8405-01-540-1508—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, XX-LARGE XX-LONG 8405-01-540-1458—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, LARGE SHORT 8405-01-540-1459—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, LARGE REGULAR 8405-01-540-1461—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, LARGE LONG 8405-01-540-1462—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, LARGE X-LONG 8405-01-540-1501—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, XX-LARGE LONG 8405-01-540-1506—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Blue Digital Camouflage, XX-LARGE X-LONG 8405-01-573-8838—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, X Large Regular 8405-01-573-8898—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, X Large Long 8405-01-574-6613—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type III, Woodland, Small Short 8405-01-574-6616—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type III, Woodland, Small Regular 8405-01-590-7676—Trousers, NWU, Women's, Type II, Desert, 29 X Short 8405-01-590-7835—Trousers, NWU, Women's, Type III, Woodland, 37 Short 8405-01-573-8152—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, X Small Short 8405-01-573-8399—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Medium Regular 8405-01-573-8370—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Medium Short 8405-01-573-8362—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Medium X Short 8405-01-573-8350—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Small Long 8405-01-573-8253—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Small X Long 8405-01-573-8244—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Small Regular 8405-01-573-8239—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Small Short 8405-01-573-8226—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Small X Short 8405-01-573-8216—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, X Small Long 8405-01-573-8170—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, X Small Regular 8405-01-573-8831—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, X Large Short 8405-01-573-8443—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Large XX Long 8405-01-573-8439—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Large X Long 8405-01-573-8432—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Large Long 8405-01-573-8426—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Large Regular 8405-01-573-8421—Trousers, NWU, Men's, Type II, Desert, Large Short 8405-01-573-8417