Federal Register Vol. 81, No.20,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 20 (February 1, 2016)

Page Range5037-5363
FR Document

81_FR_20
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 5359 - White House Cancer Moonshot Task ForcePDF
81 FR 5106 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
81 FR 5122 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 5121 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 5060 - Treatment of Certain Transfers of Property of Foreign Corporations; Hearing CorrectionPDF
81 FR 5164 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 5098 - Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
81 FR 5139 - Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2016 Technology Initiative Grant Funding; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 5122 - Submission for OMB Review; Advance PaymentsPDF
81 FR 5101 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings and HearingsPDF
81 FR 5106 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 5102 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact StatementPDF
81 FR 5105 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 5102 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Amendment 36PDF
81 FR 5054 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
81 FR 5138 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection: OJP Standard AssurancesPDF
81 FR 5107 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 5129 - Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 5054 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
81 FR 5129 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 5093 - The Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool ProductsPDF
81 FR 5109 - Applications for New Awards; Predominantly Black Institutions Formula Grant ProgramPDF
81 FR 5131 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Central California Resource Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 5130 - Receipt of Application for Renewal of Incidental Take Permit for Ohlone Tiger Beetle; Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Santa Cruz Gardens Unit 12 Project Site; Soquel, Santa Cruz County, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 5132 - Notice of Public Meeting: Bureau of Land Management Nevada Resource Advisory CouncilsPDF
81 FR 5132 - Notice of Public Meeting for the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work GroupPDF
81 FR 5037 - Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. HelicoptersPDF
81 FR 5131 - Notice of Public Meeting: Northern California Resource Advisory CouncilPDF
81 FR 5093 - Office of Inspector General; Senior Executive Services (SES) Performance Review Board: UpdatePDF
81 FR 5056 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
81 FR 5085 - Procedures Related to MotionsPDF
81 FR 5107 - Notice of Public Hearing and Business Meeting: February 10 and March 16, 2016PDF
81 FR 5097 - Notice of New Fee Site Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement ActPDF
81 FR 5096 - Superior Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 5039 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, New Orleans, LAPDF
81 FR 5041 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Inner Harbor Navigation Canal and Chef Menteur Pass, Both at New Orleans, LAPDF
81 FR 5040 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lake Pontchartrain, Near New Orleans, LAPDF
81 FR 5094 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-SNAP Performance Reporting System, Management EvaluationPDF
81 FR 5133 - Porcelain-on-Steel Cooking Ware From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
81 FR 5136 - Magnesium From China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
81 FR 5097 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Current Population Survey (CPS) Voting and Registration SupplementPDF
81 FR 5108 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; eZ-Audit: Electronic Submission of Financial Statements and Compliance AuditsPDF
81 FR 5123 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 5127 - Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 5124 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
81 FR 5126 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
81 FR 5040 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sloop Channel, Wantagh, NYPDF
81 FR 5165 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 5148 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 5163 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 5139 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Fees for NYSE MKT Integrated FeedPDF
81 FR 5149 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 To Adopt Generic Listing Standards for Managed Fund SharesPDF
81 FR 5158 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Fees for NYSE Integrated FeedPDF
81 FR 5143 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Fees for NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE AlertsPDF
81 FR 5162 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 5164 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 5061 - TRICARE; Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder TreatmentPDF
81 FR 5113 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) and Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 5096 - Correction To Request for Information: Software Vendors of State and Local Management Information Systems (MIS) and Other Technology Solutions for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast ProgramsPDF
81 FR 5169 - Medicaid Program; Covered Outpatient DrugsPDF
81 FR 5041 - Low Power Television Digital RulesPDF
81 FR 5086 - Low Power Television Digital RulesPDF

Issue

81 20 Monday, February 1, 2016 Contents Agency Agency for International Development NOTICES Senior Executive Services Performance Review Board; Updates, 5093 2016-01737 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

NOTICES Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool Products, 5093-5094 2016-01749
Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement, 5097-5098 2016-01725 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5123-5129 2016-01720 2016-01721 2016-01722 2016-01723 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicaid Program: Covered Outpatient Drugs, 5170-5357 2016-01274 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Inner Harbor Navigation Canal and Chef Menteur Pass, New Orleans, LA, 5041 2016-01730 Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, New Orleans, LA, 5039-5040 2016-01731 Lake Pontchartrain, Near New Orleans, LA, 5040-5041 2016-01729 Sloop Channel, Wantagh, NY, 5040 2016-01719 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5105-5107 2016-01753 2016-01758 2016-01760 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 5106 2016-01850 Defense Department Defense Department PROPOSED RULES TRICARE: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment, 5061-5085 2016-01703 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Advance Payments, 5122-5123 2016-01762 Delaware Delaware River Basin Commission NOTICES Meetings: Public Hearing and Business Meeting, 5107-5108 2016-01734 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: eZ-Audit—Electronic Submission of Financial Statements and Compliance Audits, 5108-5109 2016-01724 Applications for New Awards: Predominantly Black Institutions Formula Grant Program, 5109-5113 2016-01746 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Revision of the Employer Information Report and Comment Request, 5113-5121 2016-01544 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters, 5037-5039 2016-01739 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 5056-5060 2016-01736 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Low Power Television Digital Rules, 5041-5054 2016-00060 PROPOSED RULES Low Power Television Digital Rules, 5086-5092 2016-00059 NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 5121-5122 2016-01820 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 5122 2016-01847 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Permit Renewal Applications: Incidental Take Permit for Ohlone Tiger Beetle; Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Santa Cruz Gardens Unit 12 Project Site; Soquel, Santa Cruz County, CA, 5130-5131 2016-01744 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Meetings: Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee, 5129 2016-01752 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: SNAP Performance Reporting System, Management Evaluation, 5094-5096 2016-01728 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals; Correction, 5096 2016-01519 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Superior Resource Advisory Committee, 5096-5097 2016-01732 New Fee Site: Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, 5097 2016-01733 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Advance Payments, 5122-5123 2016-01762 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

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5129-5130 2016-01750
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

Reclamation Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Treatment of Certain Transfers of Property of Foreign Corporations; Hearing Correction, 5060-5061 2016-01807 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Determinations of Sales at Less than Fair Value: Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China, 5098-5101 2016-01767 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Magnesium from China; Five-Year Review, 5136-5138 2016-01726 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Porcelain-on-Steel Cooking Ware from China, 5133-5136 2016-01727 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Office of Justice Programs Standard Assurances, 5138-5139 2016-01754 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Central California Resource Advisory Council, 5131-5132 2016-01745 Nevada Resource Advisory Councils, 5132 2016-01743 Northern California Resource Advisory Council, 5131 2016-01738 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Funding Availability: Technology Initiative Grant Funding; Correction, 5139 2016-01765 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Advance Payments, 5122-5123 2016-01762 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 5054-5055 2016-01755 Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska, 5054 2016-01751 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery off the South Atlantic States; Amendment 36, 5102 2016-01756 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 5102-5105 2016-01759 Meetings: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 5101-5102 2016-01761 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Procedures Related to Motions, 5085-5086 2016-01735 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Committees; Establishment, Renewal, Termination, etc.: Cancer Moonshot Task Force, White House; Establishment (Memorandum of January 28, 2016), 5359-5363 2016-01939 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group, 5132-5133 2016-01742 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5148-5149, 5162-5164 2016-01711 2016-01716 2016-01717 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 5143-5148, 5158-5162 2016-01712 2016-01713 NYSE Arca, Inc., 5149-5158 2016-01714 NYSE MKT, LLC, 5139-5143 2016-01715 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 5164-5167 2016-01710 2016-01718 2016-01768
Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 5170-5357 2016-01274 Part III Presidential Documents, 5359-5363 2016-01939 Reader Aids

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

To subscribe to the Federal Register Table of Contents LISTSERV electronic mailing list, go to http://listserv.access.thefederalregister.org and select Online mailing list archives, FEDREGTOC-L, Join or leave the list (or change settings); then follow the instructions.

81 20 Monday, February 1, 2016 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-2069; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-070-AD; Amendment 39-18386; AD 2015-22-51] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are publishing a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model A109A and A109AII helicopters, which was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. This AD requires checking and inspecting each main rotor blade (blade) for a crack and replacing any cracked blade before further flight. This AD is prompted by abnormal vibrations leading to a precautionary landing and a post-flight inspection finding of a crack in a blade. These actions are intended to detect a crack in a blade and prevent failure of a blade and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD is effective February 16, 2016 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-22-51 issued on October 23, 2015, which contains the requirements of this AD.

We must receive comments on this AD by March 17, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: Deliver to the “Mail” address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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-2016-2069; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Agusta Westland, Product Support Engineering, Via del Gregge, 100, 21015 Lonate Pozzolo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Maurizio D'Angelo; telephone 39-0331-664757; fax 39-0331-664680; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/technical-bulletins. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, we invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit them only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.

Discussion

On October 23, 2015, we issued Emergency AD 2015-22-51 to correct an unsafe condition for Agusta Model A109A and A109AII helicopters with certain part-numbered blades installed. Emergency AD 2015-22-51 requires inspecting each blade for a crack before further flight and then once each day, checking each blade for a crack before each flight, and replacing any cracked blade. The manufacturer's maintenance program specifies inspecting each blade every 25 hours time-in-service (TIS). The actions in Emergency AD 2015-22-51 were prompted by abnormal vibrations leading to a precautionary landing and a post-flight inspection finding of a crack in a blade. The crack extended from the trailing edge to the rear face of the spar at the joint between the spar and the body of the blade. This condition, if not detected, could result in failure of a blade and subsequent loss of control of a helicopter.

Emergency AD 2015-22-51 was prompted by AD No. 2015-0190-E, dated September 18, 2015, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Agusta Model A109A and A109A II helicopters. EASA advises that abnormal vibrations were reported during a flight on a Model A109A II helicopter. During a post-flight inspection, a crack was found on a part number (P/N) 109-0103-01-9 blade. EASA AD 2015-0190-E requires pre-flight inspections and repetitive inspections of each blade. EASA advises that due to similarity of design, the inspections also apply to P/N 109-0103-01-7 and P/N 109-0103-01-115 blades. EASA advises that a cracked blade, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the blade, possibly resulting in blade failure and loss of control of the helicopter.

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Italy, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs.

Related Service Information

We reviewed AgustaWestland Mandatory Alert Bollettino Tecnico No. 109-150, dated September 17, 2015 (ABT). The ABT specifies for blades with more than 500 flight hours, before the next flight and then before each flight, visually inspecting each affected blade for a crack in the area between the station at the end of the doublers and the station at the beginning of the abrasion strip (both top and bottom surfaces for a crack. The ABT also specifies inspecting the blades for a crack at every airworthiness check and, in case of doubt about a crack, dye penetrant inspecting each blade. If a crack is found, the ABT specifies replacing the blade with a serviceable one.

AD Requirements

This AD requires for each blade P/N 109-0103-01-7, P/N 109-0103-01-9, or P/N 109-0103-01-115 that has 500 or more hours TIS:

• Before further flight and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 24 clock-hours, using a 3X or higher power magnifying glass, visually inspecting the top and bottom surface of each blade for a crack in the area between the station at the end of the doublers and the station at the beginning of the abrasion strip. If there is a crack, before further flight, replacing the blade with an airworthy blade.

• Before each flight, checking the top and bottom surface of each blade for a crack in the area between the station at the end of the doublers and the station at the beginning of the abrasion strip. This check may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9 (a)(1) through (a)(4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439. This check is an exception to our standard maintenance regulations. If there is a crack, the blade must be inspected using a 3X or higher power magnifying glass.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

This AD does not require a change to the Rotorcraft Flight Manual nor does it require a dye-penetrant inspection, whereas the EASA AD does. This AD requires the blade inspection before further flight, whereas the EASA AD allows an initial check prior to the inspection.

Interim Action

We consider this AD interim action. If final action is later identified, we might consider further rulemaking then.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 33 helicopters of U.S. registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. We estimate 1 work-hour to inspect a blade at a cost of $85 per helicopter and $2,805 for the fleet. We estimate 4 work-hours to replace a blade at a cost of $340 per helicopter, and the required parts will cost $30,000 for a total of $30,340 per helicopter.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we found and continue to find that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to the adoption of this rule because the previously described unsafe condition can adversely affect the controllability of the helicopter and the required actions must be accomplished before each flight and daily.

Since it was found that immediate corrective action was required, notice and opportunity for prior public comment before issuing this AD were impracticable and contrary to public interest and good cause existed to make the AD effective immediately by issuing Emergency AD 2015-22-51 on October 23, 2015, to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. These conditions still exist and the AD is hereby published in the Federal Register as an amendment to section 39.13 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.13) to make it effective to all persons.

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

We determined that 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 to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; 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.

We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

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): 2015-22-51 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39-18386; Docket No. FAA-2016-2069 Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-070-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Model A109A and A109AII helicopters with a main rotor blade (blade) part number (P/N) 109-0103-01-7, P/N 109-0103-01-9, or P/N 109-0103-01-115 that has 500 or more hours time-in-service installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in a blade. This condition, if not detected, could result in failure of a blade and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective February 16, 2016 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-22-51, issued on October 23, 2015, which contains the requirements of this AD.

(d) Compliance

You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

(e) Required Actions

(1) Before further flight, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 24 clock-hours, using a 3X or higher power magnifying glass, visually inspect the top and bottom surface of each blade for a crack in the area between the station at the end of the doublers and the station at the beginning of the abrasion strip. If there is a crack, before further flight, replace the blade with an airworthy blade.

(2) Before each flight, check the top and bottom surface of each blade for a crack in the area between the station at the end of the doublers and the station at the beginning of the abrasion strip. If there is a crack, inspect the blade in accordance with paragraph (e)(1) of this AD. The check required by this paragraph may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9 (a)(1) through (a)(4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439.

(f) Special Flight Permits

A special flight permit may be permitted for the inspection in paragraph (e)(1) of this AD provided there is no crack in a blade.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email: [email protected]

(2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(h) Additional Information

(1) AgustaWestland Mandatory Alert Bollettino Tecnico No. 109-150, dated September 17, 2015, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this final rule. For service information identified in this final rule, contact AgustaWestland, Product Support Engineering, Via del Gregge, 100, 21015 Lonate Pozzolo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Maurizio D'Angelo; telephone 39-0331-664757; fax 39-0331-664680; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/technical-bulletins. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2015-0190-E, dated September 18, 2015. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2016-2069.

(i) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Tracking Code: 6210 Main Rotor Blade.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 21, 2016. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-01739 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0040] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, New Orleans, LA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Senator Ted Hickey (Leon C. Simon Blvd./Seabrook) bascule bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, mile 4.6, at New Orleans, Louisiana. The deviation is necessary to accommodate the New Orleans Endurance Festival event. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed-to-navigation during the event.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. through 2 p.m. on April 3, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0040] is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Jim Wetherington, 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 Senator Ted Hickey (Leon C. Simon Blvd./Seabrook) bascule bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, mile 4.6, at New Orleans, Louisiana. The deviation was requested to accommodate the New Orleans Endurance Festival event. The vertical clearance of the bascule span 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 April 3, 2016, from 7 a.m. through 2 p.m. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed-to-navigation for seven hours on the day of the event.

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.

Dated: January 26, 2016. David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-01731 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0045] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Sloop Channel, Wantagh, NY AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Wantagh Parkway Bridge across the Sloop Channel, mile 15.4, at Wantagh, New York. The deviation is necessary to accommodate the Jones Beach July 4th Fireworks. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed position for approximately 3 hours.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 9 p.m. to midnight on July 4, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0045] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Ms. Judy K. Leung-Yee, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4330, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation requested this temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to accommodate the Jones Beach July 4th Fireworks.

The Wantagh Parkway Bridge, mile 15.4, across the Sloop Channel has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 16 feet at mean high water and 19.5 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.5.

The waterway is transited by commercial and recreation vessel traffic.

Under this temporary deviation, the Wantagh Parkway Bridge may remain in the closed position from 9 p.m. to midnight on July 4, 2016.

Vessels able to pass under the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass.

The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

Dated: January 22, 2016. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-01719 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0038] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Lake Pontchartrain, Near New Orleans, LA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the US 11 bascule bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, mile 4.75, between New Orleans and Slidell, Orleans and St. Tammany Parishes, Louisiana. The deviation is necessary to accommodate the Louisiana Paradise Bridge Run event. The deviation will allow the draw of the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the event.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 6:45 a.m. through 8:45 a.m. on February 20, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0038] is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Slidell Memorial Hospital Foundation, through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD), requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule of the US 11 bascule bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, mile 4.75, between New Orleans and Slidell, Orleans and St. Tammany Parishes, Louisiana. The deviation was requested to allow the draw of the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the Louisiana Paradise Bridge Run event. The vertical clearance of the vertical lift span bridge is 13 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position and 61 feet in the open-to-navigation position. The bridge is governed by 33 CFR 117.5.

This deviation is effective on February 20, 2016 from 6:45 a.m. through 8:45 a.m. The deviation will allow the draw of the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the Bridge Run event.

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.

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

Dated: January 26, 2016. David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-01729 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2016-0039] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Inner Harbor Navigation Canal and Chef Menteur Pass, Both at 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 Senator Ted Hickey (Leon C. Simon Blvd./Seabrook) bascule bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, mile 4.6, at New Orleans, Louisiana, and the US 90 bridge at Chef Menteur Pass over Lake Catherine at Mile 2.8 at New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The deviation is necessary to accommodate the Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans event. This deviation allows the bridges to remain closed-to-navigation for a scheduled amount of time on the day of the event.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. on April 17, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2016-0039] is available at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Jim Wetherington, 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 Senator Ted Hickey (Leon C. Simon Blvd./Seabrook) bascule bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, mile 4.6, at New Orleans, Louisiana, and the US 90 Bridge at Chef Menteur Pass over Lake Catherine at Mile 2.8 at New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The deviation was requested to accommodate the Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans event. The vertical clearance of the Senator Ted Hickey (Leon C. Simon Blvd./Seabrook) 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). The vertical clearance of the US 90 swing-span bridge at Chef Menteur Pass over Lake Catherine is 11 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 117.436.

This deviation is effective on April 17, 2016. The bridge over the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal will be closed to marine traffic from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. and the bridge over Chef Menteur Pass will be closed from 7 a.m. through 1 p.m. This deviation allows the bridges to remain closed-to-navigation for the duration of the event as it impacts each bridge according to the schedule.

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

Vessels able to pass through these bridges in the closed-to-navigation position may do so at anytime. The bridges 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 each bridge to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

Dated: January 26, 2016. David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2016-01730 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 15 and 74 [MB Docket No. 03-185; GN Docket No. 12-268; ET Docket No. 14-175; FCC 15-175] Low Power Television Digital Rules AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) adopted several measures to facilitate the final conversion of low power television (LPTV) and TV translator stations to digital service. The Commission also adopted proposals to mitigate the potential impact of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction and the repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations and to help preserve the important services they provide.

DATES:

The rules will become effective March 2, 2016, except for § 74.800, which contain new or modified information collection requirements that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date for those rules.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shaun Maher, [email protected] of the Media Bureau, Video Division, (202) 418-2324. For additional information concerning the PRA information collection requirements contained in this document, contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, at (202) 418-2918, or via email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Commission's Third R&O. The full text is available for inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Portals II, Washington, DC 20554, and may also be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, BCPI, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact BCPI, Inc. via their Web site, http://www.bcpi.com, or call 1-800-378-3160. This document is available in alternative formats (computer diskette, large print, audio record, and Braille). Persons with disabilities who need documents in these formats may contact the FCC by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis: This document contains new or modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, will invite the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document in a separate Federal Register Notice, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, see 44 U.S.C. 3507. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how we might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

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

Synopsis

1. In this Third R&O, the Commission: (1) Extends the digital transition deadline for analog LPTV and TV translator stations to 12 months after completion of the incentive auction 39-month post-auction transition period; (2) harmonizes this deadline with the construction deadline for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations; and (3) adopts rules to allow channel sharing, outside the auction context, between LPTV and TV translator stations. The Commission announces that it will use software developed for use in the incentive auction to assist LPTV and TV translator stations displaced by the auction and repacking process to identify new channels. In addition, the Commission creates a “digital-to-digital replacement translator” service for full power television stations. Finally, the Commission eliminates, as of August 31, 2017, the requirement in section 15.117(b) of its rules that future TV receivers include analog tuners.

Extending the September 1, 2015 LPTV and TV Translator Digital Transition Date

2. To provide relief to analog LPTV and TV translator stations, the Commission extended the digital transition date to 12 months following the completion of the incentive auction 39-month post-auction transition period (or 51 months from the completion of the incentive auction and the release of the post-auction Channel Reassignment PN). The Commission extended the construction deadline/expiration date of all valid outstanding digital construction permits held by analog LPTV and TV translator stations transitioning to digital (currently September 1, 2015) to the new transition date. The Commission concluded that this new deadline is sufficiently far enough after the public announcement of the outcome of the incentive auction and the repacking process so as to provide stations with enough time to analyze the outcome and determine the best route to convert their analog facilities. The new deadline will provide analog stations that are displaced as a result of the auction and the repacking process a reasonable timeframe in which to obtain displacement channels, construct digital facilities, and begin operating.

3. The Commission disagreed with commenters that argued that it did not have “sufficient information” to set a new deadline now and that it should wait until after the conclusion of the incentive auction. Because it did not set a specific transition date as the Commission did in the past, but rather established a deadline that will provide a set period of time after the incentive auction and the post-auction transition process for stations to complete their digital transitions, regardless of when the auction is complete, the Commission found that there was no additional information needed to make a decision regarding the digital transition deadline. Moreover, it disagreed that lack of knowledge of the actual impact of the auction and the post-auction transition process on analog LPTV and TV translator stations should prevent it from establishing a new digital transition date at this time. The Commission concluded that it was setting a transition date far enough after the completion of the auction (51 months) and Post-Auction Transition Period (12 months) that stations should have more than a sufficient amount of time to react, coordinate, and complete their digital transition.

4. The Commission rejected LPTV Coalition's alternative proposal to adopt a series of different deadlines based upon differing station criteria. It concluded that such a proposal would be confusing for stations, which might have a difficult time determining their specific deadline. To avoid confusion and to provide for a coordinated, seamless digital transition and consumer education, it instead adopted a uniform deadline by which all analog LPTV and TV translator stations must complete their digital transition.

5. The Commission also modified its rules to provide that analog LPTV and TV translator stations experiencing delays in completing their digital facilities may seek one last extension of time, of not more than six months, to be filed not later than four months prior to the new transition date. The Commission delegated authority to the Media Bureau to process these applications and reminded those stations seeking this “last-minute” extension that, in completing the Form 2100—Schedule 337, they will be required to demonstrate that they meet the extension criteria set forth in section 74.788(c) of the rules. Under that rule, stations that have not completed construction of their digital facilities must show that the delay was due to circumstances that were either unforeseeable or beyond their control or due to financial hardship. Further, stations will need to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problem expeditiously and must provide detailed information, financial or otherwise, as to why they will be unable to meet the new transition deadline.

6. In addition, after the four-month deadline for the submission of one last extension application, analog LPTV and TV translator stations seeking additional time to construct digital facilities will be able to obtain additional time to construct only through the tolling provisions in the rules. Extension applications will no longer be accepted at that time.

7. The Commission concluded that the new digital transition date must be a hard deadline. That is, all LPTV and TV translator stations must terminate all analog operations (including any analog companion channels) by 11:59 p.m. local time on the new transition date regardless of whether their digital facilities are operational. Those without operational digital facilities will be required to remain silent while they complete construction.

8. The Commission also extended the expiration dates of all valid construction permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations to the new digital transition date. All such construction permits are hereby extended to the new digital transition date. In addition, the Commission dismissed as moot all pending applications for extension of time to construct such construction permits. The Commission rejected WISPA's request that permittees of new digital LPTV and TV translator stations be required to continue to file individual extension applications every six months “in a manner consistent with Commission standards.” The Commission concluded that the potential impact of the incentive auction and repacking process warrants extension of the construction deadlines of all valid construction permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations to the new digital transition date, without the need for individual extension requests.

9. The Commission announced that permittees of new digital LPTV and TV translator stations may seek one last extension of time to complete construction, of not more than six months, to be filed not later than four months prior to the new digital transition date, consistent with the extension procedures adopted above for stations transitioning from analog to digital. In addition, construction permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations granted after the release of this Third Report and Order will receive an expiration date of the later of the new digital transition date or three years from the date of grant.

LPTV and TV Translator Channel Sharing

10. The Commission extended the opportunity for channel sharing to LPTV and TV translator stations. The Commission found that specific provisions of Title III of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, provides ample authority to adopt rules for channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations, including section 303(g), which authorizes the Commission to “generally encourage the larger and more effective use of radio in the public interest,” and section 307(b), which directs the Commission to “provide a fair, efficient, and equitable distribution of radio service.” Consistent with these provisions, adopting channel sharing rules will serve the public interest by promoting the efficient use of spectrum and facilitating the continued operation of LPTV and TV translator stations.

11. The Commission found that permitting channel sharing has the potential to be greatly beneficial to the low power television community. For example, stations that are displaced by the incentive auction and repacking process that have difficulty finding available channels may be able to use channel sharing to team with other such stations in the same predicament. Two or more displaced LPTV or TV translator stations may file displacement applications proposing to share a single channel. Alternatively, a displaced LPTV or TV translator station could agree to share the channel of a non-displaced station. In this way, channel sharing may offer displaced LPTV and TV translator stations valuable opportunities to continue broadcasting and a sensible way for a greater amount of service to be preserved to local communities. Channel sharing agreements (CSAs) could also minimize the number of mutually exclusive applications filed in the post-incentive auction displacement window and free up valuable channels for use by other displaced stations. Displaced stations could thus use channel sharing as a means to prevent or settle the mutual exclusivity of their applications and avoid lengthy delays in the processing of their displacement applications.

12. In addition, the Commission found that channel sharing could provide potential cost-saving benefits to LPTV and TV translator stations through new programming and business arrangements. In the future, LPTV and TV translator stations, many of whom are small entities that operate on limited budgets, could reduce costs (such as tower leases, infrastructure, and others) by sharing facilities, and sharing could provide a source of income for stations that agree to utilize their channels to host other stations.

13. Moreover, the Commission concluded that channel sharing may also assist stations in meeting the digital transition deadline by allowing them to share the cost to construct a shared digital facility. The Commission rejected those comments questioning the potential benefits of channel sharing for LPTV and TV translator stations. The Commission concluded that channel sharing may not be right for all such stations, but the possibility that it may be a useful arrangement for some stations justifies adoption of new rules today.

14. The Commission announced that channel sharing by and between LPTV and TV translator stations will be “entirely voluntary.” It does not intend to take a role in matching licensees interested in channel sharing with potential partners. Rather, LPTV and TV translator stations will decide whether and with whom to enter into a channel sharing arrangement. The rules are also flexible and allow stations to structure their CSA in a manner that will allow a variety of different types of spectrum sharing to meet the individualized programming and economic needs of the parties involved. As with full power and Class A television channel sharing, the Commission will require each LPTV and TV translator station involved in a CSA to operate in digital on the shared channel and to retain spectrum usage rights sufficient to ensure at least enough capacity to operate one SD programming stream at all times. However, the Commission will not prescribe a fixed split of the capacity of the six megahertz channel between the stations from a technological or licensing perspective. All LPTV and TV translator channel sharing stations will be licensed for the entire capacity of the six megahertz channel, and stations will be allowed to determine the manner in which that capacity will be divided among themselves subject only to the minimum capacity requirement.

15. The Commission stated that it would apply its existing framework for the licensing and operation of channel sharing between full power and Class A stations to LPTV and TV translator stations. Under this framework, each sharing station will continue to be licensed separately, each will have its own call sign, and each licensee will separately be subject to all of the Commission's obligations, rules, and policies.

16. The Commission rejected OTI/PK's proposal that it require LPTV and TV translator stations to channel share under certain circumstances. OTI/PK asked that the Commission “analyze the feasibility of such a requirement in the 30 largest [Designated Market Areas], if it appears technically feasible for a substantial number of stations and markets” to channel share, seek further comment on implementing it. The Commission found no record support for OTI/PK's assertion that it should require stations to channel share because they are not using their spectrum efficiently. Because of their lower power and secondary nature, LPTV and TV translator stations have always been allowed to choose their channels. Changing course now and forcing LPTV and TV translator stations to share a channel would impede stations' ability to engineer their facilities to meet the needs of their viewers. Moreover, since adoption of our first channel sharing rules in 2012, the Commission has held that channel sharers, as business partners, should “have the ability to choose partners that satisfy their own criteria.”

17. The Commission adopted procedures for reviewing and licensing of LPTV and TV translator station CSAs, and will apply the 30-mile and contour overlap rules to station moves resulting from channel sharing. The Commission adopted a two-step process for implementing channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations. As the first step, if no technical changes are necessary for sharing, a channel sharing station relinquishing its channel will file an application for a digital construction permit for the same technical facilities as the sharer station, include a copy of the CSA as an exhibit, and cross reference the other sharing station(s). The sharer station will not need to seek Commission authorization at this time unless the CSA requires technical changes to the sharer station's facilities. If the CSA requires technical changes to the sharer station's facilities, each sharing station will be required to file an application for a construction permit for identical technical facilities proposing to share the channel, along with the CSA. As a second step, after the sharing stations have obtained the necessary construction permits, implemented their shared facility, and initiated shared operations, a station relinquishing its channel will notify the Commission that it has terminated operation on its former channel. At the same time, each sharing station will file an application for a license to complete the licensing process.

18. The Commission announced that it will allow channel sharing LPTV and TV translator stations three years to implement their arrangements. Although it will require that channel sharing arrangements involving full power and Class A stations resulting from the incentive auction be implemented within six months after the relinquishing station receives its reverse auction proceeds to expedite the transition to the reorganized UHF band, these concerns do not apply to CSAs entered into outside the auction context. Some stations, such as those displaced by the repacking process, may be anxious to quickly implement their shared arrangement to avoid having to go silent. Such stations are free to begin channel sharing as soon as feasible. However, other stations, including those not facing this timing constraint, may want or need more time to implement a sharing agreement.

19. The Commission stated that, in cases where the sharer station has not been displaced, it will begin accepting applications for LPTV and TV translator channel sharing after completion of the incentive auction. In cases where the sharing stations were all displaced, it will begin accepting applications for LPTV and TV translator channel sharing at the initiation of the post-incentive auction displacement window. After that, applications may be submitted at any time on an ongoing basis.

20. The Commission stated that it would apply its existing 30-mile and contour overlap restrictions to station relocations resulting from proposed CSAs. Specifically, if requested in conjunction with a digital displacement application, a station relocation resulting from a proposed CSA may not be greater than 30 miles from the reference coordinates of the relocating station's community of license. In all other cases, a station relocating as a result of a proposed CSA (i) must maintain overlap between the protected contour of its existing and proposed facilities; and (ii) may not relocate greater than 30 miles from the reference coordinates of the relocating station's antenna location. Although it declined to eliminate the restrictions, the Commission announced that it will consider waivers for LPTV and TV translator stations to allow channel sharing modifications that do not comply with these limits. A displaced station proposing to channel share with a station located more than 30 miles from the reference coordinates of the displaced station's community of license will have to show: (1) That there are no channels available that comply with section 74.787(a)(4) of the rules; and (2) that the proposed sharer station is the station closest to the reference coordinates of the displaced station's community of license that is available for channel sharing. As for non-displacement, the Commission will apply a stricter standard because the proposed modification would be voluntary and the station would not be faced with going off the air if not permitted to channel share. In such cases, it will consider a waiver if the station seeking to relocate through channel sharing demonstrates: (1) That there is no other sharing partner that operates with a location that would comply with the contour overlap and 30-mile restrictions on the station seeking the waiver; and (2) the population in the relocating station's loss area is de minimis and/or well-served and/or would continue to receive the programming aired by the relocating station from another station.

21. The Commission adopted channel sharing operating rules that cover the terms of CSAs, the transfer or assignment of channel sharing licenses, and what occurs when a channel sharing station's license is terminated due to voluntary relinquishment, revocation, or failure to renew. The Commission will require that LPTV and TV translator CSAs contain provisions outlining each licensee's rights and responsibilities in the following areas: (1) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have unrestricted access to the shared transmission facilities; (2) allocation of bandwidth within the shared channel; (3) operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice provisions; (4) transfer/assignment of a shared license, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the existing CSA; and (5) termination of the license of a party to the CSA, including reversion of spectrum usage rights to the remaining parties to the CSA. While channel sharing partners will be required to address these matters in their CSAs, they may craft provisions as they choose, based on marketplace negotiations, subject to pertinent statutory requirements and the Commission's rules and regulations.

22. A station seeking approval to channel share will submit a copy of its CSA along with its application for a digital construction permit. The Commission will review the CSA to ensure compliance with its rules and policies. However, the Commission announced that it will limit its review to confirming that the CSA contains the required provisions and that any terms beyond those related to sharing of bitstream and related technical facilities comport with its general rules and policies regarding licensee agreements. The Commission reserved the right to require modification of a CSA that does not comply with the rules and policies.

23. When an LPTV or TV translator sharing station's license is terminated due to voluntary relinquishment, revocation, failure to renew, or any other circumstance, its spectrum usage rights (but not its license) may revert to the remaining sharing partners if the partners so agree. In the event that only one station remains on the shared channel, that station may apply to change its license to non-shared status using FCC Form 2100—Schedule C. Alternatively, the station may enter into a CSA with another LPTV or TV translator station or permittee and resume shared operations, subject to Commission approval.

24. In addition, the Commission will allow rights under a CSA to be assigned or transferred, subject to the requirements of Section 310 of the Communications Act, the rules, and the requirement that the assignee or transferee comply with the applicable CSA. The Commission believes that secondary stations sharing with other secondary stations should have the flexibility to be able to determine the length of their CSAs.

Assistance to LPTV and TV Translator Stations in Finding Displacement Channels After the Incentive Auction

25. To assist LPTV and TV translator stations displaced by the auction and repacking process, the Commission delegated to the Media Bureau authority to utilize the incentive auction optimization and repacking software to identify new channels for displaced stations. The Commission concluded that use of the repacking and optimization software for this purpose will expedite and ease the post-auction transition and help many low power stations find new channel homes.

26. Specifically, the Commission instructed the Media Bureau, prior to opening the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window, to utilize the repacking and optimization software to identify channels that can be proposed by displaced LPTV and TV translator stations. The Commission directed the Media Bureau to issue a Public Notice listing potential channel assignments in all areas in which LPTV or TV translator stations are displaced. If there is more than one displaced station, the Commission encouraged the stations to file for those channels in the displacement window and coordinate their filings to avoid cases of mutual exclusivity. In cases where not all displaced LPTV and TV translator stations can be accommodated onto available channels using current operating parameters, the Media Bureau will identify possible arrangements based on other objectives, such as maximizing the number of stations assigned or minimizing the interference that stations might experience, to assist stations in examining engineering solutions to find channels. The Commission instructed the Media Bureau to issue the public notice not less than 60 days in advance of the filing window for displacement applications.

27. The Commission rejected suggestions to use our repacking and optimization software to designate LPTV and TV translator channel assignments that optimize channels for TV white space devices. Through use of the repacking and optimization software, the Media Bureau will identify potential channel assignments, but it will not “repack” LPTV and TV translator stations by requiring that they adhere to these assignments. Rather, the decision whether to seek the specific channel assignments identified by the Media Bureau will be voluntary. Stations will not be required to apply for possible channel assignments identified by the Media Bureau and will retain the flexibility to seek displacement channels that work best for their particular circumstances, so long as the channel selections comply with the licensing and technical rules.

28. The Commission also declined ATBA's and Liberman's suggestion that it make the repacking and optimization software available for outside use. First, the repacking software is not available at this time; the TVStudy software which will be used in the incentive auction and the repacking process, and which the Commission has made publicly available, will have to be modified to identify potential channels for displaced LPTV and TV translator stations. In addition, the optimization software incorporates proprietary software that is subject to restrictions against its release to the public, but is commercially available. The Commission also rejected LPTV Coalition's and Syncom's suggestion that it conduct a “mock” auction to see the effects on LPTV and translators. The effects on LPTV and translators depend in large part on broadcaster participation levels in the incentive auction and the amount of spectrum that the auction clears, and the individual channel reassignments made to repacked broadcasters. In light of Congress's decision that LPTV and translators are not to be protected in the repack, the Commission was not persuaded that the time and staff resources that would be required to study the potential effects are warranted in light of the hypothetical nature of any such analysis prior to the auction.

Elimination of Analog Tuner Requirement

29. Given its decision to extend the digital transition date for analog LPTV and TV translator stations for one year after the post-auction transition period (51 months after the conclusion of the auction), the Commission concluded it is appropriate to retain the analog tuner requirement for a limited period. Specifically, it will sunset on August 31, 2017. The Commission believes that retaining the analog tuner requirement until that date will minimize disruption to viewers of analog LPTV and TV translator stations while at the same time providing certainty to manufacturers that choose to phase out analog tuners.

30. The Commission agreed with public broadcasters that it is still currently necessary for consumer equipment to include both analog and digital tuners to receive all signals, but the requirement will become less necessary as the new digital transition date for LPTV and TV translator stations approaches. Analog broadcasting is likely to continue until the new transition date because LPTV and TV translator stations do not want to “double build” their facilities: once for a digital transition and again for the repack. Although it sought to minimize disruption to consumers, the Commission also recognized that the analog tuner requirement imposes costs on television manufacturers that may be passed through to consumers. Significantly, sixty-two percent of low-power stations and seventy-eight percent of TV translator stations have already transitioned to digital, and these stations continue to make the transition. Therefore the vast majority of consumers no longer need to rely on devices with analog tuners and the number of consumers that still do will steadily decline as this percentage continues to grow. Given this, and the fact that devices with analog tuners will continue to be available in remaining retail inventory and on the secondary market, the Commission concluded that it is appropriate to phase out the obligation of manufacturers prior to the transition date. The Commission found that relieving manufacturers of the analog tuner obligation on August 31, 2017 reasonably balances the goals of reducing costs for manufacturers and consumers, while minimizing disruption to viewers of analog low power television.

31. The Commission announced that it will not require manufacturers or retailers to label devices, after the rule sunsets, to alert consumers that devices do not include analog tuners. Although it recognized the importance of providing education to consumers about the capability of their devices, the Commission believed that imposing a universal requirement that manufacturers notify consumers about the limitations of digital-only devices would be counterproductive after the sunset.

Additional Measures To Preserve LPTV and TV Translator Services

32. The Commission declined to adopt the various proposals to permit LPTV and TV translator stations to operate using alternative technical standards. For the success of the post-incentive auction displacement process and to ensure continued service to the public, the Commission concluded that it is imperative that all LPTV and TV translator stations continue to operate within the current technical rules and standards. Consideration of whether to adopt new or alternative technical standards or network architectures, such as ATSC 3.0, is premature as such standards have not yet been adopted by standard setting groups. Even if such standards were to be adopted in the near future, a plan for implementation would have to be considered and developed by the Commission through notice and comment rulemaking proceedings. The Commission found that such matters are outside of the scope of this proceeding and are better left for future proceedings.

33. The Commission declined to adopt proposals to allow LPTV and/or TV translators to obtain primary interference protection status so that they may avoid future displacement by primary users. However, the Commission stated that it may revisit the question of allowing additional LPTV and/or TV translators to obtain primary interference protection status in the future. Without reaching the legal issues, the Commission declined as a policy matter any proposal that would allow LPTV and/or TV translator stations to obtain primary status before the completion of the Post-Auction Transition Period. If LPTV or TV translators obtained primary status during this period, reassigned full power and Class A stations would have to take into account these additional protected stations when proposing expanded facilities and alternate channels, thereby impeding our goal of facilitating the post-auction transition. In addition, allowing LPTV and/or TV translator stations to become primary before the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window would amount to granting these stations a priority in the displacement window—an action that would run counter to the decision in the Incentive Auction R&O, 29 FCC Rcd 6567 (2014) to grant a priority to the displacement applications for existing digital replacement translators (DRTs) and the decision to grant a priority to applications for new digital-to-digital replacement translators (DTDRTs). The Commission stated that it may consider at a later date whether to allow LPTV and/or TV translator stations to obtain primary status after the completion of the Post-Auction Transition Period.

34. The Commission rejected proposals to provide displacement priorities in the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window beyond those established in the Incentive Auction R&O. In the Incentive Auction R&O, in order to help preserve the existing services of full power stations, the Commission determined that applications filed by full power television stations seeking new channels for their displaced DRTs would receive a displacement priority. A number of commenters suggest that displacement applications filed by other types of stations also be given a priority. In the Incentive Auction R&O, the Commission thoroughly considered the issue of whether to grant additional priorities during the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window and decided against such action. The Commission concluded that it was not persuaded to reverse course and add additional displacement priorities at this time.

35. The Commission declined LPTV Coalition's proposal to extend the post-auction displacement window filing opportunity to holders of construction permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations. As decided in the Incentive Auction R&O, only operating LPTV and TV translator stations may file displacement applications during the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window. Unlike operating stations that have completed construction and are providing service to the public, permittees have not completed construction and do not have existing viewers that will be impacted by displacement. Permittees of unbuilt stations will be permitted to file for displacement channels after the conclusion of the LPTV and TV translator displacement window.

36. The Commission rejected proposals that would afford LPTV and TV translator stations more expansive cable carriage rights than those provided in the Communications Act. Commenters do not explain how such action would be within the Commission's statutory authority and, even assuming we had such authority, the Commission declined to grant must carry rights beyond those required by statute.

37. The Commission denied requests for other rule changes as unworkable or because of their potential to negatively affect the incentive auction or fall subject to other impracticalities. It announced that it will not adopt OTI/PK's proposal to permit white space devices to use the channels of licensed LPTV and TV translator stations when those stations are not broadcasting. The white space databases would have to collect additional information on the operating times of LPTV and TV translator stations on a real-time basis in order to implement OTI/PK's proposal. Because the databases are not currently designed to do so, it would not be feasible to adopt OTI/PK's proposal at this time.

38. The Commission rejected NTA's proposal to relax the limits on interference that LPTV and TV translator stations may cause to other LPTV and TV translator stations and to full-power and Class A stations. With the upcoming post-incentive auction transition process and the ongoing low power digital transition, the Commission concluded that this is not the appropriate time to allow additional interference. The costs resulting from the potential increase in interference and loss of service to viewers would outweigh the potential benefit of the slight increase in flexibility for LPTV and TV translator stations to engineer their displacement facilities. Once these transitions are complete, the Commission stated that it may consider whether to modify our rules to allow such additional flexibility.

39. The Commission rejected SEI's and Watch TV's request that it establish a general policy allowing any LPTV and TV translator station facing financial challenges to remain off the air until full power and Class A stations have been assigned new channels, even if that period exceeds 12 consecutive months. Section 312(g) of the Communications Act provides that the license of a station that is dark for any consecutive 12-month period expires automatically at the end of that period, except that the Commission can extend or reinstate such license “to promote equity and fairness.” The Commission announced that it will continue to consider individual requests from stations that remain dark for any consecutive 12-month period for reinstatement of their license and a waiver of the pertinent Commission rules, taking into account the individual circumstances of each case. Consideration of a blanket exception to Section 312(g) at this time would be premature as the impact of the auction and repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations is not yet known.

40. The Commission declined St. Clair's request that it ask Congress to provide for reimbursement of costs incurred by displaced LPTV and TV translator stations. The decision whether to authorize such funding is Congress's prerogative. Congress in the Spectrum Act limited reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund to only full power and Class A stations. While NTA recommends that the Commission “cooperate with NTIA” to help make funding available for displaced LPTV and TV translator stations, the Commission stated that it is not aware of any funding available from other agencies that could be used by displaced LPTV and TV translator stations. The Commission stated that it would cooperate as needed if LPTV and TV translator stations identify any funding opportunities.

41. The Commission announced that, as part of the cross-border coordination process it intends to make efforts to streamline the cross-border coordination processes so it will not delay the post-auction displacement application process for LPTV and TV translator stations.

42. The Commission rejected LPTV Coalition's request that it study the LPTV industry and “what is possible to both preserving the unique services and networks it currently provides, and all of the new ones in the digital future pipeline.” The Commission found that it had satisfied this request by conducting this proceeding considering ways to preserve the low power television service and the valuable programming and services they offer. The Commission announced that it will continue to assist LPTV and TV translator stations with the post-incentive auction displacement process and transition to digital operation and to reach out to the community for their valuable input.

43. The Commission denied requests to reconsider matters previously raised in the incentive auction proceeding finding that each of these matters was fully considered in the incentive auction rulemaking proceeding and subsequent orders on reconsideration.

Creation of a New Digital-to-Digital Replacement Translator Service

44. The Commission established a new digital-to-digital replacement translator service (DTDRT) to allow eligible full power television stations to recover lost digital “service area” that results from the reverse auction and repacking process. The Commission previously created a similar analog-to-digital replacement translator service (DRT) in 2009, as full power stations were transitioning from analog to digital operation, to assist full power stations to restore service to any loss areas that may have occurred as a result of the transition and to maintain “broadcast service that the public has come to depend upon and enjoy [in analog].” The Commission concluded that a similar replacement service may be needed for full power stations that are reassigned to new channels, either in the repacking process or through a winning UHF-to-VHF or high-VHF-to-low-VHF bid, if those full power stations discover that a portion of their existing pre-auction digital service area is lost after the station transitions to its new channel. There may be some instances in which a station may not be able to fully replicate its pre-auction digital service area. For example, a loss in pre-auction digital service area may occur as a result of a change in frequency. Moreover, like some stations transitioning to digital during the DTV transition, a station may be unable to build facilities to operate on its assigned channel at its current tower site as a result of technical or legal issues. In addition, broadcasters that voluntarily relocate to a different band may have difficulty maintaining their antenna pattern on the new channel and may experience unusual coverage problems.

45. The Commission disagreed with Venture that this new service will be unnecessary, finding that the circumstances outlined above could arise and result in full power television stations experiencing a loss of reception within their pre-auction digital service areas on initiation of their new channel facilities, despite Commission efforts to preserve coverage area and population served during the repacking process. To assist stations to overcome these potential challenges and to replace lost pre-auction digital service area resulting from new channel assignments, the Commission created a new DTDRT service.

46. The Commission will limit eligibility for DTDRTs to full power television stations reassigned in the repacking process that can demonstrate: (1) A loss of a portion of their pre-auction digital service area; and (2) that the proposed DTDRT will be used solely to fill in such loss areas, subject to an allowance for a de minimis expansion of the station's pre-auction digital service area. The Commission concluded that these requirements are consistent with the limited scope of its objective in proposing this new service: To assist full power television stations to maintain their pre-auction digital service areas following the completion of the repacking process and auction, but not to expand such service areas. The Commission declined to extend eligibility for DTDRTs, as suggested by Sinclair, to “[a]ny station that suffers loss of service as a result of repacking—from channel changes, power changes, site changes, or any other factors beyond the station's control.” The Commission decided to limit eligibility for new DTDRTs to only stations reassigned in the repacking process in order to preserve channels for use by other broadcasters, especially displaced LPTV and TV translators.

47. To implement this eligibility restriction, applicants for DTDRTs will be required to demonstrate a digital loss area through an engineering study that depicts the stations' pre- and post-incentive auction digital service areas and will be required to demonstrate that the loss resulted from the station's being repacked in conjunction with the incentive auction. The Commission defined the “pre-auction digital service area” as the geographic area within the full power station's noise-limited contour of its facility as set forth in the Auction Procedures PN, DA 15-1296 (rel. Nov. 12, 2015).

48. To accommodate situations where it may be impossible to locate a translator that replaces digital loss areas without also slightly expanding the station's pre-auction digital service areas, the Commission announced it will allow applicants to propose de minimis expansions of pre-auction digital service areas based on the showing described below. The Commission defines de minimis on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the approach it took for processing DRT applications. Therefore, the Commission will require stations to show the need to site their DTDRT with a de minimis expansion of the station's pre-auction digital service area. The Commission declined Sinclair's suggestion that it adopt a more flexible approach and allow applicants to demonstrate that the site specified for their DTDRT is the most practical or cost-efficient option, that the de minimis expansion offsets other loss of service by the broadcaster that cannot be remedied by a DTDRT, or that the site better facilitates preservation of service by another reassigned broadcaster. Because there will be a more tightly packed broadcast band post-auction, the Commission concluded to strictly limit DTDRT's coverage to just what is needed.

49. The Commission will allow eligible stations to file for DTDRTs beginning with the opening of the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window and ending one year after the completion of the incentive auction 39-month post-auction transition period. Pursuant to this plan, stations may begin applying for DTDRTs during the LPTV and TV translator displacement window and will then have one year beyond the completion of the Post-Auction Transition Period to identify the need and apply for a DTDRT. Full power television stations must have the flexibility to file for a DTDRT throughout the post-auction transition and for a brief period thereafter. A full power television station may identify the need for a DTDRT early in the post-auction transition or may not realize that it needs one until it completes construction of its new facilities and begins operating. Some stations may not identify the need for a DTDRT until a short time later when they begin receiving reports of loss of service from viewers. Accordingly, the Commission concluded that allowing full power stations to file for a DTDRT for one year after the completion of the Post-Auction Transition Period will provide sufficient time to identify any possible loss areas while also helping to limit this service to its proposed objective of recovering lost service area that results from the auction and repacking process.

50. The Commission will afford DTDRT applications co-equal processing priority with DRT displacement applications. Therefore, applications for new DTDRTs and displacement applications for existing DRTs will have processing priority over all other LPTV and TV translator applications including new, minor change, and displacement applications. Under this approach, the Commission will begin accepting applications for new DTDRTs commencing with the opening of the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window. All applications for new DTDRTs and displacement applications for existing DRTs filed during the post-auction displacement window will be considered filed on the last day of the window, will have priority over all other displacement applications filed during the window by LPTV and TV translator stations, and will be considered co-equal if mutually exclusive. Following the close of the displacement window, applications for new DTDRTs will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, will continue to have priority over all LPTV and TV translator new, minor change, or displacement applications, even if first-filed, and co-equal priority with displacement applications for existing DRTs filed on the same day.

51. The Commission concluded that adoption of this processing priority is necessary to assist those full power stations that identify the need to implement a new DTDRT to quickly obtain an authorization and schedule construction of the DTDRT to coincide with the completion of their modified full-power facilities and thereby avoid disruption of service. Were it to not afford these applications a priority, they could become mutually exclusive with LPTV and TV translator applications filed in the post-incentive auction displacement window, greatly delaying their processing. This, in turn, could prevent full power television stations from completing construction of their DTDRTs until after the post-incentive auction transition, thus resulting in a loss of service. At the same time, the Commission established co-equal processing priority with displaced DRTs to ensure that full power stations with existing DRTs can construct on their new channel expeditiously to help preserve their existing service. The Commission concluded that it had authority to afford DTDRTs a co-equal processing priority under specific provisions of Title III of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, including Section 303(c), which empowers the Commission to “assign frequencies for each individual station” in the public interest; Section 303(g), which authorizes the Commission to “generally encourage the larger and more effective use of radio in the public interest”; and Section 307(b), which directs the Commission to “provide a fair, efficient, and equitable distribution of radio service.” Consistent with these provisions, the processing priority will serve the public interest by assisting full power television stations to maintain their pre-auction digital service areas and help prevent loss of service following the completion of the repacking process and auction.

52. The Commission rejected Mako's claim that its grant of a processing priority to DTDRTs is contrary to section 1452(b), which provides for the UHF band reorganization. While Section 1452(b)(5) provides that “[n]othing in [section 1452(b)] shall be construed to alter the spectrum usage rights of low-power television stations,” it does not affect the Commission's broad authority outside of section 1452(b) to manage spectrum in the public interest, which provides the legal basis for the actions we take today. To the contrary, section 1452(i)(1) specifically preserves that authority by stating that nothing in section 1452(b) “shall be construed to . . . expand or contract the authority of the Commission, except as otherwise expressly provided.” There is no express provision in section 1452(b) prohibiting the Commission from granting DTDRT applications a processing priority. Further, adoption of a processing priority for applications for new DTDRTs is consistent with the 2009 decision to grant a similar priority for applications for DRTs.

53. The Commission also rejected arguments that its decision could negatively affect the ability of displaced LPTV and TV translator stations to find a new channel post-auction and force some stations off the air. While we recognize that many LPTV and TV translator stations will also be struggling to deal with the impact of the incentive auction and repacking process while constructing their digital facilities to meet the newly established digital transition date, the Commission concluded that the need to help full power stations prevent or restore lost service area outweighs the limited impact that the licensing of new DTDRTs will have on the availability of channels for displaced LPTV and TV translator stations.

54. The Commission also rejected LeSea's proposal that full power stations be required to identify the need for a DTDRT earlier, such as during the three-month period following the release of the Channel Reassignment PN when stations will submit applications for construction permits for their newly assigned channels. After the three-month period closes, LeSea suggests that applications for DTDRTs be accepted without the priority over other earlier-filed LPTV and TV translator applications. Some full power television stations, however, may not identify the need for a DTDRT until later in the transition when, for example, they begin testing or operating their completed modified facilities. Therefore, full power stations in such situations may need to obtain a DTDRT later in the transition. In these circumstances, priority processing will ensure that the application for DTDRT is quickly processed.

55. Finally, the Commission rejected Venture's proposal that applications for DTDRTs “be accepted only after existing licensed LPTV stations are successfully displaced to other channels.” Adoption of Venture's proposal could prevent full power television stations that identify the need to implement a new DTDRT early in the transition process to quickly obtain an authorization and schedule construction to coincide with the completion of their modified facilities.

56. In order to implement the new DTDRT service, the Commission adopted the following licensing and operating rules. The Commission will associate DTDRTs with the full power television station's main license. This is the same approach adopted for licensing DRTs. DTDRTs, therefore, may not be separately assigned or transferred and will be renewed, transferred, or assigned along with the main license. Applications for DTDRTs will be filed on FCC Form 2100—Schedule C, will be treated as minor change applications, and will be exempt from filing fees. DTDRTs will be licensed with “secondary” frequency use status. Under this approach, DTDRTs, like DRTs before them, will not be permitted to cause interference to, and must accept interference from, full power television stations, certain land mobile radio operations, and other primary services, and will be subject to the interference protections to land mobile station operations in the 470-512 MHz band set forth in our rules. The Commission will apply the existing rules associated with TV translator stations to DTDRTs, including the rules concerning power limits, out-of-channel emission limits, unattended operation, time of operation, and resolution of mutual exclusivity. The Commission will assign DTDRTs the same call sign as their associated full power television station and provided a full three-year construction period for full power television stations to build their DTDRTs.

57. The Commission announced that it was permanently discontinuing the acceptance of applications for new DRTs. In August 2014, following adoption of rules for the incentive auction, the Media Bureau placed a freeze on the filing of applications for DRTs because full power stations had more than five years to apply for this type of replacement translator following the 2009 full-power digital transition. The Commission concluded that future DRT applications are no longer necessary for stations to replace an analog loss area that occurred as a result of the digital transition over six years ago. However, the Commission will continue to accept displacement applications for existing DRTs.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“IRFA”) was incorporated in the Third Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 29 FCC Rcd 12536 (2014) (Third Notice). The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the Third Notice, including comment on the IRFA. Because we amend the rules in this Third R&O, we have included this Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) which conforms to the RFA.2 We note that no formal comments were filed on the IRFA but many of the commenters raised issues concerning the impact of the various proposals in this proceeding on small entities. These comments were considered in the Third R&O and in the FRFA.

1See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (“SBREFA”), Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).

2See 5 U.S.C. 604.

Need for and Objectives of the Rules

On June 2, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) released its Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 657 (2014), adopting rules to implement the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction authorized by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (Spectrum Act). The Commission recognized in the Incentive Auction Report and Order that the incentive auction will have a significant impact on low power television stations and TV translator stations. As part of the incentive auction, the Commission will (1) conduct a “reverse auction,” whereby full power and Class A television stations may opt to relinquish some or all of their spectrum usage rights in exchange for incentive payments, and (2) reorganize or “repack” the broadcast television bands in order to free up a portion of the ultra high frequency (UHF) band for new flexible uses. The Commission concluded in the Incentive Auction Report and Order that the Spectrum Act does not mandate the protection of LPTV and TV translator stations because the scope of mandatory protection under section 6403(b)(2) is limited to full power and Class A television stations. The Commission also declined to extend discretionary protection to these stations because of the detrimental impact such protection would have on the repacking process and the success of the incentive auction. Accordingly, some LPTV and TV translator stations will be displaced as a result of the repacking process and required to either find a new channel or discontinue operations.

In order to mitigate the impact of the auction and repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations, the Commission stated that it intended to initiate an LPTV/TV Translator rulemaking proceeding “to consider additional measures that may help alleviate the consequences of LPTV and TV translator station displacements resulting from the auction and repacking process.”

In the Third R&O, the Commission: (1) Extended the September 1, 2015 digital transition deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations; and (2) adopted rules to allow channel sharing by and between LPTV and TV translator stations. The Commission also announced that it would use the incentive auction optimization software to assist LPTV and TV translator stations displaced by the auction and repacking process to identify new channels. The Commission considered and rejected other measures proposed by commenters to further mitigate the impact of the auction and repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations. In the Third Report and Order, the Commission also created a “digital-to-digital replacement translator” service for full power stations that experience losses in their pre-auction digital service areas. The Commission also eliminated the requirement in section 15.117(b) of the rules that TV receivers include analog tuners.

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

The RFA directs the Commission to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that will be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.3 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” small organization,” and “small government jurisdiction.” 4 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.5 The statutory definition of a small business applies unless an agency establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register. 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.6

3Id. at § 603(b)(3).

4 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

5Id. at § 601(3).

6 15 U.S.C. 632. Application of the statutory criteria of dominance in its field of operation and independence are sometimes difficult to apply in the context of broadcast television. Accordingly, the Commission's statistical account of television stations may be over-inclusive.

Television Broadcasting. This economic census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound. These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public.” 7 The SBA has created the following small business size standard for Television Broadcasting firms: Those having $14 million or less in annual receipts.8 The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,390.9 In addition, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Advisory Services, LLC's Media Access Pro Television Database on March 28, 2012, about 950 of an estimated 1,300 commercial television stations (or approximately 73 percent) had revenues of $14 million or less.10 We therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities.

7 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515120 Television Broadcasting, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515120&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014). U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515120 Television Broadcasting, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515120&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

8 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 515120) (updated for inflation in 2010).

9See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2015 (rel. April 9, 2015).

10 We recognize that BIA's estimate differs slightly from the FCC total given the information provided above.

We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included.11 Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive to that extent.

11 “[Business concerns] are affiliates of each other when one concern controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party or parties controls or has the power to control both.” 13 CFR 121.103(a)(1).

In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (“NCE”) television stations to be 395.12 These stations are non-profit, and therefore considered to be small entities.13

12See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2015 (rel. April 8, 2015).

13See generally 5 U.S.C. 601(4), (6).

There are also 2,344 LPTV stations, including Class A stations, and 3,689 TV translator stations.14 Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

14See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2015 (rel. April 8, 2015).

Electronics Equipment Manufacturers. Rules adopted in this proceeding could apply to manufacturers of television receiving equipment and other types of consumer electronics equipment. The SBA has developed definitions of small entity for manufacturers of audio and video equipment 15 as well as radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment.16 These categories both include all such companies employing 750 or fewer employees. The Commission has not developed a definition of small entities applicable to manufacturers of electronic equipment used by consumers, as compared to industrial use by television licensees and related businesses. Therefore, we will utilize the SBA definitions applicable to manufacturers of audio and visual equipment and radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment, since these are the two closest NAICS Codes applicable to the consumer electronics equipment manufacturing industry. However, these NAICS categories are broad and specific figures are not available as to how many of these establishments manufacture consumer equipment. According to the SBA's regulations, an audio and visual equipment manufacturer must have 750 or fewer employees in order to qualify as a small business concern.17 Census Bureau data indicates that there are 554 U.S. establishments that manufacture audio and visual equipment, and that 542 of these establishments have fewer than 500 employees and would be classified as small entities.18 The remaining 12 establishments have 500 or more employees; however, we are unable to determine how many of those have fewer than 750 employees and therefore, also qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. Under the SBA's regulations, a radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment manufacturer must also have 750 or fewer employees in order to qualify as a small business concern.19 Census Bureau data indicates that there 1,215 U.S. establishments that manufacture radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment, and that 1,150 of these establishments have fewer than 500 employees and would be classified as small entities.20 The remaining 65 establishments have 500 or more employees; however, we are unable to determine how many of those have fewer than 750 employees and therefore, also qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. We therefore conclude that there are no more than 542 small manufacturers of audio and visual electronics equipment and no more than 1,150 small manufacturers of radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment for consumer/household use.

15 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334310.

16 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334220.

17 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334310.

18 Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1997 Economic Census, Industry Series—Manufacturing, Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing, Table 4 at 9 (1999). The amount of 500 employees was used to estimate the number of small business firms because the relevant Census categories stopped at 499 employees and began at 500 employees. No category for 750 employees existed. Thus, the number is as accurate as it is possible to calculate with the available information.

19 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334220.

20 Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1997 Economic Census, Industry Series—Manufacturing, Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, Table 4 at 9 (1999). The amount of 500 employees was used to estimate the number of small business firms because the relevant Census categories stopped at 499 employees and began at 500 employees. No category for 750 employees existed. Thus, the number is as accurate as it is possible to calculate with the available information.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements

The Third R&O adopted the following new reporting requirements. To implement channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations, the Commission will follow a two-step process—stations will first filing an application for construction permit and then application for license. Stations terminating operations to share a channel will be required to submit a termination notice pursuant to the existing Commission rule. These existing forms and collections will be revised to accommodate these new channel-sharing related filings and to expand the burden estimates. In addition, channel sharing stations will be required to submit their channel sharing agreements (CSAs) with the Commission and be required to include certain provisions in their CSAs. In addition, if upon termination of the license of a party to a CSA only one party to the CSA remains, the remaining licensee may file an application to change its license to non-shared status. The existing collection concerning the execution and filing of CSAs will be revised.

To implement its proposed new digital-to-digital replacement translator service, the Commission will revise its existing replacement translator form, rules and collections and to expand the burden estimates.

These new reporting requirements will not differently affect small entities.

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

The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (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.21

21 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).

Digital Transition Date. The Commission's decision to extend the September 1, 2015 LPTV and TV Translator digital transition date will greatly minimize the impact on small entities having to complete their transition to digital. Instead of having to possibly endure the expense of having to construct a digital facility only to be displaced by the incentive auction reorganization of spectrum and having to finance the construction of a second digital facility, the Commission's extension of the transition deadline will allow small entities to wait until the incentive auction is complete and to determine the impact on their digital transition plan.

Channel Sharing. The Commission's decision to allow LPTV and TV Translator to share channels between themselves will greatly minimize the impact on small entities. Many stations will be displaced by the incentive auction reorganization of spectrum and allowing these stations to channel share will reduce the cost of having to build a new facility to replace the one that was displaced. Stations can share in the cost of building a shared channel facility and will experience cost savings by operating a shared transmission facility. In addition, channel sharing is voluntary and only those stations that determine that channel sharing will be advantageous will enter into this arrangement.

The Commission's licensing and operating rules for channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations were designed to minimize impact on small entities. The rules provide a streamlined method for reviewing and licensing channel sharing for these stations as well as a streamlined method for resolving cases where a channel sharing station loses its license on the shared channel. These rules were designed to reduce the burden and cost on small entities.

Assistance to Displaced Stations. The Commission's efforts to assist LPTV and TV translator stations in finding displacement channels after the incentive auction will greatly benefit small entities. By helping stations find new channels from a smaller universe of channels that will remain after the incentive auction reorganization of channels, the Commission will save small entities time and money by not having to consult with an engineer to make such determinations. Such savings can then be used to construct and operate the displacement facility. The Commission rejected calls to “repack” all displaced LPTV and TV translator stations by assigning their frequencies finding that such a plan would interfere with stations ability to engineer their facilities as they see fit and 30 years of licensing history.

Digital to Digital Replacement Translators. The Commission is aware that some full service television stations operate with limited budgets. Accordingly, every effort was taken to adopt rules for the new digital-to-digital replacement translator service that impose the least possible burden on all licensees, including small entities. Existing forms will be used to implement this new service thereby reducing the burden on small entities.

The Commission concluded that applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators should be given licensing priority over all other low power television and TV translator applications, except displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators (for which they would have co-equal priority). The Commission could have adopted no such priority, but this would have resulted in many more mutually exclusive filings and delayed the implementation of this valuable service.

The Commission also decided to limit the eligibility for such service to any station that can demonstrate that it experienced a loss of digital service area as a result of the incentive auction or repacking process. Alternatively, the Commission could have allowed all interested parties to file for new translators, however such approach would also result in numerous mutually exclusive filings and would greatly delay implementation of this needed service.

The Commission further concluded that the service area of the replacement translator should be limited to only a demonstrated loss area and permitted stations to expand slightly its pre-incentive auction service area. Once again, the Commission could have allowed stations to file for expansion of their existing service areas but such an alternative could result in the use of valuable spectrum that the Commission seeks to preserve for other uses.

The Commission concluded that replacement digital television translator stations should be licensed with “secondary” frequency use status. The Commission could have decided that replacement translators be licensed on a primary frequency use basis, but this alternative was not adopted because it would result in numerous interference and licensing problems.

The Commission determined that, unlike other television translator licenses, the license for the replacement translator should be associated with the full power station's main license. Therefore, the replacement translator license may not be separately assigned or transferred and will be renewed or assigned along with the full-service station's main license. Alternatively, the Commission could have decided that the replacement translator license be separate from the main station's license, however this approach could result in licenses being sold or modified to serve areas outside of the loss area, and thus would undermine the purpose of this new service.

The Commission also concluded that the other rules associated with television translator stations will apply to the new replacement translator service, including those rules concerning the filing of applications, payment of filing fees, processing of applications, power limits, out-of-channel emission limits, call signs, unattended operation, and time of operation. The alternative could have been to design all new rules for this service, but that alternative was not adopted as it would adversely impact stations ability to quickly implement these new translators.

The Commission's conclusion to discontinue accepting applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators may impact small entities. However, the Commission determined that future analog-to-digital replacement translator applications are no longer necessary for stations to replace an analog loss area that occurred as a result of the digital transition over six years ago.

Elimination of Analog Tuner Mandate. The Commission decided to permit equipment manufacturers to forego having to include an analog tuner in their television sets determining that it would benefit small entity equipment manufacturers. Having to include an analog tuner increases the cost of a television sets and equipment manufacturers, some of whom may be small entities, would enjoy a cost savings as a result of the Commission's proposal. The Commission determined that any impact that not including an analog tuner in new television sets may have upon consumers should be minimal now that the full power digital transition has been complete for over five years and would be outweighed by the benefit of less expensive digital television sets.

Federal Rules Which Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Commission's Proposals

None.

List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 15

Communications equipment.

47 CFR Part 74

Television.

Federal Communications Commission. Sheryl Todd, Deputy Secretary. Final Rules

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 15 and 73 as follows:

PART 15—RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for Part 15 continues to read as follows: Authority:

47 U.S.C. 154, 302, 303, 304, 307, 336, and 544A.

2. Amend § 15.117 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 15.117 TV broadcast receivers.

(b) Until August 31, 2017, TV broadcast receivers shall be capable of adequately receiving all channels allocated by the Commission to the television broadcast service. After August 31, 2017, TV broadcast receivers shall be capable of adequately receiving all channels allocated by the Commission to the television broadcast service that broadcast digital signals, buy they need not be capable of receiving analog signals.

PART 74—EXPERIMENTAL RADIO, AUXILIARY, SPECIAL BROADCAST AND OTHER PROGRAM DISTRIBUTIONAL SERVICES 2. The authority citation for Part 74 is amended to read as follows: Authority:

47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 307, 309, 336 and 554.

3. Amend § 74.731 by revising paragraph (l) and adding paragraph (m) to read as follows:
§ 74.731 Purpose and permissible service.

(l) After 11:59 p.m. local time on September 1, 2015, Class A television stations may no longer operate any facility in analog (NTSC) mode.

(m) After 11:59 p.m. local time, 51 months following the release of the Channel Reassignment Public Notice announcing completion of the incentive auction conducted under Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96)), low power television and TV translator stations may no longer operate any facility in analog (NTSC) mode and all licenses for such analog operations shall automatically cancel at that time without any affirmative action by the Commission.

4. Amend § 74.787 by revising paragraphs (a)(5) and (b)(2) to read as follows:
§ 74.787 Digital Licensing.

(a) * * *

(5) Applications for analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translators. (i) Applications for new analog-to-digital replacement translators will not be accepted. Displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators will continue to be accepted. An application for a new digital-to-digital replacement translator may be filed beginning the first day of the low power television and TV translator displacement window set forth in § 73.3700(g)(1) of this part to one year after the completion of the 39-month post-auction transition period as defined in § 27.4 of this chapter. Applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators filed during the displacement window will be considered filed on the last day of the window. Following the completion of the displacement window, applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

(ii) Each original construction permit for the construction of a displacement analog-to-digital or new or displacement digital-to-digital replacement television translator station shall specify a period of three years from the date of issuance of the original construction permit within which construction shall be completed and application for license filed. The provisions of § 74.788(c) of this chapter shall apply for stations seeking additional time to complete construction of their displacement analog-to-digital or new or displacement digital-to-digital replacement television translator station.

(iii) Displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement television translators shall be given processing priority over all other low power television and TV translator new, minor change, or displacement applications except applications for digital-to-digital replacement television translators with which they shall have co-equal priority. Applications for digital-to-digital replacement television translators shall be given processing priority over all low power television and TV translator new, minor change, or displacement applications, except displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators with which they shall have co-equal priority.

(iv) Applications for new digital-to-digital replacement television translators and displacement applications for analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translators shall be treated as an application for minor change. Mutually exclusive applications shall be resolved via the Commission's part 1 and broadcast competitive bidding rules, § 1.2100 et seq. and § 73.5000 et seq. of this chapter.

(v) A license for a digital-to-digital replacement television translator will be issued only to a full-power television broadcast station licensee that demonstrates in its application a loss in the station's pre-auction digital service area as a result of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction, including the repacking process, conducted under section 6403 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96). “Pre-auction digital service area” is defined as the geographic area within the full power station's noise-limited contour (as set forth in Public Notice, DA 15-1296, released November 12, 2015). The service area of the digital-to-digital replacement translator shall be limited to only the demonstrated loss area within the full power station's pre-auction digital service area, provided that an applicant for a digital-to-digital replacement television translator may propose a de minimis expansion of its full power pre-auction digital service area upon demonstrating that the expansion is necessary to replace a loss in its pre-auction digital service area.

(vi) The license for the analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translator will be associated with the full power station's main license, will be assigned the same call sign, may not be separately assigned or transferred, and will be renewed with the full power station's main license.

(vii) Analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translators may operate only on those television channels designated for broadcast television use following completion of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction conducted under section 6403 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96).

(viii) The following sections are applicable to analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translator stations:

Applicable Rule Sections § 73.1030 Notifications concerning interference to radio astronomy, research and receiving installations. § 74.703 Interference. § 74.709 Land mobile station protection. § 74.734 Attended and unattended operation. § 74.735 Power Limitations. § 74. 751 Modification of transmission systems. § 74.763 Time of Operation. § 74.765 Posting of station and operator licenses. § 74.769 Copies of rules. § 74.780 Broadcast regulations applicable to translators, low power, and booster stations (except § 73.653—Operation of TV aural and visual transmitters and § 73.1201—Station identification). § 74.781 Station records. § 74.784 Rebroadcasts.

(b) * * *

(2) Other facilities changes will be considered minor including changes made to implement a channel sharing arrangement provided they comply with the other provisions of this section.

5. Amend § 74.788 by revising paragraphs (a), (c)(1), (c)(3) and (d) to read as follows:
§ 74.788—Digital construction period.

(a) Except as indicated below, each original construction permit for the construction of a new digital low power television or television translator station shall specify a period of three years from the date of issuance of the original construction permit within which construction shall be completed and application for license filed. Construction permits for the construction of a new digital low power television or television translator station granted after the release of the LPTV DTV Third Report and Order, MB Docket No. 03-185 (FCC 15-175) shall specify the later of either the digital transition deadline or three years from the date of issuance of the original construction permit within which construction shall be completed and application for license filed.

(c) Authority delegated. (1) For the September 1, 2015 Class A television digital construction deadline, authority is delegated to the Chief, Media Bureau to grant an extension of time of up to six months beyond September 1, 2015 upon demonstration by the Class A station that failure to meet the construction deadline is due to circumstances that are either unforeseeable or beyond the licensee's control where the licensee has taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problem expeditiously. For the low power television and TV translator station digital transition deadline set forth in § 74.731(l) of this subpart, authority is delegated to the Chief, Media Bureau to grant an extension of time of up to six months beyond the digital transition deadline set forth in § 74.731(l) upon demonstration that failure to meet the construction deadline is due to circumstances that are either unforeseeable or beyond the station's control where the station has taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problem expeditiously.

(3) Applications for extension of time filed by Class A television stations shall be filed not later than May 1, 2015 absent a showing of sufficient reasons for late filing. Applications for extension of time filed by low power television and TV translator stations shall be filed not later than four months before the digital transition deadline set forth in § 74.731(l) of this subpart absent a showing of sufficient reasons for late filing.

(d) For Class A television digital construction deadlines occurring after September 1, 2015, the tolling provisions of § 73.3598 shall apply. For low power television and TV translator digital construction deadlines occurring after the digital transition deadline set forth in § 74.731(l) of this subpart, the tolling provisions of § 73.3598 shall apply.

6. Add § 74.800 to read as follows:
§ 74.800 Low Power Television and TV Translator Channel Sharing.

(a) Channel sharing generally. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, low power television and TV translator stations may voluntarily seek Commission approval to share a single six megahertz channel with other low power television and TV translator stations.

(2) Each station sharing a single channel pursuant to this section shall continue to be licensed and operated separately, have its own call sign and be separately subject to all of the Commission's obligations, rules, and policies.

(b) Licensing of channel sharing stations. The low power television or TV translator channel sharing station relinquishing its channel must file an application for the initial channel sharing construction permit, include a copy of the channel sharing agreement as an exhibit, and cross reference the other sharing station(s). Any engineering changes necessitated by the channel sharing arrangement may be included in the station's application. Upon initiation of shared operations, the station relinquishing its channel must notify the Commission that it has terminated operation pursuant to § 73.1750 of this part and each sharing station must file an application for license.

(c) Deadline for implementing channel sharing arrangements. Channel sharing arrangements submitted pursuant to this section must be implemented within three years of the grant of the initial channel sharing construction permit.

(d) Channel sharing agreements. (1) Channel sharing agreements (CSAs) submitted under this section must contain provisions outlining each licensee's rights and responsibilities regarding:

(i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have unrestrained access to the shared transmission facilities;

(ii) Allocation of bandwidth within the shared channel;

(iii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice provisions;

(iv) Transfer/assignment of a shared license, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the existing CSA; and

(v) Termination of the license of a party to the CSA, including reversion of spectrum usage rights to the remaining parties to the CSA.

(2) CSAs must include provisions:

(i) Affirming compliance with the channel sharing requirements in paragraph (d)(1) of this section and all relevant Commission rules and policies; and

(ii) Requiring that each channel sharing licensee shall retain spectrum usage rights adequate to ensure a sufficient amount of the shared channel capacity to allow it to provide at least one Standard Definition program stream at all times.

(e) Upon termination of the license of a party to a CSA, the spectrum usage rights covered by that license may revert to the remaining parties to the CSA. Such reversion shall be governed by the terms of the CSA in accordance with paragraph (d)(1)(v) of this section. If upon termination of the license of a party to a CSA only one party to the CSA remains, the remaining licensee may file an application to change its license to non-shared status using FCC Form 2100, Schedule D.

(f) If the rights under a CSA are transferred or assigned, the assignee or the transferee must comply with the terms of the CSA in accordance with paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section. If the transferee or assignee and the licensees of the remaining channel sharing station or stations agree to amend the terms of the existing CSA, the agreement may be amended, subject to Commission approval.

[FR Doc. 2016-00060 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 140918791-4999-02] RIN 0648-XE414 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; modification of a closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is opening directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the A season allowance of the 2016 total allowable catch of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 29, 2016, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., March 10, 2016. Comments must be received at the following address no later than 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., February 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2013-0147 by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0147, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Address written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

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), 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). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

The A season allowance of the 2016 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA is 12,456 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (80 FR 10250, February 25, 2015) and inseason adjustment (81 FR 188, January 5, 2016).

NMFS closed directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA under § 679.20(d)(1)(iii) on January 27, 2016 (81 FR 4594, January 27, 2016).

As of January 25, 2016, NMFS has determined that approximately 11,700 metric tons of pollock remain in the A season directed fishing allowance for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.25(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(i)(C), and (a)(2)(iii)(D), and to fully utilize the A season allowance of the 2016 TAC of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA, NMFS is terminating the previous closure and is reopening directed fishing pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA, effective 1200 hrs, A.l.t., January 29, 2016.

The Administrator, Alaska Region (Regional Administrator) considered the following factors in reaching this decision: (1) The current catch of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA and, (2) the harvest capacity and stated intent on future harvesting patterns of vessels in participating in this fishery.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the opening of directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a document providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of January 25, 2016.

The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

Without this inseason adjustment, NMFS could not allow the fishery for pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA to be harvested in an expedient manner and in accordance with the regulatory schedule. Under § 679.25(c)(2), interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this action to the above address until February 16, 2016.

This action is required by § 679.25 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: January 27, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-01751 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887-5172-02] RIN 0648-XE415 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Atka Mackerel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the Eastern Aleutian district and the Bering Sea subarea (BSEAI) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island management area (BSAI) by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2016 Atka mackerel total allowable catch (TAC) in the BSEAI allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), January 27, 2016, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., June 10, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

The A season allowance of the 2016 Atka mackerel TAC, in the BSEAI, allocated to vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery was established as a directed fishing allowance of 1,216 metric tons by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015), and as adjusted by an inseason adjustment (81 FR 184, January 5, 2016)

In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the BSEAI by vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery.

After the effective dates of this closure, the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, (AA) finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such a requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the directed fishing closure of the Atka mackerel fishery in the BSEAI for vessels participating in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of January 26, 2016. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: January 27, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-01755 Filed 1-27-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
81 20 Monday, February 1, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2016-0451; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-253-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2004-23-20 for certain Airbus Model A300 series airplanes and Model A300 B4-601, A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R, and C4-605R Variant F airplanes. AD 2004-23-20 currently requires, for certain airplanes, repetitive inspections for cracking around certain attachment holes, installation of new fasteners for certain airplanes, and follow-on corrective actions if necessary. AD 2004-23-20 also requires modifying certain fuselage frames, which terminates certain repetitive inspections. Since we issued AD 2004-23-20, we received a report indicating that the material used to manufacture the upper frame feet was changed and negatively affected the fatigue life of the frame feet. This proposed AD would reduce the compliance times for the initial inspection and the inspection intervals. This proposed AD would also expand the applicability and require an additional repair on certain airplanes that have been modified. We are proposing this AD to prevent cracking of the center section of the fuselage, which could result in a ruptured frame foot and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 17, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.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.

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-2016-0451; 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 proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-0451; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-253-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

On November 10, 2004, we issued AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004) for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes and Model A300 B4-601, A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes. (That AD superseded AD 2001-06-10, Amendment 39-12157 (66 FR 17490, April 2, 2001)). AD 2004-23-20 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on the products listed above.

Since we issued AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004) we received a report indicating that a change in material for manufacturing the frame feet for certain airplanes negatively impacted the fatigue life of the frame feet.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0295, dated December 11, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Model A300 B4-601, A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R, and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes. The MCAI states:

During a scheduled inspection of the fuselage frame feet of an in-service A300-600 aeroplane, cracks were observed in Frame (FR) 43, FR 44, FR 45 and FR 46 between stringer (STGR) 24 and STGR 30.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

To address this unsafe condition, [Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile] DGAC France issued [an] AD * * * to require repetitive inspections of the affected frames and stringers on both sides of the fuselage and, depending on findings, repairs, as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A300-53-6122.

Subsequently, DGAC France issued AD F-2004-002 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/F-2004-002] (EASA approval 2003-2108) [which corresponds to FAA AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004)], retaining the requirements of [an] AD * * * and required the embodiment of Airbus SB A300-53-6125 (Airbus modification 12168) in order to improve the life of the frame foot attachment.

Since DGAC France AD F-2004-002 was issued, a fleet survey and updated Fatigue and Damage Tolerance analyses were performed in order to substantiate the second A300-600 Extended Service Goal (ESG2) exercise.

It was highlighted that the frame feet material change from 2024T3511 (A300B4) to 7175T7351 (A300-600) had an impact on the frame feet fatigue life duration. Airbus SB A300-53-6122 was revised accordingly to decrease the inspection thresholds and intervals. Subsequent SB revision introduced a second structural modification point (SMP2) for aeroplanes that embody Airbus SB A300-53-6125 (modification 12168).

For the reasons described above, this new [EASA] AD retains the requirements of DGAC France AD F-2004-002, which is superseded, but requires those actions within the new thresholds and intervals as specified in Revision 04 of Airbus SB A300-53-6122.

The retained requirements include rototest inspections for cracking in the area surrounding the frame feet attachment holes between fuselage FR 41 and FR 46 from stringers 24 to 28 on the left and right sides, and related investigative and corrective action if necessary. The related investigative actions include additional rotating probe inspections of the adjacent holes. The corrective actions include reaming out cracks, cold working fastener holes, and installing oversized fasteners, or repair. This proposed AD also expands the applicability to include airplanes on which Airbus Modification 12168 was done. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-0451.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 04, dated February 27, 2012. The service information describes procedures for the repetitive inspections of certain frame feet attachment holes for cracks, installation of new fasteners, and repair of cracked areas.

In addition, Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 01, dated June 13, 2003. The service information provides compliance times for certain airplanes to do the proposed modification.

Airbus has also issued Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 04, dated March 17, 2015. The service information describes procedures for the modification of certain upper frame feet fittings.

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.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Changes to AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004)

This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004). Since AD 2004-23-20 was issued the AD format has been revised, and certain paragraphs have been rearranged. As a result, the corresponding paragraph designators have changed in this proposed AD, as listed in the following table:

Revised Paragraph Designators Requirement in
  • AD 2004-23-20,
  • Amendment
  • 39-13875
  • (69 FR 68779,
  • November 26, 2004)
  • Corresponding
  • requirement in
  • this proposed
  • AD
  • paragraph (f) paragraph (g). paragraph (g) paragraph (h). paragraph (h) paragraph (i). paragraph (i) paragraph (j). paragraph (j) paragraph (k).

    We have converted “TABLE 1.—SERVICE INFORMATION” in AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004) to text in paragraphs (j)(3)(i) and (j)(3)(ii) of this proposed AD for formatting purposes only.

    We have also moved the service information acceptable for compliance if previously done from “TABLE 1.—SERVICE INFORMATION” in AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004) to paragraph (r)(2) of this proposed AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 65 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions that are required by AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004), and retained in this proposed AD take about 90 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $4,000 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that were required by AD 2004-23-20 is $11,650 per product.

    We also estimate that it would take up to 109 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost up to $6,070 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $996,775, or $15,335 per product.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed 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

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 this proposed regulation:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

    2. Is not a “significant rule” under the 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.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2016-0451; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-253-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by March 17, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes; and Model A300 B4-601, A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the material used to manufacture the upper frame feet was changed and negatively affected the fatigue life of the frame feet. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking of the center section of the fuselage, which could result in a ruptured frame foot and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspections

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004), with revised service information. For Model A300 B4-600 and A300 B4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F and A300 F4-605R airplanes, except those airplanes modified by Airbus Modification 12168: Perform a high-frequency eddy-current or rototest inspection to detect cracking in the area surrounding the frame feet attachment holes between fuselage frames (FR) 41 and FR 46 from stringers 24 to 28, left-and right-hand sides, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 04, dated February 27, 2012; at the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD. Accomplishing an inspection required by paragraph (m) of this AD terminates the inspections required by this paragraph.

    (1) For airplanes on which Task 53-15-54 in Maintenance Review Board Document (MRBD), Revision 3, dated April 1998, has not been accomplished as of May 7, 2001 (the effective date of AD 2001-06-10, Amendment 39-12157 (66 FR 17490, April 2, 2001)): Perform the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (g)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Prior to the accumulation of the total flight-cycle or flight-hour threshold, whichever occurs first, specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000; or

    (ii) Within the applicable grace period specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000.

    (2) For airplanes on which Task 53-15-54 in the MRBD, Revision 3, dated April 1998, has been accomplished as of May 7, 2001 (the effective date of AD 2001-06-10, Amendment 39-12157 (66 FR 17490, April 2, 2001)): Perform the next repetitive inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) and (g)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Within the flight-cycle or flight-hour interval, whichever occurs first, specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000, following the latest inspection accomplished as specified in MRBD, Revision 3, dated April 1998; or

    (ii) Within the grace period specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000.

    (h) Retained Installation of Fasteners and Repetitive Inspections

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004), with revised service information. For airplanes on which no cracking is detected during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, prior to further flight, install new fasteners as applicable, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 04, dated February 27, 2012; and repeat the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000; until the actions required by paragraph (j) or (o) of this AD have been done or the initial inspection required by paragraph (m) of this AD is done.

    (i) Retained Corrective Actions

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004), with revised service information. For airplanes on which cracking is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Prior to further flight, except as required by paragraph (k) of this AD, accomplish corrective actions (e.g., performing rotating probe inspections, reaming out cracks, cold working fastener holes, and installing oversized fasteners) in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 04, dated February 27, 2012. Repeat the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, dated February 9, 2000; until the actions required by paragraph (j) or (o) of this AD have been done, or the initial inspection required by paragraph (m) of this AD is done.

    (j) Retained Modification: Model A300 Series Airplanes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004), for certain airplanes, with no changes. For Model A300 series airplanes: Within the compliance times specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0271, Revision 03, dated June 13, 2003, modify the fuselage frames, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0271, Revision 03, dated June 13, 2003. For airplanes that have exceeded their design service goal, as specified in NOTE (01) of paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0271, Revision 03, dated June 13, 2003; this AD requires compliance within the earlier of the flight-cycle and flight-hour grace periods specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0271, Revision 03, dated June 13, 2003.

    (k) Retained Exceptions to Service Bulletin Procedures

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004), with specific delegation approval language. During any inspection required by paragraphs (g), (h), (i), or (j) of this AD, if the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (g), (h), (i), and (j) of this AD specifies to contact the manufacturer for appropriate instructions: Before further flight, perform all applicable corrective actions in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) (or its delegated agent); or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (l) New Definition for This AD: Average Flight Time (AFT)

    For the purpose of this AD, use the parameters specified in paragraphs (l)(1), (l)(2), and (l)(3) of this AD to determine the applicable AFT for the actions required by paragraph (m) and compliance times required by paragraph (n) of this AD.

    (1) The initial inspection compliance time, as the total accumulated flight hours counted from take-off to touch-down, divided by the total accumulated flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD.

    (2) The first repetitive inspection interval, as the total accumulated flight hours divided by the total accumulated flight cycles at the time of the inspection.

    (3) The second inspection interval and subsequent, as the flight hours divided by the flight cycles between the last two inspections.

    (m) New Requirements of This AD: Inspections and Corrective Actions

    (1) At the applicable time specified in paragraph (n)(1) of this AD, do a rotating probe inspection for discrepancies of the frame feet attachment holes from FR 41 through FR 46, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 04, dated February 27, 2012. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed those specified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD. Accomplishment of this inspection terminates the inspections required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD.

    (2) If any discrepancy (e.g., cracking or damage) is found during any inspection required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD, before further flight, do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 04, dated February 27, 2012; except where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 04, dated February 27, 2012, specifies to contact Airbus, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (3) Corrective actions, as required by paragraph (m)(2) of this AD, do not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD.

    (n) Compliance Times for Initial and Repetitive Inspections

    (1) Do the initial rotating probe inspection required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (n)(1)(i), (n)(1)(ii), and (n)(1)(iii) of this AD; or within 1,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD; whichever occurs later.

    (i) For airplanes on which the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125 has not been done as of the effective date of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph (n)(1)(i)(A) or (n)(1)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) If the AFT is greater than 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles: Within 14,800 flight hours or 6,800 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, since the airplane's first flight.

    (B) If the AFT is less than or equal to 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles: Within 11,100 flight hours or 7,400 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, since the airplane's first flight.

    (ii) For airplanes on which the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125 has been done as of the effective date of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (n)(1)(iii) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph (n)(1)(ii)(A) or (n)(1)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) If the AFT is greater than 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles: Within 56,400 flight hours or 26,100 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after doing the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125.

    (B) If the AFT is less than or equal to 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles: Within 42,300 flight hours or 28,200 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after doing the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125.

    (iii) For airplanes on which the additional modification required by paragraph (p) of this AD has been done: At the applicable times in paragraph (n)(1)(iii)(A) or (n)(1)(iii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) If the AFT is greater than 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles: Within 69,400 flight hours or 32,100 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after doing the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125.

    (B) If the AFT is less than or equal to 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles: Within 52,000 flight hours or 34,700 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after doing the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125.

    (2) Do the repetitive rotating probe inspections required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD at intervals not to exceed those specified in paragraph (n)(2)(i) or (n)(2)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

    (i) If the AFT is greater than 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles: 7,800 flight hours or 3,600 flight cycles, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) If the AFT is less than or equal to 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles: 5,800 flight hours or 3,900 flight cycles, whichever occurs first.

    (o) New Requirement of This AD: Modification for Model A300 B4-601, A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R and A300 C4-605R Variant F Airplanes

    (1) For Model A300 B4-601, A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes, except those modified in production before the effective date of this AD by Airbus Modification 12168 or those on which the modification (i.e., reinforcement of the upper frame feet fittings) specified in the service information identified in paragraph (p)(1)(i), (p)(1)(ii), or (p)(1)(iii) of this AD has been done before the effective date of this AD: At the applicable time specified in paragraph (o)(1)(i) or (o)(1)(ii) of this AD: Reinforce the upper frame feet fittings, including doing all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 04, dated March 17, 2015, except where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 04, dated March 17, 2015, specifies to contact Airbus, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

    (i) For airplanes with an AFT greater than 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD: At the later of the times in paragraphs (o)(1)(i)(A) and (o)(1)(i)(B) of this AD:

    (A) Within 18,200 flight hours or 8,400 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, since the airplane's first flight; or

    (B) At the earlier of the times specified in paragraphs (o)(1)(i)(B)1 and (o)(1)(i)(B)2 of this AD.

    1  Within 1,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.

    2  Within the compliance times specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 01, dated June 13, 2003. For airplanes that have exceeded their design service goal, as specified in NOTE (01) of paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 01, dated June 13, 2003; within the earlier of the flight-cycle and flight-hour grace periods specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 01, dated June 13, 2003.

    (ii) For airplanes with an AFT less than or equal to 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD: At the later of the times in paragraphs (o)(1)(ii)(A) and (o)(1)(ii)(B) of this AD:

    (A) Within 13,700 flight hours or 9,100 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, since the airplane's first flight; or

    (B) At the earlier of the times specified in paragraphs (o)(1)(ii)(B)1 and (o)(1)(ii)(B)2 of this AD.

    1  Within 1,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD

    2  Within the compliance times specified in paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 01, dated June 13, 2003. For airplanes that have exceeded their design service goal, as specified in NOTE (01) of paragraph 1.E. (“Compliance”) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 01, dated June 13, 2003; within the earlier of the flight-cycle and flight-hour grace periods specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 01, dated June 13, 2003.

    (2) For the affected Model A300 B4-600 series airplanes: Accomplishment of the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125 before the effective date of this AD terminates the requirements of paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD.

    (3) For Model A300 B2 and A300 B4 series airplanes: Accomplishment of the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125 terminates certain repetitive inspections required by AD 2007-04-11, Amendment 39-14943 (72 FR 8604, February 27, 2014), i.e., inspections of the frame feet holes for frames 41 to 46 (as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0345) and frames 48 to 54 (as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-238). However, the repetitive inspections of the frame foot angle radius (as specified in Service Bulletin A300-53-238), which are required by AD 2007-04-11, must continue.

    (p) New Requirement of This AD: Additional Modification for Certain Airplanes

    (1) For Model A300 B4-601, A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes modified in production before the effective date of this AD by Airbus Modification 12168, or modified before the effective date of this AD by accomplishment of the reinforcement of the upper frame feet fittings specified in the service information identified in paragraph (p)(1)(i), (p)(1)(ii), or (p)(1)(iii) of this AD: Within 360 flight cycles prior to reaching the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph (p)(2)(i) or (p)(2)(ii) of this AD, contact the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA; for modification instructions and within the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph (p)(2) of this AD, do the modification using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, dated November 8, 2000.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 01, dated June 13, 2003,

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6125, Revision 02, dated February 25, 2005.

    (2) Do the modification required by paragraph (p)(1) of this AD at the applicable time specified below.

    (i) For airplanes with an AFT greater than 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD: Within 32,100 flight cycles after the modification was completed.

    (ii) For airplanes with an AFT less than or equal to 1.5 flight hours/flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD: Within 34,700 flight cycles after the modification was completed.

    (q) Modification Is Not Terminating Action

    Accomplishment of the modification specified in paragraph (o) or (p) of this AD does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (m)(1) of this AD.

    (r) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) For Model A300 B4-600 and B4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F and A300 F4-605R airplanes: This paragraph provides credit for inspections and corrective actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information specified in paragraphs (r)(1)(i), (r)(1)(ii), and (r)(1)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 01, dated September 5, 2001, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 02, dated June 17, 2002, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6122, Revision 03, dated August 25, 2011, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) This paragraph restates the credit for Airbus Model A300 series airplanes for previous actions as provided by Table 1 of AD 2004-23-20, Amendment 39-13875 (69 FR 68779, November 26, 2004). For Airbus Model A300 series airplanes: This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD, if those actions were performed before January 3, 2005 (the effective date of AD 2004-23-20) using the service information specified in paragraph (r)(2)(i), (r)(2)(ii), or (r)(2)(iii) of this AD.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0271, dated September 10, 1991, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0271, Revision 01, dated February 16, 1993, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0271, Revision 02, dated July 13, 2000, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (s) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, 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 International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (i) 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. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 96-13-11, Amendment 39-9679 (61 FR 35122, July 5, 1996), and AD 2001-06-10, Amendment 39-12157, April 2, 2001), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding requirements of this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus' EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (t) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0295, dated December 11, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-0451.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this 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.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 21, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01736 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-139483-13] RIN 1545-BL87 Treatment of Certain Transfers of Property of Foreign Corporations; Hearing Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Correction to a notice of public hearing on proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects a notice of public hearing on proposed regulations that published in the Federal Register on January 20, 2016, at 81 FR 3069.

    DATES:

    The public hearing is being held on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 10 a.m. The IRS must now receive outlines of the topics to be discussed at the public hearing by Thursday, February 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public hearing is being held in the IRS Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224. Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter at the Constitution Avenue entrance. In addition, all visitors must present photo identification to enter the building.

    Send Submissions to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-139483-13), Room 5205, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-139483-13), Couriers Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224 or sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS-2015-0047).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the regulations, Ryan A. Bowen at (202) 317-6937; concerning submissions of comments, the hearing and/or to be placed on the building access list to attend the hearing Regina Johnson at (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The notice of public hearing on a proposed rulemaking that is the subject of this document is under sections 367 and 482 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published, the notice of public hearing on proposed rulemaking contains an omission in its summary that may prove to be misleading and is in need of clarification.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, the notice of public hearing on proposed rulemaking (REG-139483-13), that are subject to FR Doc. 2016-00961, is corrected as follows:

    On page 3069, in the preamble, second column, under the caption SUMMARY, the last line of the paragraph is corrected to read “Code. This document also provides notice of public hearing on the proposed regulations under section 482 clarifying the coordination of the transfer pricing rules under section 482 with other Internal Revenue Code provisions.”.

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2016-01807 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 199 [DOD-2015-HA-0109] RIN 0720-AB65 TRICARE; Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Treatment AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rulemaking proposes comprehensive revisions to the TRICARE regulation to reduce administrative barriers to access to mental health benefit coverage and to improve access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment for TRICARE beneficiaries, consistent with earlier Department of Defense and Institute of Medicine recommendations, current standards of practice in mental health and addiction medicine, and governing laws. This proposed rule has four main objectives: (1) To eliminate quantitative and qualitative treatment limitations on SUD and mental health benefit coverage and align beneficiary cost-sharing for mental health and SUD benefits with those applicable to medical/surgical benefits; (2) to expand covered mental health and SUD treatment under TRICARE, to include coverage of intensive outpatient programs and treatment of opioid use disorder; (3) to streamline the requirements for mental health and SUD institutional providers to become TRICARE authorized providers; and (4) to develop TRICARE reimbursement methodologies for newly recognized mental health and SUD intensive outpatient programs and opioid treatment programs.

    DATES:

    Written comments received at the addresses indicated below will be considered for possible revisions to this rule in development of the final rule. Comments must be received on or before April 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number and or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) number and title, by either of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Patricia Moseley, Defense Health Agency, Clinical Support Division, Condition-Based Specialty Care Section, 703-681-0064.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Executive Summary A. Purpose of the Proposed Rule 1. The Need for the Regulatory Action

    This proposed rule seeks to comprehensively update TRICARE mental health and substance use disorder benefits, consistent with earlier Department of Defense and Institute of Medicine recommendations, current standards of practice in mental health and addiction medicine, and our governing laws. The Department of Defense remains intently focused on ensuring the mental health of our service members and their families, as this continues to be a top priority. The Department is also working to further de-stigmatize mental health treatment and expand the ways by which our beneficiaries can access authorized mental health services. This proposed regulatory action is in furtherance of these goals and imperative in order to eliminate requirements that may be viewed as barriers to medically necessary and appropriate mental health services.

    (a) Eliminating Quantitative and Qualitative Treatment Limitations on SUD and Mental Health Benefit Coverage and Aligning Beneficiary Cost-Sharing for Mental Health and SUD Benefits With Those Applicable to Medical/Surgical Benefits

    The requirements of the Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) of 1996 and the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, as well as the plan benefit provisions contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) do not apply to the TRICARE program. The provisions of MHPAEA and PPACA serve as models for TRICARE in proposing changes to existing benefit coverage. These changes intend to reduce administrative barriers to treatment and increase access to medically or psychologically necessary mental health care consistent with TRICARE statutory authority.

    Section 703 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, signed into law December 19, 2014, amends section 1079 of title 10 of the U.S.C. to remove prior existing statutory limits and requirements on TRICARE coverage of inpatient mental health services. This proposed rule is necessary to conform the regulation to provisions in the recently enacted law. Specifically, TRICARE coverage is no longer subject to an annual limit on stays in inpatient mental health facilities of 30 days for adults and 45 days for children. In addition, TRICARE coverage is no longer subject to a 150-day annual limit for stays at Residential Treatment Centers (RTCs) for eligible beneficiaries.

    In addition to the elimination of these statutory inpatient day limits, and corresponding waiver provisions, the proposed rule also seeks to eliminate other regulatory quantitative and qualitative treatment limitations, consistent with principles of mental health parity and our governing laws. These include the 60-day partial hospitalization program limitation; annual and lifetime limitations on SUD treatment; presumptive limitations on outpatient services including the number of psychotherapy sessions per week and family therapy sessions for the treatment of SUD per benefit period; and limitations on the smoking cessation program. While there are clear waiver provisions in place for all of the existing quantitative treatment benefit limitations in order to ensure that beneficiaries have access to medically or psychologically necessary and appropriate care, these presumptive limitations may serve as an administrative barrier and thus disincentive to continued care regardless of the continued medical necessity of such care.

    Additionally, this rulemaking proposes to remove the categorical exclusion on treatment of gender dysphoria. This proposed change will permit coverage of all non-surgical medically necessary and appropriate care in the treatment of gender dysphoria, consistent with the program requirements applicable for treatment of all mental or physical illnesses. Surgical care remains prohibited by statute at 10 U.S.C. 1079(a)(11), as discussed further below.

    Finally, following the recent repeal (section 703 of the NDAA for FY 15) of the statutory authority (previously codified at 10 U.S.C. 1079(i)(2)) for separate beneficiary financial liability for mental health benefits, the proposed rule revises the cost-sharing requirements for mental health and SUD benefits to be consistent with those that are applicable to TRICARE medical and surgical benefits.

    (b) Expanding Coverage To Include Mental Health and SUD Intensive Outpatient Programs and Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

    Currently, TRICARE benefits do not fully reflect the full range of contemporary SUD treatment approaches (i.e., outpatient counseling and intensive outpatient program (IOP)) that are now endorsed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) for SUDs. Some existing benefit coverage restrictions inhibit access to community based outpatient services; may cause beneficiaries to be separated from their families while they are receiving treatment in geographically distant facilities; and may result in beneficiaries electing to forgo treatment. Further, restrictions may lead to difficulty receiving appropriate step-down care following acute inpatient and residential treatment services. TRICARE currently limits SUD treatment to TRICARE-authorized SUD Rehabilitation Facilities (SUDRFs) and hospitals.

    An amendment to the regulation is necessary to authorize TRICARE benefit coverage of medically and psychologically necessary services and supplies which represent appropriate medical care and that are generally accepted by qualified professionals to be reasonable and adequate for the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Office-based individual outpatient treatment is an effective, empirically-validated level of treatment for substance use disorder endorsed by The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions, Third Edition, 2013. Furthermore, TRICARE coverage of medication assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder, extended through regulatory revisions, as published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2013 (78 FR 62427), is currently limited to MAT provided by a TRICARE authorized SUDRF. This proposed revision of the TRICARE SUD treatment benefit will allow office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) by individual TRICARE-authorized physicians and will also add coverage of qualified opioid treatment programs (OTPs) as TRICARE authorized institutional providers of SUD treatment for opioid use disorder, which will expand access to this type of care.

    (c) Streamlining Requirements for Institutional Mental Health and SUD Providers To Become TRICARE Authorized Providers

    The current TRICARE certification requirements for institutional mental health and SUD providers were implemented over 20 years ago and designed to create comprehensive, stand-alone standards to address the full spectrum of requirements and expectations for mental health facilities and providers, rather than as mere supplements to the standards employed by the Joint Commission, which at the time had moved toward a more general set of facility standards. Over the last several decades, the accreditation process for institutional providers has evolved, and these standards are now monitored through a number of industry-accepted accrediting bodies. While TRICARE's comprehensive certification standards were once considered necessary to ensure quality and safety, these comprehensive certification requirements are now proving to be overly restrictive and at times inconsistent with current industry-based institutional provider standards and organization. There are currently several geographic areas that are inadequately served because providers in those regions do not meet TRICARE certification requirements, even though they may meet the industry standard. The proposed rule seeks to streamline TRICARE regulations to be consistent with industry standards for authorization of qualified institutional providers of mental health and SUD treatment. It is anticipated that these revisions will result in an increase in the number and geographic coverage areas of participating institutional providers of mental health and SUD treatment for TRICARE beneficiaries.

    (d) TRICARE Reimbursement Methodologies for Newly Recognized Mental Health and SUD Intensive Outpatient Programs and Opioid Treatment Programs

    Along with recognition of several new categories of TRICARE authorized providers, the proposed rule establishes reimbursement methodologies for these providers. Specifically, new reimbursement methodologies have been proposed for IOPs for mental health and SUD treatment as well as OTPs, as these providers have not previously been recognized by TRICARE and thus appropriate reimbursement methodologies must be established. Existing reimbursement methodologies for SUDRFs, RTCs, and PHPs will continue to apply.

    2. Legal Authority for the Regulatory Action

    This regulation is proposed under the authorities of 10 U.S.C., section 1073, which authorizes the Secretary of Defense to make decisions concerning TRICARE and to administer the medical and dental benefits provided in title 10 U.S.C., chapter 55. The Department is authorized to provide medically necessary and appropriate medical care for mental and physical illnesses, injuries and bodily malfunctions, including hospitalization, outpatient care, drugs, and treatment of mental conditions under 10 U.S.C. 1077(a)(1) through (3) and (5). Although section 1077 identifies the types of health care to be provided in military treatment facilities (MTFs) to those authorized such care under section 1076, these same types of health care (with certain specified exceptions) are authorized for coverage within the civilian health care sector for ADFMs under section 1079 and for retirees and their dependents under section 1086. In general, the scope of TRICARE benefits covered within the civilian health care sector and the TRICARE authorized providers of those benefits are found at 32 CFR 199.4 and 199.6, respectively.

    TRICARE beneficiary cost-sharing is governed by statute and regulation based upon both the beneficiary category and TRICARE option being utilized. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1079(b)(1), dependents of members of the uniformed services utilizing TRICARE Standard are responsible for a $25 beneficiary cost-share for each covered inpatient admission to a hospital, or the amount the beneficiary or sponsor would have been charged had the inpatient care been provided in a Uniformed Service hospital, whichever is greater. Section 1079(i)(2) permits the Secretary to prescribe separate payment requirements for the provision of mental health services and, under this authority, the Secretary did prescribe different copays for mental health versus medical/surgical benefits for active duty family members under the TRICARE Standard option as well as for retirees, their family members, and survivors under the TRICARE Prime option.

    Under TRICARE Standard, an inpatient cost-sharing amount for mental health services of $20 per day for each day of inpatient admission was established by regulation (32 CFR 199.4(f)(2)(ii)(D)) and applies to admissions to any hospital for mental health services, any residential treatment facility, any substance use rehabilitation facility, and any partial hospitalization program (PHP) providing mental health services.

    Section 731 of the NDAA for FY 1994 (Pub. L. 103-160) directed the Secretary of Defense to implement a health benefit option modelled on health maintenance organization plans offered in the private sector. This uniform health maintenance organization (HMO) benefit is known as TRICARE Prime and was implemented through regulation (32 CFR 199.17 and 199.18). Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1097(e), the Secretary of Defense is authorized to prescribe by regulation a premium, deductible, copayment, or other charge for health care for Prime beneficiaries. The specific cost-sharing requirements for Prime are found at 32 CFR 199.18. Under TRICARE Prime, the regulation (32 CFR 199.18(f)(3)(ii) and (e)(3)) established an outpatient copay of $25 per mental health visit and $17 per group outpatient mental health visit and $40 per diem charge for inpatient mental health for retirees, their family members, and survivors. In establishing TRICARE Prime, these separate and higher copayments for mental health services were determined to be necessary to preserve the distinct treatment of mental health services as authorized by law in effect at the time.

    Section 703 of the NDAA for FY 2015 enacted a statutory amendment to 10 U.S.C. 1079, effective December 19, 2014. This action removed the authority for separate patient cost-sharing of mental health services and necessitates regulatory changes to re-classify partial hospitalization services as outpatient services for purposes of cost-sharing and to bring the active duty family member Standard inpatient cost-sharing regulations into alignment with the statute. The proposed regulatory changes further equalize the retiree and dependent mental health copay amounts to the medical/surgical copay amounts under TRICARE Prime.

    With respect to institutional provider reimbursement, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1079(i)(2), the Secretary is required to publish regulations establishing the amount to be paid to any provider of services, including hospitals, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, and any other institutional facility providing services for which payment may be made. The amount of such payments shall be determined, to the extent practicable, in accordance with the same reimbursement rules as apply to payments to providers of services of the same type under Medicare. TRICARE provider reimbursement methods are found at 32 CFR 199.14. When it is not practicable to adopt Medicare's methods or Medicare has no established reimbursement methodology (e.g. Medicare does not reimburse freestanding SUDRFs or PHPs that are not hospital-based or part of a Community Mental Health Clinic, while TRICARE does), TRICARE establishes its own rates through proposed and final rulemaking. This rule invites comments on the approach proposed to be adopted by TRICARE.

    B. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule makes a number of comprehensive revisions to the TRICARE mental health and SUD treatment coverage. In an effort to further de-stigmatize SUD care, treatment of SUDs is no longer separately identified as a limited special benefit under 32 CFR 199.4(e) but rather has now been incorporated into the general mental health provisions in § 199.4(b) governing institutional benefits and § 199.4(c) governing professional service benefits. Further, this proposed rule seeks to eliminate a number of mental health and SUD quantitative and qualitative treatment limitations, and corresponding waiver provisions, instead relying on determinations of medical necessity and appropriate utilization management tools, as are used for all other medical and surgical benefits. Proposed revisions include eliminating:

    • All inpatient mental health day limits, following the statutory revisions to 10 U.S.C. 1079;

    • The 60-day partial hospitalization and SUDRF residential treatment limitations;

    • Annual and lifetime limitations on SUD treatment;

    • Presumptive limitations on outpatient services including the six-hours per year limit on psychological testing; the limit of two sessions per week for outpatient therapy; and limits for family therapy (15 visits) and outpatient therapy (60 visits) provided in free-standing or hospital based SUDRFs;

    • The limit of two smoking cessation quit attempts in a consecutive 12 month period and 18 face-to-face counseling sessions per attempt; and

    • The regulatory prohibition that categorically excludes all treatment of gender dysphoria.

    The rule also proposes changes to cost-sharing for mental health treatment for TRICARE Prime and Standard/Extra beneficiaries to align with the applicable cost-sharing provisions for other non-mental health inpatient and outpatient benefits. Additionally, revisions have been proposed to clearly identify services that will be cost-shared on an inpatient (e.g., inpatient admissions to a hospital, residential treatment center, SUDRF residential treatment program, or skilled nursing facility) versus outpatient (including partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient treatment services, and opioid treatment program services) cost-sharing basis to ensure consistency with the statutory requirements in 10 U.S.C. 1079 and 1086. In many cases, these proposed modifications to cost-sharing would enhance TRICARE beneficiary access to care through lower out-of-pocket costs.

    The proposed regulatory language defines and authorizes new services by TRICARE authorized institutional and individual providers of SUD care outside of SUDRF settings at §§ 199.2 and 199.6. Revisions to treatment benefits at § 199.4 and § 199.6 would allow intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) for mental health and SUD treatment; care in opioid treatment programs (OTPs); and outpatient SUD treatment (i.e., office-based opioid treatment, psychosocial treatment and family therapy) by individual TRICARE authorized providers.

    Significant revisions to 32 CFR 199.6 are proposed in order to eliminate the administratively burdensome provider certification process and streamline approval for institutional mental health and SUD providers to become TRICARE authorized providers. In multiple regions providers may meet industry standards but do not meet TRICARE certification requirements. Consequently providers in these regions are unable to serve TRICARE beneficiaries. The applicable provisions for residential treatment centers, psychiatric and SUD partial hospitalization programs, and SUDRFs, have been rewritten in their entirety to address institutional provider eligibility, organization and administration, participation agreement requirements and any other requirements for approval as a TRICARE authorized provider. The requirement and formal process of certification is proposed for elimination. Similarly, new regulatory provisions have been proposed for the newly recognized categories of institutional providers, namely IOPs and OTPs.

    Finally, amendments to 32 CFR 199.14, which specifies provider reimbursement methods, are proposed to establish allowable all-inclusive per diem payment rates for psychiatric and SUD PHP, IOP and OTP services.

    C. Costs and Benefits

    The proposed amendment is not anticipated to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. An independent government cost estimate found that this proposed rule is estimated to have a net increase in costs of approximately $55 million. The government's regulatory impact analysis based on this cost estimate can be found in the docket folder associated with this proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=DOD-2015-HA-0109. To summarize, provisions to implement mental health parity account for approximately $34 million (62%) of the $55 net cost increase. While modifying mental health cost-sharing will increase costs, these revisions are required as the former statutory authority for mental health-specific cost sharing has been deleted from the statute (section 703 of the NDAA for FY15). As a result, the existing statutory cost-shares are utilized and this aligns mental health cost-shares with the current medical-surgical cost-shares. The largest cost increase ($21.6 million) is attributable to lowering outpatient mental health cost-sharing for Non-Active Duty Dependent (NADD) TRICARE beneficiaries (from $25 per visit to the medical/surgical outpatient cost-sharing of $12 per visit).

    Elimination of the statutory day limits for inpatient psychiatric and Residential Treatment Center (RTC) care for children (to comply with section 703 of the NDAA for FY15) will only minimally increase costs. This is because these previously published presumptive day limits were also subject to waivers and TRICARE had been reimbursing for medically necessary inpatient stays with waivers when continued medical necessity was supported. Eliminating the limit of two sessions per week for outpatient therapy is estimated to incur an increased cost ($7.5 million), but this is based on the conservative assumption that the proportion of NADD beneficiaries who will pursue three psychotherapy sessions per week is comparable to the proportion of Active Duty Service Members (ADSMs) who do so (17%), even though ADSMs incur no cost-sharing and most receive psychotherapy within MTFs instead of civilian providers. Eliminating other limits (e.g., annual and lifetime limits on SUD treatment, smoking cessation program limits, and others as outlined above) will have a relatively minimal increase in costs. Overall, the benefit of removing these quantitative limits to mental health treatment will ensure that all beneficiaries receive the appropriate amount of care based on medical and psychological necessity.

    Creating additional levels, providers, and types of mental health care (e.g., intensive outpatient programs, opioid treatment programs, non-surgical coverage for gender dysphoria, and also allowing outpatient substance use treatment) will increase costs to the program by approximately $16.8 million. Some of the cost increases will be offset through utilization of lower and less expensive levels of care (e.g., IOP versus residential or full day PHP) and prevention of relapse requiring more costly, intensive inpatient intervention. Currently, PHPs are the only step-down care from inpatient substance use disorder treatment currently covered by TRICARE. In many rural and sparely-populated states, such as Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, there are relatively few PHPs (on average 20 or fewer, with 4 states having fewer than 10 PHPs). IOPs in these rural states, on the other hand, are four times more plentiful than PHPs, and TRICARE coverage of IOP substance use disorder treatment will greatly increase beneficiary access to SUD treatment, particularly in these remote geographic areas. Similarly, in FY14, 15,000 services of psychotherapy by individual professional providers were denied for beneficiaries with an SUD. Coverage of outpatient SUD treatment by TRICARE authorized individual providers will facilitate early intervention for SUDs and help reduce relapse following more intensive treatment though the availability of outpatient aftercare from these professionals. Additionally, TRICARE currently has an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 beneficiaries with opioid use disorder who, under the current benefit, cannot access medication-assisted treatment (MAT; e.g., buprenorphine or methadone). According to SAMHSA, there are approximately 1155 OTPs in the United States and 31,363 physicians with a DEA waiver to provide MAT for opioid use disorder, but none of these facilities or providers is TRICARE-authorized or eligible to be reimbursed by TRICARE under current regulation. Once the changes proposed in this rule are implemented, TRICARE beneficiaries will have ready access to MAT on an outpatient basis as recommended by ASAM and clinical practice guidelines developed jointly by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DoD.

    Streamlining requirements for institutional providers to become TRICARE authorized providers of mental health and SUD care will incur an estimated increased cost of $3.2 million due to an anticipated increase in the number of institutional providers joining the TRICARE network. To focus on RTC care as an example, TRICARE strives to provide a robust mental health treatment benefit to our child beneficiaries, but access to RTC care for children is significantly limited in many geographic areas by TRICARE's existing certification requirements. Less than one sixth of RTCs certified by the Joint Commission are currently TRICARE certified, and only about one half of individual states have at least one TRICARE-certified RTC. California, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Louisiana all have no TRICARE-certified RTCs but do have sizeable TRICARE populations. Revising TRICARE institutional provider authorization requirements for RTCs will make it much more likely that parents will seek RTC care for their children whose behavioral health condition is so severe as to require RTC services, and this change to the TRICARE behavioral health benefit is projected to increase utilization of RTC services by 20 percent. Ultimately, the net increase in costs associated with this proposed rule will greatly be outweighed by the enhanced mental health benefits, options and access available to beneficiaries.

    II. Discussion of the Proposed Rule A. Background

    TRICARE implemented both financial and treatment controls to manage care, ensure quality, and control costs for medically or psychologically necessary and appropriate mental health and substance use care. In part, these controls have been implemented in response to Congressional concerns. In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 and the Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1991, Congress addressed the problem of spiraling costs for mental health services under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS). As stated by the House Armed Services Committee:

    The cost of mental health and substance abuse is of particular concern to the committee. While CHAMPUS expenditures have generally increased by 50 percent between 1986 and 1989, CHAMPUS mental health expenditures have more than doubled. Last year mental health costs accounted for about one-quarter of CHAMPUS's total spending far above the typical proportion in private employers' health care plans. These statutes established: (1) The new day limits for inpatient mental health services: 30 days for acute care for patients 19 years of age and older, 45 days for acute care for patients under 19 years of age, and 150 days of residential treatment-each of these limits subject to waiver that takes into account the level, intensity and availability of the care needs of the patient; and (2) mandated prior authorization for all nonemergency inpatient mental health admissions.

    Additionally, in the early 1990s, two Comptroller General Reports highlighted the need for mental health program reform within the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniform Services (CHAMPUS). At the time, there were widespread concerns with the quality of mental health care within CHAMPUS as well as fraud and abuse. The Reports highlighted weaknesses within the benefit that resulted in unnecessary hospital admissions, excessive inpatient stays and sometimes, inadequate quality of care. The first of these two reports, “Defense Health Care: Additional Improvements Needed in CHAMPUS's Mental Health Program,” GAO/HRD-93-34, May 1993, stated that, although DoD has taken actions to improve the program, several problems persist.” A second Comptroller General Report, “Psychiatric Fraud and Abuse: Increased Scrutiny of Hospital Stays is Needed to Lessen Federal Health Program Vulnerability,” (GAO/HRD-93-92, September 1993) called for improvements in the CHAMPUS mental health program to include reversing the financial incentives to use inpatient care by introducing larger copayments for CHAMPUS inpatient care.

    In response to these concerns, the certification standards for mental health facilities as well as treatment limits and cost-sharing requirements applicable to mental health and SUD services under the TRICARE program were implemented in a 1995 Final Rule, “Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS): Mental Health Services.” These standards, limits, and requirements have remained in place over the last 20 years.

    In 1996, Congress enacted the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (MHPA 1996) which required employment-related group health plans and health insurance coverage offered in connection with group health plans to provide parity in aggregate lifetime and annual dollar limits for mental health benefits and medical and surgical benefits. In October 2008, the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) was signed into law as part of the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008. The changes made by MHPAEA consist of new requirements, including parity for substance use disorder benefits, as well as amendments to the existing mental health parity provisions enacted in MHPA. This law requires group health insurance plans that provide both medical/surgical and mental health or substance use disorder benefits to meet parity standards. Specifically, financial requirements (e.g., deductibles, co-payments, or coinsurance) and treatment limitations (e.g., days of coverage and number of visits) that apply to mental health or substance use disorder benefits cannot be more restrictive than the predominant financial requirements and treatment limitations that apply to substantially all medical/surgical benefits. The MHPAEA was amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, to also apply to individual health insurance coverage. TRICARE is not a group health plan subject to the MHPA 1996, the MHPAEA of 2008, or the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. However, the provisions of these acts serve as a model for TRICARE in proposing changes to existing benefit coverage so as to reduce administrative barriers to treatment and increase access to medically or psychologically necessary mental health care consistent with TRICARE statutory authority.

    In July 2011, DoD issued a Report to Congress entitled, “Comprehensive Plan on Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders and Disposition of Substance Use Offenders in the Armed Forces,” in which the Department identified to Congress the need to revise certain aspects of TRICARE regulatory language governing SUD treatment services to provide a benefit that takes into account generally accepted standards of practice. The report is available for download at http://health.mil/About-MHS/Defense-Health-Agency/Special-Staff/Congressional-Relations/Reports-to-Congress. DoD's findings were affirmed in 2012 by an independent study conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) entitled, “Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces,” (available at www.iom.edu/reports/2012/Substance-Use-Disorders-in-the-Armed-Forces.aspx).

    The Department seeks to revise and streamline TRICARE regulations to be consistent with industry standards, as well as to incorporate applicable recommendations from the July 2011 Congressional report, the IOM 2012 study, and evidence-based practices delineated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DoD clinical practice guidelines (VA/DoD CPGs) for SUD to improve access to medically or psychologically necessary SUD treatment for TRICARE beneficiaries in accordance with generally accepted standards of practice.

    B. Expanded TRICARE Coverage of Mental Health and SUD Treatment 1. Eliminating Quantitative and Qualitative Treatment Limitations on SUD and Mental Health Benefit Coverage

    There are existing waiver provisions for all of the quantitative treatment benefit limitations to ensure beneficiaries have access to medically or psychologically necessary and appropriate treatment. However, these limitations, which were designed to contain costs and address abuses decades ago, along with differential financial cost-sharing requirements relative to medical/surgical care are currently viewed as barriers to coverage of mental health services.

    This proposed rule seeks to remove a number of quantitative and qualitative limits for coverage of mental health and SUD care under the TRICARE Program, including:

    • All inpatient mental health day (30 days maximum for adults and 45 days maximum for children at 32 CFR 199.4(b)(9)) and annual day limits (150 days at 32 CFR 199.4(b)(8)) for RTC care for beneficiaries 21 years and younger, following the statutory revisions to 10 U.S.C. 1079;

    • The 60-day limitation on partial hospitalization (32 CFR 199.4(b)(10)(iv)) and SUDRF residential treatment (32 CFR 199.4(e)(4)(ii)(A));

    • Annual (60 days in a benefit period) and lifetime (three treatment episodes—32 CFR 199.4(e)(4)(ii)) limitations on SUD treatment;

    • Presumptive limitations on outpatient services including the six-hour per year limit on psychological testing (32 CFR 199.4(c)(3)(ix)(A)(5)) and the limit of two sessions per week for outpatient therapy (32 CFR 199.4(c)(3)(ix)(B));

    • Limits on family therapy (15 visits (32 CFR 199.4(e)(4)(ii)(C)) and outpatient therapy (60 visits—(32 CFR 199.4(e)(4)(ii)(B)) provided in free-standing or hospital based SUDRFs; and

    • The limit of two smoking cessation quit attempts in a consecutive 12 month period and 18 face-to-face counseling sessions per attempt (32 CFR 199.4(e)(30)).

    This proposed rule will allow coverage of outpatient treatment that is medically or psychologically necessary, including family therapy and other covered diagnostic and therapeutic services, by a TRICARE authorized institutional provider or by authorized individual mental health providers without limits on the number of treatment sessions. The removal of these limitations also recognizes that SUDs are chronic conditions with periodic phases of relapse and readmission, often requiring multiple interventions over several years to achieve full remission. All claims submitted for services under TRICARE remain subject to review for quality and appropriate utilization in accordance with the Quality and Utilization Review Peer Review Organization Program, under 10 U.S.C. 1079(n) and 32 CFR 199.15.

    The proposed rule also removes certain regulatory exclusions for the treatment of gender dysphoria for TRICARE beneficiaries who are diagnosed by a TRICARE authorized, qualified mental health professional, practicing within the scope of his or her license, to be suffering from a mental disorder, as defined in 32 CFR. 199.2. It is no longer justifiable to categorically exclude and not cover currently accepted medically and psychologically necessary treatments for gender dysphoria (such as psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and hormone replacement therapy) that are not otherwise excluded by statute. (Section 1079(a)(11) of title 10, U.S.C., excludes from CHAMPUS coverage surgery which improves physical appearance but is not expected to significantly restore functions, including mammary augmentation, face lifts, and sex gender changes.)

    2. Aligning Beneficiary Cost-Sharing for Mental Health and SUD Benefits With Those Applicable to Medical/Surgical Benefits

    Following the recent repeal of statutory authority for separate beneficiary financial liability for mental health benefits, the proposed rule eliminates any differential in cost-sharing between mental health and SUD benefits and medical/surgical benefits. The following regulatory changes to 32 CFR 199.4(f) and 32 CFR 199.18 will reduce financial barriers to both outpatient and inpatient mental health and SUD benefits while, consistent with statutory requirements, minimizing out-of-pocket risk for those beneficiaries.

    TRICARE Prime Co-Pays

    Active duty family members enrolled in TRICARE Prime pay no copayment for inpatient or outpatient services. Currently, retirees and their dependents enrolled in Prime pay higher copays for inpatient and outpatient mental health services than for other similar non-mental health services. Retirees and all other non-active duty dependents enrolled in Prime would see the following changes:

    • The co-pay for individual outpatient mental health visits would be reduced from $25 to $12.

    • The co-pay for group outpatient mental health visits would be reduced from $17 to $12.

    The per diem charge of $40 for mental health and SUD inpatient admissions would be reduced to the non-mental health per diem rate of $11, with a minimum charge of $25 per admission.

    TRICARE Standard Cost-Sharing

    Currently, active duty family members (ADFMs) utilizing TRICARE Standard/Extra pay a higher per diem for mental health inpatient care than for other inpatient stays. ADFMs would see the following change:

    • The per diem cost-share for inpatient mental health services would be reduced from $20/day to the daily charge ($18/day for FY16) that would have been charged had the inpatient care been provided in a Uniformed Services hospital.

    Retirees and their dependents who are not enrolled in Prime but use non-network providers (Standard) for mental health care are generally required to pay 25% of the allowable charges for inpatient care (for inpatient services subject to the DRG-based payment system or mental health per diem payment system, beneficiaries pay the lesser of the per diem amount (which is equivalent to 25% of the CHAMPUS-determined allowable costs) or 25% of the hospital's billed charges). This would not change. Retirees and their dependents using Standard and Extra are currently responsible for their outpatient deductible and outpatient cost-sharing of 25% (Standard)/20% (Extra) of the CHAMPUS-determined allowable costs. This also would not change.

    It is also being proposed that cost-sharing for partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) be changed from inpatient to outpatient to more accurately reflect the services being rendered, ensure consistency with the applicable statutes governing cost-sharing, and to further ensure parity between the surgical/medical and mental health benefit. The definition of partial hospitalization, by its very nature, is inconsistent with the definition of inpatient care. Notwithstanding, in a final rule (58 FR 35403) published on July 1, 1993, and pursuant to the authority granted to the Secretary to establish different cost-shares for mental health care [10 U.S.C. 1079(j)(2)], partial hospitalization is currently classified as an inpatient level of care for the purposes of cost-sharing by beneficiaries. This classification was originally adopted out of concern that the cost-sharing associated with outpatient care would result in substantially higher out-of-pocket expenses for TRICARE beneficiaries which, in turn, would provide a financial incentive for beneficiaries to seek a higher level of care (i.e., acute or residential) than may be necessary. As a result, authority was employed to cost-share partial hospitalization services on an inpatient basis. It is important to note, however, beneficiaries now have the ability to minimize cost-sharing through enrollment options available under the TRICARE managed care program. As noted above, ADFMs enrolled in TRICARE Prime/Prime Remote, do not pay co-pays for inpatient or outpatient services. For retirees and their dependents enrolled in Prime, the current inpatient per diem charge of $40 for partial hospitalization program services would be reduced to an outpatient co-pay of $12 per day of services.

    Realigning cost-sharing of partial hospitalization program services from inpatient to outpatient will impact ADFMs utilizing TRICARE Standard/Extra. Specifically, for ADFMs, the current inpatient per diem charge of $20/day (with a minimum $25 charge per admission) for partial hospitalization program services would instead be subject to the applicable outpatient deductible and cost-sharing of 20% (Standard)/15% (Extra) of the PHP per diem rate. For example, if the full-day PHP per diem rate is $382, the cost-sharing for ADFMs would be $57.30 under Extra and $76.40 under Standard. However, these ADFMs would still retain the option of enrolling in TRICARE Prime/Prime Remote, where the cost-sharing is $0 (i.e., no cost-sharing is applied). The financial liability of ADFMs under Extra and Standard would be further limited by the annual $1,000 catastrophic cap.

    In an analysis to evaluate the potential financial impact on non-Prime ADFMs (i.e., ADFMs utilizing TRICARE Extra and Standard options) of converting to PHP outpatient cost-sharing, it was found that in FY 2014 there were only 143 non-Prime ADFMs that had full-day or half-day PHP care. On average, they received 17 PHP services during the year with an average allowed amount per service of $343. Based on these figures, non-Prime ADFMs' out-of-pocket liability (accumulated cost-sharing) would be approximately $875 under Extra, or $1,166 under Standard. (However, Standard ADFM liability in this example would be limited by the $1,000 catastrophic cap.) This analysis indicates that a very small number of non-Prime ADFMs have historically used PHP care and that those who have would, on average, either already hit or would be likely to hit the catastrophic cap. It is estimated that shifting to outpatient cost-sharing for PHP might cause about 50 to 80 additional non-Prime ADFMs to hit the catastrophic cap due to the higher PHP cost-sharing.

    Conversion of PHP cost-sharing from inpatient to outpatient would more accurately reflect the services being provided. Further, Congress revoked the statutory authority granted to the Secretary to establish different cost-shares for mental health care. These factors provide the impetus for adoption of outpatient cost-sharing for PHPs.

    3. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Care for Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders

    Substance Use Disorder IOP services are currently not identified as separate levels of care from partial hospitalization in TRICARE regulations. Although hospital-based and free-standing facilities that are TRICARE authorized to offer partial hospitalization services can provide less intensive IOP, covered at the half-day partial hospitalization rate, the existing TRICARE certification requirements for these programs restrict the typical SUD IOP from being recognized as a separate program and provider type in its own right. SUD IOPs offer a validated level of care endorsed by ASAM, and the provision of IOP services through institutional providers also would have the potential benefit of expanding the volume of TRICARE participating providers and improving access to care.

    While TRICARE beneficiaries may currently receive treatment for SUD or psychiatric disorders at a TRICARE authorized PHP, the proposed rule clearly authorizes IOP care as a covered benefit for treatment of SUD and psychiatric disorders. This proposed rule would authorize IOP care by a new class of institutional provider, which will provide a less restrictive setting than an inpatient or partial hospital setting. IOP care institutional providers will be required to be accredited by an accrediting body approved by the Director, Defense Health Agency, and meet the proposed requirements outlined in 32 CFR 199.6(b)(4)(xviii) in order to become TRICARE authorized.

    Similar to IOPs for SUD treatment, psychiatric IOPs are not currently explicitly reimbursed by TRICARE. This lack of authorization for IOP psychiatric care has restricted coverage options for TRICARE beneficiaries who may require step-down services from an inpatient stay or a PHP. As described regarding SUD IOP, psychiatric IOP services are considered separate levels of care from psychiatric partial hospitalization. Although current regulatory language defines partial hospitalization broad enough to permit coverage of IOP treatment conducted under the auspices of partial hospitalization, the absence of explicit IOP treatment coverage, along with the requirement that all IOP level of care be rendered by a TRICARE certified PHP, has limited access to this level of care and has led to confusion regarding TRICARE coverage of these services. The proposed regulatory language explicitly authorizing IOP treatment and establishing an authorized provider category will resolve these issues.

    4. Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

    This rule proposes expanded treatment of opioid use disorder, with the provision of medication assisted treatment (MAT), through both TRICARE authorized institutional and individual providers. In addition to SUD IOPs, this rule proposes TRICARE coverage of opioid treatment programs (OTPs), with the inclusion of a definition of OTPs in 32 CFR 199.2 and the requirements for OTPs to become TRICARE authorized institutional providers outlined in 32 CFR 199.6(b)(4)(xix). Additionally, this rule proposes coverage of OBOT, as defined in 32 CFR 199.2, and coverage of MAT on an outpatient basis as extended in 32 CFR 199.4(c)(3)(ix)(A)(9).

    5. Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Treatment by Individual Professional Providers

    By current regulation, reimbursement for office-based SUD outpatient treatment provided by TRICARE authorized individual mental health providers, as specified in 32 CFR 199.6, is not permitted. Such outpatient SUD treatment services currently must be provided by a TRICARE approved institutional provider (i.e., a hospital-based or free-standing SUDRF). However, although some accredited TRICARE authorized SUDRFs provide office-based SUD outpatient treatment, institutional providers of SUD care primarily provide services to patients requiring a higher level of SUD care. This creates a counter-therapeutic restriction on access to office-based outpatient treatment. To address this limitation in access, the proposed regulation would revise the current reimbursement regime to provide coverage for individual outpatient SUD care, such as office-based outpatient treatment, outside of a SUDRF.

    The 2007 report of the DoD Task Force on Mental Health (recommendation 5.3.4.8) stated, “TRICARE should allow outpatient substance abuse care to be provided by qualified professionals, regardless of whether they are affiliated with a day hospital or residential treatment program, including standard individual or group outpatient care.” The DoD Task Force recommendation is consistent with the American Psychiatric Association, ASAM, and SAMHSA endorsement of individual therapies as an accepted and recommended clinical practice, also endorsed by National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Quality Forum, and VA/DoD CPG for Management of Substance Use Disorders. These proposed changes to the regulation would remove barriers to coverage of care for beneficiaries who are appropriate for treatment in an outpatient office setting, but who would otherwise only be able to access care at a SUDRF as required by current regulations.

    This proposed rule also covers services of TRICARE authorized individual mental health providers, within the scope of their licensure or certification, offering medically or psychologically necessary SUD treatment services (including outpatient and family therapy) outside of a SUDRF, to include MAT and treatment of opioid use disorder by a TRICARE authorized physician delivering OBOT on an outpatient basis.

    C. Streamlined Requirements for Institutional Providers To Become TRICARE Authorized Institutional Providers of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Care

    Nearly two decades ago, the Final Rule: “Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS): Mental Health Services,” as published in 60 FR 12419, March 7, 1995, reformed quality of care standards and reimbursement methods for inpatient mental health services. In the 1995 Final Rule, standards were developed to address identified problems of quality of care, fraud, and abuse in RTCs, SUDRFs, and PHPs. They were developed to provide “clear [and] specific standards for psychiatric facilities on staff qualifications, clinical practices, and all other aspects directly impacting the quality of care.”

    Since publication of the 1995 Final Rule, several organizations that accredit various forms of healthcare delivery have developed strong standards to protect patient care in mental health facilities. There are now a number of industry-accepted accrediting bodies with standards that meet or exceed the current TRICARE-established standards (e.g., TJC, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). Also in the interim, scientific knowledge, standards of care and patient safety, technology, and psychotropic pharmaceuticals have improved. Alongside with updating the current benefits, we believe streamlining procedures to qualify as a TRICARE authorized institutional provider will not only increase access to approved care, but also decrease the overall cost of certifying duplicative and now unnecessary quality standards first implemented by the 1995 Final Rule.

    This proposed rule simplifies the regulation to account for existing industry-wide accepted accreditation standards for TRICARE institutional providers of mental health care, including RTCs, freestanding PHPs, and freestanding SUDRFs. Requirements for TRICARE certification beyond industry-accepted accreditation, while once considered necessary to ensure quality and safety, are now proving to be unnecessarily restrictive and inconsistent with current institutional provider standards and organization. Specifically, the proposed rule streamlines procedures and requirements for SUDRFs, RTCs, PHPs, IOPs and OTPs to qualify as TRICARE authorized providers, relying primarily on accreditation by a national body approved by the Director, as opposed to detailed, lengthy, stand-alone TRICARE requirements (e.g., regarding such things as the qualifications and authority of the clinical director, staff composition and qualifications, and standards for physical plant and environment, amongst others). In general, mental health and SUD institutional providers may become TRICARE authorized institutional providers if the facility is accredited by an accrediting organization approved by the Director and agrees to execute a participation agreement with TRICARE, as outlined in the proposed regulations. This streamlined approval process is a greatly simplified process from the current, detailed certification process for current institutional providers.

    Furthermore, given that there are now a growing number of accrediting bodies established for institutional providers of mental health care and industry standards that are widely accepted, the proposed rule eliminates by name references to specific accrediting bodies (e.g., The Joint Commission (TJC)), where appropriate. Instead, the specific mention of accrediting bodies is replaced with the term, “an accrediting organization, approved by Director.” This will allow the Defense Health Agency (DHA) flexibility in selecting and recognizing the authority of various accrediting bodies to assist in authorization of institutional providers of mental health care and SUD care. Rather than name all the approved accrediting bodies in regulation, DHA will identify specific accrediting bodies for various types of mental health care in TRICARE sub-regulatory policy found at manuals.tricare.osd.mil.

    D. TRICARE Reimbursement Methodologies for Newly Recognized Mental Health and SUD Intensive Outpatient Programs and Opioid Treatment Programs and Cost-Sharing Methodology

    The newly recognized IOPs and methadone OTPs established in this rule will be reimbursed using bundled per diem amounts based on the intensity, frequency and duration of services and/or drugs provided in these well-established treatment programs. Since IOPs provide a step-down in services from an inpatient stay or full-day PHP (i.e., the intensity, frequency and duration of the services provided in IOPs are considered to be less than those provided in an inpatient or PHP setting), the per diems will be proportionally reduced from currently established full-day PHP per diems. This proportional reduction in per diems is consistent with past methodologies used in establishing full-day and half-day PHP payments. Since IOPs are also provided in PHPs as a step-down in intensity of care, the IOP designation will be used in lieu of half-day PHP for beneficiaries typically receiving treatment two to five hours per day, two to five times a week, as directed by their individualized treatment plan, in a PHP authorized setting. The IOP services, whether provided in a PHP or newly recognized IOP setting, will be paid a regionally adjusted per diem rate of 75 percent of the rate for a full-day PHP. In other words, PHP treatments of less than six hours—with a minimum of two hours—will be recognized as IOPs for coverage and reimbursement under the program.

    OTPs that administer methadone as a treatment for SUD will be reimbursed a bundled weekly per diem payment to include the cost of the medication, along with integrated psychosocial and medical treatment support services. When buprenorphine or naltrexone is administered, OTPs will, on the other hand, be reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis (i.e., separate payments will be allowed for both the medication and accompanying support services) due to the variability in the recommended dosage and frequency of the administered drugs based on conditions requiring medical oversight. The individual fee-for-service payments for buprenorphine and naltrexone will be subject to outpatient cost-sharing on a per-visit basis, while the cost-sharing for methadone OTP services will be applied on a weekly basis. Established per diem rates for OTPs administering methadone will be updated annually by the Medicare update factor used for that program's Inpatient Prospective Payment System. 32 CFR 199.14(a)(4)(ix) is amended in its entirety to reflect payment for psychiatric and SUD PHP, IOP and OTP services as discussed above.

    1. Intensive Outpatient Program Reimbursement

    Under current regulatory provisions [32 CFR 199.14(a)(2)(ix)(C)], the maximum per diem payment amount for a full-day partial hospitalization program (minimum of six hours) is 40 percent of the average per diem amount per case established under the TRICARE mental health per diem reimbursement system for both high and low volume psychiatric hospitals and units. Likewise, PHPs less than six hours (with a minimum of three hours) are paid a per diem rate at 75 percent of the rate for a full-day program. In analysis of the reimbursement methodology to be used for reimbursement of IOPs, it became apparent that the step-down in intensity, frequency and duration of treatment designated as half-day PHPs, were in fact, intensive outpatient services provided within a PHP authorized setting. While there is some variability in the intensity, frequency and duration of treatment under both programs (that is, less than six hours per day with a minimum of three hours for half-day PHPs; and two to five times per week, two to five hours per day for IOPs), it appears that both the services rendered and the professional provider categories responsible for providing the services are quite similar. As a result of this observation/analysis, a decision has been made to use the IOP designation in lieu of half-day PHP for treatment of less than six hours per day—with a minimum of two hours per day—rendered in a PHP authorized setting. While the minimum hours have been reduced from three to two hours per day for coverage/reimbursement, they are still within the acceptable range for IOP services typically provided in a PHP. Since intensive outpatient services can be provided in either a PHP or newly authorized IOP setting, and IOP services are essentially the same as half-day PHP services, it is only logical that IOP per diems be set at 75 percent of the full-day PHP per diem. This would be the case regardless of whether the IOP services were provided in a PHP or IOP.

    2. Opioid Treatment Program Reimbursement and Cost-Sharing

    As defined in this proposed rule, OTPs are outpatient settings for opioid treatment that use a therapeutic maintenance drug for a drug addiction when medically or psychologically necessary and appropriate for the medical care of a beneficiary undergoing supervised treatment for a SUD. The program includes an initial assessment, along with integrated psychosocial and medical treatment and support services. Since OTPs are individually tailored programs of medication therapy, separate reimbursement methodologies are being established based on the particular medication being administered for treatment of the SUD. By far the most common medication used in OTPs is methadone. Methadone OTP care includes initial medical intake/assessment, urinalysis and drug dispensing and screening as part of the bundled rate, as well as ongoing counseling services. Based on a preliminary review of industry billing practices, the proposed weekly bundled per diem for administration of methadone will include a daily drug cost of $3, along with a $15 per day cost for integrated psychosocial and medical support services. The daily projected per diem costs ($18/day) will be converted to a weekly per diem rate of $126 ($18/day × 7 days) and billed once a week to TRICARE using the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code H0020, “Alcohol and/or drug services; methadone administration and/or service.” The bundled per diem rate is how Medicaid and other third-party payers typically reimburse for methadone treatment in OTPs. The methadone OTP rate will be updated annually by the Medicare update factor used for other mental health care services rendered (i.e. the Inpatient Prospective Payment System update factor) under TRICARE. The updated rates will be effective October 1 of each year, and will be published annually on the TRICARE Web site. Outpatient cost-sharing will be applied to a weekly per diem, since the copayment amounts for Prime NADDs and ADFMs under Extra and Standard would be near, or in some cases, above the daily charge for OTPs, essentially resulting in a non-benefit.

    While the other two medications (buprenorphine and naltrexone) are more likely to be prescribed and administered in an OBOT setting, OTP reimbursement methodologies are being established for both medications to allow OTPs the full range of medications currently available for treatment of SUDs. Since the reimbursement of buprenorphine and naltrexone administered in OTPs are not conducive to the bundled per diem methodology due to variations in dosage and frequency of the drug and the non-drug services (e.g., administration fees and counseling services) will be reimbursed separately on a fee-for-service basis. We recognize that Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are updated on a regular basis. The following referenced codes are current as of the writing of this proposed rule. If necessary, updated codes will be included in the TRICARE Policy Manual or TRICARE Reimbursement Manual found at manuals.tricare.osd.mil. In the case of Buprenorphine, the OTP will bill TRICARE using the HCPCS code H0047, “Alcohol and/or other drug use services, not otherwise specified,” for the medical intake/assessment, drug dispensing and monitoring and counseling, along with HCPCS code J8499, “Prescription drug, oral, non-chemotherapeutic, nos,” for the prescribed medication. The OTP will include the National Drug Code for the Buprenorphine, along with the dosage and acquisition cost on its claim. Prevailing rates will be established for drug related services (e.g., drug monitoring and counseling services) billed under HCPCS code H0047, while the drug itself will be reimbursed at 95 percent of the average wholesale price. Outpatient cost-sharing will be applied on a per-visit basis. The preliminary weekly cost estimate for Buprenorphine OTPs is $115 per week, assuming that the patient is stabilized and visiting the OTP twice a week. This is based on an estimated drug cost of $10 per day and an estimated non-drug cost of $22.50 per visit [(7 × $10) + (2 × $22.50) = $115/week]. These amounts mentioned above are preliminary and estimates and not intended to reflect final reimbursement rates.

    Naltrexone, unlike methadone and buprenorphine, is not an agonist or partial agonist, but an inhibitor designed to block the brain's opiate receptors, diminishing the urges and cravings for alcohol, heroin, and prescription painkillers such as oxycodone. Due to the extreme cost of injectable naltrexone and the fact that it is only administered once a month, the drug, its administration fee and ongoing counseling will be paid separately on a fee-for-service basis. The OTP will bill TRICARE using HCPCS code H0047 for the counseling services and other OTP services. Prevailing rates will be established for drug related services (e.g., drug monitoring and counseling services) billed under HCPCS code H0047. The naltrexone injection will be billed using the HCPCS code J2315 with the number of milligrams used, while its administration fee will be billed using CPT code 96372. OTP outpatient cost-sharing will be applied on a per-visit basis, which in this case would be once a month. The projected monthly amount for naltrexone is $1,177 ($1,129 for the injectable drug (J2315) + $25 for the drug's administration fee (CPT 96372) + $22.50 for other related services (H0047) = $1,176.50). These amounts may be subject to change based on health care market forces, but are not expected to change significantly.

    The Director will have discretionary authority in establishing the reimbursement methodologies for new drugs and biologicals that may become available for the treatment of SUDs in OTPs. The type of reimbursement (e.g., fee-for-service versus bundled per diem payments) will be dependent in large part on the variability of the dosage and frequency of the medication being administered.

    While TRICARE provider reimbursement methods are normally tied to Medicare reimbursement, there were no Medicare reimbursement rules applicable to the above providers of services. As a result, DoD particularly invites public comment on these proposed reimbursement methodologies in an effort to ensure they bear a reasonable relationship to the cost of providing such services.

    3. Removal of Federal Register Publication of TRICARE Hospital-Specific Rates and Fixed Daily Copayment Amounts

    Under current regulatory provisions [32 CFR 199.4(f)(3)(ii)(B) and 32 CFR 199.14(a)(2)(iv)(C)(4)], annually updated psychiatric hospital regional per diems and fixed daily copayment amounts are to be published in the Federal Register at approximately the start of each fiscal year. While the initial intent of this regulatory requirement was to provide widespread notice of changes to regional psychiatric hospital per diems and fixed copayment mounts, its relevancy has been subsequently overshadowed by the public's online accessibility to the TRICARE manuals and reimbursement rates on the official Web site of the Military Health System and the DHA (www.health.mil). As a result, the public has ready online access to psychiatric hospital regional per diems and fixed daily copayment amounts, as well as maximum rates for mental health rates, to include freestanding psychiatric PHPs in the TRICARE Reimbursement Manual or on the official Web site of the Military Health System and the DHA (www.health.mil). Because of the readily available online access to updated mental health rates and the ongoing administrative burden of publishing annual notices to the Federal Register, it is being proposed that the regulatory requirements be removed and that updates to psychiatric hospital regional per diems and fixed copayment amounts be maintained on the Agency's official Web site. However, psychiatric hospitals and units with hospital-specific rates will continue to be notified individually of their rates due to confidentiality restrictions. The new proposed per diem rates for IOPs and methadone OTPs will also be maintained and available to the public on the official Web site of the Military Health System and the DHA (www.health.mil).

    E. Additional Proposed Regulatory Revisions

    There are a number of additional proposed revisions that are more technical and administrative in nature that we would like to highlight here to ensure the public is made aware of these changes and the purpose for the proposed changes. Within 32 CFR 199.2, the definition of “adequate medical documentation, mental health records” is revised to eliminate specific reference to Joint Commission standards and instead reference “standards of an accrediting organization approved by the Director” consistent with the changes in accreditation requirements as part of the proposed streamlining of TRICARE approval of institutional providers. The definition of “mental disorder” has been revised to include SUD. The definition of “Director” has been revised to incorporate the Director of the Defense Health Agency, consistent with DoD's current organizational structure. Additionally, throughout the proposed revisions, the term “Director” has been substituted for all other terms such as “Director, CHAMPUS” and “Director, TRICARE Management Activity.” A definition of “qualified mental health provider” has been added for easy reference (as it was previously discussed in 32 CFR 199.4 but not specifically defined), and the definitions of “Case managers” and “Consultants” have been amended to include qualified mental health providers. Additionally, the elimination of quantitative limitations has also necessitated a number of revisions to other sections of the regulation that referenced these limits, including 32 CFR 199.4(e)(2), 32 CFR 199.7(e)(2) and 32 CFR 199.15(a)(6). Also, 32 CFR 199.14(a)(2)(iv)(C)(2) clarifies that the Medicare's Inpatient Prospective Payment System update factor is used for TRICARE's mental health rates.

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

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Subsequently, the Department completed an Independent Government Cost Estimate and the results are referenced in C. Cost and Benefits. This proposed rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 804(2)

    Under the Congressional Review Act, a major rule may not take effect until at least 60 days after submission to Congress of a report regarding the rule. A major rule is one that would have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or have certain other impacts. This proposed rule is not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act.

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

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that each Federal agency analyze options for regulatory relief of small businesses if a rule has a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. For purposes of the RFA, small entities include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. This proposed rule is not an economically significant regulatory action, and it will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, this proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of the RFA.

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

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 also requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any one year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. That threshold level is currently approximately $140 million. This proposed rule will not mandate any requirements for state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector.

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

    This rulemaking does not contain a “collection of information” requirement, and will not impose additional information collection requirements on the public under Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    This proposed rule has been examined for its impact under E.O. 13132, and it does not contain policies that have federalism implications that would have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of powers and responsibilities among the various levels of Government. Therefore, consultation with State and local officials is not required.

    Public Comments Invited

    This rulemaking is being issued as a proposed rule. DoD invites public comments on all provisions of the proposed rule. All submissions will be considered for possible revision to be included in the final rule.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 199

    Claims, Dental health, Health care, Health insurance, Individuals with disabilities, Mental health, Mental health parity, Military personnel, Substance use disorder treatment.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Defense proposes to amend 32 CFR part 199 as set forth below:

    PART 199—CIVILIAN HEALTH AND MEDICAL PROGRAM OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES (CHAMPUS) 1. The authority citation for part 199 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 10 U.S.C. chapter 55.

    2. Section 199.2(b) is amended by: a. Revising the definitions of “Adequate medical documentation, mental health records”, “Case management”, “Case managers”, “Consultation”, and “Director”; b. Adding definitions for “Intensive outpatient program (IOP)” and “Medication assisted treatment (MAT)” in alphabetical order; c. Removing the definition of “Mental disorder”; d. Adding definitions for “Mental disorder, to include substance use disorder”, “Office-based opioid treatment” and “Opioid treatment program” in alphabetical order; e. Revising the definitions of “Other special institutional providers” and “Partial hospitalization”; f. Adding a definition for “Qualified mental health provider” in alphabetical order; g. Revising the definition of “Residential treatment center (RTC)”; h. Adding a definition for “Substance use disorder rehabilitation facility (SUDRF)” in alphabetical order; and i. Revising the definition of “Treatment plan”.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 199.2 Definitions

    (b) * * *

    Adequate medical documentation, mental health records. Adequate medical documentation provides the means for measuring the type, frequency, and duration of active treatment mechanisms employed and progress under the treatment plan. Under CHAMPUS, it is required that adequate and sufficient clinical records be kept by the provider to substantiate that specific care was actually and appropriately furnished, was medically or psychologically necessary (as defined by this part), and to identify the individual(s) who provided the care. Each service provided or billed must be documented in the records. In determining whether medical records are adequate, the records will be reviewed under the generally acceptable standards (e.g., the standards of an accrediting organization approved by the Director, and the provider's state or local licensing requirements) and other requirements specified by this part. The psychiatric and psychological evaluations, physician orders, the treatment plan, integrated progress notes (and physician progress notes if separate from the integrated progress notes), and the discharge summary are the more critical elements of the mental health record. However, nursing and staff notes, no matter how complete, are not a substitute for the documentation of services by the individual professional provider who furnished treatment to the beneficiary. In general, the documentation requirements of a professional provider are not less in the outpatient setting than the inpatient setting. Furthermore, even though a hospital that provides psychiatric care may be accredited under The Joint Commission (TJC) manual for hospitals rather than the behavioral health standards manual, the critical elements of the mental health record listed above are required for CHAMPUS claims.

    Case management. Case management is a collaborative process which assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet an individual's health needs, including mental health needs, using communication and available resources to promote quality, cost effective outcomes.

    Case managers. A licensed registered nurse, licensed clinical social worker, licensed psychologist, licensed physician, or qualified mental health provider who has a minimum of two (2) years case management experience.

    Consultation. A deliberation with a specialist physician, dentist, or qualified mental health provider requested by the attending physician primarily responsible for the medical care of the patient, with respect to the diagnosis or treatment in any particular case. A consulting physician or dentist or qualified mental health provider may perform a limited examination of a given system or one requiring a complete diagnostic history and examination. To qualify as a consultation, a written report to the attending physician of the findings of the consultant is required.

    Note:

    Staff consultations required by rules and regulations of the medical staff of a hospital or other institutional provider do not qualify as consultation.

    Director. The Director of the Defense Health Agency, Director, TRICARE Management Activity, or Director, Office of CHAMPUS. Any references to the Director, Office of CHAMPUS, or OCHAMPUS, or TRICARE Management Activity, shall mean the Director, Defense Health Agency (DHA). Any reference to Director shall also include any person designated by the Director to carry out a particular authority. In addition, any authority of the Director may be exercised by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs).

    Intensive outpatient program (IOP). A treatment setting capable of providing an organized day or evening program that includes assessment, treatment, case management and rehabilitation for individuals not requiring 24-hour care for mental health disorders, to include substance use disorders, as appropriate for the individual patient. The program structure is regularly scheduled, individualized and shares monitoring and support with the patient's family and support system.

    Medication assisted treatment (MAT). MAT for diagnosed opioid use disorder is a holistic modality for recovery and treatment that employs evidence-based therapy, including psychosocial treatments and psychopharmacology, and FDA-approved medications as indicated for the management of withdrawal symptoms and maintenance.

    Mental disorder, to include substance use disorder. For purposes of the payment of CHAMPUS benefits, a mental disorder is a nervous or mental condition that involves a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that is associated with a painful symptom, such as distress, and that impairs a patient's ability to function in one or more major life activities. A substance use disorder is a mental condition that involves a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress; impaired control over substance use; social impairment; and risky use of a substance(s). Additionally, the mental disorder must be one of those conditions listed in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. “Conditions Not Attributable to a Mental Disorder,” or V codes, are not considered diagnosable mental disorders. Co-occurring mental and substance use disorders are common and assessment should proceed as soon as it is possible to distinguish the substance related symptoms from other independent conditions.

    Office-based opioid treatment. TRICARE authorized providers acting within the scope of their licensure or certification to prescribe outpatient supplies of the medication to assist in withdrawal management (detoxification) and/or maintenance of opioid use disorder, as regulated by 42 CFR part 8, addressing office-based opioid treatment (OBOT).

    Opioid Treatment Program. Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) are service settings for opioid treatment, either free standing or hospital based, that adhere to the Department of Health and Human Services' regulations at 42 CFR part 8 and use medications indicated and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Treatment in OTPs provides a comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication therapy integrated with psychosocial and medical treatment and support services that address factors affecting each patient, as certified by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) of the Department of Health and Human Services's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Treatment in OTPs can include management of withdrawal symptoms (detoxification) from opioids and medically supervised withdrawal from maintenance medications. Patients receiving care for substance use and co-occurring disorders care can be referred to, or otherwise concurrently enrolled in, OTP services.

    Other special institutional providers. Certain specialized medical treatment facilities, either inpatient or outpatient, other than those specifically defined, that provide courses of treatment prescribed by a doctor of medicine or osteopathy; when the patient is under the supervision of a doctor of medicine or osteopathy during the entire course of the inpatient admission or the outpatient treatment; when the type and level of care and services rendered by the institution are otherwise authorized in this part; when the facility meets all licensing or other certification requirements that are extant in the jurisdiction in which the facility is located geographically; which is accredited by the Joint Commission or other accrediting organization approved by the Director if an appropriate accreditation program for the given type of facility is available; and which is not a nursing home, intermediate facility, halfway house, home for the aged, or other institution of similar purpose.

    Partial hospitalization. A treatment setting capable of providing an interdisciplinary program of medically monitored therapeutic services, to include management of withdrawal symptoms, as medically indicated. Services may include day, evening, night and weekend treatment programs which employ an integrated, comprehensive and complementary schedule of recognized treatment approaches. Partial hospitalization is a time-limited, ambulatory, active treatment program that offers therapeutically intensive, coordinated, and structured clinical services within a stable therapeutic environment. Partial hospitalization is an appropriate setting for crisis stabilization, treatment of partially stabilized mental disorders, to include substance disorders, and a transition from an inpatient program when medically necessary.

    Qualified mental health provider. Psychiatrists or other physicians; clinical psychologists, certified psychiatric nurse specialists, certified clinical social workers, certified marriage and family therapists, TRICARE certified mental health counselors, pastoral counselors under a physician's supervision, and supervised mental health counselors under a physician's supervision.

    Residential treatment center (RTC). A facility (or distinct part of a facility) which meets the criteria in § 199.6(b)(4)(vii).

    Substance use disorder rehabilitation facility (SUDRF). A facility or a distinct part of a facility that meets the criteria in § 199.6(b)(4)(xiv).

    Treatment plan. A detailed description of the medical care being rendered or expected to be rendered a CHAMPUS beneficiary seeking approval for inpatient and other benefits for which preauthorization is required as set forth in § 199.4(b). Medical care described in the plan must meet the requirements of medical and psychological necessity. A treatment plan must include, at a minimum, a diagnosis (either International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual or Mental Disorders (DSM)); detailed reports of prior treatment, medical history, family history, social history, and physical examination; diagnostic test results; consultant's reports (if any); proposed treatment by type (such as surgical, medical, and psychiatric); a description of who is or will be providing treatment (by discipline or specialty); anticipated frequency, medications, and specific goals of treatment; type of inpatient facility required and why (including length of time the related inpatient stay will be required); and prognosis. If the treatment plan involves the transfer of a CHAMPUS patient from a hospital or another inpatient facility, medical records related to that inpatient stay also are required as a part of the treatment plan documentation.

    3. Section 199.4 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and the paragraph heading of (a)(12); b. Adding paragraphs (a)(14), (b)(1)(vi), (b)(2)(xix) and (xx), and (b)(3)(xvi) and (xvii); c. Removing paragraphs (b)(4)(viii) and (ix); d. Removing and reserving paragraphs (b)(6)(iii) and (iv); e. Revising paragraph (b)(7) introductory text; f. Revising paragraphs (b)(8), (9), and (10); g. Adding paragraph (b)(11); h. Revising paragraph (c)(3)(ix); i. Removing and reserving paragraphs (e)(4) and (e)(7); j. Revising paragraph (e)(8)(ii)(A); k. Adding paragraph (e)(8)(ii)(D); l. Removing and reserving paragraph (e)(8)(iv)(P); m. Revising paragraphs (e)(8)(iv)(Q) and (R); n. Revising paragraph (e)(11) introductory text o. Revising paragraph (e)(13)(i)(B); p. Removing paragraph (e)(30)(iii); q. Revising paragraph (f)(2)(ii) introductory text; r. Removing paragraph (f)(2)(ii)(D); s. Removing and reserving paragraph (f)(2)(v); t. Revising paragraph (f)(3)(ii); u. Removing paragraph (f)(3)(iv); v. Revising paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(29); w. Removing and reserving paragraph (g)(72); and x. Revising paragraph (g)(73).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 199.4 Basic program benefits.

    (a) * * *

    (1)(i) Scope of benefits. Subject to all applicable definitions, conditions, limitations, or exclusions specified in this part, the CHAMPUS Basic Program will pay for medically or psychologically necessary services and supplies required in the diagnosis and treatment of illness or injury, including maternity care and well-baby care. Benefits include specified medical services and supplies provided to eligible beneficiaries from authorized civilian sources such as hospitals, other authorized institutional providers, physicians, other authorized individual professional providers, and professional ambulance service, prescription drugs, authorized medical supplies, and rental or purchase of durable medical equipment.

    (12) Utilization review, quality assurance, and reauthorization for all mental health services provided by institutional providers. * * *

    (14) Confidentiality of substance use disorder treatment. Release of any patient identifying information, including that required to adjudicate a claim, must comply with the provisions of section 543 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 290dd-2), and implementing regulations at 42 CFR part 2, which governs the release of medical and other information from the records of patients undergoing treatment of substance use disorder. If the patient refuses to authorize the release of medical records which are, in the opinion of the Director, Defense Health Agency, or a designee, necessary to determine benefits on a claim for treatment of substance use disorder, the claim will be denied.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (vi) Substance use disorder treatment exclusions. (A) The programmed use of physical measures, such as electric shock, alcohol, or other drugs as negative reinforcement (aversion therapy) is not covered, even if recommended by a physician.

    (B) Domiciliary settings. Domiciliary facilities generally referred to as halfway or quarterway houses are not authorized providers and charges for services provided by these facilities are not covered.

    (2) * * *

    (xix) Medication assisted treatment. Covered drugs and medicines for the treatment of substance use disorder include the substitution of a therapeutic drug, with addictive potential, for a drug addiction when medically or psychologically necessary and appropriate medical care for a beneficiary undergoing supervised treatment for a substance use disorder.

    (xx) Withdrawal management (detoxification). For a beneficiary undergoing treatment for a substance use disorder, this includes management of a patient's withdrawal symptoms (detoxification).

    (3) * * *

    (xvi) Medication assisted treatment. Covered drugs and medicines for the treatment of substance use disorder include the substitution of a therapeutic drug, with addictive potential, for a drug addiction when medically or psychologically necessary and appropriate medical care for a beneficiary undergoing supervised treatment for a substance use disorder.

    (xvii) Withdrawal management (detoxification). For a beneficiary undergoing treatment for a substance use disorder, this includes management of a patient's withdrawal symptoms (detoxification).

    (7) Emergency inpatient hospital services. In the case of a medical emergency, benefits can be extended for medically necessary inpatient services and supplies provided to a beneficiary by a hospital, including hospitals that do not meet CHAMPUS standards or comply with the nondiscrimination requirements under title VI of the Civil Rights Act and other nondiscrimination laws applicable to recipients of federal financial assistance, or satisfy other conditions herein set forth. In a medical emergency, medically necessary inpatient services and supplies are those that are necessary to prevent the death or serious impairment of the health of the patient, and that, because of the threat to the life or health of the patient, necessitate, the use of the most accessible hospital available and equipped to furnish such services. Emergency services are covered when medically necessary for the active medical treatment of the acute phases of substance withdrawal (detoxification), for stabilization and for treatment of medical complications for substance use disorder. The availability of benefits depends upon the following three separate findings and continues only as long as the emergency exists, as determined by medical review. If the case qualified as an emergency at the time of admission to an unauthorized institutional provider and the emergency subsequently is determined no longer to exist, benefits will be extended up through the date of notice to the beneficiary and provider that CHAMPUS benefits no longer are payable in that hospital.

    (8) Residential treatment for substance use disorder—(i) In general. Rehabilitative care, to include withdrawal management (detoxification), in an inpatient residential setting of an authorized hospital or substance use disorder rehabilitative facility, whether free-standing or hospital-based, is covered on a residential basis. The medical necessity for the management of withdrawal symptoms must be documented. Any withdrawal management (detoxification) services provided by the substance use disorder rehabilitation facility must be under general medical supervision.

    (ii) Criteria for determining medical or psychological necessity of residential treatment for substance use disorder. Residential treatment for substance use disorder will be considered necessary only if all of the following conditions are present:

    (A) The patient has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder.

    (B) The patient is experiencing withdrawal symptoms or potential symptoms severe enough to require inpatient care and physician management, or who have less severe symptoms that require 24-hour inpatient monitoring or the patient's addiction-related symptoms, or concomitant physical and emotional/behavioral problems reflect persistent dysfunction in several major life areas.

    (iii) Services and supplies. The following services and supplies are included in the per diem rate approved for an authorized residential treatment for substance use disorder.

    (A) Room and board. Includes use of the residential treatment program facilities such as food service (including special diets), laundry services, supervised therapeutically constructed recreational and social activities, and other general services as considered appropriate by the Director, or a designee.

    (B) Patient assessment. Includes the assessment of each individual accepted by the facility, and must, at a minimum, consist of a physical examination; psychiatric examination; psychological assessment; assessment of physiological, biological and cognitive processes; case management assessment; developmental assessment; family history and assessment; social history and assessment; educational or vocational history and assessment; environmental assessment; and recreational/activities assessment. Assessments conducted within 30 days prior to admission to a residential treatment program for substance use disorder (SUD) may be used if approved and deemed adequate to permit treatment planning by the residential treatment program for SUD.

    (C) Psychological testing. Psychological testing is provided based on medical and psychological necessity.

    (D) Treatment services. All services, supplies, equipment and space necessary to fulfill the requirements of each patient's individualized diagnosis and treatment plan. All mental health services must be provided by a TRICARE authorized individual professional provider of mental health services. [Exception: Residential treatment programs that employ individuals with master's or doctoral level degrees in a mental health discipline who do not meet the licensure, certification, and experience requirements for a qualified mental health provider but are actively working toward licensure or certification may provide services within the all-inclusive per diem rate, but such individuals must work under the clinical supervision of a fully qualified mental health provider employed by the facility.]

    (iv) Case management required. The facility must provide case management that helps to assure arrangement of community based support services, referral of suspected child or elder abuse or domestic violence to the appropriate state agencies, and effective after care arrangements, at a minimum.

    (v) Professional mental health benefits. Professional mental health benefits are billed separately from the residential treatment program per diem rate only when rendered by an attending, TRICARE authorized mental health professional who is not an employee of, or under contract with, the program for purposes of providing clinical patient care.

    (vi) Non-mental health related medical services. Separate billing will be allowed for otherwise covered non-mental health related services.

    (9) Psychiatric and substance use disorder partial hospitalization services—(i) In general. Partial hospitalization services are those services furnished by a TRICARE authorized partial hospitalization program and authorized mental health providers for the active treatment of a mental disorder. All services must follow a medical model and vest patient care under the general direction of a licensed TRICARE authorized physician employed by the partial hospitalization program to ensure medication and physical needs of all the patients are considered. The primary or attending provider must be a TRICARE authorized mental health provider (see paragraph (c)(3)(ix) of this section), operating within the scope of his/her license. These categories include physicians, clinical psychologists, certified psychiatric nurse specialists, clinical social workers, marriage and family counselors, TRICARE certified mental health counselors, pastoral counselors, and supervised mental health counselors. All categories practice independently except pastoral counselors and supervised mental health counselors who must practice under the supervision of TRICARE authorized physicians. Partial hospitalization services and interventions are provided at a high degree of intensity and restrictiveness of care, with medical supervision and medication management. Partial hospitalization services are covered as a basic program benefit only if they are provided in accordance with paragraph (b)(9) of this section. Such programs must enter into a participation agreement with TRICARE; and be accredited and in substantial compliance with the specified standards of an accreditation organization approved by the Director.

    (ii) Criteria for determining medical or psychological necessity of psychiatric and SUD partial hospitalization services. Partial hospitalization services will be considered necessary only if all of the following conditions are present:

    (A) The patient is suffering significant impairment from a mental disorder (as defined in § 199.2) which interferes with age appropriate functioning or the patient is in need of rehabilitative services for the management of withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, sedative-hypnotics, opioids, or stimulants that require medically-monitored ambulatory detoxification, with direct access to medical services and clinically intensive programming of rehabilitative care based on individual treatment plans.

    (B) The patient is unable to maintain himself or herself in the community, with appropriate support, at a sufficient level of functioning to permit an adequate course of therapy exclusively on an outpatient basis, to include outpatient treatment program, outpatient office visits, or intensive outpatient services (but is able, with appropriate support, to maintain a basic level of functioning to permit partial hospitalization services and presents no substantial imminent risk of harm to self or others). These patients require medical support; however, they do not require a 24-hour medical environment.

    (C) The patient is in need of crisis stabilization, acute symptom reduction, treatment of partially stabilized mental health disorders, or services as a transition from an inpatient program.

    (D) The admission into the partial hospitalization program is based on the development of an individualized diagnosis and treatment plan expected to be effective for that patient and permit treatment at a less intensive level.

    (iii) Services and supplies. The following services and supplies are included in the per diem rate approved for an authorized partial hospitalization program:

    (A) Board. Includes use of the partial hospital facilities such as food service, supervised therapeutically constructed recreational and social activities, and other general services as considered appropriate by the Director, or a designee.

    (B) Patient assessment. Includes the assessment of each individual accepted by the facility, and must, at a minimum, consist of a physical examination; psychiatric examination; psychological assessment; assessment of physiological, biological and cognitive processes; case management assessment; developmental assessment; family history and assessment; social history and assessment; educational or vocational history and assessment; environmental assessment; and recreational/activities assessment. Assessments conducted within 30 days prior to admission to a partial program may be used if approved and deemed adequate to permit treatment planning by the partial hospital program.

    (C) Psychological testing.

    (D) Treatment services. All services, supplies, equipment and space necessary to fulfill the requirements of each patient's individualized diagnosis and treatment plan. All mental health services must be provided by a TRICARE authorized individual professional provider of mental health services. [Exception: Partial hospitalization programs that employ individuals with master's or doctoral level degrees in a mental health discipline who do not meet the licensure, certification, and experience requirements for a qualified mental health provider but are actively working toward licensure or certification, may provide services within the all-inclusive per diem rate, but such individuals must work under the clinical supervision of a fully qualified mental health provider employed by the partial hospitalization program.]

    (iv) Case management required. The facility must provide case management that helps to assure the patient appropriate living arrangements after treatment hours, transportation to and from the facility, arrangement of community based support services, referral of suspected child or elder abuse or domestic violence to the appropriate state agencies, and effective after care arrangements, at a minimum.

    (v) Educational services required. Programs treating children and adolescents must ensure the provision of a state certified educational component which assures that patients do not fall behind in educational placement while receiving partial hospital treatment. CHAMPUS will not fund the cost of educational services separately from the per diem rate. The hours devoted to education do not count toward the therapeutic intensive outpatient program or full day program.

    (vi) Family therapy required. The facility must ensure the provision of an active family therapy treatment component, which assures that each patient and family participate at least weekly in family therapy provided by the institution and rendered by a TRICARE authorized individual professional provider of mental health services. There is no acceptable substitute for family therapy. An exception to this requirement may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Director, or designee, only if family therapy is clinically contraindicated.

    (vii) Professional mental health benefits. Professional mental health benefits are billed separately from the partial hospitalization per diem rate only when rendered by an attending, TRICARE authorized mental health professional who is not an employee of, or under contract with, the partial hospitalization program for purposes of providing clinical patient care.

    (viii) Non-mental health related medical services. Separate billing will be allowed for otherwise covered, non-mental health related medical services.

    (10) Intensive psychiatric and substance use disorder outpatient services—(i) In general. Intensive outpatient services are those services furnished by a TRICARE authorized intensive outpatient program and qualified mental health provider(s) for the active treatment of a mental disorder, to include substance use disorder.

    (ii) Criteria for determining medical or psychological necessity of intensive outpatient services. In determining the medical or psychological necessity of intensive outpatient services, the evaluation conducted by the Director, or designee, shall consider the appropriate level of care, based on the patient's clinical needs and characteristics matched to a service's structure and intensity. In addition to the criteria set for this paragraph (b)(10) of this section, additional evaluation standards, consistent with such criteria, may be adopted by the Director, or designee. Treatment in an intensive outpatient setting shall not be considered necessary unless the patient requires care that is more intensive than an outpatient treatment program or outpatient office visits and less intensive than inpatient psychiatric care or a partial hospital program. Intensive outpatient services will be considered necessary only if the following conditions are present:

    (A) The patient is suffering significant impairment from a mental disorder, to include a substance use disorder (as defined in § 199.2), which interferes with age appropriate functioning. Patients receiving a higher intensity of treatment may be experiencing moderate to severe instability, exacerbation of severe/persistent disorder, or dangerousness with some risk of confinement. Patients receiving a lower intensity of treatment may be experiencing mild instability with limited dangerousness and low risk for confinement.

    (B) The patient is unable to maintain himself or herself in the community, with appropriate support, at a sufficient level of functioning to permit an adequate course of therapy exclusively in an outpatient treatment program or an outpatient office basis (but is able, with appropriate support, to maintain a basic level of functioning to permit a level of intensive outpatient treatment and presents no substantial imminent risk of harm to self or others).

    (C) The patient is in need of stabilization, symptom reduction, and prevention of relapse for chronic mental illness. The goal of maintenance of his or her functioning within the community cannot be met by outpatient office visits, but requires active treatment in a stable, staff-supported environment;

    (D) The admission into the intensive outpatient program is based on the development of an individualized diagnosis and treatment plan expected to be effective for that patient and permit treatment at a less intensive level.

    (iii) Services and supplies. The following services and supplies are included in the per diem rate approved for an authorized intensive outpatient program.

    (A) Patient assessment. Includes the assessment of each individual accepted by the facility.

    (B) Treatment services. All services, supplies, equipment, and space necessary to fulfill the requirements of each patient's individualized diagnosis and treatment plan. All mental health services must be provided by a TRICARE authorized individual qualified mental health provider. [Exception: Intensive outpatient programs that employ individuals with master's or doctoral level degrees in a mental health discipline who do not meet the licensure, certification, and experience requirements for a qualified mental health provider but are actively working toward licensure or certification, may provide services within the all-inclusive per diem rate but such individuals must work under the clinical supervision of a fully qualified mental health provider employed by the facility.]

    (iv) Case management. When appropriate, and with the consent of the person served, the facility should coordinate the care, treatment, or services, including providing coordinated treatment with other services.

    (v) Professional mental health benefits. Professional mental health benefits are billed separately from the intensive outpatient per diem rate only when rendered by an attending, TRICARE authorized qualified mental health provider who is not an employee of, or under contract with, the program for purposes of providing clinical patient care.

    (vi) Non-mental health related medical services. Separate billing will be allowed for otherwise covered, non-mental health related medical services.

    (11) Opioid treatment programs—(i) In general. Outpatient treatment and management of withdrawal symptoms for substance use disorder provided at a TRICARE authorized opioid treatment program are covered. If the patient is medically in need of management of withdrawal symptoms, but does not require the personnel or facilities of a general hospital setting, services for management of withdrawal symptoms are covered. The medical necessity for the management of withdrawal symptoms must be documented. Any services to manage withdrawal symptoms provided by the opioid treatment program must be under general medical supervision.

    (ii) Criteria for determining medical or psychological necessity of an opioid treatment program are set forth in 42 CFR part 8.

    (iii) Services and supplies. The following services and supplies are included in the reimbursement approved for an authorized opioid treatment program.

    (A) Patient assessment. Includes the assessment of each individual accepted by the facility.

    (B) Treatment services. All services, supplies, equipment, and space necessary to fulfill the requirements of each patient's individualized diagnosis and treatment plan. All mental health services must be provided by a TRICARE authorized individual professional provider of mental health services. [Exception: opioid treatment programs that employ individuals with degrees in a mental health discipline who do not meet the licensure, certification, and experience requirements for a qualified mental health provider but work under the clinical supervision of a fully qualified mental health provider employed by the facility.]

    (iv) Case management. Care, treatment, or services should be coordinated among providers and between settings, independent of whether they are provided directly by the organization or by an organization or by an outside source, so that the individual's needs are addressed in a seamless, synchronized, and timely manner.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (ix) Treatment of mental disorders, to include substance use disorder. In order to qualify for CHAMPUS mental health benefits, the patient must be diagnosed by a TRICARE authorized qualified mental health professional practicing within the scope of his or her license to be suffering from a mental disorder, as defined in § 199.2

    (A) Covered diagnostic and therapeutic services. CHAMPUS benefits are payable for the following services when rendered in the diagnosis or treatment of a covered mental disorder by a TRICARE authorized qualified mental health provider practicing within the scope of his or her license. Qualified mental health providers are: Psychiatrists or other physicians; clinical psychologists, certified psychiatric nurse specialists, certified clinical social workers, certified marriage and family therapists, TRICARE certified mental health counselors, pastoral counselors under a physician's supervision, and supervised mental health counselors under a physician's supervision.

    (1) Individual psychotherapy, adult or child. A covered individual psychotherapy session is no more than 60 minutes in length. An individual psychotherapy session of up to 120 minutes in length is payable for crisis intervention.

    (2) Group psychotherapy. A covered group psychotherapy session is no more than 90 minutes in length.

    (3) Family or conjoint psychotherapy. A covered family or conjoint psychotherapy session is no more than 90 minutes in length. A family or conjoint psychotherapy session of up to 180 minutes in length is payable for crisis intervention.

    (4) Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is covered when provided by a graduate or candidate of a psychoanalytic training institution recognized by the American Psychoanalytic Association and when preauthorized by the Director, or a designee.

    (5) Psychological testing and assessment. Psychological testing and assessment is covered when medically or psychologically necessary. Psychological testing and assessment performed as part of an assessment for academic placement are not covered.

    (6) Administration of psychotropic drugs. When prescribed by an authorized provider qualified by licensure to prescribe drugs.

    (7) Electroconvulsive treatment. When provided in accordance with guidelines issued by the Director.

    (8) Collateral visits. Covered collateral visits are those that are medically or psychologically necessary for the treatment of the patient.

    (9) Medication assisted treatment. Medication assisted treatment, combining pharmacotherapy and holistic care, to include provision in office-based opioid treatment by an authorized TRICARE provider, is covered. The practice of an individual physician in office-based treatment is, as regulated by the Department of Health and Human Services' 42 CFR 8.12, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), along with individual state and local regulations.

    (B) Therapeutic settings—(1) Outpatient psychotherapy. Outpatient psychotherapy generally is covered for individual, family, conjoint, collateral, and/or group sessions.

    (2) Inpatient psychotherapy. Coverage of inpatient psychotherapy is based on medical or psychological necessity for the services identified in the patient's treatment plan.

    (C) Covered ancillary therapies. Includes art, music, dance, occupational, and other ancillary therapies, when included by the attending provider in an approved inpatient, SUDRF, residential treatment, partial hospital, or intensive outpatient program treatment plan and under the clinical supervision of a qualified mental health professional. These ancillary therapies are not separately reimbursed professional services but are included within the institutional reimbursement.

    (D) Review of claims for treatment of mental disorder. The Director shall establish and maintain procedures for review, including professional review, of the services provided for the treatment of mental disorders.

    (e) * * *

    (8) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) For purposes of CHAMPUS, dental congenital anomalies such as absent tooth buds or malocclusion specifically are excluded.

    (D) Any procedures related to sex gender changes, except as provided in paragraph (g)(29) of this section, are excluded.

    (iv) * * *

    (Q) Penile implant procedure for psychological impotency or as related to sex gender changes, as prohibited by section 1079 of title 10, United States Code.

    (R) Insertion of prosthetic testicles as related to sex gender changes, as prohibited by section 1079 of title 10, United States Code.

    (11) Drug abuse. Under the Basic Program, benefits may be extended for medically necessary prescription drugs required in the treatment of an illness or injury or in connection with maternity care (refer to paragraph (d) of this section). However, TRICARE benefits cannot be authorized to support or maintain an existing or potential drug abuse situation whether or not the drugs (under other circumstances) are eligible for benefit consideration and whether or not obtained by legal means. Drugs, including the substitution of a therapeutic drug with addictive potential for a drug of addiction, prescribed to beneficiaries undergoing medically supervised treatment for a substance use disorder as authorized under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section are not considered to be in support of, or to maintain, an existing or potential drug abuse situation and are allowed. The Director may prescribe appropriate policies to implement this prescription drug benefit for those undergoing medically supervised treatment for a substance use disorder.

    (13) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) Home care is not suitable. Institutionalization of a child because a parent (or parents) is unable to provide a safe and nurturing environment due to a mental or substance use disorder, or because someone in the home has a contagious disease, are examples of why domiciliary care is being provided because the home setting is unsuitable.

    (f) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Inpatient cost-sharing. Dependents of members of the Uniformed Services are responsible for the payment of the first $25 of the allowable institutional costs incurred with each covered inpatient admission to a hospital or other authorized institutional provider (refer to § 199.6, including inpatient admission to a residential treatment center, substance use disorder rehabilitation facility residential treatment program, or skilled nursing facility), or the amount the beneficiary or sponsor would have been charged had the inpatient care been provided in a Uniformed Service hospital, whichever is greater.

    Note: The Secretary of Defense (after consulting with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Transportation) prescribes the fair charges for inpatient hospital care provided through Uniformed Services medical facilities. This determination is made each fiscal year.

    (3) * * *

    (ii) Inpatient cost-sharing. Inpatient admissions to a hospital or other authorized institutional provider (refer to § 199.6, including inpatient admission to a residential treatment center, substance use disorder rehabilitation facility residential treatment program, or skilled nursing facility) shall be cost-shared on an inpatient basis. The cost-sharing for inpatient services subject to the TRICARE DRG-based payment system and the TRICARE per diem system shall be the lesser of the respective per diem copayment amount multiplied by the total number of days in the hospital (except for the day of discharge under the DRG payment system), or 25 percent of the hospital's billed charges. For other inpatient services, the cost-share shall be 25% of the CHAMPUS-determined allowable charges.

    (g) * * *

    (1) Not medically or psychologically necessary. Services and supplies that are not medically or psychologically necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of a covered illness (including mental disorder, to include substance use disorder) or injury, for the diagnosis and treatment of pregnancy or well-baby care except as provided in the following paragraph.

    (29) Intersex surgery and sex gender changes. Services and supplies related to intersex surgery and sex gender change, also referred to as sex reassignment surgery, as prohibited by section 1079 of title 10, United States Code. This exclusion does not apply to surgery and related medically necessary services performed to correct sex gender confusion (that is, ambiguous genitalia) which has been documented to be present at birth.

    (73) Economic interest in connection with mental health admissions. Inpatient mental health services (including both acute care and RTC services) are excluded for care received when a patient is referred to a provider of such services by a physician (or other health care professional with authority to admit) who has an economic interest in the facility to which the patient is referred, unless a waiver is granted. Requests for waiver shall be considered under the same procedure and based on the same criteria as used for obtaining preadmission authorization (or continued stay authorization for emergency admissions), with the only additional requirement being that the economic interest be disclosed as part of the request. This exclusion does not apply to services under the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) in § 199.5 or provided as partial hospital care. If a situation arises where a decision is made to exclude CHAMPUS payment solely on the basis of the provider's economic interest, the normal CHAMPUS appeals process will be available.

    4. Section 199.6 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(4)(iv)(B) and (D), (b)(4)(vii), (b)(4)(xii), (b)(4)(xiv), (b)(4)(xviii), and (b)(4)(xix) to read as follows:
    § 199.6 TRICARE-authorized providers.

    (b) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (B) In order for the services of a psychiatric hospital to be covered, the hospital shall comply with the provisions outlined in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section. All psychiatric hospitals shall be accredited under an accrediting organization approved by the Director, in order for their services to be cost-shared under CHAMPUS. In the case of those psychiatric hospitals that are not accredited because they have not been in operation a sufficient period of time to be eligible to request an accreditation survey, the Director, or a designee, may grant temporary approval if the hospital is certified and participating under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (Medicare, Part A). This temporary approval expires 12 months from the date on which the psychiatric hospital first becomes eligible to request an accreditation survey by an accrediting organization approved by the Director.

    (D) Although psychiatric hospitals are accredited under an accrediting organization approved by Director, their medical records must be maintained in accordance with accrediting organization's current standards manual, along with the requirements set forth in § 199.7(b)(3). The hospital is responsible for assuring that patient services and all treatment are accurately documented and completed in a timely manner.

    (vii) Residential treatment centers. This paragraph (b)(4)(vii) establishes the definition of and eligibility standards and requirements for residential treatment centers (RTCs).

    (A) Organization and administration—(1) Definition. A Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a facility or a distinct part of a facility that provides to beneficiaries under 21 years of age a medically supervised, interdisciplinary program of mental health treatment. An RTC is appropriate for patients whose predominant symptom presentation is essentially stabilized, although not resolved, and who have persistent dysfunction in major life areas. Residential treatment may be complemented by family therapy and case management for community based resources. Discharge planning should support transitional care for the patient and family, to include resources available in the geographic area where the patient will be residing. The extent and pervasiveness of the patient's problems require a protected and highly structured therapeutic environment. Residential treatment is differentiated from:

    (i) Acute psychiatric care, which requires medical treatment and 24-hour availability of a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services to establish and implement an effective plan of care which will reverse life-threatening and/or severely incapacitating symptoms;

    (ii) Partial hospitalization, which provides a less than 24-hour-per-day, seven-day-per-week treatment program for patients who continue to exhibit psychiatric problems but can function with support in some of the major life areas;

    (iii) A group home, which is a professionally directed living arrangement with the availability of psychiatric consultation and treatment for patients with significant family dysfunction and/or chronic but stable psychiatric disturbances;

    (iv) Therapeutic school, which is an educational program supplemented by psychological and psychiatric services;

    (v) Facilities that treat patients with a primary diagnosis of substance use disorder; and

    (vi) Facilities providing care for patients with a primary diagnosis of mental retardation or developmental disability.

    (2) Eligibility. (i) In order to qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider, every RTC must meet the minimum basic standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(4)(vii)(A) through (C) of this section, and as well as such additional elaborative criteria and standards as the Director determines are necessary to implement the basic standards.

    (ii) To qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider, the facility is required to be licensed and fully operational for six months (with a minimum average daily census of 30 percent of total bed capacity) and operate in substantial compliance with state and federal regulations.

    (iii) The facility is currently accredited by an accrediting organization approved by the Director.

    (iv) The facility has a written participation agreement with OCHAMPUS. The RTC is not a CHAMPUS-authorized provider and CHAMPUS benefits are not paid for services provided until the date upon which a participation agreement is signed by the Director.

    (B) Participation agreement requirements. In addition to other requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(4)(vii), of this section in order for the services of an RTC to be authorized, the RTC shall have entered into a Participation Agreement with OCHAMPUS. The period of a participation agreement shall be specified in the agreement, and will generally be for not more than five years. In addition to review of a facility's application and supporting documentation, an on-site inspection by OCHAMPUS authorized personnel may be required prior to signing a Participation Agreement. Retroactive approval is not given. In addition, the Participation Agreement shall include provisions that the RTC shall, at a minimum:

    (1) Render residential treatment center inpatient services to eligible CHAMPUS beneficiaries in need of such services, in accordance with the participation agreement and CHAMPUS regulation;

    (2) Accept payment for its services based upon the methodology provided in § 199.14(f) or such other method as determined by the Director;

    (3) Accept the CHAMPUS all-inclusive per diem rate as payment in full and collect from the CHAMPUS beneficiary or the family of the CHAMPUS beneficiary only those amounts that represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4, and charges for services and supplies that are not a benefit of CHAMPUS;

    (4) Make all reasonable efforts acceptable to the Director, to collect those amounts, which represents the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4;

    (5) Comply with the provisions of § 199.8, and submit claims first to all health insurance coverage to which the beneficiary is entitled that is primary to CHAMPUS;

    (6) Submit claims for services provided to CHAMPUS beneficiaries at least every 30 days (except to the extent a delay is necessitated by efforts to first collect from other health insurance). If claims are not submitted at least every 30 days, the RTC agrees not to bill the beneficiary or the beneficiary's family for any amounts disallowed by CHAMPUS;

    (7) Certify that:

    (i) It is and will remain in compliance with the TRICARE standards and provisions of paragraph (b)(4)(vii) of this section establishing standards for Residential Treatment Centers; and

    (ii) It will maintain compliance with the CHAMPUS Standards for Residential Treatment Centers Serving Children and Adolescents with Mental Disorders, as issued by the Director, except for any such standards regarding which the facility notifies the Director that it is not in compliance.

    (8) Designate an individual who will act as liaison for CHAMPUS inquiries. The RTC shall inform OCHAMPUS in writing of the designated individual;

    (9) Furnish OCHAMPUS, as requested by OCHAMPUS, with cost data certified by an independent accounting firm or other agency as authorized by the Director, OCHAMPUS;

    (10) Comply with all requirements of this section applicable to institutional providers generally concerning accreditation requirements, preauthorization, concurrent care review, claims processing, beneficiary liability, double coverage, utilization and quality review, and other matters;

    (11) Grant the Director, or designee, the right to conduct quality assurance audits or accounting audits with full access to patients and records (including records relating to patients who are not CHAMPUS beneficiaries) to determine the quality and cost-effectiveness of care rendered. The audits may be conducted on a scheduled or unscheduled (unannounced) basis. This right to audit/review includes, but is not limited to:

    (i) Examination of fiscal and all other records of the RTC which would confirm compliance with the participation agreement and designation as a TRICARE authorized RTC;

    (ii) Conducting such audits of RTC records including clinical, financial, and census records, as may be necessary to determine the nature of the services being provided, and the basis for charges and claims against the United States for services provided CHAMPUS beneficiaries;

    (iii) Examining reports of evaluations and inspections conducted by federal, state and local government, and private agencies and organizations;

    (iv) Conducting on-site inspections of the facilities of the RTC and interviewing employees, members of the staff, contractors, board members, volunteers, and patients, as required;

    (v) Audits conducted by the United States Government Accountability Office.

    (C) Other requirements applicable to RTCs. (1) Even though an RTC may qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider and may have entered into a participation agreement with CHAMPUS, payment by CHAMPUS for particular services provided is contingent upon the RTC also meeting all conditions set forth in § 199.4 especially all requirements of § 199.4(b)(4).

    (2) The RTC shall provide inpatient services to CHAMPUS beneficiaries in the same manner it provides inpatient services to all other patients. The RTC may not discriminate against CHAMPUS beneficiaries in any manner, including admission practices, placement in special or separate wings or rooms, or provisions of special or limited treatment.

    (3) The RTC shall assure that all certifications and information provided to the Director, incident to the process of obtaining and retaining authorized provider status is accurate and that it has no material errors or omissions. In the case of any misrepresentations, whether by inaccurate information being provided or material facts withheld, authorized status will be denied or terminated, and the RTC will be ineligible for consideration for authorized provider status for a two year period.

    (xii) Psychiatric and substance use disorder partial hospitalization programs. This paragraph (b)(4)(xii) establishes the definition of and eligibility standards and requirements for psychiatric and substance use disorder partial hospitalization programs.

    (A) Organization and administration—(1) Definition. Partial hospitalization is defined as a time-limited, ambulatory, active treatment program that offers therapeutically intensive, coordinated, and structured clinical services within a stable therapeutic milieu. Partial hospitalization programs serve patients who exhibit psychiatric symptoms, disturbances of conduct, and decompensating conditions affecting mental health. Partial hospitalization is appropriate for those whose psychiatric and addiction-related symptoms or concomitant physical and emotional/behavioral problems can be managed outside the hospital for defined periods of time with support in one or more of the major life areas. A partial hospitalization program for the treatment of substance use disorders is an addiction-focused service that provides active treatment to adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 or adults aged 18 and over.

    (2) Eligibility. (i) To qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider, every partial hospitalization program must meet minimum basic standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(4)(xii)(A) through (D) of this section, as well as such additional elaborative criteria and standards as the Director determines are necessary to implement the basic standards. Each partial hospitalization program must be either a distinct part of an otherwise-authorized institutional provider or a free-standing program. Approval of a hospital by TRICARE is sufficient for its partial hospitalization program to be an authorized TRICARE provider. Such hospital-based partial hospitalization programs are not required to be separately authorized by TRICARE.

    (ii) To be approved as a TRICARE authorized provider, the facility is required to be licensed and fully operational for a period of at least six months (with a minimum patient census of at least 30 percent of bed capacity) and operate in substantial compliance with state and federal regulations.

    (iii) The facility is required to be currently accredited by an accrediting organization approved by the Director. Each PHP authorized to treat substance use disorder must be accredited to provide the level of required treatment by an accreditation body approved by the Director.

    (iv) The facility is required to have a written participation agreement with OCHAMPUS. The PHP is not a CHAMPUS-authorized provider and CHAMPUS benefits are not paid for services provided until the date upon which a participation agreement is signed by the Director.

    (B) Participation agreement requirements. In addition to other requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(4)(xii) of this section, in order for the services of a PHP to be authorized, the PHP shall have entered into a Participation Agreement with OCHAMPUS. A single consolidated participation agreement is acceptable for all units of the TRICARE authorized facility granted that all programs meet the requirements of this part. The period of a Participation Agreement shall be specified in the agreement, and will generally be for not more than five years. The PHP shall not be considered to be a CHAMPUS authorized provider and CHAMPUS payments shall not be made for services provided by the PHP until the date the participation agreement is signed by the Director. In addition to review of a facility's application and supporting documentation, an on-site inspection by OCHAMPUS authorized personnel may be required prior to signing a participation agreement. The Participation Agreement shall include at least the following requirements:

    (1) Render partial hospitalization program services to eligible CHAMPUS beneficiaries in need of such services, in accordance with the participation agreement and CHAMPUS regulation.

    (2) Accept payment for its services based upon the methodology provided in § 199.14, or such other method as determined by the Director;

    (3) Accept the CHAMPUS all-inclusive per diem rate as payment in full and collect from the CHAMPUS beneficiary or the family of the CHAMPUS beneficiary only those amounts that represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4, and charges for services and supplies that are not a benefit of CHAMPUS;

    (4) Make all reasonable efforts acceptable to the Director to collect those amounts, which represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4;

    (5) Comply with the provisions of § 199.8, and submit claims first to all health insurance coverage to which the beneficiary is entitled that is primary to CHAMPUS;

    (6) Submit claims for services provided to CHAMPUS beneficiaries at least every 30 days (except to the extent a delay is necessitated by efforts to first collect from other health insurance). If claims are not submitted at least every 30 days, the PHP agrees not to bill the beneficiary or the beneficiary's family for any amounts disallowed by CHAMPUS;

    (7) Certify that:

    (i) It is and will remain in compliance with the TRICARE standards and provisions of paragraph (b)(4)(xii) of this section establishing standards for psychiatric and substance use disorder partial hospitalization programs; and

    (ii) It will maintain compliance with the CHAMPUS Standards for Psychiatric Substance Use Disorder Partial Hospitalization Programs, as issued by the Director, except for any such standards regarding which the facility notifies the Director, or designee, that it is not in compliance.

    (8) Designate an individual who will act as liaison for CHAMPUS inquiries. The PHP shall inform the Director, or designee, in writing of the designated individual;

    (9) Furnish OCHAMPUS, as requested by OCHAMPUS, with cost data certified by an independent accounting firm or other agency as authorized by the Director;

    (10) Comply with all requirements of this section applicable to institutional providers generally concerning accreditation requirements, preauthorization, concurrent care review, claims processing, beneficiary liability, double coverage, utilization and quality review, and other matters;

    (11) Grant the Director, or designee, the right to conduct quality assurance audits or accounting audits with full access to patients and records (including records relating to patients who are not CHAMPUS beneficiaries) to determine the quality and cost-effectiveness of care rendered. The audits may be conducted on a scheduled or unscheduled (unannounced) basis. This right to audit/review includes, but is not limited to:

    (i) Examination of fiscal and all other records of the PHP which would confirm compliance with the participation agreement and designation as a TRICARE authorized PHP provider;

    (ii) Conducting such audits of PHP records including clinical, financial, and census records, as may be necessary to determine the nature of the services being provided, and the basis for charges and claims against the United States for services provided CHAMPUS beneficiaries;

    (iii) Examining reports of evaluations and inspections conducted by federal, state and local government, and private agencies and organizations;

    (iv) Conducting on-site inspections of the facilities of the PHP and interviewing employees, members of the staff, contractors, board members, volunteers, and patients, as required;

    (v) Audits conducted by the United States General Account Office.

    (C) Other requirements applicable to PHPs. (1) Even though a PHP may qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider and may have entered into a participation agreement with CHAMPUS, payment by CHAMPUS for particular services provided is contingent upon the PHP also meeting all conditions set forth in § 199.4.

    (2) The PHP may not discriminate against CHAMPUS beneficiaries in any manner, including admission practices, placement in special or separate wings or rooms, or provisions of special or limited treatment.

    (3) The PHP shall assure that all certifications and information provided to the Director incident to the process of obtaining and retaining authorized provider status is accurate and that is has no material errors or omissions. In the case of any misrepresentations, whether by inaccurate information being provided or material facts withheld, authorized provider status will be denied or terminated, and the PHP will be ineligible for consideration for authorized provider status for a two year period.

    (xiv) Substance use disorder rehabilitation facilities. This paragraph (b)(4)(xiv) establishes the definition of eligibility standards and requirements for residential substance use disorder rehabilitation facilities (SUDRF).

    (A) Organization and administration—(1) Definition. A SUDRF is a residential or rehabilitation facility, or distinct part of a facility, that provides medically monitored, interdisciplinary addiction-focused treatment to beneficiaries who have psychoactive substance use disorders. Qualified health care professionals provide 24-hour, seven-day-per-week, assessment, treatment, and evaluation. A SUDRF is appropriate for patients whose addiction-related symptoms, or concomitant physical and emotional/behavioral problems reflect persistent dysfunction in several major life areas. Residential or inpatient rehabilitation is differentiated from:

    (i) Acute psychoactive substance use treatment and from treatment of acute biomedical/emotional/behavioral problems; which problems are either life-threatening and/or severely incapacitating and often occur within the context of a discrete episode of addiction-related biomedical or psychiatric dysfunction;

    (ii) A partial hospitalization center, which serves patients who exhibit emotional/behavioral dysfunction but who can function in the community for defined periods of time with support in one or more of the major life areas;

    (iii) A group home, sober-living environment, halfway house, or three-quarter way house;

    (iv) Therapeutic schools, which are educational programs supplemented by addiction-focused services;

    (v) Facilities that treat patients with primary psychiatric diagnoses other than psychoactive substance use or dependence; and

    (vi) Facilities that care for patients with the primary diagnosis of mental retardation or developmental disability.

    (2) Eligibility. (i) In order to become a TRICARE authorized provider, every SUDRF must meet minimum basic standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(4)(xiv)(A) through (C) of this section, as well as such additional elaborative criteria and standards as the Director determines are necessary to implement the basic standards.

    (ii) To be approved as a TRICARE authorized provider, the SUDRF is required to be licensed and fully operational (with a minimum patient census of the lesser of: six patients or 30 percent of bed capacity) for a period of at least six months and operate in substantial compliance with state and federal regulations.

    (iii) The SUDRF is currently accredited by an accrediting organization approved by the Director. Each SUDRF must be accredited to provide the level of required treatment by an accreditation body approved by the Director.

    (iv) The SUDRF has a written participation agreement with OCHAMPUS. The SUDRF is not considered a TRICARE authorized provider, and CHAMPUS benefits are not paid for services provided until the date upon which a participation agreement is signed by the Director.

    (B) Participation agreement requirements. In addition to other requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(4)(xiv) of this section, in order for the services of an inpatient rehabilitation center for the treatment of substance use disorders to be authorized, the center shall have entered into a Participation Agreement with OCHAMPUS. A single consolidated participation agreement is acceptable for all units of the TRICARE authorized facility. The period of a Participation Agreement shall be specified in the agreement, and will generally be for not more than five years. The SUDRF shall not be considered to be a CHAMPUS authorized provider and CHAMPUS payments shall not be made for services provided by the SUDRF until the date the participation agreement is signed by the Director. In addition to review of the SUDRF's application and supporting documentation, an on-site visit by OCHAMPUS representatives may be part of the authorization process. In addition, such a Participation Agreement may not be signed until an SUDRF has been licensed and operational for at least six months. The Participation Agreement shall include at least the following requirements:

    (1) Render applicable services to eligible CHAMPUS beneficiaries in need of such services, in accordance with the participation agreement and CHAMPUS regulation;

    (2) Accept payment for its services based upon the methodology provided in § 199.14, or such other method as determined by the Director;

    (3) Accept the CHAMPUS-determined rate as payment in full and collect from the CHAMPUS beneficiary or the family of the CHAMPUS beneficiary only those amounts that represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4, and charges for services and supplies that are not a benefit of CHAMPUS;

    (4) Make all reasonable efforts acceptable to the Director to collect those amounts which represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4;

    (5) Comply with the provisions of § 199.8, and submit claims first to all health insurance coverage to which the beneficiary is entitled that is primary to CHAMPUS;

    (6) Furnish OCHAMPUS with cost data, as requested by OCHAMPUS, certified to by an independent accounting firm or other agency as authorized by the Director;

    (7) Certify that:

    (i) It is and will remain in compliance with the provisions of paragraph (b)(4)(xiv) of the section establishing standards for substance use disorder rehabilitation facilities; and

    (ii) It has conducted a self-assessment of the facility's compliance with the CHAMPUS Standards for Substance Use Disorder Rehabilitation Facilities, as issued by the Director and notified the Director of any matter regarding which the facility is not in compliance with such standards; and

    (iii) It will maintain compliance with the CHAMPUS Standards for Substance Use Disorder Rehabilitation Facilities, as issued by the Director, except for any such standards regarding which the facility notifies the Director that it is not in compliance.

    (8) Designate an individual who will act as liaison for CHAMPUS inquiries. The SUDRF shall inform OCHAMPUS in writing of the designated individual;

    (9) Furnish OCHAMPUS, as requested by OCHAMPUS, with cost data certified by an independent accounting firm or other agency as authorized by the Director;

    (10) Comply with all requirements of this section applicable to institutional providers generally concerning accreditation requirements, preauthorization, concurrent care review, claims processing, beneficiary liability, double coverage, utilization and quality review, and other matters;

    (11) Grant the Director, or designee, the right to conduct quality assurance audits or accounting audits with full access to patients and records (including records relating to patients who are not CHAMPUS beneficiaries) to determine the quality and cost effectiveness of care rendered. The audits may be conducted on a scheduled or unscheduled (unannounced) basis. This right to audit/review included, but is not limited to:

    (i) Examination of fiscal and all other records of the center which would confirm compliance with the participation agreement and designation as an authorized TRICARE provider;

    (ii) Conducting such audits of center records including clinical, financial, and census records, as may be necessary to determine the nature of the services being provided, and the basis for charges and claims against the United States for services provided CHAMPUS beneficiaries;

    (iii) Examining reports of evaluations and inspection conducted by federal, state and local government, and private agencies and organizations;

    (iv) Conducting on-site inspections of the facilities of the SUDRF and interviewing employees, members of the staff, contractors, board members, volunteers, and patients, as required.

    (v) Audits conducted by the United States Government Accountability Office.

    (C) Other requirements applicable to substance use disorder rehabilitation facilities.

    (1) Even though a SUDRF may qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider and may have entered into a participation agreement with CHAMPUS, payment by CHAMPUS for particular services provided is contingent upon the SUDRF also meeting all conditions set forth in § 199.4.

    (2) The center shall provide inpatient services to CHAMPUS beneficiaries in the same manner it provides services to all other patients. The center may not discriminate against CHAMPUS beneficiaries in any manner, including admission practices, placement in special or separate wings or rooms, or provisions of special or limited treatment.

    (3) The substance use disorder facility shall assure that all certifications and information provided to the Director, incident to the process of obtaining and retaining authorized provider status, is accurate and that it has no material errors or omissions. In the case of any misrepresentations, whether by inaccurate information being provided or material facts withheld, authorized provider status will be denied or terminated, and the facility will be ineligible for consideration for authorized provider status for a two year period.

    (xviii) Intensive outpatient programs. This paragraph (b)(4)(xviii) establishes standards and requirements for intensive outpatient treatment programs for psychiatric and substance use disorder.

    (A) Organization and administration—(1) Definition. Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) programs are defined in § 199.2. IOP services consist of a comprehensive and complimentary schedule of recognized treatment approaches that may include day, evening, night, and weekend services consisting of individual and group counseling or therapy, and family counseling or therapy as clinically indicated for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 or adults aged 18 and may include case management to link patients and their families with community based support systems.

    (2) Eligibility. (i) In order to qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider, every intensive outpatient program must meet the minimum basic standards set forth in paragraphs (b)(4)(xviii)(A) through (C) of this section, as well as additional elaborative criteria and standards as the Director determines are necessary to implement the basic standards. Each intensive outpatient program must be either a distinct part of an otherwise-authorized institutional provider or a free-standing psychiatric or substance use disorder intensive outpatient program. Approval of a hospital by TRICARE is sufficient for its IOP to be an authorized TRICARE provider. Such hospital-based intensive outpatient programs are not required to be separately authorized by TRICARE.

    (ii) To qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider, the IOP is required to be licensed and fully operational for a period of at least six months (with a minimum patient census of at least 30 percent of capacity) and operate in substantial compliance with state and federal regulations.

    (iii) The IOP is currently accredited by an accrediting organization approved by the Director. Each IOP authorized to treat substance use disorder must be accredited to provide the level of required treatment by an accreditation body approved by the Director.

    (iv) The facility has a written participation agreement with TRICARE. The IOP is not considered a TRICARE authorized provider and TRICARE benefits are not paid for services provided until the date upon which a participation agreement is signed by the Director.

    (B) Participation agreement requirements. In addition to other requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(4)(xii) of this section, in order for the services of an IOP to be authorized, the IOP shall have entered into a Participation Agreement with TRICARE. A single consolidated participation agreement is acceptable for all units of the TRICARE authorized facility granted that all programs meet the requirements of this part. The period of a Participation Agreement shall be specified in the agreement, and will generally be for not more than five years. In addition to review of a facility's application and supporting documentation, an on-site inspection by DHA authorized personnel may be required prior to signing a participation agreement. The Participation Agreement shall include at least the following requirements:

    (1) Render intensive outpatient program services to eligible TRICARE beneficiaries in need of such services, in accordance with the participation agreement and TRICARE regulation.

    (2) Accept payment for its services based upon the methodology provided in § 199.14, or such other method as determined by the Director;

    (3) Collect from the TRICARE beneficiary or the family of the TRICARE beneficiary only those amounts that represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4, and charges for services and supplies that are not a benefit of TRICARE;

    (4) Make all reasonable efforts acceptable to the Director to collect those amounts, which represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4;

    (5) Comply with the provisions of § 199.8, and submit claims first to all health insurance coverage to which the beneficiary is entitled that is primary to TRICARE;

    (6) Submit claims for services provided to TRICARE beneficiaries at least every 30 days (except to the extent a delay is necessitated by efforts to first collect from other health insurance). If claims are not submitted at least every 30 days, the IOP agrees not to bill the beneficiary or the beneficiary's family for any amounts disallowed by TRICARE;

    (7) Free-standing intensive outpatient programs shall certify that:

    (i) It is and will remain in compliance with the provisions of paragraph (b)(4)(xii) of this section establishing standards for psychiatric and SUD IOPs;

    (ii) It has conducted a self-assessment of the facility's compliance with the CHAMPUS Standards for Intensive Outpatient Programs, as issued by the Director, and notified the Director of any matter regarding which the facility is not in compliance with such standards; and

    (iii) It will maintain compliance with the TRICARE standards for IOPs, as issued by the Director, except for any such standards regarding which the facility notifies the Director, or a designee that it is not in compliance.

    (8) Designate an individual who will act as liaison for TRICARE inquiries. The IOP shall inform TRICARE, or a designee in writing of the designated individual;

    (9) Furnish OCHAMPUS with cost data, as requested by OCHAMPUS, certified by an independent accounting firm or other agency as authorized by the Director.

    (10) Comply with all requirements of this section applicable to institutional providers generally concerning accreditation requirements, preauthorization, concurrent care review, claims processing, beneficiary liability, double coverage, utilization and quality review, and other matters;

    (11) Grant the Director, or designee, the right to conduct quality assurance audits or accounting audits with full access to patients and records (including records relating to patients who are not CHAMPUS beneficiaries) to determine the quality and cost effectiveness of care rendered. The audits may be conducted on a scheduled or unscheduled (unannounced) basis. This right to audit/review included, but is not limited to:

    (i) Examination of fiscal and all other records of the center which would confirm compliance with the participation agreement and designation as an authorized TRICARE provider;

    (ii) Conducting such audits of center records including clinical, financial, and census records, as may be necessary to determine the nature of the services being provided, and the basis for charges and claims against the United States for services provided CHAMPUS beneficiaries;

    (iii) Examining reports of evaluations and inspection conducted by federal, state and local government, and private agencies and organizations;

    (iv) Conducting on-site inspections of the facilities of the IOP and interviewing employees, members of the staff, contractors, board members, volunteers, and patients, as required.

    (v) Audits conducted by the United States Government Accountability Office.

    (C) Other requirements applicable to Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP).

    (1) Even though an IOP may qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider and may have entered into a participation agreement with CHAMPUS, payment by CHAMPUS for particular services provided its contingent upon the IOP also meeting all conditions set forth in § 199.4.

    (2) The IOP may not discriminate against CHAMPUS beneficiaries in any manner, including admission practices, placement in special or separate wings or rooms, or provisions of special or limited treatment.

    (3) The IOP shall assure that all certifications and information provided to the Director incident to the process of obtaining and retaining authorized provider status is accurate and that is has no material errors or omissions. In the case of any misrepresentations, whether by inaccurate information being provided or material facts withheld, authorized provider status will be denied or terminated, and the IOP will be ineligible for consideration for authorized provider status for a two year period.

    (xix) Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP). This paragraph (b)(4)(xix) establishes standards and requirements for Opioid Treatment Programs.

    (A) Organization and administration. (1) Definition. Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP) are defined in § 199.2. Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP) are organized, ambulatory, addiction treatment services for patients with an opioid use disorder. OTPs have the capacity to provide daily direct administration of medications without the prescribing of medications. Medication supplies for patients to take outside of the OTP originate from within the OTP. OTP services offer medication assisted treatment, patient-centered, recovery-oriented individualized treatment through addiction counseling, mental health therapy, case management, and health education.

    (2) Eligibility. (i) Every free-standing Opioid Treatment Program must be accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by Director, under the current standards of an accrediting organization, as well as meet additional elaborative criteria and standards as the Director determines are necessary to implement the basic standards. OTPs adhere to requirements of the Department of Health and Human Services' 42 CFR part 8, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Each OTP must be either a distinct part of an otherwise authorized institutional provider or a free-standing program. Approval of a hospital by TRICARE is sufficient for its OTP to be an authorized TRICARE provider. Such hospital-based OTPs, if certified under 42 CFR 8, are not required to be separately authorized by TRICARE.

    (ii) To qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider, the OTP is required to be licensed and fully operational for a period of at least six months (with a minimum patient census of at least 30 percent of capacity) and operate in substantial compliance with state and federal regulations.

    (iii) The OTP has a written participation agreement with OCHAMPUS. The OTP is not considered a TRICARE authorized provider, and CHAMPUS benefits are not paid for services provided until the date upon which a participation agreement is signed by the Director.

    (B) Participation agreement requirements. In addition to other requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(4)(xix) of this section, in order for the services of an OTP to be authorized, the OTP shall have entered into a Participation Agreement with TRICARE. A single consolidated participation agreement is acceptable for all units of a TRICARE authorized facility. The period of a Participation Agreement shall be specified in the agreement, and will generally be for not more than five years. In addition to review of a facility's application and supporting documentation, an on-site inspection by DHA authorized personnel may be required prior to signing a participation agreement. The Participation Agreement shall include at least the following requirements:

    (1) Render OTP services to eligible TRICARE beneficiaries in need of such services, in accordance with the participation agreement and TRICARE regulation.

    (2) Accept payment for its services based upon the methodology provided in § 199.14, or such other method as determined by the Director;

    (3) Collect from the TRICARE beneficiary or the family of the TRICARE beneficiary only those amounts that represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4, and charges for services and supplies that are not a benefit of TRICARE;

    (4) Make all reasonable efforts acceptable to the Director to collect those amounts, which represent the beneficiary's liability, as defined in § 199.4;

    (5) Comply with the provisions of § 199.8, and submit claims first to all health insurance coverage to which the beneficiary is entitled that is primary to TRICARE;

    (6) Submit claims for services provided to TRICARE beneficiaries at least every 30 days (except to the extent a delay is necessitated by efforts to first collect from other health insurance). If claims are not submitted at least every 30 days, the OTP agrees not to bill the beneficiary or the beneficiary's family for any amounts disallowed by TRICARE;

    (7) Free-standing opioid treatment programs shall certify that:

    (i) It is and will remain in compliance with the provisions of paragraph (b)(4)(xii) of this section establishing standards for opioid treatment programs;

    (ii) It will maintain compliance with the TRICARE standards for OTPs, as issued by the Director, except for any such standards regarding which the facility notifies the Director, or a designee, that it is not in compliance.

    (8) Designate an individual who will act as liaison for TRICARE inquiries. The OTP shall inform TRICARE, or a designee, in writing of the designated individual;

    (9) Furnish TRICARE, or a designee, with cost data, as requested by TRICARE, certified by an independent accounting firm or other agency as authorized by the Director;

    (10) Comply with all requirements of this section applicable to institutional providers generally concerning accreditation requirements, claims processing, beneficiary liability, double coverage, utilization and quality review, and other matters;

    (11) Grant the Director, or designee, the right to conduct quality assurance audits or accounting audits with full access to patients and records (including records relating to patients who are not TRICARE beneficiaries) to determine the quality and cost effectiveness of care rendered. The audits may be conducted on a scheduled or unscheduled (unannounced) basis. This right to audit/review includes, but is not limited to:

    (i) Examination of fiscal and all other records of the OTP which would confirm compliance with the participation agreement and designation as an authorized TRICARE provider;

    (ii) Conducting such audits of OTP records including clinical, financial, and census records, as may be necessary to determine the nature of the services being provided, and the basis for charges and claims against the United States for services provided TRICARE beneficiaries;

    (iii) Examining reports of evaluations and inspections conducted by federal, state and local government, and private agencies and organizations.

    (C) Other requirements applicable to OTPs. (1) Even though an OTP may qualify as a TRICARE authorized provider and may have entered into a participation agreement with CHAMPUS, payment by CHAMPUS for particular services provided is contingent upon the OTP also meeting all conditions set forth in § 199.4.

    (2) The OTP may not discriminate against CHAMPUS beneficiaries in any manner, including admission practices or provisions of special or limited treatment.

    (3) The OTP shall assure that all certifications and information provided to the Director incident to the process of obtaining and retaining authorized provider status is accurate and that is has no material errors or omissions. In the case of any misrepresentations, whether by inaccurate information being provided or material facts withheld, authorized provider status will be denied or terminated, and the OTP will be ineligible for consideration for authorized provider status for a two year period.

    § 199.7 [Amended]
    5. Section 199.7 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (e)(2). 6. Section 199.14 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(2)(iv)(C)(2) and (4) and (a)(2)(ix) to read as follows:
    § 199.14 Provider reimbursement methods.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (C) * * *

    (2) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(iv)(C)(3) of this section, for subsequent federal fiscal years, each per diem shall be updated by the Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System update factor.

    (4) Hospitals and units with hospital-specific rates will be notified of their respective rates prior to the beginning of each Federal fiscal year. New hospitals shall be notified at such time as the hospital rate is determined. The actual amount of each regional per diem that will apply in any Federal fiscal year shall be posted to the Agency's official Web site at the start of that fiscal year.

    (ix) Payment for psychiatric and substance use disorder rehabilitation partial hospitalization services, intensive outpatient psychiatric and substance use disorder services and opioid treatment services—(A) Per diem payments. Psychiatric and substance use disorder partial hospitalization services, intensive outpatient psychiatric and substance use disorder services and opioid treatment services authorized by § 199.4(b)(9), (b)(10), and (b)(11), respectively, and provided by institutional providers authorized under § 199.6(b)(4)(xii), (b)(4)(xviii) and (b)(4)(xix), respectively, are reimbursed on the basis of prospectively determined, all-inclusive per diem rates pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs (a)(2)(ix)(A)(1) through (3) of this section, with the exception of hospital-based psychiatric and substance use disorder and opioid services which are reimbursed in accordance with provisions of paragraph (a)(6)(ii) of this section and freestanding opioid treatment programs when reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis as specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ix)(A)(3)(ii) of this section. The per diem payment amount must be accepted as payment in full, subject to the outpatient cost-sharing provisions under § 199.4(f), for institutional services provided, including board, routine nursing services, group therapy, ancillary services (e.g., music, dance, and occupational and other such therapies), psychological testing and assessment, overhead and any other services for which the customary practice among similar providers is included in the institutional charges, except for those services which may be billed separately under paragraph (a)(2)(ix)(B) of this section. Per diem payment will not be allowed for leave days during which treatment is not provided.

    (1) Partial hospitalization programs. For any full-day partial hospitalization program (minimum of 6 hours), the maximum per diem payment amount is 40 percent of the average inpatient per diem amount per case established under the TRICARE mental health per diem reimbursement system during the fiscal year for both high and low volume psychiatric hospitals and units [as defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section]. Intensive outpatient services provided in a PHP setting lasting less than 6 hours, with a minimum of 2 hours, will be paid as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(ix)(A)(2) of this section. PHP per diem rates will be updated annually by the Medicare update factor used for their Inpatient Prospective Payment System.

    (2) Intensive outpatient programs. For intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) (minimum of 2 hours), the maximum per diem amount is 75 percent of the rate for a full-day partial hospitalization program as established in paragraph (a)(2)(ix)(A)(1) of this section. IOP per diem rates will be updated annually by the Medicare update factor used for their Inpatient Prospective Payment System.

    (3) Opioid treatment programs. Opioid treatment programs (OTPs) authorized by § 199.4(b)(11) and provided by providers authorized under § 199.6(b)(4)(xix) will be reimbursed based on the variability in the dosage and frequency of the drug being administered and in related supportive services.

    (i) Weekly all-inclusive per diem rate. Methadone OTPs will be reimbursed a weekly all-inclusive per diem rate, including the cost of the drug and related services (i.e., the costs related to the initial intake/assessment, drug dispensing and screening and integrated psychosocial and medical treatment and support services). The bundled weekly per diem payments will be accepted as payment in full, subject to the outpatient cost-sharing provisions under § 199.4(f). The methadone OTP per diem rate will be updated annually by the Medicare update factor used for their Inpatient Prospective Payment System.

    (ii) Exceptions to per diem reimbursement. When providing other medications which are more likely to be prescribed and administered in an office-based opioid treatment setting, but which are still available for treatment of substance use disorders in an outpatient treatment program setting, OTPs will be reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis (i.e., separate payments will be allowed for both the medication and accompanying support services), subject to the outpatient cost-sharing provisions under § 199.4(f). OTP rates will be updated annually by the Medicare update factor used for their Inpatient Prospective Payment System.

    (iii) Discretionary authority. The Director, TRICARE, will have discretionary authority in establishing the reimbursement methodologies for new drugs and biologicals that may become available for the treatment of substance use disorders in OTPs. The type of reimbursement (e.g., fee-for-service versus bundled per diem payments) will be dependent on the variability of the dosage and frequency of the medication being administered, as well as the support services.

    (B) Services which may be billed separately. Psychotherapy sessions and non-mental health related medical services not normally included in the evaluation and assessment of a PHP, IOP or OTP, provided by authorized independent professional providers who are not employed by, or under contract with, a PHP, IOP or OTP for the purposes of providing clinical patient care are not included in the per diem rate and may be billed separately. This includes ambulance services when medically necessary for emergency transport.

    § 199.15 [Amended]
    7. Section 199.15 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(6) to delete “, such as inpatient mental health services in excess of 30 days in any year” in the last sentence. 8. Section 199.18 is amended by: a. Revising paragraph (d)(2)(ii); b. Removing and reserving paragraph (d)(3)(ii); and c. Revising paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 199.18 Uniform HMO Benefit.

    (d) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) The per visit fee provided in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section shall also apply to partial hospitalization services, intensive outpatient treatment, and opioid treatment program services. The per visit fee shall be applied on a per day basis on days services are received, with the exception of opioid treatment program services reimbursed in accordance with § 199.14(a)(2)(ix)(A)(3)(i) which per visit fee will apply on a weekly basis.

    (e) * * *

    (2) Structure of cost-sharing. For inpatient admissions, there is a nominal copayment for retired members, dependents of retired members, and survivors. This nominal copayment shall apply to an inpatient admission to any hospital or other authorized institutional provider, including inpatient admission to a residential treatment center, substance use disorder rehabilitation facility residential treatment program, or skilled nursing facility.

    (3) Amount of inpatient cost-sharing requirements. In fiscal year 2001, the inpatient cost-sharing requirements for retirees and their dependents for acute care admissions and other inpatient admissions is a per diem charge of $11, with a minimum charge of $25 per admission.

    Dated: January 26, 2016. Morgan E. Park, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01703 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION 39 CFR Part 3001 [Docket No. RM2016-6; Order No. 3048] Procedures Related to Motions AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is proposing rules which standardize the procedure and timeframe by which interested parties file motions with the Commission as they relate to mail preparation changes and their compliance with the price cap rules. The Commission invites public comment on the proposed rules.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: March 2, 2016. Reply comments are due: March 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Background III. Proposed Rule IV. Comments Requested V. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    The Commission initiates this proposed rulemaking to request comments on a procedural rule for motions concerning mail preparation changes that require compliance with the price cap rules.

    The primary purpose of the rulemaking is to ensure that the Postal Service properly accounts for the rate effects of mail preparation changes under § 3010.23(d)(2) of this chapter in accordance with the Commission's standard articulated in Order No. 3047.1 The proposed rule is intended to standardize the procedure and timeframe by which interested parties must file a motion with the Commission when they contend that a mail preparation change has a rate effect requiring compliance with the price cap rules.

    1 Docket No. R2013-10R, Order Resolving Issues on Remand, January 22, 2016 (Order No. 3047).

    II. Background

    In Docket No. R2013-10R, the Commission issued Order No. 3047 and articulated a clear standard to determine when mail preparation changes require compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). Id. Under § 3010.23(d)(2), a mail preparation change has a rate effect when the change results in the deletion and/or redefinition of a rate cell. Id. at 15. The Postal Service is required to comply with § 3010.23(d)(2) where the mail preparation change results in either the deletion of a previously available rate or significantly changes the basic characteristic of the mailing so that the rate cell is effectively “redefined.” Id. at 16. The Commission determined that the Postal Service has an affirmative burden to decide whether a mail preparation change requires compliance with the price cap rules as set forth under the Commission's standard. Id. at 20. Where the Postal Service determines that a mail preparation change has a rate effect, it must comply with the existing rules and procedures governing rate adjustments prior to implementing the change.

    However, despite this affirmative burden, the possibility exists that the Postal Service may not recognize or account for all mail preparation changes that have rate effects. In that case, the current regulations do not provide a specific mechanism or timeframe by which interested parties can alert the Commission to mail preparation changes that they conclude have rate effects requiring compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). Although the Commission's general motion rules would provide an avenue for motions concerning mail preparation changes, the rules do not set a timeframe by which motions must be made and the Commission believes the proposed rule is better suited to handle the specific issue at hand. In light of the complexity of administering the price cap, the timeframe set forth in the proposed rule is intended to promote certainty for the Postal Service and users of the mail when making operational changes.

    In Order No. 3047 setting forth the standard, the Commission indicated that it would propose procedures whereby interested parties could submit motions concerning mail preparation changes that have rate effects. As a result, the proposed rule is intended to clarify and streamline the process by which mail preparation changes that have rate effects may be reviewed by the Commission for compliance with the price cap rules.

    III. Proposed Rule

    The rule proposed in this notice of proposed rulemaking adds to the current § 3001.21. Proposed § 3001.21(d) requires interested parties to file a motion with the Commission upon actual or constructive notice of a mail preparation change that has a rate effect requiring compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). This proposed section establishes a 30-day timeframe within which interested parties may file a motion concerning a mail preparation change, after which the Commission will either institute a proceeding or consider the motion within an ongoing matter.

    The Commission proposes permitting interested parties to file a motion concerning a mail preparation change if the parties, in good faith, demonstrate that the change has a rate effect and requires compliance with the price cap rules. The proposed procedure is triggered by actual or constructive notice of the mail preparation change. Actual or constructive notice will occur when an interested party becomes aware of or should have reasonably become aware of the mail preparation change. The Commission intends for actual or constructive notice to occur when the Postal Service publishes written notice of the implementation of the mail preparation change. For example, the Postal Service commonly publishes notice of mail preparation changes in the Federal Register, Postal Bulletin, and on the RIBBS Web site.

    The proposed procedure also ties notice to the “implementation date of the change.” The Commission intends this provision to cover changes where the Postal Service either immediately implements a mail preparation change or provides published notice that it intends to implement a mail preparation change on a date certain. For example, the Postal Service routinely implements mail preparation changes at the same time notice of the change is provided to the mailer. It is at this time the 30-day clock to file a motion with the Commission would be triggered. Alternatively, when the Postal Service publishes notice of a mail preparation change that it intends to implement on a date certain in the future, the 30-day clock would be triggered upon notice of the implementation date, not from the actual date of implementation.

    The Full Service IMb change serves as an example of how the proposed 30-day timeframe would work. The Full Service IMb change was published as a revision to the Postal Service's Domestic Mail Manual and set forth in a Federal Register notice on April 18, 2013.2 In the Notice, the Postal Service indicated it planned to implement this change to the IMb requirements beginning on January 26, 2014. Id. Accordingly, under the Commission's proposed rule, mailers would be required to file a motion with the Commission within 30 days of the Notice (by May 20, 2013, allowing for a Monday filing), not within 30 days of the January 26, 2014 implementation date.

    2 78 FR 23137 (April18, 2013) (Notice).

    The proposed procedure is intended to provide a reasonable but definite timeframe by which interested parties may challenge a mail preparation change where the Postal Service has failed to indicate that it would be subject to the price cap rules. The Commission intends for the proposed rule to encourage the Postal Service to affirmatively designate only those changes that require compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2). For example, in a Federal Register notice implementing a mail preparation change that implicated the price cap, the Postal Service would confirm that the change would be subject to the price cap. For a change that does not implicate the price cap, the Federal Register notice would be silent and the absence of such a designation will inform mailers that the Postal Service does not recognize this change as requiring price cap compliance.

    The procedure is also intended to allow the Postal Service to implement mail preparation changes with limited disruption. The proposed rule is not intended to stay implementation of any mail preparation change required by the Postal Service, rather it is intended to set forth a reasonable timeframe by which users of the mail may file a motion with the Commission where such mail preparation changes may have rate effects. The proposed rule does not change the Postal Service's burden to first determine whether the mail preparation change has a rate effect under the Commission's standard articulated in Order No. 3047. The proposed rule also does not change the Postal Service's obligation to comply with the rules regarding the price cap, which require the Postal Service to adjust for the effects of mail preparation changes that result in the introduction, deletion, or redefinition of a rate cell. Rather, the proposed rule provides an avenue for interested parties to raise the possibility that the Postal Service may have erred by failing to account for the price cap impact of a mail preparation change.

    IV. Comments Requested

    Interested persons are invited to provide written comments concerning the proposed rule. Comments are due no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. All comments and suggestions received will be available for review on the Commission's Web site, http://www.prc.gov.

    Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Kenneth E. Richardson is appointed to serve as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in the above-captioned docket.

    IV. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. Docket No. RM2016-6 is established for the purpose of receiving comments on the proposed change to part 3001, as discussed in this Order.

    2. Interested persons may submit comments no later than 30 days from the date of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    3. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Kenneth E. Richardson is appointed to serve as the Public Representative in this proceeding.

    4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this Order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Stacy L. Ruble, Secretary.
    List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 3001

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commission proposes to amend chapter III of title 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 3001—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation of part 3001 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    39 U.S.C. 404(d); 503; 504; 3661.

    2. Amend § 3001.21 by adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 3001.21 Motions

    (d) Motions concerning mail preparation changes. Motions regarding mail preparation changes are challenges to instances where an announced mail preparation change does not contain a Postal Service indication that the change has a rate effect requiring compliance with § 3010.23(d)(2) of this chapter. Motions may be filed by any interested party and shall set forth with particularity the mail preparation change at issue and the grounds by which the mail preparation change must comply with § 3010.23(d)(2) of this chapter. Motions concerning mail preparation changes must be filed at least 30 days after a party has actual or constructive notice of the implementation date of the change.

    [FR Doc. 2016-01735 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 73 [MB Docket No. 03-185; GN Docket No. 12-268; ET Docket No. 14-175; FCC 15-175] Low Power Television Digital Rules AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks comment on additional issues relating to channel sharing outside of the auction context and announces that it intends to resolve all of the outstanding issues regarding channel sharing outside the incentive auction context, including those raised in a prior notice, in a forthcoming decision.

    DATES:

    Comments Due: February 22, 2016. Reply Comments Due: March 3, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by MB Docket No. 03-185, GN Docket No. 12-268 and ET Docket No. 14-175 and/or FCC 15-175, 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://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail.) All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    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 detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shaun Maher, [email protected] of the Media Bureau, Video Division, (202) 418-2324. For additional information concerning the PRA information collection requirements contained in this document, contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, at (202) 418-2918, or via email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Fourth Notice. The full text is available for inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Portals II, Washington, DC 20554, and may also be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, BCPI, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact BCPI, Inc. via their Web site, http://www.bcpi.com, or call 1-800-378-3160. This document is available in alternative formats (computer diskette, large print, audio record, and Braille). Persons with disabilities who need documents in these formats may contact the FCC by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis: This document contains new or modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, see 44 U.S.C. 3507. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    Synopsis

    1. In this Fourth Notice, the Commission tentatively concluded to allow channel sharing between primary (full power and Class A television) and secondary (LPTV and TV translator) stations and, in the event that it decides to allow such channel sharing, it proposes rules for primary-secondary sharing that are consistent with those adopted for secondary-secondary sharing in the companion Third Report and Order, FCC 15-175, released December 17, 2015, and proposed for primary-primary sharing outside of the auction context in the Primary-Primary Channel Sharing NPRM, 30 FCC Rcd 6668 (2015) (Primary-Primary Channel Sharing NPRM). This includes licensing rules, operating rules, and rules regarding termination, assignment/transfer, and relinquishment of channel sharing rights.

    2. The Commission sought comment on whether it would be appropriate for a secondary station to be permitted to obtain “de facto” interference protection by sharing with a primary station. It also sought comment on whether it would be appropriate to allow a secondary station to obtain the coverage area of a primary station through channel sharing. In addition, it sought comment on whether the benefits of channel sharing between a primary station and a secondary station could be obtained alternatively by the primary station entering into a commercial agreement to air the secondary station's programming as a multicast stream. The Commission announced that it intended to resolve all of the outstanding issues regarding channel sharing outside the incentive auction context in a single decision, based on the record developed in both proceedings. This approach will also ensure consistency and promote efficient decision-making regarding these issues, without unduly delaying their final resolution.

    3. For both primary-secondary and secondary-secondary sharing, the Commission proposed to adopt rules pertaining to the term length of channel sharing agreements (CSAs) and MVPD notice consistent with what we have proposed in the Primary-Primary Channel Sharing NPRM. The Commission also proposed to not reimburse the costs imposed on MVPDs as a result of CSAs between secondary stations or between primary and secondary stations. The Commission also sought comment on issues pertaining to MVPD carriage in the context of both primary-secondary and secondary-secondary sharing. The Commission tentatively conclude that a secondary station that shares with a primary or secondary sharer station, and a primary station that shares with a secondary sharer station, has the same satellite and cable carriage rights under the Communications Act on their new shared channels that the station would have at the shared location if it was not channel sharing. The Commission proposed to adopt the same approach to MVPD carriage for both primary-secondary and secondary-secondary sharing as we proposed in the Primary-Primary Channel Sharing NPRM to fulfill the objectives underlying Section 1452(a)(4), with one modification. Given the relatively small number of unbuilt LPTV stations that would meet the criteria for obtaining cable carriage, the Commission proposed to permit secondary stations to become sharees regardless of whether they possessed carriage rights or were operating on a non-shared channel prior to entering into a sharing agreement.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (“RFA”) 1 the Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“IRFA”) concerning the possible significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this Fourth 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 indicated on the first page of the (FNPRM). The Commission will send a copy of the (FNPRM), including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).2 In addition, the Notice and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.3

    1See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601 et. seq., has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (“SBREFA”), Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 847 (1996). The SBREFA was enacted as Title II of the Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996 (“CWAAA”).

    2See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).

    3Id.

    Need for and Objectives of the Proposed Rules

    In the Notice, the Commission seeks comment on additional issues relating to channel sharing between primary (full power and Class A) and secondary (LPTV and TV translator) stations (“primary-secondary sharing”), as well as between secondary stations (“secondary-secondary sharing”), outside of the auction context. First, the Commission tentatively concludes to permit channel sharing between primary and secondary stations and proposes rules for primary-secondary sharing that are consistent with those adopted for secondary-secondary sharing in the Third Report and Order, FCC 15-175, released December 17, 2015 (Third R&O), and proposed for primary-primary sharing outside of the auction context in the Primary-Primary Channel Sharing NPRM, 30 FCC Rcd 6668 (2015) (Primary-Primary Channel Sharing NPRM). Moreover, with respect to both primary-secondary and secondary-secondary sharing outside of the incentive auction context, the Commission seeks comment on issues pertaining to the term length of channel sharing agreements and issues pertaining to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) carriage, reimbursement, and notice.

    Legal Basis

    The authority for the action proposed in this rulemaking is contained in sections 1, 4, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 338, 403, 614 and 615 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 316, 319, 338, 403, 614 and 615.

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

    The RFA directs the Commission to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that will be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.4 The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” small organization,” and “small government jurisdiction.” 5 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.6 The statutory definition of a small business applies unless an agency establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register. 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.7

    4Id. at section 603(b)(3).

    5 5 U.S.C. 601(6).

    6Id. at section 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies 5 U.S.C. 601(3).

    7 15 U.S.C. 632. Application of the statutory criteria of dominance in its field of operation and independence are sometimes difficult to apply in the context of broadcast television. Accordingly, the Commission's statistical account of television stations may be over-inclusive.

    Television Broadcasting. This economic census category “comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound. These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public.” 8 The SBA has created the following small business size standard for Television Broadcasting firms: those having $14 million or less in annual receipts.9 The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,390.10 In addition, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Advisory Services, LLC's Media Access Pro Television Database on March 28, 2012, about 950 of an estimated 1,300 commercial television stations (or approximately 73 percent) had revenues of $14 million or less.11 We therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities.

    8 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515120 Television Broadcasting, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515120&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014). U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515120 Television Broadcasting, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515120&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).

    9 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 515120) (updated for inflation in 2010).

    10See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2015 (rel. April 8, 2015).

    11 We recognize that BIA's estimate differs slightly from the FCC total given the information provided above.

    We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included.12 Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, an element of the definition of “small business” is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive to that extent.

    12 13 CFR 121.103(a)(1).

    In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (“NCE”) television stations to be 395.13 These stations are non-profit, and therefore considered to be small entities.14

    13See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2015 (rel. April 8, 2015).

    14See generally 5 U.S.C. 601(4), (6).

    There are also 2,344 LPTV stations, including Class A stations, and 3689 TV translator stations.15 Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard.

    15 See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of March 31, 2015 (rel. April 8, 2015).

    Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”) defines “Wired Telecommunications Carriers” as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband Internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” 16 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for wireline firms for the broad economic census category of “Wired Telecommunications Carriers.” Under this category, a wireline business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.17 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 3,188 firms that operated for the entire year.18 Of this total, 3,144 firms had fewer than 1,000 employees, and 44 firms had 1,000 or more employees.19 Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities.

    16 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch. Examples of this category are: Broadband Internet service providers (e.g., cable, DSL); local telephone carriers (wired); cable television distribution services; long-distance telephone carriers (wired); closed circuit television (“CCTV”) services; VoIP service providers, using own operated wired telecommunications infrastructure; direct-to-home satellite system (“DTH”) services; telecommunications carriers (wired); satellite television distribution systems; and multichannel multipoint distribution services (“MMDS”).

    17 13 CFR 121.201; NAICS code 517110.

    18 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census. See U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, “Information: Subject Series—Estab and Firm Size: Employment Size of Establishments for the United States: 2007—2007 Economic Census,” NAICS code 517110, Table EC0751SSSZ5; available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

    19Id. With respect to the latter 44 firms, there is no data available that shows how many operated with more than 1,500 employees.

    Cable Television Distribution Services. Since 2007, these services have been defined within the broad economic census category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which category is defined above.20 The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: All such businesses having 1,500 or fewer employees.21 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 3,188 firms that operated for the entire year.22 Of this total, 3,144 firms had fewer than 1,000 employees, and 44 firms had 1,000 or more employees.23 Therefore, under this size standard, we estimate that the majority of businesses can be considered small entities.

    20See also U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    21 13 CFR. 121.201; NAICS code 517110.

    22 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census. See U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, “Information: Subject Series—Estab and Firm Size: Employment Size of Establishments for the United States: 2007—2007 Economic Census,” NAICS code 517110, Table EC0751SSSZ5; available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

    23Id. With respect to the latter 44 firms, there is no data available that shows how many operated with more than 1,500 employees.

    Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide.24 Industry data shows that there are currently 660 cable operators.25 Of this total, all but ten cable operators nationwide are small under this size standard.26 In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers.27 Current Commission records show 4,629 cable systems nationwide.28 Of this total, 4,057 cable systems have less than 20,000 subscribers, and 572 systems have 20,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities.

    24 47 CFR 76.901(e). The Commission determined that this size standard equates approximately to a size standard of $100 million or less in annual revenues. Implementation of Sections of the Cable Television Consumer Protection And Competition Act of 1992: Rate Regulation, MM Docket No. 92-266, MM Docket No. 93-215, Sixth Report and Order and Eleventh Order on Reconsideration, 10 FCC Rcd 7393, 7408, ¶ 28 (1995).

    25 NCTA, Industry Data, Number of Cable Operators and Systems, http://www.ncta.com/Statistics.aspx (visited October 13, 2014). Depending upon the number of homes and the size of the geographic area served, cable operators use one or more cable systems to provide video service. See Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 12-203, Fifteenth Report, 28 FCC Rcd 10496, 10505-6, ¶ 24 (2013) (“15th Annual Competition Report”).

    26See SNL Kagan, “Top Cable MSOs—12/12 Q”; available at http://www.snl.com/InteractiveX/TopCableMSOs.aspx?period=2012Q4&sortcol=subscribersbasic&sortorder=desc.

    27 47 CFR 76.901(c).

    28 The number of active, registered cable systems comes from the Commission's Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) database on October 10, 2014. A cable system is a physical system integrated to a principal headend.

    Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” 29 There are approximately 54 million cable video subscribers in the United States today.30 Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 540,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate.31 Based on available data, we find that all but ten incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard.32 We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million.33 Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act.

    29 47 U.S.C. 543(m)(2); see 47 CFR 76.901(f) & nn. 1-3.

    30See NCTA, Industry Data, Cable's Customer Base, http://www.ncta.com/industry-data (visited October 13, 2014).

    31 47 CFR 76.901(f); see FCC Announces New Subscriber Count for the Definition of Small Cable Operator, Public Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 2225 (Cable Services Bureau 2001).

    32See NCTA, Industry Data, Top 25 Multichannel Video Service Customers (2012), http://www.ncta.com/industry-data (visited Aug. 30, 2013).

    33 The Commission does receive such information on a case-by-case basis if a cable operator appeals a local franchise authority's finding that the operator does not qualify as a small cable operator pursuant to § 76.901(f) of the Commission's rules. See 47 CFR 76.901(f).

    Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Service. DBS service is a nationally distributed subscription service that delivers video and audio programming via satellite to a small parabolic “dish” antenna at the subscriber's location. DBS, by exception, is now included in the SBA's broad economic census category, Wired Telecommunications Carriers,34 which was developed for small wireline businesses. Under this category, the SBA deems a wireline business to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.35 Census data for 2007 shows that there were 3,188 firms that operated for that entire year.36 Of this total, 2,940 firms had fewer than 100 employees, and 248 firms had 100 or more employees.37 Therefore, under this size standard, the majority of such businesses can be considered small entities. However, the data we have available as a basis for estimating the number of such small entities were gathered under a superseded SBA small business size standard formerly titled “Cable and Other Program Distribution.” As of 2002, the SBA defined a small Cable and Other Program Distribution provider as one with $12.5 million or less in annual receipts.38 Currently, only two entities provide DBS service, which requires a great investment of capital for operation: DIRECTV and DISH Network.39 Each currently offers subscription services. DIRECTV and DISH Network each report annual revenues that are in excess of the threshold for a small business. Because DBS service requires significant capital, we believe it is unlikely that a small entity as defined under the superseded SBA size standard would have the financial wherewithal to become a DBS service provider.

    34See 13 CFR 121.201, 2012 NAICS code 517110. This category of Wired Telecommunications Carriers is defined as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming distribution; and wired broadband Internet services. By exception, establishments providing satellite television distribution services using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in this industry.” (Emphasis added to text relevant to satellite services.) U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions, “517110 Wired Telecommunications Carriers,” at http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch.

    35 13 CFR 121.201; 2012 NAICS code 517110.

    36 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census. See U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, “Information: Subject Series—Estab and Firm Size: Employment Size of Establishments for the United States: 2007—2007 Economic Census,” NAICS code 517110, Table EC0751SSSZ5; available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ5&prodType=table.

    37Id.

    38See 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS code 517510 (2002).

    39See 15th Annual Competition Report, 28 FCC Rcd at 10507, ¶ 27. As of June 2012, DIRECTV is the largest DBS operator and the second largest MVPD in the United States, serving approximately 19.9 million subscribers. DISH Network is the second largest DBS operator and the third largest MVPD, serving approximately 14.1 million subscribers. Id. at 10507, 10546, ¶ 27, 110-11.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements

    The (FNPRM) proposes the following new or revised reporting or recordkeeping requirements.

    To implement channel sharing between primary and secondary stations, stations will follow a two-step process proposed by the Commission—first filing an application for construction permit and then application for license. Stations terminating operations to share a channel would be required to submit a termination notice pursuant to the existing Commission rule. These existing forms and collections will need to be revised to accommodate these new channel-sharing related filings and to expand the burden estimates. In addition, the Commission proposes that channel sharing stations submit their channel sharing agreements (CSAs) with the Commission and be required to include certain provisions in their CSAs. In addition, if upon termination of the license of a party to a CSA only one party to the CSA remains, the remaining licensee may file an application to change its license to non-shared status. The existing collection concerning the execution and filing of CSAs will need to be revised.

    Finally, the Commission proposes to require channel sharing stations to notify affected MVPDs.

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

    The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (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.40

    40 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).

    The (FNPRM)proposes rules pertaining to primary and secondary station channel sharing outside the context of the incentive auction. The Commission has previously concluded that channel sharing can help broadcasters, including existing small, minority-owned, and niche stations, to reduce operating costs and provide broadcasters with additional net income to strengthen operations and improve programming services. Thus, the proposals in the Fourth Notice may help smaller broadcasters conserve resources. In addition, channel sharing is voluntary and only those stations that determine that channel sharing will be advantageous will enter into this arrangement. With respect to LPTV and TV translator stations specifically, channel sharing will allow such stations that are displaced by the incentive auction reorganization of spectrum to reduce the cost of having to build a new facility to replace the one that was displaced; could minimize the number of mutually exclusive applications filed in the post-incentive auction displacement window, thereby freeing up valuable channels for use by other displaced stations; and could be used as a means to prevent or settle the mutual exclusivity of applications and avoid lengthy delays in the processing of their displacement applications. In addition, the (FNPRM)proposes licensing and operating rules for channel sharing that are designed to minimize the burden and cost on small entities. The Commission will consider all comments submitted in connection with the (FNPRM), including any suggested alternative approaches to channel sharing that would reduce the burden and costs on smaller entities.

    The rules to provide notice to MVPDs were also designed to minimize impact on small entities. Very few stations will be impacted because very few LPTV and TV translator stations have carriage rights and will be subject to the notice requirement.

    Federal Rules Which Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Commission's Proposals

    None.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 73

    Television.

    Federal Communications Commission. Sheryl Todd, Deputy Secretary. Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 73 as follows:

    PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES 1. The authority citation for Part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 334, 336 and 339.

    2. In § 73.3572, revise paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
    § 73.3572 Processing of TV broadcast, Class A TV broadcast, low power TV, TV translators, and TV booster applications.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Other changes will be considered minor including changes made to implement a channel sharing arrangement provided they comply with the other provisions of this section and provided, until October 1, 2000, proposed changes to the facilities of Class A TV, low power TV, TV translator and TV booster stations, other than a change in frequency, will be considered minor only if the change(s) will not increase the signal range of the Class A TV, low power TV or TV booster in any horizontal direction.

    3. Add §  73.3800 to read as follows:
    § 73.3800 Full Power Television Channel Sharing Outside the Auction Context.

    (a) Channel sharing generally. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, full power television stations may voluntarily seek Commission approval to share a single six megahertz channel with other full power television, Class A, low power and TV translator television stations.

    (2) Each station sharing a single channel pursuant to this section shall continue to be licensed and operated separately, have its own call sign, and be separately subject to all applicable Commission obligations, rules, and policies.

    (b) Licensing of channel sharing stations. A full power television channel sharing station relinquishing its channel must file an application for the initial channel sharing construction permit (FCC Form 2100), include a copy of the channel sharing agreement as an exhibit, and cross reference the other sharing station(s). Any engineering changes necessitated by the channel sharing agreement may be included in the station's application. Upon initiation of shared operations, the station relinquishing its channel must notify the Commission that it has terminated operation pursuant to 47 CFR 73.1750 and each sharing station must file an application for license (FCC Form 2100).

    (c) Deadline for implementing channel sharing agreements. Channel sharing agreements submitted pursuant to this section must be implemented within three years of the grant of the initial channel sharing construction permit.

    (d) Channel Sharing Agreements (CSAs). (1) Channel sharing agreements submitted under this section must contain provisions outlining each licensee's rights and responsibilities regarding:

    (i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have unrestrained access to the shared transmission facilities;

    (ii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice provisions; and

    (iii) Transfer/assignment of a shared license, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the existing CSA; and

    (iv) Termination of the license of a party to the CSA, including reversion of spectrum usage rights to the remaining parties to the CSA.

    (2) Channel sharing agreements submitted under this section must include a provision affirming compliance with the channel sharing requirements in this section including a provision requiring that each channel sharing licensee shall retain spectrum usage rights adequate to ensure a sufficient amount of the shared channel capacity to allow it to provide at least one Standard Definition (SD) program stream at all times.

    (e) Termination and assignment/transfer of shared channel. Upon termination of the license of a party to a CSA, the spectrum usage rights covered by that license may revert to the remaining parties to the CSA. Such reversion shall be governed by the terms of the CSA in accordance with paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section. If upon termination of the license of a party to a CSA only one party to the CSA remains, the remaining licensee may file an application to change its license to non-shared status using FCC Form 2100, Schedule B (for a full power licensee) or F (for a Class A licensee).

    (f) Notice to MVPDs. (1) Stations participating in channel sharing agreements must provide notice to MVPDs that:

    (i) No longer will be required to carry the station because of the relocation of the station;

    (ii) Currently carry and will continue to be obligated to carry a station that will change channels; or

    (iii) Will become obligated to carry the station due to a channel sharing relocation.

    (2) The notice required by this section must contain the following information:

    (i) Date and time of any channel changes;

    (ii) The channel occupied by the station before and after implementation of the CSA;

    (iii) Modification, if any, to antenna position, location, or power levels;

    (iv) Stream identification information; and

    (v) Engineering staff contact information.

    (3) Sharee stations (those relinquishing a channel in order to share) must provide notice as required by this section at least 30 days prior to terminating operations on the sharee's channel. Sharer stations (those hosting a sharee as part of a channel sharing agreement) and sharee stations must provide notice as required by this section at least 30 days prior to initiation of operations on the sharer channel. Should the anticipated date to either cease operations or commence channel sharing operations change, the stations must send a further notice to affected MVPDs informing them of the new anticipated date(s).

    (4) Notifications provided to cable systems pursuant to this section must be either mailed to the system's official address of record provided in the cable system's most recent filing in the FCC's Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) Form 322, or emailed to the system if the system has provided an email address. For all other MVPDs, the letter must be addressed to the official corporate address registered with their State of incorporation.

    4. Revise § 73.6028 to read as follows:
    § 73.6028 Class A television channel sharing outside the auction context.

    (a) Channel sharing generally. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, Class A television stations or television stations may voluntarily seek Commission approval to share a single six megahertz channel with a full power, low power or TV translator station.

    (2) Each station sharing a single channel pursuant to this section shall continue to be licensed and operated separately, have its own call sign, and be separately subject to all of the Commission's obligations, rules, and policies.

    (b) Licensing of channel sharing stations. A station relinquishing its channel must file an application for the initial channel sharing construction permit, include a copy of the channel sharing agreement as an exhibit, and cross reference the other sharing station(s). Any engineering changes necessitated by the channel sharing agreement may be included in the station's application. Upon initiation of shared operations, the station relinquishing its channel must notify the Commission that it has terminated operation pursuant to 47 CFR 73.1750 and each sharing station must file an application for license.

    (c) Deadline for implementing channel sharing agreements. Channel sharing agreements submitted pursuant to this section must be implemented within three years of the grant of the initial channel sharing construction permit.

    (d) Channel Sharing Agreements (CSAs). (1) Channel sharing agreements submitted under this section must contain provisions outlining each licensee's rights and responsibilities regarding:

    (i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have unrestrained access to the shared transmission facilities;

    (ii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice provisions; and

    (iii) Termination or transfer/assignment of rights to the shared licenses, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the existing CSA.

    (2) Channel sharing agreements submitted under this section must include a provision affirming compliance with the channel sharing requirements in this section including a provision requiring that each channel sharing licensee shall retain spectrum usage rights adequate to ensure a sufficient amount of the shared channel capacity to allow it to provide at least one Standard Definition (SD) program stream at all times.

    (e) Termination and assignment/transfer of shared channel. Upon termination of the license of a party to a CSA, the spectrum usage rights covered by that license may revert to the remaining parties to the CSA. Such reversion shall be governed by the terms of the CSA in accordance with paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section. If upon termination of the license of a party to a CSA only one party to the CSA remains, the remaining licensee may file an application for license to change its status to “non-shared.”

    (f) Notice to MVPDs. (1) Stations participating in channel sharing agreements must provide notice to MVPDs that:

    (i) No longer will be required to carry the station because of the relocation of the station;

    (ii) Currently carry and will continue to be obligated to carry a station that will change channels; or

    (iii) Will become obligated to carry the station due to a channel sharing relocation.

    (2) The notice required by this section must contain the following information:

    (i) Date and time of any channel changes;

    (ii) The channel occupied by the station before and after implementation of the CSA;

    (iii) Modification, if any, to antenna position, location, or power levels;

    (iv) Stream identification information; and

    (v) Engineering staff contact information.

    (3) Sharee stations (those relinquishing a channel in order to share) must provide notice as required by this section at least 30 days prior to terminating operations on the sharee's channel. Sharer stations (those hosting a sharee as part of a channel sharing agreement) and sharee stations must provide notice as required by this section at least 30 days prior to initiation of operations on the sharer channel. Should the anticipated date to either cease operations or commence channel sharing operations change, the station(s) must send a further notice to affected MVPDs informing them of the new anticipated date(s).

    (4) Notifications provided to cable systems pursuant to this section must be either mailed to the system's official address of record provided in the cable system's most recent filing in the FCC's Cable Operations and Licensing System (COALS) Form 322, or emailed to the system if the system has provided an email address. For all other MVPDs, the letter must be addressed to the official corporate address registered with their State of incorporation.

    [FR Doc. 2016-00059 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    81 20 Monday, February 1, 2016 Notices AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Office of Inspector General; Senior Executive Services (SES) Performance Review Board: Update ACTION:

    Revised notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice is hereby given of the appointment of members of the updated U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of Inspector General's Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board.

    DATES:

    January 15, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert S. Ross, Assistant Inspector General for Management, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Agency for International Development, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 8.08-029, Washington, DC 20523-8700; telephone 202-712-0010; FAX 202-216-3392; Internet Email address: [email protected] (for Email messages, the subject line should include the following reference—USAID OIG SES Performance Review Board).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    5 U.S.C. 4314(b)(c) requires each agency to establish, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management at 5 CFR part 430, subpart C and Section 430.307 thereof in particular, one or more SES Performance Review Boards. The board shall review and evaluate the initial appraisal of each USAID OIG senior executive's performance by his or her supervisor, along with any recommendations to the appointing authority relative to the performance of the senior executive. This notice updates the membership of the USAID OIG's SES Performance Review Board as it was last published on December 19, 2014.

    Approved: January 15, 2016.

    The following have been selected as regular members of the SES Performance Review Board of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of Inspector General:

    Lisa S. Goldfluss, Legal Counsel Alvin A. Brown, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audit Melinda Dempsey, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Audit Lisa McClennon, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Kimberly Howell, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, Office of Personnel Management Larry Gregg, Associate Inspector General, General Services Administration Wanda Scott, Assistant Inspector General for Management Services, Department of Education Dated: January 14, 2016. Ann Calvaresi Barr, Inspector General.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01737 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6116-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE The Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool Products AGENCY:

    Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announces that it will accept affidavits from individuals or firms to substantiate eligibility for distributions from the Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool Products program (the Refund program) authorized under Section 12315 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79) (the Act).

    DATES:

    For calendar year 2016 distributions, affidavits must be electronically filed with FAS no later than March 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Affidavits, supporting documentation, and claims for distribution from the Trust Fund must be sent electronically to the Import Policies and Export Reporting Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA using the following email address: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Burr at (202) 720-3274, or via email at: [email protected]

    Background

    Section 12315 transferred the Refund program to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in FY 2016, from Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. The Refund program is one of several programs authorized by Congress within the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund for each of calendar years 2016 through 2019. The purpose of the Refund program is to compensate wool manufacturers of men's and boy's wool suits, suit type jackets, or trousers of imported worsted wool fabrics of the kind described in heading 9902.51.11 or 9902.51.12; manufacturers of worsted wool fabrics who import wool yarn of the kind described in heading 9902.51.13; and manufacturers of wool yarn or fabric who import wool fiber or top of the kind described in heading 9902.51.14 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States for customs duties paid on imported wool in 2000, 2001 and 2002. To claim a distribution from the Refund program manufacturers are directed to submit an affidavit that follows the statutory procedures specified under Section 12315(b) of the Act, and also as described on the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/wool-apparel-manufacturers-trust-fund. Because section 12315 is self-effectuating, FAS will not be issuing regulations to implement the program this year. This notice announces the deadline and email address to which claims, affidavits and supporting documents must be sent.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 12315 of Act (Pub. L. 113-79) is set forth below in its entirety, followed by information about how to apply for a distribution from the Refund program.

    “Sec. 12315 AGRICULTURE WOOL APPAREL MANUFACTURERS TRUST FUND.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF TRUST FUND.—There is established in the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the “Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund” (in this section referred to as the “Trust Fund”), consisting of such amounts as may be transferred to the Trust Fund pursuant to subsection (f), and to be used for the purpose of reducing the injury to domestic manufacturers resulting from tariffs on wool fabric that are higher than tariffs on certain apparel articles made of wool fabric.

    (b) DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS.

    (1) IN GENERAL.—From amounts in the Trust Fund, the Secretary may make payments annually beginning in calendar year 2014 for calendar years 2010 through 2019 as follows:

    (A) To each eligible manufacturer under paragraph (3) of section 4002(c) of the Wool Suit and Textile Trade Extension Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-429; 118 Stat. 2600), as amended by section 1633(c) of the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-280; 120 Stat. 1166) and section 325(b) of the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008 (division C of Public Law 110-343; 122 Stat. 3875), and any successor-in-interest to such a manufacturer as provided for under paragraph (4) of such section 4002(c), that submits an affidavit in accordance with paragraph (2) for the year of the payment—

    (i) for calendar years 2010 through 2015, payments that, when added to any other payments made to the manufacturer or successor-in-interest under paragraph (3) of such section 4002(c) in such calendar years, equal the total amount of payments authorized to be provided to the manufacturer or successor-in-interest under that paragraph, or the provisions of this section, in such calendar years; and

    (ii) for calendar years 2016 through 2019, payments in amounts authorized under that paragraph.

    (B) To each eligible manufacturer under paragraph (6) of such section 4002(c)(i) for calendar years 2010 through 2014, payments that, when added to any other payments made to eligible manufacturers under that paragraph in such calendar years, equal the total amount of payments authorized to be provided to the manufacturer under that paragraph, or the provisions of this section, in such calendar years; and

    (ii) for calendar years 2015 through 2019, payments in amounts authorized under that paragraph.

    (2) SUBMISSION OF AFFIDAVITS.—An affidavit required by paragraph (1)(A) shall be submitted

    (A) in each of calendar years 2010 through 2015, to the Commissioner responsible for U.S. Customs and Border Protection not later than April 15; and

    (B) in each of calendar years 2016 through 2019, to the Secretary, or as directed by the Secretary, and not later than March 1.

    (c) PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS.—The Secretary shall make payments to eligible manufacturers and successors-in-interest described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b)

    (1) for calendar years 2010 through 2014, not later than 30 days after the transfer of amounts from the Commodity Credit Corporation to the Trust Fund under subsection (f); and

    (2) for calendar years 2015 through 2019, not later than April 15 of the year of the payment.

    (d) MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING.—The Secretary shall, as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, negotiate memoranda of understanding with the Commissioner responsible for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Secretary of Commerce to establish procedures pursuant to which the Commissioner and the Secretary of Commerce will assist in carrying out the provisions of this section.

    (e) INCREASE IN PAYMENTS IN THE EVENT OF EXPIRATION OF DUTY SUSPENSIONS.

    (1) IN GENERAL.—In any calendar year in which the suspension of duty on wool fabrics provided for under headings 9902.51.11, 9902.51.13, 9902.51.14, 9902.51.15, and 9902.51.16 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States are not in effect, the amount of any payment described in subsection (b)(1) to a manufacturer or successor-in-interest shall be increased by an amount the Secretary, after consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, determines is equal to the amount the manufacturer or successor-in-interest would have saved during the calendar year of the payment if the suspension of duty on wool fabrics were in effect.

    (2) NO APPEAL OF DETERMINATIONS.—A determination of the Secretary under this subsection shall be final and not subject to appeal or protest.

    (f) FUNDING.

    (1) IN GENERAL.—Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall transfer to the Trust Fund for each of calendar years 2014 through 2019 an amount equal to the lesser of

    (A) the amount the Secretary determines to be necessary to make payments required by this section in that calendar year; or

    (B) $30,000,000.

    (2) AVAILABILITY.—Amounts transferred to the Trust fund under paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.”

    PROCEDURES FOR CLAIMING A DISTRIBUTION UNDER THE STATUTE: Eligible claimants seeking a distribution under the Refund program are directed to submit an affidavit to FAS, following the statutory procedures specified in section 12315(b)(2) of the Act and on the FAS Web site. All claimants must also provide FAS with an Internal Revenue Service form W-9 to indicate and certify their taxpayer identification number and a direct deposit sign-up form 1199A to facilitate any electronic transfer of funds. Note that claimants must maintain any documentation as they have affirmed to exist in their respective affidavits.

    DEADLINES FOR CLAIM/AFFIDAVIT SUBMISSON: All affidavits, W-9, and 1199A forms by eligible claimants for calendar year 2016 distributions must be sent to FAS no later than March 1, 2016.

    ADDRESS: The USDA agency charged with administering the Trust Fund is the Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Trade Programs, Import Policies and Export Reporting Division. This office is physically located at: 1400 Independence Ave, SW., Room 5526-S, Mail Stop 1021, Washington, DC 20250. Affidavits for distribution from the Trust Fund, including supporting W-9 and 1199A forms, and any other documentation that may be subsequently requested by FAS, must be submitted electronically to the following email address: [email protected]

    Dated: January 19, 2016. Suzanne Palmieri, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01749 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—SNAP Performance Reporting System, Management Evaluation AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is an extension of a currently approved collection under OMB No. 0584-0010 which is due to expire May 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to: Sarah Goldberg, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 8-42, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Sarah Goldberg at 703-305-4397 or via email to [email protected] Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Sarah Goldberg at 703-305-4397.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Performance Reporting System, Management Evaluation.

    OMB Number: 0584-0010.

    Expiration Date: 5/31/2016.

    Type of Request: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: The purpose of the Performance Reporting System (PRS) is to ensure that each State agency and project area is operating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in accordance with the requirements of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) (7 U.S.C. 2011, et seq.), as amended, and corresponding program regulations. Under Section 11 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2020), State agencies must maintain necessary records to ascertain that SNAP is operating in compliance with the Act and regulations and must make these records available to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for inspection and audit.

    Per Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 275, each State agency is required to submit one Management Evaluation (ME) review schedule every one, two, or three years, depending on the project area make-up of the State, unless the State receives approval for an alternative Management Evaluation review schedule.

    Under 7 CFR part 275, each State must establish a system for analysis and evaluation of all data available to the State. Data analysis and evaluation is an ongoing process that facilitates the development of effective and prompt corrective action.

    Under 7 CFR part 275, State agencies must prepare a corrective action plan (CAP) addressing identified deficiencies. The State agencies must develop a system for monitoring and evaluating corrective action and submit CAP updates, as necessary.

    Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Government; Respondent Type: SNAP State and local agencies.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 53 State agencies.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: State agencies will submit one review schedule and one ME review plan per year, and will conduct and document ME reviews for an average total of 27 project areas, totaling 29 responses per State agency.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 1,537 (53 State agencies * 29 estimated responses per State Agency).

    Estimated Time per Response: FNS estimates that it takes 4 hours to prepare a review schedule, and that each of the 53 State agencies will submit one review schedule per year resulting in a total burden of 212 hours (53 State agencies * 1 review schedule * 4 hours). FNS estimates that it takes on average approximately 80 hours to develop a comprehensive State review plan, resulting in a total of 4,240 hours (80 hours * 53 State plans). FNS estimates that it takes an average of 340 hours to conduct a review. FNS estimates that ME reviews are conducted for one-half of the total number of project areas (1,430). Therefore, FNS estimates that it takes approximately 486,200 hours annually for State agencies to conduct their reviews (340 hours × 1,430 ME reviews). FNS also estimates that the time necessary for recordkeeping, that is, the time required for State agencies to document and maintain the findings of an ME review for internal purposes is 0.1169 hours, or 7 minutes, per State record. If State agencies each maintain approximately 29 records, then the total amount of time for record keeping required is 180 hours (1,537 records * 0.1169 hours).

    See the table below for estimated total annual burden for each type of respondent.

    Respondent Estimated
  • number
  • respondent
  • Responses
  • annually per
  • respondent/
  • reviews
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • (col. bxc)
  • Estimated
  • average
  • number
  • of hours
  • per response
  • Estimated
  • total hours
  • (col. dxe)
  • Reporting Burden State and local agencies review schedule 53 1 53 4 212 State and Local review plan development 53 1 53 80 4,240 State and Local agencies conducting reviews 53 27 1,430 340 486,200 Total Reporting Burden 53 29 1,537 490,652 Respondent Estimated
  • number
  • respondent
  • Responses
  • annually per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • (col. bxc)
  • Estimated
  • average
  • number
  • of hours
  • per response
  • Estimated
  • total hours
  • (col. dxe)
  • Recordkeeping Burden State and local agencies 53 29 1,537 .1169 179.68 Total Recordkeeping Burden 53 1,537 180

    The total estimated annual reporting burden is as follows:

    Prepare Review Schedules: 4 × 53 = 212 hours.

    Prepare Review Plans: 80 × 53 = 4,240 hours.

    Conduct ME Reviews: 340 × 1,430 = 486,200 hours.

    Recordkeeping: .1169 × 1,537 = 180 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden: 490,832 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 29,449,920 minutes (490,832 hours).

    Dated: January 19, 2016. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01728 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Correction To Request for Information: Software Vendors of State and Local Management Information Systems (MIS) and Other Technology Solutions for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice was republished in error on January 13, 2016 at 81 FR 1599. This notice was originally published on February 25, 2015 at 80 FR 10047. The comment period remains closed and no further comments are being accepted at this time.

    DATES:

    This notice was republished in error on January 13, 2016 at 81 FR 1599. No additional comments are being accepted.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Lynnette Thomas at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice was republished in error on January 13, 2016 at 81 FR 1599. This notice was originally published on February 25, 2015 at 80 FR 10047. The comment period remains closed and no further comments are being accepted at this time.

    Dated: January 19, 2016. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01519 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Superior Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Superior Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Duluth, Minnesota. 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. RAC information can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_Page?id=001t0000002JcwCAAS.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held March 1, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.

    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 the Superior National Forest Supervisor's Office, Jim Sanders Conference Room, 8901 Grand Avenue Place, Duluth, Minnesota. To attend via teleconference, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    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 the Superior National Forest Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Radosevich-Craig, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 218-626-4336 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 to review project proposals submitted for Secure Rural Schools Title II funding.

    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 February 24, 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 Lisa Radosevich-Craig, RAC Coordinator, 8901 Grand Avenue Place, Duluth, Minnesota 55808; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 218-626-4398.

    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: January 25, 2016. Brenda Halter, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01732 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of New Fee Site Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act AGENCY:

    Flathead National Forest, USDA Forest Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice of new fee site Anna Creek Cabin.

    SUMMARY:

    The Flathead National Forest is proposing to charge a $75 fee for the overnight rental for the Anna Creek Cabin. This site has not been available for recreation use prior to this date. Rentals of other cabins on the Flathead National Forest have shown that people appreciate and enjoy the availability of historic rental lookouts and cabins. Funds from the rentals will be used for the operations and maintenance of the Anna Creek Cabin. This fee is only proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment.

    DATES:

    Send any comments about this fee proposal by March 18, 2016 so comments can be compiled, analyzed and shared with the Western Montana Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. Anna Creek Cabin will become available for rent no earlier than six months after publication of this notice.

    ADDRESSES:

    Chip Weber, Forest Supervisor, Flathead National Forest, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell, MT 59901 or Email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chris Prew, Recreation Staff, Hungry Horse Ranger District at 406-387-3800 or [email protected];

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Recreation Lands Enhancement Act (Title VII, Pub. L. 108-447) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a six month advance notice in the Federal Register whenever new recreation fee areas are established.

    This new fee will be reviewed by the Western Montana Recreation Resource Advisory Committee prior to a final decision and implementation.

    The Flathead National Forest currently has fourteen other cabin rentals; however, this will be the first rental opportunity on Hungry Horse Reservoir, a popular recreation destination. These rentals are often fully booked throughout their rental season. A business analysis of the Anna Creek Cabin has shown that people desire having this sort of recreation experience on the Flathead National Forest, as well as surrounding Forests. A market analysis indicates that the $75/per night fee is both reasonable and acceptable for this sort of unique recreation experience.

    Once approved this rental opportunity will be available through the National Recreation Reservation Service, at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. The National Recreation Reservation Service charges a $9 fee for reservations.

    Dated: January 21, 2016. Chip Weber, Flathead National Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01733 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Current Population Survey (CPS) Voting and Registration Supplement AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, 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:

    To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before April 1, 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(s) and instructions should be directed to Kyra Linse, U.S. Census Bureau, 7H045, Washington, DC 20233-8400 at (301) 763-9280.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The U.S. Census Bureau plans to request clearance for the collection of data concerning the Voting and Registration Supplement to be conducted in conjunction with the November 2016 CPS and November 2018 CPS. The Census Bureau sponsors the supplement questions, which were previously collected in November biennially since 1964.

    This survey has provided statistical information for tracking historical trends of voter and nonvoter characteristics in each Presidential or Congressional election since 1964. The data collected from the November supplement relates demographic characteristics (age, sex, race, education, occupation, and income) to voting and nonvoting behavior. The November CPS supplement is the only source of data that provides a comprehensive set of voter and nonvoter characteristics distinct from independent surveys, media polls, or other outside agencies. Federal, state, and local election officials use these data to formulate policies relating to the voting and registration process. College institutions, political party committees, research groups, and other private organizations also use the voting and registration data.

    II. Method of Collection

    The voting and registration information will be collected by both personal visit and telephone interviews in conjunction with the regular November CPS interviewing. All interviews are conducted using computer-assisted interviewing.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0466.

    Form Number: There are no forms. We conduct all interviewing on computers.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 48,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1.5 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,200.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: There are no costs to the respondents other than their time to answer the CPS questions.

    Respondents Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Sections 141 and 182; and Title 29, U.S.C., Sections 1-9.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01725 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-028] Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that hydrofluorocarbon blends and components thereof (HFCs) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 733 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The period of investigation (POI) is October 1, 2014, through March 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 135 days after publication of this preliminary determination in the Federal Register. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective date: February 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dennis McClure or Elizabeth Eastwood, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-5973 or (202) 482-3874, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department initiated this investigation on July 22, 2015.1 For a complete description of the events that followed the initiation of this investigation, see the memorandum that is dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.2 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 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 found 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 Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation, 80 FR 43387 (July 22, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    2See “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China,” from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The products covered by this investigation are HFCs. For a full description of the scope of this investigation, see the “Scope of the Investigation,” in Appendix I of this notice.

    Scope Comments

    Certain interested parties commented on the scope of the investigation as it appeared in the Initiation Notice. We have addressed some comments raised by interested parties but intend to address the rest of the comments at a later point in the investigation. For discussion of those comments, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this investigation in accordance with section 731 of 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.

    Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part

    On November 30, 2015, the petitioner timely filed an amendment to the petition, pursuant to section 733(e)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.206(c)(2)(i), alleging that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of the merchandise under consideration.3 We preliminarily determine that critical circumstances do not exist for Shandong Dongyue Chemical Co., Ltd./Huantai Dongyue International Trade Co., Ltd. (Dongyue), and non-individually examined companies, but do exist with respect to T.T. International Co., Ltd. (T.T. International) and the PRC-wide entity. For a full description of the methodology and results of our analysis, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    3See Letter from Petitioner to the Department, Re: “Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Critical Circumstances Allegation,” November 30, 2015.

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, 4 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.5

    4See Initiation Notice, 80 FR at 43391.

    5See 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
  • (%)
  • Shandong Dongyue Chemical Co., Ltd/Huantai Dongyue International Trade Co., Ltd Shandong Dongyue Chemical Co., Ltd 92.88 Shandong Dongyue Chemical Co., Ltd/Huantai Dongyue International Trade Co., Ltd Jiangsu Melian Chemical Co., Ltd 92.88 Shandong Dongyue Chemical Co., Ltd/Huantai Dongyue International Trade Co., Ltd Jiangxi Gemei Fluorine Chemical Co., Ltd 92.88 Shandong Dongyue Chemical Co., Ltd/Huantai Dongyue International Trade Co., Ltd Liaocheng Fuer New Material Technology Co., Ltd 92.88 Shandong Dongyue Chemical Co., Ltd/Huantai Dongyue International Trade Co., Ltd Zhejiang Quzhou Juxin Fluorine Chemical Co., Ltd 92.88 Shandong Dongyue Chemical Co., Ltd/Huantai Dongyue International Trade Co., Ltd Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Ind. Co., Ltd 92.88 T.T. International Co., Ltd Sinochem Environmental Protection Chemicals (Taicang) Co., Ltd 91.99 T.T. International Co., Ltd Zhejiang Lantian Environmental Protection Fluorine Materials Co., Ltd 91.99 T.T. International Co., Ltd Jinhua Yonghe Fluorochemical Co., Ltd 91.99 T.T. International Co., Ltd Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd 91.99 T.T. International Co., Ltd Shandong Huaan New Material Co., Ltd 91.99 T.T. International Co., Ltd Zhejiang Zhonglan Refrigeration Technology Co., Ltd 91.99 T.T. International Co., Ltd Dongyang Weihua Refrigerants Co., Ltd 91.99 Daikin Fluorochemicals (China) Co., Ltd Daikin Fluorochemicals (China) Co., Ltd 92.60 Jinhua Yonghe Fluorochemical Co., Ltd Zhejiang Yonghe Refrigerant Co., Ltd 92.60 Shandong Huaan New Material Co., Ltd Shandong Huaan New Material Co., Ltd 92.60 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment (Kunshan) Co., Ltd Zhejiang Lantian Environmental Protection Fluoro Material Co., Ltd 92.60 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment (Kunshan) Co., Ltd Sinochem Environmental Protection Chemicals (Taicang) Co., Ltd 92.60 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment (Kunshan) Co., Ltd Zhejiang Quzhou Lianzhou Refrigerants Co., Ltd 92.60 Weitron International Refrigeration Equipment (Kunshan) Co., Ltd Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd 92.60 Zhejiang Yonghe Refrigerant Co., Ltd Jinhua Yonghe Fluorochemical Co., Ltd 92.60 Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd 92.60 Zhejiang Sanmei Chemical Industry Co., Ltd Jiangsu Sanmei Chemicals Co., Ltd 92.60 PRC-Wide Entity 6 210.46
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of publication of this notice 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.7 A table of contents, list of authorities used, and an executive summary of issues should accompany any briefs submitted to the Department.

    6 This also includes Sinchem Lantian Trade Co., Ltd., Sinochem Environmental Protection Chemicals (Taicang) Co. Ltd., Zhejiang Lantian Environmental Protection Fluoro Material Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Quhua Fluor-Chemistry Co., Ltd., and Zhejiang Quzhou Lianzhou Refrigerants Co., Ltd.

    7See 19 CFR 351.309; see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing 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.8 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.

    8See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of HFCs from the PRC, as described in Appendix I of this notice, 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 HFCs from the PRC produced or exported by the T.T. International Co., Ltd. and the PRC-wide entity. Accordingly, for T.T. International Co., Ltd. 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 section 733(d)(1)(B) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(d), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 9 equal to the weighted-average amount by which NV exceeds U.S. price, as indicated in the chart above, 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.

    9See 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).

    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 the petitioner. 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2) requires that requests by respondents for postponement of a final 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.

    Respondents Dongyue and T.T. International requested that, in the event of an affirmative preliminary determination in this investigation, the Department postpone its final determination by 60 days (i.e., to 135 days after publication of the preliminary determination), and agreed to extend the application of the provisional measures prescribed under section 733(d) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2), from a four-month period to a period not to exceed six months.10 In addition, the petitioners 11 also requested that, in the event of a negative preliminary determination, the Department postpone its final determination to 135 days after the date of publication of the preliminary determination.12

    10See letters from Dongyue and T.T. International, respectively, entitled, “Request for Postponement of Final Determination: Antidumping Duty Investigation on Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China,” dated January 13, 2016, and “Hydroflourocarbon Blends and Componenents Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Request to Postpone Final Determination,” dated January 14, 2016.

    11 The petitioners in this proceeding are American HFC Coalition and District Lodge 154 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

    12See letter from the petitioners entitled, “Hydrofluorocarbon Blends and Components Thereof from the People's Republic of China: Petitioner's Request for Extension of the Antidumping Investigation Final Determination,” dated January 13, 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 exporters account for a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise; and (3) no compelling reasons for denial exist, we are postponing the final determination until no later than 135 days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register and extending the provisional measures from a four-month period to a period not greater than six months. Accordingly, we will issue 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.13

    13See 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2) and (e).

    International Trade Commission (ITC) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we are notifying the ITC of our affirmative preliminary 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 HFCs, or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation, of the merchandise under consideration before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination. Because we are postponing the deadline for our final determination to 135 days from the date of publication of this preliminary determination, as discussed above, the ITC will make its final determination no later than 45 days after 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: January 21, 2016. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—Scope of the Investigation

    The products subject to this investigation are blended hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and single HFC components of those blends thereof, whether or not imported for blending. HFC blends covered by the scope are R-404, a zeotropic mixture consisting of 52 percent 1,1,1 Trifluoroethane, 44 percent Pentafluoroethane, and 4 percent 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane; R-407A, a zeotropic mixture of 20 percent Difluoromethane, 40 percent Pentafluoroethane, and 40 percent 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane; R-407C, a zeotropic mixture of 23 percent Difluoromethane, 25 percent Pentafluoroethane, and 52 percent 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane; R-410A, a zeotropic mixture of 50 percent Difluoromethane and 50 percent Pentafluoroethane; and R-507A, an azeotropic mixture of 50 percent Pentafluoroethane and 50 percent 1,1,1-Trifluoroethane also known as R-507. The foregoing percentages are nominal percentages by weight. Actual percentages of single component refrigerants by weight may vary by plus or minus two percent points from the nominal percentage identified above.14

    14 R-404A is sold under various trade names, including Forane® 404A, Genetron® 404A, Solkane® 404A, Klea® 404A, and Suva® 404A. R-407A is sold under various trade names, including Forane® 407A, Solkane® 407A, Klea® 407A, and Suva® 407A. R-407C is sold under various trade names, including Forane® 407C, Genetron® 407C, Solkane® 407C, Klea® 407C and Suva® 407C. R-410A is sold under various trade names, including EcoFluor R410, Forane® 410A, Genetron® R410A and AZ-20, Solkane® 410A, Klea® 410A, Suva® 410A, and Puron®. R-507A is sold under various trade names, including Forane® 507, Solkane® 507, Klea® 507, Genetron® AZ-50, and Suva® 507. R-32 is sold under various trade names, including Solkane® 32, Forane®32, and Klea® 32. R-125 is sold under various trade names, including Solkane® 125, Klea® 125, Genetron®125, and Forane® 125. R-143a is sold under various trade names, including Solkane® 143a, Genetron® 143a, and Forane® 125.

    The single component HFCs covered by the scope are R-32, R-125, and R-143a. R-32 or Difluoromethane has the chemical formula CH2F2, and is registered as CAS No. 75-10-5. It may also be known as HFC-32, FC-32, Freon-32, Methylene difluoride, Methylene fluoride, Carbon fluoride hydride, halocarbon R32, fluorocarbon R32, and UN 3252. R-125 or 1,1,1,2,2- Pentafluoroethane has the chemical formula CF3CHF2 and is registered as CAS No. 354-33-6. R-125 may also be known as R-125, HFC-125, Pentafluoroethane, Freon 125, and Fc-125, R-125. R-143a or 1,1,1-Trifluoroethane has the chemical formula CF3CH3 and is registered as CAS No. 420-46-2. R-143a may also be known as R-143a, HFC-143a, Methylfluoroform, 1,1,1-Trifluoroform, and UN2035.

    Excluded from this investigation are blends of refrigerant chemicals that include products other than HFCs, such as blends including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

    Also excluded from this investigation are patented HFC blends, such as ISCEON® blends, including MO99TM (RR-438A), MO79 (R-422A), MO59 (R-417A), MO49PlusTM (R-437A) and MO29TM (R-4 22D), Genetron® PerformaxTM LT (R-407F), Choice® R-421A, and Choice® R-421B.

    HFC blends covered by the scope of this investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) at subheadings 3824.78.0020 and 3824.78.0050. Single component HFCs are currently classified at subheadings 2903.39.2035 and 2903.39.2045, HTSUS.15 Although the HTSUS subheadings and CAS registry numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    15 We note that HFC blends were classified at HTSUS subheading 3824.78.0020 and single component HFCs were classified at HTSUS subheading 2903.39.2030 in 2015.

    Appendix II—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Period of Investigation 4. Scope of the Investigation 5. Scope Comments 6. Selection of Respondents and Treatment of Voluntary Respondents 7. Critical Circumstances 8. Discussion of the Methodology a. Non-market Economy Country b. Surrogate Country c. Surrogate Value Comments d. Separate Rates e. Margin for the Separate Rate Companies f. Combination Rates g. The PRC-Wide Entity h. Application of Facts Available and Adverse Inferences i. Date of Sale j. Fair Value Comparisons k. Export Price l. Normal Value m. Factor Valuation Methodology n. By-Products o. Comparisons to Normal Value p. Currency Conversion 9. Verification 10. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2016-01767 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE369 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings and Hearings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of opportunities to submit public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council) has announced its annual preseason management process for the 2016 ocean salmon fisheries. This notice informs the public of opportunities to provide comments on the 2016 ocean salmon management measures.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the salmon management alternatives adopted by the Pacific Council at its March 2016 meeting, and described in Preseason Report II, received electronically or in hard copy by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, April 3, 2016, will be considered in the Pacific Council's final recommendation for the 2016 management measures.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents will be available from Ms. Dorothy Lowman, Chair, Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220-1384, and posted on the Pacific Council Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org. You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0007, by any one of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0007, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Ms. Dorothy Lowman, Chair, Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220-1384.

    Fax: 503-820-2299, Attn: Mr. Mike Burner.

    • Comments can also be submitted via email to [email protected]

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual may not be considered by NMFS or the Pacific Council. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on http://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 and the Pacific Council will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Mike Burner, Pacific Council, telephone: 503-820-2414. For information on submitting comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal, contact Peggy Mundy, NMFS, telephone: 206-526-4323.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Pacific Council has published its annual notice of availability of reports, public meetings, and hearings for the 2016 ocean salmon fisheries (80 FR 81806, December 31, 2015). The Pacific Council will adopt alternatives for 2016 ocean salmon fisheries at its meeting, March 8-14, 2016, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Sacramento, CA. Details of this meeting are available on the Pacific Council's Web site (http://www.pcouncil.org) and will be published in the Federal Register in February 2016. On March 23, 2016, “Preseason Report II—Proposed Alternatives and Environmental Assessment Part 2 for 2016 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations” is scheduled to be posted on the Pacific Council Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org. The report will include a description of the salmon management alternatives and a summary of their biological and economic impacts. Public hearings will be held to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management alternatives adopted by the Pacific Council. Written comments received at the public hearings and a summary of oral comments at the hearings will be provided to the Pacific Council at its April meeting.

    All public hearings begin at 7 p.m. at the following locations:

    • March 28, 2016: Chateau Westport, Beach Room, 710 West Hancock, Westport, WA 98595, telephone 360-268-9101.

    • March 28, 2016: Red Lion Hotel, South Umpqua Room, 1313 North Bayshore Drive, Coos Bay, OR 97420, telephone 541-267-4141.

    • March 29, 2016: Motel 6, Convention Room, 400 South Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, telephone 707-964-4761.

    Comments on the alternatives the Pacific Council adopts at its March 2016 meeting, and described in Preseason Report II, may be submitted in writing or electronically as described under ADDRESSES, or verbally or in writing at any of the public hearings held on March 28-29, 2016, or at the Pacific Council's meeting, April 9-14, 2016, at the Hilton in Vancouver, WA. Details of these meetings will be available on the Pacific Council's Web site (http://www.pcouncil.org) and will be published in the Federal Register. Written and electronically submitted comments must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, April 3, 2016, in order to be included in the briefing book for the April Council meeting where they will be considered in the adoption of the Pacific Council's final recommendation for the 2016 salmon fishery management measures. All comments received accordingly will be reviewed and considered by the Pacific Council and NMFS.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01761 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD882 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the South Atlantic States; Amendment 36 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice announcing the preparation of an environmental assessment (EA).

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS, Southeast Region, in collaboration with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council), is preparing an EA for Amendment 36 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 36). Amendment 36 considers alternatives to implement special management zones (SMZs) in the exclusive economic zone of the South Atlantic. This notice is intended to inform the public of the change from the preparation of a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) to an EA for Amendment 36.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick DeVictor, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    An NOI to prepare a DEIS for Amendment 36 was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2015 (80 FR 18823). The NOI indicated that Amendment 36 would be supported by an environmental impact statement, which was the preliminary determination at the time the original purpose and need of the amendment was drafted. In addition to publication of the NOI, the Council held scoping meetings for Amendment 36 from April 20-23, 2015. When the Council first requested development of this amendment, they were considering SMZs of comparably larger sizes. A reassessment of the actions in Amendment 36 relative to the National Environmental Policy Act indicates an EA is appropriate. Therefore, a DEIS will not be prepared for Amendment 36 at this time.

    Through Amendment 36, the Council is considering modifications to the SMZ process and framework procedures to include the consideration of SMZs that would protect locations where snapper-grouper species are likely to spawn and natural habitats that support spawning fish. Protecting locations where fish spawn and protecting natural habitats that support spawning fish may act as an effective strategy when managing a sustainable fish population. In the EA, the Council is also considering the implementation of SMZs to protect spawning snapper-grouper species in the South Atlantic region, in addition to specifying the anchoring, transit, and sunset provisions. Sunset provisions designate the date that the SMZs would be removed from the regulations unless retained through action by the Council and NMFS.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01756 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE401 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS); request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) announce their intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 to analyze the short- and long-term impacts on the human (biological, physical, social, and economic) environment of Amendment 28 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This notice also requests written comment.

    DATES:

    Public scoping will be conducted through this notice. Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on March 2, 2016 (see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on issues and alternatives by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 360-753-9463, Attention Dr. John Stadler.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Dr. John Stadler, Essential Fish Habitat Coordinator, NMFS West Coast Region, 510 Desmond Drive SE., Lacey, WA 98503.

    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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. John Stadler, Essential Fish Habitat Coordinator, NMFS West Coast Region at 360-534-9328 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background for Agency Actions and Proposed Action

    There are more than 90 species managed under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (Groundfish FMP). These groundfish stocks support an array of commercial, recreational, and tribal fishing interests in state and Federal waters off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. In addition, groundfish are also harvested incidentally in non-groundfish fisheries, most notably, the trawl fisheries for pink shrimp and California halibut.

    Amendment 28 to the FMP is intended to accomplish three goals: (1) Revise the essential fish habitat (EFH) components of the FMP; (2) make adjustments to the trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs); and (3) use the discretionary authorities in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to protect benthic habitats, including deep sea corals, from the adverse effects of fishing. These actions are described in detail below.

    Essential Fish Habitat

    The MSA mandates that each regional fishery management council designate EFH for the species that they manage. EFH is defined as “those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding or growth to maturity.” The regulations implementing the EFH provisions of the MSA (50 CFR 600.815) require or, in some cases, recommend that fishery management plans include the following components:

    1. A description and identification of EFH, including habitat information for each managed species and life stage;

    2. A description of the MSA fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH and management measures to minimize those effects to the extent practicable;

    3. A description of the non-MSA fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH, for example, those managed by state agencies;

    4. A description of the non-fishing activities that may adversely affect;

    5. and analysis, if feasible, of how the cumulative effects of fishing and non-fishing activities affect the function of EFH on an ecosystem or watershed scale;

    6. A description of conservation and enhancement measures that encourage the conservation of EFH, including recommended options to avoid, minimize, or compensate for the adverse effects of fishing and non-fishing activities;

    7. Identification of the major prey species of each species;

    8. Identification of habitat areas of particular concern (HAPCs); and

    9. Identification of research and information needs that the Council and NMFS view as necessary to improve upon the description and identification of EFH, the identification of threats to EFH from fishing and other activities, and the development of conservation and enhancement measures for EFH;

    10. A procedure for reviewing and revising, if warranted, the EFH components of the FMP.

    The PFMC designated EFH for Pacific Coast groundfish in 2005, and established the EFH components described above in Amendment 19 to the Groundfish FMP. In particular, the Council identified a number of EFH Conservation Areas (EFHCAs) where certain types of bottom-contact gear are prohibited to minimize the adverse effects of the groundfish fishery on EFH. Maps of the EFHCAs are available at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/gis_maps/maps/groundfish/map-gfish-efh-close.pdf.

    Subsequently, and in accordance with the regulations, NMFS and the Council completed a review of the information available in 2013, and the Council issued a request for proposals on changes to these 10 components. The Council received eight proposals, two of which were later withdrawn by the sponsors. Although these proposals covered a number of the EFH components, the Council determined that revisions were warranted for these five components: The essential fish habitat descriptions for each species and life stage; the description of the adverse effects of fishing on groundfish EFH and management measures to minimize those effects (i.e., the EFHCAs); the description of non-fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH, conservation and enhancement measures that encourage the conservation of EFH; the research and information needs; and the procedure to review and revise the groundfish EFH components. In addition, minor clarifications and corrections to the FMP are warranted.

    Trawl RCA Adjustment

    Trawl RCAs are areas that are closed to bottom-trawl gear to protect overfished species, primarily several species of rockfishes, and were first implemented in 2002. The trawl RCAs extend along the entire West Coast and is bounded by lines approximating particular depth contours. In recent years, the Council also considered modifications to control the bycatch of several non-overfished species (e.g., spiny dogfish, longnose skate, and rougheye rockfish). In 2011, the trawl fishery was rationalized by Amendment 20 to the groundfish FMP and participants are now individually accountable for their bycatch of individual fishing quota species. Due to the success of this program at reducing bycatch, the Council is now considering making adjustments to the RCA boundaries or eliminating them entirely.

    Although the trawl RCAs were implemented to control bycatch of overfished species, the habitats within them have been largely protected from bottom-trawl gear since their inception in 2002, even though trawling for pink shrimp has occurred in some areas. Because of the habitat protections afforded by the RCAs, the habitats that have not been trawled for pink shrimp have recovered, at least partially, from the effects of past bottom trawling. Therefore the Council will evaluate adjustments to the RCA at the same time they are considering revisions to the EFHCAs.

    Prohibition of Bottom-Contact Gear in Water Deeper Than 3500 Meters

    When the Council adopted Amendment 19 to the groundfish FMP, it attempted to close waters deeper than 3500 meters to bottom trawling to minimize the effects of the fishery on groundfish EFH. However, because EFH did not extend beyond 3500 meters, NMFS disapproved that section of the amendment. The MSA contains several discretionary authorities that the Council may use to close these waters, regardless of their designation as EFH [MSA sections 303(b)(2)(A), 303(b)(2)(B), and 303(b)(12)]. The Council is considering using those authorities to prohibit all bottom-contact gear in waters deeper than 3500 meters unless an exempted fishing permit is issued. At the present time, fishing with such gear at these depths is neither technically nor economically feasible; however, the Council and NMFS view this as a precautionary measure that may help to protect these pristine and highly sensitive habitats.

    Alternatives

    NEPA requires that agencies evaluate, in addition to the preferred alternative, a range of reasonable alternatives that addresses the purpose of and need for the agency action. The Council adopted a preliminary range of alternatives for analysis and public review at its meeting in September 2015 and is scheduled to review that range at its April 9-14, 2016, meeting.

    Alternatives to address EFH Components: Each of the EFH components has its own set of alternatives. The Council identified 15 action alternatives for analysis to modify the existing EFHCAs that prohibit bottom trawling. They include seven proposals received from various groups of stakeholders and Federal agencies. The proposals can be viewed at: www.pcouncil.org/2013/08/26497/gf-efh-received-proposals/. The seven proposals currently under consideration were submitted by:

    1. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary—a proposal that addresses EFHCAs within the Sanctuary.

    2. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (now the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary)—a proposal that addresses EFHCAs within the Sanctuary.

    3. Fishermen's Marketing Association—a proposal to make a small change to the EFHCAs adjacent to the Eel River Canyon.

    4. Oceana, National Resources Defense Council, and Ocean Conservancy—a coast-wide proposal for modifying the EFHCAs.

    5. Marine Conservation Institute—a coast-wide proposal for modifying the EFHCAs.

    6. Greenpeace—a coast-wide proposal for modifying the EFHCAs.

    7. Northern and Central Collaborative Working Groups—a coast-wide proposal for modifying the EFHCAs.

    In addition to these seven proposals, the Council preliminarily identified other action alternatives for analysis. They are:

    8. Reopening those areas identified in the seven proposals described above. This alternative would not designate new areas for closure to bottom trawling. This is a coast-wide alternative.

    9. Designating new EFHCAs within the current trawl RCAs, based on priority habitats. This is a coast-wide alternative.

    10. Each of the six coast-wide alternatives (4 through 9) include changes to the EFHCAs within the usual and accustomed fishing areas (U&As) of the four Coastal Treaty Tribes in Washington (Ho, Makah, Quileute, and Quinault). These tribes are co-managers of the fishery resources within their U&As, and NMFS has a treaty-trust responsibility to address their concerns regarding our management decisions. Therefore, for each of these alternatives listed above (numbers 4-9), another alternative will be analyzed that excludes changes in the U&As.

    The remaining EFH components each have a single action alternative. They are:

    • Use the best scientific information available to revise the descriptions of the habitat requirements for each species and life stage in Appendix B to the FMP (http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/GF_FMP_App_B2.pdf and http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/GF_FMP_App_B3.pdf).

    • Use the best scientific information available to revise the description of the adverse effects of fishing on EFH in Appendix C, part 2, to the FMP (http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/GF_FMP_App_C2.pdf).

    • Use the best scientific information available to revise the description of the non-fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH, and potential conservation measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate those adverse effects in Appendix D to the FMP (http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/GF_FMP_App_D.pdf).

    • Update the research and information needs for understanding the EFH requirements of the species managed under this FMP.

    • Update the process to review and revise the groundfish EFH components of the FMP.

    • Make minor clarifications and corrections to the EFH language in the FMP.

    Alternatives to adjust the Trawl RCAs: The Council preliminarily identified three action alternatives for making adjustments to the trawl RCAs. They are:

    1. Complete removal of the existing RCAs. This alternative would remove the RCAs along the entire West Coast, restoring access to all of the areas that were previously closed to minimize the bycatch of overfished species.

    2. Retaining a subset of the existing RCAs to protect overfished species. This alternative would restore access to some, but not all, of the areas that were closed to minimize bycatch of overfished species. The specific areas that would remain closed have not yet been identified.

    3. Retaining a larger subset of the existing RCAs to protect overfished species and act as a catch-control mechanism for non-overfished species of groundfishes. The specific areas that would remain closed have not yet been identified.

    Alternative to prohibit bottom-contact gear in water deeper than 3500 meters: The Council preliminarily identified a “no action” alternative that would not use the discretionary authorities and one action alternative that would prohibit bottom-contact gear in waters deeper than 3500 m, the seaward limit of EFH, out to the full extent of the U.S. exclusive economic zone. Waters that meet this description occur off the coast of California only, south of the Gorda Escarpment, and are shown on the map of groundfish EFH at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/gis_maps/maps/groundfish/map-gfish-efh.pdf. An exempted fishing permit would be required before any bottom-contact fishery could start up in these waters.

    Preliminary Identification of Environmental Issues

    A principal objective of the scoping and public input process is to identify potentially significant impacts to the human environment that should be analyzed in depth in the EIS. If, during the preparation of this EIS, NMFS determines that a finding of no significant impact can be supported, it may prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) and issue a retraction of this notice. Alternatively, NMFS may still continue with the preparation of an EIS. Information and analysis prepared for this action also may be used when scoping future groundfish actions to help decide whether to prepare an EA or EIS.

    Request for Comments

    NMFS provides this notice to: (1) Advise the public and other agencies of its plans to analyze effects related to the action, and (2) obtain suggestions and information that may be useful to the scope of issues and the full range of alternatives to include in the EIS.

    NMFS invites comment from all interested parties to ensure that the full range of issues related to Amendment 28 is identified. NMFS is specifically inviting comments on the proposed alternatives described above. In addition, NMFS invites comments on the types of habitats that should be prioritized for protection from the adverse effects of fishing gear. Comments should be as specific as possible.

    Written comments concerning the proposed action and the environmental review should be directed to NMFS as described above (see ADDRESSES). All comments and materials received, including names and addresses, will become part of the administrative record and may be released to the public.

    Public Scoping Process

    Public scoping will be conducted through this notice. Further participation by the public will occur throughout the Council's decision-making process. All decisions during the Council process benefit from written and oral public comments delivered prior to or during the Council meeting. These public comments are considered integral to scoping for developing this EIS. Council meetings that offer opportunities for public involvement include the April 9-14, 2016, meeting in Vancouver, Washington (Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. 6th Street, Vancouver, WA 98660). Future opportunities for public involvement have yet to be determined but will be posted in the Council Briefing Book (on the Council's Web site (http://www.pcouncil.org/council-operations/briefing-books/) prior to the meeting. For further information on these meetings, visit the Council's Web site, http://www.pcouncil.org/council-operations/council-meetings/future-meetings/.

    Special Accommodations

    The Council meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities.

    Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kris Kleinschmidt at [email protected] or (503) 820-2280 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01759 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before March 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) in OMB, within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0078. Please provide the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0078, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, or submitted through the Agency's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Comments may also be mailed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581 or by Hand Delivery/Courier at the same address.

    A copy of the supporting statements for the collection of information discussed above may be obtained by visiting http://RegInfo.gov. All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Chachkin, Special Counsel, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5496, email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0078.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Conflicts of Interest Policies and Procedures by Futures Commission Merchants and Introducing Brokers (OMB Control No. 3038-0078). This is a request for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: On April 3, 2012, the Commission adopted Commission regulation 1.71 (Conflicts of interest policies and procedures by futures commission merchants and introducing brokers) 1 pursuant to section 4d(c) 2 of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”). Commission regulation 1.71 requires generally that, among other things, futures commission merchants (“FCM”) 3 and introducing brokers (“IB”) 4 develop conflicts of interest procedures and disclosures, adopt and implement written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure compliance with their conflicts of interest and disclosure obligations, and maintain specified records related to those requirements.5 The Commission believes that the information collection obligations imposed by Commission regulation 1.71 are essential (i) to ensuring that FCMs and IBs develop and maintain the conflicts of interest systems, procedures and disclosures required by the CEA, and Commission regulations, and (ii) to the effective evaluation of these registrants' actual compliance with the CEA and Commission regulations. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The Commission did not receive any comments on the 60-day Federal Register notice, 80 FR 73732, dated November 25, 2015.

    1 17 CFR 1.71.

    2 7 U.S.C. 6d(c).

    3 For the definition of FCM, see section 1a(28) of the CEA and Commission regulation 1.3(p). 7 U.S.C. 1a(28) and 17 CFR 1.3(p).

    4 For the definition of IB, see section 1a(31) of the CEA and Commission regulation 1.3(mm). 7 U.S.C. 1a(31) and 17 CFR 1.3(mm).

    5See 17 CFR 1.71.

    Burden Statement: The Commission is revising its estimate of the burden for this collection to reflect the current number of registered FCMs and IBs. Accordingly, the respondent burden for this collection is estimated to be as follows:

    Number of Registrants: 1,362.6

    6 Reflects a slight reduction in the number of registered FCMs and IBs provided in the 60-day Federal Register notice, 80 FR 73732 (November 25, 2015).

    Estimated Average Burden Hours per Registrant: 44.5.

    Estimated Aggregate Burden Hours: 60,609.

    Frequency of Recordkeeping/Third-party Disclosure: As applicable.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01758 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, February 5, 2016.

    PLACE:

    Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room.

    STATUS:

    Closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Surveillance, enforcement, and examinations matters. In the event that the time, date, or location of this meeting changes, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date, and/or place of the meeting will be posted on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202-418-5964.

    Natise Allen, Executive Assistant.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01850 Filed 1-28-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review Agency:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    Action:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before March 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in OMB, within 30 days of publication of the notice, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0089. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0089, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, and to the Commission through its Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Comments may also be mailed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, or by Hand Delivery/Courier at the same address.

    A copy of the supporting statements for the collection of information discussed above may be obtained by visiting http://regInfo.gov. All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tom Guerin, Division of Market Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 734-4194, email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0089.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on November 12, 2015 (80 FR 69948).

    Title: Swap Data Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements: Pre-Enactment and Transition Swaps (OMB Control No. 3038-0089). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Section 723 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) directed the Commission to adopt rules providing for the reporting of data pertaining to swaps entered into before the date of enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act (“pre-enactment swaps”) and swaps entered into on or after the date of enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act but prior to the compliance date specified in the CFTC's final swap data reporting rules (“transition swaps”). On May 17, 2012, the CFTC adopted regulation 46, which imposes recordkeeping and reporting requirements relating to pre-enactment and transition swaps. This ICR concerns the collections of information required by 17 CFR part 46.

    Commission staff estimate that approximately 30,125 entities, including swap dealers, major swap participants, and swap counterparties that are neither swap dealers nor major swap participants, are affected by this ICR. The Commission did not receive any comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this ICR.

    Burden Statement: Commission staff estimate that the total annual time burden for this ICR is 18,903 hours. Commission staff estimate that the total annual cost for this ICR is $1,436,258. The time burden estimate represents the annual burden that swap dealers, major swap participants, and swap counterparties that are neither swap dealers nor major swap participants incur to operate and maintain swap recordkeeping and reporting systems to facilitate the recordkeeping and reporting of pre-enactment and transition swaps. Commission staff calculated the time burden by estimating the burden incurred by respondents to operate and maintain swap data recordkeeping and reporting systems and then estimating the portion of that burden associated with pre-enactment and transition swaps. Commission staff calculated the cost burden by multiplying the estimated time burden by an estimated appropriate hourly wage rate of $75.98. Commission staff derived the estimated appropriate hourly wage rate by averaging the salaries and bonuses of relevant professions reported in the SIFMA Report on Management & Professional Earnings in the Securities Industry 2013.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Swap dealers, Major Swap Participants, and other counterparties to a swap transaction (i.e., end-user, non-swap dealer/non-major swap participant counterparties).

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 30,125.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 18,903 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $1,436,258.

    Frequency of Collection: Ongoing.

    (Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) Dated: January 27, 2016. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01760 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before March 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (“OIRA”) in OMB, within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0087. Please provide the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0087, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, or through the Agency's Web site at http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Comments may also be mailed to: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581 or by Hand Delivery/Courier at the same address.

    A copy of the supporting statements for the collection of information discussed above may be obtained by visiting http://regInfo.gov. All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adam Kezsbom, Special Counsel, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (202) 418-5372, email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0087.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Daily Trading Records Requirements For Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants (OMB Control No. 3038-0087). This is a request for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: On April 3, 2012, the Commission adopted Commission regulations 23.201 through 23.205 (Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Daily Trading Records Requirements For Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants) 1 pursuant to sections 4s(f) 2 and 4s(g) 3 of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”).4 Commission regulations 23.201 through 23.205 require, among other things, swap dealers (“SD”) 5 and major swap participants (“MSP”) 6 to maintain transaction and position records of their swaps (including daily trading records) and to maintain specified business records (including records related to the governance and financial status of the swap dealer or major swap participant, complaints received by such SD or MSP and such SD or MSP's marketing and sales materials). They also require SDs and MSPs to report certain swap transaction data to swap data repositories, to satisfy certain real time public reporting requirements, and to maintain records of information reported to swap data depositories and for real time reporting purposes.7 The Commission believes that the information collection obligations imposed by Commission regulations 23.201 through 23.205 are necessary to implement sections 4s(f) and 4s(g) of the CEA, including ensuring that each SD and MSP maintains the required records of their business activities and an audit trail sufficient to conduct comprehensive and accurate trade reconstruction.

    1 17 CFR 23.201-23.205.

    2 7 U.S.C. 4s(f).

    3 7 U.S.C. 4s(g).

    4 77 FR 20128.

    5 For the definition of SD, see section 1a(49) of the CEA and Commission regulation 1.3(ggg). 7 U.S.C. 1a(49) and 17 CFR 1.3(ggg).

    6 For the definitions of MSP, see section 1a(33) of the CEA and Commission regulation 1.3(hhh). 7 U.S.C. a(33) and 17 CFR 1.3(hhh).

    7See 17 CFR 23.201-23.205.

    Burden Statement: The Commission is revising its estimate of the burden for this collection to reflect the current number of registered SDs and MSPs. Accordingly, the respondent burden for this collection is estimated to be as follows:

    Number of Registrants: 105.

    Estimated Average Burden Hours per Registrant: 2,096.

    Estimated Aggregate Burden Hours: 220,080.

    Frequency of Recordkeeping/Third-party Disclosure: Daily, or as applicable.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01753 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DELAWARE RIVER BASIN COMMISSION Notice of Public Hearing and Business Meeting: February 10 and March 16, 2016

    Notice is hereby given that the Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 10, 2016. A business meeting will be held the following month, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The hearing and business meeting are open to the public and will be held at the Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center, 1112 River Road, Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.

    Public Hearing. The public hearing on February 10, 2016 will begin at 1:30 p.m. Hearing items will include: Draft dockets for the withdrawals, discharges and other water-related projects subject to the Commission's review, and resolutions: (1) Authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a contract with the lowest qualified bidder for the analysis of periphyton samples from the non-tidal Delaware River; (2) authorizing the Executive Director to enter into an administrative agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for the review of water withdrawal and wastewater discharge projects in the New York portion of the Basin; and (3) adopting of the Water Resources Program 2016-2018.

    The list of projects scheduled for hearing, including project descriptions, will be posted on the Commission's Web site, www.drbc.net, in a long form of this notice at least ten days before the hearing date. Draft resolutions scheduled for hearing also will be posted at www.drbc.net ten or more days prior to the hearing.

    Written comments on matters scheduled for hearing on February 10 will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. on February 11. After the hearing on all scheduled matters has been completed, and as time allows, an opportunity for Open Public Comment will also be provided.

    The public is advised to check the Commission's Web site periodically prior to the hearing date, as items scheduled for hearing may be postponed if additional time is deemed necessary to complete the Commission's review, and items may be added up to ten days prior to the hearing date. In reviewing docket descriptions, the public is also asked to be aware that project details commonly change in the course of the Commission's review, which is ongoing.

    Public Meeting. The public business meeting on March 16, 2016 will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will include: adoption of the Minutes of the Commission's December 9, 2015 business meeting, announcements of upcoming meetings and events, a report on hydrologic conditions, reports by the Executive Director and the Commission's General Counsel, and consideration of any items for which a hearing has been completed or is not required. After all scheduled business has been completed and as time allows, the meeting will also include up to one hour of Open Public Comment.

    There will be no opportunity for additional public comment for the record at the March 16 business meeting on items for which a hearing was completed on February 10 or a previous date. Commission consideration on March 16 of items for which the public hearing is closed may result in approval of the item (by docket or resolution) as proposed, approval with changes, denial, or deferral. When the Commissioners defer an action, they may announce an additional period for written comment on the item, with or without an additional hearing date, or they may take additional time to consider the input they have already received without requesting further public input. Any deferred items will be considered for action at a public meeting of the Commission on a future date.

    Advance Sign-Up for Oral Comment. Individuals who wish to comment on the record during the public hearing on February 10 or to address the Commissioners informally during the Open Public Comment portion of the meeting on either February 10 or March 16 as time allows, are asked to sign up in advance by contacting Ms. Paula Schmitt of the Commission staff, at [email protected]

    Addresses for Written Comment. Written comment on items scheduled for hearing may be delivered by hand at the public hearing or: By hand, U.S. Mail or private carrier to: Commission Secretary, P.O. Box 7360, 25 State Police Drive, West Trenton, NJ 08628; by fax to Commission Secretary, DRBC at 609-883-9522; or by email (preferred) to [email protected] If submitted by email, written comments on a docket should also be sent to Mr. William J. Muszynski, Manager, Water Resources Management at [email protected]

    Accommodations for Special Needs. Individuals in need of an accommodation as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act who wish to attend the informational meeting, conference session or hearings should contact the Commission Secretary directly at 609-883-9500 ext. 203 or through the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) at 711, to discuss how we can accommodate your needs.

    Additional Information, Contacts. Additional public records relating to hearing items may be examined at the Commission's offices by appointment by contacting Carol Adamovic, 609-883-9500, ext. 249. For other questions concerning hearing items, please contact Project Review Section assistant Victoria Lawson at 609-883-9500, ext. 216.

    Dated: January 22, 2016. Pamela M. Bush, Commission Secretary and Assistant General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01734 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6360-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0010] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; eZ-Audit: Electronic Submission of Financial Statements and Compliance Audits AGENCY:

    Department of Education (ED), Federal Student Aid (FSA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0010. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Ti Baker, 202-377-3156.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: eZ-Audit: Electronic Submission of Financial Statements and Compliance Audits.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0072.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Private Sector; State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 6,100.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 2,491.

    Abstract: eZ-Audit is a web-based process designed to facilitate the submission of compliance and financial statement audits, expedite the review of those audits by the Department, and provide more timely and useful information to public, non-profit and proprietary institutions regarding the Department's review. eZ-Audit establishes a uniform process under which all institutions submit directly to the Department any audit required under the Title IV, HEA program regulations. eZ-Audit continues to have minimal number of financial template line items and general information questions. No additional burden hours have been added.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01724 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Predominantly Black Institutions Formula Grant Program AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information

    Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Formula Grant Program

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.031P.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: February 1, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Phase I of Applications: March 2, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Phase II of Applications: April 1, 2016.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Formula Grant Program provides grants to eligible institutions to plan, develop, undertake, and implement programs that enhance their capacity to serve more low- and middle-income Black American students; to expand higher education opportunities for eligible students by encouraging college preparation and student persistence in secondary school and postsecondary education; and to strengthen the financial ability of the institutions to serve the academic needs of these students.

    Program Authority:

    Title III, part A, section 318 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1059e).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Formula grant.

    Estimated Available Funds: $9,942,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: Grants awarded under the PBI Formula Grant Program are allotted to eligible institutions based on the formula included in section 318(e) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(e)), with no grantee allotted less than $250,000.

    If the amount appropriated for this program for a fiscal year is not sufficient to pay the minimum allotment to eligible institutions, then the amount of the minimum allotment must be ratably reduced, in accordance with section 318(e) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(e)(4)).

    Funding Formula:

    Grant amounts to PBIs are awarded according to the following formula:

    (1) Federal Pell Grant basis—From the amount appropriated for this program for any fiscal year, the Secretary allots to each PBI with an approved application a sum that bears the same ratio to one-half of that amount as the number of Federal Pell Grant recipients in attendance at such institution at the end of the academic year preceding the beginning of that fiscal year, bears to the total number of Federal Pell Grant recipients at all such institutions at the end of such academic year.

    (2) Graduates basis—From the amount appropriated for this program for any fiscal year, the Secretary allots to each PBI with an approved application a sum that bears the same ratio to one-fourth of that amount as the number of graduates for such academic year at such institution, bears to the total number of graduates for such academic year at all such institutions.

    (3) Graduates seeking a higher degree basis—From the amount appropriated for this program for any fiscal year, the Secretary allots to each PBI with an approved application a sum that bears the same ratio to one-fourth of that amount as the percentage of graduates from such institution who are admitted to and in attendance at, not later than two years after graduation with an associate's degree or a baccalaureate degree, a baccalaureate degree-granting institution or a graduate or professional school in a degree program in disciplines in which Black American students are underrepresented, bears to the percentage of such graduates for all such institutions.

    Estimated Number of Awards: All applicant institutions that meet the eligibility requirements will receive a portion of the total appropriations for the PBI Formula Grant Program.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: 60 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: An applicant must—

    (a) Have an enrollment of needy undergraduate students as defined in section 318(b)(2) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(2));

    (b) Have an average educational and general expenditure that is low, per full-time equivalent undergraduate student, in comparison with the average educational and general expenditure per full-time equivalent undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction, except that the Secretary may apply the waiver requirements described in section 392(b) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1068a(b)) to this subparagraph in the same manner as the Secretary applies the waiver requirements to section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058(b)(1)(B));

    (c) Have an enrollment of undergraduate students that is not less than 40 percent Black American students (section 318(b)(1)(C) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1059e (b)(1)(C));

    (d) Be legally authorized to provide, and provide, within the State, an educational program for which the institution of higher education awards a baccalaureate degree or, in the case of a junior or community college, an associate's degree (section 318(b)(1)(D) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(1)(D));

    (e) Be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation (section 318(b)(1)(E) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(1)(E))); and

    (f) Not be receiving funds under any other provision of part A or part B of title III of the HEA or part A of title V of the HEA (sections 318(b)(1)(F) and 318(i) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(1)(F) and 1059e(i)).

    To be eligible for a grant under the PBI Formula Grant Program, an applicant must also meet the definition of a Predominantly Black Institution in section 318(b)(6) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(6)). The term Predominantly Black Institution means an institution of higher education, as defined in section 101(a) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1001(a))—

    (i) That is an eligible institution with not less than 1,000 undergraduate students;

    (ii) At which not less than 50 percent of the undergraduate students enrolled at the eligible institution are low-income individuals or first-generation college students; and

    (iii) At which not less than 50 percent of the undergraduate students are enrolled in an educational program leading to a bachelor's or associate's degree that the eligible institution is licensed to award by the State (defined as each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia) in which the eligible institution is located.

    Note:

    The notice announcing the FY 2016 process for designation of eligible institutions, and inviting applications for waiver of eligibility requirements, was published in the Federal Register on November 19, 2015 (80 FR 72422). Only institutions that the Department determines are eligible, or are granted a waiver, may apply for a grant under this program.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching unless the grantee uses a portion of its grant for establishing or improving an endowment fund. If a grantee uses a portion of its grant for endowment fund purposes, it must match those grant funds with non-Federal funds in an amount equal to or greater than the Federal funds used for the establishment or increase of the endowment fund (section 318(d)(3) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(d)(3)).

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Bernadette D. Miles, OPE, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7E311, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 502-7616, or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission:

    Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program. The application process for this program has two phases: Phase I will require submitting 2014-2015 data used to run the funding formula; Phase II will require submission of the narrative project plan and standard forms. The deadline dates for submitting Phases I and II of the application are listed in this notice. Other requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: February 1, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Phase I of Applications: March 2, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Phase II of Applications: April 1, 2016.

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically as an email attachment to [email protected] by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the deadline date.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.

    A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the Predominantly Black Institutions Formula Grant Program, CFDA number 84.031P, must be submitted electronically via email to [email protected]

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the PBI Program at www2.ed.gov/programs/pbihea/index.html.

    Please note the following:

    • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will not accept an application for this program after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.

    • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.

    • Within three working days after submitting Phase II of your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

    (1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.

    (2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

    (3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard-copy signature page of the SF 424.

    (4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 245-6272.

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on other forms at a later date.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application via email because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining that you do not have access to the Internet.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Bernadette D. Miles, OPE, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7E311, Washington, DC 20202. FAX: (202) 205-0063.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.031P), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.031P), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Review and Selection Process: After eligibility is determined, Department staff will begin a two stage process to—

    (1) Determine grant awards based on the formula in section 318(e) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(e)); and

    (2) Ensure that all activities proposed in the application are allowable under section 318(d) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(d)).

    We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    2. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions:

    Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program, the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (C) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

    4. Performance Measures: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GRPRA) performance measures for the PBI Formula Grant Program:

    (a) Enrollment Rate: The percentage change of the number of full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at PBIs. Note that this is a long-term measure, which will be used to periodically gauge performance.

    (b) Persistence Rate—four-year institutions: The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students at four-year PBIs who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same four-year PBI.

    (c) Persistence Rate—two-year institutions: The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students at two-year PBIs who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same two-year PBI.

    (d) Completion Rate—four-year institutions: The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at four-year PBIs who graduate within six years of enrollment.

    (e) Completion Rate—two-year institutions: The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at two-year PBIs who graduate within three years of enrollment.

    (f) Efficiency Measure: Cost per successful program outcome: Federal cost per undergraduate degree at PBIs.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; Whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bernadette D. Miles, OPE, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7E311, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 502-7616, or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: January 26, 2016. Lynn B. Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation Delegated the Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01746 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION [3046-0007] Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) and Comment Request AGENCY:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed revision of the employer information report (EEO-1) and comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) announces that it intends to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for a three-year PRA approval of a revised Employer Information Report (EEO-1) data collection. This revised data collection has two components. Component 1 collects the same data that is gathered by the currently approved EEO-1: Specifically, data about employees' ethnicity, race, and sex, by job category. Component 2 collects data on employees' W-2 earnings and hours worked, which EEO-1 filers already maintain in the ordinary course of business. For the 2016 reporting cycle, all EEO-1 filers would submit the data under Component 1. Starting in 2017, filers with 100 or more employees (both private industry and Federal contractor) would submit data in response to both Components 1 and 2. Contractors with 50 to 99 employees would only submit data for Component 1. In this notice, the EEOC solicits public comment on the utility and burden of collecting pay and hours-worked data through the EEO-1 data collection process.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this notice must be submitted on or before April 1, 2016.

    Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(c), a public hearing concerning the proposed changes to the EEO-1 will be held at a place and time to be announced. To request an opportunity to present your views orally at the hearing, please submit a written request to the EEOC's Executive Secretariat (street address below) no later than February 22, 2016 to be assured of consideration. Please include your contact information.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on this notice may be submitted to the EEOC in three ways; please use only one.

    Comments and attachments may be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments. Comments received here will be posted publicly on the same portal without change, including any personal information you provide. However, the EEOC reserves the right to refrain from posting comments, including those that contain obscene, indecent, or profane language; that contain threats or defamatory statements; that contain hate speech directed at race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, or disability; or that promote or endorse services or products.

    Hard copy comments and all requests to participate in the hearing may be submitted to Bernadette Wilson, Acting Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507.

    The Executive Secretariat also will accept documents totaling six or fewer pages by facsimile (“fax”) machine. This limitation is necessary to assure access to the equipment. The telephone number of the fax receiver is (202) 663-4114. (This is not a toll-free number.) Receipt of fax transmittals will not be acknowledged, except that the sender may request confirmation of receipt by calling the Executive Secretariat staff at (202) 663-4070 (voice) or (202) 663-4074 (TTY). (These are not toll-free telephone numbers.)

    Subject to the conditions noted above, the EEOC will post online at http://www.regulations.gov all comments submitted in hard copy or by fax with the Executive Secretariat. The EEOC Headquarters' library also will make available hard copies of all comments, by advance appointment only, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. To schedule an appointment to inspect the comments at the EEOC's library, contact the library staff at (202) 663-4630 (voice) or (202) 663-4641 (TTY). (These are not toll-free numbers.)

    For reference when commenting on this notice, the current EEO-1 (and proposed Component 1) can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/upload/eeo1-2.pdf. An illustration of the data to be collected by both Components 1 and 2 can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/2016_new_survey.cfm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ronald Edwards, Director, Program Research and Surveys Division, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Room 4SW30F, Washington, DC 20507; (202) 663-4949 (voice) or (202) 663-7063 (TTY). Requests for this notice in an alternative format should be made to the Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs at (202) 663-4191 (voice) or (202) 663-4494 (TTY).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The EEO-1 Survey and Its Legal Authority

    Section 709(c) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) requires employers to make and keep records relevant to the determination of whether unlawful employment practices have been or are being committed, to preserve such records, and to produce reports as the Commission prescribes by regulation or order.1 Pursuant to this statutory authority, the EEOC in 1966 issued a regulation requiring certain employers to file executed copies of the EEO-1 survey in conformity with the directions and instructions on the form, which called for reporting employee data by job category, ethnicity, race, and sex.2 Pursuant to Executive Order 11246,3 the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in 1978 issued its regulation describing the EEO-1 as a report “promulgated jointly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission” and requiring certain contractors to submit “complete and accurate reports” annually.4 Through the EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee housed at the EEOC, the EEO-1 is administered as a single data collection to meet the statistical needs of both agencies.5 Currently, the EEO-1 directs certain covered employers with more than 50 employees (contractors) or 100 employees (private industry) 6 to report annually the number of individuals they employ by job category and by race, ethnicity, and sex.7 The data include seven race and ethnicity categories 8 and ten job categories,9 by sex. A sample copy of the currently approved EEO-1 can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/upload/eeo1-2.pdf.

    1 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(c).

    2 The EEOC's EEO-1 regulation is at 29 part 1602 Subpart B. The EEOC is responsible for obtaining OMB's PRA approval for the EEO-1 report.

    3 Exec. Order No. 11,246, 30 FR 12,319 (Sept. 24, 1965).

    4 41 CFR 60-1.7(a).

    5 The EEOC shares EEO-1 data with state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies under the authority of section 709(d) of Title VII. Subject to their agreement to comply with the confidentiality provisions of 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(e), the EEOC shares EEO-1 reports with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The FDIC and the NCUA use EEO-1 data pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 to help analyze diversity in management, employment, and business activities. DOJ uses the EEO-1 data when it defends OFCCP in litigation, in the event a federal contractor sues OFCCP to prevent debarment.

    6 Unless otherwise noted, the term “contractor” refers to federal contractors and first-tier subcontractors that satisfy the employee and contract size coverage criteria that subject them to the EEO-1 reporting obligations. The term “private industry” refers to all other entities required to file the EEO-1 that are not included in the “contractor” designation. The term “employer” or “filer” refers collectively to all entities that file EEO-1 data.

    7 The EEO-1 uses federal race and ethnic categories, which were adopted by the Commission in 2005 and implemented in 2007, pursuant to the PRA.

    8Hispanic or Latino—A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

    White (Not Hispanic or Latino)—A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

    Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino)—A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

    Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino)—A person having origins in any of the peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

    Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino)—A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino)—A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintain tribal affiliation or community attachment.

    Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino)—All persons who identify with more than one of the above five races.

    9 The ten job groups are: Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers; First/Mid Level Officials and Managers; Professionals; Technicians; Sales Workers; Administrative Support Workers; Craft Workers; Operatives; Laborers and Helpers; Service Workers.

    Adding Pay Data to the EEO-1

    In 1964, Congress enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq., (Title VII), which makes unlawful a wide range of discriminatory employment practices, including pay discrimination, because of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing Title VII and other federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963.10 The Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women if they work in the same establishment and perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions.11 OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, as amended, which prohibits discrimination, including compensation discrimination, based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.12

    10 29 U.S.C. 206(d).

    11Id. Enforcement of the Equal Pay Act was transferred from the DOL to the EEOC in 1978. 5 USCA APP. 1 REORG. PLAN 1 1978.

    12See Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs, Exec. Order 11246 as amended, http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/statutes/eo11246.htm.

    In 2010, the EEOC joined other federal agencies, including the DOL, as members of the President's National Equal Pay Task Force to identify ways to improve enforcement of federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination. The Task Force recommended, among other things, that the EEOC engage the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study assessing how to most effectively collect pay data to support its wage discrimination law enforcement efforts. The EEOC accordingly commissioned a study, and the NAS convened a Panel on Measuring and Collecting Pay Information from U.S. Employers by Gender, Race, and National Origin. This Panel's August 15, 2012, report (NAS Report) 13 recognized the potential value for enforcement of collecting pay data from employers by sex, race, and national origin through a survey such as the EEO-1, and emphasized the importance of a definitive plan for how the data would be used in coordination with other equal employment opportunity (EEO) enforcement agencies. The NAS Report also recommended that the EEOC conduct a pilot to inform the parameters for any pay data collection.14

    13 National Research Council. 2012. Collecting Compensation Data From Employers. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 8. Available at http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13496.

    14 Id. at 87-88.

    Following the NAS Report recommendation, the EEOC commissioned an independent Pilot Study to identify the most efficient means to collect pay data. The Pilot Study, completed in September 2015, assisted the EEOC in formulating this proposal and will guide the development of analytic techniques to make full use of the data to be collected.15 The Pilot Study considered a variety of statistical approaches that could be used to detect pay differences between groups and then tested these approaches by applying them to synthetic pay data 16 in order to identify their strengths and weaknesses.17 Ultimately, the Pilot Study made technical recommendations about several central components of a data collection, including: The unit of pay to be collected; the best summary measures of central tendency and dispersion for rates of pay; appropriate statistical test(s) for analyzing pay data; and the most efficient and least costly methods for transmitting pay data from employers. The Pilot Study also estimated employer burden-hour costs and the processing costs associated with the recommended method of collection.

    15 “EEOC Pay Pilot Study,” September, 2015, Sage Computing. Available at: http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/pay-pilot-study.pdf.

    16 Two “synthetic” data bases were used. The first synthetic data base used data from the auto parts manufacturing industry and the Occupation Employment Statistics (OES) as well as EEO-1 data to construct a hypothetical firm in the auto parts manufacturing industry. To do so, the number of employees by EEO-1 job groups in an average sized firm was estimated. EEO-1 job groups were then mapped to the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) categories in the OES data. Using OES statistics on the distribution of annual wages within SOC categories, the likely wages for EEO-1 job groups in an average firm were generated. These samples represent typical or representative wages, not actual wages, for auto parts employees. See Pilot Study, page 79. The second data base used data extracts from Current Population Survey (CPS) data (downloaded from http://cps.ipums.org. March CPS Annual Social and Economic Supplement). The data were downloaded from the International Public Use Microdata Series Web site for the 2010 to 2014 period. (King, M., S. Ruggles, J.T. Alexander, S. Flood, K. Genadek, M.B. Schroeder, B. Trampe, and R. Vick. 2010. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Current Population Survey: Version 3.0. [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.) See Pilot Study, page 56.

    17 Synthetic pay data was used because conducting a test survey of nine or more companies would require PRA approval. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A)(i).

    Separately, the EEOC sought input about updating all the EEO surveys, including adding pay data, when its staff held a two-day meeting in March 2012 with employer representatives, statisticians, human resources information systems (HRIS) experts, and information technology specialists (work group). The work group reviewed the current data collection procedures, provided feedback on future modernization of the EEO surveys, and engaged in brainstorming that led to ideas submitted individually by group participants on a number of topics, including collecting pay data as well as multiple-race category data on the EEO-1. Employer stakeholders expressed concern about the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of any individual filer's pay data even if pay data were only published in aggregated form.18 The work group report 19 reflects feedback from participants that the burden of reporting pay data would be minimal for EEO-1 filers.

    18 For example, reporting the average pay for Hispanic or Latino women who are Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers, if there are few Hispanic or Latino women in that job group, may effectively reveal the pay of individual employees. To allay these concerns, the EEOC intends to re-examine the rules for testing statistical confidentiality for publishing aggregate data to make certain that tables with small cell-counts are not made public.

    19 “EEOC Survey System Modernization Work Group Meeting, Draft Report,” March 19, 2012, Sage Computing. Available at: http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/survey-modernization.pdf.

    On April 8, 2014, the Presidential Memorandum, “Advancing Pay Equality Through Compensation Data Collection” was issued. It directed the Secretary of Labor to develop a compensation data collection proposal.20 OFCCP issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on August 8, 2014, proposing to amend one of its implementing regulations for Executive Order 11246 to add a requirement that certain federal contractors submit compensation data reports to OFCCP.21 Under the NPRM, OFCCP also proposed a sample of an Equal Pay Report for collecting this data.22

    20 Presidential Documents, Memorandum of April 8, 2014, “Advancing Pay Equality Through Compensation Data Collection,” Memorandum for the Secretary of Labor, April 11, 2014 (79 FR 20751).

    21 Government Contractors, Requirement to Report Summary Data on Employee Compensation, 79 FR 46563 (August 8, 2014). This NPRM provided detailed explanations for the design of the Equal Pay Survey, which utilized W-2 information as a measure of wages and reported cumulative wages. It did not use pay bands like Component 2 of the currently proposed EEO-1. In 2011, OFCCP had issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). Nondiscrimination in Compensation: Compensation Data Collection Tool, 79 FR 49398 (August 10, 2011), in response to which stakeholders provided extensive input and information.

    22 Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and Office of Management and Budget, Equal Pay Report, http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=201407-1250-001&icID=212555.

    Public comments submitted to OFCCP about the proposed Equal Pay Report and rule argued for, among other things, the need to improve interagency coordination and decrease employer burden for reporting compensation data by using the EEO-1, rather than a new OFCCP data collection, as well as the need to protect privacy and data confidentiality. The instant proposal responds to these concerns.23 Similarly, the NAS Report recommended that the federal EEO enforcement agencies develop a coordinated plan for using compensation data. In the course of developing this EEO-1 proposal, the EEOC and OFCCP together consulted with the Department of Justice, focusing on how EEO-1 pay data would be used to assess complaints of discrimination, focus investigations, and identify employers with existing pay disparities that might warrant further examination. The EEOC and OFCCP plan to develop statistical tools that would be available to staff on their computers, to utilize the EEO-1 pay data for these purposes. They also anticipate developing software tools and guidance for stakeholders to support analysis of aggregated EEO-1 data. Finally, the EEOC and OFCCP anticipate that the process of reporting pay data may encourage employers to self-monitor and comply voluntarily if they uncover pay inequities.

    23 OFCCP plans to utilize EEO-1 pay data for federal contractors with 100 or more employees instead of implementing a separate compensation data survey as outlined in its August 8, 2014, NPRM.

    The following discussion explains the justification for each component of the proposed EEO-1 pay data collection. As stated above, this proposal does not compel employers to collect new data but rather requires the reporting of pay data that employers maintain in the normal course of business. This notice proposes a collection that will maximize the utility of the pay data while balancing respondent concerns about confidentiality and the burden of the collection.

    Proposal To Add Pay Data to the EEO-1 Who Will Report Pay Data and When This Reporting Requirement Will Start

    For the 2016 EEO-1 reporting cycle, to ease the transition, all employers will submit information that is identical to the information collected by the currently approved EEO-1 (Component 1). Starting in 2017, employers that are subject to the EEO-1 reporting requirement and that have 100 or more employees will submit the EEO-1 with pay and related information (Components 1 and 2). By contrast, contractors that are subject to the EEO-1 reporting requirement and that have between 50 and 99 employees will continue to submit the same information that is collected by the current EEO-1 report (Component 1). They will not be required to submit pay and hours-worked data. A sample copy of the currently approved EEO-1 report provides an illustration of the data to be collected by Component 1. It can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/upload/eeo1-2.pdf. An illustration of the data to be collected by both Components 1 and 2 can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/2016_new_survey.cfm.

    When Annual EEO-1 Reports Will Be Due and How Employers Will Submit Data

    Currently, employers must collect EEO-1 data from any pay period occurring in the months of July through September of the current survey year. The EEO-1 must be filed by September 30th of the same year. These deadlines would continue after the addition of pay data, to minimize employers' burden by folding the new collection into long-established deadlines. As explained below regarding the utility and burden of using W-2 data to describe pay, requiring filers to report W-2 data as of a pay period occurring in the months of July through September should not be burdensome given the capabilities of HRIS software.

    Beginning in 2017, all filers will be required to submit the proposed EEO-1 report electronically. Automated electronic data collection promotes the utility of the EEO-1 survey by reducing the number of inadvertent human errors in the data. Electronic data collection also is less burdensome for employers than assigning staff to complete the survey. As of 2014, all but three of the 67,146 EEO-1 filers already used electronic data submission.24 Any EEO-1 filer seeking an exemption from this electronic requirement may use the existing EEO-1 process for seeking special reporting procedures.25 Component 2 of the revised EEO-1 includes a request for data on the amount of employer staff time used to collect and report pay data on the EEO-1. This will better enable the EEOC to quantify the burden of this aspect of the survey.

    24 The remaining three filers submitted hard copy reports.

    25 The EEO-1 instructions provide that “[a]n employer who claims that preparation or the filing of Standard Form 100 would create undue hardship may apply to the Commission for a special reporting procedure. In such cases, the employer must submit in writing a detailed alternative proposal for compiling and reporting information to: The EEO-1 Coordinator, EEOC-Survey Division, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507. Only those special procedures approved in writing by the Commission are authorized. Such authorizations remain in effect until notification of cancellation is given. All requests for information should be sent to the address above.” See http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/2007instructions.cfm. Any requests would be considered by the EEO-1 Coordinator, who is also responsible for issuing any written approvals.

    What Pay Data Will Be Collected Measure: Total W-2 Earnings

    In selecting total W-2 earnings as the measure of pay, the focus was on maximizing utility of the EEO-1 pay data while minimizing the burden on employers to collect and report it. With respect to maximizing utility, the goal was to identify a measure of compensation that encompasses as much employer-paid income earned by individuals as possible. With respect to minimizing burden, the focus was on finding a measure that is well-defined and compatible with the data elements in employers' existing human resources and pay systems. Consideration also was given to the sample Equal Pay Report proposed in OFCCP's 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which used W-2 earnings.26

    26 In the NPRM, OFCCP stated that it chose the W-2 definition of compensation because it accounts for a broad range of pay elements and because collection of W-2 data would result in minimal burden on contractors. 79 FR 46562 at 46576 (August 8, 2014). Public comments on the NPRM were split on using the W-2, but EEOC and OFCCP conclude that it remains the best option for the reasons stated in this section.

    Five different measures of earnings now used by federal data collection systems were considered. The first three were from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The Occupation Employment Statistics (OES); 27 the National Compensation Survey (NCS); 28 and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey program.29 The remaining options were from the Social Security Administration (SSA) 30 and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).31

    27 The Occupation Employment Statistics (OES) survey defines earnings to include base rate pay, cost-of-living allowances, guaranteed pay, hazardous-duty pay, incentive pay such as commissions and production bonuses, tips, and on-call pay. The OES measure excludes back pay, jury duty pay, overtime pay, severance pay, shift differentials, nonproduction bonuses, employer costs for supplementary benefits, and tuition reimbursements. See U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupation Employment Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm. See page 4 of http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/methods_statement.pdf for the 12 wage intervals.

    28 The National Compensation Survey (NCS) is a BLS establishment survey of employee salaries, wages, and benefits. In this survey, “[e]arnings are defined as regular payments from employers to their employees as compensation for straight-time (not overtime) hourly wages or for any salaried work performed.” The NCS does not include premium pay for overtime, holidays, and weekends; shift differentials such as night work; nonproduction bonuses; tips; and uniform and tool allowances. See U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Overview on BLS Statistics on Pay and Benefits, http://www.bls.gov/bls/wages.htm http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ncswage2010.pdf, at pp 8-9. However, this definition does include incentive pay such as commissions, piece-rate payments, production bonuses, cost-of- living adjustments, hazard pay, payments for income deferred due to participation in a salary reduction plan, and deadhead pay (which is paid to a driver who is driving an empty vehicle, typically when the driver is traveling to pick up a delivery or after completion of a delivery).

    29 The Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey program is a BLS and state cooperative program that produces data on earnings but not wages. Average hourly earnings exclude items such as employee benefits, irregular bonuses and commissions, retroactive payments, and the employers' share of payroll taxes and therefore, do not represent employers' total compensation costs (as calculated by the National Compensation Survey). See National Research Council. Collecting Compensation Data from Employers. National Academic Press 2013. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13496, at p. 8.

    30 The Social Security Administration defines income as any payment received during a calendar month that can be used to meet needs for food or shelter. It may be in cash or in kind (i.e., payment in the form of the use of a good or service, such as free rent). It includes earned income and unearned income. Examples of unearned income include social security, interest and dividends, retirement income, unemployment benefits, alimony, child support, and pay received for work while an inmate in a penal institution. See http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title16b/1612.htm.

    31 The Internal Revenue Service's W-2 definition of gross income includes wages, salaries, fees, commissions, tips, taxable fringe benefits, and elective deferrals. Amounts withheld for taxes, including but not limited to income tax, Social Security, and Medicare taxes, are considered “received” and must be included in gross income of the given year they are withheld. See http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch05.html; see also http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/What-is-Earned-Income%3F.

    Of these five options, the focus was on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the OES and the W-2 definitions because they are best known to employers. The NAS Study recommended the use of OES' wage definition because it is based on widespread surveys,32 but the EEOC ultimately decided not to use the OES definition because it excludes widely-used elements of compensation such as overtime pay, severance pay, shift differentials, nonproduction bonuses, year-end bonuses, holiday bonuses, and tuition reimbursement.33 These elements of pay, however, are increasingly important. According to a 2014 survey of 1,064 U.S. companies, “91 percent of organizations offer a variable pay program and expect to spend 12.7 percent of payroll on variable pay for salaried exempt employees in 2015.” 34 Another recent survey of companies' bonus practices found that 74 percent of respondents used a sign-on bonus program and 61 percent used a retention bonus program in 2014.35

    32 National Research Council, 2012, Collecting Compensation Data From Employers. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 8. Available at http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13496, at p.58.

    33 United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics-Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm

    34See Press Release, Aon Hewitt, 2014 U.S. Salary Increase Survey, (Aug. 27, 2014), http://aon.mediaroom.com/New-Aon-Hewitt-Survey-Shows-2014-Variable-Pay-Spending-Spikes-to-Record-High-Level.

    35 WorldatWork. “Bonus Programs and Practices.” Available at http://www.worldatwork.org/adimLink?id=75444, at p.10.

    By contrast, the W-2 definition provides a more comprehensive report of earnings at the employee level than the OES definition. W-2 gross income includes wages, salaries, fees, commissions, tips, taxable fringe benefits, and elective deferrals. Amounts withheld for taxes, including but not limited to income tax, Social Security, and Medicare taxes, are considered “received” and are included as gross income of the given year they are withheld.36 The W-2 encompasses all earned income, including supplemental pay components such as overtime pay, shift differentials, and nonproduction bonuses (e.g., year-end bonuses, hiring and referral bonuses, and profit-sharing cash bonuses).37 Nonproduction bonuses account for over 11 percent of cash compensation for management, business, and financial operations occupations, while shift differentials are a significant component of compensation for healthcare workers.38 A panel of HRIS experts convened for the Pilot Study agreed that the trend is toward paying higher-level executives in bonuses, which are counted as W-2 income but are not included in the OES definition.39

    36 Internal Revenue Service. 2014. “Wages, Salaries, and Other Earnings.” In: Internal Revenue Service. Your Federal Income Tax (Individuals). Available at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch05.html and Internal Revenue Service. 2015. “What Is Earned Income?” Available at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/What-is-Earned-Income%3F.

    37 U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Fact Sheet for the June 2000 Employment Cost Index Release.” Available at http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/sp/ecrp0003.pdf.

    38 John L. Bishow, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. “A Look at Supplemental Pay: Overtime Pay, Bonsues, and Shift Differentials.” Available at http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/a-look-at-supplemental-pay-overtime-pay-bonuses-and-shift-differentials.pdf at pp 5-7. “Analysis is limited to jobs that receive positive payments—that is, those jobs that actually receive supplemental pay, as opposed to the average for all jobs—the percentage for each type of supplemental pay is higher.”

    39 The panel included individuals with expertise in HRIS and SAP, and in compensation, payroll, and benefits.

    Using the W-2 definition is less likely to be burdensome for most respondents than using the OES wage definition. Federal law requires all employers to generate W-2s for each of their employees. Although W-2 data may not be routinely compiled until the end of the calendar year, and EEO-1 reports are due on September 30th, several approaches are possible. First, because payroll records are cumulative, generating reports at any given point in time should not be complicated for employers with automated payroll systems. The W-2 data can be imported into a HRIS, and a data field can be established to accumulate W-2 data for the EEO-1. Alternatively, employers could obtain this pay information by utilizing quarterly payroll reports for the previous four quarters. Employers that do their payroll in-house will be able to report this data utilizing most major payroll software systems or by using off-the-shelf payroll software that is preprogrammed to compile data for generating W-2s. For employers that outsource their payroll, there would be a one-time burden of writing custom programs to import the data from their payroll companies into their HRIS systems.

    Organizing and Reporting W-2 Data

    In determining how employers would be required to organize and report their employees' W-2 data, the focus was on collectability, burden, confidentiality, and data utility.40 The NAS Report and the Pilot Study reviewed various alternative approaches for reporting compensation, which ranged from highly detailed to general. Of these alternatives, the most comprehensive collection proposals required collecting data at the individual employee level and would have included human capital qualifications data as well as pay data. Although these options would reduce ambiguity and help assess the existence of potential discrimination, they also raise significant confidentiality and burden concerns.41

    40 Collecting Compensation Data from Employers, National Academies of Science http://de.nlx.org/pdfs/20140825_nrc-report-august2012.pdf.

    41See supra note 19, at 2.

    Options for collecting aggregate pay data include using pay rates (calculated by employer), range of pay with a maximum and minimum provided by employer, total pay, and average or median pay. There are disadvantages to each of these approaches. Total pay could be impractical and would be dependent on the number of employees. Average pay by occupation would provide limited information about variation. Collecting the range of pay or average pay could produce biased estimates as pay is often distributed in a manner where a few individuals are paid much more than others. This might create misleading data when ranges or means are used as a measure. Simply gathering rates of pay, without standard deviation measures, would not assist in parity/disparity analysis, and asking employers to calculate standard deviations would not only be burdensome but also would risk a higher rate of inaccuracy.

    Using pay bands appears to be more likely to generate reliable data while being less burdensome for employers than other reporting alternatives. Therefore, Component 2 of the revised EEO-1 will collect aggregate W-2 data in 12 pay bands for the 10 EEO-1 job categories. Employers will simply count and report the number of employees in each pay band. For example, a filer will report on the EEO-1 that it employs 3 African American women as professionals in the highest pay band. As to data utility, pay bands will allow the EEOC to compute within-job-category variation, across-job-category variation, and overall variation, which would support the EEOC's ability to discern potential discrimination while preserving confidentiality.42 At the same time, pay bands would not require the computation of mean earnings or a measure of variance as alternative approaches might, thus avoiding a source of employer burden. Finally, as distinguished from mean earnings, pay bands can effectively use statistical tests that do not rely on an assumption that pay is normally distributed.

    42See also Micklewright, John and Schnepf, Sylke V., How Reliable are Income Data Collected with a Single Question? (November 2007). See also IZA Discussion Paper No. 3177, http://ftp.iza.org/dp3177.pdf.

    By choosing to use pay bands, the EEOC also is adopting a methodology that will limit employer burden. HRIS software developers already are familiar with using pay bands on the EEO-4 survey, which collects pay data from state and local government employers.43 By choosing to use pay bands for the EEO-1, the EEOC and OFCCP will allow HRIS software developers to build on their existing experience with the EEO-4. Consistent with the recommendations of the Pilot Study, however, the EEO-1 pay bands (Table 2) will track the 12 “wage intervals” used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the OES survey.44

    43See U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEO-4 Survey, https://egov.eeoc.gov/eeo4/.

    44See Survey Methods and Reliability Statement for the May 2014 Occupational Employment Statistics Survey. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/methods_statement.pdf.

    Table 1—EEO-4 Pay Bands Pay bands Pay bands label 1 $100-$15,999. 2 $16,000-$19,999. 3 $20,000-$24,999. 4 $25,000-$32,999. 5 $33,000-$42,999. 6 $43,000-$54,999. 7 $55,000-$69,999. 8 $70,000 and over. Table 2—Proposed EEO—1 Pay Bands Pay bands Pay bands label 1 $19,239 and under. 2 $19,240-$24,439. 3 $24,440-$30,679. 4 $30,680-$38,999. 5 $39,000-$49,919. 6 $49,920-$62,919. 7 $62,920-$80,079. 8 $80,080-$101,919. 9 $101,920-$128,959. 10 $128,960-$163,799. 11 $163,800-$207,999. 12 $208,000 and over. Hours Worked

    Consistent with the recommendations of the Pilot Study, Component 2 of the revised EEO-1 will collect the total number of hours worked by the employees included in each EEO-1 pay band cell. This data will allow analysis of pay differences while considering aggregate variations in hours. The total hours worked also will permit an analysis that accounts for periods when the employees were not employed, thus reflecting part-time work.45

    45 Collection of the hours-worked data will account for the fact that some individuals are employed for less than the entire reporting year, and therefore, may work fewer hours. For example, if a large number of women are hired part way into a reporting year, their W-2 compensation will be lower than the compensation of men who worked for the entire reporting year.

    The EEOC seeks employer input with respect to how to report hours worked for salaried employees. One approach would be for employers to use an estimate of 40 hours per week for full-time salaried workers. The EEOC is not proposing to require an employer to begin collecting additional data on actual hours worked for salaried workers, to the extent that the employer does not currently maintain such information. Employers are encouraged to comment on this issue.46

    46 Some commentators on OFCCP's proposed data collection suggested that hours-worked data should not be collected based, in part, on their concerns that the collection would be burdensome and that some employers do not collect this data for exempt employees. For this reason, the EEOC encourages employers to provide specific, detailed input on this aspect of its proposed data collection.

    Generally, however, the initial conclusion is that requiring employers to provide the total number of hours worked would impose a minimal burden. Employers will report only data that they already maintain. The panel of HRIS experts convened for the Pilot Study reported that “total hours worked” data is maintained by almost all payroll systems. The information is available for the previous quarter, the previous four quarters, and the calendar year. For employers that outsource payroll, this variable could be added to the one-time reporting query that is written to download income data.

    Analysis of W-2 Pay Data

    Statistical tests will be used as an initial check of the W-2 data to be collected on the EEO-1, specifically, statistical significance tests that do not rely on an assumption of a normal distribution. The Pilot Study recommended several statistical techniques to test within-job categories and then suggested further examining companies and establishments with low probabilities that the differences between examined groups, such as men and women, occurred by chance.47 The Pilot Study also noted that the issue of calibrating error rates (power vs. significance level) needed to be addressed to detect discrimination without suffering too many false positives. This process would include recognition of how sample sizes may influence results and also of judicial precedents regarding definitions of statistical probabilities.48

    47 For example, the Pilot Study recommends using the Mann-Whitney test for grouped data and comparison of two groups (for example, gender (men versus women) or race (African Americans versus Whites)), and the Kruskal-Wallis test for comparison of more than two groups (e.g., race). These tests are the most appropriate for an initial review of establishments as a whole. Analyses can be conducted by computing the statistical tests within job categories and then proceeding to more closely investigate companies and establishments with low p-values. Interval regressions can be used to examine the impact of hours worked, race and gender on distributions within pay bands. It may also be appropriate to compare a particular firm's regression coefficients for the hours worked, race and gender variables to those derived from an analysis of the relevant labor market as a whole.

    48 The EEOC's statistical analysis techniques are consistent with judicially recognized statistical standards for identifying meaningful discrepancies. Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. United States, 433 U.S. 299, 311 n.17 (1977) (“a fluctuation of more than two or three standard deviations would undercut the hypothesis that decisions were being made randomly with respect to [a protected trait]);” see also, Wright v. Stern, 450 F.Supp.2d 335, 363 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (court denied employer's motion for summary judgment, concluding that the plaintiffs presented sufficient statistical and other evidence for a jury to conclude that the employer engaged in widespread discrimination against African-American and Hispanic employees, in terms of promotions and compensation. The court noted that, “[t]hough not dispositive, statistics demonstrating a disparity of two standard deviations outside of the norm are generally considered statistically significant.”)

    The EEOC and OFCCP plan to develop a software tool that will allow their investigators to conduct an initial analysis by looking at W-2 pay distribution within a single firm or establishment, and by comparing the firm's or establishment's data to aggregate industry or metropolitan-area data.49 This application would highlight statistics of interest.

    49 Operationally, this application, or dashboard, could relate the nominal results of statistical tests (that is, test statistics or their p-values) to those encountered in the location and the labor market based on the relevant industry and geography. On such a dashboard, the EEOC investigator would see technical information such as the values of the main statistics used to describe the establishment, and its relation to the same statistic encountered in other comparable establishments.

    Confidentiality

    The EEOC and OFCCP jointly collect the data on the EEO-1 report through their Joint Reporting Committee, which has represented the two agencies for the purpose of administering the EEO-1 since the reporting requirement began. All data is initially submitted to the Joint Reporting Committee housed at the EEOC and then provided to OFCCP. EEOC is required to hold its EEO-1 data confidential under Section 709(e) of Title VII, which forbids “any [EEOC] officer or employee” from making “public in any manner whatever any information obtained by the Commission . . . prior to the institution of any [Title VII] proceeding . . . involving such information.” 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(e). Any EEOC officer or employee who violates this prohibition is guilty of a misdemeanor. Id.

    The EEOC publishes aggregate EEO-1 data in a manner that does not reveal any particular employer's data, consistent with Section 709(e). For example, the EEOC has published aggregate EEO-1 data at the national, regional, and industry levels.50 The EEOC also publishes reports analyzing aggregate EEO-1 data based on industry (e.g., finance, media, and law firms) or particular groups of people (e.g., women of color).51

    50See U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Job Patterns for Minorities and Women in Private Industry (EEO-1), http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/employment/jobpat-eeo1/index.cfm.

    51See U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Special Reports, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/reports/index.cfm.

    After collecting and reconciling EEO-1 data, the Joint Reporting Committee at the EEOC provides a database to OFCCP. OFCCP holds confidential the data for contractor filers to the maximum extent permitted by law, in accordance with Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act and the Trade Secrets Act.52 With respect to EEO-1 data for companies that are not under OFCCP's jurisdiction, the confidentiality provisions of Section 709(e) apply.53 Accordingly, OFCCP refers all requests for such data to the EEOC for a response.

    52See 5 U.S.C. 552 (b)(4). FOIA does not apply to “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential”; 18 U.S.C. 1905. Under the Trade Secrets Act, criminal penalties may apply to an officer or employee of the United States who “publishes, divulges, discloses, or makes known in any manner or to any extent not authorized by law . . . confidential statistical data. . . .” See also 79 FR 46562 at 46583 (August 8, 2014).

    53See relevant Paperwork Reduction Act provision, 44 U.S.C. 3510. “(a) The Director may direct an agency to make available to another agency, or an agency may make available to another agency, information obtained by a collection of information if the disclosure is not inconsistent with applicable law. (b)(1) If information obtained by an agency is released by that agency to another agency, all the provisions of law (including penalties) that relate to the unlawful disclosure of information apply to the officers and employees of the agency to which information is released to the same extent and in the same manner as the provisions apply to the officers and employees of the agency which originally obtained the information. (2) The officers and employees of the agency to which the information is released, in addition, shall be subject to the same provisions of law, including penalties, relating to the unlawful disclosure of information as if the information had been collected directly by that agency.”

    Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    The EEOC intends to submit to OMB a request for a three-year PRA approval of a revised EEO-1. The revised EEO-1 data collection has two components. The first component (Component 1) will collect information identical to that collected by the currently approved EEO-1. The second component (Component 2) will collect data on employees' W-2 pay and hours worked. Component 1 can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/upload/eeo1-2.pdf. An illustration of the data to be collected by both Components 1 and 2 can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/2016_new_survey.cfm.

    For the 2016 reporting cycle, EEO-1 filers would only submit the Component 1 data. Beginning with the 2017 reporting cycle, the EEOC proposes to require EEO-1 filers with 100 or more employees to submit Component 2 data in addition to Component 1 data. However, contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees will only submit Component 1 data.

    2016 Overview of Information Collection—Component 1

    Collection Title: Employer Information Report (EEO-1).

    OMB Control Number: 3046-0007.

    Frequency of Report: Annual.

    Description of Affected Public: Private industry filers with 100 or more employees and federal government contractor filers with 50 or more employees.

    Number of Respondents: 67,146.

    Reporting Hours: 228,296.4.

    Respondent Burden Hour Cost: $5,531,621.77.

    Federal Cost: $1,330,821.

    Number of Forms: 1.

    Form Number: EEOC Form 100.

    2017 and 2018 Overview of Information Collection—Components 1 and 2

    Collection Title: Employer Information Report (EEO-1).

    OMB Control Number: 3046-0007.

    Frequency of Report: Annual.

    Number of Forms: 1.

    Form Number: EEOC Form 100.

    Federal Cost: $318,000 for one-time costs and $1,621,300 54 for recurring staffing costs.

    54 The addition of W-2 pay data to the EEO-1 is expected to increase EEOC's internal staffing costs by approximately $290,478. The annual federal cost figure of $1,621,300 includes both the increase in contract costs resulting from the addition of the pay data collection and the estimated internal staffing costs. It reflects an increase of more than $290,478 compared to the estimated federal costs provided in previously published Federal Register notices seeking PRA approval of this information collection because past estimates reflected the cost of the contract with the vendor whose services the EEOC procures to assist with administration and processing of the EEO-1 but did not include EEOC's internal staffing costs associated with processing the EEO-1.

    Component 1 (Demographic and Job Category Data)

    Description of Affected Public: In 2017 and 2018, contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees will submit only the demographic and job category data collected by Component 1.

    Number of Respondents: 6,260.

    Reporting Hours: 21,284.

    Respondent Burden Hour Cost: $515,711.32.

    Components 1 and 2 (Demographic and Job Category Data Plus Pay and Hours-Worked Data)

    Description of Affected Public: In 2017 and 2018, EEO-1 filers with 100 or more employees will submit pay and hours-worked data under Component 2 in addition to the demographic and job category data under Component 1.

    Number of Respondents: 60,886.

    Reporting Hours: 401,847.6.

    Respondent Burden Hour Cost: $9,736,767.35.

    PRA Burden Statement 2016: Component 1

    Burden Statement: In 2016, all EEO-1 filers will submit only Component 1, which includes the data collected by the currently approved EEO-1. The estimated number of respondents required to submit the annual EEO-1 survey is 67,146.55 This data collection is estimated to impose 228,296.4 burden hours in 2016 or 3.4 hours per filer.56 See Table 3. The estimated burden is based on electronic, rather than paper filing, which significantly reduces the survey burden.

    55 In 2014, 67,146 firms filed EEO-1 reports.

    56 In 2014, all but three reporting firms submitted electronic, rather than paper survey responses. These burden estimates assume that virtually all respondents will continue to file electronically.

    Table 3—Annual Burden—2016 (Component 1) [All EEO-1 filers: Private industry employers with 100 or more employees and Federal Government contractors and first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees] Annual burden hours Filers Total annual burden hours Wage rate Total burden hour cost Reading instructions 0.5 67,146 33,573 $24.23 $813,473.79 Collecting, verifying, validating and reporting data 2.9 67,146 194,723.4 24.23 4,718,147.98 Total 3.4 67,146 228,296.4 5,531,621.77 2017 and 2018: Components 1 and 2

    Burden Statement—Component 1 Only: Starting in 2017, the estimated number of annual respondents who are contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees is 6,260.57

    57 Of the 67,146 firms that filed EEO-1 reports in 2014, 6,260 were federal contractor filers with fewer than 100 employees.

    The burden on these contractor filers is estimated as follows:

    Annual Burden Calculation: The estimated total annual burden hours required to complete Component 1 of the EEO-1 data collection in 2017 and 2018 is 21,284, with an associated total annual burden hour cost of $515,711.32.58 See Table 4.

    58 This estimate is calculated as follows: 3.4 hours per respondent × 6,260 respondents = 21,284 hours × $24.23 per hour = $515,711.32. See Bureau of Labor Statistics in the publication “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation” (December 2013), which lists total compensation for administrative support as $24.23 per hour, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecec_03122014.htm (last accessed September 23, 2014).

    Burden Statement—Components 1 and 2: Starting in 2017, the estimated number of annual respondents that will submit Components 1 and 2 is 60,886 private industry and contractor filers. Filers required to complete both Components 1 and 2 are estimated to incur 401,847.6 burden hours annually or 6.6 hours per filer. The estimated burden is based on electronic, rather than paper, filing, which significantly reduces the survey burden.

    The burden imposed on all private industry employer filers and contractor filers with 100 or more employees as a result of the proposed collection of W-2 pay data is estimated as follows:

    Annual Burden Calculation: The estimated total annual burden hours needed for filers to report demographic and W-2 pay data via Components 1 and 2 of the revised EEO-1 Report is 401,847.6, with an associated total annual burden hour cost of $9,736,767.35. This burden estimate includes reading instructions and collecting, merging, validating, and reporting the data electronically.59 See Table 4.

    59 This estimate is calculated as follows: 6.6 hours per respondent × 60,886 respondents = 401,847.6 hours × $24.23 per hour = $9,736,767.35. See Bureau of Labor Statistics in the publication “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation” (December 2013), which lists total compensation for administrative support as $24.23 per hour, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecec_03122014.htm (last accessed September 23, 2014).

    One-Time Implementation Burden: The estimated one-time implementation burden hour cost for submitting the information required by Component 2 of the revised EEO-1 Report is $23,000,295.60 This calculation is based on the one-time cost for developing queries related to Component 2 in an existing human resources information system, which is estimated to take 8 hours per filer at a wage rate of $47.22 per hour.

    60 This is estimate is calculated as follows: 8 hours per respondent × 60,886 employers = 487,088 × $47.22 per hour = $23,000,295. See Bureau of Labor Statistics in the publication “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation” (December 2013), which lists total compensation for a professional as $47.22 per hour, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/ecec_03122014.htm (last accessed September 23, 2014).

    Further, the EEOC estimates that the addition of W-2 pay data to the EEO-1 will raise its internal staffing cost by $290,478 due to the increased staff time needed to process the additional data.

    Table 4—Annual Burdens—2017 and 2018 [Revised EEO-1 Data Collection—Components 1 and 2] Annual burden Annual burden hours Filers Total annual burden hours Wage rate Total annual burden hour cost Component 1 Only Contractor filers with 50 to 99 employees Reading instructions 0.5 6,260 3130 $24.23 $75,839.90 Collecting, verifying, validating and reporting data 2.9 6,260 18,154 24.23 439,871.42 Total Annual Burden for Filers Submitting Component 1 3.4 6,260 21,284 515,711.32 Components 1 and 2 All private industry employer filers, as well as contractor filers with 100 or more employees Reading instructions 1 60,886 60,886 24.23 1,475,268 Collecting, verifying, validating and reporting data 5.6 60,886 340,961.6 24.23 8,261,499.35 Total Annual Burden for Filers Submitting Components 1 and 2 6.6 60,886 401,847.6 9,736,767.35 Total Annual Burden—All Filers Total for Revised EEO-1 67,146 423,131.6 10,252,478.67

    The reporting hour burden calculations in this notice reflect a departure from the manner in which the EEOC traditionally has estimated reporting burden. In the past, the EEOC estimated the reporting hour burden based on the number of total cells in the report(s) that a firm had to complete. This approach viewed each report filed by a firm as a separate reporting requirement, analogous to a paper report. In reporting year 2014, however, the number of paper reports declined to just three. In addition, employers now rely extensively on automated HRIS to generate the information they submit on the EEO-1 report.61 As a result, each additional report filed has just a marginal additional cost.62 To accurately reflect the manner in which employers now collect and submit the data for filing, the estimated reporting burden set forth in this notice is calculated per firm, rather than per report. This burden calculation is based on the time spent on the tasks involved in filing the survey, rather than on “key strokes” or data entry. As such, it more accurately reflects how virtually all employers actually complete the EEO-1 and the EEOC's practice of providing filers alternative methods for filing their reports such as data uploads using various formats and online filing.

    61 Surveys have shown that more than 90 percent of human resource departments operate with some form of computerized HRIS. See Public Personnel Management, Volume 39, No. 3, Fall 2010.

    62 In fact, a number of firms file by uploading a data file so that the information goes nearly directly from an electronic file generated by the HRIS to the survey data base. In 2014, 1,449 firms filed EEO-1 reports by uploading a data file, accounting for 704,654 of the EEO-1 reports filed in that year.

    The EEOC seeks employer input on this burden calculation. The EEOC reviewed OFCCP's ANPRM and NPRM and the public comments relating to the burden calculation for OFCCP's proposal to collect pay data and consulted with OFCCP about burden estimates.63 The Pilot Study approached some private employers to seek data about the possible cost of collecting pay information but few employers responded, and the employers that did respond did not provide quantitative feedback. The EEOC encourages employers, in their comments responding to paragraph 2 in the “Solicitation of Public Comment” section below, to provide: (1) Quantitative information about the burden associated with completing the currently approved EEO-1, as well as the anticipated estimated burden to also submit pay and hours-worked data, and (2) data regarding the estimated time that staff will spend to report the employer's pay and hours-worked data and the corresponding wage rates for that staff.

    63 OFCCP plans to utilize EEO-1 pay data for federal contractors with 100 or more employees instead of implementing a separate compensation data survey as outlined in its August 8, 2014, NPRM.

    Solicitation of Public Comment: Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, and OMB regulation 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), the Commission solicits public comment to enable it to:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Commission's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Improve the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are required to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Conclusion

    This notice summarizes the EEOC's proposal to submit a revised EEO-1 to OMB for 3-year PRA approval to require private employer filers, as well as most federal government contractor filers, to submit data on employee pay starting with the 2017 reporting cycle. This data collection would meet the statistical needs of both the EEOC and OFCCP. It would also enable employers to self-assess their pay practices and policies and thereby support voluntary compliance. In developing this PRA proposal, the EEOC has balanced enforcement objectives with the burden and confidentiality concerns of respondents.

    Dated: January 21, 2016.

    For the Commission.

    Jenny R. Yang, Chair.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01544 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6570-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting January 21, 2016.

    The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on the subjects listed below on Thursday, January 28, 2016, which is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC.

    Item No. Bureau Subject 1 MEDIA TITLE: Expansion of Online Public File Obligations to Cable and Satellite TV Operators and Broadcast and Satellite Radio Licensees (MB Docket No. 14-127). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Report and Order which modernizes the public inspection file rules by requiring cable and satellite TV operators and broadcast and satellite radio companies to post public inspection files on the FCC's online database. 2 PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY TITLE: Amendment of Commission's Rules Regarding the Emergency Alert System (PS Docket No. 15-94) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (PS Docket No. 15-91). SUMMARY: The Commission plans to discuss strengthening the Emergency Alert System (EAS) by promoting participation on the state and local levels, supporting greater testing and awareness of EAS, leveraging technological advances, and bolstering EAS security. 3 WIRELINE COMPETITION AND WIRE­LESS TELE-COMMUNI­CA­TIONS TITLE: Inquiry Concerning the Deployment of Advanced Telecommunications Capability to All Americans in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion, and Possible Steps to Accelerate Such Deployment Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as Amended by the Broadband Data Improvement Act (GN Docket No. 15-191). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider the 2016 Broadband Progress Report examining whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion, pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Consent Agenda

    The Commission will consider the following subjects listed below as a consent agenda and these items will not be presented individually:

    1 GENERAL COUNSEL TITLE: Mitchell F. Brecher Request for Inspection of Records (FOIA Control No. 2014-338). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning the Application for Review filed by Mitchell F. Brecher regarding the denial of his request for inspection of records under the Freedom of Information Act. 2 GENERAL COUNSEL TITLE: SMS/800 Inc. Request for Inspection of Records (FOIA Control No. 2015-044). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning the Application for Review filed by SMS/800 Inc. regarding the release of records pertaining to SMS/800 Inc. in response to a request for inspection of records under the Freedom of Information Act filed by Mark Lewyn. 3 GENERAL COUNSEL TITLE: Rachel A. Avan Request for Inspection of Records (FOIA Control No. 2014-572). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning the Application for Review filed by Rachel A. Avan regarding the denial of her request for inspection of records under the Freedom of Information Act. 4 GENERAL COUNSEL TITLE: Russell Carollo Request for Inspection of Records (FOIA Control No. 2015-553). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning the Application for Review filed by Russell Carollo regarding the partial denial of his request for inspection of records under the Freedom of Information Act. 5 MEDIA TITLE: Application of The KBOO Foundation for a New NCE(FM) Station in Chehalis, Washington. SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning an Application for Review filed by CVEF challenging the grant of an application and waiver requests filed by KBOO Foundation for a new NCE FM station. 6 MEDIA TITLE: Application for Renewal of License and Request for Extension of Special Temporary Authorization for Class A Television Station WEBR-CD in Manhattan, New York. SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning an Application for Review filed by Jose Luis Rodriguez seeking review of the grant of a license renewal and STA of WEBR-CD, Manhattan, New York. 7 CONSUMER & GOVERN­MENTAL AFFAIRS TITLE: San Fernando Cathedral of San Antonio, Texas, (SFC), Application for Review (CG Docket No. 06-181). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order addressing an Application for Review filed by SFC seeking review of the Bureau's dismissal of SFC's petition for exemption from the Commission's closed captioning requirements.

    The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. In your request, include a description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an email to: [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Additional information concerning this meeting may be obtained from the Office of Media Relations, (202) 418-0500; TTY 1-888-835-5322. Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live Web page at www.fcc.gov/live.

    For a fee this meeting can be viewed live over George Mason University's Capitol Connection. The Capitol Connection also will carry the meeting live via the Internet. To purchase these services, call (703) 993-3100 or go to www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria Miles, Information Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01820 Filed 1-28-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Election Commission.

    DATE AND TIME:

    Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    999 E Street NW., Washington, DC (ninth floor).

    STATUS:

    This meeting will be open to the public.

    Federal Register Notice of Previous Announcement—81 FR 4299 CHANGE IN THE MEETING:

    The January 28, 2016 meeting has been cancelled.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Judith Ingram, Press Officer, Telephone: (202) 694-1220.

    Shelley E. Garr, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01847 Filed 1-28-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6715-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0073; Docket 2015-0055; Sequence 29] Submission for OMB Review; Advance Payments AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning advance payments. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 70217 on November 13, 2015. No comments were received.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before March 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for GSA, Room 10236, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503. Additionally submit a copy to GSA by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0073, Advance Payments”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0073, Advance Payments” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0073, Advance Payments.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0073, Advance Payments, in all correspondence related to this collection. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Kathy Hopkins, Procurement Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, GSA 202-969-7226 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    Advance payments may be authorized under Federal contracts and subcontracts. Advance payments are the least preferred method of contract financing and require special determinations by the agency head or designee. Specific financial information about the contractor is required before determinations by the agency head or designee can be made, and before such payments can be authorized (see FAR 32.4 and 52.232-12). The information is used to determine if advance payments should be provided to the contractor.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Respondents: 500.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 500.

    Hours per Response: 6.

    Total Burden Hours: 3,000.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0073, Advance Payments, in all correspondence.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01762 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-0469; Docket No. CDC-2016-0013] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed revision of the National Program of Cancer Registries Cancer Surveillance System information collection, which provides useful data on cancer incidence and trends.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0013 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Attn. Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the individual submitter and/or agency's name and Docket Number listed above. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and, (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    National Program of Cancer Registries Cancer Surveillance System (NPCR CSS, OMB No. 0920-0469, exp. 5/31/2016)—Revision—National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    In 2012, the most recent year for which complete information is available, more than 580,000 people died of cancer and more than 1.5 million were diagnosed with cancer. It is estimated that 13.8 million Americans are currently alive with a history of cancer (2). In the U.S., state-based cancer registries are the only method for systematically collecting and reporting population based information about cancer incidence and outcomes such as survival. These data are used to measure the changing incidence and burden of each cancer; identify populations at increased or increasing risk; target preventive measures; and measure the success or failure of cancer control efforts in the U.S.

    In 1992, Congress passed the Cancer Registries Amendment Act which established the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR). The NPCR provides support for state-based cancer registries that collect, manage and analyze data about cancer cases. The state-based cancer registries report information to CDC through the National Program of Cancer Registries Cancer Surveillance System (NPCR CSS), (OMB No. 0920-0469 5/31/2016). CDC plans to request OMB approval to continue collecting this information for three years. Data definitions will be updated to reflect changes in national standards for cancer diagnosis and coding, but the number of respondents and the burden per respondent will not change.

    The NPCR CSS allows CDC to collect, aggregate, evaluate and disseminate cancer incidence data at the national level. The NPCR CSS is the primary source of information for United States Cancer Statistics (USCS), which CDC has published annually since 2002. The latest USCS report published in 2015 provided cancer statistics for 99% of the United States population from all cancer registries whose data met national data standards. Prior to the publication of USCS, cancer incidence data at the national level were available for only 14% of the population of the United States.

    The NPCR CSS also allows CDC to monitor cancer trends over time, describe geographic variation in cancer incidence throughout the country, and provide incidence data on racial/ethnic populations and rare cancers. These activities and analyses further support CDC's planning and evaluation efforts for state and national cancer control and prevention. In addition, datasets can be made available for secondary analysis.

    Respondents are NPCR-supported central cancer registries (CCR) in 45 U.S. states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia. Thirty-eight CCRs submit data elements specified for the Standard NPCR CSS Report. Ten specialized CCRs submit data elements specified for the Enhanced NPCR CSS Report, which includes additional information about treatment and follow-up for cases of breast, colorectal, and chronic myeloid leukemia cases diagnosed in 2011. Each CCR is asked to transmit two data files to CDC per year. The first file, submitted in January, is a preliminary report consisting of one year of data for the most recent year of available data. CDC evaluates the preliminary data for completeness and quality and provides a report back to the CCR. The second file, submitted by November, contains cumulative cancer incidence data from the first diagnosis year for which the cancer registry collected data with the assistance of NPCR funds (e.g., 1995) through 12 months past the close of the most recent diagnosis year (e.g., 2014). The cumulative file is used for analysis and reporting.

    The burden for each file transmission is estimated at two hours per response. Because cancer incidence data are already collected and aggregated at the state level the additional burden of reporting the information to CDC is small.

    All information is transmitted to CDC electronically. Participation is required as a condition of the cooperative agreement with CDC. There are no costs to respondents except their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden (in hours)
    Central Cancer Registries in States, Territories and the District of Columbia Standard NPCR CSS Report
  • Enhanced NPCR CSS Report
  • 38
  • 10
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 152
  • 40
  • Total 192
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01723 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-16LL; Docket No. CDC-2016-0012] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed information collect project entitled “Evaluation of Enhancing HIV Prevention Communication and Mobilization Efforts through Strategic Partnerships”.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0012 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Evaluation of Enhancing HIV Prevention Communication and Mobilization Efforts through Strategic Partnerships—New—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    In an effort to refocus attention on domestic HIV and AIDS, CDC launched the Act Against AIDS (AAA) initiative in 2009 with the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. AAA is a multifaceted national communication initiative that supports reduction of HIV incidence in the U.S. through multiple, concurrent communication and education campaigns for a variety of audiences including, the general public, populations most affected by HIV and health care providers. All campaigns support the comprehensive HIV prevention efforts of CDC and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).

    Within this context, the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) is implementing various partnership activities to increase HIV awareness among the general public, reduce new HIV infections among disproportionately impacted populations, and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS in the United States and its territories.

    For example, DHAP is funding the “Enhancing HIV Prevention Communication and Mobilization Efforts through Strategic Partnerships” program. Partners funded under the partnership program will (1) support the dissemination of Act Against AIDS (AAA) campaign materials, messaging, and other CDC resources that support HIV prevention and (2) implement national engagement efforts focusing on HIV prevention and awareness. Partners represent civil, media, and LGBT-focused organizations.

    In addition, DHAP will continue to support the Business Responds to AIDS (BRTA) program. Founded in 1992, the purpose of the BRTA program is to engage and support the private sector in promoting HIV education, awareness, and policies in the workplace. This partnership between CDC, business, labor, and the public health sector aims to encourage businesses to implement HIV/AIDS policies and education programs in the workplace with the overarching goal of increasing public understanding of, involvement in, and support for HIV prevention. Other partnership efforts serve the same purpose: To increase HIV awareness among the general public, reduce new HIV infections among disproportionately impacted populations, and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS in the United States and its territories.

    The project will evaluate the extent to which activities implemented by partners meet the initiative's goals for disseminating, communicating, and engaging the public in HIV prevention and education activities. We will collect information from partners on their activities for disseminating HIV messages through materials distribution at national and local events, media and advertising, HIV testing facilitation, and formation and coordination of strategic partnerships; barriers and facilitators to implementation of these activities, and factors that may help contextualize their progress towards meeting the initiative's goals; and their involvement in promoting HIV education, awareness, and policies in their organization. We will collect this information through these five sources: (a) Metrics Database: Partners will be required to report quarterly data to CDC and CDC's evaluation contractor through a metrics database. (b) Biannual key informant interviews: The point of contacts from some partner organizations will be interviewed twice yearly via telephone. (c) Interim Progress Reports: Partners will complete a standardized progress report on a biannual basis via a user-friendly electronic form. The progress reports will gather information on key successes, facilitators and barriers, and major achievements. (d) Partner Survey: Partners will complete a brief online survey to assess their involvement in promoting HIV education, awareness, and policies in their organization. (e) Partnerships Activities Form: Partners may be asked to complete a brief electronic form to provide information on each partner activity that they complete. The form will collect information on information such as the type of event, the audience, and key highlights; the number of HIV tests administered (if any) and the number of preliminary positives; the number and type of materials distributed. This information will allow CDC to know what partners are doing to advance HIV prevention and education, and how CDC can alter their partnership efforts to facilitate HIV prevention and education in the future.

    The information obtained from the proposed study will be used by federal policy makers to assess the effectiveness of the partnership activities and the appropriateness of continued or expanded funding of partnership projects.

    There is no cost to participants other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 5,200.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • burden
  • hours
  • Partner Organization Quarterly Metric Database 50 4 18 3,600 Partner Organization Bi-annual Key Informant Interview 25 2 1 50 Partner Organization Interim Progress Reports 25 2 8 400 Partner Organization Partner Survey 300 1 30/60 150 Partner Organization Partnerships Activities Form 500 4 25/60 1,000 Total 5,200
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01721 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-16-16CO] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Developing a Self-Management Tool for Individuals with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus—New—National Center for Chronic Disease Preventions and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system produces antibodies to cells within the body leading to widespread inflammation and tissue damage. SLE has a variety of clinical manifestations and can affect joints, skin, the brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels.

    Effective SLE management depends not only upon clinical interventions, but also on self-management— those things done on a day-to-day basis to manage SLE. SLE self-management requires gaining essential knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage the condition.

    CDC previously launched a two-year project called “Filling a Gap: Creating Educational Program, Tools, or Materials to Enhance Self-Management in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus” to identify and address the needs of lupus patients in practicing effective self-management. The purpose of this project is to develop a SLE self-management tool to improve the ability of people living with lupus to manage their condition.

    The proposed information collection will assess a prototype CDC SLE self-management tool that is in development to ensure that the tool is usable and useful to members of the target audience. The tool is expected to be comprised of multiple SLE self-management resources that may include, but are not limited to: Education resources about fatigue management, pain management, healthy diet, and exercise; symptom trackers; medication trackers; appointment calendars; resources about communication with family, friends, and co-workers about SLE; and strategies for coping with depression and anxiety.

    CDC plans to make the tool available in an electronic format (web-based or a native mobile application) and will consider making it available as a printed resource, depending on the feedback obtained during the testing process.

    The information collection will also gauge the needs of the target audience(s), tool format and delivery method(s), and the tool's clarity, relevance, salience and appeal. A series of focus groups with women with a diagnosis of SLE, and one-on-one telephone interviews with men with a diagnosis of SLE will be conducted to assess the tool. The same discussion guide will be used for all information collections.

    The estimated burden per response for participating in a focus group discussion is two hours. The estimated burden per response for a discussion conducted via telephone interview is 45 minutes. Respondent burden also includes two hours for reviewing the prototype CDC SLE Self-management Tool in advance of the focus group meeting or telephone interview.

    OMB approval is requested for one year. Participation is voluntary and there are no costs to respondents other than their time.

    The total estimated burden hours are 646.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hrs.)
  • Women with SLE diagnosis Screener for Women 192 1 10/60 Prototype CDC SLE Self-management Tool 128 1 2 Discussion Guide for Use in Focus Groups with Women or Interviews with Men 128 1 2 Men with SLE diagnosis Screener for Men 40 1 10/60 Prototype CDC SLE Self-management Tool 20 2 2 Discussion Guide for Use in Focus Groups with Women or Interviews with Men 20 1 45/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01720 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60 Day-16-0017; Docket No. CDC-2016-0014] Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on proposed revisions of the information collection entitled Application for Training (OMB Control No. 0920-0017). CDC seeks to request Office of Management and Budget approval to (1) continue to collect information through the use of the Training and Continuing Education Online New Participant Registration form for new learners to establish an account that provides CDC necessary information to process learner requests for continuing education, and (2) implement a new electronic information collection through the use of the Training and Continuing Education Online Proposal form that allows training developers to provide CDC necessary information to process and accredit trainings for continuing education.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2016-0014 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Application for Training (OMB Control No. 0920-0017, Expiration 05/31/2016)—Revision—Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development (DSEPD), Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services (CSELS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    CDC offers public health training to professionals worldwide. Employees of hospitals, universities, medical centers, state and local health departments, and federal agencies apply for training to learn up-to-date public health and healthcare practices. CDC is accredited by multiple accreditation organizations to award continuing education (CE) for public health and healthcare professions.

    CDC requires health professionals seeking continuing education (learners) to use the Training and Continuing Education Online (TCEO) system to establish an account by completing the TCEO New Participant Registration form. CDC/CSELS relies on this form to collect information needed to coordinate learner registration for training activities including classroom study, conferences, and e-learning.

    The TCEO Proposal is a form course developers will use the TCEO system to apply for their training activities to receive continuing education accreditation through CDC. Introduction of this mechanism will allow course developers to electronically complete and submit continuing education proposals.

    CDC requests OMB approval to (1) continue to collect information through the TCEO New Participant Registration form to grant public health professionals the continuing education they need to maintain professional licenses and certifications, create a transcript or summary of training at the participant's request, generate management reports, and maintain training statistics; and (2) establish a new electronic information collection that allows CDC or CDC partner course developers to electronically submit training and continuing education proposals for accreditation.

    CDC's TCEO system provides an efficient and effective way for CDC to comply with accreditation organization requirements. Accreditation organizations require a method of tracking participants who complete an education activity and several require collection of profession-specific data. Some accrediting organizations require a permanent record that includes the participant's name, address, and phone number to facilitate retrieval of historical information about when a participant completed a course or several courses during a time period. These data provide the basis for a transcript or for determining whether a person is enrolled in more than one course. CDC uses the email address to verify the participant's electronic request for transcripts, verify course certificates, and send confirmation that a participant is registered for a course. Collection of demographic and profession-specific data through the TCEO New Participant Registration allows CDC to comply with accreditation organization requirements.

    The TCEO Proposal will expedite submission, review, and accreditation processes and provide CDC with the information necessary to meet accreditation organization requirements, accredit, and effectively manage training activities. Examples of data to be collected for CDC to process continuing education proposals and meet accreditation organization requirements includes name, email address, phone number, and organization name.

    These forms do not duplicate request for information from participants or course developers. Data are collected only once per new registration or once per course.

    These information collection instruments have provided, and will continue to provide CDC with the information necessary to manage and conduct training activities pertinent to its mission to strengthen the skills of the current workforce through quality, accredited, competency-based training.

    The annual burden table has been updated to reflect (1) discontinuance of the National Laboratory Training Network Registration form, (2) an increase in learners seeking continuing education, particularly through e-learning activities (16,667 burden hours), (3) the introduction of the new TCEO Proposal (600 burden hours), for a total of 17,267 burden hours. There are no costs to respondents.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • (in hours)
  • Health Professionals Training and Continuing Education Online New Participant Registration Form 200,000 1 5/60 16,667 Health Educators Training and Continuing Education Online 120 1 5 600 Total 17,267
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01722 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-0001] Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    This notice announces a forthcoming meeting of a public advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The meeting will be open to the public.

    Name of Committee: Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee.

    General Function of the Committee: To provide advice and recommendations to the Agency on FDA's regulatory issues.

    Date and Time: The meeting will be held on March 29, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Location: FDA White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31 Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503), Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Answers to commonly asked questions including information regarding special accommodations due to a disability, visitor parking, and transportation may be accessed at: http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm408555.htm.

    Contact Person: Kalyani Bhatt, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31, Rm. 2417, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-9001, FAX: 301-847-8533, [email protected], or FDA Advisory Committee Information Line, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington, DC area). A notice in the Federal Register about last minute modifications that impact a previously announced advisory committee meeting cannot always be published quickly enough to provide timely notice. Therefore, you should always check the Agency's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/default.htm and scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link, or call the advisory committee information line to learn about possible modifications before coming to the meeting.

    Agenda: The committee will discuss the specific risk-benefit profile for new drug application (NDA) 207318, NUPLAZID (pimavanserin) 17 milligram (mg) immediate-release, film-coated oral tablets, submitted by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., for the proposed treatment of psychosis associated with Parkinson's disease.

    FDA intends to make background material available to the public no later than 2 business days before the meeting. If FDA is unable to post the background material on its Web site prior to the meeting, the background material will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on FDA's Web site after the meeting. Background material is available at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/default.htm. Scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link.

    Procedure: Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions may be made to the contact person on or before March 15, 2016. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between approximately 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Those individuals interested in making formal oral presentations should notify the contact person and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants, and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation on or before March 7, 2016. Time allotted for each presentation may be limited. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public hearing session, FDA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers for the scheduled open public hearing session. The contact person will notify interested persons regarding their request to speak by March 8, 2016.

    Persons attending FDA's advisory committee meetings are advised that the Agency is not responsible for providing access to electrical outlets.

    FDA welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities. If you require accommodations due to a disability, please contact Kalyani Bhatt at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

    FDA is committed to the orderly conduct of its advisory committee meetings. Please visit our Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm111462.htm for procedures on public conduct during advisory committee meetings.

    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app. 2).

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Jill Hartzler Warner, Associate Commissioner for Special Medical Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01752 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary [Document Identifier: HHS-OS-0990-XXXX-60D] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of Health and Human Services, announces plans to submit a new Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, OS seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on the ICR must be received on or before April 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or by calling (202) 690-6162.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information Collection Clearance staff, [email protected] or (202) 690-6162.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the document identifier HHS-OS-0990-XXXX-60D for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Surgeon General's Pledge to Stem the Opioid Epidemic

    Abstract: The Office of the Surgeon General, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requests that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve an information request for the Surgeon General's Pledge to Stem the Opioid Epidemic. This information request involves collecting information from users for this pledge which recruits doctors, dentists, nurses, and physician assistants to utilize their unique position in the community and in their practice to take notice of the opioid crisis and commit to taking action that could save lives.

    Likely Respondents: Physicians, dentists, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden
  • hours
  • Pledge 10,000 1 0.067 670

    OS specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Darius Taylor, Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01750 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R8-ES-2016-N001; FXES11120800000-167-FF08EVEN00] Receipt of Application for Renewal of Incidental Take Permit for Ohlone Tiger Beetle; Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Santa Cruz Gardens Unit 12 Project Site; Soquel, Santa Cruz County, California AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of permit renewal application; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), have received an application from HPH Properties, L.P. (applicant), for a renewal of incidental take permit TE189382-1 under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The applicant has requested a renewal that will extend permit expiration by 6 years from the date the permit is reissued. The applicant has agreed to follow all of the existing low-effect habitat conservation plan (HCP) conditions. If renewed, no additional take will be authorized. The permit would authorize take of the federally endangered Ohlone tiger beetle (Cicindela ohlone), incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with the Santa Cruz Gardens Unit 12 residential development.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before March 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: You may obtain a copy of the permit renewal application and the HCP by writing to the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Ecological Services Office, Attn: Permit number TE189382-1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. In addition, we will make the permit renewal application and HCP available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the above address.

    Submitting Comments: Please address written comments to Steve Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2493 Portola Road, Suite B, Ventura, CA 93003. Comments may also be sent by facsimile to (805) 644-3958.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lena Chang, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, at the above address or by calling (805) 644-1766.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We have received an application from HPH Properties, L.P., for a renewal of incidental take permit TE189382-1 for the endangered Ohlone tiger beetle under the Act. The applicant has requested a renewal that will extend the permit expiration by 6 years. The applicant has agreed to follow all of the existing HCP conditions. If the permit is renewed, no additional take will be authorized. The permit would authorize take of the federally endangered Ohlone tiger beetle, incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with the Santa Cruz Gardens Unit 12 residential development. In addition to the Ohlone tiger beetle, the HCP includes two plants: The federally threatened Santa Cruz tarplant (Holocarpha macradenia) and Gairdner's yampah (Perideridia gairdneri ssp. gairdneri), classified as a Rank 4 rare plant by the California Native Plant Society.

    Background

    The Ohlone tiger beetle was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as endangered on October 3, 2001. Section 9 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations prohibit the “take” of fish or wildlife species listed as endangered or threatened. “Take” is defined under the Act to include the following activities: “[T]o harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct” (16 U.S.C. 1532); however, under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Act, we may issue permits to authorize incidental take of listed species. “Incidental Take” is defined by the Act as take that is incidental to, and not the purpose of, carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity. Regulations governing incidental take permits for threatened and endangered species are, respectively, in the Code of Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 17.32 and 17.22. Issuance of an incidental take permit also must not jeopardize the existence of federally listed fish, wildlife, or plant species. All species included in the incidental take permit would receive assurances under our “No Surprises” regulations (50 CFR 17.22(b)(5) and 17.32(b)(5)).

    On July 21, 2014, incidental take permit TE189382-0 was transferred from the original permittee, Porter-Livingston Development, Inc. and O'Hara-Balfour LP, to a new permittee, HPH Properties, L.P. Subsequently, a new permit number, TE189382-1, was issued. HPH Properties, L.P. has applied for renewal of a permit for the incidental take of the endangered Ohlone tiger beetle. The potential taking would occur incidental to development of nine new single-family residences at an undeveloped 58.6-acre project site (APNs 025-391-01, 025-401-01, 025-401-02, and 025-491-01) near Soquel, Santa Cruz County, California. This parcel is located approximately 0.33 mile north of Soquel Avenue and west of Rodeo Gulch Road. The property is roughly bounded by the terminus of Benson Avenue, Tiffany Court, and residential areas to the south; Thurber Lane to the west; Winkle Avenue and undeveloped lands to the north; and Rodeo Gulch Road to the east. An incidental take permit was first issued for the project on August 6, 2009. No project activities occurred during the first 6-year term of the incidental take permit, and conditions at the site remain unchanged from the time of original permit issuance.

    Our Preliminary Determination

    The Service has made a preliminary determination that renewal of the permit is neither a major Federal action that will significantly affect the quality of the human environment within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), nor will it individually or cumulatively have more than a negligible effect on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, the permit renewal qualifies for a categorical exclusion under NEPA as provided by the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2, Appendix 1 and 516 DM 8.5).

    Public Comments

    If you wish to comment on the permit applications, plans, and associated documents, you may submit comments by any one of the methods in ADDRESSES.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: January 20, 2016. Stephen P. Henry, Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, California.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01744 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCAN01000 L10200000.XZ0000 16X LXSIOVHD0000] Notice of Public Meeting: Northern California Resource Advisory Council AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Northern California Resource Advisory Council will meet as indicated below.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Thursday and Friday, April 7 and 8, 2016, at the Bureau of Land Management Eagle Lake Field Office, 2550 Riverside Drive, Susanville, California. On April 7, the council will convene at 9 a.m. and depart for a field tour focusing on wild horse and burro herd management on public lands. Members of the public are welcome. They must provide their own transportation in a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle, meals and beverages. On April 8, the council will convene a business meeting at 8 a.m. in conference room at the BLM office. The meeting is open to the public. Public Comments will be accepted at 11 a.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    BLM Northern California District Manager Nancy Haug, (530) 224-2160; or Public Affairs Officer Joseph J. Fontana, (530) 252-5332. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339, to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The 15-member council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management on BLM-administered lands in northern California and far northwest Nevada. At this meeting the RAC will discuss development of the Northern California Integrated Resource Management Plan, hear an overview of the BLM's management of wild horses and burros, hear an update on implementation of conservation plans for greater sage-grouse and receive update reports from BLM Northern California District Field Offices. All meetings are open to the public. Members of the public may present written comments to the council. Each formal council meeting will have time allocated for public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to speak, and the time available, the time for individual comments may be limited. Members of the public are welcome on field tours, but they must provide their own transportation and meals. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation and other reasonable accommodations, should contact the BLM as provided above.

    Martha Maciel, Deputy State Director, Office of Communications.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01738 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-40-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLCAC01000 L16600000.XZ0000 16XL1109AF LXSIOVHD0000] Notice of Public Meeting of the Central California Resource Advisory Council AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central California Resource Advisory Council (RAC) will meet as indicated below.

    DATES:

    A business meeting will be held Friday, March 18, 2016, at the Federal Building public meeting room, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Time for public comment is reserved from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    BLM Central California District Manager Este Stifel, (916) 978-4626; or BLM Public Affairs Officer David Christy, (916) 941-3146.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The 12-member council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in the Central California District, which includes the Bishop, Bakersfield, Hollister, Ukiah and Mother Lode Field Offices.

    The meeting will include consideration by the RAC of proposed campground fee increases for the Bishop Field Office. The RAC charter states:

    Upon the request of the Designated Federal Official (DFO), the Council may make recommendations regarding a standard amenity recreation fee or an expanded recreation amenity fee, whenever the recommendations related to public concerns in the State or region covered by the council regarding:

    (A) The implementation of a standard amenity recreation fee or an expanded amenity recreation fee or the establishment of a specific recreation fee site;

    (B) The elimination of a standard amenity recreation fee or an expanded amenity recreation fee; or

    (C) The expansion or limitation of the recreation fee program.

    The Council may make these recommendations for the BLM when the BLM's amenity recreation fees are at issue and it would facilitate implementation of the REA (Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act). With the concurrence of the Forest Service (FS) when their amenity recreation fees are at issue, the Council may also make these recommendations for the BLM and/or FS if that would facilitate the effective implementation of the REA.

    The RAC will meet from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a presentation on the fee proposal at 8:30 a.m. There will be a time for public comment on that and other issues from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

    Information on the proposed fee increase is available on the web at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bishop.html.

    Additional ongoing business will be discussed by the council. All meetings are open to the public. Members of the public may present written comments to the council. Each formal council meeting will have time allocated for public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to speak, and the time available, the time for individual comments may be limited. The meeting is open to the public. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation and other reasonable accommodations, should contact the BLM as provided above.

    Este Stifel, District Manager.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01745 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-40-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNV912000 L13400000.PQ0000 LXSS006F0000; MO#4500089844] Notice of Public Meeting: Bureau of Land Management Nevada Resource Advisory Councils AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada will hold a joint meeting of its three Resource Advisory Councils (RACs), the Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin RAC, the Northeastern Great Basin RAC, and the Mojave-Southern Great Basin RAC in Las Vegas, Nevada. The meeting is open to the public and a public comment period is scheduled for February 11.

    DATES:

    The three RACs will meet on Wednesday, February 10, from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and Thursday, February 11, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A public comment period will be held on Thursday, February 11, at 3:30 p.m. The agenda and additional information and will be posted at http://on.doi.gov/1bkJm1g.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chris Rose, telephone: (775) 861-6480, email: [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The three 15-member Nevada RACs advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM Nevada State Director, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in Nevada. The meeting will be held at the Alexis Park Resort, 375 E. Harmon Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada. Agenda topics include an update on sage grouse, grazing and wild horses and burros; closeout reports of the three RACs; breakout meetings of the three RACs; and scheduling meetings of the individual RACs for the upcoming year. The public may provide written comments to the three RAC groups or to an individual RAC.

    Comments may also be submitted by email to [email protected] with the subject 2016 Tri-RAC Comment or by mail at the address provided below. Written comments should be received no later than Feb. 8. BLM Nevada Tri-RAC Comments, c/o Chris Rose, 1340 Financial Blvd., Reno, NV 89502.

    Individuals who plan to attend and need further information about the meeting or need special assistance such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations may contact Chris Rose at the phone number or email address above.

    Steve Clutter, Chief, Office of Communications.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01743 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-HC-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR04073000, XXXR4081X3, RX.05940913.7000000] Notice of Public Meeting for the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group AGENCY:

    Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior concerning Glen Canyon Dam operations and other management actions to protect resources downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, consistent with the Grand Canyon Protection Act. The AMWG meets two to three times a year.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from approximately 9:30 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m.; and Thursday, February 25, 2016, from approximately 8 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites Phoenix-Tempe, 4400 S. Rural Road, Tempe, Arizona, 85282.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beverley Heffernan, Bureau of Reclamation, telephone (801) 524-3712; facsimile (801) 524-3807; email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program (GCDAMP) was implemented as a result of the Record of Decision on the Operation of Glen Canyon Dam Final Environmental Impact Statement to comply with consultation requirements of the Grand Canyon Protection Act (Pub. L. 102-575) of 1992. The GCDAMP includes a Federal advisory committee, the AMWG, a technical work group (TWG), a Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, and independent review panels. The TWG is a subcommittee of the AMWG and provides technical advice and recommendations to the AMWG.

    Agenda: The primary purpose of the meeting will be to receive updates on: (1) The Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement, (2) current basin hydrology, operations, and the 2017 hydrograph, (3) The Hopi Tribe's monitoring regimen, summary of key research results, and recommendations, and (4) science results from Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center staff. The AMWG will discuss the Science Advisors' Workplan, the Adaptive Management Program Assessment, and the Western energy grid and the evolving mix of power sources. The AMWG will also address other administrative and resource issues pertaining to the GCDAMP.

    To view a copy of the agenda and documents related to the above meeting, please visit Reclamation's Web site at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/amp/amwg/mtgs/16feb24. Time will be allowed at the meeting for any individual or organization wishing to make formal oral comments. To allow for full consideration of information by the AMWG members, written notice must be provided to Beverley Heffernan, Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Regional Office, 125 South State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84138; telephone (801) 524-3712; facsimile (801) 524-3807; email at [email protected]r.gov, at least five (5) days prior to the meeting. Any written comments received will be provided to the AMWG members.

    Public Disclosure of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: January 11, 2016. Beverley Heffernan, Manager, Environmental Resources Division, Upper Colorado Regional Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01742 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4332-90-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-298 (Fourth Review)] Porcelain-on-Steel Cooking Ware From China; Institution of a Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice that it has instituted a review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), as amended, to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on porcelain-on-steel cooking ware from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. Pursuant to the Act, interested parties are requested to respond to this notice by submitting the information specified below to the Commission; 1 to be assured of consideration, the deadline for responses is March 2, 2016. Comments on the adequacy of responses may be filed with the Commission by April 14, 2016.

    1 No response to this request for information is required if a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) number is not displayed; the OMB number is 3117-0016/USITC No. 16-5-350, expiration date June 30, 2017. Public reporting burden for the request is estimated to average 15 hours per response. Please send comments regarding the accuracy of this burden estimate to the Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Messer (202-205-3193), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this proceeding may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background.—On December 2, 1986, the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) issued an antidumping duty order on imports of porcelain-on-steel cooking ware from China (51 FR 43414). Following first five-year reviews by Commerce and the Commission, effective April 14, 2000, Commerce issued a continuation of the antidumping duty order on porcelain-on-steel cooking ware from China (65 FR 20136). Following the second five-year reviews by Commerce and the Commission, effective November 22, 2005, Commerce issued a continuation of the antidumping duty order on porcelain-on-steel cooking ware from China (70 FR 70581). Following the third five-year reviews by Commerce and the Commission, effective March 14, 2011, Commerce issued a continuation of the antidumping duty order on imports of porcelain-on-steel cooking ware from China (76 FR 13602). The Commission is now conducting a fourth review pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), to determine whether revocation of the order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the domestic industry within a reasonably foreseeable time. Provisions concerning the conduct of this proceeding may be found in the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure at 19 CFR parts 201, subparts A and B and 19 CFR part 207, subparts A and F. The Commission will assess the adequacy of interested party responses to this notice of institution to determine whether to conduct a full review or an expedited review. The Commission's determination in any expedited review will be based on the facts available, which may include information provided in response to this notice.

    Definitions.—The following definitions apply to this review:

    (1) Subject Merchandise is the class or kind of merchandise that is within the scope of the five-year review, as defined by the Department of Commerce.

    (2) The Subject Country in this review is China.

    (3) The Domestic Like Product is the domestically produced product or products which are like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the Subject Merchandise. In its original determination, its full first five-year review determination, and its expedited second and third five-year review determinations concerning porcelain-on-steel cooking ware from China, the Commission defined the Domestic Like Product as all porcelain-on-steel cooking ware, including teakettles. One Commissioner defined the Domestic Like Product differently in the original determination.

    (4) The Domestic Industry is the U.S. producers as a whole of the Domestic Like Product, or those producers whose collective output of the Domestic Like Product constitutes a major proportion of the total domestic production of the product. In its original determination, its full first five-year review determination, and its expedited second and third five-year review determinations concerning porcelain-on-steel cooking ware from China, the Commission defined the Domestic Industry as all domestic producers of porcelain-on-steel cooking ware, including teakettles. One Commissioner defined the Domestic Industry differently in the original determination.

    (5) An Importer is any person or firm engaged, either directly or through a parent company or subsidiary, in importing the Subject Merchandise into the United States from a foreign manufacturer or through its selling agent.

    Participation in the proceeding and public service list.—Persons, including industrial users of the Subject Merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in the proceeding as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11(b)(4) of the Commission's rules, no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the proceeding.

    Former Commission employees who are seeking to appear in Commission five-year reviews are advised that they may appear in a review even if they participated personally and substantially in the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation. The Commission's designated agency ethics official has advised that a five-year review is not the same particular matter as the underlying original investigation, and a five-year review is not the same particular matter as an earlier review of the same underlying investigation for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 207, the post employment statute for Federal employees, and Commission rule 201.15(b) (19 CFR 201.15(b)), 79 FR 3246 (Jan. 17, 2014), 73 FR 24609 (May 5, 2008). Consequently, former employees are not required to seek Commission approval to appear in a review under Commission rule 19 CFR 201.15, even if the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation was pending when they were Commission employees. For further ethics advice on this matter, contact Carol McCue Verratti, Deputy Agency Ethics Official, at 202-205-3088.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and APO service list.—Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI submitted in this proceeding available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the proceeding, provided that the application is made no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to the proceeding. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Certification.—Pursuant to section 207.3 of the Commission's rules, any person submitting information to the Commission in connection with this proceeding must certify that the information is accurate and complete to the best of the submitter's knowledge. In making the certification, the submitter will be deemed to consent, unless otherwise specified, for the Commission, its employees, and contract personnel to use the information provided in any other reviews or investigations of the same or comparable products which the Commission conducts under Title VII of the Act, or in internal audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of the Commission pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3.

    Written submissions.—Pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules, each interested party response to this notice must provide the information specified below. The deadline for filing such responses is March 2, 2016. Pursuant to section 207.62(b) of the Commission's rules, eligible parties (as specified in Commission rule 207.62(b)(1)) may also file comments concerning the adequacy of responses to the notice of institution and whether the Commission should conduct an expedited or full review. The deadline for filing such comments is April 14, 2016. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of sections 201.8 and 207.3 of the Commission's rules and any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6 and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. Please be aware that the Commission's rules with respect to filing have changed. The most recent amendments took effect on July 25, 2014. See 79 FR 35920 (June 25, 2014), and the revised Commission Handbook on E-filing, available from the Commission's Web site at http://edis.usitc.gov. Also, in accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the Commission's rules, each document filed by a party to the proceeding must be served on all other parties to the proceeding (as identified by either the public or APO service list as appropriate), and a certificate of service must accompany the document (if you are not a party to the proceeding you do not need to serve your response).

    Inability to provide requested information.—Pursuant to section 207.61(c) of the Commission's rules, any interested party that cannot furnish the information requested by this notice in the requested form and manner shall notify the Commission at the earliest possible time, provide a full explanation of why it cannot provide the requested information, and indicate alternative forms in which it can provide equivalent information. If an interested party does not provide this notification (or the Commission finds the explanation provided in the notification inadequate) and fails to provide a complete response to this notice, the Commission may take an adverse inference against the party pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677e(b)) in making its determination in the review.

    INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED IN RESPONSE TO THIS NOTICE OF INSTITUTION: As used below, the term “firm” includes any related firms.

    (1) The name and address of your firm or entity (including World Wide Web address) and name, telephone number, fax number, and Email address of the certifying official.

    (2) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is a U.S. producer of the Domestic Like Product, a U.S. union or worker group, a U.S. importer of the Subject Merchandise, a foreign producer or exporter of the Subject Merchandise, a U.S. or foreign trade or business association, or another interested party (including an explanation). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, identify the firms in which your workers are employed or which are members of your association.

    (3) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is willing to participate in this proceeding by providing information requested by the Commission.

    (4) A statement of the likely effects of the revocation of the antidumping duty order on the Domestic Industry in general and/or your firm/entity specifically. In your response, please discuss the various factors specified in section 752(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675a(a)) including the likely volume of subject imports, likely price effects of subject imports, and likely impact of imports of Subject Merchandise on the Domestic Industry.

    (5) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. producers of the Domestic Like Product. Identify any known related parties and the nature of the relationship as defined in section 771(4)(B) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677(4)(B)).

    (6) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise and producers of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country that currently export or have exported Subject Merchandise to the United States or other countries after 2009.

    (7) A list of 3-5 leading purchasers in the U.S. market for the Domestic Like Product and the Subject Merchandise (including street address, World Wide Web address, and the name, telephone number, fax number, and Email address of a responsible official at each firm).

    (8) A list of known sources of information on national or regional prices for the Domestic Like Product or the Subject Merchandise in the U.S. or other markets.

    (9) If you are a U.S. producer of the Domestic Like Product, provide the following information on your firm's operations on that product during calendar year 2015, except as noted (report quantity data in units and value data in U.S. dollars, f.o.b. plant). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms in which your workers are employed/which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. production of the Domestic Like Product accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm to produce the Domestic Like Product (i.e., the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix);

    (c) the quantity and value of U.S. commercial shipments of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s);

    (d) the quantity and value of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s); and

    (e) the value of (i) net sales, (ii) cost of goods sold (COGS), (iii) gross profit, (iv) selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, and (v) operating income of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s) (include both U.S. and export commercial sales, internal consumption, and company transfers) for your most recently completed fiscal year (identify the date on which your fiscal year ends).

    (10) If you are a U.S. importer or a trade/business association of U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2015 (report quantity data in units and value data in U.S. dollars). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) The quantity and value (landed, duty-paid but not including antidumping or countervailing duties) of U.S. imports and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. imports of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') imports;

    (b) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping and/or countervailing duties) of U.S. commercial shipments of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country; and

    (c) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping and/or countervailing duties) of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country.

    (11) If you are a producer, an exporter, or a trade/business association of producers or exporters of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2015 (report quantity data in units and value data in U.S. dollars, landed and duty-paid at the U.S. port but not including antidumping or countervailing duties). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total production of Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm(s) to produce the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country (i.e., the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix); and

    (c) the quantity and value of your firm's(s') exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') exports.

    (12) Identify significant changes, if any, in the supply and demand conditions or business cycle for the Domestic Like Product that have occurred in the United States or in the market for the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country after 2009, and significant changes, if any, that are likely to occur within a reasonably foreseeable time. Supply conditions to consider include technology; production methods; development efforts; ability to increase production (including the shift of production facilities used for other products and the use, cost, or availability of major inputs into production); and factors related to the ability to shift supply among different national markets (including barriers to importation in foreign markets or changes in market demand abroad). Demand conditions to consider include end uses and applications; the existence and availability of substitute products; and the level of competition among the Domestic Like Product produced in the United States, Subject Merchandise produced in the Subject Country, and such merchandise from other countries.

    (13) (OPTIONAL) A statement of whether you agree with the above definitions of the Domestic Like Product and Domestic Industry; if you disagree with either or both of these definitions, please explain why and provide alternative definitions.

    Authority:

    This proceeding is being conducted under authority of Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: January 27, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01727 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 731-TA-1071 (Second Review)] Magnesium From China; Institution of a Five-Year Review AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission hereby gives notice that it has instituted a review pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 (“the Act”), as amended, to determine whether revocation of the antidumping duty order on magnesium from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury. Pursuant to the Act, interested parties are requested to respond to this notice by submitting the information specified below to the Commission; 1 to be assured of consideration, the deadline for responses is March 2, 2016. Comments on the adequacy of responses may be filed with the Commission by April 14, 2016.

    1 No response to this request for information is required if a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) number is not displayed; the OMB number is 3117-0016/USITC No. 16-5-349, expiration date June 30, 2017. Public reporting burden for the request is estimated to average 15 hours per response. Please send comments regarding the accuracy of this burden estimate to the Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: February 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Messer (202-205-3193), Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Hearing-impaired persons can obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on 202-205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this proceeding may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background. On April 15, 2005, the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) issued an antidumping duty order on imports of magnesium (also known as magnesium metal) from China (70 FR 19928). Following the five-year reviews by Commerce and the Commission, effective March 11, 2011, Commerce issued a continuation of the antidumping duty order on imports of magnesium from China (76 FR 13356). The Commission is now conducting a second review pursuant to section 751(c) of the Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1675(c)), to determine whether revocation of the order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to the domestic industry within a reasonably foreseeable time. Provisions concerning the conduct of this proceeding may be found in the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure at 19 CFR parts 201, subparts A and B and 19 CFR part 207, subparts A and F. The Commission will assess the adequacy of interested party responses to this notice of institution to determine whether to conduct a full review or an expedited review. The Commission's determination in any expedited review will be based on the facts available, which may include information provided in response to this notice.

    Definitions. The following definitions apply to this review:

    (1) Subject Merchandise is the class or kind of merchandise that is within the scope of the five-year review, as defined by the Department of Commerce.

    (2) The Subject Country in this review is China.

    (3) The Domestic Like Product is the domestically produced product or products which are like, or in the absence of like, most similar in characteristics and uses with, the Subject Merchandise. In its original determination and its full first five-year review determination, the Commission found one Domestic Like Product to include pure and alloy magnesium, primary and secondary magnesium, and ingot (cast) and granular magnesium. Certain Commissioners defined the Domestic Like Product differently in the original determination.

    (4) The Domestic Industry is the U.S. producers as a whole of the Domestic Like Product, or those producers whose collective output of the Domestic Like Product constitutes a major proportion of the total domestic production of the product. In its original determination, the Commission found one Domestic Industry consisting of all producers of the Domestic Like Product, including grinders that produce granular magnesium and die casters that recycle magnesium scrap. Certain Commissioners defined the Domestic Industry differently. In its full first five-year review determination, the Commission found one Domestic Industry composed of the domestic producers of pure and alloy magnesium, including primary and secondary magnesium, and magnesium in ingot and granular form.

    (5) An Importer is any person or firm engaged, either directly or through a parent company or subsidiary, in importing the Subject Merchandise into the United States from a foreign manufacturer or through its selling agent.

    Participation in the proceeding and public service list. Persons, including industrial users of the Subject Merchandise and, if the merchandise is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, wishing to participate in the proceeding as parties must file an entry of appearance with the Secretary to the Commission, as provided in section 201.11(b)(4) of the Commission's rules, no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The Secretary will maintain a public service list containing the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the proceeding.

    Former Commission employees who are seeking to appear in Commission five-year reviews are advised that they may appear in a review even if they participated personally and substantially in the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation. The Commission's designated agency ethics official has advised that a five-year review is not the same particular matter as the underlying original investigation, and a five-year review is not the same particular matter as an earlier review of the same underlying investigation for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 207, the post employment statute for Federal employees, and Commission rule 201.15(b) (19 CFR 201.15(b)), 79 FR 3246 (Jan. 17, 2014), 73 FR 24609 (May 5, 2008). Consequently, former employees are not required to seek Commission approval to appear in a review under Commission rule 19 CFR 201.15, even if the corresponding underlying original investigation or an earlier review of the same underlying investigation was pending when they were Commission employees. For further ethics advice on this matter, contact Carol McCue Verratti, Deputy Agency Ethics Official, at 202-205-3088.

    Limited disclosure of business proprietary information (BPI) under an administrative protective order (APO) and APO service list. Pursuant to section 207.7(a) of the Commission's rules, the Secretary will make BPI submitted in this proceeding available to authorized applicants under the APO issued in the proceeding, provided that the application is made no later than 21 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Authorized applicants must represent interested parties, as defined in 19 U.S.C. 1677(9), who are parties to the proceeding. A separate service list will be maintained by the Secretary for those parties authorized to receive BPI under the APO.

    Certification. Pursuant to section 207.3 of the Commission's rules, any person submitting information to the Commission in connection with this proceeding must certify that the information is accurate and complete to the best of the submitter's knowledge. In making the certification, the submitter will be deemed to consent, unless otherwise specified, for the Commission, its employees, and contract personnel to use the information provided in any other reviews or investigations of the same or comparable products which the Commission conducts under Title VII of the Act, or in internal audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of the Commission pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3.

    Written submissions. Pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules, each interested party response to this notice must provide the information specified below. The deadline for filing such responses is March 2, 2016. Pursuant to section 207.62(b) of the Commission's rules, eligible parties (as specified in Commission rule 207.62(b)(1)) may also file comments concerning the adequacy of responses to the notice of institution and whether the Commission should conduct an expedited or full review. The deadline for filing such comments is April 14, 2016. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of sections 201.8 and 207.3 of the Commission's rules and any submissions that contain BPI must also conform with the requirements of sections 201.6 and 207.7 of the Commission's rules. Please be aware that the Commission's rules with respect to filing have changed. The most recent amendments took effect on July 25, 2014. See 79 FR 35920 (June 25, 2014), and the revised Commission Handbook on E-filing, available from the Commission's Web site at http://edis.usitc.gov. Also, in accordance with sections 201.16(c) and 207.3 of the Commission's rules, each document filed by a party to the proceeding must be served on all other parties to the proceeding (as identified by either the public or APO service list as appropriate), and a certificate of service must accompany the document (if you are not a party to the proceeding you do not need to serve your response).

    Inability to provide requested information. Pursuant to section 207.61(c) of the Commission's rules, any interested party that cannot furnish the information requested by this notice in the requested form and manner shall notify the Commission at the earliest possible time, provide a full explanation of why it cannot provide the requested information, and indicate alternative forms in which it can provide equivalent information. If an interested party does not provide this notification (or the Commission finds the explanation provided in the notification inadequate) and fails to provide a complete response to this notice, the Commission may take an adverse inference against the party pursuant to section 776(b) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677e(b)) in making its determination in the review.

    Information To Be Provided in Response to This Notice of Institution: As used below, the term “firm” includes any related firms.

    (1) The name and address of your firm or entity (including World Wide Web address) and name, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the certifying official.

    (2) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is a U.S. producer of the Domestic Like Product, a U.S. union or worker group, a U.S. importer of the Subject Merchandise, a foreign producer or exporter of the Subject Merchandise, a U.S. or foreign trade or business association, or another interested party (including an explanation). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, identify the firms in which your workers are employed or which are members of your association.

    (3) A statement indicating whether your firm/entity is willing to participate in this proceeding by providing information requested by the Commission.

    (4) A statement of the likely effects of the revocation of the antidumping duty order on the Domestic Industry in general and/or your firm/entity specifically. In your response, please discuss the various factors specified in section 752(a) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1675a(a)) including the likely volume of subject imports, likely price effects of subject imports, and likely impact of imports of Subject Merchandise on the Domestic Industry.

    (5) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. producers of the Domestic Like Product. Identify any known related parties and the nature of the relationship as defined in section 771(4)(B) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 1677(4)(B)).

    (6) A list of all known and currently operating U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise and producers of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country that currently export or have exported Subject Merchandise to the United States or other countries after 2009.

    (7) A list of 3-5 leading purchasers in the U.S. market for the Domestic Like Product and the Subject Merchandise (including street address, World Wide Web address, and the name, telephone number, fax number, and email address of a responsible official at each firm).

    (8) A list of known sources of information on national or regional prices for the Domestic Like Product or the Subject Merchandise in the U.S. or other markets.

    (9) If you are a U.S. producer of the Domestic Like Product, provide the following information on your firm's operations on that product during calendar year 2015, except as noted (report quantity data in metric tons and value data in U.S. dollars, f.o.b. plant). If you are a union/worker group or trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms in which your workers are employed/which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. production of the Domestic Like Product accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm to produce the Domestic Like Product (i.e., the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix);

    (c) the quantity and value of U.S. commercial shipments of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s);

    (d) the quantity and value of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s); and

    (e) the value of (i) net sales, (ii) cost of goods sold (COGS), (iii) gross profit, (iv) selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, and (v) operating income of the Domestic Like Product produced in your U.S. plant(s) (include both U.S. and export commercial sales, internal consumption, and company transfers) for your most recently completed fiscal year (identify the date on which your fiscal year ends).

    (10) If you are a U.S. importer or a trade/business association of U.S. importers of the Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2015 (report quantity data in metric tons and value data in U.S. dollars). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) The quantity and value (landed, duty-paid but not including antidumping or countervailing duties) of U.S. imports and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total U.S. imports of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') imports;

    (b) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping and/or countervailing duties) of U.S. commercial shipments of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country; and

    (c) the quantity and value (f.o.b. U.S. port, including antidumping and/or countervailing duties) of U.S. internal consumption/company transfers of Subject Merchandise imported from the Subject Country.

    (11) If you are a producer, an exporter, or a trade/business association of producers or exporters of the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country, provide the following information on your firm's(s') operations on that product during calendar year 2015 (report quantity data in metric tons and value data in U.S. dollars, landed and duty-paid at the U.S. port but not including antidumping or countervailing duties). If you are a trade/business association, provide the information, on an aggregate basis, for the firms which are members of your association.

    (a) Production (quantity) and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total production of Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') production;

    (b) Capacity (quantity) of your firm(s) to produce the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country (i.e., the level of production that your establishment(s) could reasonably have expected to attain during the year, assuming normal operating conditions (using equipment and machinery in place and ready to operate), normal operating levels (hours per week/weeks per year), time for downtime, maintenance, repair, and cleanup, and a typical or representative product mix); and

    (c) the quantity and value of your firm's(s') exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise and, if known, an estimate of the percentage of total exports to the United States of Subject Merchandise from the Subject Country accounted for by your firm's(s') exports.

    (12) Identify significant changes, if any, in the supply and demand conditions or business cycle for the Domestic Like Product that have occurred in the United States or in the market for the Subject Merchandise in the Subject Country after 2009, and significant changes, if any, that are likely to occur within a reasonably foreseeable time. Supply conditions to consider include technology; production methods; development efforts; ability to increase production (including the shift of production facilities used for other products and the use, cost, or availability of major inputs into production); and factors related to the ability to shift supply among different national markets (including barriers to importation in foreign markets or changes in market demand abroad). Demand conditions to consider include end uses and applications; the existence and availability of substitute products; and the level of competition among the Domestic Like Product produced in the United States, Subject Merchandise produced in the Subject Country, and such merchandise from other countries.

    (13) (Optional) A statement of whether you agree with the above definitions of the Domestic Like Product and Domestic Industry; if you disagree with either or both of these definitions, please explain why and provide alternative definitions.

    Authority:

    This proceeding is being conducted under authority of Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930; this notice is published pursuant to section 207.61 of the Commission's rules.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: January 27, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01726 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1121-0140] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection: OJP Standard Assurances AGENCY:

    Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    60-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 30 days until March 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Maria Swineford, Office of Audit, Assessment, and Management, 810 7th Street NW., Washington, DC 20531. (Phone: 202-514-2000.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    (2) Title of the Form/Collection: OJP Standard Assurances.

    (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form number: None.

    Component: Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: Applicants for grants funded by the Office of Justice Programs.

    Other: None.

    Abstract: The purpose of the Standard Assurances form is to obtain the assurance/certification of each applicant for OJP funding that it will comply with the various crosscutting regulatory and statutory requirements that apply to OJP grantees, and to set out in one easy-to-reference document those requirements that most frequently impact OJP grantees.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: Total of 8,250 respondents estimated, at 20 minutes each.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection:

    The estimated total public burden associated with this information is 3,500.

    If additional information is required contact: Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405B, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01754 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-18-P
    LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2016 Technology Initiative Grant Funding; Correction AGENCY:

    Legal Services Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Correction Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On January 20, 2016, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) published a notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 3162) titled “Request for Letters of Intent To Apply for 2015 Technology Initiative Grant Funding.” The title to this notice contained a typographical error. This document corrects the notice by revising the title.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective January 20, 2016

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Freedman, Senior Associate General Counsel, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007; (202) 295-1500; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The title should read “Request for Letters of Intent to Apply for 2016 Technology Initiative Grant Funding.”

    Dated: January 27, 2016. Katherine Ward, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01765 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7050-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-76975; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2016-11] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Fees for NYSE MKT Integrated Feed January 26, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that, on January 13, 2016, NYSE MKT LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE MKT”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend the fees for NYSE MKT Integrated Feed to establish a multiple data feed fee. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the fees for NYSE MKT Integrated Feed market data product,4 as set forth on the NYSE MKT Equities Proprietary Market Data Fee Schedule (“Fee Schedule”). The Exchange proposes to establish the multiple data feed fee. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to establish a new monthly fee, the “Multiple Data Feed Fee,” that would apply to data recipients that take a data feed for a market data product in more than two locations. Data recipients taking NYSE MKT Integrated Feed in more than two locations would be charged $200 per additional location per product per month.5 No new reporting would be required.6

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74127 (Jan. 23, 2015), 80 FR 4856 (Jan. 29, 2015) (SR-NYSEMKT-2015-06) (Notice—NYSE MKT Integrated Feed) and 76525 (Nov. 25, 2015), 80 FR 75148 (Dec. 1, 2015) (SR-NYSEMKT-2015-95) (establishing fees for NYSE MKT Integrated Feed).

    5 The text of footnote 5 in Exhibit 5 of this proposed rule change was previously filed under a separate filing. See SR-NYSEMKT-2016-03 (Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Fees for NYSE MKT OpenBook).

    6 Data vendors currently report a unique Vendor Account Number for each location at which they provide a data feed to a data recipient. The Exchange considers each Vendor Account Number a location. For example, if a data recipient has five Vendor Account Numbers, representing five locations, for the receipt of the NYSE MKT Integrated Feed product, that data recipient will pay the Multiple Data Feed fee with respect to three of the five locations.

    Additionally, the various fees applicable to NYSE MKT Integrated Feed, other than the Multiple Data Feed Fee, became operative on January 1, 2016.7 Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to remove text from the Fee Schedule noting that through December 31, 2015, there would be no charge for the fees for NYSE MKT Integrated Feed and text noting that the fees would be applicable from January 1, 2016. The proposed change would provide clarity to subscribers of NYSE MKT Integrated Feed.

    7See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76525 (November 25, 2015), 80 FR 75148 (December 1, 2015) (SR-NYSEMKT-2015-95).

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,8 in general, and Sections 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5) of the Act,9 in particular, in that it provides an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among users and recipients of the data and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, issuers, and brokers.

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    9 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4), (5).

    The fees are also equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because they will apply to all data recipients that choose to subscribe to NYSE MKT Integrated Feed.

    The Exchange believes that it is reasonable to require data recipients to pay a modest additional fee taking a data feed for a market data product in more than two locations, because such data recipients can derive substantial value from being able to consume the product in as many locations as they want. In addition, there are administrative burdens associated with tracking each location at which a data recipient receives the product. The Multiple Data Feed Fee is designed to encourage data recipients to better manage their requests for additional data feeds and to monitor their usage of data feeds. The proposed fee is designed to apply to data feeds received in more than two locations so that each data recipient can have one primary and one backup data location before having to pay a multiple data feed fee. The Exchange notes that this pricing is consistent with similar pricing adopted in 2013 by the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”).10 The Exchange also notes that the OPRA Plan imposes a similar charge of $100 per connection for circuit connections in addition to the primary and backup connections.11

    10See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 70010 (July 19, 2013), 78 FR 44984 (July 25, 2013) (SR-CTA/CQ-2013-04).

    11See “Direct Access Fee,” Options Price Reporting Authority Fee Schedule Fee Schedule PRA Plan [sic] at http://www.opradata.com/pdf/fee_schedule.pdf.

    The Exchange notes that NYSE MKT Integrated Feed is entirely optional. The Exchange is not required to make NYSE MKT Integrated Feed available or to offer any specific pricing alternatives to any customers, nor is any firm required to purchase NYSE MKT Integrated Feed. Firms that do purchase NYSE MKT Integrated Feed do so for the primary goals of using it to increase revenues, reduce expenses, and in some instances compete directly with the Exchange (including for order flow); those firms are able to determine for themselves whether NYSE MKT Integrated Feed or any other similar products are attractively priced or not.12

    12See, e.g. , Proposing Release on Regulation of NMS Stock Alternative Trading Systems, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76474 (Nov. 18, 2015) (File No. S7-23-15). See also, “Brokers Warned Not to Steer Clients' Stock Trades Into Slow Lane,” Bloomberg Business, December 14, 2015 (Sigma X dark pool to use direct exchange feeds as the primary source of price data).

    Firms that do not wish to purchase NYSE MKT Integrated Feed have a variety of alternative market data products from which to choose,13 or if NYSE MKT Integrated Feed does not provide sufficient value to firms as offered based on the uses those firms have or planned to make of it, such firms may simply choose to conduct their business operations in ways that do not use NYSE MKT Integrated Feed or use it at different levels or in different configurations. The Exchange notes that broker-dealers are not required to purchase proprietary market data to comply with their best execution obligations.14

    13See NYSE Arca Integrated Feed, http://www.nyxdata.com/Data-Products/NYSEArca-Integrated-History (last visited December 23, 2015) (data feed that provides a unified view of events, in sequence as they appear on the NYSE Arca matching engine, including depth of book, trades, order) and NASDAQ TotalView-ITCH, http://www.nasdaqtrader.com/Trader.aspx?id=Totalview2 (last visited December 23, 2015) (displays the full order book depth for NASDAQ market participants and also disseminates the Net Order Imbalance Indicator (NOII) for the NASDAQ Opening and Closing Crosses and NASDAQ IPO/Halt Cross).

    14See FINRA Regulatory Notice 15-46, “Best Execution,” November 2015.

    The decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in NetCoalition v. SEC, 615 F.3d 525 (D.C. Cir. 2010), upheld reliance by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) upon the existence of competitive market mechanisms to set reasonable and equitably allocated fees for proprietary market data:

    In fact, the legislative history indicates that the Congress intended that the market system `evolve through the interplay of competitive forces as unnecessary regulatory restrictions are removed' and that the SEC wield its regulatory power `in those situations where competition may not be sufficient,' such as in the creation of a `consolidated transactional reporting system.'

    Id. at 535 (quoting H.R. Rep. No. 94-229 at 92 (1975), as reprinted in 1975 U.S.C.C.A.N. 323). The court agreed with the Commission's conclusion that “Congress intended that `competitive forces should dictate the services and practices that constitute the U.S. national market system for trading equity securities.' ” 15

    15NetCoalition, 615 F.3d at 535.

    As explained below in the Exchange's Statement on Burden on Competition, the Exchange believes that there is substantial evidence of competition in the marketplace for proprietary market data and that the Commission can rely upon such evidence in concluding that the fees established in this filing are the product of competition and therefore satisfy the relevant statutory standards. In addition, the existence of alternatives to these data products, such as consolidated data and proprietary data from other sources, as described below, further ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can select such alternatives.

    As the NetCoalition decision noted, the Commission is not required to undertake a cost-of-service or ratemaking approach. The Exchange believes that, even if it were possible as a matter of economic theory, cost-based pricing for proprietary market data would be so complicated that it could not be done practically or offer any significant benefits.16

    16 The Exchange believes that cost-based pricing would be impractical because it would create enormous administrative burdens for all parties and the Commission to cost-regulate a large number of participants and standardize and analyze extraordinary amounts of information, accounts, and reports. In addition, and as described below, it is impossible to regulate market data prices in isolation from prices charged by markets for other services that are joint products. Cost-based rate regulation would also lead to litigation and may distort incentives, including those to minimize costs and to innovate, leading to further waste. Under cost-based pricing, the Commission would be burdened with determining a fair rate of return, and the industry could experience frequent rate increases based on escalating expense levels. Even in industries historically subject to utility regulation, cost-based ratemaking has been discredited. As such, the Exchange believes that cost-based ratemaking would be inappropriate for proprietary market data and inconsistent with Congress's direction that the Commission use its authority to foster the development of the national market system, and that market forces will continue to provide appropriate pricing discipline. See Appendix C to NYSE's comments to the Commission's 2000 Concept Release on the Regulation of Market Information Fees and Revenues, which can be found on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/s72899/buck1.htm.

    For these reasons, the Exchange believes that the proposed fees are reasonable, equitable, and not unfairly discriminatory.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. An exchange's ability to price its proprietary market data feed products is constrained by actual competition for the sale of proprietary market data products, the joint product nature of exchange platforms, and the existence of alternatives to the Exchange's proprietary data.

    The Existence of Actual Competition

    The market for proprietary data products is currently competitive and inherently contestable because there is fierce competition for the inputs necessary for the creation of proprietary data and strict pricing discipline for the proprietary products themselves. Numerous exchanges compete with one another for listings and order flow and sales of market data itself, providing ample opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to compete in any or all of those areas, including producing and distributing their own market data. Proprietary data products are produced and distributed by each individual exchange, as well as other entities, in a vigorously competitive market. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) (the primary antitrust regulator) has expressly acknowledged the aggressive actual competition among exchanges, including for the sale of proprietary market data. In 2011, the DOJ stated that exchanges “compete head to head to offer real-time equity data products. These data products include the best bid and offer of every exchange and information on each equity trade, including the last sale.” 17

    17 Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney Holds Conference Call Regarding NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. Abandoning Their Bid for NYSE Euronext (May 16, 2011), available at http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/atr/speeches/2011/at-speech-110516.html; see also Complaint in U.S. v. Deutsche Borse AG and NYSE Euronext, Case No. 11-cv-2280 (DC Dist.) ¶ 24 (“NYSE and Direct Edge compete head-to-head . . . in the provision of real-time proprietary equity data products.”).

    Moreover, competitive markets for listings, order flow, executions, and transaction reports provide pricing discipline for the inputs of proprietary data products and therefore constrain markets from overpricing proprietary market data. Broker-dealers send their order flow and transaction reports to multiple venues, rather than providing them all to a single venue, which in turn reinforces this competitive constraint. As a 2010 Commission Concept Release noted, the “current market structure can be described as dispersed and complex” with “trading volume . . . dispersed among many highly automated trading centers that compete for order flow in the same stocks” and “trading centers offer[ing] a wide range of services that are designed to attract different types of market participants with varying trading needs.” 18 More recently, SEC Chair Mary Jo White has noted that competition for order flow in exchange-listed equities is “intense” and divided among many trading venues, including exchanges, more than 40 alternative trading systems, and more than 250 broker-dealers.19

    18 Concept Release on Equity Market Structure, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61358 (Jan. 14, 2010), 75 FR 3594 (Jan. 21, 2010) (File No. S7-02-10). This Concept Release included data from the third quarter of 2009 showing that no market center traded more than 20% of the volume of listed stocks, further evidencing the dispersal of and competition for trading activity. Id. at 3598. Data available on ArcaVision show that from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2014, no exchange traded more than 12% of the volume of listed stocks by either trade or dollar volume, further evidencing the continued dispersal of and fierce competition for trading activity. See https://www.arcavision.com/Arcavision/arcalogin.jsp.

    19 Mary Jo White, Enhancing Our Equity Market Structure, Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P. Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference (June 5, 2014) (available on the Commission Web site), citing Tuttle, Laura, 2014, “OTC Trading: Description of Non-ATS OTC Trading in National Market System Stocks,” at 7-8.

    If an exchange succeeds in competing for quotations, order flow, and trade executions, then it earns trading revenues and increases the value of its proprietary market data products because they will contain greater quote and trade information. Conversely, if an exchange is less successful in attracting quotes, order flow, and trade executions, then its market data products may be less desirable to customers in light of the diminished content and data products offered by competing venues may become more attractive. Thus, competition for quotations, order flow, and trade executions puts significant pressure on an exchange to maintain both execution and data fees at reasonable levels.

    In addition, in the case of products that are also redistributed through market data vendors, such as Bloomberg and Thompson Reuters, the vendors themselves provide additional price discipline for proprietary data products because they control the primary means of access to certain end users. These vendors impose price discipline based upon their business models. For example, vendors that assess a surcharge on data they sell are able to refuse to offer proprietary products that their end users do not or will not purchase in sufficient numbers. Vendors will not elect to make available NYSE MKT Integrated Feed unless their customers request it, and customers will not elect to pay the proposed fees unless NYSE MKT Integrated Feed can provide value by sufficiently increasing revenues or reducing costs in the customer's business in a manner that will offset the fees. All of these factors operate as constraints on pricing proprietary data products.

    Joint Product Nature of Exchange Platform

    Transaction execution and proprietary data products are complementary in that market data is both an input and a byproduct of the execution service. In fact, proprietary market data and trade executions are a paradigmatic example of joint products with joint costs. The decision of whether and on which platform to post an order will depend on the attributes of the platforms where the order can be posted, including the execution fees, data availability and quality, and price and distribution of data products. Without a platform to post quotations, receive orders, and execute trades, exchange data products would not exist.

    The costs of producing market data include not only the costs of the data distribution infrastructure, but also the costs of designing, maintaining, and operating the exchange's platform for posting quotes, accepting orders, and executing transactions and the cost of regulating the exchange to ensure its fair operation and maintain investor confidence. The total return that a trading platform earns reflects the revenues it receives from both products and the joint costs it incurs.

    Moreover, an exchange's broker-dealer customers generally view the costs of transaction executions and market data as a unified cost of doing business with the exchange. A broker-dealer will only choose to direct orders to an exchange if the revenue from the transaction exceeds its cost, including the cost of any market data that the broker-dealer chooses to buy in support of its order routing and trading decisions. If the costs of the transaction are not offset by its value, then the broker-dealer may choose instead not to purchase the product and trade away from that exchange. There is substantial evidence of the strong correlation between order flow and market data purchases. For example, in September 2015, more than 80% of the transaction volume on each of NYSE MKT and NYSE MKT's affiliates New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”) and NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) was executed by market participants that purchased one or more proprietary market data products (the 20 firms were not the same for each market). A supra-competitive increase in the fees for either executions or market data would create a risk of reducing an exchange's revenues from both products.

    Other market participants have noted that proprietary market data and trade executions are joint products of a joint platform and have common costs.20 The Exchange agrees with and adopts those discussions and the arguments therein. The Exchange also notes that the economics literature confirms that there is no way to allocate common costs between joint products that would shed any light on competitive or efficient pricing.21

    20See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72153 (May 12, 2014), 79 FR 28575, 28578 n.15 (May 16, 2014) (SR-NASDAQ-2014-045) (“[A]ll of the exchange's costs are incurred for the unified purposes of attracting order flow, executing and/or routing orders, and generating and selling data about market activity. The total return that an exchange earns reflects the revenues it receives from the joint products and the total costs of the joint products.”). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62907 (Sept. 14, 2010), 75 FR 57314, 57317 (Sept. 20, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-110), and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62908 (Sept. 14, 2010), 75 FR 57321, 57324 (Sept. 20, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-111).

    21See generally Mark Hirschey, Fundamentals of Managerial Economics, at 600 (2009) (“It is important to note, however, that although it is possible to determine the separate marginal costs of goods produced in variable proportions, it is impossible to determine their individual average costs. This is because common costs are expenses necessary for manufacture of a joint product. Common costs of production—raw material and equipment costs, management expenses, and other overhead—cannot be allocated to each individual by-product on any economically sound basis. . . . Any allocation of common costs is wrong and arbitrary.”). This is not new economic theory. See, e.g., F. W. Taussig, “A Contribution to the Theory of Railway Rates,” Quarterly Journal of Economics V(4) 438, 465 (July 1891) (“Yet, surely, the division is purely arbitrary. These items of cost, in fact, are jointly incurred for both sorts of traffic; and I cannot share the hope entertained by the statistician of the Commission, Professor Henry C. Adams, that we shall ever reach a mode of apportionment that will lead to trustworthy results.”).

    Analyzing the cost of market data product production and distribution in isolation from the cost of all of the inputs supporting the creation of market data and market data products will inevitably underestimate the cost of the data and data products because it is impossible to obtain the data inputs to create market data products without a fast, technologically robust, and well-regulated execution system, and system and regulatory costs affect the price of both obtaining the market data itself and creating and distributing market data products. It would be equally misleading, however, to attribute all of an exchange's costs to the market data portion of an exchange's joint products. Rather, all of an exchange's costs are incurred for the unified purposes of attracting order flow, executing and/or routing orders, and generating and selling data about market activity. The total return that an exchange earns reflects the revenues it receives from the joint products and the total costs of the joint products.

    As noted above, the level of competition and contestability in the market is evident in the numerous alternative venues that compete for order flow, including 11 equities self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) markets, as well as various forms of alternative trading systems (“ATSs”), including dark pools and electronic communication networks (“ECNs”), and internalizing broker-dealers. SRO markets compete to attract order flow and produce transaction reports via trade executions, and two FINRA-regulated Trade Reporting Facilities compete to attract transaction reports from the non-SRO venues.

    Competition among trading platforms can be expected to constrain the aggregate return that each platform earns from the sale of its joint products, but different trading platforms may choose from a range of possible, and equally reasonable, pricing strategies as the means of recovering total costs. For example, some platforms may choose to pay rebates to attract orders, charge relatively low prices for market data products (or provide market data products free of charge), and charge relatively high prices for accessing posted liquidity. Other platforms may choose a strategy of paying lower rebates (or no rebates) to attract orders, setting relatively high prices for market data products, and setting relatively low prices for accessing posted liquidity. For example, BATS Global Markets (“BATS”) and Direct Edge, which previously operated as ATSs and obtained exchange status in 2008 and 2010, respectively, provided certain market data at no charge on their Web sites in order to attract more order flow, and used revenue rebates from resulting additional executions to maintain low execution charges for their users.22 In this environment, there is no economic basis for regulating maximum prices for one of the joint products in an industry in which suppliers face competitive constraints with regard to the joint offering.

    22 This is simply a securities market-specific example of the well-established principle that in certain circumstances more sales at lower margins can be more profitable than fewer sales at higher margins; this example is additional evidence that market data is an inherent part of a market's joint platform.

    Existence of Alternatives

    The large number of SROs, ATSs, and internalizing broker-dealers that currently produce proprietary data or are currently capable of producing it provides further pricing discipline for proprietary data products. Each SRO, ATS, and broker-dealer is currently permitted to produce and sell proprietary data products, and many currently do, including but not limited to the Exchange, NYSE, NYSE Arca, NASDAQ OMX, BATS, and Direct Edge.

    The fact that proprietary data from ATSs, internalizing broker-dealers, and vendors can bypass SROs is significant in two respects. First, non-SROs can compete directly with SROs for the production and sale of proprietary data products. By way of example, BATS and NYSE Arca both published proprietary data on the Internet before registering as exchanges. Second, because a single order or transaction report can appear in an SRO proprietary product, a non-SRO proprietary product, or both, the amount of data available via proprietary products is greater in size than the actual number of orders and transaction reports that exist in the marketplace. With respect to NYSE MKT Integrated Feed, competitors offer close substitute products.23 Because market data users can find suitable substitutes for most proprietary market data products, a market that overprices its market data products stands a high risk that users may substitute another source of market data information for its own.

    23See note 13, supra.

    Those competitive pressures imposed by available alternatives are evident in the Exchange's proposed pricing.

    In addition to the competition and price discipline described above, the market for proprietary data products is also highly contestable because market entry is rapid and inexpensive. The history of electronic trading is replete with examples of entrants that swiftly grew into some of the largest electronic trading platforms and proprietary data producers: Archipelago, Bloomberg Tradebook, Island, RediBook, Attain, TrackECN, BATS Trading and Direct Edge. As noted above, BATS launched as an ATS in 2006 and became an exchange in 2008, while Direct Edge began operations in 2007 and obtained exchange status in 2010.

    In determining the proposed changes to the fees for NYSE MKT Integrated Feed, the Exchange considered the competitiveness of the market for proprietary data and all of the implications of that competition. The Exchange believes that it has considered all relevant factors and has not considered irrelevant factors in order to establish fair, reasonable, and not unreasonably discriminatory fees and an equitable allocation of fees among all users. The existence of numerous alternatives to the Exchange's products, including proprietary data from other sources, ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can elect these alternatives or choose not to purchase a specific proprietary data product if the attendant fees are not justified by the returns that any particular vendor or data recipient would achieve through the purchase.

    Finally, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change, with respect to the removal of text from the Fee Schedule, is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,24 in general, and with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 25 in particular, in that the proposal is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Specifically, NYSE MKT believes that the change will promote these goals by providing clarity and consistency to the Fee Schedule and will benefit participants as they would be informed to the pricing applicable for NYSE MKT Integrated Feed.

    24 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    25 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change is effective upon filing pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) 26 of the Act and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 27 thereunder, because it establishes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange.

    26 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    27 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of such proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings under Section 19(b)(2)(B) 28 of the Act to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    28 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

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

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2016-11 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

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

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2016-11. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2016-11 and should be submitted on or before February 22, 2016.

    29 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.29

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01715 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-76972; File No. SR-NYSE-2016-08] Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Fees for NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts January 26, 2016.

    Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that, on January 13, 2016, New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend the fees for NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts to establish a multiple data feed fee. The Exchange also proposes to amend the fees for the NYSE Order Imbalances to discontinue fees relating to managed non-display. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the fees for NYSE Order Imbalances 4 and for NYSE Alerts,5 as set forth on the NYSE Proprietary Market Data Fee Schedule (“Fee Schedule”). The Exchange proposes to make the following fee changes:

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 59543 (March 9, 2009), 74 FR 11159 (March 16, 2009) (SR-NYSE-2008-132), 72923 (Aug. 26, 2014), 79 FR 52079 (Sept. 2, 2014) (SR-NYSE-2014-43) (“2014 Non-Display Filing”) and 73994 (Jan. 6, 2015), 80 FR 1554 (Jan. 12, 2015) (SR-NYSE-2014-77).

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 50844 (Dec. 13, 2004), 69 FR 76806 (Dec. 22, 2004) (SR-NYSE-2004-53).

    • Establish a multiple data feed fee for NYSE Order Imbalances and for NYSE Alerts; and

    • Discontinue fees relating to managed non-display for NYSE Order Imbalances.

    Multiple Data Feed Fee for NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts 6

    6 The text of footnote 6 in Exhibit 5 of this proposed rule change was previously filed under a separate filing. See SR-NYSE-2016-02 (Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Fees for NYSE OpenBook).

    The Exchange proposes to establish a new monthly fee, the “Multiple Data Feed Fee,” that would apply to data recipients that take a data feed for a market data product in more than two locations. Data recipients taking NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts in more than two locations would be charged $200 per product per additional location per month. No new reporting would be required.7

    7 Data vendors currently report a unique Vendor Account Number for each location at which they provide a data feed to a data recipient. The Exchange considers each Vendor Account Number a location. For example, if a data recipient has five Vendor Account Numbers, representing five locations, for the receipt of the Order Imbalance Data Feed product, that data recipient will pay the Multiple Data Feed fee with respect to three of the five locations.

    Managed Non-Display Fees for NYSE Order Imbalances

    Non-Display Use of NYSE market data means accessing, processing, or consuming NYSE market data delivered via direct and/or Redistributor 8 data feeds for a purpose other than in support of a data recipient's display usage or further internal or external redistribution.9 Managed Non-Display Services fees apply when a data recipient's non-display applications are hosted by a Redistributor that has been approved for Managed Non-Display Services.10 A Redistributor approved for Managed Non-Display Services manages and controls the access to NYSE Order Imbalances and does not allow for further internal distribution or external redistribution of NYSE Order Imbalances by the data recipients. A Redistributor approved for Managed Non-Display Services is required to report to NYSE on a monthly basis the data recipients that are receiving NYSE market data through the Redistributor's managed non-display service and the real-time NYSE market data products that such data recipients are receiving through such service. Recipients of data through Managed Non-Display Service have no additional reporting requirements. Data recipients that receive NYSE Order Imbalances from an approved Redistributor of Managed Non-Display Services are charged an access fee of $250 per month and a Managed Non-Display Services Fee of $200 per month, for a total fee of $450 per month.

    8 “Redistributor” means a vendor or any other person that provides an NYSE data product to a data recipient or to any system that a data recipient uses, irrespective of the means of transmission or access.

    9See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59544 (Mar. 9, 2009), 74 FR 11162 (March 16, 2009) (SR-NYSE-2008-131).

    10 To be approved for Managed Non-Display Services, a Redistributor must manage and control the access to NYSE Order Imbalances for data recipients' non-display applications and not allow for further internal distribution or external redistribution of the information by data recipients. In addition, the Redistributor is required to (a) host the data recipients' non-display applications in equipment located in the Redistributor's data center and/or hosted space/cage and (b) offer NYSE Order Imbalances in the Redistributor's own messaging formats (rather than using raw NYSE message formats) by reformatting and/or altering NYSE Order Imbalances prior to retransmission without affecting the integrity of NYSE Order Imbalances and without rendering NYSE Order Imbalances inaccurate, unfair, uninformative, fictitious, misleading or discriminatory.

    The Exchange proposes to discontinue the fees related to Managed Non-Display Services because of the limited number of Redistributors that have qualified for Managed Non-Display Services and the administrative burdens associated with the program in light of the limited number of Redistributors that have qualified for Managed Non-Display Services. As proposed, all data recipients currently using NYSE Order Imbalances on a managed non-display basis would continue to be subject to an access fee of $500 per month, and the same non-display services fees,11 as other data recipients.12

    11See Fee Schedule.

    12 In order to harmonize its approach to fees for its market data products, the Exchange is simultaneously proposing to remove fees related to Managed Non-Display Services for NYSE BBO, NYSE Trades, and NYSE OpenBook. See SR-NYSE-2016-03 and SR-NYSE-2016-02. The fees applicable to NYSE Integrated market data product effective as of January 4, 2016 do not include Managed Non-Display Services fees.

    Modification of the Application of the Access Fee for NYSE Order Imbalances

    Data recipients that subscribe to NYSE Order Imbalances are currently charged an access fee of $500 per month. The Exchange currently charges an access fee of $5,000 per month to each NYSE OpenBook data feed recipient. The access fee for NYSE OpenBook allows recipients of NYSE OpenBook to also receive NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE BBO without separately paying additional access fees for these products.13 The Exchange is not proposing any change to the access fee currently payable for NYSE Order Imbalances. The Exchange notes, however, that pursuant to a proposed rule change filed separately, recipients of NYSE OpenBook will no longer receive NYSE Order Imbalances or NYSE BBO without paying a separate access fee for each of these products.14

    13See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59544 (Mar. 9, 2009), 74 FR 11162 (March 16, 2009) (SR-NYSE-2008-131), at 11163.

    14See SR-NYSE-2016-02.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of section 6 of the Act,15 in general, and sections 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5) of the Act,16 in particular, in that it provides an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among users and recipients of the data and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, issuers, and brokers.

    15 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    16 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4), (5).

    The fees are also equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because they will apply to all data recipients that choose to subscribe to NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts.

    Multiple Data Feed Fee for NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts

    The Exchange believes that it is reasonable to require data recipients to pay a modest additional fee taking a data feed for a market data product in more than two locations, because such data recipients can derive substantial value from being able to consume the product in as many locations as they want. In addition, there are administrative burdens associated with tracking each location at which a data recipient receives the product. The Multiple Data Feed Fee is designed to encourage data recipients to better manage their requests for additional data feeds and to monitor their usage of data feeds. The proposed fee is designed to apply to data feeds received in more than two locations so that each data recipient can have one primary and one backup data location before having to pay a multiple data feed fee. The Exchange notes that this pricing is consistent with similar pricing adopted in 2013 by the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”).17 The Exchange also notes that the OPRA Plan imposes a similar charge of $100 per connection for circuit connections in addition to the primary and backup connections.18

    17See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 70010 (July 19, 2013), 78 FR 44984 (July 25, 2013) (SR-CTA/CQ-2013-04).

    18See “Direct Access Fee,” Options Price Reporting Authority Fee Schedule Fee Schedule PRA Plan [sic] at http://www.opradata.com/pdf/fee_schedule.pdf.

    Managed Non-Display Fees for NYSE Order Imbalances

    The Exchange believes that it is reasonable to discontinue Managed Non-Display Fees. The Exchange determined in 2013 that its fee structure, which was then based primarily on counting both display and non-display devices, was no longer appropriate in light of market and technology developments.19 Since then, the Exchange also modified its approach to display and non-display fees with changes to the fees as reflected in a 2014 filing.20 Discontinuing the fees applicable to Managed Non-Display as proposed reflects the Exchange's continuing review and consideration of the application of non-display fees, and would harmonize and simplify the application of Non-Display Use fees by applying them consistently to all users. In particular, after further experience with the application of non-display use fees, the Exchange believes that it is more equitable and less discriminatory to discontinue the distinction for Managed Non-Display services because all data recipients using data on a non-display basis are using it in a comparable way and should be subject to similar fees regardless of whether or not they receive the data directly from the Exchange. The Exchange believes that applying the same non-display fees to all data recipients on the same basis better reflects the significant value of non-display data to data recipients and eliminates what is effectively a discount for certain data recipients, and as such is not unfairly discriminatory. The Exchange believes that the non-display fees directly and appropriately reflect the significant value of using non-display data in a wide range of computer-automated functions relating to both trading and non-trading activities and that the number and range of these functions continue to grow through innovation and technology developments.

    19See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 69278 (April 2, 2013), 78 FR 20973 (April 8, 2013) (SR-NYSE-2013-25).

    20See Securities Exchange Act Release No .72923 (Aug. 26, 2014), 79 FR 52079 (Sept. 2, 2014) (SR-NYSE-2014-43).

    Modifications to Access Fees for NYSE Order Imbalances

    The Exchange believes that it is reasonable to make the changes proposed to the application of access fees for NYSE Order Imbalances. Specifically, data recipients that take the NYSE Order Imbalances, or any other data feed, receive value from each product they choose to take. A data recipient that chooses to take multiple products (no recipient is required to take any of products [sic], or any specific combination of them) uses each product in a different way and therefore obtains different value from each. Applying an access fee to each product would bring consistency to the Exchange's application of access fees to each product. The Exchange believes that each product has a separate and distinct value that is appropriate to reflect in a separate access fee. Finally, the requirement to pay separate access fees for each market data product is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because it would apply to all data recipients and appropriately reflects the value of each product to those who choose to use them.

    The Exchange notes that NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts are entirely optional. The Exchange is not required to make NYSE Order Imbalances or NYSE Alerts available or to offer any specific pricing alternatives to any customers, nor is any firm required to purchase NYSE Order Imbalances or NYSE Alerts. Firms that do purchase these products do so for the primary goals of using them to increase revenues, reduce expenses, and in some instances compete directly with the Exchange (including for order flow); those firms are able to determine for themselves whether these products or any other similar products are attractively priced or not.21

    21See, e.g. , Proposing Release on Regulation of NMS Stock Alternative Trading Systems, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76474 (Nov. 18, 2015) (File No. S7-23-15). See also, “Brokers Warned Not to Steer Clients' Stock Trades Into Slow Lane,” Bloomberg Business, December 14, 2015 (Sigma X dark pool to use direct exchange feeds as the primary source of price data).

    The decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in NetCoalition v. SEC, 615 F.3d 525 (D.C. Cir. 2010), upheld reliance by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) upon the existence of competitive market mechanisms to set reasonable and equitably allocated fees for proprietary market data:

    In fact, the legislative history indicates that the Congress intended that the market system `evolve through the interplay of competitive forces as unnecessary regulatory restrictions are removed' and that the SEC wield its regulatory power `in those situations where competition may not be sufficient,' such as in the creation of a `consolidated transactional reporting system.'

    Id. at 535 (quoting H.R. Rep. No. 94-229 at 92 (1975), as reprinted in 1975 U.S.C.C.A.N. 323). The court agreed with the Commission's conclusion that “Congress intended that `competitive forces should dictate the services and practices that constitute the U.S. national market system for trading equity securities.' ” 22

    22NetCoalition, 615 F.3d at 535.

    As explained below in the Exchange's Statement on Burden on Competition, the Exchange believes that there is substantial evidence of competition in the marketplace for proprietary market data and that the Commission can rely upon such evidence in concluding that the fees established in this filing are the product of competition and therefore satisfy the relevant statutory standards. In addition, the existence of alternatives to these data products, such as consolidated data and proprietary data from other sources, as described below, further ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can select such alternatives.

    As the NetCoalition decision noted, the Commission is not required to undertake a cost-of-service or ratemaking approach. The Exchange believes that, even if it were possible as a matter of economic theory, cost-based pricing for proprietary market data would be so complicated that it could not be done practically or offer any significant benefits.23

    23 The Exchange believes that cost-based pricing would be impractical because it would create enormous administrative burdens for all parties and the Commission to cost-regulate a large number of participants and standardize and analyze extraordinary amounts of information, accounts, and reports. In addition, and as described below, it is impossible to regulate market data prices in isolation from prices charged by markets for other services that are joint products. Cost-based rate regulation would also lead to litigation and may distort incentives, including those to minimize costs and to innovate, leading to further waste. Under cost-based pricing, the Commission would be burdened with determining a fair rate of return, and the industry could experience frequent rate increases based on escalating expense levels. Even in industries historically subject to utility regulation, cost-based ratemaking has been discredited. As such, the Exchange believes that cost-based ratemaking would be inappropriate for proprietary market data and inconsistent with Congress's direction that the Commission use its authority to foster the development of the national market system, and that market forces will continue to provide appropriate pricing discipline. See Appendix C to NYSE's comments to the Commission's 2000 Concept Release on the Regulation of Market Information Fees and Revenues, which can be found on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/s72899/buck1.htm.

    For these reasons, the Exchange believes that the proposed fees are reasonable, equitable, and not unfairly discriminatory.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. An exchange's ability to price its proprietary market data feed products is constrained by actual competition for the sale of proprietary market data products, the joint product nature of exchange platforms, and the existence of alternatives to the Exchange's proprietary data.

    The Existence of Actual Competition

    The market for proprietary data products is currently competitive and inherently contestable because there is fierce competition for the inputs necessary for the creation of proprietary data and strict pricing discipline for the proprietary products themselves. Numerous exchanges compete with one another for listings and order flow and sales of market data itself, providing ample opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to compete in any or all of those areas, including producing and distributing their own market data. Proprietary data products are produced and distributed by each individual exchange, as well as other entities, in a vigorously competitive market. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) (the primary antitrust regulator) has expressly acknowledged the aggressive actual competition among exchanges, including for the sale of proprietary market data. In 2011, the DOJ stated that exchanges “compete head to head to offer real-time equity data products. These data products include the best bid and offer of every exchange and information on each equity trade, including the last sale.” 24

    24 Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney Holds Conference Call Regarding NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. Abandoning Their Bid for NYSE Euronext (May 16, 2011), available at http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/atr/speeches/2011/at-speech-110516.html; see also Complaint in U.S. v. Deutsche Borse AG and NYSE Euronext, Case No. 11-cv-2280 (D.C. Dist.) ¶ 24 (“NYSE and Direct Edge compete head-to-head . . . in the provision of real-time proprietary equity data products.”).

    Moreover, competitive markets for listings, order flow, executions, and transaction reports provide pricing discipline for the inputs of proprietary data products and therefore constrain markets from overpricing proprietary market data. Broker-dealers send their order flow and transaction reports to multiple venues, rather than providing them all to a single venue, which in turn reinforces this competitive constraint. As a 2010 Commission Concept Release noted, the “current market structure can be described as dispersed and complex” with “trading volume . . . dispersed among many highly automated trading centers that compete for order flow in the same stocks” and “trading centers offer[ing] a wide range of services that are designed to attract different types of market participants with varying trading needs.” 25 More recently, SEC Chair Mary Jo White has noted that competition for order flow in exchange-listed equities is “intense” and divided among many trading venues, including exchanges, more than 40 alternative trading systems, and more than 250 broker-dealers.26

    25 Concept Release on Equity Market Structure, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61358 (Jan. 14, 2010), 75 FR 3594 (Jan. 21, 2010) (File No. S7-02-10). This Concept Release included data from the third quarter of 2009 showing that no market center traded more than 20% of the volume of listed stocks, further evidencing the dispersal of and competition for trading activity. Id. at 3598. Data available on ArcaVision show that from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2014, no exchange traded more than 12% of the volume of listed stocks by either trade or dollar volume, further evidencing the continued dispersal of and fierce competition for trading activity. See https://www.arcavision.com/Arcavision/arcalogin.jsp.

    26 Mary Jo White, Enhancing Our Equity Market Structure, Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P. Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference (June 5, 2014) (available on the Commission Web site), citing Tuttle, Laura, 2014, “OTC Trading: Description of Non-ATS OTC Trading in National Market System Stocks,” at 7-8.

    If an exchange succeeds in competing for quotations, order flow, and trade executions, then it earns trading revenues and increases the value of its proprietary market data products because they will contain greater quote and trade information. Conversely, if an exchange is less successful in attracting quotes, order flow, and trade executions, then its market data products may be less desirable to customers in light of the diminished content and data products offered by competing venues may become more attractive. Thus, competition for quotations, order flow, and trade executions puts significant pressure on an exchange to maintain both execution and data fees at reasonable levels.

    In addition, in the case of products that are also redistributed through market data vendors, such as Bloomberg and Thompson Reuters, the vendors themselves provide additional price discipline for proprietary data products because they control the primary means of access to certain end users. These vendors impose price discipline based upon their business models. For example, vendors that assess a surcharge on data they sell are able to refuse to offer proprietary products that their end users do not or will not purchase in sufficient numbers. Vendors will not elect to make available NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts unless their customers request them, and customers will not elect to pay the proposed fees unless these products can provide value by sufficiently increasing revenues or reducing costs in the customer's business in a manner that will offset the fees. All of these factors operate as constraints on pricing proprietary data products.

    Joint Product Nature of Exchange Platform

    Transaction execution and proprietary data products are complementary in that market data is both an input and a byproduct of the execution service. In fact, proprietary market data and trade executions are a paradigmatic example of joint products with joint costs. The decision of whether and on which platform to post an order will depend on the attributes of the platforms where the order can be posted, including the execution fees, data availability and quality, and price and distribution of data products. Without a platform to post quotations, receive orders, and execute trades, exchange data products would not exist.

    The costs of producing market data include not only the costs of the data distribution infrastructure, but also the costs of designing, maintaining, and operating the exchange's platform for posting quotes, accepting orders, and executing transactions and the cost of regulating the exchange to ensure its fair operation and maintain investor confidence. The total return that a trading platform earns reflects the revenues it receives from both products and the joint costs it incurs.

    Moreover, an exchange's broker-dealer customers generally view the costs of transaction executions and market data as a unified cost of doing business with the exchange. A broker-dealer will only choose to direct orders to an exchange if the revenue from the transaction exceeds its cost, including the cost of any market data that the broker-dealer chooses to buy in support of its order routing and trading decisions. If the costs of the transaction are not offset by its value, then the broker-dealer may choose instead not to purchase the product and trade away from that exchange. There is substantial evidence of the strong correlation between order flow and market data purchases. For example, in September 2015, more than 80% of the transaction volume on each of NYSE and NYSE's affiliates NYSE Arca and NYSE MKT was executed by market participants that purchased one or more proprietary market data products (the 20 firms were not the same for each market). A supra-competitive increase in the fees for either executions or market data would create a risk of reducing an exchange's revenues from both products.

    Other market participants have noted that proprietary market data and trade executions are joint products of a joint platform and have common costs.27 The Exchange agrees with and adopts those discussions and the arguments therein. The Exchange also notes that the economics literature confirms that there is no way to allocate common costs between joint products that would shed any light on competitive or efficient pricing.28

    27See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72153 (May 12, 2014), 79 FR 28575, 28578 n.15 (May 16, 2014) (SR-NASDAQ-2014-045) (“[A]ll of the exchange's costs are incurred for the unified purposes of attracting order flow, executing and/or routing orders, and generating and selling data about market activity. The total return that an exchange earns reflects the revenues it receives from the joint products and the total costs of the joint products.”). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62907 (Sept. 14, 2010), 75 FR 57314, 57317 (Sept. 20, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-110), and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62908 (Sept. 14, 2010), 75 FR 57321, 57324 (Sept. 20, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-111).

    28See generally Mark Hirschey, Fundamentals of Managerial Economics, at 600 (2009) (“It is important to note, however, that although it is possible to determine the separate marginal costs of goods produced in variable proportions, it is impossible to determine their individual average costs. This is because common costs are expenses necessary for manufacture of a joint product. Common costs of production—raw material and equipment costs, management expenses, and other overhead—cannot be allocated to each individual by-product on any economically sound basis. . . . Any allocation of common costs is wrong and arbitrary.”). This is not new economic theory. See, e.g., F.W. Taussig, “A Contribution to the Theory of Railway Rates,” Quarterly Journal of Economics V(4) 438, 465 (July 1891) (“Yet, surely, the division is purely arbitrary. These items of cost, in fact, are jointly incurred for both sorts of traffic; and I cannot share the hope entertained by the statistician of the Commission, Professor Henry C. Adams, that we shall ever reach a mode of apportionment that will lead to trustworthy results.”).

    Analyzing the cost of market data product production and distribution in isolation from the cost of all of the inputs supporting the creation of market data and market data products will inevitably underestimate the cost of the data and data products because it is impossible to obtain the data inputs to create market data products without a fast, technologically robust, and well-regulated execution system, and system and regulatory costs affect the price of both obtaining the market data itself and creating and distributing market data products. It would be equally misleading, however, to attribute all of an exchange's costs to the market data portion of an exchange's joint products. Rather, all of an exchange's costs are incurred for the unified purposes of attracting order flow, executing and/or routing orders, and generating and selling data about market activity. The total return that an exchange earns reflects the revenues it receives from the joint products and the total costs of the joint products.

    As noted above, the level of competition and contestability in the market is evident in the numerous alternative venues that compete for order flow, including 11 equities self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) markets, as well as various forms of alternative trading systems (“ATSs”), including dark pools and electronic communication networks (“ECNs”), and internalizing broker-dealers. SRO markets compete to attract order flow and produce transaction reports via trade executions, and two FINRA-regulated Trade Reporting Facilities compete to attract transaction reports from the non-SRO venues.

    Competition among trading platforms can be expected to constrain the aggregate return that each platform earns from the sale of its joint products, but different trading platforms may choose from a range of possible, and equally reasonable, pricing strategies as the means of recovering total costs. For example, some platforms may choose to pay rebates to attract orders, charge relatively low prices for market data products (or provide market data products free of charge), and charge relatively high prices for accessing posted liquidity. Other platforms may choose a strategy of paying lower rebates (or no rebates) to attract orders, setting relatively high prices for market data products, and setting relatively low prices for accessing posted liquidity. For example, BATS Global Markets (“BATS”) and Direct Edge, which previously operated as ATSs and obtained exchange status in 2008 and 2010, respectively, provided certain market data at no charge on their Web sites in order to attract more order flow, and used revenue rebates from resulting additional executions to maintain low execution charges for their users.29 In this environment, there is no economic basis for regulating maximum prices for one of the joint products in an industry in which suppliers face competitive constraints with regard to the joint offering.

    29 This is simply a securities market-specific example of the well-established principle that in certain circumstances more sales at lower margins can be more profitable than fewer sales at higher margins; this example is additional evidence that market data is an inherent part of a market's joint platform.

    Existence of Alternatives

    The large number of SROs, ATSs, and internalizing broker-dealers that currently produce proprietary data or are currently capable of producing it provides further pricing discipline for proprietary data products. Each SRO, ATS, and broker-dealer is currently permitted to produce and sell proprietary data products, and many currently do, including but not limited to the Exchange, NYSE MKT, NYSE Arca, NASDAQ OMX, BATS, and Direct Edge.

    The fact that proprietary data from ATSs, internalizing broker-dealers, and vendors can bypass SROs is significant in two respects. First, non-SROs can compete directly with SROs for the production and sale of proprietary data products. By way of example, BATS and NYSE Arca both published proprietary data on the Internet before registering as exchanges. Second, because a single order or transaction report can appear in an SRO proprietary product, a non-SRO proprietary product, or both, the amount of data available via proprietary products is greater in size than the actual number of orders and transaction reports that exist in the marketplace. Because market data users can find suitable substitutes for most proprietary market data products, a market that overprices its market data products stands a high risk that users may substitute another source of market data information for its own.

    Those competitive pressures imposed by available alternatives are evident in the Exchange's proposed pricing.

    In addition to the competition and price discipline described above, the market for proprietary data products is also highly contestable because market entry is rapid and inexpensive. The history of electronic trading is replete with examples of entrants that swiftly grew into some of the largest electronic trading platforms and proprietary data producers: Archipelago, Bloomberg Tradebook, Island, RediBook, Attain, TrackECN, BATS Trading and Direct Edge. As noted above, BATS launched as an ATS in 2006 and became an exchange in 2008, while Direct Edge began operations in 2007 and obtained exchange status in 2010.

    In determining the proposed change to the fees for NYSE Order Imbalances and NYSE Alerts, the Exchange considered the competitiveness of the market for proprietary data and all of the implications of that competition. The Exchange believes that it has considered all relevant factors and has not considered irrelevant factors in order to establish fair, reasonable, and not unreasonably discriminatory fees and an equitable allocation of fees among all users. The existence of numerous alternatives to the Exchange's products, including proprietary data from other sources, ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can elect these alternatives or choose not to purchase a specific proprietary data product if the attendant fees are not justified by the returns that any particular vendor or data recipient would achieve through the purchase.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change is effective upon filing pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) 30 of the Act and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 31 thereunder, because it establishes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange.

    30 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    31 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of such proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings under section 19(b)(2)(B) 32 of the Act to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    32 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

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

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NYSE-2016-08 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

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

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSE-2016-08. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSE-2016-08 and should be submitted on or before February 22, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.33

    33 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01712 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Proposed Collection; Comment Request Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of FOIA Services, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-2736. Extension: Rule 17e-1; SEC File No. 270-224, OMB Control No. 3235-0217.

    Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (“Paperwork Reduction Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collection of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for extension and approval.

    Rule 17e-1 (17 CFR 270.17e-1) under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.) (the “Investment Company Act”) deems a remuneration as “not exceeding the usual and customary broker's commission” for purposes of Section 17(e)(2)(A) if, among other things, a registered investment company's (“fund's”) board of directors has adopted procedures reasonably designed to provide that the remuneration to an affiliated broker is a reasonable and fair amount compared to that received by other brokers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities being purchased or sold on a securities exchange during a comparable period of time and the board makes and approves such changes as it deems necessary. In addition, each quarter, the board must determine that all transactions effected under the rule during the preceding quarter complied with the established procedures. Rule 17e-1 also requires the fund to (i) maintain permanently a written copy of the procedures adopted by the board for complying with the requirements of the rule; and (ii) maintain for a period of six years, the first two in an easily accessible place, a written record of each transaction subject to the rule, setting forth the amount and source of the commission, fee, or other remuneration received; the identity of the broker; the terms of the transaction; and the materials used to determine that the transactions were effected in compliance with the procedures adopted by the board. The recordkeeping requirements under rule 17e-1 enable the Commission to ensure that affiliated brokers receive compensation that does not exceed the usual and customary broker's commission. Without the recordkeeping requirements, Commission inspectors would have difficulty ascertaining whether funds were complying with rule 17e-1.

    Based on an analysis of fund filings, the staff estimates that approximately 320 funds enter into subadvisory agreements each year.1 Based on discussions with industry representatives, the staff estimates that it will require approximately 3 attorney hours to draft and execute additional clauses in new subadvisory contracts in order for funds and subadvisers to be able to rely on the exemptions in rule 17e-1. Because these additional clauses are identical to the clauses that a fund would need to insert in their subadvisory contracts to rely on rules 12d3-1, 10f-3, and 17a-10, and because we believe that funds that use one such rule generally use all of these rules, we apportion this 3 hour time burden equally to all four rules. Therefore, we estimate that the burden allocated to rule 17e-1 for this contract change would be 0.75 hours.2 Assuming that all 320 funds enter into new subadvisory contracts each year make the modification to their contract required by the rule, we estimate that the rule's contract modification requirement will result in 240 burden hours annually.3

    1 Based on data from Morningstar, as of September, 2015, there are 12,426 registered funds (open-end funds, closed-end funds, and exchange-traded funds), 4,683 funds of which have subadvisory relationships (approximately 38%). Based on data from the 2015 ICI Factbook, 843 new funds were established in 2014 (654 open-end funds + 176 exchange-traded funds + 13 closed-end funds (from the ICI Research Perspective, April 2015)). 843 new funds × 38% = 320 funds.

    2 3 hours ÷ 4 rules = 0.75 hours.

    3 This estimate is based on the following calculation: 0.75 hours × 320 funds = 240 burden hours.

    Based on an analysis of fund filings, we estimate that approximately 1,696 funds use at least one affiliated broker. Based on staff experience and conversations with fund representatives, the staff estimates approximately 40 percent of transactions (and thus, 40% of funds) that occur under the rule 17e-1 would be exempt from its recordkeeping and review requirements. This would leave approximately 1,018 funds 4 still subject to the rule's recordkeeping and review requirements. Based on staff experience and conversations with fund representatives, we estimate that the burden of compliance with rule 17e-1 is approximately 50 hours per fund per year. This time is spent, for example, reviewing the applicable transactions and maintaining records. Accordingly, we calculate the total estimated annual internal burden of complying with the review and recordkeeping requirements of rule 17e-1 to be approximately 50,900 hours 5 and the total annual burden of the rule's paperwork requirements is 51,140 hours.6

    4 1,696 funds × 0.6 = 1,018 funds.

    5 1,018 funds × 50 hours per fund = 50,900 hours.

    6 240 hours + 50,900 hours = 51,140 hours.

    Estimates of average burden hours are made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act and are not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules and forms. The collection of information under rule 17e-1 is mandatory. The information provided under rule 17e-1 will not be kept confidential. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

    Please direct your written comments to Pamela Dyson, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, C/O Remi Pavlik-Simon, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549; or send an email to: [email protected]

    Dated: January 25, 2016. Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01717 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-76974; File No. SR-NYSEArca-2015-110] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 2 to Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 To Adopt Generic Listing Standards for Managed Fund Shares January 26, 2016.

    On November 6, 2015, NYSE Arca, Inc. (“Exchange” or “NYSE Arca”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to adopt generic listing standards for Managed Fund Shares. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on November 27, 2015.3 On November 23, 2015, after issuance of the Notice but before its publication, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.4 On January 4, 2016, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,5 the Commission designated a longer period within which to approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.6 The Commission has received one comment on the proposal.7

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76486 (Nov. 20, 2015), 80 FR 74169 (“Notice”).

    4 The Exchange withdrew this amendment on January 21, 2016. See infra note 10.

    5 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    6See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76819, 81 FR 987 (Jan. 8, 2016).

    7See letter from Rob Ivanoff to the Commission dated Nov. 22, 2015, available at: http://www.sec.gov/comments/sr-nysearca-2015-110/nysearca2015110.shtml.

    Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Act 8 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,9 notice is hereby given that, on January 21, 2016, the Exchange filed with the Commission Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. Amendment No. 2 replaces and supersedes the proposed rule change as originally filed. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments from interested persons on Amendment No. 2.

    8 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    9 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 to adopt generic listing standards for Managed Fund Shares. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 to adopt generic listing standards for Managed Fund Shares. Under the Exchange's current rules, a proposed rule change must be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) for the listing and trading of each new series of Managed Fund Shares. The Exchange believes that it is appropriate to codify certain rules within Rule 8.600 that would generally eliminate the need for such proposed rule changes, which would create greater efficiency and promote uniform standards in the listing process.10

    10 The Exchange has previously filed a proposed rule change to amend NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 to adopt generic listing standards for Managed Fund Shares. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 74433 (March 4, 2015), 80 FR 12690 (March 10, 2015) (SR-NYSEArca-2015-02). On June 3, 2015, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 75115 (June 5, 2015), 80 FR 33309 (June 11, 2015). On October 13, 2015, the Exchange withdrew the proposed rule change. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76186 (October 19, 2015), 80 FR 64461 (October 23, 2015). This Amendment No. 2 to SR-NYSEArca-2015-110 replaces SR-NYSEArca-2015-110 as originally filed and supersedes such filing in its entirety. The Exchange has withdrawn Amendment No. 1 to SR-NYSEArca-2015-110.

    Background

    Rule 8.600 sets forth certain rules related to the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares.11 Under Rule 8.600(c)(1), the term “Managed Fund Share” means a security that:

    11See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57619 (April 4, 2008), 73 FR 19544 (April 10, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2008-25) (order approving NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 and listing and trading of shares of certain issues of Managed Fund Shares) (the “Approval Order”). The Approval Order approved the rules permitting the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares, trading hours and halts, listing fees applicable to Managed Fund Shares, and the listing and trading of several individual series of Managed Fund Shares.

    (a) Represents an interest in a registered investment company (“Investment Company”) organized as an open-end management investment company or similar entity, that invests in a portfolio of securities selected by the Investment Company's investment adviser (hereafter “Adviser”) consistent with the Investment Company's investment objectives and policies;

    (b) is issued in a specified aggregate minimum number in return for a deposit of a specified portfolio of securities and/or a cash amount with a value equal to the next determined net asset value; and

    (c) when aggregated in the same specified minimum number, may be redeemed at a holder's request, which holder will be paid a specified portfolio of securities and/or cash with a value equal to the next determined net asset value.

    Effectively, Managed Fund Shares are securities issued by an actively-managed open-end Investment Company (i.e., an actively-managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”)). Because Managed Fund Shares are actively-managed, they do not seek to replicate the performance of a specified passive index of securities. Instead, they generally use an active investment strategy to seek to meet their investment objectives. In contrast, an open-end Investment Company that issues Investment Company Units (“Units”), listed and traded on the Exchange pursuant to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3), seeks to provide investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield performance of a specific foreign or domestic stock index, fixed income securities index or combination thereof.

    All Managed Fund Shares listed and/or traded pursuant to Rule 8.600 (including pursuant to unlisted trading privileges) are subject to the full panoply of Exchange rules and procedures that currently govern the trading of equity securities on the Exchange.12

    12See Approval Order, supra note 11, at 19547.

    In addition, Rule 8.600(d) currently provides for the criteria that Managed Fund Shares must satisfy for initial and continued listing on the Exchange, including, for example, that a minimum number of Managed Fund Shares are required to be outstanding at the time of commencement of trading on the Exchange. However, the current process for listing and trading new series of Managed Fund Shares on the Exchange requires that the Exchange submit a proposed rule change with the Commission. In this regard, Commentary .01 to Rule 8.600 specifies that the Exchange will file separate proposals under section 19(b) of the Act (hereafter, a “proposed rule change”) before listing and trading of shares of an issue of Managed Fund Shares.

    Proposed Changes to Rule 8.600

    The Exchange would amend Commentary .01 to Rule 8.600 to specify that the Exchange may approve Managed Fund Shares for listing and/or trading (including pursuant to unlisted trading privileges) pursuant to SEC Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act, which pertains to derivative securities products (“SEC Rule 19b-4(e)”).13 SEC Rule 19b-4(e)(1) provides that the listing and trading of a new derivative securities product by a self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) is not deemed a proposed rule change, pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of Rule 19b-4,14 if the Commission has approved, pursuant to section 19(b) of the Act, the SRO's trading rules, procedures and listing standards for the product class that would include the new derivative securities product and the SRO has a surveillance program for the product class. This is the current method pursuant to which “passive” ETFs are listed under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3).

    13 17 CFR 240.19b-4(e). As provided under SEC Rule 19b-4(e), the term “new derivative securities product” means any type of option, warrant, hybrid securities product or any other security, other than a single equity option or a security futures product, whose value is based, in whole or in part, upon the performance of, or interest in, an underlying instrument.

    14 17 CFR 240.19b-4(c)(1). As provided under SEC Rule 19b-4(c)(1), a stated policy, practice, or interpretation of the SRO shall be deemed to be a proposed rule change unless it is reasonably and fairly implied by an existing rule of the SRO.

    The Exchange would also specify within Commentary .01 to Rule 8.600 that components of Managed Fund Shares listed pursuant to SEC Rule 19b-4(e) must satisfy on an initial and continued basis certain specific criteria, which the Exchange would include within Commentary .01, as described in greater detail below. As proposed, the Exchange would continue to file separate proposed rule changes before the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares with components that do not satisfy the additional criteria described below or components other than those specified below. For example, if the components of a Managed Fund Share exceeded one of the applicable thresholds, the Exchange would file a separate proposed rule change before listing and trading such Managed Fund Share. Similarly, if the components of a Managed Fund Share included a security or asset that is not specified below, the Exchange would file a separate proposed rule change.

    The Exchange would also add to the criteria of Rule 8.600(c) to provide that the Web site for each series of Managed Fund Shares shall disclose certain information regarding the Disclosed Portfolio, to the extent applicable. The required information includes the following, to the extent applicable: Ticker symbol, CUSIP or other identifier, a description of the holding, identity of the asset upon which the derivative is based, the strike price for any options, the quantity of each security or other asset held as measured by select metrics, maturity date, coupon rate, effective date, market value and percentage weight of the holding in the portfolio.15

    15 Proposed rule changes for previously-listed series of Managed Fund Shares have similarly included disclosure requirements with respect to each portfolio holding, as applicable to the type of holding. See, e.g. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72666 (July 3, 2014), 79 FR 44224 (July 30, 2014) (SR-NYSEArca-2013-122) (the “PIMCO Total Return Use of Derivatives Approval”), at 44227.

    In addition, the Exchange would amend Rule 8.600(d) to specify that all Managed Fund Shares must have a stated investment objective, which must be adhered to under normal market conditions.16

    16 The Exchange would also add a new defined term under Rule 8.600(c)(5) to specify that the term “normal market conditions” includes, but is not limited to, the absence of trading halts in the applicable financial markets generally; operational issues causing dissemination of inaccurate market information; or force majeure type events such as systems failure, natural or man-made disaster, act of God, armed conflict, act of terrorism, riot or labor disruption or any similar intervening circumstance.

    Finally, the Exchange would also amend the continued listing requirement in Rule 8.600(d)(2)(A) by changing the requirement that a Portfolio Indicative Value for Managed Fund Shares be widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during the time when the Managed Fund Shares trade on the Exchange to a requirement that a Portfolio Indicative Value be widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during the Core Trading Session (as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.34).

    Proposed Managed Fund Share Portfolio Standards

    The Exchange is proposing standards that would pertain to Managed Fund Shares to qualify for listing and trading pursuant to SEC Rule 19b-4(e). These standards would be grouped according to security or asset type. The Exchange notes that the standards proposed for a Managed Fund Share portfolio that holds U.S. Component Stocks, Non-U.S. Component Stocks, Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities are based in large part on the existing equity security standards applicable to Units in Commentary .01 to Rule 5.2(j)(3). The standards proposed for a Managed Fund Share portfolio that holds fixed income securities are based in large part on the existing fixed income security standards applicable to Units in Commentary .02 to Rule 5.2(j)(3). Many of the standards proposed for other types of holdings in a Managed Fund Share portfolio are based on previous proposed rule changes for specific series of Managed Fund Shares.17

    17See the PIMCO Total Return Use of Derivatives Approval. See also, Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 66321 (February 3, 2012), 77 FR 6850 (February 9, 2012) (SR-NYSEArca-2011-95) (the “PIMCO Total Return Approval”); 69244 (March 27, 2013), 78 FR 19766 (April 2, 2013) (SR-NYSEArca-2013-08) (the “SPDR Blackstone/GSO Senior Loan Approval”); 68870 (February 8, 2013), 78 FR 11245 (February 15, 2013) (SR-NYSEArca-2012-139) (the “First Trust Preferred Securities and Income Approval”); 69591 (May 16, 2013), 78 FR 30372 (May 22, 2013) (SR-NYSEArca-2013-33) (the “International Bear Approval”); 61697 (March 12, 2010), 75 FR 13616 (March 22, 2010) (SR-NYSEArca-2010-04) (the “WisdomTree Real Return Approval”); and 67054 (May 24, 2012), 77 FR 32161 (May 31, 2012) (SR-NYSEArca-2012-25) (the “WisdomTree Brazil Bond Approval”). Certain standards proposed herein for Managed Fund Shares are also based on previous proposed rule changes for specific series of Units for which Commission approval for listing was required due to the Units not satisfying certain standards of Commentary .01 and .02 to Rule 5.2(j)(3). See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 69373 (April 15, 2013), 78 FR 23601 (April 19, 2013) (SR-NYSEArca-2012-108) (the “NYSE Arca U.S. Equity Synthetic Reverse Convertible Index Fund Approval”).

    Proposed Commentary .01(a) would describe the standards for a Managed Fund Share portfolio that holds equity securities, which are defined to be U.S. Component Stocks,18 Non-U.S. Component Stocks,19 Derivative Securities Products,20 and Index-Linked Securities 21 listed on a national securities exchange. For Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities, no more than 25% of the equity weight of the portfolio could include leveraged and/or inverse leveraged Derivative Securities Products or Index-Linked Securities.

    18 For the purposes of Commentary .01 and this proposal, the term “U.S. Component Stocks” would have the same meaning as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3).

    19 For the purposes of Commentary .01 and this proposal, the term “Non-U.S. Component Stocks” would have the same meaning as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3).

    20 For the purposes of Commentary .01 and this proposal, the term “Derivative Securities Products” would have the same meaning as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.34(a)(4)(A).

    21 Index-Linked Securities are securities listed under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(6).

    As proposed in Commentary .01(a)(1) to Rule 8.600, the component stocks of the equity portion of a portfolio that are U.S. Component Stocks shall meet the following criteria:

    (1) Component stocks (excluding Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities) that in the aggregate account for at least 90% of the equity weight of the portfolio (excluding such Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities) each must have a minimum market value of at least $75 million; 22

    22 This proposed text is identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(A)(1) to Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable, and the addition of the reference to Index-Linked Securities.

    (2) Component stocks (excluding Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities) that in the aggregate account for at least 70% of the equity weight of the portfolio (excluding such Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities) each must have a minimum monthly trading volume of 250,000 shares, or minimum notional volume traded per month of $25,000,000, averaged over the last six months; 23

    23 This proposed text is identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(A)(2) to Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable, and the addition of the reference to Index-Linked Securities.

    (3) The most heavily weighted component stock (excluding Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities) must not exceed 30% of the equity weight of the portfolio, and, to the extent applicable, the five most heavily weighted component stocks (excluding Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities) must not exceed 65% of the equity weight of the portfolio; 24

    24 This proposed text is identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(A)(3) to Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable, and the addition of the reference to Index-Linked Securities.

    (4) Where the equity portion of the portfolio does not include Non-U.S. Component Stocks, the equity portion of the portfolio shall include a minimum of 13 component stocks; provided, however, that there shall be no minimum number of component stocks if (a) one or more series of Derivative Securities Products or Index-Linked Securities constitute, at least in part, components underlying a series of Managed Fund Shares, or (b) one or more series of Derivative Securities Products or Index-Linked Securities account for 100% of the equity weight of the portfolio of a series of Managed Fund Shares; 25

    25 This proposed text is identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(A)(4) to Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable, the addition of the reference to Index-Linked Securities, and the reference to the 100% limit applying to the “equity portion” of the portfolio.

    (5) Except as provided in proposed Commentary .01(a), equity securities in the portfolio must be U.S. Component Stocks listed on a national securities exchange and must be NMS Stocks as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS; 26

    26 17 CFR 240.600. This proposed text is identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(A)(5) to Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the addition of “equity” to make clear that the standard applies to “equity securities”, the exclusion of unsponsored ADRs, and the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable.

    (6) For Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities, no more than 25% of the equity weight of the portfolio could include leveraged and/or inverse leveraged Derivative Securities Products or Index-Linked Securities; and

    (7) American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) may be sponsored or unsponsored. However no more than 10% of the equity weight of the portfolio shall consist of unsponsored ADRs.27

    27 Proposed rule changes for previously-listed series of Managed Fund Shares have similarly included the ability for such Managed Fund Share holdings to include not more than 10% of net assets in unsponsored ADRs. See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 71067 (December 12, 20113), 78 FR 76669 (December 18, 2013) (order approving listing and trading of shares of the SPDR MFS Systematic Core Equity ETF, SPDR MFS Systematic Growth Equity ETF, and SPDR MFS Systematic Value Equity ETF under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600).

    As proposed in Commentary .01(a)(2) to Rule 8.600, the component stocks of the equity portion of a portfolio that are Non-U.S. Component Stocks shall meet the following criteria:

    (1) Non-U.S. Component Stocks each shall have a minimum market value of at least $100 million; 28

    28 The proposed text is identical to the corresponding representation from the “SSgA Global Managed Volatility Release”, as defined in footnote 27, below. The proposed text is also identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(B)(1) to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable, and that each Non-U.S. Component Stock must have a minimum market value of at least $100 million instead of the 90% required under Commentary .01(a)(B)(1) to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3).

    (2) Non-U.S. Component Stocks each shall have a minimum global monthly trading volume of 250,000 shares, or minimum global notional volume traded per month of $25,000,000, averaged over the last six months; 29

    29 The proposed text is identical to the corresponding representation from the SSgA Global Managed Volatility Release, as defined in footnote 27, below. This proposed text also is identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(B)(2) to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable.

    (3) The most heavily weighted Non-U.S. Component Stock shall not exceed 25% of the equity weight of the portfolio, and, to the extent applicable, the five most heavily weighted Non-U.S. Component Stocks shall not exceed 60% of the equity weight of the portfolio; 30

    30 This proposed text is identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(B)(3) to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable.

    (4) Where the equity portion of the portfolio includes Non-U.S. Component Stocks, the equity portion of the portfolio shall include a minimum of 20 component stocks; provided, however, that there shall be no minimum number of component stocks if (i) one or more series of Derivative Securities Products or Index-Linked Securities constitute, at least in part, components underlying a series of Managed Fund Shares, or (ii) one or more series of Derivative Securities Products or Index-Linked Securities account for 100% of the equity weight of the portfolio of a series of Managed Fund Shares; 31 and

    31 This proposed text is similar to the corresponding text of Commentary .01(a)(B)(4) to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable, the addition of the reference to Index-Linked Securities, the reference to the equity portion of the portfolio including Non-U.S. Component Stocks, and the reference to the 100% limitation applying to the “equity weight” of the portfolio, which is included because the proposed standards in Commentary .01 to Rule 8.600 permit the inclusion of non-equity securities, whereas Commentary .01 to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3) applies only to equity securities.

    (5) Each Non-U.S. Component Stock shall be listed and traded on an exchange that has last-sale reporting.32

    32 This proposed text is similar to Commentary .01(a)(B)(5) to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3) as it relates to Non-U.S. Component Stocks.

    The Exchange notes that it is not proposing to require that any of the equity portion of the equity portfolio composed of Non-U.S. Component Stocks be listed on markets that are either a member of the Intermarket Surveillance Group (“ISG”) or a market with which the Exchange has a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement (“CSSA”).33 However, as further detailed below, the regulatory staff of the Exchange, or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”), on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in Managed Fund Shares with other markets that are members of the ISG, including U.S. securities exchanges on which the components are traded. The Exchange notes that the generic listing standards for Units based on foreign indexes in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3) do not include specific ISG or CSSA requirements.34 In addition, the Commission has approved listing and trading on the Exchange of shares of an issue of Managed Fund Shares under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 where non-U.S. equity securities in such issue's portfolio meet specified criteria and where there is no requirement that such non-U.S. equity securities are traded in markets that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a CSSA.35

    33 A list of ISG members is available at www.isgportal.org.

    34 Under Commentary .01 to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3), Units with components that include Non-U.S. Component Stocks can hold a portfolio that is entirely composed of Non-U.S. Component Stocks that are listed on markets that are neither members of ISG, nor with which the Exchange has in place a CSSA.

    35See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 75023 (May 21, 2015), 80 FR 30519 (May 28, 2015) (SR-NYSEArca-2014-100) (order approving listing and trading on the Exchange of shares of the SPDR SSgA Global Managed Volatility ETF under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600) (“SSgA Global Managed Volatility Release”).

    Proposed Commentary .01(a)(3) would provide that the portfolio may hold rights and warrants, provided that the common stock underlying such rights or warrants must be U.S. Component Stocks or Non-U.S. Component Stocks that meet the criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(1) or paragraph (a)(2) of Commentary .01.

    Proposed Commentary .01(b) would describe the standards for a Managed Fund Share portfolio that holds fixed income securities, which are debt securities 36 that are notes, bonds, debentures or evidence of indebtedness that include, but are not limited to, U.S. Department of Treasury securities (“Treasury Securities”), government-sponsored entity securities (“GSE Securities”), municipal securities, trust preferred securities, supranational debt and debt of a foreign country or a subdivision thereof, investment grade and high yield corporate debt, bank loans, mortgage and asset backed securities, and commercial paper. The applicable portfolio holdings standards would be as follows:

    36 Debt securities include a variety of fixed income obligations, including, but not limited to, corporate debt securities, government securities, municipal securities, convertible securities, and mortgage-backed securities. Debt securities include investment-grade securities, non-investment-grade securities, and unrated securities. Debt securities also include variable and floating rate securities.

    (1) Components that in the aggregate account for at least 75% of the fixed income weight of the portfolio each shall have a minimum original principal amount outstanding of $100 million or more; 37

    37 This text of proposed Commentary .01(b)(1) to Rule 8.600 is based on the corresponding text of Commentary .02(a)(2) to Rule 5.2(j)(3) .

    (2) No component fixed-income security (excluding Treasury Securities and GSE Securities) could represent more than 30% of the fixed income weight of the portfolio, and the five most heavily weighted component fixed income securities in the portfolio must not in the aggregate account for more than 65% of the fixed income weight of the portfolio; 38

    38 This proposed text is identical to the corresponding text of Commentary .02(a)(4) to Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable.

    (3) An underlying portfolio (excluding exempted securities) that includes fixed income securities must include a minimum of 13 non-affiliated issuers; provided, however, that there shall be no minimum number of non-affiliated issuers required for fixed income securities if at least 70% of the weight of the portfolio consists of equity securities as described in proposed Commentary .01(a).39

    39 This proposed text is similar to the corresponding text of Commentary .02(a)(5) to Rule 5.2(j)(3), except for the omission of the reference to “index,” which is not applicable, the exclusion of the text “consisting entirely of exempted securities” and the provision that there shall be no minimum number of non-affiliated issuers required for fixed income securities if at least 70% of the weight of the portfolio consists of equity securities as described in proposed Commentary .01(a).

    (4) Component securities that in aggregate account for at least 90% of the fixed income weight of the portfolio must be either (a) from issuers that are required to file reports pursuant to Sections 13 and 15(d) of the Act; (b) from issuers that have a worldwide market value of its outstanding common equity held by non-affiliates of $700 million or more; (c) from issuers that have outstanding securities that are notes, bonds debentures, or evidence of indebtedness having a total remaining principal amount of at least $1 billion; (d) exempted securities as defined in section 3(a)(12) of the Act; or (e) from issuers that are a government of a foreign country or a political subdivision of a foreign country; and

    (5) Non-agency, non-GSE and privately-issued mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities components of a portfolio shall not account, in the aggregate, for more than 20% of the weight of the fixed income portion of the portfolio.40

    40 Proposed rule changes for previously-listed series of Managed Fund Shares have similarly included the ability for such Managed Fund Share holdings to include up to 20% of net assets in non-agency, non-GSE and privately-issued mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities. See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 75566 (July 30, 2015), 80 FR 46612 (August 5, 2015) (SR-NYSEArca-2015-42) (order approving listing and trading of shares of Newfleet Multi-Sector Unconstrained Bond ETF under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600).

    (6) Any convertible security must be convertible into an equity security that meets the criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(1) or paragraph (a)(2) of Commentary .01.

    Proposed Commentary .01(c) would describe the standards for a Managed Fund Share portfolio that holds cash and cash equivalents.41 Specifically, the portfolio may hold short-term instruments with maturities of less than 3 months. There would be no limitation to the percentage of the portfolio invested in such holdings. Short-term instruments would include the following: 42

    41 Proposed rule changes for previously-listed series of Managed Fund Shares have similarly included the ability for such Managed Fund Share holdings to include cash and cash equivalents. See, e.g., SPDR Blackstone/GSO Senior Loan Approval, supra note 17, at 19768-69 and First Trust Preferred Securities and Income Approval, supra note 17, at 76150.

    42 Proposed rule changes for previously-listed series of Managed Fund Shares have similarly specified short-term instruments with respect to their inclusion in Managed Fund Share holdings. See, e.g., First Trust Preferred Securities and Income Approval, supra note 17, at 76150-51.

    (1) U.S. Government securities, including bills, notes and bonds differing as to maturity and rates of interest, which are either issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or by U.S. Government agencies or instrumentalities;

    (2) certificates of deposit issued against funds deposited in a bank or savings and loan association;

    (3) bankers' acceptances, which are short-term credit instruments used to finance commercial transactions;

    (4) repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements;

    (5) bank time deposits, which are monies kept on deposit with banks or savings and loan associations for a stated period of time at a fixed rate of interest;

    (6) commercial paper, which are short-term unsecured promissory notes; and

    (7) money market funds.

    Proposed Commentary .01(d) would describe the standards for a Managed Fund Share portfolio that holds listed derivatives, including futures, options and swaps on commodities, currencies and financial instruments (e.g., stocks, fixed income, interest rates, and volatility) or a basket or index of any of the foregoing.43 There would be no limitation to the percentage of the portfolio invested in such holdings; provided, however, that, in the aggregate, at least 90% of the weight of such holdings invested in futures, exchange-traded options and swaps shall consist of futures, options and swaps whose principal market is a member of the Intermarket Surveillance Group (“ISG”) or is a market with which the Exchange has a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement (“CSSA”).44 Proposed Commentary .01(e) would describe the standards for a Managed Fund Share portfolio that holds over the counter (“OTC”) derivatives, including forwards, options and swaps on commodities, currencies and financial instruments (e.g., stocks, fixed income, interest rates, and volatility) or a basket or index of any of the foregoing.45 Proposed Commentary .01(e)(1) would provide that no more than 20% of the assets in the portfolio may be invested in OTC derivatives.

    43 Proposed rule changes for previously-listed series of Managed Fund Shares have similarly included the ability for such Managed Fund Share holdings to include listed derivatives. See, e.g., WisdomTree Real Return Approval, supra note 17, at 13617 and WisdomTree Brazil Bond Approval, supra note 17, at 32163.

    44 ISG is comprised of an international group of exchanges, market centers, and market regulators that perform front-line market surveillance in their respective jurisdictions. See https://www.isgportal.org/home.html.

    45 A proposed rule change for series of Units previously listed and traded on the Exchange pursuant to Rule 5.2(j)(3) similarly included the ability for such Units' holdings to include OTC derivatives, specifically OTC down-and-in put options, which are not NMS Stocks as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS and therefore do not satisfy the requirements of Commentary .01(a)(A) to Rule 5.2(j)(3). See, e.g., NYSE Arca U.S. Equity Synthetic Reverse Convertible Index Fund Approval, supra note 17, at 23602.

    Proposed Commentary .01(f) would provide that, to the extent that listed or OTC derivatives are used to gain exposure to individual equities and/or fixed income securities, or to indexes of equities and/or fixed income securities, such equities and/or fixed income securities, as applicable, shall meet the criteria set forth in Commentary .01(a) and .01(b) to Rule 8.600, respectively.

    The Exchange believes that the proposed standards would continue to ensure transparency surrounding the listing process for Managed Fund Shares. Additionally, the Exchange believes that the proposed portfolio standards for listing and trading Managed Fund Shares, many of which track existing Exchange rules relating to Units, are reasonably designed to promote a fair and orderly market for such Managed Fund Shares.46 These proposed standards would also work in conjunction with the existing initial and continued listing criteria related to surveillance procedures and trading guidelines.

    46See Approval Order, supra note 11 at 19548.

    In support of this proposal, the Exchange represents that: 47

    47 The Exchange made similar representations in the Approval Order. See id. at 19549.

    (1) The Managed Fund Shares will continue to conform to the initial and continued listing criteria under Rule 8.600;

    (2) the Exchange's surveillance procedures are adequate to continue to properly monitor the trading of the Managed Fund Shares in all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules. Specifically, the Exchange intends to utilize its existing surveillance procedures applicable to derivative products, which will include Managed Fund Shares, to monitor trading in the Managed Fund Shares;

    (3) prior to the commencement of trading of a particular series of Managed Fund Shares, the Exchange will inform its Equity Trading Permit (“ETP”) Holders in a Bulletin of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Managed Fund Shares, including procedures for purchases and redemptions of Managed Fund Shares, suitability requirements under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 9.2(a), the risks involved in trading the Managed Fund Shares during the Opening and Late Trading Sessions when an updated Portfolio Indicative Value will not be calculated or publicly disseminated, information regarding the Portfolio Indicative Value and the Disclosed Portfolio, prospectus delivery requirements, and other trading information. In addition, the Bulletin will disclose that the Managed Fund Shares are subject to various fees and expenses, as described in the applicable registration statement, and will discuss any exemptive, no-action, and interpretive relief granted by the Commission from any rules under the Act. Finally, the Bulletin will disclose that the net asset value for the Managed Fund Shares will be calculated after 4 p.m. ET each trading day; and

    (4) the issuer of a series of Managed Fund Shares will be required to comply with Rule 10A-3 under the Act for the initial and continued listing of Managed Fund Shares, as provided under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.3.

    The Exchange notes that the proposed change is not otherwise intended to address any other issues and that the Exchange is not aware of any problems that ETP Holders or issuers would have in complying with the proposed change.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act,48 in general, and furthers the objectives of section 6(b)(5) of the Act,49 in particular, because it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to, and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    48 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    49 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    The proposed rule change is designed to perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest because it would facilitate the listing and trading of additional Managed Fund Shares, which would enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace. Specifically, after more than six years under the current process, whereby the Exchange is required to file a proposed rule change with the Commission for the listing and trading of each new series of Managed Fund Shares, the Exchange believes that it is appropriate to codify certain rules within Rule 8.600 that would generally eliminate the need for separate proposed rule changes. The Exchange believes that this would facilitate the listing and trading of additional types of Managed Fund Shares that have investment portfolios that are similar to investment portfolios for Units, which have been approved for listing and trading, thereby creating greater efficiencies in the listing process for the Exchange and the Commission. In this regard, the Exchange notes that the standards proposed for Managed Fund Share portfolios that include U.S. Component Stocks, Non-U.S. Component Stocks, Derivative Securities Products, and Index-Linked Securities are based in large part on the existing equity security standards applicable to Units in Commentary .01 to Rule 5.2(j)(3) and that the standards proposed for Managed Fund Share portfolios that include fixed income securities are based in large part on the existing fixed income standards applicable to Units in Commentary .02 to Rule 5.2(j)(3). Additionally, many of the standards proposed for other types of holdings of series of Managed Fund Shares are based on previous proposed rule changes for specific series of Managed Fund Shares.50

    50See supra, note 17.

    With respect to the proposed addition to the criteria of Rule 8.600(c) to provide that the Web site for each series of Managed Fund Shares shall disclose certain information regarding the Disclosed Portfolio, to the extent applicable, the Exchange notes that proposed rule changes approved by the Commission for previously-listed series of Managed Fund Shares have similarly included disclosure requirements with respect to each portfolio holding, as applicable to the type of holding.51 With respect to the proposed exclusion of Derivatives Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities from the requirements of proposed Commentary .01(a) of Rule 8.600, the Exchange believes it is appropriate to exclude Index-Linked Securities as well as Derivative Securities Products from certain component stock eligibility criteria for Managed Fund Shares in so far as Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities are themselves subject to specific quantitative listing and continued listing requirements of a national securities exchange on which such securities are listed. Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities that are components of a fund's portfolio would have been listed and traded on a national securities exchange pursuant to a proposed rule change approved by the Commission pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act 52 or submitted by a national securities exchange pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 53 or would have been listed by a national securities exchange pursuant to the requirements of Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act.54 The Exchange also notes that Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities are derivatively priced, and, therefore, the Exchange believes that it would not be necessary to apply the proposed generic quantitative criteria (e.g., market capitalization, trading volume, or portfolio component weighting) applicable to equity securities other than Derivative Securities Products or Index-Linked Securities (e.g., common stocks) to such products.55

    51See supra, note 15.

    52 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    53 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    54 17 CFR 240.19b-4(e).

    55See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 57561 (March 26, 2008), 73 FR 17390 (April 1, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2008-29) (notice of filing of proposed rule change to amend eligibility criteria for components of an index underlying Investment Company Units); 57751 (May 1, 2008), 73 FR 25818 (May 7, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2008-29) (order approving proposed rule change to amend eligibility criteria for components of an index underlying Investment Company Units).

    With respect to the proposed criteria applicable to U.S. Component Stocks, the Exchange notes that such criteria are similar to those in Commentary .01 to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3) relating to criteria applicable to an index or portfolio of U.S. Component Stocks. In addition, Non-U.S. Component Stocks also will be required to meet criteria similar to certain generic listing standards in Commentary .01 to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3) relating to criteria applicable to an index or portfolio of U.S. Component Stocks and Non-U.S. Component Stocks underlying a series of Units to be listed and traded on the Exchange pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act.

    With respect to the proposed requirement in Commentary .01(a)(1)(G) that no more than 10% of the equity weight of the portfolio shall consist of unsponsored ADRs, the Exchange notes that such requirement will ensure that unsponsored ADRs, which are traded OTC and which generally have less market transparency than sponsored ADRs, could account for only a small percentage of the equity weight of a portfolio. Further, the requirement is consistent with representations made in proposed rule changes for issues of Managed Fund Shares previously approved by the Commission.56

    56See note 27, supra.

    With respect to the proposed requirement in Commentary .01(a)(3) that a the common stock underlying rights or warrants in a portfolio must be U.S. Component Stocks or Non-U.S. Component Stocks that meet the criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(1) or paragraph (a)(2) of Commentary .01, such requirement would assure that common stocks underlying an issue of rights or warrants meet the liquidity and other criteria in Commentary .01 applicable to U.S. Component Stocks and Non-U.S. Component Stocks.

    Similarly, with respect to the proposed requirement in Commentary .01(b)(6) that any convertible security must be convertible into an equity security that meets the criteria in paragraph (a)(1) or paragraph (a)(2) of Commentary .01, such requirement would assure that the equity securities into which a convertible security could be converted meet the liquidity and other criteria in Commentary .01 applicable to such equity securities (i.e., U.S. Component Stocks and Non-U.S. Component Stocks).

    With respect to the proposed amendment to the continued listing requirement in Rule 8.600(d)(2)(A) to require dissemination of a Portfolio Indicative Value at least every 15 seconds during the Core Trading Session (as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.34), such requirement conforms to the requirement applicable to the dissemination of the Intraday Indicative Value for Units in Commentary .01(c) and Commentary .02 (c) to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3). In addition, such dissemination is consistent with representations made in proposed rule changes for issues of Managed Fund Shares previously approved by the Commission.57

    57See, e.g., Approval Order, supra note 11; International Bear Approval, supra note 17.

    With respect to the proposed requirement in Commentary .01(b)(3) to Rule 8.600 that an underlying portfolio (excluding exempted securities) that includes fixed income securities must include a minimum of 13 non-affiliated issuers, but that there would be no minimum number of non-affiliated issuers required for fixed income securities if at least 70% of the weight of the portfolio consists of equity securities, the Exchange notes that such requirement is consistent with proposed Commentary .01(b)(2). The Exchange further notes that Commentary .02 (a)(4) to Rule 5.2(j)(3) currently provides that a single fixed income security can represent up to 30% of the weight of an index underlying a series of Units. Proposed Commentary .01(b)(3) to Rule 8.600, therefore, provides for a maximum weighting of a fixed income security in a fund's portfolio comparable to existing rules applicable to Units based on fixed income indexes.

    With respect to the proposed requirement in Commentary .01(b)(5) that non-agency, non-GSE and privately-issued mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities components of a portfolio shall not account, in the aggregate, for more than 20% of the weight of the fixed income portion of the portfolio, the Exchange notes that such requirement is consistent with representations made in proposed rule changes for issues of Managed Fund Shares previously approved by the Commission.58

    58See note 40, supra.

    With respect to the proposed amendment to Commentary .01(c) relating to cash and cash equivalents, while there is no limitation on the amount of cash and cash equivalents that can make up the portfolio, such instruments are short-term, highly liquid, and of high credit quality, making them less susceptible than other asset classes both to price manipulation and volatility. Further, the requirement is consistent with representations made in proposed rule changes for issues of Managed Fund Shares previously approved by the Commission.59

    59See note 41, supra.

    With respect to proposed Commentary .01(d)(1) to Rule 8.600 relating to listed derivatives, the Exchange believes that it is appropriate that there be no limit to the percentage of a portfolio invested in such holdings, provided that, in the aggregate, at least 90% of the weight of such holdings invested in futures, exchange-traded options and swaps would consist of futures and options whose principal market is a member of ISG or is a market with which the Exchange has a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. Such a requirement would facilitate information sharing among market participants trading shares of a series on Managed Fund Shares as well as futures and options that such series may hold. In addition, listed swaps would be centrally cleared, reducing counterparty risk and thereby furthering investor protection.60

    60 The Commission has noted that “[c]entral clearing mitigates counterparty risk among dealers and other institutions by shifting that risk from individual counterparties to [central counterparties (“CCPs”)], thereby protecting CCPs from each other's potential failures.” See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67286 (June 28, 2012) (File No. S7-44-10) (Process for Submissions for Review of Security-Based Swaps for Mandatory Clearing and Notice Filing Requirements for Clearing Agencies).

    With respect to proposed Commentary .01(e) to Rule 8.600 relating to OTC derivatives, the Exchange believes that the limitation to 20% of assets for non-centrally cleared derivatives would assure that the preponderance of fund investments would not be in derivatives that are not listed and centrally cleared. The Exchange believes that such a limitation is sufficient to mitigate the risks associated with price manipulation because a 20% cap on OTC derivatives will ensure that any series of Managed Fund Shares will be sufficiently broad-based in scope to minimize potential manipulation associated with OTC derivatives and because the remaining 80% of the portfolio will consist of instruments subject to numerous restrictions designed to prevent manipulation, including equity securities (which, as proposed, would be subject to market cap, trading volume, and diversity requirements, among others), fixed income securities (which, as proposed, would be subject to principal amount outstanding, diversity, and issuer requirements, among others), cash and cash equivalents (which, as proposed, would be limited to short-term, highly liquid, and high credit quality instruments), and/or listed derivatives (which, as proposed, 90% of the weight of such listed derivatives will be futures, options and swaps whose principal market is a member of ISG).

    With respect to proposed Commentary .01(f) to Rule 8.600 relating to a fund's use of listed or OTC derivatives to gain exposure to individual equities and/or fixed income securities, or to indexes of equities and/or indexes of fixed income securities, the Exchange notes that such exposure would be required to meet the numerical and other criteria set forth in proposed Commentary .01(a) and .01(b) to Rule 8.600 respectively. The Exchange notes that, for purposes of this proposal, a portfolio's investment in OTC derivatives will be calculated as the amount of any margin required by a counterparty for the purchase of a derivative by a fund.

    Quotation and other market information relating to listed futures and options is available from the exchanges listing such instruments as well as from market data vendors. With respect to centrally-cleared swaps 61 and non-centrally-cleared swaps regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”),62 the Dodd-Frank Act mandates that swap information be reported to swap data repositories (“SDRs”).63 SDRs provide a central facility for swap data reporting and recordkeeping and are required to comply with data standards set by the CFTC, including real-time public reporting of swap transaction data to a derivatives clearing organization or SEF.64 SDRs require real-time reporting of all OTC and centrally cleared derivatives, including public reporting of the swap price and size. The parties responsible for reporting swaps information are CFTC-registered swap dealers (“RSDs”), major swap participants, and SEFs. If swap counterparties do not fall into the above categories, then one of the parties to the swap must report the trade to the SDR. Cleared swaps regulated by the CFTC must be executed on a Designated Contract Market (“DCM”) or SEF. Such cleared swaps have the same reporting requirements as futures, including end-of-day price, volume, and open interest. CFTC swaps reporting requirements require public dissemination of, among other items, product ID (if available); asset class; underlying reference asset, reference issuer, or reference index; termination date; date and time of execution; price, including currency; notional amounts, including currency; whether direct or indirect counterparties include an RSD; whether cleared or un-cleared; and platform ID of where the contract was executed (if applicable).

    61 There are currently five categories of swaps eligible for central clearing: Interest rate swaps; credit default swaps; foreign exchange swaps; equity swaps; and commodity swaps. The following entities provide central clearing for OTC derivatives: ICE Clear Credit (US); ICE Clear (EU); CME Group; LCH.Clearnet; and Eurex.

    62 Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, OTC and centrally-cleared swaps are regulated by the CFTC with the exception of security-based swaps, which are regulated by the Commission.

    63 The following entities are provisionally registered with the CFTC as SDRs: BSDR LLC., Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc., DTCC Data Repository, and ICE Trade Vault.

    64 Approximately 21 entities are currently temporarily registered with the CFTC as SEFs.

    With respect to security-based swaps regulated by the Commission, the Commission has adopted Regulation SBSR under the Act implementing requirements for regulatory reporting and public dissemination of security-based swap transactions set forth in title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act. Regulation SBSR provides for the reporting of security-based swap information to registered security-based swap data repositories (“Registered SDRs”) or the Commission, and the public dissemination of security-based swap transaction, volume, and pricing information by Registered SDRs.65

    65See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 74244 (February 11, 2015), 80 FR 14564 (March 19, 2015) (Regulation SBSR—Reporting and Dissemination of Security-Based Swap Information).

    Price information relating to forwards and OTC options will be available from major market data vendors.

    The Exchange notes that a fund's investments in derivative instruments would be subject to limits on leverage imposed by the 1940 Act. Section 18(f) of the 1940 Act and related Commission guidance limit the amount of leverage an investment company can obtain. A fund's investments would be consistent with its investment objective and would not be used to enhance leverage. To limit the potential risk associated with a fund's use of derivatives, a fund will segregate or “earmark” assets determined to be liquid by a fund in accordance with the 1940 Act (or, as permitted by applicable regulation, enter into certain offsetting positions) to cover its obligations under derivative instruments. A fund's investments will not be used to seek performance that is the multiple or inverse multiple (i.e., 2Xs and 3Xs) of a fund's broad-based securities market index (as defined in Form N-1A).66 In addition, the Exchange notes that, under proposed Commentary .01(a) to Rule 8.600, for Derivative Securities Products and Index-Linked Securities, no more than 25% of the equity weight of a fund's portfolio could include leveraged and/or inverse leveraged Derivative Securities Products or Index-Linked Securities.

    66See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release No. 74842 (April 29, 2015), 86 FR 25723 (May 5, 2015) (SR-NYSEArca-2014-89) (order approving listing and trading of shares of eight PIMCO exchange-traded funds).

    The proposed rule change is also designed to protect investors and the public interest because Managed Fund Shares listed and traded pursuant to Rule 8.600, including pursuant to the proposed new portfolio standards, would continue to be subject to the full panoply of Exchange rules and procedures that currently govern the trading of equity securities on the Exchange.67

    67See Approval Order, supra note 11, at 19547.

    The proposed rule change is also designed to protect investors and the public interest as well as to promote just and equitable principles of trade in that any Non-U.S. Component Stocks will each meet the following criteria initially and on a continuing basis: (1) Have a minimum market value of at least $100 million; (2) have a minimum global monthly trading volume of 250,000 shares, or minimum global notional volume traded per month of $25,000,000, averaged over the last six months; (3) most heavily weighted Non-U.S. Component Stock shall not exceed 25% of the equity weight of the portfolio, and, to the extent applicable, the five most heavily weighted Non-U.S. Component Stocks shall not exceed 60% of the equity weight of the portfolio; and (4) each Non-U.S. Component Stock shall be listed and traded on an exchange that has last-sale reporting. The Exchange believes that such quantitative criteria are sufficient to mitigate any concerns that may arise on the basis of a series of Managed Fund Shares potentially holding 100% of its assets in Non-U.S. Component Stocks that are neither listed on members of ISG nor exchanges with which the Exchange has in place a CSSA because, as stated above, such criteria are either the same or more stringent than the portfolio requirements for Index Fund Shares that hold Non-U.S. Component Stocks and there are no such requirements related to such securities being listed on an exchange that is a member of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a CSSA. Further, the Exchange has not encountered and is not aware of any instances of manipulation or other negative impact in any series of Index Fund Shares that has occurred by virtue of the Index Fund Shares holding such Non-U.S. Component Stocks. As such, the Exchange believes that there should be no difference in the portfolio requirements for Managed Fund Shares and Index Fund Shares as it relates to holding Non-U.S. Component Stocks that are not listed on an exchange that is a member of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a CSSA.

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices because the Managed Fund Shares will be listed and traded on the Exchange pursuant to the initial and continued listing criteria in Rule 8.600. The Exchange has in place surveillance procedures that are adequate to properly monitor trading in the Managed Fund Shares in all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws. FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, or the regulatory staff of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in Managed Fund Shares with other markets that are members of the ISG, including all U.S. securities exchanges and futures exchanges on which the components are traded. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in Managed Fund Shares from other markets that are members of the ISG, including all U.S. securities exchanges and futures exchanges on which the components are traded, or with which the Exchange has in place a CSSA.

    The Exchange also believes that the proposed rule change would fulfill the intended objective of Rule 19b-4(e) under the Act by allowing Managed Fund Shares that satisfy the proposed listing standards to be listed and traded without separate Commission approval. However, as proposed, the Exchange would continue to file separate proposed rule changes before the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares that do not satisfy the additional criteria described above.

    For these reasons, the Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the Act.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    In accordance with section 6(b)(8) of the Act,68 the Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. Instead, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change would facilitate the listing and trading of additional types of Managed Fund Shares and result in a significantly more efficient process surrounding the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares, which will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace. The Exchange believes that this would reduce the time frame for bringing Managed Fund Shares to market, thereby reducing the burdens on issuers and other market participants and promoting competition. In turn, the Exchange believes that the proposed change would make the process for listing Managed Fund Shares more competitive by applying uniform listing standards with respect to Managed Fund Shares.

    68 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(8).

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether Amendment No. 2 to proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

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

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NYSEArca-2015-110 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

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

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEArca-2015-110. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Section, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the NYSE's principal office and on its Internet Web site at www.nyse.com. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEArca-2015-110 and should be submitted on or before February 16, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.69

    69 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01714 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-76973; File No. SR-NYSE-2016-09] Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Amending the Fees for NYSE Integrated Feed January 26, 2016.

    Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that, on January 13, 2016, New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend the fees for NYSE Integrated Feed to establish a multiple data feed fee. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend the fees for NYSE Integrated Feed market data product,4 as set forth on the NYSE Proprietary Market Data Fee Schedule (“Fee Schedule”). The Exchange proposes to establish the multiple data feed fee. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to establish a new monthly fee, the “Multiple Data Feed Fee,” that would apply to data recipients that take a data feed for a market data product in more than two locations. Data recipients taking NYSE Integrated Feed in more than two locations would be charged $200 per additional location per product per month.5 No new reporting would be required.6

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74128 (January 23, 2015), 80 FR 4951 (January 29, 2015) (SR-NYSE-2015-03) (Notice—NYSE Integrated Feed) and 76485 (Nov. 20, 2015), 80 FR 74158 (Nov. 27, 2015) (SR-NYSE-2015-57) (establishing fees for NYSE Integrated Feed).

    5 The text of footnote 6 in Exhibit 5 of this proposed rule change was previously filed under a separate filing. See SR-NYSE-2016-02 (Proposed Rule Change to Amend the Fees for NYSE OpenBook).

    6 Data vendors currently report a unique Vendor Account Number for each location at which they provide a data feed to a data recipient. The Exchange considers each Vendor Account Number a location. For example, if a data recipient has five Vendor Account Numbers, representing five locations, for the receipt of the NYSE Integrated Feed product, that data recipient will pay the Multiple Data Feed fee with respect to three of the five locations.

    Additionally, the various fees applicable to NYSE Integrated Feed, other than the Multiple Data Feed Fee, became operative on January 1, 2016.7 Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to remove text from the Fee Schedule noting that through December 31, 2015, there would be no charge for the fees for NYSE Integrated Feed and text noting that the fees would be applicable from January 1, 2016. The proposed change would provide clarity to subscribers of NYSE Integrated Feed.

    7See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76485 (November 20, 2015), 80 FR 74158 (November 27, 2015) (SR-NYSE-2015-57).

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of section 6 of the Act,8 in general, and sections 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5) of the Act,9 in particular, in that it provides an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among users and recipients of the data and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, issuers, and brokers.

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    9 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4), (5).

    The fees are also equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because they will apply to all data recipients that choose to subscribe to NYSE Integrated Feed.

    The Exchange believes that it is reasonable to require data recipients to pay a modest additional fee taking a data feed for a market data product in more than two locations, because such data recipients can derive substantial value from being able to consume the product in as many locations as they want. In addition, there are administrative burdens associated with tracking each location at which a data recipient receives the product. The Multiple Data Feed Fee is designed to encourage data recipients to better manage their requests for additional data feeds and to monitor their usage of data feeds. The proposed fee is designed to apply to data feeds received in more than two locations so that each data recipient can have one primary and one backup data location before having to pay a multiple data feed fee. The Exchange notes that this pricing is consistent with similar pricing adopted in 2013 by the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”).10 The Exchange also notes that the OPRA Plan imposes a similar charge of $100 per connection for circuit connections in addition to the primary and backup connections.11

    10See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 70010 (July 19, 2013), 78 FR 44984 (July 25, 2013) (SR-CTA/CQ-2013-04).

    11See “Direct Access Fee,” Options Price Reporting Authority Fee Schedule Fee Schedule PRA Plan [sic] at http://www.opradata.com/pdf/fee_schedule.pdf.

    The Exchange notes that NYSE Integrated Feed is entirely optional. The Exchange is not required to make NYSE Integrated Feed available or to offer any specific pricing alternatives to any customers, nor is any firm required to purchase NYSE Integrated Feed. Firms that do purchase NYSE Integrated Feed do so for the primary goals of using it to increase revenues, reduce expenses, and in some instances compete directly with the Exchange (including for order flow); those firms are able to determine for themselves whether NYSE Integrated Feed or any other similar products are attractively priced or not.12

    12See, e.g. , Proposing Release on Regulation of NMS Stock Alternative Trading Systems, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76474 (Nov. 18, 2015) (File No. S7-23-15). See also, “Brokers Warned Not to Steer Clients' Stock Trades Into Slow Lane,” Bloomberg Business, December 14, 2015 (Sigma X dark pool to use direct exchange feeds as the primary source of price data).

    Firms that do not wish to purchase NYSE Integrated Feed have a variety of alternative market data products from which to choose,13 or if NYSE Integrated Feed does not provide sufficient value to firms as offered based on the uses those firms have or planned to make of it, such firms may simply choose to conduct their business operations in ways that do not use NYSE Integrated Feed or use it at different levels or in different configurations. The Exchange notes that broker-dealers are not required to purchase proprietary market data to comply with their best execution obligations.14

    13See NYSE Arca Integrated Feed, http://www.nyxdata.com/Data-Products/NYSEArca-Integrated-History (last visited December 23, 2015) (data feed that provides a unified view of events, in sequence as they appear on the NYSE Arca matching engine, including depth of book, trades, order) and NASDAQ TotalView-ITCH, http://www.nasdaqtrader.com/Trader.aspx?id=Totalview2 (last visited December 23, 2015) (displays the full order book depth for NASDAQ market participants and also disseminates the Net Order Imbalance Indicator (NOII) for the NASDAQ Opening and Closing Crosses and NASDAQ IPO/Halt Cross).

    14See FINRA Regulatory Notice 15-46, “Best Execution,” November 2015.

    The decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in NetCoalition v. SEC, 615 F.3d 525 (D.C. Cir. 2010), upheld reliance by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) upon the existence of competitive market mechanisms to set reasonable and equitably allocated fees for proprietary market data:

    In fact, the legislative history indicates that the Congress intended that the market system `evolve through the interplay of competitive forces as unnecessary regulatory restrictions are removed' and that the SEC wield its regulatory power `in those situations where competition may not be sufficient,' such as in the creation of a `consolidated transactional reporting system.'

    Id. at 535 (quoting H.R. Rep. No. 94-229 at 92 (1975), as reprinted in 1975 U.S.C.C.A.N. 323). The court agreed with the Commission's conclusion that “Congress intended that `competitive forces should dictate the services and practices that constitute the U.S. national market system for trading equity securities.' ” 15

    15NetCoalition, 615 F.3d at 535.

    As explained below in the Exchange's Statement on Burden on Competition, the Exchange believes that there is substantial evidence of competition in the marketplace for proprietary market data and that the Commission can rely upon such evidence in concluding that the fees established in this filing are the product of competition and therefore satisfy the relevant statutory standards. In addition, the existence of alternatives to these data products, such as consolidated data and proprietary data from other sources, as described below, further ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can select such alternatives.

    As the NetCoalition decision noted, the Commission is not required to undertake a cost-of-service or ratemaking approach. The Exchange believes that, even if it were possible as a matter of economic theory, cost-based pricing for proprietary market data would be so complicated that it could not be done practically or offer any significant benefits.16

    16 The Exchange believes that cost-based pricing would be impractical because it would create enormous administrative burdens for all parties and the Commission to cost-regulate a large number of participants and standardize and analyze extraordinary amounts of information, accounts, and reports. In addition, and as described below, it is impossible to regulate market data prices in isolation from prices charged by markets for other services that are joint products. Cost-based rate regulation would also lead to litigation and may distort incentives, including those to minimize costs and to innovate, leading to further waste. Under cost-based pricing, the Commission would be burdened with determining a fair rate of return, and the industry could experience frequent rate increases based on escalating expense levels. Even in industries historically subject to utility regulation, cost-based ratemaking has been discredited. As such, the Exchange believes that cost-based ratemaking would be inappropriate for proprietary market data and inconsistent with Congress's direction that the Commission use its authority to foster the development of the national market system, and that market forces will continue to provide appropriate pricing discipline. See Appendix C to NYSE's comments to the Commission's 2000 Concept Release on the Regulation of Market Information Fees and Revenues, which can be found on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept/s72899/buck1.htm.

    For these reasons, the Exchange believes that the proposed fees are reasonable, equitable, and not unfairly discriminatory.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. An exchange's ability to price its proprietary market data feed products is constrained by actual competition for the sale of proprietary market data products, the joint product nature of exchange platforms, and the existence of alternatives to the Exchange's proprietary data.

    The Existence of Actual Competition

    The market for proprietary data products is currently competitive and inherently contestable because there is fierce competition for the inputs necessary for the creation of proprietary data and strict pricing discipline for the proprietary products themselves. Numerous exchanges compete with one another for listings and order flow and sales of market data itself, providing ample opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to compete in any or all of those areas, including producing and distributing their own market data. Proprietary data products are produced and distributed by each individual exchange, as well as other entities, in a vigorously competitive market. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) (the primary antitrust regulator) has expressly acknowledged the aggressive actual competition among exchanges, including for the sale of proprietary market data. In 2011, the DOJ stated that exchanges “compete head to head to offer real-time equity data products. These data products include the best bid and offer of every exchange and information on each equity trade, including the last sale.” 17

    17 Press Release, U.S. Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney Holds Conference Call Regarding NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange Inc. Abandoning Their Bid for NYSE Euronext (May 16, 2011), available at http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/atr/speeches/2011/at-speech-110516.html; see also Complaint in U.S. v. Deutsche Borse AG and NYSE Euronext, Case No. 11-cv-2280 (DC Dist.) ¶ 24 (“NYSE and Direct Edge compete head-to-head . . . in the provision of real-time proprietary equity data products.”).

    Moreover, competitive markets for listings, order flow, executions, and transaction reports provide pricing discipline for the inputs of proprietary data products and therefore constrain markets from overpricing proprietary market data. Broker-dealers send their order flow and transaction reports to multiple venues, rather than providing them all to a single venue, which in turn reinforces this competitive constraint. As a 2010 Commission Concept Release noted, the “current market structure can be described as dispersed and complex” with “trading volume . . . dispersed among many highly automated trading centers that compete for order flow in the same stocks” and “trading centers offer[ing] a wide range of services that are designed to attract different types of market participants with varying trading needs.” 18 More recently, SEC Chair Mary Jo White has noted that competition for order flow in exchange-listed equities is “intense” and divided among many trading venues, including exchanges, more than 40 alternative trading systems, and more than 250 broker-dealers.19

    18 Concept Release on Equity Market Structure, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61358 (Jan. 14, 2010), 75 FR 3594 (Jan. 21, 2010) (File No. S7-02-10). This Concept Release included data from the third quarter of 2009 showing that no market center traded more than 20% of the volume of listed stocks, further evidencing the dispersal of and competition for trading activity. Id. at 3598. Data available on ArcaVision show that from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2014, no exchange traded more than 12% of the volume of listed stocks by either trade or dollar volume, further evidencing the continued dispersal of and fierce competition for trading activity. See https://www.arcavision.com/Arcavision/arcalogin.jsp.

    19 Mary Jo White, Enhancing Our Equity Market Structure, Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P. Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference (June 5, 2014) (available on the Commission Web site), citing Tuttle, Laura, 2014, “OTC Trading: Description of Non-ATS OTC Trading in National Market System Stocks,” at 7-8.

    If an exchange succeeds in competing for quotations, order flow, and trade executions, then it earns trading revenues and increases the value of its proprietary market data products because they will contain greater quote and trade information. Conversely, if an exchange is less successful in attracting quotes, order flow, and trade executions, then its market data products may be less desirable to customers in light of the diminished content and data products offered by competing venues may become more attractive. Thus, competition for quotations, order flow, and trade executions puts significant pressure on an exchange to maintain both execution and data fees at reasonable levels.

    In addition, in the case of products that are also redistributed through market data vendors, such as Bloomberg and Thompson Reuters, the vendors themselves provide additional price discipline for proprietary data products because they control the primary means of access to certain end users. These vendors impose price discipline based upon their business models. For example, vendors that assess a surcharge on data they sell are able to refuse to offer proprietary products that their end users do not or will not purchase in sufficient numbers. Vendors will not elect to make available NYSE Integrated Feed unless their customers request it, and customers will not elect to pay the proposed fees unless NYSE Integrated Feed can provide value by sufficiently increasing revenues or reducing costs in the customer's business in a manner that will offset the fees. All of these factors operate as constraints on pricing proprietary data products.

    Joint Product Nature of Exchange Platform

    Transaction execution and proprietary data products are complementary in that market data is both an input and a byproduct of the execution service. In fact, proprietary market data and trade executions are a paradigmatic example of joint products with joint costs. The decision of whether and on which platform to post an order will depend on the attributes of the platforms where the order can be posted, including the execution fees, data availability and quality, and price and distribution of data products. Without a platform to post quotations, receive orders, and execute trades, exchange data products would not exist.

    The costs of producing market data include not only the costs of the data distribution infrastructure, but also the costs of designing, maintaining, and operating the exchange's platform for posting quotes, accepting orders, and executing transactions and the cost of regulating the exchange to ensure its fair operation and maintain investor confidence. The total return that a trading platform earns reflects the revenues it receives from both products and the joint costs it incurs.

    Moreover, an exchange's broker-dealer customers generally view the costs of transaction executions and market data as a unified cost of doing business with the exchange. A broker-dealer will only choose to direct orders to an exchange if the revenue from the transaction exceeds its cost, including the cost of any market data that the broker-dealer chooses to buy in support of its order routing and trading decisions. If the costs of the transaction are not offset by its value, then the broker-dealer may choose instead not to purchase the product and trade away from that exchange. There is substantial evidence of the strong correlation between order flow and market data purchases. For example, in September 2015, more than 80% of the transaction volume on each of NYSE and NYSE's affiliates NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and NYSE MKT LLC (“MKT”) was executed by market participants that purchased one or more proprietary market data products (the 20 firms were not the same for each market). A supra-competitive increase in the fees for either executions or market data would create a risk of reducing an exchange's revenues from both products.

    Other market participants have noted that proprietary market data and trade executions are joint products of a joint platform and have common costs.20 The Exchange agrees with and adopts those discussions and the arguments therein. The Exchange also notes that the economics literature confirms that there is no way to allocate common costs between joint products that would shed any light on competitive or efficient pricing.21

    20See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72153 (May 12, 2014), 79 FR 28575, 28578 n.15 (May 16, 2014) (SR-NASDAQ-2014-045) (“[A]ll of the exchange's costs are incurred for the unified purposes of attracting order flow, executing and/or routing orders, and generating and selling data about market activity. The total return that an exchange earns reflects the revenues it receives from the joint products and the total costs of the joint products.”). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62907 (Sept. 14, 2010), 75 FR 57314, 57317 (Sept. 20, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-110), and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62908 (Sept. 14, 2010), 75 FR 57321, 57324 (Sept. 20, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-111).

    21See generally Mark Hirschey, Fundamentals of Managerial Economics, at 600 (2009) (“It is important to note, however, that although it is possible to determine the separate marginal costs of goods produced in variable proportions, it is impossible to determine their individual average costs. This is because common costs are expenses necessary for manufacture of a joint product. Common costs of production—raw material and equipment costs, management expenses, and other overhead—cannot be allocated to each individual by-product on any economically sound basis. . . . Any allocation of common costs is wrong and arbitrary.”). This is not new economic theory. See, e.g., F. W. Taussig, “A Contribution to the Theory of Railway Rates,” Quarterly Journal of Economics V(4) 438, 465 (July 1891) (“Yet, surely, the division is purely arbitrary. These items of cost, in fact, are jointly incurred for both sorts of traffic; and I cannot share the hope entertained by the statistician of the Commission, Professor Henry C. Adams, that we shall ever reach a mode of apportionment that will lead to trustworthy results.”).

    Analyzing the cost of market data product production and distribution in isolation from the cost of all of the inputs supporting the creation of market data and market data products will inevitably underestimate the cost of the data and data products because it is impossible to obtain the data inputs to create market data products without a fast, technologically robust, and well-regulated execution system, and system and regulatory costs affect the price of both obtaining the market data itself and creating and distributing market data products. It would be equally misleading, however, to attribute all of an exchange's costs to the market data portion of an exchange's joint products. Rather, all of an exchange's costs are incurred for the unified purposes of attracting order flow, executing and/or routing orders, and generating and selling data about market activity. The total return that an exchange earns reflects the revenues it receives from the joint products and the total costs of the joint products.

    As noted above, the level of competition and contestability in the market is evident in the numerous alternative venues that compete for order flow, including 11 equities self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) markets, as well as various forms of alternative trading systems (“ATSs”), including dark pools and electronic communication networks (“ECNs”), and internalizing broker-dealers. SRO markets compete to attract order flow and produce transaction reports via trade executions, and two FINRA-regulated Trade Reporting Facilities compete to attract transaction reports from the non-SRO venues.

    Competition among trading platforms can be expected to constrain the aggregate return that each platform earns from the sale of its joint products, but different trading platforms may choose from a range of possible, and equally reasonable, pricing strategies as the means of recovering total costs. For example, some platforms may choose to pay rebates to attract orders, charge relatively low prices for market data products (or provide market data products free of charge), and charge relatively high prices for accessing posted liquidity. Other platforms may choose a strategy of paying lower rebates (or no rebates) to attract orders, setting relatively high prices for market data products, and setting relatively low prices for accessing posted liquidity. For example, BATS Global Markets (“BATS”) and Direct Edge, which previously operated as ATSs and obtained exchange status in 2008 and 2010, respectively, provided certain market data at no charge on their Web sites in order to attract more order flow, and used revenue rebates from resulting additional executions to maintain low execution charges for their users.22 In this environment, there is no economic basis for regulating maximum prices for one of the joint products in an industry in which suppliers face competitive constraints with regard to the joint offering.

    22 This is simply a securities market-specific example of the well-established principle that in certain circumstances more sales at lower margins can be more profitable than fewer sales at higher margins; this example is additional evidence that market data is an inherent part of a market's joint platform.

    Existence of Alternatives

    The large number of SROs, ATSs, and internalizing broker-dealers that currently produce proprietary data or are currently capable of producing it provides further pricing discipline for proprietary data products. Each SRO, ATS, and broker-dealer is currently permitted to produce and sell proprietary data products, and many currently do, including but not limited to the Exchange, NYSE MKT, NYSE Arca, NASDAQ OMX, BATS, and Direct Edge.

    The fact that proprietary data from ATSs, internalizing broker-dealers, and vendors can bypass SROs is significant in two respects. First, non-SROs can compete directly with SROs for the production and sale of proprietary data products. By way of example, BATS and NYSE Arca both published proprietary data on the Internet before registering as exchanges. Second, because a single order or transaction report can appear in an SRO proprietary product, a non-SRO proprietary product, or both, the amount of data available via proprietary products is greater in size than the actual number of orders and transaction reports that exist in the marketplace. With respect to NYSE Integrated Feed, competitors offer close substitute products.23 Because market data users can find suitable substitutes for most proprietary market data products, a market that overprices its market data products stands a high risk that users may substitute another source of market data information for its own.

    23See note 13, supra.

    Those competitive pressures imposed by available alternatives are evident in the Exchange's proposed pricing.

    In addition to the competition and price discipline described above, the market for proprietary data products is also highly contestable because market entry is rapid and inexpensive. The history of electronic trading is replete with examples of entrants that swiftly grew into some of the largest electronic trading platforms and proprietary data producers: Archipelago, Bloomberg Tradebook, Island, RediBook, Attain, TrackECN, BATS Trading and Direct Edge. As noted above, BATS launched as an ATS in 2006 and became an exchange in 2008, while Direct Edge began operations in 2007 and obtained exchange status in 2010.

    In determining the proposed changes to the fees for NYSE Integrated Fed, the Exchange considered the competitiveness of the market for proprietary data and all of the implications of that competition. The Exchange believes that it has considered all relevant factors and has not considered irrelevant factors in order to establish fair, reasonable, and not unreasonably discriminatory fees and an equitable allocation of fees among all users. The existence of numerous alternatives to the Exchange's products, including proprietary data from other sources, ensures that the Exchange cannot set unreasonable fees, or fees that are unreasonably discriminatory, when vendors and subscribers can elect these alternatives or choose not to purchase a specific proprietary data product if the attendant fees are not justified by the returns that any particular vendor or data recipient would achieve through the purchase.

    Finally, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change, with respect to the removal of text from the Fee Schedule, is consistent with the provisions of section 6 of the Act,24 in general, and with section 6(b)(5) of the Act 25 in particular, in that the proposal is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Specifically, NYSE believes that the change will promote these goals by providing clarity and consistency to the Fee Schedule and will benefit participants as they would be informed to the pricing applicable for NYSE Integrated Feed.

    24 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    25 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change is effective upon filing pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) 26 of the Act and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 27 thereunder, because it establishes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange.

    26 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    27 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of such proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings under section 19(b)(2)(B) 28 of the Act to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    28 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

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

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NYSE-2016-09 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

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

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSE-2016-09. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSE-2016-09 and should be submitted on or before February 22, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.29

    29 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01713 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Proposed Collection; Comment Request Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of FOIA Services, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-2736. Extension: Rule 17a-8; SEC File No. 270-225, OMB Control No. 3235-0235.

    Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collection of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

    Rule 17a-8 (17 CFR 270.17a-8) under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) (15 U.S.C. 80a) is entitled “Mergers of affiliated companies.” Rule 17a-8 exempts certain mergers and similar business combinations (“mergers”) of affiliated registered investment companies (“funds”) from prohibitions under section 17(a) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 80a-17(a)) on purchases and sales between a fund and its affiliates. The rule requires fund directors to consider certain issues and to record their findings in board minutes. The rule requires the directors of any fund merging with an unregistered entity to approve procedures for the valuation of assets received from that entity. These procedures must provide for the preparation of a report by an independent evaluator that sets forth the fair value of each such asset for which market quotations are not readily available. The rule also requires a fund being acquired to obtain approval of the merger transaction by a majority of its outstanding voting securities, except in certain situations, and requires any surviving fund to preserve written records describing the merger and its terms for six years after the merger (the first two in an easily accessible place).

    The average annual burden of meeting the requirements of rule 17a-8 is estimated to be 7 hours for each fund. The Commission staff estimates that each year approximately 766 funds rely on the rule. The estimated total average annual burden for all respondents therefore is 5,362 hours.

    The average cost burden of preparing a report by an independent evaluator in a merger with an unregistered entity is estimated to be $15,000. The average net cost burden of obtaining approval of a merger transaction by a majority of a fund's outstanding voting securities is estimated to be $100,000. The Commission staff estimates that each year approximately 0 mergers with unregistered entities occur and approximately 15 funds hold shareholder votes that would not otherwise have held a shareholder vote. The total annual cost burden of meeting these requirements is estimated to be $1,500,000.

    The estimates of average burden hours and average cost burdens are made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, and are not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Written comments are requested on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burdens of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

    Please direct your written comments to Pamela Dyson, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, C/O Remi Pavlik-Simon, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549; or send an email to: [email protected]

    Dated: January 25, 2016. Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01711 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Proposed Collection; Comment Request Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of FOIA Services, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-2736. Extension: Order Granting Conditional Exemptions Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in Connection with Portfolio Margining of Swaps and Security-Based Swaps; SEC File No. S7-13-12, OMB Control No. 3235-0698.

    Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is soliciting comments on the existing collection of information provided for in the Order Granting Conditional Exemptions Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) in Connection with Portfolio Margining of Swaps and Security-Based Swaps, Exchange Act Release No. 68433 (Dec. 14, 2012), 77 FR 75211 (Dec. 19, 2012) (“Order”). The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for extension and approval.

    On December 14, 2012, the Commission found it necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors to grant the conditional exemptions discussed in the Order. Among other things, the Order requires dually-registered broker-dealer and futures commission merchants (“BD/FCMs”) that elect to offer a program to commingle and portfolio margin customer positions in credit default swaps (“CDS”) in customer accounts maintained in accordance with Section 4d(f) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and rules thereunder, to obtain certain agreements and opinions from its customers regarding the applicable regulatory regime, and to make certain disclosures to its customers before receiving any money, securities, or property of a customer to margin, guarantee, or secure positions consisting of cleared CDS, which include both swaps and security-based swaps, under a program to commingle and portfolio margin CDS. The Order also requires BD/FCMs that elect to offer a program to commingle and portfolio margin CDS positions in customer accounts maintained in accordance with Section 4d(f) of the CEA and rules thereunder, to maintain minimum margin levels using a margin methodology approved by the Commission or the Commission staff.

    When it adopted the Order, the Commission discussed the burden hours and costs associated with complying with certain provisions of the Order that contain “collection of information requirements” within the meaning of the PRA.1 The collection of information requirements are designed, among other things, to provide appropriate agreements, disclosures, and opinions to BD/FCM customers to clarify key aspects of the regulatory framework that will govern their participation in a program to commingle and portfolio margin CDS positions and to ensure that appropriate levels of margin are collected. Because the Order is still in effect, the Commission believes it is prudent to extend this collection of information.

    1See Order, 77 FR at 75221-23.

    The Commission estimates that 45 firms may seek to avail themselves of the conditional exemptive relief provided by the Order and therefore would be subject to the information collection.2 The Commission estimates that each of the 45 firms that may seek to avail themselves of the conditional exemptive relief provided by the Order would spend a total of 3,430 burden hours to comply with the existing collection of information, calculated as follows: (20 hours to develop a subordination agreement for each non-affiliate cleared credit default swap customers in accordance with paragraph IV(b)(1)(ii) of the Order) × (109 non-affiliate credit default swap customers 3 ) + ((20 hours to develop a subordination agreement for each affiliate cleared credit default swap customers in accordance with paragraph IV(b)(2)(ii) of the Order) + (2 hours developing and reviewing the opinion required by paragraph IV(b)(2)(iii) of the Order)) × (11 affiliate credit default swap customers) + (1,000 hours to seek the Commission's approval of margin methodologies under paragraph IV(b)(3) of the Order) + (8 hours to disclose information to customers under paragraph IV(b)(6) of the Order) = 3,430 burden hours, or approximately 154,350 burden hours in the aggregate, calculated as follows: (3,430 burden hours per firm) × (45 firms) = 154,350 burden hours. Amortized over three years, the annualized burden hours would be 1,143 hours per firm, or a total of 51,450 for all 45 firms.

    2 The Commission bases this estimate on the total number of entities that are dually registered as broker-dealers and futures commission merchants. See Financial Data for FCMs as of July 31, 2015, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, available at http://www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/FinancialDataforFCMs/index.htm.

    3 Based on information that the Commission receives on a monthly basis, as well as current projections regarding the estimated increase in the number of customers per respondent, the Commission anticipates an average number of credit default swap customers to be 120 per respondent, 109 of which would be non-affiliates and 11 of which would be affiliates. The Commission notes that these estimates are based on current data and the current regulatory framework.

    The Commission further estimates that each respondent will incur a one-time cost of $8,000 in outside legal cost expenses per firm, calculated as follows: (200 hours to obtain opinions of counsel from affiliate cleared credit default swap customers under paragraph IV(b)(2)(iii) of the Order) × ($400 per hour for outside legal counsel) = $8,000, for an aggregate burden of $360,000, calculated as follows: ($8,000 in external legal costs per firm) × (45 firms) = $360,000. Amortized over three years, the annualized capital external cost would be $2,667 per firm, or a total of $120,000 for all 45 firms.

    Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's estimates of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information under the PRA unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Please direct your written comments to: Pamela Dyson, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, or send an email to: [email protected]

    Dated: January 25, 2016. Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01716 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request January 26, 2016.

    The Department of the Treasury will submit the following information collection requests to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, on or after the date of publication of this notice.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before March 2, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments regarding the burden estimates, or any other aspect of the information collections, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to (1) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for Treasury, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, or email at [email protected] and (2) Treasury PRA Clearance Officer, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 8117, Washington, DC 20220, or email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Copies of the submissions may be obtained by emailing [email protected], calling (202) 622-1295, or viewing the entire information collection request at www.reginfo.gov.

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

    OMB Control Number: 1545-0166.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Recapture of Investment Credit.

    Abstract: Form 4255 is used to figure the increase in tax for the recapture of investment credit claimed and for the recapture of a qualifying therapeutic discovery project grant.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 129,492.

    OMB Control Number: 1545-0195.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Election to Postpone Determination as to Whether the Presumption Applies that an activity is engaged in for profit.

    Abstract: Section 183 of the Internal Revenue Code allows taxpayers to elect to postpone a determination as to whether an activity is entered into for profit or is in the nature of a nondeductible hobby. The election is made on Form 5213.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits; Individuals.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,762.

    OMB Control Number: 1545-1837.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Revenue Procedure 2003-36, Industry Issue Resolution Program.

    Abstract: Rev. Proc. 2003-36 describes procedures for business taxpayers, industry associations, and other interested parties to submit issues for consideration under the Internal Revenue Service's Industry Issue Resolution (IIR) Program. The objective of the IIR Program is to identify frequently disputed or burdensome tax issues that are common to a significant number of business taxpayers that may be resolved through published or other administrative guidance.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits.

    Estimated Average Annual Burden per Response: 40 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,000.

    Brenda Simms, Treasury PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-01710 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Departmental Offices, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Treasury, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on an extension of an existing information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). Currently, the Office of the Fiscal Assistant Secretary, within the Department of the Treasury, is soliciting comments concerning grants to states for low-income housing projects in lieu of tax credits.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before April 1, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments regarding the burden estimate, or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Sustanchia Gladden, Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 1050, Washington, DC 20020 or to [email protected]